The Chardonnay Mom Enters the Dog Days

The Chardonnay Mom, vol. 8| Carol Kaufmann | August 14, 2020

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

August is now waning and the start of school is on the horizon. For us here in Virginia, this September will look like no other. Gone are the days of scrambling in the car to get to school on time,dog in tow (below). At my house each morning, two bleary-eyed teenagers will mosey over to their computers to begin class. A stone’s throw away, the hubs and I will also be staring into our screens in the comfort of tees and shorts. And we’ll all exist within the same four walls, sharing the same internet connection, until….?

My own Mardi Gras helps take the kids to school, in what seems like a different century.

The golden lining of forced family togetherness is that we do have more time for family dinners, and more time to think about what to eat (and sip). I’ve also noticed that, since friends and neighbors seem to have fewer commitments, it’s easier to spend quality time with one or two friends, or a small group, and deepen the relationships. And though I’m still knee deep in books to take me away from the Time of Covid, I’m also eating up television series. Has there ever been such quality programming on TV? If we can’t go to the movies, nor stray far from home, I’m grateful that we have so many choices on the tube. Once school starts, this all might become a trifle more difficult so I’m trying to pack it all in now.

What I’m pairing

WATCH: Billions (ShowTime, Amazon Prime). The hubs and I just finished up five seasons/55 episodes of Billions, the drama featuring Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti (he of the ultimate wine movie Sideways), who portray a hedge fund king and a US attorney in a fight-to-the-death game of wits, power moves, and influence. These are two Emmy-great actors at the top of their game, supported by a secondary cast that’s just as strong. Oh, and Giamatti’s wife on the show (played by the perfectly cast Maggie Siff) works for the hedge fund as a “performance coach.” It’s just delicious.

& PAIR: Go big and bold. In Billions world, hedge funders and blue bloods can spend upwards of $1,000 on a bottle of wine (see the fantastic and cringe-worthy scene involving a 2010 Château Haut-Brion in the penultimate episode) but you don’t have to go that far to get a great bottle. Pair this show—or steak or truffle pasta—with 2018 Bookbinder, 3rd edition Cabernet Sauvignon, made by the Napa winery of the same name. Deep, rich, with a touch of eucalyptus on the back end. $58. If you don’t want to fork over the 58, the 2018 Middle Jane Reserve Cabernet is offers of bit more of the jammy side of earthy and bold Cabs. $38

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WATCH: The Office Nearly everyone I’ve talked to is watching some season of The Office, and I think I know why. For one, we adults look at the typical office setting of the Dunder-Mifflin Paper Company and think, How quaint! Remember when we used to work in offices? The pranks are fun, the dialog often painful, but the imperfect characters ultimately find love and family in the most unlikely place (except Toby, poor guy).

& PAIR: You want a wine that comforting, yet also entertaining.I’d go with the Gallivant Rosé, a Zinfandel/Syrah blend. Strawberries burst initially, followed by a smooth, refreshing finish. $22. Or if you’re in a red kind of mood, grab the fruity and bold Middle Jane red, a blend of the Dolcetto and Negroamaro grapes $38.

READ: The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. Black twin sisters who have skin so light they can pass for White, grow up in an unusual community in the South, run away when they’re teenagers, and separate shortly after. One sister lives as a Black woman, the other chooses to be White, keeping the secret from her husband and daughter. Like most twins, their fates are inexorably intertwined. I could tell you more, but do I need to? These pages turn themselves.

& PAIR: To compliment the two characters who fully embrace completely different identifies, I suggest you do the same with your wine. Let’s take the fruity and crisp as well as a bold and earthy.

Citrus bursts and tropical fruity Hushkeeper Pinot Gris $25, and the plummy and spicy 2017 Fieldhouse Cabernet Sauvignon $32.

READ: The New Chardonnay by Heather Cabot

This in-depth look of how marijuana insiders turned pot into a mainstream consumable in the health, gourmet, and self-care industries is not only absorbing but was written by one of my closet friends. Because I know how she works, I know this book is the real deal – full of people you won’t forget, painstaking research, and nearly-impossible-to-get stories.

Plus, the title? How could I not read this?

& PAIR: 2018 Fieldhouse (I’m sure you’re not surprised) Chardonnay. A down-to-earth Chard that’s smooth and creamy without big oak flavor. $35. Of course, I’ll always recommend Gallivant ($25) to my butter-loving, soul Chard sisters.

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Need more recommendations? Email me:


What I’m Drinking

Special offers this month

It’s August, Scout & Cellar birthday month. (Age 3 to be exact). To celebrate, we’re offering a red and white box set for the ridiculous price of $49 with free shipping (a la carte price $70+). It includes the 2019 Fieldhouse 301 Chardonnay and the 2019 Fieldhouse 301 Red Blend. Fieldhouse is one of my favorite Chardys (citrusy, yet smooooooth and vanilla-y) and I love all of our red blends (this one is berry/jammy with some herbiness on the backend). The two bottles come in a nice box and make a great gift (and given our weird world, everyone needs a gift). Did I mention it’s $49, with free shipping?

Like bubbles? Like rosé? We’re debuting our new Ticklebumps Rosé this month. Made from Carignan grapes on California’s North Coast, this fuchsia-colored sparkling wine evokes cherries and strawberries, and finishes smoooooth. Why the name Ticklebumps, you might wonder? The CEO’s daughter (when a toddler) would shout “ticklebumps!” in delight when her stroller rolled over the sidewalk bumps near an intersection. (Fun fact: a family friend of our invented those😊). $29

Bookbinders ApprenticeBookbinder’s Apprentice, 1st edition (above) Oh, my, oh, my. GET THIS WINE! Made by a high-end winemaker (see Billions above), this light red blend gives you berries up front, herbs on the back, and jam all the way through. It’s delicious, it’s drinkable daily, and it’s only $16. I’m getting a case, and using my 10% coupon for being a Scout Circle member.

Not a Circle member? If you drink at least four bottles of wine a month, this is the best deal around. $89. (Of course, you can get more and choose the frequency). Free shipping always! Look here.


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? 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


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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©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.

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, two rescue cats (Abby is pictured below), and a very opinionated bulldog named Mardi Gras (see above); and native Kentuckian. I love books, travel, my friends and neighbors, wine (of course), and current hometown of Alexandria, Virginia.