The Secret to Surviving Almost Winter in Boston

This weekend was one of those weekends in New England when you go from “Yay, fall is here!” to “Oh crap, winter’s coming!”.  A weekend where pumpkin spice lattes lose their meaning and you have an existential crisis while wrapped in a Snuggie. Why did I move to this soon-to-be frozen tundra of bi-polar weather? What’s the point of eating healthy if no one is going to see my body under the 17 layers of clothes I will be swathed in over the next 8 months? Who can I hire to put winterizing plastic on my windows? Do I still have toes or are they just numb?
Winter in Boston is a beast. I can handle the snow and the cold, but the transition from fall to winter full of freezing rain in 30 degree temperatures blowing sideways through gusts of wind, was almost enough to drive me crazy. Couple that with living alone and being too tired and lazy to get my act together to go out with friends, and I had the makings of one helluva Saturday night this weekend.
Thankfully (or sadly) this isn’t my first rodeo and so I found myself settling into the obligatory almost winter acceptance of the demise of fall which I have realized is the secret to surviving almost winter in Boston–a night of decorating, wine, and Netflix.
That’s right, the secret to surviving the transition from fall to winter is being a loser and owning it…or at least that’s my secret because that’s exactly what I did. You don’t want to go out because the weather sucks? Stay in. You’re bummed about winter coming? Decorate your house with pinecones and burlap (basics love burlap). You feel like a loser staying in on a Saturday night? Drink some wine and watch movies until you don’t care anymore.
So that’s what I did on Saturday night. Freezing and bummed about the crappy weather and feeling slightly heavy-hearted after struggling to squeeze into a size medium dress at Forever 21, I gave up and embraced a night in. I poured a glass of my new favorite wine, Big Red Blend, from the awesome folks at 90+ Cellars, decorated my apothecary jars, and vegged out.
I made a grilled cheese, watched Clueless for the 47th time, and took a series of selfies with my hot date, Big Red. Slowly, the feeling in my numb toes came back and my hatred of all things cold and rainy diminished.

By the time the movie was over I was feeling better about the weather. I put away the last of my summer clothes (that I will probably need halfway through the week because New England weather likes to mess with us like that), did some online shopping (because throw pillows make me happy), and purged a bunch of junk from my apartment (including the broken footstool that I had the intention of rescuing almost a year ago and never got around to fixing).

My grumbly attitude toward winter was replaced by comfort food and wine. One-liners from my favorite movie and some Paul Rudd eye-candy made me giggle and swoon, until I realized that the man hasn’t aged a day since 1995 and went on a glycolic acid and eye cream online shopping binge.
And that’s how I managed to survive the beginning of winter in Boston.

Wine + Moonshine: Spodee White review

Spodee White Review and Cocktail RecipeOver the weekend I had the chance to try out Spodee White, a wine infused with moonshine from the good folks over at Spodee Wine. I knew I was planning a weekend with friends in Martha’s Vineyard, an island with a surprising lack of vineyards, and brought Spodee White along.

After a long day at the beach, I broke out the Spodee. I’m no oenophile or moonshinephile (if such a designation exists) but did appreciate the sweet slightly citrus smell of Spodee. To play off the citrus, I made my own Spodee recipe similar to the Spodee Mojito that I have named:

Spodee Porch Rocker
1 part Spodee White
2 parts lime sparkling water
5 mint leaves
Twist of lime
Serve over ice with a lime garnish, enjoy anywhere outside
Spodee was surprisingly good, as I was slightly skeptical of a wine and moonshine concoction. It was sweet and light and refreshing for a hot summer day– perfectly fitting for some Martha’s Vineyard Gingerbread house porch drinking to get the evening started.
I had other plans for the evening and took Spodee White to go to be enjoyed on the beach with friends over a fresh cooked seafood dinner. Spodee fit right in, both in aesthetics and taste. This refreshing drink was a great accompaniment to our lemon-squeezed shellfish. 

An added perk was the wide mouth jar that Spodee comes in. I was able to easily add more sparkling water, mint and lime for the ultimate portable beach drink (if your beach allows glass). Spodee was an exciting new addition to a weekend away with friends! Check out their website and get some today! 

Note: Spodee White was provided in exchange for an honest review of the product. As always, all thoughts and boozy musings are my own.

Wine Tasting: Boston Wine School

Tucked away under a gigantic liquor store on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, you will find the Boston Wine School.  Tucked inside the Boston Wine School you’ll find Jonathon Alsop and the awesome wine classes he teaches.  And tucked away in this link (here, yup, right here) you’ll find a calendar for the classes you should take at the Boston Wine School.
Recently I was lucky enough to get the chance to attend Jonathon’s class entitled, “The Best Wines You’ve Never Heard Of”.  Always a fan of finding the hottest things that no one else knows about and bragging about my exclusive knowledge, I was looking forward to the class.  I invited a friend of mine to join me because drinking wine is more fun with friends.
We arrived at the Boston Wine School with open minds and eager palates and were greeted by a warm and welcoming Jonathon Alsop and fellow wine class students.  A taste of sparkling Riesling and some olive appetizers were presented to us before we made our way to the table of bread and cheeses.
Jonathon walked up through the 7-S System of wine tasting: See-Sniff-Swirl-Smell-Sip-Swish-Spit (or not depending on whether you have to drive).  He explained that tasting wine is much different than drinking wine and that it’s better to taste wine with others so that you can have a more dynamic experience.  Just like how we all have different preferences and experiences in life, no one tastes the same wine.
True to the title, we tasted 7 wines unfamiliar to myself or anyone else in the class.  In fact, most of the class was unfamiliar with wine in general and had come to learn more.  It’s a plus to go to a wine tasting class where everyone is clueless instead of having “that person” try to show off their knowledge.  Jonathon encouraged questions.  After all, there are no stupid questions–just people we talk about when they go to the bathroom! (kidding)
It was fun learning new wines but what was even better was when, a couple of weeks after the class, I stumbled across the Berger Grüner Veitliner and got to act like some hipster wino who had heard of the next big thing.  We tasted three whites…
and four reds, moving from the lightest to the heaviest, more full bodied wines.
The wines were delicious and favorites included the sparkling Riesling and the Tilia Bonarda. The Bonarda reminded me of a Malbec but better and was excellent paired with the cheeses. I’m not a big cheese person, but totally could be if I drank wine all the time.
The Boston Wine School was an informative and fun experience.  If I had a disposable income, I would avail myself to the Burgers and Bordeaux or the Take a Bite out of Whisky dinner and tasting. Alas, I don’t so I will head on over to the Pay your Age class, as most classes run $50 and over so $30 (gasp!) is a steal!
Note: I took this class free of charge but all thoughts and boozy musings are my own.

I’m a hacker, apparently

Since we’re talking about horrible people and things…oh wait, we’re not?  Well, I guess now we are. Anyway, on the topic of horrible people doing unspeakable things, I will divulge a secret.

I took a blogger template and hacked it.  Ok, so I probably didn’t really hack it because the only hacking I’ve ever done is has been hacking up a lung when I had a cold, but I did change the color on a template (HEX code, whut whut?!) and I feel like a badass.  I’m not sure that’s even illegal (I hope it’s not–eek!).  What’s even more radical is the fact that my color scheme was inspired my wine.  Total rebel, right?  Yeah, that’s what I thought.

See the pic, total creative parallel there.  Ok, not really, but I was drinking 90+ Cellars Rosé while trying to decide on an accent color, googled HEX code “rose” and that’s what I got.  Voilá!  For a sad attempt at street cred I will even tell you that I was listening to “Homeboy” by Eric Church while cutting and pasting the aforementioned code (badasses attract other badasses) AND I haven’t done an update on my computer in WAY too long.  Be afraid, be very afraid…

Sip Happens

Watch what happens when you stop being polite and start drinking wine…
A few weeks ago I attended Kate’s (Another Clean Slate) Sip Happens party!  While I had been battling eboda, or you know, the flu, during the week and felt like death warmed over, there was nothing that was going to keep me from missing her party…aside from being contagious, which I no longer was.  
So I showered for the first time in days, put on something that felt like pajamas but resembled real clothes (knit jeggings for the win) and picked up a bottle with a fun label and name for the party. Thanks, Gnarly Head Wines!  I met up with Kate, Jodi and Allena and got to meet Kerry for the first time!
Kate’s apartment was adorably decorated for the party with appetizers on sticks and a charcuterie platter that I bulldozed through.  Naturally I forgot to take any pictures of said adorableness but here’s at least a lineup of the wines we brought.
After eating my weight in cheese and crackers and this awesome chicken orzo dish that Kate made (she subbed chicken for the shrimp in the recipe) I perked up a bit.  I even managed to swap my can of seltzer for half a glass of wine.  Then we got silly.  There was some Tindering on the phone then a series of selfies trying to get Kate to put on a seductive face followed by a solid 30 minutes of belly busting laughter and snorts–I laugh like a pig and I’m damn proud of it.
Sip Happens was a great party, even though I didn’t really drink any wine.  I got to share in fun and laugher with great friends and make new ones.  Best of all, we came up with the awesome idea to do this again, with different kinds of alcohol.  So, this Friday I’m hosting a beer tasting party at my house, with these ladies, and other friends.  Thanks for a great party, Kate!