In The Classroom

by Metro Wines Asheville
Andy is a former sommelier from the Five Star, Five Diamond rated Sanctuary Hotel at Kiawah Island, South Carolina. He has over ten years of experience in the food and beverage community and has also worked in wine distribution. He is a Certified Specialist of Wine and is currently studying for his second level sommelier exam. He and his wife, Christina, moved to Asheville from Charleston, SC in 2012. In addition to the Asheville School of Wine, he works with the Blind Tasting League.

Here is a article about Andy Hale and the Blind Tasting League from the Mountain Xpress:

http://mountainx.com/food/out-of-sight/

Find out more at www.blindtastingleague.com

It's a Fracas!

It's a Fracas!

Wine is subjective, and that is part of the fun of drinking it. You might spit out a taste of my favorite wine, and I might not think your prized Napa Cab is worth $200. And that's ok. It wouldn't be as much fun if we all agreed on everything and liked all of the same things.

What I'm getting at is even professionals disagree from time to time, and that's exactly what is going on a Metro Wines right now. Normally this sort of thing is handled with the utmost professionalism and courtesy when regarding your collegue's opinion.

But not this time. It's getting ugly and turning into a real fracas.

You may have seen signs around the shop boasting "Andy's Pick" right next to a bottle showing "Gina's Pick." Andy likes Guido Porro's Barbera, and Gina likes Paitin's. Gina likes the O.P.P. Pinot Noir, and Andy prefers Montinore's. Which do you like better?

If you want to get in on the fracas, come by the shop and try each of our wines. See which one you like better, and report back. It's like taking the "Pepsi Challenge," but with wine and way more competitive! 

 

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Piedmont, Barolo and Barbera Class

Piedmont, Barolo and Barbera Class

 Have you ever noticed that almost all of the wines from the Piedmont region of Italy have similar names? Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera...it can be hard to keep them straight!

This is why we are excited to hold a class on just the wines of Piedmont! We will talk about all of the famous grape varietals and wine regions and even pour tastes of several wines. We will even pour Barolo, the most famous and expensive wine in Piedmont!

To get an insider's view on Barolo, we will even speak to Valentina Abbona from the famous vineyard, Marchesi di Barolo, live via Skype! A truly rare opportunity to speak to someone who has made wine in Barolo all of her life. We will also taste some of her wines!

Join us on Tuesday, September 19th, from 5:30 to 6:30 for a night of fun, information and of course, great wine! The cost is $20.

Call 828 575-9525 to make your reservation.

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The Grapevine: Learning about Wine

The Grapevine: Learning about Wine

In case you missed it, there was a great article on blind tasting in the Laurel of Asheville magazine!  The author, our own Gina Trippi, sites blind tasting as the best way to learn to taste wine like a pro.

I agree. To me, learning to describe the complex flavors in our favorite wines is the main reason to blind taste, learning to guess the grape and place is secondary.

Check out the whole article here!

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About Wine and Wedding Cake...

About Wine and Wedding Cake...
Wedding cake and Champagne are a surprisingly bad combination. They are frequently served together, but have you really ever enjoyed the combination? A Brut Champagne tastes bitter and overly acidic next to a bite of the sweet, frosting covered cake. The solution? Try a bubbly that is just a little off-dry.
 
In our food and wine pairing class, our students gave the thumbs down to a slightly sweet Spanish Cava when they were drinking it on its own. But when served next to a cake with buttercream frosting, the perception of sweetness disappeared! The Cava no longer tasted sweet and it didn't taste bitter like the Brut Champagne did.
 
The next time you are serving bubbly with cake, opt for one with some residual sugar and avoid making a bitter wine face.
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The School Hosts a Class on Food and Wine Pairing at OLLI

The School Hosts a Class on Food and Wine Pairing at OLLI

Well, we finally did it! We've been threatening for a few years to hold a class on food and wine pairing through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNC Asheville and we finally did it.

I've always said that the best way to teach food and wine pairing is to show it with actual food and wine combinations and let everyone decide what works and what doesn't. This experimental course sought to do just that.

We had a different lunch catered by a local restaurant for our class each week and we paired different wines with the food. We picked wines that would pair well with the food, and intentionally picked some that would be a terrible pairing so that we can see what works and what doesn't. I'll admit, after so many years pairing wine, it was a surprising amount of fun picking wines that will be an absolute disaster with the food we were serving!

Here are some of the things that we learned in our class:

  1. Wines that are slightly sweet go really well with spicy Asian cuisine.
  2. Champagne is a curiously good pairing for fried chicken.
  3. Pinot Noir worked "ok" at best as a universal pairing.
  4. Champagne and wedding cake was a surprisingly bad combination, but a sparkling wine that was slightly off-dry tasted much less bitter.
  5. Sauternes and Apple Pie are "birds of a feather"

The food was catered by Strada, the Golden Fleece, Gan Shan Station, Corner Kitchen Catering, Homegrown, and also Geraldines and 50 Fifty Desserts for our dessert class.

If you didn't make it into the class this semester, we will offer a repeat of the same course for the spring semester. More information about the OLLI program here https://olliasheville.com/

 

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The Asheville School of Wine holds it's First Class!

The Asheville School of Wine holds it's First Class!

Well, we have actually been teaching classes through the continuing adult education department at our local university for a few years now, but this was the first class that was open to the public.

The class was called "Wine Essentials" and went over the basics of wine. We started off by learning to describe the different flavor components of wine, then talked about common grape varietals, followed by a crash course in terroir and then finished up with some practical tips to get the most enjoyment out of your wine. How to start a wine cellar, when to decant and why, serving temperatures for your favorite wines and the basics of food and wine pairing.

If you missed it, there are 5 more classes in our series with one premiering every month. The next classes will deal with the major grape varietals and regions of some of our favorite wine making countries.

We still have a few seats left for our next class in which we will cover the wines of France. Learn about the grapes and history of Bordeaux, why you can't call your favorite California bubbly "Champagne" and why "White Burgundy" isn't an oxymoron!

Learn about the other classes in our series and buy tickets here: http://www.ashevilleschoolofwine.com/schedule

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Rosé Pairings for your Thanksgiving Dinner

Rosé Pairings for your Thanksgiving Dinner

If you are a regular reader of this blog, have probably already heard that not only are rose wines not just for summertime anymore, they are fantastic wines to serve with a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. If hearing this piqued your interest and you want to try it out yourself, we have put together four wines to go with each course of your holiday feast.

Try these out and experience a unique Thanksgiving Meal.


Appertif: Franck Besson “Rosé Granit” Gamay, Beaujolais, France, 2013

Enjoy this delicate sparkling Gamay rosé with your friends as they arrive. Crisp and delicate with flavors of pink flowers, under-ripe raspberry with a mineral finish.

Appetizer: “The Guild Rosé” Willamette Valley, Oregon, 2015

Nothing pairs with salads and lighter fare like Grochau’s rosé mostly made from crisp Melon de Bourgogne and just enough Pinot Noir to make it pink. Since this rosé is a blend, it is much lighter and more delicate than wines that are made entirely from red grapes. Enjoy the light, crisp flavors of wet stone, tart apple, rose petals and

Entrée: Cuilleron “Sybel” Syrah Rosé, Rhone Valley, France, 2015

For the main event, go with a wine that will stand up to turkey. This 100% Syrah rosé from the Rhone Valley shows powerful flavors of spice, roast fig and tart cherry with a slightly smoky finish. Whether you are oven roasting or deep frying your bird, this will power through and get your mouth ready for the next bite.

Dessert: Primes Rosé Port, Porto, Portugal, NV

Serve this rosé Port with Pumpkin Pie or on its own as a liquid dessert to finish your meal. Opulent and sweet with cooked strawberry and spice flavors. Serve chilled.

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Fall Rosés for Thanksgiving?

Fall Rosés for Thanksgiving?

That's right! Think rosés are only for summertime sipping? Think again!

While I agree that some of the lighter and fruitier rosés can be a little insubstantial, there are many that are powerful, mineral driven wines that are incredibly versatile for pairing with food. We think they work especially well with Thanksgiving Turkey and dressing!

That's why we are showing off 6 of our favorite food pairing rosés on Saturday, November 5th. The tasting starts at 10:00am and runs until 7:00pm and is on the house.

If you can't make it, here's what will be on the taste:

Pierre-Marie Chermette “Les Griottes” Beaujolais, France, 2015

Beaujolais is synonymous with Thanksgiving and this Rosé is a perfect match for turkey. This fruity, fresh and easy drinking wine from the Southern end of Burgundy shows flavors of fresh red berry fruit, Morello cherry, raspberry, and strawberry.

Elk Cove Vineyards Pinot Noir Rosé, Willamette Valley, Oregon, 2015

A zippy rosé from one of Oregon’s best Pinot Noir producers. Crisp and powerful with flavors of cherry, early season strawberries, honeydew melon, rose petals and a finish of lime-peel.

Maz Caz Rosé, Southern Rhone, France, 2015

Maz Caz hails from the Southwestern Rhone Valley and is made by our friend Michelle D'Aprix, the only American Woman Winemaker in Bordeaux. You already love her red Bordeaux, Pentimento, now try her rosé blend of Grenache and Syrah!

Chateau Soucherie “Cuvée L’Astrée” Rosé, Loire Valley, France, 2015

A powerful and mineral driven wine from the Loire Valley. A blend of Gamay, Grolleau and Cabernet Franc, this wine shows flavors of cranberry, sour cherry, and flint, with lively acidity that will cut through whatever your Thanksgiving dinner can throw at it.

Cuilleron “Sybel” Syrah Rosé, Rhone Valley, France, 2015

100% Syrah from high altitude plantings in the Rhone Valley in France. This rosé is muscular, with flavors of spiced strawberry, cherry and fig.

Chateau La Rame Rosé, Bordeaux, France, 2015

Cabernet Sauvignon adds body and Merlot add some depth and spice to this Bordeaux rosé. Expect flavors of strawberry, tart cherry, pepper and spice.

Pierre-Marie Chermette “Les Griottes” Beaujolais, France, 2015

Beaujolais is synonymous with Thanksgiving and this Rosé is a perfect match for turkey. This fruity, fresh and easy drinking wine from the Southern end of Burgundy shows flavors of fresh red berry fruit, Morello cherry, raspberry, and strawberry.

Elk Cove Vineyards Pinot Noir Rosé, Willamette Valley, Oregon, 2015

A zippy rosé from one of Oregon’s best Pinot Noir producers. Crisp and powerful with flavors of cherry, early season strawberries, honeydew melon, rose petals and a finish of lime-peel.

Maz Caz Rosé, Southern Rhone, France, 2015

Maz Caz hails from the Southwestern Rhone Valley and is made by our friend Michelle D'Aprix, the only American Woman Winemaker in Bordeaux. You already love her red Bordeaux, Pentimento, now try her rosé blend of Grenache and Syrah!

Chateau Soucherie “Cuvée L’Astrée” Rosé, Loire Valley, France, 2015

A powerful and mineral driven wine from the Loire Valley. A blend of Gamay, Grolleau and Cabernet Franc, this wine shows flavors of cranberry, sour cherry, and flint, with lively acidity that will cut through whatever your Thanksgiving dinner can throw at it.

Cuilleron “Sybel” Syrah Rosé, Rhone Valley, France, 2015

100% Syrah from high altitude plantings in the Rhone Valley in France. This rosé is muscular, with flavors of spiced strawberry, cherry and fig.

Chateau La Rame Rosé, Bordeaux, France, 2015

Cabernet Sauvignon adds body and Merlot add some depth and spice to this Bordeaux rosé. Expect flavors of strawberry, tart cherry, pepper and spice.

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Pop Up Wine Dinner for Jargon!

Pop Up Wine Dinner for Jargon!

This week I was thrilled to be invited to a pop up wine dinner to launch the up and coming West Asheville restaurant, Jargon. The restaurant, set to open in March or April, will feature an eclectically elegant menu, and will focus on small plates. Myself and about 40 other diners were able to get a sneak peek at some of these menu items, in the form of a 10 course dinner!

The many courses were inventive, elegantly prepared and delicious. There was definitely something for everyone, from the vegetarian to the meat eater. I admit that I was intimidated by the bone marrow served in a bisected femur, but I ended up really enjoying it once I got over my initial fear.

A few of my favorites were the deep green arugula and avocado soup with a yogurt panna cotta, the oysters on the half shell with the sherry mignonette, the mushroom stuffed quail and of course the incredible apple and ginger dessert. I had to take the last one home, but my wife and I enjoyed it the following night!

The Asheville School of Wine was there to pair wines with the courses. We had 4 wines to pair with the whole dinner, so we had to choose wines that would pair with multiple courses. We opted for food friendly wines that play nicely with many of different types of food.

In case you missed it, here are the wines we poured:

  • Fournier Sauvignon Blanc, Loire Valley, France, 2015

    100% Sauvignon Blanc, this wine shows Sancerre-like characteristics, and includes grapes from vineyards inside and outside that appellation. Fournier Sauvignon is a clean, bright, easy-drinking wine with nice citrus and grass notes on the nose, and with a refreshing acidity on the palate.

  • M.A.N. Chenin Blanc, South Africa, 2015

    The 2015 Free Run Steen Chenin Blanc has an attractive nose with fresh grapefruit and passion fruit scents that are well defined and articulate the variety with clarity. The palate is well balanced with crisp grapefruit and light honeyed tones. The wine is beautifully balanced with well-judged acidity and a composed, quite elegant finish.

  • Bocelli Sangiovese, Tuscany, Italy, 2014

    The wine is medium bodied with a pleasant touch of roundness. A small percentage of the grapes are "raisined" to produce wonderful concentration and aromatics in the wine. With grapes hand-harvested in Morellino, the fruit is deliciously ripe and smoky, with dark chocolate, Morello cherry, and herbal notes.

  • Altaroses Granatxa, Montsant, Spain, 2014
  • This is a certified biodynamic and organic wine. The Anguera brothers have decided to label the wine as a “Granatxa,” the old Catalan name for Garnacha, as an emblem of their focus on adhering to the lighter, traditional style of wines that used to be made in Montsant about a century ago.

    Fresh wild strawberries, garrigue and warm spices on the nose. Very expressive. Medium weight, with mouth-watering acidity and soft warm fruit. The wine shows soft tannins and well-balanced structure between acidity, tannin, fruit and alcohol.

If you missed the dinner, check out Jargon when it opens this Spring!

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We were in the Wall Street Journal!

We were in the Wall Street Journal!

Well folks, we finally made it to the big show! We were interviewed by wine columnist, Lettie Teague for an article which premiered in the Wall Street Journal over the weekend. We are still pinching ourselves!

In case you missed this weekend's Journal, here is a link to the online content.

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Four Fall Reds Tasting

Four Fall Reds Tasting

As the temperatures start to drop into the 60's, I reach for wines with more body to ring in the season. I enjoy wines that have more of an earthy flavor, and if there is a slight smell of dried leaves in my glass, all the better!

If you are looking for some new wines to drink as the Fall weather comes around, stop by Metro Wines tomorrow, October 8th for our taste of Four Fall Reds. The tasting runs from 10:00am to 7:00pm and is on the house!

 

Altaroses Granatxa, Montsant, Spain, 2014                                      $15.99

A favorite of ours as well as NYT wine critic Eric Asimov, this wine represents an older style of Spanish Grenache that is more elegant, lean and spicy. A tremendously versatile food pairing wine, expect flavors of cranberry, red cherry and baking spices.

Bocelli Sangiovese, Tuscany, Italy, 2014                                             $17.99

The Bocelli’s have been famous for making wine for over 300 years before Andrea became famous for his singing. This Sangiovese comes from the family’s estate in Tuscany. Perfect for the fall, with flavors of red berries, dried tobacco, sun-baked earth and spice.

Domaine de Piaugier “Tenebi” Counoise, Cotes du Rhone, 2013 $19.99

A rare single varietal bottling of the obscure Rhone Valley grape Counoise, one of 13 allowed in the Chateuneuf-du-Pape blend. Purple flowers on the nose, blueberry, herbs, black raspberry and lavender in your glass.

Camp Cabernet Franc, Sonoma County, California, 2015              $20.99

From cult California producer Hobo Wine Company comes this 100% Cabernet Franc produced organically and Biodynamically. The resulting wine is light to medium weight with a bright fruit side and some classic green olive and black pepper Cab Franc character.

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Four Italian Wines for Fall

Four Italian Wines for Fall

This Saturday, October the 1st the School will be pouring four Italian wines that are perfect for the early Fall weather we are having this weekend. Stop by Metro Wines and taste them! We will be pouring them all day for free.

If you want a sneak peek at the wines, here they are!

Garofoli “Macrina” Verdicchio di Castelli di Jesi, Marche $14.49

A perfect white for the early fall. Medium bodied and dry with flavors of apricot, pear, hazelnut and citrus with a slight mineral finish.

Ippolito “Mabilia” Gaglioppo Rosé, Ciro, Calabria        $11.49

This is not your delicate Provencal rosé, this is a much richer rosé for the cooler months. With aromas of violet and rose petals on the nose and flavors of black cherry and blue raspberry in your glass, this is the perfect rosé for fall.

Franco Serra Barbera D’Alba, Piedmont                         $12.49

You can practically smell the fall foliage in this Barbera! Flavors of red raspberry, cranberry, tobacco and red cherry make this wine a versatile food pairing wine and a perfect red for cool weather.

Ippolito “Liber Pater” Gaglioppo, Ciro, Calabria          $12.99

A richer red from the “toe” of Italy’s boot. A few years of age have given this wine rich flavors of dried cherries, spiced dates and a velvety finish.

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Chocolate and Wine Pairing

Last week we held a chocolate and wine pairing for an event planning group based in Asheville. The agency brought in chocolate truffles from the French Broad Chocolate Lounge and we picked out wines to pair with each.

The event was a huge success and the group really enjoyed the combination of decadent chocolates and delicious wines!

In case you want to stage your own wine and chocolate tasting, here are the chocolates we served and the wines we paired with them.

 

Salted Honey Caramel:

A local wildflower honey with grass-fed and organic cream & butter, covered in dark chocolate and sea salt.

-with-

Tenshen Central Coast White Wine  

92 Points WS #29 in Top 100 Wines of 2015

A Rhone-style blend of Viognier, Roussane, Grenache Blanc and Chardonnay from Cailfornia. This highly rated wine shows flavors of Tangerine, Peach, Melon and Apricot, with a Hazelnut finish.

Rose, Cardamom & Pistachio-

Milk Chocolate & pistachio ganache, infused with

aromatic rose petals and cardamom pods.

-with-

Shooting Star Mendocino County Zinfandel

From winemaker superstar Jed Steele come Shooting Star Zinfandel. This Zin comes from the cool hills and valleys of Mendocino County California and is more elegant than big and powerful. Expect flavors of mint, strawberry jelly, rose petals and spice.

   

Strawberry Balsamic (Vegan):

A puree of fresh strawberries from McConnell Farm in Hendersonville, in a coconut cream-based ganache.  Rolled in dark chocolate and crunchy cacao nibs.

-with-

Kopke Rosé Port

A perfect dessert wine for the hotter summer months, this rare rosé Port is less sweet than you might expect and pairs wonderfully well with strawberry desserts. Rich, velvety flavors of Pomegranate, strawberry and cherry.

 

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Northwest Wine Dinner @ "The Farm"

Northwest Wine Dinner @ "The Farm"

The Farm, our favorite wedding venue in Candler, just had their first wine dinner and I was lucky enough to be able to attend. The guest list was small since it was their first dinner, with room for only 32 guests, creating a rather intimate, party-like atmosphere.

I arrived a few minutes early and had a chance to tour the grounds before the dinner started. The cabins which surround the main "barn" look like something out of a southern-styled Tolkein novel and the rest of the grounds were home to rolling hills, ancient trees, a group of horses and their donkey companion. Like the name suggests, this is actually a functioning farm, with most of the vegetables we enjoyed in the dinner coming from the property itself.

The dinner was served in the kitchen, which had room enough for 5 large tables, and allowed us all to watch the food being prepared while we ate. With blasts of fire exploding from pans, Chef Mike Ferrari showed off his culinary skills. It was like dinner and a show at the same time!

The food was delicious, inventive and artfully presented and the wines were well chosen and perfectly paired with the various courses. The service was quick, helpful and non intrusive and the pacing of the entire meal was perfectly timed. Tom Leiner of Grapevine Distribution and I  guided the crowd through the wines, explaining the history of the grape, the region and the winery itself.

Don't worry if you missed out on this one. There are already plans for another wine dinner in the Fall. This one might even be outside! Keep tuned to the blogs here and on The Farm's website for more details as they are announced.

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The Quest for Outstanding Local Wine

The Quest for Outstanding Local Wine

If you've been considering visiting the local wineries in Western North Carolina, you will definitely want to read my latest article in Sophie Magazine. I drove all over WNC tasting wine and taking notes to find the best wineries to visit.

In case you missed it in print, here is a link to the digital copy.

http://sophiemagazine.com/home-garden/the-quest-for-outstanding-local-wine/#more-22729

 

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Blind Tasting League on the AVL Food Fan Podcast

Blind Tasting League on the AVL Food Fan Podcast

On this week's AVL Food Fans Podcast food critic Stu Helm and Chef Joe Scully gave our blind tasting class a shout out!

You see, the Asheville School of Wine will be hosting a blind tasting class at the Asheville Wine & Food Festival again this year, and AWFF director Kris Kraft was telling Stu and Joe all about the fun things that will be happening.

We get mentioned around the 36 minute mark for those of you that like to fast forward, but the whole episode is worth a listen if you love local food and wine like I do.

If you are planning on attending the Festival's Grand tasting on August 20th, we will begin blind tasting at 2:30 in the upper mezzanine. Just follow the signs.

If you can't make it to the Festival, come to one of our blind tasting classes which are held on the first Wednesday of each month. More information on the Blind Tasting League class at www.blindtastingleague.com.

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The Great Rosé Tasting Part IV

The Great Rosé Tasting Part IV

If you love Rosé wine as much as I do, you probably already know that the Great Rosé Tasting Part IV is almost here! This Saturday, August 13th will be your next chance to taste 10 different bottles of rosé wine, side by side for free.

As I mentioned last month, this is really the best way to tell the subtle differences between the rosés from different regions, countries and grape varietals.

The tasting starts at 10:00 and runs until 7:00 and is, as always, on the house!

Here are the wines you can taste this weekend:

1. Le Rosé d’ Folie Beaujolais, 2015

100% stainless steel fermented Gamay from Beaujolais in Southern Burgundy. The wine boasts a great balance of juicy strawberries, tart raspberries and canteloupe with candied rose petal and a mélange of citrus zests.

2. Chateau Routas Coteaux Varois en Provence, 2015

Freshly cut watermelon, ripe peach aromas and floral notes lead to a palate alive with wild strawberries and hints of mineral notes. Crisp acidity and a refreshing finish.

3. Commanderie de la Bargemone, Coteaux d'Aix en Provence, 2015

91 Points Wine Speactator. Created by Knights Templar in the 13th century, the estate now consists of 160 acres of vines. This wine has a strong sense of structure, with a zesty tang as well as tannins that enhance the fruitiness of this intense and juicy wine.

4. Maz Caz Rosé, Cotes de Provence, 2015

Maz Caz hails from the Southwestern Rhone Valley and is made by our friend Michelle D'Aprix, the only American Woman Winemaker in Bordeaux. You already love her red Bordeaux, Pentimento, now try her rosé blend of Grenache and Syrah!

5. Coteaux du Giennois, Loire Valley, France, 2015

This rosé is made from 100% Pinot Noir and is grown in the limestone rich soil near Sancerre. Flavors of tart cherry, violet and watermelon rind dominate with a crisp, mineral finish.

6. La Manarine Cotes du Rhone, 2015

The Rosé from Manarine is a blend of Grenache (60%), young vines Mourvedre (20%) and Syrah (20%) with a slightly deeper tint than a typical Provencal Rose. Flavors of freshly cut watermelon, wild strawberries, violets, wet stone and finishes with a hint of peppery spice.

7. Chat Fou Cotes du Rhone, 2015

90 Points. 100% Cinsault from old vine grapes. Light, bright orange. Complex spicy notes on the palate.  Aromas of strawberries and fresh field flowers with hints of herbs.  Look for a bright, refreshing acidity and balanced tannins.

8. Domaine Charvin Cotes du Rhone, 2015

An Organic rosé from a Chateauneuf du Pape house made from 50% Grenache and 50% Cinsault in the Southern Rhone Valley. Strawberries, citrus, light spice & dry wild herbs with a tangy finish of black pepper.

9. Marestagno Sciaccarellu Rosé, Corsica, 2015

100% of the native, Corsican grape, Sciaccarellu (Shock-a-rell). Pale pink in color with salmon hints. The wine is fresh and direct with light orange zest, peach and white cherry notes framed by a hint of savory.

10. La Valentina Cerasuolo D’Abruzzo, 2015

Deep ruby colour, with purple shadows. The bouquet shows rose, delicate red fruits similar to currant and raspberry, pepper, clove and accents of brush. Medium-bodied, in the mouth is velvety, with hints of plum, blueberry and licorice, with fresh and energetic tannins.

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Northwest Wine Dinner @ The Farm

Northwest Wine Dinner @ The Farm

The Farm, our favorite gathering place in Candler, NC will be hosting a dinner featuring wines from Oregon and Washington State and the Asheville School of Wine will be there!

Chef Mike Ferrari will be using the culinary skills he has obtained from working in some of the best country clubs throughout the Southeast to pair foods with wines selected by Grapevine Distribution's Tom Leiner and the School's own Andy Hale.

The dinner is scheduled for Tuesday August 30th at 6:30 and will cost $50 plus tax and gratuity. Seating is limited so make your reservations now!

Call 828-667-0666 to make reservations. More on the Farm here http://thefarmevents.com/ and follow the event on facebook here https://www.facebook.com/events/1735283043409993/

 

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The Great Rosé Tasting Part III

The Great Rosé Tasting Part III

As you may have noticed, here at the Asheville School of Wine, rosé wine is serious business! Not just from the South of France either, we love rosé from all over the world and in all kinds of different styles.

To really appreciate the differences between all of the various styles of rosé out there, you really need to try them side by side. That's why we are having another free tasting all day long this Saturday, July 16th, where we will pour 10 different bottles of rosé!

Here are the wines you can look forward to trying!

It wouldn't be a rosé tasting without the crown jewel of Provence represented, Bandol. Domaine Antiane is one of the newer wineries in Bandol but they are quickly making a name for themselves. Enjoy this refreshing blend of Mourvedre, Grenache and Syrah for a fraction of the price of other houses from this region!

From the king of Beaujolais, Jean-Paul Brunn comes Le Rosé d'Folie, a crisp, clean wine made from 100% Gamay. This delicate wine has flavors of strawberry, raspberry, cantaloupe and rose petals.

From Elk Cove, one of Oregon's best Pinot Noir producers, comes the new vintage of their Pinot Noir rosé. Crisp and clean, with flavors of strawberry, rose and fresh cut watermelon.

Minimus's small production wine is definitely the most interesting of the rosés we carry. Made from the Beaujolais grape, Gamay, from Eola Amity hills in Oregon, this one shows flavors of sour cherry and tart berries with high acidity and a savory finish.

Domaine les Grands Bois is a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan from the the Rhone Valley. Expect to find flavors of strawberry, raspberry and peach with a slightly floral and spicy finish.

Maz Caz is a the newest addition to our rosé lineup. It hails from the Southwestern Rhone Valley and is made by our friend Michelle D'Aprix, the only American Woman Winemaker in Bordeaux. You already love her red Bordeaux, Pentimento, now try her rosé blend of Grenache and Syrah!

For all of the fans of Malbec out there, we will be pouring La Pepie Rosé from the Loire Valley in France. It's 60% Malbec and the rest is made from Cabernet Franc. Though deeper red in color, this wine is crisp and balanced with flavors of raspberry, cranberry and citrus.

From Puglia, "Italy's Heel", comes Liveli's "Primerose" rosé made from 100% Negroamaro. This is a big one! Rich, round flavors of cooked strawberry, peach and plum dominate, but it still has enough acidity to make it refreshing on a hot day.

Weinbiet's Secco Rosé is a sparkler made from the obscure German grape, Dornfelder. No, Dornfelder is not the kid from high school who started the Computer Club. It is a popular German grape that is related to Pinot Noir. This bottle of bubbly is dry and fruity, with just a touch of residual sugar.

Notorious Pink comes from Southern France and is made from 100% Grenache. It isn't as mouth searingly dry as some French rosés, but it's meant as a fun wine to enjoy outdoors with friends. Flavors of bannana and strawberry domainate with some citrus on the finish.

Stop by this Saturday and see just how different these rosés are!

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What Pairs with Breaking Up?

What Pairs with Breaking Up?

What wine pairs with breaking up?

So I read an article in the New York Times recently called The Stuff of Broken Dreams http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/07/fashion/museum-of-broken-relationships-los-angeles.html?_r=0 about a Museum in Los Angeles that displays the leftover relics from failed relationships. The owner of this museum talked about the future of breaking up. He predicted buying "Breakup Insurance" where you would call a number if you broke up and "someone will come and get you in a car, take you to a bar, buy you a drink and spend two hours talking with you".

This got me thinking, if I were the person you called on your "Breakup Insurance" number, what wine would I serve you to make you feel better? What do you serve with heartbreak?

Here are five factors to look for in wine following a breakup.

1. High Alcohol. Let’s be honest, the reason we are drinking here is to numb the pain. Just like Aspirin for a headache, get an "Extra Strength" wine with more of the active ingredient.

2. Low Cost. This isn't the time to buy a really incredible, complex, multifaceted wine. I'm not suggesting you buy rot-gut, but don't waste your money on a really nice bottle of wine. You won't appreciate all of the nuances and complexities. Get something $20 or under in my opinion. This also leaves more money to buy multiple bottles.

3. Low in Acid. I love wines that are incredibly tart. I'm very comfortable at about 9.5 on the pucker scale. But while the searing acidity may make my food taste twice as good, this isn't the time for that wine, you’ve had enough acid in your day already. You will be drinking a lot of this bottle, and likely on its own, and that much acidity can make your teeth hurt and your stomach feel sour. Opt for one from a warmer climate, like California, Argentina, or Australia that will have less of a harsh, acidic flavor.

4. Fruit-Forward. While I love wines that taste like dirt, this isn't the time for that either. Reach instead for a big, rich, fruity wine that will comfort you like wrapping yourself in a warm blanket. Fruity wines are made to fly solo without any food so it's a great choice for a night like this. Now is the time for a rich, hedonistic, indulgent wine like Zinfandel, Merlot, Syrah, or Chardonnay.

5. Drink Your Favorite. Go for a classic wine that you love, whatever that is. Whether it’s Moscato, Muscadine or White Zinfandel, choose a wine that comforts you and makes you happy. This is not a time to worry about the expectations of your friends or what Robert Parker thought of the wine. If it makes you happy, this is the night for it.

I think the wine that best fits all of these factors is hot climate California Zinfandel. It's high in alcohol, low in acid and tannins, rich fruity and easy drinking. If you don't want to over think it, try a Zinfandel from Lodi.

Breaking up is never easy, even if it’s amicable or you do the breaking up. Make your night better by taking care of yourself and indulging a little. Put on a good movie, wrap yourself in a blanket, cook up some comfort food and pop open a good bottle of wine. Hopefully things will seem better in the morning. Just don't call your ex!

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