Sweet Wine Sojourn

Photo Courtesy: Stone Villa Wine Cellars

Photo Courtesy: Stone Villa Wine Cellars

     Stone Villa Wine Cellars will be holding their Spring Open House Weekend on Saturday, May 18th and Sunday, May 19th lakeside on the rustic grounds that surround the winery at 1085 Claypike Road in Acme, PA.  The event will feature hor d’oeuvres, door prizes, music, wine tastings, and special discounts for guests.  This will be the kick-off to this summers calendar of entertainment beginning on Saturday with “Back in Time” from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. followed on Sunday by “Back Streets Unplugged” from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. If you would like more information please visit www.StoneVilla.com or call 724-423-5604.

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

Free Finger Lakes Travel Magazine

Photo Courtesy Finger Lakes Wine Country

Photo Courtesy Finger Lakes Wine Country

     Anyone considering a possible trip to the Finger Lakes Region of New York should request this informative free guide.  Simply go to the website www.fingerlakeswinecountry.com and select “Plan” from the toolbar then scroll down to the submission form or click on the picture of the magazine, if you prefer the human touch you can call Morgen, Christina, Teresa or Ginny at 800-813-2958 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday thru Friday.  While you are on the site consider subscribing to any of the free e-newsletters offering a wide spectrum of topics that will interest any visitor.  The current 2012 digital issue of Finger Lakes Wine Country Magazine is also available for download from this site as well as a free Finger Lakes Travel app for your mobile device, which can prove to be invaluable while exploring the region.  The information that you can obtain from the magazine and website can be very helpful but the real fun begins when you visit and begin discovering something new around ever turn.

Alta Vista Malbec Mendoza Serenade Vineyard 2009

Vineyard in Mendoza Province, Argentina.

Vineyard in Mendoza Province, Argentina. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

     I received a comment recently on my post “Bodega Goulart The Marshall Malbec 2009” from Erika Goulart the owner of the Bodega Goulart Winery in the Mendoza region of Argentina.  She thanked me for commenting about her wine and wished me well.  This particular post is the most viewed of all my posts and receives views nearly everyday, so with this in mind I will be modifying my subjects to better match the interests of my readers.

Alta Vista Malbec Mendoza Serenade Vineyard 2009 continues the long tradition of Mendoza Malbec but is a little stronger in structure and has more than ample alcohol content at 15.5%.  This wine can be best described as rich and dense with aromas of vanilla mixed with wild berries.  The flavors are as deep as one would expect with chocolate and blackberry giving way to oaked cedar then finishing with a spicy bite.  Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate gave this vintage a 94 point rating which makes the P.L.C.B. price of $39.99 reasonable.  The P.L.C.B. website www.finewineandgoodspirits.com can be used to locate this wine by using the product code 39823. 

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. 

Standing Stone Vineyards

Tom and Marti Macinski Photo Courtesy: Standing Stone Vineyards

     I recently received an e-mail from Marti Macinski to keep me up to date on activities at Standing Stone Vineyards.  Marti and Tom Macinski have owned and operated Standing Stone Vineyards since 1991.  They have steadily increased the yearly production from 800 cases in that first vintage of 1993 to about 8000 cases last year.  They are officially done picking grapes with great results and have some of their wine fermenting while sitting on the lees.  Their Cabernet Sauvignon is starting to ferment and needs punched down four times a day.  Tom is looking for volunteers that want to learn some winemaking skills while helping to basket press the Cab.  Even if you are not up for a hands- on winery experience you can always stop by the tasting room that is open every day and while you are there don’t miss the chance to sample the bread and the many dips. 

Standing Stone Vineyards 9934 Route 414 Hector, NY 14841  (607) 582-6051  www.standingstonewines.com   Blog   http://www.standingstonewines.wordpress.com

Free Finger Lakes Travel App!!!

Map of the Finger Lakes region of New York, wi...

Map of the Finger Lakes region of New York, with major cities, highways, and airports marked. Created from public domain sources: NASA World Wind (USGS Maps), Image:New_York_State_Route_104_map.png, and http://www.lrb.usace.army.mil/brochure/images/new%202003/letch-park%20map2.gif. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

     Anyone that is contemplating a trip to the Finger Lakes Region of New York should get moving and make plans now.  I say this from personal experience that the next several weeks are the perfect time to visit wine country.  When you visit in the fall you will get to enjoy the excitement of the harvest while being surrounded by a landscape that is alive with the vibrant colors of autumn.  A free travel app is available to help visitors enjoy many of the local attractions.  The app can be found at http://FLWC.MOBI./  Driving around the area is easy because the roads are well-marked especially with signs that direct you along the wine trails.  Tourists using a GPS can find numerous wineries preloaded in the “Points Of Interest” or “Attractions” setting of the unit.  You can find just about anything you need to know for your trip online so why wait because winter will be here before you know it.      

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