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  • Hi Im Mia Im taking my third nap and chilling
    7 months ago by mariolunasomm Hi, I’m Mia. I’m taking my third nap and chilling with my mommy and daddy. I don’t want my dad to go to the Wine Spectator event tonight on the Strip.
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    7 months ago by mariolunasomm Whoooaaaaa! This baby’s vintage is correct from 1986. This is Marqués de Murrieta Castilla Ygay Viura. 252 months aged in American oak, another 67 months aged in ceramic tanks, and then rested for another 3 years minimum to achieve the flavor profile that they want. There’s a ton of dill, Meyer lemon, and grilled pear on the nose and finishes very bright (even after 30 years), full-bodied, and a finish that lasts over two minutes long. So how did I sell it? My guest told me they had an specific amount that wanted to spend and they wanted to go
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    7 months ago by mariolunasomm $273,000: That’s how much wine sales that we have brought in just from  @bodegasontanon  since the end of 2015. For my wine program, this is THE most important wine portfolio at Jaleo Las Vegas. We are lucky to represent their craft with wines like the Clarete Rosado, Vetiver Viura, the 2005 Reserva and Gran Reserva, Mitologica, and the fun sweet, dessert Marco Fabio. Cheers!
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    7 months ago by mariolunasomm Thank you  @oleimports  for the invite to meet Winemaker Jose Luis Ortiz and his Quinta de Murradella line. I have the Gorvia Blanco (third wine on the left). This 100% Dona Blanca single vineyard white wine from Monterrei, Spain has been very successful in e by Jose Andres for us. Cheers!
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    7 months ago by mariolunasomm My two loves! Happy Mother’s Day Alana. With Mia, this is the first of many! She’s lucky to have you as her momma. I love you

Vegan Chocolate Pudding Wine Pairing

Before I discuss this delicious Vegan Chocolate Pudding, I want to talk about ourselves first. Let’s face it, with every generation, we all get smarter.  We get smarter because we’re receiving information at a faster rate than ever before.  One of the biggest areas of research today involves what we put in our mouths. The “truth” is always evolving; as soon as we think we have an idea of what’s considered healthy a new headline flips everything we thought we knew on its head.  With this much information surfacing every day, we all see the positives and unfortunately, the negatives.  At this point, it almost seems like every food and beverage item has some type of warning label next to it:

  • Don’t eat cereal!  Processed foods are not good for you!
  • Don’t drink milk.  Cow’s milk is for cows.
  • Don’t eat fast food.  There’s no telling what is in that stuff.
  • Don’t eat seafood.  There’s radiation in the water!
  • Only eat organic fruit.  The rest is sprayed with pesticides.

When it comes down to it, we can only do the best we can and try taking care of ourselves. I have an idea of the foods I wish to enjoy and I know the consequences of junk food also.  I am merely a sommelier, not a wellness consultant or a dietician.  With all of the information out there today, I can only imagine what it’s like today to be a parent, trying to do the best you can for your children and their nutrition.  This particular From Food to Wine blog is about something that you and your kids can enjoy together – basically, afternoon healthy snack masquerading as something dessert-like and delicious that your kids will go crazy for.  The wine pairing that follows is only for the adults – trying to stay professional here, guys…

Why Vegan Chocolate Pudding?!

Since my culinary skills are always a work in process, I sought out an expert source. MindBodyGreen is a site that promotes and offers healthier cuisines, and their Vegan Chocolate Pudding immediately caught my eye.  I like this recipe because the flavors are something kids would like while the ingredients are healthy – something Mom and Dad will like – and the prep time is only 15 minutes.  I would imagine kids are impatient.  Here is the recipe for “Too-Good-To-Be-True Chocolate Avocado Pudding” – in parentheses to the right of the vegan ingredients are non-vegan substitutes:


  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and quartered
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup vegan sweetener (or honey)
  • ¼ cup almond milk (or whole milk only)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • berries and mint to garnish


Preparation is simple:  Put all ingredients in a food processor or blender and combine. This quick and easy recipe serves four people and is ideal for treating impatient kids to a delicious and healthy snack. When the kids take a nap, it’s time for you to enjoy your share with a glass of wine.  You need the following to properly pair a wine with chocolate pudding:  body matching body, bitterness balancing out the sweetness, and the warmth and acidity of the wine to meshing with the pudding’s soft, supple texture.  The answer?  Moscato d’Asti

Color of the Moscato is pale green to metallic. The fruit aromas tend to have grape, lime, grapefruit, and lemon and non-fruit aromas of white flowers and honey. Moscatos tend to finish really soft and sweet with little acidity, alcohol, and without any residual dryness. The retention of fruit in the finish is fantastic!

So parents, feed your kids this fantastic and healthy dessert and then make them take a nap.  While they sleep, treat yourself to chocolate pudding and Moscato along with Vegan Chocolate Pudding!  You’ve earned it.


Mario Luna

Certified Sommelier

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