Associate Artistic Director
The Pasadena Playhouse
The wines I’m featuring today are slightly more expensive than my usual under $10 bottles, but since this time of year there are lots of parties (graduations, wedding showers, oh-hell-they’re-out-of-school-where’s-the-wine neighborhood gatherings, etc), a slightly more upscale wine might just be the right ticket. Or, heck, treat yourself; it’s the weekend.
On the Label: “Our Kendall Jackson AVANT Chardonnay is crafted in a modern style that delivers a fresh expression of this exceptional grape. This wine is cold-fermented to retain crisp green apple and lemon drop flavors; the resulting wine is sleek and lively, providing a superb affinity for food.
“To learn more about our sustainable practices and the 100% renewable wind energy we employ to make our wines, visit us at www.kj.com.”
My Take: Well, once again if I’d read the label I wouldn’t have bought the wine. Green apple and lemon drop in the same sentence makes me think of hard candy, or perhaps flavored vodka. Wine is the very last thing that comes to mind. However, this is a nice wine – not, to my taste buds, noticeably a Chardonnay, but a clean and crisp white that goes great with seafoods or light pasta dishes, charcuterie, cheeses, etc. I have to say, while I might not be a fan of KJ’s labels, I am a fan of their wines!
My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~ Plus it has a screw top, and I’m all for easy-open bottles.
On the Label: “As a family-owned winery widely considered a pioneer of Russian River winemaking, we take great pride in producing distinctive wines that highlight the unique nuances of our appellation, while at the same time nourishing the land with sustainable viticulture and minimally intrusive winemaking. Fruit for this luscious Zinfandel includes grapes from century-old vines in the heart of the Russian River Valley, showcasing the flavor profiles of this unique terroir. Bold fruit and violet aromas blend enticingly with spice, leading to a delightful finish with a perfect balance of acidity and tannins.”
My Take: Any label that uses the word “unique” more than once needs to have the label re-done. That aside, this is a nice, big wine with a lovely mouthfeel. Great, once again, with food; spicy Mexican, zesty ribs, or a really well-cooked steak.
My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~ especially at the sale price. I just checked DeLoach Vineyards web page, and it doesn’t look like they’re selling any RRV Zin right now – so if you see it in your store, grab it.
What wines are you drinking? I’d love to know!
Here is the blurb and COVER REVEAL for Kendall Grey’s latest, HOT BLOODED! Read on and share…
If Robert Rodriquez (Sin City), Tony Soprano, and David Lynch (Twin Peaks) made sweet love to a Hawaiian version of The Bride (Uma Thurman’s character from Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill), the resulting spawn might look like Kendall Grey’s upcoming mystery/suspense/supernatural thriller, HOT-BLOODED.
The first installment in the Ohana series, HOT-BLOODED is set on the island of Maui and is wrapped in the light and dark watercolors of Hawaiian culture, history, and mythology. It’s about guns, drugs, surfing, and tiki monsters. HOT-BLOODED tells the tale of a ballsy, half-Hawaiian angel-turned-demon, the duplicitous assassin who falls for her, and the blessings and curses of family—all wrapped up in freaky, supernatural gift paper.
Here’s the description:
WARNING: HOT-BLOODED does NOT end with a happily ever after. It contains drug use and graphic sex, language, and violence. The story is intended to entertain, not to condone or glorify illegal or immoral activities. This book is unsuitable for sensitive readers and those under the age of 18.
*Written in 3rd person. Contains a massive cliffhanger and multiple POVs.
Ohana is everything…
When an accident claims her mother’s life, Keahilani Alana must take charge of her ohana (family) or risk losing what little they have. With an underage brother to care for and no education, she has few options. The door to a heavenly hellish opportunity opens when she stumbles upon a valuable secret her mother left behind on the slopes of an extinct volcano—a legacy that tempts the family with riches beyond their wildest dreams. But the secret is much bigger and more sinister than they realize. As reality unravels and exposes eerie truths about the ohana that should have remained deep under the mountain, Keahilani must either resist the call of her blood or risk being consumed by its darkness.
Blake Murphy is an assassin working to infiltrate a new Hawaiian cartel. His investigation reveals that Keahilani, the sexy surfing instructor he pegged as an informant, is much closer to the drug ring than he thought. Passion ignites between them in the bedroom, but their ironclad ties to opposing interests pit them against each other everywhere else.
When tensions reach the breaking point and her ohana is threatened, the only cure for Keahilani’s hot-blooded fury is a loaded clip with a body bag chaser.
They don’t call her Pele for nothing.
This looks totally awesome! And I’m willing to bet more than a few men out there will really enjoy this series…
What do you think? Does the blurb make you want to read it? She’s definitely got ME curious!
I know, I’ve been sporadic on my blogging again, so sorry. But something in me (or the universe) has shifted, and the words are getting demanding again. Projects are piling up, and I’m carving more time out of my downtime to getting the words done.
This time around, I’m hitting up coffee shops after work to grab an hour (or two, or more). It’s strange to come home after a session and be high on caffeine when I should be winding down for the night.
Here’s the skinny. I’ve got two more books in a brand new contemporary romance series that I need to write this year. I’ve got two shorter, short novella-length stories I need to finish because they’re just cool – those are more along the paranormal lines. Plus, I have two more pieces – one novella and one novel – to finish to complete the first Caine Brothers series.
Hence, hiding in coffee shops. The JumpCut Cafe is in Studio City and is one of my favorite places to write, because I’ve been going there to write or talk about writing for over ten years, back when it was Lulu’s Beehive. The only bad thing? It closes at seven.
So for now, I’m haunting various Starbucks and Coffee Beans, looking for a non-chain cafe that stays open past nine.
In other news, I really need to start a Street Team…anyone interested out there? If so, let me know. And sooner or later I need to start a newsletter, too…there is just so much to do beyond the writing it’s scary, somewhat.
So if I miss posting here, you know why. Words. I’m getting them down as fast as I can.
Street Team! Interested? Let me know in the comments below. And if you’re not interested, that’s fine too – I know how busy we all are. Squishy hugs to you all!
It’s hot out there. In my neck of the woods, anyway, it’s been hovering around 100 degrees.
(Amazing that it snowed last week in Colorado! WTF, Mother Nature?!!) And it’s not even Memorial Day, which kind of amazes me! Fortunately, you’ve got a week to plan some tasty drinks to go with your Memorial Day Cookout next week!
Memorial Day means to barbecue, or laze around the pool while someone else is barbecuing. When lazing (or barbecuing), your typical go-to sip might not be the right one in this blasted heat, which is why wine spritzers are Mother Nature’s go-to heat busting drink. (Oh, just go with it, lol!)
There’s the ever-classic white wine spritzer. Tall skinny glass, fill with ice, fill glass half way with white wine (I’d use a nice Sauvignon Blanc or maybe a Chenin Blanc, nothing too pricey); top up with soda water, add a lemon or lime wedge. Easy Peasy. If you want to get fancy about it, toss in a ball of cantaloupe or watermelon instead of the lemon or lime wedge, the way Martha Stewart likes to do.
How about some Sangria? No, I’m not talking about the pre-bottled stuff – get that right out of your head! Tasty Trials has several Sangria recipes, but the one that totally caught my interest is the Berry Sangria (and yes, it has Raspberry Vodka in it!). Doesn’t that look yummy? And how perfect for summer, sipping by the pool!
Go check out Tasty Trials. (I love this site so much I’m giving you 3 chances to find them, lol!) They have several different Sangria recipes that will put the whole ugly episode of that one summer night in the park with the bottle of gas station Sangria right out of your brain cells. Forever. Or maybe that was just me? Whatever…
Kitchen Treaty has a wonderful looking Strawberry Lemon Sangria – go check it out! For your visual pleasure, here’s a photo…
However you choose to cool down from the heat, remember to drink a glass of water for every glass of alcohol you drink. Alcohol and heat do NOT mix; it can be a fatal combination, so please be smart about your intake. Have a great weekend, my friends – stay cool!
Do you have a favorite wine cocktail recipe? Please share!