Sure, wine tastes good, but there’s more to the good stuff than just “red” or “white.” Where were the grapes grown? What was the climate like there? What was the micro-climate there? What variety of grapes were used? When was the wine bottled? How was the wine fermented? How was the wine stored?
These are all questions that make wine…well…wine. Specifically, you’ll learn to distinguish wines by grape, vintage, and region as you take a 90 minute class at Black Bear Wines & Spirits in Westport. The classes are held Saturdays from 1 to 2:30 and normally cost $50 each, but there’s a special Groupon going on now. You’ll pay just $25 for a wine tasting and class for one or $49 for two people.
If the world kept doing the same thing over and over, we’d never grow and evolve. We’d stagnate and get caught up in the same ol’ routines of life. But, one of the great things about our world today is our quest for knowledge, for change, and for growth. This can especially be seen when you look at various vineyards throughout Napa and Sonoma Valley. In fact, there are a handful of people at these vineyards who have revolutionized winemaking and they are the highlight of a new book called Rock and Vine. The book is written by Ridgefield resident Chelsea Prince, who is also the publisher at Chelsea Print & Publishing. It is edited by Christy Canterbury, Master of Wine, and photographed by Mary Steinbacher.
As we mentioned, Rock and Vine highlights “Next generation changemakers in America’s Wine Country” from Napa and Sonoma…eleven of them to be exact.
The people who are featured in the book are:
When people meet us out at events or parties, they tend to shoot right to the important question: what’s your favorite restaurant? That’s a really tough one to answer, especially because there are so many different kinds, price ranges, cuisines, and such…but, invariably, The Fez in Stamford is always a part of our conversation. We’ve never had a bad meal there and people that we’ve sent on over have come back happy, satisfied, and ready for more.
If you’ve never been, we have a perfect opportunity to cozy up with this Moroccan/Mediterranean stalwart on 2/19 at 6:45: a Starry Night Winery. For just $69, you’ll get six glasses of wine from Starry Night Winery in California paired with some of The Fez’s favorite treats:
A few months ago we heard about WineNation, that would open at 380 Main Ave. in Norwalk. Well, we imagined all the great possibilities when we heard that there would be a crazy plethora of wine, beer, and other liquid goodness. The thing that really hooked us was hearing about them offering a make your own six pack of loose beer. Up until today, we wondered if this could actually be true…if such a thing did exist.
Well, OmNomivores…we have news to share. It is true. There is a giant shelf and a half of loose beer bottles and cans that you can choose from to create your own custom six packs. You’ll notice the price of the bottle right there on the shelf. We decided to get a six pack each and spent about 10 minutes trying to figure out what we were in the mood for. Well, wouldn’t you know it, we saw MORE bottles that we needed, so we knew what we had to do. Being the ever creative couple, we divided up another six pack into three bottles each. There are also six packs and even cases to be found, but here are some of the bottles that we hunted the shelves for:
Brooklyn Pennant Ale ’55
Goose Island Summertime
Widmer Brothers W’12 Dark Saison
Peak Organic Summer Session Ale
Magic Hat Elder Betty
Leinenkugels Sunset Wheat
There is also plenty of wine on the shelves, too. In fact, if you look around too much, you’ll probably get overwhelmed. We stocked up on a few refreshing whites and a few bolds like one of our faves: Petite Petit. Even more insane? There are many shelves that are still empty, so as they fill them in, there will be even more variety. You’ll find the usual categories such as Italian Reds, but you’ll also find Staff Picks, organic, local, fruity, and more. Plus, they have an amazing amount of liquor, mixes, food, non-alcoholic beverages, and drinking/mixing tools.
The staff here is super friendly and willing to help, so if you don’t see a beer or wine that you like, let them know. We asked for Sixpoint beer and they took it down in hopes to put it in stock for us. They have wine tastings Fridays from 3-6, Saturdays from 12-5, and Sundays from 1-4. While you’re there, sign up for their free Grand Cru card to get deals, news, and special offers. Also, there are plans for classes in the works, so check their site for more information.
So, excuse us. We have a full fridge of beer to start drinking. One bottle at a time. Yes, always take life one bottle at a time.
Address: 380 Main Ave (next to Stop & Shop)
Norwalk, CT 06851
MONDAY – THURSDAY: 9AM TO 9PM
FRIDAY – SATURDAY: 8AM TO 9PM
SUNDAY: 10AM TO 5PM
Pardon the very hairy hand, I’m Italian after all. We know it was coming, but most didn’t expect it to happen this quickly. Yes, Dannel Malloy, Governor of Connecticut, signed Sunday liquor sales into existence today. Starting this Sunday, 5/20/12, you’ll be able to buy liquor, beer, and wine at your favorite shops and you’ll also be able to buy beer at supermarkets. Sales on Sunday will be from 10 am to 5 pm. Also, according to The Republic, you’ll also be able to stock up for parties on Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day…plus the Mondays following any July 4th, Christmas, or New Year’s that happen to be on a Sunday. Another great tidbit to look out for according to NBC Connecticut: package stores can now sell fresh fruit for drinks, olives, cheese, and crackers. No whine with that cheese anymore! ;)
So, drink up, here’s to you Connecticut. We’ve earned it. I celebrated by popping open a Victory Golden Monkey, which also coincides with American Craft Beer Week. Coincidence? I think not!
How are you planning to celebrate this victory that so many have been dying for?
Take some great food, throw in some wine, and add in a dash of silent and live auctions and you’ve got Beaujolais & Beyond. This fun (and tasty) fundraising event will help to benefit The Fairfield Chamber of Commerce. What? You think that all the awesome stuff and support that they give to the community is free? $60 dollars gets you a ticket if you pre-register or pay $70 at the door on 5/17 starting at 6 pm at The Westport Inn. So, get your tickets online now and use the extra money to bid on some great finds during the event.
We are excited at the prospect of trying out 55 Wine Bar & Restaurant, part of the Scena Wine Bar and Cava restaurant group. To be honest, we’re also very excited for some Moe’s! I spent a few years in Atlanta and we had Moe’s there. As soon as you open the door, the staff yells out, “Welcome to Moe’s!” Danny and I are a bit jealous, though, because Fairfield gets a Moe’s while we’re left out of the mix in Stamford. <Hint, hint> And, of course, we’re excited to try the other restaurants! You never know when you’ll be inspired by a dish that you sample at one of these events.
Casa de Vino
Beaujolais & Beyond
Thursday, May 17 from 6 to 9 pm.
$60 per person/$70 walk-in
The Westport Inn
1595 Post Road East
We’ve all heard the jokes about people who drink boxed wine and maybe you even took part in such stereotypical behavior. Well, let’s be fair…boxed wine does seem to have a stigma attached to it. There are great advantages, though:
• Lasts longer
• Usually a great deal
• Great for parties
• User friendly…twist and pour.
Now, Stew Leonard Jr. has seen and tasted all kinds of wine and he’ll tell you, good wine is good wine. When he was in Italy this past March, he was at the world’s largest wine fair called Vinitaly. He tasted lots of wine and he was really stunned by the quality, value, and design of a fun new wine called Volére that is shaped like a purse. Yes, like a purse. People are on to Stew, though, because Volére was just featured on The View today amongst a nice selection of good and inexpensive wines. Click on the link to check out Food & Wine Magazine Wine Editor Ray Isle pour out the details.
The purse that will make you feel all gushy, woozy, and warm inside will only set you back $12.99 and is full of 1.5 liters of premium grapey goodness. That means you’re getting two bottles of wine for chump change. And, you’d be a chump not to get this fun gift for your mom or the lady you love this Mother’s Day. Heck, if you’re a mother and you want some, buy it too. Well, even if you’re not a mother, you can buy too. Okay, why stop there…men, feel free to buy, too. Nothing wrong with that, no one’s judging. We so need to try this wine because it’s awesome and also because it’s awesome.
You’ll be able to taste (for free) all three styles of Volére wine with a special tasting right before Mother’s Day, too. Stop by Stew Leonard’s Wines of Norwalk (see more tasting places below) on Saturday, May 12 from 1-5 pm. You won’t find this tasting at any other store nearby…it’s super exclusive! Here’s what you can sample and buy, taken from the Stew Leonard’s Wines site:
- Volére Pinot Grigio: Features delightful crisp flavors of apple and white pear that lead to a long, elegant finish. The bouquet offers white flowers, green apple and peach.
- Volére Merlot/Pinot Noir: Brilliant ruby red in color, this merlot/pinot noir blend is a wonderful combination of red fruits, cherries, strawberries and raspberry, and fragrant spices such as vanilla, cinnamon, and cloves.
- Volére Rosè: An elegant rosè featuring an intense bouquet of wild strawberry, raspberry and rose petals.
Time: Saturday, 5/12/2012 from 1-5 pm
Place: Stew Leonard’s Wines of Norwalk
55 Westport Ave.
Phone: (203) 750-6162
Other Connecticut Tastings: Newington from 1-5 pm and Danbury from 12-4 pm
New York Tastings: Yonkers from 1-5 pm, Farmingdale from 1-5 pm, and Carle Place from 1-5 pm
New Jersey Tastings: Clifton from 1-5 pm, Paramus from 1-5 pm, and Springfield from 1-5 pm
A weekend of decadence with drinks, food, art & more at the Westchester Magazine’s Wine & Food Weekend26 Apr
Well, we know if you’re reading our blog you clearly love food, wine and beer, so we KNOW you’ll be all about Westchester Magazine’s 2nd annual Wine & Food Weekend coming up on May 17-20 at The Ritz Carlton Westchester in White Plains. Ritz Carlton, oooo fancy.
But don’t worry, with events like the BBQ, Burgers and Beer Bash on Thursday, this weekend is anything but stiff. Well, except maybe the cocktails. Whether you’re stuffing your face with yummilicious food from over 30 of the best local restaurants and downing glasses of wine from over 200 world-class wineries at the Grand Tasting, or learning to make prohibition cocktails, or checking out local art at the ARTSBash, you’re guaranteed to have a great time!
Check out the full schedule, prices and packages below. For tickets visit the event website here.
Hope to see you there- we’ll be the ones with some sort of food or drink attached to our lips at all times. We’ll wink at your or something – but less creepy.Thursday, 5/17 7:30PM – 11PM: Burgers, BBQ & Beer Bash – $50.00 Friday, 5/18 6PM – 9PM: ARTSBash – $75.00 Saturday, 5/19 11:30AM – 4PM: Grand Tasting – $85.00 12:00PM: A Tour Through Tuscany Wine Seminar with Kevin Zraly – $25.00 1:15PM: Crystal Clear, Does the Glass Make A Difference? Wine Seminar – $75.00 2:30PM: Modern Mixology: Bringing Cocktails Home Cocktails Seminar – $25.00 6:30PM – 10:30PM: Winemakers Dinner – $150.00 Sunday, 5/20 11:30AM – 2PM: Sparkling Sunday Brunch – $50.00 12:00PM – 4:30PM: Grand Tasting – $85.00 12:30PM: Wines of Bordeaux Wine Seminar with Kevin Zraly – $25.00 1:45PM: Prohibition Cocktails Clinic Sprits Seminar – $25.00 3:00PM: Majestic Terroir of Sonoma Wine Seminar – $25.00 Packages: Grand Tasting Combo: Grand Tasting Saturday & Sunday – $160.00 VIP Pass: Package above + 1 Wine Seminar each day, Winemakers Dinner & Sunday Brunch – $400.00
Third Annual Hops & Grapes, Toasts & Tastes to Raise Money for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society – Norwalk, CT1 Apr
A few weeks ago we shared the news that local Stamford restaurants were banding together to raise money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society with their Big Night event. On the heels of that great fundraiser comes the Third Annual Hops & Grapes, Toasts & Tastes event. Let the drinks pour, the food be eaten, and the money pile up for this great cause. Hops & Grapes, Toasts & Tastes will take place on April 14, 2012 from 7:30 pm to 10:30 pm at Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk, CT. Tickets to the event are $75 or two for $125. If you go out to a nice restaurant, then that covers the cost. You’ll be eating and drinking well, but you’ll also be helping out a charity that desperately needs your help. Also, you can purchase VIP tickets at $100 each or two for $175 that include a souvenir wine glass, LLS Relentless wristband, raffle ticket, and deluxe gift bag. A silent auction and raffle will also take place, with prizes donated by Hyatt Regency Greenwich, Capital Grille, Brewer’s Hardware, and The Rugg Family.
As of Friday, these are the restaurants, shops, vineyards, and liquor/beer distributors that will be providing samples:
Hops & Grapes, Toasts & Tastes
4/14/2012 from 7:30-10:30 pm
Stepping Stones Museum
303 West Avenue Norwalk, CT 06850
Event tickets $75 or two for $125
Call 203-665-1400 for information or reservations or visit www.lls.org/ct/toastsandtastes
About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (From Press Release)
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society®, headquartered in White Plains, NY, with 58 chapters in the United States and Canada, is the world’s largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research and providing education and patient services. LLS’ mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Since its founding in 1949, LLS has invested more than $750 million in research specifically targeting leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma.
For more information about blood cancer, visit http://www.LLS.org or call LLS’ Information Resource Center (IRC), a call center staffed by master’s level social workers, nurses and health educators who provide information, support and resources to patients and their families and caregivers. IRC information specialists are available at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.