From The MetroWines Book Review Department
The phenomenon of friendship is universal and elemental.
Friends, after all, are the family we choose.
But what makes these bonds not just pleasant but essential,
and how do they affect our bodies and our minds?
In Friendship, science journalist Lydia Denworth takes us in search
of friendship’s biological, psychological, and evolutionary foundations.
She finds friendship to be as old as early life on the African savannas
when tribes of people grew large enough for individuals to seek fulfillment
of their social needs outside their immediate families.
Denworth draws a link from primate relationships to
scientists at the frontiers of brain and genetics research and discovers
that friendship is reflected in our brain waves, our genomes,
and our cardiovascularand immune systems; its opposite, loneliness, can kill.
At long last, social connectionis recognized as critical to wellness and longevity.
I asked Brett Watson to select a bond building bottle!
"Nothing will induce and keep conversation going more than a unique bottle
of skin-fermented (orange) wine from legendary winemaker Elisabetta Foradori.
More known for her Northern Italian "Dolomite Mountain" reds,
she brings us her Ampeleia label from the brambly seaside hills of Maremm,
a in Southern Tuscany. A blend of mostly different strains of Trebbiano mixed
with a dose of Malvasia and rare Ansonica. The bio-dynamic bottling ferments
on skins for 7 days, then ages in concrete tank. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Also, just tastes really realllllly good."
Bring Back the Tomboy
Nancy McKeon as Jo Polniaczek on "Facts of Life" in 1982.
Everybody loved Jo. With her mane of brown hair and disdain for convention,
the Tomboy who spoke her mind and had no need for high society,
was adored by little girls across America.
Jo inspired generations of early feminists to be forthright and assertive
rejecting traditional, passive femininity.
If encouraging the return of the Tomboy is of interest to you,
this book is a full examination of what was, what is and what could be.
In any case, your Read it With or BE it With Wine
FYI: Tomboy Knows NO Age!
Anna Gallisà is the Oenologist
Fresh red fruit, minerality, structure and black fruit characteristics.
The wine is produced from all the grape varieties grown:
Garnatxa, Cabernet Sauvignon, Samsó, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
And I have no idea what this says but if you can read Spanish,
please enjoy this interview with Anna!
All This for $19.99 @MetroWines
News Release: Wednesday, February, 26, 2020
Jessica Gaydos started working in a bakery over 25 years ago, loved it, and hasn’t stopped working with food and wine since! She currently heads operations at Olive This!, a downtown Asheville boutique specializing in high quality extra virgin olive oils and vinegars and is on the board of Slow Food Asheville. Her high school jobs in restaurant kitchens led to a BS in Hotel Restaurant and Tourism Management from New Mexico State University, with a focus on restaurant operations. After many years of dining room and kitchen management, she transitioned to a long term stint with a French olive oil & specialty food company, time as a personal chef, and as an adjunct culinary instructor for Denver Public Library’s nationally recognized cultural programming, Fresh City Life. She is a graduate of the Ballymaloe Cookery School’s Culinary Certificate Program, where she polished her cooking skills in the midst of a 100 acre organic farm in County Cork, Ireland. An avid gardener, Jessica has long been a proponent of local, seasonal, and sustainable cooking.
March 6, 2020 at 6:00 PM
The Rediscovery of Historical Women Artists in Florence
Florence is home to great masters of Italian Renaissance art such as Botticelli, Donatello, Leonardo and Michelangelo but few people know that the city nourished women artists as well. Through the joint efforts of Italian museums such as the Uffizi and the US organization Advancing Women Artists, these often-forgotten women are now being rediscovered and their works restored and exhibited once more.
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, join us and conservator Elizabeth Wicksfor a talk focusing on Plautilla Nelli, Artemisa Gentileschi, Violante Siries Cerroti and Violante Ferroni, and the fascinating journey of their rediscovery and conservation.
This program is organized in collaboration with
Skylodge Adventures in Peru
At Skylodge Adventure Suites in Peru, guests arrive either by hiking more
than 1300 feet upor by zipping in like a superhero on a series of zoo lines.
The rooms are transparent capsules haring on the side of a mountain
with panoramic views of Sacred Valley.
OK. I am saying right now that I do not have the guts for this kind of adventure.
If it was me, I would be taking vodka and a big glass. Scrap it. I'm drinking from the bottle!
BUT, for those of you who are courageous thrill seekers,
I have asked Andy Hale, Director of The Asheville School of Wine,
to pick a "thrill seekers" bottle
to put in your backpackbound for your mountain side room
or for the still adventurous yet level comforts of your table!
2019 Pituko Viognier from Echeverria in Chile
Andy says: "I love it"
"The wine is unfiltered, unfined with no extra sulfites added.
It is a salty, flowery seaspray."
for the Lancia Starts HF Zero! Oooooooh baby!
Come back to reality. Value minded reality!
I asked Brett Watson to let us down easily.
"Nothing is more all encompassing for everyday drinking than pure and simple Chianti.
Tenuta Casabianca makes a certified organic and vegan (first certified in Chianti)
based offering that is 90% sangiovese and 10% merlot that knocks it out of the park at $10.99.
Drink this with your morning crossword, afternoon sandwich or hors d'oeuvres or dinner party.
Stand 12 bottles up in your pantry for 10 years or drink them all this weekend.
It will be an equally wonderful an experience."
2016 Tenuta Casabianca Chianti Colli Senesi
*** $10.99 ***
Driving to DC?
Pick up a bottle of Veuve @MetroWines for after the show.
Waiting for you to join us!
7 Reasons To Love Wine
*** #2 on the List is "Wine Shops" ***
Lettie Teague for The Wall Street Journal
"I visit wine shops as frequently as other people do grocery stores,
and not always with buying in mind. Sometimes I just wander the aisles,
look at the bottles and read the shelf talkers—for all the wildly descriptive adjectives,
not the numerical scores. I also like to see where wines are placed in the store.
Those in the front are typically the ones deemed likely to generate the largest profit margin,
and that means they’re not always the best value for the customer.
I also like eavesdropping on the requests fellow shoppers put to members of staff.
“A Pinot Grigio, but one that’s expensive,” I overheard one woman say to a sales associate,
and I regret not sticking around to see the wine she bought. I also like looking over
the bottles people choose. Best of all, I like talking with store personnel. They might tell me about
a wine I should try or, just as useful, one that I should take pains to avoid. Sometimes I’ll wander
into a store to find a free wine tasting taking place, which gives me an opportunity to talk
to representatives of different wineries or even the winemakers themselves.
None of this happens if I’m buying wines online, in front of my computer at home.
I’ve found that the people who have chosen to make wine a big part
of their life are very much the sort of people I want to have in my life."
*** Save Café Culture ***
Cafés have vanished from more than 80% of France's small villages and towns.
Even celebrated Parisian cafes such as Les Deux Magots
and Café dela Paix ares surveying as tourist destinations relying on their cache
as one time hauntsfor Simone de Beauvoir, Ernest Hemingway and Oscar Wilde.
Only one thing to do besides supporting the tradition when you are in France,
Live the Café Culture at Home!
I asked Brett Watson of The Asheville School of Wine
to chose a French Café wine for your table. And he said...
With Parisian boardwalk cafe's on the decline, if you can still find one open for lunch,
no better to sit, smoke french cigarettes and drink lean chilled Pinot Noir.
One of my favorite lunch/food wines is coastal french Pinot Noir. The southern Mediterranean coast
is home to Frances Pays d'Oc region driven by limestone soils and ocean influence.
Capitelles makes this bottling as Organically and by hand as possilble. Just a tiny hint of old oak
offers a bit of structure, but the youthful brightness of this Pinot Noir would be just as good
out of a cooler, on a blanket, under a rose bush, or at your own café table!.
9.99 and UP online.
The Family Portrait with Food Fight
But at least they are wearing clothes!
In the year 2020, the dinner table can be a volatile place.
Serve a wine that won't add to the chaos.
I asked Brett Watson of The Asheville School of Wine to select a wine
that is uncontroversial and a proven crowd pleaser. And he said...
"The only way to cut through a healthy dinner table family argument that I know of,
is with a bottle of Washington based "Involuntary Commitment" from the Columbia valley.
Cabernet Franc dominates the blend and structurally backed up warm-climate
Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot rounds it out in case Mom needs some more dark fruit.
21yr old college student son likes the fact that the wine is fermented with native yeasts
in steel tanks and Dad loves the old French oak aging process.
Bottom line, on hot dog night or haute cuisine with candles...
no argument can stand up the Involuntary Commitment! "
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
We believe that with so much great fruit coming out of our vineyards,
it would be shame not to spread the wealth. This medium body wine exhibits
a dark garnet color with a bouquet of dark fruit, herbs, earth and hints of tobacco.
On the palate, flavors of cherry, red currants and spices shine through.
This wine is fresh, youthful, ready to drink. but will cellar nicely over next 5 years.
This Washington State Wine Got Popular.
2018 is New to Market. Already on shelf @MetroWines, $25
SMARM ALERT !!
The truth is that a leather looking shirt can be cool
but don't dive in head first.
Consider a proven SMARM BUSTER strategy:
First: Choses a faux leather shirt.
Show you are concerned about the environment and animal welfare.
And this one is quintessential MASCULINE. It's from Tractor Supply!
Second: Unless you have a way cool job, you are probably not wearing
your faux leather shirt to work. That said, you are bound for a social event.
That brings up part two of our strategy.
Walk in with a bottle of wine that makes you LEGIT!
Brett Watson of The Asheville School of Wine
cuts through the smarm with this one:
"If you've chosen that type of high neck or leather clothing, the only thing to dig you out of such
a societal standard hole is bottle of wine equally as cool. Nothing is as old world and classic
as Spanish chic. Henceforth, the best made cava in the land comes in handy.
Cellars de Can Suriol has been doing this since since the early 1900's.
Specializing in true Spanish-Champenois style winemaking of original grapes Xaral-lo,
Macabeo and Parellada, Suriol continues the iconic tradition of the Alt-Penedes
region of high elevation grape growing. No added sugar or dosage.
No nonsense. Nothing but the most expressive and true to land sparkling wine
from Spain's southern Mediterranean elevated coastline and accompany
such an old-world clothing choice." $21.99
ROLL OVER BIG BOX.
Ananto, Bodega Sierra Norte, established 1914
Organic, Vegan. Made in Requena, Spain
*** in a Box ***
The Red: A blend of 65%Bobal and 35%Tempranillo in a 3 Litre Box. 13.5% alc.
Certified Organic, Certified Vegan: Bobal 65% - Tempranillo 35%
"A youthful clean, dark garnet-cherry color. Complex aromas of red berry fruit
(strawberry and blackberry), good fruit expression, lively and complete.
The wine opens out on the attack on the palate and shows an impressive array of flavors,
great intensity and very good balance. Ripe, soft tannins bring a sensation of harmony."
The White: 100% Macabeo. Pale yellow, clean with green tinges.
Aromatic, well-balanced and fresh.
This white wine offers pleasant acidity that complements perfectly
the aromas of flowers, fruit and herbs that show through in the finish
What we are saying is these are Bottle Shop Wines in Boxes
at Big Box Prices!
Note to Big Box: You're sleeping on the job.
Red and White IN. And Rosé in a box is en route!
*** BIG RED of THE WEEK ***
Blend of 65%Syrah, 19%Petite Sirah, 11%Grenache, 5%Viognier.
Estate Grown, Geyserville, CA
Winemaker Says: This intense, powerful Syrah-based wine is grown mostly
on their McDowell Valley property which has a long history of championing Rhone varietals.
Co-fermented with Viognier, the Syrah expresses violet, tar, and rich earth.
Petite Sirah from Alexander Valley brings bitter chocolate
and Grenache grown at 1400 feet in Yorkville Highlands keeps the wine bright.
Full-bodied and fleshy, this wine is dark and brooding yet silky and smooth.
Vinous Says 93 Points: The 2016 Christo, Marietta's Syrah-based blend, is terrific.
Black cherry, chocolate, leather, licorice and spice give the wine much
of its dark, brooding feel. Powerful and intense, but with good freshness,
the 2016 is wonderfully complete and absolutely delicious.
$21.99 at wine.com and $19.95 at K&L
But $18.99 @MetroWines
Asheville Wine Focus Group
40% Grenache (aged in stainless steel vats) and 60% Syrah (5 years in oak) Blend.
Rich and Fruity, The Asheville Wine Focus Group found this wine to be versatile.
Perfect for your table, parties or as a gift (especially chess players!) $18.99
Teaching Moment: Vin de France
A small category representing the wines that either fall outside of appellation lines
or don’t subscribe to the law and traditions set forth by the French government within certain classified appellations, “Vin de France” is a catch-all that includes some of the most basic French wines as well as those of superior quality. The category includes large production, value-driven wines. It also includes some that were made with a great deal of creativity, diligence and talent by those who desire to make wine outside of governmental restrictions. These used to be called Vin de Table (table wine) but were renamed to compete with other European wines of similar quality.
Asheville Sister Cities Committee for Karpenisi
All About the Committee HERE!
Join the Trip to Greece?
Each traveler is personally responsible for arranging passage to Athens. The cost of the trip is 710EUR per person (estimated) based on double occupancy. A surcharge will be added for single room arrangements.*
Three-star hotel accommodations are provided throughout the trip. Breakfast is included in the cost. Also included in the cost is in-country travel, with comprehensive daily sightseeing per itinerary, by private motor coach with qualified driver and English-speaking, licensed guide/escort.
Costs not included: lunches, dinners, drinks, and snacks; entrance fees at all sightseeing sites as per itinerary; tipping at hotels and restaurants, and for drivers and guides.
* Surcharge is 190EUR, for those who wish a private sleeping room.
May 20: Arrival at the airport of Athens.
May 21: Depart Athens. Tour of southeastern Greece --the archaeological site of Thebes is included. Overnight at a hotel in a picturesque location.
May 22: Thermopylae - Mount Oeta and mediaeval sites tour – Arrive at Karpenisi.
Overnight at Elvetia Hotel. (Day 1)
May 23: Karpenisi and surrounding villages-birthplaces of the folks in Asheville, visit to Proussos Monastery, assuming that transfer services are provided by locals. Overnight at Elvetia Hotel. (Day 2)
May 24: Karpenisi. Overnight at Elvetia Hotel. Buffet dinner at hotel. Will include delegates and members of Karpenisi Committee. (Day 3)
May 25: Official visits to government offices. Overnight at Elvetia Hotel. Visit "northern villages," with transfer services provided by locals. (Day 4)
May 26: Depart Karpenisi. Tour of southwestern Greece --the archaeological site of Thermon is included. Overnight at a hotel in a beach town in the broader area of Delphi.
May 27: Delphi tour. Return to Athens and tour of the historic district. Overnight at the hotel in Athens. Farewell dinner in Athens.
May 28: Free day in Athens to visit museums, go shopping,and prepare for return trip home.
May 29: The delegation members will be transferred to the airport of Athens for their return flights to the U.S.
Please note that museum / archaeological sites entrance fees are not included. Individuals must pay all admittance fees.
News Release: February 12, 2020
About: Ciao Asheville presents "Italy Off the Beaten Path: Hendersonville and Saluda Sister Cities"
Please join Ciao Asheville for our first “Italy Off the Beaten Path” travel series on Sunday, March 8, from 1:00-2:30PM, at Metro Wines. This series is offered to introduce you to the lesser known places in Italy that offer a wealth of travel experiences.
We will have representatives from the Hendersonville and Saluda Sister Cities programs acquainting us with their respective Italian Sister Cities, Carunchio in Abruzzo and Verbania in Piedmont, as well as Montisi in Tuscany.
Judy Thompson is the founder and chair of Saluda Sister City. She pulls together the merchants in Saluda to embrace all things Italian and offer Italian foods, wine and activities to Saluda and also works to connect the elementary schools in Carunchio and Saluda, opening the eyes of the children in these similar villages to other cultures. Still a practicing attorney, Judy is very active in pro bono support of nonprofit organizations and the arts in the Saluda community.
Judy will acquaint you with the villages of Carunchio in Abruzzo and with Montisi in Tuscany. Carunchio is the Sister City of Saluda City and home of Palazzo Tour de Eau, a well known touring and cooking school. Saluda’s and Carunchio’s elementary schools are the focus of Saluda’s Sister City program as the children of the two small villages are linked together and made aware of the value of different cultures and customs. Judy will also introduce you to Montisi, a special hilltop village in Tuscany.
Karen Hultin became the president of Hendersonville Sister Cities in 2013 after retiring in 2012 and then volunteering for the Sister Cities program. Her professional background includes non-profit management as well as small city revitalization. Karen now travels, conducts private cooking classes and coordinates tours of Italy.
Karen will acquaint you with the province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola in the Piedmont Region. Verbania is the capital city of the province and is the Sister City of Hendersonville. Verbania, a city of a little over 30,000, sits on the well-known Lago Maggiore. It is located 57 miles from Milan and 25 miles from Locarno Switzerland. The charming villages of Pallanza and Intra, are located within Verbania on the shores of Lago Maggiore where wooden fishing boats bob in the water and fishermen catch an abundance of fish to supply the various restaurants nearby. The ferry terminal is located in Pallanza and cruises the Lake dropping passengers off at the islands and various ports o’ call, like the city of Stressa, a tourist destination with many charming shops for exploring and sidewalk cafes where you can partake of the ubiquitous cappuccino! The Borromean Islands – Isola Bella, Isola Madre and Isola dei Pescatori or Fish Island are nestled in the shadows of the Swiss alps on Lago Maggiore and a short ferry ride from lakeside villages. Northern Italy, from East to West is a visual, spiritual, palatable feast!
Judy and Karen will also discuss organized trips to Italy later this year, which are offered at significant discounts. This is a great way to learn about these special little corners of Italy that take you "off the beaten path".
Cost is $15 + tax which will include a glass of Italian wine plus light snacks. Register by calling Metro Wines at 828-575-9525.Parking is free, close and easy @MetroWines.
Online Tickets: HERE!
*** NAKED ***
From The MetroWines Current Events Desk:
New York Times reports a story from Lutz, Florida. The State has more than 34 nudist resorts
and claims 2.2 million visitors every year. "Nudists say their relationship to eating,
at home or in restaurants is better and healthier without all the clothing."
The Asheville School of Wine Has Been Asked for Comment:
"After repeated and varied testing, we can report that we have found no evidence
that wine is improved by consuming sans your clothes."
That said, we never miss an opportunity to pair wine with history and current events.
In that spirit, we are thinking a wine that is uncomplicated,
straight forward, somewhat sensual, versatile and well, natural.
Ampeleia Unlitro Toscana Rosso 2018
Blend of Grenache, Carignan, Alicante Bouschet and Mourvedre.
This Tuscan blend, bottled in liter, is made by winemaker, Elisabetta Foradori,
regarded for her work with organic and biodynamic, low sulfite methods.
Farming these grapes biodynamically, focusing on synergy between mankind and nature,
Foradori produces elegant and silky wines.
This red is clean, fresh and tasty with bright red fruit, flower and gentle spice flavors.
And Unlitro was just recommended by Eric Asimov in NYT!
(People say Eric is fully clothed when he tastes.)
Ciao Asheville Presents "A Spaghetti Western"
on Sunday, February 23 Starting 1pm @MetroWines
Robert Formento, Ciao Asheville Film Coordinator, will host the discussion.
Get started now with his summary of the film:
Once Upon a Time in the West
Our movie for February is one of the best Spaghetti Westerns ever made. It is included on Time Magazine’s 100 greatest films of the 20th century. Sergio Leone, considered one of the best directors of Italian western movies has assembled a top cast of Henry Fonda, Jason Robards, Charles Bronson and Claudia Cardinale. With music by the great Ennio Morricone he has produced a classic film.
The movie takes place during the dying days of the wild west with the arrival of the railroad and when capitalism and technology take over to become the engines of growth. But first some of the wild west must be tamed. Henry Fonda, cast against type, is the bad guy. It is a credit to his acting skills that he is convincing as a pure bad guy!
In a fictional town in the West called Flagstone, there is a piece of land critical to the railroad. (i.e.The property has water and the railroad will have to stop there) A train baron wants the land and he employs Henry Fonda’s character to make sure that he gets it. Henry Fonda kills the land owner but since he recently married Claudia Cardinale, she now owns the property. Jason Robards (a regular western bandit) and Charles Bronson (who has a mysterious score to settle) get involved and all attempt to outsmart one another for the land and to help Claudia keep the property. You never know until near the end of the movie the source of the score that Charles Bronson has to settle.
This is Sergio Leone and Ennio Morricone at their best producing this classic film.
Event is "on the house" with popcorn! $7 for a glass of Italian Red or White Wine.
Please reserve your seat by calling (828) 575-9525
or online HERE!