Or, “If you don’t find the wine you like, make your own.”
Before I launch into a self-congratulatory frenzy, let me just tell you that Pairs With Life Cellars is a direct result of the pros and cons of working in the wine industry. Having held various positions in the biz for over a decade now, I can tell you there are many.
CON: Crappy wine.
PRO: Free wine.
CON: Crappy free wine. Some say that free wine is never crappy wine. I can vouch for the bullshittyness of this statement.
There are tons of others, not the least of which is earning a salary that’s half of what people outside the wine industry receive. Also, working for a doctor who got hammered during a trip to Napa and decided to open a winery has its…challenges. Knowing how to bypass an aortic valve is an entirely different skill set than marketing a $150 bottle of Cabernet. Even if your boss doesn’t think so.
The bottom line is this: I have been fortunate—nay, blessed—with the opportunity to work in the wine business. I have tasted literally thousands of wines. I’ve watched companies rise and fall, seen trends come and go. I have taken to these pages to praise what I’ve seen & tasted, or to bitch about it.
And now it’s time to put my money where my mouth is (because my taste buds are in there).
The Wines of Pairs With Life Cellars
So I founded Pairs With Life Cellars and created three inaugural wine brands. These first three are the brands that have been mulling around in my brain for years. They’re a combination of my love for wines that express terroir, wines that are inexpensive but awesome, and the desire to create a company that gives back.
Tous Les Jours
In France, wine is an everyday occasion. It is in America, too, but it just feels more dysfunctional when we do it. That’s why we make Tous Les Jours. It’s a wine you can enjoy every day without feeling like you’re actually just medicating the horrors of your existence.The Actual Back Label of The Bottle
For the most part, wine is overpriced. I experience this all the time, and it drives me nuts. I want an everyday wine that I can buy for $15 that doesn’t taste like the Dow Chemical Company in a bottle. And I don’t want a wine that shames me if I decide to crush the whole bottle.
Each bottle of Tous Les Jour costs $15 or less, except the North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon, which is $200.00. Actually, it’s $16. but the margin on $200 would have been awesome. I’ve started with a Pinot Grigio from Lodi, a California Pinot Noir, a North Coast Cabernet, and my personal summer favorite, a Chenin Blanc/Viognier blend.
Almost best of all, shipping is a flat $9.95 for any order of 1-5 bottles, and free for 6+ bottles. Because why pay as much for shipping as the wine itself costs? Hate that part, too.
The Fogelson Vineyard is a place of wonder, history, and tradition. It’s the fictional vineyard from the bestselling novel, Pairs With Life: a place where love, family, and connection run as deep as the roots that grow there. That’s why we only give the Fogelson name to the wines that best express their terroir of origin. Uncork a bottle, chase the pixies, and discover the magic of Fogelson Vineyard.Also The Back Label
Alright, “bestselling novel” is a bit of a stretch…but it wouldn’t be if you’d just buy the damn book. The idea of The Fogelson Vineyard is something near and dear to my heart. Like the label says, it’s a place of roots: of deep connection—to the land, the tradition, and the history of winemaking. It’s also about connection to family and love.
So Fogelson Vineyard wines are exclusively wines that demonstrate the very best expression of varietal and terroir. These are wines that get it right. And they’re still $30 and under.
The first two Fogelson Vineyard wines are a 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, Coombsville, Napa Valley, and. a 2020 Chardonnay, Napa Valley. I’ll go into greater detail on these later, but leave it to say that the ’17 Cabernet is almost literally from the vineyard I modeled in the book. I’m proud of these…I think you’re going to love them.
Big Gay Rosé
It’s big, it’s gay, it doesn’t give a f**k what you have to say. Bursting with pride, self-love, and the crisp, dry, flavors of 100% pinot noir, this Rosé pairs with the fabulous person you are and all the fabulous things you do.Yes, The Back Label
This is my “Give Back” wine. In the coming days, I’ll be going into much more detail about this, but as an ally, I’ve wanted to create a wine that could support the LGBTQ+ community, especially kids who are at risk of suicide because of bullying. So, all net proceeds from the sale of Big Gay Rosé go to support those causes.
It’s also just a simple, delicious, dry Rosé of Pinot Noir. I love my Rosés dry, with super bright acid…and seriously, no Rosé should cost more than $15. But this one costs $16. Because charity.
As I’ve said, a lot more to come about these wines in the coming days and weeks. I hope you’ll give them a try and let me know what you think!