Metro Wines Blogs

Metro Wines Asheville, NC
We are asking our customers to help us decide what wines should be on our shelves. A small wine shop has limited space so we have to be right! On the first Wednesday of every month from 5:30 to 6:30pm @MetroWines, we will pour wines that have been presented to us by our sales representatives. 
 
So many think owning a wine s...hop must be a great job. And it is! But it is also difficult. It's easy to say what wines we like. Not so easy to decide what wines most of you will like. So, we thought, who better to ask for help in the selection process than you. Tell us what you think.
 
Seating is limited to 10. The first who call (828) 575-9525 every month have a seat at the big table. As we are asking your guidance, the tasting is "on the house" and parking is free, close and easy.
 
We will be taking notes on our tastings and discussions and inviting comments on our Asheville Wine Focus Group Blog here: 
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Asheville Wine Focus Group 2018 ReCap

With such a small shop working to serve different tastes and price points, stocking the shelves can be like pushing a wine barrel up a hill! And trying to maintain the constant favorites while still bringing in new wines is no easy feat. The Asheville Wine Focus Group ("Group") has been extraordinarily helpful in advising on decisions.
 
Some of our findings for the year are:
 
While Group enjoyed Chenin Blanc from South Africa and thought these wines had their place, if you had to choose just one, Group preferred the crisp acidity of a French Chenin Blanc while recognizing that pairing with a dish may call for the smoother South African version.
 
Rose works all year! On three occasions, the favorite of the four submitted wines was a Rose with the Backsberg Pinotage Rose being the biggest hit. Believe it. Kudos to Group for stepping outside their collective comfort zone and bringing a wine truth forward that the rest of the world already knows: Rose works all year!
 
Group was not afraid to tackle lesser known varietals such as Muller Thurgau. In fact, the Muller took the prize one night. Group thought the varietal offered a smoothness, showing good weight like a Chardonnay, that made the wine good to go solo but still presented enough acidity to pair with food. 
 
We also taste tested a Blaufrankisch. You cannot fool Group. While they liked the bottle, Group thought we could do better for the same or a lower price. This one was booted, baby!
 
Group went crazy for a blend of Tannat and Merlot from Brumont. We brought the bottle in and still have trouble keeping it on the shelf. Not only great tasting but Group thought the bottle was really good for the price. "A real deal," Group said. And who could forget the Copertino, a blend of 95% Negroamaro and 5% Malvasia. Again, this wine had a little age on it. Group will go there!
 
And Group showed their knowledge and interest in putting a little age on the bottle. A 2011 Rioja was a smash hit. Group picked this wine as a winner before we knew that James Suckling had given this vintage 93 Points! 
 
We showed that we got critical acclaim game again when we chose Airfield Cabernet Sauvignon. Turned out Wine Enthusiast loved it too. And we were ahead of Eric Asimov choosing a bottle from Broadside which showed up in his column weeks later!
 
And then there was the Biltmore Smack Down! What is "A Biltmore SmackDown" you ask? A while back, Biltmore showed up @MetroWines and blind tasted us on their Chardonnay and Cabernet. They pitted their wines against two very, very well known and good selling bottles of the same varietal and close in price. Let's just say, we were impressed. But, to land on the shelf, we told Biltmore that they must convince our customers. 
 
More than 40 showed up to take the challenge! Biltmore Wines held their own. The goal for Biltmore was to show that, even if you did not prefer the Biltmore Wine, it was a quality bottle. for example, The Biltmore Chardonnay was quite French in style. The majority of Group prefers a heavier bottle. BUT, it was agreed that the North Carolina chardonnay was great for the price and it was not at all clear, that style aside, the competitor was worth $10 more. When asked which of the Biltmore Wines we should stock, Group said the Blanc de Blanc Sparkling and the Pinot Noir.
 
And that brings us to the bottom line: the price to quality ratio. So many times Group loved a bottle but when the price was announced, it was a no go. In some cases, Group could even name a bottle already on the shelf of the same varietal that was, in their opinion, better and at a lower price! 
 
Name aside, you have to Bring IT! There is so much competition in the wine world, savvy consumers are passing up the name brands looking for quality at at a better price.
 
The Asheville Wine Focus Group did a heck of a job helping us to decide not just what goes on our shelves, but the wine landscape in Asheville as well. The importers, sometimes taken aback by how knowledgable Group was about wine and their discerning palates, took note of Group comments. 
 
One phenominon we did notice was consumer connection to a label. That goes bothe ways. You can continue to buy a wine that has long past its prime, that is, living off its respected label and subconsciously refuse to give a new label or a label on a wine, such as Biltmore, that has not peformed well in the past.
 
This is an article about both sides of label predjudice that we wrote for The Laurel of Asheville a while back:
 

  “I don’t buy wine because of the label. “  But the research says some of us, actually many of us, do.  Wineries want you to look. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. And so it is for the wine label. Who can resist the lure of Kungfu Girl Riesling?

  Labels were originally intended to provide legally required information. Wine Searcher, a service that posts information from online wine shops, says countries around the world have laws for both wines produced in country as well as imported wines. Labeling laws typically require name, region of origin, vintage, often the varietal or blend, volume and percentage of alcohol.

  But fierce competition in the wine world has forced the label to become a marketing tool.  “99 Bottles of Wine,” a new book by wine label designer David Schuemann, tells all in his book revealing the wine marketing strategy. The label, Schuemann says, is easier to remember than the taste of the wine.

  Schuemann notes that at a wine tasting held at the Edinburgh Science Festival in Scotland showed that while people could not consistently differentiate wines, they were consistently drawn back to the label they knew. So, from a wine marketing perspective, wine consumers look for the label, the brand, just like with any other product. And, again, just like any other product, research shows that an eye catching label can encourage the consumer to buy a more expensive bottle.

  Labels range from the traditional coat of arms style to animal portraits to high end design by artists whose works are seen in museums! Little did I know when I saw an exhibition by Mickalene Thomas at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington DC, that her work might be sitting on my dining room table in the form of a wine label!

  Label designs also carry subtle messages and invoke what might be called wine label prejudice. People associate minimalist, uncluttered design with high end vintages, says Schuemann. Wine connoisseurs are attracted to labels with cream or white backgrounds, a touch of gold or metal. Labels with “critters” are out. The wine neophyte, Schuemann says, are attracted to labels that “pop” and that means color, design and sometimes, “critters!”

  Label prejudice can influence taste as well. An experiment conducted by Cornell University Professor of Marketing Brian Wansink, proved the point. Professor Wansink filled all the bottles with the same $2 wine, labeling half as wine from California and the other half as wine from North Dakota. Those drinking the wine with the California label stayed longer, drank more and rated the wine higher!

  But, in the end, the label really tells the story of the winery, the philosophy, the history, how the winery wants to be seen. There is no better example than the label on the Washington State Red Blend by highly regarded winemaker Eric Dunham. One night, Dunham heard a dog fight. He ran out to find and rescue a badly wounded puppy. The puppy lost his leg that night but, as Dunham said, the puppy found a home and Dunham a best friend. With a drawing of the puppy on the label, Dunham named a wine for his new friend, “Three Legged Dog.”

When it comes to wine, make your own decisions and have the courage of yor convictions!

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Asheville Wine Focus Group: January

 

REGISTER HERE!

News Release: Thursday, December 13th, 2018
About: January Wine Focus Group

Join us on Wednesday, January 9th for the Asheville Wine Focus Group from 5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines. Our hosts will be Richard McKinney and Nick Demos from Tryon Distributing (https://tryondist.com/).

 
"This night marks one year of working The Asheville Wine Focus Group @MetroWines" says Gina Trippi, co-owner of MetroWines. "The group has been incredibly helpful in guiding us to provide what our customers want to see on the shelves."
 
Four wines will be presented for consideration by the Group. Richard McKinney and Nick Demos will tell us about the varietals included and the history surrounding the wines as well as personal stories from their travels to the wineries.

The event is "on the house" but you need to reserve a seat. Register by calling (828) 575-9525 or online: https://metrowinesasheville.com/store/special-events/

 
Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
gina@MetroWinesAsheville.com
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
google: https://goo.gl/knC8LP
http://www.metrowinesasheville.com/
http://ashevilleschoolofwine.com/
http://www.blindtastingleague.com/
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What is a Biltmore Smack Down?

What is "A Biltmore SmackDown" 

A while back, Biltmore showed up @MetroWines and blind tasted
us on their Chardonnay and Cabernet. They pitted their wines against two very, very well known and good selling bottles of the same varietal and close in price. Let's just say, we were impressed.
 
But, to land on the shelf, we told Biltmore that they must convince our customers. That said, join us to taste test 4 Biltmore Wines against 4 wines from our shelves. Yikes. And you think you are scared!
 
Biltmore Smack Down is Wednesday, December 12th
from 5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines!
To register: call (8280 575-9525 or online HERE!

 

 

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Biltmore Smack Down at Asheville Wine Focus Group

 

News Release: November 8th, 2018
About: Biltmore Smack Down!
 
Join us on Wednesday, December 12th from 5:30 to 6:30 for "The Biltmore Smack Down" with The Asheville Wine Focus Group @MetroWines.
 
What's it all about? Biltmore has new winemakers and wines.  Four of the Biltmore Wines will be matched against four well known wines of the same varietals and similar pricing. All wines will be concealed in brown bags. This is a blind tasting!
 
"Biltmore intends to challenge your previous experience with their wines," says Gina Trippi, co-owner of MetroWines. "And prove that if you haven't taste Biltmore Wines lately, you haven't tasted Biltmore Wines!"
 
The event is "on the house" but please let us know you are joining us. We expect a full house so reserve your seat early. Call (828) 575-9525 or register online: 
 
Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
gina@MetroWinesAsheville.com
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
 
 
 
 
 
 
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November Focus Group: Pinot Blanc!

Juniper Cooper of Mutual Distribution was our host for the evening. For consideration, Juniper submitted wines that would complement a Thanksgiving Table including an Pinot Blanc from Alsace, a French Minervois, California Red Blend and a California Zinfandel. 

 
In an hour, Juniper shared location and origin history, characteristics and styles of the varietal, as well as pairing advice. The evening was comprehensive, interesting, educational and fun. Thank you Juniper!
 
While a significant number of participants liked each of the wines, the Pinot Blanc was the clear favorite. From Gustav Lorentz, this Pinot Blanc is 100% organic and could probably go 5 years in the bottle. 
 
Juniper explained that this varietal, because of its heavier texture and being smooth on the palate can be paired with just about anything except a thick piece of beef. That means German sausages, chicken and fish, and anything with heat. Oregon Pinot Blancs, Juniper says, are a little more tropical in aroma and flavor. This Pinot Blanc from Alsace was clearly more complex.
 
As always, Group was concerned about the quality to price ratio. In one case, a participant even named a bottle on the shelf he preferred for a lower price! Group has become very savvy.
 
It is clear that Group is seeking the different. If you present a varietal they know, it better be better and cost less than what is on the shelf or it won't make the shelf!
 
We are very grateful to Group for their insight and advice. Often, when only two or three taste in the shop, we can go wrong, pick a wine we like but not many others will like or a wine that is not worth the extra cost.
 
In December, Group tackles The Biltmore Smack Down.
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November Wine Focus Group

About Mutual

News Release: Friday, October 12th

About: Asheville Wine Focus Group for November
 
Join us on Wednesday, November 7th from 5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines for The Asheville Wine Focus Group. Play wine shop owner for the night!
 
The evening will be hosted by Juniper Cooper of Mutual Distribution. Four wines will be presented for your consideration. Should the wines be on our shelves? What should the wines cost? 
 
"We value the input and guidance of our customers," says Gina Trippi, co-owner of MetroWines. "We are all in this together!"
 
The event is "on the house" but you do need to let us know that you will be joining us. Please call (828) 575-9525 or register online at https://metrowinesasheville.com/store/special-events/
 
Please note that due to our event schedule, we will be gathering on the first Wednesday rather than the second Wednesday of the month.
 
Contact: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
gina@MetroWinesAsheville.com
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525

 

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Yangarra Wins!

 

We had a rollicking, rollicking I say, night at the October Wine Focus Group @MetroWines. Stacy Strong of Empire Distriution hosted presenting four wines and Any Hale, Director of The Asheville Shool of Wine, added commentary on fining, filtering as well as describing what "biodynamic" is all about. We leaned. We laughed. We left with confidence.

Yangarra PF Shiraz from McLarenvale, Australia, was the wine that nearly everyone agreed upon. Made more in the old world style than other popular versions of Shiraz, Yangarra has returned to the tradition of Shiraz. Rather than a big, let's be frank here, fruitbomb, Yangarra presents complexity in flavors and aromas in a slightly lighter body. Comments of leather and chocolate were common. And this is what we like to hear when a wine is presented, that the wine is so well made that you can actually identify flavors!

The Focus Group was of the opinion that this wine stood in a class of its own. Yangarra is a new world wine made with old world traditions and minimal, if any, interference from vine to bottle. The Group thought this wine coudl be served chilled and could handle a concoction of flavors that you might find on a holiday table. Shop Yangarra @MetroWines!

Winery Notes:

PF (Preservative Free) Shiraz is made from grapes grown on our certified biodynamic single-estate vineyard, grown without herbicides, fungicides or synthetic chemicals. It is made without additions of any kind: sulphur (preservative), acid, tannin or finings. It’s medium bodied, fresh, fruit driven wine that is delicious enjoyed as a young wine. With that in mind, we do have PF shiraz back to our first vintage of 2013 that is still showing some of lovely vibrant characters.

DETAIL

WINE COMPOSITION: 100% Shiraz

REGION: Estate grown in Kangarilla, McLaren Vale, SA

WINEMAKING: Cold soaked, wild yeast ferment, pressed after 10-12 days on skins, no additives, no fining, only filtration.

VINEYARD INFORMATION

The vineyard is certified Biodynamic (certification # 11587) with Australian Certified Organic. We have quite a practical approach, with our philosophy focused around healthy and alive soil. This involves the use of compost and biodynamic preparations, use of sheep in winter to graze under vine, and minimal mechanical soil disruption. There is no use of synthetic herbicides or fungicides.

REGION: Kangarilla, McLaren Vale, SA

VARIETAL COMPOSITION: 100% Shiraz

VINE AGE: 19-23 year-old vines

ELEVATION: 150-180m above sea level

VITICULTURALIST: Michael Lane

WINEMAKING INFORMATION

Sourced from Block 19 on our single vineyard estate, picked on two separate dates; 22nd and 27th February. De-stemmed and mechanically sorted with 50% whole berries retained. Open fermenters. Cold soaked, wild yeast ferment. Basket pressed after 10 - 12 days on skins. No additives were used throughout entire
production. Bottled in May 2018, after completing malolactic fermentation. No fining occurred, just filtration. Certified Organic/Biodynamic.

ALCOHOL: 13.0%

T.A.:  5.1 g/L

pH:  3.73

WINEMAKER: Peter Fraser

CASES:  2,875 cases

 

 

 

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October Wine Focus Group @MetroWines

 Reserve Your Seat HERE!

News Release: Thursday, September 13th, 2018

About: Asheville Wine Focus Group
 
Join us for The Asheville Wine Focus Group (https://metrowinesasheville.com/wine-blogs/wine-focus-group) on Wednesday, October 10th from 5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines.
 
Our host will be Empire Distributors. Empire is a wholesale distributor working in four states: Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Colorado representing 1,000 brands from around the world. The Empire Portfolio includes everyday wines such as Villa Pozzi from Sicily, Josh and 10 Span, to high end wines such as Stag's Leap, Heitz Cellars and Dom Perignon!
 
Empire Distributors will present four wines for consideration by the group. Participants are asked in an informal give and take gathering to advise if they like the wine, do they think other customers will like the wine, should the wine be in our shop and what should the wine cost.
 
"Participants are doing a great job guiding us in selecting wines for our shelves that have appeal for most customers," says Gina Trippi, co-owner of MetroWines. "This is a small shop and every wine must earn its place!"
 
There is no charge for the event. Reserve at (828) 575-9525 or online here.
 
Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
gina@MetroWinesAsheville.com
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525

 

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Airfield Cabernet Sauvignon

Just a quick note to say that the Wine Enthusiast just gave this one, one of our Focus Group Wines!! a great review. We got game people!

Winery Tasting Notes: "This classically styled Cabernet Sauvignon showcases pronounced aromas of cherry and blackcurrant with undertones of toasted oak. A smooth, well-balanced palate framed with lingering tannins on the finish."

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Backsberg Pinotage Rose'

August Wine Focus Group WINNER!


The growing demand for dry rosé from its established customer base has led to the launch of Backsberg Estate Cellars’ maiden Pinotage Rosé. Made from the superb 2017 vintage, the Backsberg Pinotage Rosé 2017 is produced from grapes grown on the Backsberg Estate on the Paarl side of the Simonsberg, arguably South Africa’s premier wine-making address. This is the second rosé in the Backsberg range, complementing a semi-sweet wine made from Grenache and Shiraz.

Grapes for the Backsberg Pinotage Rosé were picked at 21 degrees balling, just before optimal ripeness and so as to capture the bracing acidity and freshness required by this style of wine.

“The sweet spot for rosé is in allowing the juice sufficient contact with the red grape skins to give colour and a whiff of tannin complexity, but not enough of these to overpower the delicate composition and fruit profile this style of wine requires,” says Back.

As a result, the juice was drawn from the skins after six hours’ contact after which it was handled like a white wine, fermentation taking place in cooled stainless steel tanks.

“If there is one concept used internationally to describe the requirement of a dry rosé, it is freshness,” says Back. “This is what makes rosé so popular among consumers, together with the fragrant summer notes of berry-fruit and the slight complexity on the palate.”

Backsberg’s Pinotage Rosé 2017 exudes fruit flavours of cherry and strawberry, with a minty freshness, due to earlier picked fruit. The salmon pink coloured wine is lightly tinted from the red wine skins, but fruity and juicy on the palate, with subdued tannins. Delightful flavours of melon, ripe tropical fruit and strawberry are found in this wine, which is best served well-chilled.

For food pairings, look at seafood dishes and salads. Light meat lunches such as quiche and pastries. Mediterranean platters of olives and cheese, ham, French bread or ciabatta.

R/S: 3.6 pH: 3.37 TA: 5.7   Alc: 12.76%
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September Asheville Wine Focus Group

News Release: Friday, August 17th

About: Asheville Wine Focus Group
 
Please join us on Wednesday September 12th from 5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines for The Asheville Wine Focus Group. Participants are asked to review wines and help us decide what we should sell in the shop.
 
"This is your chance to play wine shop owner for the night," says Gina Trippi, co- owner of MetroWines.
 
There is no charge, we value your opinion! But please call to reserve your seat or shop online here: https://metrowinesasheville.com/store/special-events/ so we can set a place for you.
 
Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
gina@MetroWinesAsheville.com
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
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August Asheville Wine Focus Group

 

News Release: Monday, July 16th, 2018

About: August Asheville Wine Focus Group @MetroWines
 
Join us on Wednesday, August 8th, 2018 for The Asheville Wine Focus Group from 5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines.
 
Randy Basham of Ocean South Imports (http://www.osiwine.com/) will be the host presenting wines from around the world.
 
The event is "on the house" but you must reserve your seat. And seating is limited! 
Call (828) 575-9525 or online here: 
 
Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
gina@MetroWinesAsheville.com
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
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August Asheville Wine Focus Group

News Release: Thursday, July 12th, 2018

About: Asheville Wine Focus Group @MetroWines
 
The Asheville Wine Focus Group will meet again on Wednesday, August 8th @MetroWines from 5:30 to 6:30. Randy Basham of Ocean South Imports (http://www.osiwine.com/) will be the host.
 
Participants are asked to review four wines deciding whether they like the wines, whether they believe others customers will like the wines, whether the wine should be on the shelf @MetroWines and what it should cost.
 
There is no charge for the event but you must reserve a seat. Please call (828) 575-9525 or online here: https://metrowinesasheville.com/store/special-events/  to reserve a seat.
 
Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
gina@MetroWinesAsheville.com
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
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Carlos Serres Reserva Rioja 2011

The WINNER of the July Asheville Wine Focus Group is Carlos Serres Reserva Rioja! By WINNER, we mean the bottle that sold the most and the fastest! Finding an affordable "Reserva" with this much age on it is rare.

The Group thought the wine was complex presenting identifiable flavors followed by a long finish. This wine, with just the right amount of acidity, would be a perfect match for food but could also go solo. And most thought, because of its versatility, this bottle would be great to bring to a dinner.

 

Winemaker Notes: A complex and elegant aroma of mature ripe black fruits, vanilla and cinnamon spice. Extremely velvety smooth, harmonious with a fresh finish. Perfect to accompany all kinds of grilled, stewed or grilled meats. Fine delicatessen, sirloins, game dishes and strong and cured cheeses. 

James Suckling, 93 Points

"A deep and enticing nose showing ripe strawberries and raspberries plus hints of eucalyptus. Full body, excellent balance and lovely freshness. High level of juicy tannins and a long, fresh and cedary aftertaste."

 

 

Wine has a history. And history is full of wine. That of Carlos Serres (Charles, in French) is one of them. One of those which happen once in a lifetime and perdure.

Not only because he saw in Haro a perfect place to make wine of great quality but, above all, because he envisaged a new horizon for Rioja wine not considered until then: international exports.
He came from Bordeaux, where the phylloxera pest had compromised winemaking. This famous French wine consultant found in Haro the perfect terroir to make Bordeaux style wines, with a climate and terrain which reminded him of the best terroirs in Bordeaux.

A perfect place to make wines that met the quality, flavour and personality expectations of the most discerning international palates. Elegant wines with a Rioja flavour, ready to conquer; even overseas.

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July Asheville Wine Focus Group

News Release: Tuesday, June 12, 2018

About: July Asheville Wine Focus Group
 
Please join us for The Asheville Wine Focus Group on July 11th from 5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines. Chris Curtis of Country Vintner will host the event.
 
"This is your chance to play wine shop owner," says Gina Trippi, co-owner of MetroWines. "Space is limited in a small shop and you have to be right!"
 
Participants are asked to advise on questions including whether they like the wines, whether they believe other customers will like the wines, what kind of event of food pairing works with each wine, should the wine be offered @MetroWines and what should the wine cost.
 
***********************************************************************
Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
gina@MetroWinesAsheville.com
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
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Airfield Wines, Yakima, Washington

  The June Asheville Wine Focus Group @MetroWines was a great night of history, fun and, of course, great wine! Mark Orsini of Orsini Imports took us on a vicarious trip back to Yakima, Washington, circa 1940s. The property that now yields extraordinary vines was once used to build planes for the war effort.

  If you shop @MetroWines, you know the great Italian wines that Mark brings us and it was Mark that brought us Marcel Servin and his magnifique Chablis last month. Mark wanted to show us that his portfolio also includes some great west coast wines. And that he did! We tasted and reviewed four wines: Chardonnay, Rose, Cabernet Sauvignon and a Bordeaux Blend.

  The Focus Group, while all wines were hits, thought two stood out. The price to amazing quality ratio for the Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon was high. And both wines were thought to be wines that, no matter your preferred style, you could enjoy. In other words, you can serve these wines to guests with confidence. And both are the kind of wines you can and should! buy by the case. Just that good. Worth it!

  Mark shared personal stories of his visits with the family as well as the history of the property and the generations of owners. This text from the website is some of what we learned. 

FOUNDERS

HOWARD LLOYD MILLER

Founder of our Family Farm

H. Lloyd Miller was a successful businessman and pioneer of the Yakima Valley. Noting the potential for the valley to become one of the nation’s leading agricultural producers, he began acquiring dry farmland with the hopes that someday it would have access to water. Eventually, H. Lloyd became the chairman of the Roza Irrigation Canal Board, and he saw the project through to its completion in 1951. At that time, he was able to begin farming on his property and devoted the rest of his life to managing our family farm, which became known as Airport Ranch.

DONALD DEETS MILLER

Founder of our Estate Vineyard

Don Miller, son of H. Lloyd, was born and raised in Sunnyside, Washington. During his junior year of college at Washington State University, Don enlisted in the military and was stationed overseas through the duration of World War II. Returning home, Don joined his father on the ranch in 1950 and helped develop a diversified farm consisting of asparagus, alfalfa, potatoes, onions, oats, hogs, cattle, mint, and sugar beets. In 1968, Don planted Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Cabernet Sauvignon marking the early beginnings of our estate vineyard.

MICHAEL LLOYD MILLER

Founder of Airfield Estates Winery

Mike Miller, son of Don Miller, was born and raised on the family farm. During the Vietnam War, Mike enlisted in the Navy and was stationed in Japan. Upon returning home, he graduated from Washington State University, married his wife Kristeen, and became the third generation to carry on the family’s farming legacy. Facing the demise of the sugar beet processing plants in 1978, but seeing a bright future with Washington’s Wine Grape Industry, Mike took grape growing to a whole new level. Mike gradually transitioned our farm into what it is today – 830 acres of wine grapes and 350 acres of Concord juice grapes. In 2005, Mike founded Airfield Estates Winery, and he brought his son, Marcus, and daughter, Lori, on board to help manage the daily operations. Airfield Estates Winery and Tasting Room in Prosser opened its doors in 2007, the Tasting Room in Woodinville opened in 2010, and after outgrowing the Prosser Winery, the Production Facility was relocated to our farm in 2014. The pride, passion, and enthusiasm that Mike expressed for our vineyard, grapes, and wine is something that we hope to share for generations to come.

AVIATION HERITAGE

With the onset of World War II, the Olympia Air Transport Corporation began looking to lease land in the Yakima Valley to establish a civilian flight school. H. Lloyd Miller, the founder of our family estate and a successful realtor and landowner, knew that it would be several years before the arrival of irrigation water on his farmland so he signed a lease agreement for a portion of his property.

Construction of the flight school commenced on December 21, 1941. The airbase included three dirt runways, each over a half mile long, and several buildings including a 70-foot water tower, multiple airplane hangars, a large mess hall, four barracks, and several smaller storage buildings.

Initially, the training was part of the Civilian Pilot Training Program, which was sponsored by the United States Government. It offered primary, secondary, and cross-country courses, and the pilots trained on various types of biplanes. In mid-1943, the school changed to the War Training Service Program, and they confined the training to the secondary phase only, which focused on aerobatics and other evasive techniques. According to government records, over 500 Army Air Corps pilots trained at the airbase on our family’s property until the flight school closed in 1944.

Shortly after the war came to an end, the pilots moved off-site and the recently constructed buildings were auctioned off to the highest bidder. The only bidder turned out to be H. Lloyd Miller. With a bid of $1, he got one heck of a deal for all of the buildings on the property. These unique buildings became the headquarters of our family’s farming operations, which today is known as Airport Ranch. Over time, many of the buildings began to deteriorate, but two of the original hangars still exist and we continue to use them as workshop and storage facilities.

And now, drumroll please...Focus Group Favorites!

TASTING NOTES

This lightly oaked Chardonnay unites layers of Asian pear and green apples with hints of marzipan and toasted marshmallow contributing to a round mid-palate and a smooth, well-balanced finish.

VINEYARD DESIGNATION

100% estate grown

PRODUCTION NOTES

65% fermented and aged in stainless steel, 35% fermented and aged in French oak (40% new).

PAIRINGS

Roast Lobster with Tarragon-Lemon Butter
Braised Pork with Pearl Onions and Grapes
Fresh Corn Soufflé with Bacon and Comté
Brie or Camembert

AWARDS

Gold, 2018 Seattle Wine Awards.

TASTING NOTES

This classically styled Cabernet Sauvignon showcases pronounced aromas of cherry and blackcurrant with undertones of toasted oak. A smooth, well-balanced palate framed with lingering tannins on the finish.

VINEYARD DESIGNATION

100% Estate Grown

PAIRINGS

Grilled Steak with Salsa Verde
Beef Tagliata, Arugula and Trevisana Salad
Port Wine Braised Beef Short Ribs
Sharp White Cheddar or Roquefort

RATINGS

91 Points, Wine & Spirits Magazine.

AWARDS

Gold, 2017 San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo.
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179 Hits

Mulderbosch Rose'

You are Always on Vacation with Rose!

Mulderbosch is Back!
100% Cabernet Sauvignon, South Africa

Winemaker Notes: 
"An attractive confected cherry note greets the nose, followed by subtle rose petal aromatics and a crisp mineral note that holds it all together nicely. Due to careful selection of vineyard sites and gentle fruit handling in the cellar the palate has an effortless poise about it. Sweet-fruited Cabernet flavors and early-picked natural acidity make for an intense palate that refreshes with each sip."


And Mulderbosch is Socially Responsible
As a member of WWF-SA Biodiversity & Wine Initiative, Mulderbosch follows environmentally responsible management practices both in the cellar and vineyards and on the land. Sections of the farm are zoned for conservation; projects including wetland rehabilitation and the introduction of fish, to removing alien invasive species of grass and replanting the indigenous, encouraging more bird species and insects.

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  171 Hits
171 Hits

Mark Orsini in June

 

New Release: Monday, May 7th, 2018
About: Asheville Wine Focus Group
 
Please join us for the Asheville Wine Focus Group @MetroWines on Wednesday June 6th from 5:30 to 6:30. Mark Orsini of Orsini Wines will be our host presenting four wines for your consideration.
 
"This is your chance to play wine shop owner," says Gina Trippi, co-owner of MetroWines. "You will be asked questions and provide feedback to help us determine which wines to carry in the shop."
 

Follow Orsini Wines here: 

 
Check out Asheville Wine Focus Group here: 
https://metrowinesasheville.com/wine-blogs/wine-focus-group

Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
gina@MetroWinesAsheville.com
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
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229 Hits

Brumont Tannat Merlot Blend Wines May

   Derek Rubio of Skyland presented four wines for consideration to The Asheville Wine Focus Group @MetroWines on May 2nd. All were well received but, based on sales, this 50-50 blend of Tannat and Merlot was the big winner. A lot of praise for the weight, palate feel and taste. Someone was passionatly screaming "sexy beast." OK, that was me. But a lot of participants agreed. We reckoned that any bottle based on a grape (Tannat) that needs another bold grape (Merlot) to lighten it's load, is a "sexy beast" by definition. Our sommelier Emily says the bottle needs abot two hours of air to hit it's best.  $13.99!

 

 
  • Vintage2016
  • Producer
  • CountryFRANCE
  • RegionGASCOGNE
  • Alcohol13.5%
  • Composition:
    50% TANNAT, 50% MERLOT
  • WINEMAKER NOTESGascony, lying between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pyrenees Mountains, is home to vineyards with real character, just like the men who cultivate them. Alain Brumont is the leader here. He was a pioneer in Madiran and Côtes de Gascogne wines, bringing them to rank with the world’s best. Alain Brumont has always been fascinated by the Gascony region which provides fruity and fresh wines thanks to its exceptional local terroirs. By blending both Tannat and Merlot, he made a balanced wine which reveals power and roundness. It can be served with food such as cooked pork meats, grilled red meats, roasted poultry, young cheeses.
  • TASTING NOTESAn intensive wine, on red fruits and spices, with a smooth finish. The fruity flavors are strengthened on the palate, and added to soft tannins.
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  218 Hits
218 Hits

Asheville Wine Focus Group June

News Release: Thursday, May 3rd, 2018

About: Asheville wine Focus Group
 
Please join us for The Asheville Wine Focus Group @MetroWines on June 6th from 5:30 to 6:30. Mark Orsini of Orsini Imports will host the event presenting four wines for your consideration.
 
This is your opportunity to "play wine shop owner." We ask you to tell us if you like the wines presented, do you think that other customers will like the wine, what is it's use, should it be in the shop and what should the bottle cost.
 
There is no charge for the event. We value your opinion. Please register, so that we can set a place at the table for you, by calling (828) 575-9525 or online here: https://metrowinesasheville.com/store/product/asheville-wine-focus-group-june/
 
Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
gina@MetroWinesAsheville.com
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
Continue reading
  223 Hits
223 Hits