The Whitney A. YouTube Channel!

Monday, September 22, 2014 0 No tags 0

Well, I done did it. I started a YouTube channel. It was only a matter of time,  considering my big mouth and propensity to ham it up.

 

 

I’ll be posting a new vid every week, so subscribe and follow along with the madness! OK- there’s not a ton of madness, but there’s wine talk (duh), food talk, beauty talk, fashion, dating, LIFE. I’m covering lots of bases, and doing it with a bold lip. Speaking of lips! My first video is all about lipstick and wine glasses and how those two things are normally not friends, but we really need them to be so we can actually wear lip color and drink wine simultaneously. I’ve found the perfect lipstick that won’t leave a trail behind on your wine glass. You’re welcome!

The Best Gift Boxes Ever

Thursday, September 18, 2014 0 No tags 0

There are two women in Los Angeles that are helping people win at life and look like the most amazing gift givers ever. Those women are Barrett Prendergrast and Simone LeBlanc.

Valleybrink_Road_Gift_Box

They are dominating the gift box game, sourcing the finest small production/artisanal goodies, arranging lovely florals and presenting them all in beautiful wood boxes. They each offer a slightly different aesthetic and approach, but both will save you in a last minute, “oh shit, I have no idea what to get so and so for their so and so.” Beyond being amazing options for a host/ess gift, they are also perfectly suited (and customized) for honestly any occasion- weddings, new parents, Valentine’s Day, clients, etc., etc. the list goes on.

Simone_LeBlanc_Gift_Box

More than receiving a great gift like this, it sure feels even better to give it.

Photos by @simoneleblanc + @valleybrinkroad

Illustrated: Napa Valley

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 0 No tags 0

Every month the fabulous Elaine Brown, a philosopher turned illustrator, writer and wine explorer will be drawing whatever her heart desires and sharing it with us. She’s putting color and words to paper to illustrate a moment, a wine, a pairing, a feeling – pretty much anything that is inspiring her in the moment. With harvest underway as well as a 6.0 earthquake a few weeks ago, let’s put our focus on Napa. 

Napa_Harvest_Hawk_Wakawaka_Illustration

Beyond injuries, destruction to homes and personal property, which is devastating, many wineries (and warehouses storing wine) had awful damage after the quake ripped through the area. Barrels of wine quietly aging and delicately stacked bottles tumbled to the ground, wine covering the floors. Years of work, maybe most of a vintage of wine, gone or damaged beyond repair. Bottom line- it sucks. If you’d like to help in any way that you can, please read this post from Delectable and buy a bottle of Quake Cuvée from Matthiasson!

And, of course, #drinknapa. As always.

Illustration by Elaine Brown

Wine Label Design with Veronica Corzo-Duchardt

Saturday, September 6, 2014 3 , 3
Veronica
I find wine label design so fun and fascinating. It’s one of my favorite pieces of the big wide world of wine puzzle. I’ve been a fan of Veronica Corzo-Duchardt‘s modern California wine label designs for a few years. I didn’t know who was behind the labels I looked at on a weekly basis, until I was randomly introduced to Veronica at a music festival in Chicago this summer. And the world continues to get smaller! Read on to learn more about her design process, inspiration and her favorite wines to drink.
2012 Wonderwall_Wine
When did you start designing wine labels? Was it a natural progression and extension of your design work, or did you always have a focus on wine?
I started designing wine labels in 2009. I had always been interested in wine, and it reminded me a lot of designing for music which is where I got my start as a designer. I love this idea of translating a creative process, like music and winemaking to a visual form. While in grad school, I began working at a small wine shop here in Chicago to gain more experience. There I was able to meet a lot of winemakers and distributors, which eventually lead to designing my first label, after starting my design studio.
Describe the process for designing a label. Do you get to taste the wine and let that influence your choices?
My first step is to talk with the winemaker and have them describe the story of the wine. I try to dig as deep as I can to get information about their process, the idea for the wine and the vineyard. I usually get to taste at least a barrel sample before starting my design. A lot of times taste will influence the mood of a label. Factors like bright, dark flavors and the weight of the wine come into play of me. I also try to visit the vineyard if I can to get a sense of the place the wine came from. My ultimate goal in designing a label is to try to evoke an overall feeling of the wine. 
2012_Shades_Of_Pink
If you could describe your design style in one sentence what would it be?
My labels are contemporary, story-driven and expressive.
You design for mainly domestic wines. Ever tried your hand at an import? If not, what region or country’s wine would you most want to have some fun with?
I have not tried my hand at an import but I would LOVE to! I’d love to get my hand on some wines from Spain. Especially in the Basque region, there is so much history there I’d love to play with. I’m a bit biased since my whole family is Cuban, by way of Spain so I’d really love dig into a lot of the cultural history of winemaking there. Plus being fluent in the language doesn’t hurt. 
What is your biggest pet peeve with wine label design? 
I really hate cutesy stuff or puns! I wish that would all die out but there is a market for it.
2012_Almanac_Cabernet
What is your go-to wine/wine style, something you always like to order or pour for yourself at home?
I love really dry Rieslings, so I drink as much of Tatomer as I can. For reds I tend to lean towards Rhone varietals or an unfiltered Pinot Noir. And bubbles, I love bubbles. Give me Champagne any day, any time. Seriously, I’ll send you my address. 
Photos courtesy Winterbureau