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"

This Week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© Special Father's and Special Wines


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 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

Recent Podcast with Justin Wylie and Va Piano Vineyards; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/04/22/wine-guy-mike-for-april-22/

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.

Today is Father’s Day and I thought it would be a great opportunity to pay homage to some of the men who are or were father’s, whom I have really respected and loved, and have made such an impression that they have impacted my life.  

President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day in 1966.  It was six years later, in 1972, when President Nixon made the day a permanent national holiday by signing it into law.

I thought it would be fun to share a little of my life with you, of course let us not forget this show is all about wine.  I put a great deal of thought into these men who have been important to me and thought about what wines that I have enjoyed recently that reminded me of these special men on Father’s Day.

First I’ll talk about my dad, his name is Frederick.  My dad grew up in a very poor family in Upstate New York, which is also where I grew up.  My Dad’s life growing up was not easy, he is a survivor who has had to scrap for everything in life, but my dad was a dreamer.  My dad went after his dreams and fought as hard as he could to live and achieve all that he could dream.  For my Dad I raise my glass and toast him with a great Syrah from Walla Walla in Washington State from Reynvann Vineyards.  For this toast I chose their Syrah “The Contender”, they make three great Syrah’s but this one that I think is one of the finest varietal examples seemed appropriate for my Dad.

My Father-in-law, Paul Wright who was one of the toughest men I have known, and not due to his physical strength.  He was tough enough to be a great man. Paul a recipient of the Purple Heart from the Korean War was hospitalized for nearly one year having been shot in the war, but he survived.  Paul was a Nuclear Engineer, the father of five children, foster father to over 2,000 children who needed emergency short term(Ha Ha) care.  These kids were raised alongside his own children wearing the same clothing, taking the same music lessons, and playing the same sports.  My Father-in-law just lost a long and hard fought battle to Pancreatic Cancer, he seemed to even beat that though, he lived nearly two years after diagnosis.  I raise a glass of Pinot Noir from Balletto Vineyards and Winery in the Russian River Valley.  This is a great Pinot Noir that expresses true and real terroir at the hands of winemaker Anthony Beckman, that is what my father-in-law was true, real, and an example of something to model oneself after.

My Grandfather on my mother’s side, Alfred Gates, was a survivor of World War II.  He spent his time in the war on destroyer escorts, the support team for the big battleships.  His boat survived the war and all the unbelievable storms at sea.  This man taught me self respect, how to treat others, how to be a leader of a family.  Al was loved by everyone who ever met him, and he enjoyed everyone he met.  He is a person I miss a lot and think about from time to time even though he has been gone for over thirty years.  I’m grateful for this man who always had a twinkle in his eye, for him I toast him with no other than a great sparkling wine, Gruet Brut Rose.

Last but not least by any means, my Grandfather Tornatore from Sicily.  My Grandfather came to this country with nothing through Ellis Island in New York.  He eventually settled in a tiny place in Upstate New York named Mexico, New York.  This man was a bull of a man, as wide as he was short, he was a pheasant who worked in a steel foundry and raised everything on his land to feed his family.  I am forever grateful to this man for instilling my love and passion of wine, my grandfather also loved wine.  As powerful a man as he was, his hand for the vine was gentle.  He was a master of grafting fruit trees and grapevines, I followed him and learned a love of the land, a love of the vine, and he instilled his amazing passion for the wine to me.  For this I’m eternally grateful, to him I raise a glass of Boroli Quattro Fratelli

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

These wonderful Father’s Day wine selections are available today 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"

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

Award winning artisan Blue Cheese producer Rogue Creamery and Cheese Monger Tom Van Voorhees on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show©


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This week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© I would like to introduce you to my special guest Tom Van Voorhees.  I have been waiting to have Tom as my featured guest for one year now and his incredibly busy schedule has opened up for a brief moment and allowed him to join us today.  Tom and his wife made a decision about three years ago to move from New York all the way out to the small city of Central Point, Oregon.  You’re probably scratching your head and thinking Central Point, Oregon?  It may just be a small blip on the radar of Google Earth but in the world of cheese the Rogue Creamery from Central Point, Oregon has had an impact that is on a world scale.  If you love wine and cheese like you and I do you will never forget the Rogue Creamery but we will get to that in a moment.  First things first here, let’s get back to my friend Tom Van Voorhees, the top Cheese Monger in the United States and perhaps the world in my opinion.  A few years back Tom was officially recognized as top Cheese Monger in the country.

Tom Van Voorhees "The Cheese Monger"

Tom Van Voorhees "The Cheese Monger"

I know I wondered the same thing, what in the heck is a Cheese Monger?  In a nutshell a Cheese Monger is the cheese department or cheese shop manager. Becoming an expert in this field, just like becoming a Sommelier or a Chef, requires a formal education with years of tasting and hands-on experience.  A Cheese Monger is typically responsible for managing the cheese inventory, selecting the cheese menu, purchasing, receiving, storage, and ripening of the cheese.  This is what Tom Van Voorhees is an expert of at the Rogue Creamery.

Follow me to the Rogue Creamery

Follow me to the Rogue Creamery

Tom and I met about a year or so ago at the Rogue Creamery which is located in the heart of the southernmost Oregon wine country or better known in the world of wine as the Rogue Valley AVA, (American Viticultural Area).  It’s made up of three adjacent river valleys (Bear Creek, Applegate, and Illinois valleys) that extend from the foothills of the Siskiyou Mountains along the California border north to the Rogue River.  It is 70 miles wide by 60 miles long and encompasses the Applegate Valley sub-appellation.  There are 1,400 farmed acres comprised of 130 vineyards, and 16 wineries.

Del Rio Vineyards from the Rogue Valley AVA

Del Rio Vineyards from the Rogue Valley AVA

The Rogue Valley’s wine history dates back to the 1840s when European immigrants began planting grapes and eventually bottling wines.  In 1852, an early settler named Peter Britt began growing grapes and in 1873 officially opened the Valley View Winery-Oregon’s first official winery.  Valley View remained open until 1907.  Prohibition brought the wine business to a standstill in the Rogue Valley. The Wisnovsky family once again adopted the name Valley View Winery for their label in 1972.  It was in 1968 though when a professor from Oregon State University had planted an experimental vineyard for research purposes that winemakers realized what a great terrior the Rogue Valley is.  As they say the rest was history as the Rogue Valley became an official appellation in 2001.

The predominant wine varietals that are grown in the Rogue Valley are; Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay.  There are three valleys that have progressively warmer microclimates.  This provides the Rogue Valley a diverse and unique opportunity to grow both warm and cool grape varietals.  Pinot Noir is grown to the west as this microclimate is influenced by mountain and ocean winds that cool the area.  To the east the warm weather varieties thrive.  Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc grow in the hills at elevations of nearly 2,000 feet which help to produce grapes with nice concentrated fruit.

The Rogue Creamery has quite a history that spans nearly eight decades.  Italian immigrant Tom Vella who had settled in the Sonoma, California area set his sights on the Rogue Valley as an area of opportunity to found a creamery.  When Tom arrived it was small farms and pear orchards and the main industry was lumber.  Tom being a visionary and entrepreneur that he was opened the small creamery during the Depression, a gutsy move considering the lack of economic climate in the United States.  Tom’s goal was to grow the creamery as fast as possible in order to provide employment and sustain the areas small farms.  The farmers were with Tom from the very start.

The Southern Pacific Rail line that ran from Los Angeles, California to Seattle, Washington passed through Medford which is the larger city located right next to Central Point.  Passengers traveling between San Francisco, California and Seattle stopped to enjoy theatrical performances at the historic Holly Theatre.

The Rogue Creamery flourished during the Depression and provided significant amounts of Cheddar cheese for the troops that fought in World War II.   After the war the Rogue Creamery changed focus and was retooled to serve civilian markets.  Cottage cheese was very successfully introduced to the consumer market and served as the transition for the Rogue Creamery to become the premier producer of Blue Cheese that it is today, and may I add the finest Blue Cheese in the world.

Inspired by the success of the Cottage cheese Tom Vella knew that he needed to grow his product base and Blue Cheese was on Tom’s radar.  As the wise entrepreneur that he was he decided to go right to the source of the best Blue Cheese in the world, Roquefort, France.  It was there that Tom and his wife spent the summer of 1955.  Tom’s good fortune, talent and fluency in Italian opened many doors.  The Roquefort Association, although shrouded in secrecy, welcomed Tom when he spoke to the supervisor of the facilities in the man’s native dialect. They became instant blood brothers.  Presented with a gold pass signed by all functionaries of the Society, Tom toured operations from farms to cheese factories to the curing limestone caves at Cambalou.  At the end of summer he departed France with plans for a Roquefort type cheese factory, already producing Oregon Blue in his imagination.  Construction began in Central Point in 1956.

Tom envisioned caves similar to the environment of Cambalou and designed a building to duplicate that atmosphere.  Two Quonset shaped half circled rooms of cement were poured, one over the other, with space in between for insulation. The result was a true cave-like atmosphere.

Production of blue began in early 1955.  Instant success validated Vella’s business acumen.  It also went down in the books as the first blue cheese produced in caves west of the Missouri River.  Over the years Vella’s dedication to quality was unwavering to the end as was his enthusiasm for the business and this valley.  He died on December 23, 1998, at age 100.

The Rogue Creamery was inherited by Tom’s family and his son Ignazio became the driving force behind the creamery.  His reputation as “The Godfather of the artisan cheese industry” really says it all.  Ig as he was known stayed on as mentor to current owners David Gremmels and Cary Bryant who are now the senior cheese makers.

Ig, Cary and David

Ig, Cary and David

Today, the Rogue Creamery is thriving.  Gremmels and Bryant have steadfastly held to the principles laid out by Tom and Ig Vella.  The creamery’s Mission Statement; An artisan cheese company, with people dedicated to service, sustainability and the art and tradition of making the world’s finest handmade cheese.

In the first two years under the leadership of Gremmels and Bryant the Creamery has won numerous trophies and awards, including World’s Best Blue Cheese at the 2003 World Cheese Awards in London, a first for a U.S. creamery.

Rogue River Blue - With Certificates

Rogue River Blue - With Certificates

Their long list of accomplishments also includes the coveted Best New Product Award as the World’s first Smokey Blue, one of my favorites, at the National Association for the 2005 Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) Food Show in New York.  The Rogue River Blue, another one of my favorites, took Best in Show at the 2009 American Cheese Society in Austin Texas. They have garnered more than 4 trophies and 30 medals & awards.

Cheese Girl Miranda at the Rogue Creamery

Cheese Girl Miranda at the Rogue Creamery

Hey here is the deal, every cheese that the Rogue Creamery produces are my favorites and I know you will love them too.  The cheese that the Rogue Creamery produces, the Blue’s in particular, are the finest that the world has to offer.  Pair their cheese with the right wines and you are not only living large but you will experience wine and cheese nirvana; I’m not kidding the creamery’s cheeses are fantastic.  Can you tell I love Cheese Monger’s Tom Van Voorhees cheese, I do, I do.

WineGuyMike’s  favorites and his Wine Pairing selections:

Caveman Blue; Caveman Blue is a rich, complex blue that is deliciously sweet & fruity with slight vanilla tones and a texture of butter and crystals…

Caveman

Caveman Blue

Balletto 2007 Chardonnay

Tasting Notes:  This beautiful golden-straw colored wine has lush and heady aromas of honey, cream and mango that nicely compliment its brighter green apple and pear aromas.  There is a touch of spice and vanilla from oak ageing and a scent of Meyer lemon that foreshadows the wines crisp acidity.

In the mouth, the viscosity and balance of the wine instantly stand out.  There’s a gorgeous weight and texture which is offset by both the wines bright fruit and its refreshing acidity.  It’s one of those wines that draws you in for a second (and third) sip. Granny Smith apple, baking spices and rich creme brulee round out the initial flavors, and then it finishes with lasting apricot and light butterscotch.

This wine is easy to enjoy at the dinner table.  It has the rare quality of being lush and refreshing at the same time and will enhance a wide variety of foods.  Because of its tartness and texture, it will pair well with salty foods like aged cheeses.

2009 Sauvignon Blanc from Tuck Beckstoffer

The 75’(the label) is comprised of 80% clone one Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Musque clone, this wine is not allowed to go through secondary fermentation and sees only stainless steel during fermentation and aging. The result is a vibrant wine showcasing ripe summer melon, honey suckle, crushed rock and lemon oil aromas followed by great texture, richness and acidity.  This wine showcases the tremendous quality of Sauvignon Blanc grown in the Lake County region California and is a must have for the serious white wine drinker.  This wine is one of the finest examples of a domestic Sauvignon Blanc there is, and the price offers terrific value.

Crater Lake Blue Cheese; This is their most robust blue cheese.  It is a contemporary complex blend of molds from Rogue Creamery and around the world.

The 2007 Helix Syrah is 100% Syrah; this fresh, juicy red is a carnival for your senses with a veritable menagerie of delicious flavors!  On the nose you will experience more berries than a midsummer farmers market, a hint of freshly spun cotton candy, orange peel and lavender. Enjoy perfectly ripe flavors of blackberry and white pepper accompanied by a thick round mouthfeel and a loooong dark chocolate finish.

Oregon Blue Cheese; Created a half a century ago, Oregon Blue Vein cheese has been the West Coast’s exemplary award-winning Raw Milk Blue cheese.

2008 The Sum from Tuck Beckstoffer

This amazingly well endowed 75’(the label) Red Blend by Tuck is profoundly rich red wine that 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 one of the best Red Blends of domestic wines you will find, it offers significant value.  You will be pleasantly shocked by the price of this bottle of wine.

Oregonzola Cheese; This Gorgonzola style cheese is aged a minimum of 120 days in their caves.

Oregonzola

Oregonzola

2009 Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc-Viognier Blend

This unique marriage of these two varietals that would never share the same bottle in their native France unites the crisp, honeyed fruit of Chenin Blanc with the plush body, light floral aromas and juicy stone fruit notes of Viognier.  This wine is refreshing, easy drinking and if you like peaches you will love this wine.  The bouquet of this wine is beautiful and the finish lingers on the palate just as the aroma fills the room.  I love this wine and with the Oregonzola, give it to me all day long.

Adelsheim 2009 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

“With its broad array of origins and clones, this wine displays red aromas (candied cherry, pomegranate and raspberry), on the nose and the palate. In addition, one finds a light touch of brown spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice). True to the Adelsheim house style, this Pinot Noir is elegantly textured with seamlessly integrated, silky, polished tannins.

Smokey Blue Cheese; Rogue Creamery’s “Oregon Blue” is the first blue cheese made on the West Coast, so we thought it only fitting that it be the first blue ever smoked.

Smokey Blue Cheese

Smokey Blue Cheese

2009 Layer Cake Shiraz

Dark, dense and creamy, complex aromas of black plum, Bing cherry, blackberry and pepper merge with licorice, tobacco, mocha and dark chocolate. This is one inky Shiraz; an explosion of dark, super ripe, wild blackberry, with a touch of cigar box finishing with a mélange of exotic spices. A pure fruit bomb…complete from attack through a long, lingering finish.

2009 Plungerhead “Lodi” Zinfandel – This wine is dark ruby in color with flecks of orange.  The old vine Zinfandel vineyards ripened evenly in the Lodi heat of 2009. This allowed the old vine character to explode in this blend with aromas of jammy raspberry, hints of orange rind, clove, and rich caramel oak.  In the mouth, this Zinfandel has flavors of dried strawberry, dark raspberry, plum sauce, cedar, and pomegranate, with hints of white pepper and cherry liquor. The finish is sweet fruit, toasty oak, and lingering warm spices.

Newest Cheese(Cheddar); TouVelle(their newest cheese, an American original semi- hard cheese).

Balletto 2009 Russian River Pinot Noir

Tasting Notes:  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).

Tom you were an even better guest than I had hoped, and I had super high expectations having met you a year ago.  Not only does the Rogue Creamery sell all of their products but Tom also sells a collection of his favorite cheeses from around the world.  The Rogue Creamery is honestly worth a vacation trip just to visit the creamery, it is an amazing place where you can just sense all the history that has taken place.  I recommend it and give my whole hearted recommendation to visit their website and try these amazing cheeses; www.roguecreamery.com

Here are specific recommendations from the Rogue Creamery’s website:

I. BLUE CHEESE: Generally pairs well with full-bodied reds, or sweeter whites such as Gewürztraminer or late harvest.  Port is classic.  Specifications follow:

·        Oregonzola:  The cheese is milder in flavor than Roquefort or Danish-style blues.  Pairs with Viognier; check out Pinot Noirs on a case-by-case basis; yeasty champagnes work; spicy Zinfandels, robust Merlots and Cabernet Francs; Bordeaux-style blends.

·        Oregon Blue: A full-bodied blue cheese which requires a wine correspondingly robust in flavor.  Try Fruity Pear wine, Late Harvest White, Cabernet Sauvignon, Claret, Syrah; Port is excellent.

The Famed Oregon Blue

The Famed Oregon Blue

·        Crater Lake Blue:  A full-bodied blue, with a long finish.  Late Harvest White, Cabernet Franc; Claret; Syrah; Port.

Craterlake Cheese

Craterlake Blue

·        Echo Mountain:  An earthier blue cheese (a blend of cow’s milk and goat’s milk), with its own unique flavor.  Pinot Gris; Viognier; Cabernet Franc;  Cabernet Sauvignon.

·        Smokey Blue:  Pairs well with  good “food” wines; Pinot Gris; Chardonnay; well-rounded reds on the fruity side, lighter on tannins and acidity – i.e., selected Zinfandels, Merlots and blends.

·        Rogue River Blue:  This cheese has a strong, well-aged flavor with hints of brandy and fruit – a medium wine won’t stand up to it.  Choose wines with the fullness of age –   Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Port – or the classic French or German Gewürztraminers.

Rogue River Blue

Rogue River Blue

II.     CHEDDAR: Generally pairs well with medium to dry white and red wines, especially the sharp and extra-sharp cheddars.  Flavored cheddars, usually at the mild or medium level, will expand the selections in both categories.  Don’t forget the beers – cheddars are classic companions to a variety of ales, stouts and lagers.

An Assortment of Cheddars

An Assortment of Cheddars

·      Sharp and Extra-sharp Cheddar:  pair with full-bodied whites and reds – Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Claret.  Muscats also complement this cheese.  Ales and pilsners are good  with sharp cheddars.

·        Rosemary Cheddar:  Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir.

·        Chocolate Stout:  Keep to a fruity wine, on the dry side, in the Viognier, Claret, or Zinfandel families.  For beers, try a stout or porter.

III.   CURDS: Very light in traditional cheese characteristics; the flavoring agents become prevalent in the flavored varieties.  Curds pair well with most beers, and with lighter white and red wines.

"Squeaky" Cheese Curds

"Squeaky" Cheese Curds

·        Plain Curds:  good with Rose, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Noir.

·        Pesto Curds:   Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir.

·        Jalapeno Curds:  Ales, Lagers, Pilsners.

·        Garlic Curds:  Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir.

Pairing Tips: Pair regional foods, wine and beer together.  Pair light colored wines and beers with fresh cheeses.  Wines higher in tannin exaggerate flavors in cheese ie. fat, sharpness, sweetness and animal flavors.  Dessert wines pair nicely with cheeses that have a salty, sharp or bitter flavor.

"from my table to yours"

"from my table to yours"