One of those moments…

Do you ever have those moments in life where you think to yourself… “Holy crap- how did I get here?”  or “When did I become so grown up, so responsible?”  or maybe “When did hangovers hurt so bad?”  This past couple weeks have been moments like these… I feel grown up- not broken and need someone to hold my hand- but decision making, tax paying, accomplished in life grown up.

I’m not gonna lie to you- I am kinda enjoying it…

So what was it?  Well, try not laugh, but it was the little things… my new website, a random Saturday night dinner with no recipe, and a tough workout.  It’s Sunday night and I am thinking to myself… “damn, it feels good to be grown up!”

photo 3This is really an accomplishment… if you know me and you know how RIDICULOUSLY bad I am at anything internet, social media, etc.  You know just how big a deal this is!  I managed (with the amazing platform Squarespace) to actually redesign From Vine to Wine’s website.  I have never wanted my own business and quite frankly never thought I had the personality to do it, but after this accomplishment- I am feeling good!  I can take on anything!  So I did!  I have a NEW booking platform as well that I was able to incorporate into my website with the MARVELOUS help of my new friends at Checkfront!  There are still some tweaks to be made here and there, but I am really proud of myself.

photo 2 Then came this dinner… I mean, it’s just a dinner, but I really enjoy finding recipes and making complex dinners and am completely unable to just ‘throw something together’.  My husband is great at looking in the cupboards and making great things from nothing- me not so much.  But lazy Saturday night came and all I wanted was a nice hot meal is this freezing Lyon weather and a bottle of wine to warm me up.  So, I attempted to throw together pork tenderloin in a herbs de provence, onion, garlic, carrot thing with chunky mashed potatoes and (what we like to call) an American salad.  And it was really tasty!

Paired it with a GREAT AOP Minervois Otonis from Les Celliers d’Onairac.  A small wine with a big heart comprised of Syrah, Grenache Noir and Mourvedre.  It is balanced in tannin and fruit, creating a warm mix for a variety of flavors.  photo 1And… because I do have a tendency to eat and drink a bit… I have once again started Fitness Blender and MAN is it KICKING my BUTT!  My apologies for the photo… but I tell you it was just a good workout!  I couldn’t walk correctly for the entire week I was so SORE!

There are certain things in life that make up feel good.  For me, and I assume most people, when my life is together and well rounded I am doing well.  That means that work is moving forward and I am feeling accomplished in my tasks, my husband is well fed and I can sit down at the table with him to share a meal and good wine, and when my body is NOT expanding ;).  This week was a good week for all those things and I feel grown up.

Sometimes it is just good to dwell on the positive things.



Otonis 2011 Minervois


Otonis 2011 Minervois

Well, in keeping with the breaking down of food and wine pairing- last night I tried a wine I really enjoy with a meal I really enjoy, but would never pair together.

The result = disaster.

The Otonis is from the Minervois region in Languedoc.  It is made of 75% syrah, 15% grenache noir, and 5% mourvedre- now I know that doesn’t add up to 100%, but that is what the website says.  It is also grown by my father-in-law, don’t worry, I left him a message letting him know.  Thankfully for my marriage, I really love this wine!  The vines are the ones you see throughout my blog.  My father-in-law and grandfather-in-law work the vines everyday!  It is really amazing to go and see everything they do… for those of you trying to figure out what ‘terroir’ means, I suggest you walk through the vines with someone who actually works them.  It will give you an indication of just why terroir is so important here.

Anyway, this wine is rather smooth for being a syrah from the south.  It reminds a little bit of the American style wines- oak.  The wines are aged for 12 months in French oak barrels, some new, some neutral- but I think the reason the structure is so smooth and rounded has largely to do with the oak.  Often times oak can overpower delicate grapes giving it a taste of oak rather than wine- chardonnay for example will often times taste like oak and nothing like chardonnay.  However, when you have an already strong grape, putting it in oak has a tendency to mellow it out.  I mean, soften it a bit and relax the tannin explosion.   We could talk about oak in wines for hours… so I will just stop here and we will bring back the topic later.

So- the pairing…  I tried this wonderful Otonis with a not so spicy, yet equally wonderful, chicken pad thai.

What a bummer.

I am conflicted with this desire to ‘de-pair’ food and wine.  I really do believe there is a place for the two together.  Now- I agree that forcing someone to drink wine they don’t like is stupid and if someone wants white zinfandel with steak, God bless them.  But, I think there is something to food and wine pairing.  I believe a good wine with the right food can enhance the experience.

But I am open to new ideas and I will keep experimenting…