Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Blue Towers #BrightCellars

I've been going back and forth on the online wine clubs. I've joined 2 (Winc & Bright Cellars) and am trying to decide if I want to keep going with both, either or neither. Both companies are young and I've had minor customer service issues with both. Both rectified the situations quickly and so I am still trying both. 

This is one of the selections from Bright Cellars. I haven't had a Sauvignon Blanc in some time. I was taken a bit aback by the initial grapefruit taste and odor. The flavor mellowed out the next day and was more simply tart. The warm Indian Summer this November is keeping my palate to wanting whites, and this was a good match for the unusually warm weather. Blue Towers is a Chilean label.

Tasting notes:

This Chilean Sauvignon Blanc is fresh and light with tangy notes of grapefruit, lemon, lime and aromatic lemongrass. Pairs beautifully with ceviche, lime and chili marinated shrimp or leek and goat cheese quiche. Enjoy with Boursin cheese with herbs.

My Bright Cellars order also has a Blue Towers Chardonnay to try. This is one of my favorite things about Bright Cellars in that they try to send more than one wine from a label. 

I will write more about my experience with Bright Cellars, but they have friendly staff and a fairly user friendly website, though I do wish they had an app to make the ratings and contacting customer service easier. 


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Monthly Wine Writing Challenge: Sm;)e

I have been in a bit of a funk lately and haven't been writing much. And it's not that I haven't been enjoying wine, but just not finding the desire or the proper muse to inspire me. And to be honest, the wine hasn't been all that spectacular. I do enjoy my Cardbordeaux and there have been some great deals. I've got a Black Box Chardonnay in the pantry right now and I love that I can go get a glass when I want and not worry about it going bad before I finish it. But I'm just not feeling inspired enough to write about it, and when I do, even I get bored with it before I can finish an entire post. I've been doing a couple of internet wine clubs and they are both turning into more trouble then they are worth! I need to just spend more time at the local liquor store (only place in town with a good, affordable selection!) picking wines based on the label -- not sure why that gets such a bad rap.

As I've leaned into this funk, I have been looking for a new challenge something to be a new spark, to bring me out and back to my old self. I miss writing for fun. It's one of the reasons I started this blog and our family blog.  As I was reading through some of my favorite wine Tweeters, I happened upon The Drunken Cyclist and his Monthly Wine Writing Challenge. [Okay, so I don't know if it is actually HIS, but he has all the rules on his site so I'm going with that it's HIS challenge.]



Is this the muse I have been seeking? The challenge is fairly open ended: fact or fiction, somehow related to wine and to the theme. I think this is it! I will call on the Muse Thalia for inspiration. Not just because she is the Muse of comedy, but it is said that she discovered agriculture, which means she is the mother of Wine. So who better to call upon? Not sure how you call on a Muse ... Do Ancient Greeks understand modern technology? Will she tweet me or find me on Facebook? She's probably a fan of SnapChat which I haven't taken the time to figure out.
So, where do I go from here? I've started with a task reminder to look for the challenge monthly. Well, that's not true, I started by writing this post. THEN I put the reminder on the phone. Seriously, the Task Reminder is awesome. I get so scattered sometimes and these reminders -- even to remind me to remind my girls to get ready for tomorrow tonight -- make me feel more in control. Next, will be to hit publish & share this with the proper hashtag. #MWWC28

Wow. It is amazing how much better I feel just having a plan. No longer bobbing along, but pointed in a direction. And that is enough to make me Sm;)e

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Adrift Chenin Blanc

Another great Adrift white! This is a crisp acidic Chenin Blanc. Flavors of green apple, citrus and grapefruit highlight this wine. A great mouth feel, short finish, this wine is easy to drink and is a great match to the easy spaghetti dinner followed by 2 hours of MasterChef. Definitely getting this one again!

So far, I'm really enjoying the selections from Bright Cellars. The only thing missing from this wine club is an app for easy access to the wine selections and pairing information. Want to check them out for yourself? Use this link for 50% off your first box!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Adrift Riesling

Beautiful, fruit forward Riesling from Bright Cellars. Crisp and acidic, a great match for our bbq pork!

I love these bottles! I got 3 Adrift whites in my last Bright Cellars order so I'm hoping the other 2 are as nice. I decided to open the Riesling after listening to a podcast from Wine for Normal People on wines you need to try and Riesling was one. I used to think Riesling was a really sweet wine, when in actuality it's a nice light wine, great for enjoying on the deck! I really need to keep Riesling in a regular rotation.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

So You Want to Join a Wine Club @winc

I've never been one to keep my wine opinions to myself. When we moved to Brookings, I was very disappointed in the wine selection. The Liquor Store has improved their selection greatly (thought still no Virginia wine options). But they do have the monopoly and are limited by what the distributor has to offer. Walmart and Hy-Vee has limited selection and the Pheasant Restaurant has a nice, if pricey, selection.
Once the wine shipping laws changed, I began my search for a wine club. The first one I decided to try was Club W, or Winc as it is now known. Like many of the other online clubs, they ask you to take a little quiz to help them understand your tastes to allow them to help you make the selections. 

For the most part, I am enjoying these wines and it's fun to come home to a big box of wine! The challenge is, of course, to be sure there is someone at home over 21 to sign for the box.

I did have an issue with shipping charges (if you order more than 4 bottles, your shipping is refunded -- well, it wasn't this time) on my last order and, while it took longer than it should have to get taken care of, Winc did get me my refund and an apology.

Winc also has an app which makes it really easy to track your shipments, see what's on the list for next month, skip a month and even rate the wines you have had.

Each wine has a page on their site with a short tasting video, information about the wine and a recipe to try for pairing. I haven't tried any of their recipes yet, but maybe soon! They also send you the recipe with the shipment.


Overall, I'm pretty happy with this club and do recommend others give it a try


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Wonderful (White) @winc

Time for another Winc wine club order! I somehow placed a 2nd order while trying to update my debit card and got doubles of the whites (not complaining about an extra 4 bottles, but still trying to figure out how it happened) [and still trying to get shipping refunded]. This time, Rocky was home to sign for the wine so it was waiting for me when I got home! W00T!

The first bottle I opened was a white blend. A mix of Savignon Blanc, Muscat, Viognier & Chenin Blanc, this white is crisp, semi-sweet and great for a #wineWednesday. If it hadn't been raining, I would have enjoyed it on the deck. The tasting notes state flavored including white peach, pear, honeysuckle and lychee candy (no clue).

I love that Winc sends tasting notes and a sample recipe (shrimp tacos with watermelon salsa!!) to go with each wine. 


Overall, I'm enjoying this wine club. The challenge is ensuring someone of age is home to sign for the wine.


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Down Memory Lane: Virginia Wine!

Purchasing wine can be an adventure. How do you make a selection? Tried & true? Recommendations? Cool label? Grabbing the closest bottle so you can get out of the store quickly? I can honestly say I've used all these methods with varying degrees of success. Last weekend, however, I used a method I haven't before: nostalgia.

I was in Washington DC for a conference and I flew out a couple of days early to spend some time with my friend Diane who now lives in Springfield. She picked me up at the airport and we drove straight to a local winery, Paradise Springs of Clifton, to enjoy a snack and wine. Diane selected a bottle of Viognier. It was a great match for the meats, cheese & dried apricots!

Later in our weekend, we stopped at Total Wine and headed for the Local Wine section so I could get a bottle of Our Dog Blue to take home. While there, I noticed Lake Anna Winery. It's been 10 years, but back when Maggie was a baby, we took a family weekend trip to Lake Anna, stayed in a cabin with our dogs Nala & Otis and had a quick stop at the Lake Anna Winery. I don't really remember the winery, but I remember it was spring and Maggie was probably 6-7 months old. So, with nothing other to go on than a memory of a weekend with my family, I picked up this pretty ros├Ę Lake Side Sunset.

This is a dry, semi-sweet (gets sweeter as it gets colder). Light & perfect for a warm summers evening. I finished it tonight on the deck. If I were in Virginia, this would be on my regular purchase list!