Event Recap |#NCWineMonth September 2018 Kickoff, A Celebration of #NCWine + Featured Wineries To Try!

North Carolina Wine and Grape Month | 2018 Kick Off Event | Norris House-Raleigh,NC | August 28,2018

Hey Wine Lovers! It is time to raise a glass and support your favorite NC wineries because September is North Carolina Wine and Grape Month. This is the time of year vineyards and local wine makers are celebrated and recognized for helping North Carolina become the 7th highest wine producer in the nation!

Leslie H., Founder of Lifestyle Blog- SobeSavvy.com with hosts NC Wine Guys! Follow NCWineGuys.com as they share their knowledge of all things NC Wine

The NC Wine Guys hosted their invitation only kickoff event at the famous Norris House in downtown Raleigh. This historical home was the perfect venue to promote the upcoming month and feature some regional wineries.

Norris House | Raleigh,NC – Beautiful location for the North Carolina Wine and Grape Month 2018 Kickoff Event

After the presentation of the Governor’s Proclamation which officially sanctioned the month of September, guests had the chance to network, and eat from a spread of spectacular breads, cheese and meats provided by local favorite La Farm Bakery.

La Farm Bakery eats are the perfect pairing to NC Wines!

Guests also had an opportunity to taste wines from different wineries across the state, showcasing what North Carolina Wine is all about. Got To Be NC wine glasses were provided to sample over 25 wines from 8 wineries. Want to know how to effectively taste a number of wines and appreciate them all at an event? Here is a Pro Tip to Wine Tasting provided by NC Wine Guys!

Pro Tip

Swirl – take a moment to swirl the wine in your glass to get some air into it.

Smell – stick your nose right into the glass and sniff.

Sip – take the wine into your mouth, swish it around, and see how it tastes.

Spit – this is important as you’ll be tasting about several wines. *Spit cups, dump buckets, and water were provided.

I was quite impressed by the variety of the wineries that we had the pleasure of tasting yesterday. Most have tasting rooms and winery tours on their property that I look forward to visiting! Be sure to check out their websites for more details.

Banner Elk Winery, Banner Elk, NC http://www.bannerelkwinery.com/

One of my favorites was the High Country Rosé~a dry seasonal wine that would go great with baked salmon. Their use of French-American hybrids of grapes and the elevation to which they are grown is what gives thwir wines a unique taste!

Childress Vineyards, Lexington, NC http://www.childressvineyards.com/

I just loved their Starbound Dessert Wine. This blueberry wine is fortified with Brandy and aged in Oak Barrels for at least a year. It was my first time trying it but will not be my last. It retails at $19.99 at selected Harris Teeter.

Jones von Drehle Vineyards and Winery, Thurmond, NC https://www.jonesvondrehle.com/

Their Petite Manseng wine is simply fabulous. Grown on their 85 acre vineyard, this award winning white is something to behold. If you like dry, European styled wine, then I would recommend wines from this family owned winery. As reviewed by Epicurean Magazine in Charlotte, watch my video and hear more about why red wine lovers enjoy this full bodied white!

Biltmore Wines, Asheville, NC https://www.biltmore.com/visit/village-winery

Located on the iconic 8,000 acre Biltmore Estate grounds, their Chardonnay is aged in both steel and oak barrels which gives it a distinct finish that I enjoyed. Their winery is mostly self sustainable. So much that the winery vehicles actually run on used oil from their operations instead of gas!

Raylen Vineyards, Mocksville, NC https://www.raylenvineyards.com/

No matter if you are a wine expert or novice, I find there is always something to learn from sales/marketing managers and tasting room managers of wineries. We spoke with Micah Habershaw, Assistant Tasting Room Manager of Raylen Vinyards, who gave us ideas for food pairing choices with their fruit forward wines. For example, their 2016 Petit Verdot would be great with lamb chops and grilled salmon with 2017 Rosé of Cabernet Franc.

Laurel Gray Vineyard, Hamptonville, NC https://www.laurelgray.com

I tried their Scarlet Mountain Red Table Wine, which is their best seller. If you like a red that is not too sweet and straight down the middle, this would go well with any red sauce dish you could think of!

Also in attendance was Cybress Bend Vineyards from Wagram,NC , Junius Lindsay Vineyard from Lexington,NC and Sanctuary Vineyards of Jarvisburg,NC. From the mountains to the coast, wines from every region were represented at this kickoff event. These featured wineries truly exemplify the diversity of wines found here in our great state of North Carolina.

This was the 2nd year of this event hosted by NC Wine Guys and North carolina Wine and Grape Council. What a great introduction and celebration for North Carolina Wine and Grape Month. Help spread the word about North Carolina wines and be sure to go check out these wineries and buy their wines for yourself or as a gift! Follow #NCWine and #NCWineMonth on social media for information and to join the conversation about North Carolina Wineries throughout the month of September and beyond!

Do you have a favorite NC Wine that you enjoy? I ❤ 2017 Pearl Albariño from Santuary Vineyards as it pairs well with seafood. Share in the comments below your faves!CHEERS 🥂🍇🍷

Cheers to North Carolina Wine And Grape Month – September 2018

#NCFarmTour | Where NC Agriculture Meets Educational Fun ~Recap by SobeSavvy.com

On June 27-29, 2018, I joined a group of bloggers on a fantastic tour of northeast North Carolina. We were invited by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to experience the diversity of eastern North Carolina including cucumbers, white potatoes, wine, beer, brats and seafood. Here is a recap of what I learned, where we traveled, who we met and of course, what I ate along the way!

Day 1- Wednesday, 6/27

Stop 1 on the #NCFarmTour – Lunch at Nothing Fancy Café, Edenton

Locally owned, Nothing Fancy Café features made-from-scratch southern home cooking. The restaurant also features a variety of retail items including antiques and baked goods. I left with a beautiful $5 pineapple candle holder and an appreciation for this restaurant who serves field to fork food. The collard greens I enjoyed as a side came from a local NC farmer and tasted like my grandma made it! Nothing Fancy Café is also my new favorite place to enjoy a burger. When the beef comes from a local farmer, trust me you can taste the quality and the difference.
Facebook: @NothingFancyCafe

Stop 2- AJ Smith and Sons Farm, in Edenton, NC

Did you know that Edgecombe County is #1 in growing of cucumbers in NC? We visited a farm started by AJ Smith and is now run by his four sons + grandsons. The farm is extremely diversified. They grow clary sage, peanuts, soybeans, corn,watermelons, cucumbers, and snap beans. The farm also has cattle and hogs. We got to pick some cucumbers at AJ Smith and Sons Farm as well as learn about the process of preparing them for packaging. And just in case you were wondering..yes, they do get waxed for preservation purposes. All cucumbers are not created equal. However, curved or straight if they were grown in NC they will taste great!

SobeSavvy Tip: When selecting a cucumber, look for cucumbers that are very firm and rounded right to the ends.

Stop 3 on the #NCFarmTour is a tour of Historic Edenton

PLAY | Thanks to the Chowan County Chamber of Commerce, we took a horse and wagon tour of historic Edenton. We learned alot of history, enjoyed nature, and viewed beautiful architecture in the “South’s Prettiest Small Town”. WATCH my youtube video of highlights from this tour:

EAT | Ended Day 1 of #NCFarmTour at Cypress Creek Grill, a family-owned restaurant is in downtown Elizabeth City, one block from the Pasquotank River. Their meals feature
fresh seafood and local ingredients. Executive Chef Bradley Chambers created a special menu that showcased the best of what Northeast NC has to offer and combined an amazing array of flavors!

STAY | We stayed in nearby Elizabeth City overnight at Fairfield Inn, which offers guest FREE breakfast with stay plus this comfy, modern hotel has an indoor pool/jacuzzi and mini fridge+ microwave in the room.

Day 2- Thursday, 6/28

Day 2 of #NCFarmTour started off at TCOM, LP

Look up in the sky..it’s a bird, it’s a plane..no it’s a blimp that has been assembled and tested at TCOM,LP located in Elizabeth City,NC. It was so cool to tour the 225-acre facility that manufactures and test aerostats (airship or hot air balloon, especially one that is tethered). The hanger is 150 feet tall and 1,000 feet long and can hold six fully-inflated 71-meter aerostats. Their blimps are used for sporting events, by the US Military and for national security. TCOM,LP
is not a blimp manufacturing company however they do make the envelope and assemble them without the mechanics on it. It was so fascinating to see up close!

SobeSavvy Tip: Here’s an interesting connection to agriculture: The first aerial applicator was not a plane,
but a hot air balloon. It was used in 1906 to spread seed over a valley in New Zealand that had flooded.

Day 2,Stop 2 #NCFarmTour John E. Ferebee Farms

This seventh-generation family farm focuses on potatoes, each year growing and packing red, white and yellow flesh potatoes. John E.Ferebee Farms potatoes are shipped across the US. They’ve also worked with many of NCDA&CS marketing programs. We met both sisters but it was Martha took us on the tour around the facility, which have washed bulk capabilities/cold storage, and onto the potato fields. I learned that summer potatoes of eastern NC come from farms situated alongside well nourished soil beside saltwater sounds/freshwater river beds. Did you know that NC produces over 16,000 acres potatoes? This farm grows 350 acres of North Carolina Potatos.

Day 2 #NCfarmtour Lunch and Tour at Weeping Radish

If you are hungry for bratwurst, beer and knowledge just talk to Uli Bennewitz, owner of Weeping Radish, a brewery, restaurant, butchery and farm that celebrates craft! He came to NC in the early 1980s, from Bavaria, Germany, established a microbrewery and worked with lawmakers to change the NC laws to allow microbreweries to sell beer directly to consumers. In addition to brewing beer, cattle and hogs are sourced from local farms and processed on-site into sausage and charcuterie. The retail counter sells sausage, pastrami, bacon and beer. The Pub serves lunch and a housemade draft root beer that you must try!

Day 2 #NCFarmTour ..a look at our visit to Sanctuary Vineyards, Jarvisburg, NC

The Wright family-owned vineyard grows a variety of grapes on 10 acres. All grapes are picked by hand and the use of french oak barrels gives their NC wine a wonderful taste. We toured the vineyards and learn how world-class wine is made at Sanctuary Vineyards. I purchased a bottle of Morton which is a red wine blend that I can not wait to enjoy!

Jennette’s Pier, Outer Banks

PLAY | Jennette’s Pier is the oldest fishing pier in the Outer Banks and has been a landmark since 1939. Fisherman catch a variety of fish from the 1,000 foot pier including red drum, speckled trout and croaker. We bloggers took advantage of the opportunity to cool our heels from all the farm tour walking at the pier since you get access to the beach!

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Today was filled with so much to learn, see and do, here are some of my fave moments from the #NCFarmTour Northeast North Carolina Day 2 w/@nc_agriculture @gottobenc ——————— •A visit to @jennettes_pier_official gave us access to the beach and a chance to see the oldest fishing pier in #OBX • We got to see who makes the envelopes for blimps and learn this history of #TCOM ,LP •John E. Ferebee Farms gave us an inside look of how they grow and pack red, white,yellow potatoes •@weepingradish is where we celebrated the craft of cooking, butchery amd farming. We had lunch at this microbrewery before taking the Beee and Brat Tour • i enjoyed tasting some NC wines from Sanctuary Vineyards and learning about their wine making process •Beautiful views from my balcony room at The Oasis Suites Hotel • Lastly, Dinner @lonecedarcafe Where their fried soft crab was some of the best I ever had caught fresh here in #NC.

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EAT | Dinner at Basnights Lone Cedar Café, located on the Roanoke Sound, is family owned/operated and serves only seafood caught in NC by local fishermen. Pork, poultry and vegetables are sourced from local farms. Herbs are grown on-site. Deserts are made from scratch daily on-site by the pastry chef. Everything we tried was delicious, especially the soft shell crab!

STAY |The Oasis Suites Hotel is the only boutique hotel on the Outer Banks. All rooms have private balconies with water views and are very spacious! Take a LOOK at my room reveal video to see for yourself how lovely this hotel property is:

Day 3-Friday, 6/29

Everything tastes better with bacon right? If you like savory and sweet, try the Maple Bacon Donut from Duck Donuts, Nags Heads

After enjoying breakfast from Duck Donuts, we started Day 3 of #NCFarmTour at O’Neals Sea Harvest in Wanchese. Sara Marabilio, who is the Fisheries Extension Specialist at NC Sea Grant, met us at the family owned and operated
seafood wholesaler to lead the tour and provide more information about NC Seafood. At O’neals Sea Harvest, you can purchase locally caught, fresh
seafood daily. The also sell fresh and frozen seafood (crab, variety of fish, shrimp & scallops) through their retail store and Monday-Friday they serve the fresh catch at their restaurant on-site.

Next stop, was nicknamed by me as Crabmeat Lover’s Heaven because Captain Neill’s Seafood, in Columbia is the largest domestic crab processing (by hand-picking) plant left. Owner Phillip Carawan started buying hard/soft-shell crabs, then opened (in 1997) a facility to process wild caught crabs caught from NC waters and purchasing daily from crabbers that dock behind their facility. Captain Neill’s processes a variety of crabmeat products in
addition to oysters, cocktail fingers and ready to eat steamed crabs.
They sell to a variety of markets, including grocery chains, under the
names Capt. Charlie’s and Capt. Neill’s. I learned that aprox 11 pounds of crab yield 1 pound of crabmeat and that an emplyee can pick the meat out of the crab in aprox 15 seconds! I left there amazed at the efficiency of the process and hungry for crab. SobeSavvy Tip: If you are a member of Sam’s Club you can purchase their crabmeat there.

EAT |Our last stop and final lunch on #NCFarmTour was at Garden Spot Café in Plymouth,NC. Located in a building built around 1900 on the banks of the Roanoke
River, this restaurant is owned by three sisters and known locally for their home-style cooking. They offer a variety of menu items to meet every taste preference. I tried the fried shrimp platter/flounder because after all that time learning more about NC seafood I was craving it!

All of these stops on the tour are just a short drive from the State Farmer’s Market in Raleigh. I encourage you to take the to time to explore more of NC, shop at your local farmers market, support restaurants where you can eat local foods and buy local goods. There are so many fun ways to support our state’s number one industry, AGRICULTURE! I am so inspired to incorporate what I have learned when it comes to food that my family consumes and make sure it comes from a North Carolina Farm!

Leslie Heigh, Founder of SobeSavvy.com on the #NCFarmTour

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4 Places to Brunch on Mother’s Day in #Raleigh |@seasons52 @simplycrepes @bonefishgrill @ncartmuseum 

Raise your hand if you think Mimosas and Moms go together like Sundays and Brunch! Eating brunch is one of my favorite activities no matter what the occasion, so I have compiled a list of some of my favorite brunch spots here in Raleigh, NC. No matter your tastes, there is sure to be something on here that Moms will like. 

SEASONS 52 ~CrabTree Valley Mall                4325 Glenwood Ave- Raleigh, NC 27612

Head to Seasons 52 and experience the wonderful flavors of the season from their a la carte Mother’s Day Brunch Menu. Check out my review here to see more of what they have to offer. Don’t forget to toast to Mom with any of their amazing Brunch Sips! Then take her shopping at Crabtree Valley Mall since the restaurant is conveniently located there.

SIMPLY CREPES~Lafayette Village          8470 Honeycutt Road, Suite 110                    Raleigh, NC 27615

Breakfast is being served all day at Simply Crepes and seating is first come, first served at Raleigh. If the sun is shining, grab a seat on the patio and watch the kids play on the courtyard lawn at Lafayette Village. This place is a family favorite, which I shared in my past restaurant feature. I highly recommend the chicken and waffles on a crepe entree. So good!

IRIS RESTAURANT~ NC Museum of Art 2110 Blue Ridge Road                     Raleigh,NC 27607

Sunday Brunch here is popular on any given weekend partly because people enjoy the food as well as the beautiful atmosphere. The cuisine is innovative and the setting is an expression of art and nature. Read here how I spent the whole day with my family at the North Carolina Museum of Art and what we ate at #NCMAIris. Reservations to dine at Iris Restaurant are a must. Call 919-664-6838

BONEFISH GRILL~North Hills                4421 Six Forks Rd.                                 Raleigh, NC 27609  

If your Mom is like me and loves seafood, along with Brunch cocktails and libations, then I suggest your Mother’s Day Celebration be held at Bonefish Grill. Take a look at my Sunday Brunch review here and hopefully you are inspired to go this Sunday. Afterwards, walk off that brunch and go shopping or catch a movie at North Hills! 

Have you made Mother’s Day Plans? Where do you enjoy Sunday Brunch?

Hope you enjoyed my list and now have some ideas where to take Mom to eat on Mother’s Day for Brunch in Raleigh, NC ! 




Hosting a #SuperbowlParty? Pick up a Party Pack of delicious BBQ & more from @CityBarbeque #Durham

 Photos courtesy of City BARBEQUE unless otherwise stated

*Thanks to our friends at City Barbeque Durham , we here at SobeSavvy got a chance to do some pre-gaming and sampled a Party Pack to facilitate the following review.

Ready for the big game? My team didn’t make the Superbowl this year so I will soak my tears in what else ? BBQ of course !

Kickoff your Superbowl Sunday with my favorite local BBQ restaurant.. City BBQ https://www.citybbq.com/

They offer the best BBQ in the Triangle and beyond. Sliced to order Brisket, Pork BBQ and Ribs just to name a few. Their menu is quintessential BBQ.

According to their website..” All of our meats are smoked on-site at each restaurant, hand rubbed with spices, and take upwards of 18 hours to become pure barbeque perfection. Our employees prepare our sides throughout the day from scratch in the restaurant and give it the same attention they would give to their own family. This is barbeque in its truest form, created by people who are dedicated to doing it right ”

The love shows through and through. The beautiful smoked meats have a flavor that can only be described as, well indescribable !

Since the Superbowl is usually watched in a party atmosphere, City Barbeque can cater to any size crowd small or large.Check out their Party Pack

We chose pulled pork and brisket. Both are scrumptious. I fell in love w/brisket many years ago when I had my first taste in West Texas. City BBQ does not like to say they are Memphis, Southern or western BBQ. What they do say and I can attest to is that they are AWESOME BBQ !!

They also have shareables which are large size appetizers.We had their REAL hand cut french fries..with cheese..and bacon..CHEESE BACON FRIES! Enough to share, enough to keep to yourself..your choice !

We got also got full slab ribs. It comes in a special “rib sleeve” which while not microwaveable can be used heat them back up in the oven inside the sleeve.

Sides 

We tried peach cobbler. It’s made in house every day. I wanted to try it w/some ice cream but it disappeared so quick. Everyone said they loved it so I never got a chance !

We washed all this goodness down with a few of the craft sodas. The Bruce Cost Ginger Ale is made with 100% fresh ginger!

Put it all together and what do you get?  TOUCHDOWN…A plate full of goodness! 

Don’t forget sign up for their City Rewards https://www.citybbq.com/rewards/ where you Earn 1 point for every dollar spent on qualifying purchases when you scan your City Rewards app, or let us look you up via phone number when you visit City Barbeque. Special offers for those who download and use the app: Free Drink right away, Free piece of Triple Chocolate Cake on 2nd visit when you use the app, Bonus $5 reward on 3rd visit when you use the app, did we mention “use the app”… use it for maximum rewards!

So let City BBQ be the MVP of your SuperBowl Party!