Fabulous Wines for Fall on WPTV & Facebook LIVE!

It’s HERE, Folks!

My FAVORITE season of the year…FALL! It’s time for cashmere sweaters, leaf peeping and pumpkin spice EVERYTHING (yes, I’m one of THOSE people) – what’s NOT to love about that!?!?

It’s also the time of year we say buh-bye to the light, refreshing whites and rosés of Summer and start embracing wines with a little more heft. Wines like Viognier, oaked Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are all excellent choices which really embody the Fall spirit. They also pair brilliantly with the delicious dishes we all love to enjoy this time of year as well like Rosemary Roasted Chicken with Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms and Lamb Ragu with Tagliatelle Pasta.


I recently had the chance to visit WPTV, our local NBC affiliate, to share some Fabulous Wines for Fall with the wonderful Roxanne Stein and John Favole (pictured above). I featured both whites and reds at a variety of price points that are sure to suit your palate AND your budget. I also did a more in depth tasting of these wines in my Facebook Live Show, Weekly Wine Picks later that day. To view both videos and learn more about these amazing wines, please scroll down and check them out below.

1.) Domaine de Triennes Viognier Sainte Fleur, Rhone, France ($18)

2.) Failla Chardonnay Sonoma Coast, Sonoma, California ($13)

3.) Chateau Saint Cosme Cotes-du Rhone, Rhone, France ($14)

4.) La Crema Fog Veil Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, California ($55)

What are YOUR favorite wines for Fall? I’d LOVE to know so please let me know in the Comments sections below.


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Fast & Fabulous: Roasted Halibut with Fennel & Dill Salad & a Delightful Rhone White Wine

If you’re looking for a beautiful, delicious and healthy dish that’s also quick and easy to make (yes, it checks ALL the boxes!), look no further! Our latest Fast & Fabulous recipe for Roasted Halibut with Fennel & Dill Salad features a simply roasted halibut fillet perfectly complemented by the bright acidity and crunch of pickled fennel salad as well... Read More

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Fourth of July Perfect Pairing: Kitchen Clambake & Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc

For those of you who haven’t decided on your Fourth of July menu, you may want to consider this exceptional, Summer-inspired Kitchen Clambake from The Barefoot Contessa. This delicious mixture of succulent lobster, shrimp, clams and hearty kielbasa has always been one of my favorite Fourth of July meals. It provides all the delightful flavors of Summer without all the... Read More

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Fourth of July Perfect Pairing: Kitchen Clambake & Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc

Summer, Fourth of July, Perfect Pairing, wine, The Glamorous Gourmet, Barefoot Contessa, Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc

For those of you who haven’t decided on your Fourth of July menu, you may want to consider this exceptional, Summer-inspired dish from The Barefoot Contessa. This delicious mixture of succulent lobster, shrimp, clams and hearty kielbasa has always been one of my favorite Fourth of July meals. It provides all the delightful flavors of Summer without all the schlepping and sand of a clambake on the beach. The flavors are also beautifully enhanced by the Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, which Ina recommends serving with it in her iconic “The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook.” The wonderful synergy between wine and dish elevates this duo to “Perfect Pairing” status!

While the ingredients can be a tad pricey, this dish compensates beautifully with its ease of preparation and quick cooking time. Once the prep work is done and the shellfish are cleaned, everything is essentially piled into one big pot and the whole thing cooks in under an hour. Also, upon the ceremonial removing of the lid, you are sure to hear some audible “oohs,” “aahs” and “oh no she didn’ts” from your guests – it definitely has a “wow” factor!

Although many people think of Châteauneuf-du-Pape as a red wine, a white wine is also produced from this region located in France’s Southern Rhone Valley. The white incarnation is a blend of some relatively obscure grape varieties including Roussanne, Grenache Blanc, Picpoul, Bourboulenc and Clairette. Despite their obscurity, the end result is quite lovely consisting of a medium-bodied white wine with a delightful minerality and aromatic fruit and floral notes. These wines walk the line between a Sauvignon Blanc and a Chardonnay which is why they pair so well with the clambake; the wine is rich enough to stand up to the lobster but has enough acidity to complement the lighter shellfish too. Some wonderful producers of Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc include Château La NertheChâteau de Beaucastel, and Château Mont-Redon.

In addition to the wine, serve the Kitchen Clambake with fresh corn on the cob slathered with butter, crusty bread and mugs of the seasoned broth the seafood has cooked in. I also like to have Old Bay Seasoning on hand which is so delicious with just about any type of shellfish. For an added touch of glamour, be sure to greet your guests with our signature Fourth of July Pomegranate Aperol Royale. I hope you enjoy this pairing and have a fabulous Fourth – God Bless America!





“Kitchen Clambake
from Ina Garten’s “The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook”
Serves 6 to 8

1 1/2 pounds kielbasa
3 cups chopped yellow onions (2 large onions)
2 cups chopped leeks, well cleaned (2 leeks, white parts only)
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 1/2 pounds small potatoes (red or white)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
2 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
2 dozen steamer clams, scrubbed
2 pounds mussels, cleaned and debearded
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, in the shell
3 (1 1/2 pound) lobsters
2 cups good dry white wine (since Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc is generally pricey, don’t feel like you need to use it in the recipe – any dry, white wine you enjoy drinking will do!)

1.) Slice the kielbasa diagonally into 1-inch thick slices. Set aside. Saute the onions and leeks in the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed 16 to 20 quart stockpot over medium heat for 15 minutes, until the onions start to brown.
2.) Layer the ingredients on top of the onions in the stockpot in this order: first the potatoes, salt, and pepper; then the kielbasa, little neck clams, steamer clams, mussels, shrimp, and lobsters. Pour in the white wine. Cover the pot tightly and cook over medium-high heat until steam just begins to escape from the lid, about 15 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and cook another 15 minutes. The clambake should be done. Test to be sure the potatoes are tender, the lobsters are cooked, and the clams and mussels are open.
3.) Remove the lobsters to a wooden board, cut them up, and crack the claws. With large slotted spoons, remove the seafood, potatoes, and sausages to a large bowl and top with the lobsters. Season the broth in the pot to taste, and ladle over the seafood, being very careful to avoid any sand in the bottom.

4 Rosés that will have you Thinking Pink this Summer!

Lilly Pulitzer Dress? Check. Nantucket red pants? Check. Great friends, music and food? Check.

What’s missing from this idyllic Summer soirée? A bottle of crisp, refreshing rosé wine of course! If your Summer celebration is minus the most important accessory of the season, The Glamorous Gourmet is here to help. Summer is the perfect time to enjoy these wines which are refreshing, flavorful and extremely food friendly. Here are four wines that will definitely have you thinking pink this Summer.

But first, a word about rosé. While rosé is considered de rigueur in the tony Summer destinations such as The Hamptons and Saint-Tropez, many wine lovers in the US are reluctant to embrace “pink wines” and are missing out on some of the season’s most stylish vinous offerings! Here’s the skinny on how to tell the good pink stuff from the uh…not so good. Provence has long been considered the birthplace of rosé and is largely the benchmark by which rosé is measured. Provençal rosés are classically light pink in color and dry in style with a refreshing, food friendly acidity. These wines differ dramatically from White Zinfandel and “blush” wines which are mass produced and loaded with sugar, resembling fruit punch more than any wine I can think of. In order to avoid contact with the latter when purchasing or ordering wine in a restaurant specify you’d like a “dry, Provençal-style rosé” which are available at a variety of price points. With so many great values out there – why settle for less?

One of my favorite producers of rosés is Chateau D’Esclans, whose wines hail from the Cotes de Provence AOC in France. This estate produces four different types of rosé which are each very different in character; for more detail on all of Chateau d’Esclans’s four offerings, please click here. One of my favorites of the four to enjoy during the Summer (it’s very hard to chose just one!) is the 2011 Chateau D’Esclans Côtes de Provence Rosé,$30, which most closely represents a classic rosé from this region. This wine is a blend of 85% Grenache and 15% Rolle from 30-80 year old vines that is partly vinified in stainless steel as well as demi muids which gives the wine its complexity and structure. This rosé is a beautiful, light pink color with aromas of red berries and spice while on the palate, the delightfully creamy mouthfeel is accompanied by flavors of strawberry, cherry and white pepper. Ah, Summer in a glass!

Due north of Provence, high up in the hills near Gigondas in France’s Rhône Valley, is a relatively new wine producer called Chêne Bleu. Named for the estate’s giant blue oak tree, the estate was purchased in 1992 by Xavier Rolet who, together with his wife Nicole, sister Benedicte Gallucci and bother-in-law Jean Louis Gallucci spent the last 10 years renovating a medieval property and restructuring 400 year old vineyards, located at 1,700 feet elevation, to create a state of the art, boutique winery that is definitely a family affair. After 15 years of renovations, 2006 marked the first vintage from the estate, with only a few wines produced from the classic Rhone grape varieties – lucky for us, rosé was one of them! The 2012 Chêne Bleu Rosé, $25, is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault with aromas of strawberry, rhubarb and a hint of lavender. On the palate, fresh red berries and a hit of citrus accompany a refreshing acidity and mild tannins.

Now, how about a delicious rosé from the USA? The 2012 Copain Tous Ensemble Rosé, $22, is made from 100% Pinot Noir from the Anderson Valley in Medocino County, California. The Anderson Valley is becoming more widely recognized for producing quality wines crafted from the Pinot Noir grape and why should rosé be any exception? Copain’s winemaker, Wells Guthrie, has long been enamored of French wines, particularly those from the Rhone Valley. After living there for a time and learning from some of the best he now creates a beautiful portfolio of wines firmly rooted in California yet with a distinct European influence. The Copain Tous Ensemble Rosé has a beautiful salmon pink color and enticing aromas of red berries, spice and a touch of minerality. On the palate, notes of strawberry, cherry and citrus zest are accompanied by a lovely, refreshing acidity and dry finish.

Hailing from California’s Central Coast is the delightful 2012 Cline Cellars Mourvèdre Rosé, $12. Mourvèdre is a relatively rare grape in California and Cline makes four different styles of wine from it, including this lovely rosé. The grapes come from Cline’s historic Oakley ranch in Contra Costa County where the century-old vines grow in the deep sandy soil and the cool winds blow off the San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers allowing the grapes to retain their bright acidity. This wine is made as a Blanc de Noir or “white of a red grape,” in the style of a white wine. The skins are removed by pressing before fermentation begins and the wine extracts a small amount of color, and a little of the tannin, from the red grape skins. On the nose, aromas of pomegranate and cherry are balanced by a delicate hint of sweet anise while on the palate, flavors of raspberry, cherry and vanilla notes are very appealing.

While rosé is perfect for sipping on its own on a hot Summer day, these wines are also incredibly food friendly. They pair well with a variety of cuisine especially grilled or smoked salmon, charcuterie or even dishes such as roasted chicken. A classic French dish that pairs particularly well with rosé is Pan Bagna, a sandwich that consists of tuna, Kalamata olives, fresh tomatoes and hard boiled eggs to name just a few ingredients. It’s much like a Salade Niçoise just served as a sandwich, please click here for the delicious recipe.

I hope you have a chance to enjoy these wines during your Summer adventures. To purchase any of the above rosés, please visit The Wine Atelier by clicking here.


Wines of the Week: the Rhône Beauties of Tablas Creek Vineyard & Château de Beaucastel!

This week’s wines were inspired by a recent dinner at Thirty Two East, a favorite restaurant of ours here in Delray Beach, which featured the wines of two producers, one Old World, one New, who are dedicated to crafting world class wines from Rhône grape varieties. These two producers also happen to be related and represent a beautiful story of friendship that culminated in the production of some truly fabulous wines!

Corn & Basil Soup with Tomato Jam Bruschetta

Our tale of two wineries begins with Château de Beaucastel, located in France’s Rhône Valley known for producing wines that represent the best of what the Southern Rhône has to offer. While the focus of the Northern Rhone is primarily single varietal wines (whites are made from Viognier and reds from Syrah) the Southern Rhône is all about blends. Up to thirteen grapes are permitted in the signature red wine of the Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf du Pape, which is comprised predominantly of Grenache. Whites from this region are generally a blend of Roussanne, Marsanne and Grenache Blanc.

The Beaucastel family has inhabited this region since the middle of the sixteenth century and was among the most notable families of the small town of Courthezon. In 1909 Pierre Tramier bought the property and Beaucastel then passed to his son-in-law, Pierre Perrin, who considerably increased the vineyard holdings. His efforts were continued by his son Jacques until 1978. Today the estate is helmed by Jean Pierre and François Perrin, sons of Jacques, but Marc, Pierre, Thomas and Matthieu, who represent the fifth generation, are ready to pursue this fabulous family history.

Fast forward to 1985 at which time the friendship between the Perrin family and Robert Haas, longtime importer and founder of Vineyard Brands, results in the creation of Tablas Creek Vineyard. Since the 1970s both families had recognized the potential of California’s climate as an ideal place for planting Rhône varietal grapes and in 1987, they began the lengthy process of creating a Châteauneuf-du-Pape style vineyard from scratch in the New World.

In 1989 they purchased a 120-acre property in the hilly Las Tablas district of west Paso Robles for its similarities to Châteauneuf du Pape: limestone soils, a favorable climate, and rugged terrain. This is also where the winery ultimately derived its name. The partners imported the traditional varietals grown on the Perrins’ celebrated estate, including Mourvèdre, Grenache Noir, Syrah, and Counoise for reds, and Roussanne, Viognier, Marsanne, and Grenache Blanc for whites. These imported vines passed a rigorous 3-year USDA testing program, were propagated and grafted in the on-site nursery, and used to plant the organic estate vineyard. This nursery of clones from Beaucastel cuttings are now used widely throughout the Paso Robles region. The estate currently has approximately 105 acres under vine and works with indigenous yeasts and favors large, neutral oak barrels and casks for aging.

Tablas Creek National Sales Manager, Darren Delmore, joined us for the dinner and guided us through the tasting of these special wines. Sampling the wines of California’s Tablas Creek and the Rhône’s Château de Beaucastel together highlighted the similarities and differences of their respective terroirs. The wines were paired with the delicious cuisine of Chef Nick Morfogen which accentuated the nuances of each wine beautifully!

Tablas Creek Vineyard, Côtes de Tablas Blanc, Paso Robles, 2010
Like most wines of the Southern Rhône, this wine is a blend of white grape varieties which in this case are comprised of 54% Viognier, 30% Grenache Blanc, 8% Roussanne and 8% Marsanne.  All the fruit for this wine is estate grown and features the floral aromatics and stone fruit of Viognier, the crisp acidity and rich mouthfeel of Grenache Blanc, and the structure and minerality of Marsanne and Roussanne. This wine is perfect as an aperitif or paired with dishes such as Moules Marinières or Fish with Fennel. Drink now. Wine Advocate, 90 points.
Price: $25

Tablas Creek Vineyard, Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc, Paso Robles, 2009
This wine a blend of three estate-grown varietals, propagated from budwood cuttings from the Château de Beaucastel estate. It is comprised of 62% Roussanne, 26% Grenache Blanc and 12% Picpoul Blanc. Roussanne provides the core richness, minerality, and flavors of honey and spice, while Grenache Blanc adds green apple and anise flavors, a lush mouthfeel and bright acids. Picpoul Blanc completes the blend, adding a saline minerality and tropical notes. Drink: 2012-2016. Wine Advocate, 91 points; Wine Spectator, 89 points.
Price: $42

Château Beaucastel, Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc, Rhone Valley, 2010
Comprised of 80% Roussanne and 20% Grenache blanc this wine is fermented in 30% new oak barrels with the remaining 70% fermented in stainless steel tanks. The wine displays beautiful notes of star fruit, acacia flower and peach which evolve into honey and tropical fruit with a hint of pie crust. The complexity is balanced by a lovely acidity and long, lingering finish. Drink over the next 4-5 years. Wine Advocate, 95 points; Wine Spectator, 93 points.
Price: $97

Tablas Creek Vineyard, Patelin de Tablas Rouge, Paso Robles, 2011
This wine a blend of four red Rhône varietals: 52% Syrah, 29% Grenache, 18% Mourvèdre and 1% Counoise from several of the top Rhône vineyards in Paso Robles. Like many red wines from the Rhône Valley, it is based on the dark fruit, mineral and spice of Syrah, with the brightness and fresh acidity of Grenache, the structure and meatiness of Mourvèdre and a small addition of Counoise for complexity. Drink: 2012-2016. Wine Advocate, 89 points.
Price: $20

Tablas Creek Vineyard, Esprit de Beaucastel Rouge, Paso Robles, 2010
This wine is a blend of four estate-grown varietals, propagated from budwood cuttings from the Château de Beaucastel estate: 45% Mourvedre, 30% Grenache, 21% Syrah and 4% Counoise. The wine is based on the dark red fruit, earth, spice and mid-palate richness of Mourvèdre, with additions of Grenache for forward fruit, approachability and lushness, Syrah for mineral, aromatics, and back-palate tannins, and Counoise for brambly spice and acidity. Drink: 2015-2025. Wine Advocate, 93-95 points.
Price: $59

Château Beaucastel, Châteauneuf du Pape Rouge, Rhône Valley, 2010
This wine is structured and intense yet lean, thanks in part to the large percentage of Mourvedre (about 30%) in the final blend. Its tannic backbone and resistance to oxidation help Beaucastel age with grace. Grenache (30%) contributes a warming sensation of ripe fruit and a velvety feeling in the mouth. Syrah at 10%, and Muscardin and Vaccarese with around 5% each, add color and spicy aromas while increasing the wines aging potential. 5% of Cinsault is added for softness and its special bouquet. The remainder is made up of small quantities of the 7 other varieties allowed in Châteauneuf du Pape. They add that extra note of graceful complexity which makes Château de Beaucastel such an extraordinary wine. Drink: 2015-2045. Wine Advocate, 95 points.
Price: $99

To purchase these fabulous wines, please call 561-317-6663. Mention this post and receive an additional 10% discount off the purchase of a case!