NY Wine Expo – Seminars #NYWE2013

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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}

Essentials for a ‘Tasteful’ Bar Cart!

It’s hard to believe that the holidays are over, but it’s so exciting that we have entered into a new year!  Now is the time to recharge to full energy and check off all the boxes that you’ve wanted to do for some time now.  It’s the time of year to really get motivated to start new exhilarating projects and actually finish them.

After much holiday entertaining and being entertained in 2012, I’ve noticed that nothing makes more of a statement at an intimate gathering than the hosts ‘bar’.  This is because it’s not just a place to make a cocktail or pour a glass of wine, but yet it’s a time when you are interacting with other guests and can ‘make a drink’ and even a friend at the bar.  How many times have you said,  “Want to make another drink”?  I’m sure plenty.   Your bar is your chance to show your guests your personal style and since it is the center focus of your party, wouldn’t you want it to be a masterpiece?

As we enter into 2013 it is time.  Time to clean up your ‘bar’, get rid of the clutter and start with a clean slate filled with fabulous wines going into 2013. So wipe off the lingering champagne drops from your NYE party, get ride of those half full bottles and start fresh with a stylish yet tidy bar (get rid of clutter!).

Lauren, one of my dearest friends in the world and amazing celebrity fashion stylist with a passion for interior décor, has shared with us a few ideas on prepping your bar for an amazing year!

Essentials for creating a ‘Tasteful’ bar!

  1. Always have Pellegrino glass bottles
  2. 2 bottles of nice champs (Veuve Cliquot, Ruinart, Moet etc.)
  3. Add fake limes in a nice dish
  4. A pop of color can add a nice touch to your bar. Try adding a colorful flower in a vase
  5. Incorporate some sort of interesting glassware
  6. Throw a few fab crystal wine stoppers on for decoration or slices of geode coasters {here} in a fun color to go with flowers
  7. Come up with a theme and make sure everything complements each other. I love working with metallics, such as gold with a bright pop of color of fuchsia or cobalt blue
  8. Keep out Clutter!!

Bar Cart

What fabulous ideas, thanks Lauren! Be sure to check out Lauren’s website {here} for more stylish ideas and services!

To get started, Elle Decor {here} has an amazing list of unique and inspiring bar carts you can use as a blank canvas!  Let your creativity flow and your personal style shine!

Let the 2013 entertaining begin! Cheers!

#WW – A Refreshing Ipsum Rueda 2010

Jump into Winepug Wednesday with Ipsum Rueda 2010 for a fresh, crisp apple, and authentic taste that ‘speaks for itself’, literally (Ipsum means ‘itself’ in Latin)! Ole Imports {here} sent me this bottle to try and I just had to share it with great friends and pair this light and refreshing wine with a Spring dish, Arugula with Balsamic Glazed Chicken and Asiago Salad, which we got from The Kitchen Poet {here}.

Now, onto the wine…Because this wine was created ‘un-oaked’ you really taste the authentic flavor of the grapes (85% Verdejo, 15% Viura) and the bright citrus flavors that burst in your mouth. I’m sure you can imagine how this tasted with the Asiago cheese from the salad – delish! Not only does it have all the great bright and flowery flavors we all love, it also has a lot of minerality which gives a balanced mixture with its vibrant flavors and yes, has a very smooth finish. Another great deal at $10 per bottle (can’t beat it). I wasn’t able to find it in NYC but I hope you do elsewhere and enjoy as much as we did!

For more info on the wine {here}

Happy Friday!

On this beautiful Friday, I would like to cheers to my wonderful friend that just moved into a fabulous new apartment and is living her dream one sip at a time!  I hope we all become SO inspired by our dreams that it sparks lightning underneath us and we start making moves and popping bubbly to celebrate!  Or if anything, indulge in some of your favorite Champagne and let the bubbly start inspiring you!

Cheers to inspiration and a fabulous weekend!

Photo compliments of the fab T.O!

A Vow to Winepug Wednesday’s!

On this rainy Wednesday while I had a TINY bit of downtime at work (aka was walking to grab a quick coffee), I got to thinking that I need to manage my time better between my day job and night job.  As a marketer by day and wine blogger by night (well every free minute I have), I know that consistency and routine matters however, it’s a hard thing to do when you are juggling jobs, hobbies, friends, fiancés etc., especially in the city that never sleeps (which it really doesn’t).  So today, on this rainy Wednesday (I repeat) I am making a pledge to start Winepug Wednesday’s where I am dedicating Wednesday night’s to review one bottle of wine in various price ranges for those casual bbq’s and outdoor picnics to the fancy dinner parties and fabulous dates.   This way, you can rely on a recommendation for your parties, gatherings etc. that are coming up in the week/weekend ahead.  And please, if you need help picking the perfect wine for the perfect occasion, just shout it out!

With that, on to my first Winepug Wednesday! Salud!

 

Winepug Wednesday – Drakenskloof, South Africa

Don’t be fooled by the “dracula-esque” look and feel of this bottle because this is a mighty fine drinking wine that should be passed around the table (if you’re willing to share). On this rainy Wednesday we opened up a bottle from South Africa’s finest, The Western Cape which was a pleasant surprise in my most recent Zagat Wine Club delivery.  Have you heard of Pinotage?  I hadn’t, until I sipped this beautiful wine that is filled with dark berry flavors (blackberries, blueberries – YUM) with a hint of spice that offers a bit of relief on the heavy berry flavor that transitions nicely to an elegantly smooth finish.  Pinotage is South Africa’s signature grape, has spice like a Shiraz and/or Malbec, and deep fruit like a Cabernet to give you an idea of what you are dealing with.  It’s light enough to think of it as a ‘drinking’ wine yet heavy enough to bring to a fancy dinner party but not spend $50 for a bottle. Another great wine for a great value – retails $16.99.  So where to buy in NYC?  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find it in NYC but can order online {here} or if Out of Stock try Zagat Wine {here}.

Hope you enjoy!  Cheers!

Il Baretto – The Wine Rundown!

Nestled between ‘dealership row’ on 11th Ave, lay a casual yet authentic wine bar straight out of Italia overlooking De Witt Clinton Park. Who would’ve thought in the midst of Mercedes Benz and BMW you’d come across such a hidden gem of a wine bar.  From the same owner of the delicious Italian meal Il Melograno, Il Baretto is an undercover gem that is “off the beaten path” where small plates of assorted cheeses, creative panini’s and generous selection of meats and fruits can be sampled and tasted with their magnificent array of Italian wines.

It was a cold night in Hell’s Kitchen and my fiancé and I decided to experiment and venture away from our standard Italian favorites, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and Chianti Classico and submerged ourselves into a new, taste inspiring red wine from Sicily, Santa Anastasia Nero D’Avola.  A reasonably priced bottle $34 and glass $10, moving out of our confort zone was a wise choice as we tasted a burst of flavor with smooth tannins that went well with our small bites!  It was a very classic style of Italian wine yet had a modern touch which made it very well structured and easier to drink than some of the heavier Italian wines.

So if you’re ever in the neighborhood looking for a causal wine bar that will take you out of the City and into the heart of Sicily’s northern coastline, Il Barretto is your gem!

Enjoy!

Saving the best for last….

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!

Sunday Sips!

There is something so comforting and elegant about Cupcake Vineyards to me that I just can’t get enough of.  Is it the brand’s navy, white, and yellow colors that make it stand out so tastefully (no pun intended) on a dinner table and something I could totally see in Elle Decor?  Or is it simply its great taste and quality of the wine that makes for a predictable purchase when choosing between brands. How about all of the above!  A well received and well rounded brand visually and in taste makes it such a “go-to” wine.  And just when I think it couldn’t get any better, this Sunday I discovered that Cupcake also makes a lovely Prosecco to add to its repertoire.

A peach and apricot filled Prosecco that is enhanced with creamy citrus hints and finishes with a bursting bite to make this Prosecco enjoyable for really any occasion.  Enjoy as an apéritif with prosciutto and melon or even with homemade chocolate chip walnut pumpkin bread, which is what I am pairing with this as we speak (while enjoying football – hoping to cheers to a NE Patriots win)!  The spice of the pumpkin bread compliments the bubbles and citrus nicely!

And the cost?  $11 retail.  Seriously!

Happy Sunday and Cheers to Cupcake Prosecco!

Homemade Chocolate Chip and Walnut Pumpkin Bread Recipe (makes 2 large loaves)

4 Eggs
3 cups Sugar
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cloves
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 cup Olive Oil
2/3 cups water
3 1/2 cups Flour
1 can Pumpkin (2 cups)
1 cup Walnuts
1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate chips

Add ingredients in order, bake for 1hr 25 mins @ 325 degrees let cool and enjoy!

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