I'm Marissa. I write and drink wine.
I have no qualifications to write about drinking wine,
aside from the fact I do it all the time.

Picton Bay Sauvignon Blanc

Picton Bay Sauvignon Blanc
Price: $7.99
Region: Marlborough, New Zealand
Retailer: Trader Joe’s

Well, I ended up turning on the AC and returning to my beloved Sauvignon Blancs.

Marlborough Sauv Blancs are all the rage these days. I feel like everyone is talking about them, or I have just met a lot of Aussies over the past couple years. Who knows. Either way, I knew I had to start getting into Marlborough SBs because uh, SAUVIGNON BLANC YA’ALL.

This isn’t my first Marlborough rodeo. And yes, they are very good. But this is definitely one of the better ones I’ve had, especially considering the price point. 

I’ve been disappointed recently in California SBs, which makes it kind of hilarious that this bottle of Picton Bay from across the globe reminds me so much of California. It’s all sunshine and The Beach Boys. It’s just so fresh and fun, and a little sexy. 

This wine tastes like San Clemente, 2006. I’m nineteen and my only friends are ten surfers. We worked retail by whenever, and hit the beach by whenever. We all basically lived on the floor at my best friend’s apartment down the street from Trestles. And that was it. Having enough money to buy booze and tacos and go to the beach. They’d surf, and I’d write HST inspired journal entries about my crushes on the sand. I wasn’t old enough to drink, but the old man who owned the liquor store across the street let me buy anyway because he knew I always slept on the couch. 

When I had to move back home to Upland unexpectedly, one of my favorite memories, was that my surfer homies had the old man from the liquor store leave me the funniest voice mail about how everyone missed me. I was so miserable back home, and that really silly notion meant so much to me. I never wanted to let go of that time. Even when I was living it, I knew it that time was finite and I would miss it forever.

I wanted to always be sitting on the beach listening to The Beach Boys on my Sidekick 2 and drinking a 40 of Miller High Life with my whole life ahead of me. 

This doesn’t taste like shitty beer and young unrequited love, but it does taste like lime and salt and hints of bell peppers and bougainvilleas clinging to the cliffs of Laguna Beach. It tastes like body surfing at Table Rock on the Fourth of July. It tastes like how your skin feels after being at the beach all day. It tastes like the best day of summer. It tastes like you have forever, and forever is all sunshine glistening on crashing waves, and endless possibilities.

I went into Trader Joe’s today feeling broke. And I have come out tonight feeling like a million bucks for my eight and some change (after tax).

Tasting Notes: Light ocean breeze bouquet. Seriously, my only thought really is, where are the seagulls tho? They should come stock. Anyway, medium bodied but dry with enough crisp for me to love it (cause if it wasn’t crisp, I wouldn’t be here). This is going to sound insane, but if I could lick the cliffs of Table Rock beach, one of my favorite places on Earth, I seriously think this wine is what they would taste like. Briney, clean, straight forward, memorable, delicious. 

Ross Test: Not to quote Rihanna, but I mean, it’s totally, CAKE CAKE CAKE CAKE CAKE CAKE CAKE 

Simple Spritzer

Simple Spritzer
• 3/4s Pinot Grigio
• 1/4 Sparkling Water
• Muddled berries
• Ice

Occasionally you find yourself with some spare berries and way too much Pinot Grigio. I know, I know. Sounds like one of them good problems. WELL IT IS. I’M VERY PLEASED TO HAVE THIS PROBLEM. 

Anyway, hypothetically, you have berries and Pinot Grigio but you’re like, “Meh, don’t really feel like Pinot Grigio cause it’s a little early in the day for me to start scarfing carafes.”  

So, you take those berries and muddle them in your choice of glass (or, if you’re a disgusting monster who can’t find her muddler because you moved and that’s what happens, you can just chew them up and spit them in YOUR glass [or perhaps your romantic partner’s if they are chill with you being a disgusting monster without a muddler] not saying this is the preferred method, I’m just saying this is also works/I’m disgusting). 

You then fill the glass three-fourths of the way up with the Pinot Grigio. You then top it off with some sparkling water and some ice.


Bueyes Malbec 2011

Bueyes Malbec 2011
Price: ~ $20
Region: Mendoza, Argentina 
Retailer: Silverlake Wine

I haven’t really had much time to talk about it with all the traveling and wine drinking and dream living I’ve been up to lately, but I recently moved. I’d lived in the same Echo Park bungalow for six years, and after a long eight months of looking, my boyfriend and I finally found our perfect pad in Silverlake. It’s seriously everything I ever wanted in a new place, and I am definitely paying for it. Like, I’m broke. Like, not my normal “Oh man, I’m broke, I can only buy eight bottles of wine this week and still be fine for bills and life” adult broke, I’m talking like twenty-two just moved to LA with $35 “CHARLES SHAW IS DELICIOUS!” broke. 

I’m okay with that though. I’ve been here before; doubling down and throwing everything on black and pulling the trigger praying for an empty chamber. And look at me now! I’m topless in a beautiful/hot as hell house because I refuse to turn on the AC because my bank account reads like a fourth grader’s math equation, blasting Eartha Kitt, middle fingers up, being like “HEY NEIGHBORS WHO AREN’T REALLY MY NEIGHBORS CAUSE THAT’S A VACATION RENTAL, YOU SHOULD TELL THE OWNERS TO ADD A LITTLE ADVISORY ABOUT THE NEW ASSHOLE NEXT DOOR WHO LISTENS TO JAZZ REALLY LOUD WHILE MOSTLY NAKED CHUGGING WINE OUT OF BOTTLES IF EVERY WEEK IS GOING TO BE A FUCKING KID FEST OVER THERE. I CAN’T AFFORD CURTAINS AND I DON’T CARE ABOUT YOUR FRENCH SPEAKING CHILDREN. SERIOUSLY.  I DON’T. I’M NOT PUTTING ON A SHIRT.”

It’s really too hot to be drinking red, but I’m tired of drinking whites. I love and miss my reds. Not only that, my supply is for real dwindling. To keep this blog alive while I undergo financial restoration, I will have to pull from my personal entertaining collection, most of which, are delicious reds.

And so here we are, drinking the Bueyes 2011 Malbec. I bought this bottle [flips through journal] on July 7th after having it at a tasting at Silverlake Wine. I bought it because uh, well, I tasted it and it was delicious. I fucking love Malbecs. Ugh. They give me everything Cabernets do but without so much attitude. Sometimes I don’t need the attitude, man! Sometimes I just want a fun, spicy yet friendly red. Not even sometimes. A lot of the times.

Ah, a nice breeze whips through my parched…
aaaaaand it’s gone.

I can’t say the red wine is helping with how hot it is, but I can’t really say it’s hurting either. In fact, it’s still pretty much helping because it’s so good. It’s so smooth and easy and lovely and my true friend as I lay on this woven Crate & Barrel rug I roped my dude into buying. I love it so much. The wine, and the rug. I LOVE IT ALL.


Maybe it’s all this delicious Malbec, but I never used to think nude colored bras were cool. Now, I think I’m into them. Like on a public level, not like in the “Heyyyy these are necessary” level that we’ve all dealt with nude colored bras on.

Also, please don’t be fooled, I’m still a 31.5A. I know this Victoria’s Secret bra I spent too much money on back when I was cash comfortable makes me look like Sofia Vergara, but that is not true. Still very flat chested. Still nothing to motorboat or do anything fun with so don’t get any ideas that my boyfriend would be mad about. I’m just a poor, sweaty girl trying to chug a hot, medium-bodied Argentinean, okay?

Tasting Notes: Such a sleeper hit. Slow and smooth, versatile and understated without compromising flavor or body. That lovely fig I mentioned plus raspberry, and just enough tobacco that is like the yummy, enticing, cool-girl-smoking-in-the-bathroom-on-a-teen-sitcom tobacco notes, and not the “Oh, wow you smoked half of your friend’s pack of yellow American Spirits and it’s all over your hands for the next four days” tobacco notes. Definitely a new favorite in my collection. Will replenish as soon as I am not the poorest person I know.  

Ross Test: If you love dark chocolate, this chug could be your jam. I’m not a huge dark chocolate fan, and you get a mouth full of it right here. For me, I’ll be keeping it in the glass.

Notorious Pink Grenache Rosé

Notorious Pink Grenache Rosé
Price: $19.99
Region: Domaine la Colombette, France
Retailer: A few places

It’s interesting that I should be reviewing a bottle of wine this weekend called Notorious Pink because anyone who follows me on Twitter knows I kinda had a meltdown on Friday about feeling like I needed to buy Notorious BIG’s “Ready To Die” on vinyl at Whole Foods because I had never seen it on vinyl before, but then couldn’t because I was at fucking Whole Foods.

Longest, but possibly most important sentence, ever. 

For the record (bah-dum-chhhh), I did not purchase the album. I couldn’t, it was like, the least local thing ever to buy vinyl from Whole Foods. Oh, the irony. Soak it in my friends. So rich.

Anyway, I came at this bottle thinking, “Man, this wine has a lot of fucking nerve calling itself Notorious.” I really wanted to hate it, with its exceptional bottle of tall smoked glass and no, not a cork, but a glass stopper. I’m like, “Maaan, SOME NERVE OF THIS WINE. COMING AT ME WITH A GLASS STOPPER. PFFFFFFTT.” I was waiting to kick in the door wavin’ the four-four.

But alas, I could not hate.

I don’t know if I would go as far as to call it “notorious”, but it is damn good. Especially for weekend drinking romping around in ninety degree backyards while listening to “50 Guitars Visit Hawaii: The 50 Guitars of Tommy Garrett”. 

Most French Rosés are quite dry, but the Pink is thirst-quenchingly juicy without being that sweet. It’s a great warm weather wine, but there’s something about it that’s is very year round. A nice medium body with a great mineral and acidic balance that I can see myself enjoying even when it gets a little colder outside. Probably with some of that organic chicken I bought at Whole Foods instead of buying classic hip hop albums. 

I just had to put a cube in it cause I realized I took three days off drinking wine all day and now drinking a lot is making me kind of drunk, and I have people coming over, and it is still really good with a cube. IMPORTANT INFORMATION HERE, PEOPLE! YOU CAN PULL GRANDMA MOVES ON THIS WINE AND IT’S STILL LOVELY TO DRINK! 

Tasting Notes: Super light bouquet , very refreshing. Tastes like you took a full, beautiful, blossoming lime tree and muddled it in a wine barrel with some red berries and a flat Pamplemoose La Croix.  

Ross Test:  Definitely a warm weather chug. It’s easy-going but a bit more acidic, perfect for cutting through tanning oil and laziness brought on by long hours in the sun.

Just Checking In!

It took ten freaking days to get my internet switched to my new house BUT THAT DAY HAS FINALLY COME. I FINALLY HAVE INTERNET AGAIN.

This weekend I’ll be drinking in Geyserville and then next week I’ll be drinking in New York, so things are wild. I will do my best to update you on my wine intake, but remember you can always be drinking with me on Instagram @MarissaARoss.

We will be returning to our regularly scheduled drinking ASAP. 

Gia by Gia Coppola Pinot Grigio

Gia by Gia Coppola Pinot Grigio
Price: ~ $10.00
Region: California
Retailer: GiaWine.com or, if you’re in the LA area, House of Ambrose off Barham just north of the 101

I’ve been looking to move since November. Two and a half weeks ago, my boyfriend Ben and I decided maybe it was time to give up. I mean, anyone moving in Los Angeles knows that it takes forever, but this was getting ridiculous. Our place wasn’t terrible. Sure, it wasn’t great for Instagrams because the interior looked like a steakhouse after 5pm, but it was still a pretty good place. Maybe we just weren’t meant to move yet.

That very same day two and a half weeks ago, we found the most perfect dream place. We saw it that afternoon, turned in our applications the next morning, and that Saturday signed the papers. Which meant, I now needed to fucking move.

Anyone who has ever moved knows that moving is the worst. But time has a way of making you forget things, and considering I hadn’t moved in six years, I kind of forgot it was the worst. I mean, I knew it was the worst, but I forgot it was THE WORST.

Long story long story, I’m coming to you live (okay, not live because apparently it takes two weeks to move your internet which is the most bogus shit I’ve ever heard) from a very hot house (because I am now broke from the dreaded first, last, security deposit and don’t want to use the AC) in which all my shit is in suitcases and I’m literally a hot mess, a term I do not enjoy using but there is no other way to explain my condition.

Have you heard that wintery, Christmasy song that Dean Martin and a million other people sing about having their love to keep them warm? So aptly named, “I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm”?

Yeah think of that tune,
but instead be like,
“I’ve got my Gia to keep me cool”.

That is how I’m currently feeling. I’m feeling like I need to take that tune and write my own rendition, about how you can stay cool with Gia by Gia Coppola Pinot Grigio and by opening every window in your house. That way you get a cool breeze flowing not only through your abode, but also in your body and soul. 

And that’s what the Gia Pinot Grigio is to me, a cool breeze. A cool breeze welcomed as I take in the heat. 

I’m sitting here, starting to come down from sweltering, staring at a newly framed Slim Aarons print against my walls. I can almost feel myself there. 

he cool breeze gently lifting at my 70’s lace crop top next to the pool at a party in Palm Springs. I probably shouldn’t be in these matching lace bellbottoms (re: heat), but who cares! Coordinates are in! Plus I have this super chilled Gia Pinot Grigio! I’m killing it! 

This guy in the peach beach cowboy getup is like, “What is this wine you poured me?” And I’m all flirtatiously like, “Well, let me tell you. It’s from up north Californ-y way, and oh boy, it is fermented in STAINLESS STEEL, can you believe it?” and he’s like “NO WAY!” and I’m like “WAY! THAT IS HOW THEY KEEP THAT SHIT FRUIT FORWARD, B!” 

He thinks I’m very smart with great taste, so yeah, things are going great. Probs gonna get laid, then who knows, probs married cause I mean, we already established my great taste in wine and matching coordinates.

I’ve gone from “Holy shit, I’m going to die” to “HEY THIS IS A GREAT PARTY!” in the flick of a wrist. 

Have I mentioned that Gia is a screw off?

Gia herself is the least screw off ever. If anything, she is too on point. I was near her recently when I felt very together and cool for five minutes before seeing her, and immediately never felt like more of a mess (except for maybe today because, I’m very hot). She is so calm and collected and fashionable and lovely. It’s intimidating because I am the least graceful human on the planet, and as we all know you either have grace or you don’t.

But the wine is a screw off. Which is great. I love wine that is not only easy to drink, but EASY TO DRINK. Coppola could not make this any more effortless. Screw off. About ten bucks. Great palate. What is not to love? The only thing that the Gia Pinot Grigio is missing is a beach bag that can somehow seamlessly keep it chilled without having to drag an actual cooler through the sand.

Eh, fuck the sand.
Garden, Party of Two.

Tasting Notes: It tastes almost exactly how it smells, like a big bunch of peach blossoms. Fruit forward and floral (as we now know is the Gia way), it is slightly effervescent upon first pour. Best super cold, which makes me want to make Gia Pinot Grigio ice cubes. I also want to pair it with a spinach and strawberry summer salad like, RIGHT NOW.

Ross Test: Pretty good! I like it because the slight effervescence you lose in the glass comes back. Goes back really easy. Definitely taking this to the bachelorette party I’m going to this weekend.

Gia by Gia Coppola Pinot Noir

Gia by Gia Coppola Pinot Noir
Price: ~ $10.00
Region: California
Retailer: GiaWine.com or, if you’re in the LA area, House of Ambrose off Barham just north of the 101

I met the Gia Pinot Noir a couple months ago while I was kickin’ it with my girl, Steak. The Gia Pinot Noir seemed really chill. She wasn’t trying too hard, which I always dig when I’m meeting potential homies. She was friendly, but not too sweet or eager. She had “a thing” going for her, but it wasn’t contrived. She was just, her. She was cool, and had great style. And I liked her. I thought we’d for sure hang out again, but I didn’t really think she’d become like MY GIRL, ya know?

But she’s totally my girl. I could hang out with her every day. She’s so easy-going! I love that! I mean, sure, If we want to talk about NPR, yes, we can talk about NPR. But she isn’t too concerned with being super complex and eccentric, which I appreciate. I don’t need to dive into Malaysian flight conspiracy theories every time I have a conversation. Sometimes I just want to sit back and watch Bob’s Burgers for way too long and laugh and have someone to do that with. And the Gia Pinot Noir is pretty great for that. 

Although the Gia Pinot Noir is totally down to spend an evening on my couch in pajamas, she is quite impressive when we go out. Everyone loves her. I don’t even get to enjoy her company when I take her places. Everyone hogs her. I’m like, “HEY. GIA! I’M OVER HERE! YOUR BESTIE! WHO INTRODUCED YOU TO ALL THESE PEOPLE! WE HANG OUT. A LOT. DON’T FORGET ABOUT ME WHILE THAT MODEL DRINKS THE SHIT OUT OF YOU! WE’RE UBERING HOME TOGETHER! DON’T FORGET THAT! I LOVE YOU!” 

Then I look kinda weird and overbearing, but whatever.

Tasting Notes: Such a lively cranberry color! I want it on my nails. The bouquet is that of peppered berries and light citrus blossoms. The palate is one of the the most approachable Pinot Noirs ever, which is kind of insane when you consider how approachable Pinot Noirs are for red wine. Perfect to introduce red wine to your weirdo friends who refuse to drink red wine. Fruity and mild with a plush finish. It may be a touch sweet for serious red wine enthusiasts, but still enjoyable.

Ross Test: The finish is a little rough, but worth it.




Check out my Spotlight interview & day in the life with Sad Girls Guide!

iris123iris asked

Do you like 2buck chuck and what's your favorite trader joes wine? Xoxo

I used to RAGE two buck Chuck every damn day. I still don’t mind it, but once my income bracket changed, so did my palate. That sounds so shitty but it’s true. You’re not regularly drinking Charles Shaw if you love wine and can afford something over $5.

Trader Joe’s has a great selection of wine. I love their Trader Joe’s Reserve stuff. The Calloway Sauv Blanc is pretty good. The Block Shiraz is great and economical. My favorite wine they sell is BR Cohn. So yummy.

Gia by Gia Coppola Frizzante

Gia by Gia Coppola Frizzante
Price: ~ $10.00
Region: California
Retailer: GiaWines.com or, if you’re in the LA area, House of Ambrose off Barham just north of the 101

In case you haven’t heard, Gia Coppola now has her own line of wines. It’s not available really anywhere yet except one liquor store near Universal Studios, but it is out there, and to celebrate its soon-to-be-national full-blown release, I am going to be reviewing all three of the varietals over the coming weeks.

Let me just start by saying that I didn’t realize I was going to have to revere another Coppola. First, Frances changed my life by making a little movie called “The Godfather”. You may have heard of it. Then his daughter, you may have also heard of her too, Sophia, had to go and not only be a bad-ass filmmaker herself, but also be a style icon and then go ahead and make canned wine complete with straws. Now, here comes Gia, Frances’ granddaughter who is a basically a baller in my eyes. She is a dope photographer, dresses in YSL suits, just released her first feature film, is a mixologist AND is now coming out with her own wines.

Thank god I have endless love to give, because if there was only a finite amount, the Coppolas would now own much of my heart.

To kick off our exploration of the Gia wines,
today we have the Gia Frizzante,
made from California Chardonnay.

The word “Frizzante” straight up gives me butterflies. White wine with effervescence is a thing to be treasured, and it is something I always have in my house. I wasn’t allowed to have soda as a child, and subsequently to this day I am a sucker for anything bubbly. 

Now on the other hand, the words “California Chardonnay” absolutely terrify me.  They conjure up images of thick oak barrels dripping with Land-O-Lakes butter surrounded by business men in 1990’s styled suits, smelling corks and generally being insufferable assholes.

Much to my relief, the Gia Frizzante tastes nothing like my Chardonnay nightmares. Sparkling with tropical notes, the Gia Frizzante tastes like a midsummer’s dream that I want to have nightly as an aperitif. 

Now that we’re entering the true dog days of Southern California, this is a wonderful (and economical) wine to have on hand for spontaneous afternoons on your best friend’s porch or impromptu Saturday pool parties. 

Not only is it great, but uh, have you seen how pretty it is?
It’s a fucking babe of a wine.
A+ on the packaging.

Tasting Notes: The bouquet reminds me of running through my neighbor’s yard as a kid in the summer. Lots of floral notes, with hints of grass and honeydew. The palate is zesty with plenty of pineapple with a light melon finish, perfect for the island obsessed. Sweet but not overwhelmingly so.

Ross Test: Like chugging delicious fizzy fruit. Totally do-able!



(via marissaaross)

Masi Masianco Pinot Grigio & Verduzzo

Masi Masianco Pinot Grigio & Verduzzo
Price:  ~$14
Region: Veneto, Italy

"So, what do you think?" my cat, Berlioz, inquired as I took to the bouquet of the Masi Masianco Pinot Grigio & Verduzzo.

"Well…" I started, wiping the wine off the tip of my nose.
"It smells like you pissed Moscato."


"What what? It smells like sweet cat piss, I don’t know what else you want me to say."

He stared at me, unamused. He was offended, acting as if I was trying to joke around with him, something I know for a fact Berlioz does not enjoy. Berlioz hates jokes. Berlioz is very serious. This was the first time he even gave my wine tasting the time of day, and here I was, telling him this wine smelled like his piss.

"I don’t find your humor very entertaining to begin with, and if this is one of your silly descriptors that is supposed to be comedically compelling, well, I’m afraid it is not."

"Dude, cat urine is a very common identifier in wine tasting."

"What have I told you?"

"Excuse me. Berlioz, cat urine is a very common identifier in wine tasting. It’s not a bad thing. It just means musky, a little herbal…”

"Who would know that with the way humans carry on about cat boxes. Always whining, when really it’s just like taking in a big whiff of a fine Italian wine, you fucking pussy."


"I didn’t want to be here anyway, you teased me with a spoon full of ice cream, which wasn’t even ice cream, you fucking hippie."

Tasting Notes: Yes, it smells like my cat pissed Moscato. But it tastes like a beautiful Edible Arrangement entirely of melons and peaches with a big citrus finish. Medium bodied, best served super cold. A great summer wine that would pair well with seafood or just some sunshine.

Ross Test: Too acidic on the throw back. Best to put it in a glass and call it a day.

Venturini Baldini Lambrusco dell’Emilia

Venturini Baldini Lambrusco dell’Emilia
Price: $19.99 
Region: Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Retailer: Whole Foods

This Lambrusco is untraditionally dry, earthy and prickly. Perfect if you love sparkling but hate sweet. It is crazy dark (talking Steve Brule, sweet berry wine right here) and will stain the shit out of your teeth (unless you’re me and you’re straight up immune to that shit), and your jeans (I am not immune to spilling shit). Great for starting, and ending, a meal with. Passed the Ross Test, but better in a glass.

Game of Thrones Wine Is Coming - IGN