Ready to Berry April’s Five to Try

Well, as you may have guessed my next April Five to Try activity involved berries in some way. Actually, my final TWO activities involved berries. Yet I didn’t technically partake in the “star of the show” in the traditional sense as you shall see…

Five to Try for April – #4, The Annual Blueberry Festival and #5, a Keel & Curley Wine Tasting

Yep, this weekend we tried a new event – at least new to us, Keel & Curley Winery‘s Annual Tampa Bay Blueberry Festival held in Plant City, Fla. this past weekend, all day Saturday and Sunday. I love blueberries but I had always wanted to visit this winery to learn firsthand what blueberry wine tastes like.

We pulled into the makeshift parking lot (which we nicknamed the Straw Patch), and it was at that very moment that I stepped out of my car that I realized my decision to opt for sandals and not my New Balance sneaks was one of the worst decisions I’d made all week. It started as simply unappealing dirty toes on my return trip to the car, but 48 hours later, I’m still nursing the blisters. Damn.

Have you ever been to the Annual Tampa Bay Blueberry Festival? You do have some opportunities to partake in the mighty blue wonder but since I really didn’t feel like wasting my WW points on Blueberry Shortcake or Blueberry Cheesecake, and I really didn’t feel like adding U-Pick Berries to my list of bad decisions given my poor choice in footwear, that really only left one option. If I was going to partake in blueberries, sigh- I was just going to have to participate in the wine tasting.

Sacrifices, I know. It’s not easy having to rough it like that.

I had my choice between an outdoor wine tasting in the hot, blinding sunshine of late afternoon or I could saunter up to the indoor one – barely air conditioned if at all, but much cooler and in the little side pockets of the tasting area, not quite as busy. So I did just that.

Bought my ticket for a potential 10 wine tastings and thought to myself, holy crap. I really just wanted to try the Strawberry Riesling and Sweet Blueberry Wines. But I guess if I really have to drink more wine…

It took about 15 minutes or so before I had my spot at the bar for my custom tasting, and what I had intended to be my Five to Try #5 Sweet Blueberry Wine, turned into Five to Try #5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11.

So I guess I’ve got this month covered.

Of the Keel & Curley Winery vino available, I tried in this order the following fusion wines:

Peach Chardonnay – loved it!
Key West – Key Lime – a little too much lime action for me…
Mango Mama – not a Mango fan, not a mama. Not a match.
Tangerine Zinfandel – some nice zip. I liked it. Didn’t love it, but liked it.
Strawberry Riesling – oh yeah, now we’re talking.
Wild Berry Pinot Noir – what a surprise! Never thought I would like but enjoyed tremendously.

Finally, it was the moment. The reason I’d shown up in the first place. The blueberry wine.

She poured me a little swig of the Sweet Blueberry and immediately I knew that I would not be having a Violet Beauregarde moment. One tiny, itty, bitty, dinky sip and I thought: um, I’m going to pass on this. Ewww.

So isn’t that a kick in the butt? Head out to the Blueberry Festival and the one place I choose to indulge in that plump little plop of blue perfection, I don’t even like it. Oh well. Such is life. Thankfully, I liked four of the seven wines. What I can remember of them. I must admit: the woman behind the bar probably told me her name but I couldn’t tell you what it was now if I wanted to. But I do remember this: she was a bit lazy with the cup rinsing. And we didn’t have a spit bowl or any water to cleanse our palate, so that seemed a little odd to me for a wine tasting. Isn’t it?

I left with one souvenir aside from slight tipsiness…

This big beauty.

Oh, and this…

Yeah, I really did miss out on three other sips. Crazy, huh? I don’t know where my head was. Probably thinking about my dirty toes and that horrible walk back through the straw fields to our car.

The good news is — I found a Chardonnay I like – because that does not happen too often, believe me. I love the white wines but not Chardonnay normally. And best of all, I went outside my usual weekend territory to try a new place and new event and yes, plenty of new libations. Yum.

I’d say that pretty much wraps April in a nutshell, and what a nice way for it to come to a close. Staring down my little plastic tasting cup.

Life is good.

May is officially here…what new things will we crazy Kuhns try this month? And have I finally convinced you to join me on this little creative experiment?

Think about what five new things you can learn, try, experience, see, read, watch… you get the picture.
Welcome new experiences because it’s the fountain of inspiration.

If I haven’t convinced you yet, think about this.

Think of your absolutely favorite restaurant – the dish you love so much, the great servers who wait on you at each move, the way that first perfect bite melts in your mouth…you’ve never had something so delicious in your life that you can recall.

Now, do this.

ERASE IT. Erase everything. That savory dish, that superior service, that exciting dining experience that you anticipate each time you make reservations to visit. You’ve never been. You didn’t feel like driving all that way. You were reluctant to try something new; after all, what if it stinks?

Aah, but what if it doesn’t? In the process of your Five to Try, you may find your next favorite thing, you may discover a source of some serious inspiration, and you are undoubtedly going to be richer, smarter and more aware than when your day started.

So tell me again why you’re not taking part in your own version of Five to Try?

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