How do you define a winery? This is hard to quantify, but I do have my own definition.
A winery, to me, is any entitiy that produces wine. I know this may sound simple, but that is what makes it fun. You can add all of the legal jargon you want to it, but at a base level, does it produce wine? Whether it is a garage in San Diego, a small building in the hills of North Carolina, or on a few thousand acres in Washington State...what truly defines a winery is the wines produced and the people that surround them. What makes people stand up and take notice of a winery is those associated with the winery. Wineries can have on and off years....others are touch and go from the beginning. So I ask you, when looking for a definition, go beyond the stone structure and look at who is behind the scenes.
One thing that I have noticed about Valentine's Day is the high expectations we hold for this holiday (similar to New Year's Eve). We expect such perfection on this evening that it is sometimes difficult to meet the standards we have set.
Everyone wants to go out and have a great experience. Perfect food, perfect service and no problems attached...well this can be difficult for restaurants. Not all are equipped to deal with several tables of two- so you need to realize that your server may have many of these tables and the kitchen may be a little overwhelmed. So take a deep breath, be patient, and realize the reason you are really there- to celebrate with the one you love. Here are three recommendations for a fantastic Valentine's Day:
1) Do not have unrealistic expectations
2) Drink some champagne or a sweet wine (Banfi Rosa Regale, Dolce) with your dessert.
3) Look for specials...For example, one of my local restaurants is offering two steaks, crabcakes, dessert and a bottle of wine in a box. All you have to do is drop by and pick it up for a great evening at home.