Rosé. Not From Provence, but Just as Delicious!

Rosé. Not From Provence, but Just as Delicious!

I love Provence as much as the next Francophile, but when we talk about rosé we can also look at other regions. Provençal rosé is definitely a thing here in the states. I work at a wine store and once warm weather hits we begin to get inundated with rosé. Often it's my job to let consumers know about the vast rosé's from different regions. A few of my favorite regions are Chinon (Loire Valley), Burgunday, and the Gigondas appellations. 

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Thank You!

 Thank You!

Thank You!

There are no words to express what you, my dear readers, mean to me. You have stood beside me and supported me on this writing journey since 2006. This year has been busy and this space has lacked my own words because I've been burning the candle at both ends writing for other outlets. I have dreamt of this moment for years and I am appreciative although everything is happening at the same time. I'm not complaining. I'm ENJOYING as my friend Renee likes to tell me.

I just want you to know that I am getting back to the business of coming to you with words every week. And often.

Thank you and À Bientôt!

The Response. Let's Do the Work.

The Response. Let's Do the Work.

THANK YOU! Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all my family, friends, and colleagues who texted, emailed, Tweeted, and shared my open letter on yesterday. So many people in and out of the wine industry reached out to me. Now the real work begins. 

I received a personal response from Karen last night. I am glad Karen took the time to respond. She could have dismissed it, but she didn't. I believe the post will give her and many others a new perspective in their wine writing and work. Thank you, Karen. I am posting a photo of the email and the copy here. I believe in this new career I have embarked on. I believe in working together to be the change we want to see in the world. I believe this open letter will help all wine industry leaders, journalists, public relations teams, producers, and winemakers to research. and get out of our comfort zone. It's time to comfortable with being uncomfortable.

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Your Wine Glass Ceiling is My Wine Glass Box. An Open Letter to Karen MacNeil and the Wine Industry.

Your Wine Glass Ceiling is My Wine Glass Box. An Open Letter to Karen MacNeil and the Wine Industry.

Last Saturday afternoon my phone, emails, and notifications blew up with mentions of your blog post Women and the Wine Industry and your SOMM Journal article Beyond the Wine Glass—A New Glass Ceiling?  Before I commented I wanted to read the post and the article. I wanted to sit with them because I am a woman in the wine industry. I’m a new convert to the profession and I hoped the article would give me insights. It did, but it also lacked what is obvious in the wine industry too – diversity.

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Hella Perspective: Wines for a Wine Down (S2:E8)

Hella Perspective: Wines for a Wine Down (S2:E8)

Wow. I can’t believe we are here at the finale. It’s bittersweet. I want more episodes, not necessarily longer, but more. I wouldn’t mind 10 episodes. Ten is a good number for Insecure. At it’s hard it’s a comedy, but at times it feels like a drama. I am always rooting for them. Friendships are complex, hard, and like any relationship takes work. They are layered, nuanced, and when you find a good friend you hold on to them. Right, wrong, or indifferent defines all friendships.

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Hello Blows: Wines for a Wine Down (S2:E6)

Hello Blows: Wines for a Wine Down (S2:E6)

I wanted to thank everyone who reached out to me regarding my family, friends, and my beloved Houston regarding the hurricane. It did not go unnoticed and I am very thankful for this community who look after one another. It was also eye-opening for people who say they love you or care about you who didn’t say one word.

With that being said...my goodness. The show is going to places I know I didn’t expect. The writing is getting better and it’s also so real. Yes, people will always make crazy decisions while we sit on the couch of judgment.

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Hella Shook: Wines for a Wine Down (S2: E5)

Hella Shook: Wines for a Wine Down (S2: E5)

It’s like whoa! This week’s episode has me questioning Issa and Molly as a mad duo. I think Issa should join Molly in sitting on a therapist’s couch. You can only do your hoe phase for so long before you realize you need to talk to someone with some letters behind their name to deal with your issues because what she is doing is not working.

Spoiler Alert

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Hella LA: Wines for a Wine Down (S2: E4)

Hella LA: Wines for a Wine Down (S2: E4)

This week’s episode had so many layers to it. It was almost too much. I was traveling home yesterday and decided to watch the episode in the airport lounge. Someone should have warned me. I was moving my screen around hoping someone didn’t see what was on it. Okay, Lawrence. Cough, cough.

Issa is trying to deal the best way she knows how to get over her breakup with Lawrence. Going out. She’s excited to do the Kiss-n-Grind because she needs her girls and she needs to get back on the market.

Since this episode is about Los Angeles, I decided all the wines will be from California.

Spoiler Alert

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Hella Open: Wines for a Wine Down (S2: E3)

Hella Open: Wines for a Wine Down (S2: E3)

We find Issa this week ready to get her single lady game on. My first thought went to the old school Chill Deal Boyz song “I’m Single.” We are now seeing Issa coming to terms with dating and putting herself out there which is hard at any time, but definitely after a long term relationship. It’s funny watching Issa so out of her element. Her beautiful awkwardness in one of the things I love about this show.

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Hella Questions: Wines for a Wine Down (S2: E2)

Hella Questions: Wines for a Wine Down (S2: E2)

Whoa! Did you see the latest episode of Insecure? My goodness is a doozy. Issa Rae and the lovely ladies of the show give me what I need every single week. I watched this week’s episode with a glass of 2016 Cassagnoles Rose Plaisir (France / Gascony). This wine has a bold pink color and easy on the lips. It has everything I like in a good rose - character, depth, and goes well with food. Rose doesn’t have to be a porch pounder. I just wish I had some leftover shrimp and grits to pair this with. Summer may be coming to a close in a few weeks so add this to your list.

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Hella Great: Wines for a Wine Down (S2: E1)

Hella Great: Wines for a Wine Down (S2: E1)

If you have never heard of the HBO Series Insecure you may be living under a rock. The show just currently kicked off its second season on Sunday and I dare say even better than the first. I suggest binge watching season one. It’s smart, funny, and has so many layers. It’s great to see beautiful women who look like me reflected on television. Issa is a gift.

I am not here to recap episode one from season two. I’m here to pair wine with each character.

Spoiler Alert.

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Wellness and Wine. The Perfect Oxymoron.

Wellness and Wine. The Perfect Oxymoron.

Wine and wellness. These words seem like an oxymoron. It’s really my life. As a wine professional I had to find the balance between my job, my wine studies, and being healthy. I have a job of decadence. There are days when I go from one wine event to another. It can be taxing on the body and the spirit. It took quite a bit of juggling to understand what worked for me.

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A Peek into California's Central Coast ~ Paso Robles

A Peek into California's Central Coast ~ Paso Robles

Wine country. What is your first thought? California. Napa. Sonoma. Right? Yes, I can feel the head nods now. California has great wine destinations other than the two mentioned. Don’t get me wrong. They are great. They helped pioneer the way we buy wine in America. But, they paved the way to other great California discoveries. One of my favorites is Paso Robles. Paso is located on California’s Central Coast. It’s an easy drive from Los Angeles to its wine areas.

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Wine Rituals with Earthquake Cabernet

Wine Rituals with Earthquake Cabernet

Lodi, California. A great wine area for big and bold red wines. Although spring has arrived, my palette is still craving red wines. It’s hot in Louisiana and I find myself sitting on the porch at dusk, sipping my wine, reading a book, and Gary Clark, Jr.’s live album on repeat. It’s become my end of the day ritual. It’s how I transition from the workday until evening. Rituals. Wine to me is such.

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Last Bottle: The Best Deals in Fine Wine

Last Bottle: The Best Deals in Fine Wine

"Julia, where do you buy your wine?" This is a question I'm often asked. I rely heavily on my wine friends and writers who never steer me wrong. I am bookmarking wine from people I follow on Instagram too. I find like most people I can get in a rut with my wine buying. I know some wine snobs don't believe in buying wine at the grocery store, but I think if you do your due diligence you can find some winners outside of the big name brands. 

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Let’s Make Way for Rosé Weather

Let’s Make Way for Rosé Weather

Rosé. The word can add joy to your lips or make you roll your eyes. It’s almost the time of year where rosé will be everywhere. Here’s looking at you spring and summer. I know you are there. It certainly is spring in Louisiana right now.I enjoy a good rose, crisp, and has depth. It has to pair well with lighter summer foods, but doesn’t need to be so weak and lacking that it tastes like pink-colored water. I am not a rosé just to drink rosé drinker. If there is no structure or complexity you can keep it. Yeah, I’m a wine snob like that and I can admit it.

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Wine Wednesday: Valdivieso Wines from Chile

Wine Wednesday: Valdivieso Wines from Chile

Chile, one of the great wine regions of the new world produces beautiful and delicious wines. My team was recently invited to meet with Valdivieso winemaker Brett Jackson and to learn more about their wines. Jai gives a beautiful story on the wines. Enjoy. 

"Walking into Iron Gate takes your breath away as wrought iron, dark wood, and soft lighting greets diners as they arrive. Yet on this particular day, a select group met with Valdivieso winemaker Brett Jackson.

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