Simple DIY Kitchen Island-Turned Patio Table

It’s been awhile since I felt the need to build something, but when the idea strikes.. I cannot get it out of my head. Just like old times.

The Front Porch is currently going through an expansion of sorts, big changes are-a-comin! And, because of that, I had a need for a longish/skinnyish patio table. I wanted to be able to put my feet up on it, like a coffee table and Terry didn’t want to have to reach far to put her glass down. So, it needed two levels.

I consulted my old friend Google for a simple design. Countless hours of scrolling through thousands of photos later (and a new pair of reading glasses), I found a simple design that could work. Bonus, it was simple enough for me to wrap my head around. kinda like these:


Paint Rustic Wood Dining Table – Modern Kitchen

I wanted to re-purpose the table tops that I made for the original NOSH (Natural~Organic~Specialty~Healthy) tables we used in the store a few years ago – if you remember they were used in front of the Deli case before we moved all the NOSH into its own aisle. I just needed a base.

I almost skipped work to build it, I was pretty excited. But, I am a responsible adult, sigh. I went into work, got everything that had to be done –done, and left early.

The table was built in about 2 hours. Might’ve been quicker if I didn’t have so much help from Baby Cree.

less teal more white seemed Front Porch appropriate

Of course, I made it too tall. So, I had to take it apart, cut off its legs and put it back together. That took an additional two hours. That’s how I roll.

Whatta ya think?

Perfect for wine tasting!


Petit Maison Chard, Lodi ~ Gray Mountain Chard, Paso Robles

Nitty Gritty Merlot, Napa ~ Luke Donald Collection Red, Napa


2015 Petit Maison, Lodi $5.99

We started with this very pale, clear chardonnay. Larry liked the aroma, might be some citrus in there. Terry found it sweet and refreshing, but not too sweet. Arvin called it fruity, he tasted peaches. Connie said she liked it, she found it spicy and fruity. I thought it paired well the spicy cheese. Terry agreed, she said: when you’re mouth is on fire, this is real nice.

Grocery Outlet Exclusive: There are currently no on-line reviews of this Lodi Chardonnay as I believe it has been labeled for Grocery Outlet specifically. The back label reads: Cellared & Bottled by Rutz Cellars, Sebastopol, Ca. As a result, there is also no elsewhere retail price available for comparison.


2015 Gray Mountain Cellars Chardonnay, Paso Robles $5.99

Next up, this beautiful golden pale yellow –on the clear side- Chardonnay from Paso Robles. Terry said the aroma tickled her nose. Arvin thought it was very mellow. Scott, who arrived very late so he started with this wine, said: OH, that’s nice – smooooth. Connie called it buttery and snapped a picture to remember the label for later.

3.9/5 stars from

From the Label: This full-bodied Chardonnay from Paso Robles, California, temps the senses with aromas of ripe melon and honeycomb, with a rich and creamy mouthfeel. It’s a perfect match for soft cheeses, lobster bisque or pasta with cream sauce.


2012 Nitty Gritty Merlot, Napa

Retail Price 20.99 ~ Grocery Outlet Price $8.99

This Napa Merlot was a dark ruby red in the glass. Larry said drinking it was like sucking on a blackberry. Scott thought it was very smooth and dry, but not bitter. Arvin agreed. Connie said: even a Chardonnay drinker likes this red.

86 points from

From the WineMaker: Delicate tannins and rich acidity. Aromas of barrel spice and dark cherries. FOOD PAIRING: Hearty lasagna, pork-stuffed mushrooms


2012 Luke Donald Collection Red, Napa

Retail Price $29.99 ~ Grocery Outlet Price $9.99

I took the advice of an on-line reviewer and decanted this baby for about 45 min -1 hour before serving. Arvin found this Napa red blend to have a good nose and nice legs. Larry said it was oaky and he tasted tobacco. He said he doesn’t care for oaky. Arvin said he does, it’s oaky and I like it! I always love a red blend, but especially when it’s dry. Great paired with dark chocolate and also with sharp aged cheese. I loved it. 43% Merlot, 43%Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Petit Verdot.

91 Points from (Wine Enthusiast Magazine)

WineMag Review #1: Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are equally represented in this soft, robust blend that also includes smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Juicy blackberry and plum combine with dusty, integrated tannin, as a length of dark cherry and sage weave in and out.

WineMag Review #2: This is a well-balanced wine with excellent structure. I’m tasting it in January 2018 and I find that with a little aeration a lot of lovely fruit emerges. Lots of concentrated berries but not in any way jammy. The structure is clean, focused and the tannins very present. This is an excellent food wine.

Luke Donald Collection

Luke Donald plays an active role in crafting the wines that bear his name. His personal involvement in the blending makes the wines original and unique; wines that best reflect his own personality and style. Luke’s personal style is also reflected in the non-traditional, contemporary labels, which connect with today’s luxury wine consumers. For wine drinkers who share Luke’s passion for culture and competitive spirit, LDC delivers wines from Napa Valley that reflect Luke’s own sense of style, taste and artistic expression. Legendary balls ;^)



Time to Decorate!

This past summer, instead of wine tasting (gasp), the Front Porch Wine Tasters spent most of our free time making fall decorations for the Manteca Pumpkin Fair. (All the proceeds go back to our local community).


GOOD NEWS!  Follow Manteca Grocery Outlet on Facebook for a chance to win one of these next month!

It was a long dry summer.

I finally dusted off the Front Porch this past week to get back to drinking our way through all the great wines that Steve has in the wine department @MantecaGroceryOutlet.

Quick update (for those of you who’ve been following): Steve has yet to make the senior tour and the stairs remain unfinished.



Camelot Moscato ~ 49Crows Chard ~ Adobe Red ~ ChopHouse Merlot



Camelot Moscato from California

Elsewhere price $7.99 ~ Grocery Outlet price $2.99

500 Medals for Quality!

I wasn’t sure how this varietal would go over on the Front Porch as we don’t try many sweet wines. Terry took a sip, she liked it! She called it a desert wine and thought it had a nice blend. Scott is definitely not a fan of sweet wines, however he said it was nice paired with the spicy sausage as the spice cut right through the sweet. Larry tasted apricot, Ethan agreed. Terry commented that this wine was also nice with chocolate, it changes the flavor.

Winemakers notes: Pale lemon hue, vibrant aromatics of jasmine and peach nectar, intense floral and grape flavors, and inviting sweetness balanced by bright acidity.



2013 49 Crows Chardonnay from Mendocino

Elsewhere price $19.99 ~ Grocery Outlet price $5.99

Scott started us off here, with a, “oh, that’s… That’s Nice!” Larry found the aroma interesting – maybe toffee? Steve commented that this was much better than the Moscato – good and fruity. Citrus, he added. Terry thought this chardonnay had a nice a finish. I thought it felt like a sauvignon blanc, Dara agreed.

4/5 stars from This pure and focused Chardonnay from Alder Springs Vineyard is on the lighter side and drinks well on its own or paired with lighter foods. Wines from this Mendocino vineyard have made it on the wine list at The French Laundry in Yountville and Alder Springs also supplies fruit to some of the best winemakers in the country for a variety of projects. A very well made Chardonnay with amazing fruit. This wine is a great value.



2013 Adobe Red Blend from Paso Robles

Elsewhere price $12.99 ~ Grocery Outlet price $3.99

Larry tasted berries. Dara thought it was more like cherries, nice paired with the sea salt dark chocolate. Ethan thought this red blend left a taste of pepper on the tongue. Scott simply likes this, lol. Dara added, also pairs nicely with sharp cheddar.

3.7/5 stars from This is a great wine to share with friends that are just starting to enjoy red wines. It is medium bodied with light acidity. It does have small sweetness to it but it is not over powering.



2016 Chop House Merlot from Paso Robles

Elsewhere price $11.99 ~ Grocery Outlet price $4.99

Oh, I knew I’d like this one. My first reaction was: smooooth. Steve commented that this merlot was on the dry side and he tasted tobacco. He added that it paired well with the sea salt dark chocolate. Terry agreed with me, she said “mmmmm smooth. I like it.” She also said it was easy drinking, be careful with this one.

No on-line reviews for this wine… you’re just gonna havta take our word for it – This is a good wine.