Thursday, April 26, 2012

Wine Bottle Facts

Here's some info to file away for a future trivia night - wine bottle sizes. These sizes are for still wines. Sparkling and Champagne sizes are a little different.

187.5 ml - Piccolo or Split - Typically used for single servings of Champagne.

375 ml - Demi or Half - Holds one half of the standard 750 ml size.

750 ml - Standard - Most common wine bottle size.

1.5 L - Magnum - Equivalent to 2 standard 750 ml bottles.

3.0 L - Double Magnum - Equivalent to 2 Magnums or 4 standard  bottles

4.5 L - Jeroboam - Equivalent to 6 standard bottles 

6.0 L - Imperial - Equivalent to 8 standard bottles or 2 Double Magnums

9.0 L - Salmanazar - Equivalent to 12 standard bottles - a full case of wine!

12.0 L - Balthazar - Equivalent to 16 standard bottles.

15.0 L - Nebuchadnezzar - Equivalent to 20 standard bottles.

18.0 L - Melchior (not pictured) - Equivalent to 24 standard bottles - 2 cases of wine!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Chappellet - A Great Napa Winery To Visit!

Pritchard Hill
One of our favorite wineries to visit when we are in Napa Valley is Chappellet. The Chappellet family makes excellent white and red wines, which happen to be some of my personal favorites. The family is very friendly and accommodating and they will be happy to give you a tour of  their vineyards while you sip on a selection of their delicious wines. Just remember to make an appointment.
Here are the Chappellet wines currently at The Market:
2010 Chardonnay
2009 Mountain Cuvee
2009 Signature Cabernet
2008 Pritchard Hill Cabernet
If you're not heading out to Napa any time soon, stop by The Market and check out these outstanding wines.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Does Bottle Size Affect Wine Taste?

It's fairly common knowledge that the larger the wine bottle, the longer it takes the wine to age. Conversely, the smaller the bottle, the more quickly the wine should age. I experienced this phenomenon first hand this week with two different wines, both available at The Market.
The Wines:
2007 Sori Paitin Barbaresco
2007 Campaccio Terrabianca
These are highly rated Italian wines, the Barbaresco from Piedmont and the Campaccio from Tuscany. I tasted both wines recently from a standard size (750ml) bottle and found the Barbaresco good, but still quite tannic. The Campaccio showed great promise, but the nose was closed and the mouthfeel a little harsh. I was not surprised or disappointed by these tasting experiences as the wines are still very young.
This week I tried the wines from the half bottle format (375ml). The Barbaresco was silky smooth and displayed great complexity with violets, strawberry and licorice on the nose and palate. The Campaccio was even more impressive. The mouthfeel was gorgeous and the wine oozed dark red fruit of blackberry, plum and black cherry. But the chocolate - yes, the chocolate - that was a real surprise. This smelled and tasted like biting into the chocolate center of a cherry Tootsie Roll pop.
This was not a planned comparison of different bottle formats, just a coincidence. But, wow - what a revelation!
I thought it was pretty cool.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What People Most Often Say About Wine!

We pour a lot of wine for our customers here at The Market. We have tons of tastings and we typically give customers a taste of wine before they commit to a glass. So. What is the comment most frequently heard about the wine people try?  I - Don't - Like - It!  Yep. That's it. Not "awesome" or "I love it" or even "that's pretty good".
I don't like reds, I don't like whites, I don't like Chardonnay, I HATE MERLOT, I don't like sweet wines, I don't like dry wines, and on and on.
That's why when we find a wine that a customer really likes, we're beside ourselves with joy!
Now, I'm not complaining about our customers. I love our customers - I really do. I guess I just never realized that most people have a narrow wine palate, meaning that they have a certain taste profile that they enjoy in their wines and then they pretty much don't care for anything else. And as I think about it, that's perfectly understandable. Those of us in the industry usually have very broad palates. We appreciate and enjoy many different categories of wine.
Now, when it comes to beer, I have a very narrow palate - because I'm a wine guy! I like beer too, but after my 5 or 6 favorites - "I don't like it"!
Another mystery solved.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Finally! We Celebrate The Birth of Baby Kathryn!

It's been over a month since the birth of our second granddaughter, and we finally get the chance to celebrate this weekend. Much to our surprise, we won't have to go to KC, since my daughter and the family are coming to St. Louis to visit us! This is the first big drive they're taking with the new baby so it should be interesting. 2/12 year old Grace, is of course, a pro at this, having made many a trip from KC to Stl.
So, what to drink?
Let's start with Champagne. We just got a bunch of exciting new "growers" Champagnes in at The Market, and I'm going to go with the 2004 Chartogne-Taillet Brut - a special Champagne for a very special occasion. Incidentally, I'll be explaining what a "growers Champagne" is in one of my May blogs. May is International Champagne month. Everyone knows that, right?
We all enjoy Chardonnay, so I'm going to bring home a bottle of Judy's favorite: 2010 Chappellet.
This Saturday we're having the Big Basin release party so, I have to work in the evening. But that doesn't mean the celebrating has to stop. In fact, tasting the new releases from Big Basin - one of my favorite producers - is an ideal way to celebrate. I hope everyone can make this special event, where we will have pizza and other snacks to enjoy with the wine.
For me, there's only one producer (that I own) that I like better than Big Basin. Saxum. So add that to the agenda, and I think the weekend is complete.
At some point, (weather permitting) you'll also probably find the boys on the deck sipping single malt Scotch and puffing on cigars.
Monday we rest.
Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Time For "Seasonal" Wines!

It's interesting to see which wines are affected by the seasons. Most red wines, Chardonnay, Riesling and even Pinot Grigio, to some extent, have strong sales at The Market year round. But, as we enter into the warmer months of Spring and Summer, things begin to change. We see increased interest in Rose' and Sauvignon Blanc wine, especially the crisp, grapefruit driven Sauv Blancs of New Zealand. Zinfandel also spikes as people increase their barbecuing, and outdoor dining.
Speaking of Rose', based on the tastings that I've had thus far, this is looking like another great year for Rose'
This versatile wine can be made from just about any red grape or blend. The dry styles are refreshing all by themselves, but can also be paired with a variety of different foods.
Here's just a sampling of the foods Wine Spectator recommends pairing with Rose': hamburgers, just about any fish, medium and light pasta dishes, pork, poultry, salads and raw or cooked veggies. That's pretty versatile.
So, if you're still associating Rose' with White Zinfandel, you're missing out on a whole category of serious, well made wine.
I'm sure we'll be tasting a few Rose' wines in the coming weeks. Watch for the announcements in "This Week at the Market", or on our website's events calendar.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Wines For Easter Sunday

It's a small gathering at our house this Easter. My daughter and her young family are staying in KC so just my son and his wife will be joining us for the Easter meal. They will also be bringing their mini bulldog, Brooklyn. You might remember Brooklyn from a previous blog.
Other than hard boiled eggs, we really don't have a traditional Easter meal. This year the main course is a standing rib roast. I can virtually guarantee we're going to have a young Napa Cabernet with this. I've been eyeing the 2007 Keenan Cabernet here at The Market.
For those of you having the more traditional ham or lamb, I would stay with medium bodied reds like Pinot Noir, Beaujolais or Grenache with the ham, and red Bordeaux, older domestic Cabernets or maybe a nice Super Tuscan with the lamb. You could also have a German Riesling with the ham if you prefer white.
Of course, you will want to supplement your main course wines with a host of other options: definitely something sparkling and a Chardonnay should kick off the day. Ending the day with a Sauternes or Port sounds lovely, too.
I'm sure Brooklyn will be munching on plenty of Pup a Roni - hopefully nothing harder or sharper than that.
Happy Easter!
Happy Passover!


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Why can't we get some wines?

In previous blogs I commented on why we don't carry Missouri wines or sweet red wines. This is a strategic choice on our part.
There are, however, many wines that customers request that we would like to carry, but that are not available in Missouri or to retailers in general.
Here are some of the main reasons that we are unable to sell certain wines at The Market:

  1. A Missouri distributor chooses not to carry the wine.  Missouri law states that a Missouri retailer must buy all of its wine from a Missouri distributor. So, if a Missouri distributor chooses not to buy a wine, then we can't buy it from anyone else to sell to our customers.
  2. A Missouri distributor may not be able to buy certain wines. Many wineries with small productions choose the markets in which their wines are marketed. Sad but true: it's much sexier  to have your wines in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas or Chicago than little old St. Louis. 
  3. Some wineries select certain wines in their portfolio to be distributed to restaurants only. Retailers typically aren't as prestigious as some of the world's best restaurants - let's face facts, we never are - so some of your "big name" wines are only targeted to restaurants.
  4. Many wines that customers fall in love with over seas on vacation are not imported into the US.
  5. Some wineries only sell within a limited geographic area.
  6. Some wineries only sell through their own websites.
  7. Some wineries only sell to their own mailing list.
We will always do our very best to fill a customer's special request - if we can legally obtain the wine ourselves. As you can see, that can sometimes be a challenge.