Feb 19, 2007, 11:14 AM
Post #11 of 14
Bubba, maybe a little clarification is in order about the things I referred to in my post, Vis a Vis people in Napa not buying much Napa wine anymore. Of course, some people there do buy local wines, which are generally very good, sometimes fine, but now overpriced for what you get.
Re: [Bubba] checking in a case of wine as luggage?
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I was referring to people that I know, not everyone in Napa. That is what I meant by “real natives”. A real native, in my opinion, is someone that was born and raised in Napa, or that has lived there for many decades.
While I have been gone for so long that I am not now knowledgeable with the demographics of the area, the “people I know” there are not poor, they are people that I have known since I was a boy. It is now an expensive area to live.
Looks are deceiving. You might see one of my daughter’s father-in-law riding a tractor and working in a vineyard in the Berryessa Valley there. He is not just a farmhand, he owns the vineyard, and a total of over 9,000 acres, and he built and owns the only winery in The Berryessa Valley in Napa County.
I have a life-long friend in California, we grew up together, we met about the time we started grammar school. He is a former brother-in-law and is one of the uncles of my kids. We have remained best friends. He did very well in life, and is now a multi-millionaire. He lives most of the time in a house he owns right next to Silicon Valley near San Jose, and part-time in a house he owns in Napa. Other than the car he drives, no one would ever guess that he is wealthy. He is very generous, and not a skinflint. Guess where he buys his wine?
He goes to a wine shop in San Francisco. He takes a corkscrew and wine glass with him, and buys 3 or 4 bottles of wine, usually Chilean wine. He then goes out to his car and tastes the wines he just bought. (Yeah, a crime, open container in a car.) He then goes back in to the shop and buys a case of any of the wines he likes.
Good wine is like good music. If music sounds good, it doesn’t matter who the performer is. If wine tastes good for the variety you bought, it doesn’t matter whose name is on the label or where the grapes were grown.
While the label is often indicative of the quality of a wine, it is not the only measure to use. Many people in recent years have become “wine snobs”. They have taken classes on how to appreciate wine. That is as silly as taking a class to learn how to appreciate water. Those are the idiots that believe a good wine can never be cheap.
I have worked at several of the wineries in The Napa Valley when they were expanding their capacity. There are the ancient aging barrels for aging the wine that the public sees on the winery tours. What the public doesn’t see are the double walled stainless steel aging tanks, they look like the tanks at a refinery. We piped chilled glycol into them to keep the aging wine in them from overheating in the sun.
I have seen the areas where the vintners keep imported wines from all over the world. I have seen the chemists tasting those wines so they can analyze them and duplicate the flavors. To me, there is nothing quaint about the wine industry. It is, after all, an industry.
Of course, I am well aware that you can’t get a good tortilla in Mexico if you pay less than 5 Bucks each for them
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