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!

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

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

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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.

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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 Vivino.com

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.

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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 Cellartracker.com

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

http://www.nittygrittywines.com/

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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 WineMag.com (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 ;^)

 

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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).

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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.

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

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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.

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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 Winestyr.com: 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.

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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 Vivino.com: 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.

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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.

We had a ‘Remarkable’ time!

Every time I hear the word Remarkable, I think of the Little Rascals. Do you remember them? When I was a kid, I watched them (re-runs of course!) every Saturday morning. One episode, Spanky was babysitting a bunch of babies. Now, Spanky looks like a baby himself in this episode, but he has exceptional story telling skills! He is telling the babies a bed time story so they will take a nap and one of the babies keeps commenting, ‘Remarkable’ all through the story. Babies watching babies, remarkable. I don’t know who in their right mind would allow their baby to be supervised by The Little Rascals, that is really remarkable. As I remember, one of the babies ended up inside a big bird cage to contain him – he was a wanderer. Sure, inappropriate today – but back then – it was effective. If you have 4 minutes, watch a clip from the original Remarkable episode here.

That totally had nothing to do with wine, but may provide some insight as to how my mind wanders like an unsupervised toddler.

We tasted four wines this week on the Front Porch. (which had a tiny make-over to accommodate more people)

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2008 Hangtime Chardonnay from the Central Coast, 2009 Fernz Chardonnay from New Zealand, 2008 Remarkable Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara County and 2008 Monkey Business from the North Coast. (from right to left) Check our Facebook page for the ‘Giveaway’ tab to Enter to Win one bottle of each of these wines! Also, you can try the Bandana White blend and the Totally Random Sweet Red wines from previous posts this weekend at the Manteca Pumpkin Fair (Oct 5 & 6, 2013).

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Hangtime Chardonnay $3.99 (elsewhere price $11.99)

3 wine pic First up, Hangtime Chardonnay had a buttery color and was slightly oaky. Terry thought that it started strong but after a few sips it goes down easy. Larry said it was not as lightly colored as some we have tried lately and Joe said it was smooth…like Larry. Lisa said let it breath for a few minutes, it was misleading at first. The Red Hat Ladies liked it but were really looking forward to the red wines (guests of Kitty, who thought the coffee was perfectly strong – just the way she likes it). Cellar Tracker gave it 86 points. (the wine, not the coffee)

The label reads: ‘At Hangtime Cellars, we source Chardonnay from the cool, windswept California Coast AVA where grapes spend a long time hanging on the vine – you’ll find the exact number of days printed on our label. These lengthy “hangtimes” allow grapes to ripen slowly, developing exquisite fruit character perfectly balanced by crisp acidity. Sit back with your friends, open up a bottle, and enjoy a little well-deserved hangtime of your own!’

Fernz Chardonnay $3.99 (elsewhere price $11.99)

4 wine pic I immediately liked the fruity smell of the Fernz Chardonnay. It was lighter in color and both Larry and I thought it had a distinct citrus taste. Joe said it was a little too tart for him (which is funny because he won a free bottle the next day, lol) The Red Hat Ladies wanted to remember this one so they could come into the store to get it – even though it wasn’t red. Tasting.com gave this wine 84 points and it won the Bronze Medal in the World Wine Championship! I like to search out info about all the wines we taste, and I came across a video of the winemakers tasting this wine on YouTube – check out their reaction to livestock crashing the party!

The label reads: ‘The Silver Fern is a national emblem of New Zealand which conveys a sense of inspiration, purity and pride. We strive to provide these same characteristics in our wine by using only sustainable winemaking practices, thus protecting the natural environment. It is our priority to provide you with the taste of pure New Zealand in every drop. Please enjoy with family & friends and take pleasure in the flavor of New Zealand!’

Remarkable Pinot Noir $5.99 (elsewhere price $19.99)

2 wine pic As we passed this Remarkable Pinot Noir around the Front Porch, Lisa noticed the bottom of the bottle and said she loved the ‘belly button’ on the bottle. She thought the wine was ‘Yummy!’ It coated her mouth and felt creamy and had a nice round flavor. She planned on getting a case the next day (her husband did come in and get it for her :-)). Terry said it was refreshing and it would be a crowd pleaser, especially for the holidays. Misty thought it was a remarkable price and would make a great holiday gift.

The label reads: ‘Aromas of maraschino cherry, rhubarb and cream yield into complex smoky notes, and layers of soft tannins.’

Monkey Business Merlot $7.99 (elsewhere price $12.99)

1 wine pic Perfect for the coming Fall months! Monkey Business Merlot brings a lot of fruit and a rich flavor. It is deep red and smells slightly floral. I thought it was smooth and dry. Larry said it started sweet, then becomes dry. It made Terry feel very warm (but, it was the fourth wine she tasted and she was sitting pretty close to Larry, so it could’ve been either of those things).

The label reads: Monkey business is located in the heart of Wine Country in Healdsburg. We bottle and blend small lots of the finest hand-crafted wine form California. Enjoy this wine by itself or with your favorite cuisine.’

ale tasting I’m sure you noticed that I didn’t get any of Steve’s wisdom on any of these wines. He was present on the Front Porch… however, he was a rebel this week – he was having A Little Sumpin’ Ale. He said it might be considered bitter if you compare it to beers like Coors Light or Bud. He thought it tasted kind of like evergreen – like if you were on Naked and Afraid and you made a tea out of pine needles to stay alive – but with a kick. You are a kick, Steve!