Yesterday we had some friends come over from Western Washington for a visit. We were lucky enough that they had some business to do that brought them within spitting distance of our house, so our house was a nice place for them to spend the night...and then, in another stroke of luck their actual business was quick enough that we were able to hand out and do some wine tasting.
Our friends recently got their license approved to open a cidery, and they ran all the way to Eastern Washington to get a 275 gallon tank filled with apple juice from one of the fruit processors here. I guess on one of their first practice batches, they tried starting with apples, and the whole 'apple pressing' thing was just an royal, inefficient pain in the rear...buying the juice is a much more efficient starting point for them.
On the one hand...I am jealous of our friends. They have a 5 acre farm outside of Poulsbo, Washington. They have chickens, and goats, and kunekune pigs...and all that sounds very 'homestead'-ish...but in addition to that they also both have full-time jobs...and that makes me not as jealous...because all those animals, and all that land, and now a cider operation, is at least a 3rd full-time job...and I flash to some of those days I get home from my job, and I don't have the motivation to properly take care of my 6 raised beds and 4 chickens.
So, I am honored that they choose to spend some of their free time with us.
And good free time it was...we spent about 4 hours criss-crossing Prosser, Washington, visiting countless wineries...somewhere between 9-12 of them...which is less than 50% of them. In fact, after stop #1, we decided that the correct thing to do if we hoped to survive the day was to split tastings instead of doing a full tasting at each winery.
It was a wise decision.
And while I am getting better at not buying something at every winery we stop at, we also didn't come home empty handed.
4 new bottles of wine, and then a bottle of some very, very smooooooth vodka, from Blue Flame Spirits, which was a nice change of pace stop half-way through the day. The great vodka, a nice gin, and then both a wheat whiskey and a rye whiskey, all of which were tasty. However...Blue Flame was also the place where I put the most horrifying thing we tried all day into my mouth...Grappa. Holy Moly...that stuff smelled remarkably like paint thinner...and didn't taste much different than it smelled.
Luckily, Kestrel Vinters tasting room was right next door to act as a pallet cleanser.