I have to wait until next October for the next book in the series. I find it absolutely amazing that this is the first book where wine is magic is the basis for a high fantasy trilogy. I love all the details and the slow pace that let me savor all the details – in the same way you savor a very good glass of wine. ( I saw some reviews that complained about the slow place – which I thought was odd) .
the story: A world where only Vinearts have magic. All Vinearts come from slaves. Jerzey s a slave that shows talent for wine making and he becomes the student of the Vneart. Vinearts are supposed to stay out of politics, but out in the world, against some of the Vnearts, someone is using magic.
I found the book an experience to savor.
We spent most of last weekend in the sonoma area of wine country. We stayed at a favorite inn , ate at a favorite restaurant and went to 3 wineries. 2 were old favorites: Lambert Bridge which does my favorite white wine — a Viognier and Quivira where in the past we have bought zins, but this year it was their petite syrah. Our final stop — hook and Ladder. Really lots of good wines. and inexpensive. We also got a great deal on a case of one of their reds. They were phasing out on label, so they were selling cheap. Sadly ( no not really) it is an older wine and we need to drink it right away.
I wasn’t gone for long, but it was a very good vacation. We did a lot of things that were really good for us: we hiked , we biked, we relaxed , we read, we ate well, and we slept.
We went to Costanoa . It is what I call a luxury campground. There are everything from lodge rooms to cabins to tent bungalows and camp sites. There is a spa, a hot tub, saunas, and a restaurant on the grounds. It is about an hour from home and feels like a different world. Home is urban/suburban. Costanoa is country. There are hiking trails, beaches, and mountain bike trails. And a low key atmosphere.
*Durante’s restaurant in Pescadero,CA . perfectly cooked sunny sides eggs, excellent apricot pie, and soup to die for – green chile cheese and artichoke were the two we tried
* Mountain biking -I figured out about half way through the ride that it had been ten years since I had read on a real trail. Ow. Plus, I watched a snake escape from under DH’s rear tire. go,snake, go. No really, it was fun.
* hot tub
* Jack. A baby/toddler we met that really loved DH’s guitar. Oh yeah, his parents were really nice people to.
* The odd creepiness of the Bonnie Doon winery. We arrived to late to do any tasting, but that’s ok. We suspected the people that worked there might have been zombies.
* Realizing that the beach rocks were full of fossils.
* Spending a rainy Sat evening in our room reading,drinking wine, and eating cheese. ( no tv , but yes there was wireless)
*Spending four day just us.
I know about podcasts and I’ve occasionally listened to things I’ve missed on NPR. But since I don’t have an ipod, I haven’t done a lot of exploring . I spend too much time staring at my computer on a regular basis to add another reason to become one with the couch. But while exploring I found Will Write for Wine. (web site) It is a podcast by two midlist Romance writers – Samantha Graves and Lani Diane Rich. The drink wine and talk about writing. I’ve only listen to a couple of episodes,and it is way too much fun. The only question is – if I spend all this time listening to them talk, when will I read their books?
Now back to the real question – what are we going t use podcasts for in the library? I know libraries that have used it for story times. I’d love to see our bookleggers ( volunteers that go into classrooms and talk books) have podcasts on line. Maybe how to use our databases. This is one of those places where I could see us radically changing our interaction with the public, without really changing what we do, just how we do it.
Tonight’s dinner was very tasty, far better than average. And that’s because most of our dinner, was given to us by friends. Last night DH was playing jazz at Federico’s. The owners have become our friends and they were very concerned that I didn’t come. When they found out that I didn’t feel up to it after my dental visit,Federico made me a velvety smooth zucchini soup. So good. That was tonight’s dinner. We paired it with one of T’s wines from Crushpad. Yummy. Meals where everything has been given to you by friends – the best
I’m not sure why , but all my favorite restaurants seem to have Cafe as part of the name. First there is ‘The Cafe’. Real name : The Nile Cafe. This is my coffee place. I go there most mornings for coffee, breakfast, and neighborhood gossip. I love the pear and fontina omelet.
Then there is the Essanay Cafe . This is a fairly new restaurant. They had a rough start but I think they are well on the way to becoming a wine country style restaurant. Fresh local foods with a growing selection of good wines. Annie ( the chef) has a way with duck. I have been to her Vintner’s dinners and I now really understand what food and wine pairing really can do. But I can’t call it the Cafe – because people get confused. Nor can I call it Essanay, because people sometimes think I am talking about The Niles Silent Film museum .
And now there is Federico’s Cafe. Federico is the chef – and he is amazing. Both Frederico and his brother have giant personalities and they love to talk about food, wine, music, the restaurant , food….I had scallops and stone crab in a vodka cream sauce over wide fresh noodles. Fresh, as in the noodles were made just before my dinner was cooked. I used to describe Federico’s cooking as Northern Italian – now I have to go with the word Continental. Really, I mean that there are world influences in his sophisticated, exquisite cooking. At least here, I won’t be confusing people – I have to call this cafe Federico’s.