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wine tasting party

Now that the holidays are behind us, we either want to hibernate or continue the festivities. A wine tasting party could be the best of both worlds allowing everyone a chance to recap their experiences or visit with those they might have missed.

1. Invite as many as you’d like, just be prepared with the proper amount of score cards, brown bags, wine glasses and palette cleansers.

2. Choose a wine variety—be general or very specific. For example: just reds or California merlots under $15. How about just bottles received as hostess gifts?

3. As guests arrive, hide their wine in numbered bags and be sure no one else knows the numbers.

4. Hand out score cards. They can be generic with a 1-10 rating, 1=hate 10=love, but half the entertainment can be making it fun. For example, 1=wouldn’t cook mutton with it, 10= would trade my hybrid for a case! Make sure guests write their name on the card too. Hint: have scorers write in the total number of bottles being sampled. This way if you planned for 10 and only 8 arrived, guests won’t be looking for 2 non-existent bottles.

5. Make sure plenty of wine glasses are available—water and some light snacks to cleanse the pallet too. Choose foods wisely since some can effect the taste of the wine and result in undeservedly low scores. Have stainless bowls or wine buckets on hand for unwanted pourings—and let the tasting begin!

6. Take your time and smell the bouquets.

7. When everyone’s done, any bottles that are not empty can be consumed. Be sure to run over to your favorite number and get a glass!

8. Collect the cards and tally the numbers.

9. Announce the top 3 labels and award wine bearers with small gifts like a wine opener or decanter.

10. Return the score cards to each guest and email the list of wines the next day so they can track down what they liked.

Thanks to adam, store manager lincoln park, for this submission.


london weights

We mixed business with pleasure on our recent trip to Old Delhi when we went grocery shopping with a friend. We were mesmerized by one of the oldest shops selling spicy munchies.

While a team cooked up savory treats, the man in charge took and weighed your order. Everything was packaged to measure—and calculated using an age old scale and the original version of these London weights.

And even though it was terribly hot, we were so hungry we snapped up some spiced cashews!


10 essentials: ryan

photo by enigmachk1, flickr.com1. Italy. My mother is Italian and I love everything about the country including the clothes, wines and foods. Especially proscuitto, with good Italian bread there is nothing more enjoyable.

2. Bowers & Wilkins Speakers. Their design is fantastic and the sound quality is excellent. I love music so they’re a must have.

3. Classic Cars, especially the Triumph TR3—all models. I love the history and tradition of Triumph, their cars and motorcycles.

4. Chesterfield sofas. I love their tradition and I love leather.

5. Christmas.

6.  GQ Magazine is one of my favorite magazines.  It has a classic heritage yet continues to evolve.  It is always different and always extremely well written.

7. Navy. My favorite color—it’s classic yet modern so it will never be out of style.

8. The stratus bed. The design is beautiful and slipcovers can be very modern and are always classic.

9. The 60’s, “Mad Men”. I love the styles and the JFK era intrigues me.

10. Nantucket. It’s really beautiful so I appreciate their strict rules on new architecture—not to mention the fresh seafood.

3912389085_d5b14a9e36 nantucket photo by greenbk,, creative commons 2.0


happy new year!

Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year, from all of us at CB2.


recipe: easy shrimp cocktail

Defrost pre-cooked colossal size shrimp from Trader Joe’s and serve on a bed of sliced lemons—their cocktail sauce is delicious too.

Fancy, savory, protein.