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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Notes From The Vineyard

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Events at Candlelight

I have lived in the Cleveland area  all my life and am still amazed to see the temperatures change from 20 degrees and snow to 75 degrees and sun in less than a week. So since it looks like Spring (or perhaps even Summer) is here, it’s time to open the patio, enjoy the outdoors and plan some great...

Pumpkin & Wine

Pumpkin latte, pumpkin pie, pumpkin beer, pumpkin pasta… the list of pumpkin items goes on and on. Recently I’ve had a couple of guests ask me for some wine recommendations to pair with their pumpkin dishes since the spices in some dishes can greatly alter the taste of the wine. So if you’re not tired of pumpkin yet keep...

Halloween Candy and Wine Pairs

Last year I didn’t get a chance to write about the Halloween Candy and Wine pairing so this year a few faithful readers reminded me that I needed to get tasting! So, armed with a few bags of candy and a few bottles of wine I set out to come up with the best Halloween candy and wine pairing...

Organic Wines

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As we prepare for the start of harvest season, I have received a lot of questions around if or how you make an organic wine? Organic wines have really jumped in popularity now with the “Green” movement and having people become more and more earth friendly or earth conscience. While we do everything possible to be green, unfortunately we...

Wine and the California Drought

As we finally start to experience Spring in Northeast Ohio, I can’t help but keep my focus on the drought situation in California. From talking to family and friends on the west coast it is amazing to see what they are experiencing and how they are reacting to limited water usage and just having to deal with no rain in the forecast.

Wineries

I am amazed at  how many wineries have opened the past few years – especially the number that have opened in Northeast Ohio. When we opened almost 11 years ago there were almost 125 wineries in the state. We are expecting to pass 200 wineries by the end of this year. Sure, we have a lot of people that stop...

Notes from the vineyard

A couple of weeks ago I picked up a bottle of wine that was from a small region in France. After I popped the cork, I noticed that it said mise en bouteille au chateau on it. I know that “bouteille” means bottled and I knew that “chateau” meant house so I assumed that it meant that the wine...

Pairing

I love the holidays – friends, family, food and plenty of desserts! But being a dry red wine drinker, desserts do not always seem to pair well with the wine. So what options do you have for those holiday treats – besides either giving up wine or giving up dessert – let me give you some options. For sweet wine...

Notes from The Vineyard

The holiday season is officially in front of us! I was amazed walking through the stores on November 1st to see very little Halloween and Thanksgiving items out to see instead most of the shelves already turned over for Christmas. So I guess it’s inevitable, time to prep for the holidays now! While we haven’t decorated for Christmas yet at...

What can your wine tell you?

There are a few things, though, that you can learn about a white wine by looking at the color. First, when you are looking at the wine, make sure you have a white piece of paper or a white tablecloth as the background. Then tilt the glass at a 45 degree angle in front of the background. If a wine is golden or amber it may mean one of a number of things...

Notes from the vineyard

How many of you will have to give a toast at the holiday party this year? Or maybe you have some other great party before the holidays you need to have a toast prepared. What do you do? What do you say? How do you give a toast? Well, thanks to stores for the reminder the first thing you need to do to give an excellent toast is to be prepared and give yourself ample time to write your toast. So, since the stores are preparing for the holidays, maybe now would be a good time to start thinking about that toast.

Fresh from the Garden

Since there were so many different flavors in both salsas that any heavy bodied (Cabernets, Sangioveses, Chardonnays) would overpower the salsa. So I started with a crisp Riesling and paired it with the salsa. It was so good that I set aside some extra salsa and added a splash of Riesling to it as a marinade. Anytime I have a spicy dish I make sure that I have a good bottle of Gewürztraminer on hand. The peppery finish from the Gewurztraminer really compliments the spicy peppers in the salsa.

10th Anniversary

It hasn’t quite hit me yet because it really seems like just yesterday my husband and I were talking about opening a winery. Young and naïve, only 25 at the time, we said, let’s give it a go and see how far this thing goes. Then we started talking after our first anniversary – “if we make it to 7 years in the business, we’ll have done better than most.” Then year seven came and we agreed that we were having too much fun to stop then. And now as we get ready to celebrate the winery’s 10th anniversary it’s amazing what we have learned, what we have accomplished and most of all how all of you have welcomed us into your neighborhood and have supported us from day one.

Memories

One of my favorite things about wine is the memories that wine creates. Looking at a label can quickly take you back to a special dinner, a time when an important announcement was made or even sad memories – a break-up, the loss of a loved one. You may have that special wine in your house ready for the...

Corked

My husband and I had the opportunity to sneak away for a relaxing dinner at a very expensive restaurant. It was the perfect setting, sitting on the patio watching the sun set on the lake, music by Frank Sinatra playing in the background and a wine list that was a mile long. We selected a couple of wines and...

Wine Festivals

The season of wine festivals is upon us and people all over the greater Cleveland area are celebrating. But during a recent festival, some new wine drinkers had some great questions that I have always taken for granted. So after thinking about their question, I figured of few of you might have similar questions. The question that I received the...

Running

In my spare time I love to run. Whether it’s inside or outside, I just love to set a pace and go, leaving all of my worries behind, it’s a great way to get away for a while. But what does my running have to do with my wine column this week? Well this weekend I ran in the...

Food Truck Rally

Candlelight Winery is proud to be hosting a Food Truck Rally and Music Benefit for #Garrettsville Strong. Thirteen businesses were destroyed by a fire on Saturday, March 22 in downtown Garrettsville. While history was lost and made that day, Candlelight Winery has stepped up to assist in the rebuilding efforts. The Food Truck Rally and Music Benefit will be held...

Frost Bitten

If you have been watching the news lately or have been to a local winery the past couple of weeks you have seen or heard about the damage this past winter has caused. Unfortunately during our assessment in March we realized that only a handful of vines survived the winter. The few vines that survived still had a lot...

Notes from the vineyard

One of the great things about enjoying wine is being able to check out so many great wineries. Each one of the 50 states has at least one winery so no matter where our travels take us we try to visit at least one winery during each trip. Unfortunately there have been a few occasions where our trip to the...

The Smell of Wine

How many times have you been to a wine tasting or even just had wine at home and someone says “Wow, this smells like cherries!” but in your mind you are thinking it smells like oil? Who’s right? Does the wine even smell like cherries or oil? Maybe it smells like roses? Well, maybe both of you are right...

The Business

If your summer travel plans usually include visiting far away wineries but the economic downturn is stopping this year’s excursion, I hope this article can provide some great alternatives this year. There are 3 new trends that we are starting to see in the wine industry which are great alternatives to expensive summer trips. Have you ever walked into a...

Notes from the vineyard

I know many of you are sick and tired of seeing the snow, the gray clouds and having to deal with the colder temperatures. But as I mentioned in last week’s column there are some sure signs that Spring is around the corner. Need some fun events to bring you out of the winter doldrums? How about an Easter Egg...

Wine & Cookies

By now you probably have seen the Girl Scout Cookie booths at your favorite grocery stores, banks, malls and Wal-Marts so if you didn’t pre-order your cookies, make sure you pick them up while you are at the winery as cookie booth season is over! As the proud sponsor of Girl Scout Troop 402 in Garrettsville, the winery has been...

Cookies

Like many of you, our family and employees are saddened by the loss our town suffered this past weekend. We have grown to know many of the business owners and their families over the years and are working with the fundraising groups in Garrettsville to host a number of events. More details will be posted to our website as...

“Can you taste the difference between an expensive and inexpensive wine?”

One of the most frequently asked questions I get at the winery is “Can you taste the difference between an expensive and inexpensive wine?” This is always a tough question to answer but usually I can tell the difference between the two wines. However there are some inexpensive wines that have really surprised me. I have had my share of...

Parings

If you are an avid reader of this column, you know that I love getting together with friends and pairing different foods and wines together. We’ve paired Halloween candy, BBQ sauces, pizzas, Girl Scout cookies and desserts. This past weekend we had a fantastic time sitting with Chef Gary from The Rolling Pig to pair wines with his gourmet...

Tasting

As the cold stabilization stage starts to wind down this year, I had the chance to sample some of the new wines we are going to release this year. Sampling some of the wines before they are finished is one of my favorite jobs around the winery. This sort of sampling, called barrel sampling, can really give you a...

Game Nights

One thing I have learned over the years is that wine tastes the best when shared with friends with some friendly competition. On any given Sunday night you can find us hanging out with the owners of Sharon James Cellars (11303 Kinsman Road, Novelty, Ohio – www.sharonjamescellars.com) enjoying some wine and playing a variety of board games. Between Apples to...

Open That Bottle Night

Thankfully, this month is flying by! Sure we made it through Groundhogs Day, Valentine’s Day, some more rough Cleveland winter days but when I looked at the calendar today I realized that I almost missed my favorite thing about February - Open That Bottle Night (OTBN). The concept behind OTBN is exactly why I like to celebrate this holiday...

Pruning Shears

While many of us are still hoping to get through the cold Cleveland weather, the vineyards around northeast Ohio have another focus – the months of warmer temperatures that will be here soon. (Yes, I promise warmer weather will be here at some point…) To best help the vines prepare for Spring, we usually use the month of February to...

Notes from the vineyard

The Super Bowl is over and now my ultimate favorite sporting event is about to begin! I love watching the Olympics – especially the Winter Olympics. Sure, there are the normal favorites of skiing, ice skating and hockey. But I really like watching some of the other sports,  my favorite Olympic sport is Curling. Most people find it quite...

See, Swirl, Smell, Sip.

January is always a great month for us at the winery. Since it is typically our quietest month of the year we get to take some time to prepare for the rest of the year. In past years we have worked on the addition at the winery, focused on new wine labels and created a new look to our...

Try Something New in 2014

How often do you tell your children to try something new? Whether it be a new sport, a new food or a new game – they should try it because they just might like it! Growing up, I heard that over and over again from my parents. As much as I hated hearing it back then, they made an...

Notes from the vineyard

By now you probably have had your share of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberries and desserts! But if your family is like mine, you also have enough leftovers from dinner to have a second Thanksgiving dinner. Whether you are serving turkey sandwiches, turkey chili, turkey soup, turkey frittatas or just plain turkey there are so many ways you can...

Light Shows

It’s hard to believe that six years ago we put together a small animated light show for families to enjoy during the summer. With only 10,000 lights synchronized to music it was something that left an impression on anyone who saw the show. Then the years continued and the Summer Light Show grew to over 70,000 lights this past...

Special Event

For those of you that have followed my articles for the past six years you may already know that I love dry red wine and anything chocolate! So anytime I get the opportunity to enjoy the two I jump on it! But this time I am going to share my excitement with you and invite you to the winery to...

Shrimp Boil

My kids recently had to come up with a list of what makes this season feel like Fall. It was fun to think of this – leaves changing, cooler nights, watching football games, picking apples, carving pumpkins and, of course, going to as many clambakes that we can! We started to talk about hosting a clambake at the winery...

Notes From The Vineyard

I love art festivals! I love walking around looking at some of the most interesting sculptures, still life drawing and “recycled” art. The last theme is one of my favorites. I will never understand how someone can take what I would consider garbage (old milk jugs, tires and plastic bags) and turn it into a work of art. So imagine...

Bottles

If you ever walked into a wine bar or wine shop you may notice a variety of bottle shapes and sizes. Some bottles may even be in shapes such as a fish or a trombone, some bottles are made so they intertwine and some bottles are made to look like they are leaning. No matter what the shape or...

Notes from the vineyard

We recently celebrated our 9th anniversary at the winery! Time sure flies when you are having fun and boy did we have fun celebrating this year. Over 200 dogs joined us for our annual Pug Day and we loved visiting with each dog and their owner.  During some of my conversations with our guests we got on the subject of...

Notes from the vineyard

The season of wine festivals is upon us and people all over the greater Cleveland area are celebrating. But during a recent festival, some new wine drinkers had some great questions that I have always taken for granted. So after thinking about their question, I figured of few of you may have similar questions. The question that I received the...

Cheese

I have attended so many wine and cheese parties since opening the winery that it has been very difficult to keep track of which cheeses I have tried and which wine I have tried. When I first started to attend these parties I would try to remember which wines and which cheeses I really liked so I could get...

Notes from the vineyard

I am amazed at  how quickly time flies when you’re having fun! So I am more amazed on how much fun we have had in the past 9 years! From the day we opened our doors on August 13, 2004,  every moment of having the winery has been exciting. Sure – some of those moment have been challenging (especially...

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,...

Light Show

It’s funny to take a few minutes to read past articles of mine. For example, I found the original article from 2008 when I first announced the Candlelight Cove Light Show. I boasted that with about 10,000 lights, we had synchronized them to a couple of songs and had a great family friendly event for everyone on Friday nights....

Sangria

We are finally into summer and with July 4th rapidly approaching many people are looking for something different to serve at their holiday picnics. They love wine but after a busy (and extremely hot) summer, sometimes wine just doesn’t cut it. What does one do in an extreme case like this??? Turn to Sangria of course. Sangria, or wine punch,...

Mother Nature

It’s no secret that the quality of wine is really up to Mother Nature every year so it’s no surprise how many times I have been asked how the grapes are doing this year. In past years we were spoiled with hot temperatures and little rain but unfortunately last year and this year we are seeing quite the opposite...

“Single Champagne Bottle Worth $1.8 Million”

“Single Champagne Bottle Worth $1.8 Million”… that was the headline that caught my attention last week. After imagining what I would do with $1.8 Million I started thinking about what makes a bottle of wine or in this case, champagne, worth $1.8 million? I understand land prices, the type of grape, the chemicals that are used (or in organic wines...

Wine Events

2013 is certainly flying by! I’m not sure if it’s Spring, Summer or Fall any more so it’s hard to believe it’s already June! The good news is the official start to summer is right around the corner – and that means one thing to me! The Annual Summer Solstice, Wine, Art and Music Festival is almost here! Sarah’s Vineyard...

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