Follow by Email

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!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Introducing Lenox Square Grill!





The new Buckhead eatery is a concept from CentraArchy, the company that brought Atlantans The Tavern at Phipps, Joey D's, and New York Prime.The full-service restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner daily in a lively, stylish atmosphere and since opening this Fall has quickly come a celebrity spotting site. The menu features imaginative, yet classic comfort foods such as the signature Mac Skillets - Cajun Shrimp, Barbecue Chicken, or Cheeseburger - the creative side of homemade macaroni and cheese. The signature cocktails and great wine list make it a new favorite for both business gatherings and social events alike.

Lenox Square Grill is located at Lenox Square Mall in the space formerly occupied by Clubhouse. It features seating for more than 300 guests, an extensive outdoor patio and private dining rooms.




Location: 3393 Peachtree Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA, 30326
Phone: 404.841.2377

They're open daily until 2a.m. and have a live DJ on the weekends. The Grape Girls invite you to sample tasty tidbits from Lenox Square Grill at Bloomingdale's Shopping Benefit (Lenox Square Mall) on October 29th and other upcoming events. RSVP required - click here to visit our blog for more information.
We'll see YOU there!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Introducing Montaluce Winery!




Grape Crush Productions welcomes new partner - Montaluce Winery & Estates located on the Dahlonega Plateau, one of the emerging wine-growing regions of the United States!

Blessed with some of the steepest, well-drained hillsides to be found in the U.S., North Georgia's topography, elevation, and long growing season creates an extraordinarily climate well-suited for premium wine grape cultivation. This climate, coupled with the classic "Terra Rosa"
wine- growing soils of the region, serves as the foundation for the new wave of Georgia vintners producing wines of truly exceptional quality. Montaluce is North Georgia's finest!

The more than 35 acres of Montaluce's vineyards include varieties of premium vinifera grapes including, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Viognier, Sangiovese, and others. Montaluce is dedicated to growing and making premium wines which compete favorably with artisan wines around the world.

The Grape Girls invite you to sample the quality and taste of Montaluce at Bloomingdale's Lenox Square Mall on Thursday, Oct. 29th from 5-8pm in the Ladies Shoe Department for THE SHOPPING BENEFIT. RSVP required, send an email to VIP@GrapeCrushEvents.com by Thursday at Noon. Be sure to state your full name, guest names, email address and phone number. Must be 21 and older to participate. Click here for more information.
Cheers!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Wine-Down at Bloomingdale's on Oct. 29th!



THE SHOPPING BENEFIT
Fashion, Fun & Fundraising!
Thursday, October 29, 2009


Bloomingdale's at Lenox Square Mall hosts its 12th annual charity shopping night to benefit nonprofit organizations in Atlanta. Join the Grape Girls from 5-8pm in the Ladies Shoe Department (Level 2) for a sampling of fine wines. Plus, you could be the lucky winner of a private home or office wine tasting party!

Your $10 donation to one of the featured local nonprofits at the event that evening gives you access to complimentary:

Fine Wine and Food Pairings
Book Signings
Fashion Shows
Live Entertainment
Makeovers & Pampering
Merchandise Discounts
Prizes, Giveaways & More!

Featured Nonprofits:

Amy's Holiday Party
Atlanta Film Festival
Atlanta Union Mission, My Sister's House
Bright Futures Atlanta
Chemoflage, Inc.
Girl Talk
HERO for Children, Inc.
Kate's Club
Senior Connections
Shallowford Presbyterian Preschool
Share Our Strength
Shepard Center Auxiliary
St. Jude's Recovery Center, Inc.
Students Without Mothers
Young Survival Coalition

Click here for more information. RSVP required for wine tasting, please send an email to VIP@GrapeCrushEvents.com. Be sure to state your full name, guest names, email address and phone number. Must be 21 and older to participate. Space is limited, RSVP today!

Give a little, Get a lot!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

How-To Host a Wicked Wine Tasting Party!



I vant to drink your vine...

Halloween heralds the start of the holiday season - and where there is a party, there is wine! A wine tasting party doesn't have to be a stuffy affair, so mix things up a little by throwing a unique Halloween bash that is sure to be a treat.


Host a wicked wine tasting party in 5 easy steps:
  1. Invitations - Get crafty and make your own wine bottle shaped party invitations. Use construction paper or poster board, flat sheets of cork to make a life-like cork stopper for the top, a label in the middle of the "bottle" should provide party details.
  2. Decor - Create your very own haunted wine cellar with equal amounts of sophistication and spook factor. Use old wooden barrels to hold platters of food and wine and decorate with large glass jars, grapes, pumpkins, gourds, faux leaves, lots of candles and scary touches like fake spider webs and spiders.
  3. Food - Set up a nice assortment of fruit, cheese, crackers, bread, nuts and a few heavier appetizers (think stuffed mushrooms or a hearty pumpkin soup). Be sure to label your assortment with toothpicks that have labels attached - use a ghoulish computer font or eerie hand writing for maximum effect!
  4. Wine - Use an old wooden door, wine crates or designate a large coffee table to display your wicked wine collection. Be sure to include some spooky brands like Vampire Wines (from Transylvania!), Poizin Zinfandel (comes in a coffin shaped box), Owen Roe Sinister Hand or Evil Cabernet Sauvignon. Add some dry ice to the display area for a ghostly effect!
  5. Attention to Detail - Be sure to have great music, lots of candy, plenty of dump buckets and bottled waters handy. Place small gift bags or containers near your candy station so guests can help themsleves to take-home treats as parting gifts.



Wine & Candy Pairing Tips:
• Almond Joy and Sparkling Wine
• Snickers and Sangiovese
• Three Musketeers and Ice Dessert Wine
• Hershey’s Dark Chocolate and Syrah
• Caramel Apples and Sauvignon Blanc
• Candy Corn and Chardonnay

With these spook-tacular tips from the Grape Girls you are sure to pull off the perfect Halloween wine party. So, dress up, party down and enjoy the wine. Cheers!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pinot, Pearls & Poker: Facebook Pre-Sale Ends Saturday!

The Grape Girls Present...



Pinot, Pearls & Poker

A Sophisticated Ladies Night Out

Saturday, December 12th at 6PM
-Private Event Location-


5 Wines - 5 Cards - 5 Times the fun!

Pinot, Pearls & Poker offers all the fun, glitz, mystery and thrills of Sin City without the risk:

*Interact with other fabulous women

*Explore the country's "trendiest" grape and enjoy tasty treats

*Learn the basics of poker or advance your game

*Win cool prizes for the best (and worst!) hands

*VIP "Lady Luck" spa lounge and deluxe goodie bags

Ante Up for a unique wine tasting fundraiser featuring a fun-filled evening of games, girlfriends and good times! The event benefits Atlanta's Young Survival Coalition (YSC).



YSC Greater Metro Atlanta was formed at the end of 2000 by a 22-year old college student facing a breast cancer diagnosis. YSC Atlanta currently serves 11 counties in the Metro Atlanta area. They focus on education and outreach opportunities and provide peer-to-peer support for newly diagnosed young women. YSC Atlanta provides educational programs, support and long term survivorship planning for a young woman from the moment she is diagnosed throughout her life. For details, visit www.youngsurvival.org/atlanta.

FACEBOOK PREVIEW SALE: Use our special discount code GGYSC to save $10 off ALL ticket levels - this week only!! Special offer ends October 17, 2009. Visit www.ppp.eventbrite.com for tickets and more info. Click here to fan us on Facebook!

Don't delay, purchase your event ticket today!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Two Great Foodie Festivals!

So, 2 of my favorite food and wine events have come and gone! Harvest Midtown was held on October 4th and Taste of Atlanta took place October 10th & 11th - both in new locations this year. Click here to visit our Facebook fan page and view photo albums.

The 6th Annual Harvest Midtown Festival moved to the newly renovated Georgian Terrace hotel and took over ballrooms, mezzanines and terraces for the day. The event gave oenophiles the opportunity to select samples from some 200 wines and tastes from the city's top intown chefs. In between sips and bites, Harvest Midtown presented a variety of live entertainment, vendors and art for the enjoyment of all. An elegant hotel with fabulous food and wine on display - all overlooking the lively Peachtree Street in Midtown - if only I could spend every Sunday this way!


























The 8th Annual Taste of Atlanta was truly a foodies delight! The 2 day outdoor festival encompassed eight acres and ten city blocks of Tech Square in the heart of midtown. Taste of Atlanta featured more than 80 of Atlanta's finest restaurants, cooking demos from local and national celebrity chefs, a "farm to table" market, kids activities and more. Grape Crush Productions was an official partner of the highly anticipated VIP Wine & Beer Experience and provided 200 enthusiastic volunteers! I had the opportunity to "talk wine" with Atlanta's leading experts including Gil Kulers, Atlanta Journal Constitution wine columnist, and Gina Hopkins, sommelier and owner of Holeman & Finch Public House and Restaurant Eugene. Gil and Gina's engaging seminar - King of Pinot: Burgandy vs. Oregon - even sparked a 2010 Grape Escape. Hopefully you can come with us to explore Oregon's renowned pinot noirs - stay tuned for details!








Click here to join our mailing list to stay "sipped in" on upcoming food and wine event news. Click here to view more event photos.
Cheers!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

We've been nominated...






Wow, we've been nominated for Atlanta Tribune's People's Choice Award as Atlanta's BEST specialty business of 2009. Please help us by submitting a supporting nomination via email, it only takes a few seconds!

















Grape Crush Productions is a minority and female owned mobile wine tasting service. The Grape Girls specialize in wine tastings, events, education and excursions. We are the creators and producers of Atlanta Food & Wine Month (held each April) and the Winter Wine & Jazz Festival. We are also partners with the City of Atlanta (Office of Cultural Affairs), Taste of Atlanta (VIP Wine & Beer Experience), Taste of Marietta and support other local, regional and national festivals and cultural events.




















As the leaders in food and wine themed special events and fundraisers, we pride ourselves on bringing the “tasting room” to living rooms, offices and venues all across the country. Wine tasting events are great traffic drivers for businesses of all types, and perfect for home parties too!



















Please email your supporting nomination today! Simply cut and paste the following information into an email if you think we are the BEST of 2009:

Grape Crush Productions - Best Specialty Business
Wine Tastings, Events, Education & Excursions!
Contact: Kyla Cox, 770.579.0808
Email: info@GrapeCrushEvents.com
Web: www.GrapeCrushEvents.com

###

Mail your nomination to kmines@atlantatribune.com by October 23, 2009. Be sure to include our website and email address.







Thanks for your support. Cheers!

Wine Enthusiast Mag Announces Top 100 Wines Under $15!



Wine Enthusiast Magazine editors select the best value-priced wines of the year!

The November 2009 issue announces the Top 100 Best Wine Buys. The tasting panel’s job is to "blind" judge and rate wines based purely on quality, with no inkling of producer or price. Lucky for us, these are economical finds - all wines on the list are $15 or less! Only about 10% of the 10,000 wines they review annually merit the "Best Buy" designation, so enjoy these fantastic finds.

Didn't think you could find an outstanding Cabernet for $15, or a knockout Sauvignon Blanc that won’t break the bank? Well, you can!

Click here to view the full list or visit www.wineenthusiast.com/templates/2009_BestBuy.pdf.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Guide to Wine (and Beer!) Tasting


Today was a great day! We conducted orientation for 100+ Taste of Atlanta VIP Wine & Beer Experience volunteers. Taste of Atlanta is a 2-day outdoor food festival at Technology Square in Midtown encompassing eight acres & ten city blocks including Spring Street and 5th Street.
Enhance your VIP Experience by knowing the basic steps to wine and beer tasting:

How to Taste Wine - Know the 4 S’s!

1. See - Observe the color and clarity of the wine. Notice if the wine is clear and brilliant or cloudy and dull. Notice the depth of color. Is it watery and pale or deep and dark? Looking straight down into the glass, can you see the bottom? White wines vary from clear, through light green and all shades of yellow, to deep golden brown. They naturally gain color as they age. Red wines range from red, ruby to purple, garnet and brick. As they age, they lose color and begin to brown. Also, observe the body of the wine by the way it coats the sides of the glass. If the "legs" trickle down slowly, it has more body. If it falls down in sheets, it has less body.

2. Swirl - Swirling wine in the glass exposes it to a larger surface area. This increases wine’s contact with air and intensifies its aromas. Swirl your wine by holding the glass by the base or by the stem.

3. Smell - What is the very first thing you think of when you smell wine? The smell of wine is referred to as its nose, bouquet or aroma. Common aromas include different fruits, spices, herbs and flowers. While different people will smell different things in the same wine, there are general smells specific to certain varieties. Be sure to smell the wine several times. A wine with great complexity will offer different aromas each time, as well as several scents at one time. There are hundreds of smells in wine!

4. Sip - The overall "taste" of a wine is a combination of smells and flavors, so don't skip the smelling stage to get to the tasting. Different parts of your tongue are designed to taste different things! Roll the wine across your taste buds, keeping in mind that a balance of the following characteristics is ideal: Body, Acidity, Tannin, Sweetness (if there is no perceived sweetness, a wine is "dry") and Fruitiness.

After sipping, either swallow or spit (perfectly acceptable)! The better the wine, the more defined the finish. Good finish will linger on your palate for quite some time and will reflect the flavors of the wine or have flavors on its own.

How to Taste Beer – 5 Easy Steps!

Just as in wine, one tastes beer to appreciate its qualities. Observe the color, the head, the aroma and the bouquet, the multiple aspects of its flavor and the aftertaste.

1. Appearance - Note whether the head is dense or thin. Heads are sometimes described as rocky if they are especially dense with dips and peaks forming as some of the bubbles pop. The color of the head is also worth noting and can range from pure white on Pilsners to light or medium brown on some stouts and porters. Examine the appearance of the beer itself. Hold the glass up to the light and note the color and whether it is cloudy or clear.

2. Aroma - Note whether it smells primarily of hops or malt. Generally speaking light colored beers will smell more of hops while darker beers tend to have a pronounced malt, roasted, chocolate or coffee aroma. Many ales have a hard to pin down spiciness or fruitiness from their yeasts. Take your time with the aroma. Try to take three good sniffs before your first sip. If you're taking notes, stop to write your impressions before the first sip distracts you.

3. First Sip - When taking your first sip, try to note the initial sensation as the beer enters your mouth. Think about whether it is sweet, bitter or something else. Beer, especially ale, can be very complex. There can be quite a difference between the first taste and the finish.

4. Mouthfeel - This is the texture of the beer or how it physically feels in your mouth. Beer ranges from silky dry stouts, to thick and chewy Scotch ales to thin and fizzy Berliner weisses. This is an important characteristic of a beer.

5. Finish - Note the lingering flavors after you swallow the drink. Often it can be bitter from the hops or a lingering malty sweetness.

TIPS:
Cleanse the palate with water or crackers between tastings. If you're tasting a number of different wines or beers, let the color be your guide. It is best to taste from light to dark with both beer and wine.

NOTE:
Use our special discount code GRAPE to save $5 off VIP or General Admission tickets! Click here for complete details and to purchase tickets or visit http://www.tasteofatlanta.com/.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Our Grape Escape was a Hit!

Last Saturday The Grape Girls hosted a Grape Escape to Wine Over Water in Chattanooga, TN. We had the best time and the weather even held out for us.

The day started off with a nice coach bus picking us all up and before taking off having a wine toast to a great trip. The trip over to Chattanooga was a little wet outside but inside was full of laughter and games to get to know everyone. After the short trip we got to Chattanooga where the festival was held on the Walnut Street Bridge over the Tennessee River. We were then able to taste some great wines and food as we walked on the bridge--in all there were over 200 wineries in attendance. Some of my new favorites:

  • Legado Malbec
  • Ortman Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
  • Ortman Cuvee Eddy
  • Michael-David Incognito Rouge (Red Blend)
  • Candor Merlot
  • Penelope Sanchez Garnacha-Syrah
  • La Mano Mencia Roble

To finish the trip back, we all relaxed while watching the movie Sideways.

Some comments from those that went on our first Grape Escape:
"Sippin' Sistas had a blast, thanks again Grape Girls for such a well organized trip. We're looking forward to the next Grape Escape! Cheers! "

"Thanks again Grape Girls! BTW Gerri, Sippin' Sistas are so stealing that Ice Breaker game that we played on the way to Tenn! That was a blast."

"The Grape Escape trip was a blast! I am looking forward to the next event. Thanks to you all."

"I had the time of my wine life!"

You won't want to miss our next Grape Escape either! Cheers!




















Thursday, October 1, 2009

Get a Taste of Atlanta!



Grape Crush Productions is a proud partner of Taste of Atlanta's VIP Wine & Beer Experience!

We invite you to enjoy the ultimate experience
at Taste of Atlanta 2009 - upgrade to a VIP pass for this year's event!


Click here to use our special discount code GRAPE to save $5 OFF your VIP or General Admission tickets!

VIP ticket holders will enjoy the exclusive Wine & Beer Experience featuring scheduled seminars led by top industry professionals, tastings from more than 100 different wine varietals and beer types not to mention tastes from some of Atlanta most prestigious restaurants. You'll also receive 5 bonus Taste Coupons (total of 20) and the first 500 VIP ticket holders on site each day will receive Taste of Atlanta's VIP gift bag filled with special merchandise, samples and discount offers.

The series of scheduled wine seminars will cover a diverse array of topics. Limited to 60 people per session, patrons will be able to sample select wines and beers, along with food pairings from Taste of Atlanta restaurants, as the moderators and guest speakers discuss them. Seminar registration begins at 11:00 at the Seminar tent and spots will fill up early! The wine and beer seminars will be moderated by Gil Kulers and Bob Townsend. Gil Kulers is a Certified Wine Educator, writes the popular wine column, Kulers Uncorked, for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and is a contributor to Golf Index Digest magazine on all matters of food and wine. Bob Townsend has been writing about beer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for the better part of a decade and is currently editor of Southern Brew News, a bimonthly beer publication distributed throughout the Southeast.

Here's a sneak peek of topics and guest speakers:

Saturday, October 10

12:30 - 1:15
The Zen and the Art of Pairing Wine with Spicy Asian Dishes
Kristen Cooper Vinifera Wines
Tastings from Top Flr

2:00 - 2:45
The History of Sparkling Wine in 45 Minutes
Eric Crane

3:30 - 4:15
Chefs and Brewers, Ruminations on Beer and Food Recipes
Dave Larkworthy, 5 Seasons Brewing
John Roberts, Max Lagers

5:00 - 5:45
Farm to Cocktail
Greg Best, Holeman & Finch Public House
Eric Simpkins, DRINKSHOP

Sunday, October 11

12:30 - 1:15
The Kings of Pinot-Burgundy and Oregon
Gina Hopkins, Restaurant Eugene and Holeman & Finch Public House
Gil Kulers, WineKulers.com

2:00 - 2:45
Country Fried Wine-Powerful Pairings for Soulful Southern Food
Seth Roskind, 4th and Swift

3:30 - 4:15
Beer vs. Wine, A Food Pairing Showdown
Crawford Moran, 5 Seasons Brewing
Todd Rushing, Concentrics Restaurants

5:00 - 5:45
Single Malt & Scotch Whiskey Tasting
Michael McLaren, Chivas Brothers

Click here for full details on this year's Wine & Beer Experience. Don't forget, save $5 with our special discount code GRAPE!

VIP tickets are limited and generally sell out prior to the festival so get yours today! Tickets are on sale now at www.tasteofatlanta.com.