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May 27

Marble Hill Chocolate Shop Closes

The Business Courier daily email informed me that Marble Hill Chocolate Lounge in O’Bryonville has closed as of today. The Marble Hill web site simply says "Marble Hill is closed for business."

Marble Hill often had wine and chocolate pairings, called Friday Night Flights, that seemed like a wonderful idea. I’m sad to see this little chocolatier close its doors.

If you have prior reservations or gift certificates, please contact Marble Hill at info[at]marblehillchocolatier[dot]com.

 

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Posted by Michelle at 5:15 pm in Cincinnati, Local, News | Permalink | Comments ()
May 23

Featured Cincinnati Wine Events: 5/23 – 5/29

TasteMay has felt like an exceptionally long month and I don’t know why. Memorial Day is falling not on the usual last weekend of the month, but more in the middle. We’ll be spending this Memorial Day judging wines for the Central Kentucky Wine Festival. This particular judging experience takes us to the small town of Danville.

When we return, we hope to catch Taste of Cincinnati, which sta
rts Saturday and runs through Monday. Every year I discover a new restaurant and new foods at this fun festival, which takes place on and around the newly revitalized Fountain Square.

This is also a big weekend for many of the local wineries. Harmony Hill, Kinkead Ridge, Lakeside Vineyards, and Meranda Nixon all open this weekend. If you enjoy Kinkead Ridge, this is one of the few opportunities you’ll have in 2008 to visit the winery. Kinkead Ridge will only be open on Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving weekend this year, as the 2007 Easter frost greatly depleted the vintage.

For the full list of Cincinnati tastings, both one-time and recurring, refer to our Google Calendar on this page. For information on what’s going on in Dayton, you can refer to Mark’s blog at Uncorked.

Tell the retailers we sent you, and have a great holiday weekend!

This week’s Friday image is the offical poster for Taste of Cincinnati.

Map IconFriday Interactive Wine Tasting Map

Map IconSaturday Interactive Wine Tasting Map

Cheers!

Featured Events

Friday May 23
Harmony Hill Vineyard

2534 Swings Corner / Point Isabel Road
Bethel, OH 45106
513.734.3548
Live music and wine tasting
5-9 pm

Meranda-Nixon Winery
6517 Laycock Rd
Ripley, OH 45167
Tasting Room Open
12:30-8:30 pm

Saturday May 24
Harmony Hill Vineyard

2534 Swings Corner / Point Isabel Road
Bethel, OH 45106
513.734.3548
Live music and wine tasting
12-6 pm

Jungle Jim’s
Oscar Event Center
Various Scheduled Wine Tastings – refer to web site for details
5440 Dixie Highway
Fairfield, OH 45014
1-3 pm
Cost varies but is usually around $30
Reservations required

Kinkead Ridge Winery
904 Hamburg Street
Ripley, Ohio 45167
(937) 392-6077
Tasting Room Open
10 am – 6 pm

Meranda-Nixon Winery
6517 Laycock Rd
Ripley, OH 45167
Tasting Room Open
11am-9:00 pm
Every Saturday 4PM to 9:30PM
Steak and Salmon dinners accompanied with a  bottle of wine.
Now accepting reservations.

Taste of Cincinnati
Saturday, Sunday, Monday
5th Street Downtown
12 pm – 12 am

Sunday, May 25
Taste of Cincinnati
Saturday, Sunday, Monday
5th Street Downtown
12 pm – 12 am

Monday, May 19

Harmony Hill Vineyard

2534 Swings Corner / Point Isabel Road
Bethel, OH 45106
513.734.3548
Live music and wine tasting
12-6 pm

Kinkead Ridge Winery
904 Hamburg Street
Ripley, Ohio 45167
(937) 392-6077
Tasting Room Open
10 am – 6 pm

Lakeside Vineyard
3324 Ohio 756
Felicity, OH 45120
513-876-1810
Family Day with food, wine tasting, and games
12 pm – 8 pm

Meranda-Nixon Winery
6517 Laycock Rd
Ripley, OH 45167
Tasting Room Open
12:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Taste of Cincinnati
Saturday, Sunday, Monday
5th Street Downtown
12 pm – 12 am

Thursday, May 29
Italian Wine Tasting: Rocca delle Macie Wines with Vito Candela
Dilly Deli
6818 Wooster Pike
Mariemont, OH 45227
513-561-5233
Reservations required.

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Posted by Michelle at 9:18 am in Weekly Cincinnati Wine Events | Permalink | Comments ()
May 22

Reviews: Mr Black’s Concoction & Abacela Rosado

It’s been a while since we reviewed some wines, and we’ve had two fun ones recently. I thought I’d share.

P9408
Small Gully Mr. Black’s Concoction 2004 Shiraz Viognier, Barossa Valley, Australia
:
I first had this when we went to Bouquet in January. I loved it and searched everywhere for it. Well, it’s finally appearing. The plain Shiraz is available at Liquor Direct and the Shiraz-Viognier that I tried is now at Party Town Turfway. (Apparently, it’s been at Party Town since shortly after I asked for it, which is great service that I didn’t follow up on.)
Mr Black’s Shiraz-Viognier Concoction consists of 4% Viognier, 96% Shiraz, and it has a powerful and fragrant bouquet. This is a high-alcohol fruit bomb. I don’t know why I like it so much – it’s not my normal style at all. I find it to be well-balanced; I could feel the alcohol but I couldn’t taste it. The fruit seems to contain the wine and it didn’t seem "hot." To say it is fruit-forward is an understatement, though. There are all sorts of berries and cherries and dark fruits, all racing to get to your tongue first. It’s definitely jammy. This Concoction is a big wine, there’s no doubt about it, but it’s also a fun wine. I’m not sure how it would work with a meal, but it pairs well with cheese. It retails for around $20 at Party Town.
Our rating:

Now for the opposite end of the spectrum:

Abacela
2006 Abacela Rosado, Southern Oregon:

This rosé is the sort of rosé that even people who won’t drink pink would enjoy. Kevin is proof enough of that. Often stating that he "hasn’t found his inner pink," this rosé is one that he enjoys.
As it should be, the Abacela Rosado is a dry rosé, made of 93% Tempranillo and 7% grenache. It’s loaded with strawberry, cranberry, and some citrus. This rosé is immensely food friendly. We first had it with Easter dinner, then our second bottle last week we drank without food. It complemented the ham at Easter but can stand on its own without a problem. As far as rosés go, this one has some heft ,thanks in part to its nice dry finish. Don’t expect this to be flabby, sugary, or reminiscent of Kool-Aid like some roses can be. It was recommended to us by Kevin Keith at Liquor Direct, and we appreciate the recommendation!
Our rating:

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Posted by Michelle at 2:06 pm in Wine Notes | Permalink | Comments (1)
May 16

RIP, Robert Mondavi

This was coming, of course. Mondavi was 94 years old, and proof of the health benefits of wine and California breezes. Yet, I’m still somewhat surprised, and sad. Robert Mondavi passed away at his home in Yountville this morning.

He left an amazing legazy behind him. Last year, I read his autobiography, Harvests of Joy, published in 1998. As I read the book I swung between dislike, admiration, and confusion regarding the man who helped build the Napa we know today. In the end, he admitted his own mistakes and I was left with a clear admiration for Mondavi.

There is the legendary fight between Robert & Peter, two brothers, which sent Robert out on his own, building the first winery in Napa since Prohibition. He saw the winery as a tourist destination, forever changing the perception of Napa Valley (for good or evil, your choice). He traveled France, learning more about Bordeaux and Burgundy styles of wine. And he began to understand, and quest for, terroir. That quest led to the purchase of his To Kalon vineyards. I have some wine from those vineyards, and I have (of all things) a stone coaster with a print of those vineyards. After reading the book, I was rather fascinated with the man.

His winery has grown, expanded, and suffered through financial hardships in the last 20 years. I was never thrilled with the decision to sell to Constellation Brands. In the meantime, Mondavi launched  philantropies, including COPIA and the Robert Mondavi Institute
for Wine & Food Science at UC Davis, which is almost complete. He and Magrit, his wife, also donated funds to complete the UC Davis performing arts center.

Mondavi_2005When I think of Robert Mondavi, I remember one clear moment. In 2005, on July 4, we were in Santa Rosa. I had managed to get tickets to the Preservation Hall Jazz Band concert at the Mondavi winery that night. We had a picnic from the Oakville Grocery and met some wonderful people spread out on blankets around us. Behind us, at a table in the vineyard, Robert & Magrit were dancing. In 2005, Mondavi was 91 years old, but had no trouble getting up and sharing one dance with his wife on a perfect summer evening.

Many Mondavi wines are inexpensive or generic. But there are some wonderful wines as well – I have two bottles of a reserve cabernet: one of which I’m aging another couple years and one that I do believe I’ll be popping open this weekend, in honor of Robert Mondavi.

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Posted by Michelle at 3:49 pm in RIP | Permalink | Comments (1)
May 16

Featured Cincinnati Wine Events, 5/16 – 5/22

2120199911_52ca31ea03_m
This next week is front-loaded, you could say. Two of those events I have a rather personal involvement with, and I’m going to take this one post to promote them, if you don’t mind.
One event in particular I want to mention – the Top Shelf Sports Grille fundraiser on Saturday. Remember the scholarship we established in memory of my sister? We’re having another benefit. We raised $11000 at the inaugural event back in March, but we need to raise $25000. Saturday, from 12-6, a portion of the proceeds at Top Shelf will go towards the scholarship fund. So come on out, have a beer, a burger, or watch the Preakness at the sports bar. Your drinking and eating will benefit a great cause.

Also in this front loaded week, we have a nifty concert at Twist Lounge downtown. I’ve previously reviewed Twist – I really enjoyed the place. Concert:nova is performing a latin themed concert in honor of the upcoming Florencia en al Amazonas, the Spanish opera premiering this summer at Music Hall. This event is for everyone (and it isn’t all Opera music, but fun Spanish tunes and dancing as well). However, this is also a welcome reception for hosts/hostesses of the Cincinnati
Center Stage (YP Group) Curtains Up party on June 14. Interested in being a
host/hostess? It’s not much work, and a lot of fun. Email me at
michelle[at]wine-girl[dot]net.

For the full list of Cincinnati tastings, both one-time and recurring, refer to our Google Calendar on this page. For
information on what’s going on in Dayton, you can
refer to Mark’s blog at Uncorked.

Tell the retailers we sent you, and happy tasting!

The Friday Cincinnati image is from MoToMo , via a CC license on Flickr.

Map IconFriday Interactive Wine Tasting Map

Map IconSaturday Interactive Wine Tasting Map

Cheers!

Featured Events

Saturday, May 17
Top Shelf Sports Grille

Krystal Pepper Memorial Scholarship Fundraiser
1990 North Bend Road
Hebron, KY 41048
859.534.5910
Proceeds between 12-6 pm benefit the scholarship
Raffles and split the pot also available
12-6 pm

Sunday, May 18
17th Annual Fleurs de Fete 2008
Dayton’s premier wine & gourmet food festival
Featuring more than 300 tasting wines and food samples from
25 of the Dayton area’s finest restaurants
Please join us for a casual afternoon of wine, food & jazz
Ticket price includes admission, food, wine, souvenir wine glass
and plate
Carillon Historical Park
$60 in advance, $65 at the gate

Monday, May 19
Twist Lounge
concert:nova latin concert
127 West 4th Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
513.721.1345
Sensual Sounds + Stunning Canvases: Hot Latin Sounds at Twist Lounge
$10/ $8 students and Enjoy The Arts members, 9 pm

 Tuesday, May 20
Wine Tasting 101
Chalk food + wine 
318 Greenup Street
Covington, KY 41011
859.643.1234

Learn the art of wine tasting with Sommelier Bryant Phillips
7:00, $46
Reservations required via phone or email chalkfoodandwine[at]gmail[dot]com

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Posted by Michelle at 12:01 am in Weekly Cincinnati Wine Events | Permalink | Comments (1)

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