The Long and “Winedy” Road
May 5, 2010
The Long & Winedy Road
I had an email from a Wine Road guest the other day with the subject line: The Long & Winedy Road. It made me smile. I also noted that the word “windy” can mean either “full of blowing air” or “circuitous”, different meanings and pronunciations. It IS, as the Beatles noted, a long and winding road- which wends all about- now that word “wend”- it appears in our description of Wine Road, and many folks think it is a misprint of “wind”- but it is the word that we meant to use. (This is quite a run-on series of ideas, but this is a blog, so rules are not so hard, and it is a piece on serendipity- so bear with me please.)
I have been thinking about how the road twists and turns, and our journey wends and takes different directions, and about the interconnectedness of people and how small the world sometimes is. This week Wine Road made a $25,000 donation to the Redwood Empire Food Bank, a reflection of $1 per Barrel Tasting Ticket sold. 25,000 guests attended BT 2010- an amazing number of people. Then, when we put out a guest survey about BT, 2300 people responded to it- and not just multiple choice type answers, but thoughtful, long, well-worded essay-type thoughts, solutions, and suggestions. Our guests made the donation to REFB possible and improved lives in our community. Our guests ARE our events- we are in this together.
Beth and I read the surveys- more than once. I got such a kick out of reading all of them. 20 of our survey respondents were randomly chosen to receive gift certificates for A Wine & Food Affair in November- such fun for me to contact the winners, learn a bit more about them and where they live and get those GC’s out there via snail mail. Only waiting now to hear back from one lucky winner who, judging from his email, is in the military- but I will track him down!
One of the suggestions that came up many times in the surveys was about instructing Event attendees to not feel bad about dumping out wine- you cannot drink all that is poured to you. I encourage guests to use the dump buckets- but something that Americans rarely do, that Europeans do quite easily and effectively, is taste and then spit out wine- in fact, professional tasters HAVE to spit out the wine or they just would fall over by the end of all the tastings they have to do. When I ran a tasting room and set the bar up at 9AM each morning I spit out all the wine that I tasted- otherwise, the day would not ever have gone too efficiently for me! But Americans are reticent, indeed, downright shy to spit. I think that the time has come for guests to have an official, individual Spitting Out Wine Vessel. My slogan will work along the lines of this: BE THE SPITTING IMAGE OF COOL.