Tag Archives: wine

photo friday: sparkle, shine, shimmer

16 Oct


In case you were wondering if the rumors are true, yes, northern Michigan is rife with wineries, distilleries, and craft breweries.

This is not a bad thing.

In fact, it’s quite the opposite, particularly when you come across something you’ve never had before, namely a sparkling pinot grigio in a lovely winery with a spectacular view of Grand Traverse Bay.

Dear Sparkling Pinot Grigio,

Where have you been all my life?

You are pretty and I like you.



But as to the other rumors, that Michigan is also great lakes, great times, well, okay, well, yes, those rumors are true as well.

photo friday: what are you trying to say?

9 May

My friend Devon and I were riding the elevator up to our office recently, and she turned to me and said, “I have a present for you. I saw this on Pinterest twice and thought of you immediately both times, so I had to make if for you.”

Wine Mug

Things I love #106: Having crafty friends.

Things I love #107: Some peppermint teas bear a striking resemblance to pinot grigio.

photo friday: a sampling

19 Apr


Grocery shopping has long been one of my favorite activities, and the other weekend it was made even better by the fact that the wine samplers were out in full force at my local store.

Dangerous, I tell you. Marvelously, deliciously dangerous.

Wine Sample Saturdays is the answer to all of life’s question. Namely, “How did I wind up with a shopping cart full of brie and Twinkies?” 

the debate

22 Feb

Today is Ash Wednesday, which is the national Catholic day of grief as we prepare to give up the things we love for forty days and forty nights because you guys, for real, me giving up Cheetos is completely akin to Jesus dying on the cross for our sins.

Tit for tat.

Catholics across the world last night took their last sip of gin, their last bite of pizza, gave an Edward R. Murrow-esque signoff to Facebook, clicked off of the ShopBop website or dusted off their rosary beads and brushed up on the Apostles’ Creed* with a promise to return to church for the next month of Sundays.

The discussions of what to give up for Lent are always interesting ones to me mostly because they largely take place in my head, where I’ll have you know I am a scintillating conversationalist. There is a push-pull feeling to these debates, what do I want to give up, what SHOULD I give up, but should I really give X, Y or Z up? Because I know I cannot live for forty days without it, and I’ll just end up breaking my Lenten promise and feel bad about myself and that doesn’t really do Jesus any good, now does it?

Ergo, giving up pizza is out of the question.

Plus, what else am I supposed to eat on Lenten Fridays, when I can’t eat meat?

In the past, I’ve given up alcohol, sweets, potato chips, French fries, clothes shopping, and for a brief two weeks in high school, pop. But that last one was only until my best girlfriends convinced me that really, Jesus would not mind if I started drinking pop again, because me without my Pepsi products is simply a cruel boil on the world at large. Better to remain a delicate, if over-caffeinated, flower bringing peace and aspartame to the masses than cuss out Sister Mary Lightacandle every day because she walks too slowly down the hall. (Under my breath, of course.)

And before you question the giving up of sweets from the self-proclaimed salty/savory lover, know this: As soon as you tell me I can’t have something, I immediately want it/crave it. Which is how I found myself gulping huge quantities of root beer floats for breakfast a couple of years ago on Mardi Gras morning, followed by an éclair cake binge later in the day.

No judging.

This year the debate has loomed large in my head. Maybe clothes shopping again? No, I’ve been on a shopping hiatus anyway, so it would be more just an extension of my normal life, which seems like cheating to me. Try for another forty days of no sweets? Maybe, but I just got a bounty of flour from my friend Turner (another story for another post), and I don’t want to wait to use it. Pasta, or maybe carbs in general might be a good one, but that bears too much of a whiff of being akin to Atkins, or like a diet, and in my head while Lent might essentially be a test of willpower, using it as a God-approved time to diet seems, well, it just doesn’t seem right.

So I’ve made the executive decision: No booze. During the week.

Weekends, though. Different story.




What, if anything, are you giving up for Lent?

*At which point they will be in for a shock, because they changed the words. All that work Miss Traman did in second grade, making us memorize the creed for our first reconciliation? DOWN THE DRAIN. Thanks a lot, Pope.

photo friday: things past

5 Aug

I got a new laptop this week, and am mid-process of having half my stuff available to me, and the other half stuck on my old laptop, which I can only use sparingly because The Swede took my power cord back to DC with him, and, well, my battery on that laptop is for shit.

But that’s neither here nor there. What IS here is that I was going through some old photos on an external hard drive and came across this one, which is from a trip to a place that would become my absolute favorite winery in Virginia, Aspen Dale.

The Swede and I first went out there around(ish) this time last year, and I fell in love. You know how wine people always tell you to “drink that with red meat” or “sip this with a soft cheese,” or “for God’s sake, woman, stop guzzling”? The treat of Aspen Dale is that they actually GIVE you a plate of little bits of food that pair well with their wines, like a small piece of pheasant sausage, or a chunk of dark chocolate, a small round bite of goat cheese.


The grounds were simply gorgeous as well, which sealed my love. So much so that it was the last stop on my Go Away Wine Tour 2011 in March that The Swede arranged for me and the gals.

But I hope it won’t be the last stop forever. Something that good and wonderful should be experienced over and over and over, as many times as possible.

photo friday: women on top

18 Mar

In honor of Women’s History Month, today on McPolish we bring you women’s words of wisdom. And by we I mean me. And by words of wisdom I mean You Said It, Sister.


because packing is for suckers

7 Mar

So I’m moving.

Have I mentioned that?

Back to Chicago.

I’m actually not sure that I have, because it’s all happened quite quickly, so if I hadn’t told you before, my apologies. I think I packed my brain away in one of those boxes over there. I hope I remembered to wrap it with protective newspaper like I did with my teacups.

On Saturday I had some big plans to get more boxes and pack up more of the massive amounts of stuff I had no idea I accumulated in five and a half years or could actually fit into a studio apartment, but there you go. You think you’ve been living in a small shoebox that can’t hold more than a few books and a pot or pan or four, and then you discover that you’ve been living in what turns out to be Mary Poppins’ carpetbag. Excuse me while I move my coatrack and potted fern.

But my plans were thwarted—ah, gee, damn, pisser, because I do so love packing so much—when what I thought was going to be a break for brunch and a movie with The Swede turned into a wine tour party extravaganza complete with The Swede, my girlfriends, and a rented pimped out SUV.

Packing could wait. Virginia wine country could not. And neither could making a few more memories with my DC family.






18 May

Maryland and Virginia are rife with wineries.

No joke. Particularly Virginia, where, if you go to the northern part of the state, there are approximately eleventeen million fortytwohundredthousand wineries within a 10 mile radius.

I’m not going to lie—the wines, they are….well, they are. Some are pretty good, some are merely decent. Some should simply remain grapes and left hanging on the vine in a decorative manner.

While I haven’t come across a Maryland or Virginia wine that’s knocked my socks off, that hasn’t stopped me from taste-testing at any vineyard I can get my hands on. A few weeks ago, LivingSocial.com had a great deal—$15 for $30 worth of wine or wine tasting at Corcoran Vineyards. Neither The Swede nor I had ever heard of this place, but we figured what the hell, at the very least we’d get to ride a ferry boat.

So on a gloomy Saturday we hopped that ferry boat and headed into Virginny. We got our money’s worth at Corcoran’s, and the wines were pretty good, if not a bit on the pricier side for a Virginia wine. Under $20? Reasonable. Over $20, like these ones were? Not worth it. The winery had a couple of picnic tables out back, overlooking a large pond and some trees, and we sat and drank our wine and it would have all been very romantical had it not been for the mini-bus driver, waiting for his group of wine-tasting twentysomethings inside, singing along with…the radio? The song in his head? Hard to tell.

We moved on to a different winery, but it turned out The Swede had already been to that one, so before we could even park we were out of the parking lot and on our way down the road, looking at the winery map, The Swede directing me which way to go when. We turned into Breaux Vineyards, a sprawling swathe of land that was triple the size of Corcoran. Its tasting room was packed with day trippers, so we opted to skip the tasting bar, and headed straight to the cash register. I plucked cheese and bread from the shelves, The Swede grabbed a pack of salami, then turned to the man behind the register and said, “What’s your favorite wine here?” The man looked a little startled at the question—obviously we could find out about the wines for ourselves over at the wine tasting bar—but when he realized we were waiting for an honest answer, and had no intention of standing in the throng around the tasting bar, he pulled out a bottle of red and said confidently, “This one.”

“Done,” said The Swede, and we gathered up our wine and foodstuffs and headed outside. He secured a table outside while I dashed to the car to grab the cheeseboard and knife he had so thoughtfully packed, and we happily whiled away an hour or so drinking wine, eating salami and bread, and cutting cheese, talking politics and other such things.

Heh. Wait a sec.

I said cutting cheese.

OMG, not like that, you guys!

We sliced cheese, and then we ate it.

And it was delicious.

The wine was pretty good, too.

Here’s a fun fact for you: In Montgomery County, Maryland, you can take open bottles of wine in your car with you (re: say you order a bottle at a restaurant but don’t finish it) (Wait, what? Why wouldn’t you finish the bottle of wine?) (Whatever.), as long as it’s corked and in a bag. I’m not sure how the rollers in Loudon County, Virginia, feel about this subject, but what they don’t know (wetookhalfthebottleofwinehomewithus) won’t hurt them (Iputthewineinmytrunk).

Is there a better pairing than wine and cheesesalamibread?

I’m not sure I can think of one.

Two vineyards down, umpteenhundred to go.

a thing for ferry boats

26 Apr

We went this route specifically so we could take the ferry. We could have gone a shorter route, a faster route out to the Leesburg area to go wine tasting, but…I mean, they would have been lovely and all, but…but….it meant we wouldn’t have been able to take the ferry.

White’s Ferry Rd is a long stretch that winds mostly through Poolesville, taking you through what appears to be some of the many off-the-beaten paths of Maryland. And eventually, the road dead-ends at the Potomac.

And you wait for the ferry to take you across to Virginia.

It’s a $4 one-way trip, and I imagine if you were to take it every day it would be a pain in the dupa to say the least, particularly if you’re at the end of the vast line of cars that line up single file, backing up White’s Ferry Road. But we got there at a good time, we were the third car in line, and watched as across the river the ferry dropped a load of cars off to drive off to their Virginian destinations. The ferry men ushered another gaggle of cars onto the ferry, locked up the ends so no cars would go sliding out either end, and began the slow trek back across the Potomac to Maryland.

It’s not a pretty ferry, by any means. The ferry boats that McDreamy says he has “a thing for” are leaps and bounds more romantical and loverly than this White’s Ferry. It is utilitarian, no-frills, only there to do a job, to get people from one state to another in a direct route instead of having to go up and over or down and around.

And yet there we sat, two 31-year-olds, a grown-ass man and a grown-ass woman, geeked out beyond compare because ferry….FERRY! We’re on the ferry! We love the ferry!

Truth be told, I was so busy trying to take pictures that The Swede had to stop me at one point and say, “You know we’re moving, right?”

“We are?” I replied, dropping my camera and looking out the window. Slowly but surely, the ferry was rippling through the water toward the Virginia shoreline. I stared for a minute, watching the water move, trying to feel the movement underneath the still car (all motors turned off), only to realize I was starting to get a little woozy.

Focusing on The Swede’s coffee cup helped, with glances up every now and then to see how much closer we were and so as not to miss out on the whole experience.

Because, the ferry!

It’s not something to be missed.