Category Archives: California

Getting to Know The Lake Tahoe Region

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“Lake Tahoe is not a town, it’s a region in both the states of CA and NV.”

This was one of the first lessons I learned upon arriving to the area as a guest of the Squaw Creek Resort. Like most people, I didn’t really understand the geography of the area and, like most people, I had limited knowledge about how diverse the region was, or even that extends beyond the limits of one single geographic landmark. I flew into Reno, NV, which most people use to get to the area by plane, though I’ve heard Amtrak is also a fabulous choice if driving is not an option.

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Wine Sisterhood: A Celebration of Friendship & Wine in Napa

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It feels like forever ago since I went to Napa for the annual Wine Sisterhood Gathering. Like forever since I walked through beautiful vineyards, meeting wine makers and learning about the craft of growing grapes and developing some of the finest wines in the world. Like ages since I was surrounded by friends, both old and new, talking about our love for food, wine, family, and Napa.

My time in Napa always seems to go by too quickly when I am with the Wine Sisterhood ladies. These are days full of tons of information, lots of encouragement, and inspirational messages. It’s a great reminder that no matter how busy we may be, it’s important to take some time to separate yourself from it all and surround yourself with others with whom you can learn and from whom you can be inspired.

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Wine Sisterhood Gathering 2013: The Celebration, The Friendships, The Reunion

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Since attending the Wine Sisterhood Gathering in March of 2012 in Napa, a lot of the ways in which I view and approach wine has changed.

It  might have something to do with having been immersed in everything wine-related for three days and surrounded by friendly wine enthusiasts that were nothing like the “enthusiasts” I have often met at wine bars in NYC.  Everyone I met at Napa – from the owners and managers of vineyards, to the community of wine bloggers, reviewers and writers – was incredibly sweet and approachable, eager to share their history and knowledge, and excited to just raise a glass with me and share a few laughs, along with some pretty incredible meals, in between.

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A Santa Barbara Wedding

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This special post is in honor of my baby brother Andres’ and his lovely wife, Sara’s wedding. I love you both to the moon and back and wish you many happy years together.

Sara and her family are everything my mother ever wanted for my brother. Who Sara is as a person, as a woman, and as a partner and friend, is literally my mother’s dying wish for my brother, so for me – and for us – she’s a dream come true. Our mother’s presence during this beautiful time was felt by everyone there. Even those who never had the pleasure in meeting her personally could sense her warmth.

The wedding took place in Santa Barbara, CA, where my brother and Sara often visit from Los Angeles and where my brother proposed. We kicked-off the wedding celebrations as any good Dominican-Persian-American family would: by dancing.

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Napa Winery Guide For The Clueless Wine Lover

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 I actually don’t know anything about wine.

Ok, no. I know a little something about wine. Like, I finally know enough about tannins and astringency to understand why I don’t normally favor red wines. I am less confused about the whole decanting thing. I’ve learned that thin legs (which have nothing to do with legs you walk with) mean high alcohol count (which can totally affect the legs you walk with). I also get why people sniff and swirl the wine glasses, which has nothing to do with being cool, and how it is that professional wine tasters don’t get wasted after day long tastings. I know these very basic things about wine from having been to countless wine tastings and pairings and having met enough professionals in the field who have been generous with their time to teach me a thing or two. But, still, I would say that my most educated critique on wine is that it is either good or bad.

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