Archive for April, 2010
Tuesday, April 27th, 2010
This weekend, I grabbed a few friends and headed up to Santa Barbara’s back country to check on the spring wildflowers, which I’d heard were radiant right now. On Saturday morning, we gathered up the picnic baskets, sparkling wine, cameras and the dogs, and took a drive up to Los Olivos to visit Figueroa Mountain, famous for its spring blossoms
If you’re lucky enough to be in a location that’ in full bloom, I urge you to go check it out! The views were spectacular, the flowers vibrant, and the sparkling wine was the perfect addition to the sunny afternoon. One hill was covered in bright orange California poppies and purple lupen…a real feast for the eyes (and I mean that literally – I remembered to bring allergy medicine!!)
Where do you take your wines? What places make you happy while you enjoy a glass of fine wine? We’d like to know, so leave your comments below!
Thursday, April 22nd, 2010
Remember when you were little, and you spent all day working so hard at making that perfect gift for mom for Mother’s Day? It took hours of preparation and focused energy, which was, let’s be honest here, a bonus gift for mom that you were so happily–and quietly– working on your masterpiece… You poured your little heart and soul into it- a painting, a new ruler made from a stick, a sculpture of her favorite pet made from clay - Sometimes the end product resulted in that fateful question that helped decipher its meaning, “Oh..honey…it’s delightful! Tell me more about this ‘creation’!” But regardless of what you were making, it was always going to be awesome because it was from the heart.
I remember one Mother’s Day, my little sister and I had the brilliant idea to create a photo album full of pictures of none other than her darling little angels. We were probably 7 & 5 years old at the time. I remember thinking that we couldn’t use mere paper for the album, because that was too flimsy. We needed something sturdier that would withstand the true test of time, as we were sure this was going to be kept for centuries to come. We always had an abundance of leather around the house, as mom designed leather wallets at that time. Perfect. For hours on end we locked ourselves in the back rooms and searched through endless family photo albums, pulling out pictures that we thought she would like. After making our selections, we glued them onto the leather “sheets” of the album pages, cut from her leather inventory. We bound the pages with small strips of leather from the same source. This present was going to be the end-all of amazing gifts.
As an adult looking back, I can just about imagine the absolute shock in her eyes as she unwrapped her homemade gift to find that her most favorite family pictures and portraits had been ripped from their resting places and glued, yes glued, onto soft leather album pages, captioned with our names in silver permanent marker, just in case anyone forgot. And as a bonus, this was done in the 80′s, before the age of digital cameras, and I’m certain those were the only copies of the prints. Just for you, Mom, and we did it all by ourselves.
Now, I’m sure that like all homemade gifts that children make for their parents, she did treasure it in the special way that only mothers can. To us, her smiling face and hugs in return were satisfaction enough that we had yet again brilliantly displayed how much we loved her on Mother’s Day (even though I never saw that album ever again…)
For the safety of household family portraits everywhere, kids grow up. As an adult, my ability to put gifts together has changed with my upgrade from the “50 cents-per-household-chore” budget. But that same feeling remains – the desire to WOW mom with perfect gift that shows her that her little angel still loves her dearly. Because of this, I was delighted to see the selections that Gold Medal Wine Club is offering for Mother’s Day this year. Check them out! Choose from gift baskets, gift packs or FREE items with purchase of a membership. My favorites are the gift baskets — such attention to detail. Plus, what mom can resist a basket that’s full of goodies designed especially for her?!
Mother’s Day is May 9, just around the corner…. Give the gift of award-winning, hard-to-find wines this year, and show her how much you love her without spending six hours terrorizing the family portraits with a gluestick!
Tuesday, April 20th, 2010
- Vineyard Goldwas painted by Jennifer Vranes, a contemporary artist who enjoys working with extreme texture and bright colors. Her pieces portray an intense energy that is both positive and uplifting.
Jennifer painted Vineyard Gold using thick acrylic on canvas – a technique called Textures of Life TM, something she created years ago in which she literally sculpts on the canvas in spots “where nature intended”. The style frequently leaves the viewer to reach out toward the painting to make sure they really are seeing in 3-D, to which she comments, “Go ahead! Touch it! My paintings are meant to be irresistible to your fingertips!”
Jennifer uses inspiration from her world travels to bring beauty to her canvases. Vibrant color mixed with the extreme texture leave the viewer with euphoric sensations. Her positive outlook on the world is inherent within her art, as she has stated, “The world is a beautiful place and it is my goal to bring to light the utopias I find most precious for the enjoyment of others.”
Like what you see? Visit Jennifer’s website for more information about her, the techniques she implements, and to view and purchase her spectacular works of art.
Wednesday, April 14th, 2010
Handley Cellars 2006 Pinot Noir is the most recent feature from the Gold Series. This wine is so popular and has achieved such impressive reviews, that it is now sold out at the winery, and is available in limited quantities only through Gold Medal Wine Club or various restaurants in California. What a find!
Because fine wine should be accompanied by great food, try this easy-to-make recipe as a beautiful accompaniment to your bottle:
1 Pound Blue Cheese, Crumbled
1/2 Pound Unsalted Butter at Room Temperature
3 Tablespoons Marsala
1/4 Cup Minced Parsley
1/2 Cup Minced Green Onion
4 Ounces Chopped Pistachio meats
Reserve half of the crumbled blue cheese. Combine half of the blue cheese with the butter, cream cheese, and Marsala and blend in a mixer (a food processor will work, too) until well combined. Add parsley and green onion, and mix until evenly combined. Remove from mixer and arrange on your serving plate or in your serving bowl. Sprinkle the reserved cheese crumbles to the top and serve!
Wednesday, April 7th, 2010
Make sure we have your email address, and you’ll be the first to hear about special discounts,exclusive promotions and private wine sales…before the public even knows about it! Throughout the year, we’re able to offer a range of special deals, and we want you to hear about it first. Having your email address on file is also a good idea when it comes to your scheduled wine club shipments. As each wine delivery is sent out, we’ll send you an email notification of the shipment with personal tracking information – this way you can plan and anticipate its arrival. Many of our wine club members are already enjoying the benefits of email notifications, and you can too!
Please give us a call today at 1-800-266-8888, and we can easily verify your account information and add your email address to our private list. And rest assured, we always keep email information confidential and never share it with anyone. Be in the know. Join the VIP list today!
Friday, April 2nd, 2010
Up to 40% off Winery Direct Prices with FREE SHIPPING on orders of 2 Cases or More!
Welcome to the Wine Sale 2010! This year, its bigger and badder than ever, with up to 40% off winery direct prices! If that wasn’t enough, you can also save more by ordering 2 or more cases to receive FREE SHIPPING! The wines included in this sale were recent features of the club’s Pinot Noir, Platinum, Diamond, and International Series — the upper level memberships that feature 90+ rated wines. There’s a three bottle minimum per wine to achieve the sale price, but at these amounts, you’ll want to order much more than simply three of each, which is why there is no maximum per wine (inventory pending, of course!)
You won’t want to miss out on the sale; it is your chance to stock up on some fabulous wines. But, you’ll have to hurry! Inventory is moving quickly and the sale will be over by the end of the month!