Who says running errands or shopping can’t be fun; not anyone who has ever combined the trip with a stop at a nearby winery. Many of Kentucky’s winery’s are conveniently located and make a spur of the moment stop a way to brighten any day. April was one of those months when we had a lot of things to do.
The Whole Foods store in Lexington has become one of our regular shopping spots. The store offers a wide line of many healthy choices and many hard to find varieties. As a plus, just minutes away is The Winery at Fayette Mall. Chrisman Mill Vineyards has a tasting room in the front of the Mall near the southern end. A glass of wine (or two) is a perfect way to follow-up shopping for healthy foods, after all wine can be healthy too.
Beef cattle farmers are familiar with a trip to a butcher shop. With one located near New Castle, our visit there was a perfect time to fit in a stop at Smith-Berry Vineyards and Winery. A glass of red wine pairs as well with a trip to pick up some beef as it does with that steak dinner.
Living in Northern Kentucky, any trip can easily include a trip to one of our favorite wineries; Brianza Gardens and Winery is so close to home that a visit to our local Kroger, our family doctor, or even our grandson’s basketball games can be followed by a relaxing glass of wine.
Being an efficient and inventive person, I’m always looking for a way to make life more enjoyable. All wine lovers should look for a way to visit a winery to brighten up their day.
You know you’re a wine lover when…
You know you’re a wine lover when you rent a motel room for your wine. While it wasn’t a large room and I wouldn’t give it four stars, it had the two important qualities we were looking for at the time – it was air conditioned and it was in the United States.
A few years ago, we were on a trip to Niagara Falls. As we left Kentucky and drove north, we visited wineries in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York on our way. Of course, we tasted wines and found many too good to pass up. We bought two cases of wine. That’s what caused our dilemma. Our reservations for the night were in Canada, and as we discovered that you were only allowed to take alcoholic beverages that you planned to consume while there. We only planned to stay one night. We’re both wine lovers and have drank a lot; but we were sure the border crossing guards would not believe we planned to drink two cases in twenty four hours. We needed a plan.
It is legal to ship wine to yourself, but it is quite costly and you have to be at home to sign for it when it arrives at your Kentucky home. That wouldn’t work, but what would? After some thought, we realized that the New York side of the falls had an awful lot of inexpensive motels. We found one close to our route, found they had a vacancy, rented the room, unloaded our wine, turned down the air conditioner, locked the room, and headed for the border. Problem solved.
We crossed the border and enjoyed a day and evening exploring the falls on the Canadian side. The views are gorgeous and the visit was an exceptional experience. The next day, we checked out of our Canadian hotel, crossed the border, checked our wine out of its room, and spent an enjoyable day visiting the American falls.
The wine, by the way, was worth the price of the room!
Since the 1970s, when the movie Deliverance was released, an experience that occurs off the beaten path makes people think of dueling banjos and feel uneasy. Well, everyone who has visited a vineyard and winery knows that they are often in remote (let’s not say godforsaken) areas. When you visit a lot of wineries, your chances of arriving at the boondocks is inevitable. We’ve had a few trips to the back of beyond and heard the banjos.
Years ago, we were driving around Virginia touring wineries. We found a winery that appealed to us that was near the city of Lynchburg. (As a side note, I’m glad we went as the winery closed a couple of years later.) Being near a city does not always assure a suburban atmosphere. As we were following directions, we drove further and further into what appeared the middle of nowhere. And, of course, all of a sudden we needed a rest stop. We found what might graciously be called a service station. Our arrival aroused a lot of attention from those standing around. Being somewhat desperate, while my husband pumped gas, I went inside to ask about the facilities. That’s when the banjos began dueling in my head. As the three people behind the counter (who all would have been at home in a Grizzly Adams episode) watched me walk in, I bravely asked if they had a restroom. The answer was a resounding “out back”. Not the answer I was hoping for but as I said – desperate times. Though it seemed unlikely at the time, we made it to the winery and had a really nice time.
Our next most notable Deliverance experience was in Kentucky and was truly the fault of Google maps. Everyone has gotten used to relying on Google or GPS to find places. Heads up, this is not always a good idea. While we were visiting wineries across Kentucky for the book I was writing, we got directions for a winery outside of Morehead. The directions were a bit odd because it sent us to the winery one way and home from the winery another, but we thought there must be a good reason. Hardly, the directions to the winery seemed to be designed to make sure we heard the banjos. Carefully following the steps led us off the paved highway to a gravel road. As we drove, the road seemed to get more isolated with no sign of human habitation. Then all of a sudden we saw what looked like a junkyard with what might be a garage. What seemed like about ten mountain men walked towards the road and monitored our car as we drove past. Making sure the doors were locked, we continued on our way. We finally reached the winery, tasted wine, asked questions, and took photographs. We left the winery using the other directions and almost immediately reached a highway that led through rows of homes.
The moral of the story is that when you’re a wine lover and the trip results in finding wine, the journey is worth it, even when the background music is dueling banjos.
Stay tuned for another wine adventure next week.
Have you ever visited a winery and had such an unusual experience that it seems surreal, like the first time you realize that you really do need to eat before tasting wines or when you got lost because the Google directions were all wrong? As a wine lover that has been visiting wineries for over twenty-five years, the stories are endless. I’m adding a new category called Adventures in Wining. The tales will be funny, odd, surprising, or maybe all three. Look for the first installment tomorrow.
Hope you enjoy our adventures.by admin