My planning of this trip for Jen consisted of making sure there were things to do that were out of the ordinary, different for the things she normally does when she comes to visit. Trying to surprise her (she is nosy as hell), keep things a secret and getting her to let me take charge of this trip. 

If you know us, you know she is my travel agent, she plans and does all the research, gets airline tickets, finds fabulous locations for us to go, and great prices.  She will spend days and weeks on the internet looking at a zillion choices. (That Sh** drives me crazy).  But I know that if she picks it, it will be something I like, and I really only have to get to the airport at the right time for it all to work out.

For me to accomplish this I had to keep much of what we were doing a secret.  Just giving her enough info (to have something to do), but not giving away too many details.  So Day 3 event – which I sent her on a trip calender – said Bar Hopping in Scottsdale. Which we did.  The first stop was a winery – Ok, we’ve been to many, I knew she would enjoy it but, what made this extrordinary was that this winery, lets you customize and bottle your own wine creation.

So after dragging  her onto a long bus ride (see her blog, though I am still gonna have to teach her how to be a urban Diva) , we get off at the Loloma Station which is right in front of the SuVino Winery.  Inside is a beautiful wine bar along with tables that would be great for small get togethers or larger parties.

Our server, Christie, explained the wine making process to us, we set up to do our tasting of the wines.  You can’t pick or customize your wine if you don’t know what it taste like.  We orginally thought we were going to do just 1 batch of a white wine, so we started there.

Below are the whites we sampled & my comments and ratings. (1-5 scale – 5 being the best)  You wine lovers will appreciate this.

1.  Chardonnay (Unoaked) – Color: Light Golden  Aroma: Fruity   It felt smooth on your tongue and was crisp and fresh     My Rating: 4.5

2.  Gewurztraminer – Color: Very Very Light  Aroma:  Smelled sharp, astrigent abrasive to my nostrils.  But it tasted much better than it smell.  It was a sweet & zesty wine that had a little bite and after taste.  My Rating 2.5

3.  White wine called SUMMER RAIN – Color:  Light Almost Clear  Aroma: Very nice smelled liked Granny Smith Apples.  Very Tasty, smooth on the tongue.  Good Summer wine.  My Rating: 4

4.  White called SWEEY SYMPHONY – Color: Light Golden  Aroma:  Extremely Sweet.  It tasted very sweet as well.  Too sweet for just drinking for my taste.  May be a good summer dessert wine.  My Rating:  3

5.  Blue Breeze  a red summer wine tasted with the white, because it is served cold not typical of reds – Color: a light ruby red color  Aroma:  I couldn’t pick up any decisive smell.  It was a light medium body with blueberries as it’s fruit base.  Not to dry – semi sweet.  My Rating 3.5

After tasting, making notes and rating them, Jenn & I compared our finding and decided on a white for our wine.  Christie, a good salesperson, then suggested that we try the reds, because how could we be sure we were satisfied if we hadn’t tried it all.  Of course, it didn’t take much for us, so we started our second tasting of reds.  After the same process, we decided that we would make a batch of red & white.

1.  Syrah – Color:  Deep Dark Red  Aroma:  Wood burning, A Fire (Very interesting aroma that conjured up memories of campfire – this was a good thing).  It had a rich flavor with a little bite on the back end.  My Rating: 4

2.  Merlot – Color:  Very Deep Dark Purple  Aroma: It’s there, but I couldn’t describe.  Very Smooth going in, felt like rose petals, velvet.  Spikey and rough on the back end.  This one is for longevity, sipping and savoring.   It got better the more you drank it.  After we let it sit for a while it was really good.  My Rating:  3

3. Cabernet Sauvignon – Color:  Rich Dark Red, Garnet  Aroma: Fruit & Sweet.  Very buttery smooth beginning, with a loving carressing finish.  My Rating: 3.25

4.  Zinfandel – Color:  Deep Rich Color  Aroma:  First sniff, strong.   Light legs.  Nice medium between the Merlot and the Cabernet.  Nips on the front, with a nice slow burn on the way down.  It warmed the cockals of my soul.  My Rating:  3.5

5.  Malbec – Color:  Deep Red   Aroma:  it tickles my nose hairs, I lik it.  Smooth, a little bite on the end.  My Rating: 3

Now the white takes two months to be ready for bottling, the reds take 4 months.  In the mean time we are to design our label (this is done on-line) and when it is time for bottling it will all be there ready for us to finish our wine.  Our wines will be named “Extravagana”  appropriately in honor of this summer vacation.  The slogan, for “Tripping the Light Fantastic”.  Jen won’t be here to bottle the white, I’ll have to do that alone and share with pictures and video. But, I may be able to get her back here for the bottling of the red.  It won’t be ready until November, which is near Jennifer’s birthday.

We had a great time, and a highly recommend an afternoon at SuVino for all my wine lovers!

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