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Boston Food & Drink Website|Sunday, December 21, 2014
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Tapena Wine Tasting and Alfresco Cocktails 

Tapena Verdejo
Dare I say that spring is here? It sure felt like in on Tuesday evening, which kicked off with a wine tasting of Tapena wines at Tapeo on Newbury Street. The amazing women of Tapena brought their laid-back Spanish style wines to Boston, where we received generous pours of two wines from their fleet.

The Verdejo was a perfect wine for a  warm spring afternoon. Light, crisp and served very chilled, it was easy to imagine pairing this wine with shellfish, perhaps some grilled shrimp during a summer BBQ.

The red Tempranillo had in unexpected sweetness and gentle smokey nose that the crowd really enjoyed. Keeping with a summer BBQ menu, this wine would pair well with a burger, juicy off the grill.

Tapeo provided light snacks for the evening. Grilled shrimp was indeed served, complimenting the Verdejo. Buñuelos de Verdura, or cauliflower and broccoli cheese puffs ($7) were bite-sized and delicious. Gorditas, prunes stuffed with goat cheese  and wrapped in bacon ($8) proved to be my favorite bite of the evening. Empanadas and filled andouille sausage rounded out the small bites from Tapeo.

After this fantastic event ended, it was still early and everyone was in the mood to enjoy the fresh air. A round of cocktails and sangria at Cafeteria commenced. My favorite thing about Cafeteria: mason jars! Order a “pitcher” of their red or white sangria, and it comes in a large mason jar.

Cocktails like The Cherry Coke (cherry infused vodka, simple syrup, lemon, cola, sweet vermouth; $8 and pictured below, back) and Field Trip (cachaca, raspberry puree, lime, ginger beer; $11 and not pictured) are also brought to you in a mason jar. I opted for The Professor (citron vodka, Domaine de Canton Ginger liqueur, lemon, Angostura bitters; $11, picutred below, front) while Jon went with the English Class (Pimm’s with cucumber lemon syrup, cucumber, oranges and lemons; $12, pictured below, middle), Cafeteria’s version of a  Pimm’s Cup.

When we thought the evening had come to an end, the windows were fully open at Sonsie, beckoning us to one last night cap before heading home. Although there small tables looking out to Newbury St are meant for two, Sonsie was more than accommodating to our party of three and gave us a front seat at the open windows. The Re-Fresher was just that: cool cucumber, gin and elderflower topped with a bit of fizz and a perfect cocktail for alfresco-like seating. Adam’s Cranberry was disappointing; the cranberry bitters were not enough to carry the flavor of the drink, which was left flat and without any dominant flavor. Jon’s Maker’s Manhattan was superbly made.

It was an evening of good wine, great friends and I hope patio weather is here to stay!

How have you been enjoying these warmer evenings?

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