Monday, January 21, 2008

Soccer (and Wine) Weekend

This past weekend I was at the Paso Robles soccer tournament with the spring tournament girls team I help coach. Paso Robles is in the central California coast, prime wine country (remember Sideways??). I tried to convince the husband to go with me so that we could go wine tasting, but he stayed home to work on his book (which is almost done!!!).

The girls did a great job. They came out strong and aggressive. The central California area does not have club soccer, only AYSO or recreational soccer. Club soccer is a lot more competitive and you have to tryout for a team and commit. While AYSO lasts a couple of months in the fall and everyone plays ½ the game, club soccer is year round and you have to be good otherwise you sit on the bench. So, without this club presence in the central coast area, the AYSO teams are very good. And our girls came out and played their hearts out..they won the first game 2-1 and lost the second two games 0-1. This is by far the best a team has done in this tournament.

Between games I went wine tasting. There are probably 100’s of wineries in the area, but I only had time to go to two: Sylvester and Firestone. When I was looking up wineries, Sylvester sounded interesting. It turned out to be a small winery with some great wine for the money. They had the best Zinfandel I’ve ever tasted, and it was only $9/bottle. I also got a sparkling white wine and another red. Firestone was a name I recognized. I’m sure I’ve tried the wine or at least seen the bottles at Costco. The tasting room was much bigger as was their attitude. The tasting fee was $5 and it was not waved with a purchase because I got a big wine glass with the Firestone logo on it. And, I was limited to trying 6 wines. I guess $5 is cheap compared to Napa, but I don’t want to pay to taste your wine, especially if I’m going to buy, and I don’t want a glass with the Firestone logo on it. As I went through my tasting, following their tasting menu guide, I skipped over a red (because I was driving and had soccer to coach later) and discovered a $60 bottle on their list called The Ambassador. I asked if I could try that, and after they confirmed that I had only tried 5 wines (remember my 6 tastes limit), they poured a tiny amount of wine into my glass – it was less than a gulp of wine. How pathetic.

In other soccer news, our indoor team finished in first place and so playoffs start next week. I played a coed outdoor game last week and got injured. I was always nervous about playing coed because of the guys, but in this game, the women played dirty. They often went for a body shot instead of going to the ball. During an attack, as I was running down the middle of the field, looking for a cross, the defender just ran into me from behind and I fell and skidded on the Astroturf. It was painful. In another case, a defender just ran into me and I heard cracking in my ribs. I know I didn’t fracture a rib because it’s not super painful, but it’s still quite sore (a week later!) and it hurts to stretch out or breath deeply. I guess I’ll just wait it out a few more days and hope it gets better. I’ll start taking some Advil and see if that helps.

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