Another Glass of Chardonnay (or Sake)

Somehow I got conned tricked into an online wine club (by accident). I discovered they were putting $40 every billing cycle on my credit card. I like wine, but I sure can’t use $40 a month! So I placed an order for the wine I had coming to me and quickly cancelled the subscription.

One of the wines I ordered was Rumpus, both because it was advertised as a popular chardonnay and because the name reminded me of “Let the wild rumpus start!” from Where the Wild Things Are.

When I first opened the bottle, I liked that the wine had no bite, no aftertaste, and was very smooth and good tasting. But the next time the wine (from the previously opened bottle) was sharp to my tongue and a bit abrasive–like a typical cheap chardonnay. The third time I drank from the bottle, the sharpness had calmed down, but it tasted like a very average chardonnay.

Notice on the back the talk of “Angel funding.” That was my $40 per month. I’m an Angel, but when I cancelled I had to turn in my wings and halo. Now I’m just a wine parasite.

A long time ago, I promised you more chardonnay reviews.  The problem is that if I don’t take good notes and if that one glass turns into 1.5 or even 2, I forget all my very important observations.

Here are some wines I’ve tried since that review last December.

Qu is another wine club offering. It was adequate. Actually adequate is not bad because that means that it is a lot better than most house chardonnays in most restaurants, right?

Cloud Break is such a pretty name for a wine. Gosh, where are my notes? That means I have to buy it all over again some day, just to see what I thought.

To my knowledge, the vineyards for this Jerome wine aren’t anywhere near Jerome, Arizona. I heard on TV the other day that there are over 30 wineries in Arizona now, but I kind of turned up my nose. I didn’t care for this Arizona wine. In fact, I thought it was pretty icky and suspect most of them are like this. (I apologize to my dear friend I gave a bottle of Arizona wine to yikes). Any Arizona wineries out there want to prove differently, email me for my shipping address. I accept free wine for review.

If I drink more than a glass or two of chardonnay a week, my stomach gets free-ranging acid. So I had to find a remedy. Most people would switch to red wine. Or vodka. Or stay away from alcohol (and chocolate).

My remedy was to switch to sake. It doesn’t seem to bother my stomach, and it’s never disappointing. I buy or order junmai sake because junmai means distilled alcohol has not been added. That assures that the wine is most likely gluten-free (the celiac has had good luck with junmais).

Fun sakes are Mura Mura: I’ve enjoyed four of its locations: river, canyon, mountain, and meadow. They are all quite different, but delicious. The most unusual is mountain: sweet, , full, rich,  and milky white. It fills the tongue beautifully.  Mountain is perfect for drinking by itself (without food). River feels and looks thinner, has a milder taste, and is pale yellow. Canyon and meadow are closer to river than they are to mountain.

Now Mura Mura makes a pear orchard sake, but I have yet to taste that delicacy.

Here are some other good tasting junmai sakes that are varying prices. Momo Kawa is intense and a bit dry. It’s very good, but not a favorite of mine. I suspect I like the sweeter sakes best. Ozeki is good, sweet, and I might add that it tastes slightly metallic–but even by putting that into words is exaggerating the characteristic.

The differences between junmai sakes are not that different from each other, according to my uneducated palate. I drink these sakes at room temperature or cold from the refrigerator. If you want warm sake, order the crap like Gekkeikan that you see in every supermarket.

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On another note, I finished the little free library memoir Monkey Mind and highly recommend it for anyone suffering from anxiety (unless you’re a kid and then it’s not appropriate!). The style is not chronological narrative as I am trying for my memoir (yes, I decided to put it–mostly–in order), but rather more thematically arranged and with a journalistic twist to it (research).

Kana’s selfie shows the best anxiety remedy: cat cuddling!

 

32 Comments

Filed under #AmWriting, Book Review, Books, Cats and Other Animals, Food & Drink, Memoir, Memoir writing theory, Nonfiction, Writing

32 responses to “Another Glass of Chardonnay (or Sake)

  1. I think you’re wise to just buy as you go.

    • I think that wine club is geared for people who want quantity rather than exploration or quality. But I really didn’t mean to join it. I had received a $100 gift card from them through an air conditioning part order and somehow using that signed me up for this club.

  2. Well you got to try some interesting sounding wines before you cancelled your subscription – I don’t drink wine so it’s all a mystery to me 🙂

  3. Can’t drink wine at all now but when I did I stuck to the red ones. Chardonnay was never a favorite of mine and for some of the descriptions you used here. I don’t remember trying sake. Maybe some day. Kana….ahhh…so cute!

  4. I’ve never tried sake. As for wine, I always enjoying looking at the unique labels and names.

    • I know. What would be the fun of just going for the same thing all the time? Whether you drink it or not, the adventure is in the exploration.
      Sake is really lovely and easy going down.

  5. White wine agrees with me more than red, but oh how I love the reds. I’ve never explored sake with the range you describe here. I’m interested, but I suppose I don’t have time to devote to it. Wine of the month wouldn’t do for me either, I’m too on-again, off again. Haven’t opened a bottle of wine since early August, but the boy one and I have been really into Framboise Lambic beer…which tastes nothing like beer, but not quite like wine, a bit like soda almost. I dunno, it’s weird, but it’s DELICIOUS. 🙂 lol

    • Reds are so good for their varied flavors, but they aren’t refreshing in the way that white wine is. I’ve never heard of Framboise Lambic, but that’s because I’m allergic to brewer’s yeast, so I only drink beer at Medieval Times ;). Is it made like regular beer? The celiac can’t have beer either because it’s not gluten free (except the few gluten free brands), so we probably won’t be trying FL unless you tell me it has no brewer’s yeast . . . .

  6. What a fun post, Luanne. I’m not a big fan of Chardonnay, though I’ve had some I’ve enjoyed. I love the names of these, and I like to read fun wine labels. We belong to a sort of wine club at one of the local NJ wineries. We have to pay for shipments 4 times a year, but we also get discounts for any other wine we buy there or for events we attend.
    I might have to check out some sake though.

    Kana’s a cutie, and cat cuddles are definitely a great cure for all sorts of things. 🙂

    • Are there a lot of NJ wineries? There is something really fun about supporting local wineries. When we visited my mom in Michigan we had such a good time at the local St. Julian winery that I still remembered from 30 years ago.
      I can’t imagine living without cat cuddles. Dogs are good, too, in a different way ;).

  7. I don’t drink wine, but this post made me laugh anyway. 🙂

  8. Your post was so entertaining! I have mainly red wine bottles in my apartment, I save a few kinds I like until the next purchase. The guy I like is Italian but likes cold wine, which he says technically, reds should be room temperature. So, as I walk into my kitchen and check out the brand name: Les Roucas, Chardonnay. 2013. Arzens, France. It was reasonably priced and delicious, Luanne. 🙂

    Cats or pets are definitely anxiety relief! Also, great for children who have special needs, for example Asperger’s syndrome. I like therapy dogs in nursing homes, too.

    • You wrote about a lot of things here, but I REALLY most want to hear about the Italian . . . . 🙂 And I don’t mean wine. Oh, that wine sounds yummy!
      I love it when animals help people out: Aspergers, nursing homes, sick children, etc. So wonderful.

      • I have been seeing a guy who doesn’t look Italian, but both parents were born there. He’s younger but not too young: since his siblings all watched the same shows on TV and listened to “our” music. We shall see, since it is past 135 days. . . 🙂 He has two children and was married for twenty years; divorced five. If he is being honest, I am his first dating situation since then. My sister in law and he exchanged which towns in Italy her family and his were from, Luanne.

  9. I love wine (but white only) so I can see how you got trapped in the whole wine club thing. Good on you for canceling – $40 a month is a lot. I love the picture of the cat – animals certainly know how to make us feel relaxed! xxx

    • Kana is a sweetie fluff. She’s a big squishy cat who lets me hug her whenever I want to ;). But all my cats have ways of relaxing me–all different! I had no idea i was signing myself up for a wine club. Made me so mad when I found out!

  10. Thank goodness you cancelled the wine club

  11. Fun post, Luanne! I enjoy wine occasionally, but not enough to join a club. I do love all the names of these different wines.

    • Well, $40 is too much and to get the same wines over and over ugh. However, exploring different wines is a lot of fun. I did belong to a wine club when I was young though, when I did a lot of entertaining. There was a certain red Hungarian wine that I still think about sometimes!

  12. I love that your wine research breaks down after more than a glass. 🙂 I like a real buttery chardonnay, but the only label I can ever remember is Clos Du Bois so that’s my go-to wine. Like you, my husband loves sake. We have a place here in town that sells a “Purple Haze,” which is sake and chambord; we got one the day Prince died. I mostly like the tiny cups and sake bottles—typical of my near-universal attraction to diminutive things.

  13. Yes, buttery is a good description for the Chardonnays I like best. My husband is the one who selects wine for the most part. I try to remember what we drink but sometimes it’s a blur (not saying why). There are so many different labels now … maybe too many and our local coop switches out their stock too often so when we do find a favorite, there’s no guarantee it will be in stock next time we’re at the store.
    For a few years after we moved to Florida, we belonged to a wine club through V. Sattui, a small winery in St. Helena, CA. It was our favorite winery, coming upon it in the early days of our dating. (It also has a deli and picnic tables so it’s a fun place to eat as well.) We stopped the club after a while though because we had to sign for each shipment. That often meant having to pick up our package because we weren’t home in time to sign. It became very inconvenient and eventually we decided it was also too expensive.
    Another favorite Chardonnay is Francis Ford Coppola’s. We first had it at his restaurant in SF (Cafe Zoetrope), one of those serendipitous finds at a moment when we were really hungry. The waiter gave us a corner table and a free glass of wine so I’m probably enjoy it for sentimental reasons as well 🙂

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