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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?

Fun Wine and Graffiti Artist Miguel Parades Get in a Tropical State of Wine

In all honesty, you don’t have to convince anyone that enjoying a glass or two of wine is fun but when the wine is housed in fun packaging, well that’s another story. If you currently live somewhere where winter is currently king and have friends or family who reside in or are vacationing somewhere tropical and posting photos, you’re probably really envious. We may not be able to grant you the wish of physically being somewhere warm, but we can get you there mentally with Friends Fun Wine. What makes Friends Fun Wine exceptional wines to enjoy during any snowstorm, frigid winter’s night or Wednesday? This pioneering range of low-alcohol, fresh and light wine-flavored beverages just launched its newest bottle design for their three most popular flavor pairings: Red Sangria, Strawberry Moscato, and Coconut Chardonnay.

Tapping into the ever-growing trend of unique, Instagrammable moments, the Miami-based Fun Wine (the brand is also inspired by the sunny city) worked with world-famous graffiti artist Miguel Parades to create one-of-kind bottles that immediately become keep-sakes and works-of-art. This range of flavored wine drinks is a great alternative to beer and the traditional formats of wine, allowing you to enjoy wine in a new and refreshing way. The Coconut Chardonnay boasts the smoothness of Chardonnay with the exotic flavors of coconut and the unexpected hint of pineapple undertones. It perfectly captures what Miami tastes like. The Strawberry Moscato celebrates the fruity refreshing taste of strawberry and the crisp aroma of a Rosé Moscato wine as it flirts with your taste buds. Last but not least, the Red Sangria is a fruity, flirty and inviting blend with distinct notes and characteristics of the ripe fruit juices used in its creation. It’s bold and refreshing, a perfect drink to get you in a warm weather state of mind.

Inspired by the electric Miami culture, World-Renowned Graffiti Artist Miguel Paredes, known for his explosive and bold design style, offering a perfect marriage of graffiti, landscape and pop art.

 “My sense of design and art has many parallels with the Friends Fun Wine brand,” said Mr. Paredes, Artist and Chief Design Officer of the company.“This bold product and what it offers to people around the world inspired me to create images that are both strong in their color and palette as well as encompassing evoking images and designs that appeal to people everywhere.” “We are thrilled to welcome Miguel to the team,” smiled Joe Peleg, “Bringing our unique brand to life through the art world is a way of connecting with our fans and consumers that crosses cultural boundaries and geographies. Miguel’s vision perfectly matches ours, and we are pleased with the reaction to our new bottle designs from our international business partners.”

Friends Fun Wine is available on five continents, The Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa. It has about 50% of the alcohol and calorie content of traditional wines and contains 71-94 calories per serving. The Friends Fun Wine range is currently available in a 750 ml (25.36 oz.) bottle, with a 350 ml (11.5 oz.) version coming soon. Both feature an alcohol content of 5.5% Alc/Vol.

 

The Perfect Pairing: Santa Margherita Wines and The Salty Donut

There are some things that just go together, peanut butter and jelly, Ying and Yang, cheese and crackers, and wine and donuts. Yes, you read that correct, wine and donuts. Thanks to Santa Margherita Wines and The Salty Donut, we not only discovered but thoroughly enjoyed this pairing. We had the pleasure of experiencing this non-typical, yet perfect pairing to celebrate the launch of Santa Margherita‘s two new sparkling wines, Sparkling Rosé and Prosecco Superiore DOCG.

Just in time for the holidays, world-renowned Italian winery, Santa Margherita Wines, and The Salty Donut, makers of small-batch artisanal donuts, collaborated to create exclusive Sparkling Rosé & Prosecco Superiore donuts. These two decadent, limited edition, artisan donuts are for lack of a better word, quintessential desserts. We say quintessential mainly because they incorporated the Santa Margherita wines into the donut and frosting, adding to their decadence.

We watched in awe and anticipation, as the Chefs created donut hole sized versions of the Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore DOCG Donuts. We took extreme pleasure in filling each of our donut holes with a special concoction that added the finishing touch to our crafted donut. Of course, nothing compared to the drool-inducing beauty of the limited edition donuts from Santa Margherita Wines and The Salty Donut.

Founded in 1935, Santa Margherita is a world-renowned Italian winery that prides itself on its deep-rooted values of provenance, character, and craftsmanship. We must note that we tasted a taste similarity between the two new wines, which we attribute to the Glera grapes, which are present in both (the rosé at 40%, and the prosecco at 100%).

Santa Margherita Sparkling Rosé ($29.99)

A pink hue introduces a subtle succession of floral fragrances lifted by white fruits and delicate hints of red berry fruits while offering a versatile drinking experience. This pale pink wine brings a full bouquet of pleasing floral aromas with hints of red berry, artfully crafted with a blend of white wine made from Chardonnay and Glera grapes and a red varietal, Malbec. Its flavor is delicate, but vibrant and well rounded, remaining on the palate and making this a deliciously easy-drinking wine.

Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore DOCG ($27.99)

A sparkling wine with a clean, pleasantly fruity bouquet, reminiscent of rennet apples and peach blossom. its flavor is rounded and well-balanced. This sparkling wine has fine bubbles winding through its bright straw yellow color and greenish reflections. Its flavor includes fruity hints of pineapples and Rennet apples.

The full Santa Margherita portfolio is comprised of Pinot Grigio Alto Adige and Valdadige, Chianti Classico Riserva, Sparkling Rosé, and Prosecco Superiore DOCG. For more information of all four wines, visit www.santamargheritawines.com. What do you think of the Santa Margherita Wines and The Salty Donut’s wine-based donuts? We think they should add it to the Salty Donuts’ menu, don’t you?

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

Sip Pink: Enjoy VieVité Rosé French Wine this Spring

There’s much to look forward to in the spring season – warmer weather, blooming flowers, and drinking rosé wine. While we’ll always enjoy the first two, it’s the third that really has us excited for it is officially the season of enjoying rosé wines. The rosé we’re really excited for and ready to enjoy is the delicate and smooth VieVité Rosé french wine – VieVité (white label), and the limited cask VieVité Extraordinaire (black label).

Since it’s resurgence in 2012, rosé wines (the classic ones, not to be confused with the sweet, blush-colored White Zinfandel that was popular in the 80’s) have become THE wine to celebrate the spring and summer seasons. A perfect example of a classic rose is VieVité Rosé french wine. VieVité Rosé (pronounced Vee-Veetay) is created at Domaine Sainte Marie, a renowned vineyard in the acclaimed Côtes de Provence region in France, dating back to the 18th century and known for its true expressions of Provencal Rosé wine.

VieVité Rosé is produced from grapevines averaging 25 years old and offers a fresh and delicate aroma of tropical fruit (peach, grape, and apricot), cherries, and strawberries coupled with subtle notes of spice to create a satisfying sensation on the palate, which boasts a well-structured fruit and balanced acidity that creates a crisp and delicate finish. VieVité Rosé’s grape varietals are 30% Cinsault, 30% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 10% Carignan.

The VieVité Extraordinaire wine is sourced from 80-year Grenache grapevines with grapes that are hand selected and produced in smaller quantities, capturing the attention of true rosé connoisseurs for its opulent fruit flavors and exuberant panache. This deliciously vibrant Rosé delights with its intense and well-balanced fruit flavors, dominant with strawberries and berries, spices and herbal notes, and structured with an intensity that highlights the old vines it is made from. VieVité Extraordinaire’s grape varietals are 85% Grenache, 10% Cinsault, and 5% Rolle. This perfected rosé wine lingers on the palate for a long, satin finish.

Both VieVité and VieVité Extraordinaire are available across the United States in fine restaurants and bars, luxury resorts and hotels, as well as wine boutiques. Are you ready to have an essential experience with VieVité Rosé french wine?

Toast to the Golden Globes: Movie-Inspired Drinks from Skinnygirl Cocktails

The 72nd Golden Globe Awards are almost upon us and while we can’t personally be present at the illustrious event to indulge in (and critique) the red carpet fashions, award winners, and losers, we can fawn over and snark from the comfort of our home, and away from the freezing temperatures (what’s with the single digit temperatures, Mother Nature?), while relishing in a few delicious cocktails. We are already envisioning ourselves savoring a cocktail or three, inspired by some of the most talked about Golden Globe-nominated movies while we share our favorite fashions, and moments via Social Media; and since these low-calorie cocktails are made with Skinnygirl Cocktails, we need not worry about our waistline expanding. Fans of the fan favorites, The Theory of Everything, Gone Girl, and Interstellar, may want to pay special attention to the following cocktail recipes:

The Theory of Thyme (For the Theory of Everything)

The-Theory-of-Thyme

1 ½ parts Skinnygirl® Cucumber Vodka
1 ½ parts lemonade
1 ½ parts watermelon juice
Leaves stripped from a 2-inch sprig of fresh thyme, plus a small sprig for garnish
Fresh watermelon ball/slice for garnish
Combine the vodka, lemonade, juice, and thyme leaves with ice in a cocktail shaker and shake until well chilled. Double-strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish on the rim with the thyme sprig speared into the melon ball.

Disappearing Act (For Gone Girl)

Disappearing-Act

1 ½ parts Skinnygirl® Meyer Lemon Vodka
¾ part orange or citrus liqueur
1 ½ parts lemon sour mix
3-4 fresh (or thawed frozen) raspberries
Lemon wheel for garnish
Muddle the raspberries in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add the vodka, liqueur, sour mix and ice. Shake well. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lemon wheel on the rim.

Galaxy Gimlet (for Interstellar) 

Galaxy-Gimlet

1 ½ parts Skinnygirl® Bare Naked Vodka
Splash of dry vermouth
Fresh olives for garnish
Shake ingredients with ice. Pour into martini glass and garnish with fresh olives.

For those who want to keep it simple, toast to the red carpet with Skinnygirl Cocktails’ newest offering, Skinnygirl Pinot Noir!

skinnygirl-PinotNoir_PRODUCT

At less than 100 calories per serving, the delicious Skinnygirl Pinot Noir, a 750 mL bottle which retails for $11.99, has soothing flavors of dark cherry, toasted oak and vanilla with a long silky finish that is perfect for sipping while you relax and watch the show. what do you guys think of these Skinnygirl Cocktails?