Saturday Night Red Wine – 2017 Tentation De Dalem – Fronsac

Tentation De Dalem French Grand Vin De Bordeaux

We found this wine at Total Wine priced at around $19.99.

I recommend allowing the wine to breathe. The color is black as night. The nose is heavy with oak. It tastes of dark cherry, rich plum, and a walk in the woods on an Autumn evening. It’s as dry as the desert, so have a glass of water handy.

This wine tasting took me back to the week my husband and I spent touring vineyards in the French countryside on our honeymoon many moons ago. French wine is always an adventurous pleasure!

Back Label copy

Dinner was steak cooked medium rare, steamed green beans with garden herbs and olive oil and garlic smashed red bliss with sour cream, light cream and butter.

Happy weekend all!

Robert Mondavi Private Selection 100% Chardonnay

I like to taste a wine before reading the back label, preferring not to be influenced. I’m considering total blind tastings – even having a friend pick the wine, cover the label, and pour going forward to see if I can determine whats what in a wine.

I was intrigued by this claim of 100% Chardonnay and the Robert Mondavi brand is a favorite of mine.

What I tasted was oak, vanilla, apple, lemon and honey back with a clean finish and slight sense of carbonation.

While some chards are fine for drinking on their own, this one is better paired with food to bring out the flavor. It’s a heavy, sturdy wine so it stands up well to aged cheeses or chicken or pasta dishes with rich white sauces.

Here’s what they say about it on the back label…

I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve tried it!

Ten Buttery Chardonnays for Under $10

Great buttery Chardonnay is such a popular subject that I have been working diligently to bring you a new Top Ten list with a fresh challenge: ten buttery chardonnays for under $10!!!

Does price really dictate quality and taste? Heck no! You don’t have to break the bank to drink good wine. Although challenging, you can find quality chards for under $20, $15 and even under $10!

A quick note on price, if you shop for wine at the major supermarket chains, the prices are sometimes as much as $5 higher per bottle than at designated wine outlets like Total Wine, or Costco, but with a member card, sale price discounts, and the 6 bottle discount most supermarkets offer, you can pay much less, you just may just need to buy more wine! I also find great prices and good selection at World Market, Aldi and Trader Joe’s.

There are some amazing, highly drinkable chards of the buttery, creamy variety with some other flavors that make my palate sing like oak, caramel, pear, almond, vanilla, baked apple, pineapple and honeysuckle. If all of these sound heavenly to you, read on my friends.

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Sadly, butter has become a trend, and with any trend, you have posers trying to sell you something that their product is not! Shameful! So first I want to address what’s in a name and in a label? Just like a book cover, the wine label and well written back label copy tell us in a snapshot everything about the wine we are about to purchase, it is the second most important piece of the puzzle. Still, I cannot tell you how many lost souls I have witnessed, and often rescued, adrift in the wine aisle!

Labels matter and they only have precious seconds to impress! If you are currently aimlessly wandering the aisles of your favorite wine store, my goal is to help you find some great weekend wines minus the pain!

As always, I had to taste some frogs to compile this list. Nothing is more disappointing than bringing home a wine with high hopes of greatness, only to find that the taste does not even begin to measure up to the name and label narrative. One that I found not as buttery as promised was Butter Knife.

Here are a few that do measure up on the butter scale!

Ménage a Trios from California, is liquid gold indeed. I have to say the name is a tad off-putting, and in the past I had hesitated to purchase it because I am a respectable wine drinker! Still, the wine is really good, and if this gimmicky thing that the marketers have going on works for them, great. However, they may want to consider a sister wine under a classier label for an uptick in sales and broader wine audience. Label aside, I give this one three butter sticks!!! It is sooo buttery!

Ménage a Trois Chardonnay
Toasted Head Chardonnay
Cloud Break Chardonnay

I first discovered Cloud Break at Aldi, but have since seen it on the shelves of other stores like Total Wine.

Bend Chardonnay

I selected Bend simply based on the label. I wanted to be on this windy road on a gorgeous autumn day in a convertible with someone special! I imagined a picnic basket in the back seat filled with gourmet cheese, a French baguette, and of course chilled buttery chard! The best label award goes to…Bend!

Cupcake Butterkissed Chardonnay

The Cupcake brand is pure marketing genius! I especially love that they added Butterkissed for an extra burst of butter for all butter lovers!

This wine label crosses over into what I call life style wine that sells a story with the 3 A’s: “Anytime, Anyplace, Anyone”.

Proverb Chardonnay

With such a sophisticated label, you can bring Proverb Chardonnay to your next gathering and impress for less.

Dark Horse Buttery Chardonnay
14 Hands Chardonnay
Gnarly Head Chardonnay

Big, grand applause for all of these wines and their fabulous labels! However, I just realized most of my picks are from California, ugh! I shall try to invent a list from around the globe or at least find more from some other states like Washington, Oregon, or Virginia next time! Until then…sip, relax and enjoy!

Please share your thoughts and favorites too! As always thanks for reading and keep drinking great wine!

Clos du Bois Lightly Bubbled Chardonnay- butter with phizzazz!

If you have not tried it yet, get some Clos du Bois Lightly Bubbled Chardonnay today because the Clos wine folks have struck gold with this combination of what they already had right in their chard- a reliable, affordable, buttery winner – now with a splash of pizzazz! They added just a hint of bubbles and well, my darlings, you need this in your wine cabinet before everyone else becomes wise to it! This fizzy fun is a must have for entertaining, as an aperitif, or serve to guests at your next Sunday Bruch!

Clos du Bois Lightly Bubbled Chardonnay

Ten Buttery Chardonnays for Under $20

Writing & Wining

Bringing you some feasible Friday fun with numbers…just in time for the weekend! Actually most of these wines are available for under $15, which is amazing considering the quality.

Fans of the buttery, creamy variety will enjoy these ‘Fab Chards’! I like mine fruity, but on the dry side, with hints of vanilla and oak of course!

Any fans of the new ‘un-oaked’ Chardonnay out there? I am curious if oak lovers find those enjoyable. I prefer these types with oak better.

Feel free to share some of your own great wine picks.

Have a wine-derful weekend all!

If you liked this post, please take a look at:

Ten More Buttery Chardonnays for Under $20

Chasmisal Chamisal

Clos du Bois Clos du Bois

Kendall Jackson Kendall Jackson

Bogle Bogle

La Crema La Crema

Coppola Coppola

Creme De Lys Creme De Lys

Chateau St. Michelle Chateau St. Michelle

Butternut Butternut

St. Francis St. Francis

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Shenandoah Vineyard Hopping

Visiting CrossKeys Vineyard,  in Mt. Crawford, VA:  https://www.crosskeysvineyards.com/

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#Empty-nesters for the week while our two teenagers are at XC camp-my hubby and I enjoyed some vineyard hopping in the lovely Shenandoah Valley.

CrossKeys Vineyard is a must do: The wine is exceptional, the views are panoramic, and the food is heavenly.

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On the road to a vineyard, I am always hopefully optimistic, although on occasion, the website and the hype do not measure up to the reality. Not so here! Reminiscent of Tuscany, this is an exquisite escape!

We began with some sketchy weather, but it quickly improved!

I highly recommend having one of the cheese plates, and thoroughly enjoyed the all day Sunday brunch menu options. The wines are complex in style and can easily compete with European vintages, especially the Merlot and the Cabernet Sauvignon.

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Our little romantic getaway was complete with a stay in one of the many local B&B’s, but this vineyard has the space and facilities to accommodate large events or would be fun with a group of friends.

Thanks for reading and keep drinking great wine!

 

 

 

Writing Success?

Amazon Top 100 Metaphysical free until 2/20/17 is #28 today!!! Secret Agent of God

How do you measure your success as a writer? Is is solely based on monetary terms? Is it based on numbers? Views? Or rankings? All of this has become very complicated. When I first published my book, I had no idea what I wanted in terms of writing success. Every month, and every year this definition of success keeps changing.

One single factor that remains consistent is that I am always taken by surprise when some form of writing success comes my way. So much for my mastery in marketing!

I actually forgot that I scheduled a book promotion for this weekend. Woops! I was checking the stats of another author, which of course led to checking my own stats, and then…an ah-ha moment.

Link to top 100 page

Incidentally as I write this the book went from #26 to #28! If I don’t write faster it may drop off the list entirely!!! Success no matter how you measure it fleeting.

When I was a “new” writer, I would get very excited about any measure of success. This is as it should be, which makes me wonder, as an “old” writer, am I now jaded or just too busy?

I have been a little busy with a new job, my daughter was home sick, I had a few plumbing disasters. You know, life tends to get in the way of one’s “writing life”.

Another recent discovery (again by accident) was that one of my blog posts from 2014, about buttery chardonnay, is consistently fighting for the top three position against Total Wine and Wine Spectator. What led to the discovery was I kept getting new comments on an old post. I looked at the stats, and realized it had a crazy number of steady views:

Web Results
  1. http://www.totalwine.com/wine/buttery-chardonnay/c/92888977Total Wine and More features the best wine selection with over 8000 wines in stock. Shop Buttery Chardonnay now.

  2. https://eileenslovak.com/2014/04/25/ten-buttery-chardonnays-for-under-20/Apr 25, 2014  Bringing you some feasible Friday fun with numbers…just in time for the weekend ! Actually most of these wines are available for under $15, which is amazing considering the quality. Fans of the buttery, creamy variety will enjoy these ‘Fab Chards’! I like mine fruity, but on the dry side, with hints of vanilla and …

  3. http://www.winespectator.com/drvinny/show/id/47437Wine Spectator’s expert describes malolactic conversion, or ML, which can impart a buttery flavor to Chardonnays or other wines, and suggests ways of finding wines that have this flavor.

It does make me smile, to see that today, I beat out Wine Spectator. But what does this mean? I love that people are finding my post useful. It’s flattering to be google ranked among the big shots of wine for my post. But at the end of the day, most of the people in my everyday life have no idea that I even write. BTW: I use my real name on everything!

Putting “success” in perspective means finding out what it means to me to be successful. I do feel inspired by this “success” enough to make me want work on my new novel today. This equals a positive result.

My goal as a writer has always been to write for the love of writing, to publish just to say I did it, to maybe reach a small audience, to inspire, to make a few connections, and NOT to quit.

The last one is the toughest. Hang in there!

Thanks for reading and keep writing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Night Vouvray! Hooray!

Try a little French classic this weekend, Vouvray from the Loire Valley. Crowd pleasing Vouvray is perfect for entertaining. Lovers of both dry, and sweet wine will enjoy this wine. It is a Chenin Blanc, which can vary in sweetness.

This particular bottle of Vignobles Lacheteau was not overly sweet, although some Vouvray can be. It was characteristically deep yellow in color, fruity, and fragrant. I found this one at Trader Joe’s for under $8.00.

I like to serve Vouvray very cold and with appetizers, especially mild french cheeses like honey goat and triple cream brie.

Thank you for reading and keep drinking great white wine!

Friday Night Chardonnay

Manage a Trois Gold California 2015, for under $10.00, is pure buttery deliciousness! This is a fun, rich tasting wine that surprised me with how fabulous it is. The back label copy is spot on!

I give this one three sticks of butter!

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Try it with seafood fettuccine alfredo, or a rich dessert, or just have this wine and call it desert. Yum!

Thanks for reading and keep drinking great wine!

 

Saturday Night Old Vine Zinfandel!

Carnivore Old Vine Zin is the full package: a wine with a catchy name, an attractive label, a rich red color and a medium body all for around $12.00. This is a delightful drinking wine with oak forward and fruit back. Darky fruity, I tasted plum, raspberry and dark cherry.

For cocktail hour try it with substantial cheeses such as an aged cheddar or gruyere. At dinnertime it mixes well with veal, lamb, or spicy food, like Indian cuisine.

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Please let me know how you liked it. Thanks for reading and keep drinking great wine!