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Oct 30

Featured Cincinnati Wine Events: Oct 31 – Nov 6

It’s a low-key week for wine events. Maybe the retailers are just giving you a chance to recover from a Saturday night Halloween!

There are too many Halloween events for me to cover. For a full list of Halloween events, check out Metromix, where they’re compiling compiling a list of the hottest parties in town.

image from farm4.static.flickr.com
Remember, all the recurring events, those dependable weekly tastings, are displayed on our calendar. The one-time events are after the jump.

For information on what’s going on in Dayton, you can refer to Mark’s blog at Uncorked.

Local Wine Tasting Event Calendar

Map IconFriday Interactive Wine Tasting Map

Map IconSaturday Interactive Wine Tasting Map

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Posted by Michelle at 8:24 am in Weekly Cincinnati Wine Events | Permalink | Comments ()
Oct 29

Drink Pink: 2007 Montes Cherub

As part of my own little Drink Pink
initiative, I’ve opened several rosés and wines that donate to Breast Cancer research in the last month. Truthfully, a lot of them have been disappointing. So instead of posting each not-so-great wine on its own, I’ll do a wrap-up next week.

For today, I’m sharing my all-time favorite pink with you. I originally
reviewed this wine back around Valentine’s Day, but it’s worth sharing.
This one is over and above my favorite rosé. It’s also really affordable, coming in around $14.00.

2007 Montes Cherub Rosé of Syrah

The cherub is actually a cartoon rendering by Ralph Steadman of Alfredo Vidaurre, a founding partner of the Montes winery.

Cherub

Montes is a Chilean winery and this wine comes from their Archangel estate in the Colchagua Valley, close to the Pacific Ocean. This particular rosé is 100% syrah. The color is a ruby red, but still obviously a rosé. The particular color comes from the juice and the skins having a one night
stand. I’m not kidding. It’s called a vin de nuit – the wine spends one night only in contact with the red-grape skins.

On the nose I got, appropriately, roses. I still hate the cliche of roses on a rosé, but sometimes it happens. (A rose is rosé by any other name?) Of course, the scent wasn’t just floral, there was some undefinably red fruits on there too.

The taste and texture are what won me over. It’s a rich, ripe wine, filled with crisp cherries and raspberries. It’s also a wine with heft, dry without
tannins. There’s a lot of structure and balance and it completely fills up your mouth. There’s a long, pleasing aftertaste that still manages
to be gentle. I would go so far as to say this rosé is sophisticated.

At under $15, it’s also a great deal. Montes makes some great wines, including the equally affordable Montes Folly and the not-so-affordable but excellent Purple Angel.

The real endorsement? Even Kevin likes this wine, and as he likes to say, he’s still looking for his inner pink.

Rating:

_

Parts of this post originally posted on Feb 13, 2009

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Posted by Michelle at 8:10 am in Drink Pink! (BCRF), Wine Notes | Permalink | Comments (2)
Oct 28

Wine Shop Wednesday: A Month in Business

This is one of several recurring posts from David Lazarus about the intricacies of opening and running a wine shop. David's posts will appear on Wednesdays.

As we come to the conclusion of our first full month in business and enter our sixth week of operation, our store has had a week of ups and downs.

Last week we had tow special tastings, both with winery principals. Our Tuesday tasting went very well and was well attended (for the short notice and considering we are new), while our Thursday event was a great chance to get to know Brent Shortridge better, but Jan and I were basically the only ones there. The lesson from these two events, do not assume anything. I had thought Tuesday would be the dud and clearly I was wrong.

That aside, we still had our best week yet! We had a number of people venture in on Saturday to sample from the dozen or so bottles that were open. Sales throughout the week were strong; all in all it was an encouraging week.

That said I am still slogging through the checks of inventory and pricing in our POS system and our Quickbooks is not yet integrated with the POS system. Aggravation levels are diminishing as more aspects of the business run smoothly and I think we will be in good shape by the time that the holidays get into over drive.

As I said with my last post none of this would be possible without the customers who have both found us for the first time and those who I have known for years. When this business is a success, I can claim some credit, but more will go to our customers, my wife, and all of the others who have helped to get this store off of the ground.

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Posted by Michelle at 10:50 am in Guest Writers, Wine Shop Wednesday, Wine Shops | Permalink | Comments ()
Oct 26

Sparkling Wine with Dinner

Tomorrow night, the Dilly Cafe (Dilly Deli) in Mariemont is hosting a wine dinner with sparkling wine vintners Domain Chandon. At last check, there were still about 8 seats left and at $65, the price is pretty reasonable.

Now, I’d be perfectly happy to only drink sparkling wine (including champagne, prosecco, cava, and others) for the rest of my life. It is my favorite type of wine, closely followed by pinot noir. But to get you in the mood for a sparkling wine dinner, I thought I’d talk a little about a seminar we took in Disney, with Moët & Chandon, Domaine Chandon’s parent company. Moët & Chandon, based in France, makes champagne. Domaine Chandon, in Napa, makes sparkling wine using the traditional champagne method. Only sparkling wine made in the Champagne region of France can actually be called “champagne.” For our purposes, I’m just going to go with “bubbly.”

Our instructor was Seth Box, Director of Education for Moët & Chandon USA. One of the first things he did was to preemptively correct the class’s pronunciation. Despite the fact that folks everywhere pronounce it Mo-AY and Chandon, it’s actually Mo-ETT. That, folks, is what those two little dots mean over the e.

image from farm3.static.flickr.com
Champagne, and sparkling wine in the champagne method, can be made from three grapes: Pinot Noir gives the wine backbone and structure, Chardonnay lends elegance, and the Pinot Meunier picks up the slack as a workhorse grape. I find this interesting, as I really enjoy Pinot Meunier on its own. In fact, I think Domain Chandon might make one of the few Pinot Meunier-only wines available on our retail shelves.

Seth pretty much told us to just enjoy our samples while he talked
about Moët & Chandon and bubbly in general. I thought I’d touch on
some of the more interesting points he shared before I dive into our
review of the wines.

  • Why are bubbly hangovers so bad? It’s for one of two reasons: either you drank too much, in which case you probably earned your hangover, or your drank bad bubby. No kidding folks. Drink too many bottles of $5 Andre and you’re going to feel it for a reason. According to Seth, the cheaper bubblies are suffering from poor workmanship. The grapes are squeezed too hard, releasing histamines into the wine. The histamines are then fermented. It’s a sign. Drink. Better. Wine.
  • Store your bubbly upright. Kevin and I keep ours upright in our pantry, where it’s dark and there’s no vibration. But don’t store it too long. Seth commented that “It’s a British thing to sit on wine until you’re almost dead.” Most non vintage bubblies have aged at the winery and are ready to drink now.
  • There are ~250 million bubbles in a bottle of champagne. That’s a lot of bubbles folks. The cork can come out of the bottle at up to 65 miles per hour, due to the pressure built up behind the cork.

image from farm3.static.flickr.com On to the wines. We tried three, all Moët & Chandon Non-Vintage. I enjoyed all three, but definitely preferred the second glass.

Rosé (Brut): According to Seth, this pink wine was the best of our three for food pairing, because the contact with the red grape skins (thus the pink) lends a little bit of tannins to the wine. This wine had some strawberries, light cherries, and a good texture.

Michelle: Kevin

Imperial (Extra Dry): You might know this wine as White Star. Until recently, it was known world-over as Imperial, except in the US. They changed the name domestically so that you could order your favorite sparkler by the same name, no matter where you land. I’ve always been a fan of White Star, er, Imperial. It has more of the dry, bread-y flavors I prefer in a good bubbly, and it’s not very sweet.

Michelle & Kevin:

Nectar Imperial (Demi-Sec): This was by far the sweetest. I’m not a huge fan of sweet bubbly, so this one was my least favorite. I made a very unscientific observations at the Dessert & Champagne booth, however. I noticed this wine was being poured more frequently than the other bubblies and that it was almost always chosen by women. Seth noted that this wine pairs well with strong cheeses, such as cheddar, gouda, and chevre.

Michelle & Kevin:

image from farm3.static.flickr.com
The Dilly Cafe dinner (full menu) on Tuesday begins with a reception at 6:30 pm and dinner at 7 pm. Again, it’s a Domain Chandon wine dinner, which is located in Napa and owned by Moët & Chandon. In fact, Domaine Chandon has a special place in my heart as the first winery I ever visited in Napa, back in 2004. There was no doubt in my mind that we were going to begin that trip with some sparkling wine. I recommend you give Domaine Chandon a try as well. You can RSVP by calling 513.561.5233.

image from farm3.static.flickr.com

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Posted by Michelle at 8:38 am in Dinner and Drinks, Disney, Knowledge, Wine Notes | Permalink | Comments (2)
Oct 24

Happy Birthday to Kevin!


My husband, occasional blog contributor, beer-guy, and wine-event companion (he likes to joke that he is arm candy) is 30-something today.

Happy birthday Kevin!

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Posted by Michelle at 8:00 am in Beer-Guy.net, Life | Permalink | Comments ()

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