Tag Archives: brooklyn

The Brooklyn Winery! Wine Tasting Fun!

17 Jun

IMG_0260So a few weeks ago, my girlfriend suggested we hang out, for it’s been about three months since we last saw one another!

I’ve been meaning to go to a wine tasting class – however I wanted to also see what wineries were close to New York.

Low and behold, there are wineries right here in New York City, one of them is the Brooklyn Winery! Brooklyn? Yes, it’s true; I said the same thing?

Looking at their website, there were a few upcoming events on their itinerary and there was wine tasting! So a wine tasting class it was, a great thing to do together! The Brooklyn Winery is located on the north side of Williamsburg Brooklyn, where their wine is made right there on the spot!

So on a Monday night where it was raining fiercely and the anticipation was very high on seeing my girlfriend, partaking in the wine class and just having fun! So I get there and immediately notice the decor!


Beautiful Decor with Copper Tones

The decor is rustic, dark, with copper tones all around and definitely cozy.

There is an open feel; giving you the sense to relax and get in the mood to try some wine! Then I noticed my girlfriend, sitting at the bar – we were early, so it was good time to catch-up!

Brookyn Winery Wine Tasting Class

Brookyn Winery Wine Tasting Class

Before you know it, it was time to go to our wine tasting class! Ascending upstairs to a private room, we were greeted by our Sommelier; Kristina Sazama.  Kristina was very engaging and a lot of fun!  The class was full and we learned the basics of wine tasting and pair basics.   I found out that I really love wine; more than I lead on!

So you hold your wine glass at a 45 degree angle, swirl, sniff (checking to detect what your senses are telling you),  then sip!  Always do this in that order, so even though you may not understand at times what you may be doing, it will always look like you do!!!!

5 Basic Wine Characteristics

  1. Sweetness -wine is its level of sweetness. To taste sweet, focus your attention on the taste buds on the tip of your tongue. Are your taste buds tingling?–an indicator of sweetness. Believe it or not, many dry wines can have a hint of sweetness to carry a larger impression of Body. If you find a wine you like has residual sugar, you may enjoy a hint (or a lot!) of sweetness in your wine.
  2. Acidity – Tingling sensation that focuses on the front and sides of your tongue. Feels like pop rocks.
  3. Tannin -Imagine putting a used black tea bag on your tongue. A wet tea bag is practically pure tannin that is bitter and has a drying sensation. Tannin tastes herbaceous and is often described as astringent.
  4. Fruit – characterized by their main fruit flavors. Tasting for fruit flavors in a wine can help you better define your preferences. Like plum, blackberry, strawberries or raspberries.
  5. Body – Result of many factors – from wine variety, where it’s from, vintage, alcohol level and how it’s made.

IMG_0269I also found out how different foods definitely affects the way a wine tastes on your palette! So I am avoiding mushrooms and asparagus unless it has a little char on it! The class was fun and a great opportunity to try Brooklyn Winery’s wines; their very good!


Wine Barrels

Wine Barrels

The hour passed so quickly and we’d both decided to put our lesson to the test and try their featured dishes with our favorite wine, Pinot Noir – Los Carneros from the class:

Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Togarashi Spice, Orange, Sunflower Seed Brittle, and Prosciutto Chips

Fried Buttermilk Chicken Bites with Soy Glaze, Toasted Sesame Seeds, Fresh Herbs

Lamb Meatballs with Rutabaga Sauerkraut, English Pea & Mint Pureé, Topped with Micro Pea Tendrils.

IMG_0279Sweet Potato and Chickpea Falafel – with Coriander Spiced Yogurt and Sesame. (ordered it twice….it was so good!)

The staff was very accommodating, it was such a great night! So if you want to learn more about wine, be in a great atmosphere with a lot of fun, the Brooklyn Winery is an excellent choice! (BW’s calendar)

Brooklyn Winery located 213 North 8th Street Brooklyn, NY (347) 763-1506. Gives tours of the winery to learn about how their wines are produced, has a wine bar and savor artisanal wines with great seasonal menus. The winery also can be available for private event venues, such as full-service weddings with wine crafted on-site, exquisite cuisine, and the beautiful winery as a backdrop.

IMG_0263As for Kristina Sazama, has an impressive background, worked at Momofuku Ssäm Bar, Momofuku Ko, and Michael Skurnik Wines. Kristina holds the Diploma of Wine & Spirits from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust in London and is a Certified Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers. So there!  kristina.sazama@gmail.com @thirstyredhead

The wine Tasting Class featured the following Brooklyn Winery wines: Stainless Steel Riesling, Rose of Old Vine Zinfandel, Pinot Noir – Los Carneros  and Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah Blend.

IMG_0271 Letia 🙂

A Beautiful Surprise in Brooklyn – Urban Vintage Boutique Cafe!!!

17 Jun

I had a wonderful experience today, invited to a private celebration held in the Clinton Hill section, Brooklyn (10 minutes from the Brooklyn Bridge).

To my surprise, here was this quaint boutique cafe, where it felt like you stepped back in time!  To the time where all items felt like simple treasures, because you were looking at them in this space!

Then the second surprise for me; was meeting the owners!!

Urban Vintage Boutique Cafe

Where can I begin, the owners are two beautiful young ladies, Emily and Elizabeth Hazlewood!  They are sisters; where first I thought they were twins – for they look so much alike.  Even though they are both in their early 20’s…Elizabeth kindly let me know – she was the oldest!!!

They both had an idea, let’s open a business! What I love about being entrepreneurial,  is the mere fact of the idea behind it!  Imagine growing up; living just across the street and dreaming of changing something.  A small place right on the corner of Grand Ave. in Brooklyn!

When an idea comes into fruition, it not only makes you pinch yourself 10 times over; it’s gives you a sense of pride.  You can do anything that you put your mind to!  And with the love and support of their family, THEY did just that!

Wow, whoever said our young adults don’t have a vision towards the future, were absolutely wrong!  Not all young adults are aped for the college path, however if they have an idea on working and contributing to society – well parents should support them!

Elizabeth and Emily Hazlewood, Owners of Urban Vintage

Whereas for this beautiful story, Emily and Elizabeth’s parents did and are still doing just that!   Here you have two smart young ladies, saying let’s open up a chic boutique cafe, right here in Brooklyn!  It’s near downtown Brooklyn, Pratt University in the area, residential brownstones around; so there are families and other local businesses who would love an espresso or tea at lunchtime!  Why not?

Urban Vintage opened in April of 2010, so they just celebrated their 2 year anniversary! The cafe has such a vintage feel, even if an item maybe new – the ambience and style; keeps you thinking it!

Victorian couches

What I so loved about it? The soft music in the background, there’s no standard seating or a traditional style of seating; you typically would have in a cafe.  The decor has mix-match tables all around, different style chairs, Victorian couches giving you the comfort of home and the scent of flowers was all around.  That’s why this place is so unique, there’s no rules to follow; just comfort.

Their sense of style has been very attractive to their patrons; the ladies often receive hire requests, simply to get their advice on decorating!  Consignment arrangements and silent auctions too! Say if you are not interested in all that; you can just relax a little and check-up on your e-mails, with free Wi-Fi!

 The food menu is packed with great choices, giving the feel of a gourmet style; but not stuffy at all.  The food provided for the private celebration consisted of many items from their menu.  So I was actually quite happy that I was able to sample!

Urban Vintage desserts

From the mixed green salad topped with goat cheese complimented with a raspberry vinaigrette, tasty quiche slices, vegetable wraps to die for, an almond pound cake topped with a thick vanilla candy coated glaze right down to the last wire of chocolate covered strawberries! Of course, I had to have my English tea to give a brilliant end to my experience.

As I was meeting everyone, I was actually shopping!  So, when I got a moment, before anyone else could consider the things I was eyeing; I quickly told Emily all the items and made my purchases in a hurry!  Their beautiful mother was right there on hand also to help the ladies.  Speaking with her, you could see why these two ladies are so, so exceptional!

Now perhaps, if by chance you are walking across the Brooklyn Bridge looking for a nice spot to eat or maybe looking for a wonderful place to have your special party celebration, Urban Vintage Boutique Cafe is an excellent choice!

Located at 295 Grand Ave, Brooklyn NY. (between Lafayette Ave & Clifton Pl) Monday – Friday  8:00 am – 8:00 pm, Saturday – Reserved for Special Parties and Sunday – 9:00 am – 8:00 pm.  During the summer months, the cafe closes 1 hr early. Their number is 718.783.6045 .

Here is their website: Urban Vintage

I had such a wonderful time; with some really lovely people; which made it all worth while!  I definitely will be back!

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Letia 😉

P.s.  I didn’t mention what I bought, they are gifts!  Ssssh!

Pictures of Urban Vintage by Letia Mitchell LifeStyle Design. 

Aviva Stanoff New York, Unique and Divine!

27 Feb

A few years back, I remember meeting this brilliant young lady at one of the Home Design shows I’d attended and was completely blown away by her creativity.

Her name is Aviva and is the owner of Aviva Stanoff New York!  From starting in 1999; to having her studio – based in Brooklyn, NY in the Dumbo section; her designs get better and better!

I always instantly recognize her designs and are undeniably sorted after by many decorators and designers to add that unique and divine touch to complete a project!

From custom glass vases ; wedding centerpieces and the extraordinary glamorous pillows.

Her Far East traditions and inspirational surroundings continue to be a beautiful catalyst in taking textiles to the next level each and every time.

Lovely creations by hand-dyeing, etching and often times painting into special pieces.  No two are the same!

The pieces are not only great conversation pieces; but are offered in a multi-array of color tones, patterns and density.

If you are looking for something beautiful and unique for a bridal shower, your wedding; there are really some nice items and custom work is also offered too.

Perhaps, if you want to give a unique gift;  there are many collections to choose from <many!>.  From Stationery, journals, table runners to lavender satchels; all hand-made to give the thought of special!  www.avivastanoff.com

Letia 🙂

Photos by aviva stanoff new york (Luis Bruno), Ginkgo Vase collection, Ostrich on Twilight pillows in Kohl and Powder.

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