Good scenes and folks (not so much wine) from the SW.

Greetings from the Land of Enchantment…

Breaking up with Portland was very difficult, but it’s fair to say that I’ve found a new love in this amazing place they call New Mexico. I write this from a small cafe in Santa Fe, and if there wasn’t a time-table for our trip across the country, I’d park my butt down here for a few more days. I’ll comment on the restaurant and fantastic inn we stayed at here in the next post. For now, though, let’s talk briefly about Utah and Arizona.

Last time I mentioned the challenges of finding a winery and/or wine shop in Utah. Salt lake City is a big town, so I figured no problem. Well there wasn’t a whole lot to pick from (remember, Utah is a controlled state), so I wound up at one of the state’s approved wine and liquor shops. Now in a world of fancy-dancy company names, catchy phrases and logos, sometimes the basics are refreshing. Take the face of this wine shop below, and the title.

IMG_0145Right to the point…

Now that’s what I call straight-forward! One of the real joys of travel is meeting strangers and finding some common ground, exchanging news, ideas, and stories. Such was the case when I met Ryan who was working in the “Wine Store”. I explained my crazy plan of tasting through the country, and he met this with enthusiasm and curiosity. His recommendation was one of Utah’s Moab wineries, Castle Creek. I opted for the chardonnay. I should have chosen the “Outlaw Red”. Oh well. Let’s just say the wine was palatable colder than not. And I hate overly cold chardonnay. One recommendation to the winemakers- oak that sucker. Another unlikely thing for me to say. But, I did get to taste an authentic Utah wine and met a fellow winer– thanks again Ryan, and good luck on your Somm 1 exam!

Speaking of Utah, I never realized how amazingly beautiful this place is. And the people were very, very nice if a little cautious. That’s likely my fault, though, as I haven’t had a haircut in over a month or a shave in a week. Hey, it’s a road trip… Here is some pretty spectacular scenery (click on the image to enlarge) we’ve encountered here in the SW.

After high-tailing it out of Utah, we were off to Arizona and, of course, the Grand Canyon. And yes it was awesome. But honestly, some serious road rash was setting in, and the hotel was sounding better and better at this point. After pulling into Flagstaff for the night, I was excited to find there was an urban winery right downtown. Yes! Or so I read on-line. After driving around the old city center- and around- and around, I finally stopped and asked where the heck “Kokopelli” winery was. “Oh, they closed down a while ago”. Great. Next time, I’ll look closer at my Google page’s fine-print and make sure there are no “place closed” in parentheses.

SO, I missed out on Arizona wine as we had to get a move-on. But I think I’ll be able to buy a bottle somewhere here in Sante Fe. And we did have a great little meal at Cafe Pickles, where Brittany took good care of us. Today I’ll be tasting wine at the Sana Fe vineyards tasting room here in beautiful Santa Fe. And although we’ll be leaving town this afternoon, I have a sneaky suspicion I’ll be back here…

Until we meet again– 1500 miles down, a whole lot more to go.




~ by Jared on April 6, 2009.

4 Responses to “Good scenes and folks (not so much wine) from the SW.”

  1. SW desert – one of my favorite parts of the country. Did you guys hike @ Zion/GC? Been to Zion a few times, I think it’s magic! And, um, you better do something about that road rash… ouch! 🙂

  2. Nice picture of you and Shanna infront of the Virgin Bank. ha ha ha!

  3. virgin jail. still, very funny.

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