Boston Wine Expo 2017 (+ GIVEAWAY)

I can’t believe that’s already the middle of January. Where is all of this time going?

On Sunday I got back from 12 days in California. It was pretty incredible to say the least, and I will have a full recap of my trip coming soon. But now, I’m already looking ahead to February which, despite the freezing cold winters and all of the snow here, is one of my favorite times of the year. Sean’s birthday, Valentine’s Day, a day off for President’s Day, and of course, the Boston Wine Expo, all make for one jam-packed, super fun month.

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A very small part of the giant Boston Wine Expo floor. Also known as the calm before the storm…

I’ve been lucky enough to attend the Boston Wine Expo as a brand ambassador for the past few years. I always say it’s one of my favorite events of the year and one of the best that Boston puts on. It’s no secret that I love wine. Love love. And in the past 2 or so years I’ve really branched out. I no longer only drink Cabernet Sauvignon. I don’t shy away from a crisp Sauv Blanc or a sweet Port. And while I do still gravitate towards red wine more often than not, try to stop me from enjoying a cold glass of Chardonnay on a hot summer day.

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Keeper of the Bubbly.

This year, attending the Boston Wine Expo as a seasoned Expo vet has some definite perks. We have a pretty good idea how to navigate the expo floor (which is gigantic) and we know that snack time is about every 20-30 minutes when you’re drinking wine for 4-6 hours straight. Also, you don’t have to drink every single sip of every single wine you try. (I learned that the hard way in year 1.) Find a pace that is right for you and instead of frantically bouncing from table to table trying to fit everything in in one day (it’s impossible…), spend some time in the regions you love or the regions you may have been hesitant to try in the past.

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So many wines, so little time.

There’s also a variety of other things you can do at the Expo besides stay on the main floor. Treat yourself to VIP tickets to the Vintner’s Reserve Lounge where there are even more wines to try (some very rare, others very expensive). Get tickets to one of the many seminars where you can hone your focus on one particular subject (the Cheese & Wine one looks like it would be right up my alley), or grab a free seat at a live cooking demonstration as different ones are held throughout the day.

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Wine flights at the 2014 Rioja seminar.

 

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The good life in the 2015 Vintner’s Reserve Lounge.
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My favorite wine from the 2016 Vintner’s Lounge (about $50/bottle in New Hampshire)

This year’s Expo is being held the weekend after Valentine’s Day on Saturday and Sunday, February 18th and 19th. Fun fact, this is also President’s Day Weekend so if you’re lucky enough to have Monday off, there are so many good things about this: A) You get a super fun and unique Valentine’s Day date with someone special, and B) you can sleep off all that wine on Monday. Win-win!

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The best BWE date year after year.

I’m giving away a pair of tickets to Sunday’s Expo hours! To enter, leave a comment below telling me which type of wine you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t been able to yet. For bonus entries, follow me on Instagram and Twitter and leave me individual comments letting me know that you did!

BONUS OFF-BLOG ENTRY: Follow the instructions on THIS Instagram post and you’ll have another chance to win!

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Cody!

There’s still time to purchase tickets to the Expo. Use code WINEDERFUL17 at checkout for 15% OFF Grand Tasting tickets, weekend passes, VIP Vintner’s Lounge and select seminars. (Offer expires 2/14 at 11:59 PM)

Life Lately (and a GIVEAWAY!)

Things have been pretty crazy over here since I last posted way waaaay too long ago. One of my goals for 2015 is to blog more so hopefully I will have lots to say this year!

And because I’ve been away for a while, I did want to give a quick (and very special) update to precede the amazing giveaway at the end of this post. (Don’t miss it!!)

In a blog post from January 2013 (wow, that seems like so long ago), I mentioned that I had met a guy and fallen for him hard during my summer in London. Fast forward 2(+) years from that summer, he stuck around. He made me happy. We even got a cat.

Then, this past October, he did something that made me cry harder than I ever had before. He got down on one knee in the place he took me on our first date (Ogunquit, Maine) and asked me to marry him.

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It was a surreal experience. In the minutes, hours, weeks to follow there were hundreds of phone calls, texts, emails, social notifications, glasses of champagne, congratulations and a whirlwind of thoughts: “OMG I’M ENGAGED. WHAT NOW? WHAT NOW?”

I calmed down eventually.

We picked a date, a venue, a photographer, and I’m happy to say I have lots of time to plan, stress, probably cry once or twice or many times, and enjoy all of the champagne my heart desires. And being engaged to Sean also means I get an official drinking partner for the rest of my life. So awesome.

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And speaking of a drinking partner, Sean and I will be attending the Boston Wine Expo for the second year in a row next weekend! The perfect Valentine’s Day excursion.

It’s no surprise that Sean and I love wine. Our love of red wine in particular was an early common thread between the two of us – Sean even brought a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignion for us to enjoy on our first date (Fetzer) and it is still a tried and true favorite of ours.

Last year at the Expo, we sampled glass after glass of wine from all over the world and learned about each wine and vineyard individually. The Expo is a giant trade floor set up by country with each respective flag hanging over a portion of the floor. The wine booths are also flanked by different food vendors handing out samples so you can snack your way through the wine tastings.

Memories from the BWE14!
Memories from the BWE14!

SORRY, THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED.

Want to go to the 2015 Boston Wine Expo? You’re in luck! I have one pair of tickets that I’m giving away for next Sunday’s Grand Tasting event! (Sunday, February 15th from 1pm-5pm at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston.)

I promise this is an event you will NOT want to miss!

To enter:

Simply leave a comment and tell me what you’d look forward to the most if you got to attend the Expo. (Need inspiration? Check out their website and their Facebook page!) Make sure you include your e-mail address so I can get in touch with you if you win!

Want 2 extra entries? Follow @ChocoAndWine on Twitter and @BostonWineExpo on Twitter, tell me you did in the comments, and I’ll give you an extra entry for each follow!

Good luck! I’ll pick a winner on Wednesday, February 11th.

Congratulations Nell! (Comment #18!)

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*The Boston Wine Expo sends Chocolate & Wine to the event, and provides the giveaway tickets, but all opinions are, as always, my own.

Boston Wine Expo 2014 (and a Giveaway!)

I love wine.

I’m sure that goes without saying considering the title of this blog. And I’m really excited that this year I get the chance to go to the Boston Wine Expo at the Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center in February! The opportunity to try over 300 wines in the span of 4 hours, plus tasty bites and live cooking demos? Sign me up!

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There are also educational seminars that you can attend to learn more about whatever topic tickles your tastebuds. I’m already eyeing the “Cheese and Wine Matching Seminar” where you get to try wines expertly paired with different cheeses. There’s also location-based seminars for those who are interested in learning about wines specific to places like Napa Valley or Portugal. I think deciding on which seminars to go to would be one of the hardest decisions of the day!

And guess what? The Boston Wine Expo wants you there too! I have two tickets to give to a lucky reader for the Expo’s Grand Tasting on Sunday, February 16th! Your tickets will include access to the main event, a souvenir glass with which you can try any of the 300(+) wines that will be available for sampling, complimentary food samples from a variety of culinary producers, and live cooking demonstrations.  I don’t know about you, but I’m super excited.

To enter, simply leave a comment below telling me what your favorite wine is and why you’d like to to the Boston Wine Expo! (Don’t forget to leave your name and email address so I can contact you if you win!)

For an extra entry, follow me on Twitter @ChocoAndWine and leave me a comment telling me you did!

The entry period will run from today, January 15th through Thursday, January 30th. I will pick a winner at random and announce it here!

Congratulations to Lauren Boucher for winning 2 tickets to the Sunday Grand Tasting at the Boston Wine Expo!

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And for those of you who want to buy tickets now (before they sell out!), use discount code SOCIAL at checkout for 10% off tickets for either Saturday or Sunday’s Grand Tasting! (You can buy tickets here: http://j.mp/BWETix)

"Life's too short to drink bad wine."
“Life’s too short to drink bad wine.”

*As a blog ambassador, the Boston Wine Expo is providing me with complimentary tickets to the event, as well as a pair of tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are my own.

ALL the chocolate! (and my GIVEAWAY winner!)

I gotta say that working at Lindt definitely has it’s perks. Like during the days when I-NEED-CHOCOLATE-RIGHT-THIS-SECOND… it’s right there.

When people find out where I work, the most common response I get is “Oh my God, I could never work there – I’d gain so much weight!” In reality, you probably wouldn’t! (Shameless Humblebrag: I’ve actually lost a few pounds since I started working here! Doesn’t hurt that I have a free gym at my disposal and a trip to Puerto Rico in my future… details, details.) But believe me, it’s a major test of willpower to not mow down on truffle after truffle. Moderation is key when you work in a place like this and I have found a very happy balance! Okay, happy rant over now. Let’s get to this giveaway!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who entered! I will definitely be doing another one of these (maybe just in time for the holidays?!) because I believe in the power of chocolate to make people happy. And I like making you happy. Win-win.

And our winner is…. comment number 9!

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Congratulations to Lisa!! I’ll be sending you an e-mail about your prize so keep an eye out! And thank you again to everyone who entered!

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Working 9 to 5… (and a CHOCOLATE GIVEAWAY!)

Ok, technically I work 8:30 until whenever I feel like I’ve done enough work for the day that constitutes leaving. Usually it’s around 5 or 6.

In my last post (a month ago… where did summer go?!), I mentioned my new job as the Social Media Specialist at Lindt & Sprüngli Chocolate USA, more commonly known as “Lindt.” In a nutshell, I develop the social and digital content and marketing campaigns for Lindt’s chocolate products, ranging from the well-known LINDOR Truffles to EXCELLENCE chocolate bars and everything in between. I’m also in charge of community management for our social channels and read every comment or post from Lindt fans.

I can’t lie.. for the most part, it’s a pretty sweet job. Sweet job… because I work in a chocolate factory. See what I did there? Moving on…

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So anyway… this Giveaway situation.

Since I work for what I think is the best chocolate company in the world, I want to share it with you! The winner will get a homemade Lindt Chocolate gift box complete with all of my favorites and yours too! (And maybe a fun surprise.. who knows?!)

HOW TO ENTER:

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment telling me what your absolute favorite Lindt Chocolate is. (Just click on the “comments” below to leave your own!) That’s it!  It could be anything from the Milk Chocolate truffles, to the EXCELLENCE Dark Chocolate with a Touch of Sea Salt bar to our hollow Gold Bunny that you get in your Easter basket every year.

And if you’re feeling lucky and want 1 more entry, follow Lindt Chocolate USA on Facebook and leave a comment telling me you did.

Good luck all! The contest will run from now until I decide to close it so get those entries in and get some chocolate from me!*

So much chocolate...so little time.
So much chocolate…so little time.

*Disclaimer: While I do work for Lindt Chocolate USA, this is not a sponsored giveaway. Any and all chocolate will be paid for and come directly from me. All opinions expressed are my own!

**Contest valid only to residents in the continental USA. (Sorry, I can’t ship internationally or to Alaska or Hawaii.)  Also, if you live somewhere hot, I will do my best to see that your chocolate does not melt, but please be advised that chocolate and heat are not friends. 

A Special Offer for my [GIVEAWAY]

If you haven’t already entered my Lucy Belle’s Charms Giveaway, you still have plenty of time!  You have until Friday to check out her shop and tell me what you love in it for a chance to win a set of 6 blue beach-themed wine glass charms.

As something special to go along with the giveaway, Jessica has offered the readers of Chocolate & Wine a discount in her Etsy shop. When you’ve made your decision on what to buy and are ready to check out, use the code LOVECHOCO25 for 25% off your purchase!

In other recent news, I just signed up for my first 5K since last May. I have a little less than 3 weeks to get ready for it. This should be interesting…