The Smashed Grape: Wine/Liquor Seminar # 2

10 Jul

Happy Friday everyone! Today I’m sharing a wonderful event that we attended this past Wednesday evening. It was The Smashed Grape‘s second wine and liquor seminar. We weren’t sure we were going to be able to make it but our softball game was cancelled and boy were we glad we were able to attend!

Ready to go!

Ready to go!

The first presentation and tasting was done by Lelaneia Dubay, the owner and creator of Hartford Flavor Company. She makes a variety of liqueurs, all of which are gluten and GMO free with no artificial flavors. She started out making these liqueurs as Christmas gifts and her friends and family enjoyed them so much, she decided to launch the business this past April and her product is already in 95 establishments!

We tried five different flavors; cucumber, rose, lavender, birch, and chai. The cucumber was excellent and very refreshing. The rose was probably my least favorite but I generally can’t stand anything that has a flowery flavor, although it received rave reviews from many of the other attendees. The lavender was also not a favorite of mine but for the same reason and again, most of the others loved it. The birch was very good and she also let us taste that one mixed with bourbon and it was amazing. The chai was probably my favorite as it had a strong cinnamon flavor and I could definitely see myself sipping it. I absolutely loved her story and charisma and she told us she is probably going to launch a cranberry flavor soon, which I am very excited to try!

All gone!

All gone!

The next gentlemen was from a large distributor called Brescome Barton. I did not catch his name but he gave a great presentation as well and we were able to taste quite a variety of items.

We first tried a beer which provided a nice variety from the sweet liqueurs we had been tasting. It was the Ommegang Cooperstown Ale, which drew me in immediately based on the baseball-related name. It was a very light, summery ale and I could definitely enjoy it at a baseball game.

He provided very generous pours as well!

He provided very generous pours as well!

Next, we tried the Dreaming Tree Everyday White, which is actually singer Dave Matthew’s wine! It is a white wine blend of four different grapes and I found it to be very balanced but it was a little dry which was a pleasant surprise because I tend to find that a lot of white blends are very sweet.

The food was brought out at this point and we definitely needed some sustenance after all of that booze! As usual, The Spicy Green Bean outdid themselves with some caprese skewers, chicken salad served on cucumbers (my favorite!), sliders, bacon wrapped asparagus, and shrimp crostini. I have yet to find something that they have made that I didn’t adore and it is also great that they are located right across the street from us!

Anything wrapped in bacon is amazing in my opinion

Anything wrapped in bacon is amazing in my opinion

These were my favorite!

These were my favorite!

The next wine we tried was my overall favorite and of course it included bubbles! It was the Ruffino Prosecco which was so easy to drink and had such a delicious fruity flavor of apples and peaches. The gentleman providing the presentation advised us to not spend more than $15 on a bottle of bubbles and to go with Prosecco whenever possible as it is usually much cheaper than champagne.

Bubbles are the best!

Bubbles are the best!

Last but not least we tasted the Ravenswood Vinters Blend Zinfandel. I was loving the fact that they included two blends in this tasting as I find them to be so unique. This was a surprise as it was very fruity but not at all like what I expect when I drink a zinfandel. It had a wonderful raspberry flavor and he told us that it is very popular which I totally understand. It had a long finish and would definitely pair well with steak and potatoes or really any kind of meat.

This event was so much fun and I truly love the owners/staff of both The Smashed Grape and The Spicy Green Bean. They already have two events lined up in August and September and we are already looking forward to those!

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