Metro Wines Blogs

Metro Wines Asheville, NC


Zach Eidson, has joined the team at Metro Wines as General Manager of the shop. Zach has been in the wine and spirits industry 17 years. Having worked in fine dining, wine wholesale and retail, his experience led him to purchase a wine store in Cincinnati, OH. Zach transformed the retail shop into a top 5 wine bar in the city. He recently sold the wine bar to spend more time with his wife and three kids, and move closer to family here in Asheville. Zach is passionate about creating a wonderful customer experience and is excited to bring his passion to Metro Wines. 
Born in Washington DC and attended the U.S. Naval Academy, Zach has lived in 13 different places including Portland, OR Durham, NC, Johnson City, TN, and Paris, France. He says he is really happy to settle down in Asheville!
Zach's wife, Valerie, is a talented photographer who is originally from Fairview, NC and attended A.C. Reynolds High School. Valerie got her undergraduate degree from ETSU in Digital Media and Associates from Parsons School of Design in NY.  
Zach is passionate about french and Italian wine, love to cook, camp, hike and fly-fish.
We @MetroWines welcome Zach, his new ideas, his expertise and passion and hope to move forward with the benefit of his successes!
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Whiplash, Domaine Chanson, Focus Group, French Tasting, CHENIN, Grenache Blanc, Bubbles and Truffles, How to Hold a Grudge,

2015 Whiplash California Red Wine Blend Image
     Brilliant ruby red in color, the 2015 Whiplash Zinfandel boasts aromas of dark cherries,
boysenberry, plum and blueberry. Layers of juicy red berries explode
on the palate. Mild hints of toasted oak lengthen the finish but don’t overwhelm the fruit. Soft tannins and a hint of sweetness lead to a rich, delightful finish on the palate.
Treat yourself to a glass of Zinfandel with a chocolate lava cake.

Internet Competitive at $14.99


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Domaine Chanson
Burgundy wine Pairing Dinner with Chef Peter Crockett
at Isa's Bistrot with MetroWines

Tuesday, February 19th
Call Isa's Bistrot at (828) 575-9636


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No Reservation Required!


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Winemaker Says: Sun-lit Ectoplasm color. Beautifully balanced aromas
of Anjou pear, Meyer lemon, spiced apple and almond cookies followed
by a striking palate of cardamom and Key Lime pie.

"Unavailable" on most .coms!
(Some wineries are saying thanks but no thanks
to being plastered all over shipping sites with inferior wines!)

$23 and on the shelf @MetroWines!

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2016 Casino Mine Ranch Grenache Blanc, $24
From The Shenandoah Valley, Estate Grown in Amador County
*** Only 311 Cases Made ***

Our inaugural release, this wine is whole-cluster pressed,
fermented in neutral French oak with extended bâtonnage and aged
for fourteen months. With a pale lemon hue flecked with gold, aromas of Acacia,
wet gravel, and stone fruits; this wine is rich, yet focused with balanced acidity
and layers of yellow apples, citrus and anise on the palate.


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"Bubbles and Chocolate Truffles"
So Good. So Fun. So What You are Worth!
Thursday, February 7th from 5:30 to 6:30
@Metro Wines

New Sparkling Wines Paired with Local Chocolates
Presentation by Juniper Cooper of Mutual Distribution
Information and Tickets here:



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This might Be a Good Time to Mention a Suggestion
from The MetroWines Book Department

"How to Hold a Grudge" by Sophie Hannah

The Wall Street Journal review of the book caught my angry eye.
Starts Like this:

    I’m guessing Sophie Hannah had a moment—one that came
after reading a few too many self-help books on mindfulness, compassion, connection to all living creatures and nonattachment to negative thoughts.
And in that moment she said to herself,
“Oh, for God’s sake.”
Entire Review Here:

Call Malaprops for the Book
Your "Read it With Wine" is "RingBolt" @MetroWines

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Winemaker Says:
Dark crimson in color, Ringbolt opens with classical Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon fresh varietal notes of bright berry fruits, briar and sea spray, followed by wafts of chocolate and mocha, finishing with subtle spiced oak aromas. Medium to full-bodied palate shows cherry and satsuma plum characters leading to a fruit-sweet mid palate of chocolate and mocha, finishing with defined tannins.
Wine Spectator: 90 Points
Juicy blackberry and plum flavors are vibrant up front, with Earl Grey tea, cedar, rosemary and licorice notes that are stretched tight across a firm frame. The tannins provide some appealing traction on the finish. Drink now through 2028.
Wine Enthusiast: 90 Points
Rich but with a little more restraint than the previous vintage, this wine offers up comforting aromas of chocolate tart, red and black currants and dried eucalyptus leaves, backed by a warm stone and earthy spine. It's full bodied with grainy tannins and a stony graphite finish.
Sold Out at Gary's and
But when in stock, RingBolt was $19.99!
*** $16.99 @MetroWines *** 
Buy 6 and get 10% off or 15% on a case.


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Emmanuel Kemiji Wine Dinner at Vivian

Tickets: HERE!

News Release: Tuesday, February 5th, 2019

About: Emmanuel Kemiji, MS, Wine Pairing Dinner at Vivian
Join the MetroWines Asheville School of Wine at Vivian, 348 Depot Street in the River Arts District, on May 20th from 6 to 9pm for a wine pairing dinner with Emmanuel Kemiji, Master Sommelier.
Emmanuel Kemiji, Master Sommelier, Winemaker and Winery Owner, will lead us through a tasting of 6 wines from his Miura Vineyards in California ( and Clos Pissarra ( in Spain perfectly paired with dishes from Chef Josiah McGaughey. 
Vivian was voted best new Restaurant of the year!
Seating is limited to insure the opportunity to meet and talk with Emmanuel. The evening is $87 plus tax and gratuity. For reservations, call Vivian at (828) 225-3497. Plenty of parking available.
About Vivian:
Josiah and Shannon McGaughey, owners of Vivian in The River Arts District, live and serve by the philosophy: "Honest American food with big flavors utilizing the bountiful products of the region and the rich history of European cuisine."

Vivian is named after Josiah’s grandmother who was a driving force in his culinary upbringing as she hosted grand dinner parties in a Julia Child-like fashion as he was growing up in Georgia.  

The food will be clean, with limited elements to a plate, but with each one promising big, robust flavors.  As he focuses on combining the perfect mix of flavors across appetizers, small plates, entrees, and desserts, he will continue to explore the melding of European flavors and techniques into the realm of his Southern heritage. 

Guests will also see a lot of pre-prohibition classics on our cocktail list with additional craft cocktails that explore similar themes as the culinary concept.  And of course, we’ll continue to promote all the talented breweries of Asheville with local taps available.

More about Vivian here:


About Emmanuel Kemiji, MS   

Born in the United States and raised in Spain and England of Greek Cypriot and Spanish parents, Kemiji is a graduate of the University of California at Davis. In addition to his Economics and Spanish Literature degrees, he studied Viticulture and Oenology, expanding his interest in wine.

Kemiji acted as Ritz-Carlton Director of Wine & Spirits from 1988 to 1999, first at Laguna Niguel and then at the renowned Dining Room in San Francisco. In 1989 Kemiji became the twelfth American to pass the Master Sommelier exam in London, England and one of the very few to pass on his first attempt. In the same year, he received the “Sommelier of the Year” award by the California Restaurant Writers Association. Kemiji was also chosen “Wine Director of the Year” in the Critics Choice Awards, and was honored in the August 1999 issue of San Francisco Magazine.

Seeking further challenges led Kemiji to form Miura Vineyrds in 1995. Soon to follow were several projects in Spain – Arrels in 2003 and Clos Pissarra in 2005. He thus became the first sommelier to establish a commercial winery in the United States. The San Francisco Chronicle named Kemiji as one of the “10 Winemakers to Watch for 2000.”

In 2006, Kemiji received the Wine Industry Achievement Award from the Anti-Defamation League for exemplary commitment to community and charity. In the past he has also been a wine judge at the Los Angeles County Fair and the San Francisco International Wine Competition.

Follow Emmanuel Kemiji on Facebook: Emmanuel Kemiji, Master Sommelier

Contact for Vivian: Shannon McGaughey (828) 225-3497.
Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
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464 Hits

Explore Chardonnay

Grapevine: Chardonnay

Published in Laurel of Asheville

By Gina Trippi

“I don’t like Chardonnay.” How many times have you heard someone say that? Maybe they don’t but maybe they just have not found their style. Chardonnay varies in style and quality within states, from state to state, within countries and from country to country around the world. Let’s explore

We start with the gold standard, French chardonnay, also known as White Burgundy. What distinguishes French chardonnay is the soil and climate. Composed of ancient limestone and clay, the soil provides structure and lively acidity while the climate forces the vines to struggle which yields complexity.

California now has over 100,000 acres of chardonnay vines and hundreds of different styles. The most prominent differences between French and California chardonnay wines are the soil, the use of oak and malolactic acid. California soil consists mainly of sandstone, volcanic lava, and fine grain quartz making the wines just a little less sharp than the French.   

Some California chardonnays have been described as “buttery.” White wine naturally goes through a process called malolactic fermentation, kickstarted by a benign bacteria, during barrel aging. During this process, a buttery flavored compound called diacetyl, regularly added to margarine, is produced making the wine softer and rounder.

If a winemaker wants to preserve a tart acidity, producing a wine more French in style, the malolactic process can be skipped or shortened. Likewise, if the desired result is a softer texture, the process can also be lengthened making the wine more “buttery.”

Oak aging also contributes to the buttery taste as well as adding flavors including vanilla, baked tart, and coconut.

Three countries staking out territory in the world of chardonnay are Argentina, South Africa and Australia.

Known for Malbec, Argentina also produces stunning chardonnay. The same reason that malbec thrives in Argentina is the same reason chardonnay works: the Andes Mountain Range. The altitude provides the perfect combination of intense sunlight to ripen the grapes and cool temperatures to preserve acidity and freshness. Chardonnay from Mendoza will show tropical fruit flavors and, reflecting that cooler temperature, citrus.

While the most popular white grape in South Africa is chenin blanc, chardonnay is now competing on the world stage. Styles range from un-oaked, steely and clean to oaked with a rich and buttery consistency. All styles present the characteristic citrus and tropical fruit flavors.

Generally speaking, South African chardonnays are simpler than the French version and more tropical than most California chardonnays. DMZ chardonnay offers aromas of vanilla, almond and tropical fruit and grapefruit and apple, butterscotch, caramel and toast on the palate with a French acidity and a minerally edge!

Once described as big, fat, brassy and oaky, advances in technology and the advantage of cooler climate regions has put Australian chardonnay, particularly those from Yarra Valley, on the wine map. 

In Italy, some of the most respected wineries, including Antinori, making wine since the 14th century, are offering chardonnay from Piedmont to Puglia. And cool climate chardonnay from the Navarra region in Spain has been said to rival the best white burgundies!

Explore the world of chardonnay!

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VAD Cerasuolo, French Tasting, Chardonnay Class, Bubbles and Truffles, Coonawarra, Slow Food Movement, Wine Focus Group, Las Ninas, Dinners!

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*** Featured Wine ***
60% Nero d'Avola and 40% Frappato $16.99

Tasting Notes: Intense and brilliant cherry red color. The nose is delicate,
with aromas of small red fruits, cherries, spicy notes, nuances of vanilla, licorice and cocoa.
he palate is enveloping, soft, with velvety tannins and good freshness.

Winery Notes: The Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico DOCG of Valle dell'Acate is produced
with grapes from the vineyards located on the plateau called Bidini Soprano. 

Soils are composed of light or dark red sands of medium dough, with good depth. 
The vineyards that are located on a dark red land produce Nero d'Avola,
while the vineyards that are located on light red soil produce the Frappato. 

After fermentation in steel tanks, the wine ages in large barrels 
for about 12 months. 
Then complete the refinement with at least 9 months
in the bottle, before being put on the market.


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Friday, February 8th, 5-6:30
French Wine Tasting
with Thomas Meunier, AuthentiqueVin
"on the house" @MetroWines

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Chardonnay: Compare and Contrast
Part of "The Much Maligned Grape Series"
Word is that Chardonnay is More than Just a little Bit Ticked Off.
Chardonnay wants to Prove to You That it is a Glorious Grape!

*** Takes the Challenge *** 
on Tuesday, February 5th! 
5:30-6:30 @ and ONLY @Metrowines!

Join Andy Hale, Director of The Asheville School of Wine @MetroWines,
and Chris Curtis of The Country Vintner


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"Bubbles and Truffles"
Thursday, February 7th from 5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines

New Sparkling Wines Paired with Chocolates
Hosted by Juniper Cooper of Mutual Distribution
and Andy Hale of The Asheville School of Wine @Metrowines

$25. Seating Limited to 20. You Must Reserve a Seat
Call (828) 575-9525

*** First Featured in Carolina Epicurean! ***

Details TBA
Call to Be on the List: (828) 575-9525
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"Ciao Asheville"

"The Slow Food Movement"
Wednesday, February 20th 5:30-6:30

Stay in Touch

Asheville Wine Focus Group
Hosted by Charlie Stanley of Rise Over Run
Wednesday, February
13th from 5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines

You Must Register for a Seat. About 6 left!
Call (828) 575-9525

Penley Estate 2016 Coonawarra
Cabernet Sauvignon $22

Image result for penley estate coonawarra cabernet sauvignon 2016

93 points Wine Spectator

Dense, with sink-your-teeth-into-them tannins and concentration to the plum,
cassis and blackberry flavors. Sage and rosemary accents linger in the background.
Strikes the right note between power and elegance, with grace notes of eucalyptus,
black tea and tobacco lingering on the velvety finish.



2015 Las Ninas Camenere Reserva, $13.99
** High Quality to Price Ratio **

The vineyard is located in Apalta in Colchagua Valley. The geographical location,
presents a Mediterranean climate characterized by temperate weather with a coastal influence. 
Lightly textured top soils and a well drained deep clay base provide optimal conditions. 

The color is a deep, very characteristic red shades changing into purple.
The nose is intense aromas that remind of berries like strawberry, humid soil and spices.
You can also feel some green notes such as pepper.
It has very pleasant tannins, soft and round. Good body. Long finish.

*** SAVE the Dinner DATE ***

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"Domaine Chanson Burgundy Dinner"
Tuesday, February 19th, 6pm Details TBA
at Isa's Bistrot with MetroWines
Call: (828) 575-9636

"Wild Game and Women Winemakers"
at Market Place with MetroWines
Wednesday, March 13th 6pm, Details TBA
Call: (828) 252-4162

"Interactive Tasting with Laurence Vuelta"
Thursday, March 14th, Details TBA
Call: (828) 575-9525

"Emmanuel Kemiji MS with MetroWines"
at VIVIAN with MetroWines
March 20, Details TBA
Call: (828) 225-3497

"The Prisoner Dinner"
at TheView, Grove Park Inn with MetroWines
Thursday, March 28
Details TBA

"Big Night Dinner at Ambrozia"
Sponsored by "Ciao Asheville"
Wednesday, April 17th
Chef and Owner Sam Etheridge COOKS The Big Night!
Details TBA
Call to Be on the List: (828) 575-9525

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301 Hits

Bubbles and Truffles


Tickets HERE!

News Release: Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

About: Sparkling Wine and Chocolates @MetroWines
Join us for "Bubbles and Truffles" on Thursday, February 7th from 5:30 to 6:30 @Metro Wines. Juniper Cooper of Mutual Distribution will present 5 bottles of Sparkling Wine, some of which are new to MetroWines, paired with Chocolate Truffles and stories about the wineries!
"We are very excited to present new sparkling wines to our customers," says Gina Trippi, co-owner of MetroWines. "And just in time for Valentine's Day!"
Cost is $25 (plus tax) and seating is limited to 20. You must reserve a seat.
Please call (828) 575-9525 or online here:
Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
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Fontanes, Closerie du Pic, Surveillance and Skyfall, Maligned Grapes, French Wine Tasting, Burgundy Dinner, Provenance SB, Portelli Cerasuolo, Molamatta

*** Featured Wine ***

Chateau Fontanes, Pic St. Loup, $16.99
Kermit Lynch Import

100% Organic and Biodynamic Cabernet Sauvignon
Soil is Clay, Limestone and Marl. Aged in Stainless Steel.
John Kerr of The Asheville School of Wine says:
"French but just a touch more weight."

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Kermit Lynch says: 

  "Though the winery is within the boundaries of the appellation Pic St-Loup, the lion’s share of his production is Cabernet Sauvignon, a grape varietal that is outside of the constraints set for the A.O.C. in the Languedoc. This means that in lieu of getting an A.O.C. cru status, he must take a Vin de Pays d’Oc designation. The trade-off for Winemaker Cyriaque is that he gets to make his wines his way, and we, in turn, get an incredible price—a mutually beneficial trade-off. Being rebellious seems to come naturally to a man of such innate talent, and the elegance of his wines are proof enough in a region where bigger is often considered better. Make no mistake, raw terroirand spicy garrigue abound in wines, with rich, juicy fruit and silky tannins."

Robert Parker Wine Advocate says 91 Points:
  "The traditional 2015 Pic St Loup from Domaine Fontanes is a beauty! Coming from high density plantings (all massal selection) and aged in foudre, it offers lots of peppery herbs, black fruits and garrigue in a supple, textured, pure style. This is a bistro styled drinker, yet with oomph, as well as the classic elegance of the Pic Saint Loup appellation. Count me as a fan!"
Another Pic Saint Loup
La Closerie Du Pic, $29

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Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 96 Points
Eric Solomon Import    
     "Just bottled three weeks ago, the 2015 Pic Saint Loup La Closerie Du Pic is certainly one of the gems in this terrific vintage. Its vibrant purple color is followed by sensational notes of black raspberries, toasted spice, cassis and even a hint of bacon fat. With medium to full-bodied richness, a seamless texture, integrated acidity and a blockbuster finish, drink this straight up fabulous Pic Saint Loup anytime over the coming 7-8 years. Hats off to team at Puech-Haut, & consultant Philippe Cambie, for this sensational wine!"
From The MetroWines Book Review Department


"The New Big Brother"

Surveillance capitalism is, according to Shoshanna Zuboff,
what happens when companies scoop up the data you willingly posted
and use it for their own commercial ends.


"Your Read it With Wine"
2016 Skyfall Merlot, 13.99

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Wonderfully developed plum, vanilla and leather aromas swirl in the glass.
Juicy flavors of cherry candy coupled with hints of cocoa powder weave
through the palate. Balanced acidity and polished tannins on the finish.

Much Maligned Grapes

Seek Justice

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Andy Hale, Director of The Asheville School of Wine,
Makes The Case for Chardonnay and Merlot,
(no pressure but:
Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling.
Maybe You Don't Like These Grapes. BUT, Maybe You Do!

Make Plans for the Entire Series

** Chardonnay Takes the Challenge on February 5th! **


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*** Tres French ***

Friday, February 8th, 5-6:30
French Wine Tasting
with Thomas Meunier, AuthentiqueVin
"on the house" @MetroWines


*** More French ***
Domaine Chanson Burgundy Dinner at Isa's Bistro

Tuesday, February 19th 6pm

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And Introducing the NEW Isa's Bistro Chef de Cuisine
Peter Crockett from Charleston

Dinner Hosted by Christophe Courteaud from Vintus, the Importer
and Vincent Wallays from Chanson

The Wines?
2016 Chanson Vire-Clesse  to Welcome You
and Perfectly Paired with Small Plates
2016 Chanson Chablis
2013 Chanson Beaune Bastion 1er Cru Blanc 
2015 Chanson Givry 
2016 Chanson Savigny-Dominode 1er Cru 

Cost and Menu TBA. But Call NOW for a Seat.
Call: (828) 575-9525

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     Winery Says: Our Sauvignon Blanc is made exclusively from our Rutherford estate fruit. By pressing the clusters whole and fermenting the wine primarily in stainless steel, we captured the aromas of lemon lime, guava and pineapple. Bright acidity and notes of spice add balance to this wine. We selected a Stelvin closure for our Estate Sauvignon Blanc to enhance the freshness and ensure the quality of this wonderful ready-to-drink wine.

      Tasting Notes:  Our 2016 Rutherford Estate Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc reflects both the excellent concentration of the smaller-crop vintage and the personality of our exceptional vineyard around our winery in Rutherford. As typical of this estate-grown Sauvignon Blanc, the wine shows the most tropical fruit expression of the three Sauvignon Blanc wines that we produce at Provenance. The aromas and flavors are filled with juicy pineapple and white peach notes, intertwined with citrus blossom and wet-stone minerality. Partial barrel fermentation and aging in new oak added hints of toasted almond, nutmeg and vanilla. Yeast contact enhanced the silky texture and weight on the palate. Showcasing the quality of our estate vineyard, this wine has rich fruit intensity, impeccable balance and a crisp, yet creamy, lemon curd finish.
$19.99 at Total Wine
??? Their Big Deal on 6 is $17.99 ???

MetroWines EveryDay Price is $16.99
Shop LocalLY and Save!
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2015 Cerasuolo Di Vittoria, Sicily
Kermit Lynch Import, $24
Biodynamic and Organic Blend
of Nero d'Avola and Frappato

The nose is berry, cherry, plum, earth, pine, strawberry, raspberry and floral.
The palate presents plum, berry, white pepper, pine, strawberry, raspberry and floral.

Kermit Lynch Says: "In the southeastern corner of Sicily, west of Modica and Ragusa,
the town of Vittoria is the home of Sicily's sole DOCG
(Italy's strictest form of wine certification), known as Cersuolo di Vittoria.

Cerasuolo is an enlightened blend of Frappato and Nero d'Avola, and the two grapes when blended melt into each other in a harmonious symphony of flavor and texture. I fell in love with the wine and its medium-bodied, sensual, seductive personality.

Then I discovered the Portelli family, Salvatore and his son Alessandro, and have been duly impressed with their mastery of these fine examples of southern Sicilian charm. Wines are fresh, joyful to drink, while being faithful representatives of their native land."


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2013 Marco Felluga Molamatta, Collio Bianco DOC, Italy
40% Pinot Blanc, 40% Tocai Friulano, 20% Ribolla Gialla,  

92 Points, Robert Parker's, $21 
    "Here's a wine that has shown a very impressive improvement curve over these past few years. The 2013 Molamatta is a stainless steel aged blend of 40% Pinot Bianco, 40% Friulano and 20% Ribolla Gialla. The wine presents delicious flavors of stone fruit, honey, preserved lemon and fresh apricot. Molamatta's creamy texture wraps smoothly over the palate."
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306 Hits

Domaine Chanson Burgundy Dinner at Isa's Bistro

Domaine Chanson Burgundy Dinner at Isa's Bistro

Tuesday, February 19th 6pm

Image result for domaine chanson

And Introducing the NEW Isa's Bistro Chef de Cuisine
Peter Crockett from Charleston

Dinner Hosted by Christophe Courteaud from Vintus, the Importer
and Vincent Wallays from Chanson

The Wines?
2016 Chanson Vire-Clesse  to Welcome You
and Perfectly Paired with Small Plates
2016 Chanson Chablis
2013 Chanson Beaune Bastion 1er Cru Blanc 
2015 Chanson Givry 
2016 Chanson Savigny-Dominode 1er Cru 

Cost and Menu TBA. But Call NOW for a Seat.
Call: (828) 575-9525

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  403 Hits
403 Hits

Northern Italian Wine Class II

News Release: Thursday, January 17th, 2019
About: Northern Italian Wines Class

By popular demand, a second class on Northern Italian Wines including
Tuscany, presented by Andy Hale, Director of The Asheville School of
Wine, has been set for Tuesday March 12th from 5:30 to 6:30

The class and tasting is $25 plus tax. You must reserve a seat.
Cancelation is class credit only.

Make your reservation by calling (828) 575-9525 or online here:

Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525

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  259 Hits
259 Hits

February Wine Focus Group

Register HERE!

News Release:  Thursday, January 10th, 2019

About: Asheville Wine Focus Group for February
Join us on Wednesday, February 13th for The Asheville Wine Focus Group from 5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines hosted by Charlie Stanley of Rise Over Run. 
"Last February, Charlie Stanley was one of the first to address the Wine Focus Group," says Gina Trippi, co-owner of MetroWines. "We are excited to have Charlie host the event a year later. He will find a much larger group with the benefit of a year of information and tasting experience!"
The event is open to the public and "on the house" but you must reserve a seat. Please call (828) 575-9525 or online here:
Rise Over Run describes their philosophy like this: 
Rise Over Run is an anthology of singular wines from steep and often challenging sites, and the dedicated families who farm them. Even down to our name, the inception of Rise Over Run emanated from our mutual passion and respect for challenging viticultural microclimates, often individuated by vertical, rocky slopes where little else can thrive. Many are viticultural marvels, and the finished wines are expressions that could not be recreated elsewhere. Our book is a compilation of these wines that have stories to tell, and we are excited to be the ones doing so.

Gina Trippi: Contact for MetroWines
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
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  308 Hits
308 Hits

January Wine Focus Winner

45 customers gathered to consider the wines presented by Richard McKinney and Nick Demos of Tryon Distribution. 

We talked wine, soil, biodynamic methods, Chile and Argentina, Bordeaux grapes, and herbaceous flavors!

We liked all of the 4 wines presented and thought they met the quality to price ratio challenge. But in the end, one was the most impressive to most of the group. While everyone has a different palate and preferences and every wine has a different best use, the fact that most people liked this one is a good indicator that most customers will like this wine. And in a small shop with limited space, that matters! And the winner is.......


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A biodynamic blend of 40% Malbec and 60% Bonarda. Mendoza

Winemaker Says:

Deep reddish purple with aromas of bright berry/cherry fruit. Big body yet very balanced with luscious layers of raspberry, cherry, and cocoa flavors. Just a hint of baking spice at the end brings it all together. A great companion to grilled or smoked meats. Pairs well with beef and pork, and even pizza with meat toppings.
Robert Parker Says 90 Points
The 2015 Patriota was a similar blend of Malbec from the Valle de Uco (Vista Flores) and Bonarda from Ribadavia matured in oak barrels for some ten months. There is no astringency or herbal notes in this blend, and the Malbec is nicely complemented by the slightly rustic character of the Bonarda.
Wine Entusiast Says 90 Points
Spicy red-berry aromas with an accent of musky, cheesy oak get this Malbec-Bonarda blend moving in an interesting way. A tight, pointy palate with lean acidity houses flavors of plum and berry along with creamy oak and vanilla. Lactic oak is a factor on an otherwise bright and spicy finish.
MetroWines Focus Group Says:
"fruity but dry with a great nose"
"crowd pleaser!"
"love the biodynamic aspect"
"good value"
"bold but very drinkable"
"I like this and I think red wine drinkers will love it"
"approaches smoky"
"deep rich color"
MetroWines Staff Says:
"Toasty, spicey oak with rich, bold dark fruits. The palate is fruit driven but shows good acidity. Good to go solo but will definietly pair well with heavier foods."
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Small Retailer Shipping


Let's Talk Shipping

Many of you have asked us to ship to friends and family. And we have sadly had to inform you that the state of shipping affairs is a mess of constitutional, and we mean that literally, proportion.

This is a very brief synopsis of the issues involved from Wine Searcher:

You may be asking how then can the online big boys ship and you, MetroWines, cannot?
We did too. Part of the answer is that some common carriers have looked the other way for Big Boys but returned packages crossing some state lines to small retailers. We wondered why.

Many states, including North Carolina, do not allow retail shipments from out of state retailers. The common carrier says it is your, you the customer, fault. In other words, you the customer bears the criminal responsibility not to order online from an out of state shipper. You bear the burden of knowing this is a crime. You are the guilty party. Beleive it.

The exception, read loophole, to state regulations prohibiting out of state shipments is for wineries and what is called a blender. That is why you can buy from a California winery you visited on your trip to Napa. And it is also how the Big Boy .com-ers and National Wine Clubs manage to ship. They have somehow convinced the federal agency that has jurisdiction over these designaitons that they are in fact blenders or wineries. And this is the loophole through which common carrier as a defendant will crawl. They will argue that, hey, the feds said .com was a winery. Talk to them.

It's a good and probably a winning argument. So it is the definition of "winery" or "blender" that is at stake. In any effort to obtain some guidance and serve our customers, we wrote to US Representative Mark Meadows. The letter:

S. Gina Trippi

Member: District of Columbia Bar and The Florida Bar

4 Club Knoll Road, Asheville, North Carolina 28804

October 22, 2018                                                BY US Mail, FAX and Email this Date

Mark Meadows, United States Representative

1024 Longworth HOB, Washington, DC 20525

Dear Representative Meadows:

I write to you in your capacity as a member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform which supervises Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and as you are my representative. My husband, John Kerr, and I own MetroWines at 169 Charlotte Street in Asheville, a North Carolina LLC.

TTB is charged with issuing a permit to “operate a wine premises” pursuant to 27 CFR. Being permitted as a “winery” allows an online wine retailer to ship across state lines in states where strictly retail shipping is illegal. Said another way, being permitted as a winery is a ticket to ending around state prohibitions that retailers, like MetroWines, must follow. The competitive advantage is enormous.

The problem is that, while TTB does require the submission of documentation, including a blueprint of the premises, to support that the premises is a “winery,” there is no definition of “winery” and no other guidelines to facilitate consistent and fair decisions.

To illustrate the issue, consider that in North Carolina, we have a license to sell wine retail and also to pour wine by the glass. But if more than 50% of our profits come from pouring, then we are a bar and must abide by those regulations.

TTB has no guidance on how many bottles of wine a “winery” must produce. Is ten enough?  If the winery buys a few bottles at the grocery and blends with some dried up grapes on the “premises,” is that a winery? If a “winery” has wine made in California and shipped through the “premises” in another state, is that a “wine premises? And if it is found that a “winery” makes most of its profits by shipping wines from actual wineries, should the TTB “winery” permit be revoked? Does TTB track permitted “wineries?”

I have traded emails with TTB staff who merely recite the rather sparse CFR. And I have contacted John Manfreda, TTB Administrator, by certified letter advising him of all correspondence and requesting a response by October 19th. Having received no response, TTB either cannot or will not answer how decisions are made. Without guidelines, the issuance of a TTB permit is arbitrary.

I am inclined to file for an injunction to halt the issuance of permits by TTB to “operate a wine premises” and to freeze “winery” operations already permitted until TTB sets guidelines. This would be chaotic. We are starting with you first.

Please advise when this situation will be resolved.



S. Gina Trippi


Sadly, Representative Meadows did not answer our letter neither did he nor his office even acknowledge receiving the letter.     So much for representing small business in North Carolina!

All that said, depending on how the Supreme Court rules, stand by for MetroWine-ery!
If they can do it. We want to do it. We want to be able to say yes to you when you ask us to ship your purchase to your family at the holidays, for your neice's wedding, for your friend's retirment. We will continue this fight for fairness and a level playing field.

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Steele Cab, Maligned Grapes! Eating France, Thomas Meunier, Ciao Asheville, Chianti, Coonawarra, Focus Group


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Winemaker says: This wine has a rich, fruit-forward elegance.
A spicy fruit and berry core backed up by soft tannins makes it
a nice glass of wine for casual sipping among friends.

92 Points Wine Enthusiast, $19.99
Complexity and concentration mark this wine as a standout. It has a deep, dark color,
with aromas of black cherry, currant and mint. Layered flavors of ripe fruit and mild spice
are bolstered by a velvety texture of fine-grained tannins. The finish lingers nicely,
and the wine will surely improve in the cellar. Best after 2021. 


Much Maligned Grapes

Seek Justice

(You knew This Day Would Come!)

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Andy Hale 
Director of The Asheville School of Wine

Makes The Case for Chardonnay, Merlot,
Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling.
Maybe You Don't Like These Grapes.

BUT, Maybe You Do!
Make Plans to Take the Challenge

$25. Tickets:

Chardonnay is First UP on February 5th.
Chris Curtis of Country Vintner joins Andy Hale for Class
bringing Chardonnay from around the World.

(No pressure but I love South African Chardonnay!)

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The MetroWines Book Review Department and Malaprops
Suggest You Start the Year Eating France!

Book at Malaprops. Shop Locally!
Your "Read it With Bottles" @MetroWines!
You want a smoother, less tannnic wines that does not need but can do food.

Red, LaFage 2014 "Nicolas" Grenache.
$14.99 @MetroWines. Unavailable at the Big Boys online.

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92 Points: Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Aged in 25% demi-muids, the 2014 Cotes Catalanes Nicolas comes all from the rolling hills and gravel soils in the Aspres region and is made from 100% Grenache. What should represent an incredible value, it boasts fabulous notes of black raspberry, licorice and crushed violets to go with medium+-bodied richness, fine tannin and a supple, pretty profile on the palate. This is far from an over-the-top fruit bomb and it has real class and elegance. Good for 2-3 years in bottle. 

White: Mediterranee Viognier 2016 from Kindred Wines, $16.99
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The color is like yellow straw with light green reflections. It has an aromatic nose
with a prevalence of citrus and passion fruits. Intense bouquet where
the fruit mixes with more moderate floral perfumes.

Not a Viognier Fan? No problem
Note Blanche, 100% Gamay Noir, $18.99 
Imported by Thomas Meunier of AuthentiqueVin.

(BTW: Thomas Meunier returns to MetroWines on February xx!)
Made by Frank Besson, HE who makes Rose Granit,
you know, the sparkling wine that tastes like drinking pastels!

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Imported by Thomas Meunier, AuthentiqueVin
Organic, hand harvested, 55 year old vines growing in granite and clay soil.
This 100% Gamay Noir drinks fresh with flavors of white flower and peaches.
The granite soil is providing an intense mineral backbone and the bright acidity bring balance
and a refreshing finish. winemaker says can go 5 years in bottle.


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Did Somebody Say Thomas Meunier?
French Wine Tasting Hosted by Friend of The Shop
** Thomas Meunier of AuthentiqueVin **
Friday, February 8th from 5 to 6:30 @MetroWines

"on the house"

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"Ciao Asheville"
The Italian Cultural Forum in Asheville
*** Kick off Party ***
Wednesday, January 16th @MetroWines

Pizza from STRADA
Chianti and Presentation from Mike Tiano, Haw River Wine Man,
together with Andy Hale, Director of The Asheville School of Wine
Register by calling (828) 575-9525
Italian Wine Classes with Andy Hale
"Know Before You GO!"

Northern Italian Wine (including Tuscany)
Thursday, January 24th from 5:30-6:30 @MetroWines, $25

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Tickets by calling (828) 575-9525 

Southern Italian Wine (including Umbria)
Thursday, January 31st from 5:30-6:30 @MetroWines, $25

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Tickets by Calling (828) 575-9525


And Watch for "Ciao Asheville" 
in The MountainX "Small Bites"
on Wednesday, January 9th!


Did Someone Say Chianti?

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Poderi Nespoli 2016 $11.99

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Sangiovese Blend, Romagna DOC Superiore
Intense red fruit. Radiant ruby ​​red in the glass. Gentle tannins are complemented
by aromas of cherries, ripe plums and delicate violets. 
On the palate, the Sangiovese is fresh and fruity with a spicy and persistent finale.
Strong with surprising depth.

Asheville School of Wines says Nespoli is bolder than most European Wines.
More About Nespoli in their words...

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Aged for 10 months in second used French and American oak, the wine is
a marriage of rich terra rossa soil, pure underground water and a long, cool ripening season
made in Australia’s tiny Coonawarra region, the birthplace of world-class Cabernet Sauvignon! 
Complex with an inky hue, Criterion explores flavors of current, eucalyptus and black plum. $16.99

Are You Coming to Group?
We are Starting our Second year!

The Asheville Wine Focus Group
Wednesday, January 9th from 5:30 to 6:30
Hosted by Richard Mckinney and Nick Demos
of Tryon Distributing

Call (828) 575-9525

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Thomas Meunier Hosts French Wine Tasting!


News Release: January 3rd, 2019
About: Thomas Meunier of AuthentiqueVin Tasting @MetroWines
Thomas Meunier of AuthentiqueVin hosts a tasting of French Wines on Friday, February 8th from 5 to 6:30 @MetroWines "on the house." 
"Thomas Meunier  has been one of our favorite importers since we opened the shop," says Gina Trippi, co-owner of MetroWines."His wines represent extraordinary quality for the price."
In addition to pouring his wines, Thomas will tell us about the origin of the grapes, the terroir surrounding each wine and share personal stories of the winemakers and families who make the wines so special.

What is AthentiqueVin all About?
“Authenticity”, a simple and humble word that sums up my conception of wine and life because, to me, both are so closely linked. As sales manager at a winery in the Loire Valley for the last 6 years, I had the chance to live in the heart of a family that has made wine for four generations. Thanks to them, I realized that behind a wine and our sometimes subjective, personal appreciation there underlies a family tradition, the force of the experience, the expression of a single personality that makes each wine different with its quality and defaults. In the end, all this makes it unique.
I have kept this understanding first while building my selection; finding true winegrowers that make no concessions, with distinctive personalities that are reflected in their wine. Authentic people that make authentic wine in a sustainable way which reveal the identity of a soil, a grape and a climate- the notion of Terroir.”
How Did Thomas Meunier Get Started in Wine?
Freshly graduated from an International Trade high school with a specialization in Supply Chain Management, I met my mentor, the vigneron Frederic Mabileau, during a trip organized by the sommelier/oenologue program I was attending. His interest in expanding the winery’s export markets matched perfectly with my professional goals and skills. For 6 years Frederic entrusted me with the entire communications and sells around the world. Here, I had the chance to fight for this tiny unknown appellation … a true learning experience. In addition, I had the chance to assist Frederic during the key moments of the harvest and vinification periods. I shared the fears, the joys and the hopes of a winemaker, while meticulously paying attention to every detail so he could reveal his expression of wine. Through this experience I developed my will to fight for the individual recognition of wines of character.
Follow Thomas Meunier and AuthentiqueVin on Facebook here:
Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525" data-hovercard-id="" style="width: 32px; height: 32px; border-radius: 50%;">
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Cabernet Franc, CAVA, Pundit, Montangnieu, Apremont, Ciao Asheville, Italian Wine Classes, Book Review, Focus Group, Spirit of the Season!

Black Eyed Peas?

First Choice: Broc Cellars 2015 Cabernet Franc
Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara, California $34
Gritty to Gritty! Naturally made of 100% Franc. 11.9% alc.

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WINEMAKER’S NOTES: Harvested at night on September 5th, the grapes were placed whole cluster
into 5 ton wooden vats for fermentation and foot tread lightly in the morning with a gentle pumpover at night.
Then gently pressed into a larger stainless steel tank overnight, and racked to older barriques to age for 8 months.
Sold out at the winery and most online sites.

A Slightly Smoother Choice: Field Recordings 2016 Cabernet Franc,
Paso Robles, CA $23

100% Franc. 60% of wine aged in French oak for 6 months. 14% alc.
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WINEMAKER NOTES: A rustic punch of blueberries, black cherries and red currants with a touch of mint and rosemary.

A Highly Rated, Value Minded Choice: Fabre Montmayou,
Mendoza, Argentina $13.99

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WINEMAKER NOTES: Intense red color. Elegant on the nose, with red and black fruit aromas and hints of mint.
Fresh and well balanced, with a long finish. 94 Points from Tim Atkin, Master of Wine "Best in Argentina" 

BUT, wait....not so fast!
The pairing depends on the amount of HEAT you add to the dish. 
Let's say that you use the recipe from Chef Mashama Bailey calling for chile de arbol and 10 peppercorns!
The Asheville School of Wine says low heat works with Cabernet Franc but medium to high heat calls for Zinfandel.

Might we suggest this one:
Fiddletown Cellars 2016 Old Vine Zinfandel, Amador County, CA, $22

Image result for fiddletown cellars old vine zinfandel 2016
WINEMAKER NOTES: Bursting with rich blackberries, dark cherries and hints of vanilla.
Ultra creamy texture and dark fruit flavors dominate from front to back.

But Wait! There's More......
What if you don't want Red?

We Got This! Do the Different!
*** Go CAVA ***

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Brut Cava Rose, Spain $15.99
This sparkling gem is made from 100% Trepat, one of the officially sanctioned varietals for CAVA.
Because few know of this grape, the quality far exceeds the price.
The "earthiness" of this wine will pair perfectly with the little round devils!
A golden salmon color in glass, this assertive sparkler has aromas and a palate of peach and nectarine.


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90% Syrah, 4% Grenache, 4% Mourvèdre, 2% Viognier 13 months in American and French Oak

Winemaker Says: The color is deep ruby with garnet highlights. Raspberry jam and citrus with soy
and earthy undertone aromas are complemented by a brambly, subtle meaty character. 
A smooth mouthfeel glides into a long silky finish
with flavors of juicy blueberry, hints of tobacco and subtle gamey undertones.  
The Pundit Syrah was brought from bud break to bottling under the careful supervision of Rhône superstars
Michel Gassier and Philippe Cambie with Chateau Ste. Michelle winemaker Bob Bertheau,
and highlights the potential for Syrah’s ripe sweetness as opposed to its savory side.
If Syrah has scared you away before due to its occasional leanings to the black-olive side of the flavor spectrum,
you owe it to yourself to try this. Medium body featuring abundant black fruit and just a hint of spice.

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70% Altesse/30% Mondeuse and Chardonnay. Planted on Jurassic limestone soils,
made by méthode champenoise.
Though the wine is not vintage-dated, it is always single-vintage (in this case 2015).
The high proportion of Altesse and the presence of Mondeuse is unusual in a Montagnieu sparkling.
Most are Chardonnay heavy. This is indicative of Peillot's emphasis on these two local varieties in his wines.
The vine age for all three varieties averages 30 years, with some plots of Altesse and Mondeuse up to 60 years old.

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100% Jacquere from Savoie. Mirroring the famous clay and limestone that nurtures these grapes.
This wine is a rough, crumbly, unpolished dagger holstered in a smooth, creamy leather sheath.
Aromas of honeycrisp apple and stone fruits open for bracing acidity, a light/medium body and a sharp mineral core.

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"Ciao Asheville"

The Italian Cultural Forum in Asheville

** Kick Off Party **
Wednesday, January 16th

5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines

Pizza and Wine "on the house"
And a presentation by Mike Tiano of Haw River Wine Man 
on Chianti: Then and Now!
Hosted by The Asheville School of Wine

Event is "On the House" but please register here:

And Follow "Ciao Asheville" on FB Here:


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Italian Wine Classes!
Northern Italy: January 24th
Southern Italy: and 31st
from 5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines

Presented by Andy Hale
Director of The Asheville School of Wine

Sponsored by "Ciao Asheville!"
The Italian Cultural Forum in Asheville!
Follow us here: http://


Image result for what makes wine worth drinking

Review by Publishers Weekly
  James Beard Award winning wine importer Theise celebrates unassuming vintages.
Theise supports “small-scale family viticulture” over commercial operations,
and offers guidance for interpreting and enjoying the distinctive wines he favors.
  He reveals how industrial producers manipulate flavors to appeal to mass markets by using oak,
or adding residual sugar; shares his opinion of “coarse” high-alcohol wines and cautions about trendy, 
natural wines that can be “no more virtuous than body odor.”
Theise philosophizes about his relationship with what is, to him, much more than a beverage:
This intoxicating book shows a path to savoring good wine, body, and spirit. 
Asheville Wine Focus Group
Wednesday, January 9th from 5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines
Welcome Richard McKinney and Nick Demos
from Tryon Distributing

Register Here:

Image result for lights outside detroit children's hospital wall street journal
And we leave 2018 with this Great "That's the REAL Spirit of the Season" Story:
Hundreds of people gather outside the Detroit Children's Hospital to shine flashlights as a holiday gift to patients.
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Much Maligned Grapes Class Series

News Release: December 26th, 2019
About: "Much Maligned Grapes"
Tickets HERE!
Join us to taste and learn about "Much Maligned Grapes," in a four class series hosted by Andy Hale, Director of the Asheville School of Wine, including Chardonnay, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling. Maybe you really don't like these grapes but maybe you do!
The classes will present the origins of each grape, the history, the differences in the terroir and styles of the grape made wine around the world. Taste each wine with Manchego Cheese, a cheese that pairs with almost every wine. Taste the differences as well as the pairing options!
"Maybe you think you don't like a particular varietal because you have only tasted the grape from one region or made in one style," says Gina Trippi, co-owner of MetroWines, "but tasting the result of different climates, soils and styles might change your mind about the grape!"
Class 1: Chardonnay!  Tuesday, February 5th from 5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines.
Class 2: Merlot! Tuesday, March 19th from 5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines.
Class 3: Sauvignon Blanc! April 16th from 5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines.
Class 4: Riesling! Tuesday, May 21st from 5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines.
All classes are $25 plus tax. You can register by calling (828) 575
Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525" data-hovercard-id="" style="width: 32px; height: 32px; border-radius: 50%;">
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Hoopla, Capetown NYE, Pendulum, Paitin, Primitivo, Glenelly, White Rioja, Frizzante! Focus Group

Image result for hoopla cabernet sauvignon

*** Holiday Tasting @MetroWines ***

Bring the Joy and a Really Great Bottle of Wine!

Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon
"on the taste" and "on the house"

Saturday, December 22nd
All Day Long from 10am to 7pm

Image result for map africa cape town
Join us on December 31st from 5:30 to 6:30 
South African Party Food from Chef Todd Ritter, Princess Anne Hotel
South African Wines Paired by The Asheville School of Wine
Fireworks from CapeTown!

Don't Miss Midnight. Get There First!


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Pendulum 2014 Red Blend,
Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Washington, $18.99

A blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Petit Verdot, 14% Syrah, 10% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc,
Pendulum presents sweet black cherry and toasted oak aromatics introduce flavors
of Santa Rosa plum, clove and raspberry. 14 months aged in new and old oak.
Flawlessly balanced, a long finish chocolate cake and berry jam rounds out the palate.
This umami-evoking wine will pair well with nearly any food, but it also makes the perfect standalone.


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Paitin "Ca' Veja Nebbiolo d'Alba" $26

The Paitin vineyards, in the southern hills of Alba have been farmed since the 1500s! 
Ca’ Veja means "old house" in the local dialect.
The soil is rare with sandstones only present in these hills that slope to Barolo.
The wine presents a strong and passionate personality.
Wild strawberry, mint and rose petal give its distinctive high-toned aromatics.
Succulent, silky tannins give up-front appeal. 

If you shop @MetroWines, you know Paitin.
Paitin "Serra Barbera" is, and has been for 5 years, a shop favorite.
And Paitin "Campolive" was our choice for "2017 Wine of the Year"

This bottle is no exception.

Image result for calx primitivo 2017
Dark ruby in color with a purplish rim in the glass. This medium bodied wine
is fruit forward on nose with black currants, black cherries, oak, earth, vanilla, licorice, spices, tobacco,
chocolate, and black pepper. Palate is dry presenting plums, black currants, coffee, oak, cloves, earth,  
peppercorn, leather, tobacco leaf, licorice, spices and chocolate.

Image result for glenelly cabernet sauvignon glass collection 2015
Glenelly is a South African Wine with a French Touch. The Estate purchased by owner
of the iconic Chateau Pichon.  Aged in French Oak  for 12 months, with flavors of coffee beans,
mint, blackcurrant, cedar, dried cherry, dark chocolate and a touch of cigar box,
this bottle drinks like Bordeaux!

(Personal Note: I LOVE this wine. Not quite French. Not quite California.
All the flavors of Bordeaux with a little more heft and softer tannins. All for a great price.) 

The "I Feel Guilty" Value Minded Alternative:
Excelsior 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Sout Africa, $9.99


Image result for monopole white rioja 2017
 Monopole White Rioja is from Cune! 
Winemaker says: Made from the Viura grape variety, the 2017 Monopole shows
a pale yellow color with greenish reminiscences. The aromas are composed
of a set of typical fruits of the Rioja region, such as apple, pear, white currants
and spring flowers. In the mouth it is attractive, in a soft and fresh way,
with a long finish that culminates in a fruity aftertaste.

The "I Feel Guilty" Value Minded Alternative
Indaba Chenin Blanc 2017, South Africa $9.99

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A lovely gold tone in the glass, the nose is apple and green tea with apple,
melon, grapefruit, elderflower and honeysuckle on the nose.
The medium bodied dry light sparkling wine goes with anything!

The Asheville Wine Focus Group
*** 2018 ReCap ***
Group has been working for a year helping us to decide what should be on our shelves!
Join us as the new year starts on January 9th from 5:30 to 6:30.
Richard McKinney and Nick Demos of Tryon Distributing will be our hosts!
















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Chardonnay Around the World: Compare and Contrast


Part of The Much Maligned Grapes Class Series!

News Release: Thursday, December 13th, 2018

About: Chardonnay from Around the World
The Asheville School of Wine hosts Chris Curtis of Country Vintner for "Chardonnay Around the World: Compare and Contrast" on February 5th, 2019, from 5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines. 
The class will focus on the various soils, climates and winemaking styles that make Chardonnay different. Taste Chardonnay from Oregon to South Africa paired with cheeses to accentuate the aromas and flavors of each one.
"So many have had a bad experience with Chardonnay and think they do not like the varietal," says Gina Trippi, co-owner of MetroWines, "but it might be that they have only tasted one style or wines from just one area."
Limited to 20 students, the class is $25 (plus tax). Please reserve yur seat at (828) 575-9525 or online:


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Asheville Wine Focus Group 2018 ReCap

With such a small shop working to serve different tastes and price points, stocking the shelves can be like pushing a wine barrel up a hill! And trying to maintain the constant favorites while still bringing in new wines is no easy feat. The Asheville Wine Focus Group ("Group") has been extraordinarily helpful in advising on decisions.
Some of our findings for the year are:
While Group enjoyed Chenin Blanc from South Africa and thought these wines had their place, if you had to choose just one, Group preferred the crisp acidity of a French Chenin Blanc while recognizing that pairing with a dish may call for the smoother South African version.
Rose works all year! On three occasions, the favorite of the four submitted wines was a Rose with the Backsberg Pinotage Rose being the biggest hit. Believe it. Kudos to Group for stepping outside their collective comfort zone and bringing a wine truth forward that the rest of the world already knows: Rose works all year!
Group was not afraid to tackle lesser known varietals such as Muller Thurgau. In fact, the Muller took the prize one night. Group thought the varietal offered a smoothness, showing good weight like a Chardonnay, that made the wine good to go solo but still presented enough acidity to pair with food. 
We also taste tested a Blaufrankisch. You cannot fool Group. While they liked the bottle, Group thought we could do better for the same or a lower price. This one was booted, baby!
Group went crazy for a blend of Tannat and Merlot from Brumont. We brought the bottle in and still have trouble keeping it on the shelf. Not only great tasting but Group thought the bottle was really good for the price. "A real deal," Group said. And who could forget the Copertino, a blend of 95% Negroamaro and 5% Malvasia. Again, this wine had a little age on it. Group will go there!
And Group showed their knowledge and interest in putting a little age on the bottle. A 2011 Rioja was a smash hit. Group picked this wine as a winner before we knew that James Suckling had given this vintage 93 Points! 
We showed that we got critical acclaim game again when we chose Airfield Cabernet Sauvignon. Turned out Wine Enthusiast loved it too. And we were ahead of Eric Asimov choosing a bottle from Broadside which showed up in his column weeks later!
And then there was the Biltmore Smack Down! What is "A Biltmore SmackDown" you ask? A while back, Biltmore showed up @MetroWines and blind tasted us on their Chardonnay and Cabernet. They pitted their wines against two very, very well known and good selling bottles of the same varietal and close in price. Let's just say, we were impressed. But, to land on the shelf, we told Biltmore that they must convince our customers. 
More than 40 showed up to take the challenge! Biltmore Wines held their own. The goal for Biltmore was to show that, even if you did not prefer the Biltmore Wine, it was a quality bottle. for example, The Biltmore Chardonnay was quite French in style. The majority of Group prefers a heavier bottle. BUT, it was agreed that the North Carolina chardonnay was great for the price and it was not at all clear, that style aside, the competitor was worth $10 more. When asked which of the Biltmore Wines we should stock, Group said the Blanc de Blanc Sparkling and the Pinot Noir.
And that brings us to the bottom line: the price to quality ratio. So many times Group loved a bottle but when the price was announced, it was a no go. In some cases, Group could even name a bottle already on the shelf of the same varietal that was, in their opinion, better and at a lower price! 
Name aside, you have to Bring IT! There is so much competition in the wine world, savvy consumers are passing up the name brands looking for quality at at a better price.
The Asheville Wine Focus Group did a heck of a job helping us to decide not just what goes on our shelves, but the wine landscape in Asheville as well. The importers, sometimes taken aback by how knowledgable Group was about wine and their discerning palates, took note of Group comments. 
One phenominon we did notice was consumer connection to a label. That goes bothe ways. You can continue to buy a wine that has long past its prime, that is, living off its respected label and subconsciously refuse to give a new label or a label on a wine, such as Biltmore, that has not peformed well in the past.
This is an article about both sides of label predjudice that we wrote for The Laurel of Asheville a while back:

  “I don’t buy wine because of the label. “  But the research says some of us, actually many of us, do.  Wineries want you to look. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. And so it is for the wine label. Who can resist the lure of Kungfu Girl Riesling?

  Labels were originally intended to provide legally required information. Wine Searcher, a service that posts information from online wine shops, says countries around the world have laws for both wines produced in country as well as imported wines. Labeling laws typically require name, region of origin, vintage, often the varietal or blend, volume and percentage of alcohol.

  But fierce competition in the wine world has forced the label to become a marketing tool.  “99 Bottles of Wine,” a new book by wine label designer David Schuemann, tells all in his book revealing the wine marketing strategy. The label, Schuemann says, is easier to remember than the taste of the wine.

  Schuemann notes that at a wine tasting held at the Edinburgh Science Festival in Scotland showed that while people could not consistently differentiate wines, they were consistently drawn back to the label they knew. So, from a wine marketing perspective, wine consumers look for the label, the brand, just like with any other product. And, again, just like any other product, research shows that an eye catching label can encourage the consumer to buy a more expensive bottle.

  Labels range from the traditional coat of arms style to animal portraits to high end design by artists whose works are seen in museums! Little did I know when I saw an exhibition by Mickalene Thomas at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington DC, that her work might be sitting on my dining room table in the form of a wine label!

  Label designs also carry subtle messages and invoke what might be called wine label prejudice. People associate minimalist, uncluttered design with high end vintages, says Schuemann. Wine connoisseurs are attracted to labels with cream or white backgrounds, a touch of gold or metal. Labels with “critters” are out. The wine neophyte, Schuemann says, are attracted to labels that “pop” and that means color, design and sometimes, “critters!”

  Label prejudice can influence taste as well. An experiment conducted by Cornell University Professor of Marketing Brian Wansink, proved the point. Professor Wansink filled all the bottles with the same $2 wine, labeling half as wine from California and the other half as wine from North Dakota. Those drinking the wine with the California label stayed longer, drank more and rated the wine higher!

  But, in the end, the label really tells the story of the winery, the philosophy, the history, how the winery wants to be seen. There is no better example than the label on the Washington State Red Blend by highly regarded winemaker Eric Dunham. One night, Dunham heard a dog fight. He ran out to find and rescue a badly wounded puppy. The puppy lost his leg that night but, as Dunham said, the puppy found a home and Dunham a best friend. With a drawing of the puppy on the label, Dunham named a wine for his new friend, “Three Legged Dog.”

When it comes to wine, make your own decisions and have the courage of yor convictions!

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Asheville Wine Focus Group: January



News Release: Thursday, December 13th, 2018
About: January Wine Focus Group

Join us on Wednesday, January 9th for the Asheville Wine Focus Group from 5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines. Our hosts will be Richard McKinney and Nick Demos from Tryon Distributing (

"This night marks one year of working The Asheville Wine Focus Group @MetroWines" says Gina Trippi, co-owner of MetroWines. "The group has been incredibly helpful in guiding us to provide what our customers want to see on the shelves."
Four wines will be presented for consideration by the Group. Richard McKinney and Nick Demos will tell us about the varietals included and the history surrounding the wines as well as personal stories from their travels to the wineries.

The event is "on the house" but you need to reserve a seat. Register by calling (828) 575-9525 or online:

Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
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