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Archive for the category “Wine”

Soirée Wine Decanter

Soirée is a glass globe that fits into the tops of wine bottles that acts as a decanter.  When the wine is poured, it swirls through the globe before it goes into the wine glass.

I had the pleasure of trying out the Soirée thanks to Marshall Coffy, the Sales Director.

I asked him for tips on which wines to try it with.

He replied, “Soirée is perfect for aerating wines that are tightly structured, have a high alcohol content, or wines that are muted.   For instance, “new world” wines from warm climates will have an enhanced bouquet and show richer flavors when poured with a Soirée.  Yet, even “Old World” wines or white wines will show heightened attributes despite common belief.  Young new world wine however, will present  the most dramatic effect.”

I sampled several wines with the Soirée, side-by-side the un-decanted versions.  Glasses poured through the Soirée were indeed fuller and “juicier.”

I also love how the Soirée comes with its own little stand, perfect for storing upright in a cabinet or even displaying on a kitchen counter or shelf.

Author of The Green Year Valentine’s Day Tips

The Green Year: 365 Small Things You Can Do to Make a Big Difference is a cool book by Jodi Helmer filled with tips on how simple things can add up to benefit the Earth.

Believe it or not (husbands, boyfriends, men, are you reading?) Valentine’s Day is coming right up.

Jodi has some ideas for how we can add some green to the holiday:

* Order organic roses for your Valentine. Conventional roses are sprayed with chemicals to kill insects and mildew and are dunked in preservatives to keep them from rotting before they’re shipped. Organic roses are grown without pesticides or preservatives.

* Surprise your Valentine with a candlelit dinner. Turning the lights out isn’t just romantic, it saves energy. To make the evening even more eco-friendly, opt for soy candles over candles made from paraffin. Soy candles are made from natural ingredients, last longer than paraffin candles and reduce the amount of soot released into the air by 90 percent.

* Toast your Valentine with organic wine. Organic wines are made with grapes that have not been sprayed with pesticides and contain no added sulfites (acids that occur naturally in most wines but are often added as preservatives). Organic wines from local growers are the most environmentally-friendly choice because they have not been shipped long distances.

* Consider buying a piece of estate jewelry for your Valentine. The pieces are more unique than the jewelry sold in big box stores and estate jewelry is the ultimate in reducing, reusing and recycling.

Boyfriends, husbands, crushes- we promise, even though we read this too we will be act totally surprised when you do these things for us!

Fondue in Vermont Last Autumn

Lately I’ve been missing being outside.  Scurrying among buildings and subway stations in the cold does not count.

So this photograph is a lovely escape.  I took it in September when we were in southern Vermont, visiting our good friends Emily and Ellen who had moved there from New York City two months prior.

The weekend was packed with beautiful sites, good conversation and delicious eats- including this table of appetizers one evening before dinner.  Ridiculously rich gouda fondue, homemade croutons, organic apple slices from the orchard we’d visited that morning, green olives, and a full-bodied red wine.

All this we enjoyed around a fire in their backyard as their labradoodle, Scout, begged for samples.  Aaaahh.

These days I’ve nearly forgotten what it’s like for daylight to stay past 5pm.

Maslow 6 Wine Seminar on Cote de Beaune, Burgundy

What’s a better way to spend a weeknight than at a wine tasting?

This past Tuesday was made quite enjoyable thanks to Maslow 6.  In a loftlike space in Tribeca, Maslow 6’s wine director, Mollie Battenhouse, presented 9 wines from Burgundy’s Cote de Beaune.  Mollie is as educational for other wine professionals as everyday wine lovers; she promotes dialogue–even disagreements–and intertwines history, geography and stories to keep everyone engaged.

We tasted 4 chardonnays and 5 pinot noirs, all from different villages with distinct noses and flavors.  Each attendee was given a helpful packet that included wine descriptions, maps, and even an order form to have your favorite wines delivered to your apartment the following day (thanks to new storefront at 211b West Broadway).

Quite fortuitously I was seated next to the cheese and pate tray, which I later discovered had been selected in a bit of a rush by the husband of Maslow 6’s founding partner and CEO, Keri Jackson Kunzle.  He has a knack for it. I met Keri, her husband and his mother (visiting from Hampshire, England) and felt I could have talked to them all for hours.  Same goes for the dozen or so others I met!  I’ve been to many lovely wine tastings, but never has the social atmosphere been as genial, welcoming and full of successful and interesting characters as at this seminar at Maslow 6.

Wine Rack for Hanging on Wall

This is the wine rack we have hanging at home.

The story of its acquisition is typical of young adults, I suppose.  My fiance’s old roommate had gotten it from a girl he was seeing, along with a sketch of a nude woman that went behind the wine rack.  I think this girl had been an artist and the sketch was her own, though I’m hazy on that detail. In any case, it fit the aesthetic of their Upper East Side bachelor pad.

My fiance’s old roommate and this girl broke up, and a while later the lease was up and the roommates parted ways.  We ended up with the wine rack (intentionally or unintentionally I have no idea) and we did away with the nude sketch.  Now it hangs in our apartment.  We only keep empty bottles on it because we’re not sure how strong the wall and nails are.

Wine Cork Trivet

Streamline Wine Cork Trivet is just $11 and puts to use wine corks you may want to keep to remember special bottles.  I think it would look nice on a table and is also functional for serving food from hot pots and pans.

Wine Bottle Labels: Funnier than I

My crazily-talented friend Ellie designed wine labels for her design company, Flywheel, to give away for holiday gifts.

I’m full of indecision.  Whether I could justify becoming a client-quickly!-to get a leftover bottle of this awesome wine.

Whether I’d choose the wine that complements beef or duck or pork.

Whether I could ever be as funny as the backside of the label:

Popptag Wine Tags: Gifts and re-gifts

The next time you arrive at a party, bottle of red/white/bubbly in hand, surprise your hosts with Popptags.

Special Popptags for the holiday season include: 

              ‘Tis the season to get tipsy!

              You deserve the best.  I could afford this.  Happy Holidays!

Poppags, 3 for $9.95

25 Days of Christmas Gifts: Wine Thermometer

Whenever I was invited to a birthday party as a child, my mom took me to Target and let me roam free to choose a gift in the $12 range (a price that didn’t seem arbitrary until now; I guess I figured this was a universal birthday-gift-giving-price). Problem was, I always came back with a gift I wanted for myself and I would be upset, and inexplicably shocked, to have to part with it.

So the story would continue, as an adult, with this wine thermometer. It clamps right onto a standard wine bottle and compares the bottle’s actual temperature against guidelines for chardonnay, pinot noir, and port, among others.

Best of all, it’s just $9.50. Enough money left to add a card (or a chocolate bar).

Beaujolais Nouveau: Today’s the day

Today marks the release of the 2008 Beaujolais Nouveau.

Many oenophiles say the quality of the 3rd-Thursday-of-November-spectacle doesn’t measure up to the hype. And this year’s crop is particularly weak.

Nonetheless, I’m planning to buy a bottle. The labels are pretty. It’s a fun way to celebrate the beginning of the end of the year. Also, I enjoy tracking where I’ve been when I’ve tasted past vintages of Beaujolais Nouveau. The first was in college.

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