Free Wine Tasting – “A Night In Napa Valley”

Free Wine Tasting – “A Night In Napa Valley”

Posted on Jan, 18. 2015 by

Categories: Events

Our wine tastings are FREE and open to the public. Plus, we’re not as stuffy as our name sounds. Throw on some jeans, grab some friends and make an evening of it. Heck, the kids are welcome too. Really.

Join us this Wednesday, January 21st, for “A Night In Napa Valley”. You’ll taste 6 wines from the most famous wine region in the United States. Plus, we’ll be doing another pop-up restaurant offering the following food by our partners at Kitchen Catering.

• Grilled Lamb, soft boiled egg and polenta topped with greens – $16

• Seafood Cioppino – $14

• California Salad (Bibb lettuce, avocado, grapefruit, walnuts and blue cheese). Served with cup of Ginger Tofu Miso Soup – $13

• Cheese Plate by Flora Artisanal Cheese – $12

About The Wines:

Free tastings rarely include a wine that costs over $40. This one includes 3 of them. In other words, you should get over here on Wednesday night and taste these bad boys…just for the experience.

2013 Voss Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc – $16.86
The nose bursts with ruby red grapefruit, lemon-lime and notes of lavender and baby’s breath. Very fresh and lively with a creamy mouthfeel that offers grapefruit and white peach flavors. From a single vineyard, planted in 1978 and farmed organically since 1986.

2013 Rombauer Vineyards Carneros Chardonnay – $32.19
Wine & Spirits Magazine has ranked this one of the Top 10 Chardonnays for 11 consecutive years. This 2013 vintage has juicy peaches, pineapple and lime on the nose, followed by vanilla and cedar. Ripe tropical fruit and fig jam flood the lush, silky palate. Soft spice, vanilla and nectarines mark the lengthy finish, while fresh, mouthwatering acidity leaves you wanting another glass.

2009 Elyse Zinfandel Morisoli Vineyard – $26.83
Aromas of ripe plums, raspberries, sweet spice, and smoky oak. The full and lush palate is complex with flavors of wild, briary summer black­berries, plums, dark chocolate and black pepper. A great match for beef and tomato dishes. Decant this Zin for an hour or so to bring out its robust and spicy nature.

2012 Shafer Vineyards Merlot – $49.83
From a superb vintage, the wine reveals notes of black cherries, tobacco leaf, mocha and darker-berried fruit with a hint of white chocolate. It’s ripe, full-bodied, but fresh, elegant and well-delineated. Will drink well for a decade or more.

2010 Cliff Lede Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District – $62.09
A modern styled Napa Cab, meticulously made at a gravity-flow winery that boasts a berry-by-berry sorting system. The wine shows wild berry aromas complemented by anise spice and vanilla bean. A silky mouthfeel offers flavors of cocoa and dark red fruit. This is a big wine with refined tannins and the characteristic earthy minerality of Stags Leap District.

2011 Trefethen Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon - $87.39
A classic style of Napa Cab from a winery that is on the National Registry of Historic Places as the only 19th-century, wooden, gravity-flow winery surviving in Napa County. This wine shows red fruit aromas with fennel and black cherry. The palate dances with flavors of blackberry, currant, black pepper and finishes long and memorable with hints of roasted mushrooms and spice. Enjoy with prime rib, stuffed lamb shoulder or beef medallions accompanied with truffle sauce or onion jus.

Date: Wednesday, January 21st
Time: 5:30pm to 9:00pm
Location: The Wine Guild/Kitchen Catering (606 Rivanna Ave.)

Free, and open to the public. Share this with friends. We love seeing new faces.

Free Wine Tasting – “A Night In Spain”

Free Wine Tasting – “A Night In Spain”

Posted on Jan, 04. 2015 by

Categories: Events

Join us this Wednesday, January 7th,  for “A Night In Spain”. We’ll be tasting wines from Rioja, Spain and offering the following menu prepared by our partners at Kitchen Catering. Bring friends. Come hungry and make an evening of it.

Lamb and Vegetable Stew with Rustic Bread – $11

Chicken and Ham Croquettes – $10

Patatas A Lo Riojana (Potatoes with Chorizo) – $10

Stuffed Piquillo Peppers – $9

Sauteed Spinach with Almonds and Red Grapes – $9

Cauliflower Al Ajoarriero – $8

About The Wines:

Located in North Central Spain, the region of Rioja has been making wine for over 1,000 years. That’s not a typo. We’ll be tasting the following 7 wines.

2013 Bodegas LAN Rioja Blanco
Fresh fruit aromas of apple, pear and tropical fruits, as well as citric hints, and herbs. Fresh on the palate, with lively acidity.

2013 Muga Rioja Blanco
Subtle and elegant nose with citrus fruit, brioche and floral scents. Peach, pineapple and stone on the palate.

2008 Bodegas LAN Rioja Reserva
Brilliant ripe black cherry red colour with good depth. Aromas of blackberries, rose petals, saddle leather and fine wood. Velvety in the mouth with a long finish.

2005 Bodegas LAN Rioja Gran Reserva
Intense aromas of red fruits and fine wood. Elegant and well balanced in the mouth with flavors of sour cherries, dark plums, dried red fruits, leather and a little cigar and tar.

2010 Muga Reserva
Fine leather aromas mingle with red and black fruits black pepper, caramel, toast, vanilla, and cloves. The palette is juicy and meaty with the trademark Muga elegance.

2007 La Rioja Alta Vina Alberdi Reserva
Intense on the nose, with aromas of ripe red berries (strawberries and blackberries) and roasted coffee and caramel balsamic notes. Balanced on the palate, with sweet tannins that lead to a fresh and lingering finish. Aftertaste that recalls sweet spiced notes, candied fruit, minted chocolate, roasted coffee and caramel.

2004 La Rioja Alta Vina Gran Reserva 904
Complex aromas of balsamic, vanilla, coconut, chocolate and truffle wrapped around a core of candied fruit. Fine, silky tannins and a long and complex finish, with hints of roasted coffee, spices, and candied fruit.

We’ll also have a surprise older bottling on hand so don’t miss out on this great opportunity to taste some classic wines.

Date: Wednesday, January 7th
Time: 5:30pm to 9:00pm
Location: The Wine Guild/Kitchen Catering (606 Rivanna Ave.)

Share this with friends. We love seeing new faces.

Free Tasting – “A Night In Alsace, France”

Free Tasting – “A Night In Alsace, France”

Posted on Dec, 15. 2014 by

Categories: Events

Join us this Wednesday for “A Night In Alsace, France”. We’ll be tasting 8 wines, including 3 Grand Crus, from Domaine Bott-Geyl and offering the following menu of classic Alsatian food prepared by our partners at Kitchen Catering. Bring friends. Come hungry and make an evening of it.

Tarte Flambée – $11
Bacon and Onion tart. Served with small salad.

Fleishchnacka – $12
Pastry and meat “snails”. Served with small salad.

Choucroute Garnie – $15
A platter of sauerkraut, pork and sausage. A famous Alsatian dish.

Soupe a la Biere (Vegetarian) – $11
A hearty potato-leek soup with beer and croutons.


About The Wines:
Domaine Bott-Geyl has been making wine in Alsace since 1795. This legendary family winery is certified organic and biodynamic, harvests all grapes by hand and ferments naturally. Our free tasting includes all 8 of their wines.

2012 Muscat d’Alsace “Les Elements”
An elegant nose of white flowers and ripe fruit. The perfect aperitif.

2012 Pinot d’Alsace Metiss
Aromas of honey and underbrush mix with strawberry and sweet custard cream. The palette starts with plenty of fruit and cream but finishes fresh and dry. A blend of Pinot Blanc, Pinot Auxerrois, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir.

2011 Pinot Gris “Les Elements”
Intense with subtle hints of smoke, flavors of honey and conserved fruit finish with great finesse.

2012 Gewurtraminer “Les Elements”
Exotic aromas of rose petals and lychee, spices and honey. A full bodied wine with balanced sweetness, spice character and serious flavors of mineral and almond.

NV Cremant d’Alsace Extra Brut Paul-Edouard
Aromas of mineral and straw lead to flavors of pears, cream, papaya and citrus. A blend of Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir.

2010 Riesling Grand Cru Mandelberg
Ripe citrus, honeydew, papaya and star fruit on the tropical nose.  Sweet and velvety-smooth in the mouth, but with high acidity giving lift to the tropical fruit and vanilla flavors.  Finishes bright and persistent.

2008 Pinot Gris Grand Cru Sonnenglanz
A beautiful wine, fully mature and wonderfully ripe. It has all the elements of mature Pinot Gris: great swathes of spice, almonds, a good slash of acidity and honeyed sweetness.

2008 Gewurtraminer Grand Cru Furstentum
Complex aromas of apricot, minerals, spices and white pepper. Highly concentrated and quite sweet, but with juicy, edgy acidity giving a distinctly youthful quality to the lush honey and spice flavors.

Date: Wednesday, December 17th
Time: 5:30pm to 7:30pm
Location: The Wine Guild/Kitchen Catering (606 Rivanna Ave.)

Share this with friends. We love seeing new faces.

Experience Argentina with Bodega Catena Zapata

Experience Argentina with Bodega Catena Zapata

Posted on Nov, 28. 2014 by

Categories: Events

This Wednesday ‘s free tasting is a humdinger. We’ll be pouring 8 of the highest scoring wines we’ve ever poured. 8 wines that have a combined price tag of over $650 . Wines that never appear at free tastings. Until now.

We’ll also have the following Argentinian food available.
Come hungry and you can order any of the following items.

Trio of Empanadas with an Aji dipping sauce – $12
Beef with olives and raisins
Chicken with olives and hard boiled egg
Vegetarian with potatos, carrots and butternut squash

Argentinian Asado – $16
Steak, Lamb, and Sausage with chimichuri and potatoes

Gnocchi (Vegetarian) – $12
Pumpkin, sweet potato andd herb Gnocchi with an Yerba Maté sauce.

Now, back to the wines

Bodega Catena Zapata is the king of Argentinean wine. At this tasting we’re only tasting their best wines.

Catena Alta Chardonnay – Scores 90 – 94
The nose offers ripe white fruit aromas such as pears and peaches that are interwoven with delicate citrus and floral notes, such as Jasmine. The palate shows rich and concentrated ripe pear, apple and apricot flavors with a light note of minerality. The wine finishes long and complex with crisp, mineral acidity.

White Bones Chardonnay – Scores 92 – 96
A bright lemon yellow color in the glass. The nose shows an excellent mélange of citrus and white fruit notes with vanilla. The mouthfeel is rich and concentrated, showing ripe pear, apple and apricot flavors with salty notes. The finish shows bright, clean acidity and wonderful length.

White Stones Chardonnay – Scores 90 – 95
A pale lemon yellow color with gold highlights. The nose shows an excellent melange of delicated white flowers and white fruits aromas with pure minerality notes. The mouthfeel is elegant and fresh, showing jasmine, ripe white peach and pear flavors interwoven with mineral notes. The finish is bright, with clean acidity and wonderful length.

Catena Alta Cabernet – Scores 92 – 94
On the nose, it offers intense aromas of ripe raspberries, and cassis with notes of pepper and clove. On the palate, it is full-bodied and rich and displays layers of black currant and black raspberry with notes of cedar, tobacco and leather. This Cabernet Sauvignon is an elegant wine with silky tannins that provide structure and a long and persistent finish. Pair this Cabernet with red meats like steak or lamb, demi-glace sauces, or with Chateaubriand for an elegant and special dinner.

Nicolas Catena Zapata – Scores 95 – 98
An intense, deep purple color with bluish-black tones. On the nose, aromas of black fruits – blackberries, black cherries, black plums – predominate with subtle notes of vanilla and dark chocolate intermingled with savory hints of green olive and a stony minerality. On the palate, the wine is tremendously complex, unfolding layer upon layer of red currant, eucalyptus, and black pepper flavors . Black cherries and blackberries give way to cassis followed by a hint of saline minerality. The wine is remarkably concentrated with a firm tannic structure providing the backbone for the lush fruit. The finish is long, a foretoken of the long aging potential of this Argentine masterpiece. Let the Nicolás Catena Zapata open in a decanter while you grill a Bone-in Ribeye Steak to perfection.

Adrianna Malbec – Scores 96 – 97
Aromas of blackberries, violets, and vanilla give way to a powerful and deep wine with flavors of black and red fruits alongside of lavendar, wood and minerals. Remarkable concentration and finely-grained tannins stand with great acidity. Pairs well with beef tenderloin.

Argentino Malbec – Scores 93 – 97
The nose offers cassis, blueberries and violets, along with a strong suggestion of soil tones. It combines density and sweetness on the one hand, with gripping, lightly saline flavors of mocha, dark berries, spice, and minerals; a palate-staining finish dominated by sweet black and blue fruits. Pairs well with lamb chops, beef tenderloin, and goat cheese.

Nicasia Malbec – Scores 95 – 97
Ripe black-and-red currant, raspberries and an elegant touch of french oak are some of the aromas that we can appreciate from this special malbec from one of the Catena´s highest family vineyards. Very complex and expressive palate, with a creamy violet flavor witih ripe blueberries, cassis, vanilla and spicecake. Pairs well with roasted veal, shiitake mushrooms, and beef tenderloin.

Finally, Jorge Liloy will be on hand to tell you all you’d want to know about the Catena Zapata estate.

Date: Wednesday, December 3rd
Time: 5:30pm to 7:30pm
Location: The Wine Guild (606 Rivanna Ave.)

Fifth Wednesday Tasting: Esporao!

Posted on May, 29. 2012 by

Categories: Events

I happen to think that the term “epic” has been overused to the point of near-complete desensitization over the past half-decade or so, but I’m taking it back, and using it for something worthy of its definition: Esporão, one of the best families of Portuguese wines available. We’re so excited to have been able to book both a representative from the winery as well as TEN of their wines (I’ve had probably six of them over the years, and they’ve all become house favorites), as well as their top-notch EV olive oil. At a meager $5/head, this is one of those extracurriculars that you really can’t afford to miss, especially if you’re new to Esporão’s family of wares…

Esporão Wines – An Introduction

Here’s a smattering of we’ve got in store for your Fifth Wednesday Tasting next week:

  • Esporão, one of our very favorite Portuguese producers.
  • A winery representative pouring and discussing their wines with us.
  • Ten wines (reds, whites and port): from their outstanding bag-in-box wines (which we love), to their reserve selections, to their flagship red, to a ten year tawny port!
  • Samples of cheeses, Olli Salumeria cured meats, and Esporão’s own EVOO (one of our very favorites).

This tasting event will be held at the Wine Guild HQ, from 5:30-7:30pm, next Wednesday, May 30th. Cost will be $5/person. Put it on your calendar, get a ‘sitter, cancel your other plans, invite your Guild-curious friends, and we’ll see you then!

Fifth Wednesday Tasting: Wainwright Tile & Stone and Aussie Wine!

Posted on Feb, 27. 2012 by

Categories: Events

We’ve got something special coming up for you this Wednesday! It’s rare when February has a fifth Wednesday…it has to happen in a leap year, of course, and we’re fortunate enough to have one this year and can bring to you a special tasting, something we haven’t done in a long time.

For this month’s fifth Wednesday, we’re taking you to Australia (figuratively, of course), and tasting some of wines from a couple of Oz’s top producers. We’ll be pouring a couple of whites, then diving headlong into reds; the lineup includes wines from renowned producers Mollydooker (a sought-after producer of fabulous reds) and Penfolds, (maker of one of the world’s greatest wines, The Grange.) We will not be tasting The Grange, obviously; I didn’t think we could stomach a tasting fee of $50 per person for a tasting portion. Having said that, if you get the chance to try some, do it. Audrey and I went to a Penfolds dinner at Keswick where they served some a couple of years ago and were blown away!

The Whiskey Jar will be providing light appetizers, and we’ll be spotlighting the business of one of our members, Wayne Murphy of Wainwright Tile & Stone, who has graciously offered his store to host this tasting.

So, to recap:

  1. Knockout wines from stellar Australia producers, including one that has been among Wine Spectator’s top 10 wines in recent multiple vintages;
  2. Hors d’oeuvres from The Whiskey Jar; and
  3. A new venue and the chance to explore a local business owned and operated by one of our members. (Wainwright Tile & Stone, 711 Preston Avenue)

All for the modest charge of $20 per person.

Please RSVP as soon you can, so we can confirm that we have enough wine to go around.

Looking forward to seeing everyone!

Tasting: “New World” Wines For Fall

Posted on Oct, 05. 2011 by

Categories: Events

Brycen with Republic National will be joining us tonight to pour a handful of wines from California and South America that are perfect to welcome the wonderful weather that is finally descending upon us (and the great food that comes with it). It’ll be a great evening for getting out with some good wine and good company, so we’ll see between 5:30 and 7:30 tonight. Cheers,

Saturday 9/31/11 Barbera and the Goat

Posted on Sep, 30. 2011 by

Categories: Events, Food, Wine

A reminder that we’re open Saturday from 10am-1pm for tasting and pick-ups. We’ll have an open bottle of the Damilano Barbera D’Asti 2009, a simple yet full, everyday-priced Barbera currently on our floor. Will’s previous notes:

“Bouquet, petals and all, bright fruit, tremendous follow through. Mary Poppins! Mary Poppins is my inside joke to myself to mean, ‘Practically perfect in every way.’ This wine was awesome, medium to full bodied, balanced, easy to enjoy and tons to latch on to. This is no Pizza and Spaghetti wine, it is more a Steak or cocktail wine though it would do well with all sorts of foods. Really it is the sort of thing you just want to be drinking by the mouthful at any given time.”

Continue reading…

Tasting: Introducing The Spanish Wine Importers

Tasting: Introducing The Spanish Wine Importers

Posted on Jul, 20. 2011 by

Categories: Events

A few weeks back, I met with a relatively new distributor, The Spanish Wine Importers, and tasted through a good portion of their portfolio. I was impressed, to say the least, with their tight focus and small, quality-driven selection; it’s really refreshing to see this approach to portfolio management, where instead of casting a wide net and bringing in wines from all over the world, the focus is on a small number of artisans from a single region. There’s something to be said about not spreading yourself too thin, and you can tell just by tasting the wines and talking with them that each of their wines is like a child to them.

Carolyn and Travis Vernon, who own and run the company, are UVa alumni, and have returned to Charlottesville to take advantage of Travis’ many friends and connections over in Spain, to bring us an impressive handful of wines that I guarantee you’ve not tasted before. Be sure to stop by between 5:30 and 7:30 tonight to welcome them to the Guild!

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.

Tasting: Affordable French

Posted on May, 04. 2011 by

Categories: Events

We’re holding our bi-monthly tasting tonight with Billy Keonig from Monsieur Touton, one of our favorite distributors of French wines. We’ll have a handful of eminently affordable wines for spring and summer – some that have at times graced our shelves, and piqued your interest, but you perhaps never got to try. Be sure to stop by for a taste, and to pick up your wines, too! We’ll have bread, cheese, oils, etc. for you to taste as well. See you tonight (5:30-7:30)!

Tasting Reminder: Stock Tasting Tonight

Posted on Apr, 20. 2011 by

Categories: Events

As some of you may know, about once a quarter we buck the typical distributor-guest-theme format for tastings and instead allow you to taste some of the stuff on our shelves that you’ve been eying, without having to buy a bottle ahead of time. And they’re no slouches! This is wine we have in stock and can get more of, and are gung-ho about (it wouldn’t be on the shelves otherwise!)…and it’s always a great opportunity to taste-and-take. Please stop by this evening between 5:30 and 7:30 for a taste (and some bread, cheese, salami and good company too!)

Tasting Reminder: South America

Posted on Apr, 06. 2011 by

Categories: Events

We’re thrilled to finally have Republic National back today. We’ll be welcoming Brycen Downes, a new rep for us, to his first tasting – he’s pouring a lineup of wines from South America to stock your summer patio coolers…a reserve Sauv Blanc, some Chard, Malbec, Cab and a Bordeaux blend. We’ll also be sampling some of our cheese and a new salami from Virginia that is a new favorite of ours. Don’t miss!

Tonight! 5:30PM to 7:30PM

Tasting Reminder for Tomorrow: Greece!

Tasting Reminder for Tomorrow: Greece!

Posted on Mar, 01. 2011 by

Categories: Events

This is a first for us…Greek wine!

I’ve personally always viewed Greek wine, in general, as a quaint peculiarity…something that exists to fill a specific niche in the US market, just because it’s from Greece. But the more Greek wines I try, the more I’m starting to realize that while Retsina may be a bit of a novelty to many people, there are serious winegrowers making seriously good wines over there. And why not? Of course, the biggest barrier to entry into the market is that hardly anyone knows what these grapes are, and even fewer know how to read the labels (insert the requisite “It’s all Greek to me” quip here)…but what I’ve noticed is a new crop of winemakers who are taking a more modern tack, with the accessibility of both the labels and the wine.

I’m truly excited about these wines – I hope you’ll drop by on Wednesday from 5:30pm to 7:30pm and indulge us!

Tasting Reminder: Clement Brown On Spain

Tasting Reminder: Clement Brown On Spain

Posted on Feb, 16. 2011 by

Categories: Events

Anyone who’s been to a tasting with Clement before knows that it’s not just a tasting…it’s a schoolin’, taught by one of the godfathers of wine repping in Virginia. He’s been around for awhile, and knows more than any mortal should about the subject, but he’s also one of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet…his personality somehow always makes the wine taste even better. I always tell new members, if there’s one rep you don’t want to miss a tasting with, it’s Clement—and tomorrow, he’s got a handful of really cool Spanish wines, most of which are wallet-friendly (one is in the low $20’s) and all of which are unique.

See you all tonight…Wednesday the 16th from 5:30pm to 7:30 at the Guild.