I'm glad you found your way to The Wine Ship! I am a Denver-based Sommelier with a passion for discovery and teaching through experiences. My blog captures wines I'm loving, virtual experiences, travel inspiration, food pairing guidance, and information on clean, sustainably-made products.
Now, can I get you a drink?
~ Montana Rae, Captain
It’s time for another Happy Hour offering: Bobbing for Apples! This is one of my absolute favorite Fall cocktails, and the perfect complement to the flavors in the whisky.
This one is so easy to make and guarantees a smile…especially since it doesn’t require you to dunk your face in a tub of water…
You’ll find the complete recipe at the end of the video. Snag a screenshot to take with you to the grocery store. Pick up a bottle of @sundaysspirits whisky at @argonauthasit and @mondovinodenver with more great shops popping up all the time!
Let me know what you guys think! Cheers!
75 seconds to tell you about my CAB CRUSH!!! Most fine retailers in CO carry this guy. If you’re thirsty DM me where you live and I’ll find you a store. If you’re in Denver I’ll take care of you personally! Cheers!
Today I'm offering a little cocktail tutorial using one of my very favorite sakés: Tozai Snow Maiden Nigori
This fresh, fruity drink is super refreshing and so easy to make at home! Try it as we soak up these sunny days before winter strikes and I need to find a new way to enjoy this gorgeous cloudy saké!
Give it a try and let me know what you think! Kanpai!!!
Thank you so much to the team at Peak Beverage for having me as a guest on their #BoozyBanter program! I love talking wine, and Myles is one of the best in the biz. We are gearing up for next week's #CaliforniaRoadTrip, a live virtual experience featuring the gents behind Valravn, Stolpman, and Frank Family wines LIVE all in one spot. Join us for the free event via Zoom Wednesday, September 30th at 6pm. Visit www.maverickwine.com/californiaroadtrip to learn more about how you can join, where to buy the wines (Peak Beverage, of course!!), and how you can help raise funds to support people displaced by this year's horrible wildfires in Colorado and California. Thanks to Rachel, Myles, and the whole wonderful team at Peak!
A quick intro to one of my favorite new wines for Fall! I discovered this last week while visiting Buena Vista Winery, California’s oldest premium winery. Check it out!
September is California Wine Month, and we are celebrating with another very special wine experience. Join us via Zoom for a virtual road trip through wine country featuring three remarkable California wine industry leaders as they share their stories and their wines —LIVE! Select any of the wonderful wines from these producers to enjoy during the event! Visit our Find A Retailer page to locate the wines and the local retailers who carry them.
The Zoom will begin at 6:00pm MST with a special homage to the Golden State while everyone gets settled. Presentations will begin at 6:15pm. We will begin our road trip in Napa Valley with Todd Graff of Frank Family Vineyards, journey to Sonoma County to spend time with Baron Ziegler of Valravn Wines, and finally head south to Ballard Canyon to meet Peter Stolpman of Stolpman Vineyards.
Get to know the people, places, and wines that make California so special. Invite your fellow wine lovers to join along, too! In addition, as an act of solidarity toward our beloved wine producers and our own neighbors here at home, we are encouraging donations to help support people in both Colorado and California that are effected by these devastating fires.
I'm so excited to introduce you to one of my absolute favorite California wine producers, Todd Graff of Frank Family Vineyards in Napa Valley California.
Discover the remarkable lineup from this iconic Napa winery, and make sure to mark your calendars for Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 6:00pm MST! That's when we'll be taking you on a virtual road trip through California wine country LIVE! You'll learn even more from Todd, as well as Baron Ziegler of Valravn wines in Sonoma, and Peter Stolpman of Stolpman Vineyards in Ballard Canyon!
Cheers and have a wonderful weekend! Register for the event www.maverickwine.com/californiaroadtrip. If you miss it, check back on YouTube after the event for the video from the event! Cheers
Join me and South American wine expert, Lizzy Butler, for a three-part virtual journey through the breathtaking wine regions of Chile and Argentina! We begin with a little Chile and Argentina 101 in Part 1.
In Part 2, we head to the gorgeous coastal vineyards of Leyda Valley in Chile to discover the remarkable wines of Boya and then to Colchagua Valley to Casa Silva to experience the heart of Chilean Carmenere.
Finally, we conclude our journey in Part 3 with a visit to the world-famous Argentine region of Mendoza with two amazing female producers. We begin with Jimena Lopez at Bodini wines, and then move to visit Laura Catena's homage to her Italian roots with La Posta.
Thank you for joining in on this unique experience!! Salud!
Check out the recording of our Live Zoom for this special event featuring three remarkable wine industry luminaries as they share their stories, and their wines, LIVE from their wineries around the world! Choose any of their wonderful wines from a participating retailer to enjoy during the event.
We will travel from New Zealand to Argentina to Napa Valley on a spectacular journey through the wines as we come to know the powerful female producers responsible for them! Invite the powerful woman wine-lovers in your life to join along, too!
“I won’t stop until every serious collector has a wine in their cellar from Argentina”
Biggest gratitude to this remarkable woman for sharing your energy, knowledge, and wines with us here in Colorado. Thank you to the Cru at @vine_connections for connecting me with Laura and so many remarkable producers. Muchas Gracias!
Living legend, Terry Theise, chats with me on how to begin your journey through wine education. Has anyone done this format of immersion?! I want to dive into it! I have tasted so many amazing wines over the years but I, like so many of us, haven't allowed myself the simple form of focus and commitment Terry suggests.
I am working on a schedule for any of you to join along with me as I get started one variety at a time! But where to begin....?
JCB returns and he's teaching me to saber bubbly! We've got an epic lineup of summer sparklers including: JCB No. 21, Charles de Fere 'Jean-Louis', and LVE Rosé from JCB and John Legend. I managed a hat trick! May have put a bit of a dent in my work day, but totally worth it!
As for food pairing, JCB recommends a healthy dose of delicious fried chicken and croque madame, plus I learn that I can pour the slightly sweeter versions over ice without angering the Champagne gods.
Cheers to summertime smiles, sabering in general, and the always FABULOUS Jean-Charles Boisset!
Meet winemaker Matt Dees! I just got the chance to (virtually) and it was one of my favorite interviews yet! We paired music with four of Matt’s really ridiculously good tasting wines.
You guys are going to love this lineup! We even made you a special #Spotify playlist to pair with the wines!
Here's a helpful little nugget of info for you on one of my favorite gape varieties: Pinot Noir. Check out the 90 second crash course now live on my IGTV!
A few to try if you need inspo:
🍇Sparkling Pinot Nero from Le Monde
🍇Rosé of Pinot from The Pinot Project
🍇French Pinot from Comtesse Marion
🍇Oregon Pinot from Averaen Wines
🍇Chilean Pinot (killer value) from Don Rodolfo
Check these out and let me know what you think! Ready to learn more? Check out the video below for a little crash course in Pinot!
Step 1: SWIRL
If you're new to all of this, start by keeping the bottom of your wine glass on a flat surface. Doing this will help you maintain control and minimize the risk of flinging wine across your table. Hold the glass by the stem and swirl the wine into a funnel, spreading the liquid over the surface of the inside of the glass. You can swirl the wine in whichever direction feels most natural for you, but most right-handed people find that a counterclockwise motion is most comfortable, and lefties usually prefer to go clockwise. This act of swirling aerates the wine, which has not been exposed to oxygen since it was bottled, and it allows the aromas to begin to open up.
Enjoy a fresh lineup up patio-friendly wines perfect for summer 2020. We begin with a Sparkling Blanc de Blancs called Jean-Louis from French producer, Charles de Fere. Next, a slightly fizzy Vinho Verde from Broadbent Selections. The third wine is the ultimate chameleon crowd-pleasing white, Secateurs Chenin Blanc. We finish with a chilled red wine called Los Conejos Malditos. This is a certified organic old-vine Tempranillo from Spain!
Pair the lineup with easy-to-make recipes including: shrimp and avocado ceviche, brined and grilled chicken, zucchini with fresh herbs, and classic Manchego cheese. Follow along for a virtual tasting with Certified Sommelier, Montana Rae from her patio in Denver!
The incomparable Jean-Charles Boisset shares with me his unique approach to fatherhood, his love for Franco-American culture, and our mutual belief that wine is truly a catalyst for connection and love.
The more I learn about wine and winemaking, the better a fan I become of Maysara Winery in McMinnville, Oregon. For this interview, I am joined by Naseem, one of the three Momtazi sisters who run the winery alongside their father, and guest services guru, Dominic. Together we take a deep dive into the unique terroir of this part of the Willamette Valley and I learn more than ever about the magic of biodynamic grape growing and winemaking.
Memorial Day weekend is always one of my favorite times of year! It's the kick-off to everything fun, and keeping our social distance doesn't mean we don't enjoy. For the weekend, I selected Broadbent Vinho Verde from Portugal and Secateurs Chenin Blanc from South Africa. Take a peek at the live video tasting I did with the amazing Jo Barrett of Broadbent, the importer that brings us these lovely wines. Read on for recipe pairings and tasting notes!
Sunny days call for fresh, delicious cocktails on the patio! This time of year, we should all be flocking to the patio or bar with friends to enjoy drinks together. Instead, our favorite restaurants are closed due to the spread of COVID-19. As I daydreamed about my favorite dining experiences, I began thinking about the types of cocktails I like best.
We are all adapting to life in this digital world, but we still want to do fun, interactive things with friends and family! Since we can't go out for a great tasting, why not bring one home?
Welcome to your step-by-step guide to hosting a curated wine and cheese experience that you can share with family and friends all over the country.
Just place your order for this special lineup of four delicious wines. They will be shipped to you, to a friend, or to a UPS pick-up location of your choosing. Each wine is paired with a tasty cheese that plays perfectly with the nuances of each unique flavor profile. You can find these cheeses at most grocery stores, or you can order them online (details below).
I hope you enjoy this! I can't wait to hear about your experience. Send us an email!
Fine dining at home is now a thing! Once a foodie, always a foodie, right?
The team at Restaurant Olivia took the at-home wine dinner experience to the next level with their amazing Master Sommelier Smackdown last week. Three courses, six wines, a cocktail and an amuse bouche. Best of all, the proceeds went to Feeding Colorado Heroes and Food Bank of The Rockies. Doing good while eating good, how gangster is that?
Join Montana for a look at the history of Pellegrini Family Wines from the Russian River Valley in Sonoma, California and a taste of the 2015 Olivet Lane Chardonnay.
Spring is my favorite time of year. The ground thaws, the time changes, and seedlings remind me to be resilient. Here in Colorado, the warmer days are so welcome after the long, cold winter. When we’re lucky, it’s 75 and perfectly sunny during the day. At dusk, temperatures drop and we cover bare arms with cozy sweaters. When we need to be reminded we live in the Rockies; heavy, wet spring snow wrecks our tulips and sends us back indoors.
It’s the ideal time of year to pour Malbec. The sunny weather is like a hype song for the grill. The blanket wrapped patio dinners are the calling of these bold, fruity reds. When it snows, the wines feel like a cozy fire to curl up next to.
Montana Rae Neiley