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Thursday 15 June

Monday was sort of scheduled to be my day for taking Susan to Seco and lunch at Mama Mac's — the business name of the McAuley's place in Kona, i.e., of course, for Susan to do the (light) driving and me to introduce her to these local institutions: although she's not much of a wine person, and hardly at all, from her training and interest in the subject of diet, an aficionada of native Kentucky food, often heavy on meat and fat, it really is good for her to know the immediate area; so off we went, at the early for her time of 10:45 A.M.

Seco first — by now I'm an old hand at the place, having been there three times; Jack Looney at his post, we taste a coupla things he makes, that I hadn't tasted before: in addition to the Cabernet I like so much, his big sellers, a triad cleverly named Miner's Blood, Miner's Sweat, Miner's Tears: all somewhat sweet: a red, two whites respectively, the Sweat 100% Vignoles, the Tears the same 75%, with 25% mead; and some fruit wines, including a curious but I think very good mixture of raspberry, blackberry, and mulberry — fermented in oak casks: fruit and tons of tannin.

He also took us into his cellar — actually a sort of test cellar with a sample cask of each variety, since his main cellar, if I understood correctly from Susan who caught something I didn't, is in part of the old mines a few hundred feet away — and we sampled things at various stages; despite all my wine upbringing and traveling, I'd never actually tasted wine in the making in any cellar anywhere, so it was interesting to taste what his top-line Highland Cabernet was like when only 8 months old: rather fizzy, low in alcohol of course, no complexity at all that I could detect, but you really could already tell it's going to be very good.

[image ALT: missingALT. It is a very partial view of Highland Winery's cellar in the Seco Company Store, Seco, Kentucky.]
Oak casks, no longer quite new: Highland Winery's red wines in the making, from eight months to two years into the process.

To my surprise, Susan (who very rarely so much as has a small glass of anything, and admits to not knowing much about wine) bought up the Seco store, some 15 bottles, three of which mind you for me — somewhat over my objections but what can one do? — with the idea that some of them may come in handy when she's fully moved in and has people to dinner; also some Seco t‑shirts: clothes are always useful.

It was about 12:30 after all this, Susan left her purchases there, unkeen on bumping over unforeseeable back or even gravel roads with a trunkful of glass bottles; off to what should have been our next pitstop, two miles away in Kona to Mama Mac's (the business name of the McAuley's restaurant and store) — but when we got there, Mrs. McAuley had given herself a rest for the day and not cooked any home-style stuff, although of course open for hotdogs and hamburgers; I was a bit disappointed, but we chatted a bit, and left for Whitesburg —

Where we had that "carbonara" and visited the AppalShop I mistakenly recorded as being the day before: the perils of not writing my diary every day, things all start to get all mixed up. A bit of shopping, a "French lesson" — I've been drilling her on phonetics something like one 45‑minute session a day more or less; then Susan on call at the ER, and me to bed.

[image ALT: A 3‑story timber building, modern in its sharp outlines and triangular roofs, but traditional in its unadorned wood. It is a view of the AppalShop cultural center in Whitesburg, Kentucky.]
The AppalShop: an Appalachian cultural center in Whitesburg, KY.

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Page updated: 7 Dec 20