Finding a good wine

Good wine . . . all wine lovers love a good bottle of wine. The thing is not all “good” wines taste good to all wine drinkers. Like beauty, taste is in the eye of the beholder or in the case of wine (no pun intended) in our taste buds. So, how do we know”? How can we tell? The easiest way to know of course is to actually taste the wines. Unfortunately that is most often not possible. We can also read reviews and tasting notes, look for award winners and last, but certainly not least, ask for a recommendation from a friend or wine steward.   

When asking for a recommendation however, it’s not enough to just ask the question; we must also provide details of our preferences beyond red or white; dry, off dry, sweet, oaky, buttery, etc. We need to be sure to mention brands, vineyards or regions we already know we like. We should also specify if we’re looking for a wine to accompany a meal, just for sipping or one with which we can do both. This information is essential to finding those wines our taste buds will like.

Things to keep in mind:

Good wine does not have to be expensive or old. “Older wines aren’t necessarily better. Many wines under $15 are intended to be enjoyed young. In general you can drink whites one to two years and reds two to three years after bottling. Higher-end wines have more staying power and can last three to 10 years or more.” says Peter Click, president and founder of The Click Wine Group (Fat Bastard Wines).

Pay attention to labels. Not to imply beautiful labels equal good wines. They can however, provide you with a lot of information such as producers name, country and /or region of origin, grape variety, alcohol content, aging process,  and flavors, which can later help you find similar wines if you like them  or avoid them if you don’t.

Complex and balanced wines, ones that have many different flavors that linger are considered better wines. 

Have an open mind, get out of your comfort zone, and try new and different wines and vineyards. It will help you compare and learn because you don’t know what you don’t know.

I’m sure we can all agree wine drinking is all about pleasure and enjoyment; as a result, we‘re always looking for a “good” bottle of wine. Remember the best wine is the one YOU like.

For more interesting articles subscribe to Washington – The Magazine  or read it online at: http://www.thewashingtondailynews.com/washington-the-magazine/


Pamlico House Goes Hollywood

Celebrities . . . everyone knows they are regular people just like you and me. I know that! At least I thought I knew that, goodness, I’m a middle aged woman, I definitely should know that; especially since I’ve probably seen more celebrities than most people I know. Not because I’m anything special, but it just so happens I used to live in California and my ex-husband’s career often put us in the midst of star-studded affairs attended by celebs like Elizabeth Taylor, Gregory Peck and Stevie Wonder. You might think, big deal, once you’ve seen one celebrity, you’ve seen them all. Not for me! When I’ve met them something happens, I get all nervous and excited but at the same time I’m surprised because they look and act so . . . normal! Imagine that!

Recently I received a phone call from a woman who said she was helping a friend that would be driving with her daughter through Little Washington on their way to Corolla. They needed lodging for the night and wanted to know if the Pamlico House had any availability. As luck would have it my friend and fellow B&B owner Becky at The Moss House was booked and had kindly referred the caller to me. It was a Monday, typically the quietest day of the week, so we had an available guestroom.  She asked the usual questions about rooms and rates and said she’d call back. I didn’t give it a second thought; people call all the time asking for information.

A short while later, the same woman called back to book the Washington Room.  After taking all the pertinent information — name, billing address, email address, etc – and  hanging up, I looked again at the name I’d written and it began to ring a bell. Now, I’m not much good at remembering names but I never forget a face.  So on a whim I Googled it… and BOOM! There she was, hundreds of pictures of the very talented and beautiful young actress I’ve seen in many movies. It took incredible self control not to call everyone I know and start shouting, “Guess who’s going to be staying at my house tonight!!!”But I certainly did NOT want to be like Hugh Grant’s crazy roommate in the movie “Notting Hill”. (In case you haven’t seen it — Hugh is dating a famous actress played by Julia Roberts, and she’s visiting London incognito. It’s all very romantic and hush-hush until his roommate recognizes her and spills the beans. When Hugh goes to get the newspaper in the morning there’s a mob outside the door and all kinds of cameras are flashing.) No. No, as difficult as it was, I certainly had to keep this news to myself! Not that the same thing was going to happen in Little Washington, of course.

Well, you know what I said before about getting all nervous and excited? I found out it also happens at the expectation of meeting a celebrity. Wait! Now the celebrity was actually coming to my home!!! My brain exploded with all kinds of unexpected worries and concerns. Is the house clean enough (never mind it had just been cleaned top to bottom, and we always get a 100 score on our health inspection)? Is it cool enough? Should I think of something extra special to serve her at breakfast?  She’s bringing her young child, who will probably want to pet Lacy! Quick, got to give her a bath, just in case (for that matter, can I squeeze in a trip to the salon for myself?) Even my boyfriend, who’s usually not involved in the B&B’s day to day operations, was running around making sure the house was “just right”.

To my chagrin I had made dinner plans and the much-anticipated guest was due to arrive while I would be out, so I would likely miss being there to greet her. But luck was on my side again. It took them longer than expected and I was home when they arrived at the inn.  I answered the bell and there stood a beautiful young woman (not a drop of make-up!) and her daughter, sweet and polite as could be. I gave the usual spiel I do for all my guests showing them where the coffee & complimentary sodas can be found, where breakfast will be served, which keys are to the room and front door and so on and so forth. We confirmed breakfast at 8:30 and bid them goodnight. It was so hard tearing myself away! I wanted to stay, plop down on the bed, chit chat and gape at all their magical, celebrity cuteness.

Next morning while I was checking on the coffee I heard a sweet little voice. I turned around and there was this adorable little girl in Hello Kitty  footed pjs asking if she could take a cup to her mom. Her appearance was that of a very young child, but her demeanor and words that of a mature young lady. Off she went, but she soon returned to check out the dining room. Much to my delight, this adorable 7 year-old half-pint approvingly exclaimed: “The table is so beautifully set!”

Breakfast was a hit. Both mom and daughter enjoyed their food as well as the company of a husband and wife also staying at the B&B. They were charming and low-key, politely sharing breakfast like any other guests. I wanted sooo badly to tell the other couple who was not only sharing the table with them this morning, but coincidentally also shared the same last name. What are the odds of that? But again I managed to keep their secret. Shortly after breakfast my delightful guests packed their things, said a brief but warm goodbye and were on their way to Corolla.

As I watched them leave, suddenly it hit me! And I panicked! Here I had had the closest encounter with a famous movie star I probably will ever have in my lifetime and I had no proof, nothing to show my friends! I knew I had done the right thing by protecting their identity during their stay and not invading their privacy by asking for an autograph. Such mixed feelings!!! The childish, star-struck “Lucy Ricardo” in me felt terribly disappointed but the adult, mature part of me felt silly for feeling that way. Then I remembered I had her cell number –I always ask for one just in case I need to contact my guests prior to their arrival. NOW I had a brilliant idea: I would text her and discreetly ask permission to share that she’d visited Little Washington, and more specifically, The Pamlico House. I couldn’t resist politely requesting an autograph photo while I was at it; I figured she could easily say no, or worse, she could ignore my request. On the other hand, she might say yes and it was worth a shot. I struggled with it a little. I worried she might feel I was abusing the privilege of having been entrusted with her private contact information. But in the end I took the plunge, and this was her response:

“Honestly, it is so kind of you to ask in the first place before writing about it and not to ask while I was with my daughter. We had such a lovely stay with you. Wish we had spent another day there. Your home is so warm and welcoming and we talked about breakfast for miles after we left. Thank you for your sweet words about Matilda. Nothing could mean more to me. I’ll send you a picture soon. Feel free to write on your blog that we stayed with you and loved it.”   Michelle Williams 

This text to be preserved for eternity on my phone. (One last stroke of luck: we both had iPhones that allowed the lengthy texts. I guess it was meant to be!


Have you met a celebrity? How did you react? Did you remain a calm, cool and collected or did you get silly like me?

Do you believe luck had anything to do it?


Big News in Little Washington

Hi everyone!  My mom, Virginia, and I have a really fun story to share!  I started to put it in the blog today but my mom kept interrupting and telling me all sorts of things to mention that a little dog like me wouldn’t even notice or care about. Grrr. So finally I said, “Maybe you should just write this one!”  And she said, “Okay, I will!”

So stay tuned for her post about something exciting that happened at the Pamlico House last week!

We’ll just call her a guest-blogger for now!


Woofs and Wags-



Welcome, Wine and Warm Weather in Washington

Hi friends!

The letter for the day is “W” and I am wagging my tail with all of the wonderful ways to welcome you to Washington this weekend! Wow. That was a whirlwind!

It’s been a beautiful week, with temperatures in the 80′s, and my mom has been busy with many guests. I love it when we have lots of new people to welcome to our beautiful home!  In between, my mom has been doing some redecorating. The Wine Shop has been moved to a larger space in one of the sitting rooms of the inn, and it looks beautiful!  Our guests are invited to come in and browse the selection of American and international wines, and we love it when they choose one and enjoy a glass on our famous porch!  We can also chill a bottle of that bubbly kind that humans like to have when they have something fun to celebrate, and have it in their room and ready for them when they arrive.  Of course the Wine Shop is open to the public too, so when folks are out for a stroll, perhaps walking their dog on a warm afternoon, we hope they’ll pop in and see what’s inside!   WOOF! ~ Lacy

Wines from Italy, Australia, New Zealand and France

One the the beautiful original mantles in the Wine Shop at Pamlico House.

Some of our sparkling wines. *POP*!


Music! NoLa and BoCo and other fun stuff in Washington, NC

Hello friends!  Happy Monday. Things are busy as ever at my house, and here’s a sneak peek at one of the things my mom has been working on lately. It’s a newly redecorated guest room at the Pamlico House called the NoLa (that’s short for New Orleans, and the room has a music and Mardi Gras theme).  Very nice. Of course it has its own lovely private bathroom, and a separate private entrance too! I tried to test the bed just to make sure it is as comfy as it looks, but for some reason my mom wouldn’t let me!    Come see it for yourself, along with the rest of our beautiful home!











On another “note” (staying with our music theme), did you know that Washington hosts many different musical events all through the year?  Summer is the best time to hear live music because it’s so nice outside.  I’ll keep posting here about different events as they get closer. Coming right up next weekend we have Music in the Streets. This happens every third Friday from April to October, and the first one of the year is coming up on April 26th! Dogs are always welcome, and we love music.  Here’s a way to find out more: http://www.mitswashingtonnc.com/.

BoCo Music Festival is the day after that, on the beautiful waterfront in Little Washington!  Check it out here!  http://www.beaufortcountyartscouncil.org/boco/

There’s so much to do and see in our beautiful little town on the Pamlico River, we sure hope to see you here soon!



Spring has arrived at the Pamlico House!

Warm weather is here, and it’s bringing lots of exciting things with it! Now that it’s sunny and nice out, I’ve come out of my winter hibernation and my mom and I have lots of news to share!  Tomorrow I’ll be posting again about some upcoming events, and some other fun happenings at the Pamlico House.  Meanwhile, here are a few Spring scenes from around the Inn!

See you soon!

~ Lacy

More pretty stuff blooming by the front walk.

A dog’s eye view of one of our gardens

The breezes are warm, the trees are in bloom and the porch is ready for sipping wine!


It’s Christmas at the Inn!

Well, almost!  All kinds of Christmas-y things are happening at the Pamlico House. My mom has been very busy shopping and wrapping and baking and planning parties and going to parties. I like all of those things except the last one, because I don’t get to go with her.  That’s okay – I’ll just be here holding down the fort and admiring all the pretty stuff. Our big house has lots of shiny, sparkly things around it this time of year. I’ll post some pictures of some of it so you can see it too!











Something else that happens during the holidays is that humans give other humans presents.  So we have been getting lots of visitors in the Inn, and in the Wine Shop, buying presents for their friends and families.  People like to give each other pieces of paper called ‘gift certificates’. I’m not sure what that means, but it looks like a paper with some writing on it, and people just love them. The Pamlico House has these papers, and you can give them to people anytime, and the people trade them in for a night or two at our Inn.  No wonder they’re excited to get the certificates!  They just have to call my mom and then they can come to our house and stay whenever they want, and visit our beautiful little town, and stay in one of our pretty rooms.  Our house is beautiful, and Mom’s breakfast is always delicious! I’m lucky – I don’t need a certificate to stay here, but it sounds like a pretty great gift for just about anyone else!


The Wine Shop has these certificates too, and also lots of special kinds of wine that people love. One kind is bubbly and makes a loud “POP!” when you open it. A lot of that has been going out in pretty bags with colorful paper lately.  One very special kind is called Dom Perignon. Just today a man came in and bought a bottle of it. He said he was going to surprise his daughter by giving it to her, because she just found out she gets to go to a school to learn to be a doctor. He was very happy and proud! I could tell my mom really loved being able to help him give her something very special to celebrate a very special occasion.  I have been to school, and it didn’t make me want to celebrate.  Just one more thing about humans I don’t get!


Well, Mom just left for another party so I have to go, since I’m in charge now.  Thanks for stopping by! Oh, and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from everyone at the Pamlico House!  Come see us soon!   ~Lacy


Saturday Stuff

It’s Saturday, and things are hopping here at my mom’s Bed & Breakfast!  All day the humans have been cleaning and arranging and moving furniture around and making everything look extra nice for the wedding reception later!  I can’t wait to meet all the people and say hello!  I’ll post some pictures of the party as soon as I can!

The Wine Shop is busy too!   My mom is one of the business owners in Washington who’s keeping her shop open later hours on Fridays so people can have time after work to shop in their hometown, instead of having to go spend time and money in other towns.  That seems like it makes sense.  Mom hopes a lot of people will agree and help our downtown businesses do well!

At the Wine Shop there’s a thing on weekends called wine tasting, and people get to come in and try different kinds of wine to see if they like them.  Some people did that last night, and bought bottles of the wine they tried so they could give it to their friends for Christmas!  I saw my mom and the other lady in the shop — her name is Alexis —  wrapping the bottles in colorful paper and putting them into cute little bags.  The people were happy that they had pretty presents all ready to give others when they left.  They said that other places just stick a nice wine bottle in a plain old ugly plastic bag, and that’s no fun. Another really cute thing Mom has is some special Christmas ornaments.  My favorite is the one with Santa and Mrs. Claus toasting. It’s blown glass, and very beautiful

Someone’s at the door!  More later,


Wine Lovers!

All ready for giving!

All ready for giving!



Winter, Weddings and Wine…

Here’s Mom’s beautiful daughter!

Whoosh!  The summer and fall went by in no time, and now winter is coming and it’s almost Christmas!  My mom has been so busy that it seems like she’s either running in the door or running out!  She never seems to sit still.  I’m lucky to have a cozy little bed under her desk so that when she does sit down I can keep an eye on her…between naps.

Lots of new stuff is happening here!  I don’t even know where to begin.  My mom was even more busy than usual this fall because one of her human daughters had a wedding. That’s a big fancy party where humans get all dressed up and eat and drink and give presents to two other humans because they love each other and want to spend their whole lives together.  Mom was gone for awhile to a place called Florida so she could be there to help with all that wedding stuff.  It was a big deal!  Dogs don’t do all that. We love everyone.

Here’s a picture of my mom and her brother with their kids and his grandkids at the wedding. He has 13 grandchildren! That’s an impressive litter!

Here’s one more of my beautiful mom and her handsome son at the wedding.


Speaking of weddings, we have one right here in the inn this weekend.  Because of Christmas, the house is all decked out in a kazillion red and green and silver and gold sparkly things!  My mom sure has a lot of pretty decorations. Everything looks  festive and shiny. I’ll have to be on my best behavior and try not to bark too much on Saturday. It’s hard, since it’s my job to announce guests. But since there are 90, that’s a lot of announcing. So I’ll just look adorable and do my best not to be too noisy.

Another new thing that’s happening is that there’s someone else here a lot of the time, in the Wine Shop.  My mom opened the Wine Shop almost a year ago, but since she’s always so busybusybusy with stuff like volunteer projects and taking care of her guests here at the inn (and snuggling me of course) she couldn’t give the Wine Shop very much of her time and attention.  So she decided to have another human come in and help her with stuff like ordering and planning and marketing and all that other boring human stuff. Oh, and waiting on customers!  That’s the part I’d like best, since I love meeting new people.  So now the Wine Shop is open every day and has a lot of new kinds of wine, and stuff to make special gift baskets for customers, and people are coming and going even when they aren’t guests at the inn!  My mom hopes lots of people will come in and see all the new things, and remember to do some Christmas shopping here for the people they love.  I’ve never tasted any wine, but my mom says it’s something that makes meals and parties and holidays and other special occasions even more special. I think that’s nice.

Here’s a picture of some gift baskets in our Wine Shop!

Whew! I’m all worn out from all of this catching up!  I’ll post some more later.  Come back soon and I promise not to wait so long next time!


One of our new wines for Christmas! It’s bubbly, sparkly, and from Italy!

A Wine-Lover’s Basket from the Wine Shop!


Brides, Movies & More . . .

It’s been a busy, exciting month. We’ve had lots of the guests, from 14 different states! Most came from 21 different cities in North Carolina. People always ask my mom what brings her guests to Washington. She says it’s for different reasons: work, they’re on their way somewhere else, or because they have never been here before and wanted to see “Little Washington”. I think most of them came here for weddings. It sure seemed that way this month.

A real pretty girl came to get ready for her wedding. It was a really fun day. I did do a lot of barking because all kinds of people kept coming and going and I had to be sure my mom knew they were here. The first one to show up was the make-up person, then the bride and her mom of course, later the hair person, the bridesmaids, the mom’s friends, a photographer, a video lady, the groomsmen . . . my goodness, I could hardly keep up! I loved it, especially the bride!!!

Next, some people came to film a movie!!! I was so excited! Before they start a girl says “quiet on the set”. I quickly found out they didn’t appreciate dog noises in the sound track. I thought it would add realism. Rejected, I spent most of my time in Mom’s room. Oh well, we can’t all be stars. The movie   people told my mom it’s a short independent film and they are sending it to film festivals. She’s not sure what it all means but is keeping her fingers crossed that they win something. I heard her tell the producer and cast not to forget her when they get an Oscar. Oscar? . . . I don’t think I’ve met him yet.