Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline October 2016

The Steering Column

David Novak
Left Hand Drive
from our President
What can I say. I’ve still got a bit of a tan from the Wine, Cheese, and Beer Tour. Special thanks to Russ and Ralph for setting it up, and ordering such perfect weather. However, like the Tour, all good things must come to an end. It pains me to tell you this, dear reader, but the summer is drawing to a close. Yes, I know; there wasn’t enough of it. Such is ebb and flow of life in the Midwest.

When I was a child, my favorite time of year was always winter. So much to do -- skiing, sledding, getting stuck on the school bus because it slid into a ditch on the poorly plowed dirt road that wound between my house and the school. Ah… Good times. However now that I have to drive myself to and fro’ in the winter months, and I live in a state that is only slightly hillier than Nebraska (proven, by science, to be flatter than a standard pancake), I find that much of the sparkle that my young eye had for the colder months, has left me. Now that I can drive myself, in a small, old, topless British ragtop, I find that I have less and less use for the cold months!

Please, dear reader, do not despair at the approach of winter. Instead, think of it as a time of rest, and recovery. In other words, time to fix the things that broke, wore out, or need general fiddling. Personally, I try to keep my cars in a state of constant readiness, should the need to sprint to Wisconsin to pick up a 6-pack of Spotted Cow arise (It’s happened; more than I care to admit). So Winter is the perfect time to do those things that may take the MG off the road for a little while, since the B is not going to see the salt of an Illinois winter! Now I need to check if I need to wax and sharpen my skis. Oh, and find a mountain in Illinois!

-- Dave Novak      

Auto Appraisal Group

Ray Hansen The Steering Column
Right Hand Drive  
from our Vice-President  
Do you remember Labor Day Weekend? That was that picture-perfect, driving-perfect weekend that was just beckoning us all out for an MG cruise to somewhere and anywhere. Since we could not find Somewhere nor Anywhere on our map, Susan and I headed out for one of our all time favorite vineyards and wineries, Staller Estates located in Delavan, Wisconsin. I believe we have been aware of this little gem for about eight or nine years with at least an annual visit to see what is new and to restock some of our favorite wines, one of which is a red wine named Lady in Red. It is not only an excellent drinking wine, but Susan also makes a beef dish using this wine as one of the ingredients. She obtained the recipe from the owner of the winery who once offered recipes on their website.

A stand-out memory from one of our first visits to Staller Estates is that we were greeted by the owners who were covered in purple juice pretty much from head to toe. It was grape-harvesting time, and since they are a family owned business, they are a part of every process to produce the wines like Lady in Red. The owners are a young(ish) couple, certainly younger than I, who started with a very small production and have successfully grown their business, including an enclosed porch addition with seating, a number of outside tables to accommodate guests who want to enjoy their wine in the vineyards, and our most recent visit showed signs of a new structure going up on the grounds, maybe a larger wine producing building. They host wine pairings, music, and dinner events and offer cheese, sausage and bread plates to enjoy with a glass or bottle of wine. We have kind of taken on a little smug feeling that we knew them “when”. It is nice to see young people achieve success from hard work, lots of energy, a dream, and not to mention purple skin.

Here is a picture of Susan and I while enjoying a beautiful Sunday in the vineyards with a bottle of wine. We tried taking a selfie. However, our bickering over which way to take the picture, vertical or horizontal was interrupted by a kind observer who offered to take the picture for us. Nothing like feeling really old and incompetent.

So, here's to good wines, good memories and Sunday drives.

~~ Ray Hansen & Maggie    
(AKA Little Red)

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