Ryan Shepard
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October 1, 2021

After a Full Day of #MommingSoHard, These Are The 5 Wines I'm Always Reaching For

One of my absolute favorite times of day is when Shep is home and has started Nola's bath time routine. That's when I crack open a bottle of wine, pour myself a glass and get to work in the kitchen. Don't get me wrong, I love being Nola's mama. But, after hours of entertaining her, changing her diapers and making sure she's fed, it's nice to just be with my own thoughts doing something that makes me happy.

I'm not one of those people who believes that certain wines should be reserved for certain seasons or special moments. I think that wine should be enjoyed whenever you want and with whomever you want to share it with. I drink rosé in November and champagne whenever the mood strikes. I'm a rule breaker that way. That being said, the bottles I'm listing here are ones that I've fallen in love with and try to make sure are always on hand. Admittedly, some listed here are a little pricey, which might influence you not to drink them unless there is a special occasion. I'm going to encourage you not to wait. Life is meant to be lived, and wine is meant to be sipped.

Cheers to you!

Laurent Perrier Brut La Cuvee

I read somewhere once that you should always keep a bottle of champagne in the fridge, just in case you need one for a sudden celebration. What could be more worth celebrating than surviving another day of mommyhood? Nothing. Pop that cork sis. I love this wine by Laurent Perrier. A good friend of mine brought it over to my house once for a dinner party and now I try to keep a few bottles around all the time. This champagne is accessible not only on the pallet, (think buttery brioche toast and just the right balance of tart/sweet green apple), it's also under $40 bucks so it won't hurt your wallet's feelings. These bubbles are fucking delicious as a pre-dinner sipper, or aperitif, but it's also robust enough to carry you through a meal as well. This isn't one of those bottles that I'd use to make a mimosa, it's much too yummy on its own for that, but you can't help but feel luxurious sipping this wine out of a gorgeous champagne flute at the end of the day.

Chateau des Annibals Rosé

Rosé is one of those wines that you're only "supposed" to drink during the warmer months. Fuck that. I drink it literally whenever the hell I want. There is so much more to this varietal than it just being summer water (no shade). Contrary to popular belief, or robust marketing campaigns, rosé has enough character to be sipped alongside some amazing meals and I love it as much pool side as I do around the warmth of my outdoor fire pit. This bottle by Annibals is my absolute hands down favorite. Made from 60% Cinsault, 30% Syrah, 10% Grenache grapes, it has the ability to be both an easy sipper and complex. Here you'll taste strawberry, some citrus fruit and a touch of pineapple. A bottle will run you just under $25 and you'll love every sip.

Chole Chardonnay

Highkey, I'm waiting for whoever runs brand partnership at Chole to respond to my numerous emails begging them to work with me because I'm obsesseddddd with this wine. I came across this producer thanks to my local wine shop (shout to 3 Parks Wine). They were showcasing this wine in a seasonal growler they were offering and it was love at first taste. When I saw a bottle of it in Publix while I was grocery shopping, I snapped up two bottles and literally keep myself stocked up at all times. The California girl in me loves an oaky chardonnay and goddammit this one delivers. One sip and your mouth will burst with flavors or rich vanilla bean and juicy pear all rounded out by this rich buttery mouth feel. One bottle runs under $15 which helps me not feel so bad when I kill an entire one by myself.

Brown Estates Chaos Theory

Brown Estates is a Black-owned vineyard in Napa Valley. My father-in-law, who happens to be a member of their wine club, introduced me to Chaos Theory during dinner once and it was so good I almost cried. In general, I'm not a fan of red wine blends but this one changed my mind. This bottles is made of 35% Merlot, 35% Petite Sirah, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Zinfandel but is 100% fucking delicious. The $40 bottles tastes so much more expensive than it is with notes of red plum, black pepper, and dark black cherries.

Belle Glos Pinot Noir

This is the very first pinot noir I ever tasted in my life and what turned me from a white wine only drinker (I was in my early 20s so don't judge me too hard) to a red wine lover. Belle Glos just produces damn good pinots. Different bottles have different tasting notes and all are worth a try. I've had a glass while making dinner, a glass while waiting for dinner at a restaurant, enjoyed some around a fire and even some with barbecue in the summer. This pinot is super versatile and just so fun to drink. If you come across a bottle snap it up, you deserve. Be warned you'll spend a pretty penny depending on which expression you buy. The price can range from $55-$300.

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