Posts tagged #new zealand

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Sauvignon Blanc


Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Sauvignon Blanc
Price: $13.99
Region: Marlborough, New Zealand
Retailer: Club W

I never intended on drinking this wine, mostly because I never intended on having it in my home because I never intended to be a part of Club W. My friend Gennefer Gross, a fun-and-food-loving wino such as myself, gave me a coupon for three free bottles of wine from Club W. I got them, I drank them, I did not review them because they did not spark inspiration in my heart, and was like "Okay, that's Club W." 

But apparently I was drunk and totally missed the part where I redeemed my three free bottles but also signed up for a regular subscription.

So, here we are. With Club W's Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.

My initial thought is that I hate it. It reminds me of the huge subdivision of wine culture that panders to new mothers and people who adopted "adorkable", with its cute name and its cute lettering. It's so "Teeheehee! I'm drinking wine!" which is the exact opposite attitude from my own.  

But I do not hate the wine, which is most important. 

Despite its Pottery Barn Kids' packaging, this is a decent Sauvignon Blanc that delivers. I am not overcome with revelations about it, which is fine. Not every wine has to turn my palate on its head. It tastes a lot like lemons. And it is quite easy to drink. So I can't be that mad at its name because it is extremely accurate, although I am kind of mad because the name is still too damn long and now I am drinking a wine that looks like I bought it off Etsy from an adorable twenty-something girl that focuses on font work. IT'S TOO CUTE.

The more I drink the more adorable it becomes, and the more accepting I become. It's a whimsical little lemonade stand that I am setting up on my porch for the only customer in the neighborhood that matters: ME.

Watch out. I may be stenciling shit by the end of the evening.

Tasting Notes: It tastes like a good Marlborough Sauv Blanc. Better than what you'll get at your chain grocery store, but not a unique take on the varietal. Light and tart, lemony and peppery, with nectarine and melon. I really wish I had a grilled chicken salad right now. 

Ross Test: Too cat pissy.

Villa Maria Private Bin Pinot Noir


Villa Maira Private Bin Pinot Noir
Price: $19.99
Region: Marlborough, New Zealand
Year: 2013
Retailer: Villa Maria online

Ever have one of those days that is so long and exhausting that you just have to get home and kiss the one you love? 

Yes, I had one of those days.

Last week, I put in my notice at my day job [please do not email me about this, I will not respond]. That in itself was a huge, kind of heartbreaking thing because I've been at my job for nearly four years, but also extremely exciting because I'm going to be pursuing writing and wine full time, but also extremely scary because uh hello, $$$. Today, I spent nearly eight hours interviewing people. Even though everyone was lovely, it was exhausting. Who knew drinking coffee and talking to lovely people for eight hours could drain you like... hm, my first instinct was to make an allusion to blow jobs but this is not that kind of drain, because that is ideal. This is the kind of drain that makes you want to fall asleep in a bath tub, never to be seen again.

The point is, I'm tired and emotional and have all sorts of feelings and BLAH.


I was fortunate enough to have been recently sent some bottles of Villa Maria. Villa Maria is located in New Zealand, and I like them because they are organic and sustainable, or as their rep said "sheep-friendly and shit". I honestly couldn't have said it better myself so I won't try.

New Zealand is tight because they do have this whole Sustainable Wine Growing initiative (SWNZ) that is great. As a country, they work to maintain best practices for the environment and to have 100% of their wine growers work under those practices. They regularly audit to ensure that each winery is up to par on soil, irrigation, pest management and biodiversity.

Villa Maria has been a part of SWNZ since its establishment in 1995. They also have BioGrow certification in their winery and bottling facilities so they can trace their grapes to the bottle, ensuring they are each organic. 

Point is, that is tight and I dig it.

And thank god it also tastes good.

This wine is perfect for right now, a bright gray early evening of spring rain. 


This Pinot is airy and crisp with a slightly warm touch, much like this rain feels. Refreshing but with a sting. It feels like an Andrew Bird song from my past: extremely drinkable but not without a tinge of emotion.

Or maybe I just should skip past the Andrew Bird songs that come on shuffle because who the fuck has time for that.

Do not have time to project my personal shit onto a Pinot.

[Puts this song on and gets back to fucking business]


As I was saying, this Pinot is extremely drinkable. It's not complex, but I really do not need anything complex right now. I just need something juicy and enjoyable that has light notes hitting all over my tongue. I don't want to think about it, I want to drink about it. I want to be transported to somewhere else, for a moment or an hour.

It's like kissing without thinking. Sometimes you just need to make-out without anticipating what happens next or overanalyzing what's happening right now. Just fucking kiss me. And make it good. So we can leave all this, for just a moment or an hour. Or three. Or forever.

I have a couple bottles of Villa Maria, soooo.
Gonna have some siiiiiiiick make-out seshes OBVIII.

Ugh, Kevin Morby just came on, I gotta get outta here before I go from sexy to sentimental like Drake 0 to 100 real quick.

Tasting Notes: Bright cherries on the nose and palate with a big, yet balanced, splash of acidity. I love how light it is and that it's kind of salty. It really does taste like spring rain. I am definitely drinking the whole bottle without a second thought. And I love that I don't have to have a second thought. It's just like, "YES THIS IS A GOOD IDEA." I don't need to be contemplating the universe of a wine every fucking night. Sometimes I just like having some good, environmentally friendly, fun.

Ross Test: Very do-able, but it gets a little chalky and too acidic. Prefer it in a glass, but let's not pretend I haven't chugged half of this bottle and wasn't cool with it because I was VERY COOL WITH IT. 

Picton Bay Sauvignon Blanc


Picton Bay Sauvignon Blanc
Price: $7.99
Region: Marlborough, New Zealand
Retailer: Trader Joe's

Well, I ended up turning on the AC and returning to my beloved Sauvignon Blancs.

Marlborough Sauv Blancs are all the rage these days. I feel like everyone is talking about them, or I have just met a lot of Aussies over the past couple years. Who knows. Either way, I knew I had to start getting into Marlborough SBs because uh, SAUVIGNON BLANC YA'ALL.

This isn't my first Marlborough rodeo. And yes, they are very good. But this is definitely one of the better ones I've had, especially considering the price point. 

I've been disappointed recently in California SBs, which makes it kind of hilarious that this bottle of Picton Bay from across the globe reminds me so much of California. It's all sunshine and The Beach Boys. It's just so fresh and fun, and a little sexy. 

This wine tastes like San Clemente, 2006. I'm nineteen and my only friends are ten surfers. We worked retail by whenever, and hit the beach by whenever. We all basically lived on the floor at my best friend's apartment down the street from Trestles. And that was it. Having enough money to buy booze and tacos and go to the beach. They'd surf, and I'd write HST inspired journal entries about my crushes on the sand. I wasn't old enough to drink, but the old man who owned the liquor store across the street let me buy anyway because he knew I always slept on the couch. 

When I had to move back home to Upland unexpectedly, one of my favorite memories, was that my surfer homies had the old man from the liquor store leave me the funniest voice mail about how everyone missed me. I was so miserable back home, and that really silly notion meant so much to me. I never wanted to let go of that time. Even when I was living it, I knew it that time was finite and I would miss it forever.

I wanted to always be sitting on the beach listening to The Beach Boys on my Sidekick 2 and drinking a 40 of Miller High Life with my whole life ahead of me. 

This doesn't taste like shitty beer and young unrequited love, but it does taste like lime and salt and hints of bell peppers and bougainvilleas clinging to the cliffs of Laguna Beach. It tastes like body surfing at Table Rock on the Fourth of July. It tastes like how your skin feels after being at the beach all day. It tastes like the best day of summer. It tastes like you have forever, and forever is all sunshine glistening on crashing waves, and endless possibilities.

I went into Trader Joe's today feeling broke. And I have come out tonight feeling like a million bucks for my eight and some change (after tax).


Tasting Notes: Light ocean breeze bouquet. Seriously, my only thought really is, where are the seagulls tho? They should come stock. Anyway, medium bodied but dry with enough crisp for me to love it (cause if it wasn't crisp, I wouldn't be here). This is going to sound insane, but if I could lick the cliffs of Table Rock beach, one of my favorite places on Earth, I seriously think this wine is what they would taste like. Briney, clean, straight forward, memorable, delicious. 

Ross Test: Not to quote Rihanna, but I mean, it's totally, CAKE CAKE CAKE CAKE CAKE CAKE CAKE