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Bring out the Barrel

February 2nd, 2011

a sampling of photos from the weekend

The winemaker pulled a long, curved glass holder out of the barrel and asked us to hold out our glasses, which we eagerly did. He lifted his thumb, which was holding the air pressure, and a bit of wine poured into my glass. I twisted my glass around to aerate the wine a bit and then lifted it to my lips. The first taste at the El Dorado County event, Bring out the Barrel, was absolutely delicious.

California is celebrated for its wine and most famous for the Napa Valley wineries in particular, but I am finding that there are better wines to be had outside of Napa! I started wine tasting in Sonoma (which is about 20 minutes east of Napa) years ago and loved it. For all of the pretentiousness of the Napa wineries, Sonoma winemakers were laid back, easy going and down-to-earth.

When my friends told me about the Bring out the Barrel event I bought my ticket right away! I mean it’s a really a steal of a deal – wine tasting at over 25 wineries in one weekend and a glass to keep as a memento all for just $20! Kind of unbelievable, right?

The first day – Saturday 29th January – we started out with a great homemade breakfast of delicious omelets stuffed with fresh veggies. Then we packed into the car and drove the hour north up to El Dorado County. We went to our first stop and signed in, picked up our glasses and put on our wristbands. Then we started tasting!

me, spent from a full day of wine tasting

I’ve never had wine directly from the barrel before and it was quite the new experience for me! I didn’t realize we would be mostly tasting wine futures (from the barrel) all weekend, although you’d think, judging from the title of the event, I’d have figured that one out, right? The winemakers were so friendly and talkative about the process of winemaking and what types of grapes they used, etc. It was so interesting and informative – I love learning about wine almost as much as I adore drinking it!

Our first three wineries were right there on the same property, so we left the car parked and just walked around enjoying the great warm 70-degree (Fahrenheit) weather and sunshine. At many of the wineries they had cheese that they paired with the wines – so we would get a pour of wine, and then taste a cheese that was paired specifically with that wine. Talk about taste sensation! By the time we reached the third winery I was feeling amazing (read: buzzing and happy) and starting to feel like quite the princess! I mean, who doesn’t like to be fed wine and cheese all afternoon?

pizza margherita served at one of the wineries

We slowly made our way through the day, enjoying the wine, company of friends, warm sun and delicious morsels of cheese and various soups and grilled meats served at each winery. The next day was more of the same.

Overall the Bring out the Barrel event was a smashing success and I had such a good time! It’s really nice to visit low-key, friendly winemakers, taste their wines and talk about winemaking and enjoy nature. The El Dorado Wine Association really is amazing and I love the area. I will definitely be coming to this event next year, and for many years to come. What a fantastic weekend of wine tasting!

4 Responses to “Bring out the Barrel”

  1. Michael says:

    Naomi,

    “Owen” gave me your website as I too am a photographer. No website, but going to get one up very soon. I see you are a “Canon” woman! Cool, so am I. A Rebel XT to be exact. Haven’t upgraded yet because my camera works perfectly fine. I lived in Italy, Germany (Berlin) and traveled to Arizona, Miami, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, and a few other places. Owen is helping me get a web page going but I wanted something along the lines as yours. Is your website expensive? And did you find a job yet? Let me know if you ever get to the New Jersey/New York metro area. Later!

    Michael

  2. Brett says:

    Hey Chica…
    Just found this blog from the wine tasting weekend… nice. Had an awesome time. Lookin forward to next years adventure! But you’d better not wait that long to see us! Love you girl… pray you well. Talk to you soon.

  3. Medusa says:

    Hi Naomi!

    It’s nice to see/read a post from you! :) Seems you’ve returned to the U.S. (for good)?

    My blog is still up and running – have a look when you have a chance.

    Cheers :)

    j.j.
    Medusa.

    • Naomi says:

      Yes, I am back in the US! Not sure if it’s permanent or not, but being that it’s so hard to get a work visa for living abroad I don’t feel I have much of a choice. Thanks for reading and I’ll definitely check out your blog soon!

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