Sunday, July 17, 2011


Saturday was a beautiful day for a road trip to Ohio to attend our monthly wine tasting at Vintage Estate Wine and Beer in Boardman, Ohio. We started out having our favorite salad & gigantic baked sweet potato for lunch. Then onward to the wine taste. This month VE was celebrating "Christmas in July". There is always a fun time at the VE even if they are not having a special program going on. There you can purchase a single bottle or two of great beers or a favorite wine and sit on their patio or in their lounge. If hungry you can order one of their great tasting flatbreads from their selection. Phil & Sandy always do thier best to make you feel welcome. 
This month the tasting featured 7 unique wines from Italy. 

                                    SPECIAL GUEST from Italy !
Leonardo Stroppiana
"Barbera d'Alba Doc"
Red Wine
He  signed his bottles if you purchased one.

I have a hard time pronouncing the wines, let alone spelling them. Even being of part Italian heritage I am unfamiliar with the pronunciation. So it is a good thing you can read this and not have to listen to me struggle with the wordage. The first wine we sampled was Lugana di Sirmione Doc. It was a medium bodied dry white wine. Very tasty and appealing with notes of peach & almonds. It was grand with the cheeses which were provided by the VE to accompany the wines. The second was a sparkling white called Prosecco Spumante V.S.A.Q Caviti which also was a dry white wine. Very fruity and also went well with cheese. Next we tried the Garda Classico Rosso Doc, moving on the the reds which I so love. Even though I am finding whites I enjoy and drink again, I still love my reds! This wine was light & dry on the palate. It was a blend of groppello, barbera, sangiovese,marzemino grapes......blended to perfection. The taste was described to us a prune, vanilla & wild red fruits. The presentation of the wines was wonderfully done by a beautiful young Italian woman presenting the wines who also as the tasting went on entertained us with her lovely singing. This wine went well with the salami & cheese selections provided by the VE. They always have a wonderful spread of appetizers for us to fill our bellies with. This wine also went well with the petite brownies drizzled with chocolate sauce they provided. There never is a reason to go hungry at the VE's tastings! Number 4 was a Chianti called Cianti Torre del Sasso Dogg. It was a light, dry, fruity tasting wine of sangiovese & canaiolo grapes. It had the specific taste of chocolate and fruits. I would love to have this wine with a giagantic bowl or dish of spaghetti & meatballs & a nice hunk of fresh Italian bread. Oh my...yum, yum, yum! My imagination ran wild with this wine! The next wine was Barbera d'alba Superiore Doc which was a medium bodied fruity tasting wine made from barbera grapes. Cherries, vanilla & chocolate were the tasting of this wine. This also was perfect with the tiny brownies.I just love dark chocolates with my red wines. Tons of antioxidants from the red grapes and the cocoa invading my body! This is how I choose to look at it. I choose to drink red wine for health reasons, as my neurologist suggested years ago. I do limit my intake to 1 small amount in my crystal wine glass about 5 times a week. On an occassion I will have 2 glasses. But that is rare. I have learned to savor and enjoy the taste and make it a pleasurable time of my day where I look forward to  having my glass of wine and relaxing with no other thoughts racing through my mind. And then I start to wonder about what grapes were used, what the vineyard looked like, who harvested the luscious grapes from the vine, who bottled it and then I become thankful for all the hard work involved just so I could sit and enjoy the "fruit of their labor". Then I get out The Wine Bible and learn about what I have just drank. This to me is relaxing. We all need to find what helps us relax and momentarily get out of this rat race of a world in which we live in. My friends & I find taking our monthly trip to the VE when able a great experience and we always are refreshed afterwards. Even if we are tired at the end of the day after the drive home, it somehow leaves you refreshed and you look forward to the next time. 
The 6th wine we tasted was Sogno Mediterraneo  Igt Super Tuscan. It was a dry red wine with a blend of alicante, sirah, petit verdot, sangiovese, cabernet sauvignon and merlot grapes. The taste was very intense and again a favorite of mine. Blueberry, blackberry & licorice tasting with an oaky aroma. I would love this wine with a thick steak grilled to perfection! Oh what a dinner that would be! Salad on the side and chocolate cake for dessert & it would be a dinner to not forget! The final wine of the taste was Lambrusco Amabile Rosso "Stella Italia" made from lambrusco maestri and ancellotta grapes. It was a semi-sweet, sparkling red wine. It was a cherry, berry taste with a light hint of pepper.
All of these wines are available for purchase at the VE and range in price from $10.99 to $29.99.
Thank you VE for making our visit a pleasurable one! Keep up the great work! It is appreciated. 
Salute' !

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Limoncello & a hot day !

At a recent wine taste I purchased this bottle of Limoncello. Today was a perfect day to enjoy some on the deck. This time I decided to make Limoncello ice cubes and drop them into freshly brewed ice tea. A wonderfully refreshing treat. No sugar used and the limoncello was just the right amount to enjoy and refresh.

You can also find recipes to make your own Limoncello by using lemons, sugar and vodka. It takes some time to age but this would be a great project for the winter months so you could enjoy it in the spring and summer.

2nd Publication available on

For Better~For Worse~~~Happy Ever After~Happily Divorced

Saturday, May 28, 2011


BARKAN CLASSIC Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Barkan Classic Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Barkan Classic Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 was uncorked at my home last evening. I had some friends over for a visit and one of them brought this fabulous wine from Galil, Israel. We had  it a few months ago at a wine taste. It is a Kosher wine made from grapes grown in northern Israel. It is deep and ruby red in color, almost a purple, with the aroma of spicy berries mingling with the oak it was aged in. It is a full bodied red which was pleasing to the palate.
A Kosher wine begins with how the vines are tended. Grapes cannot be taken from a new vine, they must be at least 4 years old. Every 7 years the fields must be left fallow and nothing else planted in its place. The barrels must be cleaned 3 times and 10% of the wine is thrown away for the tithe. The workers must be Sabbath observing men during the harvest. A non Jew is not permitted to touch any of the product or equipment. A Rabi must bless the facility and the wine. The label must state Kosher. 
It is a fine tasting wine which I will have in my wine stock. All in all it made for an enjoyable evening with friends sharing the fruit of the vine. Thanks Nancy for bring it.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sun, Fun & Wine Saturday!

The sun has not shined much this past spring for us. But yesterday was a gloriously beautiful sunshiny day! What a perfect day for a drive to Ohio to the wine tasting at Vintage Estates Wine and Beer. My friend and I set out as usual to have lunch at our favorite restaurant. Then off to the wine taste. The turnout at the VE was not as large as normal possibly because of the nice weather and graduation parties. But nevertheless we had a great time as always. 
Phil & Sandy had a wine rep behind the bar who was very informative about each sampling he poured for us. This is something I hope they have more often as it was a nice touch to an already nice arrangement. The rep offered information on each wine and was personable to each and every one who went for their next sampling. Watching from a distance and also speaking with him I could tell he really loves his job. Passion is a good thing when your job has you working with the public. Well done. I applaud you!
The samplings consisted of a nice selection of whites and reds. The first was a Mason Cellars "Pomelo" Sauvignon Blanc 2009 from California. It was very light, crisp and clear with citrus notes along with a bit of herbiness. A very good choice for a hot day. Drinking this on the patio at the VE was very refreshing. Next was another white from France, Chateau Mas Neuf "Paradox" Blanc 2010. It was part Grenache Blanc and Roussanne. Its color was yellow with scents of peaches.It also was a great choice for a hot day. It reminded me of drinking mineral water, but with more taste. The next was another "Paradox" ....Chateau Mas Neuf "Paradox" Rouge 2009. This wine had a deep rich color and fruitiness along with strong leather aroma.To me I could smell a smokiness but when thinking upon this again I now can relate it to leather.  This wine would go well I think with a nice dinner of roast. Either chicken or beef. 
We also had Plungerhead Zinfadel 2009. This one I liked alot. I love old vine Zins. It was jammed packed with flavor and aromas. Berries of all sorts with a hint of pepper and oak.Very good choice VE!
Bishop's Peak Cabernat 2007 had a bittiness to it. Just the right amount to leave you wanting another sip of pleasure. This also was a pleasing red to try. 
We finally wound down our time at the VE with a Pennywise Petit Sirah 2009. This wine was deep dark purple in color with the taste of berries lingering on your palate. Mixed with spices and chocolate flavors it was a perfect wine to end our day before heading out to Starbucks to enjoy a cup of full bodied coffee before we began our journey back home. 
We could not have asked for a more perfect day! A great drive, great lunch, pleasant wine tasting, time to sit on the patio both at the VE and at Starbucks. Time to kick back, relax and enjoy and for a while just forget about life's stress, whatever they may be. Stop by the VE  if you are ever in the Boardman, Ohio area. You can enjoy a bottle of beer or glass of wine on their patio or at their bar anytime they are open. You don't need to wait to attend a wine tasting to see what they are all about. Phil & Sandy will love having you!
Salute !

Friday, May 20, 2011


Vintage Estate logo
Wine TasteSaturday, May 21, 2011
Please join us for THE V.E. MONTHLY WINE TASTE on 
May 21, 2011
from 4PM-7PM.
Only $15.00 per person. 
Includes light appetizers.
The Wines

Mason Cellars "Pomelo" Sauvignon Blanc 2009  
         Château Mas Neuf "Paradox" Blanc 2010
Château Mas Neuf "Paradox" Rouge 2009
Plungerhead Lodi Zinfandel 2009
Bishop's Peak Cabernet 2007
Pennywise Petit Sirah 2009

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


What is a "Woozie" or a "Koozie"? Woozies are an insulated sleeve for your wine made of neoprene, a fantastic fiber which insulates. Koozies are made from thick scba high density foam which insulates. No more holding wet wine glasses when drinking your wine cold. Keeps your wine at a constant temperature, fun and stylish. A great gift idea for the wine enthusiasts. Visit the Woozie site  and see all the different styles they have. They also have this for the wine bottles. A design for everyone. Washable and reusable these are perfect for indoors and outdoors.
You can also find a wine bottle "Koozie" at this site  where you can get it personalized with an embroidered initial or name. 
Koozie's or Woozie's whichever you prefer could be the gift you've been looking for to accompany your bottle of wine or wine glass.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


The Reserve 2007 Merlot by Yellow Tail

Last evening a friend and I uncorked a bottle of The Reserve Merlot my friend Janet gave me for Christmas. I had been saving this bottle to share with someone who would appreciate it. I had no idea what it would taste like but I did know Yellow Tail wines have been one of my favorite Australian wines for many years, right along side of Jacobs Creek wines from Australia. I am partial to Australian wines. I don't know why. Could it be because I love the accent Australians have? Could it be because I have a friend who lives in Australia? Could it be because I have only seen pictures of the place and they are breath taking and I dream of living there? Or could it just be that I love wine and they make a darn good wine over there? Maybe all of these reasons play a part. We had some brie and crackers with our wine and killed the entire bottle over a couple hours of laughing and enjoying ourselves in the luscious, velvety smoothness of the fruit of the vine from this bottle. The tannins were as smooth as silk on our palates. Merlots usually leave my mouth knowing a merlot has just entered. But not this one. If you were to price it according to smoothness then this bottle should be priced right along side Turley Vineyards wines. Hints of chocolate and mocha were noted and you could smell the oak. Not intense oakiness but a soft, gentle oak. The entire experience was pleasurable and I will soon be buying another bottle or two of The Reserve for my collection. Thanks Janet for a remarkable Christmas gift! I am so glad I shared this with a fellow wine lover who appreciates a fine red wine!
Ahhhhh.....the joy and pleasure you feel when sharing a great wine, drinking it from crystal stemware and snacking on great cheeses and kicking back with not a care in the world for the time being.....PRICELESS! Yes, I do love my wines!

Friday, May 13, 2011


Wine stain removers   for your teeth! Recently my friend showed me an ad in a magazine for wine wipes. We had a good chuckle over this. So I decided to do a blog about this product and in my searching on the net I found there are numerous brands out there. Something for everything & everyone! This product comes neatly packaged for carrying in your purse or pocket. It is a quick fix for removing wine stains from your teeth and mouth they say. I have been around alot of wine drinkers and never upon drinking a glass of wine with them have I noticed their teeth turning red. (or becoming stained) You can read the reviews  and see if perhaps this is something you would like to purchase. Of course it would be a great conversation piece to carry around on a night out! And if you can't wait to get to a place you can brush your teeth then you just might want to have these with you. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


May 13,14 & 15 are the dates to remember for the Lake Erie Wine and Cheese Weekend! There are 21 participating Wineries involved in this event. Tickets are $35 per person and include an events wine glass, a gift and a $5 voucher to spend at any winery in the event or food at a participating restaurant. You can purchase tickets online through paypal until 5pm eastern time on Wednesday. After that you may purchase tickets at the event. Designated driver tickets are available for $20 but do not include wine samples or the $5 voucher. Non-alcoholic beverages will be given instead. Designated drivers are a great idea to be made available to you. 
The link above provided will get you tickets and more information. It is to be a beautiful weekend  this weekend, hopefully the rain will stay away all 3 days, so plan on getting out and seeing what Lake Erie Wineries are all about.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


I had some good friends over yesterday afternoon for a bit of & wine. In celebration of my retiring and just for the fun of it. To liven things up I passed out sleep masks for them to wear so we could have a "blind" wine taste. I had chosen 4 bottles of wine, wrapped each bottle with dark tissue paper and placed them in a bronze color organza gift bag. Then the fun began. Truly my friends must love me as they played right along with me. First I let them fill their plates with chicken salad filled croissants & sun dried tomato wrapped sandwiches, cheeses such as Gruyere, fresh buffalo mozzarella, extra sharp New York Cheddar & Swiss, hummus & crackers, spinach dip & veggies (brought by Nanc...thanks Nan) a bit... then I barked orders at them to place their blindfolds on! In between each different wine we cleansed our palates with these tiny little wine crackers Leslie brought which were like little pellets of crunchy sweetness which truly did the job of absorbing the lingering taste of the previous wine from our palate. Thanks Les!
We started with the was a Pinot Grigio, Bella Sera from Italy. It was fresh, crisp & refreshing with hints of apple & pear with scent of citrus. They liked it! And the best part was it was only $7.99! Next was a Vouvray from France. I liken this to a White Burgundy I had recently, a close match, but I like the White Burgundy a bit better. But still this one was very satisfying. This one was flowery & citrusy. It's cost was $19.99. The next was a Redwood Creek Pinot Noir of California. Very good, I must say all my choices were very good and to the liking of my guests. Some liked certain ones better, but each wine had its pleasing qualities to each. This wine was medium bodies with cherry notes and was smooth on your palate. I think this one was somewhere between $5.99 and $7.99.  And I finished up with a Pinotage from The Grinder, a wine of South Africa. This one stumped everyone as it has the smell and slight taste of coffee. They could not guess it! I do say I had just as much fun watching them with their blindfolds and listening to them guess as they did in guessing. This was a great way to do a taste!.This wine had hints of mocha & coffee along with berry and dark chocolate. Doesn't sound like it would make a good wine with the coffee and mocha...but it is truly now a favorite of mine. I had tried this at the wine taste last month my friend & I went to and I will buy this one over and over again. It's price is $14.99. 
To end our time celebrating my "retiring" I put on a pot of Starbucks coffee and served up homemade cheesecake (made by me, cheesecakes are my specialty)  This one was crushed up Oreo crust with chocolate chip filling, topped with fresh blackberries. Yum....Yum....Yum! 
Six hours later I made my way up to bed. Tired. Ready to sleep. Thankful for good friends, good times & good wines!
My bottles from the wines are next to my bed so I could do my blogging upon waking up this morning. All I can say is .....thank God I did not pass away in the middle of the night or they would be saying I am an alcoholic with all the bottles by my bed! It is a good thing my friends and son know my habits of blogging about what I drink.....hopefully if this were to ever happen they would clear my name....and if not....after we leave this earth...people will say something about us so what does it matter anyhow! 
Salute! retiring...good foods....good friends & good wines & good times!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


If ham is on your menu for Easter dinner you may wish to serve a white wine with dinner. Chardonnay, Riesling or Gewurztraminer may be a good choice. These will smooth out the saltiness of the ham. 
If you are having a red meat such as prime rib you may like a Shiraz/Syrah or even a Bordeaux.  A Meritage would be a good choice. Well blended wine suitable for this menu. 
For those of you having turkey or chicken then you may like Pinot Noir, Syrah or Shiraz if red is your wine choice of preference. Some prefer Chardonnay with their turkey or chicken. 
Once again I believe it is truly in your preference of "which do you like"? Red or White? Just remember to enjoy your family, enjoy the time together. Relax, Sip, Reflect....and please do not drink and drive. Life is precious.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Palm Sunday....HOPE



The wine tasting yesterday was simply fabulous as usual at Vintage Estate Wine and Beer in Boardman, Ohio. What started out to be a down pour of rain the whole way in from Pittsburgh turned into a sunny day at 4pm, right at the start of the taste. Somehow though the clouds moved back into the afternoon. But once inside and situated at a bar table of away from the crowd the weather was not important at all. I am a people watcher. Whether rain or shine or even snow for that matter it is always a nice therapeutic trip to Boardman for shopping, dining or just visiting the wine store. Sitting off to the side and enjoying time with my friend it was nice to see familiar faces and of course some new ones to me. It is a peaceful gathering. Relaxation and tranquility can be felt if you pay attention to the surroundings. You might think that at a gathering of so many people that it could turn chaotic, especially with alcohol involved. But, always is a pleasant experience. This is why I go back. The cost is affordable. Where can you socialize, taste 6 wines, have as many appetizers as you wish and do your wine and beer shopping all at the same time.All for $15. And the bonus is you meet new people. It is a place where even though a wine taste is going on there are those who also love beer sitting and mingling with the crowd. They always have door prizes. Yesterday they gave away 2 VE Tshirts. I was wishing I would have won. But no luck for me yesterday. They sell the shirts there at the store. Gives me something to put on my wish list. 
Phil and Sandy the owners were of course the host and hostess with the gift of entertaining and at your beckon call when needed. They have a good thing going on there with this wine taste but you must check out their WEBSITE   to see all the events they have each week. They are both highly motivated to seeing your visit at the VE is enjoyable. 
Out of the 6 wines yesterday I had 3 favorites. 

  • The Grinder Coffee Pinotage was my most favorite. It was served up last and that was a very fitting position for it. The description of it is: full of bright coffee, mocha & chocolate aromas & flavors integrated throughout the wine. ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS...this one will be on my wine rack throughout the year! Good choice Phil & Sandy!
  • Also there were 2 Kosher wines: Barkan Cabernet Sauvignon 
  • and Baron Herzon must try these also. These were my 3 favorites yesterday. 
  • The 2009 Hans Von Wilhelm Riesling Piesporter came in next by my choice
  • The 2007 Windsor Sonoma Winery Sauvignon Blanc was next
  • and my least favorite was 2010 Calcu Rose
Now this order is only my opinion....I am very, very partial to deep, bold, rich, intense red's. I am learning to love Chardonnay and White Burgundy has become a favorite. It was love at first sip for me when I tried that in February. 
All in all it was a great time in Ohio yesterday. It felt great to get out of the house and have some social time. And now looking forward to more trips for shopping, dining and wining. Oh...did I mention they have a patio? I used to love sitting there years back and chatting with friends, sharing a bottle of beer or wine and just enjoying the sunset. This is on my to do list for the summer and fall. Stop by...get to know this extraordinary wine and beer store and Phil and Sandy and there great crew of workers.

Friday, April 15, 2011


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Thursday, April 14, 2011


Spring Event Header Image
Spring Holiday Wine Taste
Saturday April 16, 2011
We have chosen wines for you to taste that will compliment your spring holiday party food menu
Vintage Estate Wine and Beer
7317 South Ave
Boardman, Ohio 44512

The Wine List 
 Hans von Wilhelm Piesporter Reisling 
 Winsor Sonoma Winery Savignon Blanc
 Baron Hertzog Kosher Chardonnay
 Calcu Rose
 Barkan Kosher Cabernet Sauvignon
The Grinder Pinotage

Only $15.00 per person
includes light appetizers
It's a great afternoon for good conversation and great wine.  Our 24 beer taps will be flowing as well! 
We hope to see you there!

On each
'Wine-a-Bit Wednesday' 
and during any of our monthly wine tastes,
you pay no wine cork fee, when opening and drinking on-site,
any bottle of wine from our
1000+ wine labels!
when you purchase a case of 12 wines - mix and match!