On January 20th, I attended a Wine Dinner at my Country Club here in California – it was a beautiful six course meal featuring the wines of Napa Valley’s Grgich Hills Estate and presenting the entertaining 89- year-old owner and winemaker, Mr. Miljenko “Mike” Grgich.
Grgich Hills makes some lovely wines and they are particularly known for their Chardonnay. I stumbled (OK, so not a good word under the circumstances) upon it one day after my long Chardonnay drought was over. You see, in my 20′s, I used to go out every Friday night (to the patio at Bridges on Vancouver’s Granville Island in the summer) and drink utterly too many glasses of cheap Australian Chard, so laced with oak essence it makes my tongue curl to even think about it.
At the age of 18, I had attended a Greek Easter party in Johannesburg and drank copious quantities of Gin and Tonic. Needless to say, to this day, even the mere aroma of Gin sends me into a tail spin…and so it was with Chardonnay. I lumped them all into the ‘cheap, oaked to hell and back’ category and stayed away for years.
Thankfully, when my economic circumstances changed, I was introduced to really delicious, premium quality, un-oaked or lightly oaked appley chardonnays primarily from California’s Napa Valley.
I am a fan of Grgich Hills Chardonnay and a few years ago I watched a movie called Bottle Shock starring Alan Rickman and Bull Pulham. I never realized the connection between the two until now… (Mr. Grgich would say that this is because the movie was “Hollywoodized” and largely inaccurate!) The movie does however tell an important story in his life and indeed in Napa’s history.
Mike was born in the former Yugoslavia and studied Enology and Viticulture at the University of Zagreb. One of his professors went on sabbatical to California and told his students that it was paradise. Mike said, “That activated my mind. I started to dream and thought, ‘Could I one day leave communism and be in California, in freedom, owning a little vineyard and a winery?’ What a dream!”
Finally, in 1958, Mike made it to California (fittingly by way of Canada actually, and specifically British Columbia.) After many years of working for a number of cellars in the Napa, Mike was offered a job with Chateau Montelena in 1972. It was here that a 1973 Chardonnay that Mike crafted was chosen by an Englishman who owned a Parisian wine shop, to be included in a blind tasting with the 10 best Chardonnays of France and California. They were to be judged by 9 French judges in Paris on May 24, 1976.
Mike’s little wine from the Napa caused a sensation among the horrified French winemakers by being judged the BEST! And so the California wines slowly began to gain the respect of the “Old World” that they so deserved.
In 1977, Mike and his partners opened Grgich Hills Cellar. Today Grgich Hills owns 366 acres of vineyards throught the Napa Valley and produces 70,000 cases of award-winning estate grown wines. In 2006 the winery switched to solar power and their commitment to making wine as naturally as possible has resulted in all 5 vineyards being certified organic and Biodynamic. How great is that? Kudos to them!
Mike is a legend in the Napa Valley and a 2008 inductee to the Vinters Hall of Fame.
He likes to say that luck is when preparation meets opportunity and his life story embodies this phrase. He has lived his life on purpose, followed his passion and success followed. It all began with a dream.
I can honestly say that he is an inspiration and a character of some note and I feel honored to have met him.
I absolutely LOVE a good clutch. I am one of those girls who will never be seen after dark with a large tote, handbag or shoulder bag. No, for me, it’s all about gorgeous bags made for night and my preference is always a clutch.
There are some spectacular fashion trends out there for the upcoming Spring season and I am particularly drawn to neon as many of you already know, and I rather love the whole tribal thing that’s going on again. The new season colors are thrilling to say the least particularly chartreuse, mint, lime, fuschia, yellow, pink, silver and orange.
I was armed with my knowledge of upcoming trends when I went off to the outlet mall here near Palm Springs a few days ago. The truth is, I haven’t done outlet shopping in a long time and I was a bit skeptical. Would I find anything of relevance or would is all be passé, done, so last season?
I had an absolute BLAST. I arrived at 11AM and stayed until 7PM. I found the two Jimmy Choo clutches in the picture above – both SO perfect for Spring and both at one third of their original price. The black one has a tribal look to it with the oh so trendy addition of neon orange and the chartreuse one with silver and leopard could not be more of the moment…I also found a fabulous bright silver short Jill Sander jacket that was down to 25% of it’s original price! Can’t beat that…
Then, feeling inspired, I went to root around in my closet to look for treasures that I already own that will be perfect for the new season, and I found the incredible, beaded, multicolored, Stella McCartney clutch pictured above.
Yes, I am excited about Spring fashion and excited about my new found passion for bargain hunting!
Love it, Live it and Wear it well,
I was recently approached by a man, who for some reason, thought I was some sort of animal he would like to take home and mount on his wall. (Okay, so I’ll be honest, I kind of like that – there’s a reason why I own leopard heels.)
But after our first “outing,” it took him five days to contact me again (via email). Whatever happened to the “chase”? Not only am I now bored, but what’s his name again…oh yeah, I forgot…
Am I giving out the wrong vibe? What do you do when you like being in the game, but don’t want to be “Tag you’re it”. Do you have the rules to “engage”?
-Hunted in Heels
Dear Hunted in heels,
You like being in the game so jump in, leopard pumps and all, and play it for all it’s worth.
As for “what happened to the chase?” – ever read the book He’s Just Not That Into You? I mean, you know this already: if he was into you, he’d chase you relentlessly until you humiliated him enough to completely shatter his dream. The chase is still alive and well – just not between you and him.
The only “rule to engage” is to be yourself. Have that same self-confidence that you are clearly attracted to in men. Thrive on what comes naturally, flirt outrageously and accept the consequences. There will be some who will want to mount you on their wall, some who will just want to mount you and some who will want to take you home to meet Mom. If you are going to play this game, you must know that you can handle it all.
You are only “giving off the wrong vibe” if you are pretending to be something that you are not. Be fully you and your vibe will attract people on the same wavelength.
Some men will come into your life for one night of fun, some for an entertaining chapter in your book, some for ten years of life-lessons and perhaps one for a life time of all of the above. In my opinion none of them are mistakes or coincidences. Aah yes…enjoy them ALL as part of life’s great journey.
Let the games begin!
As some of you know, I attended the Palm Springs International Film Festival gala on Saturday night. It was a glamorous affair sponsored by Cartier and Mercedes Benz, hosted by Mary Hart and attended by Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, George Clooney, Charlize Theron, Michelle Williams, Al Pacino and Glen Close to name a few.
As I mentioned in one of my earlier postings, I have never been one for heroes and so it follows that I am not someone who gets remotely starstruck. I found it rather telling when I was so much more excited about putting a fabulous outfit together for Saturday night than I was about rubbing shoulders with “Hollywood A-listers.” And then in the frenzy of it all, I was fascinated by my observations and feelings in the moment.
There were about 2,000 people in the room and yet it seemed as though none of them mattered save for the “stars.” I found myself wondering about the fact that among the 2,000, there were probably brain surgeons, rocket scientists, war veterans, generous philanthropists, self-less volunteers, beloved mentors and so many others who either save or change lives. It got me wondering why, as a society, we deify actors. Sure, those who were honored are outstanding in their chosen field but why does that make them so magical, so intriguing, so special?
One woman at our table made an fascinating observation when Brad and Angelina walked past us. “I feel so much better about myself now!” she said. “They look so frail. Even Brad Pitt looks frail. And I thought they were so perfect but they are not!”
Actually, I felt very strange and rather hypocritical about trying to hype up the evening by tweeting and sending out a Facebook announcement. I was following the advice of others and not going with my gut. The truth is, I have no interest in celebrities and while I realize the value of name-dropping and endorsements for businesses such as mine, I need to always stay true to myself and do what feels right for me.
My question to you my readers is this: If you could be anyone on this earth, who would you choose to be?
If you answered anyone but yourself, I would encourage you to seek out some great self-development authors and speakers and start to realize that you have everything that you need to be all that you wish to become, that you are unique and on this earth for a purpose.
At the end of the day, we are ALL as special as the “stars” that we tend to worship. It is in the discovery of our life’s purpose that we realize our true value.
Sending love and strength,
I LOVE new beginnings…call me fickle but I thrive on change and the excitement of new opportunities. I was in a store today and I heard a man respond to an inquiry about his New Year so far and he said, “Well, it’s just another day…it’s like a birthday. Who cares anymore? It’s just another day.” I felt like grabbing him by the shoulders and shaking some sense into him. Yes, it’s just a date on a calendar, but how sad to miss the symbolism of it all. It is a symbolic opportunity to change things in your life that have not been working for you; to set some new goals; to strive to improve, to achieve, to accomplish and to succeed. Sounds pretty awesome to me.
Today, I set up my new vision board. I have some lofty goals for 2012 and pictures of what I desire for my future help me to visualize the outcome, to dream, to take action and to BELIEVE. If you haven’t already, please create a vision board for yourself. It is a POWERFUL tool. Cut out or print off images that represent your dreams whether they include something as noble as helping others or a new strong, fit body or something as materialistic as Cartier diamonds or your own castle…think big! Paste or tape the pictures on a board or a poster of some sort and place it in a prominent place.
View your vision board MANY times a day. The pictures help you to visualize, to dream and to focus your thoughts. Your thoughts determine your reality. You become what you think about all day long therefore you will begin to live your dreams! It’s not magic or hocus-pocus…being completely vested and excited in the outcome of a goal moves us into action. A dream, a goal, action and persistence equals success. Cool.
I will be sharing some of my goals with you over the next few months – there are some exciting products and changes coming to me and my website and I cannot wait to reveal them to you, my readers and friends!
I wish you all a very Happy New Year and may 2012 be a year of kindness, peace and dreams realized!