Rosé all day? Rosé any day!

Who says rosés are only for summer sipping? Today I decided to shake things up, break away from my traditional “seasonal drinking” (i.e. reds in the winter, whites in the summer), and go for a French Rosé. And this one did not disappoint.

At one point, I used to think a rosé is a rosé is a rosé – that basically if you’ve tried one, you’ve tried them all as I thought they all tasted the same. As I’ve evolved in my wine knowledge and my palate has matured, I realize that is not the case. So, I present to you a brief tasting note to give you an idea of why this rosé needs to be on your wishlist.

Beautiful blush pink, bursting with strawberry, florals such as roses, lavender, and Provençal herbs. It’s the perfect wine to transport you to the lavender fields in the south of France. Cheers!

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There’s More Than One Way to Open a Bottle of Wine

This is MY fidget spinner.

But seriously: corkscrew, wine opener, wine key, waiter’s friend…whatever you call this tool of the trade, it’s important to have one that you can easily use and enjoy showing off. I got this simple, double-hinged corkscrew at a winery a couple years ago for about $7, and it goes everywhere with me just in case wine happens.

Speaking from my own experience I’ve used everything from a winged corkscrew to a lever corkscrew and even an automatic electric corkscrew, and honestly, my tool of choice is the double-hinged corkscrew. It works every time – if you know what you’re doing.

It’s amazing how many different (i.e. incorrect) ways I’ve seen it used, though. It can be painful to watch in some cases. But once someone sees how it is supposed to work, the reaction is always the same: “ohhhh!” It’s a lightbulb moment.

So, perhaps that means this post warrants a follow-up with a step-by-step tutorial on how to correctly and effectively utilize a double-hinged corkscrew. Is that something any of you would be interested in seeing? Hit me up below, and let me know!

Getting Kind of Squirrelly

I don’t always shop labels, but when I do, I shop squirrels. Browsing boutique wine shops has more than just the sheer wine appeal going for it. There’s the dedicated owner & manager who – in many cases – is the same person who has made the shop their baby. There’s the cozy sitting nook hugged by a shelf or two of wine books, magazines, and other publications. And then there is the seemingly endless array of artwork displayed so prominently on the front of every bottle.

The illustrations, the colors, and the fonts work cohesively to grab your attention, even if only for a second, and make that first impression. Maybe you linger, maybe you pick up the bottle for a closer look and turn it around to read the back label – much like browsing a book store and reading a book’s synopsis on the back cover. In those 30 seconds or so, you as the consumer make a decision of whether or not that bottle will go home with you – assuming the price is within range.

What do you look for? Great storytelling? A brief history of the region, winery, vineyard, family owners, or winemaker? Witty banter about how this bottle is particularly special? Detailed tasting notes? Or do you simply say, “screw it. This one looks cool,” and make your purchase with confident ease? Today, I was the latter, and I must say: this one does look cool.

Sneak Peek Behind the Scenes: Wine Tasting Prep

In the Wine Events: Experiential Learning post, I discussed how events such as wine tastings and wine-paired dinners are great ways to learn about wines through an experience. Ever wonder how those wines get selected, though? While (I imagine) each steward of wine has their own personal approach to developing their lineups, the end goal is generally the same: put the best wines in front of guests.

When creating a wine list for an upcoming event, I take a number of elements into consideration. For wine tastings specifically when I know there will be a wide range of preferences, it is important to attempt a variety including dry, sweet, red, white, and a sliding scale of price points. Things like season, holidays, or even local events play into the selections. The most challenging part is sampling all.those.wines. 😉 But somebody’s gotta do it!

Keeping detailed records of tasting notes and ratings on the Vivino app (available in the App Store for free, and you’re welcome to follow me at CouchWine where you’ll find 200+ wine reviews) is key. This serves as a guide when making recommendations weeks or even months later after a sampling has occurred.

I’m sure each wine professional has their own system that works for them, and in the end for me it is all about notes, organization, and thoughtfulness to bring the very best experience to my guests every time they attend one of my events. Cheers!

What the Weekend Wants

It’s far too easy on Sunday evening to take inventory of the weekend and think “I got absolutely nothing done.” But take a moment to look at the weekend through a different lens: did you enjoy yourself? Did you rest, did you play, did you temporarily allow yourself to forget the nagging to-do’s that will still be there on Monday? Try not to fret over the coulda-woulda-shouldas. Find joy and peace knowing that you did exactly what the weekend wanted you to do.

Recharging is healthy and necessary in order to take on the week ahead with gusto! So, let a feeling of accomplishment sweep over you as you embrace the invigorating energy this photo captures, and go into this week with a renewed spirit!

Snow Day(dream)

Waking up to a blanket of snow is a great feeling. Just when you start yearning for warmer temperatures, Mother Nature reminds you of the perks of winter. A snow day makes everything you daydream about possible and socially acceptable: not leaving the house, staying in pajamas all day, and – of course – a day drink or two.

Whether you’re getting lost in a new book, binge-watching a favorite series, or starting a new puzzle, the experience is enhanced with a glass of wine by your side. Sipping it casually and enjoying a glass in all its glory is just what the winemaker envisions when concocting the perfect formula. So while your daydreams manifest on this snowy winter day, smile knowing that you’re also making the dreams of a winemaker come true, too.

CouchWine of the Day

This Friday is brought to you by Ridge Vineyards Three Valleys. Ridge makes incredible wines, and Three Valleys is no exception. This is #WhatImDrinkingNow.

Bold, robust flavors of both red and dark fruits are enhanced with exotic spices. Smooth and well balanced with round tannins, this wine is of excellent quality. And at $30 a bottle, it is at an accessible price point, too!

Highly recommend this wine for this weekend’s anticipated snow storm. It should be an essential item in your survival kit. Trust me.