French Fries & Milkshakes

In our little town out here at the river, we have an old school drive-in burger joint. These days, it is a drive-in in so far as customers drive into the parking lot—no speaker boxes to order from, no burger ladies on roller skates, but there is a walk-up window where we will inevitably stand in line with our neighbors to wait to order.

My daughter Ariya and I come here about twice a month to do our thing. Her school is nearby, so I park at the drive-in and walk to her school to pick her up and then we walk back to stand in this line. It is our ritual. It is our thing. And our reward? French fries and milkshakes.

This is where I am supposed to tell you that the fries are transcendent bordering on incandescence, as my old coach and teacher Mr. Brewer would say. I would then be expected to entrance you with a description of milkshakes so delectable that a pool of envious drool would collect at your feet as you read my epic poem dedicated to capturing with words what our taste buds could only know with experience.

But that would be a bunch of crap.

The fact is that the fries are good and the milkshakes are good. That’s it. But I will tell you the secret that makes us keep coming back—the impetus for the magic that elevates this experience of fries and milkshakes to a twice monthly festive feast alongside the wine country highway that sleepily crawls through our tiny town at 25MPH.

When my daughter and I walk up to the order window, it means school is over for her and work is over for me. It is our time to let go of the day behind us and focus on the joy in front of us—and that is each other, paired with ice cream and potatoes, each in their most glorious form. We made it to our moment. And once we collect our order and sit side-by-side on weathered picnic benches under a time-battered awning and pull long sips from a straw, we feel great together—a collective of what is good brought together to form something only be revealed to us in that perfect snapshot of time. In those moments with my daughter, I can say that French fries and milkshakes have never tasted better.

We do this when it rains. We do this when the sun shines upon us. We do this when we had a tough day. We do this when all we can do is giggle and gulp. It does not matter the makeup of the moment. It just matters that we are in it.

And I guess to some degree, I see wine in a similar way.

Look, we feel like we make pretty darn good wines. But what makes them special is the timing and the people involved when you pull the cork and share them. I think that is it. We make good wines, but we need you to make them great by opening them and enjoying them. That is when our wines truly demonstrate how unique and tasty they are—in the moment with the moment-makers.