Review: Claiborne & Churchill (Pinot Noir & Edelzwicker)

Wine:  Claiborne & Churchill Pinot Noir; Claiborne & Churchill Edelzwicker

Vintage:  Pinot Noir 2009; Edelzwicker 2012

Alcohol percentage: 13.8% Pinot Noir; Edelzwicker ?

Found at: The California Wine Club 

When we last caught up, my family was in the throes of the “Off to College Transition”.  I wasn’t ready, my husband and youngest weren’t ready, and most importantly my big gigantic fear was that my college freshman wasn’t ready.  The first week was brutal.  We had to adjust to a whole new normal which included dinner for 3 instead of 4, a lot of silence, and quite a few tears.  My younger son cried himself to sleep every single night that first week.  My husband would place his phone next to his fork at the dinner table “In case Cam texts or calls”  (we used to have the no cell phone rule at the dinner table but that all changed when our hearts were ripped out of our chest the day we dropped him off at school).  I felt like we were going through the motions of life, not really enjoying anything, not really feeling anything except that empty feeling that radiated through my body when I passed by his empty room and neatly made bed.  Our new normal became reporting text conversations or quick phone calls from Cam.  The first time my husband heard from him, I had to talk him down off the proverbial ledge.  He was convinced there was a tone in Cam’s voice that said disaster was near. In fact, my husband was halfway out the door to go rescue Cam from whatever it was that gave him that tone until I started pointing out the positive points in their conversation and ended my summary with “hmm, so you asked him about his roommates and he couldn’t answer you in detail because they were in the room with him, and you decided that was the reason for the tone?” Back the hell up Honey.

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Sponsored Post: KRIS Pinot Grigio

Mention the word “Italian” and most women swoon. Italian food. Italian leather. Italian stallions men. But nothing will make a girl’s heart skip a beat more than the words “Italian wine.” And with good reason.

Case in point: KRIS Pinot Grigio. You’ve probably seen it on the shelves of your favorite wine-buying location. It’s the one with the green hand print on the label and the gold foil wrapper on top. You know it, right? (If not, the picture on this page should help…)

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Review: Vicente Gandia Verdejo (Organic)

Whining Down: Wishful Drinking

Dear New School Year,

Yeah….we’re back; but just barely. I know we had all summer to get ready, and I had every intention to do so, but we aren’t. Let’s start with school supplies. I miraculously secured felt chisel tip pens in bold. My oldest went ahead and tested one on her bicep, so it is slightly used and even slightlier washable. I forgot to get the highlighters because my youngest fell into the Bratz folders and jacked up her knee; while my middle child was spilling and crushing goldfish crackers with her new ‘still has the string attaching them together’ shoes into the store rug.  We (I) picked up as much of it as we (I) could before Walmartial Art, with way too many walkie talkies, sniffed us out.

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Review: Corkscrew Wines

Wine:  Corkscrew Wines 2007 Merlot; 2010 Chardonnay; 2007 Syrah
Vintage: Merlot 2007; Chardonnay 2010; Syrah 2007
Alcohol percentage: Merlot 13.6%; Chardonnay 14.5%, Syrah 13.5%
Found at: The California Wine Club

No one ever told me it would be this hard. We dropped our oldest son off for his freshman year of college this past weekend. There was plenty of talk about how great it would be, from the various online articles I read. On the other hand, my husband had been dreading this day for years. Throughout the summer he would send me texts to me that said “Cam leaves for college in 46 days”, and other texts of that nature. I know he was worried. Two weeks ago Cam’s friends starting departing from the area, off to their various schools, and by late last week, they were all gone except for his girlfriend. The pacing and nail biting started around the time his first friend left. Last week I remember remarking to my husband, “Ya know, it’s not like he is going off to prison! It’s college! It’s supposed to be a fun life experience! These are the best years of his life!!!” I had no idea that my heart would be ripped out of my chest in the lower parking lot of the University of Rhode Island later that week, while watching my youngest son as he sobbed and hugged his big brother. I had no idea that I would not be capable of choking out my final goodbyes. I just didn’t realize it would be this hard. I had no idea?

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Review: Banrock Station Moscato and Pink Moscato

Who: Banrock Station

What: Moscato (5.5%) and Pink Moscato (6%)

When: 2011 and 2012

Where: Southeastern Australia

Why: Because pink and white are such universally flattering colors, especially in wine glasses!

I know that most people see the colors pink and white and think “baby shower for a baby girl”. But what runs through my mind is, “Oooh, a set of Moscato!” And that is exactly what I thought when I laid my eyes on a pair of Banrock Station wine bottles. One was a Moscato (2011), which seems to be the new summer It Wine, doesn’t it? The other was a Pink Moscato (2012). So in the interest of scientific comparison, I decided that a side by side taste test was the only way to go here.  (You are welcome.)

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Review: Selby 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2012 Chardonnay

Wine:  Selby 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon; Selby 2012 Chardonnay

Vintage:  Cabernet Sauvignon: 2011; Chardonnay: 2012

Alcohol percentage: Cabernet Sauvignon: 13.8%; Chardonnay: 13.8%

Found at: The California Wine Club

As I tumble into August, I look back and wonder when I can relax and enjoy my summer.  July is such a build-up and August is such a let-down.  We had to turn our A/C off the other night.  I should be happy since the wall unit in the bathroom upstairs makes the door creak ever so slightly, and it’s the kind of noise that once you notice it, it permeates your thoughts.  But, in actuality, turning off the A/C at night means that fall is around the corner.  This means my oldest is off to college in a few short weeks (gulp!) and my youngest will slip into the end of summer depression that strikes every year once his summer sailing program ends.

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Reviews: Robertson Chenin Blanc

Who:  Robertson Winery

What: Chenin Blanc, 12.5%

When: 2012

Where:  Robertson, South Africa

Why:  Because I didn’t like the red.

Ok, full disclosure here:  My first purchase of a Robertson Winery wine was the 2011 Shiraz, Mourvedre, Viognier blend. It did not go over well.  Although, I suppose if you like a lot of bacon flavors and an out of balance, flame throwing wine, you may feel differently.

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Review: Lucas & Lewellen Estate Vineyard Riesling 2011; Lucan & Lewellen Estate Vineyard Merlot 2010

Wine:  Lucas & Lewellen Estate Vineyard Riesling 2011; Lucan & Lewellen Estate Vineyard Merlot 2010

Vintage:  Riesling: 2011; Merlot: 2010

Alcohol percentage: Riesling: 14.0%; Merlot: 13.5%

Found at: The California Wine Club 

Did you ever feel like you were drowning but you were not under water?  I have never sucked that much water into my lungs, but if I did, I bet it would feel like the last three months of my life.  If there was ever a time to take up drinking wine, it would have been in those last three months.  I kept saying out loud, and repeated in my head, and while I tried to relax and fall asleep; “I just need to get to July.  I just need to get to July. I just need to get to July.”  I woke up this morning, (July 1) and expected to feel different.  The trouble is, I can’t just flip a switch.  I can’t just wake up and say, “OK stress!  Go away, I am GOOD now!”  I won’t bore you with the current details of my life.  Except to tell you that tonight I noticed my i-pod was missing from the dock in the kitchen.  I only use my i-pod to run with.  (I-phone is too heavy to carry and too awkward to skip 20 songs while running with it strapped to my arm)  I saw it yesterday.  It was next to the dock when I left to attend a bridal shower.  (In June, on a lovely Sunday)

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Review: Marquee Chardonnay

Who: Marquee Artisan Wines

What: Chardonnay, 12.7%

When: 2008

Where: Yarra Valley, Australia

Why: Because I needed to get out of the heavy red wine rut!

Does it ever feel at times like you get stuck in a rut when it comes to the type of wine you’re drinking? I’m sure we all realize that we tend to head towards nice, warming reds in winter and light, bright whites in summer. But recently I had a “project” to work on that involved the sipping of many Italian red wines. I tried my darndest, but I just couldn’t wrap my taste buds around them.  I am not destined to have a love affair with Sangiovese, I guess. And that’s okay. I tried. I really did.

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Review: Big Woop White Wine

Who: Big Woop

What: White Wine (13%)

When: 2009

Where: South East Australia

Why:  Come on, they call it Big Woop! Do you need a reason?

This wine comes from the Woop Woop Wine line. Apparently “woop woop” is an Aussie expression that means “somewhere in the middle of nowhere”. So that would make a big woop…… what happens to me when my GPS dies and I have to navigate by my wits. Actually, if you add the “h” into woop, you get an expression that means “no big deal”.  As in, “What’s the big whoop? It’s one tiny scratch on the car, Mom.”

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