Tag Archives: Segura Viudas

Father`s Day 2016 fun and good news about alcohol and diabetes

English: Chicken wings being cooked slowly ove...
English: Chicken wings being cooked slowly over charcoal ashes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Barbecue is always popular for summer celebrations, and many dads especially love going out for it – so they don’t have to prep, cook and clean up on the home grill. Here are two options for Chicago dads this Sunday:

Pinstripes, 435 E. Illinois, the indoor entertainment center, celebratesFather’s Day with a backyard BBQ Brunch. Give dad a break and come help him appreciate the carving station, fresh seafood, waffle bar, made-to-order omelets, dessert station with a chocolate fountain, and endless mimosas plus BBQ ribs, Italian sausage, pesto chicken, corn on the cob, and more. 9:30 to 3 pm. Adults $34, kids 6-12 $15, kids 5 & under eat free.

And then there’s Lone Star BBQ, 3350 N. Harlem, where the family can treat dad to a delicious lunch or dinner this Father’s Day all weekend. Lone Star BBQ Bar is Chicago’s newest full-service BBQ restaurant that smokes its meats over post oak wood, imported from Texas, without the use of gas or electricity. Choose from pulled pork, ribs, brisket and more smoked and sauced meats, plus crispy salads and cool desserts. Pretzel cake, anyone?

And how about a different kind of gift for dad this year? Check these out.

Can you believe it? A window-washing robot. Ecovacs Robotics makes the WINBOT W830 and says it cleans even nearly impossible-to-clean windows. All you do is place the microfiber cleaning pad on the machine, spritz the pad, switch it to “ON,” place it on the window and press start. Use it on vertical glass, framed or frame-less glass, frosted, filmed or colored glass, horizontal surfaces, and much more. Automatically avoids frames and other obstacles. $399.99 is a stiff price tag, but maybe if you have a lot of windows…

If  the dad on your gift list enjoys champagne, try surprising him with a pewter-embellished bottle of Spanish sparkling wine (cava). Heredad Reserva from Segura Viudas will make him feel special. And if he decides to share it with you or his pals on the golf course, race track, or by a campfire, he’s sure to enjoy the opening aromas that are lightly smoky with touches of biscuit, followed by hints of honey, fruit and flower petals. And to make him feel even more special, show him how the word “Heredad” translates into “Here, Dad!”

Coffee and tequila by Maestro Dobel
Coffee and tequila by Maestro Dobel

Do the dads in your life like tequila? Try making them a sumptuous cocktail (or two) using that favored spirit. Here’s a buzz-friendly recipe that sounds almost like dessert-and-coffee, compliments of Maestro Dobel Tequila:

Power Ballad
2 oz Maestro Dobel® Reposado Tequila
1 oz cold brew coffee
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Pinch of cocoa powder
3 dashes of fig bitters
Egg white

Method: Build all ingredients in tin, shake without ice, add ice, shake with ice, add 1 oz soda
water to glass, strain contents into tall collins glass without ice. Sprinkle cocoa powder, serve with salted macadamia nuts.

And while you’re buying him wines and spirits, you might want to give him the good news about alcohol and Type 2 diabetes risk. According to an article in Wine Spectator, moderate consumption of beer lowers your risk by 5%, the same of spirits lowers it by 9% and the same of wine lowers it by 20%. “According to U.S. health agencies, a “standard” drink contains 14 grams of pure alcohol. This is equivalent to a 12-ounce Budweiser, a 5-ounce glass of cool-climate Pinot Noir or a 2-ounce shot of whiskey. The scientists defined moderate consumption as 20 to 30 grams per day for beer and wine and 7 to 15 grams per day for spirits.”

So go enjoy a little, ‘cuz drinking more than moderate levels actually increases the diabetes peril.

Breakfast, lunch & dinner ideas Memorial Day 2016

Start your Memorial Day with a delicious -and shockingly healthy – smoothie you can make at home. Much-praised Chef Lee Wolen of top-rated Boka Restaurant created this recipe and others using the unique flavors of Pure Leaf TeaHouse Collection of presweetened teas. When an 8-year-old says she’s okay with raw kale in her smoothie ‘cuz it tastes so good, you know you’ve got a winner.

Copy of Chef Wolen Pure Leaf
Boka Chef Lee Wolen slinging smoothies in Lincoln Park

Apple Ginger Tea Smoothie with Blueberries and Kale

  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 1.5 cup Pure Leaf Tea House Collection™ Green Tea Fuji Apple & Ginger
  • 1 banana, frozen
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
    Whirl everything in a blender until smooth. Garnish with chopped apple and fresh grated ginger.

Then, after you’ve digested that, and at a reasonable hour – say, eleven thirty-ish – pull out one of these lovely bubbly wines for lunch and toast your Memorial Day in earnest. Gorgeous bubblies like:

SEGURA VIUDAS RESERVA HEREDAD – an exquisite and aromatic cava (Spanish bubbly made with methode champenoise). You’ll enjoy serving it from its pewter-embellished bottle, and its smooth taste pairs well with any grilled foods or other treats you decide upon. Should you be camping out, could there be anything better than a little bubbly with your S’mores? ~$25

LOS VASCOS ROSÉ 2015 – Bright, pale pink color. On the nose, aromas of strawberries, raspberries, cherries and pomegranates underscored by white chocolate and sugar syrup. The palate is fresh, balanced and persistent. ~$14

VALDO ROSÉ BRUT – a color like scarlet brush strokes on rose petals. Bouquet is of fine and elegant blossoms with a persistent presence of raspberry and a cascade of tiny bubbles. Altogether a pleasant round warm flavor with a charming fruity aroma. ~$14

PRIEURÉ DE MONTÉZARGUES TAVEL AOC 2014 – a pretty rosé wine with violet tints and a nice salmon color and an intense nose with white flowers. ~$24

THEN, you’re probably exhausted so you’ll want to just go out and let others wait upon you for dinner. Luckily there are dozens of downtown spots to take yourself and family and friends for dining al fresco. Here are a just a few.

Beatrix – River North519 N. Clark, patio and open window seats are perfect for sipping a fresh juice, specialty iced coffee or signature cocktail like the Mexican Iced Coffee and Malted Freddo, and the Habenero-Pineapple Margarita and Blueberry Tom Collins, both made with homemade fresh juices. The full wine bar has open floor-to-ceiling windows.

Beatrix – Streeterville671 N St Clair St., seats 80-100 outdoors.
Spend the whole day if you like, with  breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner served there, or pick up something from The Market to enjoy in the sun.
Hub 5151 W. Hubbard,  seats 35 outside. Nosh on your favorites like Pulled Chicken Nachos or the Kale & Avocado Salad, while sipping on signature frozen drinks such as the Passionfruit Margarita, while you sit back and watch the hustle and bustle of River North.
Osteria Via Stato & Pizzeria Via Stato620 N. State, together seat 80 outside on one of the most active corners in River North. Just Bring Me Lunch at Pizzeria is about satisfying meals served quickly Mondays through Fridays. A three-course menu option (soup, sandwich, dessert) in a hurry for only $9.95 per person. Later, try the three-course Italian Dinner Party at Osteria, for $39.95 per person. Both restaurants offer wines-by-the glass and more than 300 Italian labels.

Bellyup Smokehouse & Saloon, 1132 S. Wabash, offers a Beyonce Boozy Lemonade for Memorial Day Weekend Friday, May 27 through Sunday, May 29 (CLOSED on Monday, May 30). 10 bucks for the lemonade cocktail special.

Freixenet cavas – Segura Viudas

You know the name Freixenet (pronounced fresh-a-net). Its black-bottled Cordon Negro Brut namesake has been one of the world’s leading sparkling wines for decades. It was the first non-French sparkling many baby boomers tried back in the 70s. And oh, how we liked it.

Calçots with Romesco sauce for dipping
Calçots with Romesco sauce for dipping (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When sparkling wine is made in Spain via methode champenoise, it’s known as cava. Freixenet makes cavas and other types of wine, and it also owns a brand known as Segura Viudas, makers of several value-for-dollar cavas. Dry. Sparkly. Delicious with food.

When you visit that lovely winery outside Barcelona in the spring, they’ll set up a red-hot barbeque on the patio and roast some calçots for you to peel and eat by hand. Calçots are a special variety of spring onion grown in Spain and served with a fabulous romesco sauce made of ground nuts, red peppers and spices. Naturally, you’ll be invited to wash them down with one of Segura Viudas‘s excellent bubblies.  Watch out! It’s all so good you may have trouble stopping…

Photography - Segura Viudas Winery (2)
The patio at Segura Viudas winery outside Barcelona – fabulous grilled calcots!

Read about these beauties on the Segura Viudas website.


Wines & spirits to help the holidays shine

You may be wondering what to toast the holidays with this year. Even though we Americans are welcoming sparkling wine for more and more occasions all year long, Christmas and Hannukah and so on are perfect opportunities to treat ourselves to this most delightful of libations. Below are a few ideas for sparkling wines and suggestions for a fine red Cabernet, a unique creamy liqueur and a few elegant brown spirits.

Segura Viudas Brut
Segura Viudas Brut

Segura Viudas Brut Cava comes from the sparkling wine experts at Freixenet. It’s their value-driven offering–fine bubbles and sophisticatedly dry, Segura Viudas is a bargain at ~$9.95/750ml. Serve as an aperitif or to toast with, or with salmon, chicken and lighter meats for lunch or supper, or even with nuts or cookies after a meal or for an afternoon visit. Nothing says “I’m glad to see you!” like a glass of good bubbly. Like its parent company, The Freixenet Group, this year Segura Viudas is introducing its own iconic holiday commercial.

English: Gwyneth Paltrow at the 2011 Venice Fi...
English: Gwyneth Paltrow at the 2011 Venice Film Festival (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Freixenet brand is a pop culture icon in Spain thanks to its annual  “Felices Fiestas” ad campaign. The company enlisted superstar Liza Minnelli in 1977 and thus ushered in a new era in advertising. Their ads have featured international superstars like Gene Kelly, Shirley McLaine, Paul Newman, Kim Basinger, Penélope Cruz, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Shakira as seasonal spokespersons. Now the people of Spain happily anticipate the appearance of the Freixenet holiday ad each year.

This year the Segura Viudas holiday commercial features indie rock artist Eleanor Friedberger – watch for her imminent CD release and tour – playing the holiday classic “Auld Lang Syne” by clinking flutes filled with Segura Viudas cava. The spot was produced by Segura Viudas brand manager Josep Ferrer, a 4th generation member of the family that founded Freixenet. “It’s been an honor to follow in the footsteps of my grandfather and father in producing this holiday themed ad for one of our younger brands,” he said of the spot. While honoring the Freixenet tradition, he created this one especially for the Internet generation.
Reserva Heredad's pewter-embellished bottle
Reserva Heredad’s pewter-embellished bottle

Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad is a Spanish Cava made in the traditionalméthode champenoise.  The elegant bottle reflects the premium quality of the cuvée and makes Reserva Heredad an impressive-looking gift for any wine lover. Open the pewter-embellished bottle with the crest of the Segura Viudas family and catch the aroma of brioche followed by hints of honey and dried fruit. ~$25

And just for fun, here are two recipes to liven up your holiday parties using another of Freixenet’s star products, Cordon Negro Brut cava (they ought to work as well with Segura Viudas):
The Cinnemosa:
Pour 1.5 ounces of Cinnamon Whisky into a glass with 3 ounces of Cordon Negro Brut Cava. Fill remainder of glass with 1 ounce of blood orange juice. Garnish with orange peel.
The Cava Julep:
Combine 4 mint leaves with 1tsp superfine sugar, blueberries and a few drops of water, and muddle well. Add 2 ounces of bourbon whiskey, and stir well. Strain into a Collins glass; add ice cubes and 4 ounces of Cordon Negro Brut cava. Garnish with 2 mint leaves, and serve.
This year Freixenet is importing a limited supply of Katnook Estate, a premium Cabernet Sauvignon that might bring you red-wine lovers into closer communion with your higher wine self this holiday season. Katnook is one of Australia’s premier South Australian wineries that produces a full line of highly praised Cabernets. The Katnook Estate brand is from the vineyards around the town of Coonawarra in the Limestone Coast zone of South Australia and has been producing wines there since 1896. Today they craft these exceptional Cabernets from vines growing in the ideal climate conditions of the “terra rossa” soil of the region.
The Katnook Estate Founder’s Block Cabernet 2013 is a lovely, medium-bodied wine, with a refined nose of red berries, violets and hints of mint. It will make any meal special – pasta, red meats, quail, and smoky or spicy flavors. Tasting notes say: “Well proportioned with generous fruit and a persistent finish.” We say it’s just a beautiful wine that gets 92 points from multiple reviewers. Prices for Katnook Estate Connawarra Cabernet Sauvignon vary by vintage and may range from ~$15 for younger years up to ~$30 and more for older vintages. Get one for now and one for your cellar.
SomruS - exotic creamy liqueur in a gold bottle
SomruS – exotic creamy liqueur in a gold bottle

SomruS (it means “nectar of the gods”) is a creamy liqueur made with an intricate blend of exotic Eastern spices, nuts, Caribbean rum and pure dairy cream. Your nose will detect hints of cardamom, saffron, almonds, pistachios and rose in this Original Indian Cream Liqueur that goes beautifully on its own in a chilled glass or can be used in cocktails, baked into desserts or added to a cup of chai. Let your imagination take over. It’s much more exotic than, say, Irish cream liqueur, and unless your guests have themselves already purchased a gold-coated, UV-protected bottle of this modern interpretation of a beverage that has its roots as far back as 2600 B.C.E., they’ll never guess what you’re serving or how you flavored that custard or cake.

Try this simple, rich cocktail: Decorate a martini glass with liquid chocolate. Then mix in a shaker 1-1/2 oz. chilled SomruS with 1-1/2 oz. chilled Kahlua, shake vigorously, pour and enjoy. N.B. You can skip the decorating part, and the drink will taste just as good.
Cruzan Single Barrel - smooth sipping rum
Cruzan Single Barrel – smooth sipping rum

Cruzan Single Barrel rum. FYI, “single barrel” refers to the fact that after its initial aging, the rum is handpicked and blended before it is barreled for a second time in new American oak barrels and slowly aged again to perfection.  Smooth and silky and spiced with toffee, vanilla and a slightly smoky fruitiness. So beautifully blended that it makes a perfect aperitif or after-dinner libation all by itself or on the rocks. Chill it on the rocks and drink it as a smoother alternative to bourbon or Scotch whisky. It’s subtler yet more harmonious in a mixed cocktail than most regular rums. It’s so fine, we love to sip it straight like a brandy/Cognac. Be sure to use your most elegant crystal glass.

At $29.99 for a 750ml bottle, Cruzan Single Barrel makes for an affordable, yet premium option for the holidays. It goes great with your favorite holiday fare – or even with deep dish pizza. Single Barrel is versatile enough to go with whatever you’re serving this time of year. And it makes an impressive host/hostess gift when you’re off to a party.
Beautiful cut-glass decanter shows off the amber liquid
Beautiful cut-glass decanter shows off the amber liquid

Hibiki Blended Japanese Harmony Whisky. Embodying the soul of Japanese craftsmanship, this harmonious blend resounds with calm complexity and “Wa”, oneness. “Kanzen”or complete, Hibiki is a harmonious blend of many malt and grain whiskies meticulously blended to create a full orchestra of flavors and aromas. Seductive, blossoming and enigmatic, Hibiki celebrates the art of blending and fine craftsmanship and offers a sense of luxury in your glass. From the House of Suntory, prices range from $65 for Hibiki Japanese Harmony to $250 for Hibiki 21 Year Old. We are talking treating yourself, folks. Don’t mix this whisky in a cocktail or you might miss the subtle pleasure provided by the masterful blending process. Plus the bottle is lovely; you might not even need a decanter.


Auchentoshan Single Malt Scotch Whisky is Scotland’s only whisky that triple distills every drop, making for a spirit that is approachable (no smoky peat flavor) that works as well sipped neat/on the rocks as it is in cocktails (try the new American Oak, aged solely in first-fill American oak barrels). Prices: $40 for American Oak to $450 for 1988 Wine Matured.

Bowmore Single Malt Scotch Whisky is ideal for the smoky Scotch lover. Made in Islay’s first distillery (since 1779), Bowmore offers just the right amount of smoke and sweetness to make this whisky a favorite for those who love that peat-infused aroma and taste. From the newest, recently launched Small Batch aged in 1st and 2ndfill ex-bourbon casks to the collectible Bowmore Black, Gold or White, Bowmore is one of the most well-known whiskies in the world and one of the most collectible. Prices: $40 for Small Batch to $650 for Port Matured.