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Monday, September 13, 2010

It's been too long!

Goodness it's been awhile. Work has kept me pretty busy, which is a good thing. September has brought more hours at the vineyard and a couple of exciting wine tasting events. The first was a work social gathering with a blind wine tasting. We each brought a wine that was wrapped up so one knew anything about it. We would end the night with a nice dinner and wines to enjoy. Each of us brought a potluck to go with grilled organic chickens. I was surrounded by NYC chefs, winemakers, and those who have been in the industry much longer then I have. Needless to say, I was a bit nervous. Just deciding which wine to bring was a bit overwhelming. I wasn't going to try to bring a crowd pleaser but maybe something a bit interesting. Our vineyard specializes in organic practices (not organic wine though!) so I thought I would bring a Californian organic wine. Organic wines do not have added sulfates. Sulfates help aid in the aging process of a wine. Organic wines should be enjoyed upon purchase because they cannot age. I found an organic Merlot and stuck with the decision. We were told it was ok to know which one was yours, so I smelled the cork to familiarize myself with my choice. I smelled chocolate right off the bat! So we went through eight wines, some smelling wonderful, like my chocolate and spices Merlot. And some smelling off, "like a boys locker room." Basically, what I discovered that when it comes to wine, there really is no wrong answer. One that surprised me most was a sweet smelling white that brought back memories of Southern Illinois' Pomona Winery that specializes in apple wine. I was certain that someone had brought an apple based wine. It was sweet to the nose and the palette. It was a surprise to the whole house when we found out it was a chardonnay made in Massachusetts. Now, the part that made me smile was that the chardonnay was specifically made to have a bit of apple notes to it. The term has a fancy name that the wine maker used, but after a week since the event, its escaped me. I know, bad reporter! My point is, the wino in the room with the least amount of experience/education in the room brought the favorite wine of the night and wasn't too far off with the curve ball of the night. Goes to show that doing what you love can go a long way, regardless of experience. I left feeling closer to my coworkers and less intimidated by my instinct for wine tasting.
Here's a photo of our lovely table setting that night.

Above is a shot of my dish that I brought along. It's a chickpea salad with fresh grape tomatoes, mozzarella, fresh basil, olive oil, lemon juice and fresh garlic. Very simple to make, but easy to make oily, so go easy at first if you decide to make this dish. I just eyeball the recipe until it looks aesthetically pleasing to me. Season with salt and pepper to taste and it's a great summertime salad. *Sigh* The weather is changing to fall already and I feel like summer flew by way too fast. I didn't even get to the beach this year.
Check in again soon because I have a couple of fun blogs on the way. Friday I am taking a look at some highlights of the Long Island Wine Country. We have over fifty wineries/vineyards on the east end of Long Island! There is no way I can get to all of them this weekend, but after talking to customers and other workers in the industry I have been able to narrow it down. On Sunday, I finally get to Williamsburg, Brooklyn to see Jenny and Johnny/Pavement in concert. I hope to wander around a bit before the show and find some hipster fashion to take back to Long Island! Look for the review and hopefully I get brave enough to take some photos of one of my favorite ladies of indie rock.

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