OCT 13, 2015

NEW EXHIBIT: Moberg Gallery will host an opening reception this Friday, Oct. 16, for "Four Solos," featuring the works of TJ Moberg, Derrick Breidenthal, Gary Kelley, and Aaron Wilson and Tom Dooley. Pictured: TJ Moberg, "Strawberry Banana" (detail), 2015; latex paint on panel, 52 by 52 inches.
A Stylish Sunroom Addition Creates a Bright and Cozy Retreat
Whether it's sunlit or warmed by the fireplace, this modern sunroom is a beautiful family sanctuary that enhances the charm of a 100 year-old farmhouse. ... Read More »
UNEXPECTED IOWA: The new issue of ia, dsm's sister publication, was unveiled last week at a festive and fun party hosted by the University of Iowa at the John and Mary Pappajohn Education Center in downtown Des Moines. Read the full issue here to discover everything from a new contemporary art museum to a silo used for ice climbing (pictured) to a surprising and stunning collection of orchid cactuses. Photo by Brad Lane.
Prepare your palate with Pineau des Charentes, an aperitif from France.

By Wini Moranville

Poking around Vom Fass--the olive oil, vinegar and spirits emporium in the Shops at Roosevelt--I spotted a bottle of something I fell in love with in France but never thought I'd find here: Pineau des Charentes.
This wine-based apéritif is made mostly in the Charente and Charente-Maritime region, which is also home to cognac. In fact, most Pineau is made from the same wine grapes used in cognac, but while cognac is a distilled spirit, Pineau is a fortified wine; that is, it's made by adding a spirit (in this case, cognac) to grape juice early in the fermentation process, which stops fermentation and keeps the wine's sugars intact. The wine is then aged in oak barrels.

The resulting sip has the luscious density of port, yet brings bright, honeyed orchard-fruit flavors; think golden apples, pears and apricots.
Of course, because it's sweet, most Americans immediately assume it's a dessert wine, and there's no reason you can't enjoy it that way. But for the French, Pineau des Charentes is an aperitif, a pre-dinner drink meant to open up the appetite for the pleasures to come. Try it this way, and you may find, as I have, that sweetness in that pre-dinner drink readies the palate for dinner much better than a dry, citrusy glass of wine.
Look for Pineau des Charentes at Vom Fass (833 42nd St.; 244-5020) for $23.99 for a 750-milliliter bottle. Serve well chilled in small (3- to 4-ounce portions).
Brothers Joel (left) and Aaron Clutts with the B.vander clothing line at Dornink.

By Lacy Brunnette

Dornink kept its doors open late last Thursday for "Whisky, Wine & Wares." About 50 guests sipped Irish and Scotch whiskeys as they perused new arrivals for fall. Dornink's most recent venture, B.vander, presented winsome men's pieces from weekend wear to suits. Brothers Aaron and Joel Clutts are the line's buyers and stylists.

Clothing designer and boutique owner Sarah Dornink offered these trends and tips for men's fashion this season:
  • Buttoned-up: Think fitted, bold and retro. Choose crisp button-up shirts in a classic print revival, such as gingham and paisley.
  • Cuffed pants: Roll jeans to tidy up and add instant style. Use this style tip when pairing with a chukka or boot.
  • Chunky knit cardigans: Replay the spirit of the 1990s with the panache of an off-duty leading man. Look for distinctive details, such as shawl collars or toggles.
B.vander shares Dornink's East Village space at 518 E. Grand Ave. Shoppers can also find more information on B.vander's Facebook page.
Setting alarms and poking snooze buttons are foreign concepts for some lucky people, who find that each day greets them early and eagerly, thanks to some canine cuddling. This came to us from our friends at the Great Iowa Pet Expo, coming up Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 17 and 18. Details at GreatIowaPetExpo.com. 

Lacy Brunnette is a Des Moines fashion and style writer who also owns a public relations company. Follow her on Twitter @LacyBrunnette.

Wini Moranville is a food, wine and travel writer who covers the food and dining scene for dsm. Follow her at All Things Food - DSM Wini Moranville.

Hotel Pattee:
Romantic Historic Hotel, Just minutes from DSM. No need to drive a far distance for your next getaway!

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