Head Wine Chix
There is a group of us – and you know who you are – that envision a life living among the grapes. Some of us think having a glass of wine every night might qualify. Others think about moving to one of the various wine country regions around the world to be near but not actually in the vines is a good idea. And finally there are those of us who think living among the grapes with the dirt, insects and water issues is the way to go.
Seasons Among the Vines author Paula Moulton is the adventurous one who went totally “grape.” I have this to say to any of you in the category of wanting to do the same…read this book first, then decide.
This is a story about a woman who decided she would go from being a city girl to an award winning grape farmer…and take her husband and three children along for the ride. The book is actually two intertwining stories and an instructional guide.
One part of the book takes place in Glen Ellen, California on Paula’s farm as she learns how to grow premium grapes. The second part fast forwards us ten years to her adventures in Paris at Le Cordon Bleu’s first-ever wine program and the third part is sharing what she has learned.
In this book you will learn how to space, plant and prune grapes.You’ll be well informed on how to successful integrate all the birds, bees, snakes, cows into a guiltless sustainable farmland management system and you will receive some excellent tips on how to prepare and serve wine in the French tradition (invaluable). My two favorite learning lessons involved instructions on bio-dynamic farming principles (221) and a Wine Guide for Typical American Dishes (pg 230-231). You can trust there will be something in this book that makes it’s well worth the read.
What makes this book fun, engaging and instructional is the author’s ability to share her journey in a way that is open, honest and relatable. Just like fine wine, this is a complex story that opens up more and more as you enjoy it. Just like being with your BFF, you’re going to agree with her tactics on many levels, worry about some of her choices, do a few head-spins and I told- you-so’s when mistakes come up, want to throw your arms around her when she seems to have lost her way…but ultimately give her a big hug for coming through all of it in her own unique way.
Paula is a wine expert who started off growing grapes for some of the most renowned labels in the nation (as a woman let alone!) and is using everything that she has learned (life lessons included-wait till she tells you about spitting or swallowing!) to educate the average person on wine.
Tips from Paula
Here are some tips from Paula Moulton, Sonoma wine expert, that will ensure that you select a great wine at ANY price point!
Paula is an author, contributor for Wine Enthusiast, and is currently one of only 20 people in the world who has passed the wine course earning the prestigious Cordon Bleu Wine Management degree in France.
Paula’s Tips for Gifting Wine
Be Adventurous: Dare to be different and pick your wine based on the beauty of its label as long as it fits in with your price range. You may be surprised to learn that wine labels oftentimes reflect the personality of the wine in the bottle so perhaps your eye will be your trainer for the evening.
Don’t Forget to Share: Wine is about sharing, so bring the gift of wine based on what you would pick to drink yourself.
What About The Rules: Break the Rules! Your host/hostess is making pizza, but you only drink white wine and you’ve heard that red wine is traditionally paired with pizza. You might be surprised to learn that a full-bodied white and even a sparkling white or Champagne pair well with pizza.
Don’t Forget to Learn: You want to branch out and try wine from other countries so research your host/hostess and bring a wine from the country of their origin.
Remember the Seasons: Pick your wine based on the season. Is it winter and time for something hearty or is it summer and sizzling hot, pick your wine based on the weather?
Paula’s Tips for Pairing Wine for the Holidays:
In general, I pair wine using a simple technique that I learned from a famous sommelier in France. “Wine pairing should be looked at like we look at couples. There are two types of couples in this world: There are the couples who are similar to one another and make each other whole almost like being one person and then there are the couples who are completely opposite and one would never put them together.”Yet both couples work together and form a powerful bond…
Is this wine similar to the menu? Ex: A heavy beef stew with lots of pepper and bay leaves would have flavors similar to a peppery, earthy red wine like a Cabernet Sauvignon or a spicy Pinot Noir. The bold aromas and flavors of the wine are similar to the strong and spicy ingredients in the stew.
Is this wine opposite from the menu? Ex: A creamy white sauce over pasta would pair well with a nice Sauvignon Blanc. Why? The acidity in the wine is opposite from the creamy, smooth sauce and actually subdues and balances both flavors.
Paperback: 250 pages
Buy the book here: Kindle $7.99 / Paperback $16.95