Tag Archive | personal: wine

Blog Post: Last Weekend with Friend Visit

I had an Eseme visiting last weekend!

I hadn’t seen Eseme in five or six years (she’ll know the specifics; I just know it had been ~forever~).  So this was a very special occasion, and not just because she drove 8+ hours each way to see me (and the kitties).

(Not that it won’t be awesome if I manage to see her once a year, like we discussed!)

We greeted her on arrival Thursday night with homemade pizza and equally homemade ginger ice cream, both of which I’m rather proud of.  

Friday we let other people do the cooking — my favorite diner for breakfast/brunch, my favorite Thai place for dinner — and in between, because I live in the Finger Lakes, we went out and tasted at a winery, a distillery, and a cidery. (She drinks a whiskey drink, she drinks a winey drink; they skip the lager drink, she drinks a cider drink….)

Oh, and my favorite ice cream place.

Saturday, we spent approximately all afternoon shopping, most of that at Hobby Lobby (there’s only one in the whole state of Maine!) and then at our local ReUse center, which is similar to the Habitat for Humanity Restores ( https://www.habitat.org/restores ).  Between the two, I ended up getting, notably:

* Some Washi Tape.

(This is my new thing.  It’s endless)

(I mean… After we bought washi tape at Hobby Lobby, I went online and bought us both some at Ali Express.  Which, being Ali Express, won’t get here for like 5-30 weeks (yes weeks) so it will be a surprise when it gets here).

(for those of you going “what is this thing?”  – https://www.cutetape.com/creative/blog/2012/6/what-is-washi-tape – Although at this point, many people call anything narrow-ish and decorative and adhesive washi tape.  For instance, one of the ones I bought was a zebra-printed very thin duct tape. Definitely not of the same origins as Japanese paper.)

* Some clearance yarn (of course) and knitting needles.

* a frame for a mini I bought from @Fax

And then from the ReUse Center, another frame (later spray-painted black for my postcard from Antartica), a Holly Hobby plate for Merit (long story, but that’s a cat), and some more knitting needles.

So all in all I’d call that a win for a shopping trip..

We hit the Commons – this is something Ithaca is known for, an area of two blocks long that has been blocked off to car traffic and is just for walking and shopping.  We had a blast there, too (I believe Eseme got a tiny dragon or two and I got some vinegar) and then bac home for dinner and s’mores. (With a pipe torch!)


All in all, it was an absolutely wonderful trip!  I sent Eseme home Sunday morning with a good breakfast, and I hope I get to see her again soon.

In the meantime, I can always mail her more washi tape…

Weekend, Weekend WEEKEND (A weekend blog)

This weekend was busy! In the fun way, albeit not the productive way

Friday night, I had dinner with [personal profile] kelkyag and [personal profile] sauergeek, who happened to be “passing through” (within an hour of me), at one of my favorite Finger Lakes restaurants, Stone Cat. We plotted and talked fiction and families and many other things, and then, oops, it was 10, so we departed.

Saturday, T. and I went to the Canandaigua Craft festival, where T> bought me an amber necklace and earrings and I bought me two more pairs of earrings from my new favorite local craft show earring vendor.

Then we took longer than planned to finish the drive, which ended at Capriox’s & Talkian’s house for a baby! shower! Baby shower! That was the chillest, most comfy pool-party/picnic/baby shower I have ever been to, and I have dozens of geeky baby onesie ideas in case another one of my geek friends has a baby.

(My contribution, along with some knitted burp cloths ‘cause nothing else got finished, was a John Deere onesie and slipper-socks.)

THEN T & I went to a tile store, because we could not find a kitchen & bath place that was open, and looked at almost every tile layout in the place (Kitchen semi-redo and bathroom redo are on our to-do list for the next year). We asked the nice tile people for a recommendation for dinner, and ended up at a neat Korean place hidden in the Regional Market. Whee!

Drive drive drive, home home home, sleep sleep sleep… WINE FEST!

The Finger Lakes Wine Festival is held every year at the Watkins Glen raceway, and we have been meaning to go for years. We pretty much know every winery on the two lakes closest to us — but the Watkins Festival pulls from the Erie trail and the Niagara escarpment, the 1000 Islands and the Hudson Valley (I just described a line encircling the sides and top of the state, for those unfamiliar).

We drank so much wine. And whisky. And cider. And gin. And wine, wine, wine. We were there from about 10-3, bought 11 bottles of wine, and have tons of notes — all of it about wineries we’ve never been to before!

AND we got to talk to two vintners. That was pretty awesome. Asking questions about how Erie and Niagara Rieslings taste different from Seneca ones did the trick! (It almost always does).

Then we went home and napped for two hours.

My pinboards for kitchen and bath are getting full of ideas. I am super excited about all of that.

And I have So Much Wine.

Also, everything baby-related is adorable.


How was YOUR weekend?

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Anniversary Saturday – Wine and BBQ

Yesterday, for our 12-year anniversary, T. and I went out to the Keuka Wine Trail for a “Wine and BBQ” tour – each of the seven wineries gave us wine tastings (about 5/winery) and a small plate of food pairings – things like grilled chicken, pulled pork, beef brisket, with a little side corn salad or mac salad, something like cornbread, and usually a little dessert.

It was pretty awesome.

For one, Keuka Lake is lovely. It’s a Y-shaped lake, with a lot of really nice vistas. Google Image Search doesn’t quite do it justice.

For another, the food was almost universally tasty (There was one protein where I had to ask T. what I was eating – turns out it was pork – it was slow-cooked and very bland, very sweet).

And for a third, the wines were just good. Sometimes, on a tour, you get a winery where you’re just… “mm. thanks. Bye.” There was none of that – a couple thinnish red wines, but the Finger Lakes is not really known for its red wines.

In the middle of the tour, we spent an hour in Hammondsport, which is an adorable little village full of tasty food & neat antique stores.

All in all, it was a lovely way to spend a morning & afternoon.

And then, in the evening, we stacked wood ;-D

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Wine, and then some more wine, and then some herbs (Cayuga Wine Trail event)

This weekend was the Cayuga (Lake) Wine Trail Wine & Herb Event.

The 17 wineries on the trail (All alongside and many within view of Cauyga Lake) participate.

You start at one winery, where you get a map and a glass, and at each winery along the way, you get a tasting (2-6 types of wine or, in one case, cider), a potted herb (or tomato, or lettuce, or pepper) plant, a recipe using that plant, and a sample of that recipe, cooked (or prepared), usually with a wine pairing.

Seventeen wineries. 2 to 6 tastings at each. /falls over/

Okay, really, we did it over two days. We tasted seven wineries up the West side of the lake, spent an hour at the outlet mall, had Dim Sum and tea for lunch, and hit the much-more-spaced-out 3 wineries on the East side; Sunday we picked up the seven we’d missed on the west, stopping for lunch at Knapp Winery in the middle.

There was a lot of really good wine. Even wineries I’d blown off before as being not complex enough, too tannic, or just too boring, were in good form this weekend. Everyone had out their best wines, the food tastings were very good, and I have seventeen little plants to put in the ground or pots as soon as Last Frost is past. Even the food tastings were good.

If I have a disappointment with the event – and I’d say this is the only one – it’s that I ended up with three basils, and I really would have liked one of them to be a mint instead.

But all in all, it was an immensely fun weekend of wine-ing. Will definitely do again.

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Now THAT is how a weekend should be

Weekends like this past one remind me what I love (and hate) about living down here.

Saturday was a trip to Horseheads to get T. fitted for a tux for an upcoming wedding we’re both in (Horseheads is the closest town with a Men’s Warehouse; it’s about an hour away). This involved driving through some of the most depressed and depressing parts of Southern Tier, NY, but it also involved random sights like this, a stop at a winery above Watkin’s Glen, a stop at a really nice restaurant, and a really nice drive with my spouse-person. I’ll chalk it up as a win: I’m still full from those ribs!

Sunday we were still feeling like driving, so we headed out to Liedenfrost Winery, where we stopped last weekend, got a little more wine, stopped at Atwater Vineyards for a tasting (Really, really, really good wine!) and then took a hike in the Finger Lakes National Forest.

We started discussing the history of the Reiassani people while we were walking & driving, so I’ll have some worldbuilding notes and maybe an exodus map later this week.

Food and Wine

I love my dinner train of thought looking at cupboard: mm, not in the mood for matzo ball soup. Want Jambalaya. Don’t have a Jambalaya mix. Maybe Dal palak with the chicken in the fridge? That sounds tasty.

We ended up making naan with a side of chicken, sausage, and mirepoix.


Today was a do-it-yourself wine tour. 🙂

Penguin Bay Winery was having a buy-two-get-one on their very nice Percussion wine, so we headed there.

I’ve wanted Red Newt’s Hellbender Soiree port since we stopped there this autumn (there was a line), so we stopped there on the way to get a bottle of that.

After Red Newt and Penguin Bay, I turned into the first winery that looked really interesting, which turned out to be Leidenfrost Estates. We tasted … well, most of their wine list, and ended up buying a Log Cabin White, which is a nice versatile semi-sweet wine, and their dessert wine Encore. (their Gewurztraminer was also very nice).

Then… we stopped at Finger Lakes Distilling, and split a rather more high-octane tasting. Nom. Delicious. We’re going to have to go back and buy more.

All in all, a nice way to get out of the house for a few hours. 🙂