Posts tagged #cabernet sauvignon

Weekend Plans: A Fall Picnic

Will Leather Goods' Utility Tote, Olive & Poppy's California Appellation Peshmetal, Latest Dreamy Periodical

Will Leather Goods' Utility Tote, Olive & Poppy's California Appellation Peshmetal, Latest Dreamy Periodical

Ah, Fall. The season of Neil Young, light cardigans, and waking cab-sauvs from their slumber. Things seem to have finally slowed, everyone coming down from the intense stimulant of summer. It feels like a big sigh. And, get this, you can go outside! And enjoy it! Because it no longer feels like you're a Lean Cuisine with the plastic wrap left on while cooking twenty minutes too long in a microwave of death. 

To celebrate the change of seasons and perhaps experience a breeze for the first time in months, I spread out my new Olive & Poppy peshtemal with a few of picks from California and a fall inspired cheese spread that I picked up at my local spot, The Cheese Store of Silver Lake

Corison Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005, $125

Corison Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005, $125

The centerpiece of any fall wine picnic should be a favorite cabernet sauvignon. I say this because Cabernet has been totally ignored since March and when you bring it back into the mix, it shines. Classic but always mysterious, much like a full moon. Corison makes some of my favorites. Warm, smooth and infinitely interesting with deep berries, lavender and what could only be described as "notes of Robin Pecknold's voice". Calm and orchestral, it's easy to get lost in a cabernet like this. But that's what you want in a cab. You want to feel like you've wandered into a forest with your favorite wooly cardigan and your lover.

Genuine Risk Red Blend (76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Petit Verdot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 4% Merlot), 2013, $22.99

Genuine Risk Red Blend (76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Petit Verdot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 4% Merlot), 2013, $22.99

A good blend goes a long way, and will complement your cabernet pick without competing with its boldness. The Genuine Risk Red Blend is an awesome choice. It could be mistaken for a ridiculously expensive Bordeaux; so smooth with just the right amount of new oak. It tastes like you're drinking luxurious pillow cases, which I realize sounds silly now that I'm writing it down, but seriously. Pillow cases. So soft and comforting and opulent. 

Oceanside Ale Works "Daliesque" Lambic, 2012, $15.99

Oceanside Ale Works "Daliesque" Lambic, 2012, $15.99

Mix it up with a lambic. I love lambics! Not a wine, but they're delicious. They work wonderfully as palate cleansers and awaken your tastebuds after you've drowned them in heavy reds and cuts right through the richness of the cheese. Try the Oceanside Ale Works "Daliesque" lambic. Warning: it is a very sour beer. Just like I like them! It's almost like lightly carbonated pickle juice with peach and a little caramel. 

From Left to Right: Heublumen (Switzerland), Tomme de Savoie (France), Oorsprong (Holland)

From Left to Right: Heublumen (Switzerland), Tomme de Savoie (France), Oorsprong (Holland)

For as much as I know about wine, I don't know much about cheese, aside from the fact that I love cheddar. A LOT. But much like buying wine, that is why I buy cheese from people who know what they're doing so I can just be like, "Hey I love cheddar but am buying these wines, tell me what to do." And like magic, Maggie from The Cheese Shop of Silver Lake was like, "Try these!" and then I died and went to heaven. These raw cow choices worked so well with the wines I could just cry because I want to eat them all over again.


What wines are you excited to have back now that it's fall? Tell me in the comments so I can go buy them! 

Fly Wine's "The Amplifier"


DISCLAIMER: I do not encourage self-medicating to deal with anxiety related issues, unless I am the one medicating myself and I'm allowed to do that because I'm a grown-ass woman who has to go on planes sometimes and I get to make all sorts of bad decisions for myself all the time.

I discovered Fly Wine while I was in Napa a couple weeks ago at the Oakville Market eating fried chicken sandwiches. At the check-out counter I saw these and thought, "Well. I am going to New York next week. And I do have a tendency of spending an unreasonable amount of money on wine in planes because it's the only way I can deal with being in a plane. So."

The price tag was $10, which is pretty on par for your piece of shit plane wine. But this was a plane wine with a 90 point rating, which is something I do not usually give a fuck about but of course I'm going to say that a 90 point rating is way better than a "piece of shit plane wine" rating. 

I bought three of "The Amplifier" Cabernet Sauvignon, which seemed reasonable, but then the cashier told me I could take up to five on a plane and then I was pissed I didn't buy more, but didn't want to then buy more because I didn't want to seem unreasonable. 

To my boyfriend, not the cashier. I couldn't have cared less about what the cashier thought about me but my boyfriend already thinks I'm fairly unreasonable and incredibly reckless when it comes to airport/plane drinking so, you know, three was just fine.

I get to the airport early and get through security too quickly, despite security scrutinizing my Fly Wine. They were not entirely convinced that 100mL is the same at the 3.3oz and went through my entire luggage, and definitely looked at my vibrator I bought myself for my birthday, but had the decency not to say shit, which I appreciated. 

I then sat at the bar for too long, and drank two extremely shitty expensive 9oz Malbecs while making conversation with all walks of life around me eating clam chowder, because that is the only thing you can buy and not go morally bankrupt at Gladstone's in LAX before getting on my plane, opening my Fly Wine, taking two Melatonin and one half of Valium. 

I mean, it was a Red-Eye, I had to take it seriously.

Especially considering I had forgotten my headphones and my Chicago Bulls neck pillow.

You might be thinking, "Hey, maybe after you drink a bunch and take a bunch of pills to help you sleep/not freak the fuck out, yeah maybe that isn't the best time to be reviewing wine."


Here were my thoughts:

"This wine smells mad jammy, and I hate the word 'jammy', but it's super jammy in a super good way. It's all raspberry and plum, with a hit of diner sugar packets when you tilt the glass. You know, like when you're a kid and you're an idiot so you sneak sugar packets? And eat them? Because your parents make you only drink milk? Ok that's what it smells like. Sugar packets. In a good way. 

It tastes like a very smooth Napa Cab. Which I'm very cool with. Still got that berry jammy, got that French oaky, got that vanilla. It's just smooth, man. Super smooth. Like Leon Bridges smooth. 

You can definitely Ross Test this. I Ross Tested half the bottle and it was great. This is the best plane wine I've ever had, and I'm very happy to have had it and only spent $10 on this bottle and loved it, rather than $9 and wanted to kill myself."

I then PTFO. And it was the worst sleep of my life because I didn't have my Bulls neck pillow but it's chill.

Two days later, I was back getting hassled by TSA and then getting drunk in a bar to negate my fears and then getting on a plane home with two bottles of Fly Wine. I was in one of those extra leg room exit rows that doesn't have a seat in front of you. I was seated next to a chatty older gentleman, who at first I was like, "Oh, no. Chatty, too nice me, next to a chatty, too nice older gentleman, this is trouble."

Which it was. He insisted on buying me a cocktail, so I insisted we drink Fly Wine. 

As it turned out, we both loved the Fly Wine even more than the cocktails, but I was then out of Fly Wine, so he kept buying cocktails and we spent the entire five hour flight talking about drag queen piano bars, $30 a night penthouses in Cuba, ex wives, rowdy harbor cruises, and whether or not anyone gives a shit about the wine point rating system, despite acknowledging we loved having the 90 point Fly Wine. 

Basically we're best friends now, me and Tony from 6E. 
His daughter in 6F was like, "Pffft. Typical." and rolled her eyes nine times.
But whatever. I now know a dude with hookups in Cuba that also knows a lot of HST quotes and loves tiny bougie travel wines and I got to have a lot of fun conversation instead of chomping black market Xani-bars, so pretty sure I took back the flight.

The point is, FLY WINE. GET IT. HAVE IT. TAKE IT WITH YOU. It's the best because it tastes delicious while you're working off a 40,000 feet anxiety attack AND you can make friends with it. It's the best conversation starter, and it's 10000x better than anything you're going to buy on the plane.  

TSA will give you shit because it "doesn't look like 3oz" but I promise you, it is 3oz. And they will let you go and you will feel like you totally came up in the world BECAUSE YOU DID. 

Posted on April 1, 2015 .

Favorite Wines of 2014

marissa ross 2014

2014 was a good year for wines. 

I have no idea if 2014 was actually good for wines on the whole, but I am 11100% sure it was a really good year for wines and me, so yes, 2014 was a good year. A fucking fantastic year, in fact.  This was the first year I decided to take my relationship with wine more seriously, and it yielded quite the memorable vintage. I drank so many delicious wines, visited so many beautiful wineries, met so many incredible people. I learned so much and will always remember 2014 very fondly.

I will never make a list of "Best" wines. Just the thought is preposterous. But I will tell you about my favorite wines of the year.

2014 was the year of Beaujolais-Gamay for me. I had one bottle of weird-ass French shit and it was game over. I couldn't stop drinking it. I don't think I've gone through such a heavy wine phase since I first started drinking wine and refused to have anything but Cabs because I was twenty-two and an idiot. 

Still kind of an idiot, but now I'm twenty-five. [wiiiiiink]

#10 MUNICIPAL Bright White Dry Riesling 

($24) A couple months ago, I was belly to the bar at Silverlake Wine at a Monday Tasting, as I tend to do. I generally go alone, as to focus on wine. On this particular night, the gentleman next to me and I started shooting the shit. Turned out he was an importer and he set me up to visit Municipal Wines the following weekend. I had never had any of Municipal's wines, and after my visit, I was in love. One of my favorite things about their Riesling-- besides it being a confident dry white with an energized palate of grapefruit and awesome minerality-- is that it can be served at room temperature and it's still insanely refreshing. Municipal's Bright White Dry Riesling is one of the best Rieslings I've ever had, and it makes sense that when I revisited just yesterday, they were completely sold out of this shit. If you can buy it, DO IT. YOU WON'T REGRET IT.

#9  Čotar Teran

($27.99) I served this Slovenian gem at my Halloween tasting at my house. I was surprised to find that it was a crowd favorite, considering I chose this wine to represent blood in the tasting. But that's the crazy thing about trying new wines, you might actually like something even if you swear you only drink Pinot Noir. Anyway, this wine is pretty weird but really good. It's really intense, from bouquet to mouth. Warm, dry, with lots of cherry and high tannins. And, in my personal opinion, a bit of blood.

#8 Cane & Fable Cabernet Sauvignon

($19.99) I was hesitant to buy this wine because I do not like bugs and the label has a huge fucking bug on it. But it kept getting recommended to me, so I finally gave in. And I'm so glad I did. It's a classic, bold Paso Cabernet, but it's so smooth and drinkable with big notes of plum, cedar and blueberry. Truly a great wine that everyone likes. Seriously everyone fucking loves it. This is a perfect go-to wine if you don't know what your host is into it. It's the new Malbec.

#7 Le Cantine Di Indie Vino Rosso Del Popolo


($13) I described this as "A Good 'N Plenty wrapped in cashmere and raspberries" and I still stand by that assessment. Also, I said it was "the best $13 you'll ever spend on wine" and I still stand by that assessment as well because I have yet to find a $13 wine that tastes this freaking good. I DON'T EVEN LIKE GOOD 'N PLENTY CANDY. THAT CANDY IS THE FUCKING WORST. I HATE BLACK LICORICE. And yet, here I am. Adoring an Italian red that has a good punch of anise. This is my favorite wine for comparing and contrasting wine store wines versus grocery store wines. There's a good chance you spend $13 on wine at the grocery store and I bet it tastes like a barrel of sugar was poured into it right before bottling. YOU DON'T HAVE TO DRINK THAT SHIT. MAKE AN EXTRA STOP AT YOUR WINE STORE AND SPEND THE SAME $13 ON SOMETHING AWESOME. 

#6 Le TelQuel


($17.50) Le TelQuel is a French Gamay with what looks like a dachshund on the label. Behind  the label though, is a delightfully bright natural wine that is an absolute must if you love either Gamays or natural wines. It smells like cranberry juice and tastes like a flat, sour cherry beer. It's phenomenal. Definitely on the wackier side of wine drinking, although this was another I served at a tasting and found it to be a favorite. 

#5 La Boutanche Gamay


($16.99) If based purely on the volume of wine purchased in 2014, the La Boutanche would be number one on this list. I don't think I've gone a week without replacing this and then immediately drinking it only to buy another bottle, and again, just drink the shit out of it. First of all, it's an awesome Gamay that is still light and sour, but much more approachable than some of the other Gamays on this list. This is a great introductory Gamay. It's highly drinkable, and it comes IN A LITER. SO MUCH BANG FOR YOUR BUCK. This is my go-to every time I entertain now because duh, extra delicious wine.

#4 Angiolino Maule Masieri


($19) I first had this wine while I was in Venice-- Italy, not the beach-- over the summer and fell in love with it. I was so happy to find it at DomaineLA. Another natural, bright wine with big lemon notes and some really wacky earthiness. Also shares that "sour beer" taste that the other natural wines on this list share. It's just really fun and different, and pairs really well with two of my favorite things-- pasta and seafood. 

#3 Broc Cellars Valdigué
#2 R-13


(Valdiguié, $23.99) There used to be over 6,000 acres of California devoted to Valdiguié, and now there's only about 300. This rare California varietal is now a personal favorite. It is a really interesting, lighter red with great layers of strawberries and raspberries, and finer floral notes like jasmine and even a hint of roses. This wine is complex but so juicy that it's a really easy drink that pairs well with basically anything you would put out at a dinner party. This is for sure my dinner party wine. It's impressive without being a dick, which is my favorite. 

(R-13, $20) This shit is the shit. I fucking love it. It is the weirdest wine, and it is what started me on this whole crazy Gamay trip I've been on it. It legit smells like manure on wet redwood, but tastes like, you guessed it, a sour beer. It is so tart and funky, I can't even really explain it. I will tell you, this is a very polarizing wine. People either love it or hate it, so be careful who you serve it to. It turns out some people are not interested in wines that smell like shit and then taste like heaven but whatever, more for us. 

#1 Scribe Cabernet Sauvignon 


($65) And then you have the daddy of all daddies, the king of my heart and master of my palate, the Scribe Cabernet Sauvignon. This bold beast is smooth but poppy, and reminds me of drinking in a warm summer night full of blackberry brambles sunk in subtle soil, with fireworks in the dark distance. It has everything you love about classic California Cabernets but with a soft brightness that sits in your soul for the rest of your life until you somehow can afford to just be drinking $65 bottle of wines whenever you damn well please, which unfortunately for me, is not today. Aficionados and amateurs alike cream their pants over this shit. It's just the best. That's it. Nearly everything Scribe touches is perfection. Along with this Cab, I have to say, they make the best Chardonnay I've ever had (it's unskinned and a fucking miracle in a bottle).  And they have the most beautiful winery, so if you're ever in Sonoma, do not miss it.

Paired: Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé & The Endless Summer Soundtrack

Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé
Price: $8.99

Today I am pairing the Mulderbosch Cab Sauv Rosé withThe Endless Summer soundtrack. It’s a no brainer, and here is why.

First, It is eighty-something degrees here in Los Angeles. It is straight up eighty-something in January, which decrees an endless summer if I’ve ever decreed (I haven’t). And Rosés were made for summery afternoons: cold, bright, and the color of a bed of flowers.

Secondly, Mulderbosch is a South African wine. Drinking it makes me feel like I’ve traveled across the world to sample a beautiful varietal that is familiar, yet completely new. Much like when surfers Mike Hynson and Robert August visited South Africa to surf. I mean, it’s not like they’d never surfed a fucking wave before, but they were surfing South African waves. CALIFORNIA NATIVES SURFING FOREIGN WAVES, DUDE. JUST LIKE YOUR GIRL, M.ROSS.

And I am loving this South African wave I am currently riding. Especially with The Sandals in the background. As a surf-rock aficionado, I can say this is one of my favorite albums, conjuring beautiful 16mm Bruce Brown beach fantasies in my brain. It’s pure afternoon drunk magic right now. I am on vacation, forever

Tasting Notes: When I first opened this bottle, I poured it and immediately dove in, which was a mistake. This is one of the few wines I’ve had that really do take time to open up, and taste completely different if you let them breath a bit. Once it’s had some time, you get a really nice, bright bouquet of cherries, strawberries and a little herb-ness. I really love the palate because although it is a fairly straightforward Rosé, it has incredible balance. It’s rich yet refreshing, with light berries and ample acidity. Very enjoyable, one of the best Rosés I’ve had in sometime.

Ross Test: Pass! I could see myself chugging this entire bottle without an issue in 110 degree weather next to a pool in Palm Springs in a couple months.