T-Shirt Friday, August, 2010 — NAKED

Wonder how many stray hits that’s going to bring in.

Whenever I take a break from work, the way I did earlier this month, people tend to ask as they schedule their next appointment, “So are you gooiiinnng anywhere?” This is the only time I feel the urge to slap my clients; I usually just say faintly “Upstairs.”

This is about as far from the ranch as I get.

I’ve been returning there off and on since the middle 80s, mostly because it’s a short hop off the nearest westbound arterial and I’d rather split wood than drive, but also because, in a state that has become simply lousy with wineries, the place has remained refreshingly free of the hunt-country snobbery that greeted me frostily at the door in some other tasting rooms I’ve visited. People assure me that my experience isn’t typical — maybe I’m just unlucky, or maybe you have to get further out of D.C. to completely shuck the faint stench of narcissistic social climbing that leaks from the Beltway zone like a toxic miasma. You know the kind of thing: cute little expensively dressed girls proffering the wine with studiously fake smiles, leaflets for obscenely expensive “rustic” restaurants and B&Bs, canny glances sizing you up to see how much money you have to spend. Maybe I’m just a bit sensitized.

Naked Mountain, on the other hand, doesn’t dress itself up as anything, and the wine is good. The tasting room help usually wears some T-shirt or other, though not the one above, which is for sale in the entry hall (I’d been swearing to get myself one for years; the people at the gym need  a doubletake now and then). Right by the sale table is this sign:

mice go in here

So right there you know I’m a goner.

I couldn’t get a shot of the one behind the bar that says “SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: IT IS DANGEROUS TO GET PREGNANT WHILE OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE”. (Non-US readers: every bottle of wine sold in this great land of ours bears a warning stating that pregnant women should not drink and drinking people should not operate a motor vehicle. This is eliminating the middleman, sort of.)

If you have tasted more than a few wines, it’s a good idea to amble down by their pond and let your head clear before driving. This year a strange local denizen was hanging out on the footbridge. I’m still trying to ID him. Or her.

We usually buy a few bottles, go to the next mountain over and pick peaches, go home, eat the peaches and drink the wine. No particular state of attire required.

22 thoughts on “T-Shirt Friday, August, 2010 — NAKED

  1. From experience, let me tell you that you’ve just moved up a notch on the ‘dirty word’ search engine prowl.

    Love the photos. We have lots of wineries down here in Central Va. and a good number of them have that snooty quality you mention. But, still good fun for a weekend destination.

    Great T-shirt. I keep meaning to join in with my purple, “Outrageous Older Woman” shirt. Maybe I’ll remember next month

  2. That sounds like such a relaxing time. When you mentioned the social climbers and D.C., it reminded me of the show Real Housewives of D.C. where one social-climbing pair owns a winery. Anyway, I’m just glad you have a place you love where you can go and relax and enjoy that isn’t fake and phony.

  3. Love it! I live in fairly unpretentious wine country myself, though I cannot offer anything to compete with the pest control sign.

    A good low-key winery is one of the great pleasures of life. My all-time favorite, however, was the Guenoc winery — Lillie Langtry’s folly, still liberally decorated with memorabilia. And they too make a very fine claret, as one might expect.

  4. Wondering about the people drinking wine in the US. Is it considered classy? Lively written and interesting as usual. I learned (and enjoyed): double take, amble, netizen and goner. You don’t seem to me a goner btw.

    • Only “gone” as in overwhelmed, conquered, subjugated, by the presence of cats…

      Yeah, there’s a whiff of snobbery about wine here of course. Possibly it’s more noticeable because wine is so new to the region (I doubt you would see it on the West Coast.) Real Virginia viticulture only got going about the time that I was in college, and I worked in a wine and cheese shop that offered some of the first vintages. They were ghastly, tending to thin and sour, like a frat-house home brewing experiment, but time has done its magic. I still can’t make myself drink anything from those first over-promoted vineyards though.

      The same people who bought big estates in the country west of Washington, rode to foxes (“the unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible”) and enjoyed disparaging the peasants generally, they were the ones who got involved in local wine at the beginning and some of that still lingers.

      • I understand. Well, you know, here wine is a tradition, like beer for the Germans. And in fact Italian immigrants to the US, not finding wine in shops (ie at a price affordable to them,) used to produce and drink home-made wine. I mean, here in my country wine is a neutral concept, although some wine connoisseurs can be snobbish.

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