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I recently received a shipment of Wines of Navarra to sample and review on the blog, and so far it has offered a beautiful taste of Spain. The first wine we tried was a 2015 Bodegas Castillo de Monjardin Garnacha.

Castillo Monjardin Garnacha

100% Garnacha from old vines , aged 6 months in American oak.

I am a big fan of Garnacha, and this was a big hit in our house, paired with turkey chili of all things. It would be great with a selection of Spanish meats and cheeses, and I am kind of dreaming of a glass of this wine and a plate of Manchego right now.

Elegant and well balanced, beautiful light ruby in color, this Garnacha offered chocolate, cherry, and earth notes without being heavy or overbearing at all. This is definitely a red for all seasons and could be sipped in front of a fireplace on a snowy day with lighter meat dishes as easily as it would pair with grilled chicken during a summer barbeque. I’m definitely not a red only in winter and white in summer wine drinker, and I always love finding wines that transcend season.

Exploring more of Spain (I’ve been to Barcelona only.) is definitely on my travel wish list, and I would love to walk some of the Camino de Santiago someday. . . so hopefully tasting Navarra wines where they grow is in the cards!

The Wines of Navarra website is really beautiful and offers information on the regions and its wines and gastronomy

About Navarra

Navarra is one of Spain’s 17 autonomous regions, a storied land of vast inherited cultural wealth tucked into the Pyrenees of north-central Spain, just below France.

Navarra lies at the nerve center of a celebrated medieval pilgrimage route, the Camino de Santiago, and was once a Kingdom of Navarra, whose cultural flowering under French monarchs in the late Middle Ages left behind both a stunning architectural legacy and a potent residual ‘Frenchness’ that still pervades local sensibilities.

Navarra sits along a rugged, transitional zone at the convergence of three major climate types–Mediterranean, Continental, and Atlantic. Its landscape comprises semi-desert basin, lush woodland hills and high mountain peaks, all within a total area is smaller than that of Connecticut.

 

Wines of Navarra provided me with wine samples. All opinions are my own.

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Tags: Navarra, sample, Spain, Spanish wine, travel blog, wine, wine blogger, wine lover

Being a Boston food and travel blogger as well as  a publicist/social media consultant has always been an interesting combo for me. It’s definitely helped me to grow my circle of blogger friends and contacts, allowed me to stay in the loop on local media and events, and it’s helped me craft how I want to interact with (and how I DON’T want to interact) other bloggers.

It’s always fun when the two come together in one place, and on Monday that’s exactly what happened. A bunch of Boston bloggers came together at the Olive Connection Brookline ( client of mine since summer 2015) to taste Nautical Gin cocktails and an array of wines that a colleague of mine works with.

Olive Connection Brookline

The event was a casual get-together that allowed bloggers to check out the beautiful gift items that the Olive Connection has for the holidays and to mingle in a festive setting. It was fun!

cheese and charcuterie

Olive Connection is a beautiful store offering so many different artisan food items like charcuterie, pastas, sauces, coffee, tea, and of course olives, olive oil, and vinegar,

rainbow pasta gift  

pasta and sauce They put out a delicious spread of snacks that featured ingredients from the store such as bruschetta, shrimp with amazing artisan cocktail sauce, crudite with a beet horseradish dip, and more.

holiday food spread

And my favorite, brownies made with their blood orange olive oil.

blood orange olive oil brownies

Nautical Gin was on hand with their beautiful bottles of craft American gin, making their signature Gimlet cocktail as well as a festive Gin and Jam cocktail made with local Doves and Figs jam.

For the cocktail recipe, visit the Nautical Gin Instagram page.

 

gin and jam Nautical Gin cocktail

Nautical Gin makes a great holiday gift! Find it in a store near you: http://www.nauticalgin.com/where-to-buy.html

 

Nautical Gin cocktails

All of the wines we tasted were delicious and perfect for holiday entertaining.

Don Melchor

Trivento Golden Reserve

Bila-Haut Occultum Lapidem

Peter Zemmer Pinot Noir

St Urbans-Hof Wiltinger

Ferraton Pere et Fils Samorens White

Peter Zemmer Pinot Grigio

Trivento Amado Sur Torrontes

Gran Reserva Serie Riberas Sauvignon Blanc

Grazing on small bites, cocktails, and sips of wine while mingling with really interesting and fun bloggers was a wonderful way to spend a chilly December evening!

Thank you to all of the Boston bloggers who attended and to our hosts the Olive Connection, the wineries, and of course Nautical Gin for the cocktail gin-spiration.

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Tags: bloggers, Boston, Boston bloggers, Brookline, Food, food bloggers, gifts, gin, gourmet, lifestyle bloggers, PR, small plates, social media, wine, wine bloggers, wine tasting, work

You all know I love bubbly, but I’ll let you in on a little secret; Prosecco isn’t always my favorite. But then again, up until recently, I didn’t really know Prosecco. For me, Prosecco always brought to mind a pear-flavored, sort-of-sweet wine.

All of that changed a few weeks ago when I attended a Prosecco Superiore seminar at The Middle Gray in Brookline (which I love, by the way). It was a great afternoon of learning and tasting, and below are some of the highlights.

prosecco tasting

There’s more than one Prosecco. Did you know that? There are actually three designated types of Prosecco, and they are classified based on where the grapes are grown. Prosecco Superiore comes from Conegliano Valdobbiadene, a hilly area in North-East Italy, 50 km from Venice and around 100 from the Dolomites. Here, for over three centuries, people have grown the grapes that produce Prosecco Superiore, whose success began with the founding of Italy’s first School of Winemaking in 1876. The wine is hand-harvested only, due to the extremely steep nature of the hillsides. The vineyards have been so trained and shaped to the contours of the land that the area is being considered being named a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Prosecco tasting

Below you can see the buckets of grapes being moved from the vineyards. It’s a precarious undertaking! Unfortunately my camera failed me during the event, but there were some gorgeous photos. The region looks absolutely stunning.

Prosecco seminar

Prosecco Superiore can be dry or sweet or anything in between. Prosecco that is called dry is actually the sweetest, and the Brut Prosecco is the least sweet. As I mentioned above, I expect Prosecco to be sweet and was surprised at how most of the ones we tried were not.

We also learned that there are three types of Prosecco when it comes to bubbles; spumante (sparkling), frizzante (fizzy), and tranquilo (still). Still Prosecco, you might ask? Yes! Tranquilo is actually the oldest but least known type of Prosecco.

IMG_9503

 

We tasted the following wines. With so many wines, so much information, and great conversation with the group about food, travel, and wine, I was once again bad at tasting notes. I will let you know that I enjoyed all of the wines we tasted and would absolutely seek out the Brut Proseccos for future enjoying. Prosecco, even at top quality, is a great value and food-friendly, making these wines approachable and appropriate for everyday, not just special occasions!

Astoria Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Extra Dry – $20

Perlage Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Extra Dry “Col di Manza” – $18

Mionetto Valdobbiadene DOCG Superiore di Cartizze Dry “Luxury” – $22

Adami Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Asciutto  “Vigneto Giardino” Rive di Colbertaldo 2015 – $22

Borgoluce Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut – $25

Mongarda Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut – $15

Ruggeri Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut “Vecchie Viti” – $21

Bortolomiol Valdobiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut “Prior” Millesimato 2015 – $15

Biancavigna Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut Rive di Soligo 2015 – $18

Plan your own Prosecco travels with these wine tourism itineraries.

Thank you to Prosecco Superiore for hosting me!

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Tags: Boston blogger, bubbles, bubbly, events, Italian wine, Italy, prosecco, wine, wine events, wine tasting

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