Category Archives: Wine

Renowned Designer and Style Icon Vera Wang Debuts Prosecco

Last month Vera Wang announced PARTY, a premium Italian prosecco and we are obsessed.

PARTY embodies the Bright, FUN and Fashion-Forward side of the globally renowned Designer and Style Icon…with the same bold spirit that transformed fashion by reimagining the bridal space, Vera Wang is now turning her creativity and passion for design toward how — and what — we celebrate.

“First and foremost, I am a Designer, but I am also an entrepreneur and brand builder. I’ve dedicated my entire life to designing how people celebrate, and not just their weddings – from what they wear to how they entertain, from their tableaus and tablescapes, to how they live at home – and now, what they drink! PARTY is a natural extension of what I already do,” says Vera Wang. “Why prosecco? CELEBRATION! When I think of romance, fun, laughter, joy, friendship, I think of prosecco, it is the wine that personifies emotion and sheer happiness.”

Vera Wang’s attention to detail has shaped every step of PARTY from grape to bottle. Designed to look chic on any table, the bottle is a sleek matte silver with “PARTY” in bold neon yellow letters exuding a modern, easy sensibility. The back of the bottle features an invitation to PARTY from Vera.

“This project involved input from my friends, family, even clients. A sort of family affair!”

To craft the prosecco Vera Wang looked to find a winemaker with both heritage and pedigree. She turned to the top winemaking region Piemonte, known for its sparkling wines, and to Araldica, producer of the best- selling Moscato in America. Led by second-generation winemaker Claudio Manera, it is one of Italy’s fastest-growing producers and most forward-thinking winemaking co-operative. Manera continues his father’s commitment to Italy’s winemaking traditions, preserving local varieties, protecting the environment and valuing the characteristics of each wine.

“At Araldica we celebrate our roots, land and people, balancing our drive for innovation with respect to tradition,” explains Manera. “Vera Wang has our same philosophy, making this collaboration organic for us. This wine speaks to her fresh perspective, taste, passion and dedication to crafting a premium prosecco.”

Retailed at $25, Vera Wang PARTY is crafted from 100% Glera grapes and boasts aromas of apple and stone fruit, citrus notes and fresh acidity on the palate, with a soft and fruity finish. This new prosecco offers a fresh perspective in the sparkling wine category with its crisp effervescence, coupled with a bold aesthetic and playful voice. Vera Wang PARTY is currently available, and consumers are encouraged to visit VeraWangParty.com for more information on the wine or where to purchase it.

As society reimagines what it looks like to gather, Vera Wang’s PARTY reimagines what it looks like to celebrate. It’s what we could all use right now – a little bit of fun, a little bit of joy, and a new way to commemorate life’s meaningful moments.

A native New Yorker who spent her career at the forefront of fashion, Vera Wang began a sweeping makeover of the bridal industry in 1990 with the opening of her flagship salon at the Carlyle Hotel in New York City. Today, the flagship continues to showcase collections known for sophistication, extraordinary detailing and a cool, modern sensibility.

In 2000, Vera Wang’s enthusiasm for couture resulted in the launch of her highly acclaimed ready-to-wear collection. The Council of Fashion Designers of America honored Vera Wang by naming her “Womenswear Designer of the Year” in 2005. Wang has been recognized with numerous awards and accolades but most notably she was awarded the prestigious Legion of Honor, an order of distinction by the Republic of France. The Vera Wang brand reflects her vision to create a lifestyle that goes beyond core bridal and ready-to- wear, and into publishing, fragrance, beauty, accessories and home. Driven by artistic, modern, luxurious design and a high level of customer service, Vera Wang’s collections hold impeccable customer appeal.

Vera Wang collaborates with leading global partners and manufactures the majority of its bridal collection in company-owned workrooms in the United States. www.verawang.com.

Affinity Creative Amplifies Women’s Empowerment Message for The Cycles Gladiator Wine Brand

Wine Hooligans, a beverage company focused on relentlessly solving puzzles together in Santa Rosa, CA, recently appointed Affinity Creative Group to design and develop a new digital style and website for Cycles Gladiator Wine.

Inspired by women’s empowerment, Cycles Gladiator derives its name from the Gladiator Company, a 19th-century bicycle manufacturer based in Le Pré-Saint-Gervais, France. To honor the spirit of the brand’s figurehead, the iconic woman flying on her bicycle, Cycle’s leadership wanted to update the brand’s website design and user experience to mirror the company’s influential wine label and support women’s equality. 

“With the help of Affinity Creative Group, the Cycles Gladiator brand celebrates a contemporary wine culture that is uncontrived and genuine. We believe in women taking back their agency and reveling in that empowerment, and we’re thrilled to finally make that a priority throughout the entire Cycle’s brand image.” – Adam LaZarre, Founding Winemaker of Cycles Gladiator & Director of Winemaking for Wine Hooligans.

The wine brand owners wanted a total digital revamp with a strong foundation, supporting their creative brand assets, both old and new. The Affinity Creative team rose to the challenge and developed a cohesive visual style and digital tone with meaningful messaging. 

After establishing a robust brand personality framework, the Affinity Creative team updated the brand’s logo, typography, and supporting elements, while retaining strong, existing brand equities. Thus, the agency magnified the powerful theme of the Cycles Gladiator brand—both on and off the website—effectively promoting a female-empowering message of self-love, confidence, and liberation. 

The agency’s brand strategy groundwork also informed and inspired the production of ‘evergreen’ media content for the brand’s digital channels beyond Cycles Gladiator’s new website. From a modern interpretation of Belle Epoque poster typography, colors, and textures to the use of candid female-focused imagery, new digital assets reflect the iconic cycling maiden’s brand values of sincerity and energy.

A seamless UX completes the digital package, with compelling lifestyle photography and dynamic video components. All elements merge perfectly to inspire wine lovers to “join the movement” and represent the brand’s late 70s California vibe with a confident nod to modern-day women’s empowerment.

The Lake Chelan Wine Valley

As restrictions lift across the country and in Washington state, restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms are opening again at full capacity. Did you …

The Lake Chelan Wine Valley

ABBEY ROAD FARM LAUNCHES ELEVATED 6-COURSE LUNCH TASTING MENU

Chef Will Preisch presents “Verdant: An intimate tasting experience,” featuring fresh produce from the garden, inspired seasonal dishes and wine pairings from the Abbey Road Farm Collective

Abbey Road Farm, the 82-acre farm in the heart of the Willamette Valley, is excited to welcome guests to experience Verdant, an elevated tasting and culinary experience presented by on-site Chef Will Preisch, formerly of Holdfast.

In this intimate lunch seating, only available on Fridays and Saturdays from 1-3 p.m., guests will have a chance to meet Chef Will and his kitchen team as they present each course and their wine experts will explain each pairing. Lunch will be a rotating 6-course meal, with hand-picked ingredients from the Abbey Road Farms garden and property, drawing inspiration from the grounds and surrounding areas. *Venue information below

Chef Will brings his experimental flair to the unique menu, which will update at least twice a month. Sample courses include homemade ice cream flavored with wine lees, an ingredient used in the aging process and a byproduct of winemaking that offers a distinctive full mouth flavor, topped with wine gelée and frozen grapes.

VERDANT SAMPLE MENU AND WINE PAIRINGS

Lettuce, smoked roe, green goddess, herbs crumbs
Paired with: Fruit Day, Inc. 2020 Covey Ridge Vineyard Tualatin Hills Pinot Gris

Spot prawn, tomato, rhubarb, cucumber, tomatillo
Paired with: 2018 Abbey Road Farm Willamette Valley Chardonnay

Miso cod, black olive, fennel, bouillabaisse sauce
Paired with: 2019 Statera Cellars Royer Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Chardonnay

Beef, potato, onion, more!
Paired with: 2019 James Rahn Omero Vineyard Mondeuse

Lees ice cream, gelee, green grapes
Paired with: 2020 James Rahn Anne Amie vineyard Reisling

Blackberry tart, egg caramel bay
Paired with: Abbey Road Farm Demi-Sec Sparkling Pinot Gris

What | Where | When | Details

W: Verdant: An intimate tasting experience at Abby Road Farm

W: Beginning July 16th, Friday and Saturday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

W: Abbey Road Farm Cellar Room
10280 Northeast Oak Springs Farm Road | Carlton Oregon 97111

D: $150 per guest | $125 for wine club members
Tickets available here

Reservations are required and available on Tock. Max party size is 12, and the meal will not begin until all parties have arrived to avoid a slow-down of service.

Photo | Nick Grier Photography courtesy Abbey Road Farm


*ABOUT ABBEY ROAD FARM

Abbey Road Farm is a unique destination with a luxurious converted silo bed & breakfast inn, and beautifully crafted winery, tasting room, and events venue located on an 82-acre working farm and vineyard in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

Our mission is to celebrate the bounty of Yamhill County, be stewards of the land and bring Abbey Road Farm to its fullest potential by using organic practices in all farmable acreage (vineyard & produce), maximizing sustainable energy, and inspiring our guests to appreciate the process of where their food comes from to create an association between celebration, hospitality and a connection to the land.

The farm features one of the West Coast’s most captivating accommodations: three functional grain silos were combined and converted to create the luxurious Silo Suites B&B. Take a walking tour of the farm, meet our animal friends and enjoy a multi-course breakfast with our Innkeeper and Chef, Will Preisch.

The Abbey Road Farm Event Center is a beautifully crafted converted riding arena, capable of hosting extraordinary events large and small, set against manicured gardens and panoramic views of the valley. The Abbey Road Farm Winery Collective and Tasting Room features flights and pours made on location under the Abbey Road Farm label and produced by resident winemakers James Rahn Wine Co. and Statera Cellars/Lares Wines, and our current incubator wineries EST. Wines, Human Cellars, and Fruit Day Inc.

The Tasting Room is open 7 days a week 11am-5pm, reservations recommended. The property was planted with almost 40 acres of grapes including 14 different varieties. For more information, visit https://abbeyroadfarm.com, or follow Abbey Road Farm on Facebook @AbbeyRoadFarmOR and Instagram @AbbeyRoadFarm.

The Hess Collection Introduces Iron Corral

The 2019 vintage marks the first new estate Cabernet Sauvignon in 20 years

The Hess Collection

Today, The Hess Collection announces the release of its first new estate Cabernet Sauvignon in 20 years. Named after the recently acquired Iron Corral Vineyard, the 2019 Iron Corral Cabernet Sauvignon is the most recent addition to the estate wines from The Hess Collection, joining items such as Hess Collection Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon and The Lion Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Hess Collection 2019 Iron Corral Cabernet Sauvignon

Striking a delicate balance of Mountain and Valley Floor Estates, the 2019 Iron Corral Cabernet Sauvignon is complex yet accessible, designed for immediate enjoyment with the capability to age gracefully and be enjoyed for years to come. The intensity and structure of the Hess Mount Veeder vineyards combines with the supple, plush qualities of their Napa Valley floor estates to create a wine representative of the best the region has to offer. The 2019 vintage is a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot, displaying the full fruit retention of a classically styled Napa Valley Cabernet. The wine was aged 18 months in 40% new French Oak, resulting in a well-balanced wine designed to age beautifully.

The eye-catching Iron Corral label pays homage to the original Hess family crest from 1381. Bringing back the historic red is a nod to the past, while the design modernizes the Hess heritage and represents the future of the family. The resulting design amplifies the wine’s presence on the table, in the cellar and on shelf.

“We’re proud to continue our Napa Valley legacy with this next chapter from The Hess Collection,” says Tim Persson, Chairman & CEO for Hess Family Wine Estates. “Iron Corral is our new take on the classic Cabernet Sauvignon style our incredible wine region is known for. We’ve long anticipated the wine’s release and we’re thrilled to debut with this exceptional vintage.”

The Iron Corral vineyard was named after its history in Napa Valley agriculture. Before being discovered as a wine-growing gem, this 420-acre parcel nestled at the base of Howell Mountain was home to early Napa ranchers. The namesake Cabernet Sauvignon is a tribute to the history and legacy of the land as the grapes are harvested among remnants of the ranchers’ original iron gates. The estate vineyards are sustainably farmed according to founder Donald Hess’ philosophy: Nurture the land and return what you take.

Dave Guffy, Director of Winemaking, describes the new addition to the Hess Collection: “Iron Corral is a wine of quality and depth, with a composition built for aging, yet balanced, well-integrated tannins that allow our Cabernet Sauvignon to show beautifully for those unwilling to wait.”

SRP $60

The Hess Collection Iron Corral Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 will be available in stores Fall 2021. It is also available on HessCollection.com.


ABOUT THE HESS COLLECTION

The Hess Collection Winery is a family-owned company founded in 1978 by Donald Hess. Today, the next generation of the Hess family continues to uphold commitment to sustainable wine growing and wine making practices at its original home on Mount Veeder in the Napa Valley. The Hess Collection portfolio is comprised of the Hess Collection and Lions Head collection of wines.


SOURCE The Hess Collection

Put Together a Mimosa Bar for Mom

Give Mom a relaxing Sunday morning “in” with this simple, delicious and customizable “momosa” bar.

DIY Mimosa Bar

  • Difficulty: simple and quick
  • Print

mimosa-barIngredients

  • Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore
  • Assorted fruits, sliced (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, kiwi, etc.)
  • Assorted fruit juices (orange, mango, blood orange, lemonade, etc.)
  • 10 mint leaves, torn
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions

  • Blend cups of confectioners’ sugar, mint and lemon together in a blender until smooth. Chill in refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  • Divide the mixture into glasses to add extra sweet flavor
  • Pour Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore into each glass, stir
  • Top with selected juice. Garnish each glass with fruit.


Santa Margherita Floral Winesicles

If you’re looking for a dazzling dessert to wow friends and family this weekend, we have you covered.

 
With their powerful and unique flavors, textures and colors, edible flowers have gained popularity as a creative and innovative ingredient for the culinary world ~Wikipedia
 
heartsease flower (Viola tricolor) in springThis recipe is perfect for your any outdoor party or even packed in a cooler for a day at the beach.
 
A great go-to treat for cooling off this summer, that combines your love for something chilled, wine and beautiful edible florals.
 
 
 
Get creative and customize your colors with edible florals or add colorful ribbons on the stick. Use your imagination and enjoy!
 
 

Santa Margherita Floral Winesicles

 
WinesiclesIngredients
 
 
Directions
 
  1. Place 3-5 edible flowers in each popsicle mold
  2. Fill popsicle molds with Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore
  3. Freeze 4-6 hours, or until completely solid
  4. Once frozen, remove from mold and garnish with ribbon if desired.

 

Dazzling and Delicious Valentine’s Day Cocktails

Le Grand Courtage Brut Rose

If you didn’t plan early, making reservations at the restaurant of your choice can be quite a challenge.  Speaking from personal experience, even with a reservation, spending an hour waiting to be seated during the “night of love” is a common experience. Choosing to spend the “love fest” indoors is an excellent option. The two of you, a soft, low-burning fire, meats, fruits, cheeses and a selection of your favorite cocktails and sparkling wines is much more romantic than a room filled with strangers.  The possibilities are endless.

This year I am setting the scene for an unforgettable Valentine’s Evening, with Le Grand Courtâge, a new luxurious, yet affordable sparkling wine that offers a French cachet and elegance.  Since Valentine’s Day is on a Friday this year, I am adding a few delicious sparkling wine cocktails just in case you decide to spend the entire weekend “in”.

Frothy Lemon Sorbetto

Frothy Lemon Sorbetto
Frothy Lemon Sorbetto
  • 2 cups lemon sorbet, softened
  • 2 tablespoons vodka
  • 1/3 cup sparkling wine or Italian Prosecco wine, chilled
  • zest of one lemon
  1. Chill 4 champagne flutes.
  2. In a bowl, whisk lemon ice cream until smooth. Gradually whisk in the vodka and sparkling wine or Prosecco, by hand only.  Do not whisk until it becomes liquid.  Pour mixture into a pitcher and serve immediately in chilled champagne flutes, tall glasses, or goblets. Sprinkle lemon zest on top. Serve with small spoons.
French 75
French 75

The French 75

  • 1-1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) gin
  • 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) triple sec (I used Cointreau)
  • 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) simple syrup (recipe follows)
  • 1/3 ounce (2 teaspoons) fresh lemon juice champagne (or dry sparkling wine or cava), chilled

In a cocktail shaker, mix 4 or 5 ice cubes and the gin, triple sec, simple syrup and lemon juice. Shake until thoroughly blended and chilled. Strain mixture into 2 champagne flutes. Top off with champagne

Pamplemousse Royal
Pamplemousse Royal

Pamplemousse Royal by Gooseberry Mooseberry

  • 1 bottle pink bubbly
  • Red grapefruit
  • 3 oz vodka
  • 1 oz agave syrup

Method and Instruction please visit Gooseberry Mosseberry

 

In addition to its distinctive taste, the appeal of Le Grand Courtâge lies in its philosophy, ‘Embrace Life. Dream Big. Accept all Invitations.’ The aim is to encourage people to find joy in life’s simple pleasures and change the luxury, special occasion mentality of ‘champagne’ by offering a product with an exceptional value which is sure to impress.

You can find additional recipes for romance at Le Grand Courtage

ALBUQUERQUE, NM, September 16, 2020 — A panel of high-profile sommeliers and wine directors awarded Vara Winery & Distillery a total of six medals at the 2020 Sommeliers Choice Awards, including a gold medal for their Silverhead Brut Cava.

Medals were awarded to those wines that meet very specific judging criteria, with a goal of identifying wines that should become additions to restaurant wine lists. Wines will be judged by Food Parability, Typicity, Value, Quality, and Package.

“We’re really excited that our Vara Silverhead Brut Cava scored so highly on the various factors making it a great wine for the consumers to enjoy in restaurants,” said Doug Diefenthaler, co-owner at Vara Winery & Distillery. “We really put a lot of emphasis on creating a wine with broad consumer appeal, and one that wine drinkers will enjoy for a variety of different occasions. This award is really a validation of our winemaking expertise.”

The top two questions that sommeliers were attempting to answer as they judged the wines were: “Would we stock this?” and “Will the consumer buy the 2nd glass”. Each wine had to score among these 5 criteria to get the best score: F (Food Parability Score) + T (Typicity Score) + Q (Quality Score) + Value Score (V) + Package Score (P) = Sommeliers Choice Awards Final Score.

The gold winning Silverhead Brut Cava has a brilliant light-yellow color with fine well-released bubbles forming a continuous bead and a fantastic crown. The nose is youthful and fresh with pleasant fruity and floral aromas. This bubbly is very pleasant on the palate with a mildly dry fruitiness and a nice persistence of liveliness. The finish is clean and very well balanced, inviting you to another taste.

Along with the gold winning Brut Cava, Vara also received medals for Vara GarnachaGarnacha RosadoTempranilloViura, and Albariño.

Sid Patel, CEO of event organizers Beverage Trade Network, pointed out the significance of having world-class sommeliers choose the wines they think customers will most enjoy drinking, “The idea of the Sommeliers Choice Awards is to put the best judges forward to evaluate the best on-premise wines for the consumer. We were very pleased with the quality of the wines we received in the first year of the competition.”

Vara’s award winning wines are available to ship directly to your door at varawines.com. You can enjoy in person at our tasting room located at 315 Alameda Blvd NE Albuquerque, NM 87113.


ABOUT VARA WINES
VARA is an international family of Spanish and American wines celebrating the origins of the American wine experience thanks to the historical connection of Spain and New Mexico. Some wines have a story, we have a history. Visit www.varawines.com


About Sommeliers Choice Awards
Medals were awarded to those wines that meet a very specific judging criteria, with a goal of identifying wines that should become additions to restaurant wine lists. Wines were judged according to criteria such as how well they pair with food items in addition to their overall versatility. Highest marks were awarded to wines that provide value for money at their respective price points. To learn more about the judging process, please visit SommeliersChoiceAwards.com


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Ruby Rosé Granita

Celebrate National Rosé Day with a slushy summer favorite.

strawberries-om-om-fruits-red-82978-largeAs happens every spring, “Rosé season” has been officially announced. Of course why limit any wine to just a season? We enjoy a chilled pink year round.

The granita recipe is a great summer treat and it’s also a beautiful companion for the holidays, a New Years Eve celebration or to show your perfect Valentine a bit of love.

Although not a “true” granita, this slushy treat will delight your senses and dance in yourlogo tipple and taste mouth. It’s simple enough to whip up for girls night, Sunday Brunch, Mother’s Day or front porch sipping to chill the summer heat. Invite your neighbors, they will love you.

Experiment! Try Raspberries or a different fruit, remembering to strain out seeds and other solids.

Ruby Rosé Granita

 

Serves 4 – 6

Ruby Rose GranitaIngredients

  • 1 750-ml bottle of Ruby Magdalena Vineyards Rosé of Garnacha
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 8 ounces strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 2 1/2 ounces fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 1/2 c crushed Ice

Method

  1. Pour rosé into a 9 x 13 sheet pan and freeze for about 6 hours.
  2. In medium sauce pan, bring sugar and 1/2 of water to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Add strawberries, remove from heat and set aside for about 30 mins.
  3. Strain strawberry mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a small bowl, careful not to press solids through. Cover and chill til cold, about 30 minutes.
  4. Scrape rosé into blender and add lemon juice, 3 1/2 ounces of strawberry syrup and 1 cup crushed ice. Pureé until smooth.
  5. Put entire blender/jar in freezer for about 25-35 minutes. Blend again before serving.


Rose of Garnacha by Ruby Magdalena Vineyards ~ An award-winning rosé with aromas of strawberry, raspberry and white peach. Subtle fruitiness and a pleasant balance of light sweetness to crisp acidity makes this an approachable wine. Your mom will love this pretty pink bottle of Rose of Garnacha.


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Thank you for visiting basil & salt! We look forward to bringing you great content for gardening, parenting, health and beauty and of course, delicious recipes.

Look for our newest addition, Martinis & Mocktails, debuting on Blog Talk Radio Live!, in June, 2020. Stay tuned! Literally.

As always, I am raising a glass to you. Karie



You can find us on facebook and instagram @basilandsalt email: karie@basilandsalt.com



profile picKarie Engels is an author, founder and publisher of Basil & Salt Magazine. She enjoys a quiet life in a small farmhouse in Washington state with her quarrelsome cat.

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