Another year comes to a close. I cannot believe it. I hope that you had a great Christmas! I know that I did. So, now that Christmas is over, I can tell you what my big surprise was!! I got my boyfriend, Matt, a puppy! Yep. I got him an Olde English Bulldogge, who is (as of Tuesday) 10 weeks old. We have named him Murph, and he is fitting into our little family better than I ever could have imagined. A lot of people gave me this face of, "I don't think that is such a great idea. A puppy is a lot of work and is not a great surprise...". To which I responded with a face of, "Matt wants another dog, he just doesn't know it, and he has a problem pulling the trigger on anything life changing, and that's what I'm here for." So, I pulled the trigger and got him the puppy.
My mom and dad were in on the surprise from the very beginning. This was a secret that I kept from Matt since THE 10th OF NOVEMBER! Do you have any idea how hard that was? Insane. I must have told every single person, friend or total stranger, that I came into contact with that I was getting Matt this little guy. It is a miracle that no one in the tristate area spilled the beans prior to Christmas. I picked up Murph on the 22nd of December, and my parents watched him until Christmas Eve (which is when I gave him to Matt, by way of a scavenger hunt). I was afraid my parents wouldn't give him back, but they did (after being promised many visits in the future by both of their granddogs (Murph has an older sister named Penny who is also an Olde English Bulldogge...she's 5 and she is the apple of my eye)).
The 2nd part of the surprise for Matt was that I had talked his brother and sister-in-law into taking a puppy from the same litter (which turned into 2 puppies...yep...they took 2 puppies). So now, he and his brother have 3 dogs from the same litter. And those dogs are brother-sister-cousins... Needless to say, our Christmas celebration with Matt's family was full of a lot of energy...and biting and wrestling. It was a lot of fun and it was so cute because the puppies were so happy to see their littermates! If you have never given or received a puppy on Christmas, I highly recommend it (as long as the receiving party wants a dog, of course). It makes for an amazing holiday and a wonderful way to start off 2016!
Speaking of 2016, can't believe it starts tomorrow! I am really excited for this new year. I feel like 2015 was the set up year for 2016. You know how some years end, and you are kind of like, "eh, it was OK". 2015 gave me the feeling of accomplishment. 2015 was a year of hard foundation work...both in business and in my personal life. We had some nitty gritty things to take care of here at Karamoor, like choosing software for POS, migrating data, implementing our website, creating clubs, rip out of sick or under-producing vines, replanting of several acres, expanding the winery, etc. The completion of all of this has set us up for whatever growth may come our way in 2016. As for my own personal life, my boyfriend and I seem to have things figured out (it really does take a while...cohabitating with someone), we added a furry family member, and we have made a wonderful group of friends who have enriched our lives in more ways than they know. I feel truly grateful for how this year has ended.
I hope that everyone has a wonderful New Year's Eve. We will be hosting 5 couples at our house and we will be serving Karamoor! I will post all of the recipes and wine pairings that I did through the holidays in next week's blog post. Happy New Year! Until next time...
It is finally Christmas! I have been listening to the Transiberian Orchestra (Christmas) station on Pandora every day since Saturday. I have also found that Christmas wrapping becomes exponentially more pleasant if done in conjunction with a glass (bottle...) of wine! It will absolutely be my newest annual tradition.
We have had the best month in 2015, without a doubt, here at Karamoor. We are so thankful for the fact that we have such a wonderful group of people that support us, enjoy our products, and help spread our story and our wines. If the trends of the past few years show anything, they should show that 2016 is going to be an even more eventful year for us (at least I hope!). We will be opening a tasting room and retail shop, we plan on continuing to grow our wine club and hope to increase our internet footprint by quite a large margin, and we are hopeful that the folks that support us now will continue to do so as we start to expand our portfolio to include some interesting additions! I've been working on budgets, so ideas have been flying around in my head all week. I am excited for the things to come!
Speaking of things to come. Christmas Eve dinner at my house (and my boyfriend's too I suppose)! I mentioned last week that we will be hosting my parents and I will be cooking. I also mentioned that I would let you know what the menu is going to be! So, as promised, here it is:
Cheese Board with creamy gorganzola dolce (Dad's fav), raw milk Manchego, goat cheese cured in red wine, marcona almonds, cranberry hazelnut crisps, some dried apple and pear chips, and some truffled honey! Yummo.
Mom's famous crabcakes. We actually got this recipe from Sur la Table when we did a cooking class there...and it is a classic. They never disappoint. The crabcakes have almost no filler, they are accompanied by some mustard aioli and some pomegranate seeds. Delish
Arugula salad with shaved Asiago and a simple and easy lemon vinaigrette. The dinner will be somewhat heavy, but I thought we could use something light and green!
Asparagus bundles wrapped in bacon (another one of Mom's specialties)
Rabbit Ragout over pappardelle pasta. I called Wholefoods on Saturday and had them hold a rabbit for me. I asked them to cut it up for me so that it would be easier to braise. I picked up my fresh cut pappardelle...I love fresh pasta. They cut it from these large sheets right in front of you. I am so pumped for this main dish, and I will make sure to let you know how it turns out.
Gateau Breton with a raspberry semi-coulis, semi-chutney. There is not a recipe for the raspberry part, but I plan to cook down some raspberries with some lemon juice, brown sugar, and like a smidge of nutmeg. If you have never had Gateau Breton before, you are missing out. It is this super dense butter cake that hails from the Brittany region of France. You could probably have it for breakfast with coffee instead of coffee cake, but I try to keep my desserts for dessert!
So, that's the menu. The wines will probably include a dry reisling, a Cab, and a Brunello (Mom's fav). The four of us are going to exchange gifts on Christmas Eve, on Christmas morning Matt and I will head to my parents house to open stockings and then gifts with my brother and his fiancè via Skype or Facetime because they did not come home for Christmas this year, and then we will head to my grandparents house where my super large, loud, and fun family will get together to eat and drink! On the 26th, Matt and I will head up to Reading, PA to spend the day with his family. It should be a great Christmas! I can't wait to give everyone their presents. There have been some presents that I have managed to keep secret for WEEKS. It was very difficult. I will tell you about these tough secrets next week!
Merry Christmas everyone. I hope that you have a safe and happy holiday filled with love, laughter, good food, and good wine! Until next time..
Happy Friday before Christmas! It's almost here! I hope that you have finished at least a good portion of your Christmas shopping. I am happy to say that I do not think I will have to go to the mall on Christmas Eve like I have every year for (at least) the last 10 years! Quite the time management improvement. I have always been a procrastinator. During my school years, I would wait until the day before to start projects...so, this is quite a phenomenon for me.
This year, instead of the mall on Christmas Eve, my boyfriend and I will be hosting my parents for dinner. I think I have said it quite a few times in this blog, but I love to cook, and I love any opportunity to host. I know some people feel like it is a burden, but I just think it is so fun. Menu planning, drink pairings...it's all just so fun. I've only got a portion of the menu planned out from now, so I will post everything on Wednesday of next week! I have worked out the main course though! It's going to be braised rabbit ragout over papperdelle. I usually do not eat pasta, but on the holidays, I make exceptions. I will let you know how it turns out.
Tonight I will be at the Flourtown state store off of Bethlehem Pike for a tasting of our wines with their very excellent wine specialist, Marianne! The tasting is from 4-6PM and we will be sampling the 2013 Chardonnay, 2013 Merlot, and 2012 Cabernet Franc. I know a lot of people want to try our wines before they buy, and this is the perfect opportunity. I am sure I will be at her store again in the near future, so if you can't make it tonight, stay tuned for more tasting dates in future blog posts.
This weekend I am wrapping up the odds and ends of my Christmas shopping and then on Sunday it is COUSIN'S BAKING DAY! I head over to my mom's house with my 2 younger girl cousins (my big shot Bank of Tokyo cousin who lives in NYC won't be able to make it) and it is always a fun day. My most favorite cookie that we make are Punch Bowls. They are not Thumb Print cookies. They are TOTALLY different. They are pretty much just flour, powdered sugar, butter, and almond extract...and then you put all different flavors of jam in the middle...but not too much. Mom always used to (still does) yell at me, "Ali, you are putting too much jam!", but I think that I am at a disadvantage because I have very large hands, so my thumbs make extra large holes...and you can't leave an extra large hole and then not fill it fully with jam. Sometimes, it's tough being me.
I hope that you have a wonderful weekend. Don't forget that all of our regular priced wines are 20% off with the code HOLIDAYS until December 31. If you order over the weekend, they will ship Monday and they will make it to most destinations by Christmas Eve. Until next time...
Only 2 more Friday's until Christmas! Holy manoly. Can't believe it. I went to the mall last weekend with the intention of getting everything done....and I ended up only buying things for myself and my dog. At least it wasn't a total bust! It is hard to not shop for yourself during the holidays. There are so many good sales and great deals and you come across things that you didn't even know you needed...like an air popcorn popper... It's hard to say "NO! I am here for Mom, Dad, Matt, etc.". I do a decent amount of shopping online, but I also have the same gene that my mom has where you have to walk around for hours and hours and hours and "gather ideas". I don't like buying off of lists. I like buying things for the people that I love that they didn't even KNOW they wanted. It usually works out.
Speaking of buying things for the people you love that they don't even know that they want...have you SEEN the sales on this website?! 20% off all regular priced wines until December 31 (use the code HOLIDAYS). Free shipping with a purchase of 3 bottles or more (to 39 states...all the time). Up to 32% off of 2012 Meritage because we are almost sold out (MERITAGE12 on full cases of 2012 Meritage for the 15% off)! Talk about deals.
Now, onto some production information! Just yesterday, we completed the labels for the bottling that we will be doing in March of 2016 and I am so excited, I had to share the info. We are going to be doing our 2014 Cabernet Franc, our 2014 Meritage, our 2014 Merlot (very small amount this year)...nothing too different there. Here's where things get cool: we will ALSO be doing a limited release Petit Verdot (less than 75 cases), a Barrel Select Cabernet Sauvignon (less than 50 cases), a 100% 2015 Merlot Rosé, and a 2015 Sauvignon Blanc! I am very excited to have these new wines coming down the pike. It is going to be great to have an additional white wine in our portfolio and I know I have mentioned in this blog before how much I love Rosé. 2016 is going to be an exciting year for us!
On Friday of next week (the 18th of December), I will be at the Flourtown store off of Bethlehem Pike for another tasting from 4-6PM. Marianne, the store wine specialist, does a great job of representing our wines and she is always stocked! Come out and sample or if you are in the area, drop in just to say hello.
I am looking forward to this weekend. Tomorrow, one of my oldest friends is coming down from New York City to go to my Crossfit holiday party. It is an ugly Christmas sweater party and Matt ordered me a surprise one off of Amazon which I have yet to see...I'm sure it will not disappoint. We are also doing a $20 White Elephant or Pollyanna (the kind where you can steal other people's gifts) that is sure to be hilarious. I hope that you have a wonderful weekend! Until next time...
It has been a crazy week for us. Don't worry, it's been crazy in a great way! I hope that everyone had an awesome Thanksgiving and enjoyed far too much food and good wine. I know that I did! We have been sending out plenty of emails about all the great sales and specials we have been running since Thanksgiving (if you aren't getting them, make sure you sign up for our newsletter!). 'Tis the season for giving, and we are in the spirit!
All of our regular priced wines are 20% off with the code HOLIDAYS. Our 2012 Cabernet Franc and Meritage are almost sold out and we are asking for your help in making this happen before the end of 2015! Both of these wines are marked down by 20% on the site and there is an opportunity to get an additional 15% off if you order a full case (12 bottles). 12 bottles or more of 2012 Meritage? Use the code MERITAGE 12. 12 bottles or more of 2012 Cabernet Franc? Use the code CABFRANC12. You can use all of these cooupons on the same order. So...get to saving.
I am going to be at the Conshohocken liquor store (off of Ridge Pike) tonight from 4-6PM. They have our 2013 Chardonnay, our 2012 Cabernet Franc, and our 2013 Merlot. I hope that you will stop by and see me! ...and of course try our wines.
I hope that everyone has fun plans this weekend. We have our holiday Christmas party tomorrow night and I know that I have to do some serious Christmas shopping this weekend...because Christmas will be here before you know it! It is insane how fast the weeks seem to fly every year between Thanksgiving and New Years. Sorry for the quick post, but I am late for Conshy! Until next time...