Tag Archives: growing up

North Fork Wine Tasting


This week was Erik’s birthday, and to celebrate we spent Friday wine tasting on the North Fork of Long Island. Now having parents in the wine world has its perks and let me tell you, yesterday was one of them! My dad set up a wonderful day for us and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!

Bedell Cellars Tasting Room

Bedell Cellars Tasting Room

We started off bright and early at 11 (it was the only way we were going to get everywhere) at Bedell Cellars on the Main Road in Cutchogue where we had a tour of their winemaking facility from their winemaker Richard Olsen-Harbich. We took a look around the grounds and at the vineyard, and then started our first tasting of the day. We tried four of their wines: the 2012 First Crush White (a white blend), the 2011 Sparkling Rose (I am a sucker for sparkling), the 2011 Cabernet Franc, and the 2011 Malbec. In the small world that is the North Fork, Erik’s mom also happened to design the Bedell building and we had a good time looking around as Erik pointed out her signature elements.

We headed next to Sherwood House‘s tasting house, in Jamesport. Here we tasted the 2012 White Merlot, the 2012 Stainless Steel Chardonnay, the 2010 Chardonnay, the 2007 Cabernet Franc, the 2006 Sherwood Manor (red blend), and the 2012 Merliance. Merliance is 100% Merlot, made up of a blend of grapes from a number of different Long Island wineries, to showcase Long Island Merlot varietal. It is a very small, intimate tasting room with in a nice setting, perfect for a picnic and we decided to sit outside and have our lunch with a glass of the 2012 White Merlot which was perfect in the hello-summer weather. I am normally not a White Merlot fan but Erik and I were both impressed with this one. It was made as more of a rose than as strictly a white wine, which may have made a difference, but regardless we both really enjoyed it. I am a big red wine drinker and I also enjoyed the Sherwood Manor and the Merliance quite a bit, although even I have to admit that drinking reds in that humidity was a challenge. Speaking of which, I can’t believe how warm it has been the last few days and Friday the weather didn’t ease up at all, staying in the 90s and high 80s most of the day and there seemed to be no escape from the humidity.

Sherwood House tasting room

Sherwood House Tasting Room

The next stop on our day of tasting was just down the street (which was lucky as we were walking between these two and in that sticky heat we didn’t want to walk far) at Paumanok Vineyards in Aquebogue. I had not been to Paumanok since I was very young and was excited to now be old enough to try their wine, and I was impressed with everything I tasted. With the recommendations of the very nice tasting room staff we tried: the 2012 Chenin Blanc, the 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, the 2012 Dry Riesling, the Minimalist Chardonnay (which was very impressive and surprising), the 2011 Dry Rose, the 2012 Dry Rose, the Assemblage (a red blend), the 2011 Cabernet Franc, and the 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon. It was here that we had our favorite wine of the day–2012 Chenin Blanc. I also enjoyed their Roses quite a bit which for me was a surprise as there are a very few number of Roses that I can say that for. We had a quick look around and each bought a bottle of the Chenin Blanc before we were picked up for our next stop. I was also pleasantly surprised to here have tasted one of the few Chardonnays that I have ever truly liked: the Minimalist. I am not a Chardonnay drinker, which may come as a surprise given the number of them we tried, but I like, especially when tasting, to try at least one everywhere I go in hopes of being surprised and here I was, for the second time in a day.

We then headed up to the North Road and over to Macari Vineyard‘s tasting room in Mattituck. We started with a short tasting of their 2012 Early White, followed by the 2008 Dos Aguas, and the 2010 Block E before heading down to the tank room for a look, where we met with Kelly Urbanik, the winemaker, who is very nice and we had a good time talking to her.

You can’t believe there is more, I know, trust me I know! Let me tell you, I was struggling a bit at this point, luckily we slowed down from here on out.

Lieb Cellars Oregon Road

Lieb Cellars Oregon Road

After a short walk down the road we arrived at Premium Wine Group, where I worked this past harvest. My dad showed Erik around the winery, and gave us a few tanks samples to compare. We tried a few different styles of Riesling and Chardonnay and had a good time discussing the differences. For our next and last stop we went to Lieb Cellars new Oregon Road tasting room, which none of us but my dad had been to before. Eriks’ parents and mine, as well as two friends of ours joined us for a cheese platter and tasting of the 2009 Pinot Blanc Cuvee (a sparkling wine), the 2011 Pinot Blanc (which was my favorite here), the 2011 Bridge Lane Chardonnay, and the 2011 Bridge Lane Rose. It was a very nice ending to our day of tasting.

At this point we were more than hungry and went back to Eriks’ parents house for dinner from Braun Seafood which was perfect and exactly what I wanted. It was a really nice night and we sat outside and chatted for quite a while, a while being until I had been bitten by so many mosquitos that I couldn’t stand it any longer. I am a mosquito magnet and am currently covered in bites from my knees to my toes, but it was a nice night to sit outside so it was worth it. Nothing that a little calamine lotion can’t cure! All in all it was a very North Fork filled day and we had a lovely time touring the wineries.

It was Eriks’ first time going tasting on the North Fork and I think it is safe to say that we all enjoyed his birthday. We are already talking about which wineries we want to visit on our next tasting day! It was also a nice last hurrah for me before starting my real-person-adult internship on Monday, updates on that to come soon I am sure.

If you live in NY or are visiting I highly suggest adding a day of wine tasting into your summer plans!


Babies on the Brain!


My mantra of the day

Have you ever woken up from a dream convince that it was all true? I had a dream so vivid and thoroughly cued in to my thoughts the last few days that it has taken me the better part of today to convince myself that it was not real and that I am in fact absolutely, 100% NOT pregnant!

I was back in Florida, staying at a lovely (I am assuming rented because I would never be caught dead living somewhere as hot and humid as Florida) house, visiting for my Grandparents anniversary. My entire family was there, my uncles, aunt, cousins, the whole lot of us at a nice luncheon at my grandparents clubhouse with a few of their close friends. It was all very elegant and beautiful and there I am in the middle of the group with my 8-month old son who is looking absolutely adorable with his jet black head of hair and bright blue eyes in a little suit, complete with bow-tie. All the while my Grandpa is fussing with the little boy while my Grandma tells me that I am too young to have children and that I should be out exploring the world and living my life rather than staying at home, working a boring job, and raising a child by myself. At the end of the party I head back to my rented house with my son who keeps changing back and forth from an adorable 8-month old to a chatty and opinionated 4-year old. When I finally get him to sleep (back as a 8-month old) I relax on the couch and call up my friend who has asked me to carry her child because she cannot get pregnant. I have said I would and she is chatting on about how she cannot wait for her little girl to be born in 3 months. I look down at my stomach and see nothing more than what I have been calling “a little bloating” and suddenly remember that I am 6-months pregnant with her daughter. I was barely showing and had completely forgotten that I was pregnant! Just as I am panicking that I am going to have to tell her I forgot I was pregnant and that her child may be deformed from the excessive amount of coffee I consume along with my regular glass of wine I woke up, rushed to the bathroom, and proceeded to stare at what currently I am referring to as my “a little bloated” stomach.

For the next–well I am not going to admit how long is was–I stood there staring at my stomach in the mirror, repeating to myself “I am not pregnant! I am not pregnant! I AM NOT PREGNANT!” Now if waking up and spending the better part of your morning convincing yourself that your pregnancy was only a dream isn’t bad enough, I went grocery shopping this afternoon and wound up following a young mom who wasn’t much older than me around and around the store imagining myself as her and the little boy sitting in the cart as the son from my dream.


I’m not one of those girls, aside from thinking they are adorable I really don’t give much thought to babies.

Now before you go on thinking that I am crazy and a little too mommy-minded, let me just say that, that couldn’t be farther from the truth! Just last week when I was in Florida my Grandma and I had a long conversation about marriage and babies in which I told her that I don’t want to even start thinking about either of those two until I am 26 and would not consider acting on either of them until I am at least 28. As I told her then and as I firmly believe, there is just too much I want to do first to be thinking about boys or babies or marriage or even settling down for that matter!

I have been trying to convince my mother and myself for years that I don’t want to ever give birth (I say trying because she, I, and everyone who has ever met me knows that I will have kids one day). I keep saying that I want to adopt and I absolutely do, but let’s be honest for a moment here, I want to have a baby the “old-fashioned way” too, what girl doesn’t?

However, as I said earlier I really don’t want to even start thinking about any of this for another 5 years so why are baby boys, baby bumps, and blue bottles filling my head at night?! I am 21-years-old, perpetually single, with no longterm employment plan, and with a sever case of wanderlust. Babies just don’t exist in that equation. One day I hope they do but for the next 5-10 maybe not . . .

Any thoughts on what my dream means other than the fact that I need to stop eating chocolate before bed and maybe I am spending too much time with adorable (and sometimes annoying) children at work? Has anyone else had super vivid baby dreams? This is my first and I am freaking out a little, all I can think about is Juno.

Ways to Spend a Snow Day


Screen shot 2013-01-28 at 11.01.14 AMOn the whole this has been a very out of character winter for the US weather-wise. While some are complaining, given that winter has always been my favorite time of year I can’t help but enjoy it! Although not even I can say I enjoyed the frigid temperature from last week, it hit -28 F  here and that is just a bit too cold for me, but I will take all the snow the sky will give and snow is exactly what we are getting today.

In honor of todays plentiful precipitation I have decided to do a sort of “Snow Day How-To” for us pseudo-adults who sometimes forget that snow-days used to be better than Christmas!

10 Ways to Spend Your Snow Day

  1. Sleep in and stay in your pyjamas ALL day. 
  2. Snuggle up on the couch in front of the fire with a blanket, cup of coffee/tea/hot chocolate/other hot beverage, and a good book.
  3. Bundle up and head out for a day of skiing, snowboarding, snow shoeing, cross-country skiing, ice skating, or partake in another winter sport.
  4. Make a snowman, snow angel, snow fort, and have a snowball fight with some friends.
  5. Go sledding! Or for an adult twist, have some people over for dinner, have a few drinks, and go night sledding with flashlights.
  6. Pop a big bowl of popcorn and have a movie marathon, several Disney movies, or a trilogy perhaps?
  7. Build a fire and roast marshmallows for s’mores.
  8. Try a few of the Pintrest recipes or crafts that you have been hoarding on your boards for a rainy (or in this case snowy) day.
  9. Open a bottle of wine and watch the flakes fall outside your window and maybe make some of your own? When was the last time you made a paper snowflake?
  10. Spoil yourself–go in a hot tub, take a bubble bath, have an at-home-spa-day, and eat lots of chocolate!


That all sounds so good I may just have to see if I can do them all today. I really do recommend Number 5 though, night sledding has always been my favorite winter activity whether alcohol is involved or not. Enjoy the snow!

Oh! by Eric Hutchinson


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While absent-mindedly occupying myself on Pintrest with Pandora playing in the background I came across the song: Oh! by Eric Hutchinson, and it sort of smacked me across the face and then reverberated around for a while in my skull.

The part that really caught my attention was the chorus: “And I’m never sure what I’m living for but it’s always on my mind. Someone comes along always proves me wrong. Think I’m gonna be fine.”

How fantastic is that, and how true? Who can really with any certainty (particularly in their 20s) say what they are living for? What are we doing, where are we going? It changes everyday don’t you think?  I am a big fan of the 6-month, 5-year, 10-year plan mentality but I also recognize that we need a certain level of spontaneity and uncertainty in our lives. We need to let ourselves be ridiculous and enjoy making the poor life choices in order to give ourselves the pleasure of then putting our lives back together.

I was just yesterday talking to a friend who said he was thinking of leaving his job to move out to LA. He told me, “I feel as though I’m looking for an excuse to drop everything here and make the rash decision to move.” That is a mentality that I can 100% relate to. I am making the move to Chicago this summer, and that was a decision decided on a whim (to be honest most of my major life-changing decisions are). My friend was in need of a roommate and I was in need of some new surroundings. I know myself well enough to know that come summertime I will be looking for ‘an excuse to drop everything’ and sometimes you have to indulge yourself a little and allow those rash decisions, the ones that you know aren’t the safe choice, but generally are the smartest. I am moving to a city that I have never set foot in with no job prospect at the moment and I am beyond excited about it. Money is going to be tight and I know there are going to be more than a few difficulties but I also know that I like a good challenge and if I know nothing else one thing I can say with absolute certainty is, I’m gonna be fine.

Getting Too Old for This


I couldn’t shake the funny feeling being back in college, it was even more so being at a school other than my own. I spent the last few days celebrating one of my best friends, Rachel’s 21st birthday! This is the first 21st that I have celebrated as I put up such a poor show at my own—I have decided that mine does not count as a true 21st celebration at all. But back to the weekend at hand, being the all around theme for this year and for the rest of my life for that matter, this weekend was full of firsts for me, some expected and some otherwise.

welcome_to_boston_2_251121851_stdFor starters I drove to Boston, I did not make a plan for my trip, I left my car in the hands of a stranger for the weekend, and attended an opera, this all in the first few hours of arriving! The opera was my favorite of this particular list of firsts. I have always enjoyed theatre, especially the production side, as I stage-managed while in high school, which is where I met Rachel my Stage Management majoring friend, and the stage manager for this particular show. She has been telling me for years how wonderful operas are and as much as I wanted to believe her I never could bring myself to. I just couldn’t see how I was going to understand and appreciate watching a show in a language I can’t speak. Being the writing major and book lover that I am as well as the hopeless romantic why I thought words had to be spoken in English rather than French or Italian to carry a message that I could comprehend who knows, but this is not the first nor I am sure will it be the last that I am so utterly and completely wrong. I was brought near to tears by the universal translation of love and longing brought to life by the performers. Love is a language not of words.

At the Boston Museum of FIne Arts--my unexpected favorite

At the Boston Museum of FIne Arts–my unexpected favorite

Art museums have always puzzled me. Am I that unappreciative and uncultured? Am I the only one who walks through an art exhibit and notices first the frames rather than what lies within them? I cannot be the only one who put ill at ease by the utter silence nor the only one who believes that art needs room to breathe. I have always found art exhibits and museums confining and constrictive. I want to experience art, not view it from behind glass, but regardless of all of this I went to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts while Rachel went to work for a few hours and did stumble upon a piece or two that did move me.

Rachel first legal drink!

Rachels first legal drink!

With work and museums out-of-the-way the birthday celebration began with a trip to Harvard Square, the Worlds Only Curious George Store, and the purchase of Rachel’s first legal drink at lunch! The festivities continued later that night at the local bar where we met up with a bunch of Rachel’s friends for margaritas, nachos, and tequila shots! Now my dear friend Rachel is quite petite at all of 110 pounds but that girl can hold her own! After, well lets just say quite a bit more than I could drink and still form coherent thoughts we stumbled our way home, quite the celebration success!

Rachel somehow managed to get up and to class, with absolutely no hangover by 9am which I think is quite impressive! I on the other hand slept in and after lunch with her once she returned from class, made my way back to NY where I have been sleeping and watching movies ever since. As much as it pains me to say it all I kept thinking was, I am getting too old for this. And how sad is that, at 21 how can I be too old for anything?! And the truth of the matter is I’m not, it just sure as hell feels like it after being out of school for 7 months.