Category Archives: Cocktails

Wine review: Prosecco DOC Treviso Spumante

wine tasting, wine review, sparkling wine review, Italian wineEarlier this month I was sent a bottle of Prosecco DOC Treviso Spumante, an Italian sparkling wine that comes from the northeast of Italy.  The prosecco  has a pale golden hue that has a surprising number of tiny bubbles.  Prosecco can sometimes be too sweet for my liking, but this wine was surprisingly light and had a quick finish that I really enjoyed.

Although we shared the bottle with friends without food (naked you could say), I think it would hold up nicely with a cheese and fruit plate. This wine retails for $15-$20, making it a great bottle to buy in bulk for holiday parties you might host.

Party Tip: white and sparkling wines don’t stain if a guest spills.  And let’s be honest we all have that friend who spills wines after one too many drinks.


Wine review: 2012 Banshee Pinot Noir

red wine reviewLast month I paid a visit to one of the South End’s better wine shops, The Urban Grape.  One of their recommended wines was the Sonoma County 2012 Banshee Pinot Noir.  While I don’t often purchase Pinot Noir to drink at home, I was still thinking about the delicious 2012 Anthill Farms from Comptche Ridge Vineyard I had at Bar Boulud Boston the week prior.

The Banshee retails for less than half the cost of the Anthill Farms Pinot Noir, making it more accessible and affordable.  While I preferred Anthill Farms, for the money it is hard to argue the value of the 2012 Banshee Pinot Noir. The wine has a sweet scent with a hint of dark cherries when you initially pour it and a relatively soft finish. This is an easy wine to drink socially with or without food.

Wine review: 2012 Anthill Farms Pinot Noir

wine review, california wineLast week I had a dinner with colleagues and we ordered a couple bottles of the 2012 Anthill Farms Pinot Noir.  My colleague who selected the wine indicated that Anthill Farms is one of her favorite wineries.

The color of the wine was hard to discern in the restaurant’s subdued lighting but its cherry-like aromas were easy to pick up and accompanied my dinner so nicely from start to finish this wine could be summed up in one word: versatile. The flavors never overpower you but they linger with a soft finish. I will remember the 2012 Anthill Farms Pinot Noir as my favorite in recent memory.

If you are looking for a nice host gift or present for a friend during the holidays this would be appreciated.  The appeal of this wine was universal at our dinner table, and I know I’ll keep my eye out for it in the future. The 2012 Anthill Farms Pinot Noir from their Comptche Ridge Vineyard in Mendocino County retails for $50-$60 and is widely available in the US.


Opus Affair at Bastille Kitchen – Mon. Nov. 24 6-9PM

Opus AffairOpus Affair is hosting their monthly cocktail social at Bastille Kitchen on Melcher Street in Fort Point Channel. This month’s Punch Bowl Fund will raise money for one of these three arts charities: Boston Opera Collaborative, Arts Connect International, and Shelter Music Boston.

RSVP – No Cost (and lots of fun) – Bastille Kitchen 6-9PM

What is Opus Affair’s Punch Bowl Fund? Think of it as a charitable drinking game where you are invited to contribute $5 (cash) to the fund. In return you recieve a drink ticket for a glass of punch and a ballot to vote for one of the three featured arts organizations. At the end of the night, the organization with the most votes will collect the total amount raised that night.

Who is Opus Affair?  They are a community of artists and friends who love the arts who get together for cocktails and to chat about the arts scene.  If you’ve never been to one of their socials stop by and check them out.

1999 Billecart-Salmon “Cuvée Nicolas François Billecart” NFB Brut Champagne

Champagne Billecart-Salmon Brut 1999Recently my sister and her fiancé came to visit us.  To celebrate their recent engagement we popped a bottle of 1999 Billecart-Salmon Champagne.  While Sergio and I truly enjoy Champagne, we had not tried this before.

The Champagne is 60% pinot noir and 40% chardonnay and has a whitish-gold coloring that you can see from my photograph shown below.  The taste is crisp and finishes with a light minerality that I really enjoyed.  My preference was to drink this Champagne unaccompanied, appreciating its flavors and watching the bubbles dance vertically up my champagne flute.

Unfortunately I do not recall how we acquired this bottle and assume it must have been brought to our home from a friend or guest so I cannot offer advice on where to purchase it, but a quick look online shows this for sale from $60-$90.  My sincere thanks to whomever brought this to our home we truly enjoyed it.

This would make for a generous gift for friends who enjoy Champagne whom you may be contemplating buying something during the holiday season.

1999 Billecart-Salmon "Cuvée Nicolas François Billecart" NFB Brut Champagne

Repeal Day celebration at Gibson House Museum

cocktailFriend and fellow blogger, Etiquetteer, has asked me to help promote the Repeal Day Celebration at the Gibson House Museum in Boston, on Wednesday, December 3, from 6:30 – 8:30 PM.

Space at this event is limited, so I would encourage you to reserve tickets today ($125 patron; $200 sponsor) by contacting the Gibson House at

The Gibson House Museum is located at 137 Beacon Street, between Arlington and Berkeley streets, in the Back Bay.  There is more information about the event on


5th Annual Local Craft Brewfest is Friday, Nov 21st

Boston Local Craft Festival, Craft BeerIf you love craft brews then make note of the Local Food Festival annual Local Craft Brewfest next Friday.  This is your chance to sample some of New England’s best brews.   beverages and food while enjoying spectacular views of the Boston Harbor waterfront and great live music by local musicians.

Where:  Moakley U.S. Courthouse
When: Friday, November 21 from 6pm-9:30pm
Admission: $47 (includes beverage and food tastings and entertainment)

Tickets are on sale now.  For more information about the annual festival or to purchase tickets visit their website,