This Week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© Wine Cellar Craftsman and Designer Philippe Leiritz


Check out the radio show on The Trail 103.3FM and U 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;

This week’s podcast; Philippe Leiritz and Your Custom Cellar http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/08/05/wine-guy-mike-for-august-5/

Recent podcast; What You Need To Know About Wine  http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/07/15/wine-guy-mike-for-july-15/

Last week’s podcast; Perfect Patio Wines http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/07/01/wine-guy-mike-for-july-1/

Recent podcast; (full length conversation) with Maximilian Riedel, CEO Riedel Crystal of America http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/06/24/wine-guy-mike-for-june-24/

Father’s Day podcast, Special Father’s and Special Wines http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/06/17/wine-guy-mike-for-june-17/

Recent Podcast with John Balletto of Balletto Vineyards & Winery http://bit.ly/WineGuyMike2

WineGuyMike with Perfect Patio Wines on KECI NBC Montana Today; http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/Mike-Tornatore-8-7-12/-/14594602/15999458/-/67a5ri/-/index.html

NBC Montana Today TV Segment on Easter wines and food pairing; http://www.nbcmontana.com/video/30847522/index.html

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

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” and a great place to WineGuyMike show wines for the lowest price.  Located in the heart of downtown Missoula.

Georges Distributing in Helena, Montana.

Philippe Leiritz

Philippe Leiritz from YourCustomCellar.com

Philippe Leiritz was this week’s featured guest on the WineGuyMike Radio Show.  Leiritz is a native of Alsace, France and by professional trade worked as a mechanical engineer.  Leiritz and his wife Frederique worked together in Geneva, Switzerland prior to moving to and settling in Michigan.  Leiritz continued working in the engineering field but had no time to spend with his family. Frederique and Philippe made a decision to move to Missoula, Montana in pursuit of their dreams.

Collectively the Leiritz family is owner and proprietor of the Missoula Winery and Event Center.  Frederique who is from Champagne, France grew up and worked in a winery.  She is now the winemaker for her family winery and Philippe designs and builds wine cellars. 

Leiritz truly is a master craftsman with the mechanical engineering background.  A functional combination that comes together in the form of beautiful wine cellars custom built for all types of homes and businesses.

Learning how light, humidity and temperature are crucial for the finest wine storage.  There are four things that affect wines as they are stored; Temperature, Humidity, Light, and bottles need be stored horizontally on their side.

  1. Temperature 55°F – 59°F
  2. Humidity 50-70%
  3. Light – wines that are stored in areas with ample light often time indicates incorrect storage temperature.  Constant direct light is another factor to consider as it will begin breaking down wine.

In today’s world 90% of wines are made to be drunk within one year.  If you are a collector of vintage wines you already know how and where you should be storing your wines.  The bottom line; temperature is far more critical than a dark wine cellar.

  1. Lying the bottle down is critical, especially if you intend to store the wine for any length of time. The purpose of this is to keep the cork moist, if your bottle is setting upright there is no liquid to keep the cork wet and swollen thus sealing the bottle correctly and keeping the oxygen out until you are ready to drink the wine.

With synthetic corks do not need contact with the wine to protect the bottle but then you should still be laying the bottle down.  This is important for unfiltered wines with sediment being spread out evenly through a horizontally stored bottle rather than collecting on the bottom of one that is stored upright.  Remember the wine in the bottle is alive and changing every day and the sediment in the bottle plays its part in this too, but that is another story for another day…

Commercial wine rack at a local tasting room

Commercial wine rack at a local tasting room

Master craftsman Leiritz also points out the choice of wood used in a cellar is critical for your cellar.  Redwood, mahogany, oak and alder are a few of the recommended choices for cellars.  Price, relative humidity, home décor, and personal preference all become a part of making the right choice for your wine cellar, Leiritz’s expertise is crucial when it comes to assisting you in these decisions.  

It is important to note that Leiritz builds cellars for all types of homes from modest to elegant custom homes.  There are even nice small racks that allow for proper wine storage for common guys like me.

This was a fun and informative radio show this week and Philippe Leiritz craftsmanship is extraordinary, having a nice cellar makes collecting and drinking wine just that much more enjoyable.  For more information please visit the website at; http://www.yourcustomcellar.com/home   

Here are two WineGuyMike wines that I recommend for your wine rack, pick them up at Missoula’s finest wine shopping experience, Liquid Planet located in the Heart of Downtown Missoula.

The wines reviewed today all receive the WineGuyMike™ Seal of Approval™

From my table to yours,

"from my table to yours"

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This Week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© Anthony Beckman from Balletto Vineyards & Winery in the Russian River Valley


Check out the radio show on The Trail 103.3FM and U 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 with head winemaker of Balletto Vineyards & Winery, Mr. Anthony Beckman; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/07/29/wine-guy-mike-for-july-29/

Last week’s podcast; Paul Hobbs CrossBarn Winery head winemaker Scott Morrison is this week’s featured guest, http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/07/22/wine-guy-mike-for-july-22nd/

Recent week’s podcast; What You Need To Know About Wine  http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/07/15/wine-guy-mike-for-july-15/

Recent week’s podcast; Perfect Patio Wines http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/07/01/wine-guy-mike-for-july-1/

Recent podcast; (full length conversation) with Maximilian Riedel, CEO Riedel Crystal of America http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/06/24/wine-guy-mike-for-june-24/

Father’s Day podcast, Special Father’s and Special Wines http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/06/17/wine-guy-mike-for-june-17/

Recent Podcast with John Balletto of Balletto Vineyards & Winery http://bit.ly/WineGuyMike2

NBC Montana Today TV Segment on Easter wines and food pairing; http://www.nbcmontana.com/video/30847522/index.html

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

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” and a great place to find your holiday wine located in the heart of downtown Missoula.

Georges Distributing in Helena, Montana.

Head Winemaker Anthony Beckman

Head Winemaker Anthony Beckman

Balletto Vineyards & Winery produce wines that offer true consumer value.  This week I sat down with Anthony Beckman, the man responsible for making the delicious wines at the Balletto Winery.

The Russian River Valley in Sonoma, California where the Balletto Vineyards & Winery are located is influenced by maritime induced fog late into the morning, turning to sunny clear blue skies late into the day.  The cool prevailing winds that influence this area are perfect for growing exceptional grapes. The fog blankets the grapes with moist dew throughout the night into the late morning hours, allowing the grapes of the Russian River Valley to mature slowly which produces fruit of concentrated flavor and superior quality.  The RRV is one of the premier grape growing areas in the New World.

Beckman is one of my favorite winemakers for what he does not do to the grapes.  The Balletto wines are handled gently from the vine, to the press, not overly manipulated during fermentation, and then aged with special care.  The Balletto wines are some of my favorite to drink, they are true to the varietal character and affordable for the everyday wine drinker.  Every one of the Balletto wines are exceptional, a true consumer value.

There are two new wines from Balletto Winery that you should know about, 2010 Teressa’s Chardonnay, and the 2011 Roseof Pinot Noir.  Teressa’s Chardonnay is cold fermented preserving the natural esters of the fruit.  This wine is lush, yet crisp, a beautifully balanced wine for those who liked their chardonnay unoaked will absolutely love this wine. Today’s podcast; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/07/29/wine-guy-mike-for-july-29/

Beckman’s 2011 Roseof Pinot Noir is straight up the finest RoseI have ever tasted from the New or Old World.  This roseis everything I want a rose to be.  A great roseshould have beautiful color, fresh aroma of strawberries and raspberries, refreshing like a white wine with subtle mouthfeel like that of a red wine.  The Balletto 2011 Roseof Pinot Noir is all of that and then some. 

I would like to thank my friend Anthony Beckman for taking time to be on the WineGuyMike Radio Show this week and all my friends at Balletto Vineyards & Winery, one of the best consumer values in wine.

Today’s wines all receive the WineGuyMike™ Seal of Approval™ and are available at Liquid Planet in the Heart of Downtown Missoula.  All of these excellent wine selections (see below) have been especially priced for you.  

This wine pairs well with shellfish and will be on sale for $24.99 until Friday 8/03.

This wine pairs well with Lamb and Chops, it will be on sale for $28.99 until Friday 8/03.

This wine pairs well with grilled meats having ample marbling and will be on sale for $33.99 until Friday 8/03.

Remember to stop in at Liquid Planet, Missoula’s best wine shopping experience, to purchase your WineGuyMike wines.

You can listen to the show live on the Trail 103.3FM or U 104.5FM.  These shows are podcast for your convenience and available on my blog at; www.WineGuyMike.wordpress.com

From my table to yours,

"from my table to yours"

This Week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© Paul Hobbs CrossBarn Winery


Check out the radio show on The Trail 103.3FM and U 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; Paul Hobbs CrossBarn Winery head winemaker Scott Morrison is this week’s featured guest, http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/07/22/wine-guy-mike-for-july-22nd/

Last week’s podcast; What You Need To Know About Wine  http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/07/15/wine-guy-mike-for-july-15/

Last week’s podcast; Perfect Patio Wines http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/07/01/wine-guy-mike-for-july-1/

Recent podcast; (full length conversation) with Maximilian Riedel, CEO Riedel Crystal of America http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/06/24/wine-guy-mike-for-june-24/

Father’s Day podcast, Special Father’s and Special Wines http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/06/17/wine-guy-mike-for-june-17/

Recent Podcast with John Balletto of Balletto Vineyards & Winery http://bit.ly/WineGuyMike2

NBC Montana Today TV Segment on Easter wines and food pairing; http://www.nbcmontana.com/video/30847522/index.html

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

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” and a great place to WineGuyMike show wines for the lowest price.  Located in the heart of downtown Missoula.

Georges Distributing in Helena, Montana.

Paul Hobbs and his eleven siblings were raised on a one hundred fifty year old farm in upstate New York.  If you placed an X in the very center of that farm you would be standing at the barn the Hobbs children knew as wondrous and magical place.  That barn is now referred to by Paul as the CrossBarn.

Hobbs is arguably one of the top winemakers in America; he is also respected as one of the top wine consultant’s worldwide, producing world-class wines in California and Argentina. Producing wines of distinct character require sourcing grapes from only the finest vineyards, a task and talent Hobbs excels at. 

Scott Morrison’s career in wine began in a very practical way, interning at a winery in the Napa Valley.  Having discovered his passion he embarked on an academic track, studying viticulture and enology at the University of California at Davis.  After finishing school Morrison traveled to New Zealand, a country whose focus is growing cool weather varietal grapes, it was there he honed his white winemaking skills.  Once back in California Morrison worked with The Hess Collection and Rudd Winery, and most recently Paul Hobbs Winery.  Morrison is now head winemaker at Paul Hobbs CrossBarn Winery. 

CrossBarn Winery produces elegant wine offering true consumer value, thanks to the collaboration of Hobbs and Morrison.  The grapes used in CrossBarn wines are carefully hand harvested striving to preserve the core integrity of the fruit.  All three current wines are from the 2009 vintage.

The wines I’m recommending are great wines, food friendly and available at Liquid Planet. 

This wine pairs well with shellfish and will be on sale for $24.99 until Friday 7/29.

This wine pairs well with Lamb and Chops and will be on sale for $28.99 until Friday 7/29.

This wine pairs well with grilled meats with ample marbling and will be on sale for $33.99 until Friday 7/29.

Pair this wine with; Oysters on the half shell, Salmon, Tuna, Tenderloin of Pork.

Sale Price until 7/29/2012  $13.99

The wines reviewed today all receive the WineGuyMike™ Seal of Approval™

The wine selections from today’s show are available today, all especially priced until 7/29, at Liquid Planet, in the heart of Downtown Missoula, Missoula’s ultimate wine shopping experience and the very best of beverage.

From my table to yours,

"from my table to yours"

This Week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© Simply What You Need To Know About Wine


Check out the radio show on The Trail 103.3FM and U 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; What You Need To Know About Wine  http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/07/15/wine-guy-mike-for-july-15/

Last week’s podcast; Perfect Patio Wines http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/07/01/wine-guy-mike-for-july-1/

Recent podcast; (full length conversation) with Maximilian Riedel, CEO Riedel Crystal of America http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/06/24/wine-guy-mike-for-june-24/

Father’s Day podcast, Special Father’s and Special Wines http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/06/17/wine-guy-mike-for-june-17/

Recent Podcast with John Balletto of Balletto Vineyards & Winery http://bit.ly/WineGuyMike2

NBC Montana Today TV Segment on Easter wines and food pairing; http://www.nbcmontana.com/video/30847522/index.html

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

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” and a great place to WineGuyMike show wines for the lowest price.  Located in the heart of downtown Missoula.

Georges Distributing in Helena, Montana.

What’s Important to Know about Wine

This is WineGuyMike, good Sunday morning and welcome back to this week’s show.  Before I delve into this week’s topic I wanted to let you know that next week my featured guest will be Scott Morrison from the Russian River Valley.  Scott is winemaker the Paul Hobbs label, Crossbarn.  You will not want to miss this interesting show.

This week I’m sharing with you what I believe is really important to know about wine.  I have developed the WineGuyMike Wine Template©, a 10 point simple look that allows you to understand any wine easily.  This is important to know for many reasons, it empowers you if you are shopping for wine, tasting wine, or helping someone else to better understand wine. 

You may have noticed the last few weeks on my blog that I have been displaying the wines I’m sharing with you by utilizing the wine templates.  I feel very strongly that keeping wine as simple as possible is ultimately important.  As you may know we don’t encourage any wine snobbery here on the WineGuyMike show.

The templates generally include ten different points that is necessary for you to understand what a wines personality and a wines physical attributes.  The new templates also help you to better understand your palate and the taste profile of a wine that are appealing to you.

Here is the list and a description of 10 points I cover on each WineGuyMike Wine Template©.

  1. Style – New World or Old World

–         The style of wines can be significant depending on the winemaker’s philosophy and whether they make their wines in an Old World or New World Style.  Remember Old World wines from the Old World are made to complement foods that are grown or raised in that particular area or region.  The Old World wines often are restrained, simple and lower in alcohol content.  Wine from the New World typically has been made to drink; pairing foods with a New World wine is a bit more complicated for the average wine drinker, unlike the Old World you know what to pair the wine with if you understand what the common foods from a particular region are. 

  1. Region or Area – Where is the wine from?

–         In the Old World viticulturists and winemakers have let the land and weather, also known as terroir, dictate what grapes are grown where.  The New World now is also acutely focused on terroir, it is critical to growing grapes that reflect a true expression of the grapes varietal and tha sense of place.  Grapes that are grown in areas that are not best suited for the varietal may produce wines that are not pleasing.

  1. Grapes – What is the grape type?

–         What is your grape style?  Do you like light, medium, or full bodied wines?  Do you like wines that are dry or have a subtle sweetness to them?  Do you like wines that are lush or may have a bit of zing to them?  Knowing the grape varietals and their particular characteristics is vital to your enjoyment of wine.

  1. Designation – Old World Laws vs. New World Regions

–         In the Old World there are wines laws that dictate where a grape is grown, and how much can be produced, how grapes are pruned, harvested, and in some cases how the wines are made.  The New World is now beginning to implement some of these requirements although not nearly to the degree of the Old World.  In France you will notice on a label A.O.C., in Italy you have the D.O.C. or D.O.C.G and Spain you have the D.O.  The New World now typically identifies the origin, AVA or American Viticulture Area, of a wine.  These areas are geographically defined.  American wine law identifies on the label whether a wine is Estate produced and bottled, there are also requirements about how much of a varietal must be in a bottle of wine in order to be identified as such.

  1. Vintage – What year was the wine produced?

–         This is important to know as wines from the same vineyards vary mainly depending on weather.  Each year, just like vegetables crops, the harvest will be different. 

  1. Color – Colors vary and tell part of a wines story

–         In white wines this varies from Pale Yellow Green at one end of the spectrum to Brown. This is due to age, varietal, and influence from oak barrels.  Red wines vary from Purple to Brown, white wines gain color as they age and red wines lose color with age.

  1. Nose – This is what we sense when we put our nose to the glass

–         Aroma; a generally positive term describing the smell of a wine, for example, fruity, earthy, or even spicy.

–         Bouquet; this refers to the scent that a wine develops with age.  This is not to be confused with the wines aroma.

  1. Palate – That’s right what do we taste, what is the flavor?

–         We can sense four different tastes and possible five but that is still debatable, and they are;  sweet, bitter, salty, sour, and perhaps an ability to sense MSG otherwise known as umami

  1. Finish – What’s left behind?

–         The aftertaste of the wine, flavor and sensation.  How long does it last and what are the subtle nuances?

  1.  Vinification– What do you need to know about how the wine was made?

–         There are techniques that are used by winemakers that greatly affect a wines style, this is important to know.

Here are the wines that I’m recommending for you this week, yes in the WineGuyMike Wine Template© format.  Please let me know what you think.  The wines I’m sharing are great inexpensive food friendly wines that are available at Liquid Planet. 

Pair this wine with; Oysters on the half shell, Salmon, Tuna, Tenderloin of Pork.

Sale Price until 7/20/2012  $13.99

Pair this wine with; Barbeque, Pork Chop with herbs, Fowl.

Sale Price until 7/20/2012  $9.99

The wines reviewed today all receive the WineGuyMike™ Seal of Approval™

The wine selections from today’s show are available today, all especially priced until 7/20, at Liquid Planet, in the heart of Downtown Missoula, Missoula’s ultimate wine shopping experience and the very best of beverage.

From my table to yours,

"from my table to yours"

Appetizers and Wines for Superbowl XLVI 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 MST.

Social Media links;

Today’s Podcast; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/01/29/wine-guy-mike-for-january-29/

NBC Montana Today TV Segment with Christmas wines; http://www.nbcmontana.com/video/30063511/index.html

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” and a great place to find your holiday wine located in the heart of 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.

A preview to Superbowl Sunday appetizers and wines that make them score the touchdown, welcome to the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© this Sunday morning.  Today I have chosen a number of wines that are affordable, most are $10.00 to $16.00.  These selections are very good wines that will match up, (football lingo), well with a few of my favorite football appetizers.

Next week’s Superbowl XLVI television audience will approach 110 million viewers but the the first Superbowl championship was contended in 1967.

Bowl games are not new to football, but the Super Bowl took the concept and elevated the idea to an entirely new level.  This was a way for the champions of the two existing football leagues at the time, the National Football League (NFL) and the American Football League (AFL), and decide who was the best team.  The first Superbowl was born.

Superbowl I took place on January 15, 1967 at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.  This game determined the champion of the 1966 football season.  There were nearly 62,000 fans in the stadium to see Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers school the Kansas City Chiefs in a painful lesson about who was top dog, the final score was 35-10.  Millions of viewers witnessed this cool new Superbowl game on TV.  Superbowl Sunday 110 million people will watch the extravaganza this event has morphed into.

Where there is a Superbowl, there is a celebration and that means food and drinks.  I’m not talking about Beer and Soda, but they’re great too.  On today’s show I want to share some of my favorite Superbowl Sunday snacks, treats, and appetizers and what wine I’m going to matching up(that’s football terminology, so I’ll use that today rather than pairing, or wine terminology).

Superbowl Sunday is a fun day to enjoy but you really need to pace yourself.  Otherwise you can’t begin to enjoy this event throughout the entire day.  I’ll be posting a few recipes up on my blog at http://www.wineguymike.wordpress.com for you to use along with my Suberbowl wine recommendations.

I normally write about healthy eats but the following appetizers are real party pleasers.  These apps are so good with the wines I’ve paired them with you, your friends and family will love them.  Disclaimer; I’ll be omitting the nutritional information for the following recipes. 

Tim’s Cascade potato chips with blue cheese and bacon, we’ll call this recipe the “Triple Threat”

Servings; 1 if you’re a glutton, 6-8 if you share

Recipe Ingredients; One baking sheet, 1 large bag of Tim’s Cascade (plain) potato chips, and two wedges of inexpensive Blue Cheese.  Side note; if you really want to take it up a notch with this appetizer use 4-5 strips of pre-cooked bacon chopped into small pieces

Preparation:

Pre-heat heat broiler on low or if you only have one setting on your broiler lower the rack in the oven so it’s not to close to the broiler.  Remember we’re just melting cheese

Take a baking sheet and cover with foil

Spread chips out over the baking sheet, let them overlap one another

Take one wedge of the Blue Cheese and with a knife slice through the cheese until it’s crumbled into small to medium size chunks.  The second wedge is for the second batch of this appetizer, because you’ll just need more.

Distribute the Blue Cheese over the top of the chips and place the baking sheet of chips in the oven.  If you are adventurous feel like living large distribute the bacon over the blue cheese and chips before placing your appetizer sheet in the oven.

Watch the cheese and let it melt, usually around 3-5 minutes, then pull they sheet of chips out of the oven.  The Blue Cheese should be melted but not to the point of running off the chips.

 Velveeta Queso Dip with tortilla chips, okay this dip is just downright addictive.  That’s why you make an entire crockpot full of this gooey crowd pleaser.

Ingredients

1 lb. (16 oz.) VELVEETA Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 whole jar of Pace Picante Sauce, I prefer the hot Picante Sauce

1 lb. of lean ground beef that has been browned and drained

Optional for a spicier dip; Tabasco or a hot sauce to taste(consider your guests)

Directions

Combine Velveeta and Pace Picante Sauce in a crockpot and melt cheese.  When cheese is melted add browned ground beef and a little Tabasco or hot sauce and combine.

Serve

In a bowl as a dip or pour over your favorite tortilla chips.  This dip is delicious.

Wines to pair with these first two appetizers:

Wallace Brook 2009 Pinot Noir ($15.99)

Good Pinot Noir is hard to find at this price point but this wine is made by one of my favorite Willamette Valley wineries, Adelsheim Vineyard.  This Pinot Noir offers a complex nose of red fruits and vanilla.  The supple mouth feel layers raspberry and red cherry fruit, and is complemented by balanced oak and well-integrated tannins.

2009 Balletto Pinot Gris ($13.99)

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.

Tuck Beckstoffer’s 75 Sauvignon Blanc ($11.00)

This wine presents as a classic Graves-style Sauvignon Blanc.  The light straw color is reminiscent of classic left-bank Bordeaux Blanc, while the flavors are a perfect blend of old-world complexity and crisp North Coast fruit.  The nose is just right on this gem, neither to fruity or grassy, but a nice aromatic of grass and grapefruit. On the palate this wine offers bright fruit flavors of apple skin and pear balanced by undertones of cherimoya, fig and melon.

Little Smokies, now I have a special way I like to prepare these delectable little pork parts in a tube.  First you open the package and find a big sauté pan that will hold 2-3 packages of the smokies.  Take two bottles of dark beer and turn up the heat just high enough for a low boil to cook off the alcohol.  Drain the pan and dump them into a crock pot with a fresh bottle of dark beer, add two bottles of your favorite barbeque sauce and a few shots of Tabasco sauce.  Cover them up, start them on high to bring all that goodness together in the crock pot, stirring occasionally, and then turn the heat down enough to keep heat consistent. Yikes these things are just redneck delicious.

Lucien Albrecht Reserve Riesling

A beautiful French Riesling from the Alsace region of France.  This wine has a lovely nose that offers up both minerality and nice floral notes.  In the mouth this wine is both elegant and robust.  It has such great structure and being an Alsatian Riesling is beautifully dry and crisp.

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.

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.

Burgers, I have you covered here.  I have recipes from Chef Bob Waggoner, host of PBS’ Ucook with Chef Bob.  Chef Bob was a guest on the show and I have the recipes he matched up, there is that football lingo again, with Beaujolais.  I’m making a few other wine suggestions for you to enjoy with these delicious burgers.

RECIPE #1- ANGUS BURGERS (For 2 people)

 INGREDIENTS:

· 2 regular sesame buns

· Angus ground beef – 160z

· Red heirloom tomato – 4 slices

· Vidalia onion – 4 slices

·Smoked bacon – 4 slices – diced finely

· Fresh rosemary -1 tablespoon

· Peeled shallots – 3 diced thinly

· Butter lettuce – half of a small head

· Salt

· Fresh ground white pepper to taste

· Aged white cheddar cheese – 2 oz diced into small cubes

DIRECTIONS:

In a small sauté pan cook the bacon until crisp.  Add the shallots and cook for 3 more minutes on low temperature.  Add the chopped rosemary and cook for another 30 seconds.  Remove from pan and let sit at room temperature.

Form 4 thin patties of beef approximately 4 oz each.  Then place bacon, shallot and rosemary mix on top of 2 of the patties.  Add diced cheddar, salt and fresh ground pepper.  Cover with other patty.  Pinch the sides together to form one big burger.  Salt and pepper the top of the patty.  Preheat grill and grill burgers.  When the burgers are almost done, lightly grill the bun.  On the bottom bun place the burger, Vidalia onion rings, tomato rounds and lettuce.  If you like you may add mustard, mayo or ketchup.  Top with other bun.

RECIPE #2 – GRILLED PORTABELLA (BURGER) (For 2 people)

 INGREDIENTS:

· 2 large portabella mushrooms – Stems removed and gills scraped

· Fresh thyme – 2 tsp

· Green onions – 4 each

· Yellow tomato – 4 slices

· Large eggplant – 4 round slices

· 2 Kaiser Rolls

· “Beaujolais Wine” – 4 tbsp

· Olive oil – 4 tbsp

· Salt

· Fresh ground white pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Gently drizzle the olive oil over the sliced tomatoes, eggplant and green onions. Salt and pepper all.  Gently grill and set aside -1 1/ 2 minutes on each side. Salt and pepper portabella mushroom.  With a small paring knife make checkerboard cuts going halfway into the mushroom.  Drizzle 2 tbsp each of “GDwine” onto each mushroom and let it seep in for 2 min.  Add a tiny bit of olive oil on the mushrooms and grill for 2 1/ 2 minutes on each side.  Once pulled from grill sprinkle with fresh thyme.  Gently grill Kaiser Roll.  Stack portabella mushroom, tomato, green onions and eggplant on the Kaiser Roll.

RECIPE #3-TURKEY BURGER SLIDERS with SUNDRIED TOMATO&BASIL (For 2people)

INGREDIENTS:

· Ground turkey meat with 15% fat -1/2 pound

· Sundried tomato – 2 oz

· Shallots 3 each – sliced thinly

·Medium sized garlic cloves -3 each – sliced thinly

· Fresh basil- 8 large leaves – roughly chopped

· Olive oil – 2 tbsp

· Water – 11/ 2 cups

· Baby arugula – 1/2 cup

· Red onion – 4 slices

·1 ripe avocado

· Mini pita pockets – 4 – split in half

· Salt

· Fresh ground white pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

In a 10 inch saute pan, heat the 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat.  Add the sliced shallots and cook for 1minute.  Add the sliced garlic and cook for another minute.   Add the sundried tomato.  Add 1tsp of salt, 3 cranks of fresh ground white pepper and 11/ 2 cups of water and let simmer until all water is evaporated.  Add chopped basil, remove from pan and set aside.  Leave at room temperature.  Form 4 small patties using 1/2 pound of turkey meat.  Salt and pepper both sides.  Gently grill for 11/ 2 – 2 minutes per side, depending on temperature of your grill.  Grill the red onion slices at the same time. Just before the burgers are done, lightly grill the pita pocket that you have split in half. When the burger is cooked, place a small amount of arugula in the bottom of the pita.  Top with a turkey patty and arrange your slider with the grilled red onions and the sundried tomato basil mixture.

Choose a couple of these wines for your burgers:

The Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages 2009 is so well made, wonderful tannin, this wine is lush and full of its beautiful berry self.  It is a wonderfully balanced wine that will be so food friendly due to its fruit and acid companionship.  It doesn’t stop there though this wine for me delivers a great little nuance of toast and butter too.  It’s like a great mildly toasted piece of bread with homemade raspberry and cherry jam; yes it’s a really great wine to complement the burger recipes.

The 2009 Brouilly has nice dark fruit, plum, and black cherry.  The palate displays silk like tannin, it’s chewy with a little tobacco, yet the texture of this confident wine is like that of  the very finest velvet.  This is a beautiful wine that those of us who enjoy a slightly fuller body to our wines will absolutely love, enjoy, and crave more.

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.

Paul Hobbs has always been committed to crafting unfiltered and unfined wines and utilizing native yeasts in the fermenting process.  His commitment to winemaking technique results in exceptional wines that are well structured. Paul’s wines are a product of classic old world technique.

The Felino wines express great balance of pure, concentrated fruit that is lively with acidity and smooth, fine, tannins.  The Viña Cobos Felino label offers Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Chardonnay that is vibrant, lush, mouth-filling wine with beautiful texture that pairs exceptionally well with food.  Did I mention these wines sell for under $16.00.  These wines offer incredible value as many of Paul’s California wine offerings are far north of $100.00.

The 2009 Viña Cobos Felino Cabernet Sauvignon is 88% cabernet sauvignon, 8 % syrah, 4% petit verdot.  A deep ruby hue paves the way for a nose that is ripe with aromas of saddle leather, subtle sweet tobacco, minerality, and earthiness. The palate is lush with a rich well rounded mouth-feel that is complex.  There is a great balance of dark fruit, black currant and boysenberry, mineral, sweet tobacco, and acid. This wine is both rich yet remains lively and well structured with perfect tannin.

2009 Felino Viña Cobos Malbec ($16.99)

Visually this 2009 Malbec presents a beautiful crimson color in the glass.  The nose of this South American beauty is ripe with red raspberry, anise, with a slight nuance of cocoa, a wonderful aroma.  The palate delivers a rich spicy mouth-feel that reveals fruit, a hint of caramel and mineral.  This malbec has a nice round balance with sturdy structure.  This wine is supple, smooth with refined tannin that makes this a great wine to drink and pair with food.  A long finish from this wine that you don’t want to end.

Cannonau di Sardegna D.O.C. Riserva (Under $11.22)

This wine is Old World and rustic in nature.  The Cannonau is native to Sardinia and is unique in aroma and on the palate.  I don’t recommend drinking this wine without a food accompaniment.  With food this will be one of the best food wines you will ever taste.  I recommend this a prime rib, roast beef, stew, and heavy appetizers.  An amazing food wine.

Bright ruby color, with purple hues, the aromas project ripe red berry, including strawberry and raspberry jam. In the mouth, coffee, spices and herbs, including an aroma of violets, plummy fruit flavours and aristocratic oak overtone. Full, round, fruit forward, consumer friendly taste profile. Oak aged for two years in large Slavonian casks with several additional months in the bottle.

Le Clos ($11.99)

A terrific companion to accompany a big juicy burger.  The wine blend is comprised of 45% Merlot, 20% Carignan, 20% Grenache, and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon.

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, 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(very subtle) with hints of incense, spices (nutmeg, clove, ginger), anise, autumn woods and tobacco.  Le Clos is very soft on the palate, with a fresh, tangy acidity, and delivers wonderful balance.  It is well-structured yet elegant, with fine tannins.

My Superbowl game prediction; Giants 21-Patriots 17, but I’m hoping I’m wrong.  I’m rooting for the Patriots, Tom Brady is still the best quarterback in football because he’s smart and he’s experienced. 

"from my table to yours"

"from my table to yours"

“Wine… it’s been berry berry good… to me,” Summer All Star lineup 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.

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This week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© it occurred to me the holiday in America known as, “Labor Day,” is like a break that takes place with one of America’s favorite past times, Baseball and its All Star Break.  Now for those of you reading this that may not be familiar with Baseball, really, there is a break that takes place just after the mid-point of the season.  During this three day break, just like Labor Day weekend, the sport of baseball showcases its top athletes’ in an All Star Baseball game that the world can watch on Television.

Well this is that point of the wine season for me and I thought it would be nice to take a look back over the summer at some of the wines I have written about on my blog and talked about on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show©.  This Labor Day weekend is really a turning point for wine drinkers, winemakers, and winery owners.  Wine drinkers like you and I will still enjoy our go to summer wines for another few weeks but then the season begins to change and so will the wines we choose to drink, it’s a natural evolution.  

Winery owners are beginning to think about the harvest.  They are considering what Mother Nature has given them in the way of weather in the spring and summer and what the harvest will produce.  The grapes have begun Veraison or the transition of growth into the ripening stage and everyone hopes for warm days, cool nights, and dry weather.  This is what produces good grapes at harvest.

Winemakers are pondering the timing, and weather of past seasons, reflecting on what the grapes have given them to work with from vintages past.  That is what they are beginning to think about as they sip on their glass of wine after a long days work in the vineyard for winemakers from smaller vineyards.  Larger operations may have many specialists, but for many vineyards they are farmers first and then transition after harvest into their true specialized rolls.

As I thought about all that I share with you today I really kept coming back to the parallel with baseball.  The season has changed and now we are entering the last trimester.  This is where it all counts, winding down the season and delivering the goods.

One of Saturday Night Lives’ best known sketches was about baseball and a certain character in particular.   In this comedic sketch Garrett Morris who portrayed the Dominican baseball player Chico Escuela, who spoke very disjointed English, delivered one of the best known catch phrases ever to a television audience; “Baseball… been berra berra good… to me.”

This week I give you my summer All Star lineup of wines.  The criteria for this lineup may exclude many of the great wines I have enjoyed this summer because the wines I share with you today must; affordable for the regular girl or guy, refreshing, easy to find, and go great with your Labor Day grillin’ and chillin’ get together with friends and family.  But I want to leave you with this parting thought; “Wine… it’s been berry berry good… to me™.”

A few Labor Day wine recommendations from WineGuyMike™:

Balletto 2008 Pinot Gris

One of my go to wines of the summe.  This pale-straw colored wine opens with musky and exotic fresh fig and floral honey tones.  The secondary aromas reveal ripe red apple, melon and lemon.  Altogether, these aromas are ever-changing and intoxicating.  In the mouth, it’s lush and perfectly viscous with a dose of tartness that balances and holds the wine together.

The fig and honey aromas make a secondary appearance in the finish to create a generous and incredibly long aftertaste that’s enhanced with a hint of butterscotch.

Lucien Albrecht Reserve Riesling

A beautiful French Riesling from the Alsace region of France.  This wine has a lovely nose that offers up both minerality and nice floral notes.  In the mouth this wine is both elegant and robust.  It has such great structure and being an Alsatian Riesling is beautifully dry and crisp.  Pair this with your seafood dishes this weekend.

Tuck Beckstoffer’s 75 Sauvignon Blanc

This wine presents as a classic Graves-style Sauvignon Blanc.  The light straw color is reminiscent of classic left-bank Bordeaux Blanc, while the flavors are a perfect blend of old-world complexity and crisp North Coast fruit.  The nose is just right on this gem, neither to fruity or grassy, but a nice aromatic of grass and grapefruit. On the palate this wine offers bright fruit flavors of apple skin and pear balanced by undertones of cherimoya, fig and melon.

This wine is the perfect pairing for soft cheeses, summer salads, grilled chicken and is one of my favorite domestic Sauvignon Blancs.

Vipra Bianca 2009

On the nose, this dry white wine expresses hints of fresh almonds, acacia, and citrus.  It is rich, yet fresh with a savory, elegant flavor.  This Italian white wine is a nice alternative to Sauvignon Blanc yet maintains a nice partnership with food because of the nice balance of fruit and acidity.

Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages 2009

The Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages 2009 is very well made.  This wine has wonderful tannin, is lush and full of its beautiful berry self.  It is a wonderfully balanced wine that will be so food friendly due to its fruit and acid companionship.  It doesn’t stop there though this wine for me delivers a great little nuance of toast and butter too.  It’s like a great mildly toasted piece of bread with homemade raspberry and cherry jam.  Serve this wine slightly chilled and pair it with everything from burgers, a nice grilled steak, or even a nice filet of grilled salmon.

Pennywise Pinot Noir

Light brick red in color with hints of emerald, the 2009 Pinot Noir blend of 94% Pinot Noir and 6% Syrah delivers aromas of cherries jubilee, root beer, rose petal, and cotton candy.  In the mouth this wine coats the palate with flavors of delicate plum, strawberry, watermelon rind, cream caramel, and vanilla bean.  The finish leaves you with delicate notes of fresh summer sweet strawberries.  Pair this wine with salads to pork chops or burgers, inexpensive and great to serve at a gathering.

Le Clos

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, 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 (very subtle) with hints of incense, spices (nutmeg, clove, ginger), anise, autumn woods and tobacco.  Le Clos is very soft on the palate, with a fresh, tangy acidity, and delivers wonderful balance.  It is well-structured yet elegant, with fine tannins.  It will perfectly accompany a roast rack of lamb, barbecued beef or pork chops with fine herbs.

Rosenere Reggiano Lambrusco

Speaking of refreshing this sparkling gem from Italy was so nice to taste. The Rosenere immediately shows beautifully in the glass, a rich and lovely deep purple color with perfect frothy head. Remember this is what a good Lambrusco should have and even as this wine sits in between sips and you give it a swirl the nice frothy head returns immediately.

The nose on this beauty is equally as pleasing with notes of grape, raspberry, strawberry, and a little cherry. On the palate this wine is so tasty with nicely balanced fruit, acid, and tannin. The Rosenere Lambrusco is like an extra-dry Prosecco which means it is semi-dry and is slightly sweet. The sweetness is appropriate and not annoying in any way.  It just feels right in your mouth, and it is.  The finish leaves you with a delightful lingering memory of refreshing fruit.

This fun frizzante sparkler is nice to pair with rich dishes you may serving or is perfect to enjoy with a nice wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese as an appetizer.

The Sum

 The inaugural vintage of The Sum is a cabernet based blended red wine created by Tuck Beckstoffer whose family is widely considered to be the most famous grape growing family in the Napa Valley.

This amazingly well endowed profoundly rich red wine must be smelled and tasted to be believed.  The color is a rich, deep purple garnet and gives but a small hint as to what’s inside. The nose gives off soaring and wonderfully focused aromas of ripe stone fruit, vanilla, cherries, cedar cigar box, blackberries and cinnamon.  In the mouth, there are layers upon layers of broad, sweet opulent fruit balanced by firm tannins, great acidity and oak. 

This wine is amazing and offers huge value, just one word on pairing with this bad boy from Tuck; Steak, steak and more steak.  I recommend firing up your grill now because this wine at this price point will blow you away.

Saracco Moscato d’Asti 2008 D.O.C.G.

A fabulous way to end the day with this beautiful wine that offers a perfume of fresh peach, pear and aromatic white flowers.  A gentle sparkle brightens the fruit and a tingle of sweetness hints of candied fruits.  This wine is perfect as refreshing aperitif or a light finish to a meal.  Moscato d’ Asti is highly aromatic with notes of fruit and white flowers, Paolo Saracco keeps tight control of the harvest to ensure a perfect acid balance to the natural sweetness of this grape.   A slight sparkle is traditional for Moscato d’Asti, it lifts the fruit and guarantees a wine that is light and refreshing.  It is your dessert in a glass, everyone loves this wine.

My favorite summer recipe from WineGuyMike™:

Start with a very hot grill and a nice New York Strip Steak.

Sear on both sides for 2-3 minutes.

Kill the heat and let the steak hangout in the grill at 200 degrees

Saute sweet onions with a finely sliced mixture of peppers from mildly to fairly hot.

Your steaks should be between medium rare and medium at this point.

Plate steaks and your onion and pepper sauté right on top.  This dish has incredible flavor with just a hint of sweetness and heat from the sauté.

Pair that with The Sum I have recommended in my summer All Star wine lineup and you are in heaven.

Have a wonderful Labor Day celebration; I’ve enjoyed sharing some of my summer favorites and this recipe with you.  Salute!

"from my table to yours"

"from my table to yours"