Thursday, December 1, 2016

HOLIDAY SIPS -Out of the Ordinary Ideas

Sparkling Wines From France (Le Grand Courtage) Red+CavaWines From Spain (Clos de  Tafall, El Mirac, Parès Balta), Hard Cider (Hazlitts Cider Tree), Beer (Catskill Brewery)+Bourbon ( Taconic Distillery) From New York, Ryes/Bourbons (Mad River Distillers) From Vermont, Home Brewed Pico Systems, NUMI Organic Teas, Honey Stinger Honey, BOKU Superfood

Parties-gatherings are numerous in December..for festive reasons-or to commiserate.. any rate-guests expect beverages-maybe even more than eats-offered up for sure. SO why not mix up the offerings from the usual...even on a budget-there are so many small craft wineries and distillers these days-that provide unique tastes-guranteed for palate pleasers...alcoholic and not.

Wine Spectator anointed 90 points!!! Wines from Spain...ahhh-Clos de Tafall 2014 produced by Clos Berenguer....aged 12 months in French Oak-is an aromatic red wine with floral, currant, kirsch and dark chocolate-cola flavors with lively tannins and a juicy finish. Found online around $15.99!
OLÉ OLÉ-Best value for reds might just belong to Spain-Delicious offerings include the highly rated El Miracle- by Mariscal Garnacha 35 year old vines- from Valencia, Spain...delicious fruity, bright acids...aged in oak... blend of Garnacha Tintorera matured for eight months ... Found priced online $12.99-quite the bargain!

Dry and crisp-Parès Balta Brut-crisp, dry sparkling pineapple yellow color-with fruity overtones -pear apple-found online around $15-$16---yummy alternative to champagne pairs well with cheese, fish...imo.

HAZLITT'S Cider Tree hard cider Pictured on left)-is easy drink-medium dry-fruity-slight fizz---has a light alcoholic kick-reminds us of a certain style of Belgian beer-easy to pairs with foods like lighter meats and creamy pasta dishes-and snacks like of course, apple spice classic cocktail mixer. Other flavors available too. Gluten free.
Le Grand Courtage-delicious crisp sparkling wine-pictured- Rosé Brut (fresh fruity) and Blanc de Blancs- (undertones of granny smith apples, honeysuckle, strawberry and bread-y-undertone-like brioche)...both in Burgundy style (all you need to know translation=yummy) delivers in beautiful gift packages. Individual 750 ml bottles-found online $25 each...smaller party favors-and and a glammy sparkling Glitter bottle- available too.

MAD RIVER Distillers...Rye and Whiskeys-just epitomize a  ski Vermont time-packed with winter worthy outdoor adventures-rewarded with warming spiked drinks at day's end. The Bourbon Whiskey made form locally sourced non-GMO corn and aged on the premises for deep rich corn-smokiness with smooth aromatic finish. A Serious Sip!
Taconic Distillery-serious sidekick for a rye- bourbon-rum loving hedge funder-became a source for  limited edition-small batch- numbered bottles for the connoisseurs... using natural spring waters and locally sourced ingredients. Serve neat-with ice...or as basis for a cocktail... 

Hundreds of craft breweries are so much better to serve-no excuse now to settle for plain ole' mass distributed cans/ NY area- restaurant-bars-Catskill Brewery is popular-with deeply satisfying IPAs, Pilsners, Ales-plus seasonal flavors
South African Wines-Are right up there in he taste-quality/value proposition...especially when paired with chocolates that truly are DIVINE (Fairtrade chocolate co-owned by cocoa farmers). Guests will be wowed and very happy!!!!! with full bodied red Seven Sisters Pinotage/Shiraz-peppery smoky finish and Silk Bush Shiraz-red ruby color flavors of dark fruit and cassis, oak hints-as well as dark chocolate and rich vanilla-100% Shiraz
OBSESSED with this PICO BREW- everything-founded by a former Microsoft exec...who channeled an entrepreneurial streak with his love of craft partnering with local fav craft breweries- world wide -so that home owners can brew their own takes on acclaimed craft beer recipes. WOW. Cool looking too. Treat your guests to your home made quaffs- or gift for that special suds lover.

Pictured above the PicoBrew system-the white large cartridges-actually hops PicoPaks™ what contain the craft brew mix of ingredients-add water-brew 5 liters of fresh craft brew at home-fast-using eco friendly grains-from literally dozens of craft brewmasters. $799
It's not all alcohol-NUMI Organic teas-(USDA organic, non-GMO) are the freshest flavor full tea blends-with and without caffeine-that comes in a beautiful gift packaged of 40 tea bags.  
6 wonderful NUMI Organic Tea blends -in gift set...Chamomile Lemon, our mid afternoon break fluid of choice... Rooibos Chai-subtle spicy-fyi-cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, cardamom-  smooth tea, Maté Lemon, Emperor'd Pu-erh-deep bold blend that is energizing-a coffee alternative, Moroccan Mint-light spearmint after meal fav, Jasmine Green and Breakfast blend
Honey Stinger USDA Organic Honey-USDA Grade A- your fav tea sipper---or to use in baking, cooking-or mixing in cocktails -smoothies. Currently the Organic Honey-Wildflower -a mellow dark honey is available to ship.
BOKU SUPERFOODS SUPER STARTER KIT-great gift idea for the healthy minded-or motivated!. Everything -including detailed instruction cards, recipes and even a smoothies shaker- comes well packaged -with an assortment of super food -like the phyto-nutirent dense Super Food (pictured above) and Naturopath formulated super protein to mix up in smoothies or eat separately. ALSO Pictured-Super Fuel Body+Mind Lift USDA Organic- a scoop-or two per day- mix in water or non-dairy milk-contains a VERY impressive list of know energy boosters like Maca Root, Reisha, Goji Berry Juice, dehydrated Vermont Maple Syrup (maple water is bigger deal than coconut water in replacing electrolytes-imo), Fair Trade Cocoa and Vanilla (anti-oxidants plus natural sweetness), Marshmallow Root, and super charger Red Dulse.  the Super "Shrooms-contains an amazing 20 kinds of organic mushrooms that have carb molecules called Polysaccharides-specifically Beta-Glucans-made bio available through a unique steam porches that extracts the nutrients.-mix in tea, oatmeal or applesauce etc. Has a slight woodsy flavor-but we actually mixed it into ice cold brew coffee mixed with almond milk and stevia-tasted JUST fine.  Importantly-not what supplements one takes-it's what one's body absorbs-and we are enthusiastic that not only are Boku's offerings 'food-wise' are USDA Organic-it's also made with serious attention to the combo of ingredients that would best energize  heal human bodies.
What Else: Also pictured-Organic Sweet Matcha powder-brews up easy or to add to smoothies for naturally energy-(plus anti-oxidants) great afternoon slump solution less the jitters. WHAT ELSE: As big believers in healing powers of aromatherapy and under the tongue immune tonic sprays-a homeopathic approach....Boku's scented (by essential oils including cleansing eucalyptus, rosemary, aromatic peppermint, and crisp lemon) )- the organic coconut wax Super Immune Candle-comes in handy traveller size metal container-the wick is non-polluting organic cotton=no soot. $17.99 The Immune Tonic -bonus points USDA Organic-is an easy natural way to ward off winter colds-proprietary blend of roots, berries, and leafy extracts $14.99-how we use it-before air travel, and on days we anticipate out of the ordinary stress...good kind or bad...spray once under the tongue. BOKU's snacks-are also all geared towards healthy living-pictured the intense rich chocolate USDA Organic Super Cacao Nibs-$19.99 we ate straight outta the bag though it can be mixed/sprinkled into smoothies/cereal/trail mix etc. Vegan -gluten-free and kosher (standard)...chocolate -the real kind less the added crap of candy bars- has anti-oxidants built in and even has naturally- per serving 4% Vit C and 6% Iron.  Factoid-BOKU means Love-Life.