I am on a flight from Philadelphia to San Francisco headed to a week of wine debauchery at the Wine Bloggers Conference (WBC) in Buellton, California in Santa Barbara County. I don’t enjoy being away from my family for even the work day, so leaving for an entire week to visit one of my favorite wine regions was difficult. On the other hand, the WBC is a lot of fun–meet some great people, visit one of my favorite wine regions, drink a lot of wine.
A lot of wine.
Thus, a bit of a conundrum.
In the end, I decided to go, and my wonderful wife, who allowed (even encouraged) me to take this trip, agreed to drive me to the airport (well, I actually drove—insert Korean woman driving joke here) and along the way, both the boys fell asleep during the 20 minute drive. This is not all that unusual—in fact it is far rarer that they stay awake for even the shortest of journeys. Upon arriving at the terminal, I was faced with the conundrum of waking them to say goodbye. Luckily, my older son woke on his own and gave me a heartfelt goodbye. Sebastian, on the other hand, when I shook him a bit to rouse him from his slumber, emitted what most might consider a “fake” snore—that a five year-old might employ to try to fool (unsuccessfully) his parent into believing he were still asleep. I took this as a playful ploy, but despite several more shakes, he refused to open his eyes. So after embracing my wife, I reluctantly entered the terminal.
There was not much time to dawdle, so I made my way to the straight to the gate and was on the plane within 30 minutes or so. My wife (who is my own fantastic travel agent) had reserved me an exit row seat, which fits my 6’4” frame much more easily. [A side note: there is nothing that raises my ire more than seeing someone 5’0” in an exit row. Come on people, your feet dangle from the seat, there is no way you need the extra leg room.] Moments after settling into my seemingly relatively spacious 14” wide seat, the person who was to be sitting to my immediate right showed up.
She immediately asked me if I would mind trading seats with her husband, so that the two of them could sit together. Normally, I am a bit of a sucker for this type of request, particularly when I am traveling by myself. She then mentioned that his seat was located just one row behind.
In the middle seat.
You want me to give up my aisle seat with tons of leg room for a normal row middle seat?
At first, I thought she was joking, but she was clearly serious, waiting for my answer.
No conundrum here. I did feel like a bit of a jerk, but the middle seat?
I did not have to wait long to get my Karma payback: we were delayed for two hours on the tarmac without receiving any information as to why. Eventually, the pilot informed us that we were being rerouted due to weather, but he was a bit worried that we would not have enough fuel for the trip.
This sent the woman who wanted me to switch seats into near hysterics.
I was in store for a really fun flight.
We were in the air in a couple of minutes and soon the drinks cart was rolling my way. I was surprised to see that there were two “premium” wine choices, I opted for a bottle of what seemed to be appropriate.
Cost $16 (375 ml). Thus far, I have stayed away from the Conundrum wines. I am not sure why, but it has certainly something to do with the name. For me, a conundrum has a definite negative connotation–one generally tries to avoid them. They had two choices of half bottles for $16–this and the Meomi Pinot (don’t know how Wagner was able to corner the market but bully for them). Not a bad price for a half bottle and considering the schlock they were peddling for $7 a glass, this was a no-brainier. As for the wine? I see why they call it a conundrum. Not really sure what to think about it. There seems to be some Viognier, a bit of Sauvignon Blanc, and some Chard. Add in some residual sugar and you have ur puzzle. I don’t mind it (but next time I’ll get the Pinot), but I would rather have each of those wines individually. I feel this is less than the sum of its parts. Still, good to Very Good. 85-87 Points.