Wine Tasting!

Trip Start Jul 14, 2010
Trip End May 18, 2011

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Where I stayed

Flag of Argentina  , Cuyo,
Monday, March 7, 2011

Wine country.  San Rafael looks a lot like Napa Valley, and is just as hot.  We couchsurfed with Jeronimo the grape grower.  Although we never saw his vineyard, we did learn a lot about wine from him and another couchsurfer who was there to find a bodega to work at.  According to them, you´re supposed to drink the bad bottle of wine first and the good one second.  Hmm...seems to me it should be the opposite, because you can actually appreciate the good bottle of wine when you´re not buzzed off bad wine.  Oh well!

Jero has a small apartment, but a nice covered outdoor area with grapes that he told us to eat, because they were bad.  Tasted good to us!

Staying in San Rafael was the first time that we experienced the culture of Argentina pertaining to how late people stay up.  Dinner is at 10 PM, and afterward, you go out, of course!  We saw a pretty bad local concert for Carnaval, but the last band (reggae) was the best.  After that, we walked like 10 fricken miles (okay, so it was only like 3 km...) to a bar and met some of Jero´s friends.  We were given sips of some cream liquor and then the necessary Fernet and Coke, and by about 2 in the morning, Logan and I started our way back to Jero´s place.  That´s early here, by the way.  2-3 AM is when the party is just getting started in Argentina!  Yikes.  We are old.

We spent a lot of our time in San Rafael just sitting around in the heat (it probably reached 100 F a few times while we were there) and watching movies on Jero´s computer (The Town, Touching the Void, Megamind - heck yeah!), but one day, we did actually get out of the apartment to do some ¨wine tasting¨.  I put that in quotation marks because it´s a lot different than the wine tasting we´re used to in California.  It´s more like a wine-making tour.  We visited three different wineries and all were pretty much the same:  Walk around the winery, learn how they process the grapes and bottle the wine, then get a glass of something you don´t necessarily want, then leave because you didn´t get to taste the pinot noirs, cabernets, or malbecs.  At the first place, we got a glass of some champagne (okay, okay - ¨sparkling white wine¨) which is called ¨espumante¨ here.  At the second place, we tried two different sweet white wines, and at the third place, we tried another sweet white wine.  The best part about the tastings was that it was super hot outside and the wine was served cold.  As a side note, Argentinians sometimes put their red wines in the fridge, too.  Anyway, I was a little disappointed by the lack of wine to taste (because, duh, I´m not going to buy a wine without tasting it first, even though the wine here is a lot cheaper than in California), but found out later that tours specifically for wine tasting do exist.  Oh well!  Okay, enough about wine, or Logan will tell me I´m being a wine snob.

The only other noteworthy thing I can think of to say about San Rafael is panchos.  We ate us some yummy hot dogs.  Mmmhmm!

Oh yeah!  And a crazy big lightening storm came through on our last night, so the night bus to our next destination was quite a treat of a light show!
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