Last weekend, I went down to see my friends Laura & Nick in Morristown, MN (population: 981, although I don't know if they've updated that since Laura & Nick moved there so now it might be 983). It was so great to get to spend a few days visiting with them - we've bumped into each other briefly a few times over the last few years, but usually that's just consisted of me showing up in Minneapolis and crashing on their couch for the night. Having a little time to talk stupid and watch dumb YouTube clips and pick terrible songs off of bar jukeboxes (hey, if they didn't want to hear the theme from Schindler's List, they wouldn't have it on there) was magical.
Also magical: a winery down the way was having a grape-stomping contest.
(Thank goodness for the handlebars.)
Each team got a big plastic bin to stand in, ten pounds of grapes (from the supermarket, we discovered, gasp), and three minutes to stomp. We didn't have much of a strategy going in, other than "don't fall down."
The next step was to pour your juice & grape entrails into a strainer, where a judge would let it drip for one minute. Whatever strained through the Official Strainer in one minute went into the Sophisticated Measuring Apparatus (aka, plastic thing you can buy at the dollar store), and that's how we were scored.
It was shortly after our juice was measured that we realized, hey - if you hold back your grape entrails while you pour your juice into the Official Strainer, you get more juice in the bucket since it doesn't have to trickle down through the grape guts. Unfortunately, everyone waiting in line behind us seemed to figure that out right around the same time we did...and that's probably why we came in at 25th place (out of 40).
Next time, our strategy'll include long pants, plastic tubing and Juicy Juice boxes in our pockets.
Oh, well. At least we got to drown our sorrows in cupcakes. And wine. The two-buck chuck variety. Which we didn't have to stomp ourselves.