Women Winemakers: A Cut Above

Not to say “Nanny nanny boo boo!” to the boys – but we will 😉 It turns out women winemakers rule!


According to a study published by Dr. Lucia Albino Gilbert, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at Santa Clara University, and her husband, John Gilbert, Ph.D., wines produced from California wineries that have women winemakers are more highly acclaimed (proportional to their presence in the field) than those that have male winemakers.

How did they figure it out?

Drs. Gilbert used two sources of data. One was the California winery comprehensive database of 3,200+ winemakers developed for their first study. The second data source was evidence of winery quality, which was obtained by using the listing of wineries from Opus Vino (2010), a widely cited and credible source of winery quality.

Who to look out for? 

Ready to taste what women winemakers have to offer? We found this list from Cru Wine Online. Click the link to read the full bios.

1. Helen Turley  She currently makes wines under her own label, Maracassin, a California Cult style wine that regularly receives outstanding ratings by wine critics.

2. Merry Edwards makes award-winning Pinot Noir under her own Merry Edwards label. She is a pioneer in California Pinot Noir, so much so that UCD Pinot Noir Clone 37 is also called “Merry Edwards Selection” for the work she did on it.
3. Sally Johnson Today she makes wine for Pride Mountain Vineyards in Sonoma County where, like the other females on this top ten list, her wines have received international attention from wine critics from the Wine Spectator and the Wine Enthusiast to Wine & Spirits and Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar.
4. Heidi Barret Currently she is making wine for eight wineries, including her own, La Sierna. She has been deemed by Robert Parker of the Wine Advocate as the “First Lady of Wine.” Heidi is married to Bo Barret, winemaker at Chateau Montelena (Bottle Shock).
5. Susana Balbo She has started her own line of wines that bear her name on the label.
6. Cecilia Torres is the head winemaker for Vina Santa Rita in Chile. She is the woman behind #57 on the 2009 Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines List.
7. Vanya Cullen is the head winemaker at Cullen Wines in Western Australia. Her wines have received attention from wine critics across the globe including 90+ point ratings from the Wine Spectator.
8. Alexia Luca de Tena is the head winemaker for Bodegas Agnusdei in Spain. Her world-class Albarino has received international attention, and she continues to push the envelope creating high-quality wine for the price. Alexia is a pioneer in the modern Spanish wine scene.
9. Isabelle Baratin-Canet manages the production of the infamous Chateau Grillet, the AOC/winery in the northern Rhone region of France. Chateau Grillet is one of only two single-estate appellations in France. They are well known for producing arguably the finest Viognier in the world. Isabelle’s family has operated the winery since the 1830’s.
10. Pascale Peyronie is the owner and winemaker at Chateau Fonbadet in Bordeaux, France. Peyronie marks the fourth generation of this family-owned and operated winery. She is one of only a few female winemakers in the Paulliac sub-region of Bordeaux.

Want to read more about it? www.womenwinemakers.com

*Photo Credit: Domaine Carneros Wine – made by another favorite woman winemaker Eileen Crane.

Save Green on St. Patricks Day

What better excuse to throw a party than St. Patrick’s Day—sure it’s an Irish holiday —but everyone looks good in green, and we all love a holiday that celebrates mischief makers. We liked these cost savings tips from Billcuterz.com written by blogger Sydney.


Make it pot (of gold) luck style and bring your own beverage (and food)! If you’re hosting a party, get a few girl friends together as co-hostesses and simply make it a BYOBF. Your bank account will thank you for saving on funds and sharing the cost of party food and drink.

DIY decorations

Cut out shamrocks from green construction paper to hang on the wall; for most people, that’s plenty of decorations. Check out Pinterest’s DIY Saint Patrick’s Day page for more inspiration.

Cook traditional Irish foods

Baked potatoes are easy, very inexpensive and sure to be a hit. You can also try your hand at making soda bread, chicken and dumplings or Guinness corned beef. All Recipes is a great resource for Irish dishes.

Go to a parade

The majority of American cities have a parade for St. Patrick’s Day and these are free to watch and sure to entertain you for a few hours. Or, if you’re too far from one, watch the New York City St. Patty’s parade on television.

Green Cleaning EZ Tips from Queen of Green

The holidays means parties, distractions, house guests and lots of clean up – we reached deep into our files for advice from one of the greenest cleaners we know Debra Lynn Dadd dubbed “Queen of Green” by the New York Times, and the author of Home Safe Home. It’s her business to keep us from inhaling a lungful of the neurotoxins and carcinogens found in many household products–tetrachloroethylene, sodium sulfate and haptane, to name a few
Cleaning floors? 
DLD: I have hardwood floors and usually all I need to do is use a damp mop. We take a preventive approach with regular vacuuming, so dirt doesn’t get ground into the floors.

Cleaning polished natural stone?
DLD: Aqua Mix Sealer’s Choice Gold was recommended by one of my readers.

Cleaning a bathtub?
DLD: I use Bon Ami.

Cleaning windows?
DLD: I use vinegar and water, half and half, in a spray bottle.

Cleaning toilets?
DLD: I like to use borax or baking soda or vinegar or Bon Ami.

Drain cleaners?
DLD: It’s been so long since I’ve cleaned a drain. I have these little fine mesh strainers on my drains and they really work. It really has been years since I’ve had a clogged drain.

Have we missed any of your favorite green cleaning products?  Let us know

WORD! Each other not Eachother?

Pierre Metivier  PMDoes anyone else have a problem with the word (or words) eachother or is it each other.

According to Mignon Fogarty (our favorite Grammar Girl)…  In standard English, “each other” is always two words. Sometimes people who are learning English find this confusing because the pair can sound like one word in spoken English.

Dictionary explains it best …Screen Shot 2012-12-17 at 10.18.46 PM

Colon Cancer Risk Tied to Fast Food

42711932_63275a104aEat junk food? If you have a genetic susceptibility to colon cancer you may have an even greater risk than previously thought.

In a first of its kind study, researchers were able to find a link between certain foods and a higher colon cancer risk in people that were already more susceptible to getting it.

All of the people in the study had Lynch syndrome, a genetic disorder that predisposes people to cancer at younger ages and that affects up to one in 660 people. In the US, most people who get colorectal cancer have this syndrome.

Researchers studied people who ate various food groups including one that was dominated by fruits, vegetables and whole grains; another that was high in meat and coffee; a third dietary group that resembled a Mediterranean diet – fish, leafy greens, pasta, sauces and wine; and a fourth group that was heavy on fried snacks, fast food and diet soda.

The result? Researchers determined that those in the high junk food group were twice as likely to develop colon tumors.

According to the CDC – Of cancers affecting both men and women, colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon and rectum) is the second leading cancer killer in the United States.


Photo via Flickr: by ebruli

What Not to Do Today

2369734521_3717582d7c_mIn our ongoing series — counting down to the holidays — we have some very important advice for today:

Whatever you do, don’t go to the post office.

According to the postal service, today is the busiest day all year to ship or mail anything.

Still must mail? Try these time saving tips:

1. Outsource — with sites like Task Rabbit you can actually pay someone else to wait in line at the post office for you. You can hire your own personal assistant on a task-by-task basis and name your price.

2. Ship from Home — with the USPS print at home option. Schedule your pick-up online (you’ll need about 24 hours), pay from your computer and print the label at home.

3. Just Wait — if you want your package to arrive by December 25th and it’s a domestic shipment, the postal service says you can wait until December 20 for first class mail and all the way to the 22nd for express mail.


Photo via Flickr by: by Nieve44/Luz

Red Wine – The Secret to Cavity Free Teeth

5057195941_8a9d30c4e8_nWe usually opt for white versus red wine if we are worried about our teeth — red chompers never look good — but this new study just may change what we reach for this weekend.

Italian researchers have discovered that the bacteria that feeds on sugars in food — and then clings to teeth and your saliva causing cavities — couldn’t do its clinging when red wine was present.

The study author hopes that the compounds in red wine can be separated from the liquid and used in overall oral health (but until then…cheers!)

Canadian researchers also found that  inflammatory gum disease could be prevented and treated by red wine polyphenols…so go ahead, have another glass – your dentist will thank you.


Photo via Flickr: by isante_magazine


12/12/12 What Do You Plan to Do?

Screen Shot 2012-12-10 at 6.49.17 PMO.K. Don’t freak out—but Wednesday is going to be the last repeating day in your lifetime—yep even you young ones! Sure there will be a 02/02/22 or a 03/03/33, but these are not truly repetitive numbers. And if you spend too much time on the Internet you might get the idea that it could be one of the last days “of” your lifetime. We don’t agree – we just think it’s pretty awesome that we can all celebrate 12/12/12 together online.

And as usual – we’re taking this opportunity to make some positive changes (a dozen to be exact) 0r just keep doing these things that are already making your life better

1. Be Grateful! It’s good for you. According to U.C. Berkeley’s Greater Good, it can lead to; stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure; higher levels of positive emotions; more joy, optimism and happiness; acting with more generosity and compassion and feeling less lonely and isolated.

2. Be a good friend! And if you feel like you’ve got friends that are not making you feel good about your self, ditch ’em!

Scientists now suspect that hanging out with our friends can actually counteract the kind of stomach-quivering stress most of us experience on a daily basis. A landmark UCLA study suggests that women respond to stress with a cascade of brain chemicals that cause us to make and maintain friendships with other women.

3. Find religion (in your food!)  Have you tried bible bread?

4. Cry if you want to. It’s good for you! 

5. Stop it! OK you might not remember the well-loved TV  shrink, Bob Newhart but many thought he had a great advice. Click here.  OK if that doesn’t work, try this.

6. Take the  stairs. Why not burn 7, 800 calories a year just by taking the stairs?

7. Eat these foods! To boost your mood.

8. Dump him! You know he’s lying! Don’t rationalize with yourself, “Oh, but someday he’ll realize I’m the one for him.”  Do we need to remind you of Bob’s advice #5.

9. Get smart! Use either an online game or an app to work on your brain! Think of it as the gym for your mind. We like luminosity but tell us if you have a favorite too.

10. Deal with your debt! so you can sleep!

11. Buy yourself some Uggs! (OK maybe that’s just on our wish list!)

12. Be Present.

Regardless of what you do on Wednesday – enjoy and treat it like the special day that it is!

Holiday Countdown – What to Do This Week

2128165158_55522ccb4cThere’s only 15 days left ’till Christmas — and Hanukkah is already well on its way. We’ve got a countdown list prepared just for this week to get you prepped (or give you the push to get through) the holidays.

1. Tuesday: Go to the post office (now). Next week, on Monday, is the busiest day of the year at the post office — so don’t wait — send out those last minute cards and gifts today.

2. Wednesday: Exercise. If you’re like us, you’ll be spending this weekend getting random gifts for people outside the inner circle (teachers, gardener, nanny, neighbors) so you’ll probably skip this weekend’s work-out (we’re just being honest).

3. Thursday: Prepare your holiday tipping budget. Not sure if you’ve realized it yet, but you’ve got to tip all those people who have made you prettier, smarter, cleaner, more organized this year. This article is a great start. According to Consumer Reports 75 percent of people tip their house cleaners during the holidays and 8 percent tip the garbage collector.

4. Friday: Buy your holiday dress. We know the scenario — December 24, with only minutes to spare before you need to be at the (fill in the blank) house for your annual Christmas party. No dress, nothing to wear. Do us a favor — get a great deal on designer duds at The Real Real – one of our favorite online consignment shops.

5. Saturday: Book a blow-out for the company Christmas party. How good are you at hot rollers? Enough said.

6. Sunday: Order your New Years detox program. Just thinking about the cheese plate we’re going to devour makes us want to start this December 26. Check out one of our favorites Urban Remedy here.


Photo via Flickr: by paparutzi

Cocktail Chatter: Billions of Chopsticks Disposed Every Year

6231546597_fc6e05e89eYes, we realize it’s only Monday — and a little early for cocktails but after a tasty sushi dinner last night, one where we actually forgot the chopsticks with the takeout, we started thinking about the waste that disposable chopsticks create…and well you know what happens next…a little (a lot) of research.

About 3.8 million trees go into the manufacture of about 57 billion disposable pairs of chopsticks in China, according to statistics from that nation’s national forest bureau. Approximately half of those are used in China and the other half are mainly exported to Japan, South Korea and United States.

The amount of trees needed to create disposable chopsticks is wreaking havoc on China’s forests. According to a United Nations report, 10,800 square miles of Asian forest are disappearing each year. If that doesn’t get you to switch to reusable chopsticks — the health benefits might:

As reported by the New York Times in an interview with Greenpeace, “While production standards exist in China, supervision is sometimes nonexistent, especially in small factories. Industrial-grade sulfur, paraffin, hydrogen peroxide and insect repellent are among the harmful chemicals that Chinese media investigations have exposed during production.”
Photo via Flickr: f_shields.

5158kFRAwHL._SY450_Ready for reusables like these cute Party People chopsticks? We’ve got you covered here and here.