Halloween and daylight savings happens this weekend. The fall daylight savings is not nearly as bad as spring (where you lose an hour of sleep!), but it means that the days get dark at like 5PM. Does/did it really help farmers all that much? I just don't really get the point of daylight savings. At least this year we are lucky to have an extra hour of sleep on the day after Halloween...which will really help with productivity on Sunday... I am going to a Halloween party on Saturday night, and I am dressing up as a monkey. Hopefully my friends do not read this blog, or I will have ruined the big reveal. It's one of those fluffy costumes. Like a 1 piece pajama set but with monkey parts attached to it. I don't think Mom would be proud of this costume. She used to make all of our costumes by hand when we were kids. This was ordered off of Amazon. The homemade costumes were awesome! One year, I was Glenda the Good Witch of the North, one year I was Raggedy Ann, one year I was Cruella Deville...the list goes on. Not one of the parts of those costumes came from a plastic pouch from the store. Every year, after Halloween comes and goes, I make a promise to myself that "next year will be the year where I make my own costume, and it is going to be awesome!". Maybe 2016. ...
So, as the title of this blog post leads you to believe, we have indeed released some new products. Just in time for the holidays! I will list these items one at a time, so that I may draw out the suspense. The first product that I want to tell you about is actually Karamoor's first PRODUCT (not wine). It is an electronic gift card! They are so easy too. All you have to do is choose the amount, enter the payment information, decide if you want to send the gift directly to the person or print it out to wrap it up, and voila! Done. Redeeming it couldn't be easier either. At the point of check out, just enter the code that is sent in the email, and the amount due will be updated to reflect what was applied from the card. Simple simple.
In addition to the gift card, we released some of our new vintages! These wines will be available on our website (through the winery) only and will not be available to our resturant or wholesale accounts for a few months. You will find 3 new wines on the website. The first is our 2014 Chardonnay. The 2014 Chardonnay is really very nice. It is crisp and lively with a nice mouth feel and a touch of oak. The full tasting notes on it can be found here: http://www.karamoorwines.com/product/2014-Chardonnay?pageID=082DD581-AC21-2E53-EFED-FB8173D35439&sortBy=DisplayOrder&maxRows=10&.
We also released the 2013 Meritage and the 2013 Cabernet Franc. The Meritage is velvety. When we were doing the tasting notes, all I could keep saying was "it's like velvet!"...but like, well-structured velvet with nice tannins. It obviously has some other really great characteristics, like a nose of dark fruit and dusty leather. Full tasting notes can be found here: http://www.karamoorwines.com/product/2013-Meritage?pageID=082DD581-AC21-2E53-EFED-FB8173D35439&sortBy=DisplayOrder&maxRows=10&. The Cabernet Franc is delicious as always. You get a nose full of bing cherry and black trumpet mushroom which leads to flavors that are dominated by black cherry. Those full tasting notes can be found here: http://www.karamoorwines.com/product/2013-Cabernet-Franc?pageID=082DD581-AC21-2E53-EFED-FB8173D35439&sortBy=DisplayOrder&maxRows=10&.
We are gearing up for what we anticipate to be a busy holiday season! I will be at the Flourtown liquor store this evening from 4-6PM with their wine specialist, Marianne. If you have been looking for a good time to sample some Karamoor wines, wait no longer, this is it! Hopefully you are not busy and I will get to meet you tonight. If you can't make it, I hope that you all have a safe and happy Halloween! Until next time...
Have you ever had a week that seems to just drag by? "Oh, it's Tuesday? I thought it was Friday at 4PM." It seems like that happens when nothing exciting or interesting is going on...kind of status quo. I have been excited about Karamoor...jazzed, if you will...so the weeks are flying by. Recently, I have just felt like we are finally seeing hard work pay off and that we are defining a path for ourselves that should lead to good things. Being excited about work is a plus. You spend A LOT of your life at work, so you should really try to do something that makes you want to get out of bed (even though it is heading into winter and staying under the covers every morning instead of going ot the gym is verrrrrrrrrry enticing). Obviously, not every day of work is going to be a treat. If you say it is, then you are a liar...plain and simple. Perfect-every-single-day jobs just do not exist. They don't. So, don't try and say they do. But, you should try to find a job that at least provides you with 65% great days.
Anyway, I wasn't sure what I was going to write about this week until I had a conversation with my cousin, Kara, last night. She's 7 years younger than me and just about as smart as me (jk, she had an economy paper published, so she wins "smartest cousin"). She's tearing it up at Bank of Tokyo in New York City. So, she called me last night (for anyone that knows Kara, this is a big deal...she's not the best at phone calls, texts, emails, smoke signals...) and we were talking about work, life, and plans for the upcoming weekends. Catching up. So, after she told me about how she was liking Bank of Tokyo, and that she was getting up at 5:45AM to work out (again, if you know Kara, this is a super big deal), we started talking about Karamoor. The Karabotses are her grandparents too (but I'm their favorite), so Karamoor is near and dear to her heart (read: she allows me to drone on and on about what we are doing here). I told her about how we sent our our first newsletter, how we now have a blog, how we now have a wine club, how we had a great 2015 harvest, how we are sending out a marketing email here in the next few weeks, and a few other things that we have planned for the future. She said I sounded happy and excited and it sounded like things were going great. So, I thought I would share that excitement in my blog post today.
I should start out by saying that it wasn't always so exciting. Back when we started selling our wine in 2012, I think everyone involved was like, "Oh boy, what have we gotten ourselves into?". It was hard. Really hard. There was a great foundation in the form of our vineyard and winery due to care and expertise that professionals provided my grandparents with from the start of the project, there was a great start to the Karamoor team, though not quite a team at that point (everyone was new, trying to get their bearings), but that was pretty much it. If I could talk to the 2012 Karamoor team today, I would tell them, "Do not get discouraged. Do not get overwhelmed. You can make this brand anything you want it to be. You can steer it into something unique. Be excited! Think outside the box! Everything is going to be OK." There was a post today on PennLive. Here is the link: http://blog.pennlive.com/wine/2015/10/is_karamoor_estate_a_household_name_little_by_little_its_getting_there.html. I think it gives a good snap shot of where we are currently.
I am really really proud of us. Sometimes, you just have to take a moment and say stuff like that. Pat you and your teammates on the back. This team has accomplished a lot (with still plenty to go, of course). I think I speak for all of us when I say that we are LUCKY. Our ownership has provided us with a lot of opportunity; they have trusted in our creativity, they have allowed us to take chances, and they have been supportive throughout everything (even though, sometimes, we made mistakes). I am so excited to see what the next 3 years has in store for us! I know for sure that we will be doing some marketing through Food & Wine, that we are going to continue to see plenty of growth in our wine club, and that we should be seeing the first Karamoor tasting room. I know for sure that we are going to see the addition of a dry Rosé, a Sauvignon Blanc, and a Barrel Selection Cabernet Sauvignon. I know for sure that we will be able to taste the creation that is the collaborative project between Karamoor and Tired Hands. But what else? The possibilities are truly endless and I think that is what most exciting...and also most challenging!! We get to write a new chapter of this story every day.
I hope that you had a wonderful week. If you didn't, I'm sure it is just part of the 35% or so of the "not so great days" that I made mention of in paragraph 1 (see how I just brought this full circle!) and that next week will be way better. I am really looking forward to this weekend. Tonight Matt and I are having dinner with some new friends. We are going to Maize which is a BYOB restaurant. Guess what I'm bringing?! Tomorrow night we are having dinner at a friends house to make plans for a trip we would like to take together, aka an excuse to eat great food and you guessed it...drink more wine. By the way! We sent out our first ever newsletter on Wednesday of this week...I know i already mentioned it...but it was a milestone, so it deserves 2 mentions. I hope you enjoyed it! Until next time...
I read something this week that said "Only 10 more Fridays until Christmas!". Let's pump the brakes. It is not even Halloween yet. I saw one of those artificial Christmas trees on the side of the street waiting for the garbage man to come...telling me that people are already looking at their decorations, deciding what needs to be replaced, etc. Crazy! People are always in such a rush. True to my bloodline (we are organized right-at-the-last minute people...except for my brother...we covered that in a previous post...), I am hoping that maybe by next weekend we will have a few fall decorations out. Perhaps a carved pumpkin. Those decorations will be left out until December, more than likely. There may even be a brief overlap where pumpkins are out AND a wreath is up. Wouldn't that be something. Last year, our wreath stayed up until March. Anyway, I'm not ready for it to be Christmas yet, but I am ready for maybe some hot cider...and pumpkin pie. Not mulled wine though, I do not own a bottle of wine that I would feel right about mulling.
There is some good news to tell you! Our last day of harvest will be on Monday of next week. We will be harvesting our Petit Verdot. Kevin and Casey are very happy with the grapes that we harvested this year - great quality which should make for some terrific wines! I got to taste the 2015 Sauvignon Blanc today, I cannot wait until April so that way you guys can try it too. I think you will love it. I also got to try the 2015 Rosé, it is going to be awesome and it is such a pretty color (that sounded very girly). We are going to put them in clear Claret bottles, so I think that the label may have to be a little different. Should be fun to design it.
Speaking of design, we designed our first big ad! I couldn't be more excited to use it either. We are going to be doing an email marketing campaign through Food & Wine. This is our first big push to really get our name out there (I mean, we've been around since 2008. It's time, right?) and I am pumped! Hopefully it helps us become less of a well kept secret so that more people in Pennsylvania can experience the delicious wines of Karamoor!
I am looking forward to this weekend. I am going to order a pizza tonight and then tomorrow will be an easy and relaxing day with maybe a round of golf. Tomorrow night I am going to the Mercer Museum for the Art of Wine fundraiser which should be a fun time. I hope that you all have great plans for the weekend and that they at the very least include a bottle of Karamoor Estate! Until next time...
Have you watched that show Narcos? It is a Netflix series...Netflix comes out with some great series. If I am on Netflix and I come across a show or documentary that says "Netflix" across the top, you can bet your bottom dollar that the sun...I mean...that show is going in my instant queue. Anyway, Narcos first season (there is currently only one available) was about Pablo Escobar. I love shows about bad people. So, the show is about Pablo from when he first started (bad, but not so bad), showing his transition to Pablo as you have heard about him (very, very, very bad). It was interesting, scary, baffling, alarming, and totally binge worthy. I finished the 10 episodes in 3 days. I have high hopes that every season they put out is as good as season one. That is another thing that I love about Netflix series; they never seem to have an "off" season. Every season is just as good as the last. Maybe one day Karamoor will have a Netflix series. Hey, I would watch it! Until then, just read about our 2013 Reserve Merlot.
I've said it before and I will say it again, "The 2013 vintage is a banner year for Karamoor Estate." This fact is the reason that we were able to create the best Merlot that we have produced to date. The 2013 Reserve Merlot is rich and luscious. You could drink it now, or you could age it for years. I will be interested to see how this wine has developed in 2 or 3 years (which is why I bought 3 or 12 bottles...). Kevin's notes on this wine are: the 2013 Reserve Merlot is a blend of 87% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 1% Petit Verdot, aged for 14 months in 60% French oak, 20% Hungarian oak, 20% American oak (a total of 30% new oak). It represents a meticulous and limited barrel selection of our finest Merlots from 2013. Bold black cherry fruit amidst notes of sandalwood, eucalyptus, and marzipan transitions to tastes of juicy black rub plums, chocolate, & fig, with a long lingering finish and silky tannins.
It is a wine truly deserving of the "Reserve" mantel, and no one that has sampled it has been disappointed with its quality. If it were me, I would decant this wine, I would serve it with beef tenderloin (or leg of lamb, or veal chops...pretty much anything that costs a pretty penny at the meat counter), and I would eat and drink this with people I really enjoy (not just kind of enjoy). I found a recipe that I think would do very well for this pairing: http://abc.go.com/shows/the-chew/recipes/slow-roasted-filet-beef-basil-parmesan-mayonnaise-ina-garten. I like the fact that it incorporates some basil since I think that will highlight some potentially overlooked notes in the wine. Since the holidays are right around the corner, perhaps you are looking for something to serve alongside of your perfect roast turkey. I would also recommend this wine for that occasion (unless you are doing a citrus marinade). As always, shipping is free with 3 total bottles purchased (any mix of wines) to anywhere we can legally ship to. So, even if you are having your Thanksgiving dinner in another state, you can still have Karamoor!
This weekend should be pretty low key for me, although, if you live in Conshohocken, come visit me tonight! I will be at the Conshohocken liquor store on Ridge Pike from 4-5:30PM. It is Pennsylvania Wine Month, so all of the state stores are sampling PA wines for their customers (that may be a generalization, so do not get mad at me if you go into a state store and they are not sampling PA wines tonight). Anywho, if you are lucky enough to live near or in Conshohocken and you happen to walk into the liquor store tonight between the hours of 4 and 5:30PM...you will get to meet yours truly! For those of you who I will not see tonight, I hope that you have a wonderful weekend! Until next time...
So, typically the work days that follow vacation are busy, but this week has just been bananas. First things first: I will start this blog post first by saying, "Paris was amazing!" I loved it. I do not know how I am going to live without the baked goods...or the rosé...until my next visit. People in Paris just walk around with baguettes. They stop at the patisserie on their way to work, walking around the city, on their way home from work, late at night (it just always seems like there is a line out the patisserie door, so I may be overdoing it about how often they stop at the patisserie...but it didn't stop me from mimicking my perception (I went at least 2 times a day....)), and so many of them just walked out with a baguette...eating it right from the bag as they walked away. Aside from the food (tough for me to move past that), Matt (boyfriend) and I did so much walking and exploring of the city, just enjoying the beautiful buildings and parks (croissants, baguettes, tartar, rosé...). Our trip out to Normandy was exactly what I thought, if you have the chance, you should definitely make it a priority to go. It was moving and jaw dropping, beautiful and sad at the same time. I would say that the Eiffel Tower was my favorite monument, I found the history and story behind it so fascinating. Did you know (per our tour guide) that it cost $32 million to build the Eiffel Tower, the city of Paris made Gustave Eiffel (the guy with the company that designed it) pay for it, Gustave paid for it with the condition that ticket sales for tours/entry over 20 years after the Eiffel Tower opened would go to him, and the $32 million that Gustave put out was paid in full after only 6 months after opening? Me either! Anyway, Paris was great, and now onto the happenings here at Karamoor.
Monday morning started off with a bang! I am not sure if many people know this or not, but we did the private label for The Union League of Philadelphia (Union League Chardonnay and Union League Meritage), they needed another 100 cases sent down to them, so I got it scheduled through a courier for Wednesday (but when Wednesday morning comes, their truck breaks down...so it ended up going down Thursday). Steve Wildy from the Vetri Restaurant Group (one of the coolest guys I have had the pleasure of meeting in this industry thus far) asked that we take part in a private event on Wednesday evening...ok, sounds good. Kevin, Casey and the crew had to harvest all of our Merlot before the 6-10 days of rain started (rain during harvest is a total nightmare)...so they have been quite busy. We decided that we are making a dry rosé (a decision probably heavily influenced by my daily intake while in Paris) that we will release by the bottle at the end of next spring (2016). We completed our first ever wine club shipment (woohoo!!!!). We had a cool article posted on philly.com about our collaborative project with Tired Hands Brewing over in Ardmore. We got a big order from the PLCB (you will finally be able to find our newer products in 20 of the Philadelphia area luxury stores!). Thank goodness it is almost the weekend because I am tired!
I would say that of all the things that went on this week, I had 3 favorites (I can never just pick one favorite..not candy, not color, not sports team...). One was the article, one was the wine club, the other was our decision on the rosé. Mike Klein from the Philadelphia Inquirer/Philly.com does such a nice job with all the pieces that he writes. The one that was posted on Tuesday was no exception. It made me smile from start to finish! Here is the link if you want to check it out: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/the-insider/Tired-Hands-Karamoor-collaborate.html. I love that everyone is so into this project, including my grandparents. It will be very cool to watch this beer/wine to evolve over the next 6 months...to a year. If you have any ideas on a name...let us know!
The rosé. I am pumped about this. I love rosé. I feel like maybe pinkish wines have gotten a bad rap over the years, but maybe that is because people have been drinking the wrong ones. I, myself, am a pink wine lover (all shades of pink, no discrimination here). As long as it is dry and delicious. Stay tuned for more about this over the course of the next few months, but we should yield about 200 cases.
Our first ever Wine Club shipment went out on Tuesday! It was an exciting day for us at Karamoor and our 14 members (at least I hope they were equally as excited as we were). Our Signature Mixed Club received a bottle of 2013 Chardonnay, 2012 Cabernet Franc, and just recently (about 1 month ago) bottled 2014 Chardonnay. Our Signature Red Club received a bottle of 2012 Meritage, 2013 Merlot, and 2013 Meritage (not yet released). Our Reserve Club received a bottle of 2013 Petit Verdot, 2013 Reserve Merlot and our 2008 Governor's Cup winning bottle of 2008 Meritage (which has been in our Library since the end of 2013). If there is interest in joining our club, you can just sign up right here on our website under the "Wine Clubs" tab and if you sign up between now and the end of the year, you will receive the shipment that just went out.
I am looking forward to this weekend. Tonight, Matt and I are going to grab a drink (maybe 2) with my grandparents. I love going out with them, we always have a great time. You would never guess their age if you met them. Not in a million years. Tomorrow morning I have barbell club. Barbell club is one of my most favorite things that I get to do in my free time. Anyway, right after we are heading over to Norristown for an event at Einstein to support my grandparents where I will get to spend some time with my parents too! Even though it will be raining with 50 mph winds (or so the meteorologists have been saying...), I am sure that we will still manage to have a fun time together. Mostly (aside from the fact that my parents...and family in general...are the best, of course) because Elmwood Zoo is going to be at this event and they are bringing their teaching animals! Fuzzy bunnies, ducks, little crododiles, maybe a donkey. Who knows what the day holds! All I know for sure is that my dog will be very jealous when I get home from all of the other animal smells. Until next time...