Domaine Carneros

Is there anything more enjoyable than sipping some freshly popped bubbly? I think not. And while we are discussing the most delicious experience of the palate, there is a sparkling wine I would love to introduce you to: Domaine Carneros Brut Rosé.

The Château Society
The Château Society

The Domaine Carneros Château is nestled in the heart of Napa Valley. This California vineyard is easily one of the most beautiful settings I have had the pleasure to explore, and the experience is matched by the deliciousness of their sparkling wines.

Champagne with a view.
Sparkling wine with a view.

For those who enjoy champagne, I highly suggest the Sparkling Wine Sampler. They give you 4 glasses of blessed bubbly goodness. For those who prefer du vin, Domaine Carneros also has some of the most wonderful and complex red wines that are to die for!

Domaine Carneros Sparkling Sampler
Domaine Carneros Sparkling Sampler

I always like a little something to munch on, so try the charcutèrie plate or the soft fromages (my personal favorite) from their menu. They take walk-ins or you can call ahead and reserve a table. When visiting Napa Valley, this winery should definitely be on your list.

Take a nibble and sip some bubbly.
Take a nibble and sip some bubbly.

💋

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Does Gatorade Need A Reality Check?

Newsflash Gatorade: not everyone is a professional athlete. Gatorade needs a reality check when it comes to their customer database. My reaction comes off the heels of one of their recent “hilarious” commercial campaigns featuring Peyton Manning as a store manager refusing to sell a woman a bottle of Gatorade. (Link: Gatorade Commercial).

Are we, as consumers of this advertisement, supposed to ignore the fact that Gatorade is available in almost every single grocery store, po-dunk gas station and found in every college fraternity house across the country? Gatorade cannot dictate who will buy and how they will use their products, nor should they try to. It’s not that everyone is unaware that Gatorade is meant to rehydrate athletes during a workout, race or match. I wonder why Gatorade is choosing to completely ignore and isolate a huge marketing opportunity. Are they not willing to accept that the average person who drinks their products is not one of the very, very few professional athletes of the world?

Sharing the same birthplace as Gatorade, Gainesville, Florida, I’ve always been loyal to Gatorade and never thought twice about choosing it over PowerAde or any other competitor. That orange bottle is always my go-to choice when I need a quick hydration, usually after a particularly intense spin class or tennis match. But after viewing this commercial, I am very worried about how they are choosing to represent their brand.

The commercial was staged as a candid camera episode and it was intended to reassert Gatorade’s image as an athlete-only brand. The most disagreeable feature of the commercial is that there were two male store clerks and a female customer. The situation made it seem like she was this ditzy party girl and they were judging her for being hungover from the night before. Gatorade’s advertising team should have made this more gender-balanced because it hints at slut-shaming women. The female customer is even pressured to pose in the “down-ward dog” position before being “allowed” to purchase a Gatorade, so this is not an overreaching argument. The people that approved this distasteful commercial need to think twice before granting something similar as suitable for the mass population to consume. One poor marketing choice, such as the subtle shaming of women, will take years of apology campaigns and can damage your brand forever. My main message: THIS COMMERCIAL IS NOT FUNNY.

But you know what would be funny? If Gatorade started featuring ads with the “alternative” ways real consumers actually use their products. Show us the caring mother who has been up all night with a child with the flu handing a bottle of orange Gatorade. What about the student who pulls an all-nighter studying for the LSAT and chugs a bottle to rehydrate and reinvigorate his brain before heading in the classroom to take the test? Or better yet, where is the hung-over beer-pong champion reaching for that Lemon-Lime flavored liquid resting on her nightstand? Why isn’t Gatorade embracing the fact that every college student would give their left arm for an ice cold Gatorade the morning after a night out on frat row?

Or what if Gatorade sponsored a fun, less-than-serious athletic event such as Bay to Breakers in San Francisco? This San Franciscan tradition is a gold mine practically begging for a sponsor like Gatorade to step in. Not only is there the serious race in the morning for this event but over fifty thousand people flood the streets of this hilly city in crazy costumes, or even nothing at all. Events like this will satisfy Gatorade’s wish to be the drink of choice for athletes, while “drawing in” the average-joes that buy their products. They need to stop trying to be an exclusive “athlete only” brand and embrace their hung-over beer-pong-champion consumers, for a true win-win. If Gatorade were to take the opportunity to sponsor an event like this, what thirst-quenching hangover-reducing sweet nectar of the gods do you think people will reach for the next time they’re at their neighborhood convenience store? Exactly. 💋

Is the Era of Whored Out Labels Over?

             Do the years of the rainbow Louis Vuitton monogrammed bags and oversized Gucci belts make your stomach churn and retinas burn? I’m talking about that awful era of Paris Hilton wannabes with the fake tans, bleached hair and larger than life designer labels plastered on literally everything. If you’re feeling nostalgic about my previous description, please leave; if not, keep reading.

Remember these?
Remember these? Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

            In the wake of “in your face” branding, I am loving the change towards a more subtle and less ostentatious movement: Bespoke. My move to the West Coast, specifically San Francisco, has opened my eyes to a more relaxed yet incredibly fashionable style. Now I am not knocking brands for having their classic signature designs, I’m just saying that you don’t have to be so obnoxious about it. There is something to be said for wearing a pair of Hermès Corfou sandals because you love the style and fit, not because everyone will look at them and automatically know how much you paid. This Bespoke movement also encompasses companies that do everything customized and made just for you. A small logo or simple stamp, think Givenchy or Lanvin, is even too showy for this crowd. The quality of these products can be just as good, or dare I say even better, than brand names, and you actually have a say in the color, design, leather, exotic skin, etc.

Personally, I love when brands have a certain image or design that only lovers of that brand recognize (the pyramids originally seen on the Hermès Collier de Chien, for example). It’s like being in an exclusive club; only the people in the know actually know.

Hermès Corfou Sandals, available on hermes.com
Hermès Corfou Sandals, available on hermes.com

           While there is something so lust-worthy about those interlocking “C”s and that scrumptious caviar leather, I am starting to lean more towards classic styles than the trendy ones (See the photo below). Chanel’s quilted Cambon bags are a staple in any fashion addict’s closet, but I don’t think that tie-dying them should be something consumers should be persuaded to think is novel or even attractive.

Chanel's New Spring/Summer Collection. Photo from their most recent email.
Chanel’s New Spring/Summer Collection. Photo from their most recent email.

             I fully understand that twice a year (Printemps-Été/Automne-Hiver), brands need to come up with something new and alluring, but maybe take a look in your history books and bring back old styles or colors rather than throwing things together and serving it on a platter as if it was designed by the gods. I think it’s rather insulting that we are expected to place these brands on a pedestal and have them look down on us, mere minions.

                Now don’t take my criticisms to say that I am taking all my Chanel bags and burning them at the stake. Rather, the opposite. I covet anything and everything Vintage because the quality is unrivaled. The only brand that has not shifted to machine stitching and conveyor belts is Hermès. By keeping majority ownership within the Hermès family, they could ensure quality control within their factories.

Hermès Leather Workshop, Photo Taken By Alfredo Piola.
Hermès Leather Workshop, Photo Taken By Alfredo Piola.

          With that being said, I am not going to lie and say that I am throwing out all my things with labels on them; I am just learning how to master the art of dressing without looking like a label whore because I have been there, done that. Now that I am in my twenties, I want to perfect the understated plain t-shirt, blazer, dark wash jeans, bright pumps and Céline phantom bag look. As the days of those rainbow Louis Vuitton belts and bags fade farther away, I think the world is ready and primed for a new wave of beautiful and bespoke fashions; and in this new world, there will be NO more “Juicy” written across my butt, thank  you very much. 💋