What wine goes with a furlough?


*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the importer, F. Wildman and Sons.

Especially a furlough happening in 80+ degree October? Something cheap and cheerful, cheap being the most operative word in that sentence. I’m on my fourth day of furlough and thought I’d dig around for something that isn’t a budget buster and is a pretty tasty quaffer as well.  No need to resort to drinking swill when there are plenty of bargains to be had out there in the sub $10 range. Today I chose the 2012 Marc Roman Rose. It’s a rose of Syrah, has a screw cap closure, clocks in at 13% alcohol by volume, and is on sale online for only $7.99.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) For the same price (or even a little less depending on your market) as a critter wine, you can instead have this delicate and interesting rose. Get this.

2.) In general, looking for wines with an F. Wildman import label has served me fairly well. I love their selections overall and they seem to do a pretty decent job with QPR.

3.) Rose, which I tend to drink in spades in the summer months, also makes an excellent foil for the upcoming heavier holiday foods season.

4.) My photos definitely don’t capture it, but the rose in the bottle has the prettiest pale pink color.


On the nose of the wine I found raspberry, cherry, white flowers, and apricot.  The wine had a really floral and delicate nose.  In the mouth I got cherry, raspberry, and lime. I took two notes about the acid on the palate, which evidently, I thought was well done. It’s really the acidity on rose that holds it together for me, minus that you end up with an often cloying, flabby wine….which I’ve had my fair share of over the years. Put out the Marc Roman Rose with your stuffing and sweet potatoes and you’ll have a happy crowd.





What I learned at the 2012 Wine Blogger Conference

I just got back from Portland, OR, where Mr. WannabeWino and attended the 5th annual Wine Blogger Conference. I’ve been to 4 out of 5 and I’ve learned (maybe?) something at each conference. Some of those lessons continue to repeat themselves (sadly…) and others are new. Here, I present to you a brief overview of what I learned at the 2012 WBC. Overall, Oregon rocked for wine. I wish I could have stayed longer and tasted more. However, I brought home/ordered to be shipped around 4 cases of wine, so I will enjoy the wine treasures for months to come. Without further ado, my top ten “lessons” from WBC 12.

Mr. Wannabe Wino and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary at the Jordan Vineyards Magnum party.

1.) I still look like my picture, but clearly not as much as I used to since I only got that comment a half dozen times this year.

2.) I love Pinot from Oregon. But I still needed a beer or something to cleanse my palate at the end of the day.

(Image courtesy of The Barley Blog)

3.) I feel like a grandmother of wine blogging even though I’ve only been at it just shy of 6 years. I think the oldest wine blog is only 8 years old though, so the grandfathers aren’t much older.








4.) With that said, this is my 4th WBC, and I still have zero interest in monetization.  That horse is dead. Can we please, please, please bury it?

(Image courtesy of Mutineer Magazine)

5.) You should be yourself at all times, unless yourself involves writing wine reviews, then you should be someone else because wine reviews are boring. (Sarcasm font enabled here in case you couldn’t tell.)






6.) The folks of Carlton, OR have an awesome little town on their hands on and they really banded together to put it all on for the bloggers. I was seriously impressed. (More on this later.)

7.) King Estate KICKED serious ass for the main night dinner.

8.) I need more girl friends where I live. I am so, so missing Thea, Mary, Melanie, Liza, Debbie, etc.  I just can’t explain the value of like minded women who will swig out of a bottle, rap to Vanilla Ice, and make wee jokes with you. It’s pretty priceless.

9.) I can taste and fairly evaluate about 40 wines in a day. Max.

10.) I still hate the Wine Blog Awards.

Halls of Exzellenz

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Hall Winery

Oh the excellence or Exzellenz of Hall. I wrote about the 2006 Kathryn Hall Cabernet Sauvignon a couple months ago. I loved that wine. Well, that’s an understatement….I adored it.  Since then, I’ve actually had a chance to visit Hall Winery (both the St. Helena and Rutherford locations) and I will need to tell you about that soon.  For our anniversary, we decided to crack open the other bottle that Hall sent me as a sample to toast our 3rd year as a married couple. The 2006 Hall Exzellenz is a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, but my understanding is that Hall wanted the flexibility to change it to a blend in the future.  I walked through the Sacrashe Vineyards at the Hall estate where the grapes are gone and heard from the Vineyard Manager about the farming.  The Exzellenz had a real cork, clocked in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, and retails for $150.

On the nose I got black cherry, earth, spice, forest, fresh figs, cinnamon, dusty chocolate, and some red fruit hanging out in the background–I want to say some red berries.  In the mouth I found black cherry, spice, black currants, black plum, dark chocolate, anise, earth, and a bit of blackberry.  The fruit in the mouth showed as really juicy black with tannins to spare.  Of the two Hall Cabs I’ve tried, the Kathryn Hall was much more approachable as a very young wine, and if I were to pick one to drink now, that would be it.  If I wanted a wine to cellar and hold for years to come, I’d pick the Exzellenz and tuck it away for 15 years.

Sacrashe Vineyard

The Last Wine Book Club

Last year Dr. Debs over at Good Wine Under $20 proposed the idea that every month wine bloggers would get together, choose a book on wine, and all read it and review it. Initially I was excited because I have a ton of wine books sitting around.  But then reality set in and in all honesty I have neither the time nor the energy to make it through a book a month.  It’s a sad state of affairs, I’ll admit, but 3 years out I’m still recovering from the nightmare that was law school which zapped any desire to read I had. Couple that with a job that has me reading a ton of technical publications on a daily basis, and my avid wine blog reading, and I just couldn’t do it.  I participated a couple times, and thought, since I already have this month’s book and had read it, that I’d participate in the final edition of WBC.

Dr. Debs chose A Vineyard in Tuscany by Ferenc Máté for the last WBC. I purchased this book in December 2007 from R.J. Julia’s in Madison, CT. I actually read it ages ago, though apparently I never wrote about it for some odd reason. I truly thought I had. Last winter/spring I went through a period where I actually was reading a book a week…on the plane to and from Atlanta where I was detailed for a work project and had to travel to and from every week or so.  It’s possible the post got lost in the transition from Blogger to WordPress…I had some issues when I moved.

A Vineyard in Tuscany is a fairly quick read. I polished it off on the round trip flight to Atlanta from National Airport…about a 1.5 hour flight each way.  Then again, according to Matt, I’m the only person he’s ever met who reads faster than he does (a skill that did serve me well in law school!).  Or perhaps the book went fast because I wanted to gobble up the story of the Máte family as they purchased a vineyard, planted it, got through their first harvest, and bottled the wine.

Not only did they purchase a vineyard site, but they purchased a ruin site…that they fully restored. My favorite bits were when Ferenc insisted on chasing down ancient beams to restore the ceilings to their former glory as well as an old front door. I loved the dedication to making the restoration truly authentic and not just substituting modern materials.

I was as drawn into the restoration of the ruins as I was into the planting of the vineyard. Of course, the stories were interwoven, but at times, it seemed as if the focus was mostly on the house.  I think I would have enjoyed a bit more info about the vineyards and how they chose to plant the grapes they did.  At the same time, I cheered when they harvested their first grapes after 3 years of getting the vineyard ready and restoring the ruin.  And, the descriptions of their Syrahs made me want to hunt one down just so I could try it!

Overall, I loved the idea of building something from scratch–making it totally yours and just the way you want it.  The fact that it was a vineyard of course made it more appealing to me, seeing as how I still harbor the seemingly impossible dream of someday owning my own vineyard!

Many thanks to Dr. Debs for her efforts with the WBC, and my sincerest apologies for not being a better participant.