Starting the new year off right…

Well, with every new year comes new resolutions.  For us, 2012 was a very exciting and exhausting year.  We spent the first half of the year unpacking into our new house, all-the -while preparing for sweet Magnolia’s arrival…and the second half trying to find our way as new parents and trying to get any amount of sleep possible.  Seriously, who knew you could survive on such little sleep?  And don’t get me started on the amount of germs brought home from daycare that you end up passing back and forth, ugh.

My new year’s resolutions for 2013?

  • Of course, to be a more patient parent.  Yes, I know it’s only been 6 months…but learning to be more patient is always a good thing, right?  Also, I should probably throw “more patient wife” in there also, ha.
  • My second one is a very cliché one, but nonetheless important…to be healthier.  I figured quickly stuffing my face with nachos bell grande and a brownie during Magnolia’s quick nap added onto the low amount of sleep really isn’t helping anyone. (and oh, I’m not admitting that I consume taco bell when my husband is a culinary genius…I plead the 5th.  I’m just saying, if one were to engage in that kind of fast food, it probably wouldn’t be the healthiest for one.)
  • Thirdly, to do everything I can do live every day to its fullest!  Life is just way too short to live any other way.
  • And lastly, I make a commitment, right here and now, to be better at posting Sunday Salud reviews.  We have totally slacked this past year…and I’ll just have to hold myself accountable for finding a different bottle of wine every other week and consuming it…all in the name of you, the reader.  So, thank you reader…for allowing me to have such a fun hobby!  Now, if only we can get Philemon on the Sunday Salud Resolution train…

To start 2013 with a bang, we decided to open up a wine that James bought about a year ago while on a chef’s conference trip.  But, it’s actually a winery that we visited while out in Napa Valley in 2010, Paraduxx.


yes, that would be picture of our friends playing flip-cup in the top right corner…don’t judge.

Paraduxx was created by Duckhorn Wine Company in 1994 and the only winery “devoted to stylish Napa Valley Blends.”  There are only a handful of wineries I would recommend you visiting if you are in Napa Valley, and Paraduxx is definitely one of them!  First off, the setting is just beautiful…and it didn’t hurt that we visited on a gorgeous August California afternoon.  Sheesh, it’s just so pleasant out there.  We were escorted outside where they had an awesome outdoor tasting set up, which made you feel like you were just hanging out in a friend’s backyard.


Philemon telling one of his many karate stories.


Amy & I enjoying the Cali sun and wine…and looking fabulous while doing it.

It didn’t hurt that all of the wines were fantastic!  I didn’t taste a single one I didn’t enjoy.


As you can tell, Paraduxx brings back many fun memories…which is exactly what the taste does for me.  Although I am enjoying it a little differently these days:

2010 Sara:


so young, carefree, fashionable and with a much higher alcohol tolerance.

2013 Sara:


so unshowered, makeup-less, in sweats and a t-shirt with a baby on her hip.

I wouldn’t change my life one bit.  2012 was full of ups and definitely downs…I’m ready for everything 2013 has to bring (which will include a more mobile child and more sleepless nights due to teeth coming in)…but BRING IT ON!

Consumer:  James & Sara

Name:  Paraduxx Hooded Merganser

Region:  Napa Valley

Grape Varietal:  Blend: 72% Zinfandel, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc

Vintage:  2007

Price:  $48

Alcohol content:  14.5%

Food pairing:  Collard greens with bacon, black eyed peas, fried chicken and jalapeno cornbread…James said it best, “ain’t got nothin’ to do with Paraduxx!”


A good ‘ol southern new year’s tradition.

Color & Appearance:  Ruby with hints of rusty brown, translucent on edges but primarily opaque.

Nose/Aroma:  Like I’ve described all Napa Valley reds, it takes me right back to California!  You can definitely smell the high alcohol content, jammy & plummy and a bit of dried currants.  Very refreshing and summery.

Mouth/Flavors:  James’ first quote, “it’s so effin’ good!”  And well, that about sums it up.  You can definitely taste the Zin, soft, good flavors and smooth.  It’s well rounded with a punch at the end.  My tasting notes say, “makes soul smile J”

Rating:  8.9-James 9-Sara

Impressions:  Obviously, we really like it.  Definitely a great way to start of the new year…as it didn’t disappoint!

Food Recommendations:  Ha, anything as we paired it with our New Year’s meal…and it tasted wonderful!  But would probably go best with anything grilled!


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