Westside is Bestside

This is the neighborhood I grew up in. My house is certainly one of those that has succumbed to the fire. A very wise woman wrote today, “Reminds us of what is important. Our trust in God, and our relationships with others. Everything else is destroyed at the drop of a match.”

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Heaven is in Oregon

Image Courtesy of Angel Vine. Note, this is a more expensive bottle and probably also delicious.

2009 Angel Vine Columbia Valley Zinfandel. Holy Moses, literally this time. Apparently angels on the vine translate to pure heaven in a glass. For those of you who drink red wine in the summertime (you know who you are) I commend you for your commitment to health and antioxidants and recommend that you try this bottle immediately. Or a glass, or a bottle, which ever you want. It’s summertime, get on a roof and get drinking! If it’s as sweltering where you are as it is where I am, you may want to keep the bottle under the air conditioning though…yikes.

  While I was mosey-ing around the internet for information on the winery, I found this picture of Zinfandel grapes (on the left) and Pinot Noir grapes (on the right). Car keys on top. I’m not really sure what any of this means, but I thought it was an interesting picture.

Zinfandels are infamous for their less-expensive, White-Zinfandel manifestations. These grapes are fruity and sweet, and therefore can be bottled in some pretty awful tasting ways. A good Zinfandel, like this one here, is fruity and dry, a little sweet but not in a tastes-like-the-wine-from-church kind of way.

These wines are very much American, this was the most commonly planted grape in California before it was overtaken by the Cabernet Sauvignon. And I am telling you, this is a must-try bottle, I mean it. Be Patriotic. Drink Wine.

Inspiration for a Wednesday Night

It hasn’t stopped raining for days it feels like. Therefore, I have been stuck inside for days being subjected to both Bar Studying videos and all of these new tumblr blogs explaining how terrible bar studying is through the use of “memes” as I am told they are called. Clever as it is, I don’t feel as though a Darth Vader Shoulder-Shake accurately depicts my feelings about third year of law school. But I’m just one person. Who happens to think, enough of this already. 

Luckily, though, I have plans to venture out of the house later this evening, and wouldn’t you know that means a glass or two of wine and a chance to get dressed up. I’ve been pretty obsessed with the outfits that a few-fellow bloggers have been putting together, and being that its June, and therefore summer colors are adequate, its miserable out which pretty much opens up my entire closet.

Leandra Medine, pure brilliance.

Columbine Smille I want to be you.

chicmuse.com pure beauty

So, I’m not sure any of this works for this evening, because we are staying sort of on the outside of town, but on the other hand we are having wine before hand so I find it unlikely I make it out of the house before throwing on glitter, animal print, or just “it all to the wind” (get it) and putting on a solo-piece just so I can thoughtfully pose everywhere and think “What happens if I have to go to the bathroom?” 

I’ve been drinking a lot of wine (no Mom, not a lot of wine. Ok a lot of wine) that I haven’t been telling you about and by golly its time to catch up. Also, that gives me an excuse to pour a glass right now, even though it’s not quite 5 pm. It’s for the photo and I wouldn’t want to waste it!

The first, a light Rioja rosé from Spain. The color is what sold me on it (I like my rosés rose-y) as well as the grape combination. It’s largely a Garnacha and Viura, which is a blend of both red and white grapes. It’s easy to tell upon drinking, because it has a lot of body, but it is crisp and refreshing at the same time. I say that it’s easy,  but it wasn’t until I looked it up that I realized it included white grapes! I feel like that last sentence could use a Meme. Plus, look at the color. SO Rose-y!

The other two are French, and I don’t want to overwhelm your senses with alcohol. I’ll update you soon! It’ll be like a surprise!

Patio Drinking Must Have

I know I have been preaching rosé in the summertime, and now that it’s summertime, I am switching it up on you. Sort of, trust me, there are plenty of pink wines in my wine celler on the shelf in my house. But this white is just way too good to keep off your drinking patio.

Clean Slate Riesling. Get it in your glass. It’s not expensive and its beyond delicious. I can’t remember the last time I had a white wine (for this price especially) that was this good. That’s not true, there was one, but I can’t remember what it was. Which is really a non-issue unless I can remember it of course.

You may notice that the bottle in the picture is empty. But all I can say is…practice what you preach. It’s summer, I’m thirsty, I’m drinking it.

I’d love to hear what you think of this bottle! Let me know what your favorite summer beverage/bottle is!

Back with Bags

Under my eyes and under my arm.

I know I said I was back, but now I am really back. Actually this time. Sometimes, little life-y things like landlords and graduation parties and whatnot get in the way. Of blogging. About my life.

Here’s an instagram recap:

 

The good news, as I hope is clear, is that all those activities were marvelous, and delicious. The better news is that little Phillip and Little Marc (above) arrived almost a week early which means its blogging time again! Oh heavens how I’ve missed it (and you dear readers).

Come see their new adventures aka stay tuned because I forgot to bring my camera cord today so I can’t upload the pictures. It’s a soft opening/return. Except for that it’s my second soft opening. Ok bye….

Inspiring Bottle of Wine…and Some Overdue Business

First wine, then award…

Maybe I have been over drinking, maybe wine has tasted a little dull to me because I’ve been having too much. Or I have been picking out terrible bottles, but that is less likely because I have amazing taste. In any case, I opened the best bottle of wine the other night, and I thought it only appropriate to share.

The bottle is a 2009 FontanaFredda Langhe Nebbiolo. I am trying to think of something bad to say about it, but I don’t have anything bad to say. In fact, I just took a couple more sips, and I still don’t have anything bad to say. Then the bf made fun of me for pouring such a large glass. But then he took a sip. It’s like I can see the future.

Find this bottle here. Its floral, a little fruity and a little spicy. I honestly hate to be so vague about it, but to me this is what I want when I buy a bottle of red. It isn’t bland, like some table wine-esque varieties can be, but its not so overwhelming that I can’t sit and write a blog post about it without eating something with it. Forgive the double negatives. It is satisfying without being boring, and I am sure this will become a staple purchase in my wine cellar…which is actually an IKEA shelf in my hallway.

This is typical of the Nebbiolo grape which is grown largely in the Piedmont region of Italy. It serves as the primary grape for big Italian reds like the Barolo and Barbaresco. It’s apparently very hard to grow, and therefore many of the bottles created with this grape are really quite expensive. Younger bottles are typically less so. Also, these wines may be greatly “improved” by decanting. And drinking.

I have been writing a final paper all day, and feel as though I used up all of my abilities to transition between thoughts and phrases and so that is all the nonsense I can say for now I think. I mean, I’m sure I can say a lot more nonsense, but I think it better if I stop now before I just start talking about irrelevant details. Like my severe annoyance with the wide variety of paper towel dispensers. Why must there be so many different ways to get a paper towel/dry your hands?!?! Ok, I’m done. Seriously. But seriously……whhyyyy????

Award–Kreativ Blogger Award!

Rules of Conduct: Bloggers who win the award must complete the following steps:

1. Thank the blogger who gave you the award and provide a link.
2. List 7 interesting things about yourself that your readers might find interesting
3. Nominate 7 other bloggers, provide links, and let them know!

I have been nominated for a Kreativ Blogger award by the wonderful and talented Deb Brunson, author of Terrified Tastebud!! Ironically, or perhaps not ironically, she is a pathologist-turned personal trainer-turned family doctor-turned cyclist extraordinaire-turned chef. And she lives in Boulder! Home of my alma mater! Twinsies….kind of! Her blog is full of recipes, cooking tips and life lessons and I highly recommend it. Plus she obviously has great taste in blog reading (mine).

Seven interesting things about myself:

1. I make the best grilled cheese in the world. I also tell anyone who eats my grilled cheese to tell me its the best thing they have ever had, so maybe my sampling isn’t entirely accurate, but in any case, I make a damn good grilled cheese.

2. In middle school, I was 5’2″ and wore a size 10 shoe. I am now 5’10” and wear an 8.5. Puberty was rough for me.

3. I decided to volunteer to “save sea turtles” in Costa Rica for two weeks with a friend of mine. She, from Copenhagen, and I, from Denver, decided to take this trip over cheesecake at Starbucks in Tokyo. I have never again ordered cheesecake with my coffee and it was without a doubt, the best experience of my life.

4. I have the best brother in the whole wide world. He makes me laugh harder than anyone else on the planet.

5. I had a bit of an issue sleeping last year, and took Ambien for a few weeks. After taking Ambien once, I proceeded to rap the entire Kanye West “Paris” song, and then order a pair of Alexander Wang boots, complete with a 6.5″ heel and a blue toe. They looked like Austin-Powers-Space-Boots. Even though I felt like my subconscious was trying to tell me something, I reluctantly sent them back after I realized they hurt my feet just sitting in them.

6. I have like seven best friends in the whole world and they all live in different states, and I miss them pretty much every day.

7. I have really really long toes. I would probably wear a 7.5 if I didn’t have monkey feet. I can pinch quite hard with my big toe and my middle toe. It is a little bit gross, but its also quite a useful ability for an unsuspecting boyfriend who says something inappropriate.

Seven Other Blogs: I am still a bit new at this, so I imagine most of these people have already been nominated, but here are just a few of my favorite reads

1. Coffeeserveddaily.com. The tag line is “1,000 cups of coffee, one day at a time.”  It is full of beautiful pictures, great stories, and wonderful coffee. It’s like drinking a cup while you read!

2. Theconfedaracyofspinsters.com. They are completely hilarious and totally relatable. The girls discuss their fears of becoming bridezillas and the politics of “unfriending.”

3. Thecravingchronicles.com. Beautiful photography, wonderful recipes. All around just super great.

4. TheSundayBottles.com. Another couple really into drinking wine and wine pairing. I love their recipes and treks to find bottles of good wine and then drink them. Plus, their tag line is “Drinking to the Bottom of Things” and that to me is just what my life should be, and so I love them.

5. FiveandSpice.com. First of all, what a great name. Second of all, don’t visit this blog when you are hungry. Unless you are close to a well-stocked kitchen because oh man it is delicious. Currently up on the recipe block? Pasta with Burrata and Kale-Roasted Garlic Sauce. Plus I have to give some love to fellow Boston-Bloggers!

6.Downtownromantic.com. Amazing style, great photography. I check it almost every day to see what this fabulous lady is up to and wearing.

7. Missrenaissance.com. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous, I want to eat and wear everything she…eats and wears and photographs. Love love.

8. I know its only supposed to be 7, but kittiesandcouture.com is the style home of an incredibly sweet, stylish woman (who happens to be a total knockout) and I love seeing what she comes up for each post!

Thanks again Deb and all my readers mom and grandma for your continued reading and support! I truly means the absolute whole-wide world to me!!!!


Outdoorsy Outfits

Spring time is upon us. Finally. I shouldn’t whine because we didn’t really have a winter. But, this is my last summer before I join the ranks of the real world (theoretically anyway) and I fully intend to spend much of it drinking during the day. On patios. Being outdoorsy-and-what-not.

Getting as much sunshine and fresh air as all those suckers who camp and hike, but looking better and remaining within close proximity to indoor plumbing and air conditioning. I’ll have the Vitamin D, hold the bugs, thanks.

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All of these outfits just scream rooftop deck to me, beer in plastic cups, fresh salads hamburgers and french fries. Rose of course. I just purchased a bottle of Isabel Mondavi Cabernet Rose. It’s a deep red color, and slightly effervescent. I had it last night with homemade tacos, and it stood up quite well with spicy food. I think it would also do well with barbeque and perhaps some straw wedges on the side (here…heaven incarnate). Pair them with a green scalloped skirt, epitome of fashion this spring (here). You could buy that $200 t-shirt up there, but I think this “Celine Me Alone” one is beyond cool and I’m not sure why I don’t own it yet.

My favorite bar in college had the best roof. Unfortunately it was shut down for either money laundering, or embezzlement (so hard to keep track of these days…) and last time I was there, the bar tender fell in love with my best friend and poured us drinks until I face planted. Seriously. The next morning, I left my last class of college ever to throw up in the bathroom. I would say “sorry Mom” as per usual, but she knows this because she came up to Boulder to pick me and celebrate, but then literally just had to pick me up.

I’m not going to lie, my experience in Boston has been sort of void of rooftop bars. There is a great one at Atlantic Beer Garden in the Seaport District, and the new Legal Sea Foods has a pretty ridiculous view of the bay here in Boston. We also have a whole street pretty much dedicated to eating outside in the Spring time, but I generally enjoy drinking more when I am at least three stories off the ground. I’m from Colorado, it feels like home up there.

Where do you live? Where do you drink up high or down low outdoors? I need some new vacay ideas, and anywhere with booze and a patio is pretty much where I want to be. So let me know where your favorites are. Here in Boston, anywhere on the East Coast, anywhere where you want to be if you are someone or want to be someone. Ok, I promise if you invite me I won’t say nonsense like that….

Just a Smalltown Grape…

Yes I went back to Urban Grape and Yes I bought the sampler and Yes a bunch of Roses, and No they aren’t all gone. Or are they? I don’t have to tell you. But they aren’t, that would be crazy. It’s Easter weekend, which means, don’t drink 6 bottles of wine at the same time. Actually, I’m not sure that advice is really seasonal. Anywhooo…

Image courtesy of Qweddings.com

While there we learned about the Languedoc region of Southern France (see, I’m sayin’ these people mean business) which is the largest wine producing region in France. In fact, it produces more wine than all of California combined. Can you combine California? There is only one state, lots of regions…. Grammar-conundrum.

Typically, the reds are a blend of Syrah, Mourvedre, Carignan. We tried a Rose from Corbieres which was light and spicy. Perfect perfect for summer.

The benefit of these wines is that they don’t come with the increased price of wines from Burgundy, Cotes de Rhone, or Champagne. Languedoc simply doesn’t have the same brand power. At the same time, its such a big producer that there is a lot to choose from!

Go to the wine store, resist the urge to be intimidated by the lack of English on the bottle. Drink Deliciousness.

What I Drank on Wednesday Night

I had to write this in past tense, because there was a little bit of a twist on my normal weekday drinking habit, and that was oil painting. I wanted to write this in advance, but as it turns out, I wasn’t sure if it was going to be fun in a fun way, or fun in a what-the-hell-this-is-hilarious kind of way.

Update: We had so much fun painting it was ridiculous. Although we were forced to listen to U2 all night (which I’m sure we can all agree is the worst band ever created), Dorothy (see below) described it as a birthday party where you get to leave with a present. We both agreed that the painting for the night (see below) looked like Armageddon-without-gravity-plus-jellybeans, and despite the fact that we tried to hang it up in someone else’s house on the way home from the bar so we wouldn’t have to look at it all the time, it sure was fun to make.

Back to past tense, Nevertheless, we started with Slane Castle Whiskey (Whisky), which is one of my new favorite bottles of anything. First, because its delicious. Second, its not expensive. And Third, its actually made in Slane Castle, and they have concerts at the castle, and I just love the whole ambiance of everything this bottle originates from. The family and the castle has been producing Whiskey since the 18th century. Its floral, and it really comes alive with ice cubes. It’s great on its own, but it makes quite the old fashioned as well. It’s the perfect accompaniment to Mad Men too, I love the nostalgia of it.

Anyway, painting…

I had some pretty rad black and white patterned jeans on (here…I think you can see I went through a pretty serious Rag & Bone phase) that I wish made it into the picture, but that’s ok.

The bf has commented on my overall good mood since this night, and we have agreed that all I need in life is arts & crafts, alcohol and cheese to be happy. So that’s my new plan…

When The Boys Are Away, Drink Some Rose

So I’ve mentioned them before, but if Urban Grape wasn’t already my favorite wine shop (which they are) then now they are my more favoriter wine shop. Most favoritist. Which is impossible because they are already my favorite. Anyone still reading???

In the last week or so, Urban Grape opened its selection of Roses, and Lord help me if I don’t make it over there today. Every time I go into Urban Grape I come out with a bottle of wine that tastes nothing like anything I have tried before (in a good way). T.J. and his staff have compiled such a wonderful and unique compilation of bottles and producers that it seems impossible to go wrong. In fact, I find it hard to believe there is a bad bottle of wine in there…

But lets just say there is, for argument’s sake. (Assuming arguendo as they say in the intellectual world, when trying to, oh I don’t know, say its ok for the federal government to pick your doctor or, sheesh hmmm tell you how to spend all your money…) T.J. won’t let you have it. When you walk through the door, the staff pours you a glass of wine, starts chatting and helps you discover what you like and what you might not like as much. It’s brilliant. Then, by the way they have organized their selection, through weight, rather than by region, you can kind of guess that you like a whole wall full of wines rather than just a bottle. That way, you are free to discover new wines that you can feel more confident you will like, and if you don’t feel confident, you have an expertly trained staff to backstop you. It’s brilliant.

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More to the point, rose. I cannot wait to see what is going on over there and give a few a try. Sunny weather is always my impetus for my first rose, and even though its dreary out, I’ve already had my first bottle, so that statement is irrelevant. I broke the seal as they say in frat houses. 

Which I shouldn’t be saying because the whole point of this post is that the “frat house” of sorts that I associate myself with (if you consider Ivy-league educated, future lawyers “fratty,” which let me tell you, you should) is away on a softball-and-drinking trip which gives me time to finally finish bedazzling, settle the fight with my landlord, and paint my nails with glitter.

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