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Notes from the vineyard

What a great summer this has been! Most of the days have been hot and most of the nights have been cool, I couldn’t ask for a better summer so far! What has been making this summer great though is all of the time I have been able to spend with friends on the weekends. We’ve had planned parties, we’ve had parties that people just stopped over and we’ve had a few parties that we crashed.
We almost always have wine with us on each occasion which usually presents the challenge of what to bring when I may not know the menu. So I came up with some quick tips to help you bring the right wine to your next event.
I love sparkling wine or champagne. To me it’s a fun drink. Not only is the texture of sparkling wine fun but just the thought of drinking something bubbly gets people in a good mood. You don’t need to be celebrating anything special to have a sparkling wine, however, too many people save it for a special occasion. I usually bring a Brut champagne with me since it is neutral in flavors and can pair well with anything from appetizers to desserts.
Of course I have to bring a dry red wine with me. My trick here is to bring something you like, not something you think the host would like. Too many times I have gone to a gathering where there is usually sweet wine on the tables because that is what the host drank. Sure, it’s nice to bring something for the host but I try to get my friends to try something different and expand their horizons. I make sure that the bottle is opened while I am there so the host doesn’t feel the need to save it for another occasion and drink something that they may not like.
Finally, depending on the size of the gathering I will bring in a dry Riesling. A crisp Riesling can easily be paired with a variety of dishes without overpowering the meal. I love to add a slice of strawberry from the fruit salad to the glass to enjoy with dessert. It’s a great glass of wine for sitting back and spending time with friends and family.

Amanda is the Co-Owner of Candlelight Winery located at 11325 Center Road, Garrettsville. For more information on other winery topics, please visit www.candlelightwinery.com

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Amanda Conkol and her husband Chris are the owners of Candlelight Winery in Garrettsville, Ohio. Amanda’s passion for wine is evident in her weekly column “Notes From The Vineyard”, but that’s not all Amanda is passionate about. She maintains a full schedule raising twin daughters, working a day job consulting as an IT Project Manager and is the Girl Troop Leader for her daughters’ troop. When time allows Amanda loves to travel (especially to Disney World) and go for runs throughout Nelson Township.

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