The Chardonnay Mom Contemplates the Socially Distant Summer

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.


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)



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.


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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COMING SOON: Wine and Book pairings


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

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