“Trust the wait. Embrace the uncertainty. Enjoy the beauty of becoming. When nothing is certain, anything is possible.” ~Mandy Hale
My Blog, like many other things in life has taken a hit during the Covid-19 Pandemic, for months I was sitting back, watching and waiting to see what would happen next. It felt difficult to think about writing about wine, food and travel during such unprecedented times and share all of those things when so many people around the world were (and still are) suffering. But, Damn it, I want to write about wine and all of these things and just like anything else sometimes you just have to pull up your big girl pants and do things even if they seem or feel difficult. Each of us has or knows someone who has had a major life event put on hold or altered during the last six months, and unfortunately there is no clear finish line in sight. Uncertainty around all things means we are still living out the most surreal of years. But, as they say, life must go on and while I still may be wearing my pajamas well into noon on most days, I realized that I could still do what I love and that includes taking photos, tasting beautiful wines, eating great food, dreaming about far away places and yes writing blog posts. So, with that here is my first blog post in about 9 months, there will be more to come, there is still so much life to live and so much to share.
Each of us has or knows someone who has had a major life event put on hold or altered during the last six months. Many have lost much more and unfortunately there is no clear finish line in sight.
At This Moment….My Drink in Life blog series where I share with you things which are inspiring or intriguing. I expand on things I see, do, read, or taste, and share them so you may discover something new or inspiring. In turn, I hope that you will share with me what is grabbing your attention…at this moment.
A new spirit that I am excited about comes from an Oregon Distillery that is blazing a contemporary Trail by using other local components to showcase a flavor that is uniquely their own. Oregon City’s Trail Distilling is a certified farm distillery that uses naturally harvested grains and pristine Cascadian glacial water to produce their multi award winning spirits. Trail Distilling has personalized two of their Gins in a way that connects the heart of craftsmanship between distiller and winemaker and takes full advantage of remnants of the local terroir in Oregon Wine Country. Trillium Pink Pinot Gin utilizes a freshly emptied Pinot Noir Cask where it sits for two months collecting some of the soft fruity pinot flavor and an elegant pink blush. Delicately floral with just a hint of toasted oak, this Pink Pinot Gin would do an excellent job of convincing non-Gin Drinkers to give it a second chance. Also an award winner, it received a Gold Medal at the New York International Spirits Competition 2020 New York International Spirits Competition 2020 and Double Gold at 2019 SIP Northwest Spirits Competition. If you are Interested in finding out more about Trail Distilling visit their website traildistilling.com .
Vignette; Stories of Life & Wine in 100 Bottles by Jane Lopes, enjoyed with a lovely 2017 Claret from Matthews Winery and Yes, Chocolate!
Up until a month ago I was enjoying Summer Novels, Cookbooks and Travel Books, now in accordance with WSET 3 it seems everything that I read is Wine related. Here is what book I have my nose stuck into right now:
If like me you have been binge watching shows on Netflix, Amazon and Hulu and you are a winelover, then you may have watched the documentary Uncorked, which follows the journey of 6 wine experts on their quest to become a Master Sommelier. Among those six candidates was Jane Lopes and seeing her journey, with both triumphs and struggles, really resonated with me and my whole Wine Education process. Some may also remember the 2018 cheating scandal that rocked the Master Sommelier world and how Jane was stripped of her Master Sommelier title (after only holding it for five weeks) along with all the other candidates that successfully passed their tasting exam during that test period. Reading this book you get a true appreciation for Jane’s vast wine knowledge and like how so many others wine has changed her life. If you haven’t read Vignette yet, I highly recommend it.
Matthews 2017 Claret is a wonderful Washington red blend, bringing together 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Malbec and Petit Verdot. This Claret comes from a collection of small vineyard parcels within three AVAs: Red Mountain, Walla Walla Valley, and the Columbia Valley. A bouquet of violets greets you before you even lift the glass to your nose, along with red Bing cherry, vanilla and spice and on the palate this wine delivers a delicate and smooth flavor boom that is drinkable now but has room for aging. Paired with a good book and an assortment of chocolates I can’t think of a better way to spend a sunny Fall afternoon.
I am far from alone when it comes to my wine education being put on hold this year. After successfully completing WSET 2, in March I had just started WSET 3 and was only one week into the classes when things were shut down. Although that class eventually continued online (it is still going right now) I opted to restart the class this fall with the test being given (hopefully) in December. This delay has given me some extra time to get me study material in order and formulate a study schedule for the next three months. I think goals like this are important and even if we don’t know if things will actually come to pass, we have something to work towards and a goal to fulfill. I am going in with confidence that I will pass WSET 3 and have already set my eyes on the next wine education course, either Italian Wine Scholar or Spanish Wine Scholar, both of which begin in January 2021.
Organizing and inventorying wine collection taken some time but it is the accomplishment that I am most proud of during this time spent at home. I am really a visual person and I wanted the ease of an app on my phone to show me my entire collection and be able to break it down by country, varietal and types of wine. I ended up choosing an app called Invintory, but there are so many great apps out there right now. It is nice to be able to search for a specific grape or country and see what you have in seconds. With all of my wine now organized I have been adding to our cellar with some wine purchases to aide in my WSET 3 studies as well as to enjoy over the winter.
Brushetta paired with a bottle of Ayres 2017 Lewis Rogers Lane Pinot Noir (Ribbon Ridge)
Each Spring my husband and I plant our large vegetable garden and this year the harvest from the garden and the fruit trees has been substantial. With the large abundance of tomatoes, that to date are still continuing to ripen, I have been busy making things like Bruschetta and Bruschetta in a Jar, as well as filling the dehydrator for my own Sundried tomatoes and canning Salsa.
“The fruit of your own hard work is the Sweetest.” -Deepika Padukone
After canning 16 Bruschetta in a Jar and cleaning up, the 2019 Dry Rosé from Seven Hills Winery was a perfect way to celebrate putting food up some of the wonderful flavors of summer for the coming months. You can read more about Seven Hills Winery on a previous blog post found here.
Home cooking has definitely been something that has been happening even more in our house the last six plus months. I didn’t make my own Sourdough Starter but we have been enjoying a lot more homemade wood fired pizzas lately.
Most Pizza nights the biggest decision is what wine to pair with the multitude of tops (we each often do a half and half mixed topping Pizza). On this night I wanted something a little lighter because I had made fresh tomato sauce for Margherita pizza . So out came a bottle of 2019 White Caps from Sigillo Cellars. Their 100% Pinot Gris is the perfect blend of stone fruit, apple and citrus aromas and flavors. Amazing flavors and such a great wine to pair with food!!
I hope that you are fairing well as we navigate our way through these difficult times, and I would love to hear what you are doing to keep busy during the “Unexpected Stay at Home of 2020.” Leave me a comment and tell me how you are doing. Cheers Everyone!
Images are ©Drink In Nature Photography and Drink In Life Blog.