“Women Winemakers of Connecticut Collaborate to Create a New Culture” – The American Wine Society Journal

Thank you to the American Wine Society for featuring my article about the Women Winemakers of Connecticut! We truly appreciate your support and look forward to collaborating more in the future ❤ #GirlsMakeWineToo #GirlPower

Read more below on how you can join the American Wine Society! 🙂

 

What is the American Wine Society?

A non-profit, educational, consumer-oriented organization for those interested in learning more about all aspects of wine.

What are the benefits of joining the AWS?

The AWS is all about making wine knowledge exciting and fun!

Members explore wine together, through relaxed chapter tastings, a magazine, national tasting events and much more. The AWS has a great rep in the wine industry, with remarkable relationships with winemakers, wineries and wine-related businesses around the globe that give members access to incredible wines and experiences.

When you join get excited for…

How can you join the American Wine Society?  

Click HERE for Membership info

Personally, I can’t wait for the Riedel – The Wine Glass Company Tasting this weekend with the American Wine Society, Hartford, CT Chapter!! If you are in the Connecticut area and would like more information about the AWS and how to join feel free to email me at threadsandvino@gmail.com. I hope you join this great organization and look forward to seeing you at the next event. Cheers! 🙂

Paradise Hills Vineyard & Winery Wine & Tapas Pairing Dinner at Pacífico Restaurant in New Haven, CT

I am a BIG fan of the Paradise Hills Vineyard & Winery (as you’ve probably already noticed). They are an amazing family bringing delicious wines to their community. It’s not uncommon for you to see the newest addition to the family, Marcelo Jr, running around the tasting room greeting customers. You’ll probably also spy their very own winery dog Otis greeting patrons while they take in the vineyard sites. So when I heard about their wine and food pairing dinner I knew I had to check it out.

When you walk into Pacífico restaurant you are surrounded by an instant glow of chill, beautiful, Latino vibes. From the decor to the menu you are transported to another world that encourages you to relax and enjoy the Pacífico experience.

Everyone who attended the event was greeted by winery owners Margaret and Marcelo. Margaret’s father is one of the original founders of Paradise Hills. It was great to see the next generation taking a commanding role in the winemaking and winery business. They both took the time to come over and speak to each table about the food and wine they were being served. And the pairings were amazing!

First we started off with a “Ceviche de Atun” – Yellowfin tuna ceviche, mango, pineapple, red onions, and citrus juices. This course was paired with their 2015 Washington Trail White Wine, an estate grown Chardonnay and Seyval Blanc blend. The combination of the ceviche and wine evoked bright flavors on your palate – a refreshing and tantalizing way to start off the wine and food pairing dinner.

The second course was a Pork Tenderloin with sugar cane skewers and roasted corn chimichurri paired with the Nostra Tradizione. The Nostra Tradizione is one of my all time favorites! The pork and wine worked perfectly together thanks to a little bit of extra spice on the palate with notes of strawberry and cherry. This wine can definitely handle a bold dish.

The third course was a Pan Seared Sea Bass perched atop a mound of couscous, with sweet plantains, roasted pepper, orange, and coconut jalepeno ginger mojo. This was paired with their 2016 Sauvignon Blanc –  which *Spoiler Alert* –  is a limited edition vintage released on April 25th! Make sure to get your hands on this wine before it’s too late. The Sauvignon Blanc is like summer in a glass, and paired with the sea bass was knock out of a combination. Talk about bright citrus flavors merging with a little spice and salt. Super delicious.

The forth course was a Grilled Skirt Steak with yucca fries and aji amarillo chimichurri paired with the 2015 President’s Choice – a Bordeaux Style Red Wine. My goodness was this awesome! The President’s choice is the Winemaker’s Private Blend (not even some of the family know what is in the blend!). Accompanied by the steak, the flavor explosion in your mouth was insane. Blackberry, currants, black cherry, and cedar woke up your palate. This wine was definitely worth the wait.

The fifth and final course consisted of a Passion Fruit Flan and Paradise’s 2015 Connecticut Cayuga White Wine. Another bold pairing of flavor. The passion fruit was ignited even more by the bright citrus and crisp acidity of the estate-grown Cayuga. An insanely delicious dessert pairing.

I couldn’t get over how well everything was paired and how each course pairing got better and better. It was clear that both Paradise Hills and Pacífico Restaurant took a lot of time to make sure every course and wine complimented each other perfectly. I want to give a big Thank You to Margaret and Marcelo of Paradise Hills Vineyard & Winery and Pacífico Restaurant for putting on this amazing event. I can’t wait to see what next year’s event will have in store for us!

Also, I want to give a shout out to Manny Vargas Photography for providing the incredible photos. He really captured the amazing ambiance and atmosphere.

Winery: Paradise Hills Vineyard & Winery (Visit)

Location: 15 Wind Swept Hill Rd, Wallingford, CT, 06492

Tasting Hours: Monday-Saturday: 11am-8pm and Sunday: 11am-6pm. Please call to set up private/group tastings (Info)

Tasting Options: Tastings are $10/person for 6 pre-selected wines or $15.00/person for 6 pre-selected wines and a logo’d glass.

Purchase Wines from the Event: HERE

Event Location: Pacífico Restaurant (Visit)

Experience Paradise Vineyards & Winery:

When you visit Paradise Vineyards you are greeted by friendly tasting room representatives and a delicious list of 6 wines to enjoy. Most of the tasting room staff either works in the vineyard or in the winery. They are very fun and knowledgeable. No matter if you are new to wine or consider yourself a connoisseur you can always learn something new while enjoying a great glass of wine at Paradise Vineyards!

The tasting room is cozy and inviting. There is a roaring fireplace in the winter time you can snuggle up to, or when the weather is warmer you can  sit out on their patio overlooking the vines.

PS- Check out more more photos from the event below and more information about Paradise Hills Vineyard & Winery! Cheers! 🙂

SkinnyPop, Paradise Hills Vineyard, & Scandal = The Perfect Thursday Night Pairing


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{card via nocturnalpaper}

In honor of my obsession with Scandal I wanted to put together a “Netflix & Chill” kind of post Olivia might be proud of. So I decided to pair some of our local CT Wine Trail wines with SkinnyPop popcorn (because it’s my fave). Olivia is always pairing her vino and popcorn no matter if she’s happy or sad. So I thought, why not pair her two of her favorite things and watch her kick butt in DC? #Wouldn’tOliviaPopeDoThis?

Below are some of my favorite pairings from Paradise Hills Vineyard & Winery in Wallingford, CT. Maragret Ruggiero Mena, the Owner & Winemaker at Paradise, was kind enough to sit down with me and test out these pairings. Needless to say it was a fun Tuesday night 😉

Jalapeño SkinnyPop & The Washington Trail White:

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The Washington Trail White is a lovely fruit forward, medium bodied wine with notes of crisp apples, bright citrus, and soft fruity flavors with a delicate off-dry finish. The bright acidity brings out the jalapeño flavor in tasty and balanced way. The low alcohol and balanced residual sugar/acidity offsets the spicy burn. This is a great pairing for someone who has a spicier palate.

Washington Trail White: $19.98/bottle

SkinnyPop Jalapeño: $13.86 for a 12 pack

Original Style SkinnyPop & Temptation Apple Wine:

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The Temptation Apple wine is a semi-sweet wine made from 100% Connecticut Grown Apples. The crisp acidity from the wine balances out the “cheesey” notes of the Original SkinnyPop flavor. A delicious pairing for a sweet little girls night in.

Temptation Apple Wine: $15.50/bottle

Original Style SkinnyPop: $16.82/ 6 pack

Sea Salt & Pepper SkinnyPop and Trio Blend: 

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Paradise’s “International Style” is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Carmenere. The elegant creamy mouthfeel stands up to the pepper and sea salt, creating a rich and flavorful compliment. Personally this is my favorite pairing because of the flavor explosion that happens between the pepper and fruit. I highlight recommend this pairing for anyone who loves a good steak with a Cabernet.

Trio Blend: $27.50/bottle

Sea Salt & Pepper Popcorn: $25.99/ 6 pack

White Cheddar SkinnyPop and Nostrada Tradizione:

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The Nostradamus Tradizione is a Chianti Style wine, so naturally matching this blend with a cheesy popcorn is a delicious combination. The acidity in the wine offsets the creamy cheese notes balancing out your palate with well rounded flavors. Hints of cherry and raspberry are complimented by the creamy white cheddar notes.

Nostradamus Tradizione: $27.50/bottle

White Cheddar: $20.45/ 6 pack

So there you have it! Lots of delicious combinations from one of my favorite CT Wineries and SkinnyPop popcorn. Thank you Olivia Pope, Kerri Washington, and the Scandal team for introducing me to this amazing food group. And Thank you to Margaret from Paradise Hills Winery for not thinking I was totally crazy for pairing her delicious wines with popcorn!

Other Wine & Popcorn Pairings Chart via SkinnyPop popcorn:

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Valentine’s Pairing Ideas: Chamard Vineyards

Valentine’s Day is a great time to show someone you love them with a bottle of wine, a wine tasting experience, or a special event at one of the local CT vineyards.

Here’s some pairing suggestions from Chamard Vineyards in Clinton, CT.

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photo via 9orange photography

If you’re in the mood for Dark & Decadent… 2014 Chamard Vineyards Heritage Cabernet Sauvignon pairs wonderfully with dark chocolate. The bitterness of the chocolate brings out the fruit in the wine, giving you a scandalously flavorful experience.

If you’re in the mood for Sensual & Sweet… 2015 Chamard Estate Reserve Chardonnay is the perfect choice for white chocolate, butterscotch, or caramel desserts. The buttery notes in the barrel aged Chardonnay compliment the savory sweetness of these deserts – leaving a lingering sweet feeling in your mouth as well as in your heart.

If you’re in the mood for Bubbles… Chamard’s Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc compliments your everyday milk chocolate bar. Just as sparkling wines always bring the party, sparkling wine + chocolate = a match made by cupid!

No matter what vineyard you visit — they’ll have the perfect pairing for you and yours!

Interview with Cru Podcast – “Empowering Women Winemakers in Connecticut”

 

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{pictured above – The Founding Members of the Women Winemakers of Connecticut}

{photo credit: 9orange Photography}

Today is kind of surreal. I was featured on the Cru podcast speaking about my family’s business – Musto Wine Grape Company, LLC., The Connecticut Wine Industry, and The Women Winemakers of Connecticut Group I helped create. Such an amazing opportunity, I feel so grateful to have been featured. I had a great time discussing all of these topics with Chappy and I hope he is able to taste some of Connecticut’s delicious wines soon!

Chappy’s podcast focuses on “Stories from the People Behind the Wine”. And if you look at the people he has interviewed so far, the stories are insanely inspiring! He has interviewed the McBride Sisters, Brian McClintic, and Dustin Wilson just to name a few.

It was incredibly kind of him to take the time speak to me and share our conversation with his listeners. Connecticut is a small winemaking and wine growing region but we have a lot to offer any wine lover.

To hear more about The Connecticut Wine Industry, Making Your Own Wine at Home, and The Women Winemakers of CT, You can listen to the full interview below….

Empowering Women Winemakers with Christina Musto 

I hope you enjoy the podcast and make sure to sign up for the Cru Podcast Newsletter. Lots of fun Wine Loving podcasts and new finds will be sent to you every Friday.

Cheers!

Companies mentioned in this podcast:

Cru Podcast

Musto Wine Grape Company, LLC.

CTWine.com

Women Winemakers of CT

Southern Connecticut Wine Company

Paradise Hills Vineyard & Winery

Chamard Vineyards

Ceja Vineyards

Women Winemakers of CT Featured in Winemaker Magazine

Finally! Now everyone can access our article in Winemaker Magazine! So excited to have been able to create this article and highlight these amazing winemaking ladies.

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Check out what The Women Winemakers of Connecticut are all about HERE. You will probably see some familiar CT Wine Trail faces so make sure to support your local Winery and Winemaker. 🙂

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If you are interested in joining the Women Winemakers of Connecticut please contact me at cmusto@juicegrape.com.

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Cheers!