29Apr/130

OGIO – Prosecco Wine Product Review

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"Unquestionably Good Taste"

I know I've said this before, and I'll say it again. I love any opportunity to sample a new wine that I haven't tried before. I like to think that because I'm 1/2 Italian that my love for wine just runs naturally in my blood. For this review, not only was it a wine I hadn't tried before, it was also a whole new brand to me. (They were pretty awesome and not only sent a bottle of OGIO Prosecco, but flip flops with the brand name on them, and a USB drive. How neat!)

"Ogio captures the Italian ideal of unquestionably good taste... from art and design to personal style to treating others with warmth and grace. It is a lifestyle that is seductive, celebratory, and decadent - expressed through the grandest of displays as well as the smallest of gestures. Gli italiani have an inherent sense of beatuy, design, and quality that are the hallmarks of OGIO wines." - OGIO

Anyway, from a few quick polls I know a lot of my readers prefer a sweeter wine, and I'm in the same boat. I'll take a sweet wine (especially a white wine) over a super dry wine any day and figured a sparkling wine might just be the next best thing. So, I decided to sample the Prosecco over the Pinot Grigio and Tuscan Red. I honestly had no idea what to expect this time around. However OGIO's tasting notes led me to believe this would be fantastic. And it WAS! Note the past tense? Yeah... it's all gone.

"This Prosecco is pale light yellow in color with delightfully graceful perlage. The delicate yet complex bouquet offers fruity notes of peach and green apple, followed by hints of acacia and lilac. Fresh and light on the palate, it has a balanced acidity that makes it very food friendly, and rounds out with a long and lingering finish. Best served at 46-50°F. " ~ OGIO

I absolutely LOVED this wine. Although dryer than I typically enjoy, the flavor combinations were just brilliant and it looked absolutely beautiful in my glass. The peach and green apple were very apparent and the floral notes to follow weren't too over done. I felt like I should be on a yacht sipping the Prosecco in my bathing suit with my hair whipping in the wind. It was very light, and refreshing and the perfect compliment to all of my meals I shared with it. The sparkling aspect was just great. It wasn't too much, but it was enough to tickle your nose and enhance your senses. Although recommended as an aperitif (before meal wine), I didn't quite follow the rules. Then again, I rarely follow the rules when it comes to wine.

OGIO's Presecco recently won the Silver Metal in the San Diego International Wine Competition as well as the "Best Paper Label" in the Gold - Style Category and Gold - Form Category at the World Wine Competition BTI this year. They've also won additional awards in 2010 and 2012. You can read more about all of their accolades HERE.

Make sure you check out OGIO online and read about all of their other (what are sure to be) great wines. You can also find OGIO on Facebook and check out their product finder to see if you can find OGIO in a store near you.

*I was provided the above mentioned product free of charge in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.

13Apr/130

Tequila Partida – Blue Agave Tequila Product Review

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Up until just a few days ago, I hadn't had tequila in probably a good six years. My last experience wasn't so great. I'm just going to chalk that up to being young and immature and not quite knowing my limits or knowing any better when it came to choosing a quality tequila. Blue Agave? What IS that? Whatever. That's in the past, and I have a new-found appreciation for GOOD tequila. When Tequila Partida offered to send samples of their Añejo, Reposado, and Blanco tequilas I was super pumped. There aren't many things that I get really excited about except maybe good food and good spirits. And being able to review either just puts me over the moon. Oh, AND they sent along a bunch of drink recipes too. Yumm!

" Tequila Partida is the product of an outstanding marriage between traditional tequila making and cutting edge technology. And it’s this extraordinary combination that gives each and every sip of Tequila Partida something special, the pure natural essence of blue agave." ~ Tequila Partida

The day I decided to do a little taste testing it reached 85F degrees out. And, since I don't have an ice crusher, or a margarita glass (seriously what the heck??) I had to do a little improvising. I have a friend who mixes her tequila with sherbert. Perfect. I have sherbert in the house. I took a couple of scoops of rainbow sherbert and about 1.5oz of Tequila Partida Reposado, blended them together,  sugared the outside and made a make-shift margarita. Obviously it doesn't do the Tequila Partida justice, but oh my gosh. It went down SO smooth. I told my husband that it was like liquid crack candy. I immediately made myself another one using the Tequila Partida Añejo. JUST as smooth and delicious. I made sure to take a few small sips of each before using them in the improvised margarita to get a feel of the tequila on its own. I have to say it is the smoothest tequila I've ever had, and it has a great flavor!

  • PARTIDA REPOSADO TEQUILA - 40% Alcohol

"Looking for the richest and smoothest tequila? Experience Partida's signature touch of sweetness in Partida Reposado. This aged Tequila delivers subtle flavors that Tequila drinkers may have not thought possible. Free of the overbearing smoky flavor common to most Reposados, this Tequila is in a class by itself."

  • PARTIDA AÑEJO TEQUILA - 40% Alcohol

"Partida Añejo, aged in American oak one-pass Jack Daniels barrels, reveals an intense flavor that can only come from advanced aging."

  • PARTIDA BLANCO TEQUILA - 40% Alcohol

"With its distinctive scents of blue agave, Partida Blanco Tequila is as brilliant as the Mexican sunshine. Boasting a soft floral aroma and blended perfectly with hints of citrus, fresh herbs and tropical fruit, this crisp tasting premium Tequila lingers on your palate, leaving it feeling clean and fresh. This invigorating, high-quality Blanco is an original and nothing short of remarkable."

Like I mentioned previously, Tequila Partida also sent along what appeared to be some fantastic drink recipes in their Cocktail Guide, but the one that REALLY caught my eye (mostly because I could easily get the ingredients without spending an arm and a leg) was the Café Pacifico made with Tequila Partida's Blanco.

Café Pacifico:

  • 1 1/2oz Partida Blanco
  • ½ oz Coffee liqueur
  • 4oz Freshly Brewed Hot Coffee
  • 3 Barspoons Cinnamon & Sugar Mix
  • Heavy Cream.

Prepare small warm wine glass. Add Tequila & Coffee. Mix in the Cinnamon Sugar.
Float Heavy Cream on top of the coffee.Garnish with a Sprinkle of Cinnamon Sugar mix
on top & a Cinnamon stick.

Note: The Cinnamon sugar mix is 4 parts granulated white sugar to 1 part ground
cinnamon. Mix them together in a bowl.

Looks delicious, right?! Tequila and coffee - who knew? (I'd love to be a fly on the wall when people come up with these cocktail recipes.)

Make sure you follow Tequila Partida on Facebook and Twitter! For more Tequila Partida recipes, make sure you head over to their Entertainment Tab on their website too. There are even recipe cards that you can download in PDF format. Awesome!

* I received the above sample products free of charge from Tequila Partida in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.

25Mar/130

Exclusiv 6 – Rose Raspberry Vodka with Moscato Wine Product Review

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Exclusiv Vodka contacted me recently asking if I'd like a chance to sample their new Exclusiv 6 Rosé Raspberry flavored Vodka with Moscato Rose Wine. And I said that I wasn't interested. Just kidding. I said YES! I loved sampling their Exclusiv 1 and their Moscato Rose Wine. Why in the world would I turn this opportunity down? They just combined two of my favorite things, wine and vodka. I also had the perfect idea for a drink already lined up in my head before it showed up at my doorstep. (The drink probably already exists by another name, but since I don't go out to bars... ever, we're just going to pretend this was my own concoction.) Needless to say this didn't last long. Yummm.

I don't know about you, but when I open up a new bottle of flavored vodka, or any flavored drink really, I give it a good sniff test. As far as I know vodka really shouldn't have much of a scent, so that strong smell of alcohol shouldn't be there. The only thing I want to smell in a flavored vodka drink, is the flavor of the drink.

I get a little giddy when packages like this arrive, so the first thing I did was unbox it, admire the beautiful rose coloring, unscrew the cap, smell it, and then pour myself a drink. I thought at first it might have been a little harsher of a vodka than I normally like, but my senses must have been in over drive due to the excitement. Once a mixer is combined with the vodka, this tastes AMAZING. I haven't quite decided on a name yet for this drink yet that I like to make. When I use fruit punch vodka it becomes the "Oh Yeah!". (Get it?) This might need to be called "Raspberry Wings" or something along those lines. What do you think? Anyway, that's what I'm going to stick with for now.

Raspberry Wings:

  • 2 Parts Excusiv Rosé
  • 2 Parts Red Bull
  • 2 Parts Cranberry Juice

What I really love in a drink is something that is sweet and goes down like candy, but after 2 or 3 will really knock you on your tushy. This is definitely one of those mixed drinks that you won't realize the vodka in it is 64 proof. It goes down SMOOTH. And this particular drink ends up tasting like a loaded cranberry juice cocktail.

Exclusiv Vodka is handcrafted and imported from Maldova. The Exclusiv 6 Rose Vodka combines their raspberry vodka and their Moscato Rose wine so you get that great sweet wine flavor as part of the after taste along with that gorgeous pink/red color.

Exclusiv also has regular vodka, lemon, peach, orange, berry, and coconut! (And you can't forget about their Moscato Rose Wine.) The best part, is that this brand is really affordable. You're looking at about $10 per bottle. Don't let the affordability of the product fool you. Exclusiv has received 9 coveted international awards. Niiiiice!

Make sure you find Exlusiv on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with information, fun pictures, and more! If you're looking to purchase it, check out their Store Locator.

 

*I was provided products for free in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.

7Dec/120

California Wine Club – Premier Club & Wine Review + Giveaway

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A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to try out my first shipment of wine from California Wine Club's Premier Club. It was such a fun experience trying out new wines from California wineries that I had never heard of before. And, while they weren't my most absolute favorites (mainly because I enjoy sweet wines over dry wines), they were still, in my opinion, of good quality and were definitely tasty.

Recently I received my second shipment of wine from California Wine Club's Premier Club. This time I was sent a 2011 Santa Barbara County, White Hills Vineyard Chenin Blanc from the Daniel Gehrs Winery, and a Daniel Gehrs 2009 Central Coast Merlot.

"Our most popular club features two bottles of award-winning wine from California's best "mom & pop" wineries. No membership fees, cancel anytime and all wines are 100% guaranteed." ~ California Wine Club (www.cawineclub.com)

The term "club" tends to make me a bit iffy in general. In my past experience with various other clubs, the monthly fees are always what keep me away. That, and the fact that canceling usually ends up to be a bigger pain in the tuchus than it needs to be. The California Wine Club takes the guesswork out of wine shopping by "vetting" in the wines that they chose. They're all tested and approved for the club, so you know you're getting something good. And, each bottle is guaranteed. They have a variety of options that allow you to customize your monthly selections to better suit your taste. For example, their Premier Club allows you to choose between two whites, two reds, or a red and a white. And if wine isn't something you consume too often, meaning two bottles of wine monthly is too much, you can set up your shipments to arrive every other month, or even quarterly.

Chenin Blanc: Aromas of plums, wild flowers and clover honey lead to a fruity palate of ripe Barlett pear and melon flavors. The finish is crisp and zesty.

Once again, the white wine that California Wine Club chose to send was definitely my favorite in comparison to the red that was sent. However, I thought the wine stayed true to its description. It was definitely a zestier wine, and I personally thought I could taste more of the pear and honey. I think it would have been fantastic with an Asian type of salad, or a light tasting fish.

Merlot: Dustiness, tanned leather and earthiness add complexity to the lush signature black cherry fruit. Tannins are smooth, lending backbone and a long finish.

The Merlot, as far as a dryer red wine goes was still good, and a great choice, especially for delivery nearing the holidays. Christmas reminds me of pastries, chocolate, hearty food, good drinks, and great friends. The Daniel Gehrs Merlot would be a wonderful choice for a Christmas Eve dinner, or just sitting around by the fire with good friends. Admittedly I haven't tried several Merlots, but from what I have tried, this was by far my favorite.

I loved that I didn't have to worry about selecting what to purchase, and now I know which wines/varieties I would try again, and which ones I wouldn't. I also really enjoyed being introduced to a new winery. I just adore learning about new "mom and pop" businesses, and this one seems to be top notch. And, the fact that The California Wine Club brings wines to many people who can't always find these wines in their local stores while giving California wineries some exposure is just fantastic bonus. I do think that outside of this review, I probably would have chosen two white wines instead of one of each from The California Wine Club (which is fine, because that IS an option for club members).

The California Wine Club also makes for a great gift idea! We all know the holidays are closing in, and let's face it, we don't always have time to run out to the stores and grab the "perfect" gift for our loved ones. However, for any wine connoisseurs this is the perfect present. You can buy 1 month all the way up to 12 months if you're feeling generous!

Make sure you check out The California Wine Club on Facebook and Twitter!

The California Wine Club has a pretty fantastic giveaway happening right now too! Head over [HERE] and enter to win one of the following prizes (52 winners in November & 52 winners in December):

1) One of four, Three Month Wine Club membership (A $150 value you can give as a gift, or keep for yourself)

2) One of 50 handy Two Bottle Wine Totes ($25 value)

3) One of 50 Red Tulip Music wine country CD's ($15 value)

Pandora's Deals is also giving away a $50 California Wine Club Gift Certificate. Enter [HERE].

 

* This review was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own. I received a 2 month Membership to the California Wine Club for the purpose of this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.

11Nov/120

The California Wine Club – Premier Club & Wine Review + Giveaway

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One thing I always struggle with is finding new wines. I have a handful of my trusty old-faithfuls that I know I can go to in a pinch. However, there's nothing I like better than getting to try out something new. The only problem, is that I'm a bit indecisive with so many options, and I tend to pick a wine based on the design of the label. I'm beginning to find that while I have great success choosing my books that way, I end up disappointed more often than not when trying to choose a new wine that way. This is exactly why I think wine clubs are so great. They already know what's good, and all you do is sit back, and let the choices get made for you, and then delivered to your doorstep.

"Our most popular club features two bottles of award-winning wine from California's best "mom & pop" wineries. No membership fees, cancel anytime and all wines are 100% guaranteed." ~ California Wine Club (www.cawineclub.com)

The term "club" tends to make me a bit iffy in general. In my past experience with various other clubs, the monthly fees are always what keep me away. That, and the fact that canceling usually ends up to be a bigger pain in the tuchus than it needs to be. The California Wine Club takes the guesswork out of wine shopping by "vetting" in the wines that they chose. They're all tested and approved for the club, so you know you're getting something good. And, each bottle is guaranteed. They have a variety of options that allow you to customize your monthly selections to better suit your taste. For example, their Premier Club allows you to choose between two whites, two reds, or a red and a white. And if wine isn't something you consume too often, meaning two bottles of wine monthly is too much, you can set up your shipments to arrive every other month, or even quarterly.

For this month's California Wine Club Shipment I received The Seven Brothers 2009 Tempranillo (red), and The Seven Brothers 2009 Sauvignon Blanc from the Robledo Family Winery. Now, the thing about a wine club is that you need to enjoy surprises and be up for the unknown. When I purchase wine myself from local stores, I tend to stick with the sweeter wines. I'm usually a Moscato fan, or a good Lambrusco-esque type person. So, I was a bit timid to try these two wines out.

Sauvignon Blanc: Grapefruit and herbal notes turn to melon and ripe passion fruit on the mid-palate. Aromas of honeysuckle and mango. Concentrated with green tea and citrus. Rich and complex with a tang of lemongrass. ~ Robledo

Not surprisingly, the Sauvignon Blanc was my favorite out of the two wines, and I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed it being a little dryer than what I usually prefer. I was prepared to mix the wine with a Sprite or 7up. (I know, way to ruin the wine, right?) However, I didn't have to, and in the end really loved the bottle. The fruity notes rang through loud and clear, but weren't overpowering, and were on the verge of refreshing. Definitely a wine I would purchase again, and one I think would make for a great gift if you aren't sure whether the receiver of the gift prefers sweet or dry.

Tempranillo: This wine has a bright ruby color with heavy aromas of cranberry, blackberry, cinnamon, spice and toasted oak.  The flavors of dried black fruit, toasted cedar and tobacco mingle with great acidity and strong tannins to produce a long, rich finish.  ~ Robledo

Only because of personal tastes, the Tempranillo was borderline line for me. It was much richer in flavor, and had less of the sweetness that I usually prefer. Unlike the Sauvignon Blanc being in the middle, this was definitely on the dry side. The finish remained longer (which I hear is a sign of a good quality wine), however it was just too "earthy" for me. Still a good wine, and after a glass or two I was well enough acclimated to it to be able to better enjoy it. It's just not one I would purchase on my own again, and if I were to gift it I would need to make sure of the tastes of receiver.

I wasn't disappointed in the choices at all. I loved that I didn't have to worry about selecting what to purchase, and now I know which wines/varieties I would try again, and which ones I wouldn't. I also really enjoyed being introduced to a new winery. I just adore learning about new "mom and pop" businesses, and this one seems to be top notch. And, the fact that The California Wine Club brings wines to many people who can't always find these wines in their local stores while giving California wineries some exposure is just fantastic bonus. I do think that outside of this review, I probably would have chosen two white wines instead of one of each from The California Wine Club (which is fine, because that IS an option for club members).

The California Wine Club also makes for a great gift idea! We all know the holidays are closing in, and let's face it, we don't always have time to run out to the stores and grab the "perfect" gift for our loved ones. However, for any wine connoisseurs this is the perfect present. You can buy 1 month all the way up to 12 months if you're feeling generous!

Make sure you check out The California Wine Club on Facebook and Twitter!

The California Wine Club has a pretty fantastic giveaway happening right now too! Head over [HERE] and enter to win one of the following prizes (52 winners in November & 52 winners in December):

1) One of four, Three Month Wine Club membership (A $150 value you can give as a gift, or keep for yourself)

2) One of 50 handy Two Bottle Wine Totes ($25 value)

3) One of 50 Red Tulip Music wine country CD's ($15 value)

* This review was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own. I received a 2 month Membership to the California Wine Club for the purpose of this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.

13Oct/120

Mommy’s Time Out – Garganega Moscato Wine Product Review

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Call me a bad mommy, but at the end of a 12 hour day with my kiddlets, I'm fried, fed up, and ready to go just sit in a corner somewhere I can find some peace and quiet. Don't get me wrong, I love my monsters. But, after a full day of toys being launched across the living room, potty training accidents, diaper changes, food being fed to the dogs instead of consumed by the kids, temper tantrums, screaming (from joy and excitement), and trying to make sure my house doesn't look like a hurricane hit (key word being "trying"), I am D-O-N-E. Catch my drift?

I have already dubbed any wine I bring into the house my "Mommy Juice", and apparently I'm not the only one who relates a relaxing bottle of wine to the tiring, stressful woes of mommy-hood. There is an actual brand of wine called Mommy's Time Out! Oh yeah, the name alone just tickled me to pieces, and I was SO thrilled they offered the opportunity to try out a bottle for myself. Thankfully, my husband doesn't drink wine, and even if he did I doubt I'd be sharing any. Maybe I'd let him like the cork. (That's the same thing as licking batter off of the beaters, right?) Anywho, Mommy's Time Out carries three varieties of wine: Garganega Pino Grigio, Rosso Primitivo, and Garganega Moscato. I mentioned that I knew a lot of my readers preferred a sweet wine, along with myself, and they sent the Garganega Moscato. Yummm - Moscato is my favorite!

"We all know that being a Mommy is a difficult job. A Mommy's Time Out is a well deserved break. These wines are delicate and fruity. They come from some of the finest vineyards in Italy where the best grapes are finified, resulting in a long lasting finish. They are a great complement to food, or may be served as an aperitif." ~Mommy's Time Out

The bottle arrived in a nice satin-type blue bag, and a cute little note saying, "A Mommy's Time Out is a well Deserved Break". <--- That's my new mantra BTW. Truth be told, the bottle of Mommy's Time Out Moscato arrived RIGHT when I was about ready to start having my own meltdown. I opened it up, and put myself in time out in the kitchen. Ahhhh. Needless to say, with only a 9% Alcohol by Volume rate, the bottle was emptied before I took a picture. Oops. At least that means it was really good. And I mean REALLY good!

Most moscatos that I drink on a regular basis, while tasty, don't have that "oomph" I generally associate with a great wine. I had read somewhere that the longer the flavor of the wine lingers on your palate, the higher quality the wine is. The Mommy's Time Out was definitely a fruity wine, and something that I could see pairing with a lighter lunch or dinner. I'm thinking leafy salads with vinaigrette dressing, and maybe a white fish of sorts. However, alone it is still a fantastic drink!

Mommy's Time Out wines have a suggested retail value of only $9.99! I love that a great quality wine is also affordable. Mommy's Time Out Moscato hails from the region of Delle Venezie, Italy and is made with Garganega & Moscato grapes. Truly a great grape combination in my opinion, and everything about this wine, especially the well balanced sweet robustness, quickly bumped it up to the top of my favorites list. Thank you Mommy's Time Out for MY time out!

Make sure you check out Mommy's Time Out Wine on Facebook!

8Oct/120

Daily’s Cocktails – Original Frozen Pouches Product Review

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Unfortunately, I don't generally have the chance to indulge in a good frozen drink. I don't own a machine that will easily chop the ice as finely as I'd need it, and I'm certainly not planning on going after dozens of ice cubes with a hammer. Then, throw in the fact that you have to buy the alcohol as well as the drink mix, and I say give me a box of wine instead. Between the inconvenience of having to make the drink and shelling out big bucks, (or buy one in a restaurant/bar at a hugely inflated price), it's just not worth it. And, even though I may drink more than I should, I'm certainly not going to consume an entire pitcher of frozen, alcoholic goodness. (Not saying I wouldn't want to though.)

Lucky for those of you who are in the same boat as I am, Daily's Cocktails has clearly thought this all through, and offers small, personal size, pre-made/mixed frozen drink pouches! And, the best part is that many grocery stores, including Walmart carries them. I have heard that some states can only find the in liquor stores due to certain laws, but (holla) I don't live in one of those states. I picked up four pouches at my local WalMart with the $10 gift card Daily's sent for the purpose of this review. I decided to go with (original) Margarita, Strawberry Daiquiri, Peach Daiquiri, and Pomegranate Acai Margarita. They sound absolutely delicious, don't you think?? Just pop the pouches in your freezer for 8 hours and they're ready to serve! In addition to the flavors I picked up, Daily's also has Pina Colada, Lemonade, Light Strawberry Daiquiri, and have brought out Fall flavors to include Hard Cider and Spiced Sangria. Yummmm!

"...[W]e stand by our roots when it comes to the important things like offering our consumers the best available products that use real ingredients and natural fruit flavors. All Daily’s Cocktails & Mixers are made with the freshest, real fruit ingredients available - succulent strawberries, luscious lemons, creamy coconuts, and so much more." ~ Daily's Cocktails

I have to say I was a little skeptical. I enjoy my drinks rather strong, and generally anything you pick up pre-made in a store tends to suffer in quality and flavor. I kind of expected the drinks to taste watery, weak, and nothing like a homemade or bar-made cocktail. I was also a little concerned about the quantity each pouch would deliver. However, across the board I was wrong. The drinks tasted fresh, full of flavor, and yielded a good size drink to two smaller ones. Can you believe it? Considering these only cost around $1.75 to $3.00ish (depending on your store and your location), you're getting a convenient, delicious treat at a fraction of the cost. I think the pouches I picked up were close to about $2.00 and some odd. That means, depending on the size of the glass I used, I was getting each drink for $1 to $2!

Overall, I don't think you can beat the quality for this price. I'm truly impressed and will definitely be purchasing more! Make sure you check out Daily's Cocktails online for additional Daily's product information. They don't just sell these frozen pouches. They also have Single Serve Bottles, Cocktails in a Box, and 1 Liter Pre-Mixed Cocktails. They also have some fantastic cocktail recipes on their site, updates on new promotions, and a store locator so you can find the nearest place that carries these delicious items.

You can also find Daily's Cocktails on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. If you want news sent directly to your inbox, make sure you sign up for their Newsletter too.

Daily's Cocktails is also offering a giveaway! THREE DealPeddler readers, who are ages 21+, will receive a Daily's insulated lunch tote. Giveaway will start today and run for approximately 1 week. Once the giveaway is live you'll be able to enter [HERE].

 

*I received a $10 Walmart gift card to purchase Daily's Cocktails in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.

 

7Aug/123

Exclusiv – Vodka & Rose Moscato Wine Product Review

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For anyone who enjoys a good drink every now and again, I'm sure you're all aware that a good drink can cost quite the pretty penny. And, if you're willing to go for the "cheap stuff", the quality tends to suffer. You know what I'm talking about. That 5th of quality liquor is probably going to cost you $20 or more... WAY more. Exlusiv however is both quality and affordable. You're looking at spending about $10 for a bottle of their Exlusiv Vodka.

Now, I'm not a big vodka drinker, mainly because I can't really afford it and the cheap stuff is definitely cheap. That nasty taste of poor quality vodka is just too much for me to want to handle. So, with the promise of great quality, and affordability, I could not wait to try out Exlusiv Vodka. With that being said, Exlusiv's vodka (in my humble opinion) is definitely a winner. The taste is smooth and doesn't have that weird strong aftertaste. The bottle of Exlusiv I received didn't last very long needless to say. Many times I have to over-mix a drink if the taste of the alcohol is awful. You know... 1 part booze to 10 parts something else. Not this time! This could have even been consumed on its own.

"From the gently rolling wheat fields of Moldova, near the shores of the Black Sea, comes an exciting new vodka steeped in Russian tradition begun centuries ago. A spirit so exclusive in taste we had to name it Exclusiv. Exclusiv evokes images of icy mountain peaks and crystal clear streams. It brings to mind expressions like clean, fresh and crisp. The best and truest description we can offer is… Perfect." ~ Exclusiv

Exlusiv has also won numerous awards, including the gold medal award in 2010 from the Beverage Tasting Institute, the Double Gold Award in 2012 from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and named the "2011 Best Value Vodka $10 and Under".

Exlusiv also sent a bottle of their new Exlusiv Rose Moscato. If you read my other wine review you'll remember that I have a great sweet wine, and even more a great moscato. The Exlusiv Rose Moscato is a gorgeous pink/light red color. (Hey - a good color matters regardless of how quickly it is consumed.) It looks lighter on their website than it does in person. This particular moscato is a great sweet, fruity blend of flavors. It's slightly more bubbly than I usually prefer, but if you're going for a sparkling beverage, this is a good one to try. Make sure it is CHILLED though. It definitely gets better when refrigerated.

This is also another great value. Admittedly I don't usually spend more than $6 for a bottle of wine, but even Exclusiv's Rose Moscato is only priced at $9.99, which is definitely an affordable price.

"Sparkling and sweet, Rose Moscato by Exclusiv is refreshing with a light, all-natural taste. Designed to enjoy with good food and good company, Rose Moscato brings forth an ancient Moldovan tradition of good eating, good drinking, good health, and happiness. Rose Moscato wine is cultivated from the Muscat grape, the only grape to produce wine with the same sweet aroma as the grape itself.  The Muscat grape gives Rose Moscato wine a sweet and rich aroma of dried fruits, raisins and oranges." ~ Exclusiv

Unfortunately Exlusiv Rose Moscato is only available in select states as of right now, but they'll be branching out more in the near future.

Overall, Exclusiv products are a really great value for the price. $10 per bottle of their wine or vodka is a steal!

Make sure you find Exlusiv on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with information, fun pictures, and more!

*I was provided products for free in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.

30Jun/120

Etching Expressions – Personalized Etched Wine Bottle Product Review

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If you were to describe me as a sentimental person the people who know me would probably laugh you right out of town. I'm not the type of person to save cards or ticket stubs. I'm not a fabulous scrapbooker. In fact, I don't even think I have any printed photos of my children except for the ones taken in a studio. However, with my wedding anniversary coming up I knew I wanted something that was a little special that I could keep and look back on with fond memories and yes... a little bit of sentiment.

I admit, three years of marriage isn't that big of a milestone in the grand scheme of things since just about every set of wedding vows includes, "'Till death do us part." However in my short three years of marriage I've had two beautiful children, started grad school, and started my website. These three years are something I really wanted to celebrate. So, I contacted Etching Expressions. (When I did I hadn't realized how soon my anniversary was.) Etching Expressions asked if I had any special occasions coming up, and what I would like the etched wine bottle to have on it. I told them my anniversary was coming up, gave them my name and my husband's name, and left the rest up to them. I was figuring it would just be a pretty bottle, but the wine was going to be the highlight.

When the Etching Expressions wine bottle arrived I knew it would be beautiful because I was emailed a photo of it before it was sent through the mail which you can view on the right. However, when I opened the box I literally teared up. It was absolutely stunning and it perfectly captured my personality and my husband's personality. It was simple, elegant, and really just perfect. If I had been given this as a gift it would have meant just as much if not more. The etching was clean (no rough edges), and the coloring was very neat and stayed within the etched portion of the bottle. This is one bottle of wine I am not opening! This is one product I have managed to attach myself to for sentimental reasons. It will be displayed proudly in my home as a beautiful piece of art, but also as a reminder of my first three years of marriage and all of the successes and hardships that brought my husband and I closer together.

Etching Expressions can make any occasion special; weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Not only do they etch the bottles of their own private label wines, but they also etch liquor bottles, and champagne bottles. Etching not quite your thing? They also provide personalized label options as well, corporate gifts, and accessories.

You choose the color, the message, and the design! Etching Expressions has artists that are fully capable of transferring a priceless photograph to one of their bottles. The sky is truly the limit with these special gifts!

Etching Expressions would love for you to find them on Facebook and Twitter! Why? Because Etching Expressions is giving away a $100 Gift Certificate to one DealPeddler reader! The gift certificate will cover up to one of their basic private label wine/champagne bottle etchings in mono color ($65) or full color ($75) and shipping. If you go with the single color you can even add their $11 wooden wine box in! Giveaway will start 6/30 and run for approximately 1 week. You must be 21+ to enter and a legal resident of the USA. You will be able to enter [HERE] during the time the giveaway is live.

29Jun/124

Hidden Maine Treasures – Dragonfly Farm & Winery LLC Stetson, ME

My husband completely surprised me last weekend on our 3rd wedding anniversary. I had gone out to run errands earlier that morning thinking we'd just have a normal Saturday of nothing. When I came home he handed me a card that said we had some place to be by 3pm. We usually don't have a lot of money to do anything really fun, however I guess he heard me say I'd like to visit a winery some day. Silly me had assumed that wineries don't exist in Maine. I mean, com'on, we're known for snow, black flies, and our numerous lakes and rivers. Oh, and I can't forget our moose. I never in a million years would have thought we have an actual winery in our state.

Guess what? They DO exist in Maine! And, we happened to have a gorgeous one only 20 miles or so away from where we live. I can't begin to explain my excitement when we pulled up to this beautiful yellow house with a sign that read "Dragonfly Winery" on it. "Are you serious?! You're taking me to a winery? Wait. We have wineries in Maine?!"He just looked at me and smiled knowing full well he nit the nail on the head with this little outing.

The Dragonfly Farm & Winery LLC is located in Stetson, Maine 100% owned and run by the Nadeau family - way out in the middle of nowhere. When you pull up to their small driveway it really doesn't look like much; a few buildings, a few grape vines, some bushes, and a lot of land. I think "quaint" may be the best word to describe it. It certainly wasn't the ginormous California vineyards I had always imagined any winery would look like. My husband thought the "Gift Shop" sign was pointing down a little winding trail so we explored there first. We ended up at a building that was definitely not the gift shop we were looking for. So, back up the trail we went. We were warmly greeted by Todd. Nadeau who promptly took us on a tour of their vineyard/farm.

The Nadeau vineyard boasted several varieties of grapes, including a variety only THEY had. And yes, I mean they are the only ones in the entire world that have this particular variety of grape. I wish I could remember what it was called. I guess I was slacking on my journalism skills because I didn't bring anything to write with! I suppose that's what happens when something like this is completely sprung on you. ;) I did happen to have my camera though! They also grow several fruits too that they use to make their fruit wines with. I really enjoyed getting to taste the wine right out of the fermenting barrels. I had never had the opportunity to taste wine that wasn't quite done yet. Todd Nadeau asked if I'd be able to finish the little bit he gave me, and I said, "Of course! I'll finish anything you throw my way!"

The Dragonfly Farm & Winery started out as a small dream his family had, and they grew it into what it is today; a vibrant, successful winery that produces some of the most delicious sweet wines I have ever tasted. You may know that I'm a huge fan of sweet wine so this was the perfect winery to visit! They have a total of 7 varieties of white wine, 6 varieties of red wine, and 8 varieties of fruit wine. However, what is in stock depends on the season. After the tour I had the amazing opportunity to taste 9 of their wines ranging from whites, and reds, to blueberry, strawberry, and cranberry. Yumm! The names included: Clarity, Serendipity, Candle Waster, Blueberry Bliss, Blue Lightening, Raspberry Riot, St. Pepin, and Jelly Juice... now that I count I guess I'm missing one.

Of course I had some favorites and boy did I stock up! I came home with 2 bottles of "Clarity", 2 bottles of "Serendipity", and 2 bottles of their "Candle Waster" Cranberry wine. Jelly Juice was another favorite however I didn't purchase that one. Todd & Treena Nadeau are both members of the United States Air Force, so they consider their winery as a part time hobby. I can't believe it. It seems like so much work, and even more waiting, but WOW do they do a fabulous job with it! When it came time to ring up our (I mean MY) purchase, they were beyond generous and threw in an extra bottle as an anniversary gift, and they gave us the "anniversary discount" of $1 off each bottle. In addition, if you have ANY military affiliate (yourself, cousins, aunts, uncles, employees) they give a "military discount" of $1 off each bottle you purchase. Their wines are VERY affordable too. Every bottle is only $13. I walked out of this beautiful place happier knowing I had a wonderful opportunity to meet the Nadeau family, uplifted by the beauty of their farm, and completely satisfied that I purchased some of the best wine I have ever had while simultaneously supporting a local business.

Dragonfly Farm & Winery isn't just all about wine. They also make Maple Syrups. Have you ever had REAL Maple Syrup? You don't know what you're missing by choosing Aunt Jemima over the real stuff. The Nadeau's make their maple syrup in the traditional French Canadian way. I'm not 100% sure what that means exactly since I wasn't there for the syrup, but homemade natural syrup is always a winner.

If you're ever in Maine, make sure you check out the Dragonfly Farm & Winery in Stetson, Maine. You won't be disappointed, and you'll truly get to see one of Maine's Hidden Treasures, and you'll meet some of the friendliest people! It's a win win all around.

 

*This post is not sponsored. I do want to thank my wonderful husband for taking me on the best little outing I could have dreamed of!