I Don’t Complain, I Wine.

Sometimes life can be downright hard, between managing all of our responsibilities for work, familial commitments, volunteer obligations, and even our health. On top of these responsibilities, life happens fast, and our best-laid plans can fall apart in an instant!

Regardless of what life throws at us, we have to remember that bad times don’t last forever, and it is the rough times that prepare us for what’s ahead. Through our individual and collective experiences, one word that often rises to the top for us is the word resilience. Resilience is defined as the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; or having elasticity. It is inevitable that things go awry, but it’s not about what happens to you, it’s how you respond to each setback that counts. While it is always fine to take time to heal and reset, at some point we have to decide to move forward, and not let one moment in time dictate our life’s trajectory.

This month, we want to highlight just how important it is to ask for help when needed, whether that means reaching out to a mental health professional, or to a friend to process what we’re going through. Interestingly enough, when we decided to create Sarcasm, Wine & Everything Fine, the two of us were meeting up for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory to catch up on life. We were working through career and personal hurdles, and it was wonderful to have someone to talk to.

Here are some lessons we learned over the years, when navigating our own difficult situations:

  • Forgive yourself
  • Be authentic with yourself and others
  • Know your worth and add tax
  • Find what brings you peace (and hold onto it)
  • Be comfortable being uncomfortable
  • Remember that no one has it all figured out
  • Lean on those close to you for support
  • Life goes on

And please, check on the strong ones!

This month’s wine pairing is Obvious Wines’ No. 3 Light & Lively. With all of life’s constant, competing demands, Obvious Wines makes life a little easier on all of us, “because you shouldn’t need a Ph.D. to drink wine.” Fun fact: Obvious Wines struck a deal with Lori Greiner from the popular show Shark Tank, and received a total investment of $160,000. Tasting notes below!

“Soft, light, and lively, this easy drinking wine opens with dark cherry and cinnamon, with a touch of vanilla. Layered beneath that are balanced notes of plum and black pepper with a hint of mint and clove.”


No Wine Left Behind

Last week, we attended the 2019 Philadelphia Magazine Wine Festival— huge thanks go to Philly Mag for this amazing opportunity! The Festival, presented by Lexus, offered attendees a chance to sample more than 500 wines from around the world, and meet and greet with the winemakers from featured wineries in their exclusive Winemakers Lounge, next to the on-site Fine Wine and Good Spirits Store. Additionally, guests enjoyed cuisine from more than 20 of Philadelphia’s most popular restaurants.  The event benefited the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement, which aims to end heart disease and stroke in women.

We were so thrilled to be at this event, and wowed by just how many wines there were to try! One of the first wineries that caught our attention was Pacific Rim, which is based out of Washington State’s Columbia Valley. Pacific Rim is passionate about Riesling, so if you like Riesling, you’re in luck! We started with the 2016 Hahn Hill Vineyard Chenin Blanc. This wine has floral notes, perfectly balancing sweetness with a hint of citrus. The two of us typically prefer different wines, and this was a great compromise. We loved every wine we sampled from Pacific Rim, and highly recommend you give them a try! Their bottles are affordably priced, too.

After a few (perhaps more than a few) wine samples, it was time to try some food. We enjoyed delicious bites from Tinto, The Twisted Tail, and Los Camaradas, which are pictured below. We even sampled a pasta dish from one of the event sponsors, Barilla, and the new funfetti cookie flavor from Insomnia Cookies.

The Wine Festival featured Hampton Water and Ferguson Crest, with both Jesse Bongiovi and Fergie on-site to promote their respective wines. We talked with Jesse Bongiovi about Hampton Water, and learned that rosé is the water of the Hamptons. Bongiovi also demonstrated how functional and practical each bottle’s glass stopper is, which seems perfect for a beach trip! This wine is for anyone to drink easily for hours on a nice summer day. Pat Ferguson (Fergie’s dad), had a huge smile that never left his face, and spent the evening giving attendees samples of Ferguson Crest’s 2014 Fergalicious Red Wine Blend. Meanwhile, Fergie was close by, taking photos with guests and signing their newly-purchased wine bottles. The Fergalicious blend offers savory and smoky notes, and finishes boldly on the palate.

Overall, the event was a blast, and we had a ton of fun walking the venue and sampling as many wines as we could. We finished with the Chairman’s Selection, and stopped to take some photos and record some memories. Life doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon, and we feel blessed to share these moments together, and simply have fun. Life is too short to leave any missed opportunities, or wine, behind!

This month’s featured wine is Pacific Rim’s Chenin Blanc, which we detailed in our post. “Pacific Rim Chenin Blanc is vividly bright with flavors of pear, quince and grapefruit essence. It has a drier style, which closely resembles the Loire Valley style rather than a CA Chenin.” Read more about this great wine below!


Great Minds Drink Alike

This month, we had the pleasure of visiting Vintage Wine Bar, which is in the Midtown Village section of Center City Philadelphia. This French American bistro is a favorite of ours, as it features over 60 wines from around the world, and has amazing food, including their delicious cheese boards.

Our visit to Vintage was two-fold, as we were long overdue for an in-person catch up, and we have been wanting to try their wine flights for some time now. Vintage’s wine flights allow guests to sample three wines in 3 ounce pours. The two of us decided to try different white wine flights, one of which was featured during Philly Wine Week. Alexis ordered Vintage’s French Whites Flight, and Lauren ordered their Floral Whites Flight.

Before sharing more information about our wine flights, we want to highlight Philly Wine Week, which just recently finished. This annual event was founded in 2014 by leading wine bar operators in Philadelphia, in a collaborative effort to showcase the range, diversity, and quality of wine bars in the city. Since then, a group of industry professionals created a 501(c)6 nonprofit to create a fun, accessible, and educational wine-centric environment within Philadelphia, in order to promote the wine industry citywide. Philly Wine Week is now eight days of wine-driven events each Spring. The group also raises awareness of other wine events that happen throughout the city during the rest of the year.

My flight was called The French Whites, and was featured during Philly Wine Week 2019.

First, I started with Touraine Chenonceaux ‘17, a sauvignon blanc from the Loire Valley, featuring notes of light lemon, wild flowers, with a crisp finish. It was refreshing– great for a warm day, and it was light enough to handle the shade we threw when discussing some of our latest stressors.

Next, I drank Domaine Jean Vullien et Fils ‘16. Specifically, I tried an indigenous grape varietal called Jacquère, which comes from the hillsides of the Combe de Savoie. This wine offered bold flavors of fresh pear, herbs, and orange zest, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It also served as a nice complement to the fig and gorgonzola bruschetta that I ordered (pictured below).

My final wine was La Tour de Gatigne ‘17, a Viognier blend from the Rhone Valley, that was silky and full bodied, with notes of apricots and tangerine. It is a pale yellow color, with intense aromas of nuts and white flowers, that finishes beautifully on the palate. It was a perfect, smooth end to my wine flight.

I chose to take the Floral Whites Flight, as I prefer sweeter wines.

The first wine I tried was La Linda Torrontés ’17.  La Linda is a chardonnay, a clear yellow white wine, with an expressive floral nose, tropical fruity aromas and some grapefruit notes. The mouth entry is sweet and flowery, with white peach flavors and a touch of orange peel jam. It was delightfully fresh, fruity and very smooth.

The next wine I tried was Teruzzi & Puthod Vernaccia ’17. The time on the lees gives this wine complex aromas of flowers, citrus, and minerality on the nose. The palate offers a full-bodied and smooth wine with good acidity and richness. Flavors of oranges, white flowers and fresh herbs lead way to a lengthy finish.

The last wine I tried was the Storm Point ‘17 Chenin Blanc. This wine is freshly packed with nuance, playfulness and discovery. Savory and herbal aromas lead to subtle stone fruit and citrus blossom notes. This is accentuated by vibrant lemon zest sprinkled with sea water. This is textbook Chenin Blanc, featuring a mineral drive with ample weight balanced by poignant acid on the finish.

I enjoyed my flights to Argentina, Italy, and South Africa; they were all refreshing and memorable in their own right. All three wines were perfect matches with Vintage’s charcuterie plate, which includes cured and aged meat, chicken liver mousse, cornichon, and whole grain mustard.

As we made our way through our flights, we discussed our visions for future. We are constantly attempting to refine and define what success looks like for us individually, and how to lead mission-filled, impactful lives. We discussed the importance of setting boundaries and expectations in our personal and professional lives, and why it is imperative to be clear and direct about both. Although we never leave our conversations having everything figured out, we did agree that life is a marathon, and all we can do is strive to do better each day.

Our featured wine this month is Domaine Jean Vullien et Fils ‘16. Tasting notes can be found above! To learn more about this winemaker and their process, click here.


Flower Power: Stop & Smell the Rosé

This past weekend, we visited the 2019 Philadelphia Flower Show, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. A popular attraction in Philadelphia since 1829, this annual tradition — which is the world’s oldest and largest indoor event of its kind —  draws more than 250,000 people to Philadelphia each year. This year’s theme is Flower Power,” which pays homage to the 1960’s psychedelic culture, and the impact that flowers have on society, as this is the 50th year anniversary of the Woodstock Festival.

The Flower Show revenue supports the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s (PHS) greening efforts, which help connect people through horticulture, and work together to create beautiful, healthy and sustainable communities. The following slideshow is a small snapshot of the many exhibits we experienced and vendors we saw:

While we explored the different arrangements and vendor tables, we had some time to catch up with one another, and think about the various projects we’ve collaborated on over the past few years. As always, we wound up laughing about some of our favorite memories (while searching for the nearest wine vendor!). It’s amazing to think about how much has happened over the past few years, and how much we’ve grown since we first met six years ago. We are both very excited about what the future has in store, and can’t wait to share more with everyone soon! Below are some themes that were reinforced during our visit to the Flower Show:

  • Enjoy your time away from work
  • Make time for friends (We say this often, and it’s always worth a reminder!)
  • Be willing to try something new
  • Appreciate and explore your city’s local culture
  • Find time to stop and smell the flowers
  • Give people flowers while they can smell them

Our wine pairing for this month is the Domaine Chandon California Sparkling Rosé. Tasting notes below!

“This rosé is a pretty pink with intense ripe strawberry, juicy watermelon, and fresh red cherry fruit aromas and flavors. On the palate, this wine is creamy and seductive with a defined structure from the Pinot Noir added in its final stages.”


Adulting Makes Me Wine

It’s often said in professional settings that it’s not often what you know, but rather who you know, which makes the difference, and that has certainly proven true for us. As we’ve navigated our professional and civic roles, it has become apparent that being intentional to cultivate a diverse and supportive network matters; these are the people who will not just provide wisdom, but also career advice and potential opportunities. Furthermore, we have learned the importance of thinking long-term; you may not be able to collaborate with everyone you meet right away, so it is imperative to sustain connections and ensure that every relationship you participate in is mutually beneficial.

Just recently, we were able to partner with the Urban League of Philadelphia’s young professional affinity group, NExT Philadelphia, for an event entitled The Art of Networking. The program featured award-winning journalist, Ernest Owens.

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Ernest shared his 10 Commandments for Networking in order to advance both personally and professionally. Some of the major takeaways from his presentation are:

Be intentional with your brand and how you engage with others.

Be clear on your ask (if you have one).

Be patient.

Be authentic. Are you truly there to network, or to find love instead?

This Valentine’s Day (with a hint of sarcasm), we thought we’d share our most memorable networking experiences. If you’ve ever experienced anything similar, or have your own interesting networking stories, we want to hear about it!

  • When someone your friend was dating, tells your friend they are out of town on business, but you meet them at a networking event that same night, proving that they were lying…
    • You never know who other people know, so always be honest.
  • When your mentor (and former colleague) strategically blurs professional lines and suggests that you two would make excellent travel companions, and should take a vacation together, since everyone they know is married.
    • Choose your mentors/professional relationships wisely, and look for warning signs. On the flip side, don’t be a creep. It’s not a good look.
  • When someone you met at a networking event attempts to date you,  but they are actually in a relationship. After you address their deceptive ways, they intentionally try to avoid you, and attempt to befriend your friends at future networking events in your presence.
    • Be cognizant of how you conduct yourself with individuals you meet in professional spaces, you never know how your paths may cross again.
  • When a LinkedIn connection helps you with a simple work matter, then repeatedly messages you, visits your office unannounced and flirts, with a goal of making highly unreasonable professional requests. 
    • Set clear boundaries and expectations, and respect those that others set with you.

Our wine pairing for this month is Bursel Black’s Jender Blush wine, which was featured at Haute Restaurant & Lounge for the networking event. Tasting notes below!

“With Jender Blush you can taste the beauty of Bursel Black’s debut varietal, consisting of a Chardonnay, Cabernet, and a sweet Riesling blend. The wine pours a pretty light red, and its perfume lures with an invitation to a rich-bodied, fruity experience and a lingering finish.”

Bursel Black is a locally-owned black wine company, and you can find out more about the company here.