This fall V&I had the privilege of pouring wine for Barnard-Griffin winery during the recent “Catch The Crush” event weekend, October 13th. At our station was the remarkable 2008 Riesling. This wine was rated number 66 of the top 100 wines of 2008 by Wine Spectator. We love pouring wine for Rob and Deb because we can be confident of the quality of the wine we are asked to present to the public and won’t have to make excuses for off-putting, second-class wine. Additionally Rob, Deb, and their children are just good people. The tasting room manager, Kim Gravenslund, has used us in this capacity previously for special occasions and event weekends because she has confidence in us, we have alcohol servers training, and Class 12 Mixologist credentials. Not a bad thing to have in your back pocket when the need arises. But, I digress, as I often do.
During the day we became acquainted with a lady named Karen who was manning (womanning?) the multi-year award winning 2011 Rose’ station. As it turned out V and Karen had a lot in common, the love of wine and hockey, notwithstanding. It also turned out that V and Karen had both signed up for the glassfusing class that Deb Barnard scheduled for the first Saturday of November. Through the day’s conversation, between pouring, we discovered Karen and her husband, Tom, are fairly new to “The Tri” and towards the end of the day V invited Karen and Tom, to our annual fall “Double-Blind Red Tasting” function. Karen checked her schedule and she and Tom agreed to attend. I won’t go into all the particulars of that event (I will leave that for a future Fall contribution) however, suffice to say we had a grand time. Although the declared “winner” was a tad suspect in it’s pedigree, the honor bestowed was not rescinded and a scrumptious, Cajun themed meal (along with the left over wine and a completely unanticipated gift of a Northstar Merlot) was enjoyed with the friends who had chosen to spend the evening with us in our little wine tasting adventure.
Fast-forward to the glass fusing class at Deb Barnard’s studio. During the time spent at that activity Karen, Kim, and V put together an evening of cookie baking to be held on December 2nd using Barnard-Griffin’s wine bar kitchen after they had closed for the day. This was to be no ordinary cookie baking function though, as the recipients of the baking efforts was a lady, Katy and her platoon. Katy worked with Karen’s husband and as an Army Reservist, had recently received a “call-up” to Afghanistan. In all eight ladies showed up for the activity:
Over 84 dozen cookies were baked off while I observed, ate soup, drank 2009 Barnard Griffin Reserve Merlot, and took pictures.
Two of the ladies, Nancy and Vanessa provided the soup. Nancy’s was a creamy, cheesy potato soup with celery, a hint of onion, and great deal of bacon (what in the world could possibly be wrong with that?), and a little green onion on top for color. It was absolutely yummy. Vanessa’s was a classic veggie/pasta minestrone soup; light yet full of spice, herbs, and a little heat on the back end to keep my attention and provide a counterpoint to that luxurious Merlot I happened to have in the glass. For what is quite possibly the first time in my life when I’ve eaten minestrone I did not ask, “Where’s the protein?”
It was fun for me watching Dallas-Philadelphia Sunday Night Football (with the sound turned down) out of one eye and out of the other see the ladies interact, laugh, put together the bags of cookies, and address the Christmas cards and boxes of cookies, candy, and gum.
I was tempted, for just a brief moment, to abscond with some of those cookies, they smelled so luscious and if I have one vice it is the love of cookies. I have one and then I tell myself “What could one more hurt?” Then I have another, and another. They are a gateway drug, I tell you. The gateway to where I don’t know, but that’s what they are. A good friend of mine has nicknamed me “Negative Inventory” because any time I’m around those things, they just kinda disappear.
For me, at least, the evening was filled with the joy that comes from giving something back to our courageous service men and women who have given so much of themselves for us here at home. Thanks Barnard-Griffin, Kim, Karen, V, and the rest of the ladies as well who joined in the fun. I just know those boxes will be well received in “Afganyland.”
Cheers and much love.
B&V (‘cause without the V there’d be no B)