Tastefully Yours

Today’s book tour post. Go register to win!

The sweetest thing happened the other day. I was writing at the café when the manager came over to me. “I just got an email from a friend of yours from Nashville who wants to buy your book. He says he doesn’t like to order things off the internet and wants us to mail him one.”

She told me to come read the email. It was from a friend of mind, indeed. I told her I’d reach out and tell him I’d gladly send him an autographed copy myself. So I sent him a message, and he said he just thought it would be a fun surprise for me if he ordered it directly from the shop. Isn’t that thoughtful? The nicest thing about it was we were able to do some catching up.

Now on to last Friday’s excellent wine and chocolate tasting!

Knowing that Barry’s weekends on either side of Valentine’s Day were booking up, we signed up for a spot on the wine and chocolate tour at a renovated hotel in a nearby town for this past Friday night. We were glad to see that we could sign up to an early tasting and then move on to dinner, since we knew he had a late-night gig the next night an hour and a half away.

Here’s a list of the evening’s wine and chocolate offerings.

While we waited for the tasting to begin, we admired the framed vintage Valentine’s Day cards in the hotel lobby.

The tour began in the lobby with two “stops” where a knowledgeable young man explained the wines thoroughly to us after I confessed that I don’t know much about wine, and I don’t remember anything he said except one of them was sweet and I really liked it and one of them was sparkling.

Of course each “glass” poured was really only a fraction of a glass, and I am grateful for that. While I enjoyed the taste, by the last few stops I had had enough alcohol. In fact, they were offering a whole glass at a discounted price at the end of the tour, and I emphatically told Barry that I did not want one sip more.

The tour continued in a room just off the lobby, and then onto the second-floor mezzanine, where we had a fun conversation with the bartender. The last stop was upwards just as the sun set, to the uppermost floor where we were treated to the final three servings of wine and chocolate and a gorgeous view.

Standouts of the night for us were the Kopke 20 Year Tawny Port paired with milk chocolate salted caramel and the Paul Laurent Brut Reserve coupled amusingly with the conversation hearts. A no for me was the banana cream pie liqueur. I took a tiny sip and gave mine to Barry. The tasting was fun, and I would do it again, but as I said, I had had more than enough wine by the end of the tour. (And just enough candy, I would say. We almost bought some of the salted caramel to bring home, but those pesky health goals.)  

After the tasting, we had a reservation at their restaurant for 6:30. It turns out the restaurant offers midwestern favorites that are dressed in business casual at affordable prices. We were seated in the elegant yet comfortable restaurant decorated with posters of Indiana specific scenes and a generous carafe of water, something I always appreciate. From my vantage point, I could see straight across the street at the theater which offered two movies that night, neither of which appealed, which is too bad since I really enjoy going to the theater.

I asked the server, Cass, what her favorite dish was, and it was the mac and cheese with spinach, which sounded perfect after all of that wine. (If you’ve never been to a particular restaurant before, a good trick is to ask the server what their favorite dish, because they won’t steer you wrong. It also endears you to the server, which is never a bad thing.) I also spotted “whipped potatoes” on the menu. You can’t fool me – that’s code for mashed potatoes. I confess, I have an unnatural fondness for mashed potatoes. I ordered a side of them and wasn’t even a little bit embarrassed that my meal looked as if it could have been ordered from the children’s menu. The portions were certainly not child sized.

Barry had the meatloaf wrapped with bacon smothered with a tomato sauce and a side of veggies. It tasted much better than it looks in the picture. As I said, very midwestern, but it felt right and tasted good. Or maybe that was the alcohol I’d just had doing the critiquing.  The meal also came with run-of-the-mill salads and freshly baked bread sticks and olive oil.

As we were leaving, I was delighted to find posters of the Indiana dunes tucked away in a corner!

It was a really pleasant evening and I’d do it again. I’d say that our early Valentine’s Day 2023 was a success.

2 thoughts on “Tastefully Yours

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.