Friday, December 27, 2013

Hijinx Red Blend 2012

Dis ish rilly good wine.  I mean, rilly good.  My brudder gave it to me for Chrishmis, an ish sooo
good!  I love my brudder an' shishter in-law.

The wine is billed as a "boisterous and daring Paso Robles Red blend."  I dunno.  It goes down like milk.  My husband made this amazing prime rib with herbed butter and bleu cheese, and this was a perfect companion.  (It also pairs well with Milano cookies, if you want to know the truth.)

Look.  The bottle has a picture of a man with an umbrella.  Love it!  What's more, there's a freakin' piano about to drop on his head!  Genius!  I love a wine that playfully hints at a cartoon death.

I know I haven't written in a while.  I've been working on a "healthier lifestyle" with more "balanced nutrition" so I don't have to worry about my "liver enzymes."  I'm even training for a "half marathon."

This wine makes me want to forget all that and just freakin' drink.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Rex Goliath Pinot Noir

Roq the coq!
I've been holding out on you.  I'm sorry.  I've been waiting for the Muse to sing to me so I have just the right words to do this wine justice...

Apparently, the bitch is off helping James Patterson crank out yet another book, so you'll have to bear with me.

Rex Goliath Pinot Noir.  Rex Goliath Cabernet.  Rex Goliath Just-About-Anything.

In previous posts, I've alluded to the fact that I love wine with pictures of farm animals on the labels.  This is the wine that got me started on that.

Rex Goliath wine is named after a 47-pound rooster.  Take a moment to think about that.  A freaking 47-pound rooster.  My five year-old niece weighs about that!  So as far as I'm concerned, that's reason enough to try this wine.  Honor the rooster.

My husband first met Rex at a liquor store attached to a gas station and bait shop on a long and winding road in the back hills of northern NJ.  It was $7.99.  So, you know, expectations were high.

This stuff is so freaking good!  It's a "big" wine, but it's not overpowering.  It pairs with anything.  It's good on its own.  The Rex Chardonnay is an easy drink, too.  Their website has some recipes that I'm probably too lazy to try, but I will tell you that the Pinot Noir is just lovely with a Lean Cuisine lasagne.  (I wouldn't recommend eating the Lean Cuisine lasagne without this wine, actually.)

Rex is The King.  (King of our wine fridge, anyway.)  So...a little less conversation, a little more drinking.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Naked Grape Chardonnay

Sometimes, after a long day of not being listened to, I like to unwind with a glass of wine.  (Not sometimes...often.  OK, fine.  Always.)  Now that the weather has been getting warm, I'm switching over to whites.
The bottle is empty, and I'm a little sad.

This wine is good in a way that sneaks up on you.  I mean, I was drinking it and really liking it without thinking too much about it.  Let's be honest--sometimes, drinking $10 wine is about compromise.  It's about telling yourself, "Hey!  This doesn't taste like total ass!  It'll do for a Wednesday."

But this wine is sooo much better than simply "not ass."  It's light and refreshing "with aromas of pineapple and peach."  I didn't taste the pineapple and peach, really, but I did taste the that's-okay-I'll-do-the-dishes-so-you-leave-the-kitchen-and-let-me-drink-iness of it.

That's a huge compliment.  I really hate doing the dishes.

So if it's been a rough day, and your kid wanted to wear his pajama top to school, or the plumbing in your house has gone wonky and you have to fill the toilet tank with the hand-held shower head, or your students think it's unfair for you to collect a project--one you assigned two weeks ago that they've worked on in class, for which you've given extensive support, directions, and examples--on the due date specified on the handouts, the board, and your website...if you've had a day like that, or an even better one, crack open a bottle of The Naked Grape.

Because we deserve so much better than "not ass."

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Cupcake Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2012

I had a zen moment while cooking recently.  If you know me, you know that this is unusual.  Even if you don't know me, you can probably infer as much from the numerous references to frozen pizza, bagged salad, and cheez-its in my previous posts.

It's Not The Years, It's the Miles.
There were a few reasons for this blissed-out time.  First of all, the weather has been warming up, so I was enjoying a sunny afternoon with the windows open.  There was a nice breeze coming in as I sipped my wine and listened to one of my favorite cds, "It's Not the Years, It's the Miles," by my favorite song-goddess, Debbie Davis.  Let me tell you about the music--if you are remotely tense, blue, or tetchy, this New Orleans gal will cheer you up and mellow you out.  It's the perfect end-of-day, cooking-with-a-glass-of-wine album.

(Full disclosure:  Debbie is one of my oldest friends, but you still have to trust me on this.  We go way back; she beat me out for the good roles in the school musicals.  I should hate her, or be sickly envious of her talent, but I can't help it.  Girlfriend has a damn sexy voice.)

So...good weather and good music.  Now onto the wine.

Taken close-up so you can't tell I started drinking.
Cupcake Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc is this very clean, citrusy wine that's just lovely on a warm day.  As I sipped it, I though of margaritas and key lime pie, but without the tequila and sugar.  Turns out, I wasn't off base here.  The label reads, "The aromas are integrated, delighting the senses with flavors of Meyer lemons, Key limes and a finish that awakens the appetite."  I was indeed delighted.

Really.  I bought the bottle with the expectation of writing a snarky little passage about the screw-cap that's been embraced by New Zealand and the name "Cupcake," which I found cutesy and obvious.

But you know what?  I didn't care about any of that.  The wine was so tasty, the music so fine, and the afternoon so lovely that I didn't care about being witty or sarcastic.  I didn't even care that I was cooking.  I was just enjoying myself.

I encourage you to take the Cupcake-and-Debbie Davis Challenge, and see if it doesn't put you in a better frame of mind.  No cooking required.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Put a Cork in It.

So...what to do with all these corks?  It seems wasteful to throw them out.  As much as I love wine, I don't decorate with grapes and I'm not that into crafts, so I'm not making one of those cork wreaths.  (I think I've pinned exactly two things on Pinterest and I can't remember how to get into my account, anyway.)  Years ago, we made trivets and napkin rings as gifts for family during what has come to be known as the "Glue-Gun Christmas."  That put a slight dent in the collection, but they keep piling up.
Oh, we have a helluva lot more than this.

How about a wine cork diorama?  It's a shame that teachers and administrators would probably frown upon the use of corks in a school project, as I'm sure we could build a model of the Titanic out of them.  And since it'd be made out of corks, it would probably stay afloat a whole lot better than the real one!  But sending your kid to school with a cork model of a doomed ship is like calling CPS on yourself.

One thing we like to do is commemorate certain events by writing on the cork.  My favorite is a cork marked "Jamie!" to honor the birth of our younger son.  Yes, my husband sneaked a bottle of wine into the hospital.  (Applewood Winery's Cabernet Franc--a little above the $10 mark, but totally worth it, and besides, I'd just had a baby, for Pete's sake!)  It's a very special cork, and it's around here somewhere.

Marking the cork doesn't require major life event, either.  It can be an anniversary, a fun dinner with friends, or just "Tuesday."  Our friends marked a cork to celebrate getting their buddy drunk after he was laid off from work.  Cheers, you poor bastard!

Those same friends later had a tree fall on their house, which punched a hole in their roof.  We sent them a bottle of wine to cheer them up.  I'm pretty sure they saved the cork.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

The hardest part about this post is finding a corner of my house clean enough to take a picture.  The easiest part is drinking this wine.  After the day I've had, it's going down like mother's milk.
Chileax with the Basques.

It's the first day of spring break, and my kids are coming down from an Easter candy sugar rush.  It rained today and the younger one spent most of his time running around naked, except for a pair of bunny ears.  I really, really, really appreciated this bottle of wine.

This wine is from Chile, and the front label is in French and Spanish.  I'm not sure why.  (It's probably explained on the back label, but I started drinking before reading, so there goes that.)  Los Vascos means Basques, which refers to "an ethnic group which primarily inhabits an area traditionally known as the Basque country, a region that. . . . straddles parts of north-central Spain and south-western France."    Thank you, Wikipedia!  Glad I looked it up, too.  I thought Los Vascos meant cows, because, well, I don't speak Spanish.  Anyhoo, that clears up the whole French-Spanish thing.

I generally find that Chilean wines are a bit much, but this is gooood stuff.  Fruity, mild, with a wee bit o' spice at the end.  It's purty, too, with a nice ruby red color.  And guess what?  It's really, really tasty!  So tasty that I didn't mind that while I was in the middle of researching the Basques, the toilet in our master bathroom overflowed, causing it to rain in the basement.  So tasty that I didn't mind that I was standing in a small lake in the basement in my pink crocs, stabbing holes in the insulation with a steak knife so that the water would pour out and hopefully not create a death-mold situation.  So tasty that I didn't mind that in the midst of our shop-vaccing and mopping, our son was honking away on his saxophone and demanding compliments.

I didn't mind because I knew there was half a glass of Los Vascos Cab waiting for me.  It's that tasty.

That's all I got.  Drink up, y'all.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages 2011

Louie, Louie.  Oh, yes.

Louis, my man.  Where have you been all week?

In my previous post, I was a little cranky about Georges.  Well, now it's Friday, my husband has been in effin' Arkansas all week, so Louis Jadot is my new luva.  He's my first, my last, my everything.

What I like about Louis' label, besides all the Frenchy details and sculpted face, is that he tells me all about him, but not in a self-absorbed ex-boyfriend way.  His grapes are 100% Gamay.  I have no freakin' clue what that means, but I don't care.  Louis likes to be paired with "hors d'oeuvres, mild cheeses or poultry dishes--especially turkey," but he works just as well with cheese-its and frozen pizza.  (Did I mention my husband's been away all week?)

I believe in miracles.
This wine is a "plump wine with notes of strawberry, black cherry, and spice."  It's strong, but not overpowering.  Smooth.  You know the beginning of "Can't Get Enough of Your Love Baby" when Barry White is talking over that wee-oooh, wee-oooh, and his voice is low and deep and...smooth?  Yeah, like that.  Only with wine. 

It's strong, full, and smooth.  Qualified to satisfy you.

This is the Barry White of wine.  I scream your name.  Look what you got me doin', Louis.