Thursday, January 24, 2019

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 community, and despite our many differences we function much like a large family.

It has dawned on me, our experiences at local wineries have likewise bought us closer to so many people of differing walks of life. You see over a glass of wine, we tend to find our similarities much more than our differences.

We met two of our very best friends at a North Carolina winery. Our partners in wine on many of our weekend winery escapades. Its easy to notice that we are very different from Will and Pam, yet every time we're together we always have the greatest of fun times. We love those guys! 

At our favorite local wineries, it's often many of the same locals hanging out. We have become friends with so many....and friendly acquaintances with others.

Some wineries will have local musicians playing and often small snacks available to enhance your experience.

The winery owners get to know their regulars, and often greet them with hugs. You see, most local wineries are small family owned businesses. They really appreciate their regular customers.

Not to mention the small batch craft wine!

All of this leads to a comfortable environment where people tend leave their differences at the door. A place where we all seem to be a little more tolerant, a little more open-minded, a little less demanding to get our own way. Where people naturally want to be social, naturally want to include and not exclude.

Just this past weekend we were visiting a favorite North Carolina winery and two young women were sitting near us by the fireplace. We struck up a conversation regarding the wine and food available and our conversations evolved including them as we all laughed the time away. 

We likewise experience this social phenomenon in our local wine bar, and at weddings, but yet not in our local coffee shop, or Wal-Mart! Our first notion is to lay it all on the wine. It must be the wine. Right?

John 2:1-11 - On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine." And Jesus said to her, "Woman, what concern of is that to you and to me? My hour is yet to come." His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you." Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, "Fill the jars with water." And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, "Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward." So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know from where it came from ( though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, "Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guest have become drunk.But you have kept the good wine until now." Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana if Galilee, and revealed his glory, and his disciples believed in him. 

I'll speak to my interpretations of the above.

1. It's a wedding, this is a celebration of life.

2. Weddings are not rare, and at these weddings the people celebrate by drinking.

3. Jesus does NOT condemn the celebration of this wedding.

4. Though not His responsibility to do so, Jesus provides for the celebration.

The environment at your local winery, we believe often tends to mimic that of a wedding reception. There is wine, music, and happy smiling faces. The wine is only one factor of the whole environment. It's a celebration of life of which in turn leads us to fellowship.

Don't just take our word for it. Give our theory a try. Find your local winery on the The VinoWine App and join in on the celebration of life! 

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Farm-to-Table Wining......

Farm to Table Dining. It's all the latest rage. Every city boast chic restaurants promoting farm-to-table dining. A social movement focusing on food sourced directly from local farms. 

Sounds great right? However, as the key criteria is locally sourced, wouldn't you agree locally produced wines should also be offered? We think so. Who wouldn't want an excellent wine produced from a local vineyard paired with their farm-to-table meal? Keep it local right! 

Putting aside all romantic notions, a vineyard is every bit a farm. The larger majority of our local vineyards in the Southeast are family owned small businesses.

Josh Jones of CityScape Winery in Pelzer, South, Carolina, said that currently both Saskatoon Steakhouse and Kitchen Sync restaurants in Greenville are offering CityScape wines on their menus. We are further aware of restaurants in North Carolina offering locally produced wines. So it's not unheard of, we just need to encourage chefs to consider locally produced wines the same as they do with locally grown foods. 


Wednesday, January 9, 2019

First Degree - Wide River Winery

Our wine tonight is First Degree from Wide River Winery in Clinton, Iowa. This is our first craft wine from Iowa. We were excited to open and give a taste. 

Beautiful rosè in color.

A sweet raspberry wine. Very light and subtle nose. A burst of tartness on the tongue, lingering to a bold raspberry liqueur finish.

Would pair extremely well with cheesecake.

Winery Escapade scoring on the American Wine Society twenty point scale.

Appearance: 3 Aroma: 2.5 Taste: 4 Aftertaste: 3 Impression: 1.5

Total: 14 - Bronze Medal worthy!

Priced at $18 a bottle.

Ships: Most States via VinoShipper

I searched but could not locate ABV listed on the label. Shows moderate legs.

Thanks to our friends Mike and Danette Myers for gifting us this bottle. Overall, it's a nice drinking sweet wine.

View more at WineryEscapades.Com

Wide River Winery

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Francis Coppola - 2016 Claret

Our wine tonight is the Francis Coppola Diamond Collection 2016 Black Label Claret. A California red blend dominate of Cabernet Sauvignon also featuring Petit Verdot, Merlot, Cabernet Franc.

Drinking fine now, may age moderately. Needs to breath, open up for 60 minutes. 

Nose of cherry, mocha, and vanilla

Nicely balanced, medium bodied.

Complex flavor notes of oak, molasses, smoke, tobacco, and pepper opening up to hints of blackberry, raspberry, currant, and spice fading to a lingering finish of vanilla. 

Winery Escapade scoring on the American Wine Society twenty point scale.

Appearance: 3 Aroma: 2.5 Taste: 4.5 Aftertaste: 3 Impression: 1.5

Total: 14.5 - Bronze Medal worthy!

14.5% ABV

Priced at $17 a bottle.

Ships: All 50 States

Quick Reminiscing of 2018 and Looking Forward To 2019

2018 brought us many new experiences and of course several challenges. We rung in 2018 downtown Greenville, South Carolina....Yeah That Greenville! Attachment.png

The first few weekends took us to Morgan Ridge Vineyard and Brewhouse, Misty Creek Vineyard, Parker-Binns, and Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyard. Attachment_1.png

Valentines weekend took us to Charleston and Savannah. We enjoyed a visit to view the 400+ year old Angel Tree before making our way to Deep Water Vineyard. Attachment_2.png

March brought our anniversary and a visit to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. This trip offered us the opportunity to visit Sanctuary Vineyards in Jarvisburg plus a viewing of the oldest cultivated grape vine in the United States. The "MotherVine" located in Manteo is known to be 500+ years old. This scuppernong still produces grape today. Attachment_3.png

In May we hosted the inaugural Palmetto Wine Competition at the historic Belmont Inn in Abbeville. We're proud of the event and thankful for the opportunity to promote the South Carolina wine industry. Attachment_4.png

The summer months brought visits to the Yadkin Valley, Upper Hiwassee Highlands, Eastern Tennessee, and to many of our local favorites. Attachment_5.png

October we were blessed with a visit to Highlands, North Carolina and a stay at The Old Edwards Inn. We were lucky to have the Sommelier give us a tour of the wine cellars.


Christmas brought us another opportunity to visit Charleston where we experienced a gorgeous Christmas Eve sunset on the beach at Isle of Palms! Attachment_7.png

Yes, this post skips right by so many fun times and visits to so many awesome places. Our resolution is to better promote all of the amazing small businesses and destinations for which we are fortunate to visit. We remain thankful for our family and friends, and for your continued support of our blogs Winery Escapades and Our Wine Tonight.

Here's to a healthy, prosperous, and happy 2019.


Jenni and Dennis

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 ...