The Girl Behind The Blog

Rae head shot insolence + wine

the 4-1-1

Hi, I'm Rae. Actually I was named after a Fleetwood Mac song but since people have such a horrendous time pronouncing it or even spelling it, I decided to begin this endeavor with a pen name, which also happens to be an inside joke based on the way people continue to mispronounce my name.

Originally launched in early summer of ’15, insolence + wine began as a way to escape the daily monotony of drafting legal contracts for the biotech company I’ve been (mostly) happily employed at since late 2013. While still somewhat new and still in the (sometimes) development stage, it crossed over from being a personal lifestyle blog to a lifestyle blog focusing on food & wine, with a focus on entertaining. 

If you haven’t guessed it, I love wine. So much in fact that when looking at wedding venues the most important element to me was the wine we’d be serving to our family and friends on what we’re told was the most important day of our lives (that is until we have children, actual human children, not the mammals with fur and four legs that we refer to as our children.) Like most wine drinkers, I started off on the wrong side of the fence: the sweeter the wine the better and if it came in a box and I could shove it into the bottom of the ice chest during lake weekends, even better. Don’t worry, my wine preferences have evolved—give me a full-bodied red any day of the week and I’ll do nearly anything you want me to do.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been drawn to the kitchen, especially when life has me on edge and I’m eyeing the wine rack for something to soothe my soul. (For the record, I keep my ‘every day’ wines close by just in case of an emergency, can’t make the mistake of opening a bottle of Blackbird with the intention of getting drunk again.) While my comfort lies in baking, I began challenging myself with more complex entrée recipes. 

As my cooking skills have evolved, I began planning meals with the intention of pairing every dish to a certain wine that I currently had in my possession. I soon ran into a dilemma because I tend to be drawn toward the same varietals: Malbec, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache with the occasional moscato (I blame my husband) thrown into the mix. I quickly began researching wineries in my area (I split my time between the San Francisco Bay Area and the Central Coast) and spent a few consecutive weekends getting wine wasted, not learning a damn thing about all those other wines I had rejected all along—so I did what any closet wine-oholic would do: I joined seven wine clubs in the matter of two weeks. (I’m now down to three!) 

That rather ridiculous financial investment paid off and while I’m no certified wine sommelier, I can now pair a specific dish to a specific wine ninety percent of the time. (I have to give myself margin for error, otherwise people expect perfection from me constantly and that’s too much pressure for a person!) And if I can't figure it out, there's always my handy Wine Folly book.

Periodically, I have some help behind the scenes, so here's the part where they get their credit: my awesome husband who handles the majority of the photos and is my preferred guinea pig for testing recipes, my cousin Irene who can sear just about any cut of meat and my mother-in-law who is kind of like Martha Stewart but without the prison time or the smug smile on her face.