I know the place is right when Michael Kiwanuka’s “Love and Hate” comes on in the background.
Sitting here in the Antiquum Farm cottage, I look through the French doors that open onto the attractive stone patio at the front of the building and see my fiancé there with two of her favorite ladies.
I’m pretty much along for the ride. My role is designated driver and I’m fine with it. I’m comfortable here, at this huge, rustic table, listening the fire crackle in the fireplace.
Our sommelier, Ross, is quietly bustling in the kitchen. Sommelier is such a fancy word, one I’m not so comfortable with in all its Frenchness. I like the fact that our wine steward is in jeans and a flannel shirt. He’s a very likable, down to earth guy.
The temperature is perfect. The clouds, which have hung relentlessly over us for the past month, have parted. Swaths of bright blue peek out from behind. The farm is bathed in late winter sunlight.
The promise of spring hangs on the air which is just warm enough for a long sleeved shirt. The sunshine is a golden tease.
I polish off the cute little personal charcuterie in front of me. Thinly sliced strips of cheese…fontina I think…a few crackers, some delicate, delicious slices of cured meat, olives, dried apricots and blueberries.
I’ve never had dried blueberries before. They are delightful.
And now the music transitions to Etta James, her luxe voice crooning an undercurrent of “At Last” as the ladies make their way through the front door, voices bubbling with excited ideas for audience arrangements, table positioning, and decorations.
They all find their seats and settle in as Ross pours a flight. I have one small, social sample, while the women excitedly interact with him as he extols the many virtues of this beautiful, environmentally sustainable vineyard.
He has a passion for the wine, and the vineyard, which is infectious.
The Pinot Gris is delicious.
There are six bottles to sample. The ladies are just starting to loosen up. I’m wondering if they’ll be able to say something that will shock him by the time they reach the sixth bottle.
He proves to be unflappable. Good man.
These chicks are hilarious and could proudly make a sailor blush.
The happiness on Alicia’s face and the lightness in her voice as she jokes with her two most extroverted besties just makes me happy.
I’m gonna marry this woman.