Monday, June 11, 2012

The Winery in the Basement.

There are times when I end up in unexpected but welcome adventures. Yesterday became one of those days, when we went out for breakfast with friends (see: prior photo of the most damn delicious Goat Cheese and Asparagus Frittata ever) and ended up in some random winery that, oh, just happened to be located in someone's basement. Not sketchy at all, y'all. 

How it happened:

After breakfast, we decided we would meet up later to do ribs and corn on the barbecue- which was quickly trampled on by the thought of store bought corn on the cob versus roadside stand in the middle of God's country corn on the cob. 

For those of you who have never experienced the sincere joy of walking up to a farmer on the side of the road and purchasing the most fresh produce you can imagine (I suppose if you've never lived outside a city), I feel sad for you. I grew up in Butler County, in a small farming/college town where we knew the farmers (they went to church with us, their kids were our classmates) and produce in the grocery store that came from California was foreign and rarely purchased- the standard was to go for a drive down a back, country road and look for the signs that spoke for the "best sweet corn" and "fresh peaches." 

So, we climbed into my friend's convertible (top up because it was so hot we needed a/c and not a sunburn) and rip-roared the hell out of Pittsburgh. Then we drove. And we drove some more. And we drove until the potholes and the dirt were one in the same. We knew we found the best road side stand once we saw the signage and the small tent in a gravel lot off a side road. We bought our corn and peaches and continued on our way (for the record, it was the best corn on the cob I've had in AGES). 

Then we started getting lost in the back roads and just drove around for a while- exploring the wild parts of Western PA. Which is when we saw the sign for the winery. 

Now, we're the kind of friends that have a few favorite wines. We're fans of the Adams County Winery because they are local to where my friend, Chip, grew up in Central PA. We're also fans of a few of the local varieties in the Pittsburgh area (but don't get to them often). So, we all agreed that none of us had heard of this "Winfield Winery" in Cabot, PA and all wanted to go there. 

This is the part where the signs all said, "10 miles" and at 10 miles said "3.5 miles more!" so we started to think this was all an elaborate hoax for an axe-murderer to come out of a corn field and kill us all. But then we saw the sign for the winery- a very large, appropriate sign that said "Winfield Winery: We're Open!"  and turned on to what we thought was the beginning of a long-ass gravel driveway up to some large-scale winery tucked behind the trees. 

Incorrect. 

We turned into a house's driveway.  So, we pulled to the back of the drive way and looked around at a fully covered porch leading into a small store front in the basement of the house. 

In the basement of the house. 
In the basement of the house. 

Chip then determined that if they can have a neon "OPEN" sign, it was legitimate enough to wander in and check out. So, in we went and were promptly greeted by a lovely middle aged woman with a big smile. Then, she started talking about the wines and the awards while pulling out four wine glasses. We stood around a table and tried different kinds of wine ranging in dryness and sweetness, marking our favorites, and discussing which went best with what. This was something I've done before but never I have ever felt so very 25-years-old-adult-going-to-a-wine-tasting-pip,pip-good sir until this moment. 

Naturally, I wasn't phased by the fact I was standing in what felt like another person's basement or drinking glasses of wine at 1:30 in the afternoon. I was phased by the fact that, for the first time in my adulthood, I felt like an actual adult. I'm not sure if it was the deliciousness of the actual wine (the Pink Catawba did NOT taste boozy at ALL), or if it was the fact that this woman running the place made me feel like a real person- she didn't talk down to me about the wine, she treated us as equals, and not just some kids looking to get drunk on a Sunday. I think it was the fact that it was me and Rob with Chip and Amy as two couples at a winery on a Sunday acting very adult.

The fact that it was in the basement of a house didn't phase me until after.

Does anyone else find that weird? Has anyone had a "I feel like a real, live grown-up" moment aside from me? 


1 comment:

  1. I like this story.

    I come from a rural area so fresh produce and wonderful things like just-picked corn on the cob are home to me, too.

    I think my most recent "I'm a real live grown up" moment was probably when I realized that I didn't have to ASK my parents if I could move to Kelowna, and I just sort of got to TELL them that I was moving to Kelowna.

    So weird.

    But probably not as weird as a winery in a basement, which sounds sweet by the way.

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