Gattinara, an introduction

Gattinara
 

Gattinra is the type of wine you pull out when you want to impress the company you’re having over for dinner without breaking the bank. Its incredible flavor and modest price make it an ideal choice for a night out or as a hostess gift. It pairs well with poultry, red meats, and cheese.

According to Total Wine “Gattinara is a small DOCG zone between Turin and Milan, where the local wine is made with the Piedmont’s superstar red grape, Nebbiolo. It must age for three years, including two in barrels; a Riserva version requires an additional year in barrels. Gattinara wines have had an excellent reputation since ancient times, with the best examples full-bodied and elegant with hints of violets and spice, approaching the power and flavor of Barolo at a fraction of the price.”

Embracing new flavors
I was fortunate to get to taste my first glass of Gattinara at a Wine by the Bay tasting. Cinzia Travaglini was gracious enough to lead a tasting of four wines from her family’s vineyard. You could tell that the passion of winemaking literally runs through her veins.  Her appreciation for the craft and commitment to quality really shined throughout her presentation. In the end, she was gracious enough to sign the bottle I had purchased.

 

The winery was established in the 1920s by Clemente Travaglini in Gattinara, Italy.  The estate is now in the capable hands of Cinzia Travaglini, great-granddaughter of Clemente and her husband Massimo Collauto. Cinzia oversees the operations at the winery and her husband is the chief winemaker.

At first taste the wine was soft. Its quiet elegance really blew me away. Grattinara is a departure from my much beloved big bold reds. I’m not a subtle person and that’s definitely reflected in my wine taste. Suffice to say I will now have to make more of an effort to try wines outside of my usual big, jammy wheelhouse.

This medium-bodied wine is minerally, which is always a plus for me. I remember hearing stories as a little girl about my aunt who had the family send her dirt from North Carolina to Dallas, Texas.  Apparently, she was homesick and having a spoonful to place on the inside of her cheek was the only thing that gave her relief form a very rough pregnancy. After seeing a physician she was diagnosed with Pica.  The American Pregnancy Association defines the condition as ‘Pica is the practice of craving substances with little or no nutritional value. Most pregnancy and pica related cravings involve non-food substances such as dirt or chalk. The word pica is Latin for magpie which is a bird notorious for eating almost anything.” I don’t have Pica but my obsession with earthy flavors cannot be denied.

My introduction to Grattinara is yet another reminder to get out of my wine rut.  I decided to try one new wine a week and really try to learn as much as possible about it. The wine world is vast and it takes commitment to explore it properly. Cheers to stepping outside of our comfort zones and finding a new wine to love!

1111 Nuance in creativity and event design

“Food is everything we are. It’s an extension of nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma. It’s inseparable from those from the get-go.” Anthony Bourdain
The Main Event
Nuance in creativity and event design was a celebration of food, beverage, and all things event related. 1111 Lincoln road is a stunning parking structure conceived by Herzog and de Meuron. Based in Basel, Switzerland they have designed numerous buildings in Miami including the Perez Art Museum. As winners of the 2001 Pritzker Architecture Prize, they have solidified themselves as innovators in the industry.

October 18th we squeezed into a humid elevator and ascended to the 7th floor of 1111 Lincoln road.  As soon as the doors parted I was surprised to find my self in an open concrete structure with numerous stations, a bar, and cozy seating areas. It was a gorgeous evening. There was a slight breeze and as the sky turned to dusk the event began to heat up.
Culinary Delights
This event was billed as an introduction to the 1111 Lincoln event space.  Their signature cocktails were delicious and I have to say that the French 27(their take on a french 75) was a personal fav. Guests moved through numerous culinary stations with some of Miami’s top catering companies. Featured culinary stations were as follows.

Bill Hansen Luxury Catering and Event Production

Joy Wallace

Thierry Isambert Culinary and Event design

Le Basque

Constellation group

The Setting
The vibe of the evening was relaxed yet refined. The Dj was spinning upbeat but chill tunes that made you want to move without feeling like you were in a rave. Performance artists from Lioni Garcia Dance & Co. The elements of Art and Movement provided entertainment throughout the evening. Guest also took Instagram worthy pics from Capture Pod.  Their capture scope technology features 9 cameras that combine your photos resulting in a “freeze-motion” video that you can easily post to your social media.

1111 Lincoln is not to be missed. Its phenomenal design, Insta-worthy photo opportunities, and location in south beach make it a place you need to visit as soon as possible. Keep this premier destination in mind when you a planning your next event, need a night out or want to get some shopping done.

Cozy Cool with CB2 and Refinery 29

A Cozy Affair
While it may be endless summer in Miami, the rest of the US has been thrown head first into fall. As temperatures dip across the country, it’s time to prepare your home for chilly temps, holiday entertaining, and more time spent indoors. A Cozy Affair was hosted at the South Beach outpost of CB2  in partnerships with Refinery29. 

Cozy Cool
So what exactly is Cozy Cool? According to the CB2 site it is “Bringing a sleek edge to traditional decor, cozy cool fuses purple and gold decor with modern styling. use warm tones and pair them with contemporary textiles—highlight a velvet sofa with an ultra-chic pendant light. add a faux-fur throw for a touch of luxury. or, warm up the home bar with a classic cocktail served in gold drinkware.” (CB2 cozy cool site) In other worlds its soft, inviting, and Insta-worthy.

Damask Love
Amber, of Damask love, was our design guru for the evening. Amber is warm, hands-on and makes the design process feel very accessible. Throughout the evening she asked attendees about their go-to party cocktails and the issues they struggle with when decorating. Let’s just say that budget and inspiration were the top concerns when it came to the interior design.  She always managed to come up with easy to follow solutions for all the attendee design qualms.

As we sipped on Summer Water, cozy cool mad libs were filled out and we were left to peruse the store for some inspiration. I fell in love with a perfectly pink velvet couch(pictured up top), that couch was the stuff of mature mean girl dreams.

Interior design doesn’t have to be stressful or expensive. Amber reminded us that a well-placed throw, vintage-inspired punchbowl, or an acrylic Jenga are it takes to make you home  CB2 catalog worthy. Its all about trusting your instincts and having fun.

The MaCallan Manor- Miami

The Macallan Manor Miami
 

“As a man gets older, his regrets changes. Especially when he’s gotten into the Scotch.”
― Robert Crais, The Forgotten Man

Scotch is made for sharing stories, sometimes by oneself but preferably with a good group of friends. The Macallan Manor Miami took place at the beautiful M building, in the heart of Wynwood. It was an immersive experience not to be missed, featuring actors, themed rooms, and of course Macallan Scotch.
The Forest
After briefly mingling we were led to a hallway featuring outerwear for the first part of our journey. A few brave souls threw on hats, flannel jackets, and scarves for added flair. Once the velvet curtains parted we were transported to a Scottish forest in the heart of Miami. The floor was covered in moss, branches, and dark soil. The tree’s bark was rough to the touch and the light filtered throughout the leaves making it look like we were on an evening stroll through a Scottish forest.

Scotch Olfactory
From there a visiting Scotsman extolled the praises of the complex flavors found in the Macallan 12 year. We sampled dried fruits and learned about the aromas that help create Macallan’s rich, complex flavor. There were glass containers suspended from the forest canopy that encased the essence of Macallan’s flavors. You were able to spritz the scent into the air to really get a good sense of the flavors that are found in your favorite glass of Macallan.

The Macallan Test
Boom! The resident cooper made himself known by knocking a majestic hammer on the reclaimed wooden tables. Here we were presented with Macallan 12 and Macallan 15 . We were asked to perform a blind taste test to break down the flavors and discern which one was which. Fruits and two kinds of cheese were brought out to help guests make the best guess possible. My superior tasting skill resulted in me choosing correctly (just kidding I did rock paper scissors with my seatmate).

As we exited the Cooper’s lair we got to try Macallan clouds. Imagine a tiny still that releases Macallan scented gas into the air. It was a whimsical and aromatic contraption that changed the way I think about the states of matter.

Storytelling
After emerging victorious we found ourselves gathered around our storytellers for the evening. It was like a campfire except we had adult beverages and comfy seats. We were then regaled with stories that touched on ties that bind, hope, and the pleasure derived from a glass of Macallan served neat.

We concluded our evening with a custom Macallan cocktail and enjoyed a rousing performance from a local jazz band. Despite being the home of endless summer, this evening was a splendid farewell to summer. Miami won’t be cooling down any time soon but I’ll definitely be turning my A/C up, pilling on some throws, and enjoying a glass of Macallan 12 on the rocks.

Macallan will travel to 9 US cities. If you’re lucky you’ll be able to have an immersive experience in the Macallan Manor just know it is an evening you won’t soon forget. The remaining dates can be found below.

Washington, D.C- October 23rd,24th

Atlanta, GA – October 30th,31st

Los Angeles, CA – November 6th, 8th

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