Be Yourself Or Be…


Yeah I don’t know… Well after reading the notes for the 2015 Josh Merlot from Josh Cellars, this easily could have been a Father’s Day Special.  That either means I’ll be revisiting this in several weeks, or something else is to come.  Maybe both.   I love how I’m already talking about Summer when we’ve barely got teases of Spring.  I know right?


Josh is one of those wines that my friends I have seen, shared on and off, and appreciated for the better part of the last 10 years.   It’s affordable (average price around $13), approachable, and has an aura about it that doesn’t need much of an explanation.

For more on Josh Cellars, here is their story, their contact info, and where you can find their wines near you.


Maybe its in the name itself.   Josh just sounds right, everything about it seems right, and here we are.

In this instance, a Merlot was the perfect choice.  The rain was coming down yesterday.  It’s coming down as I write this.   Merlot, to me, that has an energy about it, that it should be drank during grayer skies, murkier weather, and under perhaps conflicting conditions.


That’s not to say Merlot should only be had under these circumstances.   No no, there’s a time and a place for any grape, at any time, and at your leisure.   There’s always exceptions to rules, and it’s wine, you follow your path, do your thing, and well, be yourself.

However, this Merlot, with its darker violet color and taste that it’s indescribable, yet I’m going to try anyways, is a hit.  It’s fantastic.  And for the mood and setting I was in, this wine found me, and I found them.  Even though my pals and I discovered Josh nearly a decade ago.  It felt like new times even though it’s a familiar face, or a familiar friend if you will.

Plums, cherries, and blackberries are part of the flavors you’ll find on the palate, and a soft tannin finish that is once again, approachable, and will draw you back in for more.  I had a couple glasses myself, and it got better by the minute.  This is one you’re going to definitely want to let breathe for a while.

The finish is what counts.  I can get all dopey on you and say, ‘it’s not how you start but how you’.., or some facsimile, but no thanks.   But how something ends will make everything leading up to it all that more vital in hindsight.

The understated levels of toasted oak are another complement to this wine that’s worthy of all the compliments.   You know its there but its not overpowering anything else.  I love oak, and for me, there can never be enough, but this is wondrous.

The 2015 Josh Merlot is a reminder of why I started loving wine in the first place, and confirms my love for the simple things in life, and further proof that great wine doesn’t have to be expensive, overpriced, or pretentious.   This is as down-to-earth and genuine as it gets.


Speaking of the Earth, you can see my glass was shared with Mother Nature itself.  The rain on my glass is perhaps symbolic of a cleansing that was necessary.   We’re starting to see more green, more flowers blooming, and the bright colors finally emanating, and bringing us signs of joy, hope, optimism, and all the other reasons to feel happy about being alive.


Planting season is here and that segues into more time to be outdoors, doing all the great activities the universe wants us to do.

Josh Cellars has given us wines that the universe wants us to share, in any setting that makes you feel good.

Why it took me so long to write about them is just another of those questions.  All I can say is  more to come….

And be yourself, or be….






Sentimental Saturdays


I was grateful to be invited to the 2nd Annual Christmas Tree Decorating Party hosted by a dear friend of mine. I’m not sure how official this event is but the 2nd anniversary it is!

Yes this took place on a Saturday, hence the cheesy title.

This one, even more so, is truly about the experience.  This crew is fun.  So you know good food and hopefully good wine is going to be incorporated.

The wine purchased was a 2014 Cotes du Rhone Rouge Acantalys, from Chesapeake Wine Company in Baltimore, MD.  A thanks to them for the suggestion.

I had never seen that bottle before and I can’t find anything on it, except a link in the UK to purchase.   For this occasion, it didn’t matter…

I really liked it.  The label looked like some red wrapping paper so that helped.  I specifically asked the owner if they had had any holiday themed bottles or labels for this party.   They did not, so I simply asked if they had a decently priced wine with some pepper or spices.   And voila.

This is exactly what I was looking for.   It had elements of pepper, spice, and barbecue smoke.  This was an enjoyable bottle for only $12.

But more importantly, this was shared by all of us as we slowly adorned the tree with ornaments.  This is a special time of year and some of can get overly sentimental.

Some of us need an event like this to finally get us over the hump and into the spirit.  I’m somewhere all over the place.   I can never involve myself in enough things with the intent of feeling good.  This was needed by everybody.


A friend brought homemade cupcakes which paired well with the spicy wine. I’d say the dichotomy of the flavors really made the wine and the cupcake a unique but successful duo.


You know when there’s a party, pizza has to be involved.  And my friend ordered a buffalo chicken pie to be shared.  It was annihilated within minutes.  Here’s my one slice.

Nothing could have messed this up. Even if the food or wine wasn’t up-to-par, we would have figured something out.  Luckily, everything tasted great.   I suspect the festive occasion made everything taste and feel better regardless.

With a heightened sense of spirit, our palates and our energy may have been altered a bit, for the best.  And I say that with all positive intent.

It’s events like these that make me feel such joy and love.   I wish the feeling could hit me everyday.  Actually it can. The holidays are a special part of the calendar year that would lose it’s uniqueness if celebrate too long.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t feel good all the time.  Small gathering like this remind me that I can and I intend to.

Good wine and good food will only increase those good times.   Good friends and family to share it with, not only enhances that but also gives us a feeling of comfort and love.

We are well into the holidays and want to take every second to savor it I can. This is why these blog posts exist.

And speaking of savoring, Chesapeake Wine Company has apparently been sold.  What will come of it?  I don’t know.  But this place has been so good to me, especially on Sundays.  As one of the few places with a seven-day liquor license, it has been a go-to for so many. So keep that in mind if you’re in the area and doing shopping over the weekend.

In the meantime I’m going to appreciate the work we did on the tree. Before and after pictures have been included.

Enjoy the holidays and enjoy them with people you care about!




Pumpkin Paradise


I had all the intentions of writing about pumpkin wine this week.  I knew the name of the winery, the name of the wine itself, and had some bullet points I was all ready to research.  That will be put on hold a week or two.

I stopped by my one of my favorite wine shoppes, Wine World of Abingdon, MD.  The store is minutes from me and has been mentioned several times in previous posts.   The wine I was searching for was surprisingly not available.   However, there was no need to be sad or I may have never discovered this gem that was about to presented to me.

It went over my head that they also have beer (and now wine) on tap.  It’s hidden in plain sight near the back of the store.  I’ve walked by there so many times and overlooked what gems may be coming from these pours.

The very friendly staff member they’ve only recently started doing this since August of this year, so maybe I’m not completely clueless to what’s going on.

They had two wines to two try on tap. First was the Not Your Mother’s Merlot, which is a Root Beer Merlot.  I thought it was ok but root beer has never been a favorite of mine.   I think a lot of people will love it.  And it’s fitting for the fall season.

The other sample was their exclusive Pumpkin Spice.   With 12.0% alcohol content is deceptively light and easy to drink.  The sample was glorious and I gladly purchased a growler to go.  The wine itself was barely over $10.00 and there’s a small one-time fee of under $5.00 to purchase said growler.  And it can be re-used to buy future wines on tap at no extra cost, except for the wine itself.  I love the  deal and I adore the concept.


The tint of the wine is picturesque.


The wines on tap phenomenon is growing and I’m seeing the increase in popularity at many restaurants and wine bars.   That’s a post or two at a later date.


The pumpkin spice wine was a hit at home too.  We had a wonderful dinner planned that included pumpkin ravioli and fresh-baked rolls.  This felt like a triumph.  This seems like such an obvious pairing but it worked.   It may seem like overkill but we’re in the season and the wine and pasta really complemented one another well.



An important fact that my friends and I did agree on is, too much of this wine may not be a good thing.  An overdoing could lead to a headache.  If that’s what you’re looking for then by all means indulge!

This is meant to be drank slowly and reveled in a relaxed pace.   This is something that can be paired with so many autumn meals and sweet treats.  And we know that time is quickly approaching.   Nevertheless, the wine was very enjoyable and is recommended for any fall feast or party.

Upon finishing this bottle I could easily see a replenishing in the offing.

Thanks so much.