Tuesday, February 15, 2011

All Roads Lead To Rhone (Grapes!): International Syrah Day is February 16


Wednesday, February 16, is International Syrah Day
 Bookmark and Share   International Syrah Day is Wednesday, February 16. Syrah is perhaps the best known of the Rhone grape varieties -- but it is certainly not alone. Thanks to Hospice du Rhone, the organization of American Rhone grape growers, we present your opportunity to learn more about this unique collection of Rhone grapes.

So tomorrow, remember to pop open a bottle of Syrah and share your drinking experience here. The other 364 days of the year you can dabble in other Rhone grapes. Here is a list of 22 Rhône wine varieties:

1.Bourboulenc: (Burr-buh-lanc) light bodied, delicate floral, citrus, peach, melon, earth

2.Camarese: (Cam-are-ess) firm, tannins, delicate aromatics, pepper, spice

3.Carignane Noir: (Care-ig-non No-our) tannic, solid acidity, good color, cherry, raspberry, pepper

4.Cinsault Noir: (Sahn-so No-our) elegant, soft & lightly aromatic, strawberry, raspberry, smoke, earth

5.Clairette Blanc: (Claret Blan) big bodied, floral, aromatic, honeysuckle, tropical flowers, tropical fruits

6.Clairette Rose: (Clare-et Rose) light aromatics, fruit notes, soft strawberry, cherry, rose petal

7.Counoise Noir: (Coon-wahz No-our) lively acidity, spice, richness, raspberry, cherry, cranberry

8.Grenache Blanc: (Gra-nash blan) big bodied, soft, delicate peach, melon, pear

9.Grenache Gris: (Gra-Nash Gree) full-bodied, light in color, delicate strawberry, cherry, rose petal

10.Grenache Noir: (Gra-Nash o-our) big bodied, supple, & rich strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, black pepper

11.Marsanne: (Mar-san) broad palate, soft & rich, peach, nectarine, stone fruits, tuberose, sweet nuts

12.Mourvèdre: (More-ved) tannic, deeply colored, aromatic, black currant, dark cherries, leather, smoke, earth

13.Muscardin: (Mus-car-dan) floral, aromatic, firmly structured, rose petal, barnyard, earth

14.Muscat a Petits Grains: (Mus-cat ah Pet-eet Grahn) elegant, aromatic, floral, musk, honey, honeysuckle, lily, stone fruit

15.Picpoul Blanc: (Peek-pool Blan) floral, soft, aromatic, pear, earth, lily, daisy, wildflowers

16.Picpoul Noir: (Peek-pool No-our) floral, elegant, aromatic, rose, violet, dark cherry

17.Roussanne: (Roo-sahn) firmly structured, powerful, very rich, apricot, honey, almond, nutmeg, honeysuckle, iris

18.Syrah/Shiraz: (C-rah)/(She-raz) highly colored, firmly structured and aromatic, plum, raspberry, blueberry, blackcurrant, violet, roasted meats, smoke, chocolate, pepper, anise

19.Terret Noir: (Tare-it No-our) delicate, perfumed, bright acidity, rose petal, lavender, dark berries, spice

20.Ugni Blanc: (Ewn-yee Blan) delicate fruit, good acidity, pear, honey-dew melon, earth

21.Vaccarese: (Vac-car-ess) aromatic, firmly tannic, floral, pepper, spice, earth, smoke

22.Viognier: (Vee-ohn-yea) big bodied, very aromatic, complex apricot, musk, peaches, grapefruit, lychee, papaya, mango, tropical flowers

Flickr photo by Rick

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We Come From France! Manhattan's Restaurant Wine Dinner Scheduled For February 16

Bookmark and Share  The next wine dinner at Manhattan's Restaurant, 1516 Madison Street,  (419) 243-6675, is scheduled for Wedesday, February 16 at 6:30 PM. It will be a French dinner and the special guest for the evening is a young connoisseur by the name of Brett Northcutt, who is currently a sous chef at BGSU. Brett has picked some wonderful wines from France and will spend a little time discussing them with us. Chef Ian has worked very hard pairing up some traditional French dishes with the wine list.
Vineyards at Clos Lapeyre JurançonImage by Roman Eye via Flickr

First Course: Kuentz Bas Alscace Blanc (2007) - Fromage Chaud et Saumon Froid (warm gouda cheese and cold scottish salmon)

Second Course: Macon Villages (2008) - Salade Nicoise (potatoes, tomatoes, string beans, capers, lemons and olives)

Third Course: Chinon Les Petites Roches (2008) - Rilletes de Tours (pork pate garnished with toast points, berries and grapes)

Fourth Course: Cahors Clos La Coutale (2008) - Veau Panes a L'Anglaise Sauce aux Champignons, Pudding au Pain Allemand, Pointes d' Asperges (breaded veal scallopines sauted with mushrooms in a veal glase, served with savory rye bread pudding and asparagus spears)

Fifth Course: Cafe au Lait (2011) - Gateau au Chocolat sans Farine (flourless chocolate cake)

The cost is $65 per person, inclusive of tax and gratuity. Reservations can be made by calling Manhattan's at 419-243-6675
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Monday, February 14, 2011

Niagara-On-The-Lake Winery Visit: Inniskillin Wines

Continuing our series of reports on Niagara-on-the-Lake wineries in Ontario.
2010 Sep 04 087The second stop in the Niagara-on-the-Lake leg of our Ontario winery tour was Inniskillin Wines. Chances are that you have seen Inniskillin wines even if you have never ventured north of the border. The winery was founded in 1975 and ushered in a new era of world recognition for Canadian wines and put Canada's icewine on the world map.

Inniskillin's Niagara Winery is located on the Brae Burn Estate Vineyard, which is home to the historic Brae Burn Barn built in the 1920's. The property includes a winery visitor center, wine tasting bar and the wine shop. This is a big, sophisticated and beautiful winery. Walking to the tasting room, you see row after row of icewine grapes (and can pluck a couple if no one is 2010 Sep 04 089looking). Just a few steps from the tasting room a load of collected grapes was being emptied into a bin for processing.

The tasting room featured an expansive bar and a “wine boutique” as they like to call it in Canada where you could choose from a multitude of wines, upscale wine glasses or gifts.
We settled in and began with a glass of 2009 Winemaker Series Viognier. This was quite tasty with 2010 Sep 04 090fruit flavors of grapefruit and lime with just a dash of spice. Our second glass was of the 2009 Two Vineyards Riesling. We found this to be very balanced with a crisp minerality, nice tropical fruit, and a clean finish. We bought a bottle of this for our friends at home.

The 2008 Meritage was next as we segued into the reds. The flavor is dominated by red berries and spice, but we noted the very smooth approach and finish. We’re Meritage fans and this was a nicely put together wine.

We capped off the tasting with a sample of the 2007 Legacy Cabernet Franc. Legacy is the top tier of the Inniskillin wines, marked with a distinctive gold label and the winemaker’s signature. Each vintage the winemaker, Bruce Nicholson, chooses the most outstanding varietal from the vintage and makes one very limited wine. A wine like this is what makes a trip to a winery so rewarding. You can sip the wine, hear someone from the winery explain it and then look outside and see the vineyards from where the grapes came.
The Cab Franc was smooth, none of the bite that you often get with this peppery grape. It had hearty black fruit, spice and tobacco notes. It was an exclamation point on the end of our visit.

2010 Sep 04 088The tasting room had a great looking icewine tasting area set up, but we bypassed that as the tasting team was anxious to get moving.

Inniskillin is a topflight destination winery in the beautiful Niagara-on-the-Lake area. Inniskillin brought respect to Canadian wines and continues to produce outstanding wines.

Although it is mostly their icewine that makes it into the US, they produce a full line of beautiful wines in three different series including their premier Legacy line. This is a great destination for all wine trail travelers.
Photos by Glorious T
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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Celebrate Syrah: International Syrah Day Is February 16

Bookmark and Share  Let’s spend a day tasting and talking about Syrah! Why? Syrah ROCKS.
A photo of a class of California Syrah along w...Image via Wikipedia

Hospice du Rhône is California-based organization of growers of Rhone grapes (including  Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre a famous GSM combination). They are promoting Wednesday, February 16, as a celebration of the world of Syrah for 24 hours! Yes, 24 hours because they are serious about Syrah.

You too can become serious about Syrah by picking up a bottle (or two) of Syrah from your wine shop. Or dig into that cellar of yours or even order Syrah from one of your favorite Rhône producers. Then on Wednesday, February 16th share these wines with friends at a home soirée, at a local restaurant or join online for one big, amazing Syrah tasting!

Syrah is the most commonly recognizable Rhône variety and is grown in just about every wine region throughout the world. Due to its popularity, you can find a bottle of Syrah from France, Australia, Spain, Washington State, California, Oregon, Arizona and beyond at your local wine shop or grocer. By picking up a bottle from a few of these regions you will have the opportunity to taste the unique terroir each of these regions possess. When it comes to food, Syrah is your wine. This admired Rhône variety is extremely food friendly and will pair nicely with anything from lamb kabobs to pepperoni pizza.

What to do: On the day of the event, Tweet, Facebook and blog your thoughts, tasting notes on #Syrah. Ask questions and share facts. Even post a photo to your favorite Social Media site. If Social Media is not your bag, plan an evening in or out with friends that is all about Syrah! The goal of this day is to open a bottle of Syrah and enjoy with friends and family.

The group is encouraging wineries and restaurants to feature Syrah during the event. They even suggested a Syrah happy hour at the office!

If you are tweeting, use the following hashtags: #Syrah or #SyrahDay.

We’ll plan on sampling a nice Syrah and sharing our tasting notes.

Here are some tidbits of Syrah to dazzle your friends:

• Syrah (C-rah)

• Syrah also known as Shiraz (She-raz)

• A highly colored grape with firm structure

• Syrah commonly possesses notes of plum, raspberry, blueberry, blackcurrant, violet, roasted meats, smoke, chocolate, pepper and anise

• Syrah is the prominent grape of Northern Rhône in which the variety originates from

• A heat-loving vine that has adapted well to California’s Central Coast and Eastern Washington State

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Friday, February 11, 2011

J. Trees Cellars Wines Shine At TREO Wine Dinner

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Winemaker Jon Treloar and TREO
owner/chef Mike Fletcher
Sometimes our neighbors in Michigan don’t get the best reception when they cross over the border into Ohio – especially during football season. That was certainly not the case earlier this week as winemaker Jon Treloar of J. Trees Cellars received a warm welcome during a special wine dinner at TREO Restaurant and Bar, 5703 Main St., Sylvania (419) 882-2266.

Three JTC wines were paired with a trio of amazing dishes created by TREO chef and owner Mike Fletcher.

The three featured wines were the 2008 Dry Riesling, 2008 Chardonnay and the ‘08 Fuji Ice Cider. After a long, cold and draining day, it was a pleasure to sit down to a relaxing meal in a beautiful restaurant surrounded by new friends.


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A symphony for the mouth: Farm & Forest
 The focus of JTC is white wine and Michigan is beginning to make its mark on the national scene as a source of quality Riesling.The JTC vineyards are relatively young, and so Jon gets his Riesling grapes from the Old Mission Peninsula area of Michigan, a top wine producing region. We are fans of the JTC Dry Riesling and the wine tonight was paired with a sensational opening dish.

The Farm & Forest course was breaded flash fried Portabella mushrooms served on a bed of lettuce topped with a soft poached egg, grilled asparagus and Hollandaise sauce.

The Dry Riesling was crisp with the accent on fruit and citrus. The pairing was spot on with Chef Fletcher’s specially created dish working wonderfully with the Riesling. All three dishes were specially created for the dinner and aren’t on the regular TREO menu. You will find the three JTC wines on the TREO wine list which some at the dinner consider the best in the Toledo area.

The second course was Salmon Trocadero paired with the 2008 Chardonnay. The dish features a lightly breaded salmon fillet stuffed with Blue Fin crab, baked until golden topped with bacon-wrapped scallops and drizzled with brandy cream served with jasmine rice and vegetables. Are you hungry yet? Green Dragon is allergic to scallops, and so a special dish without the scallops was prepared. I must say, the scallops rocked!

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Salmon Trocadero with bacon-wrapped scallops

The Chard is lower in alcohol and less oaky than most California Chardonnays. Jon said he does like oak (unlike the Green Dragon) especially when done with a delicate hand. This wine had a citrus and vanilla flavor profile. The oaking is done judiciously, with no new barrels used. This is a food friendly wine.

The final wine was perhaps the most unique and, in fact, is currently labeled as an ice cider and not an icewine. The JTC Fuji Ice Cider is a rare treat. It is incredible difficult to make icewine. It can only be done when the grapes are frozen. To make the ice cider is even more dfficult because much colder temperatures are required to freeze an apple. The temperature was below zero when the apples were harvested and pressed.

The apples for the cider came from the Iott Orchard and Katrina Iott was there to join the festivities. She grows some great apples and Jon Treloar knows what to do with them.It takes 90 apples to make a half bottle of Fuji Ice Cider.

Chef Fletcher prepared a Twice-Baked Apple as the dessert. A whole baked apple is stuffed with three cheeses and served with a brown sugar glaze. Jon said that people often make the mistake of serving a very sweet accompaniment with dessert wine. He said it is often better to go with sharp cheese or “something stinky” to contrast with the sweet wine.


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Twice-Baked Apple dessert paired with Fuji Ice Cider
 The combination of apple dessert and the Fuji Ice Cider was simply awesome. The bite of the cheese softened the sweetness of the wine and the glaze was just, well, really tasty. It should be noted that we’re not big fans of sweet wines in general – but this is a real treat and highly recommended.

Interestingly, Jon mentioned that he had difficulties entering the Fuji Ice Cider into wine competitions because it was labeled “cider.” Future bottlings will be called Fuji Apple Icewine or something similar.

This year there was no apple harvest for the ice cider because of an early frost. Luckily juice from the previous harvest remains in the tank and so there won’t be a shortage of this great wine anytime soon.

Big plans are afoot for J. Trees Cellars. The wines will soon be widely available in the Toledo area. They are currently available at Joseph’s Beverage Center and scheduled to be available as soon as this weekend at Walt Churchill’s Market locations in Perrysburg and Maumee. Andersons will soon offer JTC as well.



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Private room at TREO provided intimate atmosphere
for the wine dinner
  The tasting room for J. Trees Cellars is located in Blissfield with the winery in Petersburg, Michigan. Expansion is planned at the Petersburg location to accommodate special events. Jon also plans to direct his focus on sparkling wines and adding some hard ciders.

Great wine, a cozy restaurant and superb food. That’s a great trio anyway you spell it!

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Valentine Wines To Love: Wild Rock Cupid’s Arrow Central Otago Pinot Noir 2008 and St. Francis 2007 Red Splash

A unique New Zealand Pinot and
tasty California blend
Looking for some nice wine choices to serve your cutie on Valentine's Day? Here are a couple of bottles to consider: Wild Rock Cupid's Arrow Pinot Noir and St. Francis' Red Splash, a tasty red blend from Sonoma.

We popped the cork on Red Splash at a chilly party at a friend's house. We had a nice assortment of finger food including crab and salmon dips, veggies, hummus and more. We were playing Kinect, which involved a lot of hand waving, jumping around and competing against cartoon characters on the screen. It's a good way to work up a thirst.

The Red Spash is a blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 18% Syrah, 8% Cabernet Franc, 5% Zinfandel, and a small dash of Petite Sirah, Petite Verdot and Malbec. It opens up with a touch of spice, followed by round raspberries and then has a nice smooth finish. The wine is aged 24 months in French and American oak and is well balanced. This is an easy drinking blend that is a great value at about $10. The blend changes each year.

Try Red Splash with lasagna, sausage and peppers, pepperoni pizza, cheeseburger, grilled pork and grilled salmon.

Cupid’s Arrow is medium purplish red in color. The aroma was strong with berries and herbs. This was an interesting wine to decipher. Tart cherry flavor notes were polished with carmel accents. It has softness and a light to medium body. The wine is aged in French oak with 30% new barrels. This is a wine best enjoyed with food, particularly with strong meat dishes such as game or lamb.

Of the two, the Red Splash stands out as a great choice for a Valentine's Day wine. Cupid's Arrow was a near miss. It's worth picking up for something different (how many New Zealand Pinot Noirs have you had?) but we suggest that it accompany your meal. The cost is about $20.

Full disclosure: We received these bottles as samples.
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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wine Tastings & Events: February 9-12, 2011

Bonny Doon Vineyard
Image of Bonny Doon Vineyard via Snooth
Wednesday, February 9
The Andersons, Sylvania, Wine Tasting. 6-8 PM. More Closeouts: 1.Davis Bynum Chardonnay, 2. Canoe Ridge Merlot, 3. Estancia Shiraz, 4. Fools Bay “Dusty’s Desire” Shiraz. Nominal fee per sample or $7 flight.
 
Beer and Wine Cave, 4400 Heatherdowns, (419) 382-6221. 6-9 PM. Valentine’s Day Wine. $15.

Thursday, February 10 059216-yellow-road-sign-icon-food-beverage-food-grapes
The Andersons, Maumee, Wine Tasting. 5-7 PM. Valentine Wines for your Sweetie: 1. Green Eyes – Gruner Veltliner, 2. Bosio Sweet Baby – Sweet Red Wine, 3. ChocoVine – Dutch chocolate and fine red wine, 4. Trentadue Amore. $5.50  per flight or nominal fee per sample.    

The Andersons, Talmadge Road. Wine Tasting. 6-8 PM. Australia Revisited: 1. Pikes Dry Riesling, 2. Yalumba Viognier, 3. Mollydooker The Violinist, 4. Torbreck Cuvee Juveniles, 5. Woop Woop Shiraz, 6. Peter Lehmann 8 Songs Shiraz, 7. Pikes Shiraz, 8. Dutschke 22 Year Old Tawny. Nominal fee per sample.

Beer and Wine Cave, 4400 Heatherdowns, (419) 382-6221. 6-9 PM. Valentine’s Day Wines. $15.

Corks Wine and Liquor, Promenade Plaza, 27250 Crossroads Pkwy., Rossford – (419) 872-6800. 6-9 PM. Zombie Moves & Bonny Doons. Back in 1983, an eccentric young winemaker by the name of Randall Graham started up a California winery specializing in Rhone varietals. That winery was Bonny Doon, and today it's huge, and better than ever. Bonny Doon is known for their playful and charismatic bottlings, but there is some serious stuff here. Join us as we welcome back Adam Mahler, founder of Ampelography, and pour through an awesome lineup of wines. Oh, and a zombie movie to boot! Nominal fee per sample.

Friday, February 11
Aficionado Wine and Cigars, The Shoppes at RiverPlace, 26567 N. Dixie Highway, Suite 135, Perrysburg, (419-873-4444). 5:00 – 8:30 p.m. Valentine Tasting: 1. "Green Eyes" Gruner Veltliner, 2. O'Brien "Seduction,"3. Alexander Valley "Sin Zin," 4. Trentadue Chocolate Amore. $15 tasting.

Corks Wine and Liquor, Promenade Plaza, 27250 Crossroads Pkwy., Rossford – (419) 872-6800. 6-9 PM. Zombie Moves & Bonny Doons. Back in 1983, an eccentric young winemaker by the name of Randall Graham started up a California winery specializing in Rhone varietals. That winery was Bonny Doon, and today it's huge, and better than ever. Bonny Doon is known for their playful and charismatic bottlings, but there is some serious stuff here. Join us as we pour through an awesome lineup of wines. Oh, and a zombie movie to boot! Nominal fee per sample.

* Special Event * Wine by the Glass Pavilion, Toledo Museum of Art. 7:00 – 9:30 PM. Drop-in wine tasting: Bubbles Tasting. Enjoy four wines, light snacks and a view of the Glass Pavilion Hot Shop. $15 members, $20 non-members.

Saturday, February 12
Aficionado Wine and Cigars, The Shoppes at RiverPlace, 26567 N. Dixie Highway, Suite 135, Perrysburg, (419-873-4444). 5:00 – 8:30 p.m. Valentine Tasting: 1. "Green Eyes" Gruner Veltliner, 2. O'Brien "Seduction,"3. Alexander Valley "Sin Zin," 4. Trentadue Chocolate Amore. $15 tasting.

The Andersons, Woodville Mall. 1-3 PM. 1. The Other Red blends, 2. La Crema Chardonnay, 3. Hanky Panky from Maize Valley Hartville, Ohio, 4. DSchokoladenkirschwein from the Winery at Versailles. Flight $2.50 or nominal fee per sample.

Walt Churchill’s Market, 3320 Briarfield. Maumee, (419) 794-4000. Noon to 5:00 PM. Recession Busters! Good wines under $10. Nominal fee per sample or by the flight. Normal flights average $7 to $12.

Walt Churchill's Market, 26625 Dixie Hwy, Perrysburg, (419) 872-6900. 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Recession Busters! Good wines under $10. Nominal fee per sample or by the flight.

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[Information on tastings can be sent to TWAV@ATT.NET.]
 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Five Secret Tips for Choosing a Wine by Yourself

Enoteca Sileno Wholesale & Retail (03) 938...Image via Wikipedia
Bookmark and Share  Thanks to Austin Beeman, manager of the Walt Churchill's Market (Maumee) wine department, for letting us share his inside tips for selecting wine. For more of Austin's insights, check out his Understanding Wine with Austin Beeman website.

We all know that the best way to get help selecting a wine is to talk to the person that designed the retail set or wrote the wine list. But what do you do when he is taking some (much needed) vacation time? Here are my five secret tips to picking out wine by yourself.

1. Beware the Familiar
It is tempting to pick a wine that is most familiar, but unless you consider yourself a sophisticated wine shopper, don’t risk it. Major wine brands spend millions of dollars saturating the market with their name. That is time and effort not put into the wine quality. If the bottle you are looking at is widely popular – run for cover!

Instead, grab something different. Maybe pick a grape or region that you’ve never had. Often it will be not only a tasty wine, but a stunning value as well.

2. For Tonight? Buy an 89 point wine.
We associate the 100 point scale with be graded in school and we all want the high nineties or one hundred. That’s perfection, right? Well the dirty secret of wine scores is that 10 of those points are allocated for age-worthiness. That 95 or 99 point wine isn’t ready to drink for another decade. Opening it now is really a waste of your money.

Instead, wines rated 87 to 89 points are ready to drink now. You’ll pay a lot less for much more pleasure.

3. Look for Signs with Lots of Words.
When I taste something that excites me, I can get very verbose. Any wine manager is likely to be the same. Look at the signs. If it has a couple hundred words in really small font, you’ve hit the jackpot. It almost doesn’t matter what the sign says. That’s a winner.

4. The Weirdly Expensive Case-Stack.
This tip is similar to the last one. The Case-Stacks are where retailers put wines that are fast sellers and deep discounts. So what is up with those four cases of $40 wine? Well sometimes we’ll taste a wine that is just so darn good that we can’t bear to not have a massive stack of it. It is totally illogical. Completely based on raw emotion, I know, but don’t you want a wine that stirs the passions like that? I do.

5. Buy Old Wines
Don’t buy old white wines! Most of those are over the hill. Instead, look for red wines of at least fifteen dollars and at least 7 years old. I lean towards European wines for this, but California works as well. You’d be surprised by how much a little bit of bottle age can do for a good red wine.

Don’t worry about the wine being past its prime. Every good retailer will look to buy good mature wines for their selection. Even in the wine has been in the store for awhile, the ‘Wine Guy’ would have ‘bargain-binned’ it by now if he thought it was bad.
 
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Monday, February 7, 2011

Satek Winery Announces Library Wine Release and Tasting


A library tasting gives you a chance to sample rare wines.
 Bookmark and Share   A very limited number of tickets will soon go on sale for a special tasting and sale of wines from the library collection of Satek Winery, 6208 N. Van Guilder Road, Fremont, Indiana. This after-hours event for serious wine lovers is scheduled 6:00 to 8:00 PM Friday, March 18. Tickets are expected to go on sale February 15. Only 40 tickets are available, so they will go quickly.

The winery is releasing for sale a limited selection of Satek wines from their reserve library to celebrate the winery's 10th anniversary. Wineries often have "libraries" where they save samples of each wine produced. As years go by, the library is the often only place where rare vintages and premium wines from the winery can be found. A release of library wines is is very infrequent.

The evening will be comprised of a guided tasting of library wines by Cellarmaster Larry Satek and head Winemaker Shane Christ. Larry and Shane will give an expert's perspective on the wines, as well as share stories of how the wines were made, and how aging wines can make them evolve and change. The tastings will be elegantly complimented by heavy hors d'ouevres catered by Apron's Gourmet, with careful attention to foods selected to enhance the flavors of the wines. There will be time for questions, as well as socializing with fellow wine lovers.

The tasting will conclude with the exclusive, one-night-only opportunity to purchase the library wines you tasted, which will not be released to the general public. The list of wines to be tasted is still being determined, but will primarily include dry red wines from the past decade.

Tickets will sell for $40 each, and will be available for purchase beginning in mid-February. Only 40 tickets will be sold for this first-ever Satek Winery Library Tasting. The offer for tickets will be sent to Satek's mailing list, so if you want to get tickets you'll need to contact the winery directly.
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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Tickets Still Available: Chocolate Is For Lovers Wine Trail Set Feb. 5, 11 and 12

Celebrate Valentine's Day with wineries of the Vines and Wines Trail (Northeast Ohio) during the special Chocolate is for Lovers wine trail event. This is a self driving tour. You have two weekends (Friday and  Saturday, noon to 6:00 p.m.) to visit each of the participating wineries on the trail. Dates are February 5 and 11 and 12.

At a designated winery, you will pick up a candy dish and a Schott Zwiesel crystal wine glass. As you travel the trail, you will receive one or two samples of wine and an appetizer along with a Sedar-D’s Chocolate candy to fill your candy dish.

The cost is $45 per couple and $35 per single. For additional details, go to the Ohio Wines Web site or call (800) 227-6972.

Tickets are limited and going fast, so hurry. So to be sure you aren't left out, get your tickets as soon as possible.

Participating wineries include:
Bene Vine Urban Winery, Perry, (440) 259-5077; Biscotti's Family Winery, Conneaut, (440) 599-5555; Buccia Vineyards, Conneaut, (440) 593-5976; Debonne Vineyards, Madison, (440) 466-3485; Emerine Estates, Jefferson, 4(440) 293-8199; Ferrante Winery, Geneva, (440) 466-8466; Grand River Cellars, Madison, (440) 298-9838; Laurello Vineyards, Geneva, (440) 415-0661; Maple Ridge Vineyards, Madison, (440) 298-3290; Old Firehouse Winery, Geneva-on-the-Lake, (440) 466-9300; Old Mill Winery, Geneva, (440) 466-5560; The Barrel Room Winery, Wickliffe, (440) 943-2660; The Winery at Spring Hill, Geneva, (440) 466-7480; Virant Family Winery, Geneva, (440) 466-6279.

Flickr photo by pinkfish13
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Friday, February 4, 2011

Free Cross Country Ski Clinic and Wine Tasting February 5

Bookmark and Share  Looking for a way to escape Winterblast 2011? Why not embrace the snowy cold with a free glass of wine and a schuss through a winter wonderland?

I took this photo of cross country skiing at G...Image via Wikipedia
A free wine tasting and cross-country ski clinic is schedule 2:00 to 5:00 PM at Robinette's Apple Haus & Winery, 3142 4 Mile Rd NE, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Join expert guide Jon Holmes from Bill & Paul's Sporthaus from 2:00 to -5:00 PM for a free afternoon cross country ski clinic and wine tasting. Get into the spirit of the new year by being active even if you've never skied before. The Robinette family is marking 2011 as their Centennial Celebration Year.


Holmes will provide tips and suggestions to improve your cross country ski experience during a 30-minute clinic. Following the clinic, there will be free skiing throughout the historic and scenic Robinette's orchards.

Following the snow-covered trek, there will be complimentary wine and cheese tasting in the winery. This will include a free souvenir wine glass to take home - which may be brought back to the winery at any time for additional complimentary tastings.

This afternoon of winter fun is for all ages, with the exception of the wine tasting which is for people over 21. All experience level skiers are welcome - even beginners. You must have your own equipment. If you don't have equipment, you can rent skis (or purchase them) at Bill & Paul's Sporthaus (616) 458-1684.There is no fee for this event, however, reservations are encouraged. To RSVP, call (616) 361-7180.



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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Grand Cru Chablis Tasting Scheduled February 8

Bookmark and Share  A special tasting of Grand Cru Chablis is scheduled for Walt Churchill's Market, 3320 Briarfield. Maumee, (419) 794-4000, 6:00 to 8:00 PM on Tuesday, February 8. A representative of Jean
Cold French wine Chablis made from ChardonnayImage via Wikipedia
Marc Brocard winery will be on hand to walk you through the intricacies of this wonderful region.  Grand Cru Chablis are some of the world’s finest Chardonnays.

The Chablis region is in the north part of the Burgundy region in France. The grapes are almost all Chardonnay and are used to create a dry white wine known for the purity of its aroma and taste. The cool climate produces wines with more acidity and less fruitiness than Chardonnay wines grown in warmer areas. Chablis wines tend to have less oak than wines produced in other parts of Burgundy.

Grand Cru is French for "great growth" and is used to designate a vineyard known for producing exceptional wine. It is the highest classification of for vineyards in Burgundy or Alsace.

This is a premium tasting.
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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wine Tastings & Events: February 2-5, 2011

Wednesday, February 2
The Andersons, Sylvania, Wine Tasting. 6-8 PM. Great Closeouts: 1. Toasted Head Russian River Reserve Chardonnay, 2. Toasted Head sagelands Sonoma Coast Reserve Pinot Noir, 3. Travaglini Tre Vigne Gattinara, 4. Ravenswood Barricia Zinfandel. Nominal fee per sample or $8 flight.
 
Beer and Wine Cave, 4400 Heatherdowns, (419) 382-6221. 6-9 PM. Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. $15.

Thursday, February 3 059216-yellow-road-sign-icon-food-beverage-food-grapes
The Andersons, Maumee, Wine Tasting. 5-7 PM. Closeouts, continued: 1. Stellina di Notte – Prosecco, 2. 2007 Capitoso – Rioja – 100% Tempranillo, 3. 2007 Sagelands – Merlot, 4. 2005 Chalone Vineyard – Syrah. $4.00  per flight or nominal fee per sample.    

The Andersons, Talmadge Road. Wine Tasting. 6-8 PM. Closeout Tasting #3: 1. Seifried Dry Riesling, 2. Seifried Pinot Gris, 3. Goretti Il Maggio, 4. Foley Santa Rita Hills Chardonnay, 5. Seifried Pinot Noir, 6. Benzinger Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, 7. Canoe Ridge Merlot, 8. Ravenswood Baricia Zinfandel. Nominal fee per sample.

Beer and Wine Cave, 4400 Heatherdowns, (419) 382-6221. 6-9 PM. Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. $15.

Corks Wine and Liquor, Promenade Plaza, 27250 Crossroads Pkwy., Rossford – (419) 872-6800. 6-9 PM. Bad to the Rhone: It's been so long since we've had a Rhone Valley tasting! France's Rhone Valley lies in the southeastern corner of the country, and specializes in Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, and a slew of other grapes. This is my favorite wine region in the world, and for good reason: awesome wines at awesome prices. Nominal fee per sample.

Friday, February 4
Aficionado Wine and Cigars, The Shoppes at RiverPlace, 26567 N. Dixie Highway, Suite 135, Perrysburg, (419-873-4444). 5:00 – 8:30 p.m. Wines of Cameron Hughes: 1. Lot 214 Los Carneros Chardonnay, 2. Lot 203 Russian River Pinot Noir, 3. Lot 205 Santa Ynez Syrah, 4. Lot 189 Stag's Leap Cabernet Sauvignon. $15 tasting.

Corks Wine and Liquor, Promenade Plaza, 27250 Crossroads Pkwy., Rossford – (419) 872-6800. 6-9 PM. Bad to the Rhone: It's been so long since we've had a Rhone Valley tasting! France's Rhone Valley lies in the southeastern corner of the country, and specializes in Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, and a slew of other grapes. This is my favorite wine region in the world, and for good reason: awesome wines at awesome prices. Nominal fee per sample.

* Special Event * Wine by the Glass Pavilion, Toledo Museum of Art. 7:00 – 9:30 PM. Drop-in wine tasting: Women Winemakers. Enjoy four wines, light snacks and a view of the Glass Pavilion Hot Shop. $15 members, $20 non-members.

Saturday, February 5
Aficionado Wine and Cigars, The Shoppes at RiverPlace, 26567 N. Dixie Highway, Suite 135, Perrysburg, (419-873-4444). 5:00 – 8:30 p.m. Wines of Cameron Hughes: 1. Lot 214 Los Carneros Chardonnay, 2. Lot 203 Russian River Pinot Noir, 3. Lot 205 Santa Ynez Syrah, 4. Lot 189 Stag's Leap Cabernet Sauvignon. $15 tasting.

The Andersons, Woodville Mall. 1-3 PM. Nominal fee per sample.

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[Information on tastings can be sent to TWAV@ATT.NET.]

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Waterbrook 2007 Pinot Gris Columbia Valley, Washington

Bookmark and Share  Waterbook is a Walla Walla Washington winery that has established a reputation as a maker of "premium value" wine. The winery has been around for 25 years and has grown from a family operation to an internationally recognized brand.

We picked up this Pinot Gris for a very wallet-friendly $5.99 from the close-out section of Andersons. We're big fans of Washington wine and the price was simply too good to pass up.

Pinot Gris is the same grape as Pinot Grigio, but the Pinot Grigio is typically a brighter and lighter wine.

The Waterbrook is a very respectable Pinot Gris. It has a bit of grassy flavor and is fresh and acidic leading to a clean finish. It has a dash of minerality which distinguishes it from some of the watery value brand Pinot Grigio.

Speaking of watery, Green Dragon was enjoying a glass of the Waterbrook Pinot Gris while taking a bubble bath and unfortunately spilled the entire glass into the bathwater. Her skin came out soft and slightly fruity.

This is a superior value and a nice middle-tier wine.
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Monday, January 31, 2011

Upset Boyfriend Relieves Himself in Girlfriend's Wine Bottle: The Glass is Half Full, But What's In It?

a Bocksbeutel style BottleImage via Wikipedia
Bookmark and Share There has been talk about the lack of civility in today's society. There's a lot of rudeness, foul language and jerky behavior going on these days -- my wife would say that's usually when she's in the car while I'm driving. But now things have gone much too far and a perfectly good bottle of wine has been ruined in the process.

According to a news article in the Grand Rapids (MI) Press last Thursday, a Michigan home builder released his emotions, and then some, when he broke into his girlfriend’s apartment and urinated in various containers in her refrigerator.

The wine-hating culprit  is Richard Ted Bloem of Jenison, Mich. He was charged with second-degree home invasion and placing harmful objects in food.

Bloem urinated in a pitcher of Crystal Light, a carton of half-and-half creamer, and a bottle of wine in his girlfriend’s refrigerator.

The woman drank some of the Crystal Light and found it more "flavorful" than usual. She also experienced queasiness upon drinking a cup of coffee with the creamer in it. She noticed her wine bottle was fuller than it had previously been and suspected poisoning.

Bloem pleaded no contest to the break-in. According to the newspaper, his lawyer planned to have him testify that drinking urine is not harmful and even endorsed in some cultures. Bloem still faces a felony prison sentence of up to 15 years if convicted.

There was no report on what type of wine was involved or if tasting notes termed it oaky or having too much tannins.
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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Vox Populi 2007 Pinot Noir Dealu Mare, Romania

And now for something completely different... a Pinot Noir from Romania.

january wine 001 We picked up this bottle of Vox Populi 2007 Pinot Noir from Anderson's for a meager $7.99. It was highly recommended by staff. I was in a rush to take in all of the bargains in the closeout section, which was stationed in the former area for Christmas decorations. I grabbed the nicely decorated bottle thinking that it was French.

When I opened it for an after dinner glass with Green Dragon I did a doubletake and saw it was from Romania.

The Vox is very European with a light body and translucent color. It is light and interesting in the mouth with flavors of raisins mixed with berries. On its own, it was an OK wine.

We uncorked it again the following night to go with a scrumptious meal of lamb, grilled asparagus and some country style potatoes. Normally we would have had a heartier wine to pair with this meal, but the Romanian Pinot held its own. The food mellowed the wine allowing us to enjoy delicate spirals of raspberry flavor we had missed the night before.

I must admit I previously knew nada about winemaking in Romania. Dealu Mare is a developing wine region. Almost all the wines produced there are red and about a third of the vineyards grow Pinot Noir. For geography buffs, the Dealu Mare area extends about 65 kilometers around the sub-Carpathian arch, ranging from Ploiesti to Buzau on the opposite side.

january wine 003 Apparently Romania is one of the few places in the world that is well suited to Pinot Noir, which has always been a winemaker’s dream or nightmare. One of the Romanian websites I viewed quipped that Cabernet Sauvignon was made by God and Pinot Noir was made by the devil. But Pinot is also considered by some to be the most romantic wine and the height of the winemaker's art.

Pinot Noir vines are well-suited to the gentle slopes of the Carpathian hills which have a cool morning mist which gives this wine its unique flavors, aromas and color. The bottle is also marked Domenii Franco-Romane, which indicates that the winegrowers there have been influenced by French winemaking tradition and methods.

Certainly worth checking out. I'll be on the look-out for other Romanian wines. They have a different approach and (at least based on Vox) are a good value.
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