What’s Your Wine Profile?

With hundreds of wine bottles staring at you in the grocery aisle, it’s certainly never easy to choose which one to grab. I mean, really, how do you do it?? If you’re like us, it’s often a crap shoot. Go with the coolest label? Guilty. Eenie, meenie, minie, mo? Don’t tell anyone we admitted to that. B-line towards the one you’ve been buying every week since you visited their winery? So true. Unless you’re a sommelier, it’s pretty impossible to know what each varietal tastes like, let alone which will pair perfectly with what’s on the dinner menu tonight.

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There is in fact a science behind a wine’s flavor profile {you can learn about it and even be a part of the wine making process through La Crema’s new Virtual Vintner experience! On their new site not only can you learn if you’re more of a Chardonnay or Pinot Noir person, but you can actually partake in community wine making. We certainly are intrigued to see how the final product turns out!}. While we’d never claim master sommelier status {or anything close!}, we have learned a thing or two. It’s safe to say we’ve drank our fair share of wine, after all. Pulling out tasting notes and pairing is actually quite fun and doesn’t have to be as daunting as you think!

Our little trick is simple: start with the winemaker’s notes. They often describe the influences you technically should be able to taste in that varietal {oh and varietal is a just a wine-industry word for type of grape – aka Chardonny vs. Pinot Noir}. Even if you can’t particularly taste “alluring boysenberry,” in your glass, you can use those flavors as your pairing guide.

For example, if plum notes are in there, think what food pairs with plums? A grilled pork loin with grilled plums and kale would be ah-mazing. But don’t stop there. Expand a step further past the obvious. Plums are often in jelly, right? I have this amazing Chipotle and Raspberry jelly in the fridge that is amazing on ribs! Perfect pairing? Done and done.

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Sometimes tasting notes aren’t quite as specific. What if you only get “juicy tropical flavors” as the descriptor on your Chardonnay label? You don’t need to freak if you don’t see a specific ingredient jump out at you. You could throw together a fresh papaya salad. Or think about it, avocados grow in tropical places- maybe a creamy avocado sauce over chicken? The fattiness of the avocado will balance the acidic tones of the wine perfectly. And don’t axe out dessert! A key lime pie is superb with an exotic Chardonnay!

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Of course the rule of thumb of pairing red wine with meats, mushrooms and hearty dishes is foolproof. Same goes for seafood, chicken and salads with white! Try any these scrumptious recipes with these wines for a dee-licious pairing:

Pinot Noir:

Mushroom + Kale Risotto
Turkey Meatballs + Zucchini Noodles
Black Bean + Corn Enchiladas Verdes

Chardonnay:

Crab Spaghetti with Lemon Gremolata
Almond Crusted Chicken + Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Roasted Cauliflower + Chickpea Salad with Jalapeño Lime Dressing

Any wine aficionados out there? What are your go-to tricks for picking the perfect wine to go with your food??

 

photography by aubrie pick // art direction by erin hiemstra // styling by bianca sotelo

This post is in partnership with La Crema. Head HERE to partake in the Virtual Vintner experience for a chance to win an all expenses paid trip to the La Crema Winery. All opinions are 100% our own. Thanks for supporting posts that keep Apartment 34′s doors open!

MWW: It’s All About Good Jeans

I’ve noticed women tend to pick up a variety of fairly nasty habits. Feeling guilt about what we eat, comparing ourselves to others and too often berating ourselves for any variety of perceived sins are just a few off the top of my head. I’m the first to admit I often fall prey to these mental traps too.

Another frequent lament I hear is about what we wear. Too often I hear a friend say “oh I could never wear that” or “I just can’t figure out how to wear this” and make themselves feel badly about it! I’ve fallen victim to this problem too, regularly calling my own style unadventurous because I wear jeans pretty much every.single.day. But I say no more! Instead of beating ourselves up for our natural likes, dislikes or style comfort-zones, why not simply embrace! I look good in jeans dammit. They make me feel comfortable, confident and you by no means have to look “boring” while wearing them!Apt34-WHBM-13what I’m wearing: White House Black Market Essential Slim Jean // Maison Martin Margiela for H&M blazer (similar)  // Celine heels (similar) // Zara Shopper (similar) // BR sunnies

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The secret to good jeans is how you make them your own! I for one am going to officially start championing a return to the clean denim look. Yes, I rocked my ripped boyfriends all summer long, but enough is enough! When I step into an elevator I don’t really want to be wearing the same pair of jeans as everyone else packed in around me!

Crisp classic denim like the WHBM Essential Slim Fits let you walk into an important business meeting feeling put together, but also modern. You make them your own by how you accessorize them!

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When it comes to rocking denim as work wear, I tend to steal ideas from the boys while adding a feminine twist. In this case, a menswear-inspired button-down and blazer give a nod to a traditional suit, without looking at all stuffy! Putting a dramatic cuff on the jeans and adding a statement-making heel is the perfect way to add some additional personality.

So, instead of feeling badly about our wardrobe comfort zones and knocking ourselves down for not feeling confident in the latest “It” trend, why don’t we try standing tall, being confident and feeling proud about rocking something we know makes us look, but most importantly, makes us feel good.

I’m going to give a go. How about you??

 

original photography for Apartment 34 by Aubrie Pick // wardrobe styling by Erin Hiemstra

 

This post is in partnership with White House | Black Market. All opinions are our own. Thanks for supporting posts that keep Apartment 34′s doors open!

Happy {Dog Days of Summer} Weekend

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Ok summer, can we have a little heart to heart? You’re just going too damn fast for my liking. I’ve put on a bathing suit once. I haven’t even walked on a beach, eaten an ice cream cone or had picnic. At least I’m checking one summer-must off my list this weekend – going to the Outside Lands Musical Festival here in SF. I’ve partnered up with Asos to give you a taste of my festival style, which is always rather interesting given the festival is really during our winter! And the fog has been crazy intense lately so I’m going ot have to work to make bundled up look cute! Follow along on Instagram to see the final verdict. Just no judging my humidity hair!

Even though I won’t be hitting a beach anytime soon we have decided to stay entirely sun, surf and sand focused this month. Fall will get here soon enough – we don’t have to start talking about it now! Here are nine things that we have been talking about all week though – I do hope you check ‘em out, before you go enjoy our waning summer weekend of course!

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> Love this idea of looking at your current clothes differently for fall- no need for a whole new wardrobe!

> Dying to try this lip crayon inspired by Jenna Lyon’s signature end-of-summer shade of red!

> We never even knew this was one of our dream jobs until now. Check out this awesome 9-5!

> How come we never thought of styling a denim jacket like this? Too much creativity and beauty in one photo!

> This house tour is insanely gorgeous. When can we move in??

> To front tuck or not to front tuck? What’s your stance on this hot new trend?

> This blogger is welcoming a new one this year and we couldn’t be more excited for her.

> We can’t say enough of our love for artwork in the kitchen. So inspired by these ideas!

> This recipe has us doing high-kicks in excitement. Soooo good.

 

image via maddie on things