Fun With Brunch At The Cottage

Have I mentioned that therapy is not my thing?

Listen, I know we all need it. We all have the demons, the uncontrollable outrageous rages, the memories that do not fade away, the haunting doubts – I can continue, but really don’t want to because it FRIGHTENS ME TO MY CORE to let that stuff out. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time digging a grave in my head for those heartaches. Shouldn’t I just leave them there?

But, have I mentioned my body dysmorphia of late? The menopause train that is still speeding its way into my world – physical and mental anguish included – is not stopping, and has a troubling plan of anguish in it’s midst. Even the MENTION of menopause makes a listener turn their head, giggle uncomfortably, and – I know – has them wishing I would shut my mouth. I say screw that – we need talk about this. How can I find a solution to not going nuts from these hormones, as well as discontinuing the horrific body destruction that is taking place. I took a look at the obvious; who can help me that is already present in my life.

Right under my nose – literally, she is adorably tiny – was Christine D’Angelo – a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Crossfit Coach, mom of three, and all around authentic human already hanging out in my life. I asked for help, which is something I know you need to do, but takes us “I can do everything on my own” personas a hot minute to recognize. She is not here to TELL me what to do, but rather guide me on my own wellness journey. What I have come to understand is that I KNOW what to do, but maybe don’t know how to put it all together, or where my hurdles begin and end. One moment I’m laughing, then I’m in tears, then my mind is rolling on my new plan; all because of her navigation. I can go on and on about her, this process, the tissue boxes I am now investing in – but I’m going to tell you the ONE thing (there are about 20 more) I am working on now. The ONE thing that none of us think of, plan, celebrate, give energy to….

I’m going to put more fun in my life.

I have never supervised my own fun. I relied on others to plan out dinners, parties, outings. The “others” I am referring to are no longer in my life; now I have the responsibility of “eventing” on my own. This takes a lot of work! What I am learning from Christine is that just looking around at what I already do or already enjoy is PART of that fun. It doesn’t need to be “tasked out”.

Quick list of two of my favorite things; wine and brunch.

I’m really into breakfast. I think of it as a luxury. Alone, or preferably in a group, so many things can happen at breakfast. Is it the fact that your mind is sharp in the morning/late afternoon, or that it can be a spontaneous thing, or that you are releasing into a moment filled with a mixture of sweet and savory goodness? It’s like you can eat ANYTHING you want, and allow ANYTHING to happen. To add to my plan of fun, I organized a brunch – for three. A sort of last minute idea, after a heavy and sweaty workout on a Sunday, casual, and full of great food and wine.

I wanted to share my top three choices of what I would offer and consumed on that Sunday afternoon alongside of omelettes and pancakes. This is basically what I pulled out of my fridge that day:

Jansz, Non Vintage, Sparkling Wine – Tasmania, Australia:

We all know you need a bubble; it just puts a smile on your face, and at the same time refreshes your palate, and pairs with EVERYTHING you may be consuming. It allows us to have a palate “do over” or reset after hollandaise, French toast, roast beef – shall I go on? This wine is NOT champagne, but made with the same method. (bubble blog on the list to explain this further if needed) My perception is that I still get the texture I love with champagne, but a core of green apple and semblance that I crave with brunch. Where there is a creamy texture, there is also a driving acidity highlighted by flavors of Anjou pear. I enjoy this wine all throughout brunch, and then afterwards….

Pewsey Vale, Riesling “Contours”- Eden Valley, Australia:

If I mention Riesling, please know I am talking about a dry style of the varietal. Sure, we could go another route; but no, let’s not. And I’m snobby about this – I just need to be. The Riesling grape can perform at such a high standard, and take certain foods to another level for you. You can have spicy (this wine and Thai food though…), or with meats and fish it will also shine. These wines can be lean, petrol driven (don’t let this turn you off – its actually pretty in a way) and delightful when aged like this. It’s like telling your kid “when you get older you will understand” – the aged Rieslings understand. With this wine, I get flavors anywhere from Butterscotch, Lemon Candy, and Citrus Preserves, to Smoke, Mushrooms, and Lime. It may sound bizarre putting all these flavors together, but that is the mystery and unveiling of a good Riesling. There is so much in this story of a grape. This wine is also certified sustainable, organic, and high scoring. Why would you not?

Yalumba, Sam’s Collection, Viogner – Australia:

I want to drink a wine that will not mask the flavors of brunch – however, these are some bold flavors! I don’t want to open a bottle of chardonnay, but just because that is not a wine I usually reach for. (even though I can name a bunch that would be wonderful). The Vee-oh-nay grape will give you the weight in the wine you are looking for, without the over oak influence, as well as highlighting supportive “brunch flavors” such as peach, mango, honeysuckle and vanilla. It can be a little “girly” – by that, I mean it can be light and pretty, floral, easy going. However, this wine from Yalumba has more of a structure and finesse – this allows the wine to pair with many and all the bold flavors going around the table. (think of that syrup dripping down your chin met with punch of acidity and creaminess – yes mama) I also love this wine with anything spicy, roasted, and caramelized.

These wines are great, but that’s not what brunch, or any meal is to me – it’s the people and situation I find myself in that brings on the enjoyment. It’s the combination of food, wine, or no wine, but PEOPLE, or just by yourself – this is what brings on my fun. Any time I can sit, release my mind, listen or involve myself in laughter, reflect, or just be – this is where my place is, and where I want to surrender to. Let my kitchen be the oasis!

Want to know more about Christine D’Angelo and her talent at making me feel like a new person? Check out her website; , or shoot me a note if you want to know more about the process I am in. Our mental abilities are worth it – now more than ever, and always moving forward. All mental balances can be worked on, recognized, and accepted. This body is astonishing me every day, but does not have the authority for a take over of my state of being. It’s a process – but one I am ready for thanks to help like this!

Leave a Reply

About Me

It doesn’t take magic to transport yourself through flavors and stories. This is what keeps me up at nights; what narrative does wine have to reveal to me, and how does your experience begin a journey I can help host. My name is Susan, and I am just like you; curious, full of nothing but love, and ready to learn more.

Recent Articles
%d bloggers like this: