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Bucolic Buellton in Central California

After the winter rain, super blooms are transforming California’s landscape into pastures and hills blanketed with Spring wildflowers on full display. In the charming town of Buellton in Santa Barbara County, the verdant green hills offer vibrant yellow mustard flowers. Buellton in Central California is an idyllic getaway for tasting some of the state’s best wines and culinary fare. It also offers some unique experiences that you won’t find anywhere else. We stayed overnight at the renovated Santa Ynez Valley Marriott offering spacious wine county designed rooms. What makes this property desirable is its sparkling swimming pool. It’s the largest...

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2019 FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, June 14 – 16, 2019

FOOD & WINE is gearing up for another weekend in the mountains of Colorado for the 37th annual FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen. From June 14 – 16, FOOD & WINE’s signature event will transform Aspen for three incredible days of cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, and panel discussions by world-class chefs and wine experts. The full schedule for the three-day event is available online here. The weekend, hailed by USA Today as ‘America’s Most Exclusive Food Festival’ and The New York Times as the ‘granddaddy of them all’, will include more than 80 seminars, talks, and tastings hosted by Hugh Acheson, Richard Blais, Justin Chapple, Anthony Giglio, Alex Guarnaschelli, Carla Hall, Ray Isle, Stephanie Izard, JJ Johnson, Hunter Lewis, Tim Love, Mark Oldman,...

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California Wine Country Fun for the Non-Drinkers

Award-winning VJB Cellars in Kenwood, California is the perfect place to take a friend or loved one who enjoys great food and good company but not necessarily wine! Non-wine drinkers can enjoy a beautiful visit to wine country at VJB Vineyard & Cellars which was created as a gathering place for all.  Located in downtown Kenwood, in the heart of Sonoma County wine country, a visit to VJB is akin to enjoying an afternoon in a bustling piazza in Italy. From the outdoor wood burning pizza oven and live opera music on weekends to the sweet little gelato and...

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Wine and Wings? Getting Creative for the Big Game

Everyone enjoys a hearty spread of comfort food for the big game. The range of flavors and textures in these dishes tend to run the gamut from salty, spicy, and meaty, to creamy, crunchy, and cheesy, making beer the natural pairing. However, if your drink of choice is wine, finding the right selection can be tricky. Sauvignon Blanc is very food-friendly, particularly when paired with many game day favorites like nachos, guacamole, salsas and chicken with some heat. Those from the Marlborough region of New Zealand, such as Infamous Goose Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (SRP $14.99), are crisp, with bright...

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Tips to Throw the Best Parties this Awards Season

It’s awards season, which means that it’s time to celebrate the talent behind all your favorite movies and television shows. Planning to host friends for a watch party? Here is how to bring the elegance and excitement of Hollywood right into your living room: • Encourage evening wear: While your guests may not be delivering acceptance speeches to millions of viewers nationwide, that’s no reason for your crew not to look their best. Invite friends to wear their most fabulous frocks so everyone can feel glamorous like those on screen. • Lay down the red carpet: In your walkway...

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The Estate Yountville in Napa Valley

There are two refreshed luxury resorts in Napa Valley. Hotel Villagio’s updates were just finished in summer 2018, while The Vintage House was modernized into a sophisticated wine country style hotel last October 2017. Both reside on Washington Street and are part of The Estate Yountville. The resorts are located between V-Marketplace and four of celebrity chef Michael Chiarello’s eateries: Bottega Napa Valley for fine dining Italian cuisine; Ottimo Italian eatery and market for breakfast, lunch, picnic fare and wine; Platform 8, an upscale burger cafe and Platform 8 Ice Cream Lab. Across the street are Michelin-starred restaurants, wine-tasting rooms...

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Sparkling Wine and Spirits Gift & Cocktail Ideas for the Holidays

Holiday parties and celebrations are all around! Sparkling wine, spirits and cocktails are a must when entertaining. Here are some holiday cocktail recipes you won’t want to miss! Best buys are included below. Cheers!  Simple sparkling wine and spirits cocktails recipes for single-serves and crowds. Sparkling Holiday Punch   A bubbly and festive addition to all holiday festivities. 8 oz. Chambord Liqueur 8 oz. Cranberry Juice 2 chilled bottles Korbel Brut Cranberries Pour ingredients into a large punch bowl or pitcher and stir. Top with raspberries or cranberries. Herbarium Holiday Pitcher A refreshing and light break from heavy holiday indulgences. 4...

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La Crema, A Class Act

There is nothing better than an oaky buttery glass of chardonnay at the top of the cocktail hour, well that is unless it’s something bubbly. While working on an article about BraytonHughes Design Studios I discovered they had done design work for La Crema and it inspired me to pull a bottle of their Chardonnay into my rotation. Wow!” had I forgotten how much I enjoy their wine. It was clear that I needed to go behind the scenes and find out makes La Crema tick. Craig McAllister, Head Winemaker at La Crema was kind enough to speak with...

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Holiday Baking and Wine Pairings

There are few holiday traditions as sweet as baking a selection of treats to share with family and friends. This is especially true for the California winemaking family the Mondavis as it is for families across America. As the season begins, Janice Mondavi, wife of third-generation CK Mondavi and Family co-proprietor Marc Mondavi and their four daughters, Angelina, Alycia, Riana and Giovanna, always set aside time to gather for an afternoon of holiday baking. Their Grandma Rosa was an incredible cook, and the tradition continues through the generations. It should surprise no one that in this household, instead of...

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4 Favorite Dishes You Didn’t Know Pair with Champagne

While you may think of Champagne as just for toasting, experts point out that it can actually be quite food-friendly. “Champagnes with a higher proportion of Chardonnay in their blends — such as the signature style of Champagne Taittinger — can be particularly versatile when it comes to food pairings,” says Chicago-based sommelier, Belinda Chang. For this purpose, Chang recommends the family-owned and operated champagne house, which offers a distinctive, light and delicate style, a longer aging period before release and sustainable production processes. “Every self-respecting foodie and wine geek knows to pair Champagne with a towering icy plateau...

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Award-Winning Wine and Spirits Producer Brent Hocking Announces Launch Of Mod Sélection Champagne in the United States

Mod Sélection Champagne today announced its release in the United States. Produced in an exclusive enclave of the Vallée de la Marne for over five generations, Mod Sélection has a legacy and authenticity dating back to 1892. Selected as the finest house in Champagne by award-winning wine and spirits producer Brent Hocking for its exceptional dedication to purity, balance and finesse. Only now has this superior Cuvée become available for release. Mod Sélection is the purest expression of balance and terroir in Champagne. Prized for its delicate extraction and superior juice selection, Mod Sélection distinguishes itself from the overtly autolytic characteristics of many...

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Winemaker Fintan du Fresne

A Rosé is a Rosé is a Rosé. C’est pas vrai! Throughout the summer months and rolling into the fall I’ve had the opportunity to sip on a glass of Rosé or two. By chance I stumbled upon a refreshing young brand of Rosé developed by Malene Wines. Don’t let my “young” reference fool you. Their 2016 Rosé debut was the inaugural vintage of Malene Rosé, a Provence-style Rosé made from carefully selected fruit from specific sites in the California Central Coast regions of Santa Barbara and Paso Robles. It was made from 44-year old vines and cultivated by...

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