Shannon

Check Out this Aerating Wine Glass

For Christmas this year, I received a set of Borgonovo Aerating Wine Glasses. I love trying new wine gadgets and gizmos so was looking forward to trying these.

Borgonovo Wine Glass

“The aerating wine glass has been scientifically tested to enhance the aromas and flavors of wine,” says the brochure inside. And there are additional advantages to the glasses…

  • Quick wine oxygenation, without a decanter.
  • Up to 30% decrease of alcohol absorption in the blood.
  • A possible decrease of calorie absorption.
  • Decrease of sensorial perception of alcohol.

While I’m not sure about ALL of the promises above, what I can say is that it definitely enhances the wine, both reds and whites that I’ve tried with the glasses, and it’s a nice looking. Both characteristics I would expect from Italian wine glass makers!

No decanting required, you pour your wine into the glass and swirl counter-clockwise. “The wine is agitated against the internal ‘optic ribs’ of the glass causing a chemical reaction to take place which results in a release of unwanted carbon dioxide, while the flavors and aromas are intensified.”

I’ve tasted each wine I’ve poured in the glass before and after swirling / aerating. The wines have opened up in aroma and taste with the swirling, much more so than your usual wine glass. I like the taste of the wine much better and get less heat in the mouth, which is typically an indicator of alcohol levels.

They come in four sizes. My 16 ounce variety is here on Amazon.

All in all, a great wine find. Cheers!

Golden Globes Cheers!

Happy Awards Season!

Tonight’s 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards kicks off the season…sure to be entertaining with the wine and Champagne flowing. So what will be in stars’ glasses?

Moët & Chandon has been the official Champagne served at the Golden Globes for 24 years. This year they are pouring their 2004 Grand Vintage Brut Rosé. The Champagne is a combination of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier in a dry style with a mix of fine pinpoint bubbles, pomegranate, currant, subtle black cherry, green apple and a crisp acidity.

72nd Annual Golden Globes Menu | Golden Globes Awards

Over 600 full-sized bottles of wine and 400 Moët & Chandon magnums will be poured tonight, not to mention 1,500 Champagne Mini’s specially adapted to convert the bottle into a flute.

Moët & Chandon (@MoetUSA) | Twitter

This year’s official cocktail is the Moët Sunset Starlet…a blend of clementines and Moët & Chandon Rosé Impérial. Food & Wine has all the details on how to make your own.

Moët & Chandon (@MoetUSA) | Twitter-1

For more on the menu being served at The Beverly Hilton, inspired by the fresh produce that grows on California farms, click here.

Cheers to the Golden Globes!

KeeKee Lands in Athens, Greece …My Newest Children’s Book

KeeKee has landed in Athens, Greece! It’s the third book in my award-winning children’s picture book series KeeKee’s Big Adventures.

Athens_Book_Cover_site

I started Grape Occasions to share my love of travel, wine and spas with you. My love of travel started at a young age when my mom was a flight attendant. It opened my eyes and ears to the world, and with KeeKee’s Big Adventures, I want to do the same for children.

KeeKee is the adventurous calico kitty who travels the world in her hot air balloon. Her first stops were Paris, France and Rome, Italy. Now, Opá! It’s Athens, Greece.

Join KeeKee as she explores the sights, sounds, and tastes of one of the oldest cities in the world. Young readers will share KeeKee’s delight as she makes new friends, discovers exciting places, and immerses herself in the fascinating Greek culture. And, they’ll have fun with the kid-friendly pronunciation guide and glossary in the back of the book, along with a unique and charmingly illustrated map of Athens.

KeeKee’s Big Adventures sparks curiosity and inspires appreciation for our great big wonderful world! It’s a book you can share with your children each day or evening and take a little trip to Greece!

The books are available at local bookstores, on Amazon and on the KeeKee website. And check out our website for details about eventsfun activities for kids, and The KeeKee Club!

Celebrate International Tempranillo Day

It’s International Tempranillo Day! And while Tempranillo is the signature grape of Spain, with its finest expression in Rioja, Spain, I recently did a tasting of the grape variety from Lodi, California.

Lodi is one of California’s major wine growing region, located 100 miles east of San Francisco. It’s characterized by a rural atmosphere and farms run by 4th and 5th generation families working with new vintners who have brought fresh creative new things to the region. The region is known for it’s Zinfandel but over 75 varieties of grapes are grown in Lodi.

Lodi Vineyard. Photography by Goff Photography.

Over the past decade, intuitive Lodi vintners have begun to harness the exceptional quality and ideal conditions of Lodi’s terroir as they experiment with plantings of Spanish winegrape varieties. Netting over 900 tons in 2013, Tempranillo continues to be one of Lodi’s most popular and widely planted Spanish winegrape varieties. Other notable Spanish varieties grown in the Lodi region include Albariño, Garnacha Blanca, Verdejo, Graciano, Garnacha, and Monastrell.

Tempranillo’s name comes from the fact that it ripens early. The variety has more than 60 names for it around the world. It’s known as a growers grape because its usually consistent and produces a high tannin, fruit forward wine.

The Lodi wines we tasted were…

Lodi Tempranillo

  • 2012 Riaza Wines Hunter’s Oak Vineyard Tempranillo (SRP $26)
  • 2012 Bokisch Vineyards Tempranillo (SRP $23)
  • 2010 Harney Lane Winery Tempranillo (SRP $25)
  • 2012 McCay Cellars “Lot 13 Vineyard” Tempranillo (SRP $28)
  • 2012 m2 Wines Tormenta Tempranillo (SRP $22)

My two favorites from the tasting?

2012 Bokisch Vineyards Tempranillo

  • Variety: 90% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano
  • Aroma: Plum, cinnamon, smokey cedar
  • Taste: Juicy combination of blackberry, cranberry and cinnamon
  • Price: $23
  • My thoughts: Love the addition of the Graciano here for wonderful color and fruit! This is their flagship red wine…”is reminiscent of a Rioja Alavesa, the northernmost region of the Rioja which is noted for its cooler climate and higher altitude.”

2010 Harney Lane Winery Tempranillo

  • Variety: 100% Tempranillo, Estate Grown
  • Aroma: Dark fruit and tobacco
  • Taste: Blueberry explosion with notes of camp fire and burnt sugar
  • Price: $25
  • My thoughts: Love the elegance of this big wine and it’s complexity! I can imagine drinking it among their vines like the evening below.

Vineyard Dinner at Harney Lane Winery. Photography by Randy Caparoso.

And if you’re looking for the perfect food pairing for Tempranillo, the overwhelming suggestion…any meat off the grill!

Cheers to Tempranillo!

Virginia Wine Country: Washington Post Travel Feature

Today’s Washington Post Travel section is all about Virginia Wine Country! What a treat to see, and about time in my opinion. If you still have the chance, grab it as the photos are beautiful and there’s lots of great info. If not, here’s a list of the articles with links to enjoy online.

The articles calls out many of the great ones, including some of my favorites…

And here’s a handy chart they included to help in your Virginia Wine Country exploring.

Cheers to all the great things Virginia Wine Country has to offer!