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Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year's Eve Must Have Bubbly!

If you are looking for a great bottle to pop open at midnight to celebrate 2012-Here are a few ideas and suggestions! The first six we tasted at The Vineyard Wine Market and V2 Rooms "Bubbles and Chocolate" Event.



NV Punkt Genau Sparkling Gruner Veltliner: Refined and refreshing with a delicate effervescence. Scents of freshly peeled apples and long finish taste of exotic fruits. $19.99

2008 Mont Marcal Cava: Very dry. Should be consumed no later than 20 months after its purchase. Recommended to be served at 6°C. Works wells with rich dishes, sharp flavor and light dishes such as stews of white meat, rice dishes and lamb. $16.99

NV Adami Prosecco Dosca di Gica Bru: Mineral infused white fruit and smoke. Tastes of white peach and grape. 91 Points The Wine Advocate. $21.99

NV Duval Leroy Champagne
: Citrusy acidity, flavors of yellow apple, clementine and licorice snap. Has a creamy finish. Only 40,00 cases were made. 92 Points Wine Spectator $31.99

NV Shingleback Black Bubbles Sparkling Shiraz: Try this one for a unique Shiraz experience! Deep garnet color, intense blackberry and pepper with dark chocolate, cinnamon and nutmeg. 90 Points Robert Parker $24.99

NV Batasiolo Brachetto d'Acqu
i: Light ruby red. Flavor is sweet, elegant and aromatic. Floral and Rosy. $24.99

Below are recommendations from the Smyrna Wine Cellars:

The Must-Have
Gruet Blanc de Noirs NV - $16.99
#43 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2011
The rich and toasty character of our Blanc de Noirs is balanced and superb. Aged for two-year minimum, the palate is developed and shows rich complex flavors. The amazing berries aromas and the creamy texture play a leading role and create a great finesse. Winemaker's Note: A fine salmon color, aggressive mousse and a lovely fruity wine with plenty of immediate charm and toasty aromas. There is also an explosive juicy flavor of raspberry.
"Elegant and focused, with creamy vanilla and apple aromas and rich yet crisp flavors of baked pear and cinnamon bread. Drink now through 2014. 20,000 cases made." 90 Points - Wine Spectator

The Affordable
Scharffenberger Brut NV - $19.99
"Fresh aromas of butterscotch and croissant with yeasty, bakery notes. Bright peach and apricot flavors with a green apple tartness. Fresh, steely close with a mix of lemon drop and minerals." 92 Points - The Wine News
"Bright aromas of green apple and lime lead to vibrant, layered flavors of citrus, anise and creamy vanilla in this sparkler. Drink now. 25,000 cases made."
90 Points - Wine Spectator
"A delicious Chardonay and Pinot Noir blend from coolly grown Mendocino grapes that is is equal parts golden apple and honey in both aroma and flavor. Creamy from full malolactic fermentation, this sparkler is full-bodied and plenty fruity with a caramel, vanilla tone on the finish. Will pair well with creamy, full-bodied foods."
90 Points - Wine Enthusiast
"This is a pale, dry sparkling wine with a robust pinot noir scent. The yeastiness leaves an impression of smoky richness, with a stony mineral note. Delicious with wood-roasted oysters." 90 Points - Wine & Spirits

The FANTASTIC
Vilmart & Cie 'Grand Cellier' Brut Premier Cru NV- $84.99
Has the salt-sweet of a miso-glaze and the umami savor of saffron, yet there's also a basil Provencal note; really it's a clove and nutmeg and rusk and lobstery mosh-pit of fizz.
"Beautiful. A gorgeous, crystalline wine, the Grand Cellier offers up peaches, smoke, minerals and subtle notes of oak that add complexity. An elegant, refreshing finish rounds out this exceptional and totally precise Champagne."
90 Points - The Wine Advocate
"Light yellow with a strong bead. Exotically perfumed nose displays iodine, pear skin, vanilla and vitamin B. Rich and smoky, with powerful orchard fruit and honey flavors becoming more minerally with air. Deftly blends vivacity and depth on the stony finish, which strongly repeats the vanilla and smoke notes. This is a wild ride."
93 Points - Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
"Alluring toasty aromas of vanilla, coconut and coffee mingle with fresh citrus, rhubarb and red currant flavors. Beautifully integrated with the refined mousse, this lingers with citrus and spice notes on the long finish."
93 Points- The Wine Spectator

We want to thank The Vineyard Wine Market and The Smyrna Wine Cellars.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday Wine Gift Ideas

Happy Holidays from GrapesandHopsATL!

If you have wine connoisseurs on your holiday gift list, give them elegant wine-inspired gifts. You don't have to spend a lot of money to put together a thoughtful gift basket. If you are on a limited budget, present a friend, family member or coworker with a bottle of wine in a decorative bag. Complement wine bottles with gourmet treats or essential accessories.


Experience wine at the perfect temperature every time. Keeping your wines at just the right drinking temperatures—it’s a great dilemma. Too cold and it could mask the vintner’s uniquely crafted complexities. Too warm and the flavors may take a back seat to the alcohol. The answer to this perplexity? www.corkcicle.com


LolitaWineGlasses.com
features OFFICIAL wine, martini and pilsner glasses designed by Tracy Lolita Healy. Not only are Lolita® 's wine glasses individually stunning, but their quality and style have also made them instant collectibles. While people rave about the designs themselves, they are equally appreciative of the special twist Lolita® gives them - a recipe written on the bottom of each glass. With the wide variety of designs and glassware available - martinis, wine, mojitos, and now margaritas and pilsners! - you're sure to find the perfect one. www.macys.com


Exica, Inc., is the pioneer of modern wine aeration
responsible for the widely heralded Vinturi Wine Aerator.

Inventor and CEO, Rio Sabadicci, developed this unique product that combines form and function to enable consumers to fully enjoy their wine from the very first sip and enhance the wine experience. Launched in 2007, The Vinturi Red Wine Aerator is
already certified for use and sale at over 100 Napa Valley and Sonoma wineries.

Vinturi, a sleek and elegant wine accessory that speeds up the aeration process with ease and convenience, has become the modern standard for enhancing the wine
experience. Vinturi allows wine to breathe in the time it takes to pour a glass, instantly delivering a better bouquet, enhanced flavors and smoother finish.
http://www.vinturi.com/



TastingRoom.com wine samplers include six 1.7 oz bottles of exceptional wine. We offer samplers that cater to all your wine wants—regional, varietal, by winery and even celebrity-curated flights. Check out the website to learn about
their TASTE technology and how you never again have to buy full-size bottles of wine you don’t absolutely love. While you're there make sure you also check out the only wine club that lets you choose your club wines after tasting them first. http://www.tastingroom.com/


The Skybar™ wine preservation system is a must-have for any lover of wine. It chills, pours and preserves wine all from a single system. Three individually-chilled chambers allows for up to three opened wine bottles to be enjoyed at the same time and at the ideal serving temperature. This system accommodates wine bottles between 750 milliliters and 1.5 liters. There are nine different temperature pre-selects for multiple wines and its vacuum technology preserves an open bottle of wine for up to ten days by removing the oxygen that normally oxidizes the wine. The outside presents a unique metropolitan design with real wood veneer housing. www.skybarhome.com

VineyardFresh preserves open bottles of wine by stopping the process of oxidation. Enjoy the freedom to open a bottle of your favorite wine whenever you want. Using 100% inert Argon gas, VineyardFresh saves your open bottle of wine for weeks. If you have ever hesitated to open a bottle because you were concerned about wasting it… worry no longer.


http://www.vineyardfresh.com


California Vines:

Located in Boynton Beach, Florida (our hometown away from home in Atlanta) California Vines offers the largest selection of recycled, reclaimed wine barrel furniture and related products. Since 2001 they are proud to offer the very finest in wine stave furniture and the highest quality leather wine carriers for the discriminating buyer. California Vines take pride in making your shopping experience fun and exciting. Their unique collection is now also available on a wholesale basis to all size businesses.

"To offer clients unique rustic pieces made in the USA. To allow our customers to feel surrounded by wine country in their own homes, shops, and wine bars."

**There are so many ideas out there waiting for you to "cheers" too! Be sure to share your thoughts and gift ideas with us at our facebook page
: GrapesandHopsATL

Check out these links for special wine gifts in the Atlanta Area:

http://www.thevineyardwinemarket.com
http://winecellarsonline.com
http://www.mariettawinemarket.com
http://facebook.com/SmyrnaWorldofBeverage
http://www.boutierwine.com

Check out the Atlanta Wine School to give the gift of Wine Education:
http://www.atlantawineschool.com

Monday, December 5, 2011

Reindeer Holiday Wine

This is a wonderful gift under $6.00 for your family and friends. We consider this a great stocking stuffer!

Here is a small review from our friends at ATL Vino!

Electric Reindeer:


Selection Name/Vintage: 2009 Electric Reindeer Merlot
Wine Region: California
Retail Price: Apx. $5-$6
ATL Vino Score: 7
Tasting Notes: A gift from my friends at Grapes & Hops, Electric Reindeer Merlot is a Christmas treat! On the nose, I got aromas of caramel and cherry that lead in to powerful flavors of cola, plum, more cherry, and tiny hint of blueberry. This medium-bodied wine also had a nice layer of spice to it. With it’s festive label and great price point, it’s a great gift idea for your friends this season. If you plan to make a purchase, you’ll only find it at World Market.

This is a private label wine that’s produced exclusively for World Market during the holiday season.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Chozas Carrascal Winery

Chozas Carrascal Wines

Chozas is a family winery located in the area of Valencia, Spain, being their appellation D.O. Utiel-Requena. The production of wine is not very high, as Chozas is focused on two goals: Quality and Personality.

The López family decided in 1989 to embark on a truly ambitious and exciting project to produce first‐class wines of the highest calibre to be enjoyed world‐wide.

During more than 15 years the López family and it's team have dedicated all of their time and efforts to restructure the old vines, preserving the old Bobal vines while planting new grape varieties including Chardonnay, Cabernet and Syrah. The philosophy of the winery has been from the very first moment, betting on the conservation of the environment. It has taken some years to achieve it, but it was worth this wait given that from 2010 vintage, all their wines are labeled as organic. Chozas Carrascal wants to demonstrate that high quality wines can be produced while caring for the environment.


The winery produces high quality wines in an ecological way, intending at the same time to offer a strong personality.
· LAS OCHO, a red wine blended with 8 grapes, including BOBAL, our autochthonous grape.
· El CABERNET F, a 100% Cabernet Franc made in the Mediterranean area, and therefore with the character this provides.
2007 and 2008 vintage have been considered as the best Cabernet Franc in Spain.
· CAVA de CHOZAS CARRASCAL, Chardonnay and Macabeo, Brut Nature Reserva, something to highlight is that part of the blending is aged in French oak barrels before the “tiraje”, giving an interesting complexity.



For more information on Chozas Carrascal Wines: http://www.chozascarrascal.es

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Holiday Mingle Jingle at Kai Lin Art



Grape Crush Productions is hosting its annual Holiday Mingle Jingle at Kai Lin Art at 3096 Roswell Road on Saturday, Dec. 3 from 2- 6 p.m. Discover unique and inspired gifts at the holiday market, where local artists, gourmet purveyors and specialty stores will ensure that you’re able to check off everyone on your holiday shopping list – with a cocktail in hand!

Guests will sip and savor artisan wines from around the globe as well as sample craft beer and cocktails as they explore the offerings of local businesses at the holiday market and discover the latest must-haves and perfect gifts to ensure you’re at the top of everyone’s list. Kai Lin Art Gallery is Buckhead’s only contemporary art gallery and is located in Buckhead Village at 3096 Roswell Road, just three shops down from the Buckhead Theatre. This will be the final day to view the amazing photography showcased in the SNAP exhibit on, and guests will also have the opportunity to meet local artists showcasing their work at the Gallery. Those showcasing their work include film photography by the Dorn Brothers, layered compositions created on an iPhone by Karen Devine, SCAD graduate Patrick Heagney’s portraits in motion, Greg Noblin’s whimsical photographic illustrations and dramatic local landscapes by Rob Simmons.


Tickets are $15 in advance and may be purchased at www.minglejingle.eventbrite.com. The day of the event, a limited number of tickets will be available for purchase at the door for $20.


Guests can purchase raffle tickets for the opportunity to win art and wine themed prizes and giveaways, tickets to exciting local events such as Chefs in the City with Top Chef Just Desserts Heather Hurlbert on Dec. 8 and the Atlanta Winter Wine & Jazz Festival, restaurant and retail gift cards, and much more! Raffle tickets can be purchased online for $3 or for $5 at the door. Guests are asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy for a chance to win a private, home wine tasting, valued at $500. The afternoon of seasonal shopping benefits Toys for Tots, whose mission is to deliver, through a shiny new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to needy youngsters that will motivate them to grow into responsible, productive, patriotic citizens and leaders.

Bringing this extra cheer to the holiday season are community partners: Innis & Gunn Oak Aged Beer, Savida Sangria, Sinless Cocktails and Winesellers, Ltd.

For the wine lovers in one’s life, turn to Grape Crush Productions for the perfect presents. Grape Crush can create a custom wine tasting so that the wine aficionados on your list can share their passion for grapes with others. Whether they want a taste of wines from around the world, would like to focus on a particular region or compare wines from a particular grape, a tasting can be created to grant all wine wishes this holiday season. One’s home, office, clubhouse or venue of choice may be turned into a private winery for an evening or afternoon of discovering unique wines with friends, family or co-workers.

Whether seeking an extra special stocking stuffer or the ideal surprise for under the tree, Grape Crush Productions will ensure this will be a gift that’s not forgotten. A special holiday rate will be given to those that purchase certificates prior to Dec. 20. Certificates are valid from Jan. 2 through July 30. Certain restrictions and blackout dates may apply, and of course, all wine tasting guests must be 21 and older. Add a splash of red, white or rose to holiday and special events with customized wine tastings, ideal for every occasion from anniversaries and birthdays to fundraisers and other festivities. For more information on gift certificates or to make holiday parties extra special with custom wine tastings, send an email to info@grapecrushevents.com or call 770-579-0808.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Holiday Wine with Crepe Revolution

We had the pleasure of attending Crepe Revolution's Holiday Wine Event! Below are the recommendations that we sampled! You will be able to find a great wine for Thanksgiving and/or the upcoming holidays to share with your friends and family! Cheers!


Biltmore Christmas Wine:

Origin: California
Taste: White wine, refreshing, sweet wine with flavors of apricot, strawberry and lime. This wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks at low temperatures.
*pairing: Any holiday fare including turkey with cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie

OUR TASTE: very sweet. Great for a lovely holiday gift. Artwork on the front is the second edition to Biltmore. You can find this wine at World Market, wine shops and local grocery stores. Ranges between $10-14.99, pending location.

Cambria - Katherine's Vineyard Chardonnay:

Origin: Santa Maria Valley, CA
Taste: White Wine, with fresh pineapple, white peach and green apple. Aged for 7 months in 88% French Oak and 12% American Oak.
*pairing: shrimp, chicken or turkey with light cream sauces with green apples and pineapple

OUR TASTE: a clean white wine. crisp. Grapes and Hops, along with ATL Vino recommend this white wine over the Biltmore. We feel this white wine would pair better with a wide variety of foods.

Mark West Pinot Noir:
Origin: California
Taste: Red wine, aromas of strawberry and raspberry. Notes of carmel and baking spices. Tastes of cherry pie and cola berry. Fermented in stainless steel and aged in 100% French Oak. The grapes are sourced from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, Sonomoa Valley, Napa and Mendocino. The label reads "California" because the grapes are from a variety of areas within California and not just one specific area.
*pairing: Salmon and trout and/or heavy game like duck, rib roast or smoked turkey


OUR TASTE: a very bold pinot. had great depth for a pinot, which is usually considered a lighter red wine. You can find this wine at any local wine shop and/or grocery store. A great value.

OUR WINNER: SPELLBOUND PETITE SIRAH

Origin: California
Taste: Red wine, intense berry and vanilla bean with roasting coffee and a finish of soft tannins (which means the dryness of the wine). Fermented in stainless steel and 90% aged in both French and American Oak barrels. The texture and tannins in the wine come directly from the skins.
*pairing: baked ham, roasted pork and grilled sausage. You can go heavy and intense with flavors in the food.

OUR TASTE: an amazing red wine. deep in flavor and wonderful vanilla bean and coffee flavors. By far, one of our new favorites! Try it-you won't be disappointed.

Winemaker Notes

"To soften the tannins and enhance the brooding fruit character we targeted a slightly shorter than average fermentation and skin contact time. We have found that the shorter fermentation time with Petite Sirah allowed us to capture all of the fruit character and reduce the tannins. After fermentation we moved the Petite Sirah into small French and American oak barrels to develop the wonderful flavors of rich caramel, vanilla bean , and roasting coffee aromatics. Everything about making Petite Sirah rocks; vibrant color, unbridled berry character and plenty of texture creating the perfect balance and one of the most exciting wines that will leave you Spellbound."
- Rob Mondavi Jr., 4th Generation Napa Valley Winemaker

ChocoVine
Origin: Holland
Taste: velvety chocolate full bodied wine with cheery notes. Blend of French Cab and rich dark chocolate from Holland. Think of a thicker form of Baileys.
*pairing: cherry truffles or strawberries
OUR TASTE: a yummy dessert wine. Should be served in moderation due to sweetness. A small pour at a holiday event will go a long way! If you love chocolate-this is for you!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Top 10 Spooky Halloween Wines

Here are a few spooky Halloween wines:

The following are the top 10 Halloween wines:

The Velvet Devil Merlot: A Washington State Merlot brought to us by Charles Smith Wines. “Milk Chocolate, wild blackberry, baking spice, rose oil

Ed Hardy Sangria: A Spanish Sangria bursting with the sun drenched flavors of hot Spanish summer.

Black Cat Riesling: Great elegance and finesse which have a pronounced and racy fruitiness, with hints of apple and peach.

Spanish Demon Tempranillo: Soft and delicious, offering a mouthful of crisp black fruit and tons if style.

Bogle Phantom: Bogle releases this wine once a year in the fall. Brighter flavors of blackberries and blueberries glance off the palate. From the shadows, toasty cinnamon and nutmeg emerge, subtly embracing the deeply luscious and succulent fruit to create a full-bodied, ruby rich wine.

Trick or Treat: World Market Exclusive - One is red, one is white. $7.99

Seven Deadly Zins: blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Petite Verdot from Lodi, this wine is loaded with berry fruit, pepper, spice, and earth characteristics.

Poizen Zinfandel: The nose is fruit driven with fresh plum, bing cherry, spicy peppercorn and zinberry. The mouthfeel is soft with a hint of milk chocolate, sweet oak, and a long vanilla finish.

Rabid Red: A red blend - The lion share of the balance consists of Bordeaux varieties: a stylish, cassis-and-tobacco notes.

Vampire Merlot: Smooth and medium-bodied with black cherry aroma, and hints of herbal spices.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

GLORIA FERRER WINE DINNER


Guests will enjoy seven courses of Chef Falvo’s cuisine paired with seven Gloria Ferrer wines while hearing the winery’s Executive Vice President Eva Bertran speak about her wine selections. As an added surprise, one of the courses that will be served during the dinner is the dish that Chef Falvo, a Top Chef Season 9 hopeful, creates on the season premiere, which will air the night before the wine dinner on November 2.

The cost for this dinner is $75 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations can be made through Open Table or by calling 678-412-2334.

As the first sparkling wine house in California’s Sonoma Carneros region, Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards was established in 1986. Gloria Ferrer embodies Spanish winegrowing history, time-honored tradition, and centuries-old sustainable practices in creating exceptional sparkling and estate varietal wines blended to pair perfectly with food. The Ferrer family’s culture of generosity is expressed in their commitment to high-quality, affordable wines for everyone to enjoy. For more information, visit http://www.gloriaferrer.com/





Briza is located at 866 West Peachtree Street NW. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast is available Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Lunch is served Monday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dinner is served Monday through Thursday and Sunday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. A bar menu is available from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 2 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. For more information, call 678-412-2402 or visit www.brizarestaurant.com

Sineann Wine Dinner with M&T's



Located in Smyrna, Muss and Turner's Restaurant will be hosting a "Sineann Wine Dinner" on Monday, November 14th. The food and wine pairings will consist of:

Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, NZ 2010
fennel pollen popcorn

Pinot Gris "Wyeast Vinyard", Columbia Gorge, OR 2010
sashimi, ginger citrus granita, radish

Pinot Noir, Oregon 2009
smoked duck, french horn confit, pomegranate seeds

"Abondante" Red Blend (Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel), Columbia Valley, WA 2009
red wine braised octopus stew, basque style

Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, WA 2008
wagyu, celery root puree, herb infused olive oil, sea salt

Zinfandel, Columbia Valley, OR 2009
caramelized figs, vanilla ice cream, pink peppercorn sauce

The dinner pairing will cost $69.93, plus tax and gratuity. The total ticket charge will at $88.13 plus a service fee. For reservations, contact Muss and Turner's at 770-434-1114. You can also make reservations online at http://reservations@mussandturners.com or at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/208738

Sineann Winery is a small producer of highly intense wines made from the finest grapes from the finest vineyards in the region. Almost all of the wines are single-vineyard designated, with low crop levels to ensure that the best characteristics of the varietal and terroir shine through.



Peter Rosback got his start in winemaking when he made his first Pinot Noir in 1985. in 1994 he launched Sineann with David O'Reilly. Peter has continued the Sineann tradition and David went on to start Owen Roe.


Now one of the finest wine producers in the Pacific Northwest, Peter is clearly passionate about making wines he loves, and it shows. Though Pinot Noir is still the main attraction, Peter has broadened his portfolio over the years to include stellar Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc wines, to name a few.

Well known for sourcing fruit from only the best vineyards, Peter carefully crafts wines from vineyards throughout the Pacific Northest, from Washington's Horse Heaven Hills to California's Napa Valley. In the spring, Peter travels to New Zealand to make Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough Vineyard) and Pinot Noir (Central Otago). http://www.sineann.com/index.html



Sineann Winery is located at 28005 NE Bell Road, Newberg, OR. You can contact the winery at 503.341.2698 from
10am-5pm.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Left Hand Brewing Company


Dried fruits entwined with smoky pepper and herby licorice layered over a roasted malty sweetness... then the slow creeping warmth of chilis on your tongue, is finished with a touch of smokiness. We found this special brew at Muss and Turners in Smyrna, GA.

Here is an excerpt from their story about how this company started:
Our story started in December of 1990 with a small homebrewers kit. Dick Doore, the co-founder of Left Hand, received the kit as a Christmas present from his brother. According to Dick, “it was all downhill from there.” His obsession with homebrewing led him back to Colorado in August of 1993, where he met up with a former college buddy and soon-to-be Left Hand co-founder, Eric Wallace.

It didn’t take the too long to start brewing beer. Dick had been homebrewing for years, and Eric had traveled extensively internationally, seeking out great beers wherever and whenever he could. After brewing several batches that impressed their friends and lucky neighbors, they became more confident in their craft. It was only after drinking quite a lot of really good dry stout that Eric had brewed that they had their epiphany: “Let’s start a brewery.”


For more on this great beer company: Lefthandbrewing.com





Style
Pepper Porter
Color
Dark Rich Mahogany
Body
Medium
ABV
7.20%
IBU's
1,984 Scoville units (calculated)
Plato
18°
Pkg
6-pack, Keg
Malts
2-row, Chocolate, Munich, Rauch, CaraAroma and Crystal
Hops
Warrior and Mt. Hood

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Savagnin: Grape & Wine of the Jura

To better know the wines of the Jura region in France, you must start with Savagnin (pronounced sav-an-yan). This is a white wine grape that can produce a range of wines. Exciting, extraordinary and unusual, these wines are some of the most remarkable whites in France — and the world.

Savagnin wines, in particular the long aging Vin Jaune, are not for everybody. Their taste is different than most white wines and may not appeal to the casual wine drinker. But whether you immediately fall in love or decide it’s not to your liking, you will never forget your first taste of Savagnin.

There are three main dry white wines produced from Savagnin, with examples of each pictured below: Naturé, Savagnin and Vin Jaune. All are made entirely from Savagnin grapes.

The key term to know when talking about Savagnin is “ouillé.” This is a French word that describes the process of topping up a barrel with wine to replace the liquid lost during evaporation. When the barrel is not topped up it allows the air to mix with the wine and affect its flavors — similar to how your glass of wine develops different flavors over time as you sip.

Wines from the Jura that have been topped up will say Ouillé on the label or Naturé in the case of wines from the AOC Arbois. When the wine just says Savagnin that indicates the wine is “non ouillé,” or not topped up. Vin Jaune is non ouillé.

Naturé and Ouillé wines show Savagnin in its purest form. They are light, elegant and refreshing, with floral and citrus notes. Think Sauvignon Blanc minus the grassy notes, or a non-oaked Chardonnay. You’ll taste flavors that may include white flowers, honeysuckle, orange, lemon zest, apricot, pear, white peach, white grapefruit and anise.

Ouillé wines are meant to be enjoyed while young and should be served chilled, between 50°F and 55°F. They can be served as an aperitif or with fish, chicken, fruits de mer, smoked salmon or foie gras.

It gets a little more interesting when you move on to Savagnin (the wine) and Vin Jaune.

As anyone who has ever tasted a day-old glass of wine knows, air changes the taste. Because oxygen has been allowed to mix with the wine in the barrel, the wine develops an unusual flavor. The longer the Savagnin spends mixing with air, the stronger these flavors will be.

In talking about Savagnin and Vin Jaune it is important to note that these wines are oxidative, not oxidated. This means the flavors are desirable and have been specially cultivated and controlled through aging in barrels. The wine has not “turned” or gone bad. You can tell this because even though you get some wild and gamey notes you still get fresh fruit flavors.

Savagnin wine spends around 2 to 3 years aging in oak barrels. During its time mixing with oxygen the wine develops slight oxidative flavors that are reminiscent of ripe soft cheese and dried fruits. Flavors you’ll find in Savagnin include apricots (and dried apricots), yellow or green apples (and dried apples), Meyer lemon, orange, guava and white pepper.

Savagnin can be served with fish, white meats, cream based dishes, mushroom dishes or Comté cheese, which is also produced in the Jura. Winemakers in the Jura suggest uncorking Savagnin at least 15 minutes before serving it.

**Thank you to Robin Austin, editor of The Amateur Gastronomer for this article.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

2011 Winter Wine Highway

The 2011 Winter Wine Highway Event will be held December 2-4



This year will feature a "Barrel Tasting" at each of the 10 participating wineries (Blackstock Vineyards, Cartecay Vineyards, Cavender Creek Vineyards, Crane Creek Vineyards, Frogtown Cellars, Habersham Winery, Sautee Nacoochee Vineyards, Tiger Mountain Vineyards, Wolf Mountain Vineyards, and Yonah Mountain Vineyards).



The cost is $25.00 per person which includes a Barrel tastings at each winery, and a souvenir wine glass! You can purchase your "Passort Port to Barrel Tasting" at any of the participating wineries any day you begin your tour!



Hours:

Friday December 2nd, 2:00PM-5:00PM

Saturday December 3rd, 11:00AM- 5:00 PM

Sunday December 4th, 12:30PM- 5:00PM

Winery Special Events


Habersham Winery:

Compare the current barrel samples of Creekstone Cabernet Sauvignon and Creekstone Merlot with the most recent bottled vintage, as well as an older library vintage no longer available to the public.

Tiger Mountain Vineyards

Dec. 2-4: Annual Winter Wine Highway Tour. Buy a $25 passport and visit ten wineries. Tiger Mountain is adding a new feature on Saturday and Sunday afternoons--- a hayride through the vineyards starting at The Red Barn behind the winery ($10 per person). Wine around the fire pit at the red barn afterwards! We will have live music on Saturday afternoon at the winery. In addition to wine tastings and barrel tastings, our tasting room will offer hot mulled wine, artisan cheeses and holiday wine and food pairing suggestions as part of the passport experience.



Frogtown Cellars

For this Wine Highway Weekend, Frogtown is offering complimentary Frogtown Cheesebox and, for $12.50 (which includes tax and gratuity), our fabulous Frogtown Panini’s from our Buffet Panini Bar .

Caretcay Vineyard will offer live music on Saturday and Sunday, as well as offer complimentary hors d’oeuvres.



Cavender Creek Vineyards

Live music as well as barrel tasting. Weather permitting, their mascot donkey will be posing for photographs. Light hors d'oeuvres served.



Wolf Mountain Vineyards

Sample award-winning wines in the tasting room as well as enjoy a barrel sampling in the Old-World Cask Room.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Oktoberfest Beer Pairing Dinner



OKTOBERFEST BEER DINNER
5 Course BEER Pairing Dinner
Beers Presented by Chris Pease

Course 1
Smoked Salmon Mousse, Poppy Seed Crepe Crisp
Paired with Bells Best Brown
Course 2
Butternut Squash Soup with Bratwurst Sausage
Paired with Victory Fest
Course 3
Arugala Pear with Goat Cheese, Cranberries, Sweet Potato Crouton with Cider Vinaigrette
Paired with Abita Pecan Harvest
Course 4
Roasted Cornish Hen, Wild Rice Dressing, Roasted Spaghetti Squash and Beets, Rosemary, Sage Aujus
Paired with Terrapin Pumkinfest
Course 5
Pumpkin Cake with Spiced Rum Butter cream Dark Chocolate Ganache
Paired with Innis and Gunn Rum Cask

Contact Crepe Revolution at 770-485-7440  
to make your reservations!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pumking Imperial Pumpkin Ale

Pumking Imperial Pumpkin Ale

One of our fall favorites!
 A special August release:  Pumking is an ode to Púca, a creature of Celtic folklore, who is both feared and respected by those who believe in it. Púca is said to waylay travelers throughout the night, tossing them on its back, and providing them the ride of their lives, from whichthey return forever changed! Brewed in the spirit of All Hallows Eve, a time of year when spirits can make contact with the physical world and when magic is most potent. Pour Pumking into a goblet and allow it’s alluring spirit to overflow. As spicy aromas present themselves, let its deep copper color entrance you as your journey into this mystical brew has just begun. As the first drops touch your tongue a magical spell will bewitch your taste buds making it difficult to escape.
8.6% abv • 12.7ºL • Imperial Pumpkin Ale • 22 oz / 1/2 keg / 1/6 keg

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Wine Apps for You!

1. Hello Vino


HelloVino
For those who aren’t quite wine snobs, but wish they were, this app will help you fake it ’til you make it (stealthy use of iPhone required). If you don’t know which wine goes with which types of food, what wines are best for what occasion, or how to pronounce Sauvignon Blanc then this is the right app for you.
Perfect for every wannabe wino out there, Hello Vino will make choosing the right wine easy. Pick the type of food you’re having or the occasion and then choose whether you’d like a red, white, rose, sparkling, or sweet wine. Sophisticated wine connoisseurs will find this app beneath them, but those with less experience with the vines will find its lack of complexity just right. Hello Vino can help you pick whether you should get a chardonnay or a malbec, but look further if you want an app to help you determine which specific wine to buy. The best part? It’s free, a rarity for wine apps.
Cost: Free

2. Pair It!


PairIt
The ultimate wine snob must have not only drink the best wine, but pair those wines perfectly with the food they’re eating. Pair It!, created by a wine pairing expert from Sonoma county, encourages users to shake their iPhones to find a random pairing, or figure out the perfect pairing for the food or wine they already have by entering into the app. In case you doubt the true wine snobbery of this application, you should be aware it takes into account relative weights, flavor bridges, and elements of taste to find the perfect match. In other words, this app knows wine.
Cost: $2.99

3. Fromage


Fromage
No good wine tasting would be complete without cheese. Fromage is your pocket guide to over 650 types of cheeses. You can rate cheeses and mark your favorites. Each cheese comes with descriptions of flavor and suggested wine pairings. A fairly simple app, but a must for any wine (and cheese) lover.
Cost: $2.99

4. Drync Wine


DryncWine
Much like the name implies this app will help in almost every step of the process of drinking wine. With a database of well over a million wines, you should be able to find the one you’re looking for. Drync Wine was born out of the developer’s own desire to track the wines he was drinking.
Once you’ve found your wine, you can take tasting notes, rate it, and add a photo of the label so you remember it. This will get saved to your virtual cellar so you can keep track of the wines you’ve tasted. Drync Wines replaces those cheesy wine tasting journals and does it cleanly and simply. Furthermore, they recently released a free version that lets you try before you buy (you can only keep up to 10 wines in the free version).
Cost: Free / $4.99 (the link above is to the Pro version)

5. DrinkFit


DrinkFit
DrinkFit provides nutritional information for different varieties of wine so you can get an idea of how many calories you’re drinking with your dinner. A fairly simple interface make it pretty easy to find the wine you’re drinking and get a calories count. Note, however, that this app does not measure the calories of specific vintages just the difference between, for instance, the average calorie count of a pinot noir versus a pinot gris.
It also contains calorie counts for other types of alcoholic beverages such as, beer and cocktails, but I’m sure you always drink wine, right?
Cost: $1.99

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Tasty Toast of Fall in Georgia

There are many exciting and wonderful opportunities for you to experience 
wine, food and fun this fall in Atlanta!

September 29 - October 2 -- Atlanta Greek Festival  
Entrance is $4, kids 12 and under free

September 30 & October 1 -- Atlanta Bar-B-Q Festival
Tickets are $6 in advance, $10 at the event. Kids 12 and under free

Tickets are $25 for general admission, $60 for VIP

October 1 -- Hotoberfest
Tickets are $30 in advance and $40 at the gate. VIP tickets are $75 in advance

October 1 -- Party at Ponce
Tickets are $90

Tickets start at $150 for members and $200 for non-members

Tickets are $40 and must be purchased in advance

October 15 -- Jazzoo Atlanta
Tickets are $100 or $150 for VIP

October 22 & 23 -- Taste of Atlanta
Tickets are $25 each day, or $75 for VIP

November 5 -- Decatur Wine Festival
Tickets are $32

Monday, September 5, 2011

Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale

Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale is a clear amber color, well-carbonated, and produces a creamy head. The complex estery aromas are due no doubt to the yeast strain used. This medium-bodied brew offers a full mouth-feel along with an overall malty flavor with just hints of any pumpkin in its ingredient list.

Flavor Profile is Sweet and Spicy.  Pairs well with beef dishes and seasonal soups.

DogFish Punkin Ale for Fall

A full-bodied brown ale with smooth hints of pumpkin and brown sugar. Punkin Ale is brewed with pumpkin meat, organic brown sugar and spices. This is the perfect beer to warm-up with, as the season cools.

Punkin Ale is named after a locally-famous and seriously off-centered event in southern Delaware.

In fact, Punkin Ale made it's debut as it claimed First Prize in the 1994 Punkin Chunkin Recipe Contest. Punkin Chunkin has grown in size and scale with pumpkins now being hurled more than 4,000 feet through the air! 

It is released right around September first each year. When you find it, grab some extra because it's usually gone by Thanksgiving.

Food Pairing Recommendations: 
Turkey, roasted duck, lamb, stuffing, dessert dumplings
 
Glassware Recommendation
Pint
 
Tasting Notes
Malty, pumpkin, caramel, brown sugar

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