Are You Ready For The 4th Of July!?

Ready for the 4th of July? I know I am!  It’s my favorite holiday and it will be filled with everything WINE!  Grab your wine towel, a good read by wine blogger extraordinaire Dr. Vino, a bottle of a sparkling rose, and your shatterproof champagne flutes and you are set for the festivities!

ENJOY!

Wine Label Wallpaper!

What a great way to recycle and keep the memories of your favorite bottles of wine – through wine label wallpaper! One of my good friend’s family has done this in their bathroom and it really is a great way to fill up wall space and such a conversation starter, as you can imagine…

From myhomeideas.com; Photo: Laurey W. Glenn; Stylist: Rose Nguyen

The Wine Rundown – Flatiron

As we all know, in every area, corner, and side street in Manhattan, restaurants and bars fill up the streets and extend personal “must go-to lists” daily since they are literally everywhere.  Last week was a week of new beginnings, bon voyages, and a much needed celebration of summertime which has finally graced it’s presence upon us, YAY!  It also was a week spent in the Flatiron area where I was able to get a sense of two great restaurants with fitting wine lists from both ends of the spectrum.  Both selections even paired well with their interior.

Roberto Zero Otto Nove: Stepping into a new Italian restaurant, I met a few friends at Zero Otto Nove Manhattan on 15 West 21st street and enjoyed a night filled with luxurious Italian wines from all over Italy.  The wine list starts with a variety of Champagne/Sparkling  and then goes right into regions that offer white wines – Piemonte, Veneto, Alto Adige, Umbria, Friuli, Toscana etc.  The next section offers white wines from Southern Italy SICILIA, SARDEGNA, and Campania.  It then goes into a nice red selection that suggests regions such as Abruzzo, Puglia, Chianti, Amarone, etc. Some of us opted for a white wine from Fruili (Pinot Grigio Ca’ BolaniAquileia)) and others (including myself) went the red D’Abruzzo (Cataldi Madonna Montepulciano d’Abruzzo) route.  They offer a blended selection of their full menu by the glass, probably about 20 options and have a moderately – high priced wine list.  The cheapest bottle is about $31 and the most expensive is about $855 so choose wisely! As you can tell, you experience a wonderful wine journey through Italy with this list. (Go for the Nutella pizza for dessert!)

Sagaponack: The next night I met up with a friend at Sagaponack on 4 West 22nd street for a lighter meal and a catch up!  We sat at the bar and ordered a few light seafood apps and enjoyed a night of crisp white wines. We felt as though we were in Martha’s Vineyard or the Hamptons… not New York which certainly felt like a breath of fresh air.   My friend likes the sweeter wines and chose the Rex Goliath Pinot Grigio California, 2009.  “It was super light and was very sweet.  Perfect drink for apps so you don’t get full.”  I chose a crisper, zestier, ‘bittery’ white, Monkey Bay Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough, New Zealand, 2008 which was also perfect to enjoy with apps and great for a hot summer’s night! The wine list offers a classic selection of wines from California, France, Italy, Australia, Spain even one from the Hamptons!  You can tell this list was handpicked and sought after very strategically and gracefully. The red headed bartender was very nice and extremely personable which always makes for a great experience.  Overall, a wonderful hidden gem with great wines for summer in the Flatiron District.

Enjoy!

Running and Wine… A Perfect Pair

It’s that time of year again – training for the NYC Marathon – Fall 2011.

Like a fine wine, running and training for a marathon is one in the same – complex, aggressive, well balanced, and perfectly paired.  Training for a marathon is as strategic and process oriented as in wine making and fermenting.  A good training partner and plan is just as a steak and a full bodied Pinot Noir are enjoyed together– the perfect match with the best end result.  You get the picture.  Along with wine, running is also a big passion of mine and believe it or not is a part of my training process.  I try to pair my running schedule with a red/white, rose, and/or bubbly with the amount of miles I run and how my body is feeling to keep me motivated and ready for my next move.. Here’s how!

  • Short Run (0-6 miles): Usually after a shorter run I feel frisky and light on my feet waiting for more and getting anxious and excited for the next day’s run.  When I feel like this I usually crave a nice light Rose, Pinot Grigio, or sparkling wine to go with a light summer dinner either alone or with a few others.
  • Medium Run (7-12 miles): Here is where your body starts to really feel you pounding on the pavement.  You will need to rest a bit and recover with all the right sports drinks and go into a heavier dinner with wines with a little more kick and zest to pick you up when you may be in need of a recharge.  I prefer a great Sauvignon Blanc, a Sancerre or even a nice spicy Shiraz paired with a protein filled dinner. After these long runs it’s great to enjoy your wine with a bunch of friends around you!  They will support you and cheers to you every step of the way!
  • Long run (13-19 miles):  All runs need preparation however; these long runs specifically, need 110% of your mind, body and soul for a satisfied run and feeling.  Marathon training endures a large amount of stress on the body so it is important that after you recharge with your ‘champion’ breakfast, to relax and enjoy a long dinner with lots of laughs and many “clink clinks” so you are able to associate your long runs with happiness and joy to stay motivated for the next.  With dinner, after these long runs I usually enjoy a fruit filled Pinot Noir, Montepulciano, or Cabernet Sauvignon.  They have lots of fruit and will replenish and put the warmth back into your body which in turn ensures you are relaxed.
  • 20 mile run: Since I have been advised only to do one of these 20 miler’s while training to make sure you are tip top for the actual marathon (w/o pushing it), I usually enjoy an OJ w/ calcium and champagne filled Mimosa to take the edge off with a late brunch.  Then with dinner would probably have a heartier wine like a Cabernet Sauvignon to again get that warmth back in my body and cheers to it almost being marathon day!
  • Marathon – Post Marathon Celebration – Veuve Clicquot of course.. You deserve it! 

So there you have it.  A few tips on how to incorporate a few squashed grapes and maybe even some antioxidants into you marathon training.  It helps keep your eye on the finish and lets you feel fresh, excited and motivated while doing it!

Also, here are a few suggestions from the Elites from Runner’s Magazine (July 2011)

Bernard Lagat (American two-mile record holder (8:10.07): “On off days, I relax with my wife over a glass of 2007 Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano D’Abruzzo.  It’s dry with a hint of spice – my son calls it Daddy Juice”

Sage Canady (Eighth American at 2010 Chicago Marathon in 2:19:18): “Willamette Valley Vineyard’s Pinot Noir (2007) – its hearty taste is perfect after long runs.  Plus, it’s full of healthy antioxidants!”

Andrew Lemoncello (Eighth at 2010 London Marathon in 2:13:40): “Postrace, I relax with a softer wine like Chateau St Michelle’s Merlot (2007).  It’s great with steak. If I have a Zinfandel, it helps put me to sleep.”

And finally, if you are feeling really ambitious, try this half marathon in Oregon and enjoy a nice glass of wine from the Willamette Valley at the finish – http://www.fueledbyfinewine.com/event_information/

Happy running and wine drinking!

Karl Lagerfeld Designs Glassware…

How enchanting and stunning will Karl’s wine glasses be? I’m sure very, and for a pretty penny too!

This just in from WWD:

ART OF GLASS: Karl Lagerfeld can now sip his Diet Coke from a glass of his own design — and one handblown in Sweden, no less. For his first foray into crystal, the designer teamed up with Orrefors, which will launch a co-branded range of glasses and vessels in September in Europe and in mid-October at Bloomingdale’s in the U.S. Lagerfeld hosted a lunch in Paris on Tuesday to unveil the project; four pristine white tables were laid out with his streamlined stemware, a circle of white roses as the centerpiece. Noticing that even the humblest of cups get their own saucers, Lagerfeld created sleek, monogrammed coasters for his angular Champagne flutes, wine and water glasses to keep table linens immaculate. Lagerfeld — who noted that his last name is Swedish — lauded the haute craftsmanship of Orrefors, founded in 1898. “It’s not like cheap perfume bottles,” he said. Indeed, prices run from about 90 euros, or $131.50 at current exchange rates, for a Champagne flute up to 1,100 euros, or $1,600, for a large vase.

Father’s Day Gift Guide – For Dad’s Who LOVE Wine

Say Happy Father’s Day to your wine loving DAD with these great gift ideas!

Make opening his favorite bottle that much easier with this effortless automatic electric wine opener from Brookstone!

To make Father’s Day that much more special, give a gift of customization so your Dad can pick out something special… Visit TastingRoom.com to find ‘bite size’ samplers of various wines for your Dad to experience and enjoy on his special day!

Skip the decanting by hand process and gift this fun Wine Aerator so he can quickly oxidize his favorite red wines and get on with the festivities!

Give an award-winning Merlot to your special Dad on his wonderful day!  Swanson Vineyards will make his entire day perfectly complete!

Ride Out the Heatwave With WINE SPRITZERS

Since a sudden heatwave has come over NYC and across the country, ride it out and cool off with these refreshing wine spritzer recipes from the Food Network Stars!

White Wine Spritzer
By: Giada De Laurentiis

Ingredients

  • 2 lemons, zested
  • 2 small oranges, zested (or 1 large orange, zested)
  • 1 bottle Pinot Grigio wine
  • 3 cups sparkling water

Directions
In a small bowl, toss the citrus zests together. Divide the zest mixture among an empty ice cube tray, top with water and freeze for 3 to 5 hours.
In a large pitcher, combine the wine with the sparkling water and the citrus zest ice cubes. Stir and serve.

Red Wine Spritzer
By: Rachel Ray

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pint blackberries
  • 1/2 pint raspberries
  • 1 bottle, 750 ml, dry red Italian table wine
  • 1 quart sparkling water or seltzer, chilled

Directions
Fill the bottom of large wine glasses with a mixture of the berries. Pour wine in to cover and let stand 10 minutes. Top glasses with seltzer when you are ready to serve.

Fragrant Wine Spritzer
By: Rachel Ray

Ingredients

  • 1 package edible flowers
  • 2 plums, pitted and chopped
  • 1 green apple, chopped
  • 1 bottle French rose wine from Provence region, chilled (inexpensive in range and widely available at many wine shops)
  • 1 small bottle, 16 ounces, citrus flavored sparkling water

Directions
Add flowers and fruit to large wine glasses. Pour wine over flowers and fruit. Add a splash of seltzer water to each glass and serve.