Category Archives: Lifestyle

A Picnic in Provence

  A picnic in Provence

Anyone who has been to Provence knows the south of France has the most stunningly opulent markets. Delicately viened melons, the softest greens and figs so lush they break open in your market bag revealing their dark red seed. Cured meats: wild boar, sun-dried tomato, olive, chèvre. And the cheese… I die for the cheese.

Today’s adventure, a picnic overlooking the ruins of a famed chateau, tucked just above the mountainous village of Lacoste. On the menu: oysters which I shucked myself, washed down with a coupe of Champagne, followed by sticky red grapes, figs, olives, saucisson, and cheese.  I arranged everything on a beautiful blue and white picnic blanket I found in the market and lay peacefully watching the sun fade off the vines of the valley and appreciating the rich flavors of Provence. Delectable. 

Un samedi parfait.

A picnic in Provence A picnic in Provence

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The Ruinart Champagne Harvest

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Ruinart represents elegance through time. Savoir Faire – the knowledge and precision built upon generations of learning: care of and for the vines and land. While I’ve sipped their elegant rosé on many vast occasions, this particular harvest began in Paris. In a quaint Marais bistro I sat, par hazard (by chance), next to a coiffed Parisian gentleman. When I told him I happened to be attending the vendage (harvest), he expressed his intimate experience of what Ruinart meant to him.

I was utterly enchanted.

He said the beauty of Ruinart lays in the elegant curve at the neck of the bottle. The way the slender cork releases herself with just the slighted murmur. That the difference between her and other champagnes is found in both the sense of nostalgia for the past which we carry in our hearts, a tradition we capture each and every time we partake in her pétillantes (sparkling bubbles), and found in her relevance as a modern lady who has no interest in being left on a shelf. Each evening she wishes to be appreciated to the fullest.

That particular evening, in a house of Baccarat, filled to the very brim with the most glimmering crystal, we dined and celebrated the two houses, models of history and their elegance.

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The following day was the harvest. Each vine must be picked at precisely the right moment. 220 hectares of grapes sweep through the rolling countryside of Reims. A vast field of vines: chardonnay, pinot noir, pinot meunier. This was apparently a challenging harvest year.  Early hail and rain, followed by a sultry summer led to a smaller harvest, quick maturation and sweet rich grapes. According to Chef de Caves, Frédéric Panaiotis, the reds in particular possess just the perfect balance of elegance and tension.

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I personally picked grape bunches off the vine. Extraordinary. My fingers were sticky and sweet. I felt of the land. Completely enamored. Such a far reach from the lives we spend at desks, engaged constantly with the cold feel of technology on our finger tips.

There is something profoundly beautiful and timeless in cultivating the land; an enamored symbiotic relationship between the touch of soil, the history of this legendary champagne house, the cycle of seasons. Past and future joined in intimate perfection.

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A Summer Soirée with Zac Posen & Ecco Domani

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I love New York in the summer. The parties are always at their most magical, and the people so beautiful. You would never know walking down a bustling street in Soho that behind a secret walled garden a glamorous summer soirée hosted by fashion designer Zac Posen is underway.

Under sparkling lights and fitted cocktail dresses, it was a perfect way to celebrate the newest collaboration between designer and wine maker. For two years now Zac Posen has been creating limited-edition bottle designs for Ecco Domani‘s Italian Pinot Grigio. Last year’s bottle was silvery burst of flowers and this year’s inspiration, taken from Mr. Posen’s 2016 collection, is reminiscent of joyful dancing bubbles in tones playing off of the wine’s crisp floral notes.

If Zac Posen is the go-to designer for the glamorous, classic Hollywood, lady-like women of the world then it is of no exception that his Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio design would be anything less. Perfect for a summer party table, the bottle is dressed for the occasion and all the joy that comes with….

Happy Summer! 

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Ecco’s Sparkling Rosa Cocktail

  • 1 bottle Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio
  • 12 oz Fresh Lemonade
  • 12 oz Fresh Grapefruit juice
  • 24 oz Club soda or sparkling water
  • lemon-lime soda
  • Mint for garnish

Combine all ingredients in a large punch bowl. Serve in wine glasses or low ball glasses with ice and garnished with fresh mint leaves and lemon slices. 

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A Picnic in Provence

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It was perfect. A picnic in Provence where it is so simple, so easy, it’s practically laid out for you! Bouncing around visiting the little ancient villages perched on hilltops you are bound to bump into one of the farmer’s markets that migrates daily from town to town. Stalls of cheeses, cured meats, fresh eggs, provencal olives, rustic breads, almond based sweets and the most delicious seasonal produce all lined up for discovery. There is no flashy marketing, just the country staples.

It brought me such joy.

We’d pick up a bottle of local wine which, in this region, is treated much more like a casual daily ritual than a precious commodity. More like an expression of joy from the earth and the community, and the simple pleasures of life. I bought an old monogrammed linen sheet from a yard sale which provided ample space for all our accompaniments to rest in afternoons under cherry trees, or hilltop vistas, lying down for a nap or to read a book, or even just listening quietly to my Renoir playlist as I watched the clouds roll by in all their funny shapes up there in that big blue sky.

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Below, caught in the wind under the cherry trees in a Reformation floral dress and Maison Michel hat

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