Yesterday, after working like dogs in the backyard, Steve and I cleaned up and drove over to the [Brown Derby Wine Center](http://www.brownderby.com/) for their Saturday tasting. We’ve become friends with Nancy and Tracy, who work at the cheese counter, and Don, the tasting pourer. Don has a love and appreciation for good wines and beers and is always helpful in recommendations. Plus, he lets us taste cool new things that aren’t readily available like a special beer from the Schlafly brewery in St. Louis. To say thanks, we took Don some beer from the Millstream Brewery in Iowa that isn’t sold here. Yesterday, Don asked us if we were in a hurry to leave the tasting, which ended at 4 p.m., or if we wanted to stick around and enjoy something special. Of course we were game. It was then that Don introduced us to the back room tasting that was going on in the private tasting room. Brown Derby owner Ron Junge hosts this event each Saturday with a small, select group of his friends and good customers. I have no idea how the hell we ended up there. Don took us back, introduced us to the group (I knew a couple of them) and told us we could sample the wines from their personal cellars. It was a surreal experience. The wines are placed in decanters and everyone tastes them and tries to guess what they are. Then the person who brought the wine reveals it once everyone has a go at guessing. If you want to participate, you offer your own bottle for the group (we didn’t know this in the beginning but Ron and Don explained it). Upon Don’s recommendation, we offered a mid-price pinot noir which I thought was pretty good, but another person brought a pinot that was excellent. The whole time I’m thinking to myself, “What in the hell am I doing here? I’m completely out of my element.” Everyone was really nice, but I don’t think this is something Steve and I will be participating in regularly. First of all, these people are connoisseurs and we’re just drinkers. Second, they seem to favor wines that are out of our normal price range (over $20). Third, I just felt out of place. Give me our annual wine tasting party where everyone laughs and brings cheap wine and I’ll be more comfortable!