Mar 20, 2010

A night at the Vinyard

Picture the event...No screaming kids yelling "MOM/DAD" every two minutes. No calls from work or volunteer organizations trying to buy a few moments of time. Simply nothing competing for your attention. Now picture the venue...beautiful vineyard, antiques, bottles of wine, the man/woman of your dreams and the sun setting. What could be better?

This is exactly how my Thursday evening began. My groom escorted me to the Messina Hof Winery in Bryan, Tx, not that far from home but still a journey from reality. We arrived in time for the last tour and tasting that evening. Our tour guide was phenomenal. She had a great dry sense of humor with perfect delivery. We peeked in on the Villa, Messina Hof's bed and breakfast. Merril's taste in antique is exquisite. We also enjoyed learning about the fermentation process and the process for making wine, but my favorite part was tasting 4 of the amazing wines Messina Hof has to offer. The tasting menu of the night was Unoaked Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Merlot and Angel Harvest Riesling. Of course, my personal preference is the Riesling, but David actually really enjoyed the Chenin blanc.

Wine tips...Okay so our tour guide provided tips for tasting wines that I have never heard in all the years of waiting tables. When tasting wines, the first thing should be to smell the bouquet. Then swirl the wine. I know, most think you should swirl first, but that is the case. Smell, Swirl and then Smell again. The swirling awakens the wine and gives it life. You'll notice the wine's bouquet is stronger and more aromatic.

When tasting White Wines...start with the above but then try trilling the wine. What is trilling? Trilling is very similar to sucking up that last noddle of spaghetti that is hanging from your chin. Take a sip of the wine to clear your pallet, the take another sip but before swallowing, Trill the wine welcoming air over the wine and taste buds. Finish with another sip and continue drinking. This wakes up the taste buds need to appreciate white wines making them smoother and more full flavored.

When tasting Red Wines...Smell and swirl, but notice the legs on the wine before smelling again. The slow or fast return of the wine from the top of the swirl to the bottom of the glass is known as the legs. The slower the legs return, the sweeter the wine. This will give you a great idea of what you are tasting before you actually do. Then smell the awoken bouquet. Now take a sip and clear the pallet. Make the actions with your mouth like when you say "cluck". Okay now you are ready to cluck and awaken the red wine taste buds at the back of the throat. Take another sip, then before swallowing tilt your head back and cluck. Key thing to remember is keep your mouth shut. Swallow the sip and take another sip. This has awoken your taste buds and made the red wine more flavorful and smoother to drink.

After joining the VIP club of the winery, the husband and I moved on to our Cajun dinner with the Chef. The menu: blackened shrimp on roasted red pepper polenta cake, crab salad on bib lettuce, jambalaya and gateau du syrup. The pairings: Angel Harvest Riesling, Unoaked Chardonnay, Beau, Texas Hold'em and Solera Sherry. The Executive Chef was unable to speak so Kelly filled in and did a great job. She was warm and inviting and offered some amazing tips for cooking with blackening seasonings, vinaigrettes and making stocks. The two other couples at our table were very welcoming as well. They shared in enlightening conversation over amazing food and wine selections. It was an evening to remember...but it was done there.

We decided the evenings sans kids are few and far between and we should capitalize on the moment, so we acquired a room in the Villa...

We spent the evening in the Romeo and Juliet room. It was perfect. Large enough to have some space, but small enough to really embrace the romantic ambiance. The bed and breakfast had every amenity we could need, including a champagne European style breakfast. We were greeted with mimosas and crapes shortly after the sun rose above the vineyard . This was my first time at a b&b and the event was one I'll never forget. Even after 4 kids, having a moment away with the husband is priceless and will be one to keep in the memories for the years to come.

I'm not sure my husband can top our experience at Messina Hof. The staff were very warm and accommodating. The Wines were flavorful and perfectly paired with exquisite food. This will definitely be one evening to repeat several times in the years to come!

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