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Diary of a freaked out wine tasting hostess 

Shit, people will be here in an hour, and I still haven't showered. The husband is mesmerized by Battlestar Galatica and probably wouldn't be much help anyway. This in-home wine tasting will be the death of me, but I always seem to have fun ... probably too much fun actually, since tomorrow will likely hurt. But with more water and more food tonight, here's hoping.

Glasses out? Check. They don't match but does anyone really care about that kind of thing anymore? Certainly my friends won't notice. We break the nice matching glasses as fast as I buy them and the cheap glasses printed with various logos are indestructible. Hey, if I use those I don't have to pull out the wine charms to keep track of glasses. Cool. There's one with the Einstein on Wine logo, Paso Robles Wine Festival, Oregon Pinot Noir Festival. Yeah, that works. Makes me look worldly and experienced. Or like a lush?
(More on wine glasses)

Wine chilled? Doh! Forgot to put the whites in the fridge this morning. Into the freezer they go ... too lazy to fill the sink with ice water and salt. Set the microwave timer so I don't end up with an exploded wine slushy like before. That was a frickin' mess, wiping off all the frozen veggie bags. Freezer wall still has a slight yellowish sheen where I missed. Hate being reminded of mistakes. Don't have time to clean but lesson learned.
(Quaffer's guide to chilling wines)

Brown bags to blind the wines? Check. I wonder if people actually enjoy guessing the wines? Is it too geeky? Nah ... people learn. And prices and marketing won't cloud judgment. So much easier to get an honest opinion out of people when they haven't seen the label. I love the "I hate merlot" comments as they gush over the merlot floating their glass. (Grin.)
(Learn how to set up your own tasting)

Handouts? Oh yeah ... they're half finished on my computer. But I'll have to skip that nicety. Maybe Scott could make those cool pages like before ... or maybe not, Battlestar still in full swing. Cylons versus humans ... Whatever. When does that series end? Wait, I must remember -- he watches Top Chef with me.

Thirty minutes and counting. Geez, I'm rank. No lingering shower for me. Where are those cheese platters I set out earlier? And the water crackers? No flavor, but they go great with anything from triple creams to those stinky ones Toby loves. I imagine the cheese will match my odor if I don't hurry.

What am I going to wear? I think my favorite jeans are dirty. At least I have clean underwear. And no white T-shirt since I always seem to spill on it. Was that the doorbell? Oh my God, someone's early. I'll have to throw on deodorant and stand next to the cheese.

Oh well, they're my friends.

Recommended Wines

Capcanes 2004 Mas Donis Montsant (Spain) The Monsant wine region surrounds Spain's Priorat area like a taco, wrapping snuggly around an area known for its hefty wines and corresponding prices. I can't afford Priorat so Monsant it is. A blend of grenache and syrah, the 2004 Capcanes is a big, Old World-type wine bursting with ripe black cherry and earthy mushrooms caked in dirt. Medium sweet tannins and kinda chewy. But the best thing: It's cheap for the quality. S, T. $15. 1/2

Bouchaine 2006 Pinot Noir Carneros (California) Bouchaine is the oldest continually operated winery in the Carneros region, an AVA spanning both southern Napa and Sonoma Counties. They make dense, rich pinots and chardonnays. This pinot is bold and assertive. Loaded with sweet black cherry, blackberry jam, fragrant violets and velvety tannins. A smidge of black pepper on the finish. Good price for a wine of this quality. SW, HS, S. $30.

Sweet (SW), Hypersensitive (HS), Sensitive (S), and Tolerant (T). Find out your toasting profile at budometer.com. Reach Taylor at taylor.eason@cln.com, on Twitter, and Facebook.

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