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Le Beaujolais Est Arrivé! Beaujolais Nouveau, That is! Just in Time for Thanksgiving

Beaujolais Release Party!

The 2011 New Beaujolais has arrived! Every year in November on the third Thursday at 12:01am bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau arrive at your local retailer and the celebration begins.
Release parties can be found most anywhere on the Thursday before Thanksgiving!



What is Beaujolias Nouveau? What’s the celebration all about?

Beaujolais Nouveau is a red wine made from 100% Gamay grapes from the Beaujolais Region of Burgundy,France.This tradition begins when the “new” Beaujolais is picked,fermented and bottled and is ready to be consumed within a matter of weeks.
After a successful harvest, a celebration begins with sampling the “new” wine
as a predictor of the success of the growing season. The celebration made its way to the US about 60 years ago and many Release Parties can be attended all around the country.

(Pictured are Andie and her “Beau”)

The style is fresh, light and fruity and very easy to drink. Characteristically, a Beaujolais Nouveau fills the mouth with juicy, red fruits and bubblegum with hints of spice such as cinnamon. Drink this wine while its young. The balanced tannins and acid make it a DRINK NOW wine!
George DuBoeuf’s 2011 Beaujolais Nouveau is a particularly good vintage this year! You must grab a bottle. This wine is surprisingly complex and packed with juicy fresh fruit and a delightful balance of mild tannins and fresh, balanced acidity.

For the best flavor,be sure to serve this slightly chilled. Of course, this will pair well with your roasted or deep-fried turkey and cranberry relish but you might want to grab an extra bottle or two for your brick-oven pizzas,pasta dishes and burgers. Beaujolais Nouveau is a extremely fresh and food friendly wine. Remember, DRINK NOW! If you are in the mood to hold on
to a bottle of Beaujolais,head to the wine shop and grab a bottle of Beaujolais Cru and Beaujolais Villages for that!


Thursday night I attended a Beaujolais Nouveau 2011 Release Party hosted by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in Brentwood,TN and Jimmy Collins, Wine Expert and District Manager of W.J.Deutsch & Sons,Ltd.
(pictured are Jimmy ,Lisa ,Andie)





The celebration began with the Break Dancers parading in with cases of Beaujolais Nouveau.







We were entertained by the Break Dancers and Juggling…..



I think NEXT YEAR I will host a  2012 Beaujolais Release Party!







Diane Payne’s appetizers were delicious.

She provided Warm Olive Tapenade and Swiss Cheese Crostini’s and bite-sized Tomato and Basil Biscuit quiches. YUM!




The label is no accident. Every year, a contest is held by Georges Duboeuf for the honor of the Label Art for each release. This year’s label features a one of a kind graffiti-inspired label by Kaves.


Visit Georges Duboeuf’s Fan Page on Facebook for tips on your own Release Party and celebrations in your town.


Pricing for Beaujolais is friendly too! You should be able to purchase a bottle for
around $15 or under. Check your local wine shops to purchase. Hurry! There IS a limited supply.


Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy your Beaujolias Nouveau with your friends,family and food!

Don’t forget to chill!



11 2011

SPARKLE with a BANG! Fancy-Up your Sparkling Wine with Local Gourmet Syrups!

Local Artisan BANG CANDY Company  has helped make Nashville just a little sweeter!

Not only have they cornered the market with their unique varieties of melt-in-your mouth pillows of hand-made marshmallows such as Toasted Coconut,Chocolate Chile and Expresso Chocolate, Sarah has managed to create another delicious product. Sarah Souther, the creator of this magical company, makes naturally flavored syrups to enhance the flavor of tea,lemonade,dessert and SPARKLING WINE! Lavender Rose,Ginger Rose,Hibiscus Orange Flower and Habanero Lime are just a few of the unique,fresh syrups she has to offer. Her secret? She uses fresh ingredients steeped in a concoction of simple syrup and bottles it for our enjoyment!

I discovered this delicious product during the Local Artisan Cheese Event. We all got a chance to sample Prosecco (Italian Sparkling Wine) with the Lavender Rose Syrup.
Prosecco and Cava (Spanish Sparkling Wine) are both dry,crisp and citrusy often with honey and floral aromas. The Lavender Rose Syrup is pleasantly sweet, fresh and floral.
It reminds me of the intoxicating aroma lavender fields at Becker Vineyards in Stonewall, Texas where the rows of vines often have a beautiful rose bush at the front.

Just a tablespoon or so is all it takes. It adds a new dimension to the already refreshing glass of bubbly. The delightfully fresh and floral components enhance the crispness and citrus flavors of the Cava or Prosecco.

I often welcome my friends into my house for a gathering with a tall glass of Sparkling Cava or Prosecco with a splash of BANG SYRUPS. They love it! TOAST!

To purchase the syrups, check out the website BANG CANDY COMPANY in Nashville,Tn.



AND, don’t forget about the marshmallows!!!!! They are AWESOME!


CIAO for NOW!!!!!


10 2011

Unique Boutique Italian Wines in Nashville: Fall in love with SIIR 100% Aglianico Del Vulture: WINE TO FIND!

Boutique Wines :
For a few years now, I have happily watched and experienced Nashville’s growing hip food scene and ever increasing availability of boutique wines from just about anywhere in the world. Local restaurants that feature local artisan foods are popping up everywhere. This is what defines our area and its uniqueness.
Boutique wines are high quality wines that are produced from small wineries in limited amounts and are of consistent quality and of great value. Nashville is lucky to have several boutique wine distributors. They also define their specific area of where they are produced.

100 % Italiano,Inc  is a local wine distributor located in Nashville.They specialize in providing us with boutique Italian wines of high quality,indigenous and rare grapes.
Becoming increasingly captivated by their unique,delicious and approachable wines, I wanted to share these unique wine finds so you too can enjoy!

This week, the WINE to FIND is SIIR which is 100% Aglianico Del Vulture. (vull-TORE-ay). This means the grape-Aglianico-is from the region of Vulture in the southern region of Italy known as Basilicata. This is one of the two regions that this grape is grown in Southern Italy, the other being the Campania Region.
The grape “ah-lee-ON-eekoh” Aglianico is a bold and powerful red wine of this area.

My Wine Find for this week:
SIIR is produced and estate bottled at the vineyards in San Martino,Italy.
The name SIIR means FATHER,in Lucanian,the dialect spoken in Basilicata.

What a perfect name for the grape that rules this area!

The hot climate and rich ancient volcanic and clay soils of the Vulture,Basilicata Region of Southern Italy produce rich,deeply-colored wine with firm tannins,smooth and rich texture with aromas and flavors of dark fruit and blackberries,dark chocolate,expresso,minerals and leather.This reflects the uniqueness of the soils in the region and makes it a perfect region for growing the grape Aglianico.

All in the Family:
Lorenzo Piccin, the winemaker, is 23 years old! Along with his family Fabrizio,Cecilia and their parents, there is a combined pure effort that contributes to the success of the winery and family business. Their belief is that all you need to produce a great wine is to produce healthy grapes and bring this ripe grapes at the right time for production.

The vines are organically grown and the yeasts are indigenous to the area making the unique characteristics of this grape hard to reproduce anywhere else. Vulture,the region within the Basilicata Region, is the area where Aglianico Del Vulture is best grown and was awarded the only DOCG in the Basilicata area in 2011. This is the only grape allowed to grow in this area.



SIIR is an extremely friendly food-pairing wine. Pairing up this wine with my some of my favorite foods was fun. The intense dark fruits of blackberries and plums and its firm tannins,unique earthiness and long finish were a perfect match for my Pan-Seared Lamb Chops with Sage,Lemon and Garlic. The lively minerality and earthy coffee and leather aroma as well as the firm tannins highlighted the earthiness of the lamb and fresh sage with fresh lemon juice.

This delightfully bold and earthy wine stands up to the boldness of lamb and Rigatoni with Spicy Arrabiata Pasta sauce and freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano. You definitely want a bold wine to pair with this menu instead of wines with delicate tannins and fruit.

Red pepper flakes,intense red sauce,sun-dried tomatoes and bright green peas all tossed with flavorful olive oil is a family favorite and a perfect easy go-to dish for this delightfully food friendly Italian wine. Oven-fired pizza with artichokes and eggplants and rich red sauces with lasagna or chicken parmesan would be other food pairing ideas.


My friends at 100% Italiano Rock!  Viviana,Andrea,Maria Pia and Brian are fabulous people. All are fabulous cooks and I have been lucky enough to share wine and food with them on several occasions.

If you want to know more about this wine and other wines distributed by 100% Italiano please contact them through their website.

You can find this wine at Red Dog,Grand Cru,The Wine Shoppe at Greenhills and Brinkmann’s Wine and Spirits in the Nashville area.

Next time you dine at JJ’s Wine Bar,
City House Restaurant or Margot Cafe and Bar, three hip wining and dining establishments in Nashville, enjoy a glass of SIIR with your meal.



10 2011