Happy New Year Everyone! We have yet survived another New Year’s Eve at On the Square in Tarboro, and I am incredibly thankful to be surrounded by some of the greatest friends I have ever made.
A couple of afternoons ago I submitted a blog post that ended in July after a week long hiatus from the juice (fermented juice, that is). This morning, I begin with August and everything after (no pun intended Counting Crows). I tried to begin and finish writing this blog on New Year’s Eve after service, but I’m getting old, peeps, and it just didn’t happen.
So, here we go, a wine year in review, part two.
August was a great month to wind down a terrific summer. For the first time in seven years, we decided to vacation in North Carolina instead of making the eight hour trip to upstate New York to visit Stephen’s dad.
As much as we hated to not see Pop Pop, there was something wonderful and blissful about going to the beach with my siblings and nieces and nephews and enjoying hot days and nights on the beach compliments of my dad’s wonderful sister. We played games, slept late, and we stayed in the water so much and so long all of our fingers and toes looked like the raisinated grapes used to make Amarone (gotta incorporate wine in here somewhere).
And, of course, we drank wine. Mostly in the evening, but I’m not going to pretend we didn’t have a few day drinks as well. And this leads me to my wine of August: Tess Red, a fun and downright delicious blend from Napa that is made from both red and white grapes. Ironically, it is made from two sisters and everything about this wine screams summer lovin’. We discovered this delicious red in August in thanks to a new friend/fine wine specialist who brought this wine by On the Square for a tasting, and we have been carrying it ever since. Did I mention how fun this wine is?
September was a golden month for Stephen and me. It was at this time where we finally raised the amount of money we needed to begin Tarboro Brewing Company. For those of you who may not have heard, this is a microbrewery to be located at 526 Main Street in downtown Tarboro right across the street from the Post Office. For the past 18 months, we have been diligently working on this project we believe to be fantastic for our community, and it was in September, where we finally realized it was going to happen.
Don’t think for a minute, however, that I still don’t say a prayer everyday asking God to be with us moving forward into our biggest venture yet.
Because September was a milestone for us, I believe the La Rioja Alta “904” Gran Reserva Rioja 2001 is the wine for this particular month. Not only is the wine 13 years old and tasting like the fountain of youth, but it is symbolic of an incredible journey Stephen and I have experienced together since we started our way back to Tarboro to make our dreams into realities. Definitely a special wine with lots of meaning, it was the perfect one for us to celebrate life and all of the beauty that comes with it.
On October 25th, I ran my third 5K (along with running my best time yet–whoo hoo) and then proceeded to On the Square for our second monthly wine tasting using the Halloween theme “Wine & Candy–” kudos to Alice Webb for this brilliant themed-idea. Check out Alice’s blog http://differentthanaverage.blogspot.com/ for some seriously great writing.
For those of you who may not have heard, On the Square is now hosting wine tastings from 2-4 p.m. the fourth Saturday of each month, thanks to Rachel who birthed this idea and has made it a drinkable reality. The pairing of the afternoon, in my humble opinion, was the Snake Charmer Shiraz from Vinaceous Cellars and Rusty’s Peanut Brittle (you know I would never be biased). I don’t know what it is, but Australian Shiraz and dad’s peanut brittle are one of my all-time favorite combinations, and the Snake Charmer is a fabulous one to sip while crunching. Extremely affordable and $15/bottle, this bold and flashy red drinks well with a few other dishes as well. For a month that was sweet and big, I couldn’t think of a better bottle to highlight.
In November, Stephen and I attended North Carolina’s first annual Brewer’s Guild Conference at the Proximity Hotel in Greensboro. We spent two days listening to amazing speakers from all over the country as well as fellowshipping with many people in the beer business. It was more learning that we could have ever anticipated, and it really revved us up about Tarboro Brewing Company, coming to Tarboro for the greater good in May of 2015. Because of this, I have to pass the vino and highlight all of the amazing local beers we have enjoyed in 2014. From Mother Earth’s Silent Night to Duck Rabbit’s Anarchy to Carolina Brewery’s Santa’s Secret, these are all brews that we were fortunate enough to taste and see just how cool wintertime beers can be. These breweries have been influential and oh-so-generous in our quest to start a brewery in Tarboro. Without these people and businesses paving the way, Stephen and I would never have been so bold to believe ours would work in our small community. I highlighted these breweries’ seasonal and special brews, but make no mistake, I love all of their beers and the distinct flavors they represent.
O Karthauserhof, O Karthauserhof, thy wine is so unchanging.
Easily my most favorite wine of the year, I am almost a little obsessed. The Karthauserhof “Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberger” Riesling Trocken blew my mind, and continues to blow it every time I reach for a bottle. And please know, you don’t have to say it; just come in and ask me about my favorite wine in the store and we will lead you right to it. An ahh-mazing wine from the Ruwer in Germany, this wine tastes like lime zest, evergreen, peach skin and wet stones in a glass. Doesn’t sound good to you? Please don’t worry about hurting my feelings, I am more than happy to drink it all. Because of this obsession, we went a little crazy and bought a 3 Liter of the Alte Reben Spatlese Trocken for New Year’s Eve. Not yet opened or tasted, it will be soon, because we are absolutely dying to have a little of this angels’ nectar poured all over our dry lips.
Not to disappoint or lie to you, we did end the New Year with an amazing magnum of bubbly from Vorin Jumel in the Cramant region of Champagne. A Blanc de Blancs (100% Chardonnay), this big girl made our mouths pop (think Pop Rocks but with al-kee-hol) like they were dancing. And our mouths were dancing as we celebrated the birth of 2015 and said night night to 2014. A wonderful year behind us, and an even better year ahead of us, my favorite word of the decade is grateful.
Cheers to you all for a peaceful, happy and libatious 2015!