a day at the vineyard

7 Nov

What a wonderful, awesome and totally fabulous day!

And I’m not just talking about the weather.

I spent the day with my 3 beautiful sisters…or sistas as I like to say.

Before I get into how we spent our day, I need to tell you how awesome my sisters are. I am the youngest in the fam and have always looked up to all of my siblings, but mostly the sistas. (sorry Mike and Steve!) They have all managed to have success in their lives in many different forms – kids, careers and general awesomeness. They are very inspiring to me and I am so grateful I have them as my role models in life.

Aren’t they cute?


I don’t see them nearly enough for my taste, but we have busy lives and they have adorable children and you know how that goes. So, I take what I can get. This time, that was a trip to the Alexis Bailey Vineyard in Hastings, MN. They were having an open house to celebrate the release of a new vintage which included a big wine tasting, music, and local cheeses. Perfect.


The weather turned out to be ridiculously awesome for a MN November day. 60’s? Wow.

We had a blast.


We were having a blast even before we arrived….

The vineyard itself is beautiful. You couldn’t ask for a better atmosphere. There were twinkly lights inside, a band playing, squeaky wood floors and wine barrels for decoration. The outside had lots of benches and grassy areas for picnicking and wine sipping, plus the back drop of the vines. It seemed like a photo shoot for Martha Stewart. Not to mention, the main building would be mine and my sister Joan’s dream house. We already have plans for the parties we would throw there.


There were lots of different ‘types’ of people there today. There were the groups that were definitely there for the whole experience. They brought a blanket, some snacks and settled in for  day of wine. There were others that stood by the pouring table and looked more like they were taking shots than drinking wine.  Then there were some that apparently were there just for the scenery because they had brought their own beverages. What’s up with that? Ah well. We were there to experience the wine and have a lot of laughs. Mission accomplished.

We tasted eight different wines while we were there.  And although we are not wine snobs, we did manage to whip out phrases like:

“this has a nice finish”

“check out the legs on this one”

” this wine has low tannins”

“this one has sheets, not legs”

I don’t know what half of those mean but I felt cool saying them.

Of the eight we tasted, we really only liked four of them. This was kind of a bummer for me. I love red wine. However, I didn’t like any of the reds I tasted today. There were some gems in the bunch though.

Our favorites included:

Seyval Blanc – a dry white wine. Even the red wine drinkers in the group liked this one. Dry, but fruity and a nice finish. (snicker snicker – I said “finish”)

Rose Noir – this one smelled….well, nasty. We weren’t that excited to take a taste, but it ended up being one of our favorites. It was fruity – mainly cherry and quite delightful. With that said,  a whole glass might have been a bit much.

Chocolate Reserve Port – Yum, yum and yum. You don’t need much – it is a dessert wine, but it does really taste like a chocolate kiss in a bottle. Don’t get my sister Jackie started on this one. She was quite enthusiastic. That’s all I’m sayin’.  She left with 2 bottles. Actually, so did I, but they were both for gifts. I’m not sure if Jackie’s bottles will make it through the weekend.

Isis Ice Wine – a very sweet dessert wine with a crisp citrus taste.  You don’t need much as it is very sweet, but it was the perfect ending (well for most of us – Jackie went back for more of the Chocolate Port).

You can buy their wines at a number of local liquor stores that are all listed on their website.

All in all it was a great experience and a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. I would highly recommend it for a group of gals or a romantic date. What’s not to like?

Here are few more pics from our day at the vineyard.

IMG_4360Ann telling a story – she’s an awesome story teller.


The empty vines.


The four of us. Can you tell we are sisters?


6 Responses to “a day at the vineyard”

  1. Ann November 7, 2009 at 8:21 pm #

    It really was a fun and beautiful time. Thanks Jennifer for organizing this outing!

  2. Fav Sista November 7, 2009 at 8:38 pm #

    Another great day with the sista’s. Love the company, loved the trip, loved the wine (well some), love the shoes, etc…. you get the idea. Thanks Jen!

  3. Jackson November 7, 2009 at 11:53 pm #

    I loved today. Hanging out with my sisters is always a good thing. Love you guys.
    FYI: I haven’t opened the chocolate port yet. I am showing great restraint:).

  4. Diane Joan's friend November 16, 2009 at 11:05 am #

    OK, and Joan calls herself my friend….. she never told me their is a chocolate wine! Well maybe she is my friend, maybe it is good I didn’t know that till now. Still, can’t believe she didn’t share that fact with me.

  5. Diane Joan's friend November 16, 2009 at 11:06 am #

    Improper use of ‘their’ in my post, have to point out I do know how to spell THERE otherwise the spelling police will be after me.


  1. an interview with Jen « She said. She said. - November 7, 2010

    […] It’s a great outlet for me to talk about things that I’m passionate about – food, running, my dog, etc. The fact that there are people who want to read it is pretty cool too. If I can get more people to cook real food and lead a healthier life, I’d be down with that as well. 7. What is one thing you have on your menu for this week? Root Vegetable Hash with Poached Eggs Last year on this date: a day at the vineyard […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google+ photo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: