Today I am presenting a new edition of "4 Items Under $50 and 1 Splurge Wish List!"
Today's guest host is one of my oldest and dearest friends: Amanda Reade Sturgeon
Amanda and I met in boarding school longer ago than I would like to admit, and since then we have stayed the closest of friends. While I am happy to say that Amanda and I are now lucky to live near one another in NYC, there were a few years when I lost her to the west coast, and she took up residence in St. Helena in Napa Valley. During her time in St. Helena, Amanda interned at the French Laundry and later was a Sommelier at The Martini House where she met her handsome husband who just happens to be a culinary wizard in the kitchen! Now that she lives in NYC, Amanda is the Wine Director at Dovetail Restaurant
on the Upper West Side in Manhattan. Amanda is a dear friend of mine, but she also is an expert in food and wine, and just happens to have impeccable taste and style! I'm thrilled to have Amanda sharing her top "4 Items Under $50 and 1 Splurge Wish List" with us today! Here is what she chose...
Amanda: We use ramekins like this for everything from eating soup, serving pot pies, to use when it's cocktail time and we put out snacks. They are so practical, timeless, and last forever. And for some reason it never seems like we have enough.
Amanda: Sparkling Vouvray rocks. When looking for sparkling wines at affordable prices, it is often beneficial to look outside of Champagne. Made in France's Loire Valley with the Chenin Blanc grape, Vouvray is full of stone fruit notes and slightly floral tones. This producer, Gaston Huet, is considered one of the top. Pétillant is the style of sparkling wine, meaning that its bubbles are a little less aggressive than others, but they are still there- providing a bead (stream of bubbles that you see in your glass) that is tighter and smaller.
Amanda:I love salt. We have an arsenal of different textured and flavored salts that are so great to use as a final touch to many foods: currently at home we have Kosher, Fleur de Sel, Sel Gris, Slovenian Sea Salt, and Celery Salt. But we are out of Truffle Salt, which I love to add just a tiny amount to when I make popcorn. This black truffle salt from Dean & Deluca is similar to the salt sold at Chelsea Market's Filling Station where their Black Truffle Salt sells for $18.95.
Amanda: Juliska glassware is beautiful. My job revolves around wine, and even though at work I want to have varietal-appropriate stemware, at home I prefer to use small glass tumblers. Primarily because it keeps my accident-prone husband far away from the fragile Riedels that we have, and because living in New York our storage space is limited, so I like to have glasses that can do double duty. I have amassed a small collection of different vintage styles that I often like to mix-and-match. This tumbler looks like the perfect size to use for my morning juice, water, or even a glass of wine or two!
Amanda has so many fabulous wishes under $50 that she treated us to one more reasonable splurge...
Amanda: Albert Boxler makes phenomenal wines from the Alsace region of France, which is in the northeast, bordering Germany. It has the most amazing and rich texture to it, and super honeyed fruit. Just a teeny bit off-dry (aka a little bit sweet), it works so well with so many different foods. I would have it with roast chicken, anything with herbs and lemon, cheese, the list goes on. The perfect winter white.
And Amanda's BIG SPLURGE...
Amanda: I grew up spending my summers on the water, sailing. When we would visit my sister's godmother at her house on Nantucket every year, I always always would head into town and get a white rope Turk's Head bracelet, wearing it nonstop until school started, and then I would take it off and marvel at my tan line. Now that I am older, I am crazy about this gold version from Maine jeweler AGA Correa & Son. I would wear it for years to come.
Thank you Amanda!