Tag Archives: wine

Jacob’s Creek introduces Two Lands

24 Apr

On April 9, Jacob’s Creek hosted a digital wine tasting. No, there is no technology that allows you to drink through your device… yet. I was sent a bottle of the Chardonnay (2014), Pinot Grigio (2014), Shiraz (2013) and Cabernet Sauvignon (2013), and Jacob’s Creek broadcasted a wine tasting session via a video streaming service.


Two gentleman, Bernard Hickin, chief winemaker of Australia’s Jacob’s Creek and Ehren Jordan, a boutique winemaker from Napa Valley (Failla Wines) joined forces to create Two Lands, which is described as “California Craftsmanship meets Australian Character.” The best of both worlds.


We started off by tasting the Pinot Grigio and right away, I could tell this would be my summer white of choice. It had great pear, apple and citrus flavors, but it wasn’t too sweet. To me, that is perfection. The Chardonnay had an elegance to it and had a great balance of fruit and oak with hints of vanilla, nutmeg and spice. Next up was the Cabernet Sauvignon, which had a good texture, was soft and had some current flavors. Erhen said he wanted to make a cab that tasted like a cab. He believed that American cabs got away from making a real cab and so he got out of the habit of drinking it, but now he wants to drink cab again because of his collaboration. They both agreed that this would pair well with a rib-eye steak. The Shiraz had an intensity to it, but had a softness because of the tannins, and it was full of fruit flavors – plum, red fruits. Some tasters also described it with the following words, “bacon, rosemary, mulberry, dark plum, black pepper with a cedar on finish.” You had me at bacon.

One thing that stood out to me was that Berndard and Ehren just wanted to make good wines that they would want to drink and they did this by doing less to the wines. They said that sometimes people try to add too much or do too much to a wine and they didn’t want to do that.

The wines were produced in a limited quantity and are only available in the U.S. For the whites, about 7,000 cases were shipped and for the reds about 10,000-12,000 cases were shipped. All four wines sell for under $15 a bottle and can be found across the country. We may or may not have seen the Cabernet Sauvignon at Wegmans this weekend for $10.


We ended the wine tasting on a nice existential note. Ehren reflected on the surreality of the situation he was experiencing. He got on a plane in San Francisco, arrived in Australia a day later and knew that he was there to indulge in an extremely old craft, but was talking about it via live streaming video to people on the other side of the world, that were a day behind. Technology.

Follow Jacob’s Creek on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Thanks to Jacob’s Creek for letting me “attend” its wine tasting. Now go out and buy some Two Lands or better yet, come over this summer and we’ll enjoy a glass of Pinot Grigio together!

For tasting notes on each wine, please find the fact sheets below. (I apologize for not providing more detailed notes on the flavors. I do not claim to be a expert in wine tasting.)

Two Lands Cabernet

Two Lands Shiraz

Two Lands Pinot Grigio

Two Lands Chardonnay


Winos rejoice! Drync is a new wine app for you!

14 Aug

I have heard about Drync a few times before from one of my PR friends – she loves it. Then I received an email from Drync’s PR person and I read it and was like oh yeah that may be something I’ll look into. To be fair, I haven’t downloaded the app because I have an Android, but I have to say that the whole idea of it is pretty damn cool, and when it comes to Android, I will be downloading it. I then got another email stating that the company just received $900k in funding to expand fulfillment and marketing and further develop the product. This made me say wow – they are doing some big things. What’s better? It is a Boston-based company! Love supporting the local start-ups!

So what is Drync? Drync is the first mobile app that allows you to find, track, share and purchase wine for home delivery, while you are drinking it. Some are referring to the app as “Shazam for wine”. Drync is now emerging from beta and has a network of fulfillment partners with over 30,000 wines available for sales to consumers in 41 states.

The free app, available today for iOS and coming soon for Android, offers:

  • Instant identification of over 1.7M wines
  • Highly accurate image recognition technology, that works on wine bottle labels, as well as wine labels in magazines, billboards and on computer screens
  • Text search capability to find wines by name
  • Secure, instant in-app checkout
  • Sharing wine activity with friends on Facebook and Twitter
  • Detailed wine information, including collaborative ratings and wine descriptions
  • Personal wine ratings and tasting notes that can be shared publicly, or kept private
  • Ability to submit unmatched labels for human curation
  • Soon to come – personalized and social recommendations

You can follow Drync on Facebook and Twitter for updates and you can download drink on the App store.

For all you winos out there and I know we have a few followers that would consider themselves winos – download it and let us know how you like it!


Mill River Winery – a North Shore Gem

31 Jul

About a year ago a new little winery opened its doors in Rowley, MA called Mill River Winery. To my knowledge there aren’t a ton of winery options up in these parts so it came as even more of a surprise, when the Love Muffin and I decided to stop in last Sunday for a tasting, that the grapes for their wines are locally grown in Amherst, MA. And let me tell you – the wines were good!


Mill River Winery is located in Dodge’s cider mill. The inside has such charm and character. I could have lounged there all afternoon. Alas there was more important business…the tasting! I was distracted by some local cheese as we walked in (hi! bonus!!) and after we made our way back to the bustling tasting bar (read: so many people that we had to wait, but it was okay) we were able to peruse the wine list.

They had four wines available to try for $5 – a steal if I do say so myself. I’ve done my research work (read lots of wine tasting) on the Connecticut Wine Trail, so I was prepared for more of the same here in Massachusetts. I couldn’t have been more wrong. We tasted two whites and three reds (yes that is five not four, the woman pouring was so nice that she gave us an extra taste, bonus!).


The first one we tried is their flagship wine – Mill River Naked Chardonnay. Let me say for the record that I usually cannot stand chardonnay, but this one was excellent. It’s not aged in oak, so you don’t get any of the buttered popcorn flavor that usually accompanies this wine. This was slightly sweet, crisp and would be great sipping on a hot or cool day.

The second wine we tasted was their Plum Island White. This wine was much sweeter than the chardonnay and would be great as a dessert wine or paired with a fruit dessert.

The third wine we tasted was the Plantation Red. This red was slightly oaked and had a very dry finish. It would have been great to taste this decanted or with food.

The fourth wine we tasted was a treat, as they weren’t selling it yet. It should be available in another week or so – Red Zinfandel. This was the highest in alcohol of the four wines we had tried. It was aged in oak and crafted in the traditional French style. After tasting this, I think it would just be better to drink alongside a large, well seasoned steak. Although it’s definitely not just a drinking wine, I could appreciate the craftsmanship that went along in its creation.


Lastly, we got a small sample of the Plum Island Red. They call this an East meets West creation, as it’s a blend of both California and Massachusetts grapes. This red was sweeter than expected and would be perfect as part of a sangria or paired with small, spicy appetizers.

All in all, it was a great stop on a somewhat cool and dreary day. Their tasting room is open to guests daily from 11 a.m. ET – 6 p.m. ET and you can also rent it out for private functions (perhaps a birthday celebration is in order??). They just planted their first set of grape vines earlier this spring and expect to start using the fruit in about three years. They also planted apple trees, so come September you’ll have even more of a reason to stop by. The wines are very reasonably priced and come on, grapes from Massachusetts!?!! You can’t go wrong with local.

If you’re not going to be on the North Shore soon, check them out on Facebook, Twitter or via the website. They’re doing it right! I’m looking forward to my next visit and if you’re lucky, maybe I’ll bring you with me.

That’s all for now!


When in Rome…

21 Dec

It’s been a while since I blogged. I really need to get better about doing this. Anyway, I’ve been on the road again (yes, I know, no excuses Cdog), but if I wasn’t on the road then you wouldn’t get to see these lovely photos from Roma! That’s right, I was in Italy AGAIN! This was my third trip this year and I got to enjoy Italy in three seasons. Maybe next year, I’ll make it four 😉

This trip, I had one special night with my amazingly fabulous team (ahem!) at Salumeria Roscioli, a famous deli/bakery in Rome. Now, that may not sound that awesome (hanging out at a deli?), but this wasn’t just that.


They organized a wine tasting for our whole group in a private room. The room was sort of like a stockroom with cans, jars and stacks and stacks of wine. We tasted 6 wines along with various meats, cheeses and homemade breads.

Fresh mozzarella, sun dried tomato, focaccia



As well as an entree of pasta with bacon (hello Kteb!) and we finished with panettone – a traditional Italian Christmas sweetbread. I’m not usually a huge fan of Christmas breads, but this was incredible. Sweet but not too sweet, light, eggy and the right amount of fruit. And NO nuts. I hate nuts in food.

Pasta with tomato sauce and bacon


Panettone goodness

The highlight of the tasting (aside from the wine) was the cheese. The favorite around the room was the aged Parmesan. It was salty, crumbly and creamy all at the same time. Delizioso!

Aged Parmesan

Our night included lots of great Italian wine and food! But we weren’t done. The next night we spent at a local pizzeria near Piazza NavonaLa Focaccia. They make traditional Roman style pizza, which acutally has a thicker crust. The pizza was really good. I had Quatro Formaggi…four cheese pizza…obvi. The best part about it is the Gorgonzola. It just adds this layer of complexity that makes it interesting.


Rome in and of itself was just lovely. If you have a chance to go around Christmas, I would highly recommend it. Below are some shots around Rome.

Piazza Venezia

Via del Corso


Christmas at the Colosseum

Buon Natale!!



A roadtrip to Wisconsin in food pictures

2 Sep

As promised, I tried my best to document all of the amazing yummy goodness that was our Wisco trip. Check out all of the photos below!

Our first real stop was in Niagara, Canada. Neither of us had ever been there before and it was beautiful. Of course we had to have a Canadian beer sampler at lunch as we overlooked the falls…duh

Canadian beer sampler eh!

So there is a big lag in pictures between this one and two days later. Let’s just say the wedding was a BLAST and none of those photos are appropriate for this blog. However we did make a trip to Milwaukee’s Irish Fest on the lakefront and I found this amazing area where they were roasting meat. I was so tempted to just jump the rope!

Pig roasting on a spit at Irish Fest Milwaukee

Roasting Chicken - Kteb would have died for this

Our 2nd wedding anniversary was kicked off with a stop at the Wollersheim Winery in Prarie Du Sac, Wi.

Wollersheim Winery

Standing in front of a wine cave from the late 1800s

Next we were off to New Glarus – basically for one reason only…the New Glarus Brewing Co. Big thanks to Randy and Randy on their staff for making us feel so welcome.

New Glarus Brewing Co. WE LOVE YOU!

New Glarus Belgian Red (made with WI Door County Cherries)

Drink Indigenous!

Wisconsin meat & cheese plate - RIDIC (all locally made with WI ingredients)

To give you context for this meal – it was our 2 year anniversary and we were eating at a traditional Swiss restaurant in New Glarus, WI…read on…

Sauerbraten with Red Cabbage - my fab dinner

Spatzle & Roesti - dying for these

Piccata Schnitzel - The Love Muffin's dinner

Who doesn't love chocolate fondue?

Stevens Point, WI – the place of my birth and the home to many of my family members. We had an amazing lunch and dinner with both sets of my Grandparents and decided to cap the night off at our favorite local restaurant: Christian’s Bistro.

Local cheese board at Christian's Bistro (it kills me how there is so much good cheese in Wisconsin)

Central Waters Brewing Co. Local and Yummy!

After Stevens Point we hit up Green Bay, along with a Lambeau Field Tour! I was like a 12 year old all over again…

Titletown Brewing Co. in Green Bay

Sorry I didn’t get a pic of our beers or the sandwiches we ate. I had a buffalo burger and The Love Muffin had elk…you know you’re in Wisconsin when…

Then we were onto our next stop. The Inn at Cedar Crossing in Sturgeon Bay, WI (Door County).

Duck, garlic spinach, sour cream mashed potatoes - my last dinner on vaca

The Love Muffin's dinner - shrimp, pasta in a basil cream sauce with truffle oil

Chocolate hazelnut mousse cake - I DIED

Cinnamon bun and tea for breakfast

Chocolate chip scone - homemade duh

We had such an amazing time in Wisconsin but it was time to get back. Hurricane Irene was a-comin’ and we wanted to get back before our power went out and/or we were flooded. So on the road we went. And our last stop before home…Buffalo, NY. Wings at Duff’s!

Oh just some wings in Buffalo, nbd

As you can see we ate and drank our way through our trip, but did you expect any different? We made it home before the majority of the storm and lucky for us, we never lost power and didn’t have any flooding. Now we’re looking forward to our next culinary vacation – Tuscany in November.


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