Rieslings for the Summer

Rieslings for the Summer

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.

My friend and fellow writer, Kathy Bennett, asked about Rieslings a few posts ago.  Now, if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you already know I’m not a sweet wine fan. But being the dedicated Wine Blogger that I am, I forged ahead into uncharted waters and tasted some Rieslings this past weekend. So here you go, Kathy…hope you find a few in here that  you like! (I know I did…)

Kendall Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Riesling, 2010
Monterey County, California 100% Jackson Estates Grown.   Alcohol 13.0% by volume; regularly $14.99, on sale at Albertson’s for $9.99.

On the Label: “The less we handle the fruit, the better the quality. The combination of climate, soil and hillside vineyards delivers a superior-flavored grape.  Our Jackson Estates Grown Riesling is no exception. Stone-fruit flavors of apricot and peach deliciously mingle with hints of Anjou pear and bursts of jasmine. This wine’s distinctive taste is a result of the coastal vineyards in Monterey County, from where it was harvested.”   –Founder, Jess S. Jackson

My Take: I really liked this wine, to my vast surprise. It has a faint flowery scent and a touch of the sweetness – just perfect for a spring meal (Easter, perhaps). The hubby wasn’t as enamored as I was, due to the slightly steely aftertaste and not enough sweetness in the foretaste.

My Rating:  ~ Very Drinkable ~ I’ll definitely keep it in mind now for those spring/summer warm to hot days.

Robert Mondavi Private Selection Riesling, 2009  California  Alcohol, 12.5% by volume  Regular price, $11.99 – on sale for $6.99 at Albertsons

On the Label: “Through timeless winemaking innovation, an uncompromising eye for quality and unshakable faith in California’s vineyards, Robert Mondavi was a pioneer in producing wines that rival the world’s finest. The enticing floral and spice notes of our Riesling weave through the crisp fruit flavors.”

My Take: This wine smells like honey in a glass, and also has a lovely aftertaste of honey – light, crisp, sweet but not too sweet. My hubby said  “This is  a Riesling!” For me, this particular wine isn’t one I’d reach for on a daily basis, but for all of that it sits pleasantly on the palate and begs for a picnic at a scenic spot with someone special.  Some sharp cheese, maybe salami, and this wine – you’ve got a winner.

My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~ Plus it’s a fantastic price!

Chateau St. Michelle Riesling 2010 Columbia Valley, Washington State  Alcohol 11.0% by volume  Regularly $9.99, on sale for $7.99 at Albertsons.

On the Label:  “Enjoy classic Washington state Riesling in this fresh, crisp and balanced style. Delicious flavors of ripe peach and juicy pear are underscored with racy acidity.”

My Take: Admittedly, I had this wine under unusual circumstances. 1. I’d already had two glasses of Pinot Noir. 2. The wine wasn’t properly chilled. 3. I wasn’t really looking to have more wine. However, this blog called…and the wine answered. To my surprise, it was my favorite of all three. The sweetness is balanced between the Kendall Jackson and the Mondavi; the alcohol content is lower than both; and there’s no steely aftertaste. The scent is fresh and floral, but not overwhelming. Perfect for a picnic, or a before dinner drink.

My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~ It doesn’t get a higher rating because, frankly, it’s not a red.  But to my taste buds, it’s the best of the three. Hubby preferred the Mondavi – and we’d both still drink the Kendall Jackson. And to my surprise, I’m now a Riesling fan!

As usual, this is just my honest opinion and depend upon my mood, the weather, and what cycle the moon is in. Your taste buds will differ. And hey – if you’ve got a varietal out there you want me to taste, let me know! You know where to find me…

~ 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?

 My rating system: Undrinkable, Barely Drinkable, Drinkable, Very Drinkable, and the ever popular Stay away! This is MY wine, you slut!

Discovery Year, March 2010-2011

Do you like the new header? Su Kopil at Earthly Charms did it for me, based upon the bookmarks she designed for me. I love it!

Last year, March 5th marked my last day at my Regular Day Job (as opposed to my Part Time Day Job). Since that time, I’ve taken more online classes (some concurrently) than I have in the previous five years. And I’ve learned a lot.

The classes that stood out for me were the following:

Deep Story Technique by Carol Hughes – she gave me a comprehensive road map to follow – it’s got everything in it from the Hero’s Journey to the Five Emotional Turning Points. It helps me plot (which I hate doing), it helps me with the synopsis, and it helped me reshape the book that ultimately netted my first sale.

The Tiny Art of Elevator Pitches by Carrie Lofty She helped me whittle down further and further my one sentence pitch until I understood it was the kernel of the story that belonged in the pitch – not the detail. Now if only I could keep her on retainer to help me with ALL my book pitches.

The Logline, Premise, Query and Synopsis by Elle James and Delilah Devlin This, in conjunction with the other two (all of which overlapped) solidified how important the ancillary writing is  that surrounds the actual novel. Truly a revelation and an excellent class by excellent instructors. They gave thoughtful and genuine critiques to everyone who participated.

Writing the Query Letter by Julie Rowe Are you seeing a theme here? I knew my query letters sucked as I was getting form rejections from my queries. Julie’s class helped me build on knowledge previously gained. (I think I need another class, though. My query letters still suck.)

A Cop’s Life by Kathy Bennett This was my first breather class – tons of information, and I’ve saved it all. I’ve got a cop coming up in a novel, so I wanted to be prepared. Luckily, Kathy is in my local RWA Chapter so I can ask her questions when I need to.

Book Factory by Kerri Nelson I, too want to write and sell as much as Kerri does. Now if only I can discipline myself to use her techniques! (Hint: it’s all in the way you manage your time.)

Writing Love Scenes by Shayla Black Great info, bad timing on my part as just days after the class ended I went in for surgery. But I saved all the lessons and you can be sure the next time I write a love scene, I’ll be re-reading them.

Holly Lisle – I’m going to stop there. Holly Lisle is awesome. Any class of hers that you choose is terrific.

Warrior Writer by Bob Mayer I took this class again in 2010 after taking it in 2009 because my local chapter gave it as an all-day workshop. Even though I have the book, even though I’ve done the work from the book, I still learned something about me as a writer. In 2009, I wrote a review about the class that basically said I felt stalled as a writer and I knew something had to change. What I hadn’t been aware of was that I needed to change.

I’m currently getting ready for the Henry Miller Writer’s Workshop, focusing on children’s, middle grade, and YA books and presented by the Andrea Brown Agency. It starts tomorrow – I’ll be there, with my YA book in my sweaty palms, ready to find out why it’s not generating the interest I know it should be.

I’ll post about more classes that I took during the past 12 months, plus how the workshop goes, when I return next week. Till then, write well!