Note to Self: Do NOT Bring Your Credit Card on a Wine Tour

So, it turns out that when the Firepants and Globetrotter contingents get together, we are lushes.  That certainly was not the intention for the Grand Birthday Celebration of Cap’n Firepants, but when you get 4 adults together (sans dogs and kids) in Fredericksburg, Texas, and you start out the weekend at a place called Fredericksburg Brewing Company, moving on that evening to the Lincoln Street Wine  & Cigar Bar, well, what can you expect?

The following day, we had scheduled a tour of one of the local vineyards.  Oenophiles and sommeliers will quite likely be shocked by, and perhaps a bit skeptical of, my next statement. Unbeknownst to us, the area around Fredericksburg is the second most visited wine region in the United States, second only to Napa Valley, according to Orbitz Travel!

That piece of trivia was one of many that we accumulated during our tour of the Grape Creek Vineyard.  Our seemingly knowledgable guide taught us all kinds of things we did not know.  I am reticent to call him an expert because A.) There was no one else there to contradict him and 2.) We were so snockered by the end of the tour that I probably won’t remember any of his “facts” correctly anyway. Throughout our tour, all I could think of was that none of the steps in the wine-making process that he was describing occurred in the famous I Love Lucy grape-stomping episode.  And that, to me, is the ultimate reference guide to wine-making.

For example, he informed us that the only difference between red and white wines is that the skin of the grapes is completely removed from the wine-making process for whites.  I am pretty sure he is wrong on this.  Purple grapes make red wine.  Green grapes make white wine.  And pink grapes make blush.  (And brown cows make chocolate milk, by the way.)

I saw more cows than actual grapes, so maybe the cows make the wine here in Texas.

Also, according to the guide, this is the handy gadget used to remove the leaves and stems from the grapes.  I am confident he was really showing us a giant cheese grater.


The fun started once we entered the building.  We began the “barrel tour”, and got to taste the wine being made in three different barrels.  Our guide was quite generous with the “tastes.”

As I debated whether I should surreptitiously pour my third “taste” into a nearby sink (since it was only 12:30 in the afternoon, and I really kind of wanted to be somewhat cognizant during the remainder of the day), our guide said that it was about time to move on to the tasting portion of our tour – where we would get to taste six different wines from the bottle.

I’m sure it is no coincidence that the 8th wine I tasted that day was the best one I have ever had.

I’m not going to tell you how many bottles of wine we eventually bought.  But I will say this: if I owned a company, I would definitely adopt this business model.  Get ’em drunk and lead them to the gift shop.  I’m surprised someone doesn’t shove a shot glass of tequila into my hands every time I walk into the mall.



Posted on April 3, 2012, in Cap'n Firepants, Family, Humor and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 30 Comments.

  1. Oh man, now I want to go to Fredericksburg…

  2. Tequila in the mall might help with the back to school shopping. Glad you made it out alive. 😉

  3. Sounds like a great time!!!! IT is a pretty smart way to do business…. Glad they dont do that for everything we shop for or else we would never have any money… LOL

    God Bless You!

    the collies and chuck 🙂

  4. ha! the last vineyard we toured (when hubby still drank) was in north carolina and i also remember, being toast, and leaving with quite a few bottles we just HAD to have. ;o) sounds like a great time.

  5. Fun! Didn’t know that fun trivia fact about Fredricksburg being the second visited wine region in the U.S.! Now, I feel really left out for having never gone there.

  6. Every time I tour a vineyard I buy too much! You are so right – it is a great business policy! I think margaritas at the mall would be very helpful indeed. 🙂

  7. Miranda Gargasz

    Too funny! Now I know where I went wrong with my own business. Damn!

    • Being a teacher, I’m pretty sure I can’t try this method in the course of my career. But I’m keeping it in mind for my second career once I retire!

      • Miranda Gargasz

        LOL! I’m pretty sure drunken students would be frowned upon, but you never know. It could make behavior before extended breaks a little more bearable.

  8. I’m not sure if I’ve told you this before but I always save a couple of blogs to read last and yours is one. Why? Because I like to savour it!

  9. You sure had a nice time and something to go back with. Smiles!

  10. Wine tours – so much fun! and so much alcohol!

  11. Cow Wine. Mmmmmmmm!

  12. Maybe white cows make white wine and green grapes actually make milk and we’ve all been deceived for hundreds of years!

  13. That last glass of wine is ALWAYS the best! 🙂
    People always tell me that technically you’re supposed to just taste and spit out the wine when you go winetasting. But that’s just silly! Glad you guys had a good time!

  14. I went on a similar wine tasting once. Before lunch. I didn’t know you could pour the wine out and they were pretty hefty samples too. So I kept drinking them. Man, it was too early in the day! We also bought quite a bit. I don’t even like wine!

  15. Hahahaha! 🙂 I have never heard the word “snockered” before. I also assume it can be applied to the state of your credit card! 🙂

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