Saturday, January 3, 2009

Lost Vineyards should stay that way

We always want to find nice, cheap wines. Sometimes, though, that quest leads only to sadness and disaster. Especially when Rachel Ray is involved.

A few weeks ago at Harris Teeter, there was a display of mediocre-looking wines listed at 3/$10. That's a steal! These were Trader Joe prices at the Teeter. The Lost Vineyards collection features wines from Portugal, Brazil, and Argentina. They're all blends - two reds and a white - and I think the thought behind it is that these growers took all their left-over grapes and blended them together to create these three.

The radical blending worried me, I think that Trader Joe's delicious wines follow a similar protocol for blending excess grapes from California, so that put me at ease a bit. Plus, there was a sign above the shoddily put-together display case showing how Rachel Ray endorsed them. Why would she lead us astray? After all, her reputation is on the line, right? She makes a living by telling people what's delicious. Clearly, this was delicious.

Rachel Ray was wrong, and so was I to believe her. The white has all the character of that creepy guy you don't want to sit next to on the bus. The one red I did open - the one from Argentina - was bad on day one, not awful on day two after a little air had hit it, and on day four had turned to vinegar and left me sprinting to the sink to spit it out.

Recommendation: do not buy Lost Vineyards, and don't believe anything Rachel Ray says.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

and the winner is...

we ranked our christmas cards. this sounds like it is against the christmas spirit, but in truth, if someone takes the time to put together a really creative card, well, they should be rewarded, right? at least get the recognition that hey, all that time you put in to picking out the right card, writing to everyone, addressing, stamping, licking the envelope made us smile. right? so here it is.

this year's winner, by far, is a card sent by a couple at our church. it has a picture of their new baby on it gazing at the camera with a wide-eyed but tired look and the writing below says, "silent night?" i giggle every time i see it. (it is also serving as a pretty good reminder for us to enjoy our time without children).

second place is from one of peter's former coworkers and is a letter to us from santa which informs us that it wasn't even close, we're on the bad list this year, better luck next time. it's from paperchase (so first place for store-bought card).

third place is another of peter's former coworkers and features her, her dog, and her niece and nephew spelling out 'ohio' with their bodies. it's just very well done and embodies the joy of the season even though it says 'ohio' and not some christmasy message.

the runner up is a runner up only because it was an email-card (otherwise it would totally be in the running) but gave a list of 'vital statistics' of the couple's life. it was extremely clever and meaningful and i totally stole the idea and made an in-house-christmas-card for my family.

thank you for all your submissions. we love them all, and if you didn't win, well, better luck next year.