Wednesday, March 4, 2009


February 14 was looming on the horizon when Mr. ShellHawk asked me what I wanted to do for the holiday.

"Not my department," I said. "Valentine's Day is your job."

"Oh," he said, "o.k."

He called from work a day or two later and told me we were going wine tasting at a special event in Amador County, something called, "Behind the Cellar Door." I decided it sounded good, even though it didn't sound as if there were monsters behind the cellar door.

We were lucky enough to have a break between rainstorms that day, and were treated to the spectacular views so common to Amador County.

Behind the Cellar Door is an event the Amador Vintners Association puts on every year in order to introduce their new wines. There's food, music, and of course, wine. Mostly reds in that area, but there are some lovely whites and ice wines produced there, too. It's nowhere near as pretentious as Napa has become (other than a special event like Cellar Door, wine tastings here are usually free), and people are friendly and helpful. For instance, since some of the wineries were in the process of pruning their vines, I asked if it would be alright if I took some home with me (I'm always thinking of Halloween uses for stuff). "Absolutely!" was the answer, and they told me where to pick some up. I grabbed a bunch, and plan to play with them very soon.

One of the neat things they do is barrel tasting. They stick something that looks like a faintly mutated turkey baster into a wine barrel, get some wine out, and drop it into your glass. These wines are young, but you can get a feel for what they'll taste like when they're ready to be bottled and sold.

All in all, it was a beautiful day, spent with my favorite person. We discovered some new candies, and a new chocolate truffle company that makes little slices of heaven to share with your sweetheart.

I'm really glad I left Valentine's Day up to Mr. ShellHawk. I was thinking of Friday the 13th, but this turned out to be much more romantic.


  1. Wow... beautiful shots of what sounds like a beautiful, romantic day! Sounds like a dream!!

  2. I love where I live! The countryside is so beautiful, and Amador County is only 30 minutes away. (BIG change from L.A.!)
    And though this sounds sappy, pretty much every day with my husband is Valentine's Day. Really! My wish for everyone is that they get to have someone who is as great a match as he is for me.


In order to protect my readers, I screen all comments. Spammers will immediately have their comments deleted, so please, if you are a spammer, just go away. I will promote your blog or site if I know you, but if not, please accept my invitation to the world.