A Wine-filled Sunday

Posted by in Wine

If you’ve never been on a LivingSocial Adventure, I highly recommend them!  Some of my girlfriends and I signed up for a Winter Winery Tour around PA and had a blast this past Sunday.  We met at 30th St Station around noon to get in a bus that would take us to 3 wineries throughout the day.

After an hour long bus ride, we arrived to the first winery of the day, Crossing Vineyards & Winery. Upon arrival, we walked around the grounds for a few minutes and were ushered into the tasting room.  Tom Carrol Sr, one of the owners, greeted our group with a warm smile, enthusiasm, knowledge, and plenty of humor.  He gave us a wine 101 tutorial, where I learned how to hold my glass (by the stem), smell the wine, and most importantly, taste and pair it with certain foods.  We tasted a wide array of wines, everything from Chardonnay to Pinot Noir to Sangria.  The wines were paired with different cheeses and chocolate!  Yuum.  Once we were all liquored up, we were served lunch and were given some time to purchase wine and wander around the grounds.

What a beautiful day at Crossing Vineyards & Winery!

The next winery of the day was Rose Bank Winery, about 15 minutes away from Crossing Vineyards.   After getting the royal treatment at the last winery, I was very disappointed here.  The owner barely introduced himself and a waitress kept coming around pouring various wines in our glasses without any explanations; she seemed annoyed every time I asked for more details about what I was drinking.  I mean, I was at a wine tasting for heavens sake!  We tried 5 wines in all and then brought downstairs to try more wines that were arranged in a disorganized manner on a counter.  We were supposed to pour the tastings ourselves.  All of the wines were way too sweet for my liking and I left the place with a bad taste in my mouth (pun intended).

Always hold your wine glass by the stem

After a mediocre experience at the 2nd winery, I was very pleasantly surprised by the 3rd and final winery of the day, Sand Castle Winery.

Looks like a sand castle, no?

The tasting was led by the castle’s founders, Joseph and Paul Maxian.  Both were able to grab full attention of our large group and scolded us if we didn’t hold our glasses by the stem or drink the wine with the right pairings.  However, I will say that their wines were delicious and they had amazing pairings.  My favorite pairing by far was one of their younger red wines (the name escapes me) with white chocolate and rosemary.  What a combination!  I was instantly inspired and will definitely start experimenting with those two ingredients.

Yours truly, all liquored up at Sand Castle Winery

After a full day of wine drinking, we were ushered back into the bus and drove the hour and a half back to the city.  Our day ended at Ralph’s Italian Restaurant, where I had delicious veal and escarole.  Mmm.