I had custody of the infamous Fox Hat today. I think it should be a memorable 37th and hopefully also a memorable day after. We went wine tasting in the foothills of El Dorado County Califonria. Hoped to make the hook up with Ryan, but it apparently wasn't to be. With a light breakfast of cereal I managed to get in almost a half days work when Fox aroused himself from a proper night's sleep without the pressure of rising for early turns on the hill. We first went bargain hunting at Costco for the essential vitamin I and related things that apparently cost many pounds back home. Frankly, I'd be pleased if someone could take a few pounds off me, but it seemed to be a bad idea for Fox.
Off to the wineries we arrived first at the Toogood Wine Caves which were of course closed on Monday...except to us. The lovely young lady there seemed taken with the WTFH accent and charm, so we began tasting through a surprisingly good Pinot Grigio an proceeded through a selection of the counter wines before heading for some barrel tasting and a special birthday opening of an unlisted Pinot Noir. It was an interesting day to experience the places I frequent accompanied with a more experienced palate. In spite of being Irish WTFH seems to frequent some of the better renown wine regions of France. While educational, it also cost me. My first credit card extraction was for a case of Pinotage that will be ready sometime in the Fall in time to celebrate the next ski season. I had purchased the futures from two vintages ago and still have most of it, but when I leaned this wine could rivel some of the finest of Europe, I just had to have the new futures. I'll be holding one or a few in hopes of another WTFH visit in the future.
We went on the the Charles Mitchell winery and my next downfall was the Carnelli vineyard Zinfandel future to be ready in January next year. At least Mrs. Cirquerider will get to enjoy the futures release dinner which is alway a bit special from Mitchells. Of course I had avid agreement from WTFH that the proper choice was made. Um, I sure could have stood a good lunch by now.
Our final winery stop was at the Latcham winery. A favorite of mine, this one is particularly know for their zinfandels and barberas. The 05 Barbera will be purchased, but I already had gone through my allowance, or perhaps exceeded it, and so we left with only two bottles of it. At least some part of El Dorado County will return to the old world.
Did I mention a storm was forecast for today? As we left Latcham and headed towards 88 the rain started driving in sheets. As we passed 5000 foot elevation it turned to snow. We drove through a heavy snowfall checking a couple overturned cars for casualties and finding none. Over the Carson Spur, past Kirkwood, over Carson Pass and went to Sorensen's Resort for dinner. This is a special place with cabin rentals and a widely known restaurant with a very nice mountain ambiance. It was nice to share a birthday dinner of lamb, potatoes and a fine Napa Ridge Three Valleys wine with the local Irish guy, while watching the snow accumulate on the Aspens outside. Sorensens provided a complementary desert to help with the birthday celebration, and soon it was time to leave the warmth of the fire and dining room to break the ice off the car and proceed to Tahoe City.
We drove through a blinding blizzard over Luther pass and made our way through South Lake Tahoe. The drive north is where visibility just became impossible. Stewart helped to navigate by watching the side of the road and giving directions. We had to keep breaking ice off the standard wiper blades on my car, but the Murano held the road well. It was a long trip, but I'm glad to say WTFH was dropped off safely at the Granlibakken and I went back into the blizzard over Donner Pass and just arrived at home.
As for tomorrow, I think its safe to say WTFH should enjoy an epic powder day.