There is an ebb and flow to Steve’s tasting room. As people leave there is this brief void that the universe delights in filling with interesting people. So as Abbey, Emily, and Kyle hit the road to go back to the wedding festivities, an older gentleman walked in. He stated he only had experience drinking “regular” wines, as in wines made from grapes. Steve claimed he only makes “extraordinary” wines.
That being said, a humble man at his core and not one to boast or turn mead into something pretentious; whom has only two rules when finishing a mead, ultimately determining its worthiness:
Will it get you drunk?
Will it get you laid?
Then that’s all you need.
Steve sold him two meads and a cherry cyser.
The measures of mead through the afternoon were starting to hit when two young gentlemen walked in. Stephen and Eddie. These two would come in throughout the week to assist Steve with the racking and packaging of the mead. They had just gotten done with their work on the cranberry farm laying gratuitous amounts of plastic down in the fields. For being college students I was really impressed with their mannerisms- amiable, well-rounded and brilliant individuals. They started helping at the meadery earlier in the year after some hardship really relied on their good graces and hard work. More on that later.
Too much mead was setting in fast for the three of us on our empty bellies, so Steve ordered a couple pizzas. As soon as we downed some slices, Steve brought out the brandy. A while back, he took a batch of his traditional mead and froze it; ultimately distilling it.
It was heaven with concentrated flavors of honey, warm with the smooth glow of alcohol. This was a huge treat and I’m glad he shared it with Mary, Tharon, and myself. A delicious cap to our wonderful day!
Night had set in quickly. It’s easy to lose track of time for 6 hours while under the influence of Steve and tiny samples of mead. Tiny samples are very misleading.
He drove us all back to the boat and was even given a tour of the Typsy Gypsy by Mary and Tharon. Even introduced him to Leyla, Jake, and Elwood. For a man who loves cats, the dogs seemed more interested in his affection. We talked a little about plans for the next morning to visit the Heystead property, then said our goodnights.
Crawling into bed felt so damn good…
WHITEHALL TO MUSKEGON: Sunday
Around 2 in the morning, or was it 1am, the propane alarm started to beep. I knew it was the propane alarm only because all throughout our trip it would randomly trigger itself. Only Tharon knew how to shut it off, so I assumed it was him shuffling about the cabin. It was.
Later, he told us that he had decided to completely sever the wires. He regretted it when the time came to fix it…
Other than that it was by far the most solid sleep I’ve had since this trip began. We took our time waking up. Steve planned on picking us up at 8:30.
It was 8am.
I managed to hurry my grungy self into the Municipal shower to wash off the salt and crust of being out in the elements for 3 days. Mary and Tharon were a bit behind, but honestly I can’t blame them. Those two were the powerhouse that managed 2 all-nighters followed by a day of drinking at the meadery. I could incur that Steve had predicted our molasses morning state but, the reality is, Steve isn’t much of a morning person either. He arrived at 9am to take us to the Villa Venafro for some of the finest eggs benedict around.