Monday, October 1, 2007

The wine lady is back!

hi all, the wine lady has been away for awhile dealing with a pretty tumultuous summer. but now autumn has arrived, time to settle in with whatever new life changes have occurred for all of us. and what better way to do it than with a glass of wine. so chin up, head to the sky, glasses high!


and don't be afraid to tilt the glass!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

wine/memories/price rant/saturday night

i was given a couple bottles of wine yesterday, a southeastern aussie chardonnay and a california zinfandel. they were both economical buys, which everyone knows i love. i love expensive wines also. i just don't want to purchase them, because i also love eating.

but, back to the wines from yesterday. the aussie chardonnay was called black opal, retails here in pennsylvania for about $5. that price range is very difficult to find here in our fair state. i hope the chairman of the pennsylvania liquor control board reads this blog and decides to argue with me, because i would love to know where the other $5 bottles of wine are located. but i digress.

the black opal was extremely fruit forward, a slight hint of that popcorn buttery flavor reminiscent of many california chards, but not overwhelming. as a matter of fact, for a summer evening, it was even a bit refreshing. the gentleman that gave me the bottle, suggested i could use it for my wine 101 beginner's classes. i always look for wines that are easy to drink and don't require a lot of explanation for my beginner's classes; that way i am assured that most will return for wine 102 and won't be scared off by terms like "malolactic fermentation", or fruit descriptions like "lychee nut", which most people have never seen or tasted.

after a few sips of black opal chardonnay, i remembered that it was one of the first aussie wines i had experienced years ago. it was one of those simple wines that tasted good enough to encourage curiosity. and you can't snub your nose at wines like that, commercial maybe, geared to a young palate, sure, cheap in price, yeahhh! these are the wines that brought me to the place i am today; a wine girl who appreciates many flavors of wines and one who will still try anything once. i realized last night that i had somewhat come full circle with my last sip of black opal chardonnay before settling in to watch graham norton on the bbc. i still liked it. it still tasted good. it's $5. what more could you ask for in a wine on a saturday night?

the california zin may not be a great wine for a basics class, being a bit drier, most new wine students tend to shy away from it. but this was alright for burgers and fries, a good pepperoni pizza, being economical also, retailing at about $9 a liter. this is not your "big boy zinfandel", high in alcohol, fruit, flavor. this is a more simple version of the grape to give you a hint of what you could have if you spent quite a bit more money. to me zinfandels (and i reference the true red wine, not the pink stuff) is hard to find cheap and great, like pinot noir. for these two grape varieties you really need to shell out a few precious bucks to really have the experience. and yes, it would be great if someone out there proved me wrong. i'm still waiting.

don't be afraid to tilt the glass.

by the way * the black opal logo you see above is courtesy of, a great online wine store. check them out if you live in a state that allows you to have wines shipped to your home. I mean, after all you are an adult.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


i guess i love philadelphia. i keep wanting to make this blog about something else. i say that i want to include experiences from all over and not just my daily philly travels. but...hey, i live here, i love here, i eat and drink here. it's an awesome place.

my husband and i visited a tavern today, on an amazingly beautiful sunday, a place called eulogy. yes, this post is not about a sermon or a funeral. it's about my awakening. i'm a wine girl, hence the title of this blog, but i love excellence and flavor. and this place has a beer list to beat any wine list, 4 pages, maybe 5, i can't recall.

i enjoyed a crisp australian cooper's sparkling ale and the hubby had a big giant bold victory ale's v12 brew, 12 % alcohol, that's right, straight from downingtown, pa. and did i mention that the food was big in flavor and proportion?

they have this freaky little room upstairs in the back that is dark, has glass tables with business cards and skeletons inside. Don't ask why.

just visit eulogy at 136 chestnut st. philly.

the wine list only has 6 wines on it, but their sins are forgiven. they can now go to heaven.

*photo courtesy of

don't be afraid to tilt the glass.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


i had the pleasure of visiting a new restaurant in center city philly called 707. i was there for a snack and a drink, all in the name of my profession. i actually get paid to teach about wines and spirits and how well they go with the foods we eat. it's a special life.

back to 707. well, i found it to be a pretty place, sort of new york loft style decor; very modern. but more importantly, the small amount of staff there in the middle of the day, was organized and friendly. Jennifer served me one of 707's delicious cosmos made with fresh lime juice and raspberry liqueur. It was the most refreshing drink ive had on a steamy day.

i had an adorable serving of french fries served in a little pot, and at Jennifer's suggestion, with 707's awesome oregano mayo.

it's more fun to visit new places at odd times of day, at 2 or 3pm when lunch is over and dinner hasn't started. there's a zen-like silence, you get to know a place intimately and you get to see shifts change. i had a great time with my mixologist Jennifer but she had to move on with her day. she introduced me to Dave, who took over the mixology reigns and i persuaded him to sell me a glass of spanish rose. and it was just what a summertime rose wine should be, nice acid, noticeable fruit and a beautiful deep pink color. this wine delighted my sense of smell, sight and taste buds, and if it could sing, well, it would have been perfect. anyway, it's called zaza made with 100% garnacha grape variety; a more than decent delicious economical wine. it was a mere $6.50 at 707, which is cheap in restaurant language, it's probably about $9-$11 retail.

dave was a sweet young guy, seemed genuinely friendly and i had a lot of fun chatting with him about this blog. he was a bit confused as to why people like me do this sort of thing, write about everything we eat and drink. i couldn't really explain it. it's addictive and also, i think, a bit ego-driven and since i have an addictive personality and a big ego, well blogging about my life, suits me. but i also like to share and when i find things, places, and people i like, i want others to know about it.

today... it is 707 at 707 chestnut st, boasts the biggest martini in town at 7oz, of course. a few doors down from morimotos. Check out their fab website at

go...and enjoy.

don't be afraid to tilt the glass.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

like pizza and sex

one of the great things about wine, and blogging, as a matter of fact, is that even when it's boring, it's enjoyable. Some ordinary wine you've had a thousand times, on a relaxing sunday night before another week of pressure, is better than looking at an empty bottle of opus one or dom perignon. They say the same thing about pizza and sex, that even when it's bad , it's good, Maybe.

I guess what i want to say, is this; i had a light-bodied italian white wine tonight, leftovers. it's not an award winner but it made hgtv's "design star", a lot more fun to watch. i'm thankful for the little things.

*photo courtesy of Google Images

don't be afraid to tilt the glass.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

robert's rock

robert's rock is a new range of wines from south africa. it's apart of the kwv international brand of wines, a huge conglomerate, the man, the big wheel of business. anyway, they are meant to reach the everyday drinker, economical thinker. ok, i am feeling a bit poetic tonight.
i tried the cabernet sauvignon/merlot blend. i have to say that it had a bit of a european style to it, a bit less fruit forward than i expected, kind of food-friendly. it was definitely better with my KFC...uhhhhh, I mean my foie gras, well, no, my KFC chicken, three ways.

robert's rock...1.5 liter, $9, give or take a few pennies. not for impressing, simply for quaffing.

*photo courtesy of

don't be afraid to tilt the glass.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Aussie wine? Again?

by now, if you have been reading some of the other posts on this blog, you may have figured out that i have a special love for aussie wines. two reasons: they are usually bold in flavor and more economical for the quality than most wines. i am introducing you to another of my regulars, because to me that is what loving wine is all about; learning how to find the tried and true favorites that are sure to satisfy your particular craves.

lindeman's cawarra semillon/chardonnay blend is not shy. a bit heavy on the buttery flavors, noticeable oak barrel, a nice alcohol warmth at the end or the finish, as we say. if you are looking for subtle, don't pick it up. a liter for about $13. if you're not afraid.

don't be afraid to tilt the glass.