In other news of weakness, my wife and hooked up with some friends of ours to go wine tasting today in Benton City and Prosser. My buddy drew the short straw, which meant I didn't need to drive, but it also meant after the first two wineries, I didn't really care WHERE we went.
How is going to a winery a weakness? Because, I have this terrible time staying strong when faced with high(hell, who am I kidding, low too) pressure sales. Wineries around here a split about 50-50 between free tastings, and having to pay a nominal $5 fee depending on which flight of wines you taste. They get me both ways...offer up a free tasting, and feel highly obligated to buy some wine from you(TANSTAAFL). The places that charge $5 usually offer to refund you that price on any wine purchase you make, so, it's like drinking for free(or wasting a $5 coupon if you DON'T buy the wine.) Either way, it's rare for me to walk out of a winery without SOMETHING. Today though, my wife was with me to keep me strong, which meant while we didn't buy wine at every stop, when we did buy, we made up for it in volume.
Our day started at Fidelitas Winery(mostly because we missed a turn into Kiona). Fidelitas is not normally a place I would go to a tasting at...not because their wines are not good, but they don't really fit into my price point. Most of their wine's are in the $50-60 range, which I know isn't super premium, but when there are lot's of wines I like for $15, why pay four times that? It was easy to be strong there. Very pretty place though, with an amazing view out over Red Mountain and The Horse Heaven Hills.
2nd stop was what was supposed to be our first stop, Kiona Winery. It is another very pretty place, with wines priced right in my wheel house...at stores, you can find a variety of Kiona wines in the $8-12 range. We bought three bottles there...their 2008 Lemberger(a varietal which I had never heard of before today) their 2001 Nice Legs Merlot, and then a magnum of their Vivacious Vicki Red Blend...the wine is available in the store, but I found myself unable to resist walking out of a winery with a 'magnum'. It's nice impressive bottle to bring to someones house for dinner some night...
Leaving Kiona, my buddy then brought us to a smaller winery...small enough that it seems like the tasting room was located in the winemakers cellar, which it kind of was. Oakwood Cellars is a smaller winery, but I have seen her stuff for sale in local stores. Driving up today, we found out it is also for sale. Eppie(Evelyn) has been running things for 25 years, and she is done. If you are interested in buying a winery/house, this one is available for just under $600K. I wish I knew the first thing about making wine(okay, and that I had $600K). While we couldn't buy the winery, we did buy a half-case of her Blackie Bear(named after her cat) Lemberger Blanc.
Finally, we headed down into Prosser, and stopped at what is essentially a 'wine mall'. Unlike the other places we had gone to which have at least some of their vineyards on site, these were storefront tasting rooms. Doesn't effect the flavor of the wine, I'll tell you that(although after 3 other stops, my taste buds might have been losing their judgement). My weakness did start to come out though...at Coyote Canyon I talked my wife into buying a bottle of their Sweet Louise Late Harvest Viognier Riesling 'just because'. We need another bottle of desert wine around the house like I need a hole in my head. It was delicious stuff, it's just one of those things we buy, and then never get to drinking.
Our final stop was at the Canyons Edge Winery. By this time, I was no longer able to tell a Merlot, from a Sangiovese(although I could still tell a Sauvignon Blanc from the Merlot). Once again, the need to buy something took over, but my wife and I compromised on their Sage Brush Red Blend, instead of their 2006 Sangiovese, because it was $10 cheaper.
Oh well, we were starting to get short anyways...anytime we have less than 15 bottles of wine in the apartment, my wife starts breaking out in hives...