Tag Archives: wine

Come Sail Away…

Ecco_Domani_Sailing_01 On a recent trip to Nantucket I wanted to take Kevin on a surprise date, something that felt local to the place but personal to our life. I love to sail and when we walked by the gorgeous boat The Endeavor I knew that was it. Considering how much we travel, I’m always looking for ways to make a place feel reminiscent to home. Though I couldn’t make a home cooked meal, I wanted to fill his soul in just the same way. I love a beautiful red wine in the fall and having just received a few bottles of Ecco Domani Merlot I brought them with us on our Nantucket getaway. I tried to think of something I could put together that wouldn’t require access to a kitchen and found a local market stocked with cheeses from Vermont, freshly made lobster salad, my favorite kind of almonds and beautiful grapes. I popped into one of those tourists shops and purchased a cheese board covered in all things Nantucket which I would typically never do, however, we found the enthusiasm for this place expressed on a cutting board quite charming and now back in New York I see it in the kitchen and think back on this perfect afternoon date, sailing around the harbor watching boats bob in place and flags dancing in the autumn sun.

I think it’s important to find ways to enjoy simple pleasures, carving out time in our crazy fast lives. A bottle of wine and a simple picnic on land or sea is an easy and effortless way to make memories with the ones you love. We enjoyed lunch in the smooth waters of the inlet before our captain took us out sailing the sound. Mostly though, we sipped our Ecco Domani Merlot and welcomed fall though the rippling sound of ocean waves.


Though Ecco Domani’s Merlot pairs well with foods like tomato-based pastas and grilled meats, I found the blackberry flavors of this wine went perfectly with a classic cheese plate. Simple rule of thumb is one hard cheese, one soft, one fruit, one nut, crackers and – in most cases – a cured meat, which I opted out for locally made lobster salad. Though we ate before we hoisted up the sails, it was still a good idea to have stemless wine glasses, which I borrowed from our hotel.

    Ecco_Domani_Sailing_03 (more…)

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Dom Pérignon


We first began our journey to “Decode Dom Pérignon” in Barcelona, questioning the idea of champagne and trying to understand it beyond the simple pleasures of drinking. The second part of our discovery took us to the birthplace of champagne, a sacred abbey high atop a hill in Hautvillers where a monk named Dom Pérignon lived in from 1668 until his death in 1715. It was here Dom Pérignon gave birth to champagne as we know it. 

As we walked the grounds of the cloisters it was easier to understand the philosophy of today’s champagne makers of Dom Pérignon. They come here, to this tranquil place that is the spirit and soul of Dom, to reflect on the past and think about the future. It was one of those perfect days. Crisp, damp and cool in the morning opening like a pathway to a glorious sun filled afternoon. I stood on the grounds of the abbey where the first champagne was created and closed my eyes to the smell of old stone, chalk, and earth while the wind whipped the trees around me making a sparkling symphony of the leaves while the golden sunlight danced between the shadows. If a place could sparkle like a glass of champagne, this was the place and in the spirit of inspiration, like with Dom Pérignon, could leave your thoughts amongst the stars. 

Following the benedictine rule set by the Sun King Louis IX which transformed France into a country of luxury and craftsmanship, he cared for the vineyards in great detail and through years of contemplation and study transformed the wine making process in three important ways. First, in place of manually stomping grapes with your feet he used a large machine to separate the juice of the grapes from the skin. Second was the blend. He had the idea to blend a variety of grapes from the Champagne villages. Lastly, which lead to the revaluation of champagne, he started the aging process in bottles as opposed to wooden casks which were used in the 17th century. It was through this process he discovered the creation of bubbles in the 2nd fermentation. 

The production of Dom Pérignon is far beyond technical. Having now spent many lunches and dinners with the Chef de Cave Richard Geoffroy and Vincent Chaperon they speak of the wine making process in such a romantic and idyllic way it is a constant reminder that we are speaking about something which comes from the earth. It is organic, and most of all, it is a gift from nature

One of the most poingoint points by Geoffry shared over our tasting of 11 Dom Pérignon vintages was  in the way champagne lingers which leads to memory. Memory is a constant in my own work. I take photographs like memories, to see the way it felt, to remember the beautiful moments. Each time I am so fortunate to find myself with a glass of Dom Pérignon I take in the smell which brings back memories of celebration, successes, all those magical nights faded with laughter and distant sparkling lights. Of course, as a winemaker, memory to him refers to the harvest, the conditions of the year that make the DNA of the vintage. The memory of characteristics from vintage to vintage. For example, the 2002 being elegant, refined, creamy, perfectly balanced while the 2003 is robust, bright, exciting, crisp. The memory of tradition and the relationship to time to project themselves forward into the future. It’s amazing to me that you can find so much life lived in one sip of champagne. 

Welcome to the home of Dom Pérignon and the birthplace of champagne.    Visiting the Dom Pérignon, the birthplace of Champagne.     Visiting the Dom Pérignon, the birthplace of Champagne. Visiting the Dom Pérignon, the birthplace of Champagne. Visiting the Dom Pérignon, the birthplace of Champagne. (more…)

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An Afternoon Spritzer

  Ecco_Prosecco_Mixer_02  As we soak up the last remaining days of summer I was looking for the perfect light and crisp afternoon aperitif for our group of friends. I brought along a couple chilled bottles of Ecco Domani’s ECCO PROSECCO and enlisted my friend Jared, who knows how to make amazing cocktails, to concoct a great floral spritzer to leave us feeling like hummingbirds in the afternoon light. Building off of the floral notes found in this frizzante-style wine Jared made the perfect quick pitcher of drinks to serve for any summer occasion.

Scroll down to get the recipe in 8 easy steps! (more…)

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Kingston Wine Co.

This weekend we were upstate location scouting for a top secret shoot this week up in Dutchass County, New York. I can’t drive up the Hudson without taking the time to visit some of my favorite places, do a little shopping and catch up with friends. All three of those are true for Kingston Wine Co., owned by one of the most beautiful couples I know who packed up and left New York City for a life as shopkeepers (something that runs in their family for generations) and artists.

Opened in January, Mike & Theresa remolded and decorated the shop themselves bringing in aspects from their past- the shelving is from Brooklyn, the idea of crates came from a previous wine job, the rug from ABC. Everything is personal, everything comes with a story which is what I love most about these people – their genuine nature. While milling about the store snapping a few pics to share with you I noticed that Mike would greet every customer that came in, help them select the perfect wine or grab their favorite for them because he remembers details like that. Ask him, “I want a wine Hemingway would drink” – he has it. “I want a wine from an organic small grower that is reasonably priced” – he has it and he’ll tell you all about it.

We have been apart of their monthly wine share (which would make an awesome gift!) since the beginning and it’s always an exciting day at the studio when the package arrives. Complete with the history of the wine enclosed and recipe cards for food pairings, they do all the work for you so you can simply enjoy… and enjoy we do.

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