Tag Archives: Wine

Random Memories of Germany, Let’s Eat Part 2

17 Oct


Judy Wills

I guess what I’m about to write about includes food, so the “Let’s Eat” is still a good title.  You see, I didn’t grow up drinking wine or beer or any hard alcoholic drinks, even with my meals.  So I have never “acquired” the taste for any of it.

And, as a matter of fact, when I was teaching aerobics, I was appalled at the horrible sweat odor oozing from the pours of women who had been drinking beer.  Blech!  That would NOT have encouraged me to drink beer in any form!  So I haven’t.

I must admit, that I have tried – many times – to accompany my evening meal with a glass of wine.  And I just can’t do it.  The taste turns me off.  When I have mentioned this to friends, the usual response is “oh, you just haven’t found the right wine yet!”  And so, when we were in Heidelberg, by invitation I went to a “wine tasting party” in an apartment near where we lived.  After sampling several different wines, I finally found a wine that I thought I could enjoy, and so purchased a bottle to take home with me.  Days later, when I opened the bottle to enjoy with my meal – I found that, once again, it turned me off.  So that bottle of wine was used later in my cooking.

Credit Pixabay

And that brings me to another topic of wine.  Many years ago I was given the recipe for making French Onion Soup.  A friend had made it for a meal, and I was quite taken with it.  Her husband had been a soldier in Vietnam, and had eaten French Onion Soup in a restaurant in Saigon.  He told her it was the best French Onion Soup he had even eaten!  And he had her try every recipe for it that she could find, and then tweak it until it tasted like what he had tasted in Saigon.  This was the recipe I was given.

Credit Google Search and Sharon Uzell-Meek

Well, that recipe called for “cooking sherry.”  Being a good non-drinking Baptist girl, I thought that I should use the “cooking sherry” instead of regular sherry.  When I tried it, I found it to be quite distasteful!  And as someone once told me – “If it isn’t good enough to drink, it isn’t good enough to cook with!”  And I have to agree. 

So from that point on, I have been cooking with regular wine.  The alcohol is burned off by the heat, and the flavor is left in the food.  I find it enhances the flavor of the food deliciously. 

And I still don’t like the taste of wine!

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

And Then the Sun Came Out

10 Jan

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis


We certainly didn’t have a white Christmas or New Years in Western North Carolina. The only white we experienced was fog and clouds.



We enjoy clouds and mist but after a while, it does become monotonous. We awoke on Saturday to a brilliant sun. We were supposed to be returning to Florida for the winter that morning, but an unexpected medical test required a day’s rest for my husband before we could travel.  Rebekah and I decided to take advantage of the day of sunshine to explore 12 Spies Vineyard in Rabun Gap, Georgia.

The vineyard had been on my wish list to explore with Rebekah for quite a while and I was intrigued by this excerpt from their website. From our home, sunsets are blocked by the mountains and I really miss them.

12 Spies Vineyards is tucked between the North East Mountains to the west and the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest to the east. The sunsets are spectacular and views from the vineyard are stunning. There are many gardens filled with gourds, pumpkins, flowers and vegetables scattered around the 9 acre property. Bring your camera and enjoy a glass of wine from the covered deck or take a relaxing walk.

After making sure my husband was ok and promising to not do any lifting, Rebekah and I set out on the 30 minute drive to Rabun Gap. We spotted a sign directing us to turn off highway 441 and the adventure began! The next sign we saw pointed us to turn onto a “less traveled” road and I was a bit leery. Mountains roads have a tendency to wander and one can end up in odd places. Fortunately, this road ended up in the right place.

I wish I had taken a picture of the tasting room. What was the point of a new camera for Christmas, if I forget to use it?  The tasting room is small with a cozy ambiance. Our host was a lovely woman who reminded Rebekah and I of one of the actresses on the television show, Cedar Cove. She explained their wines and was patient as we made our tasting choices. I love the idea of drinking wine, but my body doesn’t. When I explained that I wouldn’t be able to handle tasting, she offered me mini pours. I decided to purchase a bottle of 2016 Lordy Mercy Sweet White to give as a thank you gift to a friend. After several pours, Rebekah chose, I think, 2017 Holy Moses Sweet Red. The tasting room has a patio with inviting views. We decided to enjoy the sunshine, me with water and Rebekah with wine.


The winery doesn’t prepare food, but it does offer packaged foods and after a while in the outdoors, we decided to have a snack of cheese and crackers. I went inside to order and I was disappointed to learn they were out of the cheese trays. They did have hummus so I ordered that for Rebekah. The host asked if I wanted hummus as well and I explained that I only eat low carb. She set about pulling together items that I could eat and I had two cheese slices and some cucumbers at no charge. I sure did appreciate her extra efforts.

I like the rustic table set and the casual feel of the patio. Some afternoons and evenings they offer live music.


In the distance I could see cows grazing against the backdrop of the beautiful hills. ( I have a “thing” for cows) I can imagine how beautiful the scenery will be in the spring and summer and fall. And I plan to return with a picnic to enjoy sunset.



If you are driving through North East Georgia, choosing the less traveled road to the winery would be a pleasant diversion. I can’t compliment the owners enough for the friendly hospitality. Call ahead for hours or check their website.

12 Spies Vineyard

550 Black Branch Road
Rabun Gap, GA 30568




I'm a winnerAfter my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  where we frequently host the best in up and coming authors.

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