WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© with Scott and Paula on The Ranch 12/08/10

Check out the radio show on The Ranch 107.1FM or 97.9FM in The Bitterroot Valley.  How about a live stream feed at  The WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© with Scott and Paula on The Ranch airs weekly on Wednesday mornings at 8:20AM MDT.

Each week we will be giving away gift certificates from our sponsors.  If your question is selected as WineGuyMike’s™ topic of discussion you will win one of the $20.00 – $25.00 gift certificates.  Good luck and send your questions to WineGuyMike™ on his Facebook fan page.

See this week’s show on YouTube  each week on Thursday morning, the day after the show.  Our YouTube channel of course is WineGuyMike or the actual URL link:


The show is sponsored by Grizzly Liquor, “Missoula’s Best Choice”.   

Ciao Mambo, “Eat Like You Mean It”, located in Missoula on The Hip Strip.  Find them online at 

This week’s winners are; Louise Economides and Alisha Smith

WineGuyMike™ received a food and wine pairing question, and a question about wine accessory ideas for gifts this week.  Thanks to my fans for thinking of topics that help us all learn about wine together.

Q. Louise asks; I’m preparing a leg of lamb prepared in a traditional Mediterranean style.  The Lamb will be seasoned and then served with diced tomatoes.  What wine shall I serve with my dinner?

A. This is a great question Louise as there are a couple of components in the main dish to consider, first the lamb itself but also the diced tomatoes.

Full Bodied Wines

Chardonnay is one of the most complex white wines, thanks to winemaking techniques, and the grapes ability to draw flavor from the nutrients and minerals in the soil.  Chardonnay is aged in new oak barrels, old oak barrels, and steel barrels, all producing varying nuances in the wines.  New barrels produce the strongest oaking, old barrels have a slight oak influence, while the steel has no oakiness.  This dry wine is rich, bold, and full of fruitiness, vanilla and a certain toastiness, just to name a few characteristics.  Complexity is the word that best suits Chardonnay.

Chablis Grand Cru This is a white wine from Burgundy made from 100% Chardonnay grapes. This is a very refined wine that comes from the very best parcels of land in the area.  There are only seven vineyards allowed the Grand Cru designation.

Meursault This is a white wine from a region in Burgundy known as Cote De Beaune (coat duh Bone), located in the southern portion of Cote d’Or (coat DOOR).  The Coat d’Or is as an area in Burgundy that produces some of the finest wines in the world.  This wine is also made from 100% Chardonnay grapes and there are three different qualities of this wine, Villages, Premier Cru, and the Grand Cru. What differentiates one from another is the quality of the soil and the winemaking process with Grand Cru being the very best.

Red Zinfandel This full bodied, fruit forward, and spicy wine is one of California’s favorites, and most plentiful. Zinfandel wines are very versatile and have notes of berries, cherries, tobacco, oak, and vanilla.

Cabernet Sauvignon This varietal is a big, powerful red wine that is full in body, rich, and very flavorful.  Cabernet sauvignon is a wine that imparts flavors of fruits, berries, currants, and plums.  This wine may also exhibit slight spicy nuances.

Nebbiolo This grape is a no nonsense contender from northern Italy.  California is also working with the Nebbiolo. This wine is best known for huge, robust, full bodied wines such as the Barbarescos’ and Barolos’ from the Piedmont area of Italy.  Piedmont is one of the great winegrowing regions in Italy.  It produces prestigious wines such as Barolo, Barbaresco, from the Langhe near Alba, and the Moscato d’Asti (as well as the sparkling Asti Spumante) from the vineyards around Asti.  One of the indigenous grape varieties is the Nebbiolo varietal.   A big wine like the Nebbiolo may need a decade to mature properly.  These wines tend to be heavy on tannin and high in alcohol content so they need to be aged correctly.  If the Nebbiolo wine has been aged and cellared properly they can be delightfully chewy, with hints of berries, herbs, and slightly floral.

Chateautneuf-du-Pape is located in the southern region of the Rhone Valley.  Grenache and Syrah are the two main grape varietals grown in the Rhone Valley.  Chateaueuf-du-Pape producers  according to French Wine Law allowed to use up to thirteen grape varietals in their wine blend, but the best producers will use a larger percentage of Grenache and Syrah in their blend.  The name Chateaueuf-du-Pape  means “new castle of the Pope.”

Barbaresco please see Nebbiolo

Barolo please see Nebbiolo

Bordeaux has 57 wine regions but there are really 4 to focus on for red wines.  These regions are:

  1. Me´doc
  2. Pomerol
  3. Graves/Pessac-Le´ognan
  4. St-E′milion

The red wines of Bordeaux are blended buy winemakers and contain Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc.  When determining the quality of a Bordeaux wine you need to look at the wine label.  Pricing for Bordeaux wines is direct result of the quality and you will be able to determine this by looking at the wine label to see what information the label is providing you.

If the label indicates:

  1. Bordeaux = $
  2. Bordeaux plus the region = $$
  3. Bordeaux, the region, Plus the Chateau =$$$

WineGuyMike’s recommendation for Louise and her wine and Lamb pairing question. If I were feeling flush and money was no object my recommendation would be to pair the Chateautneuf-du-Pape or the best Bordeaux Chateaux with my lamb dinner.  If I’m dining on a budget I’m recommending the 14 Hands Hot to Trot Red Blend which offers an amazing value for the quality of this wine from Washington’s Columbia Valley.

14 Hands Hot to Trot Red Blend

14 Hands Hot to Trot Red Blend

  • 14 Hands Hot to Trot Red Blend
    • Generous aromas of ripe berries and dark stone fruits open this ruby-hued wine. Fleshy flavors of cherries and plum are met with soft and velvety tannins, finishing with a hint of mocha
    • An easy-drinking blend of Syrah, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Mourvedre and Viognier

 14 Hands is crafted from premium grapes in the heart of The Columbia Valley of  Washington, it is a special find.  The winery is named after the wild horses that once made their home on the land upon which 14 Hands grapes are grown.   These horses were small, measuring an average of “14 hands,” but they were some of the strongest and most tenacious horses in the world.  The wine retains the individual spirit of its namesake.

14 Hands winemaker Keith Kenison has been making wines in Washington state for over 15 years.  His interest in winemaking brought him to Washington, and in 1992 he joined the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates facility in Grandview as a cellar worker.  There, he had the opportunity to learn and observe firsthand the art of winemaking.  In 1997, Keith moved to Columbia Crest Winery, and was promoted first as a quality assurance technician, and then to an enologist.  His talents were quickly recognized, and he was promoted to assistant winemaker in 2002.  In addition to working on the Columbia Crest portfolio, Keith “took the reins” of 14 Hands starting with the 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot — these wines were the first releases of the program.

Keith is continually walking the vineyards and tasting fruit, he hand crafts soft reds and fresh, crisp whites that capture the essence of the Horse Heaven Hills. “I take a practical approach to winemaking and let the fruit express itself,” Keith says, “I guide it to its final destination with as few manipulations as possible, making every decision by taste because, ultimately, that’s what matters to the person buying a bottle”.  I love making a style of wine that I enjoy and experience.

This wine receives The WineGuyMike™ Seal of Approval©

Now on to Alisha’s question about wine accessories for Christmas Gifts.  There are a million gadgets out there but here are a few I would love to receive as a gift.

Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator – $29.99

  1. Aerate wine in seconds for better taste with the Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator. The Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator is clearly on the cutting edge of wine aerating. Mixing just the right amount of air with your wine at the precise moments, this see-through Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator allows your reds or whites to breath instantly.  The Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator results are a better bouquet, enhanced flavor, and a smoother finish.  Perfect aeration in the time it takes to pour a glass. The Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator couldn’t be easier.  The Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator comes with a no-drip stand and a travel pouch. The Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator and stand are dishwasher safe!  Travel pouch of the Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator is machine washable.Better Bouquet
    Sample the nose, you’ll appreciate the subtle aromatic differences and the full aroma of the wine. Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator allows wine to display its intended aromas.Enhanced Flavors
    Go ahead, take a sip, Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator wine tastes better, it is more flavorful and has better mouthfeel.  It tastes like a richer, more expensive wine. It tastes like it was intended to and is more enjoyable.

    Smoother Finish
    Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator is very effective at softening tannins which results in a much more pleasant finish.  Any bitterness or bad aftertaste is reduced or eliminated.

Menu Winebreather Carafe – $69.99

This elegantly designed Menu Winebreather Carafe aerates your wine in one easy step. Simply press the Menu Winebreather Carafe onto the top of an opened bottle of wine and flip it over so that the wine pours into the decanter.  You can serve the wine from the Menu Winebreather Carafe, or flip it back over once it’s done and pour the aerated wine back into the bottle and serve from the original bottle.  Menu shortens wine aeration time down to 2 minutes with their new Wine Breather Carafe that you simply pop onto your favorite red, flip it upside down, and you’ve got a properly aerated bottle of vino that can be served in the decanter or in the original bottle.

Alisha thank you for this perfectly timed question as I’m being asked frequently about wine gift ideas and these are two of the better ones I’ve seen.  I hope my wife reads this blog post, honey I want the Menu Winebreather Carafe for my Christmas gift, lol.

How to “taste” your Christmas wines

Now let’s get on with tasting the wine.  Here is a simple process for basic wine tasting I call the 5 sssss’s:

  1. Swirl – with your glass on the table or in your hand move the glass so the wine moves in a circular motion in your glass
  2. Smell – stick your nose in the glass and think about the different aromas’ that you are able to discern
  3. Sight – hold the wine up toward light, what does it look like, color, viscosity, what do the individual streams of wine dribbling down the side of the glass look like
  4. Swill – take a small sip, pucker your lips and gently breath in
  5. Spit or Swallow – if you have a bucket spit, if not swallow

Next step:

  1. What is your sense of the wine in your mouth
  2. What does the wine taste like
  3. What does the wine feel like in your mouth
  4. How does your mouth perceive the wine, all up front, in the middle, more in the back of your mouth
  5. Is there a lingering after taste

Last Step:

  1. This is where the brain, mouth, and eyes come together as one
  2. Your description of what your nose, mouth, and eyes just experienced
  3. How would you describe this, remember there is no right or wrong description this is your subjective experience
  4. Try the food now and think about how you would now describe the wine

WineGuyMike’s Wine Lingo

Astringent – This refers to a drying sensation in the mouth that may make you pucker.  It is common in young full bodied red wines such as a Cabernet or a Zinfandel.  This is caused by high tannin content in the wine.  Tannin is a tactile sensation, not a taste.

Balance this term is one that would refer to a harmony of fruit, tannin, acid, and alcohol.  There may be a nuance of fruit in a wine but it would not be so overwhelming that it would be out of balance or harmony when considering the other characteristics of a wine.

Cheesemonger – this term refers to someone who sells cheese, in this case a specialist or purveyor of artisanal cheeses. 

Crisp – Fresh, Bright, Young, and Slightly Acidic.  Wine Types are Sauvignon Blanc, Vermentino, and Chablis

Grassy – Refers to Herbal Characteristics often associated with Sauvignon Blanc

Meritage – pronounced just like “Heritage”, is a proprietary term used to denote red and white Bordeaux-style wines without infringing on the Bordeaux region’s legally protected designation of origin.  Winemakers must license the Meritage trademark from its owner, the California-based Meritage Alliance.  Member wineries are found principally in the United States, though increasingly elsewhere.

Oaky – A reference to a nuance in a wine resulting from wooden oak barrels that wines are aged in.  This term is common to Chardonnay’s and Cabernet wines.

Rose´ ­- “pinkish”(French).  Depending on the grapes and winemakers style the wines can be colored from vivid orange to nearly a purple hue.

Terroir is a French term for the notion that the complex combination of soil, climate, exposition and local tradition define the style of wine, a taste of the earth.

Velvety – This term characterizes a wines texture.  This term would be used with a wine that has a rich and supple mouth feel.

Wine Tasting Flight is a term used by wine tasters to describe a selection of wines, usually between three and eight glasses, presented for the purpose of sampling and comparison.

Match the words that you think make sense; these words are descriptors for wine:

Bright = Flinty an epiphany in your mouth

Rich = Subtle mellow, smooth, decadent, just easy and fulfilling

Lively = Crisp the wine is refreshing, a zing, literally comes to life in your mouth

Intense = Juicy big, bold, forward just tastes like fruit you could bite into

Velvety = Aromatic sexy, goes down like silk, fills the room with its aroma

"from my table to yours"

"from my table to yours"


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