Today we ventured to Kerrville to participate in a secret mission – a surprise birthday party for our good friend Kristy – this past week she hit a milestone – the BIG 60! Wow . . . while a few years our senior, she is anything but old – we prefer to acknowledge that she is wise beyond her years or better yet, like a fine wine she gets better and better the longer she’s around! In her case time has indeed stood still – she has the spirit and enthusiasm of a person 1/3 her age. We were glad that we were able to pop over and be part of her surprise!
Anytime we make the 1.5 hour road trip to Ktown, we always try to tack on as much as we can. This trip, Jean got a haircut, we checked out one of our favorite stores and we took time to drive by the home we still own there to check on an oak tree that has indeed seen better days. The best part of driving to our place is the opportunity to check in with dear friends and former neighbors. Bob and Dee were at home so we got to spend about an hour catching up on all the news and Jean got to feed her deer that frequent the backyard between our houses. Our seven years living in the house afforded the opportunity to see many a fawn born on our deck mature into full-grown bucks and does. These deer are somewhat like dogs – they come when you whistle and one known affectionately as Pretty Mama was extra special. Pretty Mama holds a special place in our hearts – every year she would make a point of bringing her newborn (or twins) into the yard so we could get to meet them. It was a special bond – have to admit, it’s pretty cool to have a deer eat out of your hand.
Upon returning to San Marcos well before sunset, we opened a wine, James Oatley, Tic Tok Shiraz from Central Australia. Normally, we gush over wines from the land down under, but tonight. . .we barely got past the first sip. More on that in a minute because the story of the winery is pretty cool. . .it seems that James Oatley was a clock maker back in the early 1800’s who went a bit on the errant side and was caught stealing bed linen. Apparently, this was an extreme crime back then and he was sentenced to life and shipped to Australia. He soon became the premier clock maker on the continent, was eventually pardoned by the governor at the time, built a clock tower for the city that still works to this day and subsequently granted 300 acres of land as remuneration for his work. Wine maker, Bob Oatley crafted this wine. We can only imagine that at some point in the travels from Australia to America, this wine got cooked. The color was closer to copper than dark red and the taste was as bitter as a teaspoon of vinegar. Since it had a twist off cap, there was no cork to spoil the wine, but high temperatures in shipping, storage or some other part of the journey caused the wine to sour. Too bad. . .probably won’t try this label again. For those of you who wonder what we do when we come across a bad bottle of wine. . .we pour it out! No sense keeping bad wine. A shame, but it’s reality. With a great story like James Oatley’s, having a good tasting wine to match up with it would have been a nice way to end the day.
Instead, our day ends with great memories of surprising Kristy and visiting with Bob and Dee – along with a side conversation with Pretty Mama.
We hope that your day was great as well and that you sat down to enjoy your favorite wine responsibly. Please remember to recycle whenever possible.