Hey all,

I’m back in the states as of 8 am and home by 9:30 and, wow, what a great and much needed vacation!  So much to share but I need to get to bed soon so I can rise and get by booty into lab. That said, I couldn’t end my day without starting to share my trip.

First up-after a long overnight flight with a layover in Chile we landed in Mendoza, Argentina. We picked up a rental car and attempted to make our way to the condo rental…unfortunately we got a little lost and had to backtrack about 30 minutes.  By the time we found our way we had to drop our bags, grab some warmer clothing, and find our way to Familia Zuccardi for lunch and our first wine tasting event!

After 13+ hours in flight and 2+ hours in a car I was ready to see what this town was all about.

In addition to wines Zuccardi is also a producer of olive oils which we were able to taste with the meal.

Followed by my first empanada of the trip-I went with one filled with onion. I paired the empanada with a malbec rose.

Next up was an unphotographed salad, roasted vegetables,

and lots of bbq meat.  I only had a few bites from Ryan’s plate. This course was paired with their Malbec.

For dessert we had some heavenly nutty ice cream (couldn’t figure out the exact flavor) paired with a late harvest torrontes white wine.

To finish the meal they served chocolate covered nuts and a little cookie.

Everything was delicious, but we weren’t sure which wine we were drinking (the winery has 3 labels) so we didn’t buy anything.  It was also our first day and we had many more to visit!

Before heading out we took a tour of their olive factory and learned all about 1st press, 2nd press, etc. and how quickly olive oils can degrade.  Basically its best to buy  local olive oil (in the US from California), because those produced overseas are generally a lower grade by the time they make it to the grocery store shelves. As in an extra virgin olive oil from Italy becomes closer to 2nd press quality.  Anyhow, a new experience and worth a visit if you ever have a chance to visit any olive oil factory.

Off to bed/watch a little tennis.  Catch you later.