Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Wines of Summer (and beyond of course especially for Seafood Lovers) and an NYC restaurant reco! #WineWednesday #WordlessWednesday

Just in time for your summer sipping pleasure, a Wine Tasting that gave this seafood lover *life* in a spectacular restaurant I also need to put on your radar!

On the eve of Romania's National Day, I had the pleasure of attending an industry trade and media event in New York City hosted at AVRA Madison Estiatorio as part of the Open The Romanian Program in conjunction with The Iconic Estate division of the Alexandrion Group and developed by French retail giant Carrefour.
The aim of the program and this event is to increase awareness and of course the availability of Romanian Wines in the U.S. marketplace and worldwide.
(There is something in this particular photo above that plays into something amazing I will be doing next fiscal quarter, won't speak on it now, but just remember I dropped this cryptic hint!) 

The well curated event featured newer wine brands, some made exclusively of its local grape varieties.

Included for our tasting pleasure:

Rhein Extra Magnifique Brut - About this wine: It is fresh, expressive, floral notes, shades of citrus and honey. long slightly spicy finish. This special sparkling wine will play nicely with appetizers, your charcuterie board, and can also nicely accompany fruit-based desserts.

Hyperion Feteasca Neagra Rose - About this wine: Fresh and Fruity with delicate aromas of strawberries and red berries, balanced acidity and the skin contact is short - only long enough to ensure color. Food Pairing Suggestions: poultry (roasted chicken!), fish (especially my personal favorite, Salmon) or spicy seafood.

La Sapata Babeasca Neagra - About this wine: It starts off giving you light and fruity, but there is a subtle aromatic intensity where you should recognize notes of chocolate and cherries. There are notes of prunes as well and a lovely ruby red color. Food pairings: seasoned pasta, white meats, and I love nothing more than pairing a quality red with a quality chocolate!

Avincis Olt de Vie Negru de Dragasani - About this wine: I always immediately recognize oak barrel aging. 30% of this wine was aged in French oak barrels for 18 months. It is a deep purple color with a powerful bouquet and a touch of spice, flavors of black fruits including black cherries and blueberries. And a surprising note of violet. Definitely intense cherry juice flavors with a subtle hint of fresh pepper. Food Pairings: Dry Duck Breast or a slow cooked meat with a wine sauce. I would definitely hit this with Oxtails! Fun fact: The winery was designed as a ship located on the top of a hill with walls plated with limestone and I hope to get a chance to visit there!

Domeniile Averesti Busuioaca de Bohotin - About this wine: This wine with identity for the region of Moldova has a specialy body with aromas of basil, rose petals, honeycomb, wild strawberry and a unique aroma of Honeysuckle (Mother of God's hand), serve well chilled. Food Pairings: Risotto with seafood, soft cheese, fine pies

Marinela Ardelean, international wine critic, author of five books about Romanian wines, served as the ambassador of the Open The Romanian Wine Program and led New York's first exploration of exclusive award-winning Romanian wines produced by top wineries.

The open tasting was followed by a Luncheon at AVRA Madison Estitario located at 14 East 60th Street in New York City. If you haven't yet visited this restaurant, RUN, GO NOW! The food was absolutely amazing and each dish perfectly accompanied the wines. Their Octopus is by far the best I have ever tasted in NYC! And for my PR and Brand friends reading this who always ask me for venue suggestions for events - you need to put AVRA on the top of your list!  


For those of you that know when Romanian Day actually is, please do not think I am nuts for holding off on this recap, I did it for a very specific reason. There is a powerful (yet NOT overpowering!) minerality to these wines that paired perfectly with the seafood dishes. When I attended this tasting I immediately thought of the summer moments these wines would pair with. I love seafood and while I eat it year round, I eat more of it during summer months.

My Take: This event literally brought me out of hiding. When things shut down in 2019, I completely stopped taking events. Oddly it was a wine tasting that was the last event I attended the week that NYC locked down and this wine tasting was my first event back in almost two years AND my literal first drink since 2019! And it was well worth it. The wines were stellar, the food was amazing and the service impeccable. Our 'somm and emcee' was knowledgeable and engaging and I literally left with my heart full. It was great to reconnect with other journalists, get the chance to learn more about Romanian Wines and for a fleeting moment enjoy the wanderlust that comes to mind when tasting wines from another region. 

Fun facts about me: I have never been to Napa. My wine experience has all been with mostly international wines. I need to do some trips focusing on USA wines (so tourism boards hit me up!)

Books and Music have always been a way to transport myself somewhere new and wine is definitely right up there as well. Since a good wine and a good book definitely go hand in hand, I will have to do a post soon on some books to put on your radar and add to your reading list.

Yes I have started curating a 'Romania and Moldova' private Pinterest Board to get travel ideas thanks to this wine tasting!

Readers Sound Off: Did this review add a new wine to your list? Which one would you most like to try first and what would you pair it with?
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FTC Disclosure: I attended a Press Luncheon, no monetary compensation has been received. All opinions are 100% my own! I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255 - Guides Concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising, you may check our Giveaway and Disclosure Page for additional information regarding Ascending Butterfly Disclosure. Like this article? Buy your Editor a coffee to say thanks for the read here: