With the warmer days and increased sunshine of spring, I’m starting to think of the beautiful vineyards of Washington. I recently had the opportunity to see some of the new growth of 2014 out at White Heron Cellars and I have to tell you, I’m already getting ideas! I think the texture of the vines will translate really well to some upcoming etched designs! I’ve also gotten some inspiration from the vineyards for some new original jewelry display options for some of my winery consignment locations!
But meanwhile…. think this beautiful cat might be able (and willing) to share some of the wine it’s guarding?
On a recent wine tasting date with my sweetheart, I had the opportunity to enjoy some (absolutely magnificent) wines at Terra Blanca Winery. While I generally worry it’s in poor taste to pull out my pocket sketchbook at the winery while tasting, I freely admit I was fighting the impulse. Their wines are AMAZING! As soon as we got out the car, after tasting, I pulled out my sketchbook and started putting my visual representations of their HEAVENLY wines on paper for future jewelry designs.
Now, I’d be hard-pressed to choose my favorite wine (I need to go for several more tastings before I have any kind of firm opinion on the matter) from their collection, but I can tell you… I now have two pages in my pocket sketchbook of designs inspired by (just) their wines (necklaces, bracelets and earrings). They even have a chardonnay I really wanted to take home with me (shocking, as I have always favored the reds).
One of the things I love about Terra Blanca’s wines is the complexity of the layers and flavors. Each sip is an experience in and of itself. I feel like I’m sitting down and having an intimate conversation with the wine, getting to know a soon-to-be best friend. Truly, they have mastered the art form that is the creation of wine…. And theirs is very worthy of every tribute.
I love good wine (in moderation, of course). Given my personal preference for only drinking wine in good company, most of my wine experiences are linked to really wonderful memories. Wine tasting with friends in Walla Walla, Washington was a great day for companionship- and we each found wines so delicious we still talk about them five years later. My sweetheart and I have spent several Valentine’s Day celebrations over the years enjoying the Red Wine & Chocolate events in the Yakima Valley and Lake Chelan areas- a tradition I still cherish and enjoy. And, one year we even made it out to Canada for a wonderful wine tasting event which introduced me to my favorite white wines.
It’s completely normal for me, when tasting a good wine, to immediately start contemplating the perfect pairing: salmon, chicken, steak, pasta…. or sometimes I’ll get an idea for a brand new recipe and flavor combination inspired by a specific wine- including a spicy chicken with honey glaze recipe which has become a household favorite. On special occasions, though, I’ll taste a wine so perfectly made (to my taste) that the first thought in my mind is, “This wine deserves a tribute, a celebration of its perfect form.” It was from that idea the first design in my Tendrils of the Vine Collection was born.
Thoughts of that particularly complex red wine from a winery near me inspired this bracelet design:
These earrings remind me of some of my favorite reds from the Chelan Valley:
But when I think of a bold Washington red, or some of my favorite wines from the Yakima Valley, this is the design I want to make:
If I contemplate my favorite Canadian whites, my designs find light, delicate yet complex forms in yellow brass….
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