Posted on May, 29. 2012 by
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…
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!
Posted on Feb, 27. 2012 by
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:
- Knockout wines from stellar Australia producers, including one that has been among Wine Spectator’s top 10 wines in recent multiple vintages;
- Hors d’oeuvres from The Whiskey Jar; and
- 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!
Posted on Oct, 05. 2011 by
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,
Posted on Sep, 30. 2011 by
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.”
Posted on Jul, 20. 2011 by
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!
Posted on May, 18. 2011 by Michael Davis
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.
Posted on May, 04. 2011 by
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)!
Posted on Apr, 20. 2011 by
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!)
Posted on Apr, 06. 2011 by
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
Posted on Mar, 01. 2011 by
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!
Posted on Feb, 16. 2011 by
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.
Posted on Jan, 19. 2011 by
You really don’t want to miss this one. I’ll call it “new vintages from old favorites, plus some prosecco”…or, in the interest of brevity, “BE THERE”. Kevin from Dionysos will be on hand…he has some prosecco for palate-cleansing…then, the new vintage of the Blanchett Pouilly Fume, which has consistently been my go-to for Sauv Blanc lately; next, a premier bottling of demi-sec Montlouis (chenin) from one our favorite Loire producers, Francois Chidaine. For red, the ’08 of the typically brutish-and-in-need-of-cellaring Bouquet de Garrige from Caillou, which actually turned out to be lighter and spicier in that less-intense vintage, and is drinking incredibly well right now. Last is a premier cru red Burgundy from a perennial favorite house of ours, Xavier Besson. I’m salivating already.
Posted on Jan, 05. 2011 by
This is just a friendly reminder that we’ll be holding the first tasting of 2011 tonight from 5:30-7:30 at the Guild. We often get requests to taste some of the stuff that we’ve gone deep on at the shop, and this is that chance! We’ll have a bubbly, 2 whites and 2 reds, all of them liked enough by the board for us to buy heavy on without preorders.
Also, if you’re a Wine Guild member, there’s a good chance that you have some wine to pick up as well, so why not kill both of those birds with the same stone?
Posted on Dec, 08. 2010 by
Well the holiday season is upon us, with trees, lights, holiday music and dramatically increased traffic all around. We here at the Wine Guild are getting in the spirit as well, and are pleased to announce our that our last tasting of the year on Wednesday, December 15th will be a special celebration in honor of the year past and hopefully good things to come. Continue reading…
Posted on Nov, 30. 2010 by
Too often, region-specific tastings focus on perhaps several different subregions or properties, from several different producers, which to me is like comparing a large SUV from Honda to a compact hybrid from Chrysler – too many variables, no control. I find that you can get the most out of the experience when, instead, you either stick with one producer across several subregions, or several producers within one subregion – then, you’re really comparing apples to apples. So, that’s what we’re doing tomorrow: several Rhone subregions (Chateauneuf, Vacqueras, Rhone, and Rhone Villages) from a single winemaker, and because we always need some more white around here, we’re throwing in a Vouvray and Muscadet for good measure. See you tomorrow (5:30-7:30).