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Luxurious Wines in Napa Valley: Classic Meets Modern at Hourglass Wines

As one of the premiere wine destinations in the world, Napa Valley has no shortage of excellent wineries. Besides its place as a wine and culinary mecca, it’s first and foremost a land of incredible natural beauty. The valley that extends from the town of Napa in the south to Calistoga, the narrowest point at the north, enjoys a perfect combination of warm daytime temperatures and very cool, foggy nights thanks to the valley’s proximity to the Bay Area. Add to that Mediterranean climate the rich, diverse soils of Napa Valley, and it’s no surprise that you’d be hard pressed to...

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Winemaking De-mystified at Beneduce Vineyards

A wine connoisseur I am not, but I’ve definitely made an effort to visit local wineries, whether I’m in San Gimignano or Seneca Lake for the weekend. This has been especially true for the wineries that are in my New Jersey backyard; these include the Four Sisters Winery in Belvidere, Cape May Winery in Cape May and Amalthea Cellars in the Atco section of Waterford Township. One thing I have noticed is that in the United States, wine isn’t for kids. This doesn’t come as a real shock. In America, wine isn’t a part of our daily lives. Instead, we sip...

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Cassis Monna and Filles: Black Currant Wines of Québec

Crème de cassis, a sweet red liqueur made from black currants, has traditionally been a Burgundy specialty. Popular throughout Europe for use in cocktails and as an after-dinner liqueur, as well as the favorite drink of Agatha Christie’s fictional detective Hercule Poirot, crème de cassis is also quite popular in Québec. On a recent visit to Île d’Orléans, an island in the middle of the St. Lawrence River just a few minutes from downtown Québec City, I discovered Cassis Monna & Filles, a boutique liquoriste that makes the crème de cassis along with three aperitif black currant wines and...

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Russian River Valley Vintner Mike Sullivan

Sonoma County is famous for its wine, and that’s no surprise as it boasts acres of vineyards and hundreds of wineries. Among these is the Benovia Winery. With estate vineyards not only in Sonoma County, but also Sonoma Coast and Russian River Valley, Benovia Winery is responsible for creating small lot wines, specifically Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel. Enter vintner Mike Sullivan. The son of grape growers, he’s very comfortable in the vineyard, where he started working at the age of 18. Then, after pursuing a degree in fermentation science, he discovered his passion for the craft. Today, he...

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Fabio Viviani’s Elegant Food and Wine

Have you ever had a good bottle of wine and wondered what type of dish to serve with it? Fabio Viviani’s goal is to simplify the pairing of wine and food, by providing east to follow recipes with his own wine collection. Brilliant! The charismatic Italian chef Fabio Viviani is a familiar face to many people, based on his multiple appearances on Bravo’s hit reality series “Top Chef.” Viviani easily earned the “Fan Favorite” title on Season 5 for his good looks and likable personality. After his on-screen appearances, he soon became one of the fastest growing household names in...

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Luxe Beat Magazine’s Favorite Wineries

Who doesn’t love a fine wine? From California to North Carolina, here are some of our favorite places that produce the best wines. 1. ZIOBAFFA “Handmade by artisans with a focus on traditional production, ZIOBAFFA wine is crafted in quality, authenticity and detail. With a focus on sustainable, zero waste production and environmentally friendly bottling, including the innovative Helix re-usable cork closure, these wines are a modern take on an old world tradition.” -Sherrie Wilkolaski. Full article here… 2. Lula Cellars “Lula Cellars is an exclusive, limited production winery in Mendocino County’s Anderson Valley. The wines at Lula Cellars are limited...

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Viva Diva Wines Mango BBQ Marinade

Viva Diva Wines has created a delicious Mango BBQ Marinade to spice up your regular grilled chicken breast. This recipe is the perfect dish to serve for you and all of your guests this summer. Christina Milian, the wildly talented singer, actress and entrepreneur, owns Viva Diva Wines along with her Mother/manger, Carmen Milian and publicist, Robyn Santiago. These three female owners have taken Viva Diva Wines to incredible heights and national levels. The wines are affordable and tasty, and the fruit infused Mocasto’s (as seen in this recipe) allow the customer to prove their inner diva. With Viva...

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In California, The Best of “America’s Grape”

Every wine name makes us think of a place. Riesling? Germany. Albarino? Spain. Chianti? Tuscany. Zinfandel? California. In fact, Zinfandel has been called America’s grape, because it was long assumed that it was found only in the United States. Although DNA tests have confirmed that it is actually crljenak kastelanski, a Croatian grape, Zinfandel has thrived in the U.S. and is now one of California’s best known wines. Despite any association with the sweet white zins made popular in the late 1970s, Zinfandel grapes can create complex wines that any wine lover should take note of. In California, Zinfandel thrives in the warm, dry climate...

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Holiday Tips for Gifting and Pairing Wines

By Paula Moulton With the holidays right around the corner, some of us are asking the question: How the heck do I pick up a great wine? Tips for Gifting Wine: Be Adventurous: Dare to be different and pick your wine based on the beauty of its label as long as it fits in with your price range. You may be surprised to learn that wine labels oftentimes reflect the personality of the wine in the bottle so perhaps your eye will be your trainer for the evening. Don’t Forget to Share: Wine is about sharing, so bring the...

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Israeli Wine, Around for Hundreds of Years

  For wine-o-philes looking for something different, sommeliers these days will often direct those wine drinkers with a discriminating taste to a variety of wines they have known about for years. Those wines are from the country of Israel. The Holy Land might be known for religion, but more folks are making the trek to places like Golan or the Judean Hills to discover more than a religious experience. Wines the thing for these various regions now. Grapes have been a part of what is now the land in Israel for centuries. Some might even consider it one of...

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Black Ink: cult wine for the masses

Black Ink is a cult wine for the masses.  With the Halloween season upon us. what better way to celebrate than with a dark, sinister red wine with a dose of a secret component? I imagine a group of old witches standing over the cauldron, debating which ingredient they’ll blend in with this batch of red wine; something obscure that won’t be detected by the human eye, but on the tongue, will be noticed by the finest of pallets. “Why not squid ink?” one of the enchantresses suggests, and the rest is history. Black Ink is a lifestyle brand...

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Death of the 100-Point Wine Scale?

Perhaps it is “time.” Rather, it is time. As many traditional tyrannies go, quite crudely I might add, there is a so-called revolutionary changing of the guard (violent or otherwise), followed by a celebrated rise and initial rule where everyman is held as the victor (by the rulers and everyman alike). Then, there is a lull, where complacency has set in but favor begins to waver. This is followed by a volatile period when rule is questioned, but time-and-again re-established by brute force or sheer power. Finally, a new age cued to by a bang (overthrow) or a whimper. In...

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