Sunday, February 19, 2012

Red Guitar Old Vine Navarra 2008

It's a good thing Tom is still drinking. Mike and I are currently suffering from a spontaneous onset of lots-of-kids-itis. A glass of wine doesn't so much provide relaxation as it does instant sedation. We're pretty content to let Tom handle most of the blog load right now!


Red Guitar

Old Vine Navarra 2008

I’ve never been to Spain. Hell, I’ve never been to Arizona either. I’ve never been to England, but I kind of like the Beatles.

I’ve never been to heaven either, of course, and neither have any of you, which, when you think about it, is probably why we like wine so much. (And, yes, I’m aware there are several ways to interpret that statement and not all of them are healthy. In fact, that’s a deceptively deep statement that requires a lot of thought, which requires another glass of wine, because lord knows that will only make my thinking clearer.)

At any rate, I really like this stuff, which is why I’m trying so hard to make excuses to keep drinking it. It has nothing to do with the alcohol, I promise. Honestly, I’m spending this evening watching the recent Yogi Bear movie with my kids, and I will stick to my two-glass limit tonight of all nights.

But it is going to be hard to stop, because I really do like this wine.

I’m honestly not sure why I like it so much. There isn’t much about it that’s particularly distinctive – no explosions of fruitiness, no woody overtones, no aftertaste at all. Actually, maybe that’s why I like it. It’s not crazy and wild, it’s not filled with weird mish-mashed licorice and plum and oak and blackberry and whatever, there’s no frenzy, there’s no wondering what the hell you just drank. It’s just really pleasant to drink.

Of course, I have other suspicions about why I like this wine. I’m pretty sure it’s not because it goes particularly well with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, which is actually what I had for dinner tonight. I’m reasonably certain that it has nothing really to do with this wine being a “rich and smooth celebration of the Spanish lifestyle,” though I’ve always thought Spain sounded like a cool place and worthy of celebration. I actually find myself wondering if there isn’t an entirely different reason that I like this wine – the same reason I liked the Deep Purple wine so much but didn’t care for the wine with Fess Parker’s picture on it.

This wine has a guitar on the label, and I think guitars are cool. I’m not entirely sure, but I think I might be just that shallow.

At any rate, I do feel confident enough in this wine to recommend it for any occasion. It’s one of the best I’ve had so far, even if I am judging the wine by its cover.

9 out of 10

9.99 at Bloom

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

1492 Merlot-Bonarda-Sangiovese Blend, 2009

The boys are edging me out in posts recently. Somebody pass the damn wine. Anybody. Any wine!

This post is for the ladies. Especially the ladies in my life who helped me maintain sanity through my most recent maternity leave, whether they realized it or not. It's almost been exactly a year now since one of my super cool neighbors asked me to join a Bunco group she was starting up. Fast forward ten months and I can actually say that I've managed to socialize outside of my family at least once a month for the past ten months. That's pretty damn good I'd say, considering I have three children now, with the two youngest being under the age of two. Ten glorious evenings away from the happy chaos that I have loved and normally couldn't stand to be away from the rest of the year. This particular group of friends understand the importance of having the occasional ladies' night. It makes us better wives and better moms. Hah I can't even think that thought with a straight face. Our monthly gatherings just make us better wine drinkers!

1492 was the red wine served at our first Bunco night. Smooth, rich, heavy on the grape juice taste. Perfect with pigs in blankets, chips and queso, and brownie bites. Perfect for the next neighborhood gathering.

A million thank you's to my Bunco crew. The meals, smiles, and support you brought me through those first few weeks after the birth of my LAST child were a lifesaver. My family and I appreciate all of you!

Happy New Year, Wine For The Cheap readers. Looking forward to consuming a hell of a lot more wine this year!

9 out of 10.

Wine Styles, $10.99 when it's on sale! Ok so I cheated with the cost of this wine. But actually it was free to me when I drank it for the first time, so technically it meets our criteria. Cheers!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Frontier Red, Lot 92; Fess Parker Winery

Tom's latest. No more guest reviews, he's drinking on the regular now with me and Mike. Hooray!


“Davey! Davey Crockett!
King of the wild frontier!
Born on a mountaintop in Tennessee
Killed himself a bear when he was only three…”

Not exactly Smoke on the Water, is it? And yet it’s stuck in my head because I’m drinking this Frontier Red, made by the Fess Parker winery in Santa Maria, California. A “value-oriented” wine with a picture of Fess Parker on the label in the coonskin cap he made famous when he played Davey Crockett on TV a little over 50 years ago. How cool is that?

…Okay, you’re right. It’s not really all that cool at all. Really, it’s kind of the opposite of cool.

Last year I reviewed
Deep Purple Lodi Zin and I listened to Deep Purple while I drank the wine and wrote the review. It actually created a fantastic mood for wine drinking. A bit sappy and sentimental, maybe, but at least it brought to mind sex and drugs and rock and roll and lots of cool bad-ass stuff like that. It’s not often that a wine tells you exactly what kind of music to play to heighten your enjoyment, but Deep Purple was kind enough to do so.

So naturally now I’m listening to…well, actually, I’m listening to SpongeBob torture Squidward at the moment, since my kids are sitting a few feet away watching cartoons on TV, but if that wasn’t on, I’d probably be listening to Deep Purple, or the Grateful Dead or the Beatles or the White Stripes, or even the Bee Gees or Abba or Rick Astley...anything but that god-awful Davey Crockett theme song. That would drive me crazy.

But I still can’t get it out of my head. Which is especially tragic since I only know those first four lines.

I bought this wine because it was cheap, and because I thought it was unusual that a wine made in 2011 would pay homage to a TV show from the 1950’s. I thought it odd that anything made in 2011 should be marketing itself based on something that you’d have to be over 60 to remember.

Then it occurred to me that the same generation that watched reruns of Davey Crockett while they were being potty trained were listening to Deep Purple’s Machine Head in college dorms 20 years later and are now buying large amounts of wine that pay homage to things they remember from their youth.

Then I found out that Fess Parker died in 2010, and this wine is a tribute to him.

Then I felt like kind of a jerk.

Anyway, the wine is billed as the “Great American Value” and is said to be “made in the same pioneering, genuine, down-to-earth spirit of the frontiersman who first tamed this land.” Honestly, I buy that completely. The true frontiersman were undereducated, generally filthy, social malcontents who spent a lot of time drinking homemade wine-like beverages from dusty bottles or clay jugs.

And maybe if that was the mood I created for myself – campfire smoke, the fear of Indian attack, flasks of gunpowder and muskets all around, squirrels roasting on a spit above an open fire, filthy men in filthy clothes drinking from filthy mugs scrubbed clean with dirt – I would be enjoying this wine a lot more. Maybe remembering Davey Crockett as a 50’s television program starring Fess Parker really isn’t really the point. What I should summon instead is the spirit that Fess Parker was hired to convey, the spirit that made Davey Crockett a legend in his own time and made Fess Parker a star 120 years later. Frontier red has alcohol in it, and it has a convenient screw-top cap. And it’s cheap…ish. (Actually, it’s only two dollars cheaper than the
Deep Purple wine, but in this reviewer’s opinion it’s at least $5 less good, and the Deep Purple wine comes with a better theme song.)

The wine has a non-descript taste, characteristic of a wine that is basically a mish-mosh of various grapes – Syrah, Grenache, Petite Syrah, Mouvedre, Cinsault, and Carignane. It does not entirely fail to be pleasing. It’s definitely better than bathtub gin or grain alcohol, which I imagine would have been my other choices on the frontier in the 1830’s.

And I can imagine that it is exactly the kind of beverage that would have very likely been passed around by dirty frontiersman moving across the fruited plain while sending their three-year-old sons out to do battle with bears.

So my guess is that Davey Crockett and Fess Parker would have been proud, and probably a little drunk, if they had known about this wine, and there are many people out there who would enjoy it immensely if they took advantage of the opportunity to buy a bottle and try it out.

I’m just not really one of them.

5 out of 10

Frontier Red
$9.99 at World Market

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Naked Grape Cabernet Sauvignon

The Naked Grape, as a name, probably refers to the winemaker’s intention to create a natural wine, one that brings forth the pure essence of its fruit, instead of its additives, its container, or the slaughterhouse next door. “Naked,” of course, means pure and natural, and is not used in any way to imply sexuality, even if it is possible to imagine seeing both a woman’s hairy patch and a man’s junk in the brand’s logo. Granted, you might have to squint.

I didn’t really have to squint though, because I have a dirty mind, for which I blame the Fairfax County, Virginia public school system. I still clearly remember my 10th grade psychology class and the day we studied subliminal advertising. Truly it was a heroic day for me since I, and nobody else, spotted the woman’s butt in the whiskey bottle. It took a full twenty minutes, and required me to fight off a dozen other 15 year-old boys who couldn’t wait for their chance to search, but I spotted it; a tiny curved line that turned the corner of the bottle into the crack of a woman’s ass. Alcohol = ass. Lesson learned, Fairfax County.

25 years and three kids later, I publish my very own alcohol-related blog. I came across Naked Grape Cabernet Sauvignon at Target and, now that child-having is safely in the past (I mean, we are finished now, right?) couldn’t resist the dangle of the grapes on the label. I peered into the bottle for a long time, but utterly failed to see ass, which is probably good, since the bottle is green, and pretty women are usually more brownish or pink. Still, the pop of the cork brought forth sweet desire, and my reflection staring back at me was in no way an ironic commentary about anything.

I must admit my palate is a bit out of practice, but the cabernet sauvignon is full-bodied and definitely fruity. Joy pointed out kind some licorice overtones, which can make it seem slightly medicinal (Nyquil, anyone?) but it’s a pretty easy-going, hearty, dry cabernet. The bouquet reminds me a bit of a swimming pool, but also of something very clean, like mint.

Anyway, bottom’s up.

Get it?

7 out of 10.

Target, $6.99

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Deep Purple Lodi Zinfandel 2007 (GUEST REVIEW!)

Happy Spring, Wine For the Cheap fans! Enjoy the latest from Mike's favorite brother!

Deep Purple Lodi Zinfandel
Like any budding young guitar hero, the first song I ever learned to play by ear on the guitar was Smoke on the Water, so there has always been a soft spot in my heart for the music of Deep Purple. I have listened to them often, first on cassette, then CD, and now on my iPod. I even saw them in concert once back in the 1980’s.

I have never listed them among my favorite bands. I don’t think anyone does. They’ve always been there, though lingering in the background and making me wonder frequently why I don’t listen to them more often.

(Big in Japan, they say. What is it about not-quite-top-notch hard rock bands that they’re always loved in Japan? Is it because the Japanese will listen to anything? Are they that starved for western bands to tour over there?)

For me, Deep Purple has always been the comfort food of hard rock bands. Consistent, deceptively talented, fun to listen to, loud and raucous, and at times incredibly corny and clich├ęd, they are, in many ways, the epitome of a hard rock arena band; the real life Spinal Tap.

Who would name a wine after a band like that? A genius, that’s who. The moment I saw the wine on the shelf, I knew I had to have it. I thought I heard it calling my name, in fact. Had it been named for Led Zeppelin or Metallica or Aerosmith or Guns and Roses, I would have thought the association to be hokey and ridiculous.

But Deep Purple? That’s a statement. At first, the Deep Purple name seems like a product staking a claim at mediocrity. This wine will not be among the best. Ever.

And yet those of us in the know also understand that Deep Purple is not just any second tier hard rock band. Deep Purple has something – it’s not clear what, but something – that sets them apart and makes them a familiar and respected name despite lyrics like “Ooh / she's A killer machine / she's got everything / like a moving mouth / body control and everything.”

Deep Purple does not fail to please.

And the wine doesn’t either. The label, like a Deep Purple lyric, lists the flavors one will experience. “Fruit bomb, blackberry, vanilla fudge, exploding, nice and spicy, monster fruit, black pepper, hedonistic, cinnamon and clover over and over.”

And, believe it or not, the flavors are all there. It’s a really surprisingly fun wine to drink. A bit fruity and heavy on the grape, I suppose, but the black pepper and cinnamon really do come through and the finish is fantastically sharp. It’s a fun wine to drink, especially with Deep Purple blaring on the stereo. No matter what I get out of this, I know--I know--I’ll never forget...

Sadly, I didn’t actually get this wine for under $10, but that’s the great thing about Deep Purple. There’s no reason to buy their albums when they’re released, because you know they’ll be in the bargain bin alongside Cheap Trick and Joe Cocker within three months. If this wine is true to it’s name, it will be selling for $6.99 before 2011 is over.

Except in Japan.

9 out of 10 (If it had been named for Led Zeppelin people would call it a 10)

Deep Purple Lodi Zinfindel, 2007
$11.99 at Target, but destined to find it’s way to the bargain bin in no time.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Frenzy Sauvignon Blanc 2008

"GLEEEEEEEEAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" I scream, throwing my glass against the wall and over-turning the table.  "AAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEE!!!"  I smash the table to bits with my feet and break the bottle over my head.  "ME TASTY SUBTLE HINTS OF PINEAPPLE AND GENTLE CITRUS OVERTONES THAT MAKE ME CRAZY!!!!  SMASH!!!"

And thus begins my first taste of Frenzy.

Frenzy, you may remember, was a gift to our family from my brother Tom, who chose himself to review the more staid Relax.  I'm not sure what, exactly, the message behind such a gift might have been, but I'm happy to review the wine, since I have nothing else to drink.  The wine is a sauvignon blanc from New Zealand.

New Zealand.  Hmm.

I'm not sure if we've ever reviewed a wine from New Zealand.  Australia, absolutely.  Australia has given us plenty of wines that taste like cough syrup.  But New Zealand?  I don't think so.  I'm not sure what to expect from a New Zealand wine.  A taste of hobbit, perhaps?  Overtones of sheep?  I imagine, actually, that New Zealand is a land well-suited to making good wine, what with the moisture and cheap orc labor, but I just don't know.

I'll have to give it another try.


I found another wine blog, which will remain nameless, that stated that Frenzy was a great name for this wine because of the frenzy of flavors it creates.  That, to me, is a stretch.  It's a pleasing, altogether inoffensive wine with a pleasant acidity to it.  It's immensely fruity, like having dwarves pelt you with pineapples and lemons, but I have to say it has an unpleasantly rubbery bouquet which, I dunno, kind of puts me off a bit.  The unpleasantness, though, is pretty mild.

Why is this wine called Frenzy?  I honestly don't know.  Sure, I'm sitting here twitching in the final throes of my rage, my furniture lying in splinters around me, but I feel pretty calm.  Americans have too much Frenzy in their lives anyway -- everyone, I think, needs a big glass of Relax.  Except Tom didn't give it much of a review, so maybe we should all just give up and drink beer tonight.

6 out of 10.

It was a gift, no charge

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Show Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyone cheerfully rang in 2011 in a safe and responsible manner. As for Mike and myself, well, read here for details if you're interested in our annual New Year's Eve celebration, a.k.a. battle. The difference with this year is that I just couldn't put up much of a fight. It's how I know that I'm getting old. Sigh.

Speaking of feeling old and thereby experiencing a rapid loss of cool points, can I take a second to (bravely) declare my anti-Kindle sentiment? Actually it's not the device that I oppose, it's the movement towards wireless reading. While I am as tech-friendly as the next person, with my preferred method of communication being text messaging, I am saddened by the popularity of eReading and the decline of the traditional, dog-eared, well-worn, well-loved, and yes, non-environmentally friendly, book. Call me old, call me old-fashioned, call me crazy. I just can't understand the current obsession with making everything available on a screen. Mike has heard this particular rant of mine a million times now: we stare at screens all day long, whether it be the computer screen, tv screen, mobile device screen, GPS device screen, etc. And don't get me started on the growing popularity of the iPad. After a long day of living and working electronically, why would anyone want to be denied the pleasure of winding down by curling up with a cup of hot tea and their favorite book? And isn't there just something magical about libraries and bookstores? I refuse to believe that an eReader can match that experience, or better the experience of reading.

This from the girl who created a web-only blog with her husband two years ago this month. I know, I walk a fine line of hypocrisy with this rant. Criticize all you want. But when your eReader device loses power all of a sudden when you were just about to get to the part where you find out who killed the neighbor's secret lover, and all of the major bookstore chains have gone out of business, don't come crying to me. I'll be too busy saying I told you so. Just kidding.

Now that I've gotten that out of my system, what do you say I start my review of tonight's wine, The Show? I actually intended for this review to be a celebration of the world's greatest hockey team, my favorite Washington Capitals. I just got sidetracked because of how appalled I was this afternoon when we went to the local bookstore. The entire front half was a huge display of their particular brand of eReader. So I needed to vent. On to happier things. Mike and I happily spent New Year's Day evening watching our favorite team kick some Penguins ass. The boys brought their best to the NHL's mid-season Winter Classic. They put on a SHOW. I'm dedicating this bottle of cabernet sauvignon to the 2010-2011 team. Thanks to an episode of HBO's 24/7: The Road to the Winter Classic, I happen to know that certain players happily serve cheap wine to their holiday guests. Players that recently signed multi-million dollar, 10-year contracts. Ahem.

I found this wine at Bloom grocery store for a little over our usual $10 limit but could not pass it up for the title alone. Visit the The Show's website for a fun read; the formation of the company behind this wine is pretty interesting. For a cabernet sauvignon, it's a lot spicier than most that I've tried. Tasty, but the initial spice hits you right away. You don't really notice the spiciness anymore after a few sips, but it's a really bold flavor throughout. I'd serve this with a hearty meal that centered around a meat-ful main dish. It would probably pair well with the chili that Mike and I are going to have tonight. If you're looking for strong red wine, this is a good choice.

Thanks for listening to my rant du jour. I'm just a girl who loves her books, what can I say.

As far as the wine goes, I'll give it a 6.5 out of 10.

Bloom, $10.49

Friday, December 24, 2010

Relax Riesling (GUEST REVIEW!)

Merry Christmas, Wine for the Cheap readers! Enjoy this latest review by my brother-in-law. Cheers!


The great thing about writing for Mike and Joy is that they don’t actually read what I write, they just publish it, so they aren’t aware that I know even less about wine than they do.

I like wine, though…or, at least, I like having an excuse to drink it.
Shopping for it is a crap shoot, though, since there are a million different kinds of wine and I can’t tell what any of them taste like by looking at the bottle.

At first, this made me feel like an uneducated, provincial-thinking, beer-drinking American. Then I went into the store to buy toothpaste, and, low and behold, I had the exact same problem. Do I want paste or gel? Does my toothpaste need baking soda? Does it have to whiten or remove tartar? Is it better if it’s striped?

Then I wandered down the deodorant aisle. Same problem there. I realized, then, that the only difference is that I don’t give a crap about trying different kinds of deodorant or toothpaste, I just want one that works. Which, I guess, is why no one would read this column if it was about deodorant.

So, anyway, I went looking for wines the way I always do. I looked for the most interesting bottle or the most unusual name. Mike always goes for the cheapest option or for something with a very winey name like Oak Cluster Leaf Barrel or Marblestone Manor. Me? I like shiny objects and toilet humor.

So, I get stuck on things like 3 Blind Moose and Pinot Evil (my God, so many jokes there, but all so bad I’m not sure I could make it work, which, of course, won’t stop me from trying one of these days if Mike or Joy don’t beat me to it). What really caught my eye this time, though, was a pair of whites. On the top shelf, selling for the hefty price of $11.99, was a big blue bottle with the word RELAX printed on it in large silver letters.

Immediately, being in a warehouse store during the Christmas shopping season, I wanted that bottle. It did not, however, meet the criteria for this blog. It was cheap, but not cheap enough. What was available for less than $10, though, was a less attractive green bottle with the word FRENZY printed in a frenetic font across a plain beige label.

So, relaxation in a bottle you have to pay for, but chaos and panic is always affordable. I went immediately for FRENZY and planned to review it over the weekend, but things got a little crazy in the Conway house and we didn’t make it to the supermarket in time, so we left in a hurry for our Thanksgiving dinner at Mike and Joy’s house and, since we couldn’t show up empty handed, we brought the FRENZY to them. No word yet on how they liked it, probably because they’ve been too busy rushing around to actually drink it. They don’t need FRENZY in a bottle any more than I do, FRENZY is all around us.

Luckily, I took a trip to Target a few weeks later, and low and behold, I found a big blue bottle with an odd little German man on it holding a sign that said “Pick Me! Pick Me!” My attention diverted, I intended to do just that, except that I found the little German guy a bit creepy.

Then I noticed another blue bottle a few feet away with that single, wonderful word, RELAX, printed in large silver letters with the word Riesling in smaller silver letters beneath.

And it was only $9.49. Relaxation in a bottle for under $10! I gently picked up the bottle and placed it in my cart.

Turns out, both bottles contain Riesling from the Schmitt Sohne winery in Germany, but one has the word RELAX printed on a soothing blue bottle, and the other features a creepy German guy holding a cardboard sign. I’m guessing I know which one is selling better.

Anyway, it took me a while to get around to trying the Riesling. It seems that not a lot of people were as fascinated by that bottle as I was, and even fewer had any desire to choose a Riesling over the pinots, chardonnays, and…well…just about anything else. Personally, I just enjoyed the bottle, which is truly spectacular. I felt more relaxed just looking at it, but on hindsight I can see how some people might have thought it more closely resembled a bottle for cologne or hair product.

In the end, I drank most of it myself. It was sweet and grapey, reminding me a lot of the Bartles and James wine coolers my girlfriend used to drink in college. That, or perhaps like something I should be drinking from a foil pouch with a plastic straw. After that, I went Christmas caroling with my neighbors in the December cold, and I have to admit I did feel pretty relaxed.

All things considered, though, I would have felt just as relaxed if I had been drinking Pinot Noir or beer, and probably even more relaxed if I had just partaken in the vodka martinis that were being offered.

4 out of 10

Target, $9.49 (Pricier at BJs)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Patch Block Pinot Noir 2008

Since my most recent post consisted of a review of Le Beaujolais Nouveau du Georges Duboeuf, I probably would've shied away from Patch Block, since it's yet another creation of that particular vineyard.  But in the general scheme of things, how could I not review it?  I write for Patch as a freelancer in my other life and, despite my best efforts, feel consistently blocked when faced with the daunting task of finding subject matter.  So it seemed a natural fit, especially when one considers that a glass of wine consumed responsibly can frequently aid to lubricate the writing process -- for better or for worse.

Patch Block, though, could also refer to the quite hysterical attempts by my beautiful wife to affix our daughter's girl scout patches shortly after her last blog post.  It could be argued that her efforts were seriously blocked.  "Uh huh huh huh, uh huh huh huh," she sarcastically laughed when I made that point.  Still, it usually helps to remove the paper backing from any adhesive before application, and I'd have to think that consumption of the fruity beverage might have something to do with this, particular, block.  But maybe not.

Whatever.  Patch Block refers to a "block" created from specific patches of soil in a vineyard that create flavor, or something.  I don't really understand it, except to say that a Patch Block is a square of dirt.  Whoopee.  It's also the moniker under which Duboeuf packages low cost varietal wines.  The particular patch block responsible for this Pinot Noir has created a flavor that, according to the bottle, contains luscious cherries, and raspberries, and toasted bread, and smoky notes all wrapped up in a silky body, sort of like if you served Beyonce on marble rye, although not really.  That's a lot of flavor for one wine, regardless.  If only it tasted like any of that.

I do get the fruit overtones a bit, I guess.  But it doesn't taste fruity so much as artificial fruit flavory, less like eating a cherry and more like chewing a piece of cherry Hubba Bubba.  None of the smoky overtones or toasted bread for me, though.  It's all fruit.  I do love a silky body and this wine has it.  It also has a singular note on the finish that I can't quite place, sort of like powdered sugar coupled with rose water. 

I like it.  Which is good.  I figure I need to do ten articles a week to make enough to continue working as a writer.  I need to get unblocked.

9 out of 10.

Bloom, $8.99

Friday, December 17, 2010

Newman's Own Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

I should be sewing patches onto my daughter's Girl Scouts' vest right now. Her troop has a major outing tomorrow and she has to look her Girl Scout best. Or at least blend in well enough with the other Brownies. However, it's been quite the week, couple of weeks actually, at my day job and I just need a drink. A couple glasses of wine, Pandora and this blog should put me back together again. Who am I kidding. Those patches are just going to get ironed on anyways. At the very last minute, I might add. Let's just say I'd never earn the Girl Scouts patch for sewing, if such a patch exists. I'd be too busy working on my Wine Appreciation Patch.

I'd like to dedicate tonight's post to all of the wonderful people I work with in my day job and to everyone else working in the medical field. Normally, I choose not to share too much of my job in my blog posts because frankly, this blog is a means of escape for me from that world. However, I can't seem to escape that world fast enough tonight. Medical personnel everywhere should understand this sentiment: Seriously???? No, that is not a cute reference to Grey's Anatomy. It simply describes the dumbfounded state we find ourselves in when faced with patients we would rather fill in the blank my medical brethren!, than um, you know, help. Oh please, we're human, it happens. Or maybe it's just the patients in the DC metropolitan area that have the talent to bring this quality out in us. After the sorts of patient encounters I've seen over the past few weeks, I can unequivocally state that I work with people who have the sort of patience that puts Mother Teresa to shame. Extreme? Perhaps, but please try to remember that we're taught to treat every patient equally. Even when every part of our being is screaming at us to do otherwise with certain patients!

Ok, I've vented. A thousand cheers to the medical community. No wonder so many of us are wine-a-holics.

So. Newman's Own. As in Paul Newman, whose sex appeal still resonated at the age of 83 as much as it did at age 33, God rest his soul. Holla. I'm sure you've seen the salad dressings, pasta sauces, popcorn. Mike and I have tried a few of his products when we've had a few extra bucks to spend and have been pleased so far. According to his website, every product purchased donates to the Newman's Own Foundation. Mr. Newman never accepted personal compensation from the sale of his products; instead he chose to put that money towards various charities. And he was good-looking to boot, have I mentioned that? I digress. Back to the wine. The Cabernet Sauvignon is exceptional. I'm really impressed, considering I picture a factory of all things Paul Newman when I think of his line of wines, instead of vineyards. It's heavy on the grape taste but not sweet at all. Gives you the instant warmth you seek after a hard day's work.

Buy a bottle and feel good that you're contributing to charity. And remember to be nice to any medical personnel you interact with.

Time for me to get to that vest!

9 out of 10. Easiest rank to give, ever.

Bloom, $9.49
- fan2 - bid7