Metro Wines Blogs

Metro Wines Asheville, NC

Paitin Barbera d'Alba Campolive 2010


OK. If you read this blog, you know that I am totally enamored with Paitin. So, we can do a regular wine review and talk about the fruit, the structure, the nuances, all the wine talk - but the real point with Paitin for me is how it makes you, dare I say it,  feel. Paitin conjures up the world, the food, the art, the landscape of the Piedmont since the 15th century in a glass. Caravaggio's "Bacchus," circa 1595, is offering us a glass of wine that could well have been from Paitin!  It makes me feel like a million bucks. Wine is not just what is in the bottle but all that came before it, that surrounds it, the moment. Wine is an experience. And Paitin is the best at making it one to remember.

Join us for the POSANA wine pairing dinner on Thursday, May 8th at 6pm to find this Paitin paired with the 3rd course by acclaimed Chef Peter Pollay. RSVP to POSANA at 505-3969 and feel like a million bucks!

"Ruby purple color with dark cherries aromas with hints of mineral . A dry, full bodied red wine with refreshing acidity and soft  annins, well balanced with good integration of oak, good complexity and a long finish" -Winemaker's Notes

Paitin Tech Sheet: Grapes: 100% Barbera

Harvest: The grapes are selected from the Vineyard located in Serraboella, Neive, planted in 1978, 4.600 plants per hectare, harvested the last week of September.
Winemaking: alcoholic fermentation in rotofermenters for 8 days at 26-28° C
° F).
Aging: before malolactic the wine is moved to Slavonian oak casks for 18 months
The wine is held in stainless steel tanks for 2 months before bottling. Unfiltered, unfined.
Description: Ruby purple color with dark cherries aromas with hints of mineral .

A dry, full bodied red wine with refreshing acidity and soft tannins, well balanced with good integration of oak, good complexity and a long finish.

The 2010 Barbera d’Alba Superiore Campolive stands out for its layered, sublime personality. This is an unusually laid back, refined vintage for the Campolive, a wine that is often much more exuberant. Sweet floral notes and a burst of dark cherries add lift on the finish. The 2010 was aged exclusively in cask. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2020.” Antonio Galloni Wine Advocate November 2012


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Paitin Barbaresco Serra 2009


Truth be told, I have never met a Paitin I did not like. I know there must be one out there but I have not yet encountered it. Paitin is just a class act. This 100% Nebbiolo is extraordinary. So, it almost seems a bit de classe to discuss price for something so exquisite but you should know what's out there. Online retailers sold out at $24.98 and higher, sold out in Princetown NJ at $37!! Our price $21.90. Serving with the 4th course by acclaimed Chef Peter Pollay at POSANA dinner on Thursday, May 8th at 6pm. Also serving Paitin Barbera d'Alba Campolive. You really want to be there.  RSVP today to POSANA at 505-3969. But, as always, don't take my word for it. Witness:
92 points Wine Advocate! The 2009 Barbaresco Serra emerges from the glass with a heady melange of sweet red berries, licorice, anise and dried herbs. Violets, roses and flowers of all sorts appear as the wine sits in the glass. Deceptively medium in body, the 2009 impresses for its deep layers of fruit and radiant, powerful personality. the tannins remain youthfully vigorous, but are nicely balanced by the creaminess of the fruit. Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate
90 Points | Stphen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, November/December 2013

Good full red.  Sexy aromas of meat, leather and underbrush. Ripe, sweet and plump yet fine-grained.  Less primary than the 2010 version but nicely balanced and smooth.  Quite horizontal and full on the finish, with smooth tannins coating the teeth. 

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National Bicycle Month

May is National Bicycle Month!


When you shop MetroWines for


* GC Commuter Pinot Noir *

From the winery: A portion of proceeds from sale of this wine will go to the Brett Jarolimek Memorial Fund, created in honor of cyclist Brett Jarolimek, and in a joint venture between the Bike Gallery and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance to promote bicycle safety and awareness throughout Oregon.



 *Cono Sur Merlot*

From the winery: "Cono Sur vineyard workers travel around the estate by bicycle, tending the vines using natural methods, in order to produce the best quality grapes. Our Bicicleta wines are a tribute to them."


10% of the proceeds will go 

to support the worthy work of 

Blue Ridge Bicycle Club


The Blue Ridge Bicycle Club works and rides  to promote healthy and fun lifestyles through cycling in Western North Carolina by providing education, cycling opportunities, working with health and fitness organizations and local governments on transportation planning.

169 Charlotte Street in Asheville, NC, 28801

(828) 575-9525 and

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Masseria del Fauno Primitivo & Terre di Chieti Cococciola

Masseria del Fauno Primitivo, 2010



From Puglia, the "heel of the boot," the vines that make wine in this bottle of Primitivo grow and thrive among the cherry trees.  As the label says, Primitivo is, for all practical wine drinking purposes, Italian Zinfandel. The terroir, home to the aforementioned cherry trees and also olive trees, produces wines with deep, rich Italian flavors.  This Primitivo is inky red in color and, as you might expect, bursting with cherry aromas. Add to the cherry, plum, licorice, spice and discernible chocolate on the palate. Popular and sold out throughout Europe, and an especially big seller in London,  this Primitivo is well worth $12.49.

From the Marks and Spencer (yes, The London Department Store!) website:

  • Product information
  • Masseria del Fauno Primitivo
  • Vintage: 2010
  • Sweetly evolved chocolate and spice aromas make way for a lovely open palate of creamy vanilla, raspberry and strawberry. These appealing fruit flavours are off-set against a deeply moreish, tangy liquorice edge, serious dark tannins, and a lively acidity. This is a gorgeously complex red wine.
  • About this bottle: Winemaker Sabino Russo is passionate about this wine and its provenance. He explains that it has taken more than a millennium for 'Zinfandel' in America, 'Primitivo' in Italy, and 'Plavac Mali' in Croazia to be recognized as the same grape. And here in Puglia in the warm Mediterranean sunshine it really comes into its own. Trained low on the ancient Greek 'aberello' system close to the ground, Sabino and winemakers like him believe the warm exotic Primitivo flavours really flourish.
  • Grape Variety: 100% Primitvo
  • Country of origin: Italy
  • Region: Puglia

And BTW, Masseria del Fauno is SOLD OUT at Marks and Spencer!!

From Vino Virtuoso about the winery:

Located in Puglia (the “heel” of the Italian “boot”), Masseria del Fauno produces some of the finest southern Italian varietals in the world. Nurtured by the premium terroir of the estate’s vineyards, which are located on a famous site that has been producing wines since ancient Roman times, the wines have a distinct Italian flair.

Sabino Russo, the winery’s 36-year-old winemaker, is a true icon in the Italian wine world. Originally from Puglia, Sabino began his apprenticeship at the very young age of 8. After Sabino spent months showing up at his family’s winery to learn more about the mechanics of winemaking, his grandfather, who sensed that the young boy had a natural passion

for winemaking, began actively instructing him every day before and after school. Over the years, Sabino’s grandfather taught him everything he knew, and Sabino eventually developed an encyclopedic knowledge of wine. After a major newspaper in the area wrote a feature that dubbed him “the kid genius of winemaking,” the headmaster of Italy’s most important oenological institute invited Sabino to become a full-time student at the remarkable age of 13.

By the age of 20, after he had already received his masters in oenology, Sabino struck out on his own. After working at wineries in Germany and South Africa, Sabino returned to Italy at the age of 27 to become the head winemaker of a prestigious winery in Tuscany, where he earned a reputation as one of the most gifted winemakers in all of Italy.

Having achieved his professional goals at such a young age, Sabino decided to return to Puglia, back to his roots. Partnering with the family-owners of Masseria del Fauno, Sabino redesigned the estate’s vineyards and equipment in order to craft indigenous Italian varietals using the old-fashioned methods he learned from his grandfather. In his own words, Sabino explains his winemaking philosophy:

My highest ambition and passion is to work with native Italian that they generate wines with a precise Italian identity and so that they are representative, as much as possible, of the territory and culture and heritage of Italy itself. And then I want to share those wines with the world.

Today, Sabino is happily doing just that, making the wines he first learned how to make when he was a boy. Working alongside him is his young son, who eagerly absorbs the lessons and traditions of Italian winemaking just like Sabino once did with his grandfather. 

And Vino Virtuoso thoughts on Zinfandel and Primitivo: 


The fruit for this 100% old-vine Primitivo comes from Puglia, a fertile wine growing region located on the “heel” of Italy’s “boot.” With some of its vine plantings dating back to Roman times, this truly remarkable vineyard is firmly rooted in soils consisting of mineral-rich clays, fine volcanic rocks, and the shells and coral from ancient sea beds. The scene is a breathtaking step back in time, with pottery artifacts still visibly surfacing from the ground and nearby ruins from lost civilizations. Situated on a narrow Mediterranean peninsula in between the Adriatic and Ionian seas, Puglia is abundantly warm and sunny during the daytime, and sweeping breezes from both seas cool temperatures down from dusk until dawn. Such a climate provides an ideal incubation atmosphere for wine grapes, which is largely the reason that the “boot” of Italy produces more wine annually than does the entire continent of Australia.

Many legends surround this ageless grape, including one hard-to-prove theory held by locals that it was the wine served at the Last Supper. The earliest knowledge of the Primitivo varietal is that it originated in Greece. It is not known exactly how or when this plant was transported into Italy, but its history in Italy dates back many millennia. Records indicate that in the 1700s a Benedictine monk selected an early (“primo”) ripening vine and planted and nursed it to maturity. After the vine proved to reliably ripen earlier than other vines, other growers began planting the same vine’s offspring, such that it became widespread throughout Puglia, eventually earning it the name of “Primitivo,” which translates roughly to “early one.”

So what does this iconic wine taste like, you ask? Well, if you have ever tasted a Zinfandel from California (i.e. a true Zinfandel, not a “white” Zinfandel), then you have a fairly accurate idea of what to expect from an Italian Primitivo. In 1993, after decades of speculation that the Italian Primitivo and Californian Zinfandel were closely related, the foremost scientist in wine genetics confirmed through DNA analysis that the Primitivo and the Zinfandel are genetically identical and that they are both the former offspring of a rare grape variety originally from Croatia named “Crljenak.” (Don’t worry...we can’t pronounce its name either!)

Thus, at some point thousands of years ago, travelers transported the grape vines from Croatia into Italy, where it flourished. As for how exactly the vines found their way to California, there is still much scholarly debate, but the prevailing theory is that Italian immigrants from Puglia brought the plants with them during the Gold Rush. What we do know for certain is that once the vines did arrive, they became known as Zinfandel and quickly grew to become the most popular and widely-planted grape variety in the state, effectively jumpstarting the California wine industry.

After closely comparing Primitivo and Zinfandel wines, one understands why they are the “celebrity twins of the wine world.” Indeed, they are fundamentally quite similar. In the glass, both Primitivo and Zinfandel create bold, full-bodied and flavorful wines that have rich berry, jam, spice and chocolate flavors, often accompanied by relatively high alcohol levels.

However, even though they are identical twins, Primitivo and Zinfandel are actually quite different. Grapes are extremely sensitive to their surroundings, and they adapt very easily. Thus, each has developed its own style independently in order to harmonize with its respective terroir. In Puglia, the warmer climate allows the Primitivo berries to ripen earlier such that
they are smaller and more loosely clustered when it comes time to pick the fruit. In California, on the other hand, the longer growing season compels the Zinfandel berries to become larger, more tightly packed and to ripen later. These subtle differences in the terroir can have a big impact. Because Primitivo berries ripen earlier, they do not have time to produce as much alcohol. (California Zinfandels tend to have up to 15% alcohol, while Primitivo wines—like this one from Masseria del Fauno—tend

to have just 13-14% alcohol). Moreover, since the Primitivo berries are smaller by the time they ripen, they have thicker skins, which means that they create more tannin in the final wines.

Finally, the other differences in the terroir (like soil, water and air composition) have an effect as well. As finished wines, the differences typically fall across the usual New World versus Old World lines. Zinfandel, being a New World wine, lands big on the red fruit, displaying a strong raspberry and strawberry character. Primitivos like this one, however, tend to have a more diverse Old World attitude, with rustic notes of earthy spice and tamed fruit flavors of plum and blackberry.

Of course, there is a huge diversity of wines that can be made from both Zinfandel and Primitivo, and neither wine is inherently better than the other. As always with wine, it’s a matter of taste. The important thing is to enjoy the adventure of trying new wines to figure out what suits your palate best. Salut! 

Terre di Chieti Cococciola 2013

With all due respect, it just does not get any lonlier than Cococciola! From Abruzzo, this wine is light, crisp adn screaming, in a nice way!, summer. At $11.49, be different, try take the wine road less traveled, and in your role as trailblazer, GIVE A GRAPE A CHANCE!!


From "Fringe Wines" about the varietal: Cococciola


Cococciola is the kind of grape that makes me hate writing.  That sounds a little harsh, I know, but I remember being so excited when I came across it in a local Italian wine shop since it was something completely new and different to me, which is no small feat these days.  I naturally bought the wine and opened it almost right away.  I enjoyed it quite a bit and immediately starting trying to find more information on it for a post here.   After I drank it, I started to see a few email offers for wines made from the Cococciola grape and saw a few pieces online about it, but when I tried to really dig in and find enough good information to fill out an entire blog post, I just wasn't getting anywhere.  There is virtually no mention of Cococciola in any of the academic databases I usually use and the few references in books and online that I have been able to track down rarely have more than a sentence or two of vague, generic boilerplate information that hardly seems like it is worth reporting.  I keep looking for a story with Cococciola and I think that the best story that I've been able to find is that there really isn't much of a story to Cococciola at all.  So I finally decided to just give up on researching this grape and will just present the little bit of information that I was able to find and get to the tasting note as quickly as possible.

I started, as I usually do, with the Oxford Companion to Wine, whose entry on the grape reads in full "white wine variety native to the Abruzzo where it is blended with Trebbiano."  Lettie Teague at theWall Street Journal wrote about Cococciola back in 2010, but her entire blog post only runs to two paragraphs, only one sentence of which actually contains any informational content ("Cococciola is a grape grown in the Abruzzi region of Italy (in the province of Terre di Chieti) where it produces a pleasingly crisp, slightly grassy white that’s a wonderful aperitif and a perfect summer drink").  There's a handful of brief blog posts more or less in that vein scattered across the internet that you can Google at your leisure, but pretty much none of them go any deeper than the two quotes above.

The most in-depth treatment of Cococciola comes from Wine Grapes, but even their coverage is pretty sparse.  The "Origins and Parentage" section is a single sentence, which reads in full "The origins of this variety and of its strange name are unclear and its earliest mention seems to be in Viala and Vermorel's Ampélographie (1901-1910) under the synonym Cacciola."  Though I've been able to track down a few volumes of the Ampélographie online, I haven't found the volume (there are 7 in total) that mentions Cacciola and since I don't have thousands of dollars to spend on a copy for myself, I can't report what that book has to say about the grape.  Wine Grapes goes on to say that Cococciola is mostly planted in Abruzzo and northern Puglia where it was traditionally used as a very minor blending component with Trebbiano d'Abruzzo (thanks largely to its high yields), though it is being used more these days to make varietal wines.  As of 2000, there were shockingly 893 hectares (2,207 acres) under vine in Italy, which is much higher than I would have expected.


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Arthur, Domaine Drouhin


Named for her son, "Arthur" this woman winemaker, Veronique Boss- Drouhin, with winemaking roots dating back to 1880 in Burgundy. presents a world class bottle.  See what Robert Parker had to say!

2012 Domaine Drouhin Oregon


89 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

  Drouhin’s 2011 Chardonnay Arthur – which as usual incorporates both tank- and barrel-; malo- and non-malo-elevage – is delightfully scented with fresh lime, apple, and pineapple, which go on to inform a juicy and bright yet lees-enriched and subtly silken palate. 'There was a lot of malic acid,' notes Bell, 'and malos here took forever. The first harvest for Chardonnay,' he adds, 'wasn’t until after the Pinot, so around the 28th or 29th of October.' Hints of chalk and iodine add interest to a sustained, slightly tart, and refreshing finish. This could well be more harmonious and complete in another year and ought to drink well for several.   (10/ 2013)

Chardonnay Arthur

About the Chardonnay Arthur

Our Chardonnay Arthur is produced from 100% Dijon clones, grown on the Drouhin Family Estate in the Dundee Hills of Oregon. First planted in 1992, these are among the oldest such vines in the new world. Their low yields and early ripening ability have been a perfect match for our climate and soils. Our Chardonnay first debuted with the 1996 vintage and was renamed in honor of Véronique Drouhin-Boss’ son with the 2002 release. Arthur is a wine that captures the bright, crisp acidity and mineral charac- ter of the vineyard, balanced with richness and lovely length on the palate.


Our 2012 Chardonnay was hand-picked into small totes, and then whole- cluster pressed. Half of the juice was fermented in French Oak barrels (30% new) to create a round, rich texture. The other half was fermented and aged in stainless steel. Véronique then blended these two portions to create a wine of a more delicate nature – Arthur. To Véronique, it as if one brought together elements of a pure Chablis and an elegant Meursault.

The Vintage

2012 was an exciting growing season and we’re thrilled with how deli- cious the wines are. The signature for the year was the extended dry period leading up to harvest and the overall warmth of the season. In contrast to the cooler 2010 and 2011 vintages, 2012 delivered gorgeous, ripe fruit, with wonderfully intense flavors.

Véronique’s Tasting Notes

2012 is shaping up to be an exceptional vintage given the overall quality of the fruit. The grapes came in bursting with flavour and that has given the wines a nice round texture and excellent flavors of fresh forward fruit. I can feel a little more body than either 2011 or 2010, but with no loss of floral aromatics or lightness on the palate. The finish is long. The 2012 Arthur is immediately enjoyable, though one could age it easily for 3-5 years.

Harvest Dates

October 3 - October 26

Bottling Date

July 31, 2013

2,500 Cases Produced


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Barone Montalto

Barone Montalto Cabernet Sauvignon - Nero d'Avola 2011, Sicily 
This blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Nero d'Avola organic grapes makes for a dry, medium bodied wine. A spicy nose rolls into dark, red fruit with hints of strawberry and an ever so slight waft of star anise. An oak foundation sustains this Sicilian through a smooth, long finish. We @MetroWines find that Nero d'Avola is one of those varietals, either bottled alone or lending it's varietal gift to a blend, that really rolls evenly across the palate hitting everywhere at once. The Barone Montalto's blend here is the perfect pair for Delvecchios pizza.  But don't beleive me. The label suggests pairings in pictures with a bowl of pasta, a chicken and oh yeah, a pie wiht a slice missing! Of course the winemaker did not metion Delvecchio but I bet he would have if he had known about it. Sold out at most online wine shippers and very, very poplular in London and British Columbia (hey, they eat pizza too!) this bottleis unbeatable at $11.99. Grazie Mille Barone Montalto!
From Barone Montalto: Sicily, land of strong and legendary. Its climate, nature and the experience of winemakers, make it unique for the cultivation of the vine. Not by chance is it the most important wine-producing region of Italy. The Winemakers Montalto is an agricultural company that deals with the management of about four hectares of vineyards, most of which are owned. The remaining part of the vineyards is subject to the "quality protocols Montalto" thanks to which it monitors and ensures the quality of the grapes conferred confirming a qualitative growth over the years. 
The winery says: In Sicily, the family is a serious matter as it is choosing the right wine for special occasions. Collection of Family Wines are obtained by careful selection of the best parcels in the best areas. Our winemakers make wine respectfully, this particular selection, aging in French oak ensures the longevity required to witness the sacred meeting place between different generations.  Sicly is a magical land whee respect for nature gives character to wine. Barone Montalto Organic Wines are obtained from the vinification of grapes from orgnic farming. the wines are concentrated and rustic as well as the vineyards fromw hich they come and which are managed by farmer without the use of synthetic chemical fertilizers or treatments. The secret then is to maintian the natural balance between the vineyard and surrounding flora and fauna.
Tech Stuff on the Wine:
Nero d'Avola-Cabernet
Sicily IGT Terre
750 ml
Valle del Belice, 350-500 m above sea level
Dark alluvial soils and deep, medium-textured, sandy clay silt composition, good organic matter content
70% Nero d'Avola and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, maceration of 12-15 days at 26 ° C with daily pumping over. Once racked Cabernet is aged in French oak barrels and the rest in stainless steel for 4 months
Intense red color with shades rubine. Spicy nose recalls notes of coffee and currants with hints of Mediterranean herbs. In the mouth it is full, the important tannins and good length and balance.
Very suitable course very seasoned. The beautifully accompanies cheese and roasted meat.
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Elio Altare Barbera d'Alba


Elio Altare Barbera D’Alba 2011 is a comprehensive experience. Emerge yourself in ALL that this bottle IS and represents. Not only does this bottle look elegant, the wine tastes elegant. We chose this wine for the wine pairing dinner not only because of its great characteristics of dark fruits and the perfect amount of acidity; we chose it because of the family who runs the Altare winery. Elio at the age of 26 decided to help his family’s winery and point it in a new direction, favoring elegance, finesse, and balance. He began a strict regimen in the vineyard and adopted new vinification techniques in order to highlight the grape varietal and the territory in which it is grown.

Today the Altare winery is still family owned and operated. Elio oversees operations while his two daughters have taken over the winemaking. The Altare winery aims to respect nature. They also strive to limit the use of chemical substances in both the vineyard and cellar.

It has been said that the one thing that will stand out at the winery is Elio’s vibrant daughter, Silvia. She has stepped up in the winemaking process because she believes the only way to know how to make the best wine with large competition is to know the land and the grapes on a personal level.  And since Silvia grew up on the estate, there is no better person than Silvia to make the best wines in the Piedmont.

This wine is warm, full bodied with the right acidity. It has a nice long taste of dark red fruits. On the nose you will find aromas of violets and black cherry. When drinking this wine at home, pair it with antipasto, a pasta course, and fatty cheese and salami.


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Kosher Wines


Hermon Red, Golan Heights Winery, $16.49

This Kosher wine, a dry Bordeaux Blend is from the Golan Heights Winery. The winemaker tells us that this 2012 Mount Hermon Red displays strong notes of ripe red and black fruits, alongside hints of fresh herbs. Delightfully drinkable, Mount Hermon Red has good body and wonderful flavor.

Ready to enjoy now, the 2012 Mount Hermon Red should stay in good drinking shape for about three years from vintage. Highly versatile, Mount Hermon Red is a great companion to grilled meats, hearty tomato-based pasta dishes or nice ripe brie.

The Galilee (or Galil) is the most northern, and generally considered the best, appellation in Israel. The highest quality area within the appellation is the Golan Heights (or simply the Golan), the coldest region in Israel. The vineyards on this volcanic plateau rise from 400 meters (1,300 feet) above sea level to 1,200 meters (3,900 feet) and receive snowfall in the winter. Golan Heights Winery is located in the town of Katzrin in the central Golan.

Golan Moscato 2012, $16.49


The Wine 
The 2012 Golan Moscato shows off aromatic floral, grapefruit, tangerine, green apple and tropical fruit notes. This lightly sparkling dessert wine is pleasantly sweet and highly drinkable.
Ready to enjoy now, Golan Moscato is best consumed within about 18 months of harvest. While we usually pair Golan Moscato with dessert, it is also a wonderful aperitif to be enjoyed by itself at the outset of a festive meal. For dessert, the wine goes wonderfully with zabaglione made with Moscato, instead of Marsala. Or give it a try with a slice of aromatic lemon cake, or fresh berries sprinkled over rich vanilla gelato.
 The Vintage
 Following the record breaking cold and hot temperatures of harvests 2011 and 2010 respectively, we thankfully returned to a more typical vintage in 2012. The relatively cold and wet winter resulted in late but strong budbreak. A somewhat warm April advanced the season, resulting in a normal start of harvest in the first week of August. Trailing a beautiful summer that was just slightly warmer than average, a short warm spell in October allowed us to complete the relatively short harvest on the 21st of the month. The 2012 vintage brought lower than average yields coupled with very good quality.
The 2012 Golan Moscato is produced exclusively from Muscat Canelli, which is our earliest ripening variety. The wine’s very cold fermentation is stopped early, helping us produce a lightly sparkling dessert wine that is naturally low in alcohol and extraordinarily aromatic.
The Analyses
             % Alc (v/v)                               7.0 
            TA (g/l)                                    5.9
            pH                                           3.15
            RS                                           Sweet
The Appellation
 The Galilee (or Galil) is the most northern, and generally considered the best, appellation inIsrael. The highest quality area within the appellation is the Golan Heights (or simply the Golan), the coldest region in Israel. The vineyards on this volcanic plateau rise
 from 400 meters (1,300 feet) above sea level to 1,200 meters (3,900 feet) and receive snowfall in the winter. Golan Heights Winery is located in the town of Katzrin in the central Golan.  

Baron Herzog

The grapes for this very approachable Cabernet Sauvignon come mainly from the highly regarded Paso Robles appellation. Aged for 18 months in stainless steel to highlight its berry and plum notes, it finishes with fruity blackberry and spice flavors. It is light in the mouth with food-friendly acidity and tannin. $16.49

Silver Medal

88 points: BTI / Best Buy


Intense floral aromas are followed by notes of fresh peach, pear and citrus with hints of toasty vanilla oak. Soft in texture, this well-balanced wine is crisp and refreshing on the finish. $16.49

Silver Medal

88 points: BTI / Best Buy


b2ap3_thumbnail_Barkan-Classic-Chardonnay-2012_1.pngBarkan Classic Chardonnay is produced from grapes grown at the winery's vineyards in the center of Israel. The vines yield small crops and ripen early. Hand picked in small containers, the grapes are rushed to the winery to ensure maximum quality. The wine ferments slowly at cool temperatures and yields a wine with a rich nose of blueberries, guava, and pears. It is well structured, balanced and lingers in the mouth. Ideal with poultry and hard cheese. $14.99






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Andy Hale and Blind Tasting League

Check out this article on OUR Andy Hale in the Mountain Express: WE ARE THE PLACE to BE on WEDNESDAY!! Sign up NOW for tonight! 828-575-9525


FLYING BLIND: Sommelier Andy Hale of Metro Wines' Blind Tasting League says participating in blind tastings frees wine aficionados to experience different varieties without the burden of preconceived notions. Photo by Cindy Kunst

"Blind Tasting League brings wine appreciation down to earth

Currants, bramble and boysenberry are among many of the somewhat inaccessible descriptive terms I’ve heard tossed around at lofty wine tasting events over the years. The world of wine can be a bit pretentious, a trait that often leads would-be connoisseurs to settle for “critter wines” from the grocery store instead of learning how to better swim the tricky seas of the drink and all its technicalities. Honestly, when is the last time any of us had a boysenberry or a currant? 

Fortunately, Andy Hale of Metro Wines on Charlotte Street is here to bring wine appreciation a little more down to earth with his new Blind Tasting League of Asheville. “Basically, we take the art of what the sommeliers do,” he explains, “which is usually reserved for the superelite of the wine world, and turn it into a drinking game for the fun and education of everyone.”

Meeting twice per month, the Blind Tasting League allows attendees to participate in a seated group tasting of four undisclosed wines. Working as a group, Hale talks the crowd through each wine using the the Court of Sommeliers’ blind tasting test as a guide. The tests are a set up as a multiple-choice sheet that works its way through the appearance, aroma and flavors of a wine, with the end goal of being able to identify the wine varietal. “It is the real thing,” he says. “It’s the same exact format that you would see if you took a sommelier exam.”

Sitting at a group table, participants are presented with two glasses of white wine and two glasses of red, with no hint as to their identities. From there Hale asks them a series of questions involving the wines’ smells, tastes and visual clues that help them decipher the identity of the grapes therein. “It’s the world’s hardest drinking game,” Hale jokes.  

The owners of the shop actually choose the wines without consulting Hale. “I don’t know what they are,” he says, “which keeps things from making me [the instructor] sound obnoxious and pretentious. They actually make me sit in the back while they’re setting up for each night.”

 Keeping Hale, a certified specialist in wine and a sommelier, in the dark along with the guests is truly what sets the Blind Tasting League apart from many of the wine classes and group tastings available in Asheville. Rather than relying on prewritten tasting notes, Hale is left to riff along with his guests as they work through the wines, patiently deducing what each sample might be through smell, taste and sight. “If I was doing it with wines I had selected, it could come off as really stuffy,” he explains. “It’s more fun for me if I don’t know what it is.” And as the tastings prove, it is more fun for the rest of us that way as well.

Hale and his wife moved to Asheville almost two years ago from Charleston, where he had worked as a sommelier for Jasmine Porch and the Ocean Room, two very high-end restaurants at Kiawah Island Golf Resort. Once in Asheville, he began working for the small boutique wine distributor Sour Grapes before joining forces with Metro Wines on Charlotte Street.

Once on the retail end of things, Hale saw the opportunity to bring the experience of a blind tasting to Asheville’s wine scene. “One of the benefits of tasting blind is that you’re not burdened or encumbered by your expectations of what the wine is going to be. People bring a whole lot of what they expect a wine to be when they are trying something,” he says. “Sometimes we’ll open up a bottle of merlot at the shop and people look at you like ‘pssh, I’m not drinking any merlot, trust me, I saw Sideways, I don’t drink merlot.’” 

But Hale isn’t a stranger himself to these prejudices. When he first began the tasting league, he found a few of those ignorant opinions in his own palate. “As it turns out, I was the same way with pinot grigio,” he laughs. “The first blind tasting we had, we’re going through the tasting, and one of them I’m totally stumped on. It’s light-bodied, superaromatic, beautiful, with a really good mouth and good acidity … and it turned out to be a $10 pinot grigio! And in my book it was just too good to be pinot grigio, so I really didn’t expect it. So as it turns out, I learned I had pinot grigio prejudice,” proof that no matter how much you think you know wine, until you taste it blind, you don’t really know anything.

Metro Wines hosts the Blind Tasting League on the first and third Wednesday of every month. For details or to reserve a spot, visit For details on Metro’s upcoming classes on wine geography, tasting, service and more, head to"


Article  written by Jonathan Ammons from Mountain Express...ALSO one of the ONLY blind tasting league participants to correctly identify the exact wine and the winery!! You rock Jonathan!

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GAMBAI Rosso 2012


The Elements of Discretion

OK. Let's just talk turkey here. What's up with this Piedmont Wine Project? Perche? This is what's up in blunt, down and dirty terms. Winemaker Alberto Cordero Montezemolo is ALL THAT in Italian winemaking for decades. He's good. Really good. And he knows it. Nothing wrong with self confidence especially when it expreses itself in a wine bottle on your table! But Italy has a lot of wine making restrictions about this and that and what you can do and what you cannot do and on and on. Alberto, if I may call him that, wants to make wine the way he wants to make it. So, Alberto struck out on his own HARD with The Piedmont Wine Project  and the wines, Asinel and Gambai, are exceptional blends not seen on shelves before. As a wine shop, we introduce customers to new varietals and blends and styles. We hope you will like our suggestions and come back for the bottle again. It does not always happen. Taste is quite individual and depends are what you pair the wine with, the temperature at which it is served, etc. But in the case of The Piedmont Project, customers come back and come back often. These are well constructed wines that match, shall we say, the elements of discretion.  


GAMBAJ (pronounced GAMB – /AI/) means “boot” in Piedmont dialect, coming from “gambale” or “stivale” in the Italian language.
It suggests the geographic form of Italy and at the same time refers to the image of the boot on the label. The name and image are reminiscent of the boots worn by farmers for work in the vineyards.


Piedmont D.O.C.

Barbera 60% – Ruchè 30% – Pelaverga 10%

Carefully selected lots of wine from various producers and from diverse areas of Piedmont. Partly aged in stainless steel and partly in wood (around 6 months) depending on the varietal. Blended and bottled around 9 months after the harvest.

Vibrant ruby red, not too intense but brilliant. Fresh aromas of violets, cherry, blackberry, raspberry, and peach. Aromatic spices like anise and white pepper. In the mouth, medium tannic, not too “hot.”               Very easy drinking.

Perfectly paired with simple but tasty traditional Piedmont dishes including hot and cold appetizers, egg based pasta dishes or finger foods and slightly spicy meat and poultry dishes. Best to drink young within 4-5  years at about 16°C / 60°F.

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POSANA Wine Pairing Dinner!

Thursday, May 8th, 6pm

Foods and Wines from The Piedmont Region, Italy

at Posana

1 Biltmore Avenue at Pack Square

RSVP to Posana  at 505-3969

$65 all in.

The Chef


       Educated at the Culinary Institute of America, Executive Chef and Owner Peter Pollay brings years of restaurant experience to one of downtown Asheville’s most beautiful corners.Peter has a simple food philosophy: Source premium ingredients, work closely with the local farming community and never take short cuts when preparing a dish. Because of that philosophy, practically every item is made from scratch using high quality, natural ingredients.                            

The Menu


Sautéed Rouget

Potato Gnocchi, Fennel, Petite Carrots,

Bagna Cauda Sauce, Dried Tomatoes 

Piedmont Wine Project Asinel Bianco 2012


Three Graces Toma Cheese

Grape Mostarda, Baby Gem Lettuce, Beets, Balsamic

Cordero di Montezemolo Arneis 2012


Fergusson Farms Pork Agnolotti  

Chestnut Pasta, Local Ramps, Truffle, Parmesan 

Paitin Barbera d'Alba "Campolive" 2010


Brasstown Beef Sirloin

Baby Turnips, Asparagus, Olive Oil Potatoes, Red Wine


Paitin Barbaresco "Serra" 2009


Gianduja Mousse

Frangelico Ice Cream, Hazel Nut,

Chocolate Sauce, Sea Salt Carmel

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2735 Hits

Cinco de Mayo at Princess Anne


Cinco de Mayo!! Join Chef Marco Garcia, formerly of Curras DOM as we explore the best of Mexico. 5 wines expertly paired with Salad, Soup, Seafood, Entrée and Dessert. $100 plus tax, includes gratuity. Limited to 40 guests. And our Andy Hale from MetroWines will be on staff for the evening! Call the Princess Anne Hotel for Reservations. 828-258-0986

The Historic Princess Anne Hotel Presents

Cinco de Mayo Dinner/Welcome Home Chef Marco Garcia

Salad: (NV Champagne Charles de Cazanove, Champagne, FR)

Sorrel micro greens, Chayote, Cilantro sprigs, Lime zest, Jalapeno oil, Oyster Jus and Pepitas

Soup: (2013 Boedecker Cellars Rose of Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, OR)

Avocado soup, Vegetable broth, Cilantro, Serrano pepper oil, Tomatillo, Cava sparkling wine


Seafood: (2013 Laxas Albarino, Rias Biaxas, SP)

Pan seared, cumin dusted Diver scallops, Tomatillo burre blanc, Roasted cauliflower puree 

Main Course: (2011 Brochelle Zinfandel, Paso Robles, CA)

Chile en Nogada-Ground veal, slow cooked with Albarino wine and fruits,

Walnuts, Sherry wine, In house made goat cheese, cream sauce

House Made Flan (2012 Gagliardo Moscato, Piedmont, IT)


Cost: $100 per person, plus tax (gratuity included) Special Room and dinner packages are available. Contact the hotel. 

The Princess Anne Hotel, 301 East Chestnut Street, Asheville, NC 28801

Contact The Princess Anne Hotel for Reservations (828) 258-0986

Menu by Executive Chef Marco Garcia (Curras DOM)/ Wines by Tom Leiner 

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M. Difficulty Central Otago Pinot Noir 2010


This wine has received too many awards to list. 93 points from Wine Spectator, 92 points from Sydney Morning Herald and 92 points from Jeremy Pringle of The Main Course just to name a few, very few of the lot.  You can count on Central Otago to produce wines with bright fruit and earthy qualities all set in an elegant, perfect balance.  And this 2010 is a standard bearer! In the glass, you will find a lovely ruby color circling into a darker center that beckons you IN. Beautiful. On the nose, and here comes the earthy stuff! dark cherry, mushroom eucalyptus, cedar and licorice.  All the earthy aromas translate into flavors with a sultry, smoky finish. The winery says that this 2010 can go, under the proper conditions, 7 to 10 years.

Confession Alert:   If you have been following this blog or been in the shop, you know that Mt. Diffiuclty wines are staff favorites. We LOVE, and I cannot say that strongly enough, "Roaring Meg" from Mt. Difficulty and we LOVE this Central Otago 2010 all the same. Let me put it this way: after tasting this wine, one of our customers just said "oooooh baby."

Mt. Difficulty Pinot Noir 2010

Excellent concentration, with the hallmarks of a warmer season – concentrated ripe dark fruit mingled with a touch of red fruit and a splash of savoury spice! A nicely odd-ball vintage with warm conditions being over-ruled by ongoing winds and rapidly changing weather systems. Low initial bunch numbers coupled with the climatic variability led to yields being down by about 20% on average. A fantastic autumn helped bring the grapes through their last phase of ripening beautifully. Harvest was the latest we have ever experienced with first fruit not being picked till the 8th April. The blocks which are typically early were late, whilst our later blocks were harvested about their normal timeframe, leading to a very compacted busy vintage.

From Mt. Diffculty: OUR STORY

Today Mt Difficulty Estate is comprised of six vineyards; Templars Hill, Pipeclay Terrace, Menzies Terrace, Mansons Farm, Target Gully and Long Gully – total plantings of 40 hectares protected by the rain shadow of Mount Difficulty in Bannockburn, Central Otago. The region provides New Zealand’s only “continental” style climate combined with unique soils ideally suited for growing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris. It all began in the early 1990’s, when the owners of five newly-planted vineyards in Bannockburn shook hands and decided to work together to produce wine under one label, Mt Difficulty. The handshake bound the owners of Molyneux, Mansons Farm, Verboeket Estate and Full Circle until 2004 when Mt Difficulty Wines Ltd was formed, and the majority of the individual vineyards passed into the ownership of the company.

As a result, Mt Difficulty Wines Ltd now owns some of the oldest vineyards in the Bannockburn sub-region of Central Otago in New Zealand’s rugged South Island. The vine age gives our wines, particularly the Pinot Noirs, extra complexity and concentration. The Bannockburn area is internationally recognised as one of the few places in the world outside Burgundy where the pernickety Pinot Noir variety has found a home. Parts of New Zealand and cooler areas on the western seaboard of the United States are the only other regions where Pinot Noir seems to truly flourish.

The unique microclimate of the Bannockburn area is partially created by the presence of Mount Difficulty which overlooks the southern Cromwell basin, and is the namesake of Mt Difficulty Wines. Mount Difficulty is integral in providing low rainfall and humidity for the region. Bannockburn enjoys hot summers, a large diurnal temperature variation and long cool autumns; conditions which bring the best out of the Pinot Noir grapes. These conditions, along with soils which are ideal for viticulture, provide an excellent basis not only for Pinot Noir, but also for Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Chardonnay. The soils are a mix of clay and gravels, but all feature a high pH level; grapes produce their best wines on sweet soils.

The Mt Difficulty brand started in 1998 with a very small production of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, made by Grant Taylor of Gibbston Valley Wines (now of Valli Wines). Prior to this the Gang sold their grapes to either Gibbston Valley or Chard Farm. The Air New Zealand wine awards in 1999 put Mt Difficulty on the map, with our 1998 Pinot Noir winning a gold medal and the Chardonnay, silver.

In 1999 Matt Dicey came on board as winemaker, and he made the 1999 and 2000 vintage wines at Longburn Winery in Cromwell’s budding industrial area. In 1999 the range was increased to include Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc; while Gewürztraminer and Riesling were added in 2000. Gewürztraminer proved to be too difficult to grow economically (the variety often has a poor fruit-set) and the vines were pulled out prior to 2001. More recently the Mt Difficulty Chardonnay vineyards in Bannockburn have been replaced with other vines, including Chenin Blanc, leaving the Growers Series label (introduced in 2011 to showcase the terroir of other sub-regions) to fly the Chardonnay flag from 2010.

The vintage release in October 2001 marked a progression for Mt Difficulty Wines, with several Single Vineyard wines being seen for the first time. The 2001 white wines included two later-pick Rieslings and a late pick Pinot Gris, plus two Single Vineyard Pinot Noirs from the 2000 vintage. The philosophy of Single Vineyard wines is to display the unique characteristics that are particular to their site. With such a mixture of soils, microclimates and grape clones the difference in the wines from each vineyard site is quite noticeable and significant.

The next major change to the portfolio happened in 2004, when our second label Roaring Meg was launched. The first release consisted of a Pinot Noir and a Merlot from the 2003 vintage, with Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc following on a few years later. The Merlot was a short lived label, only appearing in 2003 and 2004. The varietal proved a little too thick skinned to achieve optimal ripening in Central Otago, but did at least give assistant winemaker Roger deGrauw the chance to hone his Rosé making skills in 2005 before the vines on Templars Hill were replaced by Pinot Gris. The fruit driven, early drinking style of the Roaring Meg wines struck a chord with the market and the brand has been the main source of growth for Mt Difficulty Wines since 2007.

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KEO Malbec, Paiman


From the winery:  PAIMAN is a winery that integrates the original resources of a unique terroir with a high tech manufacturing process in Argentina. The vineyards are located at 1720 feet above sea level, where the climate is desert with regular summer showers and a wide temperature differential between day and night. In summer the maximum not exceeding 33 º C and in winter rarely fall frost. The winery located just meters from the vineyards, benefits from the advanced equipment developed by the French and the proximity to the grapes once harvested.

So here's the bottom line: we taste a LOT of Malbecs and Garnachas and Tempranillos and Barberas and Monastrells and Zinfandels and Bordeaux, OK, not so many of those, but the point is that the wine, whatever the varietal, needs to have something to recommend it, something to set it apart, something just a little different to find a home on our shelf. This is a good, well balanced Malbec. You can really taste the flavors. You will know that this is Malbec. And we know this for a fact since KEO Malbec was one of the wines we tasted at Blind Tasting League this week!  Most of the participants had no doubts about it.  Let it air about 30 minutes. KEO Malbec is at its best when serve at 59 degrees.

Ths wine is also amazingly versatile. Case in point: We recently attended a dinner sponsored by the importer and the distribution company. The importer brought in a chef from Argentina to create a meal to pair with the the new imports including this KEO Malbec. Guests had a copy of the menu. The dish to be paired, so sayeth the menu, with KEO Malbec was a lightly broiled tuna with pistachio sauce and ginger. I really had my doubts here. But WOW as in Sham WOW. Big WOW! The best pairing of the night and a better pairing than many that surface at wine dinners. KEO Malbec is amazing in its ability to work the flavors, make a smooth transition from one flavor group to another, and yet remain its own, uncompromising wine self.

And, on top of it all, there is a local Asheville connection with KEO. Eric, the owner of Vinnie's Neighborhood Italian Restaurant imports the KEO line! Going to a potluck where the foods can span the cuisine globe? KEO Malbec.


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4282 Hits

Cote Est, Catalan


2011 Domaine Lafage "côté EST" Côtes Catalanes Blanc

88 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

  Made from an eccentric blend of 50% Grenache Blanc (from 100+-year-old vines), 30% Chardonnay and 20% Marsanne aged on its lees in stainless steel, the 2011 Cote d’Est exhibits a stunning perfume of dried apricots, honeyed citrus and white flowers. The lovely aromatics are followed by a crisp, elegant, slightly more textured, medium-bodied white with wonderful purity, freshness and length. Not only is this dazzling wine remarkably inexpensive, but there are over 10,000 cases imported to the United States. 

We love this blend and Lafage does it right. Imported by Eric Solomon, $12.49

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4656 Hits

Macon Fuisse 2011

 b2ap3_thumbnail_macon-fuisse.jpg       b2ap3_thumbnail_macon-fuisse_20140404-202701_1.jpg

Macon Fuissy is 100% Chardonnay made in southern Burgundy and, although it bear some resemblance to its northern counterparts, this wine has more oak and slides across the palate with ease. $17.25

From Domaine Romanin:  Mâcon Fuissé : This wine is produced from a selection of 15 year old vines with a south/south-eastern exposure on a hillside overlooking the village of Fuissé. Clear yellow with green tints, the Mâcon-Fuissé Domaine Romanin has a very aromatic nose with notes of acacia flowers, hawthorn and grapefruit. In the mouth, these fruity notes are repeated accompanied by a round mouthfeel and good structure. Do not tuck it away for too long in your cellar, with time it will lose all its fresh aromas.

From the importer, Robert Wlater Selections: Mâcon Fuissé
This wine is produced from a selection of 15 year old vines with a south/south-eastern exposure on a hillside overlooking the village of Fuissé. Clear yellow with green tints, the Mâcon-Fuissé Domaine Romanin has a very aromatic nose with notes of acacia flowers, hawthorn and grapefruit. In the mouth, these fruity notes are repeated accompanied by a round mouthfeel and good structure.

Domaine Romanin is located in Burgundy in the village of Fuisse, right at the heart of the famous vineyards of Pouilly-Fuisse, where the domaine's Vervier Family are now into their fifth generation of winegrowing. Unsurprisingly, tradition plays a key part in Denis Vervier's vinous strategies as he goes about crafting his exemplary and authentic expressions, with sustainable viticulture, manual harvesting, time-tested cellar techniques and scrupulous attention to detail all key components.

The vines are between 30 and 70 years old and enjoy a south/southeastern exposure that is highly conducive to ripening, with the clay and limestone soils typical of the region bestowing their own unique characteristics on the Chardonnay fruit via fruity and fl oral nuances. There is, particularly with the blended Pouilly-Fuisses, a skill in the assemblage that sets this area of Burgundy apart.

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Learn the secrets of the masters to determine what's in your glass!

Grab your friends and join us TONIGHT for our blind tasting league! 

$15. Space is limited! Buy tickets online or call 575-9525 and reserve your space. FOR ALL THE INFO!!

No blindfolds. No experience necessary!

Come and have a great time with your friends!



Follow us on Instagram!


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2980 Hits

Ostatu Rioja Blanco



This is Rioja Blanca!  High altitude vines 30 to 80 years old give us this blend of 85% Viura and 15% Malvasia. The wine is blanca fresh and fruity with a surprise touch of apricot. But what, you ask, is Rioja Blanca anyway?  Simply a term used to describe the various white varietal blends legally recognized in the Rioja. About one seventh of the vines in Rioja offer up light skinned grapes, Malvasia and Viura (local term for Macabeo) and Garnacha Blanca are the three most often called upon. Viura provides crisp fruit with green apple type acidity. Malvasia has detectible and delightful! honeysuckle and melon aromas and flavors. And when used, Garnacha Blanca brings varietally characteristic peachy citrus aromas and weight. Try the different, Rioja Blanca!!!


From the winery:

Wine-maker: Iñigo Sáenz de Samaniego
Vineyard management: Ernesto Sáenz de Samaniego/Iñigo Sáenz de Samaniego
Region: D.O.C. Rioja, Subzone Rioja Alavesa.
Vintage: 2013
Official Vintage Rating: Good
Release Date: December 2013

Vineyards: The grapes come from the highest parts of our oldest vineyards, around the villages of Samaniego, Laguardia, and Leza, at an altitude of 580 metres above sea level. Poor calcareous/clay soil, on south facing slopes. The subsoil is made up of various layers of white rock. 

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SIOS Les Creus 2010, Costers Del Segre



AMBROZIA customer called us to say she had a fabulous wine, "SIOS," there with dinner. She asked if we could order a case of SIOS for her. We were pleased to tell her that we have SIOS in the shop. Come on down! A blend of 85% Tempranillo and 15% Garnacha, SIOS is as the winemaker says: "A modern wine with a fresh and fruity character."  The nose and palate are all lush blackberry, blueberry and bosenberry wrapped in 6 months French Oak aging. The wine is balnaced, ripe and DRY. SIOS says goodbye with plum and pepper. In a perfect world, and a night at AMBROZIA is close! SIOS is served at 59 degrees. $17.99

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12465 Hits

Help STOP Child Abuse

Help stop Child Abuse. When you buy Writer's Block Petite Sirah or Essay Shiraz during the month of April, 10% of the proceed goes to CAPS to further their work to STOP child abuse. From CAPS:




Join Us 





United Way Bldg, 50 S. French Broad Avenue



Commissioner Ellen Frost County Commission


Blue Ribbon Award to:  Barbara Blake, The Asheville Citizen-Times        

Presentation by CAPS Board President Leslie Hansen



THE STORY BEHIND THE BLUE RIBBON – The Blue Ribbon became the symbol of child abuse prevention when a Virginia grandmother tied a blue ribbon to the antenna of her van after her grandson was fatally abused as a signal to her community of her commitment to involve everyone in the battle against child abuse. She chose blue after seeing her grandson’s battered blue body. Her action – the action of one person – has evolved into a national campaign with millions of blue ribbons across the country every April to demonstrate a commitment to preventing child abuse and protecting all children.


Child Abuse Prevention Services, Inc

Phone: 254-2000;  caps@childabusepreventionservices,org


Working to reduce/prevent child abuse, strengthen families, and assist children who have experienced abuse through personal safety education, crisis intervention/counseling, and parent education.

There is no excuse for abuse!

All kids deserve a safe, healthy childhood!                     Child abuse prevention is Everyone’s business!


For Release_____________________ Child Abuse Prevention Services__________________________

50 S. French Broad Avenue                                Contact:  Bill McGuire

     Asheville, NC 28801                                        O: 254-2000, ext 102

                                   February 27, 2014

                                    April Child Abuse Prevention Month

                                            The Blue Ribbons are Back! 

Tying of Blue Ribbons, April 1; Proclamations April1 and 8; Blue Ribbon Night at The Tourists April 18; Documentary Film ‘Searching for Angela Shelton’ April 22;  Build-A-Bear; Vintage VW Raffle, Radio interviews/PSAs, Nonprofit partner of month at Metro Wines and more…. 

ASHEVILLE, NC: - Child Abuse Prevention Month will kick off with Tying of Blue Ribbons and ‘Planting’ of the Pinwheel Garden at the United Way Building/Community Service Center, 50 S. French Broad Avenue, at noon April 1.  The kick off is to increase the awareness of child abuse, and prevention and treatment, and to demonstrate a community commitment to protect all children. 

There will be brief remarks by Leslie Hansen, Board President of Child Abuse Prevention Services, Inc. (CAPS), and Advisory Board Member and County Commissioner Ellen Frost; and, a moment of silence for the 4,716 children reported as abused/neglected last year in Buncombe County.

“We come not to lament but to prevent, to raise awareness of child abuse and to encourage involvement in prevention, treatment, and protection of all children – our future”, said Hansen.  “There is no excuse for abuse and child abuse prevention is everyone’s business.” 

“When the issue of child abuse is owned by everyone and the community”, continued Hansen, “prevention will truly progress, fewer children will be at risk, and more children will have a safe, healthy life free from abuse and the opportunity to reach their potential.”

In addition to tying blue ribbons to demonstrate a commitment to preventing child abuse and supporting survivors CAPS will present the Blue Ribbon Award to Barb Blake of the Asheville Citizen-Times.

The Blue Ribbon was chosen as a symbol of child abuse prevention when Bonnie Finney, a grandmother in Virginia, took a stand against child abuse.  She tied a blue ribbon on her car after her grandson was fatally abused.  It was a signal to her community of her commitment to involve everyone in the battle against child abuse.  She chose blue after seeing her grandson’s battered blue body.  Her action, the action of one person, has evolved into a national campaign with millions of blue ribbon across the country every April. 

“The numbers are staggering”, says Bill McGuire, Director of CAPS.  “One in 5 children will experience abuse, half will be under 6 years old, and tragically 4 children will die every day from abuse and neglect.  There are over 5 million children reported abused/neglected in the US every year, over 125,000 in NC and over 4,000 right here in Buncombe County. Abuse crosses all lines and knows no boundaries.  Usually the abuser is known to the child, and often is someone who is supposed to love and protect them.  Behind each of these numbers is a face, a child – our future”, 

The Child Health Report Card from Action for Children and the NC Institute of Medicine has for years given the state D’s and F’s in child maltreatment stating if it were a communicable disease, child abuse and neglect would be an epidemic in North Carolina.  More recently, they gave a C rating and hopefully that improvement can continue.

Hansen, president of the Board of CAPS said, “Education is the key to turning the tide against abuse.  Increased awareness will result in more parents teaching their children personal safety, in true open communication, and more disclosures leading to cessation of abuse along with counseling”. 

“We would love to work ourselves out of existence, but unfortunately that is not going to happen,” McGuire said.  “So we will keep educating children and families to reduce and prevent abuse, and keep offering crisis intervention and counseling for those who need it. “ 

“Hopefully, working together, as a community and individually we can make a difference,” said Kathy Redmond, Board Vice President, “and one day all children, our most precious, yet most vulnerable asset can have a safe, healthy childhood and one day we won’t need to be here.  That would be the best of all possible worlds.”  

  • Following the April 1 kick off, Chairman David Gantt and the Board of Commissions will proclaim April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Buncombe at their meeting later in the day.  
  • On April 8 Mayor Esther Manheimer and the Asheville City Council will also do so. 
  • April 18 will be Blue Ribbon Night at the Asheville Tourist game. CAPS staff and volunteers will hand out blue ribbons at the gate.  Before the game will they will take to the field to pin a large blue ribbon on Ted E, the Tourists’ mascot.  Young Abraham and Nolan Pospishil, sons of CAPS therapist, Shannon McTeague-Pospishil will actually pin the ribbon on Ted E.
  • On April 22 the documentary film “Searching for Angela Shelton” will be shown by CAPS at the United Way Building, 50 S. French Broad Avenue at 6 pm.  Everyone Welcome!  No charge.  Shelton is an Asheville native and is a screenwriter, actress and documentary film producer.  The film is her search, roaming the country seeking other Angela Sheltons, learning how many of them had also experienced child sexual abuse, confronting her father/abuser, and triumphing over the abuse.  Her mother Joann Shelton will be with us at the film to deliver remarks and answer questions.  
  • There will be Build-A-Bear events during April with volunteers and staff building teddy bears for children who have experienced abuse.
  • During April Child Abuse Prevention Month, CAPS will be presenting a new program ‘Stewards of Children’ child sexual abuse prevention training for adults to all Asheville City School counselors and social workers.  
  • There will also be radio interviews and PSAs; and, CAPS will be the nonprofit partner for the month at Metro Wines, 169 Charlotte St. 
  • There will be Blue Ribbons and literature at libraries, businesses, pediatricians, and churches.
  • CAPS will be presenting Prevention/Personal Safety programs in city and county schools, providing Counseling to children/families who have experienced abuse, and providing Parent Ed.

“Child Abuse Prevention Month is all about increasing public awareness, encouraging involvement in prevention, and trying to protect and do the best that we can for all children – the future of tomorrow”, said McGuire. 

Even though the numbers are staggering – 5 million children reported as abused/neglected in the U.S. last year, 125,000 in NC, and 4,716 right here in Buncombe County., the successes are many – whether it is children who learned skills to protect themselves and avoid or get out of an abusive situation, or those who raise their hand in our school-based Prevention/Personal Safety Ed. to disclose abuse and get immediate help and counseling (see attached Faces and Success Stories)”, said McGuire.

“The cost of child abuse in the US is $250 million a DAY or $95 billion a year.  This translates to the equivalent of $1,500 a year per family, yet we only spend $1 a year per family on prevention in the U.S.  It’s not only the cost in dollars, but the emotional cost.  With the overwhelming trauma of abuse, the ability to respond effectively to daily life may be affected – boundaries may be blurred, appropriate/inappropriate behavior may be confused, and feelings may be numbed”, said Advisory Board Member Ellen Frost.  “Folks who have experienced abuse many not have the luxury of thinking before acting and may live at times in the emotional center of their brains because that is what they had to do as children to survive.  And, that is why the school-based prevention programs at CAPS is so important, as are all the services at DSS, as well as CAPS counseling.” 

Last year CAPS educated and empowered 8,000 children with skills to protect themselves, provided adult training to 500 childcare providers, helped 500 children/families stabilize, get through the trauma of abuse and develop new coping skills through counseling and helped 200 families learn increased parenting skills. 

Our “Stewards of Children” child sexual abuse prevention training for adults from Darkness 2 Light is based on ‘5 Steps to Protecting Children’:  Learn the facts, Minimize opportunity and one-on-one situations, Talk about it/true open communication about bodies/boundaries, Recognize the signs of abuse, and React Responsibility regarding disclosures and reporting.

 “In addition to educating/empowering children with skills to protect themselves – to avoid or get out of an abusive situation, the school-based Prevention/Personal Safety Program often results in disclosure when a young hand goes up”, said Mary Trigg, community educator with CAPS. 

A third grader raised her hand in our child abuse prevention/personal safety education program at a local school, disclosed abuse so horrific that DSS and law enforcement rushed to the scene to immediately remove her from the sexually abusing parents.  In essence, our prevention program became an intervention in facilitating her disclosure and led to treatment as she came to us for counseling/therapy. She is now doing well and living with her aunt. 

Another child raised his hand to say his mother’s boyfriend put him in a clothes dryer and turned it on.  He too is coming for counseling and doing well. 

A young mother called us Christmas Eve relating she was all alone, going through a divorce, and her 6-year-old daughter who had just returned from a visit with the father told her mom that he had sexually abused her.  The mother didn’t know what to do – devastated, alone on Christmas Eve.  Then she recalled hearing about 211.  She called them, they referred to CAPS, we talked to her Christmas Eve, set up counseling the day after Christmas, and set up a child medical evaluation (CME) at Mission Children’s Center child abuse evaluation unit. 

We currently have a beautiful 5-year-old girl coming in for counseling. She drags the giant stuffed Wells Fargo pony from the waiting room to the children’s therapy room, arranges it just so, sits down then tells the therapist come sit down next to me and we’ll talk.  We told Kim Plemmons, our Board Member with Wells Fargo about this and she cried.  The next day we received two huge boxes – one was another Wells Fargo pony for our children’s therapy room and one was another pony for this special little girl to take home.

And, there is the 6-year-old girl who asks her mother every morning, “Do I have therapy with Miss Ilene today?”  Counseling and CAPS has become such a significant, positive, and safe part of her young life. 

All these children have experienced something no child should have to experience, but the hurt has stopped, the hope and healing has begun, they have found a safe place at CAPS, they are getting help, and they can now live safe, healthy lives free from abuse, and have the opportunity to reach their potential

“We are really proud of being able to see children/families who have experienced abuse within 24 to 72 hours for crisis intervention/counseling.  Many agencies in other places have waiting lists, but at CAPS we believe it is crucial to see these children and their parent/caregivers quickly to help them stabilize and deal with the trauma”, said McGuire., “And to learn new coping skills to deal with the abuse, to reduce negative behavior and unhealthful beliefs related to the abuse, and improve their condition,” said therapists Melinda Kent and Shannon McTeague-Pospishil.

               For information or to become a donor or supporter call 254-2000 or email:  We are located at 50 S. French Broad Ave., Suite 152, Asheville, NC 28801

 There is no excuse for abuse!

All kids deserve a safe, healthy childhood!  Child abuse prevention is Everyone’s business! 


 ‘Working to reduce/prevent child abuse, strengthen families, and assist children who have experienced abuse through personal safety education, crisis intervention/counseling, and parent education.’

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