Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Wines Available at the Inns!

Did you know the Inns at Blackberry Common offer a full variety of red, white and sparkling wines, available by the glass in our parlors, or by the bottle if you prefer to enjoy a quiet evening in one of our guestrooms. Below is a sampling of the varieties offered, although we do have specials available periodically and change our selection seasonally. Looking for a special item to help celebrate your special occasion? Please ask and we will do our best to accommodate and special selection requests!

A sample of our whites:
Dry Creek Chardonnay, Sonoma
Brilliant golden hue, tastes of pears, hazelnut and citrus.

Lugana Ottella, Italy
Dry and crisp, long finish. Hint of apple.

Rockbare Chardonnay, Australia
Elegant and full bodied; with citrus and surprising flavor intensity.

A sample of our reds:
Pepperwood Grove Cabernet , California
Dark and fruity with subtle spice and smooth tannins.

Frei Brothers Cabernet, Alexander Valley
Dark Berries abound with this Full-Bodied Cab with sweet vanilla.

Mas de Gourgonnier Les Baux de Provence, Rouge, France
A complex Cabernet blend. Dark chocolate, spice, fresh thyme and lavender.

Our sparkling selection:
Pommery Brut Royal, France
Fresh & vivacious with a fruity finish. The real thing!

Schramsberg Blanc de Blanc, Napa
Brilliant straw color with elegant pinpoint bubbles. Crisp aroma of
Apple leads to a balanced, toasty style and complex clean finish.

Saint-Hilaire Blanc de Blanc, France
The Benedictine monks have been making this fine sparkling wine for
Over four and a half centuries. Crisp, dry with hints of berries and apple.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Time for Spring plantings!

Start with pansies and the time is now! You can't beat them for color and cold tolerance as the temperatures waver between winter and spring. Generally, as long as temperatures stay above 25 degrees your pansies will do well. If the temperatures do drop below this, try to cover them loosely with plastic overnight. If you forget, the plant will still survive, however any flowers in bloom are likely to discolor the existing leaves and kills buds. That's OK! Be patient and they will come back with a little TLC! The good news is you are guaranteed their beauty and continuing flowering throughout the summer months!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Recipe: Cranberry Apple Chutney

1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup chopped apples (skin on)
1/2 cup apple cider or cranberry juice
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup dried cranberries
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. salt

Add all ingredients to a stainless or other non-reactive 3 or 4 quart pot. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 30 minutes. Cool and serve at room temperature or chilled. Great with red meats, duck or pork. Can be made ahead of time and stores in the refrigerator for up to a week or frozen for up to 3 months!

NOTE: This basic recipe can be used for all of your favorite fruits... just substitute the apples and cranberries in the same quantities with your favorite selections and enjoy!

Friday, April 4, 2008

More Carriage House, now Birch Retreat photos!

The Carriage House suite has a new look and a new name! Look for the Birch Retreat on our Rates and Rooms pages!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

How do I save my Easter plants?

What to do with those Easter lilies and bulb plants like tulips and daffodils? Good news! Most of these can be planted outside when the weather warms! Only a few things to remember to make your transplants successful. The first is to let the green stems die down naturally before you cut them off. This allows energy to go to the bulb and makes the bulbs stronger for next season. By the way, this is also true of any bulb plants currently in your gardens. Tying them down as opposed to cutting the stems will always produce stronger plants the following season. Secondly, you'll probably need to plant these bulb plants slightly deeper than they are in the pot presently, about six inches deep is just fine. Easter lilies are also hardy - just plant in a somewhat protected area, and mulch well next fall. That's all you have to remember. Next time your guests bring you an Easter plant, you'll be able to enjoy that special gift for years to come!