Elegance at the reach of a hand : On why Champagne is the Holiday favorite

Although apple cider [whether spiked or plain] is a fall favorite, it isn’t uncommon for people to come back to the elegant classic that is champagne ; and not just during the fall-winter season. Think engagement parties, weddings, bacherlor/ette celebrations and any other significant life event, they all have the classy touch of the bubbly drink.

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Food & Wine Pairings To Try This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the time of the year where you surround yourselves with the ones you love. This Thanksgiving, why not surround yourselves with the ones you love and a bottle of these wines to share with the table? Not sure what to drink or how to pair it with? Don’t worry we’ve got you covered with a food and wine guide is guaranteed to make your guests think you’re secretly a sommelier.

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For Those Drinking White

Sauvignon Blanc

Enjoy a glass of fruity Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2018. Cloudy Bay, produced in the Marlborough region which produces wines with an extra fruity aroma and flavor. If you enjoy the taste of lime, grapefruit, and nectarine, you'll definitely enjoy sharing a glass with your loved ones this Thanksgiving. We suggest pairing this with your sides like scallops and green beans.

Bordeaux

Made from the best varieties of white grapes in the Bordeaux region 2016 Mouton Cadet Blanc will fill the room with a wonderfully fruity smell. Meanwhile, it will fill your tastebuds with a delicious blend of grapefruit and lemon flavors. Since white bordeaux is rare, you may not want to miss out on your chance to share a bottle around your Thanksgiving table this year. This too will pair well with scallops with citrus fruit, oysters, seafood linguine.

For Those Drinking Red

Grenache

Bonterra Grenache 2015 will give you the taste of Thanksgiving dinner all on its own. The grapes used in this wine were grown on a previous cherry farm, so keeping with history, this wine features black cherries. You'll also enjoy the taste of sage, rosemary, and cracked black pepper, which is perfect to go along with your turkey this year. They even have a whole list of recipes you can find here.

Bordeaux

The Château Couronneau 2015, Sainte-Foy Côtes de Bordeaux ($19) is biodynamic wine from Côtes de Bordeaux’s newest and smallest appellation. This Merlot-forward red has a bouquet of ripe plums, blackberries, dark cherries and violet. This stunning wine enhances any dish with a fruit component such as duck with cherry chutney or a pork roast with winter fruit and Port sauce.

Merlot

The Elysian Merlot, the debut wine in Bonterra Organic Vineyards’ Elysian Collection, plays off the bucolic ideals and pastoral tranquility of northern California’s organic farmland, highlighting the diverse natural elements that create unique environments for grape cultivation, handpicked from plots teeming with life and biodiversity. The Elysian Merlot embodies the essence of a wine vinified from organically grown grapes, with a harmonious chorus of black plum, carob, raspberries and soulful minerality. This will pair perfect with any red meat you may be eating.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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For those who can’t resist dessert this Thanksgiving, Spoken Barrel's Cabernet Sauvignon gives off the aromas of cherry, black currant, dark chocolate, and roasted oak, which are all symbolic scents of fall. This wine also tastes of blackberry, cherry, and vanilla. Whatever dessert you plan on serving this Thanksgiving, consider serving a glass to your guests with their dessert. Will be using the recipe below for the perfect tart,

Spoken Barrel Apple, Shallot and Blue Cheese Tart

 Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil

  • 1 ½ cups shallots, thinly sliced, (about 3 large shallots)

  • 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed in the refrigerator overnight

  • 1 small pink lady apple, thinly sliced and seeds removed

  • 1 ½ tsp thyme leaves, roughly chopped

  • 4 oz mild blue cheese, crumbled

  • 1 Tbsp honey

1.       Preheat oven to 400°F.

2.       Over medium high heat, sauté shallots with 1 Tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt until soft and starting to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool slightly

3.       Using a rolling pin, roll out the puff pastry until 12x12”, dusting your work surface with flour as needed.

4.       Assemble the tart by evenly spreading the shallots over the pastry, followed by the apples, thyme and blue cheese allowing a ½“ border.

5.       Bake the tart for 20 minutes or until golden brown, puffed and crisp. Drizzle over the honey and serve warm or at room temperature with Spoken Barrel wine.

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Chandon To Unveil New Holiday Bottles

Tis’ the season to start planning your holiday parties or coming up with some great gift ideas. Add the perfect conversation starter and kitchen flair to your party or friend’s home with this limited edition Chandon holiday bottle design.

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Chandon California has teamed up with Baublebar, an accessory brand, to help created their second annual, beautiful limited edition holiday bottles.

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The Chandon Holiday Collection features both a Brut and Rosé bottle inspired by Baublebar’s statement-making style and glamor. You can pick up your own beautiful holiday bottle starting September 24th as that is when the holiday bottles are set to launch.

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Baublebar also created a limited edition #ChandonSquad necklace to celebrate their collaboration as it features Chandon’s signature shooting star logo.

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Chandon’s holiday collection is a representation of collaboration between two brands with female leaders that bring the sparkle and shine into everyone’s lives in an accessible way. For Chandon California, their female leader is their Head Winemaker Pauline Lhote. For Baublebar, their female leaders are their founders Amy Jain and Daniella Yacobovsky. Chandon has a long history of working with strong, inspirational female entrepreneurs, and feels Baublebar is a perfect fit and welcomed additional to their #ChandonSquad.

By Shaunna Redman

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The Cool New Collaboration Between Moët and Chandon With Virgil Abloh

By Shaunna Redman

A good rosé goes a long way, but a designer bottle goes even further. For those of who have tried and love Moët’s Nectar Imperial Rosé, the #1 rosé champagne in the U.S., you can look forward to a new limited edition bottle design by Virgil Abloh.

Virgil Abloh

Virgil Abloh

Moët’s iconic Nectar Imperial Rosé is getting an exclusive, limited edition collection of custom designed bottles created by Virgil Abloh. Virgil Abloh is currently the artistic director of Louis Vuitton, and has previously worked with companies such as Nike and IKEA. This was Virgil Abloh’s first time working with a liquor brand.

Virgil Abloh has been spending the past year working with Moët and Chandon. They came up with an all-white design of the bottle’s original design. There is also a special message on each bottle which says, “Do Not Drop”.

Starting on October 15th, 750ml “ready-to-wear” bottles will become available both nationwide and in select cities according to the listing. Meanwhile, Virgil Abloh will also be revealing special, limited number 3L jeroboam bottles some time in early October. These 3L jeroboam bottles will be exclusive to friends and family.

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How To Drink Like You're At The U.S. Open

Grey Goose Honey Deuce

Grey Goose Honey Deuce

If you haven't gone to the U.S. Open, then there is a lot you're missing out on. From spending the last Summer Days outside, as athletes and celebrities like Andy Cohen, Kevin Spacey, and Anna Wintour take part in this 2-week sporting event, it's always an elegant event.

Crafted to pay homage to the world’s most exciting Grand Slam, the Grey Goose Honey Deuce is comprised of Grey Goose Vodka, freshly squeezed lemonade and raspberry liqueur, topped with tennis-inspired honeydew melon balls.

Designed to transport tennis fans near and far to the non-stop courtside action, the cocktail is named after the most exciting moment of a tennis match when the score is tied at 40-40 - coined by tennis nerds as “deuce.” The refreshing sip is ideal for cooling off during the sultry summer days or powering through the wee hours of the morning to see if Roger Federer can keep up the momentum stateside following his record-breaking Wimbledon triumph.

Not able to attend this year's event? You can still try the Honey Deuce for yourself as it will be served at several New York hot spots, around the city. Bars include the Dream Downtown, PHD Terrace at Dream Midtown, 48 Lounge, Ascent Lounge, The Pierre, and Four Seasons Hotel.

Don't feel like going out, or want to host a viewing party yourself, make your guests feel like they're at the event by making the cocktail yourself. 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 parts Grey Goose Vodka
  • Fresh squeezed lemonade
  • 1/2 part Chambord or premium raspberry liqueur
  • Crushed ice
  • Honeydew melon balls

Directions

Chill Collins Glass by placing in refrigerator/ freezer or by filling with ice water for 5 minutes. Remove Collins Glass from refrigerator/freezer, and fill with ice. Measure and add vodka to Collins Glass. Top with measured amount of fresh lemonade. Measure and add raspberry liqueur. Garnish with skewer of 1 or multiple frozen honeydew melon balls (note: place honeydew melon in freezer beforehand, then, to create melon balls, use melon baller).

7 Ways To Celebrate National Tequila Day

Cindo de Mayo may have passed but with all the extra tequila you have laying aorund, you can put to good use as Tuesday is National Tequila Day. Wether you have it on the rocks, in a margarita or as a shot we've compiled a list of the top tequilas to try out. So drink up.

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For those of you who want to celebrate in style, drink like George Clooney and Rande Gerber’s with their ultra-premium tequila, Casamigos. Casamigos is available in with Blanco, Reposado and Añejo. The Casamigos flavor notes should be enhanced not masked and rather than salt or lime (like pictured above) we recommend pairings like cucumbers with Casamigos Blanco Tequila, grapefruit slices with Casamigos Reposado Tequila and Oranges with Casamigos Anejo Tequila. We suggest Casamigos Reposado and Añejo Tequila to whiskey, bourbon and brandy drinkers. Both are great with classic cocktails and can be easily swapped for a Manhattan, Negroni, or Old Fashioned.

For those who want a luxury tequila don't miss out on Grand Mayan’s handcrafted Ultra Aged Tequila, priced at $89.99 is produced with the purest, central-highland Blue Agave with the highest standards of production. Aged in American & French oak casks, this rich, small-batch Extra Anejo takes 10 years to produce from agave plant to hand-painted ceramic decanter.  Grand Mayan Ultra Aged is a blend of three, four and five-year-old tequilas. With incredible smooth aromas, a body of sweet agave, nuts and chocolate, Grand Mayan is succulent on the palate and leads to a layered and delicious long finish.

Volcan De Mi Tierra Blanco delivers an austere and herbaceous flavor spectrum from the lowlands agave, blended with finesse, citrus and floral notes of the highlands. Blanco is best enjoyed mixed into cocktails or served neat. Recently spotted at Khloe Kardashian’s July 4th pool party, can be tasted in the cocktails at Daniel Humm’s Eleven Madison Park, and was the spirit of choice at this year’s Golden Globes. 

Partida Tequila is an authentic estate-bottled premium Tequila, made from 100% blue agave in the heart of Mexico’s historic Tequila region. Aged at a minimum of 40 months, Elegante is an Extra Añejo. Its complex aromas come with deep notes of toasted oak, dark chocolate, coffee and ripe banana. The palate entry is slightly toasty, peppery and spicy. Every sip of Elegante confirms not only the initial aromas but also new and different flavors such as agave, vanilla, caramel, bourbon, butter, maple, almonds, hazelnuts, black pepper, citrus flowers and more. Priced at $374.99 this is truly for special occasions, such as National Tequila Day!

From Greenbar Distillery, IXA Tequila is an organic tequila with notes of rich agave, herbs, and clay, with a buttery finish. The best way to try IXA tequila with margaritas or mixed with aromatic liqueurs, bitters, or vermouth.

For those who want to celebrate National Tequila day in the Summer heat, we recommend trying out FrutaPOP an alcohol-infused ice pop made with healthy, natural ingredients without any added sugars, syrups or dyes. All alcohol-infused ice pops, also known as “poptails” contain less than 5% ABV. FrutaPOP also has a line of non-alcoholic ice pops including coffee ice pops and fruit and juice pops. 

Drinks To Make At Home

From HelloFresh, enjoy the day with a Watermelon Basil Margarita that will surely be a crowd pleaser as watermellon is appearing to be the fruit of the Summer.

INGREDIENTS

For the basil simple syrup:

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  • 1 Cup Raw Sugar
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Cup Packed Fresh Basil Leaves

For the margarita:

  • 1 1/2 Ounces Tequila
  • 1 Ounce Lime Juice
  • 1/2 Ounce Basil Simple Syrup
  • 2 Ounces Watermelon Juice
  • Ice
  • Lime Wedge, for rim
  • Salt, for rim
  • Basil, for garnish

METHOD:

  • Prepare the basil simple syrup by combining sugar, water, and basil in a pan. Heat until sugar dissolves, then set aside to let cool. Once cooled, strain into a jar and refrigerate up to two weeks.
  • Combine tequila, lime juice, basil simple syrup, and watermelon juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well.
  • Before pouring, coat rim of glass with a lime wedge, then dip in salt and rotate until fully coated.
  • Strain cocktail into glass with ice and garnish with a sprig of basil.

For those of you who want to make a cocktail at home, we recommend the Cazadores Iced Tea-Quila crafted by Manny Hinojosa, Global Brand Ambassador for Tequila CAZADORES

CAZADORES ICED TEA-QUILA

CAZADORES ICED TEA-QUILA

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 oz. Tequila CAZADORES Reposado
  • ½ oz. Green Chartreuse
  • 2 oz. Ginger Beer
  • 2 oz. Fresh Brew Earl Grey Tea
  • ½ oz. Lemon
  • Pinch of Nutmeg

METHOD:

In a cocktail shaker, combine all the ingredients except the fresh brew tea with ice. Serve on the rocks and top with fresh brew tea. Garnish with slices of lemon and ginger.

 

 

 

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Chandon Just Announced Their 7th Annual Summer Dazzler

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The latest pairing of brut and rosé sparkling wine bottles that debut each year during Memorial Day Weekend officially kick off the summer, and give fans a festive accessory to bring to any summer occasion – the beach, family barbecues, rooftop gatherings, bridal showers and more!

Designed to celebrate Chandon’s American heritage, the eye-catching design of the brut features cerulean beach umbrellas, while the rosé is wrapped in chic sunhats in ombré shades from pink to red.  

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Not only does it look good on the outside by the notes consist of apple, pear and citrus flavors and aromas, Chandon California American Summer Brut has a hint of spice that leads to a soft, dry finish. The pretty pink Chandon California American Summer Rosé consists of flavors of ripe strawberry, juicy watermelon and fresh red cherry, which is creamy on the palate with a defined structure of Pinot Noir added in its final stages.

The 2018 limited-edition American Summer bottles will be available from Memorial Day through Labor Day on Chandon.com, as well as select retailers nationally, for $24 per bottle.

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Summer Drinks To Drink This Memorial Day Weekend

If you're planning a little Memorial Day Weekend get together, you've come to the right place. Since we know there's no better way to get the party started than with creative and fruity cocktails or fan favorites, we've put together some of our favorites drinks of the season. Read through to check out some of these delicious summer cocktail recipes.

Our Favorite Beers

Celebrating its Birthday, The Sam Adams Summer ale is now legal, as it enters its 21st Birthday. We have been long fans of this Summer staple and this year Sam Adams is bringing some new friends into the picture. Below are our favorites and the best way to pair your beer.

 Summer Ale – This summer staple is celebrating its 21stbeer-day! What better way to celebrate warmer and longer days than a refreshing beer with lemon peel, Grains of Paradise, and Saaz Noble hops.

Session IPA (NEW!) – With its bright citrus hop aroma and nice bitterness, this beer is an easy-drinking IPA to enjoy at any summertime beach or backyard BBQ.

Golden Hour (NEW!) – Spicy, floral German Noble hops provide a dose of complexity with a light biscuit note from the pilsner malt. The result is a slightly hazy, medium-bodied brew that finishes softly with a hint of crisp, clean bitterness.

Tropic of Yuzu (NEW!) - This exotic beer is infused with rare Japanese fruit for a citrusy punch with hints of tangerine and grapefruit.

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Speaking of Yuzu (This seasons new trend?) Truly Spiked & Sparkling launched its newest style, Truly Spiked & Sparkling Lemon & Yuzu. Truly Spiked & Sparkling has caught fire amongst drinkers and has quickly become the go-to spiked sparkling water, a category poised to be this spring and summer's biggest alcohol trend. The new Lemon & Yuzu style is part of Truly Spiked & Sparkling's growing line of spiked beverages, including Colima Lime, Grapefruit & Pomelo, Pomegranate, and Sicilian Blood Orange. 

Our Favorite Wines

You know we we love a good Rosé and the crowd pleasing Sterling Vineyards Vintner’s Collection Rosé 2016  is on top of our list. With a luminous pale pink, marked by lifted aromas of summer strawberries and subtle florals.

RELATED: It's Official #ReturnofRoseSeason

A blend of Syrah and Tempranillo sourced from the Central Coast of California, its palate has a richness balanced by a refreshing, racy acidity and flavors of pink citrus and orange blossom. A value at $12 a bottle, it’s ideal for your Memorial Day BBQ.

The 2016 E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône Rosé from France’s Rhone Valley is a favorite among rosé lovers in the know. An excellent example of the French region, it’s a serious rosé wine that is still approachable for everyday enjoyment, and sure to please the palates of those who are discovering the wine this rosé season. Produced in the traditional saignée method from a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah, this structured, dry rosé is bursting with red fruit flavors and aromas, like raspberry and red currant, balanced with an intriguing minerality on the finish. 

2016 Blindfold California White  – A unique blended white wine created by The Prisoner Wine Company to complement the cult-California producer’s namesake wine. Just like The Prisoner’s red blend, Blindfold marries a number of delicious and interesting white varietals, Chardonnay, Roussanne, Viognier, Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, and Chenin Blanc, to create a bold and intriguing wine that is as striking as the label on the bottle. Inviting aromas of honeysuckle, grilled white peach, and apricot linger harmoniously with a luscious entry of familiar cold weather flavor, toasted hazelnut, making this wine the perfect foil to darker, complex reds for winter sipping.

Our Favorite Cocktails

Pop-Sea-Cle

Pop-Sea-Cle

Nothing beats Memorial Day weekend than a nice refreshing drink. Check our favorites below.

Pop-Sea-Cle - Courtesy of North River Lobster Company at Pier 81

Brut Prosecco, Cordial and Popsicle; Choose from Elderflower, Melon or Aperol

Aperol Spritz

  • 3 Parts Cinzano Prosecco
  • 2 Parts Aperol
  • 1 Dash Soda
  • Ice and a slice of Orange

Method: Add ice and a slice of orange, pour in the Prosecco, the Aperol and add a dash of soda. This avoids the Aperol settling at the bottom.

Red Hot Sangria - Made with Stillhouse Whiskey

  • 1 can - Stillhouse Red Hot
  • 1 bottle - Malbec
  • 12 oz - Mango Juice
  • 24 oz - Ginger Ale
  • Lemon Wheels
  • Orange Wheels
  • Cinnamon Sticks

Hinterland Punch (Serves 6-8) Created by Josh Mazza

  • 12oz Jägermeister
  • 5oz Grenadine
  • 10oz Ruby Red Grapefruit
  • 20oz Roobis tea
  • 1 Bottle (26oz) Sparkling Rosé
  • 8oz raspberries
  • 8oz strawberries

Method

  1. Add edible flowers to tea and freeze in a bread pan
  2. Combine other ingredients in a punch bowl
  3. Add frozen tea/flowers
  4. Cut berries and add into punch

Negroni Sbagliato

  • 1 oz. Campari
  • 1 oz. Cinzano 1757
  • 1 oz. Cinzano Prosecco

Method: Build ingredients over ice in rocks glass. Garnish with an orange slice.

Hibiscus Dragon Fruit Margarita

  • 2 oz Patron Reposado Tequila
  • 2 oz Fresh Pineapple Juice
  • .75 oz Cinnamon Hibiscus syrup
  • .50 oz Fresh Lemon
  • .25 oz Triple sec
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • 2 Dashes Hellfire Bitters

Method: Add all ingredients into a shaking tin and fill half way with ice. Shake for 5 seconds and strain into a hollowed out Dragon Fruit with ice. Garnish with Pineapple Spikes, Mint and flaming lemon half.

New Amsterdam Mango Sunrise

  • 1½ parts New Amsterdam® Mango
  •  2 parts orange juice
  • A splash of lemon-lime soda

Method: Shake the vodka sunrise ingredients together in a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes. Strain this delicious mango vodka drink into a rocks or highball glass filled with ice. Garnish the cocktail with a mango wedge and mint leaf.