Thursday, May 30, 2013


(Note: this is the explosive and eagerly anticipated followup to my expose on the possibility of learning about barrel making, which can be found here)

Here's some fun pics to celebrate:









Tuesday, May 28, 2013


When I found out that if we had time at the end of class after our guest speaker and wine tasting we would be learning about barrel making I was like *AIR HORN* *AIR HORN* *A-A-A-AIR HOOOOORN*

When we didn't have time, I was like, oh no, what am I going to talk about at parties now? And then I was like, thankfully not barrel making.

Ironic interests can be dangerous. The more we seek out hobbies because of how they make us look rather than how they make us feel, the more we cheapen our actual passions. When I heard we were learning about barrel making, the excitement I felt wasn't curiosity. It was a cheap, surface-level excitement. I was composing tweets and anecdotes and two truths and a lie in my head and it was gross. And as soon as I realized this, I snapped back to attention and listened to the fascinating Chad Melville talk about wine.

It goes the other way, too, and is just as dangerous. The more we downplay and shit-talk our true interests, the less we can fully enjoy them. Our pleasure is diluted by self-consciousness. This happens a lot with me and my puzzle, because I love doing it so much and I know that is so lame. But I'd feel a lot less lame about it if I just owned my passion for my four thousand piece masterpiece, my meditation, my truth. This happens to a lot of people with wine. They're ashamed of their interest because they don't know everything about it or they can't afford expensive bottles or it's now considered pretentious to have it as an interest. But wine is for everyone. Enjoy it how you will.

So here's to genuine interests. And to barrel making, I say this with the utmost sincerity: I hope I never fully understand you.

Trashy mysteries from the library: so genuine.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

I bought Kelis' pants

Sometimes wine makes you want to stay in and curl up with Netflix and try to forget about the human condition.

Other times it makes you buy Kelis' pants.

Ok, so I'm not trying to brag, but I literally did buy Kelis' pants. If you don't believe me, ask Kelis. The same way she asked me to get her another glass of wine when I bargained with her for the pants by saying I was too poor to be here, I was only there because my friend is a waitress at Bar Marmont and oh yeah, KELIS WAS HAVING A FULL-ON YARD SALE AT BAR MARMONT. And I bought her pants. These are they:

I can't decide if I might like them to be shorts instead. Thoughts are welcome.

Anyway, I was thrilled with the La Granja 360 2011 Tempranillo (the one with the pig on the label in the Spanish section at Trader Joe's). I mean THRILLED. Normally, that in and of itself would have constituted a proper night. Never mind that with its fruit and earth, juicy red rapsberry, cherry and strawberry grounded in tremendous forest floor and peet moss and greenery, this stuff was made to pair with comfort food and takeout (moo-shu pork is its soulmate; a complex mac and cheese its dirty little secret on the side. Either way, a match made in heaven).

So yes, I would have been good with just this, a cheap, wonderful wine.

But you know what else is super fucking good? BUYING KELIS' PANTS. God I wish I didn't have so much self respect and would demand celebs take pictures of me with them and their pants. I really should have documented the transaction. I hate my self (respect).

The point is, leaving the house is sometimes also good. It's important to appreciate life's simple pleasures, to embrace solitude instead of whining about loneliness. But it's also important to interact with the world. I know this is obvious to most people, but for me, it's so much easier to stay home in sweats with my great, cheap wine than it is to put on a bra and be a real person.

Being a real person is hard. You have to listen to the opinions of others and be judged unfavorably by dudes at bars and calculate tips with your phone-brain and it's just a lot of effort. Conversations about other people's lives make you think about your own. Being face to face with men (it still counts if you stare awkwardly at the guy's shoes or a spot on the wall to the left of his head because of confidence issues) reminds you that you are not getting any younger or hotter or sex. Much better to stay in, put on "Dancing on My Own" and text your bestie until you fall asleep or her boyfriend is all, "stop texting, Julia. Ali is never going to not have an over-dramatically urgent joke to tell you about her new theories on her recent weight gain (parasites). She is destroying our relationship. JK our relationship is amazing and a beacon of hope for all single people everywhere."*

Most of the time I go out, I wish I hadn't. I get my hopes up that tonight will be the night where everybody dances and the only drunk snack I have at the end of the night is a diet coconut water and also that that exists now and I'll meet a great guy and bond with a million friends with whom I've lost touch and my shoes will feel great all night. And those hopes are dashed so hard. So, so hard.

But last night, I bought Kelis' pants. And while moo-shu might be the soulmate of this wine, these pants are the soulmate of my legs.

So it's probably all worth it. It's probably worth it to keep hoping about everything, just in case.

Try La Granja Tempranillo. And occasionally, try leaving the house. It's not always the worst.

Oh, and in case you doubted it:

*Paraphrased from what I imagine to be conversations had by my favorite couple in the world.**
**Disney couples excluded because they are almost all imaginary.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Karber's Korner

Greg is back! Also, he is now famous. Like actually. This post is literally dripping with priceless, priceless fame. #fitchthehomeless


You have been invited by a friend to your third Passover. (You are a Gentile.) You are very excited.

You are also running late, and have yet to find a bottle of kosher red wine. They do not sell it at the local convenience store, which is your go-to wine provider. So you travel up Silver Lake and find a place that sells twenty dollar bottles. This is four times your typical bottle budget, but you buy two so you don’t seem cheap.

Your friend drives you to the Passover party. To protect the innocent, let us call this friend “Caitlin.” Caitlin insists on showing up on time. She gives you a hard time for making her wait a few minutes in her car because she showed up too early to pick you up. She drives you to the party, on time, and you are the first to arrive by a good half hour.

This gives you an opportunity to get a head start on drinking.

You have forgotten that the Passover ceremony itself involves drinking at least four glasses of wine. You have also forgotten that the kosher-for-Passover food isn’t exactly the stuff you stuff yourself with (except for the charoses, which are always delicious).

And you have forgotten to eat a snack before you came.

To make matters worse, Caitlin is under the impression that she should refill anyone’s glasses should they get empty. This results in a severe miscalculation of alcohol consumption which leads to be a debate over whether the Easter Bunny is a religious character (he most definitely is). (editor's note: he most definitely is not. I will fight you on this one forever)

Fortunately, Caitlin drives you home.

Your roommate isn’t home, but your downstairs neighbor is. You are lonely, so you go downstairs and hang out while he watches The Office. Despite having seen this episode before, the jokes do not make sense. You excuse yourself with a sophisticated, “I’ll be right back." You stand and stumble out the front door.

You make it to the sidewalk, where you vomit red wine. Then you puke in some bushes. Then you climb the stairs to your apartment, vomit a third time in the toilet, and fall asleep on the floor.

You were never right back.

But as a First Born, you were happy just to wake up in the morning.

Come on, Karber. Look at you. You sure you're not even Jew-ish?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

In-home dance party


Primitive needs

The Grifone 2011 Primitivo met my needs.

Cheap (4 dollars!), tasty (Primitivo is the same grape as Zinfandel, only Italian) and it has enough acid to pair well with my go-to meal: pasta (cheap and tasty!).

But that wasn't all this wine did for me. Oh, no. It had a pretty cork and an elegant orange label. It had a rich color and a versatile set of aromatics (spice, earth, a pinch of vanilla from the oak, some red and black cherry--what can't you pair this with? Donuts. Never pair wine with donuts). It wasn't too heavy for a balmy summer evening. It wasn't too light for the thick feelings I was having. IT WAS FOUR FUCKING DOLLARS.

And it got me thinking about other primitive needs. No, not sex. I'm a lady. We don't know what that is. I started thinking about food and drink and the way they nourish us beyond the physical.

Because I realized this wine would pair perfectly with my favorite thing in the world:

Bertucci's Brick Oven Pizza.

I understand that this is a chain restaurant. I get that there are probably more technically perfect pizzas out there. But I can't think of it without my mouth watering and I can't eat it without complete satisfaction. You know when you crave something and then you have it and it can't live up to the craving? That has never happened to me with Bertucci's brick oven pizza. It's only on the east coast, but I've seriously considered opening an LA franchise.

Here's a photo of me when my dad surprised me with a visit, after telling me Annapolis didn't have Bertucci's:

I was that happy with every single bite of my pizza.

The need here isn't the pizza, although I want some desperately now that I'm remembering how perfect in every single way it is. The need is the certainty, the nostalgia, the consistent loveliness, the way it never lets me down. The need of comfort food is primitive. It is the solace we find in tradition and memory and the familiar taste and texture of what we can count on to love. 

Like cheap red wine that tastes fantastic.

Like a DIY manicure that looks f-ing amazing and is on my fingers currently. Ok, so that's a stretch. I just want to show off:

FYI the bits on my fingers are gone now, they washed off, it's all clean lines now so it is even better.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A great blog that isn't mine

They exist! Obviously. This is a tonally uneven marriage between a sad person's Instagram and the diary of a lesser Kardashian.

Check out The Reverse Wine Snob. Fantastic reviews for all us aspiring oenophiles who don't have the cash to support fancy drinking habits. And he takes recommendations, which I feel like is the 21st century version of having a court taster for the king. Only this guy tries cheap wine before you do and makes sure it's good enough to impress people at dinner parties. Which is basically 30% of the point of wine, as illustrated below:

Follow Jon on Twitter for the newest and tastiest reviews!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Melville Vineyards: all about honesty

Last night I had the pleasure of hearing Chad Melville of Melville Vineyards speak about his winemaking process. Only, Chad eschews the word "winemaker." He views himself instead as a "wine grower." Chad and his family do as little winemaking as possible, relying on Mother Nature for most of the flavor. Melville favors whole cluster fermentation and stem inclusion whenever possible, which adds earthy, green tannins to their reds. Their Chardonnay isn't aged in new oak or buttered up with malolactic fermentation. They only use old oak barrels, which allow the wine to breath and come into contact with the environment more than steel, but don't impart that heavy flavor of new oak. The result is a crisp, acidic, mineral-y Chardonnay that more closely resembles a Sauvignon Blanc than the grape my grandmother drinks. Chad understands that stem inclusion makes wines "less approachable." But he feels it is important to make wine entirely rooted in the land, with as little outside influence as possible. He even makes wine with wild, local yeast!

To my further surprise and delight, despite the fact that Melville doesn't use pesticides and does everything right, they don't tout their sustainable status. Chad hates the word organic! Yes! He says it no longer means anything. Ok, so we hate the word for slightly different reasons (I don't like a word that makes me feel guilty for spending less on toilet paper. Believe me. I would like to be able to spend more on toilet paper). But still, a man after my own heart.

Perhaps the most refreshing thing about the talk, other than that Chardonnay, was when Chad discussed a question he often gets: "Are you guys trying to be Burgundy?" to which he replies, "We're not a cover band." Sure, he uses old world farming and winemaking techniques. He produces elegant, earthy, cool-climate wines that feel far more French than Californian, even though he's less than two hours away from LA. But the wines he and his family make (grow) are distinct, truly their own. They farm down to the tiniest plots of land, making different wines from different slivers of sections of a row of a vineyard. Where wild yeast is used, each fermenting tank is its own wine, because the yeast is random and will impart a distinct and additional set of aromatics on each tank.

So I would agree with Mr. Melville. He's not a winemaker. He is an artist.

Pick up a bottle of Melville Vineyards at The Wine House or better yet, have a visit!

Saturday, May 11, 2013


just made one for the site! for off-the-cuff wine+feelings, check out @wineandfeelings

(for brilliant jokes and earnest observations on the greatest television program of the decade, NBC's The Voice, I'm still @SCHOUTOUT)

here is a picture of a great tattoo. notice the baby mermaid inside the mermaid.

Death is certain

I'm not sure when I started using this phrase, but it's become by go-to lately. 90% of the time it's to describe a bleak situation like a hangover or a party or an aspect of my life. The other 10% of the time, it's my glass-half-empty, slightly-more-original version of YOLO. Last weekend I pitched my best friend a tattoo on my hipbone of a unicorn encircled in a heart and the heart is made of the words "death is certain." "I should get that tattoo!" I said. She said maybe in a very supportive way. "I should get that tattoo TONIGHT," said I and she replied with a firm "NO." I told her I was testing her to make sure she was honest with me even when it wasn't what I wanted to hear. I was lying to her. In that moment I actually thought the tattoo was a great idea. You know what I should get actually? A tattoo on my forehead that says "do not give me any tattoos I might ask for." It would only appear when I had been drinking. No one steal that idea. I think it's like half of a really great screenplay.

What does this have to do with wine? Weirdly, a lot. As you know, this level of my wine course is about viticulture and viniculture. Now that we've learned all about growing grapes, we're onto making wine. The other night, the brilliant Shelby Ledgerwood brought up the irony of the most crucial step of the winemaking process: fermentation. Fermentation is when yeast is added to the grape juice. In an oxygen-free environment, the yeast consumes sugar, creating carbon dioxide and alcohol as the byproducts. The fermentation process stops when the yeast either runs out of sugar (low to normal alcohol, dry wines) or the alcohol level gets too high for the yeast to survive (normal-high alcohol, sweeter wines). What Shelby pointed out is that it is the yeast's own byproduct, its own essential contribution to the wine, that ultimately is its demise.

I loved this. It stuck with me. I kept turning it over in my brain. Literally turning it over, seeing it as a metaphor for life in both positive and negative ways. On the one hand, what we consume and what we create will destroy us. On the other hand, it's the byproduct of survival.

I love to drink. Like, I adore it. I know wine tasting is bullshit but it is the most fun bullshit there is. It's a treasure hunt of the senses. I know how dumb that sounds. I don't care. When I'm writing, I love to have a beverage--coffee, tea, diet coke, cocoa, wine, whiskey, this great liver cleanse. I love the flush in my face and the sparkle of the light in my glass and pretty much everything about ice cubes. I know it's bad for me, but it makes everything so much brighter. I've often wondered if I'm an alcoholic. But other than the extra five pounds I carry from the booze, I don't think my drinking negatively affects my health. I don't think it hurts anyone around me. I think I may just be a devoted enthusiast. Still, French paradox aside, it can't be good for me to sit around and drink all day (I'm including the coffee and cokes, because fake sugar actually will kill me, says everyone I know who owns agave).

I love to write. As a career, it's not going that well for me. The healthier choice would be to give up and find a more practical profession. I would still be creating no matter what I was doing, so why not try it on the side?

Here, yeast gives us another interesting window. When exposed to oxygen, when not in a dark, contained space under pressure, yeast thrives. It multiplies. The anaerobic process is slow. The aerobic process is fast and flourishing. Rather than ferment, yeast consumes sugar and produces water, carbon dioxide and heat. No booze. No harmful byproduct that will one day be its doom. But nothing exciting either. Only in that bleak space where death is certain does the yeast create something magical: wine. And maybe the yeast knows it's bad for it to do so, but damnit, it wants to.

I hate when people say they just have to write. So do it. And I will, as a hobby, no matter what else is going on. The thing that I'm trying to say here is that it's important not only to accept the sacrifices that come along with any kind of creative or risky pursuit, but to embrace them. Know that it might not all wind up being worth it in the end. Be ok with the process. Decide to ferment, or decide a hobby is a beautiful thing to have. Either way, though, throw yourself into that decision and thrive.

Because, you see, you only live once.

Tattoo draft 1

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wine crush part II: if you can't be with the wine you love...

Get a fuckbuddy.

Or so I used to think.

This is a story of a wine crush. But this is not a love story. It's the sad story of a wine crush worse than unrequited, for I had a taste. And a taste of honey's worse than none at all.

A few months back at a dear friend's going away party, I had a truly marvelous Tempranillo at my favorite wine bar. It was earthy like nothing I'd ever tasted, but bursting with bright strawberry and raspberry flavors as well. It was a god-damn picnic in a glass. The party happened to be at my favorite (closest)(but also genuinely favorite) wine bar, which updates their wine list constantly. Btw, Britt P, I still owe you like 20 bucks from that night. We're overdue for me to pay it back in drinks. Hit me up, girl.

Anyway, by the time I realized I'd never get this wine off my mind, I didn't know the name of it. Just the grape. I was the Prince after the ball in Cinderella, only instead of a glass slipper, I had only a vague understanding of what I'd tasted and a limited vocabulary to describe it. I basically went back a few months later and was like, "hey, who was that girl I met at that really crowded party and her shoes were like clear or maybe black or maybe I actually didn't see her shoes maybe I'm talking about her glasses? I'm not sure she wore glasses. Can you just tell me if there were any hot girls at the party?" But there were a lot of hot girls at the party. Obviously. It's a party. Who would start a wine bar if they weren't going to have a ton of hot girl wine equivalents?

The cool thing about Tempranillos is they can be light and bright or murky and sexy or anywhere in between. Tempranillo is the chief grape in the Rioja region, where this crazy complex and gold laced treat is from. And like Spanish people, and people of all races, there is a lot of variety among them. Cause of not racism.

But I was a bit wine racist. I thought I could fill the hole in my heart left by my wine crush Tempranillo with some other Tempranillo. Behold, said other Tempranillo:

Ok, so pretty, right? And I gotta say, this wine was DTF. The Cala Blanca 2010 Tempranillo, which I picked up 2 bottles of at the 5 cent wine sale, is full of smoke and black cherry. It's not complicated; it's not messing around. It's here to fill a void and we both know it. It's not about remembering it in the morning. It's about not being alone tonight. I should probably date more.

As satisfying as it was in the moment, as strong and as powerful its more immediately appealing flavor was, it wasn't my wine crush. The next day I woke up feeling more alone than before, having not slept quite as well as I would with my true wine crush, and nowhere near as well as I would have slept alone (sober).

I guess what I'm realizing is, yes, if you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with. But that one shouldn't be just anyone. It should be you, by yourself, appreciating your own slumber and adoring your own dreams until true love comes along. As good as this wine was, and it was good, it wasn't worth it. I should have held out.

And maybe so should the wine. If it were not an object completely controlled by my actions. But still, maybe it should have. Because on Sunday, I brought my second bottle to my writers group. And with its charming bottle design and lush fruit flavors, I swear, a couple of my friends started crushing on it.

There's a lid for every pot. Unless you lose the lid, like the lid gets in a car accident or meets a younger, hotter pot, but then it's still ok because you have a trump card to play every time someone else is complaining. But generally speaking from the hopeful depths of my heart, there's some-wine out there for everybody. Maybe there's even someone crushing on me, not in spite of the fact that I just said "some-wine," but because of it.

Opaque as fuck, man.

Saturday, May 4, 2013


You know how it's so annoying when people who live in great climates complain about the weather? Me too but I don't care cause it's fucking HOT these days and I do not like it! Also the thing is I'm allowed to complain because I am going to tell you about a really stunning wine to cool off with, generally and specifically.

That is, unsurprisingly, Sancerre. Now, Sauvignon Blanc is, as I'm sure you all remember because you do nothing but read this blog, generally a tart and tasty wine with an acerbic personality. If you don't remember, just click here for a refresher on this refresher. I'm pretty sure everyone but Brittany Flores should have just clicked there. Brittany, your loyalty is a treasure; your encouragement my sun.

Vis-a-vis treasure, ditto Sancerre. Sancerre is Sauvignon Blanc specific to the Sancerre region of France. While New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs (such as the delicious Kono, available at TJ's for like 8 bucks) are quite aromatic, Sancerres tend to be a little more reserved but with a cool, subtle flavor that will cool you down quick. I mean, it's French cheerleader wine. What is colder and bitchier than that? I paired the Sancerre I had on hand with my air conditioner:

The 2011 Laurent Reverdy is a little pricier than most of the wines I get, but the wine lady at Trader Joe's swore it was worth it. With the AC on and my best friend on her way over for dinner, it felt like the right time to find out.

This wine has everything you want from a Sauvignon Blanc, especially on a hot day, plus more. It's subtle and tart. It's bright and light and goes with all my sundresses. It's got green apple, pink grapefruit, wet stone and under-ripe pear on the nose, with a slightly savory note and gentle creaminess on the palate, almost like a hint of goat cheese. What's great also is that this is a really nicely balanced wine, so even as it warms up the alcohol doesn't assault the senses. Light petillance (Brittany knows what I'm talking about) intensifies the aroma. Pairs well, I hope, with scallops, asparagus and lemon pepper quinoa. The acid should help it stand up well to the strawberries we've got for dessert, and although the meringues I baked yesterday (off this recipe from my former food blog) are undoubtedly too sweet to pair with it, the Frenchness feels oh-so-proper. Cheers to Saturday night!

Can you tell I really wanted to get in a shot of my fingernails WHICH I DID MYSELF ok sorry goodnight.


In-home dance party

Everything about this video is pure sex. Because sex is a little awkward and, honestly, quite a bit dated at this point.

And it's a dude in a poncho taking pics of you in a gold satin robe for SURE.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Straight talk

Wine tasting can seem like just a lot of speculation, a lot of waxing poetic on your behalf and waning interest on behalf of your companions. And it doesn't help that wine labels are printed in what may as well be code in most cases. European wines especially are incredibly difficult to decipher. They never tell you the grape, they have all sorts of levels of regions, and they have the audacity to use languages other than English.

So you can imagine my delight when I took this French rose (Saint Roch Les Vignes 2012) out of the fridge and saw this forthright label on the back:

That is chill as fuck. And this wine was as chill and straightforward as its business on the back. Not all wine has to be complex, just like not all boyfriends need to be marriage material. Sometimes it's fun to drink a simple rose. It's like dating a guy in a band.

People often assume rose wines will be sweet because they're pink. And while White Zinfandel with lots of residual sugar is common, most rose wines are tart and dry and ultra-refreshing. All they are are red grapes made in the style of white wine. This means the juice is not fermented on the skins (which is how red wines get their rich color and higher tannins). Any red grapes can be used, and this, not sweetness, is what determines the color pink the wine turns out. Syrah will yield a brilliant magenta, while Pinot Noir a delicate ballet slipper pink. "Blanc de noirs" refers to white sparkling wine made from red grapes, but roses, and sparkling roses, will do a cold soak before separating off the skins from the juice to give extra aromatics and a splash of pink.

This wine was a charming salmon color. Not too complex, it smelled floral, like perfume or honeysuckle, with bursts of citrus, chiefly lime, wet stone and white peach. It's not especially complex or layered, but honestly, when it's 80 degrees at 8pm and you just want a cool glass of something tart and peppy, who has time to sit and analyze and pontificate and consider? 

I have more important things to do.

If only Francis could take a cue from this wine and live life honestly. And have a label that looks like a frowning sundial.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wine + astrology

If there's one field more doubted than wine tasting, it's astrology. I spout off about aromas of wet stone and petrol and quince and even I don't really buy into it. To be fair, part of the reason I don't believe in astrology is because I decided to get into it at one point, got an online reading of my astrology and numerology, and was told my life is going to continue to be a disappointment until its early end. You know how psychics only ever give you good news? Internet astrologers don't have the same tact.

But on its most simple and fun level, astrology is all about character. And so is wine. Wines age. Wines have layers. As far as beverages go, they're pretty human. And so, knowing pretty much nothing about astrology but at least as much as the astrologist at Seventeen magazine, I thought I'd give recommend wines by star sign. Because that's the other thing drinking wine has in common with reading your horoscope: why not?


Characteristics: competitive, impulsive, independent, dynamic, quick-tempered, domineering, trusting, honest
Symbol: Ram
Element: Fire
Wine: A strong and spicy wine that steals the show with its bold, straightforward flavors. Try this 2009 Amitage Red Blend with steak and potatoes and saying it to their face. Maybe a little punching, too.


Characteristics: patient, dependable, practical, determined, artistic, loyal, stubborn, self-indulgent
Symbol: Bull
Element: Earth
Wine: There's more to you than meets the eye, like the fact that you love the finer things in life even though you're down-to-earth. Pair yourself with something equally indulgent, complex, and stubbornly delicious like the Herederos Del Marques De Riscal 2006 Rioja Reserva. And the popcorn I paired it with isn't a bad idea for you either--air signs can lighten up earth signs, just like popcorn can help the flavors in this wine sing.


Characteristics: curious, versatile, expressive, persuasive, changeable, clever, restless, talkative
Symbol: Twins
Element: Earth
Wine: I'm a Gemini. It's the easiest star sign to bullshit, because people just say, "oh, well there's two of you." So basically any personality trait goes. I say this is a wine wildcard. But since I'm bubbly, talkative, and will leave you with plenty of regrets in the morning, I'd say pick up some cheap champagne and pair it with this Miranda Lambert jam that just fucking gets it. I also like candies.


Characteristics: tenacious, emotional, intuitive, sensitive, sympathetic, traditional, moody, manipulative
Symbol: Crab
Element: Water
Wine: Traditionally, white wine pairs well with shellfish, and this wine in particular brought on the waterworks when I drank (the whole bottle of) it. Get emotional with this hot little number, the 2010 Cut the Fluff.


Characteristics: dramatic, dignified, idealistic, ambitious, proud, generous, romantic, overbearing
Symbol: Lion
Element: Fire
Wine: To pair with that proud and dramatic personality, check out this properly bold 2011 Darkhorse Cabernet Sauvignon. Like the ideal Cabernet, it'll go well with your best home-cooked meal and some Passionate Feelings.


Characteristics: Gentle, industrious, dependable, methodical, soft-spoken, humane, sincere, easily worried
Symbol: Virgin
Element: Earth
Wine: I was a virgin not so long ago. But I popped by Gewurztraminer cherry with this delicious one from Cupcake. Sweet and straightforward and downright delicious, this one could get even you talking. Pair it with Indian like I did, or a tart and earthy pear and goat cheese sandwich on hearty whole grain with a drop of honey and some afternoon friendship.


Characteristics: Cooperative, careful, artistic, persuasive, diplomatic, logical, indecisive, fickle
Symbol: Scales
Element: Air
Wine: If there's one person open-minded enough to judge Chardonnay, it's you. I've never reviewed one, but this Le Ferme Julien 2011 white blend with a hint of oak is a good place to start. And the fact that I paired it with The Voice, an exercise in excellent judgement (sometimes. Except when they eliminate people I like. They they are MONSTERS), is even more perfect!


Characteristics: Passionate, penetrating, private, resourceful, loyal, determined, temperamental, intolerant
Symbol: Scorpion
Element: Water
Wine: Hey, weirdo. I mean that in a good way. I find Scorpios to be weird of it and proud and super into astrology. They're kind of like Gemini, in that any personality trait goes. But here, instead of duplicity, the connotation is depth. This layered, passionate 2011 Boom Boom Syrah is delightfully confusing as well. Pair it with a stew as complex as your personality.


Characteristics: Generous, honest, daring, friendly, confident, enthusiastic, argumentative, blunt
Symbol: Archer
Element: Fire
Wine: Well aren't you just sass and a half! Definitely cheerleader wine (2011 Callaway Sauvignon Blanc) for you. Take this wine to the beach, you little bitch, share it with your hot friends (because of course you have hot friends) and then crush it at drunk windsurfing.


Characteristics: Cautious, focused, responsible, serious, conventional, reliable, hardworking, unforgiving
Symbol: Goat
Element: Earth
Wine: Goats will eat anything. And someone this hardworking deserves to drink anything. Might I suggest this charming Merlot? It's nothing if not reliable...


Characteristics: Independent, tolerant, unpredictable, strong-willed, curious, perceptive, progressive, temperamental
Symbol: Water bearer
Element: Air
Wine: I bet you throw one hell of a party. I mean, that's what a modern-day water-bearer would do, right? So keep it as light and refreshing as your conversation with Reggiano Lambrusco Le Grotte, a super crowd-pleaser, and these blood mimosas you can make from it, which are unexpected and unparalleled.


Characteristics: sensitive, compassionate, imaginative, adaptable, intuitive, idealistic, secretive, vulnerable
Symbol: Fish
Element: Water
Wine: The rich and bold Cocobon might seem a little fish-out-of-water (see what I did there?) for the quiet Pisces, but a bigger sweetheart of a wine there is not. Luscious and sensitive and full of secrets (the secrets are all that crazy mocha flavor), serve it with a box of chocolates and an evening of introspection.

But really, just taste all these wines. I mean, why not? They'll get you drunker than your horoscope.

Star sign info courtesy of infoplease.