Confessions of a reluctant work-a-holic

Immediately following our five year anniversary event, Steve & I had planned on visiting some family out of town. If you’ve ever worked retail you know – the first half of the month is not a time to take a few days off. Never-the-less, we we’re pretty optimistic about going. We worked 12-15 hours a day with no days off for two weeks leading up to this trip. Still, I was not ready. I tried to send Steve without me… nope. not-ga-doit. He talked me into going. All my workstress was tied up in my neck making it impossible to finish the mindless paperwork that was demanding my attention. So, I packed up my work, and we left really late for a seven hour drive.

I started to relax. It only took about three hours of mostly silent driving, watching along the side of the road. I like to get glimpses of other people’s lives out my window as we pass by farms and small towns. I do enjoy finding beauty in the scenery no matter where we go. We started up through the Tehachapi’s as the sun started to go down. I love the scattered oak trees across the rolling hills.

May 2008 040

And, we came down the other side into the desert as the sun was setting when I remembered… I love the desert night.

desert road

Speeding down the dark desert highway, my favorite playlist blaring from the speakers. I roll down the window so I can feel the cool wind in my hair, a million stars all around. The lyrics from almost all of the Eagle’s songs are played out here. I got a peaceful easy feeling. Then, in the distance – civilization. Dotted lights across the horizon. We’re home. That’s an upside to living in so many different places over the years, it always feels like home when you go back to visit.

golf course

That was pretty much the highlight of the trip for me, lol. I had to work most of the time there and we left early, but it was nice to see the family and Steve golfed the best game of his life. A week later, I’m almost caught up from being gone. It was still worth it. Next on the agenda: Front Porch Wine Tasting!


four wines

Fortress Sauv Blanc ~ OM Chard ~ Roblar Syrah ~ Olin Cab


fortress sauv blanc

2010 Fortress Sauvignon Blanc $4.99

Elsewhere price $14.99

Arvin started us off saying this Sauvignon Blanc has a stout aroma. Larry tasted a mixture of sweet and sour in the first sip and Steve tasted citrus. Terry said it’s tingling her throat and feels warm. Connie said it’s unusual and commented that she liked the taste of orange with a splash of arsenic. Becky noticed that the first sip wasn’t the greatest, but the second and third were really good. So, skip the first sip if you can (and take out the 13th floor in every building, please).

Winemaker’s Notes: The Musque clone produces a Sauvignon Blanc reminiscent of a fine white Graves. This wine is crisp and clean with bright acidity and notes of kiwi, honeydew melon, and ocean brine. It is an excellent wine for pairing with cheese.

Critical Acclaim: “Fortress is piling up quite an impressive record for good Sauvignon Blanc at a fair price. Their 2008, which is unoaked, combines crisp acidity and extreme dryness with complex flavors of lemons, grapefruits and gooseberries. Sommeliers should scoop this one up.”
90 Points Wine Enthusiast



2011 Oliver Marshall (OM) Chardonnay $6.99

Elsewhere price $17.99

Terry and Larry both declared, “It’s a good one!” Connie called extraordinary and Joe said, “Now this is good” That’s pretty much the highest praises from the Front Porch tasters.

On-line review from Front Porch Wine Tasting! Lol, I tried this last year when it was pretty much just me, drinking wine on  my porch.


roblar syrah

2012 Roblar Syrah $5.99

Elsewhere price $24.99

Steve tasted dark cherries and Terry tasted berries. Joe commented that this was an oaked wine and Becky said, ‘That was pretty good”. And Connie, well let me see if I can quote her properly: “Almost rose like – a great bouqet”, “Oh my gosh – must breath. Honestly, so good”.

On-line review:  Delicious!  With aromas of cocoa and anise, the wine opens with flavors of raisin, black currant, and blueberries.  Those notes are followed by black pepper and sandalwood.  The wine has nice structure and smooth tannins.  We enjoyed it so much, we went ahead and ordered more!

90.5 points from


Olin cab sauv

2007 Olin Cabernet Sauvignon $10.99

Elsewhere $35.00

Larry immediately liked the aroma and Terry said it was tingling her noise. Becky tasted berries, but Arvin tasted chocolate covered cherries when he paired this cab with dark chocolate. He said, “Very good”. Joe commented on how much he liked the aroma and said it was perfectly aged. After his first sip, “Wow! Really good”.

On-line review: An interesting and divisive cab. This showed a great deal of flavorful fruit, yet had a strong green pepper element as well.

89 Points from


crazy legs

2011 Crazy Legs Old Vine Zin

 Robert Lauchland Vineyards Lodi, Ca.

Arvin got this bottle, from a customer that owns a small local winery, as a tip! So, even though I don’t know where you can get it, or how much it costs… here’s our review:

Steve liked it, he said it was dry but smooth. Arvin also thought it was dry. Connie said it’s got legs and Becky says she’s going to Lodi to find some Crazy Legs!

From the bottle: Crazy Legs describes the bold characteristics of this wine as it streaks down the sides of a wine glass. We are old, small lot, winemakers working to sustain the unique regional character of Lodi wines. Our family has been growing winegrapes for over 100 years in the premier Lodi Appellation, which is famous for its soils, Sierra Mountain water, and cooler Delta Climate.