Metro Wines Blogs

Metro Wines Asheville, NC

Boxed Wine? No. Wine in a Box.


Founded by Matthew Cain, Yellow Blue Wines is a leader in the new way of the wine world. After 15 years in the wine industry including a decade working with renowned wine importer Kermit Lynch, Cain decided the wine business was in need of an overhaul. With financial and environmental costs of wine making increasing by the day, Cain embarked on a plan to bring top quality organic wines to market at reasonable prices and wiht minimal negative impact on the environment. the result is Yellow Blue Wines. why the name? Because, Cain says, when you mix the two together, you get green, as in, he says, "environmentally conscious, forward thinking and committed to positive change."

With the high cost of fuel driving up shipping charges, Cain solved the problem by partnering with organic wineries and packaging wines in light weight, recyclable, unbreakable boxes. Cain says he hopes to change the world "one box at a time." What better for the 4th of July?

Yellow Blue Sustainable Select Red

Dark purple black in color, this rich and powerful wine presents aromas of blackberry, leather and cardamom, with a long spicy finish. The grapes come from Santa Barbara County where the east west orientation of the coastal mountains form valleys opening directly to the Pacific Ocean.  It is this unique topography, the winemaker says, that allows the flow of fog and ocean breezes to shape distinct microclimates perfect for cultivation of classic grape varietals and world class wines.  In a box!  The fruit has an unusually long hang time on the vine allowing it to fully develop acids , flavors and tannins needed to produce wines with distinctive character.

Sustainable Chardonnay

The color is golden yellow. The aroma is mineral, apple and lime. The taste is full yet elegant with fine acidity and a lingering complex finish. And the region is Lodi, between San Francisco Bay and the Sierra Nevada Mountains. With a classic Mediterranean climate, the break out wine star Lodi makes for wines that are full bodied and balanced.

At $11.49 for a liter, there is no better choice for a picnic, a hike, boat trip, bicycle ride, camping. But the truth is, this wine can be served at the table anytime. the bottom line is that this is good wine "screaming good" according to Klimpton Hotels Wine Director, in a box.


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"I hear it's your birthday." "It's my birthday too, yeah."

Update: The staff finished the bottle tonight with a combination of leftovers, take out and the contents of a doggie bag from Limones in downtown Asheville including peanut butter and jelly, black bean cakes with ketchup, brussels sprouts with bacon, scallops with corn and italian white beans beans and a pineapple chutney, habanero sauce, chocolate, rosemary potato bread, pasta and red sauce, tofu and sesame noodles. The bottom line is that Luna is nothing to write home about BUT its weakness is its strength. That is to say, the very fact that Luna has no extraordinary and intensely identifiable highlight is exactly what enables it to go down smoothly with so many foods. Special order for parties where there will be a wide variety of flavors.

And so it was. We celebrated my birthday at the store with Luna Argenta Prosecco 2012 from the Veneto, Italy. We are a wine shop so we could have picked any bottle at a good price!!! but we chose Luna Argenta. This is a light sparkling wine that is perfect as an aperitif, a celebration, or with light meals and sushi.  This Prosecco is fruity with a hint of ripe apples, lemons and a touch, just a touch of grapefruit. At 12.49, you can buy it by the case. Besides sushi, other good pairings include pasta with pesto, spinach and herb risotto and even cabbage.  This sparkler can do it all.


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Wednesday Wines

Open Hearts Benefit, Art Exhibition and Wine Tasting is set for Wednesday, June 26th at 5pm.  Join us to taste these popular, value minded wines that are perfect for big events where you need to accommodate a variety of taste preferences and hold the line on expenses.

Frisk Prickly Riesling, Australia, 2011, $11.49

Wine Spectator calls Frisk a "Winery to Watch." This unusually "less sweet" Riesling is all about the yeast. The winemaker, describes the winery as "maverick" and says: "A gentle spritz courtesy of these clever yeasts, is captured to deliver a palate rousing tickle." And indeed it does. This is the Riesling for people who have not found a Riesling to suit them. Yours truly included.  This is a Riesling apart. The winemaker describes the taste as having "just a tinge of sweetness."  True. A touch of Muscat Gordo adds a floral note to the natural acidity of the Riesling grape. On the palate, the highlights are notes of lime sorbet, rose petals and fennel. Yes, fennel.  The wine presents, as the winemaker claims, "racy verve!"  All true.

2011 Vintage received these accolades: Best Buy from Wine Enthusiast, 90 Points from Wine Review Online, Top 25 Bargains from Frederic Koeppel.


evodia, Old Vines Garancha, Spain, 2011, $9.99

This custom cuvee for Eric Solomon is 100% Garancha from high altitude vineyards planted 100 years ago in pure slate soils. Intensely ruby in color, the 2011 evodia opens with aromas of rose, blackberry and smoky minerals, and perhaps, a hint of white pepper.  Almost perfectly balanced, this wine presents a full, yet smooth taste with a strong finish.  The very fruit forward taste is characterized by blueberries and blackberries  This wine received 88 points from Wine Spectator and 90 from Stephen Tanzer of The International Wine Cellar. At $9.99, a Garancha of this quality could easily be on the shelf and sell for twice the price.


ARTAZURI, Garnacha Rose, Spain, 2011, $11.75

Made by one of the great small producers of the Navarra in Spain from vines at least 75 years in the ground, this medium body, crisp rose presents a pleasant, zesty acidity and a nice finish.  Strong strawberry and notes of raspberry, blackberry and rose petals on the nose with cranberry and currant on the palate.  Popular in Europe, the wine is often described as "young, fresh and pink, but meaty." So say we all!  Perfect for a potluck, ARTAZURI pairs with dishes from spicy onion rings to teriyaki spareribs to maple roasted squash soup.


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The Tillerman

The Tillerman, Hook and Ladder, Russian River, 2011

In 1970, San Francisco firefighter Cecil De Loach and his wife Christine bought 24 acres of old vine Zinfandel in the Russian River of Sonoma County, California.  The Tillerman, named after Cecil, is a single vineyard blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (43%), Cabernet Franc (25%), Merlot (10%) and Sangiovese (22%). Released May 2012, the winemaker is Jason DeLoach.

This blend is a beautiful and we mean beautiful ruby turn violet color. Cinnamon and Hook & Lader signature waft of dry herbs on the nose. Cherries and leather on the palate rolling into ripe cranberry. The Metro Wines Tasting Panel describes the taste of The Tilllerman as "spicy with notes of earthiness." The addition of a grape not usually matched with a particular varietal can make all the difference. And so it is here. Adding Sangiovese to a traditional Bordeaux style blend makes ALL the difference.  Sometimes, you can improve on success! 

This is a solidly built wine that presents good fruit with a strong finish.  The Tillerman can pair with rich meals but will not overpower a lighter meal. And this versatility is a characteristic we find in find in many Hook and Ladder Wines. That said, we come to our point. This wine can go it alone as well. Draw a nice bath, sit back, take The Tillerman to the tub!



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Bordeaux Superieur, $14.99

Bring me THIS Bordeaux!

Bordeaux in southwestern France is arguably the most famous wine region in France, in the world, anywhere, ever. The region takes its name, roughly translated as "next to the water" from the port city of Bordeaux. Bordeaux can be, usually is, outrageously expensive. But if you shop smarter, shop Metro Wines, you can find a quality Bordeaux for less than $15.  

Our Chateau De La Vieille Bordeaux Superieur is imported by Wine Traditions, Falls Church, Virginia. We tell you this because this importer visits the wineries, knows the winemakers and selects top quality wines for the price to bring home. Wine Traditions is highly regarded among wine importers. This parituclar Bordeaux is not widely available in this country. Google it and witness all the prices in Euors. 

At $14.99, Chateau De La Vieille Tour Bordeaux Superieur 2010 is an excellent choice. A blend of 40% Merlot and 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, this Bordeaux offers, according to the winemaker, aromas of cherry, blackcurrant, black pepper and licorice. Our tasting group noted that it is this higher percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon that sets this wine apart from its price competitors and gives it a full feel, rich taste and weight.

Because of the weight of this Bordeaux, the wine pairs best with grilled and roast meat, poultry and cheese.


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The Scene Features Metro Wines

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Mackensy Lunsford talked tonic water in The Scene yesterday. She noted that the New York Times has given high praise to Fentimans Tonic Water and that you could find it here in Asheville at Metro Wines. Mackensy also mentioned our Rose Lemonade, an elegant drink when alcohol is off the menu.

The Scene story here!

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Carmenere is a Lonely Grape


Apaltagna Envero Gran Reserva Carmenere 2011 from the Colchagua Valley, Chile

Seldom grown in France today, Carmenere is originally a Bordeaux. The grape has found a home, due to the warm, dry growing season, in Chile. Although Chile grows more cabernet grapes, the carmenere has become the country's signature grape. Apaltagna is known for high quality for the price, small production appelllation based wines.

This 2011 Gran Reserva Carmenere is no exception. For the price, this wine is unusually lush, offers firm and fine tannins with good volume and a long finish. The red fruit on the nose turns a concentrated and velvety black plum and blueberry on the palate. 

This bottle has won many, many awards around the wine world including the Gold Medal at Selections Mondiales de Vins Canada, Quebec and Concours Mondial de Bruxelles 2013. 


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Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc


What the winemaker says:

"A vibrant combination of fresh basil and spicy tomato leaves, tossed with tangy nashi pears and mandarin, sprinkled with a little lemon zest. A highly perfumed wine with blossom-like subtle aromas and a flintiness that alludes to an underlying core of minerality. A mouth watering, refreshing style with a deliciously crisp, yet luscious finish."

WOW. That's a tough act to follow! We would add that this wine is balanced with a capital "B." Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2011 is soft and light but presents real weight. This fruit intense wine with notes of grapefruit, passion fruit and peach offers vibrant acidity carrying through to a lengthy, chalky finish. Much like our Domaine de Valensac Chardonnay is proving to be the red wine drinkers white wine, Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc might just be the Sauvignon Blanc for those who have not found one to like. Robert Parker says drink until 2014.

What the other critics say about Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2011

92 points Wine Spectator

  *Top Wines of 2012* This intriguing white delivers a complex aromatic note that includes whiffs of petrol, oolong tea, mineral and lanolin, giving way to an equally complex flavor profile. Crunchy green apple, Meyer lemon and melon flavors are refreshing, balanced, and persistent on the finish. Drink now. 1,500 cases imported. –MW   (6/ 2012)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

  Pale, bright yellow. Highly aromatic nose combines grapefruit rind, underripe pineapple, white pepper, fresh herbs and stony minerality. Rich, pliant and fairly full, but with a juicy sappy quality to the orange blossom and spice flavors. In a rather forward style but bright framing acidity gives it definition and thrust. Finishes with excellent length. Greywacke is the new project of sauvignon blanc guru Kevin Judd, who put Cloudy Bay on the map during his 25 years as winemaker there.   (9/ 2012)

90 points Wine Enthusiast

  Former Cloudy Bay winemaker Kevin Judd’s new label displays a vibrant pungency to its leafy aromas, then opens up on the palate to add gooseberry and grapefruit notes. It’s refreshingly medium bodied, with a slightly creamy texture and a long finish filled with pink grapefruit.   (8/ 2012)


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Where do we start?  Not one but three of our customers who prefer and generally only drink red wine, went home with a bottle, sometimes two!! of Domaine de Valensac Chardonnay 2011.  Perfect for everyday or special occasion, this Chardonnay is from the Lafon estate, Vin de Pays d'Oc. In the family for more than a century, Domaine de Valensac is considered by many critics to be one of the superior chateaux in the Languedoc and has gained a reputation for producing good value, solid white wines.

This unoaked Chardonnay offers a pleasant, buttery taste blended with exotic ripe fruit with correspondent pleasing and encouraging aromas. This Chardonnay has been described as "crackling," "vivacious" and "competitive with more prominent Chardonnays." The bottom line is that Domaine de Valensac Chardonnay 2011 is just born of basic, good winemaking. And, this is, as we noted, a red wine drinkers white wine.

At $13.49, this Chardonnay has earned a place on our shelf.

Pairing possibilities include sautéed spinach with white beans and pine nuts, chicken marsala with pancetta and cream. This Chardonnay can work smoothly with difficult to find wine partner flavors from artichokes to ripe red peppers.

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Father's Day Auction!


Father's Day Gift Basket Silent Auction!

Give the unique. The Metro Wines gift Basket is perfect.

Basket Contains:

Bottle of Grochau Cellars 2009 Pinot Noir (not available in Asheville, from owners private collection)

4 rounds of golf at Reems Creek Golf Club ($100 value. Cart fee not included.)

2 bottles of Fentimans Tonic Water, Great Britain

Bottle of Olde Hickory Piedmont Pilsner

"Rough Guide to Digital Photography"

An original art gift card by Botanical Illustrator Jules Whelan

Starting Bid: $25

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G&T, Mario Batali and Fentimans



Before you enjoy that Metro Wines bottle of wine with dinner, consider serving TV Chef Mario Batali's G&T. Mario says his secret summer ingredient is celery. Our secret ingredient is Fentimans Tonic Water. Botanically brewed the traditionally way since 1905, Fentimans Tonic Water is imported from Great Britain.

Mario suggests that you finely chop 4 ribs of celery and take all the leaves of a whole head and put them in a saucepan with 2 cups each sugar and water, bring to a boil and simmer 30 minutes. Cool, strain and chill. Fill a highball glass with 3 ounces Bombay Sapphire, 2 ounces celery syrup and 4 ounces tonic water. Top with a lime wedge and a few celery seeds.

Mario probably has a little more time to devote to a G&T than the rest of us.  But if you have the time, this recipe is screaming come hither.  If not, we suggest a good Gin and our Fentimans Tonic Water.

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This Viognier (read below!) presents lemon and applesauce on the nose, is full bodied with flavors of pear, nectarines and mangos. Some have called it a "fruit store in a glass." The wine is off dry, well balanced and eminently drinkable.

Incognito Viognier from Michael-David Vineyards also has a storied past. Check out what we found:

This wine was awarded "Best Rhone in the World" as a Roussanne at the 2000 Los Angeles International Wine Competition. However, using DNA testing, U.C. Davis later determined that this unique grape is a rare clone of Viognier that mysteriously appeared in California during the past decade and is not, in fact, a Roussanne after all. The phantom clone originated somewhere in the Chateauneuf du Pape region of the Rhone Valley in France, then mistakenly sold to the grower - the talented Mr. Ripkin - as Roussanne, who, finally, sold the resulting grapes to Michael~David Vineyards. The rest is history! Incognito's grapes are grown in the Ripken Vineyard, east of the Carquinez Straits in the Sacramento River Delta region of California. Warm days and cool evenings - reminiscent of the clone's native Rhone Valley - produce the powerful and intense fruit with a sultry body that characterizes this wine, making it unlike any other Viognier.


food pairings include:

crispy curried chicken with honey mustard sauce

thai chicken salad with lemongrass

snow peas thai style

sundried tomato dip


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Tilia Chardonnay, a runaway hit!

Tilia Chardonnay was a runaway hit on Almost Free Friday. Under $10, this wine drinks like $15. You just can't beat it. Tilia Chardonnay has earned a spot on the "GO TO" shelf.

!00% Chardonnay aged 5 months in French Oak, golden yellow in color, this wine has a nose of floral notes and vanilla and tastes of pear, apple, grapefruit and spice and serves up a bright, lingering fresh finish.


See what the wine critics had to say:

Wine Advocate

The 2011 Tilia Chardonnay is harvested early at around 11% potential alcohol (pH 3.23) and is fermented in stainless steel and cement and undergoes a light aging for six to nine months. It has a clean, lightly honeyed bouquet with touches of lime blossom and quince. The palate is medium-bodied with a slightly viscous entry. There is good weight here and it offers a generous, pleasing, shaved ginger-tinged finish. Drink now-2015.

Score: 88. —Neal Martin, October 2012. 

Wine Enthusiast

Dusty and warm up front, this has baked apple and peachy aromas. It feels round with only mild acidity, while the flavors yield barrel resin, citrus and sweet melon. It's not too evolved on the finish.

Score: 85. —Michael Schachner, November 01, 2012. 

Wine Spectator

This forward, open-knit white shows Honeycrisp apple, pastry and light melon flavors, which glide through the finish. Drink now.

Score: 85. —Nathan Wesley, November 15, 2012.

All this and Tilia is socially and environmentally responsible and forward thinking.

Read about Tilia Wines.

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Bacon Makes Everything Better!

Home Source Design Center on Charlotte Street in Asheville asked us to pair wines with bacon chicken Pinwheels.

This recipe takes 10 minutes to prepare, 15 to cook and serves 4.


These pinwheels are made of chicken strips and bacon then grilled for an out of this world flavor.

  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 8 slices of thick pepper bacon
  • 2 T of olive oil
  • 2 t dried thyme
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • toothpicks soaked in water
  1. slice your chicken breast into 1 inch thick slices
  2. slightly cook your bacon. (not to a crisp just to a little color)
  3. divide your chicken strips into four equal amounts
  4. lay a strip of bacon on top of a chicken slice and roll up with the bacon on the inside. You will probably use 2-3 strips of chicken and 2 slices of bacon
  5. use your toothpicks to hold together
  6. drizzle the olive oil over the tops and bottom and sprinkle with thyme and garlic powder
  7. grill over med heat until chicken is completely cooked, usually 5 minutes on each side. (this depends on each grill so be sure your chicken is thoroughly cooked before serving.

Bacon and Chicken Pinwheels

Bacon is everyone’s favorite secret ingredient.  When contestants on the TV cooking show Top Chef need to pump up a dish, it’s always their go-to addition – and it usually wins the contest!  And when you combine bacon with grilling, you have a meal that simply can’t be beat. 

So, what wines can you pair with an unbeatable recipe?  Because you’re grilling bacon and herbed chicken, you’ll want something that can stand up to these distinctive flavors, but not so heavy that the wine overpowers the chicken.  Two reds that fill the bill are:


Marc Roman Malbec

Malbecs were made to go with meat dishes, and this one is no exception.  This is Malbec made in the French style, so don’t expect to get the big, inky wines of Argentina.  Instead, you’ll be serving a Malbec that is well balanced and smooth.  This wine is rich and fruity, and is packed with black spice notes and dark berry fruit.  The new owners of Ambrozia like it so much, they served it at their grand opening. 

 Marietta Old Vine Red

If you’re looking for a heavier rustic red, then look no further than Marietta Old Vine red.  The winery has been making this multi-vintage, primarily Zinfandel-based red for over 30 years.  Aromas of red fruit are supported by darker fruit on the palate with licorice, mineral, and spice. The terroir of the wine's Sonoma and Mendocino County origins lend themselves to an acidity that concisely drives the finish of this traditional field blend.

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Perucchi - the vermouth that will change your mind...

To be honest, I’ve never quite liked vermouths.  Just how did the Martini reach iconic fame when the original recipe required some amount of this beverage splashed into perfectly good gin?  So, we did our homework to get to the bottom of this mystery.  And the results?

With just a little bit of effort, we found that there are a few truly remarkable vermouths still made with time-honored recipes, in a way that a bartender would even consider adding some to a cocktail.  And one of the best is Perucchi: the first, and best, vermouth ever produced in Spain.  Perucchi has been made in Catalonia since 1886, but has only been available in the US for a couple of years.  You can thank the American wife of the vintner, who encouraged him to bring this liquid gold to our country.

This vermouth is so good that you’ll want to serve it alone.  But don’t forget to blend it in mixed drinks or to make a Manhattan that dreams are made of.  Or as one of our customers does, coat the pan before a roasting a chicken!  It’s smooth and rich, with notes of chamomile, ginger, cinnamon, mint, lemon peel and orange blossom. 

This vermouth is made with aromatic plants, herbs, and roots of both Mediterranean and Asian origin.  Every component of this complex blend is carefully selected and harvested at its peak of ripeness, then infused into a “Grand Cru” wine.  Most of the presses and casks used today are the original ones from the 1800’s allowing the vermouth to maintain its original bouquet and character. 

Consider trying both the red and white Perucchi.  The white is more spicy than herbal, with a hint of ginger and a somewhat honeyed finish.  The red is assertively earthy and woody, with notes of licorice and tobacco – excellent at the end of dinner with a wedge of cheese.

Still skeptical?  Drop by – we’re pouring it today, June 4th.




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10% off if you order by 3 pm Wednesday “one of the most stunning values to come out of Tuscany.”

Wine Advocate’s Antonio Galloni said this about La Maialina Gertrude Toscana Red Wine…

"La Maialina is my most exciting discovery in Tuscany so far this year. Consulting oenologist Attilio Pagli buys wines in bulk from one of Tuscany's most elite properties, then…bottles them in a separate facility. I was blown away by what I tasted. When you factor in the price, these are some of the most stunning values to come out of Tuscany, or anywhere for that matter." 

La Maialina is a simple yet powerful Tuscan wine.  It’s a baby super Tuscan comprised of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot.  The label displays a drawing of Gertrude, a pink pig, in honor of the last native boar that lives in the Siena area.

Our regular price is $14.99.  But if you order by 3 pm Wednesday, June 5, you will receive a 10% discount, $13.49 a bottle, on any quantity.  Your order will be ready for you to pick up after noon on Friday, June 7.  To reserve your order, email or call us at 828-575-9525, and provide us your name and phone number as well as the number of bottles you’d like.




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Bordeaux Superieur

Chateau Recougne Bordeaux Superieur 2009 is extraordinary. This is what old vines is all about. Producing wines for over 400 years, Robert Parker called Chateau Recougne the finest Bordeaux Superieur Estate. It is said that Henry IV is responsible for the name, so calling the winery "Chateau Recougne" in "recognition" of its fine wine. 77% merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon.

James Molesworth of the Wine Spectator, reviewing this wine, said "this is liberally toasty up front, with a mocha edge giving way to notes of espresso and spice, yet pure red currant, black cherry and plum fruit emerges from behind with a roasted cedar edge inland in the finish." 88 points.

All true. We would also add that the 2009 Chateau Recougne Bordeaux Superieur is a beautiful deep ruby color, has a lovely nose of black currant and blackberries, is both concentrated and balanced and is reminiscent of roasted coffee.  

Enjoy this bottle on your own table for $14.99.



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Santa Julia Tempranillo

Santa Julia is a winery worth supporting not just for the great wine
but for their environmental practices and the company's fair and beneficial worker policies.

One of the leading exporters of Argentine Wines, Santa Julia Wines are handcrafted from estate grown, hand picked fruit.
The winery follows sustainable practices, including recycling winery water, and half of the vineyards are certified organic.

Winery owners Familia Zuccardi believe in using people over machines.
Workers at Santa Julia are employed all year and 
provided subsidized health care and free education.
The winery also has a wildlife preserve on the property.

Tempranillo 2012 (Organica)
Intense red violet in color with ruby hues, the wine                                                                                                             
presents black ripe fruit aromas of blackberries and raisins.

The taste is well balanced with soft sweet tannins and a long finish.



All this for $9.49 a bottle. 

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Almost FREE Friday Wine Review

*** Almost FREE Friday ***

Honora Vera Monastrell 2012 (100% organic)

With dark fruit and nuances of spice and white pepper,
this young, medium bodied wine is well balanced.
Serving suggestions range from red meat to creamy cheeses to salad.
Stephen Tanzer of the International Wine Cellar calls this wine an "outstanding value."

Tanzer says it should retail for about $15.
>> Our price: $9.49 <<

Chateau Grande Cassagne

Made near the Village of St. Gilles on the western edge of the Rhone Valley,
this 2011 pink Chateau Grande Cassagne is only available in the USA.

Made from 45% Grenache, 45% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre,
this wine offers a wide range of flavors
highlighted by notes of strawberry, blue fruit, fresh herbs and black pepper. 
With just a touch of minerality tang, the wine has a fully dry finish.

Offered at other stores for $8.99.
>> Our Price: $6.00 <<


Supply Limited...Tasting ALL Day...Plenty of Parking

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Renaissance Wines

Should you serve wine from the days of the Renaissance?

No, these bottles of wine are not 400 years old.  But these Barbera and Arneis wines come to us from vineyards that have been growing grapes since the Renaissance.  It’s very possible that the great painter Caravaggio drank wines from these very vineyards during the 1600’s.  For this reason, we poured both last night to celebrate artist Nick Wade’s stunning reproduction of Bacchus, one of Caravaggio’s iconic paintings.

Paitin Barbera d’Alba Serra 2010

Don’t take our word for it – this is what the Los Angeles Times wine critic said:

“This is not your rustic Barbera but a wonderfully elegant example from the renowned Barbaresco producer Giovanni  Pasquero-Elia.  A gorgeous ruby red, the 2010 Paitin Barbera "Serra" is soft and silky in texture, intense and so fresh with flavors of cherries, blueberries, mint and spice. The Barbera shines with a platter of salami and with hearty pasta dishes. Pour it with vegetarian dishes, pizza and grilled meats too.”

Metro Wines offers this extraordinary Italian red at a very competitive price.

Cordero di Montezemolo Arneis 2012

The Wine Authority said this about this Arneis.  

“Vibrant, quince, floral honey – clean and dry.  Since 1340, this single estate has been owned by the same family for 18 generations. This Arneis really delivers the goods. Where most are insipid and over-priced, this one is a great deal for a wine of its complexity, distinction, and perfect balance. Classic white Italian style, both breathtakingly vibrant and complex. A truly lovely drink! Serving Suggestion: flounder in browned butter and almond slivers, and …piccata dishes.”


The winemaker says: “Medium straw yellow. Soft nose of lemon, yellow apple, river rock, and mineral. Good acidity and lemon and mineral dominated palate, with some white pepper and spice also in the mix. Good with shellfish and seafood in general. Splendid accompaniment for antipasti and first courses of spring, including omelets with wild herbs, savory pies, vegetable soups, stuffed squash blossoms, and freshwater seafood… Excellent as an aperitivo.”

The MetroWines Tasting Panel says: If you are not familiar with Italian White Wines, Cordero de Montezemolo Arneis from the Langhe Region is an excellent and most delightful bottle to start you down the path of the many possibly little known, probably unappreciated and certainly undervalued world of white Italian varietals. Aromatic on the nose, plush on the palate, smooth and stong on the finish. No bumps in the road. Good from the get go to the end.

And read what Gina said in her wine column in The Laurel of Asheville about this Arneis and two other great white varietals:


Flowers are starting to bloom. Spring has decidedly sprung. Time to bring out the white wines. But maybe you are not quite ready for the snap and tingle of a Sauvignon Blanc. You are still thinking a little heavier in body, a little more floral on the nose, a little more lush on the palate. Think Italian Whites. Think indigenous grapes such as Grillo, Verdicchio or Arneis. The rich aromas and discernible flavors in these Italian Whites come from the vineyard terroir and the varietal, not oak. We taste spring!

Although the origin of Grillo is not certain, the varietal was already widely planted throughout Sicily by the end of the 1800s. Traditionally used as the primary grape in Marsala, Italian winemakers have begun to make dry wines from this plush varietal.

Zagra Gillo is a fine example. The name itself evokes spring. Zagra in Sicilian dialect is “la Zagar,” white blossoms prevalent in Sicily and traditionally used in bridal bouquets. This dry white wine is a deep yellow in the glass, presents an intense bouquet of white flowers and wild rose and spreads velvety and creamy across the palate. 

Verdicchio calls the Marche Region of Italy, think calf muscle of the boot, its varietal home. Verdicchio is a low yield grape and to maintain n its characteristic integrity, the yield per acre is kept low.  “Macrina” by Garofoli, fifth generation winemakers, offers an award winning version of verdicchio. Pale straw in color with soft green highlights, Macrina is spring in your glass. In fact, verdicchio is derived from the Italian word, “verde” that is, green, referring to this characteristic greenish cast. On the nose, expect pear, lemon, lime, fresh melon and apple flavors. Well structured, you will find the aromas turn fresh, rich flavors with the varietally characteristic almond finish.  

And then there’s my favorite, Arneis. Eighteen generations have made grapes wine on this single estate since 1340! A strong, straw yellow in color, Langhe Arneis from winemaker Cordero di Montezemolo, delivers a seductive, floral nose of acacia blossoms and yellow flowers with peach and hazelnut rolling into a vibrant, velvety and dry palate of citrus and solid minerality and ever so slight a touch of white pepper. I know. I know! Some of you might be thinking how can this wine be both velvety and dry? I questioned that too. But tasting is believing! This Arneis can serve as an aperitif, stand up to herbs that demand attention or a good book all by itself.

Slide into Spring with Grillo, Verdicchio and Arneis.


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