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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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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: 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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Review: Chalkboard Moscato

Whining Down: Love The CAD you Had

You liked “MWNW” for a reason, and whatever that reason is….I’m sure it sounds something like, “you won’t believe the crazy ass day(CAD) I had”. Crazy is crazy, period. But crazy also has many levels: like Lady Gaga.

I have CADS pretty much every day. How can I not? My middle daughter is mad crazy about roller skating, She wants to roller skate to and from school every day. Not inline skating…old school, clunky 4-wheel skating. Ok…sounds like a simple enough hobby to accommodate. So…that’s what we do. We put her school shoes in a plastic, jacked-up Sketchers bag and she rolls to school. Then, when we get to school, we put her clunky skates and helmet in the Sketchers bag and she puts on her sneakers. I carry the bag to and from school…day in day out. Ever’ day.

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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: Manu Sauvignon Blanc

Who: Manu

What: Sauvignon Blanc, 13%

When: 2013

Where: New Zealand

Why: Because you never know when you’re going to meet up with a new favorite.

How:  Every year, a parents’ group the Winey Hubby and I are members of hosts a wine tasting. Actually, it’s a 5-course meal, each course paired with a different wine, so I guess it’s a wine dinner. It is one of our group’s most popular events and since we run it as a fundraiser, well, let’s just say it’s a HUGE success.

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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: Pacific Rim 2012 Dry Reisling

Whining Down: The Roots of Parenthood

My husband and I decided to take our three girls out of school for a family trip to Yosemite. It’s been on our list of ‘mustard do’s’ since our move to California, and we knew that if we didn’t make a plan for it…it would probably never happen (as if often the case with parenthood).

A few  days before we left, I had forgotten that I signed up for our kindergartner to be ‘Star of the Week’, so we had to bring her giant class mascot bear called “Bosco” with us. And I wrote the obligatory email to my other daughters ‘ 3rd and 4th grade teachers; asking to provide any work that they would miss while we were gone. I was hoping that the girls wouldn’t actually get any work and that I would look responsible (as is often the dirt of parenthood). 3rd grader did; 4th grader didn’t.

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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 cawineclub.com

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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Wine:  Castoro Cellars Reserve Viognier 2012; Castoro Cellars Reserve East meets West (Syrah) 2012

Vintage: Viognier 2012; East meets West 2012

Alcohol percentage: Viognier – 13.5%; East meets West – 14.5%

Found at: The California Wine Club cawineclub.com

It’s been a late spring in my neck of the woods.  We kept our woodstove stoked until mid-April, and typically my husband has our boat in the water and is taking our youngest son fishing after school by the end of April.  This year it was too cold and the fish didn’t arrive until after Mother’s Day.  I didn’t start wearing flip flops until Memorial Day weekend, and even then, it was a bit of a stretch.  I hate to complain, because it’s warmer than December, but we live for the spring and summer months.  We spend every weekend that we are able on the water, so it’s a bit disappointing when the mercury does not bump up into the 60’s.

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