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Vivino IPhone Wine App…I seem to have lost three hours…

So, I have a new app on my IPhone, and it’s called Vivino. I CAN’T STOP PLAYING WITH IT!!! Think of Instagram-shoot a photo of the bottle label, and wait. The photo is analyzed, input into the database, and *PooF* wine ratings, prices, and even notes appear like magic!! Add wines to your favorites list, link to other friends with the app, network through wines….brilliant! Be prepared to lose time in your local wine shop….I sure did…wormhole alert…have fun!!

Check out the link HERE: Vivino Wine App – Never forget another wine

BoozyWife recommended reading-“Fruity With A Hint Of Bologna: A Slackers Guide To Wine Tasting : The Salt : NPR”

A fun look at the science behind wine tasting, without all of the snobbery….do you want to SOUND like you know what you’re talking about? Master these few tips from the article below from NPR, and you’ll have a quick rundown on winespeak, without all of the bullshit….that comes later on 🙂

Fruity With A Hint Of Bologna: A Slackers Guide To Wine Tasting : The Salt : NPR.

It’s not the grape, it’s the climate that you like!

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Grapes love warm weather and sunshine, ripening them to a high sugar fruit with rich, deep colors from amber to purple. A few grape varieties are considered ‘hearty’ in a cooler climate, including Riesling, Seyval Blanc, and Gewürztraminer. While our Finger Lakes provide temperate zones around the lakes for growing some spectacular whites, red grapes are more difficult to ripen and have to be planted more diligently in temperate areas. Moreover, the reds have different characteristics when growing here than in ‘big red zones’ such as California. Comparing grapes and wines from the two climates is easy, right? Heavy reds are good, light are bad. Right? Sort of…but not really.

Depending on what you personally enjoy, you might have a preference where your vino comes from. There’s a REASON certain wines come from certain areas. In many European regions, wine making is steeped in old tradition, and there are rules maintained to continue and preserve the old ways. The particular variety of grape has grown well throughout the ages, and the artistry has been passed down from grower to grower. The soil content has what the vines need, the climate is perfect for ripening on schedule. Each season is different, but the benchmark has essentially been reached. There are expectations, guidelines, and very structured rules.

Comparatively, our Finger Lakes are the wild, wild West of winemaking! Viticulture (study of grape growing) is relatively new to our area. Cornell has had a huge hand in our latest grape developments (pun intended-tip of the hat to Cory Ferguson, tattooist and pun maker extraordinaire), from creating a new hybrid named Cayuga White, to helping to educate growers on battling pests and mold. Red grapes have a much shorter growing season here, which completely changes the style of red wines produced. Finger Lakes Pinot Noir is completely different than Pinot from Washington State. Our Pinot grapes often ripen with lighter colors, less sugar, and make a much softer red wine. Lighter does NOT MEAN BAD, just different. Taste, let your palate decide for you! WINE TASTING IS LIKE LIFE ITSELF, and if you get too stuck on rules, you will miss out on crazy, adventurous, and often wonderful shit.

Wine rules in the end are just that, and rules were meant to be broken. Vintners in our area have structure, form, and education…but they also have adventurous spirit, a love for the land, and the balls (women included) to work outside of the comfort zone. New blends! New hybrids! Bold new wines!

Women Swimmin’ has a new mermaid!

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I lost my mom to renal cancer less than two months prior to relocating to Ithaca. That was August of 2007. She was my best friend, cheerleader, and support. My life goal as a kid was to be a mermaid; a dream that mom supported whole-heartedly, spending hours at our local YMCA pool, and on the ‘beach’ at countless public lake parks, watching me hold my breath and retrieve rings from the depths of ten feet. I was blessed years later to find a man that would also lend total support to any of my ventures. My mom gave her approval and told me this is the one I would be with forever (very handsome, twinkle in the eye, reminded her a bit of dad….except for those damn tattoos), and she left us after a short but nasty fight before her 61st birthday. I’ve missed her every single day, from sunny mornings to the day of our wedding.

This year, in August, I’ll be swimming across Cayuga Lake, with 349 other women, to raise money for Hospicare and honor my mom’s life and battle. I so excited to be a swimmer in the 10th Annual Women Swimmin for Hospicare! I’ll be marking my progress along the way, and you can pledge $$ to support a great cause here: Women Swimmin Demetra Molina

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Earth Day in the Finger Lakes

Cayuga Lake from Goose Watch Winery

Cayuga Lake from Goose Watch Winery

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My husband, proudly digging!

The start of our raised beds

It’s ALWAYS Earth Day in Ithaca, NY. We live surrounded by vineyards and waterfalls, have the ability and space to garden our own soil, and live much more sustainably. Last year was our first as official home owning gardeners, and my husband’s tomatoes were monsters. There were a few make it yourself experiments with bat guano tea fertilizer, and  jokes about plants crawling out of the garden and vines extending to the road! Rather than tell you all about why it’s such a great place, how wonderful the waterfalls, the hiking, the summers, the vineyards are…enjoy the views!! (The last pic is from our wedding…seriously.)

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Lower Enfield Falls, our wedding by a waterfall spot

A group of our friends at Fall Creek, day after our vows

A group of our friends at Fall Creek, day after our vows

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Vines at Six Mile Creek Winery

Our Fairytale Bridge pic- Photo Credit: Alex Solla Photography

Our Fairytale Bridge pic- Photo Credit: Alex Solla Photography

 

 

My 38th trip around the sun :)

So, today is my thirty-eighth birthday. I am blessed with an amazing husband and best friend, a great start to a killer tattoo collection, four of the cutest dogs on the planet, and a slot to pursue a wine degree! Not too shabby for a tiny town gal…
Thank you to everyone that has supported me through it all…especially my mom, who I was lucky enough to have with me for thirty two of those years. She gave me the backbone to do what I do, no matter WHAT that is. She hated my tattoos, loved me unconditionally, and always spoke her mind. When she was very ill, she liked to rest on the enclosed porch of her house. There was a robin & her nest, set up in the bushes right off of the deck. She told me every time i saw a robin when she was gone, that I should think of her. I had one bounce around on the window sill first thing this morning, a happy spring hello for mom’s little pixie!
I’m a lucky woman all around…See you on the road!!!

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A Tattoo Wife’s boozy journey to a Wine Diploma

On April 27th, I will be taking the Wine & Spirit Education Trust Level 1 class and certification exam at the New York Wine & Culinary Center in Canandaigua, NY! The WSET is an international training program specifically geared to those in the wine and spirit industry. This is the first level of certification, and I hope to continue. Finally, higher education that I will enjoy!  The program is a one day, eight-hour class, followed by a written test. I already have my study guide thanks to iBook and email, so the studying (and tasting) has begun in earnest.  A HUGE Thank You to my dad, almost always my supporter, and patron of this latest venture in honor of my thirty-eighth birthday!

My husband and I relocated to the Finger Lakes area in 2007, and I started my winery career soon thereafter. I have spent several grape harvests in the field, shears in hand, lug at my feet. It is tiring labor, and you are at the mercy of the elements. There is a romantic element to the vines for the first hour, which then gives way to an ache in your lower back and a crick in your neck. The accomplishment is in completing the tasks at hand, which are often time sensitive and on a strict deadline. Getting dirty in the fields also gives you an invaluable certainty and comfort behind the tasting bar. You develop a relationship with the wine from grape through bottling, something that can only be experienced. The knowledge is not learned, but gained through memory. My first harvest is something I will never forget. I even have a tattoo to mark the occasion! Grapes, of course…from my husband.

The WSET will be my first formal certification in wines. I can’t wait to build on the knowledge that I’ve acquired, mostly by working closely with local wine makers. It’s sure to be an adventurous path, learning and drinking wine as I go!

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True Romance Tour

 

Most of the time in this blog, you’ll hear about wine. I’ll track where I travelled to taste it, which ones were amazing, which ones weren’t in my humble opinion. My husband travels a lot, and I plan on taking more trips with him soon…so you’ll read about our travels, our extended tattoo family, artists and tattoo conventions intermittently as well…

This post though, is about my obsession with the film True Romance, and the trip we recently took to Los Angeles.

True Romance is my favorite love story, and my version of a ‘chick-flick’. Two outcasts that end up perfectly fitting together, adventure, danger, and happily never after on a beach in Mexico. I always said I would get married if I found my Clarence. I never thought it would actually happen, let alone that I would marry a tattooer that actually knew the artist that played the tattooer in the film. Luckily for me, husband doesn’t talk to an Elvis figure…as far as I know…

January 2013, we were in L.A. for a little over a week. We put over 1,000 miles on our rental car, before we went on our drive up the Pacific Coast Highway!!! We went everywhere, and I drank quite a bit of wine…but this is about True Romance.

Rae's Restaurant in Santa Monica

Rae’s Restaurant in Santa Monica

We woke up early(ish) one of our first mornings in Cali, and found Rae’s Restaurant in Santa Monica.  It’s a real dive diner, classic 1950’s design, probably a lot of the same regulars as the day it opened. Clarence and Alabama went there for pie after their first date at the movies. (Rae’s is actually a breakfast and lunch place, so don’t go looking for coffee & pie after 4pm.) I had a simple bowl of sausage gravy with biscuits, cup of coffee to wash it down…my Clarence had cherry pie (swear to God).

My Clarence with a gratuitous menu shot

My Clarence with a gratuitous menu shot

Food was very hearty, simple greasy spoon fare, easy to eat for under five dollars each. I, however, felt like I was in a fucking dream. I ran around like a tourist of the worst type *fangirl*, taking pictures of light fixtures, the menu, different angles….because I was at Rae’s!

Rae's grill from the door

Rae’s …the real deal view from Clarence & Alabama’s booth

Stuffed to the gills, we took off headed for my next mandatory (and last) True Romance location, concluding my pilgrimage. The Beverly Ambassador Hotel (location for the final shootout) had been demolished in the recent past, so that was a no-go. I had to see the Safari Motor Inn, where Clarence and Alabama took Dick to see the stolen suitcase….and where Alabama would face off with a terrifying hitman, played by James Gandolfini.

Safari Inn cool ass sign

Safari Inn’s cool ass sign

The Safari Motor Inn is a 1950’s themed hotel, located in Burbank, CA. The desk attendant was extremely pleasant, and more than happy to open the pool gates so I could frolic and shoot pictures. *Fangirl* shows no shame, and we had a very memorable visit! The rooms are not decorated in jungle theme or leopard print kitsch, so I skipped the room tour. The sign over the driveway in the movie was also just for filming …so I focused by the pool and that awesome neon sign 🙂

Poolside at the Safari Motor Inn

Poolside at the Safari Motor Inn

aaaaand another one, with my badass new bag scored on Olvera Street

aaaaand another one, with my badass new bag scored on Olvera Street