Good Monday morning to you all!
If you are living on the East Coast, I’m sure you are gearing up for the storm of the century. To be honest, Toly and I haven’t put much thought into the potential apocalypse and now I’m starting to think I should be a bit more worried than I am. I know that things could get bad, but for some reason, I’m not freaking out about it. We have shelter, food, water and lots of relatives and friends close by. It’s almost a sure bet that we’ll loose power at some point so if I disappear for awhile, you’ll know it’s hurricane related.
On to brighter notes, let’s talk about the past weekend. For the first time this season, Toly and I finally got to enjoy a fall-inspired weekend together including wine tours, dinner dates and movie goings.
Saturday marked the Harrisburg Hershey PA Wine Fall Festival that spanned over a dozen wineries across South Central region. Tickets for the event were dirt-cheap and it featured many wineries in our backyard that we had yet to experience. Wine tasting has become a favorite pastime of ours so we thought it would be a perfect way to spend our Saturday afternoon.
Before we setout into wine country, we made an important stop at The Hershey Pantry for brunch.
The baked oatmeal special of the day happened to be Pumpkin Pecan so obviously; I wasn’t going to pass that one up.
Brunch always seems so romantic and was really a great way to kick-start our adventures.
Our first stop on the tour was Cassel Vineyards of Hershey. This five-acre vineyard sits nestled in the heartland of Hershey and features six varieties of grapes.
We began our tasting experience with 5 pours from their semi-dry/dry list, a chambourcin, a cabernet franc, a house red, a vidal blanc and a chardonnay. To be honest, I wasn’t a fan of most of these wines, mainly because they were not bold enough for my liking. PA wines have a tendency to fare on the sweet and subtle side and I prefer a rich, full-bodied taste.
Aside from the wine, the vineyard itself was beautiful! The staff at the winery were extremely friendly and definitely made the experience delightful by providing an array of snacks and appetizers to pair with each pour.
We spent some time walking through them after our tasting and taking in the gorgeous fall day.
Next on the list was Cullari Vineyards and Winery on Chocolate Ave, Hershey. I’ll admit, I have passed by this winery dozens of times and I have been tempted often by their confident advertisement for chocolate wine.
Cullari is a bit different than most of the other wineries we’ve visited because it serves as more of a boutique shop than an actual vineyard.
From the website:
“Cullari Vineyards and Winery is a small boutique bottler and producer that specializes in both traditional dry and sweet red, white and pink wines, and also some unusual and uniquely crafted grape and fruit wine varieties that are only available at our tasting rooms. The vast majority of our wines are produced in very small quantities, which allow us to be very creative and very precise.”
This place was more crowded than the first stop but we were able to score a table and get started right away.
Cullari provided a sampling from either a semi-dry or sweet list. I chose the dry and Toly went with the sweet and we figured we would share sips of it all.
I was more impressed with a few of these wines, especially the cab sauv.
Toly was impressed with the snacks but he did have some fun practicing our Napa-learned skills of swirling, smelling, and sipping.
The chocolate wine was not apart of the tour menu but you were able to sample a pour for a dollar, which we took part in. It turned out in their favor because we ended up with a bottle to take home.
After our second winery and over a dozen different tastes of wine, we ashamedly had to call it a day and decided that naps on the couch sounded much more appealing than another stop at that point. We’ve obviously lost touch of our game since Napa.
The nap was a good choice considering we had early dinner reservations at one of our favorite date-night picks, Mount Hill Tavern.
Both Toly and I adore this beautiful restaurant for its elegant but simple menu and breathtaking scenery.
I began my dinner with a delicious glass of Red Rock Winemakers Blend, which has now become my favorite blend.
For my meal, I went with one of their seasonal fall salads, roasted pear with spiced pecans and goat cheese and added grilled salmon.
I also stole most of the fried kale that came with Toly’s dinner.
For dessert, Toly and I split the Orange Chocolate Brownie with vanilla ice cream, warm dark chocolate sauce and candied orange peel.
We hated it as you can see.
The date continued for a showing of Taken 2. The first one was so good that we were both pretty excited to see its sequel.
The movie was good, not quite as good as the first but definitely worth seeing.
I spent most of yesterday running errands and trying to mentally prepare myself for this storm but truthfully had little motivation. While everyone was filling up their bathtubs and making multiple trips to the store for water and ice, I decided to head to the mall for some window-shopping. I’ll probably regret that later.
I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and for those of you who are facing the Frakenstorm like me, stay safe!!