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Bodegas Cornelio Dinastia in Rioja

Bodegas Cornelio Dinastia

While attending the APVSA (Association for the Promotion of Wines and Spirits in North America) wine tasting in early September in Washington, DC, I stopped at the table attended by Bodegas Cornelio Dinastia.

Bodegas Cornelio Dinastia is located in Navarrete, Rioja. One of the Bodegas Cornelio Dinastia tag lines is: LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL LIVE!

The focus of Bodegas Cornelio Dinastia is on producing organically grown and organically produced wines. The vineyards and winery put an emphasis on respecting the land and producing quality wines. According to the winery, “Our philosophy ‘Rioja en Cuerpo y Alma’ is to focus on preserving the grapes high quality characteristics, which is why gentle handling of the fruit is the guiding principle of our winery.” The winemaking team uses a combination of modern and traditional techniques to produce the wines.

Bodegas Cornelio is located in the renowned Rioja region of Spain. The winery is owned by José María Sénchez who, at the age of 74, has been involved in winemaking for 60 years – since he was 14. Bodegas Cornelio is a relatively new winery in the Rioja region.

The focus of Bodegas Cornelio is on producing organic wines with their organically farmed vineyards. The winery has 40 hectares of grapes.  The vineyards are located in the DOC Rioja DOC region of Rioja Alta. The average age of the vineyards is 40 plus years.

Tempranillo is the main grape variety in the vineyards. Other grape varieties include Garnacha, Mazuelo also known as Cariñena or Carignan , Graciano and Viura, known as Macabeu.

One technique of the organic vineyards is the use of seaweed. When asked about the use of seaweed, I was told that it is proprietary information. I found the use of seaweed intriguing. Recently while taking a tour in Newport, Rhode Island, our guide mentioned that in the late 1800s, seaweed was used as a fertilizer in home gardens.

Once the grapes reach the Bodegas Cornelio winery, dry ice is used to freeze the fruit. According to the Bodegas Cornelio Dinastia website, “This destroys the structure of the fruit and allows an almost selective extraction of the finest elements of the grape.”

Currently Bodegas Cornelio is producing 10,000 cases of wine.

At the APVSA wine tasting the first Bodegas Cornelio white Vega Vella wine was crisp with light floral notes.

Barrel fermented Vega Vella

The second white Vega Vella wine was barrel fermented. I found that the addition of oak added a bit of complexity to the wine. The mouthfeel was medium-bodied. The finish was crisp.

Viura 2016 was dry and crisp. The grapes for this wine were harvested from a 75 year old vineyard. The wine was a very pale yellow with notes of mineral and a hint of citrus (pineapple.) A pairing suggestion was lobster. Also consider pairing this wine with poultry and a variety of cheeses.

Vega Vella Rioja was a translucent red color. The wine was dry with  bold tannins.

Bodegas Cornelio Crianza 2014 was a red wine produce with Tempranillo. The wine was a translucent red color. The aroma included notes of blueberries and black raspberries.  The taste was of dark red berry fruit and blueberries. Tannins were medium. Consider pairing this wine with  grilled meat.

Watch for Cornelio Bodegas Dinastia wines at your local wine shop.


Cornelio Bodegas Dinastía
Carralaverde Street Number 3.  Ship 1 plot 5
26370 Navarrete (La Rioja )


On Oceania Insignia, Champagne Jacquart, Brut Mosaique

Champagne Jacquart, Brut Mosaique on Oceania Insignia

When we arrived in our room onboard the Oceania Insignia, there was a bottle of Champagne Jacquart, Brut Mosaique in an ice bucket awaiting us. A bit tired from the journey to NYC, we decided to pass on the champagne until we had reservations at the Polo Grill a few nights later.  Although the Grand Dining Room is very nice, the Polo Grill seems like a step above.

We noticed a crisper staff service as soon as we entered. Spying the bottle of champagne, we were immediately told that they would swap our bottle for one that was chilled. We did have our bottle in an ice bucket for a few hours, but apparently it was not cold enough. I thought that champagne would work well since I was on a mission to have seafood.

Champagne Jacquart, Brut Mosaique in the Polo Grill on Oceania Insignia

Sitting in the stern of the ship, as the sun slowly sank below the horizon, was an elegant setting, befitting a champagne. On first observation, the massive amount of tiny bubbles forming a central and circumferential mousse was noted. It was appealing to just watch the movement in the flute.

Grapes used to craft this champagne were from different vintages from the Côte des Blancs and Montagne de Reims. Rather than a single percentage of each varietal grape in the blend, Champagne Jaquart gives a range. The range for this champagne included Chardonnay (35% to 40%), Pinot Noir (30% to 35%) and Pinot Meunier (25% to 30%). Twenty-five percent of this blend was from reserve wine. The champagne was aged on the lees for at least three years.

Champagne Jacquart, Brut Mosaique in the Polo Grill on Oceania Insignia

The yellow colored champagne had freshly baked bread and apple on its aroma. The taste was reminiscent of apple, pear, citrus, freshly baked bread and mineral. The finish was crisp and cleansing.

The champagne paired well with my three seafood dished including two appetizers and an entree.

And the food …

Shrimp cocktail









Maryland Crab Cake



Newport® Mansions Wine & Food Festival

The Breakers Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island

While visiting Newport, Rhode Island for a day to discover the history as well as viewing the massive vintage mansions built in the late 1800s, we discovered that the Newport® Mansions Wine & Food Festival will take place  between September 21 and September 24. Check the website for the details of what events happen on which dates.

This festival will feature:

  • a two-day grand tasting
  • celebrity chef appearances
  • food and wine seminars
  • Wine & Rosecliff Gala
  • The Vintner Dinner
  • The Burgundy Grand Cru Dinner
  • Sunday Jazz Brunch
  • After Dark Party

The Preservation Society of Newport County will receive the proceeds. The Preservation Society’s mission is historic preservation.

Members of the Preservations Society of Newport County receive discounted tickets. Check out the website for more details.

Scenic view near the Breakers Mansion

Earlier this week we enjoyed a tour along the public pathway between the mansions and the ocean. If you have the opportunity, take a walk along this glorious area and enjoy watching the water as it splashes up agains the large rocks. If you take the opportunity to tour some of the mansions that are open to tourists (with tickets) you will get a sense of what life was like in the late 1800s for those with a great deal of money.


5K Benefit Run at Parducci Winery In Mendocino

On October 1, 2017 Parducci winery in Mendocino County, California will be the location of the 4th Annual Crush Rush 5K Benefit Run. On the day of the race check in is at 7:15am and the race begins at 8am.

The run will take participants through the 115-acre Parducci home vineyard. The path will be a combination of dirt and pavement. Whether you run, jog or walk, you can participate in this charity run that benefits the Ukiah Unified School District Gardens Program.

Parducci tasting room

Entry fees are $35 for adults. For those 17 years old and under the fee is $20. On the day of the race the fee for adults will be $45. Tickets are available online. The fee includes a brunch which is  provided by Chef Petti and the Mendocino College Culinary Program.

After the 5K race and brunch, stop by the Parducci tasting room to sample some of the Parducci wines.

Check out the article we wrote after a delightful visit to Parducci winery.




Wine More Time: Exploring New Wines

APVSA wine tasting in Washington, DC

Yesterday the APVSA (Association pour la Promotion des Vins et Spiritueux en Amérique du nord) brought the Wine More Time tour to Washington, DC. This special event provided wineries from France, Spain and Portugal the opportunity to showcase their wines to wine writers and wine distributors. The wine tasting tasting took place at Bistro Bis, just a convenient short walk from Union Station.


An overall view gave us the opportunity to taste organic wines from Spain, numerous 90+ rated wines, and wines from various regions in France. We found the wines to be well made and attractively priced for the US market.

During September the APVSA event will travel to various US and Canadian cities including:

Atlanta, Sept 7
Memphis, Sept 11
Albuquerque, Sept 12
Phoenix, Sept 13
San Diego, Sept 14
Los Angeles, Sept 18
San Francisco, Sept 19
Vancouver, Sept 20
Calgary, Sept 21
Denver, Sept 25
Milwaukee, Sept 26
Detroit, Sept 27
New York, Sept 28
Toronto, Sept 29


Yesterday’s event allowed us to taste numerous quality wines and talk with representatives from a variety of wine producers including:

Quinta do Covão (Portugal)
Edetària (Spain)
Bodegas Cornelio Dinastia (Spain)

Maison Jean Huttard (France)
Château Magdeleine Bouhou (France)
Champagne Jean Josselin (France)

Champagne Michel Jacquot (France)
Domaine les Yeuses (France)
Domaine de Sanac (France)

Numerous other wines were also available to taste, however; we chose to stop at the tables where we were able to talk with representatives of the wineries.

Wine distributors and wine writers will want to plan to attend one of the APVSA wine tastings conveniently offered throughout the US and Canada.

Watch this page for details about wineries and wines presented at Washington’s APVSA event.


3rd Annual Glorious Bites Challenge!

Gloria Ferrer Brut

Do you like sparkling wine and have a special recipe? You’ll want to check out this special event offered by Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards.

Do you have an appetizer recipe idea that might pair well with Gloria Ferrer’s Sonoma Brut? Submit your original recipe online by September 24, 2017. If you are not quite sure how to pair a sparkling wine with food, you will want to check out the suggestions on the Gloria Ferrer website.

In early October, twelve participants selected to continue in the competition will face a semi-final cook-off at one of three locations. For 2017 the locations are in Boston, Minneapolis, and Englewood, CO.

Winner of the 2016 Glorious Bites Challenge

The semi cook-offs are followed by the Glorious Bites Challenge Finals on October 14th at the renowned Gloria Ferrer Winery in Sonoma California. The selected finalist will receive $5,000.

To offer this delightful Gloria Bites Challenge, Gloria Ferrer Winery partners with Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company.

The judges for this year’s Glorious Bites Challenge include:

Creating a yummy appetizer.

In 2016, Terry and I were invited to attend the live semi-final, cook-off in Washington, DC. We had a wonderful experience. If you enjoy sparkling wines and good food you will want to try to attend one of the live cook-off events. Check out some of Wine Trail Traveler’s 2016 blogs about the Glorious Bites Challenge.

Wish we lived closer to one of the semi cook-off events!

Cheers! Kathy


More Labor Day Cocktails and Mocktails

Check out these cocktails for Labor Day. I have included two mocktail recipes which are great ideas for those who prefer not to have an alcoholic drink or may be a designated driver.

Four Cocktails

The Rear Window

1)The Rear Window


1 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 oz simple syrup*
2 oz water
3/4 oz Averna brand amaro


  1. Fill tall glass 3/4 with crushed ice. Place a long straw in the glass.
  2. In a shaker glass, combine water, lemon juice, simple syrup and regular ice. Shake and strain into prepared glass, leaving a 1/2-inch collar at the top.
  3. Slowly pour Averna so that it mostly lingers on top. (This is called a float of Averna. Do it in front of a crowd and it’s quite a show.)

*Simple Syrup: Equal parts by volume sugar dissolved in water.

Recipe created by Francis Schott, co-owner of Stage Left Steak, to honor the Hitchcock film. Recipe courtesy of Stage Left Steak, New Brunswick.

The Killer Bee Cocktail

2)The Killer Bee


2 oz Milagro tequila
1 oz Serrano chili-infused honey syrup*
1 oz fresh lemon juice
Serrano chili for garnish


Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and shake with ice; strain to a chilled cocktail glass.

*Honey Syrup: Equal parts honey and water. Infuse overnight with some smashed up Serrano chili peppers.

Recipe courtesy of Catherine Lombardi, New Brunswick

Pineapple Picante

3)Picante Pineapple


2.5 oz house-infused pineapple vodka
1/4 oz cayenne pepper syrup
1/4 oz lemon juice
sprig of mint


Muddle mint and syrup together, add lemon juice and vodka. Shake with ice and strain into martini glass. Garnish with a mint leaf.

Recipe courtesy of Ho-Ho-Kus Inn & Tavern, Ho-Ho-Kus



Salt Bae

4)Salt Bae


2 oz Tree City NJ corn vodka
1/2 oz summer tonic syrup
1 oz grapefruit Juice
kosher salt


  1. Rim half of a rocks glass with kosher salt.
  2. Combine vodka, tonic syrup and grapefruit juice in weighted shaking tins.
  3. Shake well, strain into salt-rimmed rocks glass.

Recipe courtesy of Restaurant Serenade, Chatham

Two Mocktails (Cocktail enjoyment without the alcohol)

Suco de Melancia com Hortelã

1)Suco de Melancia com Hortelã (Watermelon and mint juice)

Brazilian for “watermelon and mint juice,” this recipe is included in The Samba Montclair Cookbook by Executive Chef/Owner Ilson Goncalves, coming this month.


4 thick slices watermelon, without seeds
juice of 1/2 lemon
10 mint leaves, or more to taste
4-6 ice cubes


  1. Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender; blend until smooth. If your blender is having trouble blending, slowly add 1/2 cup water until it starts moving again. Yields 2 servings.

Recipe courtesy of Samba Montclair, Montclair

Turmeric Blueberry Lemonade Spritzer

2)Turmeric Blueberry Lemonade Spritzer


1-inch piece turmeric, juiced
1 oz blueberry syrup*
4 oz lemonade
2 oz seltzer
lemon slice for garnish

  1. Fill tall glass with ice. Pour in turmeric juice and blueberry syrup then gently pour in lemonade. Top with seltzer and garnish with lemon slice.

*Blueberry Syrup

1 pt fresh blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water


  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium low and continue simmering for 10-15 minutes until blueberries have popped.
  2. Remove from heat and cool.
  3. Strain blueberries through a fine mesh strainer pushing with back of a spoon to release all of the blueberry juices.
  4. Keeps refrigerated in a covered container for up to two weeks.

Recipe created by Owner/culinary Director Natalie Colledge at Plum on Park.

Recipe courtesy of Plum on Park, Montclair


6 Cocktail Recipes for Labor Day!

Nature’s Candy Spritzer

For this Labor Day weekend, I received several recipes and photos for some amazing cocktails. As you serve cocktails, also have plenty of water available for everyone. For your enjoyment, drink alcoholic beverages in moderation. We recommend using a designated driver. Many thanks to Santa Margherita  winery and Sparkling Ice for these recipes.

Nature’s Candy Spritzer


4 blackberries
2 mint leaves
Juice of ½ lemon
2 oz Gin
Sparkling Ice Lemon Lime


1.Place blackberries and mint into a cocktail shaker and muddle.
2. Combine lemon juice and gin, shake until combined.
3. In an ice filled rocks glass, strain blackberry mixture and top with Sparkling Ice Lemon Lime.
4. Garnish with fresh mint and serve.

Peach Royale

Peach Royale


Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore DOCG
1 oz. tequila
1 oz. white peach purée
½ oz. lemon juice
½ oz. simple syrup
3 dashes peach bitters


  1. Shake and strain on ice and top with Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore DOCG.
  2. Garnish with a peach wedge.

Watermelon Vodka Lemonade

Sparkling Watermelon Vodka Lemonade


3 cups seedless watermelon pieces
3 lemons, juiced
½ cup vodka
¼ cup fresh mint
2 cups Sparkling Ice Classic Lemonade


  1. In a blender, puree the watermelon and lemon juice, strain through a sieve into a drink pitcher.
  2. Add mint, vodka, and Sparkling Ice Classic Lemonade- then stir.
  3. Serve over ice and garnish with fresh mint.

Blackberry Smash

Blackberry Smash


2 oz Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore DOCG
Fresh blackberries
Fresh basil leaves
1 oz gin
½ oz simple syrup
½ oz fresh lemon juice


  1. Find some fun glasses to use – rocks glasses or stemless wine glasses look great.
  2. Muddle 6 blackberries and 3 basil leaves.
  3. Add gin, simple syrup, and lemon juice.
  4. Top off with Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore DOCG.
  5. Garnish with an extra few blackberries and a sprig of basil.

Wine Supercooler

Wine Supercooler


1 Part Reisling
1 Part Sparkling Ice Pomegranate Blueberry
Pomegranate Seeds
Teaspoon Agave


Mix all in a pitcher, pour into wine glasses and add a mint leaf garnish.

Spritz O’clock

Spritz O’Clock


Santa Margherita Sparkling Rosé
1 oz. Aperol
½ oz. vodka
½ oz. orange juice
Dash of passion fruit purée
5 drops of orange flower water


  1. Build over ice and top with Santa Margherita Sparkling Rosé.
  2. Garnish with an orange wheel and spray of orange blossom.


Savîle Premium Rumtini: An Island-Style Cocktail in a Bottle

Savîle Rumtini, a cocktail without the fuss!

Too tired to mix a rum cocktail? The Savîle Premium Rumtini may be just what you need! Just pour a little Rumtini over ice and enjoy. Of course there are other ways to enjoy the Savîle Premium Rumtini which may bring back memories of tropical island visits.

The history behind Savîle Premium Rumtini goes back to 1983, when Dee Tutt was planning to entertain her family and friends. Dee had visited islands in the Caribbean and wanted to create a beverage in the same style. Over the years Dee adapted the recipe based on suggestions. Her family and friends were lucky to be the ones to try the various adaptations. A few years ago, Dee developed a business plan to bring the Savîle Premium Rumtini to market. The Savîle Premium Rumtini is now available at many locations in California, Nevada and online.

The Savîle Premium Rumtini is available in one liter bottles and is 14% alcohol. This liquid gold beverage is gluten free and has no artificial preservatives.

Easy to use: add Rumtini and ice and shake!

Several suggested ways to enjoy the Savîle Premium Rumtini are available online. These include: Rumtini Dash, Rumtini Style, Cocktail Style, Sunday Brunch, Margarita Style and Savile Sangria.

After receiving a sample bottle of Savîle Premium Rumtini, we began with the Cocktail Style drink which was simply serving the Savîle Premium Rumtini over ice. This cocktail was a yellow color with aroma notes of pineapple and coconut. The taste was also of pineapple and coconut but with a hint of rum. The taste was sweet and crisp. The finish was crisp and fruity. We also tried the Rumtini style drink which was  easy to make if you have a cocktail shaker. Simply shake the Savîle Premium Rumtini in a martini shaker with ice and serve. This resulted in a dark yellow cocktail with aroma notes of pineapple and melon. The taste was of pineapple and lingered. We also tried the Margarita Style cocktail which called for a shot of tequila. This cocktail was an orange color. The aroma was of sweet pineapple. The taste was tropical and sweet. The mouthfeel was smooth. The finish was sweet with some spice notes of ginger and cinnamon.

Be creative with Savîle Rumtini by making your own cocktail!

Terry decided to make the Rumtini Dash but without the pomegranate liquor on hand, he went with creativity. He used the following ingredients: a dash of lime juice, a dash of apricot brandy and Rumtini. Pouring the mix over ice, the result was yummy! This cocktail offered a tropical fruit aroma with tastes of apricot, pineapple and citrus. The finish was crisp and fruity.

When you have a bottle of Savîle Premium Rumtini, try the suggested recipes on the Savîle Premium Rumtini website. You may want to add some of your own creativity and create your own cocktails with the Savîle Premium Rumtini.

If you like your cocktails fruity with hints of the Caribbean Islands, this may be just the beverage for you to try.


Mark Your Calendar: 34th Annual Maryland Wine Festival

Great Frogs Estate winery will attend Maryland Wine Festival

Make your plans and get your tickets soon for the 34th Annual Maryland Wine Festival taking place September 16 -17. This annual wine festival takes place in Westminster, Maryland at the renowned Carroll County Farm Museum.

Wine lovers and wine enthusiasts will have the opportunity to choose from 150 wines to taste provided by 25 Maryland wineries. This is a great opportunity to discover some of the many wines that Maryland wineries are now producing. Check out this list of Maryland wineries planning to attend this September festival.

Basignani Winery
Bodegas González Ruggiero
Boordy Vineyards
Bordeleau Winery
Cove Point Winery
Dragonfly Farms
Elk Run Vineyards
Far Eastern Shore Winery
Fiore Winery
Fridays Creek Winery
Great Frogs Winery
Great Shoals Winery
Knob Hall Winery
Layton’s Chance Vineyard & Winery
Linganore Winecellars
Olney Winery
Orchid Cellar Meadery and Winery
Port of Leonardtown Winery
Royal Rabbit Vineyards
Running Hare Vineyard
Solomons Island Winery
St. Michaels Winery
The Urban Winery
Turkey Point Vineyard

In addition these Maryland wineries, the large wine festival will have 45 artisans showcasing their works of art. Only juried artists will be featured at the festival. Look for handmade dresses, jewelry, photography, cigars, organic body care products, pottery and so much more.

Another feature for festival attendees to enjoy is The Maryland Cheese Pavilion. Four creameries will be attending the festival including Firefly Farms, High Country Creamery, Shepherds Manor Creamery and Whispering Breeze Farm.

Numerous food vendors will also be available. Look for specialties like basil salt, kettle corn, funnel cakes,  ice cream, Greek and Middle Eastern food, smoothies, pizza and much more.

Music bands providing music include Foreplay, The Reagan Years, Jah Works and Wylde Fire.

Tickets are available online. Several ticket options are available including VIP, general admission and designated driver tickets.

Enjoy discovering Maryland wine, food, arts and crafts, and music scheduled for the Carroll County Farm Museum!


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