Jessica Altieri

Wine Lifestyle Expert

WINE CHANNEL TV AND FORMENTO’S LAUNCH SIPS OF SUMMER WINE SERIES

Jessica AltieriComment

Chicago’s Fulton Market District Takes Center Stage for

Summer Wine Events with Wine Channel TV and Formento’s

CHICAGO, IL (June 12, 2017) — Wine Channel TV and Formento’s are giving Chicago area wine drinkers a reason to celebrate with the launch of Sips of Summer wine events in the dynamic Fulton Market District of Chicago. The series of 6 themed wine events from June through September, kicks off on June 29, 2017 featuring a “Tastes of Sicily” theme.

“This is such an exciting time for wine and food enthusiasts here in Chicago, and around the world,” said Jessica Altieri, CEO-Certified Sommelier, Wine Channel TV. “We are creating a fun and interactive evening with fantastic bites from Formento’s and bringing to life some of the world’s great wine brands.”

“Formento’s is very excited to partner with Wine Channel TV, and to host this unique program throughout the summer,” said Todd Stein, Executive Chef of Formento’s. “We look forward to supporting wine and lifestyle brands and bringing in enthusiasts from Chicago and beyond!”

These 2 hour “live experience” events will feature a wine tasting led by Jessica Altieri, a signature food pairing by Chef Todd Stein, bites from Formento’s and beverages by the sponsor wine brand, interaction with lifestyle brands, Facebook Live streaming with special guests and a raffle.

Formento’s and Wine Channel TV will continue to announce the upcoming themes, dates and sponsors for the remaining Sips of Summer events in the coming weeks.

About Formento’s

Located in the Fulton Market District in Chicago’s bustling West Loop, Formento’s is a true Italian restaurant focused on hospitality. Created as a nod to the co-owner’s grandmother, guests will enjoy traditional Italian family recipes, alongside modern Italian-American favorites. Formento’s menu highlights cherished cuisine in an elevated dining establishment. In addition, Formento’s features a comprehensive wine and beverage program. The wine program is a beautifully curated list, predominantly highlighting wines from Italian regions. Formento’s also features the West Loop’s largest private dining space for a variety of events.

About Wine Channel TV: Founded by award winning CEO – Certified Sommelier, Jessica Altieri, Wine Channel TV ( www.winechanneltv.tv ) and Wine Channel TV Media(www.wctvmedia.com) is the leading digital video network in the wine lifestyle and entertainment market, educating and entertaining millennial and tech savvy wine enthusiasts around the world.

Online link to the press release for Sips of Summer is here: 

http://www.wineindustryadvisor.com/2017/06/12/wine-channel-tv-formentos-sips-summer

5 Great Ways to Sip and Shop In Chicago This Summer

Jessica AltieriComment

What goes better than sipping a glass of wine and shopping? Chicago offers a lot for visitors and residents who enjoy the finer things in life. Summer is here, and you will find many fun activities to enjoy in Chicago. Take a look at these top 5 picks for sipping wine and shopping.

1. Chicago Botanic Garden Art Festival

Browse a selection of over 90 artist’s works over the 385 acres. This festival boasts a variety of local food options to choose from. It is a celebration of art and nature that focuses on a botanical motif. It is an annual event that has a lot going on.

2. Pitchfork Music Festival

The Pitchfork Music Festival happens in Union Park. Enjoy live music, shop vendors, and participate in all of the fun. There are plenty of eating and drinking options to choose from. This year, the Pitchfork Music Festival will occur between July 14- July 16.

3. Taste of Chicago

Taste of Chicago is the world’s largest food festival and it takes place every year. Along with a variety of foods from all over the world, there is music and activities for everyone. Taste of Chicago has happened every year since 1980 at Chicago’s beautiful Grant Park.

4. Friday Art Markets

The Friday Art Markets take place in Daley Plaza. Drink wine from one of the many restaurants and walk through displays of local art and vendors. It’s located in the Loop in Downtown Chicago. It’s a busy area with a famous sculpture named “Picasso,” and with more than 500,000 people visiting it every day.

5. Renegade Craft Fair’s Chicago Pop-Up

Enjoy food and wine from local vendors. A huge selection of handmade goods such as clothes, cosmetics, jewelry, and art make this a fun destination for shopping and wine in Chicago. Renegade Craft Fair is the world’s largest curated showcase for art and design.

Why Wine Tastes Better With Jazz

Jessica AltieriComment

Ramsey Lewis has recorded over 80 albums and has received seven gold records and three Grammy Awards so far in his career. His perfect pairing includes his award winning wife, Jan Lewis, who has designed custom jewelry for the Oscars.  His inspiration for music and passion for life, comes in many forms, but usually includes a glass of wine while relaxing at home.  His secret sauce for success; “really, really, love what you do”.

Besides winning 3 Grammys, and carrying the Olympic torch, it’s safe to say Ramsey Lewis enjoys life. What’s his recipe for life and success? What wine is he sipping these days? Who’s behind the inspiration of his legendary album, “Sun Goddess”? Grab a bottle and start searching the internet. Or watch this video…..

Stay tuned to Wine Channel TV for more “sips of summer”!

How To Sip White Wine In Chicago

Jessica AltieriComment

It's not a night out in Chicago without a taste of one of these local elixirs. The wine selection in this town is impeccable, but these particular pours are worth a special celebration.

Try a bottle (or two, or three) of these angelic whites for your next indulgent night out.

1. Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar: Michel Gahier "Les Crets" Chardonnay (Arbois, Jura, France)

That's right. This knockout bottle spent the past decade primping and polishing for your tasting pleasure.

2. D.O.C. Wine Bar: King Estate Pinos Gris (Willamette Valley, Oregon)

From the luscious forests of western Oregon comes this juicy favorite.

3. Vera Restaurant & Wine Bar: Pierre Bonnet Val De Loire Chenin Blanc (Saumur, France)

Crisp, refreshing, and perfect for pairing with your favorite vegetable dish. 

4. Bin 36: Weinkellerei H. Lun "Albertus Cantina Vini" Gewurztraminer (Sudtirol-Alto Adige, Italy)

Come and savor one of the most poignant flavors you'll ever experience.

5. Ampersand Wine Bar: Fernlands Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough, New Zealand)

Got a taste for island life? Known for its impeccable Sauvignon Blancs, this region of New Zealand is a hidden treasure for winos everywhere.

6. Enolo Wine Cafe: Nautilas, Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand)

Another gem from the Southern Hemisphere, this Sauv. Blanc is a people-pleaser.

7. DiSotto Enoteca: Nuevo Mundo Sauvignon Blanc (Maipo Valley, Chile)

Chilean wines are the unsung heroes of vino and this delicacy from Maipo Valley never disappoints.

8. Boarding House: Balthasar Ress Riesling (Rheingau, Germany)

A Riesling is a Riesling is a Riesling. If you're looking for a sweet escape with a little kick to it, this one is for you.

9. J9 Wine Bar: Chateau Montelena Chardonnay (Napa Valley, California)

Of course, it's not a white wine list without a splendid Chardonnay. Ordering without a menu never tasted so good.

10. 404 Wine Bar: Biohof Pratsch Grüner Veltliner (Austria)

Truly, this Grüner Veltliner is a mouthful to say and to sip.

Inside Sip with Joe Harden Winemaker Robert Mondavi Winery

Jessica AltieriComment
mondavi video 1 featured pic.jpg

Join Wine Channel TV host Jessica Altieri for a featured segment with Robert Mondavi winemaker Joe Harden at Formento’s in Chicago.

In this segment, we learn about Robert Mondavi’s vision back in the 1960’s and how he coined the term, Fumé Blanc. Jessica and Joe talk about the wine and wonderful pairing options for summer or time any time of year.

2015 Robert Mondavi Winery 2015 Fumé Blanc Tasting Notes:

“As with Robert Mondavi’s very first vintage of this innovative style of sauvignon blanc, our 2015 Fumé Blanc adds rich layers of fruit to sauvignon blanc’s mouthwatering freshness. Lemon crème, vine-ripened white peach, and guava are joined by a subtle yet intriguing hint of ginger on a creamy wave of flavor. 96 % Sauvignon Blanc, 4 % Semillon”. (from Robert Mondavi)

Stay tuned for more segments featuring Robert Mondavi winemaker Joe Harden on Wine Channel TV.

Visit Robert Mondavi Winery

Visit Formento’s Chicago

Piven Theatre Workshop 45th Anniversary Gala – Wine Sponsors

Jessica AltieriComment

Jessica Altieri, CEO and Founder of Wine Channel TV, curated the wine program for Chicago’s high-end VIP charity event, Once Upon a Stage – Piven Theatre Workshop Gala 2017, honoring Joyce Piven. Over 18 wines from around the world were featured for the 350+ VIP guests in attendance.

Enjoy this brief overview of the wine sponsors’ brands who generously supported our recent Piven Gala Event:

Bodegas Borsao Syrah Spanish in origin, this wine features flavors of dark berries, dried plums, with notes of espresso coffee, pepper and black olives. Its rich and full body complements roast leg of lamb, venison steak and souvlaki.

Bodegas Borsao -Tres Picos Grenache Another favorite, it boasts a very intense cherry red color with tones of purple and offers a great concentration of aromas of ripe red fruit with floral nuances. This well-structured, rich wine evokes hints of blackberry and plum and tones of leather and vanilla.

Bodegas Borsao – Rose A clear, bright raspberry-tinged wine produced from the best Garnacha grapes. Fruity, enchanting aromas evoke flavors of banana strawberry custard, macadamia cookie, and spiced cherries with a soft, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body. A very attractive rose for everyday enjoyment best paired with fish or turkey.

Concrete – Cabernet Sauvignon This cab is lush and firm in the style of the vintage made with 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Blackberry jam, currants and cassis notes are well-balanced with firm tannins. The big and bold entry from Lodi, California is the perfect accompaniment to a juicy steak or pasta bolognese.

Donnafugata – Lighea The first thing you notice about this Sicilian entry is its striking straw yellow color with green undertones. It offers a rich and fragrant bouquet with classic notes of orange blossom combined with scents of saturn peaches and Mediterranean scrub which can even hold up to fried fish.

Cantine San Marzano – Tramari Rosé di Primitivo Salento A fresh and elegant wine, it is softly rosé-colored, yet intense at the same time with cherry and raspberry notes. Originating from Puglia, Italy (“the heel” of the Italian boot), it is best served with Italian-style starters like antipasti or slightly-aged cheeses.

Cantine San Marzano – Sessantanni Primitivo di Manduria Intense ruby-red color, wide and complex to the nose, fruity, with a prune and cherry jam aroma, with notes of tobacco, even slightly spicy. Look for the notes of cocoa, vanilla and coffee at the end. Try this one with savory first courses or alone for your evening meditation.

Gloria Ferrer – Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Blanc Its lively acidity comes from using only Chardonnay, hence “the white of whites” reference in its name. Aromas of crisp green apple and Asian pear come through with just a hint of toasty brioche. The finish features hints of creme brulee. Yum!

Laurent-Perrier – Champagne Laurent-Perrier Brut NV It features a pale, golden hue and tiny effervescent bubbles. A delicate yet complex nose, fresh and well-balanced with hints of citrus and white fruits. It is a perfect aperitif drink, and it paired most suitably with fish, poultry and pork.

Lenz Moser – Grüner Veltliner Get ready for summer with this entry! Fresh and friendly green pear notes. This crisp grüner pairs well with a variety of foods.

Masottina – Extra Dry, Prosecco di Conegliano A fresh green apple nose and palate offering a lovely balance between sweet and refreshing. The fruit undertones in this wine include a hint of pear and lemon zest. Best when served with pork dishes.

Masottina – Le Rive di Ogliano Millesimato Extra Dry, Prosecco di Conegliano Another striking straw-yellow entry with suggestions of hay, mint, pear and fruit stone notes backed by eucalyptus (surprise!) on the nose. Be prepared for a peppery palate with a clean, well-structured attack yet short-lived finish. This friendly wine pairs well with soft goat cheeses.

Opolo Vineyards – Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles A rich, full choice with a ruby color. One taster notes “flavors of beeswax candle, vanilla nougat, and berry pie crust with a silky, bright, fruity medium body and an engaging finish with notes of mocha cream and spiced berries with firm tannins.” Very versatile; try it with meat or vegetarian dishes.

Opolo Vineyards – Albariño Edna Valley An extremely well-balanced and well-integrated wine. Classic Albariño taste aromas of honeysuckle, tangerine, and grapefruit. Creaminess and depth pair well with crisp acidity in this popular entry.

Opolo Vineyards – Viognier Central Coast California This Viognier possesses notes of mango, peach, and orange blossom with a hint of rose. Barrel aging in French Oak results in this complex, fragrant wine with a toasty finish. A great alternative to Chardonnay.

Raymond Vineyards – 40th Anniversary Napa Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Forty never looked better on this release, right down to its elegant, velvet label making the anniversary of the first vintage made by the winery. The special wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauv, Petite Verdot, Petite Sirah and Malbec. The grapes were sourced from Raymond’s certified organic and Biodynamic® vineyards in Rutherford and St. Helena, California.

Robert Mondavi Winery Maestro Red Blend Napa Valley A dark, deeply-colored Bordeaux with Merlot leading the orchestra. Juicy plum and cassis fruit notes play effortlessly with violet, cinnamon, and unsweetened cocoa in sumptuous sips full of vibrant flavor. The red blend of Cab Sauv, Cab Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot varietals ends with a crescendo of peppery spice.

Vivanco Viura -Tempranillo Blanco-Maturana Blanca Rioja The first wine in Rioja, and in the whole world, to be made with this unique blend. Using traditional Viura as the base and main variety (50%), the wine includes, for the first time, two grapes which are exclusive to Rioja: Tempranillo Blanco and Maturana Blanca. It features a fruity, intense aroma of bananas, citrus fruit and tropical fruit with underlying floral notes.

Top 5 Ultimate Chicago Hotel Wine Bars

Jessica AltieriComment

Go For The Wine: 5 Chicago Hotels Worth Visiting For Their World-Class Wine Bars

 

We know that Chicago is blessed with a solid and still burgeoning wine scene, but how is the wine situation at some of the city’s favorite hotels, you ask? For tourists and locals alike, there is an impressive collection of wine bars and lounges connected to just as lovely hotels and make for a memorable night out, lunch, dinner or happy hour. The exotic atmosphere of sitting in a luxe lounge, sipping on a sassy new Shiraz that you’ve discovered, and being surrounded by an interesting international crowd is something that’s hard to beat and hard to find elsewhere. We’ve rounded up five hits below that should definitely be up top on your to-sip list.

The Peninsula Chicago

Two worthy wine watering holes can be found inside the lavish definition of luxury, The Peninsula Chicago. Pierrot Gourmet is the true blue wine bar (and bistro) of the two, where a Parisian-esque outdoor area blends beautifully with their bright, friendly interior made of light wood. Sample seasonal, festive fair paired with complimenting European wines and flights, to the sounds of traditional music for special occasions. Later, mosey into another one of their drinking establishments,The Bar, for a more lounge-like vibe with their darker lighting and cozy armchairs to relax in.

Virgin Hotel Chicago

Two Zero Three is a casual spot adjacent to Virgin Hotels’ Chicago property in the Loop, where you can find a creative approach to wine drinking at this coffee and wine bar combo. Listen to old records spin and grab a book from their collection, as you nibble on cheese or other light fare with your Moscato...the perfect scene. If you get sleepy part way through your wine date, try one of their clever coffee concoctions to perk you back up. One thing to make note of is, as it’s also a coffee shop, their 7pm closing time - you’ll just have to get started drinking earlier in the day, in this case!

Cambria Hotel & Suites Chicago Magnificent Mile

52Eighty Rooftop Lounge at Cambria Hotel & Suites has a lot going for it, starting with of course its prime location boasting rooftop views while you taste the latest trendy wine to sweep the city off its feet. Sit inside or out and get the vistas either way, without having to worry about what kind of weather the predictably Windy City has cooked up. Enjoy fine charcuterie joined with an equally fine wine from their long yet carefully curated list, and to continue on the wine trail the hotel itself regularly hosts international wine events; it even has an on-site wine shop.

Kimpton Hotel Monaco Chicago

Right next to the hotel, South Water Kitchen is technically a full-service restaurant, but their wine list is also full enough to satisfy even the most stuffy of wine aficionados. Supporting mainly American west coast wineries, they cover all types while bringing these same flavors gracefully into their food offerings. Try the vegetarian-friendly zucchini with white wine garlic sauce, or alternatively, the Midwestern star walleye with red wine veal demi. Their moody, dark wood-finished interior with simple mosaic-adorned floor is comfortable and inviting, coaxing you to stay for hours savoring the homey goodness.

Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile

Another winner along the truly Magnificent Mile comes at Sofitel’s Le Bar, where their massive windows and roaring fireplace are only the beginning of the classy, comfy outing you’ll have here. Cutting-edge fiber optic lighting is sure to wow you and any company you bring, so suggest this for a future outing and get mega style points. Champagne is in abundance on the menu, and you can nibble on wine-centric tapas to exquisitely complement the bubbly, including generous servings of fresh bread, cured meats and selected cheeses. Don’t miss the chance to try many options at once in their tempting combination of wine flight and cheese flight together.

Join Jessica Altieri, Chicago Wine Tasting Expert and CEO of Wine Channel TV for the Summer of Sips on Wine Channel TV

10 Great Chicago Wine Bars

Jessica AltieriComment

Wine Channel TV and host Jessica Altieri present 10 GREAT CHICAGO WINE BARS for your sipping pleasure here in the Windy City. And yes there are many more to visit, but these 10 are a great start to getting your Chicago Wine Bar tour going for 1017 

The Chicago wine scene has gained some serious street credit recently due to the explosion of wine bars showing up in every corner of the city, so if you're in the area and looking for a great atmosphere in which to enjoy a glass of your favorite vino, take a look at 10 of the best wine bars in the Chicago area.  

Webster's Wine BarOne of the most acclaimed wine bars in Chicago, Webster's Wine Bar is a great stomping ground for wine newbies and seasoned connoisseurs alike. Listed by The Wall Street Journal as "one of the 5 best wine bars in the country", Webster's boasts a massive wine list of over 500 labels, and offers delicious small plates for any peckish patrons.

The Lunatic, The Lover, and The PoetLocated inside of an old hardware store, this rustic-chic spot has three levels to explore, including a main floor eatery and wine bar, a lounge, and a basement wine room. 

VeraIf you find yourself with a strong appetite while on your search for the perfect wine bar, stop by Vera and experience their Spanish influenced dining menu. Located just under the train tracks in the West Loop Neighborhood, the atmosphere is intimate and inviting, and Vera boasts a hearty selection of wine and spirits.

Rootstock Wine & Beer BarFounded by three former Webster Wine Bar employees in the Humboldt Park area, Rootstock has a wine list to end all other wine lists. If the offerings prove to be too overwhelming for you to choose from, they also offer wine flights to allow you to sample several wines at once.

Bar PastoralBar Pastoral, a spin off of the artisan cheese and wine shop, Pastoral, is an intimate and relaxed neighborhood bistro celebrating local and global wine, meat, and cheese offerings. 

AppellationLike Bar Pastoral, Appellation is another wine bar and restaurant branching off from the wine and cheese shop, Pastoral. Specializing in modern American fare and delicious wines, the menu is simple and satisfying, and the atmosphere is rustic-chic and approachable.

AmpersandOffering a warm atmosphere and delicious desserts, small plates, and comfort foods, Ampersand is a great spot to visit for fantastic happy hour specials. Ampersand also offers a monthly wine subscription club that includes bottles of their favorite wines, private dinners to preview new menus, and private after-hours tastings. 

J9 Wine BarTouted as "an upscale neighborhood wine bar" with a relaxed atmosphere, J9 is truly the place for neighbors and friends to casually mingle and partake in global wines, cocktails, and small plates while enjoying each other's company. 

EnoEno is a delightfully cozy and inviting take on the conventional wine tasting room, and the staff is incredibly passionate about what they do, insisting that they are "committed to your education in wine, cheese, and chocolate". Be sure to try one of their blind wine flights to test your wine knowledge and even find some new favorites to add to your wine rack at home.

The Twisted VineInitially started as a wine and gift retailer called The Gourmet Grape, The Twisted Vine is a wine and whiskey bar with a super laid back atmosphere. They offer very light snacks, but encourage guests to bring along their own food to enjoy on the premises as well. This bar is a great place to socialize with friends, and they provide a whole host of board games to challenge friends and strangers alike.

 

#MalbecWorldDay 2017 is Here!

Jessica AltieriComment

Malbec World Day is held on April 17 of each year as a salute to president Domingo Faustino Sarmiento of Argentina, who declared it his mission to transform the Argentinian wine industry on this day. The year was 1853, and Sarmiento asked French soil expert Michel Aime Pouget to bring over some new wines – one of them was Malbec.

Malbec subsequently flourished in Argentina until 1956, when a freeze destroyed most Malbec vineyards. Over the years since, more than 10,000 acres of Malbec have been planted. Now, Argentinian Malbec is back as strong as ever.

Among these Malbecs is Zolo Malbec, an award-winning wine designed by winemakers Fabian Valenzuela and Jean Claude Berrouet.

Zolo is made with grapes only from the Mendoza River Valley’s first zone. According to Zolo President and CEO Patricia Ortiz, these grapes are known for their exceptional fruitiness. Crafted using sustainable methods, the wines spend 8 months in oak and include fresh red fruits and ripe tannins.

Zolo has become known as one of Argentina’s most high-tech wineries, and it’s been around since 2004. The estate-grown brand is committed to creating high craft wines with “aromatic complexity”.

 

Recently, Wine Channel TV and host Jessica Altieri sat down with Patricia Ortiz in an interview in which Zolo was specifically on the table. Since 2003, she has worked to further instill elegance and identity into her brand, and she’s excited to promote this special brand.

This Malbec World Day,  #malbecworldday,  you can enjoy a variety of Malbecs available around the world. No matter where you are, you can celebrate the heritage of rich Malbec! You might even find a Zolo near you.

What You Need To Know About This Shining Pale Hued Brut Rosé

Jessica AltieriComment

2008 Gloria Ferrer Brut Rosé

Spring means the holidays are over, but who says you can’t find a reason to celebrate every single weekend with some great bubbly? When I say great I mean put on your high heels and dance great. This Brut Rosé won best of class in the Los Angeles International Wine Competition. So only your classiest heels will do!

Snapshot

Spanish winegrowing traditions abound at the Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards in Sonoma, California. I would grab my overnight bag, lasso a few BFFs and head to their 335-acre estate for any springtime occasion. Why not get a head start on your tan, a quick introduction to sparkling-wine making, a peek at their vast caves, and then treat yourselves to one of the many bubblies they produce? These are wines of “earth and opulence.”

If you can’t spring a trip to sunny California, plunk down $45.00 for this shining pale salmon-hued Brut Rosé, to compliment brunch, a girls’ night out, or just lounging with friends in silk PJs.

Great Eats

A match made in heaven with fresh fruit, bright seafood dishes, oysters, grilled salmon and mussels. Or just simply sip it on its own on your front porch till the sun comes up.

The Unforgettable Kiss

Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards launched in 1986, the first sparkling wine house in California’s Sonoma Carneros region. They’ve amassed 125+ awards and medals over the years, so I was eager to taste their bubblies. Ferrer knows how to set the scene. The view from their patio is to die for, sun drenching the cascading hills and vineyards.

I can really only describe that afternoon as a flight of sparkling wines. And the 2008 Brut Rosé simply flew me to the moon. Filled with delicious strawberry and rose petal aromas, hints of toasty vanilla, cherry and raspberry notes on the palate, and a crisp finish with just the right amount of effervescence. With every sip, I loosened my jewelry, kicked off my shoes, and breathed in the elegance.

That elegance comes from one tough-as-nails year when Ferrer’s Vineyards had record frost damage, high heat and wind, followed by June drought. Stress produced this gold medal winner.

So I raise my gorgeous glass of Brut Rosé to all of you. Cheers! Salud! Santé! Drink up! Whatever tough seasons may come your way, it is just life kissing your glass.

 

How To Describe Your Perfect Chardonnay

Jessica AltieriComment

Creamy and buttery to steely and crisp,  there is a Chardonnay for everyone! That’s the blessing of the Chardonnay grape: it’s so neutral, winemakers and their soils can bend it like Gumby. Or Pokey. Chardonnay is one flexible wine.

Snapshot

Diversity. Versatility. Here in the U.S., we defend and protect those traits. Well, the New World Chardonnays grown on U.S. soils defend and protect them, too. U.S. Chards are NOT like those grown throughout the world. There’s more to a great Chard than just big, bold and buttery. Put crisp white Burgundy on your divine-wine radar!

Great Eats

There’s Chard (wine) and chard (leafy green). And actually, when the greens are lightly sautéed in garlic, the two go well together. What food to pair with your Chard depends on the particular style of the wine. But you can’t go wrong serving creamy pastas, roasted chicken or fresh fish.

The Unforgettable Kiss

I have two great Chardonnay memories. The first came from a live-streamed interview with Master of Wine Michael Brackovich. As host of New Zealand Wine Day, I’m used to wine bigwigs talking the talk. But when I praised his stellar Chardonnay, Michael— with an international audience watching—leaned right in to the camera to promote the International Screwcap Initiative he helped launch Down Under. The screwcaps vs. corks debate riles up all wine lovers. It’s a saucy debate. That day Brackovich proclaimed, “the future is screw caps.” And you surely cannot fault his award-winning wines!

My second eye-opening memory came at a Landmark Vineyards wine dinner, where I got to create my own “blend” and play winemaker for a day. A few weeks later, when I received my very own Chardonnay blend in the mail, that not so noble wine shouted to the rafters, you are NOT a winemaker!

Fave Sips

A Little History Lesson

Almost everyone on the planet has heard of Chardonnay, in fact it is so popular that some people even name their children after it.

Chardonnay is commonly ordered as a type of wine from bars and restaurants but it is in fact the name of the most popular and possibly the most versatile grape in the world.

Almost all white Burgundy from Bourgogne Blanc to Chablis is made from 100% chardonnay grapes. The Chardonnay grape is also the mainstay in many types of champagne and is now even being used in Spain to make Cava.

The Chardonnay grape is so popular because it is easy to grow – that is probably why it is championed by so many grape producers. It can also be crafted into many different types of wines. Perhaps it is also so popular because it has little indigenous character of its own and instead displays the characteristics of the soil and climate where it is grown. Chardonnay has a propensity for acid and glycerine which is responsible for giving it a velvety texture – this is what is important in this type of grape. It is this texture which makes it so versatile when it comes to producing wine. It can be crafted into fresh lemony unoaked wine or aged in barrels to produce wine for a much richer palate. It is often seen as a cheap wine that is not worth trying but remember these grapes are used in top quality Chablis and Champagne, so don’t dismiss this grape and wine out of hand.

Chardonnay now comes in a host of different styles – gone are the days when all the bottles were heavily oaked, there is a chardonnay suitable for every palate and pocket and because of the versatility of the grape from almost every wine producing country in the world.

So which are the types of Chardonnay to look out for? What do they taste like? Here are a couple of generalisations to get you on your way. Of course the best way to find out which one is your favourite is to get your glass out and start tasting your way around a few of the bottles!

France produces a ream of different Chardonnays. For pure unoaked Chardonnay look for a Chablis labelled unoaked. This is great with fish as it is delicate and unobtrusive. For a clean flavoured wine with a subtle fruit aroma look to the Meursault and Montrachet regions

California produces wines that work well with grilled seasoned foods. The Napa valley produces great oaky fruity wines which are ideal for outdoor eating and drinking. For an even fruitier riper flavour try something from the Santa Barbara region, these highly flavoured wines will even taste great with grilled meats.

For a Chardonnay that is intensely flavoured and almost best drunk without food head to Australia and try something from the Hunter Valley. This tropically flavoured wine is great chilled and shared with a friend.

There are so many different types of Chardonnay from so many different countries that you are bound to find something to suit your palate. So what are you waiting for?
 

How To Be a Sauvignon Blanc Enthusiast

Jessica AltieriComment

You’re barefoot. Your cell phone’s silenced and the waves are crashing on the beach. The only other sound? Sauvignon Blanc slithering out of a bottle, calling for fresh sea- food, a late night bonfire and great friends. This luscious white wine is summer in a glass!

Snapshot

I love drinking this crisp, light-to medium-bodied wine wherever I go. New Zealand Sauv Blancs slay me with their grapefruit, jalapeno & gooseberry aromas. The Loire Valley of France infuses its mellow Sauv Blancs with green apple, citrus and mineral notes. And right here in the U.S., California pampers us with the rich stylings of their Sauv Blancs, many with a hint of oak.

Pass your glass. There’s a Sauvignon Blanc for everyone’s palate!

Fave Sips

  • St. Supery Estate Sauvignon Blanc
  • Villa Maria Private Bin Marlborough New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc 2012
  • Frog’s Leap Rutherford Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Great Eats

Fresh seafood, oysters, grilled whitefish and grilled chicken are perfect pairings for this food-friendly wine that is stomped from green grapes.

The Unforgettable Kiss

I have such fond memories of sipping Sauv Blanc in the Marlborough Sounds after flying in a helicopter all day above vineyards! Row upon mesmerizing row of sunstruck green flew below me and the Mudhouse wine team in New Zealand. Their summer, which hap- pens to be our winter, warmed this Chicago gal’s heart forever. We landed on the pristine beach and ate the freshest oysters & green lipped mussels. In January! With the campfire glinting in our glasses, we toasted the long New Zealand summer.

My mouth still waters thinking about it.

Heartcrafted from Ca’ Momi

Jessica AltieriComment

It’s always great to tell a wine story that comes from the heart. And there is no better story to tell than the wine from Ca’ Momi, ROSSO. What’s Rosso all about? Rosso is a red wine with purpose, celebrating life’s simple pleasures, community, authenticity, enjoying life. It’s a wine that we would love to have with a great big pizza pie!

Let’s talk about the people and passion behind the wine- the 3 Italians. Founders Valentina Guolo-Migotto, Dario De Conti and Stefano Migotto all grew up in Italy, where community comes together around the table. Rosso is the wine that embodies their  philosophy – passion, integrity, soulful intention. It’s a wine made by friends, to be enjoyed with friends, a wine that fits seamlessly into your lifestyle.

Here is how CA’ Momi describes Rosso from their website:

88 Points-Wine Enthusiast and Silver Medal Winner of the 2016 San Francisco International Wine Competition! 

“This freestyle red blend rocks its own style without pretension or snobbishness. Aromas of ripe blueberries, subtle campfire smoke, and that blackberry patch down the road put summer vacation in your glass. Intense plum, blackberry pie, and toasty spice mingle on the palate, with moderate tannins providing structure through the finish.

This wine is rich but not soft, bold but not arrogant. Pair with whatever you want, and bring California attitude back to California wine.”

Stay tuned to Wine Channel TV over the next few months as we take you on a #heartcrafted tour with CA’ Momi and Rosso with Wine Channel TV host Jessica Altieri

4 Wines Under $20 for March Madness

Jessica AltieriComment

4 Wines Under $20 for March Madness

Jessica Altieri - Chicago Wine Tasting

St. Patricks Day is all about the green. Wine Channel TV loves to save some "green" during March Madness Week. 
These are great wines for the value! When you’re looking for a wine for everyday of the week while you’re just relaxing at home or hanging with friends, you don’t have to break the bank to get a good bottle of wine.These are four great spring time sippers and all are under $20 dollars each!
Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Marlborough New Zealand
- Crisp White Wine - Spring time in a bottle!
- The Grassy aromas reminds me of springtime and being back in New Zealand…a must visit where they’re known for their bright Sauv Blancs!
- Filled with juicy grapefruit, passion fruit, gooseberry and tropical notes on the palate with a crisp finish!
- Perfect beach, salad and seafood wine…bring on the oysters, white fish, and grilled chicken salads!
Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé 2013
- Reminds me of a bright juicy watermelon you’d eat in warmer weather!
- 100% Cabernet Sauvignon rosé from the Central Coast of South Africa- perfect aperitif, picnic and porch sipper wine!
- This wine is perfect for when you want that white wine refreshing crisp feeling... but with the slight muscle of a red wine.
- Mulderbosch Rosé was one of the very first of its kind from South Africa. Most people think of France with Rosé, but you should put South Africa on your radar!
- Upon arrival at the cellar, these early picked, specially selected grapes are vinified in the same manner in which an aromatic white wine would be, with the aim of producing a fresh, aromatic style of Rosé.
- Bright watermelon pink hue makes you instantly think of spring! Ripe blood orange, cherry and strawberry aromas and flavors, with citrus and white pepper notes on the vibrant finish.
- Salmon, salads, turkey, Thai, sushi and fresh fruit are winning pairings!
Ravenswood Vintners Blend Old Vine Zinfandel 2012

- Zesty California Zin- your go to BBQ & Burger wine!
- Made by the Godfather of Zin, Joel Peterson who’s not only smart being the son of two chemists, but definitely knows his zins! Produces many high and low end zins, but this is a perfect everyday wine sipping on the couch!
-This Robust Zin is filled with spicy raspberry, boysenberry and black cherry notes with a long mouthwatering finish!
- Ribs, Burgers, and other spicy meats, along with hearty pastas with tomato sauce make killer pairings!
Jam Jar Sweet White 2011
- Sweet dessert wine; heaven at the end of the meal & ladies night out! 
- 100% Muscat from Western Cape, South Africa. Many great, wallet friendly wines from there that you should check out!
- It’s filled with sweet peach, apricot, mango and even pineapple aromas and flavors, with a crispness to it that gives the wine a perfect juicy finish!
- Great on its own…but even better poured over some fresh fruit with a dollop of whipped cream! Or a tasty, refreshing contrast to spicy Thai food!
Cheers to spring!

Origins of a drink called The Bellini

Jessica AltieriComment

Were Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles involved?

You’ve heard of Cuban women rolling cigars between their thighs. Well, let me tell you about the origins of a drink called The Bellini! White peaches grow like zucchini in Italy, and by the end of summer you can’t give ‘em away. At Harry’s Bar in 1930’s Venice, one lone man was hired to cut and pit the peaches, and hand-squeeze them for juice. Then the barkeep poured Prosecco into a chilled glass of peach juice, and watched the patrons grin and order four more. Were Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles among them? Harry’s will never tell!

Prosecco and The Bellini
Prosecco - the official wine of Millennials! This affordable, Italian bubbly alternative to Champagne tastes great on its own or as a mixer with strawberries or other fresh fruit. Magic lies in those white grapes. You cannot be blue with Prosecco in hand.

Great Eats
Frizzante = lightly sparkling. Spumante = fully sparkling. Expect light, crisp and dry delight when sipping this bubbly. It’s the perfect celebration drink! Prosecco pairs well with ceviche, oysters, crab cakes, fresh prosciutto wrapped around mozzarella, fruit salads and, of course, my favorite—crème brulee. But this sparkling gem also lends the perfect contrast to fried, fatty foods. Think puff pastry appetizers to buttered popcorn, and even fresh hot French fries…shhh, that’s one of my favorite pairings! The crisp acidity cuts right through the fatty, greasy foods, making Prosecco heaven in your mouth!


The Unforgettable Kiss

Prosecco always reminds me of racing a Ferrari Zagato. Yes, you bet I’m dropping names. There were only 9 Zagatos in the world at the time! We zipped from Saratoga up to stunning Lake George to enjoy the finest Italian cheeses and vino while interviewing members of the Italian Trade Commission. I once lived in Italy, and that afternoon managed to whisk me right back. At the end of the video shoot, we did a Prosecco toast, and one of the ITC members tossed a strawberry in my cocktail to make it “Perfecto”! Viva Italia!

Get To Know Oregon Pinot Gris

Jessica AltieriComment

When I think of beautiful places to visit, I want to jump on a plane and head to the lush, breathtaking state of Oregon. Preferably in a twin engine Cessna, gliding over the vineyards. Come on along! We’ll step out into the fresh breeze, with a hint of spice that you can’t quite name—just like the haunting spice in their stunning Pinot Gris.

Snapshot
Ever wonder what’s the difference between Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio? Think twin sisters who look alike, but do not share their sweaters! Both wines come from the same grape varietal, and there the likeness stops. Alsace, France is the original home of Pinot Gris, a rich wine with tropical and spicy fruit aromas. Its perky sister, the Italian Pinot Grigio, has a crisper, lighter taste with more bright citrus notes.


Oregon’s cool climate makes a Pinot Gris quite close in taste to Alsace. But wait. Time to brag, here. Oregon’s kick ass wine is actually fruitier than the French Pinot Gris—a medium-bodied white with crisp apple, almond, Meyer lemon, pear and melon notes. Which is to say, TO DIE FOR. It’s one of the least talked about white wines making its mark on the wine world—in a big way and at a great value. Forget the Cessna, invest your money in Pinot Gris!


Fave Sips

 

  • Erath Pinot Gris 2011 
  • A to Z Oregon Pinot Gris
  • King Estate 2011 Pinot Gris 
  • Adelsheim Pinot Gris 

Great Eats


Grilled chicken, halibut, seared scallops, fall picnic potato salad, and any fresh salads you care to serve. Avoid acidic foods like spaghetti with tomato sauce or, for dessert, lemon meringue pie. Let your Pinot Gris believe it is the only fruit in town.


The Unforgettable Kiss


How many virtues can one wine have? First, Pinot Gris is an amazing value; it’s hard to find many bottles over $20. Second, the wine rocks at parties because it’s so food-friendly. Third, white wine boredom ends with this crisp alternative.
My BFF Pinot Gris has become Oregon’s “other Pinot.” As the Oregon Pinot Gris Symposium urges me, you and all our wine-drinking BFFs: “Get your Gris on!”


A Little History Lesson On Pinot Gris with Wine Channel TV


From its earliest known origins in Europe in the Middle Ages the Pinot gris grape has become a popular choice for wines all over the world. It is a white wine grape that is thought to be a clone of the Pinot noir grape. Its name, "pinot gris" is the French for grey pinecone and this accurately reflects the color and the shape of the bunch as it grows on the vine. However, the color of the fruit can vary dramatically, as can the color of the wine produced from it, which can range from a deep yellow to a copperish color.


There are clones of this popular grape grown all over the world and the wines produced from Pinot gris can vary dramatically, depending where the grape is grown. Two areas in particular stand out for the quality of wine made from the grape. Alsace in France is the traditional home of the grape, while Oregon in the United States has more recently produced Pinot gris wines of particularly high quality.

In Alsace, it is popular as a full-bodied wine, while in Italy there are some distinguished producers who produce some excellent wines. However, the bulk of Italy's Pinot grigio producers harvest early to produce less satisfying results.
Pinot gris is often blended with Pinot noir wines to improve their flavor. It goes well with chicken, pork and seafood and remains a very popular choice, with only Chardonnay being more popular.


History
It has been recently discovered that the Pinot gris has an almost identical DNA profile to Pinot noir and that the difference in color is caused by a genetic mutation that is thought to have happened hundreds of years ago.
Earliest records of the cultivation of Pinot gris go back to the Middle Ages in Burgandy, France where the grape is thought to have been known as Fromenteau. Pinot noir was grown here around the same time and the popularity of both spread eastwards over time.
It was popular in Switzerland and Hungary, and was discovered being grown in Germany in the 1700s by the name of Rulander. A number of bad harvests threatened the use of the grape in many parts of Europe but certain strains of the vine proved more resilient and its cultivation continued.

Pinot gris is now grown in almost all of the major wine producing regions of the world, including France, Australia, Germany, Australia, Canada, South Africa, Switzerland, Romania, Moldova, Belgium, the United States, and New Zealand.

As the list of regions above would suggest, the Pinot gris vine favors cool climates and is known to mature early. This can result in a sweet flavor or high alcohol content, depending how long it is fermented.The color of the grape itself can also vary depending on the region in which it is grown. It can be found to show a greyish color, or else a pinkish brown.
The flavor of the wine it produces can also depend on where Pinot gris is grown, and of course from the wine making style. In Alsace, they are generally medium-bodied wines, often with lightly citrus flavors.


The German varieties are more full-bodied, while in Italy, where it is known as Pinot grigio, it produces a crisp, light-bodied taste. The newly popular Oregon Pinot gris wines are medium bodied with fruity flavors.


Regions
Alsace
The Alsace region is considered the home of the Pinot gris grape and is different here from anywhere else it is grown. The cool climate and soil of the region makes for a very high quality grape.
Australia
Since its grape’s introduction to the country in 1832, the southern state of Victoria has been producing wines going under the names of Pinot gris and Pinot grigio depending on the sweetness of the wine. Again, the temperate climate there and long autumns suit the grape and Australian Pinot gris wines remain popular.
Italy
Pinot gris is a long established and popular grape in Italy, where it is known as Pinot grigio. It is found growing in the north of the country in Lombardy and Alto Adige. 
New Zealand
New Zealand’s cool climate also lends itself to the growing of Pinot gris. On the North Island it is to be found in Martinborough and Hawkes Bay, while in the South Island it is grown in Central Otago, Nelson, Marlborough and Waipara.
Oregon and California
After Alsace, Oregon is probably the most successful Pinot Gris growing region where the wine became quite a hit locally as an accompaniment to the generous amounts of fresh salmon caught in the region. 
It was introduced to the region as recently as 1966 and within 30 years all of the main wineries in the region were growing the grape. There are more than 1,797 acres of Pinot gris being grown in Oregon today.
There are also healthy amounts (1,620 acres) of the grape grown in southern and central coastal regions of California. The wine is similar to the Italian Pinot grigio in taste, and often goes by the same name. However, the California variety has struggled to match the quality and the popularity of its Oregon counterpart. 

oin us on Wine Channel TV for wine lifestyle happenings around the world!

 

Love More. Sip More. Cook Less

Jessica AltieriComment

Wine Lover's Dream Kitchen Oven

We all like to sip and cook at Wine Channel TV. But most people we know, would rather sip more and cook less. With over 175+ “Programmed Menu Selections”, this GE Profile™ Series 30 inch Combination Double Wall Oven with Convection and Advantium® Technology, is a wine lovers dream. Pour another glass with all the free time you now have and let’s talk more about the great wines we should be tasting.

 

This GE oven is part of our Wine Lovers Dream Kitchen series on Wine Channel TV.
 Here’s what we like most:
•    Speedcook oven 120V (upper oven)
•    Enjoy oven-quality results two- to four- times faster than a conventional oven
•    Multiple cooking functions
•    Expand your cooking versatility with an all in one oven
•    Oven 175 preprogrammed menu selections (upper oven)
•    Preprogrammed selections make meals easy
•    True European Convection (lower oven)
•    Achieve delicious results from a third heating element and fan combination
•    Self-clean with Steam Clean option (lower oven)
•    Clean your oven the way you want
No one really wants to get an oven for Valentine's Day, but if you are planning on getting one, this is our top pick!
Wine Channel TV  with host Jessica Altieri is a fun wine tv and wine lifestyle channel to learn about wine in a fun and entertaining way. 

The One Wine To Not Order on Valentines Day

Jessica AltieriComment

It's a lazy way out of ordering wine on Valentine's Day.  That may work with a work colleague or friend. On any other day. There is generally no "story" behind this wine. Google it and see what you find. After dinner, the last thing you want to hear is your date telling a friend that you ordered this "five-letter" wine.

You are at the "moment of truth". The waiter has given you the wine list, your date sits across the table from you looking for your sensual and thoughtful wine selection. You are looking up and down the wine list and you want to take the easy way out. It's a five letter word, but don't say it. Don't do it. 

What's worse, it's usually served in a "carafe". No wine label to look at. No reading of a wine label. No intimate discussion. You will never see a "selfie" of this wine with you and your date. No "overrated" smelling of a cork. It's like a hotel room you enter with all white paint and no wall coverings.
It's Valentines' Day...do your homework...research the restaurant wine list 'before" you get there. Better yet, ask for help. It will matter on this day.
Run away from this wine on this day. Still not sure:  __ __ __ __ __  wine. here you go....   

here you go....   

How To Find The Right Wine Store For Your Wine Tastes

Jessica AltieriComment

The Power of Research – Finding the Right Wine Store Yourself

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Wine stores sell a range of wines. It’s simple. However, not every wine store is the right store for a discerning buyer looking for that special something. Some sell vintage and select wines while others sell a huge variety of both affordable and more expensive wines.

Before you go buying your wine, dig for some great wine stores in your area. Trust me, it’s not hard to find offers and special deals! The greatest thing about this is that you will be able to find the right wine much faster than normal.

If you want an expensive chardonnay wine and go to a wine store that doesn’t have them, you will have wasted your time. However, if you did just a little bit of research, your time could have been saved and that chardonnay could be at home chilling in the refrigerator.

In these financially difficult times, it is pretty important to find the best deals. The same wine may be on sale at two different stores but one may offer a lower price. However, if you don’t do your homework beforehand, you will probably miss the bargain – bad times indeed.

So in essence, what I am saying is that a little bit of research may yield great results. By doing so before you leave home, who knows what types of great wine stores you may find. You may even find that one great wine lifestyle superstore where all your wine problems can be solved.

Finding the Right Wine Deals

One of the most difficult tasks when it comes to wine is finding the right deal involving the right bottle. You may be buying what you think is a special and diverse wine, but chances are that it’s on sale at another nearby store at some other price (quite often, that price is cheaper!) To live a great wine lifestyle, it’s not enough to know how to pair wines with food and the like - you need to know how to effectively find the best wine deals and bargains.

Ask about any Special Deals

People often don’t know that deals are usually changed on a daily basis, in any given store. When you are visiting your local, why not ask them about any special deals? It’s better than wandering aimlessly down aisles and looking at price tags (huge waste of time!) You never know what new deals are going surface every day - and there could be a perfect bottle of wine with your name on it waiting for you to pick it up.

Most wine superstore clerks will be more than happy to point you in the right direction and give you the information you need. They might even be able to help you out with your wine choice.

Endcap Items Typically on Sale

You see these deals every day yet it’s likely that you have no idea what they are called. The endcap is the area at the end of an aisle where you usually see products on sale (marketing jargon is always a winner) Even if you have no idea what wine is for sale, the chances are that they can be found at the endcap. In most cases, endcap items are usually on sale because they are in limited stock (but generally great quality, at least, in my experience)

When you visit a wine lifestyle superstore, ensure that you check the endcap after you ask for any special deals. Who knows what deals you may find!

End of Bin Sales – Everything must Go

Very few wine sales can ever match end of bin sales. Why are they so great? It’s because suppliers have to get rid of the wine before the new batch comes in. To attract customers, the prices are drastically marked down. This helps to finish the ‘bin’ of wines. So look out for those discount stickers people!

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