In a move that will surprise absolutely no one, me and Casey bagged kayaking in Kentucky in favor of a daylong drinking binge through the Blue Mountain State.
We sweet talked Casey’s sister-in-law, Liz, to DD for us and asked Peg for some maps. We were about to show Lexington what happens when Pittsburgh shows up.
If you haven’t been to Kentucky, and really, why would you have, let me tell you that Lexington is home to a plethora of bourbon distilleries and vineyards. The reason for this is that the state needs something to do when the Wildcats aren’t playing. I’m sure there are some other reasons, but that’s the main one.
The three of us loosely plotted out our plan of attack, grabbed the maps, hopped in Usain Volt, and away we go. Did I mention that Usain has OnStar? Do you or someone you know have OnStar? This service is amazing. I will hitherto for never have a car that does not have OnStar. You hit a button, and a live person talks to you through your car, Jetson’s style, and helps you with whatever you want. Without an ounce of judgement.
OnStar: Welcome to OnStar. This is Stacy. How can I help you today Ms. Ruhe?
Me: Stacy? Hi there. Can you please give me driving directions to the Wild Turkey Bourbon Distillery?
OnStar: Sure thing, Ms. Ruhe. I’m going to download turn-by-turn directions to your console. You have a great day. Thanks for calling OnStar. You look really skinny.
Stacy didn’t say ‘Really? A bourbon distillery at 11:30 in the morning? Don’t you have kids?’ She just gave me amazing directions and went about her day.
And that’s how we found ourselves at the Wild Turkey Bourbon Distillery in Lawrenceburg, KY. It was a very informative tour, led by a very enthusiastic and well-informed tour guide, Daniel. I learned a lot that day, like how bourbon whiskey has federal guidelines but apparently the mortgage industry didn’t, how barrels are made, Wild Turkey is actually owned by an Italian super conglomerate, and the entire thing was started in the early 1800’s by two Irish brothers. Always with the Irish.
It ended with two free samples of any of their brands that you desired, and since Liz was DD, that meant we actually got three samples. MATH!
I am not nor have I ever been a bourbon person. I sucked down my bourbon like a man for one reason and one reason only – we had a three vineyard loop planned next. Vineyard hopping, as Casey called it. Mama wanted her vino.
We hop into Usain Volt, Liz at the wheel, and hit the OnStar button.
OnStar: Thank you for calling OnStar, this is Val. How can I help you today Ms. Ruhe?
Me: Well (bourbon belch) Val. I need driving directions to the Lovers Leap Vineyard. Can ya handle that?
OnStar: I sure can, Ms. Ruhe. I am here to help. I am beaming those directions to your car as we speak. Is there anything else I can help you with?
Me: Ummmmmmm… (desperately tries to think of something funny to say. Fails.) Nope! That’s it!
OnStar: Great. You have a great day, Ms. Ruhe.
Oh, I was having a great day. Off we went to Lovers Leap Vineyard, where the tastings were 6 for $7.50, and you kept your glass.
Since Liz was DD, she would have one sip of each tasting, then take turns dumping the rest into mine or Casey’s glass. Did I mention we didn’t have lunch? I should probably mention that. We didn’t have lunch. We had some oyster crackers in between tastings, but I don’t think that counts.
We left Lovers Leap with a few bottles of wine and in wonderful spirits.
It was off to our next stop, Rising Sons Winery. Once again, we go to our good buddy, OnStar.
OnStar: Hello there, Ms. Ruhe. This is Vanessa. How can I help you?
Me: Vanessa! That’s a pretty name! I need you to do that thing were you beam me directions. I need them to from here to Rising Sons Winery. Can we do that?
OnStar: It would be my pleasure, Ms. Ruhe.
Me: Oh, please. Vanessa. Call me Bethany.
OnStar; Okay, Ms. Ruhe. I am sending you turn-by-turn directions now. Is there anything else I can help you with today?
Casey, from the backseat: ASK HER WHAT SHE’S WEARING.
Me: That’s all Vanessa. Thank you!
Rising Sons was my favorite for a few reasons. They were by far the smallest joint, and you know I love an underdog, they had some really good wines, and they had llamas and a giant pig, Wilbur.
The lovely owner, Francine, not only poured a hefty tasting, she also had a secret weapon: homemade sangria. I am a sucker for sangria. We tasted our way through about 7 wines, plus the sangira, plus all the extra from Liz sipping and dumping, so by the time we left Rising Sons, Casey and I were giggling like school girls.
OnStar: Hello, this is Steve. How can I help you today, Ms. Ruhe?
Me: Steve! I need turn (hic) by tuuuuuurn driving directions. I named my car. I call him Usain. Do you think that’s weird?
OnStar: Not at all, Ms. Ruhe. Where is it you’re going?
I give him the address, and the whole time I’m waiting for him to say something about us going to all of these drinking establishments in such quick succession, and I was going to be all smarmy about our DD Liz, but it turns out Steve gave not one shit. The directions got beamed down, and off we went.
It was time for our final stop of the day, WildSide Winery. Wildside was beautifully situated, with a lovely outdoor seating area (that I remember). Wildside has a go big or go home mentally that I really appreciate. It was 8 tastings for 8 bucks, and Lenny poured them heavy.
His name wasn’t actually Lenny, it was Jim. But for whatever reason, I wanted to call him Lenny. So Lenny he was. But he end of our time there, he said he came to like Lenny better, and was actually considering legally changing his name.
We get in the car to head back to Peg and Jim’s, and I call up my trusty OnStar one more time.
OnStar: Hello, Ms. Ruhe. This is Debbie. How can I help you?
Casey, from the backseat: TELL HER YOUR NAME IS LENNY.
Me: Hi, Debbie. I need…
Casey, from the backseat: TELL HER YOU’RE LENNY. (Casey and Liz dissolve into laughter)
Me: Debbie, I’m sorry. I just need directions…
Casey, from backseat: LENNNNNYYYYYYYY
Me: I’m just hanging up now.
OnStar probably has my account flagged, but whatever! We had a fantastic day. Liz was a fabulous sport and a wonderful DD, and we owe her one for sure. I would honestly recommend a trip to Lexington for the bourbon and the wine. It is an area rich in history and tasty, tasty adult beverages.
Here was our haul:
Five glasses of vino and some Kentucky Spirit bourbon whiskey. I’m drinking the Lovers Leap Cynthiana as I type this. It’s a peppery, sassy red, with a smokey finish. So forgive me if I wrap this up now. Until someone invents a laptop wineglass holder for me, I can’t do two things at once.
Yours in Go Wildcats!