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You may have noticed that I tend to like boats and wine quite a bit. A few weeks ago, I got to spend the afternoon on a Stellar Yacht Charters yacht as a guest of Santa Maria La Palma wine.

Santa Maria La Palma is out of Sardinia, a dream travel destination of mine, and it was fun to combine their delicious wine, my wanderlust, and our beautiful Boston Harbor for a day of wine tasting and education with a fun group of people.

wine cruise

Front and center we have Igor, who was in Boston representing Santa Maria La Palma. He was charming and knowledgeable and so passionate about the wines.

wine and food pairing

  The boat itself was appointed with classic luxurious detail, and the crew was phenomenal. A huge spread of food for pairing with the wines was available to us, including lots of seafood like sushi, mussels, and shrimp, perfect with wines from Sardinia.

We were treated to quite the lineup of wines, mostly white and rosato, one red, all special and memorable and celebratory. The primary grapes making up the wines were Vermentino and Cannonau, which grow very well in Sardinia and reflect the island’s terroir in every sip. We all remarked that we wished we had these wines in front of us all summer long, but that they’re also perfect for sunshine and island dreaming throughout the winter.

What did we taste? You’ll see below the full lineup on the tasting sheet. I of course left my notes behind, but I most definitely had a few favorites.

wine tasting

 

Aragosta Vino Spumante  Brut NV– Sparkling wine from Sardinia is a treat and might be replacing some of the other sparkling wines that often grace our table. One of the things I love about being able to attend wine events like this is the spirit of discovery!

Aragosta Vermentino di Sardegna DOC 2015 – Vermentino is fun and flavorful. I got a nice bit of tartness off of this, lemons and Granny Smith apples and would love this wine with oysters. . . or even as part of a granita mignonette on top of oysters!

IMG_8921

Akenta Underwater Spumante Extra Dry – Just check out that bottle! This wine is aged under the sea in water that is part of a national park in Sardinia. Under the pressure of the sea and in the darkness, the bottle grows sea life on it! This was just another fascinating detail and part of the sense of place that these wines brought to the table.

wine bottle with barnacles 

aragostaAragosta  Rosé –  First of all. this wine has a lobster on the bottle and its contents are pink, which made me love it immediately. I know we shouldn’t judge a book bottle by its cover, but for th coastal living obsessed, it just makes a cute addition to a beach or boat party or a beach house themed home.

The wine is delicious, offering up beautiful, strawberry and watermelon note, fruity but not sweet. Summer in a glass and absolutely a new favorite rosé wine.

I also loved the not-pictured La Bombarde Cannonau di Sardegna DOC, a very light red wine with notes of cranberry and light cocoa, light enough for a humid boat day but warm and cozy enough for cooler weather. It would be a great Thanksgiving wine.

stellar yacht charters In addition to the wines being spectacular, the event itself was also really something special and well thought out. It was a small enough group that we all got to chat with each other, and the Captain had a pug named Junior! We had an overcast but warm fall day, lots of delicious food and wine and an opportunity to learn about the gem that Sardinia is for wine production and travel.

wine tasting on a boat

wine event

Boston skyline from a boat Life is good.

Thank you to Cantina Santa Maria La Palma and Wine & Co. for a great day!

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Tags: blogging, boating, Boston, events, luxury, luxury travel, Sardinia, wine, wine blog, wine blogger, wine tasting, yachts

Happy Hump Day! Is it Memorial Day weekend yet? For some reason, that’s all I can think about. Things have been crazy, and a three day weekend to kick off summer sounds so magical.

I have a few blog posts in the pipeline, but while I organize myself for the 1000th time, today’s post is a little coffee (or wine) talk. Let me know what you have been up to!

stingray boat

boating in Boston

  • I attended the Innovation Conference for Boston Business Women on Monday, and it was amazing. I have pages and pages of notes and quotes and have a blog post planned once life slows down a little. I left absolutely buzzing with positivity and excitement and inspiration. There’s so much I want to do. I just need time and organization.
  • Our boat season also launched on Monday. Talk about buzzing with excitement. Our new boat is named Saoirse (Irish for freedom), and we are in love. She’s smaller and a different style from Ceol na Mara, who is dearly missed. But amazing and fun and I am so excited for summer.
  • Working for yourself can be really up and down. There’s always the chance a client’s budget or needs can change and everything can fall out from under you. It’s happened before, but I am trying to remember that just like with the rest of life, work moves in peaks and valleys. My new daily motto is “If I bend I won’t break.”
  • There’s also the very big chance a client won’t work out for you, and that’s okay too. And making that decision can be nerve wracking and scary and somehow make you feel like you failed, when it’s just a fact of life. I’m still learning to stand up for my own best interests, and that can be hard too.
  • What is up with big PR agencies and dropping the ball in blogger outreach? Maybe it’s just me, but I have had so many odd experiences with big agencies lately, including being invited on press trips (as in emails that say “You’re invited” and then sharing passport details etc.) and never hearing back. Or telling them a product doesn’t fit my blog and receiving it anyway. Or getting the same press release five times.
  • I’m signed up for a half marathon on May 22, and I have run maybe twice in the last month. This keeps me up at night, but ultimately I am trying to position it as “At worst, I run/walk for 2-3 hours by the beach. At best, I run a race I am proud of.” Either way, I am outside, moving, by the sea. Win/win.
  • I’m also going to England on a press trip tomorrow. It’s a trip that’s been in the making for a while but just confirmed this week, and I am excited but also super worried about not running or having time to work . . .
  • I’ve been putting a ton of time into planting seeds for my garden, and lots of them are growing and then dying. I am obsessing over this too.
  • I worry a lot. Any suggestions on how to stop? :)

What’s new with you?

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Blogging is and always has been a hobby for me. I am often asked, in job interviews and by potential clients, how I got into blogging, and the answer is pretty simple. I wanted to do something that I was excited about every day, and I love writing. I was working for a great textbook publishing company when I started; I saw how passionate some people were about the work they were doing in education and thought, what makes me tick?

Food, wine, travel, lifestyle. All of those things interested me, and while never hard-hitting journalism, blogging about them became important. As a fairly anxious worrywart who needs to tune the world out a little at the end of the day, a “brain candy” site sometimes provided the perfect escape for me and hopefully for my readers.

I’ve been blogging for almost seven years, and I have considered quitting  at least five times over the years, but then I remember that this space is mine and it can change and evolve as I want it to. I’ve gone from blogging twice a day some days (How I did that, I do not know.) to a pretty regular schedule of two blog posts a week, which works with my current work situation and makes me happy. Tip one – make sure blogging makes you happy!

quote on consistency - source unknown

 

  • Develop some sort of consistency. Even if it’s just once a week, set aside time for yourself to sit down and work on an editorial calendar and a post. My editorial calendar lives on an index card and includes posts I want to write, recipes I want to try, and a list of any travel, restaurants, wines, etc. that I plan to write about.
  • Learn to say no! When blogging, it’s easy to want to attend every event you are invited to and write every sponsored post offered to you. Who doesn’t want to make money and be recognized? But there’s a line between being an authentic blogger and a product pusher. Say no to products and sponsorships that don’t fit your content or your values. Say no to events that might drain your energy or creativity. Too many blogs have become 365 sponsored posts, and while lucrative for the blogger, no one wants to read a stream of commercials. Hint – forcing the writing isn’t fun for you either.
  • Share what you love, not what you think might get the most traffic. When I first started blogging, I was really into healthy living blogs and tried to emulate them. It turned out writing about running and dieting wasn’t fun for me. My wine blog posts are some of my lesser-viewed posts, but I love writing about wine, so I still share them. Even if just a few dozen people are seeing a post, you never know where it might end up or how you might be helping someone.
  • Let your true colors show. One of the reason blogs took off and became so influential is because they were real. No, you don’t have to share every tiny detail of your life, but being authentic and personable makes you seem like that friend who someone can depend on for recommendations, advice, and a great story. Sometimes, a stream of thought or day in the life post is all you need to add a little of your voice and a sneak peek into your life. I love reading them!
  • Read other blogs and be supportive of other bloggers. Blogging can be a great community builder. I met some wonderful lifelong friends through this blog, and though most of them have stopped blogging, we still stay in touch, and they are very important to me. Whether you’re meeting great friends or professional contacts, blogging makes your world so much bigger.
  • Live to blog, don’t blog to live. Even if your blog IS your living,  blogs written by people having vibrant, hands-on experiences are always the best to read. Again, don’t force it. The more into what you are writing about you are, the more you will shine.
  • Read your own blog. I love my old posts! There are so many recipes, wine recommendations, and travel memories that I can go look back on and that can still be useful to readers. The other day I was rereading a post about a horrible week I’d had, life-changing for sure, but now I can’t even remember what happened. Past writing = perspective.

I can go on and on with tips on keeping blogging fresh and fun, but one of the best things about blogs are the comment sections! Tell me, if you are a blogger, what is your biggest key to maintaining a long-lasting blog? And blog readers, what keeps you a fan for the long haul/what makes you close your laptop and walk away from the screen?

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