Tag Archives: Potter Wines

Wine + Workouts + Whippersnappers (A Trifecta Cameo)

It’s true, I’m making an appearance on my own blog. What will she write about after being MIA so long, one would ask. There really aren’t enough words or time or ears with that much storage to spare. So let’s cover a little bit of my favorite things and call this a trifecta cameo!

All Things Wine

Oh this winery business…

What made you do this?” We get asked that a great deal. Honestly, I think we knew we had something and we knew we had to start somewhere. Where it has gone from there has been incredibly and strangely fascinating. From farmers’ markets to Vegas to video features at Hot Mixology to a (fingers-crossed) tasting room in the works, my winemaker and I have learned a great deal. Among those wise-owl moments, we’ve decided small yet progressive growth is the way we drink it down best. We’ve added more retailers (heya, Boise Airport and Hailey, ID); We’ve added more events (hint: You’ll find us in the mountains this summer – specifically the Ketchum farmers’ market and a festival in Stanley and Weiser for that small thing called the Total Solar Eclipse). We’ve also added more wine, including two red blends we released last November and – hold my glass while I do The Carlton – two new flavors of Jalapeno Wine Lemonade to release this summer. You read that right.

The Ambassador – 75% Syrah, 25% Grenache. Horse Heaven Hills AVA

Never fear, we’re still dealing with the usual suspects for 2017 (both farmers’ markets in downtown Boise, Savor Idaho, the Eagle Food & Wine Festival, a plethora of First Thursdays in Downtown Boise) and we’re adding events all the time. I’ve attempted to harness my web design skills and integrated an event calendar in the sidebar on the right so you can check out where we’re at month to month. Turns out my design skills haven’t aged as well as our Syrah-Grenache did. I know, you’re shocked.

I’ve still got loads of events to add to the calendar, so if you don’t see what you think you should see, head over to our Facebook page for the real-time scoop. Don’t ask me to Tweet about it in a timely fashion – I’m a cusp millennial/Generation X’er who was not raised by helicopter parents, is married to a full-on traditional Generation X’er and I am an old soul. Translation: I think social media is fun and interesting, but I also want to be left alone now and then to read a !@#$ book.

Which is an odd and unrelated segue into…

All Things Workouts

Oh this fitness industry…

You might know by now that my outlook on health and fitness is a bit…real-world oriented. Meaning there are some fundamental things about the fitness industry I can’t get on board with (see: this post from way back). The obsession with abs and back sides and rules and being perfect is too much. I’ve been in the industry for over 10 years now and that false message of beauty is not getting any better, friends. However I am certainly 100% in support of a healthy and grateful mind, a body you can move and love and live in, nutrition that can sustain you instead of poison you and finding the size you feel was meant for you.

Truth be told, since my little addition of a defibrillator in 2015 and the coinciding quasi beta-blocker that came as part of the deal, I have noticed a few things:

1. Even if I want to, I simply cannot push my cardiovascular system to beat faster than it wants. I have no doubt this is a result of the medication, so I make it work. I can still sprint and get in a HIIT session so intense it makes the dog sweat watching me. My takeaway is: Push your body, but trust your body. Know the difference between breaking barriers that need to be broken and listening to warning signs.

2. Bodies change. Certainly after childbirth and certainly as we age. After you’ve played out your 20s it’s more important than ever to check your nutrition. It doesn’t matter how fit you are at 30, 40, 50…your metabolism has shifted and you may have encountered some changes in your health. Furthermore, even if you already had a healthy eating approach that worked for you in the past you will likely realize at some point it’s no longer cutting it. Adjust, pay attention, eat and workout in a way that will make your body happy to carry you into and well past your 60s.

3. Stop the crazy obsession with excuses. If you set out to begin a healthier lifestyle every week yet every week you let life get in the way, it will catch up to you. I am 35 years young and healthy with a genetic heart condition. There is one thing I know for sure: We are not invincible. Life is indiscriminate, things will pull you away from taking care of yourself and there will be brief moments you’ll have to allow it. But come back to you. Always come back.

And if you can’t do it for you, do it for…

All Things Whippersnappers

So maybe you don’t have kids or grandkids. Maybe you have dogs or squirrels. At any rate, overseeing the little ones requires a whole lot of blood, sweat and tears. Sometimes even from the children.

I have young kiddos so I’m usually dealing with various low-key shenanigans. When I hear “Mom, I need you to come look at this!” yelled from the bathroom I freeze in terror. When my son turned four in February we found ourselves meeting a whole new kid. This has been mostly fun except for I’ve realized raising a small boy quite possibly requires the skills necessary for raising a teenage girl. Combine that with the fact that my daughter is finishing up kindergarten and also learning some hard things in life as kids have to do, there are moments when I have to remember I need to teach these small humans how to deal with the crap of life.

I discovered this video and they love watching it. They also love it when their mom nearly loses her $#!+ and they can say, “Mom…breathe.”

Have a lovely week and remember, just breathe…

Potter Wines 2016 Calendar of Events

When you have so many circus balls up in the air, sometimes dropping one means it doesn’t immediately get thrown back into the mix. It gets picked up, dusted off and then some clown steals it and throws it in your face while shouting “Rookie!”. Such is the case with this poor blog these last couple months.

But know this, readers out there: I will always keep trying to juggle this circus (because I kind of love it).

This time I’m back to reveal some things we’ve been working on during the “slow months” (lies!) at the winery. in 2016, you’ll find us at many of the same places as last year, with some exciting additions.

This is not an exhaustive calendar as we’re always adding new events and tastings as they get organized, so check back periodically for updates. If you’d like to receive our (very sporadic) newsletter with occasional open house announcements and VIP promotions, simply email me at crystalpotter@potterwines.com with the subject line “Newsletter Subscription”.

Lastly, be sure to like our Potter Wines Facebook Page to be absolutely certain of where we’re at any given week.

Here’s where to find us through the year!

Potter Wines 2016 Calendar of Events

*Important Note: You will find us every Saturday at BOTH farmers’ markets in downtown Boise through October. Giving this disclaimer right now saves me from typing in every Saturday date for the next six months. The Boise Farmers’ Market and The Capital City Public Market are our favorite homes away from home!

March:

The Nightclub & Bar Show. Photo Credit: chilledmagazine.com
The Nightclub & Bar Show. Photo Credit: chilledmagazine.com

April:

  • Saturday the 2nd: Opening day of The Boise Farmers’ Market. This one is near and dear to our hearts, as it’s where we originally launched in Boise. Find us there every Saturday through October. Open 9am to 1pm, located @ 10th & Grove Streets.
  • Tuesday the 12th: Women & Wellness event at Thrive Chiropractic. Come by and drink some wine and enjoy other fun life necessities! 5:30 to 7:30pm, located @ 04 S. Orchard St., Boise, 83705.
  • Saturday the 16th: Opening day of the Capital City Public Market. Last year we were visiting members and this year we’re happy to say we’re sticking around! Find us there every Saturday through October. Open 9:30am to 1:30pm, located downtown on 8th Street.
  • Saturday the 23rd: Taste 208. This year is the fifth anniversary of this event and our first year of participation. With 55 local and regional vendors serving samples of beer, wine and spirits, you hardly have a reason to miss this! 6-9pm, located at Payette Brewing, 733 South Pioneer Street (River St. between 12th and 14th).
The Boise Farmers' Market
The Boise Farmers’ Market
May:
In addition to all Saturdays at both farmers’ markets…
  • Friday the 20th: Wine, Women & Shoes. With a fashion show, wine tasting, designer shopping and shoes, this is bound to be a stellar evening! Proceeds go to women’s and children’s charities, so there’s lots to love here. 6:00 to 9:30pm @ The Boise Centre.

June (Idaho Wine Month!):

In addition to all Saturdays at both farmers’ markets…

  • Thursday the 2nd: First Thursday with Buy Idaho at the Ward Hooper Gallery. Sip on wine while you browse the iconic Idaho artists’ collections. Buy Idaho is also celebrating their 30th anniversary and will be selling their Commemorative 30th Anniversary Buy Idaho Calendar featuring beautiful scenic images by – you guessed it – Ward Hooper himself. 5:00 to 9:00pm, located @ 745 W Idaho St.
  • Friday the 3rd: First Friday at Whole Foods Boise. These fun food and drink events inside the store benefit local non-profits. There’s wine, beer, food, demos and even live music. Buy your ticket for $5 when you get there and come hang out with us! 4:00 to 7:00pm, located @ 401 S. Broadway.
  • Sunday the 12th: Savor Idaho. Don’t even slightly hesitate to get your tickets for this major Idaho wine event, as they always sell out! The Idaho Wine Commission and other sponsors do a terrific job putting on this soiree every year and we always look forward to it. 2:00 to 5:00pm, located @ Idaho Botanical Gardens.
Savor Idaho 2015
Savor Idaho 2015
July:
All Saturdays at both farmers’ markets.
Psst! Stay on alert for an event thrown together with Boise Brewing this month! It’s gonna be SHANDY-TASTIC!
(Update: The above-mentioned event did happen on First Thursday in July and it was indeed shandy-tastic. If you missed hearing about it, it’s because you should be following along at our Facebook page. Go now, I’ll wait…)
  • Friday the 29th @ Canyon County Fair, inside the O’Connor Field House. The fine folks at Buy Idaho are including us in their showcase of Idaho-only booths! Stop by for samples and to purchase your own. 12 to 10pm, located at 2207 Blaine St, Caldwell, 83605.
August:
In addition to all Saturdays at both farmers’ markets…
  • Thursday the 4th: First Thursday at Salon Apothecary. There’s going to be wine (ours!), appetizers, a mobile botox party (it’s true!), and giveaways. This fun salon is owned by four ladies who are a hit to hang with and get styled by! 5-8pm. Find them in the Sola Salon store front at 1197 W Main St.
  • Watch for an update on our participation in Salsa Fest at North End Organic Nursery (Always on a Sunday in August, always a big spicy blast!).

Salon Apothecary

September:

In addition to all Saturdays at both farmers’ markets…

  • Saturday the 24th: Eagle Food & Wine FestivalThis is perhaps the most fun I’ve ever had as a vendor (and most events are pretty fun).  I think it’s a mix of the attendees, the wineries and the food vendors involved. Plus Mary (the organizer) goes to great lengths to make this a super smooth and exciting evening. We never miss! 6:00 to 9:00pm, located @ Banbury Golf Course.
Eagle Food & Wine Festival 2015
Eagle Food & Wine Festival 2015
October:
All Saturdays at both farmers’ markets. And…
  • Thursday the 6th: Downtown Boise First Thursday. Watch for us at Shift BoutiqueLocated @ 807 W Bannock St.
  • Sunday the 9th: Harvest Pa-Brew-Za @ North End Organic Nursery in Garden City. Wine, beer, live music, chili cook-off, fall fun galore! 2-6pm, located @ 3777 W Chinden Blvd.
  • Thursday the 13th: Buy Idaho 30th Anniversary Celebration @ Boise Centre East. This event is free and open to the public – join in on the fun and peruse the tradeshow of Buy Idaho vendors (spoiler: We’re not the only winery). 11am – 6pm.
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November:
  • Thursday the 3rd: Downtown Boise First Thursday @ Marla Junes. Sip while you shop and make your Christmas wish list. And check out our latest(red) wine release: The Ambassador. Eyebrows up! 5-8pm, located @ 811 W Bannock St, Boise.
  • All Saturdays: The Indoor Boise Farmers’ Market. The weather outside may be frightful but this indoor market is sure delightful. Buy Christmas gifts – two for you, one for them. You know the drill. Keep enjoying local breads, produce, cheeses, sauces, baked goods, jams, wine, coffee…all the important things, through December. Located @ the corner of 8th & Fulton St. 9am – 2pm.

December:

  • Saturday the 3rd, 10th & 17th at the Indoor Boise Farmers’ Market (see above for address and times).
Two bottles of Syrah + a pouch = Wine Lovers' Breakdance
Two bottles of Syrah + a pouch = Wine Lovers’ Breakdance
That’s a wrap! Cheers to a year of wine!

Potter Wines 2015 Calendar of Events

This post was originally written back in March of this year, when August seemed so very far away. Fast forward to today and it’s time to start thinking about 2016 (business-wise, that is). I’ve updated our Calendar of Events a bit and will continue to do so as we book events for the holidays as well as solidify our indoor market dates. Remember: To be absolutely certain where we are during any given week, check out our Potter Wines Facebook page.

***

‘Tis the season! As in, wine event season. My winemaker and I had a brief break in wine events (Jan/Feb/March are typically slower months in the wine industry) which allowed us to focus on a whole host of other projects, many of which you’ll see introduced throughout 2015. In my mind, this “break” meant we would be caught up on business paperwork and home projects…HA! You silly, silly girl with your free thinking!

Nevertheless, we have a LOT in store for you this year. As soon as we launch our next project you can bet I’ll be running off my fingers right here. But in the meantime, if you’re local to Boise, are new in town or are planning a visit, here’s where you can find us for the next seven months. Some dates are tentative and we are always adding events as they come up. So if you want to be completely sure whether we’re at a specific farmer’s market or venue on a specific day, your best bet is to check our Facebook page.

And remember, you can ALWAYS find us and buy online at www.jalapenowine.com!

Potter Wines Calendar of Events (Through October 2015)

March:

  • Sunday the 15th: Fred Meyer Tasting. 12 to 4pm (Located at Glenwood and Chinden in Garden City)

April:

  • Thursday the 2nd: First Thursday at Gallery Five18. I will be pouring our Jalapeno Wines as well as our Riesling and Jalapeno Lemonade by the glass. Come visit me and see some terrific local art! 5 to 9pm, located at 518 S. Americana Blvd.
  • Saturday the 4th: Opening day of The Boise Farmer’s Market! We made our big debut at this market last year, we’re more than thrilled to return as members. Open 9am to 1pm, located @ 10th & Grove Streets
  • Saturday the 11th: The Boise Farmer’s Market (see above for times and location).
  • Saturday the 18th: Opening day of The Capital City Public Market! This is our first appearance at this market, we’re excited to add it to our 2015 line-up. Open 9:30am to 1:30pm. located downtown Boise on 8th street We’ll also be at The Boise Farmer’s Market (see above for times and location).
  • Thursday the 23rd: The Oak Tree. A special Mother’s Day event with giveaways, raffles, massages and wine! 5 to 8pm, located at Americana Terrace, between the river and the entrance to Kathryn Albertson’s Park.
  • Saturday the 25th: Both The Boise Farmer’s Market and The Capital City Public Market (see above for times and locations).
Boise Farmer's Market
The Boise Farmer’s Market; Photo Credit: BoiseFoodieGuild.wordpress.com

May:

 

Capital City Public Market
The Capital City Public Market; Photo Credit: Idahostatesman.com

June (Idaho Wine Month):

  • Thursday the 4th: First Thursday at Boise Art Glass, 5-9pm. Yes, we love pouring here so you’ll find us here often. This place is a blast!
  • Saturday the 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th: The Boise Farmer’s Market and Capital City Public Market
  • Sunday the 14th: Savor Idaho. This event is always top-notch, on beautiful grounds (at the Idaho Botanical Gardens) and loads of fun. Get your tickets fast though before they sell out, because they will!
  • Monday the 29th: Bodovino, 5-7pm. Join us for tastings to celebrate Idaho Wine Month. 404 S. 8th St, Boise 83702
Savor Idaho
Savor Idaho; Photo Credit: Savoridaho.org

July:

August:

September:

September events are loosely scheduled due to unforeseeable harvest times/travel. Check out our Facebook page for updates.

Boise Art Glass
Boise Art Glass; Photo Credit: Basilhaydens.com

October:

Eagle Food & Wine Festival at Banbury Golf Club
Eagle Food & Wine Festival at Banbury Golf Club

This takes us to the busy holiday season, where we’re adding events frequently and will be in at least one of the indoor markets on Saturdays. Watch for another update to this post sometime in October (which is also about the time I’ll be telling you all about our nifty Christmas gift boxes…ooooh, aaaah!).

Savor Idaho: Recap

Aspiring and professional winos, entry-level and expert foodies: If you weren’t at Savor Idaho last Sunday you missed out! Although, tickets sold out early once again so even if you wanted to be there maybe you couldn’t, which means your lack of attendance may not have been extreme poor judgment on your part. Let’s go with that. Because I do like you and want to continue to believe you’re a good decision maker.

Potter Wines returned for our second year as Savor Idaho vendors. Before that, my winemaker and I had attended as consumers for numerous years and from that perspective we knew someday when we opened up shop we wanted to be a part of this event. So, armed with Riesling, our “hot” wines, the Jalapeno Wine Lemonade and our Booth Babe, Tony – we took to the gorgeous Idaho Botanical Garden for another top-notch event.

Photo courtesy of Idahobotanicalgarden.org
Photo courtesy of Idahobotanicalgarden.org

If you’re unfamiliar with this occurrence, Savor Idaho is a wine and food event which highlights a noteworthy selection of Idaho wineries and restaurants. You purchase your ticket (well ahead of time, in case you skimmed over the above and didn’t catch that important piece) and once inside you are greeted with a commemorative wine glass and a handy food tray. These two things are imperative to your experience at this event and will be attached to you at all times. If you can’t handle that part I’m afraid you do not qualify as a potential attendee. Please spend this next year practicing at home and try again in 2016.

You will be exposed to all the wine you can drink and a vast array of food from chefs who know what they’re doing. Each winery is typically paired alongside a restaurant or caterer, which makes a lot of sense both for consumers and vendors: With all that wine to drink people need access to good food or else things get sloppy (no rookies, please). And it makes for some great networking on our side of things, too.

This year the format was a bit different than last and the Idaho Grape Growers and Wine Producers Commission did a fantastic thing in teaming up with the Boise Co-Op Wine Shop to sell select wines by the glass (or Jalapeno Wine Lemonade). The fun and hip Bodovino was also there this year to pour samples of rare and “experimental” wines which we wineries weren’t already serving in our own booths. So naturally, this was a perfect fit for our Pineapple Jalapeno Wine.

Pineapple051215

We set up our booth quickly. Thanks to showcasing our products at two farmers’ markets every Saturday, we’ve become quite efficient at this. Here are a few photos of the calm before the wine-loving storm. Setup1Setup2.jpgSetup3.jpgVendor booths take up a good portion of the grounds at the garden, so while you sip on Idaho wine and sample Idaho fare you also get to wander around one of Idaho’s most impressive attractions.

The first hour of Savor Idaho is reserved for V.I.P and trade (media/buyers/growers/etc.). So before that kicked off we walked around to visit some of our favorites. These include, but are not limited to, Mouvance, Telaya, Hat Ranch, Williamson Vineyards, Fujishin, Cinder, and Coiled.

After chatting for a while with everyone I realized I was really slacking on my photography duties. So I snapped a few photos before we returned to our post.

Calm1.jpg

The Boise Co-Op Wine Shop set up in the Cottage to sell bottles (and pouches!) of wine as well as select wines by-the-glass.
The Boise Co-Op Wine Shop set up in the Cottage to sell bottles (and pouches!) of wine as well as select wines by-the-glass.

Once back at our booth, we spoke with many individuals from the media/trade and as we approached 2 pm, when the public was due to enter, we glanced over and watched this line grow by about 20 people a minute.

WaitingLine.jpg

Let the games begin!

From 2 to 6 pm we poured for, laughed, and spoke with some returning but mostly new faces. Many had heard of us before although most were new to the Jalapeno Wine Lemonade since we just released it earlier this spring.

Serving1.jpg

We were also paired up with possibly the most fitting restaurant/caterer there, Kanak Attack. They were sampling their seriously delectable pork street tacos, which went un-shockingly well with our wines and lemonade. Happy people = happy vendors!

KanakAttack2.jpg

Pretty sure I went home smelling like street tacos, sunscreen and lemonade. Perfection on a Summer Sunday!
Pretty sure I went home smelling like street tacos, sunscreen and lemonade. Perfection on a Summer Sunday!

Rumor was the Wine Shop sold out of all our products, which we confirmed later was true. No complaints there.

We want to give a big shout-out to Moya and her team at the Idaho Wine Commission for putting on another terrific event! Sometimes it takes a village to bring the right people together and Moya’s village is the kind you could confidently leave your first-born with and they would return your baby to you with an enviable work-ethic, above-standard expectations and impressive hygiene. Pretty sure that’s who I want running this show.

See you next year!

Sign.jpg

 

Jalapeno Wine Lemonade Release

I’ve been waiting a couple weeks to write this post because while we unofficially released our Jalapeno Wine Lemonade Party Pouches at the farmers’ markets a couple weeks ago, we couldn’t call it official until our labels came in. You were first introduced to Lyle in this post where I shared the makings of the label with you and asked you to weigh in on his name. Well, here we are friends. Lyle is live!

The banner you'll find at our booths at both markets. How can you not stop and look at this guy?
The banner you’ll find at our booths at both markets. How can you not stop and look at this guy?

Last Saturday was Lyle’s debut and let me tell you a little something about this learning curve thing – it’s a $#@!

We weren’t completely sure what the turn-out would be at the markets because of the long weekend. Do most people leave town? Or do they go downtown? You’d think we’d remember from our experience at The Boise Farmer’s Market last year but in all honesty…we barely remember last harvest (and the only reason we do is because when you practically get water-boarded with grape juice you never forget it).

So my winemaker and our favorite Booth Babe Tony (it’s a term of endearment at this point) prepped the lemonade the day before, as usual. Rest assured this is a weekly thing and the party pouches are indeed fresh when you buy them at the farmers’ markets and will last quite a while in the refrigerator or freezer. Although…WHY? No one puts Lyle in a box.

On Saturday morning we arrived at the markets fully equipped, or so we thought. Turns out the stormy day we were all promised was actually gorgeous and people were all about loving on some farmers’ markets. Lyle was flying off the tables.

lemonadeflyer.jpg

Jalapeno Wine Lemonade

"Is there really WINE in that lemonade?"
“Is there really WINE in that lemonade?”

We sold out of the party pouches by noon at both markets, but we still had samples to give out.

"You put the wine in the lemonade and drink it all up. Doctor!" You're welcome for putting that version of the song in your head all day.
“You put the wine in the lemonade and drink it all up… I said Doctor..!” You’re welcome for putting that version of the song in your head all day.

So although we ran out of the pouches (don’t worry, we’ll make more, it’s what we do) we were still able to give people a taste. Which meant we ended up telling them how to make their own. Which meant our bottles of Jalapeno Wine started to fly, too. Which takes us back to that learning curve thing. Our takeaway: When life gives you Jalapeno Wine Lemonade, you make more Jalapeno Wine Lemonade. It’s the Law of Alcohol and Demand.

And in case you are available and looking, here’s Lyle’s personal ad:

LemonadeLabelBack

For an updated list of market dates and upcoming events, check out our Potter Wines Calendar of Events. To purchase the party pouches you can contact us directly, visit one of the Boise farmers’ markets, or stay tuned for the ability to purchase it on our website, www.jalapenowine.com, very soon!

The Tuesday Tank + Hyperbiotics PRO-Women Review

Things are getting warm over here, says the girl who took cold showers as a child and hyperventilated in the sauna once or twice. But in addition to the weather heating up, my winemaker and I did a fun thing last weekend. We kind of unexpectedly released a party in a bag.

Jalapeno Wine Lemonade, my friends! Turns out it’s a real thing and it’s a real delicious thing. We debuted the unlabeled “party pouches” at the farmer’s markets on Saturday and people came, people tasted, people left with pouches of parties. Spicy lemonade is what’s going on these days. It’s super fun to witness. But we need your thoughts, my friends. We’d love to get a label on our fun-bags and our multi-talented graphic designer/idea manufacturer extraordinaire is working on it. So far we’ve got this guy, what do you think?

Jalapeno Wine Lemonade

By now most of you are familiar with Hal. Consider this lemon dude his sour step-sibling. Which brings up another item of business: We need a name! The winemaker likes Lyle. What do you think? I need you and your brains, please comment at the end of this post with your super catchy nominations!

So that’s what’s new on the winery front. Here’s what’s new with my inter-web findings for this installment of The Tuesday Tank. It seems the hidden “tracker-of-all-things-I-read-and-like” knows me pretty dang well. Well played, Big Brother. So I like wine, healthy yummy things, pretending I clean my house, laughing and thinking big thoughts in small doses. Was that really so challenging?

The Tuesday Tank

~ I feel like we need to talk about these asparagus fries with greek yogurt dipping sauce

crispy-baked-asparagus-fries-500-9195Only because I made them for Easter brunch with my family and only because they were GONE. Just gone. Even my bag-o’ chips-meal-replacement-loving brother said they were really good. BAM! I win. Find an excuse to make these. You’re welcome.

~ If I got another tattoo it might be this list, on my forehead, for my lady clients… 6 Things No One Tells Women About Their Weight Loss Journey. “The path to a slimmer you is not a straight line.” Amen. Hey you, water-retaining foxy lady, just hear this please.

~ Why is doing anything for 30 days supposedly easier for us? It’s not. But I’m working on it… I’m taking the Spring Clean in 30 Challenge from Clean Mama, because I can do this. Can’t I? Okay…Spring Clean in 60 doesn’t sound as good but it may end up being my story. I mean…there are windows involved.

~ I’m not a wine snob, but I don’t like cheap wine and I don’t like over-priced wine. Does that just make me “normal?”… The Wine Economist (he’s kind of a big deal) reports that U.S. wine sales below about $9 “are stagnant or falling…with the largest percentage rise in the $20+ segment.” What does this mean for my winemaker and I? “The new normal will focus on wines that tell as good a story as other contemporary market products, such as craft beers and spirits and locally-sourced food products.” Um, not to prematurely celebrate or anything but…have you heard of jalapeno wine?

~ Remember that time you let your Tom Hanks infatuation lead you right to this 6-minute video? It’s your lucky day… Tom Hanks Reenacts All of His Films in Six Minutes. Once upon a time many moons ago, as a 20-year-old in New York City, I was in a group interview for a Victoria’s Secret Associate position and they asked every woman in the room who they’d have lunch with if they could only pick one person in the world. Everyone was choosing Vin Diesel. I chose Tom Hanks. Why? Becaaaaause shimmy shimmy cocoa puff!

~ I learned something about myself very soon after college – I am not a “seeker of resume virtues.” I am also not good at everything. This is my truth. Find yours… The New York Times Moral Bucket List. The sooner you figure it out, the happier you’ll be. Cheers to that.

~Dr. Oz vs. All Other Doctors, on the next Judge Judy… All of the Arguments Dr. Oz Made Against His Critics Were Wrong. Is it just me or is it actually stranger that people are now just realizing Dr. Oz is slightly off? Why is there surprise here? Oh. Because Oprah.

*Special Bonus Section!*

Review: Hyperbiotics PRO-Women with D-Mannose

I was recently selected to review some very high-tech probiotics for women. And by high-tech I mean super-fantastically engineered. This formula is made for women, by women, and specifically addresses women’s health issues (candida, chronic yeast or UTIs, all that non-fun stuff). You might be wondering why in the world I would want to review a probiotic. Let me tell you – I have the stomach of a seagull. The smallest detour from my normal eating habits can make me puff up like an over-Alka-Seltzer’ed beach bird. Is the picture painted? Great. So let’s talk about why I loved Hyperbiotics.

hyperbiotics review

The Pros

  • There are 6 Broad Spectrum Probiotic Strains, which basically means in addition to restoring the balance of healthy yeast and improved digestion, there’s some weight loss and reduced bloating benefits as well (especially if you’ve never taken probiotics before – your virgin system will be pushed into Go Mode).
  • There’s this D-Mannose thing. What you need to know about D-Mannose is that studies prove it helps 90% of UTIs within 1-2 days. Combine that with unsweetened whole cranberry juice, which is also in these super-power pills, and it’s money well spent.
  • Longer shelf life without refrigeration. If you’re like me, you’ve probably purchased probiotics and put them in your refrigerator where maybe they’ve stayed for months or even years. What you don’t realize is that if they need to be refrigerated it means they need to be used up as soon as possible. Woops!
  • These magic pills are time-released, so you only take one a day (you can take them more often for “intense repair”).
  • More protection. As in for your gastrointestinal tract. Apparently most probiotics we take only retain about 4% of their effectiveness by the time they pass through the wicked stomach environment. Hyperbiotics retain 60% effectiveness.

The Cons

  • There was actually only one con for me, and that was outside of anyone’s control. My well-meaning son passed on a small stomach bug while I was just a couple days into trying these probiotics. I had to stop taking them momentarily so my stomach could come up for air and crackers. As soon as the bug was gone however, I started back up taking one a day. The instructions on the label suggest that for daily maintenance you only need to take one a day but for more intense repair you can take 2-3 capsules twice per day. I tried the latter and…no go for me. I’m telling you – it’s a seagull situation over here. If you’re like me start with one/day, it’ll do the trick!

Where to Buy

You can purchase Hyperbiotics PRO-Women with D-Mannose at Hyperbiotics.com or on Amazon.com Hyperbiotics (click this link to see their product page).

*This review was powered by BrandBacker.*

Opening Day at The Boise Farmer’s Market

So last weekend was kind of big deal, wasn’t it? Lots of food and wine, people and conversations, family and friends. Oh and then Easter was somewhere in there too. I’m only kidding, please don’t whack my hand with a ruler and make me spell God on the blackboard 1000 times. (Insider joke – I grew up Catholic.) Easter was terrific too, but for blog-intensive purposes I’m referring to opening day at The Boise Farmer’s Market last Saturday.

Waiting for 9 am...
Waiting for 9 am…

Despite the chilly morning, the turnout from the public and participating vendors was impressive! Last year my winemaker and I were just visiting vendors at this market but we loved it so much we adopted it. This year we’re back as full-fledged members and we’re there every Saturday (with the exception of two – one for grape harvest/crushing and one for a family vacation). To be honest, as much as we enjoyed three months of not setting up a canopy every Saturday, I missed the market with all its people and its bounty and its energy. You really do have to be a people person to enjoy working at a market every week. Plus I get all my produce shopping done for the week by 9:30 AM.

Here’s how this works for us every Saturday morning:

We arrive by 7:30 AM to set up our booth. Any later than that and we aren’t allowed to drive in directly to our spot, which means we must haul everything by foot from the parking lot. Not fun if you’re carrying cases of wine and tables and a 10’ by 10’ canopy before you’ve finished your coffee.

Our mobile tasting room.
Our mobile tasting room.

Once we’re all set-up, I usually walk a couple blocks to Alia’s for one of these amazing sandwiches and a coffee for Von:

Manhattan Morning bagel sandwich. So good! Too bad I was saving my belly for something else later...
Manhattan Morning bagel sandwich. So good! Too bad I was saving my belly for something else later…
The nice man making the sandwich bought a couple bottles of wine. Which qualified this as a free breakfast!
The nice man making the sandwich bought a couple bottles of wine, which meant in the end I got paid for the bagel and coffee!

Once my winemaker’s fed, I go shopping. Vendors can’t sell to the public until the opening bell rings precisely at 9 AM, but we can sell to other vendors. Often this is the only time vendors have to step away from their booths, so it’s not uncommon to see everyone chatting. Last Saturday I was overjoyed to learn one of the farmers was selling duck eggs.

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These rich, beautiful babies are twice the size of chicken eggs and packed with nutrients. I love the taste, but not everyone does. I’ve heard people describe it as gamey, which is probably why it appeals to me. Give me elk or deer over chicken or beef any day. Gross, right? This trainer eats wild stuff.

Speaking of wild, the booth across from us had about six kinds of mushrooms which I became fascinated with. You’ll only find these kinds of things at the market.

mushrooms3.jpg

mushrooms2.jpg

So I went home with a bag of one kind for my girl friend and a bag filled with this thing to cook later that evening for dinner:

A giant oyster...mushroom that is. Turns out the oyster mushroom is my new favorite fungi.
A giant oyster…mushroom that is. Turns out the oyster mushroom is my new favorite fungi.

How do you go about cooking this, you ask? I was instructed by the mushroom guy to drizzle it with olive oil, throw some herbs on top and roast it whole in the oven at 425 for 20-25 minutes or until the outer leaves were crispy. Back at home that evening I did exactly that and barely managed to share with the hubby.

Now I know a few of you are thinking about calling your reading session quits right about now. I get it, you’re thinking “You’re disgusting. Where’s the wine? I read your blog because of wine, woman!” I hear you. So about that…

We aren’t the only winery at The Boise Farmer’s Market (there are actually two to three besides us, depending on the weekend). Our good friends over at Seven Day Wines are also members and we love their faces and their vino. So after my major ‘shroom geek-out I hopped over there to take a couple photos of their booth. If you haven’t checked them out yet you should. Seven Day Wines is owned by Angie Shaltry of Periple, so if you’ve had any of her parent company wines you already know she’s good at making the juice. Tuesday Night White is a crowd favorite.

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Back at our booth, it was time to wait for the masses. We poured the usual line-up of Jalapeno Wine Lemonade, both kinds of Jalapeno Wines and our Riesling. Since wine sales typically pick up after 11 AM (and often times our booth is a fun cloud of excitement until closing bell at 1 PM), I hurried over to one of my favorite mobile makers-of-delicious-things (aka: food truck) so I could fuel-up before the crowd came.

Ah, Funky Taco. How I missed your Bahn Mi Mi!

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This taco is worth waiting for. Yes, there’s tofu. But before you write it off, let me just tell you that if my dad and winemaker both sign off on this thing with all its tofu-ness, there’s something to it. Try it the next time you see Funky Taco near you!

I think I’ve given you a few reasons to go check out this spectacular market. You can find Von, me or Tony (he’s our hired booth babe) there every Saturday through September. For more info on where else you can find us pouring, check out this Calendar of Events post!

Oh, and in honor of Easter, these pretty Easter Lilies were there too.

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Interview with My Winemaker

I rarely read winemaker interviews unless I absolutely love the wine being made or the winemaker lives in Idaho (we like to support our fellow masochists winery owners). It’s not that I don’t want to learn about a winemaker’s style or the method to their madness for turning water into magic. It’s because I know from experience it’s not as glamorous as the interviewer makes it sound. Wine is complex and mysterious and evasive and always developing. It is also simple and straightforward and truthful and methodical. It is hard @$$ work. It’s sweat and blood and tears (both the triumphant and frustrating kind). So for me, interviews that only highlight the interviewer’s glamorous perception of the wine and winemaking process tend to dissuade me. But that’s just me. I’m just a humble winemaker’s wife learning the business side of wine.

A few weeks ago in the middle of the night, an idea popped into my head for a blog post: Why not interview my own winemaker and ask him a few questions I like to know about winemakers? Leave out the details about the process and the sources and the technical (yet very important) aspects. Just ask him about what he enjoys drinking, where he gets his inspiration and what he thinks about this tough and grueling and rewarding and eye-opening business. Luckily, my husband rose to the occasion even though last night I gave him a deadline somewhere along the lines of “Get these answers to me ten minutes ago.”

Here you are, my interview with my winemaker…

What is your winemaking philosophy?

“I hear people say ‘Why?’ Always ‘Why?’ They see things and they say ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were and I say ‘Why not?'”

[Deep, isn’t it? I asked for philosophy and I got it. You should be holding a glass of wine when you re-read that, by the way.]

What are your favorite types of wine to drink?

“Peppery reds, Syrah, Zinfandel, Mourvedre. And always a glass of Chipotle Jalapeno.”

If you could drink wine anywhere, in any region or country, where would it be and why?

“Australia and Argentina in the winter. Idaho and Spain in the summer. I believe that Idaho will soon be recognized as a premier site for world-renowned wines. It’s incredibly exciting to not only be near so many great wines, but also to be involved with them.”

What is the up-side to being a self-taught winemaker?

“Not being tied down to a particular style. If I were traditionally trained I may not have known that jalapeno wine isn’t mainstream and for the masses.”

What has been the most challenging part of the wine business? The most rewarding?

“Without a doubt, the hours of hard work. It never stops. From harvest to bottling to cleaning to marketing to keeping up with paperwork, there are countless hours of work to be done.

“The most rewarding? For me it’s the hard work and knowing you are making something people enjoy. Oh, and watching the puzzlement on people’s faces when they want to dislike a wine but are amazed they like it.”

[Agreed, that last part is way fun.]

Where do you get your inspiration?

“Bad dreams? My mind never stops, I have hundreds more ideas that I may torture my wife with.”

For the record, he usually chooses to torture me with them before 7 AM. But I’m finding my place amid the idea tornado and am learning to ask the right questions when he comes up with something and I have no idea how he thinks we’ll pull it off. Typically those questions are:

“What do you need? and “When do we make it happen?”

*For more info about our wines and winery, visit jalapenowine.com or read this post.*

 

The Tuesday Tank

Two things have happened this week that I’m grateful for: I can taste and smell food again, and the sun came out to play. After a week of gray, murky skies and feeling like Death Becomes Her, these things feel like huge victories in the never-ending game of winter.

Since I haven’t really been all that productive (unless you count trips to the grocery store for more soup and tissue a productive win), I thought I’d write another installment of The Tuesday Tank for this week’s blog post. If there’s one thing you can accomplish when sick, it’s reading about all the things you wish you were doing, should be doing, already did or plan to do. Here are all those things I feel noteworthy enough to make the cut.

Today’s Tank:

~Who is handling flu season?

So whether you got a flu shot or not this season, it doesn’t matter. We are all screwed. I feel like I can certifiably say that after coming out of the flu inferno alive. Check out CDC: Vaccine Can’t Handle This ‘Severe’ Flu Season.

~Maybe I can be trained to be a better housekeeper. Maybe.

You may or may not have read my post from last fall regarding my vow to keep a cleaner house. I haven’t forgotten about it and the other day I loaded up my dollar store shopping cart with $50 worth of storage bins and other random things I’m intending to organize my house with. So far I’ve completed one bathroom and I feel like a new woman. The kind of woman who just lied to you. But really, I do feel a small percentage of my hysteria has been silenced. This is where my bathroom-organization inspiration came from.

~My one minute of talk radio fame!

Back in early October I was briefly interviewed by Northwest Wine Night Radio for one of their segments called Pour of the Week. In each Pour of the Week, they interview a Northwest winery for 60 seconds, enough time to allow us to announce which wines we’re currently pouring and where to find us. It was such a rushed conversation that I forgot to ask when it would air. After going back and scanning through every episode since October, I’m happy to say I found our spiel! Check it out here and hop to minute 12:20!

onair

~Only love. Only love.

I’m so guilty of over-reacting, especially in the rush of the morning routine, during dinner prep and in the car when everyone’s downright freaking out. This article by Hands Free Mom is so perfect. I never make resolutions, but this year I am definitely going to try to work on the three second rule. Not the one you might be thinking.

Photo Credit: Jameswoodward.wordpress.com
Photo Credit: Jameswoodward.wordpress.com

~Stitchfix is my hero.

I’m not going to cover this up with the Girl Card: I really hate to shop. It’s not that I don’t like new clothes, I do. I just really don’t have the patience to figure fashion out and how things should look on me. So I’ve raved about Stitchfix before and I’m still standing by it. Without it, I would be wearing maternity clothes with breast milk stains on them to dinner parties. So for those of you who do care but are fashion-challenged and you either already subscribe to Stitchfix or are thinking about it, read Crazy Together’s post on how to get the best fix every time. And if you’d like to try this embarrassment-saving service, I’d love it if you’d use my referral link!

~You Skinny @#$%!

We’ve all heard of fat shaming and how it’s a real thing. Interestingly enough, in the wake of our awareness over the issue a new phenomenon seems to be taking place: fit shaming. You know, how someone utters “It must be nice to have the time to exercise as much as she does” under their breath when they see a fit mom of three. Or, “My children are a priority, not the gym.”  Not that it’s ever happened to me, but I have definitely witnessed it – mostly among other moms. “How Fit Shaming is the New Fat Shaming” is a read that piqued my interest. I mean, what do we care how other people spend their time? They look great, move on. I have to wonder, what is it in ourselves that makes us want to judge others? Stay calm and get your sweat on!

 

*This installment of The Tuesday Tank is brought to you by a very sober, wine-deprived woman. Day 9 of no wine…the cork gets POPPED tonight!

What to do with Jalapeno Wine

Our second-most frequently asked question at our booth at the farmer’s market is: “What do you do with jalapeno wine?” This question is usually the one we get asked right after we answer this one: “Is it REALLY made with jalapenos?” And since our answer to that question is a simple and resounding “yes,” I decided it doesn’t need an entire blog post to explain. However, I’ve been asked a lot lately to do a post about how we use the jalapeno wine. Especially since we have customers who don’t drink but they do love cooking.  So without any further introduction – here’s that post. But if it leaves you wanting more, head over to jalapenowine.com for recipes!

Let me first point out that this list is in no particular order based on my favorite way to consume our jalapeno wines. Now that that’s out of the way, my FAVORITE WAYS ARE THESE TWO:

  • Crystal’s Mommy Mixer: Always a crowd pleaser, take a 1.75mL jug of Simply Lemonade or Simply Limeade (or your favorite lemonade/limeade brand) and dump enough out to allow for about 2/3 bottle of Mild Jalapeno Wine. Shake and love yourself for reading this post. Consider sharing with others.
  • Jalapeno Wine Margarita: I don’t like didn’t use to like margaritas. Now they make a noteworthy showing in our home on hot summer evenings or warm fall weekends. Our original recipe calls for cucumber but if you’re too impatient (like me) to wait an hour for the cucumber to marry with the margarita in the fridge, simply omit it and drink. Slowly, as to enjoy the fact that you have been enlightened to what a margarita should really taste like. All you’re missing is a beach on the Mexican Riviera. Find our recipe on this page, or you can simply use your own recipe and add a shot (or four?) of jalapeno wine based on your heat tolerance.

Now for more delicious uses – this is by no means an exhaustive list since our customers are coming up with new recipes all the time and we experiment with new recipes weekly as well. In fact, last month I baked a chipotle chocolate cake using the Chipotle Jalapeno Wine and it was delicious. I have yet to perfect the recipe, as I felt it actually needed more chipotle wine, but when I do I’ll post it. It will likely be when we have family in town so that I don’t have a bunch of chocolate cake sitting on my kitchen counter staring at me.

  • Salad dressing: Pour some jalapeno wine (any of the varieties) in the bottle cap and sprinkle over your salad along with some lemon juice and olive oil. I like how it’s super light with just a hint of jalapeno.
  • Bloody Mary’s: I’m not a Bloody Mary girl, but many of our customers come back to the market every month to purchase the Chipotle Jalapeno Wine just to use in their Bloody Mary’s, especially if they’re hosting a party. It makes sense that the smoke would compliment the concoction.
  • Soups and Stews: Right now I’m obsessed with soup, so this is something I’m currently drooling over – when you sauté your vegetables when making homemade soup, simply pour in some jalapeno wine. Or you can add it at the end for a more noticeable flavor. For me, the method I choose depends on what kind of soup I’m making. For tomato soup, I’ll add the wine at the end. For cauliflower soup (on tonight’s menu), I’m planning on sautéing with it at the beginning. Stay tuned for my Fall Soup Recipe Roundup post next week!
Photo Credit: Feastingathome.com

 

  • Sauté’s and Sauces: This is a popular use for jalapeno wine at our house. The Mild Jalapeno Wine makes excellent sautéed veggies, shrimp, and stir fry. Mushrooms and shrimp are probably the most popular choice among our customers but the options are pretty endless. Another favorite is using it to make a butter reduction sauce for pasta and fish. Add some lemon juice and you’re good to go.
  • Grilling/Marinades: This is definitely the Chipotle Jalapeno Wine’s area. We like to use about 1/4 to 1/2 cup in our marinades and have multiple recipes on the website. I have yet to find anything I don’t like grilled with this stuff!
  • Roasts: Since we’re on the subject of the Chipotle Jalapeno Wine, it has changed the way I feel about pulled pork. Another of our favorite ways to use it is slow cooking a whole chicken in the Dutch oven. Every time we make either of these things we’re reminded of why we enjoy cooking (and wine) in the first place.
  • Risotto: If my belly could support it, I would eat risotto once a week. As it is I make homemade risotto about twice a year and I always use the Mild Jalapeno Wine along with chicken stock. Most risotto recipes call for around 1/3 cup white wine, which I sub out for the jalapeno wine and then continue the recipe as instructed. You could play with this a bit and experiment with non-traditional risotto, like those made with quinoa or cauliflower.
  • Tequila!”: Alright, while I admittedly don’t have the heat tolerance to drink the jalapeno wine straight like many people do (my husband included), I do enjoy drinking it like a tequila shot now and then. Get your lime wedge, your salt and your shot glass. You know the rest.