Two summers ago, I was in the land of Don Quijote—La Mancha, Spain; a dry, vast, anciently enchanting part of the country. One day, my fellow travel buddies and I decided to venture to a local well-known winery, known for its unique growing, cultivating, and tasting experience. Tucked away in the small town of Valdepeñas, La Bodega de Las Estrellas (The Winery of the Stars) would change my view on wine and horoscopes forever.
Despite going into it skeptical, thinking it sounded like a touristic mumbo jumbo trap, I was willing to go along for the ride, and of course, the wine. Upon arriving, we were greeted by an older gentleman; the owner and founder of the winery. He was a serious man who radiated passion for his wine and astrology. We toured the grounds as he told us that he grew and cultivated his grapes around the astrological calendar, meaning grapes picked during certain months would be favored by people who shared that month's horoscope. At this point, I was intrigued, but definitely not sold by any means. We were led through the entire facility as we ultimately ended up at a planetarium. Apparently it was the only winery in the world with its own planetarium. We all crawled inside the dark dome and were instructed to sit on the floor looking up. I was entranced. The entire night sky was soon beautifully projected around us. With immense detail, he explained every horoscope, the origin, their meaning, tendencies, personalities, etc. By the end of it all, we were fully educated and deemed ready to enter the tasting room.
By this point, I was completely engaged, and eager to taste his unique wine. He escorted us to the main dining room where we all sat around a long table. In front of us were six glasses of wine ranging from light crisp white wines to a bold red wine. He guided us through the proper tasting of each one, refreshing our palate between each sip with bread and charcuterie. Alas, we had tried them all, and we were definitely buzzed. He told us to choose our favorite wine, and this is where my mind was completely blown.
I was the first one up and I had chosen a deep, dry, but beautiful red wine. He analyzed my choice and quickly told me "you're a Virgo." He was right. I couldn't believe it! Then, one by one, he went down the table and told everyone their sign solely based on the wine they chose. I was in complete disbelief. We were all speechless—it felt like magic. He calmly told us he was not performing some elaborate trick, but merely reading our signs. It was incredible. I was convinced, inspired, and humbled by it all.
As the wine tasting ended and we all did our personal wine and souvenir shopping, we prepared to leave. I thanked the gentleman and told him how divine of an experience the entire day was. I told him I almost chose another wine and wondered if he would have still known my horoscope. He told me, "I knew you were a Virgo when you first arrived." He smiled and continued, "by the way, if you ever want a job, come work with us. We could use a Virgo around here." He escorted us to the exit, and we thanked him for the experience of a lifetime.
I left tipsy and stunned. I had a whole new understanding of my wine taste buds, a reason to believe in horoscopes, and a job offer in Spain.