Archive for the ‘ Wine Bars/Restaurants ’ Category

Spotlight: VinAssure Wine Preservation System

Wine lovers should be delighted to know there is a wine preservation system available that promises to preserve precious left over wine. No more wasted wine. Preserve up to 700 bottles per cylinder. Sounds great!

The VinAssure system is designed for restaurants, wine bars and wine lovers. It combines industrial grade Argon gas, an inert gas that when pumped into your favorite bottle prevents the oxidation of wine. With the VinAssure Wine Preservation system, opened bottles of wine now have the ability to retain their alluring bouquets and mouth filling palates by preventing wine oxidation for days.

Restaurant owners, wineries, tasting rooms and wine lovers can now rest assure that every glass served has the same appeal as when the bottle was first opened. No more wasted premium wine. The VinAssure preservation system preserves wine for up to a week or more depending upon the wine and tasters palate.

VinAssure uses only winery grade ALIGAL Argon. The Argon displaces whatever air is in the bottle and that along with refrigeration forms the winning combination to preserve the wine. It’s reasonably priced; less than $0.04 per use and easy to use.  It’s one of the lowest costs per use wine preservation system on the market today.

No more wasted wine!

Next up: I put the Vin Assure Wine Preservation system to the test.

VinAssure Wine Preservation System


On The Road Eating and Drinking

Regional Beer of Barcelona, Spain

I cannot stress enough that if one is traveling abroad you must first try regional cuisine and drink. Drink of course includes lots of water if one is walking the city- then have the wine, beer, and any other libations the area consider part of their culture or heritage.

While in Spain and the southern region of France we did just this. If you are not sure what to drink, do not hesitate to ask. We found ourselves in a few eateries that offered beer selections to match the food, and they were all wonderful. My son who is twenty three thoroughly enjoyed this. Sampling beer along the trail was one of the highlights of his trip. Wine of course was ours. Among other things they had to offer was a Segovian made Whiskey- D.Y.C., and in four styles.

Your basic DYC, an 8, 12, and a Pure Malt version. Not to mention it was a very low euro price too. Well, at least outside of the city, and in the small markets. Many hotels charge an arm and a leg for most drinks, so beware. At fifteen euros for a cheap glass of scotch or whiskey, you might find yourself in one of their bread lines, literally (LOL). They offer up plenty of bread at the Tapas Bars, but there is where you will find your bargain food and drink!

Olive You!

More on the D.Y.C. Whiskey later, but for now, my favorite pairing on the trip- Local olives and a great glass of red wine!


Chef Elizabeth Stelling

Pays Basque Wines of Xareta

Hotel Restaurant Lastiry, Sare/Fr

Most recently a trip was taken by my family to Espaina and the southern region of France- Xareta, which means “Wooded Valley”. We visited one of the villages, Sare (Sara) in the Basque region.

This charming town is part of the winding roadways off the major Autovia, or highway once you cross the French border. There we had two wines of the area with our meal, before setting off to San Sebastian, the other side of the Basque border.

A white and red wine, both AOC Irouleguy- Andere D’Ansa (white, 09) and Gorri D’Ansa (red, 07). Soft and light, but well matched for the regional dishes of seafood (squid and scallops, of which are mostly small) and le boeuf (veal).

A plus in this region and Spain were the offerings of small bottles, and no competitive pricing. Spain has no taxing on alcohol, because the believe that ‘Wine Is Food’, so I suspect France may be the same. Finding a bottle for as little as 1 Euro is not uncommon. Maybe not as good, but easy on the Euros with meals. I would suggest if you are ever near this region, which just above and to the left is Bordeaux- do not pass this experience up.

Our hotel and restaurant are connected- service, food and wine were excellent. If you do not speak French (a bit different in Basque), the hotel receptionist if on duty speaks English, and helped us with the menu since the wait staff had no patience with my son’s Spanish or our unused French from college and about. Spanish is also spoken, but a bit choppy with the French mixed in. I would suggest a Berlitz course, or lessons before you go.

Food- Basque, but French in many ways. Scallop pie, Le Boeuf Kidney Pie, and a beautiful Squid Casserole.

Also, one last suggestion- For breakfast, skip the lobby breads, and head down to the left, around the corner, and down the alley like street to the local bakery- Pan/Pain for some chocolate crescents. The memory of them lingers…some red wine would go well!

The food, wine and scenery is beautiful!


Chef Elizabeth Stelling Food ~ Wine ~ Fun!

HISTORY: Xareta is an association law 1901 of French right dating from September 2004, gathering 4 villages on the two side of the border: Ainhoa, Sare, Urdazubi-Urdax and Zugarramurdi.

The country of Xareta, zone of a few square kilometres, forms a common basin of life on the two side of the border, around the villages Urdazubi-Urdax, Zugarramurdi, Ainhoa and Sare. The territory is located near mountains and sea. Moreover, Xareta has a strong cultural identity, thanks to the bonds of its inhabitants, who exceed the borders.

Sare/Sara, Fr Village View

Destination Ironbound translates Little Portugal

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Ironbound District/Ferry Street

Many neighborhoods have their history, but few have their history re-written in such a strong way as the Ironbound District of Newark. Typically in Central Jersey (depending on where you really live), the area is full of Asian culture cuisine. You want your pick of Indian food and markets? You will find eateries all along Route 1, Princeton to Edison. Of course New York City has wall to wall ethnic food choices that over flow into the bordering state of New Jersey.

As it does today, the Ironbound had inhabitants of many ethnic groups in the 19th century, with Germans, Lithuanians, Italians, and Poles being prominent. As well as during the mid-twentieth century it was also home to a large African-American population, so I am sure the restaurant scene was a cultural variance before now. With its streets dotted with Portuguese eateries and the greater influx dominating the area in the 1950’s; its well worth the drive from any section of New Jersey for an early dinner on Saturday and Sunday.

The Ironbound is a large working-class neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey. This close-knit, multi-ethnic community covers approximately four square miles. Historically, the area was called “Dutch Neck,” “Down Neck,” or simply “the Neck,” because of the way the Passaic River curved to form what looked like a neck. Today, the neighborhood is sometimes referred to as “Little Portugal” or “New Jersey’s Portugal” owing to its large Portuguese community. The Ironbound is part of Newark’s East Ward and is directly east of Penn Station and Downtown Newark, and south and west of the river.

The name “Ironbound” was once said to have originated from the many forges and foundries that were found in this area during the latter half of the 19th century, however, the name probably came from the rail tracks that surrounded the area when the railroads were constructed during the 1830s.

Want to get a taste of the foods and culture of Portugal? Visit the Ironbound District now. Since 1910, the area has deep roots and is home to many Portuguese Social Clubs. This past weekend a Portuguese music festival was taking up the block of Independence Park off . Taste of Portugal was the site for our Women For Winesense Tasting, and did they do a great job serving up healthy portions of various well know dishes. The largest selection of restaurants are found off Ferry and Market Street, north Ironbound area.

Check back Wednesday when I share the ‘Best Of’ wines and food we all enjoyed!


Chef Elizabeth Stelling Food ~ Wine ~ Fun!

Taste Of Portugal Paella- Yummy!

Wineing The Jersey Shore

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Iron Horse Pinot Noir & Cheese Platter

Want a sexy hot spot to take summer guest and people watch, or an out-of-town client to wine and dine? Before or after summer is in full swing The Wine Loft is your destination. Who doesn’t like beach combing? A good eatery and wine bar has grown in popularity and part of this activity. After April you may be at risk of sudden squalls, but no worries, just run for the cover of The Wine Loft, Long Beach in Pier Village.

Pier Village is one of the areas upscale draws for a ‘hip foodie’ crowd on the shore. TWL offers wines by the glass, specialty cocktails, wine flights, and great prices on bottles are a draw. The menu reads like a tapas bar (small plates), but no worries, prices match the wine list, and normal for portion size. Wine tastings are offered during weeknights- a great way to work your way around any wine list.

Want to nosh, try the many appetizer choices- their cheese platter with an Irish Porter Stout is meaty (all are good), a good pairing with their Pinot Noir (New World) flight, or Iron Horse Chardonnay (hints of oak). They will enthusiastically bring more baby gherkins, bread or other additions if you ask. The wild mushroom bruschetta was absolutely incredible and easy to share. We also got crab/shrimp and blue cheese in puff pastry with sweet chili sauce. Need more; order salads or a larger entrée portion- .

The bartenders/staff are friendly, knowledgeable about the food, as well as the drinks they pour. This is a great end to a day at the beach, or before eating at one of the restaurants around the corner. Skip dessert and take a walk around the pier as you gaze out into the ocean’s sunset, or your partner’s eyes.

32 Laird Street
Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 222-7770

Tasting Tuesday- Chef Fresco Talks Baron Herzog

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Cheers to Baron Herzog!

We Found this bottle at Trader Joe’s (shocker, I know) and it was a really nice selection. I enjoy a good Cabernet because it always seems to be a bit smoother than a Merlot while still having a good red wine flavor.

The only down side for me is that one; it seems to stain my teeth really bad, and two; it makes me extremely sleepy. I don’t know much about the teeth staining but I think certain people must be more susceptible than others. Reason being that I get it really bad, however Jessi does not. My father also gets exceptional red teeth when drinking red wines—so much that my mother has since forbid him to drink them in public settings, since he looks so ridiculous.

I must admit that this does pose a problem when cheesing it up for photos—you look like a vampire. Well besides the red teeth and sleepy side effects the cab was great. It did not seem to be as fruity as I like but had some hints of vanilla. I would consider the wine to have a high level of tannins. Don’t know what that is? It’s basically the acidity level in a wine, learn some more here from this friendly lady- comes from the stems and seeds when fermenting. Being this wine was not very fruity or sweet I would consider the wine to be very dry, witch I prefer in a Cab. I recommend pairing this wine with a red sauce pasta dish or red meat.

Overall I give it a good recommendation and we might even serve it at our wedding.

Team Chef Fresco– Jessi and Michael are two 20-somethings who are about to be hitched. They both are native North Carolinians and currently live in Charlotte. They stay very busy with work – Jessi does a fair amount of traveling and Michael spends a lot of time on his own freelance work. They are also new homeowners and love to spend time fixing up the new house. Writing about food, wine, and beer on their blog is one of the favorite pass times!

Partners In Wine Team rate this bottle a thumbs up for those of you who love a chewy big Cabernet!

Thumbs Up!