Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Not gone...we just moved!

Hi Friends, 

No worries...we are still around! 

Just got a little frustrated with Blogger & changes to the Google Reader. 

We've moved our prior and future posts over to Wordpress.

Keep up with our food, wine and fashion adventures here: 

~Vino & Vintage

Monday, March 18, 2013

MidAtlantic Wine and Food 2013

The MidAtlantic Wine & Food Festival took place March 6-10th this year. While it’s not the first year for the event, 2013 put this Wine & Food fest on the map along with the others. This year the MidAtlantic more than tripled their number to 44 events to choose from. They all took place throughout Delaware with the focal points being the Festival Village in Rodney Square and The Hotel Dupont across the street from it in Wilmington. We were lucky enough to attend 3 of the events and you can enjoy a slideshow of all the pictures from this fun weekend at the end of our post.

We attended one of the brand new events this year, Champagne & Caviar. This is something different from our usual chocolate or cheese wine pairings, so we were excited. Ever since the holidays, we have been making it a point to experiment more with sparkling wines. We also were looking forward to some Carter Caviar. Half of Vino & Vintage had never tried caviar before so this seemed like the perfect event.

We arrived in Wilmington Delaware, another first for both of us. The hotel is beautiful. The décor, chandeliers, even the ceilings all have a very glamorous, vintage appeal…just our style. Speaking of style, we had debated at length about what to wear. While Champagne and Caviar has a ritzy sound to it, we definitely did not want to overdress. We finally opted for the stylish blouse, blazer and black pants look. Nude and black heels with some fabulous accessories complemented the outfits perfectly. ;) On to the food and drinks…

We entered the Hotel’s Christina Room and were promptly handed a glass of champagne. However, we were a little confused on what we were supposed to do next. People were crowded around the table in the center of the room, which we soon realized was holding the caviar. It was difficult to get to, but eventually we made our way. Unfortunately we are still unsure of which Caviar we sampled and before we knew it, they announced that it was all gone! Some people seemed in a hurry to get to their next event, one of the several Gala dinners, which would explain the rush and why a few ladies looked like they were dressed for a wedding. lol
Luckily the servers kept the bubbly flowing freely the entire hour. While the Champagne and the (one) caviar we sampled were delicious and top quality, we had anticipated it was going to be a sit-down event where we would be guided through the pairing menu, not buffet style. A little more structure would have been nice. Maybe next year????

All was not lost though. We got to sample all 4 Moët Hennessy varieties: Rosé Imperial, Nectar Blanc, Nectar Rosé, and Imperial. Yum!

On the last day of events we attended the Festival Village at Rodney Square. Under the big white tent were vendors with samples of wine, beer, spirits, cheese, and more. There was a wine shop to purchase bottles too. A stage and benches occupied the middle of the village and when we arrived there was a cooking presentation taking place by Argentine Chef Santiago Macías who left us craving empanadas.

Following the demo we enjoyed one of the musical acts and then a presentation by wine connoisseurs Thys Lombard and Robert Joseph. We were enlightened on wines from South Africa and plan on exploring them some more. We also appreciated the message of forgetting the “rules” and experimenting with your food and wine. What doesn’t taste so good to you might be an amazing pairing to someone else.  ;)

While we had expected a little more variety at the Festival Village, we still enjoyed ourselves and sampled some very good wines, foods, and spoke to some very nice people. We are pretty certain this event will continue to grow over the years. On our way out we had to snap a picture of this amazing cake…yes, this masterpiece is edible! It was made by Desserts by Dana, home of TLC’s Next Great Baker.

With a couple of hours left to spare before the final event, we exited the tent in search of some food…and boy do we regret it!

The grand finale of the entire festival, the Master Chef Tasting, also took place under the tent. In the 2 hours we had left, they had transformed the Village to look like a beautiful dining hall. Little did we know that a “tasting” was really more like a 7 course meal! Derrick Prince, Tracy Kontos, Christian Collins, Dave Miller, Becky Reams, Suzy Singh and Jennifer Behm, contestants from Chef Gordon Ramsey’s “Master Chef” competition on FOX, cooked us up some delicious dishes and shared their experiences on the show. It was fun to hear their stories and watch them interact with each other and of course, taste their delicious food. Master Chef winner Jennifer Behm hosted the event along with Emmy nominated Claudia Gomez from Fox 29.
Appetizer Taste by Derrick Prince

Salad Taste by Tracy Kontos
Fish Taste by Christian Collins
Amuse Bouche by Dave Miller
Meat Taste by Becky Reams
Dessert Taste by Suzy Singh
Another First...we ate Silver!
Special Lemon Home Treat
by Jennifer Behm

We enjoyed some South African wines with our dinner and took home our souvenir wine glasses, along with our very full bellies. It really was the perfect way to end this great experience and we only attended 3 of the 44 events! We can’t wait to see what’s to come next year. We highly recommend that if you’re in the area you make it a point to check out some of the events next year. For more information on the MidAtlantic Wine & Food Festival go to their website and start planning for next year. Enjoy the slideshow!

vinoandvintage's MidAtlantic Wine and Food 2013 album on Photobucket

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Philly Flower Show 2013 and Some Vino

The 2013 Philadelphia Flower Show took place March 2nd-March 10th at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. This year’s theme: Brilliant! A look at the elaborate scenes and beautiful flowers and you felt transported to and immersed in the traditions and diversity of the UK. We attended on a Thursday, expecting it to be a little less crowded. Boy, were we wrong. The beauty of Britain was clearly a big hit this year! It was a little trying to get around the crowds and attempt to capture the brilliance on camera. If you have never attended a Philly Flower Show though, it’s a must if you’re in the area. Here are some exhibits that we found breathtaking (more pics at end of post):

We returned to the Flower Show on Saturday the 9th…this time, instead of flowers, we were in search of wine! Yeah, that’s right, we said wine. ;) Those who have attended the Flower Show in the past know that Fine Wine & Good Spirits has been a long time presence at the event. They offer wine tastings and bottles for sale in the festival village area located in front of the show’s main entrance.  There are always a few celebrity appearances at the show, as well. Well this year we had the pleasure of meeting Ramona Singer from The Real Housewives of New York. Guests had the opportunity to purchase her new line of Sangiovese-Merlot wine, as well as her Pinot Grigio ($12.99 each) then have the bottle(s) signed by Ramona and get a picture snapped with her too. It was fun to see and hear fans excitement at meeting her. We heard, "She looks better in person than on T.V.!" quite a few times. We have to agree.

While we aren't die hard fans of the show, it's no secret we won't pass up the chance to try some vino. We were able to sample both the Ramona Red and White wines. The 2011 Pinot Grigio and the 2010 Sangivoese Merlot are both very light wines. The Pinot Grigio has a citrus kick that is pleasant and refreshing. The red has a smooth, light fruity aroma and taste. We would recommend these wines to those who are not big wine drinkers, trying wine for the first time, or enjoy a light young vino. They would also work great in a Sangria recipe this Summer.

Aside from being a fellow wine lover, we also share a love of fashion with Ramona. The lady knows how important it is to accessorize! This savvy businesswoman has a successful jewelry line, True Faith, an Amazon Store, Ramona Singer Collections, and has been featured on HSN. She also has a successful skincare line and is very passionate about giving to charity. For more info or to shop for Ramona Wines or Jewelry, visit her website: Ramona Singer

The highlight of the day was when we introduced ourselves and she asked if we were in fashion. Maybe it was the shoes and accessories? Regardless, we'll take the compliment! ;)


vinoandvintage's Philadelphia Flower Show 2013 album on Photobucket

The End.
~Vino & Vintage

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wine Lovers and Foodies Link-up 3

It's time again for the Wednesday Wine Lovers & Friday Foodies Link-up! 

Join us as we toast to making some new friends!

The Link-up rules are simple:

1. You must follow your hosts, Vino & Vintage, through Facebook and Twitter. Leave us a comment letting us know you stopped by. We always follow back.

2. Enter and Link-up through any URL where you would like to gain more following: your Blog, a specific Post, FacebookTwitterGoogle+InstagramPinterest, etc. 
You can link up more than once!

3. Finally, visit at least one of the other participants on the link-up and support them through one of their social medias.  

Remember, to follow back!
The point is to network and share the love! ;)
Have a Happy Wine Wednesday and Foodie Friday...

Friday, March 8, 2013

California Cabernet Dreamin

It's no secret that we have a crush on California wines...especially their Cabernets. One of us might be a little biased, being from Cali and all. ;) We wanted to share some of our great finds. They are all excellent values for the price, affordable and delicious. Cheers!

Napa, California
Cabernet Sauvignon 
Vintage: 2008
Average price: Under $20
Alcohol: 13.5%
Aroma: Ripe fruit scents, with notes of blackberry and traces of chocolate
Taste:  Cherry and blackberry flavors with slight oakiness.  
Pairings and thoughts: This was a very soft and silky Cabernet. We enjoyed sipping it by itself. Would pair nicely with most meats or dishes with rich, creamy sauces.  

Sonoma County, California
Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage: 2008
Average price: $20
Alcohol: 14.5%
Aroma: Dark fruit scents with traces of vanilla and oak
Taste: Dark berry and fruit flavors, especially plum with hints of mocha and pepper.  
Pairings and thoughts:  We paired this with some pizza and then dark chocolate for dessert. Great combinations. Would also pair nicely with most proteins. This medium-bodied cab had a smooth finish and was very good even by itself.   

Napa, California
Cabernet Sauvignon
(91% Cab. Sauv. 8% Cab. Franc 1% Merlot)
Vintage: 2009
Average price: $25
Alcohol: 14.5%
Aroma: Lots of rich mixed berry scents with notes of toasty oak
Taste: Dark fruit flavors of blackberry and cherry with hints of chocolate, spice and oak.  
Pairings and thoughts: Our favorite of the 3! This earthy cab paired so well with our buffalo burger dinner and dark chocolate for dessert. Very nice on its own too. Would pair perfectly with a nice steak, beef stew, pot roast, or even some lamb. Excellent value for the price. Napa Valley Cabs never let us down.  

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Wine Lovers and Foodies Link-up 2

Welcome to our second Wednesday Wine Lovers & Friday Foodies  Link-up! 
Join us as we toast to making some new friends!

The Link-up rules are simple:

1. Enter and Link-up through any URL where you would like to gain more following: your Blog, a specific Post,FacebookTwitterGoogle+InstagramPinterest, etc. You can link up more than once.

2. Follow your hosts, Vino & Vintage, through Facebook andTwitter. Leave us a comment letting us know you stopped by and we always follow back. 

3. Finally, visit at least one of the other participants on the link-up and support them through one of their social medias.  

Remember, to follow back!
The point is to network and share the love! ;)
Have a Happy Wine Wednesday and Foodie Friday...

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Philly Fashion Week 2013

Since we started this blog nearly a year ago, we have always looked for ways to incorporate our love of wine and food with fashion. After all, what more could a woman ask for?? Well, we have some exciting things in store for you in the near future and we kicked it all off last weekend when we attended our first official fashion event as Vino & Vintage. Of course, we would have loved it if it had been NYC Fashion Week, but being from Philly, we figured Philly Fashion Week was a good place to start. (Next year, look out for us in NYC!)

All of the Philly Fashion Week 2013 events took place at the Crane Arts Building from Thursday, Feb. 21st through Saturday the 23rd.  We hate to start off our review on a negative note, but they really need to find a new venue for Fashion Week. We were surprised it wasn’t held somewhere in Center City and when we looked the address up on the map, we were a little hesitant to attend at all. Not the best of neighborhoods. However, the big event began on the first night with the "PFW Accessories Party" and, well, who are we to say no to accessories?

We arrived a half-hour early to secure close (and safe!) parking. Once inside though, we were again a little surprised… and disappointed. The “red carpet event” that was promised consisted of a small room with about 9 tables of local vendors (though the invite said 20) displaying their products. There was a small strip of “red carpet” and a backdrop by the door to pose for pictures. There was a DJ in the corner which was nice, but the music was too loud for the small space and there was absolutely no area where anyone could even imagine dancing in. 

Considering this was supposed to be a party, we were looking forward to some hors d’oeuvres and a nice glass of wine or bubbly being passed around. No such look. The only things being offered were some samples of Coconut Water at the Vita Coco booth. Huh? There was also no one to greet us when we arrived.  No check-in, no coat check, no hospitality. It felt like the party had no host. Hey, it’s all in the small details. If the whole event was directed more toward people involved in organizing Fashion week, then perhaps they should not open it up to the public and media...or maybe charge a small fee to get in and do it bigger and better! That’s just our opinion. ;)  

All was not lost though.  There were some very unique items and designers in the small bunch. In terms of accessories, we did not feel there was a lack of nice pieces and pretty or creative items. They were all actually very good. We just expected MORE designers and other types and varieties of accessories.  Only 1 shoe vendor…say what? We did score on a couple fabulous jewelry finds. Showroom 77 had some beautiful pieces on display and for sale. 
We bought this incredible ring for $15! 
Perfect for accessorizing your wine glass! ;)

A few other accessory designers that stood out:
Kevin Molnar Designs- unique eco-friendly jewelry

Venus Visuals handcrafted jewelry & unique imports
by Imani Bilal

Most clever goes to the designer of Game Jewelry who makes her cute designs out of Lego pieces.

There were supposed to be some live make-up and hair demos going on though we never caught any. There was, however, a table where you could get some free gel manicures.

Highlight of the night (yes, we’re being sarcastic) was when Miss Pennsylvania Teen USA made an appearance and posed for pictures on the “red carpet”. Here she is with designer Kevin Molnar.
Well, after wandering around in circles looking at the same stuff over and over again, we finally decided it was best to leave and get something to eat…and a damn glass of wine! ;)

On to the runaway...

On the 2nd night of Philly Fashion Week, the “Ready-to-Wear Runway Show” was held. Unfortunately we were unable to make this event at the last minute.
*Designers/lines that were a part of this show: Dramatik Fanatik, Ian Alexander, Alicia Pinckney, Shavonne Deann, Las Swimwear, Lady Embellishment, Suede Square, Lili Daliessio, Anthony Eastwick, Walish Gooshe, Marina Makaron Moscow

The 3rd and final night was titled “Couture Runway Show”. We were so excited to see the high-end fashion lines from 10 National and International Designers. Let us fast forward by saying that the fashion was indeed unique and fierce (with only 1 or 2 disappointments). Some of our favorites came from Li Jon Sculptured Couture who designed some unique and sexy outfits made of chains.  Enjoy the complete slideshow of all of the events, models, outfits and accessories at the end of this post.
*Complete list of designers/lines at the Couture Show: Li Jon Sculptured Couture, Ayo-Lee Couture, Nicole Sauter, Ray Vincente, Todd Anthony, Bishme Cromartie, Justin Farnham, Closet by Christobal, English Clientele, Lillie Designs

While all the designers displayed endless amounts of creativity and beauty, the night itself was a bit of a train wreck.  If we had gone to the Friday show, we’re pretty certain we never would have made it back on Saturday. The event just seemed unorganized and again proved that a new venue is needed. The place was packed with people and it got very warm in there. The runway show began about an hour late. There were not enough seats for everyone and people were standing, looking for chairs, forming their own rows, sitting on the floor….just wrong. As part of the press we were allowed to enter first and had some good seats set aside. The VIP ticket holders followed and seemed less than enthused with their gift bag goodies. Finally the general admission ticket holders were allowed in after spending almost 2 hours in the holding room where you had the option of a $5 beer or some funky punch drink from the tiny bar. There was a small table with some food being served, but after seeing someone’s plate we decided to just skip it and eat later. The only plus was that a couple of the vendors from Thursday night were there again and we purchased a nice nude lipstick from Backstage Cosmetix. We also scored yet another beautiful ring. Remember, accessorize that wine glass...wait, there was no wine. :-p
With Official Sponsors like PHL17, PECO, Wilhelmina, and Banana Republic and tickets costing $40 or $150 for VIP, we just expected a little more. Granted, a fashion show is all about the fashion. Though, we gotta ask...what was up with the Marge Simpson hairdo all the female models had going on??? 
We don't mean to disrespect anyone, we just want to keep it real. We are very grateful to have been able to attend the event. There's just a lot that could have been done differently to make the experience a little more fabulous for the guests. There was an official after party to close the event at the Sugar House Casino following Saturday’s show, but we decided to head home instead and crack open a bottle of wine. Toasting to a better experience next time! Cheers!

The End.
~Vino & Vintage