May 19th, 2007

Atacama

Carless

I'm at home this afternoon taking a nap and making French potato salad for a get-together at cousin Doug's up the street. I'm a little bit sad, though, because my 1999 Volkswagen Passat is no more: it's been traded in to the Scion dealer. The last thing I did was unscrew the Go Bears! license plate frame from the back of the car - and it's gone. I bought that car new in March 1999; then, I was working for Netscape, which had just been bought by AOL, so I did what any self respecting Silicon Valley geek type would do - I went and bought a new car with my stock option money. $24,035, if I remember correctly, and it was mine. By the end of 1999, virtually everyone at work had bought a new Passat; most of them were automatic 4-cylinder Passats with leather seating, but mine was a manual 6-cylinder with cloth seats. Ah well, whatever, it's gone now.

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BTW, anyone have any input on whether or not it's a good idea to spend $1,200 to buy Toyota's platinum warranty whatever? That'd cover it for the next 7 years / 100,000 miles, but I have no idea whether or not these things are worth it...
Atacama

le wine blog™: Drinkin' with the Pratts

Dan and I just got back from an awesome afternoon and evening with the Pratts (uncles David and Randy, aunts Lisa and Marilyn, cousins Doug, Brian, and Lisa, and many, many other relatives). Brian brought a couple of fantastic Washington viogniers, and when we ran out of wine, we went down the hill to Salmonberg to fetch some more:

1. 2005 Clonakilla shiraz viognier: Oh my God, I think they've finally equalled the 2001. Absolutely stunning. I am SO very glad we have more of this at home.

2. 1998 Te Mata Coleraine. We bought this whilst visiting nzbear5 in 2000. Sadly, this bottle was corked. Boo! Now I have no idea what NZ's finest red wine should taste like.

3. 2000 + 2001 Ridge Monte Bello. To be honest, these were disappointing. They tasted better two years ago when we shared them with jcoldrey in Canberra. I still have 9 bottles of each, so I hope they get better with age.

4. 2003 Sarah's Vineyard reserve pinot noir. I think this bottle was partially affected with cork taint, so I can't say for sure that it was any good. :(

5. 2001 Glen Fiona Basket Press Reserve syrah. Not as fab as I'd hoped for, but not too bad. It might simply be that it's going over the hill.

6. 2002 Port Phillip Estate Pinot Noir. This might well have been my favorite wine of the evening. Absolutely lovely, Burgundian style. A fantastic balance of rich fruit with forest floor and mushroom. I'd buy this again in a heartbeat.