This year, the boys have different Spring Breaks. The older has only three days (does that qualify for a Spring Break?) that officially started Wednesday, and the younger has a full ten days off, but they do not officially start until this Friday (4/3). Regardless, my wife was determined that we all head out to California to visit her parents. Given the staggered nature of the vacations, my wife and older son, Nathan, left on Saturday, and I was to follow along with our younger son, Sebastian, a few days later on Monday.
I normally am not all that fond of flying since I just do not fit all that well into airplanes, and the thought of a six-hour flight is always particularly daunting, but this time I had our rather rambunctious six-year old in tow with no tag team partner to divert his attention.
I was not optimistic.
We arrived at the airport rather early, since there was a mistake on one of our itineraries. After waiting in line for what seemed like an hour (it did take a long time, but it seemed much longer since I was asked every two minutes how much longer we would need to stay in line). Eventually, we resolved the ticket issue and were on our way to the gate. (On an aside, could someone please explain to me why people take a customer service job when they apparently have no interest whatsoever serving customers?)
With at least 45 minutes before we needed to think about boarding the plane, I made a beeline for perhaps the only redeeming feature of the Philadelphia airport: the Vino Volo wine bar.
This was the first time, as far as either one of us could recollect, that I was going to fly solo with Sebastian (you know your memory is not all that great when you ask a six-year old for corroboration), so despite the lack of a track record of successful “solo” flights, I figured a glass of wine was a good idea.
Promptly after grabbing a seat, I did what any responsible parent would do–I handed Sebastian my cellphone (which was loaded with countless games that he and his brother had downloaded) so I could peruse the menu unabated.
I am writing a book: Parenting 101 is the working title.
The wine selections at Vino Volo are admirable, if limited, but they do change regularly. This time around, I was tempted by the Dutton-Goldfield Pinot Noir (although not for $25/glass), but I opted for a flight that was headed by a Pennsylvania wine. I am by no means a proponent of PA wines simply because I happen to live in the state. For me, like any other wine, local wines have to compete on both quality and price. I am not going to buy a local wine simply because it is local (despite my environmental bent on most consumer products).
Thus, the reason I selected this particular flight was just that–Galer Estate does a fabulous job, making, in my opinion, some of the best wines in Pennsylvania (read about my visit there a couple of years ago). The other two wines I did not know at all, so I was happy to give them a whirl. It helped that the flight featured two rosés and a white–we were headed for California, after all, where the forecast called for temperatures in the mid-70’s.
2011 Galer Estate Rosé (Pennsylvania): Retail $21. (The 2013 is 56% Cabernet Franc, 27% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot, 6% Carmine, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon). On the nose, plenty of melon peach and acacia, while the palate has tangy acidity with a chalky finish. This is why I bought this flight and happy to discover it was a rosé. Big and full this is great on the patio and on the table. Very Good. 88-90 Points.
N.V. Treveri Cellars Sparkling Rosé Columbia Valley, Washington: Retail $18. 85% Chardonnay, 15% Syrah. Tons of strawberry with a great sparkle but I was having trouble getting much more as the woman next to me was overly perfumed. By a lot. On the palate tart, but a hint of flab on the finish. Might be a touch much on the dosage (a bit too sweet), still, Very Good. 87-89 Points.
Tangent Winery Grenache Blanc Edna Valley (CA): Retail $17. Great nose of melon and cut flowers. On the palate, round and luscious with vibrant flavor of melon and honey. Coats the mouth and hangs around for a while. This was the winner of the flight. Very Good to Outstanding. 89-91 Points.