Tag Archives: New Zealand

Get Out the Map.

11 Nov

If you close your eyes and spin a globe where would you land? Where would you want to land?

In researching fashion photos for my Tumblr, I stumbled upon a blog called Landscape Lifescape and was completely mesmerized. It is dedicated to real-time nature and landscape photos.

I spent a long time looking through the vast archive and finally had to pull myself away. I feel like I just got back from a vacation after staring at all these amazingly detailed images.

These photos got me thinking about perception. Beauty, as we have discussed before, comes in all sorts of packages. I believe it exists in its purest form in nature.

Culture, tradition and heritage shape the earth. Stereotypes and media coverage do not. Sometimes we judge a place before we have seen it. I know I have.

Imagine where you would choose to go if you picked from a book of photos with no captions.

Luella says…Visit the World

(all images below are sourced from LandscapeLifescape)

GREENLAND GLACIER

LASPI BAY, BLACK SEA

PATAGONIA, ARGENTINA

ALIF ALIF, MALDIVES

NORTH CAROLINA COUNTRYSIDE

WONDER LAKE, CHINA

WATERFALL AT MIDNIGHT, ICELAND

PICTURED ROCKS, LAKE SUPERIOR MICHIGAN

PROVENCE, FRANCE

LAVENDAR FIELDS IN FROME, ENGLAND

PAULOSE, WASHINGTON

FARAYA, LEBANON

WINTER IN SWEDEN

KOH SAMED, THAILAND

HUNZA, GILGIT PAKISTAN

MONTREAL, CANADA

 

TYSON, TEXAS

UUMMANNAQ, GREENLAND POPULATION 1,299

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

FJORD IN DENMARK

BENMORE, NEW ZEALAND

METHONI, GREECE

DOMBAY, RUSSIA

MOSTNICA GORGE IN SLOVENIA

DERBYSHIRE, UNITED KINGDOM

LAKE BASIN, COLORADO

OHERI, MACEDONIA

DOOR COUNTY, WISCONSIN

Next time you are planning a trip seek out the location less traveled.

Immerse yourself in the culture and don’t take a guided tour. Live amongst the natives and do as they do.

Pinot Perfect.

1 Nov

To me, Red Wine is like chocolate. Rich, decadent and addicting. I can’t say I always felt that way. I definitely was and still am a true “white wine girl” but when a certain red is good, it is really good.

Of my two favorite red wine varietals, (Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir), I  choose to feature  some suggestions on finding the perfect Pinot.

According to Sunset magazine, there are 6 ways to tell if a Pinot is truly a Pinot.

1. Light in color – Pinot Noir grapes have less pigment than most other reds, it is normal if it appears a bit translucent.

2. Complex flavors

Smells of: Cloves, Cinnamon, Violets, Mint, Mushrooms

Tastes of: Licorice, Espresso, Chocolate, Pepper & Berries

3. Light weight – Rule of thumb is delicacy over impact and silkiness over tannin.

4. Low Alcohol content – below 14% (lower percentages capture the character best)

5. Cool growing region – Oregon’s Willamette Valley, Northern California’s Anderson Valley, Carneros Region, Sonoma, Santa Maria Valley, Marlborough and South Island New Zealand.

6. Flexible food pairing: (dishes you normally drink white wine with) Scallops, Black Cod, Salmon, Spicy Tuna, Roast Chicken and Camembert & Gruyère cheeses.

Luella says…Red please.

To start, our lovely neighbor Laynie gave us a bottle of Pinot Noir as a wedding gift this past July. She had been at the Saarloos & Sons winery and said it was amazing and that we HAD to go when we had the chance. Here is a little bit of what awaits us…

(click on the bottles and images for Wine & Vineyard Information)

SAARLOOS & SONS “Extended Family” Pinot Noir

TASTING ROOM & CUPCAKE CONFECTIONERY

Los Olivos, CA

(We have not induldged in this bottle yet as we are saving it for a rainy day celebration but I will let you know when we do.)

 

Now on to the rest of my choices.

WAIPARA WEST Pinot Noir

South Island, New Zealand

90 points.

ETUDE Pinot Noir

Carneros Region, (Napa, CA)

92 points.

MARTINBOROUGH Pinot Noir

Wairarapa Region, New Zealand

96 points

FOGDOG Pinot Noir

Sonoma Region CA

92 points

ANNE AMIE Pinot Noir

Willamette Valley, Oregon

92 points

A to Z Pinot Noir

Northwest Region, Oregon

86 points

ISABEL ESTATE Pinot Noir

Marlborough Region, New Zealand

92 points

CASTLE ROCK Pinot Noir

Carneros Region (Napa, CA)

90 points

DOMAINE DROUHIN Pinot Noir

Willamette Valley, Oregon

90 points.

 

Our good friend Mason has an excellent wine blog at www.nickelanddimewine.com.

He is a wine aficionado and has excellent choices at affordable prices in all varietals, so check him out!!

Indulge in a glass of wine, no matter what, you deserve it.

Message About a Bottle.

1 Oct

               

I love wine. I could put a thousand quotes from various playwrights, novelists and inventors detailing its significance throughout history but I won’t. I don’t need to. It is a universal love for so many of us. In my opinion, it breeds good conversation and makes food taste richer. When the taste is right, I dare say there is nothing much better.            

             

It truly is a delight for me to come home from a long day and indulge in a perfect glass of wine. My personal white wine maturation story is similar to most I would assume. (Red wine will be a different post, I promise) I started with Riesling, dabbled with German Gewürztraminer, Spätlese and Auslese, danced over to Chardonnay (broke up with it though soon after), landed at Pinot Grigio comfortably for a long while and then stumbled upon Sauvignon Blanc where I blissfully live now.               

            

            

 I have become somewhat of a “Sauvignon Snob.” I prefer to only drink it from New Zealand and (insert my husband rolling his eyes here), the Marlborough Region to be exact. According to Wikipedia, “the strong contrast between hot sunny days and cool nights help vintners extend the ripening period of their vines like nowhere else, resulting in unique expressions of their grapes. The area is widely considered by many critics to produce the world’s best Sauvignon Blanc. One wine critic said that “no other region in the world can match Marlborough, the northeastern corner of New Zealand’s South Island, which seems to be the best place in the world to grow Sauvignon blanc grapes.” 

 

 

 

To an untrained palette, it has the most delicious bouquet of florals and fruits with a perfect finish. If you can’t travel to New Zealand in the near future, why not drink a little bit of it instead? I have put the time in, (ok JD and I have put the time in) to research these and feel confident with our “MUST ” choices below. 

(Click on the FULL bottle photo to open  the winery’s website; not the bottle unfortunately.)      

Luella’s 11 Wines to Love, Taste and Serve             

              

90 points . $13.99

 

             

89 points . $18.99

 

            

91 points . $26.99

 

               

90 points . $10.99

 

             

89 points . $11.99

 

                

90 points . $17.99

 

              

91 points . $19.99

 

         

        

90 points . $14.29

 

  

90 points . $17.99

 

  

91 points . $14.99

  

            

92 points . $26.99

 

“Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s day?” Yes William, lets because Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand is just that. Summer in a bottle; enjoyed all year round. Wine can soothe your soul. Indulge and let it.             

 Happy Friday.            

            

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