I beat Comcast! Wine by Joe helped me win.

Newsflash: Moving sucks.

I know you know this, but it’s hard to move things in.  Set things up.  Get boxes down to a manageable size.  Re-wash things.  And then, there is the electronics world.

Comcast–land of the automated voice that keeps replaying on a circuit with a fake computer noise that wants you to believe it’s registering your concerns, even when you keep asking joefor customer service, only to be rerouted to the circuit or led to a representative that said you called the wrong number, “I’ll have to transfer you, but our transfer system is broken.  You gotta pen?” Tonight was that night where the automated demons walked the earth to foil all startup tech projects and eat the living for a snack. In a rush of frustration, I threw caution to the wind, threw the directions to the side, and managed to connect a TV, Internet modem and router, sync the TV with the remote, and change passwords without becoming one of the undead.  In a word, or few, I rocked the tech (knock on wood a thousand times here).

The Wine: With my new-found skills, and time on hold, I opened a bottle of “Wine by Joe” –a 2010 Pinot Noir from Oregon. Unlike a common plumber’s name, the wine was less than common, but like it’s description, not pretentious.  Good, in fact, for a light bodied, light-rubied pinot.

On the nose were earthy, aged cherries, spice of white pepper and a hint of black in the background, a touch of freshly rained on earth mixed with a hint of oak (the edge of the forest, if you will).  On the palette, the fruit came through, as did more of the spice as if an unexpected “welcome basket” showed up at your front door.  It carries with it a gift in a bottle, as It is extremely well-balanced, medium-low on the tannin and medium-high on the finish length and taste.

Bringing joe2joy down to the simplest denominator, it’s taste is like being on the childhood playground and equally balancing the teeter-totter with your best friend opposite you on a spring day.  Cue: rainbows and unicorns, this wine was that for me during a Comcast phone maze contest.

I have to miss the workout in the morning, because, as stated earlier, moving makes you her bitch and you are owned by a force greater than the sum of your zip code.  But, I would definitely pick up this bottle the next time I battle Comcast.  Or even just because I want a nice,  light, enjoyable wine.  If you would like to be rerouted to a red, press 1…or ask for Joe.




Oveja Negra: A wine wanting to be a little more bad-assed than it is.

After a hefty day of lawn care in the SoMo (South Minneapolis) and a cold afternoon at that, I was as tired as if I were training for an Ironman. Lawn bags were filled and carried; dead patches were raked and seeded, and just a general, “get it done” mandate was given by current roommate.

Steak and cabernet sauvignon, like a heavy training day, seemed to be called for.  I was like the wet wash cloth by the side of the tub that was cold, tired, and rung out.

Said roommate, however, being the master cook she is, decided to whip up pizza, and I wanted to try the wine I purchased from “Elevated.”–The wine: Oveja Negra, 2011 blend of Cabernet Franc and Carmenere.

It was a wine from Maule Valley, Chile, and while a narrow country, it has a lot of diversity–depending on which side of the Aphoto-91ndes one is on.

“Meh” not “Ahhh” greeted by upon opening.  It was earthy, but not fruity on the nose, with slightly green hints of capsicum.  On the palette it was light fruit in taste, black current, capsicum, smokey wood-chip oaked (just a guess since the taste seemed to linger on the surface rather than rooted in the wine), and was a young, spicy, peppery wine. 13.5% in booze, medium-high tannin and some balance, but I’ve seen pictures of goats (I know, not a sheep) and this wine was not going to balance on any steep mountain tops.

I forgot how much I paid for it, but I like to think a little Black Sheep is good to change up the dynamics of staid and boring.  This wine would never be confused with Yahtzee on the scale of shaking things up.  Will finish the bottle, but put it down after a glass and a half to make the run this morning.  It was a little less blah with some pizza, but attribute that more to the talents of my roommate than the wine.  Make a sweater and move on.


slightly green, earthy hints, fruit is lost on the nose, earthy,

light, black current, capsicum, smoky–wood chips, young, spicy as in pepper, cedar, light on the fruti

13.5%; med high tannin, some balance

maule valley, coastal and mediterranean temps,

B is for…Bonarda.

It’s been awhile since I moved from DC, but without a place to live and lots of new job stress, I woke up today noting my body didn’t want to be limber and move freely.  Lots of sitting since the drive from DC and one untrained-for 10 mile run later, I decided I was stiff as a straight up whiskey shot (what? this is a blog abbonardaout alcohol, not a forum for tired cliches).

I decided to go to yoga, and wanted to go to the first yoga place I started at 10 years ago: BKS Iyengar  in Minneapolis.  By far, my favorite structure of yoga.  However, tonight the instructor was controlling and not very tolerant–she kept calling on and picking on an elderly man who had a hard time with the poses. And she equated us to her forth graders.   Why we were there then, ostensibly, if not because we were imperfect?   The instructor was part Amy Poehler in “Parks and Recreation,” part Kathy Bates in “Misery,” and part bitchy-out-of-this-world “Portlandia” sketch.  Can you say B…onarda?

One could say she drove me to drink.

Or, one could say my great roommate had great pizza that required wine.

Whichever reason, I opened a nice, mildly-bold red wine from Mendoza, Agentina (Not just about the Malbecs, okay?)  The wine: Tercos, 2009 Bonarda.

On the nose, it was fruit forward cherries and black cherries, but not very ripe flavors on the latter.  There was smoke-on-leather notes as if lingering cigarette ash in the library, and all that translated to a lovely, balanced taste–again, fruit forward with smoky leather (not overwhelming), with a medium tannin, medium finish and medium acidity that paired nicely with a tomato-rich deep dish pizza.   Not perfect, but hell, neither are zen masters these days.   I feel like I can appreciate a little rough around the edges tonight more than most.  This is a GREAT wine for Monday melancholia.

I already had the workout, but for $7.99 (on sale, but still a great price from “Elevated”) I would open this bottle up just to enjoy a glass.  Or two.  And all the while, strike an imperfect pose and fidget worse than a forth grader.  Ole!


Finding Wine Woosah: Non-review post (sort of)

You know moving ranks right up there as one of the top “stressors”, right?

Add being a wine snob to the mix, and having to give up all good wine avenues.  That’s what this move felt like (especially since you can’t go to a Whole Foods on a Sunday for a last-minute wine purchase).  T.Jefferson once said, “The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave.”  As one moves freely about the country in pursuit of life, liberty and happiness,  boozelessness proves to be a bit too turbulent at times, donchyaknow?

Tonight I found an awesome store in South Minneapolis.  Elevated.elevated

Located at 4135 Hiawatha Avenue, I was slightly dismayed when I walked in and was greeted with a wall–yes, a WALL, of Pabst Blue Ribbon cans.  This was the store recommended to me by a wine buyer?

Walking through the first aisle, and barely a wine in the $20 range, I knew I was going to be impressed.  These are not bottles of Barefoot or Yellowtail that litter a $3.99 bin, but rather had drama, intrigue and all the darkness of a goth’s angst-ridden teen years one wants to see on a label. (I was obviously walking through the reds.  I left behind the rainbows and ponytails of the whites for now).

$*&^.00 later, I walked out happy.  And with a wine bag that will score me 10% off future purchases.  I already met my maximum amount for the discount, as Chuck and Jim were great–as excited about my wine buys as they are about the upcoming Vikings game.   (Pssst.  I even bought some Minnesota whiskey and beer.  In cans.)

Go.  Now.


Hooray for Vouvray: Why save French for Friday?

I woke up this morning and realized I needed to get a run in before I conquered (translation: show up to) the Twin Cities 10 miler  (Minneapolis run that corresponds to the marathon.)

I didn’t want to run, but I just did it knowing I’d feel better afterward.

You know–sometimes we have that bottle of wine in the fridge or the shelf that’s the same: we are saving it, we just don’t know why.

The Foreau Domaine du Glos Nadin Demi Sec Vouvray (translation: Chenin Blanc from France that borders Champagne) is that wine.photo-88

Originally, I bought this for current roommate, Jill, to go with a cherry-apricot bread pudding with salted caramel sauce dessert.  Upon first sip, I felt jubilant: I WAS RIGHT.  This would have been GREAT with that wine.  On the other hand, I felt sad that we didn’t get to the wine with the dessert.  Small, first-world losses, I know.

I also felt sad because it was slightly sweet upon first sip, too.  I picked it to go with horseradish-beet crusted salmon.  Tasting it with the sauce, however, I felt this was a great pairing to spicy sauces.

The wine: at 13% alcohol content and with a demi-sec label, this wine has great acidity to be a dessert wine, aperitif, or ability to be paired with salty or spicy food.  The viscosity is like velvet silk on the tongue.  On the nose, it had a little apple and honey flavors.  On the palette, it was rich with honey and honeysuckle, mineral, almond and a slight hint of lees (or yeasty) flavors.  The length was long, the acidity medium-high, the pairings: amazing.

This is a great, great, great example of a Vouvray.  Um, hooray for a versatile wine that should appeal to most. I would gladly drink the entire bottle–it is a great example of what a Vouvray should be.  Just open it and enjoy–Nike would be proud of this wine slogan.