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:
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.