Well, the last two weeks have been quite busy and unfortunately not on the blog. We actually missed last week's Ben's Bubbly and I am quite late getting this week's post up. The craziness started last weekend in Estes Park where we attended a friend's wedding. It was also the first time in Ben's whole life that he didn't spend the night in our home! I was going to include the bubbly for the toast as last week's sparkler, but the one ounce pour I received was faulty and I don't even know what the wine was. Ben was a charmer at the rehearsal dinner, but stayed with Grandma during the next night's ceremony and reception.
The day after the wedding, we started on our way to central Wisconsin (with a quick repacking stop at home). We got a few hours of driving in on the first day, only to find the last available hotel room (smoking no less) in North Platte, NE. Who knew that a softball tournament could fill up a city's hotels? Despite the less than ideal accommodations, Ben was more than perfect in the car both to and from WI. He slept most of the time we were on the road and when he was awake he was in a good mood and played with Mom in the backseat (in his carseat of course).
While in Wisconsin, Ben ate up being in the spotlight and entertaining his grandparents, great-grandparents, aunt, great-aunt and uncle and cousins of various degrees. We spent time at the pool, on the lake and even made it to Wollersheim Winery in Prairie du Sac. On his first winery tour, Ben was well-behaved despite trying to get our tour mates to play with him during the informational video. He also enjoyed the beach, but was denied his first jet ski ride by his mother (and I guess, me). On our way back home, we made a detour to go visit his 94-year old great grandma who was very excited to get to meet her first great grandchild. Overall, we spent four days in the car for three days of summer lake time, but good quality time with the family made it worthwhile.
Nevertheless, I made sure that the time in the car was not for naught. We had to make sure to pick up our fill of New Glarus beer, Wisconsin cheese, and even introduced ourselves to Iowan and Nebraskan wine with stops at Breezy Hills Vineyard in Minden, IA and 5 Trails Winery in Paxton, NE. I will write about these wineries in the near future, but I will say that I was quite impressed with some of the hybrid wines (especially frontenac and vignoles) that Big Ten land has to offer.
NV J Vineyards & Winery Brut Rosé, Russian River Valley
After a week of drinking hybrid wines, California was calling. Well, actually the bottle of J Brut Rosé was already chilled for the previous week's bubbly, so it was an obvious choice. Our flutes were filled with a beautifully light peach rose color. The nose tantalizes with hints of peach and blood orange. The wine goes down exceptionally smooth with gentle acidity similar to that of a yellow grapefruit along with fruity flavors of red delicious apple, juicy peaches and more blood orange. This is a very nice bottle of bubbly with a long finish that will not break the bank. Definitely recommended. 12% abv Sample $30. Very Good (tasted 7/31/11)