Giveaway time! Tickets to the Boston Wine Expo!

Are you going to the Boston Wine Expo???

You should! It is a wonderful event, full of delicious wine, great food samples and education.
Read more about it here: https://brewwinefun.com/tag/boston-wine-expo/

Want to go for free? We are giving away one pair of tickets this Monday! http://gvwy.io/o2chj1d

Hope to see you there!

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Boston Wine Expo

It’s that time of year again- time for the Boston Wine Expo!
bwebannerWe are very excited to have been invited back as bloggers this year, and can’t wait to see you there! This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Boston Wine Expo, so it is sure to be even bigger and better than ever. To go with the Silver Anniversary theme, they will be showcasing what has happened with wine over the past 25 years, and the
way food and wine are looking to be trending for the next 25.

Over 1,800 wines will be poured from over 200 wineries from around the world. Food samples will be available from Boston area restaurants.

Interested in taking part in a seminar? There are so many to chose from, featuring wine from all over the world; cheese; cider and chocolate. You can learn to taste like a pro, enjoy Buffalo Trace Bourbon, or learn more about food and wine pairing. Want to register for one? Do so here

Please join us on February 13th and 14th at the Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center: https://bostonwineexpo.eventbrite.com/?discount=BLOGJAN (For $10 off either day at #BWE2016)

Previous visits to the Boston Wine Expo:

Boston Wine Expo, 2014
Boston Wine Expo,2014, Seminar: Love Brews for Cheeses of the Veneto
Boston Wine Expo preview of 2015
Boston Wine Expo, 2015

Boston Wine Expo 2015

If you follow Megan on instagram, you know we had a good time at this year’s Boston Wine Expo. Were you able to attend?

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We went to the expo for the Saturday Grand Tasting, and were able to spend time with some of our contest winners as well!

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Some photos from the day:

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Each ticket includes a collectible glass

We tried so many amazing wines. One of the great things about this event is that you can try such a great variety. Wines from all over the world are present, as well as all varieties. We were able to talk to those representing the vineyards more this year, and learned quite a bit about each wine.

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Chatom Vineyards, California. The owner of the vineyard was serving the wine, which was terrific. The knowledge she had was spectacular, and a good way to start our day.

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Anne Amie table- this Cuvee wine was delicious! This was a fun, and enjoyable summer wine.

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more from Anne Amie: Vin Doux & Vin Glace Dessert set. Comes as a pair. Vin Doux was like candy. It was pretty amazing. The Vin Glace was good as well, fortified with pinot noir brandy (almost made by them).

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we spent a fair amount of time at this table: Marisco Vineyards. The winery is located in Marlborough, New Zealand. The two guys at the table were fun and knowledgeable and walked us through the wines. They also knew were their wine was available locally, which is a plus if you are local.

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Thirsty Owl Wine Company, located in the Finger Lakes of New York. They offer a Pinot Noir Red, Diamond, Vidal Blanc, Dry Riesling and Snow Owl. Delicious!

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Standing Stone Vineyards, Finger Lakes, New York

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Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, Finger Lakes, New York. Red Cat Wine is part of them, being “unpretentious and delicious.” We had a “cocktail” while at the table “Red Cat on the Beach.” This was Red Cat poured over ice, with a squeeze of fresh lime. We also enjoyed a piece of dark chocolate with the wine.

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Hazlitt is also home to hard cider!

 

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don’t you want one?

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barefoot

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meatballs!

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Mark and I with Kristen and David, two of our contest winners!

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chicken pot pie!

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Cucina Aurora Risotto! From Salem, New Hampshire and delicious!

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Yancey’s Fancy Cheese

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Milly’s Organic Salad Dressing- very good! Will be looking for it!

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MainleyHRT’s bottle tote. Great for traveling!

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More wine!IMG_1854 IMG_1855 IMG_1857 IMG_1859 IMG_1856 IMG_1858 IMG_1863 IMG_1867 IMG_1865 IMG_1866 IMG_1871 IMG_1876

 

Mill River Winery, Rowley MA

 

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Mill River Winery is located in Rowley on the North Shore of Massachusetts. We had been meaning to stop in here for a while as we had heard many good things. We stopped on the way down into Boston for the Boston Wine Expo preview event.

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They renovated the Dodge’s Cider Mill from the 1890’s. The building has a rustic feel with a mix of original wood, reclaimed, and rustic wood that creates a cool environment for tasting wine.

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They had 2 predesigned flights when we were there, so we both ordered a different one so we could try most of their wines.

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Naked Chardonnay:
aged in stainless steel. Lemon zest and pear aromas. Dry, but not as dry as you expect a Chardonnay to be. Full bodied.

Plum Island White:
Balanced in sweetness. Semi-sweet with pear, citrus and honey aromas. Smooth and easy to drink.

Riesling:
Off dry, slight citrus flavor with a vanilla finish

Barrel Fermented Chardonnay:
Oak aged. Very smooth. Dry. Megan liked the Naked Chardonnay better, but could understand what the draw was for the oaked flavor.

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Plum Island Red:
Berry and light. Tried this wine both chilled and room temperature. Chilled, it took on more white wine/fruit wine characteristics. This wine they tried to model after and Italian style Chianti, so you can drink it throughout the day. 30% white wine, 70% red.

Plum Island Red Dory:
Dry mouth feel. Nice fruit flavor, with the aromas of plums and blackberries, without being overly sweet. 5% white wine. More complex than Plum Island Red.

Plantation Red:
Light in oak flavor. Dry. Well balanced with the aroma of raspberry jam

Pinot Noir:
Light bodied, smooth at first with a bite at the end. Cherry flavor, but not sweet. Megan liked the flavor at the end

Select Cabernet Sauvignon:
Not as dry as we expected. Full bodied. Flavors of chocolate and deep, dark fruit

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Bucket of Fun:
Rose. We both liked this one. At their blending bash, people create different wines and the winner receives a case of wine and their wine is created. This was the winner!

 

It was not busy when we were there, and we received plenty of attention. The server was friendly and knowledgeable about the wine and the winery.

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Before the tasting…

 

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fun chandelier made from wine barrels

They had a cool chandelier made from wine staves. You can see the post and beam construction in the background as well.

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They have a gift shop with locally made jams and all kinds of wine accessories.

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Wine serving tray

 

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A table you can stand around if it is busy

 

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Want to Visit?

Winter hours:
Tasting room open Fri 11 – 7pm, Sat & Sun 11 – 6pm
Tours Sat & Sun at 2 & 4pm.

Boston Wine Expo, February 14-15 2015!

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We recently went to a “sneak peek” of the 2015 Boston Wine Expo.
Delicious and worth the trip to Boston.

***

With the upcoming event, we wanted to share some of the awesome vendors and wineries that will be at the Boston Wine Expo 2015 AND…

OFFER YOU a PAIR of TICKETS to this years event! More on that later…

***

The Boston Wine Expo will be held at the Seaport World Trade Center, on Valentine’s weekend (February 14 & 15, 2015). Last year’s event was fantastic- we tried wine we wouldn’t of otherwise, and learned about wine as well as cheese and Italian beer. This year, w expect nothing short of excellent.

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view of the Seaport World Trade Center

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what was available for our preview event

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what was available for our preview event

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delectable food- I wonder what there will be at this year’s event!

Some of the many featured wines

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the lady bug is a natural predator that feeds on insects harmful to plants.
the wine has flavors of black cherries and raspberries, with aromas of spice and espresso

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90+ Cellars, a favorite from last year

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90+ cellars

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We hardly ever say this, but we liked all three of these red wines. They all had a different place for enjoyment

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Megan’s favorite of the three

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Our tips from last year:

IF you go…
Go with a goal… maybe to try a particular country. At previous wine events, I have focused on a particular type of wine, however trying by country is easier with the layout here.
Try a wine you’ve never heard of
Don’t say that you don’t like a particular type of wine- you might just not like the way that winery makes it. Try it somewhere else.
Stay hydrated”

Are you going? Have you gone before? What are you looking forward to? Comment to let us know!

But wait! We have two pairs of tickets to giveaway!! Enter here!


Please note, you must be available the weekend of February 14/15 2015. Winners will be notified Jan. 23. Winner must respond within 24 hours, or another name will be pulled.
For Facebook and Twitter entries, you must like, tweet, follow, etc as it states, or your entry will not be qualified.

Boston Wine Expo: the Expo

IMG_2698After we attended the Love Brews for Cheeses of the Veneto session on Saturday, we went to the main part of the Expo. We went both days, Saturday and Sunday. Saturday, we drove back to my parent’s house in a snowstorm (it might have been a blizzard), whereas Sunday was beautiful, but cold. Sunday we were joined by Bre and Deryl.
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We had our passes, and were ready to try some wine!

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Wines that Stood Out..

Fizz 56:  a Terlato wine. A sparkling red wine. Fruity, fizzy with a really great sweet flavor

**Just about all of the wines from the Finger Lakes region!** including:
Dr. Frank Riesling, Semi Dry 2012: Nose of orange blossom and pear. Flavors of mandarin oranges, apples and peach.
Dr. Frank Grüner Veltliner, 2011:  Floral and melon flavors
Wagner Vineyards:  all of their Rieslings were fantastic, BUT, their ice wine was amazing!

IMG_0433Roscato: When I saw this wine, I knew I had to try it- my cousin Steve had told me about it Christmas Eve 2012. This was a sweet, red wine with a fizz. It is made from Croatina, Teroldego and Lagrein grapes.  It was really good, and a great recommendation from him!

IMG_0470 100_1387Caress: By Moonlight Meadery- the only New England winery there! Honey and raspberries- mmmm!

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Pacific Rim: specializes only in Rieslings. Their Riesling and their Sweet Riesling were really good, and were also our friend Bre’s first wine that she liked there.

IMG_1934 IMG_8815Mark, Megan, Bre and Deryl at the Troublemaker RV
IMG_0461Troublemaker: A Hope Family Wine. Red blend, created in a multi-vintage approach.
They keg their wine- find that it is better for longevity, especially in bars and restaurants. They covered a fairly large section of the expo floor, as they had a full RV!

IMG_0441All of these wines from 90+ Cellars. Chardonnay, Riesling, Moscato and Prosecco. Not only were the wines great but my Dad and Ocean Works created their amazing tables! IMG_8162 IMG_7619

IMG_2655 this wine is not yet available in the US- but when it is, try it! Really great Moscato
IMG_8952A sweet red wine
IMG_2465sweet and summer likeIMG_2187

Dylan’s Ghost– tried “Hell Hollow” and “The Beast,” both excellent reds. This was one of the wineries we had heard about from others on twitter!

Other thoughts:

Pasta chips are amazing! They are made with semolina flour and Italian herbs, and are almost a cross between a cracker and a chip.IMG_0465
Celebrity Cruise Lines: had an inventive way of getting people over to their table: make your own spice tins! 100_1413
We bounced around at times throughout the weekend, going to tables that were less crowded. On Sunday, we went with people that didn’t know too much about wine, and being at the less crowded tables helped so we could ask more questions. It is always interesting to try wine with people who are new to wine or expanding their pallets.

What truly stood out, were the wineries that tell you about their wine and what makes it special. The wineries from the Finger Lakes were the best about this. The amount of information varied, depending quite often on the role that person played to the winery. Some could answer questions that you had about the wine, while others couldn’t. Those that couldn’t  often worked for the distributors. We appreciated those that were upfront with us; one told us that he was new to it, and was looking to learn all that he could. Those we didn’t appreciate were the ones that just picked up another bottle to pour when they were asked a question. This was at no fault to the organizers of the Wine Expo, but not a good face for the particular wineries. We also appreciated the tables that were area wine commissions- one person who represented 3-4 different wineries but understood each one.

One of the best things was looking at the twitter feed about the Boston Wine Expo after (#bwe2014). We tweeted with others, and asked what their highlights were on Saturday, so we could look for those the following day. It was great to learn about different wines and products through social media.

We’ve gone to other wine tastings that have you tag wines as you try them for immediate purchase… We would love to see states from places that do that to see how it impacts wine sales. Some of the wines we tried are harder to find, and it would be great to have them easily accessible! Luckily, most are available at our liquor and wine stores.

On day two, we visited more of the vendor tables (not wine). We saw wine accessories, wine racks… We felt that if those tables were giving out something, like the Hold A Plate table, who demonstrated their innovative cocktail plate by serving meatballs (that were delicious!) that people would be more apt to stop by and learn about your products.


IMG_6450  IMG_8369   IMG_4195  IMG_1547  IMG_2102  IMG_0439 100_1390 100_1399IF you go next year…

Go with a goal… maybe to try a particular country. At previous wine events, I have focused on a particular type of wine, however trying by country is easier with the layout here.
Try a wine you’ve never heard of
Don’t say that you don’t like a particular type of wine- you might just not like the way that winery makes it. Try it somewhere else.
Stay hydrated100_1368
Eat! There are many food samples throughout- bread (as pictured above), Pasta Chips, Brownie Brittle, Chicken and Sausage Gumbo to name a few… but don’t wait until the end of the day- some food tables stopped serving around 4pm on Sunday (event ended at 5). 100_1366100_1365Estelle’s Traditional Andoullie Sausage & Smoked Chicken Gumbo

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It is VERY easy to stay for the whole time- so much to see, so much to do! Even after two days!

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Boston Wine Expo: LOVE BREWS FOR CHEESES OF THE VENETO

100_1432A few days before the Boston Wine Expo, we received an email that we could enter to win two tickets for one of the sessions at the Boston Wine Expo. The sessions that were part of this were:

LOVE BREWS FOR CHEESES OF THE VENETO

and

TUSCAN TABLE

We responded that we were interested, and were the bloggers chosen to attend LOVE BREWS FOR CHEESES OF THE VENETO, which we would actually attend before the wine expo.

LOVE BREWS FOR CHEESES OF THE VENETO was held on Saturday, February 15th at 12:00pm. Tickets were $25pp. The event’s description:

“Join epicurean and beloved Italian Cheese Guru Lou Di Palo for a whirlwind tour of the Veneto’s fabulous DOP cheeses and fall in Love Italian Style – this Valentine’s Day Weekend!

Sample Piave, Asiago and Grana Padano cheeses paired with a premium selection of Italian Artisanal Beers from Tenute Collesi. Taste along while Lou explains how to effortlessly pair Italian Cheese and Artisanal Cheese.

And to complete this simply divine experience, special guest chef Stefano Palermo of Risotteria Melotti will stir up a traditional Risotto dish from the region!

Leave with hands on cheese tasting, artisanal beer pairing experience, a go- to risotto recipe and a treasure trove of helpful hints that will make entertaining friends and family a breeze in both formal and informal settings.”

On the day of the event, we took the T in, which is one of the easiest ways to get into the Seaport World Trade Center, where the Boston Wine Expo was being held. The Trade Center is right on the Silver Line, and easy to get to. 

IMG_0428 Having never attended the Boston Wine Expo, or one of their sessions, we were not quite sure what to expect. We arrived early, checked in for our passes, and then went upstairs to where the sessions were being held. You could purchase tickets before entering the sessions, if there was room remaining, or have your tickets on hand. Our tickets were through EventBrite, so we were able to store them on my phone- which made things easier (less to lose on the way in!). We went to the Session area about 15-20 minutes before it began. 100_1326Some sessions were letting people in as they arrived, ours wasn’t until it was time. When the session was about ready to begin, they let us enter the room. 100_1329There were 5 rows of tables, split into 5 people on each side. Each seat had a setup of: 3 wine glasses, a plate of cheese, mustard and cherries, a booklet and pen as well as a fork, napkin and water glass. IMG_0429 100_1328  100_1327

The session began with an introduction from Antonio Lucarelli, the Deputy Trade Commissioner of the Food and Wine section, from New York. He informed us that the session would be the on the study of the region of Veneto, which is most famous for Prosecco. He then introduced Lou Di Palo, who would be running the show for the remainder of the session. Lou is from an Italian family, and is the fourth generation of his family to run DiPalo Selects in Little Italy, New York.100_1342

Lou told us a bit of history of Italy, of Italy as we know it and Italy before it was Italy. Italy as we know it is very young, formed only in the 1860s. We heard about the Dolomite Mountains in Venice; how the mountains are beautiful and change colors throughout the course of a day. From brown, to white, like snowcaps, to the color of roses. The richness of the fertile grounds in that area, with the combination of the free grazing cows, resulted in great cheese.
We learned the stories of the individual cheeses. In the Poe River Area, the “bread basket of Italy,” land was wasted due to being controlled by Barbarians. About 1,000 years ago, monks reclaimed the land and used cows to revive the land from swamp to usable. This resulted in too much milk, so they made it into cheese. They cut cheese curds into rice grains, packed it down into a form, and added sea salt. Sea salt is the “secret ingredient” many Italian cheese makers use which helps it to stand the test of time.
The stories Lou told us weren’t told in a lecture way, but instead in a way that brought you in. Although Mark and I haven’t ever thought about traveling to Italy, it made us think about it.

Our tasting:100_1335

Artisanal Beers were from Tenute Collesi. The technique of the beer is the ancient way made by monks. The beers are unpasteurized, and naturally fermented.

Chiara: light, bubbily, honey100_1336
paired with

  • Asiago Pressato Dop: fresh, soft, nice buttery milk flavor. Made with only whole milk.
  • Asiago D’Allevo Oro Del Tempo Dop: aged, made with whole and skim milk. Almost had a nuttier flavor. We felt this one paired better with the beer.

Bionda: smells similar to a pale ale, with a coriander type note. Fruity in flavor.

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paired with

  • Plave Stravecchio Oro Del Tempo Dop: nutty, smooth. Aged 12+ months. From the most modern cheese factory in Italy- the cheese maker is a computer! All cheese is made in a small wheel, coming from area farms. There are about 500-600 farmers involved, using brown and grey cows. This was one of Megan’s favorites.

Rossa: nutty. Megan enjoyed this beer with the Black Cherry and Cheese combo best.100_1345

  • Grana Padano Stravecchio Oro Del Tempo Dop: grainy- from the separation of fat and protein. Tried this with a Black Cherry as well, which made it almost dessert like! Wow!100_1350

We also tried a fruit mustard, from Lazzaris. Mark enjoyed it, however, Megan was not a huge fan.

We loved the tasting! The cheese was amazing, and it was great to try Italian beers. The beers reminded us of sparkling wine in some ways. The only thing we would have changed about the tasting, is that sometimes we were uncertain about which cheese was next. We knew the name of it, but not which one it was on our plate. We did our best to guess, and think we did pretty well. We also weren’t sure if we could eat all of each cheese, or if we were going back to any later to try with a different beer. We loved how the session was presented as well.

The last part of the tasting was an absolute treat! Chef Stefano Palermo of Risotteria Melotti, in New York City, made us a delicious Risotto- which we were given the recipe for. “Amarone Risotto in Grana Padano Cups.” Ours was served with a Padano chip instead of in a cup.
This was delicious and I can’t wait to make it myself! Here is the recipe, courtesy of Agriform, if you are also intrigued…

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Amarone Risotto in Grana Padano Cups, serves 4
1c Amarone della Valpolicella wine
1 ½ c Melott Vialone Nano Veronese Rice
5 c beef stock
2 tbsp butter
3oz Agriform Grana Padano DOP cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste
Parsley for decoration

  • For the Grana Padano: Heat a small, nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Sprinkle 2 tbso of the cheese into a 4in circle in the middle of the skillet. Cook until the circle starts to hold together as you lift it off the pan and the bottom is starting to brown, about 1 minute. Flip, and cook for an additional 15 seconds. Transfer to an upside down cup and press down to give the desired shape. Repeat 4 times.
  • For the Risotto:
    • In two separate pans, bring wine and stock to a simmer, then keep both warm over low heat
    • In a third pot, melt 1 tbsp butter, then add rice and cook, stirring to coat with the butte, about 2 minutes.
    • Add wine and cook, stirring continuously for about 30 seconds until wine is almost completely absorbed. Add a ladleful of stick at a time, stirring constantly. Wait until almost all of the stock has been absorbed before adding more. Continue cooking and adding stick until rice is tender but firm to the bite, about 25 minutes
    • Remove pot from heat and vigorously stir in remaining butter and Grana Padano DOP cheese.
    • Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place cheese cups on four plates. Divide Risotto evenly between the four plates, filling cups and garnishing with parsley.