Love your food, love your wine

If you’re like me on any given Monday you’re either loathing the thought of a glass of wine or in desperate need of a glass (or bottle). Depending on the prior weekend’s activities, I am usually in desperate need with the thought of 4 work days ahead of me until the next weekend!

Since today is Monday and I’m off work, I thought I would honor this feeling that usually hits me on a Monday with a review of one of my new favorite wines. Before I begin the review I’ll give you a short description of the kinds of wines I drink and the favors I like. I am definitely a dry wine kind of girl – I like both red and white wines but tend to skew toward drinking more red in the winter. I never really spend more than $15 on a bottle and it is rare if I am spending over $10 for a bottle. I am a firm believer that wine doesn’t have to be expensive to be enjoyable. Favorite reds: Cab Sav and Malbec. Favorite whites: Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio. I will not claim or pretend to be an expert, but I will give you my opinion about wines that I try…hopefully you will enjoy the wines I like, too! Now on to the good stuff!!

As I mentioned, the wine I am about to share is a new favorite of mine. It is a Cabernet Sauvignon that I picked up on a whim from Kroger. It is called Entwine and it is from Wente Vineyards in California. It is very smooth and has a nice finish that I usually just drink it on its own. The description on the back of the bottle reads “Rich, fruity, and herbaceous – like eating raspberry jam off a sprig of thyme.”. I can definitely taste the raspberry flavor that is a little closer to blackberry to me, but not the thyme.

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Back label:

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The last time I went to Jungle Jim’s (a local grocery store in Cincinnati – the place is seriously a jungle…it is enormous and has foods from all over the world! I could devote 5 posts to that place!) I picked up another two bottles and noticed that there are other entwine varieties. You can learn more about the wine on their site. I love to watch Food Network or browse on their site for recipes, so I think it is really cool that Food Network and Wente Vineyards have paired together to produce this wine.

Finally, I am all about little details…check out this cork from the entwine. I can’t wait to add it to our collection!

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Have you ever tried entwine? Which variety is your favorite?

**I am looking for more wines to try and post more reviews! Please tell me about your favorite new find and I’ll give it a try!

What did Santa bring you?

Wow! Was your Christmas a blur like mine was? Since my husband (I’ll start calling him “J”) and I got married in October, this is our first Christmas together. In 24 hours we celebrated 3 different Christmases in 2 cities…boy are we tired! It was AWESOME spending time with our new families, but we are going to have to figure out a way to split the holidays in the coming years. I’ll start worrying about that in 11 months…ha! 🙂

So now the big question is what did Santa bring you? I’m hoping he treated you all really well – I’m sure you were all good girls and boys all year…or at least most of the time.

I got a really nice gift that I wanted to share on my blog because I think it is so practical and just plain cute! This gift came from my mom who has a great eye for really good finds. She is constantly finding really nice things for the seasons/holidays.

Drumroll please….here is one of my favorite gifts that I received this year!

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It is a platter by Nora Fleming that my mom purchased from the cutest shop in Cincinnati called Anne Rice Limited. What is so cute about the platter is that the boot charm can be interchanged with other charms to update it for various holidays/occasions.

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I can’t wait for a football party or a cookout to use these other charms. J looooves to grill so this platter would be perfect for kabobs or burgers.

I should have taken a picture of the wrapping, but of course was too eager to see what was in the box that I forgot too. Anne has fantastic gift wrapping…isn’t this bow just beautiful and cheerful? I love it!

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And now…the finished product! I made a beer cheese dip from a mix J’s mom gave us for Christmas and served it with Granny Smith apples and baguette pieces. So yummy!

I have never seen these platters at parties or friends’ houses. Do you have any Nora Fleming pieces? If so, what are your favorite charms (is “charm” even the right word? Someone please correct me!)? I am dying to add some to my new collection!

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My first post – a beginning of all things that make a girl’s life cheerful!

Welcome!  Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog – I’m so glad you are here!  This is my first post toward a blog full of things that make a girl’s life cheerful, happy, and fun!  Okay, that sounds a little cheesy, but I always find myself finding little things in life that are practical and might just put a smile on your face, too!  This blog will not be about lavish or expensive things – ok…maybe occasionally because we have to indulge every once in a while!  I plan to share reviews on beauty products, new fashion ideas, food/recipe and wine reviews, home decor inspirations, and everything in between.

So here is a little about me.  I live in suburban Cincinnati, OH with my husband and new dog, Jack!  We adopted Jack this past weekend so he is a very new addition to our family.  I can already tell you I will have posts starring this cutie!  My husband and I got engaged in February 2013, bought our first house in April and got married in October, so we have had a VERY busy year.  I am in my mid (okay, okay, mid-to-late 20’s) and I work at a marketing research firm.  We run focus groups and do product tests so I get to be in the know when it comes to new products and initiatives that are in the works from companies from all around the world.  It is a pretty cool job!

In my free time I am interested in cooking, baking, wine (basically anything that I can eat or drink), decorating our house, keeping up with fashion on a lower budget, crafting/diy, and now, taking care of our new doggie!  

Now that you know a little bit more about me it is time to get into the good stuff!  WINE! 

Last evening we hosted our first family gathering at our house.  Now that me and my cousin Melissa have gotten married, our family time is split with our husband’s families, which is great, but the tradition of all 5 cousins getting together with our parents and grandparents on Christmas Day is becoming more and more difficult.  This year we started a new tradition: Cousin Christmas!  Apparently other families do this too so I guess we weren’t as original as I thought.

My husband and I asked that everyone in the family bring over an  appetizer and a beverage to drink.  Since we were the hosts I made a signature cocktail to welcome everyone into our new home.  I made a white wine Christmas Sangria and it was so delicious!  Of course, I found the recipe here on Pinterest (another thing I do in my spare time). 

It was so easy and really so yummy – it really didn’t even taste like wine and it was so refreshing.  I think it had a really nice presentation too…it looked festive and cheerful!

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Recipe:

1 Granny Smith Apple, cubed

1 Braeburn Apple, cubed

1 cup fresh cranberries

1 large spring of rosemary (I had more than one sprig so I put a sprig in each glass)

1 Bottle Pinot Grigio (I used Barefoot because it is always good and it was pretty inexpensive)

1/2 cup white grape juice

1/4 cup of sugar

1 can of club soda 

Mix all ingredients, except the club soda, in a pitcher and let it chill for a few hours.  Right before serving, add in the club soda so it is fresh and bubbly and then serve. 

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I served ours with a cute straws cut in half that I got from Target ($3) the straw wasn’t really meant for drinking, but just something fun to look at and stir your fruit with.    

Do you have any special holiday/festive cocktails that your family makes?  If so, I’d love to have the recipe!