I’m in North Platte, NE – from what I can tell, it’s got your standard interstate hotels, restaurants, and gas stations. I can only guess if South Platte (if there is one) is as exciting – en route to Milwaukee from Sonoma County.
Basic directions – get on i80E and drive for a really long time. Immediately after my MW exam finished Friday afternoon I took off in my Mini Cooper loaded with whatever the movers didn’t take a week ago along with our two cats for thirty hours of driving. Yep, sounds fun. The cats actually have been great – I let them out of their carriers so they’d quit their yelling and Bonnie just curled up in my lap and slept, while Gigio (the cowardly lion) found the most secluded nook in the car and kept quiet. The trip’s been smooth – going over the Sierra Nevadas (and the infamous Donner Pass) is gorgeous; Nevada is flat, fast, and boring; Utah likewise except in the mountains around Park City; Wyoming confirms why it’s the fastest-declining-population state in the country. A lot quicker than when I did it in reverse moving from Minneapolis to CA almost 5 years ago, when a blizzard hit and a big-rig crash shut down I80 in Wyoming for 10 hours with me stuck on the highway. I’m looking forward to getting to MKE tomorrow to see Aimee in person for the first time in weeks!
Obligatory business news – exciting Thief Wine purchase of the week is…..a killer dishwasher! (actually, glasswasher since that’s all that’s really important, but everyone says dishwasher.) Also locked in some great ‘05 Bordeaux (see below) and older Barolo).
My MW exam – not as good as hoped. I won’t get the results until September, but am not optimistic that I passed. Without going into mind-numbing detail about how the exam works, there’s three tasting papers (white, red, and mixed), and four theory essays (viticulture, winemaking, wine business, contemporary issues). You’ve got to pass all papers of each section to pass that section, and I think I passed the white and maybe the mixed, but bombed the reds; not certain about the theory.
Other fun wine notes. Yesterday evening I enjoyed an ‘05 Chateau Dubourg St. Emilion. Not sure where I got it from, but it was fantastic – classic red berry fruit, some violets & graphite notes from the Cab. Franc – and really well balanced, still very young (didn’t care – at that point I was in Wells, NV after having been up since 4 am forcing the remnants of a house into my car, taking the last day of the exam, and driving for 500 miles – i just wanted a good wine) but delicious. 2005 was a great vintage for Bordeaux in general; if you didn’t buy futures it’ll be hard to get the really good stuff, but I’m working with some connections to get Thief some highly desirable wines at good prices.
Tonight is Chateau Nenin 2004 Pomerol. Also Merlot-based on Bordeaux’s Right Bank and along with St. Emilon are the two top official Right Bank appellations, generally considered to be lighter, a bit more floral, but this is a really ripe and juicy wine for Pomerol. Quite nice, though. Nice way to end the day – after 11 hours of driving, I’m exhausted.