This marks the eleventh blog post on WineEsquire. Friday night I reached 500 followers on Instagram. While these may not be the most impressive milestones, I have made it to the point where I’m pretty sure I’m not just gonna give up on this whole “blog thing.” I’m having a blast and loving it, and that’s what it’s all about. Cheers!
Since I’m an official wine blogger, I decided to host an informal wine tasting with my mom and two sisters on Saturday. From a wine perspective, it was kind of a disaster. We started with a Chardonnay. You may have noticed I’ve only reviewed reds thus far. That’s because I tend to gravitate toward reds more than whites, but I’m trying to branch out and expand my palette. Though I’ll probably post a photo on Instagram eventually, the Chardonnay was not worth blogging about. 
After the Chardonnay, I picked out what appeared to be a nice Cabernet. From Bulgaria. Random, I know, but my go-to online wine store told me it was a great wine; seven people gave it five stars and Wine Enthusiast rated it 89 points. I should have known things were heading in a bad direction when only half the cork came out. Having no cheesecloth readily available, I used a paper coffee filter to strain the wine into a water jug.
To: Alleged Blog Readers
Date: April 4, 2015
Wine: 2011 Bulgariana Cabernet Sauvignon Review
On the nose, Sissies and I get berries and smoke. Pretty nice legs with cranberry garnet coloring. I’m not gonna lie, after the first sip, I was not a fan. I said, let’s try it with some cheese. It tasted a little better, but still, it wasn’t a winner. Then I said, let’s give it some time, maybe it will open up. After ten minutes I said, ok, that’s enough time, let’s drink some more. Unfortunately, things hadn’t changed. This wasn’t a good wine, at least to Sissies and I. I would say it was light to medium bodied; it had a fairly short and very dry finish, with an odd, unpleasant aftertaste.  I may have been influenced by my Wine Wheel, but I think I tasted some green pepper and vegetables. We didn’t finish the bottle, it just wasn’t worth it. Oh well. You win some, you lose some.
According to Wikipedia, Bulgaria has a long history of wine production. In the 1980s, it was the world’s second largest wine producer but the industry declined after the collapse of communism. The bottle indicates that this is “quality table wine” made from 100% cabernet sauvignon grapes. I couldn’t find much on the producer, Bulgariana. The “Our Story” link on their website wasn’t working. I did, however, find an interview from 2013 with someone who had been trying to introduce American wine drinkers to Bulgarian wines by providing affordable options, including the Bulgariana line. I couldn’t find anything more current, so I don’t know how the venture is going, but the wine is still for sale and I bought it. Maybe the next Bulgarian wine I try will be better.
 Beyond Mom’s love affair with Tisdale Chardonnay, they are not really wine drinkers. I figured this would be a great dry run for the informal wine tasting I’m planning for some friends in a few weeks.
 Before said tasting, we went to see the new Cinderella movie and it was a magical experience, so that made up for the unpleasant wines.
 Though I do gravitate toward champagne on a regular basis.
 Mom thought the Chardonnay was great. She just about finished the bottle.
 Lies. All lies.
 Note that we did cleanse our palettes between the Chardonnay and the Cabernet with some sparkling water.
 I was also bitter that I had spent all that time straining and decanting.
 See footnote 3, supra. Mom kept drinking the Chardonnay.
 So unenjoyable in fact, that I opened a ClubW selection to go with our pizza…I never said this was a classy wine tasting.
 I paid $10.99. Even at this price, I wouldn’t buy again.