** YOUR MID-LIFE CRISIS **
Some say Covid launched a groundswell of early mid-life crises. Whatever.
Your Contemplate Where You Went Wrong and Where You are Going Wine:
And THE BIG RED OF THE WEEK
Although not at the mid-life point yet, I asked Brett Watson to pick a bottle to steer the process.
And he said: "Ascent! 100% cabernet from a vineyard site just next to the fabled Pride Mountain Vineyards
that straddle the Napa and Sonoma County line. Ascent is a side project of well respected winemaker
Andrew Geoffrey. Well aged, integrated classical Cabernet for a quarter of the usual Napa cost. "
The generous fruit will allow this wine to age gracefully for years.
This limited-production masterpiece sits prettily in the glass with opulent aromas
of blackberry, red plum, and red cherry, accented by generous wisps of cola and chocolate.
The palate is anchored by dense flavors of cassis, licorice, and black olives,
and the tannins are still impeccably structured.
Compare, if you can find it, at $54.
OK. I realize Ascent is a little higher in price
but do I have to remind you:
THIS IS YOUR MID-LIFE CRISIS.
(I already had mine.)
EMPAHSIS ON MID-LIFE!
*** WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? ***
Or you could go the red sports car route and pair it
with this race car lover's dream house in LA for $62 million.
Your Call: $62M for $54?
Metro Wines Blogs
** YOUR MID-LIFE CRISIS **
*** BEANS ***
Wine & Spirits Magazine Talks Beans!
"Beans, beans, a glorious staple. They last forever!
Don't skimp on the herbs and spices
and you will find you have a hearty comforting meal for your table.
"Earth, rusticity is the name of the wine game here"
with particular focus on muscular Uruguayan wines.
W&S suggests Garzon Tennat with Black Beans.
The 2018 scored 92 Points from W&S and Wine Enthusiast gave 90 Points.
One of the best sellers @MetroWines.
And The Big RED of The Week
German Bruzzone ferments this Tennat in cement then ages it
in a mix of French Oak barrels and casks, creating a clean, austerely red.
Expect turmeric and green peppercorn scents with solid dark fruit.
Structured and balanced, wine will go in bottle several years but is ready to drink now.
$19.99 at wine.com
(It really is beginning to tick me off the way wine.com is horn swoggling customers.
And they get awards for it! I feel a fight coming on....)
Beating Online Everywhere! $15.99 @MetroWines
Still Life Painting "Three Wines": by Laurin McCracken
Mr. McCracken was born in Mississippi and lives in Ft. Worth Texas.
I am certain that you can find a local artist to paint your bottle!
Anyway, this whole genre got me to thinking, what wine would I like to have on canvas?
Well, it would need to be one that I also like in the glass,
like the story and want to share it with others.
Nikolaus and Carolin Bantlin originally came from Germany
but fell in love with the south of France, rock climbing and biking on holidays.
They discovered a large sheep pasture in Fitou, France,
with a small number of vines around that inspired them to start making wines.
The vineyards at Les Enfants Sauvages are hidden by the surrounding garigue
with no neighbors in sight. The only threat is the overgrowth of vegetation and the wild pigs!
Why "Les Enfants Sauvages?" Simply put, as a tribute to Jim Morrison and The Doors.
The duo behind the wines drew inspiration from The Doors’ song “Wild Child”—
about finding salvation in the wild state of nature. They took the French translation for their name.
A blend of 40% Cinsualt,40%Syrah and 20% Mourvedre
The result is a lovely, finesse-driven red that’s atypically light for the region.
Delicate, fresh cherry and strawberry flavors complemented by subtle mineral and earth notes.
Crisp acidity and a dry finish. Drink alone or with food. You can also put a chill on it.
There's a lot of WILD in this bottle!
And that whole Doors Thing!
Just in case you don't remember the Doors or the song,
Here is Jim Morrison and The Doors on (get this) The Smothers Brothers in 1968:
Whoa. Totally worth a painting!
$24 at GnarlyVines BUT $22 @MetroWines!
Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Get Healthy. Stay Healthy!
According to legend, when the plague came to the city of Yogyakarta
on the Indonesian island of Java, the sultan ordered his citizens
to cook sayur lodeh and stay home for 49 days. The plague ended.
And so began a practice that continues to this day.
Spicewalla @MetroWines! 3 Pack Set, $12.49
And Your Pair the Sayur Lodeh With Wine:
You will need the acid to cut through the coconut milk.
And a palate that will blend with the many flavors in the recipe
$19.99 at wine.com (Shameful)
*** $16.99 @MetroWines ***
*** Zoom Tasting ***
with Shop Favorite Laurence Vuelta!
from Trinchero Family Estates
*** 5 to 6pm on Thursday, June 4th ***
As we always say @MetroWines:
"If you have not been to a wine tasting with Laurence Vuelta,
you have NOT been to a wine tasting!"
With the success of our last Zoom Tasting, we are going again.
While you cannot meet Laurence in person as you would at an in store tasting,
the advantage is that you can hear the entire presentation in sequence from start to finish.
And, while crowds are fun, this way you can ask questions and actually hear the answer!
Information and Registration: https://
If you want to taste along with Laurence,
you can purchase wines before the event.
Call (828) 575-9525
*** It's ALL Greek to Me ***
Daily Olive Oil May Contribute to Heart Health
says The Journal of the American College of Cardiology
Reported by The American Heart Association here:
Shop 100% Olive Oil @MetroWines
Many Big Box Brands contain a substantial amount of lesser oils
of no value to your health but offering some solid padding where you least need it.
You need 100% olive oil.
Sparta Kefalas, Greece, Organic
750 ml (like a wine bottle) $14.99
In the small village of Kefalas, near the city of Sparta in Laconia,
a group of organic farmers lovingly produces this extra virgin olive oil.
The fertile land of Laconia and the natural methods of production
give the olive oil the flavor and aroma which allows you to discover
the beneficial and nutritious value of the Mediterranean Diet.
or Go Bigger!
3 Litre Can, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, $43
Another source of health and vitality is Mastic,
cultivated in Chiros:
From The MetroWines Book FYI Department
Along the French Riviera in the early 1900s, an illustrious family in thrall
to classical antiquity builds a fabulous villa—a replica of a Greek palace, complete
with marble columns and frescoes depicting mythological gods.
The narrator of this brilliant novel calls the imposing house an act of delirium,
“proof that one could travel back in time, just like resetting a clock, and resist the outside world.”
This is a Greek epic for the modern era.
And Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon conclude their culinary journey in Greece!
Your Greek Wine to Pair with All This Great Greek Stuff
Pale golden color. Medium intensity aromas of yellow and citrus fruits,
which are combined with a little more intense aromas of chamomile, jasmine and spices.
Full and rich flavor presenting the tasting characteristics of apricot and flowers.
Very pleasant, balanced acidity and fine finish. An ideal companion to soup of chickpeas
with lemon sauce or salad of boiled chickpeas with herbs.
$18.99 at wine.com (how do they stay in business?)
Does Amazon bring good jobs?
John Boyle’s well written column on Amazon focused on their jobs but missed the key drawback for our community. Yes, Amazon brings jobs with reasonable pay. But the real damage is that all of Amazon’s profits and most of their tax dollars are siphoned out of our local community, state and country. Amazon pays no federal taxes. And in many communities, they get breaks on income and property taxes while local businesses pay full freight. Local businesses spend or reinvest their profits here bringing far more jobs to our community than Amazon ever will.
In the long run, this means higher taxes for you to make up what Amazon doesn’t pay and fewer businesses in town to maintain the charm and vibrancy you moved here to enjoy. You get to decide what Asheville looks like. There are plenty of local businesses that provide many services that Amazon offers at a better price and/or offer equal or better pay. Please support them or Asheville will cease to be the place you love.
News Release: Friday, May 22st, 2020
Try Tendu by Matthiasson
2018 "Tendu" is 47% Aglianco, 42% Montepulciano, and 11% Barbera from the Windmill Vineyard in the Dunnigan Hills AVA made in Bistro style. Fermented in stainless steel, aged in neutral barrels, and then bottled with no additives or sulfur. On the nose, find violets, dried and fresh raspberry and purple plum. The palate presents the right balance of acidity, structure, and concentration with a dark, rocky finish.
Steve Matthiasson is known as the winemaker to the winemakers.
As a vineyard consultant Steve Matthiasson teaches and makes decisions,
including when to water and how to prune, on vineyards throughout Napa
and Sonoma. Steve’s current clients include Araujo Estate, Spottswoode,
Chappellet, Robert Sinskey Vineyards, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars,
Long Meadow Ranch, Trefethen, Limerick Lane, and others.
On his own vineyards, Steve cares for the vines with his own hands,
driving the tractor at night, and working with the crews on Sundays.
$19.99 for a Class Act!
Not Ready for Pink. Let's Do Orange.
From Haloze Belo 2016
Eric Asimov talked Orange Wines on Wednesday in NYT.
"They have been hailed as innovative expressions,
and damned as flawed, oxidized, repetitive and dull.
Both the praise and criticism have been well earned. Some orange wines are in fact insipid. People tire of them quickly when the novelty disappears. But why would it be surprising to find bad examples of any type of wine."
Bottom Line: You need a good one!
This wine from Slovenia is made from Sauvignon Blanc.
The additional skin contact adds fruit, complexity and texture.
Expect flavors of Passion Fruit, gooseberry and Grapefrui
The winery recommends serving baked fish and a grapefruit pesto.
Vivino is still looking for it online!
*** This is a good one! ***
Books, Scotland and Wine
While spending time in isolation, we have talked about reading books
and writing a book but what about a book store?
From the MetroWines Stuff You Never Knew Existed Department:
Be a BookShop Owner for a Week or Two...
If you have ever romanticized about owning a bookshop, you can test drive
the dream in Scotland. In the coastal Scotland community of Wigtown,
sojourners can pay to operate a book store called The Open Book
for a week or two and live upstairs in the apartment. The rental is typically booked years in advance proving that running a bookstore is a popular fantasy,
at least for bibliophiles. Need a jolt back into reality?
"Confessions of a Bookseller" by Shaun Bythell and David R. Godine
But what about a Read it With Wine?
Does Scotland make wine? You decide.
Meanwhile, we have chosen a wine that is a close to the peat-y Scotland
as we could find. Earthy, brambly, rustic and some say downright dirty.
** HOMS Clots de Pals 2016 Minervois, $17.99 **
An blend of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah from one of the Languedoc's
great growing regions: Minervois. It really gushes with blackberry
and blueberry fruit on the nose and palate with just a hint of warm stone
and garrigue notes. You might also find a touch of burnt sugar and cola. The wine finishes with a flush of brightness to the fruit from the acidity and a little tar and cedar on the palate periphery. There's plenty of ripe tannin to support the bold fruit
and help the flavors sustain nicely on the generous, fruit-filled, finish.
$17.99 is Abundantly Online Competitive!
(And don't forget, when we can socialize again,
you can play wine shop owner
at The Asheville Wine Focus Group @MetroWines.)
|Still NO Sunday Brunch Out.
The Path Forward Remains Unclear.
While We Wait, Take a Trip Back to a Simpler Time.
NYT says: "The Vermont Country Store catalog is an inventory of my
Staring in 1946, you will find names like Jubilee Wax,
This is a friendly wine with a friendly label with warm kitchen aromas and flavors.
Wine Enthusiast, 90 Points
And whether Sunday Brunch is in a box or table service,
Beckstoffer Vineyards, operated by Andy Beckstoffer, is the largest
private owner in California. It is widely accepted that Beckstoffer
has the best vineyards and the big boys pay big bucks for the grapes.
Andy Beckstoffer is a farmer. His son, Tuck, is a winemaker
and markets his winesunder the label "75" so named in honor of 1975 –
when Tuck came to the Napa Valley as a child.
Aromas of yuzu blossom, lemon zest and thyme fill the glass.
Flavors of Asian pear, lemon, apples and wildflower honey coat the palate
receding into a long and lively finish. Blend: 70%Lake County, 30%Napa Valley
** Big RED of The Week **
This wine showcases fruit from Lake and Mendocino Counties.
Rich and balanced Cabernet Sauvignon expressing aromas of red currents, strawberry jam and black berries as well as a touch of fresh hay.
These aromatics are balanced with a note of toffee/biscotti from a year of aging
in medium and toast French oak (30% new). A hint of freshly tilled soil
adds further complexity. It is smooth on entry as the tannins are well integrated
into this, full-bodied wine. Finish is long and lingering.
Now, if you read this article on Tuck Beckstoffer, hang in there for the comment. Either the commenter thinks he is funny or the wineshop is loose with special orders.
The MetroWines Real Estate Report
Palm Beach Estate owned by John Lennon and Yoko Ono
14,00 sq.ft, 2 pools, tennis court, on the market for $47.5M.
Elon Musk has two homies for sale!
Both surround BelAir Country Club, one at $24M, the other $29.5M.
You might get a deal on one of these properties
but you will certainly get a deal on this wine @MetroWines!
Back to the point made above, good Burgundy for a good price
is hard, if not impossible, to find. But we did....
Imported by Thomas Meunier of AuthntiqueVin,
2016 Beaune 1er Cru Les Aigrots from Domaine Sebastian Magnien
John Kerr of The Asheville School of Wine says: "$50 is generally
a bottom line price for true burgundy. So this bottle was a good deal at $45. But, due to the Covid effect, distributors have been forced to sell down
making this Premier Cru from Beaune affordable to us and you.
Premium quality red burgundy at about half the price.
Pick up 2 bottles. One to drink now. Take notes! One to drink in 5 years.
Burgundy is one of the best varietals for aging. This is an affordable opportunity to put it to the test.
$25 @MetroWines (and probably ONLY @MetroWines!)
Ponder placing this Rembrandt on the wall of the house you didn't buy
while enjoying the wine you did buy. Virtual living!
*** Mencia Madness ***
First, Mencia is pronounced as if spelled Menthia.
Mencia and other Varietal Pronunciations here:
Lettie Teague Features Mencia in WSJ here:
Andy Meyers, beverage Director for Think Food Group
headed up by Chef Jose Andres was quoted:
He has also become particularly enamored of wines made from Mencía, the red grape of northwest Spain. He likened the grape to Pinot Noir for its lightness, “lithe nature” and low alcohol. All of those qualities make the grape “incredibly food-friendly,” he explained. Yet unlike most Pinot Noirs, Mencía wines are typically quite reasonably priced. “It’s hard to find an expensive one. It’s like Burgundy you can afford to drink,” he said. “No one can afford to drink Burgundy anymore.”
And speaking of Chef Jose Address. How about a virtual cooking class?
Bid UP here: https://www.charitybuzz.
Back to Mencia. Yeah, We got that. Three, to be exact.
But let's start here:
El Castro de Valtuille is a red wine from Bierzo, considered the best terroir
for Mencia and made wine by Castro Ventosa Winery one of the top vineyards
in Bierzo. Grapes from old vines. Manually harvested. Made the traditional way, aged 14 months in oak and bottled unfiltered.
This 100% Mencia is dark ruby in glass. Expect baking spices,
eucalyptus and pine notes, black cherry, and black raspberry on the nose.
The palate is smooth with no rough edges.
Think of Mencia as a cross between Chinon Cab Franc and a spicier,
meatier Pinot Noir from the Cote de Beaune. This bottle shows more
of the rich black fruit of Cabernet Franc with sage and garrigue aromas
Not widely available stateside
Vivino says: "We did find it available on other online shops
at an average purchase price of $40.83." YIKES
In the spirit of full disclosure, you can shave off $2 if you buy this bottle
in Spain or the UK but the shipping will be, shall we say, disproportional!
This is Zach's Pick: $17.99 @MetroWines
*** Dog Etiquette for Zoom ***
Admit it, your dog has made an appearance, not always planned, on Zoom.
Even when isolation concludes, Zoom may be the future.
Might as well be prepared and teach the dog now!
This will require perseverance, patience
and the promise of a reward - for YOU!
Your Light at the end of The Canine Zoom Tunnel:
Poggio Anima Belial Toscana Sangiovese 2018
The name? One of the four crown princes of hell !You know the place, you were just there! The term roughly translates to "without yoke" in Hebrew.It is believed that Belial is the purest definition of lawlessness you know,like your dog on Zoom!
Much of what is known as SuperTuscans is, some say, simply lawless.
People blending international varietals such as Merlot with indigenous varietals....
This wine is 100% Sangiovese sourced from a single Montecucco vineyard.
This wine puts the 'super' in SuperTuscan the old fashioned way, just good Sangiovese!
Winemaker, Riccardo Campinoti is a firm believer that wine is made in the vineyard.
When he found these mature vines, he knew he had something special.
The grapes were hand harvested and the fermentation included 2 weeks of skin contact
to extract rich flavors and color. Aging in neutral barrels makes Sangiovese the star here.
Strawberry rolls into cherry with friendly, tangy acidity.
No new oak and highly gulpable. Serve with a slight chill,
(gulpable is probably the key word there!)
$15.99 and in stock @MetroWines.
Stuff You Never Knew Existed!
By this time, you must be tired of what you know, the same old same old, the usual.
Well, you have a little time to think about your Shark Tank Pitch!
And to ponder stuff you never knew exited.
For example, Peter Bellerby and his team of painters, illustrators and cartographers
carry the weight of the world, literally, from their North London studio.
Each globe is one of a kind, hand crafted and hand painted.
It is entirely possible that everybody know about these globes.
It was years before I knew the PO was offering stamps that you didn't need to lick!
So let's go with a Wine You Probably Never Knew Existed
Antico Locorotondo from I Pastini 2018
This one is also a perfect match while considering the globe as the name
"Antico" means ancient. A blend of 60% Verdeca, 35% Bianco d'Alessano and 5% Minutolo,
this is a snappy,enjoyable wine, with aromas of ripe apple, pear and dried hay
that echo on the palate. Lively acidity on the midpalate.
"Vivino doesn’t sell this wine. Also, we searched other online shops,
but couldn’t find it for sale anywhere."