The ‘RED’ Monster

A 5 varietal wine during Christmas turned wine for this winter season and what has been making these chilly days and nights somewhat tolerable!90+

The Monster Red Blend from Ninety+ Cellars is the most heavenly Monster I have ever encountered. This impeccable red wine is made with 5 classic grapes; 30% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Petit Verdot, and 10% Malbec.  Is that not the most incredible Monster you’ve ever seen (and tasted)!  The gorgeous dark ruby color of this wine sets the scene for a beautifully plated and very indulgent night.  Flavors of coffee, dark fruits, dark chocolate with very nice tannins at the finish make this wine a very powerful monster yet ‘impressively well poised’ (could not have said it better)! I was introduced to this wine by Mr. 90+ himself and my first try was at the Christmas dinner table where we all were with ‘mouths dropped’ when pairing the wine with a juicy rib roast (and saved what was left for dessert ;)).

90+ Lot 100

90+ Rib Roast

Desserts

Since then I have been using this wine to get me through these snow storms and relive that incredible moment when this wine first hit my lips.  Pure genius!  Now, if only we knew what winery in Columbia Valley, WA this came from???

This is a must for the wine fridge and I have already stocked up. A staple for a spectacular dinner party and good to have on hand!

A few stores that carry Lot 100:

Boston 
Clarendon Wine and Spirits (Back Bay)
Jobi Liquors (Beacon Hill/West End)

New York City
Landmark Wine and Spirits (167 West 23rd Street)
Gramercy Wine Cellars (236 3rd Ave)
42nd Street Wine Loft
Mark’s Wine & Spirits (53 Mott Street)
Fulton Wine and Spirits (110 Fulton Street)

Red Wine and Cheese Please!

NYE-Red-Wine-and-Cheese

Whenever I go out in the cold all I can ever think about and want to do is snuggle up on the couch, light candles and drink lots of red wine.  Luckily, we are heading to the Bahamas to meet our dear friends tomorrow and could not be happier to be escaping NYC to get some sunshine.  Actually, it’s a good thing we are heading out tomorrow – the weather looks to take a turn to the cold side - high of 34° to a low of 26° YIKES! However, although I will be gone and most likely will not be drinking red wine, I would never leave you empty handed on selections, especially on New Years Eve party ideas. Drumroll please…… Keeping in mind it will be a bit chilly, I have partnered with THE BEST cheese shop in NYC, Murray’s Cheese to bring warmth to you and your guests with a fabulous red wine and cheese pairing guide for your perfect New Years Eve soirée.  So tell your guests to bundle up for a short cab ride, because YOU are HOSTING the warmest and best affair in all of NYC or wherever you are for that matter! Cheers and wishing you all a very Happy and Healthy 2014!

Wine & Cheese Pairings (cheese pairings graciously provided by Murray’s Cheese, YUM)

  • Albarino -> Soft-Ripened, Cavemaster Reserve Torus $10.99/ea
  • Pinot Noir -> Washed Rind, Jasper Hill Harbison $23.99
  • Chianti -> Firm, Pecorino Ginepro $32.99/LB
  • Rioja -> Semi-Firm/Firm, Ewephoria $19.99/LB
  • Zinfandel  -> Firm, Challerhocker  $31.99/LB
  • Cabernet Sauvignon -> Soft-Ripened, Cavemaster Reserve Hudson Flower $34.99/ea
  • Amarone -> Blue, Rogue River Blue $39.99/LB

BONUS (and not listed)

  • Merlot -> Firm, Cabot Clothbound Cheddar $24.99/LB
  • Champagne  -> Soft-Ripened, Vermont Creamery Cremont  $11.99/ea
  • Port -> Blue, Colston Bassett Stilton $30.99/ea

Holiday Gift Guide 2013

Holiday Gift Guide 2013

Somehow the holidays are HERE and I still have a few people left to shop for.  Yikes!  As always, I love finding and giving gifts that bring the world of wine to life for the receiver.  If you are still … Continue reading 

NY Wine Expo – Seminars #NYWE2013

NY_top_banner

Getting excited for the NY Expo?  

Here are some amazing seminars that are being offered this weekend for purchase to compliment  your Grand Tasting! 

And remember to purchase discounted tickets {here}

Enjoy!

  • Wine 101: Taste Like a Pro with Wine Spectator’s Director of EducationGloria Maroti Frazee, Friday, March 1st at 6:00pm | Saturday, March 2nd at 11:30am - In this seminar, attendees will build the wine appreciation framework required for a lifetime of vinous adventure. Tasting a bounty of wine from around the world, they’ll learn the tasting techniques used by pros, explore important grapes, identify key wine styles and determine their own wine preferences.
  • California Pinot Noir: Touring The State’s Great Pinot Regions with David Rossi of Fulcrum Wine, Friday, March 1st at 7:00pm - Join winemaker David Rossi as he contrasts four of Fulcrum Wines’ highly acclaimedPinot Noir from the finest regions of California. This Napa winery specializes in producing small lots and is known for producing some of the country’s most sought afterPinot Noirs. Taste Fulcrum Floodgate Pinot Noir 2010 Russian River Valley, Fulcrum Gap’s Crown Pinot Noir 2010 Sonoma Coast, Fulcrum Pinot Noir 2010 Anderson Valley and Fulcrum Pinot Noir 2010 Brosseau Vineyard, Chalone- Monterey. Examine the background of each area and what makes it special by exploring wine tasting, food pairing, winemaking and grape growing. You’ll come away with a great knowledge ofPinot Noir from California and have a chance to taste some of the best examples available today.The Cool Climate, World
  • Class Wines of the Finger Lakes Saturday, March 2nd at Noon - The Finger Lakes region of New York State has undergone an evolution in quality and developed into a cool climate, world class wine growing region. Join Thomas Pastuszak,Wine Director at the NoMad in New York City, for a discussion and tasting of wines from the region. Learn about what makes the Finger Lakes the premier growing region for cool climate grape varieties in the United States and how it compares on a global level to other regions.
  • Italian Cheeses and Wine with Lou DiPalo, the Cheese Guru of DiPalo’s Fine Foods in Little Italy, NYC, Saturday, March 2, 2:30p - Don’t miss a chance to meet this most knowledgeable and passionate advocate for the cheeses and wines of Italy. Lou DiPalo will detail how typicity, provenance, and maturation regimes contribute to the irresistible quality of Italian cheese. Amongst the cheeses to be tasted will be Agriform’s Grana Padano, Piave, Asiago, and Valtellina Casera, with Italian wines selected for pairing perfection. You will leave this informative and tasty seminar with a bevy of expert suggestions on how best to entertain with Italian wine and cheese.

**Photo credit {here}

New York City Wine Expo #callingallwinelovers

NY Wine Expo

Calling all wine lovers!  It’s the 6th annual New York City Wine Expo and we are patiently awaiting it’s arrival on March 1st – 3rd at the Javits Center to try some of the best wines from all around the world!  I am partnering up with the NYC Wine Expo and am able to extend $15 off tickets for Friday or Saturday (offer below).  I will also be reporting back to you LIVE from the expo to share the experience if you are unable to attend.  Please be sure to check out the fun and watch out for more communication this week on the exciting events and seminars surrounding the Expo!

Winepug Offer
$15 off Friday or Saturday when you use “WineBlog” when buying tickets here: http://newyorkwineexpotickets.eventbrite.com/

Social Media Links for New York Wine Expo
Website: NewYorkWineExpo.com
Blog: newyorkwineexpo.tumblr.com/
Pinterest: pinterest.com/newyorkwineexpo/
Twitter: twitter.com/newyorkwineexpo
Facebook: facebook.com/newyorkwineexpo

Tuesday Twitter Tasting with @Boisset_Wines! #BWEChat

What a Tuesday treat!

#BWECHAT

As a preview to the Boston Wine Expo {here}, I will be participating in a twitter tasting with Jean-Charles Boisset from Boisset Family Estates tonight at 8pm EST.  Below are the wines we will be tasting and I encourage you to join in for an impromptu tasting on this cold New York night!  Who knows, you may even have one of these bottles below in your wine fridge!

The Details

Follow the tasting and share your thoughts using #BWEChat

Wines

  • Buena Vista Carneros Chardonnay
  • Deloach OFS Pinot Noir
  • Jean-Claude Boisset Bourgogne Pinot Noir
  • Raymond Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet

Follow Jean-Charles Boisset from Boisset Family Estates @Boisset_Wines

Boisset Family Estates {here}

Boisset Family Estates (Facebook) {here}

Boston Wine Expo (Facebook) {here}

**I received these wines as part of a promotion related to this event {here}

Spanish Wines for Championship Weekend +

Much entertaining over the weekends in January through February 3rd are Saturdays and Sundays filled with futbol americano.

In December, I was sent 3 different varietals of the Spanish wine brand Tapeña.  This was my first time trying this wine and after the first pop of the cork, I immediately felt my taste buds grow more potent after each sip.  I am declaring that these wines and varietals be your drink of choice for your Championship weekend festivities and beyond, and here’s why!

Tepena

Tapeña combines ‘tapas’ – small plates and ‘peña’ – slang for a group of close friends, to create the perfect package for your perfect evening of food and conversation amongst your close friends.  Since you are most likely gathering today for the NFL’s Championship weekend lineup, these wines are the perfect pairing to your perfect Sunday Funday party, and I suggest stepping it up from beer to this festive Spanish wine!

Here is a deep dive into three key and notable Spanish varietals and wines that will spice up your day with just one sip!  Oh, and not to mention a few fun ‘cheat day’ recipes to try!  Suggestion: bookmark this page for your Superbowl party February 3rd!

2010 Tapeña Tempranillo

Tempranillo (temp-rah-NEE-yo) “is Spain’s indelible stamp on the world of wine. The heart of Tapeña Tempranillo can be found at night in the winding, noisy, old streets of Madrid. Bars and peñas (clubs), filled to standing room only, serve local wines and tapas, and everyone has a fork.” – From the bottle

Winepug’s tasting notes: A gorgeous purple color shines from the glass and tastes as good as it looks!  This Tempranillo has a very rich flavor with ripe black and red fruits of cherry, blackberry, and plum.  Hints of dark chocolate and cracked pepper brighten up the fruit and makes for a very smooth and lingering finish with silky tannins. This literally feels like sleeping in a bed of silk. It is heavenly and certainly a luxurious and luscious red drinking wine!

2010 Tapeña Garnacha

Garnacha (gar-NA-chah) “originated in Spain centuries ago and now mostly travels the world as Garnache. The soul of Tapeña Garnacha can be found in cafés that line the sun-washed plazas of Barcelona. Warmed by the afternoon sun, they’re aglow with tapas, life and laughter.  Perhaps it’s because everyone has a glass and a fork” – From the bottle

Winepug’s tasting notes: A beautiful garnet color makes this Garnacha a huge conversation starter at any table. A luscious red bursting at the bottleneck has a vibrant cherry and blackberry flavor with a spicy finish. Lots of great pepper gives the wine a final ‘oomph’ in your mouth. This wine reminds me of the Phil Collin’s song ‘In the Air Tonight’ as both start smooth and slow and then end vibrantly with a BOOM of a finish!

2010 Tapeña Verdejo

Verdejo (ver-DAY-ho) “until recently was one of the wine world’s forgotten treasures.  The spirit of Tapeña Verdejo lives in seaside chiringuitos that line the white sandy shore of Marbella.  Fresh fish, caught that very morning, is served with wine glasses of chilled Verdejo.  Sun-tanned locals and tourists dine side by side, no shoes required – just  fork.” – From the bottle

Winepug’s tasting notes: With a glistening color of gold in the glass, I could totally picture sipping this wine somewhere in the middle of the ocean on a beautiful sailboat, crew included!  Immediate honey flavors burst from the glass, along with a slightly bitter taste of pear. A hint of acidity and a smooth lingering finish gives this wine a balanced structure in the mouth. A true treat for a Sunday afternoon!

Tapena 1

Who would think that these wines would pair well with our NFL Championship fare!

The Menu

Championship Fare

Fresh carrots and celery with store bought hummus paired well with the Verdejo or you can drink the Verdejo as a preview before the main event!

Homemade potato chips & kale chips with Lemon May0 Dip {here} paired surprising well with the Granacha!  Such a ‘football’ app.

Homemade slow cooker Turkey chili {here} paired to perfection with the Tempranillo and is perfect for football! Spices from the chili and the wine will ease the intensity of the games!

Homemade Peanut Butter Blossoms {here} (with dark chocolate kisses) paired with the Tempranillo and is simply divine!

photo 4.PNG

Where to find? You can find Tapeña in most wine stores in New York City. See {here} for restaurants that carry the brand in your area!

Enjoy watching the games, and go Patriots!

**For more fun recipes and pairing for your Superbowl party {here}, {here}!

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