Walt on a w(h)ine tour

Walt on a w(h)ine tour

Somewhere around the Di Rosa Preserve I stop screaming and swearing into the vineyards. My weekend of wine touring is done; guests are all back at their hotels, yet I can’t serenity prayer the Texans out of my mind.

$440. Charge for the tour and the four of them tipped me exactly zero for the day. The young couple from Florida handed me $50, the six others tipped between 10-20% but the foursome from Texas went with a big fat nothing. What the hell? I was attentive, chose interesting places, told fun stories, made a nice lunch, and checked off all the good wine tour driver boxes. In the words of Carl the gardener, “Hey lama, how bout a little something for the effort.”

But I did interrupt my morning informational talk to answer a call from a parent whose son had overdosed on Fentanyl (I wanted her to join me in a radio interview). I then explained to the group why I took the call, which, as you can imagine, was a bit of a buzz kill. Must work on that oversharing.

And the winemaker at our second stop was fishing with his son instead of pouring wine for my group. And there was a wedding at Cornerstone so the gardens were closed. And I couldn’t get reservations for the foursome at OSO. And the giant sweat stains under the armpits of my yellow cotton button down are kinda disgusting.

And, and, and… whatever, I make a hundred judgment calls per tour, some good, some not so good but at the end of the day the people have fun, make new friends, have new experiences and hopefully tip accordingly.

So, maybe it was me. And with that thought, I’m spiraling down into the rabbit hole of self-doubt. I’m no good at this, I should quit, I’m no good with people, I suck…

I pull over at Nicholson Ranch to dance it out. If you ever see an old balding guy dancing next to a black Nissan for no apparent reason, that’s me. I learned it from Nic Cage in Wild at Heart. It’s very therapeutic and soon I am continuing home trying to remember all the good of the past two days.

Sitting next to the fountain at Robledo while the Carneros wind blows a light mist reminding me of Todos Santos. Looking out at the Kenwood postcard views from Loxton Winery. Discovering a marijuana grow in a field next to a winery which I won’t mention just in case someone reads this and wants to go on a little bud stealing mission (dangerous and stupid). Talking with guests about Burning Man and skiing and education and politics (my rule is you can only talk about religion, sex, and politics after the third winery).

If you flip “I have to” with “I get to” you will be amazed at how different the world looks. “I have to drive the wine tour bus this weekend.” becomes, “I get to meet new people, hang out in some amazing wineries and make the cash I need to pay for the Roomba 805 that my wife wants for her birthday next week.” Grown up, big boy pants on type planning. Need some extra scratch, stop whining and work for it.

If only the Texans would get on board.