Follow Me

Local Eats Blog Awards

LocalEats featured blog

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:

Pepper Porter
Dark Rich Mahogany
1,984 Scoville units (calculated)
6-pack, Keg
2-row, Chocolate, Munich, Rauch, CaraAroma and Crystal
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!


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.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...