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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Oliver Vineyards 2013 Chardonnay

Oliver Chard 001

Oliver is an Indiana winery that has gained a reputation for quality wines. Their foundation is firmly in the Hoosier State, but with the Vine Series wines they are spreading their wings.

The Vine Series sources premium California grapes from select growers. Oliver then adds proven Midwest craftsmanship.

We previously tried, and enjoyed, the Dry Red Blend. Also part of the Vine Series is a 2013 Chardonnay.

We uncorked the Oliver Chardonnay as we enjoyed a firepit on the patio. The wine was a good match for the occasion.

The Oliver Chardonnay has an accent on fruit flavors. Unlike many California Chardonnay, there isn’t heavy oaking. Although we don’t have the details of how the wine was finished, this tasted like an unoaked Chardonnay – with a decided freshness.

It’s also a good wine for those who say they don’t like Chardonnay. The heavy style of “butter” and oak of some premium Chardonnay is a turn-off to some. With the Oliver, it is fruit forward enough to sip on its own on a summer’s evening. The alcohol is 12.5%, which is lower than most wines. That means it’s food friendly, too.

This Chardonnay is not complex and can’t compete with a bottle from Napa – but it isn’t meant to. The Oliver Chardonnay aims to deliver an accessible, fun wine. With that as the target, Oliver hits the mark.

Full disclosure: We received this wine as a marketing sample.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Finger Lakes Continues To Set The Standard for US Riesling

FLX Riesling 0715Yes, we admit it. We love the Finger Lakes with their glacier-sculpted landscapes, scenic wineries and fresh, vibrant wines. We’re rubbing our palms in anticipation of this month’s Wine Bloggers Conference in Corning.

At the apex of Finger Lakes wines is their world-class Riesling. More than 220,000 cases are produced there annually from 848 acres of Riesling. Our TWAV tasting team had the opportunity to sample a selection of 2013 and 2014 Riesling to explore the latest efforts of the “FLX” winemakers.

20150722_193808Green Dragon was out of town, so I was scrambling with the arrangements, although I was added by daughter Rachel, who is cooking professionally for the past couple years. My contribution to the food was picking up a bag of frozen pizza rolls at the grocery store. Meanwhile Rachel had prepared homemade hummus and a cashew lemon tartlet.

On the wine list for the evening’s virtual tasting, which was conducted by the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance and featured makes of the wines, were:

  • Hector Wine Company 2013 Dry Riesling
  • Billsboro 2013 Dry Riesling
  • Boundary Breaks 2014 #239 Dry Riesling
  • Chateau Lafayette Reneau 2014 Dry Riesling
  • Wagner Vineyards 2013 Fathom 107 (Riesling Gewürztraminer blend)
  • Red Newt Wine Cellars 2013 “Circle” Riesling

20150722_185731As the winemakers tasted with us (on our big screen TV) we uncorked the first chilled bottle of Riesling, the Hector 2013 Dry Riesling. The grapes come from Sawmill Creek and are finished in stainless steel. The wine sat on the lees, which added a nice depth to the wine. A real crowd pleaser!

Next up was the Billsboro 2013 Dry Riesling. Billsboro is one of the few wineries in FLX to make Syrah, but they are no slouch with Riesling for sure. The wine is light and crisp with apple notes and moderate acidity.

20150722_192923Boundary Breaks 2014 #239 Dry Riesling was in the glass to mark the midway point. They are a relative newcomer, but have been creative a stir with their Riesling-only focus that has produced some amazingly good wines. The #239 (named for the Geisenheim #239 clone) delivers a fruit forward taste and a dry finish. It has a soft mouthfeel.

Chateau Lafayette Reneau has a long winemaking tradition in the Finger Lakes and the 2014 CLR Dry Riesling delivers moderate minerality and a dry straightforward finish.

The only blend in the lineup was the Wagner 2013 Fathom 107, a blend of 65% Riesling and 35% Gewürztraminer. Wagner is located on the east shore of Seneca Lake, directly each of the deepest point in all the Finger Lakes. You guessed it, the depth is 107 fathoms (or 640 feet). Fathom is summer coolness in a glass, with fresh aromatics and smooth body.

20150722_201644“Rounding” out the lineup was the 2013 Red Newt Circle Riesling. We love Red Newt and their bistro and the Circle Riesling regularly hauls in a boatload of honors. This was the sweetest of the wines tasted, but it still falls in the medium dry to medium sweet range at 3.3% residual sugar. This is a smooth, lush and silky wine with an explosion of juicy flavors. We paired this with our cashew lemon tart dessert and it was a hit.

There wasn’t a clunker in the bunch, but there were some favorites. Three of our panelists chose Billsboro as their favorite. Two selected Boundary Breaks and one each selected Wagner and Red Newt.

20150722_193625Our conclusion, shared in a Twitter tsunami, is that the Finger Lakes produce the best Riesling in the US hands down. Washington, California and Michigan create some excellent bottles but the terroir of the Finger Lakes and rampant minerality elevate their amazing bottles above their rivals.

Full disclosure: We received these bottles as marketing samples.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Sagrantino – The Jewel of Umbria’s Montefalco Wine Region

Montefalco 2 068Wines from the heart of Italy’s Umbria region are capturing increased attention as international awareness grows in tandem with rising quality. At the symbolic and geographical center of the Umbrian Valley is Montefalco. The city is surrounded by 12th century walls and designed so that all roads lead to the beautiful Municipal Square.

The jewel of the Montefalco wine region is Sagrantino, a grape variety that grows only in this region of Umbria. How old and how native Sagrantino is has always been subject to debate.

The name can be traced to the word “sacraments” (from the Latin “Sacer” – “Sacred”) as the wine was cultivated by monks to make a wine for religious rites. Some say that the Franciscan brothers of Assisi imported the grape variety from Asia Minor in the 14th-15th centuries as they returned from missionary trips. Others claim that the grape is native to Spain and that the Saracens first brought it to the region.

Montefalco 2 070The grape almost completely disappeared in the 1960s, but it was revived by a dedicated band of wine producers. In 1979 the DOC (Controlled Denomination of Origin) label was obtained and in 1992, the DOCG (Controlled and Guaranteed Denomination of Origin) label, reserved for Italy’s premium wines, was secured.

Sagrantino is an inky, purple grape, with one of the highest tannic levels of any in the world. Due to the massive tannins, the wines need three to four years to mellow. The wines are bold and heady with blackberry, plum and earthy qualities.

In 1998 the few Sagrantino vines in Montefalco were labeled and classified. It was found that some dated back to between 1700 and 1800. Between 2000 and 2008 the production of Sagrantino quadrupled and today totals more than 2.5 million bottles.

 

Video: Scenic Views of Montefalco, Umbria

The medieval hillside town of Montefalco is also embracing the newfound  interest. Wine tourism is up 20% since 2013 and travelers can choose from winery tours, gastronomic adventures such as truffle hunting or pasta making, hiking or visits to their beautiful churches or Museo Civico di San Francesco.

scacciadiavoli montefalco docgMontefalco gives its name to a red DOC blend that is 60% to 70% Sangiovese and 10% to 15% Sagrantino. The remainder of the Rosso blend is from other grapes. There is also a fresh Bianco (white) DOC blend that is at least 50% Grechetto and 20 to 25% Trebianno. The DOC wines must age for 18 months while the Riserva DOC get 30 months of aging with at least 12 months in oak.

There are two varieties of Montefalco di Sagrantino DOCG: the dry red and the traditional Passito (sweet) wine. For the Passito, grapes are left to dry on mats for two months and then pressed. The must (pulps, skin and seeds) is left to ferment together with the grapes. The result? A sweet and unique “vino da meditazione” or meditation wine.

The main attraction is the immense and powerful Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG. To get to the heart of these wines, our culinary team (that is to say, my wife and daughter) decided to prepare an Umbrian dinner for us to enjoy the Arnaldo-Caprai 2012 Montefalco Rosso DOC and the Scacciadiavoli 2008 Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG.

We began with olive bruschetta served with Pecorino Romano cheese and Heirloom tomatoes. This paired with the Arnaldo-Caprai Montefalco Rosso.

arnaldo-caprai montefalco doc rossoThe Rosso is light garnet in color and sparkled like a jewel in the glass. The Pecorino is made from sheep’s milk and is hard and salty. It was a spot on pairing with the Arnaldo-Caprai, which exhibits a beautiful balance between fruit and earthiness. It is a blend of 70% Sangiovese, 15% Sagrantino and 15% Merlot. Soft and inviting, it has a medium body and lasting finish.

Arnaldo-Caprai has been a trailblazer in the production of top quality Sagrantino. In 1971 Arnaldo Caprai founded the winery in order to produce unique, high quality Umbrian wines. That quest has become a family enterprise.

Untitled design(10)In 1988, Arnaldo’s son Marco began managing the family business. His determination led to new acquisitions, scientific research and technological innovation. A collaboration with the University of Milan and other research institutes led to the identification of new clones of Sagrantino helping to propel production of the Arnaldo-Caprai’s awarding winning wines.

I savored each drop of their handiwork as Green Dragon (my wife) and daughter Rachel worked on the main course. Rachel is a hospitality management graduate from Kent State and has been working in ski resort restaurants, so her culinary skills were on display.

Montefalco 2a 009Knowing that Montefalco Sagrantino are big, bold wines, I started decanting the Scacciadiavoli two hours before dinner. Scacciadiavoli means “drives away devils.” The ladies decided on a rustic Umbrian meal of Salsicce con Lenticchie e Salsa di Pomodoro, a hearty lentil stew topped with a tomato sauce and Italian sausages. You can find Jamie Oliver’s recipe for the dish here. Our chefs added rainbow chard since they had harvested it that afternoon from our garden. Strong cheeses or meats are good choices for food pairings with Sagrantino.

Scacciadiavoli is the oldest winery in the Montefalco appellation. It was built in the second half of the 19th century when Prince Boncompagni-Ludovisi left Rome to dedicate himself to the art of wine production. The winery covers 321 acres, 86 of which are covered with vineyards. With sand, schist and clay soils, it is well suited for late maturing varieties like Sagrantino.

Sitting down at the dinner table, this is what I imagined Italy’s la dolce vita to be: family, delicious food and exquisite wine. The aroma of the Scacciadiavoli is intense with earth and leather mingled with red fruit and spice. The wine is aged in new oak for 16 months and the tannins pack quite a punch. The sausage and spice in the dish combined to dial back the power of the wine to a forceful elegance. For me, the wine offered freshness and red berry flavors in addition to a dash of spice.

Montefalco Sagrantino Toast

These wines evoke a sense of discovery. They embrace a tradition that flourished in the 1500’s yet taste fresh and exciting. To experience Montefalco wines is to not only discover the heart of Umbria, but the soul of Italy.

Acknowledgements: Photos by TWAV, photo styling by “Green Dragon,” video photos by: HrodebertRobertus via Compfight cc ho visto nina volare via Compfight cc and diego_pino_garcia via Compfight cc . Grazie a Consorzio Tutela Vini Montefalco for providing the wine.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Toledo Area Wine Events & Tastings: July 29-August 1, 2015

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Wednesday, July 29

Montefalco 2a 003The Andersons, Sylvania, No Wednesday wine tasting. Tastings will resume August 19.

Veritas Cork and Craft, 505 Jefferson Avenue, Toledo – (419) 214- 9463. 5:30 – 7:30 PM. Wednesday Wine Tasting. Come out with friends, have fun, taste good juice! $15 per person.

Thursday, July 30   

Andersons, Maumee, Wine Tasting. 5-7 PM. Cabernets and Chardonnays -
Different styles…all California: 1. 2013 Mer Soleil – Silver – Unoaked Chardonnay – Santa Lucia Highlands, 2. 2013 Rombauer – Chardonnay – Carneros, Napa Valley, 3. 2013 Justin – Cabernet Sauvignon – Paso Robles, 4. 2012 Mount Veeder – Cabernet Sauvignon – Napa Valley. $11 flight or nominal fee per sample.

Andersons, Talmadge Road, Wine Tasting. 6 – 8 PM. What’s New? 1. Hugel Pinot Gris, 2. Custard Chardonnay, 3. Coté Mas Rosé, 4. Bread & Butter Pinot Noir, 5. El Miracle Grenache, 6. Chateau De Landiras, 7. Scott Harvey Three Stags, 8. Zanon Zinfandel. Nominal fee per sample.

Kroger Maumee, 1435 South Reynolds Road, – (567)-302-2688. Wine Tasting, 2 – 8 PM. 1. Chateau Ste Michelle – Riesling, 2. Matua - Sauvignon Blanc, 3. Kendall-Jackson - Summation Blend, 4. Kenwood - Cabernet Sauvignon. Flight $1.

Corks Wine and Liquor, Promenade Plaza, 27250 Crossroads Pkwy., Rossford – (419) 872-6800. Thursday Wine Tasting, 6-8 PM.

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, July 31

Walt Churchill's Market, 26625 Dixie Hwy, Perrysburg, (419) 872-6900. Wine tasting – 4:00 – 7:00 PM.

Saturday, August 1

Kroger Maumee, 1435 South Reynolds Road, – (567)-302-2688. Wine Tasting, 2 – 8 PM. 1. Kungfu Girl – Riesling, 2. Dellatori – Prosecco, 3. Mer Soleil - Concrete-Aged Chardonnay, 4. Hess - Red Blend, 5. Uno – Malbec, 6. Columbia Winery - Cabernet Sauvignon. $1 for four samples.

Walt Churchill’s Market, 3320 Briarfield. Maumee, (419) 794-4000. 12:00 – 5:00 PM. 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.

Technorati Tags: wine

[Information on tastings can be sent toTWAV@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).

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Roth 2012 Estate Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast

Roth Pinot

It was a beautiful summer day in Toledo when the Green Dragon announced that I was going to take her out to dinner. We hadn’t been to the Docks recently so we dodged the orange construction barrels and headed north to Forrester’s on the River.

There are several nice restaurants at the Docks complex, on the east bank of the Maumee River. We wanted outdoor seating so we could enjoy the view of the Toledo skyline and the boats motoring up and down the river. We had hoped for Italian, but the long waiting time at our first choice prodded us down to Forrester’s, which had no waiting and a large outside seating area.

Green Dragon opted for the Chicken Marsala while I selected the Sirloin Steak Skewers. In an effort to find a wine that would match both entrees (and not be incredibly heavy on such a hot day), I selected the Roth 2012 Estate Pinot Noir.

Apparently the waiter wanted to age the wine further, because it took an awfully long time for the bottle to arrive. We adjusted the umbrella as best we could, but it was still broiling out. That’s when we got creative. We had requested glasses of ice water while waiting for our meal. Through some mix up, we ended up with four glasses of water.

Viola! We used the icy glasses to form a protective ring of coolness around the wine bottle. This ensured that the temperature of the wine wouldn’t heat it into a simmering grape soup.

This was a very nice bottle of Sonoma Coast Pinot. Surprisingly light in color, it still delivered some lush, dark cherry flavors tinged with a pinch of spice. Since I had steak kabobs, my meal was light enough that it didn’t overpower the Pinot. Of course, it went quite well with the chicken.

In short, it was a perfect wine for a casual yet stylish meal on a very sultry day. The price from the winery is $28 but the markup at the restaurant was quite reasonable.

Forrester’s hosts weekly wine tastings from 5:30 to 7:30 on Tuesdays and their wine list has a few pleasant surprises on it, including this Roth Pinot. Whether you are coming by boat or car, it’s a nice destination for dinner on the water.

Rating: 3 of 5  Value: 2.5 of 5 based on $28 SRP

Monday, July 27, 2015

Alto Moncayo 2012 Veraton, Campo de Borja

alto moncayo veraton

The Alto Moncayo Veraton was uncorked during a patio dedication party at my cousin Mary’s place in Huntington Beach. It was quite a party – until the police arrived – but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Mary and her husband Cleve live a short walk from the beach in California’s Surf City, also known as Huntington Beach. The houses are all pricey, built close together and have narrow street frontage, but often have patios in the back.

On this day, Mary and Cleve were unveiling their new patio in front. They put in a concrete pad, had some nice stonework done and added a gate. It’s just about right for four to six people to sit and observe street life and be able to spy the ocean waves down the road to the right.

Uncharacteristically, it was rainy in southern California during our visit, so after much noodling around with connectors and aluminum poles, erected a little canopy over the front porch. Barbecued shrimp and other treats were soon being cooked.

A dozen or more guests soon arrived, many bearing gifts of wine. Cousin’s cellar was well stocked to start with as they recently won a case of wine at a charity event. One of their friends, however, brought this magnificent Spanish Garnacha.

Alto Moncayo is located in the Campo de Borja district, which is in northwest Spain’s Aragon region. Veraton is produced from vines 30 to 50 years in age.

I was assisting with the wine pouring duties and we decanted this bottle. the decanting allowed the wine to open up, but even so, this is an immense wine.

It has deep chocolate and balsam notes with rumbling deep, dark fruit. The wine is warming and the finish long lingering. It’s a rich and aromatic wine.

We were enjoying the wine on the front patio and, as the crowd grew, another group camped out in the back patio. The houses are just feet apart and so through an acoustic anomaly, the noise in the front and the noise in the back bounced back and forth, united and somehow ticked off a neighbor.

The Green Dragon, who was helping with the cooking and other arrangements, didn’t help matters. At one point Cleve made a comment about her gaucho style belt. He asked her if she had won an international boxing federation championship. She popped up and started to wrap the belt around Cleve. There was a bit of shouting and mayhem.

Most the commotion had died down and just the four of us were in the back sipping one of the 15 bottles that were consumed that night when a knock came on the door. “This is the police,” came the voice.

Mary soon had the situation in hand and we scooted inside to enjoy the rest of the early morning conversation…

Rating: 4 of 5  Value: 4 of 5 (based on $30 cost)

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Other Guys White Knight 2013 Viognier, Clarksburg

Whie Knight Viognier

According to their website, The Other Guys winery is saving the world from the “tyranny of Chardonnay.” In line with that, they offer all white wines: Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and this Viognier.

The Clarksburg AVA spans three counties in California’s Sacramento Valley. Fog and cool breezes from the San Francisco Bay keep Clarksburg cooler than surrounding areas.

Speaking of cool – Viognier (vee-ahn-YEAH) is a cool French grape with billowing aromatics. Viognier is sometimes added to Syrah or other red wine for the delightful aroma.

The White Knight is a value buy at less than $10. But getting a 100% Viognier at this price is a steal. This is also a very good wine.

On the nose there are floral notes along with apple and honeysuckle. The wine is smooth and expressive. It has a rich body without being flabby. There is no acidic bit.

This is a pleasant pairing for pasta, chicken or Asian food. The White Knight may just be a hero at your next part.

Rating: 2.5 of 5  Value: 3.5 of 5

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Toast of Ohio Wine Heritage Festival Returns July 25

angelocesareSANDUSKY, OHIO --- Celebrating eleven years, the annual Toast of Ohio Wine Heritage Festival will take place on Saturday, July 25, 2015 in downtown Sandusky ’s Veterans Park , located next to the Merry-Go-Round Museum at 301 Jackson St . The festival will feature ten fabulous Ohio wineries, gourmet food, live musical entertainment, and a juried art show in neighboring Washington Park . The festival grounds are open Saturday from noon - 8 pm.

Admission is just $5.00 per person and includes a souvenir Toast of Ohio wine glass and two complimentary wine tastings. Tickets will also be available to purchase for exchange of wine tastings. Wine tasting tickets are $1 each and glass pours will vary by vendor.  

Participating wineries include Paper Moon Vineyards, Firelands Winery, Ferrante Winery, Maize Valley Winery, Viking Vineyards, Stoney Ridge Winery, Humble Bee Vineyards, Quarry Hill Winery, D & D Smith Winery, and Chateau Tebeau.

Delicious food selections will be offered by: Krav Food Truck, Cold Creek, GessWho Tacos, and Gram’s Goodies.

A variety of musical entertainment and family fun activities will occur throughout the day, including performances from The Brad Walk Trio and Summer of ‘65. The adjacent Merry-Go-Round Museum will offer special $2 admission during the festival from 10 am to 5 pm.

Admission fees benefit the sponsoring Merry-Go-Round Museum . New local retailer Vine & Olive Mediterranean Bakery, Foods & Wine has come aboard this year as a major event sponsor. Other sponsors include Ohio Grape Industries, Ohio Magazine, and Lake Erie Shores & Islands.

The Lake Erie Shores & Islands region once featured huge vineyards that spread from east of Sandusky to the western region near the bay because of the lakeshore climate. The Toast of Ohio event was developed to celebrate the area’s winemaking heritage. Today, dozens of wineries still operate in the region.  Make a weekend of it with lodging packages available at SHORESandISLANDS.com and tour the area’s wineries. Call 1.800.255.3743 for information.

Photo by Angelo Cesare

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Toledo Area Wine Events & Tastings: July 22-25, 2015

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Wednesday, July 22

Phone photos 022314 155The Andersons, Sylvania, 6– 8 PM. And the Hits Just Keep on Coming (Wine hits, that is…): 1. Cataldi Madonna Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo 2014 Rosé, 2. Zanon 2011 Dry Creek Zinfandel, 3. C'est la Vie 2012 Syrah-Grenache, 4. Bolla 2012 Torr'alta Rosso, 5. Hope Estates 2010 "The Ripper" Shiraz. $8 flight or nominal fee per sample.

Veritas Cork and Craft, 505 Jefferson Avenue, Toledo – (419) 214- 9463. 5:30 – 7:30 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. 6:30 – 7:30.  Wine Class: This class will focus on the health benefits of wine. Come and enjoy our classroom style, interactive learning space. $20 per person includes wine samples

Thursday, July 23   

Andersons, Maumee, Wine Tasting. 5-7 PM. Midsummer Style: 1. 2009 Rudi Wiest – Rhein River Riesling – Germany, 2. 2014 Edmunds St. John – Bone Jolly – Rosé of Gamay Noir – California, 3. 2013 Tom Gore – Cabernet Sauvignon – California, 4. 2012 Vega Sindoa – Cabernet Sauvignon – Navarra, Spain. $5 flight or nominal fee per sample.

Andersons, Talmadge Road, Wine Tasting. 6 – 8 PM. Wines From Sunny Spain: 1. Egeo Verdejo, 2. Herdade do Esporao Verdelho, 3. Finca Sandoval Signo, 4. Con Blau, 5. Vargas Rioja Crianza, 6. La Atalaya, 7. Eternum Viti Tinta del Toro, 8. Genium. Nominal fee per sample.

Kroger Maumee, 1435 South Reynolds Road, – (567)-302-2688. Wine Tasting, 2 – 8 PM. 1. Bartenura - Moscato – Italy, 2. Joel Gott - Chardonnay - Monterey/Napa/Sonoma, 3. Ravage - Cabernet Sauvignon – California, 4. The Federalist - Zinfandel – Lodi.

Corks Wine and Liquor, Promenade Plaza, 27250 Crossroads Pkwy., Rossford – (419) 872-6800. Thursday Wine Tasting, 6-8 PM.

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, July 24

Kroger Maumee, 1435 South Reynolds Road, – (567)-302-2688. Wine Tasting, 2 – 8 PM. 1. Ogio - Rosso e Dolce – Italy, 2. Birthday Cake - Cheesecake – France, 3. Barefoot Bubbly - Tropical Fusion – California, 4. Te'a Roa - Sauvignon Blanc – Marlborough, 5. Ravage - Cabernet Sauvignon – California, 6. Urlo - Red Blend – Italy.

Walt Churchill's Market, 26625 Dixie Hwy, Perrysburg, (419) 872-6900. Wine tasting – 4:00 – 7:00 PM.

Saturday, July 25

Walt Churchill’s Market, 3320 Briarfield. Maumee, (419) 794-4000. 12:00 – 5:00 PM. 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.

Technorati Tags: wine

[Information on tastings can be sent toTWAV@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).

Friday, July 17, 2015

Sokol Blosser Evolution White Blend, 17th Edition

Game Cabin 2015 Plus Wine 050

I say Dundee Hills, you say… Pinot Noir! Except in this case, the Sokol Blosser Winery in Oregon is producing an exotic white blend with a composition you’ll never guess.

This is the third edition of Evolution that we’ve tasted – and we’ve loved them all. It’s a non-vintage wine and it also is an “American” appellation, meaning the grapes could come from just about anywhere. A safe bet is that the grapes are from Oregon, Washington and perhaps California.

The cork closure bears the message “Chill. Pour. Sip. Chill.” What more invitation do you need?

Embellishing the label are quirky thoughts such as: “Happenstance? Coincidence? Chaos? Not a chance. This bottle you hold is a deliberate, pre-meditated attempt to advance the entire wine universe a notch or two. Grandiose? Perhaps, but without evolution we’d be slime crawling in ooze and that doesn’t sound too appetizing.” Very nice to consider as you relax with a refreshing glass of Evolution.

The blend is Muller-Thurgau, Riesling, Semillon, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Muscat, Chardonnay in undisclosed proportions. This is not your average white wine blend. The Pacific Northwest excels with white wines and that quality is captured in this bottle.

The alcohol level is 12%, about what you would expect from a Riesling. That means it is a great food pairing wine. There is 1.2% residual sugar and so it has a flowing quality unimpeded by jarring acidity. It is citrus and floral up front with lush tropical flavors and a crisp finish.

You can find this for $18 or less. It is just right for hot summers around the pool or with some spicy Asian food.

Rating: 3 of 5  Value: 4 of 5

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