Ahh, the Texan – good lord, the Texan. Good fucking lord.
6’7″ (yes, let me repeat 6′ fucking 7″), 43, shaved bald, hairless chest, pecs and back that makes a girls knees weak. Gym rat with the same healthy balance of booze and eating as I have. Tan, wide white smile. BIG Texas attitude.
The Texan came for a tasting this past June with his family. His adorable parents were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.
He was joined by his older twin sisters and their husbands as well as their priest. They all traveled together from Texas to stay at Meadowood so the parents could renew their vows. How freakin’ adorable?!?
The Estate Sales Manager at the winery I work at was traveling so I was running all the tastings while he was away.
Friday night I get this frantic call from the concierge at Meadowood. They had basically forgotten to make a reservation for them for a lunch and tasting experience the following day and, desperate, they asked if we could take them.
After a few calls back and forth, we were able to make it happen.
I arrived, as usual, an hour early for set up at the estate tasting room. Estate, as far as I can tell, is just a fancy word for a private location where private tastings are done. We have a main tasting room in town where anyone can just drop in during business hours and taste, but the estate is up on a mountain – fancy locale, fancy price tag.
It’s a small house, which used to be a one bedroom, one bath among six acres of cabernet sauvignon vines. Now the bedroom is an office and the living room is set up to do indoor tastings complete with comfy couches, large wooden table that can seat 10-12, and a gas fireplace. It also has a semi-commercial kitchen where we can heat, cook and serve lunch as well as a “mud room” with hanging glassware and two wine fridges. The basement is the wine cellar.
Outside, under a rustic, wooden awning, is a long table that can accommodate 12-15 easily. It is flanked on one side by a pizza oven and grill with the other three open to take in the cab vines. A large concrete patio extends from there to several other open seating areas, so we can host multiple tastings at once, as well as a wading pool. Beautiful landscaping of roses, hydrangeas, rosemary, lavender and even a cork tree surround the house and patio area.
Normally when hosting eight guests, there is one person to host the tasting and another to support on the culinary side. Since it was last minute, I had to play both parts.
The equally rustic, wooden table was set beautifully with one white and two red wine glasses, water glass, silverware and napkin for lunch, fresh cut flowers from the property and tasting and buying sheets.
I set up a speaker in a few places outside so we could have music surround us. Normally we play a New Orleans jazz playlist, but today I thought I’d play rock n’ roll from the 1950s and 1960s – perhaps it would be music from the parents’ youth that they would enjoy.
I learned they were from Texas so I wore my brown cowboy boots and a bright sunny yellow fitted cotton dress that buttoned all the way down the front and was adorned with a cute bow in the front.
They arrived by private transportation and I welcomed them through the house and out on to the back patio. The daughters sat across from each other nearest to where I stood to present the wines.
Their husbands sat next to them, the parents next to them across from each other with the Texan and the priest at the end of the table farthest from me. I thought it extremely strange that a family would bring a priest to a wine tasting, but I had only been Catholic until I was nine years old so maybe I didn’t learn that part yet. Water into wine was a good thing, right?!?
I was a little bit harried through the tasting since I was doing everything, kept my calm but moved with a sense of urgency I hadn’t since culinary school. I presented four wines to compliment the cheese and nut plate I had made for them.
As I poured each wine, I started with the daughter on my left, then her husband, then the dad, then the Texan, rounded the table to the priest, mom, other daughter’s husband, and finished with the other daughter closest to me on my right.
As I passed by the Texan, he always tried to engage me in individual conversation by cracking a joke or giving me a vague compliment. I flirted back like I do with everyone who comes through the door, especially Texans because they often will hand out $100 tips at the end.
I did find him more attractive than most, but I didn’t think any more of it. I had work to do trying to create an amazing experience for a family whose parents were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary all by myself – I really didn’t want to fuck this up!
I presented the lunch cabs, served lunch, and went inside to allow them to enjoy hanging out with each other while I started cleaning. I came back out to check on them, and the Texan joked that he thought I abandoned them. His passive remarks became more forward as he drank both his and the priest’s wines.
I cleared the plates, presented the last cabs with dark chocolates and a special dessert for the parents, and gave the sales spiel.
Everyone was tipsy by that point, including me, and one of the daughters started singing aloud the song that was playing. Since the neighbors are somewhat far afoot, I turned it up loud and everyone started dancing. What a blast!
They completed their sales sheets well and started getting up to leave. I was standing at the end of the table when the Texan caught my attention. He just put out his arms like he wanted me to come over and give him a hug.
Why not?!? He’s hot and we are both drunk-ish.
I reached up to put my arms around his neck and the world stopped. I heard nothing. I saw nothing. I felt his arms wrap softly around my lower back.
While I was there, he called over to the priest to show off. I turned and smiled at the priest while still holding on to him.
I left his embrace and everyone started to walk in the house together. He said, “It’s ok that you have a crush on me.”
I snapped back, “I think you are the one with the crush!”
I heard his sisters laugh and repeat what I said to their mother.
He didn’t order any wine, but his sisters and parents did. While I was sending what I was guessing was my last email to one of his sisters about her order, in the last line I wrote, “And give your brother a kiss on the cheek the next time you see him.”
A few days later I received this:
This is your favorite person in the world from Texas. I just want to thank you personally for that kiss on the cheek you told my sister to give me….HAHA!!!!
I will be back in San Francisco in the next month or two. Maybe I will come harass you again…