Recap: Sun Winefest 2013

by agirlandhermutt on January 29, 2013

On Sunday while some people were getting ready to head to church or maybe hit up an early morning workout class, I was on my way down to Connecticut to visit Mohegan Sun and the 2013 Sun WineFest. Cheers to Sunday drinking!

The Sun Winefest was celebrating its 10th anniversary with over 1000 wines, liquors, and beers to sample along with dishes from some locally loved restaurants. Let the games begin.

We arrived at Mohegan just in time to get in a little bit before the crowds and check out the layout. Most of the wine tasting events that I have attended have a single table for each vendor, but these all had 4 sides. Folks, that is a lot of wine. Come to discover, it is also an easy way to try the same wine 3x and not realize it until after you have tried it each time.

In addition to the drinks and food, there were also some demos and cookbook signings happening during the event. I missed my boy, Todd English on Saturday but I was excited to see Govind Armstrong was on the schedule for Sunday. He has been on Top Chef so that automatically makes him a fave in my book.

Finally it was time to grab a glass and get to tasting.

We had a strategy to start with the bubblies, try the whites, and then move on to the reds pretty quickly. Winter time=Red Wine.



Apparently wine by celebrities and musicians is a hot trend right now. I have caught glimpses of Dave Matthews wine at other events (ugh.) and on Sunday I found out that both Ed Hardy and Train have their own wine. Yep, you read that right.

I’d like to tell you that everyone surrounding the Ed Hardy table didn’t look like they stepped out of the Jersey Shore tv show, but I would be lying and I can’t lie to you. I gave them a try, but eh. Not a fan. I’ll leave it to the true Ed Hardy fans out there.


Train, on the other hand, had a decent wine. However, I don’t know if I could seriously serve Drops of Jupiter wine at my dinner party. Maybe the Calling All Angels Chardonnay though?  I’m not saying I won’t crank up my collection of Train songs on my ipod and drink this all alone though. Because I will. Train, if you are reading…I love you.


The wine section of our day had some pretty great hits and unfortunately, a few misses. Rather than focus on the negatives, here are the standouts of the day for me.

Chocolate Shop– Chocolate Red Wine
Everywhere you turn there is another chocolate wine on the shelf but it is usually that spiked Yoo-Hoo kind. I don’t have any problems with that wine (big ol’ fan right here!), but I was really pleasantly surprised to try this red wine with chocolate flavors. The combo of oak and dark cherry from the red wine with the sweetness of the chocolate was the perfect sip. This would make a great dessert wine that isn’t too sweet. I could also stick a straw in this bad boy and go to town.

Montebruno– Pinot Noir
This winemaker from Oregon has one wine to offer and it was a standout. This Pinot Noir was light bodied with just the slightest traces of tannins and a touch of sweetness. This is a wine that is almost meant to be had all by itself rather than paired with food.

Montes Twins– Red Wine 2010
I was actually attracted to this bottle because of its creative label. I’m a sucker for advertising gimics. This blend of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon is the perfect wine for those who enjoy a more hearty wine with hints of oak, blackberries and vanilla. I especially enjoyed the smooth finish that had a slight spicy taste to it with a touch of vanilla.

There was one brand that won me over totally. All of the wines that we tasted from Bogle were just fantastic. Lots of complex flavors, different finishes, and no weird aftertastes.

The first was one that I complete spaced on taking a picture of was Bogle Phantom. This wine is a blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Mourvedre. It was one of those ink colored wines that was heavy on the palette with flavors of blackberries, leather, black pepper and hints of cocoa. I loved this wine so much that I ordered a glass later on in the day with my dinner. I will be on the hunt for this wine in my area and this will be a staple in my wine cabinet.

The second Bogle that blew me away was their Petite Sirah Port. This is like blueberry pie in a bottle. Some ports are too alcoholy for me, but this was on the money. It was strong without being overpowered and just was the perfect way to end any meal.

The final wine that made the winners list was Pacific Rim Late Harvest Riesling. Sweet. Syrupy. Delicious.


Food break! Decadent clams from 84 Tavern on Canal.


Right around the time I was starting to get all wined out I realized that I hadn’t really seen that many beer vendors. We did a little exploring only to realize that there was an entire 2nd floor to explore. Holy crap.


There were quite a few of my favorites there including Lagunitas, Goose Island, Widmer Brothers, and Dogfish Head.

I also discovered the greatness that is Samuel Smith. Framboise Lambic and Chocolate Stout FTW.

I also really enjoyed Heavy Seas beer. I’d love to take a visit there. It seems like such a fun beer company.

Right around the time we finished rounding through the beer rooms it was coming up on 3p. It was starting to get a bit ugly. Lots of random kissing, a few people falling down and I’m pretty sure I saw some girl napping in the bathroom. All standard sightings for the end of any type of wine/beer fest.

As we headed down to check into our room I caught a glimpse of this stand. Hendrick’s Gin. Just what everyone needs after a day of wine tasting, right? That might explain the bathroom napper. FYI…Gin & Tonics should all be made with cucumber. Don’t worry I just sipped it. I wasn’t secretly the bathroom napper.


After a little cat nap in the hotel room, it was time to head down to the final event of the Sun WineFest weekend. Bubbles & Bon Bons!

This event was held in more intimate spot, the Cabaret. There was plenty of seating and you could talk directly with the pasty chefs. I loved the atmosphere! There wasn’t a wine glass laynard to be seen.

Three pastry chefs teamed up with Moet Champagne to host an evening of decadent desserts paired with fantastic bubbly.

So many truffles and bruelees to choose from! The Grand Marnier shot was like a creamsicle in a cup. There was also an unpictured Apple Ice Wine frozen popsicle that I wanted to eat a whole case of.

Savory cocktail cookies are my new favorite dessert. The Sesame-Sea Salt are crave worthy!


Just in case you didn’t have enough…

Chocolate covered strawberries!

Chocolate fountain and all its dipping friends.

Mini donuts with caramel corn and chocolate dipping sauce.

And then we were DONE…I came. I tasted. I loved it. I might have diabetes now.


Over the years I have attended my fair share of wine and beer festivals. None of them have had the sheer numbers of wine available to sample! I thought the event was well organized, in a GREAT location, and appealing to every level of wine/beer enjoyer. Next time I might study the layout of the event a bit better so I know exactly where I am going and make more of an effort to be early for the demos. I also might enjoy another plate of those clams.

Thanks a bunch to Mohegan Sun for having me down! Lets do this again, shall we?!


My time at Mohegan didn’t end when the Sun WineFest did. We explored the casino, hotel and ate at a few restaurants. I’ll update more on that later in the week! Until then…DETOX.

Just a note: I was provided tickets to the WineFest and Bubbles & Bon Bons event free of charge. I was also provided accomodations. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.


Giveaway: Win a Gas Gift Card from Robert Mondavi!

by agirlandhermutt on July 24, 2012

One of the main points of me starting this blog a little over 2 years ago was to talk about my love of wine. That love has developed over the years to include great craft beer and a well mixed cocktail. However, wine is still #1 in my heart. Wine doesn’t have to be expensive or overly complex to enjoy. It just has to be well made!

Robert Mondavi Private Selection is the perfect example of wines that are meant to be enjoyed at meals, with friends and all those times in between. I know I have enjoyed my fair share (check out my Napa tour and last year’s RM Wine Tour!).

Robert Mondavi Private Selection produces Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Fume Blanc, Syrah, Zinfandel and Riesling. These wines – from light and lively to full-bodied and concentrated – have approachable bright fruit expression and exceptional balance, as well as great depth and texture. All are crafted to be enjoyed upon release.

This summer Robert Mondavi Private Selection (RMPS) is hitting the road to take you on a virtual tour of California’s Central Coast to showcase the area that sources 100% of the RMPS grapes. Throughout the rest of the month and into August RMPS will be showcasing local finds throughout the Central Coast, including restaurants, breathtaking views, and other hidden gems in the area. Think Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives! As they take a tour down the Coast they are bringing you with them via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest. Oh, and don’t forget some great food pairing match-ups on their website too!

Summer is the perfect time for a road trip, but honestly…gas is freakin’ expensive! RMPS would love to have us all along in real life for their Coastal Tour, but since we can’t all make it there they are offering one lucky A Girl & Her Mutt reader a $25 gas card to take their own RMPS Central Coast Tour inspired road trip.


To win you HAVE to answer one question in the comments

My dream road trip would be to ________________.

For additional entries (leave a comment for each entry):

1.    Tweet “I’d love to win a $25 gas card from @robertmondavips & @agirlandhermutt! #centralcoast ”

2. Repin one of the photos from RMPS’s Pinterest Summer in Central Coast board from Pinterest.

3. Follow AGAHM on Twitter!

4. Like AGAHM and Robert Mondavi on Facebook!

5. Follow AGAHM on Pinterest!

Contest open until Friday, 7/27. Winner announced on Monday, 7/30!

Just a note…I was not compensated in any way for this post. RMPS does not promote drinking and driving in ANY way. Gift card will be mailed directly from RMPS.


Cheers to a wonderful day! See ya tomorrow!


Crafts & Cooking Weekend

by agirlandhermutt on March 5, 2012

Hello friends! This post isn’t going to be full of exciting brunch posts or nights out in Boston. Instead my weekend was full of relaxing, crafting, and just enjoying some down time. It was kind of perfect and wonderful in every way possible.

I spent the majority of the Saturday at the A.C. Moore looking for crafty things for a baby shower I’m co-hosting next weekend. I don’t know how it happened but I killed off about 1.5 hours in that store just wandering around.

The result was my apartment was turned into rosette central. I found this tutorial on Pinterest and just ran with it. (Working on marking items off the 32W32 list already! See #16)

Single rosette with feather on hair clip

Double rosette on hair clip

Triple rosette necklace with ribbon

Triple rosette pin

It is amazing what a hot glue gun and some fabric can become!

That night while I was crafting I also used this recipe to make a lovely dish of Linguine with White Wine Clam Sauce. The only change I made to this recipe was to use less pasta. More clams per square inch baby.

I enjoyed my pasta with a big ol’ glass of vino.

During the Vino Voyage last year I discovered Kim Crawford’s Sauvignon Blanc. This wine is amazing! It is fresh, crisp and really citrusy. It is the perfect wine for anything involving seafood.

On Sunday The Scientist and I toured around a few local markets and snuggled up with the Mutt for the afternoon.

It was a bit gloomy outside and it was the perfect day for a little mexican food. Healthified mini tacos with pintos n’ cheese! More details coming soon.

Oh and I paired it with a margarita. Yep. Sunday afternoon with a margarita. That’s how I roll.

Fear not friends. I didn’t ruin my perfectly healthy meal by downing it with a glass of calories. This weekend I found this amazing display at my grocery store.

Seriously. Crystal Light Margarita, Peach Bellini, and Pomtini! I only picked up the Margarita version and I’m happy to report that while it isn’t exactly like a margarita, it certainly hit the spot and was really enjoyable. It smells just the way a margarita should and is just missing the tequila.

I closed up with the weekend with some menu making and caught Episode 1 of Awake. EEK. Such a good show. Did anyone else watch this?!

Hope you guys had a great weekend!

How many of you are Pinterest? Found any great pins that you want to share?! Addicted to this site. Find me here!