Garagiste Holiday Cheer -- Or, Twinkling Cellar and Stockings On a Punchdown Tool

Ah, the holiday season at our house. Dozens of family members gathered from points near and far; and nightly festivities involved copious amounts of food, wine, and music, late into the evening. As a result, our typical routine is in complete upheaval and I didn't post a thing last week. I'll try not to let it happen again. Happy New Year!

In the Garage

We've had an interesting blast of temperature extremes over the past few weeks - the usual for December in San Diego. On an 80-degree Saturday, we spent a few hours insulating the wooden garage door to better hold in the air conditioning. The insulation was well needed, as just a few days later, when the low temperature reached 38 degrees, it kept the cellar temp steady. We also decorated the barrel area with twinkly lights, because, why not?

Keeping the barrels happy with new insulation, and some holiday cheer to boot

It was fun to host a variety of out-of-town family visitors including my parents, aunt, uncle, and cousins, who got to see the cellar and barrel-taste our wines for the first time. It also was quite satisfying to -- and we're officially laying claim to this invention, so call us, NapaStyle-- repurpose our lovingly welded punchdown tool as a stocking holder on Christmas Eve.

Hung, by the chimney, with care.

Brand New Day

The double-double-blind food & wine pairing report will return next week. (Honestly, there's been so much food and wine these past two weeks that I just may have to go on a lengthy, draconian cleanse. Nothing but raw food and alkaline water ... hmmm, no, never mind. But, the thought was fun while it lasted!) 

On a note of closure, as 2009 ticks away: This year, Jody and I lived a dream in a way that hardly seemed possible when we first imagined it. Along the road, we discovered kindred spirits; special places; and confirmation that wine brings out the best in those who honestly seek to uncover its mysteries.

To all the friends of the journey (if you're reading this, that means you), one wish for 2010: May you fulfill your passion, in ways that sustain your soul.