Better Beckons

Warning: Sappy Post.

Sorry to get deep and emotional, but since I’ve been invited[1] to be part of Beringer’s Better Beckons contest, it made me remember what I’m doing and why, and it put a smile on my face. So I hope it does the same for you!

Better Beckons.

As I pondered this concept, I started thinking about why I started this blog, why I drink wine[2], why I get up in the morning[3]. It’s really because something better is beckoning. Every day can be a great day, if you choose to be happy in the moment[4]. You may not be in the perfect place, but if you think about the place you want to be in, and do something every day, even if it’s a small something, to put you a little bit closer to that place, it’s a day well spent. It’s important to remember that life really is a journey and not a destination, and if you don’t have fun along the way, you’re losing out. Being the best you can be and being happy with who you are is that’s all that matters.

Beringer Wine
Isn’t this what life is all about? #BetterBeckons

While you’re thinking about your life and what your plan is, grab a bottle of Beringer and bring it somewhere beautiful, fun and inspiring. Pop the cork, pour a glass and reflect on your surroundings[5]. Post a photo on Instagram, hashtag it with #BeringerUS and #Contest, and you could be the lucky winner of a trip to Napa Valley[6]. Photos must be posted by September 30, so get poppin’!

I took my bottle of Beringer to Gillette’s Castle in East Haddam, Connecticut. The home is an epic masterpiece built by William Gillette, a writer, playwright and actor, famous for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes on the American Stage. Construction began on the medieval-esq castle in 1914. Twenty men, five years and $1.1 million later, it was completed in 1919. Built entirely from Gillette’s own design plans, it includes secret locks, hidden mirrors, perhaps the first sprinkler system, and at one time, its own steam-powered railroad.  Sitting atop one of Connecticut’s Seven Sisters Hills, its breathtaking views of the Connecticut River are sweeping and commanding.

Beringer at Gillette's Castle
Beringer at Gillette’s Castle

Dying with no wife and no heirs, in his will Gillette warned against his home and possessions ending up in the hands of “some blithering saphead who had no conception of where he is or with what surrounded.” Ironically, The State of Connecticut purchased the land and turned the property into a state park[7].

Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon
Overlooking the Connecticut River

The wine I brought with me was the 2013 Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Knights Valley. In a word, it was luxurious. A big nose with a beautiful bouquet of blackberries and raspberries. Stunningly rich and silky smooth with beautiful, soft tannins that left you wanting more. Lots of ripe fruit that finished with almost a hint of chocolate. At $35 a bottle, it’s an excellent dinner party splurge. You and your friends will enjoy this big bold wine with your fruit and cheese platter, a hearty pasta, or even a nice filet mignon[8].

Beringer Wine
#BetterBeckons

Can’t wait to show you where I brought the 2014 Beringer Luminus Chardonnay Oak Knoll. Until the next glass!

Cheers!

Beringer WineLawyer Footnotes
[1] My Instagram posts and Tweets were sponsored by Mirum Shopper. They also provided me with the wine and glasses. All thoughts, reviews and content contained herein are my own.
[2] So many reasons!
[3] Because the alarm goes off and it’s hard to sleep through.
[4] A nice bottle of wine helps too. And people you like. And good food. Did I mention wine?
[5] I’m not advocating bringing wine to places with a no alcohol policy…So if you get caught, don’t blame it on me. #StateParks
[6] Details and contest rules available here. Must be 21+ to enter.
[7] Where I’m sure alcohol is not allowed.
[8] Let me know what time dinner starts and I’ll be there. Maybe I’ll even bring a bottle of wine.

Libras and Rosé

You may have seen this floating around already, but when Husband found it and read what our astrological signs say about our drinking habits, it was really, really, really on point. Like ridiculously on point. So I had to share.

libra

Wine Esquire is a Libra. Represented by the scales of justice[1], I’m a perfect mix of balanced indecision[2]. Husband is a Taurus, perfectly in tune with his inner romantic bull. Thrillist totally pegged my affinity for day drinking “crisp rosé in a sunny sidewalk café[3],” and Husband’s uncanny ability to “casually toss back four or five Scotches[4] (neat, no ice) in the time it takes a normal person to down half a beer.” It is laughably accurate.

taurus

Haven’t checked it out yet? Have a look and let me know if it was accurate for you too!

WHAT YOUR ASTROLOGICAL SIGN SAYS ABOUT YOUR DRINKING HABITS

Lawyer Footnotes
[1] Hello #lawyerlife
[2] The biggest and most important question is usually “Red or white?” Either way, the answer is always correct.
[3] Hello #RoséAllDay!
[4] Or Onyx Moonshine Secret Stash.

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#RoséAllDay

White Wines for Summer Sipping

White wine is so much more than your mother’s oaky Chardonnay[1]. Not that there’s anything wrong with a nice oaky Chard, but sometimes it pays to try something new. The options are endless; you could literally go the entire summer without drinking an oaky Chard and still have more delicious whites to try. So let’s get this summer party started with some cool, refreshing bottles of wine, none of which I’ve ever had before, and all of which you should taste.

File Jun 01, 8 32 45 PMFirst up is the white Barolo I grabbed on Last Bottle[2]. It was hands down, one of the best white wine I’ve ever had. Seriously. Thick, beautiful mouthfeel, a touch of green grass, a note of honey, a sprinkling of citrus. No minerality to speak of. A big, bold beautiful white. The label is a bit on the confusing side, but after a bit of digging it all became clear. The label touted it as a 2014 Gavi by Marchesi di Barolo. Barolo is, after all, a region and not a grape variety, so this was made from the Cortese grape, a varietal I’ve not had, at least to my knowledge. Marchesi di Barolo is a producer in Piedmont, Italy which began making wines in the early 1800s. Gavi is a DOCG[3] region, DOCG being the highest classification for Italian wines, located in the southern part of Piedmont which is in northwest Italy. The area produces exclusively white wines, including some sparklers, in a growing area of about 3,600 acres. This bottle in varying vintages is available online between $14 and $20, but if you can’t find this particular one[4], then you should definitely seek out another from the region. I plan on getting more myself.

File Jun 01, 8 33 17 PMThe 2012 Jean-Marc Bernhard Pinot Blanc was also delightful. Cool, crisp and refreshing. A lighter mouthfeel than the Barolo, not a huge nose. A touch of peach and some crazy pineapple, but very approachable. Ever so slightly sweet without being a syrupy dessert wine. A perfect pairing with a salty parmesan. Or maybe some pan seared scallops. Mmmmmm. Pinot Blanc is apparently a genetic mutation of the Pinot Noir grape, and occasionally a vine will bear clusters of Pinot Noir with just one bunch of Pinot Blanc. This variety tends to be affordable, and though the origins of this bottle are an extreme mystery to me[5], it retails for about $13. It hails from Alsace, which looks to be a fairy tale hamlet over in France. Having never been there, I can’t say whether it’s really that cute or not, but I’m going to put it on my Wine Bucket List, stat. I also plan to drink more of this delicious Alsace Pinot Blanc.

france-alsace-villages-colmar
This is apparently a real live place called Colmar. Photo Credit PlanetWare

File Jun 01, 8 33 37 PMNext up is the 2015 Miriam Alexandra Chenin Blanc[6]. This was my second bottle and I loved it even more the second time around. Crazy peach, lots of minerality with an awesome mouthfeel. A beautiful pale straw color, it went perfect with the meat and cheese nosh we had out for Memorial Day. This wine was made by Alexandra Farber, a wine maker funded by my friends over at Naked Wines. This was in my random sampler box from when I used my free $100 coupon code[7]. I was skeptical at first, but almost every bottle out of the box has been excellent, so I’ve become an Angel. Definitely worth a try if you haven’t already. Chenin Blancs have consistently been good values for me; a great white alternative and they’re relatively easy to find since the grape is grown in many areas of the world. Definitely worth a sip or twelve. I mean two.

File Jun 01, 8 32 59 PMFinally[8], the 2013 Le Petit Sauvignon Blanc by Coquerel Family Wine Estates, another Last Bottle win. While Sauvignon Blanc isn’t exactly rare, I’ve found that most of them are too metallic and tinny for me. When this came around for $10 a bottle I was skeptical, but I figured at that price, it couldn’t hurt. I’m glad I have three more because the beautiful citrus on this really pops. One sip and the result is an InstaSmile[9]. None of the harsh minerality that I’ve come to associate with Sauvignon Blanc, instead it’s a light, fresh, truly enjoyable glass of wine[10]. The Coquerel Family vineyards are located in Northern Napa Valley in the Calistoga AVA. I guess it turns out I love Napa whites as much as I love Napa reds[11].

So go forth, alleged blog readers, and find your new white wine for summer! Start with these or find something new and tell me about it in the comments!

Cheers to warm weather adventures! Until the next glass!

File Jun 01, 8 51 16 PM

Lawyer Footnotes
[1] Well, maybe not your mother, but my mother certainly loves it.
[2] I’m literally kicking myself for only grabbing one.
[3] DOCG stands for Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita.
[4] Because you didn’t order when it came up on Last Bottle
[5] I have no idea where it came from. It’s been in my basement for a while, so I decided to drink it.
[6] Sadly it’s out of stock and I’m very sad.
[7] If you haven’t used your free $100 yet, you’re crazy, but I’m here to help you out. You get $100 off an order of at least $165, so you essentially pay $65 for a case of wine. And the wine is good. So far, really good. Click here to get started. You’re welcome.
[8] I mean “finally” in the sense that I’m not going to include any more bottles in this post, not “finally” in the sense that I’m not going to drink other delicious white wines this summer.
[9] A phrase I just coined, although I’m sure it’s been done before. Translates to “instant smile”.

File Jun 01, 8 30 58 PM
Spring flowers make me InstaSmile. In case you hadn’t noticed #GardenBlooms

[10] It paired well with my gourmet dinner of hot-sauce laden left-over pasta salad, topped with tortilla chips. Who am I? #adultingishard
[11] How was Napa not on my Wine Bucket List?! It is now.

Wine For Thought

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Wine is so many things for so many people. Wine is something to enjoy, to savor, to experience. Some swear they only like red; others think they’re partial only to white, but wine is so much more than a color. It is yearlong snapshot of Mother Nature; touched by countless hands through the growing season, the harvest, the crush, fermentation, then finally captured in a bottle[1]. Wine literally is sunlight held together by water[2].

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But even after it’s in the bottle, the journey isn’t over. How far did your bottle travel to get to you? Did you pick it up at a winery down the road? Or did it travel from the chateau to a warehouse to rest? Did it set sail across the ocean in a container ship? Was it flown on a commercial airline across the country? How long has it been in the bottle? How many months did it rest in an oak barrel or a concrete egg before it even saw the bottling line?

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Each bottle is its own story, something to be appreciated and respected. In our busy lives, it’s too easy to come home[3], pour a glass and drink without tasting, without appreciating. So the next time you take the time to uncork, or unscrew, some of Mother Nature’s beautiful bounty, take a second to pay attention, to recognize what went in to making the miracle you’re sipping. Even if you get just a smidge more enjoyment out of that sip, it’ll be worth it.

#WineForThought

Lawyer Footnotes
[1] Or a can or a box, whatever the case may be.
[2] If this line is familiar, it’s because our good friend Galileo Galilei penned it all the way back in the 1600s; he was way ahead of his time.
[3] Or go to the bar.File Nov 22, 8 17 30 PM