Sunday, September 6, 2009

that single pour

Lori Leibovich: A Glass of Wine
Here’s what used to make me feel beautiful: my skin, bronzed after a languid afternoon lounging on a beach towel. My eyes, sharp and ready after eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. My hair, tangled and damp after dancing madly to a favorite band. These were simple, sensual everyday moments in an unencumbered life. Now there is a family and a house and a job, all of which need tending to, and beauty is harder to come by. My scheduled-to-the-minute existence means I’m often frenzied, pitched, worn-out. Like so many other mothers I know, to stamp out those feelings (at least temporarily), I often reach for a glass of wine. The first few sips have the same effect on me as a long, deep inhale. A few more and my shoulders migrate from their daytime hangout near my ears back to their proper place. Still more and I start humming.

I’m not talking about getting drunk. In fact, I rarely have more than one glass―that’s enough. Most of the time, that single pour is enjoyed at home, where it gives my evenings shape. Just as my children have their nighttime rituals―Go, Diego, Go! followed by a book and a piggyback ride to bed―I have mine. I wrestle with the cork and listen for the pop and the clink of the bottle against the glass. I take a second to admire the luscious color and breathe in the scent. With that internal to-do ticker no longer running roughshod through my mind, suddenly there’s room for free associations, for thoughts of food and books and distant friends.

Wine doesn’t simply soothe me; it opens the door to intimacy. At a party, a few sips of Chardonnay are enough to make me peel off some of my protective layers and reveal something about myself to a stranger. It helps me connect with my husband after a long, challenging day, too. Sometimes, once the kids have succumbed to sleep, we put on music, sit at the kitchen table, and relish a meal. At first we check in, sometimes about the business of schedules and finances; other times we don’t say much at all but simply revel in the food and our still house. As we pour some wine, the conversation may take a deeper turn. Sometimes we talk about the freedoms we once enjoyed in abundance and wonder why we didn’t take more risks when we had the chance. Other times we look to the future: how liberating it will be when the children don’t need us so fiercely, and, of course, how devastating.

In these moments, when I’m raw and questioning, nostalgic and a little melancholy, and he’s sitting there, listening, I feel beauty coursing through me again. I realize that freedom still makes me feel beautiful. But now I have a different understanding of the word. It’s a moment or two of space, my goblet of wine, and being understood by someone I love.

Lori Leibovich is the editor of Maybe Baby and has written for the New York Times, Elle, and

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

around the world in nine bottles

Several W-o-W members enjoyed a 90-minute summer wine tasting cruise onboard the Sam Patch Packet Boat. Pittsford Wines offered an opportunity to sample and learn about wines from around the world as well as light appetizers provided by Via Girasole: – all while enjoying the area’s beautiful and historic Erie Canal between Pittsford and Bushnell’s Basin.

Favorite reds:
Sterling - California - Cabernet
Casa Lapostolle - Chili - Merlot
Favorite whites:
Martin Codax - Spain- Albarino
Schmitt Sohne - Gremany - Riesling

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Mayers Lake Ontario Winery

We have recently discovered a local winery and attended a tasting voyage at their Hilton NY location. We tasted three reds and even though we are not "white wine fans" we did like one of their whites.

Pinot Noir dry table wine, smooth, soft, and mellow, with black cherry and plum tones.

Cabernet Sauvignon dry table wine, Deep, rich, dry cherry aromas are edged with sweet smoke and spice.

DeChaunac is a french hybrid grape grown in this country for over 200 years. Dechaunac wine has good berry flavors, a touch of black pepper, smooth finish.

Gewürztraminer ('ga-VERTZ-trah-MEE-ner') a spicy white wine with an aroma and flavor of grapefruit.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


During our W-o-W Spring get away to ABNY . . .
Uniform Traffic Ticket
ABNY Police Dept

"Patrol was stationary in Dollar General Parking Lot when VG and LB were spotted driving a John Deere Gator down the sidewalk (1:45 pm). Driver VG stated that she did not know the rules about driving down the sidewalk."

Description of violation: Driving on sidewalk

Friday, May 8, 2009

choosing your word

For this year, choose a word that will help you realize your Spring resolution.

We have decided to choose our word each year during our Spring break and reflect upon it the next year. What will your word be?

JH - active
MH - moments
AHT - experience
BJH - evolving
MC - build
MC - health
DB - survival
LB - anticipation
DP - pruning? timely?
DP - focus
AS - wedding
VG - opportunity
EG - please
AS -
AS -
JG -
MG -
DM -

Monday, April 20, 2009


Below is the "original" Wine on Wednesday invitation. It is interesting to read as we approach the 202nd gathering. We could write a book about our stories, sorrows, joys, retirements and celebrations couldn't we!

Wine on Wednesdays

Begins Wednesday, Jan 19, 2005
7 pm-9 pm
At the Hastings

This is an attempt to make weekdays more fun and get us together during the winter when we generally hibernate.

We will provide several bottles of wine and a few simple snacks. You don't need to bring anything but perhaps you would like to host a "Wine on Wednesdays" in the future. Otherwise we can always come to the Hastings. For anyone who is pregnant (Amy!), your spouse is very lucky as you can be the designate driver.

"répondez, s'il vous plaît"
which means "please reply"

The person sending the invitation would like you to tell him and her whether you accept or decline the invitation. That is, will you be coming to the event or not? Etiquette rules followed in most Western cultures require that if you receive a formal, written invitation, you should reply promptly, perhaps that same day. For hosts who are planning a "Wine on Wednesdays" event, this is important from a practical point of view, because they need to know how many people to count on and how much food and drink to buy.

OK - you are also welcome to "just show-up" without a response because we love you and want you to come!!

MM and JR

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel

A nice surprise on last Wednesday was a wine that will turn out to be a new favorite ~ Gnarly Head Old Vine Vin 2006. It paired well with a variety of hors d’oeuvres and a robust (!) Carrot Cake. Gnarly Head web site describes it as -

The 2006 Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel is crafted from grapes from 35 to 80 year old vines. Robust berry flavors and exotic spice notes from the small grape clusters are balanced with French, American and Hungarian oak, which creates heady layers of vanilla and chocolate and a lingering finish.

The 2006 vintage will be remembered for rain – abundant, continuous rain, which flooded many vineyards in Northern California. However, the wet spring gave way to an ideal growing season with moderate that allowed the grapes to mature evenly and slowly. A heat spike during the summer concentrated the flavors in the grapes. The grapes for this wine were hand-harvested in August 2006.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Black Russian Red Bash

Some of the WoW friends had another fun outing to Mcgregor Winery on the shore of Keuka Lake. We tasted a hearty fare of Beef Wellington hors d'oeuvre, Fig & Blue Cheese Crostini, Chorizo stuffed Mushrooms, Beet & Shaved Fennel with Toasted Walnuts and Dark Chocolate Mousse with Crystallized Ginger .

We tasted wines ranging in price from $50 to $9.99 and each had our favorites.

2006 Black Russian Red $ 49.99
2006 Merlot $ 26.99
2006 Rob Roy Red $ 39.99
2007 Cabernet Franc $ 17.99
2006 Pinot Noir $27.99
Non-vintage Highlands Red $9.99
2007 Dry Gewürztraminer $ 19.99

Can you guess which wine we bought a case of - - - yes, the $9.99 the non-vintage Highlands Red (a semi-dry Baco Noir and Chancellor blend that leaves a black-pepper tingle on the palate) . We are into the second bottle and enjoying it almost as much as the 1998 library vintage of Black Russian Red at $100.

Monday, March 9, 2009

25 Random Things About Wine

"Wild About Wine" Columnist Holly Howell recently published 25 random things about wine in the March 3, 2009 Democrat and Chronicle newspaper. I found some of this random information to be interesting, some useful and some... just plain quirky. Enjoy reading this with a glass of your favorite red, white or pink (see #4).

  1. Syrah and Shiraz are the exact same grape. This grape grows all over the world. But it is the Aussies that are particular to the Shiraz name. Just because.
  2. Red wine can go with fish (e.g. Pinot Noir with grilled tuna).
  3. White wine can go with meat (e.g. German Riesling and sauerbraten).
  4. Very few people know that rose wine (the pink one), goes with just about anything.
  5. Extra dry Champagne is actually a bit sweet. It's the Brut Chanpagnes that are the dry ones. Go figure.
  6. Most of the world's vineyards fall between the 30 degree and the 50 degree parallels. Under 30 is too close to the Equator and too hot. Over 50 is too close to the Arctic poles and too cold. Forty is just right.
  7. One 750 milliliter bottle of wine contains about 2.8 pounds of grapes, chemically reconstructed.
  8. An adaptation of Little Red Riding Hood was withdrawn from a recommended reading list by the school board in Culver City, California, because the heroine had a bottle of wine in the basket she brought to her grandmother. Oops. Little Red had a little red.
  9. The longest recorded Champagne cork flight was 177 feet and 9 inches, 4 feet from level ground at Woodbury Vineyards in New York state, on June 5, 1988.
  10. White wine gets darker as it ages, while red wine gets lighter.
  11. According to scientist Bill Lembeck, there are about 49 million bubbles in every bottle of Champagne. Give or take a few...
  12. The largest cork in the world is known as The Whistler Tree. This tree is located in the Alentejo region of Portugal and averages more than one ton of raw cork per harvest. That is enough cork for 100,000 bottles of wine!
  13. A case of 1982 Le Pin (Bordeaux red) cost $327 upon release. Years later, at a Hong Kong auction, a case was sold for $106,000.
  14. America's oldest Zinfandel vineyard is believed to be the Grandfather vineyard in Amador County, California. It was planted in the 1850's and consists of 20 acres of very wise vines.
  15. The corkscrew was invented in 1860.
  16. Bag-in-the-box wines were invented in 1960.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Country Cottage

The W-o-Wers look forward to another outing on July 8th. We will be headed to the "Country Cottage" for a private country luncheon. Our meal will be prepared by Chef Bruce Tyrrell. It will begin with lemonade and hors d'oeuvres, followed by some of his favorite recipes and concluding with a dessert similar to his famous apple dumplings. We will gather at 11:30 at the Country Cottage in Darien and lunch will be served at 12:30. The cost will be $15.95 per person which will include everything (tax and tip). We are very fortunate to secure a date for this summer as the bookings open up March 1st and usually fill up by March 2nd!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

W-o-W Night Out

While sharing a bottle of wine, some simple hors d'oeuvres, lively conversation and a few laughs is the reason we gather each Wednesday, occasionally we step out for a night on the town. Recently, several W-o-Wers attended a charity wine tasting to benefit a local children's hospital. The event was held in the Hyatt ballroom complete with live music, food and a silent auction. Many Fingerlake wines were tasted as well as some fine wines from Italy and Spain. Some of us attend the wine tasting with a plan in mind: to find a new pinot noir, a wine that is perfect with cheese and fruit, or to hunt down the $8 bottle that drinks like an $80 bottle. Some of us have no plan other than to taste the wine, enjoy the food and desserts, and chat with the fine people that pour the tasting. Our favorite Fingerlake wineries of the evening were Anthony Road, Casa Larga, Dr. Frank's and Thirsty Owl.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Chateau Ste Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon

Even though it's not Wednesday, 2 WoW couples ( mac, mac, jr mm) are enjoying a bottle of Chateau Ste Michelle - cabernet sauvignon ($12) while we plan a trip to Florida in April. First glass was fine the second even better!

“This Cabernet Sauvignon highlights concentrated Washington State red fruit in an accessible style. It has plenty of complexity and structure, and is also very versatile with food--try it with beef, pork or pasta”
- Bob Bertheau, Head Winemaker

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Beringer Cabernet Sauvigon

Founders' Estate
2005 California
We recently had this at a wine tasting and it was our favorite of the 15 red wines there. It is hearty and has a bold red taste ($8) . According to Beringer's "Winemaker Tasting Notes: The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon is a complex yet approachable wine – I get flavors of cola, ripe black cherry and a hint of tobacco in the aroma and flavor. The North Coast vineyards I used in this blend are known for producing fruit that is lush in flavor yet also balanced by great structure and tannins. The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon is full of spice and black fruit, making it ideal to serve with a variety of foods or simply just enjoyed on its own."