Shipping, sipping, and cooking with wine 1/19/2011

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

This week’s winner is; Kathleen Graler

This week WineGuyMike™ received some great questions, and here they are.

Q. Kathleen Graler asks; I have a question for a future show.  I don’t understand why some wineries or wine clubs will ship wine to Montana but most of them won’t.  I belong to a wine club that will ship, but many of the others I’ve tried say they can’t ship to Montana.  If I am at a winery in person they will ship, but if I call or try to order online, the answer is usually NO.  Why the differences in clubs/wineries??  I look forward to an answer.

A. WineGuyMike’s™ answer; What a great question Kathleen, shipping wine is a huge battle at the state level nationwide.  One of my Fans last week asked about the lack of ability to consistently find wines in different locations when she travels and this has to do with authorization and allocation.

Each state that a wine is sold in the wine has been authorized by that state in order to be distributed to and sold by the retailer.  There is an exception to the state law whereby an individual can apply for a “connoisseur’s license” for a fee of $50.00 per year.  This allows you to receive up to 12 cases of wine a year.  Here’s the sticking point though, the winery that ships the wine has to verify the current authenticity of your license.  Most wineries do not want to bother doing this though.

I did find a wine club that claims they can ship to every state in the U.S. except Utah.  They claim they can do this because they work with a licensed freight forwarder and when the wine is delivered it would need to be signed for by someone 21yrs. or older.  From my somewhat limited knowledge in this area I do not believe this is really legal here in Montana without the so called “connoisseur’s license”.

Illegal wine shipping is what was referred to during Prohibition as bootlegging and it is really being cracked down on.  It is not advisable to participate in wine shipping without the “connoisseur’s license” even if some wineries are willing to take that chance.

 Q. Nora McDougall asks; What would you suggest when a recipe calls for dry red wine?

A. WineGuyMike’s™ answer; Red wines are rich, robust, and flavorful.  Tannin is foremost in creating flavor in red wines.  Stems, skins, and seeds is what tannin comes from.  The wine color comes from the grape skins.

To most wine drinkers a dry wine is a result of tannin and a low residual sugar.  Red wines have more naturally occurring tannin than white wines and are generally lower in naturally occurring sugar.

A couple of recommendations:

I chose these two wine types or varietals as they are usually medium bodied and perceived as dry due to tannins common to these grapes.  I find that wines that are too full bodied and robust can overpower a dish, even to cook with.

One word Chianti, probably the most well known of Italian wines (at least that holds true in the United States).  This grape is also the major contributor for many other fantastic Italian reds. This spicy medium bodied red is high in tannin and exhibits cherry and raspberry flavors.  This would be considered dry.

Malbec is one of Argentina’s finest!  These wines are fruit forward, flamboyant red, spicy, and tannic.  This varietal could be considered to be on the dry side.

Q. Jo Jorgenson asks; I am planning a trip to Washington (Walla Walla) for a wine tour….when is the best time to go?

A. WineGuyMike’s™ answer; Jo there is never really a bad time to visit a winery but a few of my favorite times are mid-summer when the vines are fully leaved and heavy laden with grape clusters.  Probably the most exciting time to be at a winery is in early October during what is known as “crush”.  This is when the grapes are picked at the premium moment and then begin their journey to becoming a bottle of wine.  It is also fun to visit a winery during holidays.  wineries typically have special events happening that coincide with that specific holiday.  Do call ahead though as many boutique wineries are small and may close up for the holiday.

Lunch at Ciao Mambo

This week  WineGuyMike™ recommends one of the Panini sandwiches, there are five different ones to choose from. Try a nice glass of the 4 Bears 09’ Sauvignon Blanc from Sonoma, that lunch combo will satisfy your taste buds.

4 Bears 09' Sauvignon Blanc from Sonoma, California

4 Bears 09' Sauvignon Blanc from Sonoma, California

The 4 Bears Sauvignon Blanc is rich and complex with aromas of pears, ruby grapefruit and tropical fruit.  Flavors of pears, fig and melon are balanced and crisp, a nice mouthwatering texture and a lingering and refreshing finish.

As Brett says “Eat Like You Mean It”, Ciao Mambo on the Hip Strip in Missoula.  Check this out Ciao Mambo is open at 11:30 for lunches daily now too.

This wine and food combo receives The WineGuyMike™ Seal of Approval©. 

Thank you for being a Fan and please support our Sponsor Ciao Mambo.

"from my table to yours"

"from my table to yours"


2 thoughts on “Shipping, sipping, and cooking with wine 1/19/2011

    • Sean,

      Thanks for the message. I’m going to be tasting Sean Minor wines at a luncheon with you in two weeks in Montana. I would love to have you as a call in guest on my weekly radio show. Thanks again Sean and I’ll look forward to meeting in a couple of weeks.


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