Festive Holiday Wine Tastings & Weekend Recap

Hello Lovely,

This past weekend was filled with holiday festivities. I had the joy of attending not one but two wine tastings this past weekend! The first one was on Thursday at Young's Fine Wine in Sandyport. I went with an old friend. I love going t wine tastings at Young's Fine Wine because even if I don't like the wines I sample, the staff makes me feel like family so the environment is always comfortable and inviting. 

I was super excited about my favourite wine being served, but it really didn't last long because it was everyone's favourite of the night. I had to buy a bottle of the Cocchi Asti. I shared the last bottle with a date over a home cooked meal back in September and couldn't wait to get another bottle. It didn't hurt that it was 10% off. I'm not a fan of Reds so I stuck with my white wine. The Henriot Brut Suvergin Champagne was delicious as well.

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The second one was on Friday at Mahogany House in Lyford Cay. I went with my best friend Krista who's the perfect sidekick. Every time we taste wine she always says it just tastes like alcohol, because she doesn't have time for all that fancy lingo. We had fun laughing at how much we hated all of the wines they had. The only ones we really found tolerable were the Scarpetta Prosecco Brut (Prosecco, like Chardonnay, is always a hit and miss with me) and the Joseph Leitz QbA Feinherb Riesling. Naturally our taste buds found the cheapest Riesling. Truthfully, I never made it through all of these wines. I gave up after the 7th white wine and the 2nd red wine. I also tried the Juice Asylum because of the interesting name but quickly regretted it. Red wine is just not my thing people, sorry.

Afterwards, we felt like going for a drive and taking pictures with Christmas lights. I completely forgot about the Christmas Extravaganza at Old Fort Bay. At first we took a few funny photos in front of some lighted trees in a parking lot.

Then we decided to head over to Baha Mar. I hadn't been since they opened earlier this year because I had some serious reservations about the shady back door deals just to get it opened. But once I got there, I had to admit, it's absolutely gorgeous! The designers clearly did their research and have a keen eye for details. Every little detail is deliberate and cohesive. The staff is super courteous and not in a fake I'm-only-this-nice-because-they're-paying-me way either; it was genuine.

After walking around we got hungry and settled on dinner at Stix. I loved that dinner for 2 was only $30 with tax and we were genuinely full. We shared a bowl of steamed Jasmine rice, pork dumplings and triple treasure rangoons. The meal was delicious and can easily become my favourite order! Next time I go, I'll definitely try one of the noodle soups.


But that was just FRIDAY! On Saturday I visited Bahama Hand Prints for their Sip & Shop event. I had never been to the store before but I had passed it and heard a lot about it.

I loved the stock! It's VERY pricey because they print the fabric themselves on site but at least you know that you will have a one of a kind piece. There's apparel, kitchen towels, aprons, fabric quarters and handbags in all sizes. I ended up spending $60 that I had no intention of spending. I plan on making a dress out of the fabric I bought which features a historic drawing of the original Bay Street layout on it so it was totally worth the price. I can't wait to get started.

I rounded out my weekend by making a fireplace out of cardboard boxes at church and posing for Christmas photos (some of which are already on the Facebook page).

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My weekend was FULL of activities but I had SO MUCH fun! How was your weekend? Did you do anything excited? Are you getting ready for Christmas with your family and friends too? Share your holiday activities in the comment section below and I'll see you tomorrow for a special Christmas edition breakfast treat!

Wine & Arts Festival Review

Hello Lovely,

This past weekend, a Wine Lover’s treat was found at the 26th Annual Wine and Arts Festival held in the beautiful Bahamas National Trust (BNT) Retreat. Wine connoisseurs and newbies were greeted warmly by the Scotiabank Bahamas team into an adventurous Cultural journey of Wine and Art: glass and booklet in hand.

This year marked the first formal collaboration for the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas (NAGB) and BNT for the Festival which showcased a variety of sculptures, jewelry, paintings and photography.  These pieces captured glimpses of the Bahamian sun, sand, sea and culture in many forms.

Exciting Festival Features

  1. A selection of sips (including Sake, Chardonnay, Sparkling, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc) from around the world such as Japan, New Zealand and Spain were elegantly on display. The Birds& Bees Moscato was the talk of the town as attendees spoke of its sweet n' fruity flavor. It’s a highly recommended brand and is available by Bristol Wines (1er Cru). Buy yours today!

  2. Bewitching Wine & Food pairings – Whether dining at home or a night on the town, we all wonder how to match our food to our wine, as the best pairings can be pure magic to your palette! A few to keep in mind for your next meal are:-

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  • Shiraz with Veal Parmigiana - Australia

  • Sauvignon Blanc with Fried calamari (with lemon) - Central Coast, California

  • Brut Sparkling with Shellfish - Chile

  • Ecusson Cabernet Sauvignon with Chicken (with Port and Figs) - France

  • Sancerre Les Baronnes with Seared Scallops topped (with Mango Salsa) – Louire Valley

  • Pinot Grigio with Seafood Toastado Bites - Delle Nevie, Italy

  • Pinot Noir with Rack of Lamb - Napa Valley

**Prices range from $7.25 - $63.95 . Visitors and locals can take advantage of purchasing what they've tasted at the 1er Cru locations from October 29 – November 5, 2016**

The eye-capturing Art & Artists highlights included:

 

    1. Natalia Nunez  is an acclaimed lover of dots and stripes, as clearly seen her in her photos.  Sharing her first drawing (the Dog art piece), she has a unique way of skillfully portraying clean and elegant art pieces.

    2. Christopher D'albenas is a Bahamian artist & photographer whose works feature acrylic art on driftwood and marine life floating eloquently through the Bahamian Shores.  

    3. French Artist Leo Devilles has always created art but after attending her first Paint Party in 2015, she became a painter. A native of Bordeaux and a horse lover, she specializes in soft pastel as well as acrylic and has. Her upcoming exhibition called 'Bliss' will be held on Friday November 11, 2016 at the John Watling's Distillery: 5-9pm. Here, her originals and prints will be on sale.

    4. Hennergy began in 2014 by Illeana Harvey and offers a selection of Henna tattoos, which use a mix of two plant based inks. All tattoos last two weeks and display a reddish hue.

    5. Bahamian Painter Dion Lewis shows determination throughout all of his artwork; as he had just added the final touches to his stunning original piece 'Spanish Wells' that morning.  The colorful and soulful piece entitled ‘Sunday Morning Market’ was also shown. You can view more of his pieces off Shirley St. next to Wildflowers.

    6. Kim Deveaux began her custom engraving journey two years ago and has stayed focused ever since.  Her engraving techniques were featured at her booth and also in the art case at the Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) in connection with Doongalik Studios. You can also email any requests to kimdeveaux@gmail.com.

    7. Guilden Gilbert specializes in acrylic photography throughout the Bahamas. At the festival he exhibited a powerful photo of a white tailed tropic soaring through the air in the Exuma Cays.  He is  also available for photo shoots throughout the islands.

    8. Local artists Jamaal Rolle and Stephen of Airbrush Junkies were also on site, creating grand artistic designs throughout the day.

    How can we forget the best art of all? FOOD! We can eat pretty much anything, but food styling has definitely become our favorite form of art, and a glamour styled plate makes eating twice the fun! Here's what the festival had on display:-

    1. Chef Owen of Cassava Grille conducted the Culinary Food Demo which featured one of our native food staples: conch. He created Curry Conch Rollups which were fried and given to eager audience members. The dish was in connection with BNT's Conchservation initiative which began in 2010 and is a national campaign to assist with creating sustainability in the Queen Conch fishery in the Bahamas. This will assist in lowering the threat of conch extinction, prevent illegal harvesting through laws and creating a closed conch fishing season. Restaurants and individuals can also make their pledge to be 'Conch-scious!'.  This pledge means to take a responsibility against fishing and/or eating juvenile conch. Please contact BNT for more information.

    2. There were a few vendors who were also at the Int'l Food Festival such as: Vell Monkey Foot with scrumptious Crab sliders.

    3. I was FINALLY able to grab a bite from The Batter Girls who often have long and crowded lines.  The Cajun Fried Lobster did not miss, with its chunky texture and spicy flavor!  There was also Seafood fritters and a Lobster & Shrimp basket on sale.

    4. Handcrafted gourmet popsicles such as the Marley Pop, Sky Juice, Soursop and Summer Sangria were the main attractions at Pop Stop. In local pride style, I tasted the Junkanoo Pop (a medley of fresh strawberries, pineapple chunks, mango and passion fruit juice). The freshness of the fruits was front and center with each bite and the pop delivered a tantalizing mix of sweet and tangy.

    5. There was also Dino's Gourmet Conch Stand who offered a mélange of fruits, vegetables and citrus juices to create tasty conch salad, in Original and Tropical flavors.

    The Members Only Wine & Art Festival held on October 28th,  offered a very intimate experience for attendees.  However, this isn't BNT's last event of the year as Jollification is coming up in November so you don't want to miss it! P.S. Members pay less at these events and enjoy other exclusive membership perks.  To join this ritzy listing, click here. For a ridiculously low price, you too can be a part of this eco-friendly movement.

    Because we're such winos,  we're always looking for ways to sneak wine into our food. If you’re looking for a creative way to include wine with your meals, try these Wine Butters!

    Did you enjoy this event? What were your favorite wine pairings? Do you prefer Moscato, Merlot, Sauvignon or Sparkling?

    XoX,

    Mechelle

     

     

     

    Free Wine Tasting

    Tuscany Wine and Olive Oil Tasting!

     March 17th

          6pm - 8pm     

    At Young's Fine Wine Boutique!
                           
    Make it a date night and be the first to take advantage of these beautiful olive oils from 5 different regions, paired with delectable wines from Tuscany, Italy! See you there!

    All wines, champagne and liquors will be 10% off the night of the event!

    www.youngsfinewine.com

    info@youngsfinewine.com
    Tel: 601-0021
    Store hours
    Monday 11am - 5pm
    Tuesday - Friday 11am - 6pm
    Saturday 12pm - 5pm
                                 
    Olde Town Sandyport(across from Twisted Lime & Post Office)
    The Young's Fine Wine Team
    Will, Laura, Kyle, Stefon, Niko, Marco

    Wine Lovers Rejoicenli

    POP. FIZZLE. POUR!

    I consider myself a wino at heart. I’m not the most versed in the various regions, etiquettes or flavours of wine in general, but I do enjoy a nice glass or five every now and then. I know that doctors claim that red wine is better for women’s health and I’m supposed to be this health nut, but I absolutely despise red wine! This won’t stop me from enjoying a Berry Sangria (I prefer it over white), but I will always choose a white wine or a pink moscato. I like sweet wines that are fruity and not dry.

    So when I heard there would be a wine tasting at a local wine shop, I couldn’t resist. For years I’ve wanted to expand my pallet and try wines and other spirits from all around the world! So a free wine tasting seemed to be the perfect opportunity.

    Young’s started business in 2011 as a Champagne specialist but over the years our portfolio has increased to include Red and White Burgundy, Italian Reds, whites and dessert wines and Artisanal liquors as well as Evian and Badoit bottled water. They offer private space rental, local retail and distribution and can help you choose wines for gifts, pair wines with your dinner or answer any questions that you might have. The atmosphere in Young’s Fine Wine (located in the Sandyport Plaza opposite Twisted Lime) is archetypal of a French Christmas. It literally smells like Christmas Pine in there thanks to custom scents in their reed diffusers, strategically placed around the room (it even convinced me to one of my own for my desk at work).  The French designs are evident throughout the boutique adding to the authentic feel. It was wall to wall wines and spirits with a beautifully stocked bar and vintage (almost functioning) cash register. The staff is beyond sweet and friendly and could probably convince you to buy anything. The cheese display was lovely with my favourite of the night being the goat cheese with blueberries. It genuinely tasted like cheesecake and paired well with every wine I drank for the night.

    Stefon Lockhart, the assistant manager gave me the grand tour. He explained to me the region they import their wine from, the best times of the year to drink particular types and flavours of wine and why they are so passionate about their craft. They carry products from France, Italy and America, but most of the wine comes from Bourgeoisie France. Each supply is replenished by annual trips to the vineyards to handpick each new stock. My favourite wine of the night was the L’oeuvre de Perraud (a French wine) and my favourite spirit of the night (which would make the perfect Christmas present, along with a wine rack) was the Afrohead. Fun fact, the Afrohead is actually a product of Harbour Island (one of our many islands here in the Bahamas). The dark rum was aged 15 years! How’s that for putting hairs on your chest? The best part, it actually gets smoother with age.

    I had a great time at the event with my friends. It was fun mingling with the other guests, trading stories and life hacks and listening to old Blue Eyes. It even encouraged me to enrol in a free online course to learn more about wine and wine-making (which I'm doing pretty well in by the way)! I can’t wait for their next event and I implore you to take the time to visit them! You’ll love it! If you’re intimidated by a French wine boutique, don’t think you have to pay French wine boutique prices. There are wines reasonably priced for $15 per bottle. They’ll even put your bottle in a wine crate for an extra special gift!

    The boutique is open from 11am to 5pm Monday, 11am to 6pm Tuesday – Friday and 12pm to 5pm Saturday. For more information, give them a call at 242-601-0021 or 242-359-2812 and tell them Life by Olivia sent you!

    XoX

    Olivia