|Teresa Giudice from the The Real Houswives of New Jersey|
1. Like everything else, wines are becoming more organic. Quite a few were featured, like Fattoria di San Leo and La Torre. There were also pickled vegetables ("we can pickle that!") and in the random garnishes department, an organic version of the the sickly-sweet cocktail garnish that refuses to go away - maraschino cherries. Sadly, being organic doesn't mean being less hungover. Can someone please pass the Advil?
2. Grüner Veltliner is now cropping up from New York vineyards. This grape is hot in the Finger Lakes region, which just started producing it this year. Now four growers in the area use it.
3. Old Spanish Monastrell grapes are up-and-coming in the U.S. These earthy grapes produce boozy wines that are deep, dark-red and heavy on the tannins. Boutique vintners are catching on to the bold labels that come from the fruits - so expect to see small batches from U.S. growers more and more at your liquor store.
4. A winery called Schnebly Redlands in Florida's Miami-Dade County makes wine from avocados. Whaaaa?? Apparently, the winemaker uses avocados that have dents or blemishes - even though they are not fit for sale at a grocery store, they still taste fine. Yeah, it may sound a little gimmicky, there is enough of a market to support three varieties of the avocado-vino: dry, semi-dry and sweet. Well, at least you know the perfect thing to pair with guacamole.
5. And the only thing you really care about - there was a Real Housewife in the house! Real Housewives of NJ's Teresa and Joe Giudice were the undisputed stars of the show. After dropping their kids off with Teresa’s parents, they stopped by the expo on their way to St. Barths to show off Teresa's new Fabellini line of peach and raspberry flavored sparkling wines. Unlike her bitchy role on the show this season, Teresa was incredibly friendly and happy to take pics and talk to fans (if perhaps a little self-conscious, she asked to see the pics)!
She told us she was always a huge fan of bellinis but she hates the gunk at the bottom of most of the mixtures, so she teamed up with Brotherhood Winery to make one that is clean and clear (and we'll see her process on Season 4). We tasted the new formula and it basically seems like a $17.99 version of the $4.99 flavored sparkling wine Andre, but she assured us her wine has 12% alcohol and provides a hangover-free drunk. Strawberry and blueberry flavors are coming next. What, no avocado?