Review: Pinot Patch Pinot Noir and Pinot Noir Rose

The following wines were included in the December shipment of the California Wine Clubs Wine Moms Series (which, for the record, makes an EXCELLENT holiday gift!)

Who: Pinot Patch

What: Pinot Noir (13.5%) and Pinot Noir Rose (13.6%)

When: 2013 and 2014

Where: Sonoma County, CA

Why: Because sometimes you just don’t want to work at enjoying your wine.

There are times in your life when you just don’t want things to get any more complicated than they are. The holidays come to mind. I totally enjoy the decorating and the cooking and the cleaning (well, maybe not enjoy that one but at least it gets done) and the shopping, but let’s face it. It’s a busy, busy time.

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View from the Empty Nest: Hostess Gifts

I try to do the right thing. Say “please” and “thank you.” Defer to those older than I—which is getting harder, as just about everybody seems younger than I am nowadays. But certain niceties seem to elude me. I forget.

Martha Stewart would never attend a dinner party without a hostess gift. A nice bottle of wine. Homemade cookies. Rosemary roasted cashews. Of course, Martha would hand wrap them in gift paper she stenciled herself, and there would be a gift tag tied with decorative twine.

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Wine and Candy Pairing #3: Chardonnay + Twix

Ask people about Chardonnay, and you are pretty much Constitutionally guaranteed to hear them mention two words enthusiastically: “buttery” and “oaky.”

First, let’s talk about the butter. No, there’s not actually butter in your Chard (unless you’re making a beurre blanc sauce for dinner). But it smells like there’s buttered popcorn nearby.

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Wine and Candy Pairing #2: Milky Way Dark + Old Vine Zin

In the world of wine, “old vine” indicates grapevines that can be anywhere from 20 to 120 years old, and still kicking out grapes. As the vine ages, it produces fewer grapes, but they’re more concentrated and intense, creating richer, deeper, more “brooding” wines.

This is probably where that old saying “like a fine wine, I get better with age” comes from, but I digress. You’ll typically find old vine wines made from grenache, shiraz, riesling and California’s favorite local grape, zinfandel.

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Wine + Candy Pairing #1: Pinot Grigio + Skittles

Let’s consider pinot grigio for a sec: it tends to be the solid utility player of the wine world. Goes with the flow. Good in any situation. Kind of like that girlfriend in your crowd who’s pleasant, agreeable, low maintenance, and up for whatever everyone else wants to do. Yet wait for the right occasion, and voila—she’s glammed up to the nines and the life of the party.

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