img_0200Need a break from all the election madness? I think most of us can come together and agree that wine is something that brings people together. Whether it’s sharing a special bottle on  Thanksgiving Day or just grabbing a glass of wine with your besty. I would like to take this time to thank wine. Instead of writing about which wines pair best with your Thanksgiving dinner, I’m going to write about some wines I am thankful for.

29 Wines I’m Thankful For and It’s Not the Reasons You ThinkWhen it comes to Thanksgiving, I say bring a bottle of wine you like or that has some special meaning to you. Share it with your family and friends and tell them what makes the wine so meaningful and the many reasons you are feeling grateful for having them in you life. That is the perfect Thanksgiving Wine Pairing in my book!

Today, I am thankful for free speech, my twin daughters, my hardworking husband, the great state of California, the entire country of Italy, the wine community for allowing me to be apart of it, my mom for telling me I can be anything I want to be when I grow up even the President, and I’m thankful for all of you for taking the time to read my stories and watch my show.

While I’m not going to write about which wine pairs best with turkey (or in my case Tofurkey), I am going to write about some wines that I am thankful for this season. With that here are 29 Wines that I’m Thankful for and here’s why!

Reds that Rock

img_4519Bruce Patch Wines  Bruce Patch was nice enough to send me several bottles of his wine. Before I had a chance to taste them they were sitting on my bar and my twin daughters really took a liking to the ladies on the labels. Watching 14 month old twins crawl up to a bottle of wine and wave at the picture of the woman painted on the bottle will melt your heart in a way you didn’t even know was imaginable. I actually saved the empty bottles because I just can’t get enough of the cuteness. Bruce Patch Wines: Good on the inside and outside.

Mercer Estates “Sharp Sisters” Red Blend, 2013 ($24) Sharp + Sisters Um, need I say more? #twinbabymama

Antigal Malbec Uno 1 ($16.99) Two words 1. Value 2. Vino

Angeline Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 ($18) I’m thankful to Robert Larson for introducing me to Angeline produced by Martin Ray Winery. I thought I had literally drank every single bottle of wine this side of the Mississippi until The The Larsen Projekt opened my eyes and my mouth to these gems. Added bonus, they are made in America! This of course means you have my permission to serve any one of them during your Thanksgiving feast.

img_46471985 Gundlach-Bundschu Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($ Priceless) Thank you to Taylor Eason for this “Back to the Future” bottle of wine. Where were you in 1985? This bad boy brought me back to the past and I didn’t even have to plug in my crimping iron! 🙂

2014 UNA – Alexander Valley  ($39) I paired this bottle of wine with what can only be described as the best homemade pizza on the planet. Every Saturday night My husband ditches his day job and tries his hand at mastering his homemade pizza making skills. Now, I’m not going to lie, when his pizza party first started several months ago, I was chocking down some not so delicious slices. Thankfully, I had plenty of wine to wash the super soggy or overly crunch dough down with.

img_0250However, the pizza pictured here was in fact THE BEST homemade pizza I have ever eaten. We celebrated this momentous occasion with the UNA. Now, you may be asking yourself. Self, do they really stay home and make pizza EVERY Saturday night? YES, YES they do, Why you ask? They have toddler twins therefore they never leave the house.

img_0256I am also thankful to Ferrari-Carano for sending me their line up of wines to taste. Ferrari-Carano invited me on their fabulous Yacht Cruise to celebrate their 35th anniversary. Sailing around the San Fransisco Bay while the Blue Angels flew overhead, was an offer I couldn’t refuse. But, oh wait I did! I couldn’t make it because one of my daughters got sick. Instead of being really pissed at me for flaking at the last minute, they sent me all the wines they tasted on the boat. Oops, I mean ship. Is that a class act or what?

Babies & Bubbles

In honor of my twin daughters first birthday, I threw a Babies, Bagels and Bubbles party (I stole the idea from the always fabulous Kristen Green). I invited some of my fellow Mamas and Papas and their babies and we wine-ed in style. Breaking out these bottles of bubbly, while celebrating making it to the one year Twin Baby Mama mark, was truly something to be thankful for. It didn’t hurt that all of my friends were so impressed they kept saying “Wow, this bubbly is the best!”

Champagne Palmer‘s Amazone ($140)

Carpenè Malvolti 1868 Extra Dry Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG ($18.99)

The Grape Debate

This one time many moons ago, before I spent more time in Italy than I do in the US, I held a dinner party and got into what can only be called a grape debate with a guest. He will remain nameless but let’s just say he wasn’t the most gracious guest in town. I mean the wine was free shut up and drink it right? Any who, he insisted that Montepulciano was a grape, while I insisted the wine I was serving was from the Montepulciano region. We agreed to disagree. Turns out it can be both! I was berry grapeful to taste these two Montepulcianos: one from the region and one from the grape.

**REGION** Avignonesi Rosso di Montepulciano DOC ($19)

**GRAPE** Casal Thaulero Orsetto Oro Montepulciano d’Abruzzo ($16)

Wine Term Tips

I am thankful for this pitch I got on how remembering a few key terms can help you pick out a good bottle of wine to buy. With wine store shelves so crowded these days it’s not easy to know where to begin. I love that they simplified it. Here are some tips to help you navigate the the wine store shelves in case you find yourself lost at sea.

Term Tip #1: “Cru Bourgeois” on Bordeaux wines:
Cru Bourgeois wines are traditional Bordeaux blends that are some of the best value in France. They are more approachable and consumer friendly than that of the Grand crus classé, yet still offer the pedigree of a classé wine at a fraction of the price. Average Price: $20 – $40 range

Recommended Wine: Château Aney 2012 Haut-Médoc ($24)

Term Tip #2: “Reserva/Reserve” or “Gran Reserva/Grande Reserve” on Spanish or Argentinian wines:
Reserva and Gran Reserva classifications refer to wines that are made of the highest-quality grapes and have been aged for longer periods of time. Bottle-ageing gives wines a more complex and refined character than young wines would have. Different countries have different ageing requirements. Average Price: $15-$25 for Reserve; $25-$40 for Grand Reserve

Recommended Wine: Domaine Bousquet’s Grande Reserve Malbec ($24.99)

Term Tip #3: “DOCG” on Italian wines:
DOCG stands for Denominazione d iOrigine Controllata e Garantita, and is Italy’s most prestigious designation. It denotes controlled (controllata) production methods and guaranteed (garantita) wine quality. There are stringent rules governing the production of DOCG wines, such as the permitted grape varieties, yield limits, grape ripeness, winemaking procedures and barrel/bottle maturation. DOCG wines are also subject to official tasting procedures. To avoid counterfeiting, the bottles have a numbered government seal. Average Price: Varies

Recommended Wine: Bisol’s Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze DOCG ($40)

Royal Rieslings

img_4465Riesling is called “the king of grapes,”for good reason, drinking these Royal Rieslings will make you feel like a Queen. Anyone who thinks Rieslings are all sugar and spice and everything nice needs to rethink the way they drink. Pick up one these beauties and get ready for the royal treatment. These Grand Crus are rich and powerful with amazing aging potential. Sounds like nobility to me.

Paul Blanck Riesling Grand Cru Schlossberg 2012, ($34)

Mittnacht Riesling Grand Cru Rosacker 2012, ($36)

Josmeyer Riesling Grand Cru Hengst 2009, ($52)

It’s Getting Hot in Here

img_3691I live in San Francisco and I haven’t seen an air conditioner since circa 2009. If you recall over the summer and part of the Fall it was hot as hell in San Francisco. I’m grateful for these wines for helping me beat the heat!

Santorini 2014 Assyrtiko ($22)

Grechetto DOC Colli Martani, Montefalco Bianco DOC ($20)

Les Dauphins Côtes du Rhône Réserve Blanc ($10.99)

Chateau Montelena 2015 Potter Valley Riesling  ($25)

Prosecco: Bisol Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze DOCG ($50)

Yealands Peter Pinot Gris 2014 White Wine from New Zealand ($13.99)
Monique Soltani & Tamra Kelly-Washington
Monique Soltani & Tamra Kelly-Washington

Baby Mamas of the World Unite

Over the summer, I was invited to Volta in San Francisco, to wine and dine with Tamra Kelly-Washington of Yealands Family Wines. She was such a delight and come to find out she too was a newly minted Baby Mama! In between sniffing and swirling, we swapped Baby Mama horror stories. Thank you to Tamra for sharing her insanely delicious wines with me and for making me feel “normal” as I navigate my new normal.

Portugal Wine? Yes, Please

I’m thankful for this entire line up of wines by Esporão. Why you ask? Because they allowed me to Facebook Live with Esporão’s fierce, funny, and fabulous Chief Winemaker, David Baverstock. Want to see David in action? Watch Here

Assobio White 2015, $13

Assobio Red 2013, $13

Quinta dos Murças Reserva 2011, $45

Quinta dos Murças 10 Year Tawny Port, $32

Oh and since we are on the subject of Portugal. I am extremely grateful to Warre’s Otima Ten Year Old Tawny Port ($30) for helping me discover my new obsession: Tawny Port + Twix =’s One Happy Twin Baby Mama

Rose All Day

img_3774I’m pretty much thankful for every bottle of wine that has ever been produced in Provence. This has been my go to wine for the past two months and I’m certain I have drank their entire line up. I mean one Mama can only handle feeding, bathing, and getting twins ready for bed solo every night for so long. Once the little ladies hit they hay, Twin Baby Mama hits the bottle! 😉  I’m extra grateful for these 2015’s because that is the girls’ birth year. But, forget about laying these babies down, Roses are drink now wines.

Now, one doesn’t typically think of rose in October, but we are professionals and you know what they say? #Roseallday On any day, rain or shine, in the snow, in the sun, Rose never goes out of style. Tt’s always in season and for that I am forever grateful.

Mas de Cadenet Rosé 2015 ($22)

Maison St Aix 2015 ($18.99)

Les Valentines Le Caprice De Clementine Rose 2015 ($18)

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