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May 22

Mad Men Cocktail Catch-up! Episode 3: Old Fashioned

by Michelle

It’s not the first time over the last 6 seasons that Don has ordered an Old Fashioned. I am happy, however, that he still does. For a while there, the show was overrun with Seagram’s alcohol and Johnnie Walker. It just got hard to write about things. However, this was just a nice, simple Old Fashioned.


from AMC TV

from AMC TV

In 1935, my grandpa was a bartender. I currently have a couple of his bartending books, published in the 20s and 30s. I know Old Fashioneds have changed a bit since cocktails have become such an art, but I still like to page through the old books. This recipe (use the bourbon of your choice) really gets to the simplicity of the cocktail.

From “Old Mr. Boston DeLuxe Official Bartenders Guide,” 1935:

1/2 lump of sugar
2 dashes bitters
1 jigger water
Muddle well, then add a jigger of Old Mr. Boston Rye or Bourbon Whiskey and a large cube of ice.
Stir very well and decorate with a slice of Orange, a twist of Lemon Peel, and a cherry.
Serve in an Old Fashioned Cocktail glass.




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Posted by Michelle at 8:07 am in Cocktails, Mad Men Monday | Permalink | Comments ()
May 21

Mad Men Catch-Up! Episodes 1 and 2: Galliano

by Michelle

Since the site has been down, I’ve fallen behind on Mad Men. But I do have a few cocktail notes for the current season!

In the first and second episodes (the 2 hour season premiere), the doorman has gifted Don and Megan with a bottle of Galliano, which they open on New Year’s Eve, 1967.


from AMC TV

Galliano is an herbal liqueur from Italy. It’s known for it’s bright yellow hue and distinct tall bottle. According to Wikipedia, the color symbolizes the Gold Rush of the 1890s. The exact recipe for original Galliano is considered a “closely guarded secret,” but the flavors include vanilla, star anise, ginger, citrus, juniper and lavender. All of these natural ingredients are infused into neutral alcohol, with the exception of the vanilla. The vanilla comes later, when the alcohol is distilled and then infused with vanilla.  I haven’t yet had Galliano, but now I’d like to try a sip. There are cocktails made with the drink, although in the photo above, Megan is serving it straight in simple aperitif  glasses.


From the Galliano site (because it’s hot here and this looks amazingly cool and refreshing):

La Dolce Vita

1.5 tbsp Galliano Vanilla
1 tbsp Limoncello
Top off with Prosecco

Build the ingredients in an ice-filled glass and garnish with orange or lime wheels.


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Posted by Michelle at 5:55 pm in Cocktails, Mad Men Monday | Permalink | Comments ()
May 20

We’re back! We’re back!

by Michelle

Oh my goodness!

Earlier this spring, there was a “brute force attack” on WordPress sites all over the web, including this one. It took us down. In fact, it went in and modified some things that I’m still trying to fix.

But finally, after 6 or so weeks of my fighting with WordPress, code, and my hosting company – the site is back!

Cresta, Angela, Kevin and I will get back to posting as soon as possible – and that includes some belated Mad Men posts.

Hooray! Time for a glass of wine to celebrate …



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Posted by Michelle at 10:06 pm in News, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments ()
Dec 19

Low-Key, Easy Wine Clubs

by Michelle

In the last few years, I’ve tried all sorts of wine clubs, ranging from winery specific to the New York Times. Those wine clubs send cases – some monthly, some quarterly. Either way, it’s a lot of wine at once. Our house was once overrun with all the wine.

Once I moved to San Francisco, I realized I needed to restock. All my wine was left at home. I did a few BevMo runs (buy one, get one for 5 cents), but that only does so much. Then I discovered a couple of wine clubs.

The one I ultimately joined, Club W, was picked because they’re local and have a nice attitude – very fun. I get three wines per month and I pay $39.00, including delivery. The Club W site is friendly and easy, with videos and wine reviews. I can just let them send me their “selected” 3 bottles for the month or I can go in and modify the order. Occasionally, my modifications up the price by about $2, but it’s no big deal. I was traveling a bit earlier this year and I put Club W on hold for a few months. It was a 1-button option and no questions or charges for the suspension.

Today I ran across another option, similar to Club W, called Wine Awesomeness (WA).  WA takes it one step further than Club W by tossing in some extras with your order. Each month, you’ll get three wines – reds, whites, or a combination based on your preferences. The cost is the same – around $40/month. WA also includes recipe and music pairing suggestions. Once again, you can modify your order and skip a month whenever you like. I’m considering putting Club W on hold for a few months and trying WA, just to see which I prefer.

Both wine clubs offer selections from unique and small wineries from all over the world, so you’re really getting your hands on something unusual.

I have a small apartment and not a lot of space. It’s somehow easier for me to deal with 3 bottles per month than a case at a time. Plus I really enjoy the “fun” that these wine clubs are adding to the field. They make sure their wines are approachable and understandable.

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Posted by Michelle at 1:17 pm in Wine Clubs | Permalink | Comments ()
Dec 07

For the Love of Writing …

I started this blog almost 8 years ago because I loved wine, I loved writing, and I wanted to share with the world. Much to my surprise, the world actually gave a damn for a while.

Life has changed a lot for me in the last decade – particularly in the last 2 years. For those of you who don’t know, I’m now living in the San Francisco area. Turns out, I picked one of the most expensive areas in the country, so there’s been a lot adjustment to the new price tag of life. A lot of other things in my life are changing too and I haven’t paid as much attention to this blog as I should.

Thankfully, Cresta and Angela have really picked up the slack. Both based in the Cincinnati area, they make sure you’re getting reviews and event notifications of great things happening back in my hometown. For me, this is still a regional blog and Cresta and Angela are the heart of that.

In the midst of upheaval, I’ve still had some great experiences in the last couple of years. I tried some great wine. I went to Paris and Bordeaux. I passed the level 1 sommelier exam. These are all things I should write about.

Maybe because of the other changes in my life, I’ve been suffering the world’s largest case of writer’s block. I used to love writing. Now, I have an experience (such as Bordeaux) and I truly want to share it with you. But not in writing. The idea of sitting down at the computer (I almost said “typewriter”) and pounding out a blog post seems unappealing to me. It seems like work, and not something I love to do. I look at other wine bloggers, especially the ones who, like me, have been in this game since the beginning, and I’m amazed at their continued tenacity and passion. I’m jealous.

You’re my readers. You are exceptionally loyal. You’ve welcomed my reduced presence and my great new team with open arms. I can’t thank you enough for that. I ask you, the readers (and for that matter, you PR folks out there too), to have just a little more patience with me. I’m trying to find a way to either make writing fun again or find some alternative means of using this blog to share my wine experiences. I’m open to suggestions.

Wishing you all a happy, safe, and wine-filled holiday,






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Posted by Michelle at 2:45 pm in Holiday, Life, News, Wine Misc | Permalink | Comments (3)

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