MEET VINO & VEGGIES
About me, Felicia.
From college days of buying cheap magnum bottles to growing a refined palate, I have always loved wine. Remember the college days? It was all about getting drunk fast on a budget. The nights were long and the hangovers were short-lived. Now as an adult in my early 30's if I have a long night of drinking the hangover lasts for days! Luckily, my budget and palate have come a long way.
I think I really began to get serious about wine sometime after grad school. My husband and I took our honeymoon in Sonoma County. It was there we really started to learn about varieties and regions. A few years later we built our house. Both of us agreed we had to have a wine cellar. We thought, "why put it in the basement? Wine bottles are beautiful works of art. Let's display it on the main floor!" To make that happen it required a lot more planning. We had to make sure it was temperature-controlled, insulated, and obviously beautiful.
We first stocked it with random wines from wine clubs and had no idea what was going in there. I would often dislike the wine they sent and claim they had “gone bad” when in reality they were probably just terrible wines. I think I ended up pouring out at least 10 bottles they were so undrinkable. We then started to really do our research talking with sommeliers at restaurants, reading Wine Enthusiast and Spectator, and going to wholesalers to learn how to get the biggest bang for your buck. And with my WSET 2 certification and Certified Specialist of Wine studies, my knowledge grew to the point where I now know that I have barely hit the tip of the iceberg with all there is to know about wine.
I can now proudly say our cellar is stocked with Clean-Crafted wine and bottles from producers that I trust. Wine brings together two of my favorite things, art and research.
My vegan story:
When I was in my early 20's I was diagnosed with high blood pressure. I thought, "How could this be?" I was young, fit, and ate "healthy." Or so I thought. Many meat products are full of sodium, which contributes to high blood pressure. As I discovered new and interesting recipes I realized meat doesn't have to be the center of the plate. In fact, meat doesn't need to be on the plate at all! So I did ALL the things. Read books, documentaries joined vegan-meet-ups. My skin was glowing and I was off the blood pressure meds.
And then...I got pregnant. I somehow convinced myself that my body still needed other sources of vitamins. I let other people's opinions about my pregnancy get to my head. While I still refused to eat most animal products, I did eat salmon, eggs, and dairy. I then had a wake-up call and reflected on how I wanted to raise my son and what kind of world I wanted him to grow up in. Shortly after Athen was born I decided to re-commit to a plant-based diet.
I am by NO MEANS a “perfect” vegan. I DO NOT believe in shaming others for what they eat but rather engaging others in conversations on food choices. I still have challenges with eating vegan while traveling or at social events. What I've learned is that this journey is not linear. It's not about being perfect. It's about the continuous recognition that what we eat directly affects our bodies, planet, and animals. My journey continues as I am ALWAYS learning. I don't beat myself up anymore for not being a perfect vegan. I simply stay conscious about the choices I make every day in hopes for a more just and sustainable world.
CLEAN IS IMPORTANT
What does clean-crafted mean?
The wine making process is tricky business. With all things natural, it's hard to find consistency. In order to fix this, mass produced wine is loaded with synthetic ingredients to make each bottle taste the same, year after year. These unnatural ingredients are to blame for that wine headache we've all experienced once or twice.
Scout & Cellar makes it easy to find great wines without all the added junk other wine companies use to make their wine taste good. When you order wine off my Scout & Cellar page, you can be sure you're getting the tastiest, clean-crafted wine available.
Why I love Scout & Cellar:
Female-owned company: Scout & Cellar was founded by a woman named Sarah Shadonix. She is a level 3 Sommelier! To put that into perspective, there are only 350 in the world, and even more rare to find a woman at this level. So she's a badass!
Sustainable: All of the wines available through my Scout & Cellar page Clean-Crafted with zero added sugar, zero added sulfites, and come from vineyards that practice sustainable farming. The grapes are handpicked from small, family-owned vineyards.
Without animal by-products! The most important reason for me. I love knowing that I am drinking wine made without animal by-products. It takes out all the hassle of finding it. It's like walking into a vegan restaurant and being able to order anything off the menu.
Finding Wine Without Animal By-Products
Modern winemaking has made it easier for companies to mass produce their wine. Unfortunately, this means that the wine in your glass may not be vegan. During the fining, or clarification, stage in winemaking, small amounts of animal bones, intestines, or other by-products are used. There are no labeling requirements or regulations for alcohol which makes it hard for consumers to find wine without these added animal by-products.
Even if you aren't vegan, finding healthy sustainable wine is a good thing! I feel like I've stumbled upon the secret garden of wine and I want to share it with all of you! Book a free tasting: I'll bring the wine, you bring your friends!