Carol Kaufmann

Writer, Editor, Wine Merchant

The Chardonnay Mom Pairs Wine with Books August 6, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — carolkaufmann @ 4:23 pm

Need wine delivered to your door? I can hook you up.

The Chardonnay Mom, vol. 7 | Carol Kaufmann | August 5, 2020

Hello Wine Fans,

Though it may appear that I think a bottle of wine is the answer to any given dilemma, it’s actually not my choice for self-soothing. True, wine can be a conversation instigator when sipped with friends, a reprieve from the chaos of the day, a boon to great meals, and a perfect excuse to linger at the table. But it can’t help explain.

I’ve always been a big reader, but The Time of Covid has driven me further into pages. At the beginning of lockdown, I could only read fiction. But over the months, my book appetite has expanded into biography, and most recently, World War II history, which make my tiny woes pale, and now I’m devouring two to three books a week, in addition to news articles. Perhaps it is because of the news articles that we need bigger-picture stories.

In fact, right about the time we were ordered into quarantine, my friend Cathy and I created a socially-distant book club full of fellow neighborhood moms. Sometimes we Zoom and include far-flung former neighbors from Texas and California; but more recently, we’ve been sitting on my patio, six feet apart, with BYO snacks, candles, and—shocking—wine. If there was ever a time for community wine and discussion – this is it. (Note: Rosés and Bubbles seem to go well with book discussions).

And why keep a good book to yourself? A few of the following have evokes great discussions; others I’ve found through friends or through authors I follow. All are worth reading, or I wouldn’t mention😉

Untamed by Glennon Doyle. The neighborhood book club started with this one. The author of Love Warrior, Carry on, Warrior, and the blog Momastery, Doyle packs a searing punch (mostly) in her short essays about friendship, body image, white women understanding racism, honesty with her three children, and notably, divorcing her husband and marrying a female soccer star.

Wine suggestion: Grab a cocktail for this one! You think that Doyle is just talking about her life, when POW!, you realize she’s talking about you. Because you might need more than one, make it with the Wilderness Road, a refreshing, clean-crafted mixable replaced in for clean liquors, with less alcohol (and about half the calories). $38


Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid.A 26-year-old Black woman is accused of kidnapping the seriously precocious child she babysits, and her wealthy White employer, a social media maven, tries to befriend her. Reid weaves race, class, wealth, and career choices deftly into what feels like a beach read. No wonder her debut novel was just nominated for the Booker prize.

Wine suggestion: NV Ticklebumps Brut Break out a bubbly in honor of Ms. Reid (How do you get nominated for a Booker with your FIRST novel?) and for creating the most memorable three-year-old in fiction history. $45

The Huntress by Kate Quinn. Did you like The Alice Network? This time, the same author continues to mine WWII in this historical novel about a battle-hardened Russian aviatrix, a former war correspondent, a former Nazi, and one plucky young woman. Completely absorbing and un-putdown able.

Wine suggestion: My friend Cathy, mentioned above, told me about this book. She also loves the Middle Jane Pinot Noir, just like I do (see why we’re friends?) so I’ll go ahead and recommend it. Though, honestly, I’d recommend this layered, complex Pinot for most any occasion. $42

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson. Geez, this is a nearly perfect novel. The story of two unwanted kids who burst into flames (yes, as in fire) when agitated is a tale of highly flawed individuals and improbable, redeeming love. You’ll laugh out loud and cry on the same page. Just read it.

Wine Suggestion: Oso Pardo Tempranillo 2019. Just out, this spicy Spanish red is great with fire…as in grilling or BBQ. $25

Kindred by Octavia Butler. This novel, chosen by my work book club, will stay with me for a long, long time. Published in 1979, science fiction writer Butler takes a 20-something black women living in 1970s Los Angeles and transports her to the antebellum South and into the lives of her slave-holding ancestors. Harrowing and unforgettable.

Wine suggestion: You need a big, hearty Zin to sustain you through this. I’d go for a Middle Jane Zinfandel, berries on the front and smooth spice on the back. $29

My Ex-Life by Stephen McCauley.What’s a gay San Franciscan to do when he loses his apartment and lover? Fly across the country and move in with his ex-wife and her kid and help rebuild their lives in a small New England town. What could go wrong?

Wine suggestion: Try Che Fico’s Pinot Grigio. It’s easy breezy with lots of character and a refreshing finish. $22.

Mysteries. A huge fan of Agatha Christie since I was old enough to read (well, practically), I’m always up for a good murder mystery and have to credit the loyal followers of Louise Penny for suggesting Susan Elia MacNeal’s Maggie Hope series set in London before and during World War II. Thanks to them, also, for recommending the 20-book Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters about an ahead-of-her-time dame and her archaeologist husband set mainly in Egypt during the Victorian era.

Wine suggestion: The Birthday Set. Get ready to tuck in with both a great white and red, thanks to Scout & Cellar’s celebration of birthday #3. Fieldhouse Chardonnay (smooth, lemony, not oaky) and Fieldhouse Red (full of berries, herbs). Both for $49/ships for free. (Retails separately at $70! Get it while it lasts).

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Where to buy these books? Why not support a local bookstore?! I suggest my friend Tiffany’s ridiculously special place in Indiana, Wild Geese Bookshop. She’ll ship to you.

Other Bits and Pieces

Need a side gig? Or maybe a job?

Love wine and want to try new kinds?

Want to support an organization during COVID? And maybe write a newsletter😊?

Consultants have many reasons for joining the Scout & Cellar team. If YOU are interested, give me a shout at thechardonnaymom@gmail.com.

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A Big Fat Hug

Thank you, my wine fans! Because of your support, I’ve donated $875 to José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen, a non-profit that feeds fresh meals to hungry people around the country and keeps restaurants open doing so. As long as this global pandemic continues and y’all buy wine, I’ll support José! #chefsforamerica

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PRO TIP:

If you like wine, and drink it on a regular basis, the easiest (and most cost-effective) thing you can do is sign up for Scout Circle. Seriously. Figure out how much wine you drink a month (or every other month or every quarter) and let our wine experts pick out a selection for you. I, for example, get six bottles of white/red/rose bottles a month for $139. That’s big discount from your basic a la carte purchase! No shipping. No fees.

And if you don’t like a wine, we’ll give you a wine credit to try a different bottle.

Thank you for reading. If you know someone who’d like to subscribe to The Chardonnay Mom, send ‘em this link! Or you can subscribe for them😊

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©2020 Carol Kaufmann

About me:

My name is Carol Kaufmann.

My teenage son presented me with a burst of inspiration when he sarcastically called me “a Chardonnay mom” one night at dinner. Why should that be an insult? I thought. Why disparage that seriously versatile, glorious grape? Right then, I decided I would proudly take on that title and promote Chardonnay one glass at a time.

Plus, other delicious wine.

I’m now an executive consultant for Scout & Cellar, a wine company based in Texas that sources and creates Clean-Crafted™ wines from small farms and family-owned vineyards. I joined the team because these wines are delicious, made responsibly without all the chemicals, pesticides, additives, and sweeteners used frequently in other mass-produced wines, and can be consumed by many who have health issues. (Please check with your doctor). Oh, and they’re keto- and paleo-friendly and have 40% fewer calories than most other wines.

I’m also a full-time author/writer/editor; wife and mom of two teenagers, three rescue cats, and a very opinionated bulldog (see above); and native Kentuckian. I love books, travel, my friends and neighbors, wine (of course), and current hometown of Alexandria, Virginia.

Unsubscribe | Update your profile | 110, West Masonic View Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22301

 

The Chardonnay Mom Recommends Wines for Trying Times July 28, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — carolkaufmann @ 11:19 pm

The Chardonnay Mom, vol. 6 | Carol Kaufmann | July 28, 2020

Hello Wine Fans,

Due to our global pandemic, we’ve been keeping to ourselves and staying away from crowds, navigating the blistering heat wave and resigning ourselves to online everything. No visits to our usual beach haunt and trips to see the grandparents.

This has presented a few challenges that I suspect you might also share. Whatever your situation, no worries. I have a wine for that.

FOR WHEN THE POWER GOES OUT

2017 Solar Del Alma Malbec $36

Unfortunately, we found out the hard way what balm will soothe an unexpected outage when a vicious summer storm tore through our neighborhood leaving a cluster of houses in the dark and without AC in suffocating heat. I randomly grabbed a bottle (left) from the blacked-out basement – and oh, what a gift. Bursts of berries with that clean, spicy tang on the back. Not heavy and fine to drink in summer. Laughter through tears.

2017 Solar Del Alma

FOR A TUESDAY THAT SHOULD BE A FRIDAY

Bookbinder’s Apprentice, First Edition $16

High-end red blend for a Tuesday night price. All the great grapes are represented: Petite Syrah, Zinfandel, Cabernet, Syrah, and Barbera. Goes great with burgers and BBQ.

WHEN DREAMING OF ITALY

2018 Che Fico Pinot Grigio Reserve $29

2019 Che Fico Pinot Grigio $22

NV Rivamonte Prosecco $22

It pierces my wandering soul that we are forbidden from entering most every country on the planet, particularly Italy, which I love with a white-hot passion. And I have a soft spot for the Veneto region, which produces grapes that makes even the simplest wines divine.

WHEN YOU NEED TO BE APART FROM OTHER HUMANS

2018 Oso Pardo Tempranillo $25

When you’ve just had Just. About. Enough, grab yourself a bottle of this spicy Spanish red (left), a brick of cheese, a slab of salami, and prepare for siesta, as our friends in Spain do…after you’ve had enough sips to escort you gently into slumber.

2018 Oso Pardo Tempranillo

WHEN ZOOMING WITH LONG-LOST FRIENDS

2018 Soleil. Vent. Ȃme. Sémillon $25

Crisp and soft. Pairs with any light food. This wine’s name means sun, wind, and soul – and when reunited with old friends, what more does one need?

WHEN ZOOMING WITH CO-WORKERS AT HAPPY HOUR

2017 Middle Jane Zinfandel $32

Go big and hearty to get through a potentially loaded call. We workers have been home a lllloooonnnnngggg time—and once encouraged to unwind and let loose, anything can happen. But this bold wine with berries at the front and nice spice on the end is strong enough to see you through.

In fact, let me just say  – ALL the Middle Jane wines are outstanding. And they have a great story. Every girl in this winemakers’ family has the middle name of “Jane” after a great-great grandmother who was strong, swore when necessary, worked hard, and always wore lipstick. Giving the girls’ a common name reminds them all to be more like Jane.

WHEN YOU CAN’T BE BOTHERED WITH A CORKSCREW

Cans!  $19 – 25 (for four)

Delicious options that are SO EASY TO OPEN. Effervescent and refreshing spritzers. And in BPA-free containers.

Order any and all wines HERE.

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SALE! SALE! SALE!

Oh, my! These will not last and when they’re gone, they’re gone!

Grab ‘em now!

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PRO TIP:

If you like wine, and drink it on a regular basis, the easiest (and most cost-effective) thing you can do is sign up for Scout Circle. Seriously. Figure out how much wine you drink a month (or every other month or every quarter) and let our sommelier CEO pick out a selection for you. I, for example, get six bottles of white/red/rose bottles a month for $139. That’s big discount from your basic a la carte purchase! No shipping. No fees.

And if you don’t like a wine, we’ll give you a wine credit so you can get another bottle.

ANOTHER PRO TIP:

TCM hates to pay shipping. Hates it. So, when I order wine for myself, I always pair it with a gift set because IT WILL SHIP FOR FREE. I love free. And I love the two wines in the Celebrate the Everyday Mix ($49). My beloved creamy and luscious Gallivant Chardonnay and the clean and berry-tasting Dove Hunt Dog Cabernet Sauvignon. Both easily drinkable year-round, perfect for small gatherings, and ideal for nights on the patio.

Put it in your cart, add whatever else you’d like, and it all ships for free. FREE!

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Know of a friend who’s like wine recs and musings from The Chardonnay Mom?

Subscribe!

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©2020 Carol Kaufmann

About me:

My name is Carol Kaufmann.

My teenage son presented me with a burst of inspiration when he sarcastically called me “a Chardonnay mam” one night at dinner. Why should that be an insult? I thought. Why disparage that seriously versatile, glorious grape? Right then, I decided I would proudly take on that title and promote Chardonnay one glass at a time.

And all the other delicious wines out there.

I’m now an executive consultant for Scout & Cellar, a wine company based in Texas that sources and creates Clean-Crafted™ wines from small farms and family-owned vineyards. I joined the team because these wines are delicious, made responsibly without all the chemicals, pesticides, additives, and sweeteners used frequently in other mass-produced wines, and can be consumed by many who have health issues. (Please check with your doctor). Oh, and they’re keto- and paleo-friendly and have 40% fewer calories than most other wines.

I’m also a full-time author/writer/editor; wife and mom of two teenagers, three rescue cats, and a very opinionated bulldog (see below); and native Kentuckian. I love books, travel, my friends and neighbors, wine (of course), and current hometown of Alexandria, Virginia.

 

The Chardonnay Mom Tries a Cocktail July 23, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — carolkaufmann @ 3:00 pm

Vol. 5, July 22, 2020 | Carol Kaufmann

I love wine, particularly Chardonnay, and am also crazy about reds— almost every red grape under the sun—and even sip them during the torturous heat wave a big portion of the country is experiencing right now.But the time has come to expand.

I love a good cocktail but have had trouble in the past, um, regulating myself. Many are just too strong and sugary, and cause ridiculous headaches. I just don’t know how much to drink before descending into the abyss of a bad next morning.

We now have a solution: Wilderness Road.

What the devil is a mixable, as our Victorian ancestors might have asked? It’s a combination of white and rosé wines that are carbon-purified to soften the wine characteristics. Then, it’s distilled and mixed with a Clean-Crafted™ grape wine, which raises the alcohol level to around 20% (which is about half the amount of alcohol in vodka or gin).

Shorthand: This lower-alcohol alternative means you can drink a few cocktails without worrying about repercussions. It’s the same size as a bottle of wine, provides 17 servings (more or less), and costs $38.

What can you do with this new-fangled mixable? You could….

  • Mix with organic tonic water or soda water with a slice of lemon or lime.
  • Try with water and an organic citrus slice.
  • Use it in your favorite cocktail (a Daquiri, Cosmo, Mojito, etc.)
  • Try this recipe named after the winery’s dog (a beautiful, happy Golden Retriever).

Subscribe to The Chardonnay Mom! And I’ve be ever so grateful if you’d tell your wine-loving friends.

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Sale! Sale! Sale!

Oh, my! The Adelante Cabs are so so very good! Grab ‘em now!

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Other thoughts:

*Would you like a sip of our wines? If you’re local–in the DMV area, that is–I can bring you a few in tiny bottles. Let me know: thechardonnaymom@gmail.com.

*Would you like to join me in the wonderful world of wine? Let me know that, too!

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© 2020 Carol Kaufmann

About me:

My teenage son presented me with a burst of inspiration when he sarcastically called me “a Chardonnay mam” one night at dinner. Why should that be an insult? I thought. Why disparage that seriously versatile, glorious grape? Right then, I decided I would proudly take on that title and promote Chardonnay one glass at a time.

And all the other delicious wines out there.

I’m now an executive consultant for Scout & Cellar, a wine company based in Texas that sources and creates Clean-Crafted™ wines from small farms and family-owned vineyards. I joined the team because these wines are delicious, made responsibly without all the chemicals, pesticides, additives, and sweeteners used frequently in other mass-produced wines, and can be consumed by many who have health issues. (Please check with your doctor). Oh, and they’re keto- and paleo-friendly and have 40% fewer calories than most other wines.

I’m also a full-time author/writer/editor; wife and mom of two teenagers, three rescue cats, and a very opinionated bulldog (see below); and native Kentuckian. I love books, travel, my friends and neighbors, wine (of course), and current hometown of Alexandria, Virginia.

 

The Chardonnay Mom Contemplates the Socially Distant Summer July 14, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — carolkaufmann @ 1:45 pm

July 14, 2020–Since our viral pandemic shuttered our workplaces, schools, public forums, live music, sporting events, restaurants, and any other traditional fun things back in March, my own little social life, like many, has transformed significantly.

But not in a horrible way.

While my family of four doesn’t have the number of invitations and options we did pre-COVID, I’m finding that we do have more quality ones. The kids don’t have band practices and summer camps, so they navigate the local creek, ride bikes, roast marshmallows, and pitch tents in the backyard. Neighborhood adults are also winging it – pulling up lawn chairs in driveways six feet apart and organizing small gathering of, say, six or eight, in the backyard.

Now, TCM likes a party as much as anything, but I do relish small groups because they tend to lead to better conversations.

Last night, our neighbors up the street invited the hubs and me along with another couple to drop by after dinner for drinks. Easy. To be super safe, we brought our own wine glasses, grabbed a bottle of Gallivant Bubbly Rosé, and filled up big glasses of ice water for the one-block walk (it’s sultry here in Northern Virginia)! My friend up the street, the hostess, set out olives, tortillas, these delicious veggie chips, while her nine-year-old daughter

 supplied some homemade cookies and berry kabobs. Along with a cooler of beer, more rosé, and night lighting, we wanted for nothing. As the temperature fell and the stars appeared, the bubbles of the Gallivant and the easy dry fruit of the rosé paired perfectly with substantive conversation and heat-induced, slightly tipsy banter.

Would this have happened in a “normal” summer when vacations, family obligations, and sports  and camp schedules compete for dates? Would we have ever gotten it on the calendar? Doubtful. This is the summer to savor longer conversations – and maybe just another glass of wine.

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Wines to Savor During the Long, Hot Summer

Soleil. Vent. Amê. Sémillion: Sun, Wind, Soul. That’s the translation of this creamy, subtle wine from the Aquataine region in France known for renowned wines. Smooth and layered, try it with sushi, shellfish, or a summer salad. $25.

Dove Hunt Dog – Taste the strawberries right off the bat in this light and easy rosé that draws friends together and encourages one more glass. So drinkable. $17.

Gallivant Rosé: My favorite of the S&C roses, this Syrah and Zinfandel blend is exquisite to drink when it’s too hot for words. $22.

Bookbinder’s Apprentice: easy summer red

BRAND NEW! Bookbinder’s Apprentice: 1st Edition Red Wine (at left): Even when it’s hot and steamy, I love a good summer red to have with BBQ and burgers. And here it is. Oh, how I love a good California red blend! Here are all the good red grapes – Petit Syrah, Zinfandel, Cab Sauv, Syrah, and Barbera happily together that will keep red wine devotees happily sipping as their friends down Pinot Grigios and Rieslings.

The Apprentice comes from the makers of Bookbinder, a big, juicy Cab that you savor in front of a fire with steaks. At $58, it’s one of our pricier choices. But the Bookbinder’s Apprentice is a steal for $16. (Plus, it has books on the label. Books!)

The Scout Sampler is still available! (But won’t always be). Try some of our best offerings with this adorable four pack. $32

  • 2019 Conte de la Terre Vermentino (187mL)
  • 2019 Hushkeeper Pinot Gris (187mL)
  • 2019 Fieldhouse Red Blend (187 mL)
  • 2018 Middle Jane Cabernet Sauvignon (187mL)

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PRO TIP:

If you like wine, and drink it on a regular basis, the easiest (and most cost-effective) thing you can do is sign up for Scout Circle. Seriously. Figure out how much wine you drink a month (or every other month or every quarter) and let our sommelier CEO pick out a selection for you. I, for example, get six bottles of white/red/rose bottles a month for $139. No shipping. No fees.

And if you don’t like a wine, we’ll give you a wine credit so you can get another bottle.

ANOTHER PRO TIP:

TCM hates to pay shipping. Hates it. So, when I order wine for myself, I always pair it with a gift set because IT WILL SHIP FOR FREE. I love free. And I love the two wines in the Celebrate the Everyday Mix ($49). My beloved creamy and luscious Gallivant Chardonnay and the clean and berry-tasting Dove Hunt Dog Cabernet Sauvignon. Both easily drinkable year-round, perfect for small gatherings, and ideal for nights on the patio.

Put it in your cart, add whatever else you’d like, and it all ships for free. FREE!

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Want more musings from The Chardonnay Mom? Subscribe!

COMING SOON: Wine and Book pairings

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My girl Mardi Gras and me

About me:

My name is Carol Kaufmann.

My teenage son presented me with a burst of inspiration when he sarcastically called me “a Chardonnay mam” one night at dinner. Why should that be an insult, I thought. Why disparage that most versatile, glorious grape? Right then, I decided I would proudly take on that title and rehabilitate Chardonnay one glass at a time.

I’m now an executive consultant for Scout & Cellar, a wine company based in Texas that sources and creates Clean-Crafted wines from small farms and family-owned vineyards. I joined the team because these wines are delicious, made responsibly without all the chemicals, pesticides, additives, and sweeteners used frequently in other mass-produced wines, and can be consumed by many who have health issues. (Please check with your doctor). Oh, and they’re keto and paleo-friendly and have 40% fewer calories than most other wines.

I’m also a full-time author/writer/editor; wife and mom of two teenagers, three rescue cats, and a very opinionated bulldog (see above); and native Kentuckian. I love books, travel, my friends and neighbors, wine (of course), and current hometown of Alexandria, Virginia.

(C) Carol Kaufmann 2020

 

The Chardonnay Mom Asks: What’s in My Wine? July 2, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — carolkaufmann @ 12:48 am

For the past decade, I’ve become increasingly aware about what goes into the gaping maws of my always hungry family. Granted, now that my kids are both in their teens, my choices are often overruled way more often than I care to admit. (Damn you, Uber Eats). But as the designated grocery store shopper, I still exert a bit of influence about what we consume.

And with the craze of the COVID-19 pandemic still very much in the picture and a soul-crushing travel ban that will last until some mystery date, this is one tiny place where I’m in control. I can choose to buy clean organic produce and responsibly-raised beef, chicken, and seafood that is free of immunity-destroying antibiotics, pesticides, and God knows what else.

So…it only makes sense to consider what goes into all the liquids we drink. And oh friend, our beloved wine industry is far from transparent.

Wines ranging from cheap, mass produced labels to your expensive reds that are reclining in your wine cellar are treated with all kinds of chemicals:

  • additives that boost color, acidity, or thickness
  • added sweeteners for taste
  • extra tannins to produce a drier taste
  • designer yeasts that can produce certain flavors such as pineapple, lemon, or peach
  • polysaccharides for a thicker mouthfeel

Winemakers are doing nothing illegal. They don’t have to disclose how they doctor their wines, and the FDA allows 250 chemicals to exist in wine. But most wine producers also aren’t transparent about it.

For more details and a highly entertaining read, check out Cork Dork: A wine-fueled adventure among the obsessive sommeliers, big bottle hunters, and rogue scientists who taught me to live for taste by Bianca Bosker.

In addition, many winemakers add egg whites or a substance made from fish bladders to clarify their wines—an important piece of information I’m sure vegans might want to know. And, alas, many grapes are grown with pesticides, particularly those in more humid climates, such as the Bordeaux and Champagne regions.

If I can get strawberries and apples without pesticides, why shouldn’t I get chemical free wine? I mean. Geez.

So I was hugely and irrationally excited to find out about Scout & Cellar, a company founded by a corporate lawyer-turned-sommelier who found that after drinking just one glass of wine for her Somm certification, she got a headache. Why, she wondered? Her research revealed much of what I describe above: Crap in your wine. So she, Sarah – her name is –started her own company that sources grapes from producers the world over who do not use pesticides and additives – as well as produce their own labels. ALL OF THE BOTTLES have 1. Grapes 2. Less than 100ppm sulfites (most have less than 50). (350ppm of sulfites are allowed, thus most other wines have much more).

That’s it.

So far so good. But would the wine actually BE good?

Oh, yes. A big fat yes. And I don’t get wine headaches or have allergic reactions any more. Gone.

You’ve seen me gush. I will continue to do so because I love these wines. (And I don’t lie about wine). Now, you can’t buy Scout & Cellar wines for $4.99/bottle. Most sell from $17-68. But you can absolutely be sure that what you’re getting is great wine, pure and simple.  

Cheers!

Drink this NOW:

The Scout Sampler 4-Bottle Pack: How fun to grab a hold of this handle and tote four small bottles of deliciousness to your next (socially distant) BBQ?! For $32, you’ll get:

  • 2019 Conte de la Terre Vermentino (187mL)
  • 2019 Hushkeeper Pinot Gris (187mL)
  • 2019 Fieldhouse Red Blend (187 mL)
  • 2018 Middle Jane Cabernet Sauvignon (187mL)

2019 GALLIVANT ROSÉ: What I’m drinking: I shared a bottle of this with my neighbor Caroline one sultry Sunday afternoon and fell in love with this easy-drinking blend of Syrah and Zinfandel. A perfect pink wine. $22.

GALLIVANT BUBBLY ROSÉ: Or kick it up a notch with a bubbly version. Taste strawberries, grapefruit, maybe some peaches. Yum. $26.

ADELANTES ON SALE! Stock up on three of these popular Chilean wines:

The wonderful Adelante 2019 (Chile) is creamy, goes with fish and cheese, and is vegan. Lighter mouthfeel than my beloved Gallivant, with a bonus tastes of vanilla. And it’s only $15.20 right now!

Adelante’s muy delicious Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is also a steal right now at $20! One night last week when the pandemic restrictions proved too much to bare, the hubby and I sat outside in the spittin’ rain and tried this Cab for the first time. Kevin didn’t tell me what he was pouring – and I couldn’t figure out what it was! Much lighter than Cali Cabs, for sure, with tart cherries on the front, and a smooth and surprisingly light finish. You can drink this Cab in summer!

The Adelante Sauvignon Blanc is also on sale at $15.20. I haven’t tried it, but if any of you do, I’d love to know what you think. 

Go here to purchase any of these wines, and more.

My friend Sue sent me this New Yorker cartoon. I told her a good, sturdy Cab would do the trick.

Grab that Adelante Cab on sale or try the Middle Jane Reserve, an earthy and bold Cab with heft. Or if you want to go real big, the 2017 Bernhard Cab.

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Want the best deal around? The Scout Circle Wine Club is ideal if you regularly drink wine/host gatherings/gift wine. Get 4, 6, or 12 curated bottles, chosen by our CEO Sommalier, every month, every other month, or once a quarter. You choose between all whites, all reds, or mixed. Prices start at $89/four bottles. Shipping is always free, even in summer. Cancel anytime. My Scout Circle membership is how I fell in love with the company. Join here.

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Need wine assistance? I’m happy to curate a selection of wines for friends, and friends in the making. Let me know what foods and flavors you like, and I will pick you some winners. I’d also to host a tasting for you and your friends be it a special occasion, a little pre-game, or you know, Wednesday.

Have a wine emergency? By all means, reach out! I do have bottles at home😊

Contact me: carolbkaufmann@yahoo.com

OR my new addy: thechardonnaymom@gmail.com

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About me:

I’m an executive consultant for Scout & Cellar, a wine company based in Texas that sources and creates Clean-Crafted wines from small farms and family-owned vineyards. I joined the team because these wines are delicious, made responsibly without all the chemicals, pesticides, additives, and sweeteners used frequently in other mass-produced wines, and can be consumed by many who have health issues. (Please check with your doctor). I’m also a full-time author/writer/editor; wife and mom of two teenagers, three rescue cats, and a very opinionated bulldog (see below); and native Kentuckian. I love books, travel, my friends and neighbors, and current hometown of Alexandria, Virginia.

 

The Chardonnay Mom Considers Rosé June 23, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — carolkaufmann @ 12:54 pm
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The Chardonnay Mom: A Newsletter for Wine Lovers and Wine Curious, vol. 2

I have lots of opinions. Many about wine.

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What is rosé wine anyway? Is it just a fancy version of the white Zinfandels we first drank in college? Memories of bad decisions and pounding headaches made me give rosés a pass for a long, long time, even when they became quite trendy. Then, I did a bit of research. Amazing what facts and history, those rare commodities, can do for one’s opinion.

Simply, rosé wines come from a bit of contact with the skin of a red grape. See, when grapes are squeezed, their juice is clear. Wines get their color from the juice’s contact with the skin of the grapes. As the skins and the juice soak together the color from the skin bleeds into the juice, giving the wine its yellow or red color. Winemakers create a rosé wine by juicing red grapes and then allowing the juice to soak with the skins – or macerate –  for a very short period, usually only two to three days.

I like red wine. I like white wine.  Ergo, I should like rosés.

But oenophiles have had good reason for bypassing the pink wine when rosés started hitting the U.S. market in the middle of the 20th century. American winemakers were trying capitalize on two instant-success rosés from Portugal that were sweet and inexpensive. (Ew).

Around 1975, Sutter Home made a splash (ha ha) with their white Zinfandel and Americans fell in love. Other wineries got in on the action. But serious wine drinkers wouldn’t consume it, and sommeliers would never serve it.

But then around 2000, something happened. The French started producing tasty rosés –and Americans wanted in. Rosé consumption skyrocketed—surpassing white wine consumption in France—and, these days, shows no sign of coming down.

Because of rosés popularity these days, some – ah hem – less than conscientious winemakers still bottle leftover grapes (Red Alert!!) to meet ever-growing demand. But smarter winemakers do concentrate on making the best rosé possible.

Still suspicious, I boldly gave myself a rosé tasting (see below). I can happily report the sticky sweet memory is indeed in the past and I can now proudly rosé all day. Or at least from 5-7 p.m.

THE ROSÉ REPORT:
Yummy Rose Options 

                                   

2017 Can Sumoi La Rosa (above): This is one of the most delightful of the rose offerings these days. From Catalonia, Spain, this blend of 50% Sumoll, 30% Parellada, 20% Xarello grapes comes from one of the oldest winemaking families in Spain. Expect bursts of lemon, cherry, and strawberry. I’d drink alone or with olives, tomatoes, cheese…any food regularly eaten in the Mediterranean.

2019 L’Original Rosé: From the rosé-producing region of Provence, France, this blend of Cinsault, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon, is perfect for pool/lake/ocean-side. You’ll taste strawberries and peaches.

2019 Gallivant Rosé:  From the MacDowell Valley in California, the Syrah/Zinfandel blend comes from old vines and explodes with strawberries and cherries. This is your picnic wine. Or really, your anytime-it’s-hot wine.

2019 Dove Hunt Dog Rose: Made of 100% Syrah grapes, this rose is earthier that others. Still crisp and fresh, this simple wine will go with seafood and cheese beautifully.

2019 Etnico Rosé:  From Valley del Rapel in Chile, a blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot produce light, crisp, and layered flavors. It’s strawberry, sure, maybe orange, but then what is that? The flavors will keep you sipping. Drink in all seasons. A company favorite, it comes from one of the first certified organic and biodynamic farms in South American.

Etnico Rosé

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Want the best deal around? The Scout Circle Wine Club is ideal if you regularly drink wine/host gatherings/gift wine. Get 4, 6, or 12 curated bottles, chosen by our CEO Sommalier, every month, every other month, or once a quarter. You choose between all whites, all reds, or mixed. Prices start at $89/four bottles. Shipping is always free, even in summer. Cancel anytime. My Scout Circle membership is how I fell in love with the company. Join here.

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Need wine assistance? I’m happy to curate a selection of wines for friends, and friends in the making. Let me know what foods and flavors you like, and I will pick you some winners. I’d also to host a tasting for you and your friends be it a special occasion, a little pre-game, or you know, Wednesday.

Contact me: carolbkaufmann@yahoo.com

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What else I’m sipping right now:

Che Fico Pinot Grigio. Smooth and easy and pairs with easy food. Would be great with any veggie dish. AND it has a lovely orange tint. Our consultants are freaking out over this bottle of deliciousness.

Fieldhouse White Blend: Perfect for the porch. Crisp and easy-drinking.  

Conte de la Terre Vermentino: Oh boy, do I love the vermentino grape during summer! Crisp, fruit-forward.

2019 Conte de la Terre Gewurztraminer: What’s German grape doing in Oregon’s Willamette Valley? Making juicy, citrusy wine with a long-finish, that’s what!

Gallivant Chardonnay: You may have heard me gush about this layered burst of heaven because I can’t stop.

A current summer favorite that WILL SELL OUT: Epic Pursuit Rosé Wine Spritzer. You taste summer fruits—strawberry, peach, blood oranges—with a dose of sparkling umph. Refreshing and dry. And because they come in cute little cans, the EP Rosé is perfect for the beach, pool, patio, a socially-distant picnic, wherever. Everyone I know who has tried them falls in love.

Epic Pursuit Rosé Wine Spritzer

Four 250ml cans for $19. (Limit: 6 packages per order).

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About me:

I’m an executive consultant for Scout & Cellar, a wine company based in Texas that sources and creates Clean-Crafted wines from small farms and family-owned vineyards. I joined the team because these wines are delicious, made responsibly without all the chemicals, pesticides, additives, and sweeteners used frequently in other mass-produced wines, and can be consumed by many who have health issues. (Please check with your doctor).

I’m also a full-time author/writer/editor; wife and mom of two teenagers, three rescue cats, and a very opinionated bulldog (see below); and native Kentuckian. I love books, travel, my friends and neighbors, and current hometown of Alexandria, Virginia.

 

The Chardonnay Mom: A Newsletter for Wine Lovers and the Wine Curious June 15, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — carolkaufmann @ 5:52 pm

Introductions are in order

My 14-year-old son informed me I’m “a Chardonnay mom.” While this label is supposedly better than a “Karen,” it still carries more than a few stereotypes. According the Urban Dictionary, that font of modern wisdom, Chardonnay moms use kids as accessories, like to gossip, are more than willing to try out other dads in the neighborhood, and, according to my son, often call themselves “writers.” (He uses air quotes when he describes my full-time job. That one cut deep).  

How the lovely versatile, chameleon-like grape that is as old as the hills and is THE most popular grape on the planet could be associated with such drivel is beyond me. I LOVE Chardonnay, have tried and tested them for years – no…decades!—visiting countless wineries the world over to drink them in their natural habitats, and will not apologize for my devotion. I told my boy I’m not merely a Chardonnay Mom.

I’m THE Chardonnay Mom, Baby!

And I have a few things to say about wine. Read on.

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Let’s discuss the Chardonnays I currently have on offer:

Gallivant (Central Coast, CA): Allow me to gush. This Chard combine soft, creamy butter and flavors or baking spices with just a hint of caramel – oh my. Pair it with white fish, salmon, truffled anything, or (my favorite) popcorn on a Monday night. Drink it anytime, with anyone, because it’s good enough to win over the Chard-skeptics. $25

Fieldhouse 2018 (Mendocino, CA): This is our most expensive Chard and I can see why. At $35, you get lots of subtle layers. This creamy Chard will appeal to the Gallivant and Dove Hunt Dog lovers alike. You’ll get the Meyer lemon but also softer tastes of honeysuckle.

Fiddleneck (Mendocino/Lake County, CA): Calling all citrus fans! Here you’ll taste pineapple, lemon, and apple but not in an overpowering way. It’s a soft and gentle variety. Take this substantial wine to a dinner where you don’t know what you’ll be eating. $22

Dove Hunt Dog (Potter Valley, CA): With its adorable label of a pointer dog, and earthy, crisp citrusy/apple-y flavor, this is the easy crowd-pleaser you can take to a summer cookout…even if that cookout is on your own patio. $25

Adelante 2019 (Chile): It’s creamy, goes with fish and cheese, and is vegan. Lighter mouthfeel than my beloved Gallivant, with a bonus tastes of vanilla. Nice price point, too. $19

*Adelante 2019 (Argentina): Made on the other side of the mountain from the Chilean cousin, this …bits of caramel, too. I love the prices of South American wines. This puppy is $21.

*Veinte (Chile) Another earthy and crisp variety. Expect some peach to seep into this clean tasting Chardonnay. Serve with veggies or chicken. $24

Need wine? Delivered to your door? I think you might. Go here.

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What does * mean? These wines are exclusive to our wine club, Scout Circle, which is the easiest, most accessible wine club ever. If you regularly drink wine/host gatherings/gift wine, this is a great deal. Get 4, 6, or 12 curated bottles, chosen by our CEO Sommalier, every month, every other month, or once a quarter. You choose between all whites, all reds, or mixed. Prices start at $89/four bottles. Free (and faster) shipping; cancel anytime. Receiving my Scout Circle boxes is how I fell in love with the company. Join here.

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Need wine assistance? I’m happy to curate wines for my friends, and friends in the making. Let me know what foods and flavors you like, and I will pick you some winners. I also love tastings and am happy to conduct one for you and your friends be it a special occasion, a little pre-game, or you know, Wednesday.

Contact me at carolbkaufmann@yahoo.com

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Let’s be clear. I love many other kinds of wine.

A current summer favorite that WILL SELL OUT is the Epic Pursuit Rosé Wine Spritzer. You taste all the summer fruits—strawberry, peach, blood oranges—with a dose of carbonated umph. So incredibly tasty. And because they come in cute little cans, you can take them to the beach, pool, patio, a socially-distant picnic, wherever. Everyone I know who has tried them falls in love.

Four 250ml cans for $19. (Limit: 6 packages per order).

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Copyright © Carol Kaufmann, All Rights Reserved, 2020

About me:

I’m an executive consultant for Scout & Cellar, a wine company based in Texas that sources and creates Clean-Crafted wines from small farms and family-owned vineyards. I joined the team because these wines are delicious, made responsibly without all the chemicals, pesticides, additives, and sweeteners used frequently in other mass-produced wines.

I’m also a full-time author/writer/editor; wife and mom of two teenagers, three rescue cats, and a very opinionated bulldog (see below); and native Kentuckian. I love books, travel, my friends and neighbors, and current hometown of Alexandria, Virginia.

 

Beach Reads Recommendations July 12, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — carolkaufmann @ 7:59 pm

Headed for sand soon?

The web folks at work asked me to create a list of books I thought people should be reading on vacation. I pored over lists from the publishing houses and scanned the Internet landscape to see what the hot reads might be and consumed as many of these as I could. And although my list was almost completely rejected because it didn’t contain such lofty titles as Fifty Shades of Grey, I do believe the following are well worth your time. Bon Voyage!

Fiction:

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Crown, June 5, 2012)

A perfect wife’s disappearance plunges her husband into a nightmare as it rips open ugly secrets about his marriage and, just maybe, his culpability in her death.  It’s a mystery, it’s a psychological thriller, and I’m devastated I just read the last page.

The Stonecutter by Camilla Lackberg (Pegasus Crime, May 12, 2012 )

Swedish Lackberg is getting attention for being a better crime/mystery writer than Stieg Larsson and heir apparent to his legions of fans. Her latest book is getting rave reviews and is one “that ruins a vacation” according to Maureen Corrigan (book critic, NPR, in WashPo) as its tale of doomed relationships and murder suck in would-be beachcombers.

The Fallen Angel by Daniel Silva (July, 2012)

Silva’s thrillers featuring world-class art restorer and Israeli assassin Gabriel Allon never fail to disappoint. In this anticipated one, Allon is restoring a Caravaggio at the Vatican when he is called on to investigate a suspicious suicide on behalf of the Pope. His suspicions lead him to trail an art smuggling ring through Rome, St. Moritz, Istanbul, and his home turf, Jerusalem. Allon’s internal conflicts as a hired killer and Silva’s depictions of the inner workings of the Middle East are compelling enough to make a reader buy the entire series—even in hardback.

The Solitary House by Lynn Shephard (Delacorte, May 1, 2012)

Shepherd’s latest detective story (Murder at Mansfield Park, 2010) is a Victorian tour de force that borrows characters from Charles Dickens’ Bleak House and Wilkie Collins’ The Woman in White.

A Trick of Light (Minotaur, July 3, 2012) by Louise Penny

Penny is known for engrossing mysteries that are also funny and wise. This paperback edition of this best seller seems like a good option for thrifty mystery fans who don’t want to mix a hardback or tablet with sand.

Maisie Dobbs series, by Jacqueline Winspear

The first one is actually called “Maisie Dobbs.” You should start there. Allow yourself to become immersed in post-War Britain as an unlikely detective uses her intellect, intuition and guts to sort out crimes both national and personal. A good salve for Anglophiles, especially if you’re missing Downton Abbey!

Non-fiction:

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson (October 24, 2011). Yes, a tad older than the others but everyone I know who’s read it raves about the insider’s peak into the mind of a visionary. We could proclaim that a vacation week is the perfect time to delve into the 448-page tome—and be astonished, revolted, and amazed at the life of Jobs.

Swim: Why We Love the Water (Pubilc Affairs, April 2012)

By Lynn Sherr

From the evolution of our “aquatic ancestors” to the trauma of bathing suit shopping, these essays examine the sport of swimming from all angles. Water! Swimming! How can we resist???

God’s Hotel: A Doctor, A Hospital and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine by Victoria Sweet(Riverhead, April 26, 2012)

A doctor’s experiences in a unique corner of the medical world—Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco—where the doctors and nurses provide long-term care for the sick poor; the working and living environments are unlike that of any other hospital in the country.

This is How: Proven to Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More. For Young and Old Alike by Augusten Burroughs

(St. Martin’s, May 8, 2012)

Acclaimed memoirist Burroughs (You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas, 2009, etc.) charts new territory, offering his readers advice on life.

The First 20 Minutes; The Myth-Busting Science that Shows How We Can Walk Farther, Run Faster, and Live Longer (Hudson Street/Penguin, April 26, 2012)

By Gretchen Reynolds

A fitness columnist for the New York Times dispenses documented exercise science for a healthier life. I’ve read some excerpts from this and listened to interviews; she makes a compelling case to exercise a little less—perfect beach reading!

 

My ’50 Shades of Grey’ Assignment June 22, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — carolkaufmann @ 3:17 pm

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(Author’s note: I read 50 Shades of Grey trilogy for work. I was assigned to assess some of the popular books people would be reading this summer, “Beach Reads,” as we call them. I suggested many titles. I was overruled. But after investing hours of my life and the company’s money in the “50” trilogy, I couldn’t stop writing. Unfortunately, my editor only wanted about1/4 of my rant, so I’m publishing the full monty here.)

Title: 50 Shades of Grey, 50 Shades Darker, 50 Shades Freed by E.L. James

The books of this erotic, pornographic trilogy have occupied rarified air atop bestseller lists since March prompting its publisher to print more copies daily. The author, an English, 40-something former television producer and mom of two teenage sons, wrote these fan books for those (still) obsessed with Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series. James admits she’s not a great writer (Warning #1) and her characters differ little from Bella and Edward, the wide-eyed virgin and her beloved vampire. In Fifty Shades, Bella is now named Anastasia, a literature-loving recent college grad and the vampire figure is Christian Grey, an obscenely rich, “older” entrepreneur (all of 27 when the story begins) who’s into S&M and BDSM (You’re going to have to Google that yourself) and would like the innocent Anastasia to become his submissive (please keep Googling).

Ready to download to your ebook?

 If middle school-level dialogue between paper-thin characters sandwiched between scenes of sex and bondage and sex and punishment and sex and spankings and sex and sex and sex in a lushly-described playroom of pain, among other places, is your thing, go right ahead. Get the Greys. (Warning #2)

 Still intrigued? The “love” (to use the term loosely) scenes are so repetitive and boring, you might start skipping them to get to the plot. (Good luck finding it.) You’d think that with floggers, whips, spreaders, and chains in the mix, the 16 (maybe more, I was dozing) sex scenes in the first book might call for more descriptive sentences than “Laters, baby,” ”He’s so freaking hot” and the variations on the exclamation “Crap!” — as in “Double crap!”, “triple crap!” and the sacrilegious “Holy crap!” Total crap utterances in first book alone: 92 (Warning #3)

 If you’re still insatiably curious, read away. While you’re at it, throw down a couple jumbo-sized bags of Doritos, a dozen Big Macs and fistfuls of Ding Dongs. If you’re determined to consume all crap, you might as well go whole hog.

 *If, on the other hand, you like some well-crafted pageturners about bizarre and complex relationships, try Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes. Weeks after reading, I’m still thinking about them.

 

 


 

 

Mama Tricks: My Path to an Easy Thanksgiving November 18, 2011

Filed under: Mama Tricks — carolkaufmann @ 8:05 pm
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If all else fails, we'll be here--at the restaurant at the end of the block.

A new friend recently was panicking over making and hosting her first Thanksgiving dinner. The guest list included her future in-laws from the culinary capital of the U.S.—New Orleans, plus five others. D (dinner) -day was a mere seven days away, she had no plan and looked a bit flustered.

Having been in her position, I told her: “Megan, don’t panic. Help is here.”

1. Have every guest bring their favorite beverage. Assign one or two a
dessert or app; you can’t have too many of either.

2. When they arrive, have a pitcher of Sazeracs waiting. It is the official
cocktail of New Orleans, looks all autumn-y and has a real kick. In this
wonderful essay, there is a recipe
.

3. Have a few open bottles of wine, too, and your reds already opened in the
kitchen, taking a good deep breath. Everyone says buy Pinot Noirs and
Sauvignon Blancs to serve with turkey. I think that’s nuts, but am kind of
opinionated in this genre. I’d suggest Cotes-du-Rhones–almost any of them
would work and are crowdpleasers, and any white from the Veneto region of
Italy. Soaves would be good. I think easy-sippers should be the goal here.

4. Make a few things the day before. Suggestions:
Very easy stuffing
Easy savory green beans that can be made in advance

My personal favorite – super easy bourbon balls (to be served right before pie, when no one is
expecting them)

BUY —do no make—really good bread.

Get all your salad ingredients sorted and semi-assembled (except for
dressing. That would be gross).

5. Really, the only things you need to do on Turkey day is the turkey and
potatoes. The trick to the turkey is simply having enough time to cook, and slightly cool, the bird. HEre’s the secret: Read directions. And have lots of butter on hand.

May I suggest baked potatoes? (OR baked sweet potatoes)? Easy. Put
in oven at 350 for an hour (or in a pinch, put in microwave for 10 minutes
and toast for about 5 to get skins crispy). Have sour cream/butter/chopped
chives OR melted butter and brown sugar in bowls to serve with.

6. If you have to have another app, cut up veggies, get a block of cream
cheese (softened), scoop in some pesto, and garnish with sundried tomatoes.
Put in pretty dish. Appears and tastes fancy and takes 3.4 seconds to
assemble.

7. Votives. Lots of votives and dim lights slightly. Have Harry Connick, Jr.
playing softly in the background.

8. Remember, it’s more interesting visually if you mix and match dishes and
linens. Don’t worry about finding NINE identical place settings.

9. Serve more wine.

10. Serve more wine to yourself.

Unlike many of my fellow Southern mamas, I’m not the most adept cook. But JUST like many of them, I do know how to fake it!

Best of luck to all the new “cooks” out there!