Helping You Find Your NEXT Favorite Wine!

Archive for the ‘Wine Trips’ Category

Wine on the Lake

As the name of this post implies, we attended and had wine on the lake! In reality, Wine on the Lake is a big wine festival held in the Lake Erie Convention Center and produced by Lilly Broadcasting. Shout out to some really nice TV folks!  Hey Erie TV!!!!  Anyway – Wine on the Lake is an annual event held near the end of March. This year the event had 22 wineries from as far away as State College (Mount Nittany Winery) and as close as,  well… Erie! Some of my favorites were in attendance such as Heritage Wine Cellars, Flickerwood (they make Sweet Angel Red), Starr Hill (Bailey Road Red) and the new kids on the block from our area Elk Mountain and yep I was able to secure some Jazzy Red. We think that wine is named after our dog – lol

As I mentioned, this event is always held near the end of March – gang it’s still cold in Erie at the end of March and in some places the lake was still frozen! BURRRRRR. Never the less, we were able to visit some of our old haunts before hitting the festival and even though it was cold we had fun!

There were thousands of people at this event  that was held in two sessions. Beth and Fred and John and I had a wonderful time! Bought lots of wine and shot a ton of video that we put into a short three-minute show that you can click on right here –

We are thinking about taking a bus tour back next year – if you’d like to hop on that bus shoot us an e-mail at and we’ll get you hooked up!

If you’ve never done anything like this before I promise you’ll have a really good time! if you decide to drive, and not take the bus make sure you take a designated driver because there is a BUNCH of wine at this event and it’s easy to get yourself in some trouble – PLUS the DD gets in at a cheaper rate – how cool is that!!

So save the date – March 31, 2012 for next year’s edition of Wine on the Lake!




It’s cold, but that keeps the wine chilled!

Yeah, I have to admit. I am definitely a summer kind of gal. But Winter has some advantages when it comes to wine. For instance, when you visit a winery in the Winter, it’s not nearly as crowded as it is usually in the Summer. Most wineries offer special pricing for folks willing to brave the snow and ice and January and February will bring a host of wine festivals. So, check out your local winery and see where the next available festival will be held. I plan to attend the ground Hog Wine Festival held the first Saturday after Ground Hog’s Day in Clearfield. Yes the next day is the Super Bowl so, if you go to the festival you’ll have something to drink with your friends during the game : )

Gettysburg Wine

This past weekend was absolutely beautiful in Central PA. The kids were all home so we decided to go for a ride. The back roads led us to Cashtown, PA just outside of Gettysburg. Much to our delight there are two wonderful wineries within just a couple of miles of each other. the Adams County Winery and the Houser Estate Winery.

Both establishments have fine wines and very different styles and approaches to the experience. Lets start with Adams County Winery. These folks really embrace the proximity to Gettysburg and the Civil War. They have labels that signify their Civil War heritage like “Tears of Gettysburg”, “Rebel Red” and “Yankee Blue.”

This winery experience brings you into their tasting barn that has a very well stocked tasting room and a couple of really nice dogs. one of their wines is named after their baby puppy Golden Retriever, Rusty. “Rusty’s Red” is a yummy, sweet red wine that is the wineries newest red wine.

Adams County offers wine making classes, wine tours and does a concert series throughout the summer. You’ll feel right at home in this country setting. Stop in and pet one of the dogs, and if you’re like me and travel with your furry friends, they’re welcome too – just not in the tasting room : ).

After we were finished at the Adams County Winery, we made our way up the hill to the Houser Estate Winery. There is one word that describes the view from their patio…AMAZING!!! These folks are fairly new to the winery biz. Polly opened it a few years ago so she could be with her kids. Way to go Polly!!!! This place has a very mature palette and in addition to some very upscale wines they sell hard cider!!!  I ask, how cool is that??? LOVED IT!!! Even though one of the brands is named after grandma Helen, this really isn’t your grandma’s cider. Jack’s Hard Cider, named after Father Jack comes in a few different flavors, including Helen’s Blend and Rome (named after the apple its made from.) Now here’s the cool part. The apples are grown right there outside the winery. Adams County, PA is known for its apples and now it will be known for its cider! Yes, we bought a lot of cider and plan to use it for our Thanksgiving feast.

We loved this place, the owner is VERY friendly and I highly recommend checking out their wine also. We tasted the 2008 Reserve Chambourcin, the 2008 Reserve Cabernet Franc and the 2008 Meritage. Wow, these are all very fine wines made for the most mature palette. I have to say my favorite was the Meritage that reminded me of maraschino cherries. I couldn’t help but think how good it would be with chocolate – YUM!!!!

The next time you’re in Gettysburg checking out the battlefield make sure you save some time to check out these wonderful wineries. You will NOT be disappointed.

As I mentioned earlier we visited these wonderful wineries during the third weekend of November, just before Thanksgiving. Now it should have been cold, it usually is this time of the year but this year it was not. Like I said earlier, all of my kids were home, something that doesn’t happen all that often anymore. We came home from visiting these wineries that night and built a fire on the patio and drank wine under the November sky. What a wonderful weekend. Hope you can have one just like it really soon. Cheers!

Milheim Wine Shop

What a delightful surprise we had yesterday (Saturday, Oct. 16, 2010). We were on our way to Sunbury to catch a Tournament of Bands show. We were traveling up Route 45 and on our way through Milheim we noticed a lonely little sign on the way through town that simply said “Wine Shop.” We had no intentions of finding a wine shop yesterday because we were going to visit some relatives and then attend the show, but geez there it was beckoning us to stop. So we went to the corner, turned around and parked.

It’s set in this old house. Inside we found nothing all that fancy but they were selling NUMEROUS bottles of vino from two local wineries. Brookmere and Shade Mountain Wineries. Brookmere is located in Belleville in Mifflin County and Shade Mountain is  in Middleburg, just west of Selinsgrove, in Snyder County.

This place is a tasting room for these two extraordinary wineries. Brookmere has some really nice selections from their sangria to their newly labeled “Bear-ies gone wild” that has a picture of a big ole black bear on it. John’s favorite from Brookmere is Frog Hollow which is a blush niagara. YUM! And for the dryer pallete at Brookmere they have a good seller called Tears of the Goose.

Now this was the first time I have ever tasted anything from Shade Mountain. Oddly, on the way to Milheim, my cousin Rose said, “Have you ever had wine from Shade Mountain?” Of course we hadn’t, then this wine shop appeared – weird huh? So naturally we tried the Shade Mountain wine. Guys, they have a mint wine – yeah really I said Mint! They included it with a recipe for Mojito’s. That just screams FUN on a warm summer night or a cold winter’s day by the fire!

Shade Mountain also has two Red wines called Jack’s Mountain Red and Rascal Red – both sweet (yep that made me happy) and both full of taste. Shade Mountain offers a dryer selection called Proprietors Red which was also the 2010 Farm Show Bronze Medal Winner.We all know I’m not a super dry wine fan, but honestly this wine was good. Smooth and robust and would pair very well with red meat or cheese.

Check out both of these wineries on their own, or if you’re looking for a nice drive, head north on Route 45, stop at Penn’s Cave, and then make a point to drop by the Wine Shop in Milheim.

Groundhog Wine Trail

We spent our 10/10/10 exploring Clearfield and Elk Counties and wondered into an old favorite and a brand new favorite winery.

First the old favorite –Starr Hill Winery
located just outside of Curwensville, PA they are home to one of my all-time favorite red wines – Bailey Road Red. I first discovered it during the Ground Hog Trail Wine Festival held the weekend before the Super Bowl at the Clearfield Fair Grounds. I bought it initially because my dog’s name at the time was Bailey : ), but the full rich bodied red really catches my taste buds and makes them happy. In case no-one has figured this out yet, I like sweet wine, not that there’s anything wrong with liking dry wine, I just don’t. So if you’re in the mood for a full- bodied red, try Bailey Road Red. Much to my delight they also have a Bailey Road White. Completely different that the red, but still delicious!!!

Check out the picture from the front door of their shop. Beautiful!!!!

Here’s a video John took!, not me, so its a little shaky…

We then drove on in search of an elk so one of my kids, Tiffer could see one. She had never seen an elk in the wild and was pretty sure they were fake so we went to Benezette. They just opened their new visitors center this weekend so they place as packed, BUT we were successful!!! We saw two elk, big beautiful creatures.

As we left Benezette we took the shortcut up to St. Mary’s. As we rounded the bend on Route 255 just before the Elk County Capitol we found the Elk Mountain Winery!

These guys are brand new, only been in the business a month and already have a following. Their building is beautiful with a back room to sit and drink your favorite wine. And speaking of my favorite wine, I said I found an old favorite and a new favorite. My new Fav is Jazzy Red from Elk Mountain. Sweet and robust. Really a nice texture and the name is FUN!!! The owner, Jen opened her winery so she could spend time with her kids! Way to go Jen!!!

I highly recommend both of these wineries as well as all the other Ground Hog Trail Wineries and don’t forget the Wine Trail Festival on February 5, 2011!!!