Is It Bedtime Yet?

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Wow. Just…wow. Today has been like something straight out of one of those funny/sad movies where one bad thing after another happens right before the mom loses it and goes nuts. Seriously.

Firstly, BOTH of my boys, yes both, are teething. Elliott is working on his very last molar (I’ll take your thoughts/prayers now, thanks) and Andrew is cutting his two front teeth. Both of them are incredibly snotty and congested, so their gag reflexes are super sensitive right now. Which means I’ve cleaned up vomit like, 10 times, at least, in the past 24 hours. And roughly 80,000 dirty diapers. That’s bad enough.

But nooooo. The fun doesn’t stop there! This morning all was going well and I was feeding Andrew. Cassidy and Elliott go into the laundry room to let the dogs out of their beds, then immediately come running out yelling, “PEE EWWW IT STINKS IN THERE!” Izzy had …what’s the best way I can say this?…shat herself and her bed in spectacular form. The smell quickly permeated the whole house and poor Joel nearly lost his breakfast it was so bad. I had to open all the windows, but it would still take hours to get that lovely smell out.

Meanwhile, it occurs to me that I have to get Cassidy ready for school. I’m getting her dressed as quickly as possible so we won’t be late, when I hear Elliott’s muffled yells through the house. I keep following the sound of his voice until I reach the bathroom. Yep, the door’s closed. It’s locked. He’s locked himself in there. Fantastic. The thought occurs to me to just leave him in there, but….I guess leaving your 2 year old in a locked bathroom would be “frowned upon”. Jeez. We get him out, I throw some breakfast at the kids, and we make it out the door.

Later, I’m at the grocery store with Elliott in the basket and Andrew strapped and clinging to me like a koala on a tree and the 3rd old man (it’s always the old men) has just said to me while chuckling, “you’ve sure got your hands full!”. I quickly weigh my options and decide dumping my kids in his basket and giving him the double salute wouldn’t be prudent. THEN WHO SHOULD I SEE but the very man, our town’s very own Dr. Nick,

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who botched Joel’s vasectomy 2 years ago. It took all my restraint not to point to the bundle attached to my chest and yell, “GREAT JOB, DOC!”, but then he was gone and I cooled off. Then I thought about how much we adore Andrew and how much joy he brings to our lives so I let it slide. I still kinda wanna punch the guy in the face, though. Principle, and all that.

Anyway, we made it home and I managed to get lunch on the table and kids down for naps without a nervous breakdown. I even cleaned the kitchen! I call that a win. And tonight, after dinner has been cleared away and the kids are in bed, I’ll have a glass of my all-time favorite, J. Lohr Cabernet Sauvingon, soak up the quiet, and flip through my Pottery Barn catalogue in peace.

Fingers crossed.

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Wine Not? Are pairings really a thing?

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I don’t know about the rest of you, but for the entirety of my wine-drinking life (about 8-9ish years), the only thing I knew about wine pairing was: red meat = red wine; poultry and fish = white wine. Boom. Done. And I’m not even sure how I came upon that knowledge. But for whatever reason, I followed it to the ‘T’. I would never have dared to drink red wine with fish (gasp!). Or white wine at a steak house.

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Until I realized: NO ONE GIVES A CRAP WHAT I’M DRINKING. I mean, do you really think people saw me at a restaurant drinking Malbec with my sushi, and said to their friend, “oh my god, Becky, look at that crazy lady over there drinking Malbec with her sushi!”? Nope. Know why? Cuz no one cares. They’re too busy instagramming their food/making goo-goo eyes at the bartender/discretely picking food out of their teeth. So I stopped worrying about food and wine pairings. They don’t matter. If you think it tastes good together, drink it.

I don’t actually love white wine with my fish. But you know what? One of my most favorite things in the world (for real) is drinking expensive wine with cheap pizza. Seriously. Love it. I LOVE a good red wine with a Little Ceasar’s Hot ‘n Ready. In fact, it’s our Friday night routine. Joel grabs a couple of pizzas, I open a new bottle of wine, and we watch a movie (or the old school Ninja Turtles cartoons) with the kids. I look forward to it all week. Something about gross, greasy, $5 pizza with a smooth, full-bodied, fancy wine makes me feel like a rebel in the best possible way.

So, if it’s Thanksgiving and your stuffy uncle says white is the only acceptable option- bust out that red!

If you’re grilling burgers and hot dogs on a summer day- say “yes way, Rosé!”

Champagne at a chili cookoff in freezing temperatures? Oui, oui!

It’s ALL good, and it’s ALL acceptable. As long as you’re enjoying what you’re drinking, anything goes!

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Wine Not? Amarone, AKA: my new favorite

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Hey y’all! What’s new? Tried any good wines lately? I’d love to hear about them! We recently got a new wine in our monthly Winc shipment called Negrette. I’m not entirely sure what I think of it and I’m still mulling it over. I’ve never heard of it before, but google tells me “it’s low in acidity and not especially tannic”; also “it tends to lack personality”. Hmm. Now, I’m no expert but I’m pretty sure that means I need to drink the whole bottle as to not hurt its feelings (also, I’ll take those remarks with a grain of salt, coming from a website that uses the Comic Sans font…).

Anyway, what I came here to talk about is my new favorite wine! EVER! It’s so, so, so amazingly good, you guys. Like, life-changing good. It’s called Amarone (ah-mah-roh-neh. So-dee-lih-shus!). 

Get this, Amarone is made by first drying the grapes out in the sun, then pressing them to make wine. So essentially, they’re making wine out of raisins (is your mind not blown?! ‘cuz mine is!). Which means, the sugar content is higher, which means ultimately, the alcohol content is higher. Which means, it’s going to be fuller and richer and beautiful-er. WHICH MEANS IT’S DELICIOUS AND AMAZING AND OMGYOUHAVETOTRYIT.

Ok, sorry for my shouting, but y’all. Every time I would take a sip of this wine (paired with juicy, medium-rare ribeye steaks), I felt like doing a happy dance it was so delicious. Because of the way it’s made, you’d think it would be sweet, but it’s not! It’s nicely dry, has some lovely acidity (the thing that makes a wine taste “crisp” or “refreshing”), but it’s very full-bodied; like heavy cream vs. skim milk. A real treat.

But an expensive treat. Upon researching it and talking to a wine rep at Total Wine, Amarone usually runs anywhere from $35-$75, or more. BUT, luckily Amarone’s lesser known cousin, Ripasso is here to save the day! Ripasso is often referred to as “Baby Amarone” and is made by a similar process. It’s not exactly the same, but for around 15 bucks, who cares?! Drink the Ripasso as often as you want and save the Amarone for special occasions!

If you get a chance, give this a try and let me know what you think!

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Wine Not? Monthly Wine Subscriptions

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Let’s have story time. Once upon a time, there was a beautiful (more or less), young(ish) woman who spent all her days raising 3 small children. One dark, gloomy day, after picking up dried, crusty playdough, cleaning up uneaten lunches, fighting naptime battles, and one long, harrowing quest to locate a missing Blankie, our young(ish) mother found herself tired, rundown, and in desperate need of a shower. But alas, there was no time for rest; and the mother sat in the corner and cried while her children ran amuck through the house with underwear on their heads.

Just then, the clouds parted and the sun shone brightly. The woman opened her front door just in time to see a handsome prince in a white, shining Fedex truck. He strode up to the door, knelt before her, and presented her with a magical box. And inside the box was wine! The mother was saved! And in that moment, there was much rejoicing and she knew she was going to be alright. The End.

 

LOL. Ok, so my life is really not that dramatic. And I love my kids to pieces so I really don’t mind when they run around with underwear on their heads (I’m usually running right along behind them snapping pictures, so…). BUT, that one Friday out of each month certainly is rejoice-worthy. A few months ago, I joined Winc, a monthly wine subscription service that delivers new bottles of wine right to my door. I decided to treat myself since I seldom go out and spend tons of money on clothes/shoes/purses, etc. And let me tell you, it’s one of the coolest things ever! I went online and filled out a little quiz to determine my “palate”, and then they sent me 3 bottles to try for free. I was immediately hooked and have kept up the subscription with no plans of ever canceling it. I look forward to it every month.

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I can pick which wines I want, or they’ll choose for me, based on my palate quiz. And they always include info cards for each bottle, along with a recipe that pairs well with the wine. I love, love, love it. I’ve tried so many new kinds of wine that I never would’ve picked for myself, which means now I have so many new favorites. I really just can’t say enough good things about Winc.

And I’ve seen several other awesome looking monthly wine subscriptions out there, as well. Including Bright Cellars, which is created by a couple of MIT grads with a passion for wine. Really, you can’t go wrong with any of these (although I’ve noticed Winc is one of the less expensive ones, so…win-win!).

Since I have no idea what I’m doing as far as wine goes, I’m always super overwhelmed when I walk into a big wine store with shelves and shelves of different wines. That’s why I love having this subscription. Someone else chooses for me, and I can go online or to the app and rate the bottle. Based on my ratings, my flavor profile gets more and more fine tuned. I mean, seriously! How cool is that?!

If you think you might think you’d like to give Winc a try*, click HERE and get started. They’ll take care of shipping AND send you a bottle for free! Yay for free wine!

Do you have a wine subscription? What kind? I’d love to hear from you!

*Winc didn’t hire me to write this post or compensate me in any way, and all opinions are 100% my own. But I’m not gonna lie, if somebody paid me to drink wine…well, I wouldn’t be mad about it. 😉

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canned

Before I start, let me just go ahead and get something out of the way- I am in no way, shape, or form a “wine snob”. K? I don’t discriminate when it comes to wine. I don’t care about “vintages”. I embrace and even welcome a good boxed wine. Screw top? Cork? Who cares! I don’t care if it’s “cheap wine”; if it tastes good, I’ll drink it. I once saw a sign that said, “Life’s Too Short to Drink Cheap Wine”. Hmm. Agree to disagree, I guess. While I absolutely love splurging on an expensive bottle every now and then, I have no problem with stocking my wine rack with $10 (or less) wines. So there. I’m glad I got that off my chest!

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So. Canned wine. You’ve probably seen this trend really picking up lately. Especially among those pesky hipsters (but the good news is, you don’t have to grow a handlebar mustache or wear dark rimmed glasses to enjoy it). I first saw canned wine on a trip to Target back in the Spring. They had a couple of different options, including this adorable little four pack (it even comes with a cute little straw, just like a juice box! Mommy’s special juice box…) and these Fresh Craft wine cocktails, which were really good. Very fruity and refreshing.

I think the biggest draw for canned wine is its ability to go almost anywhere. The beach, the park, on picnics…anywhere glass isn’t allowed. Plus, you get to feel all hip and trendy while you drink it. I guess the only downside to canned wine would be it’s inability to age well. The corks on bottled wines allow tiny amounts of oxygen to come in contact with the wine, so it helps it age (according to google). Canned wine is in an airtight aluminum can, so no air can get in, which means no aging. But this is a non-issue for me since I do not care.

But doesn’t it taste different? Newp. I’ve actually done a fair bit of reading about it, including this article from Time.com and this article from Bon Appetit. I mean, if it’s crappy wine to start with, chances are it’ll still be crappy in a can, but great bottled wine = great canned wine. And there are plenty of great canned wines out there nowadays. And lots of wineries are jumping on the bandwagon.

I think this is the best one ever- Underwood by Union Wine Co. First of all, they have some HILARIOUS videos (seriously, watch them all- you’ll laugh out loud), and their motto is “Wine doesn’t have to be this hard.” #pinkiesdown. Seriously, I think I found my people. I found these cans at my local Trader Joe’s and got the Rosé and the Pinot Noir. They’re around 5 bucks each and perfect for two people to share (each can equals about 2 glasses).

The Rosé was a little on the sweet side for my liking, but I still enjoyed it. As for pairing- I paired mine with a glass and a cantankerous 4 year old and lemme tell ya, it paired BEAUTIFULLY. After a long day of parenting barn animal children, it hit just right on the palate. I haven’t tried the Pinot Noir yet, but I believe it’s their most popular one, so I’m looking forward to it.

Ok, so. We’ve talked about canned wines. What are your thoughts? Personally, I’m all in. I love the concept, I love the portability, I love the ease. It’s win-win. Yay, cans!

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Wine Not?

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HI EVERYBODY! Betcha didn’t expect to see me again, huh? I know, I know. I have a good reason for my absence, though- I had a chunky, almost 10 pound ginger baby back in January! Yay! His name is Andrew and he’s just…perfect. He’s the last piece of the puzzle and he brings our family so much joy and laughter. Life is really good, but a lot has changed. I still cook and bake a lot, but I find myself not very interested in food blogging anymore. It makes me kind of sad, but…it is what it is. I honestly just don’t have time to do it anymore. And when I do have a little free time, I use it to do important things. Like binge-watching Jane the Virgin and drinking wine.

Which brings me to the fun news. I’m not getting rid of this blog. I can’t. I love it too much. It’s such a huge, huge part of me and I love it dearly. So obviously, I had a dilemma- I really love writing, I really love my blog, but I don’t really love taking pictures of/editing my food (ain’t nobody got time for that!) anymore. But you know what I love almost as much as food and could talk about pretty much all day? (No, I’m not talking about my kids; I think the world has more than enough “mommy blogs” these days).

WINE, people. WINE.

Wine is fun, wine is art, wine is delicious; it’s fascinating, it’s complex, it’s been around for literally ages. I mean, it’s practically the official drink of JESUS. The Son of God don’t play around, y’all! There is SO MUCH to learn about wine, and over the past few years, Joel and I have really begun to take a real interest in it (read: drinking as much as we can between the hours of 8pm-10pm). I’ve recently decided I want to  learn everything there is to learn about wine- how to drink it, how to smell it, what wines come from what regions, etc. I am SO excited to start this new chapter and I think there are a few, if not a lot, of you out there who wouldn’t mind learning right along with me. I’ve been testing the waters a little bit with my Instagram account, and the response has been pretty great- there are quite a few of you who are as interested as I am about wine! So let’s do this together!

Come hang out with me as I ramble (and trust, it will most definitely be rambling- I literally have ZERO idea what I’m talking about, but that’s what makes it fun) about my favorite and sometimes not-so-favorite wines. It’s gonna be fun!

P.S. If you like the way this is heading, help a girl out and leave me a comment or email or something to let me know! I welcome your feedback and need encouragement/suggestions/whatever you got!

I’M PUMPED, Y’ALL!! Cheers!

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