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Entries in Wine Tasting (33)

Wednesday
May072014

‘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 katharinehepburntheater.org

Read the full article on ConnecticutMag.com

Thursday
Apr242014

Weekly Nibble: Upcoming Food News & Events

Monday April 28, Napa & Co of Stamford presents FAVORITE WINES OF SPAIN.  Explore the dusty, dirty and sultry wines of this HOT region from Priorat, Campo de Borja and Rioja. There will be 6 wines to experience. $50/person (exclusive of tax and gratuity). 

Also on Monday the 28th, Barcelona West Hartford presents “Paella 101.” Join Chef Eric in this class dedicated to the Spanish classic – Paella! Learn how to make this delicious dish and a popular Barcelona favorite. For reservations please call the restaurant at 860.218.2100. $29 per person, plus tax and gratuity. 7pm.

Golden View Firenze Ristorante and Continental Fine Wine & Spirits will team up for a 5 course Tuscan Wine Dinner of Tuesday April 29.  5 dishes will be paired with 5 different Italian wines.  $70pp plus tax and gratuity.  Call 203-869-0865 to reserve.

Tuesday April 29, New Canaan Wine Merchants invites you to raid their reserve room!  Between 7 and 8:30pm, guests can select 3 high end wines to open, talk about, and taste.  Free event.

April 29 is also the 6th Annual Glenlivet/Cigar Dinner @ Max Fish in Glastonbury.  It features cigars from "The Tobacco Shop" on Pratt Street  in Hartford, CT, food, and Glenlivet pairings. $125 per person, not including tax & gratuity. Space is limited, so call for reservations today. 860.652.3474. 6-9pm.

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Thursday
Apr242014

Spring Wine Picks: Austria's Hopler Vineyards, Gruner Veltliner +

It seems as though everyone loves a good Riesling for springtime and summer sipping.  Last year, New York City was just one of the regions to participate in a “Summer of Rieslings” with a number of selections on the High Line and in restaurants. Germany is revered for its remarkable versions of the varietal.

However, a lesser-celebrated varietal promises to satisfy all of your desires as the warmer weather approaches.  Gruner Veltliner, a national grape of Austria, shares Riesling characteristics, but has lighter, crisper, and fresher tones than its counterpart.  On Friday March 28, Fairfield County hosted Christof Hopler, a respected winemaker and owner of Hopler vineyards in Austria.  He presented a selection of his delicious wines to an eager room of wine enthusiasts at South End Restaurant in New Canaan.

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Tuesday
Apr082014

Sun Winefest's Wine Review: What To Buy & Try

The annual Mohegan SunWineFest caters to a variety of interests. Restaurants, artisans, winemakers, and distributors unite in the sprawling Convention Center to deliver an epic weekend.  However, wine lies at its heart; it is a “wine” fest after all!  I enjoyed all of event’s facets, but as CTbites' wine correspondent, I paid careful attention to the hundreds of bottles presented.  I researched the offerings ahead of time, questioned the representatives, and- of course- tasted the bounties to bring you a full report on which wines reign supreme.

Check out my full report on: The Rise of Sauvignon Blancs, Is Oak a Joke?, Hail a Cab, Pleasing Pinots, Behold the Blend as well as a few other wine and spirit highlights. 

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Friday
Mar212014

The Weekly Nibble: Upcoming Food News & Events

Monday March 24, Plan B in Stamford presents “Distill it with Willett.”  Five courses will be paired with bourbon and bourbon cocktails… and they’ll use bourbon in every single course!  6 pm.  $75pp, tax and tip included.

Also on the 24th, Napa & Co in Stamford presents “A look at Sauvignon Blanc the hot white grape!”  They’ll guide you through a global look at the varietal in New Zealand, Sancerre, Russian River, Napa Valley, South Africa and Washington!  $45pp.  6:30pm.  

Brewery Ommegang comes to Harlan Social on Tuesday, March 25th for a 5-course menu paired with their beers. $70 plus tax and tip.  6:30- 9:30pm. Call 203.883.8000 to reserve seats. Event Menu:

Tuesday March 25, Barcelona in West Hartford presents “New England Beers & Tapas.”  In celebration of March Madness, Chef Eric is going to prepare some savory tapas to pair with some of New England’s thirst-quenching beers.  $29 per person, plus tax and gratuity.  Reservations: 860.218.2100

March 25 is “Good Meats!  An Evening with Charcuterie” at Fairfield Cheese Co. 7-9pm.  Call 203.292.8194 for more information.

Wednesday March 26 is the “Iron Bar Gala” at Plan B Burger Bar in Milford. 

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Wednesday
Feb262014

Sun WineFest 2014 @ Mohegan Sun: The Recap

Mohegan Sun’s annual WineFest is my Super Bowl.  Before the big game, football aficionados took to twitter in anticipation of the showdown.  I, too, waged a full out blitz on social media- enthusiastically counting down til I could try some great wines and see my favorite chefs back in action!  For the Super Bowl, avid fans suited up in team apparel and NFL jerseys.  I also donned some fancy getup; my yearly uniform is a pink shirt bedazzled with “Wine Diva” and a sparkly headband.  Some people love calfskin; I love food, wine, and fun.

From the moment I entered the Convention Center, it was apparent that this year’s festival was bigger than ever.  Media members are granted an additional hour to peruse the venue.  Last year there was a handful of us and it was easy to get a preview of what was to come.  This year, however, it seemed that people everywhere were vying to cover the event.  Media members were elbow-to-elbow before the doors even opened to the public.  It was an extravaganza!

The SunWineFest’s signature event is its Grand Tasting, which spans the weekend. 

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Friday
Feb072014

The Weekly Nibble: Upcoming Food News & Events

February 10-11, Caseus Fromageria & Bistro in New Haven will offer an evening of “Sweets & Treats.”  This popular class has become a Caseus tradition every February. 6-7:30pm.   Approximately $40pp. More Info Here. 

Tuesday February 11, learn how to make “Barcelona Classics” at Barcelona in New Haven.  Included in the class are gambas al ajillo, potato tortilla, chorizo and figs, and more.  7pm.  $25 per person, plus tax and gratuity.

Also on Tuesday, Fairfield Cheese Company will offer a class called “Parmigiano Reggiano Academy.”  Parmigiano Reggiano is often referred to as the “King of Cheese” and by tasting you can learn the difference that aging makes in authentic Parmigiano Reggiano cheese at 16-, 24- and 36-month stages. $45pp. Info here. 

Just in time for Valentine’s Day comes a wine tasting event not to be missed!  On Wednesday February 12, try SEXY wines poured by award winning winemaker António Maçanita.  SEXY wines were recently featured at the Mohegan SunWineFest.  The free event will take place from 5-8pm at Turnpike Wines in Fairfield.

Walrus and Carpenter (home of the killer fried chicken) will host a beer dinner on February 13th, featuring a line up from the Victory Brewing Co. roster and some signature Walrus-flavors to match. Email Adam: roytman@walruscarpenterct.com or call 203.333.2733.

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Thursday
Jan092014

The Weekly Nibble: Upcoming Food News & Events

The Whelk in Westport will start serving LUNCH on January 15th! Lunch will be served Wednesday, Thursdays, and Fridays 12pm-2:30.

Saturday January 11 is Step Out at Stepping Stones Museum.  The wine and food tasting supports the museum’s educational initiatives. It includes the Melting Pot, Nicholas Roberts Fine Wines, The Brewhouse, and more.  7-9:30pm.  $40 and up per person. More info here. 

Mohegan Sun’s Restaurant Week begins Sunday January 12th and goes through the 17thVisit the website to see what the casino’s renowned eateries are offering.

Sundays are ½ off bottles of select wines at many local restaurants, including The Spread, Bar Sugo, and Bistro Latino.

On Tuesday January 14, learn how to braise at Barcelona Fairfield.  Join Chef Helton and learn the art of braising and complementing it with a few vegetable side dishes. 4-7pm. $35pp plus tax and gratuity. http://www.barcelonawinebar.com/calendar.htm 

Also on Tuesday, Caseus Fromagerie in New Haven is offering a class called “Relishing the Rind.”  The class will explore categorizing cheese by types of rind. You will get to taste bloomy, ash, wash-rind cheeses ...and more! 6-7:30pm. Approx $37pp. Buy Tix Here.

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Friday
Dec132013

The Weekly Nibble: Upcoming Food News & Events

Thursday December 12 at 7:30, Ancona’s in Ridgefield will host a high end wine tasting.  Cost is $30/person. To RSVP please call (203)544-8958 or e-mail monica@anconaswines.com

On Friday December 13 from 7:30-10pm, try out a class at Muse Paintbar, a combination between a painting studio and beer & wine bar in downtown Manchester, CT.  10 beers & 12 wines will help bring out the artist in you… and you’ll go home with a painting.  $39pp. View more info here. 

Every other Friday, Half Full Brewery holds an “Open House.”  From 5:30-8:30pm, the taps are open and guests can try their hand at bags, life-size jenga, draw on the chalkboard wall, and hang out. $15pp. Details here.

Lidia Bastianich will be spending some time in Stamford on Saturday, 12/14 at Fairway Market.  From 1-3 pm you can meet her at the store and she’ll sign your copies of her brand new book, Lidia’s Commonsense Italian Cooking:  150 Delicious and Simple Recipes Anyone Can Master.  While there, you’ll be able to try out and buy some of Lidia’s pastas and sauces, too, with demos and tastings.

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Friday
Dec062013

The Weekly Nibble: Upcoming Food News & Events 

On Friday December 6, join 109 Cheese and Wine and Jim Morrison from Artisan Wines for some exceptional Italian red wines including Barolo, Brunello, and a few others.  The event will take place in Ridgefield, CT and costs $55pp. 7-9pm. http://www.localwineevents.com/events/detail/507053 

Saturday December 7 from 4:30– 6:30pm Amity Wines and the CT Craft Brew Guild will have a beer tasting.  It will include Down East Appe Cider, Breckenridge Regal Pilsner, Green Flash Saison, Wachusett Larry IPA, Six Pints Global Warmer, Andechs Dopplebock, and more.  Please RSVP to Kim or Tony directly at 203-387-6725 or tony@amitywines.net.  Amity Wines Tasting Room: 65 Amity Rd, New Haven, CT 06515. http://www.amitywines.net/events/ 

Bishops Orchards in Guilford, CT conducts wine tours every Saturday this month at 2:00pm.  Tasting and Tour combo for $10pp. http://www.bishopsorchards.com/index.php 

Monday December 9 at 7pm, Harry’s Wine & Liquor Market, 55 degrees Restaurant, and Vias Imports present a “Piedmont Holiday Wine Dinner” with guest host Michael Petrizzo, Northeast Brand Manager.  $89 plus tax and tip.  5 courses with wine pairings. http://www.localwineevents.com/events/detail/508378 

Tuesday December 10, Barcelona New Haven will hold a “Spanish Holiday Dishes” cooking class.  Guests can join Chef Frank as he demonstrates how to prepare Barcelona-inspired holiday and New Year’s dishes.  7pm, $25pp. http://www.barcelonawinebar.com/calendar.htm 

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