Breaking a Hard and Fast Rule with Rodney Strong

As many of you might know, I am fairly liberal (which is akin to calling the pope fairly Catholic), but when it comes right down to it, I think I am more Libertarian than anything else, simply because I hate telling people what to do. For the most part, I am a live and let live kind of guy, but there are a few exceptions when I opt to share my wisdom with others in hopes of changing their behavior:

  1. Always wear a bike helmet when riding. Always.
  2. Try for a kiss on the first date. No exceptions.
  3. Don’t enter the lottery. Ever.

Wearing a bike helmet makes sense—they are not heavy or obtrusive, the professionals in the sport are required to wear them, and falling without one at a dead stop could kill you. Yes, I know that one could extrapolate that last point out to justify wearing a helmet during nearly every aspect of human life (walking to work, taking a shower, having sex on an airplane), but wearing a helmet while riding (unlike the other cases listed) is an accepted practice. So do it.

You really should wear a helmet when taking selfies (I do).

I have been out of the dating scene for quite some time, but watching various television programs (I was going to list a few of the programs here, but I decided against avoid any potential ridicule) has only hardened my resolve that one (either male or female) should move in for the kill at the first opportunity. As some of you know, I had a very-near-death-experience seven years ago and I am of the firm belief that the time to live is now. Go for it.


Last, the odds of correctly picking 6 numbers out of 49 is just shy of 1 in 14 million. Winning the Powerball? 1 in 292 million. So things that are more likely:

  1. Becoming an astronaut: 1 in 12 million
  2. Dying from a bee, hornet or wasp sting: 1 in 6.1 million
  3. Getting Struck by Lightning: 1 in 1 million
  4. Becoming President of the U.S.: 1 in 10 million
  5. Getting canonized: 1 in 20 million

In other words, your odds of practically anything else happening are better than winning the lottery. This is why, as a self-described statistician, I firmly believe that the lottery is a tax on people who can’t do math. And don’t try and give me the “but I always buy 100 tickets” argument. When you buy one Powerball ticket, you have a 0.00000034% chance of winning. Buy 100 tickets? 0.000034% chance of winning.

I know what you are thinking….

What does any of this have to do with wine?

Not much (although it could help with that killer move on your first date), but hang in there a bit longer.

Sweepstakes, in my opinion, are just a small step better than the Lottery, but it is impossible to list the odds since it always depends on the number of entrants. The good part about Sweepstakes is that they are usually free, but they usually require an email address, or worse, a phone number, and we all know what happens next.


And this is a big one.

There is a Sweepstakes you should definitely enter:

The Rodney Strong Vineyards Master Blender Sweepstakes

Why? Well, a few weeks ago, I joined a few other writers for a few days with the fine people of Rodney Strong to experience what the winners of the The Rodney Strong Vineyards Master Blender Sweepstakes would encounter.


Round-trip airfare, accommodations at a beautiful hotel in Healdsburg, tours of the winery and vineyards, dining at incredible local restaurants, a dinner at the winery created by Rodney Strong Chef Tara Wachtel.

Perhaps the best part of the entire couple of days is learning about and making your own Meritage blend with actual Rodney Strong wines.

Learning about the region, wines, and blends with Certified Sommelier Rachel Voorhees and winemaker Greg Morthole (not pictured).

In the end, there was a competition for the best blend (which I will talk about more in a future post), which I did not win. I did, however, make fast friends with the other “competitors.”

The “competition” Carol Jones (, Jana Seitzer (, and Sara Lehman ( Not pictured Mary Cressler (

So while it goes against virtually every fiber of my didactic being, you really should enter this Sweepstakes. And put on your bike helmet when you enter, just to be safe.


About the drunken cyclist

I have been an occasional cycling tour guide in Europe for the past 20 years, visiting most of the wine regions of France. Through this "job" I developed a love for wine and the stories that often accompany the pulling of a cork. I live in Houston with my lovely wife and two wonderful sons.
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6 Responses to Breaking a Hard and Fast Rule with Rodney Strong

  1. Steve Ragan says:

    I almost died from a bee sting. Otherwise, I’m in complete agreement.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bike helmets are definitely important. Especially on vineyard bike tour days. If you win hopefully you can get a bike tour in. Maybe with a first date…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yeah, I’ve never played the lottery. Why would I voluntarily pay more taxes to the state? That’s what it is, essentially. No thanks. Have fun with the wine.

    Liked by 1 person

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