Category Archives: Wineday Friday

Wineday Friday: TGIF with some Hop Kiln

So this week has flown by!  I had an incredible time meeting up with Paige for drinks after work a few days back at Martini’s.  It was so great to get to sit down with a new friend.  I was able to try out a new drink and enjoy some great mussels.  She and her husband are new to the area and I can’t wait to show her around!

We received another wine shipment from a wine club recently.  This one was from HopKiln.  Loved visiting this place back in August!


We have been experiencing some unseasonably warm weather before the next round of snow comes so I thought it would be great to open the Pinot Grigio.  This wine made me think about summer and I was wishing for the opportunity to sip it outside on the patio.  It was bright and crisp but it was missing any specific fruit notes.  It was definitely citrusy but nothing in particular.  What I love about the Hop Kiln wines is that everything is approachable and delicious.

Notes from Hop Kiln:

“Light citrus and tropical notes playfully linger behind a bouquet of vanilla bean. Much of this blend is barrel fermented to create a rich round mouth feel, while the balance is vinted and aged in stainless steel to retain Pinot Grigio’s bright varietal profile. This wine is nice to match with smoked salmon, prosciutto and melon, and creamy pasta dishes such as Fettucine Alfredo.”

You can purchase at their website.  Definitely worth it!

I’m wondering: What are you drinking this weekend?

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Wineday Friday: A little holiday Releaf

We’ve almost made it.  For many people around here, the long Holiday weekend has begun.  If that’s the case for you, it’s time to open up some spirits.  When we head home, plenty of wine comes home with us for gifts.  One bottle of wine I got this year was ReLeaf Chenin Blanc.  I wasn’t particularly fond of this wine.  While I had hoped for some bright notes and great acid, it was actually a little watery.  I could tell what they were going for but it just wasn’t quite there.  Organic wine still has a long way to go in my opinion (just like Organic Beer).  Maybe I should just open some tasty Prosecco and start celebrating instead!  My vote, this one isn’t worth the purchase.


Notes from the winemaker:

Releaf Chenin Blanc offers lively aromas of tropical fruits and melon with crisp citrus and tropical fruit flavors.
Varietal(s): 85% Chenin Blanc 7.5% Moscato 7.5% Colombard
Region: Wellington, South Africa
Vineyard & Winemaking Notes
Releaf Chenin Blanc is produced with organically grown grapes sourced from the Swartland region of South Africa.  The soils are derived from shale, on partly decomposed parent rock, with good nutrient reserves and water-retention properties. The climate is warm and dry, Mediterranean style, with an average temperature range of 77 to 95°F and an annual rainfall of between 17 to 23 inches, and very sunny with most of the rain occurring in the winter months.”

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Wineday Friday: Not your mother’s wine in a box

So it used to be that if your wine came with a screw off cap, you weren’t getting the “good stuff”.  It wasn’t “real wine”.  Since then, we have learned that many popular wine makers have gone with the caps for a variety of cost and quality reasons.  So this week, I decided to take it a step further and try out the wines in the box (and can!).

When we grabbed the wine this week, we just didn’t grab your typical box of generic wine in a box, we grabbed a California wine that was trying to be eco-friendly, a local winery that does a variety of cans and bottles, as well as a pre-made Mimosa in a can.  What I love about these options are the versatility.  Say you wanted to go on a beautiful hike with your love and pack an incredible picnic of wine and cheese.  Who wants to whole around a big glass bottle all day when you can take crushable single serving cans or an eco-friendly recyclable box?  Exactly!  The other thing to love about all of these options is that 2 out of the 3 were fairly inexpensive.  The Infinite Monkey Theorem was the most expensive of the 3 but I will pay a little more to support local!IMG_1762

I think of the 3, the Little Green Box was our favorite buy.  The wine was good as long as it was served very cold and there were 3 glasses in the box for $5.  If you take a look at their website, there are other brands you may recognize.  The wine is still good quality and the price is low to attract people back into the box aisle at the liquor store.IMG_1761

The Soleil Mimosa was also pretty good.  I have had this before in the bottle and it is a great party drink for those who aren’t keen on having more than a brunch cocktail any time of the day.  They aren’t strong but they are still tasty.  Definitely tasty but not as tasty as if you were going to take the time (and spend the money) to make your own. IMG_1760

Finally, the Infinite Monkey Theorem carries a few varieties in the can.  We still have not had the pleasure of visiting the operation in Denver but it is definitely on my 2013 bucket list.  I love that this a single serving can.  When you open a bottle of wine, you usually don’t put the cork back in the bottle until it’s too late.  With the can, this isn’t a problem.  You get a perfectly portioned glass in a pretty cool can.IMG_1759

Overall, we learned this week that you can’t always judge a wine buy it’s packaging.  Find out why the company does it that way and enjoy it.  It may be some of the best $5 wine you ever tasted!


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Wineday Friday: Another celebration

We are about ready to pack up and head home for the holidays.  Maggie already has her bag packed and she is ready to hit the open road!  Actually, all of her stuff is on a list and she will probably dread doing 13 hours in baby socks but who knows…

Anyway, the reason we are going home is to be with family and celebrate.  What better way to celebrate than with a glass of bubbles!  This was another great wine from Viszlay.  We had the opportunity to visit John Viszlay and his property when we were on our trip to California this summer.

This Prosecco from California was nothing short of AMAZING!  The slight hint of red apple in the nose and on the pallet was out of this world.  I usually don’t consider Prosecco as a harvest time choice but this one begged for an evening by the fire and perhaps a seasonal movie… The color was perfectly golden and not too pale.  I so enjoyed this one that I hope we get a bottle of it in our next shipment from our wine club.

From the Viszlay Website:

“With the only domestically grown Prosecco in the region, this Sparkling wonder is made in a drier style than some of the Italian versions you may have had in the past. This vintage is similar in taste to the 2008, which won Best of Class in the North of the Gate Wine Competition in 2010. Start the evening with this refreshing wine!

alcohol content by volume: 12.5%”


Besides enjoying great wine with the family when we are home, we are going to have a few family meals.  We are probably also going to squeeze in some shopping and a little local sight seeing.  What are your plans for your Turkey Day week?

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Wineday Friday: A Fall Pairing

Happy November!  After too many days of these…cookie

I thought it would be time to share a little real wine with a little bit of real food!

The Wine

About a year ago, we went to our favorite wine store.  We gave the sommelier a list of ingredients and a budget and she pointed us in the direction of this great bottle of wine.  The Felton Road Pinot Noir is full bodied, full of tannins, and it expresses dark fruits perfectly!  We have the 2010 vintage in our house but the 2011 is out with great reviews!  What I love about this wine is that the minute you put your nose to the glass, you smell Fall.  There is no hint of citrus and nothing to confuse your palate.  This is the kind of wine that you can dig into and enjoy every aspect.  Be sure to smell it and find those notes of Fall, Swirl it and see it moving ever so slowly down your glass, and finally, Sip it and feel the warmth across your mouth.  It is an approachable and very pair able wine.

The Pairing

This time around, we still had a bottle of Felton Road to enjoy and the pile of squash from Guerrilla Farms continues to grow. It was time for a great farmer’s market inspired meal.  What we had with the amazing Pinot was a pork loin, seasoned lightly with salt pepper and and little rosemary.  The farmer’s market comes in with the side dish.  Roasted apples and buttercup squash topped with a little butter and brown sugar.


What I love about this meal is that it’s easy (so easy that I made it myself before the Husband got home!) and incredibly delicious.  It’s also easy to increase the amount for an amazing leftover container!


Apple and Squash Roast with Pork Loin

Serves two with some leftovers

1 medium sized Buttercup squash, cleaned and peeled

2 medium sized baking apples (whatever your preference for sweet or sour), peeled and sliced thin

3 tbs Butter

1/4 Brown Sugar

Small Pork Loin

Salt, Pepper, Rosemary

Olive Oil

Melt butter and stir in brown sugar.  Place squash in bowl and cover with 2/3 of butter mixture, reserving a little for topping.  Mix until squash is well coated.  Place squash on baking stone and then layer the sliced apples on top.  Pour remaining butter mixture over apples.  Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 55 minutes.

Cover pork loin with light coat of olive oil.  Season to your liking with salt, pepper, and rosemary.  20 minutes into squash/apple baking, place pork in oven, uncovered.  Pork should cook for 35 minutes or until done according to thermometer.

Pull everything out of oven at 55 minutes and let stand for 5 minutes.

Plate and enjoy!

What have you been enjoying?  Let me know on Twitter @kemerselis #WinedayFriday


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Wineday Friday: Swanson Vineyards Pinot Grigio

It’s official, Summer is over.  This morning the thermometer in my car read 37 degrees and I am still cold.  In my last attempt to hold on to warm weather thoughts before the snow sets in (yes, it’s in the forecast AGAIN) I opened a bottle of Pinot Grigio this week.  Pinot Grigio tends to be my go to grilling out wine.  It’s crisp and refreshing and exactly what you want when you are standing next to an open flame when it’s 100 degrees outside.  This week we opened the Swanson Pinot Grigio.  When we first opened the bottle, the aroma was limes and bright fruit.  Definitely smelled like the middle of summer at a great dinner party.  When I tasted it I made this face.  That’s right, the first taste on my pallet was lemon as well.  It wasn’t a bad lemon, just strong.  The glands in the back of my mouth went crazy and I couldn’t help but pucker.  As I got a few more sips under my belt, the reaction to make a fish face faded and I was able to start enjoying this wine.

After a quick glance over at the Swanson website, this wine is a very wallet friendly $21.  Not bad!  I think I will have to look this wine up again once the snow melts.  For now, it’s time to melt into some tasty Chardonnay and Cabernet!  And maybe a glass of Brandy…

What do you drink to stay warm?

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Wineday Friday: Merriam

We are finally settling in and enjoying some of the great wine that we picked up while we were in California.  Last night’s selection came from Merriam Vineyards.  This place was another great vineyard that was walking distance from the house we stayed at.  This was probably one of the most beautiful tasting rooms that we happened across.  They had a great outdoor patio, a wonderful view, and so many varieties of incredible wines.  Don’t believe me, check the website!

I took out the 2010 Alexander Valley Chardonnay.  Great fruit flavors with a wonderfully bright aroma.  This is the kind of wine that is great with your dinner and even better on a chilly night next to a fire!  While the Husband doesn’t normally like Chardonnay, he is starting to enjoy the ones that spend the fermenting period in a stainless steel tank like this one.  Definitely no hints of butter or oak, just clean fruit like Apple and Pear.

While this one is currently sold out, there are some other great ones at their store to try and their wine club has some great membership options.  We are still considering it as an addition but we want to see how many bottles we get the first time around from the other ones.

Merriam is definitely a place that I would hit again when we go back to California.  It would be another great picnic spot and definitely big enough to handle whatever size group we go back with!

What wines are you trying this weekend?

By the way, did you hear about the snow in Colorado?

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