Sawgrass Women’s Club Happy Hour – Wine Tasting with Fess Parker

I love a good wine, don’t you? If you have the right wine paired with a delicious meal, every aspect of the experience is amplified. For a novice wine drinker like myself, it can be tough to tell the differences between wines, especially two that are similar, like a Syrah and Merlot. To a seasoned wine professional, like Bo Cure, our resident sommelier, telling the difference between these might be like describing peach pie to apple pie. It’s noticeable. Yes, they are both pie with fruit and a sweet flakey crust, but one will have a stronger flavor or maybe a more delicate texture.

Wine is something I’ve always wanted to learn more about. So, for our Sawgrass Women’s Club August happy hour gathering, we decided to host a wine tasting. It was so relaxing and fun. Bo and Donna coordinated the event. Bo solidified the wines and Donna handled everything else from decorations to food. We selected wines from Fess Parker, a popular collection of wines that are found on our menu at the Beach Club. Many are on the Uncorked list as well. Side note about Uncorked…Did you know that you can sign up for Sawgrass’s Wine Club? It’s called Uncorked, and being a member gets you special privileges like reduced pricing for wine dinners and a special wine menu where all bottles are just $20! Bo can tell you all about it. Reach out to him for more information at jcure@sawgrasscountryclub.com.

Sawgrass Wine Tasting

Wines we tasted

Bo made sure there was a nice variety of wines to choose from. Even though I may not be able to describe the tannins correctly, or taste the pepper or smokiness in the wine, I do know which I enjoy and which I do not! Having the wine experts there from Fess Parker was really helpful as they could say where the wine is from and what to expect when tasting it. We had about eight wines in all to taste. It was a great way to compare and contrast the wines and really nail down flavor profiles that we liked in wines. The snacks helped cleanse the palette and enhanced the flavors of the wine.

Here’s what we tasted:
G.H. Mumm Grand Cordon Brut
Ferrari Carano Fume Blanc
Girard Chardonnay Russian River Valley
Nielson Chardonnay
Jordan Chardonnay
M. Chapoutier Belleruche Rose
Jean-Luc Colombo “Rouge” Cotes du Rhone
Patz & Hall Pinot Noir
Clos de Los Siete Red Blend
Girard Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
Born of Fire Cabernet Sauvignon

I had two favorites, which I ended up purchasing after the event, the Girard Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley (notes of cocoa and raspberries) and the Clos de Los Siete Red Blend (sweet and smooth blend with mostly Malbec as well as Merlot, Cabernet and Syrah). Both were delicious and paired nicely with the meats and cheeses they served.

Safe to say we all had a great time! We had about 15 attend, and it was supposed to be over at 8:30, but we hung around until almost 10! I guess we really needed evening social time with friends!

The next Women’s Club event

Each month, the Women’s Club will be hosting an evening happy hour specifically for us younger women who want to get together in the evening. The Women’s Club offers a way to connect with women in your same season of life and learn and grow (and socialize) together!

Mark your calendars for September 19th, 6:30-8:30. We will be hosting a wine tasting featuring Spanish wines and appetizers.I can’t wait!

Cost is $20++. Sign up by calling the concierge.

Ambassador Program at Sawgrass Country Club

Dinner for four please! Great food and even better company made our Ambassador dinner a SUCCESS! Being an Ambassador is so fun, and it is an honor that Cory and I were asked to participate in the Ambassador Program at Sawgrass Country Club. Honestly, it was an easy decision. I love meeting new people and sharing my love for the club!

With 1,475 member households at Sawgrass, it is crucial that new members are welcomed to the club and introduced to families or couples that are in their same season of life as well as to the various staff members and pros that make our club amazing.

Sawgrass Ambassadors

Cory and I had the pleasure of meeting a new couple to the club, Ben and Greta Stamper. We went to dinner on a Wednesday (Wine Wednesday!), and had a great time! They have two littles (Freda, 6 and Oscar, 3) and they are both in the medical field. Ben is a pharmacist at UF Health, and Greta is an audiologist at Mayo Clinic. They’ve lived in the area for about five years, but joined the club earlier this year. They are loving it so far and have met some great families already!

What is expected from an Ambassador?

For new members, the biggest advantage of having an Ambassador is gaining a familiarity with the club. Ambassadors can help new members use our Sawgrass App and Foretees to reserve spots for dining experiences or to book tee-times for golf. It can take time to learn which Sawgrass dining locations are open when, what days the Tarpon room is open, or what’s on special during happy hour! We’ve been members for about a year and a half, and we still need to look things up occasionally. Sawgrass offers SO MUCH to members, and it really helps to have someone that can show you the ropes in the beginning.

In addition to talking through some of the basics, Ambassadors are also expected to:

  1. Attend Member Mixer events and other programs to engage new members.
  2. Act as an advocate of the club when asked to engage in a social or sporting activity with a new or prospective member.
  3. Be called upon (even with short notice) to be an Ambassador for the club.
  4. Contact the new or prospective member and invite them to a social or sporting activity.
  5. Reserve tee-times, court-times, or dining arrangements with the new or prospective member.
  6. Introduce the member to other members or member groups.
  7. Be available to the new member or prospect for any follow-up calls or E-mails.
  8. Inform the Membership Director of the planned time and date of the activity.
  9. Provide feedback to the Membership Director after the social or sporting activity.

If this sounds fun, keep reading to see how you can be an Ambassador!

How can you become an Ambassador?

If you are a positive, enthusiastic, and an active member of the club, you could be an Ambassador! It’s important that the club has a variety of Ambassadors because not everyone has similar interests or is in the same season of life. Because Cory and I use the Tarpon Room, we were able to give Greta and Ben details about childcare as well as telling them about some of our favorite family-friendly events.

If you’re interested, ask for the Ambassador form at the Concierge’s Desk at the Golf Clubhouse. Or, you can fill out the form on the Member’s Only website. You can also contact Janet Collins at jcollins@saawgrasscountryclub.com.

Once you become an Ambassador, you’ll be added to the list of possible Ambassadors for new or prospective members. Mary McGarrigle, the Ambassador Coordinator, will reach out by email when she has a new member that needs an Ambassador. In the email, she will give you information about the new member such as where they work, if they are retired, if they have children and their ages, and what interests they have around the club. It will then be up to the Ambassador to reach out to the new member to contact the new member and invite them to an activity. It could be a round of golf, dinner, or an experience like a Pub Crawl!

Our overall experience as an Ambassador has been fun! We’ve had the pleasure of welcoming several new members to the Sawgrass family and gained some fun and interesting new friends along the way!

Back to School Activities at Sawgrass

This school year, I will have a 1st grader and a 3rd grader. (How is that possible?) I saw so much growth last year and expect the same for the upcoming year.

Sawgrass Country Club

New seasons and school years always bring reflections in our house. What new chores are they ready to take on? How will their emotional and physical needs change this year? Even simple things like letting them go into the bathroom by themselves is a big deal, because anyone with a three-year-old knows this is a learned skill!

I can let them stay in the car (with the air on) if I need to run in Publix to pick up a couple of things where I would not have done this last summer. It’s about building a foundation of trust. For example, I let Will stay home by himself while I picked Wyatt up from a nearby summer camp. I definitely drove faster that day. 🙂 But it turned out fine! Will was in the same place I left him. My job is to keep them safe and secure, but also teach them what freedom is like a little bit at a time when it is age appropriate. 

All these things seem minimal, easy. But they are important milestones that will eventually get them to be independent adults. One day, my boys will drive cars, get married, and have children of their own…but for now, picking out clothes that match is a mountain that needs to be conquered! In fact, we worked on our “morning chores” list today. The picture below is what Will & Wyatt are responsible for every morning. Will came up with the list, and he and his brother will be expected to follow it. Hopefully, this means less badgering from me!

Chore List

We had such a good summer. We saw loads of family, took a few short trips to Tennessee, Alabama, and South Carolina, enjoyed lazy beach days, ate tons of ice cream, swam, went to various summer camps, and just spent time together. It was perfect. Wyatt also learned how to do a proper belly flop into the pool!

Sawgrass Country Club

Sawgrass Country Club Sawgrass Country Club Sawgrass Country Club Sawgrass Country Club

August Activities at Sawgrass

Looking ahead, I’m excited to meet their teachers and see what’s in store. Also, I’m looking forward to all the fun activities in August at the club.

Here’s a short list of things to sign up for this month:

Friday, August 9th 6pm – Back to School Triples – Head over to the courts for Triples! Play from 6-7, then enjoy pizza and beer after. $30++ Sign up on Foretees.

Monday, August 12th 9am – Bloody’s and “Momosas” – Join us at Topsider for $5 Bloody Marys, $5 Mimosas, and $3 biscuits to celebrate the kids going back to school! Call the concierge to sign up.

Thursday, August 15th 6:30-8:30 – Sawgrass Women’s Club Wine tasting – Join the Next Gen group as we celebrate the kids going back to school by getting together for a wine tasting! Cost is $20++ Sign up by calling the concierge. You can charge this to your member account, or if you are a member of the Women’s Club but not the country club, checks can be sent to Brittany Darling made out to the Sawgrass Women’s Club.

Friday August 30th 6-9pm – 80’s Night at the Beach Club – Join us for a blast from the past evening at our 80’s party. We will feature a DJ & dance floor as well as food stations. Cost is $36++ Sign up on Foretees. Costumes encouraged!

Saturday, August 31st 6-10pm – St. Augustine Pub Crawl – Come to St. Augustine and discover new bars and eateries! Ride down on a bus with Perry and other members! The bus leaves at 6pm and returns at 10pm. Cost is $36++ Sign up on Foretees!

For you moms with kids entering Kindergarten

Oh, this is a sweet time. I have been in your shoes twice, and it was hard both times. They go in so innocent and wild, and they come out reading and knowing words you wished they didn’t. It’s a big adjustment for them, and it’s a big adjustment for us too. When my oldest started school, I had anxiety about everything…I didn’t know how the car line worked, I was unsure about how to talk to his teacher, I didn’t know if he would eat lunch, I didn’t know how tired he would be, and I didn’t grasp how much he would learn and grow socially. But we learned together. I learned what he would eat in his lunch, what his teacher expected, and that car line is a science all of its own. If you drive through car line, you know what I mean!

I learned most of all that it was a season of letting go. There will be days where they fall and skin their little knee and someone else will give them a bandaid and comfort them. Someone else will give them a set of rules to follow and will hold them accountable. Someone else will tell them they can do what they set their mind to do. Others will encourage them and help them, but still others will hurt their feelings and be tough to get along with. And as a mom, this is hard. The mama bear comes out and wants to pummel whatever gets in their way. There’s certainly a time for that, but most of the time, it’s conversations about coping skills and teaching them that the world isn’t always kind but they have the tools to do something about it.

For you moms with kids starting middle school or high school, I’ve got nothing. Haha! I’m not there yet, but I imagine it’s even more letting go, more attitude, and even more potential for accomplishment.

Good luck moms, and hopefully I’ll see you around Sawgrass in August!