Surviving the Polar Vortex: Ice Wine and Good Point Tattoos with Cory Ferguson & Eddie Molina

This past weekend, I was lucky enough to visit our tattoo family at Good Point Tattoos in Oakville, Canada for more work! The shop is owned by our good friend and tattooer Cory Ferguson, who specializes in dotwork, blackwork, and a continual assault of puns. I was there as a client this time, for the continuation of my sleeve, and for collaboration background of my phoenix backpiece. Cory’s geometric work on my left arm now extends across my shoulders, and will eventually scatter my chest as well. My husband Eddie Molina is collaborating with him, and added the smoke tendrils that swirl through the geometric pattern in this last session. I had two incredible artists work on me for several hours this weekend, and I’m so excited to show off their progress! Everything is really starting to tie together, and I dare say I look like a heavily tattooed woman…at least, from the back!

After all of that tattooing, I needed a DRINK! The weather screamed for an Ice Wine tour, so after two days of needle poking sessions, I grabbed my purse (NOT over my shoulder….OUCH) and we hit a few wineries on the way home to the States.

First stop, Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery. The beautiful tasting room has high ceilings and an elegant feel, and I’m struck by the views. I really love grape fields, and they are no less stunning in winter. The tasting bar crew was friendly and helpful, even during a slow Monday afternoon. I tasted their Vidal Icewine 2006, as well as the Cabernet Franc Icewine 2011. The Vidal was an Ontario Wine Awards Bronze winner, silky apricot and pineapple, sweet with a bright acidity. It was fresh and crisp, with a finish of honey. The Cabernet Franc 2011 was a very different ice wine. Aged in Stainless and French Oak, the red was much less sweet, and had a lot of smokey character. Oak balances with strawberry,  honey, and even a touch of currant and citrus on the end. Paired beautifully with a sample of 70% dark chocolate.

Next, we hit Fielding Estate Winery and their Wine Lodge tasting room, complete with fireplace and furry blankets in the loungers. Recognized as one of Canada’s Top 10 Wineries in 2013 according to their press, owner Curtis Fielding was named 2012 Grape Grower of the Year by the Grape Growers of Ontario Association. The view of their fields includes wind turbines, used to help warm the vines with moving air. The bar was pouring tastings of their 2012 Riesling Ice Wine. Aged in stainless steel and neutral French Oak, the color was a lovely medium gold. A sweet intensity was followed by a much softer light mouthfeel, the lingering finish was quite delicate.

Our last Canadian stop was Rosewood Estates Winery – Home. This is essentially where I dropped the ball and the Ice Wine tour became the Merlot stop. What can I say? I LOVE REDS. I tried to stick with the plan. I did. But then, I saw the 2010 Merlot Reserve on the tasting menu. I asked for a pour. “We’re sold out, but I still have a bottle to taste. Would you still like to…?”

“YES PLEASE,” was my answer. Ohhhh, yes.

Winemakers Notes 2010 Merlot RESERVE:  Picked by hand from low yielding vines, sorted first in the vineyard and then at the winery selecting only the very best clusters. The clusters were gently destemmed then separated into small fermentaiton totes. The intact berries were cold macerated for 5 days then were warmed up to allow the natural yeasts to start fermentation, which lasted 3 1⁄2 weeks. Manual punch-downs were perfromed twice daily. Select French oak barrels were chosen for this Merlot, spending 15 months in both new and seasoned barrels, each barrel taking on unique characteristics. Final filtration was completed the day of bottling.

I LOVED it. I was sad there was no more, and it had sold out. I have told countless tasters from behind the bar-“get it while we have it, once it’s gone it’s gone.” Then, something amazing happened. Our taster started pulling tasting boxes apart in the back room, looking for ONE bottle for yours truly. SHE FOUND ONE! I took it home happily, and I ended up with a bottle of Merlot on the Ice Wine tour. Great customer service, on top of a beautifully made wine. We made a break for the US border, it was getting late and I was feeling fine.

We made it into the States and off of the Thruway, and I decided to drive down Route 89 along Cayuga Lake for our last stretch of the journey. It was almost closing time, but I made one last stop-Sheldrake Point – Sheldrake Point Vineyards. I love their winery, I love the tasting staff, their wines are delicious…it’s a local jewel. I had also heard fantastic things about their 2013 Late Harvest Ice Wine, and had to make that the grand finale of our trek. I’m SO glad that we DID–that was our favorite Ice Wine of the day! The best description is ‘winter sunshine in a glass’. Fruity, acidic, sweet, balanced…but MORE. Bright. Gorgeous mouthfeel, silky and lasting intensity. It won BEST AMERICAN RIESLING at Canberra International Riesling Challenge 2013, and was awarded Double Gold from the New York Food & Wine Classic 2013…just in case you don’t trust this palate of mine. Nice to know it’s less than 45 minutes from beautiful Ithaca, NY…or as we call it, HOME. It’s so easy to drink Local here…Ithaca really is Gorges. 🙂

 

Blue Hair in a Little Town….Again

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Blue hair, don’t care 🙂

Many, many moons ago, I dabbled with hair dye in college. It started innocently enough– deemed “an external manifestation of internal changes” by a psych major that had little classwork accomplished. From long blond to an angled bob dyed the color of black cherries, I was hooked. I tried them all, every color of the rainbow, much to the horror of music professors and my parents alike. Some think it’s bravery, others stupidity, others a cry for attention. Truth? I like fashion, I like extremes, and I’m very comfortable away from the center of the road. My mother warned me, continue to play with hair colors, and eventually you will wake up with your  entire head of hair on the pillow next to you. Not true…yet…and still I continue to play. This time, it’s a lovely robin’s egg blue…and a month from now, who knows? Whatever catches my eye. Owning a tattoo shop has given me the opportunity to play again, colors and pigments are par for the course. Sorry, mom, I never grew out of it….even all these years later!

Post Script–If you see me at your tasting bar, I hope my colors brighten the view this season! XO

Re-Post from Swedish Hill: Producing Finger Lakes Ice Wines

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One of the best things about this area in winter is the production of Ice Wines! Sweet, velvety, rich nectar from the frozen grape, pressed while still frozen on the vine. Follow the link to read all about production this time of year, from one of the first wineries I ever visited in our area–Swedish Hill! I still have pics of my meeting with

Time for Ice Wine

Time for Ice Wine

Doobie the Donkey….he’s a sweetie (“No feeding Doobie crackers, Doobie is on a diet!” reads a sign above the tasting bar….)

http://swedishhill.com/producing-ice-wines/

New Year, New Hair!

This blog is usually about wine, tattoos, travel, and conventions…but not today. I have a freshly razor styled head of hair, and I feel like my funky new cut calls for some blue, maybe a little purple…but am I too adult to be rocking the Tank Girl choptop? Weigh in below, this could happen soon!

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from your resident boozywife and The Hand of Fate Tattoo Parlor in Ithaca, NY! I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store, and where we end up along the way–I’ll be posting more tattoo convention dates soon, so stay tuned…more wines, booze, beautiful tattoo work, and travel around the world. How is that for a resolution?

Jewels of the Finger Lakes

Jewels of the Finger Lakes

See you out there :)

See you out there 🙂

Fixup tattoo design by Eddie "Lefty Bastard" Molina

Fixup tattoo design by Eddie “Lefty Bastard” Molina