Tag Archives: Chardonnay

It’s the Little Things at Varietals and More

We recently attended a true luxury event right here in Vero Beach called the Vero Beach Food, Wine, and Music hosted by Fe Domenech. You might have heard about Andre Bocelli’s son, Matteo Bocelli’s appearance, he performed and created a magical moment in time. You can view part of the performance here on YouTube. It was located in Riverside Park for some of the best weather we have seen all year. It was a 4-day event of lavish food, fine wines, and the most AMAZING music.

Another one of the superstars of this event, of course, was Varietals and More. Meet Rob Wayne owner of this local wine shop, purveyor of worldly cheeses, fancy delectables and an expert of wine and food.

 “I believe there is a wine for every moment.” – Rob Wayne

It is amazing how much he can tell you about every glass. We told him to keep it short but he can go on and on and on. We look forward to future tastings and a good start for us is joining the wine club. Stay tuned as we plan to continue posts like this and report on our findings. We had the luxury of meeting Rob and conducted an impromptu tasting at the event and here is what Rob had to say…

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Simonet

What you have in your glass is a French sparkling wine aged in the barrel from France. It is 100% Chardonnay hence the name Blanc de Blanc. It is made in a traditional French champagne style meaning the wine is aged separately in the barrel then it is re-fermented in the bottle of for a classic bubble on the good.


Janeil

Les Hauts de Janeil. The Janel is a Grenache Sauvignon from the south of France in the long. Languedoc-Roussillon the region it is a style of wine that would be very reminiscence to a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio and it is a very crisp clean style of wine a very citrusy zesty racy wonderful for a porch poolside barbecue also wonderful for a seafood salad and a grilled chicken dishes it’s a wonderful life.

Tasting note EYE : Pale yellow robe with golden glints. NOSE : Complex nose marrying notes of flowers, truffles, brioche and oak… MOUTH : The mouth is well-balanced with lots of volume but also a hint of acidity on the finish, giving the wine length.


Alanera

The Alanera Rosso is from the Veneto region. It is a wine that is made in a classic Amarone style. Another principal grape being Corvina which is semi-dried before pressing then fermented, then aged in the barrel for up to 18 months and then bottled. It gives you real rich fruit flavor, like a dried plum, a little bit of the reason and it is just a wonderful wine. Pairs with wild game, hard cheeses, and meats.



Little Things

All right so we’re four glasses in! The Little Things is aged 12 months in Barrel.  A Cabernet out of South Australia and is a rich, fruity, like dark cherry and dark blackberry, the aromas. You have very soft tannins and structure. Great for wonderful grilled meats at a barbecue. I would pair this without a doubt with a beautiful ribeye steak with some grilled mushrooms and sautéed onions. 

You can purchase these and other fine wines at… be sure to introduce yourself to Rob and ask about the wine club. It’s the latest craze in Vero.

 

Varietals and More

www.varietalsandmore.com

(772) 217-2780
 
54 Royal Palm Pointe
Vero Beach, Fl 32960
 
Monday – Thursday 10am – 7pm 
Friday 10am – 8pm
Saturday 10am – 6pm
Closed Sunday

121 Tapas on the Water – Restaurant Review

by Thomas Miller – Food Blogger / Restaurant Critic for Vero Vine and Vero Beach Foodie

My next tasting experience review takes me down to Fort Pierce and to 121 Tapas on the Water!  I first met the owners, Chef Jason and Hallie Alfonso earlier this year at the Hope for Families Center’s Top Chef event in April.  They made some of the most amazing potato gnocchi that I’ve ever tasted, so I knew that I needed to pay these guys a visit and see if the other items on their menu were just as amazing! 

The restaurant is located at the corner of Melody Lane and Orange Avenue in Fort Pierce.  If you are not familiar with the location, Melody Lane is the street that runs along in front of Gazebo Park where the Fort Pierce Farmers Market is held.  There are lots of parking options all around, but be sure to arrive early if you want to find one easily, plus you can take advantage of their Happy Hour.  This area tends to be quite busy with lots of events, different markets, Sailfish Brewery, and lots of other businesses close by, so the parking spots tend to fill up fast.  Walking up to the restaurant you notice the beautiful view of the intercoastal waterway just across the street.  They do have a few tables in front of the restaurant if you prefer to dine outside.  The interior is tastefully decorated with dark and light-colored walls, a few booths and tables in a dark cherry stained wood, and a large bar takes center stage on the left upon entry.  Lots of unique and colorful artwork adorn the walls.

 

Let’s jump right in and see what I had to eat and drink!

Jumbo Lump Crab Bisque – First up for us to taste is this wonderful Crab Bisque!  It’s a cream based bisque with a generous portion of lump crab meat.  The bisque was very smooth and creamy.  The crab meat was quite a generous portion and was tender and sweet.  The crostini was soft on the inside and had a slight crunch on the outside.  The wine pairing that Chef Jason chose for me was a Butternut Chardonnay and was light and fruity, and paired perfectly with the bisque. 

Meat and Cheese Charcuterie Board – ($15.00) –  I love a good charcuterie board, so I was happy to see this when it was brought to the table.  It has olives, a sweet and spicy grain mustard, Port Wine, Manchego, and Charmont cheeses, thin slices of hard salami and chorizo, slices of Granny Smith apples and honey (behind crostini), and several crostini.  The board had a nice variety of meats and cheeses, the olives were not as salty as I had expected them to be and were quite good, and the sliced apples and honey added a nice contrasting flavor and texture with all of the fatty and salty items on the board.

Sliced Filet – ($13.00) – Filet tends to be a very popular cut of meat for most people due to its tenderness, but for me, it lacks flavor due to the low-fat content.  Chef Jason cooked this via the Sous Vide method and was able to further tenderize and increase the flavor potential of this cut of beef.  The meat was so tender it was almost silky in texture.  The roasted Brussel sprouts were some of the nuttiest I have tasted and were cooked perfectly.  A very good dish!

Rock Shrimp Gnocchi – ($12.00) – This is the dish that I first tasted by Chef Jason at the Top Chef event earlier this year and what actually inspired me to go visit them for this review.  First off, the gnocchi are outstanding!  Its silky smooth texture is some of the best I have tasted anywhere.  The rock shrimp were perfectly cooked and the sauce was rich and creamy.  One more element you don’t see is a sweet pea puree tucked underneath everything which adds a little sweetness to the dish.  This is one that I will definitely order again and highly recommend that you try it too!

Scallops – ($13.00) – What a beautiful presentation!  Three U10 scallops were seared and placed over a Corn and Jalapeno chutney.  The scallops had a beautiful sear on them, but were just a touch over on the cook and were closer to medium well in the middle.  The corn chutney was really sweet and had just a touch of Jalapeno flavor without any heat.  (Note – The menu says two scallops, I was served three.  The owners were not available at the time of writing for me to confirm the price difference).

Carrot Cake – Most people either love or hate carrot cake, there does not seem to be much middle ground with this dessert.  I’m someone that does really enjoy a good carrot cake and that’s what we have here.  The cake itself was moist and had some texture from the walnuts and raisins in it.  This one also had just the right amount of frosting on it and it was not killer sweet.  It added just enough sweetness to let you know it’s there, but not overwhelm you with the richness.    This is one of the better versions that I have tasted in quite a while.

In Conclusion:

I really enjoyed my time here during the review.  The atmosphere was comfortable and very relaxed, the food was exceptional, and they even have live entertainment on select nights.  Happy Hour is from 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm and you can get half off any drinks or Tapas dishes which is a great deal!  If you don’t mind the short drive to Fort Pierce, then stop by and give these guys a try, I know you won’t be disappointed!

Have you tried 121 Tapas on the Water?  What has your experience been with them?  Sound off in the comments below and let me know your thoughts, or feel free to email me at thefoodguy@verovine.com with your questions or comments.

Atmosphere – 5 Forks

Service – 5 Forks

Food – 4 Forks

Rating Scale Legend:

1 to 5 Forks – 1 Bad to 5 Excellent

Website  |  Facebook

Address121 Melody Lane, Fort Pierce, FL 34950

Phone(772) 781-0943

Happy Hour Daily from 4:00 pm till 5:00 pm with half off drinks and tapas items.  Tuesday is open mic night, Wednesday is $2.00 you call it beers, Thursday is Ladies Night with Live Music, and Sunday night two can dine for $49.00 which includes two appetizers, two entrees, and one bottle of wine.