Wining Wife®

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GUEST POST: 2017 Wines on a Budget

Budget Wines 2017

This guest post comes from Annabelle, who writes for Wunderlabel. She’s sharing her tips on finding the best bang for your buck when it comes to 2017 wines. (This post contains affiliate links. Clicking on a link and making a purchase helps to support what I do here at Wining Wife®.

Do you tend to drink a little more wine through the winter? I know I do. I have to keep an eye on my budget with all the meals to prepare. This includes my wine budget. I enjoy really nice wines, especially the ones that are gifted to me. But, I do need to plan for when my wallet feels slimmer. 

I look for good deals on wines that oenophiles and merchants report will be trending in 2017. I try to get my hands on a few bottles while the prices are still decent. Let’s take a look at some of the predictably good wine values you can stock up on for next year.

Hearty Red Wines

Cool winter nights are a perfect time to sink into the couch by the fire with a glass of rich, deep flavored wine. I am thinking chocolate and berries. Zinfandel is a wine that pairs well with comforting meals and desserts.

Ravenswood Vintners Blend Zinfandel is a bold, berry forward wine that has been aged in oak for one year. It is produced in Sonoma County, California. The 2008 and 2014 varieties are both available now. The 2008 can be found for around $10.00, while the 2014 is a couple of dollars more.

Dry, Fruity White Wine

In spring the air is damp and the grass is starting to grow. Everything smells a little fresher this time of year. I get that antsy feeling of wanting to be outside without a coat on. But, we aren’t quite there. This is the time of year you want to start bringing out the white wines that pair well with lighter meals that have plenty of spring vegetables. Chardonnay is what comes to mind.

Alamos Chardonnay, from Argentina, has crisp citrus notes and a buttery vanilla finish. The 2015 is available for $9.00 to $10.00 per bottle. It goes well with fish, chicken, and most vegetables. 

Dry Rosé Wine

I am a fan of dry pink wines in the summer that are blends of white and red grapes. They have enough body to hold up to barbecue fare, and are also fine for an afternoon backyard get-together with friends accompanied by a large bowl of fresh fruit. My favorites are from the south of France.

Bieler Pere et Fils Rosé is a complex wine from the Provence region of France. It has the flavors of summer berries and melons, and the lavender that is grown all over the region. It is a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Cinsaut and Cabernet grapes. The 2015 sells for between $11.00 and $12.00.

Medium Bodied Red Wine

As autumn approaches we see varieties of winter squashes, heirloom tomatoes, and plenty of apples at the farmers markets. This is a great time for platters of cheese, fruit, aged meats, and vegetables. It is also when you might be inclined to fill the house with the smell of spiced baked goods. This calls for a lighter red wine to share with friends. Pinot Noirs are perfect for this time of year.

HobNob Pinot Noir is a French variety that has softer tannins than some of the others. It smells faintly of violets and tastes of cherries laced with spices. It plays well with fennel, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The 2013 can be found for between $9.00 and $11.00.

December is a good time of year to look for holiday wine specials. Many merchants are willing to offer case discounts, even if the case includes a mix of wine varieties. You just need to ask. Stock up and enjoy.

 

Author Bio: Annabelle is a wine collector and appreciates handmade crafts. Apart from that she loves to write. In fact, she writes for Wunderlabel’s Italian site and their US website.

#DrinkPink with OneHope Wines

#DrinkPink OneHope Wines

It’s October. That means it’s time to start thinking about breast cancer awareness, but it’s also time to start thinking about the holidays. What if I told you that you can stock up on great wine while also helping breast cancer research? You can, by purchasing OneHope Wines #DrinkPink campaign wines and products. In addition to supporting various causes, when you make a purchase from OneHope, you’re also supporting an entrepreneur looking to build her business. 

Be sure to read through to the end, where you’ll find a giveaway for a Drink Pink water bottle (worth $33, and big enough to hold an entire bottle of wine – not that I advocate that kind of thing – wink). 

What Are OneHope Wines?

shareable_miniglitterbrutcasesThe OneHope vineyard is in the Rutherford AVA in Napa Valley. There are plans for developing an on-site winery with a tasting room. The company was founded by eight individuals who wanted to allow people to enjoy wine while also helping their communities. They consult w,ith Rob Mondavi, son of wine mogul Michael Mondavi, to make their quality wines. 

With each sale of OneHope Wines, donations are made to various causes. According the about page on their website:

“To date we have made more than $2 million* in donations, providing over 2,600* clinical trials for cancer patients, 13,000* forever homes for shelter animals, 1.1* million meals for children, 33,000 life-saving vaccines and much more.”

That’s a lot of really good things being helped along through the sales of wines. When I spoke with representative Christine Kinney, and I learned about both the variety of wines available and OneHope’s mission, I knew I had to share information about this company with my readers. You can learn more about the wines by watching this video.

ONEHOPE Wine Brand Video from Billy Kostka on Vimeo.

What Types of Products Are Available?

giftingshare2OneHope offers a variety of wines from a 2011 Reserve Pinot Noir to a 2015 Lodi Symphony wine (I have notes on another Symphony wine that I need to share with you soon). Sales of two bottles of the 2013 Pink Glitter Edition California Chardonnay go to fund a clinical trial for one woman who has breast cancer. This wine has aromas of apple and pear pie, butterscotch, vanilla, and toffee, making it a wonderful white wine for fall. The glitter bottle makes it a festive addition to a girls’ night. 

enter-to-winIn addition to wines, OneHope offers coffee and gift products.  OneHope coffee proceeds go to help small businesses in developing countries (in fact, the sale of one of the gift boxes available, the Good Karma Gift Box), funds a microloan. Other products include aprons and oven mitts, bestie wine glasses, and dog bowls. All product sales support various causes. It’s a pretty neat company. I’m looking for Baby 4’s arrival in May for many reasons, but I’ll  be able to taste some of their wines then. 

Enter to win a #DrinkPink Water Bottle

Enter to win a water bottle that can hold an entire bottle of wine – er – water! Meanwhile, if you’re able to, support this great effort to combine two things I love – wine and philanthropy. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Guest Post: Autumn Brunch Pairings

Fall Brunch Wine Pairings

Today, we have a guest post provided by Jeriann Watkins, blogger at dairyairhead.com. She’s talking about how to offer fall brunch wine pairings that will please all of your guests.

Summer gets a good reputation for social eating: picnics, baseball games, family reunions – these are all food-centric events that happen mostly in the summer. But fall is a wonderful time to enjoy delicious food and drinks with those you love. And what better way to do so than with brunch?

I’ve been hosting monthly brunches with several of my friends. We all take turns hosting and everyone brings tasty goodies to share. Below are some ideas for fall-themed brunches, complete with wine pairing recommendations!

Setting a Fall Tone

Fall is probably the easiest seasonal theme. The colors of the outdoors are the colors you can bring to your table, and conveniently, the seasonal produce matches the oranges and reds of the leaves on the trees. You can even dry leaves to use as decor. Mod-Podge leaves to the bottom of glass plates for some seasonal dishware that’s sure to impress. Be sure to use a thick lacquer and not to wash these dishes in the dishwasher though! My friend Rachel went above and beyond and got a wine barrel tasting table, which not only brings to mind bobbing for apples, but also provides a nice prep area for drinks!

Hearty Vegetables Make for Great Fall Brunch Wine Pairings

Autumn is not only when hearty squash and root vegetables are in season, but it’s when they taste the best. Personally, I think it’s because the best cooking methods for these vegetables involve prolonged amounts of heat, and they absorb that heat so well. Cutting into s steaming-hot sweet potato just isn’t as satisfying on a 90 degree day. Here are some of my favorite veggie-centric brunch dishes:

Autumn Hash with Sweet Potatoes and Peppers – This tasty dish goes great with a crisp white wine. That will enhance the heat from the peppers as well as contrast the sweetness of the sweet potatoes.
Brussels Sprout and Purple Potato Hash – I love Brussels Sprouts! I can’t think of a wine that wouldn’t go great with this, but I lean away from the sweeter ones here. A drier wine will highlight the saltiness and starchiness of the veggies. Gardener’s bonus: Here’s how to plant Brussels Sprouts and other veggies that pair with them for optimal autumn harvest!
Breakfast Burrito Bowl with Spiced Butternut Squash – This dish was made for sparkling wine, which in turn, was made for brunch. Whether you’re drinking it on it’s own or mixed with fruit juice, the carbonation of the sparkling wine will enhance the spices on your butternut squash. Yum!

Warm Wine?

It’s the time of year when a slight chill feels brisker than the full-on cold will in 3 months. Putting cold beverages in your body just may not seem appealing. There are great warm breakfast drinks like coffee and hot chocolate, which can be spiked with a liquor of your choice, and of course there are hot toddies, which are wonderful in the chilly weather. But what about warm wine cocktails? While it may sound strange, drinking mulled wine, which is really just spiced wine, warm is pretty traditional. Go ahead and give it a shot! Best thing is, if you don’t like it warm, this same recipe can be consumed chilled as well.

These are just a few ideas for autumn-themed brunches. Have some fall favorites of your own? Share in the comments!

2007 Sebastiani Barbera and Orzo with Red Pepper Meatballs

2007 Sebastiani Barbera and PastaToday, my teenager played baseball, and we went to see him. It was the second game he was in, and he made it on base. Unfortunately, he didn’t get to make it all the way home before the last out of the game was called. (In his first game, he got on base, stole second, and ran in to score a run for his team.) We enjoy spending time watching him participate in his various sports (he also runs cross-country and was on his bowling team this year), but sometimes that means we get home a little later than dinner time. What happens when you want to have a home cooked meal, but it’s a little later and you don’t want to make everything from scratch? You cheat a little bit. 

I have a recipe for  you and notes on this great wine, but first, some pictures from the game!

Continue reading

No More French Wine in Pennsylvania?

Photo by:  Maja Petric…or German wine, or Canadian wine, or Greek wine…

As of May 14, 2015, residents of Pennsylvania may find themselves hard pressed to get their hands on their favorite champagnes, Bordeaux wines, and even Sauvignon Blanc hailing from New Zealand. With the passing of House Bill 189, the sale and shipment of any international wines has become prohibited in Pennsylvania. 

According to a press release from the National Association of Wine Retailers, this bill effectively bans 60% of the wine approved for sale in the United States from being available to residents in Pennsylvania. They speculate this bill may generate litigation concerning discrimination against foreign wineries. The following statement was made by NAWR’s Executive Director, Tom Wark:

“America’s wine retailers, not wineries, are consumers’ only source of French, German, Spanish, Italian as well as all other imported, including Australian, New Zealand, Chilean, Argentinean, Canadian and South African wines. Banning out-of-state retailers from shipping into Pennsylvania while only allowing domestic wineries to ship is not only a slap in the face to American retailers, but represents a complete and total disregard for Pennsylvania consumers who expect the long awaited direct wine shipping rights to give them access to all wines—Not just those made in North America.

Equally important, since auction houses that sell rare and hard to find wines and Wine-of-the-Month clubs are classified as retailers, these services would also be off limits to Pennsylvania wine lovers. And since most Kosher wines are produced outside the country, these too would largely be banned from the direct shipment channel.

“Additionally, we believe responsible lawmakers ought to be concerned with the Constitutional and free trade problems raised by the impending ban on the sales and shipments of all non-domestic wines. Banning the sale and shipment of an entire class of wines (imported wines) in favor of another class of wines will only invite lawsuits—as well it should.

“The NAWR urges the Pennsylvania Senate to pass a genuine wine shipping bill that allows shipment of both domestic and imported wines by allowing consumers to purchase from both out of state wineries and out-of-state retailers. If the Pennsylvania Senate follow the path of the House and passes a blatantly discriminatory bill likely to be challenged in court, Pennsylvanians will not have direct shipment access to any wines.”

Originally the bill was set up as a promise to wine consumers that they would finally have that long-awaited privilege of having out of state wineries ship to them directly. However, as bills are wont to do, it evolved and changed into its current, quite prohibitive, state.

Bad for consumers

I don’t need to tell you that this bill is bad for consumers and wine connoisseurs. As Mr. Wark states above, it cuts Pennsylvania residents out of the ability to pursue their own cellar building activities at auctions and other venues. It also makes it so specialty wines may not be at all available to the demographics wishing to consume them. 

HB 189 is also bad for businesses

Businesses will be hard-pressed to provide for the demands of consumers. With the sale and shipment of imported wines effectively banned, they will be forced to sell a smaller variety of wines, thus making it harder for them to compete with neighboring states for wine sales. It’s a bad deal all around.

I’m hard pressed to see how this bill is supposed to help customers (or businesses) in Pennsylvania. I can see it being a deterrent for those who wish to relocate to the state, particularly if they are lovers of imported wines. Like Mr. Wark, I believe that this bit of legislation will lead to litigation. A revision that allows for the import and direct sales and shipment of wines to customers – a privilege enjoyed by many residing in other states – will help boost Pennsylvania’s economy. 

What are your opinions on this new bill? Do you support it? Do you think there are other problems with it not mentioned? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

 

A Tale of Two Chardonnays: Catena and Dreaming Tree

Which Chardonnay paired better with the fish tacos?

Which Chardonnay paired better with the fish tacos?

Not every meal calls for a voluptuous red to accompany it. In fact, there are many meals that are better accompanied by a white. When pairing food, it’s good to think about the flavors you are working with. Recently, we decided to try pairing two different Chardonnay wines: The Dreaming Tree 2013 Central Coast Chardonnay and Catena 2010 Chardonnay, Mendoza Argentina.  I paired them with fish tacos with homemade flour tortillas. You can find the flour tortilla recipe here. If you persuade me, I will write up the recipe for the fish tacos and share it in a later post. They were absolutely delicious!

The Dreaming Tree 2013 Central Coast Chardonnay ($15.99 Wine.com)

 I’ve really enjoyed The Dreaming Tree’s 2009 Crush ($16.99 Wine.com) in the past when we’ve had it out at restaurants. When we saw that they had a Chardonnay, I was excited to give it a try. For the uninitiated, The Dreaming Tree is a collaboration between Dave Matthews (yes the Dave Matthews) and Steve Reeder. The wines are usually under $20, and they are easy to find. When I don’t see something I recognize among the options available to me, I order a glass or pick up a bottle. They’re also good wines for those who aren’t necessarily “wine people” but who have moved beyond box wine and wines like Gallo and Yellow Tail. 

The wine itself is a lovely straw color when poured. Dreaming Tree’s Chardonnay smelled of honey and citrus. When tasting, it had notes of pears, apples, and nectarines – without being overly fruity. There was a hint of oak on the end, and it was lighter than many chardonnays, but not as light as say a Sauv Blanc or Pinot Grigio. It was definitely a young white wine, and that quality stood out against the Catena. It went well enough with the fish tacos to be the kind of wine you can pull out on a whim during the week and enjoy with dinner.

Catena 2010 Chardonnay, Mendoza, Argentina ($20 Wine.com)

The Catena family has been producing wines since 1902. That’s a lot of time for them to perfect the vineyards they have in Mendoza, Argentina. This Chardonnay had been in our cellar for a little while, and the smooth body of it reflected that. The grapes for this wine were grown in the family vineyards in Lujan de Cuyo and Tupungato – at altitudes of 3,000-4000 feet. While the wine is smooth, you get a hint of the mineral quality from the mountains reflected on the palate. It’s the perfect amount of oak to give it a nice body, without overpowering the wine. Like the Dreaming Tree, there were notes of apples and pears as well as citrus in this wine, but it also had vanilla. Because I’d battered the fish in a sparkling wine mixture, it was the better pairing of the two.

Have you tried either of these wines? What were your thoughts on them? I enjoyed both. 

*The links in this post are affiliate links. Should you click on them and make a purchase, I will receive compensation. Purchasing from my links helps to support my family and keep this blog running. However, the two wines discussed in this post were from my personal collection; the links are for your reference should you decide you would like  a convenient way of purchasing either or both.*

 

Tasting Notes: Isabel Mondavi 2007 I Love Pinot Noir Willamette Valley, OR

wine bottle label We had this wine with our Thanksgiving dinner, and it paired very nicely. Wining Husband had kept Isabel Mondavi’s Pinot Noir from 2007 in our cellar for a while. It was smooth with lots of cream and vanilla on the nose, and was very balanced. Due to aging and cellaring, it, the wine had developed a lovely tawny color. It had that wonderful cigar box aroma that we love so much in wines. 

The Isabel Mondavi 2007 I Love Pinot Noir was only 13.5% alcohol, but it tasted a lot hotter than it was. It was fruity, but not overly so – notes of dry sour cherry and raspberry could be picked up upon tasting. In all, it was an amazing wine, and if you come across it, I highly recommend it.

 

From the description on Wine.com:

“The extended 2007 vintage resulted in a rare combination of robust yields and great quality. A long, warm and dry growing season in the Willamette Valley fully ripened the Pinot Noir grapes, leading to beautiful balance and concentrated flavors. This wine has a brilliant garnet color with supple body, bright red cherry nose with cherry blossom top notes and a hint of exotic spices like cardamom and star anise. Smooth entry with even texture through to the finish with red cherry flavors.

Pair this versatile wine with salmon, duck, and cheeses made from cow or sheep milk.”

California Delicious Wine Basket Review

California Delicious Gourmet Gift Baskets

Napa Valley Gourmet Red Wine Basket by California Delicious

Napa Valley Gourmet Red Wine Basket by California Delicious

*I was provided with a wine basket from California Delicious in exchange for an honest review. There may be affiliate links in this post. Should you click on one and make a purchase, you will be supporting this blog and I will receive monetary compensation. All opinions are my own.*

Recently, I was approached and asked whether I would be interested in writing a review on the wine and baskets produced at California Delicious. I chose to try the Napa Valley Red Wine Gourmet Gift Basket. When it arrived, I was very pleased with the packaging. As you can see to the right, it’s very aesthetically pleasing, and nicely arranged. The picture really doesn’t do it justice. There were little decorative grape bunches in the basket (I have plans for those), and the bow was really festive. It makes a really nice impression right from the get-go.

Upon opening the basket, we found two bottles of wine (a Pinot Noir and a Zinfandel), cheese spread, pretzels, spicy honey mustard, bruschetta, and Ghirardelli chocolates. We decided that we would try the wines with meals that followed snacking on the other items.

Now, it’s important to note, we do not generally eat processed foods in our house (in fact, I’ve even been on a candy-making kick after donating some homemade candy to our church bazaar recently.) We tried the cheese and bruchetta and the pretzels and hot sweet mustard. They are about what you would expect from a gift basket – the real highlight was the collection of Ghirardelli squares.

The wines were both decently good. The 2012 Regalo Valley Ranch Artist Series Pinot Noir had a musty and aromatic nose. We paired it with my spaghetti (1lb ground beef, 2 pounds tomatoes, 1 onion, 5-6 garlic cloves, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, black pepper, a splash of red wine, and basil added at the end). It paired nicely, and it was an easy-drinking wine. It was very versatile as a light red wine. The flavor was light, very cherry. It was on the fruitier end of Pinot Noir wines, and it had a vanilla and berry finish. You could also pick up balsamic notes with a little bit of pepper. It’s a great wine for those who don’t drink a lot of wine or who don’t like heavy wines.

The Regalo Valley Ranch 2011 Artist Series Zinfandel was a light Zin. It was all grapes and berries, it was smoother and had more of a coffee flavor than some of the big cigar box Zins we’ve liked in the past. It had notes of vanilla and hazelnut as well as cinnamon and nutmeg. It was easy drinking, with very little heat on the back end. We paired it with a simple steak with a bleu cheese crust and baked potato, and it paired well that way.

The basket would make a very lovely gift for a friend or family member with a special event or celebration. The mild wines make it a nice gift for those who aren’t necessarily “wine aficionados,” but they have just enough complexity to appeal to those who are. The snacks are fun, and the chocolate – who doesn’t like chocolate?

California Delicious has a lot of different gourmet gift baskets that range in pricing. Some of the other baskets of interest include:

Champagne Gift Basket

The Giant All-Star Gift Basket ($59.99) – Do you know someone who is still celebrating the San Francisco Giants’ recent World Series win? This is the perfect gift basket for them.  It includes Giants-themed peanuts and Giants-labeled Mumm Sparkling Brut.

Noah's Ark Newborn Baby Gift Basket

Mickey Mouse Basket of Baby Boy SurprisesMinnie Mouse Basket of Baby Girl Surprisesand Noah’s Ark Baby Gift Basket (all $99.99 each) – These adorable baskets make great little gifts for the new arrival among your friends or family members. I have to say, they are pretty awesome. I’m loving the little stuffed animals in the Noah’s Ark basket.

Olive Oil and Fig Balsamic Gift Set

For Thanksgiving, if you can’t be with family or friends, you can let them know you are thinking of them. The Olive Oil and Fig Balsamic ($29.99) gift set would be a nice gesture for the gourmet in your life. The Classic Chardonnay Wine and Cheeseboard ($39.99) includes a gift the recipient can keep using (I didn’t mention this before, but I kept the basket – it makes a nice place to keep fruits from our CSA available for snacking). I also think the Fall Pumpkin Spice Serenity Spa ($59.99) is a great idea. How many people do you know love the PSL?

In all, I enjoy gift baskets. I received one when I graduated from my Master’s degree program many years ago, and I savored every moment.  It stood out as a gift for years, because it was pretty, I got to try some new products, and it felt like I was being spoiled.

Wine Review List: A Southern Hemisphere Sampler

The wine notes included in this post are from prior to the closing of Creekside Cellars*, the establishment responsible for putting together the list of wines I will discuss. There were two wines we did not order in the tasting: Nautilus Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (Marlborough, New Zealand) and d’Arenberg “Hermet Crab” 68% Viogner and 32% Marsanne from McLaren Vale, Australia.  We’d had both of them previously and have them in our cellar. They come highly recommended.

**This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Graham Beck Brut Sparkling, 53% Chardonnay & 43% Pinot Noir, South Africa – $16 – This wine was good. We gave it a star. The wine had notes of vanilla and almonds, and it was very smooth. This would be a great sparkling for pairing with appetizers.

Concha Y Toro 2011 Chardonnay, Limari Valley, Chile – $20 – We liked this wine a good bit; we gave it a star and an exclamation point. It had a curry like spice to it, like turmeric, ginger, and spice. The wine was very full bodied and creamy. It was heavy on the tongue. It had lime and oak notes, and it paired well with creamy flavors.

Staete Landt 2009 “Paladin” Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand – $27 – We also gave this wine a star and an exclamation point. It was light, similar to the Hickman Family Vineyards Grenache we enjoy, with flavors of spice, cloves, tannins, and plums. In all it was a decent, easy-drinking wine.

Urban Uco 2011 Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina – $14 – This wine was a decent value. For under $15 you could have a reasonably good Malbec. It is more understated than Antigal Uno. It had flavors of plums, oil, red pepper flakes, and blackberries. It would pair wonderfully with my tacos or with this stuffed pablanos recipe from Cookie and Kate.

Thorn Clarke 2010 “Shotfire” Shiraz Barossa Valley, Australia – $22 – Out of all the wines we tried, this was our favorite, earning a star and two exclamation points. It had hints of chocolate and paprika, but it also had a caramel and tobacco finish. I can highly recommend this wine to readers who would like something that doesn’t cost too much for their cellar. I strongly suspect it will age well.

Santa Carolina 2009 “Reserva de Familia” Carmenere, Valle del Rapel, Chile – $28 – This wine had a very sweet, like candy, nose and was very fresh smelling. On the tasting, however, it was surprisingly very dry. It was tobacco, spice, oil, and must. It was nice, we gave it a star.

Mulderbosch “Faithful Hound” 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 13% Petite Verdot, 8% Cabernet Franc and Malbec, Stellenbosch, South Africa – $25 – This wine was…weird. It could be good so long as it was paired with strong, peppery flavors. However, on its own, it was must, rubber, and tasted like it was sweetened with sugar. We gave it no stars.

Have you tried any of these wines? What thoughts did you have about them? Please post your thoughts in the comments section.

 

 

Wining Around the Web August 9th – Back to School

It’s time to get ready to send Tiger Boy back to school. I can’t believe he’ll be a high school sophomore this year. I have a lot of things I want to get done before the new school year starts, including finishing up the robe I began making him last year (I know, I know). Luckily, he’s only grown taller, so back to school shopping will consist of a few pairs of new pants, some paper, new shoes, and a few other things. Thank goodness! Back to school shopping can be expensive.

M6236This weekend, I want to finish the robe (McCall’s pattern 6236), done with a gray flannel from Joann’s fabrics. That way, I’ll be clearing out room for another sewing project – something I haven’t been working on for a year.

I have a bunch of wine tasting notes I’d like to get typed up and share with you. They’re older notes, but they’re still of interest. I found them while organizing my office last weekend.  Many of the notes are from tastings at Creekside Cellars, which closed earlier this year when the owners retired. That’s another task I’d like to finish – organizing the office/sewing room. I found this article on decluttering the sewing room by Cynthia Ewer a helpful guide for getting things organized. There are also some good ideas in this article about how to store items in the sewing room. I have to admit, though, that my office, my husband’s office, and the sewing and craft stuff all shares one room, so I’ll have to get super creative to get it all fitting in nice.

Purple Cafe & Wine Bar in Seattle

Purple Cafe & Wine Bar in Seattle

I just got the new issue of Wine Enthusiast in the mail, and this month’s issue had a list of the 100 top wine restaurants. There’s one near Seattle in Woodenville that I’d love to visit when we get up that way again – The Herbfarm. They serve a nine course dinner with six paired wines. It seems like it would be an amazing experience.  So, I’ve put that on my list of things to do when we travel that way. I think for now, I’ll put Restaurant Taste, in Plymouth, California, on my list of places to go. On Monday nights, they offer a 3 course prix fixe menu, and their selections look great. I was a bit surprised that Purple Cafe & Wine Bar in Seattle didn’t make the list. When we were there in 2012, they had a large selection of tasting flights, and their wine list was very impressive.

If you haven’t hopped over to the Curvy Sewing Collective, I’d recommend it. I’ll have my first article there posted on Monday.

Speaking of blogs and communities, 1 Wine Guy had a lot of things to say about the state of the wine blogging community in a recent post on his blog. I think he has some good points about how the wine blogging community needs to do a better job of coming together and talking about what works and what doesn’t.

In archeological news, it appears that a wine vessel believed to have belonged to Athenian statesman Pericles was unearthed. The cup was not varietal specific (or at least, archeologists didn’t believe it was). As a fan of classics and wine, I found it to be a neat find. It was broken into 12 pieces.

I now turn to you to ask a question. I have seen a ton of crafts out there that are geared for younger kids and for girls when it comes to heading back to school. I’ve been trying to find some neat things to make for a teenage boy – especially since I’ve been doing a lot of crafting for Baby Girl. If you have any ideas or links to share, please post them in the comments section.

 

 

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