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Metro Wines Asheville, NC

April Focus Group Winner

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Our 1939 Model M tractor has been a workhorse for three generations. Like this wine, it’s enjoyable, unassuming, and reliable for the long haul. Dusi has sold grapes to Turley! This wine reflectes that big, rich, lush style. A blend of Syrah, Petite Sirah and Zinfandel from Central Coast of California. The Asheville Wine Focus Group found it to be a crowd pleaser. $14.99

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May Wine Focus Group

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News Release; Saturday, April 9th

About: Asheville Wine Focus Group @MetroWines
Please join us for The Asheville Wine Focus @MetroWines on Wednesday, May 8th from 5:30 to 6:30. Four wines will be presented by Katarina Dordelman of Sour Grapes for consideration by the participants.
"With all the publicity surrounding "natural wines" lately, we are offering our customers a chance to taste and decide if more of these wine should be included in our shop, says Gina Trippi, co-oner of MetroWines. 
The event is "on the house" but you must reserve a seat. Call (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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French Twist at Princess Anne Hotel

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News Release: Saturday, April 9th, 2018

About: French Wine Dinner at Princess Anne Hotel
Please join us for a wine pairing dinner, "French Twist: French Fare~North Carolina Flair" on Thursday, May 23rd at The Princess Anne Hotel starting at 6:30. The Princess Anne Hotel is located at 301 East Chestnut, one block off Charlotte Street.
The menu for the evening offers an innovative dinner based on French classics prepared by Chef Amber Whitt with wines paired to the dishes by Tom Leiner of Grapevine Distribution. 
"Chef is presenting dishes prepared with traditional French methods and recipes with each dish incorporating a North Carolina flavor!" said Gina Trippi, co owner of MetroWines. "Chef Whitt brings and combines culinary experience in high end restaurants as well as local eateries and Tom Leiner is widely known as one of the best in Asheville at pairing wines to foods."
The cost is $125 including tax and gratuity. Please call The Princess Anne Hotel to reserve your seat at (828) 258-0986. Seating is limited for this most unique dinner! All wines will be available for purchase through MetroWines at a special event price. If you have difficulty parking, please use the MetroWines lot. The walk is an easy two blocks from the lot to The Princess Anne Hotel!
About princess Anne Hotel. Originally built in 1924, The Princess Anne Hotel combines tradition, history and southern hospitality.Nestled in a quiet corner of downtown Asheville, you can take in the view of the city and our private garden while seated in the historic dining room. Enjoy a delicious modern twist on classic fare. We are serving dinners to the public on Fridays and Saturdays starting at 5pm and brunch on Sundays from 11AM-3PM. Menus are created by our in-house chef, Amber Whitt. And in the kitchen as well as inside and outside the premises, Princess Anne has gone "green" and is becoming "greener" everyday!
More about The Princess Anne Hotel here:
Contact for The Princess Anne Hotel: Samantha Fann at (828) 258-0986
Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
The Menu

Princess Anne/Metro Wine Dinner

May 23rd, 2019 6:30pm



Beet / Strawberry / Radish / Brie / Tuile / Bitter Greens / Balsamic

2016 Clarendelle Blanc, Bordeaux, FR



Tomato / Tarragon / Nasturtium 

2018 Domaine Campuget Rose, Costieres de Nimes, FR 



 Scallop / Mussel / Local Ramp / Fennel / Champagne Foam / Local Baguette

2017 Dopff & Irion Crustaces, Alsace, FR


Rose / Mint


La Volaille 

Duck Breast / Lavender / Blueberry / Celeriac / Asparagus / Green Apple

2016 Chanson Bourgogne Pinot Noir, Burgundy, FR 



Rhubarb / Chevre / Anise / Vanilla Bean


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Bele Casel Tasting with Paola Ferraro


Tickets HERE!

News Release: April 9th, 2019

About: Bele Casel Tasting with Paola Ferraro
Ciao Asheville presents Paola Ferraro from Bele Casel on Tuesday, May 7th from 5:30 to 6:30 for "A Prosecco ONLY Cocktail Party" @MetroWines! 
Two Proseccos, Bele Casel Colfondo and Bele Casel, will be on the taste paired with a traditional Antipasto Plate. Paola Ferraro and Mike Tiano of Haw River Wine Man host the party.
"Paola appeared by skype @MetroWines last year wowing the crowd," says Gina Trippi, co-owner of MetroWines. "We are delighted to have Paola join us in person this year!"
$10 for the party and the opportunity to meet the much written about and photographed Paola Ferraro!
Please note that Ciao Asheville events sell out. Please reserve early.
Call (828) 575-9525 with credit card
About Prosecco Colfondo:

“The methode ancestral,” write the editors of the Oxford Companion to Wine, “results in a lightly sparkling wine, often with some sweetness and sediment, and most closely parallels how wines were originally made sparkling. It involves bottling young wines before all the residual sugar has been fermented into alcohol. Fermentation continues in bottle and gives off carbon dioxide.”

This method of sparkling wine production has been “given new life by the petillant naturel vogue,” they add, referring to the sparkling wine production method known popularly as “pet-nat.”

There is still a lot of confusion in the wine world as far as sparkling wine production terminology is concerned.

Many still refer to wines like our Prosecco ColFòndo (col fondo) as an ancestral method (méthode ancestral) or pet-nat wine. In fact, our col fondo is neither.

The overwhelming majority of Prosecco is produced using what is properly called “the tank method.” In Italy it is called the Martinotti method, after the enology professor who developed and perfected it. And many also call it the “Charmat” method after the man who patented the technology. 

For tank method wines, a base wine is produced and then it is re-fermented in large, pressurized tanks, hence the name.

Today, more and more Prosecco producers are also making “col fondo” wines. We call ours Prosecco ColFòndo.”

It’s different from the ancestral method. Instead of bottling the wines while they are still fermenting (the technique described above), a base wine is produced and fermentation is carried out until completion. The wine is then bottled and the wine undergoes a second fermentation, thus resulting in a sparkling wine thanks to the CO2 that’s produced by fermentation in a pressurized environment.

Unlike traditional method wines (the name for Champagne method wines made outside of Champagne), col fondo wines are not disgorged of their sediment.

Perhaps the English-language term would be “re-fermented in bottle” wines.

And Bele Casel Dry

Production area: Maser
Grape variety: Glera
Vineyard: sloped, 145 meters a.s.l.
Training system: Guyot – organic
Harvest: 10/30 September, picked by hand
Vinification: the grapes are soft-pressed with a pneumatic press followed by static racking of the must and temperature-controlled fermentation (18-20° C.) with cultured yeast; the wine is then aged on its lees in stainless-steel vats for 3 months.
Secondary fermentation: Martinotti method in pressurized tanks at low temperatures
Fermentation time: 40/50 days.

Tasting Notes

Light, soft fizziness with persistent bubbles makes this elegant wine stand apart from the rest.

Fresh fruity aromas with hints of sour apple and banana and floral notes dominated by acacia flower.

Elegant flavor, slightly sweet, velvety, refined, and lingering on the palate.

An ideal wine for festive occasions and dry pastry.

Alcohol: 11.5%
Pressure: 4.5 atmospheres
Acidity: 5.4 g/l
Residual sugar: 23 g/l
Serving temperature: 6-8° C.

More about Bele Casel:
Contact for Ciao Asheville: Gail Rampersaud:
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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About Don Camillo

In Don Camillo, we enter a small rural town in the Po Valley of Northern Italy. The time period is the late 1940s early 50s. At that time, Giovanni Guareschi started writing short stories about conflicts between a hot headed town priest, Don Camillo, and with his rival, the Communist mayor, Peppone. The stories, printed in the satirical Milanese weekly magazine Candido, represent the real life conflict that was taking place between the Catholic Church and the Communist party of Italy (which had a strong following in Northern Italy at the time).These short stories were later compiled into a series of books and then woven into several movies. 


Filmed in Italy during the 1950s, they showcase Don Camillo, the village priest who is always arguing with his ideological enemy, the communist mayor, Peppone. Guareschi takes on the philosophical arguments in both a serious and comical way. Both the priest and the mayor are convinced of their ideas which makes for some fiery but humorous arguments. Adding to the comedy and delight of this movie is the third main character, the statue of Jesus. There are many “conversations” that the priest (Don Camillo) has with his statue of Jesus in his church...and the statue gently but firmly lectures Don Camillio into better ways to work with Peppone for the good of the village.


Well-known and loved in Italy, but relatively unknown in America, this film will make you want to read “The Little World of Don Camillo” stories by Guareschi. 


Movie discussion with "Ciao Asheville" Film Critic Robert Formento on Sunday, April 28th starting 1pm @MetroWines.

Admission is free. $7 for a glass of Italian Wine!

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VUE 1913 at Grove Park Inn

"I don't go to your wine Dinners because I am a vegetarian." We hear that from customers almost everyday @MetroWines. For the most part, most wine dinners will continue to be a challenge for vegetarians but if you are looking for an amazing, upscale meat free dinner, we found it. OK, this is going to come as a shock to you: VUE 1913 at Grove Park Inn.
The new Chef de Cuisine, Brandon Gibson, is committed to continuing with the traditional menu items but also adding, what he thinks is a rapidly growing trend, interesting vegetable based dishes. What GPI says:


Brandon Gisbon is the Chef de Cuisine of Vue 1913, The Omni Grove Park Inn’s brasserie style restaurant with an abundant wine cellar and panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. As Chef de Cuisine, Gibson continues Vue 1913’s tradition of crafting dishes with the love of food in mind, that showcase the best local rustic ingredients of each season.

Prior to joining the team at The Omni Grove Park Inn, Gibson was the Head Chef at Firekeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek, MI where he worked with local vendors for rotating seasonal menus that highlighted regional fare. Prior to that, Gibson was the Head Chef at Motorcity Casino Hotel in Detroit and the Lead Cook at the Green Valley Ranch Resort-Spa-Casino in Nevada.

In his free time, Gibson enjoys mountain biking and exploring the outdoors.

Be assured that if you want Butcher's Cut, Duck, Lamb or Lobster, those plates will be extraordinary as always. Anyone who attended the recent Orin Swift Dinner can tell you that Chef Gibson wowed the crowd with this menu:
  FIRST Oyster and Pearls meyer lemon, fennel pollen, honey crisp Mannequin, Chardonnay 2016 
  SECOND Halibut persillade, grapefruit, prosciutto, lovage Blank Stare, Sauvignon Blanc 2017 
  THIRD Arancini beef cheeks, blackberry, pecorino Palermo, Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 
  FOURTH Dry aged squab foie gras, carrot, coffee, minus 8 vinegar Abstract, Red Blend 2016 
  FIFTH Elk tenderloin leek ash, fennel, blueberry, plum, vanilla, black cherry Papillion, Red Blend 2016 
  SIXTH Fourme d’ambert white chocolate, pain de gêne, honey, candied walnut Machete, Petit Sirah 2016
But if you are going green, these are your current options and a new menu is due out in a couple of weeks with even more innovative combinations of flavors!
  OLIVE Ivy Creek Family Farm, NC panisse, sesame sponge, kalamata caramel, almonds, lemon gel, mild pepper   
  BEETROOT Goat Lady Dairy, NC goat cheese, quinoa, garden greens, berries, avocado, pistachio  
  PEAR Noble Hard Cider, NC salad with spinach, arugula, point reyes blue cheese, gingerbread spiced pecans, hard cider vinaigrette  
  TRUFFLE Mikuni Wild Harvest, WA fines herbes, pecorino cheese, peak season truffles additions.  
  GNOCCHI The Chef’s Garden, OH sweet potato, brown butter, carrots, burrata, root ice spinach, pecorino cream  
  HEIRLOOM GRAINS Anson Mills, SC avocado, sweet potato, fried chickpea, carrots, beetroot, garden greens, nuts & seeds, poached egg   MISO Ivy Creek Family Farm, NC charred broccolini, mild peppers, lemon, ginger scented jasmine rice  
  FORAGERS’ CUT Mikuni Wild Harvest, WA fresh wild mushrooms, bordelaise, potato purée, peak season vegetables
We had an extraordinary dinner with a view at VUE 1913 last night. Between us, we tasted nearly every dish and found all to be as promised. And one other note: often, when restaurants need to enhance the flavor of a dish without the ease of meat, the chef turns to salt. Not at Vue 1913. I could get my ring off my finger when I came home!
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Great Rose' Tasting Starts May 4th


News Release: April 1, 2019
About: Taste Rose' ALL Day
"The Great Rose Tasting" monthly events kicks off on Saturday May 4th from 10 to 7pm @MetroWines "on the house." Taste ten bottles of Rose from around the world. 
"We have been changing hearts and minds for five years about Rose," says Gina Trippi, co-owner of MetroWines. "So many customers thought they didn't like any Rose but after tasting bottles from different countries made in different styles, turns out they do!"
All featured bottles of Rose will be sold at event pricing for the day.
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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Klinker Brick, Voting, Focus Group, SB Class, Luzon, Case Club, Milan, Nimes, Silence, d'Aprix, Tintoretto, Big Night, Haiku, Poehler,


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Klinker Brick Tasting
"on the house"

Friday, April 5th from 5 to 6:30

You Know Klinker Brick Zinfandel. Try their other wines!

*** VOTING ***
Has Started for Best of WNC
We Respectfully Ask for Your Vote for Best Wine Shop
Go here:

Our Blog Post:


The Asheville Wine Focus Group

Wednesday, April 10th
from 5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines

*** Orsini Imports Hosts ***

The event is "on the house" but you must reserve a seat.
Call (828) 575-9525


 I HATE Sauvignon Blanc 

No doubt, you hate some of them. Me too. Maybe you really do hate all of them.
But Sauvignon Blanc from different countries made in different styles is, well


Image result for 1960s woman drinking white wine

Andy Hale, Director of The Asheville School of Wine @MetroWines,
and Juniper Cooper of Mutual Distribution
level the playing field and bring justice to this maligned grape!

Taste Sauvignon Blanc from around the world.  Get the facts.
Then Decide. Come on. Be Fair.

Tuesday, April 16th from 5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines. $25.
Call (828) 575-9525



Bodegas Luzon - Coleccion Macabeo Sauvignon Blanc 2017 <span>750ml</span> <span>750</span>

Get Started in The New World of Sauvignon Blanc Now
Luzon Collecion 2018
White, early harvest, 50% Macabeo and 50% Sauvignon Blanc from our trellised vineyards
which have an average age of 20 years, at altitudes reaching over 800 metres and chalky soils.

*** $8.99 ***

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NYT says: Etymologically, "procrastination" is derived from the Latin verb procrastinare
meaning to put off until tomorrow. But its more than just voluntary delaying.
Procrastination is also derived from the ancient Greek word "akrasia"
meaning doing something against our better judgment.
And some doctors say procrastination is a form of self harm!


Stop the procrastination. You know you should. Just do it!
** Join The Case Club @MetroWines **
Call (828) 575-9525


DaGiacomo in Milan (Lombardy Wine Region)
The Ristorante:

Ian Griffiths, Creative Director for Max Mara for the past 32
was interviewed for NYT Style Magazine
"Bella Fugura" is an italian expression that means looking and acting your best.
It applies to every aspect of Italain culture- art, fashion, cars and, of course, food.
My favorite restaurant in the world is Da Giacomo in Milan."

Headed to Milan? Know Before You Go!
Sign Up for a Classs on Northern Italian Wines with Andy Hale
Tuesday, April 9th from 5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines
$25. Call (828) 575-9525

Traveling Vicariously?
Do DaGiacomo with Pesce (Seafood) 
and a Bottle of Barone Pizzini Franciacorta (Brut) Animante! $37

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Why so expensive ?
and other things you should know about Franciacorta: 

Franciacorta is a small wine-producing area in Lombardy. Famous for its sparkling wines made
in the Methode Champenoise from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and a small percentage of Pnot Blanc,
he Franciacorta wine region is located in the Brescia province.
Although relatively unknown in globallyFranciacortais known as Italy's finest sparkling wine. 
Due respect is still paid to the traditional and better-known classics such as Prosecco, but these
lighter-hearted styles are aimed at straightforward enjoyment rather than complexity or finesse.

Tasting notes for Franciacorta Brut wines sound remarkably like those for Champagne
with frequent references to biscuit, brioche, lemon and lees.

So, basically Champagne for less and its Italian!


Image result for le napoleon restaurant nimes

Costieres de Nimes is the most southerly appellation of the Rhone Wine Region
in southeastern 
France. The wines of the area are said to have been on the table
of Ancient Greeks and, hence, are among the oldest known wines in the world.
A typical Costieres de Nimes red wine, made from the classic 
Southern Rhone Blend,
is robust and spicy, and perfectly suited to the rustic local cuisine.

To enjoy the name Costieres de Nimes, winesrequire GrenacheSyrah 
Mourvedre to make up at least 60 percent of the finished red and rosé wines.
Cinsaut, Marselan and Carignan are also allowed. The appellation permits white wines
made from 
Grenache BlancMarsanne and Roussanne.

The appellation AOC Costieres de Nimes was granted in 1989. 
Until 2004, the appellation was officially part of the 
Languedoc Wine Region.

Can't Go to Nimes? Get Napoleonic at home.
A little velvet, some gold lemay, Beethoven's Symphony No.3 "Eroica"
and a bottle from just north.

Vin De Pays De Vaucluse 2017, $13.99
Kermit Lynch Import

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This southern French red blend reminds me of those ripe mulberries I would pick all summer.
The soft, juicy fruit and bright acidity lead to a long, dry finish with very supple tannin.
At this price, it is quite likely that this wine will become your go-to red
for barbecues and leisurely summer evenings with friends.

Anthony Lynch


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A blend of 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Shiraz, 15% Malbec & 12% Petit Verdot

Winery Notes: Intense and deep ruby red in color with rich
aromas of black fruit  and elegant notes of sandalwood.
The palate is full bodied and layered.
Well integrated tannins give the wine a toned and precise structure.
The wine concludes with a long velvety finish.

For those of you who watch "The Wine Show" with Matthew Rhys on Hulu,
Klein Costantia was featured. The winery pick their grapes at night!

Interview with Winemaker Michele D'Aprix @MetroWines

Event was a Smash Hit! Wine Sold Out.
Pentimento, Maz Caz and Pierre Angulaire back in 2 weeks
@ and ONLY @Metrowines!

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Can't go? Wine is ART too!
Tintoretto was born in Venice (Veneto) in 1518.

Drink like Tintoretto (Who really knows but  maybe, probably...)
Shop Wines from the Veneto @MetroWines

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Wine Spectator Tells All:

Where was the movie filmed? What Wine Does Amy Prefer?
"The Conclusion" Next Week!
(Hint: MetroWines Customers have already been introduced!)

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"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!


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

Don't Miss This BIG NIGHT!


Us Too !

Wall Street Journal reports that Scientists hope Haikus about space
will make science less tedious. 335 Haikus were submitted this year
for the annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston.

So, we thought - you know where this is going -
we would ask Andy Hale, Director of The Asheville School of Wine,
to write a Haiku to bring wine out of the special and into your everyday world.
Andy has two for us:

                                       As the sun goes down
                                       You are my daily reward
                                       Just one more glass please

                                        By my dinner plate
                                        It sits, befriending the food
                                        Drink with a good meal


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Francoise Antech


We had lunch with Winemaker Francoise Antech (phonetically "on tesh") from Limoux last week and shamelessly asked a lot of questions. Francoise was both generous in her comments and candid.
We tasted two of her sparkling wines paired with family style dishes at Rhubarb. "The wines are made in the Methode Champenoise but with different grapes," Francoise says. "Mauzac is from Limoux."
First up, Rose"I did not want to make Rose just for a barbeque!" says Francoise. Clara Vie Cremant Rose made in Limoux is a blend of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Mauzac and a touch of Pinot Noir. This Rose is a hand harvested and hand crafted cuvee made from old vines growing close to the Mediterranean Sea. On the nose you will find small wild red fruits and spring flowers carrying over to a round, fruity palate with a clean finish. And the bubbles? Fine and constant.
Next, Clara Vie Brut Nature, Blanquette de Limoux! A blend of 90% Mauzac with equal parts Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc. The wine is a yellow golden hue in the glass with those fine bubbles for which Francoise is known. Fresh aromas of green apples, honeysuckle and white flowers on the nose. the palate is white fruit, balanced minerality and a long finish.
Francoise is a 6th generation winemaker. The family estate in Limoux sits in the South of France in the shadow of the Pyrennes and close to the border of Spain. "Bubbles were invented here in Limoux by the monks 150 years before Dom Perignon!" says Francoise. 
Francoise tells us that the winery has always been worked by women and only recently have men joined the inner winemaking circle. "Since I was born, I have always been in the vineyard and cellar and I took over 22 years ago," says Francoise. "My father, unlike so many, said that it was my choice."
It did not take long to realize that the path she had chosen would not always be easy. The climate is difficult and there is always the threat of a fatal frost in the winter. Sometimes nature can take from you. "But," says Francoise, "nature always gives you something back, every year is different and you never know what the juice will be like."
Francoise works as close to nature as possible. Through leaf analysis, she can determine what the soil needs and she gives the earth ONLY what it needs, no more. "Everything is possible in the vineyard." 
But is the wine natural? Francoise bristles, with not only the approval but vigorous agreement with everyone seated at the table, at the term "natural." Limiting interference and manipulation is "just what you do," says Francoise. "We interface just enough."
But not every aspect of the wine business is within your control. Shipping is a big issue with Francoise. Everything involved in shipping wines around the world has a negative environmental impact. "We try to compensate in the vineyard to restore an ecological balance," says Francoise. But how? "We plant trees, almond, fig, fruit and cypress!"
While Francoise totally enjoys making wine, what she is really passionate about is the comaraderie with other women winemakers. She is a member of Vini Filles (, a group of over 280 women winemakers in France. Started over 10 years ago, a gathering has good food and good wine. "But, mostly, it is about choosing family," Francoise says. "These are my sisters."
The pricing and style of these wines make it possible to enjoy bubbles everyday. And this is a goal for Francoise. "Bubbles, make life better!"
Francoise produces 850,000 bottles each year exporting 60% of her wine to 30 countries. Most of the wine goes to the UK, USA, Canada, Japan and Italy. Both wines also have a healthy market in Taiwan, Singapore and Russia. "Very good with sushi."
When not drinking her own wines, what does Francoise prefer? "Sancere and Burgundy," she says. "I prefer wines that are not oaked, I want to taste the terroir." Francoise does really enjoy Bordeaux but says it is too expensive. "I prefer Languedoc" she says. "I am looking for quality to price, not just a big name." What about wines from this country? Francoise finds some bottles of Pinot Noir from Oregon to be "beautiful."
Francoise wants you to know that her trademark fine bubbles are not just about the wine. It's about the glass too. "The bubbles depend on the soap you use for cleaning," says Francoise. "You must rinse the glass thoroughly with just water. And if you use an automatic dishwasher, don't use any rinse liquid."
"Wine should not be complicated," says Francoise. "It makes life better and builds good relationships."


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Best of WNC Voting has Started



Vote HERE!

We respectfully ask for your Vote for MetroWines for Best Wine Shop. So much has happened this year. Andy Hale, Director of The Asheville School of Wine @MetroWines, has returned and classes are plentiful, full and fun. (Follow here: We are home to Ciao Asheville, The Italian Cultural Forum in Asheville (Follow on FB here: And The Asheville Wine Focus Group, where our customers select wines for our shelves, is in its second year (Follow here:!

We continue to beat internet pricing and save you shipping and potential damage. We continue to provide great service for wedding wines and beers (Follow here: And we continue to offer Big Shop Selection with Small Shop Service.

In our sixth year now, we are just getting started. Stay with us and we can do more and better for you!

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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 ( 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 ( 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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279 Hits

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 and currently unavailable.
$17.99 at 
(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:

*** 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!

Image result for emmanuel kemiji winemaker
As reported by Gina Trippi and John Kerr
on The Wine Dinner at Vivian



Black Cabra Malbec 2018
Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina

Image result for black cabra malbec 2018


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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:
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 ( (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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242 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

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!

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!


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

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.

Image result for james baldwin writer

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!

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

Image result for st. hubertus rosa alpina
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!
Image result for colterenzio pinot nero 2016
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 On the shelf at $16.99 @MetroWines!


Image result for cat in hat seuss

"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!


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

Don't Miss This BIG NIGHT!

Conde Nast Photography Collection of Wine Photos HERE:

Image result for conde nast store wine photo 60s
Peruse Over a Bottle of Something Dark, Sultry and Sexy

Weeknight Perusal Wine 
Aviary 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, $17.99

Image result for aviary cabernet 2016
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

Image result for alexander valley chardonnay 2016

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

$14.99 @MetroWines
More details:

Weekend Perusal White

Image result for napa quilt chardonnay 2016

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 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: 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" ( ) 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:
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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  292 Hits
292 Hits

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
Continue reading
  271 Hits
271 Hits

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
277 Hits