Tag Archives: wine

Because Wine.

The fabulous owner of our beloved local vino bar, Hoppin’ Grapes, has invited me and two other lucky ladies to an industry wine tasting event in Tucson, later this month, and my cheeks are all aflush just thinking about it.

It’s a large, annual event held at a beautiful resort where vendors ply merchants with free booze and food. Excellent booze, superb food. Some friends of mine were invited to go last year, and they described the experience as something close to a celestial playground for lushes.
A fermented nirvana.
Heaven for winos.

“I had a 300 dollar glass of wine, and do you know what? It tasted like a 300 dollar glass of wine! I tasted every dollar of it. Every. Dollar. It was amazing……… I think it changed my life.”
That may not be a direct quote, but close enough.

Thus my team of wine-tasty ladies and I have already booked our master suite and, it likely goes without saying but, MY EXCITED MENTAL CARTWHEELS OF EXCITEMENT ARE SO FREAKING EXCITED RIGHT NOW. Because, if there’s a chain in this scenario, anywhere, I’m completely certain this event is going to fly the frack off it!

The only draw back might be that I’d recently decided to make ever-so-slight changes to the amount (abundance?) of intoxicating beverages I consume. Perhaps a contradictory goal in light of today’s “Whoo-hoo! Let’s party, bitches!” war cry. But……it’s all good. And fine. And well.
Pay no mind to the drunken woman behind the curtain.



Niki’s Not-So-Secret Sangria Recipe (Pictionary Juice)

Niki’s Not-So-Secret Sangria Recipe
A.K.A. Pictionary Juice
(2 quart recipe)

1 bottle of Merlot or a table red
2 cups ginger ale
2 oz. brandy
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 lemon sliced
1/2 orange sliced
1/2 sliced Gala or Fuji apple
1 cup sliced strawberries

While you don’t have to break the bank on your choice of wine (especially if you plan to double or triple the recipe for entertaining – because running out of sangria is just about the saddest thing to happen to a party), I do suggest staying in the “it was originally 12.99 but is on sale for 7.99” region of wine. But even a six dollar bottle of Yellow Tale Merlot will work out okay. Just don’t try a Cabernet. Cabernet laughs at your sugar and your very silly sweetness.

Speaking of sugar, that table spoon of the stuff is wholly optional. It’s the last ingredient I add, and only after having tasted my concoction. Whether it’s needed or not is usually reliant upon the choice of wine.

Leaving the rinds on the citrus, which is standard of sangria recipes, I cut mine into half circles (apples as well) to more easily serve the fruit in glasses. I have it on good authority that fishing out yummy booze fruit is half the fun of my sangria.

And then you’re supposed to chill it overnight. Mine has never known a life so lengthy. It chills for approximately five hours (if that) and is but a savory memory within ten. Such a simple, almost effortless recipe for such rave reviews.

Lastly, special thanks to my dear friend Justin who deemed this recipe “Pictionary Juice.” We semi-regularly get a group of friends together, bust out the Pictionary, partner up, drink more sangria than anyone else in the room, until we’re no longer Johnny-on-the-cognitive-spot, until every drawing is “Clearly Forrest Gump eating a box of chocolates! Clearly!” (shout out to Brenda), and when we stop laughing long enough notice we’re losing, he yells, “We need more Pictionary Juice! Drink up, bitch!” – and we win.

Sangria: The Pictionary Juice of Champions.

pictionary hitler


Here, Now and Tomorrow

I went a week without working out for the first time in eight months, and though the rational side of me knows I won’t automatically gain the baby weight back, the easily-spooked, guilt-ridden, nutty side of me thinks my ass already feels as though it is hanging an inch lower, and seems slightly mushier.

Being healthy is hard WORK, man. And I will never make it to All Organic Optimal Fitness Zen Master status. I don’t want to. Let it be known, right now, and for all of eternity, I AM NOT GIVING UP RED WINE OR COFFEE! YOU CAN KISS MY DRUNK, YET SEMI-ALERT ASS FIRST!

In other news – the possible moving, hubby going off to war, me running to Seattle with the kids, losing 20 thousand crazy dollars on the house news – the news that had me in such a tizzy a month ago….. it goes back to the back burner to simmer. My husband is having surgury on his elbow to correct a right hand that’s half numb, and has been so for over 6 months. Now, since that hand also opperates his trigger finger, therein lies a complication in sending him to war just now.

So, as it stands, they (Uncle Sam & Friends) will wait out his recovery before they determine our collective future. Three months recovery, at least. The news brings sighs of relief, mostly. My daughter gets to finish out the school year. My littlest toddler monkey gets more time to bond with a daddy she’s grown to really love and enjoy. We get to wait out this piece of shit housing market, and perhaps recoup a couple measly grand on our heart-sickening investment loss. AND…well…there are basically lots of “ands” that all equal upsides.

Where that puts me currently is that I’m in a place where I need to figure out what I’m going to do. I have 9 months to figure out if I’m going to get a shitty local job? Go to school? Pen my masterpiece? Eat, sleep and drink more?
The possibilities are not endless.