Revelry Cab: The Perfect Choice for Your Holiday Revels

Forgot that last minute gift for Christmas dinner? Here’s a great recommendation!

Merry Christmas all…

The Rambling Vine

Revelry Vintners Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Walla Walla

Happy, merry, gay, gleeful, blissful, carefree, joie de vie, ah, words

that should be apropos adjectives of all holidays. I hope that between December 1st and January 1st, your days are filled with festivities, loved ones, good food, and great wine!

Here is one word you might want to add to your favorite word (and wine) stock pile: Revelry.

Revelry Vintners makes terrific wine. When my husband and friend and I were in Walla Walla this fall, this was one of the wineries we stumbled into that we hadn’t researched and reviewed ahead of time. More often than not, when I venture into a tasting room I haven’t heard of before, if it’s recommended by another tasting room, it’s generally outstanding. I fell in love with a couple of their reds and especially their Riesling, which I plan to review later.

For now, I’m sticking with their grand master red, their 2009 Red Mountain…

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Money Shorts Not Money Belts!

Great trunks! Time to start thinking about that winter trip to a warm places (for those of us in the colder climates). Like the artical says though, Latitude Supply makes limited quantities. They’re sold out 😦 I’m now on the hunt. Will keep you posted…

A Travel Journal, SUVpacking America

Never Drop Anchor, Always Keep Exploring …

What a great tagline for a travel-worthy collection of clothing that The New Man and even the men of the past will like.  Latitude Supply Co. carries its marker well. It’s worth a look.

The company is out of Southern California, but doesn’t have a flagship store … as one might expect with a creative flare that keeps it on the move. Apparently the clothing they offer moves so fast and furiously that even their featured outlet partners can’t keep their supplies locked down – too many Pirates trying to get their hands on these clothing treasures!

But I’m not writing just to joke about their travel appeal. What I really like – out of many of the clothes they carry – are their trunks, which are really beach or casual wear. As you can tell, they look relaxed, make a man…

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Trending now: Holiday Cocktail Party

I’m serving three Spanish reds at this years Holiday Cocktail Party.  (Starts at 6:30, no need to wait.  It’ll end up late night, if it’s done right).  Why Spanish reds?  Mostly because they rock and a bit mysterious for the novice to journeyman taster.  My prejudicial general comment – they taste somewhere between a Chianti and a Merlot.   But I also do get the side benefit of saying, “We’re serving three Spanish reds this evening”.SP Wine

I’m very familiar with Rioja, which I love.  I wanted to try something else though.  I went with two Tempranillos and one Monstrell.

First up, the 2011 Paso A Paso Tempranillo – 2011, This one tastes young.  Almost beaujolais like.  Loving it with the pigs-n-blanket hors de houveres accompaniment, as I lose my thoughts staring at the leg lamp (yes, of course I have a leg lamp).lamp

The second Tempranillo is the 2007 Codice.  Hoping the extra age will do wonders.   Ugh – Watered down raisins.  Not prune juice, which could be rich and raisen-ey.  Just blah.  Nothing.  Not offensive.  Just $5-clois-du-bois-like.

Third up, Tarima 2010.  Made from 100% Monstrell: gets right to it. It starts out powerfully, strong, but not too kung pow. A pleasant peppery finish.  My neighbor, Steve, loved it.  Steve likes good reds.

So the Monstrell rocked.  One out of three aint bad for me.  I did enjoy the Paso A Paso.  Will let a bottle sit on the shelf for 2 years.  Patience is a virtue, so I’m told.  However, the Codice will remain on the store shelf, as I pass by in the future.

Steve actually liked all three, which is what it’s all about.  Like what you like.

Silver lining – I like the variety.  Average wines make a great wine taste even better.  Plus not everyone loves the “tasting” factor.  Some just like an easy drinking red and all three qualify.  All three were a hit!

Dress to impress: a hand picked selection of jackets

Great ideas. I’m now on the prowl for The Wyatt jacket, by Thomas Pink. I have a “Cookie & Cocktail” party tonight. I’ve been trying to figure out the perfect cookie party jacket, and me thinks I found it.

Hoptical Illusion


No, I didn’t coin the phrase. Hoptical Illusion is another winner from Blue Point (Long Island, NY). Not like Hop Devil (which I find too hoppy). Not too hoppy at all, but with a pleasant buttery finish. BP is slowly becoming my new favorite microbrewery.

Different men, different collar types

Great article. I’m moving away from the button-downs lately. They’re just too casual, for most occasions (especially with a tie). Spruce it up, I say! I’ve been buying hidden buttons, which I do like. You just need a good dry cleaner, who doesn’t smash down the tabs and leave tab marks on the up-side.

Red Stripe: Make Music

I haven’t been a Red Stripe fan previously. A great ad can change that…

AdPitch Blog

An ordinary store in London was turned into something special by Red Stripe, but only revealed when the customer picked up a Red Stripe. The shop comes alive, to make music, quite literally. Pot noodles shake, bottles clink against each other, peanut packets rustle, all to make a familiar tune to customers. I especially like the bottles that blow the tune, if you get me!

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New Tastes: Coffee Beer

I’m spending some time in New Jersey this week.  I love eating out, sitting at a bar, people watching and trying new tastes.  A new (to me) tap catches my eye: Joe Coffee Porter.  I’ve been up since 3AM (it’s around 8PM when I order), so I figure it’s worth a try.


Wow!!!  Real good.  Not to sweet.  I hate too sweet anything, let alone beers.  It doesn’t taste too potent either.  Some of those porters can be high octane.  It was the perfect accompaniment to my Filet Sliders.  The mushrooms in particular, set up the palate well for each sip.  I didn’t get too charged from the caffeine (I rarely have coffee after 1PM).  No shakiness.  No heartburn.   It also perfectly accompanied the people watching.  It was a beautiful night, so lots of people out.

I checked out the beer, which comes from Philadelphia Brewing Co.  This brewery is also new to me.   Stats below:


  • Alcohol Content: 5.5% abv
  • IBU’s: 24
  • Color: Mocha
  • Coffee: Fair-trade / Organic Peruvian (French Roast) Coffee Beans
  • Malts: Two-row Pilsner, Dark Munich, Special Aromatic, Oats, Flaked Barley, Roasted Barley, Chocolate Wheat

I am now a fan and will look for more of their taps when I’m out and about.

Holiday Party Prep: Christmas Tree FAIL

In addition to my Banana Republic Black Friday SCORE, I was also successful in grabbing a Home Depot door-buster $59, 7.5 foot tall, pre-lit indoor Christmas tree with both clear and multi-color lights (normally $179)!  I’ll still buy a real tree, but will go smaller this year and have trees in two rooms.  The fresh one will have all of the traditional ornaments, all the 100-year-old antiques.  The old ornaments are special, but I’m excited to create the new look!

I’m hosting a holiday cocktail party this Saturday, so I planned to get that project completed this weekend.  My plan – go with a candy theme, ornately decorated pieces, all the same ornament, and find them on sale.

My first stop, Pier 1 Imports.  I like to start a project like this at Pier 1.  They have great variety, and often inspire ideas.  If you hit them right, they have great sales, but none the day I go.  Surprisingly, although they have neat options for other decorations and buy a few, I’m not impressed with their ornaments this year.  Second stop, Target.  No good.  Not bad stuff, just not what I had in mind.cane swarovski

Third stop, Marshalls.  A few options to ponder, and reasonably priced.  I see these little disco balls in pink, green, turquoise and gold, and think they’re perfect.  They’ll reflect the lights, and the disco theme works great for the party.  I also find a tiny disco ball garland in red.  I hit Walmart (shhh, please don’t tell anyone.  I despise Walmart), and find a neat candy option with, but they are twice the price of Marshalls.  I buy a couple samples just to have.  I have a back-up option, and can always continue an eye out for my candy theme, and pick ‘em up on 12/26 clearance (I wish I thought of this last year.  Was thinking it’s be cool to have a bunch of those Swarovski or Waterford crystal ornaments.  If I could get a deal this year post Christmas, I may just do it!)

How great do tehse look!

How great do these look!

Back home and fully decorated, “Houston, we have a problem…”

Without the tree’s lights on, it looks great.  The balls, the colors, great balance.  But when the clear lights turn on, the balls almost disappear.  The multi-color lights – even worse.  The colors of the disco balls are just too dark.  I fidget with the balls for maximum refraction of the celestial bodies, but it’s for nil.  Total FAIL!

It looks worse in real life.  So sad.

It looks worse in real life. So sad.

I’ll keep a few of the disco balls because I really like them.  They’ll go on the regular tree.  The rest will go back to Marshalls.  With five days till the cocktail party, looks like I’m going back to Walmart during lunch (perhaps Macy’s and Christmas Tree Shops too).


Trending: an Overcoat-less winter?

It’s December and snow is on the ground in the Northeast.  Winter is here for a while.  The holidays, skiing, and sipping port by the fire are all things I look forward to, but the day to day “Winter Tax” is well, taxing.

Winter Tax – all the extra stuff that’s necessary for day to day living in cold climates.  Hats, scarves, boots, overcoats and gloves come out of the closets.  You need a scraper and a shovel if you own a car.   You have to constantly stomp your feet at the door to keep the salt off the floors.  (I once hosted a New Years party during an ice storm, and over-salted the walk-way, so no one would slip.  I’m still finding the occasional crystal near the corner molding).

Unlike the looming cliff talk, this tax is already here.  Is there a means to lighten the load?  Perhaps.

I will attempt this season to shed the overcoat.

A suit + scarf, hat, and gloves can keep one perfectly warm – up to a point.  I have pulled this off successfully this season, without being the least bit cold.  This has worked with light snow, and in 29-degree weather.  I will keep pushing this limit, until I reach chill point.  (Aside – a winter fedora will not mess up and will protect setting hair cream from precipitation as well)

Note – I HATE being cold.  So my chill point is conservative.

Once I hit the chill point, I will try the newly fashionable “field vest”.


The modern insulates are so thin, the vest will fit under the suit jacket.  No more bulky than a sweater.  Yes, it’s an extra piece of clothing, but it’s sooo much less bulky than the winter topcoat, and you won’t be confused with a Siberian prison guard.  These vests are everywhere and cheap.  I have one from Lands End, but am on the prowl for another.

Now the super cold and pounds of falling flakes may still call for the dreaded 10-pound overcoat, but at least that will be a rare occasion.

Thoughts?  Give it a try and share your experiences here.