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Crafted Cocktails Bloody Mary Mixer // Perfect for Summer BBQs

With warmer temps upon us and summer around the corner, I want to introduce a healthy and all-natural cocktail option perfect for Summer Parties and BBQs. 

Crafted Cocktails, an all-natural line-up of cocktail mixers and Shrubs, uses pure agave, resulting in a low-calorie cocktail with a natural flavor profile.  Mixer flavors include Piña Colada, Margarita, Spicy Watermelon, Gimlet and Bloody Mary.  All you have to do is add your alcohol of choice or simply mix with club soda and ice to create a drink that is sure to quench your thirst and keep your body looking great on a hot summer day.

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The Bloody Mary Mixer is great. It’s hard to find gluten free pre-made Bloody Mary mix, but Crafted Cocktails has created one that delivers. This tangy blend of savory flavors is tasty! This healthy party-boosting cocktail is infused with natural flavors of tomato, horseradish, celery and Worcestershire. Bloody Mary is so incredibly versatile it pairs perfectly with ALL your favorite spirits.

Recently, Crafted Cocktails’ Bloody Mary Mixer won a Gold Medal from Tastings.com and a Silver Medal from the San Francisco International Spirit Competition, winning based on outstanding quality and taste.  If a Bloody Mary doesn’t fancy your taste buds, the Pina Colada Mixer or Strawberry Shrub is sure to be a refreshing and unique alternative.

Last weekend we made these awesome Bloody Mary’s with Crafted Cocktails Mix and everyone loved them! 

All products are made with 100% real agave, contain no preservatives and are gluten free. 

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

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#Refresh Coco Cocktail

People have been going coconuts for coconut water. And now, COCO Cocktail is bringing everyone’s favorite refreshing and electrolyte‑loaded beverage into the alcoholic beverage realm with a low‑calorie, low‑carb, ready‑to drink cocktail that is is light and refreshing.

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In 2012 Healthy Beverages, LLC Co-Founders, Franz Tudor and Todd Shull, had the vision to create a nutritious ready-to-drink alcoholic beverage. Using their knowledge of the healthcare industry, fitness and nutrition, and after experimenting with a vast array of ingredients, COCO Cocktail was born.  

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#REFRESH COCO Cocktail is a crisp, refreshing lemon lime flavored alcoholic beverage with vitamins and minerals. It is basically the adult version of sprite, but without all the sugar.

5.6% Alcohol by Volume, #REFRESH is the only alcoholic beverage to be: 

  • “A Good Source of Vitamins A, C, D, E, B1 & B6”
  • Electrolyte Charged made with 70% Coconut Water providing 177mg of Potassium
  • Gluten Free
  • Paleo Friendly
  • Made with All Natural Non-GMO Ingredients including the SuperFruits Garcinia Cambogia and Mangosteen. 

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#REFRESH can be drunk straight from the can, over ice or used as a nutritious mixer with your favorite spirit.

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While Coco Cocktail is not yet available in stores in New England, hopefully it will be boon!

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.     

 

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Mike’s Hard Lemonade “crafted to remove gluten”

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Last year, Mike’s Hard became the first, and only, malt liquor to go [almost] gluten-free. It is the first malt beverage to use “crafted to remove gluten” on its label — with permission from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), which regulates alcoholic beverages in the U.S.

How is this possible? Mike’s Hard Lemonade uses a proprietary multi-stage filtration process to develop the pure malt base that is at the heart of Mike’s crisp, clean taste. This handcrafted approach, one the company has had in place for many years, has always naturally removed gluten, along with other particles and flavors, from its malt base through filtration. What’s left is a neutral malt base that Mike’s then adds their best-in-class flavors, including natural juices, and other ingredients. This proprietary process is not used by any other fermented malt beverage in the industry.1110-1935-02_LITE_Lem_6pk_F

The multi-stage filtration process removes gluten to less than 5 parts per million (ppm) as measured by the R5 Competitive ELISA (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay) test. So, while Mike’s products are crafted to remove gluten, the company cannot say they are 100% gluten free. The TTB, which oversees gluten labeling for alcoholic beverages in the U.S., ruled that fermented products made from gluten-containing grains cannot make a gluten-free claim, but are allowed to make a claim that a product is crafted to remove gluten with a disclaimer that there may be traces of gluten as the gluten content cannot be verified. So what does this mean for celiacs, and people with gluten intolerance? Well, we all know that the severity of each case is unique to that specific individual, and I (as does Mike’s) recommend that each individual consult with his or her doctor prior to consuming mike’s products. 

There is nothing new about Mike’s—no change in formula or taste. But now it has the “crafted to remove gluten” seal. This new “Crafted to Remove Gluten” labeling designation allows Mike’s to provide consumers with more information at the shelf to make the choice that is right for their dietary needs. While there were a few beers out there for those with gluten sensitivities, there previously weren’t any options in the flavored malt beverage category. Using a proprietary filtration process, Mike’s has been crafted to remove gluten since its very first batch in 1999. The “Crafted to Remove Gluten” seal was specifically developed with permission from the TTB to communicate this status on the packaging of all of Mike’s products. 

SO now you can enjoy the great, refreshing taste of Mike’s products once again. All products, including mike’s LITE hard lemonade and Mike’s Hard Smashed Apple Ale, carry the “crafted to remove gluten” seal so you can enjoy all your favorites. 

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Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

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Domestik Adjustable Wine & Spirit Aerator Review and Mother’s Day Giveaway (promo code LUVMOM25 for 25% off!)

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The first Aerator designed for both wine and spirits – takes the place of 3 separate aerators—adjusts for the lightest of whites to the boldest of reds & a host of spirits. The 3-in-1 design eliminates the need for multiple devices, and less clutter in your kitchen. I love the fact that I have one bar accessory that does it all. And Jeremy likes that there’s less clutter :)

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Domestik’s Aerator instantly improves less expensive wines and allows quality wines to fully develop by softening and integrating tannins for enhanced flavor and aroma within minutes!

Use Promo Code LUVMOM25 to save 25% off now! 

First off, let’s start with this: “What is Aeration?” I’m sure some of you are wondering what I am talking about. Wines and spirits benefit from “breathing” to release intended flavors and aromas. An aerator simply speeds up the process, maximizing the exposure to the surrounding air allowing you to enjoy your beverage immediately.

So no more waiting or decanting. You can now enjoy smooth, rich flavor in the time it takes to fill your glass. Simply hold over your glass and pour through. It’s really that easy.

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This Aerator has six settings. If the wine or spirit is light and color and body, start with a lower— less aeration – setting, 0-3. If it is darker, bolder, or a young or inexpensive wine, try a higher— more aeration— setting, 3-6.

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 5.59.51 PMBefore you start, it’s important to always try a small taste without aeration, then choose a setting, sample, and adjust from there. There is not right or wrong, it’s really a matter of personal preference.

How does it work? Aeration begins by pouring over the unique “umbrella” creating more surface area.  After flowing through a series of holes to incorporate air, your wine or spirit is channeled through a “vortex” funnel and into your glass. Experiment to find the setting perfect for you and your beverage selection.

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Everything that I’ve poured through it tastes smoother, better blended and more expensive. Or, have you ever bought a cheap bottle of wine just to open it and not like it? Well now you don’t need to waste that unwanted wine. Simply use Domestik’s Aerator and the wine will improve instantly. I actually had a pretty low-end wine in the fridge that I just could not drink, but I hate throwing food away/wasting alcohol. I couldn’t believe the difference I tasted after using the aerator!

Aerators are not only for red wines. Aeration benefits white wine & spirits in the same way – for enhanced aroma, balanced flavors & a smooth finish. You can also use this Aerator to enjoy complex and balanced flavors in Scotch, Whiskey, Vodka, Tequila and more, with a smoother, extended finish. It’s a great way to impress your guests too. 
 
Domestik’s Aerator is the perfect gift for Mother’s Day (or any other holiday!), especially if your mom is a wine lover! The box also includes a no-drip stand and travel pouch, making it great for not only parties at home, but for travel, beach trips, BBQ’s and so much more.

So how can you get one of these? You can purchase Domestik’s Aerator online via Amazon, for yourself or as a gift, for only $29.99! And you can save 25% off with promo code LUVMOM25(valid until May 6, 2015)

And, today is someone’s lucky day! I have one Domestik’s Aerator to giveaway to one lucky reader! With Mother’s Day right around the corner, I think this would make a great gift idea! To enter the giveaway, simple click on the rafflecopter below.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will end on May 5, 2015 at 11:59pm. Open to U.S. residents only.

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review. 

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Ole Smoky – Tennessee’s first legal Moonshine

Ole Smoky’s® is Tennessee’s first legal Moonshine.

Ah… the smell of Grandma’s apple pie cooling on the windowsill.  Ole Smoky’s® Apple Pie Moonshine™ captures the same delicious combination of flavors – made with pure apple juice, ground cinnamon and other spices – blended with their homemade moonshine, an authentic recipe that has been loved for ages in Appalachia, and is now available for everyone else to enjoy!

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At 40 proof, it’s very drinkable and goes down as easy as a forkful of sweet apple pie. A significant drop in proof from the main moonshine (100 proof), makes the apple pie moonshine extremely easy to drink in fairly large quantities. But, do beware that it is stronger than you think and always be cautious when drinking alcohol. It has distinctively apple and spice aroma, a little like spiced apple cider. If you didn’t know it had alcohol in it, you wouldn’t be able to tell from smelling it. It is appley sweet to the start and then becomes more spicy with deep cinnamon and allspice flavors, similar to warm happy pie. 

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Try it with equal parts Moonshine and Ginger Ale with a lime. 

There are no gluten ingredients in the products but as always the Ole Smoky family suggests that you use your own discretion.

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review. 

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Prohibition Bakery, a boozy bakery, now offers Gluten Free Rum Drops // Lower East Side, NYC

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Prohibition Bakery, a boozy bakery located on the Lower East Side, has just started offering a gluten-free product – their alcoholic gumdrops which they call Rumdrops.

Prohibition Bakery is mostly known for their boozy cupcakes but they also offer a line of boozy gum drops, based off of cocktails, called RumDrops. Prohibition Bakery just launched the first gluten free flavor of RumDrops: Bourbon Milk Punch, made with spiced bourbon and heavy cream.

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Priced at $6 a pack this might be the cheapest and most creative way to get your drink on in New York City.

Do you remember jello shots in college? Well RumDrops are a grown up, and improved, version of the vodka-socked jello shots we used to take. You can defiantly smell and taste the Bourbon but it is not overpowering and it doesn’t taste like a shot. RumDrops are such a fun and creative way to incorporate alcohol into dessert, without resorting to the old jello shots.

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Bourbon — a form of whiskey— must be made from at least 51% corn, which is a gluten free grain. However, the rest of what goes into Bourbon generally comes from wheat, barley and rye, which are, of course, not gluten free.

Due to these products being so highly processed, they have no detectable gluten even if derived from a grain that contains gluten.

So does that mean bourbon that gluten free? It depends on whom you ask. Some people with celiac and gluten intolerance can tolerate alcoholic beverages distilled from gluten grains, and others can’t. So really, it depends on what your body can—and cannot— tolerate.

Disclaimer: I received this product free of charge to review for my blog. I was not paid for my review, and all my thoughts and opinions are my own.

Prohibition Bakery on Urbanspoon

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Gluten Free Bottomless Brunches in NYC

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One thing I’ve been looking forward to since we decided to move to NYC is Boozy Brunches. This is just not something Boston does. (But they should!)

From upscale to affordable boozy brunches, here is a list of restaurants that I put together that offer Bottomless Brunches with gluten free options. From American, French and Mexican to Mimosas, Bloody Mary, Sangria, and Margaritas, there are options for every taste.

Agave, $27.95: brunch entrée + 2 hour bottomless choice of mimosa, wine or Agave Traditional margarita. GF brunch entrees include: Three egg omelet or pan scramble, huevos rancheros, Hand Hacked Three Beef Hash , Skirt Steak & Eggs (extra $4), and Energy Breakfast
Location: 170 7th Ave, West Village

Café Cortadito, $27.95: Entree + 1.5 hour table time with your choice of tropical mimosa, red or white sangria, champagne mojitos, champagne margaritas, bloody Mary and house beer. A wide assortment of Cuban fare, GF options include: huevos rancheros, Calentado (steak), Amanecer Corralito (Sweet plantain omelette with Spanish chorizo and ham), Huevos a la Cubana, and more.
Location: 210 E. 3rd St (btw B & C), East Village

Calle Ocho, serving up distinguished, exciting Latin fare, offers unlimited sangria is included with an entree. A sangria bar is set up with eight different flavors, and patrons can fill up their cup whenever they please. Considering each entree is in the $15 – $18 range, this makes for one very affordable Sunday morning.
Location: 45 W 81st Street in the Excelsior Hotel, Upper West Side

Crema, $23.95 unlimited mimosa brunch, limited to one hour. Gluten Free options include Tacos de Carne Asada Clasica, and omelets. Unlimited Bloody Mary brunch $34.95; unlimited margarita brunch $39.95.
Location: 111 West 17th Street, Chelsea

Essex, $23.95 includes one entrée and 3 bloody Mary’s, screwdrivers or mimosa. No gluten free menu, but gluten free options include omelets, steak and eggs ($4 extra), and grilled shrimp and avocado salad and more.
Location: 120 Essex St., Lower East Side

L’asso Pizza $20 (weekends only): brunch entrée (gluten free pizza) + all-you-can-drink Bloody Mary or Mimosa (2 hour limit)
Location: 192 MOTT ST, Nolita

Poco, $28 your choice of brunch entrée and unlimited mimosas, bloody Mary, and sangria for 1.5 hours Friday-Sunday.
Location: 33 Avenue B, East Village

Rayuela, offers 2 hour bottomless sangria for $15, plus the price of your entrée. Gluten free options include eggs, buckwheat pancakes, ceviche, arepas, Spanish omelet.
Location: 165 Allen Street, Lower East Side

Southern Hospitality, Justin Timberlake’s Southern restaurant offers two hours of unlimited mimosas or bellinis for $14.95 with the purchase of any entrée. Gluten Free options include omelets, and possibility more.
Location: 645 9th Avenue, Hell’s Kitchen

Station, $40 any brunch item and unlimited sangria, Bloody Mary’s, Mimosa, House Wines and select beers. Gluten Free options include burgers, steak sandwich, lobster roll, and salads. Vegan menu also available.
Location: 166 North 7th Street & Bedford Ave, Williamsburg

Do you have a restaurant to add to this list? Leave a comment below or email me jessica.glutenfreenyc@gmail.com

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SpikedSeltzer a new “beer” has hit the market. {Gluten Free, All Natural and Low Carb}

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Last November a start up company in southern Connecticut figured out how to brew a gluten-free beer that tastes just like a seltzer water but has 6% alcohol. This new company is called SpikedSeltzer and their products are now available in Boston!

So what is SpikedSeltzer?

SpikedSeltzer is made using only purified water and a few natural ingredients. Cold-pressed citrus essence from select varieties infuse SpikedSeltzer with fresh fruit flavors.  A blend of this citrus and sugar ferments naturally to 6% alcohol.  The result is clean and clear without the sugary sweetness of wine or the heaviness of beer.

SpikedSeltzer comes in three flavors: Valencia Orange, West Indies Lime and Indian River Grapefruit.

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SpikedSeltzer is gluten free, low carb (< 5g), and all natural.

Even though it contains 6% alcohol, there is no alcohol taste. It really just tastes like seltzer water. It is so refreshing and makes for a great summertime drink.

Although technically a beer, it tastes nothing like beer. I don’t like beer, at all, so this drink is a welcome addition to the gluten free beverage market.

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A six pack retails for about $9. SpikedSeltzer is currently sold in CT, NY, FL, and MA. For retail locations nearest you, check out the store locator.

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Wine Tasting at The Boston Winery

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Snug inside a Civil War-era brick and stone building beside the landmark Venezia Restaurant, vintner Ralph Bruno has opened the doors to his new pride and joy: The Boston Winery – the only winery of its kind in New England! The winery is reminiscent of Italy and his family’s history of making great wines but with a distinct reminder that you’re in Boston.

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Photo courtesy of Emily, of Live Love Lemon

It was Ralph Bruno’s dream to share his knowledge of making superb wine and to teach others how to enjoy this experience. From his childhood in Abruzzi, Italy, where his family was known for making excellent wines, to his adulthood in the North End of Boston, Ralph Bruno has always had an appreciation of family, friends, food, and wine.

When Ralph was a teenager, he purchased a bakery in the North End, where he made delicious Italian breads and biscotti. Ralph continued to perfect his winemaking skills at every opportunity. For the past twenty years, Ralph has listened patiently to the opinions of friends and family about their love of wines and their adverse reactions to many commercial wines. Over the years, Ralph has developed a solution to the problems of commercially imported wine: Boston Winery.

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Tasting Room

Now he is sharing his remedy by teaching others to make their own! Mr. Bruno and his team of winemakers at Boston Winery are the winners of 45 prestigious awards. Their repertoire features a variety of wines, from crisp whites to bold reds. Boston Winery’s wines are all-natural with no added sulfites or preservatives. Taste the flavorful difference of exquisite wines, homemade at the hands of some of the finest Californian and European winemakers.

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Every Saturday the Boston Winery offers tours and tastings. For $10 per person you can take a tour of the winery, learn about the history of the winery and all about Mr. Bruno, owner and creator of the Boston Winery. Before or after the tour— whichever you prefer— you can sample of a flight of their distinctive wines, 23 varietals in total. Tours are scheduled hourly between 1-6pm and last approximately 20 minutes. Tastings are also available on Thursdays from 5-9pm.

The weekly tastings occasionally feature special guests and surprises.

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Private wine socials and tastings are available Tuesday through Saturday for parties of 10 or more. Gather your friends, family and colleagues and delight in wine making or host your next party here!

That’s right, I did say wine making. What is unique about the Boston Winery is that they offer several different levels of membership for you to make your very own wine, participating in each stage of the process. They assist you every step of the way, from the time the fresh, fragrant grapes arrive in the fall through to barreling and bottling your cases. Make exquisite wines in our historic location with some of the finest Californian and European winemakers to guide you. You need no experience, just an appreciation of excellence, and the desire to learn how to make superb wine while enjoying the experience with friends and family.

The staff super friendly and enthusiastic about wine. So, gather up your friends and check out the Boston Winery for a fun, casual and welcoming wine experience.


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Boston Winery on Urbanspoon

 

Disclaimer: I attend this event free of charge. I was not paid for my review. All my thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

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Wine and Chocolate: Making the Perfect Match at the Boston Wine School

Photo courtesy of the Boston Wine School
Photo courtesy of the Boston Wine School

Last Saturday night I attended a “Wine and Chocolate: Making the Perfect Match” class and dinner at the Boston Wine School in Allston, to indulge in some incredible pairings of two of my favorite guilty pleasures.

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Clockwise from top: Valrhona “Perles 55% cocao, Rhone Valley, southern France; Callebaut Milk Chocolate 49% cocoa, Belgium; Lindt bittersweet Chocolate, 49% cocao Kilchberg, Switzerland; Valrhona “gran Cru Terrior” Manjari Dark Chocolate 64% cocoa, Rhone Valley; Taza “Chocolate Mexicano-Cacao Puro” Organic Stone Ground Chocolate, 70% cocao.

If you’ve never been to the Boston Wine School, it’s a very cool space. Exposed brick walls, a giant blackboard filled with wine facts, and a small kitchen, make it an ideal place for private parties of all kinds. They make wine fun and interesting, for groups of 12 to 50 people. Here you learn about wine— what you like, what you don’t like, and how to talk about it so you can impress your friends at your next dinner party.

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We arrived a little early and mingled with other guests while enjoying a few appetizers and 90 Cellars Prosecco.

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Erica, a wine expert and wine enthusiast, taught the class. During the class we were taught the origins of the wines and chocolates— from classic European and South American chocolates to romantic wines like St. Amour— and compared the characteristics that they both share. Along the way, we were shown which chocolates best accompany a specific type of wine and vice versa.

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The class was about two hours long followed by dinner and more wine. We tasted five chocolates with five wines. From milk chocolate to 90% cocoa and Riesling to Rijoa; it was heavenly.

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2013 St. Antonius Kreuznacher Kronenberg Kabinett Riesling

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Lindt “Supreme” Dark Chocolate, 90% cocoa, Kilchberg, Switzerland and Cow’s & goat’s milk blue cheese, Valdeon, Spain

The food was delicious, a bit cold, but tasty nonetheless. They can accommodate for gluten allergies, vegetarians, and other dietary restrictions. Just make sure you mention this when you purchase your ticket and/or follow up with one of the managers so they can assure you will be all set when you arrive.

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We also learned about the 7-S method of wine tasting: see, sniff, swirl, smell, sip, swish, and spit, although I did not partake in the last one. I learned so much during this class and I feel so much more knowledgeable about wine and how to talk about wine, I will surely impress my friends next time we get together.

The Boston Wine School would be a great spot for your next private event. From wine receptions and interactive tasting classes to dinners and wine pairings, the possibilities are endless and prices start as low as $50 per person.  If you are looking for a fun and different idea for your next birthday party, an engagement party, reunion or corporate event you should defiantly check out the Boston Wine School.

They offer a variety of classes all year round from Wine Tasting for the Complete Novice, Wine Tasting Tour of French wines, to a Night In Spain class and dinner, chocolate and cheese pairings, and whiskey and beer tastings; there is something for everyone.

Do you love wine? Which class sounds most interesting to you? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Disclaimer: I received complimentary tickets to this class. I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own.