blanc de blah blah brilliant bubbly with a straw

25 Nov

oh woman it is a wine with a straw i am into. oh fuck. sofia is rock.

This week’s review is of the Sofia blanc de blanc minis from the Francis Ford Coppola Winery.

I mean, the box reads “Passion fruit, citrus and honeysuckle…each portable pleasure comes with its own straw.” Well then. I mean, it is correct about the fruits and straw. But it has a nice yeasty category it fills too. And mineral stone. That wet stoned taste. As in wet stone, not “stoned”. Have not been stoned since I was a teen. So by “wet stoned” I mean “tastes like some stones I dug up from the spring and licked like ya do”.

I mean, as far as a straw with a wine, wine with a straw, what-evs goes, Sofia or her pops who blends tha shiznit has it going on.

It’s Cali carbonated white wine y’all! In a can! Avail all over including late night non-pedigreed places in StL and Chi-town. And Ktown. So there. Cause in all those cities I’ve been like “I want sparkly! And I wanna dance!” and boom I get this. I need to dance in LA more and see what they give me. I’d take this. The last time I danced in LA was at a goofy dance event thrown for “the improv community” (where else can you dance so freely?) and the bartender gave me a pint of Bulleit with a splash of soda. I don’t drive in LA at night anymore.

Back to this bubbly. It is just so there. Lime-y, stone-y, and I do not know what-y. It is yummy through a straw.

Oh shit and melon notes? And like I said the baked bread notes are strong. Mmmm yeast.

I tried pouring it in a glass and I have to say it was just as good as other inexpensive sparklings. Straw-ed and not straw-ed. But as good as really good expensive sparklings? Maybe not quite. But still Very Good. I cannot believe I am endorsing it. Me, who brings wine glasses to parties if I fear being served wine out of Solo cups. But this wine EXCELS out of the can with a mother f-in’ straw. Love it. It may even be BETTER out of a can with a straw so there. Plus the cute pink factor. Image is all.
Love the pink can. Love the pink.

The Last Sword

18 Nov

HAHA! Now here is a drink. If you are wondering where your Wine Wednesday is, well, I only have time for so many beverages so this week you get a cocktail, baby.

It is not so much a riff on The Last Word as it is inspired by said drink. Or should we say it is what happens when a drink gets autocorrected. FU.
My guest-stars were the fabulously funny Christina Meyers and Meredith Riley Stewart who have this RULL funny web series called Autocorrect FU that you should go watch n subscribe to n all that jazzy fun.
In the meantime, give our silly little drink-making webisode a look-see and give ‘er a thumbs up on the Youtubes if you can.
And now, I give you…
The Last Sword
1 oz gin (I used Beefeater)
1 oz. Cherry Heering
1 oz. grapefruit juice (a ruby red if you can)
1/4 oz. absinthe (Lucid is good stuff)
2 dashes Fee Bros. grapefruit bitters
Shake over ice and double-strain. Add one big ice cube.


11 Nov

Any brand days that is oh-so-bespoke seems to be a “This & That”. Sugar & Spice. Rag & Bone. Noise & Silence.

Yin & Yang?

Oh wait that goes back a bit further.

So I got this truly handsome bottle of 2012 Porter & Plot Pinot Noir. A vino from Club W. And ps if you want a free bottle from them use this link:
and happiness, etc. will prevail. On both your and my ends.

Back to Porter & Plot. It is a Pinot noir I would not think of as so noir-ish. By which I mean this really a saucy bitch! If it were Pinot noir as I think of it, it would seductively sit in the shadows and wait for you to be lured to it.

Instead this brash hussy jumps in your face and is like “HEY! I’M WINE! I HAVE EARTH AND SPICE AND WHATEVER YOU WANT I WILL DO–for the lowlow price of 25 dollars”.

Then once you’ve taken it home for the night it whispers in your ear “ya know that uptight bitch Burgundy or whatshernamenow? Bourgogne? She is an uptight pain, but I will watch football and I don’t care if you are drunk–I may even be happier if you are!”

Now don’t get me wrong. It is not a total whore. It does have the elegant soupçon of earth I associate with an excellent Pinot noir. The berry notes are there. But then there is this spice. I mean, it is RULL good. The brashness of these spices–green pepper, black pepper, pepper-of-all-types-pepper slaps you and you say…this is pinot?

More like pin-OH!

Sorry. Cannot help myself.

It is strongly boozy at 15.4% ABV and as Club Dub-Yuh says would be great for date night. As I mentioned, it is spicy, y’all. For a pinot. Which is what you want on an elegant date, no? Spicy fun under the guise of elegance? Unless you want to get raunchy with your tinder-bad self in which case why the fuck are you drinking wine? Get to the gin/vodka/whisky/shots and get it on.

But as for this pinot. It hides demurely under the smooth labeling & naming:

The Understated & Sexy. It walks the tightrope between spicy, acidic, and smooth (Oxford comma forevs y’all). But I still somehow do not feel that it is balanced. So I’d say I REALLY like this wine. And some people may LOVE LOVEY LURVE this wine. But I only like it. But that is my palate.

Yours may be all the gladder to taste this.

Biodynamic goodness 

4 Nov

Nan Helgeland is a force of nature. Or is she using nature’s forces? Biodynamic forces, to be vaguely more specific. I wrote of Martian Vineyards, and their stellar Syrah a while back. And I finally, finally got to visit where all the magic happens.
Not that biodynamics is all magic. There is something to be said for raising the animals you are getting manure from to make fertilizer on site. I still am confused about the chemistry of burying horns filled with the stuff as part of the fertilization-creation process. But I like that the vineyard is not shipping in chemicals to treat the vines.

All of this is to say that there is quite a bit of logic behind the biodynamic movement and I doubt I could do it justice in one fell blog post. I was just excited to see the vines from whence the wine came, and meet the woman who decided switched career paths to get a degree in oenology and start her own vineyard. And who was smart enough to let the grapes and nature tell her how and what wines to make. It’s pretty cool.

She is pretty cool. She has a house on the vineyard and as a devoted reader has her own little library. She takes care of the people who work in her vineyard like family. One of them has health problems? She is reading up on them and finding the right doctors to send them to. The price of produce rises? She starts a garden on the vineyard for all the workers, so they don’t have to spend their earnings on healthy fruits and veggies.

All this love and attention really does translate into some excellent wines. And sure, maybe part of it is in my head, but the wines taste all the better when you have shaken the hand that has picked them. Yes, Nan gets in there on picking days. She said I could join in next year and I just may do that.

As for my wine selection of the week, the Red Shift Syrah remains my favorite. But I’ve told you of that so I’ll make a recommendation for a Martian white wine. Both my Dad and I were pretty gaga for the Albariño.

So try that! That is all for this week. Just a ringing endorsement for Martian, and for visiting wineries in general. Fun education. Get to know your booze. On a personal level.

Soviet Bubbly who knew?

28 Oct

I’m just emoting that’s all.


I adore this cocktail gleaned from the wisdom and stories of The CCCP Cook Book. Which rocks.

Thank you Emily Hilligoss for the suggestion.

Oh, and yes I know it only really is champagne if it comes from the region in France but let us just refer to it as champagne because it is like “ya know what I mean when I say champagne”. Unless I state otherwise, I mean sparkling wine.

I made this cocktail not because it sounded like something I’d want to drink. I made it as an excuse to get my hands on some Benedictine. Which I am now having fun employing in a new batch of cocktail experimentation. Even if I weren’t doing that I’d say it was worth the buy because I have now made this cocktail quite a few times. It’s a repeater, y’all!

By the way, I bought Fetzer moscato. At Rite Aid. That is my life. I am buying wine at Rite Aid.

How can I describe this…it is balanced. The sweet, the herbaceous nature of Benedictine, the bubbles of the sparkling wine smoothed by the dry white. My goodness.

Incidentally, the cookbook calls for Soviet champagne. If you have a bottle of champagne leftover from those ripping good days of the Soviet Union, crack er’ open. Otherwise some other such thing will work. It needn’t be fancy. The original recipe is for a lot of people but remember so was the Soviet Union. In theory. There are many theories that don’t work out so well though.

This cocktail is not one of them. It is totally working out for me. The cookbook gives proportions for six drinks. The best way I could reduce it for my measuring purposes was to make 1/5 of a drink so that is what I am giving you. Whee.

There is some fun history in the book about the Soviet team that invented the way to make champagne cheaply in tanks because the government mandated that there needed to be a way to make quick n’ cheap bubbly for the people. So they did okay on that, seeing as Moët & Chandon got the method licensed to them in 1975.

I made do with what I had on hand. I repeat: no need to get fancy. After all the subtitle to this recipe was “working class champagne”. As opposed to royalty champagne? Je ne sais pas.

Soviet Champagne Cocktail adapted from The CCCP Cook Book
60 ml Soviet Champagne (sparkling wine, y’all, in the spirit of thriftiness I say use whatever brand floats your budget boat)
60 ml dry white wine (I tried this with a couple different types and all were fine, use what ya got)
30 ml white muscat wine (I used Fetzer moscato)
15 ml Benedictine
15 ml cognac
15 ml tinned fruit (in the notes they suggest cherries–I didn’t have these canned but had some in the freezer)
30 ml ice
Mix all and add ice and fruit. Yea.

Pink Lime and Meh

21 Oct

You will be lured.

It will be on sale.

This little can of Pampelonne.

Cute packaging and ease.

At your booze store.
Or at Whole Foods.
You will succumb.
Let me express this in haiku:

It is Rosé Lime.
Juice yet some funk and lime notes.
Good but not enough.

It is kinda tasty? If you need wine in a can, go ahead buy this. It is so FUCKING cute. 
Friggin’ pink Breton stripes.

Also if you need wine in a can your problems are worse than meh beverages.

It is like a pink frock you feel vulnerable in but once you in it you are like “fuck I’m wearing pink!” and you feel okay, if not temporarily fulfilled. Cause sometimes you just need things to be easy and tasty enough. That is this.

More on pink frocks soon. That could be important.

Wine I’d more than Grocery-Store settle for

14 Oct


A couple weeks ago I mentioned Ravenswood. It is my go-to grocery store wine. It had earned my adoration both in taste and price but got my heart when it was the wine that made my best friend start liking wine. He liked the dark moodiness of the label and name. And I think that somehow made him accept the taste.

And now he’ll drink wine with me. 

Extra dark name extra dark Label extra dark wine dark mood.
There are many dark berries in this.


Ravenswood Old Vine Zinfandel Lodi Vintage 2013

Blackberry is the first berry I got. Then some strawberry snuck its face in like “hey! happiness in darkness, my morbid friends!”

It is jam. Dark, morbid delicious jam out of a glass.

There is some earth. The type of earth that has vines and trees sprouting from it, not dry, not damp, just right on a dark spring night.

Like picture that thou art 13 and going through a Wiccan phase and in the park with your best friend around 10 at night (taking a neighborhood walk) and the two of you, high on life, are frolicking and start rolling in the grass. That is the earth in this wine. Young, semi-dewy night earth.

Sniffing (huffing deeply) it I got a lot of berries and some whiff of maybe…flowers? honeysuckle? je ne sais…. like so unsure I’m not even gonna add the “pas”.
I taste some allspice hiding in the dark.

First sip gave an extremely acid ending but that was straight out of the fridge (keep all wine there if your home is warm as it is in LA unless you want your wine tainted by heat) but then I gave this wine some time to get some air and it softened so the scid was just right, running down the sides of my tongue and tickling the back of my tongue at the mid-point and the end in a delightful way.

Delightful. Available at your supermarket. Affordable. I dig. You can bring Ravenswood to my party any day.


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