Writing Workshop: My Drink(s) of Choice

Mama Kat asked me today, “How did your love affair with Coffee begin?” That’s a really good question, but ironically, a funny thing happened on the way to being sixty. I forget when I drank my first coffee, but I still remember that I pretty much can’t live without it now.

My husband is partly to blame for my addiction to coffee. We’ve become connoisseurs of the different Starbucks blends — venti, dark, and black is my order. He prefers decaf and I live for the kick of caffeine. We shop carefully for whole beans, always on the lookout for a sale. When we travel, he scouts out the Starbucks locations on his smart phone or maps them out on his computer before we leave. We plan our driving breaks around the visits to Starbucks, knowing they will have good coffee, won’t sneer because we bring in our own reusable mugs, and we can depend on clean bathrooms.

At the Sissinghurst Castle Farmhouse bed and breakfast in England where we stayed during the summer of 2011, we were always served coffee in a sprightly little press pot, so I decided to buy one for Christmas. I searched and searched for a coffee press large enough to satisfy our coffee habit. I wanted to make two fresh mugs for each of us, with one being decaf and the other caf. I hoped the freshly pressed coffee would satisfy our coffee hunger and that we wouldn’t just continue to drink the dregs of the big coffeemaker pot out of habit. That hasn’t worked out so well, as we are still using our big Gevalia coffeemaker and are each still sacrificing for the other — to caf or not to caf is an important question in our thirty-year marriage.

The second part of Mama Kat’s prompt is easier to remember. She continued the question by providing an alternative — “Or Diet Coke or Tea or whatever your beverage of choice might be.” My true beverage of choice is the nectar of the gods, a good wine. I blame it all on moving to California in 1974 and discovering wineries, and my love for wine has progressed from the Boone’s Farm Apple Wine, Mateus, and Lancers of our college days to the fine wines from around the world to which we have access (and can better afford) today.

One of our most recent trips to a winery was in southeast England, where some amazing wine is made. Our host at Sissinghurst Castle Farmhouse is also the CEO of Chapel Downs Winery, and I blogged about our visit here.

The bookends of my day are a strong jolt of joe in the morning and slow sips of liquid terroir in the evening. What’s not to love?

I’m linked up to Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop today. Please stop by and spread some comment love around to my friends.

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31 Days in Europe: Chapel Down Winery

“Grape Britain.” Gold medals for British rosés at the International Wine Challenge. An English white wine costing about $12 served at a Royal Wedding reception. Can any of this be true?

Image via telegraph.co.uk

Image via English Wines Group

Frazer Thompson, our host at Sissinghurst Castle Farmhouse, is also the award-winning English Wines Group managing director at Chapel Down Winery in Kent. I was eager to try their wine so we made a visit to the winery. As I soon found out, Chapel Down is the largest premium wine producer in England, and I was not expecting the sophistication and quality that we found at Chapel Down just outside of tiny Tenterden.

Image via English Wines Group

The winery itself is unpretentious but beautiful. Its multi-use property sports a wine tasting room that is more like a gourmet store, a lovely English garden where you can have your wedding, and of course, row upon row of grapevines on the 25 acre property. Although I’m not an expert on winery equipment, its stainless steel tanks looked pretty modern and impressive.

Image credit: Got My Reservations

Image credit: Got My Reservations

Image credit: Got My Reservations

Image via beer-pages.com

I tasted several of their current wines and brought some back to the bed and breakfast to share with friends — or not. The award-winning sparkling Vintage Rosé Brut lived up to its hype and was well-priced at £24.99. Husband rummaged through all of the bins to find his favorite, Chapel Down’s own Curious Brew, Admiral Porter. He loved it.

Meanwhile, back at the farmhouse, we talked to one of the couples who were staying in the B&B for an anniversary getaway. They had made reservations at the restaurant at the winery for their celebration and were quite excited about experiencing this little gem. The restaurant is named after its Michelin-starred chef, Richard Phillips. We decided that we would take our friends from Cirencester to the restaurant and hoped for the best.

Apparently having Frazer’s name attached to our reservation worked magic, because were seated at the best table in the room and were served with skill and sensitivity. We ordered the chef’s tasting menu and the wines chosen to go with each course. It was pricey, but worth every pound.

Image credit: Got My Reservations

Image credit: Got My Reservations

Image credit: Got My Reservations

Image credit: Got My Reservations

Our meal was extraordinary and presented creatively. All in all, it was a magical evening. One could even say it was a meal fit for a prince and princess.

Image via blogs.babble.com

This post  linked up with hundreds of other 31 Day-ers. Join the fun and visit other bloggers as they share a piece of themselves. I’m still number 568, by the way.

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