Wine Blogs

Vino Bambino!

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008 | Wine Blogs | 6 Comments

OK, OK, it’s time to come clean. I really do have a reason for neglecting my wine blog. The truth is that I am pregnant, which kind of takes the fun out of wine blogging. I happen to be of the belief that a glass of wine with dinner is acceptable while pregnant, but only later in the pregnancy. I am just over 10 weeks along, so my personal choice is to abstain for now. Though I can still taste and spit if Drew has opened a bottle of something interesting. When I was pregnant with our second baby, he didn’t drink much else than Gallo Burgundy in the jug. He felt bad opening anything “good.” I certainly don’t expect him to do that this time around!

Of course I now face the dilemma of what to do with this blog. I am considering skewing the focus towards food for the time being (thanks to Richard for the suggestion). After all, I do still eat. Randy of Wine Biz Radio commented on Twitter that he would find wine tasting from the perspective of a pregnant woman interesting — would wines taste the same as they did before the pregnancy? I might be able to incorporate that as well. If Drew opens a bottle we’ve had before I can swirl and spit and then compare notes.

So I hope you’ll bear with me as I temporarily retool the blog! Thanks :-)

The Omnivore’s Hundred

Monday, August 25th, 2008 | Wine Blogs | 3 Comments

I’ve seen this fun meme on several food and wine blogs lately, most recently at McDuff’s Food & Wine Trail. I figured why not do it myself?

The rules:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment at Very Good Taste linking to your results.

Without further ado, the MFWT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Having tried only slightly under half of the items (49 to be exact) and with quite a few I would not consider eating, it appears that I am much pickier than many of the other people who completed this. I guess that’s why I stick to blogging about drinks :-)

Might Be A Slow Three Weeks ‘Round Here…

Saturday, July 5th, 2008 | Wine Blogs | No Comments

Just a little administrative note to let you know that the next three weeks might be quiet ’round these parts. Thursday I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease and I’m on a three-week course of strong antibiotics. While neither my doctor nor the information that came with the medication said anything about avoiding alcohol, I have heard various things about mixing alcohol and antibiotics. Some say it reduces their effectiveness. Others say it can cause side effects. And still others say nothing at all happens. Well, I’m just not taking any chances. I was lucky to have caught it quickly and after a few days of feeling probably the most awful in my lifetime, I think I am on the upswing now and want to keep it that way :-)

I’ll try to fill in with any news of interest that comes my way, and I still have two posts in my “wine questions” series left to answer, but obviously I won’t be posting any tasting notes until the 21 days are over. Maybe I can convince Drew to write a post or two while I’m teetotalling ;-)

Someday I Can Say, “When I Was In My 30s, I Owned This Crazy Wine Shop.”

Friday, June 13th, 2008 | Wine Blogs | 7 Comments

DSC_0919

Now that it’s over, I can tell you that the reason behind my lack-of-blogging was related to the stress of a business transaction. After two and a half years of owning a wine shop, today the sale was made final and we passed the torch on to a new owner. This particular shop has been a liquor store for over 50 years. The new owner has experience in the wine biz and is very excited about his new venture. I wish him much success!

As for the reasons why we decided to sell it? Mostly it came down to distance. The store was about 75 miles away from home (making it a 3-hour, round-trip commute), and as any small business owner knows — the hours are long. We tried to sell our home so that we could move closer, but the timing was all wrong and after two years we pulled it off the market. And then when you consider the current gas prices, well… We actually accepted the offer in December. Who knew that business transactions take so long?

The entire experience was amazing. We went into it with little business experience, and just enough wine knowledge to talk about our favorite subject without sounding too foolish. We caught on quickly and we actually did quite well. We built up a great customer base, we skewed the inventory heavily toward wine, and learned a tremendous amount. There are, of course, many things I will not miss (screwed up deliveries, sales reps who don’t understand your store, customers who throw a hissy fit when you don’t have Grey Goose L’Orange). But I will miss trying new wines on a regular basis (before we buy them), and I will certainly miss many of the customers. At the risk of sounding completely cheesy, I could not help choking up a little bit last week when a regular customer excitedly came by to announce her granddaughter had been born that morning. For months, she’d give me weekly updates, and as she pulled out her digital camera to show me photos of the precious, newborn girl, it occurred to me how these seemingly meaningless encounters selling wine and spirits actually are quite big.

All in all, I’m so glad we did it. It opened up quite a few doors for me that I didn’t even know where there! But I can also honestly say that owning a business was very stressful, it was 24/7, and it was very difficult to find a balance between work and family life (especially with two little boys). Even though it was tough at times, I’m so glad that we’ll be able to look back and say, “You know what? We did it.” And we didn’t suck at it ;-) I’d hate to spend my life wondering “What if?”

As for the question of “What now?” Well, we have a cellar full of wines and spirits! I hope to be better about posting tasting notes and cocktail recipes since I will now be enjoying them purely for pleasure and not just business. And hopefully you will look forward to reading them.

When Hobbies Collide, Part II

Monday, April 21st, 2008 | Wine Blogs | 4 Comments

Budo Kun (of domaine547.com fame)

I finally finished my little knit version of Budo-Kun! I will be sending him out to Jill of domaine547 this week. Unfortunately, my circular knitting skills are not the greatest and I got a little sloppy on the decreases up at the top (and I also forgot to embroider the area where the cork starts, argh), but for a gag gift, I am pretty happy with it considering I don’t make these whimsies all too often.

When Hobbies Collide

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008 | Wine Blogs | No Comments

I’ve always thought that Jill’s mascot over at domaine547 was adorable. So when I ran out of small-ish knitting projects, and wasn’t quite ready to commit to a lace shawl that I’ve tried to knit twice before, I decided to alter a pattern I had for a stuffed beer bottle and make Budo Kun spring to life. I’m a little more than half-way done with him:

Budo Kun Progress

If all goes well, he’ll be stuffed and complete by the end of the week!

Nominations Open for Wine Blog Awards

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008 | Wine Blogs | No Comments

smalllogoaloneweb.jpgAwards. Some people put a lot of stock in them, others don’t feel that they mean much of anything. Neverthless, communities love honoring their own, and this is certainly true when it comes to blogs. In fact, the time-honored tradition of blog awards started years before most people knew what the heck a “blog” was — Diarist.net started awarding “Best of…” awards for online journals back in 1999.

Wine blogs are becoming increasingly popular and over on his blog, Fermentation, Tom Wark has announced the open nominations period for the 2008 American wine blog awards. There are a variety of awards including Best Wine Blog, Best Wine Blog Writing, Best Single Subject Wine Blog, Best Wine Review Blog, Best Wine Business Blogging, Best Winery Blog, Best Wine Podcast or Video Blog, and Best Wine Blog Graphics.

The American Wine Blog Awards will accept nominations in eight categories until February 27 when a panel of judges will narrow down the nominated blogs to four in each category. The finalists will then be voted on by the public as well as by a judging panel to determine the winners. If you feel strongly about your favorite wine blogs, be sure to nominate them!

Make Like A Tomato And…

Monday, February 4th, 2008 | Wine Blogs | 1 Comment

Q: Why did the tomato get by the car?
A: It couldn’t ketchup!

Seems as though I have a good deal of catchup up to do when it comes to the wine blogosphere, so why not tackle everything in one post? A (not so) quick wrap-up:

WBW #41 Wrap Up: Jack wraps up the wine bloggers’ foray into the white wines of Friuli-Venizia Giulia. As usual, there were a good number of participants, though it seems I was not the only one who had a hard time finding a decent bottle!

WBW #42 Announced: Andrew Barrow over at Spitoon is the host for the 42nd edition of Wine Blogging Wednesday. He challenges us to taste an Italian wine and describe it in only 7 words. I’m looking forward to this one!

WBW Logo Contest: If you enjoy making Web graphics, you’ll want to get in on the Wine Blogging Wednesday Logo Contest which runs through March 31, 2008. Details:

You can submit your logo idea via email to winebloggingwednesday@gmail.com. Once we’ve collected all of the submissions, we’ll post them to Flickr and everyone can vote for their favorite.

Wine Blogger Book Club #1: The brainchild of Dr. Debs (Good Wine Under $20), Wine Bloggers Book Club was announced early last month. David McDuff (McDuff’s Food & Wine Trail) is hosting the first round and has chosen the book Vino Italiano: The Regional Wines of Italy, by Joseph Bastianich and David Lynch. I’m having a difficult time focussing on the book, I hate to say, and I’m just hoping that my ”book report” will make the due date of February 26th. It’s been a while since I’ve stayed up late trying to finish a book for an assignment, so hopefully I won’t have to resort to pulling an all-nighter.

Drink One, Win Two: In honor of “Open That Bottle Night,” which occurs on Saturday, February 23rd this year, Farley at Behind the Vines is holding a contest. The lucky winner will recieve two bottles of wine that haven’t even hit the shelves yet: a bottle of 2006 Rosenblum Cellars Richard Sauret Zinfandel and a bottle of 2006 Rosenblum Cellars Harris Kratka Zinfandel. All you need to do to win is comment on her blog and let her know by February 20 what wine they plan on opening on OTBN. Check out her blog post for all the details.

And last, but certainly not least… this week is Take Your Rubber Chicken To Work Week! We’ll actually be on vacation this week so we won’t be participating, but by all means you should. Please check out the rules and regulations. Make your workplace just a little bit brighter this week, won’t you?

Phew. I think I’ve covered it all, but if there’s something I’m missing, just comment and let me know!

About Me

I'm Carol, mom to three, knitter, crocheter, writer, and oenophile. I used to co-own a wine shop but discovered that I prefer drinking wine to selling it.

Feel free to leave a comment or drop me a line.

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