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Breaking the Taboo of Wine and Perfume

For eons, perfume has been banned from any place where wine is being tasted, consumed, enjoyed.  As a wine professional, it is taboo for me to wear perfume to a trade tasting, a wine dinner or other wine related event.  The same goes for people working in the wine industry, whether they are working in the winery as a cellar rat, enologist, winemaker or pouring at the tasting bar.  Wine and perfume together…not allowed!  Forbidden. Until now. I’ve been on a mission to break the taboo of wine and perfume together.  As a Certified Sommelier, I love to pair wine with perfume.  Both are aromatic experiences.  In fact, without your sense of smell, wine (or any food or beverage) would not be as enjoyable, because your sense of taste really comes from your sense of smell.  The tongue can’t distinguish floral from spicy, but your nose can. And, it’s that ability…

An Ultimate Girls Summer Weekend in Wine Country

I’ve been on at least a dozen girls weekends. The destinations are always great: New York, Palm Springs, Chicago, Miami, the North Carolina mountains. But I’d not done a girls trip to Napa Valley wine country. I’m not talking over the top 5-star accommodations and 3 star Michelin restaurants; we were more budget minded (we’d rather have money for shopping). We ate and drank well, and even found a nice place to stay that was less than $200 per night (thanks Priceline!)

You probably don’t think of downtown Napa as a destination for style or shopping. People used to bypass Napa on their way to winery tasting rooms and St. Helena. Well things have changed. Now Napa is a must stop for great dining, wine tasting and shopping. Read more

EAT – Ubuntu, better than ever

One of Napa Valley’s best restaurants is Ubuntu in downtown Napa. Executive chef Jeremy Fox’s “vegetable cuisine” was a revelation. He redefined what it means to have an all vegetable-based menu, with much of the produce coming from the kitchen’s biodynamic garden fresh every day. Fox and Ubuntu received many awards and accolades. Well Fox departed earlier this year, and I think many of us were holding our collective breath about the restaurant’s future. Would it be as good with another chef? Will the vegetable menu be replaced? Will the restaurant close? Rest assured, we can all breathe. I believe Ubuntu is now better than ever. The kitchen is now in the hands of executive chef Aaron London, who has been at Ubuntu since its opening in 2007. He’s got a stellar resume´- including stints at Daniel, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, L’Astrance and Arpege in Paris.  London is not…

DRINK – Why I’m not at the Wine Bloggers’ Conference

Everything comes down to choices and priorities. That’s why I’m not attending the 2010 Wine Bloggers’ Conference (WBC) in Walla Walla, Washington this weekend. The reason is perfectly clear: Wine Women & Shoes is happening in Napa, and there was no way to attend both. Yes, shoes win out over wine. In fact, I always compare what something costs to how many pairs of shoes I could buy. An $800 bottle of Screaming Eagle? That’s at least two or three pairs of shoes. Personally I’d rather have the shoes. Oh don’t get me wrong, I love wine and spend way too much money on it as it is. But shoes you can wear more than once, and perhaps even for years. Wine is a one time deal. Once you pop the cork, it’s gone. Anyway, that’s my reasoning. Anything to justify buying yet another pair. No doubt I’ll be following…