Posts tagged #red blend

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! 

Vini Rabasco Vino Rosso "Cancelli"


Rabasco Vino Rosso "Cancelli"
Varietal: Montepulciano

Region: Abruzzo, Italy
Year: 2014

Price: $29.99
Retailer: DomaineLA

I can't think of anything in the world I want more than to go back to Italy. I think about it every day. If I could pick up my life as I have it now and move it anywhere, I'd take it to Rome in a heartbeat. To stroll through Trastevere hand in hand, jasmine wafting on the wind, humming Nino Rota, stopping for a quick Spritz before dinner at Osteria Barberini. Walking through Villa Borhese at dusk, and cocktails at Harry's. Ugh. I just threw my head back in agony just thinking about it. 

I've never lived anywhere but Southern California. IE, OC, LA. All over, and yet, nowhere. And life has been good. I can't complain, but sometimes I wonder if my California anchor is what makes me who I am, or if it is holding me back. Some days, I would really like to just move away and start over. I'd love to be someone no one knows, in a place I truly need to explore. I've never had either of those things. I know it's not too late, but as things stand now, it would be a really stupid decision. 

But, this longing to leave and be an adventurer for once aches in my bones.  

Maybe one day. After I have a bit of money and before I have children. Maybe then.

Until then, I will listen to Nino Rota in men's underwear with a fan on my face in Silverlake and Vini Rabasco "Cancelli" in my glass, sighing along with each orchestrated crescendo. 

This wine reminds me so much of Italy. Its vibrance pulsating through me like a crazed taxi navigating traffic around the Seven Hills of Rome and its unmarked roundabouts, while maintaining such a calm and casual elegance. Have you noticed that about Italians? They're relatively unexcitable and very sophisticated. A cantankerous tank of a woman running the register at a market in Italy talking shit about me she doesn't realize I understand still has more poise than I do on my best night in Los Angeles.

That's not to say they aren't passionate though. Lord knows Italians have unbridled passion for basically everything, myself included. And that's what makes them even better. How can they be so restrained and so god damned wild all at once?

I'm not entirely sure. But what I do know is that this red blend of Vini Rabasco's embodies all that. The "Cancelli" is a rampant Fellini character: archetypal yet complex, simple yet so god damn sensual. It's Sylvia in the Trevi fountain, asking Marcello to come to her. She is in a beautiful gown, in a god damn fountain. THE TREVI FUCKING FOUNTAIN. IT IS SO CLASSIC AND ANCIENT AND REVERED AND THEN, HERE IS SOME BUXOM BLONDE CELEBRITY JUST JUMPING IN. JESUS CHRIST IS IT JUXTAPOSED BEAUTY AT ITS FINEST. ELGANT AND SO DAMN WILD.

I want to live in Fellini's Rome, but living in LA with this Rabasco will suit me just fine until then. 

Tasting Notes: In the glass, bright ruby. On the nose, blackberries, cherries, wet Raven's Revenge sour candy from the 90's. On the palate, it is so lively cranberry and tart black fruits and a beautiful mineral linchpin. I could just die. So smooth yet mysteriously gripping. The finish is sybaritic, tipping on downright sexual. Nope, JK, I would straight up fuck this wine.  

Ross Test: Better in a glass but still good. HEY, EVERYTHING IN ITALY IS GOOD. 

(Oops) Cabernet Franc Carmenere

(Oops) Cabernet Franc & Carmenere
Price: $12
Year: 2010
Region: Colchagua Valley, Chile
Retailer: Sip! Wines "Blends Have More Fun" Trio

This was the first week of settling back into my long-lost freelance lifestyle. I'm still addled by the anxiety of assistant life because it's weird taking care of someone for four years and then suddenly not. But, I'm also readjusting quite well. I styled a shoot, wrote twenty pages and booked my next trip to NYC. I even did a bunch of paperwork! For myself! It was great!

It was cloudy today, and rained for a minute, so obviously I couldn't leave the house. I mean, I couldn't leave the house anyway because my car battery died on Tuesday and I just decided I didn't need to go anywhere until the weekend, but also, IT WAS CLOUDY TODAY. As a native Southern Californian, it is imperative to relish cloudy days. They have always been far and few between. Californians treat rainy days like people on the East Coast treat those shoulder season days they're always bragging about: we drop everything and indulge in them. Except you guys like, wear a comfortable outfit and go for a picnic and I'm eating Weetos, reading Travel & Leisure, @replying on Twitter and wearing this:


Anyway, I have now ate a lot of Weetos and am in very comfortable lounge gear and my boyfriend isn't fighting me for the chaise end of the couch and I've got new Bose headphones that go around my ears instead of crushing my ears AND I HAVE THIS DELICIOUS RED WINE. WHICH THANK GOD. I HAVE LIKE 900 WHITE/ROSES RIGHT NOW AND IT'S CHILLY AS FUCK. GOTTA GET COZY WITH A RED.

The (Oops) Cabernet Franc & Carmenere is perfect for May Gray (which is the precursor to June Gloom, which to those of you not from California, is the marine layer that literally chills over us for most of May and June). It's wet and lasting, but in a refreshing and light way. It reminds me of concrete after a quick but eager spring shower that is damp for hours after, creating aromatic clouds of minerality wherever you walk.

It's light and bright and really good slightly chilled. I mean, I never put it in the fridge, but my house was at like 60° all day, so "Room Temperature" is now "Slightly Chilled".

It's cool because you don't see Carmenere all that often, if ever. This native Bordeaux grape was planted in Chile a century ago, and everyone was like, "Cool, we got these cool Merlot grapes growing, very cool."  And if you looked at the Carmenere and Merlot grapes side by side, you would be like, "Cool, grapes!" because let's be real, neither of us can tell the difference between a Carmenere, Merlot or Welch grapes. In 1994, some scientists that could tell the difference between grapes got involved and were like, "Aaacccctttuuualllyyy, these Merlot grapes are aaccttuaaally Carmenere." Then everyone freaked out! Because, uh! Extremely rare Bordeaux varietals in Chile?! SO TIGHT!!!

And Cab Francs are just bomb as hell...

 I can't really go into them specifically right now and for that, I am sorry. I'm just extremely Weeto'd, like yelling nonsense over my noise-canceling headphones at Ben while he plays Grand Theft Auto kind of Weeto'd. I'm just really enjoying the fuck out of this Chilean wine that tastes like it's from France. Legit, in a blind tasting, it would be hard for me not to say it was from France. Really the only thing holding me back is there is a real coffee-dirt taste I haven't experienced in French wines. Not to say that that isn't that flavor profile in French wines because lord knows it probably is.


Phew, man, all I know is Wine & Weetos is the best pairing of all time. I am so warm and fuzzy, and NOT from my dope sweat selections from Wildfox and Mollusk. Warm and fuzzy on the inside, like unconditional love on Christmas Eve kind of warm and fuzzy. 


Alright I have to get off the Internet before it's too late.


Tasting Notes: Smells like freshly poured gravel and applesauce with a touch of cinnamon. Meaty, slightly salty plum with a light but unwavering pepper finish. Drink 3/4s of it while listening to Father John Misty's latest album and you will want to have so much sex. 

Ross Test: Delightfully Do-Able

Louis-Antoine Luyt 'Pipeno Santa Juana'


Louis-Antoine Luyt 'Pipeno Santa Juana'
Price: $16.99
Year: 2014
Region: Chile
Retailer: DomaineLA

I'm not one for Daylight Savings. In fact, I fucking hate it. Sure, you get an extra hour of sleep THAT ONE DAY, but then for the next six months it gets dark before you're even home from work. Yes, I know it's "for the farmers"... in like the 1800's. It's outdated bullshit and the only thing I think Arizona and me agree on.

I find I drink more when it gets dark so early, probably because it feels a lot later. It looks like it's 8:00, which is an acceptable time to be on your second bottle. But it's actually 6:02, which is not quite as acceptable.

This is when liter bottles come in especially handy, especially delicious ones like this Pipeno Santa Juana.

I've been on a HUGE Gamay kick of late. It's basically all I've been drinking. This is not a Gamay, but you wouldn't know it. It has all the qualities I love about Gamays-- bright and light bodied, fruity but with a lovely punch of bitter-- but it's not a Gamay. It's Pais, a common grape in South America that is basically just like Gamay. Apparently.

This Pipeno is pretty perfect for the California climate right now because it can be served at room temperature or you can chill it. So you can drink it when it's in the 70's, and you can put it in the fridge and drink it when it's in the 80's. So you can drink it when it's sunny, or you can drink it when IT'S DARK AT 5:10PM. :<

If we're being honest, this Pipeno is just keeping from totally jumping off a bridge because not only is it fucking dark, but they are filming something next door with seemingly just a dog named Brody and my dogs are going bananas and the animal trainer keeps yelling at Brody and now my other neighbor dogs are going bananas AND EVERYONE IS GOING FUCKING BANANAS. EVERYONE JUST DRINK SOME PIPENO AND CALM DOWN. PLEASE FOR GOD'S SAKE, PLEASE EVERYONE CALM DOWN. AND PLEASE SOMEONE DO MY LAUNDRY, WHILE I'M JUST OUT HERE BEGGING FOR SHIT THAT ISN'T GOING TO HAPPEN.

Bless you Pipeno. You are so delicious and beautiful, you are a beacon of light in an otherwise totally dark house because I forgot to turn the lights on BECAUSE IT'S 5:11PM AND I HATE THIS. :<

But hey, at least I have half a bottle left. #liters

Tasting Notes: Crisp bouquet of berries, wet dirt and a touch of apple. Bright, tart, light bodied with a very nice finish and plush tannins. Definitely going to finish this liter and refuse to apologize for it.

Ross Test: Pretty good, although quite a bit thicker than it is drinking from a glass. 

Wine Time: Earl Stevens Function Red Blend with Steak Tooth

Earl Stevens Function Red Blend
Price: $14.99
Year: 2012
Region: Northern California
Retailer: Grocery stores (check this store locator)

Rachael Steak Tooth Finley Anderson is one of my favorite people in the world to drink wine with off camera, so it was obviously very fun to drink wine with her on camera. 

Check out more episodes of Wine Time here!

Cinematography by Antoin Huynh 
Music by Monster Rally 
Edited by Claire Gavin