Thursday, July 24, 2014

WBC15: Finger Lakes Wine Region, NY

WBC15
 
It was quite disappointing not to participate in WBC14, as Santa Barbara seemed a beautiful location with lots of wines we had not had access to. Unfortunately, it wasn't in the budget, so it didn't happen. I was really excited to read that WBC15 was coming closer to home. The 2015 Wine Bloggers Conference will take place August 13-16, in the town of Corning, Finger Lakes region, New York. While we could fly to NY, it seems a perfect opportunity to take a few extra days and drive there, stopping to visit wineries in Ohion and Pennsylvania, tasting wines we've yet to try and adding a couple of states to our project along the way.

We've had some experience tasting the FLX wines over the last few years, generally the new Riesling vintages, but also reds, dessert, and ice wines as well. Quality across the board has been pretty high, so it will be exciting to taste the wines in situ. From photos and videos we've seen, the Finger Lakes are a gorgeous area and we cannot wait to see it in person.

I'll be extra diligent to include this trip into our 2015 budget - hope to see you there!

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

Trader Joe's sells the Samuel Smith Old Brewery gift set - for $10, you get a 550 mL bottle of India Ale, Nut Brown Ale, and Oatmeal Stout, a branded pint glass, and a coaster. Pretty much a deal you can't resist (at least I couldn't). I added the Organic Chocolate Stout for good measure, because hey, it's organic, it's chocolate, and it's a stout - a perfect trifecta.

The Old Brewery at Tadcaster was established in 1758, making it Yorkshire’s oldest brewery. The brewing water is from 85 feet underground, using the original well. Their ales and stouts (except draught Sovereign and Extra Stout) are fermented in ‘stone Yorkshire squares’~ fermenting vessels made of solid slabs of slate, using the same strain of yeast since the 19th century. The brewery still makes and repairs all its oak casks; all Samuel Smith’s naturally conditioned draught beer is served from barrel.

These are really high quality beers, understated yet full of flavor. They've been brewing these beers for some time now, so they're onto a recipe that works. Even if you can't get ahold of the gift set, the individual brews are widely available, and should be on your wish list for tasting.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

#WineStudio Session XV – The Independent Spirit: Wines of the USA

#WineStudio Session XV – The Independent Spirit: Wines of the USA

Protocol Wine Studio's #WineStudio in July revisits Le Metro – Wine Underground because July is all about independence and this curated collection just happens to contain bottles from states you may not normally recognize as wine-producing regions. We're tasting wines from Vermont, Texas, Wisconsin, Colorado, and Virginia and meeting some independent spirits along the way. #WineStudio is here to school us on some of those states that are producing some kick-ass wine. As always, we’ll discuss each region: geography, grapes, climate, culture and cuisine and of course learn more about each winery and the good folk who lovingly produce these wines.


About #WineStudio and True Wine Culture: The True Wine Culture message is wine education, so that we may gain a better understanding of our world through wine and our part in that world – we’re continually searching and pioneering an American cultural perspective. #WineStudio prepares us to engage our brain and palate through this interactive online wine community.

Join us tonight and next Tuesday night, 8:00 PM ET, on Twitter - follow the hashtag #WineStudio.

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Grand River Marketplace - Jackson, MI

We recently dropped off our kids at a summer camp near, Jackson, MI, and needed a place for lunch. While perusing local craft breweries, I came across Grand River Marketplace, which not only offered beer brewed on the premises, but food as well - win/win.

Grand River Marketplace

The Grand River Marketplace is in an old industrial building, with a decor heavily inspired by Steampunk, with some clever and interesting artifacts created by a talented artist. Mostly an open space with soaring ceilings and plenty of light courtesy of clerestory windows underneath the roofline, this is a comfortable place which probably gets pretty noisy when bands play.

We visited on a Sunday, which meant a limited menu, as they were serving a breakfast brunch. Since we were primarily there to taste beer and not eat (though we also did want lunch), we were happy to hear we didn't have to order from the brunch menu, but could also partake of some appetizers, which is what we ended up doing. Duck tenders, sweet potato tots, and tempura green beans all had great flavor, though weren't as crisp as we would have liked.

Grand River Marketplace

With 8 beers on the menu, we decided to taste all 8, not being sure when we'd be back (if ever). Some very unique beers, with a lot of fruit-inspired selections, some good on initial pass, all decent or better. These beers really started to shine once we got food, feeling more balanced and tastier when paired with the various appetizers before us.

With a distillery planned and wine also being made (or bottled) by Grand River Marketplace, this is a one-stop shop for Michigan foodies. The food was tasty, and, even with a limited menu, we really enjoyed the food and beer. If you find yourself in Jackson, MI, take some time to search this out for a meal. If you're going for the beer, choose a day other than Sunday to get a more diverse menu. Walk around the restaurant and check out all the cool industrial art pieces, both free-standing and on the walls.

Grand River Marketplace on Urbanspoon

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