If you have ever cringed at the idea of going to a party alone, knowing you didn’t know a soul there, well I feel it too! But I learned of a wine/dinner with Caymus wines at the Hyatt in Scottsdale I recently stayed at and really wanted to attend. I talked to the concierge and asked if she would reserve 2 seats if they were still available. I made a quick call to my (wine lover), friend Annette to see if she would like to go, but no, she was ill.
An hour later concierge called me to say that yes two seats were reserved, and I responded that I wanted to come but would have to go solo. She encouraged me to go either way. She said the setting will be one long harvest style table, not smaller tables of 4, 6 or 8. “Fine, I am going!” I told her.
To be ready for the party at 6.30 I started freshening up hair and makeup at 5. Things came together well and I stuck with simple makeup, with just a hint of smokey-ness to the eye. I have been anxious to wear a new beige pleated M Korrs skirt, long (nearly to my ankle), light and flowy with an irregular hem at the front and back. With a tucked in a plum color tank top and chunky flat espadrilles with colorful flowers on the toes it was a perfect casual yet elegant outfit, both feminine and fun.
I made my way to the rear yard of the Hyatt, overlooking the pools. This garden is wonderful and the long table was centered by palm trees, water features, and other plantings. The long table for 26 people was set, with wine glasses lined up everywhere. The chef's table was a short distance away and the Caymus table closer by. I had barely approached the near center of the group and flute of champagne was handed to me. Most everyone was on time and already talking in groups of 3 and 4. I stood alone for a minute just taking it all in and one woman came over said hi, and complimented my outfit. I returned the compliment and we chatted for a couple minutes before she wandered off for food. Seconds later a woman (2 inches taller than me, (I am 5;8"), who was the host for the winemaker stepped toward me and asked how I got such great arms and what would she have to do to have them? I laughed and we talked fitness for quite a while. She was very fit and looked great in her LBD. Soon her husband came over and introduced himself. He is an immigrant from Scotland 20 plus years ago, with his wonderful accent and a great sense of humor!
In minutes it was time to sit, my new friend insisted I sit with her and her husband, so I did - to her right. Another man held my chair as I sat down. To my right was a young woman of only 28 years, new to the business world and anxious to do well. (She was so cute!) So, to my surprise and pleasure, I had two lovely gals to talk with along with the other guests who were all in good spirits and having fun. I have been to many wine dinners and know my wines, but this was one of the best with 4 excellent courses paired with the wine very nicely.
As dinner was nearing an end, several of us got up and traded seats to converse with others we found interesting. I zeroed in on one woman opposite me who had great stories about her Dad in WW2. I love history and her pictures of her Father as a young soldier were handsome and bittersweet when one considers the horrors of what he may have seen.
I also got an introductory lesson in drinking Scotch (laced with jokes), from my Scottish friend who insisted there was more to life than just wine! At one point, we traded one-liners and I was nearly crying with laughter!
What a delight this party was; to meet so many nice people, see so many smiles, hear fun stories and return kind compliments to both the men and women.
Update: Hey, and my young 28-year-old friend called and took me to lunch about a week after the wine dinner, and we had a very nice time/talk!