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Brenda Johnson
Pollock Pines, CA
A snarky writer type who is also a techie, jazz lover, and Sci Fi nut
Interests: I love Star Trek, Dr Who,technology, all science fiction, great wines, musicals, writing, and jazz trumpet. I am focused on health and healing and all things alternative as well.
Recent Activity
This Bordeaux blend is fully bodied, layered, and intense - which made it the perfect pairing to Wagyu beef burgers we were gifted by other wonderful friends this holiday season. The nose is fruity and rich, with cocoa, ripe berries and just a hint of cinnamon rounding off the aroma. The front palate is a delightful mixture of pomegranates, elderberries, and rich dark cherries. The mid palate is a burst of complex flavors, with earthy tones, leather, and berry jam. Structured tannins create a desirable long finish - and makes this a perfect red meat wine for an elegant occasion like Christmas Eve. I taste bay leaves, blueberries, and a hint of cream in the finish. Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2020 at The Wine
Crystal clear, it has a beautiful dark purplish-ruby color. it is not a dry red, but also doesn't fall into the category of overly sweet. We love good Italian varietals, so for us it has just a perfect amount of sweetness and forward fruit. It is bold but not too bold, and has the rich complexity we love in Italian wines. Continue reading
Posted Dec 26, 2020 at The Wine
I started this blog a few years ago, then sadly, life, work and other priorities took hold. Sadly, my poor blog has been neglected. I am reviving it now, after my husband and I have again started feeling better after a bout with the dreaded Covid-19. We were careful, or so we thought. Continue reading
Posted Dec 24, 2020 at Reengineering Life, Mind and Spirit
The 2016 Findleton Alicante Bouschet; a wine rich in body, history, and color! Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2020 at The Wine
Hey Mike, let's see that glowing list of adjectives! I need to "retaste" your 2016 Syrah and Mouvedre so the comparison is fresh. I think I have wine club to pick up, yes? Can I get these included by swapping something out, or can I just add them?
Lucky me! My boss who is from Australia gifted me with this wonderful wine in his quest to find comparable California wines. We enjoyed it with Sunday night dinner, which was Salmon Glazed with a Thai Chili Sauce and assorted sauteed vegetables over rice. Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2020 at The Wine
When you think of Suisun Valley - good red wines doesn't easily come to mind A few years ago, Bert and I went tasting here on our way to stay at Clear Lake in Lake County. Eager for more fodder for my wine blog, I stopped at Sly Dog and did some tasting - and bought this great Meritage as one of my "finds" for the trip. Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2020 at The Wine
Back in the dark ages of Silicon Valley - Mike was once the guy at one of my customers' who beat me up on price, as he was CFO of a prominent early stage company. Now, I am buying his wines! Mike has a lot of wisdom to share and some award winning red wines, as well as a great sense of humor Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2020 at The Wine
One bright January day, I stumbled upon this handsome gentlemen at the newly opened Nello Olivio tasting room in Camino, CA off Highway 50. He was the epitome of grace and finesse, and invited me to join him in some libations left over from a wine club event that had just been held. I had just tasted his wines, and immediately joined the "Wine Mob" as I just couldn't get enough of the big, earthy reds offered! Also , wine club members can use this beautiful room as well as a gorgeous "cave" at the Placerville location that was just the site for my husband Bert's 65th birthday held this July. Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2019 at The Wine
Sunday was a cold, rainy day in El Dorado County - but spirits were bright at the annual Madrona Vineyards Open House! Here is a small video I took - there was a small live band playing so may be a little tough to hear. Turn up your speakers, and get ready to stand in line for those Malbec futures. Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2019 at The Wine
The last time I visited Vegas, I made a point of visiting several different skin care places (they are everywhere and they are aggressive about pulling you in). I got little samples of just the moisturizer and tried them - then went back to Forever Flawless in the Cosmopolitan hotel as this sample made me glow and both smelled and felt fab. James, the consultant, was wonderful and gave me the full treatment including a 30 min diamond infused face mask. It was invigorating to say the least, after a full week sales conference where I was booked almost every minute! I was very encouraged to see the results of my time spent - and I came home with enough products to warrant the purchase of another suitcase - to my husband's great dismay. Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2018 at Late in Career and FAB!
I love to write, and I love to share hacks that I discover. Life is a journey and every phase of our lives is an adventure. We don't have to get old and stale - we CAN rock our wisdom, age and experience and be "FAB" doing it. Am I there yet? Not really - but having this blog will help me document and share the journey for all to see. I plan to feature a new skin care line I am investigating, little appearance hacks that don't involve plastic surgery or facelifts, essential oil blends to raise energy, attitude adjustments - and....the skies the limit! It will be a grand ride -stay tuned for some fun and interesting tidbits. And did I tell you that I love to write? Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2018 at Late in Career and FAB!
Yesterday was a fun Saturday as it was wine pick up day at Gold Hill Vineyard We LOVE Gold Hill for its picturesque setting, idyllic countryside picnic opportunities, and WONDERFUL wines and beers. Here are some more of my new VLOGs describing our visit and red blend tasting/comparison: Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2018 at The Wine
One of our favorite wineries here in El Dorado County is Via Romano, and for the first time ever, our busy schedules allowed us to attend their bi-monthly pizza night. Jon and Leanne, the winemakers, purchased an Italian style pizza oven that cranks out unique and delightful creations about every ten minutes for the duration of the event. What a great time we had! The pizzas ranged from a traditional pepperoni and red sauce with cheese to a delightful pesto, tomato and arugula creation. They even had wonderful, piping hot calzones oozing with cheese and veggies. Nothing is better than this, fresh from the oven and enjoyed on the winery patio under the stars. Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2018 at The Wine
Last weekend we stopped at Chateau Davell's brand new tasting room on our way to a jam sess in the Bay Area to pick up a friend's wine club shipment. WOW!! The view is spectacular, the grounds peaceful and inviting, and the wines are as good as ever. I am posting my first ever VLOG or video blog on our visit - which is here: Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2018 at The Wine
This lovely and fully drinkable wine is acidic in character, with the beautiful softness of a Cab Franc as well as a bold character usually seen more in its close relative; Cabernet Sauvignon. I tasted rich forward fruit, a hint of black pepper, soft vanilla and hot cocoa flavors enriched with some tart strawberry and rhubarb middle tones and a soothing rich dark berry finish that was both lingering and satisfying. I also got just a hint of the type of bell pepper you would find in a Chicago Portillo Italian sub sandwich (thinking of those, as I am making a clone of them tonight for dinner). The color is also dark and rich, with outstanding clarity (no need to decant as no sediment in this wine). Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2018 at The Wine
Far off the beaten path, Fenton Herriott is one of the smaller wineries in the El Dorado area. I only learned of them through taking a flyer and ordering one of their lovely wines off the menu at the Smith Flat House (arguably the best restaurant between Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe). One sunny Sunday, we went on a pilgrimage to find this wine mecca, and were not disappointed in our tasting experience. Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2018 at The Wine
It is exceptionally rare to visit a winery and have EVERY wine you taste be outstanding, but that is exactly what happened the week before Christmas at Gold Hill Vineyard . I had hoped to choose my absolute fav of 2017 and write about it, but that became impossible after visiting Gold Hill (and Fenton Heriott, which I will talk about in a later post). Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2018 at The Wine
One of my all-time favorite holiday CDs is Groovelily's "Striking Twelve" - I've seen it twice in a real live theater and it never ceases to amaze and thrill me. If you haven't heard of it, it is a modern day rock musical dramatization of "The Little Match Girl" - which was a really depressing fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson. Now, you might ask, how can a really depressing fairy tale inspire end of the year musings? I suggest you download and buy the CD, but barring that - I can tell you that this show/CD/musical points us to what is truly important in life in a comical way. The people around us and the love we share is ALL that really matters in the end. Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2017 at Reengineering Life, Mind and Spirit
If you are like me, you probably lost track of healthy eating habits somewhere between mid November and December 25th. Like they say, if you fall off a horse the very best thing is to get back on and ride, and that is exactly what I plan to do. Here are the ten ideas I have brainstormed to get me back on track. I'll let you all know how I do! Continue reading
Posted Dec 26, 2017 at Reengineering Life, Mind and Spirit
Looking back on the year, Bert and I had a ton of great meals between our subscription to Blue Apron, my incredible cookbook collection, and our El Dorado and Lake Tahoe restaurants. Hands down, the winner of the best meal of the year was the Winemaker's Dinner at our local Italian winery; Via Romano. And believe me, this was a tough call to make! A new Apple Hill/Camino winery - Via Romano will be celebrating its one year anniversary on January 6th with an Open House featuring small bites and desserts. They are fast becoming a local hot spot with incredible Italian style wines, a beautiful patio, regular fun events, and a friendly atmosphere that exudes warmth from the moment you set foot in the tasting room. Continue reading
Posted Dec 26, 2017 at The Wine
This week, we have had a record-breaking heat wave throughout California. If you live in Arizona or Nevada, you are probably used to this but we most certainly are not! I have personally found that when I go out in the heat, I experience chest pain. Heat should dilate blood vessels so one would think that heat would make things better. Not so. Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2017 at Reengineering Life, Mind and Spirit
My dear husband Bert is a beer drinker and usually only drinks red wine to humor me. Imagine my surprise when I handed him my glass at Illuminaire Winery filled with the Pinotage only to hear him exclaim, "Off the hook! Can we get some of this?" What the---? Happily, I obliged him and this wonderful wine now sits in our cellar (which is just a small room off our garage), waiting to be paired with a fantastic meal worthy of its amazing spirit. Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2017 at The Wine
One of the biggest contributors to ALL DIS-EASE is chronic stress and our ability to manage it. Today we live in a world of immediacy - our cell phones are always on and we are continually surrounded by multiple interactive screens that clamor for our attention 24/7. If we don't detach and let go of these stressors, we start to have warning signs that our bodies are not tolerating the flood of stress based chemicals (like cortisol and worse). These symptoms can include depression, insomnia, irritability, stomach distress, migraines, eye twitching, joint pain, and fatigue. Over time, this can manifest into more serious issues such as type diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and autoimmune diseases. Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2017 at Reengineering Life, Mind and Spirit
Magnesium is most often recommended for bone health, but is also key for 300 different metabolic processes across the body. Of prime importance to heart disease patients is that it is necessary for the assimulation of calcium into bone material. If too much calcium is present in the blood stream, it can contribute to coronary artery disease as it can be deposited onto the artery walls. A proper magnesium/calcium balance is also needed for a strong, regular heart beat. In fact, taking calcium supplements without magnesium supplements has been shown to increase heart attack risk. Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2017 at Reengineering Life, Mind and Spirit