It’s hard to believe it’s nearly the end of the year, Christmas and Hanukah are days away, it feels like a mad dash to this finish line, which really is just a new beginning. So many of our customers and members make it a point to pop in during December because Strey truly transforms into a Winter Wonderland. Even for those of us who identify with the term “Ba Humbug”, can’t help but to be amazed by the twinkle lights, suspended Christmas tree, Secret Santa Sacks, and ugly sweater donning wine bottles. It truly feels like the North Pole when you step foot inside Strey Cellars these days! It’s snowman weather, for sure, making it a great excuse to wear cozy sweaters, fluffy socks and snuggly scarves. The wine particularly loves this temperature! If you’re one of those winos who prefers to always keep your wine in the fridge, look no further! This is the best tasting season!
Wine is a staple for holiday meals, and parties, at least in my adult life, I have come to see that it is more than normal, it is a necessity. (This came as something of a surprise though, because I was raised in a household that never had alcohol in the home, for any occasion. You can imagine how proud my family is of my profession.) Whether it’s bringing a bottle of wine as a hostess gift, or pairing specific bottles with special meals, to gifting your favorite wine to a loved one, wine can be an easy grab and go gift, or a well thought out, personalized present. Wine is an experience, it’s meant to be shared, but we totally don’t judge you for enjoying your favorite bottle solo. (Isn’t it the worst when people throw back a glass of your most prized bottle as if it’s water?!) While it’s true that not everyone appreciates wine, you know where to find me!
It may only be mid December, but it’s not too early to begin considering your New Year resolutions. As a small Ventura County business, I have a few ideas of practical and fun goals for 2020. First of all, MORE LOCAL WINE! This can be very easily and affordably achieved by purchasing one of our Secret Santa Sacks. Each sack is unique, I know this because I personally filled each sack. You will find one Slanted, three Library Wines (library wines are special wines we no longer sell in the tasting room because we have very low inventory.) and two other mystery bottles from the tasting room. The Secret Santa Sacks are only $120, and reserved for wine club members. The fun part is that I know what’s in each box, but it’ll be a surprise for you! Making your rounds to local wineries means the world to us, we are always recommending wineries that we love, and are so excited when you step through our doors. This is one of those resolutions that gives you bonus points when you bring your friends. The more the merrier!
Your second New Year Resolution is: be more social. You can get a head start on this by coming to our New Year’s Eve party! We had so much fun last year with Funny Girl Event’s NYE comedy show, we were sure to booked them a year in advance to make sure we had first dibs on their funny! We love them and know you do too. Even though I am in the tasting room serving, I can’t help but to giggle at the jokes that drift down the hallway. Steph Clark (company owner) prides herself on quality comics right out of LA and she doesn’t disappoint. Not only do we have a great evening planned, but your ticket includes a champagne toast at an 9PM East Coast Countdown! That’s right, we plan this event to end just in time for you to make it to your next New Year’s Eve party with plenty of time to celebrate before midnight. Or, ample time to Uber home to get into your pajamas and kiss your sweetheart in the comfort of your home.
Lastly, say yes to new wines! Whether it be a wine you have never tasted, or an unconventional style, I challenge you to taste white wines, even if you’ve never liked one. I encourage you not to skip a wine you have only tried once, or don’t like the sound of. Open your heart and tastebuds to the endless possibilities that just may grace your glass. The new year is the time to break habits, and step out of your comfort zone. So, dare I say, “Taste the Merlot.”? Also, have I ever steered you wrong? I mean, have you even tasted our Signature Series yet?
Whatever the holidays have in store, I personally want to leave you with my deep thanks. To each of you who follow this blog, and share your thoughts with me: Thank you, your support keeps me writing. To all of you who have visited Strey Cellars, and spent time with me, tasting through our list, or enjoyed a glass of wine: You have no idea how how much those interactions have enriched my life. To our wine club members: Thank you for your consistent support, unwavering loyalty, and true friendships. Within the last year wine a wine club member brought in an engagement ring to show me before he popped the question, two wine club members secretly told me they were pregnant before telling anyone else, and one of you came in to tell me that you were cancer free. I have held your hands when you’ve cried, and poured another glass to celebrate, I have held your newborn babies, and sold you the bottle that christened your new home. Thank you for giving me these gifts. Merry EVERYTHING,
Author’s note: My name is Justine and I have been working in the tasting room at Strey Cellars for over four years. We are a small family owned local boutique winery. If this is your first visit to my blog, you’ll notice that I write as if we are old friends, because this is the energy of our winery. Come visit sometime, and see for yourself. If you enjoyed this blog, please share it with a friend. Cheers!