Wine Review: Holy Water

Much like books and men, I like to judge my wines based on their covers. This wine had a cool bottle and an even better backstory – it’s a wine crafted by a bunch of nuns in Lazio, Italy under the direction of this super legit winemaker, Giampiero Bea. He’s like a Grape God in Central Italy.

This was also my foray into a new wine category known as orange wine. Nope, that does not mean the wines are made from oranges. That’s called a mimosa. Fun fact: 43% of brunch-going Marina girls fell for that joke. But seriously, I thought wine was either white or red. Then I find out orange wine is actually a type of white wine made by leaving the grape skins and seeds in contact with the juice, creating a deep orangey color for the finished product. Shocking reveal. Now my interest was really piqued. So I dove right into a glass of orangey nun wine to see how it would fair on a first date.

I let the wine chill out in the fridge for a bit before popping the cork on this baby. Upon first sip, I was intrigued. The wine was light, fresh, and crisp on the palate. I picked up on some citrus and pear notes, then tasted a little lemon and hint of grapefruit as I swished it around the tongue. I’ve had some wines that burn my throat, but this was smooth like butter going down. To me, this wine was like a 40-something guy with a little salt and pepper in his hair. At the bar, he’s wearing a nice blazer with a white button down, and from afar, I can see little bit of chest hair sticking out. He smiles in my direction and I can see he’s rocking an earring in his left ear, George Michael style. Now I’m intrigued. He’s not your typical businessman, but he’s also not a total rocker either. He’s got pizzazz and I want to get to know him a little more. I’m not taking him home just yet, but I might slip him my number on a napkin and leave it at the bar. I’m giving this wine a 7.5. I’m interested and curious to see where this bottle might go.


Fun Facts:
Name:  Coenobium 2013
VARIETAL: Trebbiano, Malvasia and Verdicchio
PRODUCER: Monastero Suore Cistercensi
CATEGORY: Orange wine (white wine fermented on its skins, slightly oxidized), organic
REGION: Lazio, Italy
VINTAGE: 2013

Wine Review: Fun, Fresh, ‘Tout Naturel’ French Rosé

True confession: I’m not a big rosé drinker. Sure, I’ll have a glass of it on a hot day, but you won’t catch me pounding down the pink wine like it’s summer water. I’ve had too many cheap, overly sweet rosés that leave my palate unfulfilled and my head pounding the next day. So I admit I was skeptical about trying the rosé at the Soil Expedition wine tasting at Biondivino last week.

But  presentation can really win me over in the game of Wine Wars. This bottle had some amazing Butterfly Effect cover art on the label. Plus a Magnum bottle was involved so I was immediately impressed. I held the glass to my nose, taking in an intoxicating whiff of vine-ripened strawberries with a hint of juicy nectarines. Like the butterfly on the label, I felt as though had landed on a delicate sun-kissed garden flower and was ready to soak up its sweet French nectar (ok so maybe that’s a bee, but you get my point!)

As I lifted the liquid to my lips, a burst of bright bubbles danced on my tongue, bringing my palate into a state of pure bliss. I felt light and bright — like a kid discovering Pop Rocks for the first time. It’s simply incredible when a wine can transport your mind back in time. Who needs a DeLorean when you have a bottle of fizzy fermented grape juice?!  I was so enamored by this youthful sensation that I actually started to do a little shimmy in the store. We’ll call it my happy wine dance.

The Milan hit all the right notes for my ideal rosé profile. Good wine-to-carbonation ratio? Check. Delicate fruit and floral finish? Check. Sweet enough to entice the senses without sending your teeth into cavity overdrive? Check, check. I was also super stoked to find out that this wine was Non dosé – meaning no sugar added during fermentation. Overall I would give this wine an 8.25 on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being Solar-Eclipse-of-the-Heart-Level OUT OF THIS WORLD!!!!)

This was a light and cheery rosé suitable for a wide range of places and palates  — and certainly one I could get behind drinking all damn day.


Brief History:

Domaine Milan occupies prime real estate in the holiday town of St Remy de Provence (think Van Gogh paintings). The vineyards are framed by both suburban estates and the famous nearby mountains that provide climatic protection for the vineyards. Here, Henri Milan crafts elegant wines without using chemicals, additives, commercial yeasts and, in some cases, no added sulphur. Henri’s passion for wine is deeply rooted (literally!) – he planted his first vine at the tender age of 8. Since then he’s worked alongside his winemaker father, Robert, until eventually taking over the estate to produce his own wines in 1986.


Fun Facts:

NAME:  Domaine Milan Vin de France Brut Nature Rosé 2015
VARIETAL: 90% Grenache, 10% Syrah
PRODUCER: Henri Milan
METHOD: Methode Traditionnelle
CATEGORY: Rosé, organic
REGION: Provence, France
VINTAGE: 2015

Recipe: Luck of the Irish (Soda Bread)

This Tuesday is St. Patrick’s Day, aka a pretty big deal in the Moore family household. When I was a wee little thing, I vividly remember my mom decking out the house in Irish flair – with everything from green garland to shamrock plants. It was a truly spectacular start to the spring season.

But perhaps my fondest memory of those days was the smell of Irish soda bread baking in our kitchen. It’s a simple bread made with just a few ingredients, and yet it has so much substance and a slight hint of sweetness. The caraway seeds and raisins really give it a unique flavoring (although you can always leave them out if they’re not your cup o’ tea).

I’m honored to share my mom’s famous Moore Irish Soda Bread recipe with you here, and hope you’ll have as much fun baking it as I did eating it! Even though this is the “classic” version, you can always make the recipe gluten-free or vegan by substituting some of the ingredients with their gluten-free or vegan counterparts (i.e. 3 cups of All-Purpose Gluten Free Rice Flour Blend for 3 cups of regular flour). Sláinte!

 MooreSodaBread

MooreRecipe

Recipe: Fat-Free Homemade Hummus

I’m a huge hummus fan. Chickpeas are such a great, gluten-free source of protein and fiber. But store-bought hummus is not as healthy as you may think. Many of those popular brands are high in fat and packed with preservatives. On average, a serving size of 2 tbsp of hummus (which is slightly more than a dollop in my mind) contains a whopping 80 calories and up to 8 grams of fat. So if you keep dunking those pita chips into the hummus party bowl, that really starts to add up. But there’s a simple solution: make your own! It’s cheaper, healthier, and takes about 10-minutes to prepare .

 

I crafted a hearty recipe that calls for a lot of garlic so feel free to adjust according to your liking. I’m also using a mixture of canned and sprouted chickpeas after sampling some sprouted hummus for the first time at the Marin Farmers Market. I did a little research and discovered that sprouting has a ton of nutritional benefits, including increased vitamin B content and enhanced digestibility. Click here to read more if you’re a nutritional nerd like me :=)

 

Fat-Free Homemade Hummus:

What you’ll need:

  • 4 cans of chickpeas
  • 1/4 lemon
  • 1 whole garlic
  • 1 tbsp of coriander
  • 1 tbsp of cumin
  • 1/2 tsp of Himalayan pink sea salt (regular salt also works)
  • 2/3 cup of warm water
  • Juicer (As mentioned in my Bitter-less Elixir post, I’m obsessed with my Omega Juicer. But you can use a blender, Vitamix, or food processor to mash-up the chickpeas. The consistency will vary, but it’s worth experimenting.)
  • *Optional addition: 1/2 bag of sprouted chickpeas (You can grow your own or buy them fresh at a local farmers market.)

 

Pulling it together:

  • Use the Omega juicer to grind up the lemon and garlic
  • Add a tsp of warm water to the lemon/garlic mixture and set it aside
  • Rinse the chickpeas and grind them through the juicer (I like to add 1 cup of whole chickpeas to the batch to add some texture)
  • Add the lemon/garlic juice, coriander, cumin, sea salt, and warm water to the mashed chickpeas mixture
  • Use a wooden label to stir until completely blended
  • Spread on toast or pita bread. Bon appetit!

 

Organic chickpeas, garlic, and a lemon   Coriander, Cumin, and Pink Sea Salt   4 cans of chickpeas + 1/2 bag of sprouted chickpeas

Mashing chickpeas using the Omega Juicer   FullSizeRender   

Bitter-less Elixir: The Ultimate Grapefruit Drink

I’m obsessed with grapefruit, in theory. It’s one of those Vitamin C-rich super-fruits that can help boost your metabolism, reduce stress and strengthen your immune system. But when it comes taste, I’m not a huge fan. I find grapefruit to be a bitter pill to swallow and an even harder taste to get rid of.

That being said, I have come up with a unique juice blend to naturally sweeten up the grapefruit. Adding pear, apples, ginger, and lemon not only enhances flavor but also gives the drink a nice health boost as well. It’s the first in my series of Bitter-less Elixirs and the recipe can be found below:

 

Bitter-less Elixir: Grapefruit Juice

What you’ll need:

  • 2-3 grapefruits
  • 1/4 lemon
  • 1/3 fresh ginger stick
  • 2-3 apples
  • 1 pear
  • Juicer (I love my Omega Juicer. It’s pretty pricey, but I’ve had it for several years and use it to make everything from fresh juice to homemade hummus. A worthwhile investment. Super easy to clean as well.)

 

Pulling it together:

  • Slice up the fruit into thin pieces (see picture below)
  • Set up your juicer in a way that allows the strainer to catch excess pulp
  • Add fruit slices and turn on the juicer
  • Empty juice contents into a mason jar. Bottoms up!

 

FullSizeRender_3FullSizeRender_2FullSizeRender_1 FullSizeRender

The Fierce and Fast-Paced “Warrior II” Playlist

Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II in Sanskrit) is one of my favorite yoga poses (click here to view).

It’s a strong, foundational pose with a really cool back story. According to legend, Virabhadra is the “name of a fierce warrior (an incarnation of Shiva) who has a thousand heads, eyes, and feet; wielding a thousand clubs, and wearing a tiger’s skin.” Pretty badass if you ask me.

The playlist I created is a salute to this strong, spiritual soldier. Each individual song has a steady and consistent beat (much like the physical foundation of this pose with both feet firmly rooted into the ground). And much like the strength of the outstretched arms in this pose, the playlist as a whole builds up its momentum, reaching it’s apex at “Alive” by Krewella.

What’s nice about this Spotify playlist is that it gets the heart rate going and serves as a reminder of the fighter within all of us. I often listen to this playlist while running because it forces me to focus on my breath and keeps me in the yogic mindset even when I’m off the mat.