Filed In: Out N Lou

Waterfront Wednesday

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Bota Box, but as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that keep this blog up and running!

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One of my favorite things about the warmer months here in Louisville is hands down Waterfront Wednesday. For you non-Louisville folks, it’s a free monthly concert that a local radio station puts on from April until September. It’s an incredible time to come together with friends and the rest of the city and celebrate all the things that make Louisville what it is. 

For me and my crew we usually meet up before heading down at our friend Mo’s place. She lives a few blocks from Waterfront Park and has a gorgeous outdoor space to boot. It’s the perfect spot to meet up and indulge in a few glasses of wine before we head out. Our latest obsessions? Bota Box

With Bota Box‘s compact packaging they’re the perfect wine to help you enjoy a night in the great outdoors. Especially since there’s no glass bottle or corkscrew to fuss with. Which means they’re a fool-proof way to enjoy your favorite beverage without making a mess, no matter where the night takes you. 

They are a budget-friendly wine option without forgoing wine quality. They sourced their wines from select vineyards and winemakers with decades of experience craft each one. And thanks to Bota Box‘s state of the art bag-in-box technology all their wines keep fresh for up to four weeks after opening. How? Because their design prevents exposure to wine’s enemy – air. Meaning that each glass is as fresh as the first. 

Bota has earned over 30 Gold Medals in competitions since 2011, as well as 35 “Best Buy” ratings from Wine Enthusiast magazine. In other words, they are not like the boxed wines of yesteryear. Plus all their packaging is environmentally friendly. They are committed to lessen the environmental impact of wine production and transpiration through smart, alternative packaging. 

Over the last couple of weeks my friends and I have tried a handful of Bota’s offerings, including Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, and myself favorite, Cabernet Sauvignon. And trust me when I say, you can’t go wrong. So now it’s your turn to find Bota at your local retailer and try them out for yourself. 

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Kentucky Derby 101

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It’s officially the best week of the year for Louisville residents – Derby week. From the parties, to the food, long days spent at the track, and literally every single thing in between this week is a blast. An exhaustive blast, that’s definitely a marathon vs. a sprint, but a blast none-the-less. 

Which is why I’ve teamed up with Thorntons (one of the top independently owned convenience store chains in the nation) to share a few Kentucky Derby Survival Tips. In an effort to help set all of y’all up for success for the week ahead. Alongside their trio of bourbon-themed limited editions offerings they’ve got everything you need to throw the perfect Derby party. Including, but not limited to, crushed iced to make yourself a batch or two of mint juleps. Because who doesn’t love a one-stop shop?

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Fuel Up

As I said before, Derby week really is a marathon not a sprint. I always swear by the magical powers of coffee, but even more so this time of year. And with Thornton’s Bourbon Vanilla Latte you can enjoy the taste that permeates through this week, even when on the go. But of course, don’t forget to stay hydrated as well. Because long days at the track are always followed by an even longer night of party hopping. 

Plan Ahead

Stock up on all your Derby party essentials before your guests begin to arrive, and always, always, always pick up a few more of each thing on your list than you think you’ll need. Guests need to stick around a little longer once the bourbon starts flowing, and good times are being had by all. 

Get Food

As much as I love to cook and wow my guests with original recipes there’s just not enough time in the day to do it all. Which is why when I’m picking up crushed iced for my Mint Juleps at Thorntons I also load up on their ready to go food – all made by a real cook in about 3 minutes. From the Bourbon Ball Donut to the Johnsonville BBQ Bourbon Sausage they’ve literally got something for everyone. And what better way to celebrate the “Fastest Two Minutes in Sports” than with bourbon inspired treats?! 

As if this deal wasn’t sweet enough already Thorntons teamed up with local Chef, Matt Jamie from Bourbon Barrel Foods, to bring bourbon to the forefront of Derby parties this year. Having people over to “pre-game” before heading to the track? Then you’re in luck because now you can pre-order the Bourbon Ball Donuts by the dozen by visiting your local Thorntons. Trust me when I say that your guests will love you, I know that my boyfriend did when I surprised him with these over the weekend. 

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Take a Break

I learned one thing last year from trying to do it all, and that’s to take a break between festivities. If you’ve got a busy schedule after the races, as I’m sure most of you do, leave the track an hour or two early. You’ll avoid the heinous amount of traffic. And you’ll get a chance to eat some much needed food and take a load off. Because even as a guy, my feet were killing me by the end of day one last year. 

Relax and Enjoy

Last but not least, don’t forget to enjoy it! Because this time of year only comes around once a year. And most of us begin the countdown for next year while we’re still nursing our wounds from the current year. At the end of the weekend you’re going to be tired and ready to not leave your house for a few days, but we all know that we wouldn’t trade these few days for anything.