Wine Tastings

On this page you’ll find past published articles on various wine tasting topics.

Carboy Winery – a Breckenridge Gem

carboy panoramic
This a panoramic photo of the wine production and storage area at Carboy Winery’s Breckenridge location. The area was expanded from historic tunnels that connected many prominent areas of Breckenridge, Colorado.

As an avid ski family, this year has been an exceptional season for two reasons: (1) the weather has been amazing and the Colorado resorts have had so much snow very early in the season and (2) the Epic ski pass was made available to military and military families this year for $99 with no blackout dates and includes all Vail resorts and partners! To put this in perspective, the Epic ski pass in the past has been AT THE LOWEST around $600 per person! So, we have made great use of our proximity to world class skiing at every opportunity possible.

Continue reading the article here.

Does Shape Really Matter?

wine glasses

“In double blind tests that eliminate any chance that the subject would know the shape of the glass, there is absolutely zero detectable difference between glasses.” I recently read this quote in Seth Godin’s book, All Marketers are Liars, and I was shocked. I didn’t know the science behind why we used different glasses for different wines, but I did it because that was the expectation: smaller bowl for white wine, bigger bowl for red wine and flutes for sparkling. Godin proceeds to state that “a $1 glass and a $20 glass deliver precisely the same impact on the wine: none.” 

Continue reading the article here.

Bubbly Demystified

sparkling wine champagne cava prosecco how to know what type of bubbly you like best
Sparkling wines are quite niche and one of my absolute favorites around the Holidays. Before reading the article, do you already know what your favorite type of bubbly is?

Champagne, Cava, Prosecco, Sparkling Wine…what difference does it make? Which one do you like best and why? I’ll break down the different attributes for you to help you decide which bubbly to serve and drink for your New Years festivities!

The first thing we need to talk about is how you’ll be drinking this bubbly. Are you drinking for quantity or quality?

Continue reading the article here.


A Blind Wine Tasting of Four Cabs

blind wine tasting cabernet sauvignon
I recently conducted a blind tasting of four Cabernet Sauvignons. Which one do you think had the highest ratings?

Even before starting Grape Juice Mom, I’ve been fascinated by blind tastings. I like it because (1) it requires a lot of focus to identify why you may or may not like a wine and (2) all those snooty wine drinkers can’t see the label and brag about how “phenomenal” a wine is. Since I wouldn’t be doing this blind tasting with any snooty wine drinkers (because I try not to drink wine with people like that anyway), it would be fun to have a completely unbiased tasting and learn a little more about my preferences. 

Continue reading the article here.


A Tailored Wine Shopping List for Chrissy

wine recommendations malbec grape juice mom triangle wine company total wine and more zinfandel blend shiraz syrah petite sirah cabernet
Chrissy, a friend from North Carolina, recently asked me to compile a list of recommended wines in order to stock her newly renovated bar. My pleasure!

As a military family, we have been incredibly fortunate. Our first duty assignment was Fort Bragg, North Carolina and we have only moved once as a family, to where we currently live, Colorado Springs. We had an incredible first assignment in North Carolina and landed ourselves in the most supportive neighborhood and community that I could have dreamed of. This neighborhood, Carolina Lakes, is where I met a group of women who will undoubtedly be lifetime friends. Since most of the women were military spouses, the majority have since moved from North Carolina, though a couple are still in the area.

Continue reading the article here.


The Holiday Sanity Saver, by Grape Juice Mom

thanksgiving wine box six bottles the wine gallery grape juice mom
The Holiday Sanity Saver by Grape Juice Mom is available at The Wine Gallery and Gourmet. It includes 6 bottles and a beautiful wooden wine crate for a pre-tax total of $90. Photos by Mandy Penn Photography of Colorado Springs.

We have two weeks to prepare for Thanksgiving, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll take all the help you can get to make that day and the days following magical, memorable, and tolerable. Hah! I’m only (partly) kidding about the tolerable part.

When I considered how helpful it would be to pickup a pre-assembled, well-thought-out wine box to entertain my guests for Thanksgiving, I decided that this needed to be done! So, I got together with Amy, the Sommelier from The Wine Gallery and Gourmet, and designed the perfect 6-bottle wine box for the wine lover who enjoys experiencing new and luxurious wine varietals. We call it “The Holiday Sanity Saver.” Below, I highlight the details of each bottle that you will receive in your Holiday Sanity Saver which includes a beautiful wooden wine box.

The Holiday Sanity Saver, $90 (before tax)

Pickup at The Wine Gallery and Gourmet, 5903 Delmonico Dr, Colorado Springs, CO 80919, (719) 439-9463

Continue the article here.


The Tasty Holiday Trio, by Grape Juice Mom

tasty holiday trio grape juice mom thanksgiving classic traditional wines three wine box
The Tasty Holiday Trio by Grape Juice Mom includes three classic wines and a beautiful wooden wine box for $45 before tax. The Tasty Holiday Trio can be picked up at The Wine Gallery and Gourmet at your convenience. All photos by Mandy Penn Photography of Colorado Springs.

I am sure that you can relate that as a mom, military spouse, active service member, [insert any other title here], you can find your plate awfully full at times. To think that Thanksgiving is just two weeks away, my anxiety is escalating as I type since I have done NOTHING to prepare!

If you are a Colorado Springs local and find yourself in the same boat, I have taken one task off of your list: wine. I have collaborated with The Wine Gallery and Gourmet of Colorado Springs to develop a classic and traditional 3-bottle wine box for your Holiday festivities.

The Tasty Holiday Trio includes 3 wonderful wines and a beautiful wooden wine box for a pre-tax cost of $45 and can be picked up at your convenience at The Wine Gallery and Gourmet (5903 Delmonico Dr, Colorado Springs, CO 80919, (719) 439-9463). Below, I have listed the wines that you will find in the Tasty Holiday Trio as well as a brief description and my thought behind including them in the box.

Continue the article here.


A Virtual Wine Tasting Party

wine tasting virtual holiday prep
Amy and Beth’s “Holiday Prep” party was a great success! For the wine tasting portion, I was able to interact with the guests and receive feedback as we progressed through the tasting.

Two years ago the Army moved us from Fort Bragg, NC to Colorado Springs, CO. Though it was a bittersweet move, my group of friends from North Carolina have been exceptional at keeping in touch and up to date on each others lives. A couple weeks ago, my friend Beth, who we met through our “hoodrat” friends in our neighborhood, reached out to me to discuss the idea of a virtual wine tasting party. I was ecstatic! How fun would that be?

Initially, most people are confused by this idea of a virtual wine tasting party. Don’t worry – we ACTUALLY drank wine! Beth is a Rodan and Fields consultant and was hosting an event with her friend and fellow consultant, Amy (If you’re looking for an R+F Consultant, please let me know and I will put you in touch!). They thought it might be fun to include a wine tasting as part of the party. I thought it was a great idea, though I knew it could be a slight logistical challenge.

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Wine on a Plane = Drunk on a Plane

in flight tasting travel wine tasting infinite monkey theorem hard apple cider electric sky red blend
The full tasting menu of my “In-Flight Tasting”. We started with the Wild Cider, continued with the Infinity Monkey Theorem White Wine and completed the tasting with the Electric Sky Red Blend.

When it was confirmed that we would be accompanying two other couples to Washington D.C. in mid-October, I knew this was an opportunity for an in-flight wine tasting. The guys were already in D.C. for work the week prior, so the wives would be on the same outbound flight together. So, we booked our tickets and seats so that we could sit together, or as close together as possible, and I announced to my friends, Abby and Jesse, that we would be doing a wine tasting on board.

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Host a Wine Tasting Party for Under $100

Host a Wine Tasting Party for Under $100
Yes, you read that correctly! In this article I will show you how you can host a wine tasting party in your own home on a budget.

I have always wanted to host a wine tasting party in my home for friends, but I have been so afraid of the sticker shock! Just to have 10 people join you for a tasting, can you imagine the price? You would have to have at least 8-10 bottles for the pre-tasting, tasting, and after party. Then consider the cost of food pairings and hors d’oeuvres. I always imagined the price tag would be in excess of $250.

Then, I got to thinking about it. Every time I go to a friends house, I bring a bottle of wine to share. I don’t bring wine because it feels like an obligation, I bring it because I want to contribute to the festivities and I want to share a bottle and varietal that I enjoy in hopes that everyone else will enjoy it too. You probably do the same – even if it’s not always wine – it’s fairly customary to bring something with you when you are going to someone’s home. So here’s my guess: I bet that if people were interested in joining me for a wine tasting party, they would be happy to contribute a bottle for the tasting.

Continue reading the article here.