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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Wine Review: Herzog Forward Petite Sirah and Chenin Blanc

Who: Forward by Herzog

What: Petite Sirah and Chenin Blanc

When: 2013 and 2014

Where: Clarksburg, CA (available at

Why: Because someone needs to learn to clean up after themselves on my commute to work.

There I was, just driving to work, minding my own business, singing (rather brilliantly, if I do say so myself) along to my tunes when…..BAM. A huge piece of construction equipment (I live in Ohio, aka The Land of Orange Barrels) came sailing toward my little car. Seems it had been lying on the road, halfway into our lane, when the vehicle in front of me clipped it in just the right way to send it flying towards me.

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Review: Colby Red Cabernet Sauvignon & Sauvignon Blanc

Who: Colby Red

What: Cabernet Sauvignon (13.8%) and Sauvignon Blanc (13.5%)

When: 2012 (Cab) and 2014 (Sauvignon Blanc)

Where: California

Why: Because it’s rare to find a red and a white that are both so very good and have such a wonderful backstory.

Out of the mouths of babes… know the old saying. Sometimes the most amazing words of wisdom come out of the youngest humans. And in the case of the Colby Red wines, the wise words came out of the mouth of a 12-year-old.

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Review: Cornerstone Rocks! Stepping Stone

Who: Cornerstone Cellars

What: Cornerstone Rocks! Stepping Stone White (12.5%) and Red (13.5%)

When: 2014 and 2013

Where: California, from The California Wine Club

Why: Because it’s raining….again.

I am a reasonable grown-up. I expect a Polar Vortex (or two) in winter. I accept the bare trees in fall and the rain and mud in March.


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Review: Lobster Reef Sauvignon Blanc

Who: Lobster Reef – two bottles of it, actually

What: Sauvignon Blanc, 12.5%

When: 2014

Where: New Zealand

Why: Well, it took two bottles to get through this review. That’s why.

Normally, when I review a wine, I open the bottle with the express intent of taking notes and sniffing and swirling and sipping with a purpose. And I swear to you that’s how I started with my first bottle of this wine.

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Review: Renieri Invetro Red 2011

Whining Down: Is My Kid an Ahole?

When it comes to measuring the successes of our parenting, I think that this is the most important question we can ask ourselves. There’s just too many day-to-day missteps that pile up and hide all of the good stuff…like the clean (I think) piles of unfolded laundry heaped on top of our missing Apple TV remote in my living room. If I can see that my child has goodness and kindness at the base of her being, then I can overlook all the mistakes.

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Wine Review: Schild Estate Unwooded Chardonnay

Who: Schild Estate
What: unwooded Chardonnay 13.5%
When: 2011
Where:  Barossa, Australia
Why: I love the way they call it “unwooded”!

I have nothing against a little oak with my Chardonnay. But lately I’ve been seeing more and more unoaked Chardonnay and I am really liking it. I’m also amazed at how, when you take out the oak, you can get such a range of tastes in Chardonnay.

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Review: Donna Anita Arneis 2013

Whining Down: Is my Beaver Busy or Productive?

Over the past 2 months, when someone has asked me the standard: “How are you?”, my answer is either “Good, but tired!” or “Good…just really busy.” I hate that….or as we try to say in my house, “I have strong feelings about that.” Not only is it passively provoking a follow-up discussion as to why I’m so tired and busy (which I’m too busy to do in the first place); who the hell wants to hear that from me?

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Review: Yalumba Y Series Cabernet Sauvignon

Who: Yalumba

What: The Y Series, Cabernet Sauvignon (14.2%)

When: 2013

Where: Australia

Why: Great wine, great price!

Do you keep a wine journal? I do, for a number of reasons. First off, if you review wines, you need to keep track of them somewhere. You want to think it won’t happen, but they do tend to run together in your mind after a while. Secondly, it’s kind of fun to look back on the notes I take and remember where and when you sipped on a certain wine. But most importantly, if you are drinking wine and taking notes, it’s work, not aimless sipping. (Not that I have anything against aimless sipping, mind you, but if you can justify opening a bottle, this is a very good reason.)

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Review: The White Ribbon

Who: The White Ribbon

What: Semillon (11%)

When: 2013

Where: Australia’s Hunter Valley

Why: Because wine elevates leftovers.

It’s been a little over four months since The Winey Household has become a Winey Empty Nest, and I’d like to report that I am doing quite well. (I’d report on the Winey Husband too, but it seems that no one cares how he is adjusting to the Empty Nest thing-y…it’s me they all expected to pretty much fall apart.) I did not grab anyone’s ankles to keep her from going back to the dorm on the last day of a certain college’s move in weekend. I did not cry myself hysterical on the car ride home. I didn’t have nightmares about my youngest being out in the big, bad, nasty world on her own.

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