Diane Becker, "Country Life"

Since COVID became a thing, I’ve been joining clubs right and left. There are benefits to joining a club. If you pick the right one, you’ll probably meet people who share your same interests and ideally, you’ll learn about something other than the current coronavirus numbers.

I joined a wine club early on in the pandemic. I’ve since found out a lot of people thought being in a wine club would be a great distraction while we’re hanging around home avoiding crowds. As part of this wine club, every month I receive a selection of wine delivered to our front door with a detailed description as to its origin, taste (ex. oak or black cherry) and food pairing.

I tried to read all the wine educational material I received, but it was a little much. I didn’t distinguish the “aggressive savory flavor” of the cabernet from the “dominant Bordeaux” varieties.

Still, I tasted wines I otherwise would not have, and I got them at a discount to boot. I did find I couldn’t keep up with all the wine that was being delivered to our house, so regretfully I had to leave the club. However, I learned I love basic red wine, and since joining the club, I found I am more confident ordering a sauvignon at a restaurant instead of staying with the more safe Riesling choice.

Thanks to my coffee bean club, this week we’ve enjoyed Guatemalan and Chilean coffee. So far, I’m able to keep up with the monthly shipments of coffee beans from all over the world. After they are ground and brewed, I can discuss these coffees in online forums, which I haven’t visited yet, as I’m still trying to discern the “chocolate and hint of blackberry” notes that I’m supposed to be tasting. It’s all really good coffee that, again, we wouldn’t be trying without belonging to a coffee club. We are certainly drinking more beverages this last year, including more exotic teas, although I’ve haven’t joined a tea club yet.

One of the most enjoyable clubs I’ve joined this past year is a book club. It’s free since the library supplies the members with the books for that month’s reading. I’d rather read a book than watch TV, so it’s intriguing to read a unique book that I wouldn’t have chosen on my own. I’ve been pleasantly surprised to read books with a wide variety of topics. Members of the book club then get together at the library or online to discuss the monthly book choice. This may be my favorite club I belong to, and if they paired a new coffee or wine selection each month, I could quit my other clubs and be set.

You can’t beat a good club. If you haven’t done so yet, you may want to join a club or two this month and learn something you didn’t know.


In other news

LINCOLN — The Humphrey St. Francis Flyers finally achieved what has seemed just out of reach over the past decade and a half, winning their first state championship since 2007 by beating the Falls City Sacred Heart Irish 57-48 in the Class D2 finals on Saturday afternoon at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

LINCOLN - If Cinderella’s time ran out on Winnebago in the Nebraska State Class C1 Girls Basketball Tournament Friday at Pinnacle Bank Arena, the tank went dry Saturday morning in the consolation game here at Ed Johnson Gymnasium in Lincoln Northeast High School.