Conversations from my life:
(As I walk in the door at 11:00 PM or so)
Husband: (Immediately and without missing a beat) “What did you buy?”
Me: “What? What are you talking about? I didn’t buy anything. Do you see me carrying anything? Nothing.”
Husband: (Staring me down)
Me: “Well, I didn’t technically buy anything. But I may have ordered something.”
Husband: “Ordering something is the same thing as buying something. You know that. Don’t you write for a living? For example, when you ordered the complete first season of Dallas from Amazon, did you or did you not buy it?”
Me: “Well, yes. And it was the complete first AND second season. And I still maintain that $8.00 for the complete first and second season of Dallas was an amazing deal. It is an amazing show.”
Husband: “When was the last time you watched Dallas?”
Me: “Well, probably like twenty years ago. But I remember that it was amazing.”
Husband: “So what did you order?”
Me: “27 bottles of wine.”
(Conversation fades out as husband stares in disbelief.)
Now, 27 bottles of wine does sound like kind of a lot. But first of all, it was really only 24 bottles – I was going to order 27 and then I scratched three from my list in order to have an even two cases. And seriously, it’s only two cases. If I keep it all in boxes stacked in the corner there will still be plenty of room in the apartment for things like furniture.
And the reason I bought 27 – I mean, 24 – bottles of wine is because I attended the (un)Corked Holiday Wine Tasting event, hosted by the Produce Station at the Ann Arbor Art Center.
I’ve blogged about Produce Station wine tastings before. At the regular monthly tastings (usually the third Thursday of every month), Jorge and Andy set up at the Alley Bar and pour five wines, all revolving around a theme. We’ve had themes revolving around particular wine makers, varietals, and styles of wine. It costs $10, you usually get a food pairing with one of the wines, and it’s a good time. You also get a discount on anything you order from the tasting, so this has become my primary source of wine buying. I get to try before I buy, get a discount, and support a local business – win, win (win) – right?
Well, the guys outdid themselves with their October tasting. Instead of the usual themed-Alley Bar experience, they set up shop on the second floor of the Ann Arbor Art Center. Jorge selected over thirty wines from all over the world and spanning a variety of flavor profiles. The wines were divided amongst several tables by geographic themes – there were a couple France tables, a Spain and Italy table, a New World (Australia, New Zealand) table, etc. Guests were given a glass upon entering and could browse the tables at their leisure. Jorge put together a comprehensive program listing all the wines by number so it was easy to find the price and description of what you were tasting for note-taking purposes.
Throw in a cheese table from Cowslip Creamery and several buffet tables boasting an array of fruit, cured meats, grilled vegetables and crusty bread and you had a party. The cost for the event was about $35 – perfectly reasonable (even cheap) for the amount of wine and food served.
Diane, Riki and I decided that this even warranted dressing up – so we classed it up in fall-appropriate black and grey dresses and skirts and headed out. I thought we cleaned up pretty nicely:
The Art Center was a fantastic venue – the white walls, exposed brick and wood floor punctuated with sculpture and wall art gave the event a sophisticated, city-like feel. The guys capped attendance at a number that made that Art Center feel busy but not overly crowded.
The idea was to pre-order your wines for the holiday season all at once. A general discount was offered as well as case discounts – so ordering at the event was definitely a good call. Since I’ve started ordering wines at these tastings, the amount of wine I buy in general hasn’t really gone up – I just buy more at one time instead of picking it up here and there every time I go to the store. I set a two case limit for this event, which I was able to (barely) stick to – but it was a struggle. My order was heavy on red and heavy on France, but definitely has some solid representation from Spain, Italy and even California. (I did not order any Champagne even thought I loved Jorge’s offering – I went a little overboard at the sparkling tasting in August and still have about a case left.) I’ll share tasting notes as I work my way through these wines with the girls.
Perhaps we will enjoy them while watching Dallas – featuring young Patrick Duffy, or as we of my generation know him, “the dad from Step by Step.”