Let’s Wine For an Hour

As I’m getting’ back in the swing of things, one glass at a time, I participated in last week’s #WiningHourChat. If you don’t know about the Wining Hour Chat, it’s a lot of fun. A fab trio of ladies hosts every Tuesday at 9 EST[1]. Sometimes a specific wine is on the menu, other times it’s just about what’s in your glass. The featured winery last week was Pedroncelli Winery out of Geyserville, California in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley[2].

I do love a good coat of arms #labelart

This family operation began in 1927 when Giovanni and Julia Pedroncelli purchased a small vineyard of approximately 25 acres in Dry Creek Valley. They were one of the few wineries to survive Prohibition, staying afloat by selling grapes to home winemakers. Lawyer Fact[3]: Prohibition’s Vosltead Act provided a loophole allowing wine to be made at home. An October 1920 Treasury Department memo instructed federal agents not to pursue individuals making their own wine. The memo stated that “the head of a family who has properly registered may make 200 gallons exclusively for family use without payment of tax thereon.”[4]

Now, in its 90th year, the fourth generation of Pedroncelli’s continue the family business with more than 100 acres of vines. From Sauvignon Blanc to Chardonnay, Zinfandel to Cabernet Sauvignon, their impressive lineup is available online and quite reasonably priced from $17 to $36 a bottle.

I sampled their Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel and both were excellent[5]. The Cabernet Sauvignon had a big, bright, fruity Cab nose[6]. Notes of leather and dark berry, perhaps black courant. A nice light mouthfeel but with fairly big tannins. The finish was smooth and silky. The Zinfandel was full of spice on the nose and black pepper on the finish. A perfect pairing with my quick meal of leftover chicken kebabs.[7]

This 2015 Zin came from Pedroncelli’s Mother Clone vineyard which has been planted with Zinfandel vines since 1904[8]. The majority of the grapes used in this vintage come from the vines re-planted in the 1980s from the clone of the original “Mother” vines, but a bit of the grapes from the remaining 100+ year old vines made their way into the bottle as well.

I hope you join in for this week’s #WiningHourChat, tonight (Tuesday) at 9 EST. The lovely Wining Hour ladies will be chatting about whatever’s in your glass this evening. My plan is to be there, perhaps with a glass of Rosé[9]. We’ll see if Baby Wine Esquire likes that plan or not J

TTFN[10]

Lawyer Footnotes
[1] During pregnancy this was WAY past my bedtime, so I couldn’t even pretend to participate. Last week’s was a bit dicey as Baby Wine Esquire decided to wake up and want to feed PRECISELY at 9 p.m. But we made it work.
[2] Dry Creek Valley, which is apparently not dry at all, is an approximately 9,000 acre AVA known primarily for its Zinfandel grapes.
[3] I guess I have to get back into the swing of lawyering soon too … #everydayissaturdayonmaternityleave
[4] 200 gallons equates to 757,082 milliliters, which yields approximately 1,009 standard 750 ml bottles (according to the smart people at Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences). That gives you about 2.7 bottles per household, per day. Not too shabby, considering it was Prohibition. Interestingly, the 200 gallon limitation is still the law, but it only applies to a household of two or more adults. If you’re single you can only make 100 gallons per year. #SinglismIsReal
[5] Baby Wine Esquire got a bit fussy, so the Chardonnay will have to wait for another day.
[6] You know the kind I mean.
[7] My love of leftovers has increased tenfold since Baby arrived. #feedmequick
[8] #OldVineZin
[9] Because it’s still #RoséSeason ya’ll!
[10] Ta Ta For Now.

Baby, I’m Back

wine baby Sauska

As I mentioned in my previous post, and perhaps you’ve noticed, I’ve been MIA for a while. Approximately nine months I’d say, give or take a few weeks. It was the fastest nine months of my life, and I was pretty damn busy. Or at least my body was[1]. Can you guess what I did during those nine months? You guessed it, I had a baby[2]!

wine baby Chateau Montelena
Baby Wine Esquire has good taste in wine already!

Now during said nine months, I obviously wasn’t drinking wine[3]. I thought that this would be difficult for me, but it turns out that it wasn’t. At all. For a brief period even the smell of Husband’s wine made me a bit ill[4]. In fact, I got to the point where I thought I’d just give up wine for good, even after Baby came[5]. The wine FOMO[6] could have been bad, so me not being interested was probably internal self-preservation. Which explains why I’ve been MIA.

But, Baby, I’m back![7]

Baby Wine Esquire joined us on July 5, 2017. Ten days overdue, he was 8 pounds, one ounce and 21 inches of pure love and joy.

wine baby Sauska
Isn’t he the cutest?

Getting used to life with Baby has been incredible; we are forever changed, but we’re getting back into our daily routine, and that includes the re-emergence of Wine Esquire. Albeit, on a smaller scale, for now[8]. At this point, the thing Husband and I yearn for most is a delectable foodie experience in a small, quiet restaurant where Baby isn’t welcome[9]. We’ll get there. Someday. Hopefully sooner rather than later for our sake[10].

I’m still limited in the amount of wine I can enjoy for now, which makes each glass even more precious. So send me some recommendations! What have I missed in the past 41 weeks? What are your favorite go-to’s of the moment? I’m truly looking forward to reconnecting with everyone again!

wine baby
My new glass of choice 🙂

Lawyer Footnotes
[1] I’ll spare you the photographic evidence of my epically swollen feet. Thankfully they’ve returned to normal. #hadtobuynewshoes
[2] The whole “nine months” thing is actually a big lie. Babies take 40 weeks to develop and in my case, 41. That’s 10.25 months, not 9. #TheBigLie
[3] Well, at least I wasn’t drinking a LOT of wine. A sip here and there wasn’t gonna hurt nobody. #dontjudge
[4] Because obviously Husband did not give up wine in solidarity with me. He just drank my share too!
[5] Thankfully this cockamamie idea did not stick.
[6] About six months ago I had to Google FOMO. It means “fear of missing out” in case you didn’t know. I also just discovered Despacito. Apparently it’s been THE song of the summer. I’ve been living under a rock, clearly. I continue to play it on repeat as much as possible. I’m also trying to learn the lyrics. Baby loves Despacito. And in case you’re wondering, I prefer the REAL version, not the Beiber overlay. My inner 21 year old REALLY wants to go the club and rock out to this. #wheremygirlsat
[7] Or at least I’m trying very hard to be!
[8] Time is precious, especially when Baby wants to eat ALL. THE. TIME.
[9] No offense, Baby.
[10] Mommy gets hungry too! #hangry

Epic photos of Baby Wine Esquire were taken by Jenn of
Photography by Jennifer Lynn.

Marathon Training

You may have noticed I’ve been MIA over the past few months. There’s a good reason for that[1]. But don’t worry, I’m gettin’ back in the wine game, one glass at a time. And what better way to welcome me back then for Last Bottle Wines to host a Harvest Marathon[2]!

Don’t know about Last Bottle? It’s a Napa Valley daily wine “auction” website where exceptional wines are sold at great prices. I’ve been a regular for several years now, and I’ve still yet to have a dud bottle.

Case in Point: The six bottles of Grüner Veltliner I ordered were excellent. They’ve also disappeared…

Each day you get a new email with the wine deal of the day. If you wait too long, the wine is gone and you have to wait for the next auction to be posted. It’s exciting and fun and you end up getting great wines at great prices.

The Harvest Marathon comes along every August; it’s a 48 hour frenzy of non-stop wine buying. No emails, no reminders. When the wine is gone, it’s gone, and it’s onto the next. And best of all free shipping on all orders! My friends at Last Bottle are claiming that tomorrow’s marathon will feature their biggest selection in 5 years. I’m super pumped.

Sign up for Last Bottle by clicking here and get $10 off your first order (hello, free wine!)

So there’s my Public Service Announcement; I’ve done my civic duty for the day. You’re welcome.

Looking forward to catching up with you all again!

Lawyer Footnotes

[1] I’ll get back to that soon. Promise.
[2] Thanks guys, it was so sweet of you!

Making A Simple Dinner Fancy

 

Because that’s how Wine Esquire rolls.

It’s winter. It’s cold. Are you bored yet? I’m getting there. It was Saturday morning and we were preparing for our first proper blizzard by throwing a soup together in the crockpot. We took our Inaugural Blizzard Walk[1] with the neighbors and so we decided to throw an impromptu dinner party.

Split Pea Soup is a favorite of ours. Not only is it classic, but it’s cheap. For less than $10, we had a gourmet soup ready to go. For your convenience, here are the detailed instructions:

Husband’s Not So Secret Blizzard Split Pea Soup Recipe

(serves 4 with one leftover portion for lunch)

1 pound split peas
Handful of baby carrots
½ yellow onion
3 garlic cloves
2 stalks celery
1 bay leaf
4 cups unsalted chicken stock
2 cups water
1 ham steak

Rinse the peas, chop the veggies and throw everything together in the bottom of a crock pot. Sear the ham steak in a cast iron skillet and throw it on top. Add the bay leaf, then salt and pepper to taste. Set the Crock on low for 8 hours and let it simmer. Voila! Fancy dinner!

We’d ventured out earlier in the day[2] and picked up some Portuguese raisin rolls in our travels. Husband grilled them up in the cast iron skillet and we served them with some super simple fancy homemade butter.

Super Simple Fancy Homemade Butter

(serves four – no leftovers, we practically licked the bowl clean)

½ stick butter
½ tsp honey
Pinch or 2 of sea salt (Fleur De Sel[3] if you have it)

Soften the butter in the microwave then add honey and salt and mix it up. The butter shouldn’t be pure liquid, but it should be easy to mix up. Scoop it all up, spoon it into a fancy dish[4] and chill in the freezer for 15 minutes prior to serving.

It’s a shame pea soup just doesn’t photograph well. It was delicious.

We broke out the wedding china, some nice crystal glasses and had ourselves a fancy dinner party. It’s absolutely true that food tastes better when it’s served on beautiful dishes, especially when your soup tureen is sitting on a silver platter. After all, what’s a little hand-washing among friends?[5]

Silver Platter’s Make Everything Better

Now, for the important part. We paired our winter feast with a bottle of The Sum by the Seventy Five Wine Company. A great red blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Petite Syrah, 10% Syrah. Definitely fruity; the raspberry jam is out in full force. A great smooth mouthfeel, a touch on the lighter side with a nice dry finish. A great wine to warm you up on a cold winter’s eve with a bowl of good soup and a hunk of good bread.

Vino Vino Vino

The Seventy Five Wine Company was founded in, you guessed it, 1975. The back label recites all the epic and noteworthy events from that year. It was the year Bill Gates founded Microsoft, Saturday Night Live aired their first episode, Charlie Chaplin was knighted by Queen Elizabeth, and of course, the Beckstoffer family set up shop in Napa Valley.

Vino Vino Vino

The 2013 was a touch young; it could certainly be laid down for a while to let it mature and develop, but it’s a great drinker now too. The label is fun, and the bottle itself is a heavy clunker that makes you feel like you’re about to be drinking a rich, deep wine. You can grab a bottle for between $20-$25 throughout the US, so give it whirl and let me know what you think!

Until the next glass!
Cheers!

Lawyer Footnotes

[1] The Inaugural Blizzard Walk started several winters ago when Husband had the ingenious idea to walk around during a blizzard when everyone else is sanely snuggled up in front of their fireplace. It’s quite fun actually, seeing everything peaceful, quiet and white. It’s even better when you bring a flask with you. Just sayin’.
[2] Yes, in the blizzard. I really needed some yarn. What can I say? Me and the two old ladies at Hobby Lobby weren’t afraid of a little snow.
[3] Translated to “Flower of Salt”, this sodium variety comes from the hand-harvested salt crystals which float on the surface of salt water as it evaporates. Used as a garnish instead of as an ingredient, it is the most difficult salt to harvest, and therefore the most expensive. Fancy, huh? We recently acquired a jar at the Weekend Kitchen, a whimsical little kitchen shop in Essex, the cutest little town in America.
[4] You know, to make it fancy.
[5] Full disclosure, I’m so Type A I won’t let anyone else wash my china. Just in case. #RetiredPattern