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Frescobaldi Toscana Alìe Rosé

The Perfect Summer Soirée: Frescobaldi Toscana Alìe Rosé

We can’t believe we’re already hearing about summer’s end but with a month left, it is inevitable. Thankfully there was and is plenty to remind us about the greatness of the warmer season. We were part of the lucky few who had the opportunity to enjoy the superbly elegant Alìe Rosé with Frescobaldi Toscana estates and Brand Ambassador and Winemaker, Livia le Divelec. It was love at first sip for us of this bright, fresh rose. We were immediately enchanted by the sensuality and intoxicating personality of this intriguing pale pink rose.

 Frescobaldi Toscana Alìe Rosé

Frescobaldi Toscana boasts six wine estates which feature various varietals. Today we focus on Tenuta Ammiraglia Magliano, the Toscana by the Sea. This wine territory is warmed by the sun and mitigated by the sea and is home to the Frescobaldi Toscana Alìe Rosé.

Frescobaldi Toscana Alìe Rosé

The Frescobaldi Toscana Alìe Rosé, an elegant rosé with a pale pink hue and subtle ruby highlights. It is a stylish, beautifully-balanced blend of Syrah and Vermentino. These varieties express their finest qualities when grown near the sea. Alìe boasts scents of white flowers, wild strawberries, and citrus peel, combined with a hint of earthy minerality; all typical of this growing area. With its delicate structure and lengthy, complex finish, Alìe Rosé makes an enchanting aperitif wine and a great meal companion.

Tiki-inspired foods at The Polynesian at The Pod Hotel 42 Tiki-inspired foods at The Polynesian at The Pod Hotel 42

In fact, Alìe Rosé was perfectly paired with the amazing dishes served at the event’s location, The Polynesian at The Pod Hotel 42. The richly flavored Tiki-inspired foods were paired wonderfully with Alìe. The flavors highlighted the fruity notes, intoxicating Mediterranean aromas, and deliciously refreshing bouquet of this mellow rose.

Frescobaldi Toscana Alìe Rosé

What makes the Alìe Rosé stand out against other rose wines? Several factors actually. It’s proximity to the sea, vineyard cultivation typical of white varieties and a production process off the skins for the Syrah variety all give life to Alìe. The sharp and unmistakable bouquet floods the senses with intoxicating aromas that meld with the fragrances of fresh and ripe fruit. September peach bursts forth, followed by floral notes with subtle scents of rose.

Frescobaldi Toscana Alìe Rosé

We’d love to visit the Tenuta Ammiraglia Magliano estate one day to personally experience the stunning beauty of the region and get first-hand knowledge of what makes this exquisite rose so delicious. For now, we have to settle for Brand Ambassador and Winemaker, Livia le Divelec’s extensive knowledge. Check out the My Life on and off the Guest List Facebook page for our interview with her.

Vinho Verde Wine Experience Returns to NYC for 3rd Year

Last year we celebrated National Rose Day by attending the 2nd Annual Vinho Verde Wine Experience and sampling some amazing rose, white, and red wines. Although the day of celebrating rose wine has passed, we’ll be returning to the Vinho Verde Wine Experience to enjoy its 3rd year of amazing Portuguese wines in NYC.

Herald as one of the most anticipated NYC summer events, over 30 top, specially curated wineries from the Vinho Verde region of Portugal will be on-hand to share their varietals. The day-long festival will feature three tasting sessions. Also with ever-flowing wine, sommeliers hosting informative sessions about Vinho Verde, mixologists custom curating delicious beverages at the Vinho Verde Cocktail Bar, live music, food bites from some of NYC’s hottest restaurants, and a photo booth.

Vinho Verde Wine Experience

Wine enthusiasts and foodies can enjoy the following sessions on Saturday, June 15, 2019:

Session 1 VIP + GA: 12pm – 3pm
Session 1 GA: 1pm – 3pm
Session 2 VIP + GA: 3:30pm – 6:30pm
Session 2 GA: 4:30pm – 6:30pm
Session 3 VIP + GA: 7pm – 10pm
Session 3 GA: 8pm – 10pm

The wine event takes place in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood at Second Floor’s amazing indoor and outdoor spaces, located at 849 6th Ave.  Some of the winemakers in attendance include Adega Ponte da Barca | Viniverde, Adega de Monção, Quinta da Lixa, Arcas, Casa de Mouraz, Adega Ponte Lima, Vecoope, Manuel Costa & Filhos, Encosta do Xisto, José Maria da Fonseca, Aveleda, Campelo, Quinta da Calçada, Enoport Wines, Provam, and much more!

Vinho Verde is a diverse region that produces many different types of wine: White, Rosé or Red, Sparkling or Spirits. Whether blended or single grape variety, dry or sweet, still or sparkling, floral or fruity, all of them have one thing in common: their authenticity and fresh flavor. Born in a coastal region, characterized by fruity and floral aromas, Vinho Verde wines have the perfect level of acidity, providing a long-lasting sensation of harmony in the mouth.

All wine tastings stop 15 minutes prior to the end of the session time. For more information including ticket purchase options and additional event details, head over to www.vinhoverdewineexperience.com. If you’re posting from or following the event on social media, use hashtag #VinhoVerdeWineExperience.

French Restaurants

Eat, Drink, Be French: French Restaurant Week Kick Off at Cafe Centro

We were invited back to French Brasserie-styled, Cafe Centro, to celebrate the kick-off of the 9th edition of French Restaurant Week New York as part of the Bastille Week festivities. From July 2nd to 15th in New York (and July 9th to 22nd in Chicago), participants will experience masterful cuisine and gastronomy while honoring French culture and history. For two weeks, selected French restaurants will offer prix-fixe menus at $17.89, $25, $38, and $178.90 to commemorate the French Revolution in 1789.

Participating New York restaurants: AOC East, AOC L’aile ou la Cuisse, Bistro Vendome, Bistrot Leo at the Sixty Soho Hotel, Boucherie , Boucherie Park, Brasserie 8 1/2 Patina Group, Cafe Centro Patina Group, Cafe du Soleil, Deux Amis, Dominique Bistro, Excuse My French, Fig & Olive, Jubilee, La Sirène, Le Bateau Ivre, Le Rivage, Maison Harlem, Match 65, Pardon My French, Perrine at The Pierre Hotel, Troquet.

French Restaurant Week continues to partner with OpenTable where diners can easily book their reservations online throughout the event. At Cafe Centro, known for French favorites with a Mediterranean twist, Executive Chef Christine Towers offered up a great selection of hors-d’oeuvres paired with two appropriately selected rosé wines (‘Tis the season for Pink Drink!):  Jalliance Cremant de Bordeaux (Brut and Rosé) and Chateau Pourcieux Rosé 2017.

Chef Towers utilizes her French-focused menu to masterfully play with Mediterranean, Italian, Japanese, Peruvian and Mexican techniques on your plate together. We sampled a beautifully refreshing Leek Terrine in champagne vinaigrette, a vibrant red Tuna Crudo (with watermelon beet and citrus), and an AMAZING Beef Tartare Crostini, which we very graciously went back to for seconds and thirds because it was THAT delicious.

Chef Towers was also very interesting to briefly chat with! Not only because of her amazing Michelin-studded resume, but her proven leadership abilities as an executive chef in a notoriously male-dominated industry. I am certain she has a lifetime of stories and pearls of wisdom to share with aspiring top chefs from all walks of life.

Cafe Centro, you have made a new friend in me.  And as the French saying goes,  “Que les invités qui entrent dans cette maison, repartent en amis.”  We will be back to embrace you at your Wine Bar series this Summer!

A New Pop Up Wine Bar Series at Café Centro sees Chef Christina Towers transforming Café Centro’s outdoor patio on 45th Street and Vanderbilt Avenue. On Monday evenings this summer, the French brasserie turns into a wine bar devoted to French pairings. Dubbed Monday Mariage, a nod to the French definition of “Mariage,” meaning “a blend of 2 things”, the wine bar runs from June 18th through September 10th, 2018 every Monday night. Each night will feature a different pairing, starting with Champagne, Provencal rosé, and Armagnac.  For $25.00 – $30.00, guests can enjoy expert pairings featuring French food and beverage menus that highlight a classic French beverage (i.e., Champagne) matched with 1-3 of its perfect counterparts (i.e. caviar). The rotating schedule kicked off on Monday, June 18th with Lanson Champagne paired with Crab Salad, CroqueMadamee with Quail Eggs and Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms. The full calendar is available on www.cafecentrowinebar.com.

ALL of the French Restaurant Week participating menus were so promising to the senses. I’ve already made my reservations for Le Bateau Ivre for lunch, Excuse My French for their Bar Menu offerings, and Cafe du Soleil for Dinner….stay tuned for reviews…

 

Will you be partaking in French Restaurant Week?

 

 

Edited by Glasgow Skinner
All untagged photos provided by Cafe Centro
Portuguese wines

For Wine Enthusiasts: Why You’ll Enjoy the Vinho Verde Wine Experience

Hello, summertime! There are many things to celebrate during the month of June. For one thing, it’s the month that welcomes summer. It is also the month to celebrate National Rosé Day, National Bubbly Day, National Flip Flop Day, and much more ways to celebrate summer. Speaking of Rosé, we had the pleasure of celebrating National Rosé Day at the Vinho Verde Wine Experience. It was a day filled with wonderful Rosé and White wines from over 30 leading wineries in the Vinho Verde region of Portugal. (Fun fact: Did you know Rosé wine is the oldest known type of wine, dating back as far as 600 BC?)

While you may think ‘Verde’ refers to the color green, it actually refers to the wines being young wines; the Vinho  Verde wines are released 3-6 months after harvest. These wines are light to medium bodied, boast lower alcohol, are usually crisp, and feature a floral and fruity freshness. The day-long Vinho Verde Wine festival was broken down into three, 3-hr sessions. It featured sommeliers hosting information sessions about the Vinho Verde region; mixologists who created unique and distinctive Vinho Verde-based beverages at the Vinho Verde Cocktail Bar; live music; live artist painting by artist Christopher Ghiraldi throughout the event; a photo booth to capture memories;  complimentary food options from Ferris, Conmigo, New York Burger Co, Eataly NYC, Silly Chilly Dumplings, and MY/MO Mochi Ice Cream; and of course, unlimited wine tastings from such Portuguese vineyards as AB Valley Wines, Adega Ponte de Lima, Campelo, Aveleda, Quinta da Lixa, Manuel Costa & Filhos, and Adega de Monção.

The Vinho Verde region bases much of its winemaking on the unique use of blends from the several indigenous grape varietals the region is known for, such as like Loureiro, Trajadura, and the classic Alvarinho. Vinho Verde has produced wine for over 2,000 years, making it one of the oldest wine regions in Portugal and one of the largest wine regions in Europe.

Since it was National Rosé Day, we started off sampling the Rosé wines first, then some white wines. Our first Rosé was from the Adega Ponte de Lima vineyard. This crisp, salmon-colored wine boasts a delicate, slightly sweet with a rich wild red berry flavor. In fact, we enjoyed all the wines from this vineyard, they were all refreshing and crisp, perfect for the hot summer days. But there was more to enjoy at the Vinho Verde Wine experience.

We really enjoyed the wines from the Aveleda and Casal Garcia vineyards. These wines were very high on our lists. We loved it all, from the sweet and fresh white to effervescent sparkling, and the bright rosé. The young and refreshing Casal Garcia White has a very delicate and slightly fruity aroma making it a fresh, smooth and well-balanced wine. The Sweet Casal Garcia is sweet but not too much for an extremely hot day. We found it quite refreshing and versatile. The Casal Garcia rosé has a gentle and fruity aroma that gives it a gives it a smooth, delicate flavor. There were so many Vinho Verde Wine options per vineyard that we had to take a break to eat before we continued on our tasting journey.

After we were properly sated, we continued on to taste more Vinho Verde wines from Arca Nova, Casa das Hortas, Tapada do Marques, Casal de Ventozela, and many more.

As previously stated, Artist Christopher Ghiraldi was live painting throughout the event. The artwork was inspired by the Vinho Verde wine logo, which is wine swirling in a glass. Check out his work below:

As a wine enthusiast, the Vinho Verde Wine event was an experience to remember. We look forward to attending again next year. What are your thoughts on this wine experience fellow wine lovers? Is this something you’d enjoy attending?

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?

Notorious Pink Grenache: A Rosé Wine for All Seasons

Although it’s generally known as a summer wine, we strongly believe the versatile rosé wine can be enjoyed beyond the warm season. Rosé wines can be dry, semi-sweet, savory and meaty, and fruity and floral. These diverse styles and tastes make this wine free of boundaries and perfect for year’ round enjoyment. One especially delicious rosé breaking the rules is Notorious Pink Grenache, a lovely rosé that seems like a typical dry, summer wine, but is so much more.

Notorious Pink is a special blush cuvée made from 100% Grenache, the leading grape varietal at Domaine la Colombette in the South of France, where grapes from the oldest vines are bled, while those from younger vines are pressed. After settling, the musts are fermented at low temperatures (14-18c). It is said that the best rosés are very dry and that they should bear traditional French names, but the Notorious Pink Grenache proves otherwise. It is not as dry as most French rosés, which makes it fabulously tasteful enjoyed with or without food.

Notorious Pink uses mature berries to balance the flavors of the ripe berries that give it a wonderful acidity and soft minerality. The Notorious Pink Grenache is pale pink in color and exudes floral orange blossom aromas. The Notorious Pink Grenache tasting notes are as follows:

Aroma: Ripe Peaches, Plums, Lavender, Pear, Orange, Honey, Floral, Herbal
Palate: Melons, Raspberries, Sweet Cherry, Pear, Peach, Crisp, Good Acidity, Well Balanced
Finish: Stewed Apples, Hint of Spice, Good minerality, Gentle and Length Finish

We know you’re wondering, “why should you drink Notorious Pink rosé in the fall?” For the following very simple reasons: this slightly provocative wine pairs with everything – from fish to soups, to BBQ. It’s quite divine all on its own, so please enjoy a glass or two with nothing else, it’s wonderfully elegant (it’s taste and label), sometimes red wine is much too heavy to enjoy, it brings out the fruit notes in your favorite sweet fall treats, and it makes a wonderful cocktail (hello Wine Spritzers). You will also start to see more and more rosé being highlighted at restaurants and bars as a year’ round wine option, so why not be ahead of the trend.

Notorious Pink has won Double Gold Medal Top Fifty Rosé 2015, five Gold Medals and two “Judges’ favorite,” in addition to a myriad of silver and bronze medals in regional competitions, as well as in Paris. You can’t go wrong with an award-winning wine!

Notorious Pink Grenache is available at www.wine.com and www.drizly.com. You can also use their store locator to find Notorious Pink at a store near you

Wine it Up for Less: Five Summer Wines (Mostly) Under $15.00

Summer is the season of wines, but let’s face it, the continuous and multiple purchases of summer wines can become expensive, especially if you want a good wine. Or does it? We’re here to tell you it doesn’t! Today we share five amazingly delicious, and inexpensive perfect-for-summer wines that you can enjoy without destroying your budget. From white to red, and sparkling, these five summer wines retail for under $15.00…….mostly.

Bollicini Cuvée and Rosé Sparkling Wines ($12.00/4-pack) – We’ve enjoyed our share of wine in a can but these single serve cans of Bollicini Italian sparkling wines are not just light, crisp and refreshing, they are absolutely delicious! Add in the fact that they are packaged in convenient and attractive mini cans (how adorable are these pink and blue cans), and you’re sure to wow at any party. Straws are optional!

Gratien & Meyer Crémant de Loire ($15.00) – We all know summer is the season for Rosé wines and who doesn’t enjoy a glass of pink bubbles? Especially when it’s from a winery who has over 150 years of winemaking heritage and tradition. This creamy and well-balanced wine has notes of red fruit which pairs well with fish, white meat or dessert.

Schloss Johannisberg Gelblack ($30.00) – Produced by the architect and first 100% Riesling estate in the world, this off-dry wine has notes of white flowers, lemon peels, and pears. It’s a perfect accompaniment to salads and roasted chicken.

Capezzana Barco Reale ($15.00) – The bright red fruit flavors of this Sangiovese dominant blend, is sure to please the crowd. The lush, velvety texture and dark berry fruit flavors lend to the wines versatility and pairs well with an array of dishes including pasta, red and white meat entrees.

Pertinace Barbera d’Alba ($15.00) – This red is ideal for your next BBQ as it pairs well with a variety of grilled meats. The blackberry and black cherry fruit flavors lead to a long, lingering finish.

Could these delicious five summer sippers help you beat the heat, please your palate, and keep your wallet happy? Absolutely! Trust us when we say you’ll enjoy every last sip of these summer wines.

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.