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,
Here are a few wines that would be the perfect pairing for the for upcoming holiday brunch. Usually I suggest white wine or champagne but I have french rose and an Italian prosecco that will go perfect with any Sunday brunch.
The first wine is rose wine from La Vieille Ferme in the Rhone Valley nestled on the Mount Ventoux in France. Blended from Cinsault, Grenache, and Syrah grapes and the Cinsault grape really brings a softness to this rose. The floral aroma really brings this wine to life but the tastes of cherry, fruit, and sugar are what makes it stands out. A crisp medium acidic wine that will pair with melons, strawberries, or a breakfast casserole. And who can beat a French rose for around $7.99 a bottle.
My new favorite sparkling wine is Lamarca prosecco, a great wine that is pale, golden straw in color. Citrus, florals, and honey bring a sweet fresh smell to the nose. The flavor is fresh and clean, with ripe citrus, lemon, green apple, and touches of grapefruit. A light tasting sparkling that doesn’t have the dryness like a Brut or the over sweetness of an Asti its perfect for any sparkling wine drinker. La Marca Prosecco is made in the Trevisio area of Northern Italy from the Glera grape. This is a low alcohol sparkling wine that you can share at brunch with family or friends. A great wine with eggs benedict, fruit, or any sweet brunch entree. Lamarca costs around $11 a bottle so pick up a few for the Sunday brunch.
Although the temperature in Cincinnati has been all over the place, the first official day of winter is Thursday. If you haven’t already been partaking in seasonal brews, the time is now.
Fox News published a Best Holiday Brews article this week and it reminded me that these seasonal selections won’t be around forever. Although I don’t usually drink darker, heavier beers, they are great for warming you up on cold winter nights.
I have had – and do like – the top beer on this list: Great Lakes Brewing Co. Christmas Ale, a holiday beer brewed with honey and spiced with ginger and cinnamon. It’s medium-bodied, not too heavy, and a repeat World Beer Championship Gold Medal winner. My sister-in-law was nice enough to share her stash over Thanksgiving (Thanks, Laurie).
Not on this list, but a popular choice - Sierra Nevada Celebration. While Celebration tastes good for a change, I can’t drink many as it’s a very robust, rich ale. But it’s great for bringing along to your holiday parties and for toasting friends and family.
Do you have a favorite winter beer? Leave a comment here and let me know what you like and what I should try before they all disappear.
With all the holiday parties and excessive drinking to make it easier to hang out with relatives, I just wanted to post a reminder to stay safe.
I’m currently in San Francisco, where it’s fairly easy to find public transportation or catch a cab (or an Uber car). But there are cabs in Cincinnati too.
If you’ve got a smartphone, be it an Android, Blackberry, or iPhone (or anything else), there is most likely a taxi app for your phone. No kidding. Go to the iTunes store and search for “taxi.” It’s ridiculous the number of apps that are available. I prefer to use Taxi Magic out here in San Francisco, and in Cincinnati, I always preferred Cab4Me.
The various taxi apps use your GPS or cell signal to figure out where you are, and then shows you a list of local cab companies. If you’re traveling, this is a godsend. After all, you might find yourself standing on a street corner in a strange city, wondering where in the world all the cabs have gone. If that happens, it’s handy to have an app that will tell you not only what the nearest cab companies are, but where the nearest taxi stand is located.
According to the Cab4Me web site:
If a cab company is found in our database, you can get additional information like available car types or payment methods. If we do not have a cab company for your area, a local web search is performed. You will always get a result. In the Favorites tab you can quickly access your favorite companies and the recent tab shows companies you recently called.
Isn’t that great? You’ll even be able to request a minivan so that you and all of your slightly tipsy friends can pile into the same cab.
On New Year’s Eve, you can also generally call Care Cab, a joint venture between AAA and MADD.
Regardless of how you find a cab, just make sure you find one. It’s okay to enjoy yourself, and enjoy yourself a lot – just be safe about it.
After the jump, you’ll find a list of some cab companies in Cincinnati, in case you want to add some to your Contacts. Read the rest of this entry »
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I love decking out the house with everything from pumpkins, gourds and mums to the creepy, scary stuff. I also take every opportunity to make treats like pumpkin cookies and the peanut/candy corn mixture.
While food and drink shopping for an upcoming party, I found several bottles of wine that I thought would be perfect for the occasion. This is just a preview. I plan to have at least a taste of each of these during the party this weekend so I’ll let you know if they taste as good (and festive) as they look. I found all of these at Cork ‘N Bottle.
Spellbound 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon: A California wine that touts the taste of bold fruit with a hint of oak and spice. I love the moon on the label. Cost: around $15.
Toad Hollow 2010 Mendocino County Chardonnay: An Unoaked Chardonnay and Toad Hollow’s top-selling wine. Toad Hollow is known for quality wines that are affordable. All of the Toad Hollow wines have whimsical labels similar to this one, and all are designed by their in-house artist. Cost: around $13.
Casillero del Diablo Pinot Noir 2009: Translation: Cellar of the Devil. This is one of the brands produced by Concha y Toro, the largest wine producer in Chile. I can’t wait to try this wine, which boasts hints of chocolate and coffee. Cost: around $10.
Elk Creek Vineyards makes Halloween wines as well – Ghostly White Chardonnay and Bone Dry Red, a Cabernet Sauvignon. Both the Florence and Crestview Hills Tasting Rooms were sold out when I called last week but they might have some in by now.
Note from the Editor: Elk Creek Vineyards, and specifically their Halloween wines, were a marketing client of my Write Technology business in Fall 2009. I have not worked for them since Spring 2010 and Cresta had no idea. However, I believe in full transparency.
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