Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
Inside the tank room
Paraduxx was one of my favorite stops on the tour, from the entrance into the yellow house, to the interior design, welcoming staff and warmth of the tasting room, I probably could have stayed there all day sipping wine. During the tasting you have your own private table and can enjoy their portfolio of wines at your own pace paired with artisan cheeses and crackers. It was a really nice change of pace from some of the other tastings where you are standing at the bar surrounded by groups of other people doing the same thing. If you plan to visit be sure to call ahead it is by appointment only. This is a must see!
Paraduxx is a unique Napa Valley Red Wine in the tradition of the world's great blends. From the Super Tuscan wines of Italy to the Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon blends of Australia, each great winegrowing region has created its own authentic varietal pairings. Paraduxx's goal is to craft a world-class blend with a distinctly Californian personality by using Zinfandel, a grape synonymous with California, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. From the first vintage, Paraduxx has dedicated itself to finding the optimum blend, using combinations of Merlot and Cabernet Franc to enhance the core pairing of Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. Noting the jammy quality of valley Zinfandel, versus the tannic spiciness of mountain grown grapes, Paraduxx also experiments with blending fruit from distinct vineyard lots at differing elevations.
Duckhorn Wine Company originally created Paraduxx to allow its winemakers the opportunity to explore other styles without detracting from Duckhorn Vineyards' focus on Bordeaux varietals.
In the land where Cab is King and the focus is on Bordeaux varietals, I love that the winemaker at Paraduxx is doing something different. Mastering the art of blending Zinfandel with Cab Suavignon, Cab Franc, and Merlot he is crafting some incredible wines. As the winemaker for Paraduxx, David Marchesi is committed to the simple, yet bold idea that the Napa Valley-one of the great winegrowing regions of the world-is capable of producing a truly exceptional blend, with a uniquely Californian personality.
We selected the 2006 Canvasback Napa Valley Red, as the wine to travel back with us to CT. It is absolutely fabulous!
Comments from the Winemaker
Crafted around a core of Syrah and Grenache, this wine offers a broad, beautifully balanced palate, fresh fruit notes and a silky texture. The Syrah dominates the aromatics with layers of blackberry, black pepper, licorice, currant and subtle earth. The mid-palate reveals juicy Grenache elements complemented by soft, integrated tannins with oak-inspired hints of cherry cola and vanilla. Ripe and intense, this layered blend also reveals sophisticated touches of black tea, orange peel, cinnamon and sage, leading to a savory finish.
56% Syrah, 40% Grenache, 2% Carignane, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
I was reminded the other day by the fabulous Abby Larson of Style me Pretty of their incredible design tool they recently launched on the blog, The Style Circle, which allows brides, vendors, friends, etc. to browse through the hundreds of pictures they have accumulated in their library as well as your own personal collection to create a mood/inspiration board just by dropping your images on one of 4 different templates they have created. I have been lucky to have Miss Wesson as the mastermind behind uploading all of my pictures into a board, but this tool is just fabulous for those of you interested in designing your own inspiration boards. It is so easy and doesn't require a fancy design program or software.
So this week my mood board was designed using the Style Circle. With turquoise being the color of the year, I just love this combination of tones of red, and pink against the bright bold turquoise glass, and the simplicity of the baby's breath, on a fabulous patterned runner. I love to layer patterns of stripes, flowers, and polka dots. You can see in this board that even in using just two colors you can still create incredible interest with pattern, texture, and shades.
You all know how much I love interesting save the dates, well this is by far one of my absolute favorites I came across on Green Wedding Shoes. The images are brilliant!
Kelty from Steep Street Photography Captured this incredible Engagement shoot. What fun!
A Note From Kelty: Jeff and Stacey are dear friends that I've known since childhood and (being the crazy iron man triathletes they are) they were game for an underwater engagement shoot, replete with wedding ensembles, underwater kisses, dancing, and diving. They've been all over the world together but had a distinct vision for their engagement shoot and save the date cards, choosing the pool their grew up swimming in. I then created an accordion Save the Date Invite using their engagement photos.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
Our first full day in California included a morning appointment at Moon Mountain Vineyard, a total hidden gem!!
As we drove along the winding, steep, narrow, roads, we couldn't believe the climb to get to the top of the long driveway that led us up to Moon Mountain. It was the most beautiful sunny, warm, day and the mustard was in full yellow bloom. Absolutely gorgeous this time of year.
Moon Mountain Vineyard
If not recommended to us by a good friend we would probably never have stumbled upon Moon Mountain Vineyard, it is definitely off the beaten path but well worth the trip! One of our favorite stops on the trip for sure. We had our own private tour and tasting (if you plan to visit make sure you call ahead, it is by appointment only) with artisan cheeses, crackers and chocolate to pair with our wines. An in depth tour of the winery, wine making process and tour of the natural cave where the wines are stored. In the cave we got to taste directly from the barrel. The two ladies we met working at the winery were incredibly helpful, really in depth and knowledgeable about the winery and super nice. It is such a beautiful place it was hard not to want to stay there the entire day enjoying a bottle of wine and relaxing on one of the picnic tables. We loved the experience so much we joined the wine club and truly I can't wait til our first shipment of wines arrives in June! In addition to the wines being absolutely fabulous the grapes are all organically grown. This is a must see!
About the Winery: Moon Mountain Vineyard is located high on the Sonoma Valley side of Mount Veeder, at nearly the 2,000-foot elevation. The steep, southern-facing slopes consist of soils called the Sonoma Volcanics, which are derived from rock, volcanic ash and lava. These soils, combined with the rigors of growing on the mountainside, push the vines to work harder, resulting in small, intensely flavored fruit. To balance these rugged conditions, we organically farm each row to gently enhance the complexity of the vineyard by creating a rich, healthy growing environment and produce grapes with pure flavors and a pronounced sense of place.
Our Favorites: (the wines are available exclusively at the winery, but the good news is they can ship to most states, Connecticut included)
Chardonnay Sonoma County 2007, $16: I loved this one, thought it was really nice, not a typical California Chardonnay. Crisp, Great fruit, not overly oaky or buttery.
From the Winemaker: This Chardonnay is perfectly balanced and elegant, with all of the fruit coming from the Russian River and Dry Creek Valley’s. This alluring wine offers aromas of honeysuckle, citrus, kiwi, along with a kiss of elegant French oak nuances. It is a well-structured wine, with a creamy mouth-feel and a finish with refreshing acidity; these complex lingering flavors are just mouthwatering. Pairs with: Grilled Tuna & Poultry Dishes; Brie & Goat Cheeses.
Cabernet Franc Estate 2006, $45: This one was an easy favorite, it made the short list of only 6 select wines we shipped back with us after our stay in California.
From the Winemaker: This 100% Cabernet Franc is from our highest vineyard block at 1,750 feet in elevation, the Feather Block. Deep garnet in color, this wine provokes a rich full-bodied mouth feel and lingering finish. Tantalizing and powerful flavors of mountain blackberry, black currant and wild sage are complemented with a subtle hint of root spice, cedar and mocha. Cabernet Franc is a very bold wine, yet velvety tannin structure. Pairs with: Bistecca Alla Fiorentina (Steak Florentine); Blue, Gorgonzola & Camembert Cheeses.
Zinfandel Dry Creek 2007, $35: On my tasting notes sheet this got the most exclamation points. It was my favorite and I am told that the Estate 2007 blows the Dry Creek out of the water, with only 11 bottles left in the production. I somehow let husband convince me the Cab Franc (his favorite) should be the one we purchased, but if I had my way I would have bought a case of this. They also make an incredible Zinfandel Dry Creek Port 2006, absolutely delicious. Instead of bringing dessert to the next dinner party bring a bottle of this port with fresh dark chocolate, you will be a huge hit!
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
My arms are burning just watching her. I just might have to make my own video to show you how much fun this workout is and that you can do it anywhere, just by putting on a song that makes you want to dance.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
When I first met DJ and Angela, I knew we were going to have a blast in planning their wedding and one of the most important things to them was that their wedding was fun! This save the date totally sets the tone for what guests can expect, and delivers such an incredible energy and excitement for the big day!!
Monday, March 15, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
Mood: Sophisticated, Romantic, Modern, City Chic.
Row 1: Dessert Table, image via Ruffled Blog, Pink Dresses, image via 100 Layer Cake, Bride and Groom, image via 100 Layer Cake.
Row 2: Bridesmaid dress, Priscilla of Boston, String Lighting, image via A Cup of Joe, Paper poms, Etsy, Centerpiece, image via Style Me Pretty, Bride, image via Style Me Pretty.
Row 3: Image via Style me Pretty, Dahlia image via, Style Me Pretty, ruffle pillow, Pier One Imports, Bridesmaid Dress, Priscilla of Boston.
Row 4: CB2 Glass Candles, Image via 100 Layer Cake, Centerpiece image via, Style Me Pretty, Ruffle Cake, image via 100 Layer Cake, Pillar Candles, image via Style Me Pretty.