After the Holiday Crunch

This was our first Christmas back in Michigan.

Hallway to Dining Rooms
Hallway to Dining Rooms

Traverse City Golf & Country Club was beautifully decorated, the members and staff are truly beautiful inside and out. Their reflection of light and spirit of the season made the last few weeks glow. It was as dazzling as nights we bundled up the whole family and drove downtown to “Atlanta’s best department store” Rich’s to ride the Pink Pig through Toy-land, then went down escalators offering glimpses of perfect gifts for each member of the family. Once outside we watched bridge after bridge light-up with different high school and college choirs singing much loved carols. In the same way that Rich’s Christmas display each year was new yet totally familiar, to walk into the club, through the living room and down halls and stairs to see beautifully decorated tree after tree and twinkling evergreen garlands outlining each archway quietly brought a sigh at the elegant beauty.

Daughter, cousins, sisters-in-law, spouses all gathered in beautiful home after home to introduce new loves and baby, and warmly reconnect after being distant too long. We ate, oh how bountifully we ate, one delicious dish after another, paired with everything from Suttons Bay Ciders to a magnum of Ehlers Estate Blend 2005, to Arcturos Late Harvest Riesling, Diet Pepsi, and lemon water. It was splendid except the time evaporated way too fast and weather threw boulder after boulder into travel plans home for some.

Snow came late this year – no white Christmas for the first time in ages, but the Sunday after, the snow began and lasted straight thru New Year’s day. We got home to another flurry of Club activities for New Year’s Eve that unwound into great feasts of black-eyed peas with turnip greens and braised pork over one “flight” of bowl games New Year’s Eve night and

Carne Adovada marinating to be added to Posole
Carne Adovada marinating to be added to Posole

Carne Adovada Posole for the New Year’s Day flight of games. We were 50-50 on “our team picks” but a relaxing way to close 2015. This afternoon is focused on Thank You Notes, taking down decorations, and gearing up for all kinds of exciting meetings starting Monday.  Today brings bright hope for 2016, the sky is a dazzling blue, the Bay’s water is a still, aquamarine view framed by a snow-covered mat.

Sunrise over the Bay
Sunrise over the Bay

January 9th starts next unit of

Clouet NV Grand Reserve Champagne
Clouet NV Grand Reserve Champagne

WSET’s current Diploma program ~ my Fav ~ SPARKLING WINES!!! 2016 gets better by the minute!

Happy New Year!

When Life is Fully Lived

Surely the term looking at life through rose colored lenses came from the peaceful glow of quietly watching a sunrise.
Surely the term looking at life through rose colored lenses came from the peaceful glow of quietly watching a sunrise.

This little blog to bring folks up-to-date on Pairing to Perfection is a bit like a bedtime story. Lots of pictures, a few words of all that is wonderful about the many things going on the last few weeks.

The last six months of getting settled into a new home, launching a new phase of Pairing to Perfection has all been fabulous. Seriously, this has been one of most welcoming communities we have ever joined. But so much change, even GOOD change can be unsettling. So each morning as we’re reading the news, making our lists and getting ready to embrace the day, we take a few minutes to just bask in the beauty of the sun rising over Grand Traverse Bay. It is beyond words breathtaking.

Pairing to Perfection ~ A Taste, A Sip, A Perfect Pairing
Pairing to Perfection ~ A Taste, A Sip, A Perfect Pairing

In the last month, there were several exciting events. The one that has great impact is that Pairing to Perfection, LLC became Pairing to Perfection of Michigan, LLC (dba Pairing to Perfection) so we are still the same entity, but now officially a Michigan company and using our same familiar little logo.

This all came about because P2P met an accountant and bookkeeper specializing in QuickBooks Online, who referred an attorney who could get the new entity setup in Grand Traverse, while the accountant and bookkeeper were helping to setup our books correctly. In other words, Pairing to Perfection is  “growing up!”

And as many of our friends know, about a year and a half ago, P2P was certified as a Wine & Spirits Education Trust Level 3 in wine & spirits.

What an honor and delight to find this organization.
What an honor and delight to find this organization.

This August, WSET Diploma Courses began. So a week after getting Pairing to Perfection of Michigan, LLC established, P2P flew to San Francisco for the first Diploma level exam. What is wonderful about this course is that the online classroom really works and is setup in a manner to give rhythm to one’s schedule and assignments that are pertinent to the course certainly but also to “real life” in the Wine & Spirits profession. They also provide highly trained tutors to review the assignments, check in to see how the course is going and give some further direction in effectively preparing for the exam.

And definitely in the profession, and officially now in Michigan, P2P is looking for new ways to reach people with questions, offer pairing assistance, provide wine education to service staff, and host tastings and wine dinners in homes. To my delight on the same fateful day of the meeting with our new accountant and attorney, Andrea, a lovely lady in Atlanta who was referred by my precious youngest sister, called about pairing help for an amazing dinner catered by the incredibly talented David Bartlett. The menu was absolutely amazing. The setting was the most perfect for a wine dinner among friends ever, here is one photo of the table.

This dinning room, hosting a few colleagues, with David's dinner with excellent wines paired for each course, created a perfect Friday evening.
This dinning room, hosting a few colleagues, with David’s dinner and excellent wines paired for each course, created a perfect Friday evening.

This Dinner was held during the longish drive from Detroit to Traverse City after the exam. The pictures of this evening keep the reality vivid of what a privilege it is to be invited to pair meals and wines so that truly neither overpowers the other, rather the “food and wine waltz”.

Wines for any menu or budget.
Wines for any menu or budget.

Just four days later, was the Holiday Boutique at Traverse City Golf & Country Club where P2P was asked both to offer pairing & sommelier services, corporate party packages, and help Club members select wines for their holiday entertaining. This was on an Indian Summer day of beautiful sunshine and golfers squeezing in a last round before the flags come down until spring.

Fortunately this table was not two feet away from the holiday wines' table
Fortunately this table was not two feet away from the holiday wines’ table

 There was fortunately quite a lot of interest in wine classes, private tastings, and pairing services as well. Hopefully by the time the Diploma course is completed, Pairing to Perfection will be able to find a ‘bricks and mortar’ home for wine classes, wine tastings, and of course, wine pairing services.

Two days after the Holiday Boutique, P2P packed the car with 14 dozen tasting glasses, glass vases, pitchers, and other accoutrements for a Scotch Tasting for the 120 folks attending Mama Ada Foundation’s annual fundraising dinner in Minneapolis. What a dedicated group of friends who are working hard to raise funds to educate children and teens in Ziwa Kenya through at least secondary school and provide farmers seeds to grow the food they need. This was their 8th year and the growth of their mission and that of the wise, determined grandmother from Ziwa, the “real live” Mama Ada is so inspiring.

Please keep Pairing to Perfection in mind for your pairing and pouring services during the Holidays! Though you can see that life is fully lived in this new home, life is lonely without friends, family, and work that is rewarding, fascinating, and shared. Having family, friends, and this incredible little business makes for a heart full of Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tribute to Lovely Lady

Each morning while Kurtis watches news, P2P reads Decanter’s informative daily email digest of articles. It is part of the prep of getting back into “study mode” as WSET’s Diploma class starts on August 15th. It is also more thought provoking to read both sides of arguments about climate change, vineyard management, wine reviews, winemaker and vigneron interviews, than to be “attacked” by barrages of violence, political infighting, and tragedies one can do nothing about.

This morning Decanter sadly carries a beautiful tribute to Daphne Broadbent, 61 years the bride of “professorial wine writer” Michael Broadbent. She was quite a lady. While never having the privilege of meeting her personally, she was a person very familiar to subscribers of Decanter. AND her son, Bart Broadbent was an honorary guest of A Night for Sight charity wine auction in 2002. His gracious presence and quick wit were a tribute to both his parents. So thoughts and prayers for the entire Broadbent family go out from many fans today, and P2P would also like to honor Daphne and offer condolences to Michael, Bart and daughter, Emma.

If you enjoy informative, well-written wine news, be sure to include Decanter in your daily routine. Here is the link to Steven Spurrier’s lovely tribute to Daphne ~

Bart, Daphne & Michael courtesy of Decanter Magazine

Wine, Auctions, Certifications & Life

Flexibility & being able to “go with the flow” are at their core, water-born skills. Beautiful reminder @GPYC

Tuesday was all about life and change. These pictures chronicle the journey. Please join us; the next leg begins August 15, with WSET Diploma’s 1st unit. It’s like waiting for Christmas!


A Night for Sight Silent Auction 2011
The founders of this elegant auction have taught me many wonderful things; generosity & graciousness are two of the best gifts.
The most romantic spot for a cozy dinner... or proposal in Minnesota.
The most romantic spot for a cozy dinner… or proposal in Minnesota.


Best room in 4 Third St! Home of Sontes, Tessa’s Office Wine Boutique, Grand Rounds Brewing, & Pairing to Perfection’s wine classes.


Level I Guild of Sommeliers’ Pin, earned fall 2011, start of an amazing journey.
Earning WSET Level 3, was a huge affirmation and encouragement to continue the journey of Wine Education. So very grateful!



P2P finally got a logo the summer of 2013. Looks a bit like the simple signs dotting the vineyards around Leelanau... or like a bottle ring after a class of scribbling tasting notes, or a great dinner with fun folks... Mostly it makes me smile.
P2P finally got a logo the summer of 2013. Looks a bit like the simple signs dotting the vineyards around Leelanau… or like a bottle ring after a class of scribbling tasting notes, or a great dinner with fun folks… Hope it offers you a smile, too.

Twilight, Music & Bubbles


Sunset Photo

There is something about Friday evenings. Life takes a deep breath and long, sweet sigh. It is something we all need so much more of in our lives.
TCG&CC golf course
TCG&CC has a beautiful tradition of twilight golf on some Friday evenings, along with live piano music in the bar, complimentary hors d’oeuvres, and relaxed celebration of family, friends and the weekend.

Piano-bar-564x564To add to the occasion last evening, they added “Bubbles” which included famous, boutique, and local Champagnes and Sparkling wines by the glass, half-bottle & 750ml bottles. A few of the wines we poured were ~  and Gosset Blanc de BlancsRoederer Brut NV      Mawby Blanc de Blancs

It was so lovely; a perfect toast to a beautiful weekend.
bubbles on the deck