Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wine Wednesdays

Apparently I drank quite a bit of wine while in the Northfork last month as I still have reviews of wines that we tried out there!  This week, Bedell Cellars 2012 Chardonnay.  Last year Bedell was our first stop on our birthday celebration and I remember it being really great.  This chardonnay didn't disappoint.  It was light and crisp, and although fermented in 50% neutral French oak, I got no hint of oak whatsoever.  The nose was reminiscent of almonds and the taste was slightly citrusy with hints of green apple; a perfect summer wine.  We paired this with fresh local Blue Point oysters while dining at Noah's in Greenport. 


 
Wine:  Bedell Cellars 2012 Chardonnay
Purchased:  Noah's restaurant - Greenport, NY
Price:  Retail price $30
Would buy again: Yes

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Birthday CakeCakeCakeCake

This post is long over-due, but I wanted to make sure I documented my fabulous birthday weekend.  **Photo heavy post!!**

Check....another birthday down, time to embrace another year older and wiser....or whatever people say to make themselves feel better about getting older!  This year was a fun-filled weekend with my favorite people.  And I think it was the first year since celebrating in NY that it didn't rain all day!  I woke up to bright blue skies and sunshine and couldn't have been happier!

To kick off the weekend my best friend Aislinn flew in from Chicago.  We went to grab dinner in the neighborhood and while waiting for a table grabbed a drink with my cousin.  We were having so much fun at Beatrice Inn we decided to skip out on our original dinner thought and had a yummy chicken dinner at Beatrice.  At the stroke of midnight the waiters brought out brown sugar creme brulee with a candle and more champagne.  Kelly Ripa helped serenade "happy birthday" to me from the next booth over (just kidding not really, but she was at the next booth over!)  I can't think of a better way to usher in a new year.  



Saturday morning I woke up and walked to Uplift studios for my free birthday workout class.  I figured it was better to do something to offset the non-stop food fest of a weekend!  After class I treated myself to a pretzel croissant and iced coffee from City Bakery, oh and a chocolate chip cookie for later (see glad I did that workout!) I had heard so much about these croissants but I never expected them to be this amazing.  The fact that City Bakery is a block from my new office is dangerous!


 After a quick shower Aislinn and I went to meet up with Augusta who had reserved the best table at the Waverly Inn for an epic birthday brunch.  Champagne, oysters, eggs, and strawberry rhubarb crumble with yet another candle were all amazing.  

My oldest and dearest






After brunch we frolicked through the west village then went shopping in Soho.  



We came home, power napped and then woke up to get ready and keep the festivities going.  We met 3 other girlfriends at Aria wine bar, after a short snafu (they insisted that they called to confirm and whoever they spoke with said they didn't have a reservation, turns out because they were calling the wrong number) we were seated at the community table downstairs.  For $65 per person you can have unlimited food and wine for 2.5 hours, such a deal!  And something we took full advantage of, we ended up staying until they closed the restaurant at 2am.  I completely lost count of the number of wine bottles, but I've never laughed so hard or so much.  It was a perfect night.  


Red wine was allllll hers
Going wild with our tapas selection, unlimited knows no bounds 

Fernando didn't like us at first but he came around real quick....and even threw in a bottle of prosecco which wasn't part of the deal ;-)


One last birthday wish for 27
Our night could have easily ended there but we decided to keep the party going and ended up where else but Village Tavern.  Unfortunately (or fortunately) the late night Buck Hunter and Bleecker St. Pizza action wasn't documented on film.

Sunday morning we woke up and headed to the Little Owl for brunch.  We spent the afternoon mindlessly strolling the highline.  Then capped off the weekend with the fabulous Rihanna in concert at Barclays.







Here's to a fabulous year that started off just right!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wine Wednesdays

I recently discovered a new website for online wine buying, nakedwines.com.  Having never bought wine online before, I decided to take advantage of their $40 off initial order discount and give it a try.  I chose 3 whites, all ranging in price from $10-$20 per bottle.  After my discount and shipping I ended up paying just about $30 for 6 bottles, not bad!

The wine arrived to my office within 3 days, while convenient for shipping, I'm now taking 1 bottle home per day to distribute the weight (never mind the curious stares from my envious coworkers)!
 


 

Nakedwines.com works on an "angel investor" model, where customers, such as myself, can put aside $40 per month into my account to be used on wine purchases.  That money is then taken and invested into winemakers and as a "thank you" for my contribution, I enjoy preferential savings of up to 60% off the list price for these wines, as well as samples, invites to special events, tastings etc (although I haven't experienced any of these perks having just joined).  It's a pretty cool business model from what I can tell, by cutting out the "middle man" and putting investments into the winemakers/wine and skipping the marketing/non-tangible costs, they are able to pass great savings on to customers, and we get to try new and maybe more under-the-radar brands.  Win win!  There's also no cancellation fees, you can choose to cancel your $40 at any time, and if you don't like a wine, simply tell them and they will give you a full refund. 

Nakedwines is opening a tasting room on 1st and Coombs in downtown Napa, set to open by the end of the year.  I will definitely be checking them out when I'm home for Christmas!
 
Reviews on wines to come - stay tuned!

 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Hometown 4th of July!

I hadn't been home for the 4th of July since college.  With 2 days off work it was the perfect excuse to jet back west for the 4 day weekend.  It has always been one of my favorite holidays, summer is at it's peak but there's still so much more to come, any excuse to be by the pool, parades, fireworks, just perfect.  This year was no exception.  I spent 5 blissful days at home, enjoying my favorite parts of Napa Valley living:  leisurely walks into town for breakfast and coffee, farmers markets, neighborhood pig roast and fireworks, pool time, outdoor grilling, wine tasting, as well as some new experiences including a cruise around Lake Barryessa on my brother's "pleasure cruiser" and Sunday night bocce in St. Helena, THE social institution of the summer.  I had so much fun I just booked another trip for Labor Day....getting closer to living my dream of a bi-coastal lifestyle! 

The fog rolls in as we escape the city for home!

Particelli Family pig roast


What a hog!

Brother/Sister love

St. Helena Fireworks

Although I haven't been to this party in over 10 years, it hasn't changed.  Everyone brings an array of fireworks to the party and for 45 minutes two guys with blowtorches keep the party entertained with non-stop fireworks! 


Morning ride to the farmer's market

We just couldn't resist.....maple bar with bacon at the farmer's market!

Doing what we do best....wine tasting for Nicole's birthday!

Our captain for the day

Sun setting over Lake Barryessa

Farmer's market bounty and two homemade dips for a backyard party

Backyard living

Best friends for 15 years!

Very competitive

The meal is really the reason I came.....

Poolside - my happy place



Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wine Wednesdays

One recent rainy weekend in Montauk we took the non-beach day as an opportunity to explore the surrounding areas.  We drove to Sag Harbor for lunch and then made our way to Channing Daughters vineyard for some wine tasting.  After tasting through their extensive collection, my favorite was their Brick Kiln 2011 Chardonnay.  With neutral oak it was light, dry and well balanced.  Notes of apple and pear as well as light citrus.



We took a bottle home and enjoyed it with our home-grilled meal:  fresh swordfish, grilled pineapple, and grilled veggies!  It was no day at the beach but still so much fun!


Wine:  Channing Daughters 2011 Brick Kiln Chardonnay
Purchased:  Channing Daughters Winery, Bridgehampton
Price:  Retail price $22.00
Would buy again:  Yes


 

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