Yesterday, the ever-gorgeous Tammy (she insists that I call her that), and two of her friends, Kristy and Jennifer (l to r, respectively, in the pic below), invited me along to a wine tasting at a small winery.
I think it's very sweet (and just a wee bit weird) that Tammy includes me in activities with her friends. I'm not sure my own children would be all that enthusiastic about bringing mom along on an outing with their peers.
Have I said that having stepdaughters rocks? Consider it said!
I think it's also important to point out that I rarely drink. I consider drinking to be a social occasion (I'd never drink alone); The Mister doesn't drink at all - so it's a big deal if I have a semi-annual margarita.
Anyway, it was a beautiful day for a road trip. Sunny, and hot (in the 90s...this is important later).
The GPS was only marginally helpful in getting us to our destination. Apparently, it doesn't do as well in the middle of nowhere as it does in the big city. We arrive safely (and I think I only shut my eyes twice when Tammy started driving like her father, The Mister).
Blumenhof Vineyards and Winery is a small enterprise. They offer free tastings in their quaint, German-themed tasting room. I was the only one of the four of us who liked the dry wine - the other gals were into the sweeter stuff. I called them "wine cooler chicks".
In addition to the wines, listed here, they had a WONDERFUL wine slush concoction that would definitely result in my decline to alcoholism. Yummy stuff, that. You just mix a packet of their magic slush powder with some wine and water, and voila - Kool-Aid for grownups!
Being the Google Queen and all, I found a wine slush recipe here.
After the tasting, we started with a bottle of the Vignoles, the wine that the three chicks thought was the bomb. Seated outside, at our umbrella'ed patio table, we enjoyed good wine, great conversation, and food.
Blumenhof lets you bring your own food to the winery. We had cheese and crackers, pepperoni and salami - and Kristy brought along some delicious sandwiches for us to enjoy. I think the food saved us from suffering any ill effects from the wine we consumed over the course of a few hours.
We had three bottles among the four of us - since I'm not a big drinker, I gotta ask - is that a lot of wine?
At the table next to us, we watched a woman of indeterminable age (I said late 60s, everyone else said 70s to 80) - even in temperatures of over 90 degrees, the woman's hair and makeup never faltered. So what if she looked like a drag queen?
Kristy said that that would be so HER in 50 years (let's hope not).
Seated a few tables behind me were a couple that Tammy noticed first. They were probably my age (translation: OLD). The man, clad in a tropical-print shirt and shorts; the woman, in a sun dress decorated with embroidered butterflies.
Tammy's beef with the guy was his shirt - he had the first two buttons undone on his shirt, and was proudly displaying a tattoo above his left breast. (The Mister said that I should say "on his left chest", as men don't have boobs. We'll let him have his little delusion about that). The woman also had visible tattoos.
The three chicks DARED me to go over and take a picture of the guy's tattoo, so they could see what it was. I said such a dare was worth $5 (hey, I'm unemployed, $5 is $5, after all). Kristy agreed to pay for my wine-induced bravery.
I had to come up with a cover story to explain my deception. I took a picture of Kristy's tattoo on her foot (and said that I'd tell them that I was a freelance writer, and was going to write about tattoos).
ALL LIES...or are they?
After a trip to the ladies' room (and a pep talk to myself in the bathroom mirror), I approach the couple. It was surprising how easily the lies came out of my mouth.
"Hi, I'm June (actually used my real first name), and I'm a freelance writer in the St. Louis area. I'm writing something about tattoos and wondered if I could get some pictures of your body art."
ALL LIES... or are they?
Cave painting-type bison on his hand:
Tattoo on his chest:
His wife's matching tattoo (and a warning about the ravages of gravity):
Her dragon tattoo. It went around her arm. She told me that the Chinese believe that the dragon deposited the planets in the universe.
ALL LIES? Who knows?
But as for me?
Freelance writer? Yep, for legal web sites
Writing something about tattoos? Yep, you just read it
When I returned to our table, Kristy said I was the coolest woman EVER - and gave me $5.
In vino veritas, indeed! That Pliny the Elder guy really knew his stuff.