Monday, March 26, 2012

Big Creek & Galen Glen

            Easily reachable from the Poconos, just a short ride down Rt.209, hidden in the woods at the top of a gravel driveway, Big Creek was the first winery on a single day, whirlwind wine tour of the Lehigh Valley.  The parking and scenery are both sparing but the hospitality is overwhelming.  From the moment you walk in the door, everyone makes you feel right at home (a theme that would continue through the rest of the tour).  They offered Lisa Marie's Red Velvet Cake as an ending to the month-long March Madness wine pairings weekends.  Our trip was to be based on sweet wines, dessert wines, and fruit wines but their sommelier offered a rose that could not be left on the bar.  My wife returned to our truck with a new found "favorite" wine and the kids wore red velvet smiles.
            As we followed the twisting back roads that traced a path through the southern part of the Pocono Mountains, the wind began to blow the dim gray of our rainy day eastward.  The sun tried to sneak short peeks through the blowing clouds.  The trip from Big Creek to Galen Glen is one of the longer ones, consuming nearly half an hour, but it does not seem that long as the conversation moves from the recently tasted wines to passing views of the countryside to the slowly, grudgingly changing weather.  We twisted our way to the top a local hillside, overlooking neighboring farms and arrived at Galen Glen.
            Parking and visiting the winery offers substantially longer views than the initial stop but the hospitality was the same.  They have an outdoor pavilion for taking in the views while taking in the samples of their wines.  Bamboo's satay chicken was the day's offering (a favorite of my oldest daughter) with a spicy peanut sauce and a taste of white wine.  You could spend an afternoon just sipping wines and watching the clouds drift by on the hilltop.   Driving down from the top of the glen, the clouds began to part in earnest.  Our trip was already a pleasant venture and could have ended with only two checkpoints but there were more stops on the map and plenty of grapes yet to be sampled.

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