Bogus surrender = Secret resistance?

I think I finally broke Steve. His spirit I mean. Gone are the huffy breaths when he has to zig-zag through the boxes of decorations and carnival games that litter the entryway as I take hoarding supplies for the next upcoming event to a whole new level. No more do I get the scowling-face questions ‘what’s all this?’ As a matter of fact, I think he’s become quite accustomed to his laundry being kept in a stack on the chair rather than on hangers. Long ago, he came to terms with the fact that I think –as long as there’s no party at the house coming up – dusting is for suckers. But, this is whole new level of complacency.

He actually helped me unload my car in the parking lot of Home Depot in order to fit sheets of plywood in, then repack it all in and around the plywood. He had to ride with his seat pulled all the way forward and a box of something-or-other on his lap and his only comment? ‘You travel like a homeless person’. But, not a word of complaint when I left the driveway covered in sawdust, he just came behind me with the leaf blower. Apparently, as long as he can access his golf clubs and fantasy football app, he’s content.

I kinda miss the contention, I never thought he’d surrender. but….

Perhaps he is not broken.

Perhaps he is on to me and is trying some misguided attempt at reverse psychology.

Time to step it up. Game on Steve – game on.

There are only 8 more weekends until Thanksgiving. I don’t know about you, but I thought Fall would never get here. Last year it was like summer lasted all the way to Spring. I felt a chill in the air this morning and that was all the inspiration needed to start thinking about Fall centerpieces and finishing household DIY projects before the Holiday parties! My goal? Finally finish re-finishing the stairs and baseboards. I wonder how Steve would like to have a stair or two missing as I work. Taking the stairs two at time is good exercise, right? Or, maybe I block the stairs entirely and have the family use a ladder to get to their bedrooms. This is gonna be fun.

But, first – start saving your wine bottles! Here’s some easy Fall centerpieces if you’re hosting and gift ideas if you’re not, it’s time to get crafty…

000 wine 1 000 wine 2 000 wine 000 wine 3

000 wine 5 000 wine 4

I LOVE these! They’re made with kitchen towels!!! Click here for a how-to: OnSuttonPlace.com

I started my bottle collection this week with these:

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Masterpiece Chardonnay ~ Stama Chardonnay ~ Michel-Schlumberger Red ~ Three Oaks Cab

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aaa wine 3

2012 Masterpiece Chardonnay Alexander Valley $7.99

Elsewhere price $19.99

Larry noticed the citrusy aroma and Terry commented that is was creamy. Kerri said she liked it, it’s very light. Arvin agreed that is was light and added fruity. Steve said, ‘is good’, like a caveman.

On-line review: This is a fresh, lively, balanced Chardonnay that is not bogged down by too much oak or malolactic manipulation. It has amazing fruit and texture, clean and bright, with just the right amount of acid! Amazing Value! (Christie Cartwright, Hollywood)

From the Winemaker: This Chardonnay was made in an unoaked style, fermented very cold, which preserves the delicate Chardonnay fruit flavors and highlights the natural acidity, minerality and clean finish. A very small percentage of Viognier was blended with the Chardonnay to add a floral note and complexity.

Without the influence of oak, the fresh pear, citrus and tropical fruit flavors, deft balance and clean, seamless finish of this wine make it a perfect choice to pair with pan seared or grilled seafood and poultry dishes prepared with lighter sauces. It is also an excellent choice with subtly seasoned Asian cuisine.

 

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aaa wine 4

2012 Stama Chardonnay Lodi $3.99

Elsewhere price $14.99

Terry thought this Chardonnay was tart and Larry found it to be dry. Arvin said it was peppery. This was not a favorite on the Front Porch, but it seems to be selling pretty well and check out this accolade:

Gold Medal winner of San Francisco International Wine competition 2013 ~Stama Winery

Tasting notes: This classic chardonnay is pastel yellow with the faintest hue of lime.  It opens with a white flower nose that includes honeysuckle, almond blossom and white clover.  In the mouth there’s a hint of vanilla with a burst of grapefruit, yellow pear, apple and melon, finishing in long butter-creamy notes due to the French oak fermentation. 

 

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2012 Michel-Schlumberger Maison Rouge California $4.99

Elsewhere price $19.99

Larry started us off and said this is lip smackin! He tasted plum. Arvin thought it paired well with the pizza (Steve was in charge of food this week). Larry added, ‘this is deliciously dry’. Terry asked, ‘Larry said that? He must be drunk’. Lol. I think it’s official, he likes red wine! Terry and Kerri agreed that this red blend is dry and Joe said, ‘Schlumberger is no humberger’. I’m pretty sure that means he liked it.

89.1 Points from Cellartracker.com: Red raspberry aromas and quite herbal (parsley & thyme). The palate largely matches with cool red fruit & herbs. Medium acid tannins/acid. I could see this aging a few years but is drinking perfectly well now

From the label: Maison Rouge, our “house red,” is layered with rich fruit flavors. Always an easy enhancement for casual fare, it’s the perfect wine to enjoy among friends.

 

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aaa wine 2

2012 Three Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon North Coast $4.99

Elsewhere price $12.99

Becky tasted plums and berries, Kerri commented that this Cab is yummy. Arvin agreed, saying, ‘that’s a wine you don’t have to drink – you can just smell it and enjoy it.’ He did drink it though, he said it’s oaky and it slides right down your throat. Terry thought it would pair well with chocolate and Larry thought it tasted like berry pie.

I couldn’t find any on-line reviews on this Cab, but I did find this: 2014 Silver Medal Award winner The Seattle Food & Wine Experience

From the label: The North Coast growing season was slightly cooler than normal with few heat spikes throughout the Summer. These moderate conditions favored color, flavor and tannin development, producing grapes with exceptional complexity and concentrated flavors.

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For the Love of Strangers

Do you ever get really busy? I mean really, really busy with work & home & life. I’ve been so dang busy. Football season is finally here, I thought It’d be fun to re-do my gameroom before it started. Yeah. Sooo much fun. Now, I hesitate to show you pictures of my Packer obsession as I know Packer’s Fans are really not my audience here. Though, I’m sure you can appreciate commitment to your team and even the warm hospitality if you’re not a football fan.

4 gameroom 5

4 gameroom 2 4 gameroom 3 4 gameroom 1 4 gameroom 4

Rediculous to have this your in your house? Perhaps. Em, but I don’t think so. Can you feel the warmth of the neighborhood pub where everybody knows your name? Well, I’m bad with names, but you get it. Many a game will be watched here – by 49er’s fans, a couple Stealer’s fans and we don’t discriminate, even Raider’s fans are welcome if they’re on their best behavior (you know who you are – Caroline). The food is good, we serve Leinenkugels and cheese curds , and the company is even better. It’s more than just football. It’s about hospitality.

Hospitality, noun

  1. the friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers
  2. the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way

The word ‘hospitality’ in the New Testament comes from two Greek words. The first word means ‘love’ and the second word means ‘strangers.’ It’s a word that means love of strangers. ~Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Even those who don’t care much about football, can enjoy themselves here on gameday. However, this is our second favorite place to watch football. Second only to Lambeau Field, where the hosipitality among strangers is unique and must be experienced – put it on your bucket list. You can read an un-biased perspective on what game day in Green Bay is like by clicking here. Here’s my favorite quote from the article: ‘Next door to Brett Favre’s Steakhouse, a warehouse-size merchandise outlet called the Jersey Store offers the mind-bending sight of a man clad in a Favre jersey buying a Favre jersey. One, presumably, for laundry day.’

Here’s some great wine picks from the Front Porch – two weeks worth again – enjoy them with friends!

4 wines 1     4 wines 2

Clayhouse Sauv Blanc ~ Hidden Cellars Chard ~ Bay Leaf Pinot ~ Victor Old Vine Zin

Hawk Crest Chard ~ Roblar Chard ~ Oak and Vine Pinot ~ Stonehedge Merlot

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4 clayhouse sauv blanc     4 brie and jam pic

2011 Clayhouse Sauvignon Blanc Paso Robles $4.99

Elsewhere price $14.99

Arvin noticed this Sauv Blanc had a nice aroma. Kerri thought it tasted very fruity – good on a hot day. Scott commented that it was not too sweet and asked the crowd if we all thought it would be good at a wedding. Terry said it would please a lot of people 🙂 We paired this Sauv Blanc with raspberry jam ($1.99 in our natural/organic section) and brie ($2.99 in our deli case).

87 points from Cellartracker.com

From the winemaker: Made in a refreshing aperitif style, Clayhouse Sauvignon Blanc exhibits a bouquet of starfruit, green pear, honeydew melon and grapefruit, with a hint of grass. There’s a touch of minerality that enhances the floral notes contributed by the Musque clone, and the wine finishes with a creamy mouthfeel (from sur lie fermentation and aging) and mouthwatering acidity.

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 4 hidden cellars chardonnay     4 meatballs pic

2012 Hidden Cellars Chardonnay Mendocino County $4.99

Elsewhere price $12.99

I thought this California Chardonnay was very light. Larry said he tasted butter, and Steve said, mmmmm buttery. What? They agreed, how weird. Connie said this was an excellent Chardonnay and Kerri agreed. Terry said she liked both the white wines tonight. We paired this Chardonnay with all natural teriyaki & Pineapple meatballs ($3.99 in the deli case).

4/5 stars on Vivino.com

87 points from Cellartracker.com

Apple and pear nose. Buttery start on tongue, turns to lemon-apple green apple tart. refreshing. Good appetizer for fish or chicken.

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 4 hawk crest chardonnay     nacho bites

2008 Hawk Crest Chardonnay Monterey $.99

Elsewhere price $12.99

We paired this wine with spicy nachos ($3.99 in the freezer), it was a great compliment. Terry commented that this was a pleasant Chardonnay, a little sweet, but not too much. Steve thought he noticed a floral aroma, and surprise, Larry agreed.

81.6 points from Cellartracker.com

Winemakers notes: This wine opens with soft aromas of white peach and lemon alongside subtle notes of jasmine and oak spice. Styled after a Macon Village Chardonnay, the wine has a rich silky mouthfeel, medium body, and finishes with bright acidity laced with minerality. Open a bottle with a lightly dressed Shrimp Louie and a chunk of sourdough bread.

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 4 roblar chardonnay

2012 Roblar Chardonnay California $4.99

Elsewhere price $14.99

Terry thought the aroma was like a citrus tree. She found it fruity and said it finished with a slight tartness. Arvin called it lemony – not a bad chardonnay. Larry tasted grapefruit and pear, and wait for it ….. Steve agreed.

91 points from Cellartracker.com

WineEnthusiast.com: A citrus-inflected, vanilla-leaning nuttiness consumes the aromas of this offering, which makes for a very pleasant sipping experience. There is good acidity, with apple, lemon and a bit of tropically, including nicely rounded fruit in the midpalate. A dazzling zest continues to the finish as well.

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4 bay leaf pinot

2013 Bay Leaf Pinot Noir California $5.99

Elsewhere price $18.99

Steve commented (for real) that he liked the oaky aroma, Scott agreed. Arvin also noticed the oaky oakyness, he said, ‘this is the kind of wine I can hold in my mouth and enjoy for 5 minutes. Larry said it had nice legs and Kerri agreed. She noticed blackberry current in the aroma and said that this pinot goes down like velvet and tastes of plum with a pepper bite at the end.

The only tasting notes I could find on-line is from one of my favorite wine snobs, you can read it here

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4 oak and vine pinot      4 snacks pic

2011 Oak & Vine Pinot Noir California $4.99

Elsewhere price $14.99

Larry started us off and said he tasted black cherry and plum. Steve thought this Pinot had an aroma of licorice, Larry added – Anise. Yeah, that is the same thing. We snacked on some treats from our new line of nuts, dried fruits and snack rack that you can find by our fresh produce department.

Tasting notes from Wine Wire: Along with the dark color, aromas strawberry cedar, and crème fraiche meet the wine drinker. Focused tannins and a long finish are complemented by flavors of black cherries, lychee and pomegranate. Oak aging adds hints of vanilla, nuances of toast and a soft, smoky finish.

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4 stonehedge merlot

2012 Stonehedge Reserve Merlot Napa $10.99

Elsewhere price $39.99

This one got everyone commenting at once! It was hard to keep up… Terry said her nose wriggled and it made her shoulders raise with a shrudder (like she just got a warm hug) ‘it’s good’, she said. Steve said it’s got legs and is very moist & smooth, Arvin agreed. Larry said it was a bit sweet, Arvin agreed. This would pair very nicely with Devil’s Food Cake. Arvin added that this Merlot had long sexy legs and had a lot of sugar from the fruit, almost a dessert wine. So great with berries & chocolate.

From the Winemaker: The Napa Valley Merlot starts with aromas of black cherries and plums followed by tobacco and vanilla. It is very strong in mid pallet and finishes with notes of ripe strawberries and a hint of toasty oak. This is a strong but elegant wine that can be enjoyed now, and also laid down for long cellar aging that will highlight the fine attributes of this wine.

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4 victor old vine zin

Victor Vineyards Old Vine Zinfandel Lodi $5.99

Elsewhere price $16.99

Becky said this zin was like a flavor explosion in her mouth. Steve found it dry and Kerri tasted cherry. Becky added that it had long lingering flavor with a peppery finish. Everybody was happy.

On-line review: Our Old Vine Zinfandel is rich with brooding complexity – supple tannins frame the dark raspberry, blackberry, and cherry flavors rounded with brambly spice and hints of mocha, black pepper, and lightly toasted oak

From the winemaker: Victor Vineyards Old Vine Zinfandel is crafted from grapes grown on our Lawson vineyard and other selected vineyards with vines aging from 35 to 112 years old. Our Old Vine Zinfandel is rich with brooding complexity—supple tannins frame dark raspberry, blackberry and cherry rounded with brambly spice and hints of mocha, black pepper, and lightly toasted oak. Appellation: Lodi – Blend: 85% Zinfandel , 15% Petite Sirah – Vineyard age: 35 – 102 years old