Sunday, December 04, 2005

Road Trip: Black Friday Wine Tasting, Part 1

Many of you may have heard of the Friday after Thanksgiving in the U.S. being called "Black Friday." This is the first crazed rush of consumers to hit the stores to start their holiday gift buying spree. The hope is that enough money will be spent to put retailers firmly into the black for the year.

Many of us try to avoid descending into that particular maelstrom. Most do it by staying home and recovering from Thanksgiving dinner's tryptophan, 'bad' carb and sugar overload. Other's spend it like Karen, Polly and I did: doing a little wine tasting and attending the opening of the annual Napa holiday crafts fair.

Since Karen joined the
Teldeschi Winery's wine club last year, she usually heads on out to the winery every quarter to personally pick up her shipment, thus giving her the excuse to make a little time during at least one weekend afternoon a quarter to take a beautiful drive and sample some of her favorite vino. Because I basically have no life and she pities me greatly (and her doggie loves his godmom), I usually go with her.

We've been trying to work it out with Polly to come with us because we think she'd enjoy the place, the drive, and, oh yeah! the wine as much as we do. This year, with the additional draw of the crafts fair Polly makes a point of attending to look for more figurines by her favorite artist, we decided to make a day of it. Also, Polly is as wacked as Karen and I are, and so we make a great threesome, albeit a little scary to anyone who encounters us in full-blown wackmode.

At some point on Black Friday morning, while I was getting myself together, it suddenly occurred to me that Eggs need an outing, too. So I packed up the Egg carrier, including a couple of blankets, stroller, and the camera.

When Karen and Polly arrived, Polly came to the door to get me. Polly was quite matter-of-fact when I told her I was bringing Eggs.

We no sooner started on our way when Polly informed us that the eggs were getting carsick in back and so had to ride up front with her and Karen.

Unfortunately, I didn't think to knit Eggs hats with brims, nor did we have any sunglasses for them, so they rather squinted in the occasional bright shaft of sunlight that poked its way through the scudding clouds.

Our first stop was a winery we had not been to before,
Christopher Creek Winery, where we learned that not only is Black Friday a major shopping day in the U.S., it is also a major wine tasting tour day, with vans of people going around from winery to winery.

Which is the point, I know, and as Sonoma County residents, we love the tourist and retail dollars that our wine industry brings our community, but do they all have to go wine tasting when Egg & Us are going??!! Apparently so. ::sigh::

So, first stop Christopher Creek Winery. Here you see Eggs hanging out on the tasting room bar, nicely awaiting their turn.

Oh, wait.

They're too young to drink.

Here you see Eggs hanging out on the tasting room bar, doing some people watching while waiting for Us to work our way through the reds.

See how cute they are? Wouldn't it be nice if all offspring units were so well behaved these days?

We did debate whether it was legal for them to be in a place where alcohol is being served. I decided it was fine for them to be there, being so young that there was no way the servers behind the bar would think they were older than they were and serve them by mistake.

Tangent Alert:

You know, I've been talking about Eggs, but realize I haven't yet properly introduced them! I do apologize about my lapsed manners. Allow me to
introduce Sist (on the right in the blue and yellow) and Uova (in the little Tyrolean number). At least, that's what they were wearing when I first dressed them. I suspect that they sometimes swap hats when I'm not looking.

The group of merry-makers who were there when we arrived left, giving us a brief respite and opportunity to talk with the server about their wines. Suddenly, however, another group swarmed in, including one woman wearing perfume. Since Us are all adversely affected by fragrance products, we made a beeline for the door and the patio...and our lunch.

Eggs waited patiently at the table for Us to get get our food from the car. I think they sneaked a sip of my wine while I had my back turned. Polly and Karen swear they didn't see anything, but I dunno...

Ah! Finally! Food!

As you can see, the perfect wine tasting lunch: Kalamata olives, a good goat raw milk feta (my favorite goat feta is made by
Redwood Hill Farm Dairy, which makes a variety of goat milk products), a raw white cheddar, and, a third one that had something embedded in the surface. When I emailed Karen to find out what it was, she responded "I don't know the weird one. Unpronounceable." I don't think it was St Pat, the nettle covered one made by another favorite cheesemaker of ours, Cowgirl Creamery.

Well, that's enough for the first part of our day. Stay tuned for Black Friday Wine Tasting, Part 2.


Phyllis said...

Thank God you took these little wonders on the road. Otherwise, they might grow up, deprived of the value of travel. However, if one of them cracks while on a bar top in a winery, the cops will come after you and take the remaining egg to a foster home.

Knatolee said...

Man, I wish I were an egg in your house...