The Wine Lover’s Glamorous Holiday Gift Guide!

There’s only one thing more fun then receiving gifts during the Holiday Season. And that’s giving the perfect gift to that special someone and watching their eyes light up with glee! If you’re shopping for a wine lover who has a penchant for the finer things, our Wine Lover’s Glamorous Holiday Gift Guide is chock full of ideas that are sure to delight!


1.) For the Red Wine Lover…
Round Pond Estate Cab Lovers Gift Set ($180): Hailing from one of our favorite properties in the Napa Valley, this gorgeous set of acclaimed wines features 2 styles of Round Pond’s Cabernet Sauvignon, the Reserve and Rutherford, to show just how deliciously diverse one grape variety from the same vineyard can be. Specifically for the lover of big, bold Napa Valley Cabs, this gift set is sure to be a favorite as it brings together Round Pond’s 2013 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (94 points Antonio Galloni) and the 2014 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon in a beautiful, artisan gift box.


2.) For the Art Lover…
Cuvaison Andy Warhol Series One Collection ($250 – 2 bottle set): In the early 1980s, Alexander Schmidheiny, owner of Cuvaison Winery and friend of Andy Warhol, commissioned the iconic artist to create screenprints for his Cuvaison wine labels. Done in his signature Pop Art style, the prints have rarely been seen until now! Cuvaison and The Andy Warhol Foundation celebrate this historic collaboration with this limited edition Andy Warhol by Cuvaison Collection. This first release in a series of three includes exclusive wines from Cuvaison’s two Napa Valley estates: a Chardonnay from Carneros and a red Bordeaux blend from Brandlin Vineyard on Mount Veeder. Both the beautifully-crafted wines and collector’s box feature original artwork created by Andy Warhol.


3.) For the Book Lover…
Mark Oldman’s How to Drink Like a Billionaire: Mastering Wine with Joie de Vivre ($23): Want to know the mysteries of how the 1% drink? Mark Oldman, one of America’s most popular wine experts, demystifies the secrets of the wine world. Oldman distills his vast knowledge of wines into this easy-to-read, humorous guide, complete with in-depth how-tos on everything from tasting, swirling, and buying wine the same way billionaires do—without the price tag! From detailing little-known ways to hone in on the best value bottles to the secret maneuvers you can do to master wine in restaurants, shops, and at home, How to Drink Like a Billionaire will have you approaching wine with the shrewdness, style, and unapologetic joy of the 1%.


4.) For the Holiday Host & Hostess…
Magnum of of Taittinger Brut La Francaise Champagne ($140): This delightful Champagne from Taittinger is definitely one of our favorites with it’s lively, festive bubbles and brisk acidity. This special bubbly is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier aged on the lees for almost 4 years more than the legal minimum of 15 months! This extra time in the cellars allows the wine to reach the peak of aromatic maturity, and the result is a delicately balanced Champagne, known for its consistently excellent quality. There’s nothing more festive then bubbly around the holidays and you’re guaranteed to be invited back year after year if you present your gracious Host and/or Hostess with a magnum of fabulous Champagne – the equivalent of two regular 750mL bottles.


5.) For the Collector & Gadget Lover…
Coravin Model Two System ($299): This revolutionary gadget needs to be in every wine lover’s home since it completely changes the way you drink wine! Coravin’s Model Two is the company’s most intuitive wine system that gives wine lovers the freedom to pour and enjoy a glass of wine from any bottle, at any time, without pulling the cork! Using Coravin’s proprietary technology, the new Model Two is the best-in-class tool that lets you taste, share, compare and explore wine like never before. Want to sample a glass of your 1982 Bordeaux without committing to an entire bottle? Get out your Coravin! It’s the revolution that’s opening up an enriching world of possibilities.



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The Livin’ is Easy: 5 Fabulous Finds for Summer!

“Summertime, and the livin’ is easy…” – Ella Fitzgerald Summer’s in full swing and to get you in the spirit (as if you aren’t already), here are five of our favorite things we love to enjoy during this delicious time of year: 1.) Round Pond Estate Meyer Lemon Olive Oil ($36): If you’re a fan of all things citrus (I... Read More

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The Livin’ is Easy: 5 Fabulous Finds for Summer!

Summer, Beach, Glamorous Gourmet

“Summertime, and the livin’ is easy…” – Ella Fitzgerald

Summer’s in full swing and to get you in the spirit (as if you aren’t already), here are five of our favorite things we love to enjoy during this delicious time of year:

Round Pond Estate, California, Olive Oil, Meyer Lemon

1.) Round Pond Estate Meyer Lemon Olive Oil ($36): If you’re a fan of all things citrus (I can’t get enough!), this olive oil is not to be missed. In addition to making fabulous wines from California’s Napa Valley (for more info click here), Round Pond Estate also produces a delicious assortment of olive oils, fruit syrups and vinegars from fruit grown on their extensive, organically farmed land. This delightful Meyer lemon olive oil is made by crushing Meyer lemon peels with a selection of olives which have been carefully chosen to enhance the beautiful fruit. This oil is perfect for salads, marinades or as a finishing oil, and will add a delicious depth of flavor you’re sure to enjoy!

Summer, rose, wine, fabulous, wine atelier

2.) Rosé wine: Nothing says Summer in the glamorous regions of the globe like rosé. Not to be confused with the cloyingly sweet White Zinfandel, “Provençal style” rosé is essentially its stylistic opposite. Dry rosés are are rife with notes of red berries and cherries followed by a clean, dry, mineral-tinged finish. These wines are incredibly food friendly and pair brilliantly with just about any Summer fare (think Tuna Niçoise salad – yum!). They also make the transition from beach to elegant evening soirée effortlessly. So embrace the vinous equivalent of Summer and click here for a list of some of our favorites.

Calypso St. Barth, Palm Beach, Summer clothing, Glamorous Gourmet

3.) Calypso St. Barth Boutique: No store’s couture embodies Summer quite like this special boutique with outposts in such glamorous getaways as St. Tropez, the Hamptons and Honolulu. Founded by French-born Christiane Celle, Calypso’s colorful, linen tunics; flowy maxi dresses; and butter-soft cashmere dusters have that certain Summer je ne sais quois that exudes comfort and elegance. In addition to the eclectic mix of fabulous clothing, be sure to check out Calypso’s home collection and assortment of fragrant candles and perfumes, for Summer Mimosa is an enduring favorite.

mad delicious cookbook, cooking light, the glamorous gourmet

4.) The Mad Delicious Cookbook ($27, We’re all looking to whittle our waistline for bathing suit season but if you hate giving up all semblance of flavor, grab a copy of Keith Schroeder’s Mad Delicious cookbook. This 2015 James Beard Award Winner, with foreword by Alton Brown, showcases Schroeder’s witty approach to food and is dedicated to “the science of making healthy food taste amazing” –  boy does it succeed! This book is chock full of healthy, yet flavorful recipes including some of our new faves: Pollo a la Brasa, Butter-seared Sea Scallops with Pan-fried Sweet Corn Hash and Black Bean Soup with Habanero Crema. Healthy never tasted so good!

Stephanie Johnson, Tamarindo Pink Collection, Summer, Travel

Stephanie Johnson’s Tamarindo Pink Collection

5.) Stephanie Johnson Travel Bags: If you aspire to travel in style, pick up some of Stephanie Johnson’s fabulous bags for your Summer vacay! I have long been a fan of Johnson’s intuitive approach to design based on her own years of experience traveling the globe. Each piece anticipates your organizational needs whether you’re caching makeup, toiletries, beach accessories or jewelry. Stylish details such as decorative tassels, metallic zippers and colorful fabrics set these bags apart and allow them to effortlessly transition from functional piece to glamorous accessory. We especially like her Tamarindo Pink (seen above), Nolita Purple and Miami Pink collections.



Wines of the Week: Rutherford’s Round Pond Estate!

This week I’d like to introduce you to the oldest new winery you’ve never heard of: Round Pond Estate. Founded by Bob and Jan MacDonnell in the 1980’s this family-owned and operated estate consists of over 400 acres in Napa’s acclaimed Rutherford region. Historically the family had always sold their grapes to such well-known wineries as Franciscan, Duckhorn and Schramsberg... Read More

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Wines of the Week: Rutherford’s Round Pond Estate!


This week I’d like to introduce you to the oldest new winery you’ve never heard of: Round Pond Estate. Founded by Bob and Jan MacDonnell in the 1980’s this family-owned and operated estate consists of over 400 acres in Napa’s acclaimed Rutherford region. Historically the family had always sold their grapes to such well-known wineries as Franciscan, Duckhorn and Schramsberg but in 2002 they decided to produce their own estate wines. In 2007, after five years of exploration and experimentation, the family opened Round Pond to the public and while they still sell the majority of their grapes, they are committed to their portfolio of critically acclaimed, limited-production estate wines.

Today, the second generation of the family who grew up roaming the estate vineyards is at the helm, including brother and sister team Miles and Ryan MacDonnell who serve as CEO and COO respectively. In addition to their estate vineyards, Round Pond also includes biodynamic gardens and olive orchards from which artisan olive oils, red wine vinegars and citrus syrups are produced, reflecting the family’s ongoing passion for and dedication to sustainable farming.


I recently had the opportunity to attend a press lunch with Round Pond Estate Global Sales Director, Diane Cline, at La Nouvelle Maison, a newly debuted downtown Boca Raton eatery. On that scorching Summer day in July we were greeted with a refreshingly chilled, salmon-hued glass of the 2013 Round Pond Estate Rosato di Nebbiolo ($22). A mere 300 cases of this wine are produced from a scant three rows of Nebbiolo, a grape typically found in Italy’s Piedmont region. This rosy gem which received its color from a mere thirty minutes of grape skin and juice contact, offers mouth-filling flavors of strawberry, raspberry, and a hint of lavender accompanied a delightful minerality and a refreshingly dry finish – truly lovely!

The four-course tasting menu highlighted the talents of Chef Gregory who created a beautiful menu to pair with the Round Pond wines. Our first course paired the Rosato with a Colossal Crab Martini with Avocado and Yuzu Foam. The dish was beautifully executed featured glistening white chunks of chilled jumbo lump crab meat dressed with the delicate yuzu foam. This pairing served as a delicious introduction to Chef’s cuisine and the wine’s citrus notes and acidity complemented the flavors of the dish very nicely.

The 2013 Round Pond Estate Sauvignon Blanc was next and while our first bottle was noticeably “off” (hey, it happens!) the next bottle proved well worth the wait! This delightfully lemon-yellow incarnation of the Sauvignon Blanc grape had body and presence. Diane explained this wine was de-acidified naturally; 10% of the grapes were harvested when the acid levels were high; 80% were harvested when sugar, acid and pH were all “in the zone”; and the additional 10% were allowed to hang for two additional days contributing to the wine’s viscous mouthfeel. Cline explained, “this method gives three different snapshots of the vineyard,” resulting in a generous expression of this grape with notes of guava, lemon zest, peach and plenty of zip. Chef paired this wine with a duo of dishes which really showcased its range and versatility: with House Cured & Smoked Loche Duart Salmon with Salmon Roe and Dill Creme Fraiche the Sauvignon Blanc really made the dill “pop” and accentuated the lovely texture and oiliness of the salmon while cleansing the palate after each bite; with Saffron Risotto of Florida Rock Shrimp the wine’s body stood up beautifully to the savory flavors while its lemony, food-friendly acidity balanced the richness nicely. 

ROUNDPONDCollage3Our first red wine of the day was the 2012 Round Pond Estate “Kith and Kin” Cabernet Sauvignon. The “Kith and Kin” wines are so named after the Old English expression for “Friends and Family” and originated in 1992 when the MacDonnell family made its very first barrel of wine from their Napa Valley vineyards intended exclusively for friends and family. These wines also sparked the family’s passion for making wine and ultimately became the inspiration for Round Pond Estate! Today, Round Pond’s “Kith and Kin” wines are intended to reflect the Napa Valley appellation and to be consumed in their youth. After a challenging 2010 and 2011, 2012 was a nearly perfect growing season and winemaker Muiris Griffin selected some of his favorite Rutherford estate lots, as well as a careful selection of grapes from neighboring appellations for this cuvee. The wine was aged in second year French oak barrels and after 15 months the result is a Cabernet Sauvignon with fragrant aromas of ripe red currant, blackberry and plum. The velvety mouthfeel is further enhanced by silky tannins which add weight but not astringency making this wine very approachable. Chef prepared a delicious Roasted “Jurgielewicz Farms” Duckling with Red Cabbage Gel, Braised Black Barley and Valencia Orange Glaze which was a home run with this wine, creating a beautiful harmony of flavor and texture.

Our final wine of the tasting was the 2011 Round Pond Estate Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon. 2005 was the inaugural vintage of Round Pond’s estate wines which, as you might expect, are crafted from the estate’s finest lots. The goal is to create a wine which reflects its historic Rutherford “terroir” with as little intervention as possible. In the fashion of Bordeaux this Meritage blend (for definition and pronunciation of this term, please click here) is comprised of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec and 2% Merlot fermented in small lots and then spends twenty months in 70% new French oak. The result? A wine with a delightfully inky purple hue and fragrant aromas of black fruit and spice which beckons from the glass. On the palate black cherry, plum, spice and a hint of chocolate are accompanied by firm tannins and a long, lingering finish. This wine was definitely built to go the distance while still maintaining excellent balance and made a wonderful accompaniment to Chef’s Herb Roasted “Miyazaki” Wagyu Flatiron Steak with Ratatouille and Red Wine Reduction, cutting through the fat of the lean meat like a vinous laser.

The wines of Round Pond Estate are currently available at The Wine Atelier. These special, limited production wines offer a great opportunity to explore California’s Rutherford region and its unique terroir.