wine wednesday: mulled wine with limoncello

Ho, Ho, Ho–Holiday cheer coming in HOT. Literally. Mulled wine is my favorite drink to make around the holidays because

A) it’s so easy

B) you make a lot at once so more time to mingle, and less time jingling that cocktail shaker (sorry!)

C) you can keep leftovers in your fridge and heat up on another day-WIN!

D) YOUR HOUSE WILL SMELL AMAZING

E) did I mention how easy it is to make?

F) there’s no “set” recipe, so play around and find what flavor combinations you like best

G) pairs well with gift wrapping, talking to relatives and overall merriment

So let’s get to it shall we?

EASY MULLED WINE with Limoncello

2 bottles BIG red wine (think Cab Sauv, Zin, Syrah etc.)
40 oz (5 cups) unfiltered apple cider
4 oz limoncello
1 lemon
2 mandarin oranges (or something similar)
2 handfuls of fresh cranberries
3 cinnamon sticks (extra handful for garnish)
3 star anise
handful cloves
nutmeg to taste
honey to taste
Add wine and apple cider to pot on low heat. Zest citrus to taste and add juice of 1 mandarin and 1/2 lemon to pot. Put a few slices of lemon and mandarin in pot too. Add a handful of cranberries. Throw anise and cinnamon to into the mix. Poke remaining mandarin with cloves and add whole fruit to the brew. Grate some nutmeg over the pot. Pour in limoncello and stir. Taste and add ingredients to your liking. Let simmer for approximately 15 minutes (or until warm) and serve in mugs with a cinnamon stick and a few skewer cranberries. Spread the cheer!

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season. Let me know how you like the mulled wine with limoncello. I think it’s my favorite to date.

Merry Christmas!

xo NP

wine wednesday: cause for celebration

Confession: I haven’t been following my own advice. Me, the champion of celebrating and eating up what life has to offer, wasn’t excited about my own movie premiere. I was downplaying the hell out of it to the point that I was confusing my excitement for nerves (which is a thing btw- they both give off the same physiological symptoms: faster heart rate, higher levels of cortisol, sweating, etc.)

So here I was days before the big night aka tonight poo-pooing my success: “Oh, it’s gonna be bad” “My acting’s going to suck” “It wasn’t a big budget thing soo…it’s gonna be campy” “It’s nothing to be proud of”

F*$& THAT

Thank God I had a moment where I realized what I was doing was dumb, and was able to shift my mindset. This is a big deal. So what if the film isn’t going to any festivals in the future? It was my first experience being a lead in a feature and I should damn well celebrate my work. Period. End of discussion. Because if I can’t take the time to celebrate my own work, why am I even chasing the dream?

Well, I’m off to get done up, drink some bubbly and celebrate with my onscreen fam (pictured below)!

And in case you want your wine lesson for the day…

MORE ON BUBBLY:

I talked about the champagne process here complete with a little 60 second video to get you up to speed. We can say merci to the French for creating this spirited beverage!

wine wednesday: 4 game changing wine books

game changing wine books

Knowledge is power. And becoming versed in wine didn’t happen just because I worked in restaurants. It happened because I was hungry for more and wanted to become educated from the best in the biz. Even if you’re not wanting a career in wine, these books are suuuper helpful for learning the basics and beyond. They’re full of easy to follow verbage, pictures, illustrations and even drunk tales.

And fear not “Wine Wednesday” fans, I will keep my own content coming, filming more wine videos coming to the blog soon!

So to hold you over, enjoy these reads with a glass or two of wine (duh) links for the books at the end of the post!


WINE. all the time. by Marissa A. Ross

This chick. Guys she’s one of my favorites to follow on the ‘gram because she keeps it more real than a 1st edition Harry Potter book. She’s hilarious, knows her shit and is the Wine Editor for Bon freakin’ Appetite! Also she’s not a sommelier proving that you don’t need to pass some old school fancy test to kick-ass. Her book is truly a “casual guide to confident drinking” and will have you laughing. I promise it’s her writing and not the wine.

The Wine Bible. by Karen MacNeil

A true bible. MacNeil’s book is the holy grail of wine information. It’s my go to source when I need to look up unfamiliar regions or varietals. I haven’t cracked through the entire volume yet, but the book is laid out in such an easy to follow format that it’s only a matter of time before I spend a day highlighting my way through. And then booking tickets to said wine regions.

Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine. by Madeline Puckette and Justin Hammack

My first wine book! I was thrilled to open my package from Amazon and dive right in. Filled with amazing charts and illustrations that give the essentials on all the well known grape varietals. It touches on the wine making process, the basics of reading wine labels and how to serve each type of wine.

Rosé All Day. by Katherine Cole

I meannnnn. Of course rosé deserves its own book. And Katherine’s written one that not only looks good on your bar cart/ book shelf/ coffee table but that highlights everything rosé. And why drinking pink is the greatest! Also why deeper pink rosés shouldn’t scare you. Plus pictures of her favorite bottles and labels to help you shop!


Well there you have it folks. May I also mention that these books were written by W O M E N!!!! Hell yeah ladies (ok hi too Justin, you’re doing great things too!). But going into this I didn’t even realize my favorites were all from females. So pick up their books and promote these women in wine. Crushing real hard on them all.

Cheers!

Nat


wine wednesday: summer’s not over celebration!

 

Also known as the ‘MAINE’ event.

Seriously, I can’t believe summer is already starting to wind down. I did a ‘last hurrah of summer’ trip over the weekend to Austin with some friends from college and the September issues were lining all the airport shelves casually hinting that fall is creeping closer. BUT SUMMER’S NOT OVER!!! A few weeks back I did a lobster dinner with friends in LA and this is such a fun way to celebrate.

So I say, keep the rosé and pét nat  f l o w i n g  like it’s 95 degrees. I’ll stay extra freckle-y and avoid turning the color of our beloved lobsters.

WINE CHOICE:

Bi Fri “Pét Nat”: crisp, clean, mineral with white peach notes. A BEAUTIFUL easy sipper from Italy. Better than those San Pellegrino sodas because this isn’t as sweet…and it’s alcoholic. ‘Nuf said.

ANY DRY ROSÉ: keep that summer water flowing as long as possible.

How are you celebrating? BBQ and wine pairing tips on earlier posts!

CHEERS!!

 

wine wednesday: grilled peaches and pét nat

So gonna level with you, I meant to have this last grill video up 2 weeks ago. EEEEEK. But life happens, and it got away from me. I was a) having a week of where I didn’t feel “inspired” to cut this together (sometimes I don’t wanna edit!) and b) I last minute ended up going to Chicago for a week due to a family emergency.

Getting away was much needed (LA you can take a toll on me sometimes!) but I’ve come back refreshed and ready to get back into the swing of things. So may I present:

GRILLED PEACHES AND PÉT NAT

This is the perfect way to end a BBQ (okay s’mores are amazing too!) but the low heat from the coals (or turn the gas burner down) caramelizes and smokes up the fruit. You’ve got yourself a naturally sweet finish, paired well with the “naturally sparkling” vino.


grilled peaches

GRILLED PEACHES (serves 2)

-2 ripe peaches

-salt

-pepper

-olive oil

-greek yogurt (optional)

-mint

-honey

Set the flames to low if using a gas grill or wait until the coals are petering out. You don’t want to put the peaches over too hot of a grill. Next cut peaches in half and de-pit. Brush the peaches with olive oil, dust with some salt and sprinkle with pepper (helps to bring out their natural flavor!). Place peaches flesh side down on the grill and let them cook for 3-5 minutes. If you want more of a smokey flavor, close the lid of your grill to trap the smoke. Once they are warm take ’em off the grill and drizzle with a little honey, honey. Add a dollop of greek yogurt if you wish and garnish with a sprig of mint. Serve immediately with a chilled glass of pét nat.


WINE PAIRING

Now I talked about pétillant naturel earlier this summer here but as a refresher (and yes pét-nat’s are refreshing AF) they are a sparkling wine that only goes through one fermentation. A “younger sister”  to champagne, this sparkling wine has softer bubbles and is usually unfiltered. That’s because during the initial fermentation, a crown cap (aka the kind that’s used on beer bottles) is added which traps the CO2 that’s created as the natural sugars and yeast interact. They’re fun, refreshing, dry and usually have high acid. Serve them chilled. And buy an extra bottle because it’s so easy to drink that you’ll be sad when the first one runs out!

In this video I was drinking CRUSE WINE VALDIGUIÉ PÉTILLANT NATUREL RANCHO CHIMILESIt’s their pét nat with a lady on the label.


CHEERS!

Enjoy the rest of your summer. Keep an eye out next Wednesday for another food + wine pairing episode, then I’ll take it back to the OG format. If there’s anything you want me to talk about let me know!