Apothic Crush Smooth Red Blend, 2014 CA.

Can you believe the Holiday Season is upon us again? It seems like just last week I was apothic-crushsweating my arse off, counting down the months until the intense heat would pass. Now, just a week after Thanksgiving and I’m sitting here wearing shorts and t-shirt again. I’m not complaining, I love my shorts and t-shirts and at least now I know it’s just a few days of 70 degree weather and soon we’ll be back to chilly nights of sipping wine by the fire.

Fall was beautiful but we held onto the heat a little too long. Not to mention all of the smoke in the air due to the number of forest fires burning in the area. Now we’ve had some cool evenings and have had a few nights with a lovely fire. The house is decorated, the tree adorned with my childhood ornaments along with the hundreds I’ve purchased as an adult and the front porch is hung with wreaths and Christmas lights.

We all know I love wine but there’s something special about those twinkling lights, Christmas music and cooler air that makes it more divine. Last night I opened a bottle of Apothic Crush Smooth Red Blend, 2014 CA.

Chocolate, red berry and a hint of leather on the nose. Lush black berry jam, black plum and a long spicy finish. I found mine at a wine & liquor shop for under $8.

I’m a huge fan of the Apothic wine line. Affordable, easy drinking and widely carried, but I’m not sure I’ve ever covered any of the Apothic wines.

Below is taken from the Apothic website.
Inspired by “Apotheca,” a mysterious place where wine was blended and stored in 13th century Europe, the wines of Apothic are truly unique in style and taste.
Our winemaker, Debbie Juergenson, crafts bold, captivating Apothic blends by using only the most distinctive California grapes. From vintage to vintage, the character and flavor of the individual varietals guide the shape of each blend.
To craft Apothic wines, Debbie looks for a unique blend of grapes to create intense aromas and bold flavors. Each vintage, she lets the grapes guide the way from the vine to the cellar, crafting a collection of unforgettable wines, including Apothic Red, White, Dark, Crush and a limited selection of seasonal releases.
“I strive to tell a story with each blend of Apothic,” Debbie explains. “Whether it’s one of drama, intrigue or romance, the wines of Apothic are truly original.”

Due to the Fair Labor Standards Act that goes into effect today, I’ll no longer be working through my lunch. That means, more time to write and I can get this blog back on track. Yippee!

So, stay tuned, I promise there will be more regular postings. I’m hoping to get back to a weekly post, but will not make promises on that one just yet.

Next week, I’ll be reviewing one of my favorite sparkling wines, just in time for all the holiday hoopla!

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Piperfield Wines 5k Zinfandel Lodi 2012

I know, I’m like the absentee parent that shows up every few months, hangs out for a few 5k_zin_bottle-217x772moments and then gone for another couple of months.

I decided if after work, I stayed off social media, I would probably have more time to write. So let’s see how long that vow can last. My guess is not long, it’s like being Alice Kravitz from Bewitched, I just have to know what everyone is up to.

I received a sample of 5k Zinfandel from Piperfield Wines in July, yes this post is long overdue and finally had a chance to give it a try last month. I have to admit, it was delicious.

Lush dark berries, cherry and dark stone fruit with a long plum finish.

Grapes are sourced from Terminous Island located in the California Delta where the grapes are fed by peat-rich soil, warm days and cool evenings and San Francisco Bay breezes.

Want a wine you can feel good about? Piperfield Wines is the result of a 30-year friendship between two former waitresses whose love of wine and “balance” inspired their 5k and 1k wines. Five percent of all profits from wine sales go to local small charities. If you’d like to submit a cause you support, check out their Grateful Grapes program.


Sorry for the short post but it’s better than no post. Here’s to hoping I stick with my promise about cutting back on social media and no more falling down the rabbit hole.



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Piperfield Wines 5k Verdelho, Lodi, CA

10k_verdelho_bottle1-246x772Hi, it’s me, your Absent Wine Blogger. So here are my most recent excuses for not posting:
• It’s too hot to write – ok, this one is a little weak since I’m sitting in the AC.
• I’m too tired to write – this does have some truth in it, since I’m full-time again.
• I’m too brain dead after work to write – Yep, that is for sure.
• I don’t have enough new wines to try to write about – bingo, that’s a big one.
So maybe it’s a combo of all of the above or maybe I’ve just really lost my mojo, my inspiration, my muse… Nah, it’s the above!

So anyway, here I am, I think the last time I posted was in June when our AC went out. I remember when August arrived and all I could think was let’s just fast-forward through this month and onto September. I’m tired of the heat, the humidity and the lack of rain. This summer sucked as far as I’m concerned and I couldn’t wait for the cooler temps that September would surely bring.

Then why the hell is it still so unbearable and it’s the first day of fall. I’m started to wonder if we’re just going to skip over my favorite season and just land in winter. Cue the sigh…

Ok, I guess that just gives me a little longer to sit on the porch, with the fan on high and drink some white wines. Recently I received a sample of Piperfield Wines 5k Verdelho, Lodi, CA. I have to admit, I wasn’t very familiar with the Verdelho grape, so this was a first for me.

Aromas of mango, peach and a hint of lush pineapple. Flavors of succulent peach, hint of melon and citrus fruits with a nice crisp finish. Too bad it was so warm outside, the wine in the glass kept warming up too.

Appellation: Lodi, Ca.
Harvest: aug 15, 2014
Brix: 24
Ph: 3.35
Alcohol: 13.5%

The Verdelho grapes originate from Madeira Portugal and are now grown on 4 acres on Terminous Island, located in the California Delta. The island has the distinction of being the last island on the western edge of the Lodi Appellation. Peat-rich soil, warm summer days and cool evenings help the Verdelho grapes flourish. There are just 3 vineyards in the US currently growing this special variety.

I love wines I can feel good about. Piperfield Wines is the result of a 30-year friendship between two former waitresses whose love of wine and “balance” inspired their 5k and 1k wines. Five percent of all profits from wine sales go to local small charities. If you’d like to submit a cause you support, check out their Grateful Grapes program.

I’m crossing fingers I see cooler temps soon. I mean a break from upper 80’s would be a plus at this point. I’m hitting the Dale Chihuly Exhibit at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens this weekend. Stay tuned as I may just post some pics!

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Eden Ridge Chardonnay and Eden Ridge Red Blend

I swear it’s been July for at least four weeks now! At least it’s felt like July or maybe evenEden Ridge August. On Saturday my area hit 98 degrees. It’s not supposed to be that hot, not yet! I also learned this past weekend that Liquid Nails melts in high temps. My latest garden art project was holding fine earlier in the week but on Sunday fell apart. All the glue had melted.

We did however get a break two weeks ago; well I guess it depends on how you look at that break. Friday night just before bed, I thought either I’m getting the wine sweats or the AC isn’t working. Sure enough, just warm air coming out of the vents. Next day we realized the fan in the outside unit wasn’t turning. We were able to “kick start” it a few times but this was futile. Every time the air kicked off, we had to go “kick start” it again, until finally even that didn’t work.

Two lucky things happened here. One, is my husband is amazing around the house and after doing some research and a few You Tube videos came to the conclusion it was the capacitor, which I will here out refer to as the flux capacitor! Well, turns out it’s a $16 part which can be ordered off Amazon with free two-day delivery. The other lucky break, a drop in temps and humidity which allowed us to leave the windows open and not swelter until the part arrived.

Since then, we’ve been confined to doing our wine drinking in the nice air conditioned living room. But that’s ok, the wine is good and so is the company.

Some recent wine samples I received include Eden Ridge 2013 Chardonnay Barrel Select and Eden Ridge 2013 Red Blend

Eden Ridge 2013 Chardonnay Barrel Select
Aromas of apple and tropical fruits. First sip was a little buttery but more like creamy Hyacinthbutterscotch, then a semi sweet lychee fruit flavor rounded out by peach and pineapple. SRP – under $11.
We were able to enjoy this wine on the porch during are cooler temps. It was nice to look at the process the gardens have taken and watch my Dollar Tree pinwheels spin in the breeze.Gardens from Front Porch

Gardens from Front Porch 2






Eden Ridge 2013 Red Blend Barrel Select
Plum and blackberry aromas. Juicy ripe strawberry and blackberry flavors. Finish is a hint of vanilla and spice.
Easy sipping after the hottest day of the year as we reached 98. We spent the morning at New Echota, the first Cherokee National Capital. If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend. It’s not expensive and has a lot of historical buildings and information.


Well folks, Fourth of July is just around the corner. Grab some burgers, hot dogs, apple pie and watermelon. And don’t forget the wine!


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Peace, Love and Light

I did have a post prepared for this week but in light of the tragedy in Orlando, I’m left heart 2wondering what happened to the innocence we once enjoyed in our country. It has been years since I’ve felt that security that nothing could break us but I remember it well as a kid.

Wearing red, white and blue on July 4th, eating rocket pops, swallowing a watermelon seed and wondering if a watermelon would grow in my stomach, playing outside until the street lights came on, going to the playground without parents, riding bikes up to the local mall, slumber parties, Friday nights at pizza parlors, these are the childhood experiences that make me happy.

I’ve really had a chance to stop and think about all the little things that make us whole and happy.

For example, yesterday as I looked at the flower garden my husband and I spent so much time on, not to mention money. Labored over for six weekends and still putting in time. I was just beginning to think we were doomed, that we just don’t get enough sun light, I put the seeds and bulbs in the ground too late, etc. All that work and not a single flower blooming. But today, I walked through the garden and saw one Morning Glory, walking further on, I saw one small bud on one of my Cosmos, then another small bud on a mystery stem. And I thought, maybe there’s hope yet.

Now my story can’t compare with heart breaking stories, the loss of a loved one or traumatic event but it’s these small things that make up our lives. We’re not just one faceted beings, there are things that shape us almost every day. The decision to hold the door for a total stranger, even when they’re several feet away (what is the appropriate amount of feet from the door that justifies holding it for others anyway?), the stranger in front of us struggling to pay for all of their groceries so you offer to help or the decision to try to stop in time from hitting the squirrel that ran out in front of your car.

Each day, the way we interact with others, family, friends, co-workers, even strangers, creates little chinks in time that make up our day and ultimately our lives.

Today, three of the victim’s funerals are being held in the Orlando area and there are groups moving in to riot and create nothing but hate and commotion at a time when the world could use a little more love and compassion. I’m not going to go more into this group because frankly, I just don’t want to waste my time and energy on them.

I don’t really have much of a point to this post but maybe just take a little time to stop and look around at the beauty, the ones you love and the freedoms we have.

Just a note on the title. I recently  began meditating and while my mantra changes on occasion, I tend to use peace, love and light pretty regularly. Feel free to use it for your own centering.

Peace, love and light to you all.

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Dearly Beloved I Thee Red

Summers always make me nostalgic. It starts around the time the seniors are getting out ofDearly Beloved school and graduation is approaching. I remember the feeling of freedom after my last exam, the excitement that life was about to change. I didn’t think about how I wouldn’t see some of my friends for months at a time or ever again. There was still summer.
Then I think about my summers as a kid. My mom was a teacher so she stayed home with me during the summer and we’d go to the beach, vacation two weeks on Sanibel Island (just a mere 30 minutes from our home), go see relatives in Illinois, or just spend the what seemed like endless days in our backyard pool.

I was allowed 3 hours of TV time from 8-5. I remember watching, I Dream of Jeannie, Gilligan’s Island and the Monkees. Around 10:00 AM, I’d go out to the pool where I’d remain for the rest of the day. I ate lunch in or beside the pool, I got out to use the bathroom and if there was an afternoon thunderstorm. If it was just raining, with no lighting, I stayed in the pool.

I made forts out of towels and lawn furniture, my Barbies and Fisher Price people went on “vacation” each summer and the pool was always a big hit with them. So were tours around the living room in their shoe box car (my Barbie apparently couldn’t get a car loan for the sports car).

Those long lazy days of reading, swimming and playing are something I wish I could have again. And this summer, I vow to have just a tiny bit of those days.

Over Memorial Day a chain of events prevented me from sitting lakeside, so I got my beach chair, attached the oscillating sprinkler head and read a book in our river rock by the driveway. After a while I decided I better put some sunscreen on and the scent of Hawaiian Tropic Tanning Lotion took me back to my beach days.

Even the smell of the moth balls used to keep Rat Snakes away from where our chickens like to lay eggs brings back memories. Now the porch area smells like my Great-Aunt Gladys’ bathroom.

Well, in case you couldn’t tell by the temps and the occasional tropical storm, summertime has arrived!  You know what else arrived…some new wine samples! Yes, I went to check my wine mailbox, I think it had been close to a month since I checked last and what to my wondering eyes should appear but 6 shiny bottles full of my favorite fruit.

One of the bottles is one of my favorite go to wines. Easy to find, easy to drink and very easy on the wallet, Dearly Beloved.
Smokey and robust berry aromas. Dark black cherry and mocha flavors. Medium bodied and a suitable red for porch sipping in the warm summer months. Smooth, easy drinking and affordable, winner, winner, chicken dinner.

I think on Sunday, I’ll do a little gardening and then drag out my chair and book and and turn on the sprinkler.

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Confessions of a Foodie and Wino

For years now I’ve been struggling with my weight. Actually I’ve struggled with it all my

These are a few of my favorite things.

These are a few of my favorite things.

life. In high school, I stayed thin by not eating. Sure I’d faint or come close to it several times a week but at least I was thin. In college I only gained 5lbs vs. the freshman 15, this brought my 5’10 frame up to a whopping 122lbs. Yes, still very much underweight but I felt fat and would deprive myself on a regular basis.
But something happened after college, I stopped going to dance clubs and dancing off my alcohol calories and started going to bars where I’d sit for hours with friends drinking and just having fun. But now the calories had nowhere to go except my butt, hips and stomach.

Oh I’d do diets and lose some weight but like so many others I’d soon gain it back and more. I exercised, took up running, which I never enjoyed much at all, and I would lose inches. Weight stayed pretty much the same but I’d go down in clothing sizes. But work got too hectic and I stopped going to the gym and never picked it up again.
For the past few years since we’ve had our dog, Rooster, who requires daily walks my weight has stayed the same. I guess it’s better than going up but I really want it to go

More of my favorite things

More of my favorite things

I’m not a gym person, I know I won’t go so I’m not going to buy a membership. So I need to figure out how to incorporate just a little more exercise, I’m thinking weights/strength training and more importantly how to cut out the empty calories, that stick to your butt, hips, thighs and everywhere else, and here’s the big one, how to cut down on my beloved wine…gasp (cue dramatic organ music).
I don’t mind telling you the thought of giving up my nightly wine time with my husband saddens me. I truly consider wine to be a food group and one in which I enjoy several servings of nightly. Some nights, I enjoy a few more servings than others but lately we have kept it to one bottle, so what if it’s a 1.5 liter. Ok, just joking.

So why am I telling you all of this? Because I want to be accountable and somewhere to record by successes (hopefully I have them) and my failures (hopefully there are less of these). I specifically did not make this a New Year’s resolution because I think that just sets a person up to fail. I need to make small changes so it doesn’t seem like a punishment and will become more of the norm rather than a big change. So the date I’m choosing is Feb 1. My birthday is on the 22nd, so hopefully I’ll see just a few pounds difference by that date.
Here are the things I will struggle with consuming less:
Pasta – I know whole wheat is better but I literally have dozens of boxes and bags of pasta in my basement pantry.
Bread – I’m fine with buying wheat for everyday sandwiches but my husband bakes our baguettes, rolls and specialty breads.

Here’s what I won’t have any problem giving up:
Sweets – any kind. Chocolate, ice cream, cookies, etc, not my thing. Sure I have them occasionally but it’s rare.
Junk food – not my thing either.
Fast Food – ugh, it’s barely food and I don’t eat the crap anyway.

So there you have it, the things I love have made me fat! Stay tuned, I hope to have some successes to share in the upcoming months!
Until then, I’ll be enjoying some wine, cheese and pasta.

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