After escaping the clutches of the giant winery of scariness, we continued down Six Mile Road which, after a total distance of about six miles, deposited us in the town of Murphys.
The first thing you should know about Murphys is that it is almost impossibly cute, in a very California way (non-coastal division). By which I mean tiny, with extremely historic buildings dating all the way back to the late nineteenth century (including the early home of a Nobel Prize winner) and the generally laid-back air that comes with a population that includes a certain number of residual hippies. The second thing you should know is that there are nineteen tasting rooms on the three blocks that constitute the downtown.
It was at about this time that we decided to stay for dinner. And, since we were staying for dinner, that meant that I wouldn’t have to be driving for a while, which meant I could take seriously the business of tasting.
It’s a funny thing about tasting wine– each one they give you is only a little bit, but they keep giving them to you. And, if one hasn’t had anything to eat since a half-sandwich at lunchtime, one can get toasted in rather short order.
We didn’t try all the wineries, of course. It was already late afternoon, and even we aren’t that dedicated. But we did make it to a few, including one that was rather strenuously quirky (directions on their wine club form included: “Dress like a naughty pirate! Send us pictures!) but had some pretty decent wine, a couple of average/unexciting places and one that we liked quite well. Well enough to buy several bottles and join their wine club, anyway.
While C. was settling up with them, I slipped* off to check out a couple of boutiques I had noticed, because that is simply my nature. And, to paraphrase a line from an award-winning story by my close personal friend, Author Cornelia Read: I love shopping drunk. It’s so easy.
In the end, I came away with a couple of necklaces and a rather lovely blue dress.
We had gotten a recommendation for a restaurant in town which was not only good, but reportedly did not charge a corkage fee if you brought in a bottle of local wine. Which turned out to be true on both counts.
**But I totally would have, if there was anything to slip on.