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Journal Entry

How I spent my summer vacation

– My wife walked into the tasting room with me. She doesn’t drink, but I certainly do. I bought two bottles after sipping several kinds, red and white. As we walked out, I asked for advice on a good place for lunch.

We moved on, Julie driving, past the two places the woman at the winery had recommended, and stopped at another tasting room. Not bad. Two more bottles bought. The weather was getting hotter.

We ate lunch at a crowded small-town diner, where the crab cakes were some of the best I’ve ever had and the salad was huge and fresh. They did not serve liquor, probably a good thing.

Off to more wineries. The temperature on this late summer day was rising.

We saw a sign for a winery and pulled onto a gravel road. It led us to a rundown building, where no cars were in the parking lot.

Julie stayed in the car, probably a wise move, because the tasting room, such as it was, smelled a little musty, and the old guy manning the place looked disheveled and, truth to tell, mildly surprised he had a customer. His red wine, however, was not bad. Another bottle to take home. Ten percent off if I put myself on his email list. Good deal!

Temperature rising, we stopped at a couple of other wineries, one of which was as modern and airy as the old guy’s place was old and shabby. These wines were very good. Two more bottles, maybe three. I forget.

The temperature continued to rise.

One more place. A riverfront tasting room. Julie stayed in the air conditioned car as I soldiered on. Three bucks for three tastings, money refunded if you buy some of the wine.

The first was, as I dimly recall, a dry white. Superb! I’ll take a bottle. Then, sure, I’ll try the rosé. I haven’t tasted rosé in decades and haven’t bought any since the 1970s. Now I’ll have to say I haven’t bought any since 2013.

For my third and final taste, I’ll try a red. The woman behind the counter knew what kind of customer she had.

I sipped the red and naturally bought a bottle. The woman took out a bottle of a more expensive red and said she would throw in a free taste.

Great! Sip.

Yeah, I’ll get this one, too. She put my purchases in a box and ran my credit card.

“Need any help with that?” she asked as I lifted the case.

“No,” I said. “I got it.”

Then I started to walk out.

Oops. Wrong door.

Craig Klugman is editor of The Journal Gazette.