Reserve Your Night

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I remember eating outside at Ambasciata D’Abruzzo, a restaurant near Rome, and the waiter brought me and my husband a giant platter of antipasti and some of their house wine. We were so content I think we may have taken off our shoes! This is my favorite kind of meal, a casual family style meal with antipasti and a good table wine. Yellow Tail Reserve wine and their new site ReserveYourNight.com brought four friends together for a summer night of spa, movie, and food (a mini staycation). It was the take off your shoes kind of atmosphere. Who needs to go out when you can gather together with your closest friends to put on a mask or two (or five) and watch a movie with some fabulous food and company?!?
I love wine; I love the way it brings out the flavor in food, the many varieties that it comes in, and the opportunities it provides to visit another country through a bottle. What I love the most is the number of different and pleasant ways that wine brings people together around the table.
This inexpensive evening was a treat and I’d say more fun than going out to the movies or a commercial spa because we could talk to our friends, enjoy wine, get beautiful, and see a movie all in one evening. It’s a bonus if your friends like to cook like mine do. Our Yellow Tail Reserve went perfectly with chicken pasta salad and blueberry cobbler.

I love movies about wine: Sideways, French Kiss, A Good Year, Bottle Shock, and Apres Vous are some of my favorites. However, my friends and I had just seen ABBA in concert and decided to watch Mamma Mia. Seeing the Greek islands on the big screen provided us the perfect spa environment. The art of tasting wine involves the sight, smell, and taste senses.

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One of my favorite movies is French Kiss. In the movie both characters (Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline) compare wine to people. Two of my favorite lines in French Kiss that I know by heart are: “Wine is like people. The wine takes all the influences in life all around it, it absorbs them and it gets its personality.” -Luc (Kevin Kline) When Luc asks Kate to describe the wine she says, “It’s a bold wine with a hint of sophistication and lacking in pretension. Actually, I was just talking about myself.” -Kate (Meg Ryan)
It’s so funny because it’s true, wine IS like people! We can use the same adjectives to describe wine as we can for people: elegant, complex, bright, peachy, fruity, nice, bold, rich, smooth, full-bodied, earthy, sweet, bubbly, mature…

I have read that Australia is one of the most technologically advanced wine countries in the world. Yellow Tail Reserve is the perfect table wine. What’s better news is that it’s available everywhere, reasonably priced, and pleasing to the senses. My friend Margot said she liked the Yellow Tail Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon because it is really nice and fruity. What’s funny is that in a separate conversation my friend Jen said almost the same thing, that the same wine was light and fruity! I found Yellow Tail’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon to be silky and elegant. I tend to drink wine seasonally; cold white wine in the summer is what I enjoy now. My friends and I also sampled a Yellow Tail Reserve Pinot Grigio which is my favorite wine. It is soft and easy on the palate.

I will never be like Paul Giamatti, sticking my nose deep in my glass and saying something like, “there’s the faintest soupçon of asparagus!” But those who drink wine know what they like just as you know if you prefer mild to sharp cheddar or milk to dark chocolate. Taste is emotional and personal. I believe any wine that taste good to you is a good wine.

When preparing beauty treatments for our spa/movie night I followed the same wine cooking rule: Never cook with wine you wouldn’t drink! I didn’t make a beauty treatment that I couldn’t eat. I used fresh quality ingredients and I really think they worked! My four year old daughter got in on the action when I was in the kitchen blending up masks. What do you think her favorite was? Chocolate! The good news is that everything was edible. My daughter actually wanted a bowl full of the avocado mask to dip her chips into while she also wore it on her face!

I hope you will be inspired to “Reserve your Night” and try a spa/movie night with your friends before summer ends. AND…If you have children, let them get in on the action with you testing out the beauty treatments before your friends arrive! You will be glad you did!

WATERMELON TONER
Half of a small fresh watermelon
¼ C vodka
4 Tablespoons witch hazel
Blend ingredients and use cotton balls to apply. Store in fridge. Keeps approximately one week.

PINEAPPLE OLIVE OIL MASK
Pineapple helps rid the skin of dead cells and dirt and is a mild astringent. Olive oil has excellent healing properties and is a good source of vitamin E, which restores the skin’s surface.
In a blender, combine 1 fresh pineapple 1/3 C olive oil. Blend until almost smooth. Apply mixture to face with fingertips and leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse face with warm water and pat dry. The acidity may make your face feel itchy so I suggest following with the soothing avocado mask.

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AVOCADO CARROT CREAM MASK
This mask combines avocados, which are rich in Vitamin E, with carrots, which are high in beta-carotene and antioxidants, and cream, which is high in calcium and protein. These ingredients will rebuild skin collagen, improve tone and texture, and fade age spots.
2 avocados, mashed
½ banana
1 carrot, cooked and mashed
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons honey
2 T cottage cheese
Combine all ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Spread gently over your face and neck, and leave in place 10-15 minutes.

CHOCOLATE FACE MASK
This creamy mask is an excellent moisturizer, leaving your skin baby soft.
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3 tbsp. heavy cream
2 tsp. cottage cheese
¼ cup honey
3 tsp. oatmeal
Mix all ingredients together in a blender and smooth onto face. Relax for ten 10 minutes (enjoy the smell), then wash off with warm water.

CUCUMBER HAIR DRENCH
If you swim in a chlorinated pool, the same damage you’ve noticed happening to your skin and bathing suit, is happening to your hair. Try this treatment at home to keep chlorine damage to a minimum.
2 eggs
¼ C olive oil
1 peeled cucumber
Blend until smooth. Spread evenly through your hair, leave on for 10 minutes, and then thoroughly rinse.

Zooey's chocolate mask

My daughter, enjoying her chocolate mask…a little too much!

 

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