Lazy Sunday: 1 September 2013

You know what the best part of a three-day weekend is? A four day work week comes along with that. Enjoy your day.

Lazy Sunday: 25 August

Here are some things to read so that you’ll have something insightful and meaningful to take to brunch.

Happy Hour: Charles Smith Charles and Charles Rose

Oh, pink wine. People are so nasty about you. I would know: I used to be one of them. Pink wine conjures images of your trashy aunt pouring Splenda in the chardonnay at the country club because they didn’t have white zinfandel. I was totally willing to pile on before I discovered my grave error.

My child, there is another way.

Full disclosure: I picked this one for this week since it's the 4th of July still kind of and look at the cute label!
Full disclosure: I picked this one for this week since it’s the 4th of July still kind of and look at the cute label!

I’m here to tell you that there’s about nothing nicer than an ice-cold glass of the good stuff on your porch in the summer. I had a change of heart about rose a couple years ago when a slightly older, very chic friend of mine made this her signature summer drink. That seemed all fine and good, but she had somehow also managed to talk her boyfriend into this. Not to say that women have suspect palates, but you’re going to be hard-pressed to find a straight man sipping pink wine in a public place unless it is really really good. I figured they were on to something, and whatever, I kinda wanted to be just like them.

So I dug around, tried a bunch, and this here is the place to start on the path to rose enlightenment. The 2012 Charles and Charles Rose clocks in at about $12 a bottle and is a nice syrah/mourvedre blend with a touch of grenache and cinsault thrown in for good measure. You get a good hit of strawberries and roses and maybe a little cherry on the nose, but it rounds itself out with some kind of…I don’t know…herbal minerality? It’s not too sweet, contrary to what your previous encounters with this sort of thing might have been like.

It’s easy to imagine yourself sipping this over a late dinner of a grilled halibut steak and then turning to your dreamy companion and being like, “hey, let’s just run naked in to the ocean” and so you grab the remaindered bottle and do just that. Even if you live in Kentucky (landlocked), are single (kinda weird to do alone and weirder to do with your imaginary friend), and actually eating Chicken of the Sea (because hey, halibut is expensive). Just a thought experiment.

So have you tried this? What are your thoughts on Charles Smith wines? What are your feelings on rose? Come on, I want a fight in the comments.

Happy Hour: Benvenuto de la Serna Malbec

It is time, once more, for me to bring you a delicious adult beverage! 

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Taken from inside a dark bar, but trust me.

I love love love a malbec. My darling friend passed his sommelier course this week, so when we went out to celebrate, we naturally let him pick the wine. The 2007 Benvenuto de la Serna was his choice, and I enjoyed it. It’ll run you about $16, but it drinks like something wayyyyy pricier. 

It’s got a lot of layers to taste through– you get a little bit of red berries (more like, um, craisins than raspberries, though), some leather, coffee, chocolate, a little herby stuff, and some other things I can’t quite put my finger on (my som says that’s cheese, but I don’t believe him). It’s not to acidic, and it’s very big, so pair it with something that can stand up to that much.

Have you had this? What are you dipping in to to celebrate your 48 hours of freedom? 

Jon Michael and Kirstan’s Engagement

Before I say anything else, I feel I should tell you I am not engaged, but my friend is! His new fiancee and I share the same name, and he enlisted me to help him plan and execute the proposal he’d been dreaming of.  He probably picked me to help him because we have the same name. They’re a little shy, so I’m not including photos of them, but after the jump, check out some of the photos!

Pretty pretty, Jon Michael!
Pretty pretty, Jon Michael! Ring was custom-made for Kirstan by an Etsy artist.

Continue reading “Jon Michael and Kirstan’s Engagement”

Happy Hour: La Fiera

Again, with these kinda brutal weeks. Is Mercury in retrograde or something?

Joking. Not joking. Totally kidding. But really. What. Is. The. Deal. 

I feel I’ve earned a glass or three of the 2011 La Fiera Montepulciano D’Abruzzo. You have, too. 

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Bonus: You get to look at my Junior League cookbooks.

So, it’s my impression that Abruzzo, a region of Italy, is known for producing cheap wines. The quality has dramatically improved over the last ten years, but the prices remain the same, so “d’Abruzzo” is a good code word for “not at all bad for rock-bottom prices.” For $7.50, I walked out of my new favorite wineshop, Greenhaus, with a new lease on life. It does every last thing you want your table wine to do:

  1. It goes great with food.
  2. It is tasty.
  3. You are excited to drink it.
  4. If you hate it, it was only a couple bucks because it’s just Tuesday and it’s not like your boss is coming over for dinner or something.

Check, check, check, and check. This is a light-bodied, warm, fruity, big wine that doesn’t waste a lot of time with subtly. The sour cherries are right out there in front, and you know what? I like that. This isn’t the fanciest wine, but it’s the best thing ever for a weeknight dinner. 

And you can drink the whole bottle and be out less than the cost of a draft beer at some of the nicer places.

Michigan Style: Now the ONLY Style

When it comes to hand holding, there are two styles: original recipe (that would be with fingers interlocked) and Michigan style (with a sort of cupped hand). Michigan style hand holding, which is, in fact, entirely of my own invention, takes its name from the Great Lakes State’s shape. 

A few weeks ago, I came across these:

These are very cute. Courtesy of katespade.com. 

They are also very $85 dollars, which I thought was kind of absurd. So I made them myself, and now I’m wearing these suckers everywhere. It took me approximately one episode of This American Life to complete, taking in to consideration the wine I drank AND the time I accidentally sewed one of the quotation marks like a comma. After the jump, there’s a tutorial, so stay tuned.

Continue reading “Michigan Style: Now the ONLY Style”

Happy Hour: La Cuvee Blanc by Georges Deboeuf

This week really kicked me hard in the shins. You too? No? Just me? Okay, I’ll drink the drinks by myself.

Each week from here until eternity, I’ll pick a wine, beer, or bourbon that’s both affordable and fun and tell you about it. This week, it’s the simply named La Cuvee Blanc by Georges Deboeuf. Don’t let the fancy French name scare you off– a magnum of this stuff goes for $12 at The Wine Market (seriously, that is its name).

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I just wandered on in there and was like, “I’m taking this to my friend‘s place tonight and she likes sweet wine and I really don’t and there’s this other lady but I don’t know her, so ummm…” and the winetender just walked right over to this bottle and was all, “GIRL THIS. You want a taste or what?” I think we all know what happened next.

Anyway, Georges Deboeuf is, I think, more or less the Yellow Tail of France, and you know what? I am good with that because this stuff is tasty. It’s got a nice citrusy nose, a leeeetle bit of anise (which can be divisive, yes, but just go with me on this), and some minerality (which is a dorky wine way of saying “tastes like not fruit or flowers but in a nice way”) to round everything out. 

I’m planning on making this tried-and-true chicken-with-sauce, then showing up to their house and yelling, “THE PARTY IS HERE.” Finally, as a special treat, I will gobble all of both. This sounds like a perfect Friday to me. Anyone else want to come?