I approve: Sex and the City (the movie)

While I have always been an avid watcher of Sex and the City the TV show, I've never been one of those "What Would Carrie Do" or "What Would Carrie Wear" people. Mostly, while watching, I would try to figure out which character I would be if I had to be one. I lack Carrie's amazing ability to teeter in Manolos for hours on end, Charlotte's maternal nature (blech), Miranda's cynicism at the thought of true love, and Samantha's lubrication. Needless to say, I never really decided which one I am.

Anyways, after reading 1,000 reviews on the movie, both online and in my greater Cedar Rapids Gazette, I came to the conclusion that this movie was going to blow. The critics said that the character development was lacking and that the 2+ hours were filled with corny one-liners and nothing else. Oh, and shoes.

This is true.

The critics, however, failed to mention one other problem - the movie's HORRIBLE production. In almost every scene you CAN SEE THE MICROPHONES HANGING FROM THE CEILING. I expected more from a movie that manages to feature almost every major fashion designer.

Despite all its drawbacks, however, I still loved the movie. So much, in fact, that I'm seeing it for the second time in one day. No number of production mistakes and lack of plot cohesiveness can kill my love of the perfect combination of every woman; Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte. And, of course, their killer clothes and shoes.


2008 Beauty Awards

Chelsea's first annual 2008 beauty product awards. coming soon. get ready.


I approve: Boxed Wine

Now, before you begin hating on boxed wine, I'd like to remind you of all the good times you have had together. Remember? circa 2003? All post-Franzia migraines aside, boxed wine has been good to you. So good, in fact, that a plethora of other wine companies have tried to get in on the boxed wine phenomenon, and believe it or not, they're making it trendy.

Bon Appetit features what they believe to be the top 5 boxed wines, along with a list of food pairings (one meaty, and one meatless...yay veg!) And while I'm sure most of you will A) never search out these wines and B) never attempt to cook the accompanying meals, the good news is that at least you have further cultured yourself on the fine art of wine-in-a-box.

I must say, however, where is the Fish Eye? I have been eyeing (pun unfortunately intended) the new Fish Eye ads for the latest "cask" (a classy way to say "boxed") wine, and am interested. I may just have to invest in one for the next TigerX party....a bunch of lightweight fitness buffs getting drunk off one glass of Blush, classic.

Top 5 Box Wines

These party-friendly wines cost less, keep longer, and are easier to open than regular bottles
By Jeffery Lindenmuth

Box wines (a.k.a. boxed wines) have become popular in recent years because they hold more wine than a single bottle, they're light and recyclable, they're easy to open and reseal, they chill quickly, and they won't break if you drop them.

Three Thieves Bandit Pinot Grigio 2006

Three Thieves Bandit Pinot Grigio 2006

(about $9, 1 liter)

The irreverent winemakers who bucked the trends by producing quality wine in jugs a few years back now tackle the Tetra Pak format (specially designed aseptic cartons) with their line of Bandit wines. In a world where so much Pinot Grigio is vapid, this California wine shows more character than most bottled versions. The aromatic nose starts out as Granny Smith apple and green Jolly Rancher candy with hints of banana, giving way to papaya and crenshaw melon. It is rounded and medium-full-bodied, with bright acidity and a lingering finish.

Meaty Recipe Pairing: Meatless Recipe Pairing:
Fish, Clam, and Mussels with White Wine and Garlic

Pizza Bianca with Rosemary and Sea Salt

French Rabbit Pinot Noir Vin de Pays d'Oc 2006

French Rabbit Pinot Noir Vin de Pays d'Oc 2006

(about $10, 1 liter)

This wine from Limoux, which boasts some of the higher-altitude vineyards in southern France's Languedoc region, is the best in the French Rabbit lineup (from a company that makes only box wines). Black cherry, mixed berry fruit aromas, and hints of leathery earth give it a quintessential Pinot Noir profile. Overall, it's easy-drinking and food-friendly, with loads of refreshing mouthwatering acidity.

Meaty Recipe Pairing: Meatless Recipe Pairing:
Perfect Roast Chicken

Truffled Taleggio and Mushroom Pizza

Hardys Shiraz South Eastern Australia 2006

(about $19, 3 liters)

This is the same wine you'll find in a bottle, so if you enjoy jammy Shiraz, why not save a few bucks with the bag-in-box, referred to as a "cask" in Australia, where the package is as commonplace as kangaroos. The wine evokes warm blueberry pie, with hints of vanilla ice cream and toasty American oak, and just enough tannin to balance the ripe berries. What this wine lacks in complexity it makes up for in plush, exuberant, juicy fruit.

Meaty Recipe Pairing: Meatless Recipe Pairing:
Lamb Chops with Pomegranate Relish

Beet Carpaccio with Goat Cheese and Arugula

Black Box Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles

Black Box Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles 2006

(about $22, 3 liters)

Most box wines are made in such large quantities that they sport extremely vague regions such as "California" or "Australia" or "Planet Earth." This Paso Robles has appellation prestige and tastes great. The initial aromatic punch of toasty oak and vanilla subsides to reveal sweet, black cherry fruit and hints of licorice. There is black currant and kirsch on the palate too, with nicely balanced, fine tannins.

Meaty Recipe Pairing: Meatless Recipe Pairing:
Herb-Rubbed Top Sirloin Steak with Peperonata
Black Bean and Roasted Tomato Soup

Le Bord'Eaux Merlot, 2005

Le Bord'Eaux Merlot, 2005

(about $28, 3 liters)

How often do you get to enjoy real Bordeaux without the angst of popping a pricey cork? This wine comes from the exalted 2005 vintage of Bordeaux and lives up to the expectations. The Merlot shows nice mocha and cherry flavors, with the sort of structure and polished tannins that will allow it to stand up to a variety of meats.

Stilton Pairing: Blue Cheese Pairing:
Brined and Barbecued Turkey

Risotto with Leeks, Shiitake Mushrooms, and Truffles