I have to admit sometimes I miss catering……not enough to go back into the restaurant business mind you, but I sometimes get the urge to whip something up for the masses. Working at a Winery occasionally gives me the chance to tap into my love for food. I had that chance today trying to pair some light fare to go with a Norton Wine our Wine Maker released today. The limited supply gave cause for a small reception for our Wine Club members to taste and buy. This particular Wine was interesting to me and has become a prime example of how aging of a Wine can totally transform and enhance its flavor. It is a 2011 vintage which may not really be that old but let me tell you what a difference in taste from the first time I tried it. Over the past year we have sampled it at Tasting Trials and all I could think was “This tastes like dirt” to put it nicely……Wanting to be more diplomatic I changed my description to “Earthy“….much more acceptable. This Native American Earthy Red has grown on me, after tasting it today I am a true fan!!! The Norton Grape has a interesting story to tell if you get the chance check out it’s origin…..great story.
This is our Wine Maker, William Layton Layton’s Chance Winery
This Norton Wine proved to be a bit of a challenge to pair: I went with Pulled Bison, Brie with Honey Walnut Sauce, Garlic Herb Bread with Unfiltered Olive Oil, Caprese Bites, Smoked Summer Sausage, Hard Salami, Smoked Almonds……and yes Red Velvet Truffle Brownies from a Pinterest Recipe. If you are looking for a Valentine’s dessert these are scrumptious and look quite dramatic.
For those of you who know me…..
And Those That Don’t…..
Changing careers mid stream is not always a bad thing. After owning a restaurant for 21 years life in its infinite wisdom and sense of humor brought me to a crossroads. I had to make a difficult choice, do I continue down the road I knew, or do I venture down the one I had yet to travel. Now that my kids were grown I had more free time to ponder my life’s choices. Since I had been in the restaurant business for basically my entire adult life, first marrying into it at 19 ….. then 10 years later divorcing into it, the job was merely a way to raise my kids. It was a way to provide them with everything I felt I had missed out on as a child. Not really material things, but it provided private school education, a few fun vacations, and endless hours spent on soccer and baseball fields. By the time I got divorced from my first marriage this business was all I knew , so in order to keep my children in the life they were use to I took over on my own. Feeding the masses as a single Mom was to say the least challenging at times. I could count on one hand the number of Friday nights I had off, let alone a whole weekend. Juggling became the only new skill I had learned, with that said though I remained grateful that I could provide for my children.
After re-marrying and raising a blended family I found myself wondering where do I go from here. The noise and chaos of 5 teenagers under one roof had subsided to a quiet non-existent pulse of what use to be a raging hub of activity. No more car pools, dances, Halloween parades, christmas parties no more soccer games, award ceremonies or homework….What the hell do you do when you’re not doing something for someone else? Well…..lucky for me the decision to make a change had basically been made for me, the failing economy and my drive to put any more blood sweat or tears into my current job had come to its end. Walking away from that life became the obvious thing to do. The business raised my kids and me somewhere along the way for that I am most thankful but other than that I left on my last day with a mere box of pictures and some small mementos of my 21 years there. So with 3 kids in college, retirement wasn’t an option, time to find out what in the world I want to do.
Getting hired at Layton’s Chance Vineyard and Winery came just in time, I was unemployed for about 2 weeks and the stir craziness had already set in all the things I said I would do when I had the time really didn’t interest me. Starting out with only basic knowledge of the wine industry I was a mere virgin with a lot to learn. I have to say the on the job training at a winery is quite awesome! What better way to learn your product and promote it than to TRY it….I love the diversity of this job, the scenery is so much better than standing in a 4 by 8 foot space staring into a pizza oven 10 hours a day.
Not only do I have a new career path to discover, I am thinking of a photography class and recently took a blogging class…hence my new blog. I have a new-found drive to travel the road less traveled , to leave my comfort zone. I have come to realize that this olderish pup can learn new tricks. After living vicariously through my children I now have the desire to be an active participant in life, no longer warming the bleachers. Although I enjoy the new experiences my kids have, like my daughter cooking her first turkey which she just did for a group of her college friends, I have given myself permission to live not just exist.