6 Bold White Wines for the Sweet Wine Lover

Today’s guest post is from Joanna from Motherhood and Merlot. I recently met Joanna online, as bloggers usually meet, and we connected right away. She created this really fabulous blog tribe that I’m part of and I’ve loved every minute of it! I also love her honest approach to motherhood, marriage and of course, wine! Since Joanna blogs about wine every Wednesday, she’s been inspiring me to expand my palate. I’m a sweet wine lover, through and through, and am always made fun of by the red wine drinkers in my family. Since I now drink beer, I know I’m capable of enjoying some good white wines that aren’t Moscato or Riesling, but I need some handholding so I can find the right ones. Who better than Joanna to show me (and those of you who are also sweet wine drinkers) which bold white wines to pick? Today I’ve invited Joanna to share with us six wines for the sweeter wine lover. She’s tried (and reviewed) tons of wines, so we don’t have to. 

Sit back, grab a glass, and enjoy Joanna’s post! 

I could not be more excited to guest poster here. Lisa is an exceptional writer and I know her readers are equally as phenomenal!

I love a good wine, white or red, it doesn’t matter to me! I review different wines weekly on my website. I do not claim to be any type of expert on the subject, just an avid wine drinker and lover.

Lisa mentioned to me that she usually leans more towards the lighter and sweeter whites when it comes to her wine of choice. So I thought I would bring you all a list of 6 wonderful white wines, ranging from the really sweet side and then venturing into the slightly bolder and less sweet side, so that maybe those of you that do lean towards the sweeter wines might find a few on this list that will expand your wine horizons. These are wines that I have tried and enjoyed, but don’t feel confined to just this list!

wine collage 6 Bold White Wines for the Sweet Wine Lover

6 Bold White Wines for the Sweet Wine Lover

  1. Little Black Dress Pinot Grigio: I love the Little Black Dress brand as a whole. Their wines are almost always good and they have a great price tag at around $11. This wine in particular will definitely cater to those of you that like your wine sweet. It carries mostly notes of apple and pear, but isn’t sweet to the point of a syrup-like consistency, as some sweet wines have. It is by far one of my favorite sweet whites. Another great one from this brand that leans more toward the tart notes while continuing to remain sweet is 2011 Little Black Dress Sauvignon Blanc. If you are trying to branch out from the really sweet whites (Riesling, Moscato), I would absolutely try one of these two!
  2. Thorny Rose Chardonnay: This is another wine that is more tart than sweet. With notes of green apple and citrus,  it is a wonderful wine to have with a light lunch or to sip on the patio with some friends. It is not your typical Chardonnay. It doesn’t come off as creamy or have too many oak flavors, but it is a unique and crisp wine that those who love lighter wines would enjoy.
  3. Green Fin Pinot Grigio: If you are in the mood for a cheap, sweet, but tasty wine, this will satisfy all of the above! At a price of just under $4, you can’t really beat the quality of this Pinot Grigio. Another one that has plenty of green apple notes mixed in with a light honey flavor for the added sweetness, this is a great pick for a weeknight dinner when you just want a decent glass of sweet white.
  4. 2012 Pacific Rim Dry Riesling: Dry and Riesling don’t usually go together… when you think of Riesling, the words “sweet” and maybe even “fruity” come to mind. But, if you want to try something new and not as dessert-like as some Rieslings can be, go on the hunt for a Dry Riesling like this one. It is crisp and contains much more citrus flavor than a normal Riesling.
  5. Bordeaux Chateau Olivier Chardonnay: If you are in the mood for an expensive wine, Bordeaux carries some world renowned and beautifully made wines.  These wines range in price depending on their territorial classification and their vintage and some can push over the $1,000 mark. But for the most part, the sweet wines in the Bordeaux array remain close to $30, and the flavor is never lacking. The Chateau Olivier is a Sauvignon Blanc that will not disappoint with flavors of citrus, lemon grass and melon, and a price tag of just over $30!
  6. Cupcake Chardonnay: This wine is for those that want to branch out from the sweeter wines and try something with a bit more depth in flavor. This Chardonnay has strong vanilla notes, but also carries a heavy amount of toasted oak. It is creamy, as Chardonnay should be. This one took me a little while to get used to, because to me the oak flavor is pretty bold. But, now I enjoy a glass of this when I want something less sweet. You can usually find this wine in a local grocery store for around $12.

Thank you all for letting me come join you over here! I would love to have you come visit me over at www.motherhoodandmerlot.com for a new wine post every Wednesday!Cheers

-Joanna from Motherhood and Merlot

A Bit of Housekeeping

In the past few weeks there have been quite a few new people stopping by so I wanted to make sure you could find me around the web if you liked my recent post on Huffington Post or LinkedIn.

If you’re interested in connecting around the web, I’m always around and love to hear from readers. In general, I have no problem answering questions on social media, but fair warning: I have a pretty rigorous writing schedule right now so I’m not always able to answer every question that comes my way immediately, but I do read all of them and I may even answer them in a future blog post. If you have something you’d like me to answer in a blog post, just shoot me an email (thelisakerr @ gmail . com – no spaces) with a brief note about what you’re looking for.

If you’re interested in hearing more about what I do or how I do it, I’d be happy to chat with you, too. I offer coaching sessions and can even do coaching via email. Just email me and we can talk about what you need! A complete list of what I do is here.

I’m going to repost my FAQ below and some links to popular articles and resources I’ve written.

Here’s the rundown on where to find me. I’d love to hear from you.

Huffington Post blog: Lisa Kerr
Medium blog: @lisakerr
LinkedIn blog: Lisa Kerr
Facebook: /TheLisaKerr
Pinterest: /TheLisaKerr
Bloglovin’: /TheLisaKerr
Instagram: @thereallisakerr
Google+: /LisaKerrWriter
LinkedIn: Lisa Kerr
StumbleUpon: /TheLisaKerr
Have a question, comment, or want to send me a love note? Please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Some of my popular articles and posts:

13 Ways to Be a Badass #GIRLBOSS

5 Things You Should Know About Hiring an Editor

How to become a writer

And now for my FAQs:

Do you have any advice about blogging?
Sure! I think blogging success boils down to loving what you do. In order to succeed as a blogger, you need to love the world of blogging. If you want to know more, I’ve compiled a simple guidebook which is available for purchase here.

Can I meet with you to talk about blogging/writing/just be friends?
Meeting with readers used to be one of the best parts of being a blogger. I’ve had meetings with many readers. Unfortunately, I’m unable to meet with everyone who reaches out these days, due to time constraints, but if you’re still dying to do coffee/lunch, you can schedule a session here. I really hope information on this site, my social media and my portfolio website will be helpful. Good luck!

Where can I find out more about becoming a writer?
I started by reading and writing. It really is that simple to get started. Later, I majored in creative writing at a university and found some inspiration by reading biographies of great writers.  Good luck!

Where can I find out about the online book club you started?
Right here.  Everything you need to know about it is in that link including book titles, instructions, and calendars. We even have a Twitter party once a month. Come join us!

Will you please write about my project or product?
If you email me with a link, I’ll be very happy to consider it. Thanks!

Can I hire you?
I’m always interested in hearing about business opportunities that utilize my skills as a writer, essayist, creative director, project manager or editor. I have over ten years experience in the creative and corporate world. I also work with companies on a regular basis, promoting ads and giveaways via social media and sponsored posts. Some of the companies I’ve worked with include BlogHer Publishing Network, BookBaby, American Express, and various others. My portfolio site can be found here or I’m on LinkedIn.

Can I email you about something else entirely?
Yes! I love getting emails from readers. Unfortunately, I don’t always have time to respond to every single one (which is why I set up these FAQs). I get a lot of emails daily and I’ve gone through phases where I actually use an assistant to read them. Please forgive me if I’m not able to reply. I try to stay plugged in and connected, but like you, I also take time every day to decompress, sleep, and spend time with my friends and family face-to-face. I love you all!

How can I find out how to use your content or photos?
A full copyright notice, information on using my photos and content, and a disclaimer can be found here. Unless indicated, the photos seen here are property of their owners and should be contacted directly for permission. If your photo is found on my site and you’d like it removed, please email me.

How To Handle Hungry Fans

Recently a New York Times bestselling author told her readers she’s not their personal Customer Service hotline and to use Google to find answers. Some of her fans praised her. Some were irate. The original post has since been deleted but it was pretty tense. I’ll refrain from posting the screenshot here because there’s no reason to make someone relive their worst moments over and over again. It was bad. Just know that.

I’m a member of a forum where people started bashing said author during the day it happened and I found myself thinking “None of these writers bashing her has a fan base”; which sounds harsh. I know. Before you start calling me a jerk, realize that when you do have a fan base (and a hungry fan base in particular), you have to deal with the that very tiny, but loud percentage of fans who inevitably ask you questions that you honestly should ask Google. Or they ask you where you live, which can feel very scary if you’re a woman living alone. Or if they can meet you for lunch (often when you barely know the person). Or if you’ll send them naked pictures (yes, this has happened to me…a lot).

Or in other words, people will ask questions that will drive even the most calm and collected person insane.

Like for some reason, the girl who asked me a million questions about my content strategy recently. Detailed questions. Questions that I consider to be connected to answers that are proprietary even. And the weird thing was that she was asking my insight but also bashing me at the same time. I felt disrespected and violated initially until I realized she was what I would call a hungry fan. Someone who is dying to know about you or how you do something or just about anything you’ll give her (including a naked picture, in some cases).

But I’ve dealt with a lot of hungry fans over the years and it hasn’t been easy to maintain my composure or even to know when to ignore certain emails and when to answer them. Inevitably, people who have lively fan bases have regular instances where they feel their fans cross the line every day.

It’s a weird situation to manage a fan page that is full of hungry fans and I’ll be candid: one time I had gobs of hateful messages filling my inbox on a daily basis and I burst into tears a lot until I figured out how to handle it.

I’m not perfect, though and I was so frustrated I almost went off on this poor girl and not because of the simple questions she was asking. It was her tone: she downplayed what I did, dismissed me and made it all about her.

Which is what those who roam the internet are really good at doing.

I wrote and deleted 10 comments before I settled on one and then I rushed off to email Erika Napoletano (Redhead Writing) and asked her if she would write a column about this seeming epidemic of people wanting to essentially “poach your information” to quote a friend of mine (who I would link but I’m not sure she wants a link next to THAT phrase).

I also explained to Erika things that were frustrating me that I didn’t know how to handle: numerous people asking me to go to coffee with them–the proverbial “can I pick your brain for free because you know I won’t even buy you a cup of $5 coffee” (which makes me feel like “You’re not worth my time to pay but you’re worth my time to steal from.”); and the numerous writers asking me to read “just a few pages” of their WIP (work-in-progress) which turns into hundreds of pages I’m reading for free every week which means I’m not reading and writing MY OWN WIP.

Unless I say no.

And I do.

And people get offended every DAMN time I say no. (You must learn to have thick skin as a writer.)

As my fan base has gotten larger, the favors have become so frequent that I can expect several in one week. As I’ve been moving into the world of consulting, it’s become more important for me to consider charging money for what I do.

And I know that offends everyone. I can see it in their eyes and feel it in their responses. “How dare you ask me for money!”

But seriously guys, that’s such a terrible response on your end.

Erika helped me by sending me this simple link along with an email. THIS. Easy enough? I think so. Like Erika, I’ve learned a lot and I’ve learned to value what I’ve learned and what I’ve accomplished. It doesn’t matter if other people value it enough to spend some money paying me for advice. I value my advice and I value what I know. And I know that although you could find thousands of free resources online, people who won’t buy me a cup of coffee won’t take the time to find those because they expect someone to do all the work for them.

And that’s not how you become successful.

And it certainly won’t earn you many fans.

So I set up my own “buy me coffee” page. Because I feel that people who really value my advice enough to pay for it are the same people who will succeed because that’s the same trait I have. When I meet someone who offers me highly valuable information, I buy their book and/or pay them to coach me and/or buy their classes. I’ve done that three times this month with three different people. I’ve invested hundreds of dollars into my career and my own continuing education just this month (and we’re only 9 days in). How else am I going to improve and work past my own issues except to learn from someone who is further beyond where I’m at? 

Back to the NYT Bestseller, I feel for her (although I think she should have handled it differently). Yes I feel that writers are nothing without their readers and that we should be honored to have our readers buy our books, but most readers will understand the pressure authors feel today to write great books (better than before) and manage thousands of hungry fans every single day. And readers will understand the fact that writers deal with hostile and hateful fans sometimes.

It’s a lot of work to manage our own social media communities and posts, and it distracts us from writing; which often isn’t as glamorous as it looks what with writer’s block, rewriting, crying over our beta reader’s feedback, etc. Writing books is a full-time job and managing a social media presence is also a full-time job. Authors today are asked to work two full-time jobs and almost all of us find that difficult to do and be kickass at both. (Also, the money isn’t always as big as you think. Read this. No really, stop reading my blog and go there. (Unless you’re J.K. Rowling. Then it really is as big as you think.))

So back to those hungry fans who asked the author questions they could have googled. It may only be ONE person, but as the figurehead for that page, you have to answer them or risk being seen as a snob or disconnected. Part of what fans love about social media is the real live person behind the smartphone and the authors who manage their social media the best give their fans lots of face time and lots of answers, retweets, and comments back.

Managing frustrating fans and hungry fans does not come easy to anyone. Through trial and lots of errors, I’ve developed strategies that have helped me get through cringeworthy or frustrating moments because I realize losing my shit over something simple isn’t what I want people to know me for. I want to be known for writing great books (they’re coming, goddamnit! I had writer’s block).

how to handle hungry fans 1024x1024 How To Handle Hungry Fans

Here are a few strategies I’ve developed to handle hungry fans:

Walk away. One of the simplest ways to handle hungry fans is to step away from the computer or smartphone. You think most clearly when you have some space and distance (especially time) to cool down. If you’re frustrated or angry this is the most important step. Do it for a few hours at the least. Take a day or two if needed.

Talk it out. Call someone and vent. Preferably someone who can hear you tell the same story over and over again because you may need to vent several times before you feel better.

Ask someone else how they’d respond. The best way to get out of your frustration is to ask for a new set of eyes. Asking a neutral friend or family member how they’d answer (or if ignore) a request often gives us really great insight into brainstorming our own strategies.

Brainstorm strategies. Maybe you need to rewrite your FAQ page. Maybe you need to repost your FAQ in text form once a month or bi-monthly on Facebook to make sure it gets the absolute most visibility. Maybe you need to take one of your most frequently asked questions and make it into a quiz, giveaway, or funny meme to make sure fans are engaged and learning the answers they need to know. Remember, fans come and go all the time so you need to make sure to educate and engage with your new fans regularly. These are all tips I’d give Chelsea Cain if she were to hire me to help.

Hire someone to help. Social media is a huge job and the larger your fan base, the more work it is. Photos and text need to be professional, proofread, and they need to pop. They also need to be both scheduled and organic. Social media is always changing, too, so you need to be learning about trends, new Facebook guidelines, and other technology odds and ends on a regular basis. And sometimes, hungry fans come at you daily or hourly and you need outside help to get them resources and answers they need in a timely manner.

Develop “customer service” policies and procedures. Just like any other company would do, develop a set of policies and procedures standard to your brand. How will you deal with difficult questions? How often will you respond to fans? Develop a set of standard answers to frequently asked questions and have them on hand. Update these often, as situations arise. Think like a company and develop policies, timelines, and compare your policies to other authors (and also to large companies).

Take a REAL break. I’ve been running my own social media for four years and have taken extended breaks and weekend breaks when I needed them. Now I try to stay off my phone every day for a few hours to write, uninterrupted. I flip it over and don’t look at it. But sometimes I’m burned out. I need real time away. Maybe not just a week but a month. When I need a real break, I use social media scheduling software and collect enough really great content so I have something quality posting daily or every few days when I’m gone. No one even notices that I’m gone.