When I think of Pittsburgh, abrasive Yinzers yelling about football, Mr. Rogers, and pot holes are among the first things that come to mind. Not wineries. In fact, I didn’t even know that a winery existed so close to Pittsburgh until two weeks ago when Corey and I were looking for things to tour and found the Narcisi Winery in Gibsonia! And then some of my friends had either been there or said that they heard of it, so I felt confident that this wasn’t going to be just a grape graveyard in some beer-bellied hillbilly’s backyard shed.
Our tour was scheduled for 10:30 Sunday morning, and we somehow made it there promptly without getting lost, no thanks to Henry who refused to give us directions as part of an experiment to make us grow our wings. Thank god for GPS.
There was a small group of women who walked in right before us and I felt relieved that this probably meant the tour was legit. Everyone immediately stopped in an awkward cluster on the other side of the entrance, and that’s where we stood until the BROAD emerged from the back and told us we could go stand in the gift shop, probably because she didn’t want to have to stand there and look at us. Corey and I looked at each other with wide and knowing eyes because OMG THE BROAD! So then we all moved into the gift shop where we could at least spread out from an awkward cluster into more of an awkward dotting.
Meanwhile, Corey had decided he hated all of the women right off the bat. Wow, that really reminds me of someone….
“Especially the one with the bangs,” he muttered. “Oh wait, there are several with bangs. The one that looks like that bitch from The Terminator, then. Sarah Connor.”
And I knew exactly who he was talking about because SHE DID LOOK LIKE SARAH CONNOR.
A younger couple showed up after awhile, and they seemed pretty inoffensive, and then more people arrived for the Bangs Party. “Oh, I think I know her,” Corey mumbled while quickly pivoting out of sight. He didn’t say anything else after that though so I figured he was just pretending to be a Pittsburgh Celebrity. The Bangs Party had grown into a group of about 8, mostly older bitchy women, but the group was also interspersed with a few younger ones holding Kate Spade clutches, too. It appeared to be a party of some sort, which I deduced after my hyper-observational skills noticed some of the broads arrived with GIFT BAGS. So then I decided I would hate them, too. Sibling solidarity and all that.
And then Broad emerged from a side door and said hi to us! To just Corey and me!! Like we’re celebriwinos! (If that wasn’t already a thing, it is now.)
Suddenly, Corey began to have a mild anxiety attack. “Wait—when we do the wine tasting, are we supposed to spit?”
I shrugged, because although I’m quite decorated in the whole spit/swallow debate, I have never been to a real life wine tasting. While Corey Googled, “to spit or not to spit at a wine tasting,” I started to picture several scenarios of me spitting wine back into a spittoon, one of which resembled wine spurting out of my mouth like water from a firehose, and I promptly decided that no matter what, I would just swallow. Unless there was an option to spit into a Kate Spade.
We must have been left to wither away in the gift shop for a good half hour staring at wine-relevant novelty items like wine charms and bottle stoppers before ROBERTO finally came out and started the tour by dripping his hot, velvety* Italian accent all over our faces. I imprinted with him almost immediately, but let’s be real here, we all knew I would.
*(Not to be confused with hot Velveeta. Although now I’m picturing him covered in hot Velveeta AND IT AIN’T BAD.)
He was thankfully not an old man like I had been anticipating, but somewhere probably in his late 30s/early 40s with a beautiful shock of perfectly manicured Italian hair and probably a Vespa in his garage, if you know what I mean.
(Do you? Because I don’t really.)
Over top of a loud Frank Sinatra jam, Roberto began telling us the history of the winery. Here is what I learned:
- It was opened in 200-something when the Narcisi family moved here from Somewhere, Italy.
- Roberto also moved here from Italy in 2006.
- He is not a Narcisi
- But I am in love with him still
- His accent, OMG
- They grow some grapes on the premises. Other grapes are grown somewhere else.
- Lake Erie, I think
- Roberto is fucking Italiamazing.
Then the tour moved into a warehouse-like room with big tanks and more talk about wine, a lot of which I had a hard time hearing over the bombastic Michael Buble Pandora station. I took pleasure in cutting off Corey’s Enemies-With-Bangs on the way out to the tank room, because it was a race, after all.
It’s always a race.
In this room we learned how wine is made and Roberto really started to get into his wine zone and even began telling some jokes, all of which I laughed SUPER HARD at while maintaining rape-y eye contact with him.
A LIVE RECORDING of Edwin McCain’s diarrhea-inducing hit “I’ll Be” came on and I wanted to curl up in one of those tanks and die a slow, drunken death. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, various members of the Bangs Party began ASKING QUESTIONS.
In particular, Shirley MacLaine’s doppelganger asked, “Which wine has the least amount of sugar? Like for, say, a diabetic.”
Roberto answered, “Any dry wine. Dry wines actually have zero sugar in them. Are you a diabetic?”
Shirley MacLaine, confused: “No.”
Roberto went on to explain the mysteries of dry wines and fermentation and other things that I couldn’t hear very well on account of the noxious collective fumes of the Bangs Party perfume penetrating every orifice of my body.
Shirley MacLaine interrupted. “But which dry wine has the least amount of sugar?”
Roberto: “None of them have sugar.”
Shirley MacLaine: “Yes, but which has the LEAST?”
Roberto: “Literally, all dry wines have zero sugar.”
Shirley MacLaine: “So, like a Cabernet—-”
Roberto: “If it is dry, that means it has no sugar.”
Shirley MacLaine: “So—-”
LOOK LADY, ALL DRY WINES ARE AS DRY AS YOU, SO STFU.
I couldn’t make eye contact with Corey at all during this because I knew I would start choking on throaty laughter.
And then one of the younger members of the Bangs Party decided to ask a question just to hear herself talk, and it was so pointless. “How many employees do you have here?” she asked. WHO CARES? WHEN DO WE DRINK??!
Then we looked at a bottling machine while the Bangs Party People said things like, “Oh wow” and “Huh” before it was finally time for the wine tasting.
P.S. Erin + Roberto 4ever.
[Up next: Part 2, where we move the tour upstairs for the wine tasting, eat a Tuscan sundae and INTERACT WITH THE BROAD.]