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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Claiborne & Churchill 2012 Dry Riesling, Central Coast

C&C Riesling

Recently I had a moment of truth. I realized the number of white wines in my cellar had been dropping dangerously low.

Anyone can fall into this trap! In general, reds tend to age better and longer. No one is going to buy and hold a $25 bottle of Chardonnay for eight years.

As it turns out, I was participating in a wine “tweet chat” and one of the participants was from Claiborne & Churchill in San Luis Obispo, California. They specialize in Alsatian style whites and are known for their Dry Riesling and Dry Gerwurztraminer.

That’s all it took. Shortly afterward I fired off an order for Riesling, Gerwurztraminer and Pinot Blanc. This is the first I’ve tasted their wine, and I really like it.

The Dry Riesling has nice floral scents and a smooth mouthfeel. The acidity is less than the signature Dry Rieslings from the Finger Lakes. It is a soft wine with round edges and noticeable threads of apricot and pear flavors. There is a barely noticeable 0.8% residual sugar.

Claiborne & Churchill prepares this with care. It is hand harvested and whole-cluster pressed. Ninety percent is tank fermented with 10 percent barrel fermented in neutral French oak. Most of the grapes are from Monterey with 20% coming from Edna Valley.

It’s a small production gem with 645 cases produced. The price is a mere $20. This is a tasteful way to correct your color imbalance!

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Toledo Area Wine Events & Tastings: April 16-19, 2014

French wine from Bordeaux

French wine from Bordeaux (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wednesday, April 16
The Andersons, Sylvania, 6– 8 PM. Wines for Your Easter Feast: 1. Eroica 2012 Riesling, 2. La Vieille Ferme Blanc, 3. Chateau Suau 2012 Bordeaux Cabernet Sauvignon Rose, 4. La Merika 2011 Pinot Noir. $6 per flight or nominal fee per sample.
 
Thursday, April 17
Andersons, Maumee, Wine Tasting. 5-7 PM. Some Wonderful near-Easter Favorites: 1. 2012 Nisia – Old Vines Verdejo – Verdejo, Spain, 2. 2012 Sebastiani – Pinot Noir – Sonoma, California, 3. 2010 Chateau Des Karantes – Languedoc, France, 4. NV Botani – Sparkling Muscat – Spain. $8 or nominal fee per sample.
 
Andersons, Talmadge Road, Wine Tasting. 6-8 PM. Food Friendly Wines: 1. La Forcine Vouvray — WineTastings-1France, 2. Gysler Silvaner Halbtroken — Germany, 3. King Estate Pinot Gris — Washington, 4. Dry Creek Fume Blanc — California, 5. Souverain Merlot — North Coast, California, 6. Charteau Soleil Promesse — Puissequin Saint Emilion, Bordeaux, France, 7. Marramiero Inferi Montepulciano d' Abruzzo — Italy, 8. Darting Riesling Kabinett — Germany. Nominal fee per sample.
 
Corks Wine and Liquor, Promenade Plaza, 27250 Crossroads Pkwy., Rossford – (419) 872-6800. 6-9 PM. Wines distributed by Vintner Select with special guest Tricia Rasar. 1. Sean Minor Rose, 2. Point North Pinot Noir, 3. Revelry Cabernet Sauvignon, 4. Qupe Maxtap, 5. Uberschwang Riesling. Nominal fee per sample.
 
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, April 18
Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion. 6:30 – 8:30 PM. Wine By the Glass Pavilion: Days of Wine and Roses. Enjoy four wines and light snacks. $20 members/$30 nonmembers plus tax. Tickets available at Information Desks.
 
Walt Churchill's Market, 26625 Dixie Hwy, Perrysburg, (419) 872-6900. 4-7 PM. Springtime White Wines. Five wines for $10.

Saturday, April 19
Walt Churchill’s Market, 3320 Briarfield. Maumee, (419) 794-4000. 12:00 – 5:00 PM. Chateauneuf-du-Pape… Easter Weekend. The history of wine and the history of Christianity are deeply intertwined, including Chateaneuf-du-Pape and its premier red wine vineyards that used to belong to the Catholic Church. For this Easter weekend, join us as we taste some of the elites of this region including Chateau Beaucastel 2010 Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Vieux Telegraphe 2009 Chateauneuf-du-Pape and many more. Nominal fee per sample.
 
Up and Coming:

Walt Churchill’s Market, 3320 Briarfield. Maumee, (419) 794-4000. 12:00 – 5:00 PM. Wednesday, April 23, 6:00 – 8:30 PM. Wine Seminar - Superstar White Wines of Austria. $45 per person. Limited to 12 participants. This seminar focuses on elite small-production white wines from Austria. These wines are part of the portfolio of premium European importer Terry Theise and are of excellent quality and highly limited.

Cherished Friends of Ahava 10th Annual Wine Tasting, 6:00 - 8:00 PM, Thursday, May 1, at Fifth Third Field - Suites Level, 406 Washington Street, Toledo. More than 40 wines, appetizers, and desserts. $45 per person and $55 per person for reserve tasting. For tickets and details call (419) 241-5877.

 
Flight, A Wine Tasting at the Toledo Zoo, 7:00 – 9:00 PM, Friday, May 2. Aviary Tour then “migrate” to the Lodge. $40 for Toledo Zoo members, $45 for non-members. Appetizers, wine and entertainment.
 
Stella’s Restaurant and Bar, 104 Louisiana Ave, Perrysburg, (419) 873-8360 – May 4 at 6:00 PM. Wine dinner sponsored by Berman Wines featuring a great portfolio from Piedmont, Italy.  Chef Rob Campbell will prepare a 5 course meal. $59.95 per person. Call for reservations.
 
AREA WINE BARS
  • The Bistro at Maumee Wines, (419) 893-2525, 2556 Parkway Plaza, Maumee.
  • Tres Belle Wine and Martini Lounge, (419) 874-4555, 3145 Hollister Lane, Perrysburg (Levis Commons).
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[Information on tastings can be sent to TWAV@ATT.NET.]
 
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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cherished Friends of Ahava To Host 10th Annual Wine Tasting May 1

Andrew MorrellIt’s a new date and a new venue – but the same great cause. The Cherished Friends of Ahava 10th Annual Wine Tasting will be held 6:00 to 8:00 PM Thursday, May 1, at Fifth Third Field - Suites Level, 406 Washington Street, in Toledo. This fabulous event benefits the Cherished Friends of Ahava and its non-profit special guests program.

Through the program, more than 950 men and women undergoing cancer treatment have enjoyed a day of pampering and relaxation at the Ahava Spa and Wellness Center at no charge. The program caters to those who are newly diagnosed or currently in treatment for cancer.

Attendees can sample more than 40 wines, appetizers, and desserts. A silent auction is part of the fun. The cost is $45 per person and $55 per person for the reserve tasting. For tickets and details call (419) 241-5877.

Photo by Andrew Morrell

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Educated Guess 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Educated Guess 003

Educated Guess is the flagship wine from Roots Run Deep Winery and is their third vintage. Despite long debates about the art and science of winemaking, says the winery, it often comes down to an educated guess.

The label shows actual winemaking formulas that are either induced or naturally occur during the winemaking process. It may make more sense as you drink the contents of the bottle.

This is a “pop ‘n pour” Cabernet that is a bright gem-like garnet in the glass. There is a trace of truffle on the nose. On the palate it is medium body with light tannins.

Bramble fruits are evident along with cherry and chocolate. This is a very accessible wine with ripe flavors and a touch of vanilla.

Educated Guess is 88% Cabernet, 8% Merlot and 2% each of Cabernet Franc and Petite Verdot. It is aged 12 months in French and American Oak. The suggested retail is $20.

This wine is a safe pick for a party, with juicy goodness enough to satisfy wine novices and wine lovers. It also scores highly in the value department.

Rating: 3 of 5   Value: 4 of 5

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Herdade do Rocim 2009 Ohlo de Mocho Reserva, Portugal

Portugal

A birthday is a time for great surprises. We had one recently when helping the Cabinator celebrate his birthday. Glorious T had stopped by Walt Churchill’s Market in Maumee earlier in the day during their weekly wine tasting.

Catarina Vieira, owner and winemaker of Herdade do Rocim was there and charmed GT with her Herdade do Rocim Ohlo de Mocho Reserva. She bought a bottle, had it autographed by Catarina and popped it that evening as we toasted the birthday boy.

Portugal makes some great red wines. I’m not a fan of fortified wines, so I don’t fully appreciate Port. But the Touriga Nacional grape makes some expressive wines – and at a “still undiscovered” price.

The Ohlo de Mocho Reserve is a blend of Syrah, Touriga Nacional and Alicante Bouschet. The wine is aged for 12 months in a combination of French (80%) and American (20%) oak. It is from Alentejano, Portugal.

This deep, dark wine is a melodious red with wafts of perfumed aroma. It is well constructed with loads of dark fruit balanced with vanilla and oak. It’s a great red without following the typical flavor profile of Cabernet Sauvignon – a winning wine.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Debonné Vineyard Ice Wine Receives Crystal Grape Award

English: Photo of ice wine grapes, frozen on t...

Photo of ice wine grapes frozen on the vine. Photo credit: Wikipedia.

We’re big fans of wines from Ohio’s Grand River Valley. One of the styles that flourishes there is ice wine, the sweet and difficult to produce nectar. We were pleased to hear about Debonné Vineyards receiving this important award.

Tony Debevc, president of Debonné Vineyards in Madison just received word his Grand River Valley 2013 Ice Wine was awarded the ‘Crystal Grape Award’ as the best of class ice wine in the prestigious Finger Lakes International Wine Competition. This Ohio ice wine beat out other wineries from New York, Canada, and Slovenia for the coveted award.

Led by head judge G.M.Pucilowski, who also coordinates the California State Fair Competition, more than 75 wine experts from across North America as well as from around the world evaluated over 3,700 wines submitted from every US state and more than 25 other nations.  The judges were selected from the ranks of sommeliers, restaurateurs, wholesalers, wine media and professional judges to reflect all facets of the wine industry and to give consumers confidence in the quality of the medals awarded. 

“On behalf of Ed Trebets and his winemaking team here at Debonné we are proud to be recognized with this prestigious award. It represents a validation of our viticulturists Gene Sigel's commitment to estate grown fruit here at Debonné and reinforces the place of the Grand River Valley as a region where both great grapes are grown and nationally respected wines are vinted,” said Debevc.

The wine competition and wine auction dinner that follows the competition donates all of the proceeds to Camp Good Days and Special Times to provide their programs free of charge  to children and their families who are battling cancer and other life challenges.

The Debevc family of Debonné Vineyards in Madison, Ohio has been growing grapes since early in the 20th century on their four generation family farm which now includes more than 170 acres of grapes making it the largest estate winery in Ohio. Since its establishment in 1971, the winery has been recognized as an innovator in viticultural techniques, as a thought leader in regional, state and national trade organizations and as one of the most popular tourism destinations in the Buckeye State.  For more information about Debonné Vineyards, visit www.Debonne.com

For information about the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition, visit www.fliwc.com

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Toledo Area Wine Events & Tastings: April 9–12, 2014

Oregon Pinot noir wine from Bergstrom in the W...

Oregon Pinot noir wine from Bergstrom in the Willamette Valley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wednesday, April 9
The Andersons, Sylvania, 6– 8 PM. Wines for Passover: 1. Tishbi 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, 2. Borgo Reale 2011 Pinot Noir, 3. Recanati 2010 Shiraz, 4. Golan 2013 Moscato.  $9 per flight or nominal fee per sample.
 
Thursday, April 10
059216-yellow-road-sign-icon-food-beverage-food-grapes
Andersons, Maumee, Wine Tasting. 5-7 PM. Some Beautiful New Spanish Wines from Renee's Trip to Spain: 1. 2012 La Cana – Albarino – Rias Baixas, 2. 2012 Avancia Cuvee De O – 100% Godello – Valdeorras, 3. 2012 Tineta – 100% Fino Tinto (Tempranillo) – Ribero Del Duero, 4. 2010 Vega Sindoa – Cabernet Sauvignon – Navarra. $7.50 or nominal fee per sample.
 
Andersons, Talmadge Road, Wine Tasting. 6-8 PM. A Night of Elegant Pinot Noir: 1. Raptor Ridge — Willamette Valley, Oregon, 2. Ken Wright Cellars — Willamette Valley, Oregon, 3. Taz — Fiddlestix Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills, California, 4. Elizabeth Spencer — Sonoma Coast, California, 5. Wild Hog — Saralee's Vineyard, Russian River, California, 6. Belle Glos Clark & Telephone — Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara, California, 7. Elk Cove Mount Richmond — Willamette Valley, Oregon, 8. Albert Bichot Pommard — Burgundy, France. Nominal fee per sample.
 
Corks Wine and Liquor, Promenade Plaza, 27250 Crossroads Pkwy., Rossford – (419) 872-6800. 6-9 PM. New wines to our collection: 1. Quinta do Alqueve Fernao Peres, 2. Evolucio Ferment, 3. Manos Negras Pinot Noir, 4. Mendoza Vineyards Gran Reserva Malbec, 5. Zellerbach Cabernet Sauvignon. Nominal fee per sample.
 
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, April 11
Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion. 6:30 – 8:30 PM. Wine By the Glass Pavilion: April in Paris. Enjoy four wines and light snacks. $20 members/$30 nonmembers plus tax. Tickets available at Information Desks.
 
Walt Churchill's Market, 26625 Dixie Hwy, Perrysburg, (419) 872-6900. 4-7 PM. California Reds. Five wines for $10.

Saturday, April 12
Walt Churchill’s Market, 3320 Briarfield. Maumee, (419) 794-4000. 12:00 – 5:00 PM. Northern Italy: From the Adriatic influences of Venice to the fog-drenched hills of Piedmont to the steep hillsides of the Dolomite Mountains, Northern Italy has some of the most distinctive wines in the world. Come explore these exciting wines with us. Nominal fee per sample.
 
Up and Coming:

Walt Churchill’s Market, 3320 Briarfield. Maumee, (419) 794-4000. 12:00 – 5:00 PM. Wednesday, April 23, 6:00 – 8:30 PM. Wine Seminar - Superstar White Wines of Austria. $45 per person. Limited to 12 participants. This seminar focuses on elite small-production white wines from Austria. These wines are part of the portfolio of premium European importer Terry Theise and are of excellent quality and highly limited.

Cherished Friends of Ahava 10th Annual Wine Tasting, 6:00 - 8:00 PM, Thursday, May 1, at Fifth Third Field - Suites Level, 406 Washington Street, Toledo. More than 40 wines, appetizers, and desserts. $45 per person and $55 per person for reserve tasting. For tickets and details call (419) 241-5877.

 
Flight, A Wine Tasting at the Toledo Zoo, 7:00 – 9:00 PM, Friday, May 2. Aviary Tour then “migrate” to the Lodge. $40 for Toledo Zoo members, $45 for non-members. Appetizers, wine and entertainment.
 
Stella’s Restaurant and Bar, 104 Louisiana Ave, Perrysburg, (419) 873-8360 – May 4 at 6:00 PM. Wine dinner sponsored by Berman Wines featuring a great portfolio from Piedmont, Italy.  Chef Rob Campbell will prepare a 5 course meal. $59.95 per person. Call for reservations.
 
AREA WINE BARS
  • The Bistro at Maumee Wines, (419) 893-2525, 2556 Parkway Plaza, Maumee.
  • Tres Belle Wine and Martini Lounge, (419) 874-4555, 3145 Hollister Lane, Perrysburg (Levis Commons).
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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

April Is Down To Earth Month For California Wineries

Vineyards in the California wine region of the...

Vineyards in the California wine region of the Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SAN FRANCISCO — Whether you're a fan of red wine or white, California is betting you're going to love "green" too! This April, wine lovers can check out "green" wines at dozens of fun eco-friendly winery events and activities during the third-annual Down to Earth Month in California.

Created by Wine Institute—the association of 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses—this month-long celebration raises awareness of California's leadership in sustainable winegrowing and winemaking. Wineries across the state will engage consumers, policy leaders, media and trade with sustainably focused festivities to learn about California wine's eco-friendly practices and the people and places behind them. From Earth Day festivals and organic wine trails to dog-friendly vineyard hikes, wildlife talks, horseback rides and eco-tours, the state's wineries will highlight what it means to be green this April.

"Our California Sustainable Winegrowing Program leads the world in comprehensiveness and size with wineries and vineyards that produce nearly three-quarters of California's winegrapes and wine participating," said Bobby Koch, President and CEO of Wine Institute. "Our wineries have created engaging events where consumers can learn about sustainable winegrowing and winemaking. And once again, a state Senate and Assembly joint resolution proclaiming April as "Down to Earth month in California has been introduced to celebrate the sustainable leadership of our wineries and winegrape growers."

More than 10,000 California winegrowers and winemakers have taken part in educational workshops on sustainable winegrowing and winemaking since the program's inception a decade ago, a remarkable scale of accomplishment as California is the world's fourth-largest wine producer.

If you're going to be in California at this special time, it's a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of "green" wine and food at various events, such as:

North Coast

Mendocino County wineries are offering the "Party for the Planet 2014" April 18–26, where visitors will enjoy everything from dog hikes and local organic wine and food to beer tastings and lodging specials. From April 1-30 in northern Sonoma County, the Green Trail of Dry Creek Valley offers a customized experience exploring the region's certified organic and certified biodynamic wineries. Napa Valley's Down to Earth with Napa Green Certified Wineries is a fun way to learn about green design, conservation and creative reuse as well as attend related tasting events April 18-20. Learn about more North Coast activities here.

San Francisco South Bay/Central Coast

San Luis Obispo County wineries are offering an Earth Day Food & Wine Festival on April 12 with more than 200 growers, vintners and chefs serving local wines and foods with music, dancing and more.  Nearby the Taste of Pismo on April 26 will offer local, sustainably grown wine and edibles at Dinosaur Caves Park overlooking the ocean in Pismo Beach.

The Santa Cruz MountainsOrganic Wine Trail celebrates its earth-friendly wine region with organic wine trails, while the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association Passport Day boasts many eco-friendly barrel samples and special tasting flights on April 19.  Livermore Valley wineries are highlighting “Down to Earth” tours and tastings on April 27, including guided tastings and organically farmed vineyard and winery tours where visitors can learn about energy conservation (some use solar power) and discover sustainable methods for pest, soil and plant management.

Inland Valley

Learn how vineyards are sustainably managed and 99% of the byproducts composted, reused or recycled during a Down to Earth Tour at Quady Winery in Madera County.  Afterwards, taste award-winning dessert wines and frozen Moscato drinks.

Southern California

SoCal features several individual events presented by wineries that are among 80-plus around the state that have earned Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing status through a third-party certification program launched by the California Sustainable Winegrowing AllianceFind out about these eco-focused winery events here!

Explore all of the Down to Earth Month activities at www.discovercaliforniawines.com/d2e.  And while you browse the site, enjoy a fun California Wines Green Tour video.

In addition to sustainability goals, California wine contributes $61.5 billion to the state’s economy, attracts more than 21 million tourists annually, generates 820,000 jobs nationwide of which 330,000 are in California, as vintners and growers keep their farms and wineries family owned for future generations.

California is a world leader in sustainable winegrowing practices.  The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) Code of best practices has been used by 1,800 wineries and vineyards to evaluate the sustainability of their operations, representing 72 percent of California’s winegrape acreage and 74 percent of the state’s wine shipments.  Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing and other statewide and regional programs such as Bay Area Green Business Program, Fish Friendly Farming, Lodi Rules, Napa Green and Sustainability in Practice (SIP) play vital roles in the California wine community’s successful efforts to produce high quality wine that is environmentally sound, economically feasible and socially responsible.  To learn more, visit: www.discovercaliforniawines.com/d2e.

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Barista 2011 Pinotage, South Africa

baristaWine Review by Wine Chick, TWAV Tasting Team Member

Sometimes that spur-of-the-moment bottle you pick up at the grocery store can be a great surprise.  I was heading out of town and thought I'd buy a bottle to share with my friends -- the only criteria were that it needed to be red, and it needed to have a screw-top, because I couldn't be sure we'd have access to a bottle opener. 

I found a 2011 Pinotage named Barista from South Africa at Walt Churchill's Market in Perrysburg.  Never having heard of a Pinotage, it sounded like a pinot noir blend.  And at $12.99, I couldn't pass it up.

We didn't drink it on our overnight.  I brought it home and decided to open it one evening last week.  The aroma of coffee and chocolate hit me as soon as I unscrewed the cap.  Flavors of mulberry, plum, and Maraschino cherries complimented the nose.  This is a full-bodied wine with light tannins and no need for decanting.  It is an excellent stand-alone wine but would also pair well with beef tenderloin, steak, or lamb. Saxman and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I did a little research into the wine and discovered that it was created by Bertus Fourie, nicknamed "Starbucks" for the advances he has made in coffee Pinotage.  Barista was a collaboration between Fourie and Vinimark The Wine Company in South Africa.  The wine itself is created on the Val de Vie estate which began producing wine in 1825.  This estate is in the heart of the Cape Winelands of South Africa.

I encourage you to pick up a bottle the next time you are shopping for an inexpensive yet sophisticated wine.  For more information on the wine and its creator, go to http://www.baristawine.co.za/

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Underground Cellar Has Public Launch, Offers “Winecation”

social-media-promos-general-use-winecation-1A few months ago we told you about  Underground Cellar, a cool online wine marketplace. Rather than offering discounted wines, they offer opportunities to randomly upgrade for free to higher priced wines or private stashes of hard to get bottles from high-end wineries.
 
The site has become a favorite of ours. Tasting team member Dr. J. has scored numerous upgrades and has become an Underground Cellar evangelist!  Underground Cellars has announced it is coming out of its beta phase and is launching publicly.


To celebrate the occasion, Underground Cellar is running a month-long giveaway starting today with the grand prize winner receiving a Sonoma “Winecation” Getaway for four people, including airfare, dinners, VIP winemaker experiences, and a weekend stay at the luxurious Villa Terra Nova Wine Country Retreat in Sonoma, valued at $6,500. Other prizes include more than $3,000 of gift cards for free wine worth up to $200 each. You can get your details at http://www.undergroundcellar.com/winecation


The contest is certainly appealing, but we encourage you to check out the site. It adds an exciting twist to online wine ordering. You can check out our previous article on Underground Cellar here.
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