Sometimes You Just Need A Push

Do you choose to go in a direction, or do you get pushed.

Shoved more like it.

Is it organic for you? Are you content with the idea that things “just happen for a reason” or “this is fate” or “we’ve been through worse”. What comes out of the things you don’t see coming, but even better – what happens to you?

It’s been a few months of this up and down turbulence. Professionally, I’m in. I love it and it makes me drive my priorities like a beast. Personally, I’m shut down. I don’t want new friends, I’m questioning my actions with the hanger ons, I don’t want to converse with a man that finds me interesting, and the eagerness for human contact seems to be fading. (thanks COVID) Yes, this is me talking. Me that can flirt in any situation, the me that will never leave your side, and the me that needs to rub your back while at the dinner table. It’s time for development. Maybe a little modification concerning what makes me great. Revision can be a good thing.

So, what is my message? How can I take an unfamiliar directive and make it shine like a spotlight. And, by the way, I’m not “sad”. I’m frighteningly focused, my mind is awake, I’m expressive and choosing my words wisely, I’m sexy as hell, I’m beginning to make wise choices. Paint your own picture, be the storyteller, glow in a new wonder – all that, and more friends.

Honestly, I’ve been in Zoom calls for a few days – I drank the Cool Aide.

And the Cool Aide is wines from areas that people tell me don’t sell. However, I am seeing them all over retail, so…. someone is selling them, but it’s not me. I know these wines are the unsung heroes, the overlooked for the moment, the value in the heap, the “I remember that” comment. (always a good one). I think there is an expectant STOP from my competitor – but I’m not giving one. I’m not because of my learning, and your shouldn’t be because of your non-learning. That’s the point of the blog buddy.

Can we do this together? I’m asking for help.

Take this for example;

Cabernet Sauvignon – you know it, you drink it, you love it. If you tried this wine, you would taste flavors of chocolate covered cherries, toasty oak, expressive and lingering harvest flavors, with savory underlying secrets. Now I also tell you it is from the Apalta valley of Chile; one of the best places to grow Cab with a climate that produces world class wines. Your face would say “Wines from Chile? Should I drink those? Aren’t they cheap?”.

And then there is this:

Here we go again with the Cab, and you are probably thanking me. And a red blend, thanks again! But what’s with the Shiraz – don’t do that to me Susan. That’s what Yellow Tail is made from. The only GOOD Shiraz I buy is from a winery called Penfolds – now THAT stuff is great. What if I told you this was made from a family that is concerned with the biodiversity of vineyards, the only winery in Australia with it’s own cooperage, creating wine from pre-phyloxera vines, and leading with other varietals like Viogner, fortified wine, and yes, our friend Shiraz here.

I’m pushing, but I need something to push against. I have a bunch of pushing in my new and altered consciousness, but I need it in reality. What I’m asking for is your input. Tell me what you think! Tell me if you think I am nuts, obnoxious, reprehensible, annoying, or just rotten. I can take it. It’s much better than the sneers, lies, or glazing over of heart breaking fabrications that I have witnessed these past few months. I’m releasing myself to the world tomorrow – with the elimination of doubt, deserting my past triumphs and regrets, and just being an authentic mask wearing girl. And I have good wine – I promise.

Thai Food For Days

I’ve now eaten at SLA Restaurant in Montclair twice, and I CANNOT STOP THINKING ABOUT MY EXPERIENCE.

In fact, I have found myself craving Sai Ouer (the most delish Thai sausage with a spice we cannot put our thumb on) and the best Pad Thai I have EVER tasted.  Best part, beyond the Gluten Free menu choices, is that I can BRING MY OWN WINE.

And that we did.  Classic Thai food and wine pairing –  Riesling.  The Dr Loosen Riesling we picked up at Magnolia’s Wine Shop (next door by the way) was not to my liking.  What makes this pairing really great is the clash of the bountiful fruit of the wine with the spice of Thai chilies, and then racy exuberating acidity.  The acidity on Dr Loosen was flat and boring.  Grab a different German Riesling, or  a New York Finger Lake wine.  Those are pretty, but will give you the slatey minerality rieslings are really known for.

Penfolds Bin 311 Chardonnay was perfect for me; not so much for my wine friendly companion.  This chardonnay delivers a charming core of fruit while giving me a tingle of acid right on the sides of my cheeks.  Yes please to cool me off from the heat I was feeling; insert really bad sweating photo:

img_2876I grabbed a red for the evening as well – Penfolds Bin 389 Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon Blend.  You need a big boy to stand up to the flavors of the dishes on that table.  I can’t get enough of this vintage of Bin 389; the blending of major viticultural areas of Australia, 18 months in oak (whoa – nice), and linked to one of the most Iconic wines of this Century – Penfolds Grange.  Flavors of dark red fruits, chocolate, cinnamony spices, and some kind of bacon thing going on.  Cmon now…

Johnny came out the winner when he suggested beer.  Yes, beer – ahhhhh men; got get it Johnny.  He was told not to pick up an IPA, but didn’t listen and THANK GOD he didn’t!  Bengali IPA from New York has a supple yet substantial  body with caramel notes that matched our meal perfectly.  There is much more fruit present, at least to me, in an IPA.  I liked the hoppy character of this beer, and damn what a nice food match.  Just read that this beer is being marketed to hipsters; oh Johnny…

Go here: SLA Thai Restaurant – 38 Upper Montclair Plaza (behind Talbots), Montclair, NJ

What to have in your purse; This is not an expensive meal.  If you eat with us, we order everything, so, well, it is expensive.  Check the menu out on line:  And remember, you are not paying for booze – this is a win.

In a pinch: Stop in at Magnolia’s Wine Shop right next door to the restaurant –  We purchased the Riesling and the beer there.  They were open pretty late, and the guy working the floor was very helpful.