Posts Tagged ‘Wine Tasting’

Limerick Review Of Paula’s Stone Cottage Wine Bar

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

Hubby Mark and I had a great time last night sipping wine, munching cheese, and chatting up a storm at the lovely Paula’s Stone Cottage Wine Bar in Fishkill, New York.

Here’s my limerick review:

Limerick Ode To Paula’s Stone Cottage Wine Bar
By Madeleine Begun Kane

There’s a wine bar in Fishkill — first rate:
Charming venue, a cheese plate that’s great.
We were loathe to adjourn
And plan to return
To Paula’s Stone Cottage — can’t wait.

And here’s a review hubby Mark Kane just wrote and posted on Yelp:

My wife and I can’t say enough good about this place.

As soon as we entered we were greeted by this warm, friendly fellow who insisted we meet Paula. And yes there really is a Paula, and she was even more enthusiastic and more welcoming than he was.

We were offered a personal tour of the establishment but declined and instead found ourselves a nice cozy spot at bar where the bartender proceeded to ply us with free shot glasses of wines as he tried to find the perfect wine for each of us, and after four or five he did!

This was not the exception but rather the norm. They really try to make you feel at home, and want you to be very, very happy with your wine selection so you’ll order more no doubt.

We inquired about food and were strongly encouraged to try either the “Cheese Plate” or “Cheese and Meats Plate”. We opted for the “Cheese Plate for Two” and were not at all disappointed.

It could feed three or four easily and was quite impressive. It came complete with a large selection of cheeses, a nice spicy humus, artichoke hearts, perfectly moist sun dried tomatoes, and an assortment of olives. Tried as we did we could not finish it all.

And the music! What an excellent mix of music which Paula has selected. There is something for everyone in that music mix.

The place is very cozy but small so I would be careful about going there with a large group of people unless you get there very early or on an off night. I am told the weekends can be quite busy.

There are three different areas which you can enjoy. A lovely romantic outdoor garden, a very active bar area where impromptu slow dancing has been known to occur, and an equally active lounge in the back.

The music, lighting, great wines, excellent warm service and general ambiance of this place clearly attracts a nice friendly intelligent crowd, people of all ages, rich and poor, married and single all enjoying each other’s company.

You may enter as a stranger but I promise, you will leave as family.

Vintage Wisdom

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

Are you a Winus Ignoramus? Do wine connoisseurs make you feel insecure? I once felt the same way … until I discovered that NOBODY KNOWS ANYTHING, especially when mouthing off about wine.

It’s shocking but true — most wine aficionados are faking it. Sure they toss around savvy sounding terms like oak, bouquet, finish, and jujubes. But trust me — they simply memorized a few words which they lob randomly, confident that they won’t be challenged. Why? Because they’re surrounded by fellow fakers.

You don’t believe me? Okay, here’s the proof. Several years ago some friends invited hubby Mark and me to a blind wine tasting party. These friends, who I sure hope won’t be reading this, were planning their wedding and wanted to find some great, but affordable wine.

The husband-to-be, who fancied himself a wine expert, had spent thousands of hours studying The Wine Spectator in his quality wine bargain quest, while the bride did what most brides do — everything else.

When we arrived for the tasting, we learned that the groom had narrowed his choice down to eight reds and eight whites, each touted as an “excellent buy” and each hovering at the high end of their wedding budget. Our job as two of a dozen guests was to taste and rank each wine “blind.” Then, through some elaborate coding process (I’m pretty sure the CIA was involved) our host would determine the identity of our favorites.

Being a dedicated Winus Ignoramus, I was embarrassed to be included in this group of wine savvy visitors. But I gamely participated, munching on dry crackers between each taste to cleanse my palate. And trying to follow the Wine Snobus Elitus-speak that kept buzzing around the room. “An amusing white.” “A charming red with just a hint of sassafras.” “A disappointing nose.” “Alluring eyes …” No wait, wrong party.

While everyone else sniffed corks and muttered pretentiously, I concentrated on trying to discern red from white. Finally, when each wine had been sipped and ranked, I sighed with relief … until I found out we had to repeat the tasting to double check the results.

The second round was finally over, and everyone anxiously awaited the verdict. Which red had prevailed? Which white had won?

And then a funny thing happened. (Well, funny to me.) With but one exception, everyone had been inconsistent in his preferences. Each person’s Wine List 1 was dramatically different from his Wine List 2. Everyone’s lists …. but mine.

I tried not to gloat. Okay, that’s a lie. A well-rounded tablespoon of gloating and a dash of strutting seemed about right. With just a soupçon of sass … afras.

So that’s when I learned that NOBODY KNOWS ANYTHING … especially when it comes to wine. Which is why I’m no longer intimidated by leather-bound wine lists and patrons who pretend to understand them. I even feel free to make reservations in fancy restaurants … without reservation.

And on the appointed evening I stride in, my head and nose held high. Once seated, I give the wine list just a cursory glance. Who needs a list when you know your stuff?

“Le Boeuf Tartare, my dear sir,” I say, “and your finest applejack on the rocks.”

Just kidding — wine connoisseurs only drink applejack with fish.

Wine Tasting Robots, Oh My!

Monday, October 23rd, 2006

Would you trust a wine tasting robot? What about a robot that thinks humans taste like bacon? (Via Majikthise)

Wine Tasting Robots, Oh My! (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane 

Wine tasting robots, oh my!
It’s a concept that some might not buy.
Yet men oft opine
Quite ineptly on wine.
So perhaps I shall give one a try.

What Do People Taste Like?
By Madeleine Begun Kane 

What do people taste like?
I surely do not know.
A cannibal might tell you,
Or the artist Vin Van Gogh.

Maybe we’re like chicken,
Or tuna in a can.
No, it’s “bacon,” says one robot.
Did it taste a Jewish man?

(You can find my food and drink humor here.)