Preview: Domaine STE Michelle Wines

Good afternoon everyone,  well the time has come once again to do a online wine tasting.

I will be doing the #TGTaste Tweet Chat on Wednesday December 19, 2012 at 5:00pm PT/8:00pm ET.

Both of the Bruts for the #TGTaste Tweet Chat

Both of the Bruts for the #TGTaste Tweet Chat

The Bruts that you see are the wines we will be tasting and tweeting about on Wednesday evening.

They are from the winemaker Domaine STE Michelle and here is a little more information about them from the Thirsty Girl website:

A Bit More About Domaine Ste Michelle

About Domaine Ste. Michelle:
Domaine Ste. Michelle has crafted sparkling wines from premium grape varieties in Washington state’s Columbia Valley since 1978.  Like the renowned Champagne district of France, the Columbia Valley benefits from a northerly latitude, (extra daylight hours and cool nights) producing grapes well-suited for sparkling wine. Each bottle of Domaine Ste. Michelle is crafted using the traditional méthode champenoise technique.

 About Méthode Champenoise: Beware geek speak ahead

Méthode champenoise is the traditional technique of making Champagne and sparkling wine. It requires a secondary fermentation in the bottle, which produces the delicate bubbles that make the wine sparkle.

The secondary fermentation is accomplished by adding a mixture of sugar and yeast, called liqueur de triage to the still wine. It is then bottled and capped (with what looks like a beer bottle cap) and laid down to begin the secondary fermentation. The resulting carbon dioxide stays in the bottle, giving the wine those famous bubbles.
It is at the end of this process that the cap is removed and replaced with the familiar cork and wire cage.

Worth Twice the Price: Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut & Brut Rose

Priced at $12, the Brut and Brut Rose are often recognized as Best Value wines – offering great quality at an affordable price. At these prices, you can afford to serve nicer appetizers ;-)

Brut from Domaine STE Michelle

Brut from Domaine STE Michelle

Winemaker’s Note:

“Sparkling wine is a wonderful yet often overlooked accompaniment to food. Bright acidity and effervescence cleanse the palate, while the delicate flavors complement a wide array of dishes. Brut pairs very well with Japanese cuisine, my favorite is with sasbimi. Sip with bagels and lox for a relaxing weekend brunch.”

Brut: The Brut is a blend of 88% Chardonnay and 12% Pinot Noir. It has a light citrus flavor and toasty finish that pairs well with French fries, artichoke or cheese dips, calamari and salty snacks.

Just the thought of having french fries with a Brut is appealing to me personally, wonder how that would work with sweet potato fries since that is my new love when it comes to fries, I just will have to give it a try and let you know.

Brut Rose by Domaine STE Michelle

Brut Rose by Domaine STE Michelle

Winemaker’s Note:

“Rose sparkling wines are original not only because of their color, but also their vinous character. Brut Rose is a beautiful salmon pink wine, with a persistent column of small bubbles. A delicate sparkler, with strawberry impressions coming through in the nose, and on the palate. The initial impression is dry, with a soft and fruity aftertaste.”

Brut Rose: The Brut Rose is made of 100% Pinot Noir. It displays aromas and flavors of raspberries and strawberries and pairs well with fresh berries and melon and Asian cuisine.

Looking forward to trying this one with some very good Chinese food on Wednesday for sure.

Now I am not sure if you missed it but these both run $12.00 per bottle which make them very reasonable gifts for friends and to even put into your personal wine stock.

So what better time to kick off your heels (or flats or gym shoes) and join us for our final #TG Taste chat LIVE for 2012.  And what better way to toast 2012 and welcome in 2013 than with a glass or two of bubbly!

So don’t forget to join us!

And be sure to follow Head Thirsty Girl @lesliesb, Thirsty Girl @beathirstygirl and of course our sponsor, @SteMichelle

You can LIKE Domaine Ste Michelle on Facebook and let them know you’re a Thirsty Girl bubbly fan!

You can follow me on twitter at @dreamsofjamaica for my honest review of the wines during the Twitter Chat.

During the chat we will be using the hashtag #tgtase, so please join us for a great time.

Now here is a little legal matter, I received the wines as a gift and I will be giving my honest opinion about them during the twitter party/chat on Wednesday evening,  but I have to direct you to this link 

Recipe shared with us from the Winemakers: Sparkle Punch ~

Review : The Skinny Vine Wines

Skinny Vine after the tasting tonight

I just completed my first sip and tweet event with Skinny Vine and Thirsty Girl. I had an awesome time and it was so cool to watch all the comments and thoughts about the 3 wines we had the opportunity to taste. Who would have thought an online wine tasting…twitter is a whole new world for marketing.

Okay, here are my honest thoughts about the wines in the order of enjoyment…

1) Mini Moscato: this is my overall favorite. It is not too sweet yet it offer you the full taste of the Fuji apples, pears and peaches. It is very light and very smooth going down. I tried 2 glasses (come on it is only 96 calories and I’ve been so good this year) and each taste was truly nice and enjoyable. It was not overwhelming in any way and I want to try it over some mangoes and even mango sorbet, can you just imagine the great treat that would be.  Mangoes and Mini Moscato will be on the menu for Thanksgiving this year.

2) Thin Zin: I liked this one in second only because I LOVE Moscato, so don’t think it’s not as good because it is really nice. You can smell and taste the berries that this great wine is made of. It also has honeydew melon in it and a hint of clove and they come together rather nicely. This is a great wine to share with your friends who enjoy White Zinfandel and don’t forget to tell them that it only has 89 calories, so there is no guilt if they have more than one glass.

3) Slim Chardonnay: This was a very nice surprise to me personally because I have NEVER enjoyed Chardonnay wine  before and I have tried several different ones but I enjoyed this one.  It is made with apricots and honeyed citrus with a touch of vanilla and oak spice, and trust me (the non-chardonnay drinker) it blends very smoothly and is a nice treasure for Chardonnay drinkers, you will not be disappointed.

So now just a few more facts about this amazing wines shared with me from the makers of Skinny Vine:

The Skinny Vine performed better in taste tests vs. full-calorie varietals!

* 65% preferred the Mini Moscato over full calorie Menage a Trois Moscato

* 60% preferred the Slim Chardonnay over full calorie Cupcake Chardonnay

* and 59% preferred the Thin Zin over full calorie Menage a Trios Rose

and they taste Very GOOD!!!

Skinny Vine was created for the wine drinker who wants a “better for me option” without having to sacrifice flavor or quality. Skinny Vine provides health-conscious guys and gals the best of both worlds ~ a great tasting glass of wine with fewer calories.

And here is the best part…

Retailing for $11 a bottle, each delivers the full spectrum of fruit intensity and complexity while managing alcohol content to create a full-flavored, low-calorie wine.

I appreciate the opportunity that I was given to taste test this new wine and like I said during the twitter chat…

“Skinny Vine is about to change the game when it comes to Wines”

The reason I say this is because we now have the great choice to enjoy a glass of wine and not feel guilty when we are trying to stay healthy. This is truly a guilt-free wine for everyone.

Skinny Vine Corks

You can find these great wines at: : they also offer a few recipes to pair with the wine of your choice on the website

Thirsty Girl arranged this great wine tasting and you can find her here :

Skinny Vine is created right here in California ~ Sweetness !!!

Flavor that Flattens ~ Enjoy

Preview: The Skinny Vine Wine

Before I begin let me ask you a question…

Would you rather…blink and be finished eating a 100-calorie snack pack or enjoy a full size glass of Skinny Vine wine with far less quilt and much more fun?

Well I have been given an amazing (at least I think it’s amazing) opportunity to take part in The Skinny Vine TGTaste taking place today at 5:00pm PT/8:00pm ET.

What’s a TGTaste you may ask, well we will be tweeting and sipping wines during that time and we will be joined by some awesome people:

Head Thirsty Girl Leslie Sbrocco will also be joining in on the fun, you can join her on twitter at @beathirstygirl

The winemaker will be joining us during the chat as well and I will have the opportunity to ask the winemaker about these wines and learn more about The Skinny Vine Wines.

To say I am excited is not even easy to explain.

Now here is a little legal matter, I received the wines as a gift and I will be giving my honest opinion about them during the twitter party/chat this evening,  but I have to direct you to this link 

Now here are the wines I will be tasting and talking about this evening on twitter:

Flavor That Flatters

The Skinny Vine – a soon-to-debut line of light and refreshing wines that happen to have 25-30% fewer calories than traditional wine and less that 95 calories per 5 oz serving. The Skinny Vine company is so confident in the quality and taste of this wine that consumers all over America are currently participating in blind taste-tests to see if they can distinguish The Skinny Vine from full calorie wines…and you guessed it, they can’t!

So let me share a little with you about each wine:

Skinny Vine Slim Chardonnay

Winemaker’s Notes:

This California Chardonnay was carefully selected to exhibit fresh fruit characteristics to enhance a light and refreshing style. Bright citrus, stone fruit and a hint of floral aromas are maintained because this wine sees very little oak integration, keeping it bright, refreshing and fruit-forward. The resulting wine is beautifully fruit-driven, clean and crisp for light and carefree moments.

Per 5oz serving: Calories 86, Carbohydrates 4.5g, Protein less than 1 gram, Fat Og

next up:

The Thin Zin

Winemaker Notes:

The rose of Zinfandel from California was carefully selected to exhibit the juicy berry characteristics that make this wine so beautifully aromatic and delicious. A slow fermentation allowed our winemaker to achieve the perfect level of sweetness, which is complemented by a mouthwatering acidity.

Per 5 oz serving: Calories 89, Carbohydrates 8.1g, Protein less than 1 gram, Fat Og

And last but certainly not least :

Mini Moscato

Winemaker Notes:

This California Moscato is a blend of Muscat of Alexandria, Muscat Blanc a Petits Grains and Orange Muscat from California, carefully selected to exhibit the light and refreshing varietal characteristics that make this wine so mouthwatering and delicious.

Per 5oz serving: Calories 96, Carbohydrates 10g, Protein less than 1 gram, Fat Og

Personal Side Note: I enjoy Moscato wine and I am really looking forward to trying this one…

Here are the links to learn more about this outstanding wines:

Links for more info:

Now that you have seen the upcoming wines, I hope you will join us this evening November 14, 2012 at 5:oo pm PT/8:00 pm ET for this amazing twitter party… we will be using the hashtag #tgtaste, so please join us, you can find me on twitter at @dreamsofjamaica, Skinny vine @skinnyvine  and Thirsty Girl at @beathirstygirl …look forward to seeing you this evening!

Space Shuttle Endeavor in Santa Monica Ca

I had the awesome privilege of seeing the Space Shuttle Endeavor fly over my office less than an hour ago…

The crowd is starting to build!

There are about 300 people here already and more are coming, there is even very little people from the school nearby all excited and waiting…

Just me enjoying the warm sun and the awesome excitement in the air along the Santa Monica Oceanfront

We just heard that the shuttle just left Santa Barbara, so it should be here in about 15 to 20 minutes….

More of the crowd…

And there it is with it’s protection… F-16 fighter planes

One more view before I lose sight of it…

It is on it’s way to LAX…

Here is my little short video (and I do mean short) …

The crowd cheering was awesome, it was a wonderful feeling to be here and to see history in the making!!!

G20 Summit in Mexico 2012

View from my Suite at Barcelo Los Cabos Palace Deluxe in Mexico

I just had the pleasure to be in Mexico recently (May 16, 2012 – May 20, 2012), I stayed at the Barcelo Los Cabos Palace Deluxe and Grand Melia Resort in Los Cabos and I must tell you that I enjoyed my visit to both Mexico and Los Cabos.

I was there to attend ExecConnect produced by TravelAge West and it gave me the opportunity to experience Los Cabos in a wonderful settings.

Driving from the airport to my hotel gave me the chance to really see the landscape of the beautiful country and just imagine being able to stay there more than the short time I was be there.

I have to share my joy that the G20 is taking place in Mexico because it will show that Mexico is a place that you can vacation as a family, a group of friends, even having your Destination Wedding there.

Just think about this …the head of All the leading countries in the world will be there working on making things better for their citizens who have put them in office.

Now in case you are wondering what the G-20 Summit is…here is what I was able to learn from Wikipedia…

The G-20 Summit was created as a response both to the financial crisis of 2007–2010 and to a growing recognition that key emerging countries were not adequately included in the core of global economic discussion and governance. The G-20 Summits of heads of state or government were held in addition to the G-20 Meetings of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors who continued to meet to prepare the leaders’ summit and implement their decisions. After the debut summit in Washington, D.C. during 2008, G-20 leaders met twice a year in London and Pittsburgh in 2009, Toronto and Seoul in 2010.[10][11]

Since 2011, when France chaired and hosted the G-20, the summits have been held only once a year.[12] Mexico will chair and host the leaders’ summit in 2012.[13]

Stop the Presses: Braco Village Hotel & Spa Awarded Prestigious 2012 Certificate of Excdellence Award by TripAdvisor


Braco Village Hotel and Spa located in Jamaica



Braco Village Hotel & Spa Awarded Prestigious 2012 Certificate of
Excellence Award by TripAdvisor

Atlanta, GA. May 31, 2012

TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site and a highly trusted source for travel reviews, recently awarded the Braco Village Hotel and Spa the prestigious 2012 Certificate of Excellence Award. The accolade honors hospitality excellence and is only bestowed upon establishments that consistently achieve outstanding TripAdvisor reviews. Only 10% of all accommodations listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award and to qualify, accommodations must maintain an overall rating of 4 or higher out of 5 along with additional criteria, which include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months.

The Braco Village Hotel and Spa, formerly known as the Braco Beach Resort and Spa, has consistently received a 4.5 and 5 TripAdvisor rating by travelers, since it came under new management by the Canadian company, Sunwing in early 2012. Braco Village Hotel and Spa, better remembered as the Grand Lido Braco, resembles an old fashioned Jamaican village and provides guests with a tropical haven in Trelawny, Jamaica, one of the most stunning places on the island. It has quickly become one of most popular all-inclusive hotels in Jamaica due to the rave reviews as expressed on TripAdvisor.

“We are very honored to receive this prestigious award,” exclaimed Enrico Pezzoli, General Manager of Braco Village Hotel and Spa. “It is the result of the excellent work from the entire team. Not only does it recognize our efforts, but it will surely encourage all to not only continue to provide the excellent service appreciated by all our visitors, but to strive for more and surpass all expectations.”

“The Braco Village Hotel and Spa has proven to be a great addition to our Jamaica line-up,” stated Rene Jongmans, President of Vacation Express. “With its large rooms, excellent facilities and casual village feel, it is the perfect choice for relaxing getaways and family vacations.” In honor of this recent recognition, Vacation Express will be offering special promotions and savings to its clients to be able to experience this excellent resort first hand.

Vacation Express’ new non-stop Sunwing flights operate to Montego Bay weekly from Cincinnati (Saturdays) and Nashville (Sundays). All Sunwing Airlines passengers are treated to “high frills” award-winning champagne service which includes a ‘bon voyage’ glass of champagne, hot towel service, a choice of hot meals or snacks, wine with meals, complimentary in-flight entertainment, non-alcoholic beverages, free checked baggage up to 44lbs. And kids backpack with games and toys. For just $40 more per flight segment, travelers can upgrade to Sunwing’s Elite Plus service which features advance seat selection, priority check-in and boarding, an extra 22lb. (66 lbs. Total) free baggage allowance and extra leg room seats.

Ready to book your vacation to this outstanding Resort, give us a call at 310-722-3099 Today!


A Clean Sweep! Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts And Grand Pineapple Beach Resorts All Receive Certificates Of Excellence From Tripadvisor


~ Every Resort in the Company’s Portfolio Receives a 2012 Certificate of Excellence for Top Performance ~

All Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts, Grand Pineapple Beach Resorts and Fowl Cay Resort have recently been awarded a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor.  This outstanding achievement is a testament to the ongoing commitment to excellence and superior service displayed throughout all of the company’s resort locations.  With an impressive total of 20 certificates, plus six previously-announced Traveler’ s Choice Awards, this year’s top honors include:

Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa – Certificate of Excellence
Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort & Private Island – Certificate of Excellence
Sandals Montego Bay – Certificate of Excellence
Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort – Certificate of Excellence
Sandals Carlyle Montego Bay, Jamaica – Travelers Choice Award & Certificate of Excellence
Sandals Royal Plantation Ocho Rios, Jamaica – Travelers Choice Award & Certificate of Excellence
Sandals Negril Beach & Resort Spa – Certificate of Excellence

Sandals Whitehouse European Village & Spa – Travelers Choice Award & Certificate of Excellence

Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island – Certificate of Excellence
Sandals Emerald Bay Great Exuma, Bahamas – Certificate of Excellence

Sandals La Toc Golf Resort & Spa – Certificate of Excellence
Sandals Halcyon Beach St. Lucia – Certificate of Excellence
Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort – Cert ificate of Excellence
Beaches Boscobel Resort & Golf Club – Travelers Choice Award and Certificate of Excellence Award

Beaches Negril Resort & Spa – Travelers Choice Award and Certificate of Excellence Award
Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa – Travelers Choice Award & Certificate of Excellence
Beaches Sandy Bay Resort – Certificate of Excellence
Grand Pineapple Beach Antigua – Certificate of Excellence
Grand Pineapple Beach Negril – Certificate of Excellence
Fowl Cay Resort, Exumas, Bahamas – Certificate of Excellence

TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence award honors hospitality excellence. The accolade is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor. Approximately 10 percent of accommodations listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award. Travel Choice Award calculations are based on information submitted from over 20 million reviewers, which are presented in the form of top 10 and top 25 lists.

Congrats to Sandals and Beaches Resorts for outstanding properties!