Wine tasting (pt. 1)

This weekend Kevin and I had the awesome opportunity to visit a winery, Monte Xanic, in the valley of Ensenada.  We have a roommate that works there, and he gave us a free tour of the location, as well as a generously discounted wine tasting.  I’ll attach a picture at the bottom of this post.  For me, it was one of the most enjoyable things I’ve done here in Mexico so far.  The location is beautiful, the building was very modern looking and brand new, and the wine was very good.  We tried several different styles of red and white wine, and even got to walk through some of the vines that grow the grapes for each style of wine.  Afterwards, we came come and cooked some salmon and shrimp pasta with cream sauce.

In the lab things haven’t changed too much.  I’ve gotten very used to the routine, and Kevin and I are really comfortable with all the equipment, procedures, and our co-workers.  Last week I performed an experiment with venom of the snail, Conus californicus, on human fibroblast dermal cells.  We tested the venom, using cell culturing, UV irradiation, RNA extraction, and qPCR analysis to see how it affected the cell’s expression of specific genes.  It was a really cool experiment in theory.  The actually procedures were a bit tedious because there are so many samples and because they are all so delicate, but we obtained really good results that my mentor and co-worker were both very excited about.  Afterwards, we did a second purification of the venom and I will be performing the experiment again this week to make our results even more specific and informative.

My parents plan to come to Ensenada this next weekend, and Kevin and I will be back in the valley for more wine tasting! (which is the reason I call this post pt. 1)  I’m really excited for the weekend because we are going to go to several wineries and try a lot of different wine, as well as try the food out in the valley, which I’m sure, will not disappoint.  It’s going to be the perfect way to end our stay here and there isn’t much more I could ask for!


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