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Wine and Fabric

Silly child that I am, when I made my to-do list for last night, I had forgotten that I needed to pull together the binder for Wine Fest this weekend. Ergo, I’m short of sleep again. I’ve got to break this habit.  

But the wine sheets are done. I’ve got my binder – all wines alphabetically, all wines listed by booth number, and wines broken out by grape. This year I also pre-printed note sheets for the list of wines that Bob is planning to taste so that I can just hand him the clip board instead of trying to scribble the label information in the crowd. I also think that I’m going to bring two clip boards this year, one for reds and one for whites so that I’m not flipping through lots of paper. Yes, I’m more than a little obsessive. But there’s good reason – they’re pouring something like 889 wines. The first year we walked in without a plan and missed more than we saw. Every year since then I’ve refined my list/notebook a little further, and we’ve been a little more efficient. Not so incidentally, we have more fun too. I’ll be interested to see what kind of reaction we get this year. So far we’ve been asked

* If we have a restaurant
* If we have a store
* If we’re in the industry
* If we’re judging (my favorite)
* "What’s good here – you guys look like you know what you’re doing."

Some of the vendors are beginning to recognize us. I guess the guy in the button-down shirt with (effectively) his personal assistant following him around is kind of distinctive. I had to laugh when Bob went to a tasting of Chateau Ste Michelle wines at a store down on the coast, and the vendor representative remembered him from Wine Fest. Seven thousand some odd people, and he remembers us.

It’s always a lot of fun, which is odd for someone who doesn’t drink at all. I get to unleash the full force of my urge to organize other people on my husband, apply my craft show navigational skills, laugh at the drunks, and watch my husband’s handwriting deteriorate over the course of the day. If that’s not a fun weekend, what is? I make all the vendors teach me to say the various grape names. I’ve nailed Gewurztraminer, Viognier, and Montepulchiano (which being Italian and multi-syllabic is just fun to say,) this year I’m going after Gruner Veltliner and Rotgipfler. We’re actually going to take a break during the day to watch some of the show on the stage, because Robert Irvine is appearing. We get a kick out of "Dinner Impossible," so I’d like to watch his presentation.

So our plan is set. Tomorrow we head out to Mohegan Sun with enough time to get there, grab an early meal, and be at the doors when they open at 10:00. This is something else we’ve learned over the years – feed the man a heavy meal before applying wine. He’ll hit any whites that he thinks might be gone before Sunday, then any reds that he thinks might be gone before the end of Saturday (or that he wants to taste with a clear head,) and then we’ll start working our way methodically through the reds list. Somewhere in there we’ll pause for lunch – lots of the fancy restaurants in the state set up little booths where you can try tastes of their dishes if you buy tokens. Very like a craft show, only much fancier. At the end of the day, or the end of the reds, I’ll drive us home. Then on Sunday we’ll go back and do it again with whites, any reds we missed, and anything he wants to revisit. Maybe we’ll watch Robert Irvine again – he’s appearing both days. Bob has a fairly ambitious list – I think there are 55 reds and 26 whites. One year he calculated the average volume of a swallow of wine, times how many wines he was going to taste, and worked out how many bottles he actually drinks at one of these.

I don’t remember the number, but I wanted you all to know that I’m not the only OC member of this marriage.

Once I finished typing up the tasting sheets, I actually did go upstairs and consolidate a bunch of the linen bolts. It’s probably a good thing, because now all the like pieces are together, so there won’t be as much guessing if two bolts are actually the same fabric. I freed up six more bolts that I rolled fabric onto and shelved. I’ll admit that I didn’t get all the stuff up off of the floor, but that can happen tonight. Bob also brought up one of my crates of scraps and did a test fit under the eaves for me. It wasn’t looking good at first when we realized that the vent pipes from the downstairs bathroom come up through that space, but the bins are narrow and it actually fit. So it looks like all four of them will fit nicely on one side. That’s a relief. I need to deal with them, but I really don’t want to deal with them right now, thankyouverymuch. So those will come up and be put under there by bits and pieces, which will provide a bonus of more walking space in the basement. I may use the equivalent space on the other side to store my quilt batting. I like to buy it on sale, but it’s got so much volume that it’s a real pain to store. The eaves storage may solve that issue. I don’t want to get too attached to the idea of stashing stuff under there. The goal is to not be storing stuff that’s just sitting there. But it’ll do for a stop-gap.

Tonight I’ll pack up the bag for Wine Fest and do some more puttering in the sewing room. I want to keep up my momentum. Perhaps I’ll clear off the floor like I previously threatened and ask Bob to take the boxes out of the hall and up to the attic (Hi hon! Love ya.) I may try to bring up a couple more of the scrap bins myself since I’m never going to get healthier if I keep asking him to do all the assorted lifting and carrying. 

This weekend is going to be a complete wash as far as home projects are concerned.

This weekend is all about the wine.



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 18th, 2008 06:35 pm (UTC)
I was going to say, "You must REALLY love wine," but then you said you didn't drink. (Neither do I.) In that case, your HUSBAND must really love wine, and YOU must really love organizing. :)

I can't imagine going to a convention type dealie where I wasn't into the topic/theme of the affair. I'd be bored to tears at a wine convention, seems to me. But it sounds like you'll have a lot of fun! :)
Jan. 18th, 2008 08:14 pm (UTC)
I *do* love organizing. But mostly I love my husband. ;-) I went the first year anticipating wanting to DIE of boredom, but you can make your own fun and that's what I've managed to do. I get to people-watch, nibble good food, and absorb a constant stream of compliments from people on my organization.

But mostly, it's about enabling a weekend for someone I love. It's kind of like giving a two day long gift, if that makes any sense.
Jan. 18th, 2008 06:53 pm (UTC)
Oh what fun! I'm jealous, I'd love to go to the Wine Fest... Especially with a knowledgeable companion and a designated driver ;)

Instead I'll be furiously making stuff for Birka. See you there.
Jan. 18th, 2008 08:15 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure we're knowledgeable, but we're super organized! It's a plus for him that I don't drink and therefore am a non-surly designated driver.

I'll definitely see you at Birka. I have money and a merchant list...
Jan. 18th, 2008 07:13 pm (UTC)
I was wondering if you had made up your super-duper organizational system for Wine Fest. :-)

BTW, did you get a chance to ping the Laurel List for me?
Jan. 18th, 2008 08:18 pm (UTC)
I did - I worked on it for a week or so, turned it over to Bob for decisions, and printed it out this morning. The irony of the whole thing is that in the course of doing the research to find the grapes in the various blends, figure out which are grapes, which are processes, which are types, etc., I'm actually becoming more educated about some of the wines than the person who is actually *drinking* them. I think that next year I'm going to add a couple of columns to my spreadsheet for more notes.

I did ping the list - I'm waiting to see if I rate an answer. :-)

We should chat about logistics for Birka soon.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )