Edible Gifts

Summer Crush Vineyard & Winery | In My Travels

by Jamie Sanford on March 30, 2017

To see all of my travel posts, click here.

All images taken with the iPhone 7 Plus. (The previous link is an affiliate link, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using this link.)

We traveled through a bit of South Florida on a recent road trip. I have many more spots to share, but will start with the most unexpected stop that we took. We were driving north after an overnight stay in Juno Beach, and while in the Ft. Pierce area, I saw a tiny road sign with grapes that said “winery,” and I immediately turned the car around. We were on an adventure, so it seemed like the right thing to do.

We ended up at Summer Crush Vineyard & Winery.

Open!

This is about as Floridian as you can get.

The exterior was lovely.

These wreaths are perfect.

We got inside and found ourselves in a tasting room/store.

Local products, and you can see ribbons for a few of the wines they produce.

There was a larger number of wines available on the luxury wine walls than I would have expected.

Here is the tasting menu. What was the most surprising was that they make actual grape juice! It was intensely delicious.

The wines were good, but the muscadine grapes do seem to run sweet, and so a lot of the wines skewed that way. The ones we enjoyed the most were Webejammin’ and Not Starboard, the second of which is their version of Port. We purchased a bottle of each, along with some for friends.

It was a delicious and unexpected stop on our day. We love visiting wineries in New Jersey, and I will admit to not even realizing that wine is made in Florida.

If you’re ever traveling in or around the Fort Pierce, Florida area, I definitely recommend a stop at Summer Crush Vineyard & Winery. If you aren’t a drinker, the grape juice alone is worth a visit!

Happy trails!

Hilton Hotels

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Sucre New Orleans | In My Travels

by Jamie Sanford on March 6, 2017

To see all of my travel posts, click here. All images taken with the Sony NEX-6. (The previous link is an affiliate link, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using this link.)

Another stop during our trip to New Orleans was Sucre. My personal connection to Sucre is that I have worked in the past with their website developer. The company had a big boost a few years back after being featured on Oprah.

The shop and cafe ended up being lovely in terms of both offerings and design.

It was dark by the time we were able to stop in.

The macarons were front and center, naturally.

Many other confections were also available. The presentation and design in these is also beautiful.

I imagine that signs with ingredient lists are quite important, to alert anyone about potential allergic reactions. These are informative and attractive.

There were many lovely gift options available as well.

We took our box of macarons and wandered off into the rain – we enjoyed them later on as a way to tide ourselves over until dinner. They were intensely delicious.

Happy trails!

Hilton Hotels

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Instagram Roundup #56

by Jamie Sanford on September 11, 2013

Here are all of the other Instagram Roundups!

I’m guilty of enjoying some orange soda but WHAT.

There’s a strip of road in the town where my office is that is full of amazing architecture from the 60s and signs like this.

Took a quick shot of this too, does that mean no air for tires?

We went wine tasting for Cindy’s birthday over the weekend. It was really beautiful!

He was requested, so Tiny Edward made an appearance in the tasting room.

Old York Cellars had a beautiful deck that we enjoyed for quite a while after our initial tasting.

Unionville Vineyards was our next stop. Will and I chose the 8-wine tasting, and I highly recommend the Bell Well Chardonnay. I cracked my bottle open for my Nan, and she recommends it too.

Wine tasting selfie with Will, Karla, and Lee in the back. The men were wearing bow ties, and the ladies had tiaras, naturally.

We finished the day with pizza, more wine, and this beautiful sunset at the Hope Valley Vineyard. Who knew that Jersey had such great wine, and the experience was SUCH a good time. I definitely need to do another NJ wine tour sometime soon.

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Mantry | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on September 5, 2013

Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

Today’s brand experience is of a gift that Will and I received in May from his brother Alan and Alan’s lady, Melly. (We haven’t met yet but I’m calling her Melly because of her blog, which is awesome.)  Will helped Melly purchase a jacket for Alan a while back, and while it was not a big deal at all, we received a really fun gift shortly thereafter, a box from Mantry!

What is this mystery box that has arrived at our door?

Opened the box to find a weird sticky note with what appeared to be our gift message. Also, the packing list.

The packing list is nicely branded and straightforward – especially since it was a gift order. However, what’s with “This order must stay with this crate”? It isn’t as if they were lacking post-its at Mantry, as previously demonstrated, so I don’t know why the packing list in my gift was used for an internal processing message. Side note: shouldn’t all orders stay with their crates?

Anyway, let’s get to the great part. This is the crate that we took out of the box!

Very cool.

Will got to pry it open with a screwdriver.

Everything inside was wrapped up. Pretty perfect wrapping for a company called Mantry.

We found our gift message again inside the crate. I’m not a fan of handwritten gift messages, when they aren’t being written by the giver themselves. Why can’t this just be printed?

Also in the crate was a lovely pamphlet explaining the contents of the crate, where they were from, and what to do with them.

The money shot – here’s what was in the crate. My favorite was the smoked onion jam which didn’t last long at all. So good.

Overall, I think Mantry is a great service. The packaging of the crate is really wonderful – and other than the really strange messages, I am completely satisfied with this. It’s a wonderful idea for a gift. A single Mantry box costs $75, which includes shipping in the United States. 3-month and 6-month subscriptions are also available, but not at a reduced cost for pre-ordering in bulk, which I see as a bit of a missed opportunity.

I also hope that Mantry is working on an expanded shopping opportunity on their site. I would totally like to buy the Smoked Onion Jam again, and it would be in their best interest to make it easy for me to come directly to them to purchase it. Members could get an email from them within a few weeks of receiving their crates with an email prompting them to buy more of what they enjoyed.

I highly suggest you check out Mantry – and get yourself some deliciousness.

Bonus – I went on the Mantry site today to find out the pricing, and had this interaction with the pop-up customer service chat guy. It made me laugh a lot – win for Mantry.

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The Olde Pink House | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on June 27, 2013

Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

I am excited to share my experience with The Olde Pink House in Savannah, Georgia today on the blog. It’s a bit of a different look at brand experience.

Reservation

Dad called me at work to let me know that he and Mom were able to coordinate their time with my work schedule while in Savannah, and would come see me to have dinner together. I immediately started searching online for somewhere delicious and southern, and went with googling “best restaurant in Savannah.”

Once I saw that picture of The Olde Pink House, I was interested.

Then I got a look at this menu and I was definitely in. I was particularly interested in the “goat cheese stuffed artichoke fritters” and I ended up NOT ordering them. This is just the huge appetizer list.

So, I went ahead and booked a reservation using Open Table, which I have an account with, so this was very simple.

My major complaint about the website is that it is not a separate entity from the attached hotel, the Planters Inn. In addition, the very large header is completely blocking the content, and my Dad was confused by this multiple times while we were talking about the menu. There is too much scrolling to get past this big header each time.

Dining Experience

These photos are all from Instagram, and some are quite dark. My iPhone could not handle the ambiance, but I will share them anyway.

Here’s Mom and Dad in front of The Olde Pink House.

We got there early and so went to the fantastic bar in the back of the restaurant. Lots of wood – and unfortunately a TV. Mom and I definitely would have preferred a TV-free, classy bar experience, but at least the drinks were amazing. I had a Pink Lady and Mom had a Cosmopolitan. Very delicious.

We got up to our table, on the top floor, in what I believe was a bedroom. Check out the lovely chandelier and the dental crown molding!

We had an amazing server named Megan, who was incredibly gracious and helpful. We even tried samples of 3 different wines before committing to a bottle – which worked out really well. The Kaiken Ultra 2010 Malbec was really great. After much lingering over the menu – we decided to share 3 appetizers. Scallops, Shrimp & Grits, and a cheese platter. Pictured above are the scallops and shrimp.

This is the cheese platter, which was outstanding. 3 kinds of cheese, a spread of balsamic reduction, fresh berries, and a piece of honeycomb. Absolutely fantastic. The 3 of us shared all of these appetizers, and they were sized perfectly for it. I would love to go back, and try to have a tapas experience, ordering nothing but appetizers.

For my entree, I chose the Caramelized Vidalia Onion & Sweet Potato Ravioli w/Savory Pecan Cream Sauce. Again, the picture is unfortunate, but this was very delicious. My only complaint was that the flavors were a bit muddled? The cream sauce with the crunch of the pecans was a triumph.

Dad had the fish of the day, with an apricot sauce that looked lovely. I don’t eat fish, so I did not try it. Mom had the Pecan Crusted Chicken Breast, Blackberry Bourbon Glaze, Sweet Potato with Pecan Vanilla Butter and Collards, which I did try, and was SPECTACULAR. I was sort of sad I hadn’t ordered it, but we didn’t want to order the same thing.

This is my praline basket, which has ice cream in it, with fruit and chocolate sauce. I actually don’t remember what Mom and Dad ordered, I was too busy enjoying the hell out of this, because it was stunningly good. The sweetness of the praline paired with the creamy ice cream was a delight.

Here’s a better picture of the praline basket. Thanks to Lucy W who posts on Yelp.

The actual experience in the restaurant was really spectacular. Our service was outstanding, the food was delicious, and I really look forward to going back. Given how full it was on a Wednesday night, I have a feeling that the proprietors are not that concerned about their website which could benefit from some updating.

No report card for this experience, but definitely a 9/10. I highly recommend a night out at The Olde Pink House if you will be in or around Savannah soon!

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