Oktober!

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A few things I get excited about in October: Oktoberfest, Halloween, and my birthday.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the type to get all giddy-happy about my birthday. In fact, the people closest to me know I detest attention and am afraid of surprises. I just thought, however, that with all the wonderful beverage-related presents I was given this year, it was worthy of a thank-you post.

My husband has been unhappy for not having proper (nor sufficient!) wine glasses at home. He has expressed frustration with the fact that I am a wine professional with no decent wine glasses.

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A Pauillac and Riedel Glassware (Bacchus)

So he decided to give me a set of Riedel glasses for my birthday and a nice Bordeaux to use them on. I have discovered that proper wine glasses can make a difference with the quality of the wine you drink. The more subtle aromas and flavors open up more with nice glasses.

Kind of like a coy woman being wooed like a proper lady.

These are expensive stuff so should you decide to get some, be careful.

Sorry Debbie, this means you can’t come to our place before I have them hidden away. Hahaha…

The wine Chad gave me was a Pauillac with a Baron Philippe de Rotschild on the label. Pauillac is a region in the left bank of Bordeaux… Which brings us to my…

SPOILER ALERT!

Figuring out what is in your bottle of French wine can be a little perplexing at first… After all the French will not put names of grapes on their better quality bottles.

The trick to figuring out your Bordeaux reds is knowing where it lies on the Gironde, the river that runs through the region.

For your cheat sheet:

LEFT BANK = CABERNET SAUVIGNON
RIGHT BANK = MERLOT


The left bank is made up of the following regions:

Medoc
Haut Medoc
St. Estephe
Pauillac (which is where my bottle is from)
St. Julien
Margaux
Graves
Pessac Leognan

The right bank, on the other hand:
St. Emillion
Pomerol (home to the legendary Petrus)
Fronsac

So, if you see St. Emillion on the label, you are holding a predominantly Merlot bottle. If you see Medoc, it’s a predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon.

Baron Philippe de Rothschild is a label associated with a prominent, historical banking and wine making family. They refuse to attach their names with anything less than splendid wines, so regardless of the price, it is bound to be decent. Added trivia: They have fabulous collaborations with wine houses in different parts of the new world (my favorite being the Almaviva from Chile), so be on the look out for these.

I have friends who are after my health. Like I posted before, I make a conscious effort to try and find ways to be healthy despite the amount of alcohol I consume. I also know that I have no discipline to work out by myself, hence I need workout buddies.

Like any health-conscious group of people, my workout buddies think I drink too much a lot.

No I don’t. 😉

Anyway, in an attempt to make me drink something healthier, they gave me the largest, loveliest TWG gift basket I’ve ever seen. The teas are interesting, and I love that they are all loose leaf (snobby purist alert!) too.

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TEA!!!

The Love Me Tea made me think of a love potion and an old Cardigans song from the 90s (yes I seriously dated myself there). Made out of lime blossoms and verbena then canned in a fiery pink container, it is the ultimate girl’s tea.

The Jasmine Queen Tea made me imagine Beyoncé drinking tea… It’s not a peon’s green tea for sure. It’s a richer, earthier version of green tea with healthy Jasmine infusions. Added bonus: Dieters swear by green tea to help boost their metabolism.

Now… Kung Fu Panda. And all Si Fu’s moves. In the temple.

Yes, we are still talking about tea. That’s what I thought to myself when I saw the Miraculous Mandarin Tea in its dark red container. It is a beautiful black tea with sharp fruits, tempered with hints of sweetness. Woozah!

Funny enough, they decided to give all these in Draft, which is famous for their draft beer (see the correlation?). For that night, I had the Paulaner Oktoberfest beer.

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OKTOBERFEST!!!

Oktoberfest is a widely-celebrated beer fest in Germany. It is amazing to watch Germans get so drunk on vast quantities of beer, schnapps and Jaegermeister in their Lederhosens. Great fun all around!

Lastly, being the introvert that I am, I decided my birthday would be best spent with my husband on a date. Chad decided to take me to the revolving restaurant in Eastwood. Nothing is more interesting than getting dizzy with booze in a slowly spinning restaurant (not for the vertigo-stricken).

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Gruner Veltliner in the Revolving Restaurant in Eastwood

What I loved about that night (apart from Chad’s company) was the wine. For the longest time, I have been trying to look for decent Austrian Gruner Veltliner in this town, and voila! This restaurant has one. See, Gruner Veltliner is good because it’s one of the more food-friendly wines. Very versatile to pair, it goes with anything… Including the sea bass I had. It has the texture of a Chardonnay with the tart acidity of a Sauvignon Blanc. Beautiful notes of celery and lentils compliment the honey and citrus flavors.

So to everyone who greeted me, wished me well, kept me in their thoughts, and gave me fabulous drink-related presents, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart which runs like a V8 and my liver which is shot to oblivion. Here’s to drinking with you soon. Cheers!

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