Saturday, November 6, 2010

Westport Rivers Winery Tour

We’re all about supporting locally made products …especially wine! Many people don’t realize that there are dozens of wineries in Massachusetts and Greater New England making some seriously good wines. One of our absolute favorite winemakers is Westport Rivers Winery in Westport, MA. In early October we took a group of customers for a visit, and did we have a great time!

Westport Rivers Winery was established in 1982 by the Russell family in the coastal town of Westport. They’ve won numerous awards for their champagne-style brut and produce a variety of quality white wines. We learned all about the winery from Craig Caesar, Westport Winery’s sales director. We tasted chardonnay grapes from the vines, had some freshly pressed Riesling juice, and sampled many of their varietals – chardonnay, Riesling, rkatsiteli, a dessert wine made from pinot noir grapes, and a few sparkling wines.

And best of all? We got to learn all about the winemaking process: growing, crushing, fermenting, and bottling. Learning about where your wine comes from makes you appreciate it even more!

We had a wonderful time with our fantastic customers, and we’re looking forward to many more winery events like this one! Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wine Accessory Feature: VinniBag

Wine makes a great souvenir. What better way to relive a fantastic moment of your vacation, right? But transporting wine back in your luggage? Not so fun. Between carry-on restrictions and rough baggage handlers, you might find yourself walking away from that special bottle. No one wants their wine confiscated from a carry-on, or worse – broken inside their checked luggage.

Well, fear not, intrepid traveler! VinniBag is here to help. Inflatable and reusable, this nifty invention is guaranteed to keep your wine unharmed by impact. So, pack up your wine and tuck it into your checked luggage without a worry! The product has been fully inspected and meets all airline guidelines. It’s also great for transporting other fragile items. MSNBC featured VinniBag in a recent article and has received lots of great responses.

So, go ahead and buy that amazing Sangiovese! It’ll be in perfect condition when you get home. But we don’t recommend taking home the spaghetti carbonara you had with it. Even a VinniBag can’t help you there.

VinniBag is available for purchase at Bon Vivant for $24.99.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Wines for Easter Dinner

We love Easter candy. Maybe a little bit too much. But we love wine even more, and so we think it's just as important to celebrate the day with a delicious bottle of wine as it is to eat many, many chocolate eggs. Whether you're making ham, lamb, or poultry, there are a number of wines that pair beautifully with traditional Easter foods.

Rose wines are great with ham and poultry dishes. Characterized by soft berry flavors, these wines are light, delicate, and refreshing. And their pink color is certainly appropriate!

If lamb is on the menu, try a bold Syrah. With flavors of black cherry, cassis, and peppery notes, Syrahs stand up well to the gaminess and richness of lamb. They're also great with a nice cut of beef.

With the beautiful weather this weekend, maybe you're thinking about firing up the grill. Malbecs are sensational with grilled foods. Characterized by aggressive flavors of plum and blackberry with a smooth and long finish, these wines are great with the smoky, bold flavors of barbecue. Malbecs are also great with many cuts of pork.

Making chicken or turkey? Roses would be a great option again. A citrusy, light sauvignon blanc or a crisp, creamy chardonnay would also be delicious.

And with all the sweets going around, don't forget that dessert wines are a great celebratory treat, too!

Whatever is on the menu, make sure the wine is just as special as the meal and your company! We'd be happy to suggest some great ones for you. Happy Easter!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Wine School at Bon Vivant

On March 4th and 11th, Bon Vivant hosted a two-session seminar with Harold Toussaint of The Wine School. The task? To learn about major wine varietals. Two classes, twelve wines. Week one: whites. Week two: reds. The result? Twelve students with an increased knowledge of varietal characteristics and wine terminology.

Among the wines tasted were Riesling, Viognier, Gew├╝rztraminer, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and Pinot Noir. With much swirling, sniffing, and sipping, the class learned how appearance, aroma, mouth feel, and finish characterize different varietals. And more broadly, the class discussed the impact of soil and climate on wine varietals. By tasting the same varietals grown and produced in different countries, students noticed the differences within one varietal. A French chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc were remarkably more subtle than their counterparts from California and New Zealand.

And who better to learn from than Harold Toussaint? A Maitre Sommelier and founder of The Wine School, a business focused on wine education, he has an outstanding palate; he can look at, smell, and taste a wine and tell you its type, country and region of origin, and age. Participants in the class might not be at this level quite yet, but they’ve certainly been empowered to keep tasting and learning!

Keep an eye out for future educational events offered at Bon Vivant!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Price-Reducing Wine Innovations by Boisset Family Estates

You’re going to love Jean-Charles Boisset. Why? He’s hard at work reducing wine prices, without reducing quality. This might not seem possible, but Boisset Family Estates was named the 2008 “Innovator of the Year” by Wine Enthusiast Magazine for a reason: they’re constantly developing cost-saving and eco-friendly ways to package wine.

Get this – of the total price you pay for a bottle of wine, only 10% is the actual cost of the wine. Yup, that’s right. The other 90% of the cost goes toward transportation and packaging. Boisset is working on making lighter and equally efficient packaging to reduce the cost of wine. He’s so far come up with five key innovations, which Bon Vivant heard him speak about at the recent Boston Wine Festival.

-The Tetra Pak carton used for Boisset’s French Rabbit wines is a one-liter, octagonal-shaped package with a screw-top
closure and label-free packaging. It’s fully recyclable and saves 60% on packaging costs.
-The PET bottle used for Fog Mountain wines is a recyclable, shatterproof plastic bottle, ideal for taking on picnics or boat trips.
-He’s made aluminum bottles that are great for Beaujolais, and they are continuously
recyclable. When used for chilled wines, aluminum bottles stay cold longer.
-A line of lighter glass bottles uses 460 grams of glass versus 600+ grams.
-Wine service by the glass has changed with DeLoach Vineyard’s Barrel to Barrel. Barrels contain 10-liter bags of Pinot Noir poured from a spigot in the barrel, which reduces packaging,
eliminates corkage, and delivers an extra liter of wine compared to a traditional 9-liter case.

Eco-friendly and wallet-friendly? Boisset Family Estates is definitely a wine producer to watch.

[photo from]

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

EVENT: Uncork the Good Life Classes

Beginning on January 21, we'll be offering our Uncork the Good Life classes. Attend four classes designed to help you really know which wines are right for which meals and especially which wines are good for you. Wendy Koder of Wendy Talks Wine will lead you through the classes:
Class 1, Super Palate: This class will help you identify your likes, and dislikes, and learn how to communicate them when you purchase wine at a restaurant or wine shop. By the end of this class we will taste wines and create our own descriptions using typical wine terminology.
Class 2, Getting Down to Basics: How is wine made? How do the bubbles get in the wine? What's the difference between Chardonnay and Riesling? Should I buy wine with a screwcap? We will start from scratch in this class to be sure everyone understands some of the basics. Bring your questions!
Class 3, Wines of the World: There is now more good wine available than ever before. In this class you will travel with me all over the world tasting wines sometimes made from grapes only grown in that country.
Class 4, Which Wine with Dinner?: o what wine goes best with the dinner you're making tonight? Let us help make it easy for you with this special food and wine tasting. This class is my most popular class so you won't want to miss it!
Click here to register for the class, $80. Email us with questions or call us at 781-767-9463. See you there!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

EVENT: Sparkling Wine Tasting, Wed. 12/30

Looking for that special bottle of bubbly to ring in the end the decade? Join us today, December 30 for an in-store sparkling wine tasting. See you there, at 1395 N. Main Street, in Randolph from 5 to 8.