You guys! I need to tell you that I had a great weekend last weekend. Matt and I went up to NYC with my parents and stayed at the Four Seasons. It was supposed to be the Four Seasons Downtown, but Matt made a small mistake and booked us at the 57th street location (which we didn't realize until we were at the Four Seasons Downtown trying to check in...). All of our reservations were in the Village, so we had to cancel them and kind of fly by the seat of our pants...which to be honest, probably worked out for the best. See, my parents had an apartment on 60th and 1st Avenue back in the 2000s and I spent A LOT of time there. I worked for my dad's company in Manhattan during summer breaks through college, and then when I graduated college, I got a job with Marriott and I was lucky enough to be able to crash at the family apartment instead of renting. So, the Upper East Side was my neighborhood. I felt a lot like my mom when we drive past stuff from her childhood. I can't count how many times I've heard about how "this is where I was a camp counselor". Anyway, I was Mom this weekend. Telling Matt how I used to walk 25 blocks up to 96th Street to take hot yoga, and this was the Thai restaurant that I used to get takeout from, and this is the pizza place that we would go to at 2AM... He was a trooper though. Even when Dad decided that we should stop by the old building and see if any of the doormen were still there....AND THEY WERE! It was a nice trip down memory lane. I really had a great time. Also, in the lobby, we saw Gene Simmons! I wanted to tell him I liked his boots, but I think that Matt would have been mortified....so I just kept my big mouth shut! But, Gene, if by some off chance you are reading the Karamoor Estate Wine Blog by Ali Jankowski, please comment below with where you got them because they were awesome!
Well, Philly Wine Week is almost over. We hope that you got to take advantage of some of the events that were going on downtown. We've been involved in some way since they started this wine centric week 5 years ago and we are so glad that it seems to keep getting better and better. More and more restuarants seem to be getting on board, and more and more consumers seem to really be immersing themselves in the wine world! We were part of the Karamoor Tap Takeover at Tria Taproom on Tuesday of this week. They poured ONLY KARAMOOR all day. And they featured our 2017 Rosé and also our 2017 Viognier. They said that the feedback was excellent on both! This makes me happy. We also were involved in a "meet the winemaker" event last night with our friends over at Bar Amis (formerly Lo Spiedo). We are gearing up to do a lot more work with them, so that is very exciting for us! (and hopefully for them too!). Kevin and Shaina held down the fort there while I was at Normandy Farms for an event for ILEA (not to be confused with IKEA) which stands for: International Live Events Association. It was a very cool event where Normandy Farms put together a wonderful menu that was paired with our wines. The best part was that the event took place in a room where there was a test kitchen, so everyone in attendance got to watch the chef prepare the dishes that were then served to them! It was a smashing success and people (as usual) couldn't believe that our wines were from right down the road.
ALSO, guess what!? Kevin said that I could release the Rosé early! So, maybe we will release it next week. How exciting is that? I know that I am excited. The tasting group that is coming out today is going to get to give it a taste! Hopefully they (and you) love it....or I will be forced to drink about 400 cases.
I am looking forward to a low-key weekend this weekend. I hope that Matt doesn't really want to do anything tonight unless it is going to bed early...I mean, I probably would not say "no" to going to our favorite restaurant...but we are also going there tomorrow night with some newly made friends! So, maybe I should rest up for that...I want to make sure that I make a good impression. We didn't get nearly as much rain as I thought we would this week, so maybe tomorrow or Sunday will be the day where we get to do some much needed yard clean-up. I hope that you have some fun plans this weekend. I keep forgetting that Sunday is Easter and that it is Passover. I don't really celebrate Easter since I am Greek Orthodox...our Easter is next weekend...and that it seems like Matt and his family are not really Easter holiday celebraters. When I was younger, I got to celebrate 2 Easters, because Dad is not Greek Orthodox. The best was when my brother and I pretended that we thought the Easter Bunny was real and that Mom made us TWO Easter baskets. Ah, the good old days. Maybe I should ask Mom and Dad if they want to come over on Sunday for an early dinner. Anyway, Happy Easter and Happy Passover to all that celebrate either. Until next time...
Another week in March, another foot of snow! Guys. My back yard can not take one more drop of precipitation. Not a single drop. It is like a swamp back there. Even the high parts of the yard are like a swamp. When the dogs go out to go pots (what we call bathroom here), and I swear they are out there for like 3 minutes, they come back soaked! Covered in mud, mud spray, and overall dirtiness. I need just like one week where it is not raining every day or snowing 14 inches. I don't think that Mother Nature read my blog last week. If she had, she would have known that it was Spring this week. And my birthday. I really hope that this is the end of it. Typically, I am that weirdo that enjoys winter, but I'm ready for some warmer weather, barbeques, and having friends over again. And you can't do those things with a mudpit for a backyard. So, come on sunshine!
Since we are talking about sunshine and barbeques, now would be a good time to mention that we bottled our Rosé today! I posted a video of it being bottled on the Insta. The color is much more traditional than our last Rosé which was basically hot pink. Or electric pink. Whichever pink is brighter and more vibrant. The 2017 Rosé is still 100% Merlot, we just went right to press with it instead of letting it sit on the skins at all. So, the juice didn't have much time to soak up any of the skin pigment whatsoever. It is more in line with the color of Rosé that you'd find in one from Provence. The taste is excellent. It is a true, as the kids say, "Patio Pounder". It is a Rosé that you could literally drink ALL DAY. It is only 12.5% ABV, so it's refreshing and well balanced. It reminded me of guava juice on the nose. I'm very excited about it if you couldn't tell. You can get a sneak peak of it (we won't be releasing it until later in April) during Philly Wine Week at Tria Taproom because we kegged some of it for them before we bottled it. If you get down there, let us know what you think!
We also finished up sending out our Wine Club shipments today. I'm looking forward to hear what the thoughts are on the Viognier. I really liked it. I hadn't had it for a while prior to tasting it again last week for the tasting notes, and it reminded me how much I enjoyed it and why we decided to bottle it as a stand alone variety. It will be a GREAT pairing wine for summer. With cheeses or summer salads. That's the direction I'd go. Kevin and the rest of the team suggested light seafood as well...and I can't say that I'd disagree!
I know that you are all probably wondering how my birthday was. Well! It was great. I woke up to a nice card from my husband (nothing better than a good card with a heartfelt note), and then he shoveled the driveway (for the 4th and last time) on his own so that I could get on the road early and miss any traffic...which was great. I think that Thursday morning of this week was my fastest ever commute to Karamoor from Doylestown. Then, I had a full work day, but I got lots of phone calls and texts all day from friends and family. When I got home, Matt gave me a bag of cookies from this place called Lilly's in Doylestown. Their cookies are HANDS DOWN THE BEST EVER. But, they do not hold a candle to their lemon bars. So, I was kind of bummed that he didn't get me a lemon bar. BUT, when I got to the gym, my friend Missy surprised me with 2 more Lilly's cookies AND a lemon bar. What a win! Surprise #2 from Matt was the largest Lilly's lemon bar the world has ever seen. It was like a legal-sized-piece-of-paper sized lemon bar. Amazing. That's another win. I'm going to be eating a lot of Lemon Bars. I wonder if they freeze? I hope so. Then, that was kind of it. It was nice and quiet...and filled with treats. Just the way I like it.
Tomorrow, we are heading up to NYC with my Mom and Dad. We are going to get up there at around 2PM (at least that is the plan as of now) and walk around the West Village...maybe do some shopping...maybe do some cocktailing. Then we are having a nice dinner at one of three restaurants that we have made reseravations at because I am indecisive. I promise that we will call the restaurants that we decide not to go to well before the reservation time so that someone else can take our spot. I just can't decide yet. What are you going to do this weekend? We should probably plan to do some yardwork next weekend. The yard is full of sticks from the last three storms (not to mention 2 twenty foot trees that need to be dealt with), and it is kind of giving me anxiety just thinking about how untidy it currently is. You probably will not be doing yardwork this weekend though. Not with all the snow and the ground being like pudding. Anyway, I hope that you do figure out something fun to do!! Until next time...
You guys. Next week is supposed to be the start of Spring, but I am seeing that there is a snowstorm scheduled for Tuesday-Thursday. Do you think that Mother Nature knows that A. It's my birthday week, B. It's Spring, C. It's almost April, and D. We are going to NYC next weekend with Mom and Dad and I don't want the sidewalks to be all snowy and slushy? Also, I don't want to have to shovel my driveway again. We need to get a snowblower. Hopefully Matt gets home without a problem so that he can help me shovel if this storm does come. He is in Florida right now (that lucky duck). My dad flew down there last weekend (another lucky duck) and Matt decided last minute that he was going to join him. It makes me happy that Matt and my dad are pals and enjoy spending time together. Not every family is as lucky, so as the kids say...#blessed.
Assuming that all goes OK next week, we will be sending out our first Wine Club shipment of 2018. I sent out an email today to everyone in our newsletter group to let them know what our Wine Club members would be receiving. Our Signature Mixed Club will get a bottle of our 2017 Viognier, 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, and 2013 Reserve Merlot. Our Signature Red Club will get a bottle of 2014 Meritage (at a special price), 2013 Reserve Merlot, and our 2015 Merlot. Our Reserve Club will receive a bottle of 2014 Petit Verdot, 2014 Barrel Select Cabernet Sauvignon, and our 2015 Merlot. We are almost sold out of our 2014 Petit Verdot and our 2014 Barrel Select Cabernet Sauvignon which is why we are sending that out to our Reserve Club members again, but we are sending out 2 wines that are being newly released, and I'm going to give you the tasting notes for both of them!
Our 2017 Viognier:
Asian pear, honeysuckle, kiwi, and hints of rose petal aromatics, along with crisp green apple and apricot flavors, lead to a clean mid-palate with fresh acidic finish. Pair with greens, shellfish, sushi, and fondue. This is 100% Viognier, was fermented in stainless steel, and was aged sur-lie in neutral French oak for 5 months with battonage every 2 weeks. Only 50 cases were bottled of this limited, estate-grown wine.
Our 2015 Merlot:
Black cherry and ripe plum with cedar and coconut oak bouquets are accompanied by elements of blackberry tart with nuances of cocoa, ground pepper and smoke. A rich, medium bodied wine with structured tannins and a balanced finish is marvelous now, but will develop further with additional aging. A grilled flat iron steak, duck confit, or dark chocolate decadence would be enhanced with the pairing of this wine. Just like all Karamoor wines, it is grown from our estate grown grapes the wine is a classic Right Bank blend of 83% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc, and 6% Petit Verdot. 25% new oak was used during the 13 months of barrel aging, which was predominantly French and American oak with smaller percentages of Hungarian as well.
We did these tasting notes yesterday (and it was the first time I had tasted these wines in a while), and let me tell you! You are going to love them. The Viognier is delicious - great fruit, and good crisp acidity, perfect for the warmer months that should be forthcoming (if March remembers that it is Spring next week). The 2015 Merlot is probably, what I'd consider to be, our best Merlot that we've made to date. It is really excellent (and I'm not even a Merlot fan). It has great mid palate. If I were comparing our 2013 Merlot and our 2015 Merlot, I'd say that the 2015 Merlot has more heft than the 2013, it also has a touch more tannin. Let us know what you think of these wines when you get them. We plan to release the 2015 Merlot in the fall at some point, but the 2017 Viognier will be released in April!
I hope that you have some great plans for the weekend. I am going to hang out with some friends tonight after the gym, and then spend the weekend with my puppy dogs. I miss them so much during the week while I am at work, so I try to make up for it on the weekends. On Sunday, I am going to do my best to finish a few projects around the house - I don't want to say too much about them because I think that my husband is one of the only people that read this blog...and it's kind of a surprise for him! Until next time....
I must say, I was kind of wondering where winter has been since maybe the first or second week of January....welllllllllll, it has made one heck of a re-entry, hasn't it? We were supposed to have a private tour last Friday afternoon, and I was just sitting at my desk at around 1PM thinking...this is going to blow over. No one on the news is saying that there will be significant snow accumulation. It will be stopping any minute. 2PM comes around, still snowing. Coming down heavier. Shaina comes in (she is a snow worrywart) and she's like, "It's getting bad out there, Ali. Have you cancelled the tour?", and I'm like, "No, Shaina. It will be fine. It is going to stop and everything will be fine.". Well! It didn't stop, and it wasn't fine. I cancelled the tour. It took over two hours to drive home to Bucks County. There were school busses in ditches, there were cars spinning around like tops, there were trees falling like dominos (not the pizza place)...it was not good. I got home and the power was still on at our house, and since Matt was hanging with his business partner, I decided to go to the gym (only 1 mile away from our house). By the time I got back from the gym, the power at our house had gone out. I went inside and the alarm sensor is just going, "beep, beep, beep, beep, beep....". I'm pressing ALL the buttons...trying to get it to stop beeping. I called my husband to see if he knew what to do and if he could give me our Peco account sign on and password so that I could see how long the power outage would last...to which he replied "I don't know our Peco sign on and password, it's at work. And as far as the alarm goes, flip the switch in the basement in the breaker box that says alarm." It wasn't until after that, that I realized the breaker box would be no help....because we didn't have any power...but I hadn't realized this yet, so off I went down into the basement with a lit Yankee candle to check things out. As you can imagine, flipping the breaker didn't do anything at all. So, now I'm mad Matt because he's not home to help me deal with this, all three dogs are running around going berserk, and I'm trying to find the model number for type of alarm we have so that I can find a phone number for help. After all the searches, I can't find the model number and I'm still just pushing buttons, nothing is working. Then...something terrible happens. It goes from just like a simple beeping to a full out, sound-the-alarm-the-red-coats-are-coming alarm. Now, I am crying. I'm trying to wrangle the dogs while still holding the stupid Yankee candle because I never downloaded the flashlight Ap on my IPhone, and I end up sitting on the concrete floor of the garage for like 15 minutes (still crying...surrounded by the dogs) until magically, the alarm goes off by itself (which of course happens about 3 minutes before Matt walks in the door). Anyway, we were only without power for about 3 hours, so all in all, we were pretty lucky. The storm this last Wednesday was a piece of cake. Knew it was coming, kept on top of the shoveling, built a few fires, watched Pitch Perfect 3, and ate some soup and snacks. I'd say that Friday was definitely more of the "main event" for us. I still can't believe how many trees went down. I think that we lost well over 20 on the Karamoor property alone. I have been seeing linemen from all different states out there helping to clean things up...it just looks like such an insurmountable task! They are doing a great job, though, and I am sure that things will be back to ship-shape in no time at all.
Speaking of no time at all, our tours have been selling out really quickly! This makes me very happy. I really look forward to hosting the tours here. I know that I've said it before, but the tours and tastings last over two hours (and our tastings last about an hour and 15 minutes) and it is just a really great experience (and I'm not just saying that because I give the tour!). I mean, I do give the tour and I'd like to think that I am funny and charming, but I know that people don't come here to see me... They come here to see where Karamoor wines come from. They come here to learn about the winemaking process. They come here to TASTE THE WINES. I feel like that last thing is the main reason why people come.
We are going to be adding some more wines for people to taste here in the next month or so. Two of those wines will be unveiled during Philadelphia Wine Week! Do you remember all the specials that we ran last Philly Wine Week? Stay tuned, because we will be running some great ones this year too! Are you wondering what two wines will be unveiled the first week of April? OK, OK! Twist my arm. It is our 2017 Rose (100% Merlot), and our 2017 Viognier (100% Viognier). The Rose will list for $18.99 and the Viognier will list for $32.00. We only will have about 30 cases of Viognier to offer since we are going to be offering this wine through Tria during wine week! Did I tell you that we are doing another Tap Takeover with them? Well, consider yourself informed now! I will include the full lineup of events that we've got planned for Wine Week in next week's blog (assuming there is no crazy snow/wind storm)...so you will have to tune in then.
Matt and I are heading to the Flyer's game tomorrow with some friends. Did you know that up until last year (when I went to my first Flyer's game) that I had never been to an ice hockey game? Crazy, I know! They are pretty fun to go to, and I bought a cute hat last time...I plan to wear that so that they know I'm a fan. I think on Sunday I am going to be doing some painting of our bedroom (the walls, not like a portrait) in the morning. I will post a picture of our new closet once it is all done. I am IN LOVE with this closet (but I love my husband and dogs more of course...). I hope that you have some fun plans this weekend. Fingers crossed that the potential Noreaster heads out to sea on Monday instead of through PA! Until next time....