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Welcome...

Hi - We're the Grape Girls!

We've made it our mission to demystify the wine tasting experience, food pairing and selection process. We'll keep you posted on what's new and hot on the food and wine scene. We want to share our love of food, wine and travel with the world and can't wait for YOU to join us on our adventures.

Grape Crush Productions, Atlanta's premier food and wine event specialists, has been voted one of Atlanta's BEST businesses - every year since 2009 - for bringing the "tasting room" to living rooms, offices and venues across metro Atlanta.

We're the creators and producers of Atlanta Food & Wine Month, Atlanta Winter Wine + Jazz Festival, Buckhead Wine Festival, Chefs in the City , Organic Wine & Food Fair and other hot local events.

Be sure to fan us on Facebook and follow on Twitter for recent event pics, special offers and exclusive event invitations.

Remember, compromises are for relationships, NOT wine! :)

The next sip is yours...

Cheers!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

It's a Wrap!



Atlanta Food & Wine Month (April 2-30, 2009) had the entire city sipping around town at wine tastings, art galleries, restaurants, shopping parties, community service projects and more! Please join us at Thrive Restaurant on Thursday, April 30th for the official closing event. We'll break out the bubbly to say farewell to the April festivities and head into 31 Days of Jazz and the Atlanta Jazz Festival this May. Click here for more information or visit us online at www.GrapeCrushEvents.com.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Get a "Taste" of Marietta on April 26!




Grape Crush Productions is a proud partner of Taste of Marietta. Please join us for the 16th annual event on Sunday, April 26th. Cobb county's largest food festival features 50 restaurants, four stages with live music, cooking demos and more! Visit www.tasteofmarietta.com for details!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Grape Girls Do Wine and a Musical!

"Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris" is currently playing at the Alliance Theatre. As part of Atlanta Food and Wine Month, Grape Crush Productions' followers received a ticket to the show and a glass of wine at a discounted price. What could be better than enjoying a nice glass of wine while you are taking in the arts.

The stage was fabulous as a Parisian cabaret with 2 live bars that patrons could actually order from before the show started and at intermission. Hanging from the ceiling was over 3 dozen chandeliers--they said they had borrowed from every theater in Atlanta! And then to top it off, the voices of the 4 performers throughout the entire show were amazing! The songs were various love songs--some incredible sad and some where you couldn't stop laughing. All in all it was a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Red Sky Tapas & Bar


This cool little East Cobb spot (my fave OTP find) features caribbean infused cuisine, live entertainment and 1/2 price bottles of wine every Wed and Sun!









Click here to check out the menu. My top picks are the crab cakes, blue cheese calamari and lamb chops. The wine list - lots of new varietals to try starting at only $5/glass!

Click here to visit us on Facebook to view the photo album from my evening at Red Sky - hope to see YOU there soon!
PHOTO: Kyla with Chef Bryan (left) and Owner Terry (right)



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What's YOUR favorite hotspot (in Atlanta or around the world)?
Tell the Grape Girls and we just might drop in to visit!

Visit our blog frequently for updates and special offers from our favorite hotspots:
http://grapecrushevents.blogspot.com/

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Grape Girls are now on Facebook!




Follow the Grape Girls on their wine-ventures...


We'll keep you posted on what's new and hot on the food and wine scene as we


eat, sip and savor all over the globe.




Become a fan of our Facebook page to receive exclusive invitations to


upcoming wine events and FB only ticket discounts and special offers!



Click here to join us today!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Ash Bash Event Photos! (April 9, 2009)




Atlanta's movers and shakers came together to "wine and roll" during Atlanta Food & Wine Month! Click here to view the event pics!



Be sure to join our email list or sign-up to follow our blog for details of the Summer Ash Bash!!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Grape Gurus Wine Membership Club




SPECIAL OFFER:
Join the Grape Gurus wine membership club and receive FREE admission to the following Atlanta Food & Wine Month events:

April 9 - Cigars & Wine @Ash Cigar Co.
Visit www.ashbash.eventbrite.com for details

April 10 - The Art of Wine @Studio Clout Fine Art Gallery
Visit www.artofwine.eventbrite.com for details

Offer ends Thursday, April 9th at Noon so act fast!!!!

Visit our blog frequently for "Grape" deals - http://grapecrushevents.blogspot.com.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Kosher Wines for Passover

From The Vineyard Wine Market (www.thevineyardwinemarket.com)

2005 Baron Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon, California
This is a very approachable Cabernet Sauvignon with berry and plum notes finishing with fruity blackberry and spice flavors. It is light in the mouth with food-friendly acidity and tannin and hints of sweet French oak on the finish. Grapes for this wine are selected from vineyards in California's Central Coast areas of San Luis Obispo and Edna Valley and the northern coastal areas of Sonoma.
Kosher for Passover

2006 Baron Herzog Chardonnay, Central Coast
This Chardonnay is crisp and refreshing, perfect for summer. Smooth textured yet lively on the palate, our Central Coast Chardonnay serves up a fine array of apple, pear and vanilla-like flavors. This wine is a blend of Central Coast and Russian River Chardonnay. The central coast fruit displays tropical fruit, citrus, and chamomile. The barrel fermented Russian River fruit contributes oak notes in the nose and mouth and body.
Kosher for Passover

2006 Baron Herzog Sauvignon Blanc, California
This wine exemplifies Sauvignon Blanc, which should be crisp and light and show hints of citrus and herbs. A very refreshing quaff. The grapes for this wine were hand harvested from selected Central Coast vineyards in the Santa Barbara and Edna Valley appellations. The wine is very light in the mouth with distinctive lychee, pear and green components. Bright, crisp acidity leads to a lingering tropical finish. Kosher for Passsover

2008 Bartenura Moscato D'Asti, Italy
The Moscato grape is naturally rich in perfumes, and the production of this wine is geared towards preserving these aromas in the finished wine. Only the best grapes are used, and fermentation takes place at a low temperature in order to give a wine with fresh, peachy perfumes and a light, grapey fruit. Ideal on its own, as an apertif, or with fruit or light deserts. Serve chilled and drink young. Kosher For Passover

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Atlanta Food & Wine Month - More HOT Events!


Atlanta Food & Wine Month officially sipped-off on April 2 with "A Sip Around the World. Guests were treated to exquisite wines from around the globe (South Africa, Spain, California, Romania and more) and a sampling of the Wine Loft's new Spring menu.


Click here for a few photos from the purple carpet extravaganza.


Don't miss this week's HOT events:


April 9 - Cigars & Wine @Ash Cigar Co.

April 10 - Art of Wine at Studio Clout Fine Art Gallery


Visit http://www.grapecrushevents.com/ for the complete calendar.

We hope to see YOU there!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Restaurant Reality Show Casting Call

Are you opening your very first restaurant but lack any real restaurant experience? Would you welcome the advice of a restaurant consultant?

If this is you, we want you to be featured in an episode of a new exciting TV series for a major food network called Restaurant 101. In every episode of this captivating and very real one-hour series, restaurant coach David Adjey provides first-time restaurant owners with the tools to open and run a successful business.


Red Apple Productions, is having a Casting Call for a new reality show for the Food Network. Restaurant 101, and wants to talk to people who plan to open a restaurant by September 2009.
David Adjey, will work with the restaurateur to help get the place off the ground. He has been a private chef to Dan Akroyd, chef at the Rihga Royal Hotel in NYC, and chef/owner of Nectar in Canada.


They’re looking for “compelling characters with good personal stories and high stakes.” The planned restaurant can be a simple wings and brew pub, up to a white-linen table modern American - and everything in between.


If you are planning to open in a short period of time call today for more information!
This opportunity is available to anyone!


Atlanta Restaurant Exchange
1708 Peachtree St NWSuite 520
Atlanta Georgia 30309
restaurant101@redapple.com
404-892-4999

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Traveling While Drinking

Can the Wine Tourism Trend Save Travel?
By Robert P. Farmer

While it's no new concept in the valleys of Napa or Sonoma, the idea of wine tourism is starting to take root across the globe. From France to Germany and Australia to Chile, people are increasingly booking passage based less on the destination itself than on the wine produced in that destination.

Wine lovers everywhere are discovering that it's more fun to drink their way through vacation than to sit idle on, say, a beach reading the latest trashy best-seller. Wine Tourism is providing a renewed sense of purpose for leisure time and it is not limited to wine aficionados. Thanks in part to concerted efforts by wine-producing regions to espouse their industry and leverage it for fun and profit, the wine tourism trend appears to be something travelers can savor.

The numbers support it. Through the middle years of this decade, visitors to California wineries increased by an order of magnitude--by some five million between 2002 and 2005, and again by another four million in the past three years. Indeed some of that can be attributed to a heightened awareness of California wines, but the population in these wineries also correlates to an increase in travel to the wine-producing regions in the state. And with the advent of such entities as the Russian River Wine Road--which places an official stamp on what would otherwise be simply the road one would travel anyway to get to the wineries--travelers are more apt to center their itineraries on something that is already laid out before them.

California is not alone. The Silverado Trail in Napa is perhaps the first true wine trail in America. But roads connecting wineries in vineyard-rich regions from Oregon to Virginia are being officially "designated" as wine trails designed for tourism convenience. The Monticello Wine Trail of Virginia has helped reinvigorate tourism in the area where once only history buffs dared to tread. Now, visitors are getting another angle on the Thomas Jefferson story--one in which they discover that the man was also something of a wine aficionado in addition to being simply an architect of a country.

Similarly, countries such as France, Spain, and Australia have aggressively positioned their respective wine industries as prime reasons to pay them a visit. Initiatives have not just begun and ended with advertising campaigns, but also involved government funding to help bolster infrastructure in these regions ranging from new hotels and restaurants to packaged vacations centered on food and wine.

To be sure, another reason for the increase in wine-related travel is the shift in interest among consumers toward so-called lifestyle. The coincidental rise in, for example, the popularity of the Food Network and the Travel Channel, has spurred along the interest in all things culinary. Wine was, of course, well positioned to benefit from the trend. But that's not the only reason for the uptick in wine tourism. Additional motivations are myriad and include everything from wine education to the pleasure of exploration.

With the travel industry shaking in its collective boots during this economic Armageddon, wine tourism may just be the trend that saves the day. Because gone are the days of travel for travel's sake. This is travel with a purpose. And what better purpose can there be than to drink wine?

Wineries to Watch

From WineCountry.com
By Courtney Cochran

Each year I attend countless wine tasting events where I am inevitably plied with the wines of hundreds if not thousands of producers from our own backyard and the far corners of the globe. Along the way, I sip, swirl and spit the likes of sparkling wines from Brazil, sweet wines from Sonoma, soulful reds from Lake County and intriguing, sea-scented whites from Galicia. I also shake hands, take notes, snap pictures and invariably return home with piles upon piles of notes enthusing about the nuances of new wines and their various vintners.What follows is a list of some of the more memorable wines I've sampled lately.

Vinhos Mioranza - Brazil
Situated in southern Brazil's Rio Grande do Sul uplands not far from the Uraguay border, Vinhos Mioranza is helping to put Brazilian sparkling wine on the map in a big way. The winery's Brut bubbly ($20) - made in the Champagne style from a combination of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes - is a charming stand-in for finer stuff, while the winery's Sparkling Moscatel is a super-aromatic, refreshing romp offering up effusive pear and sugared lime notes fit for the most festive spring picnics ($18).

Municipal Winemakers - Santa Barbara, CA
Dave Potter, assistant winemaker at Fess Parker Winery, has proven to be quite the tour de force when it comes to producing under his own label, Municipal Winemakers . Backed by eye-catching design (his cool label look-and-feel changes with each vintage), a smart web site brimming with tongue-in-cheek promotions and a dedicated Facebook following, his fruity, food-friendly wines such as the 2008 Bright White Dry Riesling ($17) are well positioned to take adventurous drinkers by palate-pleasing surprise.

Lioco Wine - Los Angeles, CA
Lioco's tagline is "pure, honest, principled wine" - and that's exactly what the two LA-based wine pros behind the brand are making (LIOCO is a fusion of founder Matt Licklider and Kevin O'Connors' last names). I first sampled the fruits of their vinous success at an event to celebrate the launch of my book, Hip Tastes, in La Jolla, and have been charmed ever since by the likes of their 2007 Sonoma County Chardonnay ($20), which marries pure Chardonnay fruit flavors with a gorgeous underlying mineral quality.

Bodegas Familia Schroeder - Patagonia, Argentina
Deep in the heart of Argentine Patagonia lies Bodegas Familia Schroeder , a fascinatingly remote winery on the scale of the most ambitious in Napa (the five-story, gravity-flow winery even boasts a cave showcasing the fossilized remains of a dinosaur found on-site during construction). And the wine is equally interesting: The Schroeder "SAURUS" Patagonia Extra Brut Non-vintage ($11) sparkling wine is a sophisticated bubbly offering notes of white flowers, lemon zest, steely minerality and a crisp finish.

Le Macchiole - Tuscany, Italy
Crafted from Cabernet Franc blended with Sangiovese (30%) and Merlot (40%), the 2005 Le Macchiole Bolgheri Rosso ($35) was the most alluring wine I sampled at the 2008 Wine & Spirits Top 100 tasting in San Francisco. Turns out that producer Le Macchiole - based in Bolgheri, long a prestigious micro growing region within Tuscany - is a pioneer in using Cabernet Franc in its reds, and the proof is most certainly in the pudding: Wine & Spirits awarded the soulful Bolgheri Rosso a sweet 95 points.

Six Sigma Ranch & Vineyards - Lake County, CA
Crushing since just 2005, Six Sigma Ranch is fast turning heads (certainly mine among some of the first) for its outstanding Tempranillo ($42) harvested from high-elevation, sustainably-farmed hillside vineyards. And with an impressive vinous lineup that includes standout Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux-style blends and a rosé, the expanding outfit looks poised to carve out quite a name for itself before long. No doubt Lake County's star will continue to rise right along with it.

JAX Vineyards - Napa Valley, CA
Operated by Kimberly and Trent Jackson, a vivacious brother-and-sister team headquartered in San Francisco's industrial-hip SoMa district, JAX Vineyards delivers big-time Napa Cab for atypically affordable prices. To wit, the duo's delicious 2005 JAX Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($42) - made by standout young vintner Kirk Venge - can be had for a song compared to most big reds from the region, and bodes well for the success of future vintages.

Sutton Cellars - Sonoma County, CA
Carl Sutton doesn't look like your average winemaker (indeed, he's far more San Francisco hipster than fleece-sporting farmer), and his Sutton Cellars wines are far from average, as well. So much so, in fact, that when I was offered a sip of his extremely limited and gorgeously packaged NV "La Solera" Sonoma County dessert wine ($30/500mL) at a Slow Food event last fall I was sure I'd died and gone to gastronomic heaven. Happily, this vinous heaven is right here on earth, and accessible with just a sip of this lovely Banyuls-inspired stickie.

Bodegas As Laxas - Galicia, Spain
Without a doubt, crisp, sea-scented Albariño from northwestern Spain's standout Galicia region is one of the most drinkable white wines you'll find on any wine list. Indeed, its affinity for pairing beautifully with spicy cuisine (among so many others!) led me to place a recent vintage of Bodegas As Laxas' excellent version from Rias Baixus ($18) on the list at a popular San Francisco Mexican restaurant - and return as often as possible to partake of it by the glass.

Le Riche - Stellenbosch, South Africa
South Africa's wines possess a singular balance between Old World and New World winemaking that never ceases to amaze and delight me. Such was the case when I stumbled up on the stellar Stellenbosch Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($40) from the man I've now learned is known as the "king of South African Cabernet" - Etienne Le Riche . With its spot-on varietal character, New World-style suppleness and Bordeaux-like acidity, it's a Cab to make even the most avowed Old World fans turn coat.