Stay at home mom, lover of wine

Savory and Sassy-Texas Tuesday

I have a tendency to hold on to things. A letter (ok, 20) from high school, jeans that MIGHT fit again (cough, cough), and wine. In some circumstances it can be a good thing. After all, the fashion from middle school is coming back around.  In others, well, what can I say…I’m sentimental. When it comes to wine, some deserve to be held. Some deserve to be enjoyed before the weather changes. Others are just waiting for the right meal.

Last spring we went to Kuhlman Cellars and I’ve held one Sauvignon Blanc and one 2012 Texas Red Wine. Because their wines are fairly new on the scene, one can only guess what will happen in time. Why take the chance? It was Saturday and it was time to clean out. My closets and my body are in need of the bi-annual purge so before it begins, one last indulgence.


Continue reading “Savory and Sassy-Texas Tuesday”

A Rainbow and Remembering-9/11/01

A rainbow appeared over Manhattan yesterday. The headline that circulated noted that it was the eve of the 14th anniversary, adding to the wonder and sentiment.

Between reminders to floss and the last-minute comedy routines, I found myself wondering, what was he doing fourteen years ago tonight?

Was it like any other Monday or did he discover a great restaurant on his way home? Did he finish a book or begin one? Did he go for a run? Did he see a rainbow?

And in the morning, did he hesitate? Did he stop for coffee? What if the line had been longer? Did he know how much he was loved?

What if?

Continue reading “A Rainbow and Remembering-9/11/01”

Hatch Hongos y Elote- Meatless Monday

So much for freedom.  It is week two and my sweet girl is home sick.  And will be for a while.  Poor thing. At least I get some time to spoil her.

It is Hatch Chile season here and I wanted to get a recipe up for Meatless Monday so if you can forgive the lack of story, here we go. Continue reading “Hatch Hongos y Elote- Meatless Monday”

I Never…

Invariably someone would bring it up. In the hours just before curfew, after a few Bartles and Jaymes or cans of Busch.  It might be a gossipy girl wanting a chance to passively spill the proverbial beans.  Rarely, a love-struck guy wanting info on the out-of-his-league Chemistry partner.  Or even the Math League honor roll student wanting to make jaws drops with a divulgence.

I Never. Why we chose to play, I can’t say.  Looking back, it was a self-deprecating ridiculous game in which most people were probably lying. But in the age of self-discovery and wanting to connect, wanting to know you weren’t alone, the game was commonplace.

If you weren’t reared in the 80s, the game was played like this: Someone would say, “I never…cheated on a test.” Or “I never…made out on school property.”  If you had, you would drink. It usually went downhill quickly and ended dramatically.

I’m going to ask you to play an “I Never” of sorts, with  improvements. Continue reading “I Never…”

Sweet Freedom!

I’m free!  I’m free!  I’m free!  After 7 1/2 years, over 8 if you count gestation, I am no longer beholden 24 hours a day.  I can write without interruption.  I can make a lunch date and stick to it.  I can go to the bathroom without mediation.  I’m free!

Ok, so I know some moms are really struggling today.  I did too. But when I say it feels different this time, I mean it feels AWESOME.  I mean setting the alarm for 6:15 means a jump towards peace, not punishment.

Before you judge, let me say this. My son was READY.  More than ready.  He didn’t want us to walk him in for the first day of Kindergarten ready. My sweet boy makes the energizer bunny look lazy.  He makes Ann Coulter look wishy-washy.  He is two parts Houdini and one part Evil Knievel.  I love that boy with every part of my being.  I will miss having my buddy around. But we are both ready. Continue reading “Sweet Freedom!”

A Crisis of Identity- #MWWC18

Know Thyself.  The imperative has been circulating since the togas were in fashion and still remains an ideal.  For some of us, the desire to please, the pursuit of acceptance still trumps more often than we care to admit. For others, the footprints are well caked in the path.  Living “authentically” in each breath and decision.  There is no crisis of identity, only a daily unfolding and refining.

In the Finger Lakes, people have been making wine for decades.  It is a region where people expect to find great Riesling, and they will.  As the growers and winemakers try their hand at different grapes and processes, they are forming their own identity. With each year, the grapes share more of their story. The winemakers refine their personal style.  And yet, in the two tasting experiences I have had while here, there were some definite surprises. Continue reading “A Crisis of Identity- #MWWC18”

The Test of Time-Emilio Moro Wines

“Winemakers who wax poetic about wines from a new vineyard hope the qualities they see early on will continue throughout that vineyard’s life. Others believe that the truest expression of a vineyard comes when it has endured the test of time. I believe both viewpoints may be correct.”

-Kirk Grace, Vineyard Manager at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars

Two weeks ago, we compared and shared three wines from Ribera del Duero with dear friends from down the street.  A virtual interview was taking place that night, three bottles were to be opened.  As with many things, the pleasures derived from a glass of wine are increased exponentially when shared. And like many things, the complexity and value of these wines increased with age.

The tasting coincided with one of my oldest and dearest friends’ birthday. Toasting with new dear friends, I began thinking of the layers or friendship, the value of those old and new, and how they correlated with the wine.  I found the above quote while reading about how the age of the vine impacts complexities in wine and as I read, I found myself replacing the subject, friendship for wine. Continue reading “The Test of Time-Emilio Moro Wines”

Meanwhile in #TXwine-Texas Tuesday

While my opportunities to sneak away may diminish with summer, the world of Texas wine isn’t slowing.  In fact, it continues to expand in size and reputation.  My news feed has been full of announcements of accolades, invitations, and openings.  While I can’t attend or respond to all of them in the 18 minutes of free time,(on a good day) I am there in spirit, and in time, I’ll get to experience these wines and places myself.

One event I was able to attend was sponsored by Llano Estacado and featured wines from their new line for restaurants, Mont Sec.  The Sauvignon Blanc and Grenache Rose are made from grapes from Mont Sec Vineyards in the Chihuahuan Desert. Despite the rugged climate and challenging conditions, the area yields fruit that makes fantastic wine.  I really enjoyed both wines and would buy them by the case if I could.  Unfortunately, they are only available through restaurants.  If you see them, don’t hesitate.


I paired the Mont Sec Sauvignon Blanc with Greek style meatballs, Tzatziki. and cucumber salad.  I shared the bottle with my family, all of whom were impressed. The Rose was a fun fresh compliment to a casual Friday dinner of Berbere meatballs, Rosemary white bean dip, asparagus. My only complaint was that there was a hole in my glass.


The other stand-out of the evening was, of course, the flagship Viviano ($35).  The nod to a Super Tuscan (70% Cab, 30% Sangiovese) is a perennial favorite.  Jubilant fruit, spice, elegance.  I paired a bottle with lamb chops, roasted fingerlings, and kale avocado salad.  It worked, but I think I could have done better.  I’ll have to try again.

Hawk’s Shadow Winery had their opening this past weekend in Dripping Springs.  I wish I could tell you something about the wine, but this is one I missed.  Since Saturdays from 12-6 are currently booked, it may have to wait until fall.  For more information, see their website.

If you are looking for something to do this weekend, Flat Creek will be holding Vinopalooza on premise.  Music and wine in a beautiful setting sounds like a great way to celebrate.  For tickets and more detailed information, follow this link.

One of my favorite Texas wineries received five awards at the recent San Francisco International Wine competition.  Congratulations Kim and company.  You continue to impress me with the quality of wines that you are able to make while keeping them accessibly priced.  I’ll miss our stop this summer. McPherson Cellars wines stood out with the following wines:

Les Copains Rosé – GOLD
Les Copains White – Silver
Albariño – Silver
Viognier – Bronze
La Herencia – Bronze

In the same competition, Brennan Vineyards became the first Texas winery to bring home TWO Double Golds. The 2014 Mourvedre Dry Rose and the 2013 Tempranillo were both given the highest accolades.  I can’t wait to try them!

Wedding Oak Winery was awarded “Best Albariño” and given Double Gold for the same wine. They also received two bronze medals for Terre Rouge and Sangiovese.

These are the awards I have found via social media but when the full list is released today I am sure we will be adding to the list.

Finally, another wine on the list to try is one bottle by Vinovium Partners that I spied at Whole Foods Arbor Trails. I have the utmost respect for the guys behind this, Daniel Kelada and Craig Mayer.  They are driving the Texas Wine Journal and putting their efforts, energies, and enthusiasm into Texas wine like few others.


In summer, my children’s freedom expands, mine shrinks.  And attempts to shrink waistlines for summer means an expanding list of wines I need to try.  My apologies for not much in the way of personal experience, but just because I’m having less fun in the wine world doesn’t mean you can’t have it for me.  I’d love to hear about your adventures and new discoveries in #TXwine. I’ll put them on the list for the freedom of fall. Cheers!

P.S.  The complete list is available now on TX Wine Lover.  So much to be excited about!

A Surprise in Any Package-Monday Wines with Banfi

One of the joys of writing about wine is, indeed, the packages that arrive requiring a signature.  Some are expected, others are not.  Each time, it is a little like Christmas.  You may have a good idea of what is inside, but there is always a little flutter of expectation with the slicing of the tape.  Sometimes the surprise comes, not with viewing the bottle, but what happens when you open it.

I recently received three wines from Banfi: a Rosso di Montalcino (always a bit of comfort), a Prosecco (always a bit of fun), and something unexpected. I read the description of 2013 Fontana Candida Terre dei Grifi Frascati DOC and thought, hmmm.  Composed of  50% Malvasia Bianca di Candia, I thought it may be a little a little sweet for me.  I read on.. 30% Trebbiano Toscano, 10% Greco, 10% Malvasia del Lazio.  I love Trebbiano, great acidity and citrus usually.  I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was recommended with Thai or Asian (read sweet) but described as dry.  Now I was really confused.

And that, my friends, is why I always try to taste with an open mind.


I brought it to my parent’s as an appertif (as recommended) for my father’s birthday. That way, if it were indeed too sweet, I had just the people there to enjoy it. It turns out, that was everyone.

Light and tropical, fruit forward without too much residual sugar.  It was bright but not biting, refreshing and easy to drink. And at around $13 it is great for summer parties with a little something for everyone. Surprise!

The Rosso and the Prosecco were as expected. The Maschio Brut Treviso is festive, citrus and stone. 100% Glera it is classic Prosecco in style and composition and another great Monday wine ($13). The Rosso is fruit, and spice, and everything nice.  Just enough tannins to give it structure while remaining versatile. I never say no to either.

Let’s face it, I don’t say no to wine very often.  I always like to try something new.  Sometimes it is hard to check my expectations at the door. But, now I know, even more definitively, that surprises come in all sorts of packages and packaging.

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