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!

Heading Back for Fancy in Francey: Round Deux

Remember last year when I won that dream trip to France? And I got to taste the 2015 Bordeaux En Primeur?

Just tasting some 2015 Lynch Bages. #NBD

And I made some fabulous international wine blogging friends?

wine bloggers bordeaux france
International Wine Bloggers Do Bordeaux

And I ate gold-topped deviled eggs at La Grande Maison, Bernard Magrez’ Michelin starred restaurant?

I only eat my deviled eggs when they’re topped with gold. #FancyinFrancey

Yea, me too. It was great[1].

Well, later this month I’m heading back to Bordeaux for a few days to get my taste and tour on. My best good friends at Millesima have invited me to return to re-taste the 2015 vintage and see what a year has done to those incredible Bordeaux wines. This will be mere weeks before the 2016 vintage is released for the wine world to taste[2].

I can’t wait to return to beautiful Bordeaux city. I’ll certainly be heading over to La Cité du Vin, Bordeaux’s Disney World of Wine Museum.

I’m also planning a day in the surrounding vineyards with my good friend Mike from Please Bring Me My Wine. He and his partner JB have got a bit of a wine thing going on in Bordeaux and have a snazzy 1971 VW “combi” for wine tasting and touring the area[3].

Have any Bordeaux vineyard/restaurant/tourist suggestions I need to try? I’ll have a bit more time to explore on my own this time around. Thanks again to my good friends at Millesima for the opportunity!

Cheers my friends. Until the next glass!

Lawyer Footnotes

[1] #sorrynotsorry
[2] Alas, this year I will not be among them, as a new crop of wine bloggers have risen up to take our places. I wish them well. Remember to pack your wine wipes! #wineteeth
[3] I had to ask what a “combi” was. I thought it was some sort of British slang like Whirly Windy Pops that I hadn’t heard of before. Turns out “combi” is just short for “combination van”. I love the Brits.

bordeaux wine Chateau d'yquem
Angels sing all day at Château d’Yquem

Wine Tasting Dinner Party

wine

A wise man once said, “The only club I want to be part of is a wine club.” I’m not sure which wise man said this, or when he said it, but I’m sure a wise man said it. Or maybe it was a woman.

Special Delivery For Wine Esquire

These wine clubs are popping up all over the place and it seems like a pretty fun concept. Bright Cellars was created by two MIT grads who developed an algorithm[1] to determine which wines you should try based on your flavor preferences.[2] I took my quiz and let them know which kind of chocolate I preferred[3], how I take my afternoon tea, my go-to drink (when the wine has run out),[4] my ideal wine pairing and how adventurous I am when it comes to food and wine. They then paired me up with a few samples, so I decided to have a little tasting party to check them out.

Husband and I planned out a menu and chose three of the bottles to sample. We started with a cheese spread of Cranberry White Cheddar[5] and a stinky Raclette[6].

Wine and Cheese? Yes, please!

The hors-d’œuvres were paired with the 2016 Cameron Corner Verdelho from South Eastern Australia. Melon and citrus on the nose led to a mouthful of herbal green grass. Well balanced, medium bodied, an excellent wine for sipping with cheese. It turned the cranberry cheddar into a mouthwatering explosion. Verdelho is traditionally a Portuguese grape varietal, but it migrated to Australia in the 1820s. Australia is producing some great wines with this grape at attractive price points.wine

During a brief eating interlude, where husband and I had to finish making the next course[7], the 2014 Zinsane Zin was opened to allow it to breathe a bit. Meanwhile, in the kitchen, we[8] took the roasted butternut squash and apples out of the oven, scooped the insides into the blender, poured in some chicken stock, added a dash of cinnamon and pressed purée. After it had attained the desired consistency, it was transferred to a soup pot to let it simmer on medium for a few minutes before serving. Garnished with a smattering of freshly chopped parsley and Voila, we had a soup course!

wine zinfandel
Oh, you fancy, huh?

The Lodi Zin was unexpectedly on the heavier side, but it was a great pairing with the light and healthy soup[9]. A touch of nutty coffee, definitely full bodied, it countered the sweetness of the soup to make it a well-balanced pairing. This was a great example of Lodi doing really interesting stuff with Zinfandel.

For the finale, Husband had been cooking My Mother’s Sauce[10] on low all day. The cast-iron seared meatballs and sausage were added just two hours before dinner to finish cooking. Doing my fair share, I went out in search of homemade pasta to serve it with. I’ve discovered a lovely little place near our new digs[11] called Pasta Vita. I opened the doors and angels started singing.[12] I was greeted by row after row of homemade gourmet takeout and fresh made pasta and ravioli. Hello dinner! I went with ricotta and spinach,[13] which turned out to be a hit.

wine shiraz
Love me some homemade ravioli, especially when I’m not the one home making it!

We’d opened the next wine during the soup to get that ready for the main course. The 2015 Talbingo Hill Shiraz, also from Australia, was a great pairing. Leather on the nose with a touch of cherry sweetness on the finish. Almost like a cherry tobacco. Dry with some chewy tannins. It met its match with the heavy red sauce, fresh ravioli and pork/veal/beef meatballs.

All in all, three good bottles, served with three great courses, if I do say so myself.

Receiving a case of wine in the mail is like having Christmas on a Tuesday. Opening presents is always fun, no matter the season, and when there’s wine inside it’s even better. If you’d like to get in on the fun, my friends at Bright Cellars are offering friends of Wine Esquire 50% off your first shipment. Go through this link to take your quiz and select your personally paired wines and a $30 credit will be added to your order. When you try it out, let me know what you think!

wine

Cheers wine friends, until the next glass!

Lawyer Footnotes
[1] Pretty sure this has something to do with math. #smart
[2] Overachievers.
[3] Dark please, preferably with some almonds. #healthnut
[4] Mimosa, obvi.
[5] Which I served with cranberry almond crackers. God I’m good. #snackmaster
[6] Turns out Raclette is typically used for melting. We just spread it on apple slices. As long as you can get past the smell long enough to get it in your mouth, you’ll be a happy camper.
[7] Because making soup is no big deal, right?
[8] By “we” I do mean Husband, but I was supervising and providing general kitchen direction.
[9] Although our dinner guest did suggest that next time we may want to add some heavy cream to the soup to thicken it up a bit. Not sure he’s part of #fitfam.
[10] The recipe comes Straight Outta the Bronx. Super authentic Italian American. It’s the best. I’ve been clandestinely dipping illicitly broken off bread chunks into this sauce while it cooks since I was old enough to clandestinely break bread. I’d give you the recipe, but … #whathappensintheBronx ….
[11] Oh yea, we moved. Packing and unpacking in less than 30 days is now on my resume under “Skills.” Now that we’re settled, we’re loving the new place.
[12] Sort of like what happened on my visit to Château d’Yquem.
[13] And a basket full of other goodies, like stuffed peppers, parmesan risotto, and a healthy sampling of fresh baked cookies that I really did mean to share with everyone. #oops