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1000 Stories Wines: An Evening With Bob Blue And Red Wines

On a typical rainy Spring evening in New York, I was ushered to the back of Fine & Rare restaurant at 9 East 37th Street, to a grand table and intimately introduced to a wonderful collaboration of wine and spirit for the palette in the form of 1000 Stories Wines. On any night, a lot can be found nestled in the little nooks and crannies of the city streets. Delightful little eateries with locally-sourced specials, goodnight kisses had under the awnings of Old-World high-rises and the little peeks of west and eastside sky-line pushing their way through the dusky fog.

It was on such an evening in classic New York fashion that I found myself tucked behind a beautifully arranged table for sixteen at the wonderfully hidden restaurant.  The restaurant can usually be found offering up cool live jazz-infused acoustics to go with your pappardelle Bolognese and burrata heirloom tomato salad.

1000 Stories is a line of exquisite and well-executed wines that distinguish themselves from the lot as they are aged in whiskey barrels.  The fineness of the grape meets the distilled beauty of the whiskey in 1000 Stories Wines and creates broad flavor profiles that pull from the diversity of the loveliness of Zinfandel and Bordeaux grapes and merges them with the lingering and definitive essences of oaky, sweet and herbal whiskey.

On that evening, winemaker and co-founder of 1000 Stories Wines, Bob Blue gave a verbal soft-sell of how the brand came to be and then walked us through an exclusive tasting of the brand’s renowned line-up together with one of its latest, The Prospector’s Proof.

We started the pre-dinner tasting with a 2016 Zinfandel Batch 42, a peppery full rounded fruity wine then moved onto 2016 Zinfandel Batch 52, a wine sourced from grapes all over the Californian Redwood and Sanel Valleys that carried a welcomed depth that grapes from this Mendocino Region are recognized for. Then onto 2016 Zinfandel Batch 54 which was smoother yet carried a delightfully weighted depth while being soft and satisfying on the palette.  The 2017 Gold Rush Red was strong and full-bodied with its mélange of intense and bold grapes from the California Hills.

Finishing off the bunch was 2017 The Prospectors Proof Cabernet Sauvignon, another bold wine with the spiced pop of vanilla and fragrant herbs from the whiskey barrels. With each wine, it was important to note the presence of the grape characteristics and the presence of the whiskey attributes working together. With the lesser-bodied wines, the sharp higher tannin zinfandels in their various aged stages allowed hints of the whiskey notes to carry through more while the Gold Rush and Prospector’s Proof carried weights that created a harmonious intermingling of full flavor. Altogether, it was an evening of wine lessons that, when combined with better wine understandings, left us all with our favorites and a greater appreciation for brands like 1000 Stories Wines; brands that have found a way to make a wonderful staple even better. It was a delectable evening filled with continuous delights. We’ll end with some of the decadent desserts we enjoyed.

Vina Croatia: A Croatian Wine Region Tour in Midtown

Croatia may be a country known for its gorgeous coastline and striking Game of Thrones–inspiring structures, but its vineyards and wineries, steeped in tradition and history are also a huge part of its charm and appeal. Its dramatically diverse regions from the Alps to the Danube provide a variety of wines that can please every type of oenophile. Recently, a dinner held by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce at Midtown’s Brasserie 8 ½ gave us a taste of what the Croatian wine region has to offer.

Ten flights of wines from light whites and a rosé to deep full-bodied reds were expertly paired with a citrus shrimp appetizer, a choice of filet mignon or a rack of lamb, and warm pear with maple ice cream.

The introductory wine came from the Istria region— where the cold of the Alps mixes with the warmth of the Mediterranean, producing interesting wines such as the 2016 Kozlovic Malvazija (not pictured). It is a dry golden white with notes of fruits and spices and a slight hint of saltiness – which poetically sums up the melding of the coast and the mountains.

The next wine we tasted is a must for every rosé lover. The Erdutski Rosé is made from the Pinot Black grapes of the Slavonia region and has a warm blush pink color. It’s a refreshing medium body selection with a hint of cherries.

Staying within the Slavonia region, our next white wine on the Croatian wine region tour, the Vezak Graševina was a fine example of Croatia’s principal grape variety, the Graševina. The color of this dry white echoes the colors of the golden fields that are characteristic of the Croatian valleys. Its flowery aroma mixed with a fruity bouquet with a slight mineral aftertaste will compliment a seafood meal or a white meat platter.

A different take on the Graševina came in the form of a 2016 Riesling from Vina Antonovic. This wine is an earthy blend of green apples and floral blossoms with a similar mineral taste (albeit a little sweeter than the last white); this seems to be the recognizable trait of the Slavonia region and the Croatian Danube.

 

To say that the next white wine was blessed with the sweetness of citrus, peach, and roses would not be a stretch. The Žlahtina sv. Lucija (not pictured), named for the church of St. Lucy on the island of Krk, is a golden mix of yellow-greenish hues that pair well with meat, fish, rice, and polenta dishes. It certainly enhanced the taste of our rack of lamb.

The Miraz Graševina has won multiple awards for its dry but creamy taste. The vineyard’s wine fermentation process includes extensive supervision and temperature control. Smooth and full-bodied with deeply aromatic notes, this white wine with an enchanting green-yellow hue goes well with just about everything from poultry, to seafood, and pasta dishes.

During the second half of dinner, we were introduced to some very fine red wines. First up was the award-winning Dingač Berba 2015 from Dalmatia — a region known not only for those firehouse dogs but also for the Plavac Mali grapes. The variety is grown in the sun-drenched slopes and coasts of Dalmatia and produces full-bodied reds. This black dry wine had a berry aroma with a hint of a chocolate aftertaste. It brought out the spices in our main course but can also be enjoyed with mature cheeses.

The next Croatian wine region red wine was another award-winning Plavac, the Zlatan Plavac Grand Cru. The grapes, organically grown in the picturesque slopes of the island of Hvar, come from 35 to 50-year-old vines. The wine is then aged in French barrique barrels for two years and 6-12 months in the bottle. It’s a dry red with hints of leather, pepper, chocolate, and prunes. Its earthy quality is best paired with steaks and lobsters or both for a delectable surf and turf option. Depending on how big of a company you are having or how much you can consume (no judgments), there is small, medium, and large bottles available.

The third red wine was the Ivan Dolac Barrique, named for the aforementioned French barrel it matures in, 1also hails from Hvar. It’s a dry robust wine with a berry and almost floral aroma. It’s smooth and easy on the palette and makes a nice compliment to any roast game or grilled fish.

The final Croatian wine region wine of the night was the Kabola Muškat Momjanski, a perfect ending to our Croatian wine introduction. It went well with our warm pear and maple ice cream dessert. It’s a refreshing and medium-bodied white with notes of peaches, rose, and honey with a slight mineral quality that gives it a lingering taste. This is our pick for an ideal summer wine.

You can tell a lot about a country by its wines. The wines were a spectacular representation of the different regions that make up such a fascinating country. From the Mediterranean to the Alps, each wine embodied a distinct characteristic specific to the climate and the area they came from. Based on what we’ve tasted, we’re ready to spend a lot of time in Croatia! Are you excited to visit the Croatian wine region?

Hello Sweet Life: Castello del Poggio Launches Sweet Summer Wines

There’s no denying that summer is the season of drinking wines, especially light, sweet, and fruity wines. A nice glass or two of a perfectly chilled glass of delicious wine on a hot day can do wonders for your state of mind (and tastebuds). Castello del Poggio, known for their #1 selling and award-winning Italian Moscato, Moscato IGT, has expanded their wine portfolio with a Sweet Collection. This range of sweeter Italian wines features a Sweet Red, Sweet Rosé, Prosecco DOC and Sparkling Moscato that’s perfect for all-afternoon enjoyment.

Not familiar with Castello del Poggio’s wines? Their amazing Moscato is a slightly-sweet, refreshingly low-alcohol wine with flavors of peach, musk, honey, and white flowers. The versatile Sweet Rosé Wine is a refreshing, crisp, and delicate wine that can be enjoyed year-round. The bold violet hued Sweet Red Wine is a full-bodied, fruity, crispy, and soft wine Sweet Red wine with notes of apricot and peach. The light and bubbly Prosecco Demi – Sec Sparkling Wine is perfect for everyday drinking, thanks to its crisp, intense and fruity flavor that is both refreshing and versatile. Expect golden apple, sweet honey notes, and the continuous need to refill your glass. Last but certainly not least is the Sweet Sparkling Moscato which features the same color and notes of the original Moscato but with a medium minerality and a crisp, effervescent finish. We had the pleasure of enjoying a few glasses of the new range of Castello del Poggio Sweet Collection as well as a few curated wine cocktails at The W Hoboken – the Guilty Pleasure, and the Amanca Sangria. You can find the cocktail recipes below:

Guilty Pleasure

Castello del Poggio Moscato
Junmai Sake
Fresh Blackberry Puree

Amanca Sangria

Castello del Poggio Sweet Red Wine
Aperol
Elderflower Liqueur
Lemon Juice
Top with Ginger Beer

The new Castello del Poggio Hello Sweet Life range is now available nationwide. Learn more about this wonderful range of wines on www.castellodelpoggio.com.

Uncork and Unwind: An Evening with MWC Wines

We’re lucky enough to preview and be introduced to a variety of products and brands and of course, we’re more than happy to share these new introductions with you. Recently we headed down under for some amazing wine from Central Victoria, Australia, that is new to the US market. Say hello to MWC Wines, which we had the pleasure of enjoying at Aussie-owned restaurant, Banter NYC in Greenwich Village.

MWC Wines, part of the Mcpherson Wine Co., a family owned and operated winery in Victoria, AU, are a collection of soft, savory earthy wine styles with a European influence. The MWC Wines are rustic style, full of interesting and complex characters – made for those who love great, honest wines. Available varietals include 2015 Pinot Gris, 2014 Shiraz Mourvedre, 2014 Pinot Noir, 2015 Pinot Noir, 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2015 Shiraz Mourvedre, all of which retail for under $20.00.

As huge fans of white wines, we were extremely happy to indulge in MWC’s only white wine, a complex, textural and slightly savory Pinot Gris with aromatic nuances of pears, lychees, and exotic spice, with hints of spicy pear and red apple that appear on the palate. Although we were more than happy to drink the delicious Pinot Grigio all day, we decided to be more open and try some of the reds – the MWC Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 and Pinot Noir 2015 to be exact (we didn’t try the Shiraz).

The MWC Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 is a perfectly balanced, medium bodied wine that displays notes of rich black fruits and berries complemented with elegant oak and a nuance of chocolate. It features a firm, smooth tannin structure, and finishes with an enduring length of ripe fruit and cedary oak. We usually find Cabs too oaky and woodsy but we found the MWC Cab delightfully balanced with the ideal level of sweetness thanks to the blackcurrant. It is neither too sweet or too dry and oaky; this is a red we’d definitely revisit.

Lastly, the MWC Pinot Noir 2015, our favorite of the two reds we tried. This heavenly red boasts an aroma of intense plum, cherry and strawberry fruit with a hint of spicy oak, a finish of vibrant plum and dark stone fruits with some firm acid, beautiful tannins, and integrated oak. A pleasantly smooth red from start to finish.  We loved it so much, we may have had multiple glasses throughout the evening. And now thanks to Hudson Wine Brokers, the US Distributor for MWC Wines, we’ll be able to enjoy all three varietals locally. We look forward to enjoying several more glasses of Australia’s MWC Wines.

 

La Estate Lista di Vini | VOGA Italia Wines

We love a good sweet wine during the summer, especially when trying to relax while the temperature increases to obnoxious levels of hot. Something about the refreshingly sweet palette makes sharing a glass of wine or two with friends a great way to take your mind off the heat. Today we highlight some of VOGA Italia‘s sweeter wine offerings, along in with a few full and rich wines from the very stylish brand. Are you ready to get to know the delicious VOGA Italia Wines?
voga italia

For those who want their red wine to be a bit less tart and closer to a dessert wine, VOGA Italia’s Dolce Rosso is a superb option. This not-too-sweet red combines a supple blend of Italian Syrah and Merlot, offering up alluring flavors of plum and cherry to seduce the palate and deliver a smooth, lingering taste.

If you’re looking for a wine with a true refreshingly sweet taste, look no further than VOGA Italia’s Moscato. This delightfully delicious, and addictive wine captures the natural fruity aroma and vibrant flavor of the Moscato grape and offers a crisp and smooth bubbly finish.

No on to the slightly less sweet offerings. VOGA Italia’s Pinot Grigio is full and rich, and unlike most Pinot Grigio, combines the soft alluring flavors of Veneto region (known for cooler climates beneficial to white wines) with the structure and breed of Trentino (an Italian region known for German and Austrian influences) to produce this white with fresh ripe apple and pear aromas.

Prosecco is quickly becoming a summer favorite among sparkling wine lovers and VOGA Italia’s Prosecco is a refreshingly balanced sparkling with an explosion of medium floral and citrus scents and flavors. Like the Pinot Grigio, the Prosecco is also from the Veneto region and is produced with an extended Charmat process (when fermentation takes place in a large pressurized container) to improve its effervescence.

Packaged in sleek, modern glass cylindrical bottles, and a unique resealable cap that is revolutionary in the wine industry, the wonderful  VOGA Italia Wines collection of crisp delicious wines encompasses all aspects offering a collection of crisp delicious wine. VOGA Italia Wines retails from $10.99 to $15.99 and includes Pinot Grigio, Merlot, Moscato, Premium Sparkling, Prosecco, and Dolce Rosso.