Riunite’s Ultimate Chili Challenge

Riunite Chili ChallengeWith football season approaching, Riunite kicks off its second annual Ultimate Chili Challenge – a nationwide chili cook-off, culminating in a Grand Prize trip to the Big Game in Phoenix, February 2015. Home cooks around the country are spicing up their recipes alongside bottles of Riunite to create the best chili & Lambrusco pairing. With its fresh raspberry/strawberry notes and refreshing spritz, chilled Riunite Lambrusco is an ideal match for a variety of casual tailgating foods, including spicy dishes like chili.

Chili champion hopefuls are invited to submit their recipes online at www.riunitetailgate.com by September 20, 2014 or by mail, postmarked by September 22, 2014. Fans can follow the fiery competition on Riunite’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.

Grand Prize winners and (1) guest will receive a trip to the Super Bowl including (1) double occupancy room for (3) nights at a deluxe hotel in Arizona, roundtrip economy-class airfare (where necessary), (2) upper level end zone game tickets to the big game, pre-game hospitality, $250 pre-paid gift card, deluxe gift bag, travel wallet, itinerary and coordination of pre-event details. More details about the contest are below.

Additionally, Riunite has teamed up with winning partners, Del Monte Tomatoes and Louisiana Hot Sauce, to help fans bring home all the perfect ingredients from their grocery store. Shoppers can find coupon offers on bottles of Riunite for up to $4 off of Riunite and partner products.

Joining in the fun, select bloggers and journalists are soon receiving special packages with Riunite samples, their own chef’s hat, wooden spoons, and mini-footballs. Stay tuned for their reviews and recipe inspirations!

Don’t forget to enter by September 20: http://www.riunitetailgate.com/enter.php. [Read more...]

Riunite’s Patriotic Bottle – Available Nationwide for July 4th Weekend

Wal-Mart 4262- The Villages 130 cases- Chuck MyersGet ready for a fun-filled July 4th celebration with friends, family, and all your outdoor entertaining essentials, including the right wine to serve.

Lower in alcohol and served chilled, Riunite Lambrusco is a soft lively red wine and makes an ideal pair for casual Independence Day fare, such as barbecue, hamburgers, and hotdogs.

Just in time for the summer, retail outlets nationwide are featuring a new, limited-edition Riunite Lambrusco bottle, adorned with stars, strips, and soaring jets, perfect for the holiday weekend. Additionally, Riunite is donating $1 of every bottle sold this summer (through the end of July) to raising awareness of a great cause, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), a nonprofit assisting families of fallen military service members.

See below for sample displays at retail locations around the country.

Happy July 4th weekend – and a special thank you to our service men, women, and their families.

Banfi Vintners’ Mariani Family Awarded Coveted 2014 Icon of the Industry Award


John F. Mariani, Jr., family proprietor and Chairman Emeritus of Banfi Vintners
© Jon Reis
(more photos below the fold)

The Mariani family, founders and proprietors of leading U.S. importer Banfi Vintners and the renowned Castello Banfi vineyard estate in Montalcino, Tuscany, received the highly esteemed 2014 Cornell Icon of Industry Award at the sixth annual Cornell Hospitality Icon & Innovator Awards gala in New York City, June 3, 2014. The award, from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration (SHA), recognizes the Mariani family for its achievements not only as a preeminent wine producer and importer, but also as a leader in industry research and hospitality education.

Since its inception in 2009, the Cornell Hospitality Icon & Innovator Awards has grown to be the largest event on the SHA calendar, attracting more than 800 of the most influential leaders and innovators in the hospitality and travel industry from 17 countries. The gala raises funds to support SHA’s scholarships and programs.

This year’s awards ceremony was attended by influential industry leaders, including Wayne E. Chaplin and Mel Dick of Southern Wine and Spirits New York; Jay M. Davis and Tom White of Republic National Distributing Company; E. Lloyd Sobel and David Drucker of Empire Merchants; Robert Epstein and Benjamin Rubenstein of Horizon Beverage; Stew Leonard of Stew Leonard’s; and Sirio Maccioni of Le Cirque.

Actor, director and New York Times best-selling author Andrew McCarthy, hosted the affair and honored members of Banfi’s third generation of family management: Dr. John F. Mariani (’54), chairman emeritus of Banfi; Harry F. Mariani, president emeritus; James Mariani MBA (’91) and Cristina Mariani-May, co-CEOs; and Virginia Mariani-Kitt (’82), director of hospitality.

“The Mariani family is a leading wine producer and merchant, but—more importantly—a leader in research and education that elevates the entire global wine industry,” said Michael D. Johnson, Dean and E. M. Statler Professor of Hotel Administration.

Also recognized at the ceremony was Sandy Solmon, founder, president and CEO of Sweet Street Desserts, the largest manufacturer of frozen gourmet desserts in North America. The award is given annually by the Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship.

The 2014 event attracted more than 55 corporate sponsors. Exclusive Media Co-Hosts were Travel + Leisure and USA TODAY; Red Carpet sponsors were Banfi Vintners and Forbes Travel Guide; and Diamond sponsors were Delta Air Lines, InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott International and Sweet Street Desserts.

The Road to an Honor Well-Deserved

The Mariani family brings a rare perspective to the world of wine as producers of Castello Banfi wines, importers of both European and New World wines, and key stakeholders in VinMotion, producers of wines in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. Steadfast in its heritage and family values, Banfi Vintners – with almost a century of expertise as America’s oldest family-owned wine importer – has consistently represented and produced best-in-class, wholesome wines that maintain longevity and respect within the U.S. market. [Read more...]

Riunite at the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party, June 7 & 8, 2014

big-apple-bbqRiunite Lambrusco will be poured alongside mouthwatering barbecue prepared by the nation’s top pitmasters at the Big Apple BBQ Block Party held in Madison Square Park, June 7-8, 2014.

The 12th annual celebration is New York City’s sixth largest event and attracts over 145,000 consumers. All proceeds support the Madison Square Park Conservancy, the organization responsible for the beauty, ongoing maintenance, and programming of this historic park.

Front_Lambrusco_750As America’s favorite Italian red wine, Riunite Lambrusco is a match made in (hog) heaven to another American favorite, BBQ. From North Carolina pulled pork in a tangy vinegar sauce to the Texan classics of beef brisket and spicy sausage, Riunite’s refreshing profile and lively spritz make it a perfect pair for barbecue and casual outdoor affairs.

Easy-drinking Riunite Lambrusco will be available at the park’s two beer gardens, in addition to the VIP tent, “a front-porch-inspired” seating area with food & drinks.

Don’t miss out!

#riunite #bigapplebbq

The Details:

11:00am-6:00pm, Saturday & Sunday, June 7-8, 2014

Event admission is free; plates are $9/each. Cash & major credit cards accepted.

Click here for more details and FAQs.

The Wine

Riunite, America’s #1 and best loved Italian wine for over 4 decades, is the leading source of classic wines from Central Italy’s Emilia Romagna Region. It’s imported by Banfi Vintners in Old Brookville, NY.

Website: www.riunite.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Riunite

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RiuniteOnIce [Read more...]

Chateau Tanunda Navigates Unchartered Territory

1980179_763635497002307_7374605668570733552_o“Grand Barossa” Sails Eastern Seaboard Spreading Word of Australian Wine

With Chateau Tanunda winery proprietor John Geber at the helm, the “Grand Barossa,” a 100-ft. Azimut luxury yacht embarks on a 10-week, 15+ stop cruise along the U.S East Coast to raise awareness of super-premium Australian wine.

“To understand the beauty and complexity offered by the Barossa Valley, one must experience it,” says Geber. “To overcome the obstacles of getting Americans to visit our land down under, I came up with the next-best thing: to bring Australia to America!”

Toward that end, Geber and his wife Evelyne left behind their life in Australia, committing to a courageous and unique endeavor in an effort to break through the clutter of a crowded wine market.

The “Grand Barossa” has 5 state rooms, indoor living room, kitchen, and indoor/outdoor dining areas including both lower and upper deck spaces. The atmosphere is elegant, yet relaxed, with touches of Australia setting the tone throughout.

“I am a guy who has never owned a boat in his life, and now I’m living on one!” laughs Geber.

This is the second-most extraordinary personal investment in the brand by Geber – a passionate, driven, and spontaneous man. The former Tetley Tea innovator saw Chateau Tanunda for the first time while on a morning bike ride in 1998 – and purchased it the next day. After years of restoring the historic estate back to prominence, Geber is now focused on bringing the best of Barossa to American palates.

One of the most highly acclaimed and awarded wineries in Australia, Chateau Tanunda touts exceptional values across three brand tiers. The “Grand Barossa” line offers a bone-dry Riesling ($15 SRP), Chardonnay ($16), Cabernet Sauvignon ($18), and Shiraz ($18). In the “Noble Baron” range ($50), there is Cabernet and Shiraz. At the icon level is “The Chateau” 100 Year Old Vines Shiraz ($100).

At each visit along the East Coast, John and Evelyne will serve as ambassadors to Australia, hosting members of the trade and press to a taste of Barossa on board. The program will include a mix of wine tastings, education, trade activity, and consumer events.

Tentative schedule:
May 5-7 – Daytona, FL
May 8-9 – St. Augustine, FL
May 11-13 – Jacksonville, FL
May 16-18 – Savannah, GA
May 19-20 – Hilton Head, SC
May 21 – Beaufort, SC
May 23-26 – Charleston, SC
May 28 – Wrightsville Beach, NC
May 29 – Beaufort, NC
June 1-2 – Portsmouth, VA
June 4-5 – Annapolis, MD
June 7-10 – Baltimore, MD
June 12-14 –Delaware City, DE
June 17-18 – Atlantic City, NJ
June 20-21 – Newport, RI
June 27 – July 8 – Hoboken/NYC
July 10-13 – Greenwich, CT

To follow the tour online, see the Facebook group at www.facebook.com/groups/GrandBarossaCru/; follow on twitter @GrandBarossaCru; and on Instagram @GrandBarossaCru.

Pictures of the “Grand Barossa” yacht can be found here: http://bit.ly/GrandBarossaCru




OLD BROOKVILLE, N.Y. – This summer, Riunite Lambrusco bottles will be decorated in patriotic red, white, and blue to raise awareness for Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), a nonprofit organization assisting families of fallen military service members. Additionally, from Memorial Day through Labor Day, $1 from every bottle sold will go toward raising awareness for the cause. During this time, Riunite will sell approximately 400,000+ bottles.

Riunite_TAPS-BottleStars, stripes, and soaring jets adorn the limited-edition Riunite bottle, which will be available at wine shops nationwide throughout the summer, including selected locations of Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart, BJ’s. (Download high-res photo of bottle here.)

“The eye-catching bottle jumps off the floor,” says Charles Dellavecchia, European portfolio director, Banfi Vintners, U.S. importer of Riunite. “We want to do all we can to raise awareness for TAPS this summer, and these bottles – along with accompanying in-store displays and advertising – are certain to grab attention.”

“We hope that Riunite’s support of TAPS and our first-time Limited Edition bottle will raise awareness for a cause that’s not ‘easy,’ but one that’s important,” said Dellavecchia.

To that end, the program this year is enhanced with more consumer-facing programs and social media engagement. TAPS volunteers will be in stores across the country to educate consumers about the organization and share information about Riunite’s partnership. In stores, consumers can also view displays featuring QR codes, which link to a video created by TAPS to celebrate its 20th anniversary. Additionally, the Riunite RV will trek across the country, making special stops at military bases to show support. Finally, consumers have the opportunity to use a mobile-donation platform, which enables anyone with a smart phone to text ‘TAPS’ to 50555 and automatically donate $5. The mobile donation feature is also accessible on the Riunite and TAPS websites and Facebook pages.

In social media, Riunite will use its Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest communities to garner additional awareness, with a potential reach to 1.4 million unique users via Facebook ads.

About Banfi Vintners

Banfi Vintners was founded in New York in 1919 by John F. Mariani, Sr. and built into America’s leading wine marketer over the last four decades. The company continues to be family-owned by the founder’s children and grandchildren, who are also proprietors of the Castello Banfi vineyard estate in Montalcino, Tuscany; Vigne Regali Cellars in Strevi, Piedmont; and Pacific Rim Winery in Washington’s Columbia Valley. For more information, visit www.banfiwines.com.

About TAPS
Since its founding in 1994 by bereaved military families, TAPS has helped more than 44,000 grieving military family members and their caregivers. TAPS provides peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, seminars for adults, Good Grief Camps for children, connections to community-based care, casualty casework assistance, and a 24/7 resources and information help line for all who have been affected by a death in the Armed Forces. Services are provided free of charge. For more information, go to www.taps.org or call the toll-free resource and information help line at 800.959.TAPS (8277).

Banfi Wines Exclusively Poured in New York Culinary Experience Classes


Banfi Chianti Superiore with Italian American Classics from Chef Michael Lomonaco
Photo Credit: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for New York Culinary Experience

Called “A Fantasy Camp for Foodies,” the New York Culinary Experience gathers the world’s renowned chefs, restaurateurs, and food lovers for a weekend of culinary adventure. Banfi was the only wine served during the weekend’s main attraction, a series of 35 intimate cooking classes led by chefs such as Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Jacques Pépin, Alain Salhaic, and David Bouley.

The event, organized by New York Magazine, is hosted in the immaculate and fully-equipped stainless steel test kitchens at the French Culinary Institute in SoHo. Approximately 175 food fanatics travel from all over the world and pay $1495 per ticket to get in front of the stove and learn from their favorite chef-idols. According to a spokeswoman for the event, ~75% of the attendees were either return guests, or referred directly by one.

After purchasing their tickets, guests consult with an event “concierge,” who helps them tailor a program that best suits their culinary preferences and goals. Attendees are able to attend four 2-hour classes over the weekend, including both morning and afternoon sessions on Saturday and on Sunday.

During all of these classes, Banfi wines were served to complement the epicurean themes selected by chefs.

For example, Modern Thai cuisine prepared by Chef Andy Ricker (Pok Pok) was paired with the food- and spice-friendly Pacific Rim Riesling 2012.

During the class with Chef Missy Robbins (most recently at the Michelin-starred A Voce and previously named Best New Chef by Food & Wine Magazine), Missy interacted with class participants as she poured Bolla Prosecco to make Aperol cocktails for her “Venetian Cocktail Party.”

Jean-Georges Vongerichten prepared Vegetable Specialties from Jean-Georges’s Kitchen while participants sipped Pacific Rim Solstice Vineyard Riesling 2009.

Photo Credit: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for New York Culinary Experience.

Chef Einat Admony of Balaboosta with Banfi L’Ardi Dolcetto
Photo Credit: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for New York Culinary Experience.

Banfi’s L’Ardi Dolcetto d’Acqui was a beautiful match to the Bold Mediterranean Flavors in Chef Einat Admony’s course, where the wine was served alongside quinoa salad with preserved lemon and chickpeas. (See right)

In another room, attendees put the finishing touches on their charred octopus salad while their glasses were filled with Bolla Prosecco and the ever-entertaining Chef Cesare Casella (Salumeria Rosi) narrated.

The New York Culinary Experience was an extremely special opportunity for Banfi to pour its fantastic wines to true food enthusiasts, while being enjoyed with the world’s culinary giants and their phenomenal dishes. A full list of classes, chefs, and pairings is below the fold. You can also read more at: New York Culinary Experience 2014.

[Read more...]

Cristina Mariani-May On Montalcino

Following is an interview between Christopher Plante of Grape Collective and Cristina Mariani-May; the subject is Montalcino.