Metro Wines Blogs

Metro Wines Asheville, NC

Bar Wars

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Charlie Hodge of Bull&Beggar and Spirit Savvy have partnered for a competition challenging Asheville establishment to create a cocktail, their individual version of "The Daisy" for charity. Rules require the cocktail contain certain ingredients and be sold from April 15th to 30th for $10, $4.50 going to the chosen charity of each establishment! Our charity:  Child Abuse Prevention Services. 

Participants visit each establsihments, indulge in the cocktail and then vote on their favorite cocktail. The 4 winning establishments go to "Mix Off." Since we @MetroWines cannot sell hard liquor or cordials, we are swimming upstream from the get-go. We try harder!! Andy Hale is working his sommelier magic to create a stunning and orginal "Daisy." We are confident that you will LOVE our cocktail and hope you vote for us!  

 

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Bocelli Procecco and Aretha Franklin

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Happy Birthday Aretha Franklin! What better way to celebrate than with a bottle of Bocelli Prosecco. I know. I know. You are probably thinking that this is like the son or daughter of a TV news personality who suddenly is a White House Correspondent as if there was no more qualified journalist, puleeeeease, but clearly I have strayed......What I am trying to say is that Bocelli Wines do not live off the family name or just the fame of Andrea. As the winery says, long before you knew Bocelli for music, Bocelli was known for wines. This is a dry Prosecco, sophisticated and well structured. But yes, the name still means "music," and hence, celebrate the birthday of one of our greatest voices EVER with Bocelli Prosecco!  R-E-S-P-E-C-T. More reason why here:

From the winery website: Estate: Bocelli

Location: Tuscany, Italy. (Town of Lajatico).

Environmental Standard: Hand-harvested. No irrigation.

Wines: Prosecco doc - Extra dry, Sangiovese igt,
Terre di Sandro IGT, Alcide IGT, in canto IGT, Poggioncino IGT*.

Heritage: The Bocelli family has been making wine since 1881.

Story: Long before Andrea Bocelli was famous for music, the Bocelli family has been known for wine. For over 130 years, spanning 3 generations, they have made classic italian wines on their small estate intuscany. To this day,“mamma Bocelli” still enjoys working in the fields, carefully hand-tying vines. Sister-in-law cinzia and brother Alberto manage the azienda, and receive guests that stop by to say hello – it is a true family affair.

And if there is one thing that Andrea, Alberto, and their family love to do, it is to share their special brand of italian culture with friends around the world.Whether it is the music of “la Boheme,” or the wine of la dolce vita, they understand the art of living well.that is why, for the very first time, they have partnered with other exceptional growers to produce Bocelli Family Wines – wines that express the unique pleasures, and character, of italy; wines that they enjoy at their own table.

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For the Bocelli family, these wines are not a “product”, or an endorsement (they don’t do endorsements). instead, all of the wines are personally produced and selected by Alberto and Andrea Bocelli and their partners, and are of exceptional quality and provenance. From estate-grown, single cru wines with just a few hundred cases made, to their immensely pleasing partner-grown selections, Bocelli Family Wines combines three of Andrea and Alberto’s favorite things in life: music, wine, and la famiglia.

From the winery website: about Bocelli Prosecco:

GRAPE VARIETIES: 100% Prosecco

WINE TYPE:Delightful, everyday sparkling wine.

VINEYARD LOCATION: Valdobbiadene, Veneto.

TASTING NOTES: Made from the Prosecco grape that is indigenous to the Veneto region, this sparkling wine has subtle flower and fruit aromas that make the palate deliciously light and playful. Unlike many Champagnes, it is not harsh–rather, it tickles the throat with a peachy softness, and is flecked with minerality that remains simple in the best of ways. Perfect perlage make it the ideal choice for any occasion.

ANECDOTE:Long Before Andrea Bocelli was famous for music, the Bocelli family has been known for wine. For over 130 years, they have made classic wines on their Tuscan farm. Now in collaboration with Trevisiol, the ‘first family of Prosecco’, they share this delightful sparkling wine that is a staple of everyday Italian celebration.

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Crozes-Hermitage La Matiniere 2011

Ferraton Pere&Fils, White Rhone Valley Wine Crozes-Hermitage       La Matiniere Blanc, 2011

Yada Yada Chardonnay. Yada Yada Viognier. Not that these varietals are not great either straight up or in blends, but.... Looking for something different? This bottle is 100% Marsanne. You know this grape. A few months back, we tasted a Chardonnay, Marsanne and Picpoul blend. We also offer a very, very, very popular White Grenache and Marsanne blend. You know this grape. You just might not know you know this grape! Based in Tain l'Hermitage since 1946, Ferraton Pere&Fils produces top quality wines from Rhone Valley. In partnership with M.Chapoutier since 1998, the vines are cultivated with environmentally friendly practices to enhance the quality of the wines and offer a better expression of terroir.

Let's break here and talk about M.Chapoutier. As we often say in the store when a winemaker has gone off the grid or down a road less traveled, highly regarded winemakers such as Maison Chapoutier do NOT put their name on just any bottle. Generations of winemaking expertise and reputation are at stake. The Chapoutier family can trace their history in the Rhône region back to 1808, but it was in 1879 that Polydor Chapoutier bought his first vineyards and started the actual business. In the mid-20th century Max Chapoutier led the business, until his retirement in 1977, after which his sons Michel Chapoutier and Marc Chapoutier took over.  

Returning to the bottle at hand. Marsanne always brings a velvety texture to blends and here, in a solo act, presents a smooth and creamy textured wine with the varietally characteristic honey and quince aromas and flavors laced together with an underlying nuttyiness.  So this is a spot on Gina's Pick. If you trusted me on the Arneis grape, the Arneis blend "Asinel," the grape Grillo, the Grillo blend "Zagra," the White Rhone from Dauvergne Ranvier, the Stillman Chardonnay, the Con Class Verdejo, trust me here. Consistently highly rated, 2011 not yet reviewed, but 2010 awarded 90 points by Wine Spectator.13% alcohol. $19.99

Hermitage Les Miaux white Ferraton Hermitage Les Miaux white FerratonLES MIAUXHERMITAGE
WHITE
Hermitage Les Miaux white Ferraton

GRAPE VARIETY
100 % Marsanne.

SOIL
- clay and limestone subsoil with alluvial soil and pebbles at the surface. 
- terraces of round pebbles. 
- granite.

VINIFICATION
After pressing, the must is cold settled for 24 hours. 
Only the indigenous yeasts are used for the fermentation which occurs at temperatures ranging from 17 to 21°C.

MATURING
After fermentation, the wine is aged on fine lees (partly in oak barrels, partly in vats). The ageing lasts about 10 to 12 months depending on the vintage.

TASTING
Colour : bright, green gold colour with golden tints.
Nose: complex, aromas of quince, pear and honey. 
Palate: 
rich wine, aromas of honey, very ripe fruit (peaches, apricots), very long lasting wine.

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Picpoul De Pinet, Domaine DelSol 2012

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Domaine DelSol Picpoul de Pinet has received 87 points or higher from Wine Spectator for 4 consecutive years and this 2012 bottle was awarded the Silver from Decanter World Wine Awards in Europe. Since a month after we opened our doors, Domaine DelSol Picpoul has been a staff favorite @MetroWines and hugely popular with our customers. For several months, our distributor could not access Domaine DelSol due to import problems making the only bottles of this magic avalible in Europe where it is wildly popular. But another distributor has come to the rescue and Domaine DelSol is back and back BIG. 

Some who have not experienced the magic ask: "Gina what is this Picpoul of which you speak?" Picpoul (pique-poul) translates literally as "stings the lips." Naturally high in acidity, the physical translation of the varietal is somewhat the same. Picpoul is one of the oldest indigenous grapes to Languedoc. Domaine DelSol Picpoul is golden in color with green hints. On the nose, this wine is fruity and floral with hints of rose petals and lime. The wine is dry, light, lively on the palate with well balanced acidity. 

Everything about Domaine DelSol Picpoul de Pinet, including the bottle and label, is spectacular. The label on the front  presents a pair of blanketed elephants and the back of the bottle tells the story. "Domaine Delsol is located on the Etang de Thau and benefits from the cool offshore breezes that temper the summer heat and create refreshing wines. Hannibal passed through what was to become our Domaine during the second Punic war with 37 elephants on his way to sack Rome. Only one made it across the sea from Africa to Spain, across the Alps, and through the ensuing battles alive. We pay homage to these great animals with their image on our label and gate to the domain." 

We're being followed:

LanguedocWines
@LanguedocWines
Official U.S. account for CIVL & AOC wines of Languedoc, South of France. Must be 21 to follow.
http://languedocadventure.com
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Almost FREE Friday 3/21: Rouge Bleu & Ca'Momi Red

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Truth be told, Rose is good all year but it does have a special place at the table or a deck chair or a float or a hammock or book club or a wedding or a "girl's night out," or a hike or dot, dot, dot in the warmer weather. So, today is the kick off! Pale salmon in color, a chilled bottle of Domaine Rouge-Bleu Dentelle 2011 made in the Provencal style will walk us in to fresh spring days. Rouge Bleu is a blend of hand harvested grapes: 75% Grenache and 25% Carignan. Winemaking took place in steel tanks to insure, according to the winemaker, "respect for the terroir." This method also permits micro oxidation during fermentation which, ocmbined with temperature control has "highlighted expression of aromas." 

With a light nose of early flowers subtle pink color and flavors of small wild strawberries, peaches and just a hint of grpefruit, share this bottle with friends on a late afternoon. Bread and cheese or a little summer tart of crab or late berries would be the perfect way to enjoy this wine while watching a golden setting sun. But for those of you who think Rose is for lightweights, this one packs a punch. The additon of Carignan demands attention! $10.99 

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Field blend from California? Really? Usually good field blends for a good price, at least in my experience, come from Italy. So, here you have the best of all possible varietal blend wine worlds, Ca' Momi made by Italian winemakers in California with California grown grapes. Let them tell you the story.  We will be back after this message from our winemakers:

Our Story

Founded in 2006, Ca’ Momi Napa Valley is the heart’s offering of three Italians: Dario De Conti, Valentina Guolo-Migotto and Stefano Migotto. Ca’ Momi is a tribute to the land of their birth and the wines that they love. From the winery and vineyards in Carneros, and featuring hand-selected fruit from across the region, Ca’ Momi wines represent the best of both worlds: Napa Valley fruit carefully crafted by the heritage and obsessive care of Old World winemaking into some of the finest wines available. From award-winning House blends to an opulent Reserve line, Ca’ Momi makes wine that elevates the best grapes Napa Valley has to offer.

Our Winemakers

In the early 1990s, Stefano Migotto and Dario De Conti were two of Italy’s brightest young winemakers. A decade later, each came to California to share his expertise with American winemakers. In the process, both fell in love with the Napa Valley and started a partnership in the Ca’ Momi Napa Valley brand. Combined, Stefano and Dario have over 30 years’ experience in wine consulting and the finer points of Old World winemaking. From their years consulting for wineries throughout the region, both men hold long-established relationships with some of the best grape growers in Napa Valley, guaranteeing top-quality fruit for years to come.

The winemakers describe Rosso di Napa 2011 as a "table wine" with bright strawberry, raspberry and mocha flavors, a velvety texture and medium body with, due to the blend, a complex, full flavor fruit palate. A different blend every year, this bottle is big, partnering California Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Merlot. 13.5% alcohol. Selling at the winery for $18, set to be a $15 @MetroWines, selling today on Almost FREE Friday for $10!! 

The winery is proud to announce that their wines were served at the 2014 Academy Awards "Shorts" event. From Oscar's table to your table! Even the big spenders don't spend more for a great bottle of wine when a better bottle sells for less.  They may not be right about the awards, but they nailed this one!

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Ardeche Wine Tasting

ARDECHE!!!!

This Sunday, from 2pm-4pm we will be hosting an educational wine tasting with wines from Ardeche of the Rhone Valley in France. Gina has previously provided us with information about Ardeche and their wine, and now you get to taste them! We will be pouring two whites; Crozes-Hermitage La Matiniere 2011 and Louis Latour The Grand Ardeche, and two reds; Domaine de Couron Cotes-du-Rhone 2011 and La Tarasque Cotes-du-Rhone 2010. AND John will be bringing a secret bottle for you to taste from his special collection!!

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This will be a fun, educational, and exciting wine tasting where you will learn about the Ardeche region of Rhone, and we will even have a special guest from Ardeche to answer any questions you may have about the region and wine! 

Cost is $15 and you can buy your tickets online at www.metrowinesasheville.com. Be sure to press our "Chow Now" button and select the "Ardeche Wine Class" under Event Tickets!

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Ardeche

Wines of the Ardèche


by Melyvn Crann, 10/05

Before you read any further try this test. Run your eye down a mental map of the wine regions of France and pick out the wine regions below Beaujolais. What do you see? Probably it's the corridor of vineyards that make up the northern Rhône and then a leap to the appellations of the southern Rhône. The chances are that you envisage a gap in between - oblivious of the wine producing region of the southern Ardèche, an area of 27,000 acres of vineyards south-west of Montelimar. As far as availability in the UK is concerned, this is virtually terra incognita. A recent visit to the region raised my awareness of the wines; an imminent PR campaign might soon affect yours. 



The area is best known as a holiday destination, renowned for its stunning landscape: steep hills and valleys, often luxuriantly clad in sweet chestnuts, beautiful old villages, some of them appearing to grow organically out of the dramatic gorges cut by the Ardèche river and its tributaries. But it also possesses three major appellations: Côtes du Vivarais, Coteaux de l'Ardèche, and at the south-eastern tip, around Bourg St.-Andeol, the vineyards that just nudge into the Côtes du Rhône. 

History 

There is a long history of wine production here. Two thousand years ago, the Helvi, romanised Gauls, had a sophisticated capital at Alba la Romaine and at this time Pliny the Younger described the Ardèche as the "valley of wine". Wine production remained a major activity until the vines were devastated by phylloxera in the second half of the 19th century. In the recovery period the region tended to go along the blind alley of replacement by hybrid vines - resistant to phylloxera but not permissible under wine laws for the production of quality wines. The modern wine industry in the area really dates from the late 60s and 70s, with widespread replanting with noble grape varieties. 

In many parts of France the problems arising from declining consumption at home and exports eroded by upstart New World producers have created conflict and upheavals as traditionalists clash with modernisers. In the Ardèche tradition doesn't seem to have such a strong hold. 

The winemakers of the Ardèche pride themselves in having taken quality improvement seriously before the producers further south (although this seems to have had little influence on perceptions outside the area). A great stimulus was the decision by the major Burgundy house of Louis Latour to start producing Chardonnay in the Ardèche in the late 70s. Previously Chardonnay was unknown here, but Latour, searching for a location which could provide good quality grapes at reasonable cost, decided that the Ardèche could deliver the goods.

Now there is a modern winery, near the archaeological site of the original Alba la Romaine, with a tasting room presenting a large range of burgundies, but only the three wines produced locally: a blend of Chardonnay and Viognier called Duet, a light, citrussy Chardonnay de l'Ardèche, and the richer, buttery Grande Ardèche, the last two being the wines most widely available in the UK.

The grapes are grown by members of the co-operatives under contract to Latour, who exercise strict control over quality in the vineyard - an important factor in the encouragement of improved vineyard practice in the area. 


Rather oddly the name Chardonnay de l'Ardèche can be used only by Latour under the terms of the agreement between the company and the co-operatives.

Topography and Appellations 

The hills of the region tend to run diagonally from north-east to south-west (with the River Ardèche cutting across on the opposite diagonal, hence the gorge), creating a number of valleys, with the vineyards occupying the lower slopes and valley bottoms. 

There is a variety of aspects and soil types in the region. To the west the terraced slopes at the edge of the granite highlands of the Cevenne provide suitable conditions for growing Gamay. Further east there is a mix of limestone and sandstone. The variety of soils and the Vin de Pay status of the larger part of the region, Coteaux de l'Ardèche allows the planting of a wide range of grape varieties, including Chardonnay, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Further east, entering the appellation of Côtes du Vivarais (AOC status granted in 1999 - dark green on the map), the grape varieties we associate with the southern Rhône dominate, with Grenache Noir and Blanc, Syrah, Cinsault, Marsanne and Clairette. The communes in the south-east that fall within the Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône Villages appellations (grey on the map) are home to just 21 producers. 

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Bloem

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From the Western Cape of South Africa, this wine is an engaging blend of 65% Chenin Blanc, 24% Viognier and 11% Sauvignon Blanc. The Winemaker says: The South African Winelands lie at the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom, the smallest, most biodiverse of the world's six floral kingdoms. Bloem, which is derived from the Dutch word for "flower," captures the essence of this unique and dynamic ecosystem with crisp, refreshing fruit aromas and clean, creamy flavors.

If you recall from last week's epidisode, we discussed how it is often that 10% of a varietal blended in  that makes all the difference. And so it is here. The 11% Sauvigonon Blanc blended into Bloem offers just the right herbal touch. I know. I know. Even at just 11%, Sauvignon Blanc must be approached with skepticism. It can take over! But not here. Here, it served up just a hint of chamomile that made this blend sing. The Chenin Blanc is the backbone here providing the body and structure and the Viognier gives us the floral quality of which the name speaks. Crisp and clean, this dry white wine presents apple, spice, and chamomile on the palate.  Nice. Just nothing to dislike here including the price at $11.99. Served at Asheville's hottest new restaurant, LEX18!!

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Macon-Solutre-Pouilly 2011

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From Domaine Romanin, this 100% Chardonnay is fragrant and fruity. The vines are between 30 and 70 years old and the Domaine follows organic practices. I could go on and on about the aromas and flavors but the bottom line is that this is the way Chardonnay should taste. That's it. The Domaine says:

Mâcon-Solutré-Pouilly Domaine Romanin :

Mâcon Solutré-Pouilly wine comes from Solutré-Pouilly villageVines are young: 7 to 8 years old and protected by fabulous Rock of Solutré-Pouilly village. Clay soil and young vines gives us a pleasant, fresh and fragrant wine.

Clear yellow with grean tintsVery fragrant nose : fruity, floral with notes of almond. The palate displays abundant citrus flavours with hints of grapefruit. Very mineral wine. Good lengh.

Do not tuck it away for too long in your cellar, with it will lose its fresh aromas.

 
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Sensacion Blanco

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Sensacion, Ribeiro, Terra do Castelo 2012                                                                                                                                                  Winner of the Silver Medal in the Catavinum world Competition and the Bronze Medal from the International Wine Guide

Caliente!!! Sexy. This wine is just flat out sexy. From the tall, slender bottle to the smooth and seductive aroma and palate to the bragging rights of international awards, sexy, just plain sexy. A blend of Treixadura, Torrontes, Godello and Palamino, this dry white wine offers and, distinctively so, all the flavors from each of the four varietals. So, let's talk about them.

First, the one with which we are probably most familiar, Godello. This grape typically offers aromas and flavors of apricot and other stone fruits. A heavier hitter in the wine world than you might have thought, highly regarded international wine critic Jancis Robinson, MW, says that Godello," combines the structure of white burgundy with the finesse of a juicily mineral grape." Torrontes is familiar to us standing all on its own. And here in Sensacion, Torrontes brings the flavors we know from bottles served and sold in the shop, spring flowers, tropical fruit, a touch of honey all in the smooth yet unrestrained way for which Torrontes is known. Next up, Treixadura. This Portuguese grape is used to blend flavors, adds body to the wine and brings light lemony and white flower aromatics and flavors. And then, Palomino. Indigenous to Spain, Palomino is predominantly used to make sherry. Here, in Sensacion, Palomino bring the same fruit and nut flavors that you find in Spanish Sherry.  All THAT is in Sensacion and that is why it received so many awards!

Sensacion goes great with pork, salmon and everything in between. So go wild on it! $12.99 for an international award winner. Warning: Spanish wines are headed up in respect, popularity and price. Buy this one now. Sensacion is offered on the menu at Asheville's hottest new restaurant, Lex18.

The winery describes Sensacion this way: Balanced, fresh and tasty, this wine results from a magnificent combination of different varieties selected from the best vineyards situated in the Terra do Avia zone. With an intense aroma, delicate and elegant, it has notes of tropical fruit such as pineapple, with hints of apple. It has a balanced, fresh and just a touch of sweet finish.

About the winery:

Our quality begins in the vineyard

 

Terra do Castelo

Covering an area of 3500 m2 this winery is located in the Denomination of Origin Ribeiro, ensuring a high quality wine that combines the tradition of a historical wine region with the most modern production methods. 

Treixadura predominant grape in this wine are also present other typical local varieties like Mencia, Torrontés and Godello. Terra do Castelo has capacity to produce two million liters of wine, made ​​with care and professionalism.

 

The latest technology for the best grapes

 

Terra do Castelo

Terra facilities do Castelo harbor edge technology for winemaking with modern machinery for the work of stripping and cold storage. The guarantee of fermentation and the most rigorous asepsis are some ideas from this winery. 

The building that houses the winery combines wood with stone and steel, another example of the fusion between the modern and the indigenous inTerra do Castelo.

 

 

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Isabelino Rueda 2012

 

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Isabelino Rueda 2012 is 85% Verdejo and 15% Viura. I saw you starting to drift thinking we were suggesting a wine with a filler grape hiding behind the name Viura. Not so. Viura is anohter name for Macabeu. You know Macabeu from Cava where it brings aromas of nuts and honey. Here too. You recall that we often say it is the introduction of 10 to 15% of another grape that can make all the difference. And so it is here. We poured this wine on Lonely Grape Day last week and promptly sold our entire stash. But we are re-stocked.

Straw yellow in color, Isabelino serves up intense fruit together with white flowers on the nose and palate. The winery describes Isabelino as steely clean and fresh. Indeed. 20 year old vines growing in rocky soil in an area regarded as a unque microclimate makes for a strongly built but easy on the palate wine that will serve as an aperitif year round and sit pretty next to salads, seafood and, I might add, pesto! (For those of you who share my opinion that pesto never goes out of style and remains a food group all of its own, be assured that I am always on the look out for a pairing partner.)

You are probably saying, hey, they say all these wines are great. Well, truth be told, we would not carry wines that we would not serve or feel confident recommending to you. Yeah, this wine is great! But don't take my word for it. Try it on the menu at Asheville's hottest new restaurant, LEX18. 13% alcohol, $10.99. (PS....Spanish wines are incredible bargains now but it won't be long before prices go up. Buy cases of Isabelino and be prepared for summer. You might also want to consider that when a hot restaurant like Lex18 is serving a limited distribution wine like Isabelino, you have to step on the gas!)

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Bobal, Ventoso Vines 2010

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Indigenous to the plains of LaMancha, Bobal is a very red grape native to Valencia, Spain. Ventosa Vines Bobal is medium bodied with, given its hot climate home, relatively low alcohol of only 12.5%.  Grown in the heart of the emerging wine making region of Manchuela, this bottle of Ventosa (read "windy" in Spanish) Vines Bobal is reflective of the influences of its home climate. Constant Mediterranean breezes cool the sunsoaked Spanish Vines yielding a vibrant wine of medium body and a very well balanced acidity. Deep purple in color, you will find black fruit and flavors accompanied by a brief passing through oak barrels. Perfect with menus from ribs to rice, this wine man of LaMancha can also stand on its own. The MetroWines Tasting Panel agrees this wine is earthy and rustic on the nose and palate. you will find a discernable red cherry foundation laced with a touch of smoke.  For best results, as they say, open 30 minutes before serving and chill the bottle a bit. And its weight and texture make it work right through summer. Different. Good. $11.75

Vines and Wines: Spanish wines

Jack Berninger | Updated 

If you've never tasted a wine made with the Spanish grape bobal, it's probably because you couldn't find it on store shelves. Other Spanish wines made from obscure — to Americans — grapes were also among the missing.

That situation bothered Travis Vernon. He created a business called The Spanish Wine Importers.

While studying in Spain with the University of Virginia several years ago, Vernon, through his friendship with a wine exporter, developed a passion for Spanish wines, particularly those that are relatively unknown in the U.S.

"My experience with him helped me learn to sift through the many wines available in the market and identify quality and authenticity," said Vernon, a Virginian who conceived his business idea while living in Richmond. "I quickly found that these two (characteristics) often coincided in wines from smaller producers, i.e. family owned and estate wineries."

To his disappointment, Vernon discovered a dearth of such wines in this country.

"I learned that most distributors were shying away from unknown winemaking regions and unknown varietals because they didn't think there was a big enough market for the lesser-known wines or the no-name regions," Vernon said.

"There are so many Spanish winemaking regions that are producing excellent wines that have been 'left off the map' here in the U.S. We wanted to bring light to those regions, and also help consumers understand what a Spanish wine from each of these regions should taste like.

"Beyond that, it's an added bonus that Spanish wines are the market's top values. The quality of wine coming out of Spain, even after the costly trip across the Atlantic, cannot be consistently matched by any other country right now."

One such wine is Ventoso Vines Bobal.

 

 

 

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Marfil Cava Brut, Alella Vinicola, Barcelona

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Why Cava? It depends on the purpose. You might want a sparkling wine that goes with every truffle, scallop, pork chop, sardine, rib-eye, asparagus, tomato, potato, fruit, nut, legume, chocolate that you can sit down next to it. Cava can do that. You might want something to POP open for a celebration. Cava can definitely do that. You might want a sparkling wine that drinks like champagne. Cava can do that too. You might be saying, hey, Prosecco can do all that. Well, not exactly. Cava and Prosecco differ in one very fundamental wine making way. Cava is made in the Methode Champenoise, Metodo Tradicional in Spain, meaning that the second fermentation takes place inside the bottle.  In fact, to be called Cava, the wine MUST be made the traditional way. And, hence, it tastes more like Champagne but for a much better price!  

A blend of 60% Xarel.lo, 30% Macabeu, 10% Parallada, Marfil Brut can stand persuasively next to French or Spanish sparkling wines with better known names and for seling for many $$$s more.  Marfil Brut is aged for 14 months and disgorged just before heading to shelves to insure freshness. Yellow golden in color, with notes of dried fruits, Marfil Brut is balanced, smooth and elegant. Not a deal, a steal at $13.49.

But don't take my word for it, Asheville's new restaurant star, Lex18, will be serving Marfil Brut!  Owner Georgia Malik, aslo President of Seven Star Events, was born and raised in Madrid. Call me crazy, and I know many of you will, but I think she knows Cava. 

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4896 Hits

Eric Asimov vs Andy Hale?

Dear Eric: NO, you did not! You were, painfully obviously, shall we say "influenced" by our work @MetroWines, again! Oh yeah. Here you are starting your Wine School to gain an "understanding," build "confidence," and overcome the "intimidation" that dissuades many from stepping into the wine world. All this you do just moments after MetroWines presents Andy Hale at the helm of our already successful "Blind Tasting League" (BlindTastingLeague.com online this month) aimed at accomplishing all the same goals. OK, you did not know that we would be offering The Home Version" for those who cannot attend by packaging the class wines for sale through the MetroWines website together with class notes from Andy Hale and student comments. But still....

Now, don't go getting me wrong here, Eric, I am plum flattered by your conscious or unconscious parallelism, but what say we do this right? Invite Andy Hale and the attendant MetroWines staff to conduct one of your Wine School classes. And this should be efficacious for you as I note that your first class is on Bordeaux. Of course, Andy Hale has already offered a Bordeaux class, "Bring Me Bordeaux" at MetroWines in January (see our blog post) so he is ready to go! You can take the night off. Andy received rave reviews! Let us carry the box of Bordeaux for you, Eric. And, you would not know this, but the Bordeaux class was the first offering in our soon to be launched Asheville School of Wine! (AshevilleSchoolofWine.com coming within a month). We got it goin' on Eric!

Eric, we hold you in the highest regard, but what's fair is fair, put us IN coach! Blind Tasting League and Asheville School of Wine is what to do and no one does it better than us! Standing by.

                  With love and respect and anxiously awaiting your response, Your friends at MetroWines

Frist few paragraphs of what Eric said in his NYT column, The Pour, on Wednesday:

Wine School, a monthly column, invites you to drink wine with Eric Asimov. In each installment, Mr. Asimov chooses a type of wine for you to try at home. As you try the wines, ask yourself these questions and post your responses in the comments section. At the end of the month, Mr. Asimov will address some of the points in your comments and answer questions in a follow-up column. This month’s wine selection: Bordeaux.

You don’t have to know much about wine to enjoy it. But if you become interested in wine and want to examine it more closely, your pleasure will deepen. What was merely satisfying becomes rewarding and, occasionally, even profound.

This is the goal of the Wine School, which begins today: to help create an atmosphere of pleasure, attentiveness and curiosity about wine that will lead to knowing what you like, what you do not and why. I hope you will join me in the coming months to drink some wine together.

Gaining an understanding of your own taste leads to a sense of ease and confidence. This is perhaps the biggest step in overcoming whatever it is in the culture of wine that causes so many to feel intimidated and inadequate. If you are already comfortable with wine, participating in the Wine School offers the opportunity to sharpen your observations, re-examine your assumptions and share your insights. I’m sure I will learn a few things. One of the great pleasures of wine is that your education never ends.

 

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ROCO Pinot Noir 2011

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ROCO Willamete Valley AVA Pinot Noir 2011, Winemaker Rollin Soles

Wine Spectator: 90 Points *** Wine Advocate: 91 Points

Winemaker, Rollin Soles was here to pour his wines in person. To be honest, sometimes you feel a little obligated to buy a few bottles when the winemaker has made the trip to Asheville! Not so in this case. It was more like we were pleading for more bottles! This Pinot Noir is a smooth oeprator. Lush, beautiful, complex, cherries and violets on the nose and palate, well blended. I realize that those are all the standard operating wine terms but, in this case, the description is more than true.  The label is a replica of a petroglyph located in the Columbia River Gorge.

About the winemaker from www.rocowinery.com:  America's premiere Pinot Noir growing region. Now, with more than three decades of winemaking under his belt, Rollin produces some of Oregon's top Pinot noirs, Chardonnays, and Sparkling wines. As a result, his wines have been listed in Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of the World twelve times (but who's counting?). 

Rollin's private winery, ROCO, began in 2003 with 100 cases of Private Stash Pinot Noir from his estate vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains. Along with his wife, Corby, they built their new winery in 2009 and added a tasting room in 2012.Since their first Stash, ROCO has been served in the White House, praised by Robert Parker, the Wine Enthusiast, and most recently received a 95 score from the Wine Spectator.

Still, Rollin feels passionately that there is much to learn and achieve in his art."If the wine was made in the vineyard, as many claim, then there wouldn't be much reason for me to keep honing my craft. For me, great wine is the compilation of nature nurtured, and a personal vision and desire to finesse the juice to reveal its best. That's why I'm still pursuing the grape. Wine is a revelator." ~ Rollin Soles, Winemaker/Proprietor

Winery Tasting notes from www.rocowinery.com:  Can’t fault this wine for its color. It is deep ruby garnet in tone. The nose reminds you of cherry pie and vanilla ice cream. The deep red fruit flavors prevail along with a hint of rich Nubian leather and possibly plum and cherry preserve. There’s also a shake of white pepper in the back palate with a plump finish that continues to roll around your mouth smiling.

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2633 Hits

Save Time...ORDER ONLINE

As we are gearing up for our next Blind Tasting League, we have made the process easier for you! Beat the crowd and order your tickets ONLINE!!!

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Here are the simple and easy to follow instructions:

1. Go to the Metro Wines website at www.metrowinesasheville.com

2. Scroll down and click the "Order Online" button

3. Press "ORDER FOR PICKUP"

4. Click "EVENT TICKETS"

5. Click "Blind Tasting League" with the appropriate date

6. Put in ticket quantity desired and click "ADD TO ORDER"

7. Review order and click "PLACE ORDER" 

8. You will have to create an account or Log In,if you already have an account with ChowNow.

9. Choose your payment method and place your order! 

10. Keep your confirmation sheet for your records and to show Metro Wines when you check in.

 

So AVOID THE LINES and ORDER ONLINE!!! See you March 19th for our next BLIND TASTING LEAGUE!!!!

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2437 Hits

Lights, Camera, Action!! Movie Night is BACK!

After many customer requests...Movie Night is BACK in action at Metro Wines!!!

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April 3rd from 6pm-8pm we will be showing "A Good Year" starring Russell Crowe. The movie is about a British investment broker who inherits his uncle's chateau and vineyard in Provence where he spent his childhood. He discovers a new and easier lifestyle as he plans to sell the estate. 

We will be pouring Le Paradou Viognier and Grenache.

Le Paradou is a young project created in conjunction with Frederic and Alexandre Chaudiere whose family produces some of the most respected wines in the Southern Rhone AOC of Cotes du Ventoux. In 2005, when Alexandre & Frédéric Chaudière, created the Paradou range, they decided to give themselves a new challenge. These two thirty or so year old brothers have always shared a passion for wine. Since he was a mere boy, Alexandre has been certain that he would become a wine-maker and he studied viticulture and oenology at Mâcon and worked in many of the world’s wine-making regions to build a solid experience as a wine-maker.

"It is reasonable to think “Paradou” means “Paradise” in the old language of the “langue d’oc”, as it is magical to live in the south of France. Yet, “Paradou” actually refers to the old watermills that once dotted the landscape."

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Le Paradou Viognier is "is exotic and lush, with a beautiful acidity keeping it fresh and clean. 100% Viognier, this aromatic bottling is aged only in tank with a light filtration. Harvested by hand from high altitude vineyards. A tremendous value."

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The Grenache, which originated in Spain, is used for great wines such as in Châteauneuf-du-Pape where it is dominant and is now one of the most cultivated vines in France and throughout the world. This varietal which hails from a warm climate is mainly found in the Southern Rhone Valley and the Languedoc Roussillon where it holds vast potential for intense aromas and quality. In the bottle you find bright red fruit notes of wild strawberry, ripe red cherries, fresh lavender, rose petal and herbs de Provence. The wine is approachable but well-built and nuanced, everything you want from Grenache.

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2331 Hits

Win a Wine Tasting

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Win a Wine Tasting

for 8 guests at your home or office!

Just drop your card in the champagne chiller @MetroWines.

The contest continues every month with the drawing on

the last Friday of the month at 5pm.  

You don't have to be present to win

but you must enter in person.

This month, join us for the drawing

on Friday, March 28th at 5pm @MetroWines.

 

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2532 Hits

Why Our Blind Tasting League?

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Because our own Andy Hale was trained by the best!  Andy's blind tasting mentor, Garth Herr, just won Top Sommelier  competition in South Carolina. That's why!

From the Charleston Post Courier:

The Sanctuary’s Garth Herr wins title Rookie wine drinkers are constantly being coached to plunge their noses in their glasses. At Thursday morning’s Top Sommelier competition, dozens of the city’s leading wine professionals were reminded that they need to do the same during tasting exams.“Smell all three of the same color before you start talking about any of them,” urged Richard Betts, one of three master sommeliers leading the 25-minute blind tasting, which is fashioned after the notoriously difficult master sommelier exam. According to Betts, many test takers make the mistake of declaring a Chardonnay before thoroughly investigating the lineup.“And then they pick up the next glass, and it’s actually Chardonnay, and their whole life melts down,” Betts said. “It’s so sad.”While determining which Charleston area sommelier has the most developed tasting skills is the overriding goal of the 7-year-old Charleston Wine + Food Festival program, the session also gives local sommeliers an opportunity to collect blind tasting advice from fellow wine professionals who’ve achieved their industry’s highest honor.Betts, Devon Brogile and Sara Floyd counseled the competitors to smell more, drink more and drink beyond the esoteric varietals that have lately become popular with restaurant-goers.“It may not be hip to drink that amount of Cabernet, but you need to know it,” Floyd said.Floyd’s wisdom became clear after the judges graded the entries: None of the tasters correctly identified all six wines, and many of them were tripped up by a Zinfandel.“I think that’s because none of you drink Zinfandel,” Floyd said.Brogile added, “I was shocked by how many people called Chablis new world.”Winner Garth Herr of The Sanctuary at Kiawah slipped up on an Australian Riesling.“I won a bottle (of Australian Riesling) for third place last year, and I’m still not getting it,” said Herr, who also won the title in 2010 and calls himself a Riseling fan. “That’s what I’ll be drinking this year.”Patrick Panella of Bin 152 claimed second place, followed by Brad Ball of Social.

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2515 Hits

Govino

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We just had our first look at Spring today and I'm thinking that some of you are thinking that it's time to start thinking about having a glass of wine outside. Maybe you're thinking a bike ride to a park, maybe you're thinking just ouside the kitchen door on the patio, maybe you're thinking a hike, or maybe you're just thinking that a swishy tail on a four legged family member has swished your glass off the table for the last time.

In any case, you're thinking shatterproof! Add stemless, reusable and reclyclable and you have GOVINO.  Have you ever heard a storm forecast and raced over to the store for candles, matches, provisions? And you wish you had just keep a few simple storm staples around? Same here. Prepare for Spring now. Pick up GOVINO glasses and wine in shaterproof, recylcable boxes that remains fresh for a solid 3 weeks and be ready to pedal or hike or party or just avoid the inevitable summer swishy tail!  

Govino says: Necessity is indeed the mother of invention. govino was originally created as a trade tool to help professional salespeople showcase their wines whenever and wherever proper stemware isn't accessible – which as we learned firsthand, is often! Once we began testing the market, we realized there was an even bigger need for govino in the consumer sector, particularly at settings where breakable glass is an issue. After all, how many times have we all had to endure drinking good wine from bad glasses?

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2927 Hits