the world according to grapes
On the first day of my job teaching English in Japan, almost exactly three years ago, I made a to-do list. It covered the whole of Japan: each of the four major islands, hiking Mt. Fuji, exploring the castles, pagodas and temples of Kyoto and even taking karate classes in my town. I folded my handwritten baker’s dozen list of dreams and placed it in a nook of my wallet. It’s still there now, the creases more defined and the letters faded. Everything is crossed off.
When I left Japan, I promised myself that I would live in D.C., the city that would be my new home, like I lived in Japan – voracious for experience, excited to see and do everything the place has to offer. Until about four months ago, I hadn’t made good on that promise. I’d explored some, did some things and experienced only a modicum of what this area boasts.
In the past several months, that has changed, this summer more than ever. Zan and I made a summer “to-do” list back in early June. In the six too-short weeks since then, we’ve crossed off half of it. This weekend, we crossed off wine tasting in Virginia wine country.
Zan planned the day for us. He surprised me with tickets for Winestock, Little Washington Winery’s debut into the Virginia wine scene. He followed it with trips to two wineries – Philip Carter I’d been coveting since a tasting at the Clifton Wine Festival and Boxwood Winery, home to a few of Zan’s favorite local wines.
It was a quiet Saturday, the soft mountain air breezes welcome in the mid-summer heat and the wine refreshing on our palettes. My iPhone maps took us off-roading twice down bumpy, one-lane gravel roads. By then, we had no cell service, no way to be rerouted, so we trusted the paths, disconnected from everything, and enjoyed the adventure and breathtaking scenery.
Zan told me once that when asked by a friend what he likes most about me, his response was, “We do things together.” It’s my favorite, too.
In terms of cost, wine tasting can fit the bill on a budget. For tastings and tickets for two people, our day came to $52 (excluding gas and bottles we purchased). Many wineries are as little as $5 for a tasting of 3-10 wines.