The Source of All Things…

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I’m feeling abundant, and you want to know why?  Because what make me happy, what makes me feel good, and what currently brings me the most joy is the most simplest of things.

Some time ago I’ve come to terms and at peace with many things.  While many things remain unresolved, what I’ve become most comfortable and at peace with are the most simple and peaceful of gatherings.   I still can find enjoyment in big parties with lots of commotion, lots of people, and lots of stimulation.

But a simple meal, a simple glass (or bottle) of vino, and a little conversation, where we can hear one another talk and listen intently, is what I’m all for.  It’s what I yearn for and prefer.  And when not looking for it, the opportunities tend to be presented to me with regularity.

I was grateful to be awarded another opportunity last week with a friend I don’t see enough.  It tends to go that way.  There’s those friends you talk to constantly yet don’t see as much as you would like.  My friend would fit that category.

What also makes me happy is getting together with friends for no reason whatsoever.  You know, someone is always having a birthday, a sports gathering, a milestone in life, and who knows what else.  But sometimes the rest reasons to hang out are no reasons at all.  If you love your friends and family, you never need a specific reason.

Well it helps when my friends have pets.  That’s a bonus.   I could relax with a cat, dog, or other animal friend all day, but I digress once again.

This planned yet impromptu gathering got all that more unpredictable, when my friend, who was all set to good, realized there were enough leftovers to be shared.   The cooking can be left for another day.  I’ve been spoiled and feeling grateful that I have such quality friends who like to cook, and invite their friends over to share in their love of food and wine.  I’m eternally grateful to be surrounded with great people.

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The food was wonderful, and the wine (which I’ll talk about shortly) paired serendipitously with some delicious chicken parmesan and pasta.  Oh my goodness this was great.

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The wine is the 2015 Mas Donis Old Vines, which is a red blend of Grenache, Merlot, and Syrah.  And with such a medium to full bodied wine to go with such a hearty and hefty meal, it’s a match that was meant to be and the universe came together on this night to make all the elements of food, wine, and simplicity work out magically.   That makes me feel good.

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I’ll freely admit that the label had much to do with the purchase. But something about this wine grabbed me.  At one of my local wine shoppes I was drawn to it immediately.  I grabbed it, held onto it, and with no resistance whatsoever, I knew this was the wine I was meant to buy, and share with you my thoughts today.  It was the first and only bottle I saw. Sounds about right.

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There’s so much to this wine. It’s got your standard berries and cherries.  But what might taste earthy to you at me, might be herbs and spices to someone else.  What stands out is how this wine ends.  You may have heard the term lingering finish before.  This wine epitomizes that.  What lingers is the flavors and the tannins after each sip.   Yet there’s so much structure and life to this wine, that you don’t need to put into words.  A little oak always helps too, but I think you know what I’m saying.  This is a wine that warms my heart, and may do the same for you.

And at a price tag of $10-$15, it’ll warm your pocketbook too.   Do people still have pocketbooks?  For more on this wine, and the distributor click here.

I think the elements of the the evening also made this wine that much better.  I think my friend enjoyed it a little more than me.  I think I had a glass and a half at most, which is fine by me.  That means more to share with good people.

I’ll also add that not every conversation is meant to be deep and meaningful.  It might drive you crazy.  It gets me cuckoo at times.

A good friendship also means a little surface level, a little nothing, and sometimes a little silence goes a long way.

Let’s do this again sometime.

Peace be with you.

Ideen

 

 

I Love Ellicott City

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For as many years as I can remember Historic Ellicott City  has been a fun place for me to visit.  I’ve taken several trips with family, many with friends, and now the last few have been on my own.  It has been a breath of fresh air. It conveys the old town soul and feeling that’s fortunately close to home and just feels the same.

I’m not here enough.  Cozy and welcoming towns like this are where I was meant to hang out.  I can’t speak for anyone else, but I suspect many feel the same.  I can’t turn back time but a set-up like this is where I would love to grow up.  Maybe in the next life.  Maybe in a previous life.

Over the summer I found myself here, and not by happenstance.  I don’t believe in that.   I believe in destiny.   A little sight seeing, a little food, a little shopping, but mostly becoming immersed and lost all at once in this quaint and welcoming community.   I didn’t formally know a single soul here, but I didn’t care.  I felt like I belonged. If I lived here, I assume I would make friends over time.  It just has that energy.

There were a few stops I wish I had made back in July, but maybe some cosmic force had other ideas.   I don’t know what to say.  But just three months later I found myself back here and making up for lost time.  Maybe this is all how it was meant to be.  I can’t predict these things.

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For the life of me I have no idea why I had never been to Pure Wine Cafe.  I love wine.  I love approachable establishments.  And I loved the energy of this place.  Yes it took me all this time.  Maybe the summer and every other time I walked by led me to this moment.

Well it only took me five years.

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I envisioned this place being spacious yet snug and homelike, and that’s exactly what happened.  Sometimes your visions match the results.  Think about that one.

Dan, who is one of the managers could not have been more friendly.  We had a spirited discussion about wine, the joys of wine drinking, and the rules of pairing.  He, like me, knows there are no rules to this thing.   It’s about going with your instincts, your feelings, and the mood you’re in.  And just maybe you go against all that, but not this time.

With this being pumpkin season and all, one item from the menu caught my eye.  The Roasted Heirloom Pumpkin was my small place of choice.  So what next, oh right, the wine…

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I was secretly hoping for a white to go with this and that’s just what he suggested. Actually Dan suggested a couple but I leaned towards some grapes I’ve never had.    I don’t have white blends often.  I tend to take those for granted.  I’m sure plenty of reds will be poured and savored as the colder weather approaches but I was looking forward to something different. Different can end up being a part of a repertoire later.

I went with the 2014 A La Carte.  More on these wines can be found here,  and over here.  And here’s a place to order online.  At around $15 retail in stores, calling this a bargain would be a major understatement.

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Those grapes you see in the synopsis (look at W12 – more on that momentarily) are none I’ve ever heard of nor will I pretend otherwise.  But I loved the combination.  This wine is a winner.  As Dan said, this is a perfect winter white.   And this was an affordable wine by the glass.

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I love how they’ve broken the wines down by body, strength, and value. I’m sure I left some other fancy words out too that I could have used.

Even more importantly, here is their story and why they call themselves Pure.  It’s all about the wine and the food.  Oh and the little things too, which could also be the big things.

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My roasted pumpkin never stood a chance.  The pumpkin seeds were toasted perfectly, and the paprika and tzatziki sauce added flavor that I never thought to put on pumpkin. Actually I don’t know the protocol of what does or doesn’t go on pumpkin but this belongs at the top of the list.

This was a perfect pairing. This was affordable.  And this was the perfect day.

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A nice quiet afternoon in a wine bar is always something to look forward to or even better when it’s spontaneous.   Find any beautiful town like Ellicott City, we can only be so fortunate to have a place to visit like Pure Wine Cafe.

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This place is worthy of all the praise in the world.   But don’t take my word for it.  This is the awards show part of the blog.  

If you’re interested in visiting, here is their contact and location information.

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But most important of all, if you’re in the Maryland vicinity, definitely come back to visit Ellicott City.  This is a town that’s loyal to their community, their businesses, and most important of all, to each other.   it’s a community that’s got so much going for it.  Many businesses will be opening and re-opening in the next few weeks and months.  And they would greatly appreciate our business.

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I know I will be back many times over, so the posts will keep on coming.   I support local business, I love local business, and I love Ellicott City.

I leave you with a bunch of photos of what’s happening now, the flourishing, and what’s still to come.

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Love,

Ideen