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Bacon fat & babies

Bacon fat & babies

Posted on Jul, 31. 2012 by

Categories: Wine

I’d punch a baby before I’d drink most Australian Shiraz. Sure, there are some good ones, but a lot of it tastes like Robitussin. The good news is France’s Northern Rhone Valley makes magic out of the same wiley grape, Syrah….and babies go largely unpummeled.

Today, I bring you Syrah the way it should be. The nose has the black pepper so often found in Syrah, but it doesn’t end there. Bacon fat, herbs, and some floral notes add thought provoking layers of aromas. Picture yourself sitting in the courtyard of a stone french farmhouse. The heady smells from the kitchen mix with wild flowers. This is that place in a glass.

On the palatte tart cherry grabs you first, followed by a fascinating undercurrent of smoked meat, herbs and black pepper. This is not a sipping wine. It needs food to shine. If you plan on doing any grilling this summer you’ve found a great pairing. But first, give it an hour of air and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving.

Proper cellar temperature really gives it a lift. Treat it with respect and it will reward you. This is not a simple wine. Great food wines rarely are.

Suggested Pairings:
Cured Meats, Grilled Sausages, Burgers or Veggies and of course Hard Cheeses.

2009 Ferraton, Croze Hermitage La Matiniere
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Retail Price: $19.99

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I’d leave my wife for this Cote du Rhone blanc.

I’d leave my wife for this Cote du Rhone blanc.

Posted on Jul, 31. 2012 by

Categories: Wine

GOOD GAWD! A white Cote du Rhone has me shrieking like James Brown. Yep…a WHITE Cote du Rhone. Famous for their great reds, the Southern Rhone Valley also puts out a small number of terrific whites. Unfortunately, most of them don’t leave France because the producers like to drink them over the long hot summers.

The moment I stuck my nose in the glass I was transported back to a little French candy shop in Provence. The smell of honey, fresh flowers and dried fruit was like a big hug from Grandma. On the palate this wine really delivers. It starts with luxuriously ripe pear, melon and mango and finishes with a lip smacking citrus and grapefruit. Perfectly balanced. I want another sip, another bite, another kiss…er…sorry. Got carried away there.

It’s no surprise I love this wine. Saint Cosme makes some of the world’s most respected Chateuneuf-du-Pape and the Barruol family has been at it since 1570. That’s not a typo. To get a wine with this pedigree for way under $20 is a major coup. Do not dawdle.

The blend is Roussanne, Viognier, Marsanne and Picpoul de Pinet. The result is “get me another glass please”. Pro Tip: Buy more than you think you’ll need. You’ll find this bottle empties fast. 

Suggested Pairings:
Chicken, Fish, Cream Sauces, Mushroom Pastas and Hard Cheeses.

2011 Saint Cosme, Côtes du Rhône Blanc
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Retail Price: $19.99

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Tasting: Rain or Shine

Tasting: Rain or Shine

Posted on May, 18. 2011 by

Categories: Events

Our next several tastings are all brand new wines/importers/distributors for us, and I like nothing more than to give these new guys a great showing on our account! First up is Broadbent Selections, whose wines Kevin Sidders tasted at a recent trade show and subsequently insisted they host a tasting with us. Per the website, here’s their ‘story’:

When we look for wines to import, at Broadbent Selections Inc., we have a few absolutes. First and foremost, the wine must be the very best of its type. It’s not enough for a wine to please us; its quality and value must bowl us over. It’s been said that the difference between a good meal and a great meal is that, with the former, you finish the meal thinking, “The food was good”. With a great meal however, you think, “Life is good”. And that’s precisely what we we look for, and what we’re proud to represent; wines that gratify not just the palate, but the soul. Yet, we do more than represent wine. We also represent the people and passion behind those wines, which is why, since we were founded in 1996, our focus has always been on family-owned wineries-on places with personality and stories, and on wines that come from the heart. Quality and character: those are absolutes. We’re extremely proud of both the wines we represent at Broadbent Selections and the great people behind them.

Not sure about everyone else, but that’s a lot of what I look for in a wine portfolio. Tomorrow’s tasting with Broadbent will feature the best of their South African lineup, so not only is it a new portfolio, but it’s a theme that we very rarely delve into—and I think it might be time that we all got jolted out of whatever wine rut we’re in right now.

So, be there. Even if it’s raining (which, considering the forecast, isn’t too far-fetched), be there. Would you rather be cooped up at home, watching your neighborhood flood again? I thought not!

See you Wednesday evening, 5:30-7:30 at the Guild.

A Classic California Zinfandel

A Classic California Zinfandel

Posted on Oct, 21. 2010 by

Categories: Wine

Zinfandel is kind of an esoteric wine, and one that we haven’t often featured here at the Wine Guild. It’s the most uniquely “Californian” of wines, a grape varietal essentially indigenous to the state that isn’t successfully grown really anywhere else in the world (though, to be fair, Zinfandel is genetically equivalent to Primitivo grown in southern Italy). As a long time resident of the Bay Area, I have a fair bit of experience with this varietal, and really enjoy it when it’s expressed purely through old vine fruit and traditional vinification methods. Continue reading…

About Last Night…

About Last Night…

Posted on Jun, 17. 2010 by

Categories: Wine

First, the Reader’s Digest version of last night’s tasting. Our air conditioner was outmatched. By the end of the night I felt like a honey baked ham. Fortunately, every wine showed well. Not a clunker in the bunch. If you weren’t there, grab at least one of each. You’ll thank me.

Now, the gory details:
Continue reading…

Wine Tasting: Sieg’s New and Old

Wine Tasting: Sieg’s New and Old

Posted on Jun, 01. 2010 by

Categories: Events

This Wednesday, June 2nd from 5:30 P.M. to 7:30 P.M., we’re hosting Billy Koenig from Sieg…a distributor that’s in the midst of somewhat of a renaissance. Well-known, for years, for their macro-brewery (Bud, et al) focus, they picked up Monsieur Touton a couple years back (in addition to some other cool/famous brands), and have very recently scored the killer portfolio of Terry Shiple – one of the best palates in the business (and one of the nicest guys you’ll have the pleasure to meet). We’re psyched to have his stuff at our fingertips, and you should be too (you’ll see!). Billy will have a few of Terry’s selections at tomorrow’s tasting, along with some other new European wines, so it’s certainly something that everyone should check out. Remember to bring a friend. Guests are always welcome.

Wine Tasting: Europe with Clement Brown.

Wine Tasting: Europe with Clement Brown.

Posted on May, 18. 2010 by

Categories: Events

This Wednesday, May 19th from 5:30 P.M. to 7:30 P.M. we welcome our favorite hedonist wine distributor, Clement Brown to the Guild. He will be pouring an array of European wines and entertaining us with stories of how he once ate pudding out of Barbara Eden’s navel. Bring a friend. Guests are always welcome.

Wine Tasting: New World Whites

Wine Tasting: New World Whites

Posted on May, 04. 2010 by

Categories: Events

This Wednesday, May 5th from 5:30 P.M. to 7:30 P.M. we welcome the always tasty Genevelyn Steele to the Guild. She will be pouring an array of new world white wines that are perfect for the coming summer. Get yourselves down there and bring a friend. Guests are always welcome.

Your Last Chance at Dime Store Nirvana.

Your Last Chance at Dime Store Nirvana.

Posted on Apr, 21. 2010 by

Categories: Wine

Listen up winos. Tonight’s tasting was the holy trinity. Good, cheap and in-stock. Bottles flew out the door with happy members grinning like they stole it. Hell, they kinda did. Here are the highlights.

2005 Domain l’Idylle Roussette de Savoie
This honey colored French white brought all kinds of goodness to the table. At way under 10 bucks this is the kind of cheap date you fall hard for. Two weeks later you’re left with little more than a hickey and a headache, but the memories were worth it. There are only 7 bottles left at the Guild. That’s it. No more can be had. Act fast….really…don’t read any further. Buy it now!
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Retail Price: $11.25
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2007 Chateau de la Chaize Brouilly
I’m a midnight snack guy. Usually a sandwich and a glass of wine. Since it’s late I never want to pop anything too grand so I look for a good value gulper. This is that wine. It’s cheap, lip-smackingly tasty and clears my palate between bites of my beloved roast beef sandwich. I’m a simple man…sue me.
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Retail Price: $9.49
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2007 Chateau Haut-Monplaisir Cahors
If you grill steaks, buy this wine. The combination will make your tongue love you. Seriously, it hasn’t been happy with those silly Tofu dogs you’ve been feeding it. Really, you should apologize…those things are evil.
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Retail Price: $16.00
Buy this wine!

An “Instant Gratification” Tasting

An “Instant Gratification” Tasting

Posted on Apr, 21. 2010 by

Categories: Events

Enough with the delayed gratification stuff. At tonight’s tasting you can get your jollies pronto. That’s right, we’re pouring wines we have IN STOCK.

Taste your little patootie off then grab a few sleek, sexy bottles of grapey lovin’ for a night of purple toothed naughtyness. Or just buy some wine for the weekend. It’s up to y’all.

See you tonight (Wednesday, April 21st) from 5:30 P.M. to 7:30 P.M. Bring a friend. Guests are always welcome.

Unio Siurana Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Organic

Unio Siurana Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Organic

Posted on Apr, 15. 2010 by

Categories: Food

This olive oil is produced entirely from Arbequina variety olives grown within the Siurana region in northeast Spain. The hand picked olives are rushed to local presses and cold pressed within 24 hours. Always low in acidity and smooth on the palate with rich fruity olive flavor and tremendous character. Net Weight: 500 ml.

Unio Siurana Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Organic
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Retail Price: $19.99
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Wine Tasting: The Country Vintner

Wine Tasting: The Country Vintner

Posted on Feb, 15. 2010 by

Categories: Events

Rob Gardner from The Country Vinter will be showing off some Italian bargains this Wednesday, February 17th from 5:30 P.M. to 7:30 P.M.

Remember, if you are interested in our any of our cheeses, just email us in advance and will have it cut, wrapped and ready for you at the tasting. Of course, we’ll happily take cheese orders placed at the tasting too. You’ll just have to wait a wee bit longer.

Bring a friend. Guests are always welcome.

A Killer Pinot Grigio – 92 Points for under $15

Posted on Feb, 01. 2010 by

Categories: Wine

If you never expected an email offer with the subject line of this one, that makes two of us. Despite the varietal’s mass popularity and rapid growth, many wine professionals continue to look down on Pinot Grigio (until yesterday, myself included). Now, I’ve had a few by-the-glass selections in restaurants that I thought were fine, but it’s fair to say that I would never have expected to have any of this wine in my cellar (until now). Many of these considerations were echoed in an essay a few years ago by Lettie Teague, a well-known columnist with (then) Food & Wine Magazine (read it here:).

In any event, what brought us to today’s offer began with me perusing the advance-release wine reviews scheduled to be published in upcoming issues of the Wine Spectator. Much to my surprise, one of the best-rated selections highlighted in the virtual newsletter was a Pinot Grigio that scored 92 points and was quite reasonably priced. Well, I’d certainly never seen one of those before, and when I researched it further and found that it was available from a local distributor I ordered a bottle just to see what the fuss was about. Continue reading…

Wine Tasting: Kysela

Wine Tasting: Kysela

Posted on Jan, 24. 2010 by

Categories: Events

Kysela Imports will be joining us Wednesday, February 3rd from 5:30 P.M. to 7:30 P.M.

Remember, if you are interested in our any of our cheeses, just email us in advance and will have it cut, wrapped and ready for you at the tasting. Of course, we’ll happily take cheese orders placed at the tasting too. You’ll just have to wait a wee bit longer.

Bring a friend. Guests are always welcome.

Wine Tasting: Dionysos Imports

Wine Tasting: Dionysos Imports

Posted on Jan, 20. 2010 by

Categories: Events

Kevin Schultz from Dionysos Imports will be joining us Wednesday, January 20th from 5:30 P.M. to 7:30 P.M.

He will be tasting out and talking about inexpensive wines from Portugal. These are some of our favorite wines here at the Guild and for our money they make up 80% of the wines that are worth drinking for under $10.

Bring a friend. Guests are always welcome.