Repost: 5 Best Finger Lakes Wineries to Visit on Seneca Lake

Check it out! I posted a link to an article on newyorkupstate.com: 5 Best Finger Lakes Wineries to Visit on Seneca Lake. On a personal note, I’m behind the bar pouring at the Lamoreaux Landing tasting room a couple of days a week–the view is not to be missed, and the wines are all of a high quality that I enjoy being a part of! Enjoy the read and start planning your next trip to the Finger Lakes 😊

#WomenSwimmin for #Hospicare I’m #Swimming Across #Cayuga#Lake August 8th!!

20130815-114619.jpgHey Folks! It’s that time of year again, when I start to collect funds for Women Swimmin’ for Hospicare! Follow the link to support our swim! {DEMETRA MOLINA SWIMMER PAGE } Over three hundred women jump into the lake at dawn, and swim 1.2 miles back to shore to raise money for our local hospice. Sure we swim for donations, but you know why else we do it? Jump into (often) pretty chilly morning waters? Love. Love for those who have loved us, remembrance for those that no longer walk with us, and joy that we are ABLE to swim –to support individuals and families that need it. I’ve always been a swimmer, and after my mom passed eight years ago (fuck cancer), we moved to Ithaca. I saw the posters up in local business windows advertising for Women Swimmin’, and I felt like it was something I could do for myself, as well as remember my mom and the way that she lived. I’ve been lucky enough to do this the last two years, and August 8, 2015 will be my next swim with some amazing women! Please donate, it’s a great cause very near and dear to my heart. Let’s SWIM! 😊

Rosé Soirée 2015 – The Finger Lakes Through Rosé Colored Glasses

The Rosé Lineup! (Photo by David Diaz)

The Rosé Lineup! (Photo by David Diaz)

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It truly was the perfect night for a Rosé Soirée in Geneva, NY on Saturday evening. A warm summery day gave way to a coral and light pink sunset, and Finger Lakes wine lovers sipped rosé, sampled foods and local culinary temptations (including incredible hotdogs, sausages, and goodies from Fingerlakes Wienery!!), and socialized under strung carnival lights. The atmosphere was light, jovial, and oh so pink!

Blurs of pink and coral

Blurs of pink and coral

Over twenty local vineyards and winemakers were on hand to pour their dry rosé wines and talk shop. The event was a great introduction to several new dry rosé wines that I had not tried yet, and also a nice chance to meet the men and women that are the vino creators themselves! it’s always fun and interesting to be able to talk to individuals that are so proud of their wines.

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Me n Ronata

There were so many different flavors and variations to the wines, it was incredible. Many were made from Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, or a blend of the two. Lemberger often made an appearance in the blends, and Dr. Constantine Frank’s Rosé was a blend that included Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc as well.

I tried to make it to as many tables as I could, and I had a good head start on the Finger Lakes rosé tasting as it is. I’m already a fan of a few: Damiani’s Pinot Noir Rosé is killer, Sheldrake Point has a lush Cabernet Franc Rosé, and Lamoreaux Landing’s Rosé is always my bottle for home (I pour in the tasting room at Lamoreaux a couple of days a week…how could I not want to work in a winery?). Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard Rosé is always a hit for the table, the blend has a hint of Chardonnay that adds another level of depth. Hosmer didn’t bring my favorite rosé that they made, Rosé of Merlot, but if it’s not sold out yet I’m sure it will be soon!

Action shot of rosé colored roses!

Action shot of rosé colored roses!

As the night went on...with the Barry crew

As the night went on…with the Barry crew

There were also definitely a bunch of wines that were new to me. I finally got to try Ian Barry’s (of Barry Family Cellars) Cabernet Franc Rosé, which was absolutely dry, with a bright acidity and ripe cherry. I also really liked his Gamay Rosé, a lightly sparkling petillant wine that brought out an earthy fruitiness. The end ferment in bottle, with the unfiltered Gamay, creates a very unique wine. August Deimel, head winemaker for Keuka Springs Vineyards, brought his delicious, bone dry Cabernet Franc and Lemberger Rosé that had the most beautiful, light color and fragrant nose. Also on the list for lightest color and dry, herbal notes was Knapp’s Rosé of (mostly) Cabernet Franc and (a bit of) Pinot Noir. Head winemaker for Knapp Winery (and Glenora), Steve DiFrancesco has created a very food friendly and easy drinking wine. The Italians always score when it comes to wines that are great with foods! When is a rosé ever difficult? Barnstormer Winery’s Rosé was also quite a surprise, mostly Sangiovese with a touch of Cabernet Franc-savory and herbal, with strong notes of mint on the nose.

The evening was intimate, informative and delicious.  This is one of the reasons we live here in the Finger Lakes! Keep an eye out for most of these wines on the trails, or in your local wine store. Also a big thank you to Microclimate Wine Bar, for letting us buy the last bottle of Local bubbles from Wiemer :)

Art Tattoo Show Québec 2015–First Year and a Big Success in an Old City

Québec City

Québec City

 

Clowning around

Clowning around

Nick Chaboya getting busy

Nick Chaboya getting busy

The last weekend in May (29-31st) was the first ever Art Tattoo Show Québec 2015, put on by the same great crew that runs Art Tattoo Show MontreaI every year, headed by industry power couple Pierre Chapelan and Valerie Emond of Studio Tattoomania in Montreal.  There were artists invited from around the world, and we were lucky enough to be a part of it. The weekend was extremely enjoyable with incredible artwork on display, tattoo contests, and tattoo artists attending seminars and sharing information and ideas. It was just what we needed to gain some perspective from fellow shop owners and artists, in this crazy industry that we all love and respect so much.

Miss Karen holding down the fort

Miss Karen holding down the fort with Rob and Bradley

Québec city is an old town, very reminiscent of Edinburgh, Scotland. There are fortified city walls around the old city, the only remnants of these structures in the Americas. Cobblestone streets give way to the feel of old world, with stone architecture and rolling hills. Wear flats or comfy heels, walking here is a bit strenuous in places! It’s worth the hike to climb into the fort overlooks, and see the bustling city below.

In our booth

In our booth

imageimageThe convention was located in the heart of the old city at the Centre des Congrès de Québec convention center. We were a short walk from several incredible streets, full of bars, restaurants, and all the nightlife you could ever ask for. We passed over the official convention after party to spend time with several friends that we rarely get to see, but did end up taking a few outings with them to other spots!image

Our Sunday night grand finale steak dinner was at a spot named Feu Sacré, a very cozy but not overly masculine steakhouse. The tattoo artist men (and women) generally require a big celebratory meal after a successful weekend of busting their collective asses, and these folks got the surprise of the evening at eight thirty Sunday night…but I’m sure that they will remember us and plan on a full house for next year. The food was exactly what we needed, and relaxing with friends was absolutely the highlight….that, and mushrooms cooked in black truffle infused butter.

After convention steak dinner at Le Feu Sacré

After convention steak dinner at Le Feu Sacré

I ordered a bottle of 2012 Norton Barrel Select Malbec from Argentina to pair, and it it went over well with our tables-nothing overly fancy, but drinkable and delicious with our steaks. A good meal with many friends to cap off the weekend!

Pub St. Alexandre in old Québec City

Pub St. Alexandre in old Québec City

Monday we checked out of the hotel and met up with friends for a pub lunch before we all hit the road (or skies).  Pub St. Alexandre was one of the oldest establishments in the area, with hundreds of international beers, as well as a menu of over fifty plus scotch single malts! The smell of the smoked meat wafting through the air the day prior had made this the ‘gotta go’ spot. Our pals Rob and Karen Hoskins, tattooer extraordinaire and his lovely wife (who also works in the booze industry) met us at the pub-because she doesn’t spend enough time in the one at home while working! At least we felt at home! A lunch of smoked meat, fish and chips, and burgers were happily consumed, along with a few Caesars and pints. We parted ways full, tired, and looking forward to our next meal together. Perfect ending!

If you get the chance, Québec City is a beautiful old historical area to visit. So much to see and do, this will definitely be on our list of annual shows. Highly recommended by this boozy wife, and we can’t wait to start planning for next year!

Fountain from the Bordeaux region of France

Fountain from the Bordeaux region of France

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Expression and Connection

Wine is made all over the world. No matter where you go, someone is growing grapes and fermenting them, on a vineyard plantation or on trellis systems carved into the side of a mountain. This has been happening since ancient times. The foundations are there.

Tattoos are made all over the world, too. Artists travel the globe to share inspiration and knowledge, tattooing collectors that often also have traveled great distances. This has been happening since ancient times. The foundations are there.

I see the connection between my two loves as something that has been playing out for centuries–the desire to express through body decoration, modification, and the desire to create elixirs and wines from the fruits of our labour. Very basic human expressions, tied in tradition and history. See you on the road!

This Weekend- Athens, Copenhagen, and Halifax- on the International #TattooConvention Circuit #BoozyLife

Spring has officially sprung, and the international tattoo convention circuit has kicked off with a vengeance. Yes, that IS a thing for those of you not in the tattoo industry. Business conferences often take place in some exotic, lovely locations in order for the conference go-ers to enjoy some travel as well as work–why would the tattoo industry be any different? Serious professional tattoo artists (as well as many tattoo collectors) travel the world to expand their collections, as well as practice their craft on an international level. According to worldtattooevents.com convention calendar, there are at least sixteen major tattoo shows around the world this weekend of May 15th! This weekend alone, there are tattoo conventions in Texas and Nevada in the United States, in Copenhagen and Athens (and even Croatia!!) in Europe, as well as the Maritime Tattoo Convention in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Lots of new upcoming spots to try locally sourced wines and spirits for this Boozy Wife!

With all of this opportunity to travel, it’s fun that my love of adult beverages and body art seem to be working hand in hand. The wine folks are learning quite a bit about the tattoo world, and the tattooers and their assistants usually already have an interest in wines and spirits, but would like to know even more. A great meeting of the minds, over a bottle or two :) See you on the road!

For Maximus

The first time we were introduced, I expected the worst from you. I had been warned that you were cool but had some ‘issues’, and that I should take caution at our first meeting. I had a pretty uninformed opinion on your type, but apprehension was my first emotion. Then, I met you. I had no idea how much you would eventually change me for the better. You would teach me about forgiveness, dedication, love, caution, responsibility, and ultimately unwavering trust. Those are some big lessons for anyone, and you did that without a single word. I never realized how special you would be to me, and how much love you and your dad had to share.

You were a big, strong guy, with a barrel of a chest and a loud rambunctious bark. Your white fur and pink nose made you look like a big old polar bear mixed with a pig, bounding with playful energy around the one bedroom apartment. Other times you were quiet, a panting bear skin rug just happy to be with his people, therapeutic and warm. I slept with you before I slept with your dad–we curled up together on the fuzzy purple loveseat you claimed as yours, a fact which I was unaware of at the time…and you were sweet enough to share it with me, never a growl or a sideways glance. Your shedding was absolutely ungodly, and I often rode the train home looking like I was an insane dog lady. You had first cuddles, always. You accepted me as one of your buds, and from that point on I felt your love.

You had been abused by your first ‘owners’ (I use the word angrily)-addicts that didn’t feed or train you, and left you with a terror of kennels, puppy nightmares, and massive distrust for new people. Luckily, you were rescued by a man with integrity, someone who you could trust until your last breath, and you dedicated yourself to him one hundred percent. He worked hard with you to build that commitment. It was a long and sometimes difficult journey for you both. You relied on the chain of trust, built and extending from the one man you held above all others. You were a city dog, and a family dog-you had a boy to care for, as well as his mom, and you looked out for them and loved them for years before we ever met. You learned to play. You were a hyper young guy that would chase a blue raquet ball under the futon, and then bark hysterically, because someone had to dig it out for you. GET IT! Repeatedly. For half an hour. Best game ever! Human training.

When your dad and I got together, you had already comforted me through one of the most difficult times of my life. He brought you to see me at my mom’s house, and you cuddled me for all you were worth, right before she passed. There was this silent, special strength that you had, and it was incredible. You were a therapy dog without formal training, a survivor that innately knew how to deal with emotional pain and traumatic sadness. That’s why we called you “Max the Therapist”, you were always there for the hard times with your silent, strong, warm body. You were comfort. I will truly miss that.

We moved you with us out of the city, so you could enjoy nature in your older years. Not without its initial hiccups, the relaxed country life was something we were finally able to give you. The same misconceptions I had when I first met you, followed us here, and I was disgusted that your peaceful home could be threatened by money grubbing scumbags and overly educated behaviorist strangers. You were so loved, so many friends to reflect on your strong character and dedication, I was so moved. Yes, you were a pittie, and that made you vulnerable to bad humans….but you had found the good ones, and everyone that loved your dad, also loved you. We kept you safe from others that would do you harm.

Max was there for our big day to hold the rings

You were the most handsome ring bearer in any wedding, ever. You were patient when were were hours late, good for the ceremony, and fantastic for pictures-my prince’s white steed. You were a great older brother to the little maniac puppy we brought home right around that time, too. You helped us raise Ozwald and eventually became his keeper, looking over him and protecting him as you did with those you loved. You also nurtured the girls we acquired during your later years, adding everyone to the pack and keeping the peace. You were the first and head of our crazy fur kids. I am so proud that I got to be your mama for the later part of your life. I’ll always see you panting in the sunshine, and rolling around on the fresh grass giving yourself slight grass stains on your white back. Mama loved you first Max, even before I loved daddy.