My husband took me to a great little winery. I was too busy not relaxing to really suggest it, but since I was putting on the impression of actually being on vacation, I went along with it. But I’m nervous about visiting wineries. You see, I’m a redneck wine drinker. I don’t know jack shit about what wine is what and I’m damn sure not going to be able to tell the difference between a grigio or nior except to say that they both have pinot as a first name. I’m so unsophisticated that I don’t even bulk at the famous ‘wine products’ out there. I just know that I enjoy wine.
But will the people who know wine to such a degree that they are making a living off this knowledge actually accept me? Will they understand that I’m a little slow on the wine lingo and when I look at the wine list for sampling, I’ll rely on the words semi-sweet and sweet for guidance? Those were the questions swirling through my head like a good Sangria as we waited for the Stone Villa Winery in Acme, PA to open. Frankly, I was shaking in my Sketchers.
My dear husband, on the other hand, was all calm and collected. He fits in everywhere and he has no problem forging onward and forward, or side-ward for that matter, into new things. He’s confident that he’ll either fit in or he won’t and if he doesn’t; hell, he didn’t want to be there in the first place. It’s a philosophy I need to adopt. It’s one I probably never will. But he’s there for me, and he wants me to enjoy this so he sits patiently and with some quiet encouragement (‘get the hell outta the car, will ya?’), he pushes me on.
The winery is beautiful. It’s a stone villa-looking building that sits near a large pond with many, many tables set neatly under pavilions. I was encouraged to see wooden picnic tables set up as well. Any winery that has good old wooden picnic tables has to be friendly, right? Well, I was still a little tense. Surely these guys would see what a buffoon I was when it came to wine. They’d all laugh at me when I left. I was sure of it.
The tasting room was large and felt like a cool, cozy wine cellar. I loved the stone-look countertops and even how the wines were displayed sweet to dry. It made my perusing so casual; I actually looked like I knew what I was doing. I shopped the great accessories of everything from beautiful stemware to glittery T-shirts declaring the wearer’s love of wine and obviously good times. I found beautiful stem decorations and wine stoppers and picnic baskets made for a great afternoon. I relaxed instantly. It was obvious that I was going to fit in here and I would enjoy myself. I had just one hurtle left to jump: the actual wine tasting.
It was the last place I visited on my initial scan of the room. I approached casually, seeing my husband already with an elbow resting on the bar like he belonged. Damn him and his confidence. But then I realized that he had nothing to lose. He doesn’t drink wine and so he doesn’t have to ask for samples and therefore, he doesn’t have to try and look even marginally knowledgeable about wine. Damn him again. Well, it was now or never so I took a breath and stepped up to the bar…
…only to find the most friendly, knowledgeable and helpful person behind it. Our hostess was so gracious and put me instantly as ease. She chatted me up between tastings and made me feel welcome and relaxed. Honestly, she probably had no idea what kind of nutball she was dealing with in me; but nevertheless, she couldn’t have been nicer. She even directed me to a semi-dry Riesling that was simply one of the best wines I ever tasted. Without her expert and casual direction, I would have missed out on a great bottle of wine. She even had nice words for my dear husband, complimenting him on bringing me and enduring a wine tasting, something he had little interest in. (My getting drunk and lose on wine is something he is definitely has an interest in.)
In the end, I discovered a new wine (Riesling), a new winery (Stone Villa Winery) and that visiting a winery is a great way to spend some time. Thank you Stone Villa Winery for a great visit and for your courteous and friendly staff. Thank you for some terrific wines. And thank you for setting me at ease about visiting a winery. You made me feel right at home.