My aching leg told me it was time to get out of Dodge
By Steve Siciliano
I know it sounds crazy but when my stress level dials up to eleven, I get a persistent ache towards the middle of the vastus lateralis muscle of my left thigh. I've learned over the years that this idiosyncratic physical quirk is directly tied to my state of mind. It functions as a canary in the four lobes of my noggin’s coal mine. It’s my personal seismograph that warns me of an imminent cerebral upheaval, a built-in barometer that indicates storm clouds are gathering on my gray matter’s convoluted horizon. When the alarms went off a few weeks back I knew that two months without a day off had taken its toll on my mental health. It was time to get the hell out of Dodge.
After putting a couple of hours in at the store last Saturday morning Barb and I packed up the truck and headed north to Lake County. It didn’t take long to decompress. While driving through the rolling hills on Fruit Ridge I admired the acres of blossoming apple trees and felt the thigh muscle beginning to relax. By the time we reached White Cloud ("Where the north begins and pure water flows.") the spasms became more sporadic. When we were motoring past the "world's largest brown trout sculpture" in Baldwin they were just about gone.
When we arrived at the cottage I strapped on my back pack blower and cleaned up the vestiges of last fall's oak leaves. The temps were in the high sixties so I worked up a nice sweat. Afterwards I sat with Yeoman on his deck and downed two of his long-necked Stroh’s. The ice cold lager tasted wonderful, in part no doubt because they came from Yeoman’s stash.
I went fishing in the morning and caught and released a nice brookie. I fished for the next two days even though a cold front had moved in and temps were hovering in the low forties. The streams were high from the spring rains which made wading tricky and the frigid water temperature made the trout sluggish. The fish weren’t feeding but it was nice having a fly rod in my hands again. That eight-foot graphite instrument doubled as an extension cord that I plugged into nature. The lakes, woods, fields and streams of Lake County were just what I needed to recharge my cerebral battery.
Featured Wines of the Week
Moulin de Gassac, Guilhem Red, 2018, France, $10.89/750 ml - "A typical Mediterranean blend : 40% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 30 % Carignan. Nose: Vinous, complex aromas, with hints of red berries (cherry, blackberry, strawberry) and spice. Palate: Opens soft and fruity with gentle tannins. Delicate and sophisticated. Finish: Long and smooth; a touch rustic reflecting its terroir." (Source)
Domaine Moutard, Pet Mout, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir, France, $13.99/750 ml - Made using the Petillant Nature method which is a traditional method of producing sparkling wine where the wine is bottled prior to the completion of primary fermentation. According to Methode Ancestrale- A traditional method of making sparkling wine that is, in fact, the world’s most ancient. The wine is bottled before the primary fermentation is finished, delivering a lower pressure, lightly sparkling wine in the petillant style. The wine is finished without the addition of secondary yeasts, sugars, or sulfites.
Chardonnay Tasting Notes: The bubble is fine and gives a delicate pearl necklace. Attractive color of white gold. The aromas of citrus fruits, floral and mineral go very well with freshness and elegance in mouth in addition to an acidity which allows balance between aromatic power and softness. (Source)
Pinot Noir Rose Tasting Notes:The Rosé gives a dark pink color. It’s a lively wine of subtle red berries aromas. This Rosé is a relevant wine of dessert with powerful aromas of flowers which goes perfectly with ice creams and brings freshness on the end of meal. (Source)
Ryder Estate, Pinot Noir, 2017, California, $11.69/ 750ml - "Lush, silky and balanced, our Pinot Noir delivers with notes of red cherry, plum and mocha." (Source)
Joios, Brut Cava, Spain, $12.49/750 ml - "Pale yellow in color with golden sparkles. The nose features white flowers, citrus, tangerine, with hints of toast, pastry, and dried fruits. The mouth is clean with marked acidity, and the finish is creamy, long, and round." (Source)
Maipe, Malbec Rose, Casir dos Santos, Argentina, $15.99/750ml -" Intense pink color with violet hints. Fresh red fruit bouquet, strawberry and cherry flavors, balanced acidity, dry and lingering finish." (Source)
Buy three or more bottles of wine get 10 % off.
"It's our mission at Siciliano's to sell quality wine at affordable prices."
Featured Spirits of the Week
Michter's unblended American US*1, Kentucky, $43.09/ 750ml (2 bottle limit) - "This small batch American Whiskey is aged in whiskey soaked barrels to achieve a rich and unique flavor profile of deep butterscotch and vanilla notes, hints of caramel and dried fruit and a ripe fruit finish." (Source)
Ancient Age, Kentucky Straight Bourbon, $12.69/ 750ml - "Features aromas of corn, caramel, toffee and vanilla. Follows through with many of the same but with a hint of spice and a lingering finish hinting of toffee and citrus." (Source)
Early Times, Bottled in Bond, Kentucky Straight Whiskey, $24.19/ 1000ml - "Light caramel corn with hints of citrus rind, honey and soft oak. Soft caramel corn melds with shortbread cookie coated with a hint of chocolate and oak; a trace of cinnamon spice lingers in the deep sweetness. Hints of caramel corn linger on." (Source)
Passport blended scotch, Scotland, $21.09/1750 ml - "The blend recipe for Passport was developed by Chivas Brothers’ blender Jimmy Lang during the 1960s. It was a classical Chivas blend in that it embraced the company’s Speyside single malts, including Strathisla and Glen Keith. Indeed, Glen Keith was long promoted as the ‘Home of Passport’, with a banner replicating the bottle label displayed in the distillery entrance.
During the 1970s malt from the newly-built Allt-a-Bhainne and Braes of Glenlivet (now Braeval) distilleries began to appear in the Passport recipe. Stylistically, Passport is light on the nose, with grain, vanilla and fruit, leading to a palate of cut grass, rich fruit and malt." (Source)
New and Returning Beer, Mead & Cider
Oliver's-Classic Perry/500ml/$8.79 - "Perry pears from the Orchards of Herefordshire, cold fermented by wild yeasts, matured and blended. Hedgerow fruit and suave citrus mix with pear acids and tannins to give a classic perry which is slightly sweetened and carbonated at bottling." (Source)
Jester King-Commercial Suicide/750ml/$15.19 - "Inspired by English Mild Ale, Commercial Suicide retains the sessionability of its classic counterpart while taking on its own unique sense of place through fermentation in oak foudres with yeasts and bacteria native to our land in the Texas Hill Country. Unfiltered, unpasteurized, and 100% naturally conditioned." (Source)
Jester King-Mad Meg/750ml/$19.59 - "“Provision Ale” is a rough translation of the French term “bière de provision“, which was sometimes used to describe special beers that were suitable for extended storage and aging. Brewed from relatively simple, straightforward ingredients, Mad Meg is golden colored and quite strong, at over 9% ABV. Its palate intertwines delicate farmhouse esters with earthy, spicy hops and clean malt flavors. The name “Mad Meg”, refers to a peasant woman from Flemish folklore, also known as “Dulle Griet” or “Dull Gret”, who leads an army of women to pillage hell. She’s famously depicted in Pieter Brueghel the Elder’s 1562 painting by the same name." (Source)
Black Project-Stingray/16oz/$5.99 - "Sour Wheat Ale with Blood Orange, Sweet Cherry and Lime." (Source)
Black Project-Mystic/16oz/$5.99 - "Sour Wheat Ale with Black Currant and Pomegranate." (Source)
Black Project-Blinder/16oz/$5.99 - No commercial description
Hoof Hearted-RollerBlabe/16oz/$5.49 - "Slurp up the neon! One sniff and you'll be painted in animal print spandex and sporting a side pony tail and that's just the guys. Ready yourself for the taste of your fanny pack getting sucked into the tape deck. Bodaciously dry-hopped with the Dank n' Fruity combo of Mosiac, Simcoe, and Galaxy hops. Brewed under the watchful eye of AC Slater and Lisa Turtle, I mean John & Cindy from The Daily Growler." (Source)
Stillwater & HoloHolo-Last Daze of Disco/16oz/$4.09 - Classic farmhouse ale
Public Access-Constellate/16oz/$4.89 - Lager brewed with Yuzu.
Abomination-Shotgun Sour Boysenberry and Apricot/16oz/$4.89 - Fruited sour
Short Throw-Mutual Respek/16oz/$5.19 - "This time around, during the Covid-19 pandemic, we teamed up with our great friends at Triple Crossing to produce a beer exhibiting our tight bond without being within 6ft. of each other. Mutual Respeck is a Double IPA adorned with the bountiful aromatics of Cashmere and Citra hops, dry-hopped with the same varietals. Respeck due." (Source)
Stillwater & Evil Twin-Surf and Turf/16oz/$5.49 - "Imperial stout with molasses, sea salt, & beef jerky with artificial colors." (Source)
Brewery Vivant-Straw Barb/16oz/$4.59 - "Stuffed full of fresh fruit, Straw Barb is a blend of our house sour, wood aged foeder and fresh beer with copious amounts sweet strawberry and tart rhubarb." (Source)
Oddside Hard seltzer-Pina Colada/12oz/$1.89 - No commercial description.
Bells- Incessant/16oz/$4.39 - "We were asked… incessantly. So, here we are; a New England IPA from Bell’s. Our twist? We doubled it. This beer comes directly from our innovation pipeline starting at our original brewery then moving to our Comstock Brewery for larger distribution. It is juicy (tropical, mango and pineapple hop aromas) with a full body and soft bitterness." (Source)
Mitten Brewing-Mango Gold/12oz/$1.99 - "A kettle-soured Wheat Ale made with real mango. Tart, refreshing, and tropical." (Source)
Ludington Bay-S.S. Badger Blue/12oz/$1.99 - Blueberry ale
Austin Bros.-Pineapple Smoothie/16oz/$4.09 - "Based off of a New England style IPA, we go one step further on this beer and brew it with lactose, and a balanced amount of mango and pineapple with a hint of vanilla to give it a creamy like character that plays into
the juicy characters of the New England IPA." (Source)
Austin Bros.-Triple Berry Gose/16oz/$$4.09 - "Kettle sour with Raspberry, Blackberry, Strawberry, and Sea Salt. Perfect blend of sweet, sour, and salt!" (Source)
New Belgium-Sparkling Lime Lager/12oz/$1.79 - "Citrus and sunshine make a fantastic combination. The only thing missing is Sparkling Lime Lager. Bright, bubbly, packed with lime flavor, and brewed for crushing. This refreshing lager was made for soaking up the sun." (Source)
B. Nektar-Episode 13/375ml/$27.99 - "Honey Wine Aged in Bourbon Barrels.
Appearance - Golden color, brilliantly clear and still with long, thick streaming legs. Aroma - Alcohol heat with subtle hints of sweet bourbon whiskey. Deep fermented honey, with notes of earthy buckwheat and light caramel. Clean fermentation. Experience - Sweet, rich honey with subtle vanilla and toasted bourbon notes. Lingering sweetness with a grainy caramel aftertaste. Very smooth mouthfeel with a warming alcohol sensation on sides of tongue." (Source)
Stay safe. Spread kindness not germs!