Winding, wining and winning with no whining

We left our apartment at 8:30 and walked to the Hilton hotel where our tour guide, Sasha, would pick us up. As we waited, multiple groups approached us and asked, “Are you going kayaking?”, “Are you on the hiking tour?” or “Is this the group for the Montenegro historical tour?”

To each, we both responded, “We are on the wine tour………. Yes, we are going on an all day wine tour.”

Around 9:00, Sasha arrived with three other fun guests; two from Ireland and one from Australia. We then set-off north.

The drive was beautiful. We meandered along the coast and took in all of the breathtaking scenery. Nothing was planned and we did what we wanted, when we wanted. Around 10:00, we got warm so we pulled off to the side of the road and swam in crystal clear water on a pristine beach. Around 11:30, we got hungry, so we pulled over and ate oysters minutes after they were hoisted from the sea.

Around 2:00, we arrived at our first winery. The owner’s son walked us through an underground cellar containing barrels of wine dating as far back as WWII. Afterwards, we sipped four types of wine and chatted.

By 4:30, we made our way to the third winery located in an abandoned town just off the road. As we pulled in, the owner appeared and warmly welcomed us to his “home”.

When we walked in, I was immediately at ease. This was not the stale winery with uncomfortable stools or a standing counter, but there were plush couches and a homey feel.

He poured us wine but seemed more interested in talking. We learned about his culture and family, and he asked about ours. Around 5:30, he stood-up and exclaimed, “I’ve got something you should try. I think you will like it”.

He returned with a bottle of whisky that was surprisingly smooth. I immediately said, “My brother would love this. How much is a bottle.”

The friendly owner replied, “Oh, this is not for sale. We just make it for fun now and I thought you would like it.”

Wow, it was nice to meet someone this welcoming. And he was not trying to sell us anything.

We made it to our last winery by 6:30. It was the fanciest one with the most famous grape varieties. Near the end, the owner said, “I normally don’t do this, but would you like to try our superior wine?”

Sasha’s eyes opened wide and he whispered, “Wow, wow, wow, I can’t believe this. It is amazing and it sells for several hundreds of dollars per bottle.”

He was right. We all loved it and felt like we won the lottery.

By the time we finished our last sip of wine at 7:30, we were all ravenous and headed to a local restaurant on the water. After we put in our orders, the waitress suggested we all go swimming on the private beach. She would come get us when the food was ready.

We all raced down and plunged in. It was perfectly refreshing.

At 8:30, our food was on the table. I hesitantly looked at my whole grilled octopus (head and tentacles undisturbed… just pulled from the water and thrown on the grill) but then started eating. Surprisingly, it tasted great and had a texture similar to squid.

After dinner, we piled back in the van and arrived back at our apartment just before midnight.

It was a great day. Our entire group was like minded and had no preconceived notions. We went with the flow, nobody complained and we all had a memorable time.


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