Thursday, November 29, 2012

Favorite Value White Wine - 2012!

Continuing with our favorites for 2012 ....
Value wines.
A really good value at The Market means the wine needs to be under $20. It also needs to be high quality, a top seller and a wine customers keep returning to buy. And it must still be available now, so that if you haven't tried the wine, you can stop by The Market and give it a whirl.
That's a big problem I have with Wine Spectator's Top 100 List. So many wines are either not available  or are already sold out.
It's been a great year for value whites, especially Chardonnay.  The number of great value Chardonnays may actually have cancelled each other out, because our wine of the year is NOT a Chardonnay.
2010 Scarpetta Pinot Grigio is our value white wine of 2012.
This was a great summer wine - very refreshing, with bright lemon lime fruit. It develops structure from the perfectly balanced acidity and subtle mineral notes. A great food and "all by itself" wine that should not be ignored during the winter when you're dining on shellfish or delicate white fish.
The price: $17.
Next up - Value red of 2012.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving Wines 2012

My son, Michael and his wife, Dani had Thanksgiving dinner this year. My daughter, Becky and her husband, Paul drove in from Kansas City with their two girls: Grace - 3 years old and Kathryn - 8 months old.
Dani's mom, Rosanne and her husband Marcelle drove in from South Carolina with their dog, Maggie.
And then there's my son's miniature bulldog, Brooklyn - always ready to cause some mischief.
Trust me when I say that all the ingredients for disaster were present and accounted for.
But wait. It all worked out beautifully. Everyone got along. There were no meltdowns, arguments or "food accidents". It was a great day.
The stars were aligned, as they say.
And we had lots of wine to drink!
Since there were 8 wine drinkers present (some very serious wine drinkers, too), I brought a mixed case of some of my favorite value wines from The Market, along with 1 "nice" bottle from home.
Here they are: 2010 Sebastiani Chardonnay - $12, 2010 Wine By Joe Pinot Noir - $18, 2009 Vina Robles Cabernet - $19, 2009 The Table Cabernet - $20, NV Mumm Brut Rose' - $20, 2007 Argyle Brut - $24, 2010 Stolpman Syrah - $27.
From home I brought the 2005 La Roquette Chateauneuf du Pape.
All the wines were fantastic. The CdP was outstanding. One Chardonnay was corked.
Onward to the next holiday!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Vermeil Wine and an Amazing Tasting

I'm not what you would call a "star struck" kind of guy. I don't care about meeting "celebrities" or pro athletes or getting autographs.
So you can imagine how I feel about all the celebrity wines that have hit the market recently. Over priced, often poor quality wine, and all because there is a celebrity's name on the bottle.
But this Saturday, I have to admit, I was very impressed by Coach Dick Vermeil - and his wine.
We poured 6 of his wines, 1 white and 5 reds. I liked every one of them.
For a solid 4 hours, from noon to 4pm, the Coach graciously signed around 350 bottles of wine. He also agreed to about 100 photo shots with customers.
What impressed me most, however, is that whenever one of our female customers approached the table, Coach stood up and shook her hand - always with that great smile on his face.
What a gentleman. What a class act.
Dick Vermeil is 76 years old and doesn't need to prove anything to anyone, or to "put on" for any reason.
I guess Coach is a pretty well known celebrity - at least here in St. Louis, where he coached our one and only Super Bowl Team.
I do know one thing for sure. He sure is one great human being!


Friday, November 16, 2012

The Wine Market's "Winery Of The Year"

Wine Spectator just announced their top 10 wines of 2012, and soon, the issue with the top 100 wines will be hitting the newsstands.
So far, once again, I am underwhelmed.
But all this top 100 talk does provoke some thought: What are some of my top wine picks for the year?
I'll write a few blogs on some of our favorites over the next few weeks.
Today, let's start with "winery of the year".
There is no argument here. All year this winery gave us Chardonnay and Pinot Noir of uncompromising quality at all price levels from California, Oregon and even France. We loved the wines, the critics showered them with high scores, and, most important, we introduced a whole bunch of our customers to this amazing winery.
This winery is Evening Land.
If you haven't tried any of the Evening Land wines yet, stop by The Market. We have several selections available, and I know you will become a fan.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Five Great Cabernets Under $25!

Finding high quality, value priced Cabernet Sauvignon is the biggest challenge we have here at The Wine Market.
Cabernet is still king! We sell more Cab than any other varietal, so we spend the most amount of time tasting through value priced Cabernet to find wine worthy of recommending to our customers.
Of course the concept of "value" is a moving target too - moving upward.
I believe that if you can find high quality California or Washington State Cabernet for under $25, you're doing pretty good. I'm very pleased with Cabernets that we've recently brought into the shop. These taste like $30 - $40 wines in my opinion. Check them out next time you're in and need some everyday Cabs.
2009 Evening Land "The Table", Napa - $20
2010 Justin, Paso Robles - $23
2009 Forth, Sonoma - $23
2010 Smith & Hook, Central Coast - $23
2010 Crossfork Creek, Washington State - $23


Friday, November 9, 2012

Amazon - dot - WINE?

Here comes another challenge for the independent wine retailer: Amazon.Com is now selling wine.
Isn't it enough to have Sam's, Costco, Walmart, Target, Walgreens, CVS, grocery stores and just about every gas station with a convenience store selling wine?
Apparently, not.
But, you know what? We're not going away. Unlike the demise of most independent food markets and drug stores, the independent wine retailer will never be eliminated. I don't care who enters the wine marketplace.
Bring it on Amazon!
Why do I say this?  Because wine is too important.
There is a place for mail order and the big box stores, but they aren't passionate about wine. They don't taste up to 50 wines on a given day to discover a high quality Cabernet we can sell under $20.
They don't talk to their customers.
Remember talking?
We talk to our customers about everything wine related: food pairing, gift giving, wine parties and tastings, and especially, wines we are excited about.
We write about the wines we love. We don't just copy a critic's rating (although we will do that as well). But we've recommended many wines that never got a rating, simply because we believed in the wine.
If you want to read more about Amazon's entry into the wine business, I copied a link below.
We're not afraid.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of our great, great customers who support The St. Louis Wine Market. And thank you to all wine lovers who haven't found us yet, but support other independent wine retailers across the country.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thanksgiving Wines!

Ahh, the holidays. Family, friends, food, wine, football  .....  travel delays, bad weather, arguments, kitchen mishaps, naughty kids, frustration, confusion.
How do we get through the holidays every year?
My family drinks!
Which brings me logically to the point of this blog: Thanksgiving wines. Selecting the right wines is not so much about the turkey, but all the sides that go with it. If your family is anything like mine, you're going to have all kinds of diverse flavors bouncing around your Thanksgiving table.
So the key is to have several "food friendly" wines that you know your family and friends will enjoy. Here's a good list to choose from: White: Chardonnay, Riesling (dry and slightly sweet), Chenin Blanc (dry and slightly sweet), Alsatian Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer.
Red: Pinot Noir, Cru Beaujolais (Morgon or Moulin a Vent are two of my favorites), Barbera, and Grenache.
And of course dry sparklers - especially Champagne. These are a must.
I know our wines will consist of a Champagne, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Chateauneuf du Pape. Probably more. I know CdP was not in my recommended list above, but, our family likes it, and it's become a tradition. It's also usually Grenache based, which is listed above.
My only other Thanksgiving wine rule: Make sure you have plenty of whatever you're serving! 


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Wine And Leftover Halloween Candy!

So, Halloween is over, and either your kids brought in a haul of candy that you can pilfer without them knowing, or, you bought way more candy than you gave out and are stuck with eating it yourself.
What to do.....
Why not match the candy with some adult beverages?
I read an article about matching popular Halloween candy with beer. Why not wine? I copied the beer article's link below if you want to check it out yourself. Here are the candies, the beer pairing from the article and my wine recommendations.
Snickers: beer: milk stout; wine: Brachetto. There is a lot going on in a Snickers bar, with all those sweet and salty flavors attacking your palate. Brachetto is a sweet rose' sparkler from Italy. The sweet strawberry flavors will complement the milk chocolate, while the bubbles and slight acidity will do well with the salt.
Milky Way: beer: milk stout again or an English barleywine. Wine: Tawny Port - no doubt about it.
Reese's Peanut Butter Cup: beer: sweet or imperial stout or a sweetened fruit lambic; wine: The Brachetto would work here too, but I think a Merlot would also be very interesting.
Sour Patch Kids: beer: Flemish red ale or American IPA; wine: tough one. When in doubt - Champagne!
Candy Corn: beer: English ESB or American or English IPA; wine: gotta be sweet. Icewine or Sauternes.
Dark Chocolate: This wasn't part of the beer article, but a big Syrah/Shiraz or Cabernet would both do nicely here.