Tag Archives: Wine

Be Present.

24 Nov

 

I love Thanksgiving. I might even argue it is my favorite holiday. I love Christmas too but there is something less complicated about Thanksgiving time. With no need for presents, it becomes a holiday based around time being spent together.

It truly combines all my favorite things to do. Celebrate with family and friends, eat a delicious home cooked meal, drink fantastic wine, visit with old friends I haven’t seen since last year at this time, play games, stay up late, not worry about work, the list goes on and on.Lately time seems to be flying by. I find myself grasping and holding onto moments in an attempt to control and slow it down. It has proven to be fruitless and I realize the older you get the faster it goes.

My only recompense is to enjoy each and every day. Be present and thankful even when that seems impossible.

Thanksgiving is a perfect reminder of this. Let’s all take advantage of it.

Below are some beautiful Thanksgiving home accents and table decorations. I hope they will inspire you to enjoy decorating before the guests arrive and then relish the time you spend with whomever is coming over to celebrate.

I am thankful for many things this year and am going to make a list and refocus on what I do have instead of concentrating on what is missing. I suggest you do the same.

Luella says…Make a “Thankful” List and Check it Twice.

 I hope your Thanksgiving holiday is exactly as you wish it to be. It might not be as perfect as the accents above are but that is half the charm.

As Dave Matthews sings, “Eat, Drink and be Merry.” (feel free to insert a lot after any of those) 

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.

Variations on Beautiful.

19 Oct

What is beautiful? Is it happiness, contentment, vanity, companionship, friendship, love or the sum of all the parts? Everyone defines it differently. Throughout our lives our concept of what is beautiful will change. I look forward to that.

Today is my parent’s wedding anniversary. In 26 years there have been highs and lows but today I would say, they love each other more than ever.

In their honor, I moved up a post I was working on for a later date. What is beautiful?

Real Simple did an article a year or so back on authors describing what makes them feel beautiful. I was so moved by the above submission from acclaimed author Anne Roiphe,  that I tore it out and put it on our vision board next to Marilyn et al.

It is simply profound. Please read for yourself.

“It was mid-December of 2005. I don’t know why he said it. I don’t know if a shadow had fallen across him, something appalling he saw out of the corner of his eye. I don’t know if it was just coincidence or intuition that prompted him, but about a week before my seemingly healthy 82-year-old husband suddenly died, he emerged from the kitchen ready to go to his office, his face clean-shaven, his eyes shining, smiling shyly, holding the copy of the Anthony Trollope book he was rereading, and said to me, “You have made me very happy. You know that you have made me a happy man.” There I stood in my work outfit, blue jeans and a T-shirt. There I stood with my white hair and my wrinkles and the face I was born with, although now much creased by time, and I felt beautiful.
 
“What?” I said. I wanted him to repeat the words. “You heard me,” he said and put on his coat and drew his earmuffs out of his pocket. “Say it again,” I said. He said it again. “You’ve made me happy.” We had been married 39 years. We had held hands waiting in hospital corridors while a desperately ill child struggled to breathe and thankfully recovered. We had made financial mistakes together. We had spent hours out in fishing boats. We had raised the children and then second-guessed our choices. We had stood shoulder to shoulder at graduations and weddings and we were well-worn, but still I had made him happy, and I was proud and flushed with the warmth of his words.
 
I know I looked beautiful that morning. Perhaps not to the young man holding his toddler in his arms who rode the elevator with me; perhaps not to the friend I met for lunch, a true believer in Botox; perhaps not to passersby on the street; but I knew it for a certainty. I was beautiful.
 
I don’t believe that inner beauty is sufficient in this cruel world. That’s the pap one tells a child. I don’t believe that positive thinking improves your skin tone or that loving or being loved changes the shape of your nose or restores the thickness and color of hair, but I do know that there is a way of being beautiful, even as age takes its toll, that has something to do with the spirit filling with joy, something to do with the union with another human being, with the sense of having done well at something enormously important, like making happy a man who has made you happy often enough.
 
Ten days after that morning conversation, my husband and I returned from a concert and dinner with friends and walked down our windy block toward our apartment house when suddenly he stumbled and fell and died within minutes. As I waited for the ambulance, I remembered his words, a beauty potion I would take with me into the rest of my life.”

Those words are hard to follow but I figured why not reflect on and share what makes me feel beautiful, in the hopes it will inspire you to do the same.

Below is my list, the next time I am feeling melancholy I will revisit it and take notes.  

 

Luella says…Mirror, Mirror on the Wall.

MY HUSBAND & HIS LAUGH/SMILE

THE PERFECT DRESS & PAIR OF SHOES

  NESTLED IN READING A GREAT BOOK

TRAVELING EUROPE

ACCOMPLISHING MY GOALS/TO DO LIST

  FEELING SUNKISSED ON VACATION

 LISTENING /ABSORBING WHEN OTHERS REMIND ME

(All Images above via MEMORY BOOK  &  Krystal Muellenberg)

 

EARLY MORNINGS SPENT OUTSIDE

  DANCING – (always)

 BEING WHERE I HAVE BEEN BEFORE – WHERE PEOPLE KNOW MY NAME

 BEING INSPIRED BY HIGH FASHION & FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY

 VIEWING VINTAGE ARCHITECTURE / HOME DECOR

 EXERCISING TO GOOD MUSIC (loud)

 PARTICIPATING IN AN INTELLECTUAL CONVERSATION / DEBATE

A CLEAN & ORGANIZED HOUSE

(All images above via AN ABUNDANCE OF)

 

TIME SPENT WITH MY FAMILY

 LONG EYELASHES

MY CHILDHOOD HOME/BACKYARD

(All images above via Krystal Muellenberg)

 

COOKING A GREAT MEAL

(Image above via The City Sage) 

LIVE MUSIC

(Image above via Doublecrossed)

DECADENT WINE & DINNER PARTIES WITH MY GREAT FRIENDS

(Images above via Remodelista  &  Country Living)

 

I realized in making this list, beautiful to me means contentment and happiness. I look and feel best when I am at peace with my actions, state and surroundings.

Find your own variation of beautiful and hold onto it always.

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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