Category Archives: Champagne

Day 21 Gifts – Cocktail Time with Eastern Standard Kitchen and St-Germain

The gift ideas for Day 21 take us to one of my favorite places in Boston, Eastern Standard Kitchen in Kenmore Square. Just steps away from Fenway Park, it’s a great place to go before or after the game (or anytime, really!) Jackson Cannon, Bar Manager & Mixologist extraordinnaire, was my guest on Episode 28, and was so interesting & fun to speak with. A great gift would be a gift card to Eastern Standard Kitchen or their new sister restaurant, Island Creek Oyster Bar, which is right next door. The menu pays tribute to classic European and New England favorites, such as Veal Schnitzel, Beef Wellington and Mussels & Frites as well as a fantastic raw bar. Jackson has a great cocktail program going on in both places, as well as a fabulous reserve beer program at ICOB.

You can check them out at 

www.easternstandardboston.com

www.islandcreekoysterbar.com

I discovered St-Germain about two years ago, and still love it every time I taste it…especially the St-Germain Cocktail and Sangria Flora. I was so exited to have Founder & President of The Cooper Spirits Company, Rob Cooper, as my guest on Episode 30. The cocktail enthusaist in your life would love a bottle of St-Germain, or if you can find it, a St-Germain Carafe Set.

St-Germain is a beautifully crafted, French elderflower liqueur made from 100% fresh elderflowers from the foothills of the Alps. Only available in limited quantities, each bottle of St-Germain is numbered and marked with the vintage year reflecting the year in which the flowers were harvested. It can be enjoyed straight over ice but is ideal in cocktails as well as mixed with white or sparkling wine. The limited edition sets include a bottle of St-Germain, a Glass Carafe and Stirrer and a Cocktail Recipe Book.

Find out more at  www.stgermain.fr

Cheers,

Catherine

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Day 20 Gifts – L’Espalier & Jordan Vineyard

Day 20 takes us to one of my favorite Boston restaurants, L’Espalier…I was so happy to have Sommelier Kate Moore (a fellow BC grad) as a guest on Episode 24. L’Espalier is in the heart of the Back Bay, adjacent to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Under Chef, Proprietor, Author and now Farmer Frank McClelland’s stewardship, L’Espalier has consistently been rated at the top of national and local best restaurant lists (Zagat, Boston Magazine, Frommer’s Travel Guide, Wine Spectator, among them), serving sophisticated and modern New England-French cuisine, with an emphasis on artisanal and New England ingredients.

A great gift would be a gift card to L’Espalier (prices vary), so that the giftee can go to lunch, dinner or to one of Kate’s “Top Shelf” Cocktail classes…add to that a copy of Chef  McClelland’s “Wine Mondays”, which features 130 recipes organized into four-course pairing menus by season, with accompanying wine notes and suggestions. All of the recipes come from the popular Wine Mondays program at L’Espalier—a weekly event created to make food and wine pairing accessible, fun, and affordable. ($24.95)

www.lespalier.com

To that, add a gift set of wine from Jordan Vineyards. I’ve long been a Jordan fan, and was thrilled to have CEO John Jordan as my guest on Episode 26. Since their inaugural 1976 vintage, Jordan wines have been renowned for their consistency and elegance. Tucked into the hills in Alexander Valley, just north of Healdsburg in Sonoma County, they are dedicated to winemaking, hospitality and the joys of the table.

A beautiful wooden box set of the 2008 Jordan Chardonnay & 2006 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon would delight any wine lover on your list ($90). Include a beautiful Riedel Vinum Engraved Chardonnay ($24) or Bordeaux ($29) wine glass, so they can enjoy their gift in style.

Find out more at www.jordanwinery.com

Cheers,

Catherine

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Day 18 Gifts – A Thirsty Girl and The Godfather

Day 18 finds us back in the wonderful world of wine. Leslie Sbrocco, founder of the multimedia company, Thirsty Girl, was my guest on Episode 22. I’ve been a fan of hers since seeing her at last year’s Boston Wine Expo, watching her on “The Today Show” and finally meeting her in person at the Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival in September. She was so much fun to talk to…I can’t wait for her to come back to Boston for next month’s Expo! She is an award-winning wine expert, and has two fantastic books that would be a great gift for the wine lovers on your list. “Wine For Women” and “The Simple and Savvy Wine Guide” are loaded with great tips and information about choosing, tasting and exploring wine.

“Wine for Women” includes shopping guides with hundreds of recommended wines, quick ideas for wine-friendly meals, and creative tips for sharing wine with family and friends. It’s organized into easy-to-manage sections, appeals to all levels of wine lovers. Leslie makes her enormous knowledge of wine entertaining enough for the serious wine lover and accessible enough so any novice can feel like an expert.

The “Simple and Savy Wine Guide” is packed with all kinds of glance-and-go lists for everything from what wine to drink with Thai take-out, to wines perfect for drinking in a bubble bath. Leslie also offers up an entire section based on her popular concept of wine makeovers, in which she takes an expensive wine and offers a similar tasting, less expensive version.

Each book is available for less than $10 (list prices $14.95 & $19.95) on Amazon.com.

Find out more at www.thirstygirl.com

To the books, add a few bottles of Ravenswood Wine. It was a thrill (and a lot of fun!) to speak with founding Winemaker Joel Peterson, “The Godfather of Zinfandel”, who was my guest on Episode 27.  His legendary career, in which he helped to put California Zinfandel back on the map, is being recognized with a well deserved induction into the Culinary Institute of America’s “Vintners Hall of Fame” in February.

Splurge on that special someone with a bottle of 2007 Ravenswood Icon, a Bordeau Red blend of  36% Carignane, 27% Petite Sirah, 25% Zinfandel, 12% Mixed Blacks. It has supple, delicious intensity and weight in the long, flavorful finish. Built for the ages, this wine has classic Sonoma mixed black flavors. There is nothing else like it in the world…only 1,000 cases were produced ($75.00/bottle)

Or, buy a few bottles of the 2008 Ravenswood Lodi Zinfandel. Ripe, rich and flavorful, Lodi fruit from this vintage was very nice, with the big blueberry quality that is one of the hallmarks of Zinfandel from that region. With the addition of 23% Petite Sirah, the wine is soft, round and full. Very pleasing to drink by itself and with food. ($15.00/bottle)

Go to www.ravenswoodwinery.com for more info.

Cheers!

Catherine

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Day 15 – Fabulous Wine Festivals by Chef Daniel Bruce

A fun and fabulous gift idea for that person on your list who has everything would be tickets to an amazing wine dinner or tasting, no matter which part of the country they’re in. Chef Daniel Bruce, who was our guest on Episode 26 has lots of options for you to choose from.

As the founder of the internationally renowned Boston Wine Festival, the nation’s longest running food and wine pairing series, Chef Bruce lines up dozens of the top winemakers and producers over a four month time span. Due to the success of the BWF, he has also launched similar festivals in the French Quarter, Washington DC and Berkeley CA.

Some of the many events to choose from (prices vary) are Baron Phillipe de Rothschild, Cliff Lede Vineyards, Plump Jack & Cade Winery, Meritage Madness and Super Tuscans…you can find out more at

www.bostonwinefestival.net

www.frenchquarterwinefestival.com

www.capitalwinefestival.com

www.berkeleywinefestival.com

You could also give a gift card to Chef Bruce’s award winning restuarant, Meritage at the Boston Harbor Hotel, where he pairs more than 200 dishes each year with outstanding wines from around the world. Large and small plates are offered for each item on the menu, and matched with complementary wine flavors. Meritage has a 12,000-plus bottle wine collection which boasts over 850 different varieties.

www.meritagetherestaurant.com

Why not buy tickets for yourself while you’re at it…you’ve been good!

Cheers,

Catherine

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Day 11 of Our “25 Days of Holiday Gifts” – Domaine Carneros

Day 11 of our Holiday Gift Ideas takes us to Domaine Carneros…CEO/Founding Winemaker Eileen Crane, known as “Napa’s Most Powerful Woman’, was my guest on Episode 8.

The Domaine Carneros château is a landmark of the Carneros region. Completed in 1989, the classic 18th century château-style building was architecturally inspired by the historic Taittinger-owned Château de la Marquetterie in Champagne. Domaine Carneros has built a reputation on sparkling wines, in particular their Brut Vintage and luxury cuvée Le Rêve Blanc de Blancs, and they also make amazing Pinot Noir.

A great gift idea would be their Celebrated Mix Trio – a bottle each of Vintage Brut, Vintage Brut Rosé and Avant-Garde Pinot Noir packaged in a beautiful wooden box ($99).

To this, add a pair of Riedel Flutes etched with the Domaine Carneros logo ($19.90), a box of their Pinot Noir filled Chocolates ($8) and a bottle of their Pinot Noir Chocolate Sauce ($18.95).

You can find out more at www.domainecarneros.com

You will make someone very happy!

Cheers,

Catherine

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Day 6 of our “25 Days of Holiday Gift Ideas” – Food Network

Day 6 is devoted to my Food Network guests – as my listeners & friends know, I am addicted to FN and was so excited to have 2 Food Network VIP’s on my show…

It was an honor and a thrill to have Olympic Gold Medalist Brian Boitano, host of Food Network’s “What Would Brian Boitano Make?” on Episode 16.  Brian has some really fun “What Would Brian Boitano Do?” merchandise on his website – t-shirts, hats, mousepads, etc. More importantly, all proceeds from sales within this store go to charities such as Brian’s Youth Skate Program. Prices vary.

You can order at www.brianboitano.com

To that, how about adding a copy of “The South Beach Wine & Food Festival Cookbook” by our guest on Episode 17, Lee Schrager. Lee is the creator of both the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival (which has raised more than $10 million for the Florida International University School of Hospitality) and the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival (which benefits the Food Bank For New York City and Share Our Strength). If you really want to be a hero, add a few tickets to the 2011 FN South Beach Wine & Food Festival, which takes place February 24th-27th.

The cookbook is available for $23.10 on Amazon (list price $35) – check it out at www.amazon.com or tickets on www.sobefest.com (prices vary).

Cheers,

Catherine

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Day 5 of our “25 Days of Holiday Gift Ideas” – Boston Wine & Dine

Day 5 is about Boston and some of the great guests we’ve had from my hometown…

First up is a gift card or a gift basket from The Urban Grape, a fantastic new wine shop in Chestnut Hill that is co-owned by TJ Douglas, our guest on Episode 9, and his wife Hadley. The Urban Grape is featuring several gorgeous gift baskets made by Table & Tulip – this one is a pair of Hudson “Baby Bourbon” and “Four Grain” Bourbon bottles nestled in a lush mood moss accented with succulents in your choice of silver metallic box or reclaimed wood box. Check it out at

www.theurbangrape.com

To that, how about adding a gift card to Russell House Tavern, one of the hottest restaurants just over the Charles River in Cambridge? Executive Chef Michael Scelfo and Bar Manager Aaron Butler were also guests on Episode 9.  The Russell House Tavern is a New American Tavern serving seasonally-inspired, classic dishes from New England, specializing in artisanal fare served alongside carefully hand-crafted cocktails and a distinctive collection of all-American wines and craft beers.

www.russellhousecambridge.com

Sound like perfect gifts to me…

Cheers!

Catherine

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