Wine & Conversation: Wines From Around The World + Travel Tips

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On Colleen: American Eagle Tee // J Brand Jeans // House of Harlow 1960 Necklace  On Kendall: Club Monaco Skirt  //  Velvet by Graham & Spencer Top Wines: Lc Villa Prosecco // Three Brooms Sauvignon Blanc // Joseph Drouhin Vaudon Chablis

Episode 4 of Wine & Conversation is up and today we are tasting wines from around the world and talking travel.   What are some of the best travel tips and tricks?  What is the best way to get around?  Press play to get the answers to these questions and learn about some amazing new wines from Italy, New Zealand and France. 

xx,

Colleen

Best Places To Grab A Drink In NYC

 best drink spots in NYC

One of the things that I love most about NYC is that there are endless options when it comes to places to grab a drink or a great meal.  Over the past five years that I have lived in this area, I have been fortunate to try a lot of different spots and today I am sharing my picks for the best places in NYC to grab a drink.  Whether it is on a hot summer day or post-work cocktails, all of these places offer a unique setting and extensive drink menu.  Cheers!

  • Azul (Soho) - If you are looking for a rooftop bar with sweeping 360 degree views of lower Manhattan, then this place is for you!  Azul is located on the top of the luxury boutique Hotel Hugo.  Despite being part of this luxurious hotel setting, the bar itself has a laid back feel with a Havana theme.  The drinks are a little pricey, but the view and overall vibe makes it worth it!  
  • Buvette (West Village) - This cozy West Village restaurant instantly transports you to a tiny wine bar in Paris.  I love the decor and European feel to this neighborhood spot.  Grab a seat by the window for some great people watching as you enjoy your glass of wine!
  • Locanda Verde (TriBeca) - This chic Italian TriBeca restaurant is one of my favorite places to eat and grab a drink in the city.  The atmosphere is warm and inviting with an upscale feel.  They have a great wine list and serve one the the best bloody mary cocktails I've ever tasted.  The food is also amazing if you decide to stick around and eat.  Oh, and keep your eyes peeled for celebrities mixed in with the crowd!
  • The Dutch (Soho) - One of my favorite things to do after a day of walking around Soho is to stop into The Dutch for a glass of wine and a little cheese.  My favorite spot is at the window seats at the side of the bar.  These seats offer amazing people watching and are even better in the spring and summer when the windows are open to the outside.
  • The Standard Biergarten (Meatpacking) - Tucked under the High Line The Standard Biergarten is part of The Standard hotel, serving up traditional German beer and cuisine in a casual open air setting.  I love the relaxed vibe of this spot and even more importantly, I love being able to play ping pong in the middle of all of the action!  I am not a big beer drinker, but something about this place always gets me in the spirit!  If you want to skip the beer, there is also a full service bar serving up wine and other cocktails.  

xx,

Colleen

Where To Go When Visiting Miami

Miami is one of my favorite places to visit.  This past August I took a four day mini-vacation there for some rest and relaxation.  What I love most about Miami is that for east coasters it is a relatively short plane ride to a destination that has everything you need in one spot- beautiful beaches, great food and exciting nightlife.  You can do as much or a little as you want and there is something for everyone.  Below I have picked out my top spots that you have to visit when you are in town.  I can't wait to get back ASAP!

  • Prime 112 - This is one of my favorite restaurants on south beach!  It is an upscale steakhouse that serves amazing food and has a great wine and drinks list.  It is always packed and is a great spot to people watch and grab drinks before dinner.  You have to order the Caesar salad (which is big enough for four), a big steak and the fried Oreos for dessert.  One cautionary note: if you are planning on going on a weekend, be prepared to wait even if you have a reservation.  They very rarely seat parties on time and the wait can be pretty long.  Your best bet is to make your reservation on the earlier side and you will most likely sit at the time you originally intended.  Website:  Prime112
  • Zuma -This is a super hip and stylish Japanese restaurant that is located in the Brickell section of Miami. Brickell is one of the most up-and-coming areas of the city packed with new restaurants and hotels.  If you are staying in south beach, it is about a $15 uber ride downtown.  The menu is very unique and the plates are made to share.  This is definitely a hot spot and place to see and be seen.  Reservations are required, especially on the weekends! Website: Zuma
  • South Beach - This is probably a no brainer, but when in Miami it is an absolute must that you head to the beach for at least a day.  I usually prefer the pool, but the water and beach in Miami is so beautiful!  The water is crystal clear and the beach has some of the best people watching of all time.  
  • Delano Beach Club - The Delano is one of the hippest hotels on South beach.  In the pool area they have a lounge and bar called the Delano beach club.  It is steps away from the beach and one of my favorite places to grab a pre-game cocktail. Website: Delano 
  • Lucali Bar- Lucali is a restaurant and bar located in the Sunset Harbor area of the city.  This is an up-and-coming area of Miami where a lot of the locals go.  It is removed from all of the crazy tourist attractions and hustle and bustle of South Beach and consists of a few blocks of restaurants and shopping.  Lucali is a restaurant, but next door they have a bar/lounge area that is a great spot for drinks and some small bites.  The music is all old school hip hop and the vibe is fun and casual. Website: Lucali

These are just a few of my recent favorite places to go in Miami.  Let me know if you try any of them on your next visit!

xx,

Colleen

Costa Rica Travel Recap

This month has been so exciting and filled with a lot of travel.  My first stop was Costa Rica and I have to say it was different from any place I've ever been before.  Before going, I didn't do much research so I really didn't know what to expect.  We started our trip in San José which is the capital of Costa Rica.  I have to admit that you can probably skip this part of the trip if you are visiting and just go straight to the coast.  I think that's what most tourists do, but we had some business to attend to first.  After a few days in the city where we explored some of the local cuisine and artisan markets, we headed to the pacific coast.  Driving up to the hotel we stayed at, we were on a one lane road in the middle of the jungle.  It was a surreal experience especially since we drove in at night! I have never been to the jungle before so this part of the trip was by far my favorite!  Seeing animals like monkeys, crocodiles and anteaters in their natural habitat was really amazing.  Besides the jungle, we also did a few other excursions that made our trip. Here are a few of my favorites!

  • Zip Lining at Vista Los Sueños - I am always down for a little adventure so I was all about the Costa Rican zip lining experience.  When we arrived we got geared up and hopped on a tractor that took us up the huge side of a mountain.  This can be a little intimidating and I have to admit that I had a few butterflies during the trek up.  Once you arrive at the first zip line, you are high above the trees in the jungle and it is truly breathtaking.  Mid-way through our experience it started to mist which added a really cool element to the excursion.  If you are into adventure, I suggest doing this on your visit. 
  • Crocodile Tour at Josè's Crocodile River tour - Costa Rica is filled with wildlife, and crocodiles are abundant.  During our visit we took a guided boat tour down the river to see these animals up close and personal.  Our boat driver and guide actually got out of the boat onto the banks and got the crocs to come over so we could get a better view.  It was really wild how fearless he was and it was definitely a once in a lifetime experience.  On the way back to the docks we were treated to a beautiful sunset.  
  • The beach at Jaco: Jaco is a beach town in Costa Rica known for its nightlife and surfing.  We took a day trip there to explore this quaint beach town and checked out the surfing championships that were going on that day at the beach.  If you are nearby, a trip to Jaco should be added to your list to absorb some of the local culture and nightlife!

xx,

Colleen