A Confession- Hess Select #WineElevated

I have a confession. I am reminded of this shortcoming every holiday season. The family gathers, appetizers are prepared, it is time to open something. And I freeze. On one shoulder there is the angel saying, “Share that one. It is divine and will go smashingly. It is the holidays, after all.” On the other shoulder, a less generous voice screeching, “Not so fast! What are you doing!?! They don’t even like wine that much. They won’t appreciate that! Just open that one, the Monday wine. Save the other for yourself. Just you. All alone.”

Ok, I am exaggerating. I’d at least share with my husband. Probably. But the crisis is real. One family member only likes sweeter wines, another is open to trying and can discern if they like it or not. Maybe you have the guest that only drinks Chardonnay. Classic Chardonnay. No un-oaked, they don’t care which growth. Just pour it. And so that is why I keep a few extra Monday wines around during the holidays.

I recently received a shipment of four Select wines from Hess Collection. A classic brand from California, classic varieties, the Select line is accessibly priced.

Two bottles of Chardonnay meant two chances to pair. The first bottle I served with salmon. A spread of Dijon, mayonnaise, Herbs de Provence, and lemon. In the oven and quick sides of Israeli couscous and salad. A quick Monday dinner, a nice Monday wine.


For my husband’s birthday family lunch, we opened the Sauvignon Blanc to start, the other Chardonnay for the sauce and with dinner, and then one special bottle. A compromise. I made Chicken with artichokes and mushrooms (recipe below). Delicious.

The Sauvignon Blanc was, as expected, more California than New Zealand. More tropical fruit and softer citrus with balanced acidity. Love to sip on its own ($11).

The Chardonnay from Monterey County reminded me of Gravenstein apple. Crisp, subtle acid and subtle oak, the fruit stood out. The wine worked with both dishes ($12).

The Cabernet Sauvignon was Black cherry and baking spice($17). Not overly complex, but that is to be expected rom California Cab at that price. I tried pairing it with a Tuscan white bean soup. I could’ve done better, my bad.


My favorite of the bunch was the Treo Winemaker’s Blend. A blend of Petite Sirah, Syrah, and Zin, this wine was a versatile gem. Juicy, layered, spicy and soft. It could easily go with burgers in the summer or Marinara in the winter.  Easy to drink with a cheese plate by the fire, interesting enough to serve at a dinner party. And although not quite a Monday wine in price ($17), it is still within reach.

Please tell me I’m not the only wine-lover that has Scrooge-moments. I’m more than happy to share, usually, but there is still the other voice that arises. So which shoulder wins in that battle? I guess I’d have to say it is 50/50.  And by that I mean, we just go ahead and open one of each.

Chicken with Artichokes and Mushrooms

Saute finely chopped garlic.

Add mushrooms and “sweat” them.

Sprinkle flour, about a TBSP

Add about a cup of chicken broth, 1/2 cup white wine. Reduce

Add canned, drained artichokes. Juice of half a lemon, salt, pepper (to taste).

Serve on top of chicken breast (we grilled but prepared however you choose).

{These wines were sent to me by Angelsmith as media samples. I received no other compensation. Thoughts and opinions are my own.}



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Being a stay- at-home mom can leave one thirsting for a taste of the outside world, a world in which sentences are composed of more than three words. Being an educator means one is always seeking an opportunity to explore and learn. Being a woman with a need to connect can be a challenge when adult conversations are rare. In wine, I find the marriage of art and science, agriculture and storytelling provides limitless areas to explore. But it is the people that keep me engaged. The tenacity needed to keep the family dream alive, the risk to start anew, the trials and principles. I love the history of the vine, the impact of a season, the sentiment in the bottle. That is why I write. I write to tell their stories, to share a piece of mine. I write to learn as I teach others. I write to connect with new friends, to disconnect from the world. I write to celebrate what makes each of us unique, and that which ties us together.

7 thoughts on “A Confession- Hess Select #WineElevated

  1. We are on the same page – I’m very much willing and happy to share, but I do this very selectively – I would gladly share Peter Michael with someone who would really appreciate great California Chardonnay. And if someone couldn’t care less, Crane Lake it is.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I confess, I want to do the same thing. On the one hand I want to introduce non-wine enthusiasts to great wine, but then there is always that little devil on the other shoulder shouting NO. 🙂 Have a great Holiday season.

    Liked by 1 person

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