Event Recap | Sip + Savor -A Wine & Food Experience @DPAC #SipandSavor #Durham

On October 15, 2017, SobeSavvy.com was invited to join other foodies and oeneophiles at DPAC for the inaugural Sip +Savor -A Wine & Food Experience. This new food and wine event brought together North Carolina’s restaurants & culinary talents and paired them with fine wines from around the world! This was also a fundraising event to benefit Keep Durham Beautiful , a nonprofit, volunteer organization working in partnership with Durham to conserve and enhance the appearance and environment of the city/county.

Admission to this event included: 

  • Souvenir Glass
  • Live Music on Stage
  • Food Sampling from North Carolina Restaurants and notable Chefs like Scott Howell of Nana’s, Michael Lee of  M Sushi, Bill smith of Crooks Corner, Eric Montagne of Standard Fords, Charlie Deal of JuJube, Brandon Sharp of Carolina Crossroads at the Carolina Inn, Aaron Benjamin of Gocciolona, Jim Wald of Glasshalfull, Tim Lyons of Blue Seafood and Kevin Callaghan of Acme …just to name a few!
  • A limited number of VIP Ticket holders enjoyed all elements of regular admission plus a private entrance/restrooms, exclusive VIP lounge where speciality spirits, rare beer and wine tastings were available to Imperial ticket holders only. 

With sample areas on all three levels guests never had to walk more than a few steps for their next delightful bite or sip of wine. Every varietal imagined was represented here by a winery. Most tables paired their food with the wine right next to it, which allowed for guests to engage with restaurants and wineries at the same time. We also had the opportunity to attend wine seminars and learn more about the wines being shared from the wine producers and Sommeliers. I really enjoyed how intimate and informative this event was! 

 

Not only was the event informative but I had so much fun meeting other food & wine lovers from the community who all enjoyed sharing stories about what was the favorite bite at this event and how wonderful our local culinary scene is here in the Triangle. We are so fortunate to live in North Carolina with its amazing Agriculture as well its own Wine Industry.

Smiling Faces at ‘Sip + Savor’ – A Wine & Food Experience

Sip + Savor – A Wine & Food Experience | Food Sampling

On-Stage at Sip + Savor – A Wine & Food Experience

Before leaving, we checked out the on-stage experience inside the actual venue which is where I ran into some friends as well as dessert samples. That was the perfect sweet ending to this fantastic foodie event! It was such a great way to spend a beautiful Sunday Afternoon in the Bull City. 
Enjoy my photo recap of this event >>here as well as my video of Sip +Savor >>here

CHEERS! 🍷

Follow @SobeSavvy on InstagramTwitter & Pinterest and let’s connect! 

Enjoy the Tastes of Summer with #wines from @wineawesomeness + #recipes with @neomega3 #avocadooil 

I love to entertain at home. The formula is simple: Good Food + Good Wine = Good Times. So when I had the chance to review 2 wines from Wineawesomeness.com and pair it with recipes using four speciality Neomega Avocado Oils , I took the opportunity to invite a couple of friends over for a tasting. 

THE INVITE~

Well what was meant to be held outside on my redecorated patio ended up being done indoors due to the rain.  I believe part of being a good hostess is always having a plan B so that not even a storm can rain on your parade!

THE MENU~

  • Roasted Shrimp and Grits appetizer with Chili Pepper Infused Avocado Oil
  • Watermelon, Arugula, and Red Onion Summer Salad with Ginger -Tumeric -Orange Infused Avocado Oil Vinagrette

Paired with 2017 LEKKER, ROSÉ Wine

  • Steak Skewers marinated with Rosemary Infused Avocado Oil
  • Roasted Garlic Potatoes made with Roasted Garlic Infused Avocado Oil

Paired with 2013 LA PINOT, PINOT NOIR

THE WINE~

If you want to experience what summer tastes like in a glass, try Lekker ROSÉ handcrafted by South African winemaker, Nico Grobler. It is the first 2017 rose on the market, making it the freshest, most easiest drinking wine possible. We all enjoyed the tanginess of this wine and how it was balanced with hints of fruit like strawberries, guava, orange, lemon,grapefruit and watermelon. No, it is not sweet but indeed refreshing and memorable! 

We also tried a Pinot Noir out of California named La Pinot, which is WA’s first ever wine collaboration! I was so excited to try it with friends and talk about our own wine notes. Some of us smelled rasberries, wood, mushrooms, caramel. We all had different thoughts and did not think it would be any of our favorites but agreed that: The best wines are the ones we drink with friends! 

Did you know the WA (wineawesomeness) journey kicked off just 4 years with the mission to make it easier than ever to explore wines from around the world? You can drink, discover and learn about wine by becoming a wine club member to receive a curated set of bottles and a customized magazine, called theblacklabel, which is filled with tasting notes, recipes and more! Be sure to follow @wineawesomeness #wineallthetime for member reviews and wine news.

THE RECIPES & Review of Neomega Avocado Oils

I was excited to learn of Neomega Avocado Oils created by Judit Beres and made right here in North Carolina! So yeah eat and support local y’all! She offers regular avocado oil as well as infused oils perfect for trying in your favorite recipes as a healthier alternative. Whether you are vegan, following the Whole 30 or Paleo diet, in search of gluten free options or just enjoy clean eating, these versatile culinary oils are something every cook and foodie needs to have in their home as a pantry essential!

Roasted Shrimp and Grits appetizer with Chili Pepper Infused Avocado Oil

Inspired by Bobby Flay’s Oven Roasted Shrimp with Toasted Garlic and Red Chile Oil  , I decided to make an appetizer version of shrimp and grits. I used japanese spoons to serve it in, making it the perfect one bite! It was simple, quick and delicious! I followed the recipe but made it my own by eliminating some ingredients like the toasted garlic chips (opted to use minced garlic instead). I replaced the olive oil and substituted it with the Avocado Oil infused with Chili Pepper. It had just the right amount of heat. Not too over powering but just enough for you to enjoy the flavors. 

Watermelon, Arugula, and Red Onion Summer Salad with Ginger -Tumeric -Orange Infused Avocado Oil Vinagrette

 Inside wineawesomness.com ‘s magazine called ‘thebacklabel’, which is included with the monthly wine club membership, are tasting notes and recipe pairing suggestions. Lekker Rose wine went well with the suggested recipe from Food52.com : Watermelon, Arugula and Pickled Onion Summer Salad. However, I decided to make a DIY salad dressing, a Ginger -Tumeric -Orange Infused Avocado Oil Vinagrette. We all thought it had a nice, light, citrusy, flavor that was perfect for the watermelon salad.

  1. Combine 1/8 cup of champagne vinegar ( can use red wine or apple cider vinegar, balsamic..your choice) 
  2. 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  3. 1 tsp of salt
  4. Slowly whisk in 1/4 cup of  Ginger Tumeric Orange Infused avocado oil  (or any of Neomega Nutritionals Avocado Oils..I bet this would be good with the Basil Infused Avocado Oil too!) 
  5. Taste, Toss and Serve with your favorite summer salad 

Steak Skewers marinated with Rosemary Infused Avocado Oil + Roasted Garlic Potatoes made with Roasted Garlic Infused Avocado Oil

You can’t have a summer gathering without kabobs right! So easy to make and enjoy without the use of utensils. I would normally marinade my meat and veggies for skewers using olive oil, but this time I used Neomega’s Rosemary Infused Avocado Oil and roasted some potatoes using the Roasted Garlic Infused Avocado Oil. So how does avocado compare to olive oil?  Per neomega ‘s website

Here are 3 main differences 1. TASTE : our avocado oil has a light neutral taste. Because of that it has a wide use of application: baking, frying, grilling, every day cooking. 2. SMOKE POINT: Extra Virgin Olive oil is 425 F . Our avocado oil is 550 F, safe for high or continuous heat. Once an oil begins to smoke and burn it creates free radicals which are harmful to your health. 3.VITAMIN E: Due to its high vitamin E content, avocado oil is a winner in this category compared to olive oil and is widely used in skin care as well.

After experiencing these flavors, we all commented on how the mild flavors would be delicious to use in so many dishes while providing us with optimal nutrition. In other words, not only did these speciality oils taste good but it is good for you too! If you’d like to get your hand on a bottle or two or four, follow on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and shop at neomega3.com. SobeSavvy Tip: Save 10% on orders $23.99 & up with code: 10OFF

THE GIVEAWAY

Whenever possible, I like to give my guests something to go home with as a ‘thank you’ for coming. This time in addition to goodie bags with wine scented candles and a wine guide, one lucky guest got to go home with a bottle of Avocado Oil infused with Chili Pepper, courtesy of Neomega! Congrats to Interior Designer/Blogger Niki McNeill for winning my #SobeSavvygiveaway ! I can not wait to see what she makes with it. 

Tell me what are your favorite wines/recipes this Summer? Have you ever tried or cooked with avocado oils? Share you experience below⤵ 

Thanks for reading ! CHEERS 🍷

Wine Tasting |Tips for Hosting & Celebrating #NationalWineDay w/ @MercerEstates @Orrmanscheese

This past Sunday, May 21, we celebrated National Chardonnay Day with friends. And since tomorrow is National Wine Day, I am dedicating today’s #WineWednesday post to sharing with you tips on How to Host a Wine Tasting at Home.

There was 5 of us ladies, with my husband serving as our private Sommelier. We had an amazing experience and learned so much about Mercer Estates Winery, who were kind to send four of their wines for editorial sampling.  I am happy to share some tips for hosting your own wine tasting at home along with my review of Mercer Estates wines. CHEERS! 🍷

How to Host a Wine Tasting

  • Keep Guest List small <6 people 

      For me, keeping the guest list small allows for a more intimate gathering where we could all have fun sharing each others wine notes. Plus, there was more wine to go around. Each guests got a pen/notepad for tasting notes, a goodie bag with a Chardonnay scented candle (both from Dollar Tree!) and a Guide to Wine which is available for free at our local Total Wine.

      • Decorations 

        I kept it simple and used wine corks (that we collect for fun) as a centerpiece, along with fun finds from the Dollar Tree and Ross. Everyone loved the chalkboard table runner I used which I purchased from World Market. It allowed me to easily label the wine /cheese.

        • Food ..well cheese mostly!

        We recently picked some strawberries at a local farm (check out this video I made of that family fun day), so I had those available along with other berries and grapes. I picked up an assortment of jams from Ross, crackers from World Market, and kept the menu light with hummus, bread, assorted nuts, and shrimp cocktail. 

        Because this was a wine and cheese party, I did not have to do much food prep. I opted to look to Orrman’s Cheese Shop, located in Lafayette Village here in Raleigh,NC and also in Charlotte,NC, where Rachel assisted in selecting some great cheeses to pair with the wines. I picked it up the day before the party and offered the following to guests:

        “Tome Chebris” ~It’s a firm cheese made from goat and sheep’s milk. It has a grassy, tangy, nutty flavor with a sweet finish and hints of olive, hazelnut and fig. This one was everyone’s fave!

        “Sofia”~This goat cheese won 1st Place, American Cheese Society 2014. I enjoyed it with the berries and crackers with preserves.

        “Florys Truckle”~ it’s a hard cheddar cheese with a dry texture and these flavor notes: buttery, caramel, fruity, grassy, nutty
        I loved the rich aroma.

        “Roquefort Gabriel Coulet”~This Roquefort is a creamy, delicious blue cheese made from raw sheep’s milk and aged in special caves in the Roquefort region of France. We put this on some bread and it was great!

        • Wine

        Mercer Estates Winery from the Horse Heaven Hills of Washington state provided SobeSavvy.com with an assortment of wines for tasting. This family owned and operated winery are eco friendly and operate sustainable farming for their vineyards.

        The four types of wine being featured at our tasting were Mercer Estates white wines: Chardonnay & Sauvignon Blanc and Mercer Canyons red wines: Red Blend and Cabernet Sauvignon. We pointed out that the red wines are in newly designed bottles and have new, expressive labels but same great wine inside! We also shared that the 2 whites we were sampling are the first white wines to hail from the Horse Heaven Hills appellation and are great spring/summer wines.  

        We had our guests take their own tasting notes after sampling each wine so they could actually take home a sort of scorecard of their own for them to use when they buy their own Mercer Wine for their homes. Eager participants always make a wine tasting even more fun. Before long folks were yelling out their notes as if we were on a game show!

        After tasting each wine, my husband read them the official tasting notes of each to see how close they were with the REAL notes. We served from white to red in the following order:

        Mercer Estates Sauvignon Blanc 2015 – Horse Heaven Hills, $12.99 SRP, 12.5% alcohol, 100% Sauvignon Blanc. This wine is bursting with aromas of grapefruit, lychee, passion fruit and boxwood.  The voluminous aromatics carry through in the mouth with flavors of gooseberry and citrus.  Capturing the fruit at its peak ripeness has resulted in a wine with both bold fruit and racy, mouth-watering acidity.  Clean, crisp, light-bodied and refreshing.   

        Mercer Estates Chardonnay 2015 – Horse Heaven Hills, $12.99 SRP, 13.9% alcohol, 100% Chardonnay.  This elegant Chardonnay opens with notes of fresh pineapples and lemon meringue pie with hints of lemon-lime zest.  Ripe orchard fruits surrounded by notes of sweet vanilla and honey flavors create a lush, juicy mouth feel.  The restrained ML fermentation has produced a wine that has bright acidity with clean fruit on the finish.  

        Mercer Canyons Red Blend 2014 – Horse Heaven Hills, $13.99 SRP, 13.9% alcohol.  Blend:  59% Merlot, 16% Syrah, 10% Grenache, 7% Sangiovese, 6% Petit Verdot, 2% Viognier. Individual vineyard lots of Merlot and Syrah were fermented separately and barrel aged in a combination of French and American oak.  The resulting wine is bursting with ripe black cherry and plum with notes of caramel, coffee and smoke.  A balance of plush fruit and powdery tannins in the mid-palate lead into a long lingering finish with notes of bing cherry and spice.
        Mercer Canyons Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 – Horse Heaven Hills, $13.99 SRP, 13.9% alcohol.  Blend:  77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 2% Viognier.   This warm vintage gave us ripe Cabernet Sauvignon with aromas of ripe black fruit with a hint of cassis.  The voluminous fruit carries through in the mouth.  Barrel aging the wine brings hints of warm baking spices and adds depth and complexity.  Powdery tannins give structure to the wine while maintaining an elegant, balanced mouth feel.  This wine shows great expression of the Horse Heaven Hills terroir.

        We all agreed that Mercer Wines were delightful and delicious as a cocktail and quite enjoyable with food. It is no wonder that Mercer Wines was awarded 2026 Washington Winery of the Year! 

        SobeSavvy Tip: Sign up for their “Carma Club” member program >> They offer case discounts and special access to twice a year releases!
        All 4 wines are available nationwide and if you would like more information, check out their website: http://www.MercerWine.com

        I hope you found some helpful hosting tips for your next wine tasting party at home as well as some new wines and cheeses to try!

        Until next time,  🍷Cheers🍷

        Win 2 Tix to @GreatGrapesFest 4/22 in #CaryNC @drinkeatrelax @BoothAmp #SobeSavvyGiveaway

        Hey Triangle Wine Lovers & Foodies..get ready to “Uncork the Fun” at the 14th Annual Celebration of Great Grapes Wine and Food Festival in Cary, NC on Saturday, April 22.
        Thanks to our friends at Drink Eat RelaxSobeSavvy.com is giving away a pair of tickets to 1 lucky winner! Winner chosen randomly. Giveaway ends 4/5/17   Enter Here>>>> http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e33baee06/

        Here are the details! 

        TICKETS
        VIP SESSION 11AM – 7PM
        VIP SESSION TICKET:$49.00 plus Tax in advance/$55.00 Plus Tax on the Day of the event
        Enjoy The VIP Area. The VIP Ticket option offers you early entrance into the event, a souvenir glass & bag and access to all the show tastings. Plus you have access to the VIP area which features specialty higher-end wine selections not available elsewhere, free water and soft drinks, and featured food tastings (served Noon – 3pm).

        DESIGNATED DRIVER TICKET – NO ALCOHOL SAMPLING
        D.D. TICKET $20.00 Plus Tax sold on the Day Of Event Only

        REGULAR SESSION 12PM-7PM
        REGULAR SESSION TICKET:$33.00 IN ADVANCE Plus Tax/$35.00 Plus Tax On the Day of Event

        Guests are welcome to bring lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the lawn. Bring the family, bring your friends and take a day to UNCORK THE FUN!

        ITEMS ALLOWED
        Lawn chairs & blankets
        Sealed Bottles of water (1 per person) cameras
        all bags are subject to seach

        For more information please visitwww.uncorkthefun.com. Please drink responsibly.

        In case you missed it..check out my photos of last year’s festival HERE ! It’s a fun event that is family friendly, so be sure not to miss! 

        Good Luck..and see you at the 14th Annual Great Grapes Wine and Food Festival! 

        #WineWednesday Tips for Making Mom’s #ValentinesDay Special From The Makers of @MomsTimeOutWine

        Sometimes, it’s hard to find a romantic moment when you’re a parent or to feel appreciated by your significant other.  So this Valentine’s Day, the makers of Mommy’s Time Out™ and Dad’s Day Off™ Wines have a few suggestions:

        Book Your Sitter Early!  Don’t wait for the last-minute to arrange a sitter if you’re planning a night out.  They’re in high demand on Valentine’s Day.  Having trouble sourcing a sitter? Set up a babysitting cooperative with other parents in your neighborhood.  Each couple/parent can volunteer one evening a month to watch the kiddies…this “no cost” option ensures you get at least one night a month to keep the romance alive!

        Stay In & Include the Kids.  If you can’t manage a night without the kids, find ways to include them.  Have them help to set a pretty table, make a special treat and create their own cards.  This is a great time to show the kids how to express their love for each member of the family, as well as to set an example of how mom and dad love and appreciate one another.

        Give Thoughtful Gifts. For busy parents, romance isn’t always about sex, so skip the negligee and give a gift they can really use! For Mom’s it might be a coupon for a foot rub or a relaxing day without the kids.  For Dad, it might be a certificate for a day on a fishing boat with friends or taking the kids out so he can watch a game without any interruptions.  Pair the gift with a bottle of Mommy’s Time Out Delicious Red or Dad’s Day Off Chianti!  I have tried their Garganega Pinot Grigio before and I love it. It is refreshing..not too sweet, not to dry~just right!  Put it in a basket along with some other favorite things and it will make the perfect personalized gift!

        Focus on Love!  Valentine’s Day is all about love, so it’s a great time to teach your children about how love is important in their lives.  The ancient Greeks had different words for different kinds of love.  You may want to research and teach their meaning.  Each can provide a wonderful lesson on love, especially when a child can relate it to people they know.

        About Our Wines:

        Selective Wine Estates, Inc. imports Mommy’s Time Out Delicious Red and Dad’s Day Off Chianti.  The wines are made from select grapes from some of the finest vineyards in Italy. Each blend is fresh, crisp, and fruity, with a wonderful berry aroma. The structure and character of these great Italian wines makes them easy to drink with or without food. Both wines are fresh, fruity and well balanced. 

        “The suggested retail price for both wines is around $10. Adults over the age of 21 should enjoy these wines responsibly.

        For more information, please visit www.mommystimeoutwine.com

        *Mommy’s Time Out is a registered trademark of Selective Wine Estates, Inc.

        #FoodieFriday Last Minute Holiday Gifts + Giveaway @gmtgiftbaskets Gourmet Gift Baskets Review

        Disclosure: I received products for review and promotional giveaway in exchange for my honest opinion
        ​It’s the holiday season. Christmas carols being sung, Celebrating Kwanzaa and Menorah’s being lit. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. No matter your faith, there is one binding force that we all love… GIFTS !! There is only one thing more rewarding and gleeful than receiving a special gift, and that is actually GIVING a unique gift to that special someone. 

        Finding that unique gift for that particular person on your list is always a challenge — especially as the clock counts down to the holidays. But given the huge selection of offerings that GourmetGiftBaskets.com and KingOfPOP.com provide for every member of the family, the office, or even the neighborhood, it makes sense to take a good look at their latest and greatest items. Hundreds of choices abound, including: 25 different cheesecake flavors, almost 100 different popcorn flavors, beer buckets, cake pops, wine suitcases, towers, upscale baskets, and more. And there are many new and updated items for the holidays and beyond!

        My husband is the King of Brunch as he loves to cook breakfast for me and our daughter. So I thought the perfect gift for my Top Chef would be the Christmas Breakfast Gift Basket . 

        This basket defies description. Imagine you wake up one cold morning with a bear’s appetite. Well this basket literally has the making of a breakfast for champions. All the items are what makes this part of our nation so special. Their website describes it as the following: “Inside a gorgeous basket, your recipient will discover delicious foods, like Maine’s juiciest blueberries, New Hampshire’s sweetest maple syrup, and Broadbent’s hickory-smoked pepper bacon, creating a lovely gift that’s guaranteed to make any morning unforgettable. ” The basket also had pancake/waffle mix and coffees, scone mix and jams. Simply incredible. Here is how it looks out the box:

        I can’t wait for Christmas morning to unwrap and make a fantabulous Christmas breakfast with my family as my little one shreds gift wrapping all around the living room ! I’ll be sure to share some Christmas Brunch pics via @SobeSavvy !

        With Christmas almost here and New Year’s around the corner, the perfect gift for anyone ready to celebrate is bubbly! 

        I received this Toasting to the New Year Gift Basket and was impressed by how quick the shipment came and how beautiful the handcrafted basket was.This basket came in a keepsake steel wired basket filled with La Marca Prosecco , gourmet crackers and cheeses and Dolcetto Chocolate Wafer Bites. This would make a great hostess gift and today I am giving one away for 1 luck winner to enjoy!

        Simply comment below and share what items you would like to receive in your dream gift basket! Winner selected at random 12/20/16 at noon. Good Luck !

        #WineWednesday spotlight on #NCWine from @DuplinWinery for #NCWineMonth ! #DuplinWine #NC

        Wine lovers rejoice ! September is NC Wine Month…a time to celebrate the state’s $1.7 billion wine and grape industry. “North Carolina is home to more than 180 wineries, and each one is as unique as the wines it offers,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “On top of that, the state has 525 grape growers from the mountains to the coast.”

        We here at SobeSavvy.com kicked off our celebration with some muscadine wine. Not just ANY wine but Duplin wine. It is the world’s largest Muscadine winery and the oldest operating winery. My first introduction to Duplin wines was when a dear friend bought over a bottle as a housewarming gift when we moved to NC over a year ago. I have been a fan of the “cool,sweet,easy” wine ever since ! 

        Duplin was established in 1975 in Rose Hill, NC and they have a fiercely
        loyal following, not only in the south but nationwide. Sweet Muscadine wine is
        what they make and that is what their customers love! Recently we had a chance to review two of their wines: Carolina Red Reserve and Sippin’Sweet Muscadine 

        Carolina Red Reserve was up first. This is what I would call a “semi
        formal” choice. The bottle itself is beautiful, so our expectations were pretty
        high. We had this one afternoon at a sit down lunch. It was lush and very
        smooth. It paired well with our seafood entree. We even used our custom Duplin
        wine glasses we received when we did the tour at their N.Myrtle Beach winery location over the summer.

        A few days later we decided to try out their Sippin’ Sweet Muscadine wine.
        It’s hand bottled exclusively at their N.Myrtle Beach location in a classic
        mason jar. A much more casual affair than the Carolina Reserve ! We had it with
        some take out and it was awesome. Light and mildly sweet . We had to slow down
        our sips which had turned into gulps! This is a the perfect choice for outdoor
        patio BBQ or a Netflix and chill night at home. Sure to be a favorite of
        everyone’s this Sippin Sweet is a bonafide winner.


        Duplin has a variety of muscadine wine choices, so there is something for
        everyone. They revel in not being a “snooty” wine. They like for folks to use
        the “PDR” method when consuming their products. Pour…Drink..Repeat !

        Duplin Winery is one of the many wineries offering a variety of special events in September, from wine tastings and grape stomps to music festivals and farm-to-table dinners. On Sept. 10  Duplin Winery is holding their annual event : Duplin Winery’s Grape Stomp in Rose Hill  I am sad to miss it but plan to make a trip out to that winery soon as I hear they have a fabulous bistro as well !

        Savvy tip: Want to have your own wine tasting at home? Get a Duplin six bottle pack at a great price here and celebrate NC Wine Month before September ends! 

        Cheers!