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: 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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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: Kiara Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay

Wine:   Kiara Private Reserve By Le Vigne Winery Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay

Vintage:  Cabernet Sauvignon – 2011; Chardonnay -2013

Alcohol percentage:  Cabernet Sauvignon – 14.5%; Chardonnay- 14.2%

Found at: The California Wine Club

I hate snow days!  I know I am probably not that popular with the younger set by making this announcement, but honestly, I hate them.    My youngest son agrees.  He is a boy of summer, and he figured out early on in his school career that a snow day in January or February translates to an extra day at the end of the school year.  There used to be something so magical about the powdery, fluffy white stuff falling from the sky at a rate that the plows can’t keep up with.  But now that I am an adult, it just means more shoveling, and a sloppy, white knuckle commute to work.  I grew up in the mountains of Western Massachusetts, so I am pretty used to the snow.  Getting around in the snow never bothered me, but now that I live down near Cape Cod, it’s a different kind of animal down here.  School can be cancelled for a flurry in the air and a mere rumor of a storm.  Snow days also mess with my vacation time that I work so hard to accumulate, and as much as I love spending time with my son, the prospect of a snow day just makes me sour.

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Review: 2011 Arrogant Frog Reserve

Whining Down: Memes Who Need Wine

I love a new year. The energy is palpable as people everywhere make a concerted effort to improve areas of their lives that have been left neglected or rundown. What to call this ‘renewal’ is purely a matter of personal preference (I’ve heard everything from ‘resolutions’ to ‘iPlans’; ’inner upgrades’ to ‘mesolutions’). Whether you Gwyneth the word ‘resolution’ or not(remember her conscious uncoupling of 2014), the important thing is that we are forced to take a self-reflective moment to shake things up rather than trudge along predictably, and oftentimes…unhealthily (yes this is a real; UnPaltrowed word).

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Wine:  Viansa Sangiovese 2012; Viansa Vino Bianco 2012

Vintage: Sangiovese 2012; Vino Bianco 2012

Alcohol percentage: Sangiovese – 14.5% ; Vino Bianco – 13.5%

Found at: The California Wine Club

A friend asked me the other day, “What do you like to do?”  We were having a deep conversation about careers, and family, and when she posed this question, I immediately listed off 4 or 5 things that I was good at.  Organizing, leading, project management were some of the items I listed, and she started shaking her head and said, “No, not what you are good at, but what do you like to do?” The re-phrased question stopped me dead.  She went on to say – “Let’s face it, I am really good at cleaning, but I don’t necessarily like it.  We are all really good at a lot of things that we don’t necessarily enjoy, but I am more interested in hearing about what you like to do.” I really struggled with this question, and I nervously worried for a split second that there was nothing that I liked to do.  I have been so bogged down with the daily rushed routine – between work, holidays, family visiting from the other end of the state, as well as the other side of the country; I am constantly ticking off a never ending to-do list.  It took me a solid minute of silence to sort through the tasks I have to do, and allowed myself to think – what would I do if I could do anything that I like?    Some of us already know the answer.  Live near the water, near a beach, toes in the sand all day, with a good book, and a full glass of wine… (Sound familiar?)  I am realizing that my answer is not as clear cut.  I love my family, I love spending time with friends.  I love warm weather and the smell of sunscreen on a child, and a good book.  As my mind wandered, I realized that I am losing sight of what is important as I race to the finish line at the end of each day.  Often times my 45 minute commute to work is spent on the phone, or thinking about what is next, instead of thinking about ways to spark my creativity, and keep me happy.

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Review: Clos Pegase Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot

Wine:   Clos Pegase Merlot; Clos Pegase Sauvignon Blanc

Vintage:  Merlot- 2009; Sauvignon Blanc -2012

Alcohol percentage:  Merlot – 14.5%; Suavignon Blanc- 14.4%

Found at: The California Wine Club

Well, the holiday season is in full swing, which means, it is WINE DRINKING SEASON!  Actually, when isn’t it WINE DRINKING SEASON???  I recently made the switch to a gluten-free diet, and I realized very quickly that most beer is not gluten-free, however, most wine is! This is very good news for me, as I have learned that gluten is my kryptonite.  Thanksgiving was a challenge to do with the absence of gluten, and since I work full-time, I hardly have the spare hours in the day to peruse the foodie blogs that explore the benefits of using xanthan gum in place of wheat products as some sort of binding agent.  I will tell you this:  Gluten-free is not easy, and it’s pretty damn expensive, but it is well worth it for me. I am a different person in so many ways.  Much happier and less stressed, and as we roll into the holiday season that is exactly where I want to be!

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Review: Finca Nueva Rioja 2007 Reserva

Whining Down: Is Your Life a Good Read?

I was speaking with a mom friend about swimming as a form of exercise. Even after I mentioned the amazing non-impact and resistance benefits, she had her mind made up.

“I just don’t feel like dealing with getting wet and gross and getting in and out of a pool. I’d rather just put on my shoes and run.”

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Review: Hardy’s Stamp of Australia Shiraz

Who: Hardy’s Stamp of Australia

What: Shiraz (13.5%)

Where: South Eastern Australia

When: 2012

Why: Because it’s September and I am STILL vacuuming up pine needles from LAST year’s Christmas tree.

How: Admittedly, I will never win the medal for “Best House Cleaner”. And I am okay with that. I can think of so many other things I’d rather do than dust, vacuum, clean bathrooms and scrub counters. (Dental surgery comes to mind. As does the yearly appointment with my gynecologist.)

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