Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Myopia Hunt Club & Polo

Take a photo tour of the Myopia Hunt Club's Wine Tasitng and Trunk Show Event That I attended.

Polo games are every Sunday @ 3:00 pm - Routh 1A in S. Hamilton, MA.

Hampton Sun's Privet Bloom Parfum is Scentsational!

Ok, for those of you who follow my reviews, or know me personally, you know that I adore beautiful packaging and bottles. When I opened my gift of Hampton Son, I knew this fragrance would be one of my many favorites.

As I sample this liquid summer in a bottle, I appreciate that the the style of the packaging and white and green colors theme is well suited to the fragrance inside.

Privet Bloom features the aroma of privet hedges, found in the Hamptons, when in bloom... muguet, jasmine, linden blossom, gardenia, orangeflower, and dune rose are also part of this creation. Add a few finishing notes of driftwood and sun-warmed musk, and you have the scent of the Hamptons on a Summer day.

Privet Bloom is available in fine specialty retailers.

Available as a Eau de Parfum or Eau de Toilette in 1.7 oz bottles

Suggested retail prices $49.50 - $65.00

Just a little note about S&G Hampton Sun

S&G Hampton Sun is a privately-held company specializing in luxury sun and skin care products ranging from tanning oils, gels, and lotions, after-sun moisturizers, shimmer bronze creams and pearl cooling sprays, to everyday super-hydration face creams. Founded by Salvatore Piazzolla and Grant Wilfley, S&G Hampton Sun was created for consumers who wanted to minimize the hazardous effects of the sun while maximizing their time in the sun.

It's Perfect!

With a name like Perfect Kiss, how can you not try it! Visions of soft lips and sexy nights are encapsulated in this one perfume.

Scents of blooming jasmine, honeysuckle, rosewood, followed by base notes of creamy vanilla and dark chocolate. Ladies, need I say more!

This line also includes fragrances called Perfect Veil, Perfect Gardenia, Perfect Nectar, Perfect Vanilla, and Perfect Bliss. I had the pleasure of trying the fragrances below.

Perfect Veil creates a soft smell against the skin. The scent almost has a soft powder fragrance. Very feminine, fresh, and clean. The top notes of lemon and bergamot are softened by a variety of musks, including Egyptian and Tunisian followed by notes of sandalwood and creamy vanilla.

Perfect Vanilla swept me away to a relaxed state of mind yet made me feel very sexy. With a collection of five different vanillas from around the world and hints of amber and blood orange keep it from being to sweet.

Perfect Bliss was inspired by a honeymoon on Tahiti. With tropical fruits, white gardenia, and vanilla it certainly does whisk my thoughts to my own tropical vacations.

Perfect Nectar is somewhat similar is style to Perfect Bliss, but instead of vanilla, a hint of oceanic musk has been added, creating an incredible juxtaposition of ocean and juicy fruit..

Beauty Comes From Within

In 2006, Sarah Horowitz-Thran was asked to develop a line a perfumes exclusively for Barney's and she called the line "What Comes From Within". With five fragrances to choose from, women can choose to wear the scent alone, or layer them to create their own personal creation.

Love Comes From Within was a hit with me as soon as I put it on. I love the scent of clove, and this fragrance has it, as well as...spicy carnation and rose (all scents I plant in my personal flower garden). There are warmer base notes of Tunisian amber, French vanilla, clean musk and Indian sandalwood. Simply stunning!

Joy Comes From Within prompts feelings of energy and life. Spicy nutmeg and hints of almond create the top note followed orange blossom then a base of creamy vanilla, tonka bean and musk.

Light Comes From Within is a crisp and floral scented perfume. With bergamot (another favorite of mine), freesia, honeysuckle and night blooming jasmine as the top and middle notes, you can't go wrong, but add fresh oceanic musk and sandalwood to the mix, and you have a deliciously sexy fragrance.

Peace From Within is a scent that can be worn by a mature woman as well as a teenager. It is has a clean and gentle quality to it. With a top note of bergamot (which is renowned for its ability to inspire mental clarity) is followed by a base note of fresh oceanic musk and sandlewood.

Beauty Comes From Within is my favorite choice of this particular line. At least it is today. I love to change fragrances with my moods and occasions. This is strong and sexy, but not overwhelming. Top notes of red plums and fresh cut grass capture vitality and sensuality. The middle notes of gardenia and pink peony add that little touch of femininity while the citrus rock rose gives a little zing. The base notes of watery musk, sandalwood, white amber, and hints of cedar convey a bit of mystery.

There are not enough O’s in smooth for this Scotch whisky!

Sorry the picture of the Scotch is blue. I don't know why that happened!

Years ago, as a pre-Scotch drinker, I thought that the Scotch being poured from its beautiful decanter into a crystal glass looked more like liquefied butterscotch than an alcoholic beverage. I couldn’t wait to try it! Well, to my disappointment, I found out that the Scotch whisky didn’t taste like butterscotch candy. Not looking for sweet anymore, but smooth without a bite, it took years for me to finally find a Scotch that came even close to my preconceived notion.

Recently, I tasted a 17 year old single malt Scotch whisky from Old Pulteney which I decided to try neat. When I poured it into my glass, the nose (aroma) gave off a soft hint of vanilla. After I tasted it and allowed the amber colored liquid to cover my tongue, it felt soft and silky. I even wondered if I tasted a hint of honey. The finish was light and smoky, and the lingering warmth it left was pleasant… not harsh. Ready to try it on the rocks, I added ice to my glass, took a sip, and I enjoyed my single malt Scotch whisky even more. Finally, I could drink a glass of Scotch whisky, along with my fellow tasters, with more appreciation.

Old Pulteny 17 year old has been recognized at the 2005 International Wine & Spirit Competition, and a double gold medal winner at the 2006 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. This might be due to the fact that Old Pulteny uses unusual copper stills for production, followed by maturation in a combination of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks.

The suggested retail price of $79.99 is well worth it.

Previously written for New England Fine on 6-29-2007

A Blue Lagoon in a Bottle!

Finally, a cocktail that I was able to serve without any additional work. I received the 100ml four pack tote that was all set to go! All I had to do was take martini glasses out of my cabinet... add some crushed ice... and pour my first selection into the glass. The hardest part of this tasting experience was deciding which flavor to try first. Hmmm.... would it be the Cosmopolitan, the Blue Lagoon, the Appletini, or the Lemon Drop? With such a dilemma, I decided to go with the scientific approach. I followed the color spectrum of the rainbow. Thinking back to elementary school I remembered my rainbow reminder... (ROY G BIV) Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet. So our tasting went from the Cosmopolitan to the Lemon Drop, then the Appletini, to the Blue Lagoon. I thought for sure the Cosmopolitan was going to be my favorite, but the Blue Lagoon was awesome!

The four pack comes in a cute plastic carrying case with a ribbon and charm. Inside, the four bottles are neatly tucked into their own compartment, with matching straws placed in the center. If you don't have martini glasses and you still want a unique way to serve your cocktail, you can place the bottles in your freezer (just long enough to chill) and serve right out of the bottle with the color coordinated straws. This would be a great little surprise to pull out of your cooler at a party.

Cocktails by Jenn, a premium cocktail couturier, produces ready-to-drink, naturally flavored vodka martinis in both signature and limited edition flavors. The 100ml 4 pack (single flavor and variety pack) has a suggested retail price of $14.99 and the 750ml bottles sell for about $19.99. That's a bargain for me since I pay $7 - $9 for one martini.

Currently, you can find Cocktails By Jenn, in 43 states. and on the Internet at

Previously written in June 2007

This link has a great selection of cosmetics

Looking for just the right product? Let Beauty Bridge help you find it.

Mineral Makeup for Healthy Skin

Brooks Brothers for Women!

Did you think Brooks Brothers was just for men? Not So! They have some fabulous clothing for women. Check them out!

Add a little sizzle to your summer vacation!

Do you want to add a little more sizzle to your summer vacation? Check out Frederick's of Hollywood. Oh I won't tell a sole! I promise!

Frederick's of Hollywood, Inc.

This is a great spoof video on us New Englanders!

You can also view this video on our web site New England Fine

Southwest Airlines Offers Summer Travel Tips

Hot Day? Chill out! We've got you covered. Southwest Airlines has the coolest summer travel tips that will help you get on your way to those relaxing summer vacation spots. Traveling with the family can be stressful, and Southwest Airlines wants to help its Customers handle the busy travel season like a pro. Southwest Airlines' baggage policy allows Customers to check up to three bags (under 50 pounds each) absolutely free of charge. Southwest, knowing plans can change in the blink of an eye, also allows Customers to make changes to their itineraries without a change fee.

And if you haven't planned your vacation just yet, there's still time. Log on to, where you can make reservations for flights, hotels, and rental cars. Southwest can get you where you wanna go, no sweat!

Travel tips to help you keep your cool this summer:

Early arrival is the key to survival.

You will enjoy a smoother travel experience if you get to the airport at least an hour ahead of your scheduled departure time. Check Southwest's web site,, for updated travel information and suggested airport arrival times during peak travel periods. This summer will be a busy one, so allow plenty of time for parking and flight checkin.

The Internet is your friend. offers many features to help make traveling easier. You can check in online and print out boarding passes up to 24 hours before your flight. Many people set alarms to remind them to go online and check in early. Impress your friends by having that sound you hear on our commercials and download DING!, a desktop application that alerts subscribers of fare sales that are only available for a few hours at a time.

The 411 on the 3-1-1.The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is currently limiting liquids, gels, and/or aerosols in carryon baggage. Customers are presently allowed to bring with them one clear, transparent, resealable, one quart (1 liter) size, plastic bag containing liquids, gels, and/or aerosols in containers of three ounces (90ml) capacity or less per container. (Most "travel size" items found in grocery and convenience stores are 3 ounces or less.) The contents of the plastic bag must fit comfortably within and be completely closed/sealed.

Chilling at the gate.

While maybe not as fun as chilling at the beach, if children older than age five and under age 12 are traveling alone, parents must arrive at the gate an hour before departure to check their child in; and parents should not leave until their child's plane has taken off. Also, make sure to bring plenty of books, games, and snacks to keep children entertained during the flight.

"You have to wait 30 minutes after eating before you can go flying."

Just kidding. But now that we have your attention, it's a good idea to pick up your favorite meal before jumping on a Southwest flight. The carrier offers complimentary soft drinks, juices, and light snacks on all flights; however, Southwest does not serve inflight meals.

Remember the person behind you would like to use the bin, too.

As you are cramming your shopping bag, suit coat, straw hats, and newly purchased plastic flamingo into the overhead bin, remember to leave some space for other Customers. Customers are permitted to carry one bag, plus one smaller, personal item onboard. All carryon baggage must fit in a sizing box (16"x 10"x 24") and must be stowed in overhead bins or below the seat in front of the Customer. We suggest Customers only pack valuables, medications, eyeglasses, and other essential items in carryon luggage. Your fellow travelers will think you.

What are those Flight Attendants talking about?

You will learn many important tips in our preflight safety announcement. In all seriousness (yes, we can be serious), safety comes first at Southwest Airlines. Be sure to take a moment to familiarize yourself with all emergency procedures.

Something to pop a wheelie about!

Southwest Airlines will now check your bicycle for free. That's right…as long as the bicycle is packed in a hard-sided bicycle case and falls within the dimensions and weight limits for normal checked baggage, we will accept it as one of the three free pieces of checked luggage Southwest allows for each Customer.

Konstantino Creates Modern Expressions of Ancient Greek Jewelry

Athens, Greece - Konstantino Sioulas was born in Athens and raised amid the beauty and majesty of one of the oldest civilizations in the world. “My father was a huge influence in my life. He taught me constantly about Greek philosophy, history and art,” explains Sioulas.

Enthralled with Greek history and the rich legacy of Greek gods and goddesses, Konstantino developed an endless fascination with the artisanship of the earliest Greek jewelry designs. “This is why our jewelry is different from any other. Our designs are timeless and universal. They come from the core of civilization and the elements of the modern world,” he explains.

Throughout time, artisans have paid homage to Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty. In his Konstantino's own tribute to this magnificent goddess, Konstantino has devoted a lifetime to creating modern expressions of ancient Greek jewelry. “Greece, for me, is a land of magnificent contrasts. Blinding light and forbidding darkness. Crashing seas and arid farmland. Frenetic cosmopolitan cities amid ancient ruins and lost temples.”

Konstantino continues, “As a boy, my playground was the architecture of the Acropolis, the Temple of Delphi. My village, Melitea, belonged to the warrior Achilles of Troy. Knowing this; that this famous warrior from Greek history had actually lived in MY birthplace had a lifelong affect on me and all these ancient elements are etched in my soul, so every piece I design posses my essence, my experiences, and my passion for Greece.”

Konstantino uses the ancient engraving and etching techniques found in early Greek jewelry. Look for the echoes of history in each piece, feel their timeless craftsmanship and enduring beauty; this is Konstantino.

For Purchase:

Konstantino is available at Neiman Marcus, Sak’s Fifth Avenue and Fine Jewelers throughout the US, Puerto Rico, Japan and Greece.

More information may be found at

When you think of Maine do you think of Wine?

Many of us from New England associate Maine for its beautiful coast, light houses and of course lobster, but how about wine? Below, you will find some information that might surprise you. If you get to visit any of these wineries, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Cellar Door Winery and Vineyards

One of the few wine makers in Maine growing their own grapes. The vineyards are set on 68 acres of rolling fields in the coastal town of Lincolnville adjacent to the north boundary of Camden Hills State Park. Cold weather grapes are pressed and cellar-aged to create varieties of white and red table wines. The winery also makes a Maine blueberry wine. Stroll through the vineyard or visit the gift shop and tasting room.

Bartlett Maine Estate Winery

For more than 20 years this winery has specialized in sophisticated fruit wines made with native flavors. Bartlett uses locally grown apples, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, pears and peaches to create distinctive aperitifs, whites, reds, and sweet dessert wines that capture the essence of Maine. The winery is located in Gouldsboro on the scenic Schoodic Peninsula east of Mount Desert Island. A tasting room and retail shop are open May through October.

Blacksmiths Winery

This winery in the town of South Casco near Sebago Lake produces a wide variety of wines with local fruits and hand picked grapes from the state of Washington. Blacksmiths offers a cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay,merlot, pino grigio, sangiovese, vidal blanc, and sparkling blueberry and cranberry among other selections. The tasting room and gift shop are open year round.

Savage Oakes Vineyard and Winery

On a working farm in the midcoast town of Union, Elmer and Holly Savage grow eight varieties of hybrid wine grapes and their own blueberries. This year will be the first vintage for Savage Oakes, and with grapes like marechal foch, leon millot, Cayuga white, and seyval blanc, the wines should be a treat. The winery is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday mid-May through the fall.

Wondering how to start a wine collection of your own?

I''m not sure about you, but whenever I try to start a wine collection, I seem to open and enjoy the bottles faster than I can collect them, but David Icken, Managing Partner and Wine Director of The Capital Grille in Burlington, MA. offers suggestions to beginners on how to start their own collections.

In building a wine list for the new restaurant, opened on March 26, David sampled hundreds of selections, aiming for a diverse, value-conscious wine list. He whittled down his choices to 350 unique selections from around the world.

So, how should the wine enthusiast begin to build his own collection? David offers the following advice:

Explore Spain: Wines coming out of Spain’s Priorato region provide an excellent value because they are often still produced by small farmers rather than large estates. A $40 Rioja will often drink like a $100 bottle.

Discover Germany: The Mosul region produces some phenomenal wines for exceptional value. David especially enjoys Dr. Fischer wines, which are elegant, sweet Rieslings that balance well with seafood, such as the restaurant’s popular pan-fried calamari.

Head South: Try the Southern Hemisphere. David looks to Mendoza, in Argentina, and the Maipo Valley, in Chile, for the region’s most enjoyable wines. In Australia, David looks beyond the typical Shiraz for Pinots and Rieslings, several of which appear on the restaurant’s “Wine by the Glass” menu.

Think Beyond Napa: While David’s collection for The Capital Grille, Burlington, includes several bottles of 1999 and 2000 Napa Cabernet, two of the area’s best vintages, he also recommends Cabernet from all over California, such as from Paso Robles.

Enjoy Your Collection: While prize bottles are nice, a wine collection is a waste if it languishes in the cellar. Be sure to include plenty of $10-15 bottles you can enjoy on a regular basis.

Don't use the good white wine to remove a stain unless absolutely necessary!

On a recent dinner at La Cavedrne de Geulhem, just outside of Maastricht in the Netherlands, one of the wine judges had red wine splashed on his evening shirt. Quicker than you could blink, a bottle of white wine was uncorked, and used to remove the red stain. I could not believe how well it worked, but if they had OxiClean Spray-A-Way, we would have had one more bottle of wine to enjoy!

Here are some tips from OxiClean for your wine woes.

For fresh wine stains while away from your home, simple spray on OxiClean Spray-A-Way Instant Stain Remover, the new on-the-go stain remover from OxiClean, blot, and watch the stain disappear!

For set-in stains on clothing, cloth napkins or tablecloths, first pre-treat the spot with OxiClean Laundry Stain Remover. Then, let the item sit for five minutes and launder with your regular detergent and a capful of OxiClean Stain Fighter.

If that wine ends up on your carpet, simply blot away excess moisture, mix a scoop of OxiClean Versatile Stain remover with water and apply to the stain. Then, let the solution soak for a few minutes, blot and rinse with clean water. You’ll never even know the stains existed!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Check out some of the spirits we have reviewed

click here to visit our spirit review page on

Blinc Mascara Review

By Linda Calder:

I've had the pleasure of testing Blinc mascara, and when I first opened the box, my teenage daughter was right there ready to grab whatever popped out of the box first. Luckily for me, my little grasshopper does not have the swift hand and eye coordination that comes with many years of mall training. I was able to scoop the products into my hand before she was even able to bat her beautiful brown eyelashes. "Ahh... my little grasshopper, don't worry, you will soon be able to master the speed of shopping". I guess I need to take her to some more training at Sephora during a new product launch.

Any hooo... I was looking forward to trying this product. I first heard about it when a client of mine told me she worked for Hospice, and we started talking about crying. Well, I have to tell you, she was the best ad campaign for Blinc mascara! She raved about how she could cry and rub her eyes without the tiniest bit of smudge, or should I say... McSmudge. Since I am a habitual sobber, even during Hallmark commercials, I had to try it!

To begin with, I have very long lashes. If I am not careful, I end up looking like Raggedy Ann. My friends hate when I complain that my lashes are hitting the lenses of my sunglasses. Curling for me is a must, but I must have lashes of steel. I am never able to get a curl to stay. Since I am a makeup addict, I don't mind the extra steps that it might take to make a "look" work. I first tried the heated curler from Blinc. It did put a nice curve on my lashes, but I was hoping for a little more. When I first stroked the wand of Blinc's mascara on my lashes, I was pleasantly surprised that there was absolutely no clumping. I proceeded to place the second coat on my lashes and was amazed at how my eyelashes looked. Now that the mascara was dry, I had to try something that was not recommended in my enclosed instructions. I used the heated curler on my lashes after the mascara set. Hallelujah! I got the best curl ever! Is it wrong to use it after? I don't know, but when I got comments from friends and family on how awake and happy I looked, I giggled and said "It's my curled lashes!"

I was addicted to my waterproof liner, and thought that I would never find a better product, but after using Blinc's liner, I felt a "Dear John" letter coming on. This new liner, I was trying, touched me in just the right way. I thought all liquids would feel the same gliding on, but this one was different. It felt very light and watery, but not runny. I did have to let it set a bit longer than my other liner, but the maximum wear is well worth it.

One thing I did want to mention is this. For years, I thought I was fighting a case of dark circles under my eyes, but since I started using Blinc, I found that the darkness under my eyes was residue from my other makeup lines! I thought I was getting it all with my makeup remover. Even though the cost of Blinc's mascara is more than my other line, I don't have the expense of having to buy a remover, and I don't have to spend any extra time taking it off. The mascara and liner lasted during my huge crying bout while watching "The Notebook" and it lasted during swimming in our pool and the ocean. The only time I found it wanted to come off was during time in our hot tub. Yeah Duh! Hot water and steam, this is all that is needed to gently slide the tubes off my lashes... how could I forget. I was pleased to find that if I did not touch my lashes, the mascara seemed to reset itself. I'll have to ask the company if this is possible.

Villas for Rent in Napa and Bordeaux

Sharon Harris, Wine Lover and Francophile, Restored and Built Two Luxury Wine Villas

Available For Rent - One In Napa, One In Bordeaux

While her husband, John Harris, was busy building Napa Valley's Amici wine brand, Sharon Harris took on the formidable task of building, restoring and furnishing two lavish wine villas -- one in the Napa Valley and one in St. Emilion in Bordeaux.

She rents both villas to fine wine lovers all over the world; those who really appreciate luxury and beauty in every detail and can afford the $25,000 to $36,000 a month rent, depending on the season.

The villa in Calistoga, at the North end of the Napa Valley, is not just Tuscan inspired, but has a view that rivals any in Tuscany -- beautiful vineyard-covered hills and only one other house in sight. The 5 bedroom, 4.5 bathroom beautifully furnished house has every amenity
including two pools and expansive outdoor living where you can sip fine wine in the evening and watch the sunset glow on the surrounding hillside.

The Bordeaux villa has four bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms and can sleep 8. It is right in the heart of great wine country in St. Emilion, one of the most famous names of Bordeaux. "We wanted to keep the old world charm of the villa but combined it with modern luxuries that international wine lovers would appreciate." It is unique for Bordeaux. You can sip Bordeaux
wine in the garden while overlooking vineyards known in Roman history. Restaurants, wine shops and classes, galleries and shopping are within an easy walk.

Harris's keen interest in wine has led her to France many times starting with a passion for France and French culture when she was still in high school. To prove her interest she took a year in college at the University of Bordeaux and had her first tastes of great wines. After
graduating UCLA in International Economics, she took a bottom rung job at a two star restaurant in Bordeaux, St. James with Jean Marie Amat. She worked from 4 a.m. to late at night but perfected her French in a hurry along with large portions of humility.

In 2004, now married and with her company sold, she and her husband enrolled in a famous wine course given at the oenology department at the University of Bordeaux. She graduated the difficult course, given entirely in French. So with her love of wine, Napa and Bordeaux, in 2005 Harris decided to build and restore the Napa and Bordeaux villas. She says, "I love talking to people about Bordeaux and Napa, helping wine lovers fall in love with these two great wine regions. Mostly, it is about making personal connections for people, creating personal experiences for people around wine, food and friends. Bordeaux has changed drastically in the last 25 years; it is now a beautiful city, welcoming wine lovers
from around the world."