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The Great (RV) Kentucky Race, To Reach Buffalo Trace!

The Great (RV) Kentucky Race, To Reach Buffalo Trace!

My husband and I are on an adventure. A few years ago, we bought an RV. We love to travel and have been to so many great places around the world but decided it might be fun to explore more of the U.S., with our dogs in tow!

Since then every summer we’ve taken 4 to 6 weeks to do some exploring, with wine, beer and spirits experiences along the way.

Due to the pandemic, we knew that our experiences may be limited this year but decided to give it a shot. Plus, the experts say that RV travel is one of the safest things to do right now. We are using our own bathroom, sinks, and kitchen in our RV for the whole trip, so we feel as if we’re doing this right.

This year our first destination was Lexington, KY. We stayed at the Kentucky Horse Park Campground and loved the experience. The grounds were well kept and the space between the RV campsites were generous. While walking our dogs we stumbled across the fact that we were parked right behind Rolex Stadium. What a treat to check that out.

Our main attraction for the area was to visit a distillery, OF COURSE!!!! We chose Buffalo Trace, not only because of its fine reputation, but also because it was one of the few open to the public.

Buffalo Trace did a great job using very thorough social distance procedures. We checked in for the tasting in a completely different building where we had our temperatures checked and were asked a bunch of questions. We were required to wear masks and waited in a secure area for the tasting to begin. Our appointment started right on time and we were escorted to a room where there were tables with one tasting flight per table and they were all safely apart.

The tasting itself was wonderful! Here’s what we tried:

Wheatly Vodka (Named after Buffalo Trace’s Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley, this vodka is made in small batches using Harlen’s one of a kind micro-still and a unique recipe of wheat and other grains. It is distilled 10 times, triple filtered and bottled at 82 proof.)

Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon (This is their signature whiskey and has been made the same way for more than 200 years! It’s a smooth 45% ABV with a complex aroma and lovely on the palate. Think vanilla, brown sugar and baking spices. We bought a bottle of this and have been drinking it in our RV after stopping for the nights!)

Eagle Rare Bourbon Whiskey (This whiskey is aged for no less than ten years before bottled. Again complex, with vanilla and oranges, along with herbaceousness. The palate is glorious, and the finish has a touch of chocolate. We bought a bottle of this to save to share with special friends!)

Buffalo Trace Distillery Bourbon Cream (Okay, the game is changing here! I’m not normally a liqueur kind of gal, but this stuff is special. Who needs cake for dessert when a glass of this is available? During the tasting they had us drink half of our pour and save the rest to make a root beer float. More info below!)

Freddie’s Root Beer (This root beer is named in honor of longtime Buffalo Trace Distillery tour guide, Freddie Johnson. As a third-generation employee, Freddie’s is an old-fashioned soda made with natural herbs, real oil of birch and imported vanilla. During the tasting we added the Bourbon Cream. We of course had to buy these products as well, and my husband has had at least one “root beer float” a night since the tasting. He’s addicted to this concoction!)

Rebecca Ruth Bourbon Ball (We ended the tasting with a fun bon bon. Rebecca Ruth Candy Factory is a historic chocolatier in Kentucky. The story goes back to 1919 when two substitute schoolteachers ventured into the chocolate business. Being the inventor of the Bourbon Ball, Buffalo Trace was a natural partner to create these delightful treats!

The only bummer … no Pappy available for tasting!!!! LOL Believe me, we weren’t expecting it! I’m thrilled to say that it has been on my palate a time or two, and in my opinion it lives up to the hype!

Buffalo Trace is the oldest continuously operating distillery in America. They were even allowed to continue production during Prohibition to make whiskey for medicinal reasons. They are still family owned and located in Franklin County, Kentucky. Within the past decade, Buffalo Trace has won more awards than any other distillery in the world, including seven “Distillery of the Year” titles.

So, if you find yourself anywhere near Frankfort, KY be sure to schedule an appointment for Buffalo Trace. Even during these trying times, you can be sure that they are taking every precaution to keep people safe while enjoying some libation and fun!

P.S. If you’re in an RV, check out the Kentucky Horse Park Campground. It’s a gem, too!

 

 

 

 

What To Pair With Mushroom Risotto?

What to Pair With Mushroom Risotto?

What’s a great pairing with mushrooms? Well, there are actually quite a few. I like pairing mushrooms with an earthy red. Nebbiolo and Pinot Noir are great choices. White wines can work too, though. I especially like a Chardonnay with some age on it.

When I whipped up some mushroom risotto last night for dinner I headed to my cellar and grabbed a Pinot Noir! I wanted a wine with some earth on it and not too much fruit. I hesitantly chose a Pinot from the Sonoma Coast. I was hoping that I wouldn’t be too fruity, but had been curious to try it so I decided to give it a shot.

Success!!!!! I opened the 2016 Metzker Pinot Noir “Terra de Promissio”, which is the winery’s first reserve tier wine. Terra de Promissio translates to “Land of Promise” and is a widely respected vineyard on the Sonoma Coast.

The wine itself is lovely, and exactly what I was looking for to pair with my risotto. On the nose are beautiful floral and strawberry notes. The palate has a silky texture with a fabulous earthiness to compliment the mushrooms. The silky body feel worked with with the creaminess of the risotto. This Pinot also has some tart cherry, tea and cola. The tannins are light, and the finish is long and sensual.

The dinner and pairing was outstanding. Thankfully after cleaning up the kitchen, there was plenty of the wine to enjoy into the evening.

If you’re interested in trying the Metzker wines (and you should be!), here’s a link to their site: https://mfewines.com

 

Wine & Football … A Winning Team!

Wine & Football … A Winning Team!

What goes great with football???? Well wine OF COURSE!!!!!!!!!!!! Some wines even more than others.

The NFL Pro Bowl has been in Orlando the past few years, which is a lot of fun for us who live in the area. They have lots of fun activities for the public, like the Pro Bowl Skills Showdown, the Precision Passing and the Best Hands competition, Dodge Ball and the highlight of it all …  the Pro Bowl game itself!!!!

Three years ago during Pro Bowl week I was fortunate to attend a wine tasting hosted by none other than future NFL Hall of Famer CHARLES WOODSON, who was sharing some of his wines for people who love wine AND football.

So … the appropriate wine to open THIS year to enjoy while viewing the game was a bottle of 2012 TwentyFour by Charles Woodson!

Three years ago this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon had flavors of chocolate covered cherry, ripe dark fruit and tomato. There was a pretty good amount of oak with some velvety tannin. It was definitely enjoyable then.

Fast-forward three years, and the wine tastes great.  The color is deep ruby with some rim variation. There is lots of ripe red fruit, along with some blueberry, licorice, and tobacco. The tannins are so velvety and smooth. This is drinking wonderfully now, but I’m going to keep my other bottle for another five years. I’m hoping to find some more to enjoy along the way!

Woodson isn’t the only athlete to expand into the wine world. Drew Bledsoe has Doubleback, making some outstanding wines out of Washington State. Other athletes to venture into the wine world are John Elway, NHL’s Wayne Gretzky, golfers Greg Norman and Ernie Els, and NBA’s Dwayne Wade who partnered with Pahlmeyer to create Wade Cellars. Man do I want to try his wine!

So the next time you tune into your favorite sport, crack open a bottle of wine to support your favorite player! It’ll make the game twice as fun!

Wisconsin Road Trip … With BEER & John Mayer!!!

Wisconsin Road Trip … With BEER & John Mayer!!!

I live in Florida where the winters are glorious and the summers suck. It’s just so dang hot. So a couple of years ago my husband and I did something we never in a million years thought we’d do. We bought an RV. Owning a little home with wheels enables us to take our three doggies with us as we get the heck out of Dodge for a few weeks during the hottest (and stormiest) times in Florida.

This year we headed toward the Midwest, a land known for some super breweries.

While in Wisconsin, we hit quite a few. Here are some of my favorites:

Hinder Brewing Company – This new brewery is located in Waupaca, WI, my parent’s hometown where I spent a lot of weekends while growing up. My favorite thing about this brewery was the venue. Oh gosh, what they’ve done with this place! The building used to be a pretty run down store and they’ve turned it into a super hip spot. What a great place to hang with friends and down a brew or two. My favorite beer here was the Schweddy Stout, although their GladAss Porter and Craggy IPA were darned good too.  I absolutely love their slogan … “Grab a Hinder”!

22 Lakes Brewing Company – Also in Waupaca, this brewery is located right downtown and has some great beer! One of my favorites was the 22 Lakes Chuck’s Steam Engine, their signature stout with lots of roasted barley flavor. They also have some “Guest Beers” from Fifth Ward Brewing Company in Oshkosh (my hometown, woohoo!!!!). I fell in love with Fifth Ward’s Haze It or Love It New England style IPA! Full of grapefruit and orangey citrus flavors, this beer is a great thirst quencher on a warm day! Loved it!

Central Waters – Next up was Central Waters in nearby Amherst, WI. Holy moly, there wasn’t a bad beer in the bunch, and they have a HUGE bunch of beers!  My personal favorite was the Brewer’s Reserve Vanilla Bean Stout. Aged in bourbon barrels, this Imperial Stout has a lot of flavor, but the vanilla and bourbon are so well balanced that neither is overpowering. And I would never have guessed the ABV at 9.5%! I also really loved the Cassian Sunset; another bourbon barrel aged imperial with lots of baking spice flavors. They had a to die for milkshake IPA too, but like I said, every beer we tried was fabulous, and we tried pretty much all of them! I was so enthralled with the beer that I forgot to take many pictures! Luckily my husband snapped one of our flights, and I did capture a couple on my way to the loo! We bought lots of beer to go, along with some souvenir glasses and a shirt.

Geneva Lake Brewing Company – While visiting the Lake Geneva area of Wisconsin, I wanted to check out their brewery scene. We were there on a Monday, so we were limited because most places were closed. We checked out Geneva Lake Brewing Company and were happy with our choice. The brewery and taproom are in an industrial area, but that works for us. Inside, the taproom is pretty cool, and they have a bunch of board games and great seating. It was slow on Monday, but I imagine it’s pretty jamming on the weekends. Our favorite beers there were the IPAs. We grabbed a crowler of both their No Wake IPA and Implosion Double IPA to go!

Good City Brewing – Last, but certainly not least, was Good City Brewing in Milwaukee! My hubby and I were in town to see John Mayer at the Fiserv Forum, so I looked into nearby brewery taprooms we could hit before the show. Wouldn’t you know … right across the street was a taproom for a brewery I’d been dying to try … Good City! So we checked it out before the show! The vibe is awesome, with lots of seating in a fun industrial, yet modern space. They have a barley wine called BFG that I really dug. It’s 11.5 alcohol, so I was careful. They also had some great IPAs, my favorite probably being the Reward, which is a Double IPA. I loved the complexity of the tropical fruit along with some floral hoppy notes. My husband’s favorite was the Detail Porter, with lots of mocha maltiness! Good City was definitely a great way to start a fabulous night seeing John “gasp” Mayer!!!!!!!! Seventh row, no less! What an awesome time in Milwaukee!!!!!. P.S. Be sure to order some of their curry fries! Holy Moly!!!!

By the way, my husband and I have seen John Mayer in concert a gazillion times, and this tour ROCKS!!! If you have the chance, don’t hesitate to make a date and go!

We are now on our way back toward Florida, with a weeklong stop in Asheville! I’m sure we’ll be hitting Asheville’s famed South Slope to sample some of the brews there. Who doesn’t love a road trip with breweries along the way?

If you’d like to check these breweries out, here are the links! Cheers!!!

https://hinderbrewingco.com

http://www.22lakesbrewingco.com

https://centralwaters.com

https://www.facebook.com/GLBrewCo/?rf=891035637634727

https://www.goodcitybrewing.com

What’s The Tastiest Hangover Remedy???

What’s the Tastiest Hangover Remedy???

Did you know that French Onion Soup is a hangover cure? What??? That’s what a lot of people believe. In fact, this heavenly caramelized onion concoction is often served at weddings in France long AFTER the cake … to ward off the dreaded headache and nausea that is bound to plague you the next day!

I made a batch last night. Not because I was hung-over, but because it’s my hubby’s favorite!

Now I know that there are a lot of wine pairing options for this tasty soup, but which bottle should I crack open? Should I go with a Pinot Gris from Alsace, whose Meyer lemon and waxy texture would compliment the soup nicely? A Gewürztraminer crossed my mind, for the touch of residual sugar that would bring out the sweetness of the onions. A Northern Rhone or Beaujolais were also tempting, but I ended up going with a Pinot Noir from Burgundy!

I chose the 2012 Régis Bouvier Gevrey-Chambertin, which I think was a great fit! The bright raspberry, cranberry and cherry fruit in the wine pick up the onion’s sweetness. The herbaceous thyme I used to in the soup brought out the earthiness of the wine. Perhaps most importantly, the great acidity of the wine cuts the richness of the Gruyere cheese (my favorite part!) blanketing the soup!

The wine itself is lovely! Perfectly balanced with fruit and earthiness, this 2012 Régis Bouvier Gevrey-Chambertin is a great value and once again a fine example of why I trust a bottle with the Kermit Lynch logo on the back label!

So go for it!!! Whether you’ve had too much fun the night before (i.e. hangover!) or you’re just in the mood for some warming soup with a kick-ass wine, cook up some French Onion Soup and grab a bottle of Régis Bouvier! Cheers!

https://www.kermitlynch.com/our-wines/regis-bouvier/

 

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