2017 Solar Eclipse

  

Much of the country was swept up in the 2017 Solar Eclipse earlier this week and Westglow was no exception! Everyone on property was prepared with eclipse glasses and our Graphic Designer even purchased a special lens for our camera. In fact, the entire of town of Blowing Rock was ready to make the most of this amazing event and our local Chamber of Commerce had a “Dark in the Park” event with Moon Pies, Sun Chips, and all thing eclipse related.

Unfortunately, clouds rolled in leading up to the peak moment of the eclipse and we were all a little worried we would miss the fantastic view. Thankfully our fears were alleviated when we realized our glasses were strong enough to see through thin clouds and our special lens captured several fantastic shots! In all, the day was incredibly memorable and we hope everyone caught a glimpse of that unforgettable event.

Recipe: Belgian Endive Salad

Summer is a season for salads! They’re refreshing, easy to make, and help us stick to our warm-weather wellness goals. The only downside to these nutrient packed dishes is that they can become monotonous day after day. So, in the spirit of keeping summer dining interesting, we’ve shared a salad recipe that will help mix up your normal cooking routine!

Click here to view our Belgian Endive Salad recipe!  We have another variation of an Endive Salad on our current summer menu and we hope to see you dining with us soon! Call 828.295.5141 to make dinner reservations at Rowland’s Restaurant or visit OpenTable.com.

The Three F’s of Enjoying Wine

“Sometimes it’s easy to overthink the glass of wine in your hand. It’s not always about how wine looks, smells, and tastes. Long before I truly understood the wine in my glass, I only related to how it made me feel. Did it take me somewhere I had never been before? Could I get a sense of its history? I was transfixed by the elements of weather, earth, and physical hardships that it took to make that particular glass of wine.

Over time, my juvenile notions grew into dinner parties. While it was my passion for wine that drove me to study and want to learn all I could, these parties taught me true appreciation of wine. I had studied so many literal things about wine. Words like terroir, producer, AOC, varietal, and harvest were part of a new language, but a language I quickly realized was only spoken by other sommeliers. So, when I was finally given the chance to go on the floor as the sommelier for a restaurant, I quickly realized this new found language was not the ideal way to connect to our guests. I had to find a way to talk to my audience, and then I remembered the dinner parties. We all have our own way we describe wine. We all have our own language. The key to being a good sommelier is listening and interpreting. Someone might interpret a red wine with overripe fruit as sweet; even though I know most red wines are bone dry. Others might find a particular white wine tart and lacking body, while I know it is just young and too cold.

As a sommelier, I am not just a consumer or someone who loves wine. It is my job to sell wine. And sometimes, in a world of quotas, budgets, and ego it is easy to create a sense of division between seller and buyer. In the most arrogant of situations, the professional forgets they can still learn something. So at the end of the day, I remind myself that we are all enthusiasts.

So I offer the three F’s:
1. Favorites
The first question I ask any guest is “what do you drink at home.” This question establishes a baseline and it lets me know what you enjoy as a wine consumer. As a sommelier and salesperson, I have created a wine program that caters to all likes and therefore have a wine selection to satisfy everyone’s personal taste.
I am the first one to advocate stepping out your comfort zone, but until you are comfortable with the salesperson, stick to your guns. Make them make you happy. There is a time and place for adventure.
2. Friends
Experience is everything. An environment where all thoughts and opinions are free flowing and comfortable is central to a memorable wine experience. This comfort comes from good company and a mutual respect for different opinion. You tasted cherry. I tasted raspberry. Well, all red wine tastes like cherries and raspberries. Wine is subjective, so you should have fun debating it. “Is that cherry unripe or just cherry pie?” “Are you really tasting raspberry or is it actually cranberry?” I am amazed on a daily basis by the amount I learn about wine by simply listening to another person’s interpretation.
3. Food
As a lover of wine, I will certainly agree that some wines are delicious as an aperitif or a digestif. I can certainly start the evening with a glass of rosé and end with a madeira, but most wine is made to be enjoyed with food. I’ve never had a Gruner Veltliner come alive until it was married with fried chicken. The bodacious nature of a vintage Champagne gives balance to a ribeye topped with grilled bacon and morel butter poached lobster knuckle meat. Chablis pairs perfectly with oysters. I could go on and on. Wine is food. Not in any literal sense of vegetable, starch, or protein, but certainly as an accoutrement.
The pairing of food and wine is the beginning of the true adventure. Sure, we have to consider what we are drinking. But most importantly, why are we drinking it, who are we drinking with, and what are we drinking it with?”

 

– Gary Brown C.S

Westglow Named #1 Domestic Destination Spa by Travel + Leisure

After eleven consecutive years of being among Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards “Top Ten Destination Spas”, Westglow has been named 2017’s #1 Domestic Destination Spa! We are deeply honored by this recognition and sincerely appreciate all of our valued guests and friends who made this award possible.

Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards are determined every year through a readers’ survey. Destination Spa nominees are rated on their accommodations, facilities, treatments, service, food, and overall value; ensuring that each awarded property is held to the highest possible standard.

Congratulations to our fellow Relais & Chateaux properties that are also award recipients this year. We truly are unique in the world, around the world! And for those who have never visited Westglow, we look forward to showing why we are proud to be the very best of the best!

Click here to view all Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards!

Summer Storms at Westglow

Hiking

While Blowing Rock is famously exempt from typical Southern summer heat, weather patterns are still fairly typical of the American South. These patterns mean that Blowing Rock and Westglow get their fair share of afternoon summer storms.

At Westglow, we look forward to the potential for a quick storm, as they give us a chance to experience the unmatched beauty in our environment. Because of Westglow’s unique placement on a mountain ridge, guests and staff member are able to watch storms roll in, oftentimes from the direction of Grandfather Mountain, and then move down into the valley or further along the ridge. The spectacle oftentimes makes for a stunning show with soothing rain, bright lightening, and crackling thunder.

After these storms, the skies typically clear quickly and we are gifted with slightly cooler weather and glowing vistas.

Rowland’s Wine Pick: Rosé All Day

rose

Chateau de Fontenille Rose of Cabernet Franc, 2016, Bordeaux

Most of us are used to a Provencal rosé, with its salmon color and a generous bouquet of red berries. While some of the best rosé wines in the world come from southern France, that doesn’t mean quality rosé isn’t made in other regions. An example being my rosé pick for the summer, the 2016 Chateau de Fontenille from the Bordeaux region. It is 100% Cabernet Franc, which I find to be a real treat. Furthermore, it has the delicate nature of a traditional rosé, but shows a bit more strength and character.

This rosé is a real curiosity and comes across more like a light red wine. It combines fruit, freshness, and tenderness without excluding body and character. Ideal as an aperitif paired with a cold lunch or even grilled meat. On the nose, the wine is fresh and delightful, showcasing buoyant aromas of raspberry and grapefruit together with fresh cut flowers. Showing balance and finesse on the palate, it is light in body and mineral in character. A clean and citrusy finish leaves the palate ready for another sip.
– Gary E. Brown, CS – Restaurant Manager

Summer Newsletter

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Warm weather has arrived at Westglow! As with every major shift in the seasons, we’ve recently released the latest edition of our Westglow newsletters.

Putting together a newsletter is always exciting, as it gives Westglow’s team a chance to convey all property happenings in one comprehensive setting. This edition is no different and we’re taking summer indulgence to new levels this season.

Truly, it’s the summer of “new” as we’ve unveiled our new summer menu at Rowland’s, a rejuvenated hiking program, and Rowland’s weekly Sunday Brunches all in time for this season. Luxury and a sense of fulfillment are always primary goals at Westglow and we hope these new offerings will add to our valued traditions.

We’re also sharing new recipes, new wine selections for the season, and new spa services that are perfect for the warm weather months! Stay tuned for more summertime information and we hope to see you enjoying Westglow soon!

Sunday Brunch

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Beginning June 4th, Rowland’s Restaurant will offer weekly Sunday Brunch from 11am-2pm! This new tradition has been in Westglow works for a several weeks and the entire staff is thrilled to finally unveil it to the public.

The menu is the perfect blend of traditional brunch fare and creative Westglow cuisine. You’ll find Westglow’s Eggs Benedict has a crab twist and our burger features a truffle infused cheese. Traditional dishes such as shrimp & grits and quiche have their respected places as well.

Brunch is open to the public and reservations are required. Click here to view the menu and here to make reservations instantly on OpenTable.com!

Planting Spring Flowers

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The rhododendrons are blooming in the High Country, which means it’s time to plant Westglow’s spring flowers! Every spring our landscaping team partners with florist Fuschia Moss and they spend a few days buying, arranging, and planting flowers throughout the property.
After purchase, every new flower is arranged on property before planting begins. This practice ensures our team will know how the final product will look before committing to the layout. Planting itself requires patience, as flowers are planted in pre-determined sections and watered in full before moving to the next area. However, the end result is well worth the effort and we look forward to watching Westglow’s blooms flourish well into the summer months!

Rowland’s Wine Pick: Gruner Veltliner

May Wine Pick

2014 Fiddlehead Cellars Gruner Veltliner

Gruner Veltliner is found predominately in Austria and is a nice, exotic alternative to Sauvignon Blanc. While the primary fruit flavors are lime, lemon, and grapefruit, Gruner Veltliner can offer very nutty and spicy notes as well. Fiddlehead Cellars’ approach to this great varietal provides an alluring mix of freshness and complexity.

“I had the privilege of trying the 2014 Fiddlehead Cellars Gruner Veltliner while visiting Kathy Joseph in November 2016. When she told me she was bringing this wine to dinner, I knew there would be a new love in my life. Her Gruner Veltliner did not disappoint. From the initial burst of citrus, to the smoky notes brought alive by the grilled corn chowder, to the finish that seemed to just go on and on, this wine exceeded every standard. For our upcoming “Women and Wine Weekend” dinner, I will be pairing the 2014 Gruner Veltliner with Buttermilk Fried Rabbit Loin, Pink Eyed Hoppin’ John, and Chow Chow. This wine has not been widely produced, so if you find a bottle I highly recommend purchasing it. If you’re unable to find this wine at your local wine shop, you will always find it on our wine list at Rowland’s!”
– Gary E. Brown, CS – Restaurant Manager

Click here to view our menus for the Fiddlehead “Women and Wine” Weekend and call 828.295.5141 to make your reservations.