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Wine Wednesdays – The Naked Grape California Chardonnay

March 2, 2011 7 comments

Gosh, Wednesday comes up fast!  As promised here is a review of a bottle of wine for under $10.  I went in search of something new and cheap that I had never had to add to the fun of Wine Wednesday.  I admit it, the immature part of me (aka the real me) could not resist the “Naked” title.

I served this at my Book Club and they loved it and we went through several bottles!

The Naked Grape California Chardonnay

Description per label: Light bodied and smooth with aromas of pineapple and peach.

Review: My six-year old son recently took his pictures for the basketball team and then had to go straight to his basketball game.  As we went from the pictures to the game I told him to flip his jersey inside out to change the color from purple for pictures, to white for the game.  I didn’t think much of it, until another dad looked at us and chuckled.  I looked over to see my son standing in a public area with his shorts around his ankles. My perfectionist son didn’t simply take the jersey off and flip it inside out.  He took it off, flipped the jersey inside out and dropped his shorts in order to appropriately tuck in his jersey.  “Honey, we don’t get naked in public,” I had to remind him.

Went I went in search of an affordable, every day, Chardonnay, “The Naked Grape” seemed to understand my life and my need for wine.   

 This wine far surpassed my expectations!  It was smooth and buttery.  There was less fruit than I anticipated and the subtle blend of flavors was well balanced.  The finish was slightly sweet, with a hint of Riesling, but I tempered the sweetness by keeping it cold while I drank the whole bottle.  (I had four children in the house, the dosage seemed appropriate).  As I took sip after, deliciously smooth, sip, I realized that if one was not careful, this easy to drink wine could lead to one getting naked from consumption.  The name began to make more and more sense.

As a mother of two young children, wine is an everyday occurrence, and at $6.99 per bottle, I have just found a wine that I can drink as often as my kids get naked.

On a scale of 1-10, I rate the Naked Grape Chardonnay as an 8 for being smooth and affordable.

Suggested pairings: Salmon, chicken and every time your child strips down in public.

Alcohol Content: Not listed

Price: Purchased for $6.99 – What mom doesn’t need an affordable bottle case of wine?!

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Wine Wednesdays – Hunt Cellars “Rhapsody in Red”

February 23, 2011 4 comments

 

Yes, I can read your mind and I know you are looking for some wine recommendations.

My friend Eileen, started participating in Wine Wednesdays, the brain child of Alana at Life on the Mom List.  Each Wednesday they selflessly consume bottles of wine to review.  I want to be selfless too!  (Or I just want an excuse to drink wine every Wednesday).

Drink wine?  I am really good at that!  Write about the wine I drink, hmmm… sounds fun.  It also sounds dangerous if I write while consuming, so I may need to work on the logistics. 

You may be thinking, “Paige what qualifies you to review wine’.  My response to this is if experience leads to wisdom, I am very wise about wine.

I must add that I am not being compensated or encouraged to drink any particular wine.  I am going to drink whatever I feel like drinking.  But if someone wants to give me wine to write about… I would love it!  But, be warned – honesty is my best worst quality.

Without further ado, I present my first review:  Hunt Cellars “Rhapsody in Red” Reserve Red Wine (2001)

Description per label: Hunt Cellars is dedicated to producing “Memorable Wines”.  Here is our 2001 Rhapsody in Red Reserve, a meritage blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc from our estate.

Smooth delicious flavors will dance on your palate teasing you with wild cherries, red, black and Bing cherry flavors with overtones of jammy cassis, vanilla, chocolate, coffee beans and the perfect induction of layered oak.  This lush delicious wine has been hand crafted in small lots and barrel aged 28 months in French and American oak creating perfect balance and concentrated Bordeaux varietal flavors.

Review:  There are two types of days that call for a unique bottle of wine: a fabulous day and a horrible one.  On a great day, you mark the occasion with something special, you want to savor the memory of this day.  On my son’s first day of kindergarten, I drank a good bottle to celebrate not severely warping him… yet.  On a bad day you look for something amazing that has the power to erase the day.  When my daughter emptied my make-up drawer into the bath, it took an exceptional bottle to keep me from giving her away. 

When I sat down to enjoy this wine, it had been a day of highs and lows.  We had new furniture delivered and the sofa was perfect, better than expected; but the rug was an atrocity and the table was damaged.  With each sip, the negative aspects of the day dissipated and I was transported to a dreamy place of gourmet food, flattering lighting and soft music.  My first impression was smooth chocolate, but not sweet.  It is a big, chewy wine that has subtle tannins through the finish.  This deep wine did not smack me with fruit, but rather lulled me with accents of cherry and coffee.  I am confident that this bottle could suit the best or worst day.  Although, the current retail price demands this level of pleasure, so as not to disappoint (price appears at the bottom).

They say that when a person loses one of their five senses, it makes their other senses more acute.  This exceptional wine proves that true.  The winemaker, and owner, David Hunt is blind and it certainly has enhanced his sense of taste and smell. 

On a scale of 1-10, I rate this “memorable” meritage as a 9.

Suggested pairings: Steak, lamb, game and the day you lose your job or win the lottery.

Alcohol Content: 13.9%

Price: Purchased for $35.  Current retail price: $90 *A note about the price, I won’t always review something this expensive.  In fact, my next bottle will be under $10!

What Was I Thinking?!

March 23, 2011 8 comments

What?  Where is Wine Wednesday you ask?  Well, let me tell you-

Lent is hard!  The Girl Scout Cookie deliveries, the dinner parties with margaritas, the wine book club meetings, the post t-ball practice beers (wow, yes, we have a drink for every occasion) and I CAN’T HAVE ANY OF IT!

We went to a dinner party on the first Sunday of Lent and I lapsed into vice exchange.  For those of you not familiar with this proven phenomenon.  If you give up one vice, you find another.  On the first Sunday of Lent, I traded booze and sweets for a pound of tortilla chips.  Okay, a pound may not be accurate, two pounds!  I woke up the next morning parched and feeling like I had been drinking out of the ocean.

So I did the logical thing- I gave up tortilla chips too.

To summarize: no sweets, no booze, no chips = STUPIDITY.

What was I thinking?!

But I will not quit, I will not edit my Lenten promise.  But I may be in a straight jacket by Easter!

So, no, there will be no more Wine Wednesdays during Lent, because frankly, I am not that big of a person to write about things I love, but cannot have.

I am, however, an optimist and on the bright side: I have lost 5 pounds!  Go ahead and place your bets on how fast I will put that back on. (Hint: Easter Sunday would be a safe bet)

PSA – No Booze, No Sweets

March 8, 2011 31 comments

This is a Public Service Announcement.

In an effort to prepare the public for possible threats of violence, sarcasm, mood swings and emotional breakdowns, the FAIL (Federation of Ambitious and Idiotic Lenters) issue public service announcements when one of their parishioners is embarking on an overly ambitious Lenten gesture.

The following FAIL PSA has just been issued for the Northern California area:

Paige Morgan, a well-meaning, but off-balance, Catholic, has announced that she will be giving up all sweets and liquor for Lent.  Yes, you read that correctly: ALL sweets and ALL alcohol.  The FAIL is concerned because Paige does not get through a day without a sweet, a drink or both.  We feel that the level of her Lenten commitment may put others at risk.  Without sweets in particular, Paige has a history of irritability, unexplained bouts of crying shopping, and irrational behavior.  Detailed medical analysis have found that Paige is kept balanced by a consistent diet of chocolate and wine (or beer or Captain).

The following precautions should be taken:

  • Do not give your children sweets in front of her.  She may inadvertently devour small children in an attempt to eat the treat.
  • Hide your cough syrup and witch hazel – we fear she may try to concoct unusual cocktails.
  • Keep your doors locked at night.  This kind of deprivation may cause her to sleep walk and seek out the M&M’s between your couch cushions.
  • Do not threaten, harm or otherwise upset her children (she will be doing enough of that herself).  The crazy mama bear is 67% more crazy for the next 40 days!
  • Hide your rubber cement, self-tanners and Bedazzlers.  Paige has a history of taking on other vices to cope with giving up her addictions.
  • If you find her in public, wild-eyed, disoriented and disheveled more than disheveled than usual, send her directly to the Betty Crocker Clinic – they know her well there.
  • If you know a good hostage negotiator, keep them on speed dial.  We especially fear for employees of Baskin Robbins, Mrs. Fields, Godiva and the local liquor store.

Avoid interaction with her during Lent, but should you have an unavoidable encounter, talk to her in a soothing voice the way you would calm an overtired preschooler.  Offer her something furry to cuddle with and remind her that good girls get pony rides.  But don’t offer her a balloon – she may mistake it for a giant jelly bean and try to eat it.

For those of you wondering how she will complete her Wine Wednesday postings, Paige has decided to consume wine (and eat sweets) for the next 24 hours straight before she starts Lent on Wednesday.  Keep this in mind as her posts may be confusing, hard to follow her normal incoherent rambles.

Have you ever given up one (or more) of your vices?  How did it go?

My plan for Tuesday night...