Villa Maria’s First Sip Of Summer


This post is by WineCompass from WineCompass


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




This week Villa Maria Estate presented their seasonal #FirstSipNZ witter campaign and this chat featured a trio of ready for summer wines.  The winery is one of New Zealand’s most famous having operated for six decades starting as a one acre – one man shop in 1961 and growing to where founder George Fistonich is inducted to Restaurant and Hospitality Hall of Fame.  Fortunately, these wineries are widely distributed across the United States so here are some tweets why you may want to pick up a bottle or two…

Villa Maria 2018 Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough ($14)

The grapes were sourced from the Awatere and Wairau Valleys – spreading from coastal Wairau to a higher altitude in Awatere (900 feet). This provides a  mixture of warmer and cooler vineyard sites which showcase the herbal and tropical notes.

Wine of the Day, No. 502


This post is by Fredric Koeppel from Bigger Than Your Head


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Chateau Cap Leon Veyrin stands in isolation at the northern border of the Listrac-Medoc appellation. Situated far inland of the D2 road that runs through the premier regions known for the top-rated and famous estates, Listrac-Medoc is a slightly hilly area — as hilly as it gets in Bordeaux — of forests and vineyards that grow on well-drained layers of gravel soil. The estate dates back to 1810; it was acquired by the Meyre family in 1908. Current owner is Alain Meyre. The vineyard is planted to about 55 percent merlot, 40 percent cabernet sauvignon and 5 percent petit verdot. The unpretentious chateau is available for guests. The estate of 32 hectares — about 79 acres — is classified as Cru Bourgeois. Chateau Cap Leon Veyrin 2015 is a blend of 57 percent merlot, 40 percent cabernet sauvignon and 3 percent petit verdot, aged 12 months in oak, 25 percent …

3 Secrets of Gamble Family Vineyards


This post is by Marisa D'Vari from Wine Region Travel & Reviews: A Wine Story


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Tom Gamble of Gamble Family Vineyards

3 Secrets of Gamble Family Vineyards

Gamble Family Vineyards is exceptional.

You will find many excellent wineries in the Napa Valley.

Almost every winery today offers fabulous tours and tastings.

And almost every winery features excellent wine.

Yet when you visit a winery, you are not really in the position to understand the “secrets” behind the glitzy label and the showy winery facade.

Lunch with Tom Gamble of Gamble Family Vineyards

So during my lunch with Tom Gamble of Gamble Family Vineyards, I was able to understand the three secrets  that really made Gamble Family winery stand out.

First though, you should know that one of my favorite things about writing about wine is the opportunity to hear storytelling from passionate winemakers.

Tom Gamble is one of the best and most passionate storytellers in the wine world.

As Gamble Family Vineyards is such a …

Spring cuisine of Jean-Georges Vongerichten
Jean Georges dessert with Gable Family Vineyards wine
Tom Gamble and Marisa D'Vari

Wine of the Day, No. 490


This post is by from Bigger Than Your Head


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




To read the material I get from marketers and PR folks, you’d think that a red wine blended from several grapes was a completely new phenomenon. They forget that many well-known European wines traditionally are blends — Bordeaux, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Chianti — and that New World producers often follow the lead of their Old World models. The problem with many of the red wine blends created recently, however, is that they taste exactly like that: red wine. Nothing distinctive appeals to nose or palate, and there’s little sense that the individual grape varieties contribute anything of character. Here, however, is an exception. Primus The Blend 2015, from the Apalta area of Chile’s Colchagua region, feels like an embodiment of its constituent elements — 40 percent cabernet sauvignon, 25 percent merlot, 24 carmenere, 8 petit verdot and 3 cabernet franc — that meld in expressive yet pointed harmony. The wine aged 12 …

Wines of Navarra, the Camino de Santiago, and French Grape Varieties


This post is by from WineCompass


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




The Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James) is a large network of ancient pilgrim routes stretching across Europe and concluding at the shrine of St. James the Apostle in Santiago de Compostela in the Spanish province of Galicia. The pilgrimages started very shortly after the believed discovery of the tomb of the Patron Saint of Spain in 814. There are two competing claims regarding James evangelization of the Iberian Peninsula with one, based on the Epistle to the Romans where St. Paul suggests a disciple hadn’t visited Spain and the alternative, that after James was martyred in AD 44 his remains were transported back to the land that he had in fact evangelized.

Regardless, pilgrims flocked to the site using the Camino de Santiago and Wines of Navarra website, “in 1234 the first of a succession of French monarchs ascended by marriage to the throne of the Kingdom …

Explore #WeAreMarylandWine During Maryland Wine Month


This post is by Todd Godbout from WineCompass


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




The Maryland Wineries Association has designated March as Maryland Wine Month and to follow the action they are promoting the #WeAreMarylandWine (in addition to #MDWine #MDWineTrails & #MDWineMonth) tag on all social media platforms. There are also numerous events and activities scheduled at various wineries and retailers across the state — all listed on the MD Wine website. So we decided to dedicate more time this month to visit the Free State and visited two that are open seven days a week – navigating with theCompass Craft Beverage Finder.

We started at Catoctin Breeze Vineyard, located north of Frederick on the Route 15 Wine Road. Being a club member, our tastings were complimentary so we went through both their Signature ($10) and Sweet ($8) tastings. After previous visits, I have discussed their wonderful dry Estate Syrah, Estate Cabernet Franc, and Chardonnay among others. So let me venture into the …

Sumagiyya and more


This post is by from Wino sapien


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




This Gazan beef stew was adapted from my favourite cookbook of the moment – Zaitoun. Warm and soft – a curious but wonderful mix of flavours – caraway, sesame, sumac, pomegranate, spinach and  melt in the mouth beef shin.

For six with leftovers:

In a large le creuset pot or similar fry 2 small onions (diced) in olive oil. After 5 minutes of so, which they have taken on some colour add 6 cloves of garlic which has been roughly chopped. Push to the side and then add 800g of cubed beef shin (1 inch pieces) which have been seasoned and dusted with cornflour. When suitably coloured add the base spices – 1.5 teaspoons each of ground coriander, allspice and whole caraway seeds. Before the spices burn – add 500mls of chicken stock and 2 tablespoons of tomato puree. The meat should be just covered with liquid. Turn the …

Visiting Clos Pegase Estate Winery Calistoga Napa Valley


This post is by Marisa D'Vari from Wine Region Travel & Reviews: A Wine Story


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Clos Pegase Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

Clos Pegase Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

Clos Pegase Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

Visiting Clos Pegase Estate Winery in the Calistoga AVA of Napa Valley

When people think of Clos Pegase Estate Winery in the Napa Valley, they think of mainly three things:

  1. Clos Pegase Chardonnay
  2. Clos Pegase Cabernet Sauvignon
  3. The famous architecture of the Clos Pegase Estate Winery, and the art collection within.

My recent visit to the Hess Collection Winery, with its extensive art collection, alerted me to the presence of another winery with an impressive art collection: The Clos Pegase Estate.

Origins of the Clos Pegase Estate Winery

The original owner and creator of Clos Pegase was Jan Shrem.

He was born in Columbia to Jewish-Lebanese parents.

After emigrating to the USA as a child, he made his way through the University of California, at Los Angeles selling encyclopedias.

Then he parlayed this experience into …

Weekend Wine Notes: 12 Excellent Wines to Begin the Year


This post is by from Bigger Than Your Head


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Actually, the title of this post is a misnomer. What I offer today, in the first Weekend Wine Notes of 2019, are 10 wines that rate Excellent and two that rate Exceptional, the latter both pinot noirs from different regions of California. Also included in this diverse roster are a Gewurztraminer 2012 from Alsace; a chardonnay from Sonoma Coast; two sauvignon blancs, one from New Zealand, the other from Tuscany; a monumental cabernet/shiraz blend from Australia’s McLaren Vale region as well as an equally monumental 100 percent shiraz from Padthaway; two wines from Costières de Nîmes in the Southern Rhone Valley, one white, one red; a Spätlese Riesling from Rheingau, in Germany; and a stylish merlot from Walla Walla, Washington. As usual in these Weekend Wine Notes, I eschew the technical, historical and geographical data that I dote on for the sake of quick and incisive reviews ripped, as it …

Weekend Wine Notes: 12 Wines for (Last-Minute) Giving and Getting


This post is by from Bigger Than Your Head


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




I had to insert the term “Last-Minute” to the title of this entry, which I should have posted on Friday or at least yesterday, because here it is, Sunday. Still, wine stores are open today in many states, and there’s always tomorrow. I picture My Readers on an endless whirl of parties, receptions, open houses, brunches, wassails, carol-singing and what-not, giddily essaying the Yuletide with customary joy and merriment. For any or all of these festive occasions you will require a bottle of wine as a present for your host or to contribute to the groaning board. If that’s not — let’s face it — the case, you may still need a bottle of wine to take to the family or friends dinner on Christmas Day. There should be a bottle here or several to suit every taste and credit card, six whites, six reds. The price range starts at …

Springfield Manor Winery Distillery Brewery – A Free State First


This post is by Todd Godbout from WineCompass


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




On our many trips home from Catoctin Breeze Vineyards, we’ve always noticed Springfield Manor Winery Distillery Brewery as we traveled south on Route 15 passed Thurmont and Cunningham Falls State Park. Perched on a small hill overlooking the highway and farmland, this multi-purpose 1775 era farmhouse has a few firsts in the Free State. It was the first post-prohibition legal distillery in Maryland holding license #001. There were a couple spirits that were bottled previously, but Springfield Manor was the first to distill in Maryland. Their corn and grain spirits (Bourbon, Rye Whiskey, Corn Whiskey, & Caramel Corn Whiskey) consist all or partly from corn grown on their 130 acre farm. The fruit brandies are produced from locally sourced fruit and the Grappa from Merlot and Cabernet Franc pomace (the skins, pulp, seeds, and stems left over from winemaking after pressing the grapes).

Springfield …

Winter Slow-Cooker Beef and Porcini with Pedroncelli 2016 Bench Vineyards Merlot


This post is by Dezel Quillen from My Vine Spot


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Hello Friends,

I have a delicious, easy-to-make slow-cooker recipe that’ll warm your winter and fill your wine glass. I don’t know about you, but I always cook with wine—a splash in the pot, and two in my glass (lol). Okay, seriously, Julie Pedroncelli St. John and husband Ed St. John, of Pedroncelli Winery, are amazing when it comes to food and wine pairings. They knocked this one out of the park! Pedroncelli Winery has been part of Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley for over ninety years, so they know what dishes work best with their wines.

Slow-Cooker Beef and Porcini Mushrooms

For this appetizing match, we’re pairing slow-cooker beef and porcini mushrooms with Pedroncelli 2016 Bench Vineyards Merlot. The wine and recipe are budget-friendly, prep is a cinch, and the dish can fill up a family of four with enough for leftovers. You’ll find that the wine complements, …

The Chalk Hill 2016 Sonoma Red Wine


This post is by Todd Godbout from WineCompass


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




The Chalk Hill Winery 2016 Sonoma County Red ($24.99) is a friendly wine as our group quickly and easily disposed its contents not long after uncorking. Expect a rich and smooth dark fruit sensation mingling with spices and vanilla, before finishing with a velvety and lingering tail. It is a Bordeaux-ish blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Malbec, 3% Zinfandel, and 2% Merlot. Whereas the Chalk Hill brand is normally characterized by estate fruit, this wine is derived from grapes sourced from a combination of Chalk Hill estate and Foley Family vineyards dispersed throughout Sonoma County. [Foley Family is the parent company to Chalk Hill Winery.]   According to the tasting notes, the Chalk Hill AVA fruit provides richness, concentration, and nuttiness, whereas the Sonoma County fruit provides fruit forward nuances. These grapes are barrel fermented in French and American oak (20% new) then aged in additional 12 …

Farmhouse Wines and Green Spring Farm – "Beyond Sustainable" Farming


This post is by Todd Godbout from WineCompass


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




We grow by the motto “50% for humans, 50% for nature,” maintaining an important balance between the vines grown for humans and crops grown for soil improvement, Bob Cannard & Fred Cline –Green String Farm

This method of “beyond sustainable” farming, was developed by Bobby Cannard and Fred Cline of Cline Family Cellars and is now known as the Green String method of sustainable farming.  Their laboratory, Green String Farm, is located in Sonoma – specifically in Petaluma – and “serves to teach students how to improve the biology of the lands that they steward while growing naturally healthy food”.  This method includes natural remedies for pest management, fertilization, and weeding among others. For instance they use over 1500 sheep and 500 goats to remove harmful weeds from their vineyards.  They also use native root stocks which can be dry farmed (no irrigation) and friendly insects are …

Yeah, You Are Drinking Some F–king Merlot, Actually (Talking Merlot With IntoWine.com)


This post is by from 1 Wine Dude


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Merlot Bordeaux vines

Merlot: “Stop picking on me, beeeeaaaatches!”

It’s been nearly fifteen years since a flippant diatribe that disparagingly mentions Merlot came from the mouth of Miles, the main protagonist in the film Sideways (based on the book of the same title by Rex Pickett).

That off-hand and NSFW comment had the unfortunate – and lasting – side-effect of sending U.S. Merlot sales into the toilet; so much so that I had been told over the years by many PR, marketing, and winemaking professionals that they either stopped putting the word Merlot on their labels (or at least  considered it).

But a funny thing happened roughly ten years after Sideways was released in theaters: consumers seemed to stop caring, and instead started to enjoy the fact that Merlot represented one of the best red wine bargains available. Of course, that didn’t stop the media at large from being …

Wine of the Day, No. 437


This post is by from Bigger Than Your Head


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




October purports to be International Merlot Month, though why that should be the case leaves me scratching the old noggin. Other wines get a day of recognition, but merlot gets a month? Well, it’s all marketing, n’est-ce pas? Anyway, the Wine of the Day is not the venue in which to sort out the problems inherent in the grape and its character. Rather, let’s look at a fine example of the grape from a venerable winery in California. The Markham Vineyards Merlot 2015, Napa Valley, is not only delicious but distinctive enough that it doesn’t feel like a cabernet sauvignon wannabe. A blend of 90 percent merlot grapes with 5 percent each cabernet sauvignon and petite sirah — the latter an unorthodox touch — the wine aged 15 and a half months in French and American oak, 32 percent new barrels. The color is dark ruby-purple with a vivid violet …