Reclaim, Reuse, Repurpose

Latitude - The Journey

If you’ve ever built a house, you know first-hand how difficult it can be to choose everything from the brick or siding to the counter tops to the lighting and plumbing.  It’s fun, but it can be stressful as well.  Having built a house, I thought I would be a step ahead of understanding the process – and I am, but I REALLY want the wine bar to represent my personality.  I don’t want to throw money away on lights or counter tops that don’t match or work with the feel of the bar.

The image above has given me my inspiration.  My goal is to use as much as I can from reclaimed and repurposed products.  I visit the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Bluffton frequently.  On one visit I got really lucky, finding a sink for one of the restrooms as well as the siding for the bar counter.

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Boggle the Mind with Bogle

I’ve had this Bogle Merlot for  a while.  A friend brought it over one night for dinner, but we opened a few other wines that I had planned to pair with the meal we had prepared.  So it has sat for a few months in the wine fridge.

One reason I had not opened it earlier is that I am not a huge fan of Merlot – and NO, it has nothing to do with the movie, SideWaysI have never been a fan; although I admit the movie did lead me to Pinot Noir.

Tonight I decided to open the 2010 Bogle Merlot because hubby was warming up leftover pasta and I thought a lighter red wine would pair well with his dinner.  I was having leftover grilled chicken and the wine would do well with both.  (We were eating leftovers from a dinner out a few nights back – a well devised plan by moi as I knew we would be traveling this weekend and wanted something quick and easy when we got back home.)

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I found the wine to have soft cherry notes with herbal undertones and a silky finish.  We were actually very impressed with it.  It paired well with our food, but could stand alone as a sipping wine as well.  A good wine and a good bargain for wines under $10.

Varietal: Merlot          Alcohol:  12.5%          Price:  $9

Chillin’ on a Sunday Night

Champagne for your next celebration.

What a weekend!  I left work on Thursday (I only work 4 days a week at my “real” job) and headed to Bluffton, South Carolina.  That’s where my daughter and her family live.  A long five hours later I arrived – exhausted.  We chatted for a bit but I was just too tired to stay up, besides, I had a busy day lined up for Friday.

I am sure most of you know that I am opening a wine bar.  We made the decision a few weeks ago to locate the wine bar in Bluffton.  We want to be close to my daughter and the grandkids so what better way to do this than to have the wine bar close to them.  Move to Bluffton, live close enough to watch the grandkids grow up and still pursue my passion for wine.  This is my version of the American Dream.  You can read here about the spaces I looked at Friday and the decisions I am trying to make.

So I spent a couple of hours looking at spaces Friday, taking tons of pictures along the way and then sharing them with my daughter when I got back to the house.  I have been torn about which space to choose – they all have such great possibilities.  Then on Saturday, I spent a few hours creating a Kickstarter account to try to raise funds for the actual bar build-out.  The project hasn’t gone live so I don’t have a link to give you (yet!).  Sunday I made a few more changes to the Kickstarter project and then drove another five hours back home.

Time to relax and chill!

Jean-Luc Rose

So what wine should I try tonight.  Hmmmm – I think a Rosé might hit the spot and I just happen to have a bottle of Jean-Luc Colombo “Cape Bleue” Rosé, a true French Rosé from the Blue Cape above Marseille.  The hilly vineyards of the Blue Cape have light, stony limestone soils and benefit from a warm Mediterranean climate.  Jean-Luc Colombo is credited as being the “winemaking wizard of the Rhone.”

This wine was such a delicate, pale pink that I wondered if it would have the flavor of the rosés I have come to love over the last couple of years.  I had no reason to be concerned.  On the first sip, the flavors came bursting through.  I picked up hints of citrus on the nose and tart cherry on the back of the palate; a crisp wine with a nice, clean finish.  Excellent choice to unwind and get ready for the upcoming work week – including all the work to finalize plans to lease the space we have chosen for the wine bar…..  😉

Varietal:  67% Syrah, 33% Mourvedre          Alcohol:  12%          Price:  $11.99

This wine was a media sample from Palm Bay International

Discovery 2012, A Good Year for Sipping Wine

Tis the season for fine wine at WineChateau.com.

 

I know I am a little late in getting this post out, but I took a couple of weeks off for the holidays. We have kids scattered from North Carolina to Georgia to South Carolina and decided to visit all then left out of Charleston December 30 to celebrate New Year’s Eve on a cruise ship – more about that in an upcoming post. But for now, I want to recap a few wine discoveries I had in 2012. It was a good year for sipping wine!

Chardonnay has long been a favorite of most wine drinkers and possibly a typical house wine for a lot of you.  For me, I was well into this “wine lifestyle” before I became a fan.  But today I truly enjoy a chilled white wine – it has to be on the cool side for me to drink it, a little cooler than even the recommended temperature but not so cold that you lose the flavors and aromas.  With that said, my new favorite Chardonnay discovery this year is Morning Fog from Wente Vineyards.  A crisp chardonnay with just a hint of cinnamon, Morning Fog has become one of my house wines.  I keep it on hand mostly for myself but love sharing it with friends.  If you haven’t tried this wine, I highly recommend it!

Moving through my 2012 lineup of favorites, I have to recommend “Rosé of Cabernet Franc” from Raylen Vineyards located in Mocksville, North Carolina.  Raylen Vineyards is part of the Yadkin Valley AVA, the largest AVA in North Carolina with more than 30 wineries, each serving up their own unique spin on your favorite wines.  I know some people refer to ice wines as “romantic” wines, but I think that is what Rosé is, a wine that can be enjoyed by everyone for every occasion.  It adds a touch of romance to life and we all need (and deserve) a touch of romance.  A lot of people think that Rosé is going to have a flavor profile similar to a white zinfandel, but that is not the case.  Today’s Rosé is dry but soft and full of flavor.  This particular Rosé has a tart strawberry and citrus finish that lingers slightly on the palate.  It is an excellent wine to drink by itself but also pairs well with spicy foods and chicken or turkey.  I recommend buying it by the case and even then, it won’t last long.

Last, but not least, on my list of new discoveries is Castillo Catadau Gran Reserva 2005 Tempranillo from Naked Wines (another new discovery/favorite).  Tempranillo was new to me.  I had received this wine in a shipment from Naked Wines and had saved it for Tempranillo Day – a day dedicated to the wine where wine enthusiasts all over the world are encouraged to drink Tempranillo and post your thoughts and comments through your preferred means of social media.  I was completely blown away by this wine!  It is mellow and smooth with hints of both caramel and vanilla.  You will notice that it is a 2005 which means that it was aged in the barrel for a good long while before it was released so there is no need for you to age it at home – just pop the cork and enjoy!  You can read reviews and comments about the Tempranillo on Naked Wines website.  It gets rave reviews and you won’t be disappointed.  Again, I recommend ordering it by the case.

And if you are not familiar with Naked Wines, check them out.  Become an “Angel,” find your new favorite wine and help support the winemaker’s in living the dream of making great wine.  Naked Wines has a bargain price on all their wines, but the Angel price is a real bargain.  So my final recommendation for the New Year, is Naked Wines.

Each of these wines is very affordable making them perfect for your house wine and for your everyday wine but they are also elegant enough to be the wine you share with friends and serve at special occasions.

I predict that 2013 is going to be another Great year for sipping wine so explore something new and enjoy!

Duet – Hopkins Estate

I am blaming Pinterest!  I have been in the Biggest Christmas Spirit over the last couple of weeks – so excited about shopping for the grandkids and seeing our oldest son and then our daughter.  If I didn’t have a day job, I would be soooooo busy making homemade gifts of dessert and specialty drinks and preparing baskets full of home baked delights.  But alas, I have a job so my time is not my own.  I have learned to value the time that is my own however.  And like I said, I am blaming Pinterest, but I have had so much fun shopping and planning the special treats that I will take with me to Atlanta and then to Hilton Head.

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So as I started preparing Nacho Dip tonight for dinner, it brought back memories of my daughter being young.  This was always one of her favorites – and my husband still loves it today.  It would most likely pair well with any number of wines, but I was in the mood for a white – an intense dry white.  And I found it in this “Duet”, a 50/50 blend of Chardonnay and Vidal Blanc made at Hopkins Vineyard.

I was digging through the wine cooler looking for a chardonnay, when I found Duet.  I had already passed over a couple of other white wines, but this one caught my interest especially when I noticed the label said it was a “dry white wine”   – just what I was looking for!

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This Duet has flavors of crisp apple, melon and honeysuckle.  It calms the spicy peppers and cumin  in the Nacho Dip with a nice long finish.

Varietal: 50/50 Blend Chardonnay & vidal Blanc     Alcohol:  13.5%     Price:  $12.99

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