Franco Terpin "Quinto Quarto"

Terpin Quinto Quarto Pinot Grigio Marissa Ross

Franco Terpin "Quinto Quarto" 
Varietal: Pinot Grigio
Region: Delle Venezie, Italy
Year: 2015
Price: $23.75
Retailer: Domaine LA 
(Thanks for picking it out for me, Courtney Walsh!)
Importer: Critical Mass Selections

Californians complaining about the weather has to be one of the most obnoxious things about us to other Americans. But I'm going to do it anyway. It's been fucking hot for a really fucking long time, and I'm going a little nuts. Even though today was supposed to be 71, it's still too hot to wear a big fuzzy sweater and it's too sunny to even pretend it's anything but perpetual summer; something I naively wished for in my youth so, sorry guys. This is my fault. 

As much as I love light bodied wines, come "fall", I long for big bodied wines that make me feel like my insides are wearing wool pull-overs while being serenaded by Tom Waits' crunchy leaf-ed voice. I want to curl up in everything, transcend into hibernation, and cross my fingers to awake in four to six months a brand new bear.

That isn't happening.

I'm bra-less in a paper thin shirt and light sweatpants and feel like I need to turn the AC on. So, it's depressingly not anything near hibernation is what I'm saying. 

But Terpin's "Quinto Quarto" is comforting me in the best way possible. Chill on the outside but warm on the inside, this skin-contact Pinot Grigio is refreshing to my lips but sweater weather to my gut. It has immediately transported me to some waspy-exotic east coast dreamtown with weather-worn brick buildings, cool breezes, and piles of leaves that children dressed better than I ever have spend their afternoons jumping into. There's also golden retrievers. Because. 

Usually Italian wines take me back to Italy, especially Veneto wines, but not this one. This one gives me houndstooth and hounds and Stars Hollow. Part of me wants to say, "It's because that's what I want." Maybe that's true, but also I drink plenty of wines all year that don't necessarily transport me to Gilmore Girls, a show I have only seen eight episodes of. 

It's crisp but cozy, orange and fuzzy. It's a fall wine, and I think it will take you where ever you close your eyes and imagine J.Crew photoshoots of camel colored trench coats taking place. 

This is one of those thinking wines, that you can ruminate on but can also ruin if you think too hard. The bouquet is off-putting if I give it more than a genuine sniff before diving into drinking, and honestly, I think it needs to be enjoyed alongside a meal. It has me craving some sort of light pasta dish, or some roasted tomatoes slathered onto some focaccia. Alone it is a little dense and overwhelming, but alas, all I have is sharp cheddar cheese, and despite its savory charcuterie aromas, I can tell you from experience that it does not pair well with sharp cheddar cheese. 

But it does pair well with daydreaming of cinematic seasons, and that is most important for today.

Tasting Notes: It smells like sweaty prosciutto and soppressata, with warm orange pith and tangelo zest. Medium-light body, with a satin texture. Tastes like almost-over-ripe ruby grapefruits, stalky green herbs and hints of malty beer.

Ross Test: Do-able, but bitter. Better in a glass.

Domaine des Sablonnettes' "Les Copains d’Abord"

Domaine des Sablonnettes

Domaine des Sablonnettes' "Les Copains d’Abord"
Varietal: Grolleau
Region: Loire Valley, France
Year: 2015
Price: ~$20 (Can't find my receipt, but definitely under $25) 
Retailer: Lou Wine Shop
Importer: Jenny & François Selections


Two years ago, I did a thirty-minute one woman comedy show called "From Franzia to Cab Franc: The Evolution of My Drinking". I went through tasting notes from the worst wines of my "college" years to the wines I drink now, sharing them with the audience. Domaine des Sablonnettes' "Le Bon Petit Diable" Cab Franc was the Cab Franc, so to say that Sablonnettes have a special place in my heart is an understatement. 

I was recently at a Gamay tasting where one of the hosts referred to Gamay as the Rodney Dangerfield of wines because it "can't get no respect". But I think a more accurate grape for that title would be Grolleau. Grolleau is a native grape to the Loire Valley and seriously, it gets no respect. Grolleau as a red wine is not AOC approved, and most of Grolleau is being eradicated by new Gamay and Cab Franc plantings. Grolleau is a light and acidic red wine, not unlike Gamay in body and chuggability, and is one of the grapes that often gets me deemed as a "hipster" amongst sommeliers who are talking about the likes of Egon Muller-Scharzhof Scharzhofberger Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese before asking me what I've been drinking lately, only to roll their eyes when I say, "I had a really nice Grolleau last week!"

Grolleau is only AOC approved to be used in rosé. 
And you know what I have to say about that?


I want to take Grolleau aside like a young girl, grab her shoulders and tell her that she doesn't have to be a rosé just because some old French men say she has to. Grolleau has so much potential, and can be anything she wants to be-- a red wine or even president! Because lord knows Grolleau is a better presidential candidate than the old bag of Cheetos the GOP dumped on the debate stage on Monday. 

Politics aside, Domaine des Sablonnettes' full-blown, red, Grolleau is delightful. It tastes like a bouquet of dried roses was dipped into macerated plums. Mineral-driven over fruit-driven, it is fresh, lively and quick on its feet. Yes, it is thin and acidic, the two characteristics the red rendition of Grolleau is most criticized for, but I dig it! It's disco wine; high energy, funky, and addictive. Easier to drink than water and keeps you coming back, and back, and back... And you don't even need to eat with it! This is the kind of wine you want to take to the dance party, and feel fine drinking it out of a Solo cup (because you have to, and not because anyone thinks Solo cups are the best for wine drinking, because they are absolutely the worst, aside from when they are the only option and you're about to bust some serious moves to "Brick House" that will have you feeling your age you didn't even know was old in the morning). 

Funkytown? Nah. The destination is Grolleautown. 

Tasting Notes: Light, acidic and quaffable. Thin, but clean, structured and smooth. Plums and black cherries, gravel and dusty, dried roses.

Ross Test: Let's just say I Ross Tested three-fourths of a bottle for a photoshoot I ended up not being able to use and cried and ate a cheeseburger and don't regret any of it. 



OCTOBER 1st & 2nd

Get your bikini back out because we're pouring bottles poolside this weekend!

Join us for glasses/flights/bottles of wine from Scribe, delicious sandwich snacks from Wax Paper, and a pop-up shop from Crow Canyon Home including my limited edition enamelware tumblers

Shoutout to our sponsor, Tossware, for helping us abide by the pool rules with BPA-free plasticware!

Really hope you can make it out! 
Follow along for all the fun & updates on future events on Wine Not's new Instagram

Posted on September 28, 2016 .

Lilian & Sophie Bauchet "Californie"

californie wine lilian sophie bauchet marissa a ross

Lilian & Sophie Bauchet "Californie"
Varietal: Gamay
Region: Fleurie, Beaujolais, France
Year: 2013
Price: $24
Retailer: Lou Wine Shop
Importer: Percy Selections

When I saw this bottle on Percy Selections' Instagram a couple months before it was available retail, I knew I had to have it. A small-production Fleurie cuvée from Lilian & Sophie had to be mine. And to be called "Californie" of all things. I almost went back to nail-biting I was so anxious for this wine. Because like the lofty daydreamer that I am, I was already convinced this was my wine. A BEAUJOLAIS CALLED "CALIFORNIE"?! HOW COULD IT NOT BE MINE!!!

I don't recommend this type of thinking to anyone. It's unhealthy, arrogant, and nearly all disappointments in life come from having any expectations at all, let alone the expectation that a wine you haven't tried can somehow represent your entire being. It's fucking stupid, and I know it. And what may be stupider is that, I needed to think that way. 

The last four months have been some of the hardest of my life. If selling the book was hard, finishing the manuscript was like dragging myself through hell with two corkscrews for hands. I isolated myself, working twelve to sixteen hours a day, and had never felt more alone. I had this incredibly huge project on my hands-- a fucking book, being written by a college dropout who never has done a long term project in her life-- plus the big California piece for Bon Appétit and that whole full-time writing job, wedding planning, family emergencies, realizing that many of my friends really aren't. It's been a fucking lot, without any time for anything else. Not even time to write here, which is not only my passion, but also my escape. 

So, yes, I had put a lot of feelings into a bottle of wine. Stupid, for sure. But I needed something to look forward to. I needed to know that after the manuscript was in, I was going to be able to sit down with a wine and love it, and feel loved. To remember why I do what I do, and how all this happened. Because I love wine. 


The "Californie" tastes like one of those idyllic days that slowly transitions into a magical evening, one of those Saturdays that feel like its never going to end but you know it will eventually, so you do your best to drink up every last minute of it so you will remember it forever. It's bright, gluggy and a bit salty, like a long afternoon full of laughing. You know when everyone is laughing so hard but no one even remembers what they're laughing about anymore? And your laugh goes totally silent as the tears pour down your face? That's what it tastes like. Like you're catching your own laughing tears on your lips and washing it down with some cranberry lemonade. But there is a warmth and a softness to it. It's slightly spiced, and it is enticing. It's your lover's sweatered shoulder you could bury your face into until the end of time, under the stars you just now realized were out and shining. 

I love this wine so much because it reminds me of well, love. And I don't necessarily mean "love" like significant other status. "Love" isn't always this heavy serious thing between two people. Often it is just having fun, with people who make you feel good, and remind you that you are alive, and you're all alive together. It's an all-encompassing energy; it's laughing and hugging and dancing and singing and sweating and swearing and eating and drinking and kissing and talking. It's welcoming, it's exciting, and it's comforting, all at once. 

And that energy is what this wine tastes like. Real love, baby. 

marissa a. ross californie ross test

Tasting Notes: Tart, poppy and saline cranberries and red currant, with hints of spiced vanilla and dusty sun-dried bougainvilleas, with a lemonade finish. I drank a whole case of this wine; suffice to say it tastes fucking great. 


On Bon Appétit: Shake Shack & Julie Andrews, and Jerry Seinfeld asks about "House Wine"

Dig it? Like it and comment so we can do more! These were a little rushed, and I'm trying to put together some nice scripted stuff, so all the support on the videos will help me create even more! 


Is it total bottom of the barrel swill from the 99¢ Store? Or actually totally awesome? FIND OUT IN MY LATEST PIECE OF HARD-HITTING INVESTIGATIVE WINE JOURNALISM. 😜

Posted on September 23, 2016 .

My First Video for Bon Appétit! 3 Summer Wines For Your Next Picnic

Okay, okay, I KNOW IT'S SEPTEMBER! But we shot this in June, and then it got caught up in the storm that is the Hot Ten (which is way, wayyy more important than videos of me chugging wine) so I'm just happy it's up now! If you like it, please "Like It" and comment so I can do more videos! After the book is finished, I'm going to take a big tour of California and really want to bring BA along with me. Support of this video (and upcoming ones) helps ensure we get to do even more fun stuff in the future!  

Behind the scenes scoop: this was super hard to film. Maybe the hardest time I've ever had doing a video. It was so, so hot in that Chinatown NYC apartment we were shooting in, and it was too noisy for sound to have the AC or any windows open. Subsequently the wines and the food were as hot as I was. While one YouTube commenter mentioned how shitty it was I described a wine as "so good", I'm honestly happy I said anything at all that was coherent and not just me complaining aha. 

Big thanks to the wonderful and talented BA production team that made it happen! Despite the heat, shooting in New York for BA this past June was such a dream come true and I hope we get to do more! 

Thank you to T. Edwards, Selection Massale and Amy Atwood Selections for donating wine for this video! 

In other news, my manuscript is due IN ONE WEEK!
Be prepared for a wine review in celebration! 

Posted on September 6, 2016 .


Marissa A Ross wine not



Join me & my partner in wine, Evan, for the best god damn holiday weekend of your god damn life. Well, at least when it comes to wine, because our lineup for this weekend's Wine Not is some of the most super rare B-Sides of California winemakers today. Seriously, you can't even buy most of this shit in stores. Do not miss out on this tasting. 

Los Pilares
Major Wine
Union Sacré

Not to mention we've partnered with Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream for frosty snacks like sweet cream with Pinot Noir macerated strawberries & toasted pistachios and we've got our best buds Hit City USA bringing the jams ALL DAY, AND ALLLLLL NIGHT BABYYY.

Really hope you can make it out! This is going to be one for the books. 
Follow along for all the fun & updates on future events on Wine Not's new Instagram

PS. Shoutout to our new sponsor, Tossware!

If you've heard me talking about glassware, I usually say I prefer glass. Tossware is the closest you can get to drinking out of glass while still abiding by the almighty Pool Rules. Their revolutionary plasticware is crystal clear (color is the first step in wine tasting after-all), has thin rims that feel like your best glasses and doesn't smell like a hot bag of Solo Cups you found in the car. And most importantly, they are recyclable and BPA-free. And stackable, perfect for when you're delivering drinks to your friends across the pool but haven't served tables in ten years.

For the record, I use Tossware in my regular life for events that they don't sponsor, like four-day parties in Tahoe for fifty people and my day of wedding dress shopping (eee!). Because even though glass is great for dinner or in my case, drinking alone in the corner of the couch, it's not so great for anything outdoors or shoving into bags to hop in the Uber. And they're totally reusable to wash and keep for backyard BBQs you're tired of losing your stemware to. 

Posted on August 29, 2016 .

So Much To Say About Bon Appétit

From the September issue, at check-outs next to the Jenners now. Photo by Sunny Shokrae

From the September issue, at check-outs next to the Jenners now. Photo by Sunny Shokrae

The last two months have been HUGE for me at Bon Appétit. August's print issue featured my four page piece on California wines, a piece that was insanely close to my heart and also the first time BA has given wine a four page feature to wine! Hopefully you got to check it out. If not, well, here's a podcast from last week with us discussing it. 

We don't do much prep before these podcasts, and I thought this was just going to be a quick ten minute thing we tagged onto the back of another podcast. To have BA not only dedicate four pages to California wine, and then dedicate a whole podcast to me (anxiously) talking about them, was such a dream. It took everything out of me not burst into tears or confetti or both when Adam asked if he could read the intro to the piece. I respect and admire Adam so much, for fistfuls of reasons, and to be able to write this and have him enjoy it, meant so much. 

AND THEN! I got a full fucking page in the September Issue! I couldn't be more proud of my men's cut-off Levi's shorts I made for myself seven years ago and worn everyday since to be considered a fashion statement. Juuust kidding. Although I can't believe little old me got a full page in the stunning Restaurant issue. The piece is a really fun one about just drinking and not worrying, and I feel is my big, official introduction to the Bon Appétit audience. Hope you check it out. 

And, on the web, as always:

4 Outdated Wine Rules You Never Have To Follow Again

7 Common Mistakes When Ordering Wine

5 Questions to Ask When You’re Buying Wine (And Know Nothing About Wine)

Chardonnay, the Most Misunderstood White Wine

Meet the Winemakers Behind California’s (Finally!) Cool Wines

Posted on August 29, 2016 .

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