Another wine and climb weekend

Great past week for wine tasting; other than the wines I’d reviewed under “Wines of the Times” in an earlier post, I finished the week with another dozen bottles, including five at DGS’s Argentina wines tasting at WineStyles on Saturday night.

Having grown used to easily polishing off two to three bottles of wine at dinners with my DGS friends (usually about two-thirds through the meal), it’s always a little disconcerting to dine with other friends and find the rate of wine consumption dramatically slowed. I brought two bottles to dinner last night with Janice, Maria, Rafael, and MS, and had a couple of glasses worth of wine leftover to bring home (my apartment was literally upstairs). I was curious to try the first bottle, JanKris Almond Sparkling Wine, which promised almond notes. That was a fun bottle I think, a perfect dinner starter especially with a bunch of close girl friends. The almond aroma was there in its full glory, and discernable too even in the mouth; Janice reckons the winemaker had to have added the almond flavoring. I broke open a bottle of Nelm’s Road Cabernet Sauvignon to go with the entrees – we shared heaping plates of lamb shanks and couscous – and while the Nelm’s isn’t the most exciting wine in the world, it’s proven to be solidly reliable: smooth tannins with a faint hint of mocha notes that was a delight to drink. Another great bottle I’d recommend for sharing over dinner – or just on its own – with friends.

In other news, I put in some good climbs in this weekend. While I’m still terrified at the thought of lead falling – and thankfully haven’t, I have gotten a lot more comfortable leading the easier routes. My footing is surer and I hesitate less even when reaching for uncertain/unknown holds. And while that yellow 10b continues to elude me (and that purple 10b/c route that I’ve given up trying), I’ve gotten the pink 10d under my belt and am eyeing to finish a black 11a route (I managed half of the climb clean, and bailed out after a couple takes at the mid-point section, but it looks climb-able and I know it’s within my reach). I’m also learning that I should ignore the ratings difficulty and open myself up to all kinds of routes, given all the variation in the techniques of the route setters. I’m generally good at routes that require a lot of balance and routes that enable me to scrunch myself up to leap for that far away hold; less so at routes that demand more technical footwork; and horrible at super reachy routes (that everyone else seem to be able to leisurely reach up and grab) that require dynos every other hold. Quite looking forward to the first outdoor climb of the season; and the using of my rope and shiny new quickdraws.

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