Gratitude

Today was hot.[1] I’m very grateful[2] that I’m a female and can get away with not wearing full suits with ties every day, especially on days when we hit the mid-90s. Just walking around with a suit jacket on is torture, I can’t imagine having a tie wrapped around my neck too! Sorry guys!

IMG_7858I came home tonight and had to finish drafting a motion and get it filed on my own[3], with a glass of wine of course. I’m very fortunate to have the Best Paralegal in the World[4], but its times like these, when I have to do something on my own[5], that I truly appreciate her and all that she does. I’d be lost without her![6]

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To:                   Alleged Blog Readers
From:              WineEsquire
Date:               July 29, 2015
Wine:              2013 Chateau de la Tour de L’Ange Macon-Villages
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Tastes like a chardonnay. Oaky on the nose with a slightly citrus taste. I’m not the world’s biggest chardonnay fan, but this is pleasantly refreshing.[7] It’s on the lighter side with a fairly short finish, nothing overly complex going on IMG_7791here. This was an impulse buy on Friday night’s wino shopping spree; I was looking for something I’d never tried before in the budget price point and this fit the bill. While it got the job done tonight[8], I can’t say I’m going to run out and buy this again. If you’re a poor law student, or a poor associate for that matter, who likes Chardonnay, this is better than Tisdale, so give it a shot! Actually, I just realized this was $14.98, and I think that’s way too much for this bottle. Disregard, go back to Tisdale!

Wine Dossier
This is one of those French bottles with lots of words on the label so you can’t actually tell what type of wine you’re drinking or who made it unless you’re a genius or you use The Google. You’ll be happy to know that Wine Esquire is getting good at identifying wines. It turns out that “Macon Villages” is not the varietal, but rather a region[9], and this was in fact a chardonnay![10] Can’t find much on Chateau de la Tour de L’Ange, but it seems to be imported by Amathus Wines whose website indicates the Chateau is in Charnay-Lès-Mâcon, in France. Macon-Villages is part of the Mâconnais district in Burgundy, France and is a designation reserved for white wines from the region. As of 2010, Mâconnais covered approximately 17,280 acres and produced 45.7 million bottles that year. That’s a lot of wine.

Even though the wine was a bit of a dud, I’m still grateful that I was able to enjoy this lovely evening! Cheers!

Lawyer Footnotes
[1] Seems to be a consistent theme lately.
[2] What are you grateful for? #gratitude #lawofattraction
[3] Because I waited till the last minute and the filing deadline was midnight. #slacker
[4] For real, no lie, I seriously win. She’s the best.
[5] I use the term “on my own” loosely since she gave me step by step instructions on how to do it. Thanks JD!
[6] #grateful
[7] It’s also 10:26 p.m. and its 84° in Casa De Wine Esquire, so I’m pretty sure anything that’s slightly chilled is going to refresh me.
[8] The job being filling my glass with something cold.
[9] I had a feeling.
[10] Score!

Monday Motivation: Short & Sweet

I need some motivation in my life. I think it’s partly the heat and partly the fact that Husband and I haven’t taken a real vacation in quite a while.[1] I’ve been feeling pretty lazy when it cIMG_7797omes to writing, which is why this wine review is going up Monday when we drank the wine on Saturday. Ehh. It happens. This weekend was great; I lounged by the pool[2] and read some great Tudor romance historical fiction[3] amidst motion writing and cleaning for our unexpected houseguests. Some New York Cousins[4] stayed over Casa De WineEsquire with their adorable one year old[5] on Saturday night, so we opened some vino, grilled up some food and had a fire in a controlled fire pit bonfire. No complaints here!

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To:                  Alleged Blog Readers
From:             WineEsquire
Date:              July 27, 2015
Wine:             2013 Ink Monster Zinfandel Review
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This was the second bottle we opened at dinner.[6] I thought it was a great complement to the end of the meal.[7] Ever so slightly chilled, it had that zinfandel smell to it. Rich and inky. Medium bodied but intense flavors of sweet leather and cherries. Serious legs all around, but the tannins were not harsh at all. Two days later and it has mellowed out so that it’s soft and silky in your mouth, but it has retained a great flavor profile. Today I get more of a muted raspberry jam taste with almost a spicy undertone.

Delicious!

Wine Dossier
I picked up this bottle about a week ago when I had some time to kill between meetings outside of the office.[8] An Italian zinfandel, also known as Primitivo, from the Puglia I.G.P.[9] The label is interesting; it refers to the wine as “The Original Zinfandel,” the front bears a Rorschach inkblot[10] and the back directs you to a website that is currently being parked for free courtesy of GoDaddy. I’ve no idea who the producer is, only that it was imported by Prestige Wine Group out of Preston, Minnesota.

Available onliIMG_7801ne for between $12 and $14. While this wasn’t quite a blow you out of the water wine, this was still an excellent buy and I enjoyed every sip. If you come across it on your travels, you shouldn’t hesitate to give it a try!

Lawyer Footnotes
[1] #lawyerlife #LifeofanEntrepreneur
[2] Our blow up pool, obviously.
[3] The White Princess, my second Philippa Gregory novel after The Other Boleyn Girl. So fun.
[4] There are many New York Cousins.
[5] Literally no tears in twenty four hours…Please God let me be so lucky.
[6]The first one was good too, but alas, no write up and no photos.
[7] Sausage and peppers on the grill with grilled gorgonzola garlic bread. Husband is also a grill master.
[8] Where else would I go besides the liquor store?IMG_7826
[9] IGP refers to “Wines with Protected Geographical Indication.” Essentially they come from a specific area and have to meet certain requirements in order to bear this designation.
[10] I see an insect trying to escape from a flower. What do you see?

Blown Out of the Water. What Cabernet Should Be.

This weekend was hot. Really hot[1]. The summer has been fairly mild so far, and we haven’t had to deal with this kind of oppressive heat yet. There we were on IMG_7735Sunday afternoon, sitting around trying to find something to do[2] when we decided the only thing to do was to go buy a blow up pool. So we did. Best Decision Ever.

What else did we do? Bought a bunch of Yuenglings and water guns and went to town. We were blown out of the water[3]. Then we drank some wine.

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To:                   Alleged Blog Readers
From:             WineEsquire
Date:               July 20, 2015
Wine:              2012 Magic Door Vineyards Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon
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I almost feel bad about how delicious this meal was and how well the wine paired with it. I was really blown out of the water. This wine is literally what Cabernet should be. I get raspberries, pipe tobacco and leather. It’s like drinking silk. Medium bodied with a longer finish; definitely some tannins, I’d say semi-IMG_7734dry. You could use the words “fruit forward” because the raspberries are so pronounced in the flavor profile. Since we hit 90 degrees today[4], we chilled this a bit and it was spot on. It was paired with roasted and stuffed Italian long hots, peppers we grew in our garden. Husband made a sausage, garlic, garden herb stuffing and It. Was. Phenomenal. We also broke out Friday night’s cheeseboard (or what was left) and imbibed and feasted to our hearts’ content. This is what summer is all about.

I almost feel bad about how I got this wine too. Gilt was having a 90 Plus Cellars deal, and I signed up with my Wine Esquire email. As a new customer, I got an additional 20% off. I had six bottles shipped[5] for $47.20, or $7.86 per bottle, and this was one of the bottles. What an amazing win. I’m not sure if you can recreate this deal, but I won’t wait for it again to buy another bottle of this gem!

Cheers!

Wine DossierIMG_7737
I’m sad to say that it looks like this wine is not readily available. A visit to Magic Door Vineyard’s website tells me to sign up in order to “get the chance to purchase the limited offerings from Magic Door Vineyards”. Uh oh. I signed up, and you should too. The bottle says it’s a Rutherford Cabernet from Napa Valley. Another Very Knowledgeable Wine Friend had told me to be on the lookout for Rutherford Cabernet a few months back. I hadn’t picked up a bottle yet and so I was pleased when this came in the mail. According to Wikipedia, Rutherford is a “census designated place” which essentially means it’s not an official town but everyone thinks of it as one.[6] Rutherford also has its own, albeit small, AVA[7] known for its Cabernet Sauvignon. I’m glad I now know this. I can’t wait to try more.

Lawyer Footnotes
[1] Today is also really hot.
[2] Local Amusement park? No. Local Winery? No. Kayaking? No. Boat ride? No. It was too hot to do anything.
[3] Pun intended.
[4] And there’s no air conditioning in Casa de Wine Esquire! Hence the decision to buy the blow up pool.
[5] To my office. Obviously.
[6] I think.
[7] See previous post’s Wine Dossier section.

Celebrating In Style

Musings on Lawsuits, Trademarks, Lawyering, Veuve Clicquot and Buying a Castle in Scotland

Sometimes it’s really awesome to be a lawyer. Like two days ago when I got notice that a federal court judge ruled in my client’s favor on a summary judgment motion effectively ending the case[1]. This has been a long, drawn out, emotional and bumpy ride, and my clients were finally vindicated.[2] It was great to deliver the news that the decision we’d hoped for[3] had finally arrived! Not only was this big for the clients, this was big for me. This case was a huge undertaking, the first case of this magnitude that I had ever done, and it was one that I could not have done without the expert assistance of my co-counsel who guided me through every step of the process. It was an amazing IMG_7705learning experience, from taking my first deposition[4] to arguing (multiple times) in federal court, to drafting and submitting literally thousands of pages of discovery and legal argument.

When I thought things couldn’t get better, I realized I was about to hit 5,000 followers on Instagram, a milestone I thought called for a celebration[5]! How fitting to celebrate with the delicious bubbly gifted to me by another client! #lawyerlife

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To:                  Alleged Blog Readers
From:              WineEsquire
Date:               July 17, 2015
Wine:              Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Vintage Brut 2004 –
A Veuve Clicquot Review
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IMG_7698Let me paint the scene for you. It’s Friday afternoon in mid-July; the weather is gorgeous, no sweltering heat or mugginess to be found. The breeze is blowing, the garden is blooming, and the sun is setting. Husband is home after a few days away, the week is over weekend is beginning, and we’re celebrating. The feast before us consists of truffle infused goat cheese, duck liver pâté, salty cow’s cheese, a crusty baguette and some Medjool dates[6]. We pop the bottle of 2004 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, pour it into our creepy awesome crow’s feet champagne flutes, and instantly know this is not your run-of-the-mill bubbly. The bubbles are super refined. The fizz is delicate. It is absolutely effervescent. I get notes of pear. Husband gets the smell of ionized water, like at the bottom of a waterfall. It’s an experience. One I’m not likely to soon forget. So get out there and work you’re a$$ off for a client and maybe they’ll buy one for you. If that doesn’t happen, then drop the 60 to 80 beans to buy a bottle and have an absolutely amazing evening!

Cheers!

Wine Dossier: A Brief History of Vueve Clicquot
I had always assumed Veuve Clicquot[7] had a long history of making delicious bubbly. I hadn’t realized, however, that its fascinating time line dates back from 1772 when Philippe Clicquot, who owned several vineyards, decided to start a wine business. By 1798 his son François had joined him in running the company. Upon François’ death in 1805, his widow[8], or veuve in French, Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin[9], took over operations, a groundbreaking move in a war-torn world run by men, especially since she was only 27. Madame Clicquot led the company to storied greatness, starting with the debut of theIMG_7704 first vintage champagne in 1810 and the creation of the riddling rack, a crucial step necessary for the efficient production of champagne. She quickly became known as “La Grande Dame” of Champagne among her bubbly peers.

Fun Fact: The oldest unopened bottle of Veuve Clicquot is from 1893. It was discovered in 2008 inside a piece of furniture at Torosay Castle on the Isle of Mull in Scotland[10]. The priceless bottle, thought to be in perfect condition due to its storage in a dark cabinet, is now on display at the Veuve Clicquot visitor center in Reims, France.

The bottle label’s unique yellow coloring has been around for more than a hundred years. As a trademark attorney, I can tell you that it’s rare for color to be deemed a trademark, or source indictor[11]. In must what have been one of the earliest such filings, if not the earliest, the company registered the yellow label as a trademark on February 12, 1877. Trademark protection for the colored label continues today, more than 138 years later, in the US, the EU and Australia.[12]

Lawyer Footnotes
[1] #copyrightinfringement
[2] Yes, yes, I know. There is a 30 day right to appeal. I am not counting my eggs before they’re hatched, but either way, this was a big win.
[3] For more than two years!
[4] Which lasted more than 8 hours and went until about 10 p.m. My second deposition, with an expert witness, was about the same.
[5] Though these exciting events happened a few days ago, Husband was away and I couldn’t bring myself to open the bubbly without him!
[6] Thanks, Whole Paycheck Foods.
[7] Word to the wise, it’s not pronounced voovey clee kwot…it’s voov clee coe. Listen to the correct pronunciation here.
[8] Their fathers’ businesses were next store to each other and they thought consolidating would be better for everyone. It was an arranged marriage. For more of Madame’s inspiring history check this out.
[9] Hence the name, Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin. Fascinating, right?
torosay[10] Another fun fact: Husband and I plan to buy Torosay Castle someday in the near future. This photo of it has been on our fridge for the last seven years, ever since we heard about this Clicquot story. #lifegoals
[11] Tiffany’s (the “Tiffany Blue Box”), Christian Louboutin (“Famous Red Soles”), and Owens Corning (pink insulation) are among the few that have successfully obtained color based trademarks.
[12] Now that’s some serious #lawyering