Saturday, September 1, 2018

Labor Day... Wear All White and Drink White Wine

It's officially Labor Day and the holiday is special and significant in a few important ways. 

Number one, us working Americans are celebrated for our contributions to society. We keep America thriving with our hard work and dedication. Plus, we live for our 3 day weekends where we can drink more wine and have an extra day to sleep it off.

Number two, it's officially the end of summer, our big summer farewell party. Labor day is hosts to
parades, barbeques, family road trips, and pool parties all across the country. We sure know how to celebrate, and what better way to celebrate than with a good wine. Do you have your wine selections on deck for the weekend?

And lastly, Labor Day is the last day to wear white, or is it? Historians believe the no white after Labor Day began in the early 20th century when people needed lighter clothes and colors in the summer months. There were no air conditioners and it was how they kept cool. Fortunately, we have air and times have changed. The rule now is to wear what makes you feel good. As long as there is white wine after Labor Day, we are good!

The photos throughout the story are from the amazing white party that took place at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, IL. Our friends @leolaroyston & @sarandunmore attended the French-inspired Diner En Blanc, a worldwide event that originated in Paris France expanding six continents. All guests are required to wear white, decorate their table, and provide food and drinks. The location is a secret until the day of and you have to be one of the lucky ones to score tickets.

The committees in each city secure the locations and entertainment. The sea of white is absolutely gorgeous, especially the beautiful table-scapes. To find out if your city is hosting a Diner En Blanc, head on over to their website, We also suggest clicking on the hashtag #DinerEnBlanc on Instagram to see all the fabulous photos from around the world.

Host your very own Diner En Blanc, on a smaller scale, at home this Labor Day. Invite a few friends, wear white attire, decorate the kitchen table, provide a few hor d'oeuvers, and have the guests supply the wine. Our friend @leolaroyston suggests sipping on Dry Creek's Fume Blanc, a sauvignon blanc with notes of citrus and granny smith apples. The play of the name adds to the theme and the wine pairs well with most dishes.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Wine Swap

What better way to kick off the weekend than to share wine with friends and meet new people on a beautiful California rooftop!

My apartment complex hosted a Wine Swap, on a Friday evening, for the residents to socialize and unwind after a busy week and long commutes. The best part was that it was free of charge and all we had to do was bring a bottle. They also provided a scrumptious cheese and charcuterie platter and desserts for us to indulge. 

The vibe was open and inviting with no rules on how many pours or tasting order. We opened up what we wanted to sip and poured as much or as little as our hearts desired.

I selected Pine & Post Riesling for the swap with it's aromatic notes of jasmine and lychee. Its very crisp and bright with flavors of apples and pears. One of my favorites of the evening was Stella & Rosa Moscato. The semi-sweet wine is a safe wine to bring to a swap because it's not overly sweet and Moscato is loved by all! I also enjoyed Arius Chardonnay. It was not overly oaky, which I do not like about many chardonnays. You could taste peaches and apricots and smell the aroma of lemon zest.

As the sun set and the summer breeze felt so delightful after a hot day, we took a moment to appreciate the gorgeous sky with colors of orange, reds, and yellows. A guest soon pops a bottle of champagne and everyone claps, which signifies a perfect ending. 

With the end of summer near, why not host your own wine swap. No fancy rooftop needed. Invite new guests and encourage your friends to invite their friends. It's easy to mingle over a glass of wine. Taken from Ernest Hemingway, "wine and friends are a great blend."

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Summer Cocktail, The Winejito

Those hot summer days and nights call for a light & refreshing cocktail. The Winejito is a twist on the popular Mojito, which is made with rum or gin. Wine cocktails are becoming very popular even in restaurants because many customers do not want to consume a high alcohol content spirit or do not enjoy the taste of them. This cocktail uses crisp sauvignon blanc, fresh mint & limes, cool and sparkly Italian Limonata, and a hint of sweet agave nectar. You can make a single glass or whip up a pitcher for a night on the patio with friends or the perfect picnic. We experimented making this recipe using sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, and pinot grigio. The sauvignon blanc was the winning combination. It tastes just like a mojito, but better in our opinion! 


2 Limes
6 Fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup chilled Sauvingnon Blanc
1/4 cup San Pellegrino Limonata or club soda 
(The Limonite just gives it the spot on Mojito taste)
1 teaspoon agave nectar


*In a cocktail shaker mule the lime, mint, and agave together. 
You do not need a fancy tool, we used a ice cream scooper.

*Add ice & the chilled Sauvingnon Blanc and shake.

*Pour in a wine glass and then top it off with the Limonata

*Add more mint and a lime wedge

The Perfect Picnic

"It's a smile, it's a kiss, it's a sip of wine. It's Summertime." - Kenny Chesney

The sun is out, the temperature is up, it’s summertime which is excellent picnic weather. Planning the perfect picnic doesn’t have to be stressful and overwhelming. We’re here to show you how to have the perfect hassle free picnic in no time at all. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3, FUN!!

The perfect picnic begins with selecting a good location. You can have your outing at the beach, a local park, or get creative and find a flat rooftop with an amazing view. If you don’t feel like traveling, just open the back door and picnic in your backyard. Also if you think picnics are strictly for daytime, guess again! Break the rules, try something a little different and eat outside under the stars.

Now that you’ve picked a location we can focus on my favorite part, FOOD, and DRINKS!!! When trying to decide on which delectable goodies to make, you’ll want dishes that travel well, can be prepared ahead of time, served at room temperature, or chilled. Food that can be held in your hand or only call for a fork is definitely a plus. A few appetizer suggestions: nuts, a cheese tray, or summer fruits.  Sandwiches made with hearty baguette bread, pasta or tuna salad, or fried chicken are great for the main dish. Cheesecake in a jar, brownies, cake pops, or seasonal fruit and dip are just a few dessert ideas.

Nothing goes better with a picnic than wine.  When choosing a wine look for tasty options with alcohol content 12% and under.  You wouldn’t want anybody to pass out while day drinking afterward. JOKES! On a more serious note, rather than risk forgetting the corkscrew, why not try canned wine which is becoming increasingly popular.  Our pick for the summer is Barefoot's Canned Wine Spritzer. It's convenient, fizzy, and light. With fun flavors like summer red, crisp white, and red sangria, it's the perfect on-the-go picnic option.

If a larger group is heading out for a picnic, another option would be boxed wine. Most boxed wines serve about 10 glasses of wine per box and don't worry, it does not taste cheap. There are excellent box wine choices. Our favorite is Beso Del Sol's White Sangria. Beso Del Sol also carries individually boxed wines called tetra packs. They are equivalent to 3 glasses of wine in one single serving. Many wines are now being sold in non-glass packaging, which works when you head out to an outdoor concert that doesn't allow glass bottles.

If you're having a picnic close to home or in the backyard, whip up a light and refreshing wine cocktail that you can serve in a pitcher. Try our winejito. Click to learn how to make this easy recipe.

Last but not least how about a few games to pass the time when having fun in the sun.  Play a game of Uno, Go Fish, Old Maid, or Trivia.  Get those hips moving with a hula hoop contest or have a sack race.  Bring a coloring book or blow bubbles.  Whatever you do, Summertime is the perfect time to sit back, unwind, have a picnic and create lifelong memories.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Merlot Chocolate Sauce

Indulge this Valentine's Day with a wine chocolate sauce sure to satisfy the tastebuds. This simple 3-ingredient sauce is so easy to make, it can be whipped up in no time. All you need is butter, red wine, and chocolate.

The sauce was silky and smooth, and we could smell the aroma of merlot as we dipped our strawberries in the sauce. We indulged even more by sipping on the merlot, which added to the flavor of the sauce.

We found Opera Prima Merlot on sale for only $2.49 at our local grocery store. All the items were on 
sale, including the Belgian dark chocolate. Enjoying wine and treating yourself to new things does not have to be expensive. 

The wine chocolate sauce is also the perfect touch to a date night. Grab skewers and dip different fruits and marshmallows. We can't lie to you, it was so good we started using our fingers. Not to go too far into detail, we will keep it PG, you and your date can really get creative. 

3 tbsp's butter
3 tbsp's red wine
6 ounces of chopped chocolate or chocolate chips

In a non-stick sauce pan, combine all 3 ingredients. Stir over low heat until melted. Make sure you attend to the chocolate, it will melt fast. (Ouch, we burned the 1st batch)!!!

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