Sometimes in life you’re presented with an opportunity you just shouldn’t pass up. That happened to me last summer, and I’m still regretting not having jumped into it with both feet.
My significant other and I were looking forward to using a generous gift certificate about this time last year. It was for a wine tasting followed by an elegant four course meal with wine pairings. The setting was Barboursville Vineyard, just outside rural Gordonsville, Virginia. The vineyard has been around for some forty years and its reputation is exceeded only by that of the restaurant adjacent to it, Palladio. As regulars at the weekly wine tasting here in my small hometown, we were looking forward to expanding our horizons. Plans were made for an overnight trip, including a stay at a charming bed and breakfast that appealed to me because Jack the dog’s photo was included with those of the staff on the website.
Never one to let a neurotic impulse go unchecked, however, I worried that we would have a hard time that night. We would, after all, be tasting a large number of wines…there were 19 available. That would be followed by an evening of still more wine…four different kinds with the meal, to be precise. Since my capacity is about a glass and a half (my daughter has in the past noted my cheeks getting rosier at the table and commanded, “Step away from the Pinot Noir, Mom!”), I was apprehensive. I knew we’d be in the middle of nowhere, coming back to the B and B in the dark, and on winding roads that could play tricks on the eyes after even one glass of wine, let alone three or four. With that in mind, I began hunting up possible taxi service to and from the vineyard.
Trust me on this…there’s not much available cab-wise near Barboursville. But one of the sites that came up when I googled possibilities intrigued me. It was called “Cabioke” and, as you might surmise, combines the best of both a taxi cab and karaoke. There was no information, just a name and phone number; evidently, this was a one-man operation. The friendly guy I spoke to assured me that in addition to the karaoke screen, the requisite disco ball was in place in the cab, thus adding to the fun. I was more than a little excited about this possibility, I must confess…I pretty much never pass up the chance to make a fool of myself. I could just see it. Me, lustily singing at the top of my lungs, probably a little louder on the way home than en route to the winery. I could fulfill all those latent desires to perform in front of the masses, belting my heart out to “I Will Survive” or “Dancing Queen.” And while being seated would cramp my ability to groove to the music to a degree, I still felt like I could put on a pretty good show.
By the time the day approached for our trip, we’d done a bit more checking. As it turned out, my knowledge of “wine pairings” was more than a little deficient. It seems they only provide about a 1/4 of a glass with each course, possibly taking into account the possibility of customers’ cars landing in ditches at evening’s end. I suspect the expense involved in a larger pour, along with tasting tradition, also plays into this decision. Moreover, the wine tasting that preceded dinner would be like others we’d attended; you’d certainly have the option to toss any leftover wine after a sip or two. So both practicality and thriftiness played a part in our choice to make the drive to and from the vineyard on our own. Truthfully, I was sorely disappointed, and didn’t forget about that “cab not taken.”
So I recently did a little more checking online. While the impression I had from the guy I spoke to is that he indeed had a standard sized cab decked out, that is not what you find when you google the term “cabioke” today. Instead, you are squired about in a limo (yes, they let us know it’s “pimped out”), which I found very tempting. After all, my best college pals and I are making plans to visit Wintergreen Resort next spring, and a winery tour is in the works. Cabioke touts itself as providing just such a service! I truly see no down side to our booking this smooth ride: friendship, raucous singing that could include backup for the lead, a built-in audience with more room for any needed choreography, a variety of wines, and safe travel. What could be better for friends of more than forty years? Are you ready, girls?! I may not have hailed that oh-so-special cab before; I’ll not let another chance slip by!