fashion. wine. design... and my life.

Archive for August, 2011|Monthly archive page

A tuning fork for your wine?

In Uncategorized on August 28, 2011 at 9:48 pm

That’s right!

I am about to introduce you to the tool that every wine lover needs to have close at hand.  Apologies in advance if you are acquainted with this clever little gadget – perhaps I will just be reiterating what you already know to be true.  I have affectionately titled it “the tuning fork for your wine”…  and just as a musician might use a tuning fork to detect the accuracy of pitch and provide a pure tone to their instrument… haha, my new right hand – the Wine Aroma Wheel – can offer the same impact to your wine tasting!

Hmmmm, for about four months now, the Wine Aroma Wheel has been a recurrent theme/the buzz when having conversations with my fellow wine lovers.  Never claiming to be proficient with my knowledge of wine, those in my circle know that I am always on the prowl for anything that will heighten a wine tasting experience… needless to say, I am constantly approached with an abundance of suggestions.  More and more, I kept hearing about this wheel – curiosity piqued – something told me that I had to do more than just depend on information and images found surfing the net… so I did.

Just what did I do?  Haha – I invested $6.00 plus $6.99  in shipping and ordered my very own!  It just had to be tangible… I mean seriously, how was I going to grasp this concept if I didn’t have a wheel to touch and to turn as I conducted my assessment?  Maybe not your approach… but for me, it helps.  With a quickness I would say that it was money well spent… my 8” plastic disk, with its three descriptive tiers and word placement resembling the spokes on a bicycle, has proven to be altogether enlightening.

I hear you… get to the point, eh?!  No problem – here are the CliffsNotes.  The Wine Aroma Wheel – created by Ann C. Noble, a retired professor from the University of California, Davis – works two-fold.  It is a tool that offers terminology so that you can train your nose to detect wine aromas and become better when describing the various flavorful characteristics of both red and white wine.  In a nutshell, a tuning fork for your wine… better yet, your nose!

Yes sir!  Your nose!  Wine tasting and enjoyment is such a sensory experience… a robust inhale of the wine is just as important as that flavorful sip.  They work in tandem.  I have found that Prof. Nobel’s Wine Aroma Wheel does afford a simplistic technique for training the nose to recognize the aromas, or scent of the wine.  Believe it or not, fine tuning this ability to identify and describe what you smell absolutely will enhance what you taste!

So how does it work?  It’s a breeze!  Select a few wines.  Pour a few glasses.  Swirl.  Sniff.  Sip.  Grab your wheel.  Starting in the center, find the word that best describes what you smelled… them systematically working your way out, fine tune the terms.  Easy, eh?!  The website, http://www.winearomawheel.com provides more detailed instruction – even a video of Prof. Noble and two participants giving the wheel a spin.  No offense intended to the Professor – the videos were a tad dull – so I would encourage those curious and interested in the wheel to definitely watch, but just remember that the process can be so much more exciting!

Leave it to me… I will attempt to find a way to make anything more stimulating.  In my opinion, when using the wheel, the more participants the merrier.  Conversation boosts the experience.  However, I am not opposed to using it by myself… even when enjoying wine alone, a quick reference to the wheel keeps my senses sharp!  It’s just a neat tool.  One that is meant for not only newcomers to wine but for connoisseurs as well.

As always… a challenge.  Go to Prof. Noble’s website, order it and try it!  And of course – tell me what you think.  In case you are wondering, I will continue to use my wheel with the hopes of one day having mastered the craft.  Haha – perhaps one day, eh?!

Cheers!

-k

Not even in a million years…

In Uncategorized on August 22, 2011 at 10:03 pm

Nope.  Not me.  Extremely opposed to eating those fishy little critters!  Anchovies – yuck!  Until….

a bit of coercion from friends and some asparagus – that was grilled to perfection – convinced me otherwise.  I was not prepared for the scrumptiousness that was about to explode in my mouth!  Utterly magnificent!

Who knew that asparagus, cracked black pepper, sea salt, olive oil and anchovy paste could create such a perfect partnership?  I couldn’t believe how the anchovy paste heightened the flavor.  In a culinary world, it probably would be best described as umami… but in layman’s terms – the s%#t was good!

This discovery was almost two years ago – and yes – I am still going strong with the paste.  It is a staple in my home.  Whenever asparagus is prepared, the anchovy paste is never far away.  In addition to being delicious, it seems that the asparagus/paste union keeps our guests talking – especially after a trip to the bathroom.  Haha!  What is up with the odor in your urine… pungent!   Hmmm, but perhaps it is time to take that next leap, discover other uses for the paste and try another dish or two – foodnetwork.com will continue to be a best friend, and my family… (I am smirking) they are my steadfast guinea pigs!

Something new, eh?

I say yes.  A “don’t knock it till you try it” approach, is the mindset that I am committed to attaining.  Obviously, I am speaking beyond food.   As the summer is coming to a close and a new school year is only days away from commencement, the thought of new adventures seem to billow in the air.  My children, who are entering the 8th and 6th grade, prepare to greet this year’s diverse academic curriculum.  My husband, with his juggling clubs, will be teaching a new subject this year… geometry, and coaching his Georgetown Prep Little Hoyas to a successful football season.  And me… ahhhhhh, me?  I simply remain open to the universe… willing to soak in every experience that I encounter.  In addition to my full-time design gig, I am taking on a new challenge.  Haha – certainly not breeching my employer’s conflict of interest policy… just a lil’ something on the side that will enable me some stylish fun with the ladies AND extra income to get me back to Paris!!

Within reason, adopting a “try everything once and go back and do the things you like again” strategy could be rewarding.  As long as it fits within the parameters of your personal goals and lifestyle, where is the harm?  Again… there I go stating the obvious, eh?  Probably so.  But if you are still reading, then maybe you too embrace this philosophy.  For me, I am just trying to prevent my hands from being idle while keeping my mind sharp.  Not even in a million years would I be where I am today if it had not been for a receptive attitude.  Since 1988, Nike has been exclaiming “JUST DO IT”.  Three little words with such an impact… truly it couldn’t be any easier!

Psssst.  Maybe this link could offer inspiration!  http://www.grantthorpe.com/100-things-to-do.htm

Cheers!

-k

Pillows, plants, candles and throws… oh my!

In Uncategorized on August 20, 2011 at 8:40 am

What in the world would we do without accessories in our homes?!

Wait… let’s not even ponder that question.  You know the answer – homes without accessories are just uninteresting.  A bland collection of rooms void of character and appeal.  Lifeless and just plain old dreary.  It has got to be common knowledge… accessories are a nonnegotiable!  A must for every decorative composition… they provide the flair and zing – they ARE the panache!

So how important are they?  Just imagine that the accessories are acting as a three-dimensional “connect-the-dots” puzzle… one in which each accessory is linked to and dependent upon the next for its definition.  In my profession, when working with clients, we always suggest that a minimum of 1/3 of the project’s budget be dedicated to accessorizing the space.  Minus the upholstered pieces and wood pieces, everything else in the room – the embellishments and frills – are considered accessories and are mandatory.  Suggest as we may, it’s a fact… not every client complies with our advice, and many projects are sold with out even ONE accessory.  But, experience has taught me to be patient.  They come back – it is inevitable!

Really… 1/3, eh?!  Well, in a perfect world, we all would have an abundant income that would grant us the ability to purchase whatever we wanted for our homes.  However, in the real world – especially in my world – we are on a budget!  We tend to pick and choose what to add to our homes and when to add it!  For those of us who can identify with the latter, I can assure you that budget aside (even with a minor tweak that 1/3 ratio) you too can have a well styled and sophisticated space.  Pssssst.  Wanna know the real secret about accessories?  The secret is:  understand their impact, shop with an ardent eye and absolutely incorporate them into your home.  A piece of cake… just do it!

By far… accessories have got to be the easiest, most economical, sure-fire way to quickly transform a space.  Ladies, think of your little black dress… fellas, think of your favorite dress shirt – well, in the same manner that you add snazzy jewelry to accentuate the dress or a dapper neck tie to give the shirt oomph – our homes require that same action.  If executed properly in your home, the accessories will interpret your personality.  Trust me – they will add layers and depth to your home… making it not only more enjoyable and gratifying to you, but for your guests as well.

Some of my favorites, my nonnegotiables?  Besides artwork, I can’t live without (nor should you) accent pillows, plants, candles and throws!  Hey, perhaps not the classic elements of Earth, Water, Air and Fire  – but in a design domain, they carry a similar impact.  These four elements are fundamental and can easily wake-up a tired space.  They are fairly inexpensive, they are appropriate in every design scheme, and – to suit your personal style – are available in a plethora of shapes, sizes and styles.

Pillows and throws are the power house for adding color and texture.  Since they can be added and removed from a room with ease, I say go crazy!  Experiment with them… go out of your comfort zone and buy something that you normally might not gravitate towards.  My handy tip.  Invest in well-made pillow inserts and locate the best fabric shop or upholsterer in your area.  This partnership will enable you to better customize your pillows… and as simple as undoing a zipper, your pillows can be changed as often as you wish.  Wondering how many to purchase?  Grouping of pillows can be in odd or even numbers…its all about your look and the design style that you desire to inject in the space!  With throws… haha – just throw them!  On the back of a sofa, the arm of a chair and even tucked in a basket… throws provide warmth on a chilly day but, better yet, they add a richness to your space.

As for plants and candles… they add the softness and ambiance.  Not even going to debate real versus artificial plants – depending on the type of plant and where it is to be placed — in my home, I do both.  All that is important is that you bring a portion of nature inside your of home.  The type of plant is, once again, relative to your design.  Orchids, succulents, twigs, fronds and trees… you decide.  They refresh a space, infuse energy and… not to sound cheesy – they make us happy!  Speaking of moods – let’s talk aura!  Candles.  Candles.  Candles!  They create the atmosphere… the ambiance of the space.  Whether it be pillars, tapers, votives or tea-lights… placed on a candle holder, in a lantern, a rock-filled hurricane or even hanging on a wall – candles add appeal!  Especially when entertaining… they add an intimacy to the gathering and heighten the magnetism of the event.  Haha – and seriously… doesn’t everyone look better by candlelight!

I’m thinking that I may have a few converts, eh?!  Hey… these are mere suggestions.  Me… spreading the love.  I do adore decorative accessories – and as a compliment to self – I do have a knack for arranging them.  Of course, always open for questions and assistance.  So… what are you waiting for?  Time to go accessory shopping!

Cheers!

-k

Well hellooooooooo Dr. Perricone!

In Uncategorized on August 17, 2011 at 2:09 am

Shhhhhh!  Don’t you dare tell my husband that I am in love with another man.

His name  is Dr. Nicholas Perricone, MD and even though he has no idea, the man has me downright smitten!  How long you ask?  Ummm, for about three months now… completely infatuated… head in the clouds – I absolutely can not get enough!  Haha – all joking aside, I will admit that there truly is an attraction.  But, what was initially fueled by vanity, has now transformed into something revitalizing and pure.  A continued love of self and loving the skin that I am in!

So, for those that need an introduction, my boy, Dr. Perricone is the creator of my new skin care regimen.  And before the gentlemen stop reading – dude – you too can benefit from his research and products.  Since we are all web savvy – anything and everything that you want to know about Perricone MD products can be found on his website at perriconemd.com.  However, since my enthusiasm is spewing, allow me to offer my two cents and share with you a wee bit of insight… you know, the reason why he has stolen my heart!

I always have this overwhelming need to provide a forward for my thoughts… haha – a preamble, eh?  With that said… in the same manner that we fashion our bodies with the clothes that fill our closets, we should follow suit with our skin.  Just as we do with our wardrobe – analyzing our body types and purchasing clothes accordingly – we should apply the same diligence when investing in our skin care.  A careful assessment of your skin type can easily generate a road map to an antidote for healthy and radiant skin.  Not to gloat… but I do feel blessed that genetics have favored me and my skin is in good condition.  Pair that with a holistic regimen that stimulates healthy skin by addressing the issue internally  – attacking cellular inflammation – there is no doubt that I am definitely the beneficiary of Dr. Perricone’s research!

No…no..no!  Definitely not trying to get all scientific with you… out of my area of expertise.  Only enlightenment.  Hoping that my learnings may open the door for you.  I do believe that we all desire skin that is noticeable… it glows and stops traffic, eh?!  Hey… allow me my indulgence!  Seriously though, from what I have experienced thus far, the products – or comeceuticals as he terms them – they work!  At this point in my life, I have tested and tried several products… all with the hopes of nourishing my skin,  preventing wrinkles and retaining a youthful appearance.  Without a doubt, Perricone MD, in a very short amount of time, has produce remarkable results!  I love my mirror reflection (as we ALL should) and if I may be honest, the compliments — they are continuous!

Yes… before you go there – I already know what you are thinking.  And no, I didn’t invest in the products to receive compliments, smiling as I say this – it just happens!  Regardless of your skin type, or your sex – because remember fellas, I am talking to you as well – you will reap the benefits.  The process with Perricone MD is so simple – a quick skin quiz and you are immediately set with the prescription best suited for your needs.  Want to up the ante?   Find yourself your own personal Perricone Perriconista!  Hey – I found mine!  Giving a shameless plug, I would encourage those living in the Washington DC area to most expeditiously make an appointment with Denise Webster.  She is a stunning gem… her energy is intoxicating and she is more than capable of pairing you with products that WILL produce results.  Probably no surprise, but she too has her own blog and can be contacted at dcperriconista.blogspot.com.

I am hoping that you will delve further and learn more about this revolutionary skin care solution.  Not even in my character to be star struck… but several well-known celebrities that grace movie screens and the pages of your favorite magazines have discovered the Perricone MD secret.  As for me, it really isn’t necessary to elaborate on the products that complete my personal prescription.  With skin types and lifestyles so varied, it is expected that the skin care regimens will follow suit.  But, I will say this… the one product that has become a nonnegotiable – my jack of all trades – it just does it all –  is Cold Plasma!  OMG… the stuff is freaking amazing!

Whew… I feel the adrenaline rush… only because I know the products are simply worthy of such praise.  Hopefully you are curious, eh?!  If not today, soon.  It is inevitable.  We all want to look our best.  So why not accept this short cut – embrace my trial and error and join the many who know that my beloved Dr. Perricone is the bomb!  Tell me how it goes…ok?

Cheers!

-k

INDABA… who knew?!

In Uncategorized on August 14, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Apparently, not me!  Without hesitation, I give kudos to my baby sis for making the introduction — she has opened my eyes to what will easily become a new staple in my reservoir.  INDABA Sauvignon Blanc.  A product of South Africa, this wine is not only reasonably priced – it is overflowing with flavor and packs a surprising punch!

Probably as a preface, I should say that I am a true sucker for a chic label.  Unless I am buying a wine that has been recommended, the label has always been my determining factor for purchasing.  It is all about the design, the font and the words selected to describe the bottle’s contents.  The marketing should be distinct, memorable and relevant to the brand – it should lure your audience… for that (especially if you are unfamiliar and blindly picking out a wine) an innovative and artsy label is crucial.  Hey, to each his own… but I say to you, my modus works.  Thus far my stats are looking pretty good… and believe it or not, only one disappointment – Cupcake Riesling – trust me, leave it on the shelf!

Needless to say, I was ever so charmed by the INDABA label – clean yet bold with an almost hypnotic emblem – haha, my eyebrow raised in anticipation!  A swirl of the glass.  Mmmmmmm, that fragrant inhale.   The first sip, loaded with crisp tropical fruit flavors was followed by a hefty “DAAAAAMMN!”   It was most certain that my sister’s pick – at ONLY $9.99 – was a hit!

I encourage you to decide for yourself.  But at least let me offer you the skinny of what my lil’ bit of web searching on INDABA has yielded…

  • INDABA is a Zulu word meaning “business,” “gathering” or “meeting of the minds.”  Obviously the INDABA marketing team is suggesting a new spin on the term, but fitting wouldn’t you think?  Creative thinking, considering that gatherings with wine usually produce stimulating conversations amongst the guests – my fellow wine drinkers, you know how it can be – sometimes surprising the considerable amount of information that can be discovered, right?!
  • If you are not a fan of Sauvignon Blanc, no worries.  INDABA offers a sizable assortment of both whites and reds.  Surely your local wine shop is stocked.  If not, you are only a few clicks away – check out wine.com to see if they ship to you.
  • Collecting frequent flier miles on JetBlue Airlines?  If so, you need just ask your flight attendant!  As of this year, INDABA & JetBlue are just like peas and carrots, offering, and I quote, “a lip-smacking, mango, grapefruit scented Sauvignon Blanc and an enticing, black cherry and mocha-scented Merlot” to their customers.
  • On an honorable note, the company has a social awareness.  They keep the price point low, use environmentally friendly packaging and give back to the South African community in the form of scholarships for students interested in oenology – the study of wine.

Yep, I know… sounding like an infomercial now, eh?!  Haha – just trying to broaden horizons – yours and mine!  Hey… perhaps it was the seared salmon or the salad loaded with mango, red onions, yellow peppers and strawberries… might have even been the humongous cocktail shrimp – all I know is this:  INDABA was on point!  In my opinion, a sure thing for your next gathering and absolutely worthy of more than a $9.99 price tag!

With a wink, I say “you’re welcome”… for I can feel the gratitude that is forthcoming — you are gonna love it!

Cheers!

-k

One man’s trash is another man’s…

In Uncategorized on August 10, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Treasure!

No surprise, eh?!  The answer is commonplace – possibly even trite to those who may have forgotten the significance and underlying message of the phrase.  Hey — perhaps then it could be fate that the topic slid into my head and that you have decided to read.  If you are like me, then you too believe that signs are everywhere and the daily reminders received are less than accidental.  Haha – I feel myself moving towards that sentimental point… so, quickly shifting gears – let’s talk trash!

Lucky, lucky, LUCKY me stumbled upon my most dearest find a very long time ago.  Literally, on my first day of work at a part-time job, putting my things away in my new locker, I saw it.  A poster of young Miles Davis, haphazardly pinned to the wall with thumbtacks.  He was looking away from me with such a pensive gaze – I knew that I had to have him!  Not to mention, the things you do for love … my boyfriend (now husband) is an avid jazz lover, devoted fan and adores Miles Davis, it was an absolute no brainer – I had to ask!  So I asked… very cautious not expose my excitement and just how much I wanted that poster.  To this day, I will never forget her disinterest and how her response of yes (offered like “pffft, that thing”) was so sluggishly given. It was obviously trash to them – nonetheless, he was mine….and yes, the boyfriend was elated!

What I never expected was how long it would be before young Miles graced our walls.  Chalk it up to life.  School.  Wedding.  Babies.  Work.  Poor Miles stayed rolled up in a tube for 15 years… YES, 15 years before he was unrolled and released!  Upon purchasing our current home, very dear friends had him framed for us as a house-warming gift.  So now, Miles Dewey Davis III, resides in my house!  At a striking scale of 70″ in height and 50″ wide, he greets you at the top of the stairs, on the 4th floor … right before you enter my husband’s “still under construction” man-cave.  Miles is the perfect partner for the assortment of framed album covers that hang on the walls.  Statement — unquestionably!  Especially when the mysterious and intoxicating sounds of his trumpet drift through the house.  It is when my husband plays “Générique ” – his favorite Miles recording – that the treasure he finds in Miles is truly revealed.  He simply gets lost in time!  Haha, I think he and Miles might have shared a few conversations… maybe even a few drinks!

Humor aside… the concept of trash to treasure is worth revisiting.  The inclination is to refer to this phrase when you stumble upon a bargain, a godsend, a treasure…right?  Of course!  But what about the flip-side?  I will say that as I have aged, the more I experience life and engage with people, I have begun to approach that phrase differently.  Having the basic notion of human relationships at the crux of my interpretation and never wanting someone to end an encounter with me feeling neglected or unappreciated – I now participate with a wiser eye.

Sermon — not at all.  Friendly reminder — absolutely.  I feel that at one point or another, we have all grappled with that thought/feeling … perceiving ourselves to be on the trash end of an encounter.  Our daily lives are filled with a variety of relationships – all meandering together like grape vines – that at times, we sometimes lose sight of the impression that we leave with others.  No one is exempt… for in our circles both family and friends can easily become victims.  It’s the truth.  It  happens… maybe even more often than we might be comfortable admitting.   Perhaps the reminder to ourselves could be this:  An element in your spirit attracts those that decide to invest their energy in you… give it back ten fold.

Blame it all on me being an overly sensitive soul (one that I do try to keep shielded)… but I had an inkling and a lil’ birdie told me to do it!  Haha — bottom line, it just felt like a message worth relaying.

Cheers!

-k

Pizzazz at home… easier than you think!

In Uncategorized on August 8, 2011 at 1:53 am

 

Isn’t that a fabulous word – pizzazz?!

The dictionary on my mac defines pizzazz is an attractive combination of vitality and glamour.  I define pizzazz as characteristics of a person, place or thing, that capture your attention, arouse your interests… make you look twice and definitely want to linger!  Relevant in so many realms of our life, eh?  I would most certainly agree!  But for this blog, I use pizzazz in reference to your home… your space… and absolutely, your personal style!

Before you even begin to think it, I know… I know!  There is an abundance of information at your fingertips regarding home design, interior decor, personal style…blah, blah, blah!  Umpteen publications and television shows detailing the “what” that you need to do in order to achieve the desired look.  Hey, considering that interior design is my profession, I realize that there is a saturation of information… I also know that sometimes that saturation does more harm than good – leaving some directionless and confused.  Tip after tip after tip… I mean really – who is right?  Who do you listen to?  With confidence I say this to you:  it is a beautiful thing that all of that design guidance and instruction is so easily attainable… BUT the true beauty resides in an understanding of who you are – what you like and (I have said this many times before) the implementation!

Haha – so now, like all of the others, I interject my opinion and present yet another recommendation regarding adding style… or rather, pizzazz to your home!  No pretentious credentials to flaunt.  Armed with artistic talent, a keen eye and a large dose of intuition… I embrace this innate gift and love assisting with all types of projects!  To give you insight – my personal style could be classified as global and eclectic.  A traveled look that incorporates a variety of texture and furniture with striking details.  I appreciate color and think that combining pattern on pattern gives a space an irresistible flair.  Bold accessories, assorted toss pillows and touches of animal print are my favorites and you will find them sprinkled throughout my home.  Sophisticated and comfortable is the look… and for me – my pizzazz!

Trust me… infusing a bit of pizzazz into your space is easier than you think.  Years of interacting with clients has provided  invaluable insight regarding the roadblock that many face when designing or re-doing a space.  Without a doubt, the hurdle is throughly describing your personal style and defining the elements necessary to complete the look that you seek.  Of course there are those that know their style and capable of elaborating… but believe me, even for those people, when it comes time to invest and put that hard-earned dollar behind your decision – something tends to change and feelings of uncertainty emerge.

No worries thou – the remedy is easy.  What is most humorous is that the remedy takes us right back to that abundance of information we have at hand – magazines, magazines and more magazines!  Probably taking you back to grammar school with this phrase… “The more you know, the more you do.  The more you do, the more you know.”  Apply that thought to the magazines and use them to generate a collection of pages that simply, pique your interest and make you look twice.  Seriously it is that easy… purchase several design magazines and rip out pages that you find appealing!  It could be a wall color or an accessory or a piece of furniture that speaks to you…if you like it, tear it out and add it to your collection.  Eventually, this collection is going to have a common thread – a style thread – one that could easily help you find a direction for your project and help you to articulate your personal style.  And the more you know about your personal style, the easier it is to achieve your pizzazz!

Skeptic?  Well then, I insist that you at least try.  Success should be attainable!  But, perhaps even after trying you still find yourself confused… don’t be discouraged for again, the remedy is a breeze.  That’s when you gather those pages and take them to a design professional.  Speaking from experience – that collection is golden and will most definitely aid in having your project completed in a cinch!

Cheers!

-k

ipod battles… you too?!

In Uncategorized on August 5, 2011 at 4:34 am

For those who participate in this amusing game, an explanation is far from necessary.  This impromptu competition amongst family, friends and guests – that usually occurs during parties, grilling or simply just hanging out – promotes much more than a love for music… it generates laughter, memories and offers insight into the artists that your crowd regards as magnetic!

So what is it… these ipod battles?!  Hmmmm,  probably easiest explained as such:  a duel.  One that begins as a friendly sharing of your “most loved” picks from your ipod, but then, spontaneously erupts into this full fledged battle.  A battle with the competitors acting as if they were gladiators in ancient Rome, preparing for the big kill – thrusting down their ipod on the docking station as if it were a sword, hoping that the song released trumps the previous person’s selection… yielding them feeble and unable to proceed!

Did I lose you?  A bit dramatic?  Nah…not in the least.  I would respond by saying that these battles, accompanied with that delightful fruit-filled drink, have been the catalyst for a multitude of friendships and countless musical discoveries.  Me, being extremely gregarious, I always welcome the opportunity for entertaining.  Aside from the time spent with my family, nothing provides more pleasure than opening up the doors to my modest abode to guests.  Pair that with wine and music… whew, blushing as I admit this, but sometimes THAT is just a pleasurable as a vigorous romp in the sack!  Shocked?  Did I go too far?  See… now those that know me wouldn’t flinch at that statement… but it is all good.  My blog is new and you, at this state, might only consider yourself an acquaintance  – no worries thou – soon, haha, very soon, a BFF status is imminent!

Getting back on track and back to the ipod battles.   Genres… diverse.  Tempos… varied.  Ultimately scanning your audience to see who gets the best “head nods”.  With the aggressiveness in jest and all competition aside, the goal is unmistakable.  It all boils down to fun… a healthy exchange of interests… companionship… even camaraderie.  Bottom line, the music is unity.

Now my husband and a few friends would emphatically proclaim that I am an unfair competitor.  Well, if I were to be honest, I would have to admit that there could be an ounce of truth to that statement!  If you were to listen, they would recount something about me… singing the words of my selected tunes… trying to get everyone to “feel” what I am feeling.  Blame it on me being caught up in the moment… or, my undeniable love of music… or, my competitive nature; wanting to always be the one to pull out that show stopper!  Regardless of the label given to me, I say this to you:  don’t knock the ipod battles til’ you try them!  I know how it happens in my circle – more good times than you can imagine and before you know it, you (yes you) will be secretly preparing playlists before social gatherings with the hopes of reigning victorious with your compilations!

Haha – don’t think that I am telling tales, for I know many who have created such playlists.  Playlists that are still in rotation on their ipod and yep, you guessed it… perhaps I or one of my lil’ social events IS now a part of their memory!  As with anything that I write, the intent is merely to share.  During these ipod games, I tend to find myself observing the crowd for reaction.  Continuously, I find it amazing as to how music can immediately stimulate a connection… often fostering  bonds between those that hours prior where easily considers strangers.  Like with wine, I look to my surroundings for inspiration – heavily relying on recommendations of others to broaden my musical scope.  At times, I find it absolutely indescribable the manner in which a song can overtake my body… hmmmm,  yes, I know… perhaps the topic for another blog, eh?!

After a quick scan of my iopd, it is obvious that the battles have definitely supplied me with new additions to my musical arsenal.  Curious thou:  Do you too ipod battle?  If so, share with me.  If not – what could you possibly be waiting for?!

Cheers!

-k

Oenophile…a lover of wine.

In Uncategorized on August 1, 2011 at 4:23 pm

A what?!  Oenophile?

Trust me, I am with you – at first glance, it does appear rather naughty and lewd.  I mean let’s be honest, there are some words with “phile” as the suffix that tend to make most shudder.  But, after reading my “A.Word.A.Day” email from wordsmith.org, I was amused to discover that I am one – and today, I can proudly proclaim that I am an oenophile… a lover of wine!

If you are savvy, I assume that you will google the word… and as with most searches, a plethora of information is available.  Of course there is a formal definition – one that is definitely not applicable to me for I am far from a connoisseur.   However, interpreting oenophile (pronounced “EE-nuh-fyl”) in layman’s terms, I easily fit the bill.  So, simply put, I offer this:  oenophiles have a sincere appreciation for wine.

Haha – this love affair is now about 9 years old.  Back in 2002 is when it officially commenced.  Like an arrow from Cupid’s bow – I was struck, in love… never to be the same!  And as time has progressed, my palate has evolved… refined might even be the more suitable choice.  Immediate disclaimer inserted here:  I am not an expert.  I do not claim to be proficient in the various types of wine, grapes or regions from which they stem.  For me, the attraction is intuitive.  My modest knowledge stems from a few books, this clever little pack called The Wine Deck, recommendations from friends and, of course, years of tasting, tasting and more tasting!  I am resolved to treat this love for wine as if it were a university… me, the dedicated student, continuing my education!  Nonetheless, I definitely do not refrain from speaking on the topic – eager to offer my knowledge and make recommendations to any who solicit.

So here is the proposal… and in my opinion, it could be the makings of a fruitful relationship.  I share my favorites and you share yours!  Now, it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have a stipulation – when you share your pick, you have got to offer the reason as to why it is your favorite.  I think we all would agree that just merely listing the name of the wine isn’t nearly as enticing as reading a quick synopsis…right?

Shall I share a few of my favorites?  Naturally, the list of favorites gets tweaked constantly… but, as of late, these are the ones that seem to be in constant rotation.

  1. BEX Riesling:  bexwinery.com — the stainless steel tanks are the secret.  Crisp and refreshing, this Riesling is bursting with fruit flavors!
  2. Apothic Red:  apothic.com — a red blend that covers your tongue like velvet.  If you love a full-bodied red, this is for you!
  3. Simonsig Piontage: http://www.simonsig.co.za/ — thus far, my favorite South African wine.  Earthy taste and fantastic finish!
  4. J.LOHR Merlot: http://www.jlohr.com/ — have to admit, J.LOHR has an abundance of fabulous offerings.  With this Merlot – it is all about the pomegranate!

Hmmm, it would appear that it is your turn, eh?!

One last thought – when shopping for wine, don’t be swayed by screw tops thinking that they are of inferior quality.  In an eco-friendly attempt many wine makers are turning to this innovative choice.  But, if you do happen to find yourself with a corked bottle, what better way to savor the moment than to grab a sharpie, inscribe a few words on the cork, including the date and save as a conversation starter.

I know for sure that it engages your guests and it’s yet another way that I choose to exercise my newly acquired status as an oenophile!

Cheers!

-k