Friday, August 4, 2017

Wine, Travel & Food News from Vino-Sphere: August 4, 2017

A weekly round-up of news, notes and happenings.

Valley of the Moon Releases New White Blend

Valley of the Moon Winery at Madrone Estate has released its 2015 Pinot Blanc-Viognier, a blend of 85% Pinot Blanc and 15% Viognier. The newly-released white blend captures all of the tropical fruit characteristics of Pinot Blanc combined with the lush mouthfeel of Viognier.

Located in the heart of Sonoma County’s premier wine-growing region, Valley of the Moon wines are produced on the historic Madrone Estate property, one of California’s oldest wineries with vines originally planted in 1863. “We are proud to have achieved something truly unique with this wine,” said Kat Doescher, the winemaker who personally crafted this small-batch wine.

Food Network Star’s Pork & Mindy’s Restaurant Gets Refresh

Pork & Mindy’s is ready to rock… your taste buds! The flagship Wicker Park eatery is redefining the local BBQ scene with a new and improved restaurant design, and exciting menu additions, developed by Food Network Star and Executive Chef Jeff Mauro. Handcrafted new menu items include cheesy and gooey “sangwiches,” crunchy “tots,” and an enticing spinach salad as a lighter option.

BC Pinot Noir Celebration

Thirty-four of British Columbia’s best Pinot Noir producers will gather for the annual BC Pinot Noir Celebration which is scheduled Saturday, August 19th at Linden Gardens in Kaleden. Along with a sparkling reception and Pinot Noir salon-tasting, the event offers informative breakout sessions, special key note speaker (Richard Hemming, MW), culinary bites by top chefs and live music with local artists Jack and Jill.

Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival Scheduled October 19-22

The Tenth Annual Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival will take place October 19-22.  This four-day grand anniversary celebration set against the breathtaking backdrops of the island features a weekend of exclusive and savory events, dinners, tastings and seminars that will draw over 2,000 wine lovers and foodies. Events include a Somm Throw Down, a face-off of three wine personalities - Joseph Carr, Sam Decker of Atria, and Heather Lynch of Bar Mezzana - to battle for the ultimate pairing of wine and food, prepared by Colin Lynch of Bar Mezzana. Also scheduled is a grand tasting and a Champy Champagne brunch.

Wine and Culinary Vacations

We’ve recently received promotions from two companies promoting wine travel. offers a wide range of wine retreats from all over the globe. New Zealand travel experts New Zealand In Depth announce a wine-centric 13-day New Zealand Food and Wine Tour visits New Zealand’s three main wine regions, Hawkes Bay on the North Island with its award-winning Chardonnay and full-bodied Syrah, Cabernet and Merlot; Marlborough on the top of the South Island, acclaimed for Sauvignon Blanc and aromatic whites; and the Central Otago, the world’s most southerly wine-growing region and home to some of the world’s best Pinot Noir. 

New Boutique Wine From Israel Makes Debut

 Royal Wine will be distributing two unique imports from Vitkin, a small winery located outside Tel Aviv. The family-run boutique built its reputation on producing outstanding wines from unusual grape varieties. Their motto: “ABCM – Anything But Cabernet, Chardonnay and Merlot.” The two wines are Vitkin Pink Israeli Journey, Garignan-Grenache blend and Vitkin White Israeli Journey, a white blend. Both retail for $22.99.

Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Gaining As Culinary Destination

Fall is the perfect time for foodies to discover a hidden gem on Southwest Florida’s Gulf Coast. Boasting more than 50 independently owned culinary offerings unique to the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach is allows travelers to taste enjoy a top culinary destination at a fraction of the cost. September includes fantastic – and affordable – culinary delicacies at the second annual “Let’s Eat, Englewood” Restaurant Week.

Italian Gold Collection Comes To US

Guarachi Wine Partners has acquired the import rights to Cuvée Deor: The Gold Collection, Italian sparkling wines. Currently available in Georgia, Tennessee and Colorado, Guarachi Wine Partners plans to expand Deor into 25 new markets in Fall 2017, and rollout nationwide in 2018. Two wines are offered, the Deor Gold Extra Dry Sparkling and Deor Pink Extra Dry Sparkling. SRP for both is $12.99.

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