Monthly Archives: January 2017

Searching for Identity in Bottles of Wine

the drunken cyclist

When I was a kid, I really did not think much about my heritage. I knew I was born in Ohio to parents who were also born in the state, but I did not know much beyond that. I did know, however, that my last name, “Kralik” (kray-LIK) was the subject of much derision by my classmates throughout middle and high school (Crap-lick, Crack-lick, and Cray-fish being the most “clever”).

For years I did not think about it much—I actually tried to block it out. There were plans to change my last name on my 18th birthday, but once I found out it involved money, well….

I remember I had asked my father about our family history a couple of times, but let’s just say that my father is not the most conversant nor introspective person on the planet. The most I ever got out of him was: “My great grandparents came from…

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Toiling Away . . . . (#MWWC30)

The Swirling Dervish


I’m jumping back into the fray this month, submitting an entry to the Monthly Wine Writing Challenge.  January’s theme – OBSCURE – was chosen by last month’s winner, Shez, of The Epicurious Texan.  This is the 30th edition of the MWWC, a friendly competition among wine writers, in which we venture beyond tasting notes and let the purple prose flow!  Here goes:

Obscurity and Competence:  That Is the Life That Is Worth Living.   Mark Twain

Not long ago I traded in my tailored corporate suits for the much more, ahem, relaxed, wardrobe of the independent writer.  Working from home, I relished the newly-found freedom to set my own schedule, accept assignments that excited me, and avoid the soul-sucking trials of weekly air travel.  That last bit alone has made me a nicer person, I’m sure of it!  No more wasting of my creative juices on dry-as-dirt product marketing…

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MWWC #30: Obscure

The Epicurious Texan

This month’s wine writing challenge was picked by…well, me!  As last month’s winner for my glass-shattering tales in my Winestory, I got the honor of picking this month’s theme: OBSCURE.

wine stain

For full disclosure, Jeff helped me pick OBSCURE–and he was right, it was the word I was looking for in my quest to hear about the often-forgotten grapes.  What I sent to Jeff was a long rambling email about how I was enjoying Lori and Mike of Draceana Wines posts about Cabernet Franc and their push for #CabFrancDay.  I love Cabernet Franc, from the moment that I tasted it!  But a lot of people have not heard of this delicious grape and even fewer know of other Cabernet grapes, like Ruby Cabernet.

Side note: Grape Creek makes a delicious blend of these three Cabernet grapes, Cabernet Trois, which I highly recommend if you’re in Texas and/or can get your hands…

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The Value in the Obscure – #MWWC30

Appetite for Wine

Monthly Wine Writing Challenge

Obscure…O-B-S-C-U-R-E…I have never heard of the grape or the region from which this wine is made; they are both obscure. Obscure.

Having successfully completed the latest round in the Monthly Wine Writing Challenge Spelling Bee, let me just say that I am a big fan of the obscure. Although there is no conceivable way to taste all of the thousands of different grape varieties in my lifetime, I am committed to giving it my all, and taste as many as possible! Not too long ago, I learned about the Century Wine Club. Yes, it’s a thing! All you have to do to qualify for membership is taste at least 100 different grape varieties. After going through my wine log, I discovered that I was only a handful short, so I hastened to my local wine shop and stocked up on a few more obscure varietals and blends. Yes, blends…

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