Chat n’ Sip Hosted by Tish

What is Chat n’ Sip? In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, I decided to take my ongoing desire of sharing my love for wine & spirits to the virtual world. I wanted to create a space for people to come together to Chat n’ Sip all things wine & spirits while sharing, learning and socializing virtually with new and old friends. Everyone is invited…just grab your favorite beverage and come join the fun!

Chat n’ Sip is a weekly event held every Saturday evening at 5:30pm PST / 7:30pm CST / 8:30pm EST.  Join the Tish Around Town mailing lists to stay in the loop on upcoming chat topics. You can also follow me on Instagram @tisharoundtown.

RECAP of Previous Chapters of Chat n’ Sip 

Chapter #4 – Saturday, 4/11/20

In this chapter we switched things up from wine to spirits, and chatted all things VODKA. Our special guest was John Fortman, Master Distiller at Southwest Spirits based in Dallas, Texas. John shared the process on how vodka is made along with sharing some fun and interesting factoids about their flagship spirit, Nue Vodka. The group chatted and shared a few of their cocktail tips & tricks, favorite vodka brands and recipes. There was also an in-depth group conversation around Tequila, so needless to say the next spirits related Chat n’ Sip will be centered around, you guessed it…Tequila.

NUE Vodka sponsored this chapter and did a giveaway. All attendees were entered into a drawing to win a variety pack of Nue Vodka featuring both the straight and grapefruit vodka. Shelly Clark from McDonough GA was the winner of this fabulous prize!

Giveaway Variety Pack of NUE Vodka – Straight & Grapefruit

Here are a few fun NUE Vodka cocktail recipes shared during the discussion featuring their straight, grapefruit and peach vodka:

NUE Cosmopolitan
– Combine 1.5 oz NUE Vodka, .5 oz triple sec, .5 oz lime juice and a splash of cranberry in a shaker filled with ice. Shake until well chilled and strain into a martini glass.

NUE Vodka Gimlet
– Combine 1.5 oz NUE Vodka, .5 oz lime juice and .5 oz simple syrup in a shaker filled with ice. Shake until well chilled and strain into a martini glass.

NUE Grapefruit Martini
– Combine 2 oz NUE Grapefruit Vodka and squeeze of lime in a shaker filled with ice. Shake until well chilled and strain into a martini glass.

NUE Grapefruit Greyhound
– Combine 1.5 oz NUE Grapefruit Vodka and 3 oz grapefruit juice over ice. Stir and garnish with fresh rosemary.

NUE Peach Vodka & Tea
– Pour 2 oz NUE Peach Vodka over ice. Top with unsweetened iced tea. Stir and garnish with a lemon. Add simple syrup as desired.

NUE Peach & Elderflower Tonic
– Pour 1.5 oz NUE Peach Vodka over ice, top with elderflower tonic and stir. Garnish with a lime.

Chapter #3 – Saturday, 4/4/20

This chapter featured chatting all things Sparkling Wines & Unique Food Pairings with special guest, Charles Springfield a certified sommelier, wine educator and the author of “The Less Is More Approach to Wine.” The book has a section on sparkling wine and the different styles, sugar levels and regions.

Charles can be followed on Instagram and on his website.

Here are some general factoids about Sparkling Wines:

– A sparkling wine is a wine with trapped carbon dioxide, CO2
– Most sparkling wines are referred to by the name of their region, otherwise just called sparkling wine
– BRUT is a traditional dryness level for most sparkling wines, with about 8-12 grams of residual sugar per liter; Some sparkling wines are made in an Extra Dry Category which has a little more residual sugar, 13-18 grams per liter. Sparkling Moscato can have between 40-65 grams of residual sugar per liter.
– Non-vintage Sparkling wines are made of several years/vintages to create a consistent house style; Vintage Champagne is made from the grapes of one particular year only when the ideal growing conditions occur

Champagne is a location in Northern France where the winemakers primarily make a sparkling wine called Champagne. If a sparkling wine doesn’t come from Champagne, France, it is technically not a Champagne. It’s simply a sparkling wine.

Veuve Clicquot, pronounced Veuve like love or glove is named after the widow Clicquot who took over the champagne house when her husband died in the 1700s.  Veuve retails for about $55 per bottle and the top La Grande Dame vintage option sells for about $150.

Marie-Inès Romelle is a Black Champagne maker. A few years ago she released the Marie Cesaire Champagne.

Cava is a Spanish Sparkling wine that comes from Penedes, outside of Barcelona. The bottle featured is produced by the man credited with bringing the sparkling wine style to Spain. His name is Josep Raventos and the bottle is Raventos i Blanc. Cava can retail from $8.99 to about $40. The Raventos can sell for $18 to $25.

Prosecco is fun and festive and pretty affordable. When Champagne and Cava are fermented in each individual bottle called the methode champenoise or method traditional and can take years to be released, a Prosecco is made in a large tank called the Charmat Method which ferments the wine in a large pressurized tank and then the bottles are filled up. The process is shorter, but makes the sparkling wine pretty inexpensive, retailing from about $8.99 to about $30.

The United States makes a variety of domestic sparkling wines around the country, primarily in California, but the Gruet is a lovely sparkling wine from New Mexico. It was made by a family from Champagne, France, who decided to bring that expertise to the US and settled on New Mexico. The brand has a few options and ranges from $15 to about $50.

Another interesting option is Dr. Konstantin Frank’s Sparkling Riesling in Upstate New York, the Finger Lakes. It’s a dry Champagne, but has some fresh, crisp Riesling characteristics just with bubbles.

Bad Ass Bubbles Across the World are amazing sparkling wines to consider produced around the world:

Licatta Lambrusco made by Raekwon from the Wu-Tang Clan
Sparkling Rose’ by the McBride Sisters Collection
Graham Beck Sparkling Wine from South Africa
Blink Sparkling wine from Greece

You can locate the majority of these champagnes & sparkling wines online at wine.com or check  wine-searcher.com for other retailers.

Chapter #2 – Saturday, 3/28/20

This chapter celebrated Women’s History Month. We had a special guest, Stephanie Love from Epicurious One, and she shared some great insight on Black Women in Wine. Our featured SIP for this chapter was Chardonnay. I shared some general history and fun factoids about the world’s top white grape that’s planted in every wine producing country.

Here are the links to the black women in wine that was shared during the discussion.

McBride Sisters
Brown Estate
Theopolis Vineyards
Seven Sisters

Chapter #1 – Saturday, 3/21/20

The first chapter didn’t have a particular topic so I allowed the participants to drive the conversation. We ended up chatting for 2+ hours covering a range of topics like social cues & stigmas related to wine, some basic wine knowledge, wine recommendations, and we even chatted a little about spirits.

Here are the links for a few approachable red wines that will aid in transitioning from drinking white wines to red. You can find all of the brands at your local grocery store and liquor store. Jam Jar (sweet), Apothic Red (semi-sweet) & Ravenswood Zinfandel (dry).