Thursday, September 21, 2017

Cork Poppers -- Rolling on the River with Summer Wines

Well, it's about time I got back to real life and away from Quebec! Time to pop a cork or two! Take a perfect August day, nine (of twelve) Cork Poppers, and dinner and wine to die for and you have a rolling-on-the-river good time!

We love gathering at Meredith and Roger's in the summer because we know that if the weather holds, we'll have a boat ride on the Grand River.

And more on that later! But we always start with the tasting.This month our theme was wines to drink doing something you love. For some of this, it was an older favorite wine and for others of us, a new one. (Sometimes that works; sometimes it doesn't!)

We started out with Barb's white sangria. We could have just stopped with that.

Honestly, this was so good -- and probably relatively lethal if one had free reign and all day, say on the beach or in the sun or just hanging out.

Here's how she made it. You'll have to juggle quantities yourself!

Mix one super-big sauvignon blank with
1/2 c. peach schnapps
1/2 c. triple sec
1/2 c. simple syrup
1/2 bottle club soda
1/2 bottle 7-up (2 litre bottle)
Add loads of fruit and chill! Serve over ice!

The first wine from Dick was Robert Mondavi 2014 Fume Blanc from Napa Valley. Fume Blanc is a dry sauvignon blanc. Everyone said it smelled good and I thought it nice and peppery but that was when the nice comments stop. Dick said, "I don't like Mondavi wines. Yet I hear people I trust who say there are good Mondavi wines."

Barb said it had undertones of skunkiness. Roger thought it had an acidic aftertaste and Cheryl -- who pretty much only drinks white said "Not the best white I've ever had." We agreed that you could throw it into the sangria and all would not be lost. But at $14.99 I'd think twice.

Roger was next with Moselland Arsvitas Riesling from the Mosel area. It clearly was the best bottle design with a beautiful floral motif that one could view from both sides of the bottle. He found this at World Market for $12.99.


I wrote "This is very good" and Meredith said "I really like this one." Cheryl said, "I love it!" and Meredith added, "You could buy that again!" At this price I would buy it just for the cool bottle!

I was next with Atlantique 2016 Rose from the Loire Valley. (World Market) OK, I did something I never do. I bought it for the pretty bottle. Don't do that. It was pretty dry and Dick said "It's nothing offensive." I wrote "for a Rose, I don't mind this too much." (We are very good at damning with faint praise.) Cheryl, on the other hand, said "Where's the slop jar?" At $12.99 I would not recommend it.

(I should say that both Dick's first wine and my Rose did lose points from all of us for not being cold enough. It was a warm day when we met and the wines were sitting out a bit too long before we began tasting. Whites should be well chilled. Ours weren't, except Roger's -- and he lives there!)

Pat was next with Apothic Red, 2014 Winemaker's Blend. Apothic is very available at most groceries and at $8.99 we agreed it was a very good wine for the price and "well worth having in the house."

Clayton and Anne brought Reserve Mouton Cadet 2013 Bordeaux from Baron Philippe de Rothschild.

Again, mixed opinion. "I really love this," I said. Roger said "This wine is a little too much for me -- too strong after all the light ones." "I think this is lovely," Barb said, but Roger said "This is like a shock to me." He got it on sale at Meijer for $12.99. Several of us thought it a very elegant wine.

Cheryl, who rarely drinks red but is "Hamilton"'s greatest fan brought The Federalist Dueling Pistols. It is a one of a series of wines honoring America's founding fathers and their ideals. A blend of half Zinfandel and half Syrah, it's from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma.

I loved it and Dick said "This is wonderful, I wish it wasn't so good!" Someone (probably Barb) described it as a smooth, good, supple mouthful." I wrote "Pretty fabulous. This is really good!" And at $32 (Meijer) it should be!

Then it was on to the river! The sun was bright, the sky blue. Captain Roger knows where to go and where not to (he's been beached before) and it was just beautiful out!

First we saw one of Harry's cousins, a lovely blue heron.

And we had a wonderful sighting!

Yes, these are Sandhill Cranes. I rarely see them, though they do hang out in this area.

It's pretty hard to get a good photo, zoomed, on a moving or idling boat. But I was happy with this one.

And this.

You remember I mentioned "perfect day" and "sky was blue." Well, it was -- till it poured. We all clustered in the back of the boat -- which made it a little low in the water. And all the water in the top rolled down to the bottom. As did the dropping from the canopy. I was sitting on the end here and got the brunt of it.

Let's just say I was grateful to our hosts for letting me shed my soaking shorts, shoes and undies and deck myself in a beach towel sarong!

Dinner -- to die for. First, Meredith set a delightful table with a summer fun (golfing) theme.

Our party favors were jars of home made peach chutney!

And dinner! Mere is the master at Frogmore Stew. How she could work in the hot kitchen over a steaming pot, I don't know, but I'm glad she did!

Barb's salads are always to die for.

And Anne raided her garden for the freshest tomatoes, cukes and basil.

What's not to love on this plate!

Dick and I had birthdays to celebrate.

I was on top for the dessert -- madeleines and Nigella Lawson's Lemon Meringue Cake. It's one of my go-to recipes for a delicious, not-too-difficult and impressive looking dessert!

No one left hungry!

For past Cork Popper posts, check the link on the Marmelade Gypsy menu bar where posts are categorized (Italian, French, Bordeaux, etc.).

Sharing this week with Share Your Style.


Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Although I'm not a wine drinker, so the wines (or their names) didn't impress me at all (wouldn't know a white from a pink, except by color), I always enjoy seeing the meal and the decorations of the hosts that month. This one was extra fun, with a trip around the lake and you in a beach towel. So glad you share these moments in time with us.

Marilyn Miller said...

Wow! That looks like an amazing time from first sip to the last. The cake looks amazing as well as the whole meal. Then to top it off with sand hill cranes, what a very special treat!

Red Rose Alley said...

That is the cutest flamingo fellow, Jeanie. It looks like you had a fantastic wine tasting day. You know, I don't live too far from Napa in California; one of the best wineries around. That salad with the avocados sure does look good. The Sandhill Crane is beautiful. Love his little red head. That is an awesome picture of his wings spreading out. I've seen the Apothic Red wine while out shopping and have always wanted to try it. The label is pretty. Sometimes I'll buy a wine just for their label. : ) A lovely visit with your friends, Jeanie.


Katie Mansfield said...

It looks like a wonderful time. I'll be trying one or two of these wines. Thanks for sharing.

Valerie-Jael said...

Looks like you all had an amazing day, with lots of great food and more than enough to drink! What a beautiful place. I'm jealous because we don't get sandhill herons here, I want to see them, too! Glad you were able to have such a fun time with your good friends. Hugs, Valerie

BeachGypsy said...

What a fun post, I love it! Seeing all the wines and the comments was funny! You got some really good pictures of the cranes! Love all the pictures of the boating and the food and all the fun---your pictures truly bring it all to life and it's as is we were there with you! HAPPY FALL!--it's finally here!

Tracy said...

Oooo...I've missed your Poppers posts, Jeanie! You all know how to party! That sangria sounds wonderful! I can see how some damage could be done after that. Because one glass could lead to another... ;) Always so much fun to see and hear about the wines you try. The art of wine is just such a beautiful thing--from the grapes, the process, the tastes, the bottles... Fun with the golf-themed table decor for dinner. Such food... I'm hungry now! That cake of Nigella's is sooo good...mmm... And what a treat those Sandhill Cranes! I didn't know about this particular bird--love thos red-painted eyes! Looking forward to see what you'll taste and do in autumn!! Happy Days ((HUGS))

My name is Erika. said...

Wow- you always look like you have so much fun you get together with those cork poppers. The food looks yummy, the wine too. :) And you got to see a crane. Amazing! It's good to have groups of friends like that, isn't it? Hugs-erika

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

That looks so fun! The only one I recognize is the Apothic, I think my white wine drinking friend brought over a bottle of it in a white, so I don't really know if it was good or not.
My current favourite is Beringer cabernet sauv. (not he special reserve one, just the inexpensive one! ha ha) -Jenn

Joanne Huffman said...

I've got to look up the cake recipe and give it a try.

Katie Clooney said...

You all really know how to party! You know it's a good party when someone ends up in a sarong! That meringue cake looks positively delish! Enjoy your weekend, Jeanie.

Jean | said...

Jeanie, I do so love a day out on a pontoon boat! My dad retired near a lake and bought one. It was fabulous! I rarely drink white wines, only with certain foods. Reds are always my first choice. Looks like a great meal and a fun group!

shoreacres said...

It's a special treat to see the sandhills. I spent most of last year trying to find some down here, only to discover I started too late, and they already were on their way north. You're reminded me to pay attention, and not let the months slip away!

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Your cork poppers always look like such fun! I mean wine, river and dinner! What's not to love!

Rita C. said...

Everything about this is just fantastic - good people, good food, good drinks, good times. I love how you all try the wines and learn about them as you go. A great club!

Summer said...

Looks like a really wonderful time. Have a great weekend, Jeanie :)

eileeninmd said...

Hello, I am not sure where to start. I would like the wine tasting, wish I was there. The boat ride looks like fun, great bird sightings. I wish there was a World Market in Maryland, maybe in nearby Virginia. The food looks yummy, thanks for sharing the sangria recipe. Your pie looks delicious, yum! Again you have me wishing I was there, lol. Your photos are fun, thanks for sharing your day. Happy Friday, have a great weekend!

Lynne said...

It looks like you all enjoy yourselves so much in this Cork Popper group.
I totally enjoy when you post about your gatherings.
River cruise . . . Wine tasting . . . Yummy foods . . . Bathing beauty with just a towel . . . WOWZIE,
The crowning event . . . The Sandhills Cranes . . . so graceful, beautiful.
Sounds like the host makes the entree and everyone else brings something?
And Happy Birthday Jeanie, Rick too . . .

AnnMarie aka Vintage Junkie aka NaNa said...

This was a fun post with great pictures. I don't drink wine or any alcohol so cannot benefit from your review :-(

Cheryl said...

You always have so much fun! I'm needing to step up my game a little and toss back a few drinks and walk around wearing a towel too lol... you wild girl you!

Paulita said...

I love hearing all about your tasting party and your unfortunate boat trip. I ran to the grocery store to get my husband's medicine, a six-pack of beer for my son and grabbed a bottle of wine. It was a red moscato, which I've never had, but I loved it. Sweet, light and fruity. Barefoot brand, which is at the front of the store (I was trying to get home in time to watch a football game) and only $5.99.

Sally Wessely said...

You all always have such fun and you get to taste all that wine and eat fabulous food too. I'm always a bit envious of your cork poppers parties. You are so stinking cute in every single pic. I love the smile and the curly hair. Oh, and that sangria sounds fabulous. I love a good sangria.

The Sketchy Reader said...

That is one impressive dessert, goodness! I want some!
And the sangria sounds delicious yet lethal. I could imagine adding chunky peach syrup with it, too!

Thanks for sharing the photos of the cranes. They are so spectacular! said...

Happy Birthday Jeanie and what a fun celebration you had, wine tasting, boat riding, a fabulous dinner and friends, life doesn't get any better than that!

Pam Jackson said...

HAHA....looks like a lot of cocks were popped and all had a great time.

Decor To Adore said...

What a wonderful way to spend the day. Wine, lake cruises and cute flamingoes~ sign me up!
Love your images of the birds. I have never seen that beautiful crane but we do have great blue herons.
Have a wonderful fall week!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

The summer corkpopper get togethers are among my favorites as I love that you all get out on the pontoon. Bummer that you got dumped on and got the brunt of the rain on your lap, but it looks like you were a good sport. And at least you were among very good friends, which made sporting the beach towel sarong not so bad! ;)

The food looks delectable. Especially that salad! And the fresh tomatoes and cukes. I can spot garden-fresh tomatoes by their color. You just don't get those kind of tomatoes in the super market! And your dessert looked amazing. Of all the drinks, the white wine sangria sounds the best - especially for a warm summer night!

You are glowing in these photos!

Pam Richardson said...

Jeanie, what a fun time you all have! The photos weave a story of friendship and lots of interesting conversations! The meal look like perfection and your dessert looks so good! Thanks for inviting us in to enjoy the corkpoppers get-together!

Sketchbook Wandering said...

What a happy memorable time!

Kelleyn Rothaermel said...

Love the sunset on the lake photo! It is lovely!

La Table De Nana said...

What a fun group/I forgot to say I love the pic of your dad in the On Lake Time is him isn't it?
You have such a happy face.:)A lovely face.

Popular Posts