Welcome to Deadly Wine Wednesday!
A monthly post where my husband and I review bottles of wine we've bought and drank based
solely on the label and nothing else.
Today we're celebrating
The Day of the Dead or Dia de los Muertos.
First up - HOB NOB Wicked Red Blend - I wrote a sneak preview during the October Frights Blog Hop about this wine.
A little history: Do you know where the term Hob Nob came from? According the the online etymology it all started here...hobnob (v.) 1763, "to drink to each other," from hob and nob (1756) "to toast each other by turns, to buy alternate rounds of drinks," alteration of hab nab "to have or have not, hit or miss" (c. 1550), which is probably ultimately from Old English habban, nabban "have, not have," (that is, "to take or not take," used later as an invitation to drinking), with the negative particle ne- attached, as was customary (see have). Modern sense of "socialize" is 1866. Related: Hobnobbed; hobnobbing.
Hob Nob wine hails from France and every year they design a special bottle in honor of The Day of the Dead. My husband and I were both drawn to the colorful and artistic bottle as soon as we saw it.
Let me say that I'm a Merlot girl and my husband is a Cab guy. This wine in a blend of Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Pinot Noir. Even though it's missing my beloved Merlot, we both enjoyed it. It's a deep reddish purple color and the combination of grapes worked. A bit dry, but with a slight fruit flavor to keep it light. My husband found an slight spicy aftertaste - I did not. We'll definitely buy the regular bottles of Hob Nob wine.
Gil Lambert-Schwarz, wine reviewer for the Las Vegas Review Journals says, I can think of nothing more appropriate for Halloween and shortly thereafter, the Day of the Dead or Dia de Muertos, for which it almost appears the gorgeous designs silkscreened on this bottle were created. Wicked Red needs to be paired with something meaty and bloody to celebrate, so why not try it with a slice of rare beef, perhaps even carpaccio.
Here in New England, a touch of summer warmth returned the beginning of October, so we drank Hob Nob's Wicked Red Blend with grilled chicken kabobs and pasta salad, nothing rare or bloody and it went well.
It's a delicious bargain at approximately $7 a bottle.
Next, is La Catrina, a California cabernet sauvignon. We found this bottle at a spooky wine tasting we attended two weekends ago in a small wine store.
The back of the label reads: Flowing from 3000 year old traditions, the Day of the Dead celebration reflects on memories and reminds us all to embrace life now. As the flavors and sensations of La Catrina engulf you, let your past and future merge to toast this moment.
La Catrina Vineyard's whole line of wine celebrate The Day of the Dead - wedding style. Along with the bride and groom, which we had, they also feature the mother of the bride, the best man, the Bishop, etc. - which I think is so much fun and can't wait to try the other wines in the collection.
You guessed it. We loved it. Is there a bottle of wine we don't like? Haven't found one yet...Even though I'm not a huge fan of cabernets, this was very good. It's dark, almost black, really, but smooth. Fall returned with chilly temps and the wind whipping, so we paired this with my mother's recipe for a hearty pot roast. Here's what Tastings.com had to say about it : Earthy, jammy aromas of clay, dried goji berries and cranberries, and melted chocolate with a satiny, soft, fruity medium body and a captivating, snappy plum skin, cedar dust, and parchment finish with soft, well-integrated tannins and moderate oak. A juicy red wine with an easy drinking appeal.
I believe this bottle was a little more expensive, close to $15, but we were in a small wine store. You can probably find it cheaper in other places.
I promised "other" spirits...
Did you happen to notice the white skill in the picture with the bride and groom?
"Blanco" contains the best tequila I've ever had.
It glides down your throat effortlessly - just wonderful.
I haven't had it in a Margarita yet, but I plan on it.
KAU TEQUILA - DAY OF THE DEAD TEQUILA
KAH Tequila - The Day of the Dead Tequila
KAH® was designed to pay reverence and honor to Mexico and its people. Its bottle and spirit are reflective of Day of the Dead, the 3,000 year-old Meso-American ritual honoring deceased loved ones. KAH’s unique packaging, in turn, is inspired by traditional Calaveras used in Dia de los Muertos rituals to symbolize death and rebirth.
The word KAH translates to “life” in the ancient Mayan language.
Every bottle is an individual, hand-crafted work of art, no two bottles are the same. While the bottle captures that enduring spirit, so does the tequila inside, as KAH’s distillers transform hand-selected 100% Blue agave into lively Blanco, Reposado, Añejo and Extra Añejo varieties that are both certified Organic and Kosher.
Next week, I'll be posting the history, traditions, etc of Dia de los Metros! Enjoy!
Horror Haiku and Other Poems
In the darkness of shadows, in the distant screams.
They whisper past the drip, drip of blood.
The strange beauty of words hide, waiting for you.
Embrace the horror.
Venture past safe reality, into the world of terror told in verse. Horror Haiku and Other Poems brings forth surreal dread and spins it in artistic countenance. From small chilling bites of poetry, to murky morsels of fright, come find where the words haunt you, where they live and die.
Horror Haiku and Other Poems, by A.F. Stewart was my first real venture into Haiku. But I'm a horror girl at heart and happy to try something new.
I didn't know what to expect, and I was not disappointed at all. I loved it!
Ms. Stewart's words were beautifully dark and macabre. A photograph preceded each Haiku which was a bonus that I enjoyed. I went back and read it again, because I didn't appreciate the accompanying photos the first time as much as I should have, because I was concentrating on the verse.
There's also links to a blog that showcase Ms. Stewarts's work with drawn illustrations that I thought offered a different perspective on the Haiku which was interesting.
As a huge fan of Victorian Gothic Horror one of my favorite verses was:
London gaslight hiss
cobblestone shadows shiver
and the undead walk.
Everything you need to know is right there!
I'm so glad that I read this book. I've discovered a whole new way to enjoy my horror. I couldn't be happier!
Grab your copy here:
Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01LXG0W6L
A steadfast and proud sci-fi and fantasy geek, A. F. Stewart was born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada and still calls it home. The youngest in a family of seven children, she always had an overly creative mind and an active imagination. She favours the dark and deadly when writing—her genres of choice being dark fantasy and horror—but she has been known to venture into the light on occasion. As an indie author she’s published novellas and story collections, with a few side trips into poetry and non-fiction.
Today, my guest is friend and fellow author, Rayne Hall.
Rayne has bought along her talented Tarot reading and adorable black cat, Sulu, for a unique reading.
My cat's ability to read the tarot is uncanny.
Sulu is an unusually clever, sweet-natured cat with a silky black coat and yellow eyes. I adopted him from a cat shelter. Nobody else wanted him, simply because he was black.
Just for fun I spread out my tarot cards to see what he would do. This was a few weeks after I had adopted him. After sniffing at the cards, he ignored them. Then suddenly he grabbed the Ten of Cups and refused to let it go. However much I coaxed, he held on to this one card.
Sulus first ever tarot reading: the kitten pushed aside the cards he didn't like and picked the Ten of Cups.
The Ten of Cups is the card of happy homes and families, of love and security and happy endings. It represented everything Sulu had found for the first time in his young life. Abandoned as a kitten and rejected by everyone, he was in the shelter for five months, waiting for someone to give him a home and love. But adopters passed him by in favour of tabbies, gingers and whites. Nobody wanted a black cat. Although fed and cared for by shelter staff, Sulu had a lonely life in his kennel-cage.
And suddenly he had a real home with a garden to roam in, and a human all to himself. For the first time in his life, Sulu was loved. He radiated such happiness!
It was as if he knew that out of all the 78 cards in the deck, the Ten of Cups represented his good fortune. And he refused to give it up.
To test Sulu's psychic abilities, I invited some of my Twitter followers to submit questions, and I emphasised that this was 'for entertainment purposes only' because I didn't want to make any claims.
Since I didn't know their personal circumstances and the context of the queries, I was not biased. I simply passed the question to Sulu. Lacking opposable thumbs, Sulu couldn't shuffle and cut the deck, so I did this for him.
Cats don't have opposable thumbs, so shuffling the cards is a challenge that needs human assistance.
He always stayed motionless for a while, studying the cards as if bewildered by the choice - and then suddenly he grabbed one or two cards, sometimes three, and was always very certain about his choice.
I helped with the interpretation and relayed the answers online. Every time, the recipients were flabbergasted at the uncanny accuracy. They felt that Sulu had someone sensed the nature of their situation and provided the answers and inspiration they needed.
Does Sulu have psychic skills, or are his results coincidence?
Tarot reading is tiring work, it seems. Sulu often concludes his readings by
going to sleep on the cards?
What do you think? Are the recipients subconsciously interpreting the answers in a way that matches their thoughts? Is Sulu psychic? Or is it all coincidence?
Rayne Hall writes fantasy, horror and non-fiction. Her black cat Sulu, adopted from the rescue shelter - likes to snuggle between her arms while she writes, purring happily.
She has worked as a museum guide, belly dancer, bilingual secretary, apple picker, development aid worker adult education teacher, magazine editor, literary agent, publishing consultant and tarot reader, often in several roles at the same time. Now she writes full-time.
She is the author of over sixty books, mostly dark fantasy and creepy horror, as well as editor of the Ten Tales fantasy and horror anthologies.
Her acclaimed Writer's Craft series has 22 titles so far: Writing About Magic, Writing Scary Scenes, Writing Dark Stories, Writing About Villains, Writing Fight Scenes, Writing Deep Point Of View, Writing Vivid Plots, Writing Vivid Settings, Writing Vivid Characters, Writing Book Blurbs And Synopses, Write Your Way Out Of Depression, and more. These are guides for writers who have progressed beyond the basics and want to take their skills to the next level.
After living in Germany, China, Mongolia and Nepal, Rayne has settled in a seaside town in England. She enjoys reading, gardening and long walks along the seashore, braving ferocious seagulls and British rain.
Visit her website raynehall.com, or follow her on Twitter https://twitter.com/RayneHall for writing tips and photos of her cute clever cat.
Day 1 - $5 Amazon Gift Card - BJ James
Day 2 - Ebook of CURIOUSLY DARK TALES - Dave Burnham
Day 3- Day of the Dead SKull/napkins - BN
Day 4- Spooky Soap - Betty Owens
Day 5 - Spooky Soap - Anne C.
Grand Prize - $20 Amazon Gift Card - Naching Kassa
Thank you for participating in the
October Frights Blog Hop!
See you next year!!