Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wine Tasting, California-Style

We finally had an opportunity to share a bottle of Filial, the wine Ted makes with his brothers-in-law,

...with our Spanish friends and they were at first, not so impressed. They were like "Oh you made it. That's cool," as if making this fine bottle of Pinot Noir were like sewing a button on your shirt. 

Spain produces a lot of wine, more than the region north of San Francisco, "the
 Wine Country" as it's calledbut wine mania hasn't taken over here like it has back home. 

In California, we sip, swirll, savor, chew, mull over, ohh and ahh over every possible flavor and then describe that taste with an unexpected phrase such as "freshly sharpened pencils". This, of course, says much more about us than it does about the wine.
But I have been shocked to discover how differently the Spanish value wine. It's what you drink with food, not something to fuss over. Sometimes you even mix it with fizzy water (gasp!) or Coca-Cola (double gasp!) 

Recipes for these non-traditional cocktails listed below.

So, our friends didn't really get what it meant to be drinking a bottle of Filial: that Ted's Dad had grown the grapes,

 that Ted and his brothers-in-law had made the wine

that Bethany and Ed had hand-delivered only four bottles from San Francisco to Barcelona and that this was one of those bottles!!!

Then our friends started drinking the Pinot and were suddenly surprised. "Ooooh, this is good!" And then, "This is really good." And then,  "So you made this?  Really? Look - his name is even on the label!" 

Finally someone, calling on their inner-Californian, yelled out, "This tastes just like Christmas!" 

I was so pleased,
 both for the spontaneous cultural exchange (they understand us!) and for the glowing international review Filial 2010 had just received.

As promised, here are the Wine Cocktail Recipes:

(popular in the Basque Country)
half red wine
half Coca-Cola

Tinto de Verano
(popular in summertime or anytime)
half red wine
half gassy water


  1. oooooooo! I mix wine with Coke at the bar. Instant sangria!!! I need to move to Spain.

  2. Congratulations to you all!

  3. Awesome, Izze! Gotta get those photos of Ted and I, the Vinnie, etc. xoxoEd