Monday, November 20, 2017

Wine Day Trip to Grafton, IL.

On a crisp fall Sunday afternoon, 3 Ladies on a Vine jumped in the car and took the 45 minute drive to the river town of Grafton, IL. Although Grafton is less than an hour away from St. Louis, it still transported us to another world. As we drove through the scenic road to Grafton, we were surrounded by the river and the bluffs topped with fall foliage. There was a light drizzle and the sun wasn't shining, but the simplistic beauty of nature reminded us to take a moment to appreciate it.

As soon as we drove into the small river town, we saw quaint gift and ice cream shops, bars, and restaurants. You could park your car and walk the river road to explore what is has to offer.

Our first stop was Grafton Harbor. This floating winery sits right on the water and it can be reached by boat, foot or car. We were greeted by a welcoming smile and we quickly started our wine tasting. Their wines are maritime themed, which are really fun; but what we really enjoyed was the take away aerated wine glass that rocks back and forth. All the wines were tasty!

We topped our visit off at Grafton Harbor with an amazing wine slush
Right across the street from Grafton Harbor was Grafton Winery and Brewhaus. It is not on the water
but the river is in clear view. Grafton Winery is very spacious and has a gift shop, large patio and restaurant. A string trio was playing and the restaurant was bustling with people. We loved the tokens to keep track of your wine tastings. The pours were generous and one of us couldn't finish their five tastings! Grafton Winery had a excellent wine selection and we really enjoyed the music and atmosphere. If it wasn't raining, we would have definitely took advantage of the large wrap around patio. 



In order to get to our 3rd winery, we either had to drive up the hill, or catch at ride on the Aerie's Winery shuttle at the bottom of the hill. We chose to take the shuttle, and as soon as we got to the top, the breathtaking view appears. We could see the city of Grafton, the river, and the bluffs, it was a brief moment of serenity. We also found out that Aerie's Winery has cabins and event space for rent. The tastings were really reasonable at $1 a tasting. Aerie's Winery is must see for the amazing view!

After all the wine and walking, we were famished. We decided to head back to Grafton Harbor, which is also home to Grafton Oyster Bar. OMG, it was soooo good. They prepare creole inspired dishes that are literally mouthwatering. The shrimp and grits was the crowd favorite. Take a look at our video below to see what else we chose to eat and our fun time in Grafton, IL. 

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Sunday, October 15, 2017

So Medieval - A Game of Thrones Party

If you haven't heard of Game of Thrones then you must have come from medieval times, no pun intended. This HBO drama series is on it's 7th season and is based off the fantasy novels of author George Martin.  Episodes have reached ratings of over 10 million viewers from around the world and it's growing by the day.

Game of Thrones is a medieval fantasy about two powerful families trying to gain control of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, and sit atop the Iron Throne. To gain control, the characters must show extreme heroism and battle for survival. Fans enjoy the show because the families play a deadly game of treachery to get to the top, and no main character is safe. The show is intriguing due to the countless plot twists and sub-plots, which keep you on the edge of your seat. Episodes are also filled with murder, plotting, sex, violence, witchcraft, dragons, sword play, and lots of wine drinking, our favorite part!


Die hard fans of the show are now throwing their own Game of Throne's parties. It's impressive the grand spreads and decorations that fans come up with. By no means do you have to spend tons of money on the party decorations. We made a quick run to Dollar Tree & Goodwill and spent around $10 on decorations. Being that it's so close to Halloween, we found the knight shield, armor hat, and sword in the Halloween section at Dollar Tree and our total came to $3.00. We then went to Goodwill and found the wicker baskets, skull, brass bowl, cup, and candle holder. The vines are real and are growing by our house.

For the food, you want it to look medieval, although most people in the medieval times were poor and ate a lot of barely; in the show you see characters eating fruit, nuts, cheese, game meat, and bread. The possibilities are endless depending on how much time you have. We used whole fruit to make it look more realistic, blocks of cheese, nuts, olives, bread, and olive oil.

Now to the best part, the wine! According to research, people in medieval times enjoyed lots of wine. Many of their wine selections were based on personal health. They were very selective of what wine to drink with each meal. According to medivalists.net, "it was believed that all things were made up of four qualities - hot, dry, cold, and wet - and to maintain good health your meals and drinks had to balance those levels in your body." For instance, if you were eating a cold fish, you will need to be drinking a hot wine. Before researching, we assumed all medieval wines were dry wines, but they enjoyed everything from red, white, sweet, dry, weak, and strong. They saved sweet wines for special occasions and drunk in small quantities.

We suggest a Sangiovese or Cabernet Sauvignon for the Game of Throne's party, which goes well with intense cheeses and meats. Also, try our hot mulled wine recipe and serve it in a brass caldron. If serving dessert, serve a sweet riesling or a moscato d'asti.

The possibilities are endless, just let your creativity flow. It's not to late to catch up on all the episodes of this epic medieval fantasy, HBO has all previous seasons ready for binge watching and lots of wine drinking.

Please share with us what you like about Game of Thrones in the comment section below! Follow us on Twitter & Instagram & please subscribe.



Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Pinktober Giveaway

Breast Cancer Awareness Month Giveaway
Giveaway Items (2 shirts, 2 necklaces, 1 bandana, 1 candle, 1 pack of hair ties, 1 hand towel)
Special Thanks to Celebrity Pops for the Pink Ribbon Cupcakes
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and 3 Ladies on a Vine wants to honor all the brave women who have fought and won their battle against breast cancer, the ones still fighting, and also honor the ones we've lost from this heartbreaking disease. Over 250,000 women are diagnosed each year with breast cancer and over 40,000 women lose their battle each year. Even if you have never been diagnosed with breast cancer, we all know at least one friend or family member who has been affected.

We wanted to give back and do this giveaway for all the fighters and supporters out there who rock their pink faithfully each October! Pinktober is so popular, even the manliest of men rock their pink, from NFL and NBA players.

Contest Rules
1. The contest runs from October 3rd-October 31st, 2017
2. One winner will be announced on our Instagram page on November 1, 2017, and the winner will a receive an email.
3. 1 entry per person is allowed
4. To enter subscribe to our blog with a valid email address

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5. Comment under this blog post with your story or about how breast cancer has affected your life. You don't have to be a breast cancer survivor or a person with breast cancer to win. You can also share how you give back or give tips or words of wisdom.

What you Win (pictured in above photo)
1. 2 breast cancer shirts
2. 2 breast cancer ribbon necklaces
3. 1 pink candle
4. 1 pink bandana
5. A pack of Susan Komen hair ties
6. 1 I'll be you glass of wine hand towel

Here are a few tips from the 
National Breast Cancer Foundation

Symptoms & Signs: 
Early warning signs of breast cancer may involve the discovery of a new lump or a change in the breast tissue or skin. 

How to Perform A Breast Self-Exam
Women should perform a self, breast exam each month and any changes or abnormalities should be discussed with a doctor or physician. Here is the link from the National Breast Cancer Foundation on how to perform the self-exam - http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-self-exam

Clinical Breast Exam
A clinical breast exam is performed by a qualified nurse or doctor. A healthcare professional will check for lumps or other physical changes in the breast that may need to be investigated.

Mammogram
A mammogram is an x-ray that allows a qualified specialist to examine the breast tissue for any suspicious areas.

Healthy Habits
Leading a healthy lifestyle can help you reduce your risk for breast cancer and other illnesses.




Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Pretty & Pink Bridal Shower with Glitter Wine Bottle Decor



Glitter Wine Bottles
Bridal shower photos credit: Adeboy Photography
We have great news!! One of the 3 Ladies, Niambi was recently married. A few months prior to the wedding we had the most fabulous bridal shower! All 3 Ladies were involved in the planning and decided to have the shower at Boenker Hill Winery.

Bright pink dress
Bride to be Niambi in her beautiful pink dress
The Theme: Pretty in Pink
Niambi's favorite color is pink so we of course had to have a pretty in pink shower. We requested the guests wear pink, no matter the shade. Everyone looked gorgeous in pink. 

Decor: 
A lot of sparkle with pink and gold decor, with blinged out wine bottle centerpieces. Keep reading to learn how to make them. Special thanks to Cheri Williams for her beautiful flower centerpieces and her help decorating.
Bridal shower decor
Bridal shower decor
Bridal shower decorations

The Food: 
Salad with strawberries and pecans, a fruit tray with grapes and berries, chicken salad sandwiches, vegetable tray, cheese & crackers, and a variety of meats. We wanted to keep it light 
bridal shower food
Bridal Shower Food

Desserts: 
The cutest and most delicious cupcakes provided by Celebrity Pops. The cupcake toppers were too cute to eat, even the "He put a ring on it" and ring was edible!
Celebrity Pops sweets & treats

Bridal Shower ideas
Favors: 
Since we love wine, and the shower was at a winery, we went with wine glasses and custom made wine stoppers that said Pretty in Pink. 
We decided to make glitter wine bottles with custom made labels to add more glitz and glam to our pinkilicious event.  This was such an easy craft to do but we found it can get a little messy, ok a lot messy. LOL  

Blinged out wine bottles

Supplies:
Wine bottles
Craft glue such as Mod Podge
Sponge paint brushes
Glitter
Cardboard box or plastic container

1) Apply a thin coat of Mod Podge to the outside of the bottle

2) Immediately begin shaking the glitter onto the bottle.  Over time our bottles of glitter were empty and the plastic containers were full with glitter.  We ended up rolling the bottles in the containers or sprinkling the glitter on with our bare hands.  

3) Keep applying glitter until you get the desired glitter effect.  If the glue dries before you can add all of the glitter, just repaint it with the glue and shake more glitter on.  Also if the thought of getting glitter in your hair, eyes, or the wine you're drinking while having all of this fun isn't appealing, feel free to simply use glitter spray paint instead.

Before you start making your glittery wine bottles, it's suggested you take off any labels.  It didn't work so well for us.  No worries though we were able to correct any mistakes and the custom made labels helped as well.  Also the ones that didn't make the cut for the shower can be given as gifts as they are still perfect in their imperfections.

The custom labels we put on the finished wine bottle were designed by our family member Cheri. Just google custom wine labels and you will find many great companies to order from, like Esty. 

We'd like congratulate Niambi on her marriage and wish her husband a lifetime of love happiness and joy.

Crafting over wine
How to make glitter wine bottles      

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Monday, August 21, 2017

The Need to Know Before Heading To a Winery

Visiting a winery
Photo courtesy of Midwest Living
Have you ever wanted to plan a day trip to a winery?  Visiting a winery is a fun get-away with friends or it can be a romantic time for you and the honey! 3 Ladies on a Vine have visited many wineries throughout the years with small and large groups. We have learned it's best to research and call ahead before heading out on your wine adventure. There are so many different type of wineries, some being small and quaint that can only handle a small group, or some that are equipped to handle hundreds. We visited one winery and they were hosting a festival, so they were not doing any wine tastings. We also visited a winery where they were prepping for a wedding that evening and didn't have enough staff for our large group. We want you to have a good time, so we prepared a list of tips and questions before heading out! Most wineries have websites which show pictures, have a list of their wines and prices, tasting times and prices, the food menu, if any, and event calendar. We advise you to still call to make sure the site is up to date. 

NEED TO KNOW INFORMATION 
  • How many people does the winery hold?
  • Can the winery handle large parties? (If bringing a bus load or large group, most wineries like to know in advance)
  • Do you need to rent a space or table for your group?
    traveling to a winery
    Chandler Hills Winery where we rented a table for our group
  • Can the entire winery be rented or a certain section?
  • Are there any special events going on during the time of the visit?
  • What time are tastings and what is the tasting fee?
    sugar creek winery wine tastings
    Tasting wines at Sugar Creek Winery 
  • How many samples come with the tasting?
  • What wines are sampled during the tasting?
  • Do you get to keep your wine glass as part of the tasting fee? 
    German wine
    Wine glass at Von Jakob Vineyard in the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail
  • Does the winery serve food? (Ask or see if the menu is online)
  • Can you bring your own food?
  • What time is food served? 
    Appetizer sampler
    Our food at Bretz Wildlife Lodge & Winery 
  • Do they serve beer?
  • Do they accept credit & debit cards?
  • Do they have wine tours? If so is there a separate fee? 
  • Do they have vineyards to see? (We went to one winery where you could pick grapes. There was an additional fee).
    picking grapes in a vineyard
    The grapes we could pick at Alto Vineyards 
  • If coming on a charter bus, where do buses park?
  • Is there a parking fee?
  • Is there live music?
    live music at a winery
    Live Band at Rustle Hill Winery 
  • Are dogs allowed?
  • Are children allowed?

What you need to know when visiting a winery.
3 Ladies Denise with her family
We hope you enjoyed these tips before heading to a winery - Here is a picture of our very own Denise visiting Hidden Lake Winery with her family! Please make sure to subscribe to our website for more helpful stories like this one!


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