I found the unicorn of wine websites…and now it’s gone, Friday kudos, wine for your weekend

Image result for wine bottlesEarlier this year, I stumbled across the most brilliant website for pairing wines with meals. It allowed you to input your meal ingredients, spice preferences, and usual wine preferences, and then suggested three to five bottles of wine for your meal. It did not just suggest varieties, but actual brands, labels, and vintages. It also suggested which wines would be considered classic pairings and which would be considered more traditional. I first used it to select the wine pairing for our Christmas in July celebration, and the results were brilliant! I used it again for a random meal at home I wanted to make a little extra special. It was fantastic, and I saved it to share with my wine loving blog followers in a future post.

I thought the holidays would be the perfect time to share such a site with the world. Plan all your holiday meals with a custom curated wine from the internet. Cooking a ham? There’s a wine for that! Turkey? Got you covered. Something completely non-traditional like my family’s all appetizer Christmas Eve spread? Just put in your primary ingredients and find the perfect, complimentary bottle. It was everything I wanted in a holiday wine post, but when I went to my saved “Amazing wine website” draft…the link was gone!

There’s always a backup plan for these kinds of things, and I’d used the website twice myself, so I was sure it was on my bookmarks bar. It was not. I went back through my browsing history sure that I’d find it. It’s not there. I Google searched every variation of “wine pairing website,” “wine meal match tool,” “find wine to match your meal,” I could think of, and while there are some interesting match websites out there, none of them were my magical wine website. I thought that I had once mentioned it in passing in a previous wine for you weekend post, and read back through every post in July and August when I would have first used it looking for a reference. There isn’t one.

Image result for wine bottles

Is it possible that I imagined it? Did I dream it? Was it once a thing, but now no longer exists? As far as blogging goes, this was a huge fail, and I considered not writing about it at all, and/or scouring the internet forever until I found it. Instead I’m calling on the collective power of this little online community. Do you know this wine website? Do you use it? Have you also stumbled across it once only to lose it for all future needs and usages? Here are the absolute facts I know about my two experiences on the site:

  1. It had a semi catchy (though apparently not very memorable) name.
  2. You entered your menu.
  3. You entered your spice/flavor profile (sweet, savory, tangy, etc.)
  4. You entered typical wine preferences (red/white, sweet/dry, etc.)
  5. The wine suggested was an actual brand and vintage, not just a general variety

If you know a website that might fit these criteria, please let me know in the comments! I’ll give you credit in any subsequent blog posts, and would love to feature a wine of your choice in the next wine for your weekend post. In the meantime, I’ll keep scouring my browser history, and trying different permutations of my wine pairing Google searches. It’s got to be out there somewhere…unless I found a true unicorn of the wine loving corner of the internet.

Friday kudos to…

My theater and drama class is working on putting together two Christmas one-act productions at the same time that the music department is putting together three holiday concerts, so we’re doing a lot of performing arts center sharing! Still, we have yet to really come into conflict about it, and we’ve all worked pretty well at accommodating what needs to be accommodated, so go fine arts team! They also sat my spring musical auditions with me this week, so we just have so much bonding going on.

By my own kudos rules, I generally try to get gINKgo notes to anyone who makes a kudos. In this regard I should have made gINKgo Christmas cards for everyone who did NOT send me a Christmas letter, and I know I’m in good company because you, my lovely readers, made Tuesday’s Unpopular Opinion post the most read, most popular post on ink. to date! You guys love your unpopular opinions. Have one to share that you want me to take on? Leave it for me in the comments!

Wine for your weekend

This weekend, our wine loving group of friends are returning to the place it all began, the place we first all awkwardly ran into each other outside of a professional setting, and started the earliest inkling of what would become an epic friendship. That place, is the Holly Jolly Trolley Christmas Lights Tour, and it is as marvelous as it sounds. The HJT tour is deemed as “romantic” as they encourage couples to come, kids are not allowed, and “BYO adult beverages” are permitted. It really just turns into a bunch of adults riding around town boozing in a trolley and looking out at the occasional light display in the upper class neighborhoods of Rochester. There is one exception to this itinerary, and that’s when we stop at “sketchy Santa’s” house, and he comes on the trolley to pass out candy canes. “Sketchy Santa” as it turns out, has also been boozing most of the evening. He fits right in.

So this wine for your weekend is a festive choice perfect for a holiday get together or a wine soaked ride through the city looking at Christmas lights. Disclaimer: don’t be the driver on a wine soaked holiday ride through the city. Don’t drink wine in the car at all. Find a holly jolly trolley ride to enjoy this Christmas, and make smart choices. Fonseca Late Bottled Vintage 2011 Port is the first port to ever make a wine for your weekend appearance. ink. has been live for 30 weeks. That’s 30 different wine recommendations (this is why my mother thinks I drink too much!) and this is the first port. Consequently, I probably have one glass of port for every thirty glasses of table wine, so this ratio seems accurate. So why is this wine worthy of the first port recommendation? The complexity. I like a wine with “spice” and the rich black berry and cherry profile of this port is offset with a spiciness and earthiness (the tasting notes describe it as eucalyptus, but I honestly wouldn’t know that on mouthfeel alone!) in a way that adds depth and interest. The finish is long and “big” in that the full complexity of the bouquet linger together, instead of stratifying into the sweetness or acidity of a single flavor. The winemaker recommends decanting, which doesn’t make it a great choice for taking along on a trolley ride, but it is a great one to keep on hand and ready to go for your holiday festivities, and it’s a great alternative (or compliment) to all your holiday baked goods!


Published by Kate

A former Wisconsinite, Kate now resides in southeast Minnesota with her husband where she teaches high school English and theater. She recently completed her master's degree in learning design and technology, and continues to study and advocate for arts integration in the classroom. A recipient of the RISE America grant for high school theater, Kate is working to innovate and expand theater opportunities for the students at PIHS. An avid distance runner, concert pianist, and want-to-be wine aficionado, Kate's blog "ink." is a passion project, embodying all the best parts of life: friends, food, wine, thoughtful conversation, style, and sass!

3 thoughts on “I found the unicorn of wine websites…and now it’s gone, Friday kudos, wine for your weekend

  1. No idea of the website and never use them ……. and if you get this book you’ll never use such a website yourself again!

    Tim Hanni debunks all the myths about food and wine matching teaching you to match the acidity, tannin and sweetness of ANY wine to the 5 main food flavours. Videos of him on YouTube too.

    Liked by 1 person

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