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Thursday, March 26, 2015

New Research Says Wine Terroir Is Rooted in Soil Microbes

sandhill 1Does the word “terroir” get you misty-eyed, thinking about sun-dappled Mediterranean hills, volcanic soil from an ancient eruption or perhaps rock and gravel that cause grapevines to struggle for their very existence. Scientists may have deflated your balloon. The terroir of wine could have more to do with the soil microbes found around the plant's roots than the soil’s physical characteristics, according to new research.

The findings, published in mBio the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, could help dissect how microbes affect a wine's properties and pave the way for biotechnological advances for producing hardier crops as well as to new, bacterial ways to massage a wine's outcome.

"Growers have been sub-selecting the best regions to grow grapes over thousands of years, but the science of that is poorly understood," says Jack Gilbert, a microbial ecologist at the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. "Just the same as the human biome plays a role in health, bacteria have intricate associations with plants that affect disease resistance, stress tolerance and productivity."

The team of researchers, which included winemaker Gilles Martin, looked at four closely related Merlot plants growing in five different vineyards across a small stretch of the North Fork region of Long Island, New York. For each location, they sampled the soil, roots, leaves, flowers and grapes throughout a growing season. Then, the team used shotgun metagenomic sequencing to characterize all the bacterial species found on each part of the grapevine. The team found that it's all about location, location, location.

"Where you grow that particular grapevine is the most important characteristic shaping which bacteria will colonize the plant," says Gilbert. The majority of bacterial species found in the plant were also present in the soil it was growing in. A few rare species found in the soil, were enriched in the aboveground grapes and leaves. This indicates that the soil acts as a reservoir for most of the bacteria that are colonizing the plants' structures.

Next, the team compared the New York grapes' microbiome to those associated with Merlot grapes from Bordeaux, France, and crushed Merlot grapes from California. All three hosted similar bacteria species. "No matter where you are in the world, the types of bacteria growing on or in Merlot grapes are quite similar," says Gilbert.

Dr Paul Chambers, the research manager in biosciences at The Australian Wine Research Institute in South Australia?? says microbiome is a word we will hear a great deal more about in the near future.

“The proposition that microbiome composition determines terroir deserves further research,” said Chambers. “If a viticulturist can shape the style of wine in a controlled manner by managing the microbiome of her or his vineyard in a targeted way, it opens the way for winemakers to more effectively shape their wines to meet market demands.”?

There is immense commercial interest in finding specific bacteria that would add benefits to crops, such as drought and pest resistance. But the findings may also point to new, bacterial ways to massage a wine's outcome.

"From the wine industry's perspective, terroir comes from the plant's physiology, the chemical nature of the grapes, and the yeast that do the fermenting work," says Gilbert. From this study, Gilbert argues that the microbes present in the soil, rather than the soil's physical characteristics, might play a bigger role in influencing terroir.

"We don't have evidence that bacteria are specifically contributing to terroir, but our next step is to figure out how those bacteria are affecting the chemistry of the plant."

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Toledo Area Wine Events & Tastings: March 25-28, 2015

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Arctic Blast 2 001Wednesday, March 25
The Andersons, Sylvania, 6– 8 PM. Kim Crawford Wines from New Zealand. Fantastic bright, fresh and refreshing wines from one of New Zealand's premier winemakers. 1. Kim Crawford 2013 Unoaked Chardonnay, 2. Kim Crawford 2013 Pinot Gris, 3. Kim Crawford 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, 4. Kim Crawford 2013 Pinot Noir. Nominal fee per sample or $8 per flight.

Veritas Cork and Craft, 505 Jefferson Avenue, Toledo – (419) 214- 9463. 5:30 – 7:30 PM. California Wine Tasting. Special Guests John Eric Perrmann of Bronco Wien Company and Nikki Mulholland of Walter Berman & Co. share six outstanding California wines. $15 per person.

Zinful Wine Bar, (419) 878-9463, 7541 Dutch Road, Waterville, 6:00 – 7:00 PM. Nick Kubiak, CSW, will present a wine appreciation class. You’ll have a chance to learn the basics and the finer points of wine while enjoying a selection of five wines including reds and white. Call for info.

Thursday, March 26
Andersons, Maumee, Wine Tasting. 5-7 PM. Yeah! Spring is here! 1. 2011 Heartland Stickleback – White Blend – South Australia, 2. 2013 Prieler – Rose of Merlot and Blaufränkisch – Austria, 3. 2012 Revelry – Merlot – Columbia Valley, Washington, 4. 2012 Revelry – Red Blend – Columbia Valley, Washington. Nominal fee per sample or $6.50 per flight.

Andersons, Talmadge Road, Wine Tasting. 6-8 PM. Wonderful Affordable Italian Dinner Wines: 1. Jeio Prosecco, 2. Valori Trebbiano d'Abruzzo, 3. Chloe Pinot Grigio, 4. Terredora Dipaolo Falanghina, 5. Montaribaldi Trestelle Red, 6. Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, 7. Capanna Rosso di Montalcino, 8. Rosa di Rosa. Nominal fee per sample.

Corks Wine and Liquor, Promenade Plaza, 27250 Crossroads Pkwy., Rossford – (419) 872-6800. 6-9 PM. Selections from Berman Wine Company. Special guest Nikki Mulholland. 1. Brady Petit Syrah, 2. Brady Zinfandel, 3. Brady Cabernet Sauvignon, 4. Garnet Pinot Noir, 5. Garnet Chardonnay, 6. Blanc de bleu Brut Cuvee. Nominal fee per sample.
 
WineTastings-1_thumb1_thumb_thumb_thNoir Fine Wine and Beer, 1616 East Wooster, Bowling Green, 6-9 PM. Nominal fee per sample or priced per flight.

TREO Wine Bar, 5703 Main St., Sylvania, (419) 882-2266. Wine & Cheese Thursday. Explore the wonderful world of wine and cheese. Try four different wines with a sample platter of the day’s cheese.
 
Friday, March 27
Walt Churchill's Market, 26625 Dixie Hwy, Perrysburg, (419) 872-6900. Wine tasting. 4:00 – 7:00 PM. Nominal fee per sample.
 
Saturday, March 28
Walt Churchill’s Market, 3320 Briarfield. Maumee, (419) 794-4000. 12:00 – 5:00 PM. Old Vine American Wine. There are not many old grapevines left in America. Prohibition devastated the American wine industry and then the colonization of Cabernet, Merlot, and Chardonnay in the 1970s destroyed most of what was left. But there are still pockets of 75+ year old vines still around. They are just very rare. That’s what we’re going to taste. Nominal fee per sample.
 
AREA WINE BARS
  • Veritas Cork and Craft, 505 Jefferson Avenue, Toledo – (419) 214- 9463.
  • Zinful Wine Bar, (419) 878-9463, 7541 Dutch Road, Waterville.

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

Up & Coming:

Tuesdays – Weekly wine tasting at Forrester's on the River, 26 Main St. Toledo – (419) 691-2626. 5:00 – 7:00 PM. Five to six unique tastings of wine, that are not found on the menu, along with an assortment of tapas style appetizers to complement the wines.  Tastings are between $10-$15 per person and are held in their wine bar (Paige's Wine Bar).

March 30 - Registry Bistro, 144 N. Superior St., (419) 725-0444, is hosting an Old World Wine Dinner. The seven course meal will begin with “bubbles” at 6:00 PM. The cost is $70 per guest. Call for reservations because limited seats are available. 

April 7 - TREO Restaurant, 5703 Main St., Sylvania, (419) 882-2266. Spring Fling Wine Dinner. Join us for an elegant evening with wine pairings and a special menu celebrating the fresh & flavorful tastes of spring. $75 includes tax & gratuity. Call for reservations or email events@treosylvania.com.

April 18 - Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Wine, Cheese & Chocolate benefit. 7:00 to 10:00 PM at Belmont Country Club, 29601 Bates Road, Perrysburg. Tickets $40 in advance or $45 at the door. Tables of eight are available at $300. For tickets and more information, contact VictoryforViolet@bex.net or call (419) 874-9806.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Arsenic In Wine: California Industry Group Responds To Allegations

Claudio MatsuakoRecently news articles were published centering on a lawsuit by four California residents alleging that wine coming from 28 different California wineries contain dangerous levels of arsenic. Arsenic occurs naturally in the air, soil and water in small amounts, and in beverages including wine. In large amounts, arsenic can be deadly.

So, what’s the true story? Is your next bottle of wine endangering your health?

Wine Institute is an association of 1,000 California wineries and they have responded to the charges, calling the lawsuit irresponsible.  Here’s their statement on this issue:

“In recent days, unfounded litigation has raised questions about the safety of California wine. We want to assure you that the health and safety of consumers is of the greatest importance to our wineries and that the wine produced by our members is perfectly safe.

  • The lawsuit claims that certain wines contain unsafe levels of arsenic based on the limit set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for drinking water – 10 parts per billion (ppb). However there is no scientific basis for applying the EPA drinking water standard to wine.
  • The U.S. government has not published a limit for arsenic in wine but several countries including Canada, the EU, and Japan have set limits ranging from 100ppb up to 1000ppb – 10 to 100 times the level the EPA determined to be safe for drinking water.
  • When the U.S. government considers limits for arsenic in food and beverages, they take into account how much of that food or beverage an average person may consume in a day and the age of people who likely consume that food/beverage. Daily intake levels for water are significantly higher than for wine.
  • The risks from potential exposure to arsenic in wine are lower than the risks the EPA considers safe for drinking water. For perspective, eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day is the recommended daily amount, whereas one to two 5-ounce glasses of wine a day is defined as moderate wine consumption according to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines.
  • Arsenic is prevalent in the natural environment in air, soil and water and food. As an agricultural product, wines from throughout the world contain trace amounts of arsenic as do juices, vegetables, grains and other alcohol beverages and this is nothing new.
  • The U.S. government, both TTB and FDA as part of its Total Diet Study, regularly tests wines for harmful compounds including arsenic as does Canada and the European Union to ensure that wine is safe to consume.”

Photo by Claudio Matsuako

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Boisset Collection Shines At Toledo Exchange Youth Scholarship Wine Tasting

20150319_182635_1The Toledo Exchange Club Youth Scholarship benefit wine tasting made was held for the third time last week. It’s marked by good times, good wines and a good cause.

This year’s event returned to the Historic Oliver House in Toledo. The historic lobby’s unique circular layout makes it an ideal venue for this tasting. The event was organized by tasting team member The Cabinator. No way we would miss this tasting!

Highlighting the benefit were the wines of the Boisset Collection, courtesy of Wine Trends. Jean-Claude Boisset was born in Burgundy and continued his parents’ wine tradition. He developed the Boisset US business and today Jean-Claude and his sister Nathalie have united the old and new worlds of wine with wineries in both France and California.

Featured wines included:

  • 2012 Fortant Chardonnay, Languedoc, France
  • 2013 DeLoach Pinot Noir, California
  • 2011 Bonpas Cotes du Rhone, France
  • 2012 Buena Vista Founders Red Blend “The Count,” Sonoma
  • 2012 Raymond Family Classic Cabernet Sauvignon, California
  • Batasiolo Moscato, Italy

The lineup was solid throughout. For many years, Languedoc has been known for the volume of wine produced, and not necessarily the quality. That is all changing. The Fortant is a solid Chardonnay with notes of tropical fruit.

For tasting team member Glorious T, DeLoach her “go to” Pinot Noir. DeLoach has many tiers of Pinot, but this is a tasty example of California Pinot that is balanced with great strawberry and and red fruit flavors.

Cotes du Rhone is one of our favorite wines. The blend of Syrah and Grenache (and in this case Mourvedre too) is easy drinking and goes with a variety of dishes. It is warm and powerful with black fruit and a touch of spice.

20150319_191204_1A special treat was the Bonpas Luberon. This is a white blend of Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc, Clairette and Vermentino that wasn’t on the tasting list – but Wine Trends special guest Miana DeGardeyn shared a taste. This is a deliciously fresh white with good acidity and peachy flavors. My favorite white of the night.

One of the top reds of the evening was the 2012 Buena Vista Founder’s Red, “The Count.” We were looking forward to tasting this since Buena Vista’s Sheriff, a Petite Sirah blend, is one of our favorites. The Count is a Zinfandel blend that includes Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah and Carignane.

The wine honors the innovative founder of the Buena Vista Winery and the blend does him proud. In addition to luscious fruit, there are threads of mocha, cinnamon and vanilla. A top pick!

Raymond Vineyards is known for delivering excellent Cabernet Sauvignon at a variety of price points. Whether you are tasting the R Collection or their premium Generations lines, you are getting great value. The Family Classic Cabernet blends grapes from Napa Valley, Sonoma and Lake County It also includes small amounts of Merlot and Petit Verdot to round out the mix.

It has blackberry and currant flavors. It’s an example of a fruit forward, ready to drink California Cab.

For a final treat, Miana shared the 2012 Raymond Napa Valley Reserve Merlot. This was the top red of the evening. It’s robust and structured without being overly tannic. It has flavor notes of currant and plum and a sophistication that leaves simpler Merlot in the dust.

For one evening, France, California and Toledo, Ohio, united to help some very deserving students. Cheers!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Five Fun Facts About Cabernet Sauvignon

Wines 010513 004From The Archives… To help whet your whistle, here are five interesting facts about Cabernet Sauvignon (courtesy of Wikipedia and Snooth):

  1. Despite its prominence in the industry, the grape is a relatively new variety. It’s the product of a chance crossing between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc during the 17th century in southwestern France, most likely in the Bordeaux region.  These origins were a mystery until recent DNA testing.
  2. The 1976 “Judgment of Paris” was a famous blind wine tasting event where esteemed wine experts unknowingly chose a California Cabernet over several French producers, thus catapulting New World Cabs onto the international stage.
  3. For most of the 20th century, Cabernet was the world’s most widely planted premium red wine grape until it was surpassed by Merlot in the 1990s.
  4. Cabernet Sauvignon makes equal appearances as a single varietal and in blends such as Bordeaux (French), Meritage (American), and Super Tuscan (Italian.)
  5. France and California are the well known as ideal places to grow Cabernet Sauvignon. But the grape is grown around the world including Italy, South America, Australia, Washington and Oregon, as well as other regions.

 

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Villa Maria 2010 Private Bin Pinot Gris, East Coast, New Zealand

villa maria 003

This New Zealand Pinot Gris was the second of two Villa Maria wines that we picked up on clearance at Andersons. We really enjoyed the Villa Maria Dry Riesling and hoped this would show just as well.

Green Dragon, my wife and tasting partner, popped this open – or should I say unscrewed. Like many white wines from New Zealand, it has a screw top – but that is certainly not a sign of lower quality.

The real story is what’s inside the bottle. Unfortunately, this wine left Green Dragon underwhelmed.

This wine is off-dry, with grapes coming from the Marlborough, Gisborne and Waipara winegrowing regions. At 5.7% residual sugar, the winery calls this off dry – but we call it too sweet. The wine is also lacking the necessary acidity to balance the sweetness. As a result, you have a medium bodied wine that has a rounded flavor, but a bit flabby.

The wine is aged in stainless steel, which we appreciate in white wines. That allows the true flavor of the grape to shine through unmasked by heavy oak. However, that’s another reason why this is a pretty simple wine.

The flavor notes are of pear and honeysuckle. For those who prefer sweeter wines, this could be a good choice on occasion. We paid about $10 for this, so it certainly won’t bust the budget. However, there are better choices out there for the money. A nice Pinot Gris from Oregon would cost just a few bucks more and deliver a step up in quality.

Rating: 1.5 of 5  Value: 2 of 5

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Toledo Area Wine Events & Tastings, March 18-21, 2015

063013 plus Cabernet 017

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Wednesday, March 18
The Andersons, Sylvania, 6– 8 PM. Annual MS Bike to the Bay Registration Tasting: 1. Kung Fu Girl 2013 Riesling, 2. The Magician Red Blend, 3. Masciarelli Montepulciano, 4. Thorn-Clarke Terra Barossa 2012 Shiraz. Nominal fee per sample or $5 per flight.

 
Veritas Cork and Craft, 505 Jefferson Avenue, Toledo – (419) 214- 9463. 5:00 – 8:00 PM. Wednesday Wine Tasting. Come out with friends, have fun, taste good juice! $15 per person.

Zinful Wine Bar, (419) 878-9463, 7541 Dutch Road, Waterville, 5:30 – 8 PM. Wednesday Wine Tasting.

Thursday, March 19
SPECIAL EVENT: Toledo Exchange Club Youth Scholarship Wine Tasting, 6-8 PM, Historic Oliver House, 27 Broadway, Toledo. Cost is $50. Wines, appetizers, silent auction items and raffle tickets are all available during a night of fun in benefit of Toledo area high school students.  Call (419) 343-2426 for tickets and information.
 
Andersons, Maumee, Wine Tasting. 5-7 PM. Think Spring, it's on the way: 1. 2012 The Calling – Chardonnay – Russian River Valley, 2. 2013 The Calling – Pinot Noir – Russian River Valley, 3. 2011 Valori – Montepulciano d’Abruzzo – Abruzzo, Italy, 4. 2011 Domaine La Bouissiere – Gigondas – Gigondas, France. Nominal fee per sample or $11 per flight.

Andersons, Talmadge Road, Wine Tasting. 6-8 PM. All Things that are Pinot
(Pinot Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Champagne, Pinot Meunier, Pinotage): 1. Gruet Brut Sparkling Wine, 2. Belle Gloss Pinot Noir Blanc, 3. Elizabeth Spencer Pinot Blanc, 4. King Estate Pinot Gris, 5. Vie di Romans Pinot Grigio, 6. Riebeek Cellars Pinotage, 7. Domaine Jean Fournier Bourgogne, 8. Cambria Pinot Noir, 9. Anne Amie Pinot Noir, 10. Saint Gregory Pinot Meunier. Nominal fee per sample.

Corks Wine and Liquor, Promenade Plaza, 27250 Crossroads Pkwy., Rossford – (419) 872-6800. 6-9 PM. Weekly wine tasting. Nominal fee per sample.
 
WineTastings-1_thumb1_thumb_thumb_thNoir Fine Wine and Beer, 1616 East Wooster, Bowling Green, 6-9 PM. Nominal fee per sample or priced per flight.

TREO Wine Bar, 5703 Main St., Sylvania, (419) 882-2266. Wine & Cheese Thursday. Explore the wonderful world of wine and cheese. Try four different wines with a sample platter of the day’s cheese.
 
Friday, March 20
Walt Churchill's Market, 26625 Dixie Hwy, Perrysburg, (419) 872-6900. Wine tasting. 4:00 – 7:00 PM. Nominal fee per sample.
 
Saturday, March 21
SPECIAL EVENT: Walt Churchill’s Market, 3320 Briarfield. Maumee, (419) 794-4000. 12:00 – 5:00 PM. Jim Krusinski Tribute Wine Tasting. As many of you already know, Jim Krusinski, our assistant wine manager, died early last Friday.  He had been taken ill about one month ago and never recovered.  Jim was well liked by everyone here at Walt Churchill's Market and many of you also knew him and liked him as well.  He will be sorely missed. To show our respect for Jim, we are having a Tribute to Jim Krusinski Wine Tasting on Saturday March 21, 2015. We will taste some of Jim’s favorite wines in the store and celebrate his life doing the thing he loved so much, drinking and talking about wine. The Tribute tasting is replacing the usually scheduled Saturday Wine Tasting. (State law requires a minor charge for wine tastings.  Even in a situation like this.)
 
AREA WINE BARS
  • Veritas Cork and Craft, 505 Jefferson Avenue, Toledo – (419) 214- 9463.
  • Zinful Wine Bar, (419) 878-9463, 7541 Dutch Road, Waterville.

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

Up & Coming:

Tuesdays – Weekly wine tasting at Forrester's on the River, 26 Main St. Toledo – (419) 691-2626. 5:00 – 7:00 PM. Five to six unique tastings of wine, that are not found on the menu, along with an assortment of tapas style appetizers to complement the wines.  Tastings are between $10-$15 per person and are held in their wine bar (Paige's Wine Bar).

March 30 - Registry Bistro, 144 N. Superior St., (419) 725-0444, is hosting an Old World Wine Dinner. The seven course meal will begin with “bubbles” at 6:00 PM. The cost is $70 per guest. Call for reservations because limited seats are available. 

April 7 - TREO Restaurant, 5703 Main St., Sylvania, (419) 882-2266. Spring Fling Wine Dinner. Join us for an elegant evening with wine pairings and a special menu celebrating the fresh & flavorful tastes of spring. $75 includes tax & gratuity. Call for reservations or email events@treosylvania.com.

April 18 - Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Wine, Cheese & Chocolate benefit. 7:00 to 10:00 PM at Belmont Country Club, 29601 Bates Road, Perrysburg. Tickets $40 in advance or $45 at the door. Tables of eight are available at $300. For tickets and more information, contact VictoryforViolet@bex.net or call (419) 874-9806.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Dinners, Benefits Highlight Upcoming Toledo Area Wine Calendar For March, April

Angelo AmboldiToledo area wine lovers have several events to circle on the calendars during the months of March and April. Two wine dinners and two benefits are among activities scheduled during the next 30 days.

First, don’t forget about the Toledo Exchange Club Youth Scholarship Wine Tasting benefit, which takes place Thursday, March 19, 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the historic Oliver House in Toledo. The cost for the event is $50 which includes wine tasting and paired appetizers. Wines, appetizers, silent auction items and raffle tickets are all available during a night of fun in benefit of Toledo area high school students.  Call (419) 343-2426 for tickets and information.

On March 30, Registry Bistro, 144 N. Superior St., (419) 725-0444, is hosting an Old World Wine Dinner. The seven course meal will begin with “bubbles” at 6:00 PM. The cost is $70 per guest. Call for reservations because limited seats are available. Don’t miss this event at one of Toledo’s finest restaurants.

Speaking of great restaurants, one of our favorites has scheduled a special wine dinner. TREO Restaurant, 5703 Main St., Sylvania, (419) 882-2266 is hosting their Spring Fling Wine Dinner on April 7. The elegant evening features wine pairings and a special menu celebrating the fresh and flavorful tastes of spring. The cost is $75 per person. Call for reservations or email events@treosylvania.com.

A event is scheduled April 18 to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Wine, Cheese & Chocolate is scheduled 7:00 to 10:00 PM at Belmont Country Club, 29601 Bates Road, Perrysburg. Tickets are $40 in advance or $45 at the door. Tables of eight are available at $300. For tickets and more information, contact VictoryforViolet@bex.net or call (419) 874-9806.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Toledo Youth Scholarship Wine Tasting Set March 19

The Exchange Club of Toledo will host its 3rd Annual Toledo Youth Scholarship Benefit Wine Tasting on Thursday, March 19. The event will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the historic Oliver House, 27 Broadway, Toledo.

Ahava 002The cost for the event is $50 which includes wine tasting and paired appetizers. Wines, appetizers, silent auction items and raffle tickets are all available during a night of fun in benefit of Toledo area high school students.  Proceeds support the Exchange Club of Toledo's Youth of the Year scholarship and ACE award programs for local high school students.

The Exchange Club is a national service organization which was founded and is headquartered in Toledo. The organization, which has more than 650 clubs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, focuses on family, community and country.

We’ve attended this program each year and it has been a blast. We encourage you to come out, have fun and support a good cause while enjoying some great wine.

For tickets or information, call (419) 343-2426 or email gweller@nationalexchangeclub.org.

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Friday, March 13, 2015

Glass City Wine Festival Makes Triumphant Return

GCWF AThe Glass City Wine Festival held its third annual event last weekend. If our intuition is correct, it will be around for many, many years to come.

Last year the festival made a major stride forward, upgrading the food and the décor. Improvements continued this year with a larger space and a live jazz band. Of course the main attraction was Ohio wineries, and 20 of them were on hand.

Green Dragon and I were joined by tasting team members Cabinator and Glorious T. We were lucky enough to get VIP tickets which allowed us to enter an hour earlier than regular tickets. We’re glad we had them and I’d recommend them highly for you next year.

The wines veer toward the sweet side of the spectrum. There were strawberry, blackberry, dandelion and pomegranate joining the more traditional ranks of Merlot, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc.

GCWF COne of our favorite booths was Chateau Tebeau. We sampled and enjoyed their Cab Franc and their Pinot Gris. This year I was focused mainly on the whites and was able to enjoy Mon Ami’s Gerwurztraminer and Hillside Winery’s Traminette.

A couple other notable stops were Klingshirn (loved their Chambourcin) and It’s Your Winery, which offered a nice Pinot Noir.

A nice addition this year was a presentation by Pairings: Ohio’s Wine & Culinary Experience. Pairings is a showcase for Ohio wines and wine education and is located in Geneva. We sat in on a short sensory wine tasting which was different and enjoyable.

GCWF BWe went light on the food, since we were going to dinner at Registry Bistro afterward, but munched on some very good lobster mac and cheese from Rosie’s and taste-tested the cheese from Yancey’s Fancy. This artisan cheese from New York was delicious, especially the Champagne Cheddar and Smoked Gouda.

Thanks to the Glass City Wine Festival, the month of March is now a lot brighter in Toledo!