Class One at The Wine Bar: Awaken Your Senses

18 Apr

On Wednesday, April 16th, I participated in my very first wine tasting class at The Wine Bar. While it’s definitely not my first wine class, it was the first at The Wine Bar for me, and I was certainly in need of some vino to polish off this particular Wednesday.

Wine Class at The Wine Bar

Similar to the first wine class that was held at The Wishing Well, the class was a blind tasting, and while we could tell the colors of the actual wines, we had to use our senses to figure out what the wines actually were.

What was so incredibly interesting to me was the fact that there were so many things I learned in this class that I’m positive was taught in the class at The Wishing Well that I just didn’t pick up on… and brought me one step further in my knowledge and understanding of wine.

So back to it – the instructor, Joe Armstrong, really pushed us to use our eyes, our nose and finally, our taste buds. Sure, it can get frustrating not being able to take a sip of several glasses of wine sitting in front of you at first, but patience is a virtue, right?

We observed the colors of each glass against a white piece of paper to see how “cloudy” each wine was, the viscosity or the ring around the outside of the wine when you tilt the glass to a 45 degree angle, and tried to pinpoint the exact tint of each wine.

After observations, we smelled. Man oh man did we smell those wines. Each one was different, but the differences really came out as time progressed. I will say that I find roses the most challenging wine to understand. I want to understand them, I want to get them, but I just don’t.

Along with the roses we were presented with this beautiful appetizer, a piquillo pepper stuffed with chevre on top of an avocado crema with toasted pumpkin seeds.

Piquillo Pepper

Piquillo Pepper

The second round of wines were all red, which is more my thing. Again, we did the whole senses thing – first observing with our eyes, then our noses, and finally by tasting!

These reds were complex to say the least. They all threw me through a loop, and I was totally off in the end when it came to guessing which one was which. The biggest shocker? Where these 8 wines were from – Italy. I seriously NEVER would have guessed these were Italian wines, including the roses. And what’s even crazier is that each rose in order was from the same grower as the reds in order.

I’ve included the list of wines we tasted in order, from start to finish.

Roses:

  •  Vale reale carasuolo rosato 2013 (abruzzo)
  • Librandi ciro rosato 2013 (Calabria)
  • Mastroberardino lacrimarosa 2013 (campania)
  • Leone de castris “five roses” rosato 2013 (Puglia)

Reds:

  • Vale reale montepulciano d’abruzzo “vigneto di popoli” 2009 (abruzzo)
  • Librandi ciro rosso 2012 (Calabria)
  • Mastroberardino taurasi 2008 (campania)
  • Leone de castris salice salentino reserva 2010 (Puglia)

 

There are still 5 classes left in case you want to attend! Call today to make a reservation: (518) 584-8777

  • 4/23 Vin de Bordeaux
  • 4/30 Greek Wine Renaissance
  • 5/7 Vin Blanc d’Alsace
  • 5/14 Une Sconosciuti di Italia (Exploring the Italian
  • Unknown)
  • 5/21 Gastronomic Heaven (Food & Wine Pairing)

Wine Class Series at The Wine Bar

16 Apr

Wine classes are back in Saratoga, this time around at where else but The Wine Bar!

The Wine Bar will be offering a series of 6 wine classes, starting tonight, April 16th going through May 21st. Each class will be held from 6-9pm. Starting out with a blind tasting this evening, the series of classes were developed to allow your palate to grow and learn throughout the six weeks, ending the final class with food and wine pairings. YUM!

As many of you might recall, I recently did a series of wine classes held at The Wishing Well, and after many weeks of sipping down delicious wines, I certainly learned my fair share of information and techniques when it comes to drinking wine, buying wine, and pairing wine with food.

If you’re interested in signing up for a class at The Wine Bar, give them a call at (518) 584-8777.

Here’s some additional information and a list of the classes that will be held in the upcoming weeks:

Classes 1-5 include:
Lecture by Sommelier Joe Armstrong, 8 tastes of wine, 2 small plates, $30/class

Class 6 includes:
lecture, 9 wines, and 3 small plates, $60

Buy the whole series for $185

  • 4/16 Awaken Your Senses (a blind tasting)
  • 4/23 Vin de Bordeaux
  • 4/30 Greek Wine Renaissance
  • 5/7 Vin Blanc d’Alsace
  • 5/14 Une Sconosciuti di Italia (Exploring the Italian
  • Unknown)
  • 5/21 Gastronomic Heaven (Food & Wine Pairing)

Cocktails and Couture for the Cure to Benefit JDRF

15 Apr

Cocktails and Couture for the Cure is a fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation that will take place on Thursday, April 24th from 6-9pm at Prime at Saratoga National Golf Club.

Cocktails and Couture

This event will include a NYC-style runway fashion show with clothing by Violet’s of Saratoga, Spoken Boutique and Saratoga Trunk. In addition to the fashion show, there will be a scotch tasting, courtesy of Joe Armstrong of Winebow, a Cigar Rolling station courtesy of Habana Premium Cigar Shop, open bar and specialty cocktails!

Also, the menu is listed below and if you’ve ever been to an event at Prime at Saratoga National, you know they have some incredible hors d’oeuvres.

Finally – the silent auction items are amazing! The list continues to evolve due to our incredibly generous businesses in Saratoga, but some of the items include a wine basket from Crush and Cask, a Panzas Restaurant Gift Card, Golf for 4 at Saratoga National, and more!

Why is this event different from the rest? Well, for starters, I’m a co-chair of Cocktails and Couture alongside my mother and sister, but also, the cause is near and dear to our hearts.

My brother Brandon was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes when he was just 15 years old, and while it was a disease our family was somewhat familiar with, Juvenile Diabetes was on a whole different level. Since then, we’ve participated in JDRF walks, races, galas and various fundraising events to help raise money for this cause.

Now, I ask that you help support it through Cocktails and Couture. Whether it’s a foundation that’s close to your heart or not, this event is going to be kick-ass. What’s even better? I’ll be modeling.

Yupp, I’ll be strutting my stuff on the runway, modeling clothes from Violet’s, so if that’s not a good enough reason to attend, I don’t know what is!

I hope to see you all there! xoxo

For more information about this event or to purchase tickets, please visit: http://neny.jdrf.org/event/cocktails-and-couture-for-the-cure/

Butler Passed Hors D’oeuvres:

  • Bacon wrapped tenderloin gorgonzola with horseradish cream
  • Crispy shrimp wrapped in phyllo nest with oriental dipping sauce
  • Chicken lemongrass dumpling with Asian BBQ
  • Salmon potato croquette with chive creme fraiche

Hors D’oeuvres Table:

  • A variety of domestic, imported & locally made cheeses garnished with fresh fruit
  • Market fresh crudites with dip
  • Fresh Mozzarella, vine ripened roma tomatoes, fresh basil
  • Roasted garlic chickpea hummus with cumin scented pita chips
  • Crispy truffle parmesan boneless chicken bites with a spicy maytag blue cheese dipping sauce
  • Pecorino eggplant piccata with tomato lemon caper broth
  • Assorted gourmet crackers, crostini & breads

Dining Guide to Easter Brunch in Saratoga Springs

10 Apr

easter dining guide

While Easter isn’t as much of a food holiday as Thanksgiving and Christmas, I’m still obsessed with the holiday.

Not only do I give up some pretty ridiculous things each year for Lent (this year being pizza), but even though I’m in my mid-twenties, my mom still gives my siblings and I Easter egg hunts.

Yes, I know it sounds ridiculous, especially because I’m the youngest of the three siblings, but we’re still into the hunt as much as we were when I was 5. Don’t judge.

Enough about me, let’s talk about Easter brunch! If you haven’t made reservations yet for April 20th, you better do so quickly. Here’s a list of restaurants in Saratoga offering Easter brunch and/or dinner –

Wheatfields Restaurant – Easter Dinner Menu | (518) 587-5034
The Wishing Well – Easter Dinner Menu | (518) 584-7640
Brook Tavern – Easter Brunch Menu | 11 am – 3 pm | (518) 871-1473
Sperry’s – Brunch | 11 am | (518) 584-9618 (Regular Brunch Menu Plus Easter Specials)
Longfellows – Easter Dinner Buffet | 11 am – 5 pm | (518) 587-0108 ($32.99/pp, children $16.99)
Gideon Putnam Resort – Easter Brunch Buffet | 10 am – 4 pm | (518) 226-4719 ($45/pp, children $22.50)
Prime – Brunch & Dinner | 10 am – 3:30 pm, Dinner 3:30-6 pm | (518) 583-4653 SOLD OUT
Hall of Springs – Easter Brunch | 10 am – 2 pm | (518) 583-3003 ($41/pp, children $21)
Glen Sanders Mansion – Easter Brunch | 10 am – 2pm | (518) 374-7262 ($38/pp, children $20)
Mouzon House Restaurant – Easter Brunch | 11 am – 4 pm | (518) 226-0014 (Traditional Sunday Brunch Menu)
Maestros at the Van Dam – Easter Dinner & Prix Fixe | 12 pm – 9 pm | (518) 580-0312 ($45/pp)
Inn at Saratoga – Easter Brunch | 11 am – 3 pm | (518) 583-1890 ($32.95/pp, children $11.95)
Lillian’s Restaurant – Easter Brunch | 10 am – 3pm | (518) 587-7766
Fortune’s Restaurant – Easter Brunch Buffet | 10am – 3pm | (518) 581-5790 SOLD OUT

If you know of a restaurant who’s serving Easter brunch and isn’t on this menu, please comment below!

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