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Wanda Mann
New York City
I am a native New Yorker with a passion for travel, food & wine, and little black dresses!
Recent Activity
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"At Vintae, we are restless, creative, and why not say it, rebellious. We currently make wine in fifteen different Spanish regions and we aspire to continue to revolutionize the world of wine without losing our family core." - Ricardo Arambarri Visit the Vintae website and within seconds it becomes clear that this is no old-fashioned and stuffy winery. Striking photos and videos of handsome Spanish men working the vineyards, making the wine, and sipping the vino, make Vintae a party that I want to be invited to! Each bottle of Vintae is an invitation to explore different winemaking regions of... Continue reading
Posted 5 hours ago at The Black Dress Traveler
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José Moro, president of Bodegas Emilio Moro, was clearly destined to be the ambassador for his family's iconic winery in Ribera del Duero, Spain. Meeting José, I was immediately captivated by his charm and larger-than-life energy, he doesn't just have a twinkle in his eye, he has a bonfire! image courtesy of Bodegas Emilio Moro I felt transported as José shared stories of how his grandfather and father (both named Emilio) had dedicated their lives to the family's vineyards which were first planted in 1932 (the year of his grandfather's birth). Even during the hardships of the Spanish Civil War... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at The Black Dress Traveler
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Even before I ever set foot in Spain, it was a part of my life. Growing up in multilingual New York City, the sound of Spanish was music to my ears and I would pretend to speak it. The large oil portrait of a handsome matador that hung in my grandmother's foyer fueled many pre-teen daydreams of meeting someone as guapo and dashing. So perhaps it isn't too surprising that I seized the opportunity to study in Barcelona for a year when I was 16. Emboldened by that experience, I found myself back in Spain at the age of 21,... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at The Black Dress Traveler
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Each week I taste quite an array of standout wines, so picking just one to showcase is no easy feat. Quality is always of utmost consideration but I'm also drawn to wines that surprise me in the very best ways. New varietals, small producers, and lesser known-regions are always intriguing. But I also appreciate beautifully crafted classics and well-made wines that offer great value. The choices for Wanda's Wine of the Week will be hard to predict but that's part of the fun. Cheers! Summer brings out my playful side and that extends to what's in my wine glass -... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2017 at The Black Dress Traveler
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With the unwavering popularity of Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, it is easy to forget that this island nation in the south-west Pacific Ocean produces an array of beautiful wines. For a great exploration of the quality and diversity of New Zealand wines, Villa Maria is an ideal starting point. New Zealand's most awarded winery, Villa Maria was founded in 1961 in Auckland by George Fistonich when he was only 21years old. For many years, George managed Villa Maria as a one-man show, with support from his wife Gail, but today the company has grown extensively with vineyards throughout New... Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2017 at The Black Dress Traveler
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Summertime provides so many ideal moments for sharing a bottle with friends. From barbecues to picnics, boat rides to rooftop rendezvous, here are five delicious wines from California, Tuscany, and Australia that pair perfectly with summer's easygoing elegance. Stay cool and sip well! The rooftop of the Public Hotel in NYC was the perfect setting for the recent Louis Pommery launch party. Louis Pommery Brut California Sparkling ($24) Sip chic in the summer heat with this charming new California bubbly created by France's legendary Champagne Pommery. Crafted in the traditional Champagne method, Louis Pommery captures the essence of California with... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2017 at The Black Dress Traveler
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Each week I taste quite an array of standout wines, so picking just one to showcase is no easy feat. Quality is always of utmost consideration but I'm also drawn to wines that surprise me in the very best ways. New varietals, small producers, and lesser known-regions are always intriguing. But I also appreciate beautifully crafted classics and well-made wines that offer great value. The choices for Wanda's Wine of the Week will be hard to predict but that's part of the fun. Cheers! I know, I know - you're wondering how a Pinot Grigio could possibly be my wine... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2017 at The Black Dress Traveler
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My recent article, Five Fabulous Italian White Wines That Aren't Pinot Grigio, had such a great response, I'm back with a second round. Take your palate on an Italian adventure and sip your way out of a Pinot Grigio rut with one of these stellar white wines. Banfi "Principessa Gavia" Gavi 2016 DOCG ($17) Region: Piemonte Grape: Cortese Who can resist a beautiful wine inspired by a romantic Italian legend? Once upon a time Princess Gavia followed her heart and eloped with a guard in her father's court. The King was not too thrilled with his darling daughter marrying a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2017 at The Black Dress Traveler
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Each week I taste quite an array of standout wines, so picking just one to showcase is no easy feat. Quality is always of utmost consideration but I'm also drawn to wines that surprise me in the very best ways. New varietals, small producers, and lesser known-regions are always intriguing. But I also appreciate beautifully crafted classics and well-made wines that offer great value. The choices for Wanda's Wine of the Week will be hard to predict but that's part of the fun. Cheers! Oremus Tokaji Dry "Mandolás" Furmint 2015 (around $24) Hungary Hungary's most famous grape, Furmint is celebrated... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2017 at The Black Dress Traveler
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When wine calls, I follow. Intrigued by descriptions of stellar wines and stunning scenery, I gladly let vino lead me to Naples for the 13th annual Vitigno Italia festival. More than just a showcase for wine, Vitigno Italia was a vivacious celebration of the unique culture of the south of Italy. An ancient city with a modern edge, Naples is the capital of the Campania region and Italy's third largest city. From the volcanic peaks of Mt. Vesuvio to the blue Mediterranean waters that caress its coast, from the bustling crowds strolling & shopping along the elegant & energetic Via... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2017 at The Black Dress Traveler
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Each week I taste quite an array of standout wines, so picking just one to showcase is no easy feat. Quality is always of utmost consideration but I'm also drawn to wines that surprise me in the very best ways. New varietals, small producers, and lesser known-regions are always intriguing. But I also appreciate beautifully crafted classics and well-made wines that offer great value. The choices for Wanda's Wine of the Week will be hard to predict but that's part of the fun. Cheers! Mumm Napa Brut Rosé, Napa Valley ($22) I find it impossible to resist the charms of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2017 at The Black Dress Traveler
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image courtesy of Wines of Provence From the sapphire blue waters of the Mediterranean to the vivid lavender fields of the Luberon, the colors of Provence are forever embedded in my memory. I can't even begin to count how many glasses of pale pink rosé I sipped during my 2013 visit to southeast France but it seemed to endlessly flow like spring water. Rosé-mania is sweeping the globe and virtually every wine-producing region in the world has their own version of rosé wine but Provence remains the leader and is the only region to dedicate 89% of their wine production... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2017 at The Black Dress Traveler
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image courtesy of Château Minuty Saint-Tropez conjures up visions of blue water, bronzed jetsetters, and an ever-flowing supply of rosé wine. Even if your travel plans this summer won't take you to the south of France, you can experience a taste of St-Tropez with the superb rosé wines of Château Minuty. Founded in 1936, Minuty has always been a family business and today it is managed by the founder's grandsons François and Jean-Etienne Matton. One of the last family-owned estates in the region, Château Minuty overlooks the Bay of St-Tropez, in the renowned Côtes de Provence. I recently had the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2017 at The Black Dress Traveler
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There's a rosé-mania sweeping the world. Don't try to resist it - rosé won't be ignored and rightfully so. Sultry summer days and perfectly chilled rosé are a perfect match. From Chile to France, California to Israel, here are 10 pretty and delicious pink wines that will make your "rosé all day" dreams a reality. Cheers! Jean-Luc Colombo Cape Bleue Rosé 2016 France (Provence), $12.50 Sip la vie en rosé with this superb sip from the south of France, near Marseille. Crisp and vivacious, this pretty pink Provençal wine transports you with juicy flavors of strawberries and raspberries and a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2017 at The Black Dress Traveler
Hi, You can order it online from Eataly. Cheers! https://www.eataly.com/us_en/our-producers/monograno-felicetti
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Surrounded by moats and an immense forest, Château Olivier is a fairy-tale setting rooted in the reality of serious winemaking. Owned by the Bethmann family since 1886 on a property dating back to the Middle Ages, Château Olivier is fully committed to crafting wines that express the diversity of their terroir in Bordeaux -- their estate has thirteen different soil types that beautifully influence the flavor profile of their wines. A Grand Cru Classé de Graves in the Pessac-Léognan appellation, Château Olivier is classified in red and white wines. Bordeaux's legendary status often intimidates consumers but you don't have to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2017 at The Black Dress Traveler
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Get ready to drink pink - rosé season has arrived! A smart wine choice any time of year, rosé is especially enticing in spring and summer. Who can resist a crisp and refreshing glass of pretty rosè on a beautiful sunny day? Ranging in hues from barely pink to vibrant jewel tones, rosé brings a wine glass to life. Sip your way around the world with one of these seven sensational rosé wines! Mathilde Chapoutier Grand Ferrage Rosé 2016 ($19.99) Côtes de Provence AOC, France Grapes: Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Rolle 8th generation winemaker Mathilde Chapoutier stepped out of her legendary... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2017 at The Black Dress Traveler
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Two generations bound by love of family and wine - Alex and Eric Fullerton of Fullerton Wines. Don't be alarmed if you encounter a pre-schooler swirling his sippy cup like it's a fine pinot noir - you may be in the presence of a future winemaker. Alex Fullerton's teachers may have been startled by his precocious milk swirling, but his wine-loving parents knew that he was simply emulating their actions. Today, a grown-up Alex is the winemaker for his family's boutique winery, Fullerton Wines, in Oregon's Willamette Valley. Founded in 2012, Fullerton Wines is truly a family affair that celebrates... Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2017 at The Black Dress Traveler
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Is Pinot Grigio your go-to Italian white wine? Well, the time has come to shake things up and explore some other varietals! Italy has a seemingly endless selection of expressive and refreshing white wines. Get out of your Pinot Grigio rut and give one of these five beauties a swirl. Bertani "Sereole" Soave DOC ($15.99) Ah, Soave! I love the sound of it and the taste even more! Produced from the Garganega grape, this luscious sip from the Veneto region is bursting with aroma, flavor, and texture. Elegant yet unpretentious, this vino's juicy flavors of pineapple and melon are balanced... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2017 at The Black Dress Traveler
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Hands on winemaking! Bertani winemaker Andrea Lonardi puts the squeeze on fermenting Amarone grapes. Even the most committed teetotaler would find resistance futile after hearing winemaker Andrea Lonardi, of Italy's iconic Bertani winery, wax poetic about grapes and terroir. Andrea doesn't just make wine, he lives it. From the vineyard to the cellar to the bottle, Andrea obsesses over every detail to ensure that each sip of Bertani is an authentic expression of place and time. I recently had the opportunity to experience a bit of this endearing intensity at the invitation-only Bertani Amarone Academy. With Andrea as our guru,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2017 at The Black Dress Traveler
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So you've never heard of Somontano? Don't worry, you're not alone - I lived in Spain for two years and knew nada about this wine region in the country's north east, south of the Pyrenees, on the natural border with France. Somontano may not have the name recognition of Rioja but the word is getting out about the quality, diversity, and affordability of their wines produced from indigenous and international grape varieties. Somontano D.O. (Denomination of Origin) was established about 30 years ago but wine has been produced in the region for centuries and the region sells 14 million bottles... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2017 at The Black Dress Traveler
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Mother Nature is a winemaker's most influential collaborator. A forceful and fickle colleague, year after year her tempestuous changes in mood challenge even the most talented vintners. It is a relationship that requires tremendous patience but all of the angst is worth it when Mother Nature rewards a winemaker's tenacity with an extraordinary vintage. Winemaker Jeffrey Stambor of Beaulieu Vineyard in Napa Valley waited more than two decades for the perfect moment to craft their iconic wine Rarity. Jeffrey Stambor, Winemaker, Beaulieu Vineyard The newly released Rarity 2013 represents just the fifth-ever vintage bottling of the Rarities Collection and the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2017 at The Black Dress Traveler
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José Luis Moreira da Silva, Resident Winemaker, Quinta dos Murças There's a reason why Portugal keeps popping up in conversations with fellow wine geeks - they make fabulous vino! Portugal may share the Iberian Peninsula with Spain but the country has its own rich legacy of winemaking. In fact, Portugal's famed Douro Valley is the oldest demarcated wine region in the world and is recognized as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Celebrated for their fortified Port wine, Portugual also produces a wide variety of white and red wines from indigenous and international grapes. I've yet to visit Portugal but I... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2017 at The Black Dress Traveler
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Napa Valley certainly needs no introduction for wine lovers. A craze for California wines was largely fueled by Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay from Napa Valley but sometimes we forget that Napa is home to a diverse group of wineries with distinct styles. Napa has no shortage of fans, but for the detractors I advise exploring wines from different producers to find the style of Napa wine that is right for you. If you like carefully crafted and balanced wines that emphasize varietal expression, give Sequoia Grove a swirl. "With all of our wines, we want richness and balance, from start... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2017 at The Black Dress Traveler
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"Don't be too serious when drinking Champagne!" - Benoît Gouez, Chief Winemaker, Moët & Chandon Being the chief winemaker of one of the world's most celebrated Champagne houses is no easy task but Benoît Gouez brings tremendous talent and energy to his important role as Chef de Cave at Moët & Chandon -- a position he has held since 2005. Founded in 1743, Moët & Chandon is one of the most recognized luxury brands in the world but the company doesn't rest on their laurels. Each bottle of bubbly must consistently reflect superior quality and sophistication. "NV is consistency,"said Benoît.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2017 at The Black Dress Traveler