Wine Situation Final Five

The Wine Situation hosts everyone from winemakers to writers to find out what a person’s situation is…with wine. At the end of each episode, host Ellen Clifford phones a friend to ask them The Final Five. This time it’s Amanda Greenbaum of AJA Vineyards and author of “Rad Cocktails”! Check out the full episode here QUESTION ONE Ellen: Question one, whatcha drinking? What are you into these days? Amanda: I’ve been really into slutty—like not just dirty—SLUTTY martinis. I know they’re traditionally made with gin, but I’ve been enjoying Belvedere martinis ice cold and super dirty. My dad and I have been drinking them like crazy. I’ll either have them on the rocks or up. I like both. I like on the rocks if I’m trying not to drink a lot because that’ll last me for several hours. And like three olives, just throw them in there. QUESTION TWO Ellen: Question number two, do you have a favorite or unusual pairing you enjoy? Amanda: One of my favorite pairings is my Rosé with a double-double burger. That’s the go-to fun one. Not wine-wise, but a fun one to talk about—people make fun of me all the time—I love a blueberry bagel with chive cream cheese. It’s like having the focaccia with a drizzle of honey, but the sweetness is the bread instead. Wine wise what would I pair with that? Maybe Rosé Champagne . QUESTION THREE Ellen: Question number three, is there another part of the world you’d think about making wine in? Amanda: I have a piece of my heart in South Africa because I worked in Cape Agulhas, which is the southernmost tip of Africa. I loved making wine there. But if I were to choose an area around there, honestly throw me in Franschhoek . I had the best carbonic Cinsault from there. QUESTION FOUR Ellen: Question number four - favorite food? Amanda: Steak. If I’m going to go savory, definitely steak. I’m a big fan. Medium-rare plus. QUESTION FIVE Ellen: Final question is just what’s bringing you joy these days? Amanda: Rest. Honestly. I run myself down, like if I was a pencil, I turn myself down to a toothpick. My fiancé resents me sometimes for this. I make plans like it’s nobody’s business. I’m type A. There are two types of people in this world: people that don’t really make plans and see what the weekend has in store for them, and there are people that are booked up three months in advance. I’m trying to be that in-between because I book myself up too much. The nights that I just get an opportunity to do nothing I really savor. Or just to have a date night with my fiancé. That to me is so, so important. And then the second thing on that, tying into that mental health aspect, is getting back into good shape. The opportunity to get back into it and support my fiancé being very involved in getting himself into shape. He goes to the gym five days a week. The two of us are focusing on our health, finding workouts we like. I’m a Barry’s Bootcamp girl. And I’ve been into reformer Pilates. It gets me excited when I’m able to do those classes and not feel winded. Having that ability to feel like I’m in good shape…it’s what gets me through the day and it makes me really happy. *** Find Amanda’s wines and her book here: . Follow her on Instagram @sommthingrad and @ajavineyards Check out the previous Wine Situation podcast with Kate Ayres here .

Rickety Bridge

Foundation Stone Red Blend 2015

This is a nice “easy-to-drink” wine! Soft enough for almost any pallet yet pairs with so many things: burgers, red meat, cheese, fruit, or just sip! — a year ago

Chamonix Winery

Reserve Pinot Noir 2016

Nice mellow ruby colour with floral nose and raspberries and strawberries on palate
Good acidity and fruit balance with lovely aftertaste
Another excellent Pinot Noir from South Africa
— 3 years ago


The Chocolate Block Cinsault Blend 2020

Wine was deep ruby in appearance. On the nose, there was a medium intensity of red fruit such as raspberry and strawberry, with notes of cocoa. The palate matched the aromas, but with a little bit of spice, at a pronounced intensity. Body is medium, acidity is high, tannin is medium and grippy, alcohol is medium. Overall, a very balanced wine with a long finish that starts of intense, but smooth out as time goes on. The wine is complex and balanced. overall an outstanding wine! — a year ago

Sharon liked this


Brut Rosé Champagne Blend

Oh my goodness gracious. I have too many words. I’ll keep it short. This is good. Very very good. — 4 years ago

Paul, S.S. and 20 others liked this
Ellen Clifford

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@Paul T- Huntington Beach oh is this your casual Friday sparkler? Lol, but also if it is you are doing life right
Ellen Clifford

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@Paul T- Huntington Beach oh my sounds like there is a story there. If I could drink this weekly I would.
David T

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@Paul T- Huntington Beach Any day is the right day.


Brut Rosé Royal Champagne Blend

Ah us rosé Champagne, my true true love. This one is plush and mouth filling. Along with red fruits and herbs I get a but of a seashell vibe. Toasty finish, toast to that. — 2 years ago

Trixie, Severn and 14 others liked this

Daheuiller (Domaine des Varinelles)

Crémant de Loire Brut Rosé Champagne Blend

100 percent Pinot Noir this wine neither whispers nor screams but it is not boring to listen to. Is it Ira Glass? I don’t know but it is a bit strawberry and freshness and a smidge of pleasant salinity. The toasty notes are downplayed. Good for fun and for more august wine thoughts. Especially august in August. — 4 years ago

Eric, Paul and 17 others liked this