Leaving home……….

Saying goodbye to Sarasota and to our newly built / renovated cottage was huge!  The process was daunting having just unpacked our belongings and filled the wine room less than 8 months ago.

Aside from the normal packing…….It was necessary to sell off a major amount of the wine inventory, pack and ship some ahead, and arrange for a small amount to travel with us.  A big help with the process was arranging to have a wine storage facility, All Ways Cool in Santa Rosa to store and accept our deliveries.


Our friends were so gracious to entertain us before we departed.  We had a truly amazing time sharing special bottles together.

The time also presented an excuse to finally try some of those wines that had been laid down for years.  Sadly, some were down just a tad too long, others were great!

I wish I had remembered to snap photos of all of them! I’m definitely missing some incredible wines, especially sparkling ones!


Thank you to all for the wonderful send off!

And…… thanks so much over the final days for the food delivery, the care packages, help distributing our goods to charities and for packing our car safely! Nothing moved or rattled!

Looking forward to your visiting us in California!

On the road………





Saturday morning wine purchase…….

Saturday morning we stopped in to see theWinetoBuy.com’s new store located on Gulf Gate Drive.  Wow!  The storefront sign gives the shop a great presence on the shopping strip.    The space is definitely larger than the former store on Stickney Point Road.  It includes a temperature controlled wine room and a spacious granite counter area for future wine tastings.  They are still busy unpacking and filling out the extensive bins and racks but to my Sarasota friends, stop in and see the new digs!

Now when you shop for your wine you can get a chocolate fix next door at Chocolates, Nuts, and More,  and at the end of the strip,  purchase some of the best breads and desserts at Jim’s Small Batches!

We couldn’t resist picking up some favorites!

And these four were chosen to taste test!

Many congrats to Mitch for selecting a terrific location and expanding the store!

Salud! Debbe

Cooking for friends…….

Friends invited us to join them for a cooking demonstration at Apron’s recently.  This particular one was presented by the Apron’s staff chef’s and was titled “Sonoma vs. Napa.”  The demonstration was entertaining, maybe a little too entertaining as I did not take notes which I realized later,  can be incredibly handy when you try to make any of the recipes.  The chefs are generous with tips and tricks that are useful in the preparation if you remember them!

Over the Thanksgiving weekend I decided to attempt to create the dishes Apron’s prepared.  With a number of good-hearted friends and an amassing of some wines we tried the Wild Mushroom & Gorgonzola Tart and Cabernet Laced Lamb Burgers.

I’m happy to save all was devoured and I am now thinking of trying another Apron’s cooking adventure!


p.s. – If anyone would like the recipes, I’ll be happy to share them.

Memorial weekend dinner with friends……

The evening weather in Sarasota remains unusually lovely so we were able to entertain on the deck and dine under the stars and the tree-hanging chandelier to celebrate the long weekend.  John opened a bottle of  2007 The Prince in His Caves – Farina Vineyard from Scholium ProjectThis winemaker is quite unusual.  You might enjoy reading this New York Times article about him – A Thinking Man’s Wines.

Thanks to our guests we also shared a bottle of Moet Chandon with the grilled shrimp and baked brie appetizers followed at dinner by an incredibly soft and delicious  (well, I thought so!)  magnum – 1991 Beringer Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – Private Reserve.  The finale, again thanks to our guests, was a luscious lemon blueberry cake.