Monday, February 25, 2019

Travel Break: Cork Poppers Go Strolling!

The Flaneur

A "flaneur" is a "stroller, saunterer...The deliberately aimpless pedestrian unencumbered by obligation or sense of urgency...he wastes nothing, including his time, which he spends with the leisurely discrimination of a gourmet, savoring the multiple flavors of his city."
Cornelia Otis Skinner

My house is small. Our group is large -- fourteen if all the Cork Poppers join in. So rather than having a sit-down dinner as we usually do, I decided our theme would be "wines to enjoy after taking a stroll" and we would have a "strolling dinner."  All things we could enjoy standing up if necessary or while sitting in various rooms in the house.


This meant, of course, getting the house ready. Pretty flowers, a vintage table cloth, and mom's silver for the table that would soon load up with yummy food.


We'd be in the living area to taste and I covered that table with one of the tablecloths from Rita's wonderful "purge." It has a little wine shops on it! (And that's WINTER tree, not a Christmas tree!)


We started, of course, with the wines. We had six to sample on this day and since our resident white fan wasn't there, they were all reds! And of course we supplemented all this with a great selection of crackers and cheeses from Bob and Dick and Rick's baguettes.


Dick started with "The Bridge", a 2017 Lodi California red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syriah.


We agreed that it was a good starter and as Dick said, a wine he'd enjoy after a stroll. He bought it for $9.99 but apparently the list price is $20 so a good buy!

Clayton and Anne brought a 2017 Louis Jadot Beaujolais, 100 percent gamay grapes.


It was light and as (I think) Barb said, Louis Jadot is "dependable." Clayton said it was a good summer wine and it had more than a few "ooohs!" when sipped. It was $12.99 and is fairly available nationwide.

Barb was up next with Michael David 2015 Petite Petit Syrah, a combination of 85 percent Petite Sirah grapes and 15 percent Petit Verdot.


The winery is Michael David from California and its alcohol content was 14.5 percent. She found this for $14 at Costco. It was very dry (and as Dick said, "It's drying out my mouth!") and I thought quite tasty. It clearly won the label design contest, hands down, with wonderful graphics and great copywriting!


Rick offered the Italian Marramiero Da Ma Montepulciano d'Arbuzzo, 2016, DOC.


The label was elegant and it was one of my favorite wines of the day. At $11.99, a good buy. It had a nice finish and was dry -- but not too dry.


Kate was next with Bula 2016. Rick and I agreed it was our favorite of the day, a combination of 40 percent Grenache, 40 percent Manzuelo grapes and 20 percent Syrah and was from Spain.


For liking it as much as we all did, it had the most unique conversation when Kate started out that it smelled like a barnyard, maybe fresh cow manure. (I TOTALLY don't agree -- I think it smelled WONDERFUL!). Rick said, "Cow manure is grainy," and then Bob said it was better than horse manure.


Rick said, "This has NOTHING in common with the barnyard. It's excellent. A good one." And we all agreed that everything we'd had so far had been delicious. At $15 from Whole Foods, this one certainly was.


Our last wine, from Bob, was another common favorite, Josh North Coast Reserve Caberet Sauvignon 2015. I thought it was very good.


We commented that the copywriting on the label was also very nice and Bob had a good buy. Usually $20, he found it on sale at Meijer for $13.

Tasting over, it was time to stroll and dine!  The main dish was ham sliders. This is a great recipe and easy to make ahead for a crowd. If anyone is interested, mention in the comments and I'll post.


Barb and Mike brought a deviled egg and olive platter and some yummy meatballs, too!


Kate put her knowledge of pickling from our "Sour" class to work and brought picked and marinated veggies on skewers...


...with a yummy salad served in wonton cups.


I'm sorry I don't have photos of Anne's wonderful dessert duo. It was your choice (or both!) of apple cake or caramel fudge brownies. I think everyone had both!

As people left, they got their take-away -- a very cute mug from Dollar Tree filled with shortbread and cinnamon chip cookies.


Another good Cork Poppers with a great selection in a variety of reasonable price ranges. Give some of them a try!

(All our Cork Popper posts are archived here -- see the menu bar for an overview by category, such a "French," "Italian," etc.)

Sharing with:     Let's Keep In Touch    /    Best of the Weekend    /    Pink Saturday     

41 comments:

David M. Gascoigne, said...

The wine and the food look wonderful, and I am sure that they were. I have been to a few events like this in my day but I must confess that there has never been a scatalogical discussion. What have I been missing? I am especially impressed that people had sufficient expertise to differntiate between the bouqet and consistency of horse poop versus cattle poop. I hope that no one detected similar flavours in the food! Let me end by saying, "You guys know how to do it!"

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

That sounds like a fun time and I liked that the wines were reasonably priced.

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

I love reading about your corker parties...the food, wine and decor` descriptions make me almost feel like I'm there and can taste and smell it all firsthand.Those ham sliders look to die for.

What do you guys do with all the empty wine bottles? Please tell me you have a wine bottle tree in your yard.

Hena Tayeb said...

Everything looks lovely. What a wonderful time everyone must have had.

http://www.henatayeb.blogspot.com

Valerie-Jael said...

It looks really fabulous, and I'm sure a great time was had by all. Have a good week, hugs, Valerie

Joanne Huffman said...

You all certainly have fun and tasty times.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, the wines all sound wonderful. I enjoy trying various Cabernet Sauvignon wines. The food looks delicious. The veggies skewers and salad wonton cups look yummy. I am sure everyone had a great evening! Enjoy your day and have a great new week!

William Kendall said...

It sounds like you had a good time.

BB said...

I like your take-away gift very much. Your table flowers and settings are so cheerful, and don't we need that this time of year? Your house is as warm and friendly as it can be. Who wouldn't love to take a stroll through it.

DUTA said...

I'm a great fan of cork -the material- and its versatile uses (cork wine bottle stoppers being one of them). I like your expression 'cork poppers' referring to your wine-loving friends.

The marinated veggies on skewers seem to be a good,tasty idea!

Deb said...

It looks like a fun night, Jeanie. And the food looked delish. If I lived closer I could fill in when your'white-lovin' popper' is a no-show.

bobbie said...

I had to laugh at the cow v. horse poop comparison; where I grew up in Germany, the smell of cow poop was somewhat pervasive ~ it always brings me feelings of comfort!!

Iris Flavia said...

You all put a lot of love in this, wonderful! I liked certainly Petite Petit best, such a great label.
Can imagine you'd like the wine selection at the restaurant we were in on Rottnest Island - beautifully presented.

Oh, I'm hungry now! And I sure do love the take-aways!

Anonymous said...

How delightful, Jeanie! Love the colors of the flowers and your table! Thank you for sharing your fun evening with us!

Pom Pom said...

Oh, the food looks so tasty! Hearty fare!

Mae Travels said...

Wine labels can be so beautiful that I almost don't care what's in the bottle! I love the circus one. Your party looks great.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Pam said...

Hi. I enjoy reading your blog, especially since I'm a Michigan girl myself. Your Cork Poppers group sounds like something I'd like to attempt with some friends. However, I'd like to ask you if you follow a "theme" of wines, or do you each bring whatever looks interesting to you? I'm not a real wine officianado, so anything you suggest would be appreciated. Thanks. Penny

Pam Richardson said...

I love these gatherings because you have so much fun! The food looks delicious and I love the cloth from Rita! Have a good week!

Tracy said...

A stand up dinner for your Popper group--great idea, Jeanie! Makes for a relaxed atmosphere... LOVE the flowers--a bit Valentine-y! :) It's always so much fun to see the wines your sample, and not least admire the bottle/label art. Barnyard wine... haha! The food has a wonderful bit of a picnic feeling about it... such fun! You all have the best times... so glad for you! ((HUGS))

Carol said...

My friends and I love to taste wine and this is a fun idea. I might suggest to them as the weather finally begins to break around here if spring ever decides to make an appearance.

Olka said...

Omg! All these salads look so tasty! I'm more than hungry right now :)

Liz@ HomeandGardeningWithLiz said...

Looks like a fun time for everyone! I’ve purchased the Louis Jadot Beaujolais a few times over the years myself and I agree that It is reliable. đŸ¥‚Cheers to good times with good friends!

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

Strolling through the house is a wonderful idea - sort of a cross between a buffet and a road dinner with a different course at each house. Looks like great fun!

La Table De Nana said...

Fun time!!How fortunate to have such wonderful friends!:)

Sandra at Maison De Jardin said...

What fun, Jeanie. My husband and I are fans of Josh wine. Your table looks lovely and your moms silver is beautiful.

Great week to you - spring is coming!

Pam said...

WOW....everything thing looks great. Cork Poppers....haha, love that. Wine, red, used to be my drink of choice but alas I have learned the hard way that the sulfites in the wine don't like me anymore, I have been known to get a major migraines or have a slight asthma attack from drinking wine. Looks like fun.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

The cow manure comment reminded me of a vineyard we went to in the Santa Barbara area. The women working in the tasting area told us we should be able to smell petroleum in one of the wines. We were like - WHAT?? Neither Phil or I could pick up on that smell, though, which is a good thing! Ha!

My aunt lives in Lodi - the place where the first wine comes from. They love it there! My parents and a couple of siblings went there in October for my cousin's wedding and said it is an awesome area! They are known for their Zinfandels. Hopefully Phil and I can make it out there someday!

I love the idea of a 'walking' party when you have a small space. We also have a very small home. We'll be hosting 11 this weekend for Paul's party, including Phil, Paul, and me. It will be a little bit cramped but we will make the most of it. I've had as many as 18 people for dinner and it worked out fine as we all sat at my big dining room table (it has 2 leaves so accommodates a large group!) and had dinner and then played games for my bach party. A larger space would be better for hosting but for now, we make our tiny house work. Our house is going to be very full this weekend as my sister and parents are staying with us. But we'll make it work and having us all together will be wonderful. My parents will sleep in our bed, Phil and I will sleep in the guest bed in Paul's room, and my little sister will sleep on a blow up mattress in the office. It will be very cozy but oh well! I haven't seen my sister in 1.5 years so am very excited to see her! Her husband is currently deployed in Africa so she is especially excited for some family time!!

krishna said...

Love the centerpiece..

Marilyn Miller said...

I always love seeing your Cork Poppers gathering. In many ways remind me of the tea tasting gatherings I attend. I did notice the labels and there were some good ones for sure. Your flowers and tables looked wonderful and the food sounded delicious. Of course food is a needed commodity for any tasting.

krishna said...

Thanks a lot dear. I don't know what is happening. Another blogging friend also told me the same.
I've no idea how to fix that.

Sami said...

Not a wine expert as I hardly even drink, but the "Petite Petit" label is the winner for me.
Your tables, food and decor gets top marks too Jeanie :)

Marie Rayner said...

We don't drink any alcohol, so I can't comment on the flavours of wine. I think the only wine I use is for cooking and I do try to get a fairly decent wine for that. Your get-togethers sound like a lot of fun! So much planning and what a great bunch of people! The food sounds really good also! xoxo

handmade by amalia said...

Your home looks so nice and welcoming and the food delicious, you can tell everyone is having a wonderful time.
Amalia
xo

Pamela said...

I always like reading about your cork popper get togethers. I would love belonging to a group like that!

Rita C at Panoply said...

I always look forward to these cork popper events. So happy you got to use the vintage wine themed cloth - so cute! The food looked great too. I love learning about the wines from your group's experiences, and was happy to know you've organized your wines on your menu bar (never paid attention to that!). It sure would be good to have a spreadsheet database of all the wines you guys have tasted, by type food they'd go with, price by $ - $$$$, crowd pleaser ratings. I know, I know, my accounting brain needs to settle down. But, really, for someone like me who is not a connoisseur, it sure would help!

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Jeanie, you cork poppers always have the best time and the food looks yummy. Thanks for your visit to me Jeanie, I appreciate it and since everyone came back into my email inbox, all have turned into no-reply bloggers so can't answer back in the old way..Happy Thursday..xxoJudy

Lowcarb team member said...

What a fun time …
The wine and the food look wonderful.

All the best Jan

Lynne said...

Cork Poppers night always looks and sounds like a fun time.
Not sure about questionable wine fragrances though . . .
I would enjoy the recipe for the Ham Sliders.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

The Louis Jadot Beaujolais is one of our favorite wines to enjoy together. It was an excellent choice.

Little Wandering Wren said...

Oh my gosh - you are truly the hostess with the mostest. You throw a wonderful evening but wait there's more a great takeaway.
I am so wanting to score an invite to your Cork Poppers evenings one day!
Your elephant label wine drew my attention. We have a nice local vineyard (apparently ... I haven't been as they offer elephant rides into the vines and I'm not sure I want to support this!) Hmmm a dilemma!
Wren x

Jenny Woolf said...

It all looks so cosy and friendly. It is clear you all make a real effort to contribute something good, which adds to the lovely and very special atmosphere that comes over. And a Winter tree...well, what a good way of keeping a bit of the CHristmas spirit going! It sounds like it could be welcome in this very chilly weather! All the reds and whites are just right for winter entertaining.
I don't think I'd like wine that tastes of the barnyard though... even though I am not much of a wine connoisseur :) !

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