#adventure17 v.8

17 Aug

When I conceived the #adventure17 rules and parameters, I failed to anticipate that Things Beyond My Control (TBMC) might occur to derail things. This was, of course, an incredibly stupid oversight because TBMC almost always happen to me–or maybe even to all of us. Fortunately, however, thanks to a ~lifetime devoted to managing TBMC, I was ready with contingency plans so that I could still deliver a solid report to you today. 

The original #adventure17 plan had me slated to go Bikepacking this month and I was beyond thrilled when the Universe served me up a PERFECT opportunity back in March: 8 days of mountain biking from Telluride to Moab from Aug 10-17….right exactly in the sweet spot of my very short summer break. YES! 

But then, a month later: No.

Or rather, oops.

Seems that the person who offered the slot to me was misinformed about the number of open slots, so I was SOL for that trip and it proved to be impossible to find another organized Bikepacking trip within my narrow window of open opportunity.

Drat. Ok then, well…. I’ve always been curious about, and totally intimidated by, SCUBA diving. Maybe August would be a good time to check that off the bucket list. Plenty of SCUBA schools/shops/outfitters had programs and packages that fit more-or-less neatly with my August availability and the pricing was comparable to what I had budgeted for Bikepacking, so, great! This should totally work!

Except then I developed a problem with my ears (or, more specifically, my left ear) that remains unresolved and renders SCUBA diving utterly unfeasible.


Ok, then, well…. I had to nix the originally slated June adventure (surf camp) due to work-induced exhaustion, so I guess I could put that back into the adventure rotation. 

Or not. 

My left calf remained generally unstable/weak when engaged in dynamic motions–best not to risk a full Achilles blow-out while attempting to remain upright on a surf board, right?

Ah, fuckit. I need a beer.

<mental machinery slowly starts chugging>

Or, maybe not beer. 

Maybe wine.

Maybe like a whole lot of ridiculous wine about which I am wholly ignorant.

And almost simultaneously with those thoughts swirling around in my head the Universe (in the form of an email listserv) delivered unto me the perfect opportunity:

Spanish Wines: Advanced Level Class – 4 hours, 15 wines, 11 D.O.s, “in-depth, advanced-level seminar” covering details on geography, soil, grape varieties, viticulture, and wine-making techniques.

Heck yeah, Universe! Good job!

While, technically, I have participated in wine classes previously (obviating one of my self-imposed #adventure17 imperatives: Try New Things), it had probably been more than a decade since my last formal wine class and for sure I had never enrolled in an ADVANCED-LEVEL SEMINAR (dafuq?) and also I knew exactly, precisely ZERO/NOTHING about Spanish wines, so as far as I was concerned this class fit squarely within the my “formal” (self-imposed) #adventure17 parameters.

Sign me up!


You guys. Turns out that whole “advanced level” concept is kinda legit. 

There were 15 other people in my class, 11 of whom worked in the wine industry (with legit credentials to prove it) and 2 others had completed various levels of some sort of formal certification program. As we introduced ourselves I learned that apparently there are several very legit certifications available out there depending on whether you are a wine salesperson, taster, evaluator, educator, distributor, sommelier, or idunno a whole buncha other things, too. The dude on my right got his undergrad degree in biochemistry from Yale and was now a consultant for South African winemakers and the dude on my left had just one more level to go before he got his MW (which I later learned is a “Masters of Wine” and it is a VERY BFD as evidenced by the awe-struck wonder displayed by the rest of my classmates).

Me? Well, you know… I just kinda like wine and I don’t know anything about Spanish wines and Spain seemed like a pretty cool country when I visited back in 1989, and I thought it would be fun to explore something that I don’t know anything about and once upon a time I had a pretty refined palette but then I smashed my head and my tastebuds were kinda out of whack for awhile but I think that they might all be back online now so this seemed like a good way to test things out…


This disclosure engendered a different kind of awe-struck wonder around the room. 

Er, um…. cheers?!? ๐Ÿ˜ณ

Ok then. Well, here’s what I learned during wine class:

  1. Words. Words. Words. Lots that I had to look up later like: autolytic, aldehyde, lees, cosecha, crianza, and creamosity. The latter is apparently not an actual word, but it was, perhaps, my favorite of the day. ๐Ÿท
  2. Italians are liars and/or cheats. 
  3. The Murcia region of Spain (where the Man from La Mancha is set) is “just like Kentucky: hot, flat, and boring but with better food.”
  4. The oxidated style of winemaking is now, apparently, passรฉ. — This revelation took me by surprise on multiple levels. 
  5. Northern Spain has the best food. And also bagpipes.
  6. “Skanky” is apparently a positive adjective.
  7. It is ILLEGAL to irrigate any vineyards in Spain, although limited “48-hour emergency permits” are available upon application and demonstration of need during severe drought.

Also I learned that even though I was clearly the least educated person in the room with regards to grapes and soil and climate and wine science, I was–without question–the most prolific/talented taster!

Heck yeah, tastebuds! Phenomenal comeback! Total domination of tasting notes nuance. 

Cherries. White pepper. Peachy pineapple. Apple cotton candy. Rose petals. Bread on the nose, dirt on the tongue. Austere raspberry. Coconut & dill. Beef jerky & Twizzlers. Pop Rocks.

Nailed it. Every damn time. Even the instructor capitulated and agreed that my “Twizzlers & Beef Jerky” description was the perfect, most apt appraisal for a wine that she previously could describe only as “weirdly unusual.”

Advanced wine class my ass! Take THAT all you pros!

And as for the Pop Rocks wine: THAT was the runaway hit sensation for everyone in the room. We collectively bought out every available bottle at the Wine House. 

I am actively searching for other sources of this exceptional ~$20 Rosรฉ. If I find a reliable supplier, I will let you all know so that you can stock your private shelves accordingly. But for now, I am willing to trade bottles for exceptional experiences with you. 

In fact, I did so last night where my first bottle was traded for and enjoyed at the sold-out Jill Scott performance at the Hollywood Bowl: A good time was had by all. 

Gonna love myself / just a little bit more / than the day before

Cheers to that.

7 Responses to “#adventure17 v.8”

  1. Amanda August 17, 2017 at 2:34 pm #

    Sounds lovely – is Pop Rocks wine the vintage or was that your fabulous taste buds discernment of the flavors? Either way, I want some ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • justadventures August 17, 2017 at 2:42 pm #

      It was how my mouth (correctly) interpreted the flavor+surprising effervescence. So rad! โœจ

  2. Anonymous September 4, 2017 at 8:09 am #

    Twizzlers and beef jerky wine sounds vile!

  3. Anonymous September 19, 2017 at 12:25 pm #

    Cristin, I’m just reading this now. What is the name of the pop rock wine ? I’d like to try it.

    We come back to CA on 2 October

    • justadventures September 19, 2017 at 12:58 pm #

      2016 Ameztoi Taxkolina Rosado. Let me know if you can’t find it and I’ll try to arrange a special delivery road trip!


  1. #adventure17 v.9 | JustAdventures - September 17, 2017

    […] discovered this No More Written Plan problem right after I submitted my v.8 #adventure17 tale, but–no worries, […]

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