A Magical Holiday Gift

Only four more days until Christmas Eve and Hanukkah has just begun!  Do you have all of your presents in order and tied with a bow?

As a recent holiday gift I received this gracious customized ‘winepug’ ornament to add my fiancé and I’s very first Christmas tree together! A very moving gift of support and friendship, and not to mention very festive!

Personalization and a little graceful elbow grease make for truly magical gifts!  If you have time, add a little special something!

Mysterious Ways with Phantom Gourmet & 90+ Cellars

Since I am spending the holidays in Boston, I figured it would be ‘tastefully’ appropriate to blog about a great wine I stumbled upon at a wine tasting last night at my hometown’s local grocery store! 90+ Cellars was the tasting brand for the night, offering a lovely selection of reds and whites (great addition to simple grocery shopping)!  However, before going ahead I would suggest reading up on the background behind this remarkable concept 90+ Cellars {here}! You can also see what stores carry this brand in Boston!

Now, onto the good stuff.  One particular bottle that overpowered the rest was a 2010 bottle of Phantom Gourmet 90+ Cellars Pinot Noir from the Sonoma Coast.   Not only is it named after the famed NE restaurant critic, but with it’s great taste and value ($14.99) this Pinot intrigued me in mysterious ways, in a good way!  This Pinot Noir rolls across your taste buds smoothly and is a slightly sweeter and heavier Pinot Noir than other’s I’ve tried, which was perfect to warm up with in this 35 degree weather! It had bits of sour cherry bursts that complimented the sweeter tastes nicely! And icing on the cake? It even pairs well with a Fenway Frank … No brainer!

On the Bottle

Story: 90 Cellars has teamed up with New England’s #1 restaurant critic to bring you this Pinot Noir whose origin is as mysterious as the Phantom himself. Together, we searched every hill and valley of Sonoma to unearth this Pinot Noir that’s got more swagger than Jagger. Handpicked from hillside vineyards and aged for 10 months in new oak barrels, this is Pinot for pondering and partying.

Taste: Radiant purple in color with layered aromas of cherry and pomegranate along with a dose of sweet wood spice. You could say it’s like eating cherry pie next to a blazing campfire. Perfectly unpretentious, this wine will pair equally as well with a Fenway Frank as it will with Filet Mignon. Food, fun and now wine, that’s all the Phantom serves.

So there you have it.  Will you be slipping this into Fenway Park to try it out with the infamous Fenway Frank?  If you do, let me know!

Winepug’s Holiday Gift Guide!

At last, it’s the most joyous time of year filled with love, music and happiness!  I think that gift giving and spreading holiday cheer to a friend, family member, or even a complete stranger is the most satisfying feeling ever!  I love seeing people smile and making their day with a great gift (whether it costs money or is a DIY)!  That being said, winepugnyc is proud to share with you the 2011 gift giving guide for all of the wine lovers in your life! Take a peak and enjoy!

1. Their perfect coffee table book {here}; 2.Tory Burch wine carrier for the uber stylish {here}; 3. Fabulous Champagne Ornament for those bubbly lovers {here}; 4.For those who like to swirl {here}; 5. Swanson’s fabulous night cap for the person who has everything {here} 6. The Gift of selection for the undecided from Tastingroom.com {here} 7. Classic Cakebread {here} 8. Beautiful for entertaining {here}; 9. A rustic and stylish display {here}; 10. Modern and fashionable way to drink wine {Black - here and Clear - here}

Put Some “Sparkle” Into Your Sparkling and GIVE!

Nothing screams holidays more than something sparkly and giving the gift that keeps giving! I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to go to the 20th Anniversary of Swarovski Crystal’s Holiday Ornament in partnership with Harper’s Bazaar last month, an auction benefiting The Art of Elysium (an organization that encourages artists, musicians, actors to work with children who are battling serious illnesses).  Each piece of custom artwork that was to be auctioned off was dripping with crystal and celebrated this wonderful cause. Not only did all of the sparkling inspire a great gift idea but it also reminded me that the holidays are all about GIVING and making other people smile.   So this holiday season, think of what you are GIVING, GIVE more than ever and don’t be afraid to add a little extra sparkle to it!

Give the most celebratory gift of all this season – Champagne w/ sparkle!   Very fitting underneath a shining Christmas tree!

Beautiful Swarovski Frosted Bike – Artist Info {here}

Skull “Crystal Palace” – Artist Info {here}

Shout out to RS & SW for a wonderful night that enlightened us early on into the holiday spirit in which we celebrated with bubbly and sparkles for a great cause!

Sunday Sips! (And Sunday Funday Football)

A true crowd pleaser for a cozy Sunday Funday Football party – Homemade Guacamole! Now, what to pair it with…

When pairing, I would keep in mind the dominant flavors and textures it has. Avocado is rich in flavor and soft/creamy in texture while the lime and lemon juice offers citrus flavor and acidity.  It seems that a crisp white wine would be the best thing to serve with this and is also easily paired with other game day appetizers.  

Suggested White Wines:

Ferrari-Carano Vineyards & Winery Fume Blanc Screw Cap 2009 - A cross between a crisp Sauvignon Blanc and a buttery/creamy Chardonnay, oaky flavors with a bit of a grassy finish. $16 retail with a screw cap – easy access at the game or even at home with your anxious friends!

Casal Garcia Vinho Verde Branco White 2010 – Extremely bright and refreshing!  $8 retail and is the perfect crowd pleaser for an informal Sunday Night Football get together!

La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2009 – Butterscotch and citrusy notes are perfectly paired with guacamole and a salty chip!  $20 retail and will get everyone ready to cheer on their favorite team!

Enjoy and Go Patriots!

(For homemade guacamole recipe, leave a comment and you shall receive!)

Sunday Sips!

Sauvignon Blanc.  Crisp, citrus, and fruitful is what I’ve grown accustom to when tasting one of my favorite white varietals.  However, this Sunday I was presently surprised by a buttery, creamy Sauvignon Blanc that tasted almost similar to a Chardonnay, even the color was a bit more golden than the usual SB’s.   This elegant discovery was a Chalk Hill Estate Grown, Sauvignon Blanc 2008 from the Russian River Valley.  We picked this up during our Sonoma trip {here}

Since it’s one of the sweeter Sauvignon Blanc’s I’ve tasted, I decided to whip it out while decorating our lovely Christmas tree to put us in a sweet mood!  Nothing screams holiday spirit than a creamy, cozy, almost comforting wine whilst decorating the tree and listening to xmas music.  We also may or may not have nibbled on a few sweet pairing treats (dark chocolate and biscotti)!

Sip this wine to get comfortable or to go with a special dessert during a night of relaxation with close friends.


Keep Those Bubbles In!

The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is lit which mean it’s officially the beginning of holiday season! Parties every weekend and Champagne in hand is always what rings in the holiday season and New Year!  And of course, nothing is worse than when you are at a holiday party and your glass of bubbly goes FLAT.  So why not try this! Slip a raisin into your glass and watch the bubbles unfold!

Raisin picture {here}; Champagne picture {here}

Happy Thanksgiving!

There are so many things to be thankful for.. Family, friends, life, everything really! I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving filled with laughter, love and lots of great wine!



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