Thursday, May 28, 2015

Big Guy Red Wine #BellWineCellars featuring a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier! Dine at The Ivy Kitchen #TheIvyKitchen

For all the dog lovers in my life (the Bowers, the Duplechins, Meredith, Cullum, and even Don and I, although we don't own any animals), here is a great wine you must find and buy! Not only is it a great red wine, but it is inexpensive and comes from Napa Valley. I know my dog lover families that are of drinking age have had a glass of wine when no one else was home but the dogs. And rightly so! You've heard of the old saying, "a dog is a man's best friend". While some don't agree with that, we do agree that this wine is amazingly, surprisingly fabulous!

2013 Big Guy Red Wine ($20) from Yountville, CA. Bell Wine Cellars, owned and operated by Anthony and Sandra Bell, have delivered a beautiful table wine that anyone would serve to guests. It has lots of red ripe fruit aromas and flavors with tannins structure and acidity that will allow it to be cellared or enjoyed young. This wine consists of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Syrah, 9% Merlot, 3% Petite Sirah, 2% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec, and 1% Cabernet Franc.

 The label on the back of the bottle explains how their soft-coated wheaten terrier has greeted guests for many faithful years. Ty, which Anthony lovingly calls "Big Guy", now shares his own favorite wine for the BBQ dinners they have in the back yard.

We enjoyed this wine at the Ivy Kitchen in Dallas, which is right outside the doors of the LOOK Cinema. They have the best pimento and cheese I have ever tasted! OMG!

It's a great place to dine and then enjoy a movie. That night I had bought tickets at the wrong theater and we had to race out of the Ivy and fly to the AMC theater down the street! Whew, we made it just in time for the movie (not the previews though!:( ).

If you haven't seen, Run All Night, with Liam Neeson, you've got to put that on the list! We love this guy!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Rough Creek Lodge #rclodge King Estate #KingEstate

Over Spring Break, Don surprised me and took me to Rough Creek Lodge for the weekend. It's about 90 miles southwest of the Metroplex in the beautiful foothills of the Texas Hill Country. The resort is nestled on 11,000 acres of rolling hills where there are several sporting activities you can choose from, family swimming and adult swimming areas, a gorgeous lake, a heavenly spa, horseback rides,  rock climbing, and I could go on and on. 

As we pulled up to the main building on the property, we were greeted by a warm stone fireplace, a nice place to warm up while greeting guests.  

 We checked in, found our room, unpacked and piled on the bed for a nap! Well, Don slept while I read the magazines in the room. We dressed for dinner, which doesn't mean you have to dress up here! It's a lodge, so most people are in jeans and camo jackets.

We were seated by the windows which gave us a view of the big back porch with its large stone fireplace for gathering around on cold nights like this one. We ordered a nice red wine from King Estates in Eugene, Oregon.

2011 NxNW Cabernet Sauvignon  ($28) This wine, from the Columbia Valley, is a dark violet with aromas of ripe, cherry jam, and coconut. The palate has notes of black cherry, chocolate, oak and olive. The mouthfeel has a rich entry, with light tannins and a lingering finish. 

It was really delicious with our desserts we chose!

Yes, once more we celebrated our January anniversary! LOL 

Check out this resort when you don't have time to go very far away from home or go from wherever you live. It's worth the trip!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

#CretiasTreats What a Great Discovery! #rsvineyards

Last Saturday, Don and I were looking for a new place to eat in Bishop Art's District and came upon this eatery. We aren't normally in that area, but had been visiting a couple in old Oak Cliff about vintage post cards. It was very interesting, but I getting increasingly hungry during the conversations. After Don got what he needed, we left in search of a place to eat.

We walked into the wide open glass doors of Cretia's Eatery and Bakery and instantly fell in love with the place. Old antique chairs and tables that didn't match, and vintage glass bakery cases filled with the most yummy pies, cakes, cookies, and candies.

I ordered the quiche of the day and Don ordered what he saw another customer eating!LOL It was a country ham and bacon sandwich with muenster cheese on potato bread and was  absolutely delicious. The quiche went down quickly and I was still hungry, so we shared a humongous slice of German Chocolate Cake! Heavenly!

The wine I chose from their selections was a
2013 Rodney Strong Chalk Hill Chardonnay ($22). 100% Chardonnay, this wine is both creamy and crisp with golden delicious yellow apple, baked pie spices, and a hint of minerality on the long finish. A very nice wine with the quiche and cake.

Enjoy Cretia's Eatery and Bakery! I'm going there the next time I need any baked goods. This is a very busy place with people coming in the whole time we were there getting cakes, slices of pies, ordering food! I wished I had heard of this place sooner. We will be back!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Haunted Houses of Savannah! EEEK!

 The Olde Pink House and Piano Bar built in 1771, is a pink colored-stuccoed Georgian mansion with an attic and a basement that houses the wine cellar. It is said to be haunted by the original owner, James Habersham Jr. He was one of three sons of a colonial planter and cotton merchant, James Habershamn Sr. 
Sr. was an ardent loyalist and a driving force to get the ban lifted on slavery in Georgia. How brokenhearted he was when he died because all three of his sons sided with the colonial patriot cause. They were all involved with the Sons of Liberty.
Habersham Jr. begin building the mansion in 1771, but not finishing it until 1789. The British occupied his mansion during the Revolutionary War. It survived the Civil War and the fire of 1820 and the War of 1812. But the most aggravating thing about the mansion is that the red brick was covered over with white plaster. The red brick kept bleeding through the white plaster causing it to turn pink. This meant it had to be painted often to keep the pink from showing. As years passed, it was owned by many different families. In 1920 the lady of the house said let's just paint it pink and call it a day! So it became the Olde Pink House.

The ghost of Habersham Jr. has been physically seen by all the employees who work there October through March, especially on quiet Sunday afternoons. Creepy! When we were there, it was filled with diners, so I wasn't scared at all! We crept up the tiny staircase to the second floor, passing through a living room with a beautiful fire roaring in the fireplace and a huge table full of guests. Every room in the mansion was a place to dine. We made it to our room, sat down, and had a lovely meal. 

I"m getting to the wine! Don't worry! Our menu was fixed for us, but we had choices to make for each entree. I chose Low Country She Crab soup, crispy scored flounder with apricot shallot sauce, and a praline basket with almonds and pecans filled with vanilla bean ice-cream covered in a mango puree and topped with seasonal fruit. Oh my!

Here are the wines we had to choose from:

2013 Allan Scott Family Winemakers Sauvignon Blanc ($17) a New Zealand wine. The fruit is bright and clean with tropical aromas. The flavors in the mouth have hints of lemon, lime, and grapefruit. It is smooth and fruit driven with lively acidity to carry the fruit leaving a lingering mouthwatering finish that keeps you wanting more!

2012 Archery Summit Premier Cuvee Pinot Noir ($54), from the Willamette Valley. This wine is a combination of grapes from six distinctive vineyards. This was their stellar vintage. A mixture of blackberries, star anise, cinnamon, and rose petals on the nose, plush dark fruits flavors with a dusting of milk chocolate on the palate. The wine finishes with a real opulence and finesse.

Well, we didn't see any ghosts, but we had some really great entertainment from a fine Southern lady. I don't know who's playing the piano, but our singer sang acappella. She snapped her fingers on the jazzy songs and we clapped and joined in the singing.

We all took photos out on the balcony where it would be lovely to have a brunch or dinner without the rain!

So long Savannah, Georgia! I long to see you again someday!