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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.

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?

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.

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.

The Refreshingly Sweet Taste of Mirassou Moscato

Sometimes the day gets to be so stressful, you need a break. Times like these call for a relaxing bath, some peace, and quiet, maybe some soothing music and definitely a good glass (or more) of wine. Before you reach that point, make sure your bar is properly stocked with some fabulous wine…i a sucker for a good white grape. I want to make a particularly delectable wine recommendation that is new to me. I was recently introduced to Mirassou Moscato and its incredible crisp, clean and sweet palette and all I can say is wow…..I am hooked.

Bottle-Mirassou_2010_California_Moscato_750ml

The delightful Mirassou Moscato is made with carefully selected California fruit from several regions, with the majority coming from San Luis Obispo County along the Central Coast. From the moment the bottle is opened intense fruit aromas of orange blossoms, peaches, pineapples and ripe citrus delight the senses. The refreshing flavors of peach, tangerine, melon and honeysuckle make their Mirassou Moscato a sweet expression of California’s most celebrated growing regions.
Moscato isn’t the only delight from Mirassou Winery; White wine lovers will enjoy their Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and Reisling while lovers of Red will swoon over their Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. Balancing intense fruit flavors with delicate aromas, Mirassou wines embody the optimism and pioneering spirit passed down through six generations of the Mirassou family.

MirassouWineMoscato

Featuring a bright, uniquely approachable style, these wines honor the Mirassou family’s heritage while appealing to a new generation of wine enthusiasts. So take some time out for yourself with a glass of Mirassou Moscato or any of their other wine offerings, you will thank me for this.