visiting loire valley

I don't have a trip planned to the Loire Valley, yet I know I will go there on my next trip to France. I'll fly into Charles de Gaulle and jump on the train from Paris to Tours, where I'll have a quick bite & a glass of Sauvignon Blanc before meeting up with the group I will be exploring with for the next four days. I'll travel with only a carry-on, big sunglasses, a warm wrap and shoes that let me walk for miles. After a few great days of food, wine and meeting with producers, I'll jump back to Paris for 2 long days of rest, relaxation, shopping & lots of walking. 2 days dedicated to taking care of myself. In Paris. It's going to be amazing. 

Must try: The small fish caught in the Loire River are prepared in a traditional dish known as friture de la Loire. The fish are deep fried whole, served with a lemon and paired with dry white wine. 
 

87 appellations and 5 days. Let's do this. 

The area includes 87 appellations under the AOC, VDQS and Vin de pays systems. The majority of wine production is from the Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Melon de Bourgogne grapes, but the red wines made from Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir are also important. Rosé, sparkling and dessert wines are also produced (possibly my paradise?). Crémant production throughout the Loire is the second largest sparkling wine producer in France after Champagne. Oh, and there is goat cheese. Extremely good goat cheese. 

get started

I've started a blog or 2 over the years but have always tried too hard to find interesting content I thought someone else would want to read. This time the writing is for me and it feels great. Year of wine is about planning a great big life, making it happen and enjoying the journey. If one person is inspired by my thoughts, it's been worthwhile. (even if that person is me) 

this is a year of...
cooking, art, style, travel, kid-stuff, traditions, adventure, family, inspiration, lifestyle, luxury, simplicity, photography, writing, action, inspiration, planning, living, mindfulness, giving, health, wellness, fun, creativity, happiness and wine. 

My goal is to write as often as I'm able for 1 year. However, I'd love to have enough creativity & inspiration to write for the next 10 or 20 years. I dream of turning this into a collection of printouts to give to Annie when she turns 16, 21, 30 or whenever it feels right. But I'm not going to think about that now, I'm going to focus on the greatness within every single day.

2017 is going to be awesome. I've spent the first 12 days of January planning: business initiatives/goals, travel and family adventures and now I'm ready for creation, hard work and fun! There will be a lot of newness this year, but since having a baby, every single day has been new. New routines, words, ideas, foods, toys, questions, worries, games, things she likes/dislikes...I am learning & changing every day. 

I recently created a night time kid checklist, to get Annie's bed time on track and she absolutely loves it. For the past 2 weeks, a set of "jobs" take her from dinner to bedtime with a lot less fuss. It makes me want to strengthen my own evening routine, which almost always involves a glass of wine. But for now, its sleep,

cheers & goodnight. 

tonight's wine: Poema Cava Rosé - sparkling wine is always a good idea

Happy New Year!

10 years ago on New Year's Day, I was inspired to get into the wine business. I didn't know a thing about wine. After my morning coffee and run through the West Village, I sat down and emailed as many NYC wine educators as google provided for me, asking if I could volunteer or work in their classrooms. I was willing to work for wine knowledge. I didn't give any thought to making money, I was only interested in learning. 

Within a month, I spent evenings and weekends in wine classes & events around NYC, pouring wine, setting up events, greeting participants and cleaning up. I probably washed 100,000 wine glasses that year.  It was awesome. 

I've learned a ton about wine since that day, but today, New Year's Day 2017, my goal is the same: to learn about wine. Yes, I'll spend my time much differently than in 2007 (I'll probably only wash 1000 glasses this year), but it's still so fun & exciting to me. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

A year and a half ago, I stood alongside a dirt road in Burgundy, staring at a vineyard on a beautiful Spring day. The sun felt incredible and the air was as fresh and clean as it gets. The vines were prepped for flowering, row after row, they were perfectly aligned. The grapes would develop in a couple weeks and the fruit would go on to become some of the world's most expensive and celebrated wine, sold by only the finest wine shops and restaurants on the planet and cherished by collectors, investors & me. 

Me. I get to do this. I get to sell those kind of bottles and I get to taste that kind of wine. I get to help create one of the world's finest wine shops, City Wine Merchant.

This year, I'm digging in again. Digging into the business, the wine and learning every single day. This is my year of wine.