Travel Diary; Life In The Castle – My Visit to Castello Di Gabbiano

Absorb Italy and keep it coming
You are allowed to enjoy this.

Learn to cook, learn to listen, learn to accept.
Everything I eat makes my body shake.
My choices are between lying in a pool overlooking a vineyard
Or napping on the daybed under a pergola.

The winemaker makes me smile. You have studied, now it is time to experience.
I’m finding balance.

Practice patience.

Who are these people that I know and recognize,
They have instantly become confidants
and partners in my experience.
I may fall in love – with what or who is the question.

Conversations inspire my soul.
I’m found in the middle of the woods under a truffle tree.
Do all butchers in Italy listen to Led Zepplin?
I’m in control of everything and nothing, and very obvious about it all.
Coffee cures all ailments, and there is a lot of it.

Become authentic and stay that way.
Life cannot continue without an Aperol spritzer.
Time has stopped.
Pizza with rocket should be served at every meal.
Say some things, leave some things out, make everyone happy.
Potatoes with skins should be consumed at all times.

My mind has observed, my mind has released.
What I think I needed, and what I planned on needing was obsolete and then forgotten.
My mind has been emptied, my mind is ready.





Holiday Wine Haul – Noble Vines 337

This is the time of year I get the most questions on what to buy, consume, serve your family (don’t spend money on these people when it comes to alcoholic consumption), and everything in between…

I thought I would break it down, get out of my OWN snobbish wine box, and taste new wines under 20$!  Yes, the luxury wine girl is stepping aside and looking into her own pockets; which are bare and depressing.  In reflection of my bank account, my partner in crime (you may see him in a few of my WGGW videos) and I picked up a few bottles that are popular enough to find in your favorite wine shop. (or grocery – who are we kidding)  These are wines that I have never tasted.  You are getting a snap shot of what I think, what my reactions are, what would be good to serve now, and what I may like or may not like.  So, onto the first victim.


I’ve been seeing Noble Vines 337 Cabernet Sauvignon all over the place.  It’s a play on words; noble grapes consist of the seven major grapes that are most recognizable in production of quality wine.  So, Noble Vines must be from exceptional vines and provide kick ass flavors, right?  Well, it does to some degree.  I really liked it. Maybe because of the fact it comes from Lodi California.  Lodi fruit is textural; you feel it and then taste it. That may not make sense, but do me a favor; close your eyes and take a sip. Don’t think WHAT you should be tasting, but rather WHAT is happening on a sensory level.  Feel this wine; I know – sexy, right?

Classic Cab in style; black cherry and a little roasted coffee on the flavor profile, deep and rich.  Everything you want in the grape and slightly more.  Does it linger and set my world on fire: nope.  Is it supposed to; maybe.  I only paid 10$ for this wine which blows my mind.  At 10$ I wasn’t expecting integration of fruit flavors, balance of body, and textural foreplay.  I was, quite frankly, expecting a dud.

I had pasta with this.  I don’t like pasta.  I never eat the stuff.  However, last night I was feeling a little, well, cranky.  You need hearty, but not to over the top hearty with this wine.  Remember, wine should be the pedestal for the food, not the other way around.  You don’t want to mask flavors. My mother always makes a spiral ham on Christmas Day which would pair up nicely; Cinnamon and nutmeg flavors love this kind of Cab.  Side dishes will thank you later.

Stay tuned for the rest of the haul!




Wine Power Trips

First off, before I write another word, please understand there is never EVER a need, in our lives together, where a power trip is necessary. There are countless ways to alter the state of your ego. Take a walk, jot in a journal, place your fist through a wall; all three I have practiced with fleeting yet successful outcomes. It’s almost as if the energy put into lies, anger, and negative outputting is becoming the norm. The wine world is full of these people, however, with maturity, you learn to white noise them out of your head. As the busy time of the year approaches, these lovelies are coming out of the cellars and stinging the hearts of salespeople everywhere.

One excuse is the powers that be have seen it all. What they are saying is that there are no original ideas, the mid tier wine price range is flooded, and who really needs another blended wine. All of this, yes, very true. Easy knife to throw, but find a new excuse. Still not a reason to be a dick.

The moments that make me dig my nails into my palms are the negotiations. Is it a sin to just buy the stuff because it’s good? I know the guy behind me may throw in some goodies to make a desirable sale, but, let’s balance this out. A cheap wine sometimes can’t get much cheaper. Mr. buyer doesn’t know I do my homework, and also doesn’t know that I know all the scum bags out there. I see what he is getting on the side. So don’t throw me over a barrel and look for more dollars under my skirt. Ain’t happening.

Thank you to the bi-polar piece of crap wine buyer in a Maryland retail wine shop for inspiring this blog. May the wine gods strike you with a bad palate, dead holiday sales, and a creeping sense that someday, just someday, someone may knock you over the head with that wine bottle you refuse to purchase for the sake of being an ass. Just saying……..

How I Got Here


Why does anyone create a blog really?  Mostly, to be a ego maniac, and scream to the world all the illustrious things that happen in life.  This blog will most likely examine the crappy end of the stick.  There will be no fan fare or pretty pictures for you to share with your children.  I’m ready to reveal some not so attractive things about my day to day operations in the wine community.  It’s not all boozing and eating lovely dinners; a job is a job remember….

This first post is to explain where I’ve been and hopefully have it help the helpless creatures out there that think their company, boss, HR, co-workers or mother will help them in their time of need.

I acted like a idiot at my last job.  I created this lovely fantasy world; I would survive a corporate take over, everyone loved me and my creative energy, my work spoke for itself, I was driven and respected…..

Do I need to tell you how this played itself out?

With the loss of my job, I gave myself about fifteen minutes of tears, and vowed to see another wine filled day.  That day did not come for quite some time.  How could this be?  Wasn’t I talented?  Didn’t I climb that “all boys club” food chain, consume every piece of knowledge I could stick in my brain, and drink the cool aide of all things good in corporate life?  I did, and I did it well.  My problem was that I was consumed with myself, and what I was doing at the moment.  Complacency is an evil bitch.  I believed what I was hearing, and didn’t listen to that voice screaming in my chest…

What to do when eight years of your time with a company slips away?  A funny and obvious thing happened; the people I helped and made money for all those years dropped off the face of the earth, and strangers that valued my skill level put their reputation on the line and recommended me for high level positions. I don’t want to be a dirty diaper, but I’m here to tell you you have no friends out there.  I’m sure you are shaking your head and whispering to your cubicle buddy “Well, this is HER story; bitter, bitter woman”.  Nope, you have no friends, and do you want to know why?  Because they are your competitor. They will beat you to a pulp for the sheer fact that you might get to the top of that hill first.  Don’t think you will bounce back if you falter and find yourself unemployed.  The people smiling through gritted teeth can’t wait to upgrade their computer with the one you will leave behind.

In the end, it was all about my relationships.  What retailers did I know?  Who could I call on to sell a ridiculous amount of boxes at the drop of a dime?  What restauranteurs would take my call?  I made a list and carried it with me at all times.  You would think that names would pop into your head, but they don’t.  You WILL forget your accomplishments, and it is a shame when you do.  Know your stuff, and show off as much as you can.  Be opinionated and somewhat angry.  I have found that male interviewers tend to respect a little anger in a woman.  Use the intimidation factor; it can be a eyebrow raiser.  Hey, a little arrogance never hurt anyone.

Consider this a shout out to what may be on the horizon.  Wake up out there.  I’m proud to say I survived, and thanks only to my own self awareness; better late than never.  I will still give 200%; that is just my way, and I don’t know how to stop that.  It’s different now though.  I’ve created different dreams and new paths on how to achieve them.  Nothing like a kick in the ass to show you who you really are, and who you were the whole time.