Being that I’ve been sober for eight months, a winery might be the last place you might think you would see me. The thing is, I love wine. I love the social aspects of it and all that goes into creating it.
When I drank it, I drank too much of it. I have both Grave’s disease and Hashimoto’s, two autoimmune diseases, which are made worse when consuming alcohol or foods that cause inflammation. This is why I had to break up with wine and I eat a diet that is Paleo, which is also anti-inflamatory.
My quality of life has improved by leaps and bounds since I’ve made these changes. It’s taken work and a big change in my habits, but I’m worth it.
My love of wine and the process of making wine has not waned. I’ve been feeling more confident in my new habits and thought it was time to see if I could return to the wine lifestyle without actually consuming it.
This is how I found myself pouring wine at Schram Vineyards Winery & Brewery in Waconia. They have a wonderful wine club program with all kinds of perks, plus they are the first winery and brewery combo in the state of Minnesota. If that’s not a relationship saver for some, I don’t know what is. Time and time again I’ve met couples where one loves beer and one loves wine. Schram is going to save relationships.
What I like about Schram is it is unpretentious, warm and welcoming. They have live music most weekends and are open year-round. You can walk in, enjoy a beverage while enjoying a beautiful view of their vineyard. I felt comfortable being there, even though I wasn’t drinking alcohol. They have other non-alcoholic beverages as well.
A friend of mine works for Schram and set me up to bartend during a recent wine club event. It was so much fun! Wine club members enjoyed a tasting of multiple wines made locally by Schram, while they also picked up wine to take home. I was able to learn about the locally grown grapes and see where they store and make the wine.
It was an evening of enjoying everything I love about wine, without actually consuming it. There was great a mix of people, even families. The vineyard was covered in snow, but still absolutely beautiful. I can’t wait to see and explore it during summer.
You can feel the heart and soul that owners Aaron and Ashley Schram have put into the place. I can’t believe I had never been there. There is so much to do and experience. From Bocce ball to wine pairings for Girl Scout Cookies, it seems there is something for everyone throughout the year.
As a non-drinker it’s wonderful to have a place to go where I can enjoy many of the social activities around drinking alcohol and not feel like I’m missing out. What’s important is the time with friends, enjoying each other’s company and having fun.
Knowing I can still do this while maintaining my health makes me very happy.
My adventures in living life perfectly imperfect are featured in the Sun Sailor, The Lakeshore Weekly News and South Lake Neighbors Magazine.