A to Z Rose

Photo Courtesy: A to Z WineWorks

Photo Courtesy: A to Z WineWorks

     With summer fast approaching I have decided to revisit a recommendation I made last year for my favorite summertime wine Rosé.  This wine is a perfect fit for an idyllic afternoon spent sitting on a blanket spread out on a lush green lawn under a shade tree with a picnic basket full of artisan cheeses, fresh fruit and a loaf of hard-crusted bread.  I like this Rosé because it is full of flavor and made to please with a slightly complex mid-palate that remains bright and juicy while filled with a virtual produce stand of red fruit flavors.  A to Z Rosé first catches your eye with its beautiful magenta color then tickles your nose with the aromas of strawberries, red currants, raspberries, peach and watermelon while finally winding it all up with a crisp clean finish.  There is no wine as closely associated with summer as Rosé, so when you pull out the shorts and sandals add in a bottle of Oregon-made A to Z Wineworks Rosé, you won’t be sorry you did! 

Chateau Ste. Michelle Wine Dinner

     Seven Springs Mountain Resort will be hosting the Chateau Ste. Michelle Vineyards Wine Dinner in their Slopeside restaurant at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday March 20th, 2013.  This dinner will feature a wine pairing for each course from the Chateau Ste. Michelle winery.  I have posted the menu for your convenience.  Reservations can be made by calling 800-452-2223 ext.6000.  Seven Springs Mountain Resort is at 777 Waterwheel Dr. Seven Springs, Pa 15622. ChateauSteMichelle

La Casa Narcisi Winery Regional Italian Dinner

Vendors still go door-to-door in Civita , Calabria Italy. Photo Courtesy: About.com

Vendors still go door-to-door in Civita , Calabria Italy. Photo Courtesy: About.com

     Narcisi Winery will be holding its monthly wine dinner on Thursday January 31st at 6:30 pm at the winery on 4578 Gibsonia Road in Gibsonia Pa.  The 4 course dinner will be featuring the Calabria region and will include wine pairings, pictures and great conversation about the area.  The cost is $55 per person + tax and gratuity, for more information and to make the required reservations call 724-444-4744.  Narcisi will also be offering a 10 week beginner Italian language class starting on March 6th.  I find this to be a unique endeavor for a winery but a wonderful opportunity for anyone wanting to immerse themselves in the Italian culture.  A complimentary glass of wine and an appetizer at the start of every class will get everyone in the mood to impara i’Italiano!  

Lakeview Festival of Food & Wine

At San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival.

Wine & Food Festival. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

     Lakeview Golf Resort & Spa in Morgantown, W.V. will be hosting their 29th Annual Festival of Food & Wine January 18-20, 2013.  The theme this year is “The Art of Entertaining” and will feature culinary workshops, cooking classes, gourmet food and wine tastings.  The annual Iron Chef competition will once again be contested by a field of celebrity chefs.  Weekend and day resort packages are available, for more information call 800-624-8300 or visit http://www.LakeviewResort.com

Second Label Value

Overture  Photo Courtesy Opus One

Overture Photo Courtesy Opus One

CRU  Photo courtesy Vineyard 29

CRU Photo Courtesy Vineyard 29

     There is real value to be found inside the bottles of the second label offerings of famous wineries.  These are very well-made wines by renowned wine makers that do not quite meet the high standards required for being sold under the flagship label of the winery.  The November 2012 issue of Men’s Journal Magazine had an interesting article on this category of wines.  Stoney Hill Winery is one of this country’s greatest white wine estates with  their flagship label Stoney Hill Chardonnay costing $42 but the second label is SHV Chardonnay that can be yours for only $24.  Opus One is well-known to everyone with the 2009 vintage selling for $225 but did you know that Overture is their second label and is only $80.  You can buy a bottle of Vineyard 29 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon for $225 or go with the second label CRU Cabernet Sauvignon for $54.  Great values can be found with some research and if you want to do some detective work who knows what wine secrets you will uncover.  Here is an example of a great value that could be easily overlooked by the uninformed wine shopper.  Boekenhoutsko is one of South Africa’s top producers and it’s flagship label sales for $45 but their secondary is called The Wolftrap 2010 and retails for $8.  Second label wines are an affordable alternative to their big-name and highly touted first label counterparts and can competently fill the need when a well made wine at a reasonable price is the challenge presented to you.  

 

Gifts for the Wine Lover

 

Christmas lights on Aleksanterinkatu.

Christmas lights on Aleksanterinkatu. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

      Buying a wine related gift for a lover of wine can be a daunting task because I have found that they have a very well-defined idea of what they like and dislike.  Wine drinking has a limited need for accessories beyond the basics of a bottle of wine, a corkscrew and the proper glass for the wine in the bottle.  Buying them an unfamiliar bottle is a gamble, they may love it or an equally possible outcome would be that they hate it. 

      A red wine drinker can’t deny that aeration helps loosen a tight wine and a Vinturi Areator is the quick and easy way to open a red up ultimately bringing out its hidden character.  Cheese & Wine  A Guide to Selecting, Pairing and Enjoying, by Janet Fletcher and published by Chronicle Books is a classy book with excellent photography and descriptive text.  This book is a guide to all the well-known cheeses and their origins, production and wine pairings as well as many more obscure examples.  Lastly, Kevin Zarley’s Complete Wine Course 2012 Edition is the latest update of a book that is the standard by which all others are judged.  This is a great gift for the novice as well as the enthusiast because there is always something exciting to learn. 

     All of these gift suggestions meet my criteria of being easy to wrap, fitting nicely under the tree and are readily available online.  Good Luck with the rest of your Christmas shopping list. 

Wine Time at the Colony

English: Portrait of a middle-aged William Pen...

English: Portrait of a middle-aged William Penn (founder of the Pennsylvania colony) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

     Penn’s Colony will be hosting a Wine-Tasting that will also include gourmet fare and artisans.  The event is Saturday September 8th from noon to 6 p.m. on the Grounds of Penn’s Colony  365 Saxonburg Blvd. Rt. 228E., Saxonburg, Pa.  Admission will be charged and with a tasting admission you will receive a souvenir glass.  Visitors must be 21 years old and provide a valid I.D. to participate in the wine-tasting.  More information is available at Winetimeatthecolony.com or by calling 724-352-9922