Tag Archives: wine making

That time I had a crepe at a bar…

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It’s that time of year!

We soon will start making wine with some of our friends again! How did last year’s wine turn out? Well, we aren’t 100% sure yet. The first wine, a Pinot Noir that was supposed to be ready in three to six months isn’t very good. I’d take Black Box wine over it any day!

No worries, though, I’ve used our first wine to make some tasty mulled wine this winter. And it’ll make a great sangria this summer. You can always make a bad wine good {unless it has gone bad.}.

We’ve tried two of our other batches, a Shiraz and an Amarone, which aren’t quite ready, and we think they still have potential. But what do we know?! The others won’t be ready until October or November. We are having a tough time with all of this waiting!

That is why we went to Midwest Supplies

and picked up a white wine kit this time around!

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Rob refused to do a white wine last summer, but after we tasted one of our friends’ Rieslings, and it was ready in a just a couple months, we decided this might be the one for us to sip this summer while waiting for our reds.

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But a trip to Midwest Supplies in St. Louis Park also means an opportunity to try a restaurant in the west metro, like we did here. Although, I have been eyeing this little place called Bunny’s right across the street from Midwest…

Bunny’s it was!

My impression before going is that this was kind of a divey sports bar that’s been there for a while. But I was surprised how big this place was when we went inside…
IMG_6448That^^ is only one half of the bar area and there is also regular seating/tables all around. {There’s also a lovely outdoor patio.} So, not so tiny as I’d thought. And Bunny’s Bar & Grill was named Minnesota’s Best Sports Bar this year.

It was almost noon on Saturday. I was happy to sip on a Bloody Mary while Rob was pleased to find one of his favorite local IPAs on tap – Steel Toe Size 7 IPA, which hails from St. Louis Park.

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There tap list appears not to be one that is ever-changing like so many these days. But they do offer two beers of the month and always list them on their website, too.

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The menu is pretty large, and as always, hard for me to make a decision. But why would I not order this?

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Our bartender was not the chatty type; but he was also very busy. He really seemed like he did not want to be working there. That is probably why, when I ordered a bloody mary, he didn’t try to upsell me on the Bunny Mary

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Oh, yes, you get a paper placemat like that^^ at the bar! {Maybe at the tables, too?} Funny thing is, when the food arrived, the runners didn’t even attempt to place the plates on the mats.

Garlic Cheese Bread A 1/2 loaf of grilled French bread brushed with garlic butter, topped with mozzarella cheese & baked. Served with marinara sauce for dipping. 7.95 Add sausage or pepperoni for 1.95

Garlic Cheese Bread – 1/2 loaf of grilled French bread brushed with garlic butter, topped with mozzarella cheese & baked. Served with marinara sauce for dipping – $7.95  Add sausage or pepperoni for $1.95

Rob had ordering remorse once he saw my dish! But I have to say that Garlic Cheese Bread with Sausage was some good bar food. Still, neither of us had a Lunch of Champions that day…

Crespella Black forest ham & melted brie cheese wrapped in a house made crepe, topped with sautéed mushrooms, with an asiago cream sauce & toasted garlic crostini. 9.95

Crespella – Black forest ham & melted brie cheese wrapped in a house made crepe, topped with sautéed mushrooms, with an asiago cream sauce & toasted garlic crostini – $9.95

Rob stole one of my crostini immediately, thinking I had won the food lottery over him this time around. However, don’t let those Garlic Crostini fool you. They look better than they taste. The Garlic Cheese Bread was much better. This crostini, imho, is just a vehicle to get that sauce down the gullet…

… ’cause it was soooo good. There is a crepe under there, but you can hardly tell from the photo because there is so much sauce. It had a little more ham than I like, but I’m strange. Most sandwiches have too high of a meat ratio for me; so it’s just the same for me here. And those mushrooms – so tender and tasty! Maybe I could get less ham, more mushrooms next time? Not that it really matters. It was still way too much food. I just made sure to eat all the mushrooms and leave the crostini behind.

We’ll go to Bunny’s Bar & Grill again if we’re at Midwest Supplies and in a jam for a meal. But we always like to try out other west metro restaurants if we aren’t in too much of a time crunch.

Do you have any recommendations?

What’s your favorite type of crepe – sweet or savory?

Cheers~
Carrie

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What Up? My world lately…

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You’ve probably thought that I’ve turned this into a Dog-Mom Blog.

But really, there has been very much going on this summer!  Work has been busier than ever. When I get home, workout and cook dinner, there’s not much left of me wanting to get online. This little blog suffers.

But when I’m not doing that, I’ve been doing lots of fun stuff!

Here’s just a tidbit.

More painting!

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And now… wine-making!

I never, ever thought I’d be one to make my own wine. Back when I taught at in-home wine tastings, there was always a guest who would say, “My {insert relative here} makes wine!”

And just thought of it exhausted me. I don’t have that kind of patience. I’d rather just drink the stuff than put in such a huge amount of time, money and effort on something that may not even turn out. Yes, I’m a turn-key kind of girl. The house Rob and I chose to move into together had no renovations required.

But that is not the case with my friend Sally. She’s always been interested in home improvements. And her latest hobby is wine-making. After hanging out with her and her husband one night, they invited us to make wine at their place and let us know when their next fermenter would be available. They had all of the equipment. The only things we would need were:

  1. a wine kit
  2. about 30 wine bottles
  3. purified water

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Here is what we chose for our first kit, based on the recommendations at Midwest Supply:

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Sally and Ryan made it sooooo incredibly easy for us. The package instructions all sounded like jibberish to me. They had everything set up and ready to go for us, sanitizer and all. Then they led us every step of the way.

It was so much easier than I thought; but I know that I never could have done it without their help. Plus, we didn’t have to buy any equipment.

But that’s just the thing. We liked it so much – depending on how this batch turns out – we might end up becoming kit wine-makers ourselves. After the initial investment in the equipment, the result comes out to just a few dollars per bottle of wine.

We also had the opportunity to help them bottle a batch of Cab-Shiraz (I believe) using a Portuguese Floor Corker:

Portuguese Floor Corker

And after we left, they let us know when things started a bubblin’ or… I guess fermenting is the technical term:

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They invited us back this past weekend for Step #2, which involved moving the wine from a primary fermenter into a carboy. But wait, there’s more! Because the primary fermenters were now available, they invited us to make another batch with them!

We chose this one on this go-round because of the online reviews:

Wine Expert Vintners Reserve Shiraz

There are a few other steps involved, but Sally and Ryan have graciously offered to take care of those for us because they take little time. See? No wonder it feels so easy {and fun!} to us.  They sure do spoil us. Thanks, Sally and Ryan!

We get to bottle both batches of wine at the end of August. Then, the waiting begins. This can be six months to one year until they will become drinkable! {See, I knew that would be the hardest part.}

Our friend Jeff makes incredible wine. For our wedding, he and his wife Penny gave us a case of twelve different bottles of his wine. It was one of the best gifts we received. When I used to think about home-made wine, I thought “nothing-special”; but that all changed the first time we tried Jeff’s wine! That guy can’t make a bad bottle. {Or at least he doesn’t share those!} That, combined with the fact that Sally and Ryan were going to help us, made me a lot less reluctant to give it a try.

Have you made your own wine before?

What were your thoughts? Results?

Any tips for us newbies?

Cheers~
Carrie