Winos in the ‘Ville

Good morning!!

I am enjoying a quiet morning here on my first day of vacation! I’m heading down to Emerald Isle, NC with my brother, sister-in-law, and baby Liam, where we’ll meet up with my family, who has been there since Sunday to continue our week-long family beach trip!

First, I wanted to leave you with a recount of the fabulous weekend I had a couple weeks ago when I toured VA wine country, a.k.a. Charlottesville, VA with my girlfriends from high school!

Let’s get right to the tastings….

Our first stop was at King Family Vineyard. This space was GORGEOUS!!! Located right smack dab in the mountains, and full of lush, green fields. The tasting room had a lot of exposed wood, and gave you that “cabin” feel. King offered a flight of about six white and red wines. My favorite was the Roseland Chardonnay.


We enjoyed a glass of our choice on the patio, while taking in beautiful Charlottesville and settling into the weekend.


Next up was Pippin Hill Farm. I had a girls weekend here with my mom and sister a couple years ago, so I somewhat knew what to expect, but there is always something new to discover!


Pippin Hill is very idyllic and has become a very popular destination spot for Virginia brides. There was even one being set up while we were there! Again, like King, Pippin has that rustic feel, but with a softer feel with washed wood and pastel colors.


While the wines offered at Pippin were not as aged as the other vineyards had, my favorite here was the Summer Farm Rose.


At this point, we were having FUN and enjoyed our drive through the countryside with our personal driver, DQ. But we were getting hungry!!! Unfortunately, Pippin Hill have stopped allowing guests to bring their own picnic, which is what we had, so we had to wait until our third vineyard to enjoy the delicious picnic Liz had made. Our late lunch included turkey, apple, cheddar and prosciutto, mozzarella sandwiches.

After our tummies were full, we headed into the Jefferson Vineyards tasting room to sip their extensive flight of wines. Our sommelier was excellent, and my favorite wine here was a red, the 2008 Meritage. The sommelier explained how the year 2010 was so tumultuous with rain, that it spoiled most grapes, so wines from year 2009 and 2011 are definitely a commodity. Interesting wine fact!

Our last stop was Trump Winery. This space was PARADISE!! I don’t know if we all had hit our climax with tasting of all the wines at this point, but with Trump being at the heart of the Monitcello Wine Trail, the wine was that much better!!


Centered around rolling hills and ponds, Trump is definitely an oasis. Wines to note here were the Simply Red, a bordeaux style blend, and the grand finale, the CRU, which was a fortified chardonnay. Deep, fresh aromas and flavors of pear, citrus, bourbon and toasted almonds. I think our sommelier might have mixed the CRU with a Rose or other red, but at that point, it all tasted good!!


We ended the night at The Whiskey Jar, a cool spot at the end of the Downtown Mall. This place was like stumbling into Fall. Most people there donned buffalo plaid shirts and were sipping their bourbon-barrel stouts. I devoured my entree of Tilapia, fresh veggies, and cornbread!

After dinner, we wanted a little bit more, so we stumbled up the stairs to the Commonwealth Restuarant and Sky Bar. The whole weekend was unseasonably cool for August, so it was a particularly chilly, wonderful evening to be OOTT!


So, there you have it! I had an amazing weekend with close friends and lots and lots of delicious wine from good ‘ole VA!! The perfect weekend getaway.




Good morning! It’s unseasonably chilly in RVA today, but I’ll take it!!

Knowing the standard Virginia weather patterns, it will likely go back to being hot and humid through the end of September, but here’s to hoping!

I’ve started the morning off right with a tall glass of water! Then prepared this refreshing bowl of GF oats with a TBP of raw maple almond butter (which I’ve devoured in just two weeks!!), sliced banana and white peach.

And let’s not leave out the coffee!

I bought a bag of the Starbucks Veranda blend this week and asked the baristas to grind it for me. My brother and sister-in-law gave me a Starbucks gift card for my birthday, so I thought I’d get a bag of their coffee to try.

I usually don’t care for most blends of Starbucks coffee, and typically only get iced coffees, but I really like the Veranda blend. It’s part of their “Blonde” collection of roasts, and smoother than their other roasts that can taste very bitter.

After making my grocery list, I’m going to head out to yoga.

What are you doing today?


I Like Mine Roasted

Happy Monday!

In the world of vegetables, for me, they come a verrrry close second to fruit. My favorite way to cook veggies is by roasting them in an oven. In the Fall, I crave roasted sweet potatoes, spring brings refreshing asparagus, and in the Summer, we pretty much have our pick of everything that grows in the earth to cook. My personal favorite is zucchini!


Roasting is also very efficient. When I get home from the gym, all I have to do is pre-heat the oven, usually at 400 or 425, drizzle about two teaspoons of olive oil, and choice of spices and herbs, and into the oven they go!

Depending on the strength of your oven and the mass of the veggie, (my oven could be better), it usually takes 30-40 minutes for roasting.

Tonight I roasted two heads of cauliflower I bought at The Fresh Market this weekend. Two for $5.00! I topped the florets with olive oil, lemon pepper, rosemary, and basil, and viola!

Roasted veggies are a great and easy side dish or a perfect topping over your whole grain of choice.



How do you like your vegetables?