Saturday, April 14, 2012

Messina Hof Surprise!

On Friday morning as I walked into the kitchen to eat breakfast before work, Mike looks at me and says, "Why are you wearing that?" And by "that", he meant jeans and a North Texas t-shirt "Well, it's Friday and I can wear jeans!" He asked me in a sweet way, "Well, can't you wear what your normally wear during the week today? I have something planned..." I've been wearing a lot of skirts lately because the weather has been so nice, but I was going to be outside most of the day with the kids jogging, so I didn't really want to wear something nice. (and it was jean day! Can't pass that up!) So I told him I would just bring something to change into at the end of the day.

He picked me up from work a little early and made me wear a blindfold.

Eventually after about 20 minutes of driving around I was able to take my blindfold off and we arrived at a local winery and resort, Messina Hof. Neither of us had been there before, and I've heard good things about it, (and had their wine), so I was excited to know that we were going there.

They have a bed and breakfast place to stay on the property and Mike reserved us a room for the night. It was really nice and cozy.

The Villa from the outside.

The doors to The Villa, that were the actual doors to the home of Louis Pasteur!

Inside the foyer area.

That stained glass window at the top is from Le Louvre in Paris France, where Mona Lisa lived! (Painting, not the person!)

Stained glass up close.

View from top. Breakfast was served here in the morning.

View from our balcony.

We walked around the property for a bit and enjoyed the GREEN everywhere and the beauty of it all. It was so peaceful.

(of course we had to get bluebonnet pictures! haha)

There was a pottery place right across the road so we decided to poke our heads in there to see what it was all about. They had some really neat stuff there. We bought a mug that was just too cool to pass up.

Then, we had our wine and cheese tasting. Honestly, I think we were both a little more excited about the cheese, but hey, it was fun. We both asked for the sweetest and fruitiest wine they had. :)

Mike being a good sport.

How Mike really feels when drinking wine.

Oh yeah! And there were turtles in the pond and we got to feed them! Do you see the HUGE one in the water??

Then after our first wine and cheese tasting, we went on a tour of the place. Apparently, the guy who owns the place is a 6th generation wine maker. His family had, still has I think, a winery in Messina, Sicily, hence the Messina. And the Hof is from his wife's family in Hof, Germany. And there you have it, Messina Hof!

Anyway, the tour was really cool. They talked about how they made the wines and all that neat stuff. They keep the wine in barrels, sometimes up to 13 years or something crazy like that!

Wine also stored in these big guys.

The roses are used as a warning sign for the vineyard. If the roses begin to show signs of disease, then the vines have about 2 weeks until they are possibly infected. So only then, will they spray the vines with disinfectant stuff. Pretty cool system.

Then of course, after the tour, we got to try 4 different wines. She was very generous with her portions. Of course I'm sure to the wine connoisseur, they have their own way to get the wine "awake", but this is the process she showed us. (in case you ever want to show off to your friends or something)

Mike's tongue turned a little purple from the red wine! And sidenote, that lifesize poster guy in the red suit and hat is the owner of the place. :)

1. Check for clarity -and bugs tilting the glass a little to the side. And if there happens to be some cork in it, it's ok. Won't hurt you.
2. Smell the wine.
3. Swirl the wine around in the glass. This helps "wake it up"
4. Smell it again. I usually think it does smell a little different after swirling.
5. Take a sip.
6. I usually swirl again because I think it's fun.
7. "Trill" the wine into your mouth. Do this if the wine is too dry for you. Basically, get a little bit in your mouth, (a very small amount!) and like your were sucking up a straw, suck the wine to the back of your mouth (without choking!). I really thought this step made a difference in taste, especially if it was dry. I'm not a huge fan of the dry stuff.
8. Of course, swirl again. :)
9. If it's red wine, don't do the trill thing, you will do a "cluck"... you know when you push your tongue to the roof of your mouth and it makes that sound, well, you take a sip of red wine, and do the tongue thing while the wine is in your mouth. This also helps "wake up" the wine.

So now you can show off some of your wine skills!

But anyway, after tasting 5 different kinds of wine, we had dinner reservations at the restaurant there. I guess all that wine filled me up and I wasn't very hungry, but the food sure was yummy! Mike licked his plate clean. I took leftovers back. :)

And yes, those barrels and many more in the restaurant were filled with wine!

The next morning we had breakfast in the foyer area and it was also very tasty. I can't believe that it's still only Saturday. It was such a nice, relaxing time. It was even nicer knowing that Mike had been planning this and doesn't even really care for wine, but knows that I would think it was fun! And he had fun too!

If you ever come to Bryan, call us and we'll come with you to Messina Hof for some cheese... and wine. :)


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