The Chardonnay Mom Pairs Wine and Music

The Chardonnay Mom, vol. 10| Carol Kaufmann | September 8, 2020

Need clean-crafted, delicious wine delivered to your door? I can hook you up.

I’m just back from a 10-day respite on an island off North Carolina. Relocating does the body and soul wonders, doesn’t it? One truly needs a change of scenery every now and then. And now that we’re back in the thick of things, with school and work both in high gear, I’m still clinging to that wonderful memory.

One night, sitting under the live oaks in rocking chairs and (shocking) drinking wine, we went down the rabbit hole of recalling and listening to songs from high school, college, and early adult years. It’s funny what you associate with certain periods of your life. It may not be the songs that were on the radio at the time or that had hit Billboard’s top ten list, but ones that really resonated for a particular reason: What song reminds you of dancing the night away with friends? What lyrics stop you cold? What songs inspire you? What was playing during your high school prom?

Your life doesn’t have one finite soundtrack—it has many.

I’m in the process of making many Spotify playlists of former selves that may become fine coping mechanism for week after week of COVID restrictions and the one-two gut punch of online school and working from home. At least, that’s what I’m hoping. I’ll share with you, if you’d like.

And like an absorbing book or delicious new detective serious, why not pair your (or this) soundtrack with a tasty glass of wine?

ListenThe Chardonnay Mom: High School Years 

Pair: What wine aids in fond reminiscing? I certainly wasn’t drinking wine in high school in Kentucky (though perhaps had sampled some bourbon). I’d go for a spicy red, with hits of berries and a touch of tobacco, which recalls the smell of those leaves drying in my grandfather’s barn. Oso Pardo Tempranillo $25.

Read: The Guest Book by Sarah Blake. Generations of the Milton family hide secret upon secret and though it takes decades for chickens to come home to roost, roost they do. The action bounces among New York, Berlin, and a Maine island and several family members in this sweeping saga.

Pair: So much of the book takes place in the summers, and with the lush description of lobster dinners, I’d choose a wine that goes with both. Hushkeeper Pinot Gris ($25).

Watch: Perry Mason (2020). Matthew Rhys embodies the remade down-on-his-luck title character in this eight-episode series. Set in 1932, Mason transforms himself from a shady investigator into a criminal defense attorney saddled with the case of his life. Add in a mesmerizing evangelist, a sharp sidekick, and John Lithgow as a mentor, and how can you possibly not watch?

Pair: What goes with a LA detective noir story? A California Cab, of course! I’m really liking the 2018 Conte de la Terre Cabernet Sauvignon ($34) out of Sonoma that we tried on vacation. Big, bold, and delicious all by itself, it’s also undergone malolactic fermentation, which gives it a round and creamy taste.


From the Field

*Remember my friend Lili (below) who hadn’t had wine in 20 years due to the crippling migraines it caused her? Her life changed after she tried some Scout & Cellar rosé with no ill effects. But it got even better when she had a glass of red wine, which she had sorely missed, and had no headache the next day. She made a TikTok in tribute to her now beloved 2019 Fieldhouse 301 Red Wine Blend. (Get it in this beautiful gift set that ships for free, a great deal at $49).

*My friend Ashli took advantage of our end-of-August sale and reports that she now has a “Happy Wine Fridge.” I must say, she made excellent choices. I’m particularly loving the 2019 Fieldhouse 301 Chardonnay, which we both had this weekend. It’s complex, creamy, has a tad of vanilla, and—I think—better when it’s served room temperature.

Ashli's fridgeAshli’s very happy fridge


This Just In

New vintages are here! Our wine comes from small, responsibly-run farms that are only able to make so much a season. Grab ‘em before they’re gone.

2017 Soleil. Vent. Ȃme. Red wine: A Cabernet/Grenache blend combines berries with that signature herby-spicy flavor of the South of France. I could drink this year-round—and probably will. $26.

2018 Fieldhouse Pinot Noir: For a Pinot Noir scaredy-cat (me), this California variety is a tough sell. But it promises spice on the back end so I am hopeful. If anyone out there tries it, let me know what you think. The other wines with the Fieldhouse label—the 2019 301 Chardonnay and Red blend (which ships for free!) — are personal favorites. $22.

2019 Veinte Cabernet Sauvignon: Cabs from Chile, like this one, taste nothing like California Cabs with their serious fruit up front and a rich tobacco and herb spike on the end. A good fall wine to pair with big meat dishes or veggie versions that have lots of seasoning. I’m thinking Cajun dishes would pair really well. $30.

2019 Middle Jane Merlot: I haven’t had a merlot since my 20s but because Middle Jane is producing this one, I’m all in. $32.


Who else likes wine?

I also hope you’re enjoying The Chardonnay Mom, regular musings about wine, wine pairings, books, and life, written by yours truly. If you know of anyone who’d like to subscribe, you can send them here to sign up directly.


Other Bits and Pieces

Need a side gig? Maybe a new job? Or do you simply love wine and want to try new kinds? Want to host a fundraiser during COVID? Consultants have many reasons for joining the Scout & Cellar team. I joined in April to learn about the wine business, help out some folks who were down on their luck, and try new wines; I’m staying because it’s so much dang fun. If you are interested, give me a shout at


A Big Fat Hug

Thank you! Because of your support, I continue to donate 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. Lately, I’ve been making donations to their efforts with the northern California fires. So many of our wines come from California and I shudder to think how farmers and anyone in the area are coping. #chefsforamerica 

Buy all wine here.


©2020 Carol Kaufmann

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 is a Chardonnay mom a bad thing? Chardonnay is a delicious, highly versatile, and glorious grape. Being a Chardonnay mom should mean a woman who wears many hats: a family gal, a hard worker, a passionate devotee to great conversation and gathering of friends. Right then, I decided I would proudly take on that title and promote Chardonnay—and all other delicious wines out there—one bottle 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 frequently used 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, have 40% fewer calories than most other wines, and seriously good. I’m a huge fan.

I’m also a full-time author/writer/editor; wife and mom of two teenagers, two 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.

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