Thursday, September 30, 2010

Attitude is (pretty much) Everything!

I can't believe tomorrow is Friday already!  This week has gone by very smoothly despite a sprained ankle that I have been nursing back to health all week.  Basically, I tried to jump over someone in Taekwondo and I failed.  This happened during the beginning of class but I muscled through the next three hours and finished the class the best I could.  (After crying a little first of course.)  Thank you Taekwondo for helping me to toughen up a little.

Dave + Me + Taekwondo = lots of good stuff
On Monday morning I told Dave, "Don't worry, this week will go by really fast and it will be Friday in no time."  I was saying this more to myself since I was completely dreading spending my day at work.  The work week seemed like a vast desert stretched out before me with the weekend an oasis that I could not see yet.  I think I was being a bit dramatic.  To this he answered something about the weekend not always being super great so maybe I should try to enjoy the week also.  Enjoy the work week?  Hmmm...  So I went through my days with a little more positive outlook.  It was really a teeny tiny shift in my thinking but this week felt more purposeful, productive, and less stressful.  Far too often, I tend to think that when I have this, or that, or lose this much weight, or have that job, money, or another degree or whatever, that then I will be content.  I've heard it a million times before but sometimes I need a reminder. Be happy where you are, maybe look at it through a slightly different viewpoint.  Take it all in. (But if it's wrong then change it!) :-)  It's totally about the journey.  Thanks for reminding me Dave.

I promise you a yummy wine review coming up next!!!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Polka Dot Riesling goes with the Robo Boogie

Polka Dot Riesling, Pfalz, 2008
Price: ~$9

I am writing this post about 21 hours into our fast for Yom Kippur.  It is my first Yom Kippur fast and Dave and I haven't killed each other so I think we're doing great!  We're going to break our fast in a couple hours and I can't wait!  When I'm done with my writing, we will take a little time to reflect on the meaning of the holiday, the fast, and all.  I really didn't get hungry until now.

It took me a couple days but I have decided that the Robo Boogie pairs very well with Polka Dot Riesling.  Don't let the screw top put you off this wine, give it a chance.  I picked this up because it looked fun and we were trying to buy anything other than our usual Merlot.  This wine is made in the Pfalz region of Germany.  According to the Wine Bible, winemakers in this region value individuality and it shows through in the wine coming out of this area.  The soil and climate give the grapes a diverse range of flavors and at the forefront of these flavors is fruit fruit fruit.


Dave's Grade: B+
Dave's Review: It is a light golden color.  It smells like the fruit section in the grocery store.  It smells strongly of pear and a light scent of canned spinach.  It tastes like green apple and lemon/lime, both tart and sweet with a touch of grapefruit at the end.  This wine is easy to drink with a clean finish. 

Dave's interpretation of the flavors in Polka dot Riesling.
Kelly's Grade: B-
Kelly's Review: It is light yellow, very clear and fresh looking.  It smells of pear and lime peel and for some reason a little rubbery.  It tastes sweet and tangy like a crisp green apple.   I also taste pear and grapefruit.  I like this wine better than other white wine I have tasted.  I'd love to try it again, I hear it's great with Thai food.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Which Wine Pairs well with the Robo Boogie?

Happy Thursday!  It's almost the weekend!  Hoooray!  When the week is getting to me and I'm sitting at my desk at work trudging along, I like to play some music to help my soul.  Usually it's just a nice mix on Pandora or Stereomood and sometimes I need a certain special song.  This week, I went with a fun, groovy, funky song about robots! For the last couple of days I have had the Robo Boogie stuck in my head.  No not the Robot, the Robo Boogie. OK the title is actually, "The Humans are Dead", but it's not as grim as you'd think.

It's from Flight of the Conchords. Here is the link to the Flight of the Conchords HBO website if you aren't familiar with the show.  Now to find an appropriate wine to drink whilst doing the Robo Boogie.  Hmmm...  I'm sure the answer will come to me after I've had my coffee.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

And the Rosh Hashanah Dinner...

Dave picked up our dinner at Chompie's while I was still at work. (I will remember to take a day off next year so we can make the meal.)  When I got home he had everything ready to go.  What a guy.  We had a big round challah bread, chopped liver, kugel, and brisket, and apples dipped in honey.

Dave ready to eat!
It was a lovely dinner.  I learned a little more about the holiday and it was fun!  He played a video of someone sounding the Shofar (a ram's horn) and Scott (Dave's brother) arrived just as we were about to eat so we were all able to enjoy it.  It was fun listening to them talk about holidays when they were kids.

Here's me, hungry and tired and happy!  Why yes, that is a bottle of Manischewitz on the table.

I must add that the Jewish holidays are super new to me so if I made a mistake or seem like I don't know anything about it, it's because I'm early in the learning phase.  Also some family members gave us some books this summer that have proven to be super valuable to us this week.  You know who you are so thanks a million!

Break out the Manischewitz!

Manischewitz Concord Grape Sweetened Kosher Wine
Price:~$4 at Safeway

L'Shana Tova to my Jewish (and Jewish connected) friends!  Yes, you've got that right, I have a wine review that will blow your mind!  We decided to crack open a nice bottle of Manischewitz (pronounced manashevits) to go with our Rosh Hashanah dinner.  And what a dinner it was!  Dave picked up some food from Chompie's, a local New York style deli/restaurant that we quite enjoy, and set the table for our first Rosh Hashanah dinner together!  He said a prayer and lit some candles (which was pretty awesome )and then we ate!  We are incorporating the Jewish holidays into our lives because: a) I freakin love holidays, b) Our children will be raised Jewish so I better get these down now! and c) I freakin love holidays!  Actually it's gathering around some great food, comfort, family, and traditions that I love.

Presenting... Manischewitz Kosher Wine!  Yes we were warned but we just had to review it, for the holiday!
As you can see we had to devise a special grading system for this wine.

Dave's Grade: C+
Dave's Grade (with the holiday): B
Dave's Review:  The color is best described as a purple jolly rancher.  It smells very strong and sweet, like a jolly rancher or tart cherry pie filling.  Also smells like a fruit roll up and also sour like a chemistry lab.  It tastes super sweet and like a grape fruit roll up.  It is also tart like sweet tarts.

As you can see, this wine was tough to review.  Dave did an admirable job on the graphical interpretation. 

Kelly's Regular Wine Grade: C
Kelly's Grade (with the holiday): B
Kelly's Review:  Color is like a dark cherry Kool-Aid.  As for the scent, first I smelled sugar and grape, just like Kool-Aid, then alcohol and something like sour oranges.  When I took a sip the sugar hit me first, very very sugary.  Actually it "outsweeted" the apples and honey!  It was strangely smooth and texturally reminded me of Werthers candies.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Oooh la la La Crema Pinot Noir!

La Crema Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, 2008
Price:~$20 at Safeway

Today I bring you a review of one of our top three favorites (so far) in our red wine journal.  It's a Pinot Noir and according to The Wine Bible (by Karen MacNeil) California Pinot Noir is getting more and more tasty year after year.  The grape is super touchy (just like me!) so anything that happens to it through then entire process of growing and wine making will show up in the flavor of the wine.   (Similarly, anything that happens to me throughout my workday is going to show up in my attitude that evening when I get home.)  Back to the wine, Pinot Noir is somewhat lighter in color which some could mistake for lighter flavor but in this case, the opposite is true. (Kind of like how vodka looks just like water.)  It's flavors include leather, chocolate, sweat, and mushrooms.  It is often described in sensual terms because of its smooth silky texture.  Sounds like a recipe for fun right? Leather, sweat, chocolate and silk! *blush*

This plain and simple label might lead you to pass this wine over, don't.

Dave's Grade: A-
Dave's Review: The color is purple or maroon.  It smells medicinal and initially kind of unpleasant (poopy?) but it is also like a fruit leather.  The taste is initially cranberry with tart bitter highs and a nice buttery finish.

Dave's interpretation of the flavors in La Crema Pinot Noir.
Kelly's Grade: A-
Kelly's Review: A nice red with a little rust color.  Up front it has a strong alcohol smell with strawberry and cedar following after.  It tastes of dark ripe berries, vanilla and pepper with some cranberry and lemon and a very smooth mouth feel underneath all of this. I think it would go very well with some chicken mole (pronounced "molay") and red chile.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

We like to Kick Each Other

So last night after a long day at work, (lately my work days have been jam packed and a little stressful). I came home to a lovely dinner that Dave prepared. It was yummy and healthy and I was very grateful!  Dave suggested that we get out our sparring gear and get a quick practice in.  We take Taekwondo together and it has turned out to be a wonderful, exciting, and challenging experience.  He is a deputy black belt which means he'll be a first degree when he tests again.  He took Taekwondo years ago and now he's getting back into it. I am a high yellow, I've tested twice, I've never been athletic, nor competitive (but I'm learning that somewhere deep within, I have some fury!).  After warming up we put on our gear and went at it in the living room.

Here we are being silly one day after class.  We don't wear shoes in TKD.
Now, I'm totally against violence, it truly turns my stomach.  Thankfully, Taekwondo sparring does not involve violent fighting.  It's controlled, protected and skilled (one day for me).  For me, Taekwondo is about challenging myself and pushing myself past what I may have thought of as limits.  Also, it's trying to outsmart an opponent, and in this case, my loving fiance Dave became my primary target.  Sheesh, he's hard to kick!  He moves a lot, he knows combinations that I am eons away from mastering.  He kept coming at me with kick after kick and kindly let me get a few in there.  A few times I got a little cocky and really went at him and I wound up on my butt (very humbling indeed)!  At one point, he gave me a nice kick and I went stumbling into the fireplace.  It was jolting and funny and fun!  When you have your gear on, and your opponent isn't trying to totally annihilate you, a nice solid kick doesn't feel bad, mostly you feel the force but not pain.  We sparred for about 30 minutes, got all sweaty and had a great time.  I'm still trying to get used to the feeling of having someone "fight" with me, it shakes me up a little and my eyes get the slightest bit of moisture but I think that will get better with time (I'm ridiculously sensitive).

Wine review to follow.  :-p