October 3, 2011

Wine, Food & Kittens


Happy Monday! We took a mini-trip this weekend to visit Aunt Connie. Despite the dreary weather, we still did a lot of visiting, playing with kittens, eating, wine tasting, & shopping.

First up, playing with her new kittens, Martha & Quinn. They have SO much energy & were into everything. We left them home to get into mischief while we did some shopping.

As usual, we went to Lowe's, Trader Joe's & Roots. After last weekend's trip to Trader Joe's, I didn't need much, but I didn't have to look hard to find a few things. :-)

For dinner, we went to El Azteca. The service was super prompt, almost to the point of speedy. We were in & out in less than an hour. Plenty of time for a margarita, though!

I enjoyed the Plato Salud which was mixed veggies, Mexican rice & black bean soup. The veggies were cooked just the way I like them & were nice and crunchy. I usually feel like Mexican is too laden with cheese & glop, so this was perfect for me!

Both restaurants we visited this weekend had an entire vegetarian section on their menu! Yay for ethnic cuisines!

The Bup got the Vegetarian Dinner, which was a vegetarian burrito, cheese enchilada, bean taco, beans & a side salad. His was the more stereotypical cheesey dish.

Connie got Crab & Shimp Enchiladas which came with Mexican rice & refried beans. The picture got washed out cause of the lighting in there, sorry.

After dinner we went back to the house to play with the kittens some more. Martha was on the prowl, ready to attack!

They were both interested in the Bup's tools & our Trader Joe's bags. Any cat that likes Trader Joe's is a smart cat!

He just couldn't resist & had to climb right up and sniff around.

They loved my pants with the drawstrings at the bottom. So cute!

Look at that picnic spread Connie prepared for us! We had veggie pitas, hummus & pita chips, pesto penne pasta, and green bean chips.

Elk Run was the first winery we visited. 10:30am wine tasting, anyone?

It hadn't started to rain yet, so we were able to step into the vineyards for a quick peek. The bunches of grapes were almost black & so pretty.

As we were driving down the road from Elk Run to our next stop, we spotted a sign for Loew Vineyards. I'm so glad we turned around & went to check it out! Their wines were very good & the people were friendly.

Our favorites were the Country Classic, which has blackberry undertones, & the Apples & Honey, which was just that - apples & honey flavored. When we both agree on wine, it must be good! The Bup likes dry & I like sweet. Maybe our palates are maturing...

Our final winery stop was Tarara Winery. It was by far the most sophisticated & established of the 3 stops.

They had gorgeous stonework & nature surrounding the tasting room. This area even smelled like wine, and they were just storing their equipment there. It was neat to see it & compare the crusher in size to Dad's. Their crusher sure will smash a lot of grapes! 

We started out with 2 white wines, both on the drier side. The Charval 2009 was billed as the white wine for red wine drinkers because of it's layers of flavor.

I actually drank all 4 tastings of the dry reds! The real question is, were they that good, or had I already had a lot of wine? I'm going with a combination of the two. :-)

Our plan was to have a picnic on the deck at Tarara, but the rains spoiled that.

We ate in the car, but that didn't stop us from having a gourmet feast! My pita had mushrooms, lettuce, carrots, bell peppers, and hummus in it. On the side, we had penne pasta with pesto & green bean chips. Everything was delicious!

A little bit down the road was a tent that was making and selling kettle corn. Connie had been there before and remembered that it was amazing. This bag was HUGE! It went all the way to the floor of the car. We're still eating away at it, and it's the best we've had.

We headed to the Leesburg Outlets & then to dinner at a little Thai place near Connie's house. I got the Tofu Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce (YUM! I could eat that with a spoon.) & Coconut Soup.

Yes, that's how I feel, too. So sleepy!

Thanks for the fun time & company, Connie!


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