Perfect Patio Wine – KECI NBC Montana Today and WineGuyMike


This mornings KECI Montana Today Feature with Rob Hudson and WineGuyMike; http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/Mike-Tornatore-8-7-12/-/14594602/15999458/-/67a5ri/-/index.html

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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© Dessert and Aperitif Wines


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/2012/02/05/wine-guy-mike-for-february-5/

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© This week on the show I decided to discuss Dessert and Aperitifwines as a prelude to a special guest that will be joining me on the show in the coming weeks.  Donald Ziraldo ,co-founder of Inniskillin Wines Inc., Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario and current President of Inniskillin Okanagan Vineyards Inc., Oliver, British Columbia, the world authority on Icewine. 

Stay tuned for this show it’s one you will not want to miss.  A friend of mine recently was asking about Dessert and Aperitif wines so I thought this would be an appropriate time to explore this area of wines that many are just not sure about.

My friend Aimee Ryan asked me; Mike I like to drink dry or crisp wines but I never seem to like aperitif or dessert wines.  Can you recommend how I might approach these types of wines?  Aimee thanks for asking, let’s take a moment to understand these wines types and styles a little bit better.

There are some naturally sweet grape varietals such as Muscat, Huxelrebe, and Ortega that are used to produce sweet wines.  The Sweetness of these particular varietals is enhanced by pruning techniques – eliminating bunches of grapes on the vines to concentrate sugar and flavor.

There are a few techniques that are used to produce sweet wines as well.  One winemaking technique that is used is Chaptalization.  This is when sugar or honey is added prior to fermentation process.  Süssreserve is a German technique of winemaking that adds grape juice to the wine after fermentation has been completed.

Today though we will be focusing on Icewine, a winemaking style where grapes are naturally frozen on the vine, harvested during the middle of the night or early morning and pressed in the extreme cold to separate the juice from the ice crystals.  The fermentation requires special yeast and many months of time.  This remarkable process concentrates the sugar and acids and intensifies the aroma and flavor of the grapes.  The result is very special wine that expresses aromatic flavors of white and tropical fruits.

Natural Icewine by wine regulations require a hard freeze; in Canada the temperature must drop to (-8C or 17°F) colder, and in Germany (−7 °C or 19 °F), this usually occurs months after a typical harvest.  If the freeze does not come soon enough the entire crop can be lost to rot and if the freeze is too severe it can prevent any juice from being extracted when the grapes are pressed.  Animals also love these sweet grapes and left to hang to long grapes will naturally drop from the vine.  This is a very tenuous circumstance waiting for the “perfect” climatic conditions.  Canada and Germany are the world’s largest producers of ice wines.  About 75 percent of ice wine in Canada comes from Ontario.

Late Harvest or Noble Rot wine is made from moldy grapes, a fungus known as Botrytis Cinerea.  This process occurs best in vineyards that experience heavy evening moisture with hot sunny days.  This fungus dehydrates the water from the grape and imparts nuances of Honey, and Apricot once the wines are made.  Sauternes from Bordeaux, Hungarian Tokaji, or  Germany’s Trockenbeerenauslese are some of the world’s finest examples of Late Harvest and Noble Rot wines.

In Austria, Germany, the United States, and Canada, the grapes must freeze naturally to be called ice wine.  Cryoextraction is yet another method (that is, mechanical freezing) used to simulate the effect of a frost.  The grapes are not left to hang for extended periods as is done with natural ice wines.  These non-traditional wines are sometimes referred to as “icebox wines”. 

Good Dessert and Aperitif wines are sweet but remain balanced due to balanced acidity.  These wines can be served alone or with foods less sweet than the wine.  Quite often, the wine itself can be a dessert, but bakery sweets can be a good pairing.

Whites Dessert or Aperitif wines should be served slightly chilled while the red wines should be served at room temperature or ever so slightly chilled.

A sweet or dessert wine that I really enjoy and recommend is the 2010 Deglace Dessert Wine from Adelsheim Vineyard.  This is a beautiful example of a very sophisticated dessert wine made in the Cryoextraction method.

Adelsheim Vineyard

Wine Background:

Dessert wines from red-skinned grapes – especially Pinot noir – are relatively rare in the world.  Adelsheim Vineyard produced their first Deglacé, almost as an experiment, in 2001.  Initially, the wine was created for use at the end of winery dinners.  Neither of the two ways in which dessert wine is traditionally produced – using grapes that have been desiccated by Botrytis Cinerea (“noble rot”), or pressing after the grapes had frozen on the vine – would work for us.  A Pinot noir producer would never want Botrytis in its vineyards (it ruins red wines), and they couldn’t remember a fall when a freeze came before the rains of winter.  That year, winemaker Dave Paige selected one block of grapes to take to a freezer instead of the winery, and then followed the traditional approach to producing an ice wine. (Well, not entirely traditional.  He didn’t have to do any of the work in the middle of the night which is when grapes for Ice Wine are traditionally harvested.)  Their Deglacé dessert wine has a soft pink color produced from contact with the Pinot noir skins.  The residual sugars are on the low end as compared to traditional ice wines, resulting in a consistently balanced wine.

The Wine

Even with this sweet wine, they have stayed true to their winery philosophy that a wine’s highest use is in pairing with meals.  That means retaining enough of the grapes’ natural acidity to ensure that the wine never becomes too cloying.  The Deglacé has amazing strawberry shortcake, citrus blossom, and nectarine aromas that meld with the viscous yet firm texture on the palate.  It should prove to be a perfect match with red berry tarts, pumpkin cheesecake, and a wide range of other desserts.

"from my table to yours"

"from my table to yours"

Appetizers and Wines for Superbowl XLVI This Week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show©


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

Social Media links;

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

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

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

Facebook; WineGuyMike please “like”

Twitter; @WineGuyMike please follow me

Sponsors      

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

Sleep City Missoula  www.SleepCity.com

Liquid Planet “Best of Beverage” and a great place to find your holiday wine located in the heart of downtown Missoula.

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

Georges Distributing in Helena, Montana.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preparation:

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

Take a baking sheet and cover with foil

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

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

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

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

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

Ingredients

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

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

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

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

Directions

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

Serve

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

Wines to pair with these first two appetizers:

Wallace Brook 2009 Pinot Noir ($15.99)

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

2009 Balletto Pinot Gris ($13.99)

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

Tuck Beckstoffer’s 75 Sauvignon Blanc ($11.00)

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

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

Lucien Albrecht Reserve Riesling

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

2008 Balletto Gewurztraminer

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

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

2010 Hugel Gentil

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

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

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

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

RECIPE #1- ANGUS BURGERS (For 2 people)

 INGREDIENTS:

· 2 regular sesame buns

· Angus ground beef – 160z

· Red heirloom tomato – 4 slices

· Vidalia onion – 4 slices

·Smoked bacon – 4 slices – diced finely

· Fresh rosemary -1 tablespoon

· Peeled shallots – 3 diced thinly

· Butter lettuce – half of a small head

· Salt

· Fresh ground white pepper to taste

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

DIRECTIONS:

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

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

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

 INGREDIENTS:

· 2 large portabella mushrooms – Stems removed and gills scraped

· Fresh thyme – 2 tsp

· Green onions – 4 each

· Yellow tomato – 4 slices

· Large eggplant – 4 round slices

· 2 Kaiser Rolls

· “Beaujolais Wine” – 4 tbsp

· Olive oil – 4 tbsp

· Salt

· Fresh ground white pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

· Sundried tomato – 2 oz

· Shallots 3 each – sliced thinly

·Medium sized garlic cloves -3 each – sliced thinly

· Fresh basil- 8 large leaves – roughly chopped

· Olive oil – 2 tbsp

· Water – 11/ 2 cups

· Baby arugula – 1/2 cup

· Red onion – 4 slices

·1 ripe avocado

· Mini pita pockets – 4 – split in half

· Salt

· Fresh ground white pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

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

Choose a couple of these wines for your burgers:

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

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

2010 Balletto Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

This dark, garnet-colored Pinot Noir is floral with aromas of rose petals, spice, ginger, cassis and fruit aromas of raspberry.  There is a bit of dusty earth with just hint of vanilla too. This wine is showy with a seamless viscosity that is balanced with a healthy bit of tartness to keep the wine fresh and lively. It’s full in the palate with fine, coco-powder-like tannins.  A long beautiful finish.

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

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

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

2009 Felino Viña Cobos Malbec ($16.99)

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

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

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

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

Le Clos ($11.99)

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

It is unique in that it has a slight, refined oak character, highlighting a sturdy base of red fruit and oriental spices. Bringing into play terroir and savoir-faire, tradition and exotic flair, Le Clos seems to be like something out of “The Arabian Nights.”

This wine displays an attractive raspberry red color with hints of garnet.  Its nose is lively and complex, with notes of red and black fruits.  Refined oak fragrance(very subtle) with hints of incense, spices (nutmeg, clove, ginger), anise, autumn woods and tobacco.  Le Clos is very soft on the palate, with a fresh, tangy acidity, and delivers wonderful balance.  It is well-structured yet elegant, with fine tannins.

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

"from my table to yours"

"from my table to yours"

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"

Old or New I have “Two Great Red Wines For You” this week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show©


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

Social Media links;

Today’s Podcast; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/01/01/wine-guy-mike-for-1112/

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©.  Last week I discussed the difference between Old World and New World wine.  This week I’m sharing the purpose behind Old and New World wine styles.  There are two delicious red wines that I’m recommending for you too.

It is important to understand the reason and purpose behind Old World and New World wine.  Old World wines have been made to complement the food sources within their particular region.  New World wine is made to drink, not that it doesn’t pair with food well because it does. 

Old world wines are typically blended wines unless we are talking about Burgundy and Pinot Noir.  The winemakers from the Old World make wine in areas that sometimes dictate how the grapes are planted, pruned, the volume of grapes that can be produced, and how the wines are made.  This all sounds a bit drastic but in reality the Old World has been doing it for centuries and these viticulture practices are designed to bring out the best of that terroir, or sense of place.

Today I’m focusing on the Malbec varietal of grape, everyone thinks Argentina when they think of Malbec.  Yes the Argentineans do Malbec very well but the fact is that Malbec grape origins are French.

There is an area in Southwest France, Cahors.  This appellation or region is dominated by the Malbec grape.  You should think of great movies when you think about Old world wines, yes movies.  Winemakers from the Old World blend their wines.  First consider that French Wine Law in this case requires that grape types are perfectly suited to the land on which they are grown.  Old World winemakers craft terroir driven wine, wine that understands and exemplifies its sense of place.

Think about a great movie with a academy award winning actor as the lead and a strong supporting cast, you can think of a good Old World wine in the same way.  Well how about a New World wine?  I would describe a New World wine in this way; think about George Clooney performing on Broadway in a production all by himself.  A one man act, this actor is so strong he can carry the whole show by himself.  This is how I like to think about wines from the New World, luscious fruit, and perfect tang from the acid, firm structure, very well balanced with a lingering finish that you can’t forget.  Just like a one person act on Broadway, but this wine is a singular act coming from your favorite grape varietal.

Wine from the Cahors is older than Bordeaux and has a reputation for darkness and strength in its wine.  This is the only French red wine to harness the power of the Malbec grape.  In recent years, the popularity of the Malbec varietal from Argentina has contributed to a renewed interest in Cahors wine.

The areas surrounding Cahors are known for their food and hospitality.  Some of the common foods are Foie Gras, Truffles, Ducks and Geese in their various preparations.

 Cahors is an Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) which forms part of the South West France wine region. The dominant grape variety in AOC Cahors wines is Malbec, which must make up a minimum of 70% of the wine, and is known locally as “Côt”, “Côt Noir” or “Auxerrois”.  It is supplemented by up to 30% Merlot and Tannat, the supporting cast from the region.  As a reflection of the character of the Malbec variety, Cahors wine can be rather tannic when young, and benefit from aging.  Cahors wine is often similar to robust versions of Bordeaux wine.

Cahors wine is harvested in the Lot and in the Bergerac, with vineyards located around Cahors city on both banks of the Lot River.  Soils are predominantly Limestone in this region.  Wines from this region are robust with nuances of spice, coffee, and a myriad of black fruit.  Cahors wines should be decanted to enjoy them at their best.  These wines do need 3-10 years of aging to be at their best.

Today’s wine recommendation from Cahor; Clos La Coutale, this is an estate grown, produced, and bottled gem from Cahor.  This wine is under $20.00 and available at Liguid Planet in the heart of downtown Missoula.

The Old World blend is 70% Malbec, 15% Merlot which lend finesse and bouquet, and 15% Tannat which aides its aging potential.  A well balanced wine with solid structure delivers astonishing elegance, with red and black fruit with spicy overtones.  Clos La Coutale offers a beautiful fruity aroma, with crisp notes of red plum, blackberry, subtle smoky nuance, a fleeting suggestion of black truffle with a hint of dark chocolate on the finish.  This wine accompanies duck, red meat and tasty cheeses perfectly.

Argentina is the largest wine-producing country of South American and the fifth largest producing country in the world. 

The Jesuit missionaries began making wine in the mid-fifteen century in the Mendoza region of Argentina.  The Uco Valley (pronounced ooko) of Mendoza produces mainly Malbec, Tempranillo, and Cabernet Sauvignon.  Argentina is widely recognized throughout the world for their outstanding Malbec wines.

The grapes in this Mendoza region are planted at high altitude near the base of the Andes Mountains.  With hot days, cool nights, and breezes from the mountains producing beautiful fruit that is concentrated and naturally acidic.  The result is excellent wine that is balanced and well structured.

When you read the label on the bottle of Argentinean Wine the grape that is listed is 100% of that varietal.  The Malbec wines from this region offer tremendous single varietal focus and in the hands of a great winemaker will leave you with a memorable finish on your palate and in your mind.

The 2010 Salentine “Killka” Malbec from Mendoza offers tremendous value.  This wine is flamboyant, fruit forward, spicy and perfectly tannic.  In your glass the wine has a deep purple hue with darker streaks of purple when held up to the light.  Dark plum and blackberry with a bit of sweet vanilla meet the nose.  This wine has great fruit, balance, and structure with silky tannin.  The Killka has not been overly manipulated in the winemaking process, one of its best qualities.  This wine is available for under $15.00.  Enjoy this wine with Rib Eye or Filet Mignon and a red wine reduction or green peppercorn sauce.

These two wines receive the WineGuyMike™ Seal of Approval®

"from my table to yours"

"from my table to yours"