Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Southern Ideal Home Show comes to Raleigh in September with new Brews & Bites


By Dathan Kazsuk | August 23, 2016

Twitter: @TriangleAT | Facebook: Triangle Around Town | Instagram: @trianglearoundtown

Looking for some new ideas for your home? Be it kitchen remodeling, or adding a granite countertop to your bathroom. Or maybe some ideas for landscaping the backyard into a island oasis … it can all be found at the Southern Ideal Home Show at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds, September 23-25.

At the Southern Ideal Home Show, one will snake their way through hundreds of booths featuring the latest in remodeling, bathroom and kitchen renovations and ideas, environmentally safe products, roofings, outdoor and landscaping by hundreds of local and regional exhibitors.

Some of the businesses gracing the home show over the weekend will include Audio Advice, Baker Roofing Company, Choice Pool & Spa, Lowe’s Home Improvement, NC Solar Now and many others.

Author of The New New Home, Boyce Thompson, will be the special guest, as he talks about the 10 most innovative new home products of 2016. And after his presentation, you can take a tour of an interactive exhibit featuring some life-changing products, including robots that monitor indoor air pollution and countertops that recharge phones.

Making its debut this year will be the Showcase of Local Artists held in the Exposition Center.  The showcase will feature 10-15 local artists from the Triangle displaying their work which will be available for viewing and purchasing.

In the Brews & Bites section of the home show, one can sip and sample creations by some of the areas local chefs and breweries. Food sample courtesy of Fogwood Food, b.good, Capital City Chop House and City Barbecue; while tasting beer from White Street Brewing, Big Boss, wines from Adams Vineyards and hard cider from Bull City Ciderworks. Please check out the webpage for exact days each business will be available at www.SouthernIdealHomeShow.com.

Admission to the home show is $9 for adults at the door. Advance discount tickets available at area Walgreens for $7. Hours for the home show are Friday: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.; Saturday: 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Parking for the event is free.

Friday, August 19, 2016

A love for animals and beer makes this Hendersonville brewery a must when in town

By Dathan Kazsuk | August 19, 2016
Twitter: @TriangleAT | Facebook: Triangle Around Town | Instagram: @trianglearoundtown

Sanctuary Brewing Company
Address: 147 First Avenue E., Hendersonville, NC
Phone: (828) 595-9956

We first visited Sanctuary Brewing Company this past April during a brief vacation up in the Hendersonville/Lake Lure area of Western North Carolina. I'm usually the one excited to visit a new brewery, but it was Jen who was a little more excited than me about Sanctuary. Really? Jen more excited about a brewery than Dathan? Yes. That's because the co-owners of Sanctuary, Lisa McDonald and Joe Dinan are huge into animal advocacy - just like us. From puppy adoptions in the taproom to yoga with cats on Saturday mornings, Sanctuary Brewing loves animals just as much as we do.

Although we missed the yoga with cats that morning, we arrived at the brewery for one of the puppy adoptions with a local animal shelter. So before we even started drinking beer, Jen and I were playing and petting the adorable puppies who were all hoping to find their forever home.

Prior to arriving at Sanctuary, we reached out to co-owner McDonald, so when she had a few free minutes to chat with us, we sat down and talked about how her, along with Dinan came up with the concept of the brewery. The story goes a little like this: McDonald was tired of the corporate world and Dinan's home brewing skills were peaking – add that to their love for animals – and hence, Sanctuary Brewing was born. Yes, it is that simple.

Once we finally pulled up a couple seats to the bar, it was time to order. We looked over the expansive list of beers on draft – 16 beers to be exact that day we arrived. And, as usual, we decided to order up a flight, so that we can both enjoy an assortment of beers without adding extra inches to my gut. Our typical flight will be filled with stouts, porters, sours, anything barrel-aged ... and for me, we'll toss in an IPA or two.

This time we selected the following: Caturday (IPA); Ollie the Destroyer (Imperial IPA); Cranberry Saison; Scottie's Red (Red Ale); Carolina Panther (Chocolate Porter) and the Weekend Joe (Coffee Stout).

One by one we sampled each beer. Each beer ended up being pretty true to style, with Jen's favorite being the Weekend Joe, and mine being Ollie the Destroyer. There were so many different beers to sample that day, and I wish we could have tried more – but unfortunately we had a few more breweries to hit up that weekend, including a tour of Sierra Nevada and a stop at Bold Rock Cider's North Carolina production facility.

Would we go back to Sanctuary? In a heartbeat. With great beer, live music, and a small assortment of Vegan salads and pizzas, if you're ever just a little south of Asheville, you must check out Sanctuary Brewing Company.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Beers of Cardinal Directions Beerfest

By Dathan  | August 18, 2016
Twitter: @TriangleAT | Facebook: Triangle Around Town | Instagram: @trianglearoundtown

The second annual Cardinal Directions Beerfest is now several weeks in passing now, but I recently found the pamphlet which listed all the breweries and all the beers being poured that afternoon.

Haw River Farmhouse Ale's Ben Woodward pours a sample of saison.

So I thought it would be nice to list all the beers served up that afternoon:

• Bad Mother Pucker - Berliner Weisse (2.8% ABV)

• Saint G - Farmhouse Saison with Grapefruit, Coriander and Elderflower (5% ABV)

• Natural Born Farmer - Farmhouse Ale (7% ABV)

• The Garden of Earthly Delights - Brett Saison with Cucumber, Tangerine Peel, White Peppercorn and Turmeric (5% ABV)
• Two Prophets - Summer Saison with Peach and Basil (5.3% ABV)

• Steep Away - Saison with Green Tea (6.1% ABV)

• Dark Mint - Saison (7.7% ABV)

• Mosaic Omie - Dry Hopped Blonde Ale (4.1% ABV)
• Cherry Gose - German-style Gose (3% ABV)

• Farm's Edge: Copeland Springs - Gruit (4.8% ABV)
• Lucky Straw - Farmhouse Ale (5.5% ABV)

• Rooibos Red - Rye Saison (6.6% ABV)
• Rusted Plow - Farmhouse Saison (4.8% ABV)
• Salt & Smoke - Country Grisette (5% ABV)
• Mille Fleur - Rustic Saison (5.8% ABV)

• Annabel - Black Saison (6.8% ABV)
• Beatrix - Spring Saison (6.9% ABV)
• Evangeline - Rye Saison (8.1% ABV)

• Shelby Rose - Tart Farmhouse with Hibiscus (5.5% ABV)
• Carolina Uncommon - Rye Saison (6.2% ABV)

• Fig Saison (6.2% ABV)
• Biere de Garde (6.3% ABV)

Southern Pines
Off She Gose - Gose (5.5% ABV)
Sandsplash - Saison (4.8% ABV)

• Say Wha? - Barrel Fermented Saison with Peach, Mango, Green Tea (5.8% ABV)
• Nirvonnegut - Belgian Golden with Beechwood Smoked Malt (8.1% ABV)

• Little Sadie - Farmhouse Ale (4.8% ABV)
• Weary Blues - Grisette with Blueberries and Spruce Tips (3.8% ABV)
• Hiphopapotamus - Farmhouse IPA (6.5% ABV)

• Rhymenocerous - Brett Saison (6% ABV)
• Eccentrica - Ginger Tripel (9.7% ABV)

• Trophy Husband - Saison (6.9% ABV)
• Motuek D.A.V.E. - Single Hop New England-Style Pale Ale (5.2% ABV)

• Puer Saison - Green Tea Saison (6.2% ABV)
• Ferme de grand-Pere - Tart Farmhouse Fermented on Marionberries (7% ABV)

• Willy Saison - Saison (5.1% ABV)
• Universal Automation - Mixed Culture Farmhouse Ale (4.8% ABV)

• Alberta Mill Amber - American Amber Ale (5.2% ABV)
• Little Brother Saiz - Saison (5.3% ABV)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Day Trip: Exploring the Wineries in Lexington, N.C.

By Jennifer  | August 13, 2016
Twitter: TriangleAT | Facebook: Triangle Around Town | Instagram: trianglearoundtown

When you think of Lexington, North Carolina, one typically thinks barbecue. After all, the city has been coined the “Barbecue Capital of the World.”  But wine? North Carolina has been growing its wine industry for years now with approximately 144 wineries currently in the state according to www.ncwine.org, so why wouldn’t Lexington also be home to 4 wineries? As many of our readers know by now, one of our favorite pastimes is to visit the wineries North Carolina has to offer. We’ve been to quite a few so far, and with the help of our new winery app, Winery Passport, we have now been to 58 wineries within the state.  This, of course, does not count our multiple visits to our favorites! Looks like we have our work cut out for us if we ever want to visit all this state offers.

This past weekend we decided to head to Lexington, but not for the barbecue, for wine. Lexington is home to Childress Vineyards, the largest commercial winery in the area, as well as Native Vines, Junius Lindsay and Weathervane – which are all boutique wineries.

Our first stop on our journey was to Childress Vineyards.

Childress Vineyards                                
1000 Childress Vineyard Rd., Lexington, NC 27295

Tasting room hours of operation:
Monday - Saturday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday: Noon - 5 p.m.
Tours available: Daily

Tastings available: Daily

Childress offers two tasting options – Cellar Select Tasting for $12 and Barrel Select Tasting for $15. The Cellar Select is primarily off-dry and the Barrel Select features dry and full-bodied wines. Both include a souvenir tasting glass.

Prices range from $9.99 - $59.99 per bottle

Varietals include: Viognier, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verot, Malbec and Syrah.  Also available are sweet muscadine, dessert and sparkling wines. 

Opening its doors in 2004, Childress winery is the brainchild of NASCAR team owner Richard Childress. The vineyard sits on 72-acres and 11 varieties of vinifera grapes on two sites.

Childress was our first stop on this hot August day. We first visited Childress back in July of 2009.  We were in awe the first time we visited and remained in awe 7 years later. Driving through the gates of this winery, you forget you are in Lexington and take in the beautiful scenery with rows upon rows of grapevines. Walking through the front doors, the inside is gorgeously decorated. The tasting and gift shop to your left and the Bistro restaurant in the back.

Saturdays the winery offers tours on the hour starting at noon until 4 p.m.  When we arrived it was right at 1 p.m. and very busy with visitors awaiting their turn to tour the grounds and the inner workings of the winery. Having done this tour the last time we were here, we opted out this time around. However, if you are a first-timer, we highly recommend it.

2009 Tour of Childress Winery

When we go to wineries we enjoy taking our time, talking about the wine being poured, and, if we're lucky, meeting the winemakers. However, with these larger, commercial wineries, such as this, we unfortunately lose that personal touch we so enjoy. But there is no denying Childress turns out a great product.

After being directed to the front of the tasting room to purchase a ticket for the tasting, we decided to share the Barrel Select tasting for $15 which features dry and full-bodied wines. In total we tried 8 different wines from 4 varietals, 2 reserve, 1 signature and 1 dessert. The wines got better with each new pour.

Following our tasting we walked the grounds a bit and came upon the Pavilion with live music and a full house of patrons enjoying lunch with a glass of wine. Knowing we could easily spend countless hours here and that we still had three more wineries to visit, we headed back to the car and were on our way to Native Vines Winery.

Native Vines Winery
1336 North NC Highway 150

Tasting room hours of operation:
Tuesday - Friday:  11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Tastings available: Daily; $10 for 7 samples, includes souvenir tasting glass

Offers up to 14 Estate Bottled wines

Prices range from $13.95 - $19.95 per bottle

Varietals include: Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Red Zinfandel, sweet wines and specialty wines, including a Green Tea and Raspberry Tea wine!

While doing research for this weekend, we came across Native Vines Winery and learned it is the first American Indian-owned winery in the U.S. producing wines since 1998. Owner and wine maker Darlene Gabbard is a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. The winery sits on 36-acres and produces not only vinifera wines but also sweet wines for those who prefer the sweeter side. Lately, our palates prefer the dry, bold wines. Fortunately, our hobby of wine tasting encourages us to always try everything at least once and always something new.

Similar to some other small wineries we’ve visited in the state, Native Vines is unassuming as you approach. In fact, we almost missed our turn! Night and day coming from the expansive Childress. We traversed down a dirt road and at the end, a house to the right, a tasting room to the left and grapevines straight ahead. From the beautiful, clear blue skies we were treated to at Childress, the sky decided to open up on us and began raining shortly before we arrived here. Umbrellas in hand, we headed up the stone pathway to the tasting room. Reading its website I learned that the tasting room is actually the Old Tack room of a 5,000-square-foot stable. Something I wish I had read up on before our visit.

Native Vine Winery in Lexington, North Carolina.

As is common whenever we visit the wineries, we come across at least one group enjoying a birthday or bachelorette weekend and today was no different. The tasting room was filled but after being greeted by Belle, a resident dog, I was more than happy to wait while visiting with my new friend.  As this group finished up, we were ready for our tasting. 

We both did our own tasting and were able to choose from 7 wines. We both steered more towards the reds, but I also tried the Pinot Grigio. All the wines were good and I try not to blog on our thoughts about the product due to everyone’s palates being unique, but rather on our experience. Earlier, I mentioned we enjoy taking our time and talking about the wines and hopefully with the winemaker and that is exactly the experience we had. 

Belle the dog at Native Vine Winery.

Now, for that Green Tea and Raspberry Tea wine mentioned above. This was all new to me, perhaps because Native Vines is the only one producing such a product. Made from green tea and not from any grapes, this wine resides at 12% ABV. And we were told the wine still encompasses all the health benefits of green tea. I was sold. Afterall, these small boutique wineries have the means to be creative with a product you may never find anywhere else. As soon as Darlene mentioned that there is a recipe on their website for a mojito made with the Green Tea wine, I knew we had to buy a bottle. Look for our upcoming blog when we try this concoction with a Mexican themed dinner!  We also tried the Raspberry Tea, but found that one a little too sweet for our tastes.

Would I recommend this winery, absolutely. But remember, you will not find a big, expansive establishment such as Childress, Biltmore or Shelton. But you will find a small, boutique, friendly-style winery.

Upon completion of our tasting and purchases, we ventured off to Junius Lindsay for stop for our third stop.

Junius Lindsay Vineyard
385 Dr. Zimmerman Road

Tasting room hours of operation:

Thursday - Sunday:  1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Tours available: No

Tastings available:  $7 for a regular tasting of 6 wines or $12 for a Riedel tasting of 8 wines, both include souvenir glass

Varietals include: Viognier, Rose’, Syrah, Petite Syrah, blends

Our next stop was Junius Lindsay Vineyards, about 10 minutes up the road. The land that is Junius Lindsay was once the old Zimmerman farm transformed into a vineyard (which would explain the rows and rows of corn to the right of the tasting room!). The first 2-acres were planted in 2004 which quickly turned to 9-acres two years later. You will not find the sweet wines here, but primarily those born from the vinifera grape such as Viognier, Syrah, and Petite Syrah. They specialize in Old World French-style wines with all varieties native to the Rhone Valley in Southern France. Right up our alley. 

Notice the buck shot on the sign. 
Grapes growing at Junius Lindsay.

When we first arrived, and driving up, the parking lot looked full for this small tasting room, but alas, we found parking out back and so glad we did. Junius Lindsay is one the few North Carolina wineries with an outdoor “open air tasting room," which also includes Medaloni Cellars in Lewisville. The tastings included the Second Leaf Viognier-Roussanne 2013, 2014 Roussanne Cellar Select, Forget-Me-Not White 2012, 2014 Grenache, 2013 Petite Sirah Estate Bottled and 2013 Triomphe. 

Bands perform in the outdoor setting at Junius Lindsay.

With this tasting room being primarily outdoors, covered of course, we were very thankful for the breeze and the fans. Following the tasting, and as the afternoon live music began, we decided to settle in with a glass of the 2013 Petit Sirah to relax and take it all in; the scenery, the music and of course the wine. As we sat observing our surroundings, we couldn’t help but notice staff members “escaping” through a door, down some steps and within minutes re-emerging with wine. After inquiring, they were kind enough to give us a tour of the “cellar” (i.e. where the inventory lives). As the afternoon waned on and we still had one more winery to visit, we decided to purchase a bottle of Petit Sirah and continue on our way. 

We will be back Junius Lindsay!  Great wines, hospitality and overall experience.

Weathervane Winery
1452 Welcome Arcadia Road

Tasting room hours of operation:

Tuesday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Friday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Tastings available: $7.50 for 7 wines, includes souvenir glass

Varietals include: Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Merlot, Chambourcin, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah

Our last winery stop of the day was Weathervane Winery located just minutes from Junius Lindsay.  A piece of advice … it's literally a hop, skip and a jump away, so don’t miss your turn, like we did! 

Weathervane Winery was our last stop of the afternoon.

They offer both a dry and sweet tasting option. Being the end of a long day, we decided to share the dry tasting. Wines with names such as Ionosphere, Nor'easter, Stratosphere and Temperature Rising definitely fit in with the theme of the wineries name – Weathervane. We quickly traversed our way through the tasting and proceeded to peruse the gift shop before we needed to get back on the road to Raleigh.