Wine

Target $5 Wine is Delicious AF

Guys, I feel pretty certain that no one was more excited for the release of the Target $5 wine collection than I was. I mean, Target and cheap wine are basically my two favorite things in the world, you know, aside from my husband and kid. But really, it’s basically as if this collection was made for me. Of course, I was a little hesitant to get too excited before tasting these bad boys for myself. I certainly do not have high brow tastes when it comes to wine, but I also drink it enough and have had enough good wine to not be able to stomach two buck chuck anymore. I am delighted to tell you that I have sampled four of the five offerings from the Target wine collection and they were all pretty damn tasty. Here’s the breakdown:

Moscato: This is the only one I haven’t tried because moscato is disgusting.

Pinot Grigio: Brianna and I drank a bottle of this while recording the podcast, and it was yummy. Really light, a little fruity, but not cloyingly sweet. This wine is the perfect wine for summertime drinking. It goes down smooth, and could probably get you into some trouble because it’s so easy to drink.

Chardonnay: This is the only varietal I didn’t love, and that’s probably because I drink a lot of chardonnay and it’s the one varietal where I have expensive taste. I like my chardonnay to be oaky and buttery, and it’s hard to get that without spending a decent amount of moola on your wine. The Target offering certainly isn’t bad, and if you’re a casual chard drinker, you’ll probably really like it. It just wasn’t my fave.

Red Blend: I have to say, this one might be my favorite of the bunch. I am weird with my red wine, and I really only drink it when it’s cool outside (so like rarely), but this blend is light enough that you could drink it all year round. I will definitely be drinking this one all fall and winter.

Cab Sauv: This one was the most surprising because I have had very few (if any) good cabs for cheap. I guess it’s similar to chardonnay in that the best tasting cabs are usually on the higher end of the price point. However, this cab is bomb. It’s not bitter at all, but it still tastes full-bodied and rich. I would bring this to a party, it’s that good. Even though I prefer the red blend, I can definitely see myself drinking this throughout the winter months.

So there you have it. All in all, the Target $5 wine is an amazing deal for some really good tasting wine. I would recommend almost all of these varietals to even the pickiest of wine drinkers. The real beauty of it is you can buy several bottles at once and still not break the bank! Have you tried the $5 wine yet? Which one is your fave?

 

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DCA Food and Wine Festival Highlights Part Two

So the 2017 Food and Wine Festival is quickly coming to an end (sob!) and I am so sad to see it go! I have tried lots of yummy food and drinks at the festival this year, and I kind of wish we had access to all this yumminess all year long. But alas, these goodies will be leaving us shortly (April 16th) and then it will be time to countdown until next year’s festival. I made a lot of progress on my food and drink checklist in the past two weeks so of course I have to share all the goodness with all of you. If you missed part one of the highlight reel, you might want to check that out first. Get ready to get hungry!

Okay, so this is the real highlight for me: the French Onion Mac and Cheese from the Onion Lair. OMG. Probably one of the best mac and cheese dishes I have ever tasted. So flavorful and cheesy and amazing. Also from the Onion Lair is the Chocolate and Raspberry Feuillete Tart. It was a tasty pastry, but it wasn’t anything super fantastic. It kind of tasted like a fancy Pop Tart.

On my one trip to the festival sans Squirt, I took full advantage of being childless for the day and imbibed in all the wine. On the left is the Mimosa Flight from Uncork CA. I liked all of the different flavors, but my favorite was the apricot. It was a surprising choice, but it was yummy. I wish they had included a berry flavored mimosa to balance out the flavors, but the ones they included were all good. On the right is the Sangria Flight, and again, they were all tasty. I loved the peach, but the white sangria was also super good.

These are two items that were on the menu last year, and were definitely highlights of the festival. The Maple Bacon Whoopie Pie was just as delicious this year as it was last year, and I’m glad I got it again. The Smoked Bacon Mac and Cheese was good, but it wasn’t as good as the French Onion Mac. It needed salt and maybe some variation in the cheese flavors in order to make it awesome.

I didn’t actually eat this Garlic Rosemary Ice Cream, but my Disney bestie Brianna did. I did sample a bite, and it was not my thing, but Brianna really liked it. I want my ice cream to be sweet, not savory, so this is not an item I would order on my own. Glad I tried it though, because it was definitely interesting!

At the Paradise Garden Grill, we ordered the Pretzel with Beer Mustard and the Beer Braised Pork Tacos. The pretzel tasted like a pretty average pretzel, and while I liked the mustard, I prefer my pretzels with cheese. If it had come with beer cheese, it would have been bomb!

The tacos were amazing. The pork was really tender and the apple slaw on top was the perfect complement. I had been craving good tacos for a couple days when I had these and they really hit the spot.

I have a couple more items on my list that I really want to try before the festival is over, but if I don’t get the chance, I am overall really pleased with everything I sampled this year. There wasn’t anything I ate or drank that I just straight up didn’t like. There were definitely some items I loved more than others (woot woot mac and cheese), but everything was good and I would eat most of the items again if I could.

Have you been to the Food and Wine Festival this year? What was your favorite food or drink item?

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A Girl’s Day in Solvang

On the way home from our family trip to San Francisco, my most amazing husband ever was kind enough to drop me off in Solvang so I could join my group of girlfriends for a one night wine tasting trip. Solvang is a small town a little ways north of Santa Barbara that features lots of Danish influence, cute little shops, and lots and lots of wine. I, sadly, missed out on most of the actual wine tasting during the trip, but I did manage to arrive in time for happy hour at our hotel and did plenty of catching up. We had a perfectly lovely (and much needed) girls night away from home and it was so awesome we decided to make it an annual event. Here are some of the more appropriate highlights of our stay…




We spent the night at Hotel Corque (pronounced “cork”), which was very chic and boutiquey. We got a chance to enjoy happy hour at their restaurant, Root 246, which had great appetizers and tasty wine (obvs). I would have liked to have had another day so we could have enjoyed the pool during the day. We went for a dip right before the pool closing time and it looked like it would have been a very relaxing place to spend the day.

solvang

The rooms at Hotel Corque were really nice (sorry I didn’t get a pic, one of my very lovely friends was in a bit of a hurry to get us down to happy hour before it ended…) and it is definitely somewhere I would stay again. It was also centrally located, meaning it was walkable, which is obviously important on a trip with a lot of drinking involved.

solvang

Also, there is this old-fashioned stockade in front of the hotel, which clearly makes for some fun drunken pictures. For our dinner, we walked down to the Landsby hotel and ate at Mad and Vin. They had the best fries I have ever eaten in my entire life. Seriously, I would go there just for the fries. This is another hotel I would consider staying at in the future. Very cute, and West Elmy.

solvang

As you can maybe imagine, after a full day of nothing but wine, we were a little worse for the wear when we woke up the next morning. So we walked down to Paula’s Pancake House, which is one of the most popular breakfast spots in Solvang. None of us actually had pancakes, because sweet is not usually the way to go with a hangover, but the hash browns were bomb and we all managed to eat enough to prep us for the ride home.

solvang

I, of course, had to snap this picture of the Little Mermaid statue since it is one of my faves (the author, Hans Christian Andersen was Danish). I would like to point out that we obviously had an amazing girls trip given my utter lack of pictures from the trip. We had a great time exploring Solvang, and drinking lots (and lots) of wine.




Where is your favorite place for a girls’ trip? Where should we head next? Let me know!

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Get Your Wine On with Glassful

This is a sponsored post. I was compensated in the form of a discount, product, and/or monetary fee. All opinions are my own. I only write about products and services that I use myself and would recommend to a friend.

Happy Friyay friends! Since Friday is the international day for getting your drink on, I thought I would take some time today to talk to you about one of my favorite subjects: wine. I love me some wine. And what is better than wine? Amazing wine at a price I can afford (and I’m self-employed now so I can’t afford much!). What’s better than amazing wine at a price I can afford? When that wine is delivered to my door. Holla. Enter Glassful. Glassful is kind of like a subscription box, but like way better than most subscription boxes. Because wine.

Okay, you get it, there’s wine involved and that makes me happy. So here’s how Glassful works. You take a little quiz about your tastes and Glassful’s expert sommeliers match you with three bottles. Those bottles are shipped to your door. You drink and enjoy your wine and then rate the bottles on Glassful’s site. The next month, you get three new bottles. The more you drink and rate, the better Glassful gets to know your tastes and can really refine your wine choices. I mean, as a busy mom, wine being delivered to my door is like my greatest wish come true. I received my first box from Glassful a couple of weeks ago and a) was super excited at the quality of wine I received and b) was pleasantly surprised to find a bunch of other little goodies in the box too. Check out what came in my box:

Three bottles of wine, chocolate, matches, a sticker, a super cute little notepad and pencil, and a sample of toothpaste (which is necessary after drinking a bottle of red wine).

Despite feeling like a wine connoisseur, I’m really not. What I did recently discover when Matt and I opened our five year anniversary wine bottle (we had guests sign different wine bottles as our guest book) is that wine that has been aged tastes better (yes, I know, duh). So I knew that the reds included in my Glassful box were going to be great. I haven’t actually opened this 2011 red blend from Terra Bella yet because I want to save it for something more special than a Tuesday night dinner. But I have a feeling it’s not going to last too much longer in our house.

Naturally, I went straight for the white wine that was included in the box, a 2010 Riesling from Walla Faces. Riesling is not usually my go to, but I really enjoyed this one (again, might have something to do with the age). It wasn’t too sweet and had a really easy finish. Definitely a great summer wine.

We enjoyed this 2012 Pinot Noir from Jeff Hill this past week and it was tasty. I love Pinot Noir and I was glad we had a semi cool day this week so that I could feel good about busting open a red. Matt is not a huge wine drinker, but he really liked this one too. Pinot Noir is usually a smooth red and this was no exception. This is one that I would look for again.

Overall I was really impressed with the quality of wine that I received in my Glassful box. I can definitely see myself becoming a big fan of their wine subscription service, but they also have an amazing wine shop on their website that allows you to purchase single bottles at a huge discount–we’re talking a $65 bottle of wine for $30. But really, in my ever so humble wine-loving opinion, the monthly subscription is the way to go. For only $54 per month, you receive $180 worth of wine. But hold on y’all, if you click this link right here to sign up, you get your first box for just $44. Amazeballs.  Do yourselves a favor, friends, and head to Glassful. Sign up and get some delicious wines delivered right to your door. You can thank me later. Have a great weekend everyone!

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My Top 5 Summer Wines for Under $8

Summer is the perfect time of year for getting together with friends and drinking a refreshing glass of wine…Let’s be real, I feel like any time of year is a great time for getting together with friends and drinking a glass of wine, but there’s something extra special about summer wines. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that most of my friends (and until recently, me) are on summer vacation so silly things like work don’t get in the way of the drinking. Maybe it’s because I am a white wine girl at heart and the coolness and crispness of white wine is perfect for summer heat. Whatever the cause, I am all about the wine during the summer. And no matter what time of year, I am all about finding good wine that doesn’t break the bank. So I have compiled a list of my favorite summer white wines, all of which can be purchased for under $8. It doesn’t get much better than that! All of these wines were bought at Trader Joe’s, with the exception of the chardonnay, which came from Cost Plus. I hope I don’t make you too thirsty…




First is the Villa Sonia Pinot Grigio. I drank a lot of Pinot Grigio back in the day when I first started drinking wine because it is so easy to drink. I like this one for summer because it is sweet and crisp, definitely refreshing. I paired it with Brie, which was lovely, and I’m sure it would be a nice complement to any kind of cheese/charcuterie situation.

summer wines

The Vin de Borfeaux Sauvignon Blanc surprised me a little the first time I had it because I’m usually not a huge fan of Sauv Blanc. I like that this one is sweet, but not overly so, and it has just a hint of bubbles. It’s very smooth and would pair really well with chicken or fish.

summer wines

Not going to lie, I was originally drawn to this rose because of the awesome bottle, which I will totally be doing some crafting with at some point. But I was excited to find I actually really liked the wine inside the bottle. Bonus! This rose is smooth and fruity, light, but not too sweet. Definitely what I would call a summer wine.

summer wines

The Amour de Paris Peach champagne is so stinking good y’all (I’ve officially been watching too much Southern Charm). This peach bubbly perfection is screaming for brunch. It’s a little too easy to drink, if you know what I mean. It’s fruity, sweet, bubbly and delicious. We used this bad boy to make mimosas on my birthday and they were amazeballs.

summer wines

Chardonnay is my favorite kind of wine so I am a harsher critic for this varietal than for the others. Foodies Chardonnay is a really good wine for the price. It is on the sweeter side of chardonnay, and while I typically prefer a more buttery and oaky chard, this one is good for summer. Definitely not my favorite ever brand of chardonnay, but a decent bottle nonetheless.

summer wines

What’s your favorite kind of wine to drink during the summer? Any really good wine deals you know about? Let me know, Mamma’s gotta drink!

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