Friday, January 25, 2013

Wow it's winter

The bitter Ohio cold has finally rested like a blue dot over this little slice of the country and it's clenched down with all it's might. Bitter is an excellent word to describe how it feels outside right now. Every part of skin that's exposed to the open air is kissed with an invigorating breeze that almost feels like ice water getting splashed in your face.

The snow is flying in the vineyard as I peer out from under a hat pulled down but over my scarf while my hot breath fogs up my glasses and ice forms in my nostrils. The giant snowflakes today remind me of those epic scenes in 3D movies that they've been perfecting where the snowflakes closest to me move so fast and the ones far away look like they're taking their sweet time giving in to gravity.

The chill is still in my boots as I warm up in the kitchen, kneeding bread over and over, adding more flour as I get a workout pushing the stubborn dough around. I set the dough by the fire and put my toes up to the fire for a minute until the cold pricks through them again and the feeling comes back a bit.

The coffee is on in the tasting room and I'm working on the perfect banana split with a red wine reduction sauce.

2 more months until March and the official start of spring. Can't wait!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Post-Holiday Recovery Plan

Post holiday time is always a recovery time for my gastrointestinal system. After a few days of eating my way from house to house through a flurry of rich food and relatives, cookie trays and cakes, holiday hams and delicious meat trays, I can see why most new years resolutions include some form of dieting.
But I don't want to be too rash all at once, so I like to balance out my leftovers with healthy things, like apple pie. Apples are said to keep the doctor away so I feel including it in a pie is healthy enough.
And along the apple theme, I have been enjoying some spiced hard cider as well. Cinnamon may reduce inflammation, have antioxidant effects, and fight bacteria according to webMD and cloves are used for everything from hernias to coughs and toothaches. Combine that with the high antioxidants in hard cider and I think it's on the verge of being a health tonic drink... well, until I top it with some whipped cream.
I'm also working on a winter greens soup. It's massively snowing out, but I lift up the big green umbrella of leaves to find a perfect stalk of brussel sprouts, sweet with frost and ready for the soup pot. I'll mix that up with some kale and a ton of garlic and white wine for a pretty delicious companion to a big glass of red wine. The combination will perfectly stave off the cold chills that whip with the wind as the snow flies.

So after presents have been exchanged, the Christmas lights get turned on less and less, the tree needs to find a new home.
I like to give the brave little trees one last hurrah. They gave their lives to brighten ours and so I feel it only fitting that they go out with a bang.
Now starts my yearly search for some sparklers. You'd think that I'd remember to plan ahead, but every year I forget.  But I still have a week to hunt for sparklers and gather old cut trees for our annual celebration Jan 4th. It should be fun.
The snow is still coming down at a very fast pace and the trains do seem a bit more magical when pummeling through the winter wonderland.

It's the end of December in Ohio and it is beautiful.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Twelve Gifts of Christmas

We are at that time of year where exchanging gifts is an expression of celebration for the friends and family we hold dear.

Some might be delighted by this yearly endeavor. Others feel pressured or anxious as the time draws near. This is a time to remember the people close to us and celebrate another year together. The token of affection doesn't have to be extravagant, but when you give a gift that really makes someone smile, that gives you the holiday feeling in return

So here's a few ideas to ease the pressure of holiday gift giving. Each of our gifts is unique by either being home grown, home made, or just downright one of a kind. Come out to the winery and we'll help you pick out the perfect, unique gift!

12. Handmade Key chain 

BRX Handmade Key chain $6.50
This handmade key chain using a BRX cork pairs perfectly with a Barrel Run Crossing gift card for a memorable gift and delightful evening out.

 11. Farmstead Goat Milk Soap

Carved Oak Farmstead Soap $5.50
I admire a woman who raises her own goats, milks them, then creates this well crafted product from that's poured and cut by hand. The vanilla bean scent is subtle but delicious and it works great for men and women.

10. Alpaca Felted Rug

Peghorn Forest Alpaca Felted Rug $175
Luxurious decadence doesn't begin to describe this hand felted rug. It really makes an impact in any room with it's natural curls and beautiful texture. It's so beautiful, it is almost a shame to step on it! It's soft enough to throw on the back of a couch for a beautifully soft statement piece for any room


9. James Weckbacher Photograph

James A Weckbacher Auto Photo $50
James photographs great lines on amazing cars and sculptures. Perfectly framed and ready to go, this gift is ready to go for that particular person who would appreciate the beauty in simplicity.

8. Antiques Repurposed Bracelets

Indigo Wings Bracelets $35 - $79
By using vintage and found items including old broaches, buttons, and antique earring pieces, Kat creates truly unique pieces. Hand crafted, these pieces are comfortable, sturdy, and one of a kind.


7. Ductape Wallets

Ductape Wallet $15

 For the sports fan, these hand crafted wallets made entirely from ductape are great. It's a functional gift that's also custom to their favorite team.

6. Artisan Honey

Kline Honey Bee Farm's Squeezable Honey $4.25
Not all honey is created equal and Kline Honey Farm really has their finger on the pulse of the hive. There is quite a difference between the buttery delicious goldenrod and the rich buckwheat honey. This pairs well with a candle and a bottle of wine for a great hostess gift!

5. Hand Lathed Wine Stopper

The Family Phfix's Wine Stoppers $12-30
The wood grains in these wine stoppers are so interesting and the craftsmanship in these lathed wine stoppers lends to a one of a kind product. This will keep your favorite wine drinking friend's wine fresh... if there's ever any left in the bottle to keep!

4. Handmade Shawl or Hair Pin

Michelle Stead's Hair Pins $12 or 2 for $20
Michelle's handcrafted pieces cradle unique beads in among copper wire that's hand twisted to form these wonderful hair pins. They are incredibly easy to use, lighweight and very elegant.

3. Real Maple Syrup

Creekside's Real Maple Syrup $12 - $24
Pure maple syrup is made from our friends just up the road. The trees and the sugar shack are on the same road as the winery and we're happy to offer this deliciously local syrup. This isn't just for pancakes. Add it to coffee or tea for a delicious sugar substitute that's Ohio grown.

2. Handknit Fingerless Gloves

Peghorn Forest Alpaca Knit Items $20 and up
 Alpaca spun fiber is so soft and warm it's divine. We have hand knit  fingerless gloves, elf style hats, slippers, child slippers, and shawls to keep your loved ones warm. I have a pair of fingerless gloves and I love how they keep my hands warm but my fingers free for using my phone, getting into my wallet or finding my keys. And they're so soft!

 1. A Delicious Gift to Share... Wine!

Barrel Run Crossing wine $10.95 - 18.95
 Need a hostess gift? Looking for the perfect gift for someone who has everything? Want to mend fences with someone after your Christmas party? Or just want something nice for your Christmas table?
Wine is the gift that can be shared and enjoyed together. Barrel Run wine is a great way to gather friends, stay warm by the fire, and share great stories.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Every time I come back to Ohio from North Carolina, I feel totally different. I can look at the barrels in a new light. I have a greater appreciation, although I was mildly confused when sitting around a fire, I didn't want a beer but instead cracked open a bottle of red wine. But inkeeping with the campfire spirit, it was of course poured into a Mason jar.

In North Carolina, within the first five minutes of being there, I learned a tiny piece of knowledge that would have saved me hours and hours of time about filtering wine. That is amazing to me.

I like winemaking because there's always something new to learn. Even as I was drinking flawed wine, I was learning so much. I like being able to pick up on new things each time I go.

So anyway, another good trip down. I ate amazing food. Drank amazing wine. Talked with amazing people. Aaaand I learned a lot. It doesn't get much better than that!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


I like Ohio 90% of the time. More appropriately, I like my little truck 90% of the time. The 10% for both Ohio and my little Chevy coincide with the appearance of black ice and drifting snow.

My commute to work is usually a pleasant one where I just zone out while flipping through radio stations. I keep up to date with NPR's news for a bit and then switch over to AM conspiracy theories to round out the plane. I keep current on American popular music, which I find to be unendingly humorous (you know it's all about girls meeting boys and boys meeting girls, right?) and then I'll flip through to modern country, also just about girls and boys with a little patriotism mixed in there. The oldies stations get old pretty fast, but provide a relief from the girls and boys theme.... wait, a minute. What was Elvis actually singing about?

Anyway, while driving through what is turning out to be a massive snow storm on my way to work, I settle on a rock station that plays neither the same 10 classic Zepplin & Floyd songs nor the same 5 Nickleback songs, but something in between, or what I'll refer to as the Zeppleback station. Bon Jovi's song Livin' on a Prayer is what has me settle on that station as it seems appropriate while I'm going 30 MPH on 76E trying to keep the nose in front of the back of my truck.
I play this fun game called Wind - Alignment - or Black Ice. I'll be driving along and then suddenly lose control of the wheel and I have to guess what's moving the wheel, the strong winds that whip this little machine around on the road, the crappy alignment that's in the long to do list for my mechanic, or is it the slushy ice and snow building up below the terrible traction of a rear wheel drive light truck.
I usually use my brother's and sisters in light truck ownership as indicators of how terrible the roads are. One time while driving my old reliable snow cat Honda down 80 during a massive snow downpour, without fail after I would pass each little bridge, there would be one or two light trucks in the ditch immediately following. Without fail. Weird.

Anyway, this round of wind/alignment/black ice is especially fun because the wind is really coming from all sides. I resist the urge to change the station as Carrie Underwood's - Jesus Take the Wheel is actually quite tempting when driving in those situations, although I'm not sure that my outcome would work out like in the song. Bon Jovi has me trudging along at a safe pace, getting passed by boat cars and 4x4 trucks constantly and then as if the DJ knew that I was struggling in an epic battle to keep on the road, she plays an equally epic song from the era when Metallica fanned out into a 30 piece orchestra. I'm a sucker for stringed instruments in rock other than the usual bass and guitar. It's beautiful and appropriate until he starts singing what I can only assume was a stroke of "genius" in lyrically writing so much that he repeats the same line over and over -
"and it comes to be that the soothing light at the end of your tunnel, is just a freight train coming your waaaaaay."

I'm not sure whether to laugh or feel the impending fate of falling off into the ditch along with my brothers and sisters post-bridge. That song is like 10 minutes long and that's all he says. It actually does make me grip the wheel with white knuckled determination in order to make sure that the soothing light at the end of my tunnel isn't a semi coming my waaaaay.

A half hour later and I'm about to work when the DJ throws on NIN's Hurt, and since i am a sucker for odd instrumentation in rock songs, I keep listening and chugging along through the slush on Industry Road. It's actually a quite beautiful song when you really focus on it... and think you might die at any minute.

So I made it to work and with this paycheck, I will not set aside part of it to fix my alignment, but rather I'll put it in a new account titled - new car savings. :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thursday, I walk into work and hit play.
Head to the kitchen and start some garlic cooking with some amish roll butter and fill the whole tasting room with instant delicious smells. I dance around on the way to check the messages then back to adding more components to the soup - onions cooked until they release their sweetness, add Jacob's cattle beans from an organic farm up the road along with other simple ingredients to make the base of my white chili stock. I arrange white roses for the bar. I put down all the chairs, wipe down tables, look outside at the rain trickling down the grapevines, run outside to cut some rosemary, and lament for a moment not getting garlic in the ground. There's still time. I come inside, check the weather, check out an online portfolio of a local artist who might display here in Feb., then make myself a sample of the sandwich special. Delicious! Needs a mushroom, white wine sauce and I personally like colby jack, but swiss might go better with mushrooms.

I can't believe it's one week before Christmas! Where did the time go? As the year rounds out, we're about sold out of our delicious off-dry white, Locomotion. That might be my stocking stuffer while we still have some left.
The weather looks like this is the warmest day for awhile... and we might have a white Christmas Eve. It's odd that December isn't acting like December. This year has been nothing but rain. It seems appropriate that through the winter it continues to pour down on us instead of snowing. I guess I'll take that over freezing sleet rain anytime.

Anyway, now it's time to make the mushroom sauce for my swiss roast beef sub and then work on the pile of dishes that's growing. This is after all, very hard work. ;)