Music is Food for the Soul…

by agirlandhermutt on September 27, 2011

and wine helps to wash it down!

Last week was a bit of a laid back week so I decided to cram as much as humanly possible into my weekend. My weekend kicked off on Friday night on the Vino Voyage 2011 hosted by Gordon’s Fine Wine & Liquors.

Vino Voyage is basically an expensive booze cruise. Located on the Spirit of Boston, over 300 people come together to taste over 200 wines as the ship cruises around Boston Harbor.

On any beautiful day this would have been awesome. However, the weather forecast looked like this as I left work Friday afternoon. Right. Who doesn’t love a boat ride in the rain?!

Despite the nasty weather, I met up with Megan, Karen and a few other friends for a night of wine tasting.

We got there right as everyone was starting to arrive so we made a beeline to the Taittinger Champagne Lounge for some champagne, snacks, and live jazz.

The boat filled up pretty quickly but with over 30 tables of wine there was no lack of places to grab a taste. There was something for every palatte with everything from classic merlot to the super fun ChocoVine (spiked chocolate milk!).

There were even some familiar wines from my Napa/Sonoma trip earlier in the year. It was like seeing a long lost friend!


After tasting for about 2 hours Megan and I were FAMISHED. We headed down the dining area to grab some bites off the buffet. I had to get a little creative with my dining table, but who really cares. It all ends up in the same place no matter where I am sitting…a little on my dress and a little in my belly.

Dinnah was a mixture of caesar salad, pasta primavera, and a roll. Not the best, but certainly not the worst.

Once we had some food in us we got back to tasting. These girls are wonderful wine companions. We had a tasting plan/goal and we achieved it!

A new feature to this Vino Voyage was the “Wine Discovery Deck”. Mini-seminars were going on every 20 minutes that included 6 different wines to taste. I was really looking forward to a class on American Reds, but unfortunately due to some timing issues it never happened. Boooo….

The voyage lasted until 10p but by 9:30 I was DONE with wine tasting. You can only taste so much before you start to not actually TASTE anything and the wine headache starts to creep in. I drank enough water over the night to keep mine at bay and stopping at 9:30 made sure to totally eliminate it. It also allowed me to watch the dancing start.

Yep, dancing. By people who have been “tasting” since around 6p. Bwahahaha! You EPIC.

When the boat docked we gathered up all of stuff (umbrellas, coats, wine glasses!) and said our good-byes. Oh, and we might have posed for ridiculous photos. Giant props make every event more entertaining.

Aren’t you proud of me Mom?! Winking smile

Believe it or not out the TONS of wines that we tried, only two were cringe worthy. One smelled and tasted like canned tuna. The other was Ed Hardy Sangria. Seriously. Ed Hardy.

Final result for my fave wines:

NV Roger Goulart Brut Reserve Cava
2008 Banfi Centine Rosso
NV Emeri Pink Moscato
2010 Frog’s Leap Sauvignon Blanc
2010 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc
2009 August Kesseler “Rheingau” Kabinett Riesling
2008 Sequoia Grove Cabernet
2009 Dreaming Tree Crush Red Wine (Dave Matthews wine. I tried not to like it, but I just couldn’t say no to this. Ugh.)


The rest of the weekend wasn’t a wash though. Saturday morning I woke up bright and early to keep The Scientist company while he ran and ran and ran. He had a 12 mile training run and I kindly rode alongside him singing and telling him all the celebrity gossip I could think of him. I’m not really sure if he was just running to train or running to get away from me. Heh.

Our final event for the weekend was, according to The Scientist, “the best concert ever”. We headed over to the Paradise Lounge to see The Shins perform. We both love, love, love The Shins and this show was just fantastic. Their music is so melodic and just instantly can put a smile on your face. Having a bad day? Put on The Shins. You feel better immediately but not in that fake way. It is an honest to goodness happy feeling. AWESOME show=Photo fail. Forgot to take photos. Ohs wells. The memory will live on forever!


I hope you guys are having a great start to the week. This week I have all the CSA veggies to myself. EEK! I better get cracking on looking for some recipes to use corn up.

Do you have happy music? What is the one song or band that you listen to in order to get you in a better mood?





Discovering Wine Over the Weekend…

by agirlandhermutt on August 22, 2011

While many of my bloggy friends were off in Philly enjoying the 3rd annual Healthy Living Summit (remember I was there in 2010?!), I was at home boozing it up.

Kidding…kind of.

The kind folks organizing the Robert Mondavi Discover Wine Tour gave me the heads up that the tour was making a pit stop at Tanglewood, a music venue, in Lenox, Ma.

The tour was designed to bring wine to the people in an informational and interactive way. Mondavi’s belief was that wine was meant to be enjoyed by EVERYONE. No need for wine snobbery here. I could definitely got that welcoming vibe when I toured the Mondavi Winery in Napa so I was excited to check it out at the tour.

My buddy, Megan, and I showed up just in time to listen to the Wine 101 Seminar that was being held in a little classroom type set-up. Very cool for a pop-up location!


Lets go ahead and talk about something you’ve probably already noticed. Umbrella Girl!  There are some peeps holding an umbrella over a few lucky folks heads to keep the sun off. How does one secure this job?!

Back to the wine tasting. We listened, started our tasting, and did a little looking around.


One of the main features of the Discover Wine Tour is the Essence Station. Visitors get an opportunity to do a little sniffing of some of the aromas that frequently show up in wine. Its pretty cool to smell each element outside of the wine so you can easier pinpoint it when actually tasting the wine. Its much cooler to say “Oh! I smell fresh pear and hits of spice!” than “Ohhh! I smell wine!”. Winking smile Guess which one I say the most?


Sniff, taste, sniff, taste. I felt a little like The Mutt on a walk with all the sniffing I was doing.

Once the seminar was over Megan and I just took our time tasting through the wines, enjoying the set-up in a beautiful setting, and relaxing. We also utilized the Interactive Ipad Station to enter to win a trip to Napa. Fingers crossed!


The tour had 7 wines for us to try, including a few of my faves:

Fume Blanc– Nice crisp acidity with a creamy finish. Plenty of pear and citrus notes too. #1 on my tasting list for the day!

Chardonnay– I’m not usually a Chard fan, but this lightly toasted wine was just perfect. It was light, fruity, long finish, and a nice creamy feeling that all Chardonnay lovers will enjoy.

Pinot Noir– This medium-weight wine is full of jammy flavors, hints of spice and a perfect red wine for the heat of the summer or the cool nights in the winter.

Megan and I also had some fun taking pictures of our beautiful surroundings and chatting it up with each other.


The tour also includes a few cooking demonstrations and info on pairing wine with meals. Fancy!

Thanks to the folks at the Robert Mondavi Discover Wine Tour for inviting us out. Be sure to check out if the tour is heading your way and stop by for a FREE tasting.

Also, because the tour peeps are so nice they are allowing me to do a little giveaway! Included is a water bottle, apron, keychain and a Ted Allen cookbook. Color me jealous.


1. Head over to Facebook and “LIKE” the Robert Mondavi Page.
2. Send an email to telling them:

A Girl & Her Mutt sent me…I discovered the Robert Mondavi Facebook page and I LIKED it!

The Wine Tour group will pick a winner and I’ll announce it here.


This summer just flew by and kids in my hometown are already back in school.

Do you love school supplies as much as I do?!


Sonoma Wine Tasting: Day 2!

by agirlandhermutt on August 19, 2011

Back in May The Scientist and I took a wonderful trip to San Francisco and Wine Country. It was an amazing trip filled with some really memorable experiences!

You can catch up on my Wine Country adventures below:

Napa Valley
Sonoma & Healdsburg Day 1

I got a little pain for vacation the other day and decided to peruse my recap photos and suddenly realized that I had forgotten to post about our last day of wine tasting in Sonoma. So without further ado…

Sonoma Wine Tasting Day 2!


Chateau St Jean Winery– The Estate at Chateau St. Jean is just gorgeous. I loved the lush greenery in the garden leading to the tasting. The wines here range from around $15-60 with a few reserve wines priced higher. Of this $10 for 5 tastes I found that I really like the Winery Exclusives the best. All of them were quite tasty and the Chardonnay was quite lovely. I also was a huge fan of their dips/mustards for sale. Simply fantastic!



Kunde Family Estate– Dramatic views, moderately priced wines and estate grown is the best description for Kunde Estate and their wines. I loved that they are a certified sustainable winegrowers .This family-owned estate has a tasting room AND a mountain top tasting deck. Great tasting for every weather occasion. The Scientist and I absolutely loved here. We were especially blown away by their Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Zinfandel Port. This was the only winery where we came home with more than 1 bottle with us.  FUN FACT: Scenes from the movie Bottleshock were filmed at this Estate.




 Ravenswood– If you have been in a wine store anywhere in the country you have seen this label. I read that Ravenswood had a nice little seating area to taste and it was close to where we wanted to go for lunch so we made a quick stop. I’m so glad we did! The tasting area was very relaxed, but the customer service was excellent. The employees were really knowledgable and great at explaining the wines to experts and novices alike. We ended up leaving with a bottle of Gewurztraminer and a big ol’ smile before lunch!



Gloria Ferrer Winery– Ask anyone where to get sparkling wine in Sonoma and Gloria Ferrer will immediately be mentioned. This was our first stop after lunch and I was ready for some bubbly. We arrived just in time to take the tour of the grounds. We started the tour with a glass of sparkling wine and had full glass throughout the tour. The tour included the history of the winery, the family, and a look at the grounds and the cave. At the end of the tour we were invited to be seated on the patio to finish our drinks, order an additional glass and enjoy the views.




Domaine Carneros– Our last stop of the day was technically in Napa, but was a part of our last day in Wine County. We could not have picked a better location to end our trip. Although we didn’t take a tour or participate in a typical tasting, we did enjoy a nice glass of champagne (plus one complimentary glass!) and some little snacks. Domaine Carneros is home to three main types of sparkling wine: Brut, Brut Rose and Blanc de Blancs. Between the two of us we tried all 3 and loved every single one of them! I loved the bubbles and felt so posh sipping on it. The patio area was filled with girl’s day out ladies, cute couples, and a few couple dates. This winery is a MUST for every visitor to the area!



Everything about Sonoma and Napa was just perfect. The people were friendly. The wines were delicious. The grounds were gorgeous. The food was fantastic.

If you ever get an opportunity to visit any of these wineries DO IT and be sure to report back and let me know what you think!