A weekly round-up of what gave me the feeling of sunshine, my favorite sip & my reflections. Welcome to Sunshine and Sips in the Time of Quarantine!
This hopefully-weekly list will be a small pocket of sunshine, to highlight what gave me energy, joy and fed my soul during the week. An attempt to help my brain not to overlook small joys and practice gratitude. And I’ll never pass the opportunity to share what I’ve been sipping on! This is not a place for fake positivity, COVID-19 still sucks hard and I am definitely not immune to the depressing and energy suppressing effects it has on most people.
Happy if you’re reading along and if you want to, share your joys in the comments below!
The simple joy of shopping in a bookstore
I get such a sense of calm when I open and inhale the smell of books. It’s always been comforting to me, having grown up always reading, a way to escape away into another world whenever needed. Last weekend a friend came to visit me, and she had the fantastic idea to make an appointment to go book shopping! I had not been in a store in a long time (wine and groceries don’t count haha), and it felt as if we were about to go on a true adventure.
We went to the Slegte, which I love as they have many second-hand books. Going in with no expectations or specific wishes made it more exciting, and more stressful! Where to start… by combing through the many art books (I want all of them)? Or checking the food and wine section first for new cookbooks? Should I start with sci-fi, or go through the novels? Should I even be buying more books? Yes, I had a little panic moment! However, once I focused a little and made sure there were no art books I had to have, I started going through the English novels. After having a quick look at the secondhand wine section, I bought six books.
On Sunday morning, I savored the moment when I got to sit with a cup of coffee and go through my new books. A book with 101 wine areas in the world (so much information 😍), Zadie Smith, the first book of Asimov’s Foundation series, One Hundred Years of Solitude (which is also one of my Mom’s favorite books), Vestal Fire (my wildcard) and a book by Alain de Botton. I will share the list of books I’ve enjoyed this year soon!
Date night: Cocktails and bites from Café Annabel
A friend of mine reached out that her SO had started working at a new Bistropub Café Annabel in The Hague. They’re offering weekly takeaway boxes with cocktails and small bites, to share what they will be serving once they open. My SO and I decided to make it into a date night, something that we try to do once a week. The tequila-based cocktail was splendid with the ceviche, the stronger berry cocktail went great with the sweet soy pork belly. Every small bite was an adventure as we didn’t have a description of what each dish was, but that just added to the fun.
They are selling the boxes each week – get a sneak peek on their Instagram, and order them through 06 2153 4670.
My favorite wine store in Rotterdam, a place of pure sunshine!
Every time I step inside this wine store, I feel excited, happy, and slightly nervous. The nervousness comes from a long time ago when I first started buying wine. I was always anxious that someone in a wine store would laugh at my nonexistent knowledge, or figure out I had no idea what I was talking about. To be honest, I had the same fear when I started going to Peeters wine store. However, it quickly became my favorite wine store in Rotterdam! Anytime I ask a silly question, they happily explain more about the wine, make time for a chat if time allows, and excitedly show me wines they think I may find interesting. Also, something I find super important; they have never made me feel bad for asking for wines under a specific budget.
Last week I had the pleasure of visiting with my friend from Amsterdam. The owner Moritz, happily took us around the store, sharing some cool and fun new wines they had received. One of them is my sip of the week! Other wines bought included one from a Portuguese wine-making family, of which one daughter makes Pét-Nat (see the last edition of Sunshine & Sips to find out what this is), whilst the father makes more traditional style wines. The other two included an easy wine for drinks later, and an Aligoté, which my SO named the ‘chicken skin wine’ (yes this is a positive finding haha!)
The relaxedness, passion for wine, and friendliness make it so that even if I move to the other side of Rotterdam, I’m still cycling all the way to Peeters! If you’d like to visit, you can find them online here & the store at Vasteland 56
3011 BM Rotterdam.
Sips: Sunshine & Austrian Pinot Noir
In some of the wine tastings I have given for friends, I’ve regularly stressed that bad wine doesn’t exist. In my opinion, wine, like food, can be enhanced by the circumstances where you have it. A simple bottle of cold white wine can be the best wine when consumed with friends in the park, on a hot summer day. A complex bottle of beautiful red wine is enhanced by good food and a romantic date. There is a place and time that will enhance most wines.
My sunshine sip of this week was very hard to choose but stood out due to the circumstances where it was enjoyed. Watching the clouds move by over Rotterdam, cozily gathered around a table in our apartment with my SO and friend. The conversation was easy and fun, brought along by the energy you get when you see friends after a long time and have so much to catch up on. The wine was enhanced by all of these emotions and the conversation, and was sipped easily and way too quickly.
The creepy cool label just makes me love the wine more. Austrian Pinot Noir made by a former butcher (hence the label), which has main aromas of strawberry, cherries, and red berries. Super easily to drink, I will be going back to Peeters Wijnhandel for some more (and to try the others). Buy it here and read more about the winemaker here (German only, sorry!).
If you have any sunshine, sips or sadness you’d like to share, please do so below! More episodes will be published under the Fiery Living category.