Monday 19 Apr
Cycling Drunk.. well almost!
VERY QUICK ENTRY...
Hired bike for Mendoza wine tour. Went for BikesAndWines' great bikes as the Coco bike company had completely crappy bikes that felt like they would fall apart any second, so avoid them. The advice was to cycle to the end of the wine route (12km) and then work your way back, but because I started late in the day (around 1pm) I should have gone through all the wineries from the start upwards ....
Because I followed the advice of the bike company I only managed to take in 2 damned wineries (and one olive farm, by accident!) before they all started to close around 5pm ... doh!
As it happened, though, one of the wineries I took in "Tomas" (something or other) had an excellent tour (the winery is a World Heritage Site) and also we were given 4 wine tastings included for AR$15 ... all the other vinyards only offered wine tastings with no tour for AR$25. The tour was very educational (I discovered how terms like "Reserva", etc are used based on the amount of time the wine is kept in the oak barrell... plus how "tears" can show you the amount of tanin in the wine.. and thus whether or not the wine will give you a headache!), and the wine was sufficiently delicious at the "Tomas" winery for me to buy a bottle which I'll be enjoying with my pal Pedro in Buenos Aires next week!
The olive farm tour was also fairly interesting as one of the major things I discovered was that green and black olives are the SAME olive, just at different stages in it's life. First all olives are green (to be eaten), then they go a mixed colour (at which point they have 1% acidity for virgin oil), then they go black (to be eaten).
BikesAndWines more than made up for my lack of seeing many vinyards though, as they gave us about 7 glasses of wine for free when we got back... thus began a night of much drunken debauchery with myself plus an English guy and his Ozzie girlfriend where we ended up drinking Heineken "missiles".
(incidentally, the staff at the restaurant we were at, thinking we were too drunk to notice, decided to add AR$ 10 to the bill for the pizza I had ordered .. but I noticed it and went back the following morning to get my money back ... this happened also when I went to the cinema the previous night... I swear Argentina is the only country I've had this problem)