It’s a brave new world when you have a baby. All of a sudden, things that you used to do at a moment’s notice — for instance, go out to dinner — require strategic planning to rival D-Day. I am nothing if not a planner, but the logistics of it all get to even me. You have to work around nap schedules, feeding schedules, and just general unexplained baby crankiness, plus you have to figure out how to get there, what to bring and where the baby will hang out while you’re there.
One thing I was not willing to give up, being the wino that I am, was wine tasting. We happen to live in the best area in the country for it, and it’s understandably my favorite pastime. After spending 9 months tasting and spitting (not the same!), I was ready to get back in the game. So we took Nora to her first wine tasting at Ridge when she was a month old.
At that point, she was pretty portable and mostly slept while we were out and about. Since Ridge Monte Bello is only 20 minutes from our house, and we’re members of their wine club, we’re up there once every month or so for events. That is, if we’re lucky and the planning works out right.
Once Nora was a bit older and more aware of her surroundings, toting her around became a little more difficult. She started getting overwhelmed by noise and crowds, and we had to guzzle our wine and exit more than one tasting early due to a hungry, tired or cranky baby. More than once, I went out to the car to nurse her at a tasting at Artisan Wine Depot while the hubby paid for our purchases as hastily as possible so we could make a quick exit. At a barrel tasting at Ridge this spring, we had to trade off baby duties while the other parent tasted, since it was too crowded and noisy for her to handle without becoming fussy. But onward we pressed. Parenting is nothing if not an endurance challenge.
When Nora was almost 6 months old, we took a trip to Santa Barbara wine country, stopping at Paso Robles on the way. The wine tasting was fantastic, and since the tasting rooms tend to be less crowded down that way, with ample opportunities for outdoor sightseeing and picnics, our little nature girl was happy. Of course, we had to deal with the hijinks like this, since she was becoming more and more interested in what mommy and daddy had to eat and drink:
These days, she’s an old pro at wine tasting. The folks at Ridge always recognize her, and she’s quite charming, if I do say so myself. We were up at Monte Bello for an event this weekend (Pizza and Wine, yum!) and she was a champ.
She hung out in the Ergo, did a little walking while holding onto our hands, made loads of new friends, nommed some pizza crust and tried to eschew her sippy cup in favor of our wine glasses (which attempts were, of course, rejected). Maybe when she’s a little older.
I think we have a little wine snob in the making!