While on vacation in Maui I discovered Tedeschi Vineyards, a winery that produces pineapple wine. Also known as Maui Wines, this vineyard sits majestically at Ulupalakua Ranch. This volcanic soil is exceedingly fertile and has been turning out Carnelian grapes of high quality with chameleon abilities to produce red wine, a lovely rose and a delicious sparkling white.
Since 1974 when Californian Emil Tedeschi had a vision of growing grapes on Maui, the wines have been a big hit. Uber popular Maui Splash was at first cloyingly sweet and easily mistaken for a dessert wine; with heady pineapple and passion fruit flavors, the wine finished cleanly and bore a crispness that almost balanced sugars. Splash would be delicious nicely cold with spicy seafood (blackened salmon, or Cajun prawns) or mildly warm with shockingly pungent cheese (Roquefort or Livarot) and plain crackers.
Bottles of blanc, blush, rose cuvee, framboise and cabernet sauvignon range from $7.95 to $37.50 and higher. I was thrilled to learn these wines are available through the Washington State Liquor Stores.
Aspen Bay Candles
Ah, the power of scent. A whiff of an evergreen wreath takes one back to Christmas at grandma’s house. Butterscotch candies bring about memories of fifth-grade bus rides and giggling girlfriends who’ll be best friends forever. Warm leather evokes images of junior high baseball and the mitt that was soft as silk from repeat pounding. Aspen Bay Candles makes candles that cover most everything in the scent realm.
These are no ordinary candles. Aspen recruits perfumers to create exclusive fragrance oils and blends them with highly absorbent, clean-burning soy wax. This food-grade soy wax will burn twice the normal burn time of a beeswax candle and does not fool the nose. If you hold an Aspen candle up and inhale, that heady rich scent is exactly what you’ll smell while the individually hand poured candle is burning. Aspen uses American-made zinc core wicks instead of wax coated cotton wicks that can become submerged in liquefied wax and be lost.
Zinc core wicks stand straight all the time. Keep in mind you pay for what you get with these long-lasting beauties. Candles run from $20 to $50 depending on size and burn for up to almost 200 hours. Perfect for winter weather are the whimsical “pineapple pinecone” shaped candles ($32.95) delivering either warm, snuggly scents of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove or sweet pineapple and coconut fruit with rich vanilla (embrace the winter or pretend it’s not there).
Aspen Bay candles are available online at www.aspenbaycandles.com or in Kenniwick, Wash., at Lemon Grass.