This Weekend- Athens, Copenhagen, and Halifax- on the International #TattooConvention Circuit #BoozyLife

Spring has officially sprung, and the international tattoo convention circuit has kicked off with a vengeance. Yes, that IS a thing for those of you not in the tattoo industry. Business conferences often take place in some exotic, lovely locations in order for the conference go-ers to enjoy some travel as well as work–why would the tattoo industry be any different? Serious professional tattoo artists (as well as many tattoo collectors) travel the world to expand their collections, as well as practice their craft on an international level. According to worldtattooevents.com convention calendar, there are at least sixteen major tattoo shows around the world this weekend of May 15th! This weekend alone, there are tattoo conventions in Texas and Nevada in the United States, in Copenhagen and Athens (and even Croatia!!) in Europe, as well as the Maritime Tattoo Convention in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Lots of new upcoming spots to try locally sourced wines and spirits for this Boozy Wife!

With all of this opportunity to travel, it’s fun that my love of adult beverages and body art seem to be working hand in hand. The wine folks are learning quite a bit about the tattoo world, and the tattooers and their assistants usually already have an interest in wines and spirits, but would like to know even more. A great meeting of the minds, over a bottle or two :) See you on the road!

For Maximus

The first time we were introduced, I expected the worst from you. I had been warned that you were cool but had some ‘issues’, and that I should take caution at our first meeting. I had a pretty uninformed opinion on your type, but apprehension was my first emotion. Then, I met you. I had no idea how much you would eventually change me for the better. You would teach me about forgiveness, dedication, love, caution, responsibility, and ultimately unwavering trust. Those are some big lessons for anyone, and you did that without a single word. I never realized how special you would be to me, and how much love you and your dad had to share.

You were a big, strong guy, with a barrel of a chest and a loud rambunctious bark. Your white fur and pink nose made you look like a big old polar bear mixed with a pig, bounding with playful energy around the one bedroom apartment. Other times you were quiet, a panting bear skin rug just happy to be with his people, therapeutic and warm. I slept with you before I slept with your dad–we curled up together on the fuzzy purple loveseat you claimed as yours, a fact which I was unaware of at the time…and you were sweet enough to share it with me, never a growl or a sideways glance. Your shedding was absolutely ungodly, and I often rode the train home looking like I was an insane dog lady. You had first cuddles, always. You accepted me as one of your buds, and from that point on I felt your love.

You had been abused by your first ‘owners’ (I use the word angrily)-addicts that didn’t feed or train you, and left you with a terror of kennels, puppy nightmares, and massive distrust for new people. Luckily, you were rescued by a man with integrity, someone who you could trust until your last breath, and you dedicated yourself to him one hundred percent. He worked hard with you to build that commitment. It was a long and sometimes difficult journey for you both. You relied on the chain of trust, built and extending from the one man you held above all others. You were a city dog, and a family dog-you had a boy to care for, as well as his mom, and you looked out for them and loved them for years before we ever met. You learned to play. You were a hyper young guy that would chase a blue raquet ball under the futon, and then bark hysterically, because someone had to dig it out for you. GET IT! Repeatedly. For half an hour. Best game ever! Human training.

When your dad and I got together, you had already comforted me through one of the most difficult times of my life. He brought you to see me at my mom’s house, and you cuddled me for all you were worth, right before she passed. There was this silent, special strength that you had, and it was incredible. You were a therapy dog without formal training, a survivor that innately knew how to deal with emotional pain and traumatic sadness. That’s why we called you “Max the Therapist”, you were always there for the hard times with your silent, strong, warm body. You were comfort. I will truly miss that.

We moved you with us out of the city, so you could enjoy nature in your older years. Not without its initial hiccups, the relaxed country life was something we were finally able to give you. The same misconceptions I had when I first met you, followed us here, and I was disgusted that your peaceful home could be threatened by money grubbing scumbags and overly educated behaviorist strangers. You were so loved, so many friends to reflect on your strong character and dedication, I was so moved. Yes, you were a pittie, and that made you vulnerable to bad humans….but you had found the good ones, and everyone that loved your dad, also loved you. We kept you safe from others that would do you harm.

Max was there for our big day to hold the rings

You were the most handsome ring bearer in any wedding, ever. You were patient when were were hours late, good for the ceremony, and fantastic for pictures-my prince’s white steed. You were a great older brother to the little maniac puppy we brought home right around that time, too. You helped us raise Ozwald and eventually became his keeper, looking over him and protecting him as you did with those you loved. You also nurtured the girls we acquired during your later years, adding everyone to the pack and keeping the peace. You were the first and head of our crazy fur kids. I am so proud that I got to be your mama for the later part of your life. I’ll always see you panting in the sunshine, and rolling around on the fresh grass giving yourself slight grass stains on your white back. Mama loved you first Max, even before I loved daddy.

How THIS Boozy Tattoo Wife Celebrates Forty

Magic

So, when I was on the verge of turning thirty, I had finally realized my life dream of living in NYC. I had accomplished a major coup, moving myself through a company in order to get from Orlando to Long Island and finally Manhattan! I decided to mark my move into my thirties by getting a tattoo. I had a couple of very small tattoos at the time, but wanted a Celtic tree of life with an Elvish phrase, marking my moves, accomplishments, and journeys. Yes, I am and have always been a geek.

Like a good tattoo client, I did my research, found a shop and artist in NYC that I liked (Nic at Sacred did my tattoo, and we have actually run into each other at a convention or two since!), had my consult, left my deposit, and signed a contract to get tattooed for my thirtieth birthday. Even before I was a tattoo wife, I had learned proper protocol by getting a couple of shitty, walk in, spur of the moment tattoos. No more of that shit for me…I marked thirty with my first quality tattoo, and it started something I didn’t expect. A love for the craft that would eventually become a large part of my world.

Fast forward ten years: I met another tattoo artist in NYC, fell in love, and we decided to start a life together. We now own a shop and a house, four dogs, and a crazy wonderful, often hectic, life. Today I celebrate forty with ANOTHER landmark–I started my left sleeve at thirty, so my husband will start my right sleeve for me this afternoon, at forty. I’ll be posting updates and all kinds of fun stuff throughout the day with progress, check back in (especially if you’re into mermaids) !! I’m a very, very excited lady, and I’m lucky to be a part of this crazy life (especially with him by my side)….

Atwater Estate Vineyards Rosé of Merlot and the first day of Ithaca Farmers Market

Rosé of Merlot

Rosé of Merlot

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imageI made a special trip up Seneca Lake (after a visit to the first outdoor Ithaca Farmer’s Market of the year) specifically to taste Atwater Estate Vineyards 2014 Rosé of Merlot. I had a haul of root veggies and sunchokes (also called Jerusalem Artichokes, they are the tuber roots of a type of sunflower. Taste just like artichokes, roast or use just like you would potatoes), and was finally starting to readjust to real life and post Europe jet lag and exhaustion. My husband was home, in between a month long tour and going back to work at our home tattoo shop The Hand of Fate Tattoo Parlor, and I felt like making a nice meal and having a lovely bottle of vino to go with the return to our local reality. Pork loin, veggies, and a bottle of rosé…and I already had one in mind. The joy of living in the Finger Lakes! Hop in the car for a quick trip to one of the hundreds of local wineries…

I love the Merlot grape, I always have, and the more styles I try, the more hooked I am. Atwater’s 2014 release of the Rosé of Merlot has taken Double Gold at the 2015 Rosé Competiton at Simi Winery in California, which is a nod for the Finger Lakes area as well! According to the tasting notes: “The first vintage from our young Merlot block, planted in 2011 on the south farm, just above the water’s edge. Hand picked and cold soaked on the skins for two hours before pressing off. Limited to 38 CASES.” I heard from the tasting room that this very first harvest of merlot was almost blended into another wine, and that the rosé was a very happy accident, and incredibly limited in production to thirty-eight cases (twelve bottles per case, people. That’s it!) While I tasted the Rosè of Cabernet Franc (which I enjoyed the very delicate acidity and fruitiness) and their Pinot Bubble (which was fun with strawberry and raspberry notes and slightly sparkling), I left with a bottle of the Rosé of Merlot, even though it wasn’t available at the tasting bar. Limited release doesn’t always afford for pre-tasting! So glad I grabbed one, will be back soon for more. Very soon, considering it’s such a limited bottling! Sometimes the best wines come in th smallest batches, especially in the Finger Lakes. Winemakers here often take risks that would only happen in an up-and-coming area like this, which is still a bit on the wild side….which is more than fine with me. This merlot rosé might just be one of my new favorites!

Veggietastic

Veggietastic

My farmers market goodies

My farmers market goodies

A very simple oven roasted pork loin over fresh root veggies (and lots of garlic) was a great meal with the rosé. The Merlot was a drier rosé wine than others I had tasted at Atwater, but the light cherry/red fruit flavors and bright acidity was balanced and very complimentary with our meal. It showed very nicely with both the pork and roasted veggies-even the sunchokes! I’m glad I gave it a shot, the best experiments often happen at home around here. Perfect springtime coral pink color against a blue sky, this is a bottle of wine to grab if you have the very limited chance! (BTW Right after I went and tasted, the crew at Atwater refinished the tasting room original wood floor. I’m sure it looks spectacular-make sure to look down next time you’re there!)

April is Discover Dry Rosé Month in the Finger Lakes! Great Reason to Drink Pink

Rosé in Paris

Rosé in Paris

With April comes the start of spring-longer days, warmer temperatures, welcome sunshine and the snow melt. Blue skies see people coming out and about on the local wine trails, so the Finger Lakes has made the most of it! The month of April starts Discover Dry Rosé Month (follow the link for the website and more info) in the Finger Lakes, and it’s also THIS BoozyWife’s birthday month…a happy coincidence that I plan to take advantage of!

Dry rosé wines are gaining in popularity among younger, experimental wine crowds willing to try something different. Rosé is often associated with sweet, pink, fruity wine….and is therefore passed over. Many Finger Lakes wine makers are working hard to change that perception during the moth of April. Dry rosé wines, styled in the more European fashion, are the perfect compliment to cheeses, appetizers, and the lighter, fresh flavors that coincide with springtime locavore menu selections. Easter dinners would love to be paired with Riesling and the local dry rosé of your choice. Both are easy to drink with a difficult mashup of foods, which most large holiday dinners are. Thanksgiving as well! Dry pink (sparkling or non) is always a good bet for the table.

Pink grapes don't always make pink wine

Pink grapes don’t always make pink wine

There has been a lot written recently about the new Dry Rosé trend in the Finger Lakes, and even I wrote a post about it a couple of months back. The New York Post had a recent article ‘It’s time to give dry rosé the recognition it deserves.’ (click the link, winos) which touts the upswing in rosé sales, in addition to enlighten readers on the food friendly nature of this very easy to pair wine. It’s gaining in popularity for a reason, and the producers are noticing. Dry rosé production is way up locally in the Finger Lakes, and sweet was queen here not long ago….sweet rosé is still very popular, but not always the assumed style here nowadays (thank the gods). I personally love a dry merlot rosé, as well as a few of the many blends we have here…and am SO excited to try the new releases this month around the Finger Lakes! I’ll definitely let you in on my favorites (Already looking forward to Atwater, Damiani, Keuka Springs, Hosmer, many others!!) around the lakes this month.

Rosé paired with steak tartare in Paris

Rosé paired with steak tartare in Paris

BoozyWife side note ** I (yes, little old me) paired our incredible meal of steak tartare at Au Boeuf Couronne (after the Mondial tattoo convention) with a lovely dry rosé and it was PERFECT.

Husband highly approved, although even HE was sceptical of a dry rosé on my recommendation. Once he tasted the light acidity with the delicate flavors of the dish, he was sold. Initially, there was some resistance to something he rarely drinks. I think the pairing made an impression on him, but who knows, it could have just been an evening out in Paris.

Happy husband with dry rosé and beef tartare in Paris

Happy husband with dry rosé and beef tartare in Paris

ICYMI-Repost from #Terroirist – Interview with #Fingerlakes #WineMaker August Deimel

View from the Tasting Room

View from the Tasting Room

Me and August going Gewurtztraminer :)

Me and August going Gewurtztraminer :)

While we were traveling, one of my favorite Finger Lakes winemakers (and individuals) was interviewed for Terroirist Daily Wine blog! August works as the head winemaker for Keuka Springs Winery in the Finger Lakes, and is super passionate about winemaking and the the area he works and lives in.

Medals, medals, everywhere....

Medals, medals, everywhere….

Very accomplished in his young career, August was a big part of the team that won the coveted NY Governors Cup for their 2012 vintage of Riesling. While the awards are nice and as well as the recognition, August is a very cool, engaging guy that loves to talk about what he loves to do. I briefly worked with his wife, Sara, and was lucky enough to meet them after recently relocating to our area. I found them both to be intelligent, engaging, and what the future of the Finger Lakes wine industry is becoming all about. Young, energetic blood!

Wine goes here

Wine goes here

As for the interview he did with Terroirist Wine Blog, here is a little sample…

“What is your general winemaking philosophy?”

“I’m too young to post an overarching winemaking philosophy. My winemaking is still a work in progress, and I wouldn’t want to claim some grand idea only to change it two years hence. I believe every vintage of wine that I’ve made so far shows significant stylistic developments. But there are a few truths that I think I’ve identified that I don’t see changing: 1) Wine is mysterious. You have to embrace the vagarities of the winemaking process. Sometimes things work or don’t work for no apparent reason. You can’t decide what you want to do a priori, you have to learn and experiment as you go. And if you pay attention, you figure out what works. 2) At the end of the day, wine quality is about texture. I was taught that with white wine, you’re going for love at first sniff: the nose, the aromatic burst, that’s the thing. Beautiful aromatics will make the people swoon. With red wine, it’s love at first sight that you’re after. That deep, dark red (or maybe purple) color will entrance people every time. These things are true so far as they go, I suppose. But what separate a great wine from the merely passable is, I believe, texture. How a wine feels in your mouth – coarse or silky, racy or flabby, balanced or awkward – is the real test of a wine’s mettle. Figuring out how to achieve that perfect mouthfeel in my wines will, I suspect, take the rest of my life.”

With the help of these young, fresh winemakers, our area will only grow in production and outstanding quality wines. It’s an exciting time to try more local wines here in our region of the Finger Lakes!

Follow the link here to read the rest of the interview with August! Www.Terroirist.com

Ramblings from Rotterdam

Streamline diner in Rotterdam

Streamline diner in Rotterdam

Booths in Rotterdam

Booths in Rotterdam

Well, I’m writing this wandering around the floor of the Rotterdam show, reflecting on my time spent abroad with my artist husband. I’m overwhelmed, honestly. I’ve met so many people with such a powerful drive and commitment to tattooing. Not just to the trade, but the lifestyle and worldwide community that I’m embraced into. It’s a traveling circus, a carnival of oddities, and a selected family. Very open, accepting, and ultimately enjoyable people on our travels.

Jan and I after Mondial

Jan and I after Mondial

Some of our most endearing tattoo community members might look rougher intimidating, and possibly might act that way if hungry or stressed out (including yours truly). Most are incredible people, true individuals and accepting, hospitable, and excited to share their culture or country with us–and help with train machines and ticket windows :)

Hubby. Orange with a straw for my cold from Jan.

Hubby. Orange with a straw for my cold from Jan.

Family is important, and we’re all considered as such at this level. Travel gave me a new perspective that I didn’t have before, even though I saw the pictures on InstaGram and heard all of the stories. To actually watch a lineup in Paris reach around the entire hall blocks long is much more intense. To finally meet people that I only existed to on the interwebs was alone worth the journey. I can’t wait to get out there and meet more of you!!image