4 Wine Drinking Paradises You Didn’t Know were around Appleton, WI

The title says it all – calling all of you wine-o’s to draw your attention to four places that are killing the wine game in Appleton, WI. Occasionally people say, “There is nowhere with higher-end wine around here.” Or, “You can’t find good wine in Wisconsin”. False, my friends. I went on a solo hunt for some of the best places to grab a glass of wine in Appleton, and I was extremely successful. My journey consisted of four unique wine bars in or near Appleton.

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#1 – Xe54 Wine Bar

Beginning in the little town called Fox Crossing, we discovered Xe54. Only a little over a year old with a very “boujee” feel to it. The interior is filled with popping colors – blue walls, large gold lettering, purple velvet couches, quirky art on the walls – and has a very “New York” vibe to it for being located in a small Wisconsin suburb. Overall,  very sleek and elegant interior.

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Wine Options

The important part – what wine selection do the offer? First off, Xe54 uses tap wines. It’s one of their main attractions. Which means they have kegs (yes, entire kegs) full of wine. They have eight total wines on tap – four reds and four whites. Essentially, this helps to keep the wine at the perfect serving temperature and provides a fresh glass with every pour. Beyond the tap wines, they have about 12-15 wine options that they provide from the bottle. Each glass on average runs between $8-$10. They also provide a retail section which guests can either take a bottle home for enjoying, or drink in the bar for a corking fee. As for regions of wines that they offer, they just began selling international wines alongside their domestic options. For a smaller menu and retail section, they have a very wide range of grapes and regions.

Beyond the Wine Options

Beyond their wine list, Xe54 also offers a build-your-own cheese board menu. Allowing you to check mark which cheeses, meats, and extras (crackers, olives, etc.) you may be looking to snack on while drinking your wine. They also have extensive options for liquor, beer, craft cocktails, and live music on Saturday evenings around 7-10 PM. They have a plethora of events including wine tastings and pairings. Xe offers a happy hour from 3-6 offering $1 off all drinks (wine, cocktails, and beer).

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From the Staff: Candice – Wine Events Coordinator

I spoke with Candice from Xe54, who is the wine events coordinator. She runs tastings and events that help to showcase new wines the Xe54 has to offer. From speaking with her, she wants the general public to know:

“We want a broad enough spectrum of wine to fit different people’s tastes and pallets while also bringing in different varietals to help others try new things. We pick wines that can cover any occasion, birthday party or graduation, we’ve got wine for you at an affordable price.”

Taste Test

To really give you all a look into what Xe54 has to offer, I tried four different wines that all range in different taste, acidity, depth, etc.

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  • Essence Riesling – a sweeter white with fruit notes to it. I tasted notes of more green apple, a little touch of sour notes coming through but balanced well with the sweet. (Mosel, Germany)
  • Misty Cove Sauvignon Blanc – which had more of a tart and citrus taste to it with nice acidity. This taste test was my favorite that Xe54 had to show me, very tasty. When I drank it, I immediately thought of a seafood dinner for pairing. Dee-Lish. (Marlborough, New Zealand)
  • Diablo Dark Red Blend – this was a blend of Syrah and Malbec wine which gave the blend a nice, lingering finish. Notes of darker berries like cherries and raspberries. (Chile)
  • MWC Shiraz Mourvedre – a spicier, drier wine with notes of blackberry. A very bold wine with great flavor! (Victoria, Australia) 

#2 – Uncorked

My second stop was in downtown Neenah at Uncorked Wine & Bistro. Along with the rest of the downtown area, Uncorked has beautiful brick walls (inside and out) with dim and intimate lighting. There are retail options covering two full walls with plenty of options to look at, and the bar has a darker marble finish to it. While I was visiting, it was decorated for the Halloween/Fall season and was done beautifully. A very inviting setting really focusing on the socialization and intimate aspect of wine drinking.

Wine Options

Uncorked has an insane selection for wines – both retail and by the glass. They have a rotating wine menu that’s categorized into two sections: Sweet, crisp, aromatic, and rich (whites) and fruity, spicy, earthy, and bold (reds). Beyond that, they offer 11 different flight options or BYO. Within the 11 flights there is also a Port Wine flight option. Uncorked offers over 300 options for retail which guests can either drink at home or in house for a corking fee. They offer 32 wines by the glass and carry both international and domestic. They also provide a list of their “bubbly” options for guests – which are all fresh.

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Beyond the Wine Options

Uncorked offers a wine club where you can choose between all white or all red wines, a mixture of both at two different price ranges occur once a month. They offer wines from many different regions and very diverse options for varietals and countries. Uncorked offers beer, liquor, and cocktails with options in abundance for those looking for other options. As for food, they have a pretty large range of options. From crostini’s and pita pizzas to cheese platters, desserts, salads, meatballs, salmon, and daily specials. It’s a really extensive food menu for the size of the location. They also have a happy hour from 3-6 where they offer two white and two reds for $5 a glass. There is live music every other Saturday and they do occasional wine tastings.

From the Staff: Kris – Manager

At Uncorked I met with the Manager, Kris. She has been management for Uncorked for 10 years now and knows the establishment like the back of her hand. She wants the general public to know:

“We listen to customers for what they’re looking for. We love helping them find the perfect fit for where the night is leading to and what they enjoy in a wine. We try our best to do a read on them and let them try new things they have never had. We enjoy doing new wines on happy hour to teach others about different varietals that people don’t typically ask for. We try pushing them from comfort zone and helping them.”

Taste Test

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  • Spätlese Riesling – A sweeter wine that had a light and fresh taste to it. A very balanced and vibrant wine. (Germany)
  • La Plage Rosé  Du Var – Drier for a rose, yet still holding the lighter fruit flavors all the way through, very refreshing. Cool thing is, Uncorked serves this wine year round for you Rose lovers that can’t seem to find one in the depths of the winter. (Profanse, France)
  • Shooting Star Blue Franc – This was my personal first time ever trying a blue franc, and I was delighted by the flavors. It was a medium bodied red that reminds me of the kind of red wine you actually enjoy drinking during the summer. Subtle hints of darker berries. Very flavorful but drier on the back end. (Washington)
  • Freakshow Red Blend – A familiar label for most people, darker fruit notes, tastes higher end than it actually is, drier, with chocolate aromas and subtle tastes. (Lodi, California)

#3 – Mondo! Wine Bar

Third on the list was Mondo! Wine Bar in downtown Appleton. The aesthetic of Mondo! is very simplistic with most of the color coming from the menu and the wine bottles along the walls. They have very lively music playing within the bar and has a heart of the city feel to it. The owner, David, is also a bartender at Mondo! which was awesome to see from a customer standpoint. A charismatic little place.

Wine Options

To start, the owner of Mondo is very smart when it comes to wine. He really knew his stuff. Not that all of the places before didn’t, he just surprised me with how much knowledge he had about the wines he served. He considers his bar “unique to the world” due to the way he has his wine organized. He composed a period table of wine that helps each wine-o find exactly what they’re looking for. At Mondo!, the menu is organized with the lighter wines at the top of the menu and they get darker, richer and deeper as you move left to right and down the menu. He used this method to help his customers experiment with new varietals based off of wines the customer already knows they enjoy. It is also color-coded to make finding your type of wine even easier, with an icon to match every wine. Although their “by the glass” menu is a bit more limited, Mondo! has a pretty large array of wines for retail purchasing.

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Beyond the Wine Options

Mondo! offers educational tastings, free tastings once a month, and in the summer they do a wine camp one Saturday every month. Alongside wine, they also offer beer, liquor, non-alcoholic options, and food. For food, they have items such as cheese platters, pizza that is made in house, and ala carte options like nuts and olives. Their location is also right by the Performing Arts Center in Appleton making it a great stop before or after a show in Appleton.

From the Staff: David – Owner

David is the owner and creator of the unique wine bar, Mondo!. The idea of the periodic table concept was created by him and he is usually at Mondo! every day. He wants the public to know that:

“We expose people to wine and things they have not seen or heard of before. We have uniqueness of organization, and we want things to be fun for people. We want to stray away from the idea of being “stuffy”, so we go to great lengths to keep things light and fun. We love getting to know our clientele, we compare ourselves almost to ‘cheers’ – that neighborhood bar that just happens to serve wine. We don’t want anyone to feel intimidated to come in.”

Taste Test

  • Tres Ojos Old Vines Garnacha – a bright wine, flavor packed, showcases a lot of fruit, has a little bit of spice mixed with sour. (Spain)
  • Black’s Station Cabernet Sauvignon – untypical for a cabernet, tasteful and not as dry as expected, divine, fruitful but also has minor bitterness. (California)
  • Domaine De Pouy – very vibrant and bright, has good notes of acidity, with notes of fruit. (France)
  • Long Little Dog White Blend – softer acidity, more fruity mostly pear flavors/armoas. (France)
  • EXTRA Sangue di Giuda Sweet Red – chilled, reminded me of a breakfast meal or the smells of a bright morning. Not too sweet but has the perfect balance of sweet while combining what one expects from a red. Smells close to a buttery scent. (Italy)

#4 – Tandem Wine Lounge

Last on our wine tour through the Fox Valley is a relatively new option to the area – Tandem Dinner & Wine Bar. After being immediately greeted by not only the owner himself but also the earthy, aesthetic, home-y interior of the bar itself, you are overwhelmed with the beautiful chaos that is Tandem Wine Bar. It’s complicated yet also intriguing and even though it’s only in the process of being complete it feels as though the interior is a vision you’ve been searching for a long while for a casual place to have a good glass of wine. A very intimate setting with dim lighting and wooden accents everywhere you look – Tandem focuses on the less stuffy side of wine and the more freeing side.

Wine Options

Tandem has a wine menu that fluctuates every couple of weeks with their options by the glass. They do offer both retail and by the glass for their customers; with an average glass costing about $8.00-$9.00. Their wine options include both international and domestic, carrying many different flavor varietals for customers. Included in their “by the glass” options are about 13 options ranging between sweet whites and dry reds.

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Beyond the Wine Options

Beside their copious amounts of retail wine options placed along the beautiful brick walls, Tandem also offers many other bar-like amenities. They have begun dipping their toe into the food world and offer a cheese board currently for $18. Although it’s only one option, the cheese board is extensive and offers something for guests to nibble on while they sip. They also offer an extensive selection of bourbons, scotch, and whiskeys. There is a cooler in the bar filled with craft beer by the bottle along with 3 beer options on tap. Moving past food and drink – Tandem offers live music and specials throughout the week.

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From the Staff: George – Owner

“We’re a wine, beer, and spirits store with a nice lounging atmosphere. We refer to ourselves as a wine lounge rather than a wine bar. We don’t really do bar hours, typically closed by 10 PM. People enjoy the simple aesthetic and authentic space. Tandem was a swan dive into a vision.”

Taste Test

  • Bouza Tannat Reserve 2015 – Big and bold, showcases flavors of darker fruits including plum and blackberry, deep and rich, could be paired with any kind of “hardy” meal like stews, roasts, steak. Velvety finish. (Montevideo, Uruguay)
    • Very interesting and delicious try – was informed not many people are familiar with the varietal.
  • Chateau Buena Vista Cabernet – Racey, bold, a little sweeter on the tongue. Intense and powerful red. Strong flavor of cherry and dark berry. (Napa, California)
  • Chateau Ferrande Graves 2015 – Very subtle, light flavoring. Soft and earthy with bright notes to it. Nice alternative to a super sweet and fruity white. (Graves, France)

If you’re like me and love a good, rich, and flavorful glass of wine mixed with an environment to match your mood – one of these four places is bound to be the perfect match. They are all so different and so unique in their own way, allowing for each place to have an entirely different experience. Which place are you visiting first? Let us know in the comments below – and thank you so much for reading!

Until next time.

– Camille

Homey Spot with Family-Sized Portions at Rico’s Family Restaurant – Camille’s Choice

Breakfast is always something I often miss due to my habit of sleeping in or sometimes simply just not having an appetite right away in the AM. However – whenever I know I’m doing a breakfast episode for Camille’s Choice I get extremely giddy until the day comes. For my last episode of Camille’s Choice, I brought my good friend Morgan with me to Rico’s Family Restaurant in Kaukauna for the worlds biggest brunch.

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First off it was the perfect day to grab a nice warm meal in the cozy environment that Rico’s has to offer. It was raining and so gloomy outside that all I wanted was a nice cup of coffee and something to warm my belly. Sure enough, the coffee was delicious and a great start. Not only that, but the Rico’s staff are so friendly and welcoming that their presence warms you up as well. As soon as you walk in the door the feeling of “I would totally come here with my family for a Sunday morning brunch” fills your heart and you feel at home.

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Our experience continued with an awesome server. He gave us the low-down on what was good, and what was to die for. So naturally, we took his best recommendations and rolled with it. His face lit up every-time he talked about the food and the flavors that they all provided with their dishes – it was so obvious that he loved his job.

For our first dish – an appetizer of course. Because even though it was nine in the morning, courses are still important when you’re getting to know a new spot. We ordered their quesadillas, plain. Sounds typical, I know, but they were very tasty. The cheese was melty – not too little where it wasn’t gooey, but also not so much that it’s like drinking nacho cheese. And all of the spices and veggies on the side made them tasty for Morgan and I to enjoy all four pieces (oops).

Our entree’s were a mixture of breakfast and lunch – and we did happen to get three entrees for the two of us to share (oops, again). We started with their Mexican omelet that Morgan could not get enough of.
With the omelet, they gave us a potato pancake for Morgan to try for the first time. I told her she had to pair it with applesauce because… duh! She did say the texture was different but the flavor was definitely great – and she loved the applesauce with it. My taste test agrees – yummy and obviously homemade.

Next we both got a “lunch” item. So yes, we had three dishes each. My lunch entree was their JT burger which essentially is every burger lovers go-to. It had “the works” and more. For starters it was 1/3 pound patty with bacon, cheese, onions, mayo, lettuce, mushrooms, and pickles – basically you name it and it was on that burger. So good and tasty, the bun was crispy from being on the grill for a bit and the mayo tied everything together. Probably one of the only good burgers I’ve ever had at 9 in the morning. Morgan got their chicken avocado wrap – which is basically exactly what the name states. However there was some bacon and secret sauce on their to spice up the wrap. She said it perfectly – “They don’t mess around with portions at Rico’s!” The wrap and burger were both huge and it was so great how you could taste each little spice and flavor the wrap had to offer. Avocado was a friendly familiar face I was happy made a visit.

If you can’t already tell, Rico’s is a must. The environment is so cozy and welcoming for a breakfast date or a family meal on a Sunday afternoon. Good coffee, big portions, and great flavors were experienced throughout our entire time. Thank you so much to Rico’s for having us for Camille’s Choice, and we can’t wait to come back and try your amazing ice cream which we’ve already gotten a lot of comments on!

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Have y’all ever been to Rico’s in Kaukauna or any of their other two locations? If so – what did you order? Comment below so we have an idea for which dish to try next!

See you all next time.

32 of Northeast Wisco’s Best Sand Beaches

Do you ever feel like sitting in the warm sand with toes in the water of a beautiful beach – but just don’t have a clue where a decent beach is located in Wisconsin? This list will help that change with the snap of a finger. Today we’re bringing you a list of 32 beaches in Northeast Wisconsin alone so you never have to question again where to enjoy your day-cation.

Note: No man made swim lakes are included in this list. Sand beaches only.

Manitowoc County

1. Point Beach State Forest

Two Rivers, WI
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2. Neshotah Park

Two Rivers, WI
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3. Manitowoc Silver Creek Park

Manitowoc, WI

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Sheboygan County

4. Kohler-Andrae State Park

Sheboygan, WI

Note: Paid Entry

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5. Deland Park

Sheboygan, WI

Deland Sheboygan

6. King Park

Sheboygan, WI

Note: Includes Blue Harbor Beach.

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7. South Shore Beach

Sheboygan, WI

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8. Fireman’s Park & Swimming Beach

Elkhart Lake, WI

Notes: Paid Entry.

Firemans Park

Door County

9. Egg Harbor Beach

Egg Harbor, WI

Notes: Watersport Rentals Available.
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10. Fish Creek Public Beach

Fish Creek, WI
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Door County

11.Sister Bay Beach

Sister Bay, WI
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12. Haines Beach

Sturgeon Bay, WI

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13.Newport State Park (Europe Bay Beach)

Ellison Bay, WI

Notes: Two separate beaches. Both technically in Newport State Park. Europe Bay is free parking, Newport is paid.

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14. Nicolet Beach

Fish Creek, WI
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15. Bailey’s Harbor Ridges Park

Bailey’s Harbor, WI
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16. Beach Front Stage

Sister Bay, WI
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17. Whitefish Dunes State Park

Jacksonport, WI

Notes: Paid EntryIMG_3603-640x440

18. Clark Lake

Jacksonport, WI

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19. Portage Park

Sturgeon Bay, WI

Notes: Secluded
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Waupaca County

20. South Park Beach

Waupaca, WI

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21. Little Silver Beach

Wild Rose, WI

Note: Paid Entry.

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22. Hartman’s Creek Beach at Hartman Creek State Park

Waupaca, WI

Note: Paid Entry. Watersport Rentals.

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Shawano County

23. Shawano Lake County Park

Shawano, WI
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Brown County

24. Bay Shore Park

New Franken, WI
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Oconto County

25. Oughton Park

Townsend, WI
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(We couldn’t find a photo with the sand/beach in it – if you have any, send ’em our way!)

26. Oconto Falls East Side Beach

Oconto Falls, WI
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27. Little Newton Lake Beach

Athelstane, WI
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Marinette County

28. Red Arrow Park

Marinette, WI

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Kewaunee County

29. City Park

Kewaunee, WI

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30. Crescent Beach & Boardwalk

Algoma, WI

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Fond Du Lac County

31. Mauthe Lake Beach

Campbellsport, WI
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32. Wolf Lake County Park

St. Cloud, WI
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Which of these Wisconsin beaches have you tried out for yourself? More importantly – which one are you going to visit first? No time to waste – snow is just around the corner!

See you all next time.

Calling All Wino’s – 26 Wineries in Northeast Wisconsin to Sip On

If you love learning about wine, trying new wines, or spending an afternoon sippin’ with your buddies you have got to check out some of these amazing spots. We’ve compiled a list of 26 different wineries here in Northeast Wisconsin (yes, just Northeast – it’s nuts) for you to skim through and enjoy on your next Sunday Funday.

Door County

1.Door Peninsula WineryCarlsville
5806 Hwy 42, Carlsville WIDoor-Peninsula-Winery2. Stone’s Throw WineryBailey’s Harbor
3382 County Rd. E, Baileys Harbordoor-county-winery

3. Lautenbach’s Orchard Country Winery & Market Fish Creek
9197 State Hwy 42, Fish Creek 

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4. Harbor Ridge WineryEgg Harbor
4690 Rainbow Ridge Ct, Egg Harborharborridge

5. Door 44 WinerySturgeon Bay
5464 County Road P, Sturgeon Baydoor446. Simon Creek Vineyard & WinerySturgeon Bay
5896 Bochek Road, Sturgeon BaySome-of-the-wines-from-Simon-Creek-Winery

7. Red Oak WinerySturgeon Bay
3017 Enterprise Dr., Sturgeon BayWebsite-Header-Red-wine-grapes-1170x680

Kewaunee County

8. Von Stiehl Winery Algoma
115 Navarino St., Algomavon-stiehl-winery

9. Parallel 44Kewaunee
N2185 Sleepy Hollow Road, Kewaunee
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10. Cold Country Vines & WinesKewaunee
E3207 Nuclear Road, Kewaunee

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Marinette County

11. Forgotten Fire WineryMarinette

N2393 Schacht Road, Marinette9b6ace55-df0f-4dbb-abf6-91ed19a4c427-forgotten-fire

Brown County

12. Duck Creek Vineyard & WineryDenmark
5046 County Rd R, Denmarkduck-creek-west-wines

13. Captains Walk WineryGreen Bay
345 S. Adams Street, Green Bay
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14. Mona Rose WineryGreen Bay
2696 South Packerland Dr., Green Bay
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15. Trout Springs WineryGreenleaf
8150 River Road, Greenleaf
9930056

16. LedgeStone VineyardsGreenleaf
6381 WI-57, Greenleaf
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Outagamie County

17. Kerrigan Brothers WineryFreedom
N2797 St HWY 55, Freedom

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Winnebago County

18. Rushford Meadery & WineryOmro
8389 Liberty School Rd, Omro
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19. Vines & Rushes Winery – Ripon
410 County Rd E, Ripon

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Fond Du Lac County

20. Armstrong Apples, Orchard, and WineryCampbellsport
W853 County Road B, Campbellsport
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Sheboygan County

21. SoLu Estate Winery & Meadery – Cascade
W8269 County Road F, Cascade
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22. The Blind Horse WineryKohler
6018 Superior Ave, Kohler
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Oconto County

23. Woodland Trail WineryLakewood
17153 Big Hill Rd, Lakewood
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Manitowoc County

24. Silarian WineryCato
11715 Hilltop Road, Cato
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25. Wild Hare VineyardReedsville
11807 Hilltop Rd, Reedsville
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Waupaca County

26. Winemakers DaughterManawa
327 S Bridge St, Manawa
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Phew – you made it through the list. Be sure to share this blog with your wine-loving friends and comment below about your experiences and favorite Wisconsin wineries.

Enjoy! 

Wait… I can find THAT at the Oshkosh Farmers Market? Camille’s Blog

What are your Saturday mornings filled with? Pancakes in bed, maybe catching up on some Netflix shows, or a nice morning walk? How about a trip to your local farmers market? That is one of my favorite things to do on my Saturday’s once the summer rolls in. I love seeing all the flower and fresh vegetable stands with local vendors sharing their stories of their locally grown products, and the smell of all the local businesses selling some early afternoon snacks. So, Camille’s Choice took a trip down to the local Oshkosh farmers market to sample three things from three local businesses to show the Fox Cities some of the many things the market has to offer.

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Our first stop: coffee of course. You can’t start off your Saturday the right way without enjoying a nice cup of coffee – at least in my book. What better way to enjoy your coffee than fresh and locally made?! We stopped over at JSA Roasting and went with something classic to do a true taste test. I tried their pecan flavored roasted coffee with just a splash of some almond milk creamer.

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Truthfully, the coffee didn’t need any sort of additive at all. The flavor was bursting from the moment I took the lid off and took a smell. The pecan flavor was subtle but mouth-watering good. I finished my cup of (hot) coffee within 10 minutes easily in the middle of an 80 degree day – THAT’s how good it was. I normally can’t drink straight black coffee, but from JSA it would have been easy.

Next up we went to the stand literally right next door – The Roxy Club. My options were a breakfast wrap with assorted things inside (eggs, peppers, seasoning, hot sauce, sausage, etc.) or something called a kraut kuchen. Yeah trust me, the kraut thing wasn’t my first option. However, I do Camille’s Choice for a reason and that is to try new things, right? So, I went for it. I ordered out of my comfort zone and soon found myself eating a pastry stuffed with ground beef, cabbage, onions, and something called dusseldorf mustard. Going into something not wanting to eat it (like – at all) normally ruins it for people, especially me. Not even close to the case with this. It was a pleasant surprise with a flavorful and unique dish. It had a lot of bold flavors that combined perfectly. It reminded me of a classic home cooked meal with some mixed in flavors and spices that I had never tried before. Overall, it kicked me out of my comfort zone and surprised me in the best way.

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Last on our list was Compassion Creamery. Who else serves ice cream nachos?! No one that I’ve heard of! Talk about a unique and fun idea. It caught my attention enough, and we had to order them. The two initial flavors we ordered were their chocolate (duh) and their vanilla with Lucky Charms cereal mixed into it. And, as if we couldn’t make it anymore sweet, we added MnM’s to our chocolate. To make the ice cream a “nacho” tray, they add little wafers to the side of your platter to scoop your ice cream with. The wafers reminded me of little flat sugar cones, but way softer and really sweet. Everything tasted really great, but I have to say I liked the chocolate way more with the wafers. Just a little less sweet than the vanilla, and I love chocolate anything and everything. 10/10 recommend trying ice cream nachos at some point in your life though – they’re so fun!

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This Camille’s Choice experience was so fun and unique – and I visited three places I had never had the chance to try before and learned about them each as a local small business. There is so much Oshkosh (and other Wisconsin cities) have to offer at their farmers market that you may have no idea about. Be sure to check out the Oshkosh market, or surrounding cities to discover something new. You won’t be disappointed.

The Oshkosh farmers market is right on Main Street in downtown Oshkosh. It runs from June – October every Saturday from 8:00 to 12:30.

Getting Cozzy With Southern Dishes – Camille’s Choice #15

Nestled in a random alleyway in downtown Appleton, WI you can find one of the “cozzy-est” little diners, offering an array of unique and original southern options. Serving dishes all the way from freshly fried chicken to frog legs and hush puppies, The Cozzy Corner is a must-visit in the Fox Valley area.

Giving “The Blues” a Whole New Feeling

When I first entered the Cozzy Corner, I felt like I stepped into a diner in New Orleans itself. The interior is so attractive and different, and you’re constantly having something to look at. To me, the coolest thing about the interior was the records all over the ceiling. It was so cool to look up and see albums that I knew my mom had, or I had purchased, and to see so many other unique record covers.

Beyond the interior itself, the staff greeted my friend Izzy and I with huge smiles and open arms. This was my first time ever bringing my friend Izzy, and she loved the service just as much as I did (she said it was one of her favorite parts of the experience in our Camille’s Choice vlog). Our waitress, especially, was so sweet and helpful when it came to choosing the perfect dishes to try out.

Can You Eat Too Much?

One of the best appetizers I’ve ever had came from my experience at the Cozzy Corner, where Izzy and I split a plate of GUMBO cheese fries. Per recommendation of our server, the dish had character, flavor, and even a background story. The gumbo fries was an invention by none other than our server herself from a random day she happened to be fooling around in the kitchen. Lets just say our server is in the wrong field. She should be back in the kitchen fooling around with dishes more often because the gumbo fries were to die for. Izzy and I both had to stop ourselves to avoid eating the entire plate and ruining our appetite for our main entree.

We didn’t succeed very well. Our main dishes were placed in front of us and the amount of food that was sitting in front of me was overwhelming. The prices given by the restaurant are more than perfect for the amount of food you are given. I had fried chicken, mac n’ cheese, hush puppies, red beans and rice AND a slice of corn bread sitting in front of me. Long story short, I took a hefty box of left-overs home to enjoy the next day. The meal was delicious and mouth watering. All of the flavors were so different – sweet, then salty, then a little spicy – and all complimented each other very well. As for Izzy, she chowed down on something that seemed to come from a fantasy for her. A “big smokey” was a smoked sausage in a large bun covered with their homemade mac n’ cheese and barbecue sauce (yum). She also had mashed potatoes which tasted better than the homemade ones at Thanksgiving (sorry, mom). We both had to pry ourselves from our forks in order to not explode from eating too much.

The Cozzy Corner has so much to offer – unique interior, flavorful dishes, friendly staff – that it has been HARD not to go back already. Thank you to the Cozzy Corner for giving me such a unique experience to enjoy and look forward to experience again.

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Like I said, the Cozzy Corner is pretty cozy in it’s alleyway, here’s some help to find it:
Address: 111 N Walnut St, Appleton, WI 54911
Located near: ACOCA Coffee, Fox Cities Preforming Arts Center

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Possibly Oshkosh’s Coziest, Most Interesting Breakfast – Camille’s Choice #2

For this experience, I was in the mood to try somewhere more low-key, relaxing, and straight up comfort food. Where better to go than a local cafe in close to my college housing in Oshkosh, WI? This cafe is called Pilora’s cafe and it’s located right on Main Street, just outside of Downtown Oshkosh.

What attracted me to this cafe initially was the exterior. I had always passed by the restaurant on Main Street, but never seemed to have the time to stop in. I knew I had to feature it for the Camille’s Choice series. The restaurant is cute, quaint, and even has a little outdoor patio which was perfect for a 75 degree summer’s afternoon! Once you enter the cafe, you’re overwhelmed with smells of fresh brewed coffee and the smell of syrup – yes, even at three in the afternoon. There is a little coffee bar behind the main register that instantly caught my eye as well. Around the restaurant are tables and booths with different pieces of art and many kinds of plants. The sun is able to come in through their huge windows and keep you warm while you eat, too. All around, Pilora’s atmosphere is perfect if you’re looking for that Sunday morning, coffee and pancakes kind of meal.

For my meal, I decided to go with something the server said they were well-known for – their Pilora’s french toast. This is the thickest, richest, and sweetest french toast. It was so good and their homemade syrup was truly the “icing on the cake.” Along with the french toast I got some nitro cold brew coffee (which I am a HUGE fan of), and it was creamy and so fresh.

I enjoyed the company of my roommate, Lace, on this journey and it was a nice place for us to sit and share a meal and some warm conversations. Lace and I have both agreed we would love to go back sometime soon and check out some of their other unique menu items as well, and so should you!

If you really want to see how beautifully displayed (and tasty) Pilora’s french toast is – click here to see my vlog! 

Trying to find Pilora’s and try it out for yourself? Here’s some information that might help you out!
Simplified directions: Right on the end of Scott Street, where it turns into Main Street
Address: 910 N Main St, Oshkosh, WI 54901
Located by: Cinders Charcoal Grill, Doctor Benzie’s Pizza, Family Dollar

Spilling Shakes in Oshkosh – Camille’s Choice #1

I was really excited to try Recharge because I love protein shakes and healthy food in general, and it seemed like a really fun and different place to enjoy my lunch. This is the first location for Camille’s Choice, my video series with Venture Wisconsin. This nutrition club is called Recharge, and it’s located in Oshkosh, WI over on Koeller Street, if you’re from around the area of course. Going to my first video of my very own series was so nerve-racking but exciting at the same time. I got to bring my best friend, Larisa, along with me so that helped to both calm the nerves and make the experience overall so exciting.

To help you all visualize a little bit, from the outside Recharge looks like it’s almost non-existent. It’s a tiny little space squeezed between a few other businesses, but it’s got a bright orange sign that says “Recharge” to help identify the cafe a little easier. Once you walk in through the front door, there is immediately bursts of orange and green colors; on the walls, the counter, and the menu. It’s a very inviting place inside.

The menu has a ton of different flavored protein smoothies ranging from fruity flavors, to chocolate, to coffee. Choosing one flavor was actually hard for me to do once I started looking around. I finally chose a flavor called the Almond Bliss, which tasted like a healthier version of an Almond Joy candy bar (AKA amazing). After ordering my protein smoothie, I was shocked when the owner poured me a shot of mango flavored aloe, along with asking my preference of tea (unsweet versus sweet, lemon or peach, iced or hot, etc.). So to simplify, I unexpectedly got three things in one order – talk about a fun surprise. All of the items went together really well and everything I tried tasted so good.

Overall, the cafe was delicious and nutritious – exactly what I was looking for! The owner was super sweet and awesome about being on camera, and really helped in explaining the process of what her products do and why the cafe is set up the way it is. After we left the club, Larisa and I ran into a little dilemma which only made the experience more exciting, honestly.

Want to know what happened? Check out the full vlog here!

Loved this blog and want to try the club out for yourself? Here is some more information to help you get there:

Address – 246 N Koeller St, Oshkosh, WI 54902
Located Near – Enterprise Car Rentals, A-Z Vapor