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Peep This Pair

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Whoa! Things have been very busy chez moi. Most notably being that chez moi is being packed up and moved to a new location in a week! After that, I zip off to California for a wedding, Disneyland, and July 4th festivities. I hope to get a post in sometime in July, but I can’t promise much. Today’s post is a lot of fun and features plenty of photos. Lets start off with one right now:

Do you Peep what I Peep?

Do you Peep what I Peep?

In case you don’t understand this incredible photo, it is my boyfriend and I in front of the PeepMobile (I don’t know if it is actually called that but…c’mon. What other name could there be?) Apparently, there is an entire Peep store in Washington, DC that nobody told me about.  Some may think an entire store devoted to Peeps is absurd, but I would challenge those people to a fight to the death. This store is what America is about.

*Do Not Eat

*Do Not Eat

I think you know where this post is going, so let’s get started.

The Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011 Lake County, Butcher Block



Not Made of Pigs

The Candy: Peeps, Watermelon

No Rabbits Were Harmed in the Making of this Post

No Rabbits Were Harmed in the Making of this Post


The Dream:

I normally would try these with a Pinot or a Chardonnay, but I wanted to switch it up for variety’s sake. The Cabernet Sauvignon was an attractive option because the balance of fruit and tannins. I did not want anything too sweet  because the sugary candy would immediately throw the flavor of the wine.


The Reality:

I am underwhelmed by this wine. It’s tart and round but the bouquet is very opaque and I can’t engage to its flavor. This wine would be a good table wine, but it is not great for a pair.


The Peep is the fake watermelon flavor, which is what I expected. But it is more sweet than tangy. Why did I think it would be tangy? What is with me and associating colors with flavors which are not the flavors advertised? Anyway, it made no difference to the pairing because the wine just a wasn’t strong partner. In my experience, the wine really needs to lead the pairing experience. The pairing was very meh and the wine didn’t taste good, but it never tasted great in the first place.

But it is all ok, because I still went to this fabulous store.



Alright folks! I may not post for awhile, but I will try to Peep in now and again.


(Peanut Butter) Cup of Cab


It is holiday season (what! NO!) so life is hectic so expect a dramatic drop in posts. I hope that won’t be the case, but it has been several weeks since my last post so the forecast isn’t favorable. To be fair, there were quite a few things going on in my life but I digress. I am back with another hit.

I admit, I cheated slightly with this post. I had a glass of the wine the night before, but the candy inspiration came from a friend. Lazy and not feeling up to thinking about pairing, I asked someone for suggestions and she said Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Now, before you lose your hats, I didn’t do Reese’s since I knew the wine would just drown it out. Instead I picked Newman’s Own Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. The chocolate is richer and the cups are stronger. I love Reese’s, don’t misunderstand, but I did not think it would go well with a cabernet sauvignon. I would like to try it with a chardonnay potentially.

The Wine: EB|GB, 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon

This label is so EDGY right?

The Candy: Newman’s Own Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Paul Newman your legacy lives on through your delicious 

confectionsThe Dream: 

I already explained my reasoning somewhat, but I will go into further detail. The reason I chose Newsman’s over Reese’s is due to a combination of texture and flavor. Newman’s peanut butter cups are firm and leave little residue behind. This gives a better tasting experience. It’s also a matter of chocolate quality. Milk chocolate and a peppery cab just don’t mix well, especially Reese’s chocolate. It is flimsy and too sweet (and THIS is perfectly fine). There is also a lot of the peanut butter filling and it is very sugary. I would like to try them with a dry chardonnay which can compliment the sweet chocolate and peanut butter.

That was a long explanation. Let’s get to the tasting!

The Reality:


EB|GB has blackberry notes that hit the pallete sharply, ending with a smooth finish. The flavors tingle slightly on the tongue with a hint of coffee. The peanut butter cups have a thick chocolate exterior with smooth and nutty peanut butter underneath.

This pairing is pleasant. Dark chocolate and red wine is usually a safe bet, but the addition of peanut butter is a challenge. It’s pleasant, but the wine looses it’s smooth finish. Oddly, the peanut butter coats the mouth with a strange after taste. The berry wine flavors add a richness to the wine although the tartness undermines it slightly.

It is not a complete home run, but it is delicious. Unfortunately I took a lot of negative notes. Woops.


I think I will go ahead and do the Reese’s pairing for the next post. Why not? I have nothing to lose but my sterling reputation.

Cab-by Corn: A Halloween Pairing

It’s never too early to embrace the Halloween season. After all, we already have Thanksgiving and Christmas items on sale at stores. Every year, the buying season for the holidays comes closer and closer. It’s only a matter of time until we truly have Christmas in July. To celebrate both Halloween, my birthday, and all the great friends I made on Twitter (follow me at @loolabette), I threw together a little party. It was a pretty small affair since I can’t have that many people fit into my place.

I don’t want to say this post is Halloween themed. After all, I only used a Halloween candy: candy corn. The wine is just a regular Cabernet Sauvignon but from a brand I trust. I did not want to go the white route since those tend to be a little sweeter and I couldn’t see that working with the confectionary overload that is candy corn. I went with a Layer Cake because it is the brand I can trust. Before launching into my party of drunken debauchery (ok it was pretty tame), I took all my notes regarding this pairing. I wanted to make sure I was coherent.

The Wine: Layer Cake, Cabernet Sauvignon

Layers of Flavor

Candy: Brach’s Candy Corn

An American (?) Classic

The Dream:

Honestly, what does candy corn even taste like? How can you pair candy corn with anything when you really think about it? I don’t even understand the hang ups regarding candy corn. Is it the texture? The flavor is honestly just sugar and maybe some honey substitute. I needed a wine that counterbalanced the sweet but that would not go sour. Layer Cake wine tends to be very strong and thick and flavorful. It really is the best choice. The Layer Cake Malbec is one of my favorites and it’s truly a treat of a wine. And even though I had plenty to drink last night, there is a lot of left over wine. So I am drinking it. I refuse to let it go to waste.


Layer Cake smells delicious of course. There are notes of blackberry and rich, ripe strawberries. The smell alone makes my mouth water. A sip coats your mouth with tart fruit flavors. The blackberry comes in very nicely  and the taste rests in your mouth delightfully.

The candy corn is well, typical candy corn. Sweet and thick with an unspeakable appeal. After a few bites of candy corn the wine stays smooth but its distinct sharpness fades. It almost tickles on the way down and becomes far more sweet than I would like. It tastes a bit cheap really. But overally the flavors remain even if they are not that strong.

This pairing is fine. You certainly wouldn’t be amiss to try it. The wine stays good, even if it loses some of its distinct charm. However, this is for the best when considering candy corn. A candy corn and wine stomach ache probably would be the worst thing in the world. Maybe a perfect candy pairing would be far worse than good for the intestines. I’m just trying to look out for you readers.


Friends please enjoy our Halloween season safely and responsibly. And please enjoy the following links about candy corn.

Do A Little Dance, Drink a Little Wine

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Sex therapist Dr Ruth will be producing her own love potions! You can check out the story here. At $6.99-$8.99, there’s no excuse to get down with the celebrated advice columnist’s latest business venture.


Rollin’ with a Cab

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I’m patting myself on the back right now since I am working on yet another post. But I shouldn’t get too confident. I got a few new likes and followers so I have an audience to impress now. No more funny business! (errr..lots more funny business if we are realistic)

After my Chinese disaster I decided to pick the “low hanging fruit”, to borrow a phrase that everyone at works says. My inspiration is fairly basic. At work, we have a treat table and someone brought in Tootsie Rolls. I knew instantly this was my next challenge. I love Tootsie Rolls. They are unique and a brand unto themselves. Unlike candy bars which are merely new combinations of basic components, a Tootsie Roll is its own entity. You have to respect that, even if you don’t like them.

And I think I may have done it justice.

The Wine: Raven Wood, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009


The Smithies will know why I picked this wine: Raven’s Used Books.

The Candy: Tootsie Roll, Midgees


Chewy, Chocolate Perfection

The Dream:

A Tootsie Roll is intensely chewy and chocolate (chewcolate?), so a red felt more practical. A smokey Pinot was the initial choice, but I chose this Cab instead. The label claimed it was fruity with a touch of spice, which I thought could bring out some interesting flavors from the Tootsie Roll. I’ve never thought Tootsie Rolls had one flavor. They are very deceitful in that they surprise you with a lemon, tangy flavor at the end. To be honest, I hoped the spiciness of this cab would be more pronounced than it was, but it worked out for the better.


The Reality: 

The wine smells like cherries and a slight blueberry scent. I did not detect any spice, which initially disappointed me. The first taste gave me hope. It’s light and tart. The wine has a bite but it goes down extremely smooth and then dries out the tongue. The flavors flirt with you. All teasing and no commitment. Tootsie Rolls are the exact opposite. You chew one and you think, “This is chocolate” but suddenly this almost soapy taste is left in your mouth. And both flavors are extremely intense. You’re left thinking, what happened here? It isn’t bad, but it was not how you started. This wine cleanses the palet and flies off your tongue, washing away the thick Tootsie Roll.

 Coming up next: I’ve been challenged to pair a Rose from Spain (Cava), so that will be the next pairing. I think it will come at the right time as the DC/Maryland summer creeps upon us.

Welcome and a hearty thank you to my new followers/likers. Cheers!

Kitty takes a ride with a Cab

It’s time for an origins story.

I came upon the idea for this blog when I was, surprise, drunk. But strangely enough, I was not hungover at all the next day. That could be for many reasons, but all I know is that a bottle of Malbec, salty licorice, and “Battlestar Gallatica” were involved.

My boyfriend and I were obsessed with “Battlestar Gallatica” this summer. If you are unfamiliar with the show, all you need to do is watch this video from “Portlandia” to understand what it does to people. There we were, obsessing over this show all alone, when we found out Sam’s friend liked it. We spent several evenings with him attempting to finish the show. Since I was also fond of Malbec, I bought a bottle for all of us but I ended up drinking most of it. I also had a little bag of salty licorice.

It was the perfect mixture. The fruity, spicy flavor of the Malbec combined with the pungent licorice flavor and salt searing my tongue was the type of winning combination I long to achieve again.  I could not stop because I was so amazed that I had found this surprise. I could make a lot of “Battlestar Gallatica” metaphors, but I wouldn’t dare ruin it for you.

My latest challenge was not to recreate that pairing. That would be lazy. Rather, I changed the players slightly to moderate success. Lets meet our team.

Wine: Orfila, Cabernet Sauvignon ’08, from Argentina (Argentina again…it was a Groupon sale, ok? 3 for 25!)

What, Orfila? OPHELIA?

Cabernet Sauvignon

Candy: Licorice Cats, my Mom bought these somewhere and I asked her for them.

From Hafco!

Tasty Little Kitties

The Dream: 

In my heart, I really did hope this was going to be like that magical night watching “Battlestar.” But I did genuinely think this is a good combination. As part of my general exploration of new wines, I chose to do a Cab because…’s the new Malbec. I’m a wine tween ok? I get obsessed easily. I knew the cats were not salty, which I thought would work better with a Cab. Salty licorice is very in-your-face and Malbec can pack a punch as well. I knew these kitties would be serious licorice which was necessary for this pair (not that I don’t love a tasty bag of Licorice Bears from CVS).

The Reality:

I had the right idea, but my error occurred several months ago when I pilfered these from my mother. These cats were truly feral while they were still packaged. They rode in the car, lived on the fridge, and by my desk. They stood by me in my darkest hours, letting me know that things could never get too bad since licorice was always at hand. As you can imagine, they got a bit firm on the outside. It was almost like they were hard candies.

But the steel outside worked out well. The wine was very tart but had an excellent, smooth finish. I was worried these cats were going to disappoint me at first, because they tasted a bit sweet. But after working on them for awhile, the licorice flavor really kicked in and my saliva seemed thick with licorice flavor. The tart flavor of the wine brought a refreshing relief without compromising its own flavor or that of the licorice.


Try a Cab that is tart along with the best licorice you can find. Don’t let it go stale, but also don’t buy something really gooey. Working to get at the licorice flavor enhanced the experience.

Smitten with Kitten

Don’t like licorice? It’s not for everyone, but give it a try anyway. Good licorice can be pricey, but the Cab doesn’t have to be. So go ahead, get the first season of “Battlestar” and lose yourself.

NEXT TIME: Candy without Borders: An international candy of my choice will meet its foreign pair.

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