Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Kentucky Trip – Saturday and Sunday

Last I left off, we had just finished dinner at Brontë Bistro, so I’m resuming my trip recap with Saturday morning…

 

We got up super-early on Saturday morning to head to the Lexington Center, home of Rupp Arena (where the UK Wildcats play!) and my great-aunt’s store, Old Kentucky Chocolates

Lexington Center

I’m going to wait and do a whole post on the store, but here are a few teasers:

Old Kentucky Chocolates

(forgot to take a picture after they had opened for business – the storefront isn’t always dark and closed!)

Dark chocolate for heart health

Candy case

Mom and I took a couple of truffles for the road…

Truffles 

…and headed to my aunt and uncle’s house in Lawrenceburg.  On the way, we saw lots of pretty horse farms…

Horse country

…and this castle in Versailles, KY that I’ve loved driving past since I was a little girl.  I’ve only just now thought to look it up, and the castle is a hotel!

Castle Post

We also passed by the Four Roses Bourbon distillery on the way…

Four Roses Distillery

Four Roses Distillery

I’ve never been a fan of bourbon, but being half-Kentuckian (and a Kentucky Colonel!), I owe it to myself to complete the Kentucky Bourbon Trail one day.

Four Roses Distillery

When we got to my aunt and uncle’s house, he showed us his newest hobby – winemaking!!!

Winemaking

I’m so impressed and amazed!  …and thirsty!  He’s transformed a corner of his basement into a wine cellar by building these humongous racks:

Wine cellar

The full racks are bottles they’ve collected from various places and are color-coded according to varietals.

Wine cellar

The empty rack is where his own concoctions will go once bottled.  It’ll be awhile before he’ll be able to uncork and enjoy!  I’m so impressed and inspired…I want to brew my own beer or make my own wine one day, so this definitely piqued my interest!  Along with the new hobby of wine-making, my aunt and uncle have also been doing a lot of wine-tasting lately.  There are lots of little wineries in Kentucky, and apparently Kentucky was home to the first commercial winery in the US.  Who knew??  Well, we visited one of those wineries on Saturday…

Lover's Leap Winery

Lover’s Leap Winery was having a lunch and wine-tasting event on Saturday that my uncle got us tickets for!

Vineyard

Lover's Leap

Lover's Leap

So…much…food…

BBQ

In addition to trying 6 wines, we split a bottle between the four of us with lunch.  Whooo boy.  I’m not usually a fan of Riesling (I shy away from the sweet stuff), but this surprised me!

 Lover's Leap Riesling

Cheesecake bites

Winery 

And the pièce de résistance – an employee taking our party out to the loading dock to show us the ol’ “open the sparkling wine with a sabre” trick.  AWESOME!!!!

SabreSabreSabre

Sabre

A good boozy time was had by all.

Winery

That night, everyone came together for one last meal out (we had NO home-cooked meals during our trip…for better or worse.  I definitely came home feeling puffy, dehydrated, and miserable.).  At Outback, I had a chunk of bread and a 10oz Foster’s (apropos, no?)…

Outback bread + Foster's 

…and a chicken caesar salad so chock-full of garlic, it left me breathing fire.

Outback chicken caesar salad

I was appalled at the amount of dressing they serve with it!  I did the stab-and-dip method of using my dressing (as opposed to slathering my salad all at once), and it worked well for me!

 

The next morning, we got up at the ass-crack of dawn and headed home.  I’ll leave out the eats because they were pretty boring (soup + salad at Atlanta Bread Company), but here are a few scenic images from the drive home (Mom took all the pictures while I drove, so don’t fuss at me!):

Blue Ridge Mountains

Pretty clear why they’re called the “Blue Ridge” mountains, eh?  Wink

Blue Ridge Mountains

Blue Ridge Mountains

Blue Ridge Mountains 

Thanks for reading my crazy-long recaps!  I’m going to write a whole post devoted to Old Kentucky Chocolates in the morning, so stay tuned for that!