Poetry in Motion-Part 2

In an earlier post, I talked about how a poetry contest for Gundlach Bundschu served as the impetus for me to start writing again.  I’d like to say that I continued to write on a regular basis and now have volumes of poetry, documenting my years of wonder with my little ones, but that’s not the case.  Instead, I continued in a sleep-deprived fog for the better part of a year- barely getting through each day and taking my frustration out on my poor, patient husband rather than on paper.

Now, every year, the fine folks at GB take some of their lucky members on a “revel.”  They take a city by storm and explore, eat, drink, and generally make merry.  This year, they were going to be in Austin.  Yee haw!!!!  Even though we weren’t members at the time, we were invited to attend.  While corresponding about the luncheon, the super wonderful marketing director dropped the-”we look forward to your entry this year” bomb.  Yikes!  What would I write about this time?  I had already written my emotional response to GB wines…now what?  Maybe I couldn’t write anything worth reading again, but, I had to at least send in something.  So, I got to work.

I began by reading the history of the family and the winery.  It is an amazing story, inspiring, for sure, but I was still not sure of the angle.  Then I read about the vine cycle and couldn’t help but make the connection between the phases of growth and hardships, changes, and legacies at Rhinefarm (the Gundlach Bundschu estate).  That would be my approach.  With only 153 words to work with, I wasn’t able to talk about every generation or every event in the vine cycle, but in the end, it told the story I was hoping it would.  Apparently, they liked it too….(to be continued)

http://www.gunbun.com/2011FIRST

Do you have a Buzz?

As of this morning, I have a Buzz…Buzz Parlor that is.  My super-organized friend has launched a website this morning that is designed to help moms like me.

“Wait…HOW long has it been since I last scrubbed this tub?”

” Oh, I have 15 minutes…what is the MOST neglected chore in my house that MUST be done?”

“What in the world am I making for dinner?”

I have already confessed in an earlier post to being not the best in the plan ahead department, so my need for a site such as this should not surprise you.  Even if you are a stellar planner, we could all use a week, or two, or three off from it.  We could all use some more brain space to devour a novel, or watch embarrassingly bad reality tv.  I am telling you, this may change your world.

Now, in full disclosure, I am not just a client, I am…well, let’s just say that you may recognize the blog.  And the pairings.

Check out the site, sign up, and get your Buzz.

 

Monday Wines- Summer lovin’

Okay, so maybe I should call this “Summer likin,’” because you probably don’t LOVE most of these, but you like them just fine.

In an earlier post, I referenced, “Monday Wines.”  These are wines that are for when you really want a glass of wine, just a glass, after a long Monday but don’t want to open or waste anything special (read-”expensive”).  They are under $10.00, typically 7-8 dollars and palatable.  Nothing you are going to evaluate, store, talk about at bunko, but will do the job.

Depending on where you live, it is still pretty hot.  Here in Austin, we are having a record-breaking heat wave to accompany our drought-not my favorite pairing-so I am thinking something light and crisp.  Think Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Grigio, or my personal favorite for 105 degrees-Vinho Verde.  In the “Monday Wine” category, there are plenty of Vinho Verdes to choose from.  Prices range from $5 on sale up to $8 for most.  You aren’t going to find a huge range on this wine, but I’ll list my personal favorites below.  I am pretty sure I single-handedly forced a local retailer to up there price a few summers ago (kidding…I think).  It went up from 6 to 9 one summer.  Disappointing, so I moved on to a less popular one.  If you aren’t familiar with Vinho Verde, it is a lightly effervescent, crisp wine from Portugal.  Love it.  This is also a great wine to have with appetizers or on Saturday afternoon or…well you get the idea.  It is low in alcohol so you can have that extra glass and still feel a-ok.  Plus, it is so reasonable that you can pick up 6 bottles (10% discount) when it is on sale and spend less than you would on a pedicure.

So, let’s share…what are your favorite crisp, white “Monday Wines?”

1) Famega Vinho Verde (7-9, original favorite)

2) Gazela Vinho Verde (6-7, replacement)

3) Barefoot Pinot Grigio (5-7) surprisingly ok

4) Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc/Viognier (10-13, so it almost doesn’t meet the Monday wine reqs, but if on sale, it is so yummy I had to mention it, maybe we’ll call it a Thursday wine)

5) Columbelle (8) crisp, fruity French wine

6) McManis Viognier (8-9)

7) Kenwood Sauvignon Blanc (7-9)

Looking forward to adding to the list!

Weekends are for Wellington

I have been trying to cook Vegetarian more…about 3 nights a week.  Organic/grass fed meats are really expensive, and I believe that eating less meat is better for my health and better for the planet.  But after three veggie meals in a row, my hubby was begging for meat.  His entire “request” list from the store was meat.  So I figured it was time for a steak.

Friday night is usually our “date night.”  We feed the kids, put them to bed, and then open a favorite bottle.  One of the clubs that we belong to is Wellington Vineyards, a small winery in Glen Ellen, CA.  They don’t distribute to stores, they are a “green” business, and a really good deal.  We get 6 bottles, twice a year (but frequently add to the order.)  They have some really unique wine…a white port (YUM!) and Noir de Noir (Alicante Bouchet, double yum!) are two stand outs.

Last night we opened a 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon.  I know, I know…too soon.  But as mentioned in a previous post, I have trouble being patient with wine sometimes.  And I really wanted a Cab, so I opened the “less special” one.  Which was, and wasn’t a mistake.  Yes, it was a bit young, but after a trip through the aerator and some time to open, it was really prefect with the dinner.  DH grilled a T-bone and I just made some quick horseradish potatoes and grilled asparagus.  It was full, but not heavy.  Great finish, good fruit, light on the oak.  The middle was a little rough at first because of its age (or lack thereof) but smoothed out as it opened.  We enjoyed it thoroughly, as we always do with a bottle of Wellington, but I can only imagine how delish it would have been in five years.  I think we may be adding another to the next order so that I don’t have to wonder.

Wine-really tasty, but a bit young

Pairing-A, big enough for  a steak, but not as big as many Cabs so the perfect match for an unadorned steak when it is 105 degrees.

Poetry in Motion Part 1

It was about a year and a half ago when I first decided to “put myself out there.”  Writing again…publically…as in let-someone-I don’t-know-read-my-thoughts.  I hadn’t written anything creatively in years.  Not since the tumultuous relationship of my 20s with the distant artist type.  But I found the right catalyst. My 2 yr old daughter was … Continue reading

Punt

Usually, in the summer, I like to grill. Scratch that….usually in the summer I like to have my hubby grill. But this past weekend he was knee-deep in a dresser painting project and I had to get creative.
I am a punter. I try to plan meals for the week but, the truth is, I shop generally by what is in season and what is on sale. I have my list of staples and USUALLY have those things in the house. In other words, I cook by mood and what I currently have that needs to get used.
I am also quite frugal, almost to a fault, so most of the wines you see on here will be under $20, even under $10. (I call those Monday wines…more on that later.)
I needed to cook a pork tenderloin so I sliced some peppers, onions, cut some oregano, sage, and rosemary from the garden, and tossed it all in a pan with fingerling potatoes, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Five minutes before it was done, I crumbled goat cheese on top.
Now for the wine. I have learned that when you ship wine, you are supposed to let it sit for two weeks. This can be a challenge for me. I have very few bottles that I have allowed to age. The special occasion wines we order from some of our favorite wineries generally have a better chance because I rarely deem an occasion “worthy.” (See frugal comment above).
We returned home from a trip to Sonoma recently with a few favorites. Although we had only been home 10 days, we had put in a hard day and it was Saturday night, so 2 weeks be damned, I opened a bottle of Tempanillo Rose from Gundlach Bundschu. It is my favorite rose to date. Light enough to drink solo on a hot summer day, but enough backbone to stand some bolder flavors. Dry, yummy, strawberry notes start, but when I paired it with the pork, it developed into a whole different experience. There was a surprising minerality, still light, but not overpowered by the herbs. As I said, it held its own.
Wine-Yummy. Ideal for picnics, light appetizers (prosciutto and melon, goat cheese and crackers) lighter fare.
Pairing Grade-B If buying specifically for the meal, I would have maybe done a Pinot, but for a punt, it did just fine.

Pulling the cork…

Wine lover.  Oenophile.  Wanna-be-sommelier.

Mom.  Mommy.  MA-MAAAAA!!!!!!

Grocery shopper, budding nutritionist, dish scrubber, meat cutter.

My love of wine started in my mid-twenties.  I have no formal training, just a decent palate and a desire to learn.  And I am pretty good in the kitchen.  The more I learn, the greater the desire to educate myself through articles, blogs, travel, and surrounding myself with others who like to discuss wine.  When things calm down (what’s that?) in my life, I may choose a formal education in the arena, but for now, I will taste, share, and taste some more.  My descriptors may or may not be “correct.”  My pairings  may wow, surprise, or may not “work.”  But, the best learning is through trial and error, right?  Especially when the “trial” means drinking more wine.  So, if you are up for a little wisdom about wine, and a lot of wine-inspired wisdom, come along for the ride.