How to Taste Wine

It’s been a rough week at Chez Ashworth, culminating in coming down with a nasty cold that’s been making the rounds of the office, so I am way behind in today’s wine blog. Instead of highlighting some affordable wines, I’m pointing you toward two funny but educational videos on wine tasting. The first looks like it was produced in the 70’s but was done in 2008; here’s a live female showing you the ropes.

How to Taste Red Wine

 Now, if you prefer your guide to be of the cartoon male type, here you go…

Another Video on Tasting Wine

I did learn a couple things from these videos, namely how to tell the relative age of the wine (which was discussed clearly in the first video).

When was the last time you did wine tasting? I’d love to know!

~ Until the next time, cheers – and remember to drink responsibly! ~


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



Betwixt and Between, or Crankypants

Betwixt and Between, or Crankypants

Or maybe I should call this post Sixes and Sevens? I’m be-bothered and out of sorts and ill-at-ease and put your catch-phrase here.

A water color from Kansas Water Color dot com.
Thanks to for the image.

(I’m somewhere there – right there, in the middle of the painting. Or maybe in the upper right side…or down left, toward the bottom…)

There’s no one reason for it, really, and a million tiny reasons for it. A bummer for me is that wine – red wine, as far as I can tell – now severely disrupts my sleep, to the point that I’m not waking at 5am to write because I’ve tossed and turned from 1am to 3am. Which means I need to cut back on my red wine intake, which in turn makes me get pouty-face – and trust me, I am not attractive in pouty-face. But…I don’t know about the wine part of the blog, which makes me even MORE pouty-face.

Then I’ve got something physical going on in my female parts – to where I feel ugly-pregnant. Annoying and irritating, especially when the doc says “well, you’re so close to menopause, you should just wait it out…” Grr. I like my doc, but grr. I go see a female gynocologist this Friday, so will know more then. But at least I had a CT scan a couple weeks ago, and all my other organs are peachy keen and in good health. (Now there was a “fun” way to lose an entire day. Sheesh.)

A photo of a CT scanner.

In case you've never had one - this is what the CT machine looks like.

Add in two boys who don’t yet have jobs, three partials I want to complete and polish up, another partial I need to finish so I can send it off to a couple agents, being stalled in my exercising, wanting to shed at LEAST 20 pounds, and having the typical crazy day at the day job I like and … well, it makes me feel betwixt and between.


On the positive side? I sent out two partials as requested to an agent on Saturday, for books that are complete, and I found I really enjoyed working with those two books. Hadn’t read them in a couple years at this point.

A week ago, we got brand new windows on the house – and it’s cooler, quieter, and more secure – I LOVE my new windows! Plus it ups the value of the house, always a good thing.

Another positive thing, my oldest son now has his driver’s license, and my younger son is now learning. (21 & 18)  Ever since they stopped teaching driver’s ed in the high schools here in California, the average teenage driver age has gone up. And up. A good thing, over all, but still – it’s nice that my kids are finally spreading their wings a bit.

BLOOD DREAMS, my short story set in the Caine Brothers world, releases on June 1st and I’ve got help with a book release promo on that day, so that’ll be fun. I’ve seen my cover for DEMON HUNT and can’t WAIT to show it to everyone – it’s fantastic! AND, I got a cover blurb for that book by NY Times Bestselling Author MAGGIE SHAYNE! So, yeah…lotsa good happening. Plus I’m working on Book 3 of the series.

Another, huge positive – Tom and I are closer than ever. That whole “you complete me” thing? It’s real. It’s more real now than it was 35 years ago, and it just keeps getting better. That, my friends, is scary-good.

Another positive is the garden. Tom’s worked so hard – and so have the boys. We have five original veggie planting beds, and Tom’s added nine more. We’ve decided using the back yard for growing stuff is more interesting than having grass (because our grass is mostly weeds). 

We’re growing: cucumber, watermelon, potatoes, zucchini, crook-neck squash, beets, bell peppers, tons of onions, garlic, spinach, cilantro, 5 different kinds of basil, sunflowers,  sage (both green and white), italian flat-leaf parsley and curly parsley, thyme, red lettuce from seed, dark green lettuce from seed (not yet seedlings), corn from seed, peas from seed; 3 different kinds of strawberries, black berries and boysenberries; on the bank, we’ve got 11 artichoke plants (6 of which are bearing artichokes this year; the other 5 are too young), two lime trees, two meyer lemon trees, two different orange trees,  an apple tree, and pots of tomatoes? Glad you asked! We’ve got 8 pots of tomatoes, plus 4 heirloom tomatoes in the ground. Oh, and two pomegranate trees that aren’t big enough to have fruit on them yet (they’re barely 2 feet tall). Of the seeds not yet planted, bush snow peas, and celery, and I still have some sunflower seeds to plant…

Wow. Big grin. Mentally feeling much better – what a lovely garden (in it’s raggedy way)! I must post pictures. The really fun part of the new beds? Tom carted out this huge, terrific metal doorway that was a prop in a store I used to work for. I got to keep it…and now it’s solid in our garden, with jasmine growing up the sides and a hanging pot of petunias and alyssum in the center…when the jasmine grows up and over, it’ll be pure heaven!

Physically? I still feel blech. But at least, when I get home I’ll be able to sit in the garden with hubby, drink some bland and boring sparkling water,  and enjoy all the growing things around me. Maybe I’ll even take pictures.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you’re having a wonderful un-crankypants day!