Event Recap |9th Annual @ATLFoodandWine Festival #AFWF19 @Old4thWardPark #LoewsAtlanta #KnowTheSouth

Food and Wine, Wine and Food. Has there ever been two things that go together better? If you think the answer is no, than take a look at The Atlanta Food and Wine Festival, now in it’s 9th year, the festival is an ode to southern cooking and libations. It took place this past weekend, May 30-June 2, 2019, at the Loews Atlanta Hotel in Midtown and at the Historic Old 4th Ward Park.

👀 TAKE A LOOK at their preview video⤵️

This festival truly has it all… from special dinner presentations, informative learning seminars and the epic tasting tents where you can indulge in an all you can taste experience! The Midtown community of Atlanta served as the perfect backdrop for the festivities and the mother nature gave us all beautiful weather to enjoy ourselves at the festival! The event was well organized and put together with such detail and care that it really felt like a fun, family affair!

OFFICIAL HOTEL | LOEWS ATLANTA

One of the many unique features of this world class festival is the fact that the vast majority of events take place all under the roof of the gorgeous Loews Atlanta Hotel in Midtown. This was the official host hotel and the festival basically does a weekend takeover. All of the event rooms, spaces and lounges are occupied by various tasty seminars, beverage mixing classes and much more. We made the Loews our base camp for the weekend and it was the best decision ever. *Stay tuned for our review of our stay at the Loews Atlanta Hotel soon!

TASTING TENTS | HISTORIC OLD 4TH WARD PARK

The tents were located at a new location at Historic Old Fourth Ward Park, which is adjacent to the Ponce City Market Food Hall and the Beltline. Crowds arrived early and stayed until closing. They came to eat, drink, explore the south and party! Guests got to enjoy live music, a DJ, fun photo booths, and gift swag. The thoughtfully curated Tasting Tents allowed guests to take a culinary road trip through the South and discover new food/beverages to enjoy.

FOOD | #PNCBestoftheFest

When guests arrived at the Tasting Tents, they received a tasting glass and a chip to vote for their favorite bite (or sip) at the festival. The entire food lineup was impressive, so it was really hard to chose just one! Oysters on the half shell and lobster rolls were my favorite seafood choices. Hot chicken sliders were amazing as were the prime rib tacos. The Visit Mississippi tent had an amazing beef and mushroom burger topped with a fried oyster. It was so good! I also loved the fresh tuna from the Visit Aruba exhibitor. There also were dessert options to satisfy your sweet tooth. With so many delicious choices, both regional and global to try, the festival is designed to take your tastebuds on an epicurean journey.

LIBATIONS | Wine, Spirits, Beer, etc.

Cheers to the Atlanta Food &Wine Festival for having libations of every sensation: Bourbon, Vodka, Gin, Whisky, Tequila, Beer, and Wine for all to enjoy! Guests who have chosen not to consume alcohol could still enjoy creative drinks thanks to The Mocktail Project, which celebrates and allows an inclusive drinking culture. There also was an effort to support sustainability by using AARDVARK paper straws!

Some of my favorite sips were from Bedlam Vodka and Knob Creek, who not only served craft cocktails but both had great vendor setups. Bedlam had a lounge and Knob Creek were actually “smoking” their Old Fashion cocktail. We even got to witness how the smoke was infused with the drink! (I captured a snippet of the process for you and uploaded in my YouTube video below). Every varietal of wine was on hand from whites to reds and of course rosé were available to enjoy each festival day!

LEARNING EXPERIENCES

More than 50 learning experiences, dinners and events were offered by #AFWF19 for guests to get Off the Eaten Path and get to #KnowtheSouth. Dozens of food and drink topics were covered at the Loews Atlanta Hotel, where guests could choose between which hour long seminar to attend throughout the weekend. I attended the Cast Iron Chronicles: Evolution Of Soul Food sponsored by Butter Pat Industries and presented by Tiffanie Barriere[@thedrinkingcoach], Jennifer Hill Booker, and Deborah Vantrece.

These three women not only educated guests on the true history of soul food but also prepared communal dishes for us in the ‘smooth’ cast iron pan from Butter Pat Industries. Did you know that the seed of black eyed peas were smuggled from Africa by slaves who then grew them here and from that a dish called “Hopping John” was born?! We got to try an updated and elevation version of that dish. The Chefs reminded us that soul food is more than grease and gravy and should be celebrated! We also were served two cocktails ( one was rum based, the other is named Cab Calloway made with sherry) and as a bonus, we got to try some of the best peach cobbler I ever had!

I also enjoyed The Other Cuts sponsored by Big Green Egg, which was held on the beautiful outdoor terrace at Loews. Chefs served samples of lesser known meat cuts from Porter Road, a meat delivery service, and how to best grill them for maximum flavor and tenderness. There were so many other interesting seminars but alas I could only be in one place at a time. Where was my clone when I needed her?!

👀 WATCH my video recap of The Ninth Annual Atlanta Food & Wine Festival below and hope to see you there next year MAY 28-MAY 31, 2020!! Follow @atlfoodandwine for details

🎉🎉🎉🎉CONGRATS to Chef Kristian Wade of Beau Rivage Resort & Casino as this year’s winner of the #PNCBestoftheFest competition! The ‘Landmass Burger’ satisfies both burger fans & seafood lovers with it’s combination of beef + fried oyster!


The 9th Annual Atlanta Food & Wine Festival took my tastebuds on a fun, foodie journey that I will never forget! I got to sip & savor, discover amazing flavors, and taste cuisine from the South and beyond. I also enjoyed the education received from culinary talent and the celebration of community during the entire weekend. Can’t wait until next year!

CONNECT WITH ME Facebook|YouTube|Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

SEVEN THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ROSÉ PISCINE WINE | #rosepiscine #wine #roséallday

Hello May! Time to celebrate Moms, Grads, and patio season with rosé all day! I recently tried a new wine that is meant to be served on the rocks called Rosé Piscine. I personally had never tried wine [not including Sangria] over ice before. As everyone knows as the ice melts the wine would become watered down but that’s just not the case with this wine that has already sold over two million bottles in France and Brazil, and now it’s available in the U.S! It has been created specifically to be served with ice. From its sleek, uplifting bottle appearance, to the one-of-a-kind over ice concept Rosé Piscine is not your average bottle of wine, here’s Seven Things To Know About Rosé Piscine Wine

  1. The wine has been selling in France and Brazil and just recently has been released in the United States. It’s available at select stores around the country, and can be ordered online.
  2. It’s uniquely a wine that has been created to be served over ice. Rosé Piscine is made by Pascal Nacenta in southwest France.
  3. The French rosé is 100 percent destemmed, fermented for 20 days with cold stabilization at 60 degrees and then filtered.
  4. The Rosé Piscine tasting notes include being pale salmon in color, with a light to medium body. On the bouquet, it offers hints of Meyer lemon, skin of peach, vanilla, kiwi and McIntosh apple. Mineral quality to the bouquet. On the palate, it offers rounded, well-balanced tannins and acidity, with a long finish.
  5. Rosé Piscine is made with an indigenous varietal of southwest France: Négrette, which is a small, very dark and tough-skinned grape known for its powerful aromatic qualities. The fruit is sourced in Côtes du Frontonnais, which is located just southwest of Gaillac and just north of the city of Toulouse, on the western bank of the Tarn river. Rosé Piscine is one of very few French rosés made with the Négrette grape, mainly due to the limited geographic availability of this unique varietal.
  6. Wine Enthusiast named Rosé Piscine’s region in France the Wine Region of the Year 2017.
  7. Rosé Piscine was originally created by Jacques Tranier, the president of Vinovalie, a group of producers in the French Southwest. In 2003, he was on a vacation in Saint Tropez when he saw many women drinking rosé wine over ice in large wine glasses. He ordered one to give it a try, only to be disappointed in the diluted taste of the wine. This set him on a mission to create a rosé wine that could maintain its integrity while being served on ice.

My mom recently visited and we enjoyed some of this wonderful rosé out on my patio! We loved how easy it was to drink… not too dry, not too sweet..just right! With mother’s day just around the corner, this wine would be the perfect pour to toast to your mom. Make Mom feel like a Queen for the day, and celebrate with Rosé Piscine!

To find a store near you or to order online, visit the site at: www.rosepiscine.com or follow on Instagram @rosepiscine. CHEERS!

Event Recap | @VidrioRaleigh #Wine Market & Tasting |#VidrioRaleigh #SavorLife #Raleigh #NC #Events

🍷 Raleigh, Get ready to enjoy a fun evening discovering great wines and tasting savory hors d’oeuvres! See. Swirl. Smell. Sip. And Savor over 25 wines from around the world at Vidrio on Thu, Mar 28 at 6pm-9pm! [The first 50 guests in attendance will receive an exclusive Vidrio bottle opener!] In case you missed it, I hosted a giveaway and created a video sharing details for this event:

SHOP |For just $30, guests in attendance can shop for a new favorite wine and order bottles to take home!

There will be a wide range of options for all tastes. Whether you are new to wines and want to expand your palette, or an experienced wine connoisseur looking to get your hands on small production and esoteric labels, all kinds of wines, * New World * Old World * Back Vintage, will be available!

SNACK | Guests will also have a range of savory, light hors d’oeuvres prepared by Vidrio’s culinary team to snack on while you stroll around the Fiera Bar & Lounge, located on the 2nd Floor.

This restaurant is known for it’s delicious Meditteranean cuisine, so I personally was looking forward to enjoying their tasty bites!

SIP | Wine Tastings are always a great way to discover something new and learn more about wine. It is also fun date night idea or girls night out!

Also included with the ticket price is the chance to try 25 wines from around the world! What a great way to experience other wines you may not have tried before. No passport needed.

View this post on Instagram

SEE•SWIRL•SMELL•SIP•SAVOR That's what I'll be doing tomorrow night-March 28- @vidrioraleigh WINE MARKET & TASTING 🍷 Looking forward to sharing highlights from this fun evening, discovering great #wines and tasting savory hors d’oeuvres! There are still a Few Tickets left for the event, so why not treat yourself this #WineWednesday ?! . .🍷What was the last #glassofwine you enjoyed? . . #SobeSavvy #vidrioraleigh #SipandSavor #downtownRaleigh #dtr #RaleighEvents #Wine #WineTasting #SavorLife #RaleighNC #RaleighNights #soNCsavvy #winelovers #winedown #blackgirlswine #womenwholovewine #redwine #wineselfie #wineselection #winestagram #RaleighBlogger #Lifestyleblogger #WineBlogger #FoodBlogger #SobeSavvySips

A post shared by Lifestyle|Food|Travel|Fun BLOG (@sobesavvy) on

SobeSavvy Tip: If you are missing this event, no worries because they have a lot of these types of events! I encourage you to SIGN UP to receive updates >> here. The next event happens Friday,April 5th for their First Friday Cocktail Roundtable Series! *[Read my recap of the first round of this monthly event>> here.]

So come out and get ready to have a wonderful night! Follow me @SobeSavvy on Instagram to see highlights via my instastories plus, WATCH >>here for my full event recap of this event on YouTube.

*Tell me about a recent wine you discovered or your favorite wine below? 🍷

VIDRIO
500 GLENWOOD AVE.
RALEIGH, NC. 27603
919-803-6033

https://www.vidrioraleigh.com

#WineWednesday Feature|5 Things to Know About Vilarnau Cava #Vilarnau #VilarnauCava #GonzalezByass @Vilarnau_UK

Vilarnau Cava Brut and Vilarnau Cava Rose

This past Sunday, I hosted a bloggers/influencer event called the #ScentandSipEvent (stay tuned for full recap) in honor of National Women’s Month in March. The event was to not only celebrate women who have made herstory before us but to toast to ourselves and the history we are making! I thought what is a celebration without a proper toast with bubbles?! Thanks to some PR friends, my guests were able to sample a wonderful Spanish Cava producer — Vilarnau. For this #WineWednesday Feature, here are 5 Things To Know About VILARNAU CAVA:

1.Environmentally Friendly

I was happy to learn that Vilarnau uses no herbicides and utilizes a nearby lake and rain water to irrigate their vineyards. All this makes for a great tasting,organic wine.

2. Made in Barcelona, Spain

They are located outside of Barcelona Spain so on your next visit, you can book a tour of the entire vineyard complex. The use of indigenous Spanish grapes gives it a wonderful taste and a distinct,bright, crisp finish. In 1982, Vilarnau was purchased by thr Gonzalez Byass family of wines.

The bottles are very photogenic — very Gaudi-esque

3. Very Fresh and Fruity

The Brut is complex, made from 3 separate wines and has the primary aromas of grapes. The rosé is intense with red berries and subtle violets. The rosé uses two types of grapes: Gamacha and Pinot Noir and pairs well with dishes like paella, pizza or pasta. Enjoy both as an aperitif or anytime!

Vilarnau Cava Rose | Photo Credit @nikimcneil @sobesavvy #ScentandSipEvent

4. Suitable For Vegans

Vegans are very limited to drinking wine due to the fact that part of most winemaking processing includes gelatin or animal by product. Vilarnau wine uses none of these so Vegans can now raise their glass with assurance!

5. Aged in bottle for over 15 months

Vilarnau Cava has a second fermentation in the bottle(same method as Champagne) where it is in contact with yeast for at least 15 mos. This gives it’s bubble their slow and long lasting effervescence.

Maxine Lee of @drinkgoodwithMax presents the perfect pour of Vilarnau Cava Brut | photo credit Samuel Holt Photography @samuelholt

Everyone enjoyed the brightness of the flavors and of course the fantastic bubbly. The beauty of the bottles added to the celebration. As Vilarnau would say.. “life is full of little moments worth celebrating, so #makeitsparkle” with these spanish sparkling wines from Vilarnau!

Have you ever tried Vilarnau Cava Brut or Vilarnau Cava Rosé before? Let me know in the comments below! CHEERS 🥂

❤ Make a Heart Healthy Dinner at Home for your Valentine with Ungraded Produce @ungradedproduce

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary box of goodness from Ungraded Produce in exchange for my honest review.

Did you know that February is Heart Healthy Month? Time to focus on keeping our hearts healthy through exercise and healthy eating habits. You know the saying..Happy Wife,Happy Life. Well this month, we’ve remixed that saying to ..A Healthy Husband and Wife leads to a Happier & Healthier Life. So I’ve partnered with Ungraded Produce to share a healthy husband and wife meal idea just in time for Valentine’s Day! ❤

Ungraded ProduceWho Are They?

They are a produce delivery service that provides customers with an easy way to fight against food waste. Fact: 1.2 million tons of food go to waste in NC each year! Founded in June 2015 by Courtney Bell, Ungraded Produce saw an opportunity to connect consumers with a supply of delicious but imperfect looking produce at 30-50% cheaper than supermarket alternatives!

■ What Do They Do?

Fact: 20% of the produce grown in the US gets left in the field or tossed for being “ugly”.

Ungraded Produce is working to fight these statistics by rescuing produce, packing/delivering it to the customer’s door and making an edible impact against food waste!

■ How Does It Work?

Fact: 40+ million Americans lack access to a convenient and affordable source of fresh produce.

With Ungraded Produce you get farm to door service when you get a subscription. Boxes ranges from 5-15 pounds and you have the option of weekly or biweekly delivery options. At any time you can cancel,pause or change products at any time!

*SobeSavvy Tip: New Customers SAVE $5 on your first box with promo code (HEALTHYNC)

Register at www.ungradedproduce.com

With your subscription, you are joining in the fight against food waste! Note: They deliver to most towns that border Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill only.

■ Why Should You Subscribe?

Make your health your wealth and priority this year. Treat yourself and family to affordable, easy, sustainable fresh fruits and vegetables. It is also very convenient to receive this special delivery right to my door! In my Large Mixed Produce Box, I received 15 lbs of FRUIT|honeydew melon, apples, tangerine mandarin oranges, bosc pears + VEGETABLEs|vidalia onions, spaghetti squash, poblano peppers, carrots, brocolli, tomatillios

■ How do I plan to use my box?

So far, I have made fresh juice from carrots and oranges in the morning!

My husband has entertained us with his Ungraded Produce juggling pre-dinner show…

…and together we have made a romantic dinner at home using all the unbelievable goodness from Ungraded Produce. Want to make a heart healthy dinner for your Valentine? ❤ Check out what we made using Ungraded Produce.

SANGRIA | Red wine in moderation is healthy right?! I added pears,apples,honeydew melon and voila..you are ready to raise a glass and toast to your Valentine.

DINNER | With the help of my friend Google, I mashed up a couple of recipes and came up with a delicious and healthy entreé to serve for our romantic dinner at home. First the sauce…

ITALIAN GREEN TOMATO SAUCE..inspired by this recipe>>here. After roasting the tomatillos, I added them to a blender to make a sauce to use for my spaghetti squash pasta.

SPAGHETTI SQUASH PRIMAVERA inspired by this recipe>>here. First let me say thank you to whomever came up with idea to put the directions on how to make spaghetti squash in the microwave right on the label! Such a time saver.

After washing, dicing, slicing, sauteing, seasoning the veggies, it was time to add the green tomato sauce, the parmesean cheese, the spaghetti squash and L-O-V-E ❤!

The table was set for a night and meal he’ll never forget. I took a cue from Johnny Gill and ..🎶 put on my red dress, slipped on some high heels, and some of that sweet perfume 🎶..and My, My, My our meal was so good tonight! We enjoyed our romantic dinner at home made with Ungraded Produce. I hope you are inspired to subscribe and make something healthy and special for your Valentine too! ❤

■ Do you plan to dine in or out for Valentine’s Day?

■ Have you used Ungraded Produce service before?

Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading! ❤

Check out @VidrioRaleigh #FirstFridayRaleigh Cocktail Series and Stay for Dinner! #VidrioRaleigh #SavorLife


Having a little one means sometimes foregoing a Friday night on the town. However, this past Friday Nana was in town and that meant one thing..DATE NIGHT! Lucky for us, a spot here in Raleigh that we had been wanting to try was hosting a special event. The place that has been on our radar is called VIDRIO.

This mediterranean inspired restaurant and bar is located in the heart of the bustling Glenwood Avenue South district. VIDRIO, which means glass in Spanish,  has been a social media star due to their savory food, exciting sips and their stunning decor. They also offer experiences such as wine dinners, private events, and wine tastings. On February 1, 2019, VIDRIO kicked off their “First Friday Cocktail Roundtable | A Spirit Filled Room”! Check out this promo video I made to share about the event:

EVENT DETAILSWhen: Every first Friday of the month, 6pm-10pm
Where: VIDRIO‘s Bar Area
What: A monthly contest that puts 2 bartenders up against each other in a craft cocktail contest

Why: It’s a fun night out and a chance to experience the sights, smells, and flavors of the world’s best spirits and craft cocktails. You vote for your favorite to move to their finale, and get featured as Cocktail of the Year!
How Much: $8.00 Craft Cocktails
EVENT RECAP

This week the visiting bartender was Matthew Bettinger. He is a mixologist of the highest caliber. His raw knowledge of the spirits and the fresh ingredients he chose and paired was amazing. Alex Bridges, a member of VIDRIO‘s beverage team is equally passionate and skilled in the art of cocktail-mixing! The crowd was enthusiastic and curious about each cocktail. Each month a VIDRIO bartender comes up with a cocktail to compete with the visiting bartender’s cocktail. It starts with a “base” spirit and they build on that. This month the spirit was Lunazul Blanco tequila.

First up was the creation of VIDRIO Bartender Alex Bridges called, “It’s  Been Fun“. The ingredients that caught my eye was aloe vera and peach jam! Having an actual slice of blood orange in the glass made this a very attractive drink.
The visiting Bartender, Matthew Bettinger, created a drink called “A Friendly Visit“. He infused Rosehip & Hibiscus into a cordial and added it to his cocktail creation. It was refreshing and pleasing to my palate.
Both were very different from each other and both very well done. I voted for “A Friendly Visit“, while my husband went for the “It’s Been Fun“! Turns out the cocktail that won was…drum roll, I mean martini shake please….”It’s Been Fun“!

It was a great time! Grab your favorite  drinking friends, or plan a date night and mark your calenders to return for the next one in March. Click here for details of the next event!

DINNER FOR 2

After such a fun experience at the cocktail roundtable, we decided to stay and have a dining experience here. We moved to a table for 2 in their spacious dining room. It has a endless ceiling with blown colorful glass on an entire wall. It was a surreal setting to say the least.

Both of us wanted some wine and lucky for us VIDRIO has 48 wines..ON TAP! They have something no matter what your wine taste dictates. We were as little undecided and ultimately chose to do one of their curated wine flight offerings. We went with 3 reds. Each 3 oz pour was very different from each other. One was dry, one medium and one had a touch of sweetness. Each sat on a cute descriptive mat with the names and varietal tasting notes. It was actually quite a beautiful display.

Oysters On The Half Shell were on deck for an appetizer. Half a dozen bivalves with all the trimmings. Freshly shucked and delicious. The full menu is available at the bar and prior to our dinner, we enjoyed their tasty and tender Moroccan Beef Skewers. I am a sauce person and loved every bit of the harissa Greek yogurt to dip the skewers in. Since we were not that hungry, we decided to just split a dish. Their Short Rib Bolognese Pasta came highly recommended by our friendly and attentive waitress. She explained how the the pasta and even their ricotta with lemon zest was made in house. It was very flavorful and expertly done. The pasta was thin and light and the short rib was incredible. This was one of the best pasta dishes I have had since one night in Rome 8 years ago! Their dessert menu had some great choices but we were beyond satisfied and called it a night.

Make reservations now for your own great night at VIDRIO.
SobeSavvy Tip: Reserve your table today for Valentine’s Day at VIDRIO on Thursday, February, 14th for only $50 per person. ❤

VIDRIO
500 GLENWOOD AVE.
RALEIGH, NC. 27603
919-803-6033

First Look @ORORaleigh ‘s NEW Social Hour Menu Bar Bites + Drink Specials, All Items $5! #DowntownRaleigh

ORO Restaurant & Lounge | Social Hour Menu Review by SobeSavvy.com

Hey Raleigh! Looking for a new, hot spot to grab a glass of wine, cocktail or two and meet friends for a bite to eat after work? Well I have just the place for you. ORO Restaurant & Lounge, located in Downtown Raleigh, offers a fun, brand new Social Hour menu and SobeSavvy.com was invited to check it out. Here is what you need to know before you go and trust me, you will want to go ASAP!

ORO Restaurant & Lounge is chic, and sleek with white/wood modern decor and a mezzanine & a fireplace

SOCIAL HOUR

The new Social Hour menu was rolled out on Monday, January 28, 2019. It is offered in the Bar area only Monday- Thursday from 5pm-7pm. All items are just $5.00! Oh how I love a deal!

• EAT

There are five delicious food items on the menu to choose from. The variety offered allows everyone to find something to eat no matter the dietary restrictions or choices. The portions are enough for one person to enjoy but also shareable. Everything was so good that it is hard to pick a favorite. So my suggestion is order one of each and enjoy them all!

Beef Sliders | blue cheese | carmelized onions

Truffle Fries | parmesan | truffle oil

Lobster & Crab Bites | greens | citrus aioli

Teriyaki Chicken Skewers | green onion

Vegetable Spring Rolls | sweet chili sauce

• DRINK

Also on the Social Hour menu are two wine choices from Century Cellars. Order a glass of Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon to enjoy or if your are in the mood for a cocktail, get The Social Butterfly. It’s made with NC’s own Social House Vodka and your choice of mixer ( I asked for ginger beer and my friend got cranberry juice). It is served with a cute butterfly on the straw! It’s a refreshing and fun way to drink local!

ORO Social Hour Menu | DRINK | The Social Butterfly

SobeSavvy Tip: Elevate your drinking experience by ordering from the Specialty Cocktail menu. You’ll be impressed by the taste and presentation of these innovative cocktails! Watch this video and make plans to sip and see for yourself!

Specialty Cocktails | Weird Science | Smoke & Mirrors

ORO is a great place to have lunch [Read about my lunch experience at ORO >>here.], a romantic dinner, meet with co-workers after work, host a celebration event or hang with your girlfriends! Whatever the occasion, ORO will make it special. Cheers!

Lovely Leslie of @SobeSavvy and Meka Harrell of @hwthblog meet up for a fun Mom’s Night Out at ORO Restaurant & Lounge

CONNECT WITH ME Facebook |YouTube| Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

ORO Restaurant & Lounge

18 E. Martin Street

Raleigh, NC 27601

www.ororaleigh.com

Event Recap |#NCWineMonth September 2018 Kickoff, A Celebration of #NCWine + Featured Wineries To Try!

North Carolina Wine and Grape Month | 2018 Kick Off Event | Norris House-Raleigh,NC | August 28,2018

Hey Wine Lovers! It is time to raise a glass and support your favorite NC wineries because September is North Carolina Wine and Grape Month. This is the time of year vineyards and local wine makers are celebrated and recognized for helping North Carolina become the 7th highest wine producer in the nation!

Leslie H., Founder of Lifestyle Blog- SobeSavvy.com with hosts NC Wine Guys! Follow NCWineGuys.com as they share their knowledge of all things NC Wine

The NC Wine Guys hosted their invitation only kickoff event at the famous Norris House in downtown Raleigh. This historical home was the perfect venue to promote the upcoming month and feature some regional wineries.

Norris House | Raleigh,NC – Beautiful location for the North Carolina Wine and Grape Month 2018 Kickoff Event

After the presentation of the Governor’s Proclamation which officially sanctioned the month of September, guests had the chance to network, and eat from a spread of spectacular breads, cheese and meats provided by local favorite La Farm Bakery.

La Farm Bakery eats are the perfect pairing to NC Wines!

Guests also had an opportunity to taste wines from different wineries across the state, showcasing what North Carolina Wine is all about. Got To Be NC wine glasses were provided to sample over 25 wines from 8 wineries. Want to know how to effectively taste a number of wines and appreciate them all at an event? Here is a Pro Tip to Wine Tasting provided by NC Wine Guys!

Pro Tip

Swirl – take a moment to swirl the wine in your glass to get some air into it.

Smell – stick your nose right into the glass and sniff.

Sip – take the wine into your mouth, swish it around, and see how it tastes.

Spit – this is important as you’ll be tasting about several wines. *Spit cups, dump buckets, and water were provided.

I was quite impressed by the variety of the wineries that we had the pleasure of tasting yesterday. Most have tasting rooms and winery tours on their property that I look forward to visiting! Be sure to check out their websites for more details.

Banner Elk Winery, Banner Elk, NC http://www.bannerelkwinery.com/

One of my favorites was the High Country Rosé~a dry seasonal wine that would go great with baked salmon. Their use of French-American hybrids of grapes and the elevation to which they are grown is what gives thwir wines a unique taste!

Childress Vineyards, Lexington, NC http://www.childressvineyards.com/

I just loved their Starbound Dessert Wine. This blueberry wine is fortified with Brandy and aged in Oak Barrels for at least a year. It was my first time trying it but will not be my last. It retails at $19.99 at selected Harris Teeter.

Jones von Drehle Vineyards and Winery, Thurmond, NC https://www.jonesvondrehle.com/

Their Petite Manseng wine is simply fabulous. Grown on their 85 acre vineyard, this award winning white is something to behold. If you like dry, European styled wine, then I would recommend wines from this family owned winery. As reviewed by Epicurean Magazine in Charlotte, watch my video and hear more about why red wine lovers enjoy this full bodied white!

Biltmore Wines, Asheville, NC https://www.biltmore.com/visit/village-winery

Located on the iconic 8,000 acre Biltmore Estate grounds, their Chardonnay is aged in both steel and oak barrels which gives it a distinct finish that I enjoyed. Their winery is mostly self sustainable. So much that the winery vehicles actually run on used oil from their operations instead of gas!

Raylen Vineyards, Mocksville, NC https://www.raylenvineyards.com/

No matter if you are a wine expert or novice, I find there is always something to learn from sales/marketing managers and tasting room managers of wineries. We spoke with Micah Habershaw, Assistant Tasting Room Manager of Raylen Vinyards, who gave us ideas for food pairing choices with their fruit forward wines. For example, their 2016 Petit Verdot would be great with lamb chops and grilled salmon with 2017 Rosé of Cabernet Franc.

Laurel Gray Vineyard, Hamptonville, NC https://www.laurelgray.com

I tried their Scarlet Mountain Red Table Wine, which is their best seller. If you like a red that is not too sweet and straight down the middle, this would go well with any red sauce dish you could think of!

Also in attendance was Cybress Bend Vineyards from Wagram,NC , Junius Lindsay Vineyard from Lexington,NC and Sanctuary Vineyards of Jarvisburg,NC. From the mountains to the coast, wines from every region were represented at this kickoff event. These featured wineries truly exemplify the diversity of wines found here in our great state of North Carolina.

This was the 2nd year of this event hosted by NC Wine Guys and North carolina Wine and Grape Council. What a great introduction and celebration for North Carolina Wine and Grape Month. Help spread the word about North Carolina wines and be sure to go check out these wineries and buy their wines for yourself or as a gift! Follow #NCWine and #NCWineMonth on social media for information and to join the conversation about North Carolina Wineries throughout the month of September and beyond!

Do you have a favorite NC Wine that you enjoy? I ❤ 2017 Pearl Albariño from Santuary Vineyards as it pairs well with seafood. Share in the comments below your faves!CHEERS 🥂🍇🍷

Cheers to North Carolina Wine And Grape Month – September 2018

Looking for a place to create #art while enjoying your favorite #wine? Then hurry to @WineDesignCary 🎨🍷

This past Saturday I joined some ladies at Wine & Design Cary,NC for a fun girls day out! It literally was a party with paint and a purpose. The purpose was to leave all worries behind and find the time to express yourself by creating art. No experience is necessary. You just need to be ready to release your creative juices. I would recommend this business as a fun thing to do in Cary or any of their other locations. All you have to do is sign up, show up, sip up and paint! Here’s how:

SIGN UP!

Head over to Wine & Design‘s website here: http://www.wineanddesign.com/locations/cary

Review the calendar to see the daily events. They offer a variety of paintings to choose from. We signed up for “BAE” which is a portrait of a beautiful black woman with an afro. I love big hair, so when I heard of this class, I had to be there!

Where: 🍷Wine & Design 🎨
483 James Jackson Avenue
Cary, NC 27513

The price of that class was $35 per person but will vary. How to pay & register: Online or by Phone, 919-535-8695.

SobeSavvy Tip: Use this $5 off coupon code when you book your class – WINE2018

SHOW UP!

Wine & Design stands apart from the other paint and sip studios in many ways. You can just show up during most weekdays at 11 am for their “Pop-In Paint” time. This is a time where you can feel free to paint whatever your heart desires on professional grade materials and products. Show up on the weekends for formal painting events. You can come solo, with some girlfriends or a great date night. Wine & Design is a great place to have corporate team building events and private parties. They also host kids birthday parties. No matter the reason why you chose to show up or who you show up with, be ready to have an awesome time!

SIP UP!

So what did I bring to Wine & Design? My favorite wine, friend(s), snacks, & laughter 👩🏽🍾🍇🥂🧀!! As featured on the popular show “Shark Tank”, this studio has the unique BYOB feature. Most places in the paint and party genre force patrons to purchase pre- selected wine and beer at their painting venue. Here, guests are encouraged to bring ANY wine or beer of their choice.

Come with a group where everyone brings their favorite bottle and you now have a wine tasting event amongst your neighbors! We brought snacks for our sips which included fruit, cheese, crackers, chips, hummus, veggie plates, and mini sandwiches set up on a side table and organized by our group’s party host. It was like having a painting picnic! The studio supplies, ice, cups and bottle openers if needed.

PAINT!

A lead painter (ours was Iseah Mills) guides all the guests for instructional painting of the specific portrait of the evening to take home to display proudly for their families and friends. All supplies and materials are provided: an apron, 3 paintbrushes, water, paint, paper towels, easel and canvas. I was pleasantly surprised to see the canvas was not blank but was lightly outlined with what we were going to paint. I loved the atmosphere of this studio. The pre-selected music playing had us all singing along while we sipped and painted. Faves from Maxwell, Lauren Hill, Erykah Badu, some oldie but goodies RnB were in rotation. Our instructor was very easy to follow and the flow of the class went well. No matter what was needed: more paint, extra paper towels, clean water..you name it and a staff member was there to get it for you. It was a sold out class with 3 tables and ten to each table. Although aproximately 30 ladies were painting, it did not feel cramped. Class lasted for 3 hours. A bit longer than I expected but hey….time flies when you are having fun!

My masterpiece is currently in my living room and I look forward to returning to Wine & Design Cary to paint, sip and get my art buzz on! I hope you are inspired to book a class soon and do the same because🍷+🎨= FUN! Check out more photos here of my experience at Wine & Design and see more of my experience here:

Have you ever gone to a paint and sip studio? What was your experience like?

Need #Superbowl Sips for the Big Game? Try @Beetology #CocktailRecipes + @RoyalWineCorp🍷

Recently I learned about some handcrafted juice mixers from Beetology and a berry different Sangria by Joyvin and how they would be great game day drinks to serve on Superbowl Sunday. Although that day is known for beer, assorted dips and wings, it’s always a good idea to serve cocktails, mocktails or even wine for guests who are non-beer drinkers.

Beetology blends are handcrafted from organic beets,veggies,fruits and offer versatile mixers that are good for you. Rich in antioxidents, Beetology packs vitamin C, iron, fiber, magnesium, and other nutrients essential for good health. Therefore you can enjoy the beet juice blends by themselves as mocktails or can be mixed into cool cocktails like the following refreshing recipes:

Cocktail/Mocktail Super Bowl Recipes

Beetology Zinger

3 oz. Beetology Beet + Lemon + Ginger

1.5 oz. Gin

Candied ginger and lemon peel garnish

Directions

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add Beetology and gin.

Shake until chilled, strain and garnish with a lemon peel and candied ginger.

Bourbon Beet-It

3 oz. Beetology Beet+Cherry

1.5 oz. Boondocks Bourbon

1 dash bitters

Spiced Cocktail Cherry (recipe below) or your favorite store bought maraschino cherries

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add Beetology and Boondocks Bourbon. Shake until chilled, strain and garnish with a cocktail cherry.

Cocktail Cherry Recipe

½ cup sugar

½ cup Beetology Beet + Cherry

1 stick cinnamon

¼ tsp. ground nutmeg

Pinch of salt

1 cup Boondocks Bourbon

1 pound stemmed and pitted cherries

Directions

In medium saucepan, combine sugar, Beetology, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Bring to a low simmer, stirring until sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from heat and add bourbon, and stir to combine. Add cherries and stir until coated with syrup. Let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate before serving.

Berry-Beet-a-rita

3 oz. Beetology Beet + Berry

2 oz. Silver Tequila

½ oz. lime juice

Directions

Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add Beetology, lime juice and tequila. Shake vigorously for about 20 seconds, and serve in a glass with or without salt.

Beety Bloody Mary

4 oz. Beetology Beet + Veggie

1/2 tsp. grated horseradish

2 dashes Worcestershire sauce

1 dash hot sauce (more if you want it extra spicy!)

2 oz. LVOV Vodka

Celery stalks for garnish

Directions

In a tall glass, add Beetology, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce, stir to combine. Add ice to fill the glass, LVOV vodka and stir. Garnish with celery stalk.

Tropical Beet-a-colada

4 oz. Beetology Beet + Tropical Fruit

2 oz. coconut cream

2 oz. dark rum

2 oz. coconut rum

1½ cups ice

Pineapple slice for garnish

Directions

Put the ice, Beetology, coconut cream and rums into a blender. Blend until smooth and frosty. Pour the drink into 2 glasses and garnish with pineapple slices. Makes 2 drinks.

Look for Beetology in the refrigerator section at health food, specialty, grocery, and kosher food markets in five varieties. For additional information about Beetology visit beetology.com.

Joyvin Sangria, from Royal Wine, is another Superbowl Sip to serve for guests who aren’t into mixed drinks. It’s a crisp, satisfying sangria with just a touch of fizz to go with fresh citrus and berries. Garnish with a few pieces of fruit for a refreshing, light Super Bowl beverage sure to please game time guests. You can learn more about Royal Wine on FaceBook.com/RoyalWineCorp/, and instagram.com/royalwinecorp/, and twitter.com/royalwinecorp

I hope you enjoy Superbowl Sunday and have a toast to your winning team with one of these cocktails! Thanks for reading and please leave a comment below …

Which one of the above cocktail recipes from Beetology would you try? Have you tried any Royal Wine such as Joyvin Sangria before?