December 30, 2009

Wednesday's Wine - Another Reader's Recommendation

So, I've been unable to find time to blog. Or maybe, just too busy or too tired...or too brain dead. Anyway, I've been taking some time off over the holidays (btw...Merry Merry and Happy Happy everyone!) to rest, relax, and relativize (hanging with the family). And speaking of family, I recruited my sister in law to assist with the following wine reviews. A person, of indeterminate gender, named jackson popped by my blog a few weeks ago and recommended that I try Oak Leaf Cabernet Sauvignon which can be had for $2.97 at the local Walmart. Alas, in Colorado that actually isn't the case as all adult beverages must be purchased in a liquor store or bar type establishments. So, since I'm in Texas, I bought it and the Oak Leaf Shiraz. And yes, they were both available for $2.97.

First we tried the recommended Oak Leaf Cabernet Sauvignon. We both found it a bit thin and more like a Merlot than a Cabernet. It didn't have the boldness, or at least the heft, one expects of even the cheapest of Cabernet's. But if one PRETENDS it's a Merlot, then it was okay to poor. My sister in law suggested that it might be good for making Sangria. We also thought, it would be acceptable as a table wine served with an equally inexpensive dinner. But not with guests who are savvy wine drinkers...heh.

Next, next we tried the Oak Leaf Shiraz. Initially, I found it had a musty oak scent, but the flavor was definitely an improvement over the Cabernet. However, my sister in law pointed out that it didn't really taste like a Shiraz, but rather it tasted like a Pinot Noir due to the spicy notes. It did seem a bit strong in flavor, and not in an especially great way. However, I left it to sit and breathe for awhile and it improved quite a bit, although it had a bit too much alcohol on the finish. Still doesn't taste like a Shiraz though...heh. I think after leaving this out to breathe for about 30 minutes, it would also make a good table wine or an excellent Sangria. And better than the Cabernet.

So, for around $3.00, if you live in a state that allows alcohol sales in the local Walmart, you too can experiment with ultra cheap wines. Me personally, I'll stick to the $5.00 to $10.00 wines...heh

December 29, 2009

Tuesday's Time Waster - How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Courtesy of Jannie Funster I found out awhile back that I'm 48% addicted:

48%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Created by OnePlusYou

Go to Jannie Funster's Blog to find out your level of addiction...hehehehehe

October 28, 2009

Wednesday's WineSSSSSSS

So I know I've been away for awhile (see previous post for excuses...er...reasons). I still don't have a replacement for my personal laptop. Today being a snow day at school, but having the work laptop at home, I decided to catch up on wine reviews! Lucky you, my three remaining readers, I have seven wines to cover. Yeah, just because my laptop died didn't mean I stopped drinking wine. Though, I must admit I've rediscovered my liking for vodka tonics and beer...heh. A reminder before the reviews. All of these wines can be had for about $10.00 or less and generally (though not always) have very high ratings (mid 80's and higher) than would be expected at those price points. I get great deals on wine at both 3S Liquors and at Applejack Wine and Liquors.

Starting in my own state of Colorado, I bring you a Rose (yes, it's PINK), but Rose's are still better than White Zinfandels which are still PINK, not white. And actually, I found this Plum Creek Palisade Rose, 2008 quite tasty. For those of you trying to imagine where in Colorado any vineyards might exist, the Palisades are on the western slopes of the Rocky Mountains and known for their peach trees. In other words, the Palisades are on the western edge of the state. Warm summers and cool nights make for pretty decent wine. Here's what the winemaker's at Plum Creek say about their rose in 2004 and I think it still applies to their 2008 vintage:

"Palisade Rosé is a light, semi-sweet Colorado wine made in the traditional style of great Rosé. The grapes are pressed as soon as they arrive in the cellar. The juice is left a very short time in contact with the grape skins in order to give the wine a delicate color.

Merlot grapes from our Somerset Vineyard give a fruity and lively character to this handcrafted wine. A rich viscosity enhances the wine’s silky smoothness. Luscious strawberry and cherry tones abound in the nose and on the palate."


I don't remember what I had for dinner with this wine, but I'm pretty sure I had some really spicy green chile one evening. And a rose with it's fruit forward flavors is a nice counter point to the spicy heat of green chile.

Speaking of white zinfandel's. I did manage to force one down. The label on this La Famiglia Guadagni White Zinfandel, 2007 from California might look familiar (and as Syd would say...looks like...well you know...heh) because I reviewed another wine from this vineyard awhile back. Anyway, I admit that I bought it for the label and because I liked that other wine too. While I was looking for a picture of the bottle I found this short description on the Western Importers' website:

"This bright and lively White Zinfandel comes from Lodi California, the heart of the California Zinfandel region. The nose is bright and inviting with aromas of berries, citrus blossoms, and strawberries. On the palate it is more of the same with a crisp refreshing style of wine that finishes with the heart of a Zinfandel."

I actually liked this white zinfandel, though not enough to make me like ALL white zinfandels...heh. In the past, I've found that white zinfandels go well with ham, pork and spicy dishes.

Moving on to the white wines. I actually got talked into trying this
Louis Latour Ardeche Chardonnay, 2006 when I was looking for a wine from France that was under $10.00. Just as with white zinfandel, I'm not a big fan of chardonnays. However, instead of an overly buttery feel, this one was a bit more crisp. It still had notes of oak and vanilla as with many chardonnays, but I liked it much better than most. I recommend pairing chardonnays with poultry dishes, especially a Thanksgiving turkey dinner. This will go well with any poultry dish I think. I might even be likely to buy it for this coming Thanksgiving now that I think about it...heh!


More along the lines of white wines I like is this Angeline Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc, 2008. Nice and crisp with mellow fruit flavors. Wine Enthusiast rated it a 90. That's a big value for the price and style! This is what the winery said about their wine:

"Fresh floral, honeydew melon and bright tropical aromatics lead to crisp and lively green melon flavors. This wine finishes soft and light with a lingering touch of citrus."

They recommend pairing with shrimp or a spicy halibut. I think it went well with salmon too.

I know this is a tiny picture but, yes, that is a leopard on the label...I think. I pick this Herding Cats Merlot/Pinotage from South Africa at 3S Liquors at the suggestion of a fellow patron. She left the store with several different Herding Cats wines, so I figured, "What the heck!" I also pick up another one of their wines for a later review. In the meantime, I found this red blend pretty good for the price and you seriously can't beat the name. Also, bonus, a wine from South Africa (home to Charlize Theron I might add). Internet Wines.com provided this description:

"This wine is smooth and supple with aromas of cherry, vanilla and mocha tones. The palate is soft and velvety with a lingering aftertaste following though."

They also recommended serving this wine with spicy beef dishes. I would agree, but then I love pretty much anything spicy...heh.

Of course these days I'm rather preoccupied with many things Italian...okay a specific Italian... Anyway, why not have an Italian wine too!?! This Falesco Vitiano Cabernet Sauvignon Sangiovese Merlot, 2007 blend from Umbria, Italy seems vaguely familar. Oh that's right, I reviewed the 2006 vintage...heh. This red blend was dark with a mix of fruit flavors including some notable plummy flavors. I enjoyed it quite a bit...which is why I've had it two years in a row to review. Of course, I had it with spaghetti and, later, with a great steak.

The last wine for today's review is another of the Gallo Twin Valley line: Pinot Noir. I last had their Hearth Burgundy which was surprisingly really good, but apparently I forgot to post it here. Anyway, their Pinot Noir is pretty good too. I've had better and I have had worse when it comes to pinot noirs. But for under $10.00 for a 1.5 liter bottle it's a great value to have around as an everyday table wine. If you like pinot noirs and are having a big party, a few bottles of this will definitely fill the bill! Serve it with heavy o'dourves or a nice steak dinner.

Enjoy! And check back in this location in a few weeks for pictures and a review of my cruise with Sweet.

September 28, 2009

Preoccupations and a Dead Laptop

I mentioned in one of my last posts that I was on a journey. Have to say it's kept me rather preoccupied. Work, too, has been very busy...just like this time last year, but far less stress. Then there's the matter of my laptop. Alas, the motherboard burned out at the battery recharging component. I don't quite get the process of that, other than it appears the battery was drawing too much electricity through the motherboard due to failing to hold the charge for very long. The moral of that story is, when your battery becomes toast (usually within about 18 months) buy a new one. I'm currently back online via my old desktop. It's rather slow. In the meantime, I have been trying new wine almost weekly, but haven't found time to blog on them...see reasons above. I promise to get to them as soon as the RAM I ordered from EBAY shows up.

August 30, 2009

Sunday Surf - Happy Birthday to Me...heh

I know y'all (15 of you by the looks of the follower's list) are wondering why I haven't been blogging very much. In fact, I'm pretty sure you're dying for some wine recommendations. Alas, I'm still working on a few of those, so none today. But I did think I'd share what I did for my birthday this year. Of course, today is actually my birthday, but Saturdays are more fun...heh

So yesterday, I went to Water World for Girl Splash 2009. I was going to go when the park opened at 10am, but it was chilly and partly cloudy all morning. I decided to do some house work and run some errands. By around 1:30 the sun was more out than not and I decided to finish my last errand and go. Earlier in the week, I bought a Resident ID for where I live because Water World gives discounts to residents of two cities that share one recreation district. It was $6.00. An all day pass for Water World is $15.00 this summer. So for the same total cost as a Girl Splash ticket, I could also have discounts for two years to all the other recreation offerings in the area...heh. I'm cheap, I know. As it turned out, it only costs $7.50 if you show up after 2pm. YAY! I had a bunch of fun with some of the local lesbians who aren't afraid to show some skin, AND I got a lovely hat from Carve Designs!

Later I went to dinner with my friend K. H. She wanted to try a new restaurant in the Highlands area just due west of downtown Denver. It's called Julia Blackbird's. Kind of Californian style Mexican food. K.H. and I rated it an 8 overall. We liked the patio dining option and it was actually too cool inside anyway. We started off with margaritas. K. H. had a
Pomegranate margarita which was so good, she had another later. I had a regular margarita, but it was so-so. I've had better, but it wasn't bad. Then we had chips and salsa...mmmmm. The salsa was spicy and had good flavor. They followed this with guacamole made table side. They used two whole avocados, tomato, garlic, green chile, lime, etc. The guac was yummy. The only thing it needed was either spicier green chile or some jalapeños.

Later, our en tree's were delivered. K. H. ordered a shrimp burrito with green chile and avocado garnish. She said it was pretty good. It looked fresh and yummy to me, but I was too stuffed from the guac to care about trying it. Plus, I didn't want to be disappointed that I hadn't order it instead of the Chicken Cordon Green. The chicken was supposed to be "stuffed" with green chile, but instead it was over grilled and a bit dry with a green chile laying on top. It was also swimming in a soupy green chile gravy. The grill flavor was good though and the green chile also had nice flavor. However, the dryness of the chicken and the watery consistency of the green chile gravy made the en tree rather disappointing. I took most of it home to doctor into something better for dinner later this week.

The last thing I did was go to Her Bar (see link in the right hand column) for drinks and mingling. They charge $5.00 to get in the door, but you get the first drink on the house. They should really put some restrictions on this (like only wine, well, or beer) because I got an $8.00 drink (Grey Goose and tonic with limes)...heh. My office assistant also found my gift certificate (thanks Tammy!) So I bought another Goose and tonic later on in the evening. By mid-night I'd met a gal (a girlfriend of a long time acquaintance who shares my same birthday). The owners of Her Bar (also friends) offered to buy each of us a shot to celebrate. We had one of my very old favorites: A Screaming Orgasm! HEHEHE! Because I know y'all wanna know, it's made of vodka, Kahlua, Bailey's Irish Cream, and a splash of Amaretto (that's the part that makes it a Screaming Orgasm instead of a regular one...heh). Later I had a coke and then I went home.

So there ya have it...how I celebrated my birthday. Well that and some texting through out the evening. BTW...there sure are a lot of people going out to socialize at bars, yet spending the evening texting instead of TALKING with fellow patrons...heh. Guess the world is much bigger than a little ole bar now...

August 8, 2009

Saturday Surf - Facebook

I set up a Facebook account last fall...or maybe winter. I don't remember exactly, because I didn't really want to set it up at all. My sister in law recommended it a few times and then she told me she posted pictures and videos of my nephews there. Then the folks at work were toying with it and I thought about it some more. I think I figured out that one of my good friends was doing more posts there than on her regular blog. Anyway, at some point, I figured "What the heck." I'd just use it as my family and old friends connection site. I used my actual given name and said my main purpose is networking (keeps the riff raff away...lol). And I'd keep it very neutral and clean...no raunchy jokes and links...heh ('cause you never know when you're going to be googled).

Then slowly over months I was "friended" by family and old friends from high school. I only have real world friends on my Facebook account. Which means I've either met them in person, or have spoken with them by phone over the course of more than a year or so (actually only one friend falls in that category...heh). I get regular requests for "friends" who do not meet that criteria. I suppose I could start a TheWeyrd1 Facebook account, but really isn't it enough to have a blog for my fun pop culture and gay community pursuits and leave the Facebook for my boring real world stuff?

The one really nice thing that has happened as a result of my Facebook account is reconnecting with a friend from high school. Apparently, she "knew" I was a lesbian and she is too. I'm like, "Dang, why didn't you tell me!?!" In my head I'm thinking, high school would have been so much more interesting! But she had things to sort out. I guess timing is everything in life and it's been really nice having someone to chat with that "gets" where you're coming from because they were literally THERE. Course, I don't know where this "new" friendship will go, but the journey could be interesting...

July 29, 2009

Wednesday's Whine - What I Did This Summer

I worked extra duty on and off at the J.O.B. from which I should have taken an extended break. I did this so I could pay for:

1. Remodeling my bathroom and starting the remodel of my kitchen.


Bathroom before...notice the ugly tile and old toilet:

















Bathroom After...notice the new bamboo floors and low flow toilet, but try not to notice Tucker's unmade bed under the counter...heh:
























Before and after pics of my kitchen:















































2. The trip I took to Oregon but not for vacation exactly. I
went to take a class so I can renew my license. But while I was there I did manage to visit my half-sister for her 60th birthday and meet my new great half-niece (which means I'm only half old, by the way). I'd post pics, but I don't post individual pics of my family.

3. The whole day I spent at the Denver Pride event. Actually, since I was in Oregon, I missed the Women's Pride Party. As a result I didn't spend that much money.

Total attendance estimates depended on who was reporting. The GLBTCCC (PrideFest organizers) said Denver's event is the 7th largest in the country with 300,000 in attendance. The city put the number closer to 100,000. I'll play the odds and say it was about 200,000 over the two days.
Here's a crowd shot at the end of the parade:



















4. The spur of the moment opportunity to go to an Indigo Girls concert
. I think I spent about $30.00 or so, but the big expense was the time spent on a bus getting back to the parking lot from the remote location of the actual event. The actual location supposedly holds around 900 people, but I think the crowd was smaller than that...yet it was sold out.

This is a picture of the stage (with the opening act playing) which backs onto the Poudre River (which was running high, by the way):



















My replacement camera for the one that stopped working after a week, doesn't take good pictures at night. Of course it was identical to the first one and also stopped working after a week. I've since upgrade to a slightly better one. But in the meantime, here are the girls and their guest keyboardist (whose name I don't recall):



















Now for the WHINE:

1. Tomorrow I finish another continuing education class so I can get one of my many licenses renewed.

2. Friday, I take another class to renew another license...this one's so I can keep my J. O. B. There's more whine in there somewhere, but I'm just too tired to whine about it now...heh.

And now for some WINE:

I did have that bottle of Harlow Ridge Sauvignon Blanc recently. It was crisp, as I like my white wines and as most Sauvignon Blancs tend to be, but not particularly exciting. Nevertheless, for $6.00 it was very good buy. However, it wasn't so great that I would serve it to a dinner date...heh. I would serve it on a hot summer night to pals hanging out around the swimming pool though...

July 18, 2009

Saturday Surf - What Kind of Lesbian Are You?

I'm home on a Saturday evening. How depressing is that? Then I'm noodling around on the net and find this quiz in the forums on AfterEllen.com:

Which type of Lesbian are you?

The Undefinable

You just like ladies, and that does nothing to affect your lifestyle or appearance. You are you, and you are unique! In fact, you're probably bi. You should check that out.

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by YouThink.com quizzes and personality tests.
Sheesh. I am so NOT bi. I already checked that out in college...like everyone else does...in reverse.

July 15, 2009

Wednesday's Wine - Other Ladies' Recommendations

So today I'm doing something different. I'm sharing a drinks link, an old friend's spirit recommendation, and an online/email buddy's wine review (because she doesn't have a blog). So first off, you may have noticed my extra long list of links and blogs that I like or follow. One of them is the relatively new De-Cantation in which she reviews three wines with two under $10! Go check them out.

My new old friend (HS friend who I re-connected with via Facebook) loves her some Grey Goose Martini's. I prefer vodka tonic when I'm not having a glass of wine or a cold beer. We decided to have a text toast of Grey Goose, and I must say it's SMOOTH!

My online buddy, Kath wrote to share about a Malbec she tried since she was inspired by another recommendation she found on this very blog:

"Having my first ever Malbec tonight.......Black Mountain Vineyard, 2005. Watson's Grove, CA. $3.99 at Trader Joe's. I'll let you know how it is..."

Later (and not that long later...heh), she wrote to share the following review:

"
The bottle reads:

"With an intriguing cross-section of flavors that range from fruit to floral, Black Mountain Malbec offers a very pleasing experience. Notes of violets and orange pekoe tea join with raspberries and plum. The finish is velvety as soft tannins delight the palate. Take advantage of this wines depth and complexity.It pairs nicely with a variety of cuisine...

"Very nice, indeed. really smooth and subtle. I will definitely seek out more Malbecs in the future. Thanks for suggesting. ;) "


Just a suggestion, but understand if you don't LIVE IN California, their wines might cost a tad more somewhere else. In other words, a $4.00 bottle of wine might run closer to $8.00.

ENJOY!

July 8, 2009

Wednesday's Wine - Harlow Ridge Petite Sirah, 2005

Despite my efforts otherwise, I could not find an ACTUAL picture of this bottle of wine, but since the label pretty much looks like the other Harlow Ridge wines that I've reviewed so far...you can just imagine it in your minds. So on with the review...

This wine, like the others, is from the Lodi region of California. I may have mentioned in a review of another Petite Sirah, that this grape is NOT to be confused with the Shiraz, Syrah, or Sirah grapes. They may have some original varietals in common, but they taste quite a bit different. A good Shiraz, Syrah or Sirah (different spellings related to where it is grown) is going to be "fruit forward" or as I once read, it's a wine that has a "big fruit" taste. Conversely, Petite Sirah is more earthy and actually kind of "small fruit" in taste. Maybe that's why it's called petite. What I do know is that this grape has been used in the past to give other wines more depth in flavor and color. In the last few years it's been showcased as a wine grape on it's own.

Harlow Ridge Petite Sirah, 2005 is typical for this grape. It holds up well with steak and probably other savory meals such as stews. I don't think it makes a great summer red, however. In fact, I still prefer Harlow Ridge's Cabernet and Pinot Noir. On the other hand, at $6.00 I would buy this one again. It's earthy with a vaguely tart edge. Not much alcohol on the finish, but a tad more than the other two just mentioned. Overall, I'd drink it again...in the winter...with some nice beefy stew and crusty bread...in front of a fire...in my fireplace...heh.

Enjoy!

July 1, 2009

Wednesday's Wine - Harlow Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006

As promised and early in the day (since I'm on vacation) I bring you the follow up review on one of the other Harlow Ridge Wines. This time it's the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon from the Lodi region of California.

I went back to 3-S Liquors to pick this and another Harlow Ridge Wine for about $7.00 or $8.00 (I really should write the prices down). Anyway, the clerk, who is a wine geek himself and a neighbor, said he didn't find this Cabernet Sauvignon that good. I have to say I disagree. While hunting for a picture of the label, I found this VERY BRIEF review:

"Jammy and spicy, with distinctive geranium notes and herbal cherry flavors on a medium frame."

I not sure what "geranium notes" taste like although I understand that tastes are often associated closely with scents. If you know what geraniums smell like, then this wine may TASTE like what you think geraniums would taste like based on their scent...but only vaguely since it's just "notes." I do agree that it's somewhat "jammy" and definitely spicy and a bit of cherry midway on the palate. Also a bit of alcohol burn on the finish. I will give the neighbor guy some due since this wine is definitely not a typical Cabernet Sauvignon. On the other hand, I liked it. And for the price, I think it's a pretty good value.

Keep in mind that it's a bit spicier than most Cabernet's when deciding on your menu. I had it with bbq pork loin and later with a blackened steak salad. Both times the flavors of the meal stood up to the wine.

Enjoy!

UPDATE: I got the Harlow Ridge wines for $7.00 it turns out when I went back to find out and NOW they're at a new sale price of $6.00!!!

June 24, 2009

Wednesday's Wine - Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, 2006

It's Wednesday, so it must be a wine post. Ooooo boy, another good bottle for under $10.00 right!?! Um, yes. And, uh no. I'm not in Colorado today...actually haven't been since Friday morning. Yeah, I'm in Portland, Oregon. Did you know that Oregon is known for Pinot Noir (they're also known for Rieslings, but I don't have a liking for sweet wines, so not much to share about those...)? Well, anyway, I spent the weekend with my half sister and her daughter's family. Due to some unfortunate circumstances, I ended up touring wineries on Sunday with only my sister. Somewhat surprisingly, it was fun (could be that happened because she was the designated driver...heh). We went to three wineries. The first of which was Secret House Vineyards (the others were LaVelle Vineyards and Sweet Cheeks Winery). In all, I think I tried close to 20 wines. It was mostly sips and small swallows, but you know they kind of add up...heh. My sister did try about 5 or 6...mostly Rieslings.

So back to the possibly under $10.00 bottle of wine, but might not be...hee. As you can see in the title, I had the Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, 2006 made by Secret House. But let's start at the beginning. It's quick, really. First I had the 2005 Pinot Noir and it was pretty good. THEN, I had the 2006 and my socks were blown off. It's OMG yummy. What makes it extra yummy is that I got it for $10.00. But, uh, you can't. So really, it's not fair, because I've devoted my Wednesday's Wine posts to wines you can get for under $10.00, at least in my part of the world (aka, Colorado). On the other hand, I did get it for $10.00 (exactly, because they don't have sale's tax in Oregon) and if a bottle of wine cost me $10.00 or less I believe I'm still obligated to share...at least the information...right??? Heh.

I must say, this is easily one of the best Pinot Noirs I've ever had. It might be one of the best red wines I've had in a really long time. It actually sells for more like upper $20's low $30's if I recall correctly. And because the owners are selling the winery, they marked all of their wines down to $10.00 a bottle regardless. If I wasn't flying home, I would have bought several bottles. As it is, I'm now staying at a hotel in Portland for a class and am nursing a bottle over a few days. The difference between a really good $10.00 (or under) wine and a mediocre wine over $30.00 isn't much. But the difference between a really good one in the $30.00 range and a good under $10.00 is definitely noticeable.

Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, 2006 has a great berry type fruit taste on the front of the palate (I found out recently that this can mean it's "fruit forward"). However, it's NOT all fruit in the front. There is definitely a scent and taste of oak right at the beginning. It's kind of anticipatory of the complexities to come. This wine is somewhat bold in all the flavors without any one being overpowering and they all linger on the tongue. There is a bit of alcohol on the finish, but it's less than the burn of alcohol that lower cost wines often have. Here's what Ron Appetit (who must have an "appetite" for wine...heh) says on the back label about his wine:

"A lush, full-bodied Pinot Noir, with intense flavors of berry, black cherry and currants. A complex Pinot that will be wonderful with a robust meal. This varietal speaks to the mystery of wine in a most elegant voice."

Yeah, what Ron said! If any of my readers live ANYWHERE near Eugene, Oregon, I recommend visiting Secret House Vineyards by June 30th to pick up this wine. I found it went well with a meat pizza, as well as left over Turkey Schnitzel. I would have preferred it with a good steak, but in order to have the wine, I have to make do with carry out. Tomorrow, I'll probably have the rest with some kind of beef stir fry from the Chinese restaurant near by. By the way, you KNOW a wine is good when it's still yummy in a Styrofoam cup!

ENJOY!

June 17, 2009

Wednesday's Wine - A White One and a Red One

So last week, starting on Wednesday, I had new floors put in my kitchen and bathroom. I still drank some wine prior to Wednesday, but somehow I didn't get around to sharing...heh.

The weekend before the floors were installed I had the white wine. Then over the weekend to celebrate the floor completion (along with the installation of a new low flow toilet and energy efficient dishwasher) I grilled a steak for dinner. Of course, that required opening a bottle of some kind of red wine.

The white was another Pinot Grigio. I think I might like Pinot Grigios a little bit...heh. This one is Lumina Pinot Grigio, 2007 from the Ruffino Winery which is in Italy. Hopefully The Gentleman will stop by and give us her opinion on it. I found it crisp and generally pretty good. I've had better ones, but for the price (around $8.00 from Applejack Liquors) it was a good buy. Depending on what you like in a white wine, it could be good by itself, but I would prefer something else for sipping. On the other hand it went well with chicken and veggie stirfry. Here's what the folks at Ruffino said about their Pinot Grigio:

Lumina means "Illumination of the moon"; the label's quartered-moon icon represents the ancient alchemist's symbol for this planet. Lumina is a Pinot Grigio with a well recognizable personality. Its medium-bodied structure and full aromas makes it stand out in the broad Pinot grigio category. This wine, which was first introduced in 2002, has in fact been so well reviewed by consumers world-wide that its production has grown well beyond 1.000.000 bottles per year in only 4 years.


I also picked up a Malbec at Applejack for around $8.00. Malbec is gaining some popularity among red wine enthusiasts, but it is a bit different from other reds. It's not a bold red like a Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon. On the other hand it's not as wimpy as Merlot (sorry...heh). This 2008 Tilia Malbec is from Argentina and is definitely complex and yet smooth. I noticed the fruit flavors (kind of a berry/cherry taste) on the front of the palate, however it also seemed a tad spicy in a mellow kind of way. I liked that it didn't have the alcohol burn that some thinner reds have at this price point. Here's what one wine purchasing website said about Tilia Malbec, 2008:

The 2008 Tilia Malbec presents a dark purple color with violet highlights. The nose offers bright black cherry aromas with light floral notes and a touch of toast. The mouthfeel is full and rich, with ripe, concentrated cassis and black raspberry fruit flavors interwoven with a touch of chocolate and sweet spice from light oak aging. This finish shows ripe, silky tannins.

I loved it with my steak and another evening with my Taco Bell (as a result of multiple trips to the store after all day post construction cleanup, I was too tired to cook...heh). By the way, both bottles were screw top, but that didn't take away from the experience and it's much easier to keep the wine longer...but not as long as you can with box wine...heeeee.

ENJOY!

June 13, 2009

Saturday Surf - I Got Tagged...dang it.

Jannie Funster tagged me and this is what she wanted to know:

1. Who is the hottest movie star?

Unlike Jannie, I'm not going to be equal opportunity and pick both a guy and a gal. I don't honestly look at the guys and think "ooo, he's hot"...heh. As for the women, well there are so many. But in the hottest category I think I would pick Charlize Theron. When I was younger, I would have picked Jodie Foster. She's still hot, but she hasn't been doing a lot lately...so I haven't seen any HOT pictures of her. Also, I'm kind of disappointed that she broke up with her long time partner to pursue a younger gal. Kinda cougar like. But really, it was the acknowledging of her longtime partner in such a sweet way and then a couple months later she moved onto the younger gal. Not so hot.

2. Apart from your house and car, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

Probably my computers and Treo cellphones. The first Treo was around $400. The last desktop computer was $1600. I'm a bit of a geek, but only a tiny bit.

3. What’s your most treasured memory?

We moved a lot when I was a kid (no my dad was not in the military and neither was my mom...at least not after she got out of the Navy and started working and THEN met my dad). We moved to Omaha in the mid-70's and lived there for 2 years. That was probably the best time in my life as far as having friends and being part of the cool group. It might have had something to do with the boy next door (yes, there actually WAS one and yeah, I might have been inclined to marry him someday...he treated me like an equal, which is very important). He was very popular and liked me (though not really THAT way) and included me in everything. I totally loved my life when I lived next door to Rob.

4. What was the best gift you ever received as a child?

Two guitars. I got the first from my rich uncle and grandmother when I was 12 (my parents gave me a ukulele when I was 8 and electric organ lessons when I was 10...but I kept begging for a guitar...I think they were too poor to buy one). Anyway, it's a Harmony Stella student guitar and I still have it. Very twangy. The second guitar is a Ventura with a split rosewood back. I got that when I was 16 and up until about 10 years ago, I played it almost everyday.

5. What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made?

Um...sometimes I think one of my biggest mistakes was recently not insisting harder that some of my older investment clients consider something more conservative for their portfolios. I get told that I'm too "aggressive" in my approach to things when I think someone should do something different than they are choosing to do. So I backed off more than I should have.


However, more personally, I think my biggest mistake was not taking the scholarship offer to Cornell for an undergraduate degree, because I thought (at age 18 when you THINK you know everything) that I would only be allowed to study Industrial Psychology which I didn't want to study. Later, I made the mistake of not pursuing a Ph.D. in Behavior Genetics like I originally had hoped to do when I moved to Colorado from Ohio following my undergraduate degree from NOT Cornell. I wonder if I could get a Ph.D. from Cornell in Behavior Genetics...

6. 4 words to describe yourself.

Intelligent. Introspective. Honest. Humorous.

7. What was your highlight or lowlight of 2008?

Honestly, 2008 was not that great of a year for me. There isn't really anything that stands out as a highlight.

8. Favorite film?

The Hotel New Hampshire. This one stars the aforementioned Jodie Foster. I first saw this while visiting a friend in D.C. over spring break in 1984. My favorite scene (all 30 seconds of it) is Jodie's character in bed AND kissing (and presumably other activities) Nastassja Kinski's character while being secretly observed by her character's brothers, played by Rob Lowe and Paul McCrane (ER). For those of my readers who are into the male of the species, there is a scene in which Rob Lowe's character loses his virginity to an older woman by...well...let's just say he's standing and we don't SEE the woman. Anyway, Rob Lowe's facial contortions during this scene are VERY good and very funny. As a psychologist, this film is awesome...all the sexual issues you can think of are covered on one movie. By the way, it's base on one of John Irving's many novels (most of which have become movies). In fact, The Hotel New Hampshire got it's start as a short story that Garp was writing in The World According to Garp before became a full blown novel itself.

9. Tell me one thing I don’t know about you.

Read the rest of this MEME...it's ALL things you don't know about me...pretty much.

10. If you were a comic book / strip character, who would you be?

Does this question refer to exisiting comic book characters? If so, I'll pick the one that I actually scored out for last year. Actually, it was the comic book character I should DATE:


Black Canary. Apparently the picture expired, but you can still read all about her.


Bonus question: What’s one stupid thing you did today, Weyrd1?

Let my head continue to ache, while doing this dang meme. Thanks Jannie! Now I think I'll go drink some more coffee and take a painkiller of some sort...

PS...feel free to tag yourself, if you like.

June 6, 2009

Saturday Surf - To My Blog Buddy

Citizen of the World (who is self-described as A Little Off Kilter)...I'll miss your blog posts...even though many of them made me really hungry. I'll miss seeing the landscape of your travels too. But mostly, I'll miss knowing there's another cool psychologist out there making observations about random things. I hope you'll still visit and leave comments now and then. Until then, I'll raise the occasional glass of wine and toast you (while I visualize pictures of your fabulous meals).

June 3, 2009

Wednesday's Wine - Harlow Ridge Pinot Noir, 2007

Well aren't y'all lucky tonight! Here I am with another yummy wine. This 2007 Pinot Noir from Harlow Ridge is slightly lighter in both color and heft than typical Pinot Noirs. Perfect weight for a red wine in summer.

I picked this one up at...well shoot, I went to both my favorite stores this past week. I do remember it was about $7.00. And it's available at a few liquor stores here in Colorado, so I'm sure to have it again. Anyway, it has a lightly spicy nose (which means it smells peppery and spicy), with nice fruit flavors on the finish. I found it smooth, but not wimpy. It was good with a steak that was sliced for sandwiches I think, but I had it pan fried along with steamed asparagus. I finished off the bottle tonight with stir fry in a homemade spicy teriyaki sauce. It also held up well with BBQ chicken.

Enjoy!

UPDATE: I bought this bottle of wine at 3S Liquors. I figured this out when I made my weekly stop and saw the display of all wines Harlow Ridge. I now have in my possession, two more flavors! Check back here in the coming weeks to see what I think of these $7.00 wines...

May 29, 2009

Friday Fling - Going Out...I Think...

Yesterday was the last official school day of an officially awful year. I can talk about it, but somehow I don't really want to write about it. At least not yet. In the meantime, a new women's bar has opened up in Denver. It's called "Her Bar" and it's partly owned by a gal that owns another bar called "tHERe Bar." Rumor has it that she's opening a third bar as well. Seriously. My guess on the name is "Her Bar Too." That way when she and her girlfriend are out and about they can go the Her Bar, and then to Her Bar too, and then tHERe Bar... Her's, Her's too, and tHERe's... Okay grammatically and spelling wise that doesn't really work out in writing. But it sounded good in my head! Anyway, I hear they have country western dancing on Fridays, so I may pull on the boots and go check it out.

UPDATE: Two-Stepping canceled on account of the Nuggets playing in some b-ball tournament and ya can't hear the announcers over the music...sigh. Maybe next week.

UPDATE #2: The Nuggets lost badly in their own house. However, the movie "Walk The Line" was pretty good.

May 20, 2009

Wednesday's Wine - Francis Coppola Presents Bianco Pinot Grigio 2006

In honor of the extra warm weather we're having here in Colorado (until this weekend when it will be rainy and cool for the holiday weekend) I'm reviewing a white wine. I picked up a bottle of Francis Coppola Presents Bianco Pinot Grigio, 2006, last weekend for about $8.00. Right now if you buy a bottle you get a glass wine sipping jar type thing. Apparently, these kind of glasses are used in place like Provence, France by the locals. I like them, they hold just enough wine for sipping with appetizers, or a small dinner.

Anyway, this Pinot Grigio is crisp, just the way I like my white wines. It has some nice fruit flavors without being sticky sweet. Also, there's a bit of butteriness as well. Technically, this is a white wine blend. It's 90% Pinot Grigio with 5% each of Chardonnay (there's the buttery...heh) and Sauvignon Blanc. It was a nice counter point to the fish fajitas I made last night.

Here's what the folks at the Coppola's winery said about their wine:

Our Pinot Grigio grapes are night harvested and delivered to the winery in the early morning, where the grapes are cold pressed and fermented under cool conditions.

Our Bianco Pinot Grigio is also fermented and aged entirely in stainless steel to preserve its fresh fruit aromas and flavors. A small amount of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are blended into the final wine to add complexity.

ENJOY!

May 13, 2009

Wednesday's Wine - Back by Popular Demand...

You'll notice that I didn't put the name of the wine in the post title. Yeah, it's not that good. But since I'm an equal opportunity kinda gal, I'm still going to review it. So what's the name of this not quite that good wine? Why it's Sutter Home Red. Yeah, that's the problem. It's Sutter Home. You know when I mentioned that I had a good box wine and everyone said..."ewww?" Well that "ewww" should have been saved for this wine. GACK! It's just too sweet for a red wine. And here's why: it has a sweet white grape in it. Just by including at white grape Sutter Home violated the unwritten RED wine rule that requires that a red wine be a blend of RED grapes...just sayin'... Anyway, I suppose it's okay for someone that prefers their red wines to be more pink and kinda sweet...and chilled. So, you all know who you are...you sweet wine drinkers you...heh. I know I'm being a bit biased here, but I'm not going to post a picture of the bottle or other information on it. You can pretty much find Sutter Home in any liquor store in the U. S. of A.

Of course, you might be wondering WHY on earth I would even buy such a low end wine. Well, I didn't buy it. I was sent home from the previously posted Mother's Day dinner with the remains (half the bottle). I will say, it's kind of my fault that my friend even had this bottle of wine. She went to 3 S Liquors (one of the ones I go to) and asked Joe (one of my wine guys) for suggestions. What's not my fault: she requested a cheap red wine on the sweet side...and that pretty much describes this wine! We had it with her sister's homemade stuffed bell peppers (which were pretty tasty!) and later I had it with cheese tortilla's with avocado. I also had it with meat ravioli. I think it would be better with ham or something else that's kind of salty. Basically, if you buy this wine anyway, serve it with anything that you would serve with White Zinfandel (another "gack"). Anyway...let me know if you try it and actually enjoy it...heh.

May 10, 2009

Sunday Surf - Happy Mother's Day...now watch this...

I was invited to dinner at one of my best friend's house by her mother. I had called to wish her a Happy Mother's Day since she's kind of a surrogate mother as my own mother is WAY down in Texas (and yes, I called my mother, too). Anyway, after dinner we watched a rather disturbing movie called Zeitgeist - the movie. If you haven't seen this...and I tend to think most people haven't...you might want to watch this. It will make you rethink your complacency about the role of religion (Judeo/Christian in particular), banks (and I work part time in finance), and war (WWI, WWII, Vietnam, and the current wars) in our lives and how these are used to oppress people. Then, if you really think about it, it might make you rethink the male of the species (they seem to the the common denominator)...or not.

May 3, 2009

Sunday Surf - Lunch/Dinner

My blog buddy, Citizen of the World, regularly post pictures of her meals. They look yummy usually. I generally don't have the creativity to stop and take some pictures. Especially since I usually eat at my coffee table...heh. Anyway, I finally got around to making a recipe my mother gave me years ago. It's called King Ranch Chicken Casserole. I happened to have the ingredients in my pantry, so I decided to make it. Here's what it looked like out of the oven:

Here's the recipe if you desire to have something yummy with cheese on it.

1 Chicken breast - broiled and shredded

Tortilla chips - enough to layer twice in a 9 x 9 casserole

6 oz shredded cheddar cheese

1 can Rotel

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 4oz. can of chopped green chile

1 cup finely chopped onion

milk as needed (optional)

After cooking and shredding the chicken, place in a bowl and combine with all of the other ingredients except the cheese and chips (add milk to the mixture if baking uncovered). In a 9 x 9 casserole (or similar size oven safe cooking dish), place a layer of chips on the bottom, a layer of the chicken mixture, and a layer of cheese. Repeat the order for a second layer.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove lid and broil for 10 minutes (or until cheese is browning) at 450 degrees. Let casserole stand for 10 minutes uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with a romaine salad or Mexican slaw and a crisp white wine (or lemonade). Serves 4 large portions. The full casserole has about 1540 calories or about 385 for a large serving.

ENJOY!

April 26, 2009

Sunday Surf - A New Obsession

In efforts to keep myself completely distracted from matters at work...and to counteract insomnia...I have developed a bit of an obsession. Otalia. What is this, you may ask if you're not a regular reader over at AfterEllen.com (link to the right). It's the pairing name of two characters from a soap opera. Yes, it's true I watch soaps. It started accidentally in high school...and no it wasn't General Hospital (although all my friends were obsessed with Luke and Laura). I was home really sick, but tired of being in bed all day, so I started watching As The World Turns (ATWT). I was obsessed then with Betsy Andropolis played by a young (but older than me) Meg Ryan. I had a crush on her, ok. Anyway, over the years I've tuned in when I was home during the day. In college I got hooked on All My Children (AMC) for many months when they had a lesbian psychologist. I mean, how perfect was that!?! AND that was back in the early 80's! Gay was just getting a toe hold and then AIDS happened (Real People featured an episode on the gay rodeo curcuit...who knew).

Anyway, a few years ago when I started having a very light daytime work schedule, I started watching AMC for a new lesbian storyline, as well as ATWT which had a gay storyline. I also watched Guiding Light (GL) because it came on after ATWT and was good background noise to whatever I was otherwise doing (generally prepping proposals for clients). Yet, somehow I missed it when two long time female characters had their previous love triangle storyline shift into a major love story just between them. Granted the subtext was so buried at first, that anyone would have missed it, but usually I see subtext where is there is none, so go figure how I missed it when it was purposely there.

The characters are Olivia Spencer and Natalia Rivera Aituro. Hence, Otalia. After youtubing for the past two weekends, I've managed to catch up on the episodes leading up to the shift in the storyline. Seems like multitasking got in the way of good productive TV watching...heh. Anyway, if you're interested in Otalia, go here to watch most of the episodes available on youtube. Some are full episodes in multiple parts, but many of the ones since the beginning of this year are cut down to just Otalia. If you want the whole storyline from the shift on, start on the April 1, 2008 episodes. Yeah, 2008. This story has actually been in the works for several years, with the set up to the storyline shift occuring in early 2008. For current episodes with everything but Otalia cut out go here.

April 25, 2009

Saturday Surf - Dressing Up for HRC

I'm going to the HRC Colorado annual dinner tonight. It's a dressed up affair. Yeah, I'm dressing up...in a DRESS...and heels. My feet will probably hurt tomorrow, but it's for a good cause. I was invited last year, and really I should have gone. But lacking in funds and time, I didn't go. I think I missed my opportunity to make a good impression with a certain someone who attended and was single. This year it happens that I'm invited to sit at the table of a friend who is actually one of the speakers this year. Wow, who knew. Anyway, if you check back tomorrow, there is a small chance you can see my dress...maybe. On the other hand, I've been having a challenging two weeks in what has turned out to be a really challenging last 8 months. I'm not ready to write about it. It's occupied my emotions to the point that writing in general would sap the rest of what little energy I've had to get through each day. Yeah, it feels that bad. At least I can still stand (or sit) to read everyone else's posts and make the occasional comment.

April 5, 2009

Sunday Surf - Sunshine Cleaning

I had a busy weekend. Friday night I went dancing at Tracks for the monthly First Friday party put on by BAD. Saturday night I had a friend and her mom over for dinner. And today I went to see Sunshine Cleaning while Tucker went to the groomer's. So working backwards from today, I'll start with the movie. It stars Amy Adams and Emily Blunt and has gotten mixed reviews, though mostly good ones. I thought it was very good. Definitely worth the price of a matinee admission ($7.00), but don't buy the LARGE soda. You won't last...heh.

Anyway, I'd been asking a friend of mine to go see Sunshine Cleaning with me over the past few weeks. She said she could plan for today. What she really meant, she needed time to round up a few more people so it wouldn't be like a date. Oh well. She invited Amy's mom to come see it with us (they're long time friends). Unfortunately, she also thought she might go skiing. I think she must have decided all the recent snow was way too inviting to pass up. And if you like to play Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, I'm pretty sure I've cut that down to about 4 degrees or less (I've also met Ellen DeGeneres...and I have the autograph to prove it...somewhere...). So I showed up for the movie non-date that I suggested and semi-planned only to pretty much be a third wheel. Yeah, not gonna do that again. I didn't figure on a matinee, while my dog was at the groomer's, as a date anyway...sigh. At least the movie was good!

Saturday one of my good friends (you know, the friend that knows just about everything about you and fights with you like a sister...yeah that one) and her mom came over for lasagna. No, I didn't make it myself. I'm a good cook, but I'm not going to spend that much time on something that you can buy at the grocery already made and ready to bake...heh. Anyway, I figured they might eat and run, but they actually stayed for a couple of hours just chatting away. It was nice. It was also a good excuse to clean my condo and vacuum (until the vacuum belt broke anyway).

Friday night, as I mentioned above, I went to First Friday. My friend Shannon Stone spins Country Western for about 4 hours until 10pm or so. I danced to a couple songs and gave a young friend a two stepping lesson. I think I was pretty successful since she looked pretty smooth later dancing with her girlfriend...of the moment. We danced again later in the main bar to current dance and techno music. My legs are hurting now like they do after a workout with weights. Something about deep knee bends and other dance moves my legs don't normally make at my advanced age...heh.

Which reminds me...while I was chatting with another friend by the bar, I saw a 20 something wearing a t shirt that said: "Cougar Hunter." Sigh. I've noticed for about 10 years or so that young women really are going after older women (well lesbian and bi women anyway...just to clarify). At first I thought it was just an online chat room phenomenon, but more and more, the last year or so, I have noticed that my friends have been dating younger women (by younger I mean more than 10 years younger). Of course, THEN I thought my friends were the ones chasing the younger gals. Nope. It's most definitely the young ladies chasing the older women. Of course, THEN I thought maybe it was just older HOT women. Nope. It's pretty random...which in the grand scheme of things is sorta nice.

But really, I worry about this situation. See women live a lot longer than men, so when older straight women (the original cougars) have younger boyfriends, they might actually live together a really long time before they both die not so far apart in time. On the other hand, if you're say...a 45 year old woman with say a 25 year old girlfriend and you both live until your 80's...well it's not a pretty picture for the younger partner. And today I was catching up with my stack of newspapers and Amy (the advice gal) told one woman to have fun with her younger boyfriend if they were otherwise compatible, but even she hinted at the future possible issues...and the unlikely chance of a long relationships owing to things such as "you mean Paul McCartney was in a group?"...heh. Yeah, that happens to me a lot.... Then I saw another "Cougar Hunter" t shirt today. What? Is the universe sending me a message?

April 1, 2009

Wednesday's Wine - Altos las Hormigas Malbec, 2007

Yum! Spicy! My regular readers know I like spicy. One can find spicy in wine too. I just opened this wine tonight to go with my New York strip steak (with a spinach and tomato salad). And that's how we are visiting Argentina. I don't recall having had a wine from Argentina before and this is a good start for under $10.00. I did notice that this malbec (yes, it's a red grape) is dark in color and slightly astringent. There's a wee bit of oak and a bit of alcohol burn on the finish. But really, it was spicy like pepper and really good with a steak. I enjoyed it quite a bit, I think because it was kind of bold in flavor, but not as fruit filled as some of the red wines I've had lately. Here's what Altos Las Hormigas said about their wine:

TASTING NOTES
Violet vivid colour, truly varietal nose, with notes of cherry and blackberry, that come out clear and intense. Its true character lies in the palate impression, where structure, freshness and persistence combine giving a very pleasant harmony.

ENJOY!

March 29, 2009

Sunday Surf - Spring Break Summary and Wine Review

Does it really count as a Spring Break if you don't go anywhere and you end up catching up on client appointments? I thought not. Oh well, it's probably a good thing that I saved my money...except for that $110 I ended up paying to the City of Denver for a speeding ticket from the week before Spring Break. I will not go into detail other than to say I was speeding, although not as fast as the officer said and only for a minute when I was trying to get out of the way of a potential accident that turned out to be the officer pointing her radar gun at everyone in the line of traffic I was following. See not too much detail...heh.

So in the past month (or maybe less than that) I've tried several bottles of wine. Four reds and one white. I'll start with the last one I had...which I just finished this evening with my dinner of Ravioli (okay, it was that canned stuff from childhood
memories...it was on sale...cheap...I had a coupon dang it...heh). But hey, the wine was fun as you can see by the label!

This a 2007 French Maid Pinot Noir is from the Pays d'Oc region of France. Since I was on a bit of a wine buying spree last month, I'm not sure, but I think I picked this one up at 3S Liquors (they have a lot of wines with cool labels) for about $9.00. It was a medium full bodied pinot noir with light tannins and very little alcohol burn on the finish. It also had good fruit flavors, but it wasn't sweet. Obviously it went well with the ravioli. I also had it with pizza and a leftover burger (well half a burger) and 4 leftover tater tots (yes, I also added a salad of baby spinach and cherry tomatoes with Good Season's Italian Dressing).

Staying in Europe and with the Pinot...but going Grigio...I tried this 2007 one from Italy. It's from the producer Mezzacorona. The region is called Vigneti delle Dolomiti (actually I think "Vigneti delle" probably means "wine of"...hopefully the Gentleman will pop by and let us know since she lives in Italy). Anyway, as I recall, this was a good crisp Pinot Grigio and that I picked up for around $7.00. I definitely will revisit it this summer. Here's a quote I found from Wine Enthusiast:

This is a pristine albeit easy wine with clean and compact aromas of stone fruit, yellow flower and zesty citrus. Genuine and aromatic, this is textbook Pinot Grigio with pleasing creaminess on the palate. Pair with pasta salad, grilled white meats and finger foods. Score: 87. —Monica Larner, November 15, 2007.






Awhile back I reviewed Jacob's Creek Shiraz which I found quite tasty. I tried the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon a couple weeks ago with a steak and various other meals. It was quite good as well. Jacob's Creek is located in South Eastern Australia (like most decent wines from Australia). I found it just as tasty as the Shiraz, but of course, less big fruit flavors and a tad more tannins. The vineyard has been growing grapes since 1947 and describes this cabernet as a "full bodied wine" that "exhibits an aroma of mint and blackcurrent (sic) with a palate rich in berry fruit flavors and well integrated tannins (yeah, what I said...heh). Try it, you'll like it for under $10.00.





I don't think I've mentioned one of my favorite cheap wines...kind of the wines that got me started on my quest. Walnut Crest is a vineyard in Rapel Valley, Chile. Back in 1996 they were awarded Consumer Reports' highest rating for red wine as compared by trained wine tasters to some French wines. Anyway, I really love the Cabernet Sauvignon which I pick up at Applejack Wine and Liquors anytime I'm there and it's on sale for $4.00. Recently I discovered this Shiraz. How about that!?! This is new to their collection I think. Or at least Applejack hasn't been carrying it that long. I found it quite good for the price. On their website I found the following information:

Color: Deep cherry red with tinges of purple.
Bouquet: Hints of plum, jam and spice.
Taste: Spicy black berry, plum and pepper.

I have to agree. I also agree with their recommendation to try it with "spicy-sauced" pastas. Of course, I love spicy, so I might be a tad biased about that suggestion...heh.

The last wine I tried was one I grew up seeing in the kitchen: Gallo Hearty Burgundy. Basically, this is a red blend screw top jug wine. I saw it on the shelf at 3S Liquors and couldn't resist the chance to taste what was a regular guest at the dining room table. My mother used to buy two gallon jugs of this, one of Chablis and one of Rose. They would last a month or two. Nowadays, it comes in 1.5 litre bottles for about $8.00 or so. And they did away with the screw top. Too bad about that, since they tend to last longer than when you remove a cork.

Anyway, as red blends go, this was really good! When I told my mother I really enjoyed it, she said it was a wine before it's time...heh. I actually bought a second bottle a couple weeks later and finished it up during this past week. It tastes like a cabernet sauvignon mixed with a shiraz actually. Along with Walnut Crest, I can see Gallo being a regular guest at my dining room table...er living room coffee table (or should I call it my wine table...hmmm). Gallo has branded this wine as one of their Twin Valley wines. This is what they said about it:

Our Twin Valley Hearty Burgundy combines mouth-watering richness with flavors ranging from dark berry to red plum. Well-balanced and approachable, its fruit is complemented by hints of oak and spice. Our Hearty Burgundy stands up well to almost any boldly flavored dish. It's fantastic with red meat and heavier foods such as chili and Italian dishes.

ENJOY them ALL!

March 27, 2009

Friday's Fling - Spring Break Bonus Time Waster

So I was visiting AfterEllen.com for my daily dose of all things lesbian/bi women and pop culture... And here I found a fun, if inaccurate, personality assessment. Basically the Typealizer analyzes the content of your blog and provides a Myers Briggs personality result. Here's mine:

ESFP - The Performers

The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead - they are always in risk of exhausting themselves.

The enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions.








So what's yours?

March 24, 2009

Tuesday's Time Waster - South Park Avatar Maker

I know you all have been waiting a LONG time for a fun time waster. Since I'm on spring break, I have a little bit of extra time to waste...heh. You've seen my Simpsonized pic for over a year and I have a fun avatar that I made a few weeks ago for my Yahoo IM program. But at the time I couldn't figure out how to import it anywhere else. But in the process of making a South Park Avatar today, I got the idea to do a screen cap of it so I could show it here. So follow the link above to make your avatar and then open a new browser window to follow these directions for an easy way to do a screen cap. I love the idea of a South Park Avatar, because the guys who produce the show are from Colorado and those kidletts are too funny!

Here's my new South Park Avatar:
























Have fun!

UPDATE: I'm a great Auntie now (dang I feel old). My neice just gave birth to my great neice, Mia!!! I'm sure she'll be very cute when I finally get to see her!

March 22, 2009

Sunday Surf - OpenLeft

Since today is Sunday, I called my mom. I call her pretty much every Sunday whether she likes it or not. I think she likes it a little bit, but won't admit it, preferring to randomly remind me that I don't need to call so often. Today's topic was my brother and his family visiting for a couple days this past week, since it was Spring Break in Texas. I mentioned that I've been reading things in the paper and on the Internet (did you know Internet is supposed to be capitalized!?!) that are either kinda geeky (Twitter) or political (Obama, AIG, etc.) and I always think, this or that would be something to ask my brother about (yeah, bad grammar, I know...and I always think about bad grammar when also thinking about my mom). Anyway, I called him while he and his family were driving to visit my mom because he said that would be a good time to call (which it would have been except for the road noise, so we hung up). This led my mother to suggest that I go to OpenLeft and I could read his mostly political blog posts along with MANY others.

My mom does not have a computer anymore because she never liked them. She only kept my dad's for about 18 months after he died so that she could check emails until she trained everyone to stop sending email...heh. As you can imagine, it's a bit weird to learn from your non-computing mother that your brother posts somewhere on the Internet. Not that it's a surprise that he posts somewhere, just that SHE was the one to inform me of this fact, instead of say...MY BROTHER...sheesh. After some googling (still not a verb, even though everyone does it) around I found out that he's been posting there for about a year now. I'll never catch up. Oh well, some of it's old political news anyway. I do like the idea of being able to see what his opinion is on various topics though. I say "see" because of course you read blogs with your eyes generally. And I'm not actually an auditory kind of gal, so seeing words makes more sense faster than hearing words. So, if you're a lefty and want to be part of the choir to which is being preached (good grammar sounds so bad), check it out (see link above or to the right in News & References list). If you happen to be one of the random right wingnuts that happen to accidentally visit today, well you can still check it out for an opposing opinion and no one will hear you trying to interrupt the poster by yelling at your screen...heh...except maybe someone who happens to be in the same room with you and your computer.

March 14, 2009

Saturday Surf - Nothing to do on Saturday Nights Now...

So one of the long time women's bar...a country western dance club called Ms. C's or just C's...closed at the end of February after close to 20 years. I was going to write a obituary for the place on the following Sunday, but well, I didn't feel up to it. But now, of course I want to go dancing tonight and at the moment, there aren't really any options unless I go to the men's country western bar, Charlie's. They used to occupy the space where C's was, but had to move to a larger building which is how Ms. C's came to be, so actually the space was some kind of gay bar for well over 24 years...not sure really how long. The problem with Charlie's is that the guys there wear tall boots and tall hats. You just can't see around them at all...not so good for um...scoping out the few other women there...heh. Although, I imagine there might be a larger number of women there than usual right now.

Another option is large men's nightclub, Tracks, that currently helps to host the largest women's party in the country...First Friday put on by BAD (Babes Around Denver). Of course, the rest of the month it's mostly men, drag queens, and ladies who love the gay boys...but I suppose the crowd will have more ladies who love the ladies now. The downside of going to Tracks is the cover charge. I suspect it's rather high. The general manager is a client of mine, but I would feel funny asking for a free pass...heh...since he pays me for my financial services. I will say that Denver and Tracks are getting a name with LOGO though. They're filming an episode of Ru Paul's Drag Race there (or they might have just done that) and Briana Stockton from Bravo's Workout and LOGO's AfterEllen.com made an appearance at this month's First Friday (and yes, I did get to meet her...she's much tinier than she seems on TV and her AfterEllen vlog).

The last option for dancing is based on a rumor. The rumor is a new lesbian club is openning. And so the other afternoon I drove by the purported location to take a gander. As best as I can tell, the club is likely to be in a building currently occupied by another club called Dr. Hook's which has two dance floors. My guess is that they'll be "hosting" a women's night and it won't actually BE a women's bar. It's in a dicey location, kind of remote and near an area of Denver called Commerce City. It's a "Gary, Indiana" kind of town (lot's of low income homes and smoke stacks). And I would say, based on the size of the place, that they've got parking hidden somewhere, I just didn't see it when I drove by.

Of course, I could just go to one of the ACTUAL lesbian bars, but they aren't really set up for dancing. The Detour finally reopened in their new location a few months ago after many delays. I've been a few times and they have room to host small bands, but not really for dancing unless it's a small crowd. The advantage is I live about 6 miles from it and it's directly south of me on the same street. So it's easy to find my way home and I could even ride my bike, if it weren't so hilly! The other bar is Decatuer Street (in the location formerly known as Nobody's Biznes). A friend was a partner in it when it first changed to the new name (Nobody's was owned by some other friends for about 10 years and then they sold it). However, it was a snafu from the start, though it was a cleaned up snafu! Anyway, another friend (who actually IS in the bar business) bought her out and became partners with the gal who was kind of the cause of the snafu. Things seem much better now. They have a great patio, but parking is scarce. This summer, I think they'll be a rather popular partying location.

So with that, I thought now would be a good time to show some pictures of the last party at C's. And bid it farewell. Some of my friends blame the demise of C's on the women's community for not supporting the club as much in the past couple of years or so. They don't really know why the lease was lost. I suspect the rent went up too far or the owner of the property wants to sell it. But it could be that they weren't bringing in enough revenue to cover expenses, because it's true that the size of the crowd had decreased and the women usually came late and left early. And of course, since the last night was advertized as the last night, the girls came out of the woodwork in droves. I have to say, there were many many women there that I don't think I've ever seen before and many regulars that stayed away for some reason. There were a few guys there, too, who were probably saying goodbye to the location that was once Charlie's. I'm glad I went for the last party anyway. The pics really don't do the party justice, but you can see we were having fun!

In the back of this pic you can see the crowd coming in the door and then lining up to buy a drink. I waited 45 minutes in line. THAT never happened before.


















Here's the pool playing area. The crowd kind of ended the play there
early during the final party.


















Doing the Cotton Eyed Joe:



















Starting a line dance now:



















These ladies (and gents) do know how to strut:



















Hey dude...the light is really bouncing off your head...where's your hat???


















Dang it, I forgot to catch the ladies two stepping (because it's hard to take a picture while you're dancing, ya know), but there was much of that and some breaks to boogie disco style as well. Tippin' my hat to C's. We'll miss ya girl!