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sometimes i think women get married for the benefit of their girlfriends. it gives us the opportunity to get together and spend time doing something fun–with just the girls. no husbands or boyfriends dragging their feet–and a little break from children (loving them even more upon return, of course). for some reasons these outings never materialize if they aren’t organized around the celebration of a friend’s upcoming nuptials. one of our more brilliant brides chose a weekend wine tasting at lake chelan–and staying on the lake, of course! it was an ideal situation for those of us coming from both sides–the coast and the eastern part of the state.

someone else had the amazing idea of hiring a limo to drive us from place to place. so we donned our pink and purple feather boas–and the bride her snow white boa and silver tiara–and we met the limo at the hotel. we had four hours and four stops: nefarious cellarskarma vineyardsvin du lac, and benson vineyards. the weather was lovely, the music was blaring, the limo was comfy and stocked with wine glasses and bar ware, the driver was friendly, and we had a cooler stuffed with cheese and sausages.

we were ready to taste wine.

nefarious cellars, our first stop, is a winery i’ve been to before and really enjoyed. we happened to choose a weekend where many of the vineyards were putting out their new blends. i was happy to see that nefarious was offering a malbec–my husband’s favorite red variety–as well as a viognier–my current favorite white variety. the wines at nefarious, i thought, were good. the malbec was smokier than i prefer (i think it was a property of the soil–many of the reds were smoky), and the viognier was wonderful. however, they also had produced a very dry riesling, which was wonderful and bone dry. so i couldn’t help but purchase one.

karma vineyards–next on our tour–was a perfect setting. it was sunny out and we sat as a band was setting up to play. karma has been producing a sparkling wine–and we were tortured–because we got to go on a tour of the cave where they were producing the sparkler–but there was none available to drink! instead we sampled off the tasting menu, and enjoyed sweet potato fries–and the sunshine. unfortunately, i found the whites too sweet, and the red flat.

our next stop was vin du lac–which is actually a winery i had been to before but didn’t enjoy. this time, though, i found that the wines were delicious, and purchased a new viognier–it was exactly what i want in a viognier–fruit but not sweet. easy to drink with a crispness about it when chilled.

benson vineyards–the end of the line. benson was a great final stop because they have lovely grounds–the wine was delicious but out of my price range. after sipping our wine, we sat on the sun-warmed grasses and rocks. and looked out towards the mountains and over the vineyards. full of cheese and cheer, we stopped out for a moment and appreciated life. not so hard when your next steps will be into a limo and a night of celebration with your girlfriends.