MAR x Crow Canyon Enamelware

Marissa A. Ross Crow Canyon Wine Cup

I'm pleased to announce my collaboration with Crow Canyon! 

Last September, Crow Canyon was like, "Yo, would you be interested in doing a collaboration?" and I said, "HELL YES!" because obviously I aspire to be a Martha-Stewart-ass-bitch one day and nothing says Martha-Stewart-ass-bitch like my own collection of enamelware. 

Inspired by my grandmother's vintage Pyrex and illustrations from my collection of 1950's Better Homes & Gardens and Sunset Magazines, these limited edition wine tumblers mean a lot to me. Designed by hand with help from my love and in-house designer, Benjamin Blascoe, the scene embodies the rotating circle of wine in my life, from pouring bottles to breaking glasses. Upon closer inspection, you'll find that there are bottles from my dogs Zissou and Kaw-Liga, as well one commemorating the year Ben and I met, my Grandma & Papa who lived in Malibu, and my mother-in-law, Marcia, who loved Chianti and kiss marks. We tried to get our cat in there, but he declined based on his drawing looking too much like Kaw's and said he prefers bourbon anyway.

Marissa A. Ross Crow Canyon

Fun and unbreakable (thank god), these sturdy wine tumblers are great for poolsides, campgrounds, backyards, and bedside tables. They're 10oz, which is twice the size of a shitty standard pour, and just right for a generous Ross sized pour, and come with either a Burgundy or Champagne rim. Porcelain with a steel core helps keep wine (or water, because let's be real, you gotta hydrate in order to drink as much as I do) cool, and just like other wine glasses, hand-washing is encouraged. 

I hope you love them as much as I do! They're available for $9 each from the retailers below!

Posted on July 25, 2016 .

On Bon Appétit: A LOT

Scholium Project "La Severita di Bruto"

scholium project la serverita

Scholium Project "La Severita di Bruto"
Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc
Region: Sonoma, California
Year: 2012
Price: ~ $55 (A gift from Dana Gaiser, so not entirely sure)

Quite the day when you become the kind of person who can justify opening a rare wine on a random afternoon. I mean it's my job, but even now it feels foreign to me; like I'm still a broke 24 year old who can only afford overpriced $4 wine at the King Liquor Jr. and drinks the leftovers from stale glasses the following afternoon. But I'm not! And thank fucking god.

For those of you who have been here for awhile, you may remember that California Sauvignon Blanc is what made me take back publicly saying I hated white wine. I even had a cool catch phrase from a video review of Sauv-Blanc from my Wine Time webseries for Hello Giggles (which they have regrettably taken off the internet): "SAUVIGNON-BLANC, YA'ALL!"

That sounds like a stupid catch phrase now that I've written it down but believe me, in the video, it was said with such enthusiasm that for a long time, strangers would regularly say it to me and I ate that shit up.  

In the years that followed, I fell out of love with California Sauvignon Blanc. It had become fruitier-- even leaning sweet-- and was not the tightly wound rubber band ball of lemon and green apple that had made me reevaluate my relationship with white wine. California Sauvignon Blanc had gone soft, and as someone that only goes hard, I had lost my interest in it. But like most California wines that had once been written off, Sauvignon Blanc is back, and with a vengeance. Massican got me back on the train (a fucking delightful bottle I gobble up without even having the will power to take notes), and now here we are with this Scholium Project gem.

The Scholium Project, in general, is fucking badass and you should drink up all of Abe Schoener's curious and captivating creations. Which is truly what they are, creations. Or perhaps more accurately, concoctions. Small batch, experimental and totally offbeat, drinking his wines feel like you've just discovered a new band that you simultaneously can't wait to show your friends but also want to keep to yourself because you, like me, are a selfish asshole who has proprietary delusions over shit you have no actual ownership of. 

"La Severita" is first and foremost an extraordinary example of what California Sauvignon Blanc can be. It has all the quintessential Sauv-Blanc shit in there-- the citrus, the greenery, the subtle air of cat piss-- but within that well-structured frame, you find a kaleidoscope of beguiling and slightly bizarre nuances. It's nutty, it's basil-y, it's like taking a couple smooth rocks from the Malibu mountains, dusted with sea salt, and rolling them around in your palm. And hints of not one, but two succulents-- aloe, and Cactus Cooler, the ultimate orange pineapple blast

This wine makes me want to take of a case of it out to Joshua Tree and just stay there for as long as humanly possible while listening to the Talking Heads' "Road To Nowhere" on repeat. Just stay there forever. This could very much be my own personal and recent battle against nihilism taking hold, but fuck man. I just want to drink delicious wine and not give fuck about anything except living, and indulging in the nuances. In all those things that are so subtle we miss them in the day to day because we are too busy trying to get somewhere and going nowhere.

The nuances are what makes us. And yet, how often do we sit with them?

"La Severita" is a lesson in appreciating, and accepting, the nuances. And a good enough reason not to run away to find your own, because no one sells Scholium Project in gas stations in 29 Palms. And baby, it's alright. 

Tasting Notes: Green and golden on the eyes, and maple-y oxidation that comes across like lemon strawberry pancakes on the nose. On the palate, it's bright, medium-bodied, citrusy and nutty. It's surprising, and gripping, and a wonderful wine for those who love to ponder upon bottles. It's a dusty afternoon under the sun, with your thoughts, in a glass.

Ross Test: Pass with flying colors. But may I take the test again anyway, professor? 

marissa a. ross scholium project

Christine et Gilles Paris Morgon Douby

Christine et Gilles Paris Morgon Douby marissa ross

Christine et Gilles Paris Morgon Douby
Varietal: Gamay
Region: Morgon, Beaujolais
Year: 2014
Price: ~ $24

I started writing about this wine for a quick review on Instagram, and lost my shit a little. I hate that I have been able to drink so many beautiful wines I love so much over the last year, and yet I have not had time to legitimately write about them. It's hard because as much as I enjoy writing about wine in general, what I truly love is writing about wines that inspire me. This blog started as writing about every wine I drank, but it became more about writing about wines that made me feel like I needed to write about them.

And while every wine I spend any time on is because I feel like I need to, this wine, this wine made me feel like I was going to die if I didn't actually write about it. Not a fucking Instagram post. Because I'm not here because I was writing fucking Instagram posts. I'm here because there is something to wine that is so much bigger than me, or my silly emotions, allusions or similes. I'm not here because of writing 7 Wines To [Verb] [Pronoun] [Adjective] [Season] or explain Charmat Method in a charming way for my book, which is what I should be doing. I'm here because I cannot not tell someone-- anyone!-- about this wine.

Even if I hadn't started drinking this as the sun started to set, it would have reminded me of "Waterloo Sunset"♫ ... But Ben & Marissa cross over the river where they feel safe and sound. And they don't need no friends, as long as they gaze on Morgon Sunsets, they are in paradise. ♫ 

Not quite what the Kinks said, but the sentiment remains. The Christine et Gilles Paris Morgon Douby tastes like big chewy Sweettarts, ocean foam & young summer love, and is relaxing as an actual doobie. I want to curl up with this bottle and my favorite records on crisp, green, post-war, suburban grass in a bikini, smelling like Coppertone and Hawaiian Tropic. There is an easiness about it that tastes like cranberry-soaked privilege wrapped up in the security of a balmy summer night and your whole life ahead of you. 

It's so fucking youthful and fresh that you wouldn't be able to even appreciate this shit if you were youthful and fresh. It takes the wisdom and complexity that you can taste on the mid and back palate-- that same wisdom and complexity you have as an adult-- to appreciate that shit. 

Because cannonballing into pools with my sister was always my favorite, and aimless sunset walks down Euclid Ave. with Sager in our cut-offs were always fun, and I always knew urban hiking through Echo Park with Tecates and Ben were the only butterflies I wanted for the rest of my life. And although I knew these memories were always going to be the best, you still don't really comprehend it in the moment. 

This wine tastes like the moment a favorite memory washes over you. 

You have no choice but to be swept away.

AS WE HAVE SEEN HERE TODAY.

Tasting Notes: Smells like Raspberry Banana smoothies made of sparklers. Crisp and tart with cranberry, red currant, a touch of radish and awesome minerality, but is so so smooth. Also has nice tannic structure, which is a thing I just said aloud and hated myself for BUT IS STILL TRUE. 

Ross Test: AMAZING, but I couldn't with good conscience do more that a couple swigs because this is so much better to share. 

Wine Not? Palm Springs, June 25/26!

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Join me and my partner in wine (and crime) Evan for the next installment of Wine Not! 

The Ace Palm Springs' Main Pool
Saturday June 25th and Sunday June 26th
1PM - 7PM

Bust out your bikinis and get ready to chug bottles! We will be joined by the delectable wines and the badass winemakers of J. Brix (which, is pronounced like "bricks", and I now must tell everyone since I dipshittedly said it like "prix" in one of my videos for Reformation ughhh) and be munching on lobster rolls from Silverlake's new joint, Sawyer

Hope to see you and your tanlines out there! 

Posted on June 15, 2016 .

Solminer Linus Rosé

marissa a ross rosé ross test

Solminer Linus Rosé
Varietal: Syrah
Region: Santa Ynez, California
Year: 2015
Price: $24
Retailer: Direct from winery (online shopping rules)

I wrote this whole thing explaining that despite spending most of my life being referred to as "little bro" and saying everything is "fucking tight", I'm a sophisticated lady who listens to Music For A Sophisticated Lady. And then Neil, who gave me the fucking record, walked in and was like, "You are definitely not a sophisticated lady." 

And I mean, I'm not.
Not in the classical sense.
Or really any sense.

But I am modern and knowledgable, which are both synonyms of "sophisticated", so if the only thing keeping me from being "sophisticated" is that I primarily wear basketball shorts and no make up while chugging wine and cussing too much, then I am fine not being sophisticated or a lady. But it did ruin the lede of this piece. Although that was a waste of my time, it actually worked out because I didn't realize that this rosé was named after the winemakers' son, and it's probably for the best I didn't go comparing it to any sophisticated or unsophisticated ladies. 

BUT THE BLOG MUST GO ON. With or without a cohesive through-line. 

solminer rosé marissa a ross wine

The Solminer rosé is a gorgeous deep coral; a color I love to wear but something I would normally see in a bottle of wine and actively avoid due to the sweetness such a color usually indicates. But the Linus is tart and dry with electric strawberry, and reminds me of this Glass Animals song. It's upbeat with an accelerated acidity that bursts through the palate and long into the finish. With its sharp, sour red fruits, it is very refreshing, and begs to be gulped. It drinks young, but you can taste how much technique and talent went into it. It's one of those bottles that you hate to drink so quickly because you know it's special, but you just can't help it. 

This is rosé at its best. As plush as Provence, and as crisp as California.

Tasting Notes: Neon strawberry and orange zest with like, a kazoo bursting with acidity, and mouthfeel like your favorite well-fitted viscose t-shirt. 

Ross Test: I drank a fourth of the bottle. So. YES.

Posted on June 14, 2016 .

Thinking of You ♥

Just wanted to check in, and apologize for not updating very much of late. With the amount of writing I'm doing for Bon Appétit and the book, it's been hard. I, of course, couldn't be happier with things, and am so grateful for these incredible opportunities. But shit is hard. Writing a book and writing for a magazine are two very different skills. It's easy to write here about wines I love and do whatever the fuck I want, but a totally other thing to write 75 words on Valdiguié while being funny while not cussing or making sex jokes, or write a whole chapter on tasting that isn't just me being like, "DO YOU BABE!"

I've been beating myself up about it quite a bit. I want to be this funny wine writer that everyone believes I am, that I know I am, but it's not that simple. It's hard for me to churn out articles, to write one-liners on Zinfandel and technical but fun chapters on regions. And I hate that. I hate that it's hard when what got me to this point was how easy and fun it was for me to write about wine.

But nothing worth having has ever been easy. I've only been doing all this for a year. And it took me five years to get to that point. And maybe it will take me another five years to get really good at all this, but I'm going to do it. I'm doing it. 

I'm not one for inspirational quotes, but I heard one recently I had to pin up in my office. It's been helping me a lot with all these ~feelings~ and I hope it helps you too. It's a nice reminder to just keep going when all you want to do is smoke bongs, eat pizza and watch Gossip Girl in your sweatpants, and maybe cry. 

excellence is a habit

Excellence is a habit, just like stuntin'

PUT IT IN THE AIIIRRR.

Cheers to you, and your own pursuit of excellence.

Posted on June 8, 2016 .

Drink Sustainably, Episode One: Pesticides & Thibaud Boudignon Rosé de Loire

SUSTAINABLE FASHION AND SUSTAINABLE DRINKING? YES PLEASE!

Thrilled to announce my video series with Reformation! There couldn't have been a better collaboration. Not only are we both dedicated to sustainability in our work, but I'm obsessed with their clothes. We have another three videos coming for the next three weeks so make sure to tune in and learn more about the different sides of sustainable wine, and watch me review even more delicious low-intervention wines. 

The Thibaud Boudignon Rosé de Loire “à Sacred Thirst” I'm drinking is 100% Cab-Franc rosé and is $24 at Lou Wine Shop

Posted on June 7, 2016 .