Mathew McConaughey and Red Wine

I saw an interview with Mathew McConaughey the other day. And he was asked how he keeps himself in such great shape. And his answer thrilled me! Not a word about a vegan diet, 3 day or 3 week liquid cleanse, colonics, raw food, injections of vitamins, green tea or Hollywood diet.  He said,”Break a sweat everyday, and drink red wine.” Now that sounds far more appealing than living on veggie tablets, and gallons of water! And of course we have all read about the antioxidant rich qualities of red wine. And I must say I do believe he is on to something. I am married to a man of similar attitude. For a guy of 50, Il Divo rocks a six pack and swears to breaking a sweat in the gym almost everyday, and he drinks red wine every night with dinner. Of course we do stuff ourselves with tons of salad, fish and veggies. And like anyone, Il Divo gets stuck in his California Cabernet rut. We have been drinking some great ones, the 2007 year is fantastic all around. But it’s always nice to reach out from the Cab rut and try some interesting different varietals and blends. So in honor of Mathew and Il Divo and their six packs, I have some “Wine Chick Picks” for red wine to enjoy and know that you are sipping yourself into a healthier life. But get out there and break a sweat! (Trust me, I’ll be grudgingly forcing my own advice at myself at the gym tomorrow morning.)

Wine Chick Picks:

LIBERTY SCHOOL CUVEE: A blend of Syrah, Petite Syrah, Granache, Mourvedre, and Viongier. I love this wine for its smooth and fruity quality. It has nice tannins and at 13.99 a bottle is a great value from a region of California that does not get it’s due. Paso Robles, a place so beautiful and great wine. This bottle may surprise you!  Serve with grilled veggies, pasta.

WILLAMETTTE VALLEY PINOT NOIR: I particularly enjoy pairing Pinot Noir with Salmon. But I want you to remember to make sure you chill your Pinot before you open it. Think of drinking your Pinot Noir the same temperature that you would a Chardonnay. You’ll notice the bright cherry and spice flavors in this wine. You’ll find this one priced around 23.00

Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir 2007

TERRABIANCA CAMPACCIO: The Chef at one of our favorite Italian restaurants, Paci in Southport, turned us on to this wine a few years ago.It is still one of my favorites. Medium bodied and elegant. Made from 70% Sangiovese and 30% Cabernet. This Italian wine is a gorgeous dinner wine for a special night. A bit pricey than what you’d normally open on a Wednesday spaghetti night. But a romantic bottle for Saturday night and really worth it. Price about 32.00

Terrabianca Campaccio 2006






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Ciao Bella! Have a Happy, Simple, Sexy Valentines Day!

The pressure to be so grand on Valentines Day can be stressful. Restaurants are booked up. And if you get in, they rush you through for the next reservation.  Babysitters are expensive and hard to find.  So make it easy on yourself. Have a simple sexy night at home with your loved one. And when you think of sexy, are you like me and think Italian? Hey the Italians are very sexy! And they know good food and wine. So my suggestion is break that boring low carb diet, buy some fresh pasta, and make a simple tomato basil sauce. Oh! A nice little tip, put a dollop of ricotta cheese and a little shredded fresh basil on top. Yummy! Light the candles, and serve a wonderful wine known as a Ripasso.  There are so many wines from Italy it can be very confusing. And we usually only think of Chianti when we think Italian. A Ripasso is what is known as a baby Amarone. Amarone is a huge wine made from dried grapes and can be very pricey. In this Veronese region they “repass” juice through the skins and make this wine. With a medium body and hints of plum and a tease of dried fruit. It is a nice romantic wine for your dinner. Also, not too expensive which is nice!

To finish off your romantic simple dinner, for dessert, serve something sweet with a fantastic finish. Try a Muscato d’Asti. This is a slightly effervescent wine with a delicate peachy flavor. It is very light and refreshing. It comes in a smaller bottle than other wines. And is another great value at about $16.00 a bottle. You’ll enjoy this delicious finish to s special night.  And it’s always fun to try something different!

Have a sexy night of Italian inspiration with new wines, romantic comfort pasta, and your Valentine.

Masi Campofiorin Ripasso price about 18.00

Ceretto 2009 Moscato d’Asti  price about 16.00

Amore’! From Sandra

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There You Are

I have been busy writing, shooting, producing and building this site so I could finally introduce myself and talk wine!

Sandra MullerFirst let me introduce myself, I’m Sandra Muller, I have been a wine educator and guide for the last ten years. Teaching seminars and tastings at corporate and charity events. Hosting wine clubs, and writing for various websites and publications. I love wine! And I especially love sharing my knowledge and inspiring people to expand their own tastes and instill a sense of confidence the next time a wine menu is put in front of them.

Now allow me to tell you my philosophy on wine. I view different wines much like I view fashion or food. Depending on your mood, situation or season, wine, along with your fashion and food choices can vary greatly. And you can fall into the same rut with wine that you do with your clothing choices or your meals. Do you find yourself wearing the same outfit over and over? Yes you like it, but it tends to just be a “go to” and a no brainer. Same with food. You’ll stick with the same restaurants, the same recipe, the same wine. And your stuck. And it is intimidating to go into a wine shop surrounded by thousands of bottles with names you don’t know, varietals you’ve never heard of. And possibly some preconceived notions of what some of them are, and you may be wrong.

Some common misconceptions about wine are:

  • All Rieslings are sweet
  • You don’t need to chill red wine
  • Zinfandel is pink
  • Chardonnay should be served very cold
  • All good wine is expensive

All of this is false! Not true! And there is so many more myths and misinformation that I am looking forward to helping you with.

But let’s start with some information that is true and helpful. My motto is “Match wine with your mood, not just your food”. Here we are in the midst of a very cold and snowy winter. (for those of us in the winter weather zones!) Our tastes and cravings are quite different now than they are in July. Roasts, stews, warm bread, and of course a nice cashmere sweater to wrap up in.  So what would be some yummy wines to drink that will compliment our winter mood? And let’s get out of that rut of the same old “go to” Cabernet. Try some of these, my “Wine Chick” picks of the week:

Carchelo 2009
This Spanish blend of Monastrell, Tempranillo and a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon. I call it the “Connecticut wine” only because of the big letter “C” and an upside down wine glass on the label. It is a house standard at my home. IL Divo ( whom you’ll come to know as code for my husband) loves this wine. Big, smooth and will go with a yummy roast or even spaghetti and meatballs. Price about 13.99

Rubio, San Polo Montalcino
Made from the Sangiovese grape in the region where the great  big boy Brunello  wines come from. With their great big price tags too. This bottle is a nice dinner wine, very romantic, light the candles and and start pouring. Price 14.99

Zaca Mesa 2005 Syrah
While wrapped in your soft warm cashmere, you need to sip a soft and lush Syrah. This wine comes from the beautiful area of Santa Ynez California. Rich soil and warm sun create a beautiful red to sip by the fireplace. The industry benchmark aficionado “Robert Parker” rates this bottle at a 92. Pretty serious rating. Price about 19.99


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