The Weekend of a Working Wino

I work at least 70 hours a week. By day, I’m a project manager for the intranet of a Fortune 15 company (who still sadly has no major inroads in social media), by afternoon, I’m a licensed Realtor, and by night I’m a wine and coffee lover exploring the vast worlds of the wonderful nectar provided to us by the gods. The weekends can be interesting, especially around the holidays. This weekend I had to balance cleaning our rental property for a new tenant, two Christmas parties, laundry, putting up Christmas lights, and still managing to move forward with the newfound world of Below is a recap of my weekend of bad wine, good wine, cat pee, Clark Griswold, and CRUSHING IT!

Friday Night – After wrapping up a productive week of project management, blah blah blah, was looking forward to the office real estate party. Wife and I got dressed up and went to a nice event facility in Spokane at the Lincoln Center. Nice event place with good party food and desserts. Band was good. It felt like we were walking into a scene from Wedding Crashers. The band was playing Sweet Home Alabama, middle aged rich people were shaking it up on the dance floor and there was a long line at the bar

“Tattoo on the lower back? Might as well be a bullseye.”

WINE CHOICE: The wedding, er…Christmas Party didn’t have much of a wine selection. The options were Beringer White Zin, usually found in the brown bag of your local bag lady, can be purchased for as low as $3 in the local store, a red choice and a white choice both from Columbia Crest Two Vines (budget brand). I chose the Cabernet Sauvignon over the Sauvignon Blanc. The bottom line of the review is AVOID THIS WINE.  There are better $7 choices out there. For $4.75 a glass, I would’ve been better off drinking a glass of watered down Welches. To their credit CC Two Vines does make decent juice. We enjoy the Cab-Merlot blend on a semi-regular basis but for some reason this Cab on its own was sub-standard.

With a poor wine selection and no hope of seeing the bride get drunk we headed out of the good ol’ boys club party in search of greener pastures, or at least better wine.

I remembered from my Facebook and Twitter happenings that it was First Friday in downtown Spokane (a blend of the arts and unique businesses). We headed to the Whitestone Tasting Room – @PIECESOFRED on Twitter – to sample their offerings. Ahhhh, finally something that actually passes for wine. I arranged an onsite review of these guys in the next few weeks, so I won’t go into too much detail. The offerings were Cab Franc, Cab Sauv, Merlot and two different blends. Grown on the banks of Lake Roosevelt in North Central, WA the Estate Pieces of Red is a blend of a very bold and spicy Cab and a well structured Merlot. At $17, Pieces of Red is a great choice for wine drinkers who like bold and spicy with deep dark berry fruits. definitely enough tannin and acidity to be cellared for many years. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. The night was redeemed.

The hopes of sleeping in were dashed against the rocks of reality knowing I had three days of chores to cram into one day. The morning and early afternoon would be consumed by playing cleaning lady and Clark Griswold.

I knew I was taking a risk, but now I know that cats should not be allowed to live in confined spaces. One of my rental units is a 200 SF loft. I let the last tenant house a cat. As a result, I spent 3 hours on my Saturday attempting to remove the smell of cat litter for the new tenant. It wasn’t a horrible cat pee smell, but it was certainly enough to hit you like a ton of bricks when you walked in the door. Should I deduct from the deposit the same amount I make per hour?

Yes it is, it’s a bit nipply out. I mean nippy out, what did I say, nipple? Huh, there is a nip in the air. – Clark Griswold

After satisfactorily eliminating the cat pee from the apartment, I turned my attention to checking 1000’s of little twinkle lights. The results, threw away three strand of lights, went back to the store and bought new LED lights, put up the inflatable Snoopy, stood back and admired all that I had created. I was ready for the evening festivities and wine.

I was looking forward to the next two activities all week. The first stop of the evening was Spokane winery Robert Karl Cellars (@RKCellars). Joe and Rebecca Gunselman, Spokane wine veterans, with nine vintages under their belt, are generating buzz in the WA wine world. Procuring grapes from their own estate and three other vineyards, all in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA (Central WA), the Bordeaux style varietals are big and dynamic but also have an immediate drinkability to them. The interview and tasting notes are coming soon. I had the pleasure of tasting an 07 Merlot, 07 Syrah, 06 Cabernet Sauvignon, 06 Inspiration Reserve (blend), and the 07 Claret (blend). The day was definitely looking up.

The wife and I concluded the evening at a friends Christmas party. Looking back, I don’t think I ate dinner all weekend. I  had my share of meatballs, mini-sandwhiches and cheese & crackers. The spread at @bethany_kate was phenomenal. Chad is the master bar tender mixing up Elf Pee, Reindeer Farts and more! I brought a bottle of Merlot from Robert Karl and learned a valuable taste pairing lesson: RK Merlot does not play well with Reindeer Farts (Kahlua, Bailey’s Irish Cream, and Vodka). After cleansing the palate with a few crackers, cheese and brownies, I enjoyed the character of the Merlot. The body of this wine is very sexy and has a long lingering finish that brings up cherry tart, cocoa powder and acid that makes your mouth water to the point of drool.  Needless to say, I left the party with a nice red toothed grin! HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

Now, I wrap up my working wino weekend, hoping to satisfy the many fans of (the wife, the mom, and the sis) and watching the Redskins in an epic fail as they blow the late lead against the undefeated Saints. Not much to cheer about this year, that win would’ve been a great notch in the belt.  Where’s my wine!


Owner of Nectar Tasting Room in Spokane, WA. (@nectarwine) Publisher of Spokane Wine Magazine (@spowinemag), author, speaker, consultant and internet marketer with Nectar Media (@nectarmedia)

5 comments on “The Weekend of a Working Wino

  1. Randy Watson

    When I read cat pee, I thought maybe you were talking about Chardonnay! :) Sounds like a crazy weekend… you really are a busy dude.

    Pieces of Red sounds like a wine that I need to look into but I still have to ask the question, “What exactly is in Elf Pee?” (besides maybe about a fifth of already digested vodka) :)


    1. drinknectar

      Ha! Some Chardonnay, yes, but not this weekend. I’ll have to check with Chad about what is in Elf Pee (maybe he’ll comment here). I didn’t have one but I do remember it being yellowish green – maybe had Midori, Vodka and a spash of lemon.

  2. Bethany (@Bethany_Kate)

    Good guess Josh! Elf Pee is Vodka, melon liqueur and Rose’s Lime. It’s quite tasty.

    We were so happy to have you and your beautiful wife join us. And I think we may have to finish off that bottle of Robert Karl you brought this evening. However, we are starting by finishing the champagne and cranberry juice. The holiday celebration continues! :-)

    Can’t wait for the next gathering of friends! See you very soon!

  3. Kate

    Love the post…and can totally relate to the White Zin/Cheap cabernet dilemma. Like my $100 ticket to my 10 year HS reunion, which was held in a suburban hotel conference room, and had food from costco. But I digress. The rest of your weekend sounded great, especially the Reindeer Farts!

    1. drinknectar

      Thanks, Kate! The weekend was fun! What are you drinking tonight? I went to your blog and it looks cool. Can’t wait to read more of it.


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