My Hips Don't Lie— Whatever The Hell That Means
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
First and foremost, thank you so much for all the love and birthday wishes. My Facebook was overflowing with such kind messages and I was just all, "Awww, you guys!" And as for you Noelle,  you lovely, lovely girl, thank you so much for your card. Your sweetness astounds me on a regular basis.

My birthday was splendid. My college girl came home and surprised me and my girls had flowers and my Hubby had sparkly things. And my Hubby bought me some Yankee candles which is hilarious because the day before I'd gotten a little peeved at him. You see, we had a candle fight. I was lighting candles because guests were coming over and I pulled out a candle from my bathroom and lit it in the kitchen and he was all, "You shouldn't light that. It's a candle meant for the bathroom and it cost me 40 bucks."

Okay, first of all, he broke the number one rule in our house: Don't ever tell me what to do. Number two: What the hell is a bathroom candle? There are no candle rules about candles and room designation! And number three: It was really about the 40 bucks. So, because he decided to spend 40 dollars on a candle, should I just admire it like a museum piece and keep it unlit? It ended badly with me stomping off without lighting the candle. So, the candles were a great touch. It made me laugh and he likes to make me laugh.

Enough about birthdays. 

Today, we will begin the saga called The Vacation Adventures. 

We'll do this in parts. Lots and lots of parts since I have so much to tell you, Internet. 

So, kick back, grab yourself a beverage and get ready for a toxic amount of vacation stories. 

We started our trip in Sonoma and Napa. 

And for those of you who've never been to the wine country. I'll give you a quick lesson on how it works:

Wineries have tasting rooms where the public can go and sample their various wines and vintages. There is usually a small fee involved and for that fee, you get just a taste's worth of whatever wines they are sampling on that day. There are usually 2 lists to choose from, the regular and the reserves. It is my wine loving hubby's favorite way to discover new wine treasures. This is 2 of my sisters, who went along for the wine trip, and me at one of our favorite wineries called Ridge.
We're wine club members at Ridge.

You can become a wine club member at any of your favorite wineries, where you receive shipments of different types and vintages several times a year. 

We have a lot of wine club memberships. 

We have so many that my UPS man knows my schedule by heart so that our precious wines are never left in an overheated UPS facility overnight. 

And when you are a wine club member, you are treated like the finest guest of the winery.

There is also an unwritten rule in the wine country and that is once a wine host detects a real wine connoisseur, someone who is there for their love of wine, verses making wine country a day-long happy hour, the pours become more generous, reserve wines not on the list are pulled out and there is usually great conversations over the mutual love of the grape. 

Now, I know a lot about wine. 

But I look like a white zinfandel box drinker next to my husband who says things like, "This has much less residual sugar than your 07 Zin." And the wine host will point at him and say, "Exactly."

And I'm just nodding along acting like, "Of COURSE it has less residual sugar" but in my head I'm all, "The hell?" 

One of our favorite wineries is Charles Krug Winery.

Here's where your eyes are going to roll back in your head as I go double barreled oenophile on you. 

Charles Krug is the oldest winery in Napa Valley. It is owned by Peter Mondavi and his family. 

If that name doesn't ring a bell to you, well allow me to ding that bell for you. 

Peter Mondavi had a brother named Robert. Now is the bell clanging? Robert and Peter ran the winery together until a disagreement many years ago caused Robert to leave the winery. Robert wanted to take a more ambitious route with the winery, aggressively promoting little known Napa wines. Peter was more content to just make wine, keeping their family run winery to a small, conservative business. 

Arguments led to fists between the brothers and Robert walked away from the winery, choosing to start up Robert Mondavi winery. 

Now you might say, well it certainly looks like Robert was right. 


Charles Krug wine is splendor in a glass. It is utter perfection. 

And no offense to Mr. Robert Mondavi, but his winery is best known for white zinfandel and lower quality, mass marketed wines. I will point out he has some amazing wines and various brands in his stock, Opus One comes to mind . . .

But Charles Krug focused on doing one good thing. 

And he did it sublimely. 

It's all about the attention to the details. 

And I am not disrespecting Mr. Robert Mondavi in any way, I will say it is because of him that Napa Valley is what it is today. He was a tireless promoter when it came to California wines. It is why the world now holds California wines to the same esteemed standard as its French counterparts. 

A few years back, Peter and Robert reconciled. Thankfully. Not too long after, Robert Mondavi passed away and the entire wine country mourned this great man. 

Peter on the other hand is well into his 90's and still remarkably running Charles Krug winery. His house sits on the winery grounds and he is an active overseer of his amazing winery. 

We walked into Charles Krug and were immediately heralded by our friends there because, of course, we are wine club members. Our wine host for the day remarked that we'd missed Mr. Mondavi by seconds. 

My heart fluttered for my hubby. For him, meeting the legendary Peter Mondavi would be like me meeting Bono. 

Well . . . actually, not really. I don't think my hubby would want to make out with Mr Mondavi, until his face was tender and raw from Mr. Mondavi's stubble. 

But you get the point. 

Our wine host told us a story of Peter Mondavi and his attention to detail. 

The wine host said he'd brought the recycling out to the bin the week before and he noticed Mr. Mondavi sitting some yards away in his golf cart. He waved and shouted to him, but the 90 something year old man didn't move. He looked closer and realized Mr. Mondavi was slumped over. He called to him again and when he didn't move, he dropped his bin ready to run back inside and get help. 

The clatter of the bin caused Mr. Mondavi to sit up and turn towards the noise. When he saw the wine host he drove his golf cart over to him and greeted him and then Mr. Mondavi informed the wine host that the landscape in that one corner of the winery had some dry spots and a bit of overgrowth and that just wouldn't do. And he held out his notebook, showing the wine host his notes on all the little places of his beloved grounds that he'd found needed care. He'd been bent over taking copious notes. 

The wine host said the next day, the grounds were back to their impeccable state. 

All the big and little details. It's why his wine is like velvet on your tongue. 

I asked if there was a chance Mr. Mondavi was still around the winery. And our wine host said, "Well, here comes his assistant now. Let me ask."

I was so excited. This was my Hubby's chance to meet one of the biggest wine legends in the world. 

Our genial host brought over the assistant who sadly informed us that Mr. Mondavi was not available since he was up at his house waiting for the Serta Mattress people to get there. 

She told us with a smile playing about her face that Mr. Mondavi was no longer satisfied with his mattress he'd bought in 2002. And since his mattress had a lifetime guarantee, he had ordered the Serta people to come to his house with a new replacement mattress. 

She smiled knowingly as she said, "He has his original receipt."

Of course he did. 

I would not have expected any less. 

Sadly, my Hubby didn't get to meet one of the rock stars of the wine world.

But . . . our trip had just begun. 

I just want to add one more thing today. 

We went to plenty of wineries on our trip, but I wanted to post a picture of one of our most gracious wine hosts. 

Norm at Robert Young Winery took such great care of us and no, not Robert Young of Father Knows Best. Just Robert Young, originally solely a grape grower, but now producer of some extraordinary Cabernet Sauvignons. 

Norm led us away from the crowd and gave us a private tasting in their distillery, because of course, we are a member of their wine club. After we'd had a few samples, Norm filled our glasses with some of that delicious Cab and led us out to their beautiful patio on a crisp, clear skied day where he shared his Milk Duds with us.

And let me tell you, Milk Duds pair splendidly with Cabernet. The other man in the picture next to my sister, is my brother-in-law who will be an integral part of my next post. And yes, our teeth are blue. Plan on having blue teeth the entire time if you ever go to the Wine Country.

Norm then gave us a tour of their wine cave.  And no, I am not double dipping there. I am holding my hubby's wine, so he could wander around, in a state of nirvana, snapping pictures in the cave.

And on a final note there's this.

Bella Vineyards is another one of our faves. And I know you'll find this hard to believe, but we are wine club members. They also have a great wine cave and fabulous grounds where they encourage people to congregate and enjoy the day. There is always live music playing, Adirondack chairs dot the lawn and as we walked across the beautiful yard, my sister discovered some hula hoops. My sisters and I all grabbed one and that is when we discovered that my sister Beth, my beautiful, talented, almost 12 years younger than me sister, in the turquoise dress, hula hoops like this:

And this:

This clip is a must, because it is like watching Elaine from Seinfeld during her jerky dance, because it is only like 10 seconds long and I promise this will keep a smile on your face the whole day long. And Beth has given me her blessing to use this, because even she finds it snorty fabulous. Oh and disregard, my brother-in-law's comment. He meant nothing offensive by it. It's just wine talking.

What I am trying to say at the end of the clip, is that hula hooping is a very slight, precise movement and it's all in the hips. It is so subtle and yet so defined. 

And it made me think: Hula Hooping is a lot like wine making, actually. It's all in the details. 

Hips and grapes. Yeah. 

Today's Definite Download: Today is all about a dedication. My dear blog friend, Cheeseboy, who makes me snort just about every dang day, shares my same taste in music.

Mumford and Sons' "Lion Man" is for you, Cheese. Because we both love this group. But mostly because Cheeseboy is a maniac and he does something crazy, (dumpster diving) every time he gets 100 more followers. And if you go here, Cheeseboy waxed his arm hair recently when he reached the big 400. 

Now,  Cheeseboy is one, hairy guy and this video is just good as watching my sister flail around with a hula hoop. When his wife begins the waxing, Cheeseboy tries to man up with just a few whimpers, but within a few seconds, Cheeseboy is letting out his best primal scream, albeit a manly one, but his "YOOOOOWWWW!" goes on for an eternity. 

Cheese—"Lion Man" because I love this song as do you, but also because you are one big Cheeseboy lion with your hairy mane and your giant shriek  roar. 


Anonymous said...

I'm no wine drinker (that is against the law in the Redneck Rule book), but this was an interesting post. And the hula hoop had me laughing.

Cecelia Winesap said...

That video was hilarious!! Looks like you guys had an awesome time!!

Heather said...

Happy Birthday! I hope it was truly lovely...with or without the candles.

I love wine!! I have always wanted to do a tasting.

For now I am just relying on my dad who has ruined me for six dollar wine!

twelvedaysold said...

NICE hula hooping!

Lisa said...

Great post...and very informative too, as I have never been to Napa!

I was expecting your definite download to be Red, Red Wine by UB40!

An Imperfect Momma said...

Bathroom candle! LOL. Hope you had a great birthday. Looks like you had an awesome time...umm I missing anything else to make sure you know I read your whole post? Nope? Oh wait...I'm not much of a wine drinker, but that is one trip I would like to make. Too bad your hubby didnt get to meet his superstar ;o)

Amethystmoon said...

I wish I was a wine drinker, I really do, but as much as try, it's just not good. Hey! your sister hula hoops just like me! I can move my hips while dncig but put a hula hoop around it and forget it!

Noelle said...

SOOOO refined! :) You're right, I laughed instead of cried! What a great post! I've always wanted a vineyard of my very own. I've seen some lovely vineyards and I always say, "Dad, please won't you buy me a vineyard?" His response, "Noelle, you don't even drink the wine." Well so...

You can drink the wine for me!

And I'm glad you got the card! :)

Dazee Dreamer said...

I'm all sorts of impressed that you can do the hula hoop!!!!

Anonymous said...

I bet someone sends you a candle now :-)

Ok - your sister in the black dress in the 1st picture is so cute! She looks like the bar is holding her up!

LOVED the video. OK, so I said that before I turned 35, I needed to learn how to hula hoop and Emily had to teach me. She worked with me every day for a week, but I finally got it!

One Photo said...

Happy belated Birthday! Well I have never been able to Hula Hoop so my hat is off to you!

Fragrant Liar said...

Hey, what a great post. I'm a newbie wine drinker. And a lightweight, but I'm really digging the malbecs.

Good to meet you!

Hulk (Who can't hula hoop, but can still get jiggy with it when he needs to...) said...

I had never tasted wine until my first trip to Vegas, about 15 years ago or so. We all went to Lawry's, and the server chose ME to be the table's wine taster. I took one sip, corked my face all up like I was sucking a lemon, and said, "Smooooooooooth. We'll take it."

House wine.


I am a merlot guy now...usually only once in a while though.

And dudes love it when chicks hula hoop...can't figure out why...

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

What kind of candle is $40? Dear god, just burn 2 twenties.

You looks so cute in your purpley dress which goes with the wine so well. I'm sure that was planned.

Oh and hey.....are you a member of a wine club??

Sandra said...

Love the video of you hoola-hooping.
Your trip sounds like a...trip!
Love the pictures, you look beautiful as always!

Christine Macdonald said...

Could we have anything *more* in common?

Wine is the nectar of the GODS.

LOVE this post!!! You make me smile.


tattytiara said...

If you like Milk Duds and Cabernet you would love glazed donuts with 12 year old scotch. Trust me on that, it just works.

That aside I don't know anything about residual sugars either, but I'm not a complete wine cretin. I'm always extremely careful to select a box that has no crushed corners.

Cheryl said...

I am SO impressed with your hula hooping skills!

One time a woman in her mid-20s that when I grow up I'll move on from white to red. I was in my late 30s at the time.

I'm still a child. Red makes me congested. Give me a sauvignon blanc or a pinot grigio or a nice sancerre and I'm a happy, happy child!

MrsBlogAlot said...

Happy Belated Birthday you fun girl!!!

That video was pure awesomeness!!!!

LisaPie said...

When we lived in Chile we toured wineries all the time just for the hell of it and also when we were touring around visitors. There is something extraordinary about the whole process to end up with a bottle of bliss, isn't there?

I won a hula hoop contest one time. So you and I have one more thing in common!

Cheers to you!

Unknown said...

I am a wine dummy. I like wine, but know very little about it, other than when I go to Macaroni Grill, I seem to drink way too much of it! lol

Deidra said...

You are a slow hula-hooper! :) I love the pictures, though. Your sister kind of...stands out. It makes me smile!

Joann Mannix said...

Just a test since someone told me my comments are down.

Ducky said...

I am marinating in jealousy. I will one day make it to wine country....

Sounds brilliantly fun and I love the hula hooping!

Cheeseboy said...

Joann - Once again I am honored by your friendship and blessed by your unashamed pimping of my blog. Bless you.

I was disappointed to hear Mumford and Sons on the RADIO the other day! Ugh. So long to the unknown, little indie band I once loved. Hearing my favorite bands on the radio is always bitter sweet.

Mumford came to Salt Lake a couple months ago and I was out of town. I was ticked. Although I have heard they are coming back and this time they will be co-headlining with another favorite of mine - The Temper Trap. Unless tickets are over 100 bucks, I will be going.

Now, your blood is much too fancy and rich for my taste. No way I will ever be galivanting through wine fields and hula hooping with movie stars.

Lora said...

meanwhile, here in tennessee we can't even buy wine in a grocery store.


one of my dreams is to tour wine country one day -- i'll know who to chat with before i plan my trip now!

Bossy Betty said...

So sorry I missed out on the Par-TY!!! Love the hula hooping. You go, baby!

Yuliya said...

Okay you were not kidding when you said "grab a beverage"...GAH! Do you know how many times you said the word "wine" in this post...meanwhile those of us sitting here reading with nothing alcoholic to drink are ready to hula hoop off a cliff thankyouvermuch!

Tracie Nall said...

Confession: Wine intimidates me. I have this long held desire to discuss sugar content and percentages of things and grape species, but sadly I have no knowledge of any of those things...and no knowledge of where to start!

This post re-ignites me desire to totally get into wine.

Also I can't hula hoop. You sister is like a hula hooping genius next to me!

W.C.Camp said...

Wow that was pretty impressive hula hooping!!! Glad you had a great tour with your 'sistahs'!

Oh and by the way, just in name alone I would LOVE to own a 'WINE CAVE' - it just sounds so COOL! W.C.C.

The Blogging Goddess said...

Napa is my most favorite place on the universe. When we were there, we met Robert's grandson, who now runs the Mondavi winery at lunch one day, and my husband got his card. He was a very nice man and invited us to his place for a private tour next time we are there.

On another note...I happen to have a travel site that focuses on cocktails, cuisine and accommodations...I love guest posts, and have been brazen enough to ask for them from various places. If you are interested in writing one about your trip re the wine, I would love it, just shoot me an email and I can send you over to it to see if you would be interested!

Liz said...

I love that your husband bought your sparkly things and that it is in the plural form.

I used to know how to hula hoop, but can't anymore. So I'd be your sis. Interesting we share the same/similar name. :)

I am not well-versed in wine, though I do enjoy it. I've been to cave cellars once before and it was in Spain. Craig won a sales trip through his company our first year of marriage, and the trip to Spain was 1000 times better than our honeymoon. But to be fair, our honeymoon sucked.

Deborah said...


Color me Burgundy. Looks like so much fun!

Grace said...

"Bethy went full retard"?!!

"Nobody goes full retard." I freakin' love that movie! My kids and I say that line to each other all the time! That's so awesome!

And milk duds with cabernet? I'm lovin that. I'm thinking how I can sneak a bottle of cab into the next movie I see.

Anonymous said...

My parents oh so helpfully dragged my sister and I to napa when I was in 8th grade and she was 5th. Super exciting for us, no?
After the first day of wineries and hearing my dad discuss wines for hours, we opted to hang out at the pool at our hotel, the little Harvest Inn that is still one of my fave places I've ever stayed.

Kelly said...

1) Happy Birthday!

B) I am not a wine person. Whether it's a bottle of Two Buck Chuck or $100+ vintage, it all tastes the same to me, which is icky.

iii) I can't hula hoop worth a damn. But I can twirl a baton. Does that count for something?

jayayceeblog said...

Looks like a great trip. They did not have hula hooping at the last wine tasting I went to. And I enjoy my Milk Duds with a lovely Australian Shiraz.

Pat said...

Looks like a fun time was had by all. I could probably be convinced to hula hoop if I had gone wine tasting to a few wineries, too!

Rae said...

Wow! What a group of beautiful, talented winos!(just kidding!)
Looks like you had great fun ! And I hope your birthday was fantastic and that your entire year will be awesome!
We are having our Sister Weekend starting tomorrow and I just hope we can have as much fun and look as great as you all did!

Meg at the Members Lounge said...

Joann, thanks for sending me to Bella - I loved it just as much as you did. The tunes were awesome, the picnic site divine, and they were the friendliest of people. One of my favorite stops!

Unknown said...

This just to say, that if you are ever at the central coast wineries, we must meet up.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Tweet Me Subscribe Follow on Facebook 

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Subscribe Now

Grab My Button!

Laundry  Hurts My Feelings

Following Me Into The Madness


Blogs I Love

All content (C) 2010 Laundry Hurts My Feelings