AmByth Estate Sauvignon Blanc

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Disclaimer: I started writing this post before Hurricane Maria devestated Puerto Rico, so I hope my going on about the beauty of this island doesn't seem tone deaf. I hope you will consider donating to an organization that is providing relief to our fellow American citizens such as UNICEF.

First impression of this wine: it is orange AF. I have had several orange wines and have loved them all, but they are usually more of a gold/coppery hue than truly orange. The AmByth Sauvignon Blanc is a straight up sunset in a glass. AmByth Estate uses only organically grown grapes which are then crushed by foot. This skin-contact Sauvignon Blanc ages with its skins for 9 months until it achieves the perfect apple cider hue.

On the nose, this is pure passionfruit. I wouldn’t know this except I have been doing this experiment where I buy the strangest fruit I can find at the grocery store and try it as a means to entertain myself as well as expand my palate. While passionfruit isn’t strange, it is pretty uncommon in Kansas. I think I first tried fresh passionfruit when I was in Puerto Rico a year ago. We took a catamaran out to the island of Culebra off the coast of PR and it was absolutely beautiful. It was also all you could drink and they were serving rum with passionfruit juice. It was delicious. The smell of this wine takes me right back to the beaches of Culebra.

On the palate it tastes funky like apple cider vinegar, lime blossom and, you guessed it, passionfruit. It smells and tastes just like Passionfruit by Drake, perfect, right? Well, maybe not if you’re not a Drake fan but then why are you even here? It’s so damn smooth and you just want to listen to it on repeat while you sit on a Caribbean beach somewhere drinking the AmByth Estate Sauvignon Blanc. “Passionate from miles away, passive with the things you say.” Mmmmmmm.

I also dig that this wine is unfiltered and super cloudy. I tend to prefer unfiltered, unfined wines. They tend to have more funk and be less predictable, varying bottle to bottle. Sometimes that means you end up with something less than optimal, but I’ve been lucky and have loved all of the unfiltered wines I’ve tried. While I noted that this wine would be perfect for a Caribbean beach, it is also kind of perfect for fall in Kansas City. It’s still hot here so a chilled wine is not a bad thing, but the leaves are changing and don’t look unlike this Sauvignon Blanc. The apple cider vinegar quality to it feels pretty autumnal.

Jordi Miró Ennak+

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Hello again and Shana Tovah for those celebrating! I am glad to be back after a little time off and I have the most perfect wine to review. I’ve been calling it the “cat wine” for obvious reasons, but its real name is Ennak+ by Jordi Miró. The Ennak+ is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Tempranillo, Merlot and Syrah. This wine was made using organic grapes that were hand picked, so I think it’s fair to say that it’s pretty natty. I’m pairing this with Moonrise Kingdom. Moonrise Kingdom is probably the Wes Anderson film with which I am the least familiar. However, I felt like I should rewatch it as I prepare for my Wes Anderson themed birthday party in a month. Also, there is a super cute cat in it.

The Ennak+ smells like fresh herbs and concrete after the rain. It is sort of the perfect wine for the changing of the seasons, it is the last day of summer after all and the leaves are starting to turn various hues of yellow and orange but it is still warm enough to wear a summer dress. On the palate, it tastes like black pepper, plum and fig. This movie is also kind of the best last hurrah for the summer. It takes place on an island which I’m guessing is off the New England coast and centers on two runaways, one from her idyllic seaside home and one from his summer camp. It makes me super nostalgic for summer camp in the 1960’s even though I wasn’t alive then and the only camp I ever went to was a bible camp with friends where we freaked our counselor out with our liberal views.

But this film does make me nostalgic and maybe it is just for around the time I saw it. I remember I saw this in theaters with my mom, brother and now husband in the summer of 2012. It was an amazing and horrific year-- I was married and shortly after, my brother died. I’m not sure how I convinced him to see this with me as he wasn’t usually one for Wes Anderson movies, but we went and it was great. I remember that my husband got the DVD for my birthday in 2013, but I didn’t watch it until now. It’s weird when you lose someone and places and things get tied up with memories of them. Five years later, I am really starting to heal from my brother’s death and can once again face things that remind me of him.  

I didn’t really expect this movie to bring up these memories for me, but maybe it is also the changing of the seasons or the reflective period between the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur that have me thinking. Whatever it is, I’m always thankful to be reminded of my brother and the time I spent with him. He wasn’t much of a wine drinker but I wish we could rewatch Moonrise Kingdom together and share this Ennak+. He also loved cats so I think he would approve.

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Bloomer Creek Tanzen Dame

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I originally saw this bottle on the manager of the Union Hill Underdog’s instagram. I asked if it was for sale and he said yes but he had one bottle. I promised him I could come in that afternoon if he would save it for me. I got my hands on it and I was so excited. Bloomer Creek is a winery in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York (where my husband’s family happens to be from). I toured some Finger Lakes wineries back in 2013 and drank my fair share of dry Riesling but knew little about wine. We have been back since to visit my husband, Matt’s family, but haven’t had time to tour wineries. It is my dream to go back to Upstate New York and visit Bloomer Creek. They are a natural winery that producing amazing unfiltered wines, such as the Tanzen Dame Pét-Nat.

I saved this wine for about a month before diving into it with my friend, Meg. I wanted to open it because I think you should open special bottles of wine and not just leave them to sit for forever. So I had my friend Meg over to watch a true crime movie and drink this funky white. It was a little volatile upon opening as many Pét-Nats are, but once the bubbles settled, we poured it and took a sniff. It smelled of apple cider vinegar and lime blossoms. On the palate it was straight up limestone and lemonade. I’m not even sure what limestone tastes like, but I would imagine that it is chalky. I went to the University of Kansas where our slogan is “Rock Chalk” after the chalky limestone found in our state.

This wine made me oddly nostalgic for college although it is from Upstate New York. However, we visited Ithaca, home of Cornell University in 2013, and it felt so familiar. It was liberal and had lots of eclectic shops downtown and I felt like I could have been in Lawrence, Kansas. College towns just do something to me. We were recently in my husband’s college town of Norman, Oklahoma and it made me want to go back to Lawrence so badly. It has been five years since I graduated from college and yet it feels like no time has passed at all.

A good wine can take you back or forward in time, sometimes to a place you’ve never been. But the best place you can be transported is to the place of nostalgia and the Tanzen Dame does that for me. It simultaneously takes me to Lawrence and Ithaca. You might not think that Kansas and New York would have that much in common, but I’d invite you to visit those two towns. You should also drink the Tanzen Dame if you do.

Battle of the Cans: Foxie and Fiction

Foxie

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Foxie is the amazing collaboration from two of my favorite winemakers, Andrew Jones of Field Recordings and Josh Rosenstein of Hoxie Spritzer. This particular spritzer is made with Chardonnay, citra hops and sour cherry essence. The Chardonnay is full bodied but the hops and sour cherries brighten it up and make it feel energetic. It is fruity without being sweet, like a La Croix. Spritzers are perfect for when you want to keep your wits about you since they are lower in alcohol than straight wine. I had a friend over last night and between him, my husband and I we had like 4 bottles of wine so I am not in the mood to get crazy tonight and a spritzer is perfect. In fact, I’m pairing this with Broad City, which I have been watching in my sweats all day-- it’s a great combination. This can reminds me of the pool. It is the best shade of light blue and would be so perfect to sip poolside. I am a professional pool-drinker and one mistake I notice novices often making is choosing a beverage with a high ABV. You don’t want anything with too much alcohol because the sun and heat can deplete your energy real fast and leave you wasted by 3:00 p.m. This is why spritzers are the perfect pool drink. I either make my own or bring Hoxie with me, but now I am dying to take this Foxie to the pool before pool season officially ends.

Fiction Red

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If you read my blog religiously, well, then you’re probably my mom (hi, Mom!) But seriously, if you read my blog regularly you might be like, “Sarah, wtf? You reviewed Fiction Red a few months ago and P.S. you talk about it all the damn time!” All true. But guess what, I’ve never had Fiction Red in a can! Cans totally change the way a wine tastes so I thought it was fair to give Fiction Red in a can its own review. Here’s the story I tell again and again about Fiction Red (sorry if you’ve heard it one million times already) it was my introduction to good wine about three years ago. I have since fallen in love with everything under the Field Recordings umbrella but I still keep coming back to this solid red blend. Speaking of blends, it is a crazy blend of a bunch of stuff including Zinfandel, Mourvedre, Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo and Viognier. I like chilling this wine because as I’ve mentioned, I’m not a huge fan of non-chilled wine in cans and I’m also a fan of chilled reds. This wine is bold and tastes of boysenberry jam on biscuits hot out of the oven. There is also a hint of tobacco on the palate. I hung out with a lot of poets in college and one was super into smoking tobacco from a pipe. This tastes the way that smelled (minus the pretentious tude).

Rosa, Rosé, Rosam & the 2017 Eclipse

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There was an eclipse on Monday, did ya know? Of course you did because people wouldn’t shut the fuck up about it! I wasn’t originally that excited, but then I realized that I would have the chance to put together a charcuterie plate and pop some good wine and I changed my tune. My husband and I were out of town up until the day before the eclipse so I didn’t have time to go to the wine shop and purchase a bottle. Luckily I had the Rosa, Rosé, Rosam by La Grange Tiphaine on hand. I thought to myself “I was saving this for a special occasion” and then I realized that a total solar eclipse was like kind of special so I decided to bring it with us.

The area just north of Kansas City was in the path of totality for the eclipse meaning that the moon would completely block the sun and we would experience a few minutes of total darkness. We decided to head up to a state park in Kearney, MO. I know nothing about Kearney except that when I was 18 I briefly dated a guy from there. He was nice and I think I stole his Band of Horses CD. Oops. The traffic wasn’t too too awful and cheese and wine were a good motivation to keep on keepin on. When we made it to the park, we found a big grassy field to set up in. We had three types of cheese, two were from our favorite local cheese producer, Green Dirt Farm. We also had assorted smoked meats and a ton of crackers. As I opened the Rosa this dude walked up and said “wow, y’all know how to picnic”. I took great pride in this compliment since there are few things in life I take more seriously than good wine and charcuterie.

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The Rosa, Rosé, Rosam is technically a Pét-Nat which I was super excited about because a. that is probably my favorite style of wine and b. I had never had a rosé Pét-Nat before. The Rosa smells like bright red berries, more specifically like fresh strawberries and raspberries. On the palate it is all cranberries and hay and a little barnyard-y. It’s delicious and funky and like all of the best qualities of rosé and Pét-Nat combined. This particular rosé is a blend of Grolleau, Côt, Gamay and Cabernet Franc. It is a fuller bodied rosé which I’m not always the biggest fan of, but with the effervescence, it really works. My husband is more of a beer drinker and he turned to me and said “I think this is the best wine I’ve ever had. I REALLY like this.” It is definitely one of my favorites as well.

I was originally going to bring a full-bodied red wine and that would have been a huge mistake because it was muggy AF out. The Rosa was so refreshing and perfect with the charcuterie plate. Both were a great accompaniment to the eclipse. It was super strange watching it progressively getting darker until it eventually looked like sunset. Then we reached totality and could look at the eclipse without our glasses. It was seriously one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. As the moon kept moving and the sun started shining again, a rooster started crowing. It was so bizarre to hear at just after 1:00 p.m. Eventually it was full sun again and we packed up and headed back to the car. I hadn’t mentioned this but it had been storming all morning until just about 20 minutes before the eclipse and it started up again just after. I felt ridiculously lucky that we were able to experience a cloud-free totality.

The traffic sucked on the way back and the clouds rolled back in. I desperately wished we had more Rosa and charcuterie. My friend texted me “I miss the eclipse” and I totally knew how he felt. It was so cool and so short and impossible to capture with my camera. It almost made it cooler that I couldn’t get a good picture, I’ll just have to remember what I experienced. Apparently there is going to be another solar eclipse in 2024 and both Dallas and upstate New York are in the path of totality (we have family in both). In my fantasy, I will be watching the next eclipse from the Bloomer Creek vineyard in the Finger Lakes, drinking one of their Pét-Nats. Oh, and in this fantasy, Trump will have been impeached by 2018 and Elizabeth Warren will be on her second term in the White House.

Just before totality 

Just before totality 

Dallas

Hello! I am fresh off the plane from a quick trip to Dallas. We were in town so my husband could take a work meeting but we decided to turn his work trip into a mini vacation since his dad, stepmom and brother live there. I saw a lot of the city that I haven’t seen before (and I’ve visited quite a bit in my seven years with Matt). For instance, we went to Fort Worth to visit the Modern Art Museum. It was fantastic and I had no idea it was there! I got my Rothko fix which should hold me over until October when we go to Chicago. We also visited one of the best wine shops I have ever been to! Whenever I go to a new city, I research wine shops and wine bars to see if there is anything particularly interesting that I should check out. In the case of Dallas, a shop called Bar and Garden looked too good to pass up.

Bar and Garden specializes in natural and organic wine and their selection is absolutely incredible. I saw bottles from wineries that I have only seen on Instagram such as Dirty & Rowdy, Brea, Brendan Tracey and a ton more along with a bunch of my favorites. The staff was also so friendly and helpful. I had a 10 minute conversation with one worker about how much I love natural wine and I was in heaven being in a store that was full of it. The GM of the shop actually knew my husband’s family because her son went to school with Matt’s brother. She was fabulous and we nerded out over natural wine while my fam stood patiently silent. I can’t recommend Bar and Garden highly enough if you are in Dallas. They also have a shop in L.A. so if that’s your hood, check them out!

Here are the two wines I picked up:

Brea Cabernet Sauvignon

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Brea is the collaboration between Chris Brockway of Broc Cellars and Tim Elenteny of TE Imports. They practice natural winemaking at its finest by using organic fruit from the Central Coast and spontaneous fermentation. They produce a limited number of varietals, including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. I picked up the Cabernet Sauvignon and was thrilled because I had heard about Brea for a few years but had never seen their wines. Soon after getting home from the wine shop, I opened the bottle to share with my husband and father in law. The two of them are huge craft beer lovers and not particularly into wine. Still, I wanted to hear their thoughts on the Brea. We all agreed that we noted stone fruit and bing cherries on the nose and as we tasted it, big dark fruits popped on the tongue-- plums and black currant. My father in law said “it pops, it just pops!” and I couldn’t agree more. It has a bright acidity and isn’t too tannic. It isn’t the heavy, syrupy Cab that you’ve had at every open bar you’ve ever been to. No, this Cabernet is light enough that it could be paired with a fish dish or a pasta tossed with vegetables and balsamic. I absolutely loved this wine and hope I can find a way to get my hands on more.

La Clarine Farm Jambalaia Rouge

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I was thrilled to find La Clarine Farm at Bar and Garden. The owner of the wine shop I frequent in Kansas City put in a special order so I could try La Clarine Farm. I haven’t opened that bottle yet so this was my first time trying LCF. I chose the Jambalaia Rouge, which is a great blend of Mourvedre, Marsanne, Granache and Syrah. La Clarine Farm is an incredible winery based in California’s Sierra Nevada foothills and uses the most natural winemaking techniques including no additives and spontaneous fermentation. I paired the Jambalaia with grilled chicken marinated in lime juice. It was absolutely delicious. The best way I can describe the smell of this wine is that it smells exactly like that raspberry Haribo candy that I used to eat as a kid. Do you remember those? They don’t really taste anything like raspberries but they are sugary and delightful. On the palate it tastes just like double apple hookah, which is kind of like a mixture of apple and anise. It seriously took me back to being 18 when I thought that hookah was the shit and I was living on the edge because I was smoking tobacco. The Jambalaia is tart with bright acidity. I served it chilled and I recommend that, especially if you are in 100+ degree weather like I was.

It was a wonderful trip and I am so glad I got to spend time with Matt and his family. If you are in Dallas, definitely check out Bar and Garden. I can’t wait to go back in November and try some more wine.

Major Wines Pinot Noir

Today I asked Facebook if anyone felt like they were on the verge of a nervous breakdown re: the current events (Charlottesville, VA). It got a lot of likes, so I figured people felt my existential trepidation. However, I scared some family members including my father who called to ask if I was okay. I said that frankly, I wasn’t really. I said that as a Jewish woman, I was afraid and angry and I felt like the majority of the country was feeling the same. If you are living under a rock, a Neo-Nazi protest occurred in Charlottesville, VA over the weekend resulting in the death of three individuals and the injury of many. When the president acknowledged the protest, he blamed “both sides” and made no mention of the white supremacists who indicted the rally and claimed lives. When he eventually denounced white supremacy 48 hours later, it felt like very much too little too late. Hell, the man has appointed known white supremacists to powerful positions in the White House.

Sometimes you have to take a step back from the world or you’ll go nuts. That’s exactly what I’m doing tonight. I’m making some of my favorite comfort food, tagliatelle with Italian meatballs, and drinking a GREAT wine. I was so excited to get my hands on the Major Wines Pinot Noir. I feel like I know the winemaker, Andrew Major, because he is originally from the Kansas City area and he is super active and nice on social media. The 2014 vintage ran out quickly last year, so when I heard the 2015 was being released, I was on the lookout. Luckily I spotted it at Underdog over the weekend (one of two bottles left on the shelf) and snatched it up. This wine looks like straight up cranberry juice but smells like burning leaves in the autumn. On the palate it is mushroom risotto and nutty, underripe raspberries. I know the last two don’t necessarily sound like the best combination, but it is great.

Major Wines produces small batches of amazing wine. For example, they only produced 125 cases of the current vintage. Isn’t that insane to imagine? Mainstream wineries produce tens of thousands of cases per year, maybe more, I don’t really know because I don’t like them. It makes me feel very lucky to be able to have this wine. I originally wanted to save this for a special occasion, but as I wrote a few posts back, I think there is something to actually opening the wines you are saving. Sure it’s fun to have a great bottle on hand when you want to toast a special occasion, but sometimes it’s Tuesday night and you feel like the fact that you got out of bed and made it through the workday is worthy of applause, especially considering the state of the world.

I have some family members who support Trump and probably think I am the snowiest of snowflakes. I would love to sit down with them and have them explain their views to me and then let me explain mine. I know they would never go for this. Half of my family is very WASP-y and there are certain topics you just don’t talk about. However, it is my staunch belief that if you remain silent in the face of injustice you are complicit. Once in a Western Civ. class, the professor asked what we thought we would do during the Holocaust, had we the opportunity to act. Someone said that there was no way to know and I countered with “what are you doing now to stop injustice? That is probably what you would have done then.” Look, I’m not a perfect example-- I haven’t spoken out to most of my family who support Trump. However, I support social justice initiatives that are important to me and I feel like that is a start.

Shout out to my friend Blake who messaged me thanking me for posting about having a breakdown. He said he felt like maybe he was the only one feeling that way. It was encouraging to hear from someone I admire so much who felt similarly to how I was feeling. There are so many of us that are in this fight together and we just need to find each other and roll up our sleeves. I also recommend listening to Radiohead’s album Hail to the Thief. It helped me a lot after the election and I’ve been turning to it the last few days when life feels so fucked up beyond repair. I hope you fight the good fight and then take care of yourself with some good food and good wine.

Isa Rosé

Disclaimer: I actually wrote this a few months ago when all I was drinking was rosé but didn't want to overwhelm the blog with rosé posts. However, last night I dominated a round of trivia called Rosé All Day, so I thought I would post this in honor of that. Enjoy!

Here is one of the many things I love about rosé-- it is easy to find great stuff that won’t break the bank. Take the Isa Rosé from Chemins de Bassac, imported by Jenny & Francois, for example. This organic and biodynamic wine was less than $15 at my local liquor store that specializes in wine. Sometimes natural wines can be intimidating either because of the price point or the unpredictability of them, but once you find a great importer, you’re golden. I trust anything brought to me by Jenny & Francois and am always impressed by the price point.

Chemins de Bassac is owned by winemakers, Isabelle and Rémy Ducellier. It is located near the city of Béziers which is in southeastern France, near the Mediterranean Sea. The Ducellier family has owned the 19th century vineyard since the mid-nineties and offer a red, white and Pinot Noir in addition to their rosé. This rosé is made up of Grenache Noir, Mourvèdre and Syrah (basically a rosé version of GSM).

It is a lovely shade of icy pink, like that frosted lipstick that was popular in the early aughts and I mean this in a nice, nostalgic way, not disparagingly. No way would I be caught dead wearing that shade now, but I may have donned it in my seventh grade school picture WHICH I WILL NOT SHOW YOU. Anyhow, it’s a lovely shade of light pink that I could have compared to way more topical things like the NARS eyeshadow in Goddess, which I am coveting hardcore. There, that’s better than frosted lipstick.

Let’s move on from makeup comparisons. This rosé smells like raspberries, red plum and parsley. It is super subtle on the palate and almost has notes of green apples and green peppers like a white might. There is also a briny/sweatiness to it that could be influenced by being grown so close to the sea. It is light but dense, with so much depth to it. It could hold its own with a heavier dish like pasta or steak easily, but you could also pair it with something lighter like fish or chicken. I’d recommend using some fresh herbs in whatever you’re making.

I’m enjoying this tonight on my porch contemplating World Refugee Day and reading Nayyirah Waheed. I really can’t believe the political mess that is our government right now. If you want to know more of my thoughts on this topic, read this post. I’m trying to move forward. The best thing to do is to support local organizations that do good political work. My favorite in Kansas City is Jewish Vocational Service (JVS). They serve our refugee population and people with disabilities, oh and I should note that they aren’t religious. Weren’t we all immigrants at one time? I think we should care for one another, that should just be a basic tenant we live by. If that’s not your philosophy then I hope you stop reading my blog cause we are all about helping people out around here. And helping people find good wine.  

Field Recordings Koligian Vineyard

This past Friday was my fifth wedding anniversary. My husband and I took a short trip to Oklahoma City because there was an amazing art exhibition I had to see-- Kehinde Wiley’s A New Republic. It was fan-freaking-tastic that we spent the entire trip just stopping each other to say, “God, that exhibition was incredible”. We also stayed in the amazing 21c Hotel. These establishments are part boutique hotel, part contemporary art museum. They mostly had pieces by artists I wasn’t aware of but had two Lalla Essaydi pieces-- she is this incredible Moroccan artist who juxtaposes traditional arab culture with feminism.

We are now back home with our cats, which is very nice, but I kind of wanted to continue the celebration. I had a bottle of wine that I had been saving for a special occasion. It is the Field Recordings Koligian Vineyard blend. If you’ve read my blog, you know what a Field Recordings fangirl I am. They turned me onto good wine a few years back and ever since, I have been eternally grateful. As I mentioned, when a wine is above $25, I will let you know. While I got this at a wine sale for about $25, it usually retails for around $34. In my opinion, it is well worth the cost. It is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannat, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. It is unfined and lightly filtered, which I love.

On the nose, it is straight up anise, bing cherries and new leather boots. Do you know what I’m talking about? Before my L.A. trip last spring, I bought these oxblood leather boots and they had the best smell. Nothing beats that, sorry vegans. It is so delightful on the palate and not overly tannic or acidic. It tastes of boozy cherries, you know, like a cherry that has been sitting in your old fashioned for a bit and absorbed a ton of bourbon.

Kehinde Wiley is one of my favorite artists. His style is so fascinating, imitating the style of Renaissance portraits, but replacing traditional subjects with contemporary African American men and women. His pieces consider race, gender and politics. I found a particular set of paintings interesting as they considered Ethiopian Jews and the Palestinian experience in Israel. I also very much enjoyed his pieces that featured women. The majority of his works feature men, and I enjoy those, but I really liked seeing the portrayals of women in his paintings and sculpture.

If you have a chance to see Kehinde Wiley, take it! One of his pieces is at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art if you are in the Kansas City area and it is fantastic. Also, open up special bottles of wine! Sometimes I buy a bottle and tell myself I’m saving it for a special occasion and then the occasion comes and I don’t open the bottle. It’s silly really, to save something just for the purpose of saving it. There will never be a perfect time to open that bottle of wine you’ve been saving or taking that transatlantic trip. Just go for it and enjoy. So that is what I’m doing tonight and I am absolutely enjoying this wine.

Anthill Farms Dolcetto

Have you ever been in a situation in life where you honestly don’t know how or why you ended up there? That was my whole day today. It started with a meeting with a perfectly nice guy who has a strange past who I guess just wanted to meet with me to ask a favor of me. I can’t really say too much because there are legal concerns. Weird, I know. What followed was a series of strange phone calls and emails (all unconnected) and by 4:00 I was like “I NEED TO LEAVE. THIS DAY IS TOO WEIRD.” So I did. Actually, I tripped and fell down the stairs on my way out; the perfect bookend to a strange-ass day.

When I left, I decided to hit up my favorite wine shop since I didn’t really need to be home for a bit. I asked what was new and the owner showed me the Dolcetto by Anthill Farms Winery. He raved about the wine and explained that it is currently only being sold at that wine shop and on the winery’s website. I am a sucker for exclusivity as well as an attractively minimalist label (which this has) so I decided I had to have it. At around $25 it wasn’t too big a hit to the wallet.

I know little about Dolcetto but through Googling for a bit, I’ve learned it is usually grown in Piedmont in northwest Italy and can be acidic with low levels of tannins. It smells of brambly blackberry bushes and violets. The acidity is apparent on the palate but in such a pleasant way if, like me, you like acidic things (If not, wine might not be your fav). It’s all raspberries on the palate with a hint of plums. All the berries make me think of Maine in the summer. I’ve only been once and I was 13, but it was a super memorable trip for me. It was actually the first time I saw the ocean (I’m from Kansas, dude). I’d go on to visit the ocean nearly yearly after that trip. We ate a ton of berries while we were there-- berry turnovers, pancakes with berry jam, chicken marinated in some sort of berry sauce. It was all delicious.

I wasn’t aware of Anthill Farms before today and I wish I had been because they are awesome. They are a small, family-owned winery that produces a very limited quantity of wines to maintain quality. I was watching a really asinine reality show on which two women were fighting and started comparing how many cases of their respective wines they sold in the first year. One said, “I SOLD 10,000 CASES IN MY FIRST YEAR. I INVENTED PINOT GRIGIO.” Or something along those lines. I just laughed. Did they really think the goal was to sell enough wine so that it’s available at the drugstore? I don’t know, maybe so. But I really enjoy getting my hands on something that is harder to come by.

This wine is perfect in my book and maybe part of it is just knowing that there is not an endless supply of it. You always want what you can’t have and I’ll probably only be able to buy a few more bottles before my wine shop runs out. That kind of makes it sweeter though, the impermanence of it all. And luckily, after I am out of this, there will be something else interesting and new to discover. Okay, sorry to wax poetic about the ephemeral nature of life, but it’s been a weird day and I’m just in a weird place! All right, well I’m going to go continue to drink this wine while I listen to Drake and contemplate the universe or whatever.

P.S.: A special shout out to my internet friend, Stephanie Butnick, who you can catch weekly in one of my favorite podcasts, Unorthodox. She sent me some swag and is just an all around cool human. Sometimes I really love the internet!

Wonderwall Pinot Noir

Okay okay, I bought this wine because of the label. But how could I not, it is Salvador Dali with his ocelot? I actually bought this for the first time for my birthday last year. My birthday tends to fall around the Jewish High Holidays, which is slightly annoying, but last year it fell smack dab on Yom Kippur. If you don’t know much about Jewish holidays, it’s cool, but Yom Kippur is one of the most important on the Jewish calendar. That said, it is a day in which we are supposed to atone for all of our sins from the past year (no small feat) and we show our contrition through abstaining from basically all the good things in life including food. So yes, I didn’t eat until sundown on my 28th birthday but I made up for it by diving head first into a pile of Kansas City’s best bagels and this wine.

Having this wine nearly a year later, it is as good as I remember. It smells like cranberries, dried leaves and Turkish figs. On the palate, it tastes like pomegranate and vanilla bean. This reminds me of the perfect fall day, when the temp. Is around 50 degrees, the leaves are various hues of orange and brown and you are playing Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day” on loop. Fall is my favorite season and I’m not sure if it is because I associate it with my birthday or because it’s simply beautiful, but either way I love it. I have friends that live in places where seasons are basically nonexistent and while that sounds preferable to 103 degree days in the summer and -5 degree days in the winter, I think I would profoundly miss the seasons. Especially spring and fall.

I know that my birthday is at least part of why I love fall. I LOVE MY BIRTHDAY. I love anyone’s birthday honestly. I know I’m 28 and should probably get over it. It really weirded my husband out how much I love birthdays when we first started dating. He now knows what a big deal it is to me and begrudgingly obliges me. This year we are taking a trip to Chicago for my birthday but I’m having a party the week later. It is actually going to be a costume party (since my birthday is in October). I have been planning my costume since May and am happy to report that most of it is vintage and while I’d love to keep it a surprise, I just can’t. I’m going as Margot Tenenbaum and encouraging people to go as Wes Anderson characters. I found the perfect faux fur coat, polo dress and pink gloves. Now, if only I could find a wooden finger...

In reality it is only early August and we are a ways away from 50 degree days and multicolored leaves. It’s fine though, I enjoy what all of the seasons have to offer even if it is blistering heat and humidity. At least I can drink canned wine at the pool. However, I am going to spend the rest of my day in the air conditioning, listening to Lou Reed and drinking Wonderwall. Maybe I’ll even sneak some sangria in the park, who knows?

Battle of the Cans

I’ll keep it brief, but here is what I’ll tell you upfront; These wines are both from Alloy Wineworks, which is under the Field Recordings (my favorite) umbrella. They are from the Central Coast of California and they are great. That’s kind of all you need to know.

Alloy Wine Works Weissland

It is so hot in Kansas City right now that I just want to jump into an ice bath and pour La Croix down my throat. Instead, I’ve been stuck running around the city in my car, having to get out so often that the AC never seems to have a chance to really cool down. Today, the management team from my office took a team building excursion to an escape room. Two things I’m not really into are team building and puzzles. It was fine though but no, my team did not escape in time. Afterwards, we went to one of my favorite bars, Tom’s Town, for a quick drink. When we finished, my coworker and I decided to walk back to where our cars were parked, about a mile away.

I was dripping with sweat by the time I reached my car and I couldn’t wait to get home and open the Alloy Wine Works Weissland that I bought last night. This weather just calls for canned wine, preferably a sparking canned wine. The Weissland is a sparkling Chardonnay made with hops. I’m not a big beer drinker so I was dubious about whether I would like the wine or not. Luckily, it tastes like a sour beer, which I happen to love. It is bright on the palate, tasting like sour cherry pie. It is pretty perfect for the weather as it is super refreshing.

I’m really bummed that it is so hot because I would love to be porch-sitting with this wine reading my light, feel-good summertime book, Missoula. Have you read it? If so, you’ll know that i’m joking as it is about as heavy as it can get, focusing on rape on college campuses and the justice system. It’s really great though and a topic that desperately needs attention. But no, I’m on my couch, energy zapped, watching Breaking Bad. Luckily I have this refreshing wine by my side.

Methodé Aluminum Pinot Noir

All right, it is the next day and I honestly think it may be hotter outside today than it was yesterday. Why can’t we stay home when it is crazy hot like we stay home on snow days? I got an email today that our ceiling is collapsing from the heat at my office and immediately went home. Anyhow, I tried the Methodé Aluminum sparkling Chardonnay a few months ago and was truly impressed. This is saying a lot because it was in the height of my Chardonnay nay-saying days. I was super excited to give the Pinot Noir a try because this is a varietal that I’ve virtually always loved. I popped this in the fridge because a. It’s hot af (see above) and b. I like my light-bodied reds a little chilly.

I just opened this and exclaimed to myself, “Oh my God, I can’t believe this is sparkling! I didn’t expect that and I am so excited!” Had I read the entire label instead of just tearing into this like a disgusting sweat monster, I would have seen that this was sparkling. This is so fucking refreshing and I know that a lot of people don’t think of red wines in that way. All I have to say to that is, GO LIGHT-BODIED, HONEY. Get on that Gamay or Pinot Noir train and never look back (until fall).

This tastes like straight up raspberry juice. Why isn’t that a thing? I’ve seen cran-ras, of course, but never just raspberry. That sounds so delightful. This has the nuttiness of fresh raspberries, like sliced almonds in a spinach salad. I have finally cooled down to the point that my toes are cold and honestly, it feels so good. I never want to put socks (or pants) on again, or at least not until October. I’ve never had a sparkling red in a can and it is so perfect. There is something a little odd about opening a can of still wine…  Don’t get me wrong, I still love non-sparkling wine from cans but I don’t know, we are just conditioned to expect bubbles from a can. Therefore, this is absolutely great. It would be perfect by a pool or on a beach somewhere. Mmmm.

Okay, I know "Battle of the Cans" insinuated a competition. But this is the best kind of competition where everyone is a winner! C'mon, you know I'm a millenial and am all about participation trophies. But seriously, I will only ever feature wines that I believe in on this blog. 

Orange Wine, Orange Nails

I did two very important things today after work: I got a manicure and I bought wine. The two activities had one thing in common, ORANGE. I picked this reddish orange color for my nails that turned out to be called “A Good Man-Darin is Hard to Find” which I can only hope is a play on the Flannery O’Connor short story, “A Good Man is Hard to Find”, one of my favorites since high school. The wine I picked up was the Pinot Grigio Ramato, an orange wine, from Antonutti Vini, a winery based in the Grave del Friuli region of Italy. Grave del Friuli is described by Antonutti Vini as being far less glamorous than many of the better known wine growing regions in Italy. But hell, this Kansas native did a quick Google image search and the region looks pretty bomb to me, being situated between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea. It is a region that has been producing orange wines for hundreds of years.

I happened upon this wine because I was complaining to the owner of Underdog about how it’s so hard to find orange wines in Kansas City. He was like “Oh, well I have one, it’s just not on the shelf.” I said, “Ooh, gimme.” Truth be told, if I had seen this on the shelf, I probably wouldn’t have known it was an orange wine since it’s in a dark bottle. That’s why you should always ask for help if you’re looking for something specific, especially in a wine shop-- they know their shit, at least they should. I’ve had my share of bad experiences in a particular wine shop, but I just don’t go to that one anymore.

Skin-contact (a.k.a. orange) wines are simply white wines made in the same style as reds-- the skins of the grapes aren’t removed immediately and the wines take on an orange-hue that can be anywhere on the spectrum of golden to deep orange. The Pinot Grigio Ramato is the color of golden wheat, which is possibly the most Kansan thing I’ve ever said. It is really lovely. The bouquet is super fragrant, smelling brightly of lemon zest and fresh ginger tea. On the palate, it is tart and dry, tasting like lemon grass with notes of canary melon on the finish. This definitely has a heavier body than your average Pinot Grigio, so if you are a white wine nay-sayer because you prefer a tannic red, give this a shot. Orange wines tend to be more tannic than their white counterparts.

Truth be told, I’m not a huge white wine drinker. That being said, I will drink a Pét-Nat or a funky unfiltered white any day, but you won’t catch me slinging back the Sauv Blanc or Pinot Grigio like most people tend to during the summer. Orange wine is great for people like me, who like the idea of white wine but long for the fuller body of a red. You know I love my light-bodied reds for the summer, but orange wine is a great addition to my collection. Unfortunately, it is pretty hard to find. However, we change that by creating demand. If enough people demand weird and funky shit, restaurants and wine shops are bound to oblige. And if we patronize those places that take chances on the weird shit, they’ll be able to keep up the good work.

So there you go, a primer on orange wine. Go forth and drink. Come to think of it, I think the Flannery O’Connor story I was remembering was “The Life You Save May Be Your Own”. Whatever, that’s too long a title for a nail polish anyway.

Revolver Chardonnay

I’m going to clue you all in on a serious life/wine hack: make friends with wine shop owners and distributors. They will hook you up and let you know where to find the good stuff. Case in point, I wrote last week about how I went to a wine tasting at a liquor store just steps from my office and ended up knowing the Somm leading the tasting from Instagram. Well, he clued me into another tasting he was leading even closer to my office and assured me they had great stuff. I was skeptical because they advertise a lot of mass-produced wines on their board outside (but I get it, those are the big sellers) and I was amazed to find so many of my favorite wines as well as great wines I had never heard of before.

One of the wines being featured at the tasting was the Altos Las Hormigas Revolver Chardonnay. This natural Chardonnay is unfined and unfiltered (and unoaked!) It is grown in Uco Valley of Argentina and there were just 637 bottles produced. I am a sucker for natural wines and at less than $20, I knew I had to pick this up. Also, “Revolver” may connote a gun for some, but for me? No no no; the Beatles album all the way. One of the best, in my opinion with some of my favorite album art in the world. So as soon as I got home, I popped open this bottle, turned on “I’m Only Sleeping” and sat down to chill for a bit before dinner.

This bouquet smells strongly of fresh anise and fennel. It is also lightly floral, with notes of honeysuckle. On the palate, it is bright, which is a descriptor a lot of people don’t associate with this varietal. I understand, I am a reformed Chardonnay nay-sayer, but let me assure you, there is nothing oaky or buttery about this wine. It tastes like fresh grapefruit juice and sitting on a sandy beach with nothing to do. It reminds me of this vacation I took to Gualala, California along the Northern Coast in 2007. I spent my days on the beach, which was chilly except for this little area surrounded by cliffs. I sat there and listened to Feist and wrote in a cheap floral journal I bought in Chinatown in San Francisco. I grew so much on that trip and had I been 21, I would have had so much good wine. That is probably a lie since I didn’t get into good wine until about 26. Oh well.

Tonight, I’m pairing this with some red curry tofu and vegetables. Don’t be too impressed, it’s takeout from Whole Foods. Whatever man, I have a full time job and a life so I don’t always make a homemade dinner. It’s chill though because a good wine can elevate any meal. I like pairing a bright white with a spicy dish, and maybe that’s like the most basic statement ever, but I don’t care. It’s fucking delicious, okay? My cat just joined me and I actually switched the album to Rubber Soul because it is my real favorite (sorry). K, buy this wine if you can find it. If not, I hope you lived vicariously through this post.

Cats and Dogs and La Criox

Last weekend was an adventure to say the least. My coworker found a stray dog roaming the area around our office and since he was without a collar, she took him to a local animal shelter to see if he had a microchip. He didn’t, so she brought him to the office of course. I immediately fell in love. I’m not the biggest dog person (maybe you can tell that from the title of my blog) but he was the sweetest, most chill dog I had ever met. I discussed it with my husband and we decided to take him home and see how he did with cats. I was prepared for my cats to absolutely freak out, what I was not prepared for was for him to freak out as well. He is terrified of cats and takes it out with aggressive behavior towards them. I couldn’t let him off the leash for the less than 24 hours we had him in the house. I also hardly slept in that 24 hours.

We decided we couldn’t keep the pup because the cats are our first priority, they have been with us for five+ years. Luckily someone else at work wants to take him and she is sans cats so I think he’ll be a happy dog. Tell you what though, if you want to get publicly shamed, say you're adopting a dog and then admit that it wasn't the right decision and you're not going through with it. You wouldn’t believe the amount of people who threw me shade for not keeping the dog. I understand that it takes time for animals to adjust to one another, but I draw the line at aggressive behavior. Also, me calling the behavior "aggressive" is not a diss to the dog, it's an acknowledgement that he's lived a hard life and needs someone with the expertise to train him. People are judgmental as fuck. 

Therefore, I was desperately in need of some good wine. I was too lazy to drive the extra five minutes to my wine shop so I stopped at the liquor store that is on my way home and has a pretty decent wine selection. Welp, their credit card machine was down so I went with plan c, the liquor store by my house that sucks. Here’s the good thing, Underwood wine can be found at most liquor stores and it’s great. I picked up a can of the Pinot Gris because I was in a can sort of mood. Like I’ve said before, it’s hard to smell wine out of cans unless that bouquet is super fragrant. But if you sniff hard enough, you can smell notes of lemongrass. On the palate it tastes like slate and lime blossoms-- super mineral and tart.

This is one of my go-to pool wines. And why wouldn’t it be? It’s cool, crisp and as refreshing as a wine can be. It is so hot outside and I really wish I was at the pool right now but I’ll settle for being inside my air conditioned house listening to Rihanna and flipping off all of the shit talkers in my head. What is it with people giving unsolicited advice? I am just preparing myself because I can only imagine how much worse it gets when you have kids. Whatever man, you can’t make everyone happy. At the end of the day I made the decision that was best for me and guess what, there are people lining up to adopt this pup! People who are way more suited to train a dog than I am. I'm sorry that this was more of a venting sesh than a wine post but I really needed to let off some steam and I don't have therapy until Wednesday. Anyway, I think I’ll stick to what I know-- cats and wine (and La Croix).

Donkey & Goat Gadabout White Blend

One thing I love about Instagram is that I’ve made all of these internet friends. I’ve never met most of them IRL and I don’t even know many of their names, but I feel as though I know them because I’ve seen their lives play out on my phone screen. This has become especially true of the wine community in Kansas City. I’ve started interacting with so many wine lovers and wine professionals in the city, most of whom I’ve never met but constantly chat with on the Gram. One of my Insta-friends posted about a natural wine tasting at a local liquor store I had never been to but was within walking distance of my office. I decided I had to go.

When I showed up, I was glad I did because I saw a host of wines, some of which I had had before and loved (Dufaitre Gamay, for instance) and ones I had been dying to try. One such wine I had been dying to try was the Donkey & Goat Gadabout white blend. I had read extensively about Donkey & Goat’s sustainable practices and interesting blends but had a hard time locating their wine in the city. I was contemplating ordering some online but that shipping fee is a bitch! Also, I didn’t want to take the chance of it sitting outside in a box in the Kansas July heat. So I was thrilled to see it was in the tasting line up and available for purchase!

Donkey & Goat is owned by Tracey and Jared Brandt who are pioneers of California natural winemaking. They make small batches of wine without filtering or fining anything and list the ingredients on the bottle. What’s not to love? Gadabout literally means, “a person who travels often or to many different places, especially for pleasure.” This was music to this hedonist’s ears. I’ve often told people that I work to live, not live to work. I am lucky enough that I absolutely love my job, but I am not one to put in 50-60 hour work weeks. I enjoy my time off immensely and I think I am a better worker for it.

You can tell the wine is unfiltered as it appears fairly cloudy. I for one love unfiltered wine and find it to be way more interesting and funky than its filtered counterpart. The bouquet of the Gadabout is so subtle, smelling of ginger tea and a used bookstore, more specifically The Dusty Bookshelf, my favorite bookstore in my college town of Lawrence, Kansas. On the palate it is super floral, tasting of fresh jasmine and pear blossoms. I think I would be my happiest if I could take a bottle of this into The Dusty Bookshelf, sit on one of their worn chairs with Alice, the cat, on my lap, reading a book and drinking this wine.

One of my favorite movies is Before Sunset, part of which takes place in a Parisian bookstore, Shakespeare & Co. Independent used bookstores always remind me of that movie and make me nostalgic for the first time I watched it in high school. It’s kind of the perfect film, in my opinion. It takes place in real time and is basically just a filmed conversation between two people who may or may not be in love with each other (watch and find out…) There is little background music and you quickly get lost and the film and then, like that, it’s over.

The Gadabout makes me nostalgic for walking the streets of Paris with my lover which I have never even done, so it’s powerful shit. I know I’ll make it to Paris someday with my lover in tow; I took seven years of French for Christ’s sake. But until then, I can sip Gadabout and watch Before Sunset, dreaming about being a gadabout myself and traveling often or to many different places especially for pleasure.

A photo I took at a local bookstore today.

OKNOTOK

This post is about Cab Franc, depression, tattoos and Radiohead. Don’t worry, it’ll all come together I hope.

It might come as a shock now because I’m a fairly nice, happy person but I was super angsty as a teen. I listened to a lot of Pedro the Lion and would cry fairly often. What I would learn at 18 was that my angst was in a large part due to undiagnosed depression and anxiety. I started some medication and therapy and saw vast improvements. With treatment I felt like my old self, though I wasn’t sure I had ever felt as content as I was. That’s not to say there weren’t ups and downs. There still are. I’ve been treated for depression for 10 years and I still hit lows.

Today I am experiencing one such low. I know that, as usual, it’s situational and temporary but that doesn’t mean I always know the culprit. That said, I’ve learned how to cope when a low hits. I take it easy, watch a movie or read poetry-- something low-impact that will take my mind off of things without whitewashing the situation. I’ve also taken to researching wine when I’m feeling depressed. For some reason, reading about wineries and looking at maps soothes me. That’s what I’m doing tonight as I sip Franc by Field Recordings. This is one of my favorite wines by one of my favorite wineries but I haven’t had it since winter. It is 100% Cabernet Franc grown in Paso Robles.

It smells brightly of fennel and black pepper. On the palate, the black pepper holds true while some dark fruits come into play as well. Notes of plum and black cherry pop on your tongue. It is the perfect balance of acidity and lightness with a body to it. This would be perfect with black pepper chicken thighs but could hold up to a pasta dish as well. It is also the perfect wine to pair with a bit of feminist poetry and some Radiohead.

The Radiohead album I’m listening to is OKNOTOK, a reissue of OK Computer released 20 years after its debut in 1997. I learned about this a few months ago and was thrilled because Radiohead is hands down my favorite band and has been since high school. OK Computer is also one of my favorite Radiohead albums, Let Down and Lucky being my two favorite songs. I loved the idea of hearing previously unreleased tracks but was also obsessed with the title of the album. Can’t so much of life be described as OKNOTOK? Someone asks you how you are and you say fine but really mean anything but. Maybe this is just what comes to mind with someone who has depression but it rang true for me. So much so that I decided to have it tattooed on my body.

I decided I wanted the tattoo about a month ago and luckily have a friend who is a tattoo artist. I went in yesterday for my appointment and was thrilled with the outcome. It’s kind of like a constant reminder of my own struggles with mental illness/health but also just a general reminder it’s okay not to feel okay from time to time. It’s hard to remember that sometimes when we are inundated with photos on Instagram and posts on Facebook about people living their best lives. But guess what, a lot of that is bullshit. Even the most put together person doesn’t enjoy their life 100% of the time. It’s helpful to remember that when you’re feeling down.

I struggled with deciding whether or not to post this. It’s more about me than the wine I’m drinking. But I feel like we desperately need to hear stories from people who struggle with mental health and are in recovery. I am so happy to have found a treatment plan that works for me but I am so aware that it is not as easy for a lot of people. If you are struggling, I hope you can take some time for yourself and do something you enjoy-- whether that’s meditation or researching wine. And just remind yourself that it’s okay to not feel okay. It’ll be okay eventually.

Burgers and Bubbles

I’m not a huge fan of the Fourth of July. This may come as a surprise because I love grilling, drinking and pool parties but I just have memories of being dragged to the local park by my parents with what felt like a million other people to watch fireworks. And guess what I hate-- crowds and loud noises. I have an anxiety disorder, dude. Seriously, the only way I make it through large concerts is a small dose of Xanax beforehand. So there you go, it isn’t my favorite. However, my husband and I usually just chill out, maybe have some friends over and make something delicious on the grill. Oh and drink. 

Tonight we are making some simple cheeseburgers-- so easy and so good. I was contemplating what wine would pair well with cheeseburgers and of course I decided I had to go with a red. Red is always my go to when I’m pairing it with something meaty and delicious. However, it is legit hot and humid so not just any red would do. I needed something that could be chilled a bit and was light but still had the body and depth to stand up to the heartiness of the meat. I decided to go with a sparkling Shiraz I had tried a few months ago when my local wine shop had just gotten it in.

This Shiraz is from Flegenheimer (whew, that’s a mouth full) Bros and is made with grapes from South Australia. You might not think that a medium to full-bodied red like Shiraz would be very good in chilled/sparkling form but it totally is. On the nose it is so bright, oozing with notes of cranberries, tobacco and sage. Sage is one of my favorite scents and the bouquet of this wine takes me back to college when I used this sage soap I purchased from the French Market downtown. It was delightful. I love finding an herby red. 

There is a hint of sweetness on the palate, but it is not overwhelming at all. I am a fan of drier wines but I actually like a red with a little sweetness from time to time. I used to buy this Lambrusco from Trader Joe’s and it was a little sweet and so delicious. It was also like $5 and probably filled with so many additives. This is a nice grown-up version of that. The wine is so fruit forward and tastes just like blueberry pie which is actually perfect for Fourth of July. The light sweetness cuts through the fattiness of the burger in a great way.

 I didn’t actually like burgers until a few years ago. Growing up, my dad would attempt to make healthy burgers. He used what I can only assume was 99% lean beef and cooked them until they were VERY well done. They were pretty tasteless and I didn’t get what the hype around burgers was so I just stopped eating them. Then, maybe two years ago, my husband convinced me I had to try a Town Topic burger. Town Topic is this old school burger stand in Kansas City and their burgers are SO GOOD. After one bite I was sold. Then I experimented with making my own burgers at home. I was drawn to the simplicity, whether on the grill or the stove, they are one of the quickest, easiest meals to make. For me, the perfect burger is cooked medium and served on a pretzel bun with some kosher cheddar, preferably accompanied by a nice glass of wine and NO FIREWORKS unless I’ve had my Xanax. Happy Fourth, y’all.

I hate champaign flutes so don't even start with me.

I hate champaign flutes so don't even start with me.

Petit Cochon Bronzé

I always overcommit. I don’t know if it’s my Jewish guilt or that I get serious FOMO when I see people doing interesting things on social media, but I regularly end up scheduling something every night of the week. This is all fine and good, but it can leave me feeling drained and oh, not seeing my husband, so that sucks. It’s all good stuff that I’m doing-- work meetings, volunteering, drinks with friends, but it’s still exhausting. I’m trying this new thing where I only schedule things two weeknights per week that way I can prioritize important things like working out, cooking at home, seeing my husband, oh and watching The Handmaid’s Tale (duh). Note that this rule does not apply to the weekends which are a fucking free for all.

Tonight is one of my “off” nights and while I didn’t have time to work out, I am making dinner. I decided to make two of my favorite go-to recipes, garlic salmon and Fattoush, which is hands down, my favorite salad (also, I usually make mine with naan because oddly enough, naan is easier to find than pita in KC). I am pairing all of this with Domaine Rimbert’s Petit Cochon Bronzé Rosé, imported by Jenny & Francois. I don’t know if I tend to pair salmon with rosé because they’re both pink or maybe because they both have that briny, seawater quality to them, but either way, these taste great together.

I first tried this rosé at Underdog at a Jenny & Francois tasting. It was April, but it was still kind of chilly and I wasn’t in full rosé mode yet. Well, here we are in late June and I am now in FULL fucking  rosé mode. Seriously, it has been work not to consistently post about rosé because that is most of what I have been drinking this summer. This wine smells like a rose garden with a bit of fennel mixed in. It is super subtle on the palate with notes of apricot and pink peppercorn. It is comprised of 80% Cinsault and 20% Syrah and is the palest shade of pink with an orange hue. I would legit wear a dress this shade because it’s understated and beautiful.

I’m drinking this and listening to Rilo Kiley’s “The Execution of All Things”. I cannot believe that came out in 2002, it’s still so good and relevant. It’s kind of the perfect summer soundtrack and pairs so nicely with the Petit Cochon Bronzé. I read this article a while back that basically said that you will always think the music you listened to as a teenager was the best ever. I think it holds true, at least for me. While I’ve added some new bands into my repertoire, I still rely heavily on the same stuff I listened to in high school-- Radiohead, Neko Case, David Bazan, etc. This wine is a little bit like that too, super good and super nostalgic. Even if you’ve never had it before, you’ll have memories of swigging it straight out of the bottle on hot summer nights in the mid-aughts. Go with it.