So, you might be thinking that this is a travel/food only blog. It's not intended to be. However, that wouldn't be such a bad life, would it? Just baking all day, gallivanting around the world and whatnot?
For the long weekend, Dave and I decided we needed a break - from work, from volunteer and charitable obligations, from house projects, and (I feel so guilty saying it) from kids! I grew up near the Finger Lakes region of New York State, and it feels like Dave and I have been talking about doing a wine tasting trip for ages. On Friday we packed out bags and off we went. We made a quick pit-stop at my parents' house to drop of the kids (both the two-legged and four-legged varieties), kissed them goodbye, and were well on our way for three days or R&R.
We decided to stay at Geneva on the Lake. I had heard many good things about the inn, and one of my very dearest friends worked there during college. Nestled on the northern tip of Seneca Lake, it was the perfect setting for a romantic get-away. A wine and cheese tasting was held at the inn that evening, but (as usual with kids) we got a later start than anticipated and missed it. After checking in we were shown to our suite (a Landmark Suite).
The living room of our suite
The nice thing about Geneva on the Lake is that all rooms are suites, and are decorated with Stickley furniture (the people who now own the inn also own said furniture company - how convenient). Our bed was already turned down, and a bottle of Cayuga White wine and chocolate-covered strawberries were awaiting us. I realize this is totally cheesy, but i don't think a little "cheese" ever hurt a marriage.
After freshening up and putting on "nice" clothes, we made our way down to the Dining Room for a lovely four-course dinner. Wowie. The food was out of this world, as was the dining room.
The ceiling of the dining room
We booked a package that included our dinners and breakfasts, and it was well worth it. (Author's note: please excuse the vivid details of the food you'll be witness to... I love to eat) When we sat down, we were presented with a beautiful bread basket and three types of butter. A small crudites platter with a Dip du Jour was also placed on our table (roasted red pepper that evening). I ordered a glass of Riesling (my favorite wine), Dave stuck to water. For the first course, I had the jumbo shrimp cocktail and Dave had the cream of mushroom soup. Second courses consisted of a black tea-smoked duck breast on micro greens with a champagne vinaigrette (me) and a baby spinach salad with cremini mushrooms and baked goat cheese in phyllo-dough shells with mustard vinaigrette (Dave). We were served an intermezzo of champagne-soaked melon balls with a relatively generous helping of caviar. I had a bourbon-glazed pork chop with mashed potatoes and fall harvest stuffing for my main course, while Dave opted for the Raspberry-reduction filet mignon. Both we delicious. We could barely finish them, so we had them wrapped for a "midnight snack" in our room. We also took dessert to our room. Dave chose the caramel-pumpkin cheesecake while I enjoyed a genoise with fresh berries and a vanilla sabayon. Before heading up to our room, we walked around the property and enjoyed watching the twinkly stars in the black sky. We made coffee in our suite to accompany the dessert (we dove into those strawberries, as well), and enjoyed them in our bathrobes. I think my dress was about to pop anyway. We called it an early night, as we knew there was a long day of boozing it up awaiting us in the morning.
On Saturday, I woke up bright and early, as I had a fabulous in-suite massage awaiting me. I tried to convince Dave that we should have a couple's massage, but he insisted he'd rather get a little more sleep than have his kinks worked out (no, not those kind of kinks you dirty people... sheesh!). So, I had a massage and Dave slept in. We had a delicious breakfast in the dining room (some of the best pancakes I've ever had!), and worked off some calories with a mean game of Bocce on the lawn (Dave won... that is to say, I let him win :-).
We took off for our first tasting stop, Three Brothers. This winery is a bit unusual, as it has a brewery and three wineries all in one location. Whenever given the option of beer or wine, 9.5 times out of 10, I choose beer. So I bellied my way up to the beer tasting bar. I'll admit it was quite the scene - me in a dark pink sweater amongst a sea of manly plaid. I tasted the Riesling Ale (the best of wine and beer in one glass), American Black Lager (tasted like chocolate and coffee), and the East Coast Amber. I was impressed with all three, but decided to go buy a growler of the Ale, Lager, and one of Root Beer.
Rows of wine grapes at Three Brothers
We decided to venture to Cayuga Lake and visit an old favorite, Swedish Hill. Dave and I have been here before (Dave did a tasting, I was preggers with Eric, so I only sampled the grape juice), so we knew what we liked. Being that Columbus Day Weekend is the busiest weekend for tastings, we decided to forgo the sampling and just grab two bottles of Doobie Blues. We already have two bottles of this vintage at home, so this purchase was a thank-you gift for my dad. We also grabbed some artisan cheddar cheese to snack on. While at Swedish Hill, we of course had to pay a visit to Doobie himself!
Doobie shows us his teeth
Then looks at his shadow
Just in case you drink too much and can't remember where you're going... Next stop: Montezuma!
Montezuma was the next on our list. I was impressed with how generous the tasting was and the knowledge of the staff. Montezuma is known for the variety of fruit wines it produces. It also makes Honey Vodka (with great packaging!). We tried the Cranberry Bog, Pear Perfection, Sparkling Mead, Riesling, Diamond, Lake Effect Blush and Blue Moon. I really liked them all, except the Sparkling Mead. We took home four bottles of the Cranberry Bog (two were for mom, it's one of her favorites), and a bottle each of the Riesling, Diamond, Lake Effect Blush and Pear Perfection.
View of Seneca Lake from Fox Run Vineyards
We were hungry for lunch at this point, and had free tasting passes to Fox Run. How convenient, then, that Fox Run has a great cafe! After a long wait, we finally sat down to enjoy a Smoked Turkey, Brie and Raspberry Aioli on Ciabatta. Tasting was next. We tried two vintages of Rieslings (2007 and 2008), Drink New York Riesling, Artic Fox, Cabernet Franc, Ruby Vixen and the Ruby Port. I wasn't very impressed, although, I did like the Cabernet Franc, and I don't usually like Reds. I also liked the Ruby Port. It coated my throat, and I bet it works great as a cough syrup substitute. Needless to say, with the lackluster tasting, we didn't bring anything home with us.
Love this poster (at Fox Run)
Considering my last name is Fox, I had to get this picture
Our inn was right down the road from Fox Run, so we snuck bag to brush our teeth and freshen up. Because we had booked our reservation late, we had to switch rooms in order to stay for two nights. We didn't mind, especially because we were given the Library Suite, which was amazingly historic (it was the Library when the inn was a private home). We were happy to find another chilled bottle of wine in our fridge :-)
The living room of our Library Suite
Because of the inconvenience of having to move rooms, the inn gave us complimentary tickets to the local movie house. We saw "The Social Network." I've heard mixed reviews, but in my opinion, it was a great movie and struck up interesting conversations between Dave and I. We went back to the inn to get ready for dinner. Another fantastic meal. I had the shrimp again, a green salad with horseradish dressing, and roasted duck breast (duck is my favorite food, btw!). Dave had a roasted cauliflower soup, the black tea-smoked duck breast on micro greens, and pork chops. We shared a Riesling-steeped apple for our intermezzo, as well as Bananas Foster for dessert. We took another stroll after dinner, and retired to our room to cozy up next to the fire.
Our fireplace for the evening
In the morning, we enjoyed the breakfast buffet in the dining room (some of my favorites were the ham with horseradish sauce, baked brie and lox). We challenged each other to another round of Bocce - Dave thought we should make things interesting and add "shot put" as an option.
We walked down to the lake and examined all the interesting statues. Dave commented it was kind of like Mr. Potato Head - just pick and choose body pieces (I love him so much, if only for how much he makes me laugh).
Pick a head...
...Then a body
The water was so blue and a stark contrast to the white sails of the small boats.
We bid adieu to Geneva on the Lake and checked out. We took a walk through downtown Geneva and the campus of Hobart and Williams Smith Colleges.
Random photo next to a giant deer
We headed South between Seneca and Cayuga lakes to Ithaca. We stopped at the Carriage House Cafe for lunch (Dave had an Americano and a breakfast sandwich, I had a root beer and juicy cheeseburger).
The Carriage House Cafe
We ventured to Ithaca Commons in search of something sweet (that manifested at College Town Bagels in the form of ice cream). It was only a brief 1 hour drive to my parents house from Ithaca. We were excited to see the kids, who simply looked at us like "who are you?" Glad to know they missed us as much as we missed them. We spent the night at my folks' place and came back to Silly Goose Farm on Monday.
As you've probably realized by now, brevity isn't my strong point. But, only a few people actually read this blog (thanks!!) and those who do know that fact about me already. Either way, thanks for lasting through this long travel post. I'm so glad you stuck around til the end.
Now, back to regularly-scheduled programming of baking and farming and stuff.