wine tasting

Wine Tasting for Dummies


(She likely is not a wine tasting dummy.)

During the International Food Blogger Conference I attended a few weeks ago, Bordeaux Wines hosted a Wine & Writing seminar that I found quite refreshing.

Working regularly with Wine & Spirits clients, I know enough to be thoroughly confused most of the time. I was so pleased to learn an easy way to “talk the talk” when wine tasting…finally!

It stems off of “F.E.W.” – Fruit, Earth, Wood. When you do a traditional tasting, you start by looking at the color of the wine, smelling the aroma of the wine, then actually tasting the wine. You can describe all three of these steps in terms of fruit, earth, or wood. And there’s really no wrong answer – everyone’s senses are different.


Here are some fruit-y words from Cork Buzz:

  • Citrus – Lime, orange
  • Berry – Strawberry, cherry, raspberry
  • Melon – Cantaloupe, watermelon
  • Stone Fruit – Peaches, apricot
  • Orchard Fruit – Apple, pear
  • Tropical Fruit – Pineapple, mango

Earth-y words

  • Grassy, moss
  • Herbs such as cilantro, pepper
  • Clay, mud
  • Stone
  • Mushroom

Wood-y words

  • Oak
  • Floral
  • Nutty
  • Musk
  • Vanilla
  • Caramel

For instance:

  • “This wine looks very berry – really a rich red color.”
  • “This wine sort of smells like wet rock.”
  • “This wine tastes like citrus and grass!”

…All phrases that came out of my mouth during this tasting! It was so easy when I wasn’t worried about tannins, terrior, dripping , varietals, jamminess, etc. I did not leave the session a wine whiz, but I wasn’t full of sh!t for once. ๐Ÿ™‚

If this is all very intimidating, you have an alternative:




Wine Country Wednesday & DIY Manicure #2

This morning, the husband and I are headed over the mountains to the beautiful Yakima Valley, WA for work. He has a construction project in town and my project IS the town (bringing visitors to Yakima Valley, that is). In any case, I’m looking forward to checking out some of the area’s newest attractions- Bale Breaker Brewing Company smack dab in the middle of a hop field, and the Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center, among other destinations I haven’t made it to yet. Will report on highlights later this week.

Anyhoo. My shellac has worn off so I’m due for some new nails. Plus, since I’m technically leaving town for the night, I’m pretending it’s “vacation”… and doesn’t everyone get their nails done for vacation? The trend I decided to try is the metallic/matte/shiney mix. Since it’s really hard to do french tip yourself, I opted for polka dots.

Here’s the inspiration:




and of course, the polkas:

nail trend 5 Image

Images 1, 2 and 3, 4, & 5 (unknown)

SO I started with my OPI You Don’t Know Jacque knockoff by Sinful Colors, my Essie Good as Gold, and Dior Show Topcoat.

photo 2

After doing two coats of Sinful Colors, I added gold dots with the end of a skewer and the nailbrush, though I’ve heard using the end of a bobby pin works well. After adding a topcoat, I liked it, but the tones weren’t quite as monochromatic as I had envisioned:

nail 3

So then, clearly faced with no other choice, I had to play up the contrast – add black dots with Sharpie ๐Ÿ™‚

nail 4

And look – it matches wine tasting! ๐Ÿ™‚

photo 5

What tips and tricks do you know for polka dots, or dare I ask, DIY french tip?




Am I the last to hear about Stack Wines? This would’ve been great to know about during festival season. Basically, you get an entire bottle of wine packaged in four stemless (plastic) wine glasses, stacked on end. With a few simple zip and snap maneuvers, you are ready to sip your own single-serving of wine. Perfect for beach, park, errands on foot, etc.

In their promotional video, they obviously want their viewers to think, “Look how much fun the people in the video are having! I too can classy-ly day drink, thanks to Stack Wines!” I myself had those very thoughts, noting the actresses’ cute outfits and gourmet food pairings throughout. Well played, Stack!

I like all of the activities shown in the video, and I like wine. In my mid/late twenties, I’m totally their target market – not too far off from the days of sneaking beer and liquor into public settings, but extremely grateful to have migrated more into the wine/microbrew/craft cocktail phase of life (1-2 at a time, in bed by 11.) Going wine tasting is the new Sunday funday.

I am only vaguely concerned about its taste. I mean, I’m sure it’s fine. While I do work with high-end wineries and premier wine auctions as a part of my job, I like to stay balanced by stocking my wine cabinet exclusively with $4 Trader Joe’s selections. When I met Tristan, my classiness level raised immensely when he got me into purchasing wine at Costco – you can almost always find selections that scored at 90 points or above for $10 or less. Fun fact!

…Back to Stack. Of the two varieties tasted on air (there are four flavors total), Hoda and Kathy Lee said that they tasted great, and that’s good enough for me. At $12.99 for four single servings, that’s only $3 more than my personal average, and the convenience factor really appeals to me. If anyone tries it before I do, PLEASE report back! You can order them here:

Speaking of booze commercials, does anyone remember that painful Smirnoff Ice “…And We Were There” commercial clearly geared towards highschoolers? That was the WORST! I couldn’t find it on YouTube; I bet their advertising dept. has buried it in shame. Anyway. Stack’s commercial is, I think, what they were going for.