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Don’t Judge Me When I Buy Wine at 8:45AM

Whoever thinks that it’s a fantastic idea to have family over for dinner on a weeknight needs their head examined. Oh that’s right (sheepishly raises hand)…me.

As a loving family member, I want each person in my family to feel loved and adored. Since we are Greek food equals love. I cook for you. I love you. Don’t ask, just accept it.

Yes, I know…if there are any psychologists reading this, you’re probably shaking your head right now. (If you offer free consults, email me.)

One night out while we were out to dinner my brother asked me if I was going to cook family dinner tomorrow. Take a second to absorb that.

We were in the middle of eating dinner at semi-swanky restaurant, all the children were at varying levels of good behavior, and he wanted to know what we were going to eat the next night.

If I actually face-palmed, this would be when I would have done it.

“Sure.” I smiled through my Super Tuscan induced good mood.

Seriously? When was this family feast supposed to be cooked?

On a weeknight I eat eggs and drink wine.

Cooking elaborate meals are solely for the weekends, when I can channel Nigella and the Barefoot Contessa.

Since my sister was visiting from out of town and the guest of honor, I turned and asked, “What do you want for dinner tomorrow?”

“I want Greek family dinner, I want lamb, I want spanakopita, I want it all,” She raised her glass and we all toasted.

“You got it.” I toasted her again and finished my glass of wine.

Flash to Monday morning. Are Monday’s good for you? Because they aren’t for me.

Since this family dinner is happening at 6:00PM, I have to start grocery shopping at 7:30am in the morning.

I say a pleasant good morning to the butcher and start to harass him to find me a five-pound leg of lamb, since they only have lamb chops in the display case.

What wine goes good with lamb? Malbec. The spicy rich Argentinian wine will bring out the robust flavor of my garlic infused roasted lamb.

I mentally figure out all of the ingredients needed to make this masterpiece of a meal and how to do it all while working.

Normally a meal of this scale would take 10 hours to cook. I only had five hours and by heavens, I was going to make it work – while dealing with my insane work deadlines.

I whipped around the store like a lunatic and within 45 minutes, I was done shopping.

Now to my favorite aisle, to pick the wine. Layer Cake Malbec 2012 was my first choice.

I wanted a wine that showed my family, yes I love you, but my wallet loves me too.

Layer Cake Malbec 2012 Wine Review
Layer Cake Malbec comes in at $15 and at 14% alcohol, that’s enough to keep you happy while kids are screaming for dinner.

The Layer Cake Malbec wine label has a gorgeous chocolate layer cake on it. It’s perfectly adorned for a party.

If a guest showed up on my doorstep with a layer cake or a bottle of Layer Cake wine, they would score a repeat invite.

The winemaker and owner Jayson Woodbridge, quotes his grandfather, “If properly made, the wine from these vines was like a delicious cake layered with fruit, mocha and chocolate, with hints of spice and rich, always rich. Never pass up a good Layer Cake.” Amen to that.

Another thing I like about Layer Cake Wines, is that they are about affordable luxury. Their wines never disappoint.

I say open it up about 20 minutes before you serve it or else the first rush of alcohol on the nose could be a little overwhelming or thrilling, depending on your attitude that night.

So there I was in line feeling pretty smug that my grocery shopping was done at 845am. Perfect timing. Lamb, check. Feta, check. Phyllo, check. Two bottles of Layer Cake Malbec wine, pause. Then the cashier looks at me with a frown.

“I can’t sell you this wine until 9am.”

“But it’s 845am? Please?”

“Ma,am, you are going to have to wait 15 minutes.”

I hate sentences that start with “ma’am,” because they are always said in a tone that inevitably means, ma’am you aren’t going to get what you want.

“Do you want to come back for it?”

“No. I’ll wait.”

“You’ll wait?”


So I do the most obnoxious thing I can think of and call my friend Jules, to tell her this ridiculousness. Of course, the cashier and the bagman who’s 100 years old are frowning at me.

french wine dispensers
Lucky…the French get to buy their wine out of vending machines. Bring a bottle and your good to go!

“You know if this was France, I could buy wine out of a vending machine at 6 o’clock in the morning. Instead of waiting until 9am. Let’s not forget the fact that I look like a complete alcoholic at 8:48 am waiting to buy wine.”

Jules just giggles and the cashier rolls her eyes.

“Ma’am, it’s 9am,” the cashier yells in the middle of my conversation.

Apparently, she’s had enough of me talking loudly on my phone. Finally, I can buy my wine.

Layer Cake Malbec wine comes from the Mendoza River in Argentina. The Mendoza River long since dried up makes for the perfect terrain to grow Malbec vines.

The climate is dry and the fruit is allowed to fully ripen on the vine. This creates a strong wine that’s deep burgundy in color and almost chewy in texture.

The taste of Layer Cake Malbec wine is complex, each bottle varies ever so slightly. But, it’s wonderfully consistent, which makes it one of my favorite wines.

You’ll taste cinnamon, cardamom, with long hits of dark cocoa, cola, shadowed by lavender, thyme, and rounded out with ripe juicy blueberries.

It’s heady aroma is followed by minerals, charred oak, and crusty bread –then another hit of chocolate on the finish.

Watch it swirl around in your glass and once you’ve sipped it you’ll feel it lovingly caress your tongue even after you’ve swallowed the last drop.

I sipped slowly on my Layer Cake Malbec, which paired well with the dinner of roasted lamb, baked eggplant, homemade spanakopita, and potatoes cooked in bacon grease.

I enjoyed several glasses of my tantalizing Layer Cake Malbec wine during the evening, proving I’m not an alcoholic (wink). I just like to get my grocery shopping done in early especially when I have to cook dinner for eight people on a Monday workday.

Food does equal love.

“What are we eating tomorrow?” My brother asked grinning.

“McDonald’s,” I answered and poured myself another glass.

About the Author Alexandra Andersen

I founded Wine & Drama to make you laugh and help you learn all about wine, food, and living well. I love stinky cheese, my Nespresso machine, Loire Valley white wines, bold full-bodied reds, and championing ladies in winemaking.

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