The third stop of the day was Black Mesa Winery. For you video game players out there, know that David began singing the Portal theme song the moment we arrived and didn’t stop for three days (“Maybe Black Mesa. That was a joke. Ha ha ...” Ha ha. Whatever).
The outside of Black Mesa is beautiful. The backdrop against the mountains, cheerful murals on the walls – I could almost forget it was January and the fields are bare. The tasting room reminded me of a pub, with its dark wood and bottles lined up neatly on shelves behind the counter. Like at all other wineries, I was handed a list and left alone. Well, I was handed a list and glass of sparkling wine, “to open the palate.”
I sipped my palate opener and read the list. I chose a Riesling of course, because now I am on a Riesling kick. But the others – sigh. Maybe a Pinot Noir. I like those sometimes. Ooh, I have now heard of a Dolcetta — now that I have learned a new word.
So overwhelmed by the choices, I randomly checked a few boxes and handed the guy my list.
He humoured me.
Other than the Riesling, which was outstanding and tasted like apples (apples! I have never had a Riesling taste like apples before!) - other than the Riesling, the other wines were okay. They were good, but nothing I would buy and take home with me.
I finished my fifth choice and wait for my last one, a mulled Christmas wine.
Instead, at that point, he stopped humouring me and began handing me good wine.
Wine number six was a Velarde Syrah. I hadn’t ordered it. Did not know what it was. My next bottle of wine, that’s what. After I stopped raving about how stupendous it was, another glass appeared in front of me. Cabernet Savignon, 2012. Yes, please. More of that! After that, a Barbera. “This is normally only for wine club members, but have a taste. If you want a bottle, you can buy one.” It was my third favourite after the other two he just handed me, but still better than anything I had chosen on my own.
Apparently, from now on, I will go in to a winery and throw their list out the window. I trust the person behind the counter more than I trust my own judgement anyway.
Finally, after nine other glasses of wine, he hands me my mulled wine. I loved it. Whew … I do know how to choose something, at least.
A little worse for wear — or better, perhaps — we head home. On the way back in to Santa Fe, we passed the sign for Don Quixote Winery and Distillery. I would be chasing windmills if I thought I could visit one more winery and stay awake through it. You, Mr. Quixote, will simply have to wait.