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Cheers to South African Wines: Graham Beck Cap Classique Wines

Cheers to South African Wines: Graham Beck Cap Classique Wines

The pandemic has affected so many industries. While some American states allowed many spirit retailers and bars to remain open to sell alcohol, not every country was allowed to do so. We highlighted this in our “How Can South Africa’s Wine Industry Recover from COVID-19?” article. One of the South African winemakers who was affected by this lockdown was Graham Beck and their delicious Cap Classique Wines. We got to know more about their wines through a tasting and conversation with Graham Beck Cellarmaster, Pieter Ferreira, and Winemaker, Pierre de Klerk. The alcohol ban has since been lifted and everyone can continue to celebrate what matters with these delicious MCC (Méthode Cap Classique) sparkling wines.

Cheers to South African Wines: Graham Beck Cap Classique Wines

The Graham Beck Cap Classique portfolio comprises of three sparkling wine tiers – the Non-Vintage (NV) Collection (Brut NV, Bliss Demi-Sec NV, and Brut Rosé NV); the Vintage Collection (Blanc de Blancs, Brut Zero, and Brut Rosé); and The Prestige Collection (Cuvée Clive).

Cheers to South African Wines: Graham Beck Cap Classique Wines

During our tasting we had the pleasure of enjoying the Vintage Collection pictured directly above; these are the wines we’ll be highlighting today.

Graham Beck Blanc de Blancs

Cheers to South African Wines: Graham Beck Cap Classique Wines

Say hello to South Africa’s most awarded sparkling wine. The Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine is a 100% Chardonnay varietal. Its grapes are hand-selected from the limestone-rich vineyards on Graham Beck’s Robertson estate using the highest quality juice for fermentation. Boasting a bright lime green color, this well-rounded and creamy sparkling wine features rich aromas of fresh lime and ripe apricot; It features an exciting fine mousse with an explosion of tangerines on the palate; and a great brioche and yeast complexity that broaden the palate, leading to a long and elegant finish.

Graham Beck Brut Zero

Cheers to South African Wines: Graham Beck Cap Classique Wines

Why zero? This ultra-dry, crisp, and refreshing sparkling wine was created without the use of additional sugar in the dosage; the liqueur which is added just after removing the sediment from sparkling wines. With only 1.46 grams per liter of sugar, it is great for health-conscious wine lovers looking to reduce their sugar intake. This 85% Pinot Noir and 15% Chardonnay blend boasts a low pH and high natural acidity. Its golden peach hue promises a vibrant bouquet of cherries, blueberries, almonds, and earthy spice. It features a delicate yet complex palate abound with red berry, yellow stone fruit, and hints of brioche. One sip rewards you with great balance and a long and slightly salty finish.

Graham Beck Brut Rosé

Cheers to South African Wines: Graham Beck Cap Classique Wines

Last, but by no means least, the delicate and delightfully demure Brut Rosé.  A unique first for South Africa, this complex Pinot Noir Rosé is the result of whole bunches of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay jointly pressed as a blend. This gives this bubbly its beautiful salmon pink hue. The 92% Pinot Noir lends a berry-laden ripeness and subtle spiciness, while the 8% Chardonnay contributes its creamy complexity. Its mouthfeel leaves an explosion of raspberry fruit and slight honeysuckle flavors on the palate, with a persistent yet delicate mousse.

We promise you’ll bid farewell to all other sparklings after one sip of these Méthode Cap Classique sparkling wines. Aside from being absolutely delicious, the award-winning range of Graham Beck wines is characterized by unmistakable sophistication, elegance, quality, and consistency. For more information and availability in the US, visit www.grahambeckusa.com.

Zero Sugar, 100% Delicious: PURE Winery Low-Calorie Wine Cocktails

Zero Sugar, 100% Delicious: PURE Winery Low-Calorie Wines

To say it has been a stressful time is an understatement. We’ve had so much to deal with; so much so that Wine Shops were deemed essential. And truth be told, it has been a necessity. It’s gotten to the point where you need to reach for a glass of wine to escape the mental trauma that is 2020. The problem is, drinking lots of wine has begun to take its toll. Together with all the food we’ve been constantly eating, our sugar intake is double what it used to be. Thankfully, PURE Winery has come to the rescue with the launch of their new PURE Winery zero-carb, zero-sugar wine varietals. Which leaves us with one thing left to ask, ‘Won’t you join us in some zero sugar QuarantWine?”

Zero Sugar, 100% Delicious: PURE Winery Low-Calorie Wines

Blending unique and traditional techniques in their wine fermentation process, we’re able to convert all-natural sugars into alcohol. Using blends of only the finest grapes — Pinot Noir, Pinot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Barbera, and Merlot — their wines are crafted by seasoned winemakers in one of Italy’s most respected wine regions. From red and white to sparkling white and sparkling rosé, they have a zero sugar wine variety to match every occasion. This occasion just so happens to all for wine cocktails. We’re sharing some low-calorie cocktail recipes, featuring three out of the four available varietals: PURE White Wine, PURE Red Wine, and PURE Sparkling White. Let’s get to know these guilt-free wines:

Zero Sugar, 100% Delicious: PURE Winery Low-Calorie Wine Cocktails

Sparkling Rosé:

Light pink in color with orange highlights, this sparkling rosé presents fragrant aromas of citrus, young red fruits, and red flowers. It is full-bodied, smooth, and velvety, with a fine effervescence and pleasantly sharp finish. This is a rosé that will take your palate seamless into the coolness of the fall season. The grapes in this varietal include Pinot, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay. Our cocktail recommendation? Pour and enjoy it.

Sparkling White:

Clear in color with golden reflections, this sparkling white wine also features a fine effervescence and pleasantly sharp finish. It boasts a vibrant floral and fruity aroma with a fresh scent, complimented by a velvety and full-bodied taste. Grapes in this varietal include Chardonnay and Pinot. The I Feel Good cocktail recipe below gives a new twist on the traditional mimosa.

I Feel Good

Zero Sugar, 100% Delicious: PURE Winery Low-Calorie Wines
5 grams Yerba Mate infused in 50 ml Vodka
Macerate for 1-hour minimum and then strain well and mix.
100 ml Orange juice
Top with PURE Sparkling White
In a shaker or jar with ice, shake and serve in a glass. Garnish with an Orange peel

White Wine:

Balance is the name of this mellow white. Clear in color with golden reflections, this white blend offers light, floral and fruity notes. While it is full-bodied and fresh, it is well-balanced and boasts a nice acidity on the palate with a velvety finish. Grapes in this varietal include Chardonnay and Sauvignon. You can’t go wrong with a refreshing drink, so we know you’ll love the Green & Fresh cocktail. For those who want a bit of a kick, the Wise Hope cocktail has what you’re looking for. Enjoy them below:

Green & Fresh

Green & Fresh Low Calorie Cocktail

50ml PURE White Wine
50 ml Coconut Water
7 – 9 Big green grapes
Put in a shaker or jar with ice, shake and serve in a glass.

Wise Hope (Sabia Esperanza)

Zero Sugar, 100% Delicious: PURE Winery Low-Calorie Wines

50 ml Tequila white
1 Lemon Juice
30 ml PURE WHITE WINE
30 ml Capresse Cordial*
In a shaker or jar with ice, shake and serve in a glass.

*Capresse Cordial
200 ml Herbal Gin (BETTER OPTION) or Vodka
100 ml Honey diluted in water 1:2
Skins of 10 lemons.
5 – 10 Basil leaves
Oregano to taste.
Macerate the above ingredients for 24 hours. Strain with a superbag or coffee filter and ready to use. Garnish with a Basil leaf

Red Wine:

Red wine fans will love this blend for the use of Barbera grapes. Ruby red in color with hints of violet, this blend is a dry, smooth, and drinkable red. It is sharp but balanced and features an aroma that offers fresh and fruity notes of cherries and red fruits. The Barbera and Merlot grapes come together for a soft finish. Merlot-infused coffee beans exist and Barbera is perfect with anything earthy, and the below Stay ay Home cocktail celebrates those flavors.

Stay at Home (Stay in Home)

Zero Sugar, 100% Delicious: PURE Winery Low-Calorie Wines

50 ml PURE Red Wine
30 ml London Dry Gin
6 Strawberries
5 coffee beans
In a cocktail shaker or jar with ice, shake and serve in a glass. Garnish with Strawberries.

The PURE Winery, based in Italy was founded with the vision to create a new category of zero-sugar and zero carb wine to meet the needs of today’s wellness-conscious consumer. PURE is passionate about empowering wine-lovers with a solution to the common dilemma between pleasure and guilt. The wines are crafted by seasoned winemakers in one of Italy’s most respected wine regions. Each PURE Winery bottle is available for $15.00 – $20.00 at Total Wine & More stores and other select retailers in New York, New Jersey, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

Comsi Comsa Apple Dry: NEW Dry Sparkling Apple Wine

Did you know that grapes are not the only fruit that can be fermented to make a delicious wine! You may remember we introduced you to Sauvage’s Comsi Comsa Sparkling Apple Crisp Wine, and Comsi Comsa Oak Aged Apple Wine. We’re more than happy to present to you the latest launch in Sauvage’s sparkling wine range, Comsi Comsa Apple Dry. A dry version of their delicious sparkling apple wines.

Comsi Comsa Apple Dry is a medium-bodied, dry apple wine with a pale gold color. It boasts a crisp, refreshing, clean, and elegant taste that you will absolutely enjoy. The beauty of Comsi Comsa Apple Dry is that you can drink it any time of year. Don’t let the fact that it is made of apples make you think it’s only to be enjoyed during the fall season, Apple Dry is wonderful year’ round. Like it’s predecessors, Comsi Comsa Apple Dry is made in the classic champagne style from all natural ingredients. It is produced with a variety of apples sourced from local New York State farms, boasts persistent bubbles, has little to no residual sugar, and a 12% ALC/VOL.

Comsi Comsa Apple Dry is very much like a brut champagne. It is a sparkling wine that is dry to the taste; like its name, is “like a bubbly and like a cider.”

The best way to enjoy Comsi Comsa Apple Dry is served chilled. It is perfect as an apéritif and is a compliment to virtually any meal, thanks to its balanced acidity. Like Comsi Comsa Apple Crisp, Comsi Comsa Apple Dry is all natural, gluten-free, and kosher. This dry varietal is available now in 750ml bottles across the five New York City boroughs.  You can find the Comsi Comsa range of sparkling wines at 55th Wine & Spirits, 67 Wine & Spirits, W & J WInes, Cabrini Wine & Spirits, and many more locations.

 

 

Champagne Wishes, Apple Dreams: Comsi Comsa Apple Sparkling Wine

In case you haven’t noticed, we’re in apple season. While some apples are available all year round, the fall season, (especially fall in New York) is the only time you can get ripe, fresh apples off the tree. What better time than the height of apple season to introduce and highlight the most delicious and newest apple harvest, a wonderfully delicious sparkling apple wine. What do you get when you combine New York breeding with French elements? You get Comsi Comsa Apple Sparkling Wine, a 12% abv sparkling wine crafted from locally sourced Upstate New York apples (New York grows more apple varieties than any other state). Creation of this delightful sparkling follows the traditional method used by the French champagnes.

Created and distributed by Sauvage, Comsi Comsa Apple Sparkling Wine, launching soon in Apple Crisp, is an all natural, gluten-free and kosher sparkling wine. It is a bit like bubbly and a bit like cider, hence its name, Comsi Comsa, French for “Like this, Like that.” What makes this naturally sweet bubbly so amazing? It’s made with dozens of apple varieties sourced from the local farms surrounding the distillery, it boasts 12% alcohol (ciders only have 6%), has a slightly full-bodied nose, and a gorgeous caramel color. There are only two ingredients in every bottle of Comsi Comsa Apple Sparkling Wine – 100% apples and Champagne Yeast, nothing more.

Influenced by French techniques applied in the Champagne region of France, Sauvage marries tradition and innovation to offer this all-natural apple-based sparkling wine. We had the pleasure of getting better acquainted with Comsi Comsa Apple Sparkling Wine, and it truly was love at first sip. We highly recommend serving it chilled in a champagne flute but we can also see this sweet sparkling adding a unique twist to a French 75 cocktail, a Bellini (who says it has to be peach or pear), or a sweet holiday Poinsettia cocktail (just add cranberry juice).

Comsi Comsa Apple Sparkling Wine officially launches on November 15th, 2017. The 750ml bottle of the sparkling wine, which bears a Panther logo (Sauvage is French for “wild” after all), will retail for $14.99 each.  Keep an eye out at bars and restaurants, clubs and lounges for this crisp spirit, or maybe just pay a visit to Sauvage’s distillery in Oneonta, NY.

Sauvage’s brand-new farm distillery and tasting room are nestled in Oneonta, a vibrant small town in Upstate New York, in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains along the banks of the Susquehanna River. With direct access to 24 varieties of delicious apples growing in the nearby region’s orchards, Sauvage produces this local, fresh, crisp and tasty juice, fermented with champagne yeast. This proprietary recipe becomes the signature base for their unique line of apple-based products.

What are your thoughts on apple sparkling wines? Would you love to give Comsi Comsa a try? For more information on Comsi Comsa, head over to www.drinksauvage.com.

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.

How Do You Like Them Apples | Cliffton Dry Premium Cider

As you may know, not all wine is made from grapes. The most popular non-grape wine is Cider (normally known in the US as a “hard cider” or “apple wine” because of its alcohol content), made from fermented apples. Today we present a unique twist to the cider category from Cliffton Dry. As you can tell from the name, this refreshing beverage is a light, dry, sparkling apple wine. Cliffton Dry Premium Cider is made from 100% first-pressed, locally grown apples, is low in calories, sugar-free, gluten free, contains a low-alcohol (5.5%) level, and has a bit of a beer personality.
Cliffton-Dry-premium-Cider-www.mylifeonandofftheguestlist.com

What makes Cliffton Dry so unique is the fact they use a variety of apples (five to seven apple varieties a year, depending on the seasons harvest) for their first-press process. This unique, refreshing beverage boasts a crisp, fresh taste and pale golden color, that is wonderfully delicate and pure. Organically produced, the Cliffton Dry Premium Cider makes a great wine alternative to pair with fruit and cheese or a seafood meal, instead of the traditional grape-based wine.

Cliffton-Dry-premium-Cider-2-www.mylifeonandofftheguestlist.com

Grab a Cliffton Dry Premium Cider 4-pk for approximately $16.99 at the following retailers: Whole Foods, ‘wichcraft, Fairway, Union Market, and www.empirestatecellars.com. For more information on this refreshingly unique tasting, dry apple wine, visit www.clifftondry.com.

 

VH1’s Carrie Keagan Launches Magnifico Giornata Sparkling Wines

I love a good glass of wine and you guys already know I love discovering new and exciting products – which is exactly what I did a few nights ago. Magnifico Giornata, Italian for “Magnificent Day”, launched their new trio of essence-infused, European Blend sparkling wines.

Hosted by VH1’s Carrie Keagan (a partner in the brand along with CEO, Bob Manfredonia), guests were able to sample each of the essences, passed hors d’oeuvres, a pairing table of small bites created specially to compliment each of the essences and music by renowned New York DJ, Jeffrey Tonnesen.

The delicious sparkling wines are infused with subtle essences of Lavender Honey, Ginger Pêche and Grapefruit Blanc (the last being my favorite) and blows every other sparkling cocktail out of the water (if you’re a fan of Absolut’s Tune – you will die over Magnifico Giornata).

Guests also enjoyed three performances by burlesque troop Nuit Blanche, known for their provocative performances (see below for a snippet of one of the performances)

Notable attendees at the celebration included: Carrie Keagan (Host, VH1’s Big Morning Buzz with Carrie Keagan), Phillip Bloch (Celebrity Stylist), Janell Snowden (VH1), Trey Morgan (Radio Host, Z100), Kristen Ruhlin (Actress), J Smith Cameron (Actress), Cara Castronuova (Fitness Personality/Trainer, The Biggest Loser, Season 11).

The Magnifico Giornata Sparkling Wine Collection is available now for $24.99 per bottle in finer liquor stores and lounges throughout NYC, and will roll-out to other key markets in the U.S. later this year. For more information about Magnifico Giornata, check out www.magnificobrands.com and follow them on Twitter @MagnificoGio.