Owner of Metro Wines

Michele D'Aprix


WOW. What a night. Michele D'Aprix is not just a great winemaker but a natural comedienne! About 35 participants came out to welcome Michele. We learned. We laughed. We left knowing all about Bordeaux.

You know from previous posts that Michele was studying chemistry and bartending in Boston. I would not say that she is an accidental winemaker but there are some elements of chance in her story. She took that chemistry degree and what was becoming an interest in wine to University of California Davis.
Her interest strengthened and before long she had realized that her future would be to channel her chemistry background into oenology. While working down the wine road at UC Davis, Michele was told that the only way to really become a winemaker is to just DO IT. That means you need internships. 
OK. Michele landed an internship in Burgundy. It was going fine but she found herself interested in getting dirty with grapes beyond Pinot Noir. So, while building her vineyard and winemaking skills in Burgundy, she heard about an opportunity in Bordeaux. Truth be told, Michele thought it would be a hard road to hoe in Bordeaux, a small, shall we say, very traditional (read male dominated) community. But she wrote to the Chateau anyway. "This was like writing to Bruce Springstein and saying I just bought a guitar, could you give me lessons?" But the answer is already No if you don't try. Right? The Chateau said YES! Come on down.
Michele said that they, like so many others in France, thought she would be a boy. Her last name is French and Michele is often a boy's calling card. Michele lives in NYC except during the harvest in Bordeaux and trips around the country to showcase her magic. And much of her family lives in Raleigh.
The master of the house at the Chateau was not a winemaker but rather a a made it rich Microsoft guy who thought it would be fun to own a winery. That said, Michele pretty much had the run of the place from the get go.
So, Michele is working the vineyards and stirring the pot. It was (and is) hot in the vineyards and the cellar. Microsoft guy served lunch everyday but it was usually heavy dishes like cassoulet paired with big red wines. It is Bordeaux after all. But it is also hot. 
Michele wanted to lighten the lunch load with a crisp white wine. She found an extra tank at the Chateau and commenced to bringing the light to the table. The winery across the street was growing Sauvignon Blanc (SB) and Michele took the extra grapes. Bonanza! Michele was the recipient of more grapes than the tank could hold.  About 5% of space was left between the grapes and the lid. Not good. If the tank is not fully filled with grapes, air fills the gap and the wine can become oxidized. 
OK. Regroup. Michele added 5% of the white varietal Semillon. This addition of Semillon to the SB turns the wine into White Bordeaux. The wine is good. All the spark of SB but with a smoothness from the Semillon. Pierre Angulaire White Bordeaux was born but was still just a table wine at the Chateau. And there are still lots of homeless SB grapes across the street.
More tanks, Michele thought. With all the easily accessible SB grapes and the initial success with white, Michele sought out more available tanks. She found some at a winery down the road. The winemakers that tasted the blend loved it and urged Michele to bottle it for sale. Now Pierre Angulaire hits the market! 
But Michele is devoted to red wine, and while she produces an excellent White and Red Rhones as well as Rose, Bordeaux is still  her passion. She bottles "Pentimento," a blend of 75% merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc.
Somewhere along the line, she met acclaimed winemaker Stephane Derenoncourt (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St%C3%A9phane_Derenoncourt) who shared his genius with her. Pentimento justs gets better and better.
Michele told us why she named the bottle Pentimento. The name is taken from a 1973 book by Lillian Hellman about the layers of her life (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lillian_Hellman) Wine is like that too. Layers. From the workers in the vineyard to the retail store. Layers.
But, of most importance, Michele said that MetroWines was one of two favorite wine shops anywhere. Believe it! Thank you Michele and back at you!


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Real Deal, Touraine, Portuguese, Merlot, SB Class, Kemiji, Black Cabra,


Making a REALLY REALLY Big Deal of It!
H. Mynors 2014 Old Vine Zinfandel Cuvee
Sourced from Sonoma, Amador and Lodi

2014 H. Mynors Image
Winery Tasting Notes: Our H. Mynors Zinfandel is deep ruby in color
and displays aromas of bright fruit, blueberry, raspberry and vanilla.
On the palate, the bold rich flavors of red fruit, currants, black pepper
and oak spices provide a mouthwatering experience.
The round soft tannins and sweet oak balance leading to a long finish.

Vinted and Bottled by Sean Minor $14.99
$19.99 at wine.com and currently unavailable.
$17.99 at winedeals.com 
(some deal! just sayin')

How can we have this bottle at this price you ask?
well, the distributor double ordered. needs the shelf space.
We got a good price. YOU get a good price.

Shop LocalLY and Save!

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2017 Le Petiot Touraine, $15.99
John Kerr of The Asheville School of Wine says:
"This wine is like Sancere for half the price."

Very old vines (the oldest being planted in 1947!) and tiny yields
are the source of this extracted, vibrant Sauvignon Blanc from vineyards
on the southern bank of the Cher River in the Loire Valley.
Better than most Sancerre, twice its price, Le Petiot has a great depth of flavor
and a viscous, satin-like texture. The finish is persistently fruity with a good dose
of minerality. Pair with all types of seafood and goat cheese.

Sold out online! 
Shop LocalLY and get what you came for!

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
ChaoRijo Vinho Regional Lisbon Blanco
Jose Pastor Selection

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   The name Chão Rijo means “hard soil” in Portuguese refering to the claycalcareous soils on which the native Malvasia, Galego Dourado, Jampal, and Fernão Pires grapes grow. These vineyards are located less than 6 miles from the Atlantic Ocean, producing wines low in alcohol, high in acidity, with delicate floral aromatics and saline notes. Grapes were harvested the first week of October, 100% destemmed and given 2 hours of skin contact, then wild yeast fermented and raised in vat for 8 months on the lees. The result is a vibrant white wine that truly expresses its Atlantic coast origin, with bright fruit, lively acidity, and seaside salinity. Pair it with your favorite seafood dishes, grilled vegetables, or herb-roasted poultry.

Only 300 Cases. $17.99 @MetroWines.
NOT all over the internet.
Shop the different. Shop LocalLY!


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You know how it feels when an airliner lands and pulls reverse thrust?
It was just like that. You could feel it.
Once introduced to the world of Merlot, participants in the class last week

Merlot is BACK. At least @MetroWines.
We finally kicked "Sideways" to the side!

Andy Hale Tells the Story of Victory!

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Next Maligned Grape: Sauvignon Blanc
You might be saying what? Everybody likes Sauvignon Blanc!
(Don't hate me ALERT)
Not so. I am admitting, I don't like all, nay, most bottles of Sauvignon Blanc (SB).
It could be the grape but It is probably the country of origin and the style.

So, for those of you that think you don't like SB, try a different country or style.
And for those of you who do like SB, step outside your usual zone
to experience the many different styles to which this grape lends itself.

Tuesday, April 16th from 5:30 to 6:30
with Andy Hale, Director of The Asheville School of wine
and Juniper Cooper from Mutual Distribution
Call:(828) 575-9525

or online: https://metrowinesasheville.com/store/product/

*** Please note that we cannot offer Refunds ***

Wine Note: We will be pouring Groth (California) SB.
Groth is the first winery to receive 100 Points from Robert Parker.

About the Master
Emmanuel Kemiji
Another kind of, sort of accidental winemaker!

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As reported by Gina Trippi and John Kerr
on The Wine Dinner at Vivian




Black Cabra Malbec 2018
Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina

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197 Hits

Much Maligned Grape: Sauvignon Blanc

News Release: March 22nd, 2019
About: Sauvignon Blanc Class and Tasting
Join Andy Hale, Director of the Asheville School of Wine, and Juniper Cooper of Mutual Distribution, for a class about and tasting of this much maligned grape Sauvignon Blanc on Tuesday, April 16th from 5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines.
"You might be thinking why have a class, everyone likes Sauvignon Blanc," says Gina Trippi, co-owner of MetroWines. "But many think they do not like this varietal because they have only tasted it made wine in one country or in one style. Join us to try the wide world of Sauvignon Blanc."
$25 for the presentation and tasting. Call (828) 575-9525 or online here: https://metrowinesasheville.com/store/product/much-maligned-grapes-sauvignon-blanc-on-april-16th/
Parking is free, close and easy.
Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
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179 Hits

All About Emmanuel Kemiji

Tonight is the night! Emmanuel Kemiji, Master Sommelier, WineMaker and Winery Owner, hosts a sold out wine pairing dinner at the acclaimed Vivian in Asheville! Emmanuel, on a very busy day, stopped by the shop a few hours ago to say hello to the staff. We shamelessly cornered him for a few minutes.
In our casual conversation with a very excited and a bit star struck staff (including me!), we asked to learn about this very accomplished person in the wine world. What we uncovered in nothing compared to what the dinner revealed about Emmanuel's travels down a long and vinous road to becoming a highly regarded winemaker.
But here it is: Turns out Emmanuel lives in Puerto Rico. He says the island was devastated in a way "that you cannot imagine"but it is coming back, slowly but surely. His own home was damaged but not demolished. While Emmanuel lives in Puerto Rico, his work and we do mean WORK takes place in Spain and California.
In conversation, Emmanuel made mention about "working the harvest." What? You work the harvest? I admitted that I thought he probably stirred the pot a bit, maybe sternly said the batch needs a touch more Carignan, maybe signed off on the final brew, but work the harvest? Oh yeah. He does. Emmanuel is a hands on winemaker. He is involved throughout the entire process. These are most definitely HIS wines.
In Spain, Emmanuel and partners own the vineyards and winery where Clos Pissara is made in Priorat. The California operation is very different. Emmanuel is a road warrior sourcing the grapes from around the state and makes wine in a facility he leases. A lot more mileage and legwork, but these are also totally HIS wines.
From what we hear, everywhere Emmanuel went in Asheville during the day he was asked where he was having dinner. When he told them he was scheduled for a wine pairing dinner in the RAD at Vivian, everyone was suitably impressed and jealous! And those who attended tell me the jealousy was more than justified!
On to the dinner...................
Packed house. I am told you could feel the electricity in room. Guests were MetroWines customers, Vivian customers and some Asheville culinary notables including Liz Button! Yes, that Button.
Born in New Jersey of Greek and Spanish heritage, at 2 years of age, his parents packed up Emmanuel and moved to London. Spending his, shall we say, formative years, in London and Europe, the roots of the finer things in life, even if subliminally, were surely sown.
Emmanuel says his parents had friends everywhere, even California. A trip to Sacramento to visit friends there coincided with his search for a college. Emmanuel took an instant liking to the area. But what about college? In what turned out to be a "what should be, will be moment,"  Emmanuel was advised that UC Davis was just up the road. 
So OK. Off to UC Davis. He started off studying Economics and Spanish Literature. And while Emmanuel was not particularly interested in wine, he started to take notice of enology. He began taking electives in enology and learning about wine making. Finding enology interesting, the pursuit of the subject was still more an interest than a career direction.
But then he met Brian Kosage (https://www.bkosugewines.com/). (Skipping ahead, Brian becomes ultimately Emmanuel's winemaker in future episodes!) The friendship and association with Brian channeled Emmanuel's casual interest in enology into more of an unstructured passion. 
After graduation, Emmanuel became sommelier at Ritz Carlton in San Francisco. Nice job. But he and Brian wanted to get their hands dirty and work a harvest.  Hard work (and there is always the possibility of snakes! I added that part.)  
Moving forward on a path from which Emmanuel may not yet have realized he would not turn back, after working several harvests, he and Brian decided to try making wine. As luck, or fate for those who subscribe to it, would have it, one of the Roederer owners in Alexander Valley said he would give Emmanuel a ton of grapes, the beginnings of about 200 cases, to test drive his winemaking skills. 
Emmanuel and Brian did indeed make 200 cases of wine with those Roederer grapes. Great! Now what? Emmanuel has his share, about 120 cases, in his San Francisco apartment. Time to call friends to help him drink it. If you pour it, they will come! And they did.
And, of more importance, they like it. A LOT. As luck would again have it, or well you know, fate, some of the friends owned restaurants. They want to buy it for their eateries. By this time in the wine world, the 3 tier distribution system was firmly in place. The system requires the winery or importer to sell to a distributor who sells to the a restaurant or shop. 
That said, it was and is illegal for a winery to sell directly to a restaurant, even one owned by friends.  So, Emmanuel, became, in his words, "a bootlegger." The wine took off. Emmanuel had to get right, real and legal. In 1998, he "became an honest man" and sold his wines, and a LOT of wines, legally. 
And the rest is, as they say, history. Now, as a giant in the wine world, does Emmanuel have words of wisdom for aspiring winemakers? He says: "the secret to making great wine is to get best grapes you can and then don't screw it up!" 
Toward that goal, Emmanuel has locked in some of the best vineyards in California including what are considered the 5 best vineyards for Chardonnay in the state. As proof of the success of his philosophy, Emmanuel has a interest in the vineyards in Russian River put Russian River on the wine map. Same in SoCal. Used by Pissoni, the most famous producer of Pinot Noir in SoCal. 
How did he do it?  "Persistence and proved ability." 
Oh, and BTW, Somewhere ablong the line, Emmanuel became a Master Sommelier. That's a BIG deal. While Emmanuel was a little to humble to mention this accredidation, you should know: Kemiji became the twelfth American to pass the Master Sommelier exam in London, England and one of only nine to date to pass on his first attempt. He then went on to become the first sommelier to establish a commercial winery, Miura Vineyards.
Restaurant recommendation from this international, palate competent citizen? Emmanuel says, while he loves it here in Asheville,             his culinary heart lies elsewhere: "My favorite place is San Sebastian in Spain."
MetroWines has and will always have wines from Emmanuel Kemiji!
For more about the history, philosophy and the WINES! go here:
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243 Hits

Resources to Plan Your Trip to Italy


By Michael Scardaville!

Planning your own trip: benefits

Is planning your own tour of Italy realistic?




San Gimignano




Crete Senesi, Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore


The tradition of "Vino Sfuso" (getting wine in bulk) in Italy


When to go

Weather in Italy


White Truffle Festival, Alba




New travel security system for most EU countries in 2021


Where to go

Italia (nice overview of regions, trip possibilities)


Regions of Italy


The Ultimate Guide to the Regions of Italy


Via Francigena


La Pasta di Gragnano


Slow Food: Food itineraries


What to do

Google regional specific sites: examples

Tickets for the Uffizi Gallery and Accademia Gallery,


Firenze Card


Vatican Museums


OMNIA Vatican & Rome Card


Venezia Unica Pass


How to get around





A beginner's guide to train travel in Italy






Italia rail (be wary of additional fees)


Rail Europe (be wary of additional fees)


Auto Europe

  • Arranges cheap rentals with the major companies: Avis, Europcar, Hertz, etc.


A Beginner's Guide to the Do's and Don't's of Driving In Italy


A beginner's guide to train travel in Italy


Where to stay

True Italian Agriturismos


Bed and Breakfast


Monastery Stays


Where to eat

8 Signs You’re Eating at a Tourist Trap


How to Read An Italian Menu


Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurants in Italy (and gluten-free)


Eating Vegetarian in Italy (or Vegan, Gluten-Free, Lactose-Intolerant, Celiac)


The Essential Gluten Free Guide to Italy


Slow Food: cookbooks


Decanter, Wine Travel – Italy


How to communicate

Google Translate


Google Translate: download languages to use offline


Edoardo A. Lèbano, Italian: A Self-Teaching Guide (2nd edition)


Metro wine blog: Survival Italian


Coffee Break Italian (Season 1 & 2)

£ 80 ($104.) each; £ 145 ($189) together  https://coffeebreakacademy.com/courses?query=Italian

Online Italian Club (free)


Rocket Italian (free)


Wellesley College: Italian Language and Culture: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced (more academic; free)


Learn Italian: How to Survive on Your Travels to Italy If You Do Not Speak Italian (3 parts)




XE Currency: for offline currency conversions


When in Rome . . .

When in Rome… A Look at Cultural Norms in Italy


A Look at Italian Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette


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263 Hits

Bordeaux, Focus Winner, James Baldwin and Bandol, Drinking Old School, Italian Alps & Colterenzio, Dr. Seuss& Case Club, Orin Swift, Big Night at Ambrozia, Conde Nast & Aviary & White Hart & Alexander Valley & Quilt, Cinema Paradiso, Torii Mor, Ciao!

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Who is Michele D' Aprix?
Pentimento Bordeaux! that's WHO!

Winemaker Michele D'Aprix
and Andy Hale of The Asheville School of Wine
Present a Class and Tasting
Join us at The French Cafe @MetroWines
Tuesday, March 26th from 5:30 to 6:30, $25


This is a unique opportunity to meet
the Only American Women Winemaker in Bordeaux 

and hear how she, literally, stirs the pot!


Toscana Rosso

Asheville Wine Focus Group 

March Winner!

A blend of red grapes from Tuscany. Ser Passo has been conceived as an attempt to surprise and delight the wine consumer with new flavors, tastes and aromas. The unique flavors are of intense, strong and ripe fruits, such as cherries and black cherries. A velvety structure on the palate leaves a graceful softness in the mouth which make it suitable for tasty pasta, red meats and game in general.

*** $11.99 ***

Tiny Rooms of Literary Giants
WSJ: https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-virginia-

One of those Rooms, including what he called his "Welcome Table" set with wine and food belongs to James Baldwin ("If Beale Street Could Talk") in Provence.

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What Wine Was on the "Welcome Table" ??
Story about James Baldwin from Saveur:

Image result for castle bandol pradeaux 2017
    Within Bandol, there are many many excellent producers but Château Pradeaux
is the standard bearer for this ancient wine-growing district. Pradeaux sits on the Mediterranean between Toulon and Marseilles. Owned by the Portalis Family since before the French Revolution, the domaine continues to maintain traditions. Although the majority of the vineyards are planted with Mourvèdre, the Château Pradeaux Bandol Rosé is composed of Cinsault and Grenache as well as Mourvèdre.
    The "Rose Season" is about to start. Start like James Baldwin.
Start with the BEST. Start with Bandol!  


John Kerr of The Asheville School of Wine
"Drinking Old School" for Capital at Play

Eating Your Way Through the Italian Alps
Read: The Dolomites!
NYT: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/06/travel/

One of the recommended restaurants is St. Hubertus at Hotel Rosa Alpina

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St. Hubertus has an 89 Page Wine List with which we share more wine
than you would want to heat about. It is, however, always interesting to note which
US wines make the cut. At St. Hubertus, two we share are Opus and Jordan.
From around the world, we are most proud that a restaurant of this caliber shares with us: GD Vajra, Conterno, Musar, Legeder and this one:

Colterenzio Pinot Nero!
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The sunblessed hills around cantina Colterenzio were formed in the Ice Age
and give rise to fruity red and white wines with finesse and character.
UNavailable at wine.com. On the shelf at $16.99 @MetroWines!


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"Life Lessons from Dr. Seuss"

All Spot On Advice.
Add Share a Glass of Wine with Friends!
And to toward that goal.... 

Join the Case Club @MetroWines
Call (828) 575-9525



*** Orin Swift ***

Pouring: "Mannequin, Blank Stare,
Palermo, Papillon and Machete"

Wine Pairing Dinner at Vue 1913 
at Omni Grove Park Inn

** Thursday, March 28 **

Call (828) 210-7813

>> Call Now. Hotel invites its Guests so...SELL OUT RISK <<

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(This event is over 1/2 sold with a month to go. Please call NOW!)

"Ciao Asheville" 
"The Big Night" at AMBROZIA
Wednesday, April 17th starting 6pm

Chef Sam Etheridge does the Big Dinner
from "The Big Night"
with special guest Deborah diSabatino,
Food Stylist for the Film!

more: https://metrowinesasheville.com/wine-blogs/blog/entry/

$65 (exclusive of tax&gratuity).
Call (828) 350-3033

Don't Miss This BIG NIGHT!

Conde Nast Photography Collection of Wine Photos HERE:

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Peruse Over a Bottle of Something Dark, Sultry and Sexy

Weeknight Perusal Wine 
Aviary 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, $17.99

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This decadent Cabernet Sauvignon opens with rich notes of ripe cassis
and black cherry with softer tones of sweet oak and almond.
Silky smooth on the palate. Rich flavors are balanced with lively acidity.
Perfect to now or will age for many years to come. 

(Picture from shopwinedirect. You got to love this one! $18.99.
Already a dollar over everyday shelf price @MetroWines.
And they say it is a savings of $6.

And you can only get the inflated price if you "buy in bulk!")

Heads UP Moment!
Always check a seller when store offers a discount. Ask $30% off of what?
An already inflated price? Often the regular price @Metrowines is below
the big deal sale price online. And consider shipping and risk of damage.

Weekend Perusal Wine:

    Blend of 99% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Tannat, this Paso Robles wine
presents black cherries, red cherries, blackberries, autumnal spices on nose followed by flavors of dried black cherries, blackberries, licorice, gentle toasted oak. Soft tannins.

    Winery Says:   A few sommeliers have called White Hart “a mini-Napa Cab” because of the wine’s balance, richness, and finish. To make a Cabernet Sauvignon like this from Paso Robles, we went to a favorite little spot, certified sustainably farmed, between two rivers – which keeps the vineyard much cooler than its neighbors. This makes for a smoother, mid-alcohol Cabernet, more Napa-Sonoma in texture, albeit more Paso Robles in dark cherry flavors.  $27

Before Dinner Perusal with a White Wine

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A California blend of 99% Chardonnay and 1% Vigonier
   Winemaker Says: There are fresh fruit aromas of apple, pear, pineapple, and vanilla mixed with floral notes and slight oak in the glass. The 2016 is rich and creamy with slight citrus notes along with crisp flavors of pear, apple, tropical fruits, and nectarines. The Viognier adds a slight floral component and a rich mouth-feel. This vintage has bright acidity, nice balance, and a very long finish.

 Robert Parker, Jr.'s Wine Advocate 90 Points Says“The 2016 Chardonnay Estate is scented of lemon curd, grapefruit and honeycomb with touches of lime blossom and yuzu. Medium-bodied, the palate delivers a great intensity of citrus flavors with a racy backbone and a zippy finish. Great value!

$15.99 at wine.com. (sinful)
$17.99 at Paul's in DC online (my old store. Seriously sinful)

$14.99 @MetroWines
More details: http://www.avvwine.com/wp-content/

Weekend Perusal White

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Winery Tasting Notes :
COLOR: Pale platinum-straw
AROMATICS: Ripe pears, roasted almonds, buttered toast, honey, lychee, jasmine blossoms, freshly washed river gravel, lemon zest.
PALATE: Baked apple with vanilla drizzle, pineapple-mango cream, buttered toast, salty popcorn and lemon curd with notes of nectarine and cantaloupe. STRUCTURE: Medium bodied with a rich, generously textured and unctuous mouthfeel. Bright, mouthwatering acidity. A long, lingering finish.
FOOD PAIRING Crab cakes with lemon-dill sauce; butternut squash ravioli.

$27 @MetroWines (regular price!)
$29.99 at Total Wine and Out of Stock
$33.99 at wine.com on sale!

Ciao Asheville Presents 

*** Cinema Paradiso ***
Sunday, March 31st
starting 1pm @MetroWines

with Introduction and Discussion
by Ciao Asheville Film Critic, Robert Formento

call (828) 575-9525

Jon Tomaselli of Torii Mor @MetroWines on March 14th!

If you liked our newsletter, please forward to a friend.
Wherever they live.
We have subscribers everywhere
including Canada, Italy and Singapore!

Follow Ciao Asheville here: 

Follow our Wedding Page here: 
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206 Hits

Dear Paul Giamotti

Dear Paul, Can I call you that? (After what we have been through together, it only seems fair.)

On this, the season's opening of  "Billions," I write to you to ask for you help. I know in my purple heart that you could not have known what the lines they gave you to read in that movie would do, what harm IT would cause, what havoc IT would wreck, what IT would do to me! But it did. I cannot sugar coat it, Paul, I have never been the same since that day.
I love your work, Paul. I do. You were phenomenal in "John Adams," in "Billions" and even in the dreaded "Sideways" where IT happened, you were great.
But ten years after the movie, I was no better off. This is what I wrote on the anniversary hoping you would hear the pain in my voice, see the damage and take IT back: 
https://metrowinesasheville.com/wine-blogs/blog/entry/sideways-at-10 But, alas, nothing. I continue to wallow in this pool of unfairness.
And now I hear that you have confessed to Colbert that you know nothing about wine. Nothing! Is that fair?
You have a worldwide wood wine box with "Billions." If you say it, they will hear it. Please take IT back, Paul.
This is my humble suggestion. You and Bobby Axelrod share a glamorous meal over a bottle of Merlot. And you say "I love Merlot." That's all it would take. Three little words would restore me to my rightful place in the noble grape world. And just think of the press!
I remain your fan,
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  217 Hits
217 Hits

Jon Tomaselli of Torii Mor, Dundee, Oregon


MetroWines hosted a tasting with Associate Winemaker Jon Tomaselli of Torii Mor Winery in Dundee, Oregon. First, Jon is of Sicilian heritage! I totally shared a "Ciao Asheville" ( https://www.facebook.com/CiaoAsheville/ ) calling card with him. His wine roots go deep and far back into Italy. And you know that made us happy to hear!
The Torii Mor Website says of the Italian Connection: "With three generations of Italian winemakers in his family, Jon Tomaselli began his love affair with wine at the age of 4 years old while assisting the elder Tomasellis in their viticultural endeavors. By the age of 8, Jon knew he had found his calling in life." 
After growing up Italian!!, the Website says of his journey to winemaker: "In 1999, Jon graduated from Arizona State with a degree in small business management. After four long years in the trenches of corporate America, Jon went into business for himself brokering wine grapes from California and wine equipment. Upon moving to Oregon in 2006, Jon was offered a position at Torii Mor and in 2007, was promoted to Associate Winemaker under the direction of Winemaker Jacques Tardy.

Jacques brings his Burgundian heritage and his years of experience to Torii Mor and carefully produces wines of elegance, balance, and intention, utilizing our Olson Estate Vineyard and other prestigious vineyards in the Dundee Hills and other AVAs within the Willamette Valley."

Jon was informative, unpretentious and flat out fun. He escorted us through a tasting of six different versions of Pinot Noir. You might be asking how different can they be? With the different soils and the myriad of factors, including harvest date, fermentation temperature, skin contact, oak aging or not, all the way down to cork or screw cap, that can be adjusted and tweaked in the winemaking process, all six were distinct and very different. You can read all about his wines here: https://www.toriimorwinery.com/product-category/red-wine/
What we all really liked was his basic approach to explaining the process. Some of us finally GOT IT. Jon explained that the winemaker can control the weight of the wine. And this is of great importance to him. He is suitably unhappy with what has happened to most domestic versions of Pinot Noir. Too big. Unbalanced. Unstructured. Flabby. Just too much!
He likened the process of controlling body to dipping a tea bag in a cup of hot water. Every time you dip the bag, the tea becomes stronger. But imagine if you dip the bag in cold water. And then increasingly hot water, the difference in strength or weight of flavor in the tea. Same with wine!
Punch Down and Pump Over are the two main processes by which a winemaker can induce the juice to have contact with the grape skins. Wine Folly describes it this way:
punchdown-vs-pumpover-with-winePumpovers Pumpovers can extract higher amounts of tannin in a wine depending on the frequency and force.
Some pump over systems are basically wine sprinklers, offering a gentler extraction and some aggressively stir
up the fermentation tank. For larger fermentation tanks in commercial operations, much needed oxygen comes
through a pumpover device.

Punch Downs Punch downs, on the other hand, are a very delicate way of stirring a wine. Theykeep skins from getting too extracted and little to no amount of added oxygen in the fermentation. Punch downs are typically done by hand and are more popular with non-interventionist winemaking.  

So, the more you punch down or pump over, the heavier the weight of the wine. And then there is temperature control. The cooler the temperature, the fruitier and fresher the wine. Within the varietal, Jon has great leeway to not only reflect the terroir but the all important weight he not only prefers but believes is appropriate for the grape. GOT IT!
Jon has agreed to SKYPE with us from his habitat in Dundee! Any Hale, Director of The Asheville School of Wine, is contacting him now! Stand by....


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April Wine Focus Group


Thursday, March 14th, 2019

About: April Asheville Wine Focus Group
Please join us on April 10th from 5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines for The Asheville Wine Focus Group @MetroWines with our host Orsini Wines.
"Nearly 40 participants gathered in March for the Focus Group," says gina Trippi, co-owner of MetroWines. "The more opinions, the better our selections of wines for the shop."
and sign up for our April gathering by calling (828) 575-9525
Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
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March Winner: Ser Passo 2017 Toscana Rosso

 Winery Said:

Ser Passo was conceived as an attempt to surprise and delight the wine consumer with new flavors, tastes and aromas. The unique flavors are of intense, strong and ripe fruits, such as cherries and black cherries. A velvety structure on the palate leaves a graceful softness in the mouth which make it suitable for tasty pasta, red meats and game in general.

Focus Group Said:

"velvety palate"

"strong black cherry flavor


"touch of chocolate"

"could enjoy alone or with food"

"can handle meat"

Among Group last night was a sommelier from Italy, Roberto, who said "This wine is a good example of the great values coming out of Italy. You could definitely take this wine to a dinner or party with confidence."

We say: $11.99 !!

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277 Hits

Ciao Asheville presents The Big Night Dinner at Ambrozia

News Release: Wendesday, March 13th, 2019
About: Event is Already Half Sold!
Please join MetroWines and Juniper Cooper of Mutual Distribution on Wednesday, April 17th starting 6pm as "Ciao Asheville" presents "The Big Night" at Ambrozia. Chef Sam Etheridge prepares and presents the dinner from the movie "The Big Night" together with four paired Italian Wines.
Our special guest will be Deborah di Sabatino, food stylist for the movie, who will share stories of her adventure with us. (LA Times: http://articles.latimes.com/1996-10-11/entertainment/ca-52626_1_big-night) and (NYT: https://www.nytimes.com/1997/11/16/magazine/food-eye-candy.html)
"The event is half sold with a month to before the date," says Gina Trippi, co-owner of MetroWines. "Please call Ambrozia now before all seats are sold!"
The 1996 film was written by and starred Stanley Tucci, Tony Shalhoub and Isabella Rossellini. The plot concerns two brothers, Primo and Secondo, who have come to America from Italy with hopes of owning a successful, authentic Italian restaurant in 1950s New Jersey. When their new restaurant is not immediately flooded with customers, the brothers realize they have a lot to learn about the business world. 
The culture clash ensues when their best customer is unable to appreciate Primo's exquisitely prepared risotto because there is no spaghetti and meatballs on the side! Primo cannot understand why the Americans would rather stereotypical Italian food in a stereotypical Italian restaurant rather than his culinary artwork in a beautiful setting.
The brothers agree to present a meal offered by their despised but successful rival. The "Big Night" dinner is built around "timballo," a complicated baked pasta dish. If it works, the brothers succeed.
This unique evening is $65 exclusive of tax and gratuity. MetroWines will be offering wines from the evening at event prices.
Please call Ambrozia at (828) 350-3033.
And please follow "Ciao Asheville" on facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/CiaoAsheville/
Contact for Ciao Asheville: Gail Rampersaud at Ciao@MetroWinesAsheville.com

Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi

Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
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Drink Old School by John Kerr


The Wine Column: Drink Old School

March 2019

Written by John Kerr of Metro Wines

The forgotten wineries are still among the best.

In the iconic wine film Sideways, Miles (played by Paul Giamatti) breaks the ice with Maya (Virginia Madsen) by asking her about the bottle that got her started. “What was the bottle that did it?” he asks, while they sip wine in the kitchen. Without hesitation, Maya replies, “1988 Sassicaia.”

Sassicaia is the kind of bottle that changes how just about anyone views wine. This wine almost single-handedly saved Italy’s wine industry. Before the 1970s, Italian wine was known best for its bottles in straw baskets that made great candle holders. Sassicaia was Italy’s first Super Tuscan, a Cabernet Sauvignon blend grown in the warmth of Tuscan soil. At a 1978 tasting of the world’s great clarets, Sassicaia placed first over a field of 33 wines from 11 countries. After that the world took a second look at Italy’s wines.

A few nights ago, I thought about the bottle that did it for me. I had just opened a Chardonnay from one of Napa’s stalwarts, Heitz Cellars. I took it home because it had languished on the shelf for over a year. I couldn’t recall the last time anyone had asked for a bottle of Heitz, Cab, or Chard. Since the Chardonnay was from the 2014 vintage, I was worried that it would go bad before anyone got to enjoy it. So, I decided that person would be me.......

For the whole story, pick up a copy of Capital at Play @Metrowines!

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170 Hits

Pierano Petite Sirah, Gravel Bar, Backsberg Chenin, Bordeaux Class, Venice, Pullus, Caravaggio, Orin Swift Dinner, Ambrozia Big Night, Amontillado


Image result for peirano petite sirah lodi 2017
Peirano Estate Petite Sirah, Lodi 2017, $13.99
The intense inky black color of this wine catches you from the first pour. It exhibits a rich deep hue
with perfect clarity. The senses are tempted by an array of wild blackberries, maple, brown sugar
and fresh baked boysenberry pie. The palate is mysterious and seductively filled with bright blackberries, deep dark plums, cassis and dried cranberries, with chewy moderate tannins.
The finish is soft and mysterious with a hint of cocoa and black pepper. 

Image result for gravel bar cabernet sauvignon 2015
Gravel Bar, Columbia Valley 2015, $17.99
For more than 20 centuries, torrential floodwaters from melting ice-age glaciers
sculpted Eastern Washington's Columbia Valley leaving deep deposits of sandy, rocky alluvial soils. Today, these broad plains of ancient sediments constitute one of the world's finest
grape growing regions. Small lots aged sur lie in American Oak, Gravel Bar is full-bodied,
complex and concentrated yet subtle and elegant.
This blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% Merlot presents black cherry,
mocha and plum on the palate with a good balance of fruit and herbal flavors.

Image result for backsberg chenin blanc 2017
   About the Winery: Michael Back’s grandfather arrived in Cape Town in the early years of the last century, a penniless political and religious refugee from Lithuania. Working first as a dockhand, then as a bicycle delivery boy, he eventually bought a butcher shop at the Paarl train station, which he subsequently traded in for the farm that is now the heart of Backsberg Wine Cellars. Michael continues in charge today, joined since 2008 by his son Simon. This Chenin’s wide array of aromatic characteristics includes pear, green apple, and cashew; its ripe fruit is tempered by finely balanced acidity to give the wine a mouth-filling yet refreshing palate.

Image result for michele d aprix winemaker

Who is Michele D' Aprix?
Pentimento Bordeaux! that's WHO!

Winemaker Michele D'Aprix
and Andy Hale of The Asheville School of Wine
Present a Class and Tasting
Join us at The French Cafe @MetroWines
Tuesday, March 26th from 5:30 to 6:30, $25


This is a unique opportunity to meet
The only American Women Winemaker in Bordeaux 

and hear how she, literally, stirs the pot!


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When in Venice, Eat Like a Venetian

When Not in Venice, But you Want to Drink like a Venetian

Stay with us...........

*** Teachable Moment Alert ***
My first thought was to pull a bottle from Friuli but that seemed so SOP.
So, I asked Andy Hale, Director of The Asheville School of Wine, how,
apart from Friuli, I might drink like a Venetian. And, he said.....


Image result for pullus pinot grigio
2017 Pullus Pinot Grigio with a Pinkish Hue! $17.99

"...Pullus is from Slovenia bordering northeastern Italy at Friuli.
Fruili has garnered a big reputation and is commanding a high price. 
The wineries are real state of the art. Slovenia has the same terroir
and quality but is not burdened with all the hype and marketing that drives up prices.
That said, Pullus does not have an inflated Friuli pricetag that represents "trendy".
And Pullus is a little less high tech, a little closer to the land in process."

Winery says this Pinot Grigio is a wine with a rosy-coopery hue in its colour,
which is typical for overripe, macerated grapes of this variety.
Its nuances are expressed in the bouquet, which hint at ripe pears and overripe melons.
The intense bouquet gives the wine a full and creamy finish. 

Image result for pullus pinot grigio
2017 Pullus Pinot Grigio with a Pinkish Hue! $17.99

"...Pullus is from Slovenia bordering northeastern Italy at Friuli.
Fruili has garnered a big reputation and is commanding a high price. 
The wineries are real state of the art. Slovenia has the same terroir
and quality but is not burdened with all the hype and marketing that drives up prices.
That said, Pullus does not have an inflated Friuli pricetag that represents "trendy".
And Pullus is a little less high tech, a little closer to the land in process."

Winery says this Pinot Grigio is a wine with a rosy-coopery hue in its colour,
which is typical for overripe, macerated grapes of this variety.
Its nuances are expressed in the bouquet, which hint at ripe pears and overripe melons.
The intense bouquet gives the wine a full and creamy finish. 

Caravaggio or Not?

Image result for caravaggio toulouse authenticate

 "Judith and Holofernes" discovered in an attic in Toulouse in 2014.
Experts disagree on the authenticity of the painting but it is set for auction anyway!

(Personally, I don't see it. But that's just me.)

*** Another Teachable Moment Alert ***
Michealangelo Merisi, aka Caravaggio, was born in Milan, Lombardy Winemaking region. Easy.
What would be more appropriate over which to discuss Caravaggio than a wine from Buttafuoco!

Image result for buttafuoco barbera
As we have said, bad name but great wine. A blend of Croatina, Barbera and Uva Rara,
this is a taste extraordinaire. A fruity but dry, light red wine similar in characteristics to Dolcetto. Imported by Neal Rosenthal Wine Merchants. Give it at least two house to breath.
By the Glass for over 2 years at Cucina 24! and a personal favorite @MetroWines.

But this is too easy, so, I went back to Andy Hale and asked what would be close to Lombardy,
share some wine characteristics, maybe some varietals, but be just a little different.
Andy said: "Let's go  over the border to Piedmonte. Barbera!"

Image result for riva leone barbera 2016

Bright ruby in color. Fruity, sweet aromas of chocolate and raspberry, maybe a little cream soda.
Riva Leone offers a fruity, light-to-medium body and can go solo!
At $11.99 @MetroWines, Riva Leone is a steal!


Image result for prisoner wine

Orin Swift

"The Prisoner"
Wine Pairing Dinner at Vue 1913 
at Omni Grove Park Inn

** Thursday, March 28 **

Call (828) 210-7813


Image result for the big night film

"Ciao Asheville" 
The Big Night at AMBROZIA
Wednesday, April 17th starting 6pm

Chef Sam Etheridge does the Big Dinner from "The Big Night"
with special guest Deborah diSabatino,
Food Stylist for the Film!

More: https://metrowinesasheville.com/wine-blogs/blog/entry/

$65 (exclusive of tax&gratuity). Call (828) 350-3033

Don't Miss This BIG NIGHT!


"My dear Fortunato, you are luckily met. How remarkably well you are looking today!
But I have received a pipe of what passes for Amontillado and I have my doubts.
The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe

Reading Poe on a rainy day, I ran into this story and realized I had never tasted Amontillado. Unacceptable! So the next night, I had a glass of Amontillado at Jargon in West Asheville
following an extraordinary plate of Crawfish Etouffee by Chef Marcus Day.
The Amontillado? A very different, very exquisite taste!
I can understand how someone during the time of Poe,
when Amontillado was not so readily available,
might go willingly into the dark and dank catacombs to have a taste.

But you can access Amontilladoat catacomb free MetroWines! 
Lustau Dry Amontillado "Los Arcos" Solera Reserve

Lustau, Dry Amontillado
93 Points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: 
"The non-vintage Dry Amontillado Los Arcos Solera Reserva reveals a medium amber hue
along with a nutty, honeyed, dry personality with great acid. 
The portfolio of under $25 a bottle selections represents remarkable value for their complex,
well-made personalities. Lustau includes a bottling date code."

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228 Hits

Torii Mor Wine Tasting

News Release: March 9th, 2019
About: Torii Mor Wine Tasting @MetroWines
Join us on Thursday, March 14th from 5:00 to 6:30 @MetroWines to meet Jon Tomaselli, Winemaker for Torii Mor, Dundee, Oregon.  Sustainably Farmed Wines "on the taste" and "on the house." 
The name Torii Mor derives from the Torii gate in the Japanese Garden on the property and "Mor" is the ancient Scandinavian word for earth. Together the name is a nod to Pinot Noir's expression of terroir and connection to the earth.
Committed to sustainability starting with pure water from an artesian well, the vineyards and the process are overseen by Burgundian Winemaker Jacques Tardy.
Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir are their passions!
More about Torii Mor here: https://www.toriimorwinery.com/
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
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290 Hits

Wine Vault, Game Dinner, Napa History, Lettie Teague, Focus Group, Chaka Khan, Merlot, Michele d'Aprix, Plan Trip to Italy, Prisoner Dinner


Image result for kitchens refrigerated wine vault
Future Kitchens Have a Wine Vault

Let us @MetroWines Help You Stock It!
Style isn't everything. Quality is.
Shop Your Vault Wines @MetroWines.

Call John at (828) 575-9525 for a Consultation.


Image result for still life dutch master

Wednesday, March 13th Starting 6pm

Call (828) 252-4162


Image result for farnum kerr napa
Farnum Kerr RIP

California Rivers north of San Francisco are overflowing. Will this ruin your trip to Napa? No.
John Kerr, MetroWines Co-owner, Assistant Director of The Asheville School of Wine @MetroWines and Napa Native,

shares his "don't cancel your trip to Napa" reasons:

"The town of Napa should be safe. My father, Farnum Kerr,
City Planner and Civil Engineer, returned the Napa River to its original state with flood control modifications as well as adding a beautiful park along the banks of the river in downtown Napa.
If you walk this way, notice the plague to commemorate the work of Farnum Kerr
to add beauty and safety to Napa. We got this!"
"And further, (John is on a roll now...) Farnum received an award, together with Thomas Jefferson (obviously posthumously!) for his design of UVA, to commemorate his preservation of the beauty of Napa Valley. Before Farnum, city officials had chosen the cheapest and fastest fixes. Seeing the vision of what could be, Farnum vigorously fought the city, to achieve this goal."

So.............Napa Wine You Say!
Sean Minor Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, $24
"An incredible bottle of Napa Wine for this price," says John Kerr.

(Farnum probably would have said the same.)

Image result for sean minor napa cabernet 2016

If you shop this wine online, be sure to compare apples to apples.
Sean Minor makes wine in several areas of California, some more value minded.
This one, the Napa Cabernet! is $26.99 at Wine.com
Shop LocalLY. Convenience and Savings.

   Winery Says: Our Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a deep ruby color with aromas of ripe blackberry, red and black currants. Flavors of blackberries and ripe plum fill the mid-palate, entwined with black currant, mocha and black pepper, providing for a full-bodied and rich wine experience. The soft tannins and sweet oak balance lead to a long and lingering finish.


Image result for lettie teague
Lettie Teague Talks "Tremenda" and "Seghesio"
in WSJ


Yeah, We Got That!

Are you Coming to Group?
The Asheville Wine Focus Group
Wednesday, March 13 from 5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines
Call (828) 575-9525
online: https://metrowinesasheville.com/store/product/asheville-wine-focus-group-march-13/

 Our Host is Charlie Stanley from Advintage Distributing of The Carolinas
Selected one of the Top 100 distributors in Country by Wine Spectator!

Advintage says: "Serving as a true partner to our customers is our #1 priority.
This means understanding their needs, maintaining a portfolio hinged on quality,
and bringing the most authentic, exciting products to the Carolinas."

They're asking. Let's Answer! See you at Group.

Image result for chaka khan 1980s
"She comes to my house, I go to her house,
we play music, we drink wine, we talk, we have a good time" 

Chaka Khan on her friendship with Joni Mitchell
NYT says expect Chaka to sing Joni on her next album

>> Personal Note. Tune out now if you don't want to hear it! <<
One of my best of my memories was seeing Chaka Khan on The President,
in New Orleans summer of 80. Tina Turner was scheduled but, an hour before, she canceled.
Chaka Khan was announced to fill in. Who? We stumbled aboard a little disgruntled.
Sitting on fold up chairs set on the rickety wood floor about the give way to the Mississippi
beneath it drinking cheap gin, we waited. She was late. She was also gorgeous.
Had all this brown hair and a dress with a thousand fabric ribbons flowing and swirling.
And when she spun, it was magic. You never heard a voice like it! 

Invite a Friend Over to Share a Bottle of Wine!
Put on Chaka. Put on Joni. 

** For Brunch **
Image result for underwood rose 2017
Underwood Rose, Oregon 2017, $
This blend including Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir offers flavors
and aromas of strawberry, watermelon and peach.

** Afternoon **
Image result for artesa 2016 chardonnay

Secateurs Red Blend of Shiraz, Cinsault and Grenache. $16.99
(We clipped the image from Wine.com for a rea$on!)

Winemaker Says: "This is a bright Chardonnay, with beautiful layers of fruit bursting
in the glass with notes of honeysuckle, orange blossom, key lime and golden peach.
The techniques used are designed to retain the signature Los Carneros aromas of
lemon-citrus and white blossom while accentuating the minerality and vivid,
fresh fruit flavors of citrus and stone fruits in the wine.
Partial barrel fermentation and lees stirring create complex layers that impart
hints of oak and wrap the flavors in a rich, generously textured mouthfeel and elegant finish."

James Suckling says 91 Points! "The full citrus and pineapple aromas are
well married to the vanilla oak. Medium to full body and lively acidity to form
a very satisfying package. Drink now." 


*** In the Dark ***

2016 Secateur Vintage Red Blend, South Africa, $16.99
(Again, we have clipped image from Wine.com for a rea$on!)

Winemaker Says: Secateurs, pruning shears, shape our bushvines during
the winter pruning and are used to pick ripe grapes in summer. Our family has,
for the last 3 generations, nurtured our vines to produce fruit with integrity. 
The aromas are perfumed, peppery, spicey, smokey and exhibit ripe red fruit notes.
The palate is textured and smooth. Finish is fresh and dry. Drinkable with or without food.


Image result for jason stephens merlot 2014

Andy Hale says "Jason Stephens Merlot Drinks like a smooth Cabernet."

Winery says: "Rounded red-berry fruit meets with vanilla, caramel,
smoke and wet soil on the nose of this bottling from a winery near Morgan Hill.
Hickory smoke and rich red-fruit flavors start the palate, where grippy tannins
lead into a cocoa-laced finish. Best with some time to smooth out."


Image result for michele d aprix winemaker
Winemaker Michele D'Aprix
and Andy Hale of The Asheville School of Wine
Present a Class and Tasting at The French Cafe @MetroWines
Tuesday, March 26th from 5:30 to 6:30 $25



Next Ciao Ashville Event
Wednesday, March 20th from 5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines

"Plan Your Trip to Italy with Michael Scardaville"

$10 for the presentation, a glass of italian wine and cheese!
Call (828) 575-9525 


Image result for prisoner wine

Orin Swift
"The Prisoner"
Wine Pairing Dinner at Vue 1913 
at Omni Grove Park Inn

** Thursday, March 28 **

Call (828) 210-7813


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239 Hits

Northern Italy Wine Class III

Tuesday, March 5th, 2019

About: Northern Italy Wine Class @MetroWines
By popular demand, a THIRD class on Northern Italian Wines including
Tuscany, presented by Andy Hale, Director of The Asheville School of
Wine, has been set for Tuesday April 9th from 5:30 to 6:30

"Two classes on the wines of Northern Italy are SOLD OUT," says Gina Trippi, co-owner of MetroWines. "Reserve now!"

The class and tasting is $25 plus tax. You must reserve a seat. 

Make your reservation by calling (828) 575-9525 or online here:

Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
Continue reading
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212 Hits

Southern Italy Wine Class


Tickets HERE!

News Release: March 5th, 2019

About: Southern Italy Wine Class @MetroWines
Andy Hale, Director of The Asheville School of Wine @MetroWines leads a class on the wines of Southern Italy on Thursday,
April 11th from 5:30 t0 6:30 @MetroWines. The class includes presentation and tasting. $25 for the evening.
"This is our second class on Southern Italian Wines," says Gina Trippi, co-owner of MetroWines.
"The event is very popular so sign up now!"
Reserve a seat by calling (828) 575-9525 
Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
Continue reading
  311 Hits
311 Hits

Merlot, Prisoner Dinner, Bordeaux, Broc, Quincy, Mencia, Semillon, Market Place, Cruor, Case Club


Image result for scales of justice
Andy Hale, Director of The Asheville School of Wine,
and Junper Cooper of Mutual Distribution
*** Make the Case for Merlot! ***

We admit this is an ex-parte communication but Merlot was so persuasive:

Maybe You Don't Like Merlot. BUT, Maybe (actually, probably) You Do!

$25 Tuesday, March 19th from 5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines

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Orin Swift
"The Prisoner"
Wine Pairing Dinner at Vue 1913 
at Omni Grove Park Inn

** Thursday, March 28 **

Call (828) 210-7813

Image result for michele d aprix winemaker

"A truly unique experience"

Winemaker Michele D'Aprix
and Andy Hale of The Asheville School of Wine
Present a Class & Tasting @MetroWines French Cafe
Tuesday, March 26th from 5:30 to 6:30 $25


Image result for broc love red

The Love Red grapes were harvested in the second week of September
to preserve the grape’s natural acidity. The Carignan and Syrah were both
whole cluster fermented and destemmed in concrete and stainless tanks.
The Valdiguié went under carbonic fermentation in stainless steel.
(The grape was at one time primarily grown in Languedoc Roussillon in France.
It has a Pinot Noir or Gamay like weight.)
Aged for 8 months in concrete and neutral French oak barrels.

    Winemaker Says: "We started making our Love Wines because we want to provide a more affordable everyday drinking wine to a larger market while still espousing the key tenets we believe in --- minimal intervention and sustainable farming. The Love wines are larger production blends by design. We still use only native yeasts and bacteria for fermentation with no additives or adjuncts, but we do choose to use trace amounts of SO2 at bottling. Each of the Love blends contain grapes from vineyards with varying degrees of intervention and the vineyards and blends can change with each vintage."

Image result for france map quincy
Domaine Trotereau, located in the small appellation of Quincy in the Loire Valley,
was the second recognized appellation in France in 1936, second only to Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
Grapes had long been planted there with Sauvignon Blanc introduced by Cistercian monks
in the 12th century. Southwest of Sancerre, the sandy, silex-ridden topsoil with an undercurrent
of pink limestone is truly unique, unlike any other Sauvignon Blanc appellation in the world. 

As recently as fifty years ago, the wines of Quincy were more recognized in France
for their quality than Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé, and commanded a higher price.

Today the appellation has largely faded from recognition,
and only those in the know KNOW!


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100% Organic Mencia (pronounce: Menthia), $21
What's Mencia?
All about it from Wine Folly

  Mencía (“Men-thee-ah”) is a medium-bodied red wine grape that produces high quality wines with floral and red fruit flavors. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s not surprising, Mencía only grows in Spain and Portugal on the Iberian peninsula. What makes Mencía special is it has shown the ability to age like other fine wines and it offers rich aromas in the glass. If you love Pinot Noir, then Mencía is something worth investigating.

  Mencía contains high levels of a sub-group of aroma compounds called terpenoids which translate into lovely flowery aromas, strawberry, raspberry, black licorice, pomegranate and cherry sauce. When you look at a glass of Mencía, you’ll notice its deep red color with subtle hues of violet towards the rim. The color tells us that Mencía has high anthocyanin (the red pigment in wine). On the palate you’ll be greeted with peppery flavors of sour cherry, red currant and pomegranate along with a bitter cherry pit flavor which comes from the wine’s tannin. In the regions where it grows in Spain and Portugal, you will taste a subtle crushed gravel or granite-like minerality in the texture, which often contributes to its black peppery taste.

*** Pairings ***
Charcuterie, Steak au Poivre (pepper steak), Pastrami Sandwiches, Corned Beef, Pepperoni Pizza, Smoked Seitan, Barbecue, Wild Game, Roast Pork, Beef Brisket, Carne Asada, Dark Meat Turkey, Duck, Portuguese blood sausage, Chicken Fajitas
Monterey Jack, White Cheddar, Serra da Estrela (Portugal), Azeitão (Portugal), Idiazabal (aka Petit Basque), San Simon da Costa (Spain), Queso Iberico (Spain), Manchego (Spain), Tetilla (Spain), Ossau-Iraty (France)
Black Pepper, White Pepper, Nutmeg, Allspice, Clove, Anise, Fennel seed, Black Cardamom, Sichuan Pepper, Rosemary, Sage, Bay Leaf, Dill, Garlic, Shallot, Caraway, Dijon Mustard, Hickory, Savory Barbecue Sauce, Celery Seed
Mushroom Risotto, Portabello Mushroom Steak, Onion, Red Cabbage, Lentil, Wild Rice, Tomato, Stewed Apricot, Prune, Hazelnut, Bell Pepper, Olive, Artichoke

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100% Semillon is BACK! $18.99

Winemaker’s Notes: The grapes were machine picked in the cool of the night before
gentle pressing and fermentation in stainless steel tanks. The wine then spent a few months
on yeast lees to gain extra complexity and mouth feel.
Tasting Notes: A lifted nose showing citrus freshness, the palate continues with fresh citrus
and concentrated grapefruit flavors. The palate is light to medium bodied with
a perfect balance of fruit and soft acid.

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** Spring Game and Women Winemakers **
Wednesday, March 13th Starting 6pm

at Market Place


Call (828) 252-4162


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#1 By the Glass Pour at Curate, $24
A blend of 60% Samso, 20% Garnacha and 20% Syrah, this wine reflects
a specific terroir, La Fredat in Bellmunt del Priorat. A dense Picota cherry (Spain) red
in the glass. The nose is Mediterranean herbs, balsamic notes with black fruit.
The palate is rich and round, polished tannins and a long finish. It's all about the slate! 

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The secrets of ancient brain surgery have been revealed, BBC is asking whether civilization cratering,
the mystery of Stonehenge may have been solved, Jeff Bezos says he is blackmail proof
(but has anyone see the pictures? to be honest, I do want to see where that money
that I used to spend on Amazon went!), Australia has OKed Emoji License Plates,
a study of Neptune reveals a BIG HOLE in our understanding of the solar system (yikes!)
Kellogg is working feverishly to prevent a Pringles shortage in UK,
NYT recommends Bob Berman's book "Earth Shattering" about cosmic calamities, and

Some of You Have Not Joined The Case Club @MetroWines
SAY WHAT? Adventure, Convenience and Value!
And Case Club Never Stops.
Not snow, not Bezos, not zombies, not cosmic calamities,
not even a "road diet" can stop the force that IS Case Club!

Join The Case Club @MetroWines
Call (828) 575-9525
online: https://metrowinesasheville.com/club

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Ciao Asheville Reflects on "The Leopard"

Robert Formento, Film Coordinator and Critic for Ciao Asheville, talks about "The Leopard"

Some additional information from our discussion about the book and movie, “The Leopard”:

  • The movie is based on a novel by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa. The book was published in 1959, one year after Lampedusa’s death. It chronicles the changes in Sicilian life and society during the Risorgimento (Italian reunification). Lampedusa was a Sicilian aristocrat, who based it on his great-grandfather. He died not knowing that his book would be published. (it had been rejected twice during the last year that he was still alive)
  • The book became an instant success, the top selling book in Italian history and winning the prestigious Italian Strega Award. 
  • A movie of the book was released in 1963 winning the top Cannes award, the Palme d’Or. Although the movie was a success, internationally, it not a success in the US until it’s re-release in the original version in 1983. The first release cut important material to make it shorter, used an inferior version of Technicolor, and worst yet had the cast speaking English, without subtitles. It did not work.
  • The director, Luchino Visconti, from an aristocratic family himself, was uniquely qualified to direct a movie about the changes to the aristocracy.
  • It is often described as Italy’s “Gone with the Wind”. Why? It has war, romance and social and political change. All in one book! Additional comparisons can be made to America’s time of the civil war. Both were wars of unification between the North and the South. Both countries tragically lost forward thinking leaders. Lincoln was shot before he could implement positive reunification in the US and Prime Minister Cavour of Italy died in 1861 at age 50 leaving decisions regarding unification to less enlightened leaders. The South of both countries suffered.
  • Burt Lancaster (who plays Fabrizio, the Sicilian prince, and Claudia Cardinale, who plays the beautiful, but lower class, Angelica) were two of the leading actors. Visconti was originally not in favor of Burt Lancaster for the role of a Sicilian prince. He reluctantly accepted him based on his “star power” and watching his performance inJudgement of Nuremberg released in 1961. Visconti was won over by Lancaster’s performance in The Leopard and they became best friends. There was no reluctance to cast Claudia Cardinale in her role as Angelica!
  • Two famous quotes from the book and movie are:
    • “if we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change” — this line kind of sums up the political struggles in the movie
    • Love, of course love. Flames for a year, ashes for thirty.” — this line kind of sums up up the Prince’s view of his marriage and his prediction for Angelica and Tancredo’s romance
  • The ballroom scene — at the time of filming, it was about 105 degrees in Sicily! It was so hot that the ballroom scenes (in full formal dress) were filmed from 8pm to about 4am! In keeping with the 1800s, all of the electric bulbs in the light fixtures were changed back to candles (hundreds of candles)! Given the heat, plus the intense overhead camera lights, the candles would melt and had to be replaced every hour. Such was the meticulous attention to detail by Visconti.
  • Italy was the last country in Europe to be unified. Before the Risorgimento, the last time the country was united was during the Roman Empire. Between then and Garibaldi’s invasion of Sicily to begin the unification, close to 15 occupations occurred making for a very diverse culture. (if you include time before the Roman Empire, the count increases to about 20 different occupations!)

Follow All Things Italian and Ciao Asheville Events HERE!

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Ciao Asheville presents Plan Your Trip to Italy


Tickets HERE!
Ciao Asheville presents "How to Plan Your Trip to Italy" with Michael Scardaville on Wednesday, March 20th from 5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines. Michael shares structure, ideas and a little inside information! 
$10 for the presentation, a glass of Italian Wine and Cheese.
Get started now with "Survival Italian" developed by Michael Scardaville and shared with Ciao Asheville here: https://metrowinesasheville.com/wine-blogs/learning-italian
Very HIGH sell out risk for this event. You must reserve a seat! 
Know Before You Go!!
Contact for Ciao Asheville: Gail Rampersaud at ciao@metrowinesasheville.com
Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
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