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Ciao Mambo, “Eat Like You Mean It”, located in Missoula on The Hip Strip. Find them online at http://www.CiaoMambo.com
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This week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© I would like to introduce you to the wonderful wine artist Leanne Laine. Leanne is a fine artist that shares her work with you and I from perhaps the most beautiful city in the northern hemisphere Vancouver, BC in Canada, a city where the mountains appear to rise from the ocean. That in itself would seemingly be an inspiration to paint and that she does, please meet my wine artist friend Leanne Laine.
Leanne and I met by following one another on Twitter. I make a concerted effort to be personally connected with anyone I follow on Twitter. When someone is thoughtful enough to consider following @WineGuyMike I take a moment to reach out and discover what that follower is sharing with the world. That is when I discovered that my guest this week is the artist whose work adorns the walls of all of the Ciao Mambo restaurants. Ciao Mambo in Missoula where I taste and write about wine happens to sponsor the show I produce each week at the Trail 1033 and Fresh 104.5.
For me wine is an experience because it almost always revolves around a social event whether it is an event or an outing with my wife. My point is that I always put thought into my wine outing or even shopping for wine, there is a purpose behind it and culminates with the sharing of wine with someone I enjoy and care about or at an event that is striving to do good things for the world. Sometimes they are business gatherings where I’m meeting interesting people who are making things happen in their particular niche of the world. You get the point wine is an experience that can be shared and enjoyed with other you value in your life.
Leanne Laine the fine artist of wine is just that person, she paints her passion that helps create the experience and she is that person who is part of that experience. Ciao Mambo is an Italian restaurant that my wife and I enjoy, the food is great, they have the best Italian wine list you will find in most establishments. We always have a great experience when we have dinner there, and we love proprietor Bret Evje. Ciao as we call it in Missoula has great music and great art hanging in the restaurant thanks to my new friend Leanne Laine.
Leanne journey as a fine artist began like this; Leanne started her career working as Human Resources consultant for a large company. Growing up she loved art and has always been an artist. For most parents though I think their greatest fear is for their children to want to go to art school, that might translate as oh no my child will be living with me until they are 40 years old. Leanne’s parents encouraged her to go to school and find a degree that would provide gainful employment when finished and that’s exactly what she did. That is until Leanne was laid off from her gainful employment. Leanne is married to husband Stewart and has a 4 year old daughter and a 1 year old son.
Leanne is a self-taught artist that is now internationally-collected and published for her renowned wine art. After being displaced from her day job Leanne decided to turn her passion for creating art into a business by selling her paintings and limited edition canvas prints online. Leanne’s work has caught fire and as a result her husband Stewart left his newly appointed position as head of engineering for a large corporate company to help keep up with the demand of their quickly growing art business. Not only does her work sell online but many businesses in the restaurant, hospitality and wine industries across North America are picking up on Leanne’s work. Businesses displaying her works in their establishments are selling them to patrons who want to buy her art right off their walls. Leanne is a tenacious creative woman who has followed her passion and turned a seemingly difficult situation into an amazing career as a wine artist that she loves, it’s obvious when you listen to her story as she shares it with us. Leanne loves to do good things in the world too, she gives back by donating her art pieces for silent auction throughout the year, both in the US and Canada to many charitable events, my main focus is children and cancer research.
Her is a little side story from our conversation about how she started painting wine art; Having a glass of wine while painting became a ritual for Leanne as she grew her portfolio… though she had not begin painting wines. One night sitting in front of her blank canvas she realized she had the dreaded “artists’ block”. She felt that creative surge but just didn’t know what to paint. So she poured herself another glass of wine and voila…her fascination with wine as a subject matter was born. Since then, she began looking at wine differently… by incorporating everything around us into wine… especially women. Put bluntly, Leanne sees wine as a sexy and sensual subject. Leanne states “wine can hold its own”. She sees wine as coming to life in the wine glass, basically putting on a show in the glass once it has been poured: swirling, seducing, and tantalizing the taste buds. To Leanne wine seemed to have similar qualities to that of a woman (hence, her Women in Wine Series). Sensual, sexy, empowering, and you tend to notice when a beautiful, confident woman enters the room. People want to be her; people want to be with her….Leanne I couldn’t agree more. My wife and I love Leanne’s art, it is always a conversation we have while dining at Ciao Mambo enjoying a glass of wine together. You can’t help becoming lost in her work with contemplative thought; it makes for a terrific conversation when paired with wine which is exactly what I share with you this week.
Leanne was kind enough to select three pieces of her collection with descriptions that I will pair with a bottle of wine that I’m inclined to enjoy as I study her art.
The Three Art Pieces we will have a little fun with this week:
Temptress Tempranillo http://www.leannelainefineart.com/galleries/product.php?cat=&productid=23579&rowpos=1
Leanne’s signature piece, the TEMPTRESS TEMPRANILLO. Many women tell her this piece helps them truly appreciate what lies beneath their own skin, leaving them feeling empowered, sexy and powerful, especially while enjoying their favorite glass of wine. As a woman and wine enthusiast, this is exactly the feeling that she expressed while painting this piece and she loves that other women connect with this as well.
Her AUTUMN BLEND is a piece where she had incorporated a rich, foliage autumn tree. Wines come in reds, yellows, whites, ambers, purples… so do Fall leaves. Living in beautiful BC, there are many places here displaying such a richness of fall colors that in her opinion, it’s practically quenching to the eyes. They say to stop and smell the roses. How about stop and watch the colors of our natural surroundings turn.
Leanne’s SMOOTH & SAXY piece is an expression for her love and appreciation for all kinds of music. Besides enjoying a glass of wine, another part of Leanne’s rituals while painting is listening to jazz. Wine, Art, and Jazz this is one Leanne’s favorites and one of her collector’s favorite pieces from her jazz series of works.
Visit Leanne’s site for a chance to win a free limited edition giclee and to connect with her:
Leanne’s website; http://www.leannelainefineart.com
Follow her on Twitter! http://twitter.com/leanne_laine
Follow her on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/leannelainefineart
YouTube – Watch Leanne Speed Paint for Japan Relief Efforts!
The Three Art Piece and Wine Pairings from WineGuyMike™
Let’s start with Leanne’s signature piece the TEMPTRESS TEMPRANILLO. Okay it’s Summer time and I’m going to deviate from a Tempranillo and go to a lighter bodied Pinot Noir that I tasted recently on the show and it knocked my socks off; the Russian River Valley Pinot Noir from Balletto Vineyards and Winery. Winemaker Anthony Beckman killed it on this wine; it is a fabulous Pinot Noir that pairs perfectly with the Temptress Tempranillo.
2009 Russian River Pinot Noir
This dark, garnet colored Pinot Noir exhibits floral aromas of rose petals intertwined with spice components of ginger, dusty earth and a hint of vanilla. Fruit aromas of raspberry and cassis form the core of the wine, and in the mouth, create a long, delicious finish that can be tasted for several minutes.
The wine is showy with a seamless viscosity that is balanced with a healthy bit of tartness to keep the wine fresh and lively. It’s full in the palate with fine, coco-powder like tannins and a nice dose of astringency that lend additional grip and structure to this wine. Overall, the wine has struck the fine balance between delicate and structured, and will improve with bottle aging during the next five years (or more).
On to the next beautiful piece from Leanne; AUTUMN BLEND is paired with a simple blend that is perfect for you summer palate. It is an inexpensive value driven wine that is a must try.
Le Clos seems to be like something out of “The Arabian Nights.” This wine displays an attractive raspberry red color with hints of garnet. Its nose is lively and complex, with notes of red and black fruits. Refined oak fragrance with hints of incense, spices (nutmeg, clove, ginger), anise, autumn woods and tobacco. It is very soft on the palate, with a fresh, tangy acidity. Le Clos shows a wonderful balance. It is well-structured yet elegant, with fine tannins. It will perfectly accompany a duck terrine laced with olives, a roast rack of lamb, barbecued beef or pork chops with fines herbes, as well as pheasant with wild mushrooms or boeuf bourguignon.
Domaine Sainte Eugénie is positioned within the district of Fontfroide, the sweet spot of Corbières, with an 800 year history of viticulture. The estate is located within the foothills of the Pyrénées along the Mediterranean coast. Clay and chalk soils dominate here. The dry weather, sunny and warm climate combine to create an optimal growing environment. This new wine, just released, is the latest addition to Domaine Sainte Eugénie. It is unique in that it has a slight, refined oak character, highlighting a sturdy base of red fruit and oriental spices. Bringing into play terroir and savoir-faire, tradition and exotic flair, a blend of 45% Merlot, 20% Carignan, 20% Grenache, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine hails from Languedoc-Roussillon region of France. Don’t miss this wine it’s fantastic complement for any summer barbeque.
Now for Leanne’s SMOOTH & SAXY I have selected one of my favorite producers from the Willamette Valley in Oregon, Argyle Winery and their sparkling wine that is readily available.
Argyle 2007 Brut –this gem has a 90 PT. Wine Spectator Rating, 63% Oregon Chardonnay, 37% Oregon Pinot Noir, Sparkling Wine Knudsen Vineyards, Lone Star Vineyard Willamette Valley AVA, Willamette Valley, Oregon. Prepare to be fascinated by this alluring sparkling vintage. The aromas are a weaving together of the best that fine sparkling wines deliver. Look for vanilla spiced pear fruit with very floral citrus blossom scents. A lovely yeastiness blends nicely with fresh baguette bouquet. There’s a hint of Fresca-like citrus in there too. The palate is Vibrant and chock full of tiny bubbles. Pear to red apple fruit folds nicely into vanilla spice. The texture is creamy-plus, providing amazing richness while remaining zippy and citrusy. The yeast flavor has evolved into filo dough right out of the oven. A beautiful finish offers flavors that go on and on after the wine is gone. Don’t miss this one folks.
It was a real pleasure to host Fine Wine Artist Leanne Laine this week, thanks for what you do to enhance wine lovers wine experience.