Monday, July 5, 2010

EFFEN Vodka Party at La Vida

EFFEN is a wheat-based vodka from Holland that is targeted for the club scene and "younger drinkers."

EFFEN boasts their focus on "design" as evidenced by the good looking box and bottle its product comes in, along with the rubber grip of the bottle, which will make busy bartenders' lives much easier. Rushing and grabbing bottles in a busy night club? Yep I can see how a gripping a glass bottle will be hard and how that rubber sleeve would really help.

Photo courtesy of EFFEN

It's also evidenced by the EFFEN by Design events they've been putting on around the country. I was invited to one held at La Vida in Hollywood. They had invited Vanessa de Vargas, an interior designer, to speak about interesting architecture in Los Angeles. The four cocktails (created by La Vida's even director) are named after historical and architectural landmarks like The Parker and The Coonley Playhouse.
Two of the four cocktails were made with the plain EFFEN vodka while the other two were made using the black cherry flavored vodka. The regular vodka runs at $25.99 at BevMo - not a bad price - though the Black Cherry flavor seems to run above $30.

La Vida's new executive chef is the former Chef de Cuisine at Rivera, Joseph Panarello. While I didn't get to have a full meal here, the passed hors d'oeuvres did give an idea of what he was doing at his new gig.
We all loved these little lamb chops. I probably ate about four. I'm looking forward to having a full dinner here soon.

Disclosure: The party was hosted by EFFEN vodka and I received a bottle of their regular vodka.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

La Chiripada Winery (Dixon, New Mexico)

Seems like almost every state makes their own wine now, and New Mexico certainly is no exception. In fact, Albuquerque's Gruet Winery is pretty well known for their sparkling wines. Put a group of graduate students in Los Alamos for 2 weeks and we won't fail to take advantage of the weekends to go wine tasting.

A quick research on the smartphone brought us to La Chiripada.

La Chiripada is a quaint and modest winery in Dixon (50 miles north of Santa Fe) marked by a small adobe structure, where casual wine tastings are held. We walked in with hair still wet from the rafting trip that morning. You can do that in New Mexico, it's just that kind of lifestyle.

Surrounded by the beautiful landscape of New Mexico

La Chiripada was started in 1977 in the Rio Embudo Valley of NM and now produces a variety of red, white, and dessert wines. Many of the red varieties are local, including Canoncito and their most popular, Rio Embudo Red, a local Leon Millot French hybrid grape variety.
Most of the reds weren't "quite there yet" for me being perfectly drinkable and enjoyable but without enough depth. Keep in mind we tried young wines during the tasting, though I did enjoy the Reserve selection.

The whites fared better, on the other hand, with the crispness I tend to look for in my whites.
Since the tasting fee is waived when you buy a bottle, I took home a bottle of the Special Reserve Riesling.

La Chiripada Winery
Hwy 75 (3 miles East of the Hwy 68 and Hwy 75 junction)
Dixon, NM

Friday, July 2, 2010

Giveaway: $50 Gift Certificate to Roy's!

Roy's Restaurant recently launched a promotion for the LA (and surrounding areas) locations called the L.A. Ohana Tour. Here's how it works:

You visit a participating Roy's restaurant and get an Ohana Tour card. Bring this on your second visit and you will receive a free Chocolate Souffle (w/ purchase of entree) !
Come to another participating Roy's again, and you will receive a $20 gift card (w/ purchase of entree) and also be entered into a sweepstake to win a trip to Hawaii.

To make it even easier on you to make that first visit, they are giving away a $50 gift certificate to any participating Roy's location! They include Anaheim, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Pasadena, and Woodland Hills.

To enter, just leave a comment below with your contact information.

*Get an extra entry by sharing about this giveaway on twitter (tweet: "Enter to win $50 Gift Certificate to Roy's from @gourmetpigs ~")
or facebook. Leave another comment letting me know you've done so, so I can keep track.

You have until midnight of Friday, July 9. Good luck!

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