Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wine Wednesday :: Boston Wine Expo 2014


In the midst of a mini-blizzard (but suited in our finest snow attire), Mr. Chat and I made our way to the Seaport District during President's Day weekend for an afternoon at the Boston Wine Expo. The annual globetrotting event caters to aficionados and amateurs alike in pursuit of all things palate pleasing and perfect for dinner parties.

First on our list was Carolyn's Sakonnet Vineyard, a Rhode Island gem that we've been frequenting for the better part of a decade. Yes. Gasp. One whole decade. Day-trips to Tiverton and Little Compton in the Ocean State are what we live for in the spring, summer and fall. More about that here and here.

I spoke with Steve Krohn, director of wine education at Carolyn's Sakonnet, who introduced me to their newest selection, The Blessed Blend. As the first wine produced by new owner Carolyn Rafealian, the medium bodied white is a poignant blend of vidal blanc and chardonnay; and was also blessed by Armenian priests. As zests of citrus danced in my glass, my palate paid homage to hints of green apple, guava, pineapple and passion fruit. The Blessed Blend pairs perfectly with camembert cheese and seafood, but I'm confident the wine tastes even better among best friends.

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Next, we flocked to France for a sip of cabernet franc -- a red we've been enjoying this winter. We fell in love with a medium-to-full bodied selection from Joseph Mellot. Les Morinieres is produced along the slopes of Chinon, a town on the banks of the Vienne and Loire rivers. Both beautiful and complex, Les Morinieres twizzles on the taste buds with hints of red raspberry and dark cherry. A good match for poultry, grilled meats and this weekend's charcuterie. 

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Sauntering over to Spain we found ourselves romancing a robust red from Rioja. Vina Albina Bodegas Riojanas is a cherry-red blend of 80% tempranillo, 20% mazuelo and 5% graciano grapes. Cracking its complexity, I was met with the aroma of fruits such as, dried plum and blood orange intertwined with earthy elements such as, leather and tobacco. But the taste is what's truly unforgettable as I tousled chocolate, vanilla and spice around my tongue. Reminiscing on our magical trip to Spain several years ago, Mr. Chat and I didn't hesitate tallying this to our list.

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Have you ever tried Georgian wine? Like as in wine from the country and not the American state? Well neither did we until our trusty wine guide steered us to Chateau Marko. Located near Georgia's eastern boarder with Azerbaijan and Russia, the Kakheti wine region has a climate similar to southern France and is home to saperavi grapes. The word "saperavi" literally means dye and the ruby-rich color certainly caught my eye. Chateau Marko Saperavi was dry, delicious and immediately conjured a craving for a block of robust cheese. It will be a welcomed addition to our h'orderve and dinner table.


Admission was courtesy of the Boston Wine Expo.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Style on Ice :: Sochi Winter Olympics


For the past week, I've been mesmerized by the tiers of crystals, layers of chiffon and abundance of color skating across the ice at the Sochi Winter Olympics. The Russian figure skating team has been at the fashion forefront, and fierce on the ice too. My favorite pairs costume was the tulle skirt Elena Ilinykh wore for her dramatic free dance to Tchaikovsky's Black Sawn. Wearing a bodice lined with intricate beading and a tutu reminiscent of the ballet's dark characterIlinykh stunned all as she stood on partner Nikita Katsalapov's stomach and feathered herself like the black swan. Katsalapov's no-frills costume allowed her to shine. By far, one of the best performances and best costumes in the figure skating competition. 

The couple also dazzled in Gatsby-inspired garments for their short program to "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen" by Sholom Secunda. Ilinykh wore a beautiful shade of dusty rose which paid compliment to her creamy complexion and dark hair. And can we please talk about her fabulous flapper-style headpiece?! Gorgeous indeed. And I almost forgot about Katsalapov (as men's fashion can fall off my radar from time to time). He looked handsome in a black tuxedo.

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Penny Coomes and Nicholas Buckland also took a formal approach to costuming for their short routine. The British pair danced to "I Won't Dance" by Fred Astire and "Swing Set" by Jurassic Five. Flow and flirt best described Penny's sequin and lace costume...and the micro-mini skirt was just darling. Coomes' dress was fancy, feminine and perfect for the ice. And I must point out another beautiful headpiece. Buckland's after five attire was equally playful, but also very polished with black-trim cuffs, white suspenders and a sequin bow tie. 


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US figure skater Gracie Gold has been called the Grace Kelly of the ice figuratively and almost literally speaking. Her poise and perfection in and out of the rink, along with her natural beauty, has drawn similarities to the late Princess of Monaco. And believe it or not Gold's costume designer, Brad Griffies, also designs costumes for Grace Kelly's granddaughter. While planning for her free program which was set to "Sleeping Beauty," Gold wanted to channel "Old Hollywood" and that was exactly what Griffies was able to produce with the periwinkle and royal blue stunner that he showered in 1,400 beads. 

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Despite the controversy swirling around Julia Lipnitskaia's performance to the score to "Schindler's List," the 15-year-old Russian figure skater demonstrated incredible athleticism and made ice skating look truly effortless. And that's the sign of a phenomenal skater -- someone who makes the sport look easy to the audience. In terms of fashion, Lipnitskaia's red coat dressed with beading and accompanied by a grey chiffon skirt was classic, striking and simply beautiful.

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 :: Style from Sochi :: 
Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy // Germany

Kaetlyn Osmond // Canada

Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte // Italy

Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat // France

Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov // Russia

Jason Brown // United States of America

Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford // Canada

Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov // Russia

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir // Canada 

Meryl Davis and Charlie White // United States of America
images via

Monday, February 10, 2014

Pantone Color of the Year :: Radiant Orchid

Hannibal Laguna

As many of you know, radiant orchid is the Pantone Color of the Year. And if you know me well (*ahhem* Kristin), you know just how head over heels I am about this enchanting harmony of purple, fuchsia and pink.  

As a little girl, I wore purple sparkles on my nails. When I was a teen, I danced my prom night away in a purple gown. In college, purple covered almost every inch of my dorm room
(*ahhem* again Kristin). Purple (paired with silver) was also the color scheme for my formal college graduation party. Even my father wore a purple-inspired tie with a grey suit at the beck and call of his daughter. Yes, I styled him for the occasion.

It’s said that orchid intrigues the eye and sparks the imagination. The rich hue also encourages creativity and expands originality. This speaks volumes because it describes ME to a tee. With creativity deeply etched in my bones, I’d say there's no wondering why I’ve been passionate about purple for decades.

But with maturity comes change and with change comes distinction. And at some point (perhaps in my early-20s), my lust and consumption for all-things lilac graduated into a fixation for something else. Something gorgeous. Something grown-up. That something was grey.

I wonder what Pantone would say about grey?! Does a love for the dusty hue mean a person is less prolific? I hope not. Grey has always struck me as mellow, mysterious and mature. I think Pantone should give grey a go in the coming years. I believe that in life, there's always room for more than one color to spark and seduce your senses.

What do you think about radiant orchid? What color would you like to see as a Pantone Color of the Year?

:: how to incorporate a little radiance into life ::

Damir Doma Resort Collection

:: GET THE LOOK ::

African Violet

Benjamin Moore