This Week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© Understanding Italian Wine Labels Part 1


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; Understanding the Italian Wine Label Part 1 http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/09/09/wine-guy-mike-for-september-9/

YouTube preview of Understanding an Italian wine label Part 1; http://youtu.be/e3CU7v5LXmk

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

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/

NBC Montana Today TV Segment; Perfect Patio Wines and food pairing; http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/Mike-Tornatore-8-7-12/-/14594602/15999458/-/67a5ri/-/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

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.

Good Sunday morning and welcome to the WineGuyMike Radio Show.  In recent weeks we have had the opportunity to have many terrific guests on the show.  This morning though it is time to get back to what we love most and that is wine.

Today we are going to talk about Italian Red wine and how to better understand what’s on the label.  For many wine lovers this is one of those areas of the world that can be a bit daunting to understand, and that’s where I come in.  It’s my job to help you better understand challenging wine topics so you can enjoy the wine that we talk about here on the show.

Okay let’s get started; Italy has been producing wine for 3,000 years.  It is said that Italy is not a country, just a gigantic vineyard from North to South.  There are over 2 thousand labels of wine in Italy, that’s a lot of bottles to know about.  Did you know that since 2008 Italy reins as the largest producer of wine in the world?

We are not going to tackle all of Italy in one week.  When it comes to red Italian wine there are three main regions to concentrate on first, Tuscany, Piedmont, and the Veneto regions.

There are literally hundreds of indigenous grape varietals planted throughout Italy, many which we have not ever heard of in America.  The main grapes that a person needs to know about to get started with Italian wines from these three regions are; In Tuscany the Italians grow Sangiovese, in Piedmont they grow Nebbiolo, and in the Veneto region a grape known as Corvina is what is grown.

Many grape growers in Italy now are growing Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot.  Many American viticulture areas of America likewise are growing Italian varietals of grapes too.  Just to name a couple; In the Napa Valley some grape farmers are growing Barbara grapes, in Walla Walla some farmers grow Sangiovese grapes.  Grape varietals know no boundaries; the worlds grape farmers now better understand ideal geography, weather, and soil composition that grape varietals thrive in.

Let’s take a look at how the Italian wine laws dictate what ends up in your Italian bottle of wine.  Just like there are three Red wine regions to pay attention to first begin to understand Italian wines there are three Italian wine law designations one should understand as well.

Grape growers are governed by Italian law or what is known as the DOC – Denominazione di Origine Controllata and DOCG – Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita.  You will see this printed on the label of Italian wines.  There are many Italian wines that do not adhere to wine specifications within particular regions and these wines will be designated on their label as IGT – Indicazione Geografica. 

IGT Label

IGT Label

DOC designations on a win bottle are much like that of French AOC wine laws, you will also see this designation on bottles of French wines.  The biggest difference between the DOC and AOC is that the Italian DOC has aging requirements.

The DOC governs:

  • Geographical limits of each region
  • Grapes varieties allowed in wines
  • The percentage of each grape used (Classico must be 80% Sangiovese) If the varietal is specified it must contain 85% of varietal
  • The amount of grapes that can be grown and harvested per acre
  • The minimum percentage of alcohol in a wine
  • Minimum aging requirements.  How much time a wine is aged in barrels or bottles
  • These wine laws became effective in 1963 in Italy

The difference between the DOC and DOCG is that the G in DOCG indicates that a wine is stylistically guaranteed to meet the standards set forth in Italian wine laws for specific regions.

DOCG Label

DOCG Label

Currently there are 35 DOCG wines in Italy, 7 from the Tuscany region and 9 from the Piedmont region.  There are over 300 DOC wines from Italy and many more wines that are designated IGT which just means they do not adhere to the standards set forth for a given region in which they are grown.  There are many great examples of all of these wines and you typically pay for the guarantee.  There are great IGT wines that do not adhere to the wine laws in the region or area in which they are grown, you just have to know what you are buying, but hey that’s why you keep me around.  

Arrivederci for now wine friends, enjoy these great wine selections especially priced at Liquid Planet, in the heart of Downtown Missoula.

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

The wine selections from today’s show are available today, all especially priced 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"

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This Week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© Halter Ranch Vineyard Head Winemaker Kevin Sass


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 Halter Ranch head winemaker, Kevin Sass; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/08/19/wine-guy-mike-for-august-19/

Last week’s podcast with Author Becky Sue Epstein; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/08/12/wine-guy-mike-for-august-12/

YouTube preview of last week’s show with Becky Sue Epstein; http://youtu.be/ZrIZX-k9pHc

Recent Podcast with head winemaker of Balletto Vineyards & Winery, Mr. Anthony Beckman; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/07/29/wine-guy-mike-for-july-29/

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/

NBC Montana Today TV Segment; Perfect Patio Wines and food pairing; http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/Mike-Tornatore-8-7-12/-/14594602/15999458/-/67a5ri/-/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

Hansjörg Wyss

Hansjörg Wyss

Successful Swiss-born businessman Hansjörg Wyss is a man with vision, and a man on a mission, of sustainability that is.  Wyss is a devoted philanthropist and land conservationist, he is also the founder of Halter Ranch Vineyard in Paso Robles, California.

Halter Ranch Vineyard

Halter Ranch Vineyard

Paso Robles AVA is located in the Central Coast Region of California along U.S. Highway 101, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles.  This area supports the growth of more than 40 grape varietals. Bordeaux, Rhone, and a handful of other grape varietals produce the outstanding wines this area is noted for.

The Paso Robles AVA has the greatest daily temperature variant of any viticulture area in California.  There are many distinct microclimates, diverse soil composition, and a long growing season.  Halter Ranch Vineyard is located West of Highway 101 near the western boundary of the Paso Robles AVA.  The Halter Ranch vineyards are influenced by cool ocean breezes from the Pacific Ocean to the west, and elevation from the Santa Lucia Mountain Range to the east.  The vineyards of Halter Ranch are planted to south facing slopes rising to 1800ft. of elevation, thus creating nearly perfect terroir producing grapes of intense varietal character.

Halter Ranch Vineyard dates back to 1880’s and was part of a 3600 acre holding owned by San Francisco businessman Edwin Smith.  Smith built a grand house on the property and began dealing in farm produce and livestock; he also invested heavily in silver mining.  Smith had been an avid horse racing enthusiast, keeping a private box at Tanforan Race Track and a stable of thoroughbreds on his estate.

The estate was broken up in the early 1990’s and in 1943 the MacGillivray family purchased 1200 acres.   The family farmed the land for the next 50 years and began planting grapes in 1996.  In 2000, Hansjörg Wyss purchased 900 acres of the ranch, renovated Smith’s historic farmhouse, and enlarged the vineyard to its present 250 acres, leaving nearly 750 acres unfarmed supporting the ranches natural habitat and old growth oak groves.

New state of the art facilities have been built to complement the world class grapes grown by Halter Ranch.  The new winery is multi-level and utilizes a gravity flow system; this allows the winemaker to handle the fruit in the gentlest way possible with no pumping from the de-stemmer, to the tanks, and ultimately the barrels.   

Halter Ranch adheres to the Sustainability in Practice (SIP™) Vineyard Certification Program.  

SIP™ certification assures that a vineyard practices integrated farming and is committed to environmental stewardship, equitable treatment of employees, and economic viability.  Incorporating all Organic farming techniques and nearly all aspects of Biodynamic farming, SIP™ requires more stringent farming practices in many other key areas as seen in the chart below.

Topic of Interest

Sustainability in Practice (SIP)TM

USDA-National Organic Program

Biodynamics®

Annual Certification

X

X

X

Biodiversity

X

X

X

Vineyard Management

X

X

X

Soil Conservation

X

X

X

Pest Management

X

X

X

Water Quality

X

X

X

Organic Approved Pesticides

X

X

X

Reduced Risk Synthetic Pesticides*

X

 

 

Water Conservation

X

 

 

Energy Conservation

X

 

 

Air Quality

X

 

 

Social Equity

 

 

 

Continuing Education

X

 

 

Fruit Quality

X

 

 

Economic Viability

X

 

 

GMO Prohibition

n/a for winegrapes

X

X

Homepathic Remedies

 

 

X

Incorporate Forces of Nature

 

 

X

Lead by Kevin Sass, head winemaker for Halter Ranch Vineyard, the philosophy is simple; grow premium grapes, incorporate Old World technique and New world technologies, handle fruit gently, and produce elegant Bordeaux and Rhone style wines.  Mission sustainable, mission accomplished.

Halter Ranch Winemaker Kevin Sass

Halter Ranch Winemaker Kevin Sass

Today’s podcast with Kevin Sass, head winemaker for Halter Ranch Vineyard; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/08/19/wine-guy-mike-for-august-19/

Last year Halter Ranch founder Hansjörg Wyss contributed $35 million toward the protection of 1 million acres of grasslands in Montana.  Governor Schweitzer of Montana celebrated the Halter Ranch owner,(huff.to/NU4fsd), and enjoys Halter Ranch wines at various events.  Halter Ranch wines will be available in the Montana market in the near term future.

WineGuyMike™ reviewed three of the Southern Rhône Valley style wines from  Halter Ranch Vineyard, all three were beautifully made and true to the Old World style in which they were crafted by winemaker Sass.

I have two inexpensive Rhône Valley wines that I’m recommending for you this week.  Both are available especially priced at Liquid Planet, Missoula’s “Best of Beverage”, located in the Heart of Downtown Missoula.

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

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© 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"

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"

Valentine’s Day Wine Selections from WineGuyMike™ and the NBC Montana Today Team


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/2012/02/12/wine-guy-mike-for-february-12/

NBC Montana Today TV Segment with Valentine’s Day wines; http://www.nbcmontana.com/video/30455384/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.

Georges Distributing in Helena, Montana.

It’s nearly Valentine’s Day and the pressure is on, what to do.  There are two choices, dining out or staying at home for a nice evening.  No matter what your decision is Valentine’s Day involves three things, Food, Wine, and dessert.

Special occasions, in this case, Valentine’s Day is one time when you want the evening to be perfect so it is important to think about what wine you are going to enjoy with your meal.  I have a few easy suggestions on how to approach this decision making process.

Choosing a wine for your romantic Valentine’s dinner can be difficult in the sense of what wine will you and your dinner guest both enjoy.  If you are dining out I recommend choosing a restaurant, like Ciao Mambo in Missoula, that has a nice wine list and offers many selections of both red and white wines by the glass.  If your are like my wife and I she typically enjoys a dinner that pairs well with a white wine while I tend to enjoy dinners that dictate red wine.

For today’s special occasion I’m recommending seven wines today that are fabulous and inexpensive.  The red and white wines are super wines and are well rounded and forgiving enough to pair with a myriad of Valentine dinners.  The Rose´ is a very food friendly wine that will pair with any entree you may be serving.

When I think about wine and food recommendations I always consider Old World wines that are made to enjoy with food or New World wines that are made in an Old World style.

It’s important to remember to pace yourself so that you enjoy this special evening.  All of the Old World  wines selections I’m recommending today are lower in alcohol content.  This allows the wines not to be too big or bold as not to compete with your meal.  In other words these wines are great companions for tonight’s dinner.

The Wine List

Chateau Coustaut Graves Blanc $13.99 A blend of 45% Sauvignon Blanc, 45% Semillon and 10% Muscadelle.  A great white Bordeaux wine.

Nose – grapefruit tones with notes of kiwi and ripe gooseberries

Palate – grassy flavors with nice acidity

Finish – long elegant finish, nice mineral 

L’Ecole No 41 – $10.99 Fresh, tart, crisp, with nice fruit from the New World of Walla Walla.  This is a great food friendly white wine.

Nose – perfumed honeysuckle and orange blossom aromas

Palate – flavors of apple, apricot, grapefruit, and crisp minerality

Finish – slight spiciness, hint of honey, slight fruitiness

Anselmi San Vincenzo

In the annals of winemaking, Roberto Anselmi is a legend, a charismatic motorbike-riding rebel whose uncompromising quality-over-quantity approach has helped redefine the image of north Italian white wines.

Since taking over management of his family’s winery in the Soave district of northeast Italy’s Veneto region two decades ago, Anselmi has been motivated by an emotional and professional commitment to tapping the unrealized potential of the wines he grew up with. This has entailed a significant parting of ways with traditional vineyard and winemaking practices that have historically characterized the Soave district, and given birth to a new generation of north Italian white wines of unprecedented quality, character and finesse.

Anselmi San Vincenzo$11.99 The Anselmi San Vincenzo is 80% Garganega, 10% Chardonnay, and 10% Sauvignon Blanc.

Nose – scents of minerals, lemon/lime, apricot and yellow apples

Palate – honeydew melon, pear, yellow flowers, citrus, dry, lush

Finish – nice lingering finish of fruit and citrus

Chateau de Campuget Costieres de Nimes Tradition Rose 2010 – $9.99 Syrah 70%, Grenache Noir 30%.  The wine’s color is an intense peony pink.

Nose – scents of small red fruits such as raspberries or blackcurrants

Palate – perfect balance of acidity and fruit

Finish – nice finish, a little strawberry and raspberry

E Guigal Cotes du Rhone Red – $15.99 This is a beautiful wine shimmers in the glass and is inexpensive.  50% Syrah, 40% Grenache, and 10% Mourvèdre. 

Nose – red- and blackcurrant, cherry, dried flowers and tobacco, with powerful spice and black olive accents

Palate – ample, not to full, nice berry,spice, earth, great tannin

Finish – long finish, fruit and white pepper

Delas Cotes du Ventoux $9.99 The color is a deep ruby red, 80%Grenache 20% Syrah. With it’s predominately berry-fruit bouquet, this wine shows the full aromatic power of these two fine grape varieties.

Nose – red and black berries, fresh fruit, and just a hint of spice

Palate – medium body, bountiful fruit

Finish – long finish, fruit

Saracco Moscato D’Asti

Saracco Moscato D’Asti $15.99 This wine is perfect as refreshing aperitif or a light finish to a meal, incredibly light and floral sparkling wine

Nose – Perfume of fresh peach, pear and aromatic white flowers

Palate – light effervescence, great balance of fruit and acid, not too sweet

Finish – elegant finish with a hint of candied fruit

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.

The original Saracco logo had a portrait of a wolf because Luigi Saracco was known in the village of Castiglione Tinella as il Lupo or, The Wolf.  He got the name when he was a young man.  He would come home hungry after a hard day of work in the vineyards.  If dinner wasn’t ready as soon has he arrived, he would walk around outside the house.  He couldn’t stand being inside the house smelling the aromas and not be able to eat and he was too hungry to socialize. When the other villagers saw him pacing around smelling the air, they said “Look, there’s Saracco, the wolf.”

Every Saracco after Luigi has been known as “Lupetto” or son of the wolf.  Paolo decided to change his labels to reflect the delicate quality of his wines, but in his heart, and in his village, he is still known as “Lupetto”.

Check out Liquid Planet for today’s wine recommendations, this will give you a great head start for a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner.  From my table to yours Happy Valentine’s Day, I’ll see you on the radio.

"from my table to yours"

"from my table to yours"

A Simple Approach to Valentine’s Day Wine Selections 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/2012/02/12/wine-guy-mike-for-february-12/

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.

Georges Distributing in Helena, Montana.

Good Sunday morning and welcome back to the WineGuyMike show.  It’s nearly Valentine’s Day and the pressure is on, what to do.  There are two choices, dining out or staying at home for a nice evening.  No matter what your decision is Valentine’s Day involves three things, Food, Wine, and dessert.

Special occasions, in this case, Valentine’s Day is one time when you want the evening to be perfect so it is important to think about what wine you are going to enjoy with your meal.  This week I have a few easy suggestions on how to approach this decision making process.

Choosing a wine for your romantic Valentine’s dinner can be difficult in the sense of what wine will you and your dinner guest both enjoy.  If you are dining out I recommend choosing a restaurant, like Ciao Mambo in Missoula, that has a nice wine list and offers many selections of both red and white wines by the glass.  If your are like my wife and I she typically enjoys a dinner that pairs well with a white wine while I tend to enjoy dinners that dictate red wine.

If you are dining in and planning a nice dinner at home consider the menu, this way you can purchase your wine ahead of time.  Retail shelves get decimated on Valentine’s Day so by planning ahead you won’t need to be one of the last minute frantic wine shoppers.

On special occasions it is normal to step up the price you are willing to pay for wine.  I’m going to recommend three wines today that are fabulous.  The red and white wines are super wines and are well rounded and forgiving enough to pair with a myriad of Valentine dinners.

When I think about wine and food recommendations I always consider Old World wines that are made to enjoy with food or New World wines that are made in an Old World style.

Guigal is synonymous with the Côte-Rôtie area, for bringing this great wine region to prominence.  Guigal vinifies 1/3 of the total appellation, and unquestionably holding the finest sites in this tiny, special area.  The incredible Syrah from this area, co-fermented with a touch of Viognier, has tremendously balanced concentration, depth and finesse. 

Côte-Rôtie is situated in the northernmost region of the Rhône Valley.  The Syrah (96%) vine is planted on steep terraced hillsides which catch and focus the sun’s heat, giving the region its reputation and name: “roasted slope.” A small percentage of Viognier (4%) is interplanted with the Syrah, and the two are harvested and fermented together, giving the wine more elegance and lightness.

The wines are red, made with Syrah grapes and up to 20% Viognier, a white grape used for its aroma.  According to appellation rules, Syrah and Viognier must be fermented at the same time, a process known as cofermentation.  Côte-Rôtie wine typically exhibits an almost paradoxical combination of meat aromas (including bacon) and floral aromas.  However, even Côte-Rôtie from 100% Syrah can smell floral.

Marcel Guigal purchases grapes from small growers to supplement his own vineyards, harvesting late to achieve perfect ripeness. He ages each vintage in barrique (20% new barrels) for 24-30 months, and bottles the wines without fining or filtration.  The Côte-Rôtie Brune et Blonde de Guigal refers to the fact that grapes from the two areas of Côte-Rôtie are used, from the Côte Brune and the Côte Blonde.  The historical legend is that long ago a lord deeded the Côte Brune to his dark-haired daughter and the Côte Blonde to his blond daughter.  The soils of the Côte Brune are indeed darker, containing more iron and some clay, and the paler Côte Blonde soils have more sand and limestone. 

Guigal’s Côte-Rôtie Brune et Blonde is a wine of finesse and complexity that ages beautifully, developing aromas and flavors of black pepper, spice, licorice, and game.  The color of this wine is a beautiful deep ruby. This youthfully clenched, focused wine really stains the palate and has a long firm finish of mineral, candied flowers and blackberry.  It is one of the great wines of the world.

Anselmi San Vincenzo

In the annals of winemaking, Roberto Anselmi is a legend, a charismatic motorbike-riding rebel whose uncompromising quality-over-quantity approach has helped redefine the image of north Italian white wines.

Since taking over management of his family’s winery in the Soave district of northeast Italy’s Veneto region two decades ago, Anselmi has been motivated by an emotional and professional commitment to tapping the unrealized potential of the wines he grew up with. This has entailed a significant parting of ways with traditional vineyard and winemaking practices that have historically characterized the Soave district, and given birth to a new generation of north Italian white wines of unprecedented quality, character and finesse.

The Anselmi San Vincenzo is 80% Garganega, 10% Chardonnay, and 10% Sauvignon Blanc.  In the glass the color is light straw while the bouquet of this Northern Italian gem is crisp and pure, with scents of minerals, lemon/lime, apricot and yellow apples.  On the palate the mouthfeel is medium-bodied, dry and fresh, with notes of citrus fruit.  This is a delightful white wine selection from the Soave region.

Saracco Moscato D’Asti

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.  Saracco has perfected the balance of acid and residual sugar to make an incredibly light and floral sparkling wine.

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.

The original Saracco logo had a portrait of a wolf because Luigi Saracco was known in the village of Castiglione Tinella as il Lupo or, The Wolf.  He got the name when he was a young man.  He would come home hungry after a hard day of work in the vineyards.  If dinner wasn’t ready as soon has he arrived, he would walk around outside the house.  He couldn’t stand being inside the house smelling the aromas and not be able to eat and he was too hungry to socialize. When the other villagers saw him pacing around smelling the air, they said “Look, there’s Saracco, the wolf.”

Every Saracco after Luigi has been known as “Lupetto” or son of the wolf.  Paolo decided to change his labels to reflect the delicate quality of his wines, but in his heart, and in his village, he is still known as “Lupetto”.

Check out Liquid Planet for today’s wine recommendations, this will give you a great head start for a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner.  From my table to yours Happy Valentine’s Day, I’ll see you on the radio.

"from my table to yours"

"from my table to yours"

This Week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© Chenin Blanc and Fondue for You


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 Podcasthttp://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/01/22/wine-guy-mike-for-january-22/

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.

Good Sunday morning and welcome to the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show©. 

The Loire Valley is well known not only for its wines but it also is the summer playground of the rich, famous and royalty.  The countryside of the Loire Valley is embellished with elegant and enormous chateaux.

While the Loire Valley is the largest white wine producing region in France, it is also the second largest producer of sparkling wine in France.  But what the region is truly famous for is Chenin Blanc.

This wine whether you prefer an Old World or New World style of Chenin Blanc made in a dry style pairs very well with my favorite dinner this winter, Cheese Fondue.  The blend of cheeses in this delectable winter comfort food is a staple for the Swiss.  The wines that I’m recommending today are perfect partners with the Cheese Fondue recipe I’m also sharing with you, (see this recipe at the end of today’s blog post).      

Chenin Blanc is such a very versatile grape that it can produced as a standalone varietal or as a blending grape, typically with Chardonnay.  It is dry, very crisp, acidic, high in alcohol content, yet is smooth and a full bodied white wine.  Chenin Blanc wines are intense, aromatic, and floral on the nose.  On the palate this grape will deliver a wide spectrum of flavors and textures.  One’s palate may experience everything from slight citrus, grasses, spiciness, a little bit of honey, and lush tropical fruit. 

This grape is commonly referred to as the “chameleon”, it is diverse and can be made in many styles.  In the Loire Valley of France Chenin Blanc is known as Vouvray, it is the best example of French Chenin Blanc. 

In the Old World Chenin Blanc is frequently used as a blending grape with Chardonnay.   These two grape varietals are wonderful companions in a wine and I’ll be sharing one of these with you today.  In the New World Chenin Blanc is typically produced as a single varietal wine.

Old World winemakers ferment their wines at higher temperatures and age their Chenin Blanc wines in acacia and chestnut barrels.   This Old World technique produces wines that are well rounded with a greater depth of desirable color.   New World winemakers will use steel tanks for fermenting and aging.   This technique preserves crispiness, acidity, and fruitiness that are terrific attributes of a well made Chenin Blanc wine.  New World style Chenin Blanc’s are typically lighter in color than its Old World counterparts.  Color varies with style and approach in making wine, wood barrels vs. steel tanks produce different results.

The versatility of Chenin Blanc allows winemakers the flexibility to transform this chameleon of a grape into many different styles ranging from dry to sweet, or as a sparkling wine.  This wine is often described as having a taste profile driven by minerality, greengage, angelica, and honey.  The dry or semi-sweet styles exhibit flavors of chalky minerality, honey, quince, and acacia. 

Vouvray from the Loire Valley is offered in three different styles; dry which is known as (Sec), medium-dry or (Demi-Sec), sweet (Moelleux, m wah leuh), or as a sparkling wine.  Winemakers of the New World are striving for a dry wine that both intense and floral.  A well made Chenin Blanc wine is delightful on the nose, notes of floral aroma and scent of banana, pear, guava, and pineapple. This wine is crisp, acidic, and tropical with a little nuance of spice on the palate.  Paired correctly with food this wine is beautiful and can bring out the very best in the food.

Each year weather is a determining factor in the type of wine that is produced in Vouvray.  Cool years produce vintages of dry or sparkling wines, while warm years produce sweet wines such as Moelleux, (m wah leuh).  Because wines of Vouvray are naturally high in acid they may be aged in some cases up to 100 years.

The soil in Vouvray consists of calcareous clay, producing Chenin Blanc wines that are rounded and balanced, delivering nice body, fruit, and acid.  Almost all vineyards in the Loire Valley are planted on sloped plateau with southern exposure.  Streams run through the area and this combination offer ideal growing conditions.  Old World winemaking technique truly compliment the terroir of this region, the wines are stunning.

Marc Bredif Vouvray 2008 from the Loire Valley, France ($21.99)

This is one of the finest examples of Vouvray I have ever tasted.  Visually this wine is sintilating in the glass, presenting a geourgeous pale gold yellow. On the nose this wine is intense with floral and fruit driven scent.  Marc Bredif Vouvray is perfectly deceptive on the entry and then reveals itself as lush and full on the mid-palate.  Crisp, lush, yet a slight citrusy tart quality that shows a little citrus and a perfect grassiness that while this wine is big on flavor it is beautifully dry.  Next you experience wonderful fruit led by exquisite pineapple with layers of other subtle yet a wonderful supporting cast of tropical fruits.  color is pale gold yellow.  It has a very intense and fruity nose with notes of white flowers and quince.  It has a subtle attack on the palette and a fresh structure and aromatic finish.

Tariquet Chenin Chardonnay, a unique recipe 75% Chenin 25% Chardonnay ($9.99)

This wine from the Southwestern Languedoc Rousillon region is a lovely wine and at this price you can’t go wrong.  It’s crisp, it’s creamy, yes a treasure of a wine.

The contrast between the Chenin Blanc minerality and the creamy Chardonnay is somewhat reminiscent of sweet and sour cooking.  Refreshing, bold and full of flavor on the entry with underlying notes of crisp ripe grapes, followed by a satisfying finish.  Faint floral shades of vanilla and toffee take turns revealing their delights, while a touch of saltiness leads to a pleasant lingering finish.

L’Ecole N° 41  2010 Chenin Blanc – Columbia Valley ($10.99)

This second generation, family-owned artisan winery located in the historic Frenchtown School depicted on our label.   Founded in 1983, they are the third oldest winery in the Walla Walla Valley.  As a traditional brick and mortar winery they grow and make 100% of their wine.  The focus is on terroir-driven, distinctive, and expressive wines.  All of L’Ecole’s Walla Walla Valley wines are made from grapes which are certified sustainable.

This fresh, tart and delightfully fruity Chenin Blanc shows Asian pear, perfumed honeysuckle and orange blossom aromas with flavors of apple, apricot, and grapefruit on a crisp mineral, lightly sweet finish.

L’Ecole Nº 41 has produced this old vine, Vouvray style Chenin Blanc since 1987. Jean Ferguson, L’Ecole Nº 41’s founding winemaker, loved this wine and crafted her version of Vouvray through cold fermentation to enhance the fruity and floral esters.  This wine offers great value.

WineGuyMike’s™ Cheese Fondue Recipe

Preparation – Chop on Shallot finely, 1 loaf of crusty cubed bread, grated 2 cups of Gruyere cheese, grated 1 1/3 cup Emmenthal cheese, cube ½ cup of Brie cheese, have one real lemon and corn starch

  1. Combine one finely chopped Shallot
  2. Add 1 ¼  cup of Cristilino Extra Dry Cava(Sparkling wine)
    1. Combine and bring to a medium boil for 2 minutes, then turn off heat
    2. Add all cheeses and stir to combine, cheese will begin to melt
    3. In a bowl mix 4 tsp. of corn starch with 1 Tbls. Of real lemon juice
    4. Return mixture to a medium heat and stir for 10 minutes
    5. Mixture will melt and then begin to thicken.  At about the 8 minute mark add about 4-5 healthy shakes of nutmeg and about 4-5 generous shakes of white pepper
    6. Continue to stir and combine all ingredients, once mixture thickens reduce heat to a consistent medium-low heat  

Grab your fondue fork and poke a piece of cubed bread, dunk it in the Cheese Fondue.  Choose one of the wines I have recommended today and enjoy a perfect mid-winters meal. 

Cheers from WineGuyMike™

"from my table to yours"

"from my table to yours"