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A funny thing happened on the way to the tasting room.

2009 July 21
by Eric Hwang

20091160Congratulations to Hardy Wallace as the well-deserved winner of the Murphy-Goode job. I wish him the best as he takes on what I believe is a very challenging role. I also thank Dave Ready Jr. and all the great folks at Murphy-Goode for an exciting and enjoyable weekend in Healdsburg. I was sorry to see the fun end, but obviously, life goes on.

Despite what appeared to be fun and games this past weekend at the final interviews with Murphy-Goode, nearly every activity was a competition designed to bring out our hidden talents, as well as see how we worked as a team and if we would be a fit with their culture. One such activity was to go and distribute complimentary tasting coupons and try to bring the most people into the winery. Each coupon had our initials written on it so they could track the results.

So on Sunday afternoon, I stepped out into the 95 degree heat of the mid-afternoon and began approaching strangers to convince them to come to the MG tasting room for not only a free tasting but to also help me get the most recorded visits. I had managed to distribute about half the coupons and was standing on the corner by the Healdsburg bar and grill when a group of rather attractive women came by. When I stopped them to ask if they were interested in a free tasting, one of them in a little black dress said that, in fact, they were on their way to do just that. Nonetheless, she took my coupons and headed toward the tasting room.

I finished handing out the rest of my coupons and had to quickly make my way to the tasting room for my “shift” to work the tasting room that afternoon. Placing myself behind the main counter, I immediately noticed the woman in the little black dress and one of her friends at the counter. I introduced myself and she introduced herself as Jennifer. I thanked her for coming in and obviously didn’t notice that she seemed to know many of the people who worked there. During the course of the conversation, the MB job came up along with Liar’s Dice and Texas Hold ‘em. I said that I knew how to play but that I wasn’t that good at it. She asked why and I told her that I had obvious “tells.” She innocently asked, “Such as what?”

I proceeded to tell her that I crinkle my brow when I have a bad hand and that I tend to blink too much if I have a good hand. We laughed about it and I didn’t give it a second thought. Another local guy approached the counter and Jennifer and her friend left. As they walked out the door, several of the men at the counter turned to admire them and I shook my head in approval. The local guy chuckled and asked, “Do you know who that is? That’s Dave Ready Jr’s wife.”

I laughed and couldn’t believe that she had managed to play the spy and find out what my tells are. Later that day, when I ran into Dave, he approached me and said with a laugh that I don’t stand a chance because he knew all my tells now. He was right. I lost at Liar’s Dice right away. Luckily, he was the dealer the next night for Texas Hold ‘em and since I didn’t play against him, I finally won.

Moral of the story: Don’t get taken in by a pretty girl.

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