Tag Archives: sonoma

MIMM: Well That Worked Out!

The winners of the Bristol Bliss giveaway are Steph, Heather, and SmileyJoyLove! Congratulations and I will be contacting you for your shipping info so that you can receive your scrub. Remember to check out the Bristol Bliss Etsy shop for natural beauty goodies for yourself…or a custom gift basket for a holiday gift!

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This weekend taught me a few lessons and gave me some great ammo for the next time I’m feeling down. I always need these kinds of weekends to prove to myself that the fun in my life is not a “bad habit”…it’s marvelous!

Join Katie‘s marvelous weekly link-up!

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New Year’s Eve: The Homebody Edition

I’m continuing my series of better-late-than-never recaps – I never got a chance to tell you guys how I ended 2011!

What happens when you graduate college and enter the working world? Nights out as a fabulous 21+ working woman, with money to burn on martinis and ritzy dresses? Intimate dinners with dashing men I meet at happy hours? Ha! What if I told you that I chose to spend my New Year’s Eve in glasses, sweatpants, and a sports bra? Would you believe me? Well, I have the proof right here:

Yes I'm posting this photo. And no you can't see the sports bra, but just believe me.

My friend Kelly (I’ve known her since high school!) and I were thrilled when we found out that we both desired the exact same kind of New Year’s Eve – one that would take place at home, on the couch, in front of TV specials.

Don’t worry, we were still somewhat young-professional-like…we drank wine! We ate cheese – and olives! Classy and sophisticated, right? Kelly even tried her first olive (she liked it, as a fellow sodium lover). The cheeses we ate were a sharp cheddar and a spicy pepperjack, and went so well on the little pumpernickel toasts Kelly provided.

How cute is this little cutting board? Underneath all the food, it says “may your glass always be half full”!

Kelly has a major sweet tooth, so she was kind enough to pick up dessert

We all know who the real star of the evening was…

The wine, which I purchased upon recommendation from Elliott of the always-dependable Sonoma Wine & Spirits, was an Italian red import called Icardi Barbera d’Asti Tabaren 2008. I say was because we finished the whole bottle. Check out the size of those wine glasses! This wine is actually organic, but the vineyard owner, who seems very sassy from what I hear, does not buy into the whole “certified” organic procedure and the fees associated with it. I can understand that! It was honestly the best red wine I’ve ever bought. I’m not exaggerating! Love Italian wines.

Here’s our full spread…

I also provided the above pictured dips (TJ’s horseradish hummus and Cedar’s tabouleh), and dipping mechanisms in the form of baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, and TJ’s veggie chips. Kelly and I joked that it looked like we were throwing a party for a bunch of hungry people – but nope, just two hungry girls!

I had such a great time catching up with Kel, hating on obvious marketing ploys on NYE specials (we’re both media enthusiasts), singing kid’s movie songs (“Swan Princess” anyone?), and of course feeding our faces. It was honestly the perfect New Year’s Eve.

Predictable (and late) question for today – What did you do for New Year’s Eve?

Vinifera Imports: Italian Wine Tasting

My go-to spot for fantastic wine, Sonoma Wines & Spirits of Glastonbury, held three tastings the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday before Christmas. Joe and I attended the grand finale on Saturday (Christmas Eve) with Jeff of Vinifera Imports, a provider of wonderful Italian wines. I enjoyed each wine that I tried, but there was a favorite white and a favorite red, as there usually is.

Both whites were poured chilled, which of course really added to their flavors. The Pra Soave was my favorite white. It was nice and light, and so very refreshing. A fun fact – this wine was in “Romeo and Juliet”! I did like the second white, the Sant’ Elena Sauvignon, as well. It’s actually a Sauvignon Blanc, but due to labeling restrictions, cannot be called what it is! It had a fuller body, making it not quite as refreshing as the Pra Soave.

The next wine was the Pelissero Dolcetto d’Alba, a tasty, lighter-bodied red from last year.

I really liked it, and could tell it was a real Italian red, but the next wine completely overshadowed it with its…well…wonder. And at $40/bottle, I would say it should!

The Sapaio Volpolo was an experience in itself. The scent alone gave off the strong aroma of fine oak barrels. The taste was a whole other story – never before have I been able to see the process that a wine goes through, from vine to bottle, just from its flavor. That’s probably the reason why the only word I can think of to describe this pour is “sensational”.

The label is very fitting – this wine was crowned king of the tasting by me, and I’m sure by many others who participated. I’m not sure if the cheapskate in me could ever spend $40 on a bottle of wine, but I do understand that there is definitely a long, extensive process that goes into making those bottles. You may not be able to see it, but you can certainly taste it.

Have you ever spent money on an expensive bottle of wine? Was it worth it?

Planned and Spontaneous Wine Tastings

Quick reminder – don’t forget to enter the Shabby Apple necklace giveaway! Ends tomorrow at 11:59PM EST!

I’ve blogged plenty about my favorite local package store, Sonoma Wines & Spirits. But they keep giving me reasons to love them, so I’m gonna continue writing about their fabulous wine selection – no apologies here.

In fact, they are offering tastings both today and tomorrow on location in Glastonbury, so if you are a local reader, be sure to stop by for free wine samples + education!

I attended a free Saturday evening tasting recently, in which I tried the first sparkling wine that I can honestly say I enjoyed! It had already sold out by the time I arrived, but was a nice preview for a possible future purchase. This wine, made by J Vineyards, located in the Russian River Valley in Cali, would be wonderful at a Christmas or New Year’s Eve party.

The next two wines for tasting consisted of a Chardonnay and Cabernet by Norton Ridge, a “winemaker’s project”. Each wine is given the personality of the wine maker, because he or she is the one that chooses the fruit sources that go into it. The Chardonnay was quite good – definitely something I can see myself having a glass or two of. The Cabernet was quite tasty, as usual, but was not stand-out to me like the sparkling wine.

My favorite of the four was also the grand finale – Chionetti Dolcetto di Dogliani Briccolero 2007. I had never had a red like this before, and was beyond impressed. I could really taste the high-quality of this Italian red and really wanted to buy a bottle – but it was a bit out of my price range, at $21.96. Luckily, Elliott the expert recommended something comparable at $15. I can’t wait to crack it open soon!

As if that wasn’t enough wine (wait, you can never have enough wine, so forget that I said that), I stopped into Sonoma the other day to pick up something for a friend and was greeted with a half-glass of Chianti – a spontaneous tasting, thanks to a salesman who had stopped by earlier that day to deliver a complimentary bottle!

The bottle pictured is a 2008, but the wine I sampled was actually from 2007 – double score! This is a nice wine at $35/bottle!

Thanks to Sonoma for continuing to feed my wine fascination!