September 1, 2010

Bar Belle: Stompin’ ain’t easy

For as much time as I spend enjoying the drink, I often feel a need to educate myself on the drink. Where is it made? How is it made? What is it made of? Where do the flavors come from? Why does it make me put a lampshade on my head when I’ve had too many?

So when the friendly folks from the Swiss Wine Festival in Vevay, Ind., contacted me to be in their media grape-stomping competition, I agreed without hesitation. Where else was I going to get feet-on experience making wine? I’ve had wine that tasted like feet, but I’ve never gotten to experience what it feels like to crush grapes under my foot, to feel the slimy yet soft, juicy skin squish between my toes.

I showed up in Vevay last Saturday for said competition and found out I was battling it out with 16 other stompers. I brought along my friend Matt as my “swabber” — the person who keeps the grape juice flowing smoothly out of the hole in the bucket. We got to play for a charity, so I chose the Fairness Campaign. I didn’t think I had a shot, this being my rookie year and all, but I was bound and determined to channel my inner Lucy and get my stomp on … and have fun while doing it. Plus, I figured it’s a wine festival, so the chance that wine would be flowing from water fountains was high.

When the announcer called my name to get on stage, my nerves raged like the cast of “Jersey Shore” on “Soul Train.” My only plan of attack was to stomp as fast as I could while at the same time funneling the juice toward my swabber. Like many mornings spent in college, it was sticky, wet and unfamiliar. All eyes were on me as I Flashdanced in a bucket of grapes. Those were the longest two minutes of my life, not counting that one time in a bathroom in Vegas. When all was said and done and the grape dust had cleared, I, the humble rookie from Louisville, nabbed second place with 13 1/3 cups of juice. Men twice my size cried in their buckets. I celebrated with a glass or four of wine. My work was done here.

7th Annual Pub Crawl

The good news: The seventh annual Gettin’ Drunky in Kentucky Pub Crawl will be stumbling through the Highlands as scheduled on Saturday, Sept. 11. The bad news: The Original Highlands Fest is not happening that weekend, so Baxter Avenue will not be closed to traffic. Walkers will have to take time out of their busy schedules to look both ways when crossing over to Molly Malone’s and Wick’s. Some see it as a setback, but I see it as a welcome challenge. Plus, the act of looking both right and left and then having to wait for traffic to clear will give the liver at least 15 more seconds to process the last drink. So while we’re risking our lives crossing traffic, we’re helping our bodies keep us upright.

For the rookies out there, the Gettin’ Drunky in Kentucky Crawl starts at the Outlook Inn at 7 p.m. and ends at Bearno’s Highlands. Participants are encouraged to stop at each bar along the way — 13 total this year. The crawl is open to anyone, and T-shirts are available for $10. Just like the Triple Crown, I would advise a training schedule that should start immediately.

Drunk Texts of the Week

•my hair is tits

•somebdy left HUGE bar stool n tht toilet!!

•she goes off lke a summer thunderstorm

•Im a member of the back doors mile-hi club

•no sex makes my skin cry

Send ur drunk txts to shavens@leoweekly.comCheck out daily reasons to drink at barbelle.leoweekly.com