Sunday, December 27, 2009

Kathy, Are you twisted or what?

Since my email/blog, Christmas with the Hallmark Channel, I've received lots of well wishes for a speedy recovery. Thank you. Thank You. My "nose" or I should say my new nose thanks to skin grafts really appreciates it. My favorite email was from a close high school friend..."Kathy, are you twisted or what?" Well, maybe.

Many more asked the question... did you really watch all those Hallmark movies. No... but I watched a lot! I can't wear my glasses very long on my nose so reading, working, etc. gets curtailed and I'm plenty bored. I DVRd titles I liked and fast forwarded through the commercials and the really lame parts. But all movies, sad or funny, made a statement... don't whine, there is somebody always in a worse way, count your blessings and love your family.

My message... don't you ever put something off regarding your health. Be your own advocate and research your condition. Ask questions. Ask more questions until you're satisfied. I haven't posted "the pictures" after each surgery. If you want I'll send them to you if you need to literally scare yourself or a loved one to go to the dermatologist. And this condition was not even life threatening... just the basic garden variety basal skin cancer that eats flesh.

On a brighter note... my new Nose... Knows! I think I will come out with a better wine SNIFFER!

Cheers to 2010, Kathy
Olympic Cellars Winery

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Christmas With The Hallmark Channel

I’ve been recuperating on my couch this December after surgery. At first all I could really do is watch TV. Feeling a little sorry for myself that I couldn’t do all the normal holiday activities I thought watching the Christmas shows on the Hallmark channel would get me in the Christmas spirit.

Do you know how many holiday movies are aired in December!? I tried to count and then started listing all the titles of the movies… 37 and still finding new ones. Then I got this bright idea (too much time on my hands) that if I could combine the titles in the right way, the titles would write a story that could rival the best country ballad. (I tried to get to 31 but 29 will have to do). I now want to write Christmas cards… because Hallmark did give me the Christmas spirit.

My Hallmark Christmas Tale by Kathy Charlton


I’ve had quite a dry spell this year without someone in my life so all I wanted was a BOYFRIEND FOR CHRISTMAS. Putting a plan in action I auditioned for the Bachelorette reality show and won! Now I have the television famed 12 MEN OF CHRISTMAS to pick from.

It’s a hard job but someone has to do it!

When I met MR. ST NICK, # 12, I knew he was the one. Must have been the name and being quite superstitions I knew this was also a sign. During the finale show on Christmas Eve, #12 swept me off my feet with the most beautiful CHRISTMAS PROPOSAL and the promise of OUR FIRST CHRISTMAS in his family’s CHRISTMAS COTTAGE.

Mr. St Nick said his best Christmas memory was a FAMILY HOLIDAY when all his brothers and sisters were able to come HOME FOR CHRISTMAS to their home town. Till this day that TWIN PINES CHRISTMAS brings tears to his eyes. (I so like a big strong man that can express his feelings.)

Well after all the interviews and paparazzi questions Mr. St. Nick and I had very little time to get HOME BY CHRISTMAS. The drive to Twin Pines was a true RECIPE FOR A PERFECT CHRISTMAS with snow on the ground, MOONLIGHT AND MISTLETOE and the car loaded down with presents.

You know when you find your true love on a television show; you probably should ask a few more questions before setting off to visit his family. I thought I knew everything about Mr. St Nick because after all, I met him on a reality show! But this year I was going to be part of real family so not too many questions.

The rest of the story…

See, I don’t have any family of my own as I am an orphan. I was born A CHRISTMAS CHILD and was abandoned under the NATIONAL CHRISTMAS TREE on the White House Lawn in Washington, D. C. Miracles do happen especially WHEN ANGELS COME TO TOWN in the form of a White House guard who found me under the tree. He wrapped me in his coat and took me home and laid me in the arms of his wife, Eve, who could never have children. I was truly “EVE’S CHRISTMAS” present. Eventually I had to be turned over to the authorities but just for a few days I had my own Grandma and GRANDPA FOR CHRISTMAS.

Back to Mr. St Nick. When we arrived there was a SPECIAL DELIVERY envelope waiting for him. He quickly tore it open, read the stack of papers and then motioned to me that he needed to talk to me in private. He told me he worked for the FBI and that he had another reason for coming back to Twin Pines… it was an UNDERCOVER CHRISTMAS assignment. OMG!

There was a group of thieves operating in the area who were also magicians by day. They used their special talents to steal jewelry and replace it with fake paste pieces right under people’s noses. These sneaky thieves pulled off a perfect HOLIDAY SWITCH just before the jewelry was to be auctioned off for the Children’s Hospital Fund at a fancy HOLIDAY AFFAIR. To make a long story short, Mr. St Nick tracked down the thieves and they will be spending their HOLIDAY IN HANDCUFFS.

Mr. St Nick, his family and I were about to sit down for Christmas dinner when we heard the local CHRISTMAS CHOIR singing carols outside the front door. We rushed to give them refreshments and listen to a new song CHRISTMAS IN CARTAAN by Achy Braky Heart famed country legend, Billy Rae Cyrus.

One of the carolers bent down and retrieved an obvious looking Christmas card that had fallen from the mail box. It had a Washington D.C. return address. Apparently the guard who found me so many years ago tracked me down after watching the Bachelorette show and reading all the stories in the tabloids. (Orphaned on Christmas at our country’s capital, bachelor’s home at Twin Pines, etc.)

Now to finish this Hallmark Christmas Tale, we’re off to Washington DC. “I’LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS” for OUR MAGIC CRHISTMAS to MEET THE SANTA of my dreams!!!!

Falalala, Kathy (And, yes I've been on the couch a bit too long.)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Wine Advice for the Holiday Table

As the holidays approach, we get a lot more questions on food and wine pairings. And after doing a little more research and reading the overwhelming amount of advice, I found some notes that banished all the complexity and stress.

Even for me who's in the wine business this was a relief... and it pairs nicely with my innate desire to Gather. After all, much of the appeal of Thanksgiving dinner is found in the kitchen with wonderful aromas enveloping all the cooks!

So here's a fresh look at what you might offer.

First, for big holiday meals don't overcomplicate the wine selection. It can be as easy as simply opening a few different types of wine and letting people choose their favorites.

It's the perfect time to serve your wines 'family style,' the way you serve your meal. Just open your selections and let your guests help themselves to the tastes they like. And of course, if you have that special bottle of prized wine in your cellar, bring it up for the holidays.

But here's where most people make a mistake. Typically they like to make their special wine the showcase, serving some less expensive variety beforehand. I recommend the opposite.

Before dinner, open that prized bottle and let people enjoy all its delicate flavors -- without food affecting the taste. And while all are savoring the bouquet, you might actually get a word in and offer that special toast to those most special in your life.

After this, the food takes center stage. So serve several bottles of food-friendly, not so expensive, wines that blend well with the wide variety of dishes on your table. Then, sit back and enjoy your gathering.

Best Wishes,

Wine suggestions and a Holiday "Gathering" Wine Package Below.

Most holiday wine recommendations include Chardonnay, Rose (off-dry to dry), Riesling, Gewurtztraminer, and off-dry Sparkling Whites along with Reds such as Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Syrah.

Below are our Olympic Cellars vintages, which you'll find follow nicely in this tradition:

Olympic Cellars Wine Suggestions:

Holiday Wine Sale in Progress Till Christmas Eve, 20% discount, mix and match, no required quantity. (Wine Club members 30% discount). Your discount will be deducted at time of order.

The "Special Bottles", Benoit's Winemaker Label series

  • 2007 Neuharth Legacy, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Cabernet Franc, Champoux and Boushey Vineyards
  • 2008 La Galopine, Roussanne-Viognier blend, Ciel du Cheval Vineyard

For the Table...

  • 2007 Chardonnay, Campoux Vineyard
  • 2007 Lemberger Rose, a.k.a. Rose The Riveter, Champoux Vineyards
  • 2007 Dungeness Riesling, Columbia Valley
  • 2006 Dungeness Lemberger, Champoux Vineyard
  • 2006 Cabernet Franc, Bacchus Vineyard (2005 Cabernet Franc awarded Best in Washington)
  • Holiday Cranberry Jubilee (80% Chardonnay, 20% Cranberry) Very Limited Production