Monthly Archives: November 2015

French Connections

November 25, 2015

French Connections |

Things are still a bit rough in France since the attacks, but I’m amazed by the outpour of love from everyone around the world. Humanity has a way of revealing itself in such a beautiful way during terrible times like these. But enough with all this heavy stuff! Here are some light links about Frenchie things for you. Hope you enjoy them while we continue to enjoy zee wine and cheese over here.

• Camille Rowe gives her funny take on zee French vs. Americans. #spoton
• Freezing temps in France so this cozy scarf is a necessity.
• Jenny Lyons wrote a love letter to a skirt.
Wine boot camp? Sounds like my kind of work out.
• I really, really, really want this print of the Louvre for our mantle.
• Garance Doré and Emmanuelle Alt talk style. I die.
• Speaking of, we’re all reading her book, non?
• Aziz killed it with the music in Master of None. 100 French points for including this song.
Oh Happy Day tackles Cheese Plate 101.

A Country in Mourning

November 16, 2015

A Country in Mourning |

My husband and I learned about the attacks just as we arrived to LAX for our trip to France. “Alyssa, there have been some shootings in Paris,” Arnaud said as he looked up from his phone with disbelief.

After we got through security, we waited for our flight and watched the terrible news unfurl. Three shootings. 60 dead. More injured. Our row got called so we boarded and kept refreshing our phones for more news until the flight attendant cut us off.

A brief stop at Heathrow and the numbers were all higher. I scrolled through my phone and was almost in tears. We were both shocked and scared and sad and mad all at the same time. Once we landed in Nice, things were worse and the death toll rung in just past 100.

This is the third time I’ve been in a country when it has suffered a terrorist attack (first 9/11 and then Madrid in 2004) and I can’t say that it has gotten easier. It’s a confusing time punctuated with deep sorrow and I have a million words yet can’t say anything.

“No country does life on earth better than the French,” said an anonymous commenter in response to an article in the New York Times. I (obviously) couldn’t agree more.

May we mourn those who were ripped from this world in an act of hate and honor them by pursuing a life full of love. Liberté, égalité, fraternité, and above all peace.

Wine Review: Magistrate Merlot

November 10, 2015

Wine Review: Magistrate Merlot |

Wine: Magistrate Merlot
Region: Paso Robles
Retailer: Ralphs
Price: $19.99*

Now that fall has finally arrived, we’re bidding adieu to the crisp white wines and rosés of the summer and saying bonjour to the hearty reds. This merlot perfectly fits the bill.

On the nose, it’s a berry explosion with a bit of spice. It also smells like my childhood because my parents were big merlot drinkers and would always bust out a bottle on fancy occasions. Though they would serve us Martinelli’s, I knew that the purple stuff was where it was at so I would pester them incessantly until they let me take a sip.

Apparently, this was a hint of what was to come. A foray into zee future. Some foreshadowing in the novel of my life…but I digress. No surprise that the first taste hits you with berries, specifically cherries and blackberries. It’s sweet with some wine reviewers even reporting notes of chocolate and toffee, but the dryness of the wine helps balance it out.

A punchy, flavor-filled wine like this deserves something equally solid. Meat loaf, lasagna, or pasta with red sauces are all fine choices and also happen to be the foods of my childhood. Beef in any shape or form also works well (i.e. steak in a red wine sauce, spaghetti and meatballs, and even burgers).

* Listed at this price but Ralphs always has a sale so I actually got it for under $13.