In California, we're all waiting to see what kind of budget out state government will pass, and how much we will be taxed in the next few years. For the first time, my husband and I are talking about why we want to continue to live here. But since this is too depressing a topic to discuss, I'm going to move on to talking about something much more interesting. I'm currently working on a novel which will take place in the the wine country of Argentina and Southern California.
Researching wine-making has been an interesting part of the process, an no not because I've spent countless hours tasting the different varieties of wine. I'd had Argentine and Californian wines before, but I didn't know what I was tasting until I began to learn a little about the differences between Argentine Malbecs, Syrahs, and Cabernet Sauvignons. I'll never be an expert, but I delved into the process of wine making and wine appreciation enough to flavor my novel accordingly.
Argentine wines have been mostly undiscovered by other countries. They are produced in the province of Mendoza. This region enjoys a perfect climate of abundant sun and little rain. Also unlike other Argentine provinces, it has low humidity. The soil is rocky but rich in nutrients. The combination ends up producing excellent premium wines with unique characteristics. They share an intense color, and are not too dry which I like. The Malbec which is the Argentine specialty has "velvety soft tannins and low acidity" according to the bottle, and I guess this is a good thing.
Argentine wines are not only good, but inexpensive compared to some European and American wines, so they are easy on your budget. So even if California keeps trying to tax us out of existance we can afford to buy a bottle of wine every once in a while. Here is a good site to find out more information of Argentine wines: http://argentine-wine.suite101.com/article.cfm/malbec_great_cheap_red_wine
And this one is one that was helpful to me in how to "taste" wine: http://www.welcomeargentina.com/vino/catar_i.html
So if you're stressing over the California taxes or buried under snow or rain today, go get yourself a bottle of wine and maybe some cheese and crackers and try it out. Let me know what you think.