January 1, 2015, marks the start of another new year. January 1 is special to me in that it is the 17th birthday of my oldest grandson, John Skrip IV (aka J.B.) son of John Skrip III, my “BEST” son and my only son, who is the winemaker at Clover Hill Vineyards and Winery.
January 1 is also the third birthday of my Rottweiler dog, DeCha. OK ~ she is half mine and half my wife’s! DeCha was named after one of the grape varieties that we successfully grow and the popular wine we make bearing its name - DeChaunac. Since our kids left the nest, DeCha fills the void nicely. She likes to lick a little wine off my wife, Pat’s, finger, but moments later has to sneeze. We only give her this treat on special occasions like New Year’s Eve. She likes to go where I go whether it be riding shotgun in my golf buggy or accompanying me in my car. She is man’s best friend, and if you pet her you will have a friend for life!
New Year’s Eve is a time for our traditional New Year's Eve roof raising, town painting celebration… senior style. My wife and I, along with my 90-year young mother, Olga, for the past six years have been enjoying a stay-at-home lobster dinner complete with homemade French fries, cranberry sauce, a Spanish hand-dressed salad made by me, and bubbles… lots of bubbles (that's champagne for all you BEER drinkers!).
But wait it gets better. The final act is the result of too many bubbles. There is a tendency to doze off before the big ball in Times Square touches down at midnight. After giving Pat a big New Year's kiss, toasting with a glass of Clover Hill Sparkling Pinot Noir, and making our new year’s resolution about losing weight for 2015, we retire for the balance of the evening.
Daughters, Kari and Lori, and son, John III, may call us to wish us a Happy New Year if they remember… the youngin's like to party more than us seniors. That is New Year's...Skrip Family/ Clover Hill style - life in the fast lane!
A NEW 2015 resolution for me will be that I spend less time with the grapes and wine business and more time at our second home, appropriately named by Kari as Grape Escape, at Cape Cod. Don’t worry - I’ll be watching Clover Hill but I’ll be watching more of Cape Cod Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Clover Hill will be in good hands with Pat, John III and Kari. As always, I will be available to cut the grass, take the garbage out, and all the other important chores they will ask me to do. Spending more time with my grandkids is also in the equation.
Bottom line is, I wish the BEST to you and yours in 2015. And remember to drink Clover Hill wine in moderation as your key to longevity! - John Skrip Jr.
Owner’s Selection for January
The holidays may be over, but it is never too late to sip a warmed glass of Holiday wine on a cold night. This is a sweet rose that is jazzed up with cinnamon, cloves and citrus. Now only $9.45.
Try this: mix equal parts of Holiday and brown sugar for a sweet and spicy ham glaze.
Beginner Wine Tasting Class
Saturday, January 10 and 25 at 2 p.m. (almost sold out!)
Tickets required - $25 per person
Join us in a beginner wine tasting class. This 1.5 hour long class will teach you the basics of wine tasting, give you tips on wine and food pairing and help to answer any wine questions you may have. This class is limited in seats and tickets are required: $25 per person and you must be 21+ years old. Call 610-395-2468 or visit the winery in Breinigsville to reserve your ticket.
The Winery in Breinigsville
January 17 and 18
Take a wintertime country drive to Lehigh County and sip something special. At Clover Hill Winery in Breinigsville we will be offering a trio of warmed wines for you to sample. Recipes will be available.