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Saturday, July 7, 2012

The 2nd Anniversary of "The Art of Wine & Food" Series!

At last week's installment of "The Art of Wine & Food" at the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale we celebrated the second anniversary of the series!

In addition to our featured wines we had lots of fun giveaways including a Family Membership to the Museum, free tickets to the "Shark" Exhibition accompanied by gorgeous Guy Harvey coffee table books, free tickets to the wine tasting of your choice as well as a free month of The Glamorous Gourmet Wine Club, complete with wines and recipes to pair with them. We also gave special recognition to two very special guests who have been with us since the beginning, Kathleen Van Schalkwyk and Jill Harris

Our official theme of the evening was "Take a Walk on the Wild Side with some Alternative Grape Varieties" and featured three wines selected specifically to indulge your inner wine geek! The wines were accompanied by the delicious cuisine of Hugh's Catering whom we have had the pleasure of working with on many of the events in the series. We also gave a big round of applause and heartfelt thank you to Republic National Distributing Company for their ongoing support over the past two years! 

In the spirit of wine geekiness, the evening's wines were made from grape varieties a little off the beaten path but delicious nonetheless and definitely worth experiencing:

2008 Pfaffl Grüner Veltliner Austrian Pepper 
The home of Mozart, Edelweiss and Riedel Crystal has a long, rich tradition of winemaking that dates back to approximately 700 B.C. Nowadays Austria is a dynamic wine region characterized by its white wines which account for approximately 65% of the country's total production.
More than one third of the vineyards are planted to Grüner Veltliner, a white grape which is indigenous to Austria and not found much outside its borders. Austria’s wine law, which is very similar to Germany’s, dictates grape variety and yields within delineated zones of production. This particular wine hails from Austria's largest wine-growing area, Niederösterreich which is located near the capital of Vienna.
This wine is 100% Grüner Veltliner fermented in stainless steel to preserve its fresh fruit flavors and acidity. It is bright green-yellow in color with hints of citrus, minerals and herbs on the nose. On the palate, flavors of lime zest, honeydew melon and white pepper follow through on a refreshing finish. This wine is a natural match for shellfish, grilled fish, chicken or Asian-inspired cuisine. Guests enjoyed this wine paired with deliciously refreshing Ceviche Shooters.

2010 Renato Ratti Barbera d'Alba  
Piedmont is one of Italy’s most revered wine regions and home to the majestic Barolos and Barbarescos made from the Nebbiolo grape. While lesser known, the Barbera grape provides the majority of the region’s everyday wines which are also capable of great style.
Unlike many producers, Renato Ratti entered the world of winemaking without a family tradition behind him. Free of any ancestral ties or responsibilities, he was able to face Barolo, "with neither pride nor prejudice, but with unfettered freedom." He was a true pioneer in the region, responsible for creating the first single-vineyard Barolos produced in the same tradition as Burgundy. Following his untimely death in 1988 his innovative wine-making philosophy lives on today thanks to the passion and commitment of his son Pietro.
This 100% Barbera is crafted from 20 year old vines located in the Torriglione vineyards situated in La Morra. The Tortonian soil creates wines that are approachable with marked fragrance, softness and elegance. This wine spent six months in French oak barriques creating a wine with an intense, ruby red color and aromas and flavors of ripe plum, cassis, violets and spice. This wine is perfect for pairing with heartier dishes such as aged cheeses, grilled or roasted meats and/or tomato based sauces. Guests enjoyed this lovely red paired with Hugh's Mediterranean Flatbreads.
2008 De Bortoli Deen Vat 4 Petit Verdot
Deen De Bortoli created his Vat Series with the idea of developing a range of delicious, full-flavored wines at an affordable price. Deen personally selected the blends and chalked the numbers on the vats to identify them. The Vat Series includes traditional varietal wines and also wines made from interesting varietals newer to Australia.
This wine hails from the Riverina wine region in New South Wales. Petit Verdot is one of Bordeaux’s classic black grape varieties which is currently enjoying a revival in Australia, where it performs exceptionally well. This late-ripening variety does well in the warmer climates of Australia and other New World wine regions compared to the cooler climes of France where it didn’t ripen as well due to climatic differences.  

This wine is a vibrant, deep ruby-purple color with heady aromas of blackberries, cherries, and violets. On the palate, rich dark fruit, chocolate and spice predominate along with chewy tannins imparted by the oak aging. Enjoy this wine paired with smoked meats, roasted or grilled lamb, veal chops, and/or a big, juicy steak. This wine was paired very well with Hugh's Lamb Rounds with Grain Mustard Demi-Glaze.

Looking forward to our next event on Thursday, July 19th featuring "The Rosé Lifestyle of St. Tropez with Chateau d'Esclans" with our Special Guest Paul Chevalier. We will have the pleasure of sampling the latest releases of some of the world's finest rosés. If you think you're not a fan of these delightfully pink dry wines, think again! To make reservations, please contact Gail Vilone at or (954) 262-0249. Hope to see you there! 

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