Are you ready for something a little lighter after the week of festivities? I’m diving into crisp, refreshing Vinho Verde as Denver continues to break records for warm weather in November.
The Thanksgiving meal was heavy, rich, and intense and my body is craving this exact style of wine now: slightly effervescent, citrusy and mineral-laden, lower ABV, and perfect for pairing with lighter fare.
Most of us have seen Vinho Verde on a label and assume it’s the style of the wine, as in “green wine” -- which to me, translates as young, fresh, and ready to drink. However, I recently learned Vinho Verde is actually the name of the region! The wines are made from an array of indigenous grape varieties grown in several different types of soils on vineyard sites with different microclimates all over the region, in Northern Portugal.
We’ve also mostly seen the light, bright spritzy wines I’m tasting today, but the area also produces some interesting richer style whites, full-blown sparklers, and even some reds! If anyone has tried any of these styles from this area I’d love to hear about your experience.
For food pairing, I chose New Style Sashimi with ponzu, strawberry, and serrano and Green Lipped Mussels topped with crab, a little mayo, sweet soy, and green onion. In just two dishes we have quite a few flavors going on! Here’s what’s cool though: the wines are the mediators. They bring these two dishes together to create harmony and make transitioning back and forth from one dish to a wine and then to the other dish and then the other wine and so on a total joy. The wines are perfect with the seafood flavors, but also work beautifully with the berries and the spice of the serrano
Fun Fact: I was an exchange student in Brazil for a year in high school and I speak Portuguese fluently. When I visited Portugal in 2015, everyone thought I was Brazilian because of my accent! Portugal remains one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited.
Learn more about the region and wines on Instagram at @vinhoverdewines and if you get the chance to visit, don’t hesitate! Until then, travel by tasting! These are wines of place that are truly unique.
How are you getting back into balance following the big holiday?!
The Turkey Day table delivers a serious spread of flavor, texture, and tradition. Every family has their own way of creating the holiday experience and best of all, we can spend it together this year!!!
When it comes to wine, we believe most tables ought to have a variety to enjoy with the feast. There are so many things happening on that table! Savory, salty, sweet, veggie, creamy dishes, and more. Finding just one wine that pairs with all of it is next to impossible. Instead, we suggest an array of excellent wines to explore with every bite.
We’ve carefully selected the wines in this year’s lineup based on quality, style, and versatility to help take some of the guesswork out of your Thanksgiving wine shopping. Mix and match throughout the meal and see what magic you can create.
Look for these bottles in your local retail shop or order online by clicking the Shop Now link next to each wine to add it to your Wine.com cart. They’ll do the heavy lifting for you if you order this weekend and double check you’re set for on-time delivery. Use code Turkey150 for 10% off your order of $150 or more today or tomorrow.
Cheers to you and yours and Happy Thanksgiving! – Montana & The Wine Ship Cru
PS: Scroll to the bottom for a few fun Thanksgiving wine tips (Yes, it is ok to NOT break out your very best bottles on Turkey Day).
Every good party starts with bubbles! Keep in mind that they are more than just an aperitif. Sparkling wines are fantastic with the rich flavors of the meal itself. The bubbles and bright acidity will refresh your palate and settle your stomach so you can go back from another helping.
Mercat Cava Brut Rosé NV
Penedes, Spain | Here’s a bottle you can’t go wrong with. The price is outstanding, the quality sky high, and the fact that it is a rosé means the flavors are going to be more interesting with the meal. It is made in the same method as Champagne but with a price tag under $20.00. It's pale pink with lots of citrus, strawberry, and a light herbal note to complement the classic rosemary, thyme, and other garden flavors of the food.
Saracco Moscato d'Asti 2020
Piedmont, Italy | If you’re rolling your eyes at the idea of Moscato, we get it. But this producer makes wines a world apart from most others in this category. This is just lightly sparkling with lovely, aromatic flavors of peach, honeysuckle, orange, and lemon zest. Think of the desserts that are classics with Thanksgiving. These are the flavors!! Try this with the main course or have it with cheeses. If you have any doubts, just save it for dessert.
Ca' del Bosco Franciacorta Cuvée Prestige Extra Brut NV
Lombardy, Italy | If you have never heard of Franciacorta, don’t worry about it. Try something new that will knock your socks off. This is considered one of the finest sparkling producers in the world and every time we pour it at a tasting it blows people away. It’s super fresh with flavors of winter fruit like apples and pear with a touch of brioche and honey. Plus, the package looks gorgeous on the table and it’s on sale for almost $10.00 off right now!
Billecart-Salmon Champagne Brut Rosé NV
Champagne, France | We have recommended wines from this producer before, and we will continue to. If you’re ready to pony up a little more dough for a great bottle, this is a no-brainer. It’s one of the great wines of the world. The texture of the bubbles is fine and frothy, and the color is pale with a touch of gold. The fruit is delicate yet pronounced with the type of acid needed to balance and enhance every morsel lucky enough to share your mouth with it. We love it so much; we also linked the 1.5 liter Magnum option, because there are few things better in this world than large format wines shared with our favorite people.
Thanksgiving and aromatic white wines are made for each other. If you’re preparing turkey, pork, or other poultry, a few different whites are a must for the holiday. While you can’t please everyone, the wines we’ve selected should come pretty darn close.
Maysara Arsheen Pinot Gris 2019
Willamette Valley, Oregon | Few American producers do justice to the potential of Pinot Gris. Although it’s the same grape variety as the fruity, nutty, Italian Pinot Grigio we like in summertime, this is a different wine altogether. Produced by Certified Biodynamic winery, Maysara, at the south end of Willamette, this is an aromatic, layered, textured wine. The acid is bright and palate cleansing with the slightest trace of sweetness that revs up the flavors on your fork.
Hexamer Quarzit Riesling 2019
Nahe, Germany | It’s not Thanksgiving without Riesling and Germany is the classic choice. A dance of fruit, acid, and sweetness jump out of the glass. This wine is produced on a small family estate in the Nahe region and is very expressive of that place (terroir). It’s pure, mineral-driven, round, and lush. The wine sits between medium dry and medium sweet with an alcohol level of 11%. An absolute pleasure to pair with the festivities.
De Wetshof Limestone Hill Chardonnay 2020
Robertson, South Africa | A great Chardonnay has its place on the table. However, we suggest trying something other than the heavily oaked California styles we like with seafood or risotto. Instead, try something different with this unoaked version from the Western Cape of South Africa. It’s fresh and zippy with notes of citrus, green apple, a little saline, and limestone minerality to play up the savory and vegetable-based dishes.
We can’t talk about Thanksgiving without talking about rosé. Yes, we’ve already shown you two sparkling rosés, and for good reason. We believe rosé to be the most versatile category of wine when it comes to pairing food. But what about the still versions?!
Chateau Trinquevedel Tavel Rosé 2020
Tavel, Rhone, France | If you’re never tried a rosé from Tavel, we hope that changes this Thanksgiving. This isn’t the poolside sipper Provence-style rosé we love in the warmer months. This is serious wine in a bolder approach. The color is deeper and the nose is of raspberry and strawberry with a depth that can handle the intense spices of the stuffing, turkey, gravy, and the rest.
Thanksgiving is the time for the non-red wines of the world to shine but we’ve listed a few key players that deserve a spot on the table. You’ll notice that we haven’t included any Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Nebbiolo, or Tempranillo. If those are the wines you prefer to enjoy, then, drink what makes you happy. However, for this meal, the tannic structure and typical styles of those wines will overwhelm the food. You don’t want to mask the flavors you and your family worked so hard to assemble. Don’t worry though, Christmas is coming, and we’ve got red meat and bold reds on the horizon!
Georges Duboeuf Fleurie Beaujolais 2019
Fleurie, Beaujolais, France | We’ve got a thing for Beaujolais year-round, but with the traditional Thanksgiving spread, this is an absolute must. To be clear, we are NOT talking about Beaujolais Nouveau here. Those wines, while they are the best known from the region, are not the expression of the Gamay grape or the excellence of producers like this one that we want you to try. Fleurie is one of the ten Crus of Beaujolais, and our preference for the holiday as they wines tend to be a bit lighter and fruiter than other areas. This bottle is light in body and drinks similar to Pinot Noir, but there’s a levity, a fruitiness, and a freshness that belongs to only this variety. If you’re only selecting one red, this is our top suggestion for Thanksgiving.
Antiquum Farm 'Juel' Pinot Noir 2019
Willamette Valley, Oregon | Pinot is known as the “chef’s wine” because it is incredibly versatile. Our first Pinot comes from a producer that is worth a Google search on their own. This is unlike any Pinot Noir we have ever tasted yet manages to stay true to the characteristics that make the grape what it is. It’s a living wine with an incredibly complex profile. We recommend decanting it -- and picking up two bottles because you’ll wish you had another one when it’s gone.
The Hilt Estate Pinot Noir 2017
Sta. Rita Hills, California | This is what we love about wine. The same grape grown in a different area can produce a completely different style and flavor profile. For something really interesting, open a bottle of the Antiquum Farm Pinot next to this one and taste them side-by-side. Both represent a combination of the highest quality vineyards, winemaking, and fruit, but they are completely different. The Hilt is produced in an area north of Santa Barbara from vineyards grown on steep slopes of ancient marine sedimentary soils. The wine is savory, dark, and perfumed with notes of cherry, blood orange, fresh herbs, and earth.
Frank Family Zinfandel 2018
Napa Valley, California | Our final wine may have you questioning our previous statement about staying away from bold reds, but this isn’t your average Zinfandel. Plush, fragrant, earthy flavors dance with notes of black plum and mocha. It is the most elegant, complex Zin we have ever tasted. The tannins are soft and supple and won’t obliterate the meal. This is a wine that might change your mind about the grape if all you’ve had were over the top, jammy booze bombs. Pour it into a decanter and trust us on this one.
A few fun Turkey Day wine tips:
From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!
The weather is getting colder, and we’ve got holidays on the brain, well, almost. Before we dive into our 2021 Thanksgiving Wine List next week, let’s focus on the present. It’s Tuesday, and that means tacos are on tonight’s menu.
You may not think of wine when it comes to Mexican fare, but each of the bottles below makes a winning combo with the flavors you'll be enjoying. Plus, it's a great excuse to enjoy some lighter options in the Fall. We've even linked some outstanding recipe pairings for each from Colorado food blogger Yvette at Muy Bueno Cookbook!
Look for these wines at your local wine shop or click the links to order from Wine.Com. They’ll be at your door by the time Taco Tuesday rolls around next week.
Cheers to one of the best days of the week!
Fall in Colorado is one of the most spectacular shows nature puts on. So, I had no problem hopping in the car this week for a little tour of my home state to share the news about the fun things we are offering at The Wine Ship this holiday season! Especially considering my destination, Grand Junction (today), sits squarely in Colorado wine country.
Another sustainable beauty for your Saturday! If you haven’t tried a Grüner Veltliner, it’s something you should try for Fall 2021!
For me, this variety is a good option if you’re usually a beer drinker. It’s got a little spritz to it and some awesome savory characteristics. This one from Berger in Kremstal, Austria is 100% Grüner Veltliner in a one liter format with screw cap.
The wine is dry with a flavors of white blossoms, citrus, stone fruit, green and white pepper, and that savory quality that’s incredibly friendly to food.
It’s certified by Fair’n Green — a sustainable organization with members in France, Germany, and Austria.
No synthetic fertilizers are used, all pomace is composted, and they don’t add any aromatic yeasts or oak by-products.
We’re pouring it on Wednesday for our online sustainability class! Check this link for deets and info on where to buy this and the rest of the wines in the lineup!
Have you tasted this type of wine? Drop your impressions and rec's in the comments below!
Click here to order this one from Wine.com
Becker Family Pinot Gris + Everything Crab Rangoon at Bao Brewhouse in Denver = quite the flavor combination! This wine is an awesome orange expression from Pfalz, Germany on the French/German border. If Alsatian Pinot Gris is a Fall staple for you like it is for me, this is a fun offshoot. Fresh and slightly floral with just 12.5% ABV, this is food wine!
As for the bite: a twist on the classic Chinese Crab Rangoon: jumbo lump crab, charred green onion infused cream cheese, fried everything wonton, spicy mango mustard. The combo of salt, seasoning, and creamy crab is in beautiful balance with the acid in the wine.
Have you tried a little East Meets West combo like this? Ramen and Riesling perhaps? Tell us your favorite combos in the comments!
Click to view this wine on Wine.com
Have you tasted Pinot Noir from Yarra Valley, Australia?
This example drank super light with tons of red cherry and a little hint of spice. Lovely for a summer night on the patio with a stuffed zucchini from the garden.
Produced by Nikkal Wines, this is a blend of fruit from three vineyards in the valley, which is located east of Melbourne, Victoria.
This is a complicated region with many different microclimates. You’ll find some pretty outstanding Cab coming from here, plus Chard, Pinot, and some cool stuff like Riesling and Nebbiolo. If you’re new to tasting the area, I do recommend starting with Pinot Noir. Many different styles exist and this uber light example is the exception rather than the rule.
Have some fun and grab a couple bottles from different producers in Yarra Valley! We get some good ones in the US. Or cast a wider net and pick up a Pinot from here, one from New Zealand’s Central Otago, one from Burgundy, one from Oregon, and one from California. Where am I forgetting?!
Click to shop the wine on Wine.com
Pride Month is here and there’s so much to celebrate! You don’t have to be LGBTQ+ to join the festivities but if you do participate, I hope you back it up with education, exploration, ACTION, and support of some very fun wines!
I’ve gathered the below list of over 30 wine, beer, and spirits brands (highlighting the deets on the wines, of course) that are either owned or produced by members of the LGBTQ+ community or offer special products or programs to benefit them. Of course, there are many other great organizations working on these initiatives, so please drop any you're aware of in the comments!
I’ll be sharing some of these wines throughout this month as we honor the progress! I’ve also got a special event up my sleeve for later in the year, so stay tuned!
To my LGBTQ+ friends and family near and far: I love you. You’re the shit. You make the world amazing!
Let’s keep it going beyond June in honor of ALL people! Cheers to open hearts and open minds!
BABE Wine: In 2020, they launched Pride Month with a video celebrating LGBTQ+ encouraging folks to tag their loved ones and supporters in the comments. They donated $1 for each retweet on Twitter or comment on IG to three LGBTQ+ organizations: the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, The Center, and Love on a Mission, a safe haven for LGBTQ+ youth located in Central Ohio. I have reached out to them to see what they have up their sleeve for 2021! I found their wines in Denver at Applejack Wine & Spirits. Check it out!
Barefoot Wine: A proud LGBTQ+ supporter since 1988, Barefoot is offering their new Sweet Rosé Bubbly online at Barrel Room. The program partners with Free Mom Hugs and the National Center for Transgender Equality. Together they work to make the world a better, more equal, more inclusive place, and are an honored supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. I ordered a 6-pack of this bubbly and I'm so excited to share it with you all!
Eco Terreno Wines: Based in Alexander Valley, this team offers small-production wines from certified biodynamic & organically grown grapes. Founder and winemaker, Mark Lyon, has been making wine for over 30 years. Today 100% of Mark’s production comes from estate fruit! I’m looking forward to trying their ‘Pink Pride’ Rosé!
Equality Vines: This company is committed to equality for all people. Co-founders Matt Grove and Jim Obergefell work together to offer collections of limited-release wines to benefit organizations working toward equality for all. Their ‘Love Wins’ Sparkling Rosé supports LGBTQ Connection an initiative fueled by youth and other emerging leadership that fosters a healthier, more vibrantly diverse and inclusive community.
“What if a bottle of wine represented something bigger, something more important than just a bottle of wine? What if a bottle of wine could do more than help you unwind or celebrate in the moment?”
Gary Farrell: This Russian River Valley program comes from the hands of winemaker Theresa Heredia. She says, "I strongly believe in the Russian River Valley's capacity to consistently produce world class wines. They key is cool breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean blanket." I found their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for sale in Denver at Applejack Wine & Spirits! Wine & Spirits Magazine named Gary Farrell a Top 100 Winery of 2019
Gentleman Farmer: Made by winemakers Joe Wolosz and Jeff Durham with a focus on Napa Valley Cabernet, red blends, Chardonnay, and rosé. “The gentleman’s farm, an idealized farmstead, designed for personal pleasure and satisfaction. It kindles a way of living. It rouses our thinking on winemaking.” The 2018 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon looks like a bottle worth laying down for the next 15-20 years. They produce less than 1,000 cases total so these beauties need to be ordered online via their website.
Remy Wines: Winemaker Remy Drabkin knew she wanted to make wine since she was a child. She brings an Old World sensibility to her lineup of Oregon wines. The company is also the host and originators of Oregon’s Wine Country Pride event. Check out this article on Remy
So Gay Rosé: The self-proclaimed “Proudly Poolside Rosé” comes in a colorful can with 0g sugar, 100 calories, and a generous 14% ABV. “We love designer but we don’t believe in labels. That’s why we created SO GAY ROSÉ, a crisp, canned rosé that always goes down easy, no matter where you’re drinking - or who you’re drinking with.”
Tank Garage Winery: Located in Calistoga at the northern tip of Napa Valley, their ‘Love & Pride’ Case Special “celebrates the dreamers” with a Pride-themed wine in honor of the LGBTQ+ community. A portion of proceeds benefits LGBTQ Connection, an initiative fueled by youth and other emerging leadership that fosters a healthier, more vibrantly diverse and inclusive community.
Teneral Cellars: With a focus on supporting women’s issues, inclusion, and social change, the company donates $10 from every sale of their ‘Love is Love’ 3-pack to The Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative, which supports safe space designation.
“The Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative is the official non-profit charitable organization of The Stonewall Inn inspired by the struggles and ideals of the LGBTQ rights movement and born from The Stonewall Inn Uprising of 1969. We are committed to eliminating the social intolerance that is profoundly impacting the lives of LGBTQ citizens throughout America and abroad.”
ZAFA Wines: Produces wine in both Vermont and Texas. The company is 100% woman-owned and maintains a staff of at least 85% woman. Led by powerhouse Krista Scruggs, their website states: “We are very vocal about our intentions to provide opportunities first and foremost to skill qualified marginalized individuals; this includes POC and Women. Until our industry is reflective of a level playing field of gender and race, we at ZAFA will forever strive to level out the curve and provide opportunity and equity to those who are not seen or given a chance in a homogenized industry.”
BEER & CIDER BRANDS WITH LGBTQ+ INITIATIVES:
101 Cider House
Athletic Brewing Company
Goose Island Beer Co.
Old Bakery Beer Brewery
SPIRITS BRANDS WITH LGBTQ+ INITIATIVES:
Albany Distilling Company
Cotton & Reed Rum
Crystal Head Vodka
Ogden’s Own Distillery
Stateside Urbancraft Vodka
Tom of Finland Vodka
LGBTQ+ WINE EVENTS:
Out in The Vineyard: an experiential Wine Country Event and Travel company for out LGBTQ+ community and offering exclusive, luxury itineraries and events in Wine Country for the discerning gay traveler and our friends.
I hope you find some fun things to explore as we raise a glass to our LGBTQ+ family around the world!
Did I get something wrong? I’m doing my best to learn, share, and explore! If there is anything shared here in error, please contact me at email@example.com. Cheers!
I love a Grüner for the palate arousing spritzy texture that beer drinkers (and I) adore. They’re not overwhelmingly fruity and offer excellent balance with savory herbaceous notes. If you’re intrigued by the sour beer trend but find most to taste more like kombucha than something you’d actually want to enjoy after work, I’m with you.
This wine from iconic producer, Nikolaihof, is something to try. I’m pouring it tonight for a fundraising event and thought I’d start my day with retasting it. Notes of underripe white pear, Thai basil, and mandarin on a sunny Colorado morning? Delightful. Excellent acid structure. Not the kind you get from a lot of Sauvignon Blanc where you’re not sure if you took a sip of wine or licked a 9-volt battery. The kind that gently pools under the tongue and has you going back for me and sad you need to spit because it’s 9 am (I’m a pro…I think).
This comes from Wachau. A place set in a steep-sided valley carved out by the river Danube in Austria northwest of Vienna. I’ve heard of some opportunities for boat tours in this region but have not experienced it myself. The bucket list continues to grow…
Now, if you were offended by my kombucha note, here’s redemption:
This wine is certified biodynamic by Demeter. Named for the goddess of the harvest, this is the only certifier recognized in the USA. This style of agriculture adopts organic practices but also brings philosophy and cosmology into the fold. “The vineyard soil is seen as a facet of a connected system of energy with the planet earth, the air, and other planets. Practitioners adopt their grape growing practices to coincide with the cycles of the planets, moon, and stars. Homeopathic remedies called ‘preparations’ are used to fertilize the soil, treat diseases, and ward off pests.” (Thanks, WSET)
Demeter USA requires that all the marks under the National Organic Program are met, but is actually far more extensive. The emphasis is greatly focused on on-farm solutions for disease, pest, and weed control, as well as in-depth specifications around water conservation and biodiversity.
Have you tasted this wine? Or another Grüner? Drop your comments and tasting experiences below!
When it comes to Zinfandel, few do a better job than the team at Michael David Winery. Known for the massive success of their labels (Freakshow, anyone?!) the winery is, and always has been, family-owned and operated. These are the folks that created 7 Deadly Zins way back when. That wine, a.k.a the number one selling Zinfandel in the United States (at the time, anyway) sold to The Wine Group in 2019 to allow the family to focus on development of their other lines. The winery does big things but holds space for growth and I appreciate it! Having worked with Michael David as their distributor parter in Colorado for the past eight years, I can say from firsthand experience that these guys never fail to surprise, delight, and reinvent themselves.
Michael David Lodi Zin 2018
Studies show that people are naturally attracted to the shade of turquoise used on this package design (also on their new Freakshow Chardonnay!). After all, drawing folks to a label is the first step to getting it in their mouth, right? It stands out, and in a sea of wine, that matters. The marketing professional in me loves to see this stuff.
Lodi is the core of Zinfandel country. The hot, sunny climate produces happy grapes with tons of ripeness and awesome consistency. Like everything Michael David puts out, the wine is sustainably made and vegan to honor the earth and future generations. Medium-bodied with loads of red fruit, chocolate, toasty, spicy notes from a mix of 73% American (28% new) and 27% French (9% new) oak. If you like to cook with a smoker like I do, this wine is a slam-dunk.
When it comes to food pairing, I’ve got barbecue and short ribs on the brain. Ready to pair it?
Traeger Smoked Tri-Tip
Reverse-seared and smoked to glorious perfection. This wine brings a balance of fruit, acid, and complimentary smoke notes to the experience on the palate….drool-worthy!
Here's the recipe!
Don’t have a smoker?
Try this awesome recipe for Garlic Braised Short Ribs with Red Wine from Ang Sarap. Prep is relatively simple and 4+ hours in the Dutch Oven leads to melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness. At this price, you can even afford to use this Zin in the recipe. It calls for 500ml of wine, so be sure to pick up more than one bottle!
Here's the recipe!
ABV: 15% | $15 average
Did you try this wine? Let me know what you think in the comments below. Cheers!
Happy Easter everyone! Today is such a special time to gather and celebrate with family and friends. Spring has fully arrived and I've chosen six special wines to try as sun is shining and the garden comes to life over the next couple months. Each of these beauties is sustainably crafted and represents the perfect balance of fruit, acid, and excellent flavor for the warm days ahead. I've paired each with a Springtime recipe that suits the flavors and is perfect for meals enjoyed on the patio.
Champagne Michel Mailliard 'Cuvee Gregory' Premier Cru Brut NV | Cote des Blancs, Champagne
Here is a clean, laser-focused Champagne that is just perfect for the season. It makes for a lovely aperitif or classic seafood pairing, but I dare you to try it with your juicy steak hot off the grill. The acid will cut right through the fat and enhance the delicious umami flavors of the meat.
Domaine de la Bretonneire Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine Sur Lie 2019 | Loire, France
In the world of high-acid still whites, few can compare to the magic of a great Muscadet. This is one of the most classic oyster pairing wines you will come across. Its "lean and green" with the classic salinity that makes it the perfect match for seafood. The time spent ageing on the lees softens the edges and makes this oh-so-enjoyable to drink.
Bodegas Ordonez Nisia Old Vine Verdejo 2018 | Rueda, Spain
If you're ready to explore something a little off the beaten path and you like fruit-forward, delicious white wines then you have got to try this beauty. It is medium-bodied with a luscious texture imparted by time spent on the lees and in barrel. It'll stand up to dishes with a big more fat like salmon or the delicious bowl of steaming mussels you can make using the recipe below.
Domaine de Triennes Rose 2020 | Meditierranee IGP
A perennial favorite of mine, this rose embodies the flavors and style of Provence rose that so many of us love and trust when it comes to choosing outstanding pink wine. One of my favorite qualities of rose is the versatility it offers when it comes to food pairing. If you're at a restaurant and everyone is having a different dish, get a bottle of rose on the table and you will see smiling faces all around!
Maison Albert Bichot Chablis 2018 | Chablis, Burgundy, France
You're not going to find a lot of New World Chardonnay on my blog, but a classic like this Chablis from such an iconic producer always has a home here! This is a fresh and elegant wine with racy acidity and a super refreshing style. Drink it well-chilled and relatively young as an aperitif or with lighter fare.
Vino Lauria Frappato 2017 | Scoglitti, Sicily, Italy
I can't get serious about Springtime without at least a few bottles of this wine on hand. I love it for warm afternoons with a refreshing chill on it from either an ice bath or the refrigerator. I definitely drink fewer red wines in the Spring and Summer, but this one has been a go-to for a few years now for its light, fruity style and food-friendly qualities.
What are you drinking this Spring? Drop a comment below!
Happy Easter, friends! - Tana
This weekend promises 75 degree weather in Denver and I’ve got warm weather cocktails on the brain.
I’ve just discovered this new brand of vermouth from Argentina brought to the US by one of my favorite importers, Vine Connections, and I’m excited to share and I'm incorporating these into my Springtime bar cart.
Vermouth is a fortified wine flavored with botanicals. It was first produced in Piedmont and came to Argentina by way of Italian immigrants in the late 1800’s. Through the 1950’s-70’s, vermouth enjoyments boomed in Argentina. Then, from the 1980’s to early 2000’s, consumption slowed as the food and table wines produced in Argentina took center stage locally and abroad.
In 2016, a group of four friends were inspired to reinvigorate the category and banded together to create this brand. La Fuerza, or ‘the force’, is the first vermouth brand ever produced in the Andes Mountains! Exposure grew and in 2018 the crew opened a bar, also called La Fuerza, in Buenos Aires to make a proper home for their products. Time Magazine named the bar one of the Top 100 World’s Greatest Places of 2019. This place has officially made my bucket list!
This duo of bottlings utilize Argentina’s two supreme grape varieties – Malbec for the Rojo, and Torrontés for the Blanco. Over 40 botanicals and native plants are hand-harvested from the Andes foothills to create these terroir-driven vermouths. The entire production process takes place in Mendoza using locally-sourced ingredients.
La Fuerza Vermouth Rojo
No preservatives or added flavors are used. You’ll taste notes of juniper, mace, star anise, and peppermint, with finishing hints of dried fruits and spice. This would be the perfect addition to a simple spritz, and it’s awesome in classic cocktails like Negronis or Americanos.
La Fuerza Vermouth Blanco
Also made without the use of preservatives or added flavors apart from the natural botanicals. This one brings notes of wild sage, rosemary, dried chamomile, anise, and coriander. It makes for a delicious and unexpected apéritif or light spritz, and it can be employed in any classic cocktail that calls for white vermouth.
Here are a few fun cocktail creations from the Vine Connections team to help inspire you as you explore this category:
La Fuerza Julep
• 3 oz. La Fuerza Rojo
• Grapefruit Juice
• 2-3 Mint Leaves
• Soda Water
Place mint leaves at the bottom of a tall glass & add a splash of grapefruit juice. Gently crush the mint with a spoon to release its essence. Fill the glass with ice, add La Fuerza Rojo & top with soda water.
La Fuerza Spritz
• 2 oz. La Fuerza Blanco
• 1 oz. Sparkling Wine
• 1 oz. Aperol
• 1 oz. Soda Water
Fill a large wine glass with ice. Add La Fuerza Blanco, Aperol, sprarkling wine and soda water. Stir with a spoon & garnish with an orange slice.
La Fuerza Negroni
• 1 oz. La Fuerza Rojo
• 1 oz. Gin
• 1 oz. Campari
In a short glass add ice, gin, Campari & La Fuerza Rojo. Stir slowly with a spoon and garnish with a slice of orange.
La Fuerza Andes Tonic
• 3 oz. La Fuerza Blanco
• 1 oz. Gin
• Tonic Water
Fill a large wine glass with ice and add La Fuerza Blanco and gin. Top with tonic water and garnish with a branch of thyme, mint or a slice of citrus.
Something new and different to explore! Do you like vermouth? What are some of your favorite ways to enjoy it? Drop a comment below!
If you’re someone who gets excited over Domaine Dujac, you ought to be paying close attention to Bernard Moreau. The wines are pure and complex, traditional and innovative, delivering perennial examples of the purest, most expressive, and overall highest quality in the appellation. To the family, the true sense of duty lies plainly in not messing up the exceptional fruit nature provides. When you have it this good, no manipulation is needed. As they say, “you don’t put a bumper sticker on a Bentley.”
Many wine-lovers agree that it’s tough for a producer to make equally exceptional expressions of both red and white wines. Moreau does it with unmatched grace and elegance.
As a producer, Domaine Bernard Moreau strikes the balance between classic and current. Both revered and relevant, they have shown a natural ability to expand and evolve without losing track of their roots. Many winemakers try to be too many things, behaving like overzealous painters who mix up all their colors only to wind up with brown. Moreau understands the necessity of letting the best of Chassagne-Montrachet be just that, the best.
In 1809 Auguste Moreau constructed the cellar across from the Champs Gain Vineyard of the Côte d'Or (Golden Slope). There he farmed the family’s few hectares of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Production grew in the 1930s at the hand of Marcel Moreau as he acquired what today represents roughly 80% of the Domaine’s vineyard holdings.
In the 1960s, at just 14 years old, Bernard Moreau took over the vineyards and cellar. He grew the estate’s prestige alongside Françoise Moreau and in 1977 the name Domaine Bernard Moreau became official. Over the years the pair applied many crucial updates and developments; including adding yet another 14 hectares (34.59 acres) to their holdings. They upgraded their equipment, farming practices, and winemaking techniques to become current with modern innovations.
In time, Bernard’s sons Alex and Benoît joined the team to assist in winemaking, sales, and viticulture after working vineyards around the globe. They traveled to New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa, surely discovering the true meaning of Dorothy’s, “there’s no place like home.” Their first vintage of Chassagne-Montrachet was 1995 and they took control of all operations in 1999. The pair are an important presence in the new wave of talented young winemakers in the region, with Benoît dedicated to the vineyards and Alex in the cellar.
The brothers manage the vineyards without the use of herbicides or pesticides, with only plowing applied. They use only organic fertilizer and indigenous yeasts. Yields remain low through fastidious pruning and, like their forefathers, they do everything by hand.
In the cellar, the grapes are treated with the utmost care. After a gentle crush, they are left to settle overnight. All wines are aged in French oak barrels with no racking or less stirring to maintain the delicate aromatics and prolong the fermentation process.
Bernard Moreau et File Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru Morgeot 2014
This is the very rare sort of wine that I call, “slam your fingers in the door and keep on smiling good.” The ’14 vintage is just plain phenomenal to drink right now. The flavors are of bright lemon and baked yellow apple tart with a buttery vanilla crust. The years show like the essence of a woman of a certain age when the whole world can feel that she’s in her prime. She’s radiant and confident with no need for over-the-top outfits or makeup; just naturally epic and beautiful in her God-given glory…if I’m starting to sound like a romance novelist, it’s for good reason. Constructed of 100% Chardonnay, the wine is fermented in 10-30% new French oak barrels. It was aged 18 months before release without fining or filtration to allow the natural lees to enhance the body and texture.
I paired it with a bath. To be intimately alone with a wine like this felt like the honor of a lifetime! One of my most simple pleasures taken to new heights thanks to a collector friend of my mother’s who gifted her the bottle (of course we shared it!! I only had one glass in the tub while she enjoyed her first over a book. We finished the bottle side-by-side in honor of her 70th birthday and newly acquired COVID-19 vaccine.
ABV: 13.5% -- $115 (average)
Bath Pillow by Everlasting Comfort . This took bath time to a new level of luxury! Available from Amazon. Click this link to get yours for $29.95.
As mentioned, the 2014 vintage of white burgundy is, in a word, spectacular. Spring was warm and dry producing a relatively early bud break. Chassagne-Montrachet (and also Puligny-Montrachet) was fortunate to escape a hailstorm in June that impacted the neighboring Côte de Beaune, causing severe damage in the villages of Volnay, Pommard, Meursault, and Beaune. Some challenges during flowering reduced the yields, resulting in a lessened crop. Despite the reduction, the fruit that did thrive enjoyed uninterrupted maturation. The reduced yields meant some producers we unable to bottle their Premier Cru sites and were forced to combine them into a single declassified blend. Moreau was lucky to produce the wine we are discussing. Me? I’m luckier still to drink it.
Learn more about the 2014 vintage in this article from Vinous
Morgeot is the largest Premier Cru vineyard in Chassagne-Montrachet Located at the southern end of the appellation. With a total size of 54.17 ha (133.8 acres) and 21 sub-divisions, or climats, the soils are mostly clay on top of limestone. Both red and white varieties are permitted here for planting.
Morgeot translates from the Gallic ‘Morga’, meaning “border limit”, as the site sits at the southern border of Chassagne-Montrachet and Santenay. The wines produced here are rich and powerful with the advantage of the slightly warmer southern climate. The aging potential is proven in this bottle, as Alex takes great care to pick early enough that the acid structure remains in place and the grapes don’t over ripen.
Have you had wines from this producer or region? Drop a comment below! If not, I hope you seek them out. You won’t be disappointed.
Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc 2020
Marlborough, New Zealand
I love a Sauvy B for a cocktail wine! The style is crisp, refreshing, and to the point — perfect at right around 5pm.
Astrolabe came across by radar recently and I'm so excited to share it with you!
Named after an ancient astronomical device used to measure celestial bodies for the purposes of navigation, this family-owned winery has been called “New Zealand’s leading Sauvignon Blanc maker” by Bob Campbell, MW. It was ranked in the Top 5 of Decanter Magazine’s recent Top 20 for ’20 New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc feature, not to mention they dropped a mean 94 points on it. That’s a lot of hype on a wine in such an approachable price point. It’s awesome to see a producer stand out like this in a category that can be a bit one-dimensional IMHO.
The 2019-2020 season brought slightly above average temperatures but was still cooler than the three scorching years prior. It was very dry with only 1.7 inches of rainfall from December to harvest in April. Thankfully, there was groundwater and a bit of drip irrigation applied to keep the vines happy and healthy in the stony, silt-loam soils.
Four of the area’s top sub-regions are home to these vines: Awatere Valley (56%), Southern Valleys (12%), Wairau Valley (15%), and Kekerengu Coast (17%)
The grapes were machine harvested in cool evening conditions, de-stemmed, and pressed gently for minimal skin contact. Clear, cold-settled juice was fermented in stainless steel vats at low temperatures, using neutral wine yeast strains to maintain the exceptional fruit flavors.
On the nose, the wine is expansive with aromas of fresh herbs and white peach. The palate is full of classic grapefruit, lemongrass, peach tea, and citrus. Very nice indeed!
Do you like NZ Sauvignon Blanc? What are your favorite producers? Drop a comment below!
Need a little direction when exploring new wines? Here's one of my favorite tips: learn to shop foreign wines by importer!
Importers have a "house style". They travel across the globe in search of amazing producers that they feel reflect the quality they are committed to representing.
You can build trust in an importer's standards and use their emblem as an indicator of a quality product -- even if you have never heard of the wine! These folks are tireless when curating their books and I've learned to rely on certain companies to bring remarkable wines to the USA.
How does it work? While a wine is labeled with the information of the winery it comes from, in many import cases, you will also find the importer's logo on the back label. Once familiar with an importer's insignia you can look for it when perusing the shelf and know that the wine was hand-selected by their team. In other words, it's here for a reason and someone thought it was very special!
Does this mean you will love every single wine you buy? Of course not! That's never possible... but this practice can give you a point of reference when exploring wines outside your comfort zone.
A few of my favorites in order of appearance on the below Instagram Reel:
Skurnik Wines: incredible portfolio of Grower Champagne, German and Austrian wines, and others from Spain, France, New Zealand, and beyond
The Sorting Table: remarkable French, Italian, New Zealand, South Africa, and Austrian selections
Vine Connections: one of the very best sake portfolios brought to the USA, plus incredible Chilean and Argentinean wines and craft spirits
Valkyrie Selections: exceptional Spanish, French, and English producers with a focus on sustainability
WinesU Imports: amazing Italian portfolio with gems from France
Jorge Ordonez Selections: the leader in Spanish wines, bar none
Weygandt Wines: super small-production, collectible wines from France, Germany, Austria, Italy, and Spain
Broadbent Selections: the place to turn for South Africa and Portugal -- also Australia, Italy, South America, Lebanon, Germany, England, and New Zealand
Anyone else like to shop this way? Which importers do you love?!
Tasting wines side-by-side is my favorite way to explore a region. Thanks to a colleague who loaned me his Coravin, I was able to do just that without pulling all three corks.
This lineup imported by Friuli Italian Wines brings us an array of examples of unique northern Italian wines in three very different styles: a classic white, a skin-contact (aka slightly-orange) white, and a unique red made of a grape variety I’ve never experienced before.
Shall we taste?!
Bortolusso Malvasia 2018
San Gervasio - Carlino, Friuli-Venezia Giulia
The vineyards of this family-run winery are located in close proximity to a lagoon. The interaction with the sea salted air provides notes of saline and minerals, adding a complexity and savoriness that makes this wine perfect for food pairing. Grilled seafood or risotto, anyone? The team uses organic fertilizers and minimum residue pesticides to keep the vines as pure as possible.
Comprised of 100% Malvasia, this wine is made in a dry style typical of this part of Italy. However, you may have encountered an expression of this grape, which is grown historically in Mediterranean regions, by the name ‘Malmsey’ from the island of Madeira in a traditional sweet wine.
In this case, the wine is lemon-yellow in color with notes of underripe stone fruit like apricot and peach and a nuttiness that adds to its complexity. I quite like that. This one inspires saliva below the tongue and leaves my mouth with an essence of orange peel on the finish. Excellent balance at 13% ABV. At $18.00 this is a very approachable option for the summer days ahead. I’d keep this in the fridge but set it out to drink without an ice bath to allow a broader spectrum to flavors and aromas to surface.
Specogna Pinot Grigio ‘Ramato’ 2019
Friuli Colli Orientali D.O.C
I find much of the Pinot Grigio in today’s market to be one-dimensional and a bit boring. Not so with this bottle. The copper color is imparted by a 48-hour maceration with the skins. Orange wine is quite popular lately. It’s a trend, like ‘natural wine’, that sometimes has me scratching my head. However, when done in this style, I find it to be absolutely exciting. It takes a simple variety like Pinot Grigio to new heights of interest and complexity by making the most of the natural material without overdoing it.
For me, the nose of this wine does not do justice to the palate. New flavors and aromas erupt when you get this in your mouth! The mouthfeel is soft, almost creamy, which may be an indication of lees-aging, although I can’t confirm this. Excellent acid structure and balance with an ABV of 13.5%. Flavors of apples and pear, but also wild berry, which I don’t often find in Pinot Grigio. I wondered if I was tricking myself by focusing too much on the color, but I don’t think so. Sustainably produced both in vineyard and cellar, I can say this is one of the better expressions of this grape variety I have had the pleasure of tasting. At $27.00 a bottle, it may hit a touch above what you’re used to spending on Pinot Grigio, but if you’re willing to trust me, I doubt you’ll be disappointed. In a word: delicious.
Castelvecchio Terrano 2017
Carso, Friuli-Venezia Giulia
I absolutely love it when I encounter a wine made of grapes I have never tasted and from a place I’m barely familiar with. This is how we discover the world through wine! Smelling, tasting, researching, and reflection temporarily transport us to the place of origin and for a moment, we’re traveling again!
The Carso region, also called ‘Karst’, refers to the plateau that straddles the border of northeastern Italy and southwestern Slovenia. While I’ve tasted wines aged in Slovenian oak, the Terrano grape variety is a new experience. The Castelvecchio winery has been producing since 1750, but evidence of vineyards and olive trees in the region can be traced back to 1578. Sustainable, low-impact viticulture is practiced here on arid, rocky soil with red sand. The Terrano variety is closely related to Refosco, a grape I actually have tasted from Friuli.
The wine is ruby red with a purple rim and stains the glass when swirled. The producer website states that the color “confirms its high organoleptic qualities given by the presence of very high units of antiradical, anti-aging, polyphenols, antioxidants and antivirals.” I don’t know enough about this subject to speak to this, but it piques my curiosity, which I appreciate in and of itself.
The palate offers red raspberry all day with notes of red licorice and bramble. The acid here is striking and has me thinking a slight chill would serve this quite well, as would a few more years in bottle. If I were trying to give someone a tasting example of malic acid, this would be a great place to start. The wine is aged in stainless steel and at 12.5% ABV it’s an easy drink to enjoy in the early afternoon. Unfortunately, this wine is sold out on the Friuli wines website at the moment, but you can explore other options from the same producer here.
Perhaps I’ve found some wines that interest you too. If so, I invite you to give them a try and geek out with me! The first five people to enter the code WINESHIP20 will save 20% on their online order at https://www.friulitalianwines.com/. I would love to hear your impressions if you do taste, and also if you have experience with similar wines from this part of Italy.
Many thanks to Evelyn, Alex, and the Friuli Italian Wines team for this experience! Mille Grazie! - Montana
I created The Wine Ship with a few ideas in mind:
1) To celebrate the inspiration I’ve found in the great wines of the world near and far. Creative minds express themselves so beautifully using wine as their medium. This image is a nod to the iconic ‘Papillon’ label by Dave Phinney which features the hands of revered Calistoga grower, Vince Toffanelli. It was Vince’s old-vine Zinfandel, planted by his grandparents, that made the foundation of the original bottlings of The Prisoner. This brand eventually led to the creation of Papillon and other great wines. His finger tats were faux, and so are mine...(Well, the letters anyway, don’t panic mom. You’ve put up with enough.)
2) Because wine is a conduit for human connection. I’ve built some of my life’s greatest friendships around it. A friendship built on wine, for me, is a WineShip.
3) My goal is to serve as a vessel for others to board as they set sail on the sea of wine discovery. There are a million resources available to learn about wine and I hope that my platform is one where people feel safe and welcome, even when the waters are turbulent.
Wishing you all a wonderful Monday! And if you’re new here, welcome aboard! You’re now a part of the ‘Cru’!
I made it to Montalcino back in 2018. While I didn’t visit this producer, it didn’t take long for me to understand why the wines made here are so special and so important in the world of Italian wine and beyond. Brunello di Montalcino is Italy’s highest DOCG classification and many believe it to be the highest-quality expression of Sangiovese on earth.
Here, the Sangiovese grape has thicker skins, which leads to intense tannin structure, bold fruit characteristics, and very high acid. High acidity in wine equals aging potential, and as such Brunello is best consumed a decade or more after bottling. Young Brunello can be searing on the palate with such intense structure the drinker may find their palate overwhelmed. With time, the components soften together to reveal more dried, oxidative characteristics. Decanting becomes quite important here as the wine has been locked away under cork for so long and must be invited with patience to open up into its full potential for tasting, and more importantly, enjoyment.
2004 is considered a great vintage to seek out and drink now in 2021, which is why I opted to crack it after cellaring at home for a few years. When drinking older wines, I like to think about where I was in my life the year the grapes were grown. In 2004, I was a 16-year-old junior in high school living abroad in Brazil. Oh, how time flies! While this is the only 2004 Brunello that I have tasted, I found this interesting article from Antonio Galloni of Vinous on the vintage. What struck me is that he notes being disappointed by wines from the most famous producers of the region, while being pleasantly surprised by the releases from lesser-known estates. He also notes that ’04 Brunello from the southern part of the zone showed better than those from Montalcino proper. Considering he’s tasted far more than I, I’ll have to take his word for it. Overall, the ’04 vintage is considered far superior to the ’02 and ’03 harvests.
The Sassetti family has farmed some of Montalcino’s finest vineyards for over a century. Livio Sassetti worked the region through the late ‘70s before purchasing the famous Podere Pertimali vineyard, a site revered for high-quality Sangiovese where soils have a clay sublayer with a sandy topsoil layer. In 1967, Sassetti was a co-founder of the Consorzio del Brunello di Montalcino, which was the same year the DOC(G) system was written into law.
One year after the vineyard acquisition, Livio built a terracotta wall in the cellar to help preserve the older vintages produced by the family. Now, that cellar houses nearly 1,000 bottles with examples dating back to 1915. Livio has evolved the winemaking and vineyard management processes over the years while staying true to the quality standards and traditions of the family’s history.
Today, Livio’s son Lorenzo Sassetti manages the estate as the fourth-generation family member and an esteemed winemaker. As his father did before him, Lorenzo proudly maintains the family’s high-level of quality. The wines he produces are expressive of their unique terroirs and traditional style. These powerful wines are intense and aromatic, yet approachable and delicious when drunk under the right circumstances with consideration of proper cellaring.
This bottling is a wine for collectors. A benchmark of the family’s approach to making great Brunello, the Sassetti ‘Pertimali’ Brunello di Montalcino is incredibly luscious and intense with a sure need for oxygen before tasting. I decanted this slowly using my favorite vessel from Mixologist World. Loads of red fruit soar out of the glass with rustic dry floral and mushroom notes. Tannins are soft and integrated from the years in bottle and the mindful aeration.
The wine is made of 100% Sangiovese Grosso from vines planted between 1988 and 2001. The juice was fermented in stainless steel after a maceration of 10-12 days before being aged 36 months in Slavonian oak.
Average Price: $149
Overall, I find Brunello to be a fascinating category. Such true expression of terroir and an unequaled power propel the wines above so many others. These are not the wines of daily enjoyment. However, for a lover of viticulture, tasting them is simply a requirement for gaining a deeper understanding of the magical world of fine wine.
I was born and raised in Colorado and this is also the place I fell in love with wine. Colorado is a hub for great wine! We are only now starting to have chain retail in this state. As such, we have mostly independent retailers. This means that small-production wines make their way here often.
But what about the wines grown and produced here? I confess, until this past week I didn’t have much appreciation for the wines of my home state. I have tasted a few over the years but nothing has stood out and I, like many wine-lovers here, had sort of given up on the local selection.
Now, this is changing as industry pioneers reinvent consumer perception and enjoyment of Colorado wines with new offerings better suited to our unique climate. At the top of the game is Carboy Winery. Started in 2015 as a négociant (a winery that purchases grapes from growers to make wine), they have evolved into Colorado’s fastest-growing wine producer.
So what changed? It’s pretty simple. They understood that Colorado is Colorado, not Napa Valley. The Grand Valley AVA, located about 4 hours west of Denver, has vineyard sites sitting at an average of 4,700 feet. It snows here. It gets super hot here. The grape varieties that work in California can’t always cut it out here. I tasted unique, cold-hearty grape varieties at Carboy that I have never ever heard of! Things like Petite Pearl and Teroldego, as well as some we know well such as Merlot, Tempranillo, and Syrah.
The wines are expressive and thoughtfully made. Instead of trying to mask or make up for the unique conditions with massive oak they go for mostly neutral casks. It’s earth over fruit, old-world style over alcohol, acid over jam.
The Colorado industry is growing up and I’m so floored and excited to discover this new era of winemaking right here in my own backyard.
This is only the beginning…
Here are two of the five wines I brought home yesterday. I chose them because of their remarkable uniqueness and also, most importantly, deliciousness! I also brought home burrata and charcuterie from the adjoined Angelo’s Taverna to pair.
2018 Native Fizz Blanc
Sparkling Gruner Veltliner picked the first week of August in 2018
Handshake Acres Vineyard, Grand Valley, Colorado
Aromatic yeast strain, 16 months in triage, brut dosage
2018 Petite Pearl
From some of the highest altitude desert vineyards in North America
Cold-hearty hybrid variety well-suited to the hot days and cool nights of the microclimate
Medium-body and herbaceous; notes of plum and tomato vine, and earth
Thanks to Kevin, Jason, and the winemaking team for your time with me sharing your story and your wines. #ColoradoProud
Hangovers hit different after 30. We all try to keep the balance, but if you drink regularly you’ve probably overindulged a time or two. Six months ago I ordered Cheers after seeing ads on Instagram. I was skeptical but figured if it worked it was worth a shot. I share this because it’s important to me that you know I have sincerely vetted this product myself over a period of time prior to sharing it with you.
Supplements affect people differently. I noticed a difference right away when using Cheers and continued to notice it until the product in my first order was gone. However, I didn’t reorder immediately. That’s when the difference became the most apparent — when I didn’t have it anymore. I missed feeling better after drinking nights!
Cheers is in the same category of dietary supplements as Emergen-C, Airborne, Dramamine, and others. In this category, the FDA requires that products are made safely but does not comment on efficacy — that’s left to the consumer to judge. Since these products aren’t regulated like drugs, a lot of supplements hide their ingredients behind ‘proprietary blend’ verbiage. Just like wine blends, this means that the individual ingredient amounts do not have to be listed. As such, a lot of companies pump out products listing desirable ingredients but only actually contain amounts so small they don’t do a thing for you. Cheers is transparent and specific in listing all ingredients. It is also made in the USA and the company has invested deeply in toxicology testing to ensure that Cheers is both safe and effective.
DHM (Dihydromyricetin) is the ingredient we’re after in hangover land. It’s expensive but it works when you actually get a dose. Cheers has 1,200mg of DHM per dose which, like all of the ingredients in the blend, is clearly disclosed. DHM is 62% of the Cheers blend, followed by L-Cysteine HCL, Vitamins B, C, and E, N-Acetyl L-Cysteine (NAC), Milk Thistle, Prickly Pear, and Ginger. If you want to learn more about these ingredients visit the Cheers site or look them up anywhere. I particularly enjoyed the article on the Cheers website titled: DHM, Rats, & Alcohol Use Disorders.
Cheers Restore (my fave in the lineup): After-Alcohol Aid
Take 2-4 capsules after your last drink or before bed
Benefits: Reduces GABAa rebound, lowers alcohol-induced acetaldehyde toxicity levels, supports the liver when exposed to alcohol
Cheers Hydrate: Powder designed for rapid, effective, and safe rehydration to support overall health and immunity
Drink a glass of water with 1 scoop
Benefits: Optimizes the Sodium-Glucose Cotransport System for rapid rehydration; formulated using clinical research performed by the World Health Organization
Cheers Protect: Daily supplement designed to significantly increase glutathione levels, support overall liver health, and boost immunity.
Take 2 capsules daily for overall liver and immune health
Benefits: Uses L-Cysteine as a prodrug to boost glutathione levels; designed to support overall liver health
If you want to learn more about the function and importance of a healthy liver I highly recommend the book Liver Rescue by Medical Medium. His work has changed my life and my health over the years.
You’ll take a simple quiz to get started where you’ll answer questions about your frequency of drinking, whether you’re comfortable taking pills, rate how you typically feel after a night of drinking, and if you experience the dreaded #hangxiety, aka #SundayScaries aka the dreaded loss of motivation and overall crappiness mentally, physically, and emotionally.
The first 25 people to order with my code THEWINESHIP15 save 15% on their entire order.
WHAT IF IT DOESN'T WORK?
When I shared Cheers on my story last week a few of you commented that you had tried it and it didn’t work for you. Like all supplements, Cheers may not work for some people. For this reason, they offer a satisfaction guarantee so new customers can try it without risk. If you already have Cheers on hand and don’t feel it works, try it again. Make sure you’re taking Cheers Restore as close as possible to your last drink rather than hours later before bed. You can also take 3 capsules instead of 2 and see if you notice a difference.
CHEERS TO THE WEEKEND MY FRIENDS!
I’ll start with a confession: I don’t have a lot of tasting experience with Rioja. Sure, I have had the wines as necessary to prepare for exams, and on occasion beyond that, but no immersion. The reason is that based on my previous impression of the category. I like Beaujolais and a lot of the world’s Pinot Noir. I love lower alcohol, higher acid Old-World wines. My impression of Rioja was enamel ripping tannin, brooding ABV, and a shy awareness of my own ignorance on the region.
Now, this is changing; and this wine is part of the reason. I pulled the cork on Thursday night and found the initial bouquet reminiscent of a variety I like very much: Nebbiolo. When I shared this impression with one of my mentors he said, “I’d say that’s a very good thing.” Meaning, the oak and alcohol is integrated and the lovely fruit and flower aromas I’d expect from Barolo or Barbaresco are present. The beautifully integrated structure of the wine is, of course, a result of the time rested in barrel in bottle.
Let’s discuss the meaning of Gran Reserva in this context. Spain is the only wine region where the word ‘Reserve/Reserva’ is a matter of law. Here in the US, you’ll see the word “Reserve’ on wines of all quality levels. It doesn’t mean anything apart from the benefit it provides in marketing. In Spain, Gran Reserva requires that the wine has been aged at least five years with a minimum of two years in oak (this one saw 28 months). Gran Reserva wines are typically only produced from outstanding vintages.
This wine is made of 100% Tempranillo from vines planted in 1975 and farmed with the utmost respect for the environment. Located at the foot of the Sierra Cantabria, this area is characterized by an Atlantic climate that is moderated by the Sierra rain shadow.
The grapes were hand-selected and completely destemmed, ensuring only the ripest and healthiest made it into the wine. In the winery, these things took a serious! First, a pre-fermentation maceration at 43°F, followed by temperature-controlled fermentation in open top fermenters with selected indigenous yeast. Then another 12 days on the skins! The juice and skins must have had trouble saying goodbye to each other when all was said and done. The juice was then transferred to 100% new Bordelaise French Oak barrels.
El Puntino is the name of the single vineyard where the grapes came from. The wine expresses the unique mineral-driven profile of this terroir, as is the goal with all the single-vineyard wines produced by Viñedos de Páganos.
Fun Fact: El Puntido is an old word meaning 'staircase landing', like the shape that these lands form between the Sierra de Cantabria and the Ebro River depression.
A wine like this tends to taste best on day two, and this was no exception. The aroma of violets, the one that made me think of Nebbiolo on day one, is still present. Black fruits like plum and blackberry stroke the palate. On day one a note that reminded me of smokey leather or a sweaty horse (not as bad as it sounds) was present. Day two it had given way to a softer, earth-driven smoke note. Lovely.
Colorado-based critic Jeb Dunnuck gave this 94 points. I tend to value his opinion above that of most critics, although Parker did drop a mean 96 on it.
Average Price: $55.00 USD
The wine is a testament to the level of quality we can expect from the Jorge Ordoñez Selections portfolio. The more I learn, the more I appreciate the values this company is founded on.
What are your thoughts on Rioja? Ready for more?!
I have long been fascinated with Spain. Not just the wines but the country and the culture. I am fortunate now to embark on a journey through La Rioja and beyond with the incomparable Jorge Ordonez Selections and you're invited!
Jorge Ordonez is truly a pioneer of the Spanish wine industry. In 2007 he said, "When nobody cared about Spanish wines, I was there." It's the truth.
So here's where we start. Three remarkable wines and a board of meat and cheese that served as Friday night dinner. Over the weeks to come we will go deeper... this is just a tease. Will you come with me?
Three price points, three styles, three stories. Separate posts on each coming this week!
Sierra Cantabria Unica 2016 | Vinedos Sierra Cantabria - D.O.Ca. Rioja
Codice 2018 | Dominio De Eguren - Vino de la Tierra de Castilla
El Puntido Gran Reserva 2007 | Vinedos de Paganos - D.O.Ca. Rioja
A gorgeous piece from one of my favorite food and beverage companies: Mixologist World. It is the perfect size and even has a drawer with four very sharp utensils. The entire piece is well-made and attractive. Use this link to order yours on Amazon for $40.
THE CHARCUTERIE & CHEESE:
From Frank's Bodega, a small, premium grocery store that opened in my neighborhood when the owner's original business of catering for performers visiting Red Rocks Amphiteater was decimated by COVID-related show cancelations. I love their selection of premium deliciousness!
Stay tuned for more! Until we can travel again, let's continue to discover the world through wine!