Bryan Voltaggio’s Pairing Menu with Banfi Wines (Recipes Included)

Chef Bryan Voltaggio is one of the most recognized and influential chefs in contemporary American cooking. From his website:

As a finalist on Top Chef Season 6 and Top Chef Masters Season 5, Voltaggio is the first chef to compete on both Top Chef and Top Chef Masters.

As a father and chef, Voltaggio is a passionate philanthropist and supports Share Our Strength (SOS) in their fight against childhood hunger. He has raised over half a million dollars over the last five years to support innovative school breakfast programs, meals for achievement, and the national No Kid Hungry campaign

His philosophy as a chef is: service to the local products he uses and dedication to making people happy.

Chef Voltaggio created a special menu at EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival during a “Food for Thought” presentation, in which celebrity chefs offer guests delectable bites as they share culinary tips and stories from their life in food. During Bryan’s session, he paired his delicious three-course menu with several Banfi wines: Castello Banfi San Angelo Pinot Grigio, Castello Banfi Centine Rosso, and Rosa Regale Sparkling Wine.

Fortunately for those who didn’t make it to the event, Chef Voltaggio has generously shared his creative recipes and pairings. Menu and full recipes follow.

 Bryan Voltaggio’s Pairing Menu – with Banfi Wines

Local Mushroom Stew with Peanuts

Castello Banfi San Angelo Pinot Grigio Toscana

Coffee Barbeque Pork Shoulder with Pumpkin Sauerkraut, Cast Iron Fried Brussels Sprouts and Buttermilk Biscuits

Banfi Centine Rosso Toscana

Red Velvet Cake with Chocolate Stout Ice Cream

Rosa Regale Sparkling Wine [Read more...]

The Best Sparkling Wines for the Holidays

Stock up on these crowd-pleasing sparkling wines for the holiday season!

1. Maschio Prosecco Brut: Beautiful packaging and recently rated among The Top 100 Values by Wine & Spirits, this is a sparkling wine great for gifting and sharing. See the full review from W&S below:

Riunite’s entry into the Prosecco game offers an edgy, fresh peach and peppercorn-scented sparkler. It’s bright with the greenness of chlorophyll and a peppery burst in the end. Delicious with prosciutto. (91 Points)

SRP: $13

2. Rosa Regale: With its strawberry and raspberry notes and deep cranberry color, guests are sure to remember this sparkling red. Recommended recently by the Cleveland Dealer, which reports, “Rosa Regale definitely fits the bill for sweet fans; this would be perfect as an after-dinner drink or with dessert.”

SRP: $20

3. Bolla Prosecco & Bolla Sparkling Rosé: Fresh, lively, and easy-drinking, Bolla Prosecco is a clear choice for New Year’s Eve sipping and a great base for cocktails at New Year’s Day brunch. Bolla Sparkling Rosé makes a great starter for guests at your holiday party and also goes well with lighter fare and passed hors d’oeuvres.

The Review Stew writes last week:

“For all your festivities this holiday season, celebrate with two festive sparklers from Bolla: Bolla Sparkling Rosé and Bolla Prosecco!
[Bolla Prosecco] has hints of apple, pear and peach with a vein of acidity and lively finish…You may enjoy Bolla Prosecco with anything! It is delightful with appetizers, seafood, pasta, chicken, pork and veal as well as desserts.
[Bolla Sparkling Rose] is a light pink with the bouquet being a powerful floral bouquet. It ends with a taste of fine and persistent perlage, with a fresh, fruity flavor.”
SRP: $13

3 New Recipes for Pumpkin Pie

PumpkinPieImagePumpkin pie is a respected staple at the Thanksgiving table. The dessert represents tradition and evokes imagery of the harvest and of fall. Its base, pumpkin, is also an ever increasing fixation in the U.S. According to Nielsen, last year sales of pumpkin-flavored products increased by 13.5% – following 2012 when sales increased 12%. The round orange squash is hot and you can now find pumpkin EVERYTHING (i.e., Pumpkin spice e-cigarettes?! No, thanks.).

Stick to the basics of your traditional pumpkin pie, but this holiday season, try introducing a twist. These fun recipes, using Sara Lee Pumpkin Pie, are easy, and best of all have been specially paired with a recommended Riesling wine. Dessert + Wine? Now you have a #RieslingtoFeast.

Check out the descriptions and find the full recipes below the fold!

Cinnamon Creme Pumpkin Pie – paired with Pacific Rim Dry Riesling

This delicious cinnamon topping gives your pumpkin pie that special homemade touch that will leave your friends begging for the recipe.

Salted Caramel “Turtle” Pumpkin Pie – paired with Pacific Rim Riesling

Move over whipped cream! Sweet and salty with a bit of crunch, this twist on pumpkin pie might become the new contender for your family’s favorite way to serve pumpkin pie.

Cranberry Cream Topped Pumpkin Pie – paired with Pacific Rim Sweet Riesling

Looking for a tart and tangy twist to traditional whipped cream? Top your pumpkin pie with this beautiful, creamy topping and enjoy the compliments! [Read more...]

Tips for the Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich (paired with wine, of course)

All the ingredients for a perfect Grilled Cheese! Wine included. :)

All the ingredients for a perfect Grilled Cheese Pairing! Wine included. :)

Cooler weather means it’s time to stay cozy at home with your favorite comfort foods. Tomato soup, casseroles, and warm stews all fit the bill. However, the ultimate comfort food is a perfectly toasty and melty grilled cheese sandwich, and even better, paired with a glass of Chianti wine. Put on flannel PJs, pour yourself a glass of wine, get that grilled cheese ready, add Netflix and a cozy throw…and you’re all set!

To help create the perfect grilled cheese and Chianti pairing, Banfi recently partnered up with The Homestead at Bedford Cheese Shop to dissect what makes the ultimate grown-up grilled cheese. See the tips below, courtesy of the Homestead at Bedford Cheese Shop and Banfi! [Read more...]

6 Chili Recipe Winners Paired with Riunite Lambrusco

Tailgating just got more fun! Spice up your game day with these winning chili recipes paired alongside refreshing Riunite Lambrusco.

The Riunite Ultimate Chili Challenge has now made stops in six cities across the U.S., where semifinalists entered their best chili recipe during tailgate parties in Dallas, New Orleans, New York, Baltimore, Jacksonville, and Cincinnati.

You can find the winning recipes below. Try them out and don’t forget to pour a glass of Riunite Lambrusco!

Dallas_Finalist_Post [Read more...]

Paint the Town Red with Rosa Regale & Estelle 2014

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

Rosa Regale and Grammy award-winning songstress, Estelle have wrapped up their exciting “Paint the Town Red” tour in cities across the U.S. – beginning with Houston in May, then making stops in NYC, New Orleans, Chicago, and Miami, before wrapping up in Atlanta last month. At these VIP Paint the Town Red affairs, guests had an opportunity to mingle with the ever-polished and chic Estelle; enjoy luxe express makeovers; and sip on flutes of chilled Rosa Regale. Lucky winners of a social media contest head out for a more intimate evening with Estelle, chatting over dinner and then partying the night away.

Several bloggers and journalists were there to scope out the scene. Check out the buzz below!

Estelle Paints the Town Red at Blue Martini

By Madeleine Marr

Not a bad way to spend the afternoon. American Boy singer Estelle met with local fans at Blue Martini Lounge Brickell on Saturday to introduce South Floridians to Rosa Regale sparkling red wine. At the “Paint the Town Red” event, attendees sipped on cocktails made with the slightly fizzy adult beverage, indulged in mini makeovers and took selfies with the British Grammy winner. Estelle, sporting long braids, told the crowd that her new album, True Romance, will be out soon.


Rosa Regale Paints The Town Rosa with Estelle

Rosa Regale invited out some of Atlanta’s most BEautiful women to experience their new “Paint The Town Red” Series. The series featured a BEauty makeover, hair and nail bar. The event and gift bags were sponsored by Shea Moister. The ever so popular Singer/Songwriter Estelle who made her way to Atlanta  hosted the event. The music selection was compliments of DJ Fadelf and of course cocktails were provided by Rosa Regale.


Paint the Town Rosa Event in Chicago

Who knew that we would have the ultimate girl’s day out experience at the Paint the town Rosa event, held at the Hard Rock hotel in Chicago. When host Daja and I attended this day event on August 9th, I thought business as usual. Usually when we cover events, I get so wrapped up in getting enough coverage, networking, and taking pics, I sometimes miss the experience of having fun. Crazy right? So letting my hair down literally wasn’t a part of the plan, neither was Daja’s. They not only had hair, makeup and nail touch ups, they also had DJ Niena Drake spinning on the turn tables, rocking the crowd with hit after hit. Everyone was out of their seat dancing, from house, to stepping, to even some old school hip-hop. The servers walked around with hor d’oeuvres, and Rosa Regale wine. If that wasn’t enough, they also had servers making mixed Rosa Regale cocktails. I was walking around the room feeling great. Talk about afternoon drinks (haha). Then in comes Grammy Award winner singer Estelle, mingling with the crowd, taking selfies with the fans, giving everyone a personable experience. To top it off, you left with a gift box with Rosa Regale wine, and some nice make up accessories. This event had you leaving feeling even more grown and sexy. Kudos to Rosa Regale for a wonderful event.

Source: [Read more...]

Inside the Ultimate Tuscan Getaway – with Castello Banfi & Delta Air Lines

A photo taken by Stan & Janette - winners of Delta's SkyMiles Auction with Banfi

A photo taken by visitors to Castello Banfi in July, 2014.

“Want the Ultimate Tuscan Getaway?”

This rather enticing subject line hit the inboxes of millions of Delta frequent fliers in June as part of the airline’s SkyMiles Online Auction, a site that allows SkyMiles members to redeem miles for unique items – e.g., trips, events, VIP experiences, etc.

The Tuscan getaway was offered by Castello Banfi and included a two-night stay at the luxurious Castello Banfi Il Borgo – rated as a top 10 hotel in Italy by Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards. The experience also featured private tours and wine tastings with Banfi proprietor Cristina Mariani-May and Delta Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson; reserved space at the exclusive Jazz & Wine festival in Montalcino; a two-night stay at the Westin Excelsior Florence; and $1,000 Delta Air Lines travel voucher to use towards a flight.

This was the first-ever item that Delta offered with a winery and the total bids at the end of the auction numbered 270 – with the four winning bids combining to more than 1.4 million miles. Within the bidding category, the Banfi trip garnered the largest number of bids across both 2013 and 2014.

Huge congrats to the winners of this phenomenal auction prize!

See below for stunning photos from the ultimate Tuscan getaway, graciously shared by fellow travelers Stan & Janette, who joined us at Castello Banfi in July.

Natura Wine Partners with Keep America Beautiful to Bring Beauty and Vibrancy to Our Communities

KAB_CaseStickerPartnership Focuses on Shared Values of Environmental Responsibility and Respect for Nature

Natura Wines, produced by Emiliana Organic Vineyards, the world’s leading organic winery, and Keep America Beautiful (KAB) announce their first-ever national partnership to focus on the groups’ shared values of respecting the environment and beautifying communities. The partnership will begin this fall and will also include local beautification projects championed by KAB’s community-based affiliate network.

The program is anchored in the natural fit between the principles of Natura and Keep America Beautiful.

“Natura’s consumers are engaged and aware. They make mindful, meaningful decisions,” says Lauren Marano, Brand Manager for Natura Wine. “They also have a love of the outdoors and an appreciation for a pure lifestyle. The connection with Keep America Beautiful is a natural fit.”

As part of the program, Natura and Keep America Beautiful will focus on beautifying and “greening” projects, storm water management projects, and improving the overall vibrancy of communities and favorite outdoor spaces.

Additionally, beyond the national efforts of the KAB organization, Natura will sponsor local projects in key markets directly with respective KAB affiliates. Most of these projects will emphasize native plantings, which aligns with Natura and Emiliana’s philosophy in the vineyards. The biodiversity of native trees and flowers is fundamental to Emiliana, as native plantings are naturally more resistant to weather and water conditions, protect the land against erosion, and help to reforest the estate.

Several examples of local affiliate projects with KAB include:

  • Native planting project in Colorado Springs, CO
  • Native planting, storm water management through planting, and locally driven greening project at Rockaway Youth Task Force Garden in Arvene, NY
  • Native planting project in the heart of Phoenix, AZ
  • Native planting and locally driven greening project in Winston-Salem, NC

“In our effort to build and sustain vibrant communities, it’s increasingly important that we focus on the planting of more ecologically appropriate native species,” said Jennifer Jehn, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful. “Keep America Beautiful’s partnership with Natura will help us toward that end as we bring people together to transform public places into beautiful spaces.” [Read more...]