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.

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

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

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!

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.

Meet Angela Webb #300

IMG_0102If you are a friend of ours on Facebook you may have noticed an increased activity level (Woot Woot!) in the past two weeks. Misa P. has taken over our social media – and if you’ve met Misa – you’ll agree when we say “Watch out world!” Hence When Angela Webb became our 300th friend we were thrilled and wanted to learn more about her. As expected – she’s awesome~ She’s photographed here with her husband, Isaiah who is a QA analyst at Sony Playstation and as you can see in our photo gallery has a very impressive beard.

Basics: She lives in San Francisco and works in Marin, and is currently a full-time student (graduating next Spring!) at  San Jose State University studying design with the emphasis on graphic design. She works at Edward’s Salon in Mill Valley as their full-time Social Media Manager and part-time receptionist as well as Haute Jewels in Corte Madera managing their website and social media platforms.

Q&AScreen Shot 2012-12-07 at 7.39.45 PM

How are the holidays for you so far? This holiday season is always busy for both jobs and it just keeps me on my toes. I try to remind myself of how blessed I am to have work when so many people out there are struggling with unemployment. When I need to unwind from the craziness of work and school, I like to paint nails and do nail art on them. I’ve been doing nail art since I was in middle school and I can’t seem to stop. I also love designing in general and when I get the chance (and my nails are dry), I help out my husband with his crazy beard-styling obsession.

Where did you grow up? I was born in San Francisco, but I grew up in Novato.
Best holiday memory? I love all the fun and spiced up favors that come out during the holidays! I love the pumpkin spiced latte from Starbucks, spicy apple cider, Jamba Jucie’s pumpkin spice drink, apple spice air fresheners from Bath and Body Works, and etc! Right now I am OBSESSED with the Harley and Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea! The flavor and spiciness is so strong, that the smell fills up the whole room whenever I make it.hrp-cinnamon_web

Favorite holiday memory? That is so hard…I feel like every year my holidays get better and better! Last year was my first Christmas as a married woman and that was pretty memorable:)

Did sitting on Santa’s lap make you cry as a kid? Nope! I knew he was a pretty important guy, so I was always on my best behavior around Santa.

Special family dish that reminds you of the holidays – I’m not a cook -but my mother-in-law’s  14 lb Christmas prime rib is to die for! She puts Iron Chef Masters to shame.

What’s on your wish list? This year, I am wishing for new bedsheets, a laptop backpack, cardigans, and more work appropriate clothes.

 Oh -and how did you hear about MISS? I heard about MISS when you first featured MissGoToGirl on your blog. I’ve been hooked on it ever since!

MISS Gift List for the Book Worms on Your List

Glass of wine, fireplace, good book—yep, pretty much our idea of the best vacation ever (and if the setting was Hawaii it would be even more perfect). Looking for the perfect gift for your bookworm this holiday season? Can we tempt you with shameless plugs for our own books and one just really-really-great read? Have other tomes we should add to our list next year? Drop us a line in the comment section.

1. Picture 5The Book of Styling: An Insider’s Guide to Fashion: For the girl who needs a stylist or just wishes she was a stylist. MISS blogger Somer wrote this teen girl’s guide to the what’s, why’s, and how’s of styling for teens who don’t have a celeb budget but love fashion. Wardrobe updates, closet curation techniques and shopping tips for scoring the best deals–all for the future Rachel Zoe’s out there.

Picture 62. Nothing But The Truth So Help Me God: 51 Women Reveal the Power of Positive Female Connection : For the PMAC’s in your life (positive-mental-attitude-chicks). MISS blogger Mimi was honored to be asked to contribute an essay to this book that is all about supporting women in your own backyards and how that can change the world. The editors have been thrilled with the positive feedback the book has gotten so far–like this one from Tony Award-Winning playwright, performer and activist Eve Ensler, “It is women’s connections that build families, communities and culture. Nothing But the Truth So Help Me God is a testament to what is possible when we show up for our sisters.”

Picture 73. The Billionaire’s Vinegar: The Mystery of the World’s Most Expensive Bottle of Wine : For the wine-lover/drinker/maker/reader. Part detective story, part history story. This book tells the true story of a 1787 Chateau Lafite Bordeaux, supposedly owned by Thomas Jefferson–that sold for $156,000 at auction, and uncovers if it’s fake or real…

Holiday Cards, Hostess Gifts, Hot Toddy’s – Oh My!

IMG_3118Hello ladies – to keep you sane this holiday season – Misa P. of Miss Go To Girl, is helping us keep ahead of the holidays and ease into 2013. Today’s post will nudge you to get going on your holiday cards, give you three great options for hostess gifts and end with a tested and bested Hot Toddy recipe that will delight any adult guest you may have during the holidays. 

Holiday cardshave done them? It’s O.K. we haven’t either there are some great deals to entice you to do ’em.

Hostess Gifts Believe us – walking into the party with a small notion of appreciation will go along way – even better when it’s something the host/ hostess really wants -here are three fun (very affordable) options for all types of hosts.

Screen Shot 2012-12-02 at 7.16.43 PMScreen Shot 2012-12-02 at 8.08.38 PM

Screen Shot 2012-12-02 at 8.01.14 PMHot Toddy! We love Alton Brown -and his Hot Toddy is Food Network worthy!

Screen Shot 2012-12-02 at 8.21.37 PM

Thanksgiving Week Made EZ

photo from world.werner-kunz.com

Hello ladies it’s Monday before Thanksgiving… can you believe it? We can’t. To alleviate any potential stress, Misa P. of Miss Go To Girl has broken down the week for you!

 Monday If you are hosting:  Shop today! Pull out all of your recipes, figure out how many pounds of spinach, bags of potatoes, and bottles of wine you will need –and don’t forget to get the best deal on wine through your grocery story membership clubs. Safeway, for example offers up to 30 percent off select wines and if you buy six bottles (you can mix labels) you will get an additional 10 percent. And delegate – call those guests and ask them to bring something, people really love to feel included -after all the first Thanksgiving was a pot luck!

Don’t have your recipes?  Here are some stand outs for sides. (O.K. full disclosure Mimi collected them for her day job, but she’s tried ‘em –and they work!)

Going as a guest? You still have time to think about an appropriate hostess gift.  Something they can really use (or re-gift). Don’t bring flowers that need a vase, a dessert that wasn’t in the plans (honestly the hostess would have asked if she wanted you to bring it) and for you soap givers ‘C’ mon!  How many bars does a person need? Think: What would I want?  – then get it.  Also – if you are one of those people who bring champagne, but drink only wine – bring wine or both!

Today would be the last day you should invite that person you suspect has no place to go.  You’ll be happy you did, as you can read in awomenshealth.com fun piece on putting the thanks back in Thanksgiving.

Tuesday … Celebrity chef Michael Mina says to leave the skin on The Turkey in the refrigerator uncovered for two days prior to cooking to let the skin dry out.  Do you plan on skipping all cooking tips and ordering your Thanksgiving dinner instead?  Remember, you’ll need at least 48 hours notice for stores like Whole Foods.

Wednesday:  Set the table, create a self serve separate bar space away from the kitchen so guests are comfortable serving them selves. Get that mani/pedi.

Thursday – Enjoy!  If you can start the day off with exercise, Do we need to remind you of the metabolism boosting, endorphine producing benefits?  Here’s a list of 5 ways to get your Thanksgiving Groove on from Lifescript.com

Friday Shop! Some people like middle school teacher, Adena Zender, in Lompoc California, plans for all of her holiday (and other) shopping on this day, according to her, “It’s fun, it feels like I’m at a big party –and the deals can’t be beat!” Or shop online, this a new trend and it’s an easy way to get it done without having to find a parking spot.

Look for a weekly survival count down for Misa P., every Monday until 2013.

Average Kid Consumes Up to 7,000 Calories on Halloween Night

Photo via Flickr: by JefferyTurner

With obesity statistics sky-rocketing and the rate of cavities the highest in 40 years Halloween needs a brand overhaul. According to Time Magazine and Donna Arnett, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Alabama-Birmingham’s School of Public Health, “Based on the nutrition labels on popular candies, the average child accumulates 3,500 to 7,000 calories worth of treats on Halloween night. According to a recent report, a 100-pound child who consumed all of those treats, or 7,000 calories, would have to walk for nearly 44 hours to burn those calories.” And kids have fast metabolisms…think about us adults! Even if you don’t have kids, you may be tempted to over-indulge with all that extra candy at the office or left over treats from the stash you were giving to trick-or-treaters.

To survive Halloween’s massive calorie consumption, try these four tips:

1. Sell Your Candy to a Good Cause

More than 1,000 dentists nationwide are buying candy from kids at $1 per pound and then shipping it to U.S. troops overseas via Operation Gratitude as part of a Halloween Candy Buy-Back program, started by Wisconsin dentist Dr. Chris Kammer.

2. Purchase Candy You Don’t Like

Don’t use Halloween as an excuse to buy your favorite candy for lucky trick-or-treaters as you’ll be tempted to indulge…one for you, one for me…instead, buy your least favorite candy (we can already think of a few) and forget about the risk of racking up extra pounds.

3. Freeze It

Take out enough candy for the week – and literally put the rest in the freezer. It will be such a pain to unfreeze your chocolate bars (and a bit desperate) that you’ll pass your craving before it can defrost.

4. Eat Dinner

Before taking your kids trick or treating, or before handing out candy to kids, eat a full dinner. If you’re full, you’re less likely to fill up on sweets.