lets talk about grapes

 fact - 99% of grapes have clear juice.

The only reason a red wine is red is that they leave the skins on them when they press and the pigment in the skins runs off into the juice.  They let it hang for days in the tank - they pump the juice over or stir it to continue incorporating it into the juice.  This is something i never knew in the beginning.

 Fact - what is in those skins and pigments are tannins
Tannins are what makes you mouth feel dried out.  It gives a wine structure as well as dryness.  (think about when you make tea at home, if you brew the tea too long it tastes bitter - thats tannins)

Fact - Certain grape varietals (or types of grapes) have different flowering and ripening times as well as skin thickness
This is important in many ways - when to pick, how to pick,  how to press, how much sun it needs, when the last rain can fall etc etc.

Fact - There is a difference between organic grapes and non organic grapes
Have you had an apple that is organic?  a huge difference!  Food that doesnt have pesticides tastes amazing.  Its better for you.  So why wouldnt wine be?

Fact - wine is good for your heart and blood
this is true - 60 minutes did a show about his in the 90s.  People - thins the blood, lowers the cholesterol, and helps with anxiety and marriage (marriage was my addition)

Fact - wine is good and good for you

people say believe in half of what you hear

best moment of my day - sophie and brock - 2 lil people that smile at me  while i think of nothing but them.  ther eis something about a babies smile
When you think about your loved ones what do you think.......they are their to support me, love me, hold me, tell me when I have bats in the cave, laugh.............live

Tonight I had a wine dinner and I looked around at the couples there- Some where happy and as the wine flowed, happier.  Some were there for date night, some for excitement, some to learn, some to congregate with friends....I realized how wine and these couples had a lot in common.  It was another thing they had in common to talk about, to learn with each other, to compare notes, to have another experience.  Life seems to be about the experiences we make with each other, may it be friends or family or work or loved ones.  Wine is this paste that glues it together at these events.  It gives everyone a common ground. I stand up in front and tell everyone a little bit of knowledge, maybe i tell them a little about my crazy life or throw in a story about my beloved grandparents, we hand out some food that pairs and BAM......happy people.  These people, month after month, come back to get educated, drink wine and have a memorable experience with their loved one.  Damn is that a good day.....today was a good day. Thanks to all that come.  I appreciate it.  A lot of these people tell me they live vicariously through my life and little do they know, I live through theirs.'

without saying a word you can light up the dark

best moment of the day - I got my itinerary to Italy this morning - I cried for almost 10 minutes - I am truly blessed

Sunday Special on Tuesday- Sunday at 9am after church back at their house

Grandma - "dont take off your church clothes - we are going back to have fish lunch"

grandpa - "What ??"(looks at her funny)

Gma - "dont take off your church clothes - we are going back to have fish lunch"" (noticably irritated)

gpa - "what?" (while holding his ear towards her like if he makes a funnel shape with his hand the words may flow in better and he will hear her)

Gma - "You damn Russian" (she pronounces it Roo - shen and by the way he is not russian which she knows but it makes him completely insane when she calls him this so......)

Gpa -" WOMAN - I am no Rooshen!!"  (his face went from white to red so quickly I though he may pass out and im suprised he couldnt hear her say to keep his clothes but he heard ROOSHEN....in the midst of all this I hear the coffee water boiling in the background and know that my dreaded cup of instant coffee is on its way soon)

Gma walks over to the steaming kettle of water and pours herself and me a cup of water and brings it over to the table.  She noticably has not poured him a cup of water and he notices this also and says -
Gpa "why didnt you pour me a cup of coffee?"

she is still ignoring him while she goes in the cupboard to take out the dollar store cookies that taste like cardboard.  She grabs his favorite ones (ginger) which she actually doesnt like but she knows this will set him off as well that we are going to eat HIS cookies.

He is still standing there - leaning forward his hat cocked to one side (he leaves his hat in the truck so he can put it on right away after church like its a part of him) watching and waiting to see what she will do next when she sees her go for the cookies - That is it!!! he walks forward and is going to take back his cookies and she halls off and slaps his hand.  He jumps like hes been shot and grabs his hand.  She is trying not to laugh and she goes in for the 2nd cookie (HIS cookie) and shoves it in her mouth - on purpose again to make him mad - while he stands back like a cat ready to pounce. 

Gpa - "Why are you eating my cookies"

Gma - "oh your cookies- waa waaa- well mikey go cry" (my grandpas name is Steve - not mikey- mikey is his brother that lives up north and shes mad at him so she compares him to my gpa which makes him as wild as being called a roo-shen)

He is now over the edge and pounces in on his cookies and grabs his empty coffee cup - she lets him take the cookies because remember she doesnt like them anyway.  He pours himself a cup of hot water and comes over and sits - cookies in lap- stirs in some instant coffee and grabs a cookie and starts eating.  I am still sitting there shaking my head. 
He then offers me a cookie which I say "im good thanks"
He continues to eat his cookie with pride like he won them over from her.  There is silence for a minute and then -

Gpa- " Gram what should I wear today?"

best moment of my day - the dreaded cup of instant coffee with them

THe real battle has yet begun

So besides the messy week of a centipede deciding he was wanted in my shower, many beautiful sunsets, ropes, a great round of golf where I felt like Tiger woods winning his championship, and another round that made me want to shove the clubs into a metal grinder, a 2.5 hour car race with hot and sweaty boys in uniform then remembering I was with my dad so all of those thoughts going away quickly...., an Italian wine tasting with great people, a finale wine dinner with emotions running wild and deja vu setting in, Seghesio San Lorenzo ZInfandel, Starborough Sauvignon blanc, A greek white, Brancaia Tre, Riondo Prosecco, many more wines and a classic oldie but good for me - mondavi napa cab 02 half bottle, This week has been busy, messy, tiring and inspirational.

Ive heard of Gin and tonics - had a couple on a hot summer day in a bar....yes a bar (you were expecting outside on a sunny day?)  Ive heard of Gin martinis - the original martini......Ive heard of Gin Gibsons - just pop a pickeled onion in that martini - BAM.....Gin Fizz, Gin gimlet, Pink Lady, Gin Manhatten, Gin Collins and even Snoop dogg is sipping on gin and juice...........Ive even heard of the worst (And seen it in person) _ Gin and coke (not kidding)

Through all of that - I came home tonight to a package in the mail - the result of the test I took 2 weeks ago - CSS (Certified Specialist of Spirits) - I passed! and honestly I didnt give it my usual attention so I was pretty surprised.  And Im happy......you want to know about the botanicals in gin, I can tell you - or the difference between single malt and single barrel - or maybe your interested in the aging and process of making tequila (i know even the thought of tequila still gets me in trouble - too many gimlets for me - yes i said tequila gimlets - ouch!)  So what does this mean?  Well more letters behind my name for starters - (whoop de doo)  I guess it means that I know a lot about alcohol - beer liquor and wine.  their regions and aging requirments and etc etc.  It also means that I tried.  I took the time and did it and succeeded.  Thats what all of this means.  We all go through life living differently. I have a bad habit of wanting to do it all and right now.   Whats Next? - maybe I will learn a new habit.. Suggestions?

playing catch, mustache kisses, planting in the garden, comb over, loud conversations, salmon loaf and beets, doing push-ups in front of the tv, pickled herring at christmas time, roofing a whole roof with a hammer, never being able to throw things away, - these are all things that remind me of my dad. 

When I was little I was daddys little girl and tom boy with the blondest mushroom cut youve ever seen.   I followed him around in the garden like a horsefly that you just cant seem to swat away.  I remember him smelling like a mixture of oil and gas and earth and old spice.  (sounds like a French wine!)  He still smells that way.  and Ive never seen him without a mustache. 

As I grew older - things changed,  as they always do and I didnt follow dad around in his garden anymore.  I didnt play catch with him or get mustache kisses. 
I didnt go to college - I barely graduated high school,  I had an attitude that was worse then Lindsey Lohans at her worst moment,  and I moved out and lived with boys before I probably should have, I bartended and the list of things go on that I am sure dad was not so excited to hear about in my mid to late teens. Yes teens.

Then we didnt really communicate for a couple years. Better to leave things alone then stir the pot right?

Then, slowly things changed again.  We moved forward. I bought a house, worked hard.  Then another one.
I then grew a garden- a big one at that, and I was excited the first day he came over and we walked up to it - he said "man did you plant everything too close together"  Dammit - not what I was expecting.  He was right by the way- I did plant too much and too close together because I was so excited BUT - he did come over quite a lot and I would make tons of food all summer long,  from the very things I grew.  And I could tell he enjoyed that. 
We played bocce ball, had late night summer meals outside on the deck with the tiki torches lit, and I would cook things for him that he had never tried.  I took him to a korean restaurant, a thai restaurant, a japanese restaurant and would order all these things he had never eaten before - and i made him drink wine at lunch.  My 20s were good, and sometimes you forget how good.  I will remember the day always - when I felt like for that moment he was proud of me - He had gone on a business trip for work, which wasnt something he didnt do very often, and dined at some nice restaurants with his colleagues.  He pulled out of his wallet a week later and handed me a  piece of paper with all the wines he had drank on his trip.  He said he wrote them down to see if any of them were good ones.  He was telling his colleagues about his "wino" daughter.  He took the time to write down all these wines during the dinners - and then waited to see me to give me this crumply piece of paper that had names on it that he knew nothing about - but he thought I would know and he wanted to hear about them.  A great day for me. 
  All these years later, Im in my 30s and life has changed again. Not for the worse, just not as hospitable.   He still tries to help me and I appreciate it and him.  I wish he drank more wine - years ago it was one of his resolutions (so was building a gazebo for mom too and he still hasnt done that  :)  But Its good for the crazy Mihna hearts so I hope it makes his list again this year and I would be proud to help him out on that one!

i will be the one that loves you, until the end of time



1 Comment

Tonight I made dinner......yes i burned myself.....hasnt happened in a long time.....i blame it on the wine.
it was honestly delicious.......and I drank some wine....and read magazines.   I have a problem with never reading my magazines, never finding time. They pile up like a bad episode of Hoarders - wine spectator, wine enthusiast, food and wine, travel and leisure, cooking light, robert parker, bon apetitie etc etc.....AHH.  But tonight was awesome.  I stopped at Neimuths for some fresh fish - copper river salmon.  It was so flippn delicious.  I poached it in picoul olive oil from chile from the OLIVE CELLAR,   a sprinkle of sea salt and a quick crack of pepper from "the naughty" pepper mill.  I sauted some red peppers, red onion and broccoli with garlic and topped it with stravecchio cheese.  There you go.  Dinner.  but alast.....wine? 08 Ritual pinot noir.  Yes the wine spectator rated and on the Top 100 list of last year.  And it was over the top perfect with that damn salmon. 
I couldnt stop eating it.  I ate almost a pound of it...and I dont feel bad.  And i may go back in the morning and buy the rest as it was THAT good.
But i do want to talk about Ritual Pinot noir - its from Chile and I will tell you it tastes like this rich and lingering and perfect pinot noir.  My fingers cant type fast enough at house amazing it is.  I know Mcknight and Carlson in Appleton sells it so go buy it please.

It is biodynamic and organically grown. that means 2 things 1. flavor  and 2. that they used no pesticides, they loved the land and cared about not only themselves but us.  Its true and really deserves the pat on the back that they never get.  Augustus Huneeus owns this vineyard in Chle (his hometown)  with his wife Valeria.  They make wine that I will say is some of  the best I have ever had......Quintessa, Faust, Veramonte and Ritual.  If I had a wine list and I could have anything I wanted because i wasnt paying - I would pick QUintessa.  You handed me a wine list and I had to pay - Veramonte.  Think about that.  This couple makes wine for 200 a bottle and for 20 a bottle.  this doesnt happen in real life very often. Napa valley and chile.   Cheers to them and someday I will work for them - (as you can tell I am on glass #3)   People that are very close to me know that Quintessa has been a true love of mine since they started in the early to mid 90's.  I have every vintage ever made in my basement.  Most also in 1.5s or 3 liters.  Its my wine.  I wont say its my "favorite" but it definately could be.  Ive never had a bad glass of quintessa.  Never.  Once it took me and my favorite wine friend Emily about 3 hours to drink a bottle of Quintessa.  Emily can usually drink 3 bottles in 3 hours .  This goes to show the lingering and amazingness of Quintessa -
Im off track - Ritual pinot noir - it lingers, it tastes like how pinot  noir should taste.  It has black cherry, earth, mushroom, and life is just better with it.  And with copper river salmon it pairs perfectly so get both and there you have it kids.....a perfect friday night.  

 Ill be ignited when I watch you burn

Best moment of my day - having lunch with one of my"soul members" or
playing catch with Ethan or
Copper river salmon and ritual pinot noir

What do you drink? 
Sweet, white, red, dry, sparkling, pink, blush, sake, fruity, sangria, slammer, patio pounder?
   I get asked all the time - What do you drink?  Well honestly - it all depends. Where I am eating, the mood I'm in, the weather, the wine list, my house, friends house, car, day drinking or night drinking, can i have only one glass or two(or maybe 3?) what I am eating, and again - the mood....
All of these things matter.  I have opened up a bottle at home, had a drink, then opened up another one because I wasnt "feeling it."   If I go to a place and they have wine that I am not in the mood for or just plain shitty wine, I wont drink.  Im cool with that.  I would rather drink nothing then something i dont like.  Food the same way.
   So also - I get asked - Whats your favorite wine?  well, i could say Zinfandel on a freezing cold day in front of the fireplace with Christmas tree lights blinking in the background, the star looking down at me like the coming of Jesus.  I could say the zingy and fruity sauvignon blanc from New zealand on the hottest summer day, sitting outside on the patio with the sun blazing down and beads of sweat dripping down my brow.....or I could say champagne on just an ordinary day, i dont need a celebration to sit back and relax with the tiny bubbles popping in my mouth like pop rocks.  or maybe its the Sunday morning sipper with my gram.....usually its blush or the famous carlo rossi sangria out of a 5 liter, or sometimes the dreaded manischewitz that is so sweet it actually makes my teeth hurt and after i have to brush them because of the caterpillars that have seemed to land in my mouth. 
  Whatever the day is, the friends I am with, the way I hope to feel, want to feel, all of those things make that glass of wine my favorite. so many memories are made with wine and the way it makes you feel. 

so Please - Tell me your favorite wine?  how does it make you feel? 
Leave me a comment - Curiousity is my beast today

want a little more right and a little less left

Favorite moment of my day - Hearing some excitement in my dad when I gave him tickets to the Nascar race for Fathers day

I dont watch tv...very little anyway.  I did watch a tv show for years because my celebrity boyfriend, Rob Lowe, was in it.  But now that they have killed him off its not as much of a priority.  
  If I am completely bored (which seems to not happen often as my schedule is like a bees - always trying to get as much as I can in before I pass out dead) or I am traveling,  I will throw you tube on my pc or ipad on the plane -  and watch Oz and James's Big  Wine Adventures.  IT IS HILARIOUS- you dont have to know a lot about wine to enjoy it- just the opposite, they make wine fun, educational and hilarious all at once. Most are between 8-16 minutes long and honestly, I laugh out loud most of the show. 
  James May is on the really cool show - TOP GEAR on BBC - its the original Top Gear - not the new tacky american version.  That is the other show I watch while traveling.  It keeps me up on my car talk (ha).  James knows almost  nothing about wine and keeps Oz on his toes every second. 
Oz Clarke is a British Wine Writer who is a complete wino.  He is snooty and hilarious as well in his own little way. 
Together, they really accentuate each other. Give it a look at....you will be surprised.


Smoked my stuff and drank....all my wine

We all have them - friends
  Truly I have been blessed with a batch of amazing friends.  I have a blender full of different fruits that is just waiting to get blended together.  I have the friends I meet for happy hour, the ones I only have a text relationship with because we just cant seem to find the right time for the both of us, the ones I meet for the once a month party, the ones I know through work, through old relationships, through wine events etc etc etc.  Some are lifelong companions that have seen you in certain instances that you want to try to forget, some are new ones that you seem to have a common bond with, some are just there when you selfishly need that one person for that one instance, some were there and now are not, and lastly some are just there always (and my favorite since kindergarten) . I have a core group of love - the small handful of my soul. 
These are the people that even after the 954th call about the same broken heart still listen to you after all the other ones have stopped.  These are the ones that ask you the question before you have to bring up the problem.  These are the ones that you can tell that you shit your pants and they will laugh with you and not at you (well kind of anyway)  These are the ones that cry when they are so proud of your accomplishments AND when your heart is on fire. 

I remember leaving high school with loads of friends - and slowly through out the years, one by one, they become aquaintances.  This doesnt dampen the fact that they are still wonderful  - they are.  And when you see them you feel this heavy heart because you think. oh man, I really liked that person and how I felt when I was with them.   You think about those memories and miss them.  Then move forward.  Or in the case of one of my girls - you get filthy drunk with them and tell them how much you miss them while burning a hole in their shirt with your cigarette that you dont smoke anymore.
I remember someone telling me this would happen when I was in my early 20's.  He was right.  But I kept my girls - my soul - and continue to try to keep them around - even though sometimes I think they want to get rid of me - I wont let them. 

Today I had lunch with 2 great friends.  We talked about how life is forever trying. 
Tonight I played golf with a friend whos opinion I respect on a professional level.  I also have a soft spot for her because we lead a similar life.  Our minds have crazy thoughts going through often.  We deal with people that most dont normally.  I love her friendship. and her. And I had an amazing night tonight - from smuggling a bottle of amazing pinot noir on the course, to intelligent conversation, mooning a video camera and forgetting our balls on the green we were so in depth with our conversation.

The wine we drank - SO BE IT pinot noir from Anderson Valley  **** 4 stars 

 My favorite memory of today - Watching the sun set while the orange moon was also hanging overhead.  Both at once never seems to happen. 

keep smiling, keep shining.
When I was a young girl I didn't have the dreams of a long flowing white gown.  I didnt pretend to walk down the aisle with a bouquet of flowers or wear a big sparkling cubic zirconia, or put on moms 80s tacky white heels and walk around like a newborn calfs first steps and I didnt have a cabbage patch kid - EVER. 
I liked nature, planting stuff with my dad in the garden and making mud pies in my sandbox. i loved playing in the stream at my parents cottage and playing softball.   
  Ive gone through life never really thinking about marriage too much. Ive watched friends get married throughout the years, Ive stood up in most of their weddings, with many ugly bridesmaids dresses to prove it (sorry ladies).  Ive traveled to Cancun, Vegas and many other places to hear those vows spoken (and yes Elvis DID sing at the Vegas one!).
  My grandparents just celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary - My grandpa telling me the first 60 were great, but this last year (as he shakes his head and turns to look at her with a grin) - she, without thinking, is already trying to swat at him and giggles. THis is the truest love I have seen - They act like they dont care about each other but the second one of them leaves the room, the other is up looking for them.  When grandpa had to stay overnight at the hospital, I sat with him and we used my phone to call her every half hour to make sure SHE was ok.  She yelled at him for not eating all of this supper - how did she know? she wasnt even here?  she knew.  She also yelled at him for having dessert first - another thing she could have only known if she had go-go gadget eyes from 60 miles away- but she was right.  He did eat his damn dessert first.  And also begged me to get him more. (now i wonder where i get it from)  He also asked me for brandy which I thought I may get into a tad bit of trouble so I just got 2 extra desserts instead.
I watch these 2 bicker, swat, throw cookies at, laugh, and drink instant coffee with each other and wonder if thats what its all about?  Im sure they had crazy hard times and times where they wanted to throw it all away.  TImes where a hammer may have been needed and times when a shoulder was there for support.  Growing up I watched them, loved them as I do now, probably more now actually.   Now in my mid-30s-  I will never have 60 years of marriage under my belt (unless wine is finally realized as the fountain of youth)  I definately wont have 5 kids like them or oodles of grandchildren like them.  And Im ok with that but I have to say- When i see them and spend time with them - makes me hope for being able to swat at someone and share wine and eat cookies together.  I really DONT hope to drink that shitty instant coffee though.  

I must quit - u

Best moment of my day - taking a walk with a great friend and her smiling baby boy on this perfect night......