Saturday, September 21, 2013

It is a blind tasting... can you tell if it is Grenache that you have in your glass?

Yesterday was #GrenacheDay...
I hope you had a nice glass (or bottle) of this amazing grape variety to celebrate it!

We know that in most wines from Southern Rhône, Grenache is the dominant grape variety (like in the Gigondas in the picture above) and that it is the second most planted grape variety of the world! 

Now, would you be able to say that you have Grenache in your glass in a blind tasting?

Here is my latest blog post: 

I hope you enjoy it...

Luiz Alberto, #winelover & #grenachelover


Friday, September 20, 2013

I said to the waiter, "MALBEC, please" by Philip S. Kampe

                                                             El Tigre, Argentina

I said to the waiter, "Malbec, please".
We were sitting on the deck of the Maria Lujan restaurant in El Tigre, overlooking the flowing river that rules the life of the inhabitants of this 'fantasy like' village.
I felt like I was near the marsh and  bayou back roads of sunny Louisiana in late September.
In fact, we were in the small town of El Tigre, thirty miles north of the center of bustling Buenos Aires.

                                            The beautiful trees at the riverbank of El Tigre

The day before, we were at the MALBA art center and museum, eating at the magnificent museum restaurant when out of the blue, a girl says to us, 'Did I hear you speaking English?'.
We acknowledged that, 'Yes, your ears are working correctly'.
And for half an hour we talked.
She is a student from Chicago.
Her parents are visiting for a week.
They just returned from El Tigre and thought the town was like heaven.
We followed their advice and escaped from Buenos Aires.
The hour and fifteen minute commuter direct train ride had eleven stops along the way.
For $1.50 round-trip, who can complain?

After we arrived, we spoke with a river pilot agent, who said that if you walk along the banks of the river, you will find a wonderful art museum, a Navy museum and this very special waterfront restaurant, Maria Lujan.
We did, sat on the deck and said to the waiter, 'Malbec, please'.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

International #GrenacheDay - It's tomorrow!!


#winelovers, tomorrow - September 20th 2013 - is International #GrenacheDay...

Click here to learn a few things about this amazing grape variety!

International #GrenacheDay


Luiz Alberto, #winelover & #grenachelover

What is happening on "the other blog"...

The Wine Hub 

For those of you enjoying Mr. Kampe's nice blog posts, here is a list with the links to what is happening on "the other blog"... 









I hope you enjoy reading them!


Luiz Alberto, #winelover

You may also like:

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A 'Classic' Winter Sunday in Buenos Aires by Philip S. Kampe

                                                                     La Biela

The plane landed safely from Sao Paulo at the beautiful Buenos Aires airport.
Our luggage never appeared.
But, that didn’t stop us as we took a taxi to the famous ‘Tango district’ of Buenos Aires, San Telmo, where our apartment waited for our arrival.
We knew in time, the luggage would be found and we would be fine.

This was the first time in South America for both Maria, my wife, and myself.

We were told that Buenos Aires is the ‘Paris of South America’.
The area we are staying in is similar to Greenwich Village, bohemian and graffiti laden walls amongst the numerous large, impressive antique shops and steak houses that occupy every corner.
It was like bohemian paradise for non-vegetarians in the late 60’s.
                                                                     San Telmo

It was Sunday, the day SanTelmo shines.
The street was alive.
It felt like Mardi Gras.

Plaza Dorrego, two blocks from our apartment, is the center for activity this Sunday.
It is the second oldest square in the city. Tango dancers and musicians vie for dominance at each corner of the Plaza.

The cross street, Defensa, is the home of the flea market. Over 40 blocks of stalls offering everything from antiques to BOCA soccer jerseys dominate.
After an hour of wandering through the market, we see a sign that La Scala de San Telmo is serving food. We enter a spacious room, full of paintings and a Steinway piano.

Neatly tucked away under the arches, so, not to spoil the décor, is a ‘mom and pop’, in this case plus a son, food vendor.
Empanadas that look like quiche tarts are covering the counter.

Our antennas focus in.

We order four to share, two with creole, spiced meat, a zucchini and a spinach and cheese empanada.  Add a bottle of water with gas, I say to the young son.
Within five minutes, we are both in-love with the food. We inquire when will you be open, so, we can buy more?
Not until Thursday was the reply.

We depart, stomachs full, and walk the next thirty blocks to the end of the market. We find a hotel, use the facilities and inquire with the receptionist as to how do we travel to the Recoleta district of Buenos Aires.
He suggests a bus (55 cents) and directs us.

We find the bus, speak my broken Spanish to the courteous bus driver and after twenty minutes, we are left off at Quintana street, only a few blocks from the center of the chic, Parisian-like area of Recoleta.
The shops are closed.
This is Sunday, the day of rest and the day the locals watch soccer on television.

BOCA Juniors play tonight.

We walk to the center of Recoleta, see amazing trees that are three-hundred years old, stately mansions and a cluster of museums.

We duck into the ‘Nacional Museo de Belles Artes’ (free) and join the crowds,
viewing two of my favorite artists, Monet and Renoir.
We also see Van Gogh, Dali and Monet.

Buenos Aires is alive with art.

We leave and are in search of a restaurant for late afternoon snacks. We find an amazing looking sidewalk café named ‘La Biela’.
We sit inside.
It is 43F (5C), raining and windy.

La Biela is opposite the mythical 18th century gum-tree, the Church of Nuestra Senora del Pilar and the cemetery of the ‘Recoleta monks’.

We order.
Maria, café con leche and three croissants, me, a large Argentine Brandy, Reserva San Juan.
The waiter brings our order, pours boiling water into my snifter, pours it out and then pours in the brandy.
For thirty pesos ($5), I was in heaven.

We people watch and realize that we are part of history.
La Biela has that reputation.
We spend an hour plus at La Biela, hoping never to leave.
It is a truly magical experience.

We finally leave and follow the sign to the ‘Buenos Aires Design Center’. We join the crowds and view the latest design arrivals in South America.

After about an hour, we realize that we better catch a taxi (our first since the airport) to ‘Esquina Carlos Gardel’, home of Tango and Carlos Gardel, the first and foremost Tango vocalist.
We have tickets for an 8:30pm dinner and Tango show, arranged for us by our Argentinean wine friend, Nora Favelukes.

We arrive at ‘Esquina Carlos Gardel’ and are quickly seated, upstairs at a VIP table (thanks Nora) overlooking the turn-of-the-century stage.
Owner Juan Fabbri’s son, Christian greets us and joins us at the table.
                                   A Champagne Toast with Christian Fabbri, honoring Juan Fabbri

The waitress pours three glasses of Chandon Champagne.
We toast Carlos Gardel and this beautiful theater.
Christan leaves.
 Maria toasting Juan and Christian Fabbri and the Esquina Carlos Gardel Tango company

After a few minutes, shrimp from Patagonia are placed in-front of us, with two glasses of Rutini Sauvignon Blanc 2011.
The pairing works well.
Our eyes light up.

Our glasses are refilled and our order for a main course is taken.

When in Buenos Aires, eat steak, my mentor Bill Marsano tells me.
It is grass-fed and tastes magnificent.

I order a steak and so does my wife.

We switch to red wine.  A 2010 Rutini Malbec/Cabernet Sauvignon blend appears. The wine is velvety, soft, complex and concentrated.
We finish a glass before the steaks are served.
                                                   Tango dancers at Esquina Carlos Gardel
The Tango dancers appear on stage.

We are lost in the world of Carlos Gardel and never want to come back!

Philip S. Kampe
(September 15, 2013)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Wine and All Natural Cocktail Mixes by Philip S. Kampe and Maria Reveley

 Time to Experiment with Wine and ‘All Natural’ Cocktail Mixes

I guess at times you think you have seen everything, then, all of a sudden someone has a brilliant idea to create a new product, in my case, specifically made for white, red or sparkling wine.
Once you sample this new wine invention, you wonder why it was never done before.
What I discovered was a company based in Atlanta, named Old World Gourmet, who has created some innovative wine and cocktail mixes that turn still wine into ‘Adult Slush Puppies’.
I know, it sounds ‘out-of-the-ordinary’, but, the reality is, a new world of wine and cocktail flavors now exists for the wine lovers of the world.
Vino-Licious, the name of the product, has created a whole new wine experience for both the new wine drinker and the wine geek.
They have created a new way to enjoy wine, as a frozen drink, like a slush puppie.
It is like tasting wine for the first time.
This unique frozen drink mix is easy to make. Basically you add the mix to a bottle of white wine, red wine or champagne or prosecco, fill the empty wine bottle with water, add together and freeze for 3-4 hours. The result is an amazing slush drink made in your freezer.
If you prefer non-alcoholic, just add grape juice or a bottle of non-alcoholic wine.
The flavors I tried were Sangria, Peach Bellini (made with Champagne or Prosecco) and Wine Ice.
The result was wonderful, even for a skeptic like me.
I have a few more flavors to try, Lemoncillo, Margarita and Blueberry Pomegranate, before fall sets in.
If you can’t find Vino-Licious locally, look online at
They retail for $8.99 per flavor.

Speaking of mixes, ‘Powell & Mahoney’ have created a line of ‘All Natural’ cocktail mixes that are made in small batches and are of top quality. Recently I had the opportunity to sample a group of cocktail mixes and found the ones made by Brian Powell and Mark Mahoney as the cream of the crop.
The founders explained that there is a need for a true natural cocktail mix that would replicate the classic cocktails of the world with a few exotic twists.
Literally, after twenty years, the duo of ‘Powell & Mahoney’ have introduced their line of cocktail mixes to the world.
At a recent sampling, I had the opportunity to try their combined expertise in several mixed drinks. What I learned was that their passion and diligence for turning your home into a bar was a reality.
The cocktail mixes retail for $6.99 each and can be found at select stores or online at:
I had the opportunity to try the whole line of natural cocktail mixes and have to believe that there is none better in the market. As a wine drinker, I find that the transition to alcohol based drinks was simple because of the high quality of the mixes. The drink tastes ‘real’ and not like one that is made with a mass-produced mix.
The Blood Orange, their newest mix, really knocked me out. Add Mojito, Lemon Sour, Pomegranate, Ginger, Peach Bellini, Cosmopolitan, Margarita and Bloody Mary to the mix and you have created an entire bar room in your house.
My married kids and my wife Maria always want products that are natural.
Brian Powell and Mark Mahoney have taken care of that.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Italy and My Thoughts about Wine and Politics by Philip S. Kampe

Italy is a kaleidoscope of varying images, colors and sounds, all passing you by as you breathe in the odor of tomato sauce from a nearby open window. Cats lie on the open window sills, smelling the anchovies in the tomato sauce, while staring aimlessly at strangers as they pass by.
Restaurants are full of locals searching for the best, original, regional  pasta dish that is being offered.
Sipping wine, while eating antipasto, the locals talk about life, politics, food and love.
Berlusconi, although toppled, is often the topic…wives, women, power and money.
My life is different.
Wine dominates my thoughts.
Food is a close second.
Growing up in New Orleans has taught me about life’s essentials.
Normally food, politics and the Saints are the topic of the day in the ‘Big Easy’.
In the Berkshires, we speak daily about the Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins and Patriots.
Politics are another issue.

I rarely get involved.
Politics scare me.
There is never a right answer, only a judgment.
The same is true for wine.
Sure, I think that I know a lot about wine, but, the reality is, I don’t. I only have my judgment and opinion. It is the same as everyone else, trained or not.
Who judges wine competitions or dance competitions. Isn’t it someone like you or me?
Sure, I pass along my opinion and many follow my advice, but, I am only one person advocating a specific wine for your evaluation and consumption.
Certainly, there are others who are better versed in the wine industry.
The reality is, after so many discussions with sommeliers, the winemaker has the absolute final word about the wine he makes.
He knows the grapes, the profile he is after and how to get the needed end result.

We, only, comment, on his results for discussion.
People like Robert Parker and Steve Tanzer make a profession as the voice of the people. Their thoughts surface, often, in discussions about wine.
What I have learned in the past several years is the voice for your wine choice comes from you. Your voice dominates. Your palate dominates.

What is the best way to find your voice?
The answer is simple.
Attend the weekly complimentary tastings that our local wine shops offer.
Your palate is the judge, not the person pouring the wine.
They just recommend.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The 'TASTE OF FRANCE" visits Bryant Park (NYC) on September 28th & 29th--Attend or Volunteer by Philip S. Kampe



   Enjoy the FRENCH life on September 28th & 29th at Bryant Park in NYC,,,

Please click here if you cannot read this emai
Dear French Food and Beverage Friends of France!
You don't have to be French (which I am) to take part and enjoy what is being billed as 'The Largest Event in the World Dedicated to France'.
Attend or Volunteer (see below) your time on September 28th & 29th at NYC's famous Bryant Park (42nd Street & 6th Avenue).
Entrance is complimentary.
What you will discover is the many facets of French life.
Please visit the website: to get a better understanding.
It is worth the trip to be part of this 'historic venue'.
Philip S. Kampe

You may have already heard about the great TASTE OF FRANCE show, which will take place on September 28 & 29, 2013 in the heart of New York City, in Bryant Park.

This show, the largest event in the world dedicated to France, is placed under the high patronage and in the presence of: Mr. Laurent Fabius, French Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Guillaume Garot, French minister for Agribusiness, and is expecting the presence of over 100 000 visitors!

You will find here information that will give you a good idea of how diversified this amazing show is, allowing you to discover the many facets of France (like its technology) with which you may not be familiar. You can also find more details on the show website at

A lot of activities for the whole family, a great opportunity to learn, discover, eat well, drink, and have a lot of fun

The entrance to this 2-day show is complimentary (only certain special events require tickets which can be booked online). See below Example of activities:
See the amazing inside of a Boeing and Airbus engine manufactured by the Safran Group.
Construction of Paris thanks to the Dassault Systèmes revolutionary technology.
Admire the impressive savoir-faire of a true master metal worker from les Métalliers Champenois, using in front of you the famous technique of "repoussage" to create a metal rosette.
Experience the art and science of perfume creation by the master Perfumers from Mane and Crafting Beauty who will distillate freshly imported wild lavender from Provence and create in front of your eyes, your very own Taste of France perfume.
Enjoy complimentary Hair and Beauty sessions by the experts from L'Oreal.
Take an amazing Tour de France of the 10 wine regions along with 20 of the top New York sommeliers there to guide you, and taste over 100 exceptional wines and champagnes.
Taste the delicious dishes of 30 top French chefs from Les Maitres Cuisiniers de France and the Academie Culinaire de France while seeing a cabaret performance for Brunch or early dinner.
See the talent of a master sculptor who will craft a piece of art made out of "President" butter.
Come and experience a little bit of French Art de Vivre :

Visit the Apéritif à la Française Corner
Organized by Sopexa, these laid-back get-togethers, familiarly called "apéro" in French, are a way for friends and family to enjoy tasty bites, cocktails or a glass of wine, and good conversation …

Created in 2004 by Sopexa and supported by the French Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Apéritif à la Française is celebrating its 10th anniversary with celebrations across 10 major cities around the world.

So come help us celebrate this real tradition at Taste of France!

Don't wait, come on and join the festivities!
Please book online your tickets to the special events ASAP seats are limited! Visit NOW:
Spread the word: circulate this email to your friends and families!
Volunteer if you want to help (500 volunteers are needed for one or more periods of 4 hours), click here for more information. Volunteers get 2 complimentary dishes from the French chefs, and are entered for a chance to win a round trip ticket (New York-Paris) on Air France.
We look forward to seeing you all at this one of a kind event on Saturday September 28 and Sunday September 29 in Bryant Park.

Warm regards,

Pauline Oudin
Managing Director

“Must be 21 Years or Older to Consume Alcoholic Beverages


Monday, September 2, 2013

SMOKE Liqueur is a Perfect Ready-to-drink Cocktail by Philip S. Kampe

                                                               photos by Maria Reveley
SMOKE Liqueur and Me on Labor Day!

It's summer time, the sun is out and it is warm and muggy.
The humidity reminds me of New Orleans, the town that I grew up in.

In fact, today is Labor Day--a true Holiday--BBQ, beer, wine and cocktails.
It's also the perfect time to try a new liqueur that has entered the market, SMOKE.

I have waited all summer to try 'SMOKE'.
I was waiting for the perfect time to open the bottle and share it with my guests.

And today is the day.

A friend of mine gave me a bottle and explained that once I try it, my life would be on fire.
Ironically, one of the tag lines for SMOKE is;' Where There's Smoke There's Fire'.

What is SMOKE?
SMOKE is a  Ready-To-Drink Liqueur made with Top-Shelf Vodka, pineapple, coconut and infused Moscato.  Moscato is the fastest growing wine category in America.

My reaction: The mixture creates a really flavorful, palate pleasing cocktail that sings the song of sophistication. The addictive aroma reminds me of days spent on the beach, relaxing at a Caribbean Island.

The full- flavor is smooth and has a long, lingering finish on my palate.
I poured SMOKE over ice cubes, which is recommended and created, what I thought was a Top-Notch Cocktail at home.

My guests reacted the same way. Where can I buy this 'Smoke'? Can I see what the bottle looks like?
How much does it cost?

Can I create cocktails using SMOKE as a mixer?
Here a few recipes we experimented with:

Forbidden Fruit
4 oz. Smoke
2 oz. cranberry juice
Serve on the rocks

Smoke Jumper
3 oz. Smoke
1 oz. Amaretto
Splash of orange juice
Shake vigorously and pour

2 oz. Smoke
1 oz. Sprite
Dash of grenadine
Served over ice

3 oz. Smoke
1 oz. Hennessy Pure White

Tropical Twister
2 parts Smoke
1 part Midori Sour Mix and a
Twist of Lime to garnish

After sampling these cocktails, I knew my friend was right.
'Where There's Smoke There's Fire'.

To learn more about SMOKE, visit their website at: 

Philip S. Kampe

September Wine & Food Festivals in the Northeast by Philip S. Kampe

September Wine and Food Festival in the Northeast by Philip S. Kampe

This is the time of year when grapes are harvested in North America and Europe.
New vintages are in the offing. New wines will evolve.
It is also the time that the northeast is home to numerous wine and food festivals. There are two specific festivals that are wonderful day trips.
The key is to bring along a designated driver, so, you can enjoy the wines that are offered to you.
Next weekend, on Saturday, September 7th and Sunday, September 8th, the Hudson Valley Wine and Food Fest takes place at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck, N.Y.
This is the Twelfth year of the event which features wines from New York state. At last count, over fifty vineyards will be represented at the festival. The events main focus is to highlight the wonderful wineries that are found in the Hudson Valley and all over New York state.
As a NY Farm market, the Hudson Valley Wine and Food Fest offers the wineries the opportunity to sell wine by the bottle, thus offering the consumer the right to purchase wine directly from the winery.
The food part of the Fest features some of the best food produced in the Hudson Valley. Featured are many unique gourmet specialty food vendors. You can find everything from fresh cheese, farm raised meats, salsas, BBQ sauce, pasta, pasta sauce, drink mixes, dip mixes, soup mixes, baked goods, maple syrup, candy, nuts, granola and more.  
In addition, the regions best restaurants and food trucks will be represented. You can purchase tickets to purchase food, priced from $1 to $5 per portion. Also, don’t forget the chefs, who will host cooking demonstrations throughout the weekend.
When: September 7th and 8th (Saturday and Sunday)
Time: Saturday 11am-6pm    Sunday 11am-5pm
Where: Dutchess Fairgrounds, Rhinebeck, NY
Tickets: One day tasting $40  Weekend $70
Designated driver and non-alcoholic admission: One day $22  Weekend $37
12 and under: Free

From September 20th to the 22nd, the Preservation Society of Newport will host the Eighth Annual ‘Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival’. It is considered the most sophisticated festival on the East Coast.
I have attended this festival for the past three years and agree that the wine and food experience is heightened because the ambiance  of the locale. Sampling wine and gourmet food at one of the three Mansions involved, The Marble House, Rosecliff or The Elms adds that special element to the Festival.
Over 500 high-end international wines will be poured at the historic seaside Mansions of Newport, Rhode Island. The Grand Tasting will take place on Saturday & Sunday, September 21st and 22nd, from 12-4pm at the Marble House. More than 100 vintners will participate alongside scrumptious samplings from great restaurants and caterers. There will chef demonstrations, as well as lifestyle exhibiters.
Wine seminars take place throughout the weekend, as well as special events that include:
Wine & Rosecliff (my favorite event) on Friday night, September 20th (7pm); Collectable Wine Dinner at the Elms on Saturday night, September 21st; Newport after Dark on Saturday, September 21st from 9pm-midnight and Sunday Brunch with Chef Alex Guarnaschelli on Sunday, September 22nd from 10:30am to noon.
When: September 20th to 22nd
Where: Newport Mansions, Newport, Rhode Island
Time: Grand Tasting 12-4pm  September 21st & 22nd
Other events at various times on all three days

Philip S. Kampe 

How Hungarian Cabernet Franc Changed My Life by Philip S. Kampe

My Dad was known to his friends as ‘Cab Franc.’ You see, his name was really Joseph and all of his social time with visiting frien...