When I got dressed the morning I put on a pair of pants I haven't worn for a while and I found two $5 bills in the pocket!
Dancing Daughter was ready to go on time this morning so I wasn't late for work.
At work I happily helped a new employee use Excel. I love Excel. Excel is my office boyfriend. Anytime I can share the Excel love I'm happy. Yes, I know I'm weird.
Jean Auel's latest book, The Land of Painted Caves, came out today. After work I went to my local, small, new and used bookstore where I pre-ordered the book a few weeks ago. I haven't decided if I'm taking it on vacation. It's pretty large!
On the way to the bookstore I noticed a wine store is going in near the Trader Joe's in my neighborhood. It's not open yet and there is no sign other than "coming soon" in the window. It's called Decanter Wines. I can't wait to check it out when it opens!
In the depths of my closet live my summer clothes, mostly consisting of short sleeves and capri pants. I dug them out and was happy to find that everything from last summer still fits! Makes packing for San Diego that much easier.
By some manner of pure luck (and Star Wars Son's amazing computer skills) I was able to snag two tickets to Eddie Vedder's upcoming solo tour! They went on pre-sale today through the fan club. He will be promoting his new album called Ukulele Songs, that will be coming out soon with a live concert film called Water On The Road. Just like it sounds it's a whole album of songs played on the Ukulele. He will be ending the short one month tour in Seattle, at Benaroya Hall on July 15. To say I'm excited would be an understatement! Here is a mightly fine picture of Eddie with his Uke!
How was your Tuesday?!
For those that are interested here is a photo montage of Eddie while his new single Longing To Belong plays
If you missed the beginning of my wine country journey you can read about it here. Part II is continued here.
The tasting and tour at King Estate was something I was very excited for. After tasting other Willamette Valley wine I was looking forward to tasting wine from a larger winery and see what went on behind the scenes. As with every other aspect of this trip I was not disappointed.
We sampled some Pinot Gris first, both the oak and stainless steel aged and not surprisingly I loved them both, but enjoyed the stainless steel one slightly more. Kevin, who poured for us, also took us on a tour. Being the wild women we are one of us dropped the f-bomb which broke the ice with Kevin (and I believe got us some preferred treatment, see the tower shot of us)
Kevin told us all about the size of the property and the organic growing of the grapes.
The inside of the building was just as impressive as the outside.
How cool is that door?! There were a few of them throughout the winery. The whole place was immaculately clean, I was impressed.
We were told about the making of the wine, the pressing, the fermenting, the transferring to oak barrels. It was all rather fascinating.
The next place we went was to see where they store some of the barrels of wine. We learned all about "toasting" of the barrels (the inside of the barrels are charred to give the wine different flavors). I thought this was the prettiest room in the winery.
Can you believe the size of those barrels?
We went back to the tasting room to sample a few more wines, then we went to the tower where we met some fun people and drank more wine (shocking, I know).
We headed back to the house to prepare for dinner, this involved drinking more wine! The journey back might have included some mooning and flashing done by someone in the car to the brave souls who were walking, this might have caused one of the brave souls to jump in the car to avoid peeing her pants was uneventful.
Dinner at the main building was beyond words. The food was perfect, the wine was perfect and the company was perfect. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves!
The main course:
Completely forgot to take pictures of the desserts. We ordered five and passed them around the table taking a bite of each until they were gone. One of us might have latched on to one and refused to let go We all shared nicely.
The wine obviously consumed:
The loud, gluttonous pigs happy diners!
I started the telling of this epic journey with Sherri and I'm ending it with Sherri. I can't thank her enough for putting this trip together for us. I had the best time and I can't wait to do it again!
I'm working on my final wine country post, really I am, but life keeps getting in the way. So until then enjoy this picture of us in the tower at King Estate having a great time. I think we all have a playful glow which makes us look young and happy. Of course drinking wine helps!
If you missed part one of my journey through wine country you can read it here.
As we left Newberg Oregon for Eugene the sun was setting on what had been a wonderful day. There was still an adventure waiting for us at King Estate. Driving along the dark windy road to the winery was very nerve racking, but once we got there all of our nerves turned to joy. Even though it was dark when we arrived we knew it was a special place. The light of morning did not disappoint!
Our home away from home...
We hung out and chatted in both the living room and dining room.
The kitchen was a cooker's paradise! It was stocked with wine and there were two refrigerators, one covered adult beverages, the other snacks and breakfast fixin's.
There were four bedrooms, two were suites with pull out beds in addition to the regular bed. All the bedrooms had an adjoining bathroom. It was truly heavenly. Here was my little room...
We all did our own thing Saturday morning, three of us went jogging (after the guy who checked us in said that people intend to jog but never do while visiting). I guess they proved him wrong!
I grabbed my camera and went on a walk. I couldn't wait to see the vineyards in the daylight. The King Estate property is very large, 1,033 acres to be exact and includes 470 acres of organic vineyards, as well as 30 acres of fruits, vegetables, and flowers. I was not disappointed.
I saw my first blooms of the season...
As I made my way up the road I saw the castle like structure that is the winery, tasting room and restruant...
At 1:00, after showers and breakfast we made our way to the main building for a tour and tasting...
The structure is so beautiful...
The views from up there were breathtaking, I don't think my camera (or my ability to use the camera) did the views justice.
A few months ago, while out to dinner with my lovely friends, I proclaimed that it was time we all took a trip to wine country. Nevermind I had never been to wine country and had no idea how to make a trip like that happen. Thankfully we have Sherri who stepped up and planned the whole trip.
I'm not sure why she chose the Willamette Valley in Oregon over going to Eastern Washington (maybe something to do with the winter weather east of the mountains) but I'm glad she did. The weather was perfect, although a little hazy and the scenery was beautiful.
I was mesmerized by the rows and rows of vines. I couldn't stop photographing them. It's kind of embarrassing how many pictures of vineyards I took. Don't worry, I'm only sharing a few with you.
Aren't they pretty?!
Our first stop was Adelsheim Vineyard where I found out I like Chardonney aged in stainless steel. Who knew?! I also pretty much fell in love with their Deglace, which is a dessert wine made from Pinot Gris grapes that have been frozen before being made into wine. The flavor explosion in my mouth when I took that first sip was unlike any wine I'd had before! I wasn't the only one who loved it!
Here we are tasting at Adelsheim.
We learn a thing or two about pruning vines from Derek at Patton Valley.
Umm yeah... You might notice he's kinda cute! And he's a budding business owner, making the first NW Vermouth called Imbue. He said it will be perfect with Gin or on the rocks with a twist of orange! I can't wait to try it.
We also stopped at Owen Roe Winery, but we were a little late after getting lost, so our tasting was a little rushed. That didn't stop us from buying up some of their wine. I purchase their Pinot Gris and a yummy red called Sinister Hand.
Next up I'll share all about our little oasis where we stayed for the rest of the weekend.
I'm taking off this afternoon for Oregon wine country with these lovely ladies:
I guarantee we will be doing a ton of tasting!
We are taking a long weekend to enjoy the scenery and the taste of Oregon wines! My friend is a wine buyer at QFC so we will be getting the VIP treatment.
I plan to take a ton of pictures!
If you missed yesterday's post go check it out! Asthmagirl has set up a page on her blog dedicated to all the happenings for Blog Fest West! Be sure to bookmark it and start making your plans to come to Seattle this summer. It's going to be a blast!
Have a great weekend and I'll see you on the flip side!
My friends and I will use most any excuse to get together, but the reason for this weekend was all about the wine! The last time we got together for dinner it seemed like all of us were asking our wine expert (she's an expert because she knows more than us) Sherri about wine. She suggested we get together for a wine tasting. We decided to make a weekend of it!
We were instructed to each bring a bottle of our choice, in the $15-$20 range. Since I like reds and tend to like Merlot better than others that's what I went with. All of the wine turned out being red, but mostly blends and Kristin brought a $50 bottle, just to see if we could notice a difference. To take bias out of it we covered all the bottles in brown paper bags and did a blind taste test.
Sherri brought these very cool glasses...
She also brought this...
The flavor wheel had all kinds of possible flavors you might smell or taste in your wine. Did you know you're supposed to smell the wine before you drink?
Jennifer is smelling and Sherri is explaining. Sherri gave us all note paper so we could take notes on each wine. We recorded smell, taste, finish, legs... Did you know wine has legs?! I will never have a glass of wine again without looking at it's legs. To see the legs you swirl it in the glass and watch how it slides down the edge of the glass when you stop swirling. Some legs will be thick and travel slowly, one of the wines had almost no legs and they separated when moving. I don't think that's something you want the legs of your wine to do. Some wines will also color the glass slightly. Next time you have a glass of red, check it out! Of course most of you are probably already wine savvy and already knew about smelling and legs. I'm a little slow sometimes.
Initially I was completely lost. The first wine smelled, well... it
burned my nose. (That's not me in the picture, but I'm sure I had the same face!) I didn't know if that was a good or a bad thing,
but I went with it. I couldn't really taste anything specific, except it was spicy. I thought I smelled pear, but I couldn't be sure. Number two was very similar to the first one, I really couldn't taste any difference. I was really hoping I wasn't wine illiterate. It turns out I wasn't, number three was much different! It was delicious! I tasted apricot, it was smooth and had no burn. It also tasted a little green to me.
Number four was shockingly icky! I thought it tasted, according to the taste wheel, like petrol (yes the fuel). It turned out being the worst tasting one to me. Interestingly the next day I sampled it and it tasted great! Go figure!
We continued on through all eight wines. The reveal was very fun! There were three stand outs for me, including the $50 bottle made by Spring Valley called Frederick. I also enjoyed a wine from the Columbia Valley made by Dunham Cellars called Trutina. For a surprise Sherri brought a red Zinfandel made by Rocking Z, it was very tasty!
We decided that next time we will do the tasting by grapes? It think that's what you call it when you pick one kind, like all Merlot or all Syrah. I'm just excited there will be a next time!!!
Here's my note page. Please don't mind the messiness or how I wrote less and less and the tasting when on.
Sherri if you're reading, you'll be interested to hear that I tried some of the Ghost Pines Merlot last night and I liked it! Wine is crazy, or maybe it's my taste buds.