Saturday, June 18, 2011

Wine Bottling

 It feels like we've had a weekend, and it's only Saturday evening.  Thursday after work we drove up to Napa Valley and stayed at an historic building, now a bed and breakfast inn.  With friends we ate at Ad Hoc restaurant.  I was feeling not entirely myself and had the most ill manners while eating--guess we all have off days.
Friday for nearly twelve hours we helped friends bottle their wine.  Due to some miscommunication and machine parts not working properly, we had plenty of breaks during bottling that kept us comfortable.  On an eleven-person crew, five were new to the bottling process.  All-in-all the 2,500 cases were bottled by the end of the day.  (See May 5, 2010 post for details on how the automated bottling production functions with human help).
The rag-tag crew of friends heartily ate barbecue in the mosquito-filled evening.  Visitors from Alabama contributed great Southern dips:  cheese with bacon; and cheese with red bell pepper and sausage.  Steak and pork chops were barbecued for appetizers.  An encouraging red-head (taught us a funny name for a red-head--"Fanta") grilled sausages for dinner, our hosts made green and potato salads for dinner.  A baker friend made three cakes for dessert and sweet dreams.  All went down with more than a case of delicious great-scented wine.
After staying the night with the winery owner's daughter, rose and indulged in Bouchon Bakery treats.  Spread them far and wide over Napa Valley:  to friends staying in St. Helena, and to four homes in Angwin, CA.
On our drive back, we stopped at the harbor in Half Moon Bay (photo above is Pacifica, CA--just north of HMB) to buy fresh fish and crab from the returning boats.  At home, baked the firm white-fleshed fish and boiled the crab to eat for dinner.  The low price and great taste leaves us wondering why we don't visit the docks more often.  It is helpful to support the nearby fishermen who work hard to bring healthy food onto dry land.