National Drink Wine Day

Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir, Paul Hobbs 2020 Pinot Noir, Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast Russian River Valley

Who doesn’t love a fake holiday? I sure do. Any excuse to . . . eat my fav food, drink my favorite drinks, celebrate my weird dog . . . I’m game. Today is National Drink Wine Day so on that note, ¡Salud!

I thought I’d share a couple of great glasses of wine I’ve enjoyed lately.

This is my second bottle of Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir – though the first vintage was 2019. This Sonoma Coast – Russian River Valley wine, may quickly become my favorite, duking it out for the top spot with Casa Silva Carménère from Chile. I am just a little bit in love with Carménère right now.

This wine is so lovely. It’s a beautiful, ruby color with tobacco, cedarwood, and floral notes on the nose. This 14.3% ABV wine has a citrus-like acidity & a long finish. Flavors of berries – including cranberries – make this such an enjoyable wine. I love it. 😍 Maybe next time I’ll hold onto a bottle instead of opening within an hour of getting home from the wine store.

Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir, Paul Hobbs 2020 Pinot Noir, Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast Russian River Valley

Last weekend, I ran across Black Girl Magic – a red blend from McBride Sisters Wine Company. It was quite delicious with flavors of plum, vanilla, & my first thought that day, was oak. But now I’m kind of thinking tobacco. I loved it.

McBride Sisters Wine Company, McBride Sisters Collection, Black Girl Magic, Black Girl Magic wine, red blend wine, black girl magic red blend

I enjoyed it just as much the next day when I was enjoying whilst washing dishes in front of my open kitchen window. Just ignore the dirty window. 😉 It was a beautiful weekend – warm and bright. Today has been chilly but we return to spring temperatures tomorrow.

Tonight, I’ll be at one of those sip & paint things and have mini Charcuterie board-ish snacks to share. The spicy meat calls for a Riesling so that’s what I’m bringing. Speaking of spicy food, last night I had Mexican food and the tacos I ordered were some of the spiciest I’ve had in quite awhile. They were delish. While I do think Tempranillo or Rioja pair well with Mexican food, Riesling or other sparkling wines pair perfectly with food on the spicier end of the spectrum. Though I am more of a red fan, those dishes need the perfect compliment that doesn’t detract from the wine. Though sweeter than I normally go for, this one was great.

Pacific Rim wine, Pacific Rim Riesling, columbia valley washington riesling, columbia valley washington wine

I love the description of how to pair it.

Pacific Rim wine, Pacific Rim Riesling, columbia valley washington riesling, columbia valley washington wine

I’m not sure I agree about the “medium sweet.” But it is the perfect compliment to my meals the last two nights. What’s in your glass for National Drink Wine Day?

Yadkin Valley Wine Region

In case you’re wondering – the Yadkin Valley Wine Region in North Carolina is beautiful. My mom & I drove through some gorgeous countryside today. We are staying in Boone but made a detour to wine country. I can’t wait to make a trip again (to stay longer). I plan on sharing a few more details when I get home. But for now, here’s a few photos from Shelton Vineyard & Winery.

Good Wine & Great Chow



My first event at the Beaufort Wine & Food Weekend was awesome — the Wine, Bread & Cheese seminar. The second, “The Truck Stops Here”? Not great. The majority of the food was fried which is a total non-starter when you can’t eat gluten. There were simply not enough “food trucks” providing food to make the price of admission worth it for me, taking into consideration the fried thing.

As a result of my frustration from Friday night, I’m not going to lie . . . I was not even a little excited about Saturday. But I went to the Vin de Mer Epicurean Village {at Front Street Village} anyway. I’m happy to say that it was awesome. It was much more organized than the food truck event. There was simply no possible way for me to try every wine {although I’m sure there were some there that tried}. And while I was a little overwhelmed at where to start, I came up with a sort-of-ish plan to start with the whites, working around the tent and sampling the awesome food in between.

Here’s what I did enjoy {that I remembered to write down or snap a photo of}:

Charcuterie, Charcuterie Board, Cheese, Southern Foods


My favorite eats were:

  • Sesame Seared Tuna from the Channel Marker
  • Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish Cream and Caramelized Onions {and ugh…I can’t remember where this came from}
  • Asian Pulled Pork Taco with soy-ginger slaw and sour cream from Circa-81
  • Spring salad with strawberries, feta & basil-peach vinaigrette (Olive Oil & Vinegar from Beaufort Olive Oil Company made by Chef Merrell from Circa-81.
  • The fish & shrimp stew from Sammy’s Seafood House & Oyster Bar
  • The Charcuterie board from Southern Foods

Circa 81, Clarke Merrell, tapas, cocktails, Beaufort Wine and Food Weekend

I only saw one cooking demo – from Chef Merrell of Circa-81 {And Dank Burrito. And Beaufort Olive Oil Company.} but it was fun. I learned a few things from the demo. Like for instance, did you know that when you buy extra virgin olive oil from the grocery store, it may have as little as 15% extra olive virgin oil. The rest could be . . . anything. Eww. Kind of annoyed about the olive oil I purchase at the store. I also learned that clear bottles should be avoided which is a shame since I bought clear glass bottles for my olive oil and vinegar.

Chef Merrell made a spring salad that we were able to sample. I had a taste of a really good Sauvignon Blanc, with it, that I cannot remember the name of, for the life of me. Nonetheless, it was a fun demo and like I mentioned, I learned a few things. One of the things I enjoyed about the chef’s presentation was his advice to try stuff out when you’re cooking taking a “no rules” approach. I like that.

Before I forget, I also loved the Gin &  Tonic from Mother Earth Spirits out of Kinston. P.S. I’m a cocktail fan but I had never had a Gin & Tonic before. I’m a new fan. I bought a bottle of Crude Bitters – Rosemary, Grapefruit & Peppercorn. I can’t wait to try it. I also had a sample of their Orange & Fig. So good!

bitters, Crude Bitters,

Overall, it was a really awesome experience. I had a ton of fun. I have been to quite a few wine dinners, tastings, etc., over recent years. But this was the first time attending a wine & food festival of this type. There are things I would do differently next year for sure. But mark my words, at the very least I’ll be back for the Vin de Mer Epicurean Village next year!

Beaufort Wine & Food Weekend – Wine, Bread, and Cheese Seminar


Today I went to the first of a few events I’ll be attending as part of the Beaufort Wine & Food Weekend. As an awesome 40th birthday present, my friend Jackie bought me tickets to the Wine, Bread & Cheese Seminar as well as Saturday’s Vin de Mer Epicurean Village. I bought myself a ticket to the “Truck Stops Here” food truck rodeo.

This was seriously one of the best gifts I’ve ever been given! I had such a great time. The event was at the Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center which is part of the Beaufort Maritime Museum. The view was awesome. And it was a super fun location for an event like this.



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I arrived early, along with quite a few others and we watched as the room was set up.



Because this is the first event I’ve attended during the Beaufort Wine & Food Weekend, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The event exceeded my expectations. The only criticism I had is that I would have liked it to be a little longer. Nonetheless, it was a great experience.



The cheeses offered were so very good. Southern Food’s Cheesemonger, Sasha Shreders, chose cheeses I have never had before and probably am not likely to have again for some time. However, I learned a lot and confirmed that cheese, is in fact, proof that God loves me.

I’m not sure I could pick a favorite if I had to though the Shakerag Blue and Brabander Goat Gouda were pretty amazing. The wine was excellent and paired perfectly. I only bought three bottles (my budget and wallet thank me). I’m saving the Petite Sirah for a special occasion.


After the event was over, I spent a little time walking along the waterfront and sat for a bit, enjoying the view across Taylor’s Creek. Overall, it was a great way to spend a few hours of my vacation. I am looking forward to the next two events!