Sunday, November 23, 2008

Two of my Favorite Things - Candles and Wine

I've posted about Waxen Art before - it's the local studio where you can make your own candles. I've been there a number of times. I love making candles as gifts. And I took my friend Kathy there three weeks ago and now she's hooked on it too.

So when I found out that Waxen Art was doing an event in conjunction with Castle Bridge Winery...well, how could I resist? I've been wanting to check out Castle Bridge Winery for some time. And for a very reasonable price, I could go there, sample 6 wines while noshing on some cheeses and crackers, make a candle, and get my own custom bottle of wine to take home. Sounded like a great time to me.

Kathy was game.

So we headed over there this evening and we had the most amazing time. It was so much fun.

Castle Bridge Winery is a bit different from other wineries. While you can certainly buy the wines that they have in stock (and they have a nice selection of gifts as well), you can also make your own bottle of wine. They take you through every stage of the process. Well, we didn't do that tonight...we got to pick from two of their wines. But we got to pick out our own labels and give it our own names. We got to bottle it ourselves and cork it and foil wrap the top of it too. It was so interesting to see and experience this process of bottling wines.

I'm getting ahead of myself...

We got 6 tickets for wine tastings. We settled down at a table with some cheese and crackers and our small tastings and just chatted and nibbled for a bit. The candle-making area was a bit busy for awhile. But when we saw an opening, we squeezed in. I wanted a "Fire" (cinnamon) scented candle for the holidays, so I decided to do my candle in reddish-brown and a dark pink. Kathy went for rainbow sherbet colors but scented her candle with a special cabernet scent that is not normally available at Waxen Art.

The difference this time was that we got to add our scent and pour our own candles. I've never had the chance to do that before and it was really cool. It felt to me like my candle was completely handmade by me from start to finish.

While we waited for our candles to harden, we sampled more wines and chatted some more. I love the names of the wines at Castle Bridge - they are Medieval/Renaissance themed. The first wine I tried was "Captive Maiden," which was actually the white wine selection that we could bottle (similar to a Gewurztraminer, one of my favorite wines). The other selection - a red wine - was called "Red Rooster." I sampled 3 whites, a rose, and 2 reds, one of which had the surprising scent and taste of dark chocolate. It was rich and sweet and delicious.

We spent a bit of time deciding on the labels and names for our custom wine bottles. Kathy decided to name hers after her dog, Wedge Antilles. So I followed suit and named mine after Reece.

The result: Kathy had a red wine called "Wedge Antilles 'Red Two'" (this is a Star Wars reference, for those who don't know). I named mine "Reece's Mischief." We were totally beside ourselves once the bottles were finished. We both thought it was the coolest thing ever to name our own wines.

We bought a couple things at the gift shop. The Captive Maiden was on sale, and even though my custom bottle was filled with Captive Maiden, I bought an extra bottle. Kathy bought some adorable mini wine cork earrings. And we're both keeping our custom wine bottles, even after the wine is gone.

We enjoyed every minute of our time time there tonight. I want to thank the people behind this event...they were awesome and so much fun to talk to. Please do it again!

Now, click here for some silly pictures.

For further information:

Waxen Art - (seriously...if you live in the Seattle/Tacoma area, it is absolutely worth it to come here at least once)

Castle Bridge Winery -

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Clark Lake Park - Kent

I've been wanting to visit this park for awhile. I've heard really good things about it - that it's normally uncrowded, quiet, and tranquil. You get to see a lot of wildlife (well...sometimes. I didn't see much today, but I certainly heard the frogs).

I tried to find this park once without success. The parking lot is tiny and it's on a busy road, so it's easy to miss. Today though, coming down the road from a different direction, it was much easier to spot.

Reece's verdict - good spot for dogs! She met a lot of new friends today. It's interesting to me how total strangers who would not normally even speak to you suddenly stop and strike up conversations when you have a dog. I spend a lot of time when I'm taking Reece for a walk just stopping to talk to people who ask me about her...usually, they're dog owners themselves. I swear, dogs can bring about world peace. I'm not kidding.