Thursday, March 29, 2012

Why I love Osborne #375...Swag!!!

To do a little take on one of my favorite Eric Carle children's book..."I open the box and what do I see...Six Osborne champagne glasses looking at me!"  Sorry, but I couldn't help myself!  I got these glasses for "gratis" (translation: free!!!) the last time I paid a visit to the winery...Tiff was a little miffed considering the amount of Osborne wine she purchased over her three years here!  But the Osborne  Gift Shop is a little like being in a Forest Gump movie moment...It's "like a box of chocolates...you never know what you're going to get!"  Wow!  Two pop culture references int he first paragraph...Anyway, their gift shop is more for fun than profits.  That's why it's so fun to go down there...There's always a new promotion or merchandise and if you see something you like, you better buy it because you aren't likely to see it again...When I went down with some friends in February, they were just getting ready to start a promotion on the Ayala Champagne for which they act as a distributor.  They don't produce cava, but they are distributors for wine and spirits from all over the world.  To promote the champagne they sell here in Spain, they were about to start some kind of promotion with these new champagne flutes to be used with Ayala Champagne.  My friends and I didn't buy any bubbly, but we did purchase quite a bit of their higher end wines (high end wine starts at about 15€ here...I will miss the cheap, but good wine in Spain) and as a thank you, she gave each of us a box of 6 glasses...I use mine for cava!
I really like them, because unlike traditional champagne flutes, they don't hit you in the nose.  The have a wider rim and look more like a wine glass, but they have a sharp point where the globe goes into the stem and it really showcases the bubbles in the champagne, cava or sparkling wines...and it's big enough for my new favorite night cap...a single serving bottle of Freixenet Semi Sec Cava!
Here's the wine I bought and my "thank you" gift! 
I tried to get a picture of the rising bubbles, but the cava was so night and cold that it fogged up the glass, but you can see how the glass comes down to a nice point at the bottom of the stem, and as for the bubbles...you'll just have to take my word for it!  Cheers, Ashleigh & Tiffani, The Drinking Girls 


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday #93


Monday, March 19, 2012

The Lady Needs A Smoke Break!

A friend of mine from here in Madrid, Erica C., snapped the above and below pick while she was in Valencia this weekend.  The famous festival called Las Fallas was in full swing and many of the Valencians were out in traditional dress.  I asked her to use these pics on my blog because I just LOVE it! The juxtaposition of this woman in the Old World dress...so authentic, right down to the shoes...and there she sits, in her New World chair taking a smoke break!  Classic!  Here's what the outfit looks like when standing up, albeit on a different girl...
Here's what they have to say about the festival on SpainTravelGuide.com, "Definitely considered one of the most wacky and unique festivals in Spain, Las Fallas de Valencia – literally translated to mean ‘the fires’ in Valenciano – is a massive festival in Valencia, celebrated in vigour and awe every March.
This grand festival is the biggest of its kind in Valencia, and is much anticipated by the Valencianos.  If you happen to be in town during the Fallas, don’t be surprised to see huge blazing fires around the city.The festival is focused on creating huge cardboard, wood, papier-mâché and plaster statues that are referred to as “fallas” or “ninots”, and then setting them on fire.
Substantial effort is put into making them look realistic; most of them depict a myriad of daily-life characters and topics such as corrupt politicians and celebrities. Las Fallas is a very labour-intensive festival, with the giant statues taking up to a year to prepare and can cost up to $60,000. A year-round effort is placed into making the festival a success."

A little about the history of the festival from SpainTravelGuide.com: "Las Fallas started out as a feast day for Saint Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters. Athought the exact origins are not clearly known, most believe that the fires evolves from the pagan rituals celebrating the arrival of spring and cultivation season. Back in those days (approximately 16th century), streetlights in Valencia were only used in the Spanish winter, when nights were bitter and cold. The wooden structures that used to contain these street lamps were ceremoniously burned on Saint Joseph’s day as the days got longer.
Through the years, it slowly evolved into a five-day, multifaceted celebration involving massive fires. Today, the festival has become much of a celebratory event. The population of Valencia, swells from just over 1 million to an estimated three million during Las Fallas celebrations. Flame-lovers and festival revelers from all around Spain flock to Valencia to be part of the festivities."
So, basically, they spend all year, making these amazing floats and then they save the best one and burn the rest to the ground!  My husband has always wanted to go this festival, but after our Frankfurt New Year's Eve experience, it will have to wait until the kids go off to college!  Hasta luego...


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