The Two Month “Susan Life Reflection” On Where We Should Go Now (While I am Drinking Cava)

It’s not that I havn’t wanted to talk to you.

It’s me – not you. We have a good thing: I dictate my thoughts through a keyboard, I pretend you are there, you giggle at me tripping over my own ideas, whisper “Isn’t she stupid and cute at the same time” to your partner/lover/one night stand/spouse/kitten, and slice a piece of that crumb cake, sitting on the counter, and tell me not to worry – start lifting that expensive barbell you bought (in a hyper sensitive moment) and all this Covid weight will melt away.

All that is a thing, right?

My challenges, beyond being an isolated and lonely girl, may not be as bad as yours. I still have my job, roof over my head, food in the fridge, a backyard I can play in, and money to pay the bills. I am usually the person with NONE OF THESE THINGS crying on the bathroom floor. So why am I back and in a positive condition? (fleeting, trust me, but today is a good day) Completely for selfish reasons: to sell some wine (yeah, admitting is letting go), to show you another side of the wine coin, to share my screw ups and successes, and to remember that I got some good stuff in my head that you may like to hear.

Here is the : Two Month Susan Reflection On Where Life Should Go Now:

  • Read my ass off, and grasp more wine related substance. I’ve been learning from a super smart wine guy the last two months, and I am just over the moon with his education; self taught, experienced, witty, detailed to the last drop in the glass. I want my song to be loud, accurate, and thundering with thought provoking conversation between us, and I know I can up my game.
  • I tried the LIVE Instagram thing. Honestly, it’s weird, and now it’s a saturated platform. Are we really having a conversation about wine, or am I just drinking to drink? It became very empty. What about a podcast? Thoughts? That sounds like fun…
  • Take more pictures. If you spend any time with me, you are now flipping me off. I already take pictures of wine, wine people, wine stacks, wine ideas, wine dinners, more wine…. enough with the wine. I have recently been looking at pictures, and erasing ones that have no relevance to my life now. However, there are memories that come flooding back, tears and laughter that I can touch, and wonderful people and places that remain in my soul. You just need a little nudge with a visual.
  • Reflect on what has happened, absorb what is happening now, acknowledge when someone does you wrong, walk away from that wrong without feeling wrong, find the delight in not being the star (back up dancers build the brand-you remember that hot one third from the right), assemble your team with different energies, evolve, know that a moment can just be a moment, and that a bad thing is just someone else’s idea of “bad” – not yours. This last year has taught me that people that have never met you before can appreciate you and grow to respect you. At the same time, people you have known for years can make you numb OR continue to fight in your army with a crazy vengeance.
  • And watch a movie with John Cusack; I suggest Better Off Dead (a 1985 classic).

All of that is really good shit.

But what you really want to know is what have I been drinking.

The first month of isolation; a whole lot of wine. Man, I became a very round lady. What a bloated mess. That had to stop friends; and it did. But you know, your girl likes her wine. A few new things needed to enter this picture; something lower in alcohol, quaffable, easy on the liver, and satisfying after a week not having ANY alcohol to drink. I’ve always liked a bubble; Champagne, Cava, Prosecco (eh, not as much but it will do), Brachetto – anything with a little spritz and I’m ready. I PURCHASED (you heard me) a case of Cava and was instantly hooked. Here is why:

  • 11.5 percent alcohol. That made much more sense.
  • Cava is from Penedes; one of the most important viticultural areas of Catalonia in Spain. I sell wines from Spain. Support yourself woman.
  • The grapes: Macabeo, Parellada, Xarello; Macabeo being the dominant in this blend. This grape is so elegant, has complexity, shows pretty acidity, and has the bang of fruit needed without being obnoxious.
  • There is a Brut, there is a Rose, and I know you are going to want to rock this as a mimosa – how about you DON’T! This wine is perfect without all the additional crap you want to feed it. Sure it’s your brunch wine, your after work out wine (don’t judge), a “Is it time to drink in a pandemic” wine (if you have to ask…) – all are acurate.
  • Bubbles make you happy, they just do.
  • This wine’s name? Los Dos Cava – Brut or Rose – affordable goodness; can’t leave that part out, by the way. Grab a bottle, send me a picture of what you are drinking and how you are drinking it, or send me a new suggestion! Anything with a sparkle!

Consciousness Found In A Bubble

Last week I lost awareness.

Sure of myself, a little cocky, knew things would go “my way”, judge mental of my past, hungry for the next step, and not filtering what I said or did.

It bothers me when I need to begin a statement with “Do you know how good I am?”.  Truth; if you need to say that, the person you are speaking to is probably aware. I’ve also worked way to long and hard on myself, my skill, my business, my wardrobe – obvious I’ve arrived at the table. So, now, how do I shimmy through the crack between success and “you are not what we need at this time” situations.

Here is the issue – sometimes you just know. Sometimes you can not only recognize but feel your superiority. Be obnoxious and admit this, because damn it, you have struggled hard not to be just another shallow wine girl.  My problem was that I grabbed that feeling, but forgot to notice the edges. When I say the edges, in wine and in my life situations, I mean the flavors and  perceptions that are secondary, but more than meaningful. I insulted when not meaning to, I slacked off when I should have been more reactive, and my filter mechanism faulted.

Then last night, while cuddling with Karma, I was told that I missed a “tradition”.  A friend and I always begin a meal with a glass of some kind of champagne – I happen to have missed the dinner I promised I would attend. You may not think this is a “thing”, but the thought of this being a special something was of total comfort to me. It’s like it became an obvious secret, or an indisputable action just known between two people. Coming into the holidays, and always feeling alone at this time, what a great reminder that culture doesn’t need to be created in a room full of people.

A favorite bubble? God, so many. Here is an easy one:

  • The Wine: Moet and Chandon, Rose Imperial
  • The Grape: Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay; classic line up for a perfect champagne.  Each grape will bring it’s own character to the blend. Now, to make the wine pink, we can go about this in two ways. We can blend the two red grapes (Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier) to the white one – makes sense, right?  Or we can do something called the saignee method; you may also hear “bleeding” of the juice (translation). With the saignee method, you will be stealing a portion of the red wine juice after it has been in contact with skins and seeds. Basically, something red wine making is leaving behind. That portion of juice is then left to ferment on its own. The result? Better aromas and flavors, better concentration.
  • Is this a yes or no; Big yes. Friends in the wine industry may poo poo the simpleness of Moet, and I can agree at some level. But don’t be mad at this wine; it does more than the job and just can make you happy. And who doesn’t want that.
  • What do you do with it: I always would ask my students this question to get them to think deeper. Ok, we like the wine, but there is more to the wine’s life other than our simple consumption. The BEST and I mean BEST thing about bubbles is that you can drink them with ANYTHING. That is a broad statement; maybe not Mama’s lasagna, or a pot of sausage and peppers – I can think of better. But alone, with cheese, paired with fish, flan for dessert, spicy Thai food, BBQ, watching the sun set; should I go on?  There is versatility where you presume there shouldn’t be – I love that statement so much.

If we have a relationship, I will make a mistake. You will make a mistake. There will be things we should have talked about, and probably will choose to forget. I’m holding on to the reminders that we are not malicious people, and have found each other for a reason. When I disappointed a ex-coworker last week, she told me she knew I had a “good heart”.  So, even in my haste of creating a non reality situation for myself, she saw the acceptable. Remember this moment.

Shaniqua Says I Can’t Sell Rose

How do you handle the itching behind the eyeballs I call pressure?

Pressure leads me to my new associate- enter anxiety.  This is a new partner in my life.  I’m handling anxiety better by giving it a persona.  This was an example/lesson/practice I read in the amazing book The Untethered Soul (thanks G) – imagine the voice in your head sitting on the couch next to you.  Let this voice speak to you.  That voice, I’ve found, is complete and utter anxiety – in her best form.  I’ve named her Shaniqua.

Here is a quickie of a conversation with Shaniqua; Shaniqua told me the other day that there is no way I can succeed with the new outline of my job position come July.  Shaniqua thinks it is even stupid to begin this task.  So, I’m done before I start?  You and I know she is completely wrong, but how funny is the shut down of your soul in moments like this.  I’m not a defeated individual, but good ole’ Shaniqua brings it out in me.  She is worse than a one night stand.  She told me I was intelligent, but not smart enough to get this done.  Then she laughed when I said that I had help.  She reminded me that very few people have helped me in the past, so what makes this time different?  I told her I have an outline and a plan; Shaniqua thinks it is rubbish.  Then she reminded me I can’t even sell rose – what makes me think I can do this…

Well, she is right on that one.  Damn rose category – flooded.  And I have GOOD rose!  Not weird/you’ve never heard of the country/I can’t pronounce the wine that we all seem to be swimming in, and that every buyer loves to purchase and watch collect dust.  No, this is good stuff.  South of France stuff.  Not push you out of bed change your life stuff – but then again – rose is just that, rose.

Here you go – buy this – Maison De Grand Esprit L Etre Magique.  This is a Cotes De Provence Rose – yes, from France.  Imagine yourself lying on your chaise lounge, sun warming your face, watching the rippling waves of the crystal clear water at your feet, sipping a little Magique – there you go.  Reasonably priced too – that is the best part!!!!  I’ve found that a great rose has a core of fruit, bright yet balanced acidity, and this little minerality tinge on the end of your tasting experience.  These wines are friendly, pair wonderful with all different food situations, and can just make you smile.  Everything you are looking for in a rose you got right here – and I can’t sell a damn bottle.

Part of the reason why is that no one is selling it but me – ok Shaniqua, I’ll make that change.  I’ll do more (how, I don’t know.  I bleed this stuff) The other part is there is so much damn rose out there you could choke on the stuff.  So, dear blog and readers, I bring you yet another suggestion.  Pray tell, there are some souls who actually sell this wine:

  • Little Brothers: 67 Church Street, Flemington, NJ
  • Shoprite Liquors: 41 Old Highway 22, Clinton, NJ
  • Vine Republik: 1267 US Highway 22, Mountainside, NJ
  • Adelphi Wine Company: 51 B Arthur St, East Brunswick, NJ

I know this will grow – screw Shaniqua and her damn weave.


Sharing Is Caring – Selling Rose

Its seems like a chore to brainstorm ideas with my colleagues.

It’s not malicious, this I know, and I am privy to the non sharing club myself.  Some thoughts –  “She will ask me questions about wine I can’t answer” or “She will steal my idea and make it better” (this actually happened, and is a terrible feeling that doesn’t go away) or “She will get ahead with this idea and I won’t” or, well, you get the drift. I think that is rubbish. Here is my attempt to start a new area of my blog called “Sharing is Caring” – specifically because it is. You can look at my ideas and laugh behind my back, or take them as your own and cut me out of the picture. Both are legit, and are up to you. But here I am, marketing weirdness and all, coming at you with a few wine lures and seductions – enjoy the show.

This one doesn’t set the world on fire, but was pretty successful.  I sell a lot of rose, I mean, a lot – and rose is the “it” girl of the wine world right now.  They all have a different feel to them, come from different places, have completely different applications. I lumped them all together into one in store tasting and called it “Rose Day“. Told you, sounds boring. It’s all in the performance people. A few of my tools:

  • I created a description card for each wine, with the background of the card matching the pink in the bottle. Took me about 30 minutes. Instant pull to my audience; visual connection telling them each wine will be different.
  • Next, I schooled my tasting ambassador about the difference between white zinfandel and rose. If all she did was repeat this story to each customer (which she did), we were golden.
  • I emphasized that all four wines have different grapes in the bottle.  This fact again drove home the notion that this was not the “white zinfandel” they thought they were about to consume, but rather a REAL wine. (said with eyes rolling).
  • I had my tasting ambassador pick her favorite on the table. This gave her ownership. When the customer couldn’t decide, I would hear her say “This is the one I would go home with”.  Sale, sale, and sale.
  • I picked a great day to perform this tasting; the day before Easter Sunday.  Packed store, customers there to buy and buy big, gift giving, and I can go on.  Don’t be the girl that sits in a store tasting a $50 dollar bottle of wine during the Super Bowl. Major fail.

Those are the top five, and may seem obvious. You also may be saying “Why take the time to blog about an obvious in store tasting idea”. I wrote this because it’s so obvious and yet I HAVN’T SEEN IT DONE! No one is investing, even this small amount of time, in putting in the “doing” of a in store tasting. Even the fact I showed up stunned the manager of the store. That speaks volumes. Go to your tastings, lend a hand, say hello, have a one ounce drink, and go home.

Where did I do this tasting– Stew Leonards in Clifton. Ask for Gina or Mario. There is a bunch of wine in this store, and it may seem intimidating, but just ask for help. And stay away from the chocolate covered pretzels; your waistline will thank me later.

How did I create my wine cards – I signed up for Picmonkey – an online tool that is meant to be used to manipulate photos, but I use it for all my marketing needs.  Cheap and cheerful.


Travel Diary, Day 2 – Rehobeth Beach “Lunching”

It was hot. Really hot.

July at the beach should be, but I’m not handling it well. My Polish skin is screaming at the sun.

None the less, we are eating and drinking really well.

Here is the issue: lunch should be light so you can enjoy a bougie dinner. Rehobeth has it’s fair share of pizza joints and French Fry huts, but you know we need to get our foodie freak on. We stopped at Back Porch Café for lunch, and can I tell you, the perfect choice. There were only a handful of lunch items available, and I love that. That is when you KNOW the food is made with love. Everything was spectacular, including our new friend John that guided us through our dining choices.

What do you drink off the beach; Rose of course. I couldn’t resist a beautiful selection from Tavel. Tavel is in the southern area of the Rhone Valley located in the all wine loving heaven; France. Most, if not all, of the wine made in this area is Rose, so, how can you go wrong? I’ve been drinking lighter style Roses of the late, and it was a pleasure to have a heartier Grenache choice. Darker in color, richer in the mouth, but still tingling with acidity and pretty with strawberry fruit. Complimented EVERYTHING on the table. Even though on the palate it was a little heartier, these wines don’t overwhelm you with alcohol. In fact, the purpose of a good Rose, in this writer’s opinion, is supposed to refresh rather than knock you out. I’m thinking there may be a little Syrah snuck in this one, but who can say. In this area of production, skin to juice contact lingers a bit, making a more tannic and slightly more powerful wine. Great choice for the red wine man in your life that shrugs at drinking pink. Real men drink pink.


Back Porch Cafe – 59 Rehobeth Ave, Rehoboth Beach, DE