Drunk Chrissy is a Motherfucking Genius

It is last night, right now.

By that I mean, I am typing this and it is Monday night. November 30. Not today. Today is likely any day but that. Unless it is November 30 in another year, many days from now. When I am typing this. Drunk. You get what I’m saying.

Brian told me…well…reminded me how fucking much I love drunk writing. And I said to him, “Brian, I don’t have anything to say.”

But then I remembered I totally just ballered the fuck out of our wine rack. Because I’m a motherfucking genius. And you all need to see the brilliance that is drunk me.

Store sloped shoulder wine bottled backwards to keep them from falling off your wine rack. For magnums of wine, you may need to get creative.

So we’ve had this problem with sloping shoulder bottles in the $12 wine rack I bought at Savers (One day, I plan to spray paint it or something to make it look fancy, but until then it’s dusty, rusty wrought iron). The problem is that the sloping shoulder bottles slide down and out without warning. The last thing in the world I want is for one of our fancy pants bottles of two buck chuck or non-cheap wines (it’s hit or miss here – we serve both kinds) to fall to its shattering, wine-spilling, alcohol-abuse end on the basement floor. And so I placed the sloping shoulder wines on the wooden rack atop the metal rack and swore never to buy sloping bottles again (which is a dirty rotten lie because I love pinot noir and Kim Crawford sauvignon blanc – when it’s on sale or at Sam’s Club).

Wine Rack Hack for Magnum Bottles

Well, we went for our wine tasting at Cooper’s Hawk (restaurant, wine club, bar, joyous place of boozy goodness) and after all of my and some of Brian’s wine, I decided I needed to make room for last month’s magnums of Decadence (some fancy pants wine celebrating Cooper’s Hawk’s 10th anniversary that I didn’t pay extra for).

And so it was time to solve the problem of the fucking wine rack and sloping shoulder bottles. And I thought. And rearranged. And fucked around with the wine. Eventually, the Decadence ended up on the top of the wine rack, cradled in the wood rack.

Storing magnums of wine is easy when you're creative...or drunk.

Storing magnums of wine is easy when you’re creative…or drunk.

Wine Rack Hack for Sloping Shoulder Bottles

Now…what to do with those sloped shoulders…I couldn’t drink ’em because as good as five bottles of wine sounds on paper, it just wasn’t going to happen on a school night. I didn’t want them on the ground, lest we randomly flood or some shit like that. And so I thought.

And I thought some more.

And holy hell did I think enough to drop a couple more F-bombs on that fucking wine rack…

Until I put the bottle in backwards.

Wait, what? It works? Fuck yeah, bitches!

Store sloped shoulder wine bottled backwards

In case of emergency, store wine near a fire extinguisher. Or not…whatever.

All you have to do to keep those suckers from falling off the rack is put them in backwards…against a wall (or a sort of almost wall. Whatever).

And now I’m fucking sober. It was probably the time it took me to make graphics. That shit always takes forever.

Are you a fucking genius after a few glasses or wine or cocktails? What brilliant ideas have you discovered after drinking? Were you expecting me to break shit? Because I totally didn’t. Booya, Grandma!

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Wine-Paired Dinner at Seared Petaluma

I’ve been dreaming of wine and cheese lately. I’m not sure why, since I happen to have a pretty decent stockpile of both wine and cheese in my fridge. But it happens.

#PetalumaMade Wine Paired Dinner

 

Remember back in July when I was all over social media with some of my new blogging buddies telling you how fantastic Petaluma, California is? Well, I absolutely HAD to tell you about the wine-paired dinner that we had at Seared. It definitely hit the level of meal-amazingness that our Disney dinner at Cat Cora’s restaurant had.

After a day of boozing and wining through the Petaluma countryside, we made our way back to Seared, a fine dining establishment in downtown Petaluma for dinner. We were greeted by a lovely collection of Petaluma business owners, wine growers and farmers.

Seared Wine Paired Dinner

While the 5-course dinner itself was exquisite, the experience was what truly made this meal magnificent. Brian couldn’t stop bragging about how awesome it was that the chef came out and described each course in detail, followed by a short description of the wines by the wine owners and growers, and in one case, the farmer who raised the quail. It was the ultimate in dining style.

Grilled stone fruit soup

The first course was a stone fruit soup garnished with baby greens, creme fraiche made of Purple Haze (a lavender and fennel pollen chevre goat cheese from Cypress Grove), preserved lemon and black pepper. The flavors melded together perfectly for a phenomenal soup.

Grilled Stone Fruit Soup with Purple Haze Chevre Creme Fraiche

Paired with the soup was Lelarge-Pugeot Champagne, which was represented by the lovely Clémence Lelarge, whose family vineyard produces this delicious Champagne in France.

Heirloom Tomato and Cucumber Salad

This course was absolutely delightful and refreshing. Have I told you how much I love arugula? The cucumber was sliced thin, the tomatoes were amazing and the burrata complemented the salad perfectly.

Heirloom tomato and cucumber salad with arugula, burrata and basil vinaigrette

This was my favorite course of liquid joy, featuring the Fogline Vineyards 2013 Chardonnay with a lovely introduction presented by winemaker, Evan Pontoriero. This wine was sunshine in a bottle. Brian and I came home with a few bottles of this brightly flavored wine.

Crudo

This delicious raw dish featured a flavorful albacore and a unique combination of accouterments to create a delicate balance of complementary flavors. Brian (who, as you may remember, despises seafood) and the vegetarians all received a similar dish with a trumpet mushroom instead of the albacore. The culinary geniuses in the kitchen made every effort to accommodate our entire group and all their dietary restrictions.

Crudo with albacore, avocado puree, grapefruit, pickled fennel, breakfast radish and Fresno chili

 

This dish was paired with the La Cruz Vineyard Pinot Noir from Keller Estate, as introduced by the delightful Anna Keller, who I had the pleasure of sitting next to during dinner. I love a good pinot, and this wine was decadent and delicious.

Devil’s Gulch Quail

Our main course was this amazing quail, stuffed with a rib eye chorizo boudin surrounded by a smoked tomato broth and topped with spinach, pine nuts, and golden raisins. After the chef discussed the course, we were treated with a short presentation about the quail and Devil’s Gulch Ranch from owner, Mark Pasternak. As I gently tried not to make an ass of myself, eating the quail with a fork and knife, both Anna and Mark were found teasing me for not just picking it up and going to town like everyone else. I was pretty proud of myself and the fact that not once during this meal did I dribble, spill, spit or splash!

quail, stuffed with a rib eye chorizo boudin surrounded by a smoked tomato broth, spinach, pine nuts, and golden raisins

The quail was paired with that tasty Luma-Rouge from Corkscrew Wines that we sampled earlier in the day at Azari Vineyards. A perfect pairing for a fine meal!

Black Pepper Panna Cotta

I had never consumed panna cotta until this event. I didn’t even know what it was. Cake? Pie? Pastry? Jello? Pudding? It was its own magical sweet dish that made me want to pick up the plate and put tongue to remnants. But I refrained. Because I’m respectable.

Black pepper panna cotta with aztec chocolate and red wine-blackberry compote

 

The panna cotta was finished with Enriquez Vineyards Tempranillo, which was the happy ending of an amazing meal. Cecilia Enriquez, wine owner and maker briefly spoke about the wine, which we had the joy of tasting earlier in the day, and she thanked everyone for their participation in this wonderful trip that was her brain child.

One of the most amazing aspects of this meal was the introductions from the winemakers and owners (and the rancher who supplied the quail!) describing their wines and their stories. This was an experience that could not have been matched, and I can’t wait to visit my friends in Petaluma again soon.

Blog Friends, what’s the best meal you’ve ever had? Have you experienced a wine paired meal? Tell me about it!

 

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

In Which Petaluma, California Stole a Little Piece of my Heart #PetalumaMade

Words cannot express my gratitude for one of the booziest vacations I’ve ever had. And I’ve been to New Orleans. Twice.

Adobe Road Wines

We began our trip in San Francisco, made our way up to wine country and then down around the bay to San Jose for BlogHer14. (Do I know the way to San Jose? Yes. Yes, I do.)

Of course, I’m planning on going about the details of this ‘cation in a disorderly fashion. I’ve already told you about traveling from Chicago to California, our delayed flight from San Jose to LA, BlogHer14 and shared some beautiful and fun pictures of our Petaluma day trips. But I think the beauty of Petaluma is worth so much more than the thousand+ words from those pictures.

The lovely blogger, Kristi Trimmer, and Petaluma winemaker, Cecilia Enriquez, collaborated to create this stunning tour of Petaluma and the surrounding wineries in the Petaluma Gap. Brian played the part of the token guy and you can see what he really enjoyed by following his Twitter feed.

We started the day at Roast and Vine, the coffee shop next to Hotel Petaluma, where many of the bloggers had stayed or were planning to stay. We had our own accommodations already lined up (and don’t fret, you’ll hear all about those too soon enough) so we drove in that morning from our own little corner of wine country. The lovely Trisha Lyn made adorable wine charms for us to mark our beverages (which of course, I managed to lose mine in the first 5 minutes of the trip.)

Terrific Tours and Azari Wines

Jason from Terrific Tours giving a presentation with the Azari wine maker.

Jason from Terrific Tours picked us up in a large van and played the part of our ‘scape goat, driver, tour guide and overall awesome partner in winery crime (but not really crime. Because this trip was awesome). His knowledge and tidbits of information throughout the trip made it even more educational and interesting. He had a lot to say and he was great company to have on such a fantastic tour. I loved that the website has a “snobbish attitudes not included” comment on their website. And it was true.

Saltonstall Estate Olive Oil and Wine

Saltonstall Estate Olive Oil and Wine

Our first stop was Saltonstall Estate where we sampled a few different wines, olive oils and olives. I couldn’t leave without olives because they were, quite simply, the best olives I have ever had.  Seriously. This certified organic olive orchard produced some incredible olives and olive oils. The wine was equally as delicious.

Azari Vineyards and Corkscrew Wines

The patio and wood-fire oven at Azari Vineyards and Corkscrew Wines

Our next stop was Azari Vineyards, home to Azari and Corkscrew Wines. We toured the beautiful location with the winemaker, enjoyed wood-fire oven pizza, and several amazing wines. Brian and I bought a shiner (a bottle of wine without a label) of Luma Blanc to take home and consume and I can’t wait to drink it with him!

Petaluma grapes

Cheese Pairing at Sonoma Portworkds

Gratuitous cheese and chocolate photo: Pairing at Sonoma Portworks

For our next stop, we made our way back into town to visit Sonoma Portworks, where we were delighted with cheese, chocolate truffles, port, and this amazing sonomic (which resembles a really high-quality balsamic vinegar but SO. MUCH. BETTER).

Sonoma Portworks

We then made our way to Cecilia’s Enriquez Estates, where she welcomed us into her home, shared her wines and brought an amazing cheese monger to pair more cheese with the wine. I was pretty much in heaven.

Enriquez Estates

Enriquez Estates: I think we drank it all…

Enriquez Estates

The view from Enriquez Estates

After tasting the various wines from Enriquez (and picking up a bottle of her tempernillo) and the delicious cheese from Achadinha Creamery (and picking up a large chunk of cheese), we relaxed in Cecilia’s backyard and stared out at the vineyard and the hills.

Achadinha Cheese

This might be my happy place…

Our final stop on the Petaluma tour of the day was Seared for a paired dinner with the winemakers and sponsors. Representatives  from the Petaluma Gap spoke about Petaluma, and the part it plays in Sonoma county wine. Because of the fog and the wind, wines from Petaluma have a distinction all their own. I’ll have an entire post about the delight and treat this dinner was, but for now, I’ll leave you with a wine selfie.

Wine Selfie

The next day we started our trip at Adobe Road Vineyards, where we had a few photo shoots with wine and fast cars, as Adobe Road also houses a great deal of racing cars, including a few Aston Martins.

Aston Martins

Aston Martin at Adobe Road

The Kristas, Kristi and Chrissy

The Kristas, Kristi and Chrissy: All you had to do was say, “Kris or Chris” and someone or four someones would answer.

Adobe Road

The last winery and vineyard that we visited was Keller Estates, which was a surprise addition to our tour after dining with owner, Anna, the previous evening. I was lucky enough to sit beside her at dinner, and she was absolutely wonderful. Her wines and stunning property were also fantastic. For my Chicago area friends, you can find Keller wines at Standard Market!

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The beautiful tasting room at Keller Estates was impressive and comfortable. I could have stayed here for hours!IMG_0924

Alas, our tour had to come to an end, but I can’t wait to visit again and check out the rest of the wines, spirits, beers, cheese and olive oils that Petaluma has to offer!

Have you been to wine country? What would be your favorite part of visiting this beautiful region in California? Are you more of a beer, wine or cheese person?

Full disclosure: The tour and wine tastings were complimentary to our little group, but I received no compensation to write this post. We also received a discount on our meal at Seared. All opinions are very much my own. 

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

This Could Probably be a Real Post if I Wasn’t Drunk and Delayed at the Airport

Just thought you might appreciate a quick update while I’m cocktailing (or beering…I mean…whining…err wining…FINE cidering at the airport). Whatever. I’m drinking.

Brian was just on the phone with his dad when I told him that our flight was (SURPRISE) delayed.

He relayed this information to his dad, who may be picking us up at an ungoldly hour in the morning. All I heard was Brian’s end of the conversation.

“Yeah, we HAD a direct flight. At a reasonable time…but it was the for the wrong day.”

Whoops. For those of you who missed that Facebook update…

I may have booked our flight for Saturday instead of Sunday. Luckily, I caught it in enough time to change it…we just don’t have a direct flight…or an early evening arrival.

In order to entertain you/me, I’ve decided to share the end of our trip before the rest of it.

Things that happened at the airport so far:

Traveling with booze is expensive

At luggage check, we were informed that my classy packaging of wine was not acceptable to airport standards. I learned a very valuable lesson about packing and traveling with booze today. Apparently, wine inside tied hotel laundry bags inside grocery bags wrapped with a hoodie does not constitute well-protected. $30 and an embarrassing scene of opening and rearranging our luggage later, my wine, beer, and olive oil is now safely bubble wrapped.

TSA felt up my cheese

At security check, my California cheese and sausage was determined a dangerous set of weapon and greedily manhandled by TSA. (And you remember how I feel about TSA.) This concerned Brian…not the part about the manhandling, but the part where I reacted to the manhandling. Apparently, you’re not supposed to touch your stuff unless they ask.

That’s it… so far. We’re boarding a flight to LAX now, so who knows what could happen next.

PS: If you read the comments below, you’ll discover what DID happen next. *facepalm*

What are your flying nightmares? Real or potential?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Touring Wine Country with #PetalumaMade

A lovely group of influencers and Brian got together in California. This is the midday result in photos.

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Blog Friends, I’m LOVING Petaluma! Have you been to Petaluma? What are your favorite California wines?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!