This is Wanda Mann's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Wanda Mann's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Wanda Mann
New York City
I am a native New Yorker with a passion for travel, food & wine, and little black dresses!
Recent Activity
Image
Anita Ekberg frolics in the Trevi Fountain in the classic film La Dolce Vita. Blame it on the heat - I keep daydreaming about cooling down with a daring plunge into Rome's legendary Trevi Fountain a la Anita Ekberg in Fellini's La Dolce Vita. Alas, I'm in New York but I can beat the heat Roman style with a refreshing glass of Frascati from Fontana Candida. An ancient wine born in the Roman hills, Frascati is known as "the wine of popes and of the people." Popes had the luxury of drinking Frascati daily and regular folks would get to... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at The Black Dress Traveler
Image
image courtesy of Château Tourril The south of France is only as far as your wine glass thanks to Château Tourril. A family owned winery located in the heart of the Languedoc, Tourril produces wines in the Minervois appellation with Syrah, Cinsault, old Carignan, Grenache, and Roussanne grapes. Here are three food-friendly wines from the Château Tourril portfolio that make it easy to experience an elegant taste of the Mediterranean. Château Tourril "Helios" 2015 AOC Minervois ($17) Produced from 100% Roussanne grapes, this is a gorgeous white wine with layers of flavor. Lovely hints of lavender, lemongrass, green apple and... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at The Black Dress Traveler
Image
Fred Dex is on a mission to spread the word about the wonder of wines from the Southwest of France! Master Sommelier Fred Dex is a treasure trove of knowledge about the wines of Southwest France but he also knows when to let the bottles do the talking! From familiar grapes like Cabernet Franc and Malbec to new-to-me varieties like Duras and Petit Courbu; I was impressed by the diversity, quality, and overall affordability of the delicious wines that Fred shared during our lively tasting. The more than 6,000 vineyards of Southwest France cover an expansive territory of 47,000 hectares... Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2016 at The Black Dress Traveler
Image
Several years ago, I had a comically bad date with a "gentleman" from Vienna, so I raise a glass to Artner for washing away that memory with their wonderful Austrian wines. A family run business located in Austria's Carnuntum region, Artner specializes in indigenous grapes such as Zweigelt (pronounced TSVYE-gelt). If you're not familiar with Zweigelt, Artner Rosé and Zweigelt Klassik are delicious introductions to this red grape. Rosé continues its refreshing reign as the official wine of summer and Artner is a delicious sip for the season. A lovely expression of the Zweigelt grape, juicy flavors of strawberries and... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2016 at The Black Dress Traveler
Image
Extra dry and extra delicious, Torresella Prosecco NV DOC ($16) received a rare thumbs up from a very picky friend who constantly proclaims that she isn't a huge fan of the famous sparkling wine from Italy's Veneto region. Her biggest Prosecco complaint is that she often finds it too sweet and lacking in complexity. I agree that mass-produced Prosecco can leave much to be desired, but in the right hands Prosecco is a really charming wine with an unpretentious elegance. Torresella is a truly delightful Prosecco that balances the subtle sweetness (pear, melon, green apple) of the Glera grape with... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2016 at The Black Dress Traveler
Image
"I protect nature and then I make the wine." - Olivier Dauga, winemaker & consultant image courtesy of Jasmine Hsu As soon as I set eyes on Olivier Dauga, I knew that he was no ordinary winemaker! Chicly attired from head to toe in bold patterns and vibrant colors, all signs correctly indicated that Olivier and his wines would be far from boring. Born in Libourne, a town in the heart of Bordeaux's vineyards, Olivier comes from a family of winegrowers with a passion for farming and the land. This commitment to the environment is a core principle for Olivier... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2016 at The Black Dress Traveler
Image
Prosecco is a great introduction to the joys of Italian sparkling wine but for bubbles with more complexity, nuance, and elegance; fill your glass with Trentodoc. And based on an informal survey of my friends from Italy, Ferrari Trentodoc is the one that sets the standard. Need more convincing? Ferrari prevailed over renowned Champagne producers to win the prestigious title of "Sparkling Wine Producer of the Year" at the Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships 2015. This impressive achievement is an amazing manifestation of founder Giulio Ferrari's dream of creating a wine in Trentino that could compete with the best... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2016 at The Black Dress Traveler
Image
Anyone who has ever sipped a sickly sweet bargain Bellini at brunch knows that there's a seemingly endless supply of inferior Prosecco. But don't let that deter you - high quality Prosecco is NOT an urban legend and Carpenè Malvolti 1868 Extra Dry Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG ($18.99) is a great reminder of how lovely this Italian sparkling wine can be. Founded in 1868 by "the father of Prosecco" Antonio Carpenè, Carpenè Malvolti was the first winery in Italy to produce Prosecco as a sparkling wine and the first to label their wine Prosecco. The name Carpenè Malvolti 1868... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2016 at The Black Dress Traveler
Image
Steamy summer days pair beautifully with refreshing and vivacious Matetic EQ Coastal Sauvignon Blanc 2015 ($19.99) from Chile. Produced from certified organic grapes grown just 6 miles from the Pacific Ocean in the Valle Hermoso (Beautiful Valley), the cool maritime influence is evident in each sip. Impressive minerality, a subtle hint of salinity, and zippy acidity provide fantastic structure to the wine's juicy tropical fruit flavors and savory hints of grass and herbs. Medium-bodied with a lovely lingering finish, Matetic EQ Coastal Sauvignon Blanc is a great match with ceviche, oysters, salads, and sharp cheeses. Cheers! Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2016 at The Black Dress Traveler
Image
Mathilde Chapoutier Don't let Mathilde Chapoutier's quiet demeanor and youth fool you, this 24-year-old French winemaker is a force to be reckoned with! The eighth generation of her family to make wine, Mathilde is the daughter of legendary winemaker Michel Chapoutier but she is very much her own person. Her namesake wine, Mathilde Chapoutier Grand Ferrage Côtes de Provence Rosé 2015 ($24.99), is a delicious expression of her independent streak. Although her father was a bit skeptical by Mathilde's determination to focus on Provençal rosé, she stood her ground and has crafted a wonderful wine that even her dad enjoys!... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2016 at The Black Dress Traveler
Image
image courtesy of Puramun "Each harvest (Puramun) is a new challenge. A time for searching and finding. Nothing is the same, everything changes: the climate, the soil, the grapes, and even ourselves. Year after year we trek a new road, a labyrinth of grapevines that express through their precious fruit our devotion to the Valle de Uco terroir. Each Puramun bottle is the result of this passionate and endless search." - legendary winemaker José "Pepe" Galante When the name Pepe Galante appears on a bottle, you know that the wine will be something special. Renowned as the father of modern... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2016 at The Black Dress Traveler
Image
image courtesy of ©HarlemEatUp!_DanielDaPhotography It's no secret that the wines of Bordeaux enjoy an exalted status among connoisseurs and collectors willing to spend impressive sums on these celebrated wines from the southwest of France. However, the big Bordeaux surprise is that the region produces an incredible selection of excellent wines at very affordable prices. These wines aren't just for drinkers with deep pockets - for less than $20 you can sip a bit of that Bordeaux magic! Mary Gorman-McAdams (Master of Wine and market advisor to the Bordeaux Wine Council), Chef Marcus Samuelsson, and a bottle of Bordeaux at the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2016 at The Black Dress Traveler
Image
Edge and grace combine beautifully in SAVED Magic Maker Rosé 2015 ($15) - a wine inspired by renowned tattoo artist Scott Campbell. A crisp and dry blend of primarily Grenache, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, and Zinfandel sourced from sub-appellations across California; SAVED Magic Maker Rosé is medium-bodied with juicy flavors of tangerine, strawberry, rhubarb, and white peach. An easy-going but elegant wine that is perfect for long summer days and nights, SAVED Magic Maker Rosé is excellent as an apéritif and also has enough structure to pair with pasta, grilled fish, and roast chicken. Scott owns and operates SAVED Tattoo... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2016 at The Black Dress Traveler
Image
Traveling the world in their signature plaid shirts and carrying pruning tools, childhood friends and agronomists Pierpaolo Sirch and Marco Simonit are restoring health and vitality to vineyards with their innovative techniques. Poor Pinot Grigio - the Italian white wine that everybody loves to hate. But stop shedding tears in your insipid mass-produced glass of wine - Pinot Grigio is poised to experience a glorious comeback thanks to a unique partnership between Terlato Vineyards and Italian vine pruners extraordinaire - Simonit & Sirch. Terlato started a sensation when they introduced Pinot Grigio to the U.S. market in 1979. The varietal... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2016 at The Black Dress Traveler
Image
A glass of Hacienda de Arínzano Rosé brightened up a gray day in New York City. So many rosé wines, so little time - what a delicious dilemma to have! If you're looking for an elegant thirst quencher, here are seven rosés from France, Italy, and Spain to help you beat the summer heat in style! Hacienda de Arínzano Rosé 2015 ($20) Spain, Navarra 100% Tempranillo Silky and elegant with flavors of strawberries, cherries, pink grapefruit, and a hint of white pepper. Arínzano is the first estate in the north of Spain to receive the prestigious Pago classification - Spain's... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2016 at The Black Dress Traveler
Image
If you can fall in love with a place just from drinking its wine, then I am head over heels for Sicily. Cusumano is one of several Sicilian producers that has impressed me with superb wines that truly convey a sense of place. Founded in 2001, Cusumano is managed by brothers Diego and Alberto Cusumano and the winery has extensive holdings throughout the island. Diego Cusumano proudly shared his family's wines during a recent visit to New York City. Noà Tenuta Presti e Pegni 2013 Sicilia DOC ($55) is one of the wines from the Cusumano portfolio that really wowed... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2016 at The Black Dress Traveler
Image
When I received an invitation to meet second-generation Sonoma County grape farmer turned winemaker Tom Gore AND create my own terrarium in a wine bottle at Twig in Brooklyn; I jumped at the opportunity. I've been a fan of Tom's wines and farm-to-glass philosophy since his first vintages were released in 2015. Well-crafted and moderately priced, Tom's wines are unpretentious but quite delicious. The latest addition to his portfolio is Sauvignon Blanc ($15). Refreshing and crisp but not too grassy, this wine has lovely citrus and tropical notes that are balanced by great minerality. A perfect summer sip that Tom... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2016 at The Black Dress Traveler
Image
Rosé season is in full swing and the next stop on my sipping tour is Tuscany with two lovely wines from the organic vineyards of Fattoria Sardi. Fattoria Sardi Rosé 2015 ($22) A blend of Sangiovese, Merlot, and Ciliegiolo; this charming wine is an elegant thirst quencher. A beautiful soft shade of salmon, this crisp rosé perks up the palate with subtle but appealing flavors of raspberry, roses, and a touch of citrus. With great minerality and a finish that lovingly lingers, this is a great wine to serve as an apéritif and with light salads, antipasti, and fresh seafood.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2016 at The Black Dress Traveler
Image
“Loveblock is a true love story,” founder & CEO Erica Crawford said,” it is one of depth and dedication." A conversation with Loveblock winery founder Erica Crawford reminds you that love isn't just an emotion - it can be a catalyst for creating something truly special. When wine industry veteran Erica and her award-winning winemaker husband Kim stood on the hills overlooking Marlborough's Awatere Valley in New Zealand, they fell in love with the stunning view. They purchased the property in 2006 and to make the wines, Erica jokes that she “hired the best winemaker I know – my husband."... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2016 at The Black Dress Traveler
Image
Maille Mustard Sommelier, Pierette Huttner Only the French could elevate mustard to an art form and make it absolutely chic! Founded in 1747, Maille originated as the official mustard and vinegar purveyor of the French Royal Court. Lucky for us, we don't have to be royals to enjoy their superb condiments. Pierette Huttner, Maille Mustard Sommelier, was my gracious guide when I visited their spacious new flagship location in New York City's Flatiron District (927 Broadway at 21st Street). You can also find Maille boutiques on NYC's Upper West Side, Chicago, San Francisco, the United Kingdom, France, and Australia. Maille... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2016 at The Black Dress Traveler
Image
Looking for a great new summer sip? My friends at Piper-Heidsieck wowed me with a fantastic new Champagne cocktail: Sacré Sauvage. (Even the name is sexy!) Made with superb Piper-Heidsieck Rosé Sauvage bubbly, this sultry libation also includes orange bitters, ice, triple sec, zest of pomelo or pink grapefruit, and a garnish of blackberries or blueberries. The combination of the Champagne's red fruit notes with spice and bitters is elegant, sophisticated, and absolutely delicious. Click here for the full recipe. Cheers! Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2016 at The Black Dress Traveler
Image
Can a wine be sexy? I think so! I'm going gaga over El Enemigo Cabernet Franc 2011 from Mendoza. Juicy, bold, spicy, and vibrant - this red wine is like a passionate kiss. Price is about $25. Cheers! Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2016 at The Black Dress Traveler
Image
The mercurial moods of New Yorkers stuck in traffic on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge* would brighten tremendously if a delicious bottle of Castello di Verrazzano wine awaited them at their destination. In 1524 Giovanni da Verrazzano became the first European explorer to sail into New York Harbor and the bridge named in his honor opened in 1964. Alas, you can't take his namesake bridge to Tuscany but you can take your palate on an Italian adventure and drink history with Castello di Verrazzano - their wines are produced at the Tuscan estate at Greve in Chianti where the famed explorer was... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2016 at The Black Dress Traveler
Image
Hecht & Bannier Rosé (image courtesy Hecht & Bannier) A perfectly chilled glass of rosé on a warm summer day is one of life's most simple and elegant pleasures. I enjoy sipping rosé all year long but its allure is irresistible when the temperature rises. Ranging in shades of pale pink to rich jewel tones; the visual beauty of rosé is incredibly enticing. Those beautiful hues are generally the result of contact between the grape skin and the juice - the longer the contact, the richer the color of the rosé. Rosé is produced around the world but Provence is... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2016 at The Black Dress Traveler
Image
“Winemaking and filmmaking are two great art forms...in both cases you have to start with top notch raw materials—whether it’s the land or a script.” - Francis Ford Coppola Would you expect wines bearing the name of iconic filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola to be anything less than expressive and superb? I had high expectations when I was invited to taste wines from Coppola Winery's Director's Cut collection and I'm delighted to say they delivered a blockbuster drinking experience. (I apologize for the movie puns sprinkled throughout this article, I couldn't resist!) Coppola Winery has a diverse portfolio of wines but... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2016 at The Black Dress Traveler