Have You Been Naughty Or Nice? This week on the Radio Show© WineGuyMike™ has Great Holiday Gift Advice


Check out the radio show on The Trail 103.3FM and Fresh 104.5FM.  The live stream feed is online at http://www.trail1033.com where you can click on “Listen Live”.  The WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© airs on both radio stations Sunday mornings at 10:00AM MST.

Social Media links;

Today’s Podcast; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2011/11/27/wine-guy-mike-for-november-27/

YouTube; My YouTube channel of course is WineGuyMike™ or the actual URL link: http://www.youtube.com/user/WineGuyMike?feature=mhum

Facebook; WineGuyMike please “like”

Twitter; @WineGuyMike please follow me

Sponsors      

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

Sleep City Missoula  www.SleepCity.com

Liquid Planet, “Best of Beverage” in Downtown Missoula

W.J. Deutsch & Sons since 1981 has been marketing quality wines produced by prestigious families from major wine regions of the world. 

Georges Distributing in Helena, Montana.

Welcome to the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© this Sunday morning.

Regardless of whether you have been naughty or nice, WineGuyMike has some great holiday wine gift advice.  The very thought of shopping for the “right” wine or wine gift can be cause for great trepidation within the hearts of many.  So Take a deep breath and remember-this is a great time of year to celebrate friendships, family, and to be thankful for the peace and abundance we enjoy.

The holiday season is nigh upon us and it is the time of year, and no matter what holiday we celebrate, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas or Festivus we can be assured of one thing-exchanging gifts.

Before you go shopping I recommend making a list of the people you are going to buy wine gifts for.  Ask yourself-what do they like?  What color or style of wine do they drink, how much does that special person usually spend, do they serve wine in proper glasses, or do they use tumblers from their favorite fast food customer appreciation collection?  You get the point a little thought prior to shopping will streamline your adventure.

Shopping for wine or wine related gifts, http://on.fb.me/uYQ1HN, should be a pleasurable and gratifying process, remember this can be fun shopping for the special people in your life.  I was shopping a few days ago at Liquid Planet in Downtown Missoula and realized this is the type of wine and gift shopping experience I desire.  Their retail manager, Heather, has done a beautiful job in merchandising the store, and in particular the wine section.  This probably is like girls gone shoe shopping.

When picking out a gift, there are a multitude of great wine gift ideas.  Let’s keep it simple starting with the wine; red wine on the simplest level is light, medium, or full bodied.  Red wine will have aromas of red or black fruit; you may smell spice, earthiness, or even some tobacco, leather, or maybe a little bacon.  That’s right bacon, many French winemakers would tell you that to have a sense of animal in their wines is a component of “Terroir,” or a sense of place.  Does the special person you are shopping for prefer red wines that express more fruit or do they like wine with more tannin or grittiness?

White wines present very different tastes and scents than red wines.  Aromas in white wines will vary, with scents of flowers, fruit, citrus, or beautiful tropical fruits being common.  In your mouth a white wine may taste tart, express minerals like stone or slate, or it may even be somewhat sweet.

How about wine glasses?  Many are unaware how important wine glasses are.  The Riedel wine glass company has been around for three hundred years.  Their glasses are a masterful combination, artfully blending form and function.  Good wine glasses are designed to allow you to visually examine wine, focus the aroma of the wine correctly, and then deliver the wine on your palate in exactly the right spot. 

Wine decanters are also a terrific gift to consider for a wine lover.  Decanting is generally a process reserved explicitly for red wines.  When a wine is poured into a traditional decanter the wine is thoroughly exposed to oxygen and helps to open the wine and settle the tannins.  There are a multitude of differing decanters; some are even attached right to the bottle-certainly not traditional, but clever nonetheless. 

Aerators are devices of decanting “in the moment.”  This process has gained popularity and can be terrific for spontaneous gatherings or an option when headed to a casual restaurant or bar.  I still prefer traditional decanting but if company arrives unexpectedly at your front door this holiday season, as it is apt to do, and you want to share a glass of wine the aerators are a great option. 

Please visit Liquid Planet in Downtown Missoula if you live or visit here to see the comprehensive selection of wines and wine gifts they offer.  You can also visit Liquid Planet online at http://www.LiquidPlanet.com.  It truly is a holiday shopping experience.  I wish you and your family a holiday season filled with good cheer, health, and abundance.

"from my table to yours", Happy Holidays

"from my table to yours", Happy Holidays

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WineGuyMike’s Thanksging Day wine selections with Rob Hudson


Here are a few of WineGuyMike and Rob’s favorite wines to go with your Thanksgiving Day dinner.  Remember if you like red wine you will want to choose a wine that is light to medium bodied, has a good balance of fruit and acid.  A white wine that pairs well with Thanksgiving Day dinner should be rich, lush, and slightly tart. 

Thanksgiving Day wines on Montana Today; http://www.nbcmontana.com/video/29832819/index.html 

Thanksgiving Day Wines

2008 Balletto Gewurztraminer

The aroma of Lychee fruit, guava, red pear and granny smith apple aromas are ever present in this wine. Bright fruit and citrus flavors highlight the dominate aromas of this beautiful Gewurztraminer.  Once in your mouth tropical flavors from the nose translate to the palate and are accompanied by subtle tangerine and lemon.

The wine is lush in texture yet light, balanced tannins and a delightful finish of toffee, lingering apple, and pear make this a perfect wine to compliment your thanksgiving turkey and all of the lovely side dishes.

2009 Balletto Pinot Gris

This Pinot Gris is a complex, pale, straw-colored wine that opens with musky and exotic fresh fig and floral honey tones.  The secondary aromas reveal ripe red apple, melon and lemon. The aromas are ever-changing and intoxicating, and on the palate this wine is lush and perfectly viscous with a dose of tartness that balances and holds the wine together.

2010 Balletto Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

This dark, garnet-colored Pinot Noir is floral with aromas of rose petals, spice, ginger, cassis and fruit aromas of raspberry.  There is a bit of dusty earth with just hint of vanilla too. This 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.  A long beautiful finish.

Here is another wine that will pair nicely with a Thanksgiving meal and guests will certainly enjoy.

2010 Hugel Gentil

The Hugel Gentil revives an ancient Alsace tradition that wines produced from a blend of noble varietals were called “Gentil”.

Hugel Gentil is a traditional Alsace blend of primarily Gewurztraminer paired with varying amounts of Pinot Gris, Riesling, Muscat and Sylvaner.

The Gentil blend of Noble grapes from Alsace region display a light youthful color in the glass and is ripe with floral, fruit and notes of spice.  This wine is rich, yet dry with a hint of lemon zest and mineral is the perfect complement for your dinner.  This is an outstanding Thanksgiving wine selection.

2010 Hestia Cellars Chenin Blanc

This is a beautiful medium body Chenin Blanc.  Rich aromas of melon, nectarine, and soft honey notes yet remains dry and crisp.  Ripe with citrus and grapefruit this wine has generous acidity.  The Hestia Chenin Blanc has great balanced and is the perfect accompaniment to Thanksgiving dinner.

Reynvaan wines are made by Matt Reynvaan who was noted as one of the top 30 winemakers under 30 years old in the world last year.  All three of these Syrah wines are some of the best in the world.  Each wine is blended with Viognier, Rousanne, or Marsanne which are white wine varietals.  This is traditional in the Northern Rhone of France.  All three of these wines are very special.

Syrah Walla Walla Valley The Contender 2008

Ripe and expressive, offering a plush, soft mouthful of stony mineral, cola and sassafras flavors, with a welling up of black cherry and dark plum character as the finish persists impressively.  Delivers depth, power and elegance.

Syrah Walla Walla Valley In The Rocks 2008

Smooth and expressive, with layers of cherry, sassafras, black olive and black pepper gliding over a polished frame, lingering enticingly.  Offers depth and elegance, without excess weight.

Syrah Walla Walla Valley The Unnamed Syrah 2008

Brimming with rich berry flavors and scads of mineral notes, this sets up a marvelous tension between the two flavor poles and remains electric through the long, expressive finish.  Shows depth, roundness and a distinctive profile on a polished frame.

"from my table to yours" Happy Thanksgiving

"from my table to yours" Happy Thanksgiving

Giving Thanks for a Grape Harvest this week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show©


Check out the radio show on The Trail 103.3FM and Fresh 104.5FM.  The live stream feed is online at http://www.trail1033.com where you can click on “Listen Live”.  The WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© airs on both radio stations Sunday mornings at 10:00AM MDT.

Social Media links;

Today’s Podcast; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2011/11/20/wine-guy-mike-for-november-20/

YouTube; My YouTube channel of course is WineGuyMike™ or the actual URL link: http://www.youtube.com/user/WineGuyMike?feature=mhum

Facebook; WineGuyMike please “like”

Twitter; @WineGuyMike please follow me

Sponsors      

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

Liquid Planet, “Best of Beverage”, located in Downtown Missoula www.LiquidPlanet.com

Sleep City Missoula, “Giving A Good Night’s Sleep To Those In Need” 2401 North Reserve Street  www.SleepCity.com

W.J. Deutsch & Sons since 1981 has been marketing quality wines produced by prestigious families from major wine regions of the world. 

Georges Distributing in Helena, Montana.

Welcome to the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© this Sunday morning.

Thanksgiving is a time of celebration and reflection, a tradition in history dating back to the early 1600s.  Following harvest, the tradition was for America’s first farmers, the Native Americans and the earliest European settlers (Pilgrims) to celebrate and share the bounty with their communities. The Thanksgiving traditions continue today, as families sit down to share food and drink, reminisce, and be thankful.

Just as the first farmers would celebrate harvest, it is also a time of celebration in vineyards around the world — except for in South America or down under where summer is just beginning.  Grape farmers in the Northern Hemisphere are patiently waiting and watching their crops with great anticipation.  Consumed by weather reports, farmers carefully examine the fruit in each vineyard daily.  Measuring Brix – or the sugar content of the grape – is a daily chore for the grape farmer.

Grape farming, just like any type of farming, can be stressful. With the late arrival of spring this year, the grape vines were weeks behind in producing grapes. During this past growing season, all varieties of fruit and produce were behind schedule due to weather conditions. 

With grapes, as the clusters grow and mature, the farmer waits for what is known as veraison, or when the grapes begin to soften, turn color and begin to ripen.  As the growing season progresses, the grape farmer watches over the grapes, tending and pruning to maximize the concentration of fruit within the grapes.  

As the growing season nears the end, the farmer walks through the vineyards, carefully scrutinizing the grapes and wielding a small device called a refractometer.  This device allows the farmer to know the exact moment his grapes are ready to be picked.  The sugar in the grapes has now reached a level needed to make wine.  Stand back because this is when the frenzy in the vineyard begins.

Quite literally at that moment, the call goes out to the grape-picking crew that has been on standby just waiting for the farmer’s declaration that the grapes have ripened to perfection.  Picking crews are real experts and amazing to watch work. They are able to harvest fruit at a frenetic pace, yet still handle the fruit with a gentle hand.  The grape harvest is a race to get the grapes off the vine as the sugar in the fruit has peaked.

Mother Nature plays an important role in the grape harvest. Trying to harvest when the fall rains come is very difficult.  If grapes hang on the vine at the end of their ripening cycle and heavy rains begin, the grapes will absorb excessive water, resulting in wines that are thin – a difficult situation for the winemaker.  Winemakers live for great vintages of grapes, or ones that need very little attention once the grapes have been crushed and are in the tank fermenting.  Good winemakers will tell you that great wines are made in the vineyard.

Now that the grapes have been harvested, the crush begins.  Crush is a term used in the wine industry for the harvesting and pressing of grapes, a very exciting time at a vineyard and winery.  Once complete, the vineyard crew is finished and the grapes are now in the hands of the winemaker and their team.  

At this point, it’s time for the process of fermentation, which involves putting the grapes in a tank and using their natural yeast – or an inoculated commercial strain of yeast – to work with the sugar in the grapes to produce alcohol.  If the harvest was a great vintage, the winemaker will not need to manipulate the wines, which is the ideal situation.  The grapes ferment for different lengths of time depending on the type and style of wine a winemaker is making.  It is during this process that the color of a wine, the alcohol level and the amount of tannin in a wine is determined. 

Once the fermentation is complete, the wine is ready to be aged in steel tanks or wooden barrels.  It is very common today to buy a bottle of wine that is a blend of the same juice – some was aged in a steel tank while some may have been aged in oak barrel.  This is where a winemaker’s expertise is important. Tradition, experience and a winemaker that has made many vintages of wine is critical in producing quality wine.

It’s clear that in the grape-growing business, the harvest and the crush are both stressful and exciting times.  During the crush, there is an electric atmosphere of celebration and thankfulness that is contagious. 

Each year, the wineries share their harvest with us in the form of a bottle of wine.  There are a few great wines that are available at Liquid Planet during this season of Thanksgiving.  Look for more wines throughout this month at http://www.WineGuyMike.wordpress.com or on Facebook at WineGuyMike.

Three excellent wines this year are from the Russian River Valley in Sonoma, California.  Both of these wines are from the Balletto Vineyards & Winery, which was featured this summer on the WineGuyMike radio show.

2008 Balletto Gewurztraminer

The aroma of Lychee fruit, guava, red pear and granny smith apple aromas are ever present in this wine. Bright fruit and citrus flavors highlight the dominate aromas of this beautiful Gewurztraminer.  Once in your mouth tropical flavors from the nose translate to the palate and are accompanied by subtle tangerine and lemon.

The wine is lushly textured and light, balanced tannins and a delightful finish of toffee, lingering apple, and pear make this a perfect wine to compliment your thanksgiving turkey and all of the lovely side dishes. 

2009 Balletto Pinot Gris

This Pinot Gris is a complex, pale, straw-colored wine that opens with musky and exotic fresh fig and floral honey tones.  The secondary aromas reveal ripe red apple, melon and lemon. The aromas are ever-changing and intoxicating, and on the palate this wine is lush and perfectly viscous with a dose of tartness that balances and holds the wine together.

2010 Balletto Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

This dark, garnet-colored Pinot Noir is floral with aromas of rose petals, spice, ginger, cassis and fruit aromas of raspberry.  There is a bit of dusty earth with just hint of vanilla too. This 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.  A long beautiful finish.

Here is another wine that will pair nicely with a Thanksgiving meal and guests will certainly enjoy.

2010 Hugel Gentil

The Hugel Gentil revives an ancient Alsace tradition that wines produced from a blend of noble varietals were called “Gentil”.

Hugel Gentil is a traditional Alsace blend of primarily Gewurztraminer paired with varying amounts of Pinot Gris, Riesling, Muscat and Sylvaner.

The Gentil blend of Noble grapes from Alsace region display a light youthful color in the glass and is ripe with floral, fruit and notes of spice.  This wine is rich, yet dry with a hint of lemon zest and mineral is the perfect complement for your dinner.  This is an outstanding Thanksgiving wine selection.

You will find these beautiful Thanksgiving wines at Liquid Planet in downtown Missoula.

"from my table to yours", Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families

"from my table to yours", Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families

Riedel Wine Glasses, A Wine Delivery System by Design this week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show©


Check out the radio show on The Trail 103.3FM and Fresh 104.5FM.  The live stream feed is online at http://www.trail1033.com where you can click on “Listen Live”.  The WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© airs on both radio stations Sunday mornings at 10:00AM MDT.

Each week WineGuyMike™ 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.

Social Media links:

Today’s Podcast; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2011/11/13/wine-guy-mike-for-november-13/

YouTube; My YouTube channel of course is WineGuyMike or the actual URL link: http://www.youtube.com/user/WineGuyMike?feature=mhum

Facebook; WineGuyMike please “like”

Twitter; @WineGuyMike please follow me

Sponsors     

 

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

Liquid Planet, “Best of Beverage”, located in Downtown Missoula www.LiquidPlanet.com

Sleep City Missoula , “Giving A Good Night’s Sleep To Those In Need” 2401 North Reserve Street www.SleepCity.com

Georges Distributing in Helena, Montana.

Good Sunday morning and welcome to the WineGuyMike radio show.  I recently had the pleasure of attending a stemware demonstration with Maximillian Riedel.  The Riedel Wine Glass Company has been making wine glasses for 300 years and Maximilian Riedel is the 11th generation family member representing their wine glass company.

I personally have used Riedel stemware for 20 years to enjoy, savor, and taste wines.  After two decades of experience and familiarity with a product one would “assume” the knowledge gained by use or consumption of a product that you might qualify as somewhat of an expert.  Boy was I wrong, ouch, humbled once again.

I have studied wine nearly my entire life but the 90 minutes I spent in the wine glass demonstration with Maximilian was not only the best presentation I have ever attended, but also the most compelling.  This demonstration truly stirred my wine soul.  If you ever have the opportunity to attend a Riedel Wine Glass demonstration please do not miss it.

We have all heard the term “form versus function”, for the Riedel Wine Glass Company it is all about form and function.  I’ll get back to this point but first I would like to share a few insights about wine.

When we open a bottle of wine to let it breath, decant, or aerate the wine with one of the devices that have been developed to enhance our wine experience.  Oxygen “opens up” wine and brings out the aroma of the wine.

There are 2-3 elements of wine that create aroma and flavor.  The first one of these elements is the fruit.  The second element is the yeast that is used to ferment the wine.  Whether the winemaker uses a natural or commercial strain of yeast the fruit and yeast combine during fermentation to produce aroma and flavor or sense of taste.  The third influence upon the wine in your glass may be the oak barrel that the wine was aged in.  Some varietals of white wine are fermented and aged in steel, in this case there is no oak influence to the sense of taste or aroma.  Many white wines today are fermented and aged in steel tanks with some or all of the white wine spending a brief amount of time in oak barrels.  This will influence the taste and aroma of a wine.  Today’s trend though, “Oak is Out”.  Most white wine styles today are trending towards crisp, bright fruit in white wines.

Red wine and some varietals of white wine like Chardonnay spend more time in oak barrels.  Red wines in particular benefit from barrel aging. During fermentation red wines get their color from the skin of the grape. Tannin occurs as a result of grapes and their skins soaking together during the fermentation process.  Barrel aging allows the red wines to develop depth of color and refine or settle tannin which is the grittiness you experience when drinking a red wine.  Different varietals produce different amounts of tannin.  For example Pinot Noir will express less tannin than Cabernet Sauvignon.

So we know fruit, yeast and wood produce aroma, flavor, and tactile sensation when you drink wine.  Your palate or more commonly known as the tongue can sense four different tastes and possibly five.  Our sense of tastes are;  sweet, bitter, salty, sour, and perhaps an ability to sense MSG otherwise known as umami.  The mouth also has the ability to “feel” cool, warm, dryness, tingling, a coating feeling, and a feeling of numbness.

Sweetness is perceived immediately when you taste a wine as this area is located right on the tip of your tongue.  Acidity in a wine is recognized in the cheek area, on the sides of the tongue which is the area that senses “sour” flavors, and then also in the back of the throat.  Lighter red wines and white wines generally have a higher degree of acidity.

The middle of the tongue is the area that recognizes anything salty.  In the case of wine this is where tannin which is a tactile sensation, not a flavor, is felt.  When wines are young the tannins are what make a wine present as too dry.

Fruit and its individual varietal characteristics are smells not tastes.  But the weight of the wines fruit will be felt on the middle of your tongue.  This is why  wines are referred to as light, medium, or full bodied.

The aftertaste or what is referred to as the finish of a wine is what happens when you actually swallow wine.  In a good wine this is a very pleasing sensation as all of the components of a wine come together in harmony and balance then linger in your mouth and mind.

So why is the glassware such an important companion to good wine?  The Riedel Wine Glass Company has designed a wine delivery system, the wine glass, which is varietal specific.  The Riedel wine glass presents the aroma and the taste of wine perfectly.  Form versus function is not so much a term that describes conflict but better describes the intersection of form and function united for a best purpose.  This is exactly what a Riedel wine glass delivers to our nose and our palate.  A varietal correct wine glass from the Riedel Wine Glass Company has the ability to make 10 dollar wine taste like 100 dollar wine. 

Prior to setting in on the stemware demonstration with Maximilian I was very much of the mindset that great stemware was reserved for expensive wine.  Most of us may enjoy a daily glass of wine; this is what I refer to as a daily drinker, a bottle of wine for twelve dollars or under.  The right wine glass will really enhance an affordable wine.

I’m going to share pictures of five Riedel wine glasses that you must have.  Once you have tasted wine from a Riedel wine glass you will understand that these varietal specific wine glasses accomplish three things.  First the glass holds the wine within the shape of the varietal specific body of the glass.  Due to the quality and shape of the glasses it is very easy to visually examine your wine.  The opening or rim of each specific glass allows aroma from the wine to be revealed, and enjoyed.  The glass allows a person to discern the aromatics of a wine.  Secondly the Riedel wine glasses target and direct wine onto the correct area of the palate.  This is also specific to each varietal of wine, for instance drinking wine from the Riesling/Sauvignon Blanc glass is delivered directly to the tip of the tongue where it is best recognized for its varietal nuances.  If you are drinking a big Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley the Riedel wine glass delivers this wine onto the mid to back palate where the nuances of this varietal are best distinguished.

The pictures that I share visually demonstrate how the trajectory of wine will be delivered to the palate.  It is important to note the shape or pattern of wine as it lies in the body of a glass that is held at an angle.  I have tipped the glass and allowed the wine to flow to the rim of the glass.  Notice how the wine spreads both vertically and horizontally in the glass once it has been tipped.

The first glass is Riedel’s Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc glass, notice the wine as I hold the glass at an angle and allow the wine to flow to the lip of the glass.  This is how this wine will be trajected onto your palate.  You can see this wine will hit the palate right up front.  This allows the palate to enjoy the sweetness of the fruit on the tip of the tongue.

Riedel Riesling & Sauvignon Blanc Wine Glass

Riedel Riesling & Sauvignon Blanc Wine Glass

The diamond shape you see in the newest Riedel Chardonnay wine glass is truly reflective of today’s style of Chardonnay as demanded by consumers.  At most gatherings you taste wine at you will often hear comments from wine drinkers that they no longer desire heavy handed oak in their Chardonnay.  Riedel has responded to the consumer by designing a glass that is diamond shaped.  Many Chardonnay wines now have much more influence from cold fermentation.  The result is a Chardonnay wine that is bright with fruit and acidity.  The new style of Chardonnay may be aged in a combination of steel tanks and oak barrels.  Chardonnay is a full body white wine whereas a Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling are much lighter in body and are non-oaked in flavor and style.  When you examine both pictures that I have shared with you it is very easy to see the pattern of wine that will be transferred onto the palate is very different.  The diamond shape glass focuses the bright, and bigger fruit aroma to the nose while the pattern of wine that flows to the palate is broad.  This is in direct comparison to what is delivered by the Riesling style glass.  Once again Chardonnay is a fuller fruit that typically has some influence from oak aging.  This will vary depending on the style dictated by winemakers.  The dry nature of the Chardonnay grape combined with a slight nuance of tannin from oak aging is delivered mid-palate.  Wine delivery by design, this is what Riedel has engineered into each and every wine glass.

Riedel's newest style Chardonnay Wine Glass

Riedel's newest style Chardonnay Wine GlassRiedel Pinot Noir Wine Glass

 Red wine glasses from Riedel.

Riedel Pinot Noir Wine Glass

Riedel Pinot Noir Wine Glass

The Riedel Pinot Noir glass as you will note in this picture delivers wine close to the tip of the tongue so that the sweetness of the fruit will be enjoyed. You will notice that the wine near the lip of the glass is not nearly as broad as the Sauvignon Blanc, thus the wine is projected just behind the tip of the tongue.   As you will also note that the pattern of the wine in the glass suggests that the wine will then spread to the mid-palate.  Remember that the fine tannin and acidity of the fruit will be recognized by the middle of the tongue and cheek areas of the mouth.  

Riedel Bordeaux Wine Glass

Riedel Bordeaux Wine Glass

Riedel’s Red Bordeaux glass and their newest large Bordeaux style glass which appears to be a Bordeaux style wine glass on steroids are great examples of form and function.  The new large red wine glass is designed to accommodate a new style or trend in red wines that are being produced in warmer climate zones like Napa Valley.  Some of these big powerful red wines have high alcohol content approaching fourteen percent with some even reaching 15%.  Riedel recognized that wines this big and powerful need a deep glass with a large body. Examine the different pattern that the wine forms within the glass as they are tipped at an angle. The Pinot Noir and Bordeaux style wines lie very differently within their respective glasses when tilted at an angle.

Large Riedel Red Wine Glass for big red's high in % of alcohol

Large Riedel Red Wine Glass for big red's high in % of alcohol

Perhaps one of the most important things to understand about the Riedel Wine Glass Company is that evolution of design never stops.  They currently are developing brand specific wine glasses for special wines from around the world.  They also recognize that styles and trends in wine and grape growing continues to change.  Viticulturists worldwide now understand that some grape varietals may be best suited to a valley, the hillside, or grow best on the hiltops.  Rest assured that The Riedel Wine Glass Company is paying attention and designing glasses for what is to come.

Try these two wines with your Thankgiving dinner, they will not disappoint.

2010 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

Riedel's Pinot Noir and Champagne glass. That's right now recommended for Champagne too

Riedel's Pinot Noir and Champagne glass. That's right now recommended for Champagne too

This dark, garnet-colored Pinot Noir is floral with aromas of rose petals, spice, ginger, cassis and fruit aromas of raspberry.  There is a bit of dusty earth with just hint of vanilla too. This 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.  A long beautiful finish.

Here is another wine that will pair nicely with a Thanksgiving meal and guests will certainly enjoy.  Both of these wines are available at Liquid Planet in Downtown Missoula. 

Gentil Hugel 2010

Riedel Riesling & Sauvignon Blanc Glass

Riedel Riesling & Sauvignon Blanc Glass

This white wine is a beautiful blend of the Noble grapes from the Alsace region in France. It displays a light youthful color in the glass and is ripe with floral, fruit.

"from my table to yours"

"from my table to yours"

The great wines of Rioja Spain this week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show©


Check out the radio show on The Trail 103.3FM and Fresh 104.5FM.  The live stream feed is online at http://www.trail1033.com where you can click on “Listen Live”.  The WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© airs on both radio stations Sunday mornings at 10:00AM MDT.

Each week WineGuyMike™ 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.

Social Media links;

Today’s Podcast; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2011/11/06/wine-guy-mike-for-november-6th/

YouTube; My YouTube channel of course is WineGuyMike™ or the actual URL link: http://www.youtube.com/user/WineGuyMike?feature=mhum

Facebook; WineGuyMike please “like”

Twitter; @WineGuyMike please follow me

Sponsors 

     

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

Sleep City Missoula  www.SleepCity.com

W.J. Deutsch & Sons since 1981 has been marketing quality wines produced by prestigious families from major wine regions of the world. 

Georges Distributing in Helena, Montana.

Welcome to the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© this Sunday morning.

The Rioja wine region is located in Northern Spain.  This area is only a five hour trip away from the famous Bordeaux wine region of France.  In the late 1800’s an outbreak of Phylloxera blight sent the great French winemakers of Bordeaux at that time south to the Rioja wine region of Spain.  The growing conditions and climate in the Rioja area are very similar to that of Bordeaux.  It was here they reestablished their vineyards and began producing very good wine.  Rioja wines have been greatly influenced by the French wine styles of Bordeaux.

Spain is the now world’s third largest producer of wine behind Italy and France with 2.7 million acres dedicated to vineyards.  There are nearly 800 wineries scattered throughout the country of Spain.  The majority of wine, 80% in all, is produced by just a few companies.

Spain has produced wine throughout history but in recent times has undergone significant changes.  This has occurred since Spain has joined the European Union in 1986.  There have been tremendous capital investments into Spain’s wine industry since that time.  Spanish wine industry now utilizes modern winemaking technology; they have implemented new vineyard trellis systems, stainless steel fermentors, and have installed new irrigation systems that were legalized according to Spainish wine law in 1996.

The quality and volume of wine production have benefited center and south wine regions of Spain which is often plagued by drought.  There are more than 600 grape varieties that are grown and produced in Spain.  The primary grapes used to produce the great wines of Rioja are the Tempranillio and Garnacha varietals.

In 1970 Spain established wine laws similar to those of France and Italy.  These laws were revised in 1982 and are known as D.O. or Denominacion de Origin.  At that time in 1982 there were only 25 DO’s and today there are over seventy DO regions.  There two DOC’s in Spain, Rioja and Priorat.  DOC is a designation signifying the highest quality on wine from a specific region.  The DOC wines are true and correct representations indicative of the wine style recognized under Spanish wine law for that specific region.

The DO laws control:

  1. Geographic boundaries
  2. Grape varietals
  3. Yield per acre
  4. Wine making practices
  5. Aging of wines which determines release dates wine vintages

In Spain there are more than 600 grape varieties that are grown and produced. Tempranillio and Garnacha varietals are the primary grapes found in the Rioja region.

These two medium bodied jewels of Spain play a major role in a couple of the country’s finest wines, Rioja and Ribera del Duero.  Tempranillo grapesproduce very complex wines hinting of plums, vanilla, cassis, and tobacco.

Garnacha grapes are famous for use as a blending grape in both France and Spain. Garnacha or Grenache as it is known throughout the world is medium bodied with berry flavors.  The Garnacha grape is used as a blending grape for full red wines or roses that produce fruity or berry like flavor.  This grape is also produced as a single varietal wine.

Rioja wines are available in a huge range of quality and price points making these wines appealing to the everyday wine drinker and those who collect wines for their cellars.

There are a few things you should know when you purchase a Rioja wine.  You may see the word “Jovan” on the label; this means the wine is unoaked or just slightly oaked and should be drunk young.  The word Cosecha is a Spanish term for vintage and may indicate that a wine has a little barrel aging.  Cosecha appears on a small sticker separate from the label and will also carry the DO or DOC designation.  The terminology is used by modern producers of Rioja wines that are bigger wines that deliver concentrated fruit to the nose and palate.  This is driven by current consumer market trends; we can only hope these wines do not deviate to far from the true DOC standards of the region.  Vinos De Pagos is another term you may see on a Spanish wine label.  This identifies a wine that has been produced from a single estate.

There are three designations of quality that you need to understand about Rioja wines.  Crianza means that a wine has had a minimum of two years of aging with one of those spent in an oak barrel.  This will be the most affordable Rioja wine.  A Spanish Reserva wine will have been aged for at least three years and also spent one year in an oak barrel.  The Reserva wines will generally be 3-5$ more than the Crianza wines.  The Gran Reserva Rioja wines have spent five to seven years aging with at least two of those years in a barrel.  A Gran Reserva should definitely be decanted and can be laid down for another three to five years in the bottle.

I have two very good Rioja wine selections that I share with you today.  The first is a very affordable Crianza Rioja wine, El Coto.

The 2007 vintage benefited from a harvest that produced well balanced fruit, grapes that had a good balance of acidity, color, and concentrated levels ofsugar in the fruit.  El Coto has nice light ruby color in the glass with fresh ripe fruit on the nose.  A second layer of aroma develops on the nose, you will note smoke and earth.  Good balance of fruit, acid, and tannin provide a nice mouth feel for this wine.  This wine has a simple but nice finish with just a little vanilla.

I recommend that you pair this wine with white meats and cheeses that are mild.  This wine offers great affordable value, you will find this wine for 12-14$.

2007 Marques de Caceres Reserva is a great wine that is very affordable, especially considering the quality of this wine that is beautiful to look at in your glass.  This wine displays a deep ruby color that you can see is a glass full of concentrated fruit.  The nose of the Reserva offers a unique sense of forest, flora, and some really nice spice.  On the palate this wine is lush, rich, and will fill your mouth with beautiful toasty tannin.  This very affordable wine from Rioja is complex as the layers just peel away and deliver a long lingering finish.  Find this wine for under $18.00.

I recommend pairing this wine with a great tomato sauce based meal, all red meats, salami’s, and game birds.  It will also do nicely with mature cheeses.

The 2004 Marques de Caceres Gran Reserva displays a scintillating dark cherry color in the glass.  Mature fruit, leather, very delicate vanilla spice, are on the nose of this complex refined wine.  On the palate this wine is confident, powerful, offering a full concentrated mouth feel that is simply elegant. Fruit and toast on this finish of this outstanding wine that will do well for the next 5-7 years in the bottle.  Who can wait, drink it now for under $25.00.

Pair this gem from Rioja with Lamb, beef, ragout, and my favorite Blue Cheese from the Rogue River Creamery.

"from my table to yours"

"from my table to yours"