How to Select the Perfect Wines for Any Summer Event

How to Select the Perfect Wines for Any Summer Event

(Family Features) From weekend backyard barbecues to spontaneous weeknight gatherings, summer is filled with celebrations that bring friends and family together for fabulous food, drink and fun. Whether you’re unsure of what wines to serve as the host, or the best refreshment to pick as a guest, you don’t have to be a master sommelier to choose the perfect wine pairing for every meal or occasion.

As a general rule, nature has color-coded foods with the wines best suited for their flavors. For example, white wines pair well with light foods, while dark wines usually complement richer fare. Here are some more specific scenarios to help you enjoy the warm weather and good times ahead this summer.

Wedding Showers and Celebrations

Long summer days are a great time to celebrate big life events – like wedding showers and house-warming parties. Because many of these soirees include an assortment of foods, there are several routes you can take to discover the perfect wine pairing. For guests enjoying fresh, fruit salad or tilapia with a mango salsa, consider an herbaceous sauvignon blanc which will complement the fruit flavors with its crisp acidity. For those who prefer a more floral wine, a viognier may be the answer to go alongside any grilled chicken or seafood dish.

Al Fresco Events

Summer is often marked by cookouts, picnics and other al fresco dining occasions. A top choice among many guests is a vibrant, flavorful glass of chardonnay. This favorite white wine pairs well with crisp summer salads and lighter grilled selections, such as salmon and shrimp entrees. One expressive offering, Kendall-Jackson AVANT Chardonnay, is fruit forward and fermented in a combination of stainless steel tanks and neutral oak barrels, which bring out its distinctive green apple and lemon flavors. It is the choice for those who prefer a Chardonnay with a little less oak.

Summer Barbecues and Daytime Events

If a sunny, mid-day get together is in your future, there is one delicious pairing option to consider. For hosts who plan to serve a grilled selection, such as pork chops or saucy, smoky ribs, consider pairing the menu with an expressive and fruit forward red blend. Kendall-Jackson AVANT Red Blend offers a silky and smooth texture that begins with fermentation in neutral oak barrels to bring out rich, fruit flavors. A sultry mosaic of French varieties, the wine focuses on Syrah and Malbec with aromas of ripe raspberry and bold black cherry.  Hints of spice and dark chocolate  deliver a smooth, lingering finish, so this red blend will also complement a grilled steak or any other red meat favorite.
No matter what festivities are booked on your summer calendar, this season is full of delightful sips for every event. For more ideas to make celebrations special, visit

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate

Niantic Main Street Releases Video

Niantic, Conn. (July 8, 2014) – Niantic is stepping up to defend its title of Connecticut’s still revolutionary Fan-Favorite Town with a new video and original song.

Produced by Niantic Main Street, the video features local singer/songwriter Kelly Eberle traveling to 40 Niantic businesses and attractions while singing “Niantic – It’s the Town for Me,” an original song written by Eberle with her sister Kate Eberle. The song was produced by Collin Pastore.



Mobilizing the village’s passionate residents and visitors, last year Niantic became the first Fan-Favorite still revolutionary Town of the Year, earning more votes than any other town, village, city or borough across the state. A feat that Niantic Main Street – Niantic’s downtown revitalization organization – wants to repeat.

“The people of Niantic have a genuine love for this village and their community,” said Niantic Main Street President Dan Walsh. “We’re aiming for two years in a row!”

The socially-driven Connecticut still revolutionary Fan-Favorite Town program calls for people to vote for the town that they think most embodies the spirit of the state’s brand, Connecticut still revolutionary — a haven for original ideas and innovation that offers a dynamic blend of experiences. Participants will also have the opportunity to vote for their favorite business, destination or attraction within that town. 

The winning town and destination will receive bragging rights for all of 2014 along with promotional support from Connecticut’s Office of Tourism. For each vote cast, residents and visitors will be entered to win a ZIP to ZEN getaway to Niantic, the 2013 Connecticut still revolutionary Fan-Favorite Town of the Year.






Towns and destinations with the most votes will be announced on a weekly basis. Participants are encouraged to vote every day on the Visit Connecticut Facebook page ( through July 25. Each vote counts as a chance to win the ZIP to ZEN getaway to Niantic, which will offer the grand-prize winner the opportunity to find their ZEN with a four-night stay at the Inn at Harbor Hill Marina, a $100 gift card to Grace boutique, as well as time to ZIP around courtesy Niantic Bay Bicycles.


For more about Niantic Main Street, visit For more about Visit Connecticut’s still revolutionary Fan-Favorite Contest, visit
About Niantic Main Street:
The Niantic Main Street (NMS) organization is a 501c(3) not-for-profit organization committed to promoting and implementing downtown revitalization efforts in the villages of Niantic and Flanders, Conn. The goal of the all-volunteer group, comprised of a Board of Directors and various volunteers from within the community of East Lyme and the region, is to make Niantic a wonderful place to live, work and play for residents and visitors.

We’ve Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered Concert

“We’ve Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered” SOLD OUT debut at Suncoast Casino in Las Vegas, June 22-23, 2013.

Brett poster vert

Long ago and oh so far away . . .the world fell in love with the Carpenters and their era-defining repertoire of songs.

We’ve Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered

is a concert show celebrating the music of one of the most successful recording acts of all time.

Karen and Richard sold over 100 million records in just over a decade and still hold the record for the most top-ten consecutive singles. The dynamic combination of Karen’s voice and Richard’s compositions and arrangements created Grammy-winning magic and won them a worldwide legion of loyal fans.

To view the promotional video click HERE.

Harry & Richard C.c5

While working as Music Director for Donna Summer, Harry Sharpe worked with Richard Carpenter in concert at the Hollywood Bowl. (June, 2010)

The Show

Michelle Berting Brett takes center stage accompanied by her 7-piece band of versatile Nashville musicians directed by Harry Sharpe. Sharpe and the band have worked with popular music icons including: Donna Summer, Wynonna Judd, Trisha Yearwood, Sara Evans, Alison Krauss, The Monkees, Bobby Caldwell, Tom Jones, Gloria Estefan, and Michael McDonald.

We’ve Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered re-creates their original sound. In addition Berting Brett shares stories culled from extensive research and interviews with those who knew Karen and Richard personally and professionally. The result is a real wholesome family show and an intimate behind the scenes profile of the pop music phenomenon that defined an era.

(This show does not purport to be endorsed by Richard Carpenter or the estate of Karen Carpenter, nor by Paul Williams and Roger Nichols, lyricist and composer of the song “We’ve Only Just Begun”.)

The Music

The concert show is available in a 90 minute or two-act format and is jam-packed with back-to-back soft rock classics that include: For All We Know, Goodbye to Love, Please Mr. Postman, Rainy Days and Mondays, Superstar, There’s a Kind of Hush, (They Long to Be) Close to You, Top of the World, We’ve Only Just Begun and Yesterday Once More and many more!

The Reviews

“Michelle Berting Brett is a richly gifted vocalist whose heartfelt tribute to Karen Carpenter is simply not to be missed.”
Christopher Loudon – Vocal Critic,
JazzTimes Magazine

“Carpenters Remembered was a great addition to our concert series. The group was amazing and I was so impressed with the accuracy of their vocals. A very well done production.”
Michael Joseph – Partner/Musical Director
The Company Theatre, Norwell, Massachusetts

“Michelle Berting Brett performed her heart out on not just one, but two very special shows here. It wasn’t just the tunes, it was the vibe, the stories, and the memories all being shared. It’s a downright special event for anyone who has loved the Carpenters. This show could play, and win, just about anywhere.”
Pat Ryan – Entertainment Director,
Bridge Street Live, Collinsville, Connecticut

“What an AMAZING show!!! Michelle Berting Brett and her top notch band recreate the spirit and essence of the Carpenters and provide an evening that brings back memory after memory . . .”
Deana J. Whistler – Entertainment Director,
WinnaVegas Casino Resort, Sloan, Iowa

“A fabulous, entertaining, informative, and fun show. I loved it! Thanks for an awesome evening!”
John Dimon – CEO,
Diamond Entertainment, Toronto, Canada

MichelleBB-Santa Hat

Merry Christmas Darling: Carpenters’ Christmas

is a concert show celebrating the biggest hits of one of the most successful recording acts of all time, and a full complement of their classic Christmas repertoire. A natural off-shoot of the show, We’ve Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered, this concert is guaranteed to put you in the holiday spirit!

The Carpenters released two classic Christmas albums as well as two Christmas-themed television specials. Their holiday music is played every season and their Christmas records still top “Favorite Holiday Album” lists every year.

(This show does not purport to be endorsed by Richard Carpenter or the estate of Karen Carpenter, nor by Frank Pooler, lyricist of “Merry Christmas Darling”.)

The Music

Merry Christmas Darling: Carpenters’ Christmas is available in a 90 minute or two-act format and features holiday classics and pop music hits that include:
The Christmas Song, Do You Hear What I Hear, I’ll Be Home for Christmas, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Jingle Bells, Merry Christmas Darling, Sleigh Ride, Goodbye to Love, Please Mr. Postman, Rainy Days and Mondays, Superstar, (They Long to Be) Close to You, Top of the World, We’ve Only Just Begun, Yesterday Once More, and many more!

The Reviews

Merry Christmas Darling: Carpenters’ Christmas is an absolutely amazing holiday show that is sure to be enjoyed by all. Michelle Berting Brett brings to life a spectacular performance with some of the Carpenters’ most cherished favorites and holiday classics. This endearing show truly fills you with the holiday spirit; I could not speak more highly of this wonderful Christmas show or of Michelle’s unforgettable performance.”
Mark Jacobson – Marketing Manager,
Cher-Ae Heights Casino, Trinidad, California

“Michelle Berting Brett sounds as close to Karen Carpenter as you can get. Beautiful voice, music, and show. Our guests were very impressed and enjoyed it immensely.”
Cathy Wright – Entertainment Manager,
Spirit Mountain Casino, Grand Ronde, Oregon

Spirit Mountain

“Merry Christmas Darling: Carpenters’ Christmas” performance at Spirit Mountain Casino in Grand Ronde, Oregon, December 21, 2013.


For Bookings and Info:

Mark Brett
Trajectory Productions

Sign up for email updates HERE.

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©2014 We’ve Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered | 100 W. Putnam Avenue, Greenwich, CT 06830

Dale Watson Helps Celebrate Sun Recording Studios



Media Advisory




Lance Cowan


(615) 331-1710




“Ameripolitan” artist Dale Watson Performs on NBC Nightly News;

Celebrates 60th Anniversary of Famed Sun Recording Studios


MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE — As he prepares for the release of his Truckin’ Sessions Trilogy (slated for July 8 on Red River Entertainment), Country traditionalist Dale Watson recently joined NBC’s Lester Holt in Memphis, Tennessee to celebrate the60th Anniversary of Sun Studios.  Watson performed Don’t Let The Screen Door Hit You and Adios with an acclaimed group of musicians, including bassist Dave Roe (Johnny Cash, Jerry Reed), drummer JM Van Eaton (Jerry Lee Lewis) and pianist Rick Steff(Lucero).  (Holt handled bass duties on Adios).


The segment is scheduled to air Saturday, July 5 at  6:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. CT on NBC Nightly News.


Watson has recorded five solo albums as Sun Recording Studios. Opened by rock pioneer Sam Phillips at 706 Union Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee, on January 3, 1950 Sun Recording Studios was originally called Memphis Recording Service, sharing the same building with the Sun Records label business. Reputedly the first rock and roll single, Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats’ “Rocket 88″ was recorded there in 1951 with song composer Ike Turner on keyboards, leading the studio to claim status as the birthplace of rock & roll. Blues and R&B artists like Howlin’ Wolf, Junior Parker, Little Milton, B.B. King, James Cotton, Rufus Thomas, and Rosco Gordon recorded there in the early 1950s. In the late 50s, such icons as Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Charlie Feathers, Ray Harris, Warren Smith, Charlie Rich, and Jerry Lee Lewis, recorded there.


In 1998, “Ameripolitan” artist Watson issued a 14-song collection of songs in the tradition of Red Simpson, Merle Haggard, Red Sovine and Dave Dudley called The Truckin’ Sessions.  He followed that release a year later with another 14-song outing, The Truckin’ Sessions 2.  Now, the maverick country traditionalist is adding another new 14-song set,The Truckin’ Sessions 3, to the group, and now, Red River Entertainment will release them all in one package, The Truckin’ Sessions Trilogy.




To schedule an interview with Watson, for artwork, a review copy

of Truckin’ Sessions III or more information, contact

Lance Cowan • LCMedia • (615) 331-1710 •

More information is available at



Lance Cowan • LCMedia • •
Phone: 615-331-1710 • P.O. Box 965 • Antioch, TN 37013


Representing:  Joe Ely • Michael Martin Murphey • The Flatlanders • Terry Allen •  Jonathan Edwards

TweelX • The Nashville Jazz Orchestra • Reagan Boggs • Swamp Donky • The Kentucky HeadHunters

Rockology • RW Hampton • Sharon Ely • Dale Watson • Reagan Boggs • Mike & Dorris Merritt

Mystic Seaport to Delay the Charles W. Morgan’s Departure from New Bedford


Mystic, Conn. (July 6, 2014) — Mystic Seaport announced the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan will delay its departure from New Bedford until Tuesday, July 8. The ship had been scheduled to sail Monday from New Bedford to the Massachusetts Maritime Academy at the south end of the Cape Cod Canal on the next leg of its 38th Voyage on July 7.


“The forecast for sustained winds and gusts and sea conditions for Buzzards Bay exceeds our level of comfort for operating the ship,” said Dana Hewson, vice president for watercraft preservation and operations at Mystic Seaport.


The Morgan is now scheduled to sail to the academy on Tuesday morning. The next leg of the voyage, from the academy to Provincetown, Mass. by way of the canal, will be pushed back one day, to Wednesday, July 9. A series of day sails on the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will continue as scheduled from Jun 11-13.


For more information on the Morgan and its 38th Voyage, please visit the Mystic Seaport website.

Downloadable Media:

High resolution photos and broadcast-quality HD video of the ship’s activities are available for download and use by news media. Downloads can be accessed on the Mystic Seaport press page




Social Media:

Twitter: @mysticseaport, #charleswmorgan, #38thvoyage


About Mystic Seaport
Mystic Seaport is the nation’s leading maritime museum. Founded in 1929, the Museum is home to four National Historic Landmark vessels, including the Charles W. Morgan, the last wooden whaleship in the world. The Museum is located one mile south of exit 90 off I-95 in Mystic, CT. Admission is $24 for adults and $15 for children 6-17. Museum members and children under 5 are admitted for free. For more information, please visit


Contact:              Dan McFadden
Director of Communications
860-333-7155 (cell)




CONTACT:  George Marley

401-921-2434, Ext. 124


Cranston, RIFor over 60 years, Big Brothers of Rhode Island (BBRI) and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State, both local affiliates of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, have worked separately by coming to the aid of hundreds of boys and girls statewide by providing them with life-changing mentors. Now, in a historic collaboration, both organizations have come together to serve the growing number of children throughout Rhode Island who could benefit from the positive influence an adult role model can have on the life of a child in need. They will consolidate resources to continue to be the leading mentoring program, under the direction of Executive Director Deb Saunders, serving over 600 children and their families annually as Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State (BBBSOS).

Big Brothers Big Sisters is a proven and trusted mentoring program that is nationally recognized for connecting young people with a caring mentor who can help to build their confidence, expand their horizons, encourage them to stay in school, and make healthier choices like avoiding drugs and alcohol. Our organizations have a combined 110 years of experience providing services to children throughout Rhode Island! Together, they will provide services to over 600 children every year, with over 100+ boys and girls still waiting for a mentor.

The coming together of these great organizations was announced July 1 via a press conference held at the headquarters of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State, 1540 Pontiac Avenue, Cranston, RI 02920.

Watch the announcement:


Deb Saunders, Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State, had this to say: “I am so excited that this historic moment has finally arrived. It has been a long time coming and we have worked very diligently with so many fabulous, caring, individuals who truly have the best interest of the youth of Rhode Island in mind. I look forward to continue building an even stronger network of services for the children and families of Rhode Island. We believe that the work we do and the people we engage on a daily basis have seen a positive change in their lives and will continue to do so for years to come.”

The Honorable Jack Reed spoke of the youth of Rhode Island and America “We have to provide the same [mentoring] efforts and services to the next generation of Rhode Island and America.  

Jo-Ann Schofield, President and CEO of RI Mentoring Partnership commented on the continued success of the prevailing organization.  “[BBBSOS] has achieved the highest designation, “Premier” after completing the rigorous quality assessment process.  They have proven time and again that they are a great organization with a great Executive Director and leadership that continuously seeks opportunity for growth.” 

Joe Manera, Board President of Big Brothers of Rhode Island, said BBRI is closing down its headquarters in East Providence on June 30, but that he will stay on “until the last ‘t’ is crossed and ‘i’ is dotted,” take a break from serving for about six months and then possibly take on a new role within the larger organization. “The shared mission of the two groups may have led to a little confusion but the mission is the children. The mission is not about the people in the agency. Mentoring for children, that’s the underlying reason [the groups have existed].” 

Cranston Mayor and Republican Gubernatorial candidate Alan Fung, who gave closing remarks, said “It is an honor to be here for this historic and critically important day in the mentoring mission.”  He remarked on his former career as a professional prosecutor, seeing young men and women who “need help and guidance and are crying out for the guidance that they need.” 

To find out more about our mentoring programs and how you can make a difference in the lives of children across the state of Rhode Island, visit or call 401.921.2434.




Country music hit-maker Jason Michael Carroll from Youngsville, North Carolina, is gearing up to release his first new album since 2011, featuring the single “Close Enough.” He’ll be hitting the road in 2014 on a cross-Country tour and overseas to perform for the military.

Carroll rose to fame after being discovered at a local talent competition in 2004 and later signed to the Arista Nashville label in 2006, releasing his debut album Waitin’ In The Country. The album produced three Top 40 hits including “Alyssa Lies,” “Livin’ Our Love Song” and “I Can Sleep When I’m Dead” and soared to #1 on the U.S. Country charts, selling nearly half a million copies. Both of Carroll’s following albums,Growing Up Is Getting Old and Numbers have charted on the Billboard Top 200.

The band appeared july 4th at the mohegan Sun Wolf Den  for one night only.


Mystic Lions Club Celebrates 65 Years of Service


Incoming President Lion Joe Gush and Cabinet Installed

Former Senator Cathy Cook Awarded “Knight of the Blind” 

The new leaders of Mystic Lions Club ( l – r) : Teresa Fields, Eric Garafano, Cathy Cook, Claudette Hull, Past President Tim Fields, Lions District Governor Nanette Burdick, Mystic Lions President Joe Gush, Nancy MacDonald, Lori McCullough, Ed Hutter, John Read, Maryann Read

Lion Joe Gush, retired USN Master Chief, takes the helm of Mystic Lions Club


Ledyard resident Joe Gush has taken the leadership of the Mystic Lions Club as the group prepares to celebrate its 65th year of service to the community. Retired Master Chief of the US Navy Submarine Force and a current manager at Electric Boat, Gush loves to be a Lion.  He is the chief cook and bottle washer for all events involving food especially regional Lions Club Steak Nights.  President Joe lives the motto of all Lions, “We Serve.”  He takes leadership of this civic organization that for the past 65 years, has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help the community, the nation and the world.  Mystic Lions have built playgrounds, collected food for soup kitchens, cleaned up parks, organized health fairs, performed preschool eye screenings, recycled eyeglasses and hearing aids to the poor, donated large print books, helped the homeless, supported community centers and libraries, planted trees and much more.  

“I learned that Lionism is a participating sport.  And we have fun all year!” says President Joe Gush, pictured in the kitchen (left) with Lions Henry Rohrs (right).

In this 65th year, the Mystic Lions will continue their partnership with the Mystic Aquarium.  Mystic Lions are on call whenever the Aquarium may need “Lion Power” like directing traffic at the Penguin Walk-a-Thon or lighting thousands of luminaria candles for the annual December Festival of Lights. Other local projects include raising $30,000 for charity by serving Pancakes with Penguins, selling hot dogs and kielbasa at the Mystic Irish Parade, walking to Prevent Blindness, selling garlic soup at the Annual Garlic Festival, and hosting the 10th Annual Wine, Beer & Spirits Tasting and Auction this November 1st at the Mystic Aquarium.


Cathy Cook named Knight of the Blind

The Mystic Lions recently presented one of their own with one of the highest honors in International Lionism – “The Knight of the Blind Award.”   In 1925, Helen Keller challenged Lions to help prevent blindness around the world.  Lions have been Helen Keller’s “Knights of the Blind” ever since.  To honor outstanding service, the Connecticut Lions Eye Research Foundation established “The Knight of the Blind Award.”  This year, in recognition of her “generosity, compassion and concern for others,” the Mystic Lions named Lion Cathy Cook as a “humanitarian of distinction” with the 2014 Knight of the Blind Award.  “This honor has been bestowed on others who have given themselves to our community.  I am humbled,” says Cathy Cook, former state senator and Mystic Lion for over 25 years since her induction by her Mystic Lion father, the late Russell Welles. “I hope I can continue to live up to the spirit of Helen Keller’s challenge to Lions.”   Cook (left) forged the partnership with the aquarium and chairs the Annual Mystic Lion Club Pancakes with the Penguins Breakfast.  

Mystic Lions Club is one of the 46,000 clubs with 1.35 million members in Lions Clubs International, the world’s largest civic organization. Lions International Foundation is one of the world’s most effective relief programs, providing hope to those with eye disease, offering disaster relief where needed and building clean water facilities to prevent blindness all around the globe.  Members of the Mystic Lions Club have ventured to Korea, Mexico, Germany, Canada and other nations to join Lions from the world in service.   Locally, Mystic Lions volunteer with the Eastern CT Lions Low Vision Center, helping local citizens with vision impairments.  The club supports Connecticut’s CRIS Radio for the Blind as well as training programs for Seeing Eye dogs; and vision screening for young children and needy veterans. 

get-attachmentLions logo (2)

It’s easy to join Mystic Lions Club!

You don’t have to live in Mystic to join Mystic Lions.  If you are interested in becoming a Mystic Lion, visit their website  or email to   Mystic Lions Club meets the 1st and 3rd Thursdays at 6:30 pm.   New members are always welcome.                  

Photo credit:  Cathy Cook

Goodwin College conferred 578 bachelor’s degrees and more!


News from Goodwin College

For more information contact: Robert Muirhead,

534 Navigators Comprise Goodwin College Class of 2012


EAST HARTFORD, CT (07/02/2014)(readMedia)– On June 7, 2014, Goodwin College conferred 578 bachelor’s degrees, associates degrees, and certificates to the Class of 2014. The degrees were conferred at the College’s Commencement Ceremony, held on the River Campus at 1 Riverside Drive, East Hartford, CT. The following local students received degrees:

Sally Bartlett of Baltic (06330)

Susan Cope of Old Lyme (06371)

Eric DeMerchant of Norwich (06360)

Holly Dettore of Colchester (06415)

Danielle Dudla of Colchester (06415)

Pierre Fleurose of Norwich (06360)

Bernadette Francis of Groton (06340)

Judith Frascarelli of Colchester (06415)

Regina Giudice of Colchester (06415)

Stephanie Hepton of Stafford Springs (06370)

Kimberly Hersey of Colchester (06415)

Mandy Murray of Colchester (06415)

Kimberly Pedersen of Groton (06340)

Johan Perez of Lebanon (06249)

Courtney Perkins of Lebanon (06249)

Brittany Piwowarski of Groton (06340)

Sally Riggio of Essex (06426)

Kimberly Scully of Norwich (06360)

Shannon Whalen of Old Lyme (06371)

Goodwin College is a nonprofit institution of higher learning located on the Connecticut River in East Hartford, Connecticut. The college specializes in extending educational access to underserved groups, including minority and first-generation college students, and offers career-focused degree programs designed to promote workforce readiness. For more information, please visit