Event Recap | Fun Times at #GalentinesandWine @IL_Palio #GalentinesDay #ValentinesDay #IlPalioNC #winetasting #ChapelHill

What do you get when you mix Girlfriends + Wine Tasting + Valentine’s Day? You get #GalentinesandWine 💕🍷 An event I hosted and created to celebrate good wine and fun times with some amazing bloggers/influencers in the Triangle!

THE INVITE

Inspired by artwork from Deborah Cartwright, I set out to invite 4 black women bloggers/influencers whom I had the pleasure of vibing with over food and wine in the past. It gave all of us a great opportunity to connect and explore the unique, hand-selected collection of wines at Il Palio Restaurant.

THE RESTAURANT | IL PALIO

Il Palio, located inside the The Siena Hotel, was gracious to host our group and take us on a journey of their hand-selected Italian wines and paired it with some delicious small plates. Known for their warmth of service and quality of their cooking, Il Palio was the perfect choice to celebrate Galentine’s Day along with the great tradition of Italian hospitality. Annabel Butler, the new Restaurant Manager and Sommelier, did an excellent job of hosting us!

THE WELCOME COCKTAIL

Nothing says festive like a cocktail in a flute. Make it pink and you got the perfect Galentine’s drink! Lucky for us, Il Palio already had a pink cocktail on their menu, called the Pom Reader, made with Suntory Roku Gin, pomegranate liqueur, honey, lemon, prosecco. We loved this as a pink welcome cocktail prepared by their bartender Bryan!

THE WINE and FOOD Pairing

The wines picked for us were all Italian wines with all native grapes, which gave a great snapshot of Italian wines. These wines were paired with small Italian plates and were provided with tasting notes for all of the following wines:

Sparkling / Wild Card:

• Denny Bini Lambrusco, a chilled sparkling red wine from the Emilia-Romagna region [..paired with Oven Roasted Caprese Salad]

White:

• Collestefano, Verdicchio di Matelica, a nutty, high-acid white wine from the Marche region [ …paired with cheese, nuts, dried fruits]

• Fontanassa, Gavi Ca’Adua, made from the Cortese grape this full bodied white wine is similar to Chardonnay and comes from the Gavi region […paired with wood grilled octopus]

Red:

• Tasca Regaleali Rosso, Nero d’Avola, a lighter bodied red wine from Sicily grown in Volcanic Soil […paired with two types of wood grilled crostini – Olives Tapenade & Chicken Liver Mousse]

• Podero Sapaio Pappolo , a deliciously rich Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot blend [….paired with Marinated Beef Carpaccio] ❣ While everything I tried was a delicious pairing, this was my personal favorite duo of the night!

Sweet:

• Vietti Moscato a sweet wine from the Piedmont region. […paired with dessert, which was a cookie plate of the chef’s selection of house made Italian cookies]

**SobeSavvy Tip: Not sure what to get that special person in your life for Valentine’s Day? How about the gift of an exquisite Italian dinner in Chapel Hill, NC? Il Palio will have delicious options with wine pairings including their well-known Tagliatelle alla Tartufo. Get details about Valentine’s Day at Il Palio here:
https://ilpalio.com/valentines-day

❤🍽❤🍽❤🍽❤🍽❤🍽❤🍽

Also, SAVE THE DATEIl Palio at the Siena Hotel is excited to host the Podere Sapaio Wine Dinner on February 26, 2020 at 6:30pm. This special six-course dinner highlights wine originating from the territory in Italy that runs parallel to the Tuscan coast. Executive Chef Adam Rose has prepared each course to pair perfectly with winery owner Massimo Piccin’s beverage selections.Tickets are $95 per person including tax and gratuity, with reservations available by calling Il Palio at (919)-918-2545.

THANK YOUs

Me and My #GalentinesandWine ❤🍷celebration was lovely! Everyone got a Thank You gift from me as a token of my appreciation: a candle, chocolates, and a poem I wrote & framed inspired by #debracartwrightart.

To see more highlights of the event, WATCH my YOUTUBE video here:

Thank you again to my wonderful guests for joining me for this special evening and to the wonderful staff at IL PALIO! The great service, amazing food & wine and wonderful memories made with the ladies is something I will cherish always!

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Me and My #GalentinesandWine ❤🍷celebration was lovely! I hosted and created this event to celebrate some amazing black women bloggers/influencers in the Triangle! Plus, it gave us a great opportunity to connect and explore the unique, hand-selected collection of wines at Il Palio Restaurant. Special thank you to @il_palio for their great service, amazing food & wine and wonderful hospitality to host us ladies! • Everyone got a Thank You gift from me as a token of my appreciation: a candle, chocolates, and a poem I wrote & framed inspired by #debracartwrightart WATCH my instastories & SWIPE 🔙 to see highlights of the event! • Do you plan to celebrate Galentine's or Valentine's Day this year? — . . . #SobeSavvy #IlPalioNC #TheSienaHotel #WineWednesday #ItalianWines #Wineandfriends #HappyGalentinesDay #BeWine #BeMyGalentine #GirlsNightOut #GalentinesDay2020 #GalentinesDay #SobeSavvyPresents #blackgirlswine #lifestyleblogger #eventblogger #NCblogger #RaleighBlogger #SobeSavvyCelebrates #foodblogger #blkcreatives #wineandfriends #Blackwomenbloggers #hostesswiththemostess #blacklifestyleblogger #ChapelHill #Raleigh #Durham

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❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

Do you plan to celebrate Galentine’s or Valentine’s Day this year? Let me know in the comments below your plans or if you need some inspiration and other savvy ideas, I’d be happy to help! Cheers 🍷❤ 🍽

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8 Wines For Gifting And Gatherings During The Holiday Season

The holiday season is the perfect time of year to stock up on your favorite wines for gifts, holiday gatherings and cozy nights in. I keep a variety of wines at home for any occasion and I love sharing and discovering new wines. Here are 8 Wines For Gifting And Gatherings During The Holiday Season!

WINTER WHITES

Enjoying white wines in the summertime are a no-brainer but did you know there are some rich, full-bodied white wines that are bold, warming, and pair beautifully with winter dishes? There is truly a wine out there for any occasion and time of year! Here are some of the best white wines to drink in cold weather and toast to the winter season recommended from Vineyard Brands:

Four recommended white wines from the Vineyard Brands portfolio to enjoy this winter! | Photo Credit: SobeSavvy.com

From left to right:

1. Famille Perrin Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2018 (SRP $13.99)

Made by the legendary Famille Perrin, producers of Château de Beaucastel, this Côtes du Rhône is made from traditional varietals including Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne, and Viognier. The Perrin family are masters in blending, and these particular Rhône varietals offer richer tastes. Round and supple in the mouth with minerality, this wine pairs beautifully with spicy dishes.

2. Umani Ronchi Vellodoro Pecorino 2018 (SRP $16.99)

Not only does the Pecorino grape grow well in cooler setting, it also is a varietal that is perfect for drinking in cooler settings. Produced by Umani Ronchi in the Abruzzo region of eastern Italy, this wine has high aroma concentration, good alcohol content, and wonderful acidity. It’s food friendly while maintaining fullness on the palate.

3. Domaine Matrot Bourgogne Blanc 2017 (SRP $28.99)

A family-run Domaine in the heart of Burgundy in the Côte d’Or, Domaine Matrot vineyards are farmed and harvested organically. This 100% Chardonnay is fruity and round, but still with the rich taste for which Chardonnay is known. With fruit sourced near Meursault, this unoaked wine is not only an excellent value but a great representation of Burgundian Chardonnay.

4. Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas Blanc 2017 (SRP $45.00)

The Tablas Creek Vineyard Esprit de Tablas Blanc is a blend of five estate-grown varietals, propagated from budwood cuttings from the Château de Beaucastel estate. With core richness provided by Roussanne, anise flavors and a lush mouthfeel from the Grenache Blanc, and a saline minerality from the Picpoul Blanc, this blend has spicy notes and rich texture that make it ideal for cooler temperatures. Certified organic and biodynamic, this wine is a beautiful example of the heights Côtes du Rhône varietals can reach in the United States.

Here’s a tip per Vineyard Brands: When choosing a white wine to drink in cold temperatures look for a wine that is weightier on the palate to stand up against hearty dishes.

VIBRANT REDS

No matter how crazy your holiday shopping gets, here is one thing to have on your shopping gift list: a bottle of Montecucco from Tuscany! It is the ideal gift to surprise everyone, from the most curious wine geek to the longtime Italy aficionado or simply the wine lover searching for the best wine buys. Crafted with extreme care and dedication by small family-owned wineries, these hidden gems represent an undiscovered treasure, a perfect gift and holiday meal companion, thanks to their high quality and affordable price.

5. Parmoleto Montecucco Rosso DOC (SRP $20)

Montecucco, a small region nestled in the Maremma area, between the Brunello di Montalcino and Morellino di Scansano appellations, is the new star of Tuscan wine. Considered one of the best rising expressions of Sangiovese, Montecucco Rosso DOC is a blend of three grapes: 70% Sangiovese, 25% Montepulciano, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Tasting Notes about Montecucco’s wines: Their vibrant acidity, medium to full-bodied profile with hints of dark fruits, tobacco, vanilla, elegant tannins and a flavorful long finish, make them great pairings with grilled meats like veal and pork, game, black and white truffles, mushroom soup, pasta with meat sauce or Ragu’ and Pecorino cheese.

SOMETHING SWEET

In the not so far past Moscato was an obscure niche wine that was not well known. Those days are over. This grape has seen it’s popularity soar over the past 20 years. Sam’s Club private label Member’s Mark, offers a beautiful Moscato that is very accessible for all.

6. Member’s Mark Moscato D’Asti (RP $9.98)

The grapes from the Member’s Mark Moscato d’Asti are hand-harvested and grown in a combination of limestone and sandstone soils from the cool, hilly Asti region. Moscato d’Asti is fresh, fragrant, and frizzante with vibrant flavors and aromas of ripe stone fruit, tangerines and honey. The wine is concentrated and flavorful, but not overly rich or heavy; sweet, yet balanced.

Did you knowThe Moscato d’Asti appellation is located within the northwestern Italian region of Piedmont. In 1993, it earned Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) status, Italy’s highest wine classification—reserved for the country’s most classic, expressive wines.

BUBBLY CELEBRATIONS

As the year comes to an end, there is one thing that comes to mind when celebrating: Sparkling Wine. It’s so lovely sipping on bubbly anytime but especially this time of year!

7. Member’s Mark Champagne (RP $19.98)

Most people use the term “Champagne” as a generic word for any sparkling wine. Some may be surprised to know that it is actually illegal to label any product Champagne unless it comes from the French region called Champagne and it must produced under the rules of that appellation. This king of grapes does not have to always break the bank either. Sam’s Club Member’s Mark label has a Brut that is both delicious and reasonably priced. Notes of apple and pear are found in this wonderful wine. Champagne has a unique neutral taste that goes with, well almost any dish whether cheese or chicken. December 31 is National Champagne Day so make sure to raise your glass this New Year’s Eve or any eve with a flute of Member’s Mark Champagne!

8. Member’s Mark Prosecco (RP $7.98)

Often thought of as Champagne’s first cousin, Prosecco has a life all of it’s own! The grapes are from a particular region in Italy called Veneto. Prosecco is meant to be consumed young and once it is bottled, no aging necessary. Member’s Mark ASOLO-PROSECCO D.O.C. hails from the Aslo Appellation of Italy within Veneto. With low residual sugar this Prosecco is vibrant and refreshing to the palate. Having spent time in Italy, I can attest that Prosecco is the main sparkling wine of choice that native Italians enjoyed quite often and now we can too!

Quick Refresher: Sam’s Club private label Member’s Mark brand has a full fleet of highly-rated, delicious, award-winning wines at low prices..many under $10! Member’s Mark wine is currently available in 37 states, and the wines are sourced all across the globe – everywhere from California to Spain to Germany, to name a few.

Now that you have learned about these great 8 wines, which one or more are you most interested in gifting or taking to a gathering this holiday? Let me know in the comments below!

Cheers and Happy Holidays!

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EAT |Lunchtime in Tampa Bay at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants @CHWinery

LUNCHTIME in Tampa Bay at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant | SobeSavvy.com 


During our recent family visit to Tampa Bay, we worked up quite an appetite when visiting some of the top family fun attractions. While fast food for lunch can be convenient for some, we wanted quality food and after dining at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants in Orlando last year, we were happy to find a location in Tampa. Known for their upscale dining in a casual setting along with wonderful wines and food pairings, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants is a dream for food and wine lovers alike.

COCKTAILS & APPETIZERS


Select Cocktails at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants | American Mule | SobeSavvy.com


Not a wine lover? No problem. Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants has a great selection of cocktails on the menu as well as non-alcoholic beverages. The specialty cocktail that caught my eye was the American Mule made with Tito’s Vodka, lime, simple syrup, ginger beer, mint and candied ginger. Not only did I like the presentation of this cocktail, but I also enjoyed the taste!


APPETIZERS at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants |  Asian Pork Belly Tostadas | SobeSavvy.com


For appetizers, we had the award-winning Asian Pork Belly Tostadas. You get five of the most divine tostadas that combine so many amazing flavors in one bite. Sharing is caring, but these are so good you may want to order one for yourself.


KIDS MENU


Healthy and Delicious options on the Kids Menu at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant | SobeSavvy.com


While some may think this sounds like a restaurant for adults only let me assure you they are family friendly. Not only do they have a special Kids Menu, but they even have dedicated restroom for families. My kid enjoyed her chicken parmesan and pasta with a side of fresh fruit. She got her some extra cheese to sprinkle on top and was pleased! Prior to her meal arriving to the table, she enjoyed coloring and playing the brain games on the menu while having a favorite of everyone at our table: the pretzel bread. It comes out to the table warm and fresh and just seeing the picture below makes me wish I had some now!

Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurants serves warm pretzel bread and butter and it is my kid’s favorite! | SobeSavvy.com


WINE


Try exclusive wines like John Legend’s LVE wines available at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants | SobeSavvy.com


Wine lovers like myself would enjoy dining here and discovering a new favorite wine. Handcrafted Wines are what sets this restaurant apart from others. Beside each dish on the menu at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants, a wine “bin” number is listed for the suggested pairing. Order it by glass or bottle and feel free to request a taste prior to ordering. Their “no risk policy” allows you to ask for a taste before ordering a glass to challenge you to order something new. Still not sure what to order? The staff is well versed in all of their wines and before you know it you may find yourself in an extended conversation about all things wine and food!


With such a vast variety of wine, choosing one is made simple with Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants  “no risk” tasting policy | SobeSavvy.com


LUNCH


White or Red Wine, Salad or Burger..there’s something for everyone on the Lunch Menu at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants | SobeSavvy.com


After reviewing the Lunch Menu, which is available daily from 11:00 am until 3:30 pm, we decided to each get something that would pair with a white wine for me and red wine for my husband. He decided on their RoadHouse Burger and pretty much devoured it before I could get a foodie pic..lol. It came with Bourbon👏🏽Bacon👏🏽 Jam👏🏽 y’all so I can’t blame him. It also had triple cheddar cheese and caramelized onion ranch aioli. I managed to get a bite and *correction…he did snap this photo below. His burger did taste as good as it looks!

Feast your eyes on the Roadhouse Burger at Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurants | SobeSavvy.com

Feast your eyes on the Roadhouse Burger at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants | SobeSavvy.com


I ordered from the Chef Recommendations menu and got the Cilantro Lime & Crispy Shrimp Salad. Again a great choice. Plenty of salad greens dressed with fresh ingredients,  a nice portion of shrimp, and an amazing dressing. It was paired with the November wine of the month, a glass of Gewurtztraminer Savignon Blanc. If you like white wines with sweet notes, try this one. Even though it is December now, the wines of the month are available all year long.


Chef’s Recommendation Lunch Menu and Wine Pairing at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants | SobeSavvy.com 


SobeSavvy Tip:  Stop by the Artisan Market for unique wine gifts and wine to go. There is also a tasting room where you can stop in and enjoy wine only if you choose not to stay and dine. Join Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants Wine Club for exclusive membership perks that are incredible and unique. Cheers 🍷!


Handcrafted Wines, Wine Tasting in a Napa Style Tasting Room, Artisan Market, Casual Dining..enjoy it all at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants | SobeSavvy.com 


The next time you are in Tampa or any of the cities where Cooper’s Hawk  Winery & Restaurants are  **[as of 2018, there are more than 30 establishments nationwide, found in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Virginia], I hope that you are inspired to stop in for lunch with your family. The Founder & CEO said it best in his statement below as to why you should.  Thanks Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants for the Good Food, Good Wine, and Great Memories!


Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants
4110 W Boy Scout Blvd
Tampa, FL 33607
http://www.chwinery.com
Inside Look at LUNCH at Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant | SobeSavvy.com 

Inside Look at LUNCH at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant | SobeSavvy.com 



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Top 3 Restaurants To Try This Fall In NC @koan_cary @Il_Palio @DriftwoodRDU

Top 3 Restaurants To Try This Fall In NC | Cary * Chapel Hill * Raleigh

Hello November! ‘Tis the season to indulge in some good eats and treat yourself to memorable dining out experiences. I recently got to try 3 different restaurants and each one while different in cuisine share the same passion of bringing you an array of flavors on their new Fall menus. Take a look and discover where to eat in the Triangle at these TOP 3 RESTAURANTS TO TRY THIS FALL!

kō•än | Cary, NC

Photo Credit | Tabletop Media Group

🆕️ Restaurant Alert! The most exciting place for food right now is kō•än in Cary,NC, which opened November 1, 2019 with great anticipation! I got a chance to experience the restaurant and its menu at a media preview dinner and enjoyed everything from its innovative cocktails to their delicious small/large plates meant for sharing!

The new restaurant, located at 2800 Renaissance Park Pl, Cary, NC 27513, brings Executive Chef Drew Smith’s [ formerly of Raleigh’s bu•ku and so•ca, and winner of 2019’s Cooking for a Classic dining competition] vision of Southeast Asian cuisine in a zen-like atmosphere. Check out my Facebook post>>here for a look at some of the tasty menu.

For more info on kō•än, follow #koancary @koan_cary on Instagram and Twitter or visit www.koancary.com

Il Palio|Chapel Hill

Photo Credit | Tabletop Media Group

Transport your mind, body and tastebuds to Italy when you experience world-class dining at Il Palio, located in The Siena Hotel at 1505 East Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, NC. Chef Adam Rose and his team uses the best local and Italian ingredients to prepare fresh, homemade pastas like this signature Butternut Squash Ravioli! *[see here for recipe]

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It's #WorldPastaDay ..and there are so many delicious pasta-bilities on the menu at @il_palio, located in @thesienahotel in Chapel Hill, NC. Chef Adam Rose and his team uses the best local and Italian ingredients to prepare fresh, homemade pastas like this signature Butternut Squash Ravioli! Swipe 🔙 for a look at some of the amazing culinary artisanship and fantastic dishes served at Il Palio! . . . . #IlPalioNC #TheSienaHotel #ChapelHill #NC #Italiancuisine #Italiancooking #ravioli #pasta #seafood #steak #dessert #nceats #foodtalk #ncfoodfinds #chapelhillrestaurants #diningout #f52grams #SobeSavvy #soNCsavvy #foodblogger #lifestyleblogger #RaleighBlogger #NCBlogger #chapelhillblogger #foodwomenwine #foodiefriday #nomnomnom

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If you enjoy Italian cuisine along with a lovely wine selection, and amazing culinary artisanship, then you will savor the fantastic dishes served in a warm and inviting Tuscan villa atmosphere at Il Palio!

For more information, follow @thesienahotel #TheSienaHotel on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Follow @il_palio #IlPalio on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Driftwood Kitchen & Bar | Raleigh, NC

Photo Credit | Tabletop Media Group

All my lovers of chicken and waffles [….and really good comfort food] make your way to DRIFTWOOD KITCHEN AND BAR (formerly known as Driftwood Southern Kitchen), located in Lafayette Village at 8460 Honeycutt Road, Suite 112, Raleigh, NC 27615 for a taste of the 🆕️ delicious menu revamped by Chef Nunzio which also includes tacos, meatloaf with tasso ham gravy, pulled short ribs, and chicken & biscuits (made from scratch), plus great craft cocktails, like the “Black -Eyed Rye made with Sagamore Spirit Rye Whiskey.

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Are you #teamsyrup or #gravy on your #chickenandwaffles? 🤷🏽‍♀️ Well at @driftwoodraleigh you can enjoy both, now available on the 🆕️ delicious menu at Driftwood Kitchen & Bar located inside @LafayetteVillage. ———— Chef Nunzio has revamped the previous menu to include exciting new additions like chicken and waffles, tacos, meatloaf with tasso ham gravy, pulled short ribs, and chicken and biscuits. Invited #raleighinfluencers got to experience the new flavors and take a tour of the refreshed restaurant space including a brand new private room for events and parties. ———— Follow #driftwoodraleigh on my #instastories to see some highlights from the #medianight ! Swipe 🔙 to see our tasty experience at Driftwood! . . . #SobeSavvy #soNCsavvy #RaleighBlogger #lifestyleblogger #raleighfood #trianglefoodies #raleighrestaurant #lafayettevillage #visitRaleigh #Raleigheats #NCfood

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Invited Raleigh influencers got to experience the new flavors and take a tour of the refreshed restaurant space including a brand new, communal style private dining room for events and parties. The restaurant’s unique open kitchen concept and scratch made menu showcases the best ingredients from as many regional and local farmers and producers when possible. Feast your eyes on some of the highlights from our media tasting experience on my Facebook page>>here.

For more info, follow Driftwood Kitchen & Bar #DriftwoodRaleigh, @driftwoodraleigh on Instagram and Facebook

Thanks for reading! I hope this post has made you hungry and ready to make reservations. Any of these restaurants would make a great dining out date option or a place to meet friends for small bites and cocktails! Cheers!

Have you dined at any of these restaurants? If not, which one are you checking out first?

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Tips for Hosting a Happy Halloween Wine Tasting ft. Sam’s Club Member’s Mark Wines and Casillero del Diablo

This past weekend, I combined my love of wine and a good time by hosting a “Hallowine” happy hour at my home. I had a Hallowine Party before and it was such a success I decided to do it again! What exactly is “Hallowine”, you ask ? It’s a halloween themed party where wine tasting is the main event. This year I partnered with Sam’s Club Member’s Mark Wines and Casillero del Diablo.

THE INVITE–

I customized an invite via Canva and created a FaceBook invitation. Wine loving guys and gals were invited to come over to enjoy. My Halloween decor was kept fun, frightening and frugal. For example I found plastic spiders that I used for glass charms at the Dollar Tree. This way people can keep track of their wine glass all evening by their colored spider!

I also picked up some fun “Witch Don’t Kill My Vibe” napkins from Walmart. I came across a dozen plastic “Witches Brew” tumblers for $2.99 from Ross that I used to serve my guests a welcome drink. I firmly believe that a welcome drink when entering a party sets up a festive mood! This year we had Sangria from Wegmans for just $6 a bottle. Put it in a pitcher with some fruit and VOILA..Witches Brew is served!

THE WINES —

Member’s Mark Chardonnay {SRP $7.98}
Member’s Mark Pinot Noir {SRP $8.98}

Did you know…Sam’s Club private label Member’s Mark has a full fleet of highly-rated, delicious, award-winning wines at low prices… We’re talking under $10! I was very excited to be able to preview these two Sonoma Valley wines prior to their public availability at Sam’s Club starting in mid-November. I started the tasting of these wines from white to red. Everyone liked the Chardonnay but if you love Pinot Noir, this one is pretty good for just $9! Here is some additional info:

I created a cheese and charcuterie board using a variety of soft and hard cheeses, from goat cheese to brie, to cheddar and gouda, that paired well with both wines!

Member’s Mark Zinfindel {SRP $7.98}

Did you know…Member’s Mark wine is currently available in 37 states, and the wines are sourced all across the globe – everywhere from California to Spain to Germany, to name a few. There are 11 other existing wines in the line, including Champagne, Rosé, Moscato, Prosecco, Bordeaux and more. This Zinfandel wine is an intense, full-flavored Zin made in Lodi from some of the oldest vines in California. A glass gives off blackberry and black cherry aromas and jammy fruit flavors with a hint of peppercorn. Pair with your favorite meat for summer grilling. Pizza and pasta also work well with this wine. With the holidays upon us, bring this one anywhere for the perfect hostess gift!

SobeSavvy Tip: Have your guests download Vivino app before arrival to keep track of their fave wines from the evening! Already use Vivino? Let’s be friends..find our wine reviews under “SobeSavvy” on the Vivino app! Salud!🍷

Casillero del Diablo Carmenere & Casillero del Diablo Pinot Noir {SRP $12.00}

I first learned about Casillero del Diablo when the winery invited me to a special event with Head sommelier, Massimo Leonori, was there to discuss the new wines from the 2018 vintage, deemed an Extraordinary Vintage. Unfortunately I was not able to attend but thankfully able to try this brand known as the official wine of Halloween!

About Casillero del Diablo:
Born from a 140-year-old Chilean legend, Casillero del Diablo has emerged as a global powerhouse. The legend began in the late 1880s with Don Melchor de Concha y Toro, one of Chile’s most revered winemakers. Many thieves coveted his precious wines, so Don Melchor spread a rumor the Devil himself guarded his cellar. Although never confirmed nor disproved, the tale protected his prize and spawned a legend spanning generations. The cellar where those bottles rested nearly 140 years ago still stands today in Chile’s Maipo Valley, home of Casillero del Diablo’s illustrious portfolio under the Concha y Toro banner. Casillero del Diablo, twice named the #2 most powerful wine brand in the world, leads the Chilean 750ml segment in dollar sales and volume sales in the United States.1 2 Since 2009, Casillero del Diablo wines have garnered 170 Gold and Silver medals at international competitions and 19 Best Buy/Best Value designations; the wines have earned 50 scores of 90 or above in the past five years. The rugged topography of Chile’s winemaking regions reflects the country’s thirst for exploration; Casillero del Diablo is at the forefront of the world’s attention on this South American gem, sparking a uniquely Chilean sense of adventure in every glass.

The 2017-2018 season in Chile had unbeatable climatic conditions that resulted in an “Extraordinary Vintage” for Casillero del Diablo. The winemaker was able to create incredible flavors using the perfectly ripened fruit from the harvest. The varietals include a Cabernet Sauvignon,Carmenere, and Pinot Noir. Here are some tasting notes regarding the Carmenere and Pinot Noir:

Remember, these wines are not just good for Halloween but for enjoying anytime! For additional information about Casillero del Diablo and the Extraordinary Vintage, follow on @CasillerowineUS on Instagram or go to the website at http://www.casillerodeldiablo.com/en

Do you plan to enjoy some HalloWINE this Halloween? What are you doing to celebrate?

Cheers🍷and Happy Halloween 2019!

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!

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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! ❤