Naked Wines

Last night, while walking down the bustling (bustling? since when is downtown Napa bustling?) streets of Napa, something caught my eye. It was new, it was eye catching, and it was naked.

Make sure you have your (back) portrait taken in the window...

Make sure you have your (back) portrait taken in the window…

NakedWines.com is a storefront that just opened up this week and had their opening party September 12th, and seems to be doing quite well. The sounds of dance music welcomed us inside before we even got through the doors, and then were promptly greeted by Michele, who wins the award of coolest/nicest/most straightforward chick in town.

The walls were adorned with banners of local winemakers who chose to skip the middle man (distribution!) and go straight to the storefront. Beautiful featured bottles lined the walls (with a rotating list of 100 wines and a hilarious tongue in cheek wine menu).

We are proud! And they are proud of their silliness!

We are proud! And they are proud of their silliness! (I am also proud of my wine colored nailpolish)

Angels (club members) get complimentary tasting – and they really encourage tasting a lot of their wines until you find something that grabs you. Michele had us try a variety of viogniers until we found the right one.

Don't worry, their winemakers won't look down on you...they are just literally hung above you on the walls.

Don’t worry, their winemakers won’t look down on you…they are just literally hung above you on the walls.

It’s tough to find free or low priced activities for the young wine aficionados of Napa – and I think I found my new place to hang out on a Friday night! NakedWines.com is open 10am-10pm Sunday through Thursday, and 10am-11pm Fridays and Saturdays. Awesome. Now, just because tasting can be free doesn’t mean we should all take advantage of their freeness…buy a bottle, for pete’s sake! Support them! But the wine is so good, I don’t even need to tell you that. You’re going to want to anyway.

And, It gets better. Drumroll…

As a local, you automatically get the Angel’s pricing (their wine club) with seriously deep discounts…even wholesale pricing! My friend and I both left the building, laughing hysterically, with bottles of Rose’ and Petit Syrah, for $8 and $12, respectively.

The Rose' that stole my heart...a 2012 Bahue Rose'

The Rose’ that stole my heart…a 2012 Bahue Rose’

They source wines from Australia, New Zealand, the Napa Valley and Argentina, among other places. Why is it so cheap? It is a customer funded winery, and the customers fund the winemakers to do what they do best – make wine! It is basically like a winery co-op. And I like that.

Is that hand NAKED? Oh yeah...

Is that hand NAKED? Oh yeah…

I also like the lack of pretentiousness here – the servers are encouraged to talk with customers, sit down, try wine with them, and enable a fabulous time for all. I must note that, just because it is more laid back does not mean they don’t know their stuff. They do. We talked tannins and minerality and bouquets the whole time. But you don’t have to if you don’t want to, either. This is a very refreshing change of pace from many of the higher end, appointment only, I shall not open the gate for you without an appointment a year in advance wineries. Thank you!

Go crazy. Get Naked. And get yourself downtown. Things are happening.

NakedWines.com

Visit them: 1141 First St., Napa, California, 94559

Call them: 707 786 6287

Onliiiiine them: http://us.nakedwines.com/

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Don’t worry, I’m not reallllly naked.

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A Gluten Free visit to Bouchon Bakery

Bouchon bakery has always been a childhood favorite of mine – for years, on Saturdays, I would ride bikes with my Dad and sister to the bakery, getting fresh morning doughnuts filled with raspberry preserves or topped with little chocolate candies. As an adult, I would race over after work with a friend to grab the infamous T.K.O (basically a glorified grown-up Oreo cookie) or devour almond croissants with abandon.

Then I went gluten free.

I assumed Bouchon Bakery would forever be off limits for me, with all of its eternally traditional French and gluten-filled goodness, and I would merely have to send all my friends there to enjoy dessert as I cried endlessly from my loss.

Well guess what?

I bet you didn’t know that Bouchon Bakery caters (and always has catered) to the gluten free population…they have french macarons and Neapolitan rice crispy treats! Macarons are basically made with almond meal, egg whites, and sugar, which renders them completely gluten free.

Pow! I still get fancy dessert!

Neopolitan Rice Crispy Treat!

Neopolitan Rice Crispy Treat!

I I bet you didn’t know that their French macarons are all naturally gluten free…

Fig Macaron, Anyone?

Fig Macaron, Anyone?

But I bet you really didn’t know they carry a little something special in the back on request called “Oh No You Didn’ts” – a chocolate dipped macaron wrapped in shiny foil – all the flavors!! Dipped in chocolate! Dark or milk!

Chocolate Dipped Caramel Macaron!

Chocolate Dipped Caramel Macaron!

Did I know until now?
I know I didn’t.
Make sure you try the caramel flavor.

Visit them:  6528 Washington St  Yountville, CA 94599

Call them: (707) 944-2253

Onliiiiiiine them: http://bouchonbakery.com/

Bouchon Bakery is open 7 days a week, 7am-7pm.

Goodness-filled Foil

Goodness-filled Foil

Boho Lifestyle

While wandering around downtown Napa the other night with a girlfriend trying to find a good cocktail, we happened upon the open doors of brand new Boho Lifestyle, a beautiful space filled with creative home goods, handmade soaps, jewelry, pottery, and other gorgeous objects. I immediately fell in love with a set of iridescent blue tumblers that were strewn about the room in various places; each one surprising and charming me more and more.

Handmade glasses by Roost - Like drinking out of a glass bubble!

Handmade glasses by Roost – Like drinking out of a glass bubble!

Owner Indra Fourtney, a contagiously bubbly woman full of smiles and styling ideas, ran around the shop showing us her unique wares. Many items are produced by locals and themed around the idea of nature and created by “cottage industries” instead of larger corporations. You can get anything from organic powdered laundry soap by French Laundry, to men’s dress shirts made of Turkish cotton! Jewelry by Emily Shelley was apparently flying out the doors, and Indra encouraged me to make a few pieces to sell in her shop as well! I better get on that.

Figs. Of course.

Figs. Of course.

My interior designer friend rabidly flipped through her beautiful collection of design books and ended up leaving the shop with a limited edition, flowing blue top designed specifically for Boho Lifestyle that looked perfect on her. I left with a handmade soap by Pine Tree Top Soap Shop in Eucalyptus, made entirely out of natural ingredients and essential oils. In addition to selling beautiful oddities, Indra does interior design and event rentals through her shop. The merchandise is truly unique, and inventory rolls over quickly, so check in regularly!

Eucalyptus Natural Soap

Eucalyptus Natural Soap

Boho  Lifestyle opened its bohemian doors August 10th, but they are hosting an official open house, Friday 9/13 from 7-9pm. The address is 1238 First Street, Downtown Napa. Here is her Facebook page, or you can call (707) 337-5870 to check on store hours. I hope to see you there!

Nice Legs! Table Legs, that is...

Nice Legs! Table Legs, that is…

Now, can someone tell someone else that these cups would look perfect in my cottage?

Glass Cups by Roost

Glass Cups by Roost