Wine & Champagne

Unique Champagne Food Pairings

05wine3-1415038061459-jumboAs they say – sometimes you need to take chances…

 

Oysters & Champagne, Caviar & Champagne  are some of the classics but booooring since we are now drinking more Champagne and not always have access to Oysters or Caviar!

Classic Champagne food pairings are great for starters, but what happens after you’ve we finished the same old tired combinations? It’s time to get unique and try some Champagne food pairings that can be enjoyed even when you are not wearing a tuxedo. Besides Champagne, there are a lot of great sparkling wine pairings listed below such as Cava, Prosecco, Franciacorta and American bubbly.

Fried Mushrooms

fried-mushrooms

It’s a little known secret that fried food and Champagne are best friends. Go for a Blanc de Noirs (a white sparkling wine made with dark grapes like pinot noir) with fried mushrooms. The earthiness in the mushrooms is complimented by the more rich fruity/earthy notes that you’ll find common in a Blanc de Noir. An affordable American Blanc de Noirs such Gloria Ferrer

Mac & Cheese

images-2

One of the greatest favorite Champagne pairing  is homemade macaroni and cheese. There are a few important ingredients here for the perfect pairing; the right cheese, the right Champagne, and the right toppings. Don’t get carried away with a sharp cheese. Consider a softer creamery cheese with flavor such as smoked gouda. The Champagne needs to be acidic enough to cut through the cheese without being so strong as to ‘turn’ the cheese. Toppings can be used to fine tune the dish, from pancetta, to truffles, to toasted breadcrumbs. For example, if you were using the smoked gouda, toasted breadcrumbs would be a nice topping to add some crunch and dilute the cheese. Also, when making your mac & cheese use butter, a little cream and american cheese as a base and the flavoring cheese in moderation.

Butternut Squash Ravioli w/Brown Butter Sageunknown

This is a rich but delicate dish…both sweet and earthy as a result of the use of sage and roasted butternut squash. Because it is a slightly sweet dish, it’s important to find a bubbly with inherent sweetness. This classic Italian ravioli dish does wonderfully with Italy’s premiere sparkling wine called Franciacorta. Franciacorta is from Lombardy and actually uses many of the same grape varieties as proper Champagne such as chardonnay, pinot nero (noir) and pinot bianco (blanc). When made with added pinot nero, Franciacorta takes on fruity strawberry notes and a richness of flavor. Franciacorta still hasn’t exploded in the marketplace as much as Champagne so you’re likely to find excellent value from this region. The flavors tend to have slightly less acidity and more fruitiness than most Champagnes and the same toasty-almond character occurs with aging.

BBQ Chicken Sandwich

bbq-food-1200x520.jpg

Mmmmm…BBQ and Cava. Use a smoky BBQ sauce and avoid having sauce with too much spice. Pick a sparkling wine that isn’t too subtle so that the BBQ doesn’t overwhelm the delicate flavors. Think of a slightly spicy, tangy, smoky sauce on your chicken (or tofu if you’re a vegetarian!). Consider adding caramelized onions and just a few gorgonzola crumbles. Pair this sandwich with a bottle of Cava or Prosecco. Although most value cavas don’t have the delicate complexity of a Champagne, they work perfectly to balance the intensity of something simple like BBQ. chicken over pork or beef as the flavor of chicken is lighter than pork and beef, lending it to a better pairing with bubbles.

Vegetarian Red Bean Chili

unknown-1

This is one of the first non-traditional Champagne food pairings  but  experiment with based on a recommendation.  The champagne  made my cheapo chili taste like god food(what does that mean? I don’t know but it sounds right). It’s the moment where you have your cheddar-cheesy chili bite in your mouth and then you wash your mouth out with it. Cava and red bean chili is a thing. Tell your friends.

WHAT? THERE IS A LOGO IN MY DRINK?

Branding and bars have long gone hand in hand. But the days when cocktail napkins, swizzle sticks, cardboard coasters and matchbooks were the last word in tactile advertising are over. In today’s distracted culture, cocktail bars need something a little flashier to chisel their names into the drinker’s consciousness. Bars are now  using stamped ice cubs  to remind drinkers where they are but I am sure after the 2nd drink you will not remember. ICE CUBE.jpg

 

 

 

 

How To Order Whiskey Like A Pro

whiskeybonddaniel

There’s something intriguing about whiskey that makes us revere it with awe — its name, after all, comes from the Gaelic uisce beatha, which means “water of life.” If it’s in fact the “water of life,” then let’s drink up! But before you lift that glass, you need to either A) buy the right kind of whiskey for your home or B) know what to order at the bar! There are several different whiskeys around the world and all are slightly different — made of different ingredients, and even given different names, like Scotch or Bourbon. So sidle up and find out what you should be looking for …

The Many Types

SCOTCH WHISKYS can only be produced in Scotland and are generally made from malted barley, distilled at least twice and aged for at least three years in oak barrels. Scotch typically has a smoky taste because peat (basically dirt) is used in the malting process.

There are two main types: single malt Scotch (made from malted barley) and single grain Scotch (made at a single distillery of malted barley and other grains, malted or unmalted).

Furthermore there are three blends: blended malt Scotch (a blend of single malt Scotch whiskies from different distilleries), blended grain Scotch (a blend of single grain Scotch whiskies from different distilleries) and blended Scotch (a blend of single malt Scotch and single grain Scotch).

IRISH WHISKEYS can only be produced in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland and are aged for at least three years. Unlike Scotch whiskies, Irish whiskeys have a cleaner taste since peat is not used in the malting process. Most Irish whiskeys are distilled three times from a mixture of malted and unmalted barley and other grains. This produces a whiskey that is much lighter and more neutral than most others.

AMERICAN WHISKEYS are generally aged in new charred oak barrels. Some of the most popular American whiskeys include Rye whiskey, Bourbon and Tennessee whiskey.

  • Rye whiskey, is, as the name suggests, made from rye (at least 51%). It has a spicy, fruity taste. Originally cocktails like the Manhattan, Old-Fashioned, and Whiskey Sour were created with rye.
  • Bourbon is mostly made from corn (at least 51% by regulation) and has a sweet taste. Brands include Maker’s Mark and Wild Turkey.
  • Tennessee whiskey is straight Bourbon whiskey that is made in Tennessee. What differentiates it from regular Bourbon is that it’s filtered through maple charcoal before going into barrels for aging, which removes unpleasant aromas and flavors, giving the whiskey a cleaner taste. There are four brands: Jack Daniel’s, George Dickel, Collier and McKeel, and Benjamin Prichard’s (does not use the filtering process).

How To Serve And Taste Whiskey

Whiskey is really best served “neat“ in a snifter at room temperature with no ice. This type of glass with its particular tulip-like shape helps the drinker enjoy the aroma and flavor. The heat of your hands also helps bring out more flavors in the whiskey.

When you get your whiskey, smell it, but be careful not to inhale abruptly as the alcohol will deaden your senses — it’s best to leave your mouth open as you smell the whiskey. Watch the video below for exact tips on drinking whiskey.

If you order a whiskey “on the rocks,” which means with ice, it will be served to you in an old-fashioned glass. It’s also quite common to order whiskey with water, which some drinkers say helps bring out the flavor of the whiskey. It’s a good idea to taste the whiskey first before adding water to see if it’s even needed. Try to use spring water instead of tap water, which contains chlorine that may react with the whiskey.

Whiskey Terminology

Grain whiskey refers to whiskey made from grains other than malted barley that’s distilled in a continuous column still, which produces a light-tasting whiskey. Grain whiskey is usually mixed with malt whiskey to create a blended whiskey.

Blended whiskey contains both malt whiskey and grain whiskey. It’s the most common kind of whiskey available. Brands include Dewar’s, Johnnie Walker, Seagram’s Seven Crown, and Chivas Regal.

Single malt whiskey is made from a single malted grain, traditionally barley, that is made in one distillery. The term is most often applied to Scotch whisky.

Single barrel whiskey means the entire bottle came from one barrel of whiskey instead of a blend from many barrels. This term is most often applied to Bourbons.

Straight whiskey is a term used for an American whiskey that is aged for 2 years or more in new charred white oak barrels.

 

Virginia Black Whiskey

Rap star Drake has officially launched his Virginia Black whiskey brand, made in collaboration with Brent Hocking, the creator of DeLéon Tequila.

virginia-black-3

 

With a shared passion for style, music, and the pursuit of taste; Brent Hocking, & Award-winning songwriter, rapper, and actor, Drake, have collaborated to bring you Virginia Black American Whiskey. Made from a personally selected collection of two, three, and four-year old bourbons, finished with a decadent profile. Aged for two years.

After attending the exclusive Trade tasting of Virginia Black pre release- I am happy to report it  is a rich, smooth bourbon available at a decidedly reasonable price (because its founders believe that “everyone should have access to glamour, swagger and soul”).

I wish they were both here but the bottle is!  Order your bottle online here to have it shipped.

 

Engraved – Personalized Gift Ideas for the Holidays

Holiday gift giving can be a hassle.  We all want to give unique gifts that have a personal significance to the recipient, but that can be tough.  An easy – and thoughtful – solution to this common dilemma is to give engraved gifts. Engraveable gifts are timeless and chic. They say, “I care so much that I took the time to have this made expressly for you. I hope you love it.” Whether you are seeking head-turning personalized business gifts or something extraordinary for a beloved friend or family member, here are twelve outstanding personalized gift ideas to add the special touch that you are looking for.

Johnnie Walker Blue Label Whiskey

jwengraving

Created from a blend of 16 of the world’s rarest, most sought after and expensive whiskies, Johnnie Walker Blue Label Whiskey is the crème de la crème of high end whiskies.  This is a shoe-in when it comes to selecting engraved business gifts.  Your gift will not go unnoticed and from the first taste of this robust and spicy whiskey, through the smoky texture, and into the surprising finish, your business clients or affiliates will remember who it came from.  Johnnie Walker Black Label now available!

Jack Daniels Gentleman Jack & Single Barrel

Both Jack Daniels Gentleman Jack and Jack Daniels Single Barrel make amazing personalized gift ideas.  Present one of these all American whiskies in an engraved bottle along with a set of old fashioned, heavy crystal glasses to your Father or Grandfather and they will be moved by your generous and thoughtful gesture.

Woodford Reserve Bourbon

This hand-crafted, small-batch Bourbon is specialty crafted at all five sources of flavor. For the bourbon connoisseur in your life, this engraveable gift will knock their socks off with unprecedented taste and it’s crisp, pure finish.  By itself or added to a gift basket containing rich Kentucky honey and hand-made Mennonite cheese, the lucky man or woman who receives the gift of Woodford Reserve will look back on it with fondness for years to come.

Jack-Daniels-Bottle-EngravingMEL AND ROSE-424x218

Silver Oak Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

This prestigious wine,  served at top steakhouses nationwide and praised for its soft finish makes a stunning gift on its own. Give it in an engraved bottle and it becomes a benchmark for others to live up to. Personalized engraved gifts can set you apart from others, and when the gift is as remarkable as this complex yet gentle Cabernet you will stand heads above the crowd.

SILVER OAK

 Perrier-Jouët Champagne

Timeless elegance and a dedication to finessing every last bit of flavor from the grapes, makes each bottle of House Perrier-Jouët Champagne a personal and intriguing statement. The vivacious nature and lovely color of this amazing champagne is perfect for those celebrations that are too important to leave to anything less. Gift this and enjoy it together for a true feast of the senses. –

PJ FLOWER

Double Cross Vodka

Dr. Jan Krak is the Master Distiller for Double Cross Vodka and he considers it his “crowning achievement”.  This distinct creation, as dramatic as the mountains of Slovakia from whence it comes, is distilled with pure water from a 200 foot deep aquifer and fine winter wheat. Seven times distilled and seven times filtered the purity and clean taste are unrivaled. The sleek, contemporary bottle is award winning and inscribed with Slovakian poetry.  Imagine how having it engraved with you and your partner’s name and “Our First Christmas” will still his or her heart.

 DOUBLE CROSS

Glenlivet Scotch

The 18 year old Glenlivet Scotch Whiskey is the result of aging in several different types of casks.  Both American and European oak are used at the Master Distiller’s discretion and the result is unique and flavorful.  The 21 year old Scotch produced by Glenlivet is distinct and each batch is special because each cask is hand selected.  This is truly a whiskey that speaks of class and is truly debonnaire. Giving Glenlivet as engraved business gifts will make sure that you are known as a gentleman’s gentleman.

GLENLIVET COLLECTION

PATRON LALIQUE – THE MOST IMPRESSIVE BOTTLE

 PATRON LALIQUE TEQUILA

                                                             PATRON LALIQUE TEQUILA

Fine crystal makers Lalique collaborated  with premium tequila producer Patrón to create an impressive handmade limited edition decanter. Bottles are numbered and within each of the 500 bottles rests a blend of some of Patrón’s oldest and rarest tequilas, hand-selected from their barrel aging room in the hills of Jalisco, Mexico.

Pre- order by emailing: INFO@MELANROSE.COM

release date  November 2015

$7,950.00

Champagne & Butterflies

PJ_MischerTraxler_BelleEpoque2Exploring the magical conversation between Mankind and Nature

Perrier-Jouët continues bringing to life its Art Nouveau heritage with a new design commission by the Vienna based duo mischer’traxler. With Ephemera, Katharina Mischer and Thomas Traxler add to the conversation between Art Nouveau and Perrier-Jouët with a rich layer of contemporary design, told through their own unique voice.

Ephemera is the master work and starting point of Small Discoveries by mischer’traxler, an extended collaboration project between the designers and the Perrier-Jouët House that will run throughout the next year. The aim of the Small Discoveries collection is to tell the story of the magical dialogue between nature and mankind, and to stimulate curiosity of the individual through several design pieces. With Small Discoveries, Katharina and Thomas explore the moments between the unknown and known, being and not being.

Ephemera, revealed at Design Miami/ 2014, plays with the audience, inviting participation, discussion and questioning. Objects are set in a plain room, suggesting a deceptively simple installation. This ostensibly legible set-up acts as a scene for a delicate game of hide-and-seek, played out through a mechanical and magical ornamental garden. The audience find themselves drawn into an enjoyable, charming conversation with the work, and also with each other.

Katharina Mischer and Thomas Traxler founded their studio in 2009. They have quickly made their mark in the contemporary design art space with a wealth of delightful, thought-provoking pieces that have gained international recognition. This includes pieces in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Vitra Design Museum and Vienna’s MAK. Threads of exploring the natural world and our relationship with it run throughout their work in a subtle, yet constant, way. Their particular approach to this dialogue between nature and mankind is one of the reasons that Perrier-Jouët has chosen studio mischer’traxler for their latest design partnership.

  Herve Deschamps , Cellar master will be  Signing  the new release of 2007 bottle designed by artist duo mischer traxler, this gift set includes a collectible limited edition bottle of Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque in a deluxe case. This is the ultimate luxury gift for the holidays or any special occasion. PJ CELLER MASTER PJ_MischerTraxler_BelleEpoque
Only 25 bottles will be hand-signed by Herve Deschamps, the winemaker on October 15th.