by Christine | Wine Friday
In these days of high unemployment and global financial crisis, it’s nice to relax with a bottle of wine that doesn’t break your pocketbook. I’m here to sort out the memorable from the truly awful, and each bottle is under $10. Please note, however, that the prices I quote are what I paid at my local store; your pricing will probably differ.
Stonehedge Reserve Petite Syrah, 2007 Special Vineyard Select – Alcohol 14.5% by volume. Cellars located in Arroyo Grande, California. $9.99 at Vons.
The label was uninformative, but a couple of wine sites – the Vino File particularly – had the scoop I needed. Surprisingly, the website for Stonehedge didn’t show the Reserve Petite Syrah 2007 at all.
This Wine Judging site gave it a gold medal. Another site I didn’t bookmark said the $10 price was about right for the quality. So there you go…
My Take: It had a nice juiciness, plus a zing of pepper that I love. If you’re a SWEET red wine drinker, this is not the wine for you. If you like medium-sized reds with a bit of a bite, you would probably like this. Plus, if you give it as a gift, the whole “Reserve” on the label makes it look more expensive than it is – and the taste doesn’t detract from the label. A win-win!
My Rating: ~ Drinkable ~ I guess I’m getting picky as I taste. I’ve got a few favorites, and this, sad to say, didn’t make my “I’d buy it again” list. But that doesn’t detract from it’s tastiness!
Bear Flag California Smooth Wine Blend Modesto, California Alcohol 12% by volume Blend of Tempranillo, Touriga, Zinfandel and Alicante Bouschet (I know – don’t know a couple of these, either!!!) $6.99 at Vons.
On the Label: It’s wild. Check out the website. The label, plus it’s low price, is why I picked it up.
Characterized as closer to the “sweet” scale, this is a “sweet” red that I enjoyed. In fact, I was surprised to see they characterized it as such. It was an easy-sipper and went very well with the clean-out-the-veggie-bin soup I made yesterday.
Easy. Not a big wine; if I had to put only one varietal to it, I’d put it close to a Merlot. The label is cool, and they have other blends I’m hoping Vons will carry so I can try them out.
My Rating: ~ Drinkable ~ Again, it wasn’t a breathless wine – but it’s a solid choice for that rushed evening when you’re really looking to sip something as you make those burgers. Or chicken patties. I will say you won’t regret it!
As usual, this is just my honest opinion and will depend upon my mood, the meal I just ate, and what cycle the moon is in. Your taste buds will differ.
~ Until the next time, cheers – and remember to drink responsibly! ~
Demon Soul is available for the Kindle and the Nook! Have you read it yet?
by Christine | Life, Observations, Writing
Sometimes, a girl just needs a place to put some random and stray thoughts down, you know? So here goes.
~ No one should bomb Norway. No way, no how. Too, too sad. I wish I could hug everyone there.
~ No one should go past the barriers at Niagra Falls. No way, no how. Too, too sad that they died.
~ Amy Winehouse. Too, too sad. Finally bought her Back to Black cd…but that’s me, all over it – but only when it’s all over.
~ Google + Well, from everything I’m hearing – I’m glad I didn’t jump on that bandwagon. I still may, but they’ve got a lot of ‘splaining to do.
~ Hey Mambo Red – Just bought another 3 bottles of it. 2 for camping. Truly. No joke. Stop it! (sipping on the 3rd bottle as we speak…)
~ Speaking of wine – hubby picked up two more bottles of the Ironstone Symphony. One’s in the fridge. We don’t go camping for two more weeks. May just have to pick up another bottle.
~ even though she spelled my hero’s name wrong, Eva’s Sanctuary gave DEMON SOUL a 4.5 stars out of 5. Can’t complain!
~ Didn’t see Deathly Hallows part 1. But LOVED part 2. Alan Rickman is the man. THE MAN! Best of luck to the three main kids. Whatever they do, they’re set for life – monetarily. I hope.
~ Don’t understand folks putting their first – or subsequent – chapters of their works in progress up online. If it’s bad, um, oops? And if it’s good – same go. As someone else’s gramma used to say about premarital sex – why should I buy the cow when I get the milk for free? (Even if the milk (book) is bad.)
~ Love the supportive writer community. I don’t know – is it just the folks I’m connected with on Twitter/Facebook/email? Or is it all writers? Don’t care. Love it!
~ Why is it you replenish a drink, but you never plenish it?
~ Borders closing. My heart breaking. School kids everywhere losing a place to be tutored. Writers everywhere losing a place to write. Readers everywhere losing a place to get lost in a book. Lose/lose proposition. Damn you, Amazon.
~ Yay for young people willing to join the Peace Corps after college. Shannon D, I’m so proud of you.
~ Hate politics. Doesn’t matter which party at this point. It seems it’s “party above country” – and that’s just WRONG. #governmentfail
~ Still love Joss Whedon. How can I not? Buffy 4-Ever.
~ Having a broken leg sucks. Going on vacation with a broken leg is better than not going on vacation – even if it’s camping.
MASHUP OF AWESOMENESS:
Below are some of the wonderful places I’ve been in the last week or so. Hope you enjoy.
Visit a different side of Paris with John Sealander. I’ve been there in the snow. It’s another world, totally.
If you haven’t discovered Eden Bradley/Eve Berlin yet, you should. She writes fantastic, sexy, intelligent books.
Susan McMartin suffers for beauty, after an enforced absence. Truly funny.
Les Floyd discusses the weekend’s news in this heartfelt and inspiring post. He’s my new hero.
If you haven’t heard of Savvy Authors yet, and you’re a writer, then you need to go there. Now. Tons of helpful information no matter how long you’ve been writing.
Don’t forget to pick up your copy of DEMON SOUL. Just got a 4 star review in September’s Romantic Times Book Reviews, and a 4.5 star review at Eva’s Sanctuary. Try it – you’ll like it!
That’s all for now, folks. Remember, summer is about half over. Have fun, love much, and drink responsibly!
by Christine | Uncategorized, Writing
My head is still awhirl from all the goings-on! This morning I did NOT go to the gym, so if Deidre Knight was there, she won today.
Panels yesterday – I listened to four authors talk about how to keep the plot tight and your reader reading, and then the two heavy-hitters with lunch in between – the editor and agent panels. After the editor panel (which pretty much said what they always say – write the best book you can and it will find a home), I went up and gave my bookmark to Deb Werksman, telling her I have a new book out. I LOVE the books she publishes, and would be thrilled to be published there and I told her so. She immediately whipped out her business card, so there’s that. I also talked to Heather Osborn and Lori Perkins. Lori is with Ravenous Romance and Heather of course is with Samhain. I was interested to hear that Samhain is taking all heat levels now…yet another market opening up. All the editors said the same thing – you don’t have to have an agent to submit, but if you don’t you’d better follow the submissions guidelines to the letter. And if you do your submission will stand out. Interesting, no?
After lunch, I went to the agent panel and gave a lot of bookmarks out there. I received strong interest from four of the agents, especially when I told them I had a book coming out, another one in the queue, it’s a series, and I don’t have an agent. So that was sweet. I talked to Kevan Lyon who remembered my name from the Savvy Authors pitch session last week – Jill Marsal (Marsal Lyon Literary Agency) asked for my first 50 pages off a 3 line pitch, and I wanted the agency to put a face to the name. So mission accomplished.
Floating on air, then I went to Boys Don’t Cry: the Male POV. Very interesting and I got some really good reference material from there – I’ll do another post just on that topic as it was fascinating.
All day I kept running into friends – I saw Christine London frequently, and Eden Bradley; Lisa Kessler; Syrie James; oh and others, lol!
At 4pm the RT Book Reviews Awards Ceremony was held – and no less exciting, even though the winners knew six weeks ago. So that was fun. I skimmed the Samhain Steampunk Tea, as it was very crowded and I had to get ready for the Faery Masquerade that night. Syrie James came up to my room and we lazed around and talked for a couple hours until it was time to get ready. She looked amazing in peacock feather wings and a gorgeous, sparkly gown. I had on an authentic Venetian ballgown (thank you, AJS Costumes in Burbank!) and felt only slightly foolish.
After dinner (which was wonderful), there was a costume contest and like a fool I participated. What was I thinking? Dizzy even without wearing heels and a huge, heavy gown – going up stairs and doing a curtsey was dangerous. I was scared to death. Out of 55 of us, there were 15 finalists – and to my surprise I was the last finalist called. (Thanks, Faery Court!) So I had to do the traipsing up the stairs again, helped luckily by the Mr. Romance guys who swore they wouldn’t let me fall. And I didn’t, so that was good.
Of course, a hunky guy with a puppy who had wings won first place, I think. Five won prizes, the rest of us were just thankful to get off the stage. Or maybe that was me?
At any rate, it was a long and exhausting day, which is why I didn’t get up at 5:45am to hit the gym. Maybe tomorrow? Oh…the Vampire Ball is tonight. Their theme is Zombie Strippers from Plan 9…um, yeah. I’m not wearing a costume tonight…no one wants to see my zombie stripper, trust me!
And now I’m running late. Keep writing and reading, everyone! The digital revolution may be taking place as I type, but content is still king!