Rosés or Roses?

I’ll take the Rosés, please!

From Italy and France, here are my two current favorite Rosés perfect for everyday or a little gift for that special someone (instead of or with the roses)!

Santa Cristina Cipresseto Toscana IGT Rosato 2014

  • Variety: Sangiovese and other complimentary varieties from Tuscany
  • Aroma: Red fruits
  • Taste: A bold yet balanced wine full of raspberry and strawberry notes
  • Price: $14
  • My thoughts: Love a Rosato (Italian Rosé) and this Santa Cristina is a great one full of my favorite color, pink! The wine was given it’s name for the cypress trees you see across the Tuscan landscape. Look forward to trying the 2015!

Cipresseto Rosato

Gérard Bertrand Cote des Roses 2014

  • Variety: Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah from Languedoc
  • Aroma: Refreshing strawberry
  • Taste: Light, fresh and fruity
  • Price: $15
  • My thoughts: It’s like sipping a glass of Rosé on the Mediterranean! This classic combo of French Rosé grapes is the perfect example from the South of France. And bonus…Rose on the bottom of the beautiful bottle.

Gerard Bertrand Rose

Cote de Roses-1

Cheers, Saluté, Santé to Rosé!

Golden Globes Cutie Golden Minis

Awards Season 2016 is upon us which means one fabulous beverage…Champagne!

To celebrate Moët & Chandon‘s 25th Anniversary as the official Champagne of the Golden Globes, Moët has created a home viewing party kit just for you!

Moët Mini Champagne Caddy - - Good Spirits. Delivered.

The Moët Mini Caddy includes 6 Moët Impérial minis with golden snap-in mini flutes in a cute reusable caddy. Moët imported special golden bubble Minis, which will only be served on the red carpet and are included in this 25th Anniversary Caddy. Order yours on Reserve Bar.

For a glimpse at all the yummies served at this year’s Golden Globes, have a look here. For recipes, including this year’s official Golden Globes cocktail Moët Ruby Red, click here.

Cheers to The Globes and Awards Season!



Sileni Estates NANO: THE Wine for On-the-Go

I’ve discovered THE wine for on-the-go…Sileni Estates NANO.

Sileni Estates Nano

I picked it up on at the beach in Sea Island, Georgia at their market (more on this fabulous place in a new post). NANO is the perfect on-the-go size and comes in a plastic bottle with a cute cup. If Sea Island has it, it must be good.

Sileni Vineyards and Winery is based near Hastings, Hawke’s Bay, on the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand. In Roman mythology Bacchus, the God of Wine, had wise and loyal companions know a Sileni, who loved to celebrate good food, good wine and good company. Thus their name.

I bought and tried the Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.

Sileni Estates NANO Sauvignon Blanc

  • Variety: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
  • Region: Marlborough, New Zealand
  • Aroma: Grapefruit and tropical fruits
  • Taste: Classic tropical and gooseberry flavors
  • Price: $4.99 for a plastic bottle and cute cup (basically one glass of wine)
  • My thoughts: As I said above, this is the best single serving wine-on-the-go I’ve found in the U.S. It’s a classic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

Look at this great line up on their website. Must find more.

Sileni Nano | The glass of wine you can take anywhere


Cheers to summer wine on-the-go!

#pinkiesdown: it’s wine in a can

Love that hashtag. You’ll find it on Union Wine Company’s Underwood Pinot in a Can. It sums up their approach to wine and wine making…making crafted wines from Oregon that are affordable.

Underwood is just one of three wine brands from Union Wine Company.  They also have Kings Ridge and Alchemist.

Union Wine Company

Underwood draws from the diverse palette of vineyards and wine growing regions that Oregon offers to create approachable everyday drinking wine.

I’d been interested in trying the wine in a can since it came out and finally came across it at Cordial Wine in DC’s Union Market. And boy was it fun popping a can of wine. 🙂

Underwood Pinot in a Can

Underwood Pinot Gris

  • Variety: 100% Pinot Gris
  • Aroma: Peach and grapefruit
  • Taste: Peach, grapefruit, pear
  • Price: $24 for a 4 pack one their website. One can is 375ml so half a bottle.
  • My thoughts: Loved it! Definitely gonna order more of this for the summer…perfect for the beach, picnics, concerts in the park. You can smell the goodness in the can and the taste is right on Oregon Pinot Gris.

Underwood Pinot Noir

  • Variety: 100% Pinot Noir
  • Aroma: Cherry
  • Taste: Cherry, raspberry, hints of cocoa
  • Price: $24 for a 4 pack on their website. One can is 375ml so half a bottle.
  • My thoughts: Picked up a little cherry on the nose in the can. Taste had much more depth but a light Pinot Noir. Still a great summer red option…would be great with a slight chill.

Also ordering their Underwood Rosé bottle. Looks gorgeous and only $12.

You can’t go wrong with Oregon Pinot! #pinkiesdown cheers!

Travel Tips from the Experts: Samantha Brown & Rick Steves

This year’s Travel & Adventure Show brought together the best in travel experts including two of my favorite, Samantha Brown and Rick Steves.

Attending the show in Washington, DC, I listened in to both of their talks and here’s some of the tips I picked up…

Samantha Brown

I love Samantha for her approachable style and friendly personality. Meeting her in person was a treat … she’s the same person you see on tv.

Samantha Brown

When we lived in Europe, we downloaded many of her shows on iTunes before visiting places like Athens, Venice, Zurich, Salzburg and more.

Samantha shared her ‘go to’ resources for travel…Frommers and Rick Steves. And she loves using travel agents to take care of the details.

Current apps she’s using in her travels…

  • Flight Aware
  • Pocket Earth: offline maps and travel guides
  • Google Translate: It works offline and get this…it now has a Word Lens, just point your camera to a sign or text, like a menu, and it translates the text without data connection!!
  • Rick Steves: He’s got tons of Audio Tours you can download on his website and a full Audio Europe Series on iTunes.

Rick Steves

Rick Steves’ presentation was on his very useful Europe Through the Back Door.

One of the best things about Rick Steve  as a travel resource is that he and his team update their tours, guidebooks, info every year. They are constantly doing the hit and miss work so you don’t have to. Then they share the hits!

Rick Steves at the Travel Show

Among the great facts and stories Rick shared, here were some of his useful tips…

  • Get your hands on the travel info in the way you like to travel. It can be Rick or any resource.
  • Travel as if you’re a local or temporary European. That’s what his resources and tours provide. It’s not high end, fluffy stuff. It’s real get the authentic experience stuff.
  • Always go to the Tourist Information Office and ask what’s going on today / tonight.
  • He always gets a local guide for 4 hrs in a.m and at night to get a real flavor of the city. Check his resources or ask the local Tourist Information Office.
  • Art should be fun. Know enough to get excited about it. He’s got some great new guides on art.
  • Always be sure to do something the locals do.
  • Find a restaurant with a hand-written menu. You know everything is fresh and the menu was created that day.
  • Have a picnic. Go to the local shops and pick  up the specialties for a lunch or dinner picnic.
  • Know the word for bed and breakfast in the language where you are. You can find great, local, inexpensive places to stay.
  • And don’t wait in line for entrance / tickets. Always do your research in advance and get tickets to the key sights.

Be sure to check out his website. As Samantha said above, there are great videos and audio tours on his website for free. And he offers what look to be amazing guided tours if you don’t want to do it yourself.

Happy Travels as we head into the fabulous Spring and Summer travel season!