Tag Archives: wine

‘Tis the Season to be Jolly…and Responsible #Alcohol

1 Dec

Distilled Spirits Council Offers 5 Tips for Responsible Holiday Entertaining

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With the holiday entertaining season just around the corner, the Distilled Spirits Council is offering adult consumers an attractive, free brochure featuring tips on how to host responsible cocktail parties.

“As family and friends gather to celebrate the holidays or mark special occasions, the Distilled Spirits Council encourages everyone to make responsible decisions to ensure safe and happy celebrations,” said Peter Cressy, Distilled Spirits Council President. 

The Council offers the following tips and recipes for hosting responsible cocktail parties: The free brochure can be viewed or ordered at the Distilled Spirits Council website at http://www.discus.org/media/cocktail.asp

1. Designate a bartender who can serve your guests and keep an eye on how much everyone is drinking. The Federal Dietary Guidelines define moderate drinking as up to two drinks per day for men and up to one drink per day for women.  (http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines)

 2. Remember – alcohol is alcohol.  It is important to understand that a standard drink of regular beer (12 fluid ounces), wine (five fluid ounces), and spirits (a cocktail with 1.5 fluid ounces of 80-proof spirits) each contains the same amount of alcohol, 0.6 fluid ounces of alcohol. (www.standarddrinks.com)

3. Make sure that you provide food to complement your cocktails. Consider food pairings to enhance the flavor of your chosen cocktails: fresh seafood and breads accentuate vodka cocktails, spiced and smoked meats and cheeses complement Bourbon and Scotch whiskies, and fruit enhances Rum and Tequila flavors.

4. Make available non-alcohol beverages for your guests. Create festive non-alcohol punch for those guests who choose not to drink alcohol.

Herbal Cooler Punch: 2 cups brewed peppermint tea, 2 cups brewed red zinger tea, 2 cups cranberry juice.  Mix and serve over ice block with lemon wedge. Ice block can be easily prepared by freezing water in one quart container (or whatever size carryout container you have available).  Microwave for a few seconds once frozen for ease of removing from container.                                                                                                                                   

5. Make sure your guests have a safe way home either through designated drivers or a taxi. Have local taxi service numbers available for your guests.

Reposted with permission from the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States is a national trade association representing the leading brands of distilled spirits. Council member products include the full spectrum of quality distilled spirits such as Bourbon, Scotch and other whiskeys, vodka, gin, tequila, rum, brandy, cordials and liqueurs. The distillers take special pride in their products as well as in their commitment to encourage responsible beverage alcohol consumption by adults who choose to drink. If you choose to drink, be sure to consume sensibly and responsibly.


The Tour of #Italy Party

25 Aug

I was busy last week preparing for an Italian-inspired birthday party!

The menu was a production in itself and I’d love to share it you! We paired the salads with a crisp white wine and the second course with bold Chianti. YUM!

Our journey begins in Venice.


The Classic Bellini

This blend of white peach puree & Prosecco was created at the legendary Harry’s Bar just steps away from the Grand Canal.


Capocollo, Sopressata, Genoa Salame, Artichokes, Olives & Assorted Cheeses 

Imagine yourself anywhere in Italy. It seems all provinces claim to be the birthplace of antipasto. Antipasti literally means “before the
pasta” & is intended to whet one’s appetite for the pleasures to come.


Mixed Greens & Herb Salad with Figs & Walnuts

A variety of figs grow across Italy. This versatile salad
can be found in most coastal regions.

Caprese di Mozzarella with Tomatoes, Basil, & Pancetta

Although some say this simple & popular salad originated
in Capri, it is actually a recipe from the region of Campania.


Served with Tuscan Bread

Primi Piatti

Penne alla Puttanesca

A fast & easy pasta dish from the Tuscan region and South.  The
ingredients are typical of Southern Italy.

Secondi Piatti

Il Pollo Marsala

This well-known chicken dish originated in Sicily where Marsala wine is produced.

Dolci e Caffe


Known all over the world as the representative dessert of Italy, this stimulating mixture of espresso,
cocoa, sugar & liqueur actually means “pull me up.” It was created in Sienna.



A sweet yet potent liqueur made from Sorrento Lemons.


This liqueur is actually infused with almonds, apricots and, in some recipes, traditional cookies.

It’s originates from the Lombard city of Saronno, north of Milan.


Created in Livorno, Italy, this vanilla liqueur with citrus essence was the favorite of Lorenzo the Magnificent.

Buona Sera!

#ThirstyThursday Travel Tip for #Wine Lovers

11 Aug

Drinking wine out of a disposable plastic or paper cup really annoys me. Recently, while traveling and attending conferences in California, the floppy plastic cup wine service ruined the moment. (Sidenote: hello? We’re in California… wine country… plastic cups.. what??). Wine is an experience and a tasty bev of course but delivery matters. Well, it matters, to me. I’m betting it matters to many of you as well. On one of my four flights, I can’t remember which, I thumbed through SkyMall and found an answer to floppy plastic cup wine service–the packable wine glass by Megellan’s Travel. You may look like a snob pulling it out of your bag but… who cares?!?!!? You’ll enjoy your wine and the experience. Check it out. This is a Sippin’Smart pick for sure!

Can I have #wine with MyPlate?

20 Jun

I’m guessing by now, you’ve all seen the USDA’s new MyPlate guide. Goodbye confusing pyramid and hello plate method. Which, by the way, isn’t new unless you’re the USDA. The new food icon comes after the January 2011 release of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. It’s unlikely you’ll hear that alcohol consumption fits on the new MyPlate placemat. But deep in the heart of Chapter 3 titled, Foods and Food Components to Reduce, you’ll find this statement about alcohol.

“If alcohol is consumed, it should be consumed in moderation—up to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men—and only by adults of legal drinking age.”

So the answer is YES. You can have wine, beer or a coctail with your plate. Just remember moderation is key. Cheers!

Don’t worry… I’m still Sippin’

4 Jun

Sippin' on a nice Rose`

Proof-doing a little research 🙂

It’s been a busy month keeping up with travel, friends, and the office. I’m still sippin’ though! May was full of Sippin’ science and concoctions. As we enter the heat, I’m wondering what you would like to read about over the Summer? I’ve got some great posts lined up for you but would love to hear from you in the comments section. Stay tuned…

Thirsty Thursday-Red Wine Sangria

3 Mar

This was the first time I’ve actually made sangria. Last weekend I made it as the “starter” for my wine club pals. It was a hit! So, I’ll share it with you!

THINK AHEAD: make about several hours ahead so the fruit can absorb the wine-y goodness.

2 bottles red wine (I used a magnum)
1/2 c brandy
1/2 c triple sec
1 c light orange juice
2 oranges, sliced thin
2 apples, sliced thin
2 lemons, sliced thin
1 c water (you can skip the simple syrup all together)

Mixing it up:
Slice the fruit, place in the bottom of a 2 quart pitchure, pour in all the liquid, mix and chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Serve in wine glasses. Make sure to put some fruit in each glass. Add ice if needed.
Cheers friends!

This serves at least 12 people for under 200 calories a serving.

2010 Federal Dietary Guidelines Underscore Moderation, Standard Drinks Education

2 Feb

Federal Officials Say Guidelines Should Serve as Basis for U.S. Nutrition Advice and Public Policy

WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 2, 2011 – The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, released this week by the Federal government, underscored the definition of a standard drink and urged that the Alcohol Guideline be used as the basis for nutrition advice and public policy.  

The Guidelines define a drink as 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits (40% ABV), 5 ounces of wine (12% ABV) and12 ounces of regular beer (5% ABV).  The Guidelines point out that each of these standard drinks contain 0.6 fluid ounces of pure alcohol.

“The Government emphasized the scientific fact that a standard drink of beer, wine and distilled spirits each contains the same amount of alcohol,” said Dr. Monica Gourovitch, Distilled Spirits Council Senior Vice President of Scientific Affairs.  Gourovitch noted that this scientific fact is also taught by public health organizations, as well as other leading federal agencies on alcohol matters, and state education programs.

The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services, which jointly release the Guidelines every five years, stated that “All federally-issued dietary guidance for the general public is required by law to be consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.”

Gourovitch added, “The Dietary Guidelines serve as the basis for nutrition policy in the United States and should also serve as the basis for all alcohol-related public policy at the federal and state levels.  Alcohol is alcohol and it all should be treated equally, as a matter of public health and public policy.”

Guidelines Encourage Those Who Drink To Do So in Moderation 

“Moderate and responsible beverage alcohol consumption by adults can be part of an enjoyable lifestyle and diet choice.  As with all things, moderation is the key and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines also make this clear,” said Gourovitch.


The 2010 Guidelines define moderate drinking for adults of legal drinking age as up to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.  Some people should not drink alcohol beverages at all. 

The Guidelines also discuss the potential risks and benefits associated with alcohol consumption; these health effects are the same for beer, wine or distilled spirits.

Since the release of the 2000 Guidelines, the Distilled Spirits Council has distributed several thousand copies of the Alcohol Guideline to physicians, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals.  In recognition of these outreach efforts, the Distilled Spirits Council was selected by USDA in 2008 as a corporate partner for promoting moderate and responsible consumption alcohol.

“The Council will continue its leadership role in disseminating the 2010 Alcohol Guideline to healthcare professionals across the country,” said Gourovitch. 

To view the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans go to: http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2010/DietaryGuidelines2010.pdf

To view the USDA Backgrounder on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines: http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/DietaryGuidelines/2010/PolicyDoc/Backgrounder.pdf

Reposted with permission from Lisa Hawkins  http://www.distilledspirits.org