Thursday, July 14, 2011


7-14-11 catching up brain
Although I still have much more to share from my 4th of July vacation last week, I'm struggling at work to catch back up, so am happy to post a blog from Ann describing what she did over her holiday weekend. Note: one topic Ann and I both are conservative on and have in common.... we aren't big alcohol drinkers. I believe we'd rather consume our calories with dessert! - Judy

Wine A Bit …… You’ll Feel Better
Who doesn’t like to wine a bit? Answer = me!

Some people like beer, some hard liquor and a lot like wine. I’m an odd duck in that I don’t like beer or wine, for no good reason. Over the years this was a non-issue for me but in the last ten years, my circle of friends have flourished and when we gather, beer and wine seems to be the beverage of choice. Since beer is not my bag, I’ve dabbled in wine sipping, even hosting a wine tasting at my house. I must be a slow learner, because I only know is I like sweet wines, more white than red.

So here I live in the middle of corn and pork country , I find out that Iowa is also wine country. Apparently the fertile soil in Iowa is perfect for growing grapes and for a fine wine, you must have fine grapes. My research point to one of the first wineries in Iowa is in the Amana Colonies. The German immigrants not only brought their religion, way of life, they brought their talent for wine making. The Amana’s are known for their many good and odd wines (dandelion). Fast forward, today Iowa is the home of 74 plus wineries. Yep, 74 plus and several wineries right here in central Iowa. And on a given Saturday at the local farmer’s market, you can find at least 10 wineries sampling their fruits of their labor, not to mention at the local grocery/liquor stores. So I wine a bit, passing up the wine and scratch my head, what am I not getting/seeing here? Here’s a quick guide showing the 5 S’s of wine tasting: see, swirl, sniff, savor and swallow.

  Reminder to double click on the picture to enlarged it.

On July 2nd, I decided to not wine a bit and go visit a winery in St. Charles, Iowa, Madison County Winery, featuring a local singer Chad Elliot and Bonita Crowe.  The event was the grand opening of their micro brewery, Twisted Vine Brewery. The winery was beautiful, on the side of a hill, rows and rows of grape vines with tiny green grapes. I was impressed to say the least. The setting was beautiful, the patio was inviting and it reminded me of the vineyards I saw road tripping through Italy. And the wine, I had to ask “I like something sweet and fruity”. Believe it or not, it was called Lollipop.

Second winery, this past weekend I went to another music event at another vineyard in St. Charles, Iowa. Yes, two vineyards in a small town within 6 miles of each other. Two Saints Winery was hosting their Sunday live music event featuring Bonnie Finken and The Collective (one of my favorite local bands). This vineyard was just as beautiful with a great indoor area for receptions and such. I again asked for a sweet wine and then learned on Sunday’s they have a special drink, Two Saints Mojitos. This drink was sweet, fruity with a kick. And the music by Bonnie Finken was fantastic.

I’ll not worry about why I don’t understand white vs red, dry vs sweet, what pairs or is it pares … with what. I’ll just dabble in the sweet n’ fruity stuff while listening to great music with good people.

Chat Later
That Girl, Ann Marie

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh Ann! Madison county Winery is owned by some good friends of ours, Cheryl and Doug Bakker. They have done a great job haven't they? We should take Judy out there - think she would love i! Kelley