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.

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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