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Last Saturday we attended the Boston Wine Expo with press tickets generously provided by the Expo. It had been several years since I had attended; I typically go out of town for the long weekend and was glad to be able to browse and do some wine tasting this year!

Boston Wine Expo

The Expo is loved by many because of the enormous number of vendors. It’s a great place to discover new foods, wines, and other products to fall in love with, but it is also overwhelming at times! As soon as we walked in, I was looking every which way, trying to decide where to taste first. It really is best to go into a wine expo with a plan on what tables you want to visit most.

We snaked our way through the aisles of tables, and below are just a few of the highlights of my experience.

Truchard ChardonnayTruchard Chardonnay – I loved this wine for its hint of oak and citrus, and I loved even more that the winery owners were pouring it themselves. They were so sweet, and I have their card in hand for my next trip to Napa.


Barolo is hard to pass up!


Chamisal Vineyards Chardonnay

Unoaked Chardonnay is often a go-to summer wine for us; Chardonnay haters still often love it! I enjoyed this one from Chamisal Vineyards and it was a good reminder I want to explore the Central Coast of California and its wine. So many wine regions, not enough time!

Anna Codorniu

While expanding my wine knowledge and palate is important to me, so are bubbles. I always seek out the bubbly at events, and I loved these Anna Codorniu minis. How cute are they?

Gloria Ferrer is a must-visit when we are in Sonoma County, and of course we stopped by the table for a tasting. The winemaker often attends these events, and it makes all the difference. I love Gloria Ferrer wines, I love their property in Sonoma County, and they win me over every time.

Gloria Ferrer

There were many tables representing various regions of Italy, and I tried some Prosecco that I liked; I am not always a fan of Prosecco as I often find it to be too sweet or to have a fake pear flavor that I don’t love.

prosecco minis This table had a mix of Cava and Prosecco from Premier Estates, and I preferred the Cava, though could definitely see how a fan of sweeter wines would like the Prosecco.


I stopped by to meet the people behind VinoVersal wine club, which I will be reviewing soon. It was great to meet them and to try some of the wines from my wine club review box, all delicious and from Salento, a region of Italy I know nothing about!

VinoVersal Wine Club

wines from Marche

I also loved this table, featuring wines from Marche. We have family in Marche (read about their amazing home here), and the region has great wine and sentimental value to me!

One of the downfalls of the wine expo experience, which I often find with big wine events, is that many of the people pouring either weren’t very knowledgeable or not very interested in the wines they were pouring. I get very excited and have lots of questions/love hearing wine stories, so my favorite tables are those with people really connected to the winery they represent.

Sugar Bob's Smoked Maple Syrup One thing I found impressive about the Boston Wine Expo was the huge amount of food offered. We ended up not needing lunch after all of the samples, and it helps to keep you in check when surrounded by wine!

My client, the Olive Connection sells this Sugar Bob’s Smoked Maple Syrup, and I stopped by to say hi and for a taste. It is smoky, sweet, and delicious, really great in cocktails!

smoked maple syrup

I also visited The Olive Table, another friend of the Olive Connection. They are doing an event together on March 23 in Brookline!

The Olive Table

We never miss a chance to eat Kerrygold cheese. We have all of these cheeses at home, but it’s always fun to chat with the Kerrygold rep and taste cheeses with wine samples. I love Kerrygold!

Kerrygold cheese

Montilio’s Bakery had an amazing array of sweets for when we had enough cheese and wine.


I have been in love with Waterford Crystal probably since I first visited Waterford Ireland when I was a kid, and I just stared at these beautiful pieces, picturing them at my home, and realizing I would break them within a week. Still, they are pieces of art, and what makes a great wine even better than gorgeous Irish crystal?

Waterford Crystal

Overall I really enjoyed the Boston Wine Expo. There was so much to see and taste. I recommend getting there early and having a plan to get the most out of your experience. I look forward to next year’s Expo.


I received complimentary passes to the wine expo. All opinions are my own.

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Tags: Boston, Boston blogger, Boston Wine Expo, Food, foodie, wine, wine and food pairing, wine expo, wine tasting

While news of the Boston Public Market opening dominated the food scene over the last couple of weeks, a beautiful new artisan food store opened quietly in Brookline, welcoming friends and neighbors into a serene, light-filled space filled with delicious things.

The Olive Connection, in the interest of full disclosure, is a client of mine, and I love working with them.  The dream-come-true of a Brookline family, the Olive Connection is more than a store. It’s a tasting room, a takeaway cafe (for charcuterie, bread, and cheese), a gift shop, and a place where the owners truly want to connect with customers and to share with them their favorite tastes.

honey  I spent Friday afternoon perusing the shelves of the Olive Connection and wanted to buy everything I saw. From beautiful bottles of honey from around the world to their opening theme – BBQ items – I found myself thinking of ideas for entertaining and cooking at home.

Denny Mike's Seasonings

One of the most fun parts about the Olive Connection is its selection of products available to taste, including flavored balsamic vinegars and olive oils. Chocolate Espresso Balsamic Vinegar? I could see this being a delicious addition to a brownie sundae.

chocolate espresso balsamic I thought Toasted Coconut sounded amazing too; maybe in a peanutty Asian-inspired slaw?

toasted coconut balsamic vinegar I could see this Champagne Mimosa Vinegar being great in a refreshing cocktail for Sunday brunch. Olive oil and vinegar cocktails are becoming increasingly popular, and the Olive Connection has so many flavor options for experimenting.

champagne vinegar

In the end I went with a classic Balsamic and a Citrus Habanero oil, which has been heavenly on avocado toast in in whole grain salads with fresh garden veggies.

citrus habanero olive oil The Olive Connection has so much more than vinegars and oils; they’re well-stocked with ingredients for your perfect pasta dinner and have all sorts of other items like salts, syrups, and even teas.

Olive Connection Brookline  salts While I was in the store, a sampling of Mem Tea was happening, and the Olive Connection has plans to have many more in-store tastings and events. They have the ability to help you create custom gifts for parties, weddings, and corporate gifts, all to the taste of the recipient.


Mem Tea

The Olive Connection is a store with food lovers in mind, and as we head toward the fall, I see it being the perfect place to pick up ingredients for a cozy night in.

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Tags: artisan food, cooking, Food, foodie, ingredients. Brookline, shopping

Detox, sober January, weight loss, gym memberships. . . my blog inbox has been completely inundated with press releases this week, and I have tossed all of them. I’m not one for extremes, especially when they all hit me at once. I am a firm believer that you can eat, drink, and be merry and also maintain a healthy balance.

Our lives haven’t changed much since the holidays, except for the fact that we have tried to work in more movement, more veggies, and a little less wine. Manageable improvements I can fully support.

This carrot salad is the perfect counterpart to a rich roast or some ginger beer pulled pork. It’s bright, tangy, and full of nutrition. It’s also great on its own or with some chickpeas and goat cheese for a little something extra. This salad is a reminder that healthy can be easy to integrate into a lifestyle and it never has to be all or nothing.


2 cups shredded organic carrots

1 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

1 cup dried cranberries

1 large shallot, diced

1/2 cup organic apple cider vinegar

black pepper to taste

Mix it all up and chill.

This salad is as easy as it gets, it lasts for several days, and it’s really yummy.


carrot salad

Have you made any diet/exercise changes in 2015?

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Tags: delicious, Food, food blog, foodie, healthy, recipe, side dish, vegan, vegetarian recipe

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