High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction Returns for 25th Edition

Raise a glass to one of Atlanta’s top social events! The High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction returns for its 25th year in March 2017.

This year’s theme is “The Big One,” and celebrates the event’s major milestone. Over its 24 years the High Museum Wine Auction has grown to be the largest charity wine auction benefiting the arts in the United States, and has raised more than $26 million for the High Museum.

High Wine AuctionFrom Wednesday, March 22nd to Saturday, March 25th there will be special lunches, dinners and seminars, leading up to the Friday Fête and Saturday’s Vintners’ Reception and Live Auction. For the second year the Friday Fête and Auction will be held inside the tents at the Green Lot at Turner Field.

Jim Clendenen and Michael Browne are this year’s special guests of honor. Jim, the owner and winemaker at Au Bon Climat, hardly needs an introduction. A High Wine Auction regular, he has been regaling guests with entertaining stories and delicious wines for years. Michael is the co-owner and winemaker at Kosta Browne Winery, which is well-known for its outstanding Pinot Noir.

A number of wineries have already confirmed their participation in the 2017 Vintners’ Reception and Auction. Click here to see the list.

Benefactor packages to the High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction are now available. Single tickets will go on sale in late January.

For more information on the High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction visit atlanta-wineauction.org.

For more information on the High Museum of Art visit www.high.org.

I’ll see you under the tents in March!

>> Connect:
Facebook: HighMuseumWine
Twitter: @HighMuseumWine
Instagram: @HighMuseumWine

White Knight wine

AG Pick: The White Knight Viognier 2014

Looking for a new white wine to enjoy? The White Knight Viognier is coming to your rescue.

Medium to full bodied with just a hint of sweetness, this is the white wine to help you transition to the cooler months. It also happens to be a great pairing with fall flavors and seasonal ingredients.

White Knight ViognierThe 2014 White Knight Viognier comes from the Clarksburg appellation in northern California, near Sacramento. The Viognier is rounded out by the addition of French Colombard (9%) and Muscat (4%). The wine was fermented and aged in stainless steel to preserve the grapes’ fresh characteristics.

The wine is very aromatic, as you would expect with Viognier. Fruity and floral aromas introduce flavors of white peach, golden apple and honeysuckle, supported with gentle acidity. It’s round and soft in the mouth, with lingering subtle sweet fruit.

Pair the wine with roasted chicken or turkey, cream-based dishes and hearty pasta or vegetable dishes.

An added bonus is that The White Knight won’t run off with your wallet. A bottle of the 2014 Viognier costs $12.

The White Knight makes exclusively white wines. In addition to the Viognier there is a Prosecco, Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc. It is produced by 3 Badge Beverage Corporation out of Sonoma, California.

Click here for more information on The White Knight wines.

13.5% alcohol

Martell Blue Swift

Martell Blue Swift Arrives in Atlanta

Cognac meets Kentucky in the latest release from Martell, the oldest and one of the best known Cognac houses. Introducing Martell Blue Swift, a VSOP Cognac finished in Kentucky bourbon casks.

Martell Blue Swift

Martell Blue Swift was unveiled at an exclusive launch party in downtown Atlanta earlier this month. After guests sipped on Martell VSOP cocktails, brand ambassador Karim Lateef pushed back a wall revealing a room dedicated to Martell Blue Swift. The celebration then kicked into high gear with a DJ, live artist painting and tastings of Blue Swift on its own and in cocktails.

Martell Blue Swift launch party

Blue Swift is a spirit that represents the partnership between France and America. Martell was the first to ship its Cognac to the United States more than 230 years ago. The name is a tribute to Martell’s swift emblem, a bird that can fly for extremely long distances, including across the Atlantic Ocean.

Martell Blue Swift

Blue Swift is an Eau de Vie de Vin. It starts with a base of high quality Cognac, the VSOP, and then spends additional time aging in Kentucky Bourbon casks. The VSOP has flavors of candied fruit and plum, while the bourbon casks impart notes of vanilla and smoky oak. Round and smooth, Martell Blue Swift can be enjoyed on its own or in cocktails. My favorite way to sip it is mixed with ginger ale.

Click here to learn more about Cognac

Martell Blue Swift is now available in Atlanta and select U.S. cities. It retails for $49.99.

For more information visit Martell’s website at martell.com/en-us/.

Salta wines

Colomé and Amalaya: Wines from Salta, Argentina

There is more to Argentina’s wine than just Mendoza. You’re missing out if you don’t venture beyond the country’s best-known region.

Today we’re focusing on Salta. This region is located in the north of Argentina and is characterized by its mountainous terrain. Here you’ll find some of the highest elevation vineyards in the world.

For a taste of Salta, try wines from Colomé and Amalaya. These wineries are located in the Calchaqui Valley, at elevations of more than 5,000 feet above sea level. The vineyards benefit from intense sun during the day and cool nights, ideal growing conditions.

Amalaya wines

The natural place to start is with Torrontes, the signature white wine grape of Argentina. This grape produces aromatic, dry wines with lovely floral notes.

Colome Torrontes & MalbecThe 2015 Colomé Torrontes is made entirely from Torrontes. The wine was fermented and aged in stainless steel to preserve its bright, fresh characteristics. This is a wonderfully fragrant wine, like taking a sniff from a bouquet of flowers. Gardenia, orange blossom and jasmine mix with slightly sweet citrus, with good acidity adding balance. $15, 13.5% alcohol

I first enjoyed Amalaya wines when I was in Buenos Aires and I’m so glad they’re available in the United States. The 2015 Amalaya Blanco is a blend of 85% Torrontes and 15% Riesling, two grapes that nicely complement each other. Just as with the Colomé Torrontes, the aim is to showcase the true nature of the grapes — controlled, cool temperatures during winemaking and stainless steel aging make the finished wine fresh and fruity.

The floral nose of the Amalaya Blanco introduces a palate of white flowers, jasmine, white grapefruit and lemon peel with a layer of minerality. Gentle acidity gives crispness, and the finish is clean with a touch of orange blossom honey. $12, 13% alcohol

Colome wines

Moving on to the reds, the 2013 Colomé Estate Malbec comes from four estate vineyards at varying elevations: La Brava Vineyard at 5,740 feet; Colomé Vineyard at 7,545 feet; El Arenal Vineyard at 8,530 feet; and Altura Maxima at the almost unbelievable elevation of 10,207 feet above sea level. The blend of Malbec grapes produces a wine that is bold yet elegant, with red and black fruit notes and firm tannins. Juicy dark red cherry and blackberry flavors are supported by an earthy backbone and a touch of black pepper and cedar. $25, 14.5% alcohol

Amalaya Blanco & MalbecThe 2015 Amalaya Malbec is a blend of 85% Malbec, 10% Tannat and 5% Syrah. The three were fermented and aged separately, and blended just before bottling. One quarter of the wine was aged in one year-old French oak barrels for 10 months.

The fruit flavors in the Amalaya Malbec come through first – raspberry, ripe red cherry, plum and a touch of blueberry. Then come the spice and earth notes, with black pepper, cigar box and violet. Though the wine has a lot going on it’s not one that you need to overthink. The Amalaya Malbec is the kind of wine you can enjoy any night of the week, no fancy meal required. $16, 13.9% alcohol

Colomé and Amalaya are part of the Hess Family Wine Estates portfolio. For more information  www.hess-family.com.

Pink Limoncello

Drink This: LiDestri Pink Limoncello

The summer of rosé has come to an end but the fall brings new ways to drink pink beyond wine.

Here’s what we’ll be sipping: Pink Limoncello.

It’s the first ever pink take on the Italian lemon liqueur. Pink Limoncello is made by LiDestri Spirits, based in Rochester, New York.

If you’ve never had limoncello before, it tastes like intensely concentrated lemonade but better, because booze. Beyond Pink Limoncello’s taste – the ideal mix of sweet citrus and a touch of tartness – the bottle is so pretty you’ll want to display it.

Sure, you can sip Pink Limoncello chilled or on the rocks  but there are so many more ways to enjoy it. It’s delicious in cocktails, and adds a nice pop of color to celebrations. Pink Limoncello is perfect for bridal and baby showers.

Here are some recipes from LiDestri to get you started:

Fizzy Pink Slipper

1 part LiDestri Pink Limoncello
3 parts Prosecco or Champagne

Serve in a champagne flute and garnish with fresh berries.

Pink Party Sangria

1 Bottle of White Wine
1 Liter of Club Soda
3 Cups Pink Lemonade
1 ½ Cups LiDestri Pink Limoncello
1 Cup Fresh Raspberries, sliced
1 Lemon, sliced
1 Tbsp. Powdered Sugar
Garnish with a Strawberry

Mix together in a large pitcher.

Sixpence Blueberry and Rye

Pink Limoncello cocktail1 oz LiDestri Pink Limoncello
4-5 blackberries
4 basil leaves
1½ oz Redemption Rye Whiskey
½ oz fresh lemon juice
2 oz blackberry soda
blackberries for garnish

It even makes a great salad dressing! Whisk together 2 oz. of LiDestri Pink Limoncello with 1/2 oz. apple cider vinegar, avocado oil and salt.

For more information on Pink Limoncello visit pinklimoncello.comClick here to see where LiDestri Pink Limoncello is sold near you.

photo credit: Jeremy Scott

Scofflaw beers

Scofflaw Brewing Co. Grand Opening Party

Atlanta’s newest craft brewery is opening its doors to the public this weekend. Introducing Scofflaw Brewing Company, which made its debut in the metro area last month.

It’s a seemingly common story for many successful breweries — owner Matt Shirah and co-founder and brewer Travis Herman left behind jobs in the corporate and pharmaceutical industries to follow their true passions. Herman attended brewing school at the University of California, and honed his skills at top craft breweries. Scofflaw is the result of two years of intense (and one would assume tasty) research and development.

Scofflaw Brewing Co. makes 11 craft beers including:

Basement IPA – A seriously juicy and tropical India Pale Ale (IPA) made with organic citra hops, this IPA was created in Grammy’s basement following an argument about the differences in west and east coast beer. At the end of the day, this is one of Scofflaw’s go-to beers.

Slim the Pale Ale – This beer is a well-balanced pale ale for people that know their limits but have crossed the line before. It’s light – but not too thin – with hints of passion fruit, pine, berry, citrus and faint floral tones (but we won’t tell anyone).

Sneaky Wheat – Slightly cloudy and creamy, this imperial American wheat has a kick that can sneak up on you. Made with coriander and orange, it presents its case with light honey and spice aromas that match the moderately sweet flavors, without focusing on a hop profile.

Westside IPA – Straight out of the brewmaster’s arsenal, this brew is full of caramel malt and hops that start with the letter C.  It presents itself as somewhat bitter with plenty of hops, but not overkill.

Tasting notes courtesy of Phase 3 Marketing and Communications.

You’ll be able to taste these beers, plus specialty batches at the Grand Opening Party on Saturday, September 17th. The converted warehouse space on Atlanta’s Westside will be open for tours and tastings from noon to 5 pm. Tastings cost $14 per person.

Sweet Auburn Barbecue and Westside Creamery food trucks will be parked on-site to pair with the brews (not included in the tasting fee).

Scofflaw has partnered with Lyft for the opening celebration. New Lyft users can receive $10 off their first two rides by using promo code SCOFFLAW. Existing users can use promo code SCOFFLAWX1 for 25% off their ride to or from the event.

Scofflaw Brewing Co. is located at 1738 MacArthur Boulevard NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30318. Visit scofflawbrewery.com for more information.

Scofflaw Brewing Co. will be open for tours and tastings on Thursday and Friday from 5 to 8 pm and Saturday from 1 to 5 pm. The $14 per person fee includes 36 oz. of beer samples and a take-home branded glass. To-go tours will also be offered at $7 for 36 oz. or $14 for 64 oz.

>> Connect:
Facebook: ScofflawBrewingCo
Instagram: @scofflawbeer

photography credit: Heidi Geldhauser

Toast to the Emmy Awards with Ferrari Brut

Forget what the stars will be wearing at the 68th annual Emmy Awards, it’s all about what the stars will be drinking!

And they’ll be drinking one of my favorites: Ferrari Brut.

The sparkling wine from the Trentodoc appellation in northern Italy is the Official Sparkling Wine of the Emmys.

Ferrari Emmy AwardFerrari Brut is your go-to sparkling wine when you want to try something beyond France. It gets its bubbles via the traditional method just like Champagne, and is made from Chardonnay (one of the three grapes allowed in Champagne).

But you don’t need to compare it to Champagne. Ferrari Brut — and the other sparkling wines produced by the Trentino winery — stands out on its own. It is always winning awards, and was just named the “World Champion Blanc de Blancs” at the Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships.

Ferrari was founded in 1902 by Giulio Ferrari (no relation to the car company, which wasn’t founded until much later). Giulio did not have children, so he entrusted the winery to Bruno Lunelli in 1952. The Lunelli family still owns and operates Ferrari today.

Ferrari suggests making your Emmy party more exciting by asking guests ahead of time to guess who will win each category. Click here for a PDF of the official ballot.

No champagne flutes? No problem! Ferrari suggests enjoying the Brut in a standard wine glass as it showcases the bubbles and aromas even more.

Tweet how you’ll be toasting with Ferrari Brut @FerrariTrento with hashtags #ToastFerrari and #Emmys.

The 68th annual Emmy Awards air live Sunday, September 18th starting at 7pm Eastern on ABC.

For more information on the sparkling wines from Ferrari visit www.ferraritrento.it.

image courtesy Ferrari

Cobb Restaurant Week 2016, September 17 – 24

Cobb Restaurant WeekMake your reservations for Cobb Restaurant Week. During the 8th annual event participating restaurants in Cobb County will be offering prix fixe menus for $15, $25 or $35 per person, plus tax and gratuity.

Cobb Restaurant Week runs from Saturday, September 17th through Saturday, September 24th.

Click here to see a list of participating restaurants and their menus.

Highball

Highball: High Museum’s New Boozy Benefit

The art of mixology will be on display next February at a new fundraiser for the High Museum of Art.

Introducing Highball, the museum’s first craft cocktail competition. On February 18, 2017, twelve of Atlanta’s top mixologists will shake, stir and serve an original cocktail, with guests getting to sample each and vote on their favorite. There will also be light bites from Sterling Spoon catering and music from DJ Teknology.

Here are the participating mixologists:

Jeff Banks, Brush Sushi Izakaya
Donna Bogatin, Sipology
Greta Buccellato, 5Church Atlanta
Blake Carter, Sweet Auburn BBQ
David Chapman, Kimball House
Bobby Dudley, The S.O.S. Tiki Bar
Joseph Haywood, Bar Margot (Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta)
Brent Hesse, 1KEPT
Carmaleita Lyght, Lyght House Cocktails
Jose Pereiro, Drift Fish House & Oyster Bar
Corey Phillips, Bellina Alimentari
Trip Sandifer, The Painted Pin (Buckhead)
Jessica Smith, Urban Tree Cidery
Ryan Smith, Reboot Retrocade & Bar
Jonathan Turner, Grain Spirits + Food
Ben Yabrow, Himitsu

At the event there will be a “People’s Choice” winner, decided by the guests, and a “Critic’s Choice” decided by a local expert based on appearance, taste, complexity, balance and originality. In addition to bragging rights, the winning mixologist will receive a cash prize.

Single tickets to Highball are $100 for museum members and $125 for not-yet members. Benefactor packages start at $500. All proceeds will benefit the High Museum of Art. The event is 21 and up.

Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Highball is an aperitif to the museum’s main fundraiser (and one of my favorite events), the 25th annual High Museum Wine Auction, to be held March 22 to 25, 2017.

Highball at the High Museum of Art, Saturday, February 18, 2017.
General admission at 7:30pm, benefactor preview hour at 6:30pm.

Margaretta Taylor Lobby, Wieland Pavilion, 1280 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, 30309. www.high.org

image courtesy High Museum of Art

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