Hello everyone! It’s Wino Wednesday, so let’s talk about a new wine I’m trying out.
Name: Tierras Guindas Tinta de Toro
Varietal: 100% Tinta de Toro (aka Tempranillo)
Wine type: Red
Region: Toro (Northwestern Spain near the Portuguese border)
Aging: 100% French Oak
On the Nose: mixed berry, including blackberry, raspberry, plum, and cherry; slight light rose floral; fig; earth (wet mud); pink peppercorn; black pepper
On the Palate: Slightly floral; definite spice, raspberry and plum; noticeable but light tannins; noticeable but light acidity; light and viscous
Review and Info
This wine comes from the Tinta de Toro grape, also known as the Tempranillo grape. This is interesting because the people of Toro have great pride in their wine and insist that Tempranillo and Tinta de Toro are not one in the same. From all the research I’ve done, it appears that this distinction brings great controversy among the winos of the world. To be honest, I think I have to agree more with the people of Toro. Tempranillo, by contrast, feels heavier and more robust, whereas this wine is large in flavor but delicate in texture and on the tongue.
There is a local proverb in Toro, “Tomando vino de Toro, mas que comer de voro” which translates to “Drinking Toro wines is more devouring than eating.” Okay, I like these people. A lot. These are my kind of people.
The Toro region lies in the Duero River Valley region with the Cordillera Cantabrica Mountains and the Bay of Biscay to the North; the Atlantic Ocean to the West; and the Central Mountains to the South. The Duero River splits the region into two: North and South of the River. This means that the area North of the river experiences a slightly higher elevation, and as a result, colder night-time temperatures than its Southern counterpart. The higher elevation and colder temperatures are great for producing some of the finest Tempranillo grapes, as the colder temperatures allow the grape to ripen slowly, which is great for red wines. It’s Southern counterpart experiences a lower elevation and slightly higher temperatures which makes is more suited to white wine grapes.
This is a very cool wine. It is very drinkable on its own, and something I could easily serve to
guests for a cocktail hour. The light viscosity makes it feel like a Pinot Noir in some ways, but the Tinta de Toro contains much more dimension than a Pinot. It’s level of spicy, sweet, fruit, floral confusion is really quite fun. One second you are tasting the peppery spice, and in the next sip it’s like raspberries, figs and plums had a sugarplum dance in your mouth. And, at $7.99/bottle, I say WINNER!! I’ve mentioned in my previous post that I like to keep the wine under $15/bottle during the week, so this one is definitely on the weekly “can purchase” list.
The only drawback to this grape is that it tends to oxidize fairly quickly. If you open the bottle, seal it tightly or share it with friends. It’ll go bad in two days if not sealed properly.
Pairing this Wine with Food
When I began thinking about what I would pair this with, I was at quite a loss. My first thought was a nice Risotto, but I think that wouldn’t really showcase either the wine or the food well. However, a herb-encrusted lamb dish would be incredible with this wine. Not cooking lamb anytime soon? No worries, I also think a really well made cheeseburger would go well with this too. And, now that I’ve had a glass, I really want lamb and a cheeseburger.
Bitter Glitter Rating
3 stars (out of 5)
Let me know if you get a chance to try this wine! I’d love to hear what you think about it!
It’s Technique Tuesday here at Bitter Glitter! But let’s be honest, you can’t learn technique without the proper tools. So, today we are starting at the beginning with a little crash course in brushes!
First, let me say that you do NOT need all of these brushes! I have been evolving my brush collection for a while, and I’m still not in possession of ALL the brushes I want. This is just a glimpse of where I am right now, and how I use (or can use) each brush I own. As my collection grows and evolves, I will do updates in the future. In addition, these are not the only options out there. If you find something you like that’s working for you, USE IT!!
Second, when buying brushes, the main thing you start with is whether you are partial to natural or synthetic fibers/bristles. What’s the difference?
Natural fibers generally come from goat, horse, or squirrel hair and tend to be very soft. The advantage with natural fibers shines when used with dry makeup products like powders, blushes, and bronzers. These brushes tend to be more expensive, but will last longer if they are properly cleaned and cared for, which means fully washed every 7-14 days depending on the amount of makeup you use. (A brush cleaning article will come in the future.) A great advantage to natural brushes is that natural fibers contain a cuticle. This cuticle helps to pick up product in a way that a synthetic fiber cannot.
On the other hand, the fibers of synthetic brushes are made of nylon, taklon (a polyester derivative that is good for allergy-prone people), or polyester. Synthetic brushes work well with liquid or cream products such as foundation, concealer, creme blushes, creme eyeshadow, etc. The disadvantage to synthetic brushes is that they generally incur more wear and tear and must be replaced on a more frequent basis. However, there are many advantages to synthetic brushes. Synthetic bristles generally apply a softer more layered look; they are easy to clean; and are very good for those with allergies or sensitive skin.
My personal collection of brushes is a mixture of natural and synthetic brushes. And, for reference, I have pretty sensitive skin. I have not had any problems with the brushes affecting my skin or any allergies I have.
For easier categorization, I’m going to break these down into their general sterotypes and/or stated purpose. But, many makeup artists and makeup lovers like to “color outside the lines” and use brushes for a different purpose than that for which they were marketed or developed. I’ll give you examples, and explain why.
FOUNDATION 1.Real Techniques “Expert Face Brush” $8.99 at Ulta
This is my absolute favorite foundation brush. It has synthetic fibers made of taklon. The shape of the brush combined with the compactness of the fibers is a real win here for liquid or creme foundation. It allows you to buff and blend the foundation into the skin to get a flawless finish. I use it in circular motions starting from the inner most parts of the face outwards toward the hair line and jaw line. Oh, and major bonus here, the bottom is flat so you can stand it up so as not to allow countertop bacteria to get on it while you are using other brushes! Score! (This brush can also be used for powder, creme blush, and concealer.)
2. Real Techniques “Foundation Brush” $7.99 at Ulta
This is my go-to brush for events where I will be photographed or need a super high definition “air brushed” finish. Like the Expert Face Brush, the Foundation brush is made of synthetic taklon fibers. The angled end of the brush allows you to build the foundation slowly and lightly to create a flawless finish because it glides nicely around the curves of your bone structure. This is good, especially when you will be in or be photographed in harsh lighting. It also has the flat bottom so it can sit on the table. (This brush can also be used for concealer application.)
3. Real Techniques “Stippling Brush” $9.99 at Ulta
Again, made by the same company so it is made of synthetic taklon fibers. This brush is truly an all around “utility” player. It can do nearly ANYTHING!! If you are using it for foundation, I have found it works best with tinted moisturizers. It’s also fantastic for the application of loose powder because it gives that pixel perfect finish due to the extension of some but not all bristles on the end. I have also used this to apply creme blush, dry blush, creme bronzer, creme highlighter, and dry bronzer. It is a great brush for ALL mediums of makeup.
4. Sonia Kashuk “Foundation Brush” $14.29 at Target
This brush is very similar to the Real Techniques Foundation brush. Both are made of the same taklon fibers and generally yield the same results. I like this one a little bit more for two reasons. First, the handle is curved and fits nicely into the hand for a steady and even application of foundation. Second, it is a little fuller whereas the Real Techniques one is more flat. The fullness of the brush helps me to apply foundation without feeling like I’m finger painting. I have also used this brush to apply creme eyeshadows and concealer.
1. Sephora Collection “Round Powder Brush” #120 $25 on ebay (or #121 $38 at Sephora)
I love this brush for a powder brush, especially when use with a pressed powder. It is made of natural goat hair fibers. The large domed shape makes it great for applying powders or all-over bronzers. It may be the softest brush I own. Unfortunately, Sephora has discontinued this actual one (#120), and replaced it with a very similar one, called #121, made of synthetic fibers.
2. EcoTools “Bamboo Finishing Kabuki Brush” $7.99 at Ulta (also available at Wal-Mart, Target, RiteAid, Walgreens, and CVS)
This brush showcases a bamboo handle and taklon synthetic fibers. Its long wide fiber arrangement makes it great for loose powder application. I feel like this brush is really delicate and it distributes the product very delicately on my skin. It’s incredibly soft for a synthetic brush. I really feel quite dainty using this one, and it does yield really soft results.
3. Real Techniques “Setting Brush” $7.99 at Ulta
This is my every day brush!! It is made of taklon fibers and has a small, yet compact arched shape. The size and compact shape of the brush makes this one a really versatile part of my collection, and I can take it anywhere because it isn’t bulky. I use it for powder, both pressed and loose, and due to its size, I put powder ONLY in the areas that I may tend to get oily. (I have dry skin, so I don’t want to powder my whole face on certain days.) This brush allows you to get powder into the creases around the edges of the nose, right between the eyebrows, etc. It’s also great for the application of powder highlighter. You don’t want to highlight your whole face, so a small precision-driven brush is key. Last, I occasionally use this brush for blending shadows in my crease, especially if I am going for a messy smoky eye.
4. Real Techniques “Stippling Brush” — See above info in Foundation section
1. Sephora Collection “Angled Synthetic Blush #130″ $35 on ebay or Sephora Collection Pro Angled Blush #49 $32 at Sephora.
This is another case of Sephora discontinuing brushes. I have the #130, which is made of synthetic fibers, and is great for contouring due to its densely packed fibers and angled edge. I use it for contour daily; however, it is marketed as a blush brush for densely pigmented powders or creme blushes. When I purchased it, I used it for blush until I found something I liked better. The great thing about this brush is that you don’t need to stack on too much product. It holds product like no other, so a little goes a long way! Who doesn’t love conserving product?! This brush can also be used for highlight in the same manner it was used to contour. I generally use the Real Techniques Setting Brush or my fingers to highlight, but this brush can pull double duty there. The closest match in the Sephora Collection I could find was the “Pro Angled Blush #49.”
2. Random Brush I found in my collection that did not have a handle.
This is the random one. I have absolutely no clue who made it or where it came from, but I found it one day cleaning out my collection and loved the rounded wide shape and density of the fibers. Even worse, it didn’t even have a handle. Fail. But, I rescued it from brush oblivion because I thought it had a great shape for contouring around the nose area. The small rounded shape is generally an eyeshadow brush shape, but this one felt a little too wide for my lid. So, I dug in my tool box and found something that would fit onto it as a handle, and voila! If you have something in your collection you love, think of it in a different way and re-purpose it!
3. Real Techniques “Setting Brush” — See Powder section above
4. Real Techniques “Stippling Brush” — See Foundation section above
BLUSH 1. Real Techniques “Blush Brush” $9.99 at Ulta
This is the best blush brush I’ve found. It’s made of taklon fibers and can pick up some serious product, so that’s always a bonus. The rounded pointed shape is balanced by its wider shape which makes getting blush right onto the cheekbone and up toward the temple a breeze! (I also use this brush for bronzer.)
EYESHADOW 1. Lid – Mary Kay Signature Shadow Brush $10 at Mary Kay
I have had this brush forever! It’s made of natural bristles, and it works great! It’s small and compact fiber arrangement made it perfect for application of both creme and powder shadows on your lid.
2. Crease – Sephora Collection Pro Crease Brush #10 $20 at Sephora
This is just a traditional crease brush for application of shadow in the crease. I am not certain as to whether it is synthetic or natural. The Pro Crease Brush features a tapered end which allows you to get deep into the crease. The length of the fibers allow for flexibility for that same application as well as blending.
3. Outer Corner/Lid — Sephora Collection Dome Shadow #13 (now replaced with Sephora Collection Pro Domed Shadow #16 $18 at Sephora)
Another discontinued one! But the good news is that the replacement is the same thing! Yay! This brush has natural pony and goat hair fibers and is densely packed into a small dome shape. I use this to blend darker shadows into the outer corners of my crease and to precisely apply heavily pigmented shadow to the lid. Because of its density, it picks up a great amount of product and allows you to blend and/or apply in precise places. For me, this one is great with really bright colors that I don’t want all over my lid or my face for that matter.
4. Under the eye/Inner Corner — Sephora Collection Smoky Liner #24 $17 at Sephora
This is my favorite brush for creating a smoky eye, putting a small amount of shadow along the bottom lash line, and for highlighting the inner corner. It is small, thin, and pointed which allows you a very precise application in a small area. (That is, an area much smaller than the dome shadow brush will allow.) It works well with powder and creme products. I don’t know what I would do without this brush, seriously.
5. Liner – Mary Kay Signature Eyeliner/Eyebrow Brush $10
This is another one I’ve had forever, and I won’t be getting rid of it any time soon. The dense angled end of the brush is great for applying eyeshadow as liner and/or smudging liquid liner. The other end is to shape your brows. There’s nothing fancy about this brush. It’s pretty run of the mill, but it works really well.
I hope you’ve enjoyed Technique Tuesday: Brushes Edition! I am constantly coveting new brushes and evolving my collection. There are several MAC brushes I’ve had my eyes on for a while, but I like purchasing brushes one at at time. It feels more like a collection for me when I do that, and it’s less expensive! (or it feels that way) If you’re interested in learning how to properly clean your brushes, I’ve done a post on that too. Check that post out here.
Comment below and let me know which brushes are your favorites! Is there one you love that I need to try? Which brush have I listed that you are dying to go try?
*Names have been changed to protect the Guilty and the Embarrassed.
Boss* and I decided to go out for lunch one nice day. Boss is NOT a quiet person. (Think of a 6’2″ Nene Leakes with a hell of a brain and a spark plug for a personality.) She is loud, as in the type of person who couldn’t whisper if she tried.
As we enter the restaurant, we are seated at a table by the hostess, but simultaneously see a colleague we know seated with a young gentleman. (herein “Gentleman”) They invite us to join them for lunch. We wiffle-waffle and say “no thank you.” Boss debates with herself and the “me” she believes may express an invisible opinion. I sit in my chair, flash a warm smile, and say “no thank you, we’re fine.” At that moment, Boss says “Oh come on, Glitter,* lets join them. MOVE!” (À la military drill sergeant voice).
I stand. I remove my coat from the back of the chair and grab my purse. I take two steps toward the table a mere six feet away from me, and at the moment my right Calvin Klein heel clicks against the wood floor, I hear, “DON’T WORRY, Glitter, HE’S ENGAGED!” in the loudest voice possible. It’s so loud, in fact, a bull horn would have been more subtle. The entire restaurant goes silent, turns, and looks at us. You could hear a pin drop. No utensils clinking on plates. No jiggling of ice in water glasses. No chatter. Nothing. Nothing but unadulterated embarrassing silence and stares that are ripe with curiosity. Even the waitresses are still, balancing trays of food on atop their hands, staring.
What the eff? Do I look that desperate. Holy sh@!, I must. In the 25 seconds it took for us to move to the table, Boss had already debriefed the well-dressed young gentleman and analyzed his potential to actually take me on a date. The realization then hits me: I now have to sit down and eat lunch with these people. What else could possibly go wrong?
Gentleman now thinks I am going to pounce him like a lion eating prey. I can see the fear in his eyes, and the rigidity in his face; the preparation to the brace of awkwardness. He must think I’m going to swallow him whole as I sit. He appears legitimately scared. This lunch is going SO WELL!
In an effort to restore normal lunching procedure, I drape my coat around the back of the chair. I then drape my tiny Coach messenger purse around the small wooden chair’s finial. I turn and pivot on my left heel, and sit down. Well, I attempt to sit down, and there is NO CHAIR!!! Where is the damn chair!? What is happening? My brain is yelling, “Hey, Universe, SERIOUSLY?!” Apparently the weight of my very small bag combined with my coat was just too much for this chair to handle. It gave up and collapsed on the floor behind me. In my slow descent toward the floor, my awesome cat-like reflexes managed to land me in some Salt-n-Peppa “Push It” video sexually suggestive break-dancing move. I have both high heels firmly planted on the floor along with my right arm; my hips are in the air placing me in some weird backbend position; and my left arm is flailing in the air above me like a solid gold dancer.
I stand up, and gracefully (or what I believe is the most graceful way to maneuver out of the Salt-n-Peppa-backbend-disco position), put my coat around the back of the chair. AGAIN!I drop my purse on the floor in despair and plop down in the chair.
The entire restaurant is looking at me like I am some socially awkward alien. But I can also see each of them trying desperately to hold back loud guffaws. I mean, hey, it’s hilarious when someone gets embarrassed and then falls, right?
I look at Boss and say, “It’s bad enough that you have to make me look desperate, but did you really have to kick out my chair?” The entire restaurant laughs. I feel a little vindicated. Thank God Boss was a good sport about that comment.
Glitter’s Quick Wit: 1 (FINALLY!!)
I later relayed this entire incident to my mother, who laughed uncontrollably at my series of unfortunate events. She asked but one question: “Well, were you wearing underwear?” MOM!!! But to answer that question, I am thankful I was wearing pants that day. A dress would’ve landed me in a far worse moment.
Stay Glittery, Daters!
Do you have an embarrassing dating moment you’d like featured on Bitter Glitter? If so, email your stories to BitterGlitterBlog@gmail.com with “Dating Disaster” in the subject line. Rest assured that Bitter Glitter will never use your real name or any real name contained in your story. Bitter Glitter will always maintain your privacy and will never sell your email address or personal information to third parties.
Gumbo is a delectable fall/winter-time dish commonly served in South Louisiana. The word Gumbo itself stems from the African influence and the Creole culture. I’m from South Louisiana, so for those of you who aren’t, Gumbo is basically a really delicious soup served over rice that can be made with seafood, wild game, or chicken combined with andouille sausage.
Pairing a wine with a soup can be confusing. Most of you have probably heard the old adage “red sauce = red wine; white sauce = white wine; dark meat = red wine; and light meat/fish = white wine,” but this isn’t always the case! Because gumbo can be made with different types of protein, you want to take into account the protein you are using. Last night, I made a chicken, duck, and andouille sausage gumbo, which is a light meat (chicken) paired with a darker meat (duck), so that old adage won’t work if we are trying to stick to it religiously. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great rule of thumb if you are just getting into wine and are worried about what to serve your guests. However, I also realize that many people are solely white wine drinkers or solely red wine drinkers, so I’m going to give you some great pairings, both red and white!
WHITE WINE PAIRING
White wine with gumbo is a FANTASTIC pairing because gumbo tends to be spicy. The heat and spice is well balanced by a dry white wine. This is because the acidity level in the white wine balances the spice and intensity of the heat you find in gumbo. Acidity is that “bite” or stimulation of the salivation glands; when you suck in, you need water and your tongue kind of puckers up like you’re devouring a handful of Sour Patch Kids candy. To balance that acidity, I would recommend sticking with a dry or drier white such as:
Alsace Reisling (France)
Chenin Blanc (France)
Fumé Blanc (France)
Unoaked Chardonnay (California, Oregon, or France) (the higher the altitude, the better, i.e. St. Helena, CA)
RED WINE PAIRING
Red wine can be equally fantastic with gumbo, but BE CAREFUL here!!! You DO NOT want a big full bodied red wine because it will overpower the delicate flavors of gumbo. If you have delicate flavors, you’ll need a delicate wine, so steer clear of a Cabernet Sauvignon. So, if you are exclusively a red wine drinker, you’ll want to choose a light to medium bodied red, which should land you in the Pinot Noir section of the wine store. A lighter bodied red is good here because it has fewer tannins. Tannins usually come from the skin of the grape during the wine making process, and will generally give you the “tongue sticking to the top of your mouth” feeling (like when you feed your dog peanut butter). Tannins produce the darker flavors in a red wine such as a “nutty flavor” or a “dark chocolate,” “cinnamon,” or “clove” flavor. So, for red wine, keep it light and try one of these:
Pinot Noir (Oregon’s Willamette Valley has my favorites!! My all time favorite Pinot Noir is Moises Pinot Noir from Oregon. The winemaker is a New Orleans native, and I have taken a wine class from him. He’s fantastic! His wine is SO SO SO delicious!!!)
Chateauneuf du Pape (France) (this is a blend, generally 13 grapes you’ve probably never heard of. If you love red blends, this is a great choice for you.)
Pinotage (South Africa) (this is a cross between the Pinot Noir grape and the Cinsault grape)
Grenache or Grenache Blend/aka Côte du Rhone (France) or Garnacha (Spain)
FEELING DARING? TRY A ROSÉ
If you’re feeling really daring, you can also try a Rosé. If you’ve never tried Rosé or are serving guests, this is not the time to start experimenting with a new wine. But, if you want to hit the ground running, go for it! Rosé is one of my absolute favorite wines, and ANY one from Provence, France or made in the Provence style is a hands down winner. If you’re interested in going this route, stick to French Rosé, and look on the bottle for “Provence.” If you find a Rosé from California, look on the bottle for “Provence Style Rosé.” It’ll be dry, not sweet, but it will provide the same effect as the white wine with a great balance. Nonetheless, seeing as how gumbo is more of a fall/winter-time dish, I think sticking with a white or red is your best bet, especially if you are serving guests. You don’t want to present your guests with a wine they’ve never tried and risk feeling like a less-than-proper hostess.
WHAT I CHOSE
During the week, I try to keep the wine under $15/bottle. I was feeling more keen on white wine last night, so I went with the Joel Gott Unoaked Chardonnay from Sonoma, California (available at your local grocery store). This is an affordable choice at $13, and pretty damn good! It’s drinkable on its own, but great paired with gumbo. The “unoaked” part simply means that it is not aged in oak barrels, so you won’t get that big thick “buttery” flavor that often accompanies most Napa Chardonnays. Instead, the wine is aged in stainless steel which is going to impart a more “mineral-y” feel to it, which is a super win for my palate!
I’d leave you with a gumbo recipe, but I don’t cook with strict recipes. I usually just call my momma and say, “okay, what next?” If you’re interested in a great recipe, I’ll find one for you. Leave a comment, say hello, and/or let me know if you have any questions.
Thank you for stopping in to check out Bitter Glitter. I aim to bring beauty reviews, dating disasters, wine knowledge, and the occasional DIY project to your fingertips, all with a little sass and fun.
My first post should be an actual makeup review, but I decided to save the $7, and put it towards the beginning of this blog. So, that review will come soon, just not today. However, for reviews, I will always be honest with you. I am not paid, sponsored or endorsed by any company. For transparency, if I am provided products by a company, I will let you know how I received those products in the review. With that said, I will always give my honest opinion whether the product is great or awful. If you have specific products you would like to see reviewed, please comment below, and “I’ll be right on top of that, Rose.” (if that doesn’t make sense to you, please go watch Mom, The Babysitter’s Dead with Christina Applegate.)
You will also find wine reviews here. I am a wine enthusiast and have a host of friends who enjoy this little drink as much as I. We drink a lot of wine, we talk about a lot of wine, and we do our research. Specifically, you’ll find information on the wine itself, including price, varietal, vintage, region, and tasting notes. Everyone’s palate is different, so please remember that my favorite wine might be your most hated, and vice versa. But, I will also provide you with tips on how you can discover what your palate likes and how to shop for those wines simply by looking at the labels.
In addition to wine and beauty, we WILL discuss some serious dating blunders. Some of them will be mine, some will be friends’ stories, and some will be some we’ve heard through the grapevine. You’ll never know who is who or where the story came from as I will change the names to protect the guilty and the embarrassed. If you have a great dating story and would like it to be featured on Bitter Glitter, please email it to BitterGlitterBlog@gmail.com with “Dating Story” in the subject line! Let’s make it interactive, and keep it clean. I reserve the right to edit profanity or vulgar content.
I look forward to what’s to come. I’m so glad you’re here!