A note on the fires in Napa and Sonoma


My recommendation today goes against the spirit of our blog, but I think the the cause is worthy. If you are a fan of Napa or Sonoma wines, or even if you aren’t, you’ve surely heard about the fires ravaging the area this week. It saddens me to hear of the damage to the area, which I got to see for the first time ever this year.

As I hear the areas affected by the fires, I think of all the places I visited that may be affected by this devastating natural disaster. And then I realized how truly selfish those thoughts are. While my wine drinking will certainly be affected by this, far more serious are the effects on the livelihood of all those who live and work in the area. Wine has a reputation for being for the wealthy, but those are far from the only people losing their homes, jobs, even lives.

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A note on the fires in Napa and Sonoma

Girl & Dragon * Malbec * 2016

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I picked this bottle up a few months ago after a bad day. I remember that I was feeling fiery and wanted to do something I don’t usually: buy a bottle with a name or label that spoke to my emotion. I ended up having a friend call me to get together, so the bottle got tucked away. It ended up being perfect for me to enjoy tonight, along with Will and Grace!

The best thing about this wine: convenient and a great value
Available at: Target
By the bottle: $9.99

Pairs well with: steaks on the grill, beef stew
Winery Website:
http://www.girlanddragon.com/#wines

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Girl & Dragon * Malbec * 2016

“Please Join Me for the Omaha Charity Wine Auction in Support of the Omaha Schools Foundation”

The Omaha Wine Review founder is hosting a fundraiser for the Omaha Schools Foundation. This is your chance to bid on some amazing wines donated by some of Napa and Sonoma’s best producers! Follow the link for more information on what’s up for auction and how to get tickets!

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One of the thing I’ve always admired about the people in the wine industry is their generosity. This is not a universal truth, of course, but the fact is that most of the people I have had the pleasure of meeting are very happy to share their success, and their wine, if it means benefiting a worthy cause. And on the subjects of both generosity and worthy causes, it didn’t take long working in OPA for me to recognize that the Omaha Schools Foundation is an incredible asset to the 50K+ students in our district, and perhaps even more so, to the thousands of teachers who are so devoted to their success.

As a (relatively) young man with two kids, a mortgage, and enough student loans for two people, I sometimes lament my inability to cut checks to causes that I know are worthy of my support. That being said…

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“Please Join Me for the Omaha Charity Wine Auction in Support of the Omaha Schools Foundation”

Louis Jadot Pouilly-Fuissé * Chardonnay * 2015

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My mom and I try to get together for dinner whenever we can. We live less than a mile apart, yet it seems to have been over a month since our schedules have aligned. We happened to make it work Tuesday night, and ended up at Mark’s in Dundee for dinner. It was half price wine night, so we needed a bottle to accompany our delicious dinner! The Pouilly-Fuisse immediately caught my eye as something familiar, though I could not identify why, and we thought it would be perfect.

The best thing about this wine: easy to drink and very enjoyable
Available at: Mark’s Bistro
By the bottle: $54
Pair with: seafood, rich food, patio drinking
Winery website: http://www.louisjadot.com/en/index.php

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Louis Jadot Pouilly-Fuissé * Chardonnay * 2015

Vintage Rose Brut Cuvee * Krone * 2014

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Today, I began my fourth year of teaching. I spent a week preparing my classroom, hanging my decorations, and planning lessons and activities so we could hit the ground running in our 5 minute mini-classes today. After introductions, we did “would you rather” as an ice breaker. In that spirit, would you rather… force yourself to wake up really early or force yourself not to go to sleep before 5 pm? Hit your 10,000 steps while clocking 45 minutes of exercise at work before 3:30 or be unable to wake up from your definitely-not-a-nap when you get home? Suffice it to say that I am beat! Cooking was definitely not an option tonight, so I hit up a couple places in Dundee to get some dinner and a glass of wine. I ended up going for Krone, a sparkling rose, at Baela Rose.

The best thing about this wine: super fine bubbles and nice flavor
Available at: Baela Rose in Dundee
By the glass: $10/By the bottle: $37
Pairs well with: life. Also, lighter foods or before dinner.
Winery website: http://www.tweejongegezellen.co.za/krone/the-krone-collection/
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Vintage Rose Brut Cuvee * Krone * 2014

Espiral * Vinho Verde

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I was getting my hair cut at a local salon one summer day when my stylist asked me if I’d like a glass of wine. “Why not?” I replied, figuring I deserved a glass of below-average Chardonnay for the price I was about to pay for my haircut.

Instead, I was served a lightly sparkling, slightly tart wine that tickled my tastebuds. What was it? I swirled and sniffed as I sat in my salon smock.

The best thing about this wine: It’s refreshing and citrusy
Available at: Trader Joe’s
By the bottle: $4.49
Pairs well with: Chicken, pasta salad, seafood, pork chops
Website: https://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-flyer/article/2360

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Espiral * Vinho Verde

Merisi * Petite Sirah * 2014

I like to move fast. Today, while giving my teacher mentee a tour of the building, my fitbit clocked it as exercise. I found myself apologizing several times for how fast I speak, though she didn’t mind, and was even matching my pace! I moved with a purpose quickly through the rest of my day as well. In fact, I didn’t really stop moving until I poured myself a glass of wine. I took a sip of the Merisi Petite Sarah and realized that this was one part of my day I wouldn’t be able to rush.

The best thing about this wine: rich flavors that develop with decanting
Available at: Spirit World
By the bottle: $35
Pairs well with: a nice steak
Winery Web Page: www.merisiwines.com

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Merisi * Petite Sirah * 2014