Holiday gift ideas under $50 for people who love wine :)

Hello, hello!

Are you aware that Christmas is right around the corner?

Like, as in 21 days.

3 weeks.



So, you better get shopping!

1. Wine Cork Picture Frame

wine cork frame

2. Individual Mini Decanters

mini decanters

3. Wine Aroma Tasting Set

wine aroma

4. The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert

scratch and sniff

5. Wineopoly (I have this game and it’s fun!)


6. The Wine Bible

wine bible

7. Wine Cork Coasters

Wine coasters

8. Wine Journal

wine journal

9. Wine Charms

wine charms

10. Wine of the Month Club

wine of the month

**Please note that I am not in any way affiliated with any of these stores or products. I just think these are pretty neat. If you buy any of them, I will not be compensated at all. I will only receive the joy of knowing you bought someone what I thought was a cool gift.  I might be a little sad if you didn’t buy it for me. 😉

Talk to me: Are you a last minute shopper or do you pick things up throughout the year? (my mother does that, hides the gifts, and then forgets where she hid them. lol)

– jennifer

Wine Wednesday – Thanksgiving wine recommendations

Hello, hello!

Happy Wine Wednesday before Thanksgiving Thursday!

The weather outside is most definitely frightful and, if you’re traveling today, please be careful. I’m sure your family/friends would enjoy giving thanks for your safe arrival. If you’re traveling tomorrow, the same story holds. 🙂

So, let’s talk wine.

I mean, it IS Wine Wednesday, after all!



Do you have a plan for what wine you’re pouring with tomorrow’s meal?

If you do – Excellent! What are you pouring?

If you don’t, and you’re in charge of the wine, you’re in luck. I’m here to help!

Oh, and if you’re not in charge of wine this time around but are for Christmas, these tips will work for that meal, as well. 🙂

The first thing you need to figure out is how much wine to have on hand.

Generally, a standard bottle will yield about 4-6 glasses of wine, depending on who does the pouring. If it’s my dad, we’re looking at 4 glasses. 🙂

So, for math purposes, we’ll go with 5.

Plan for about 2 glasses per person (some will drink none and some will most definitely drink more) but 2 is a good average.



Then, you have to figure out how many people will be there.

Adults, not children. Please don’t give the children any wine.

We’re going to have 15 at my folks’ house but out of those 15, 6 are below the age of 21. So, we’ll have 9 wine drinkers.

So, 9 wine drinkers plus 2 glasses each equals 18 glasses of wine. Divide that by how many glasses you can get out of a bottle – (remember from up there?) – 5 and we’re looking at about 4 bottles of wine for the meal.

Now, you can mix it up and offer both white and red, if you want. You’ll still want to stick to those estimated calculations. If you know that people will drink more because they aren’t driving, then you can plan for that.

Whatever you plan for pre-dinner drinks is completely up to you and if it’s more wine, you’ll have to account for that in your wine bottle total.

Ooohh, you know what’s handy?


Wine charms! If you have quite a few people drinking wine, it’s very common for someone to put down their glass and walk away for a minute only to come back and discover that it’s gone. With wine charms, everyone basically calls dibs on their own glass with a little charm! They wrap around the glass stem, aren’t very expensive, and can be found in most wine markets and places like World Market, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and, who knows, probably even Target! (*note – if the store sells wine glasses, it probably sells wine charms)

And now it’s time for the good stuff!

What to drink!!



If you’re doing the traditional Thanksgiving meal with turkey or ham, there are a variety of wines that pair with both (and all the side dishes) quite nicely.

Let’s start with white wines, shall we?

Rieslings, Gewurztraminers, and Chardonnays are all excellent choices.

They’re all light and fruity without being overly sweet. Gewürztraminers bring a little bit of spiciness to the table and pair excellently with both pecan and pumpkin pie. When looking for a Chardonnay, you want to look for something “unoaked” or stainless barreled. Some oaky Chardonnays can be intensely buttery and might overwhelm your meal. The lighter, unoaked are both crisp and full-bodied and delicious.

Some of my favorite Rieslings include Fetzer, Chateau Ste. Michelle, and J. Lohr.

Favorite Gewürztraminers include Fetzer (again). I haven’t tried too many others so that’s all I got.

And Chardonnays include Kunde, Mer Soleil ($$), Fess Parker, and Josh Cellars.


For red wines, traditional choices are Beaujolais and Pinot Noir. You could also go with a Malbec or a Zinfandel. If you decide to buy a couple bottles of different kinds, serve the Beaujolais and Pinot Noirs BEFORE the Malbecs and Zinfandels.

Beaujolais and Pinot Noir are both light and fruity with a little bit of earthiness. Malbecs are a more lush, medium-bodied wine and Zinfandels are powerful and fruity and full of depth.

If your Thanksgiving crowd are wine lovers, you could definitely throw the Malbecs and the Zinfandels into the mix without worry but if you have wine novices or people who prefer a “lighter” wine, then you should definitely stick with the Beaujolais or Pinot Noir.

I don’t have a favorite Beaujolais as I normally grab a Pinot Noir. Some favorite Pinot Noirs include Rubeus of Lore, Edna Valley, and Decoy.


Favorite Malbecs include Middle Sister (SO GOOD!!), Acacia, or most Meritages (includes the Malbec grape).

Favorite Zinfandels include Four Vines, Seghisio ($$), and Rancho Zabaco.

So there you have it! You’re all set. Well, as far as the wine goes. I can’t help you with the cooking part. 🙂

Talk to me: Pumpkin or Pecan pie?

– jennifer

Wine Wednesday – 2011 Bridlewood Blend 175

Hello, hello!

Sorry I wasn’t around for Tasty Tuesday yesterday.

Thing 2 had a major party in her mouth at the oral surgeon’s office and I played “mommy” to my baby who isn’t so little any more.


If only she were old enough to drink, she could totally take part in Wine Wednesday!

Alas, she isn’t and, if she were, she shouldn’t be drinking wine anyway while she’s on her pain meds. So, I’ll drink some in her honor. 🙂


Anyhoo, we went to a party this past Saturday and swung by the grocery store to grab a bottle to take.

I found this super interesting sounding blend from Bridlewood Estate Winery and you KNOW how I feel about blends! ❤


It’s a blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel and rings in surprisingly low on the alcohol scale at 12.5%.


The home of the party hostess is old (like super early 1900s), absolutely beautiful – probably should have taken some pictures, huh? – and superbly decorated.

The cabinet and those glasses made me feel like I should have been drinking a super expensive French wine. But, unfortunately, she didn’t have any. 😉


This wine was beautiful and definitely an excellent choice for this party.

It was potluck (I brought my triple chocolate avocado brownies – YUM!) so there were quite a variety of dishes.

I should add that this party was with all my CrossFit peeps so … there was lots of meat and bacon, etc. #winning

The wine paired fabulously with everything!

It was jammy but soft, oaky with some toasty spice, and smooth. Bridlewood uses the word “graceful” in its description and I would have to agree.

Some wines like to pack a punch or be super jammy and chewy or be extra “hot” (high alcohol content) – this one is like going to a club/bar/wedding/party/etc and the older married couple takes the dance floor and waltzes every wannabe dancer into submission. 🙂



The low alcohol content (which means less residual sugar from the skins) kept the wine from being too big and tannic and made it quite lovely to enjoy.

Actually, if you’ve never tried a blend, this would be an excellent first choice because it is so soft and muted and flavorful.


Talk to me: What do you  normally bring to potlucks? Do you have a “signature dish” that you rely on?

– jennifer