Listen to this weekend edition NPR piece on how globalization is changing the way the French eat. The French focus on cooking and the near compulsive obsession with food & wine, as well as portion control (see Mireille Guiliano’s  national best seller, “French Women Don’t Get Fat” ), has up to now, protected them from obesity.

Now that you made a smart buy and joined Everyday Cellars Wine Club for Women, you’re ready for “The Bride & Groom Starter Wine Kit,” which is all you need to turn your home into a wine destination.

Wine wasn’t on our registry, but for our wedding gift, a friend gave us 6 artisanal bottles of white wine. It was her “starter wine kit” for us. Inspired by that gesture, Everyday Cellars Wine Club for Women teamed up with to offer  an exclusive wine starter kit, which features  wines that every new couple should have on hand in their home.

Ladies, this is not your father’s wine cellar. I’m not going to ask you to start an expensive, dusty wine collection but something much more fun and yes, dare I say, practical. I’m going to help you start a go-to-wine stash with the essential must-have wines for your new home. The point of having “The Bride & Groom Starter Wine Kit” is to simplify and demystify wine and always have the right bottle at home for any occasion.

1. Sparkling… There are many different ways to sparkle. Choose from Prosecco (the name of both place and grape in Veneto, Italy); Cava (Named for the cellars where the wines are made, Spain’s sparkling is produced by the traditional method and from indigenous grapes); Champagne (French sparkling wine made by the traditional method where second fermentation takes place in the bottle); California sparkling made by the top Champagne houses with outposts in California; Chenin Blanc-based Crémants from Saumur & Vouvray Loire and Chardonnay & Pinot Noir-based Crémants from Burgundy (bottle-fermented Sparkling wines from other parts of France); or Franciacorta (same method but made in Lombardy, Italy, always a favorite because price to value is where it’s at). Key styles to look for in Champagne: “Blanc de Blanc”, which in French means white wine made exclusively from the white Chardonnay grapes or “Blanc de Noirs” which in French means white wine made entirely from the black Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes), Non-Vintage (NV) blends from across multiple plots and vintages, considered ideal as they help maintain a house’s individual style.

2. Anything Pink…Pink Champagne or still Rosé from Southern France. Try a Tavel. The Loire makes wonderful Rosés made from the Pinot Noir grape. Try “THE TSARINA”, my pinkalicious cocktail (simple ingredients: Rosé wine, St. Germaine, pink Sparkling wine and ice).

3. Basic Red…Classic Pinot Noir from top regions: Burgundy, Central Otago, New Zealand or closer to home: Russian River, Sonoma.

4. Star Producers…Ridge (one of the best Zinfandel producers in the world), Helen Turley (iconic California wine consultant & winemaker makes her own wines–50/50 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir—on 10 acres of land on the Sonoma Coast under the Marcassin (French for ‘young wild boar’) Vineyard label), The Ojai Vineyard (makes great Pinots and Syrahs), The Santa Barbara Winery (makes gorgeous Pinots and Northern Rhone inspired Syrah blends), Château de Beaucastel (eminent Chateauneuf-du-Pape producer and only one three to use all 12 grapes allowed in the region, and unlike others who use the region’s chief grape, Grenache, one to use predominantly, Mourvèdre) , Benton-Lane (superb Oregon Pinot Noir), Domaine Leflaive ( top in the region and top in “green wine”, Burgundy, France), Domaine Huet (Loire, France) Huber (Baden, Germany), Bruno Giacosa (Barolo & Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy) & Ca’ del Bosco (Franciacorta’s top Sparkling wine producers in Lombardy, Italy).

5. Any French Wine…I want to dispel the misconception that French wine is too expensive. That’s just not true! Many exciting “value wines” come from France, specifically from Languedoc-Roussillon, Southern France, Loire and Bordeaux (yes Bordeaux!). Give the classed growths from Bordeaux a try. You get the pedigree but more value in the 3rd, 4th and 5th crus.

6. Cool White…Cool-climate white Burgundy made from Chardonnay (possibly the finest expression of the Chardonnay grape), Russian River, Sonoma; Sancerre and Chablis, both appellations are based on a 100 percent Sauvignon Blanc grape. Try a Graves (hailed by Thomas Jefferson as the finest dry white wine Bordeaux had to offer in the late 18th Century, is situated on sandy soils & is made from the Semillon & Sauvignon Blanc grapes). Riesling (not sweet anymore, Mosel in Germany, Wachau in Austria, Clare & Eden Valleys in Australia, Marlborough & Nelson in New Zealand make the greatest hits).

7. Keep it American … Inspired by the gorgeous reds and white wines of France’s Rhône Valley, the wines from California’s “Rhone Rangers” are made from one the twenty-two Rhone grapes, but the mainstay grapes are Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre. If you love the complex, dense and multilayered flavors of Syrah from Northern Rhone appellations like Hermitage, Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, or St.-Joseph, look for these founding producers: Bonny Doon Vineyard (various Cali. AVAs), The Tablas Creek Winery (a joint venture between the Perrin family, owners of Château de Beaucastel, and Robert Haas, founder of Vineyard Brands), Fess Parker Winery & Vineyards (Santa Barbara County, Calif.), Zaca Mesa Winery (Santa Ynez Valley, Calif.), Tablas Creek Vineyard (Paso Robles, Calif.),  Joseph Phelps (St Helena, Calif.), & Qupé (Santa Barbara County, Calif.).

8. Green Wine…Do something special for the planet! Organic/Biodynamic/Sustainable wines aren’t just a trend. Wines made by “green practices” are reducing their carbon imprint and helping the environment. They taste delicious! Try wines from Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County California.

9. “Value Wine”…Wine doesn’t have to be expensive to be good. Wines from Argentina (signature red Malbec and white Torrontes grapes), Spain (based chiefly on the low-tannin, leather & strawberry scented red Tempranillo grape, look for Rioja Reservas & Priorat (powerful & delicious, these wines are made from indigenous & International grapes of Grenache, Carinena, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah & Pinot Noir), Portugal, Chile and my favorite, Greece (the floral, mineral flavors of white Assyrtiko grape is unbeatable).

10. Dessert Wine…There’s always room for dessert! No bride & groom should go without the magnificent flavors of Tokay from Hungary or the sublime Sauternes from Bordeaux or the unctuous Chenin-based sweet wines from the Loire Valley.




June is the most popular month to get married. I’ll never forget the wine my husband & I picked for our wedding at The Oviatt Penthouse in LA: It was the supple warm-climate Brander Sauvignon Blanc.

In the spirit of June weddings, we’re featuring wine that will make you feel like a bride again.

In EVERYDAY membership, our “Low” wine is the 2010 Domaine Du Jas D’Esclans, Cru Classe, a truly remarkable Rose from Provence, still the place unlike any other in the world that shines when it comes to still pink wine.

Our “High” wine is the Walserrano Reserva 2005 DOC from Rioja, Spain. Bang for the buck, reserve wines spend many years in oak, by far exceeding aging requirements by Spanish wine law.

For our $91 membership (we will be phasing this product out in the near future), in addition to the Rose and the Rioja described above, we have two more, the Italian Casata Monte Forte, Lagrein (pronounced la-Grine) as well as Les Quinze Arpents sparkling wine (like Champagne, it is made by the traditional method whose second fermentation takes place in the bottle it is sold in), a Chenin Blanc-based Crémant from Vouvray in Loire Valley France.

Cheers to all brides!

Taking It Beyond Organic to the World of Grassfed

by Hilary Macht

You feel better knowing that the organic food you’re putting into your body has been grown naturally—that is to say, without the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers; and, in the case of meat and dairy products, without antibiotics or artificial growth hormones. And all that’s true.

The trouble is, when it comes to meat, eggs and dairy, organic isn’t doing as much for you as you may think. Or, put another way, you can do better. Reach beyond organic to grassfed:  Animals that roam and graze on pasture, as opposed to being fed grains in a feedlot.

Meat and milk from animals that’s certified organic may be free of chemical pesticides, but it’s still based on grain. “Cows evolved to eat grass,” explains best-selling food author Michael Pollan. When they eat grains, like corn and soy, which the vast majority of cows in the U.S. do, they get fatter and they get sicker, Pollan says.

And, as the saying goes, you are what you eat. Animals that live on grasses are much healthier than those living on grains, and that benefit gets passed on to the people who consume their meat, milk and eggs—yes, even chickens are better off pastured!

Research shows that beef from grassfed cows contains less calories and total fat and more heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. It also has higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which, like the omega-3’s, has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Same goes for milk, yogurt and cheese from pastured cows.

Grassfed products offer a special benefit for women, as CLA has been shown to protect against breast cancer and block the growth of cancerous breast cells. There’s even evidence that CLA can aid in the formation of lean muscle mass and help with weight-loss.

What’s more, grassfed foods offer superior levels of vitamins and antioxidants, where women often come up short. You can actually see the difference: Spread some pasture butter on a piece of crusty bread and it’s yellow; crack open a pastured egg and the yolk is orange. What you’re seeing is the beta-carotene from fresh, green grass.

Look for the word “pastured,” says, the go-to source for everything you ever wanted to know about grassfed and where to get it. And in the case of beef, keep in mind that all cattle are fed grass until they get to the feedlot; “grass finished” or “100% grass fed” is what you want.

 I am reminded of the glowing young woman behind the cheese counter at Whole Foods. “Grassfed, organic and raw” she said, holding out a delectable looking piece of cheese for me to try. “It’s the perfect trifecta.” But that’s another story…..


About guest blogger, Hilary Macht

Hilary Macht writes about women’s health, food and the environment. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, Prevention, The Columbia Journalism Review, MORE, Fitness and The Amicus Journal.  

We are launching a monthly column on women’s health. Our first column, which will run tomorrow, comes from a guest blogger, Hilary Macht.

Hilary writes about women’s health, food and the environment. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, Prevention, The Columbia Journalism Review, MORE, Fitness and The Amicus Journal.


Everyday Cellars  hosted a complimentary wine tasting last night, May 17 at 7-8:30PM at Kenise Barnes Fine Art.

For those of you who were there & for those of you who wished you were there, I have assembled full tasting notes of the 8 artisanal hand-crafted wines we tasted.

All wines are available for purchase at! With questions, please contact me at

 8 wines






As part of Larchmont’s 1st annual restaurant week, Everyday






Do you remember being 14 & being dragged to a family vacation to the then unglamorous Coconut Grove part of Miami Beach, Florida with the oldies dotting the beachfront? I do & so do some of my friends. I think back to that time now that I have my family & the things I’m dragged to by them, pretty much all the time. Tonight, on this first night of Spring break, PG-style, in my neck of the woods, we went to a local Homemade Pizza Co joint to pick up a home-made pizza to go. Well, almost, home-made:  it’s not cooked until you get home & cook it.  We did, a large pie with kid cheese only & no green stuff on one half, & the other grown up half, with spinach & grilled chicken toppings.

We’ve had this type of arrangement before (my husband loves pizza), but I, well I’d rather have something else because I’m a glutton & I would need a lot more than 2 slices to be sated. So I say to myself why even do it. 

Tonight, I just went with the spirit of abandon of Spring break (I’m channeling the 14-year old girl in me) & had a few slices but the grown-up wine lover in me, paired it with a humble pink sparkling Cremant from Alsace made in the traditional method.  But wait that’s not the best mouth-watering part of this Spring break narrative.

I noticed a chocolate-chip cookie pie in their freezer section right in plain sight, not to be missed by kid or grown up alike. We baked it at home, & the memories of eating a box of Mrs. Fields semi-sweet chocolate chip cookies at the Old Orchard mall in Skokie, Ill. came rushing back like it was yesterday & not so so long ago.

But that was just a sweet memory, for now as a grown up, I can have my remarkable chocolate-chip cookie with a dry, pink, bready, pear & apple infused sparkling wine.

Enjoy your Spring break with pizza, a cookie & Sparkling wine!