Arielle of Balderdash Cellars gives me a few tidbits on how she preps for harvest!

Before winemaker Arielle from Balderdash Cellars jets off to Italy for Harvest, she gave me a few tidbits on how she preps for harvest!


Most wineries usually produce their white wines first because white grapes ripen before red grapes. We actually make our red wines first, so that we can move the red wine to barrel and hold our white wines in tank until they are ready to be bottled.


I’m not sure if it qualifies as a harvest tradition per se but whenever I pitch yeast, I like to encourage them and tell them they are going to do great things and make great wine! It makes a late night of pitching yeast a little more entertaining and who knows, maybe it actually benefits the yeast!

Visiting Balderdash Cellars:

Balderdash Winery is home to some amazing wines and amazing people. Owners Christian and Donna Hanson truly make visiting the winery a great experience. The winery is boutique in style, so expect to be trying some interesting and delicious small batch wines that you can only try at their winery.  They focus on “producing ultra-premium (wicked to New England folks) wines from grapes grown by world-class California vineyards.”

Location: 502 East Street (rear of the building) Pittsfield, MA 01201

Tasting Hours: Saturdays 1-5pm, please call to set up private/group tastings (info)

Tasting Options:  Tastings are $8/person and refundable with purchase of $50/person.

 

I want to give a big Thank You to Arielle Fabiano from Bladerdash Cellars for giving us a peak into the life of a Winemaker. Make sure to stop by Balderdash Cellars in Pittsfield, MA for some delicious wines made from a very passionate Winemaker! #GirlsMakeWineToo

End of Summer Sangria Recipes

As summer comes to an end and the fall harvest begins I wanted to share some fun Sangria recipes for the weekend. Thank you to Maureen Macdonald for contributing some delicious recipes to my Sangria addiction.  Cheers!

Pink Lemonade Sangria

Makes about 1 gallon
2 750ml bottles of Pinot Grigio
1 can frozen pink lemonade concentrate
1 quart tub of frozen strawberries (sugar added is fine) (frozen fruit breaks down better and leaks out more flavors as it defrosts plus it keeps it cold)
1 2 Liter of Sprite or Club Soda (depending on how sweet you want it)
*If you want to make it stronger, you can add strawberry schnapps however this will make it much sweeter so use club soda

 

Peach Mango Sangria

Makes about 1 gallon
2 750ml bottles of Pinot Grigio
1 cup of Peachtree schnapps
1/3 cup lime juice
1 bag frozen peaches
1 16oz can Goya Mango nectar
1 quart of Ocean Spray White Cranberry Peach Juice
1 liter of lime seltzer

 

Mixed Berry Malbec Sangria

Makes about 1 gallon
2 750 ml bottles Malbec
1 cup of Chambourd Raspberry Liquor
1/3 cup lime juice
1 quart of cran raspberry juice
1 liter of raspberry seltzer
1 bag of frozen mixed berries

 

Blackberry Pomegranate Cabernet Sangria

Makes about 1 gallon
2 750 ml bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon
1 cup black berry brandy
1 quart pomegranate juice
1 quart cranberry juice
1 small container of pomegranate seeds
1 small container of fresh blackberries
.5 quart raspberry or pomegranate seltzer

Frose´ – Oh that’s right, I tried it, and it was delicious!! #NoShame

Frose´ has become a new summer trend that I was originally skeptical of… However, when I was sweating bullets in Rockefeller center it was the only thing on the menu that could quench my thirst.

I am not sure of the Rose´ wine they used for the drink but regardless it was delicious. The drink was dry and not overly sweet – a dry Rose´ slushy so to speak. Notes of raspberry, strawberry, and red cherry made for a delicious and refreshing cocktail.

While we are on the topic of Rose´ I wanted to point out one of my favorites of the season…. Right now I’m completely obsessed with Ceja Vineyards Bella Flor Dry Rose´. Deliciously balanced with notes of of rose petal and plums, this pink wine is complex with a refreshing finish.

Also, have you heard of the book “Drink Pink: A Celebration of Rose´” by Victoria James & Lyle Railsback? I haven’t purchased the book yet but it has almost 5 stars on amazon right now. Definitely adding this to my summer reading list.

Hope everyone is having a good summer and enjoying some delicious pink drinks on this lovely Wine Wednesday! Cheers wine lovers! 🙂

Get Ready for the 2017 CT Wine Festival

Who’s Ready for the CT Wine Festival???!!!! Personally I can’t wait.

Every year some of Connecticut’s best CT Grown wine producers come together to celebrate their community and delicious wines. Every year I go home with a new love of CT Grown wine and usually a bag full of favorites.

This year the festival has a record number of wineries participating –  16 in total!  Along with the wineries there will be delicious local food, live music, and small business vendors. You can drink, eat, and shop your way around the festival while listening to some awesome music. It is a great day to browse and see some of the local gourmet options Connecticut has to offer.

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE 

What to expect:

  • Grape stomp competition – on Sunday afternoon they have a grape stomp competition. It’s super fun! The winners win free wines from one of the local vineyards. Who doesn’t want to stomp grapes like Lucy?
  • Bring your Passport to CT Farm Wineries – You won’t be able to get stamps from all 16 winery participants, but the Passport does have a Wine Festival page!
  • Live music – Always a great compliment to wine
  • You are provided with a tote bag for wine purchases! This is perfect for taking home your favorite wines.
  • You get to taste New and Special releases from all 16 Wineries!!

Tips on How to Make the Most of the Festival:

  • Buy Grape Stomp Tickets before they sell out. Seriously it’s so much fun to participate. If you don’t get tickets in time make sure to go and cheer people on. It a lot of fun to watch.
  • Map out your favorite wineries –Since there will be so many wineries in attendance this year I would pick your top three wineries to stop at and then choose another three you have never tried. Then see where the day takes you after that.  Also, snacking and drinking water in between tastings will help! 😉
  • Wear comfortable shoes – You will be walking around quite a bit. I would suggest wearing flat sandals, flip flops, or sneakers.
  • Wear light and comfortable clothing – Make sure to check the weather to see what the temperature will be on the day you attend. I wore a light sundress last year and it was perfect. I was very comfortable walking around the festival. Also, sometimes they have photo booths and photographers walking around taking pictures, so you might want to look camera ready 😉
  • Hydrate – Since you will be tasting wine and walking around in the sun, make sure to hydrate. You can purchase water from local food vendors or bring your own empty water bottle to fill at water stations.
  • Make sure to BRING YOUR ID. You will not be allowed entry if you forget your ID.
  • No pets, outside food or drink are allowed.
  • Parking – Parking is surprisingly easy. The local police will guide you to park in the field parking lots across from the festival. It’s a quick and easy walk across the street to the festival once you have parked.
  • Have fun!! It’s a great day out for you and your significant other, family, group of friends, and/or co-workers. There is something for everyone. Whether you are a wine lover, foodie, music buff, shopaholic, or just feel like stomping some grapes, you will have a great time.

Favorite things from last year:

  • Grape stomp – So much fun to cheer people on!
  • Wine selections – I brought a lot of new releases and wines I’ve never tried before home. Please see here for the list of my favorites
  • Getting to try new local food was so great. There were “boozy” popsicles I was obsessed with and some great barbecue.
  • My girlfriends and I had a great girl’s day out! Great wine, delicious food, watching the grape stomp, and girl talk made for a great day!

On your way back home I suggest stopping by Sunset Winery for a wine slushy (super refreshing) or chocolate and wine pairing and Miranda Winery for a refreshing glass of Vhino Verde. You might as well since you’ll already be in Goshen right?

CT Wine Festival Date: Saturday, July 22nd from 12-7pm & Sunday, July 23rd 2017

Time: 12-6pm (both days)

Location: The Goshen Fairgrounds – 116 Old Middle Street, Goshen, CT – located approximately 1/2 mile south of Goshen center on Route 63.

Grape Stomp Info:  CT Wine Festival is once again offering our very popular Grape Stomp contest where you will participate in a live Grape Stomp for a chance to win some spectacular wine trail prizes. Participants must be 21 years or older, sign a waiver and be willing to get grapes stuck between your toes. Space is limited to 60 participants, so sign up early! Registration is limited to 1 per person as we need all of the participant’s names. ADMISSION TO CT WINE FESTIVAL IS REQUIRED! Stomp is Sunday July 23rd from 2:00-3:00PM

Wineries Participating in 2017:

  • Bishops Orchards Winery
  • Brignole Vineyards
  • DiGrazia Vineyards
  • Holmbergs Orchard and Winery
  • Hopkins Vineyard
  • Jonathan Edwards Winery
  • Jones Winery
  • Miranda Vineyard
  • Paradise Hills Vineyards
  • Priam Vineyards
  • Savino Vineyards
  • Sharpe Hill Vineyard
  • Staehly Farm Winery
  • Sunset Meadow Vineyards
  • Taylor Brooke Winery
  • White Silo

Exhibitors Participating in 2017:

  • Accents
  • Andiamo Tours
  • Carla’s Pasta
  • Cutco Cutlery
  • Glass Act
  • Gourmet Creations
  • Keep Me Clean
  • Kelly’s Crystals
  • Lakonia Greek Products
  • LeafFilter North of Connecticut
  • Lil” Jewels
  • Liberty Insurance
  • Little Farms on Main
  • Pearl Odyssey
  • Power Home Remodeling Group
  • Pure Romance
  • Recycled Bottle Crafts
  • Renewal by Anderson
  • Rhineland Cutlery
  • Savor
  • Silpada Jewelry
  • SilverLeaf Resorts
  • Sky Property Services
  • The Olive Oil Factory
  • Thomas Jewelry
  • Traveling Vineyards
  • Waddell and Reed
  • Walk by Faith Doggie Bakery
  • Word Couture

Questions? View answers to FAQs here or call 860.216.6439 or email festival.admin@ctwine.com.

Yes Way Brooklyn Winery Rose´

We had the pleasure of enjoying a tasting this past weekend at Brooklyn Winery, and their Rose´ was killer! Made in a Provenance style, it had notes of strawberry, crisp acidity, and bright berry notes on the palate. Bone dry, this Rose´ is the perfect pairing for summer.

Needless to say we bought a couple bottles 😉

The Brooklyn Winery Tasting Experience:

As you enter Brooklyn Winery you feel like you are taking a trip back in time. With a 1940’s speakeasy vibe, this urban winery boasts some of NYC’s best wines. You can purchase wine by the bottle, a glass of wine, and even enjoy a tasting flight. They have several flight options such as “New York State of Wine”, “Chardonnay 3 Ways”, “Spring Fling”, “Summer Reds”, and “Make Your Own” flights. Each tasting flight is made up of 3 wines and the prices range from $13-18.00. My favorite option is the “Choose Your Own Adventure” flight where you can choose 6 Brooklyn Winery Wines for $30.00.

Along with your bottle, glass, or flight you can enjoy some delicious food. We chose the Cheese and Charcuterie Plates to nibble on as we sipped our wine. The cheeses paired perfectly with the wines and the meats were fresh and delicious. They also had a full menu of delicious gourmet foods to choose from – everything looked exceptional and we wait to head back for some more food and wine pairings.

Wine Flight Details:

  • New York State of Wine: Riesling, Chardonnay – Unoaked, North Fork Blend
  • Chardonnay 3 Ways: Chardonnay – Unoaked, Chardonnay – Barrel Fermented, Chardonnay – Skin Fermented
  • Spring Fling: Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Dry Rose´
  • Summer Reds: Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Old Vine Zinfandel
  • Make Your Own: Choose any three wines
  • Choose Your Own Adventure: Taste any 6 Brooklyn Winery Wines

I highly suggest visiting Brooklyn Winery. You will enjoy a cool vibe and some delicious wines made in BK!