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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!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Best Thing I Ever Ate!

What makes everything better? Well, according to Food Network stars like Guy, Duff and Aida it's BACON! We'd like to think it's wine, but to each his own. :)


Tune in tonight (Tuesday, June 30 at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT) as our favorite foodies chat about The Best Thing I Ever Ate and where to get these pork-a-licious dishes. Featured is Atlanta neighborhood bistro JCT. Kitchen & Bar's "Angry" mussels made with peppered bacon, Serrano chile and onion.

The episode will air again on July 1 at 12:30 a.m. ET/PT and July 11 at 6 p.m. ET/PT.

TIP: Check out JCT. Kitchen's Thursdays on the Terrace for live music and drink specials, or Sunday Suppers for a fancy meat and three deal of gourmet comfort foods!


JCT. Kitchen & Bar
Westside Urban Market
1198 Howell Mill Road Suite #18
Atlanta, GA 30318
404-355-2252
www.jctkitchen.com

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Fourth of July!




Fourth of July is the perfect time to celebrate our nation! Whether you are having a cookout, a four course meal, or just watching the fireworks on your back porch there is a wine to help you in this celebration. Here is a great article to find the wine for you!

Perfect Wine Matches for Summer’s Grilled Fare
By Stacy Slinkard, About.com

Grill-friendly Red Varietals to Consider:
Zinfandels will be able to handle a wide variety of red meats. This bold red wine bellies up to meaty, smokey flavors – allowing the varietal’s black pepper spice, acidity and ripe tannins to carry the meat’s fats and texture to a new dimension. A Zin will also work well with barbeque sauce, steak sauce and mild salsas – if there is too much spice in the sauce the two will compete and both the wine and the sauce end up as losers.

Merlot is the spicy sauce answer to the above dilemma. With the characteristic fruit-forward flavor profile, this varietal will support the spice and not aggravate it. Grilled pork chops, chicken and garden-variety salads with lighter dressings also mingle well with Merlot.

Shiraz/Syrah another varietal that makes the grill-friendly wine list. This varietal is delicious with just about any red meat. Offering dynamic, somewhat aggressive fruit flavors, balanced with more mellow tannins and a softer-fuller body – this wine’s place to shine is definitely at a barbecue gathering! Rhone Syrahs tend to have a smokier flavor characteristic and lend themselves extremely well to smoked brisket.

Cabernet Sauvignon is made for steaks with a higher fat content and burgers of beef or turkey will pair equally well. The tighter tannins are significantly mellowed by the meat’s fat, producing a palate pleaser to remember! Top your burgers with bold cheeses, like blue or sharp cheddar and this varietal gets even better!

Pinot Noir a flexible varietal that is known for being extremely food-friendly. Can go from grilled fish to a juicy burger in a single sip! Pinot Noir is an ideal candidate for grilled fish – especially salmon, burgers and chicken both bare their best in the presence of Pinot Noir. If you aren’t sure if what wine will work with your grilled dinner, Pinot Noir will likely be your best bet.

Grill-friendly White Varietals to Consider:
Chardonnay will work wonderfully with grilled fish (including shellfish), chicken with creamy sauces, and grilled corn on the cob with lots of butter!

Riesling the perfect varietal for grilled brats, shrimp, barbecue chicken, grilled pineapple and a variety of grilled veggies.

Sauvignon Blanc has a herbaceous quality that supports marinades and sauces with similar attributes. For example, grilled chicken that has been doused in Italian dressing or a citrus marinade will be unbeatable with a Sauvignon Blanc. Likewise, roasted peppers, veggies in fresh herbs, grilled fish with dill and lemon will all be highlighted in tandem with a Sauvignon Blanc.

Gewurztraminer often offers a balance to spice with its slightly to moderately sweet character. This varietal would be a great choice to go with blackened Mahi Mahi, or grilled Cajun chicken with fresh mango salsa.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Chef Rob's Caribbean Cafe - Journey to Jamaica!



We recently had the pleasure of dining at Chef Rob's Caribbean Cafe, a cozy restaurant in the heart of Sandy Springs, at the owner's invitation. We knew we were in for a treat, but little did we know we would be transported on a culinary journey straight to Jamaica!

Chef Rob is an expert at caribbean-fusion cuisine. Jamaican, Asian and southern American flavor inspirations merged into unique dishes that tantalized our taste buds. We munched on the sampler platter which included conch fritters, coconut shrimp, jerk chicken egg rolls and jerk chicken wings with a variety of house-made dipping sauces. Customer favorites include the jerk chicken caesar salad, cajun seafood pasta and curried goat. Vegetarians will enjoy the "Rasta Pasta" and Bob Marley's "Vegetarian Delight" - assorted grilled vegetables, fresh rosemary, butter beans in a light vegetable broth served over fettuccine pasta with a sweet chili sauce or caribbean jerk.

Now, when one thinks of the Caribbean, wine is definitely not the first thing that comes to mind. Chef Rob's is best known for pouring marvelous mojitos, but the bar manager treated us to a special flight from the new wine list. Although the list is small and still being fine-tuned, they offer a few options that traditionally pair best with spicy foods. Look for aromatic whites like Gew├╝rtztraminer (pronounced guh-VOORTS-truh-MEE-nur), Pinot Grigio (PEA-no GREE-jzhee-o) and Riesling (REEZ-ling).

TIP: Well-chilled, crisp, fruity whites work better than reds overall to combat the rich, spicy flavors of caribbean dishes. Hot food in general should be paired with wines that have a somewhat sweet element to them. Look for refreshing dry-sweet or lightly sweet wines for a great pairing experience.


We now understand why music moguls (Chef Rob developed the concept of Justin's Restaurant for Sean "P-Diddy" Combs) and locals alike flock here when they need a culinary escape. Lively music, vibrant decor, daily food and drink specials, nightly events and a courteous staff are awaiting you. So, if you can't take a quick getaway to Jamaica, Chef Rob's Caribbean Cafe is the next best thing!


Oh yeah, did we mention they cater? Visit www.chefrobscafe.com for the address, menu and event schedule.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

DON'T FORGET: Father's Day is this Sunday!!!


Looking for the perfect Father's Day Present?
Why not get him a wine basket from WineShop At Home! We've created two special baskets to celebrate the Fathers in our lives – for all those special people who nurture, mentor, encourage and protect us. He'll never forget your thoughtfulness on this very special day. Visit www.wineshopathome.com/grapegirls today!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Great Red Wines for Summer


So, you're a red wine lover but not sure if that's the best option when its 90° outside? Well, don't despair - some red wines will actually help you beat the heat!

These light-bodied reds will give you less tannins, but great red wine flavor, and are delicious in the summer when chilled:


Beaujolais [BOE-zjoh-lay]
Beaujolais is the "fun" wine on most wine drinker's lists. It's not too heavy, fruity, and very approachable even for non-drinkers. It's also one of the few red wines that benefit from being served slightly chilled. Best of all, almost all Beaujolais is very inexpensive. You can get a great bottle for $8 - $15. Geographically, the Beaujolais region lies immediately south of Burgundy proper. Unlike Burgundy, Beaujolais grows the Gamay grape for red wine. The wine itself is made via a process called carbonic maceration (whole berry fermentation). This enables winemakers to extract the juice with an absolute minimum of tannin; it is this lack of tannin that makes Beaujolais so easy to drink. Bursting with ripe strawberry and raspberry flavors, this is a terrific "day" or picnic wine that will complement everything from a roast beef sandwich to barbecue chicken.









Pinot Noir [Pee-noh-n'wahr]
This fickle grape demands optimum growing conditions - warm days consistently supported by cool evenings. Pinot Noir is a lighter colored and flavored red wine. Pinot Noir’s forerunner and modest inspiration hails from red Burgundy, one of France’s most prized wines. Today, Pinot Noir is planted in regions around the world including: Oregon, California, New Zealand, Australia, Germany and Italy. Due to the stringent growing requirements for Pinot Noir, it is produced in much smaller quantities than other popular red wines. So, you might pay a little more due to the “supply and demand” theory. However, excellent values can be found like the Mark West Pinot Noir at just $10! Flavors are reminiscent of sweet red berries, plums, tomatoes, cherries and at times a notable earthy or wood-like flavor. Pinot Noir pairs well with poultry, beef, fish, ham, lamb and pork. It's also a great complement to creamy sauces, spicy seasonings and may just be one of the world's most versatile food wines.



So, get out there and enjoy your red wine, even on the hottest summer day.
Cheers!