Tag Archives: wine of the week

Wine of the Weeeeeek

Take the word “Weeeeeeeek” from the title, subtract the W, and then read it again.  Yes, it says, “Eeeeeeeek,” and that is how I feel about the next few days coming up!  I’m extremely busy at work with lots of different events taking place now through Sunday morning.  This means that I’ll be lucky to take 10 minutes for lunch, let alone cook anything in the next few days.  Thank goodness I have soup ready to go.

So here’s a quick post before heading in for the day…

I took a break from wine this week as I’ve been under the weather, but I thought it would be a good time to introduce you to an old favorite.  I’m pretty sure that 60% of the people who buy this wine are college co-eds, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad.  It’s actually quite good and makes me happy when I drink it.

Barefoot White Zinfandel.

You’re probably laughing that I even like this.  But I think every wine has a time and place, and spring is a great time to break out this sweeter blend.  Barefoot’s website describes it as having “flavors like Georgia peach and pineapple, sun-ripened strawberries and succulent pear and is light and lively as they come.”  Sounds like spring in a bottle to me.

Plus it’s pink.  It matches the blooming flowers.

It’s extremely affordable (as all Barefoot wines are), so go buy a bottle and enjoy outside tonight.  Have a glass for me!

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Customer Service Isn’t Dead

Lately, I’ve noticed a steady decline in the customer service I’ve received. 

Exhibit A – At Wal-Mart this past weekend, I had to listen to a food demonstrator yell at her adult child by cell phone about how he needs to properly care for plants at his house.  She seemed to have no idea that a long line of people wanting pizza samples formed or care that everyone knew her 30+ year-old son’s name and shortcomings by the time they got a small sample.

Exhibit B – Yesterday, I caught a 6am flight to Virginia.  I packed breakfast the night before so that I could eat it before I boarded.  Unfortuantely, I forgot to pack a spoon, so I walked over to a small food store and asked for one.  The first person I asked simply said, “Yeah, we have them,” before going back to looking at her shoes.  The second person I asked just groaned and asked, “Well, are you buying anything?”  I was honest and said, “No”, and he begrudgingly gave one to me.  I would have rather paid for it and received decent service than be given a plastic spoon by two people that clearly were not in the mood to be helpful.

Those recent experiences really made me question the presence of customer service in today’s world.  To me, it seems to have disappeared quite a bit.  Which is ironic because I’m in Virginia for a conference that focuses on how to better serve customers through a variety of means (food and beverage options, meeting room facilities, technology, etc.). 

Even so, up until yesterday, I was seriously questioning whether I could find good service anymore.   Luckily, my thoughts were turned around and life proved me wrong by sending a driver named Jay my way.

Yesterday was very busy/stressful for me.  I woke up at 4am, my flight was at 6am, I had an important meeting from 9 to 10:30am in downtown D.C. and then needed to get to the conference center I’m staying at by 12pm in order to make rehearsal for a presentation I have to give tonight.  To make my life easier, I hired a sedan service to get me where I needed to be.  Specifically Jay’s Sedan Service.  I owe my sanity to Jay, as he provided the best customer service I’ve received in a very long time…

Right before my plane took off, I realized that I had left necessary papers at home for my 9am meeting.  Luckily, I had Jay’s e-mail and sent him a frantic message from my phone along with the attached documents and asked him to print them for me.

When he met me at the baggage claim, he told me he had been unsuccessful in printing them but had another idea.  He then went to the United Service Oragnizations (USO) office and begged them to let me print the documents.  He may have fibbed and said that I was bawling my eyes out over not having this paperwork and that he couldn’t handle driving me into D.C. while I was a hot mess.   I apologize to all service men and women for taking advantage of the “cry baby tactic,” but it worked and I was able to print my documents.



Jay then drove masterfully through hectic morning traffic and got me to my meeting on time.  After I came out, he made a couple stops to help me relax and get my mind off of how stressful the morning had been.  He took me down to the Potomac River and stopped so I could get pictures of the cherry blossoms.  He then drove to Starbucks (it was 11am and I hadn’t had coffee yet…I don’t know how I survived) and treated me to the best cannoli I’ve ever had from a little Italian store. 

Spending a couple hours with him in the car yesterday completely turned around my mindset about service and showed me that excellent service is out there if you look for it.  You just have to filter through a few bad apples to find the gems.

Speaking of gems — it’s Virginia wine week!

I haven’t had time to sample one yet during this trip, but I have had Jefferson Vineyard’s Chardonnay in the past and it is delicious.  Definitely recommend it.

Off to more meetings!  Hopefully there will be lots of good food tonight!

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Duh, whining!


Sorry, just need to whine for a moment. And yes, that’s whine with an “h” not wine. Though I’d much rather be doing that.

My laptop caught a virus last night and I’m currently in the process of learning what caused my precious child to get sick. It’s sad how attached I am to my computer. But I really felt like a concerned mother when the screen turned bright blue and the word ALERT started popping up in red all over like it was chickenpox on a preschooler.

I’m putting the health of my baby in the hands of some very competent doctors know as Best Buy’s Geek Squad. I’m sure they’ll make her better in no time and give her a special booster shot to try and prevent this from happening again.

Not without a hefty price tag, of course.

Unfortunately Best Buy doesn’t take Cigna. And last I checked, I can’t list an electronic device as a dependent. Wouldn’t it be great if you only had to fork over a co-pay when your computer needs a check up?

Anyway, I digress….

I will get through this. Really I feel bad because I have a delicious soup recipe to share with you. But it will have to wait until Baby Toshiba gets a clean bill of health.

Well, I think I’m done whining and will now move onto wine-ing. Because I definitely could use a glass after all this. Thanks for listening. 🙂

Gallo’s Sauvignon Blanc is waiting for me back home. It was on a huge markdown at the store this week. It’s light, refreshing, and very easy to drink. Which may be a dangerous thing for me after all my anxiety today.

So here’s a toast to all you geeks  tonight and for the work that you do. It is very much appreciated.

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We Have a Zinner!

Zinner as in zinfandel.


Sorry for the bad pun, but I can’t help it sometimes.

Also sorry that I didn’t post a Wine of the Week last week.  I think you’ll be happy when you realize that this week’s choice is worth the wait.

I was treated last week to a glass of Napa Cellars Zinfandel and I really don’t want anything else right now.  I probably never would have tried it because it was one of the more expensive options on the list at a local wine bar, but am so so happy I did.  After having this zin and then comparing it to a less pricey option later that night…it was like crème brûlée vs. Jell-O.  Except in this case, you would want to be the crème brûlée! (My Best Friend’s Wedding, anyone?)

Anyway, this wine is so spicy, bold, a little heavy, and absolutely delicious. 

The best news?  It averages between $15 – $16 in retail stores!  Win win!  I can already forsee buying this for certain friends and family members’ birthday presents.  I may need to buy stock in Total Wine & More now.

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A New Celebration

One thing I’ve noticed through my work is that most, if not all, events I cater are celebrations.  Whether it is a wedding or a graduation, the first day of a training program or the last,  a championship ring ceremony or a holiday party.  The reason people gather together to eat, converse, and laugh is to celebrate.  Even the daily lunch visitor to the dining room on a break between classes or meetings is celebrating (and it is just that brief respite from work that he celebrates).   

Tomorrow marks a new type of celebration that I will cater, and that is a celebration of life.  A very well-respected woman passed away earlier this week, and her former employer and co-workers have planned a post-funeral repast.  I’m certain this will not be as joyous of an occassion as other celebrations, but have to remind myself that it is a celebration nonetheless.  It makes me smile that so many (200+ expected guests) cared about this woman enough to plan an impromptu event during the middle of the week.  I don’t think many people in the world have that effect; she was obviously special.

It will be interesting to see the dynamic in the meeting room tomorrow when all the guests gather.  I hope that there will be more smiles than tears.  But, we shall see.  It’s hard to judge a group until they actually come together, and to be honest, I’m nervous about the emotions that will be at bay tomorrow.

But, I’m off to bed for now.  It’s a new day tomorrow with many new experiences to be had.

Wine of the Week:  [yellow tail] Shiraz/Grenache blend from Austrailia.  I can find nothing wrong with this wine.  Not as heavy as a strong Cabernet, but definitely heavier than a Merlot, with lots of berry flavor.  If you have a glass of this, you’ll have a g’day mate!

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Signs of an Early Spring?

Today is Groundhog Day.  For those that missed the riveting footage from Punxsutawney this morning, you can catch it again here.  I, for one, am glad that Phil predicted an early spring, and I’m sure most of the country (meaning everyone to the west and north of North Carolina) hopes he’s correct.  I feel like Phil may be onto something considering I spent a good portion of today outside in 60-degree and sunny weather.  It’ll be back in the 30s tomorrow, but at least it was a brief respite from winter.

East Campus — the busiest I’ve ever seen the quad with 2 frisbee players on it.  I’m not kidding — Duke kids don’t seem to play outside.


Groundhog Day is a great “holiday” that always makes me think of the old Bill Murray film by the same name.  If you haven’t seen it, here’s the basic storyline:  Bill Murray plays a weatherman that always gets stuck covering the annual Groundhog Day celebration each year.  One year he becomes extra agitated by it, and for some reason, he wakes up the next day only to find that it’s Groundhog Day all over again.  Does he ever escape re-living the same day, seeing the same events and people over and over again?  You need to see the movie.

As I thought about the film today, I started to wonder if there were certain things that I wouldn’t mind doing or enjoying over and over again everyday.  If you can’t tell already by this blog, I clearly enjoy food and wine, so those two were at the top of my list.  I think I would be pretty okay with having the chance to try out a new recipe or type of wine everyday for the rest of my life.  As my thoughts progressed on these ideas I realized that I wouldn’t just want to try out new wines and foods, but also share them with other people to enjoy.  These thoughts seemed like a basis for some pretty good new goals. 

I then thought of something I can start to do on a weekly basis on the blog:  share a Wine of the Week!  Hopefully you’re as excited about this as I am (although I realize you may not be, hah!).  I really really love wine.  I love discovering what I enjoy about different types of wine.  I remember a few years ago, one of my grandfathers (Grandad Clearwater) said to me, “Well, I always say that you shouldn’t stop trying wine until you find one that you really don’t like.  So far, I haven’t stopped.”  It made me laugh, and I realized that I felt the same way. 

Hopefully by highlighting a wine of the week, I will be able to learn more about different varietals (I don’t think I’ll ever reach sommelier status, but it would be beneficial to know more) and also find some delicious and rather inexpensive bottles to share.

To kick it off, I thought I would share a delicious brand of wine that I enjoyed this past Sunday at the Mad Men party I went to.  The party was at a local wine bar and Mad Housewife Cellars was one of the vendors for the event.  The overwhelming response from all party-goers was that the wines were fantastic!

I tried both the Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay varietals and was pleasantly surprised by each.  The Cabernet was not too heavy and had a strong flavor of cherry and coffee that was really refreshing.  As for the Chardonnay — I was really surprised that I liked it!  I’m not a big Chardonnay drinker because they usually have a strong oak flavor, but it was very light in this variety.  Very fruity, and very good.  According to the website, the wines are available in lots of different grocery stores and wine stores including Publix, Kroger, and Total Wine……so go pick some up.  How can you not with a name and labels like this?

Do you know what tomorrow is?  Hint….it’s the start of a new cycle and involves an animal other than a groundhog.  I’ll be back with a special recipe!

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