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Items filtered by date: February 2024

Tuesday, 26 March 2024 11:56

Grovewood Gallery Sip and Shop

Grovewood Gallery
Sponsored by MetroWines, Grovewood Gallery will celebrate the beginning of spring with two delightful days of demos, discounts, and wine on April 5 and 6 from 11am – 5pm. MetroWines will be pouring wines to taste "on the house" from 11 to 4 both days!. The gallery offers two floors of finely crafted furniture, jewelry, ceramics, glass, and more by over 350 artists and craftspeople from around the United States.
During this annual “Sip & Shop” event, gallery merchandise will be 10% off (excludes Lyman Whitaker sculptures), and local artist demonstrations will take place on both days. Shoppers can also enjoy complimentary drinks and tasty treats. Guests looking to round out their experience can enjoy brunch next door at ELDR and visit the Estes-Winn Antique Car Museum, also located in Grovewood Village. This event is open to the public and free to attend.
Saturday, 23 March 2024 16:44

Garden Party Wine Tasting!

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April 11th 4-6pm
Garden Party: Sustainable Wines for Spring
Please join us for an in store tasting with Juniper Cooper of Johnson Brothers-Mutual Distributing of North Carolina. We will be featuring 4 wines from across the globe that exemplify the standards of both ecological and social sustainability. From New Zealand to Chile and Willamette to the Piedmont, each of these exceptional wines typify the beauty of the regions and creative talents of each winemaker. Chosen with thoughts of the Spring Farmer's Markets and backyard get togethers that we are all eagerly looking forward to, we look forward to sharing these wines with you. And expect home baked bites to pair with the wines!

Araldica Gavi 
Westmount Pinot Gris 
Dashwood Pinot Noir 
Miguel Torres Cordillera Carmenere

Tasting is "at the bar" and "on the house"
Saturday, 16 March 2024 19:15

Wine Tours to France

TOURS: with Jean Christian Rostagni
May 17  - June 1st,   2024
4 Spots available (sell out risk HIGH)
This tour is the most artistic one, it is the tour where my previous life as a photographer exudes most. We spend 4 nights in Arles, which is to photography what Cannes is to Cinema, and there we stay in unique hotels created by the art philanthropist who created the foundation Luma and these hotels to go with it. And then later in the tour we visit my mentor Denis Brihat, a world renowned photographer, one of the very few if not the only member of the great generation still alive. We are talking of somebody who knew Picasso in Antibes, Jean Cocteau, and was friend with all the great photographers from that golden age, including Henri Cartier Bresson or Robert Doisneau. We are in the circle of photography’s Royalty.
And then this tour pinacles for 6 nights in a 16th century castle, we have dinner there 4 of these nights in their gastronomic restaurant that presents a rare cuisine centered on vegetal, with a strong emphasis of the products coming from their own organic garden on location. The whole hotel is run around an organic approach for living, including the marvelous beddings. The owner is retired from the company he created around organic products.
There are currently 7 participants in this tour, and the price will be, per person based on double occupancy, airfare and travel insurance are additional: $7,700 if 11 participants, $7,950 if 10 participants, $8,240 if 9 participants, $8,590 if 8 participants
June 15 - 28,   2024
4 Spots available, until April 15.
My Bordeaux selection is second to none, and in this tour I offer, in brilliant company, to explore and understand all the complexity of Bordeaux. I can do this with the help of my second, Serge Opillard, a Sommelier of Sommeliers, with extremely rare talent and knowledge of bdx. Serge has a good part of responsibility in the quality of my selection in Bdx. We stay 10 nights in the center of town, in its gorgeous golden triangle, and really life is good, visiting a different wine maker every day in the country side and walking from the hotel to a restaurant in town for dinner. All at the time when linden trees are blooming, and distill their enchanting scent on the town.
There are currently 8 participants in this tour, and the price will be, per person based on double occupancy, airfare and travel insurance are additional: $6,420 , if 12 travelers, $6,600 if 11 Travelers, $6,820 if 10 Travelers, $7,080 if 9 Travelers.
Sept 27 - Oct 11,  2024
8 Spots available
This is my newest tour, a totally unique wine tour in the gorgeous region also known as Languedoc. This is an expedition in France’s Deep South, a sliver actually of Occitanie, one tucked between the rather wild Southern Central Mountains, and the coastal plains.
The wine culture runs deep there, the climate, the soil and the relative wine making freedom in a region where appellations are not as restrictive as in other parts of France, has allowed a rather high concentration of hyper talented vintners, busy at pushing the boundaries of wine making. White or red, I promise wines and characters of legend, accommodations evoking sophisticated oasis in the wilderness, and all in all, a trip in a part of France out of this world and not exempt of mystic. For folks interested in wine pioneering, this is the new frontier for French wines. To understand that this is not hyperbole: one of my producers there has beaten Chateau Petrus in a blind tasting competition.
There are currently 5 participants in this tour, and the price will be, per person based on double occupancy, airfare and travel insurance are additional: $6.250 if 13 participants, $6,390 if 12 participants, $6,560 if 11 participants, $6,765 if 10 participants, $6,960 if 9 participants, $7,265 if 8 participants, $7,660 if 6 or 7 participants.
WHY Contrast Tours? Jean Christian Says:
* They beat cruises and even small barge cruises by offering nicer accommodation, and above all a much fuller immersion in France and its culture. At the end of a day a cruise promotes people staying among themselves, and the wine experiences remain formulaic.
* Previous tour goers tell me that they particularly enjoy traveling with a native who also is fully attuned to American culture, and therefore can bridge the gap between them and the French, notably in terms of language, culture, customs.
* Uniquely, I also import and distribute the wine from the producers we visit. So people can keep purchasing here the wine they discovered and fell in love with in France. And this also explains why the producers go out of their way to welcome my travelers with unparalleled warmth and attention.
More Information and Booking:
Thursday, 14 March 2024 18:04

5 Star Review for a Metro Wines Tasting!

5 Star Review for a wine tasting with Andy Hale!
I attended a wine tasting here that was won at an auction. My friend won, and the experience was delightful, and doubly delightful, as the item was donated to the Asheville Music School. Full disclosure: I am a board member there. So thank you so much to Metro Wines for the donation, but this will be a review of my experience, unbiased, regardless of whether the experience was donated, because my friend did pay for the experience. She just happened to invite me!

This was one of the most delightful evenings we have had in Asheville a long time. I’ve attended so very many wine tastings, having lived in San Francisco for 10 years and frequenting the wine country on many weekends. In addition, we have friends in Long Island, and we go to the wineries up there, and we have been to Châteauneuf de Pape region and had wine tastings in France, and even enjoy the North Carolina Vineyards, because they are fun with their muscadines and scuppernongs and their small town goodness. I’ve also attended tastings with food pairings and tastings where the experience is focused on a particular producer or maker, or even varietal. An evening with Antinori or Caymus for example. So I guess I’m trying to say this was not my first rodeo.

Somehow, though, Andy Hale at Metro managed to make the whole experience feel fresh and interesting. He chose some really unusual varietals and smaller boutique Vineyards and wine makers, and as such, created a delightful experience of wines that I normally would not have sought. So kudos to his choices, but also kudos to his presentation, his sense of humor, his style. We are a group of Gen Xers, a bit jaded, still hopeful. We are artists and community activists, readers and poets, tech nerds and lobbyists. We have all lived in Asheville for decades. The “newcomer“ having lived here 17 years. Together the eight of us collectively have lived in Asheville over 160 years. I know that’s an odd way to put it, but we all have so much history in this town. That said, we can be a bit rowdy, sassy, interruptive, etc. So Andy handled that element as well. His sense of humor matched ours, his timing matched ours. He met us where we were.

I emcee a lot of of the events, and I’m on mic a lot, and I am a semi-retired college professor, and I understand if you’ve got a crowd/room that is talkative, it’s difficult to capture their attention and still be interesting. Andy managed to do this with grace and humor, and he still managed to educate us on a lot of the wines. He was a perfect fit for our group.

Also, at a lot of past wine tastings, often the same information is recycled over and over again. Not so here. Andy’s stories were interesting, delving into the actual producers, notes on biodynamic wines, stories about the makers. My only complaint, and it’s a Picayune one, is it would be great to have just a couple of more slices of cheese. Since the cheese was pairing so beautifully with the whites at the beginning (especially the wines he introduced us to that straddled the Swiss border) everybody gobbled up their cheese on the first two tasting. Perhaps leave those cheeses out for the whites with the crackers, and then bring in something a little bit different for the reds to prevent the group from eating all of the cheese with the white pairings.
Regardless, bravo Andy and Metro Wines! What a fun event!

And thanks for supporting youth music education through your donation to the auction.
black bird
The Blackbird Presents "A Spring Celebration Dinner' with Metro Wines and Juniper Cooper of Johnson Brothers/Mutual Distributing of North Carolina.
Please join us on Monday, March 25th, 6:30 at The Blackbird, 47 Biltmore Ave in downtown Asheville, for a special dinner to celebrate the advent of the Spring season in conjunction with celebrating Women's History Month. This 5-Course celebration has been designed with produce and edible creations from our local female led farms and kitchens. In addition, we are fortunate enough to be joined by several of these local farm partners who will talking about their journeys and experiences/farming ethos with the courses that feature their products. In addition, each course will be  paired with a wine selection from sustainably certified, female-led wineries from around the world.
The evening begins at 6:30pm with a Bubbly Welcome Pour paired with an amuse and will then continue with 4 courses, dessert, and paired wines.

Welcome Bite: Pickled Cucumber, Cherries, Goat Cheese
1st Course: Cream of Asparagus Soup, Crispy Leeks
2nd Course: Honey Lemon Shredded Brussel Salad, Clementines, Blue Cheese, Walnuts 
3rd Course: Seared Snapper, Collards, Fermented Lemon, Beurre Blanc
4th Course: Braised Rabbit, Parsnip Puree
Dessert: Chef Carol's Creation
Bette Bradford of Bradford Farms (collards, produce) - 3rd Course
Lauri Newman-Waters of Farm Girl (edible flowers)  - 4th Course
Carole Miller of The Blackbird, former owner of Sweet Confections (dessert) - Dessert Course
Additional Local Women-Led Producers Featured 
Fermenti (fermented lemon) 
Asheville Bee Charmer (honey)
Goat Lady Dairy (cheese)
**menu subject to change based on seasonal vagaries
Monday, March 25th at 6:30pm
The evening is $125 (non-inclusive of tax and gratuity) and the wines will be available the same week through Metro Wines. Seating is limited so please reserve your seat by calling 828-254-2502 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Saturday, 09 March 2024 08:52

How to Research Your Roots


Ciao Asheville Presents:

"Following the Footsteps: Discovering Your Ancestor's Homeland"

With Rhonda Roederer, Genealogist

Wednesday, April 10, 5:30pm at Metro Wines, 169 Charlotte Street

Join Ciao Asheville and Metro Wines as we team up with Rhonda Roederer, genealogist and founder of Heritage With Heart. Rhonda will take you on an inspiring journey as you learn to trace your lineage back to your ancestor's home. She’ll touch on how to navigate historical paths and uncover your family narrative so that you can experience the adventure of a lifetime by following in the footsteps of your ancestors and forging life-changing connections along the way.

Rhonda will discuss when and why the Italians immigrated to the US and how to locate key documents on finding your ancestor's Italian village of origin. You’ll learn how to use this information to plan a trip to Italy or your family’s homeland to discover your family’s roots and possibly meet distant family members. Rhonda will share key information to "know before you go". While she will focus on Italy and Germany for this presentation, the information Rhonda shares can apply to any ethnic travel!

$30 + tax. Includes a glass of red or white wine and snacks and DOOR PRIZES!

Seating Limited to 20. Click HERE or call Metro Wines at 828-575-9525. 


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About Rhonda Roederer

Rhonda Roederer has been following her passion for family history for over 30 years, in particular, researching her German roots.

A Louisiana native, Rhonda now lives in North Carolina and is a full-time professional genealogist and educator. She is the Founder of Heritage With Heart and her experiences are diverse: uncovering family mysteries, writing heritage cookbooks, organizing large family events, and reuniting adoptees with their birth families.

As an educator, Rhonda has presented a wide array of seminars and workshops for numerous historical societies, conferences, libraries and on the international stage at the world’s largest genealogical conference, RootsTech.

Her approach is unique in that she shares her own case studies which take learners along her personal journeys of family discovery; while giving inspiration to search out their own lost or extended family.

Rhonda’s mission is to help bring families together, both physically and emotionally… one generation at a time.

Thursday, 07 March 2024 14:10

Wilson Daniels Wine Tasting

News Release: Thursday, March 7th, 2024
About: Wilson Daniels Wine Tasting
Please join us on Wednesday, March 27th from 4 to 6pm at Metro Wines on Charlotte Street to taste wines from Wilson Daniels. Our host will be Sommelier Nick Demos of Tryon Distribution. The event is "at the bar" and "on the house" with no reservations required.
We will be tasting:
Bisol Crede Prosecco DOCG 2022 
Familia Torres Pazo Bruxas Albariño 2022 
Peyrassol Commandeurs Rose 2022 
Volpaia Chianti Classico 2021 

Who is Wilson Daniels? "At Wilson Daniels, a thriving, family-oriented community is integral to how we do business, and has been for 40 years. We make decisions that promote the long-term health of our people, and our businesses. Above all, we promote a culture of balance, and collaborate within the industry to create more familial community. As industry leaders, we’re always trying to be better. It’s our responsibility to act in a way that inspires trust and confidence in our company and our prestigious portfolio.

Across select charities, we are very proud to support community initiatives and our employees work together to nominate appropriate charities and organizations to support. These funds are managed by employees who select and distribute donations on a local, regional and national level. Support to charitable efforts includes; Anne-Claude Leflaive Memorial Scholarship, 2020 Wilson Daniels Wine education Scholarship, Habitat for Humanity and The Wounded Warrior Project. Wilson Daniels also supports women in wine." See the list here:

Contact for Metro Wines: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
(828) 575-9525
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My trip to Madrid?
Let me start with a few general comments before we get to the point which is a follow up to the article written by Eric Asimov for "The New York Times titled "Madrid's Relaxed Spots for Great Wine." To put it concisely, Madrid is an architecturally beautiful and significant city that is sophisticated, clean and safe. And while the effect of Franco is still in the air, the sense of community in this 3 million plus city is palpable. More on the city later but know this: Madrid is my kind of town: 1700 taxis, museums and artichokes on every menu! 
First, no, I did not visit a winery. 
Yes, I did see "The Head of the Dog" by Goya at The Prado. Exceeded expectations. The painting encompasses every emotion and every existential (and I mean the word "existential" a la Sartre and not as a word to indicate "existing" or "extant" as the news media and numerous elected officials use it) thought about life and living. And while you may see this painting occasionally called "The Drowning Dog," this is just plain wrong. This title is an invention of some well meaning, I am sure, art historians. But Goya never intended for this and the other so-called Black Paintings to be seen by the public and, hence, never named these works on his walls. It is not at all clear that the dog is in water nor that he is drowning or decendeding as opposed to ascending. He could be, as a friend said, behind the sofa! BTW, this work confirms that depression became Goya.
And now...
Dear Eric,
You nailed it. I must admit that I doubted your assessment of the wine bars in Madrid but you nailed it. Truth be told, I thought you might be wired too tightly to "feel" and not just taste. I thought you might assess these establishments against an unfair rigid set of standards. But I was wrong. And I don't know if it was your article that coalesced the wine establishment owners you featured or just that great minds think alike, but all of the owners know each other by name and association. 
Please know that I am aware that Madrid is a European capital and, accordingly, must offer wines that international government officials, tourists as well as their own residents desire. And I do understand that as Americans, it is reasonable to expect and, perhaps experience supports, might first be offered French Wine. But all that said, and balancing it with the fact that Spain has the lowest per capita wine consumption of any country in Europe, we found.....
You did not mention it, but we noticed a bit of sadness in the air when talk turned to Spanish wine. Some Madrileños have never developed or gained the respect Spanish wine so richly deserves. The future? We were told that the young people in Madrid have turned to beer! And several owners told us that the marketing of Spanish wine has been sluggish. The French and Italians are everywhere! There are many French wines on every list. And at more than one place, when we asked for wine, the first question back was: "French?" With some force, we said "No, Spanish!" I began to feel like I was fighting with them for them, for Spanish wine! You could say "when in Madrid, do as the Madrileños do but they might be doing French!
I don't know who is responsible, some wine organization, the government, whoever, but someone needs to figure out why Spain, or at least Madrid, does not fully appreciate the home team and, externally, tell the world that wines from Spain are extraordinary. Eric, you could get to the bottom of this dilemma! I told all the owners I met that I am now on a mission to promote Spanish wine. I am starting with you, Eric. Shake them up, Eric, drag them kicking and screaming. if necessary, into the often dirty but sadly necessary world of self promotion. 
Your list.....
We started at Berria across from The Prado in Retiro. You described Berria as a sleek, handsome wine bar with stylized dishes and excellent bottles in every price range. True that. Berria also has an e-wine list with pictures and descriptions of their bottles. Way cool. (We, of course, took the name of the software company.) Berria was inescapably appealing but what was really impressive was the young woman sommelier. No letters behind her name. No classes. No BS. She said she was self taught via books and videos. Her knowledge was amazing and her appreciation of their wines made us appreciate the wine! One of those wines was a Chenin Blanc and Macabeo blend. Here, I will break to say that Chenin Blanc is blended quite freely with an array of other varietals -all, we found, to great results.
Next we visited La Fisna in Barrio Lavapies. You said this tiny rustic bar and bottle shop is a great place for food and wine. Agreed. You also said that Berria was a "hyperdesigned version of La Fisna." With all due respect, I totally disagree. This is an example of the "feel" not just the look or the taste. The two bars are wine worlds apart. La Fisna is a comfortable, almost neighborhood bar along a narrow medieval street that surrounds you in warm colors, brick walls, original doors, wafts of perfectly prepared food and history. Berria is new and sleek, lots of glass and tables and wine tech, an ad for Architectural Digest, that sits at a bustling traffic circle. That location is not a bad thing, just different. With the exception of extraordinary wine and food and a woman serving as sommelier, these two bars have nothing in common.
At La Fisna, we were welcomed by a young woman sommelier who was also "self taught." She introduced us to a Mencia Rosé. Lovely. And another Chenin Blanc blend. This time with Xarel·lo. We got to talking (Eric, if you knew me, you would know this happens) and she invited us to see the store room with their collection of wines. Wow. And then we got to talking to the owner, Delia. She has a degree in Business Administration and had been working in an office, but her passion was wine and, accordingly, she started the bar. I asked Delia about your visit. She said that she did not know it was you at the time. But one of your staff told Delia to remember your face because you were, essentially, the man with regard to wine. We invited Delia to visit us in North Carolina. She might. Imagine the wine tasting we will have then! Of course, "at the bar" and "on the house!"
In between following in your footsteps, we had lunch at El Jardín de Arzábal at the Reina Sofia Museum, where we had a Godello. We found Godello to be very popular rivaling Albariño for versatility and broad appeal. I can tell you it was a great pairing to artichokes and monkfish!
Cuenllas was next in Barrio Argüelles. The establishment opened, as you said, in 1939 as a delicatessen and gradually became a bar and restaurant. The staff wears starched white jackets, as you also noted, and oversees an international wine list. Cuenllas also has a stash of very hard to find wines and a collection of aged to perfection bottles served by the glass! We shared a 1983 Rioja! Who does that? The owner here, Fernando, studied at University of Kentucky, took over the business from his mother, is a friend of Delia (La Fisna) and knows Eric Solomon. He says he worries about bars like Berria that focus on wine with the young Madrid residents turning  to beer. Eric, do something!
Note: We intended to bar hop and visit all nine of your recommendations but once we landed in one, any one! we just could not leave. 
La Venencia, the Spanish Civil War era bar that has not been updated since that time, was next.  So here, let me tell you how we fit our oh so American lifestyle into the manaña timetable and, also, try to avoid, tempting as it was, eating our way through Madrid. We would have breakfast about 7:30, then lunch about 3, then sherry, then check in on the news then down for the day. So when it was about sherry time, we set out for La Venencia. You said, as a holdover from civil war protocol, that there were to be no photos and no por favors. There was also no way in the door! People were taking photos outside, of course, and inside, they were packed tighter than a tin of sardines in Spanish olive oil. The crowd seemed to be mostly men, loud, sweaty men. Bottom line: no photos, no por favors and no sherry. We went back to the bar at our hotel and had margaritas rimmed in chocolate with James Brown blaring. Eric, I can highly recommend it! (The popularity of La Venencia at that moment in time may have been driven by the farmer's strikes in Madrid.)
We resumed the wine trail the next day after seeing "Monet in Giverny" at CentroCentro at Vinoteca García de la Navarra just around the corner in Retiro. You said this was a pleasant place with a long and deep wine list. Navarra also had a magnum of Juan Gil Silver Label on the bar. Yeah, we got that @MetroWines. This was the place that I discovered artichokes being all they could be. OMG. Underrated, underserved and under radar in the US. Here, we had a white blend of Albariño, Godello and Loureiro. I will say, Eric, I did not see Verdejo on many lists, nor, much to my great regret, was it recommended. Given the obvious commitment of Madrid to Juan Gil, they must have had a bottle of Shaya somewhere!
And then there was Ganz Wine Bar in Las Letras, the Barrio where Cervantes is buried. You said: "This comfortable, stylish neighborhood spot is a great source for beautifully chosen bottles at great prices." Indeed it was, but it was so much more.  We told our server, Ludovic, that we are in the wine business and wanted something special, Spanish and different. He brought us four bottles from which to choose. The last bottle of the Albariño made "the traditional way" was the winner. 
The diner at the next table said "good choice." As you might expect, we got to talking. Turns out he, Daniel, is a wine importer from Valencia. He also is worried about the turn to beer in Spain. He imports some Italian wine and had just met with Paitin! Eric, we love Paitin @MetroWines. Anyway, we sent Daniel a glass of our Albariño and before he left for his train to Seville for a trade show, he sent us a bottle of one of his wines from the Ganz collection, a young Palomino, the Fino Sherry grape. This style seems to be becoming popular in Madrid as we were served different versions more than once. And, indeed, this is an excellent solution to enjoying the sherry flavor with seafood, avoiding the increased alcohol in Sherry, and still being able to drive home! MetroWines customers can find one of these bottles on our shelves!
The last night, we got to talking to the couple seated next to us. Turns out their son is the sous chef at Frasca, Bobby Stuckey's restaurant in Denver. I think we had yet another Godello!
The wine world is small.

Red wine, with its rich and bold taste, offers a symphony of flavors that tantalize the palate and evoke a sensorial journey.

At first sip, one is greeted with a deep complexity that dances across the tongue. The robust notes of dark fruits such as blackberries, plums, and cherries unfold, painting the palate with a luscious sweetness tempered by a subtle hint of tartness. This fruity foundation is often complemented by earthy undertones reminiscent of leather, tobacco, or cedar, adding layers of depth to the wine's character.