What’s in your Wineglass?

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From the Madison Wine Exchange We once were a country that depended on the small family farm to provide us with food. Today, those are few and far between with the majority of our food supply coming from large corporate farms. This all began after World War 2 when new technologies, mechanization and the increased use of chemicals were implemented to maximize production. These practices changed the face of farming and lead to the decline of the family farm. It also changed our food supply, engineering it and homogenizing it. Today our food comes from farms that utilize a wide range of chemicals and genetically modified organisms to maximize yields and minimize production costs.

Do things like Dimethyl Dicarbonate, Ammonium Salts, Gum Arabic, Mega Purple or Polyvinylpolypyrrolidone sound like something you want in your wine?

This is also a concern for the wine world. In the United States over 50% of all wines are made by three large corporations. In the wine industry there are 76 FDA approved additives that are allowed to be used in production. While it is a romantic notion to think that our wine is a product that comes from treaded grapes naturally fermented in an idyllic vineyard setting, much of the wine consumed domestically comes from the same type of factory farm as does our food.

With all of this happening to our food and wine a new language has evolved to support farms and vineyards that use holistic practices to bring us purer products. Sustainable, Organic, Biodynamic are all terms that are becoming more important to the informed consumer who has concern over what they eat and drink.

Carolyn’s First Tasting of the Year…

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The winter has gone on far too long. The wine reserves are low and my perk is poking. I need to get some fun wine out there. So Rich and I looked through the cellar at some old and new favorites and found SIX that we think you will love…..


Old Poodle Dog Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2014 Red California Wine 750 mL
Old Poodle Dog Cabernet Sauvignon

COHO Wines, one of Napa Valley’s acclaimed red wine producers, announced the launch of its Old Poodle Dog label back in 2012.  The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon still comes from a selection of premier vineyards in the Coombsville, Yountville and Diamond Mountain appellations. Every year has brought more and more accolades to this Winery and this special wine…

“This first release of Old Poodle Dog encompasses everything I love about Napa Valley Cabernet,” said Gary Lipp, owner of COHO Wines. “It’s authentic and delicious. We make it with the same standards, practices and fruit sourcing we use for our COHO wines. The only difference is lot selection. Old Poodle Dog is a blend of the most approachable and imminently drinkable barrels in our cellar. It’s a very affordable Napa Valley Cabernet. So far the response has been overwhelmingly positive.”

Market price: $47.99 save 15%
Covenant Red The Tribe Kosher for Passover California Red Wine 750 mL

Covenant Red The Tribe Red Blend

The Tribe is what happens when a few good winemakers decide that it is possible to create a beautiful wine that is also Kosher!  For more information about this Winery and wine, check out our Kosher Tasting Blog post

Wine Spectator 92 points – Jammy and plump, with black raspberry and sassafras aromas and deep blackberry cobbler, pepper and clove flavors. Syrah, Petite Sirah and Zinfandel. Drink now through 2024. 400 cases made. -TF.December/2017

Wine Enthusiast 93 points – This lovely blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Grenache is hearty and robust, with lavender, garrigue, black pepper and cinnamon aromas. Its velvety texture gives way to rich blueberry cobbler flavors peppered with firewood smoke notes, recalling a winter’s night..December/2017

The Tribe wines are made with the new flash-detente technique that allows us to flash-heat our grapes straight out of the vineyard. We never heat the wine. Both white and red wines are barrel fermented with native yeast.

Market price: $37.99 save 15%
Alain Girard Sancerre Rouge French Red Wine 750 mL

Alain Girard Sancerre Rouge

I thought it would be fun to transition from the whites to the reds with something that sounds like it should be white but is red!  Girard’s Sancerre Blanc is famous.  This beautiful Pinot Noir deserves to be just as famous!
“This domaine, which dates from 1875, was run by Alain Girard until 2007, at which point his two sons, Anthony and Nicolas, took over. The property extends over 31 acres, only five of which are planted to Pinot Noir … This Sancerre Rouge is 100% Pinot Noir; elegant and subtle, it has bright fruit, soft tannins, and crisp yet balanced acidity.” – The Importer
Market price: $24.99 save 15%
Damilano Nebbiolo d'Alba Marghe Italian Red Wine 750 mL

Damilano Nebbiolo d’Alba Marghe

Ah! for those of you who, like me, love the Produttori del Barbaresco Langhe Nebbiolo, this is a must taste!  Beautiful, less expensive, and the recipient of some great reviews, this might become another “go-to.”

88 Points – Wine Advocate, June 2013 “The 2011 Langhe Nebbiolo Marghe is a terrific wine that shows the bright intensity of the Nebbiolo grape framed by fresh notes of cherry fruit, rosebud, polished stone and licorice. The wine goes down easily and refreshes the palate thanks to its balanced acidity. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2016.” -Monica Larner

Market price: $18.99 save 15%
Ah….Petit Chablis…the sweet light of the hill.  I love this wine for so many reasons.  First of all it is a French Chablis which is under $20.00.  Secondly, it sings on limestone, pear, and all the beauty of a steely Chardonnay.  Finally, it’s bright, soft, vibrant, and light;  all the things I wish for in life(and spring…and summer…).  This is simply wonderful!
Market price: $16.99 save 15%
Osprey's Dominion Pinot Gris White Long Island Wine 750 mL

Osprey’s Dominion Pinot Gris

Any list of my favorites is going to contain at least one terrific Long Island Wine.  This Pinot Gris has been poured at the shop before, but I think it is wonderful for this time of year.  It’s light, it’s fruity, but it’s got alot going on….just like the earth in early spring.

Previous Vintage: 89 Points – Wine Advocate, June 2015 “The 2013 Pinot Gris Reserve is unoaked. This is a very respectable expression of Pinot Gris, solid in the mid-palate, juicy on the finish and showing more than a little tension. It has a dark and burnished feel to it, but it is quickly enlivened by the nice acidity on the finish. For the very reasonable price, it should easily exceed expectations if you prefer your wines on the crisp and steelier side. As it warmed and aired out, it just got better. There were 145 cases produced.” -Mark Squires

Market price: $15.99 save 15%
Well, there you have it!  The rundown on our April 7th tasting.  I hope you get a chance to stop by…..