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.


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.


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.


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.


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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

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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 and follow the event on facebook here


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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 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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You Want Some Cheese With That Wine?

cheese plate

Have you ever had anyone ask if "you want a little cheese with that whine"? Well, there's a reason. While that play-on-words refers to attitude and not vino, wine and cheese are a match made in heaven. Cheese accentuates wine and the wine accentuates cheese. Plain and simple. That being said, you want to make sure you pair the correct cheese with wine. It doesn't have to be particularly complicated, just follow a few simple rules. 

If it grows together, it goes together. While this is somewhat of a blanket statement, it is mostly true. Generally wines pair well with foods that grown or produced regionally, benefiting from a congruence of ingredients and food culture. If you are unable or don't care to follow that simple rule, try to pair wines and foods that have complimentary flavors. All of that being said, lets get started with a few of my favoirte pairings.

Wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Zinfandel match up well with equally intense cheeses. Match them with a cheese that's firm and a bit salty too. As an example, Sean Minor Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon would pair very well with aged cheddars and peppery cheeses. 


If lighter red wines are more your speed, wines like Pinot Noir and Beaujolais match up nicely with delicately flavored, washed rind cheeses, and nutty medium firm cheeses. Gruyere, Fontana, Pont L'Eveque, Taleggio are great example of cheeses for lighter red wine pairings. Consider a Pinot Noir from Grochau Cellars paired with some thinly sliced Gruyere.


For those that prefer white wine, there are many great options. Try cheeses such as brie, tripple cream, or chevre with Riesling, Prosecco, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay. One of my personal favorites is chevre on crustinis paired with Le Bouchet Sparkling Vouvray. This Chenin Blanc based wine has wonderful acidity and stone fruit flavors that pair excellently with the tang of the chevre.







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Rosés That Age?

Rosés That Age?

Everyone knows that when it comes to Rosés, you drink the current vintage, right? The younger the better.

As a general rule of thumb, that's true. Age can diminish the subtle fruit flavors that swirl in a glass of rosé wine, making the fruit taste less "fresh".

But what if the wine was more of a serious food pairing wine and less of a "porch-pounder"? What if the flavors lean more mineral and less fruity? Believe it or not, there are some rosés that taste better after a few years in your cellar then they did right off of the shelf at your favorite wine shop.

As Eric Asimov mentions in his article There's More to Rosé than You May Think,"the most serious rosés will benefit from a little more bottle age." He mentions Bandol, the crown jewel of Provence in France, as an ageable rosé. True enough, Bandol is incredible! Try Domaine Tempier for arguably the best wine from this region or Domaine Antiane for an affordable alternative.

Speaking of Eric's article, check out one of his favorite rosés from Provence (and a favorite of ours as well) Commanderie de Peyrassol. If you like the Commanderie, you should definitely try the MiP, Made in Provence. Its a smaller producer and there isn't a lot of their wine to go around, but we have some!

But Bandol isn't the only region with ageable rosés. Try wines from Tavel, the only wine region that I know of that only makes rosé wine! Also, the rosés from Sancerre, the home of everyone's favorite Sauvignon Blanc, drink tremendously well for a few years after bottling.

One of my personal favorite rosés is Montenidoli's Canaiuolo Rose coming from San Gimignano in Tuscany. This winery actually used to hold back their rosé for a year before releasing it because they liked it better after a year of age. Unfortunately, the wine didn't sell well because consumers thought it was too old, since it was last years vintage. Now they release the current vintage of their wine, but they still recommend waiting a year before you drink it.

Get some of our favorite ageable rosés here,

And don't forget to come by and taste 10 different Rosés for free at the third Great Rosé Tasting all day long on Saturday, July 16th!

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5 things you didn't know about Rosé but were afraid to ask

5 things you didn't know about Rosé but were afraid to ask

Well, it finally happened. Rosé wine has finally made it into the mainstream and is no longer mistaken for its sweet cousin, White Zinfandel. It wasn't long ago that we couldn't get most people to even taste pink wine, let alone buy a bottle! Now our customers come in asking for it on their own, without me begging them to try it or anything!

But in the new age of Rosé, many people are intimidated by the huge selection of rosés available in many shops. To help out with your questions, here are 5 things to know about drinking pink wine but were afraid to ask.

1. You should drink your Rosé chilled. Treat it just like a white wine.

2. You can drink your Rosé all year long. It's not just for the warmer months. If you feel comfortable drinking a refreshing glass of Sauvignon Blanc in the winter months, you can definitely enjoy a glass of rosé. I actually think rosé wines pair incredibly well with Thanksgiving dinner!

3. Light colored Rosés aren't better than darker ones. There is the idea that paler rosés are better than darker ones. This is absolutely not true. They can be very different styles though. The pale rosés are usually much more delicate and light, perfect for sipping on the porch while the darker ones are usually more powerful and rich in flavor. For me, nothing pairs with grilled ribs or BBQ Chicken like a rich, dark colored rosé!

4. All Rosés don't taste the same. Rosés can be made from any red grape and depending on which grape is used, they can contribute different flavors. Rosé made from Cabernet can be powerful, ones made from Pinot Noir can be delicate and acidic, and those made from Syrah can be peppery and spicy. There are even some made from mostly white wine with around 2% of red wine added. These tend to be the most light and delicate, and more closely resemble white wines.

5. You want to drink the current vintage (usually).  Rosés are prized for being clean, fresh and fruity, and the longer your wine ages, the less fresh the fruit tastes. For that reason, you usually want to drink the fresher rosés. Although, some serious rosés might be able to age for a while. Some winemakers intentionally age their rosés for a few years before releasing them. These are usually more serious wines intended for pairing with food and less for picnics.

Well, I hope that helped! Feel free to email us if you have any questions. Until next time, happy drinking!

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Grovewood Gallery Rocks!

Grovewood Gallery Rocks!


Once again the Asheville School of Wine was on location this past weekend at the Grovewood Gallery pouring wine and answering wine questions for all. Not only do we enjoy tasting great wines with everyone, we also love helping people learn more about how to serve and maximize their enjoyment of wine.

As it turned out the most popular question I received about wine was "Whats a great summertime red and what temperature should I serve it?". This seems to be a persistent question as the weather warms and folks are looking for a more refreshing way to enjoy red wines.

In general I would say try to find lighter-bodied, lower tannin, and higher acid reds to quench your thirst as the mercury rises. Some personal favorites of mine include, Altaroses Granaxta from Spain, Zweigelt from Austria, and Beaujolais from France. 


Now to tackle serving temperature. As it stands, most Americans drink their red wines too warm. In the summertime I enjoy putting my reds in the fridge for 20-30 minutes just to put a slight chill on them. They don't need to, nor should they be cold, just slightly cool to temper the heat of the alcohol without muting the flavors and aromas. 

If you follow those simple tips, you'll find a new world of enjoyment with red wine in the summertime.


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The Farm's First Ever Wine Dinner

The Farm's First Ever Wine Dinner

"The Farm", my favorite event venue in Candler, is holding their first-ever wine dinner and the Asheville School of Wine will be there!

Chef Mike Ferrari will be using skills he has learned working at 7 country clubs across the country to put together a tremendously innovative four course meal with wines paired by the Asheville School of Wine.

The dinner will be held at 6:00pm on Sunday, July 10th in the main barn. The cost will be $100 per person. If you haven't been to their fantastic facility yet, check out their website. It's absolutely breathtaking!

Call the Farm for tickets at (828) 667-0666 or email them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Come out next month for great food and wine, and have dinner in an incredibly beautiful setting!

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Springtime Sippers

Springtime Sippers

In case you missed it in print, check out my new article about wines for warm weather in Sophie Magazine. These are some that I have been drinking as the weather warms up.

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Grovewood Rocks!

Grovewood Rocks!

Grovewood Gallery, in the shadow of the historic Grove Park Inn, is hosting a show on artisan-made rocking chairs and the Asheville School of Wine will be there! The gallery will host works from ten American woodworkers ranging in style from traditional to very modern.

How often do you get a chance to see unique works of art and then sit on them?

Charley Stanley, educator at the Asheville School of Wine will be there at the reception this Saturday, June 4th from 3:00-6:00, to pour wines for you to taste as well as answer your wine questions.

Come out and see us this weekend at Grovewood Gallery!

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What's really causing that red wine headache

What's really causing that red wine headache

Suffer from headaches when you drink red wine? Here is a great article on what might be causing your headaches and what you can do to avoid them.

Spoiler Alert, It's not sulfites!

If you've ever visited a salad bar, enjoyed a glass of orange juice, or worst of all, eaten a raisin or two, you have literally consumed multiple wine bottles worth of sulfites in that one sitting! They are loaded with the stuff.

So if we can't point the finger at sulfites, what is responsible for our headaches? Find out in this article!

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Wines of Spain Tasting

Wines of Spain Tasting

This week, we had the opportunity to host a Spanish wine tasting for a local business. We spoke about Spain and tasted a number of wines ranging from somewhat well known, to downright obscure! I love obscure grape varietals!

Here are the wines we tasted if you want to try them out yourself!

Vina Mayor Verdejo, Rueda, 2014 - Verdejo is kind of like Albarinos obscure little sister. It's powerful, lemon-curdy flavors are very refreshing, and it's a terrific wine for $14.99!

Ostatu Rioja Rose, 2015 - This is one of my new favorite roses! It's been a favorite of mine for years, but this vintage is especially good! Tart raspberry, a hint of cherries and a ripple of cinnamon-spice makes this one a home run at $13.99

Luna Beberide Mencia 2013 -  A great lesser known grape that I think resembles Pinot Noir. A little lighter and silkier, with a touch of earth and a good bite of acid. $17.75

Juan Gil Monastrell, Jumilla, 2013 - A house favorite! Monastrell is Spanish Mourvedre, and this is the most famous house for it. Big and rich, with a slightly smokey, spicy flavor. It's a real crowd pleaser at $17.99

To host your own private wine tasting, contact Metro Wines at (829) 575-9525.

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French Tasting - Greatest Hits of France


Here at the Asheville School of Wine we love pouring educational tastings and this past Saturday we held a great one. Let's just say no one had to twist my arm when I was told our group of students wanted a greatest hits of French wine regions!! Man do I love Frech wine. It's well executed, seductive, and honestly its much more approachable than many people believe. 

So where did we go and what did we pour? We made stops in Burgundy, Rhône, Bordeaux, and Languedoc! 

With our quick stop in Burgundy we enjoyed a little Pinot Noir from Domaine Maurice Charleux & Fils. Their estate is located in the village of Maranges in the greater area of Côte Chalonnaise. Wow is all I can say. The wine was a stunning representaion of what Pinot Noir is capable of. It displayed earthyness, had wonderfully bright acid structure, and great notes of dried rose and cranberry.

For our next stop, we traveled south to the Rhône river valley to Domaine de la Janasse. They are known for being a classic Chateauneuf de Pape house and producing amazing wine. We enjoyed their Côtes du Rhône Reserve, which is a wonderfully rich and powerful blend of Grenache, Syrah, Caignan, Cinsault, and Mourvedre. The vinyard plot for this wine is directly adjacent to their Chateaunuf property and is an amazing value.

Staying in southern France, we next moved on to the Languedoc. This wine region, located on the Mediterranean coast, existed for centuries without much acclaim. They were the home of bulk wine production for France. All of that has since changed and the Languedoc is now producing incredible, rich reds and stunning whites. Everyone really enjoyed the Le Prestige offering from Château Puech-Haut. It's a rich, oaky blend of Syrah and Grenach and everyone agreed it would be the perfect pairing for smoky BBQ this summer. It would also be a great wine for someone who typically drinks big California Zinfindels and wants to try similarly styled wines from other areas in the world.

Our last stop on the grand wine tour of France was Bordeaux. I mean come on, how can you taste across France and not stop in Bordeaux. We made a quick stop on the Right Bank at Château Tour Bayard and man was it good. It's your classic Merlot driven Bordeaux with amazing notes of green pepper, leather, and plump dark fruit. This wine showed really well and would be a perfect accompaniment for juicy steaks off the grill.


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