Saturday, September 3, 2011

James River Cellars Harvest Festival

After such a cruddy week, today's wine festival was a nice change! Mom and I were chauffeured to James River Cellars by the ever patient Perry. He dropped us off and went to fisherman's Mecca Bass Pro Shops. As per usual with Perry at the helm, we were way early. The nice people at James River didn't mind. They let us in and Mom and I snagged a pretty sweet table. Here was our view of the little setup.

The folks in the bottom photo are hard core wine festival people. I aspire to be them some day. Notice the picnic basket the guy in the middle has. And the lady to the far left has a collapsible wooden wine table. These are the subtle markers of wine festival experts.

Mom and I aren't novices, though. We had a pretty sweet little setup going on at our table.

We did forget to bring chocolate, so we aren't as pro as we'd like to be. Our setup was so jealousy-inducing that we had visitors who wanted to share our table. (OK, OK, they wanted the seats at the end of the table, but I'm sure our setup was attractive to them, too.) They had four dogs with them. This was my favorite one. He climbed up in my lap to say hi.

I don't think he was a fan of the paparazzi snapping shots, and I didn't want to be the weirdo who was taking a gazillion photos of a stranger's dog, so I only got a few awkward ones of him. This is my favorite. He was coming to say hi to me.

I had a Boxer when I was little. This guy reminded me of Bo, sweet tempered and with that big ol' noggin. They are awesome dogs and now I want one. I always want dogs when I see them. Babies, diamonds and chocolate, too.

Our awesome table was right next to the band. I'd never heard of Rockfish Willie before today, but I really loved their folksy sound. The link will take you to a site that has samples of their music. I highly recommend them. I'll be adding their Kurt Stemhagen's The Rockfish Willie Sessions to my playlist immediately.

My mom hates to have her picture taken, but I snapped this candid one that I think is just super cute. Look how sassy she is in her shades. She was being very mom-like and cutting me a slice of apple. You can tell she's handling a knife by that sheer concentration.

After we sampled wines from the four vineyards there, we took a tour of the James River Cellars and got to see their steel barrels. They were full to the brim with whites that had been picked and pressed before Mean Irene could destroy the grapes.

 We also did a vertical taste of their Chambourcins from 2002 to 2006. It was the first vertical taste mom and I had ever done. I think it might have been more educational if we hadn't already consumed the better part of a bottle of 2010 Reserve Chardonnay. Oops.

We also got to taste some Chardonel grapes that had just been picked the day before. They tasted like grapes. Cool.

All in all, it was a winetastic afternoon. Perry came to pick us up and take us home and was not at all judgmental of our drunken state. He makes a most fantastic DD!

I ended up taking what might have been a three hour nap on the comfy couch in the front room. While I was doing that filets and corn on the cob magically got grilled and these guys showed up to join us for dinner.

They were obviously welcomed with open arms mouths. I had a claw, which was yummy, but messy. If you know me at all, you know that I'm not a fan of dismembering my dinner or getting messy while eating. The claw was a nice taste, but enough to sufficiently gross me out. (Cracking shells, flying pieces, ripping the body apart, that mysterious oozy "mustard" that is most decidedly not mustard...that's all enough to make me pass when crustaceans are on the menu.)

All in all, despite earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, broken cars, and not enough time in the week, life is pretty darn fantastic. It is amazing what great company, wine and food can do to my spirit.

How are you guys spending this last official weekend of summer?

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