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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.

Canard-Duchêne Cuvée

Canard-Duchêne Celebrates Summer with New Cuvée V Champagne

Nothing says Summer like a perfectly chilled glass of champagne on a hot day. Even better if it’s an exquisite Cuvée. We were incredibly excited to join Winemaker Laurent Fédou in welcoming the new Canard-Duchêne Cuvée V Champagne, created in honor of founder Victor Canard.

Canard-Duchêne Cuvée V Champagne

As they say, onwards and upwards; and that’s exactly what we did as we enjoyed a “flight” of Canard-Duchêne Cuvée champagnes like no other. Held at the unique and breathtaking location on Lafayette, we enjoyed a glass or more of different Canard-Duchêne champagne on every floor.

Canard-Duchêne Cuvée Champagne Event

Our journey started with the Charles VII Blanc de Blancs Brut, an aromatic white fruit varietal (pear and lychee) which boasts a soft golden hue and smooth palate.  Next up was the Canard-Duchêne Brut, the original style Cuvée. Much like a Pinot, it boasts an intense nose of fresh fruits.

Canard-Duchêne Cuvée Champagne Event

This golden-hued Cuvée is bursting with delicate bubbles and features buttery brioche and fruit notes. We continued on to the first rose Cuvée of the evening (and our favorite), the delicately sweet Charles VII Smooth Rosé. 

Canard-Duchêne Cuvée Canard-Duchêne Cuvée Champagne Event

Like perfection in a bottle, this delicate pink-hued rosé Cuvée boasts a fresh and slick palate with a fruity finish. You’ll love its sweet flavors of red berries with raspberry notes. Although we could have stayed on this floor for the rest of the evening, we had to experience the star of the event, the new Canard-Duchêne Cuvée V Champagne.

Canard-Duchêne Cuvée V Champagne Event

Boasting the boldest palate, the straw gold colored Cuvée V Champagne is fresh and vibrant, with a persistent and aromatic finish. It featuring a slightly toasted nose with pastry, baked lemon, and white floral notes. The gleaming champagne boasts a steady stream of tiny bubbles rising to the surface. The next stop in our “flight of Canard-Duchêne Cuvée” was the Charles VII Blanc de Noirs Brut.

Canard-Duchêne Cuvée

As you can guess, this varietal was more intense than its sister, the Charles VII Blanc de Blancs Brut. Its spicy notes add to its complex nose; while its aromas of pear and lightly candied fruits gives this golden-yellow champagne its mature palate. Our final and last Cuvée was the second of the two rosés, the elegant and powerful Canard-Duchêne Rosé.

Canard-Duchêne Rose Cuvée Canard-Duchêne Rose Cuvée

This bubbly rosé boasts an intense and fresh strawberry and raspberry nose and palate with subtle spicy notes. Its slightly rosy color has a beautiful pearl finish and lots of bubbles. We must compel you to add any or all of these six Cuvées to your must-drink list.

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.

Boo-zy Halloween: Drinks to Get You in the Halloween Spirit

They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky. They’re all together ooky, these Halloween Spirits”. Okay, so that’s not how it goes, but the beginning theme to the Adams Family show perfectly describes the following spirits. As many of you will be soon, these alcohol brands are rocking their best Halloween costumes just in time for the spooky holiday. Join us as we highlight some great Boo-zy Halloween libations. Feast your eyes on the Halloween-themed Stella Rosa Wines “Stellaween Collection”Crystal Head Vodka John Alexander Artist Series, and Mezcales de Leyenda’s Cementerio Mezcalero (Mezcal Graveyard); and great cocktails from Avion Tequila, Cruzan RumNovo Fogo Cachaça, and more.

Stellaween Holiday Collection


Do you dare to Taste The Magic of Stella Rosa Black, Red, and Peach wrapped in their spooky, limited-edition Stellaween sleeves? When you purchase these dangerously delicious, semi-sweet wines this Halloween and you’ll get a free spooky collectible art sleeve! Available for a very affordable $8.95-$11.95, you will truly have yourself a Boo-zy Halloween. For those of you who are looking to double the treat, the Halloween Stella Rosa offers an exclusive 1.5 Magnum bottles available in Stella black and rosé.

Crystal Head Vodka John Alexander Artist Series

Multi-award winning, ultra-premium Crystal Head Vodka, known for its signature skull bottle, is really upping the spooky factor with the debut of the first limited-edition artist series bottle by artist John Alexander. Alexander’s work is celebrated in this exquisite artist series keepsake which provides a unique opportunity to own a piece of his art – “Dancing on the Water Lillies of Life”. Each of the 25,000 bottles is hand-decorated by one of three highly skilled craftsmen and then numbered to further emphasize its scarcity. The John Alexander Artist Series No.1 bottle will be available in 750 mL format, retailing for $149.95. The ghostly skull bottle makes a perfect Boo-zy Halloween conversation piece.

Mezcales de Leyenda’s Cementerio Mezcalero (Mezcal Graveyard)

Mezcales de Leyenda’s Cementerio Mezcalero is the first release in a series of mezcals that honors an old tradition where some of the world’s best mezcals are aged in glass, generally underground, to be later unearthed for family celebrations. This unique mezcal features aromas of roasted chestnuts and dried fruits and a flavor profile that exhibits buttery notes and mild smoke with a long finish. A portion of sales proceeds of Mezcales de Leyenda’s Cementerio Mezcalero is donated to purchase tourism equipment of Tzitzio, Michoacán. This promotes the ‘desentierros mezcaleros’ (mezcal unearthing) traditionally held during the celebration of Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead). A bottle of this amazing mezcal retails for $279.99.

Crystal Head Smokin’ Head Caesar

2oz. Crystal Head Vodka
5 oz. Clamato( Caesar) or tomato juice (Bloody Mary)
dash of Worcestershire sauce
dash of hot sauce
tiny dash of liquid smoke
garnish of your choice

Rim Garnish:
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp pepper
½ tsp smoked paprika
Rub the rim of the glass with a lemon wedge and dip into a salt, pepper, and smoked paprika mix. In a shaker half-filled with ice, add in all ingredients and shake well. Strain into the pre-rimmed glass filled with ice.

Optional Garnish Ideas:
Celery and lime wheel
Bacon wrapped mini meatball with two hot peppers
Scallop and hot pepper skewer
Spicy halved long bean skewer

Tequila Avion Gummy Bear Jello Shots
(Makes around 10 2oz shots)

GUMMY BEAR SYRUP (Makes about one cup)
1 cup – Gummy Bears (Your choice in flavor- I did half cherry half lemon. Get creative!)
1 ½ cups – Water
1 pinch – Citric Acid
1 pinch – Salt
Prepare a double boiler. Add the Gummy Bears and the water to the top of the boiler. Let Gummy Bears slowly melt into the water, stirring occasionally. Once they are completely incorporated, transfer the mixture into a separate saucepan. Add citric acid and salt and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the mixture has reduced to 1 cup, you’re ready to build the shots.

THE JELLO SHOT

1 cup – Tequila Avión Silver
1 cup – Gummy Bear Syrup
1/3 cup – Powdered Gelatin (This is about half of what you’d normally use in a Jello shot, but since there’s gelatin in the Gummy Bears, you don’t need so much.)
Add the Tequila Avión to the Gummy Bear Syrup while it’s still hot enough that it hasn’t started to set. Slowly whisk in gelatin, so that there are no big clumps. Prepare your serving vessels by spraying the insides of them lightly with olive oil cooking spray, so the shots will release more easily when they’re set up. Transfer the mixture into a pourable container and pour into the prepared serving vessels. Place vessels in the refrigerator and let set up (about 2 hours). When they’re fully set, they’re ready to enjoy!

Alice In Wonderland: Through The Looking Glass
By Mariena Mercer of Rose. Rabbit. Lie. (Las Vegas)


1 ½ oz Reposado Tequila
¼ oz Mezcal
½ oz Novo Fogo Cachaca
½ oz Giffard Passion Fruit Liqueur
1 oz Lime juice
1 ½ oz Bols Pineapple Chipotle
2 oz Pineapple juice
1 oz clarified milk per cocktail
Mint sprig garnish

Liquid Smoke by Mandarin Hide

1 1/4 oz Slow and Low Rock & Rye
3/4 Coffee Infused Cynar
2 Dashes of Walnut Bitters
Stir with rocks, strain and garnish with a cherry.

Cruzan Midnight Potion

1 part Cruzan Aged Light Rum
1 part Cruzan Aged Dark Rum
1 part Cruzan Black Strap Rum
1 part Apricot Liqueur
3 parts Orange Juice
1 dash Lime Bitters
Orange Peel
Cherries
Combine Cruzan Aged Light Rum, Cruzan Aged Dark Rum, apricot liqueur, orange juice and lime bitters in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a large glass filled with ice. Float one part Cruzan® Black Strap Rum on top of each glass, then garnish with the orange peel and a cocktail pick of cherries.

For Skeleton Garnish: Peel orange rind and lay flat on a surface. Take circle cookie cutter and cut circle space out of the peel. Use a paring knife to cut mini-circles for eyes, nose, and jaw of skeleton garnish.

Drink Photography: Sparkling Apple Wine

Better With Age: Comsi Comsa Oak Aged Apple Wine

Late last year, we were introduced to Sauvage Distillery‘s one of a kind sparkling wine from, Comsi Comsa Sparkling Apple Wine, and we’ve been addicted ever since. We didn’t think anything could top the delicious flavor of a perfectly chilled glass of our favorite sparkling apple wine until we were introduced to the latest from Sauvage, Comsi Comsa Oak Aged Apple Wine.

For anyone who’s enjoyed wine aged in oak barrels, you’ll know oak often softens the wine and smooths it out. In many cases, aging grape wines in oak barrels also improves the taste of the wine. So you can imagine what it does for an apple wine. Although we didn’t think Comsi Comsa could be any more delicious than it already is. We are happy to be proven wrong. The new Comsi Comsa Oak Aged Apple Wine is aged in French white oak barrels for a minimum of six months. The result is an apple wine with warm vanilla, caramel, and toffee flavor tones. It also boasts a wonderful oak nose reminiscent of a fine apple brandy.

Unlike their American counterparts, barrels made from French oak, mostly grown in five main forests in France, produce wines that are more subtle and spicy in taste. The wines aged in French oak barrels are said to produce wines with textures so smooth, they are often described as silk. And that is how we would describe the new Comsi Comsa Oak Aged Apple Wine. You’ll also love its long finish. Both its smoothness and lasting finish will keep you going back for more.

We enjoy this wine the most on the cool rainy days we’ve been having. There’s nothing more wonderful than relaxing at home with a glass or two of Comsi Comsa Oak Aged Apple Wine while listening to the sound of rain gently hitting the windows. You won’t have to wait long to enjoy this limited edition wine, Comsi Comsa Oak Aged Apple Wine should be hitting stores any day now.

 

Celebrate National Sangria Day with Santa Margherita and Sparkling Ice

Did you know that today is National Sangria Day? What better way to raise a glass to Wine Wednesday than to raise a glass with a time-honored cocktail made with wine – Sangria! Today we’re sharing some of our favorite sangria drink recipes from world-renowned Italian winery Santa Margherita Wines and zero-calorie beverage, Sparkling Ice. The great thing about Sangria is not only is it easy to make, it’s also perfect for holiday entertaining. Check out these quick and easy big-batch recipes that are sure to make celebrating National Sangria Day a delicious experience.

Holiday Red Sangria

SERVINGS: 4
1 bottle of Santa Margherita Chianti Classico Riserva
1 large orange, sliced
1 large apple, chopped
1 large pear, chopped
Seeds of 1 pomegranate
4 cinnamon sticks
Add fruit to a large pitcher. Top with Santa Margherita Chianti Classico Riserva. Place in fridge for an hour before serving. Spoon fruit into a glass before pouring the wine. Garnish with cinnamon stick. Add ice to the top (optional).

Sparkling Sangria

1 peach, sliced
½ orange, sliced
¾ cup peach brandy
1 bottle white wine, chilled
4 cups Sparkling Ice Classic Lemonade
Place peaches, oranges, and brandy in a pitcher then lightly muddle. Add wine and Sparkling Ice Classic Lemonade and stir. Serve over ice and garnish with a peach slice.

Bubble Gum Sangria

¼ cup gumballs
1 cup vodka
1 bottle red wine
1 cup Sparkling Ice Strawberry Watermelon
1 peach, sliced
1 orange, sliced
½ cup raspberries
Place gumballs in a jar, pouring vodka over. Cover and allow to sit for at least 12 hours. In a large pitcher or bowl combine gum balls and their vodka, red wine, Sparkling Ice Strawberry Watermelon, and fruit. Add ice and serve.

Winter Sangria

1/2 Apple, sliced
1 orange, sliced
1/2 pear, sliced
Cinnamon Stick
1 bottle red wine
1/2 cup Brandy
1 cup Sparkling Ice Orange Mango
Cut fruit into equal sizes and place in a pitcher with the cinnamon stick. Pour in the bottle of wine, bourbon, and Sparkling Ice Orange Mango over fruit. Gently stir to combine. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours, up to 2 days. Serve cold over ice.

Are you ready to enjoy a bright and sparkling Sangria drink during the holidays? Which one (or more) of these cocktail recipes will you be enjoying on National Sangria Day?

You’re Invited to the 2013 Holiday Buying Show Beverage Sampling Event

Are you someone who’s always on the look out for hot new cocktail ideas? Want to know what’s the newest trends in alcohol or what your favorite brands are launching? Then attending the Holiday 2013 Buying Show, the largest alcohol buying event for the bar, restaurant and retail industries, is an absolute must.

What can you expect to experience at the Holiday 2013 Buying Show? New York World Wine and Spirits Competition (experts from around the world of wine and spirits judge a wide variety of grade-A beverages, many of which are featured on the convention floor), seminars, amazing beverage and food sampling from some of the most delicious alcohol brands – over 400 vendors actually. With your show floor ticket, you can sample a very extensive selection of beverages both alcoholic and non alcoholic, domestic and imported. For a complete list of exhibitors visit http://holidaybarbuyingshow.com/exhibitor-list.

In addition, over a hundred new craft and artisan brands will be on display for sampling; other vendors being showcased include barware, legal services, photo workshops, a variety of 19 seminars (not included in show floor ticket). For information about seminars and pricing, visit http://holidaybarbuyingshow.com/attendee-registration.

Along with the amazing show floor activities, attending guests will also enjoy parties, networking opportunities, drink-making demos, and specialty vendors. The regular cost for a ticket is $40.00 but with discount code 1951, you get 25% off – $30.00 for show exhibits and sampling only and $100.00 for seminars and show floor. 

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.