Gallivant Eats & Drinks: Holiday Entertaining with Andegavia Cask Wine

Happy Tuesday! It is Christmas week! Can you believe how it snuck up on us? With the 25th right around the corner, I am sure that many of you have entertaining on the brain. What is everyone cooking and drinking come Christmas this year? Not sure yet? I may be able to help with at least the second part of that question...

Photo: Cary Hazlegrove for Andegavia

Photo: Cary Hazlegrove for Andegavia

In November I had the pleasure of meeting Kelly Macomber, of Andegavia Cask Wine at Wayfair and Boston Bloggers "Home For The Holidays" event in Boston. Andegavia is a collection of Napa and Sonoma blends which are packaged in sustainable casks instead of glass bottles, with each cask holding the equivalent  of four bottles of wine. If the words "Boxed wine" just popped into your head--think again. Andegavia is to boxed wine what fine belgian chocolate is to a Hershey bar. High-end, refined, and sophisticated.  In fact, the only similarity is the element of practicality.   Kelly and I chatted as I sipped their yummy Sauvignon Blanc (And I am not usually a big Sauv drinker), and I was fascinated by her and her husband Gavin's vision behind Andegavia, which she sweetly agreed to share more of here on the Gallivant, along with a couple great tips on choosing wine and pairings for Holiday entertaining.

Which came first--your passion for wine, or your passion for sustainability?

To be honest, for me it was my passion for the planet & our environment. Sure, I've always liked wine, but the idea that there had to be a better, greener way to drink everyday wines really was the inspiration behind Andegavia. The whole idea of being able to have a glass when you want it and not worry about opening glass bottles and having them go bad when not consumed within a few days. 

Why boxed wine and what do you feel sets Andegavia apart?

We like to call it Cask Wine, we think it's the best format for your everyday drinking wines.  All from a convenience, sustainability & preservation stand point. We're creating a new category of "luxury" class wines in sustainable packaging.

Which is your favorite one of your wines?

For me it's got to be our 2012 Special Edition Bartlett Merlot. Amazing wine, a Cab drinkers Merlot, but I especially love the design of this cask. The richness of the colors just say Holiday to me.

This summer it seemed like the rosé obsession really peaked (#yeswayrosé). Do you have any plans on doing a rosé in the future? I know quite a few people (including myself) who would be thrilled to be able to buy it in casks!

Yes, we're working on a Rose as I type. We've been tasting Provence varietals for a few months now and plan on having ours available in Early Spring…in time for Easter. #yeswayrose 

Do you have any tips on picking wine for holiday entertaining? What are you drinking this season and what are your favorite holiday pairings?

Pick what you & your significant other like to drink. If hosting a cocktail party go with one white & one red to keep it simple. We'd suggest choosing a Chardonnay and a Cab Sauv as those two varietals are the most popular in the States. 

I'm a big fan of Merlots - they are making a huge comeback! Especially a Merlot Blend like our Bartlett Merlot, which pairs excellently with everything from a Filet of Beef (which I served at Thanksgiving,) to a pasta dish & even a heavier fish. Very versatile! And of course, Pol Roger Champagne is my go to during the Holiday season…nothing quite like some bubbles to spice up the Holidays!

Photo: Erin Frigerio for Andegavia

Photo: Erin Frigerio for Andegavia

Where are you distributed right now? Do you have any plans to get into the South anytime soon? Fingers crossed…

Right now we're distributed in NJ, NY & MA. We do have big plans to get national distribution in early 2015, which most definately will include the South! However, currently we do ship all our wines direct to consumer to 35 states.

As the first high-end boxed (cask) wine on the market in the United States you are really at the forefront of the wine industry-where do you see Andegavia in 10 years and how would you like to grow?

At Andegavia we're hoping to change the way people drink wine on a daily basis. In France, cask wines are 1/3 of the overall wine market. Because the French understand the value and convenience this format offers. We hope to create the same level of success here at home in the US. 

Thank you so much for sharing Kelly! It was such a pleasure to meet you and hear more about Andegavia. If you are hosting Christmas or a New Years party this year head straight over to Andegavia's website--they still has casks available, and I can't think of a better way to spread the Holiday cheer this season. I think they would also make great hostess gifts, especially if you are staying somewhere for a few days. We are planning on bringing one up to Vermont next week for apres-ski! 

Cheers,

Emily

P.S. This is not a sponsored post, I am just excited to share a fun new discovery!

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Anatomy of a Cozy Guest Room

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8a | 8b | 8c

Do you have people to stay often? When we first came to Pensacola we were so excited to find a two bedroom apartment that we loved so that we could have an office space that also doubled as a guest room. Since we moved, in we have loved having frequent house guests. Our guest room also serves as my office, and occasionally John's command center, so I have tried to make it extra cozy for our guests so that it still feels like their bedroom when they come. Because we love to entertain, and often our friends just end up staying over, I make sure the guest room is always stocked with the essentials:

1. A cute "Welcome Sign": Ours has a short message that includes our wifi network and password. This was actually John's genius idea-- he is brilliant. 

2. Bedside Reading Material: Just in case someone can't sleep or just wants to read before bed. I have a magazine rack on my desk and there is usually a book or two on the bureau. ( By the way...right now I am completely in love with Darling.) 

3. A Yummy Candle: Because who doesn't love a nice candle?

4. Cheery Art: Wall decor adds so much personality to a room and really brings it together, making it feel more "homey." We have decorated our guest room with some fun vintage ski posters of Johns, as well as my inspiration wall. I am loving that watercolor painting for a nice pop of color though, especially if you have white walls. 

5. Pretty and Clean Bedding: There is nothing like clean sheets and a nicely made bed with a pretty duvet or quilt to climb into at the end of a rockin' day. I am in love with the pretty ruffle on Anthro's blue and white version!

6. Plush Towels: These blue towels could really punch up a bathroom and add a nice bit of color. I always try to lay out fresh towels on our guests beds before they arrive. Personally, it is little touches like that that make me feel like an honored guest when I visit people, which is exactly how we want our friends to feel. 

7. An Extra Blanket: We keep an extra blanket in our guest room closet in case someone gets cold (not likely down here) but it also double as a cozy cuddle up when watching movies or TV.

8. Nice Bathroom Staples: I try to keep our second shower stocked with lovely smelling body wash, shampoo, and conditioner just in case someone forgets! I also keep nice soap by the sink, and a new tooth brush in the drawer. Having nice products that smell good feels so luxurious after travel. World Market has some awesome body products at a great price point.

What are some things you like to do to make your guests feel extra special?

Happy hosting!

xoxo,

Emily

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{Gallivant Reads} The Kinfolk Table

Have you all heard of Kinfolk? Kinfolk is a really cool magazine, written by and for creatives, focusing on food, art, travel, and international living. In October, they published their first cookbook, entitled The Kinfolk Table, and it is incredible! I had been eyeing it for a few months, and received it as a graduation present a few weeks ago.

As their website aptly describes it, the book is "one third cookbook, one third narrative tale and one third international adventure" as it chronicles founder Nathan William's adventures in breaking bread with people from all over the world. With an emphasis on deconstructing the way we think about entertaining, The Kinfolk Table focuses on fresh, simple, and inexpensive recipes, and engaging both host and guest alike in the process of coming together and enjoying each other's company while sharing food. 

Sweet Potato Hash from  The Kinfolk Table  | Photo: Author

Sweet Potato Hash from The Kinfolk Table | Photo: Author

We haven't had a chance yet too try many of the recipes, but I did whip up the Sweet Potato Hash a few days ago, and it was so yummy. The mix of kale, tomatoes, garlic, and sweet potato tasted fresh and healthy, and the addition of a poached egg and italian sausage on top made for a decadent and adult "breakfast for dinner." We will deff be adding that to the rotation. 

If you are looking to spice up your cooking (see what I did there?) or just enjoy reading about foodie adventures, a la Julia and Julia, then I can't recommend this book enough.

Happy cooking! 

xoxo,

Emily

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{Marriage} Month Three

FSF Silly.jpg

Sorry for being a bit late on this, but it has been 3 months since we tied the knot! Here is our latest update.

Richey 3 Month Update

Favorite Meals: Cobb Salads AKA Throw Everything in Our Fridge into a Salad w Eggs and Bacon aka Everythinginthekitchensink Salads, lentil stew, turkey sandwiches, and roast chicken.

Favorite Words: Graduation (both mine and John's from API), house guest, write, copyeditor, gumba

Favorite Snacks: 1/2 avocado w/lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt (EPV), Hummus and Pita (JRR)

Favorite TV Shows: We have been on a New Girl kick recently, but are missing the West Wing and will probably return to it soon...

Favorite Movie: This month we loved "Donnie Brasco," hence the mob slang among our buzzwords. If you think John has been walking around this apartment for the past 3 weeks talking to everyone and everything in a thick mobster accent...you are right. Check it out on Netflix. Al Pacino and Johnny Depp? No Brainer. 

Favorite Game: Still Settlers.

Currently Reading: I am still working my way through A Winter's Talealthough I did take a quick break to devour Philippa Gregory's The White Princess (guilty pleasure.) John was still studying his butt off in March so was mainly just reading the Economist when he got a chance, and Exodus. (Just a little light reading...)

Three of my favorite girls: Danielle, Abbey, and Cat

Three of my favorite girls: Danielle, Abbey, and Cat

Gallivants: I got to do a bit more gallivanting than John did this past month, since he was stuck studying most of the time. My girlfriends and I took off to New Orleans for a night, which was a blast, and then when John finished API we took a day trip to Fairhope, Alabama. Fairhope is wonderful, and will definitely be a feature here at some point. We also had a fun afternoon at Blackwater, and ate some insane cinnamon rolls

Em + Em climb the Pensacola Lighthouse!

Em + Em climb the Pensacola Lighthouse!

Meanwhile in Pensacola: We would say this past month was definitely challenging, which I wrote more about here, but there were also some wonderful moments and events. One of the best parts of the past month was that a bunch of our best friends came to visit us! In the beginning of the month three of my best girlfriends from college came into town. It was not only so wonderful to see them, but they also kept me distracted (for the most part) from the stress of API. After they left, my wonderful brother Blair and our great friend Danny (Flynn's puppy daddy) came for a few days, which was a blast.  Finally, right in time for John's Flight Suit Friday, one of my oldest and dearest friends, Emily, arrived. As we neared the end of API we were definitely wiped out, but Em spoiled us with incredible food, and we got to go on some fantastic adventures, including our first beach day of the season. Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to come down and visit us, it truly meant the world. We love love loved getting to see you and have you in our new home, as well as give you a glimpse of our life here. 

Blair playing with Flynn on the beach. I adore my little brother, it meant so much that he chose to come hang out with us over his SB!

Blair playing with Flynn on the beach. I adore my little brother, it meant so much that he chose to come hang out with us over his SB!

Other than getting to hang out with some of our best friends, the other highlight of March was John finishing API! Wahoo!! So so  proud of him. 

Over all, our third month was tough in ways we didn't expect, but also full of joy. God is constantly teaching and refining us, both as people and in how we love each other. Thank you for checking in with us!

xoxo

Emily 

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Anatomy of a Casual Get Together

                                                        1 I 2 I 3 I 4 I 5

One of my favorite parts of getting married, and subsequently shacking up, has been entertaining in our home. Whether for dinner, or to celebrate a birthday, game night, or just hanging out, it is such a joy to have our friends in our apartment. John and I decided early on that we wanted to have the kind of home where our door is always open and we are ready to receive our friends at a moments notice, striving to always make them feel welcomed, cherished, and comfortable. We have been so blessed to have the space we have, and we want to share it. This means that often we invite people over spontaneously, and with little notice. I love impulsive and casual get togethers, but they don't leave me enough time to cook an elaborate meal or clean the house thoroughly. Because of this, I have established a little routine that I can manage with just 10 minutes notice, in order to pull the apartment together and set a fun and relaxed vibe. The anatomy of a casual get-together, if you will. 

1. I love candle light, especially opposed to harsh over head lights. At night I love to shut off our over head lights in our living room, turn on our lamps, and light tons of pretty gold votive candles we have both on our coffee table and our mantle, as well as lovely scented one on the bar. 

2. Good background music is an essential in our house. We cast Pandora to our TV with our Chromecast, which we love, but my parents also have a Jambox back home in Boston and it rocks. I try to have the candles lit and the music playing first so that at the very least our friends walk into that if they come early.

3. Who doesn't love something to munch on? To me, snacks are essential. I am a complete sucker for a good cheese plate, like the one I made for this birthday party, but when I only have 5 seconds to figure out a snack I just put out a bowl of pistachios. When time allows, I also like to mix it up with this recipe.

4. I may not have time to clean the bathroom or vacuum, but at the very least--I always fluff the pillows. I know, such a random and anal habit, but there is just something about a nicely fluffed up couch with fluffed pillows that looks so inviting and spiffy. Seriously, It can take a room from slightly messy and forgotten to comfy yet pulled together in split seconds. Trust me on that. 

5. Beverages, duh. This is both the final touch of the prepping and the opening act of a well-mannered hostess or host. If I know our guests might like an alcoholic beverage I have a bottle of wine open and ready to go, the bar organized, or beers in the fridge. If I know they would rather not drink alcohol, I take stock of what juice/soda we have so that I am ready to offer it as soon as we have hugged hello. 

And that is it! Obviously, sometimes I fail at even this small routine, but those are the moments when I realize that we love our friends and they love us, and no matter what our house looks like it is just fun to be together. 

xoxo

Emily

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Happy Sunday!

Snapped a picture of this corner while downtown on friday because there is something about the colors that seemed quintessentially "Pensacola" to me...

Snapped a picture of this corner while downtown on friday because there is something about the colors that seemed quintessentially "Pensacola" to me...

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope you have had a fantastic weekend! We sure have! We celebrated our friend Cort's birthday friday night at our apartment, which was a blast. The best part was that his girlfriend, Katherine, came all the way from San Diego to surprise him! The look on his face was priceless. It was so special to have John's wonderful friends, who have become my wonderful friends, over to our apartment. As I was standing by the stove I looked out into the living room and saw six happy men and one lovely lady kicking back and enjoying our home. I remembered that we take pride and put effort into making our home comfortable and cozy not just for ourselves to enjoy every day, but to share and invite people into

The Birthday boy and his wonderful girlfriend.

The Birthday boy and his wonderful girlfriend.

Got to use one of my favorite Christmas gifts for the first time on friday night! 

Got to use one of my favorite Christmas gifts for the first time on friday night! 

This morning I have to admit that I was fighting a rare impulse to want to ditch church, but John dragged me out of bed. (And so one sharpens another...) Boy, am I glad he did. When we arrived at church we realized that there was a guest speaker today, a Chinese Pastor named Shi Weihan. Shi Weihan was tortured and imprisoned in China for distributing bibles and heading a house church. He served his time from November 2007 to January 2008, and then from March 2007 to February 9, 2011. As Pastor Shi shared with us his story, through the mouth of his young daughter, Lily, we were so humbled by his faith in the midst of persecution. While Shi was imprisoned, his wife continued to preach in his place every Sunday in their church. Meanwhile, at one point Shi was put in a detention center of the highest security, and every one of his cell mates was there on the same charge: murder. Slowly but surely, Shi shared the Gospel with each of his cellmates, and each one met the Lord. 

I could write pages about what we heard today, but instead I am just going to share one more story of Shi's time in prison. While imprisoned outside of Beijing, Shi was made the leader of his cell. So, he oversaw and made sure each prisoner in his cell stayed in line essentially. Beijing can be very cold in the winter, similar to New York, and many of Shi's cell mates did not have enough clothes to stay warm. He wrote his wife and asked for her to send him more clothes, and she, thinking he just needed more clothes, quickly complied. When he received the clothes he distributed them to his cell mates, but it was no where near to enough. After receiving two or three more post cards asking for clothes, his wife realized what he was up to. She then asked their church to give, and clothes began arriving for Pastor Shi by the load. His guard, who was stumped by Pastor Shi, took notice and came to speak with him. He asked him if he kept asking for more clothes because someone in his cell was bullying him into giving them up to others. Shi replied, no, in fact he had asked specifically for his cell mates. His guard was uncharacteristically moved by Shi's compassion, and told Shi he had never met anyone like this 'Pastor man.' 

The next week his guard returned, and brought his own old clothes for the cell mates. 

The week after that he invited Shi into his office to ask him about his faith, and where his joy and peace came from. 

A few weeks later he gave Shi a bible he had confiscated from another Christian prisoner, so that Shi could begin having bible study with his cell mates.

By the time Shi was released, his friend the Guard had given his life to Christ. 

Hearing Pastor Shi and his daughter speak today only did more to confirm the tugging on our hearts that John and I both cannot deny we feel towards China. Hearing Shi speak, with John quietly translating beside me, gave us unspeakable hope, and overwhelming joy. As we walked to the car John turned and said to me, "Makes me can't wait to go back."

Happy Sunday everyone. Be grateful today for your loved ones. Be grateful for the snow up North. Be grateful for the winds whispering of Spring down here in Pensacola. Be grateful for the blessings you have been given, and share them. 

Here are some fun weekend links to check out if you are having a lazy Sunday afternoon:

  • We are heading to New Orleans for Mardi Gras at the end of the month, and since we are going to meet our good friend Austin's family, I've got hostess gifts on the brain. Check out this awesome list from Refinery29. I'm digging the incense pyres, recipe cards, and rose gold salad set...
  • Feeling crafty? Check out my best friend Lindsey's awesome blog Mac & Marlborough. She made me that great cheese platter from earlier in the post! I love what her latest post says about Valentines Day. 
  • I've been studying this book from the editors of Garden & Gun. Its chockful of fascinating southern history, recipes, and sage advice on things like manners and hostessing. Would be a great hostess gift as well!
  • Looking for a little inspiration in the midst of winter blues? My friend Lily has the most beautiful instagram. See for yourself--follow her @lily_shiland

xoxo

Emily