Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A lovely weekend.

Just returned from such a nice weekend.  Waking up to World Cup & birds...pheasants, fly catchers, marsh hawks and a red tail.  The full moon rising just as the sun was setting and setting just as the sun came up.  Did almost no cooking, which was unusual, but Sue enjoyed the break.  We stopped in Union Gap and bought asparagus tamales from Los Hernandez.  Dinner at Brasserie Four on Friday night.  A lovely, fun party at Jay and Debbie's on Saturday night, catered by Graze. Amazing potato salad amongst all the good food.  Had some of Jay's library wine, 2002 cab, which was excellent.  Felix, Jay's son-in-law, threw down the gauntlet in defense of his mom's tamales being the best anywhere.  So Sue went to our house and brought back a taste of the asparagus tamales and we had a group tasting.  Scores ranged from 7 to 8 overall.  Very good fun.  Sue sent me to The Blue for some poker on Sunday while she caught up on magazines and relaxed in the sunshine.  Good outing at the poker table, so we splurged on the tasting menu at Whitehouse-Crawford.  The best pairing was a fresh morel soup with a Woodward Canyon reisling...magic.  The wheat is looking good and Tanya is doing a great job with the house.  I called Carlos to get out more help in the vineyard, with the star thistle, especially.  That is some pernicious stuff!  Very hard to tell with this year's grapes.  Late, slow start can mean a wonderful finish or sour grapes...we shall see.  So glad that we are not in the wine business or I would be whining.  Went to Yungapeti for futbol and the albanil burrito with fresh lime juice.  Man...I had never tried the hot green salsa...the best!  We stopped for more tamales on the way west, but closed.  What a difference it makes to have the third night at Grape Hill and not rush back.  Can't wait until next month...two whole weeks on the farm!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Liliana's is Graduating...

No more kids at home.  Sad, but nice having them all at UW and fifteen minutes away.  A good meal on mom & dad is always well-received.  But now the idea is to enjoy more time at Grape Hill.  So lovely that the farm is being well-loved by guests coming for stays, but also getting to be not so good that people are booking as much as a whole year in advance and it is getting so hard for us to be spontaneous in enjoying our own favorite place.  I may just block out ten weeks during next year so we are sure to have times for ourselves...  Tried both the 2009 cabernets and syrahs from Little Vineyard.  The cabernets are sublime.  The syrahs seem to be tasting better than they did the last time I tasted them, but so hard to tell...these seem to ride a roller-coaster of constantly changing flavors during the first year in barrel.  Definitely highly drinkable, but not likely to be cherished the way the cabernets are shaping up to that higher-level.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Wet and chilly has been the springtime mode this year.  For now, the vines are loving it.  Let's hope for some heat units starting in the next couple weeks!  The outside shower is actually good fun in bad weather, but I seem to be the one and only when it comes to appreciating that bit of fun. 
Big red wines still taste right for now.  But soon, let's hope, a crisp dry rose for quaffing at Big Table.  I've been tasting more interesting and worthwhile local Walla Walla roses of late; more substance and flavor with mourvedre and cinsault and grapes that seem to lend themselves to the styles of rose that taste right, at least right to me. Not like flat soda pop, driven by some RS off sweet fruit.  Yes, it is decided, this summer a nice big tasting...Bandols and Provencal roses along with the best of Walla Walla's new roses.  Good give us the sunny afternoon to go for it!