Thursday, November 1, 2018

Wine, Travel & Food News By Vino-Sphere: November 1, 2018

Aquaman Debuts In Madame Tussauds Orlando

Joining an unprecedented league of DC Super Heroes, Aquaman will soon take his rightful place in the action-packed experience – Justice League: A Call for Heroes, only at Madame Tussauds Orlando.

Fans will be the FIRST to see Jason Momoa as Aquaman up close when the epic new figure debuts on December 4. Designed in collaboration with Warner Bros. Consumer Products on behalf of DC Entertainment, the figure captures every detail from the title character in the feature film Aquaman, which hits theatres on December 21, and is outfitted in the all-new suit designed for the movie.

In the experience, Aquaman's commanding presence will rise above the streets of Metropolis where fans must unite with an all-star cast of DC Super Heroes to save the world. Madame Tussauds Orlando is an interactive wax experience where guests are guided through immersive themed rooms where they can shake hands with the President, get on stage with pop princesses, or get up close and personal with a Hollywood heartthrob and take the ultimate selfie!

New State-of-the-Art Winery At Doubleback Winery in Walla Walla

Heading south past the farms and fields along Walla Walla’s Powerline Road, the weathered exterior of Doubleback Winery’s new 14,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art winery and tasting room looks as though it has always been there. But don’t be fooled. Despite all the modern technology, equipment, and innovation housed within its walls, the new winery’s exterior is clad in siding reclaimed from barns that stood for more than a century on Doubleback and Bledsoe Family Winery proprietor Drew Bledsoe’s Flying ‘B’ family cattle ranch in Ellensburg, Wash.

Doubleback closed on the property in August 2016, broke ground in February 2017, and construction was completed in April 2018. This year’s harvest marks Doubleback’s first in the new winery, which was built to meet current needs while allowing for future expansion to accommodate as much as 10,000 cases of annual production for both the Doubleback and Bledsoe Family Winery labels. Key features of the production facility include the following:
· Eight 1,500-gallon stainless steel tanks
· Four 1,000-gallon stainless steel tanks
· Three 950-gallon Italian concrete “tulips”
· Three 750-gallon variable capacity tanks
· Four 320-gallon concrete “tulips”
· Four open-top, portable fermenters

“This is more than the realization of some big dreams and a lot of hard work,” Bledsoe, the former NFL quarterback said. “It’s a tribute to my Walla Walla upbringing, an homage to my family’s agricultural roots, and a world-class production facility all rolled into one.“

Topnotch Resort Package Includes Your Own Family Christmas Tree

Picking out the family Christmas tree is a great way to kick off the holiday season. Topnotch Resort, a AAA Four-Diamond resort located in Stowe, Vermont, now offers an O' Christmas Tree Package for the 2018 holiday season. This offer includes a stay in one of Topnotch Resort's luxury guest rooms, and a tree from nearby Paines Tree Farm where guests take a wagon ride to find the perfect tree.

Once selected and cut, the skilled team at Paines professionally wraps, packages and loads the tree onto the cars for a safe trip home. Nightly rates for the O' Christmas Tree Package, start at $199 for a standard room, double occupancy. The package is available 11/9/18 through 12/20/18.

Finger Lakes’ Villa Bellangelo Winery Earns Top 100

In November 2018, the Missick family will mark its seventh anniversary of ownership of Villa Bellangelo, and there is much to celebrate. In an impressive run, Bellangelo earned a spot as a producer of one of Wine & Spirits Magazine's Top 100 Wines in the World for 2018, and has had a series of wines in Wine & Spirits Magazine's "Best Of," category.  Bellangelo's Top 100 honor was its 2015 Berry Select Riesling (with a score of 94). 
When the Missick family moved from California to the Finger Lakes, it focused immediately on crafting authentic, delicious expressions of wines grown on the west side of Seneca Lake.  With a "sense of place," the varietal focus revolved around Riesling, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Franc.  "The beauty of Riesling, is that it has an ability to express its terroir in a way few varietals can," according to winemaker, Christopher Missick; adding "and in the Finger Lakes, we can tease out those expressions in a way no other region in the United States can.”
Bellangelo currently offers a dozen different Rieslings in its tasting rooms.  Missick is also the only full-time winemaker in the world that is also admitted to practice law before the Supreme Court of the United States.

Pizza Hut Cooks Up Mobile Pizza Factory

Pizza Hut has joined forces with Toyota to develop the one-of-a-kind, zero-emission Tundra PIE Pro, a mobile pizza factory with the ability to deliver oven-hot pizza wherever it goes. The full-size pizza-making truck was introduced at Toyota's 2018 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show presentation. 

The Tundra PIE Pro features a unique truck bed that has been converted into a virtual pizza factory on wheels—also known as "The Kitchen"—which contains a refrigerator, a pair of computer-guided robotic arms, and a portable conveyor oven. Like the truck itself, all components in The Kitchen are powered by a hydrogen fuel-cell electric powertrain. From start to finish, the pizza-making process takes between six and seven minutes.

When a Pizza Hut pizza is ordered, the first robotic arm opens the refrigerator and removes the selected pizza, places it on the oven conveyor, and returns to close the refrigerator door. The pizza is then sent through a high-speed ventless oven. On the far side, a second arm removes the finished pie, places it on the cutting board, divides it into six identical slices, boxes it up, and delivers it to the customer.

Ancient Wine Geek Gifting Dilemma Solved In Time For Holidays

With the launch of its Garagiste Club, the Gold Medal Wine Club has answered the perennial question: What do you give the wine geek who craves something different and unique? The gift of membership in the Garagiste Club means your closest wine geek friends and family members receive regular shipments of hard-to-find, extremely limited production wines produced by artisan winemakers up and down the West Coast.

“We kept getting requests for a wine club option fit for the enthusiast instead of the casual drinker and that led to the creation of the Garagiste Club,” says Gold Medal Wine Club founder David Chesterfield. “The Garagiste club procures the wines enthusiasts want: something rare, hard to find, extremely limited and produced by critically acclaimed winemakers.”

Examples of the wines Garagiste Club members have received include the 2013 Dolina Pinot Noir from the Santa Rita Hills with only 75 cases produced, a 2014 Thomas Knoll Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley with only 65 cases produced, and the 70-case production 2015 Montagne Russe Chardonnay from the Black Knight Vineyard in the Sonoma Coast.

Cointreau Unveils First Designer Cocktail Series

As friends and families gather for the most festive time of year, Cointreau, the celebrated orange liqueur, unveils the first Designer Cocktail Series, a collection of classic libations with an artful twist created by luminaries from the art, culinary and fashion worlds. To craft the Designer Cocktail Series, Cointreau enlisted tastemakers including actress, designer and influencer Olivia Culpo, street artist Bradley Theodore, celebrity pastry chef Elizabeth Chambers and fashion designer and creative director Marissa Webb.

Cocktail connoisseurs can raise their glasses to a medley of festive Cointreau recipes:
  • Red Carpet Cosmo – a stylish take on the Cosmopolitan by Olivia Culpo featuring sweet raspberry garnished with candied ginger.
  • The Gold Street Margarita – a colorful Margarita by Bradley Theodore with a specialty black sesame and gold flake rim inspired by his street art.
  • The Lavender Sidecar – a feminine twist on a Sidecar by Elizabeth Chambers with fresh citrus, accented with a lavender infused sugar rim.
  • The Jalapeño Fizz – a spicy Fizz by Marissa Webb boasting jalapeño infused Cointreau and a cilantro salted rim with jalapeño garnish.

Mendocino Eco-Resort Offers Vegan Thanksgiving

The 2018 Thanksgiving menu at the Stanford Inn Eco-Resort draws on locally grown Northern California ingredients with a new twist on traditional flavors. Celebrating their 21st anniversary as the nation's only vegan resort, Stanford Inn Eco-Resort chefs have announced the menu for their annual Thanksgiving feast that is sure to satisfy resort regulars, as well as those looking to establish new traditions for the holiday.

"This is our biggest and most requested meal of the year! It is popular with our local community as well as those traveling from across the nation to enjoy our Thanksgiving feast," said Jeff Stanford, co-founder of Stanford Inn Eco-Resort. "This dinner dates back to when we launched the Ravens and were so thankful to be in such an amazing coastal environment with a focus on service for our guests and the planet.”

2018 Thanksgiving Menu at Stanford Inn's Ravens Restaurant
Starter:                       Trumpet Royal and Zucchini Fritter with Caper Remoulade
Soup:                          Garden Turmeric Minestrone
Salad:                         Artichoke Heart, lambs greens (mache) with avocado ver jus
Choice of Entrees
  • Almond encrusted tofu with chestnut stuffing, mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy and seasonal vegetable - seared Brussels sprouts and cranberry orange sauce.
  • Creamy polenta with chanterelles and port reduction drizzle, served with broccoli rabe and shallots, garlic and pistachios.
  • Thanksgiving tamale filled with ground walnut/cauliflower adobo; served with cranberry and pine nut quinoa pilaf and avocado, cucumber & tomato timbale.
Choice of Desserts:    Apple cobbler, pumpkin pie; trifle

BACA Wines To Host Holiday Drive Event In Napa

BACA Wines, a modern California Zinfandel brand spearheaded by Director Jennifer Brown and Winemaker Alison Frichtl Hollister, has announced plans to host a Holiday Drive event at HALL St. Helena on December 1. This event will serve as the kick-off for a month long holiday drive campaign benefiting NEWS, a Napa-based non-profit that provides support to survivors of domestic violence and abuse. 

Entrance to the event, which includes a wine tasting and light bites, is a donation-based contribution to NEWS through the Eventbrite by selecting a Game-centric monetary value. The donation system is modeled with four different levels of donation named after games. For example, the DOMINOS donation is $30, with the next donation level being JENGA, a $50 donation, and so on. Each individual donation will translate to one complimentary tasting per person.

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