wine tasting

One of my guilty pleasures, indulged in only when I know for sure that I will not be out dancing cheek to cheek, is to munch on a chunk of Dutch Cantenaar cheese topped with a scallion or spring onion. Another is to slather  toasted dark rye bread with my special butter/olive oil spread, and when the butter has soaked into the toast, smear on a layer of German Cambazola cheese.  While the cheese and onion doesn't really pair well with wine, my rye and Cambazola toast tastes wonderful with a glass of Gewurtztraminer or Riesling.

With four of our SASSYs out of town, checking out the gorillas tribes in Ruanda, enjoying sunshine in Maui or cuddling a new grandson in Alberta, five of us gathered together to taste wine and new cheeses, and try out a fun board game I found during my Christmas gift buying explorations.

Wine tasting with the SASSYS is always fun, unpredictable and often surprising. We all like wine, drink socially but never to excess.  None among us claim to have palates discerning enough to distinguish a hint of gooseberry from a touch of mango but we all know what we like and don't like.  So although we follow the standard tasting procedures, our tastings are more fun than formal and the  primary point of our wine tastings is to decide whether or not we like the wine, find it good value  and would choose it again.

This is the index of postings to my Travelblogue that documents my ballroom dancing-focused West Coast cruise in the Sapphire Princess from Los Angeles, California to Vancouver, British Columbia. I traveled with a group of ballroom dance enthusiasts led by Wendy from Dancers at Sea. With three hours of dancing every night,a dance workshop, excellent food on board and excursions to wine country en route, it was the perfect trip for a gourmet food and wine-loving , ballroom dance addicted, travel writer.

My son is driving me to the Cruise Terminal. We turn it into a family outing so my grand-daughter can see what a really big ship looks like. It's a short 1 hour drive along the highway to the cruise ship terminal at San Pedro from which the Sapphire Princess is to sail. We made excellent time until we got to the last turnoff to Harbor Boulevard where somehow we missed the turnoff. As, far too late,  I yelled "go right, go right" we found ourselves driving onto a very very - yes very - long bridge to the opposite side of the harbor. I looked back with dismay as the Sapphire Princess rapidly receded into the distance.

I have been a fan of German Rieslings for years. Raised eyebrows, quizzical or even somewhat patronising looks and comments about sophisticated palates and  full bodied red wines would  wash over me. I just smiled to myself as I picked up my Rhine or Mosel  Riesling at the BC Liquor Store for a very reasonable price, and prayed to Dionysus and Bacchus (depending on whether I felt more Greek or Roman that day) that these wines would not become too "fashionable."

This will be the index of postings to the Travelblogue that documents my visit to London and Cape Town. The nature of blogging results in the latest posting appearing first on screen, so that later events appear first. This Travelblogue index will list the postings in chronological order from leaving Vancouver to the termination of the trip, as a guide to your reading. Until the index is complete note that the story commences with this post.