Tuesday, January 31, 2017

ACTIVE COLLECTIVE -Activewear-Streetwear

Part 2

ALOYOGA, lucy, ONZIE

via GIPHY

Street to studio, or skip the workout and just be casual comfy-wearing performance wear aimed at the yoga-pilates-gym pursuits...aka athleisure wear...is a celeb clogged category-but our top picks are from the smaller labels that showed great Fall 2017 pieces--- that would really work year round...less super hot times.


ALOYOGA Moto Legging is our most coveted item---available now in six colors $114-and adding more next season (pictured above). Mixed matte shine fabric with mesh detail, hidden key/card pocket in waistband, and spot on-moto inspired quilted stitching legging. A big plus the comfy wide band high waisted, and functional high wicking, four way stretch, anti-microbial material. LOVE.

Monday, January 30, 2017

ACTIVE COLLECTIVE-ATHLEISURE-WORKOUT WEAR

MPG, RHONE


Part One

The NY version of the sports-yoga-workout wear focused Active Collective had loads of terrific athletic style-that anyone would wear on or off the courts, in a gym, or outdoors on weekend downtime.

IMO-athleisure is a permanent lifestyle apparel category...and we saw plenty of multi-tasking pieces made from tech fabrics for Fall 2017-in subdued autumnal colors, fewer prints (than what we have seen for Spring)-but interestingly enough...a bunch of bold black/white items at several exhibitors.

MPG (MODETTA PERFORMANCE GEAR) started as a fashion savvy- dancer focused collection of studio separates to wear off th barre- but has grown into a brand for athletes pursuing various activities-with performance pieces for runners, gym-heads, yoga buffs and dancers---and comfy casual wear that also doubles as versatile travel pieces.
In the front-cozy long knit cardigan for woman-belt it for wearing to an office-or keep it loose for downtime comfort, In back tech jacket for guys-atop base layer in fun take on camo.. Women's collab with Julianne Hough-featuring a fashionable edge to active wear pieces-continues.
we would wear this on a bike...removable sleeves-attached with magnets, reflective pops, wind/water resistant


Friday, January 27, 2017

2BEANS -Gourmet Chocolate, ILLY Café-Heavenly Pairings


a bountiful display of gourmet chocolate bars...from around the world...
AN invite for a gourmet chocolate-wine pairing tasting-count us in!
via GIPHY
yes-chocolate is that good...
A worthy reminder that single source and refined blends of planet earth's most fav 'food'-has caused worthy destinations-like the chic sleek Italian style coffee (ILLY) café 2Beans (Manhattan based-including convenient right near Grand Central station)...to offer discerning and curious customers-an outstanding assortment of chocolates from around the world-in custom confections -by the piece-or in beautiful packaged bars-to go..

Thursday, January 26, 2017

SPRING BOOTIES-Kick It Up

WOLVERINE Heritage, CAT Footwear, SUMMIT Shoes

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Wacky weather keeps us shuffling up the winter worthy layers and warmer temps wear-from the ankles up-but less the slush, snow, ice-we would wear these fab new booties-year round-soon to deliver for Spring.

WOLVERINE Since 1883-Delaney -$165 -deep V ankle cut-out trimmed in leather on suede boot two tone options in full-grain leather.)..white stitching welt construction...one of our fav booties for Spring-can year round. Leather inning, 1.5" heel 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

HAWTHORN SUITES-At Home Comfort On The Road

Endurance Athlete Essentials: Travel


All that training for a multi-hour triathlon/marathon-can be ruined when on the road...by eating/drinking foods prepared by others. Which is why we now travel to destinations afar with our own mini-coffee pot and pick up packaged pre-race basic eats at a local grocery store. 

Unless there's a Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham in the area---as the thoroughly affordable lodging alternative allow guests to serve up their own tasty meals---made easier with Homemade@Hawthorn™- a new chef-driven in-room cooking program designed for guests to feel at-well home-when on the road. 
Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham tapped acclaimed culinary minds Chef Hari Nayak a New York-based chef, restaurateur, author and culinary consultant and Chef James Rigato (pictured) former Top Chef competitor and owner of the award-winning The Root Restaurant & Bar and Mabel Gray in Michigan to create exclusive flavor-driven recipes designed for hotel living that anyone can make, even when away from home. 

Extended stay types-think re-located workers, military personnel -have long favored Hawthorn Suites-but we think traveling athletes would really appreciate this program...with easy to cook recipes online-made from ingredients that are easy to find locally...including tasty takes on standby comfort foods. 

And if like us-even idea of cooking is too taxing-the well equipped full kitchen equipped hotel accommodations -that makes that essential caffeine hit accessible-also have free wi-fi, guest laundry, on-site business services, free hot breakfast buffet daily and evening social hours ---with select properties allowing pets and offering fitness/pool facilities...
Reservations and information are available by visiting www.hawthorn.com

WHAT ELSE:
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Traveling with ones own coffee/espresso making apparatus just got a whole lot easier-for picky drinkers who insist on a flavorful cuppa...with several carry-on packing friendly choices is by GSI Outdoors.

What we use-
COMMUTER JAVAPRESS-$22.95 -lift up the inner sleeve part-French Press mesh-cleverly designed plunger rod...fill with coarse ground coffee to extract most flavor-and boiling water...wait a minute or two-slowly extract...leaving fresh brew in the insulated inner travel carafe. Included -spill resistant top-with snap close sip spout- securely clicks right on. Available in larger sizes too.




Thursday, January 19, 2017

WINTER GETAWAYS-HAMPTONS, Long Island NY

Wind swept shady beaches -blessedly free of humans, on the street parking that securing a spot= IS NOT akin to a competitive sport, winter season lodging discounts in plush accommodations- and even empty seats at gourmet hotspots-no wonder most people we know-including rent it out in the summer  homeowners-only go to the acclaimed East End of Long Island-waaay off-season.




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Winter time specials for relaxing staycation are found at the highly rated spa destination Gurney's Montauk-located on a beautiful stretch of Atlantic ocean beachfront property in hip Montauk. Choose from recently renovated  rooms, sites and cottage lodging options---AND maybe a tougher choice-a complete menu of indulgent spa options /healing treatments-that put their ocean-fed-seaweed indoor pool to good use...and fitness/wellness activities that will put the flow or burn (chill or work-it)- in one's life.

The Southhampton Inn a classic East End destination (90 deluxe rooms) combines the best of Hampton casual with the polish of a European boutique hotel's hospitality. Handy-in walking distance to the best of Southampton town's restaurants, shops, art galleries, parks, museums-leisure hours are filled-or stay put enjoying the many pursuits available onsite -restaurant with tasty menu selections to please all appetites, a cozy Library-features live theater/music performances, a kids' playroom, and an all weather tennis court. Bonus Points: Pet Friendly!!!!



OLÉ OLÉ-for casual drinks/eats (like winter hearty Mexican Pizza topped with black beans, heirloom tomatoes, black olives layered over a Mexican cheese blend, sour cream and pico de gallo)-take advantage of Southamptons' Union Cantina’s winning Everyday Happy Hour concept (daily from 4:00pm to 7:00pm). 


Churros with Nutella dipping cream or the toasted coconut Tres Leches Cake-our kind of dessert


The details: Monday is Football Night, featuring special prices on beer and BOGO margaritas. On Taco Tuesdays, diners can enjoy half price tacos all night long, and on Wine Down Wednesdays the restaurant offers 1/2 off on wine and sangria. Thursday is Ladies Night, which means complimentary margaritas and specialty cocktails for all ladies between 8:00pm and 9:30pm as well as special prices for the guys on beers, pitchers and buckets. The weekend kicks off with Live Music Fridays and Cazadores Tequila specials all night, and continues with Saturday DJ Night followed by Union Sunday Night, featuring 2 for 1 cocktails during happy hour.



AND:The restaurant sits behind the 400 Rabbits Tequila Bar, which is reminiscent of a prohibition-era speakeasy. Head bartender Kyle Smith mixes fun favorites for diners that perfectly complement any meal. The tequila bar carries more than 100 types of tequila producing a unique signature cocktail program and an extensive tequila menu consisting of sangrias, punches and frozen drinks. Popular cocktails include: The Classic Margarita blending Cabo Wabo Reposado Tequila; Frozen Margarita with fruit flavors such as mango, strawberry, passion fruit, blood orange and prickly pear; the Warren cocktail which blends 1942 Don Julio, grand marnier, centenario tequila with fresh lime juice; and the 65 Mustang cocktail, which is a bold combination of Bullet Bourbon, pressed cider, fresh lime plus bitters and mints.

40 Bowden Square
Southampton, NY 11968
Facebook: Union Cantina
 Opening times:
Monday – Friday:                            Lunch is served 11:30am – 4:00pm
Saturday & Sunday:                        Bottomless brunch is served 11:30am – 4:00pm
Sunday – Wednesday:                    Dinner is served 5:00pm – 11:00pm
Thursday, Friday & Saturday:         Dinner is served 5:00pm – 12:00am

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

WINTER GETAWAYS-NY FUN: Adirondacks

Part 2


The perfect counterbalance to arguably the greatest city -is the largest pristine wilderness preserved area in the lower 48-in the same state...and that would be the 6 million acre" sized,  easily accessed Adirondacks area...home to majestic mountains/lakes and recreational facilities that are Olympic worthy and tailored to thrill seeking kids of all ages/sizes... and challenging for dedicated backpackers-as well as more leisurely pursuits for those looking to relax and calmly experience the outdoors.

Where to stay? Roughing it - camping out spots are numerous- or indulge in the luxurious plush accommodations at the acclaimed mega star  log cabin cozy The Point- Saranac Point. In between---loads of options from hotel chains to quaint B+Bs.

Tip: Book ahead for the popular Whiteface Inn -in Lake Placid-minutes from the Whiteface Mountain slopes (that can challenge top skiers with the "the Slides"off piste terrain- as well as providing FUN for those looking to learn and perform tricks (6 terrain parks
!!!). There are multiple accommodation sizes, a soothing spa and on site eateries that practically make this iconic landmark-all inclusive for those not wanting to budge.

Gore Mountain-sunset pic
Another worthy ski resort-nearby-GORE MOUNTAIN-has day and nighttime skiing/snowboard...plenty of affordable stay/play options including Friday departing-Sunday returning- unique rail getaway packages that will delight adventure seekers, ski and rail enthusiasts alike. This winter, the Saratoga & North Creek Railway and its depot transforms into an exclusive and cozy Adirondack ski lodge with front row seats to Gore Mountain. This one-of-a-kind journey features transportation from New York City (Penn Station) or Saratoga Springs in meticulously restored Pullman cars complete with renowned Pullman Sleeping Company service setting the standard for hospitality in the last century. The Pullman Ski Train package pairs rail transportation, rail car accommodations, two day ski lift passes, some meals, transfers to the slopes, a pop-up Lodge with locally-made furniture provided by the Hudson River Trading Company and the surrounding beauty of the Adirondacks. Wow. For more info: www.travelpullman.com



Tuesday, January 17, 2017

WINTER GETAWAYS-New York FUN

Sure, the hometown Big Apple gets most of the glory-in a way-but massive New York State offers up loads of winter fare ...from fun-active outdoor activities in this country's largest protected area in the lower 48- the majestic Adirondacks, to stimulating and/or plush-to-basic indoor options, culinary treats from the exotic to simple homemade deliciousness-and literally hundreds of 24/7 travel options for all kinds of budgets.

Part One: Hudson Valley

via GIPHY
source blingee.com


Hudson Valley:
Blue Skies-easy to reach-Thunder Ridge Ski Area-with kid friendly Terrain Park

For do it in a day (from NYC) outdoor fun-kid friendly Mt. Peter or Thunder Ridge Ski Area- and spa worshiper 'must' destination-AND nature- hiker's paradise, the stately Victorian 'castle' Mohonk Mountain House are easily reached via Getaway Packages from  public train transport Metro-North-including pick up/drop arrangements, lift tickets/Learn to Ski/Snowboard deals/Tubing runs - and overnight stay options.
No snow-no worries-Mt. Peter-and all other NY State Ski areas make their own...

FYI: for some-a real deal workout is truly a dizzying day at shoppers' paradise Woodbury Common Premium Outlets-where ultra high end fashion labels (think Armani, Moncler, Balenciaga...) sell off their fab collections- reached via Metro-North train ride (Port Jervis)-and short cab ride or trolley... or bus (multiple lines) from the decidedly dim Port Authority Bus Terminal.

Food fanatics-and Craft Beer-Wine lovers will gorge on incredible culinary and sipping opportunities -which really has elevated the Hudson Valley to destination status-spurned on by the world renown Culinary Institute of America -which also has its own highly rated (nine in all-from fancy French to casual take-out)-open to the public restaurants.
Yup-CIA has a different, tastier meaning in the Hudson Valley.

To plan a day or a week-filled with wineries, historic sites including Vanderbilt Mansion Historic Site and nearby FDR/Eleanor Roosevelt's Home-Museum, world renown cultural destinations-ida Beacon and Storm King, tasty eateries form fancy to casual, charming villages and recreation options including cross country and downhill skiing, literally-walking across the Hudson River-via 1.28 suspended bridge that connects with bike/walk trails on both sides, mountain festivals like headlining Mountain Jam fest at Hunter Mountain, summer pursuits like golf and bike riding 'heaven'-TravelHudsonValley.com is an excellent source.

Tip: Looking for buzzy? Rhinebeck NY is kinda of a Hamptons in the making which is good/bad depending on one's viewpoint-with premium restaurants sourcing Hudson County's bounty (top rated The Local Restaurant,Terrapin -a Bistro-think crispy wood fired grilled pizza-nearby brewed quaffs-and the more formal restaurant- side by side in a renovated church, the Italian leaning GiGi Trattoria-to name a few), a celeb owned glam coffee/candy shop for your morning caffeine rush, (Samuel's Sweet Shop), America's oldest operating Inn (Beekman Arms), a top rated indie movie house (Upstate Films), distinctive older homes-Wilderstein and 380 acre estate-Montgomery Place- plenty of bucolic byways for bike riders and nordic skiers, lesurely strolls along the Hudson River (Poet's Walk)...and easy access from the Big Apple via Amtrak.


Friday, January 13, 2017

QUICK GETAWAYS-WInter Fun-Vermont

Part 2

Besides boasting of a Senator who can still hit a jump (sorta) shot
source bostonmagazine.com
-the beautiful green state of Vermont offers up outdoor destinations for all budgets and desired experiences (alpine -nordic skiing, ice skating, snow shoe adventures, antiquing, shopping, reviving spa treatments) ..and tasty culinary choices too.

For going with a crowd of party hearty friends ( Killington Resort, Mad River Glen),  active kids (Okemo, Sugarbush, Bromley, Smugglers Notch), independent minded teens (Mt. Snow,Stratton, Magic Mountain), going solo-or with a special someone-(Stowe Mountain Resort, The Hermitage Club Suicide Six Ski Area/Woodstock Inn)...the variety of mountain resorts packed with serious snow making trails, plus daring or relaxing off trail fun...beckon all- with sweetened up enticements of mid week bargains, learn to ski/ride options, and night-time on slopes activities.

Some ideas:

Ski Vermont pairs with wonderful partners in Vermont and across the country to provide great programs and incentives to get on the slopes this season. Long time skiers and riders, as well as those looking to learn a snowsport for the first time can win great prizes like lift tickets to Vermont resorts, skis from Rossignol and snowboards from Burton, among many other prizes this season.
Longtime participants in the national Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month initiative, Vermont resorts offer $49 beginner packages during the month of January. Ski Vermont also offers the Take 3 Pass this season, which includes 3 beginner lessons for just $129. Ten participants in this program are eligible to receive a pair of Rossignol skis or a Burton snowboard at the end of the season.(NICE)
Ski Vermont aims to reward already established Vermont-loving skiers and snowboarders this season with the new Bring-a-Friend program and the 2016-17 Season Scavenger Hunt. For those that want to introduce a friend or family member to skiing or snowboarding, they simply need to refer them (or gift them) a Ski Vermont Take 3 Pass and help get them to the slopes and into their first lesson. The first 100 participants will receive 2 lift tickets to a resort in Vermont.
Social-savvy skiers and riders can participate in the inaugural Ski Vermont Scavenger Hunt this season. Each week,in the winter season- Ski Vermont will announce the resort, product and prize of the week on Instagram and Facebook. Participants post photos of the resorts and/or product that week to be entered to win prizes from Ski Vermont partners like Darn Tough socks, Skida headwear, Vermont maple syrup and more. Two lucky participants will walk away with a Burton Process Flying V snowboard or a pair of Rossignol Soul 7 HD skis at the close of the season.
For the 17th year in a row, Ski Vermont is offering the Fifth Grade Passport, allowing fifth graders to ski virtually for free up to 88 days at Vermont alpine and Nordic resorts. For more information on Ski Vermont’s programs and incentives to slide, visit skivermont.com.


FOODIE ALERT-refuel those spent calories- or add on the pounds, the super popular Specialty Food Days returns. The Vermont style gorgethon -features home grown yummy eats from Vermont’s highly recognizable brands like Cabot Cheese, Ben & Jerry’s (anything) and of course,  Vermont maple syrup-in addition to local goodies like Kimball Brook Farm chocolate milk, Gringo Jack’s chips and salsa, Karen’s Artisan Popcorn, It’s Arthur’s Fault sauces, and Ambrosia Confections...plus new vendors/Ski Vermont’s marketing partners= Long Trail Brewery, Woodchuck Cider, Silo Vodka, Mad River Distillers and Caledonia Spirits will bring an added (liquid) element to the tour with beer, cider and spirits tastings.


Specialty Food Days for 2017 are scheduled for:

  • Saturday, January 14, 2017: Quechee Ski Area
  • Friday, January 27, 2017: Jay Peak Resort
  • Saturday, January 28, 2017: Burke Mountain Resort
  • Tuesday, January 31, 2017: Mad River Glen
  • Saturday, February 11, 2017: Bromley Mountain
  • Saturday, February 18, 2017: Middlebury College Snow Bowl
  • Tuesday, February 21, 2017: Smugglers' Notch Resort
  • Friday, February 24, 2017: Okemo Mountain Resort
  • Saturday, March 4, 2017: Pico Mountain
  • Sunday, March 5, 2017: Magic Mountain
  • Saturday, March 11, 2017: Killington Resort
  • Saturday, March 18, 2017: Sugarbush Resort
  • Sunday, March 19, 2017: Bolton Valley
  • Saturday, March 25, 2017: Stratton Mountain Resort
  • Saturday, April 8, 2017: Stowe Mountain Resort

Skiers and riders can participate in a contest this year during Ski Vermont’s Specialty Food Day tour. Samplers will be encouraged to take photos of their food and beverage experiences and tag them #SnackSkiVT on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Ski Vermont will choose one winner at the end of the season and send them a prize bag full of swag from Ski Vermont partners and two lift tickets for the 2017-18 season.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

QUICK GET-AWAYS-Winter Fun-Colorado

The Nov-Dec holiday travels are typically for family gatherings-the rest of the winter months though-yay- it's all about fun-and/or relaxing getaways-aka ME times...with or without a chosen a few...

Close by domestic USA destinations abound...that don't break the budget..and are easy enough to get to and fro, no passport needed.

Part One:

In Colorado:
via GIPHY
source vimeo.com "Days of MyYouth"/Red Bull Media House and MSP Films
The majestic Rocky Mountains beckon outdoors' types -and this year the snow is REALLY deep. In beautiful Colorado...lucky travelers or luckier locals- can partake of freebies courtesy of Colorado Ski Country's 22 members' resorts.**


Wolf Creek Ski Area
Free Horseshoe Bowl Snowcat to Reach Expert Terrain
To help guests take advantage of powder that can usually only be reached by hiking, Wolf Creek offers a Snowcat shuttle. The Horseshoe Bowl Snowcat Shuttle picks up skiers and riders at the Dog Chutes and takes them to the Horseshoe Bowl. The snowcat shuttle usually runs after storm cycles and on busy holiday weekends with operating hours announced on https://wolfcreekski.com/.

Winter Park Resort
Free Kids Activities in the Winter Park Village
After the lifts close, Winter Park’s Village comes alive with a number of family-friendly activities that are completely free including ice skating, broomball and Campfire Sing-a-longs complete with free hot apple cider on Wednesdays. For adults looking for a little bliss, Winter Park hosts free yoga at The Hill House every Sunday from 7:45 am to 8:45 am. For more information visit www.winterparkresort.com.

Telluride Ski Resort
Complimentary Mountain Tours
Telluride Ski Resort offers guests the chance to experience a complimentary mountain tour led by a resort host. The tour departs daily at 10 am from the top of the Coonskin Lift (Lift 7) and lasts for approximately 2.5 hours. Intermediate skiing ability required. Visit http://www.tellurideskiresort.com/  for more information.

Monday, January 9, 2017

B-GAME BITES-FAST+EASY for PLAYOFF PARTIES



Practically an American holiday-Sunday playoffs -for football-and B-Ball games leading up to March madness...are best watched with a another (or others). Best bites choices can be fast, easy and creative-to compensate for potential boredom.
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Some ideas that bring some sophisticated international flair for sophisticated palates...that pair up well with many kinds of beers/wines



Chewy Spanish Sabor olives-fresh green olives -are delectable on their own (or as the 'dirty' part of a chilled martini)-but for party-festive occasion...add some life...with fast dress-upped selections - stuffed with smoked cheese/nuts/basilgoat cheese/chopped green apple,  jalapeño, or classic pimento.

Widely available Jalsberg's delicious classic taste-mild, mellow and a bit nutty...naturally lactose and gluten free -now can be had in individually wrapped Cheese snacks-3/4oz in stick format-perfect for piling up in large serving bowls -right along side a bowl of chips/pretzels.
TO switch up the usual dips-goat cheese based alternatives are a step up from the usual sour cream and dry soup mixes of past parties. Snøfrisk gives a tangy twist to fresh crudités (baby carrots, julienne strips of green/red/yellow peppers,  cauliflower, celery and/or crispbreads/ crackers)...with the consistency of creamy cream cheese that is  ready to eat straight out of the container-or easily whipped up in dips mixed in with garlic -dill (or other herbs) -and sour cream/yogurt for a thinner-creamier texture that chips can handle.
And a discovery we had back in the day on a trip touring Scandinavia-was the distinct mellow flavor and practically caramel-fudge like - melt in your mouth consistency of Ski Queen Gjetost (goat-cow cheese with milk and cream) and slightly sharper-tangy-er tasting Ekte Geitost cheeses-100% goat's milk whey ... semi-hard cheeses -now readily available on this side of the POND. Serving ideas for these full body cheeses=very thinly sliced-- atop basic crackers or slices of toast-or crisp pizza crust-in an all cheese take on American staple-or even better (imo)... melted in a dessert fondue (with flour-thickening-and apple or orange juice)...a winter welcome with crisp apple slices-juicy berries-corn bread chunks (skewers needed)-that happily feeds a crowd.












Thursday, January 5, 2017

Cheers-VALUE DRINKS -PLAYOFF PARTIES



Tis' the season.

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Whether hosting or bringing beverages and eats for a playoff tv viewing crowd -chances are attendees have elevated expectations for sustenance-right along with their increasingly sophisticated palates. For a change from usual Buds:
Sparkling wines with the elegance of French champagne-without the costs? We say stay within France for handy party sized splits...that are worthy alternatives- at half the price (at least) by Burgundy based Le Grand Courtâge -conveniently available online and in many states. Pictured-the delicious bubbly Grand Cuvée Blanc de Blancs (crips granny smith apples, honeysuckle, strawberry and heady bread-y hints that we love) made from a blend of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc (honey, citrus), Colombard (high acid, structured-mineral-y), and Ugni Blanc (fruit) and the Rosé Brut-a terrific fruity fresh sip of berries- strawberry-raspberry and floral aromas-courtesy of a blend of Chardonnay, Ugni Blanc and Gamay grapes.
IMO-sparkling wines like these are easy pairers everything from pretzels, popcorn, and nuts (bar food staples), bowls of devour able M+Ms, spicy Asian bites- and crowd staples like cheese plates of any kind, salsa/guac/chips +home delivered pizza 
Spanish wines are acclaimed for their price/taste ratio-the former being low-the latter, VERY HIGH.  Our trio of choice are from Cariñena Spain based BARÓN de FUNES winery -produced by Bodegas Esteban Martin...that has select choices courtesy of the ideal hot dry climate-reddish-brown, stony soil- of Aragon region that's ideal for native grapes like Garnacha.
Pictured left to right- Rosdado 2015- -a youthful refreshing rosé ($9)-100% Garnacha grapes crisp light-that gets it just right on the dry-sweet scale for a sophisticated take on a typical summer staple that works year round. Tasting notes--crisp+ fruity that pairs well 
with any Asian, pasta or appetizer bites like crowd pleasing pot stickers from Trader Joe's.
In the middle the Blanco 2015 ($9) 
made from 70% Chardonnay and 30% Macabeo grapes-proved the most popular with our crowd...a pale lemon color- light floral and tropical fruit notes party pleaser-serve slightly chilled. This wine pairs with just about every seafood dish we can think of from paella to shrimp cocktails-plus imo-cheese platters of smooth creamy young cheeses, ripe fruits-and party staples chips/creamy dips .
Our fav-the rich Reserva 2011 
 -a full bodied red with very smooth tannins, dark cherry red color with tasting notes of chocolate + tobacco-plus aged edge attained from 14 months in French Oak Barrels. A bargain at around $11.99-this delicious wine can stand up to beefy hearty meals as well as spicy food and aged cheese.Yummy- a blend of old vine Garnacha and Cabernet Sauvignon. 


























































Tuesday, January 3, 2017

BUZZY NEW YEAR: CHAMELEON COLD- BREW

 Starting a new year usually ushers in vows of better fitness, health and nutrition-particularly in the eats and drinks category.

 A worthy resolution-get a better buzz on-our top pick USDA ORGANIC Chameleon Cold-Brew.

Since our first sip of refrigerated ready coffee from vending machines in Japan-decades ago(!!!) the buzz in a bottle/can has deliciously evolved to satisfy more sophisticated palettes -with a smooth less acid drinks. Stop choice -Chameleon Cold-Brew made from small batch, air roasted rich coffee beans slooowly processed (drip by drip for 12 hours)- with filtered Texas Hill country water.


CHAMELEON COLD-BREW comes in 10oz RTD sizes of original USDA Organic Black Coffee, Vanilla-sweetened with cane sugar, and the complex Mexican flavor-has a rich blend flavors-almost almond-y...when we added unsweetened almond milk-the results were as tasty as a milk shake but with a lot less calories. Other flavors not pictured: Caramel, Mocha and Texas Pecan. Drink it cold...typical way-but we poured in a mug and nuked hot-still delicious...full bodied flavor. 
Results...are a growing market for premium CHAMELEON COLD-BREW ready to drink coffee  -that now has several tasty alternatives to ole' original coffee- with a few pure, authentic tasting flavored options too, sweetened with cane sugar.


Ingredients are natural-as would be expected from USDA Organic labeled anything....starting here with ethically sourced, organic coffee beans---and filtered Texan Hill Country water...
FOR DAY SIPS=perfect straight outta the bottle. Chameleon Cold-Brew is such a smooth sip-the usual milk liquids needed to take the edge off -are not needed.

FOR NIGHT TIME ---small craft CHAMELEON COLD-BREW mixed with other cocktail ingredients are swank sophisticated drinks that will keep you-and if throwing a party-your guests  buzzy and perky  BONUS: the large size concentrate bottle or "bag in the box" options are made for pourings for a crowd.




COCKTAILS
Salted Caramel Coffee 
1 1/2 Scotch
1 oz Kahlua
2 oz Chameleon Caramel Coffee Concentrate
1 Pinch of Sea Salt
Shake & strain over ice. Serve in collins glass (Feel free to sub vodka instead of whiskey)

Lovers in Paradise
1 1/2 oz Aged Rum
1 oz Banana Liqueur
1/2 oz Lime Juice 
1 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice 
2 oz Chameleon Black Coffee Concentrate
1 Pineapple slice
1 Cherry
Shake & serve in a Tiki Mug. Garnish with Pineapple & cherry. 



ECO POINTS: Glass bottles and metal tops are recyclable.
Available-Fresh Direct, Amazon and online on company's website.