Metro Wines Blogs

Metro Wines Asheville, NC

Nothing To Do With Wine

Open Letter to Sean Peyton, New Orleans Saints:


I'm older than you. Born at Baptist Hospital on Napoleon Avenue in New Orleans in 1954, I was there when the Saints were born. I was there when The Saints played in Tulane Stadium, when Tom Dempsey kicked a 63 yard field goal, when The Saints had 20 losing seasons in a row and when we wore bags on our heads. I was there on the 50 yard line with Governor Edwards when he took me and some of my Loyola Law School classmates to a game! He was probably thinking we might never be on the 50 yard line again! But I was.

In the beginning, my house was on Transcontinental Drive around the corner from Tom Benson and Danny Abramowicz. Remember him? Of course you don't, you were in grammar school in California or somewhere not New Orleans. My mother listened on the radio to every Saints game from the beginning and then watched on TV, waiting and waiting. She died the October before you and Drew brought the team to the Superbowl. She is buried at Garden of Memories next to the Saints training camp on Airline Highway, still on watch. I took up her mantle as the beleaguered but faithful fan.

And so we were so grateful to you for the Superbowl win, as the announcer said, "Hell has frozen over, The Saints won the Superbowl," that we stuck with you through the scandal. And it was ugly. You were accused of paying players, Saints! to hurt other players.
The Saints are inextricably woven into the fabric of the city. It's just a fact.
The Saints pulled the city together, across every demographic and all through time and, probably, always will. And even though a lot has happened to the city, to the team and in our own lives, we stayed Sean. We stayed. We kept to buying tickets, t-shirts, screaming and stomping our feet in the Dome on "3rrrrrrrrrrd Down" and we stayed loyal no matter where we lived around the country. And we took bets and we continued to believe.
But yesterday changed everything. It's past time for you to go.
It was time for you to go at least 3 years ago but we kept giving you more chances. Like when Teddy Bridgewater won 5 games in a row and you took him out and then we started losing. And that was my second time on the 50 yard line. We had a big weekend, spent thousands on those tickets, flew in from North Carolina, stayed at Le Pavillon, ate our way through the city. But you took Teddy out and we lost to Atlanta. What a team we could have had with all our great players now and a steady hand like Teddy's at the wheel.
And then even yesterday, it was clear, as it has been for several years, that while we love Drew and are eternally grateful for Drew, he is off his game. You had the 3rd string QB come in and muscle down a long pass and a touchdown and then you took him out!
Yeah, it's time for you to go. And Drew, you broke the Bobby Fisher rule of success: quit while you're ahead. No more chances to win a Superbowl at our expense. Hey, it's not that easy to wine a Superbowl. Remember, it took us over 40 years! Yeah, we owe you, no doubt. But isn't something owed to us? It's time to go. 
Otis | Greyhound pictures, Dog photograph, Baby dogs
Continue reading
  158 Hits
158 Hits

Gardening & Domain Vallot

Gardening: Before and After
Researchers say, it's a fact, gardening offers health benefits.

Now celebrate with a soil driven wine!
Vallot Cotes du Rhone 2019

Winemaker Anais Vallot and her father Francois

Côtes-du-Rhône – De Maison Selections
Anaïs leads off her production with an incredibly fresh, friendly (read: gulp-able!)
Côtes-du-Rhône red, which is a field blend of six grapes all picked and vinified
together from the plots surrounding the winery. The vines are an average age
of 40 years old, planted in activated calcareous limestone soil. The field blend
consists of grenache, syrah, mourvèdre, cinsault, clairette, and bourboulenc,
with fermentation  and aging in traditional cement vats.

Not Widely Available: $17.99

Continue reading
  96 Hits
96 Hits

A Wine Drinker's Guide to Football


News Release: Friday, January 15, 2021
About: Basics of Football
Blending wine and football? They said it couldn't be done! Football Aficionado and MetroWines Customer, Ken Nelson, put it all together in a fun and instructional video on the basics of football just in time for the Superbowl.
"Ken's take on the game is instructional, original and fun," says Gina Trippi, co-owner of Metro Wines. "Even if you already know all about football, you will appreciate this new look at the game."
The 10 minute video briefly traces the history of football, the structure of the National Football League, the player positions and what they do drawing similarities to chess strategies and the wine world. 

"After being house-bound for so many weeks, you are ready to watch something on TV other than your favorite streaming service.  Schitt’s Creek, The Crown, Yellowstone, The Queen’s Gambit, even Bridgerton are great but we’ve been there and done that," says Ken. "This is why football is such a welcome distraction. Nothing is scripted, anything is possible, and crazy things often happen. And as each game takes a little over three hours, there is plenty of time to enjoy some really good wines while we watch."  

Posted on Metro Wines YouTube Channel here: 
You can also access the video on our Wine Blog here:
And on our Facebook page here: 
Ken Nelson is President of Blue Delta Energy, LLC, and President of Asheville Sister Cities International. Interview with John Boyle of Asheville Citizen Times here:

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

Good Bordeaux under $15


*** Re-think Travel ***
Message in a Bottle
Bordeaux for Under $15

Cancel Travel? Rebook Travel? Travel Vicariously?

Stay tuned to our Newsletter, we are planning Zoom Trips now.
And Ciao Asheville has a Zoom Trip to Umbria in the works!

Meanwhile, think Bordeaux!
Explore the City of Wine Online:
With a Bottle of DeCranne Bordeaux Rouge

Bordeaux Rouge
A deep purplish red color with flashes of plum revealing an impressive depth.
Aromas of wild fruit including blackcurrant and blackberry with Mediterranean density. Working tannins. Their softness is offset by a slight tang keeping the palate engaged! The finish is seemingly endless with hints of laurel, black pepper and camphor.
After a few minutes, the tasting gains in warmth highlighting smoky Provence herbs.

Vivino says $18.96

*** MetroWines says $14.99 ***

Continue reading
  111 Hits
111 Hits

This is the wine you had in Italy

Paint Your Front Door
Quick, Easy, Inexpensive Facelift

This wine is the door to a new wine experience. Sure, like a dingy old brown door, because you don't know the name of the winery or the varietal, in this case, GRIGNOLINO, you walk by it. You are missing out.

Try it. Be the one who knows!

Grignolino d'Asti DOC

*** Washington Post Says ***
"Grignolino is the type of cheap wine you find in a roadside trattoria during your Italian vacation that makes you wonder, “Why can’t we get this at home?” Grignolino may not be considered a serious wine, but the folks at Da Capo take it seriously and bring us this delightful bottling that just might transport you back to that Italian sojourn, at least in memory. Bright red fruit flavors and a laser beam of stony minerality give this wine energy and clarity of flavor. Like a tuning fork on a perfect high C."

Vivino Says $21.99 
** MetroWines Says: $21 **

Need Another Reason to Step Outside Your Comfort Zone?
BBC says research establishes that embracing change betters your life!

Grignolino is a good place to start!

Continue reading
  169 Hits
169 Hits

Cocktails Anyone?


Cocktails Anyone?

Louis Icart (French, 1880 - 1950) - Favorite Scent | Greyhound art, Dog  art, Art

New York Times says a "Bamboo Shot" is the way forward!

  • 3 ½ ounces fino or manzanilla sherry
  • 3 ½ ounces dry or bianco vermouth
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 3 dashes orange bitters
  • 2 orange peels
  • 2 lemon peels
  •  Very small pinch of flaky sea salt (optional)
  •  Ice
  •  Big green olives, such as Castelvetrano, for serving
Shop Manzanilla Sherry, Dry or Bianco Vermouth, Angostura Bitters,
Orange Bitters and Sea Salt @MetroWines!

Essential Groceries!
Continue reading
  126 Hits
126 Hits

When in Rome: Cesanese

When in Rome...
An epic, exquisitely photographed road trip through the Italian countryside, exploring the ancient traditions, master artisans, and over 80 storied recipes
that built the iconic cuisine of Rome.

The Wine? You might think Tuscany. Close but no sigaro!
Rome is actually in the Lazio Wine Region of Italy. Wine Folly says:
Even though Rome has a history of winemaking since before the Romans,
Lazio (or Latium, as it’s also called), has more recently been considered
the doldrums of wine. During the last century, the major grapes, including Trebbiano and Malvasia, were overcropped to produce boring, sweet white wines. 

That is, until recently! The region has been abuzz with investments and passions
of individuals devoted to quality and indigenous grapes such as Cesanese.
The volcanic soils definitely play into increased complexity of Lazio’s wines.

Wine Reviewers like Tre Bicchieri are noticing!

 Lazio Wines are not easy to find in country.
But we did! We found a Cesanese Blend
and we are the ONLY shop in Asheville!

and almost anywhere!
Castello di Torre in Pietra 2018 

Castello di Torre in Pietra - Location per Eventi e Matrimoni - Wedding  Venue in Italy | Castello di Torre in Pietra - Location per Eventi e  Matrimoni - Wedding Venue in Italy
Intense ruby red colour. The nose is fine and persistent, fruity, ripe red and spicy.
You can also recognize plum jam, cherries in alcohol, herbs and blond tobacco.
Soft on the palate at first turning full on, quite fresh, with silky tannins
and persistent finish with fruity-spicy notes. 

** Be the ONLY one! $19.99 **

(Personal Note: I love this wine! And not just because 
it is Italian. For the record, I object to those who contend
I am partial to Italian Wines!)

Continue reading
  146 Hits
146 Hits

Turckheim Pinot Blanc

*** Radicchio: It's ALL the Rage ***
This chicory presents in striking hues, has a zing
and holds up in the refrigerator between store stops.

Radicchio is a singular touch but it can be a real diva! Let's give the devil diva its due. Nothing else springs up from a salad or the grill like Radicchio.
When including Radicchio in a dish, let is shine, and pair to IT.
Pinot Blanc smoothes out the pointed flavor spikes and brings forth
the intrinsic spiciness of Radicchio!

Ciao Asheville suggests grilled Radicchio
tossed with olive oil in pasta!

Turckheim 2018 Alsace Pinot Blanc

Pinot Blanc Alsace
 A wine whose color can be pale-yellow, yellow-green, and yellow-gold.
Made from 80% Pinot Blanc Auxerrois and 20% Pinot Blanc.
Highly aromatic nose with lemon sherbet, stone fruits and flinty minerals.
The palate is well balanced and rounded, delicate lemon, notes of pineapple, considerable minerality and hints of creamy citrus on the finish.
Overall, this wine is rounded with a generous palate weight. 

No oak. 13% ALC $16.99

Continue reading
  248 Hits
248 Hits

"Baby" Brunello

*** Baby Brunello ***

Lettie Teague writes that retailers, for different reasons, often use the word "baby" before wines known to be costly such as Brunello, Barolo, Bordeaux or Sancere.

We do too sometimes. John calls Poggio Apricale a "Baby Brunello." Why?
"In this case, Apricale is made by the same winemaker who makes the Brunello
for the winery, the vineyard is adjacent to the grapes used for the Brunello
and the vines are from the same clones."

Azienda Agricola Martoccia di Brunelli Luca
Poggio Apricale. 85% Sangiovese Grosso, 10% Merlot and 5% Colorino.
The wine has a bright ruby red color and aromas to match. This fresh and young red wine is delicous now but will develop more complexity with a few years in the cellar. Brimming with notes of cherry, raspberry and black fruit, incorporating notes of smoky sage, terra cotta earthiness and soft, leathery tannins.

$19.99! Oh Baby!

Continue reading
  129 Hits
129 Hits

Red Blend Made in Bourbon Barrels

*** Big RED of the Week ***
Some Things ever Change!


Southern Belle Red 2015 - Wine Gems

A unique Red Blend aged in Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrels.
A full bodied blend of Monastrell and Syrah from Jumilla, Spain, presents black berry
and blueberry on the nose and the addition of a hint of vanilla and Bourbon on palate.
Long, rich and complex finish. While not necessarily new, suddenly,
everybody's talking about Bourbon Barrel Blends. Customer Request!
Label by acclaimed avantgarde artist, James Jean

Already on Re-order. Available Tuesday!

Continue reading
  111 Hits
111 Hits

Blind Tasting League: January

No photo description available.

News Release: Wednesday, January 6th, 2021

About: Blind Tasting League Rolls ON via Facebook Live and Zoom
The Blind Tasting League with Andy Hale, Director of The Asheville School of Wine @MetroWines, continues on Wednesday, January 20th at 5:30 via Facebook LIVE and Zoom. Join in the process of deductive reasoning used by wine experts to determine what's in the glass. Andy will present two wines and work with you through the process because he doesn't know what's in the glass either!
Participants do not need to register, sign up or pay for the event. All you need is two glasses ready to go and to logon to our Facebook page at 5:30 or Zoom on January 20th. Go here: or link in on Zoom here:
"This is a great way to learn the deductive process of blind tasting with no pressure," says Gina Trippi, co-owner of MetroWines. "You don't need any previous experience and Andy has prepared videos and educational materials to get you started down the road of wine knowledge."Go here:
If you are interested in purchasing the wines to be tasted, you can purchase the two wines by calling (828) 575-9525 @MetroWines. The wines will be concealed in brown paper bags so no looking! And don't tell Andy!
Contact for Blind Tasting League: andy Hale, (828) 200-5073

Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi

Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
Continue reading
  223 Hits
223 Hits

Zanzibar and Almate, Spain

*** New Food ***

Zanzibar Pizza

As you can see from the sign, the literal melting pot Zanzibar Pizza
can include anything from cheese to Nutella, oh yeah, that Nutella.
Teaching Moment: Pair to the most difficult ingredient.

Zanzibar's Night Market – Zanzibar, Tanzania - Gastro Obscura
One of Many Recipes:

The Wine?

100% Organic and Biodynamic Tempranillo, 19.99
Almate Tempranillo Alfredo Maestro, unsulphured, deep, ripe Spanish red.
Almate Tempranillo from Alfredo Maestro is an organic, unsulphured, dark coloured, richly scented wine with a nose of ripe fruit, lavender and toffee with notes of rose. On the palate minerals, plum, cherry and berry compote. This Tempranillo sees only old oak barrels for 4 months, it is ripe, soft and delicious easy drinking. A superb value natural wine for any occasion. This is wine with no sulphur. More about Alfredo Maestro

Continue reading
  127 Hits
127 Hits

Jane Jetson, Pierre Cardin and Veema Rouge

** New Stuff to Talk About. Be Nice. **


jetsons.jpg (JPEG Image, 500x375 pixels) | The jetsons, 90s cartoons,  Cartoon

Driverless Cars
Robotics start-up Nuro starts driverless delivery operations as early as next year.
OK. Additional cars on road. Some kind of energy will be used to power these robots.
Besides saving money for corporations by putting people out of work,
what problem has the driverless car solved?

A box for space junk
Is the solution worse than the problem?
FAA Outlines New Rules for Drones
Do we need specialized Arit Traffic controllers? Job Fair!
And Pierre Cardin passed to the Big Runway this week.
Many said he dressed Jane Jetson because: "The clothing I prefer is the one
I create for a life that does not yet exist, the world of tomorrow."

As a fan of Jane Jetson and Pierre Cardin, and with their collective spirits in mind,  
I chose a wine that is for today but can fly into the future!
BTW, while Pierre has been thought of as French, and true he was raised in France,
Pierre was born Pietro Costante Cardin in San Biagio di Callalta, Italy near Venice.

Ciao Asheville has issued a statement mourning the loss of their countryman.
Genetics, baby! Nevertheless, we go French on the wine:

Veema - Best Valued European Wines
VEEMA Rouge 2016 - Languedoc, FR
Florentia Stoppini, Winemaker

Blend: 45% Grenache, 5% Syrah, 20% Mourvèdre
Aging: 6 months in new French oak barrels.
Tasting notes: Veema’s time-honored and harmonious combination of Syrah,
Grenache, and Mourvèdre offer an engaging wine that preserves the boldness
and complexity of that blend. Leather and smoked meat give a brawny edge
to a nose of pure, fragrant black fruit, brown spice, vanilla, and violets.

We poured Veema for the New Year's Eve Zoom Event
with the importer, Philippe Bourgeois, and the bottle was a BIG HIT. BIG.

Philippe says VEEMA can go 5 years "into the future" in bottle!

92 Points from The Tasting Panel Magazine.
** An amazing Value at $14.99 **
(Still celebrating NYE! Regular shelf price is $16.99)
Bringing VEEMA to $12.75 per bottle by the case!

Continue reading
  136 Hits
136 Hits

New Winter Whites

2021 New Stuff

** Including ALL New Wines **

Let's Start Here

Les Terrasses Ventoux Blanc 2018, 14.99

Domaine Les Terrasses d'Eole

(Called L'Aguieloun in France and named after a cold wind from the northeast)
Made with a blend of Clairette and Ugni Blanc, this wine is crisp and has aromas
of white fruit and flowers, and finishes with bright acidity and a light lavender note. 

Bow & Arrow Sauvignon Blanc 2018
La Chenaie Vineyard, $19.99

Bow & Arrow La Chenaie Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Natural 2018

Proof that Sauvignon Blanc made the right way can be terroir driven.
We make the two wines exactly the same way but the Eola-Amity Hills
highlights wholly different attributes in Sauvignon Blanc.
More sophisticated than the southern versionand incorporates a savory aspect.   Texturally is carries more weight and depth without being ponderous.  
Reminiscent of stone fruit, guava, mint and a whiff of Rum Agricole.

Continue reading
  123 Hits
123 Hits

Sparkling from $8.99


** Sparkling at Your Price **


╰☆╮HAPPY NEW YEAR!!♡♥❤️☆ LET IT BE SPARKLY ❤️ *•.¸¸.•**•☆ . | Happy new  year 2019, Happy new year, Happy new year 2018

Belvive  Sparkling NV, Cantine Povero, Italy $8.99
This wine is less about thinking and more about drinking! Bright and fun flavors
lead you to either drink it like any great sparkling wine or, if so inclined, blend it with your favorite 
OJ or Peach Juice for a cocktail that everyone will be appreciate.

** Note: Belvive was a MetroWines Focus Group Pick! in 2020 **
Let's stop here for a Teaching Moment. What's NV? Non-vintage (NV) wine
is made by blending multiple years together. NV wines are known
for their consistent, house style and are usually a good value. 

Avinyo Cava Reserva 2017, Spain $17.99
90 Points, Wine&Spirits Magazine
($19.99 at Who cares. It's out of stock anyway. As usual.)
Pinpoint bubbles mingle with fruits, fresh-baked bread and a crisp,
mineral-driven finish. Traditional Catalan sparkling made méthode traditionnelle.
100% free run juice, aged 18 to 22 months before being disgorged.

Baga Bruto 2017, Portugal $24
100% Baga, a varietal planted in Bairrada.
15 year old vines planted in clay, calcareous soil. Stainless steel.
Second fermentation 12 to 18 months before bottling.

Castelnau Reserve Champagne, $40
40% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Noir, 40% Pinot Meunier
Wine Spectator: 90 Points: "Fresh and lightly toasty, this creamy Champagne
offers open-knit flavors of black currant, toasted brioche and lemon parfait.
An accent of smoky mineral chimes in on the subtle finish."

Christian Etienne Brut, NV Cuvee Meurville, $54
Christian Etienne has been handcrafting different Champagne cuvees
on his 9 hectacre plot in the Aube with chalk and limestone soils are ideal for producing top notch Champagne. This offering, is as blend of mostly Pinot Noir, with the classic Champagne nose, terrific body weight, elegant mousse, and long finish. Served as an aperitif or pair with a variety of foods.

We also have Large Format Bottles, some in wood boxes!
For Other Selections and Prices Ranges
Call (828) 575-9525.

Continue reading
  182 Hits
182 Hits

2020 Wine of the Year @MetroWines

*** MetroWines  ***

"2020 Wine of the Year"
2018 Franck Balthazar Cotes du Rhone, $23

2018 Franck Balthazar, Cotes du Rhone

The Balthazar domaine dates back to 1931, when it was founded
by Franck’s grandfather Casimir. René took charge in 1950 and began domaine bottling on a small scale in the 1970s. All the while he continued to sell most
of his wine in cask—as Casimir and so many others of his generation had done—to the local cafés.  Franck now bottles all of his tiny production,
made by methods little changed from those of his grandfather:
he plows with a horse, and bottles his wines without fining or filtration.
2018 Cotes du Rhone is a 50/50 blend of Grenache and Syrah; it is luxurious, elegant and expressive, with an unmistakable sense of place.

The Winemaker, Franck Balthazar

One of the top growers following tradition is Franck Balthazar,
who left his engineering career in 2002 to answer the siren song
of the steep granite slopes of Cornas and pursue the classic farming
and winemaking methods of his father René. 12 years later,
Balthazar is making some of the most expressive,
and rigorously traditional, wines in Cornas.

More about Balthazar:

Continue reading
  164 Hits
164 Hits

MetroWines Staff Picks 2020

*** Staff Picks for 2020 ***


A boy leaning on a rock, holding a wine glass in his hand, a greyhound to  the left by Jacob Esselens on artnet


** John's Pick **
Maestro 2016, South Africa $24

32% Roussanne, 23% Chardonnay, 23% Chenin Blanc, 15% Grenache Blanc,
and 7% Viognier. The nose shows notes of concentrated orange
and yellow stone fruits, with a hint of spice, citrus and blossoms.
The palate is full-bodied, textured and nuanced with a lingering finish.

"Not new to the shop but a consistently high quality and versatile wine.
The unique blend presents just enough crispness and texture resulting
in a familiar yet different and enticing palate."

** Gina's Pick **
VentiSei 2017, Italy $16.99

91 Points from James Suckling
Fresh raspberry notes, delicate underbrush hints and sweet spice aromas
will charm you. Serious wine drinkers will think Cru Beaujolais got their passport stamped in Italy while touring Montepulciano. Juiciness and mineral finish
will call for another glass straight away.

"Aside from the fact that this is just a great, easy drinking and pleasing wine,
it reminds me of the strawberry farm in Hammond Louisiana, owned by my father's immigrant family, where they occasionally made strawberry wine. This is no doubt
a much more complex and elegant version, but it still brings back memories
and sends me to my comfort zone. Wine can do that!"

** Zach's Pick **
Biortolone Frappato 2018, Sicily $16.99
Bortolone's 100% Frappato is from vines grown on sandy red soils at an altitude
of 260 meters. The wine is fermented and aged in stainless steel in order to preserve its prisitine fruit qualities. This Frappato is a pale, light ruby color with intense aromas of cherries, blueberries and raspberries with a subtle earthiness. The palate is light and fresh with moderate tannins and wonderful concentration of berry fruit flavors. Zach says: "Bortolone Frappato is an amazing value from a small family
that has been in Sicily since the 1800s. This organic Frappato over delivers.
Light to medium bodied, balanced fruit and acidity. Very versatile with food."

** Andy's Pick **
Chateau Musar Jeune 2018, Lebanon $19.99

Blend: Cinsault 50%, Syrah 30%, Cabernet Sauvignon 20%
The 2018 Chateau Musar Jeune Red is a deep plum color with a violet rim.
Aromas of blueberries, dark red cherries with Mediterranean herbs,
tobacco and spice. A warm and fruity wine with medium tannins
and gentle acidity. Dense darkfruits –including blackcurrants, blueberries
as well as strawberries and pomegranate with a touch of Eastern spice. 
Andy says: "Musar is one of my favorite wineries in the world
and certainly the Middle East. Stylistically, it is halfway between
Bordeaux and Cotes du Rhone with a generous dab of Napa Cab tossed in.
It's easy drinking enough on its own but also pairs well with food. 
The fact that it's under $20 makes it a treat that I can enjoy on a regular basis."

** Lou's Pick **
Shebang 13th Cuvee, California $14.99

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Blend: 55% Zinfandel blended with Carignane, Petite Sirah, Mourvedre,
Alicante Bouchet, Grenache, Syrah, Barbera and a touch of whites
for aromatics much of which comes from old vines.

Lou says: The Whole Shebang! The most popular Red Blend at both our locations. And who doesn't love a good blend? This rich and full bodied beauty goes well with steak, grilled meats or just by itself. I'm Lou Collichio and I approve of this message!"

** Kristen's Pick **
Christian Etienne Brut Rose NV, France $46

From a small family grower. Their rosé is 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay
from vines averaging 25 years old, and it bursts from the glass in bright,
fresh berry fruit and a resplendent color.

Kristen is our Wedding Coordinator and she is all about joy.
She says "This bottle is pink and bubbly like me, joyful and so, so good." 

*** Brett's Pick ***
2016 Clos Guirouilh Jurancon, $22
Clos Guirouilh Estate has been in the same family since the 16th century.
Jean Guirouilh is currently operates the estate. The climate is characterized by cooler temperatures, and the soil varies from clay-calcareous to grès.
The Jurancon Sec is made up of 85% Gros Manseng and 15% Courbu.
The vines are over 40 years old and are located at an average of 350 meters elevation on steep slopes. The nose of Jurancon Sec comes across as floral and sweet, but with a palate that is dry, flinty and bright. 

Brett says: This bottle is from a woman winemaker, the daughter
of the patriarch of the Jurancon region, Jean 
Guirouilh. Jurancon is just southwest
of Bordeaux. A Bordeaux Blanc with more of a cold climate mountainous core laced with an elegance throughout. Best bottle for classical old world French white.


Celebrate the End of 2020 with a case of staff picks!

Continue reading
  203 Hits
203 Hits

Tables That Taste Good and Look Good

Continue reading
  101 Hits
101 Hits

Last Minute Holiday Wine Shopping

Escaping Criticism Framed Print by Pere Borrell Del Caso | Classic paintings,  Art, Trompe l'oeil

"Escaping Criticism" by Pere Burrell del Caso, 1874
And this is your goal in gifting a bottle of wine!

Professional Recommendations from MetroWines:


Recently, Wine Spectator asked a number of sommeliers what bottle they would pick
to give as a gift at the holidays. As individual knowledge levels, palates and preferences,
and availability vary wildly, this is a tough choice. So, I asked John  and he said:

"I would choose a California Cabernet Sauvignon. This is the best selling category in the shop, while this may not be your first choice, it is rare to find someone who totally opposes
California Cabernet and you have many prices ranges from which to select a great bottle."

Under $10:  Black's Station Cabernet 2018, $9.99
Under $20:  Gundlach Bündchen 2018 , $17.99
Under $30. The Barrel 2017, $28
Under $40: Kith & Kin 2018, $39

 $50-$60: Ascent 2012, $54  .................

John says: "Ascent was intended to be twice the price." 

A well regraded and well known restaurant had ordered many cases of Ascent before COVID. Sadly, COVID closed the restaurant down and the distributor cut the price in half.
So, once again, we have a restaurant bottle that would have been over $100 on the menu.

Over $60, call John at (828-200-6504

Continue reading
  146 Hits
146 Hits

Vallana Wines

Reprinted from 50 Plus Living, December Issue

By Gina Trippi


Campi Raudii, Vallana | Astor Wines & Spirits

So here we are at the end of 2020. Finally. Most people seem to agree that this was a tough year. It’s time for it to go! Let’s usher out the old by bringing in the new.  Two wines from Vallana are a good place to start a new year and a new journey.


Antonio Vallana, the last of 11 children, had an immediate passion for the vineyard. His older brothers left home to find fortune abroad leaving, happily for us, Antonio to carry on his father’s work, family tradition and to expand the business.


In the early years, Antonio bottled grapes from each vineyard separately recognizing that each wine would have a different aging potential. Each hand blown bottle had a card tied to the neck with a string noting the vintage and the vineyard. Some of these bottles remain in the Vallana cellars!


With winemakers increasingly abandoning farming to work in the new factories, the demand for local wines grew and so did the Vallana’s business. In 1937 Antonio Vallana and his young son turned their small family business into a company, ”Antonio Vallana e Figlio”  (Vallana and Son.)  


And that brings us to today. While the Vallana winemaking method is old, the grapes are probably new to you. The best of all possible worlds!


First up is Erbaluce. This is a rarely encountered varietal, documented as far back as 1606, from Piedmont, Italy. Erbaluce is used to make dry, sweet and sparkling wines. Vallana Erbaluce is organic, dry, crisp and zesty.  A clear, pale lemon yellow in the glass, you will find characteristic aromas of apple and melon. The medium body contributes to a smooth palate expressing the aromas of apple and melon and adding just a taste of starfruit. Pair this wine with lighter dishes. 


Next is a red from Vallana. Spanna is the most traditional Nebbiolo based wine in Northern Piedmont.  Nebbiolo, like Pinot Noir, is a very soil specific grape meaning it reflects the soil from the vineyard where it was grown. Spanna is one version, one location, of Nebbiolo that is usually lighter and more earthy. And rather than the bottle being 100% Nebbiolo, producers in Spanna are allowed to blend in s small percentage of other varietals including Bonarda, Croatina and Vespolina.


All grapes are monitored during each ripening stage to ensure the best quality and to set the best harvest date, usually in the first half of October. Vallana Spanna is then vinified in cement tanks to obtain a wine suitable for aging. The wine is released after two years of maturation. Ruby red in color, the wine presents deep aromas of spices and red fruit. Spanna is gentle and persistent on the palate with flavors of dried fruit and red and black fruits.


Robert Parker described Vallana wines as “intense traditionally made wines that ooze with character.” We think you will agree.  And we think Vallana wines will make good partners for moving forward into 2021!

Continue reading
  138 Hits
138 Hits