The Taste of Death

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The Taste of Death Lying halfway between San Diego and Los Angeles makes the Temecula Valley an easy escape for city dwellers hungry for the serenity of a day in the country. Temecula's wine country is located a mere five miles off of the I-15 Freeway among citrus groves and vineyards. In the clear early mornings, colorful hot air balloons seem suspended in the skies overlooking this bucolic valley. Growing up I felt privileged to live in this idyllic countryside. However, utopia is an ideal, not a reality, and my youthful innocence has given way to real concern and awareness of the intrinsic hazards lurking here. The bureaucrats and businessmen, who feed off our tourist trade, have masked the unattractive pitfalls of the wine country with romantic propaganda. The wineries and local government need to work together in providing a safer environment for the tourists they so eagerly recruit. According to the Automobile Club of Southern California, our state has some of the nation's strictest laws for driving under the influence, which has contributed significantly to our state's sharp declines in drinking and driving crashes (1). Yet, when visiting Temecula wineries, no concern regarding this matter is evident. When questioned about their wine tasting protocol, representatives from all three of the largest tasting rooms, Thorton, Maurice Carrie, and Baily's, revealed to me that no provisions are made for expectoration after tasting. The Taste of Wine, by Pamela Price, states that this is a necessary part of proper wine tasting: "There will be a sink or spittoon easy of access, possibly a few pieces of dry bread or dry biscuits to refresh palates . . . Serious wine tasting must be done like this" (36). Deviating fr... ... middle of paper ... ...ights and stop signs could mean the difference between life and death for tourists and citizens alike who travel Rancho California Road. These improvements are surely not insurmountable if the city and merchants team up to improve the odds for a safe touring experience. If no changes are made, I can only assume that the city of Temecula feels its responsibility for the safety of its visitors ends at the county line. Bibliography: Works Cited The City of Temecula. Economics and Politics. Demographic, Economic and Quality of Life Data. Temecula, CA: 2000. Dolour, John. Personal Interview. 18 November 2000. National Center for Statistics and Analysis. Traffic Safety Facts 1999: State Alcohol Estimates. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 1999. Price, Pamela Vandyke. The Taste Of Wine. New York: Random House, 1975.
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