Wine lifestyle behaviors have changed drastically before my eyes in the past decade. The industry, which at times has the ability to present itself as pretentious has had to change with the times. Thankfully an ever-growing Millennial consumer base is turning the tables and is creating a more laissez-faire environment when it comes to wine consumption.
A case in point is the introduction of the Forty Ounce Rosé.
A post shared by Yes Way Rosé (@yeswayrose) on
I first heard about Forty Ounce Wines from the above post on Instagram and I admit that it took me by surprise. A Rosé packaged in a 40 oz container is something that you just don’t expect. It would be easy to dismiss it as yet another gimmick with no substance. Yet this Rosé hails from the Loire Valley in France, a serious wine region, and by all accounts it is of decent quality.
Recent changes to the wine industry include the introduction of screw caps and single serve cans. I personally still see some resistance to these innovations that mainly originates from an older crowd. Younger people are more willing to give them a pass due to a more laid back approach and attitude.
I admit that I started out the year with a bit of skepticism towards Rosé. The thought of it being housed in a 40 oz container certainly would not have helped. But I have turned the page and actually see how this could make wine drinking more approachable.
Wine drinking should be a fun and pleasant experience. It should also be inclusive and open up doors to more gastronomic and cultural experiences. If it takes a 40 oz bottle to achieve this, then I’m all for it. Just please don’t ever try to play Edward Forty Hands with these bottles.
We need to maintain some sense of decency!
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Today Mario and I got together for a long overdue blog meeting and catch up sesh. We decided to meet halfway between our places in Rye, NY. Mario is constantly sitting in traffic to commute to Westchester for yoga classes, group runs, and fun nights out, so when I suggested we eat at Le Pain Quotidien in Rye, he agreed! Plus when he saw the array of croissants on the menu, he couldn’t turn it down!
“A Rainy Day in Rye”
Well, our blog meeting turned into an impromptu photoshoot which we’d like to call “A Rainy Day in Rye”. After our dinner, we walked around in the rain to get a few shots. To our surprise we stumbled on a cute flower shop, a mom and pop bookstore, lots of cute boutiques, a gazebo, and some pretty awesome gelato. It was a great opportunity for us to jump in puddles like we were kids again, discover an area that was unfamiliar to the both of us, and catch up on life, the afterlife, and why we started this blog to begin with!
My Monday started out with some pretty bad back pain and exhaustion from 5+ hours of commuting over the weekend, but hanging out with my friend and blog partner made the day a lot lighter and brighter, proving to me that a good friend can make even the rainiest day feel like a sunny one!
So, thank you Mario for continuing to inspire me, for taking and editing awesome photos, for really listening to me and knowing the right words to say just when I need them, and for being the sunshine on a cloudy day. You rock, my friend!
As another Wednesday rolled around I thought about the significance of this day we call Hump Day. Is it a day where one is able to celebrate the fact that we are halfway towards the weekend? Is it a celebration that half of the week is finally over? I mulled over these thoughts as I once again found myself stuck in an endless parade of traffic.
Having lived in southern Connecticut all of my life, I have been conditioned to deal with heavy traffic both going in to work as well as coming home. Yet lately it seems as if it has become an all day occurrence leaving little respite for the common commuter. Often I have found myself feeling frustrated, annoyed and helpless as I try to navigate my way to and from work. Dealing with traffic can be truly life draining.
Another thought occupying my mind as I made my way home today was what I would be featuring for this Wine Down Wednesday entry. Truth be told, I really haven’t been wowed by any one particular wine in the past few weeks and I was really unsure of what to bring home. That’s when I had the realization that most sparkling wine is consumed to mark celebrations, accomplishments or special holidays. Why is it that we seem to shun bubbles during ordinary days?
So tonight I decided to go against the grain and picked up a bottle of Franco Amoroso Prosecco. This is a lovely, value driven sparkling wine from Italy that features crisp acidity that is rounded out by hints of granny smith apples and pear. It has a creamy texture that is clean crisp and long. I paired it with a fresh arugula salad featuring chopped apple, dried cranberries, Gorgonzola cheese, pistachios and grilled chicken. I topped it all off with a balsamic vinaigrette.
As I finished off my dinner and sipped on my Prosecco I thought about how good it felt to be done with yet another round of traffic! I also kept thinking about whether or not you really need a special occasion to pop open a bottle of sparkling wine. Eventually I arrived at the conclusion that the answer is a big fat no!
Tonight, on a Hump Day I celebrated yet another day of life. Tonight I celebrated my family, my friends and all the wonders afforded to us on this earth. You don’t need a special occasion to pause and think about all the blessings and the special people that surround you. All you need is a bottle of sparkling wine.
À votre Santé!
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Are you celebrating Cinco de Mayo this year? Whether it’s a girls night in with margaritas a casa, your local taco joint or a full on Mexican fiesta complete with Mariachi, we have you covered!
Coming off of my trip to Tulum, Mexico, I still have all the feels for this beautiful culture and I’m especially excited to celebrate this year! Here are some of our top picks for your Cinco de mayo celebrations in Westchester County, Manhattan, or better yet (and probably what I’ll be doing this year) a night at home- no designated driver needed!
The weather calls for rain in New York on Friday so I’m totally okay with staying in and making some homemade margs and guacamole with my Mariachi spotify playlist! Here’s an easy make-at-home margarita recipe. Not in the mood to make your own margs? Skinnygirl Margarita is a delicious, low-calorie substitute that comes in multiple flavors like white peach, spicy lime, grapefruit, and original (my personal favorite).
Here’s my homemade guacamole recipe for 2:
- 2 ripe avocados 2-3 limes (I love lime so I go for 3!)
- 1 ripe tomato
- ½ cup chopped red onion
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- Sea salt to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mash it up
- Prepare in advance so that you can chill it in the refrigerator for an hour or so before eating
If you you prefer to go out, but are looking for something low-key in NYC, check out Al Pastor in the East Village. Come here for fresh tacos at good prices. Try this joint’s namesake: The tacos Al Pastor. The pork is made on a spinning griller that you can see from the window. One glimpse of this savory spinning piece of meat could lure anyone in from the street. Other options include short rib and cheeseburger tacos. For vegetarian options, try something different like the Nopales (Cactus) tacos. Fun cocktails include a long list of Agave tequilas, the “¿Porque No?” margarita made with fresh Pineapple, Cilantro, and Serrano Chile or a Peach Michelada. This place is on the smaller side and it’s sure to be packed on Cinco de Mayo, so try to get there early and enjoy a cocktail at the bar while you wait for your table.
Do you reside in lower Westchester? Whether you’re looking for live music, solid tacos or just good ol’ Cinco de Mayo vibes, here’s a short list of a few places that will provide options for everyone.
- Blue Moon Mexican Cafe in Bronxville. This is a neighborhood joint with decent food, but better drinks. Best of all, they have live music. Check out their specialty drink menu.
- Rancho Grande in Yonkers. A fun atmosphere, food, and live music. Parking is not an issue as they’re located in the Highridge shopping center right off of Central Avenue.
- Burrito Poblano in Tuckahoe. Very low-key, but pretty authentic and delicious. There’s a good selection of local and Mexican beer options here, but if you’re looking for margaritas, skip this one as they don’t serve hard liquor. Order the hard shredded chicken tacos (with extra avocado of course!)
Enjoy your Cinco De Mayo!
Xoxo, The Daily Croissant
As you may have noticed, Wine Down Wednesday has taken a two week break. But don’t despair, it will make a triumphant return next week! One of the reasons for this break has been that I have been slowly trying to regain my running form after a knee injury. I have started with walking, a mix of running and walking and a lot of stretching. But today was the first day that I put normal weight and strain on my knee and I’m happy with the results! Running often, coupled with long distances inevitably leads to some aches and pains along the way. I’ve had some injuries that have prevented me from running, but not for the amount of time that this injury took. Unfortunately missing this much time has not only taken a toll physically, but also mentally.
Running is often cited as being an outlet for stress, anxiety and built up energy. I have been running for many years for these very exact reasons! Not being able to run for these two long months has definitely taken a toll and so I have been looking forward to this day for many weeks. Yoga has filled the void, sort of, but unfortunately I haven’t been able to attend class as often as I would like.
Hitting the road every day helps keep me centered, focused and free of stress and anxiety. When I’m out there all I’m focused on is my breathing and watching out for obstacles along the way. Today though, I was really focused on my breathing because I soon realized how much I need to work on my cardio! I ran a three mile loop around my neighborhood and I really struggled to catch my breath. My legs felt heavy and tight even though the temperatures were perfect for warming up. I know that getting back into form will take a few weeks, but I’m really looking forward to putting in the miles. I am thankful to my blog partner, Ashley for introducing me to yoga. And while it may not replace running as my physical activity of choice, it will be an awesome addition to my workout routine because, like running, it has helped keep me centered, focused and uplifted.
As I get back into running form I will begin looking for races to join. I look forward to taking part and bringing you, the reader along for the miles!
As always, we look forward to reading your thoughts and comments! So don’t be shy and drop us a message below!
About a year ago, I started seeing images of Tulum, Mexico popping up all over my Instagram feed, travel blogs and I was even alerted of travel packages to yoga and wine retreats there (Thanks Mario!). So when I started to really look into this lesser known Mexican village, I could just picture myself there on the beautiful beaches, doing yoga, sipping margaritas and eating the most delicious tacos. I had to get there soon! Little did I know, there was so much more to Tulum than yoga and tacos. I have the fondest memories from my trip and I cannot wait to go back!
Tulum has gained a lot of hype in recent years, so try to get there before it gets too touristy. Here are some of my top picks for where to stay, what to do, and where to eat.
Getting there/Getting around: Tulum is about an hour and a half drive from Cancún International Airport. Book a car service in advance for about $100. You will likely get a private, air-conditioned van with great service. Try USA Transfer. We were very pleased with this company.We received an email confirmation ensuring us that we would be greeted by one of their reps wearing a USA Transfer hat at the airport with our reservation on hand. They were very prompt, accommodating, and efficient. It gave us peace of mind to know that this would be taken care of upon our arrival to Mexico. One less thing to worry about when planning a trip! Once you’re in Tulum, you can get around by taxi, bicycle, and by foot. Just be careful when biking because the road is narrow and there aren’t any sidewalks for bikers. In Tulum Playa, where most of the bars, shops and restaurants are located, everything is within walking distance.
Stay: There are plenty of places to stay in Tulum Playa. We stayed in two different resorts. Pavo Real was a beautiful, colorful resort located right on the beach with lots of fun activities like volleyball, bocce, aqua gym (workouts in the pool), and yoga classes. If you come to Mexico to chill, you’ll enjoy their beautiful beach beds for ultimate relaxation! This is an all inclusive resort with yummy food, drinks and a rooftop bar with live entertainment. This place provided the quintessential Mexican hospitality!
If you’re looking for an adults-only resort, stay at Kore Tulum. This is another all-inclusive resort that is over-the-top beautiful. The resort grounds and amenities are absolutely fantastic. As you enter the resort, you are transported to paradise! Upon arrival we were greeted with massages and margaritas. Bienvenidos indeed!! What more can one ask for?! There is a beautiful yoga and meditation space with 4 daily classes. The pool and swim up bar overlooking the beach are so inviting. The restaurant and snack bar offer Mexican fare with an asian twist such as beef rolls and thai flavored ceviche. My favorites were the catch of the day and a refreshing gazpacho (served in a wine glass) alongside a refreshing pina colada. Kore is the type of resort where you don’t even have to step out of the resort. They have so much to offer for a fun day at the pool such as pool volleyball, badminton, ping pong, billiards, and more. Bike rentals are free so if you want to escape to town for some shopping or change of scenery, hop on one of their cute bicycles and away you go! The rooms at Kore were one of my favorite things about the resort. There’s a jacuzzi tub complete with ice bucket in the room! If you want to spend a romantic night in, there’s a 24 hour room service menu and a patio right off your room. I could go on and on about Kore Tulum, but you’ll just have to book a stay and see for yourself!
Do: There’s so much to do in Tulum. Many people will go to Mexico to simply relax on the beach, but if you don’t venture outside your resort, you’re missing out. Besides the huge yoga community, there are so many excursions you can do! Spend a day snorkeling in the coral reefs of Akumal. Take a boat ride up the Sian Ka’an biosphere where you’ll see sea and wildlife such as a variety of different birds, crocodiles, sea turtles and dolphins. You can do a whole day excursion with a stop off for lunch using i-tour Mexico. This is a full day of boating, snorkeling and relaxing on one of the most spectacular and ecologically diverse places on earth. Other tours include visiting the world-famous cenotes: crystalline freshwater pools connected by a maze of underground rivers and Chichen Itza, the Mayan Ruins of Tulum.
One of the nicest beaches we visited in Tulum is Playa Paraiso which offers plenty of watersports and excursions as well as beachside restaurants and live entertainment. Spend a day walking up the beach, people watching and stopping at different resorts for cocktails and maybe even a donkey sighting!
Last but not least, the shopping in Tulum is pretty special. Purchase a beautiful dream catcher, hand-embroidered womenswear, handmade maxi dresses, and crochet swimsuits. Some of my favorites shops were Zenigo’s and Josa. You can find beautiful dresses and accessories at these unique boutiques.
Eat and Drink: With some research done ahead of time, we discovered a gem for fresh mojitos in Tulum called Batey. These mouthwatering mojitos are made in a variety of flavors using sugar cane that is cut fresh on a little cart right in front of the bar. After indulging in the most delicious mojitos we had a little craving for street tacos and had to hit up Antojitos, a curbside taco joint with the most savory tacos al pastor I’ve ever had! And the best part about it?? We had 2 rounds of tacos and tostadas – that is, 9 tacos for $135 pesos or $7.16!!! Woah. We will never forget our first night in Tulum with that warm Mexican welcome of Antojitos. Don’t miss it!
Another cool beachside spot for tacos and tequila is La Eufemia. You’ll get decent ceviche, and fish tacos here. This place is laid-back, a little bit hipster, a little bit touristy, but mostly just chill and dip your feet in the sand kind of joint. After lunch, walk up the beach for the best fried fish you’ve ever had at Playa Maya Tulum. Not only will you get the fresh catch of the day, but also the best margaritas on the beach complete with swings and live music. It doesn’t get much better than this.
In town there are a bunch of restaurants and bars to grab dinner and drinks. One of our favorite places for drinks is Mateo’s Mexican Grill for 2 for 1 happy hour on a rooftop with great views. They make a mean strawberry basil mojito as well as a frozen mango margarita. Both are made with fresh fruit. This place is packed with cool art and Frida Kahlo inspired decor. A very cool, eco-chic eatery and cocktail bar is El Tabano with arguably the best cocktail menu on the strip. I had the Perrum, which was a pear, apple, and lavender rum cocktail that I could just sip on into pure bliss. End your night across the street at Zamas where you will get a taste of the freshest guacamole and micheladas. Located right alongside the beach, this restaurant has an authentic Mexican band that was truly one of the highlights of the trip for me.
- Trade your dollars for pesos in your home country to avoid a fee and higher exchange rate at the resorts. The current rate is 18 pesos per dollar.
- Always carry pesos so you will have it for tips. Many of the restaurants are cash only and will charge you more if you pay in U.S. dollars.
- Bring casual clothes such a denim shorts, linen, and beach dresses. You will be in your bathing suit 90% of the time and there’s no need to get dolled up in this beach town.
- Purchase coral reef friendly sunscreen if you plan on snorkeling. Regular sunscreen causes cancer in sea turtles and kills the reef.
Thanks for reading my post and please leave me any questions or comments here! I hope this inspires you to plan your next Mexican getaway!
In last week’s edition of Wine Down Wednesday I touched on the subject of change, rebirth and new beginnings as they related to the blog. As the seasons change, so will the direction of our entries, features and focus. That entry was a reaction not only to the change in season, but also to a change in attitude and spirit.
I’m not one to announce my faith outwardly, or flash it to the world. I believe that one’s faith is reflected through actions, attitude and the way in which you treat others. That being said, all through the month of March I had been going through a sort of spiritual drought. My prayers, faith and spirit seemed to be on pause, and this was evident in my daily life. During such times I tend to withdraw from the world in the hopes of regaining the spiritual connection that I sorely lack. I call this my anti-social phase!
Come April and it felt like a switch had been turned on. I felt a tremendous sense of optimism and re-connection, not only with my spiritual life, but also with the world. I started feeling the winds of change in the air and that is why I felt the need to touch on the subject last week. Today I feel a sense of optimism in my life and also a sense of excitement for the blog.
As I stated last week, Wine Down Wednesday will continue to be a thing for the foreseeable future. The world of wine has introduced me to so many interesting elements of the industry which I hope to expand on and present in future entries. I plan on visiting some wineries as the weather turns warmer and a possible trip to a wine mecca might be in the works.
As I write I’m holding a glass of Sauvignon Blanc from Privilège De Drouet. This is a refreshing white wine from the Loire Valley, France. Sauvignon Blancs from France are my favorite and I just love the taste of Sancerres. This particular white comes from the same region as Sancerre and offers some of the same nuances of its much famous sibling at half the price! You’re bound to get a nice velvety mouthfeel with crisp notes of citrus.
So as the evening winds down, I’m finishing off a glass and reflecting on the growth of the blog. I’m excited for the future and I can’t wait to share much more content in the weeks and months to come. So here’s to change, and new beginnings! À la vôtre!
Spring has sprung with warmer weather and sunny days this week at The Daily Croissant and we could not be more excited! Spring, and Easter both mark a season of change, rebirth, and new beginnings and it’s only appropriate that this is reflected on the blog. We are thrilled to be introducing some brand new features, entries, and themes as we begin to thaw out.
Ashley has hinted at some of the adjustments that we have made in the last few weeks, and if you have been paying attention you may have noticed a new tab on our menu labeled STYLE. This is her baby and I am really excited to be a part of the creative process. Ashley has a keen eye for fashion and she is a menace when it comes to shopping, so that’s a great thing for the blog! I will be bringing my newfound interest in photography to the table and hoping that I can do this project some justice.
I write this entry contemplating the future of the blog while sipping a beautiful glass of Mont Gravet Colombard and rooting on my New York Rangers in the playoffs. (Yes, Wine Down Wednesday will continue to be a thing!) I look forward to providing more fun, interesting and exciting content as we move forward. You will get a taste of whats to come beginning with an exciting feature by Ashley from south of the border in the days ahead. Also be on the lookout for some exciting travel, food and healthy living entries! (Oh, by the way this lovely Colombard is crisp, lemony and very light which makes it a perfect wine for the long summer days to come!)
This blog has been a learning process from the beginning and as we move forward we are beginning to see what works, what needs adjustments and what may need to be dropped. And as always we welcome your feedback, comments and suggestions. In the meantime, À la vôtre!
It’s Spring Break season and time for another getaway! I’ll be jetting off somewhere warm and tropical next week and I just can’t wait! If you haven’t planned anything yet and are looking for some last minute ideas without crossing any oceans, read on for one of my suggestions.
Santa Monica, California. This was my first stop on a California road trip I took last spring break and I absolutely loved it! The weather is almost always sunny and warm.
EAT: There’s such a healthy vibe going on (as is the case in most of southern Cali) so you can enjoy great organic, locally sourced food from restaurants like True Food Kitchen and delicious Acai bowls almost everywhere. Grab one and take it down to the beach while you listen to the waves crash against the shore. One of my favorite things to do after waking up was to go for a nice run down to the beach and then grab a delicious mint mojito coffee from Philz coffee. My pizza stop in SM was Stella Barra that served up delicious thin crust pizzas with really fresh ingredients as well as the local Santa Monica Brew Works beer. On my way out of Santa Monica I couldn’t leave without a stop at Huckleberry Cafe. This cafe will always have a special place in my heart. I even bought my mom their cookbook! There were so many yummy breakfast and lunch options, but I went with a simple coffee and zucchini muffin. I will never forget the feeling of contentment and happiness I felt as I sat there and enjoyed my muffin. If that was my last meal, I would’ve died happy!
SHOP: If you know me at all, you’re well aware that I can’t travel without doing some retail damage! You can find some great shopping on the Third Street Promenade. There’s everything from local farmer’s markets, to a Johnny Was boutique for beautiful hand-embroidered boho chic beachwear, Anthropologie for everything from great accessories, soaps, and and trendy pieces, and my favorite workout wear designer Lorna Jane!
DO: The Third Street Promenade is a great leisurely walk that leads to the Santa Monica Pier where you can find Carnival style games and food as well as the famous Ferris wheel! One morning while out for a walk, one of the local yoga studios, Naam Yoga, had a free pop-up class in Palisades Park (Why don’t I live in California yet?) Don’t go to Palisades Park without checking out the Santa Monica stairs for a great ending to your beach run. They will kick your butt, but the view from the top is so worth the climb. Plus, you’ll earn your margaritas and muffins, girl!
Overall, Santa Monica is just a happy place to be. If you want a nice balance of good food with a laid back vibe and enjoy the outdoors for walking, running, yoga, volleyball and the beach of course, then you will appreciate Santa Monica. I rented a car because I was on a road trip, but you could probably get away without one if you stay close to the beach.
Stay tuned for another nearby getaway you can take this spring in my next post!
Today might have been the single most difficult yoga class that I have taken since starting a month ago. At times I was out of breath, at others I felt like my femur might pop out of its socket, and at one particular point I felt like Bruce Lee in a perilous one legged balancing act. My core burned, my legs ached from the strain, even my toes did not escape from the physical onslaught that was this evening. Call me a masochist, but I love it.
I have enjoyed yoga up to this point because it challenges me to push my body beyond what I have felt capable of doing. It has also created an easing of the mind through a calming, almost serene cool down routine. I have been sleeping better, I have been a bit more focused and most importantly, I have been able to exercise while nursing my knee injury.
So after the butt kicking that I endured this evening I decided to treat myself to a well deserved dinner and a glass of wine. I headed to Barnes and Noble Kitchen (review here) and decided to sit down at the bar. I wanted to do a review of one of their featured wines from this spring season and a Verdejo immediately caught my eye. I don’t know why I have ignored wines from Spain thus far, but this one felt like something that would pair well with the Mac and Cheese that was winking at me from the menu page.
I ordered the mac and cheese on a recommendation from the server. She was very enthusiastic about it, and besides, I love mac and cheese. This dish passed on the traditional elbow pasta and was prepared with a sort of shell. The shell retained a lot of the sharp cheddar cheese sauce, therefore it was bliss at every bite. Pieces of delicious smoked brisket rounded out dish, but towards the end I felt like the salt level could have been toned down just a bit. I feel like it could have easily been restrained if the dish had been served with some sort of bread stick. Even with the salt levels, I would not hesitate to order this dish again.
Of course Wine Down Wednesday would not be complete without a wine review! The Verdejo that I chose, Bodegas Nisia, comes from the Rueda region in Spain. This wine has a terrific mouth feel with hints of lemon and other citrus flavors. It was well balanced with just the right amount of acidity. It complemented my mac and cheese well, though I think that it would shine next to a linguini with clam sauce or fish tacos! Give it a try!
So my evening ended with a full belly and a tired body. Just perfect.
Have some feedback? We would love to hear from you!
Ashley Napoli & Mario Bran
Two friends with a passion for running, traveling, God, and the occasional croissant.