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Oct 17

Update: Life is not CSI

My 21-year old sister Krystal, who was also a twin, dropped dead on campus before her midterm exams on Monday. They think it might be a brain aneurysm, but we won’t know the exact cause for 30-60 days. Life is not CSI. The visitation is Thursday and funeral Friday here in Northern Ky. Information on services can be found on the front page of KevinandShel.com.

There will NOT be a Friday event post this week. There’s just no way I can get it together in time.

It looks like, overall, I’ll be taking around 2 weeks off from the wine
blog. I’m going to ask two friends of mine to contribute periodically,
as guest authors, over the next week and a half.

Sunday I actually leave for a conference in Florida where I’m giving two presentations. I’ve decided to go, because I think I could use a break. Kevin & I have had a lot of death in 30 days (Krystal died 31 days after Kevin’s father). My best friend lives near the conference, so I think the trip will be good for me.

I return next Wednesday night. I intend to post an event listing on Oct 26 and everything should return to normal after that. Or in my case, a new normal.

Thank you for your patience …

– Michelle

UPDATE 10/17 evening: The coroner called my dad tonight. When he opened up Krystal’s
chest, the right ventricle of her heart was destroyed. It was a
congenital heart defect. A heart problem had shown up in her twin, Kimberly, earlier this
year but it hadn’t presented in Krystal, even with tests. Kim is on
medication. The coroner said she probably was going about her day, had
some sort of pain similar to antacid, and then was gone. Quick.

Her heart was just tired.

The stress on her heart from finals, work, and everyday living is
different from the stress put on her heart from sports and climbing and
all the other things she did. Her heart just gave out.

It helps to have a reason, even if it doesn’t take away the pain.


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Posted by Michelle at 10:09 am in Life | Permalink | Comments (8)
Oct 16

Some more time off

My Wine Education will be taking another small hiatus. I know we just came back. But we had another death in the family yesterday – my little sister died suddenly.
Please say a prayer for us.
I learned last month that after a death you need to go on living and appreciating what life has to offer. But I’m still going to take a few days. I do not know if I’ll be doing a Friday post or not.
Bear with us. Life will return to some sort of normal around here eventually.
– Michelle

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Posted by Michelle at 1:00 am in Life | Permalink | Comments (1)
Oct 16

Wine Blogging Wednesdays Coming Your Way

If you recall, we sat out of the last Wine Blogging Wednesday. The round-up, however, has been posted over on Catavino. It’s a fantastic round-up, using an interactive map with integrated tasting notes. How wonderful!

Wine Blogging Wednesday #39 has also been announced. It sounds scarier than it is: taste a bottle(s) of Silver Burgundy, wine from either the Côte Chalonnaise or the Mâconnais. Brooklynguy is hosting the challenge, and he swears that wine from these French regions can be fantastic, and come in at low prices (under $25 in many cases). The catch? This excludes Chablis and Beaujolais, which rightfully deserve their own Wine Blogging Wednesday events.

You can learn a lot more about this Wine Blogging Wednesday over at Brooklynguy’s excellent post. He  provides you with information on the regions, several links, and some good starting points.

The next Wine Blogging Wednesday takes place on Wednesday, November 14. Enjoy!

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Posted by Michelle at 12:01 am in WBW | Permalink | Comments ()
Oct 15

RSVP: Chef & Brewer’s Dinner

I was sitting at Happy Hour at Rock Bottom downtown with some friends. I’m often surprised Rock Bottom has survived the Fountain Square renovation. The construction has made it next to impossible to get to Rock Bottom for over a year. It has definitely meant I don’t go to Happy Hours there as often.

I tend to think of Rock Bottom as a place with decent beer, okay food, and mediocre service. So I was surprised when I saw a flyer for the Chef & Brewer’s Dinner.

We’re going. I have hopes that with a special dinner planned, service will improve. The menu listed is already better than the bar food that I am accustomed to at Rock Bottom. And it’s a great price ($35

Each courses is paired with a particular Rock Bottom beer.

1st Course: Smoked chicken hash with Sweet Red Pepper Sauce and Chipotle Cream

2nd Course: Wilted Baby Frisse with Grilled Portobello Mushrooms tossed in a Honey Bacon Dressing

3rd Course: Hearth Roasted Beef Short Ribs with Stout-Glazed Root Vegetables and Herb Crusted Redskin Potatoes

4th Course: Double Chocolate Cake with Bourbon Scented Whipped Cream and Coffee Sauce

The dinner is Wednesday night, Oct 17, at 6:30 pm. Cost is $35 per person. Reservations are required at 513.621.1588.

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Posted by Michelle at 11:01 pm in Cincinnati, Dinner and Drinks, Restaurants | Permalink | Comments ()
Oct 15

Write Your Local Congressman

Honestly, I spend a lot of time beating my head against the wall because of our ridiculous wine shipping laws in the tri-state area. It’s like Prohibition all over again – in the name of commerce. I first posted an alert on this particular issue back in June, when the folks at Kinkead Ridge brought it to my attention.

Harmony Hill, one of our favorite Ohio wineries, is no longer shipping wine to consumers in any state due to Ohio’s new shipping laws. Post your comments and support for Harmony Hill. I find it sad that Ohio’s laws are not only hurting consumers, but hurting small winemakers in its own state.

UPDATE: Nancy Bentley, from Kinkead Ridge, posted information in the comments section of this post on how to contact your congresspeople. She also mentioned that Kinkead Ridge has stopped shipping wine as well.

Here is the letter from Harmony Hill:

Dear Friends of Harmony.
As of Monday, October 1, Harmony Hill Vineyards & Estate Winery
will no longer ship wine to consumers
, in ANY State. This
regretful decision is based on a new law passed by our legislators that
bans direct shipment of out-of-state wine to Ohio consumers from wineries that
produce more than 150,000 gallons. That, alone, would not be an issue (Harmony
Hill produces less than 3000 gallons) except that the law limits the
purchase per household to no more than 24 cases.
Sec. 4303.233. No family household shall purchase more than twenty-
four cases of nine-liter bottles of wine in one year.

Our fear is the winery’s liability for shipping that illegal 25th case to
an Ohio household, since we are not able to track how much wine each
household has already purchased.

I could easily turn this into a five page email touting my opinions of
how this could have possibly happened in this day and age, but instead ask that
you check the "Legislative Alert"
link on our web site to see how many
of Ohio citizens’ rights have been rescinded by this ridiculous
legislation. I will only share one letter from a loyal Harmony Hill customer who
summarizes these limitations very well, and ask that you visit our
Legislative Alert page and form your own opinions based on what others around
the country are stating.

With regrets,
Bill & Patti

Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by Michelle at 9:55 am in Legislation | Permalink | Comments (1)

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