a rose by any other name… is not rosѐ.

So, it has been almost a year since we moved to Houston.  We have so far survived living in this city, which for those in the know, can definitely be a challenge.  I was just about to claim victory in the relocation department when the humidity hit.  No seriously, like 95% humidity.  Even at 7 am.  It’s miserable, but just like everything else in Houston (traffic, air quality, toll road confusion), you eventually accept the humidity and stop complaining.  It’s like almost everything else in my life right now:  slowly learning how to let go, swim downstream, and engage in the concept of imperfection.

Like I’ve said before, being a working mother is really hard, especially when you have career aspirations, home objectives, extraordinarily high husband expectations, and genuinely loving child hopes.  Keeping it together, in a nice rolled up little branded ball, takes a lot of energy.  Lately, I have been finding myself waking up at 2 am, with dozens of ideas, emails, blogs, dreams, and pending thoughts flooding my mind.  I can’t turn it off.  It’s like my soul is screaming for me to do more, be more, live more.  And my body is saying… can’t we get some rest already?  I am Leaning In as much as possible, to all areas of my life! I definitely need to relax, so tonight I am sipping on a confident, cool, refreshing Texas Rosѐ.


According to any and all wine blogs, articles, and magazines, this summer is all about Rosѐ.  For those who don’t know, Rosѐ may be the oldest type of fashioned wine, with colors ranging from light orange to varied purple, and is produced in almost every wine country in the world.  The flush is created from the contact of grape skins during maceration, and the sweetness can range from very dry to massive.   Since Rosѐ is a style of winemaking, the grapes that are used in process range from region to region.  Rosѐ can be found from old world to new world wineries, and is most notoriously found in France.  But with the terrior of Texas being so diverse, and with eight federal viticulture areas, it is no wonder that Texas, too, has found its passion for Rosѐ.


One of the best Rosѐs on the Texas market right now hails from Lubbock’s McPherson Cellars.  There is a lot of history surrounding the winemaker, Kim McPherson, who has not only a degree in Food Nutrition Science from Texas Tech, but has completed the enology and viticulture program at UC Davis.  He has experience in Napa Valley, but also as a winemaker for Llano and Cap Rock Wineries.  Staying true to his roots, Kim McPherson purchased an aging coca cola bottling plant in Lubbock, and transformed it into a state of the art winery.  Recently been named one of the most influential winemakers in the US, it is no wonder that McPherson has been able to produce a vast number of award-winning wines, including the 2012 Dry Rosѐ, Vin Gris.


Sitting on the back porch watching Sommbaby slide, swing, and meander through her sandbox, I can smell the slight aromas of strawberry and pomegranate in this bright pink Rosѐ.  This vintage is made in Rhone style, and is a blend of Cinsault, Mourvedre, and Grenache.  Dry, cool, and crisp, I am not overwhelmed with sweetness as I watch the condensation crawl down the side of my glass.  Perfect with almost any type of summer food, I imagine the 2012 McPherson Cellars Dry Rosѐ Vin Gris pairing beautifully with a medley of beet salad with goat cheese, bleu burgers, and crispy barbeque.  An ideal wine to please all palates of an evening gathering.  Another plus? Readily available at retail, $11.


Going Local has never been easier with this Texas wine, and has made my decisions that much easier when shopping at our neighborhood market.  Between trying to be an engaged employee, wonderful wife, loving mother, and intermittent housekeeper, finding the brands that help support goals of Leaning In to my life lessens my anxiety.  So, while I sit back and ponder with Sommbaby on the faint moon and emerging stars, I sip on this remarkable, restorative pink libation that hones in on my inner needs.  Cheers.

Go Local. Go Texan.

the realization of free time and the persnickety Texas Viognier

If you would have told me a few years ago that I would be home at 10 pm on a Friday night, every Friday night, I would have laughed.  Not only would I have laughed, but I would have bought you a glass of wine.  Or a beer.  Or a scotch.  I would have leaned over the bar, whispered something to Olaf, and snickered.  My thoughts immersed in watching the clock, I would sit waiting for the sommelier to walk through the phone booth.  I talked to strangers and read my liberal left magazines. Oh, how I miss those days.  Don’t get me wrong.  Sommbaby is the most beautiful, intelligent, amazingly aware spirit that could have entered my life.  I love tending to the garden while she plays in the yard, in the water, and in the mud.  She captures my heart, and I would never trade her for anything.

( Photo by the amazing  Serina Sara Sparkman)

But, being a mother is hard.  Being a working mother is even harder.  I thought that once I finished graduate school that things would be easier, life would somehow become magically “perfect”; it was one less thing for me to do every day.  Less reading.  Less typing.  Less  checklists.  In reality, I have found a hole.  A gap in the busy life I used to lead.  I am constantly looking for projects, those which will not only fill my time, but also fill my need to constantly learn and grow.  Surprisingly, this process has become extremely painful for me.  In fact, a large part of me is somewhat sad.

So, tonight I contemplate my new goals in life, organize small projects, set deadlines, and work through the toughest emotions I have had in a while.  What better to nurse me through the ache?  A 2011 Becker Vineyards Viognier.

A rare white grape grown almost exclusively in the Northern Rhone regions of France, Viognier prefers warmer climates with long growing seasons. It’s no wonder, then, that Texas is the perfect climate for such a persnickety grape. Assumed a substitute for full bodied Chardonnay, Texas Viognier is round, luxurious, and smooth.  It comes with layers of intense, aromatic complexity, and has a creamy mouthfeel all its own.  Of all the wineries in Texas that produce a Viognier, Becker Vineyards has won the most “street cred” and obtained the optimum shelf space.  This year, Texas Monthly has even named the slightly fruity white a must have.

It’s a great way to wind down on a smoldering Friday night. After a week of ten-hour days, late day-care pick ups, even later dinners, and midnight laundry sessions, I deserve it.  And so do you.  Aptly priced at $14, it’s too much of a value not to give a try.

Go Texan.  Go Local.