Mrs. Cupcakes and I took the day off and headed east to Brooklyn, CT. What was there, you ask? Not much this time of year, but it was a nice day for a drive.
It's on the scenic CT-169, which is nice for spring, summer, and especially fall, but there weren't many things open to visit (museums, cafes, restaurants, etc.). We took notes on things to revisit. All of the above, but also, orchards.
We ended up heading south from Brooklyn on 169, and then taking I-95 over to Madison, CT, recommended by various locals as a destination. We ended up visiting a coffee shop, a bookstore, and a really great wine store, the Madison Wine Shop, where Rick Lewis was (and usually is) conducting a blind tasting in the back of the store. He had 6 different wines in brown paper bags, and honestly wanted us taste each one and have a discussion about what you were tasting and how you were tasting it. It was very educational. Mr. Lewis, the proprietor, has a different take on tasting/purchasing, basing his store inventory mostly on wines he has tasted and enjoyed, disregarding rating numbers and for the most part, price tags. He does factor taste and price into his consideration of value, but he truly understands that wine price shouldn't dictate quality. I highly recommend you check out the website, just for his comments, reviews, and explanations of terminology he uses to talk about wines. We bought 4 different bottles, and we've added the store to our new but ever growing list of CT wine stores, including TOAST (where things are arranged by taste) and Mt. Carmel Wine & Spirits, which has a great selection and is right by work.
We had a great day, finishing our Madison visit at Madison Chocolates, selecting a half-dozen truffles to try tomorrow, FOR MY BIRTHDAY. We got almond, lemon, Bailey's, hazelnut, dark chocolate, and semisweet chocolate for our 6 selections.
Tomorrow, I will turn 34. Also, I will go bowling.