You know, I really didn’t think it was possible. We western Washington folks have become known for our enjoyment of good coffee, good beer and excellent wine. On days when the snow has flown, and Seattle has in essence shut down, I have seen people trudge to Starbucks for coffee. And I myself have walked through a blizzard for the aforementioned beer.
But yesterday, I found the weather that keeps people away from great wine…
As I said in the last post, Friday afternoon was a monsoon, and BUTT cold! Roads were flooded, wind was blowing and it was just a crappy day in general, weather wise.
Over night, it got colder and the snow flew. It wasn’t much snow, barely covering the roofs and lawns, with a dusting still coming down. Even though the sight of the white doom (what you all know as snow) can strike fear into the hearts of many norhtwesterners, the roads were clear and people were moving around.
I went out for some firewood and discovered it was DAMN COLD! Now, you have to understand the source here. There are some winters where I never give up my shorts and will run around with sandals or flip flops. Yesterday was NOT one of those days, It was barely 20 outside and the wind was whistling at 25 from the north. It cut right through you. Add to it the blowing snow and it it just looked like you’d freeze outside.
Executive decision time! The plan that morning was to meet the mom in law and bro in law for breakfast. There was NO way we wanted to have her take her 81-year-old butt out into a day like this. She’d be frozen for days. We decided to just go over and hang out in her toasty place instead.
Afterwards though, I was working at Dusted Valley. Jill had asked me to volunteer, as historically this was a VERY busy day for the tasting room. Yeah, maybe most weekends.
Folks, yesterday I learned that wine tasters just do NOT come out on days like this. The problem, you see, is the parking area is too small. This means people sometimes have to park a ways away, then walk. Frequently, those who come out will visit 2 or 3 different places. This did not happen yesterday. People would rush to their destination, and run back to the car shivering.
The first hour we were there, NO ONE showed up at all. We spent the time putting up Christmas decorations. OK, by we, I should say Zach and I hung back and let the ladies do so. When I helped I was told “Oh, that looks fine….” Then I would catch them fixing it.
Luckily, about that time our first customers came in. Santa Renee and her Duck sister. (Renee was an Oregon State Alum like my wife (go Beavs!) and her sister was a Oregon Duck fan). Well I spent the next half hour flipping the Duck crap about her school (she solved it and threw right back) and helping Renee figure out what wine to buy. We called her Santa Renee as the Duck (never did catch her name) kept saying “You could get me this for Christmas too!”
I looked at her at one point and asked, “Are you really Santa Renee?” She almost spat her wine out at me laughing. Because they were both fun, even the Duck, I gave them both an extra taste of their favorite.
Later, we had a bit of a rush. There was the guy with his wife and inlaws. I think his wife mighta been pregnant as all she would do was sniff the wine, but being the wise old man I’ve become, I didn’t ask. He was getting in trouble by saying he didn’t want to go to the botanical gardens in Victoria with the rest of the family.
I could see both his wife and MIL was NOT pleased with this at all! When those two were occupied. I told him (very quietly) “You know, by the looks on their faces, you are gonna end up going…” He smiled, nodded and said, “Yeah, but I have to at least try…” That earned him another pour when no one was looking…
Then there was the little girl who announce loudly to her parents, “I went PEE PEE!!!” as she came running out of the bathroom. Mom looked even more embarrassed, as did the kidlet, when I started a round of applause for her, most of the people in the room joined in.
We had the 50s hipster, who was at WSU the same time I was, but was mad about the game being held in Pullman. ‘Why don’t we just always play here in Seattle, it’s stupid to make people travel to the game!’ Now normally I woulda argued hard with that one, but 1) I was working there, and the customer is always right, and 2) He looked like someone who wouldn’t take it well if I did. So instead, I skimped on his pours, and gave his wife a bit more for having to put up with him
Finally there were the tiny (I swear they were under 5 foot tall) twins that looked 12 but were old enough (barely) to drink. I got the impression that these too were used to being considered “super cute” wherever they went, and being the center of attention. It seemed to annoy them that most of the folks at the tasting table were ignoring. It kinda made me giggle as they were both UW Husky fans.
Come 4 PM, Veronica let me know it was WAY too slow for volunteers to be there (totally agreed) and she was kicking me out. As it was a slow day, and I only worked (if you could call it that this time) part of a shift, I only earned 2 bottles instead of three (completely agree by the way.)
I was able to taste through the 6 wines though and get home (after detouring around a blown down tree in the road) with a pizza in time to see my COUGS suck big time in the Apple Cup….
OK with the game, the day didn’t end that well, but I was able to keep the tasting room lively and at least entertain myself during a very slow afternoon. Just remember, wine tasters do NOT come out with there is a bad windchill!