Bon Vivant: (n) a person having cultivated, refined, and sociable tastes especially with respect to food and drink.

All posts in guilty pleasures

On Hedonism and Health

Posted in: Bon Vivant, Champagne, Drink Well, Foodie, guilty pleasures, Lifestyle, Travel

There comes a time of reckoning for everyone in the food and wine business. The search for balance between hedonism and health is a fine line, and one that is finally being discussed in an industry where consuming 5 course meals and entire bottle(s) of wine in an evening is not so uncommon.

Over the past several months I’ve made some changes to my lifestyle in terms of what I consume.  Don’t get me wrong, I still LOVE wine and won’t ever be giving up cheese, bacon, or even bread. But months of too many Taco Tuesdays had my closet silently admonishing me; I decided to make some lifestyle changes.

But how do we achieve balance in a culture that often glorifies busy and trivializes authenticity and quality?

Now, I’m either eating right or I’m really indulging- there’s not much of a middle ground for me. It’s either green smoothies and salads, or the cheese plate and vintage port, please!


I’ve also dedicated days and weeks without alcohol- shocking, I know, but I find that these resets are particularly helpful after an indulgent vacation. I also make it a point to get to the gym and train with a trainer- Andrew Schneiderman of Balance Gym.  Not only does he keep me laughing while I sweat it out, but those appointments keep me accountable to my fitness in a way that a simple membership just doesn’t.

One of the interesting aspects of this change has been how much more conscientious I am when I do indulge. I try not to drink mediocre wine and if I’m going to have something like tacos, they’re no longer of the Chipotle variety. Not only has this created a healthier balance, it’s made me far more conscientious about my indulgences and I really do feel healthier overall.

I have found that the products I’m consuming have a focus on authenticity and quality; typically, they’re also better for both the environment and my health.

If you’re a food and wine lover how do you achieve balance?


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Wine and Chocolate Pairing

Posted in: guilty pleasures, Holidays, Wine Pairing, Wine Recommendations

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner

Double up on the anti-oxidant factors in wine and chocolate for an indulgent pairing!

  • This is a great time to pull out your fortified wines!  Ruby Port and Pedro Ximenez Sherry pair beautifully with chocolate!cooper-vineyards-noche-chocolate-wine
  • Champagne + milk chocolate covered strawberries is another classic pairing.  Try a rosé sparkling wine to bring out the red berry flavors!
  • Lambrusco, the slightly effervescent sweet red wine from Italy, is another great option.
  • If you want to drink local and knock out 2 birds with one stone, try Cooper Vineyard’s Noche Chocolate Wine.  This Norton dessert wine infused with chocolate is like a chocolate dessert in a wine glass!
  • If you prefer to stick to dry red wines, a fruit forward Syrah or Zinfandel is the way to go!
  • Finally, if beer is more your style, try “The Fix” at Bluejacket, a DC microbrewery.

If you’re still unsure, there are a ton of FREE Valentine’s day wine tastings this weekend around the District!

Paul’s Wine and Spirits will be hosting a sparkling wine & chocolate tasting this evening in Friendship Heights from 5:30-8:00 PM, featuring 12 different wines!

Wagshal’s will be pairing Austrian wines with Godiva Chocolate from 5-7 PM.

There is a Valentine’s Day Showcase at Chat’s Liquors on Saturday 3-6 PM. Be sure to say hi to my former colleague, Jody!

Check back early next week for some great wine events over Valentine’s Day weekend and an exciting giveaway!



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Breaking New Years Resolutions

Posted in: Bon Vivant, guilty pleasures, Wine Facts, Wine Health

Here’s to a Healthier 2014…through Wine!

Studies say that between 80-92% of people fail to keep up with their New Years resolutions. And it’s said that it takes three weeks to make or break a habit! So if you find yourself already breaking some of those “eat healthier”, “drink less” resolutions, you’ve come to a safe place!


Studies have shown numerous health benefits to drinking wine- and while moderation is always key- red wine consumption has been linked to improved heart health, lower blood pressure, improved memory, lowered breast cancer risk, and can even give your immune system a boost!

So raise a glass and give yourself a break.  That glass or two of red wine you enjoy each night?  No worries!

What are some of your {wine related} New Years resolutions? 

Anyone out there expanding their wine horizons or resolving to travel more?  I know I am! California, France and Spain are just a few trips on the agenda- I can’t wait to swirl, sip and report back on the best of what I taste and see in 2014!


Photo Credit: Boxhill Photography, LLC

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Does this Wine go with these Shoes?

Posted in: Guest Posts, guilty pleasures, Wine Pairing

MjAxMy0zNWQ3YmZmZGE0NzcxYjJkIf you’re anything like me, your shoe collection overfloweth. I’ve teamed up with the fashionistas at What do I Wear to provide wine pairings for some of their favorite shoe picks so your style will be in sync from your wine glass to your toes!

Head on over to check out my two favorite guilty pleasures: wine + shoes!

Just as wine can be paired with emotions,  the right shoes can also dictate what sort of evening you’ll have and what wine pairs best!

Whether it’s a night on the town, or staying in by the fire at a log cabin getaway, we’ve got you covered on what to wear and what to drink!




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