The American Cousin

I know… Bryan Adams drove a red one in the movie….

Running errands and dropped into my local Kroger this afternoon to be greeted with a Rosé Cadillac.

Even nicer, I got a chance to meet the guy behind the wine, the American version, Charles Bieler, of Bieler Pére et Fils. I’ve kept the Aix-En-Provence “Sabine” rosé on regular rotation at home for a couple of years now. Now, it was time to sip the Washington State version. Yum! How I love spring and miss St. Raph.

Le fils, Charles, of Bieler Pére et Fils, with the autographed bottles that are now on my bar.

“I like to say it’s the brash American cousin of French rosé. The French you have to lean in to. The American comes right up to you,” he explained. “I wanted to show that we could make an elegant (or did he say ‘sophisticated’?) rosé in America and Washington State has the vineyards to do it… ”

Twenty years of success has proved him right. Follow Insta @BielerWines #roseroadtrip. I hope you get a chance to meet him. I wish I could have stayed around longer.

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“‘Twas the Night…”

As we leap headlong into Christmas and preparations for the New Year, I’d like to recommend a practice that I’ve been following for much of this past year. It’s been wonderful for my outlook and I think you’ll embrace the feelings that it generates.

For once, I’m not prattling on about clothing, or manners, or even food. On the contrary, this is pure Personal Maintenance Time.

I’ve been studying a lot of Stoicism lately and have, as a consequence, been journaling a lot more consistently. One of the more frequent entries in my daily journal (aside from weather and any important global news) is a reflection on those things for which I’m grateful. Some days there may be a few as one or two items; others, a dozen. But it always gives me a moment’s pause and puts a smile on my face. It also helps to curb my acquisitiveness.

“The Daily Stoic Journal” and a Visconti Bronze Age fountain pen.

Having thrown out that bold remark, I will also say that my journaling is done with pen and paper. Which does involve a bit of kit. In my case fountain pens and fountain pen friendly notebooks.

I have my favorites, but even among the 14K gold nibs, specially ground nibs, exclusive designs and materials, there are fun, functional, and inexpensive pens for everyday use.

A Moleskine A5 size journal and a Jinhao 159 fountain pen whose size mimics a Montblanc Meisterstück.

Might I suggest buying yourself or someone very special a gift of creative freedom? The notebook and pen that you pick may spawn a life-long pleasure and a really nice habit.

AC Moore Fabriano notebook and Lamy Safari in Petrol Blue.

During my morning journaling tomorrow, I will notice that ’twas the night before that I felt truly grateful for all of you who take a moment to read Easy and Elegant Life and reflect a bit on what the good life is all about.

Clairfontaine’s amazing paper perfect bound into an A5 dot grid notebook and the TWSBI Diamond 580 demonstrator pen.

Merry Christmas,


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That’s What To Do With a Knit Button-Down Shirt!

I’ve not been able to wear this shirt on its own. It is a knit piqué and tends to emphasis my over-indulged waistline. But I discovered that it works beautifully under a sweater and doesn’t bunch up at all! Perfect for layering.

Thought I’d pass that along for the holiday season.

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