I’m not a wine snob! To prove it to you, I went to Temecula to go wine tasting. See?
Sharisa, in her special Sharisa way, found an incredible deal online and booked the three of us (me, her, Debbie) a villa at South Coast Winery for a fucking steal. We wanted a fourth, but after several “Um, I have WORK on weekdays?”-type bitchy responses we gave up trying to add party poopers to our fiesta.
I put an ad up on Facebook to hire a designated driver for $10 an hour. ((Debbie was skeptical that we would need one. When she was totally incoherent later, the only coherent thing she said was, “I’mm glraad weeee gut rrr DD.”)) Amazingly, I got probably a trillion replies. Many were from horny guys who were probably hoping to score with a carful of drunk chicks (I also weeded out a particularly aggressive-looking lesbian). After sorting and sorting, I found the PERFECT d-driver, who was a cute Asian girl from Temecula and offered to get us winery recommendations from her friends and parents. Score! But then she couldn’t do it (Gasp!) but then she got her best friend to do it (Yes!), who was perfectly lovely. She brought a friend (which ended up being a fabulous idea since it would have been awkward for her to stand around while we got sloshed) who had the same name as her. I’ll call them the two Josephines.
So as not to waste time, we met the Josephines at our first winery, VR La Cereza Winery (today I am being lazy and am not giving you addresses – they are all on one street [Ranch California Rd] so it’ll be easy enough to find). I only had one (ONE!) chicken soft taco in my system, so I felt it right away.
LC is famous for its Girlfriends wine, which was inspired by this cigar-smokin’ old lady that the winery owners met in…Mexico? I could have sworn they said Mexico, even though they are a Spanish winery. It was spunky and fruity and perfect, of course, for a girl’s night. I also tried their raspberry sparkling wine, their award-winning Zin, and Summer’s End, which was one of their most expensive and sweet wines. I think my blood sugar was low because I was digging the glucose in it.
The Josephines showed up after we had explored every corner of the gift shop once and one particular corner four times. I was still cogent enough to provide a brief tutorial to Josephine on how to drive a Prius, and we sped off to Hart.
Hart was one of the only Chowhound-approved Temecula wineries according to Sharisa. I suspect this is simple-minded, robotic snobbery because Hart is an anti-sweet wine winery that focuses on reds. I believe this winery (already) was the tipping point where we passed from buzz to drunk, or at least in the car after this winery. I thought all the wines were good, very dry, but I did have to pour out half of my Tempranillo because I just couldn’t handle it.
At some point some folks from Cougar Winery (which was not on any of the main Temecula-area free maps) came to taste the Hart wines. They were debaucherous, and one of them named Michael handed me a card and insisted that we go and find a guy named Brett at Cougar and give him a hard time. He also demanded that we ask Brett “Are you two-fisted?” Which I initially interpreted him to be saying “Are you two-fisting?” but apparently Two-Fisted is his nickname.
[Interim Epilogue - we didn't make it to Cougar; we were far too wasted. But, as I look on the back of Michael's business card I see, in my handwriting, "bring pole for pole dancing." What?!?]
P.S. Why is Hart’s website www.thehartfamilywinery.com when hartfamilywinery.com is available, and even hartwinery.com is available?!??
Okay, after that we were SERIOUSLY in need of some lunch. We decided to stop at Mount Palomar because they had a deli. I was desperate for a sandwich. We stumbled in, only to find the deli abandoned. “Oh, the woman who runs the deli is on lunch,” said some lady. WTF? Why would you go ON lunch, DURING lunch? What irresponsible behavior. We decided to just raid their refrigerated buyables, and put together an okay but completely unsatisfying lunch of crackers, cubed cheese (which even extreme cheese lovers like me and Debbie could not really handle), and hummus. The hummus, at least, was passable.
Mount Palomar is the opposite of Hart – they had an entire dessert wines section. I decided I was going to taste all of the dessert wines, and that would be my dessert for lunch. I started with the Solanus late harvest Semillon, and quickly realized if I went ahead with my plan I would die from sugar overdose and vomit out my entire insides. So I switched to Shorty’s Bistro Red and the Meritage, and then tried again with the medal-winning limited reserve port and, finally, the Cream Sherry. The cream sherry was yummy.
In the confusion at the end of the day, I ended up with the other Josephine’s wine list, and I should report that she has smiley faces next to the Sangiovese, Bistro Red, Zilah late harvest Zin, and the cream sherry. Solanus late harvest Semillon is crossed out vigorously. She also has the words “pretty,” and “bathrooms suck!!” written down.
Incoherence had set in by this point. So I did not appreciate the incredibly bright interior of Ponte Winery (who, by the way, has a very stylish website). Neither did I appreciate the over-the-top smarmy flirtiness of our wine dude. Debbie and I were hurting, and Sharisa started giving us shit, even using the word “pussies.” Meooow.
I couldn’t tell you anything about the wines here, except that I chose by cute names and got: Graciela, Fiorella, Juliet, and Isabel. I cheated and pretended I had had a fifth tasting when I didn’t. I think this later saved my life.
Debbie and I were almost KO-ed, but Sharisa and the Josephines got belligerent and forced us to go to Wilson Creek Winery of almond champagne fame, which if you remember I have blogged before. Throughout the day we kept hearing about the Almond Joy at Wilson Creek, which is chocolate port in a chocolate cup, mixed with the almond champagne. We ordered one each and the lady said, “That’ll be three dollars each.” And then she went away, and then came back and said, “Oh, wait, no, it’s TWO dollars each.” Weird but score! We first got a shot of the champagne, then a shot of the port, and then the almond joy. It was gimmicky but fun, not that I remember any of it.
I do remember stealing a glass off of a table outside on my way out (we got our glasses free at every winery except here since we technically ate ours). Josephine #2 made me do it.
Finally, time to go to the villaaaaaaa~! BUT, we had a free tasting coupon from South Coast since we were staying there, so we parked the car and all dragged ourselves through the grapes to the tasting room across the property. In my haze, I lost everyone but I got to the counter and slapped down my free tasting card. The lady gave me 5 poker chips, one for each tasting. Classy!
I looked to the left and saw the Josephines doing a tasting. I guess they were there the whole time? I chatted with them. Then I called Debbie to see where they hell they were. She said, “We’re in the bafroooooooooooom!” So I went in there and discovered Sharisa lying down on the floor. Of the bathroom. So much for not being a pussy. She said, “I lost the keeeeeeey!” Sigh.
We got another key at the front desk (“Don’t worry, this happens a LOT” said the guy) and ran through the grapes again. I stopped to eat some and they were soooo delicious. I was probably just reacting to the H20 in them, though.
Sweet, sweet bed~! I flopped down, feeling the mother of all headaches coming on. Somewhere from the floor, Sharisa exclaimed “I FOUND THE KEY! IT WAS IN MY BOOOOOOB!” Good one.
Sharisa, feeling victorious, changed into a bikini to check out the jacuzzi. She threw one at me, too, so I put it on. Debbie was rolling around on her bed in nauseous agony, so we left her alone. Then all three of us promptly passed out.
We woke up two hours later. Debbie said, “You two look so sexy lounging around in bed in bikinis.” lol. We were excited to order pizza to the villa, but every place we called was closed or didn’t deliver to us. I called the front desk and discovered that only one pizza place delivers to South Coast, so we ordered from them. I hate monopolies so I’m not going to publish the name of the place we ordered from. It sucked balls anyway.
Our room came with a free bottle of wine, which Sharisa opened and insisted we drink. We didn’t. Debbie was so green she couldn’t even eat any of the pizza (just the carrot slivers on the salad), and my head hurt so bad that I couldn’t see straight. Debbie finally gave up and went into the bathroom to try to vomit. I was ready to puke, not from nausea, but from sheer pain. Debbie came out later, not successful. She said miserably, “I thought of everything gross that I could, like the cubes of cheese at Mount Palomar, but I couldn’t puke!” Sad. I nodded into my wet pillow. I didn’t know if the liquid on my face was tears from my headache or juice from my exploded eyeballs.
The last thing I remember Sharisa saying was, “Well, there was probably an hour in there where we had fun.” Temecula, I never want to see you again.