Metro Wines Blogs

Metro Wines Asheville, NC

Wall to Wall Carpet and Wine

Wall to Wall Carpet is Back

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Chardonnay is back too!
I know some of you probably hold Chardonnay
in the same regard as wall to wall carpet but winemakers are making
great strides in bringing up the true taste of the varietal
without bulking up the grape with oak and malolactic acid.

I asked Brett Watson to pick one that makes the case and he said...

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Poco a Poco 2018 Mendocino County Chardonnay
"The incredibly fresh and lively, fully biodynamically farmed side project of Russian River Valley legend Porter Bass comes Poco a Poco.  Thoroughly French burgundy in style due to the cooler and more coastal sites in Mendocino, this gorgeous little lady see's 7 months of old neutral oak to give it some backbone.  Luscious freshness of lemon, orange zest and honeydew melon drive the show with jussssst enough minerallity to carry the whole package home! 
The new California Chard.....made the old way!" 

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Dinner with Paul Giamatti

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Dinner with Paul Giamatti?

This auction item is advertised as dinner with the "Billions" star.
But we know who this guy IS! 
He's the guy that made Merlot a dirty word!

If you win the dinner, order Merlot!!
Bidding was up to $3500 the last time I looked.
If you would rather sit this one out but still want to make the point...

Watch "Sideways" with a bottle of Merlot
Tellus Vinea Bordeaux 2018, $17.99
Imported by Rosenthal Wine Merchants

Mostly Merlot, this Biodynamic Bordeaux is earthy, medium bodied,
dry, cherry in balance with earthy flavors.

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The Bunker's Dozen

*** Bunker's Dozen ***

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Financial Publications are busy suggesting stocks you can "take to the bunker."
Consider shares of survival stuff like Campbell Soup, companies who make
crackers, canned beans, batteries, dog biscuits and baby wipes.

But let's get real. What you REALLY need is wine!

I asked Brett Watson to put together
"The MetroWines Bunker's Dozen"

and he said.....

1.   Ventriccie Rosé ( Corsica 2018) $12.99
2.   Quinta de Chucapalha Arinto, (Portugal, 2018) $14.99
3.   Giocato Pinot Grigio (Slovenia 2018) $12.99
4.   Visintini Bianco (Italy 2018) $13.99
5.   Capitelles Chardonnay (France 2016) $8.99
6.   Chemins De Bassac Isa Blanc (France 2081) $13.99
7.   Luzon Blanco (Spain 2018) $8.99
8.   Estemas Bobal (Spain 2017) $13.99
9.   Fuso Barbera (Italy 2016) $14.99
10. Cantine Pourrro Barbera D'Asti (Italy 2017) $9.99 
11.  Bodan Roan Pinot Noir (California 2018) $13.99
12.  El Libre Cabernet (Argentina 2018) $8.99
13.  Casabianca Chianti (Italy 2018) $10.99

First things first as they say!
But here is some other stuff you might need in the Bunker.

Now, you got your stuff BUT
what are you going to do in that Bunker?
 Add a hard cheese and a soft chees to your shopping list.
In the dull days of the Bunker,
test Lettie Teague's theory that red wines
may not be the go-to choice for most cheeses!

And in Other Bunker Related news:
Virus concerns and precautions have resulted in congested crowds in front
of The Mona Lisa at Louvre.
Better idea: Add a bottle of Casa Emma to your Bunker Bag List
and enjoy it over this article about Mona Lisa in Laurel of Asheville:

Price Gouging on Amazon

Shop the Bunker LocalLY! 

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South African Wine Tasting

News Release: Monday, March 9th, 2020

About: Wine Tasting with Cape Classics Imports from South Africa
Join us on Thursday, April 9th from 5 to 6:30 for a tasting of South African Wines imported by Cape Classics, the Wine Enthusiast 2018 Importer of the Year. This "on the house" event will be hosted by Regional Sales Manager Zingo Munger.
"If you shop @MetroWines, you know Cape Classics Wines including RAATS, DMZ, Glenelly and Indaba," says Gina Trippi, co-owner of MetroWines. "And Zingo Munger brings stories from the families and winemakers that produce these great wines for the price."
About Cape Classics:
Behind every farm, winemaker, bottle and grape lies an untold story. Collectively, we discover these tales and share them with our customers. Demanding authenticity, Cape Classics operates the “old-fashioned” way, with relationships and social responsibility at the forefront of our business. The wineries we represent embrace sustainable eco and social practices, doing their part to help preserve lands for future generations while improving the human condition now. Our wines are expressive, crafted with passion and perspective, and delivered with the same hallmark levels of service and professionalism since 1992.
Event pricing on all wines poured.
Free, close and easy parking @MetroWines.
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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Great Rosé Tasting: April 4th

News Release: Monday, March 9th, 2020

About: Great Rosé Tasting
Monthly Great Rosé Tasting @MetroWines commences on Saturday, April 4th from 10am to 7pm with bottles from around the world. The event is "on the house" and staff will be pouring and discussing the wines. 
"We start this year with a comparison of Rosé with a year of age and current vintages," says Gina Trippi, co-owner of MetroWines. "Much like any varietal, some bottles of Rosé are built to last and offer a more subtle, refined and sophisticated nose and palate than the just released vintages full of bright fruit."
Rosé is arriving on a daily basis. MetroWines already has new vintages of Rosé from Italy, Corsica, France and Greece. 
Find the country, grape and style you like! There is a Rosé for everybody all year.
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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Rome Open City Discussion


Ciao Asheville Presents

"Rome Open City"

Sunday, March 29th, 1pm @MetroWines


Notes from Robert Formento

Ciao Asheville Film Coordinator

This next movie, Rome Open City, was directed by Roberto Rossellini and is considered a film classic. Filming started in January 1945, only a few months after the Allies forced the Nazis to evacuate Rome. There was destruction in the city from Allied bombs, Cinecittà was turned into a homeless camp for thousands of Italian refugees and therefore not available to film makers. Money for production was hard to come by. Even film stock was difficult to find. As a result, filmmakers were forced to become creative. But, Italian filmmakers were ready to leave behind the happy, Hollywood type movies that Mussolini favored during his regime. “Necessity is the mother of invention” and thus began the Italian Neorealism era. Directors would show the reality of Italy without Cinecittà, with very little money and mostly with unprofessional actors. As a result, neorealism films would have almost a documentary feel to them.  In fact,  Rome Open City shows wartime Italy though the eyes of those who actually lived through it, starting with Rossellini (Director), the screen writers, and all of the actors. (including German POWs as the occupiers)


Rome, Open City is considered the first of this new style of film making. The story takes place in Rome during the 9 month occupation by the Nazis. (The occupation took place after Mussolini was deposed and the new government sided with the Allies.) Hitler was furious with Italy and vowed to make life miserable for Italy, especially the resistance leaders. They would go to any length to smash those in the resistance or anyone providing them assistance. And this is a story based on true events of the resistance. 

Although Italian neorealism films used mostly non professional actors, this film has two professional actors who provide standout performances; Aldo Fabrice who plays the priest Don Pietro and Anna Magnani, who plays the fiancee of one of the resistance leaders both lived through the occupation and this is the film where Anna Magnani became a star. She would go on to work with Visconti, Jean Renoir, Pasolini, Fellini, Tennessee Williams, etc. 


This is Rossellini’s tribute to Italy’s resistance fighters and it is a masterpiece. Given that the film was shot a few short months after the occupation, while the rest of Italy was still occupied, it is highly realistic. There are some scenes with violence, but those scenes are hardly gratuitous. 

Film time - 105 minutes


Event is "on the house"

$7 for a glass of Red or White Italian Wine

Save your seat by calling (828) 575-9525


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Corzano e Paterno Interview


5:05pm when I arrived and Winemaker William Goldschmidt of Corzano e Paterno already had the crowd whipped but good into a wine frenzy. He looked just like his picture. "Easy on the eyes," just like his importer, Jay Murrie of Piedmont Imports said. Correction! Strike that! Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury: it was not what Jay said but what Jay said women said!  Anyway, William has a head full of black hair. Olive complexion. Very Italian looking. But that name, William Goldschmidt? What's up with that?
I had promised "Ciao Asheville," the cultural forum in town, that I would get to the bottom of what seems to be a glaring inconsistency! All I got was that William's mother is British. Well that explains the William. Long line of British Kings sporting that one. But the Goldschmidt? Still working on it. Get back to you as the story develops. 
Amidst all the bottle signing, shopping and talk, talk, talk, I found myself running interference between William and a group of women of a certain age who threatened to lock him in their respective basements! I may or may not have been one of them. At times, I could see the silliness of this idea but then.... In any case, once I advised everyone that William was a new and very proud father, everyone settled down.  I do, however, believe that if William returns, which he PROMISED to do, he may face the threat of kidnapping with a renewed vigor.
We did find out that Corzano e Paterno has 700 sheep on the property as well as acres of olive trees. So, putting this in its rightful "what else is there?" perspective, Corzano e Paterno makes cheese, olive oil and wine. Better to hold up in his basement! Oh yeah, and if you go, you can stay on the property. You know what they say about possession.

From Website: GUEST HOUSES

Fattoria Corzano e Paterno stretches out over two hills covered with vineyards, olive trees and woodland. It is set in the very heart of Chianti near the main road from Florence to Siena. The historic Villa Paterno, acquired from the Machiavelli family, together with the farm houses on the property, have been restored with great care to their original form.

The AGRITURISMO is comprised of four country large houses for holiday rental, positioned in pristine locations amid cypresses, olive groves and vineyards, views that have escaped the passage of time, and are reached by unpaved country roads. Their restoration has maintained, with the exception of modern kitchens and baths, the original structures of beamed ceilings, open sit-in fireplaces and large, airy rooms. Situated in this classic Tuscan landscape, near fields of our grazing sheep, the houses overlook the verdant valley that lies between the two distinctive hills of the farm.

The restoration of the buildings was undertaken by the architect Wendelin Gelpke himself, who tried to change as little as possible in the layout of the structures and to integrate modern facilities unobtrusively.

Florence 32 km – Siena 56 km – San Gimignano 37 km – Pisa 104 km – Lucca 101 km

Additional information concerning each house or flat can be found by using the links of the specific house/flat page in question.

General Facilities: Fireplaces, DVD, BBQ, washing machine, iron board, hairdryer, dishwasher, free parking, pools, equipped garden, microwave, toaster, wine and cheese tasting, fans, farm shop, reception, wi-fi area outdoor,mosquito screens, cot, highchair, toaster. Pets welcome

Services included in the price: Bed, bath and kitchen linens, water, gas for the kitchen, electricity, weekly change, final cleaning, welcome basket, wine and cheese tasting at our farm

Extra costs: from 1 March Local Tourist Tax, 1,50/pax/night up to max. 7 night
Children under 14 do not pay
Extra costs to be paid according to use: heating upon consumption

Upon request and not included in the price: domestic help, cook, cooking classes, baby sitter, taxi service, welcome dinner, horse riding, watercolour lessons, massages. Bookings can be secured by credit card. A deposit is required for larger groups.

And the women so don't need to know that one of the guest houses is called 
"The Gina!" And, apparently, "The Gina" comes with a dog!! Review: Cheese, olive oil, wine and a dog. Pretty well sums it up for me.
Anyway, back to the tasting... Once the crowd dispersed, we went on a tour of our Italian collection of wines @MetroWines. William was impressed. And he knew, I mean really knew, everybody. He knew Arturo Cordero de Montezemolo. He knew the gang at GD Vajra. He knew Paitin! William says they all kind of live close to each other.
Corzano e Paterno wines serve up exceptional quality for the price. I particularly like the 100% Sangiovese Rosé. We still have one bottle of this most magic elixir until the ship comes in, and I mean that literally, the ship carting bottles from Italy. Probably about 2 to 3 weeks for white, reds and this rosé to hit town. 

More about the Winery from the Website: The vineyards of the Fattoria Corzano e Paterno lie on the steep and stony slopes surrounding the fortified farmhouse “Corzano” in San Casciano Val di Pesa. Roughly seventeen km south of Florence, the property runs along the ancient Via Cassia and the River “Pesa” which separates our land from the “Classico” region of Chianti.

Corzano sits like a natural stone outcrop, a serrated edge along the hilltop horizon. The building was constructed centuries ago from fieldstones as a watchtower overlooking the valley leading from Florence to Siena. It grows up out of medieval foundations, possibly even Etruscan, as nearby tombs testifies to their presence in the area. In 1969 the property changed hands for the first time in seven hundred years. 

Six hectares of the farm’s one hundred and fourty were planted with vines in the very best positions around Corzano. At the altitude of three hundred meters they form a natural amphitheatre facing south-southwest in soil gravely in structure and rich in clay and lime. The farm’s herd of milk sheep supplied the natural manure; traditional local wine making techniques were modified and enhanced by the skills learned by the young winemakers in the Swiss wine school at Wädenswil, near Zurich. 

Our first wines were bottled in 1972. Today we have seventeen hectares of vineyard and produce more than 80.000 bottles. Grapes varieties run from the usual Chianti selection of Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Malvasia, Trebbiano, to the foreign varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay. In a normal year the farm will produce one white wine, four reds and a sweet wine. 

The vineyards and cellars are the domain of Aljoscha Goldschmidt and Arianna Gelpke, both enologist, the nephew and daughter of the founder Wendel Gelpke.

You should try Corzano e Paterno! You won't be disappointed. But get your mind off the basement thing. You have a very long line ahead of you!

Follow  William in Italian! on Facebook here:
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Mona Lisa and Wine

Reprinted from The Laurel of Asheville:

The Grapevine: Mona Lisa’s Wine

The Grapevine: Mona Lisa’s Wine 300w, By Gina Trippi

March is Women’s History Month. That made us ask what wine one of the most famous women, the Mona Lisa, might have preferred. It is hard to know for certain but we have scoured historical resources!

The Louvre, where the Mona Lisa hangs, says the portrait is likely that of Lisa Gherardini (1479-1572), the wife of a Florentine cloth merchant, Francesco del Giocondo, from which the alternative name of the painting, The Gioconda, is derived.

The ancestry of the Gherardinis, an ancient family of landowners, can be traced back to the 10th century in Tuscany. While Gherardini owned land in Tuscany, the family was neither aristocracy nor nobility. With constant economic and political uncertainty along with frequent wars, land ownership was not a guarantee of wealth.

By 1479, the Gherardini family, struggling financially, sold their land and moved to Florence. Lisa was born June 15, 1479, in a modest house at the corner of Via Squazza and Via Maggio. When she turned 16, she was married to Francesco del Giocondo.

Records show that the portrait was begun by Leonardo da Vinci in Florence around 1503. Research indicates that the situation was not that Leonardo asked Lisa to sit for his painting but that Lisa’s husband commissioned the portrait, perhaps, some suggest, to commemorate the upcoming birth of their second child.

Although Francesco was a very prominent silk merchant, securing Leonardo, an established painter who was already working for the likes of The Medici, to paint the portrait of his wife was still considered quite the achievement. There is no evidence that Francesco ever took delivery of the painting, as Mona Lisa stayed with Leonardo until his death.

Back in Tuscany, the history of making wine in what we now know as Chianti dates back to the 13th century. The grapes were growing, but it was not until 1716 that Cosimo III de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, issued an edict declaring the boundaries of Chianti.

While there is no evidence that Lisa Gherardini ever lived on a wine making estate, there is documentation that her family lived in Chianti for generations back and that Lisa spent time at a villa-turned-winery. Chianti, the region and the wine, are part of her heritage.

Chianti, despite its glorious roots, suffers from a decades-old image in this country as a low-quality wine in a bottle enclosed by a straw basket, appropriately called a “fiasco,” that is used for candles when the bottle is empty. But Chianti is actually a traditional red wine made from Sangiovese grapes generally tasting of dried cherries and oregano, a little aged Balsamic, a touch of espresso and sweet tobacco. Chianti Classico means the vines come from the oldest and most genuine areas of Chianti in Tuscany.

So after a tough day of dealing with the kids and sitting for portraits, our best guess is that Lisa Gherardini kicked back with a glass of Chianti. But which Chianti? While Casa Emma, a small, woman-owned winery outside Florence, was not in business in 1495, its Chianti Classico is the type that would have probably been available to Lisa. Made in a century-old Tuscan stone house with traditional methods from grapes grown organically, the wine has no modern-day additives and is, in that sense, historic itself.

Bring Women’s History month forward by sharing a glass of Chianti and a toast to Lisa Gherardini, Mona Lisa!

Gina Trippi is the co-owner of Metro Wines, 169 Charlotte Street in Asheville. Committed to the community, Metro Wines offers big shop selection with small shop service. Gina can be reached at or 828.575.9525.

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NASA and Medoc

In Memoriam
Katherine Johnson.  August 26th, 1918 - February 24, 2020

Portrait of Katherine Johnson
Katherine Johnson, a NASA Mathematician who calculated
precise trajectory for early space missions, was one of a small cadre
of black women who worked the "computers" featured in the 2016 film,
"Hidden Figures."

Celebrate the life of Katherine Johnson with a classic bottle,
a wine that is timeless and suitable to honor this woman and her accomplishments.
Only Bordeaux with a little bit of age and a lot of integrity in the bottle will due!

Chateau Ruat Petit Poujeaux Moulis Medoc 2010, $25
John Kerr of The Asheville School of Wine says:
"This is an excellent price for a Bordeaux with 10 years of age."

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Teaching Moment: There is a widespread belief that all wines get better
with age but the truth is that fe actually improve. Generally speaking according
to Marnie Old, a Philadelphia Sommelier known for straight talk,
Reds including Cabernet Sauvignon, Nebbiolo (that which will be Barolo!)
and Shiraz have long term potential. Far fewer shite varietals can stand age but Riesling and Chenin Blanc can go years in bottle! Ask staff @MetroWines.

And carrying on the standard of excellence set by Katherine Johnson,
the first woman is set to become a Green Beret!

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Rembrandt and Wine

The "Rembrandt" is REALLY Rembrandt

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The Rembrandt is for real. As labeled! But what about wine?
Most countries allow wineries to label bottles as single varietal when the content
is not 100% of that grape. For example, Australia says a wine cannot be called Cabernet unless it is 100%, whereas in California 75% Cabernet content will do.
The law:

If you are searching for a 100% varietal. Check the label or ask staff.
Some of you may be asking if <than 100% means the wine is a "Fake."
No. To label a bottle as Pinot Noir when it is loaded with sugar and Syrah does not mean it is "fake" but it also does not mean it is varietally correct, honest Pinot Noir.
Another reason to shop localLY and ask staff!
But "fakes" are showing up everywhere, in the news and in every product.
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton ruled out working with Amazon
citing the "fakes" sold on its marketplace.

And NYT reports that Elmyr de Hory, one of the most notorious 20th century
art forgers in is now believed to have forged over 1,000 works by major artists!

But this Wine is Real! Vinaccio100% Grillo, $13.99

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The idea of Vinaccio is to source old varietals from Italy but to treat them
with innovative techniques and natural winemaking methods, without following
any convention or tradition. Using Vino da Tavola appellation for the wines
which frees a winemaker from having to follow any rules regarding typical winemaking or aging for those areas.  Made from 100% Grillo, the calcareous limestone soil
gives the wine verve and mineral undertones with typical fruit blossom aromatics. 

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Andre Mack Book and OPP

"Love Drunk" and OPP Winemaker Tells ALL!

    In this entertaining, informative, and thoroughly unconventional wine guide, award-winning sommelier, winemaker, and wine educator André Mack presents readers with the 99 bottles that have most impacted his life. Instead of just pairing wines with foods, Mack pairs practical information with personal stories, offering up recommendations alongside reflections on being one of the only African-Americans to ever work at the top level of the American wine industry. The 99 bottles range from highly accessible commercial wines to the most rarefied Bordeaux on the wine list at The French Laundry, and each bottle offers readers something to learn about wine. This window into Mack’s life combines a maverick’s perspective on the wine industry with an insider’s advice on navigating wine lists, purchasing wine, and drinking more diverse and interesting selections at home. 99 Bottles is a one-of-a-kind exploration of wine culture today from a true trailblazer.

Congratulations Andre! We LOVE you.

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Other People’s Pinot is classic Oregon Pinot from Willamette Valley.
It is accessible, a great value and stays true to the character of the vineyards
from which it was born. Earthy, spicy, floral, herb-framed flavors of cherry
with gingery wood spice tones. $24

Personal Note Alert: When I logged onto Andre's Facebook page to say congratulations, I found his friends including Lettie Teague.
Long time supporters of Andre and his wine, we are in good company!

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Trip to Italy

*** Trip to Italy ***

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Ciao Asheville is Partnering with The Sister Cities
in Saluda and Hendersonville
to present the first program in our Travel Series

"Italy Off The Beaten Path"

Sunday, March 8th from 1 to 2:30
$15 for Presentation, Glass of Italian Wine and Light Appetizers

In other Italian News:
2018 "Due Amici"
90% Montepulciano and 10% Sangiovese

Marchetti 'Due Amici - Two Friends' Uve di Montepulciano Rosso Conero, Marche, Italy
Click to image to check availability and price online. $13.99 @MetroWines.

Maurizio Marchetti is a charming character leading a charmed life.
He lives near the Adriatic coast of Italia in a region that sees nearly 3,000 hours
(200 days) of sun each year! Also, his wife is a cardiologist (so she brings home
the pancetta, as we like to say), leaving Maurizio free to pursue his two art forms: painting and making wine.  Since he needn’t rely on wine to earn an income,
Maurizio can afford to be as picky with his grapes as he wants.  He is so selective
that he sometimes produces as little as a half bottle of wine per plant!    

 Maurizio’s great-great-grandfather was an exotic spice trader,
sailing to the Far East over 250 years ago. He was quite successful,
allowing the family to buy the land that is now the Marchetti estate.
On their property, they have a castellino (‘little castle’) whose interior walls
have murals of Chinese sailors loading ships with the highly prized spices.

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Pier 1 and Wine

Also In Memoriam
Pier 1 Files for Bankruptcy due to online competition from Amazon and Wayfair.

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This is heartbreaking. Pier 1 was a coming of age store. First time on your own store.
Affordable furniture store. Introduction to the rest of the world store!
Many of us of a certain age bought a lot of "firsts" at Pier1, pots, lamps, rugs, tiki bowls, 
and learned about foods from other countries, shades of chocolate and wine!
And you continued to shop there because they always had the right bowl, cloth napkins or pillows!

Soft Wine to Sit, Think and Sink into Memories
Glenelly Cabernet 2016 $14.99
A Bordeaux Blend from South Africa

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Rich with concentrated cherry, cranberry, bell pepper, 
paprika, graphite and freshly cut grass and herbs.

Explore the world affordably just like we did at Pier 1 !!

You Can't beat Our Price: $14.99 @MetroWines

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Second Kitchens and Wine

A Second Kitchen?

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When friends stop by to drop of afternoon Thai food or just to bring you the newspaper
that was in their yard, look no further than California DRY Riesling from Santa Barbara County
legend Tatomer.  The "Steinhugel" from the lauded Santa Maria valley, is sourced
from certified biodynamic grapes and with an extremely minimalist hand,
churns into a lasting, pingy, green apple, fresh as the morning dew and BONE DRY Riesling
that you need to have at least a half case of on your pantry shelves! resizeimage  41

Hart to Find.
2017 Tatomer Steinhugel Riesling $19.99

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Casting Call: Italians!

Twister Film, an Italian production company, is looking for Italian American families in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago and Detroit, who still have a love for Italy in their hearts for an upcoming TV program. The program will be broadcast in Italy on Rete 4 and worldwide on Mediaset Italia. The casting is open to families of Italian origin, both first generation and later, provided that at least one of the family members speaks Italian. All family members will be called to show that, while living far from Italy, it is possible to preserve the rich heritage of Italian traditions: from culture and music, to cooking and art. The families involved will have to show that in their home and in their neighborhood, there is still proof of Italian spirit and style, and at the end of the episode demonstrate that they are the symbol of Italianità in their city. If you're interested, email Sebina at:

Amb. Peter F. Secchia Building
1860 19th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009

© 2020 National Italian American Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

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Friendship and Wine

From The MetroWines Book Review Department

The phenomenon of friendship is universal and elemental.
Friends, after all, are the family we choose.
But what makes these bonds not just pleasant but essential,
and how do they affect our bodies and our minds?

In Friendship, science journalist Lydia Denworth takes us in search
of friendship’s biological, psychological, and evolutionary foundations.
She finds friendship to be as old as early life on the African savannas
when tribes of people grew large enough for individuals to seek fulfillment
of their social needs outside their immediate families.
Denworth draws a link from primate relationships to
 scientists at the frontiers of brain and genetics research and discovers
that friendship is reflected in our brain waves, our genomes,
and our cardiovascularand immune systems; its opposite, loneliness, can kill.
At long last, social connectionis recognized as critical to wellness and longevity.

I asked Brett Watson to select a bond building bottle!
"Nothing will induce and keep conversation going more than a unique bottle 
of skin-fermented (orange) wine from legendary winemaker Elisabetta Foradori.  
More known for her Northern Italian "Dolomite Mountain" reds,
she brings us her Ampeleia label from the brambly seaside hills of Maremm,
a in Southern Tuscany.  A blend of mostly different strains of Trebbiano mixed
with a dose of Malvasia and rare Ansonica.  The bio-dynamic bottling ferments 
on skins for 7 days, then ages in concrete tank. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.  
Also, just tastes really realllllly good."

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Tomboys and Wine

Bring Back the Tomboy

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Nancy McKeon as Jo Polniaczek on "Facts of Life" in 1982.
Everybody loved Jo. With her mane of brown hair and disdain for convention,
the Tomboy who spoke her mind and had no need for high society,
was adored by little girls across America.

Jo inspired generations of early feminists to be forthright and assertive
rejecting traditional, passive femininity.
If encouraging the return of the Tomboy is of interest to you,
this book is a full examination of what was, what is and what could be.

In any case, your Read it With or BE it With Wine
FYI: Tomboy Knows NO Age!

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Anna Gallisà is the Oenologist

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 Fresh red fruit, minerality, structure and black fruit characteristics.

The wine is produced from all the grape varieties grown: 
Garnatxa, Cabernet Sauvignon, Samsó, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

And I have no idea what this says but if you can read Spanish,
please enjoy this interview with Anna!

All This for $19.99 @MetroWines

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Olive Oil and Wine Tasting


News Release: Wednesday, February, 26, 2020

About: Olive Oil and Wine Tasting Presented by Ciao Asheville
Join Ciao Asheville on Thursday, March 26th from 5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines, for an "Olive Oil and Wine Tasting" with Jessica Gaydos of "Olive This" on Biltmore in Asheville. Jessica brings a world of knowledge about all things olive oil!
Sample six olive oils including one from Sicily! and a white and red Balsamic Vinegar. Jessica Gaydos will tell us about the historical olive oil thread from Greece, through Italy to Spain, explain how olives are grown, farmed and made into oil, the health benefits and many uses, as well as the best pairings for the various flavors in each oil.
Brett Watson of The Asheville School of Wine @MetroWines will present wines that highlight the olive oils and pour to taste. "We will be tasting wines, Chianti and Trebbiano, from Fattoria La Vialla, a family run, organic biodynamic far and wine estate," says Brett. "LaVialla also produces olive oil so their wines are natural partners." 
$15 (tax included) for the event.  Call (828) 575-9525 or online here:
Olive Oils and Wines poured will be available for purchase.
Parking is free, close and easy @MetroWines.

Jessica Gaydos started working in a bakery over 25 years ago, loved it, and hasn’t stopped working with food and wine since! She currently heads operations at Olive This!, a downtown Asheville boutique specializing in high quality extra virgin olive oils and vinegars and is on the board of Slow Food Asheville. Her high school jobs in restaurant kitchens led to a BS in Hotel Restaurant and Tourism Management from New Mexico State University, with a focus on restaurant operations. After many years of dining room and kitchen management, she transitioned to a long term stint with a French olive oil & specialty food company, time as a personal chef, and as an adjunct culinary instructor for Denver Public Library’s nationally recognized cultural programming, Fresh City Life. She is a graduate of the Ballymaloe Cookery School’s Culinary Certificate Program, where she polished her cooking skills in the midst of a 100 acre organic farm in County Cork, Ireland. An avid gardener, Jessica has long been a proponent of local, seasonal, and sustainable cooking.

About "Olive This"
At Olive This, you can sample more than 50 varieties of the finest, freshest imported extra virgin olive oils, all natural, aged balsamic vinegars and specialty oils. Olives are grown and pressed by artisans and small farms throughout the world and are 100% extra virgin, unfiltered and settled. All oils and vinegars are imported to "Olive This" stores in Asheville and Charlotte and bottled locally on site. The website also offers recipes for great olive oils and balsamic vinegars. 
UP_logo_lrgUltra Premium is a new grade in the industry that distinguishes the highest quality olive oil in the world from what dominates the so called “gourmet” and “premium” olive oil markets. The UP standard is reserved for the finest EVOOs in the world. As such, the grade of UP exceeds all existing European, Italian, Spanish, Greek, North American or any other standard known as extra virgin olive oil.  In order to qualify for Ultra Premium grade, the EVOO must meet or exceed a comprehensive set of production, storagetransportation, testing, chemistry, and organoleptic requirements. "Olive This" is proud of this new certification.  
More about "Olive This" here:
Contact for Ciao Asheville: Gail Rampersaud
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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Italian Women Artists


March 6, 2020 at 6:00 PM


The Rediscovery of Historical Women Artists in Florence

Violante Siries Cerroti Self Portrait cropped

Violante Beatrice Cerroti, Autoritratto (Self-Portrait), 1735, detail, oil on canvas
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy

Florence is home to great masters of Italian Renaissance art such as Botticelli, Donatello, Leonardo and Michelangelo but few people know that the city nourished women artists as well. Through the joint efforts of Italian museums such as the Uffizi and the US organization Advancing Women Artists, these often-forgotten women are now being rediscovered and their works restored and exhibited once more.

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, join us and conservator Elizabeth Wicksfor a talk focusing on Plautilla NelliArtemisa GentileschiViolante Siries Cerroti and Violante Ferroni, and the fascinating journey of their rediscovery and conservation.

This program is organized in collaboration with

AWA logo

Embassy of Italy 
3000 Whitehaven Street NW 
Washington, DC 20008

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Pituko in Peru

Skylodge Adventures in Peru
At Skylodge Adventure Suites in Peru, guests arrive either by hiking more
than 1300 feet upor by zipping in like a superhero on a series of zoo lines.
The rooms are transparent capsules haring on the side of a mountain
with panoramic views of Sacred Valley.

Image result for skylodge adventure suites peru
OK. I am saying right now that I do not have the guts for this kind of adventure.
If it was me, I would be taking vodka and a big glass. Scrap it. I'm drinking from the bottle!

BUT, for those of you who are courageous thrill seekers,
I have asked Andy Hale, Director of The Asheville School of Wine,
to pick a "thrill seekers" bottle
to put in your backpackbound for your mountain side room
or for the still adventurous yet level comforts of your table! 

2019 Pituko Viognier from Echeverria in Chile

Andy says: "I love it"

"The wine is unfiltered, unfined with no extra sulfites added.
It is a salty, flowery seaspray."

 $15.99 @MetroWines!

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174 Hits