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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A trick for choosing wine

Wine shops can be overwhelming. So many bottles, so many pretty labels—but what do they actually taste like? We spoke to Michele Pravda, owner of Brooklyn wine shop Smith & Vine, who taught us this fun way to choose wine...
If you like BUTTERED TOAST, try a California Chardonnay. "Chardonnay has buttery undertones," Michele explains, "especially when it's aged in American oak, which gives it a rich flavor."

If you like TROPICAL FRUITS, go for a Viognier. "It has tropical notes, especially mango," she says. "Tropical fruits are strong, big and intense, and so is Viognier."

If you like APPLES AND PEARS, you'll love Pinot Grigio's crisp, fresh flavor.

If you're a fan of CITRUS, you want a wine with more acidity. Gruner Veltliner is a good bet, and Michele recommends a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc: "It's got a definite fruity flavor to it, but with more acidity."

If you like the SMELL OF FRESHLY-CUT GRASS, try a white Bourdeaux, which has "a grassy, herbaceous flavor profile."
If you always pick out the RED CANDIES, you'd like a wine with notes of sweet red fruits. Try a Rioja, which tastes like sour cherries.

If you like DARK CHOCOLATE, try Malbec. Michele recommends choosing one from Chile or Argentina for notes of rich, dark chocolate.

If you can't get enough BACON, choose a smoky Pinot Noir from Oregon. (In wine vernacular, "smoky bacon" is a prized flavor for pinot noir.)

If you like SPICY THINGS, go for a Syrah. Michele's favorites are from Northern Rhone, which have an especially bold, spicy flavor profile.

If you're a STEAK fan, you'll love Bandol from Provence. "It has almost a bloody, gamey meat flavor," says Michele. Bonus: Bandol also pairs well with steak!

And the best tip of all? Just drink. "Regular consumption is the single most important characteristic of the confident wine lover," says New York Times food critic Eric Asimov.

Which would you choose? What do you normally drink? Thank you, Michele!

P.S. 8 etiquette tips for drinking wine, and a trick for keeping lipstick off your wine glass.

(Illustrations by Caitlin McGauley for Cup of Jo. Interview by Caroline Donofrio)

Winter nail polish

The other day, I bumped into my friend Sandra at the playground, and she was wearing the coolest nail polish color: Wicked. Although it reads black, it's actually a very, very dark red. So you get the dramatic look of black polish (a huge trend this winter) without feeling too goth or severe. Beautiful, don't you think?
Thoughts? Would you wear it? What color are you wearing right now?

P.S. Another favorite nail polish and how to create the perfect ponytail.

(Photos by Yossy Arefi for Cup of Jo)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Motherhood Mondays: Talking to kids about sex

The other day, I was putting four-year-old Toby to bed, when he turned to me and asked...

Friday, January 23, 2015

Have a fun weekend.

What are you up to this weekend? We're going to our friends' apartment for dinner tonight, and tomorrow is my friend's bridal shower. I put together that newlywed game, where you ask the groom questions beforehand and then see if the bride gets the same answers. Can't wait:) Hope you have a good one, and here are a few fun posts from around the web...

Mindy Kaling on happiness.

This is weird and amazing.

Nine tips for your best smile. Worth reading.

How to fall OUT of love with anyone. (Made me laugh.)

What history looks like in color.

Could you go 40 days without being mean?

I'd love to wear this on a date night.

The secret problems of other couples.

Stunning nighttime photos of NYC.

Have you watched this? I've heard it's fantastic.

"Behind every successful kid is a mother who's pretty sure she's screwing up."

My bedtime routine.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Brooklyn apartment tour

My friend and graphic designer Linsey Laidlaw and her husband Brian Morris live with their three young children in a bright apartment in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn—just around the corner from us! Even though they have only two bedrooms for five people, they manage to carve out clever spaces for everyone. Here are some more photos, if you'd like to see...

Sneaky exercise

You know those days when taking the stairs seems like it might as well be going to the gym? For years, I've secretly counted things like living in a third-floor walkup and carrying chubby babies all over town. What are those random little things you count as exercise? Emily's illustration made me laugh.

This is part of a series with illustrator Emily McDowell, who asks us one pressing question every month, such as what are your pet peeves and what do you do when you're home alone?

(Illustration by Emily McDowell for Cup of Jo)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Beginning family dinners

For the past few years, Alex and I have given the boys dinner around 6pm, then played, read books, sang and put them to bed. Once they're asleep, we have our own dinner around 8 or 9pm. I really like having that time to drink wine, talk about our days and just chill. But! Now that the boys are getting a little older (Anton is 1 1/2 and Toby is 4 1/2, sob), we'd love to start having family dinners more regularly. Blue Apron just launched a Family Plan, so we figured it was a good time to try it out...

A random winter trend

Every woman in New York seems to be doing something funny right now...
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