wine wednesday: birthday bubbles

Happy 2017!!! It has been off to a busy start, filled with road trips, a surprise visit from my best friend in New York and of course drinking wine to celebrate.

And since today happens to be my birthday, I figured why not make a fun birthday cocktail!

what you’ll need:

1 bottle of bubbles (mini Moët encouraged)

sprinkles

chocolate chips (semi-sweet or bust!)

2 bowls

1 coup or champagne flute

To make your birthday bubbles, simply add chocolate chips to one bowl and melt your chocolate- I used the microwave heating it in 30 second increments at 50% power until it was melted #burntchocolateistheworst Then, in a separate bowl, pour desired sprinkles. Next, dip coup or flute in chocolate followed by sprinkles. Pop your bubbly and add to festive glass.

Enjoy! And repeat on every birthday (and days you want it to feel like your birthday!)

 

wine wednesday: champagne, france

Break out your bottles of bubbly because IT’S GAME 7 OF THE WORLD SERIES AND I’M SO EXCITED/ANXIOUS/NERVOUS/INTERNET SHOUTING BECAUSE I CAN’T CONTAIN MY EMOTIONS. GO CUBS GO!!!!

Phew…glad I got that out, thank you. It’s been a roller coaster of a ride this season, and you better believe that bottles are going to be popped tonight #FlytheW

Moving back to the topic du jour, Champagne is a region AND a sparkling wine from said region. It was rumored to be created by Monk Dom Pérignon in the 1600s when he added yeast and sugar to his bottle of wine causing a second fermentation in the bottle. Though that’s not 100% true, it’s a fun story to roll out for trivia.

the process

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As you can see, making one bottle of Champagne is no walk in the park. It’s a labor of love to keep all of the non-vintage (NV) bottles tasting the same year to year. Think about it, isn’t it pretty incredible that all bottles of Veuve Clicquot/Perrier Jouet/Moët et Chandon taste the same year to year???

Champagne houses can also release “vintages” dedicated to a specific year and must be aged a minimum of three years before their release. These are typically nuttier, creamier with notes of honey due to aging. More expensive too!

buying tips

Expect to spend around $40 for your baseline Champagne!

If you are going to buy a vintage of Champagne the years: 1996, 2002, 2004 and 2008 are “good years”

CHAmpagne picks

$$-Moët & Chandon: Available at most grocery stores, you won’t be hard pressed to find a bottle from the largest Champagne house.

$$$-Ruinart: Oldest Champagne house and makes kickass Blanc de Blancs and Rose Champagnes in addition to the traditional stuff.

$$$$-Krug: This is liquid gold, so many different notes in their NV and if I ever get my hands on a “Grand Cuvée” I may or may not share.

GO CUBS!!! Let’s pop some bottles tonight.

life lately, laundry list style

Happy Friday! I’m up early and heading to model (this is becoming a trend) for a fun Studio DIY project- if you don’t follow her look her Instagram, she always brightens my day.

Any who, ever since returning from Scotland (I got back exactly a month ago (sayyyy what??!), I’ve been on the go- read, there’s always something going on/ never a dull moment/ pencil me in for that event! You get the picture. So, here’s what I’ve been up to lately, laundry list style:

life Lately:

  • Back in acting class
  • “Modeling” for ModJewel (use code MYFIRSTMOD for 10% off!!)
  • Auditions–yay!!!
  • Create and Cultivate POP UP in Beverly Hills for a dose of inspriation and boss ass ladies.
  • The Taste of LA with @missfoodieproblems AKA eating and drinking all the food on the backlot of Paramount.
  • I’m in a play! It’s about one-night-stands, and actually closes tonight, but I’ve had a blast being back on stage.
  • There was a baking night, and I made a silly Instagram story to go along with it. Raw cookie dough was consumed.
  • No notifications- well almost. While I was in Scotland I turned off ALL the notifications on my phone, and since returning I’ve only turned on texts and phone calls. It’s so refreshing and I feel like I’m checking my phone a lot less.
  • Hi Fall!! Yesterday marked the first official day of Autumn, and, yes, this is a weirdly placed point, but in my stream of consciousness. I want LA to get about 15 degrees colder- can you do that Mother Nature??
  • Taking a few minutes to daily (errrr almost every day) to “meditate”, aka lighting these candles and journaling. The power of positive thinking works wonders.
  • COLLEGE FRIENDS VISIT!! (post to come about “things to do in LA with out-of-towners”) And we went all around town naturally, and ate VERY well.
  • Taking solo hikes sans music. It’s great for the soul.
  • Watch Sophie’s dog, realize I cannot/am not ready for my own dog. It’s like having a child. NOT READY.
  • Attending birthdays, late night karaoke and an Emmy’s party…. and the very unwelcome hangovers associated. Usually cured by a donut.
  • AND then in between life happening, I’m mad at myself because I didn’t make a wine video this Wednesday. Trying to let that one go, as there are only so many hours in the day.
  • I recently bought this GIANT DESK CALENDAR in attempts to plan my life/blog content out in a more organized fashion. I’m becoming my mother, and totally ok with that. She’s the best.
  • Planning on a couple trips these next few month and eyeing Northern California, New York (again I know!) and Austin for the BBQ and Tex-Mex.

Enjoy your weekend!

P.S. If you’re in the Midwest slash on the East Coast eat an apple cider donut for me. Thanks (they realllly need to get on that trend in LA!)

wine wednesday: take me to Spain

 

I’ve been on a serious Vino Verde and Grenacha kick, so I figured “wine not share my other favorite Spanish wines?!” Puns intended. Sue me. I digress…but Spain is one of the largest producers of wine in the world. They have roughly 2.5million acres used for producing wine grapes! The US only has about 570,000 acres just to give a little reference. But without further ado, my picks, all available at Whole Foods.

CAVA: @8.99 MAS fi Brut (NV=non-vintage)

ALBARINO: @17.99 La Cana 2014 Rias Baixas, Spain

MENCIA: @18.99 Petalos 2013 Bierzo, Spain

Any other must try wines from Spain?! Let me know your recs!

the buzz: win at 4th of July

THE SLEEVE: Blackwood Coffee

This newcomer on the border of West Hollywood and Hollywood has a LOT of promise. Plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, solid wifi and nice aesthetic. They serve food too! MY ORDER: Latin Coldbrew (Coldbrew with Horchata and Chocolate Bitters!)

THE BUZZ: Win Your 4th of July BBQ

July 4th is a favorite holiday of mine. It’s an excuse to spend the day outdoors with friends & family, eat yummy food and celebrate life. Plus fireworks, alcohol and some type of beach or pool. What more could you want in life? Little I say. However, here are my 5 go-tos to “win” as a guest/host this holiday weekend.

  1. ICE CREAM NOVELTIES
  2. GRILLED ARTICHOKES
  3. “POOL NOODLES”
  4. PEACHES AND BURRATA
  5. REALLY GOOD PICKLES

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Firecracker pops, ice cream sammies, even otter pops will secure your place on best friend list.

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Follow this recipe and you will be golden. I prefer a lemon, oil and vinegar situation on top of the grilled ‘choke, but come prepared with a mayo based dip as well.

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So not technically food, but if you’re going to a BBQ with a pool, bring along a couple pool noodles or pool toys. You don’t have to spend a lot either! You can easily find these at a drugstore or 99 cent store!

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If peaches are nectar from the Gods, burrata was destined to be their heavenly match.  Grab a couple of peaches, slice them up around a portion of burrata. Drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar if you wish and top with some sea salt. Add some prosciutto too!d Props if you grill peaches before serving.

image c/o community table
image c/o community table @amandawaas

I am a pickle lover.  Not only do they add a nice burst of saltiness/acid to any plate of BBQ, but the leftover juice is the perfect chaser for some whiskey. Hello homemade pickle-backs. True story, I am a proud member of the “Pickle Back Club” in Chapel Hill, NC. Check out this article for some craft pickle picks.

What are your BBQ/4th of July go-tos?!