Jul 25, 2014 | Post by: mnanda001 1 Comments


At the start of the year I wrote a blog post about the journey of  “Designing My Life” with the realization that wanted to do things in my life with more intention and purpose. Easier said than done for sure as I sit here staring at my daily list of  ’to dos’.    I’m sure many of you can relate that it’s easy to just get sucked into the day to day without taking a step back reassessing, prioritizing, planning and acting on what gives you more meaning in your life and to those around you.

In “Designing my Life” one of the ways to help me live with more intention and purpose was creating a bucket list.  Creating a bucket list helps me focus, reassess, prioritize, plan and act in a more thoughtful and purposeful manner.

That being said, one of my bucket list items includes that I,  along with my family, want to be more active in my community and get involved in a charitable organization.   There are so many opportunities to help and get involved that sometimes I become almost paralyzed because I start over thinking it and put too much pressure on myself by thinking my impact would be insignificant or not enough.

Having said this,  I decided to not over think it, get my husband, Rich,  involved and follow our passion.  Our passion for our kids paired with our passion for wine (scary mix, eh?) came together a couple of weekends ago when we hosted a wine tasting at our home that was auctioned off at my son’s school fundraiser this past winter.  It was the perfect way for us to give back to the school community in a way that we know how –  with wine and food. What better way to build community and give back through good wine, good food with good people.  We could do this!

I really enjoyed the prepping for the evening.  I,  of course, loved setting the table.

{Adding the 2nd leaf in our farmhouse table just makes me smile….it’s saying ‘come everyone, take a seat and stay for awhile’  Love it!}

Heck, I’m all about paper plates, paper napkins and a help yourself kind of party/gathering, but for certain occasions a beautifully set table creates something special.   Since I was little setting the table was always my ‘chore’ and for holidays my mom and I took great pride in setting the table with proper linens (carefully ironing out the wrinkles), our china (mind you our china was from a giveaway at the local gas station…classic.) and my grandmother’s silverware.   A beautifully set table is a gift –  it pays respect to the meal that will enfold there as well as to the guests that will gather there.

Is this whole table setting too “Martha Stewart” for  you?  : )  Let’s move on to the food and wine….

My husband and I  had fun discussing our menu and wine pairings.   We ultimately decided on a 6 plated course meal paired with wine of course.  The first plated course was paired with a flight of two champagnes and the other plated courses were paired with a flight of 3 different wines followed by dessert and two dessert wine.    Rich began each wine flight by describing that there was a younger and older vintage along with some very general background of region (old world vs. new world).  However, we served each wine course blind and after each course discussed our favorite as well as guessed the vintage and the region before the big reveal!

There were a lot wine questions/note taking and discussion for the first half of the tasting and then, as the night progressed and more wine was poured it was just that…more wine consumption. : )


It was an evening filled with lots of laughs, some wine education and more importantly it was an evening of intention and purpose…to give back and build community.

I hope this blog post inspires you to follow your passions…. it will lead you in the right direction.  At the very least, maybe this post will inspire and give you some good ideas for a wine tasting of your own!

Until next time ~


Here’s a quick overview of the evening’s menu and wine pairings.   I wish I would have taken pictures of each food course, but I just didn’t have the time that evening – maybe next time!

Also, I think it’s fair to say everything was very tasty, but I think the spiced salmon paired with the 1996 Dehlinger Pinto Noir Estate, Russian River Valley, California was one of the evening’s favorites among all dinner guests.  


Wines around the World Tasting Dinner

July 12, 2014

 Champagne Course:  Gougères

NV Pierre Peters Blanc de Blanc Grand Cru, Champagne

2004 Roederer Estate l’Ermitage Brut Anderson Valley, California

Chardonnay Course:  Tuna Tartar with Spicy Ginger Dressing

2006 Henri Boillot Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Clos de la Mouchère, Burgundy

2011 Val de Mer Chablis Grand Cru Vaudésir, Burgundy

2010 Rivers-Marie Chardonnay B. Thieriot Vineyard, Sonoma Coast, California 

Pinot Noir Course:  Spiced Grilled Salmon

1999 Louis Jadot Volnay 1er Cru Santenots, Burgundy

2006 Domaine Dublère Volnay 1er Cru Pitures, Burgundy

1996 Dehlinger Pinot Noir Estate, Russian River Valley, California

 Tempranillo Course:  Charcuterie

2001 Bodegas y Viñedos Alión, Ribera del Duero, Spain

2001 Bodega Numanthia Termes Toro Numanthia, Toro, Spain

2001 La Rioja Alta Rioja Gran Reserva 904, Rioja Spain

Cabernet Course: Grilled Flank Steak and Sprouts

1995 Château Rauzan-Ségla, Bordeaux

1996 Lauren Glen Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Mountain, California

1997 Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve, Napa, California

Dessert Course:  Peach Pie

2001 Dönnhoff Oberhäuser Brücke Riesling Auslese, Nahe, Germany

1998 Tschida Chardonnay Trockenbeerenauslese, Burgenland, Austria

Note:  Here’s some links to some of the recipes used….

{The next morning empty ‘inventory’ –  a sign of good gathering!}



One Comment to Cheers!

  1. Melanie
    July 25, 2014 9:02 am

    Maya, you never cease to amaze me. I enjoyed reading about this night and how it all came together. I’m sure your guests had a wonderful time! Thanks for sharing and allowing all of us on your blog to get wonderful ideas from you and Rich.

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