Merisi * Pinot Gris * 2016

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Our home consists of two working parents, a three-year-old, and two Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs. Making it through a typical week is a well-orchestrated routine, consisting of normal and usual habits, and the occasional exception to the standard plan. This week I made a day trip to Des Moines for work, which consisted of a long fourteen hour day. Rather than settle into the typical dinner routine we planned to invite our neighbor over to try a bottle of Pinot Gris we’ve never had before.

The best thing about this wine: so savory it must be shared
Available at: Spirit World
By the bottle: $24.99
Pairs well with: neighbors, conversation, and dinner
If you like light and dry white wines, try this wine.
Winery Web Page: http://www.merisiwines.com

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Merisi * Pinot Gris * 2016

Dreaming Tree * Pinot Noir * 2015

IMG_1454Often, after work, I want to make as few decisions as I can, and I prefer to put the least amount of effort into the rest of my day. Dreaming Tree Pinot Noir is reliable in situations like these, when I’m feeling extra lazy.

The best thing about this wine:
Available at: Hy-Vee
By the bottle: $13.99
Pairs well with: any quick meal after work
If you like an easy option for pairing without much thought, try this wine.
Winery Web Page: https://www.dreamingtreewines.com

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Dreaming Tree * Pinot Noir * 2015

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

Merisi Glen Oaks Vineyard * Cabernet Sauvignon * 2013

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One of the first lessons I got when I started tasting wine—as opposed to, you know, drinking wine—was that there were no wrong answers. Just because the wine list said you should taste black cherry and cardamom doesn’t mean you will. Sometimes I even find those notes to be a hindrance to testing my own palate, so I generally ignore them, taste the wine myself, and then check to see if I was in the same ballpark. Even if you don’t use the notes, though, what they can do is remind us of the thought that someone else put into what’s in that glass. Every element of the winemaking process results in changes to the flavor profile of that wine, so it makes sense to know what’s influencing the wines you drink.

The best thing about this wine: Smooth, easy drinking, and good with food
Available at: Spirit World
By the bottle: $35
Pairs well with: chicken, beef
Winery Web Page: www.merisiwines.com

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Merisi Glen Oaks Vineyard * Cabernet Sauvignon * 2013

Yountville Unoaked Chardonnay * Tamber Bey * 2015


I find that I get older, maintaining my friendships becomes a task to which I have to devote some effort. Where our lives once revolved around happy hours and meeting at the bars, it becomes increasingly hard to make those work when my friends are wrangling kids and I am busy heading to bed at 9 pm! Last week, amidst a long week of classes, I had a friend over to cook one of those meal delivery services. It turned out to be a great way to fit in weekday get-together, as well as an opportunity to bust out a bottle I have been hanging onto for a fun occasion: Tamber Bey’s 2015 Yountville Unoaked Chardonnay.

The best thing about this wine: surprising flavors in a chardonnay
Available at: Omaha Wine Company
By the Bottle: $38
Pairs well with: a lighter meal, a group with varied tastes
Winery website:
www.tamberbey.com

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Yountville Unoaked Chardonnay * Tamber Bey * 2015

Forefront * Cabernet Sauvignon * 2011

FullSizeRenderThis weekend our lack of food options hit the tipping point. We no longer could stretch not going to the grocery store by pairing random options of whatever food was remaining together and still call it a meal. A lonely bag of baby carrots had survived, and I had decided they would be delicious on the grill for dinner. But simply eating grilled carrots wasn’t going to sustain our Saturday night appetites. At the grocery store grabbing a few grilling items to pair with the carrots, I made my way to the wine section in hopes of finding something new and pleasing. I set my sights on a 2011 Forefront Cabernet Sauvignon and with a quick scan of the label using the Vivno app, I had decided to give it a try.

The best thing about this wine: complex and unique flavors
Available at: Hy-Vee
By the bottle: $9.99
Pairs well with: Beef sirloin (and–of course–carrots)
If you like flavorful Cabernets, try this wine.
Winery Web Page: http://www.forefrontwines.com 

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Forefront * Cabernet Sauvignon * 2011

Gnarly Head * Cabernet Sauvignon * 2015

The intense heat of July in Nebraska has been paired with equally intense levels of work and competing priorities for me. Due to what seems as my increasing lack of time, this review is going to be brief and to the point. When I don’t have much time to be adventurous or browse for a new wine, I have a few go-to reliable picks. Gnarly Head’s Cabernet Sauvignon is one, and it fit nicely with the intensity of the past week.

The best thing about this wine: excellent value; drinkable
Available at: Hy-Vee
By the bottle: $9.99
Pairs well with: just about anything
If you like full-bodied, inexpensive Cabernet Sauvignon try this wine.
Winery Web Page: http://www.gnarlyhead.com
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Gnarly Head * Cabernet Sauvignon * 2015