Saturday, June 19, 2010

Wine Tour

View Larger Map Route from Live Oak (A) to Fall Creek (B) to Llano (C) and Back (D)

OK. “Wine Tour” may be a little bit of an exaggeration. We only stopped at one winery. But it was a wonderful day trip with a bunch of people Suna and I had never met.

The tour was organized by Congregation Shir Ami, the Jewish community who share the facility with us at Live Oak. I was a little apprehensive about not knowing anyone, but someone said, “We know what it’s like to be the outsider,” and the proceeded to make us feel like we belonged. They even insisted we join their group photo by the bus at Fall Creek.

We left Live Oak about 09:30, which meant we had to get up as if this Saturday were a work day. But we did it. We weren’t even the last ones to arrive. That is always something of an accomplishment for me. We spent much of the trip to Fall Creek getting to know those sitting around us and commenting on how much better even everyday sights look when seen from a tour bus.

Suna by Fall Creek Grapes

Fall Creek is a family-owned vineyard that started as a hobby after the owner’s trip to France. He decided he wanted to grow grapes. Making wine was the next logical step. Now they don’t have enough wall space to display all their awards.

The tasting included a number of wines. The sign said six, but nobody was counting. I thought they were all good, which means Suna didn’t like some of them. We bought the Sweet Red, the chenin blanc, a cabernet sauvignon, and a few others.

From Fall Creek, we traveled to Llano to have lunch at The Acme Cafe on the Square in Llano. If you have eaten there, I don’t have to tell you how good it is. If you haven’t, I don’t think I can. It certainly isn’t the hole-in-the-wall-small-town-Texas eatery it looks like from the outside. I would have never thought of stopping in if it hadn’t been part of the tour.

The Acme in Llano

Everything they served was ample and delicious. Much of it was unique. Suna said her chicken salad was the best one she had ever eaten because of the hand-made vinaigrette. It appeared to have more herbs and spices than oil and vinegar.

I played it safe with a burger. I added chili, sauteed mushrooms, and jalapeños. I was little apprehensive when the waitress just shrugged and didn’t make a note when I asked for my burger well done. I hate pink burgers (probably because I’ve been to meat packing plants), and I’m not afraid to send one back. It was perfect and delicious, but that may be the only way they know how to cook ’em. One of our cohort later complained that he sent three back because they apparently didn’t know how to make a burger medium well.

On the way back, we sang Broadway tunes. We sang with gusto if not pitch. Have I mentioned I hate show tunes? Oh, well.

It was a great trip, but I’m glad to be home with a new case of wine.

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