Ashley Ragovin

Hi I'm great. 

Here's to friendship - Everyone, meet Marissa A. Ross

Who is Marissa A. Ross you ask? Well I’ll tell you: first she’s an amazing friend. I am truly excited about our shared love for soft clothing, good music, and delicious wine. But beyond that, she is hilarious, honest, and just downright enjoyable to be around. We’ve done some hanging - manicures, girl talk, drinking, she’s bonafied legit. She’s also a badass writer - see: contributing editor to Bon Appetit, her own book, UNWINED, in the works, and of course, her blog Wine-Allthetime.com. Marissa and I instantly saw glass to glass, so we sat down to do something fun together and share it with you. Besides an awesome box filled with delicious wine, here's what came out of our last hang session:

The scene: Us, taking pics of ourselves, laughing (but real laughter), and drinking Italian wine - one from the Marissa A. Ross box - while discussing how to buy a couch, how awesome pets and super soft sweatshirts are, and how to make the best out of things in life. Listening to J Dilla ‘Donuts’ on vinyl, in her gorgeous Silverlake home, no less. 

ME: At this time last year, you were?

MR: Probably picking up outfits for Mindy Kaling (assistant stuff). Sadly my job with Mindy very rarely involved wine...

Me: Except when you were drinking your sorrows away as a comedy writer and Hollywood assistant? Ok, let’s skip that part - thankfully, you used your talent and wrote about it, thus bringing much good fortune into your life (like us meeting!). You get wine, wine gets you. You’re made of the same stuff. So, IF you were an actual wine, what would you be?

MR: Gamay - it’s really light and bright and fun, which is how I try to keep my vibes at all times. 

ME: Ok finish this sentence: A good bottle of wine is like ________________________

MR: a drawn out seduction that never quite climaxes and leaves you aching for another bottle.

ME: Whoa that's sexy. And romantic. Two things I believe apply to wine for sure. What wine would be the one you would take to a desert island, if you had to pick?

MR: Jean Foillard Morgon Cote du Py, easy.

ME: I feel like the bottles I get attached to are just as much about sentimental value as they are about being good wine. I mean, there’s lots of good wine, but the ones we remember usually have meaning somehow. If this is your desert island bottle, there must be a good story behind it, hit me with the romance:

MR: I feel the same! That's why I so rarely talk shit on wines I don't like, because I don't want people not trying something that they may still have a great connection to. So: First of all, I fucking love Morgons so much; secondly, it was the wine Ben and I drank the night we got engaged. Cheesy? A little. But I don't care! It's so good anyway, and drinking three bottles of it at A.O.C. being super in love and excited made it that much better. I'm sorry that it was actual romance a haha.

ME: Right!! You got engaged this year! Congratulations, duh. Also, that means you’ll be playing entertainer more, that’s what married couples do, right? What’s your personal house wine? The one you just like to have on hand at all times.

MR: I love have R-13/14 on hand because it’s funky but very drinkable and food friendly.

ME: Ok, speaking of food, what is your go-to comfort food? 

MR: This sounds sad, and maybe it is, but a Chipotle Burrito Bowl. 

ME: NOT SAD. But what are you drinking with this non-homemade delicacy?

MR: Coca Cola. And a shit ton of --

ME: AHHH ok I see what you’re saying. This is your wine break meal, you’re hungover and need a Coke and a doobie? Ha, I said doobie to make it retro, which I picture you as. 

MR: I like it. I mean you can drink whatever you want if you’re stuffing your face with garbage but I would certainly have no problem drinking Champagne with Chipotle.

ME: But do you ever take a day off from wine?

MR: Well sometimes I need to just veg out in my sweats and be left alone, and I want to be filled to the brim with Chipotle. That, or my fiancé's Schnitzel. 

ME: That sounds private. But, go Ben (the fiancé). Ok, so what about when you’re not in hangover mode and wanna get a little serious? Pairings are pretty formal, but do you have a go-to food / wine combo?

MR: This is something I decide case by case - I think it’s important to note who you’re dining with, and the general vibe of the evening. I am also always taking suggestions. 

ME: Ok on the subject of food, what kind of food would you most love to be immersed in? Mine is warm bread. Baguette specifically (I want a bread bed so bad). Anything you've always dreamt of physically get into a pool of?

MR: Outside of wine, I would love a tomato soup jacuzzi.

ME: I’m not gonna lie, I secretly thought you would say you, too have always dreamt of getting in a sleeping bag-sized warm baguette. For the record, I’d use a King’s Hawaiian roll for the pillow. But fine, I’m still intrigued by your answer - I would like to know what you’d be drinking if you were in a jacuzzi of hot tomato soup. Are you at least dipping bread in the jacuzzi?

MR: I may be a bit claustrophobic and a baguette bed sort of feels like I could get trapped in it. I just don't like being wrapped in anything haha. I would be drinking the tomato soup, of course! Dipping in it a grilled cheese with sharp cheddar on sourdough, drinking Vini Rabasco Vino Rosso “Cancelli."

ME: Yes!! I love that wine! So good. And both agree that cheddar should always be sharp. That is a great scenario to strive for. Ok, let’s play a game: Wine Association. You pick your favorite and then associate it with a wine*:

Me: Song:

MR:  "Baby's Wearing Blue Jeans" by Mac Demarco and R-14

ME: Ice cream Flavor:

MR: Strawberry cheesecake and Punta Crena Lumassina

ME: City

MR: Rome and Angiolino Maule Masieri

ME: THAT’S MY FAVORITE CITY IN THE WORLD TOO. Ok, sorry. Clothing item:

MR: Sweatpants and Stolpman Sangiovese

ME: Vegetable:

MR: Baked potato (ahaha) and Catherine & Pierre Breton “Trinchi!” 

ME: Smell:

MR: Wet concrete and Arca Nova Vinho Verde

ME: Movie:

MR: You’ve Got Mail and Broc Cellars' Valdiguie

ME: That wasn’t a test but you totally passed. Any words for the wine peeps out there who love to drink it but can't take all the stuffiness and feel nervous around a wine key? 

MR: Don't be afraid to just love it. You don't need anything else but that joy you feel when you're drinking a good glass of wine. And don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

ME: Preach. So glad I found you. At this time next year, you will be:

MR: Probably still writing about wine, and laughing about it all. And you’re pretty great, too (she didn’t actually say this last part, but I am just assuming she likes me as much as I like her).

Marissa is not only a good friend, the kind I see being around for a while, she is also an awesome writer. She is currently working on her book, UNWINED (Plume, 2017), and is also now exclusively contributing to Bon Appetit. Her work can also be found on Manrepeller.com, Vice Munchies, and her blog Wine-Allthetime.com - she's pretty much accomplished all of the writing goals I've had since acquiring massive debt in Grad School. And I’m genuinely happy for her.

(to purchase my M.A. in Journalism, please email me directly, I'm offering it at 50% off).  

*For more information or to purchase any of Marissa's wine picks mentioned above, please email thetastingcrew@pour-this.com

Burgundy: A Love Song

The best F’ing Lamb Ragu you’ll ever taste.

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