Father’s Day Edition of Wine Friday

Father’s Day Edition of Wine Friday

There are two full shopping days left before Father’s Day. Two days to decide what to buy that Dad in your life. What to feed him. Where to go. Oh, the pressure! But never fear, I am here to help you with your beverage choice for the Father’s Day grilling!

Not All Dads Drink Alcohol.

My much-loved Dad, Chet Cunningham, author of over 300 novels and many non-fiction titles.

My much-loved Dad, Chet Cunningham, author of over 300 novels and many non-fiction titles.

Mine doesn’t. Never did. As he likes to say, he managed to live through both college and the Army (Korea), and came home without a taste for alcohol or cigarettes. He was, however, more attached to his Coca Cola than ever.

So, what to bring for the festivities to the dad that doesn’t drink? There are a wide variety of sodas out on the market that are both fun and very adult, and I’m not talking about the type you find in your typical grocery store.

You can go your normal soda (because there ARE a lot of options in a grocery store), or you can give him something a little different. For instance, have you heard of Drank? Or the  Superliminal Purple Stuff Pro-Relaxation Formula? How about the iChill? These sodas are the counter to all the Red Bull and Monster energy drinks. They are non-alcoholic “relaxation” drinks.

“Funktional Beverages created Purple Stuff, packed with herbs and amino acids that supposedly calm the mind and body, and aimed it squarely at the urban 18- to 35-year-old males who once pledged their loyalty to amped-up energy drinks.” That’s a quote from an article at the Washington Post – you can see the whole article here.  Okay, so – 18-35? Most dads are older…

Blenheim Ginger Ale

Not Your Momma's Ginger Ale.

Not Your Momma’s Ginger Ale.

I admit, the above relaxation drinks intrigue me…but not exactly right for my dad, you know? He’s chill enough! So I’m going to go with a standard – The Blenheim Ginger Ale. Why?

It’s Nuclear!

No, really. Even a bunch of early 20’s young men had a hard time drinking this. My 19 y/o likes it in a shot glass (and he’s the only one in the family who can finish a whole bottle with dinner). As a side benefit, the ginger in the ale clears your sinuses right up.

I went to their website, and apparently they have two (or maybe three) different strengths of ginger in their ale. I can guarantee you, if you bring a six pack to the party, you’ll have people buzzing about your cleverness! (At least, my son enjoyed a certain notoriety when he brought a six pack to the party. He also came home with three bottles, lol!) Pricing: $7.00 a six pack but I’ve only found them “in person” at BevMo , and they were selling them by the bottle I think for about $1.50 (not that I’ve looked anywhere else).

Not sure if this is right for your dad? Go with the excellent standbys – Henry Weinhardt’s creamy Root Beer or Orange Soda (both favorites with my family). And those you CAN pick up at the grocery store.

Is Dad a Beer Drinker?

If your dad is a beer drinker, please keep in mind what kind of beer he prefers. If he’s a Bud Lite or Coors Lite fan, then look for a new “lite” beer that he might like and stay away from the Beers Around the World. IF, however, he prefers a Guiness, then go visit your neighborhood Costco or Cost Plus World Market and pick up a box ‘o beers from

Create your own Six Pack at Cost Plus World Market!

Create your own Six Pack at Cost Plus World Market!

far-flung places. Or at World Market, you can create your own six pack – and finally put that Bud Lite up against the Coors Lite. Can you say Blind Taste Test?!!

But – Where’s the Wine???

Ah, you wine lovers! I haven’t forgotten you. I’ve got a brilliant, easy-drinking wine that’s also easy on the pocket book. I’m foregoing the typical outline that I usually do (but heck yeah I’ll be rating ’em!)

First up? My new favorite, CDR – Cotes Du Rhone AOC, a dry red wine that is a

Cotes du Rhone, NV from Costco. See the wine stain on the label? Taste-tested! Christine approved, lol!

Cotes du Rhone, NV from Costco. See the wine stain on the label? Taste-tested! Christine approved, lol!

product of France. Alcohol content, 14% by Volume – and priced at $8.95 at Costco. This is an easy-sipping wine that is rapidly becoming my new favorite go-to. The color is a deep purple-red, the fruit is lush and the finish is silky. It will go with anything you decide to grill on the BBQ this Father’s Day.

My Rating: ~ Very, Very Drinkable ~


KV_SauvBlanc_ScrewIf your dad likes white wines, well this is the perfect time of year for a Sauvignon Blanc. One of my favorites is the Kenwood Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, with a screwtop (no cork issues!). 13.5% Alcohol by Volume. My original posting on this wine is here, if you’d like to read it. Price was $8.99 on sale at Vons.

My Rating: ~ Very, Very Drinkable ~

So There You Have It!

Options for Father’s Day, to suit almost every taste. As for my dad? He prefers a Coca Cola. He’s had to cut WAY back on his soda intake, but I think for Father’s Day he’d be allowed one…

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.

~ Until the next time, cheers – and may your Father’s Day be filled with Love! ~


Demon Soul and Demon Hunt are available for the Kindle and Kobo! Have you fallen into the Caine Brothers’ world yet?

My Rating System: Undrinkable; Barely Drinkable; Drinkable; Very Drinkable; and the ever-popular “Stay Away! This is MY wine, you Slut!”

Talking White Wines

Talking White Wines

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.


I’ve got empty wine bottles all over my desk; I guess it’s time to get cracking on a couple more blog posts! So today, I’m focusing on the whites I’ve had. The temperatures here in Southern California have been going up – then they dropped a bit, but as usual in September, they’re headed back up. So here are some whites to cool you off when the temperatures outside soar.

Kenwood Vineyards, Sauvignon Blanc 2009  Sonoma County, 13.5% alcohol by volume. Check out their website .  $10.00; on sale at Vons for $8.99.

On the Label: “Sauvignon Blanc continues to be Kenwood’s most popular wine. This refreshing wine is superb as an aperitif and excellent with seafood, pasta and poultry dishes.”

My take: I totally agree.  This is a refreshing, crisp and tasty wine that won’t break your pocket book. We had it with a roasted chicken (I’ve GOT to tell that story!), broccoli and rice and it was fabulous. I have a long-standing affection for the Kenwood label, and was thrilled to find one within my price range. On their website, Kenwood is promoting their 2010 Sauvignon Blanc which apparently comes with a screw-top. The wine I had was a 2009, and had a cork.

My Rating: ~ Very, very drinkable ~ I should stock up on a few bottles.

~ Now my roasted chicken story. I’d purchased a nice, fat, fresh chicken for roasting the next day, quite forgetting that I was a working girl. That next afternoon, as the clock crept toward five, then five thirty, I totally regretted not being able to walk my son through prepping the chicken over the phone.

So when I got home that night, I dragged my first born into the kitchen. “I need you to be able to roast a chicken. Consider it good training for when you’re on your own,” I said. “Take the chicken out of the package. Then take out all the giblets. Now rinse the chicken really well.”

He did all that, with a slightly distracted look on his face. Earlier, I’d wrestled with dug out a roasting pan. “Now, plop the chicken into the pan. Good. You don’t want a pan too big, or it’ll dry the chicken out too fast. Here,” and I thrust two lemons into his hands. “Cut these in half, and stick them into the cavity. Oh, wash your hands. And the lemons.” He did, still not saying much, and stuck them into the cavity.

“Now what?” He leaned against the counter, looming over me, all long, curly hair and reddish goatee, looking like a poet who belonged wandering the Pacific Northwest.

“Now separate the skin from the breast, like this.” I showed him how to create that pocket between the skin and the meat. He did the other side. “Now, stick as much dried tarragon as you can, spreading it out, under each side of the breast.” It took some doing, but he got it done.

“Sprinkle the whole thing with salt and pepper. Add two cups of chicken stock to the pan, put it into a 350 degree oven, and let it roast for two to two and a half hours. Baste every 2o minutes if you remember to; that’ll help keep the chicken nice and moist. If we had more time, I’d say keep the temp at 300 degrees and roast for three to three and a half hours, but we don’t have that kind of time.”

The chicken in the oven, I dismissed my kitchen help, poured myself a glass of the Kenwood and relaxed, knowing dinner was all but done. We ate by 8:30, not bad timing for our family, and the chicken turned out, according to my husband, “surprisingly good”. The best part? Now my eldest son knows how to roast a chicken, for the next time I’m running late and there’s a whole hen in the fridge.

Rodney Strong Chardonnay 2008 Sonoma County alcohol 13.8% by volume $13.99 regular price $9.99 on sale at Vons

On the Label: “Our 2008 Sonoma County chardonnay displays lemon and apple aromas with hints of toasty oak, pear and pineapple. It was grown in cooler areas of Sonoma COunty, where Rod Strong was among the first to plant chardonnay in the gravelly soils just twenty miles from the Pacific Ocean.

Rodney Strong Vineyards is deeply committed to being Green. We are the first carbon neutral winery in Sonoma County, we practice sustainable and fish friendly farming and use soalr power to produce our wine. To learn more, please visit www.rodneystrong.com/green . Place matters.”

My take: I really enjoyed this wine. It’s another winery I am fond of, having visited there in the 1980s. This Chardonnay has a nice balance of fruit and oak – not heavy on the oak, but definitely adding flavor there. You can’t go wrong with a Rodney Strong product, in my opinion. This is a wine I’d buy even if it weren’t on sale, especially if I were having a special dinner or a celebration.

My Rating: ~ Very, very drinkable ~

Okay, one more…

Beringer Pinot Grigio, 2009 California Collection alcohol 13.0% by volume. Visit their website. $6.49; on sale for $3.99 at Vons.

On the Label: “This carefully crafted wine has bright aromas of tropical fruit drenched by the California sun. It is lively and refreshing. If you enjoy our Pinot Grigio, make sure to try our Chardonnay. Serve chilled.”

My take: Fabulous sipping wine. At $4 a bottle, it beats the pants off a lot of other, more expensive Pinot Grigios. It doesn’t need food to make it sing, but it also complements food quite nicely. This is almost the perfect summer sipping-by-the-pool wine. Even at its regular price, it’s a terrific deal.

My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~ Pick up a few bottles of this before the price goes up!

As usual, this is just my honest opinion and depends entirely upon the weather, if I got enough sleep, how many proposals I retyped that day, 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! Go and buy it now, lol!