The "official" first day of Spring may read March 21 on the calendar, but for me, it isn't Spring until 100% of the snow in our yard has melted and the ice is fully gone from our lake. Well, that finally happened on May 2 this year leaving me less time than usual to get my laundry list of Spring Cleaning chores out of the way.
I'm going to need extra motivation to get through my Big Five and start enjoying some much deserved sunshine, so I've decided to pair each Spring Chore with a lovely Carlos Creek Wine.
1. CLEAN THE GARAGE
There's better than 2 miles of gravel road between our house and a tar road and by this time of year you can shovel the gravel, sand & salt off our garage floor. This clean-up sends clouds of throat-choking dust everywhere that just begs to be wetted down with our most thirst-quenching wine, Petit Ami. This lovely wine reminds me of a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with a touch of Riesling-like floral and is perfectly paired with all of your dusty Spring cleaning jobs.
2. CLEAN YOUR CLOSETS!
I clean out my closets every Spring and Fall purging items I didn't wear or use in the last year and donating them to a thrift shop where all proceeds fund a local women's shelter. If I'm not quite ready to say good-bye to somethings, I pack them up in a box labeled only with the current date. If I haven't opened that box to retrieve anything in over a year, I can safely get rid it. I usually can't recall what's in there anymore, which is why you NEVER OPEN THE BOX or you may be tempted to keep its contents! Closet cleaning is my favorite Spring cleaning chore and one I save for a rainy day. I find it incredibly pleasant to make order from chaos while sipping on an incredibly elegant, dry red wine like our Reserve Frontenac or our Reserve Marquette.
3. WASH WINDOWS
This is my all-time, least favorite chore. Getting a season's worth of built-up crud, cobwebs and dead insects out of the sills, tracks and hardware is just a really yucky job. I tackle each window first with a shop vac and crevice tool - bring on the power! Next I brush everything off with a large paintbrush. I use a sponge rag and hot soapy water to wash down all surfaces and finish with a classic vinegar and water solution on the glass, which I squeegee off. What do I do to prevent streaks? Nothing. I consider them to be badges of extreme effort proving that I removed a layer of crud from what seems like miles of surface area. And the thing about cleaning windows, is you pretty much need a really nice day for this chore. To reward myself for this herculean effort, I deserve something sweet, cold and incredibly delicious, and folks, that is absolutely Frontenac Gris. Use a glass coozie or one of our freezable glasses to keep your Gris really chilly and you'll sip your way to a housefull of clean windows in no time.
4. INSTALL YOUR DOCK & LIFT
This is usually a cold, wet job and I have to admit, I'm a better cheerleader than a team member for this job. After your crew has completed your dock install, treat them to a plate of your gooiest brownies and a well-deserved glass of our Carlos Creek Tawny Port. This past Winter, we drilled through the ice and pounded posts 9 feet into the sand to make a permanent dock and are going to experiment with going "lifeless" this summer. So if our experiment pans out, we can cross this chore off our list forever. Watch for updates in a future blog.
5. PLANT THE GARDEN
Anyone who knows me, knows planting or working in the garden, is NOT a chore! There are few things I enjoy more, though the scale of gardening at the winery can be a bit overwhelming at times. The first of our 5000 bulbs started opening on May 1 and by mid-May we should (if the rodents didn't eat them all) see a riot of color. Since green return after a long, dark winter is best celebrated with something bubbly, like our Minnescatos. I would recommend our white Minnescato for planting vegetable gardens and Ruby Minnescato for flower gardens. Cheers!