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Apr 27

Join Me For Tap ‘N’ Run 4K

By: Cresta

This is probably a little unorthodox, but I’m going to write about it anyway. It DOES have something to do with beer at least.

It may seem crazy to combine heart-pumping physical activity with beer drinking – although I know some people that would consider beer drinking a sport. Even the organizers call this event “a ridiculous running race.” I’ve always thought an ice cold beer tastes great after a good run, so I’m in.

Tap ‘N’ Run is a 4K (or 2.5 mile) running race that includes four beer chug stations along the race course – plus a full beer at the finish line, along with crazy costumes, contests and awards, and an after-party with live music on the barge at Hooters and Beer Seller down along the river.

The race is professionally timed and all participants will receive a medal – that doubles as a bottle opener of course, the equivalent of more than two beers and a Tap ‘N’ Run t-shirt. They also will offer non-alcoholic beverages and even a taxi partner to help get everyone home safely.

They will be checking IDs, so you must be 21 years of age on race day to participate and you MUST present a valid ID at check-in.

I am joining a few friends to create a team. I’ve never participated in this but it sounds like a blast. Cost is $38 per person if you register before Saturday, April 28. The price goes up from there. Visit http://www.tapnrun.com for more info and to register. Hope to see you there!

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Posted by Cresta at 7:56 am in Beer, Entertainment, Special Events | Permalink | Comments ()
Apr 16

Fresh & Fruity Sicilian White Blend

By Cresta

Another great selection from our wine club. Fondo Antico I Versi Bianco 2010 is a rich white blend – without oak – that combines equal parts Grecanico, Inzolia and Grillo from Sicily.

Fresh and fruity, this wine delivers citrus and tropical fruit flavors with a hint of toasted almonds. It is clean and crisp with a bit of zing and nice balanced acidity. It has the rich  fruit flavor of a Chardonnay and the liveliness of a Sauvignon Blanc.

I Versi Bianco is from Fondo Antico, a winery located near Trapani in a small town called Frazione Rilievo. Admittedly, I was not very familiar with the grape varieties that make up I Versi Bianco, so I did a little investigating.

Grecanico is a white grape used widely in the white wines of Sicily. Producers like Grecanico for its robust aroma and the ease with which it can be used to cut other Sicilian wines, specifically the Catarratto and Inzolia, resulting in a full-flavored wine.

Inzolia, also indigenous to Sicily, is known for its nutty aroma. Notes of almonds, citrus fruits and fresh herbs are common in this well-structured variety. In Tuscany, this grape is referred to as Ansonica.

Grillo is a Sicilian white grape variety used to produce full-bodied wines. It is the most planted white grape in Italy. Crisp and light in texture, it has sufficient acidity and significant sweetness.

I believe you can find I Versi Bianco for less than $10. I think it would be delicious and refreshing on a warm summer evening.  I’m sure we’ll have a few of those very soon.

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Copyright Creative Commons by-nc-nd My Wine Education.
Posted by Cresta at 7:50 pm in Wine Misc | Permalink | Comments ()
Apr 09

Mad Men Monday: Gin Fizzes

by Michelle

*spoilers ahead*

That’s right. Stop reading now if you haven’t seen last evening’s episode.

#########

 

Before I get into the cocktails, was anyone else shocked when Don took a temporary turn for the dark side last night? I hadn’t expected him to sleep with Andrea, let alone strangle her. I was, of course, relieved to discover it was a fever-induced delusion. But perhaps we did take a turn for the darker side of things last night. Don has discovered that it is probably within him to kill someone who might destroy his happiness. Sally has been exposed to the “real world,” with the brutal murder of 8 nursing school students in Chicago. To combat this? Grandma just splits a sleeping pill with her. So yeah, maybe we are walking a bit on the dark side this season. I said to someone this morning that I find the 60s to be one of the most confusing times. Civil rights, the beginnings of the women’s movement,  the shadows of different wars hanging over the country like a spectre, whether it’s Viet Nam or WWII. I can’t imagine growing up in the middle of all that, and I wonder how it will affect Sally.

Then there is Joan. She has her own darkness with which to contend. In case we’d forgotten what an ass her husband is, the writers brought him back for an episode. I admit, I’d been waiting to find out he’d been killed in action. I’d forgotten that he has very low self-esteem, that he failed at landing the job of his dreams, and that he made up for the lack of faith in himself by raping his now-wife. Joan hadn’t forgotten. “You were never a good man.” Go Joanie! I was rooting for her!  I get that he re-upped because the military is the first place he’s felt useful and knowledgeable. That counts for a lot. But Joan is right; that’s just not a decision you make without consulting your wife. I wonder if now that she’s kicked him out if they’ll get a divorce or if the writers will kill him off. Either way, Joan is effectively a single mom now , and lest we forget, that’s really Roger’s baby.

From 4/8/12 episode of AMC’s Mad Men

When Joan first found out about the re-upping, they were in a restaurant with her in-laws. Everyone else ordered wine. “That one,” he said, pointing at the menu. We never did find out what wine “that one” might be. Joan, however, bucked the wine trend and ordered a gin fizz, so that’s what we’ll talk about today.

Sloe Gin Fizz (from Cocktail Times)

Sloe Gin is a red gin-based liqueur infused with sloe berries. It is usually bottled at between 15 to 30 percent alcohol by volume. Some sloe gins are made with neutral spirit flavored with sloe berries. 

  • 1 1/2 oz sloe gin
  • 1 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz simple syrup
  • egg white
  • dash of bitters
  • club soda

Garnish: orange slice and maraschino cherry
Mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a tall glass over fresh ice. Garnish with orange slice and cherry.

Ramos Gin Fizz (from Gumbopages.com)

Years ago, Kevin and I spent New Year’s Eve at the cocktail lounge in Arnaud’s in New Orleans. I drank a variety of champagne cocktails, but the bartender took Kevin on his own personal tour of New Orleans cocktails. The one that sticks with me is the Ramos Gin Fizz because it was the first drink I’d seen ever made with an egg white. The drink was invented in the 1880s by Henry Ramos at New Orleans’ Meyer’s Restaurant. It later became the signature drink of the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans and New York, thanks to Governor Huey Long, who happened to be a fan. This recipe calls for shaking at least one minute. I’ve read that you can shake up to 10 minutes and because of that, it often takes a bartending team to make a large number of Ramos Gin Fizzes.

According to Gumbopages.com, you need to be very careful when adding orange flower water to the drink because it can easily overwhelm the cocktail.

  • 2 ounces gin (Old Tom gin if you can get it)
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • 3 small dashes orange flower water
  • 2 drops vanilla extract (very optional; there’s some controversy over whether this was ever really used, but it does add a nice touch)
  • 1 ounce cream
  • 1 egg white
  • Soda water

Shake all ingredients except the soda water WITHOUT ICE very vigorously for at least one minute, preferably longer — the longer the better. Then add ice and shake for 1-2 minutes, as long as you can manage, until extremely cold and frothy. Strain into a tall thin glass, or a very large old fashioned glass, and top with soda water. Stir gently.

My thanks also to GumboPages, who pointed me towards this great video on making a Ramos Gin Fizz:

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Posted by Michelle at 3:30 pm in Cocktails, Mad Men Monday, Pop Culture, Television, Wine Misc | Permalink | Comments ()
Apr 06

Super Elegant … and Expensive … Sangria

by Michelle

Out here in Napa Valley, there’s a big weekend at the end of April called the Vineyard to Vintner (V2V) Open House Weekend featuring wines from the upper echelon Stag’s Leap District. V2V is out of my limited price range at the moment, but there is something in the press release that caught my eye.

The Stag’s Leap District Vintners are coming together to make a sangria.

Yeah, you heard that right. I often recommend a more low-end wine for sangria, because you’re just going to destroy it with brandy and fruit. But this time, 18 of the District’s high-end cabernet sauvignons will combine with local fruits and brandy to create … fruit punch. Really really extravagant fruit punch.

Here’s what the folks in the Stag’s Leap District have to say about their classier-than-average sangria:

“Everyone knows that we make some pretty remarkable wines here in the Stags Leap District, some of the best in the world,” said newly elected SLDW President, Elizabeth Vianna of Chimney Rock Winery. “What people don’t know is how much fun we have doing it.  Our V2V weekend and our ‘Swanky Sangria’ are our way of showing the world the extraordinary sum of our parts as the fortunate beneficiaries of this District’s amazing terroir and eclectic personalities.”

Once again, the sangria is out of my price point, but I would dearly love to try some. Considering the cost of many of the bottles involved, the estimated value of the blend is $20/oz or a staggering $100 a glass.  That better be some amazing sangria … and everyone better sip!

Out of your price point too? We’ve got some tasty sangria recipes right here on Wine-Girl.net that I promise won’t cost you $100/glass.

Greatest Hits: Make Your Own Sangria (Red, White, and Blush recipes)

Cheers!

 

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Apr 05

Wines for the Spring Holidays

by Angela

Here are a few wines that would be the perfect pairing for the for upcoming holiday brunch. Usually I suggest white wine or champagne but I have french rose and an Italian prosecco that will go perfect with any Sunday brunch.

The first wine is rose wine from La Vieille Ferme in the Rhone Valley nestled on the Mount Ventoux in France. Blended from  Cinsault, Grenache, and Syrah grapes and the Cinsault grape really brings a softness to this rose. The floral aroma really brings this wine to life but the tastes of cherry, fruit, and sugar are what makes it stands out. A crisp medium acidic wine that will pair with melons, strawberries, or a breakfast casserole. And who can beat a French rose for around $7.99 a bottle.

French Rose Wine

 

My new favorite sparkling wine is Lamarca prosecco, a great wine that is pale, golden straw in color. Citrus, florals, and honey bring a sweet fresh smell to the nose. The flavor is fresh and clean, with ripe citrus, lemon, green apple, and touches of grapefruit. A light tasting sparkling that doesn’t have the dryness like a Brut or the over sweetness of an Asti its perfect for any sparkling wine drinker. La Marca Prosecco is made in the Trevisio area of Northern Italy from the Glera grape. This is a low alcohol sparkling wine that you can share at brunch with family or friends. A great wine with eggs benedict, fruit, or any sweet brunch entree. Lamarca costs around $11 a bottle so pick up a few for the Sunday brunch.

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Posted by Angela at 10:30 am in Food and Wine Pairings, Holiday | Permalink | Comments (2)

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