Eastern European 102, Wine Tasting Class at Bar Brunello, Durham, NC

During my time in Durham, NC, I was keeping my eye out for wine tastings and other wine experiences. When I came across the calendar of events at Bar Brunello, I was so excited to find such titles as Orange wine, South American wine classes and Eastern European tastings. Not only have I never tasted wines from this part of the world, to be honest, I wasn’t even sure what countries would be included in this area. Once I finally made up my mind to attend the Eastern European tasting, the first one was sold out, but luckily there were 2 so I promptly booked the second event. Read More…

Johnson Estate Vineyard Walk & Brunch, Westfield, NY

Neil’s mom, Linda, works at a vineyard in New York, so while we were planning our trip to the Erie, PA area we made reservations to attend the brunch at Johnson Estate. Although we’ve visited the Lake Erie Wine Trail a handful of times, we’ve never done an official vineyard tour there. I was so excited to learn about some of the grapes local to the area and what a bonus to have brunch and a wine tasting included!
Read More…

Garnacha y Valdeon, Spanish Wine and Cheese pairing with @JustTheBottle

When I was approached to be the guest on Just the Bottle we talked through a few ideas of what the theme would be. I had recently done two Spanish wine and Spanish cheese pairings, (http://wineandcheesefriday.com/rioja-with-sheep-cheese-a-little-piece-of-spain/ and http://wineandcheesefriday.com/white-rioja-and-goat-cheese-log/) that were well matched, so I suggested the idea. Christina, the hostess, happily agreed since she is a fan of Spanish wines. This was our chance to get better acquainted with a new region for wine and cheese. We’ve had Grenache from California and quite a few blue cheeses but neither one from Spain so when we came up with the idea of Garnacha and Valdeon, it was settled. Read More…

Wine Tasting in Pennsylvania 2018

As we began planning our time in Pennsylvania, I knew we’d take our annual trip out to the wineries with Neil’s cousin Diane. I created a list of all the places we’ve visited in previous years as well as some of the brands that had been shared with us at picnics and dinners. Then I consulted the Lake Erie Wine Country website, my go-to guide when we come here. The wine trail goes up and down Lake Erie through Pennsylvania and New York. This year I chose two wineries in Pennsylvania within 10-15 minutes from where we were staying as I figured this year could be more of a relaxed wine tasting trip. The first winery was Presque Isle Wine Cellars, which was not only close by but also their website suggested you could bring a picnic lunch and sit near the creek (locals pronounce this “crick”). The second winery, Penn Shore Winery and Vineyards, http://pennshore.com, also made note of relaxing with a glass of wine as you take in the vineyard views. Sounds like just the break we could use! Read More…

Vinebox 2 and Carolina Bleu Marble

Our second Vinebox shipment included a White, Rosé and a Red; what a great mix! Oh, you’ve never heard of Vinebox? Why not read our introduction explaining Vinebox in the entry from our first shipment. (http://wineandcheesefriday.com/vinebox-shipment-one/) Now to figure out which cheese to pick? We had our eye on a North Carolina blue cheese that looked like marble, lets try that. It will be interesting to see how this blue pairs with all the colors of wine! Read More…

Goat Lady Dairy Farm Dinner, Climax, NC

Does the idea of a farm fresh dinner get you excited? Would it help to add in that this farm is a goat dairy that makes cheese? If you know me, then you know I was sold on this idea! Neil and I decided to group together our birthday and anniversary celebrations from the Spring to gift ourselves this farm dinner. As some of you know, we have been staying in Durham for the last few months. Durham is a pretty hip place that is a former tobacco town. That means there’s tons of old factories turned into commercial and residential spaces but not much for farmland or country. Once we got the idea to visit a farm for dinner, we had to figure out where to go. Goat Lady Dairy is about an hour and a half west of Durham, but I was sold once I watched their cheesemaking video online, http://www.goatladydairy.com. It was settled then, we’d pick the date and make our reservation. Read More…

A Behind the Scenes look at a Twitter Chat-WineAndCheeseFriday is featured on #WiningHourChat

During a WiningHourChat in the beginning of the year, a suggestion was made to have a Wine and Cheese Theme on a future Tuesday night. So immediately after the chat ended, I contacted the hostesses to figure out what time of the year would be good for all of us. We decided to hold it on National Cheese Day in June. This got the ideas flowing in my mind. What would we talk about? What wines and cheeses should we taste? What would my role as guest be? The hostesses will tell you that this spurred a bunch of ideas and messages from me in the coming days. Read More…

Chardon-May, Our Favorite Chardonnay

When we came up with the idea for Chardon-May, I wanted to find wines from less common growing areas than most people are familiar with for Chardonnay. We have enjoyed Chardonnay on many occasions and it is a wine that can range in flavor quite a bit. I was also curious how many of them would be lighter and fruitier than the heavily oaked versions we knew from California. Read More…

Languedoc Day 2018

During a set of recent Instagram posts, I found out that Neil and I have tried quite a few Languedoc wines. This came as a bit to a surprise to me. We know that we always enjoy trying new wines but who knew that we’d been gravitating to a specific French wine region? I’d say part of the reason we were unaware of these wines all carrying a similar trait is because Old World wines are labeled pretty differently than New World wines. Read More…

Chardon-May, Finca Sophenia Chardonnay and Campo de Montalban

This Chardon-May entry features a Chardonnay from Argentina and a cheese from Spain. We found this wine, as well as the Australian Chardonnay from our last entry at Wine Authorities. Also similar to the previous entry, the cheese is from Whole Foods. I love cheese and they have such a terrific selection of cheeses from around the world there! In order to celebrate WineAndCheeseFriday, we brought in guest tasters, Jo and Francis, our landlords in Durham, NC. They both enjoy wine and figured they’d give wine and cheese pairing with us a try. I didn’t realize Jo is usually an AnythingButChardonnay kind of girl when we invited them up so we’ll see how it goes. Read More…