Lapostolle Life Vest – Thanks For The Save

Sometimes, you just need to keep going. Keep your head down, be introverted as all hell, do what is necessary, and hope that your magic carpet will appear very soon.

My carpet has just arrived; but stuff happened, and stuff was real.

What about that – the in between? What happens to you when you are just the blah of the pack – because you know you aren’t lighting the world on fire when you are just existing. For me, hanging out influx makes my mind itch. I don’t just make bad decisions professionally, but I seem to sway into a reckless seesaw of living life. Wanting and knowing that the wanting is becoming brash can screw a girl up. How do you keep your head on straight? How do you become happy with the now when you know the now is not an outline of your identity?

You just go –

That is completely not original, and I know it. The word “go” is something I consistently see flashing in my brain. Not every day mind you, and there are lulls and dips into the abyss of depression. I’m not perfect. The consistency of the “drive” for me is knowing I have done good things, I have worked harder than most, and that something will eventually find me – personally and professionally.

Now it’s time to be silent – if that is possible – be serious – with a wit about me – and release the personalities of new wines I am collecting to share with all of you. Every wine has a story to tell, we are aware of that, but what more can we dive into? How do we return to what we know in a varietal, and to what degree do we stand vulnerable to a new wandering? My salesgirl tricks are running thin, and the impression is that I should know what I’m talking about; the truth is I don’t always do. Can any of us admit we have all the answers? Especially in this world of wine where everyone is a critic, a novice, a expert, a magician, a sommelier, and in the end, an asshole.

So I’m going to start with what I know, and surprised at how so many wines seem to find you in your profession time and time again. I can remember drinking Casa Lapostolle Sauvignon Blanc when I knew very little about wine, and was confused on how a white wine could be tingling with acidity, full with fruit but not overwhelming, textural with a weight that was there but not there, and just lovely to drink and drink and then drink again. It is a staple in so many refrigerators – what I mean by that is that it is a wine that you KNOW everyone will enjoy, that you will enjoy, that the dog will enjoy….

This is not your Napa Sauvignon Blanc – no sir – let’s talk Chile shall we? This wine is specifically from an area called Cachapoal (within the Rapel Valley), nestled beneath the foothills of the Andes Mountains. This area is really know for reds, but the closer you get to the Andes, the cooler the viticultural area will become. Expect elegant minerality with the natural abundance of fruit; this is where that textural thing comes around. If you are looking for the New Zealand grassy conversation….eh? Yes, the varietal will express some of that passion fruit and zest, but not in the agressive nature of other growing areas. This is delicate, grace, and slight restraint – a pinch of the grape Semillion will generate more of that citrus sexy fruit we all love in a wine like this. And yes, I will be drinking this wine this weekend in my backyard….

Wish me luck, come along on this journey, express your opinions on my campaigns, walk the path to new and exciting flavors, help me learn and speak Spanish, laugh at my bumbles out there in the market, but most of all, let’s just be entertained at what can happen in our lives. Stay open, stay resilient, and stay kind – doesn’t that sound like a good way to be?

Breathing In My Ugly – Drinking Illumination Sauvignon Blanc

I”m told that you can find beauty in all things, that it is in the eye of the beholder, there is beauty in the ugly, that someone will see your beauty deep within you…is this all a crock of shit?

Sometimes, we gotta live in the ugly. In the REAL ugly – not the messed up mascara or pizza night sob fest. I’m talking raw, I’m not holding back, I may hyperventilate from crying, and I may say very very wrong things ugly moments. Does the decision to go there come from a sedimentary feeling of yourself – right at this very moment. In sales, we train ourselves to always be your super star. No matter what is going on personally in our lives, we are here to make you feel like you are on top of the world. Well, I gotta tell you – keeping up with the pretty is tough. Think about all the things stirring in you right now and then push them away, just to make a sensible sale – kind of crappy, right? This is where I am at now, and this is where I don’t see any getting out of right now. Is it ok to be banished to ugly land, or should I think about washing my hair?

In this immediate atmosphere I am creating, I thought it was funny that I opened a bottle of Illumination Sauvignon Blanc . In my mind, Illumination, and the Quintessa property this wine is being sourced from, is one of the most beautiful “Napa feelings” you can get. When I visited this winery, I was told I had to hike up a small hill prior to my tasting; ugly thoughts swimming in my head. What was revealed was a scenic view of the valley, more specifically the hills of Rutherford, with the Vaca Mountain range seen through the mist of a thick as hell fog. Things like this take your breathe away, remind you that you are human – an ant on this planet, and stamp an impression of what you believe true natural beauty to be. At the time, Illumination was not being made, and an overwhelming glass of red was put in my hand – sexy, voluminous, dense, rich, and full of brambly fruit (Quintessa). A small patch of land was pointed out, and I was told that was where they planted a little bit of sauvignon blanc – just for friends and family.  Lucky them.

Fast forward a few years later and you have this beauty of a wine. I remember the launch, rememberer selling this wine to a few restaurants, be needed a refresher:

  • Flavor profile: The fruit in this wine hits your nose before it hits your palate. I kind of love that moment – listening to the pour into the glass (listen next time – it totally seduces you), a bit of a swirl (really not needed with white, but it makes me look alluring), and a big ole’ sauvignon blanc facial is ready for you. This wine is like a bowl of citrus in your face – cooked lemon peels, navel oranges, ripe pineapple, limey rimmed sweetness on the end. I would have liked a bit more minerality that I seem to remember, but maybe that was just a dream. All in all, perfect with dinner, but probably not a “starter” wine – I usually like something a little crispier around the edges.
  • What we did with it: I had a dinner at Salute in Montclair – a great stand by BYOB with the crappiest parking ever. Suck it up and walk off your meal because it was worth it. Call us creatures of habit, but mussels were necessary and off the hook. At first I thought the meat and cheese plate would be way to much for this wine, but there is a heaviness in the body that is usually not there with this varietal. It can stand up to much more than you think it can. And listen, check out the label. If that doesn’t put you in some kind of mood, I don’t know what will.
  • What do you need in your purse: I found this wine on for around $30. It’s not really out there in the stores; more of a restaurant wine. Expect to pay more in the restaurant, and don’t be “that guy” and complain.  Fun fact; if you do not see something on the shelf, the retailer may be able to order it next day for you. All you need to do is ask!

I’m slapping on some red lipstick and pretending I’m pretty these days. I”m going to fake my pretty, and you will never know the difference. Whatever – it can be done. 

Drink This: Provenance Vineyards

Quite often, at a wine tasting, a consumer will ask me what my favorite wine on the table is.  I never have a good answer for this mainly because I see wine differently than you do.  The bottle has been researched, studied, atheistically torn apart, put back together with a pretty marketing bow, and sold – in my head.  When I choose to DRINK something, it is all about the moment, the company, my mood.  When I am pouring at a three hour event, I’m not in the mood.

So…how to be polite with this question.  I answer honestly; I’ll tell you what is in my fridge.  What is waiting for me when I get home is the answer.  Are you like me; at the end of the day is when you truly become yourself? There is Work Susan, Gym Susan, Sister Susan, Aunt Susan, Let’s Go On A Date Susan, and then the real Susan.  Real Susan and I need to check in when the day is done; wash your face, put on the comfy clothes, “slay the demons” (that bit totally borrowed from my coach – thanks big guy, well put),  and pour yourself a little relaxation.

My go to lately is Provenance Sauvignon Blanc.  Not because it’s summer; I would drink this in the dead of winter.  Mainly because this wine is not that grassy, acidic, enamel wrenching Sauvignon Blanc my friends seem to love.  I need a little roundness.  I need some smooth lovely soul reaching real talk.  However, don’t get to deep with me.  It’s the end of the day in this picture I am painting, and we don’t need to fix the world’s problems.  (by the way, we all know wine doesn’t do that, right?).  For a winery known for reds, it’s amazing to me a white like this can stand out like it does.  There is some barrel fermentation (slight) on this wine; that is what is changing the game for me.  And don’t sit in judgement with your stainless steel animal of a wine that you swear by.  Remember; complexity, layers of flavors, journey of a wine.  That is what holds the mystery.

I took this  wine and the Cabernet Sauvignon to Sla Thai – my favorite Thai restaurant.  With this winery located in the heart of Napa Valley California (Rutherford to be exact), I thought the two expressions of this vineyard would make sense with the rustic quality of Thai food. The Rutherford Appellation is a pretty warm place; grapes can reach their full maturity while producing deep and and richly flavored wines.  That is what stood up to the complex flavors of our meal.  There is a LONG ripening period in this specific area of California = wines with great acidity, balance, interest and all out love.

Where can I find these wines; Just about anywhere.  They MAY not be stacked on the floor of a wine shop; take a trip to the shelf. You can do this, I promise.  Don’t be scared.  It’s time to stop that “grab and go” – take a tour.

What should I have in my purse; The Sauvignon Blanc will run you about $17-$20 and the Cab around $40 – $45.

The Sleeper; The Merlot from Provenance Vineyards is stellar.  Deep red fruit, dusted cocoa, followed by warm oak at the end.  Delish.