Health coach goes wine tasting

*Eat 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day
*Enjoy whole grains
*Limit your processed foods
*Choose organic when you can
*Sweat once a day
*Remain active throughout your life to age gracefully
*Practice yoga or meditation for a calm mind

As a health coach, I try to teach people how to live a more healthy life and also how to maintain that healthy lifestyle. I also practice what I preach by eating a healthy diet and keeping active. However, being labeled a “health coach” doesn’t mean I am perfect. I still enjoy sweets and some unhealthy treats from time to time, but I believe moderation is key (which I’m sure you have been told before). I try to leave room in my dietary habits for two of my favorite indulgences: chocolate and wine πŸ™‚ Why deprive yourself of life’s little pleasures?

I am by no means a wine expert and am definitely not the person to suggest a wine off of a list at a restaurant, but I am beginning to develop a more sophisticated taste for wine (at least I think so). However, I give credit to the sommeliers who can rattle off types of wine, what region the grapes came from and details about the wine or the winery that no one else would know. To me, it’s a form of art, such as learning a new language. I find it very interesting to listen to them and learn more about the culture the wine came from or what goes into the wine to make it taste the way it does. Before, white wines were white and red wines were red and I would never be able to tell a pinot grigio from a sauvignon blanc (I can almost hear all the wine experts gasping right now..). However, I have come to have a deeper appreciation for wine and one of my favorite ways to learn about wines is through wine tastings. You get to learn about the winery, sample their wines and really take the time to hone in on the spices, floral accents or fruit components that make every wine unique.

My aunt, me and my sister-in-law at Mon Ami Winery

For my birthday this year my mom, aunt, and sister-in-law decided to do our own wine country tasting in Ohio (flying to Napa was not in the budget). However, never having been to Napa Valley, I can’t compare, but I will say that Ohio does offer some pretty good wineries. Going on a Monday, a few of the places on our list to attend were closed, but we were still able to stop in for tastings at three wineries. Our wine tour included Mon Ami, Firelands, and Hermes.

We decided to begin with the farthest destination, which was Mon Ami Winery. Mon Ami is a beautiful, historic winery and restaurant located on Catawba Island. The restaurant was, unfortunately, closed for lunch while we were there, but we were still able to complete our first wine tasting of the day and peruse the gift shop. I will say that the woman who served us our wine definitely knew her stuff. Out of all three of the wineries we visited, Mon Ami ranked number one in knowledgeable staff and the best gift shop (they had so many cute things!) I decided that due to my empty wine rack at home, I was going to purchase a bottle of wine from each winery. So after doing a few tastings I chose the Mon Ami Pinot Noir as my favorite πŸ™‚

Mon Ami Pinot Noir

Continuing on with our wine tour, we headed to Sandusky to Zinc Brasserie for lunch and then on to Firelands Winery. Firelands is within the same winery family as Mon Ami, however, that doesn’t mean their wines are the same. This is where I began to really realize that one chardonnay is definitely unique in taste and can be completely different from another chardonnay based on the barreling and aging process. In fact, the Barrel Select Chardonnay was my favorite from Firelands Winery and that is the bottle I decided to purchase and bring home with me πŸ™‚

Firelands Barrel Select Chardonnay

Our last stop on our Ohio wine tour was Hermes Winery, which is also located in Sandusky. Hermes ranked last on my list of wineries that I would visit again. They have some very unique wines that the other two locations didn’t offer, however, their customer service wasn’t as inviting. We were the only people in the place and I felt the woman still didn’t have time for us. We did get to taste some wines though, and being our third stop of the day, we weren’t going to let the service ruin our fun day of tastings. Plus, a little more wine in us and by the end of the tastings we were very happy campers…err, tasters πŸ˜‰ I didn’t find very many wines at Hermes that I wanted to purchase a bottle of, but their chardonnay was very, very good. So, even though I had just purchased a bottle of chardonnay at Firelands, I decided to bring home another bottle. However, this one was processed in a steel barrel instead of oak so it had a completely different taste. So, I may have come home with two bottles of chardonnay, but I came home with two very different wines.

Hermes Chardonnay

Inspired by my new wines that I brought home, I purchased some fun new wine glasses to drink them out of πŸ™‚ The pretty, purple glasses were purchased after the tastings at Pier 1.

Now I just have to find the right foods to pair the wines with…..

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