Owner of Metro Wines

Pompeii and Nicolini Malvasia

*** New Discovery ***

Pompeii Fast Food Counter 

Archaeologists excavate fast-food centres in Pompeii - it s viral -  Hindustan Times
Dinner in Pompeii: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/23/t-

The Wine? Pair Ancient to Ancient.
Nicolini Malvasia, Friuli Venezia-Giulia, Italy

Most ampelographers believe that the Malvasia family of grapes are of ancient origin,
most likely originating in Crete, Greece. The name "Malvasia" probably comes
from Monemvasia, a medieval and early Renaissance Byzantine fortress on the coast
of Laconia, known in Italian as "Malvasia"; this port would have acted as a trading center
for wine produced in the eastern Peloponnese and perhaps in some of the Cyclades. 
During the Middle Ages the Venetians became so prolific in trading "Malvasia wine"
that merchant wine shops in Venice were known as malvasie!

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing, sky, outdoor and nature
Giorgio & Rossana Nicolini and their son Eugenio Nicolini are the winemakers.
A blend of Malvasia, Borgogna Nera, Piccola Nera, Vitovska & Refosco
From the Importer: 

It's an Andy Pick!
Andy says:
 This wine has weight making it a solid winter white but laced with good acidity.
Golden in the glass, the wine verges on orange. Spice, floral and apricot and bone dry.

Please note: Adorable dog not included!

Bottled Antiquity for Today: $24

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New Winter Whites

2021 New Stuff

** Including ALL New Wines **

Let's Start Here

Les Terrasses Ventoux Blanc 2018, 14.99

Domaine Les Terrasses d'Eole

(Called L'Aguieloun in France and named after a cold wind from the northeast)
Made with a blend of Clairette and Ugni Blanc, this wine is crisp and has aromas
of white fruit and flowers, and finishes with bright acidity and a light lavender note. 

Bow & Arrow Sauvignon Blanc 2018
La Chenaie Vineyard, $19.99

Bow & Arrow La Chenaie Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Natural 2018

Proof that Sauvignon Blanc made the right way can be terroir driven.
We make the two wines exactly the same way but the Eola-Amity Hills
highlights wholly different attributes in Sauvignon Blanc.
More sophisticated than the southern versionand incorporates a savory aspect.   Texturally is carries more weight and depth without being ponderous.  
Reminiscent of stone fruit, guava, mint and a whiff of Rum Agricole.

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Sparkling from $8.99


** Sparkling at Your Price **


╰☆╮HAPPY NEW YEAR!!♡♥❤️☆ LET IT BE SPARKLY ❤️ *•.¸¸.•**•☆ . | Happy new  year 2019, Happy new year, Happy new year 2018

Belvive  Sparkling NV, Cantine Povero, Italy $8.99
This wine is less about thinking and more about drinking! Bright and fun flavors
lead you to either drink it like any great sparkling wine or, if so inclined, blend it with your favorite 
OJ or Peach Juice for a cocktail that everyone will be appreciate.

** Note: Belvive was a MetroWines Focus Group Pick! in 2020 **
Let's stop here for a Teaching Moment. What's NV? Non-vintage (NV) wine
is made by blending multiple years together. NV wines are known
for their consistent, house style and are usually a good value. 

Avinyo Cava Reserva 2017, Spain $17.99
90 Points, Wine&Spirits Magazine
($19.99 at wine.com. Who cares. It's out of stock anyway. As usual.)
Pinpoint bubbles mingle with fruits, fresh-baked bread and a crisp,
mineral-driven finish. Traditional Catalan sparkling made méthode traditionnelle.
100% free run juice, aged 18 to 22 months before being disgorged.

Baga Bruto 2017, Portugal $24
100% Baga, a varietal planted in Bairrada.
15 year old vines planted in clay, calcareous soil. Stainless steel.
Second fermentation 12 to 18 months before bottling.

Castelnau Reserve Champagne, $40
40% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Noir, 40% Pinot Meunier
Wine Spectator: 90 Points: "Fresh and lightly toasty, this creamy Champagne
offers open-knit flavors of black currant, toasted brioche and lemon parfait.
An accent of smoky mineral chimes in on the subtle finish."

Christian Etienne Brut, NV Cuvee Meurville, $54
Christian Etienne has been handcrafting different Champagne cuvees
on his 9 hectacre plot in the Aube with chalk and limestone soils are ideal for producing top notch Champagne. This offering, is as blend of mostly Pinot Noir, with the classic Champagne nose, terrific body weight, elegant mousse, and long finish. Served as an aperitif or pair with a variety of foods.

We also have Large Format Bottles, some in wood boxes!
For Other Selections and Prices Ranges
Call (828) 575-9525.

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2020 Wine of the Year @MetroWines

*** MetroWines  ***

"2020 Wine of the Year"
2018 Franck Balthazar Cotes du Rhone, $23

2018 Franck Balthazar, Cotes du Rhone

The Balthazar domaine dates back to 1931, when it was founded
by Franck’s grandfather Casimir. René took charge in 1950 and began domaine bottling on a small scale in the 1970s. All the while he continued to sell most
of his wine in cask—as Casimir and so many others of his generation had done—to the local cafés.  Franck now bottles all of his tiny production,
made by methods little changed from those of his grandfather:
he plows with a horse, and bottles his wines without fining or filtration.
2018 Cotes du Rhone is a 50/50 blend of Grenache and Syrah; it is luxurious, elegant and expressive, with an unmistakable sense of place.

The Winemaker, Franck Balthazar

One of the top growers following tradition is Franck Balthazar,
who left his engineering career in 2002 to answer the siren song
of the steep granite slopes of Cornas and pursue the classic farming
and winemaking methods of his father René. 12 years later,
Balthazar is making some of the most expressive,
and rigorously traditional, wines in Cornas.

More about Balthazar: 

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MetroWines Staff Picks 2020

*** Staff Picks for 2020 ***


A boy leaning on a rock, holding a wine glass in his hand, a greyhound to  the left by Jacob Esselens on artnet


** John's Pick **
Maestro 2016, South Africa $24

32% Roussanne, 23% Chardonnay, 23% Chenin Blanc, 15% Grenache Blanc,
and 7% Viognier. The nose shows notes of concentrated orange
and yellow stone fruits, with a hint of spice, citrus and blossoms.
The palate is full-bodied, textured and nuanced with a lingering finish.

"Not new to the shop but a consistently high quality and versatile wine.
The unique blend presents just enough crispness and texture resulting
in a familiar yet different and enticing palate."

** Gina's Pick **
VentiSei 2017, Italy $16.99

91 Points from James Suckling
Fresh raspberry notes, delicate underbrush hints and sweet spice aromas
will charm you. Serious wine drinkers will think Cru Beaujolais got their passport stamped in Italy while touring Montepulciano. Juiciness and mineral finish
will call for another glass straight away.

"Aside from the fact that this is just a great, easy drinking and pleasing wine,
it reminds me of the strawberry farm in Hammond Louisiana, owned by my father's immigrant family, where they occasionally made strawberry wine. This is no doubt
a much more complex and elegant version, but it still brings back memories
and sends me to my comfort zone. Wine can do that!"

** Zach's Pick **
Biortolone Frappato 2018, Sicily $16.99
Bortolone's 100% Frappato is from vines grown on sandy red soils at an altitude
of 260 meters. The wine is fermented and aged in stainless steel in order to preserve its prisitine fruit qualities. This Frappato is a pale, light ruby color with intense aromas of cherries, blueberries and raspberries with a subtle earthiness. The palate is light and fresh with moderate tannins and wonderful concentration of berry fruit flavors. Zach says: "Bortolone Frappato is an amazing value from a small family
that has been in Sicily since the 1800s. This organic Frappato over delivers.
Light to medium bodied, balanced fruit and acidity. Very versatile with food."

** Andy's Pick **
Chateau Musar Jeune 2018, Lebanon $19.99

Blend: Cinsault 50%, Syrah 30%, Cabernet Sauvignon 20%
The 2018 Chateau Musar Jeune Red is a deep plum color with a violet rim.
Aromas of blueberries, dark red cherries with Mediterranean herbs,
tobacco and spice. A warm and fruity wine with medium tannins
and gentle acidity. Dense darkfruits –including blackcurrants, blueberries
as well as strawberries and pomegranate with a touch of Eastern spice. 
Andy says: "Musar is one of my favorite wineries in the world
and certainly the Middle East. Stylistically, it is halfway between
Bordeaux and Cotes du Rhone with a generous dab of Napa Cab tossed in.
It's easy drinking enough on its own but also pairs well with food. 
The fact that it's under $20 makes it a treat that I can enjoy on a regular basis."

** Lou's Pick **
Shebang 13th Cuvee, California $14.99

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Blend: 55% Zinfandel blended with Carignane, Petite Sirah, Mourvedre,
Alicante Bouchet, Grenache, Syrah, Barbera and a touch of whites
for aromatics much of which comes from old vines.

Lou says: The Whole Shebang! The most popular Red Blend at both our locations. And who doesn't love a good blend? This rich and full bodied beauty goes well with steak, grilled meats or just by itself. I'm Lou Collichio and I approve of this message!"

** Kristen's Pick **
Christian Etienne Brut Rose NV, France $46

From a small family grower. Their rosé is 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay
from vines averaging 25 years old, and it bursts from the glass in bright,
fresh berry fruit and a resplendent color.

Kristen is our Wedding Coordinator and she is all about joy.
She says "This bottle is pink and bubbly like me, joyful and so, so good." 

*** Brett's Pick ***
2016 Clos Guirouilh Jurancon, $22
Clos Guirouilh Estate has been in the same family since the 16th century.
Jean Guirouilh is currently operates the estate. The climate is characterized by cooler temperatures, and the soil varies from clay-calcareous to grès.
The Jurancon Sec is made up of 85% Gros Manseng and 15% Courbu.
The vines are over 40 years old and are located at an average of 350 meters elevation on steep slopes. The nose of Jurancon Sec comes across as floral and sweet, but with a palate that is dry, flinty and bright. 

Brett says: This bottle is from a woman winemaker, the daughter
of the patriarch of the Jurancon region, Jean 
Guirouilh. Jurancon is just southwest
of Bordeaux. A Bordeaux Blanc with more of a cold climate mountainous core laced with an elegance throughout. Best bottle for classical old world French white.


Celebrate the End of 2020 with a case of staff picks!

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Tables That Taste Good and Look Good

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Last Minute Holiday Wine Shopping

Escaping Criticism Framed Print by Pere Borrell Del Caso | Classic paintings,  Art, Trompe l'oeil

"Escaping Criticism" by Pere Burrell del Caso, 1874
And this is your goal in gifting a bottle of wine!

Professional Recommendations from MetroWines:


Recently, Wine Spectator asked a number of sommeliers what bottle they would pick
to give as a gift at the holidays. As individual knowledge levels, palates and preferences,
and availability vary wildly, this is a tough choice. So, I asked John  and he said:

"I would choose a California Cabernet Sauvignon. This is the best selling category in the shop, while this may not be your first choice, it is rare to find someone who totally opposes
California Cabernet and you have many prices ranges from which to select a great bottle."

Under $10:  Black's Station Cabernet 2018, $9.99
Under $20:  Gundlach Bündchen 2018 , $17.99
Under $30. The Barrel 2017, $28
Under $40: Kith & Kin 2018, $39

 $50-$60: Ascent 2012, $54  .................

John says: "Ascent was intended to be twice the price." 

A well regraded and well known restaurant had ordered many cases of Ascent before COVID. Sadly, COVID closed the restaurant down and the distributor cut the price in half.
So, once again, we have a restaurant bottle that would have been over $100 on the menu.

Over $60, call John at (828-200-6504

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Vallana Wines

Reprinted from 50 Plus Living, December Issue

By Gina Trippi


Campi Raudii, Vallana | Astor Wines & Spirits

So here we are at the end of 2020. Finally. Most people seem to agree that this was a tough year. It’s time for it to go! Let’s usher out the old by bringing in the new.  Two wines from Vallana are a good place to start a new year and a new journey.


Antonio Vallana, the last of 11 children, had an immediate passion for the vineyard. His older brothers left home to find fortune abroad leaving, happily for us, Antonio to carry on his father’s work, family tradition and to expand the business.


In the early years, Antonio bottled grapes from each vineyard separately recognizing that each wine would have a different aging potential. Each hand blown bottle had a card tied to the neck with a string noting the vintage and the vineyard. Some of these bottles remain in the Vallana cellars!


With winemakers increasingly abandoning farming to work in the new factories, the demand for local wines grew and so did the Vallana’s business. In 1937 Antonio Vallana and his young son turned their small family business into a company, ”Antonio Vallana e Figlio”  (Vallana and Son.)  


And that brings us to today. While the Vallana winemaking method is old, the grapes are probably new to you. The best of all possible worlds!


First up is Erbaluce. This is a rarely encountered varietal, documented as far back as 1606, from Piedmont, Italy. Erbaluce is used to make dry, sweet and sparkling wines. Vallana Erbaluce is organic, dry, crisp and zesty.  A clear, pale lemon yellow in the glass, you will find characteristic aromas of apple and melon. The medium body contributes to a smooth palate expressing the aromas of apple and melon and adding just a taste of starfruit. Pair this wine with lighter dishes. 


Next is a red from Vallana. Spanna is the most traditional Nebbiolo based wine in Northern Piedmont.  Nebbiolo, like Pinot Noir, is a very soil specific grape meaning it reflects the soil from the vineyard where it was grown. Spanna is one version, one location, of Nebbiolo that is usually lighter and more earthy. And rather than the bottle being 100% Nebbiolo, producers in Spanna are allowed to blend in s small percentage of other varietals including Bonarda, Croatina and Vespolina.


All grapes are monitored during each ripening stage to ensure the best quality and to set the best harvest date, usually in the first half of October. Vallana Spanna is then vinified in cement tanks to obtain a wine suitable for aging. The wine is released after two years of maturation. Ruby red in color, the wine presents deep aromas of spices and red fruit. Spanna is gentle and persistent on the palate with flavors of dried fruit and red and black fruits.


Robert Parker described Vallana wines as “intense traditionally made wines that ooze with character.” We think you will agree.  And we think Vallana wines will make good partners for moving forward into 2021!

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Wine for Holidays Collection

Bauer Gruner
Unoaked. Meadow flowers and delicately spicy finish.

Familie Bauer - Bioweingut in Großriedenthal, - Falstaff

Non Controversial Table Talk

Gruner goes with just about everything. The Austrians pair Gruner with sausage, 
meats and hot stuff. And Gruner is one the few wines that works with the beast: Asparagus.
Asparagus is strange even among its vegetal kin. It's tasty, true, but Asparagus
has it in for wine! The chlorophyll-driven green flavor that’s part of what makes it so tasty 
clashes with many wines. And the Asparagus contains compounds like asparagusic acid,
which is an organosulfur carboxylic acid. Basically, that translates to causing a lot of wine
to taste metallic and harsh. But don't despair. Just stay away from tannic reds
or oaky whites and go for something citrusy, herbal and unoaked. 
Critics pairing choice: Grüner Veltliner from Austria


Garzón Albarino, Uruguay 

This bottle is the very definition of bang for the buck.
Stone fruit, melon, honey and floral tones assault the senses.
With its close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, a layer of mineral and salinity
is added to this wine, making a perfect complement to fruit on the palate. 

James Suckling says 92 Points:
"Very attractive aromas of sliced peaches and melon follow through to a medium
to full body with a creamy texture and a fruity, almost savory hint at the finish,
together with lots of pineapple and melon. Drink now." 

Garzón Albariño Reserva

Non Controversial Table Talk Topic

Nestled between Argentina and Brazil, Uruguay is the fourth-largest wine producer
in South America. The country's output in 2018 was 18 million liters.
Although the bonds of tango and carnival link it culturally to Argentina and Brazil, respectively, the wine production of Uruguay is unique on the continent.  Shaped by
a mild, Atlantic climate, Uruguay is more comparable to European wine regions
than its Latin American neighbors, which have continental, Pacific,
or subtropical influences. Albariño is currently a rising star in Uruguay.
Considering the country’s maritime climate, which is similar to that of Galicia
and northern Portugal, it’s no surprise that it thrives here.

$16.99 at wine.com and more everywhere else online!

*** The 2019 is $15.99 @MetroWines ***

Cotes du Rhone Chateau du Trignon 2018 

 "Chateau du Trignon Cotes du Rhone has an intense ruby color
with nose and palate that show off strawberries, red currants and hint of garrigue.
Smooth and well-balanced on the palate. A soft, fruity wine.

*** Big Bang for the BUCK ***

Château du Trignon Côtes du Rhône Rouge | Vivino
$17.99 at wine.com and $19.99 at Vivino 
and, again, even more everywhere else online!

** $13.99 ** 

*** Arneis 2019 ***
(Barolo Bianco?)

Wine Advocate, 90 Points
"Packaged in its distinctive light blue label, the Cordero di Montezemolo 2019 Langhe Arneis
is a brilliant and crystalline white wine that shines bright from the glass.
This refreshing Arneis offers a terrific balance between orchard fruit and nectarine,
contrasted against white mineral and wild sage. Presenting distinctive richness offered
by this grape, with softness, but the overall effect is fresh, crisp and bright. Well done."

Langhe Chardonnay

Non Controversial Table Talk

Arneis is a white wine grape variety from Italy's much-respected. In a story shared
by several grape varieties, Arneis was rescued from extinction and is experiencing a revival.
By the 1960s, just a few hectares of Arneis vines remained, and only a handful of producers
were making the wine. There are now more than 1500 acres of Arneis vines in Piedmont. 

In the past couple of decades, Arneis has become synonymous with the wines of Roero. 
There, it produces floral-scented white wines, whose delicate aromas belie the full body 
and generous flavors of the wine, typically of pear and apricot rounded out
with a creamy hint of hazelnut. Produced just across the Tanaro River from Barolo,
these white Roero Arneis wines have earned the nickname Barolo Bianco!

Petit Royal, France Methode Traditionelle
*** Kermit Lynch Imports ***
 Petit Royal is unequaled in the world of sparkling wine: alpine flowers,
dried fruit, wildflower honey, and a toasty, yeasty note give this value sparkler
an utterly delightful aromatic richness and complexity.
Serve it with various salty toasts to kick off your next dinner party,
or pop one open to liven up a night at home with a big bowl of mac and cheese.

The Best Bubbles for NYE as told by Wine Industry Professionals - Amusée

Non Controversial Table Talk Topic

15 or 20 years ago, there was little buzz about the wines of Savoie, the Alpine region
hugging the Swiss and Italian borders. In fact, most wines from Savoie were some
combination of overcropped, thin, searingly acidic, and painfully rustic;
even the best examples rarely made it out of the local mountain resorts,
where they were served as an après-ski  to wash down many a croque-monsieur! 
But all that has changed, and today Savoie produces a number of top-quality from
simple thirst-quenchers to wines of substantial gravity including Apremont and Chignin. 

With vineyards at the foot of the Alps that can climb to higher elevations,
Savoie is defined by its mountain-influenced climate and extremely rocky terrain,
with abundant limestone. Thanks to a diversity of indigenous grape varieties,
quality-oriented growers with the choicest parcels can craft anything from deep reds
to crisp, low-alcohol whites including wines made from Altesse, another name for Roussanne, which the Romans planted on the slopes of Chignin around the same time
as they introduced it to the Rhône Valley!

*** $23.00 ***

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Holiday Table Red 2020


Big RED for The Holiday Table
Red and Gold says says winter cheer!



The 2017 Estate Winemaker’s Cuvee meets the palate
with rich, full-bodied flavors of black currant, red plums, and cassis,
followed by oak notes, cedar and vanilla. These dark flavors
produce a lush and velvety textured mouth feel that combine
with supple tannins and leads to a long silky finish.

76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Syrah, 7% Petite Sirah, 4% Merlot. 
15 months 60% New French Oak. Sustainable. 
Moon Mountain District – Sonoma Valley. Estate Grown, Caton Vineyard

Zach says: "This wine is big but not jammy nor does it taste overly oaked."

$38 at winery. Ditch winery case clubs and Save!
$26 @MetroWines

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Nick Demos and Kermit Lynch

Bio — Ampéli Wine Consulting


Nick Demos is an Advanced Sommelier and the Brand Manager around these parts for Kermit Lynch. But, mostly, Nick is known for being an all around nice guy. As one restaurant manager I know said: "He does not make you feel totally inadequate while you are learning about wine."  Nick tasted and talked four wines on Zoom on December 17th  hosted by Tryon Distribution and MetroWines in Asheville.

 What Are You Drinking, Kermit Lynch? | Serious Eats
Representing Kermit Lynch is a big deal because Kermit Lynch is a big deal. Although Kermit himself is a domestic product, San Luis Obispo to be exact, his name is synonymous with French and Italian wines. A writer and musician by trade, Kermit started his retail wine business in the early 1970s in Berkeley with $5,000 and 35 boxes. He went deeper into the biz becoming a distributor and importer with a focus on "authentic wines that express their terroir."  So, this revolution in the glass is all going on at the same time Alice Waters of Chez Panisse is revolutionizing what's on our plates.
Winner of two James Beard awards and knighted by the French government with their prestigious "Legion d"Honneur," Kermit is also the author of three books: Adventures on the Wine Route (1988), Inspiring Thirst (2004), and the 25th Anniversary Edition: Adventures on the Wine Route (2013). These days, partially retired, Kermit splits his time between Berkeley and Provence. "He is spending increasingly more time in Bandol," Nick says.  
Bandol is home to Domaine Tempier.  When Lucie “Lulu” Tempier married Lucien Peyraud in 1936, her father gave them Domaine Tempier, an active farm that had been in the family since 1834, near Le Plan du Castellet, just outside the Mediterranean seaport village of Bandol. Kermit says: "Of all of the domaines we represent, no other serves more as our cornerstone, stands more in the defense of terroir, and is more intricately interwoven with our own history, than that of the iconic Peyraud family of Domaine Tempier."
If you have read the MetroWines blog "Unfiltered" or our Newsletter, "The Public Palate: Putting Wine in Its Place," you know that I don't actually write about wine, I write around it. So while Nick is speaking wine in a very informative and poetic way, all I can think of is whether he met Kermit! I have to ask. Nick says "no, but almost," and he almost met Lulu.
At 102, Lulu is still considered, Nick says, "the mother of Provencal cooking." And, Nick told us, that the famed Alice Waters, "lived with Lulu to learn her cooking." When Nick was at Domaine Tempier, Lulu was taking an afternoon nap. Nick was asked if he would like the family to wake her. Tough call. (He did not say it but I bet that Jeopardy music was going through his head.) Nick knows this is probably his last chance to meet this living legend, but, as he says, he did not want to be remembered as the "American who woke Lulu up." Good call. See, I told you he was a nice guy.
Anyway, lets get on to the tasting. You can read the details of the wine on the Kermit Lynch website. What I really wanted to know was the cool stuff like the Lulu thing. So, here we go...
The first wine Nick presented was Quenard Les Abymes Jacquere from Savoie France. (https://www.kermitlynch.com/our-wines/andre-et-michel-quenard/) Nick says that the vines are grown on steep hills. I mean really steep. Downhill erosion, Nick says, is a "big factor." So big that "after the harvest, workers must bring the soil back up the hill."  (now that's cool) Regarding the wine, what Nick appreciates most is "the spectrum of minerality." (Is that a great wine line or what?)
Next up was Chateau La Grave Cahors Malbec, Southwest France. (https://www.kermitlynch.com/our-wines/chateau-la-grave/). Now I am telling you that I don't know where this came from but Nick started telling us how "the Greeks were the first culture to drink wine socially." Nick is of Greek descent. This prompted me, circling around the wine, to ask him, as wine is an intrinsic part of his DNA, if he agreed with Elisabetta Fagiuoli of Montenedoli (we met her on Zoom last week), that you can't trust people who do not drink wine. Nick said that was the easiest question that he had ever answered, "yes!"
The more studious among us asked Nick about the difference between French Malbec and Argentine versions of the varietal. Nick said that France is cooler than Argentina so the wines display more salinity, minerality and earthiness. Nick prefers the French.
Now, we move to Italy and the members of Ciao Asheville, the Italian Cultural Forum in town, who are on the Zoom are moving closer to the screen. First up is Il Palazzotto Dolcetto di Diano d'Alba. (https://www.kermitlynch.com/our-wines/palazzotto/). Here we learned one of three new Italian words: sori. This is a term reserved for historical vineyards. And this sori made wine (can you say that?) "is what the Piemontese drink," says Nick. He clearly LOVES this wine. I think he stomped his foot when he said: "If you don't like this wine, you don't like Dolcetto!"
But this is truly serious business. This higher altitude vineyard just north of Barolo (OMG say the magic word)"is one of the most, if not THE most perfect places on earth for Dolcetto." Nick has a lot of it in his cellar. Judging from the sales the day after the Zoom, a lot of Asheville basements, including mine, will be lined with this Dolcetto. Perfetta!
Barbaresco is up next and our second new Italian word: neve. Nick says this means as "good as it gets." Much like the French Pinot Noir grape, the Nebbiolo grape that makes Barbaresco, is "thin skinned and finicky," Nick says. Nebbiolo is from the Italian word (number three!) nebbia, meaning fog. The Ciao Asheville Zoomers are feeling a little smug now. We knew that!
Because of the similar viticultural challenges in Pinot Noir and Nebbiolo, the Italians sent winemakers to France to learn the techniques of growing this scamp of a grape.
Now Nick is coming into my world, "wines don't know political boundaries." This brought on the dilemma of big barrels that impart no oak and small barrels that make wine that needs to age. The Italians have resolved this problem by using 80% big barrels and 20% barrique. Now, Nick says, "they can produce traditionally made Barbaresco that can be served now."
We all thanked Nick for walking us through the Kermit Lynch wines. But I can't help thinking, say what you will about me! that I might have nudged Lulu and blamed it on the wind: "Le Mistral! Comment pourrais-je savoir."  Nick is such a nice guy.
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Presentation and The Pour


News Release: Friday, December 18th, 2020
About: Presentation and Pouring for New Year's Eve
The New Year's Eve Tradition @MetroWines continues! This year we present "Midnight in France" in collaboration with The Asheville Sister Cities Committee for Saumur, hosted by Jean Phillipe Bourgeois, owner of an Asheville based wine import company.  The evening will begin at 5pm EST on ZOOM and conclude with fireworks and sparkling  at 6pm because "When it's 6pm in Asheville, it's "Midnight in France!" Philippe will be pouring wines from four French women winemakers. 
Jean-Philippe Bourgeois | Asheville, NC's Official Travel Site
"This year we are adding food presentation to the wine pours,"  says Gina Trippi, co- owner of MetroWines. "We always focus on pairing cheese with wine but not the presentation. Plating in an attractive way can make the difference in a Big Box prepared tray of orange cubes and an enticing table!"
Julie Hettiger, a nationally known food stylist, photographer, and chef will pair the perfect cheese to each of Philippe's wines and show us how to arrange and display plates and platters like a professional. Camera ready and perfect for Facebook or Instagram!
The video will be available in our newsletter, "The Public Palate: Putting Wine in its    Place," on Sunday, December 27th or on our YouTube Channel here: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=metrowines+asheville
Julie Hettiger, the chef and photographer behind JH Creative, focuses on food styling for both print and film. In addition to a client list that includes national companies here and in Mexico, Julie has worked on several cookbooks including Fonda San Miguel, a bright and colorful book that USA Today called "a journey back to colonial Mexico." Julie has been the lead on recipe testing, development and product education for Maytag and JennAir. As an active member of The International Association of Culinary Professionals, Julie is the driving force in the Food and Photographers and Stylists Section and served as co-chair of the conference on Food and Film.
As a native of Wilkes County, North Carolina, Julie is active with the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation and is currently working on a book of recipes passed down from her mother. And to help raise funds needed to complete the work on the historic Bluffs Restaurant and Coffee House, Julie Hettiger and her husband, Ken Nelson, have announced that they will match donations for the work dollar for dollar up to $25,000.
Now this is how you wrap up the old year and start a new one!
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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Buy By the Case Time


Dog Greyhound wearing joke magnifying glasses #653335 Framed Prints
If you want to buy BIG for the holidays, don't let Big Box Fool You!
Lettie Teague's article in WSJ yesterday talks about hidden deals at Costco.
First of all, the nearest Costco around here is in Greenville.
Pricing and retail presence is different in NJ than WNC.

Let's look at 2 of the wines mentioned.
Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay was $39.99 (read $40) at Costco.
Same bottle is $41 @MetroWines. Worth a 50 mile drive for a dollar?
And if you buy 6 @MetroWines, the price comes down to $37 per bottle.
Now, you are underwater and 50 miles from home!
Same story with Austin Hope Cabernet. $53 at Costco. $54 @MetroWines!
Buy 6 @MetroWines, and bottle price to $49.

May Day!

Call Your Local Independent Merchant FIRST and SAVE!

*** DO THE MATH ***

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Bored? Cruise LA with Matthiasson

On Location: LA

Essential Arts: Cruising the Sunset Strip with Ed Ruscha - Los Angeles Times
In 1966, Ed Ruscha drove along the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, Los Angeles.
Using a motorized camera mounted on the back of a pickup truck, he methodically
photographed all of the buildings on each side of the street. He assembled the photos
in the artists' book Every Building on the Sunset Strip, which challenged
how people thought about Los Angeles, art and photography.
The Getty has assembled this treasure trove in video and made it available online.

Wall Street Journal Review of "12 Sunsets"

Go on location and Ride the LA Wave of the 60s HERE:

This exhibit brings standard photography forward.
Your "Watch it With Wine" is in forward motion too.
Matthiasson, the winemakers' winemaker has brought
California Chardonnay forward in a more Burgundian style. 

2015 Matthiasson

Brett says: "Matthiasson is a legend, a pioneer, and a maverick winemaker
who tweaks the foundations of traditional, old world style.
This is one of the best domestic Chardonnays under $30."

Gina says: "Just do it. You won't regret it."

Matthiasson: "An old-fashioned glass of Chardonnay is a wonderful thing.
The kind of Chardonnay that Julia Child drank back in the day while cooking.
A refreshing and flavorful wine to enjoy before dinner, during the meal, and afterwards
while lingering at the table. Wine from back in the days before oak
and butter were a thing, when Chardonnay tasted like wine made just from grapes,
with bright flavors of apples, citrus, and peach, not too heavy, but enough weight
that you knew you are drinking a really nice glass of wine.
Golden Delicious apples, Meyer lemon, and yellow peaches on the nose
and through to the palate. Medium acidity is balanced by pleasant fleshiness.

And at 12.5ALC you can continue to virtually drink and drive for hours!


Stay in the LA Mood Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcADqxnQA_4&list=RDKcADqxnQA_4&start_radio=1

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Bocelli and Vallana

Ciao Asheville Gift Pairing Suggestion

"Believe" by Andrea Bocelli 


Andrea Bocelli - Believe - Amazon.com Music
Review: https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/music/2020/11/13/

Vallana Campi Raudii | Vivino

Campi Raudii (Latin for red fields) is the name of one of the most important battles
in Roman history which took place near the estate’s current foundation.
Best after some time decanting, Old school Nebbiolo. Campi Raudi presents a nose
of dried cranberry, strawberry, cherry, rose hips and just a touch of tar.
After tannins open up, the palate is a silky texture with good structure and flavors
of raspberry, prune, spicy red licorice, balsamic, roses and leather.

“Intense traditionally-made wines that ooze with character.”
—Robert Parker 

 At 13% ALC, you can hear the entire CD - awake!


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Holiday 2020 Table Red

Big RED for The Holiday Table
Inside the bottle and outside, this one says winter cheer!


The 2017 Estate Winemaker’s Cuvee meets the palate
with rich, full-bodied flavors of black currant, red plums, and cassis,
followed by oak notes, cedar and vanilla. These dark flavors
produce a lush and velvety textured mouth feel that combine
with supple tannins and leads to a long silky finish.

76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Syrah, 7% Petite Sirah, 4% Merlot. 
15 months 60% New French Oak. Sustainable. 
Moon Mountain District – Sonoma Valley. Estate Grown, Caton Vineyard

Zach says: "This wine is big but not jammy nor does it taste overly oaked."

$38 at winery. Ditch winery case clubs and Save!
$26 @MetroWines

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Big Red Wine of Week


*** Big RED Deal of The Week ***

The Big Deal is not always the lowest priced bottle.
It is the bottle that offers the Biggest Bang for the Buck.
And the Price to Quality Ratio does not get better than this bottle.

92 Point Wine Spectator Top 100 #17 of 2017 Bodegas Volver Tarima Hill  Monastrell 2015| - Shoppers Vineyard

Rated 92 Points by Wine Spectator

This red shows grace and depth.  Black cherry, plum, mineral and smoke flavors mingle harmoniously over well-integrated tannins, while lively acidity keeps this focused. 
Not showy, but all the pieces fit together.  Balanced, in the modern style.  
Cellar Worthy: Drink now through 2025.

** Ranked #17 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2017 **
"Tarima Hill is a complex, elegant, varietal expression of the most
authentic clones of Monastrell in the world."

Estate Bottled. Old Vines. $17.99
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Midnight in France 2020


News Release: Thursday, December 10th, 2020

About: New Year's Eve 2020: "Midnight in France"
The New Year's Eve Tradition @MetroWines continues! This year we present "Midnight in France" in collaboration with The Asheville Sister Cities Committee for Saumur, hosted by Jean Phillipe Bourgeois, owner of an Asheville based wine import company.
The evening will begin at 5pm EST on ZOOM and conclude with fireworks at 6pm because "When it's 6pm in Asheville, it's "Midnight in France!"
"This is a unique opportunity to have a fantastic New Year's Eve in your own home or join ZOOM with friends and family around the world," says Gina Trippi, co-owner of MetroWines. "With French Wine, commentary from very French Jean Philippe and fireworks from Paris, its Midnight in France!"
JP Bourgeois is a highly specialized wine importer of French and Spanish wines, focusing solely on handcrafted, sustainably farmed or certified organic wines. "Our quest," says Jean Philippe, "is to stay close to the vines."
Jean Phillipe will present four wines by French Women Winemakers:
Clara Vie Blanquette de Limoux Brut NV - Limoux, FR 
Francoise Antech, Winemaker
A custom cuvee between JP Bourgeois and Francoise Antech. Maison Antech-Limoux holds a six-generation family tradition of winemaking. Since the late 19th century, the family has had a vested interest in the winemaking traditions of the region, and each generation has added their own touch. Françoise, a member of the sixth generation, inherited her elders’ strong character. A guardian of the heritage, she is also a fervent advocate of social and cultural action in her region. For over five centuries, the family has tamed this magical terroir to make fine sparkling wines. The secret of their character lies in the wise combination of Limoux’s three terroirs, which form the backbone of their cuvées: freshness from the Pyrenees, minerality from the ocean and roundness from the Mediterranean. In the family vineyard, they try out new methods on their old vinestocks on the appellation’s highest land — stony, south-facing hillsides nearly 400m above sea level opposite the Pyrenees. 
Domaine Loberger Meissenberg Pinot Blanc 2017 - Alsace, FR  
Celine Loberger, Winemaker
Céline Loberger - Les Bouches Rouges

Domaine Loberger Crémant d’Alsace Brut Extra NV
Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris
Aging: 12 months in stainless steel
Tasting notes: A fine and light mousse, a bright and luminous pale golden robe, and a mélange of zesty citrus and cool orchard fruits make this crémant the refined aperitif an ideal cocktail wine it is. Zero dosage helps accentuate the flinty minerality and creamy body underpinning its lightly fruity freshness.

Domaine Pral Beaujolais Cuvee Terroir 2019 - Beaujolais, FR 
Marion Pral, Winemaker
In the heart of the Pays des Pierres Dorées in the southernmost tip of the Beaujolais region, Domaine Marion Pral practices ecological farming on their 45 acres of vines. The estate is located in the hamlet of La Roche in Saint-Laurent-d’Oingt, 10 miles from Villefranche, capital of the Beaujolais. Pascal Chatelus, his wife Marion Pral, and their family have been farming the estate for several generations. All vineyards are located on granite-based south and southwest-facing hillside soils. Harvests are done by hand.
Veema Rouge 2016 - Languedoc, FR
Florentia Stoppini, Winemaker
Le Wines - Best Valued European Wines

Blend: 45% Grenache, 5% Syrah, 20% Mourvèdre
Aging: 6 months in new French oak barrels
Tasting notes: Veema’s time-honored and harmonious combination of Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvèdre offer an engaging wine that preserves the boldness and complexity of that blend. Leather and smoked meat give a brawny edge to a nose of pure, fragrant black fruit, brown spice, vanilla, and violets.

The ZOOM, starting at 5pm, is on the house. Access Zoom: HERE!
And if you want to taste along with Jean Philippe, the 4-Pack, one bottle of each wine to be poured is $68 (plus tax) @MetroWines. Call MetroWines at (828) 575-9525.
More about Saumur and Asheville Sister Cities here:           
Become a Member here: 
Follow on Facebook here:
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New Year's Eve 2020

Jean-Philippe BOURGEOIS, 42 ans (ASHEVILLE, MONTROND LES BAINS, TOURS) -  Copains d'avant


Our New Year's Eve Traidtion Continues @Metro Wines

New Year's Eve "Midnight in France" Wine Tasting with Metro Wines & JP Bourgeois

Join Metro Wines and wine importer Jean-Philippe Bourgeois for an early (at least for us here in NC) celebration as France says bienvenue to 2021 (and bids a not-so-fond adieu* to 2020!). The Zoom festivities will begin at 5:00 pm EST (11:00 pm in France) and is free for all to attend but you do need to sign up in advance. Philippe will be pouring four French wines from women wine- makers, and Metro will be selling the "four pack" in advance for everyone to enjoy in their own chateau. We will count down to midnight and raise a glass of champagne

as we toast to all of our continued health and to better days ahead. And if the bubbles so move you, there will be a link to donate to our Saumur Committee as it begins its work in the new decade.

La veille du Nouvel An! Nous espérons vous y voir!

*For our French learners: Au revoir means “Till next time.”
Adieu means “We’ll never see each other again.” Bon débarras = “Good riddance.”

Further Details TBA

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Letter Writing and Bow and Arrow

Time Honored Letter Writing by Hand is Trending

Let's Get Back to Tactile
Your Write it With and Save a Little for Dinner Wine

bow & arrow 'willamette valley' pinot noir 2018 — leisir
Bow & Arrow is in the basement of a wine shop! 
Their first "Willamette Valley" bottling, the 2017, is snappy, bright,
and fruit-filled and made in a definite Loire Valley style. 
Winemaker Scott Frank says: "Bow & Arrow is my interpretation of
Willamette Valley’s humble terroir. Our growing region is frequently approached
as a grand terroir destined to produce prestigious wines with an Burgundian influence.
I’m honored to make wine here. Still, the valley is as much a blue-collar agricultural area
as it is a boutique wine destination. It’s as much a collection of relatively simple,
clay dominated soils as it is home to multi-generation family estates.
Bow & Arrow explores this different, simpler side of the Willamette Valley.

Instead of Burgundy, we pay homage to the working class wines of Loire Valley."

Andy says: "Loire Valley style presents a more dense berry in the bottle
but still with enough acidity to make it very food friendly."

2018 $24 12.5 ALC

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