Black Friday. The day when retailers are supposed to go into the ‘black’. For an increasing number of small businesses, the day after Thanksgiving means the difference between making it for another year and tossing in the towel. After a gluttonness trip to Wal-Mart last night in Stephenville–where we had the opportunity to see consumerism at its absolute worst, today was tame. Almost uneventful as ‘the biggest shopping day after Thanksgiving’ goes. So, we packed into Bill’s car and headed towards Granbury.
Granbury is a really nice town southwest of Fort Worth that still has a traditional downtown courthouse square. Today was special in that they were celebrating the lighting of the Courthouse Square with a parade and lots of live music. As small towns go, it’s the essence of living in a small place and doing the things that are all about building community. We walked around the square, visiting a number of small shops–each of them displaying-proudly a banner or door mat or sign that stated Shop Small Business-Saturday, November 24. As good messages go–and after last night’s debacle–the thought of shopping in small town Texas as opposed to overly big corporate America–well, it seemed right.
While in Granbury, we stopped a local wine emporium called, D’Vine Wines and bought a bottle of Sleigh Ride Red and enjoyed it with Sara, Bill, Robin and ourselves. A blend of Sangiovese and Zinfandel, Sleigh Ride was much fruitier and smoother than we were expecting. The nose brought a huge cherry fragrance with a hint of vanilla and lavender. The taste was surprisingly good with more fruit–maraschino cherries– and a sweetness that we weren’t expecting. It was a decent taste for a late Friday afternoon. . .right down to the red bottle which we thought was pretty cool. The price tag was a bit of a shocker, but not unusual for Texas wines, at $22.99 plus tax this one was over priced and underdelivered for the money. We don’t mind spending above $20 a bottle on occasions but we will want a good wine for the extra investment. . .unfortunately, this wine didn’t deliver. Yes, it was a nice respite at the end of the afternoon. . .yes, it was enjoyed in a great venue at the very beginning of the Christmas season, but at the end of the day. . .the product didn’t add up to the investment.
Which brings us full circle to the whole Black Friday thing. We love Christmas. . .we love to shop for gifts; the thought of walking through stores and seeing what’s available and watching people in their ‘shopping mode’! BUT, when people–who are probably NOT in a position to be spending hundreds–no thousands–of dollars on televisions, blue ray players, and other short term electronics, we sometimes wonder if the holidays are less about a special time in our history and more about buying, buying, buying and buying.
Which is why we enjoy writing about wine. . .as previously mentioned–and you’ll hear it many more times–at the end of the day, it’s all grape juice and life is too SHORT to enjoy bad wine. So, even though tonight’s wine is a bit over priced, at the end of the day, we enjoyed it with family which made it taste even better. So, when you try your favorite wine, remember to enjoy it responsibly and recycle whenever possible.