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Entries in Wine Tasting (42)


Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival Celebrates 10th Year with Martha Stewart, Jacques Pépin, Claudine Pépin & More

The Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival, one of the East Coast’s most sophisticated and anticipated events, returns for its 10th year from September 25 – 27, 2015. Once again, the Marble House lawn will be the setting for the two-day Grand Tasting, which offers guests the chance to sample hundreds of wines from around the world and cuisine from nearly two dozen regional restaurants and caterers.

Martha Stewart will return to the Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival for her second year, headlining a brand new signature event with French chef Jacques Pépin. During A Conversation with Martha Stewart and Jacques Pépin, guests can enjoy a lively and engaging conversation with the lifestyle expert and the French chef while sipping Champagne Taittinger in the Marble House Gold Ballroom before heading out to the Grand Tasting. 

Chef Pépin will also join daughter Claudine Pépin for a cooking demonstration on the KitchenAid Culinary Demonstration Stage during Sunday’s Grand Tasting. Claudine Pépin joined her father in preparing delicious meals and sharing cooking techniques on three public television shows and has served as a Brand Ambassador for Moet & Chandon and Dom Perignon Champagne. She recently wrote her first book, Kids Cook French, a collection of thirty favorite, simple, classic French recipes in both English and French, illustrated by her father Jacques and daughter Shorey.

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Saugatuck Grain + Grape Launches Wine Education Class Series 

Saugatuck Grain + Grape is going to be holding a series of wine education classes. Classes will be held every other week this spring. The series will cover everything from "Introduction to Wine Tasting, Lexicon, and Labels" to "The World Through Rosé Covered Glasses" as they dive into specific varietals. For those who don't know Mimi and her team, there will most definitely be fun, food and some bad wine jokes in every session.

Classes will be led by Mimi McLaughlin and Jon Carr, the newest member of the SG+G team. There will be nibbles prepared by Mark Hepperman, their in-house chef, so your tummy and taste buds will be happy in a multitude of ways.

Below is a break down of the syllabus, cost and dates. Please call the store to reserve your spot. 

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Recap: Mohegan Sun's Winefest 2015...Good Times!

2015 marked the 12th year of Mohegan Sun’s popular WineFest.  The format continued as it has in years past, with a Friday night bourbon tasting, Grand Tastings on Saturday and Sunday, an Elite Cru tasting, and a Celebrity Chef Dine Around on Saturday night.  The event also featured many celebrity chefs beloved from previous years like William Kovel, Todd English, Michele Ragussis, Govind Armstrong, Manouschka Guerrier, and Betty Fraser.  Yet, 2015 managed to stand apart with new additions and changing trends.

This year, I attended the Sunday Grand Tasting rather than staying the span of the weekend.  Sunday is slightly less attended, but still provides ample opportunity to see creative chef demonstrations and sample the offerings.

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Napa & Co. Announces 2015 Wine Class Schedule

Napa & Co. announced its 2015 Wine Class / Tasting schedule that will span the world and offer classes for the novice, the experienced wine connoisseur and those looking for a deeper understanding of various regions and blends. Prices range from $50 to $120 per person (plus tax and gratuity) and includes up to six different varieties. All classes start at 630PM.

Monday January 12th - WINE 101 - Start the year with an interesting class for the novice wine drinker and learn how to better describe wines and pair each with food. Enjoy 3 whites and 3 reds. $50pp (plus tax and gratuity)

Monday January 26th - Jordan Library Wine Tasting 2001-06 - Jordan is one of the icons of Alexander Valley producing Old World style Bordeaux blends. We will try a vertical tasting of 6 wines and see how well they age, and how they’ve changed. $120pp (plus tax and gratuity)

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Wine Making Class & Tasting @ Barcelona West Hartford


Best of Wines Recap: Greenwich Wine + Food Festival 2014

The Greenwich Wine + Food Festival feels a lot like a rock concert.  People from across the state come by bus, train, cab, and car to Roger Sherman Park. This year marked the 4th year of the festival.  Although I have attended the event for the last three years, it never gets old.  Each year, Greenwich Food + Wine evolves with new guests and changing formats.

This year, the first thing I marveled at was the organization.  The number of demonstrations and participants had definitely increased, but guests were evenly distributed throughout the grounds.  

As wine correspondent, I enjoyed the food (understatement!) but focused on the wines and drinks served that day.  Wine is central to the festival; demonstrations not only include the best chefs, but also revered mixologists and sommeliers.

Here are my selection for some labels to watch:

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Napa & Co. Offers Fall Wine Series 

Napa & Co. continues its Fall Wine Series, offering overviews of several distinct regions of the world from California to South Africa. The brainchild of Sommelier and Owner Mary Schaffer, the series will feature guest speakers, wine tastings plus a few selections by Chef Adam Truelove.  To reserve your spot to any, or all, of these events contact Napa & Co. at 203-353-3319 or e-mail them at

Monday, October 6th - A TREK THROUGH SOUTH AFRICA. Enjoy exceptional selections from producers Hamilton Russel, Boekenhoutskloof, Stark Conde, Spice Route, Southern Right and Kanonkop paired with 3 small plates. $55pp (plus tax and gratuity) 

Monday, October 20th - SPANISH INQUISITION! The exceptionally deep wines of Rioja will be the centerpiece of the evening. Enjoy 6 wines and 3 small plates. $50pp (plus tax and gratuity).

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5th Annual Connecticut Cheese & Wine Festival 2014

The 5th annual Connecticut Cheese & Wine Festival, a celebration of local artisan made foods & wines will take place at Hopkins Vineyard, 25 Hopkins Rd in New Preston, on Saturday, October 18, 2014, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This event will feature locally made handcrafted cheeses, boutique wines and specialty foods and crafts from some of the Northeast’s top producers. This varied celebration, with the special wine and food pairings, promises to be the artisan food event of the year.

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Fairfield Cheese Company Fall Class Schedule

Fairfield Cheese Company classes are back in session and school has never been this delicious. Whether you are a cheese novice looking for a anintroduction to the basics, or a cheese-aficionado seeking to expand your knowledge on a specific variety, they've got the class for you. 

I jumped at the chance to attend one of these sessions back in October and spent some time with owners Laura and Christopher who lead these entertaining and informative evenings. If you would like some background on Fairfield Cheese Company, check out our review, "Cheese 101."

With wine pairings from Harry's Wine & Liquor, this is the perfect way to break out of that dinner-and-a-movie date night rut. 

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‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ Author Brings Her Italian Wines to Connecticut

“The wine in Tuscany tastes like the earth it came from,” says Under the Tuscan Sun author Frances Mayes, who is releasing her own line of hand-selected Tuscan Sun Wines in the U.S. to help better present a fabled European lifestyle to Americans—who could benefit from slowing down and embracing the Italian ethos of centering life on the joys of the table and celebrating food and wine as integral parts of life. (As part of introducing the wines, Mayes will participate in a quartet of Connecticut events in May; details a bit lower.)

We all have heard, and envy, Mayes’ story, which the world has come to know through her books and also through the 2003 film “Under the Tuscan Sun,” based on Mayes’ 1996 memoir and starring Diane Lane as a recently-divorced author who impulsively buys a villa in Tuscany in order to change her life. (Mayes bought the villa but the marital rift is a fictional embellishment of the screenplay.)

On May 29, Mayes will lead a wine tasting and bottle signing at Twisted Vine in Fairfield (3 to 5 p.m.) and do the same kind of event the next day at the same time at Crazy Bruce’s Liquors in Bristol.

At 6:30 on the 29th, Mayes will attend a wine dinner in her honor at L’Orcio in New Haven. The cost is $50 per person and includes four courses with wine pairings and cantucci. For reservations and more information, call L’Orcio at (203) 777-6670.

And at 7 p.m. May 30, Mayes will be at The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook for a wine tasting, followed by a screening of “Under the Tuscan Sun.” Tickets are $15 at

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