Friday, August 3, 2018

2018 Weekends 12 & 13

A couple of weeks we ended up just staying super local because of everything we had going on so we didn't do a blog post about those.

Weekend 12 was anniversary weekend for us! I'm amazed that it has already been a year!

So we started our vacation out by just getting a few errands done on Thursday (3/23). After all that was complete we decided to ride up to Parker Binns for a little bit. Those guys are so super fun! We had a nice visit with Karen, Bob, Kelly and Lulu. We met a very nice young man at the winery, Scout McCormick, who is the manager of Hickory Nut Gorge Brewery. Dennis & I cannot wait to go for a visit! While at Parker-Binns, we were treated to a taste of the new Chardonnay and a taste of the hard apple cider they now have. We enjoyed both very much and the art for the label for the Chardonnay is gorgeous! We enjoyed a bottle of the Rosé during our visit.

Friday morning we left early and headed for the Outer Banks. It's a rather long drive so we decided to break it up a tad and stop at Gregory Winery They are predominately a muscadine vineyard with some fruit wine combinations as well as 4 fortified wines. Tasha our server and she was so fun! You can tell she really enjoys what she is doing. Lane (the owner) came in as we were doing our tasting and spent a good deal of time with us. Since we still had several hours on the road, we only did the tasting, but bought a bottle of the peach blend and 2 bottles of the fortified wines. Got to Kill Devil Hills in the Outer Banks, checked in to our hotel and found dinner.

Saturday morning we walked on the beach a little, went to Kitty Hawk and toured the Wright Brothers National Memorial. As windy as it was, we see why they chose that area to do their testing. Then we drove over to see the Mother Vine. It's amazing! Later in the day we went to Sanctuary Vineyards. Since we had already met our limit of wine purchases we set for ourselves before we left, we just did the tasting here. Even though this vineyard is in a sandy / beachy environment, they are producing varietals other than just muscadine. Dennis had wanted to visit here because we knew that they had a double barrel red blend that won Best in Show at the second annual awards gala of the NC Fine Wines Society. Elton was super busy but managed to share a few jokes with all of us and told us all about the wines. We met some really fun couples and a few ladies that were celebrating their friend who is getting married soon. Look forward to another visit when we can purchase some of their wines.

Sunday afternoon we went to Vineyard on the Scuppernog. The lovely lady that did out tasting was so gracious to us. She really took pride in telling us all about the wines, the name origins and even the art on the labels. I managed to twist Dennis' arm and we bought a bottle of the strawberry wine, Girls of Summer. That one did not make it back to Boiling Springs! We did some other sight seeing, shopping and then headed to Duck Island for our anniversary dinner.

Monday morning we headed to Myrtle Beach. Got checked in and then went to dinner. After dinner we headed over to Carolina Vineyards Winery. The gentleman that did our tasting, Ben, had only been there for 4 days. He did a super job with our tasting. We each got a glass and then walked around the shops for a little bit. The plus about being at the beach when we were is that is was not crowded.

Our vacation came to a close with a visit to La Belle Amie. Boy did we have fun there! The ladies that were doing the tasting were tons of fun!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Mountain Brook Dinner and Wine Paring

Monday night Dennis and I were privileged to get to attend Mountain Brook Vineyards' first wine dinner with the new owners, Vickie and Jonathan Redgrave. They selected Luna Del Sol in Lake Lure as the restaurant venue. This is the most quaint and fun hidden gem I believe in Lake Lure. We were supposed to start out on the beautiful patio that they have but Mother Nature had other plans so the pre-appetizers were moved inside to their oh so cute bar area along with the lovely song styling of Bren Sams. They have some of the funniest signs all over the bar area. Below is a picture of just one of my favorites.

We enjoyed a wonderful peach sangria that Vickie made and then a sampling of their Pinot Griego with some Bruschetta.  There was also a lovely salmon with capers but alas I am not a salmon fan so I did not try that. Others that had it said it was very good.

We moved into the main dining room that is simply gorgeous. We started out with a prawns over fettuccine with lemon, garlic, butter, Chardonnay appetizer paired with the winery's Oaked Chardonnay. I am generally not a Chardonnay fan, but I enjoyed this combination very much.

We moved onto the main course which was a perfectly cooked filet mignon with Cabernet demi glaze reduction, yukon gold potato, parsnip mash and haricot verts which was paired with their amazing Cabernet Sauvignon. Dessert was a yummy chocolate ganache with raspberry coulie paired with their port style wine. Regretfully I was too busy eating to take pictures of the plates. Just know that not only was it divine, it was also gorgeously presented.

All of these wines are made and bottled at Mountain Brook Vineyards in Tryon. The very talented winemaker, Liz Pickett, does a fantastic job with all aspects of wine making.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

2018 Weekend 9

So we stayed local this weekend because my son was going to be in town briefly and I wanted to see him and his lovely girlfriend.

We went to Mountain Brook Vineyards. It had warmed up nicely so we sat out on the porch that overlooks part of the vineyard and the mountains are in the distance. It is so lovely there. We enjoyed a bottle of their Rose. We met some very lovely people and enjoyed our time there and got to tell Rucha (one of their horses) Happy 21st Birthday!

We left there and headed to City Scape Winery for a Girl Scout Cookie paring. Man was that fun and good! Josh & Deb always do such a great job with the events they plan. All of the cookies went excellently well with the wines they pared them with. We walked to the back of the property to say hello to Pinot and the goats. We had a nice chat with Josh's parents, Jane & Karl, as well.
Jane pruning the vines Saturday

We left there and headed to find some dinner. After dinner we went to Dorman High School to watch the finals of the WGI Indoor Percussion Regional so I could see Andrew and Nicole for a little bit as Andrew works for Civitas Independent Percussion

Congratulations to these guys as they took home the first place trophy in the Independent Percussion Open Class Division. After the awards ceremony we all 4 headed to New Groove Artisan Brew so I could have just a little more mama time.  I enjoyed the blueberry cider that they have from Windy Hill Orchard and Cider Mill. Sadly I had to say goodbye/goodnight to my son and his girlfriend and head home.

Sunday after church and lunch we headed to Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyard. It was another beautiful day and we enjoyed the sunshine as we shared a bottle of their very lovely Riesling. Sadly we did not get to see Charles and Anne this trip as they were busy working a spring show in Charlotte. We did however meet some fun couples and enjoyed chatting with them.

Monday, February 26, 2018

2018 Weekends 6 & 7

So after getting a late start on Saturday the 10th, we headed to Hamptonville, NC. We stopped at Windsor Run Cellars first. We did the distillery tasting there first. They have 3 different spirits that are made from grappa and one from honey. This is the second time we've been to the distillery and we now have a bottle of the Killer Bees (made from honey) and a bottle of the Shadow Hawk. We will add the third one (whose name escapes me) the next time we go. Kelvin was our bartender and he is a lot of fun as well as a wealth in information.

We left the distillery and then went to the winery. They have a lot of lovely wines and it was too difficult to chose what to take home. We had such fun doing the tasting with Teri. We will go back again soon and make that tough decision.

 We left there and quickly darted over to their sister winery, Shadow Springs Vineyard where sweet Buddy the poodle greeted us when we walked in. Buddy has recently, since our visit, celebrated his 16th birthday! Again, we had a difficult time deciding what to bring home, but we decided on a bottle of the Dark Shadow which is a heavenly dark chocolate wine.

We left there and started home and realized that we were close to Randy's BBQ in Troutman. This is a quaint BBQ place and the BBQ is fantastic!

Sunday after church and lunch on Sunday, we went to Russian Chapel Hills Winery and had a glass each. I had the Sauvignon Blanc and Dennis had the Kagor.

We left there and went to City Scape Winery for their annual Valentines Chocolate and wine paring. We had a blast! The chocolate was made especially for this wine paring and it was amazing. Josh and Deb do such a great job with all their events!

This past weekend, we took some friend up to Biltmore House to celebrate their anniversary. We toured the house, did wine tasting and had dinner.

We stayed the night in Asheville and after a lazy morning, we headed to the Grove Arcade area in downtown Asheville. There we found something new to do a tasting of... honey! We went to the Asheville Bee Charmer store. We each tried several and then we brought a sampler box home of the 3 that we really liked.

From there we headed to Addison Farm Vineyard. The lovely Arianna did our tasting and told us a lot about the family, how they came to own the Farm and about the different wines. They have 3 mead wines and we brought a bottle of the Love Herbal Wine home with us. Can't wait to get into that some night soon.

We left there and went to Noble Cider. We each did a flight of 5. It was a lot of fun and we got to meet some fun people as well. There were a lot of ciders that we really enjoyed.

With Monday being a holiday for us, we wanted to go winery escapading, but not a lot of wineries are open on Mondays. After stopping at a couple of RV dealerships, we finally ended up at Dennis Vineyards and Winery. Lauren, who is the owner/winemaker's daughter, did our tasting. She is also the graphic designer for their labels. Most of their wines are muscadine. They do have some that are different vinifera. We bought a bottle of their Snow Boots, had a glass there and had her re-cork the rest to take home.

Friday, February 9, 2018

2018 Weekend 5

So Dennis and had a long and much needed weekend in Savannah. We left Friday morning and headed south. We first stopped at the Angel Oak Tree in Charleston. I have never seen a tree so huge and beautiful.

We decided to go to Deep Waters Vineyard in Charleston and it's a lovely place. Most of the wines are muscadine or a muscadine blend. The blends are muscadine with CA imported grapes. They use two types of muscadine that we had not heard of before, the Tara and the Ison. They have all sorts of animals on the property. Lots of chickens, roosters, ducks, pigs, a goat and bunnies. The goat (who's name I have forgotten) will climb up a spiral staircase in his enclosure to get you to put some food in a little bowl that is attached to a pulley and you send it up to him & he'll eat out of the bowl. We brought a bottle of their Magnolia, just the name of the wine not the varietal of muscadine home with us. This wine is actually made from the Carols grape.

Much to our surprise the Firefly Distillery is on the same property as the winery. So more fun there! We brought some of the Coconut Cake Liquor home. Our other favorite was the Apple Pie moonshine.

We left and headed on down to Savannah. Our hotel was amazing! We had a river view and got to see all sorts of HUGE cargo ships. They have wine and cheese every evening so that was always our appetizers before dinner. Friday night we went to B. Matthews on Bay Street for dinner and then over to Savannah Smiles for dueling pianos. To say that Savannah Smiles was not quite what we were expecting would be a vast understatement. I've been to a few dueling piano shows before but this one was very different. Now, just because I say it was different does not mean it was bad or that we didn't have a good time because we did. It had just been quite the while since either one of us had a hand stamp. LOL! I had also not been to one that the players changed out periodically. There were 4 different pianists and one drummer who played on select songs. We experienced our first bicycle taxi to and from the bar and it had not been SO cold, it would've been a lot of fun. Both of the "drivers" were super friendly. We also brought a bottle of the Southern Duck White home.

Saturday morning after an amazing breakfast at the hotel, we headed out to explore a bit. Again.... if it had not been so cold it would have been terrific! We both ended up buying ear muffs of sorts. The wind was brutal. I had looked at the forecast before we went and thought it would be great weather for Saturday. Not realizing there would be wind. Let me tell you, the wind coming straight off the river is COLD! But as always, we made the best of it. We then headed to Butterducks Winery. They us a combination of NC and California grapes. We had stopped there on our way home from our honeymoon and wanted to revisit. Since the winery is about 30 minutes from Savannah, it was much warmer and less windy. We had a nice time there and met some fun ladies who were enjoying a mommy's day out. Enjoyed a glass each of their White Merlot and cheese and crackers.

Headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. We went over to Tybee Island to go to the Crab Shack. SOOOO good! I had the low country boil and Dennis had the crab cakes. Both of us were STUFFED! Headed back to the hotel to get ready for our ghost tour. We decided to do The Hearse Ghost Tour because it was simply to cold to do one of the walking ones. Each hearse holds 8 people so we met some fun people. Our tour guide was hysterical! But one note. If you ever do this tour, and choose to sit in the very front, don't sit on the left side of the hearse. Sit on the right. EVERYTHING is on the right.

After another great breakfast on Sunday, sadly we had to leave. There is so much to do in Savannah that I'm not sure even a week would be long enough to do everything. Upon checking out of the hotel., we drove around the city one more time and then headed to Hilton Head to go to Island Winery. (We went to both of these SC wineries because a) they weren't too far out of the way and b) we needed to get them the SC Wine competition information). We found one antique store as we didn't want to arrive exactly at noon when they opened. Between the two of us we got to taste all of their wines. They have some really nice varieties. We each enjoyed a glass and a cheese tray. We met a very lovely lady who was headed to Florida for the month.

Sadly, our fun long weekend had to end and we had to head home. Sorry for the picture overload on this one, I just had to post them all!

More fun to come next week!


Finding Common Ground Over A Glass

The differences between our members at our small Episcopal church has me thinking a lot lately. Our small church is extremely active in our ...