“The first sip is joy, the second is gladness, the third is serenity, the fourth is madness, the fifth is ecstasy.” ― Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

Villa Maria Marlborough New Zealand Winery

Join Villa Maria for the “First Taste of Fall” Twitter event on Wednesday, November 4, 2015, at 8pm Eastern / 5pm Pacific to celebrate the harvest and chat and taste the first sips of the 2014 pinot noir release. Use the hashtag #NZPinot to track, follow along and contribute to the conversation — using the hash during the event qualifies for awesome prizes.

For the event, here are the key players and their Twitter links. Of course you need to follow Villa Maria, as well as Helen Morrison, Senior Marlborough Winemaker at Villa Maria, and Josh Hammond, Marlborough Winemaker at Villa Maria. Moderating the “First Taste of Fall” is the awesome Janet Fouts, and if you haven’t followed me at Wine Harlots on Twitter, it’s about bloody time! The wines being sampled will be the Villa Maria Private Bin Pinot Noir 2014 ($15 USD) before it’s highly anticipated release to the U.S. market and the Villa Maria Cellar Selection Pinot Noir 2013 ($20 USD). Both wines exemplify the flavor and complexity of New Zealand Pinot Noir and the commitment to quality Villa Maria is known for.

Villa Maria A Year in the Vineyards-Harvest New Zealand
For more information about Villa Maria, be sure to check out their website, and get social with them on Facebook and Instagram. Here’s a brief bio on the winery: “The Villa Maria story is one of absolute passion. Each wine is crafted in the unique, fruit-driven style of New Zealand, showcasing the very best of the country’s distinct wine regions. Villa Maria sources grapes from New Zealand’s premium grape growing regions, including Marlborough and Hawkes Bay, and produces wines in state-of-the-art winemaking facilities in Auckland and Marlborough. The winery Sir George Fistonich started in 1961 is still family owned and stands as an icon of superior quality and innovation in New Zealand winemaking. Villa Maria was also the first wine company in New Zealand to declare the winery a “cork-free zone,” sealing all wines from the 2001 vintage onwards with a screwcap to ensure quality in every bottle. Dedicated to minimizing environmental impact, Villa Maria has pioneered sustainable viticulture and winemaking since the 1990s, and is one of the very few wineries that have acquired four certifications as proof of the ongoing commitment. In 2015, Drinks International named Villa Maria the most admired wine brand in New Zealand and fourth most admired wine brand in the world.”

Put Villa Maria on your calendar (and your table) for Wednesday, November 4, 2015, at 8pm Eastern / 5pm Pacific — and make it a delicious date.

Photo credit: Villa Maria ©2015

Disclosure: Compensation is being provided for this announcement, as well as my participation in the Twitter wine party.


Julia Child on French Cooking

by Nannette Eaton on August 15, 2015



Drinking Alone With the Moon

by Nannette Eaton on July 27, 2015

drinking alone with the moon“Drinking Alone Under the Moon,”
by Li Bo

Among the flowers, a single jug of wine;
I drink alone. No one close to me.
I raise my cup, invite the bright moon;
facing my shadow, together we make three.
The moon doesn’t know how to drink;
and my shadow can only follow my body.
But for a time I make moon and shadow my companions;
taking one’s pleasure must last until spring.
I sing — the moon wavers back and forth.
I dance — my shadow flickers and scatters.
When I’m sober we take pleasure together.
When I’m drunk, we each go our own ways.
I make an oath to journey forever free of feelings,
making an appointment with them to meet in the Milky Way afar.

[Translation by Paul Rouzer]


Photo credit: EatonAlive ©2015

Image from the The Addison Street Poetry Walk in Berkeley, California.


Sponsored Post

Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards wants you to #BeGlorious on the 4th of July, so they hired Wine Harlots to talk about how we celebrate Independence Day — with Gloria Ferrer, naturally! Red, white and blue — and bubbles, too!

As kids we always liked the fireworks on the 4th — we gravitated to sparklers, and as adults we’re still fixated on sparklers, but now the sparklers come courtesy of the wine caves at Gloria Ferrer. Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards is Carneros’ original sparkling wine house, owned and founded by the Ferrer family of Spain. Named for José Ferrer’s wife, Gloria, the winery opened in 1986 Sonoma County. Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards was the fulfillment of a longtime family dream: to make world-class sparkling wines in an exceptional New World terroir.

Sparkling wine suffers from the idea that it’s expensive, only for special occasions and fancy foods, but nothing is farther from the truth. The Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Blanc and Blanc de Noir we sampled have a suggested retail of $22 USD so everyday can be a celebration.

We think sparkling wine pairs beautifully with every kind of food. Stumped on what to pair with Grilled Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus? Sparkling wine. Thai food? Sparkling wine. Fish and chips? Sparkling wine. Fried chicken? Sparkling wine. Any dish that has a high lipid content will brighten when served with sparkling wine, as the acid in the bubbly cuts through the fat in the dish. Try it with fresh guacamole and taco chips. Bliss.

The idea of a high-low-pairing is playful fun, and what better than to play on the 4th of July? We made homemade french fries with sea salt and classic bacon-wrapped hot dogs. You can trick your dogs out anyway you like from the 50 States of Hot Dogs or go International. We went basic and did classic yellow mustard and ketchup (but don’t tell Dirty Harry!)

The Gloria Ferrer tagline is “be glorious!” Join the Gloria Ferrer “Be Glorious” Photo Contest on Instagram and Twitter to win a prize pack of sparkling wine glasses. The theme is “Independence Day. Red, White, Blue and Bubbly.” To enter, hashtag your best photos with both #Glorious4th #BeGloriousContest to be considered. (Void where prohibited.)

Have a sparkling Independence Day. We will, with flutes of Gloria Ferrer. Be glorious.

Photo credit: EatonAlive ©2015

Wine Harlots were selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls, the content, opinions and creativity expressed here are authentic and genuine and were crafted independently.



Summer Sippers: Crios

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“I felt like summer had taken me over.” ― Junot Díaz It’s summer! And as the heat-ramps up, you don’t want to be fussing over what to eat and drink. That said, you want to have solid selections for your summer soirées. Wine Harlots love the Crios line from Dominio del Plata Susana Balbo. They […]

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The Best Roast Chicken

The Best Roast Chicken, EVER!

SPONSORED POST The crew at Foster Farms® sponsored Wine Harlots to create a recipe and  highlight their new line of fresh chicken products. Foster Farms® trio of fresh chicken products include: Foster Farms® Fresh & Natural, Foster Farms® Simply Raised (without antibiotics) and Foster Farms® Organic. Simply Raised without antibiotics by Foster Farms® is already […]

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Sauvignon Blanc Day

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The marketers and the social media have declared today #SauvBlanc day, and who are we, Wine Harlots, professional drinkers extraordinaire, to argue? Any day with a glass of wine in hand is a good day, in our opinion. Sauvignon blanc originated in France, but has packed it’s bags and traveled the world over to take […]

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Talbott Vineyards Club Members Party 2015

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What do the Wine Harlots do when we are “off-duty?” You’re not surprised that it involves wine. Our friend, Brix Chick Liza, is a member of the Talbott Vineyards wine club and invited us to join her at the annual club member pick up party, so we piled in the Brix Chicks hoopty and rolled […]

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Compound Interest :: The Chemistry Of Series

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Love, love, love these infographics from Compound Interest. Of course, I’m enchanted by the alcohol series, with the Champagne, red wine, beer and whiskey being favorites. You can even order them in poster size, to slake your thirst for science. Infographics courtesy of Compound Interest ©2015

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Quote of the Day

“Wine brings to light the hidden secrets of the soul.” — Horace

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