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


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

Social Media links;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Facebook; WineGuyMike please “like”

Twitter; @WineGuyMike please follow me

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

Sleep City Missoula  www.SleepCity.com

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

Georges Distributing in Helena, Montana.

Philippe Leiritz

Philippe Leiritz from YourCustomCellar.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Commercial wine rack at a local tasting room

Commercial wine rack at a local tasting room

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

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

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

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

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

From my table to yours,

"from my table to yours"

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This Week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© 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"

What’s Your Wine Style? 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;  will be posted as soon as it is available, thank you.

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.  It’s 2012 and I’m ready to rock this year’s vintage with you.  Together we are going to take a new approach and a new look at great wines that I can’t wait to share with you.

Pick up your empty glass and hold it up to the sky as you look out the window.  Imagine the beautiful color of your favorite wine adorning the glass, bend your elbow and pull the glass close and tip your nose deep into the glass.  Breathe deeply and imagine the wildest exotic aromas of your favorite wine rising from the juice in your glass.  Lower the glass to your lips, tilt your head gently back and take an imaginary sip of the finest wine you have ever tasted.  Swish the wine all about as it invigorates your palate.  Swallow the liquid nectar and imagine The Trail that it has left behind, the finish of the best wine you have ever tasted.  It lingers on your palate just like a song you hear on the radio and then it is stuck in your head.  You play it over and over, on your palate and in your mind.

That’s right this I’m going to take you on a new virtual wine journey week after week in 2012.  We are going to meet interesting new people from the vast world of wine.  Virtually traveling to new places we have yet to visit, experiencing wine in a way you and I have never imagined.  

Welcome to 2012.  Today I’m going to talk about style, your wine style preference is what I’m referring to.  So far this winter Western Montana has been a little bit strange.  Why you ask, well it has in the high 30’s to low 50’s and the last time I checked it is early January.  As memory serves me it is usually about zeroish this time of year in the Rocky Mountains.  This is more than a little disconcerting, it is just downright unusual.

Did you know that all throughout the decade of the 60’s that grape farmers in Burgundy, France harvested their grapes on average at the end of September?  In the first few years of the millennium that harvest took place in the first week of September.  I don’t begin to know what that means but it is a huge change.  When I think about having Spring in the middle of Winter in the Rocky Mountains and major climate changes in wine country around the world it is one of those circumstances that make me go hmm……………..

Old World, New World, what’s your style?  Let’s take a closer look and see if we can define this.  First of all let’s consider these terms; Old World wine, Old World winemaking, New World wine, and New World winemaking.  What do these terms mean and why are they relevant?

When I think about terminology that best describes Old World vs. New World these are a few thoughts that come to mind.

Old World; Ancient, Europe, tried, apprenticeships, craftsman, details, tradition, experience, patience, aged, practical, these are my thoughts when I think of Old World.

New World; Young, new, melting pot, now, in the moment, technology, science, instant gratification, excess, impatient, brash, learn as I go, these are a few terms that come to mind when I think of New World.

I’m not suggesting that one is better that the other, what I am suggesting is that when it comes to wine, these are styles.  Styles should be considered for the situation, perhaps a style to suite your mood, or your frame of mind.

For me Old World vs. New World could be compared to the difference between those who cook with feel and experience and those who cook with recipes.  Old World draws on centuries of experience thus allowing for intuitive multi-dimensional winemaking.   New World has decades of experience, it may still be developing its formula, striving to become more dimensional.  Experience enables chef’s to create and cook with intuition; the same can be said for winemakers as well.

Winemakers from the Old World are very much in the background.  Current winemakers are a result of many years of understudy and apprenticeship with the winemaker who made wines at that particular Chateau or Estate. Rarely do you know the name of a famous Old World winemaker, but it is common to be aware of a famous Chateau or Estate that produces excellent wine.  This is because European wine laws typically dictate what grapes can be grown, how much of them can be grown, harvested, and dictate how the wines are made.  Wine regions of the Old World have be growing grapes and making wine for centuries.  The New World does not yet have this type of experience to draw from.  The Old World quite literally has this down to a formula and they understand their terroir, or sense of place.

Let’s remember that Old World wine is made by design, it is made to complement foods that are indigenous to that particular region.  These wines are blends of grapes that are smooth and easy to drink and are easily enjoyed with foods they are designed to pair with.  Old World wines exude restraint but express subtle nuances of sense of place, are understated yet complex, these are sophisticated wines that present as simple.

Wine in the New World in the most historic sense may only be a century old.  Cavalier vineyard owners and young winemakers are still discovering new places to grow grapes as they understand terrior.  Historic floods, fossils, seismic activities, and cataclysmic eruptions up and down the west coasts of North and South America are now the home of multitudes of renowned vineyards with serious potential.

If you look closely at the pedigrees of New World winemakers almost all have wine related degrees of Enology or Viticulture from UC Davis or Oregon State.  What does this mean for you and me?  Most new young winemakers have these degrees prior to having the opportunity to utilize their specialties at a wine estate. This is unlike the Old World that is steeped in the tradition of apprenticeship.  New World winemaking comes at wine from a very different direction than Old World in some respects and I believe it is reflected in the wine, not that this is bad, it is just different. 

New World wines are not made as a result of foods indigenous to regions.  These wines are driven by science and now are also by an understanding of the terroir.  Vineyard owners and winemakers understand terroir now in a way the Old World has for centuries.  So how are the wines different, well to start with most New World wines are single varietal wines, although many winemakers that are beginning to blend wines well.  Most New World wine has a much higher percentage of alcohol than Old World wine.  This presents wines that are much bigger, much bolder than their European counterparts.  In general most New World wines are designed to drink and not necessarily made with a food pairing purpose in mind.  That is not to say New World wines do not pair well with food, they are not made to complement food localized to a region.

I find that New World wines have a much sturdier frame or structure, are much more pronounced visually, aromatically, and certainly on the palate.  This is the New World style of wine, is this better, less than, no they really cannot be compared because they are simply different.   As for me it really comes down to what is the circumstance and what kind of mood I’m in.  Do you want wine to enjoy dinner with or do I want to sip on wine to be social, a lot to consider.  New World and Old World alike both produce wonderful wines, but perhaps with a different focus.

2009 “In the Rocks” Syrah from Reynvaan Family Vineyards

This is an example of an Old World style of wine made by Matt Reynvaan who last year was noted as one of the top 30 winemakers under 30 years of age in the world.  Nobody does wine better that Reynvaan Vineyards from Walla Walla in the Columbia Valley AVA.

The 2009 “In The Rocks” is packed with dark fruit aromatics, smoked meats, crushed gravel, and white pepper.  It is very animalistic with hints of sweet creme brulee and will benefit from 5 years of cellaring if you are able to resist the temptation to drink it.  Terroir driven wine that is outstanding, you don’t want to miss this.  Check this wine out at Liquid Planet in the heart of Downtown Missoula.

2009 Truchard Vineyards Syrah from Carneros Napa Valley

The 2009 vintage produced fruity wines with intense flavors, great texture, and beautiful balance.  This terrific example of a New World style of wine from the Carneros area in the Napa Valley has aromas of plum, boysenberry, and blackberry; highlighted with vanilla, earth, and white pepper.  On the palate this wine is fills your mouth with rich flavors of cassis and black cherry; followed by mineral and cracked black pepper.  Ripe tannins provide an opulent, long finish of fruit and spice.  This wine is well made and a beautiful wine to drink.

*Both of these wines are upscale wines that represent the Old World vs. New World styles reffered to in today’s blog.  There will be selections of both styles available at  your favorite place to shop for affordable wines too.

"from my table to yours"

"from my table to yours"

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


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

Social Media links;

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

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

Facebook; WineGuyMike please “like”

Twitter; @WineGuyMike please follow me

Sponsors      

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

Sleep City Missoula  www.SleepCity.com

Liquid Planet, “Best of Beverage” in Downtown Missoula

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

Georges Distributing in Helena, Montana.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"from my table to yours", Happy Holidays

"from my table to yours", Happy Holidays

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


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

Each week WineGuyMike™ will be giving away gift certificates from our sponsors.  If your question is selected as WineGuyMike’s™ topic of discussion you will win one of the $20.00 – $25.00 gift certificates.  Good luck and send your questions to WineGuyMike™ on his Facebook fan page.

Social Media links:

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

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

Facebook; WineGuyMike please “like”

Twitter; @WineGuyMike please follow me

Sponsors     

 

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

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

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

Georges Distributing in Helena, Montana.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Riedel Riesling & Sauvignon Blanc Wine Glass

Riedel Riesling & Sauvignon Blanc Wine Glass

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

Riedel's newest style Chardonnay Wine Glass

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

 Red wine glasses from Riedel.

Riedel Pinot Noir Wine Glass

Riedel Pinot Noir Wine Glass

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

Riedel Bordeaux Wine Glass

Riedel Bordeaux Wine Glass

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

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

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

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

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

2010 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

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

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

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

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

Gentil Hugel 2010

Riedel Riesling & Sauvignon Blanc Glass

Riedel Riesling & Sauvignon Blanc Glass

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

"from my table to yours"

"from my table to yours"

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


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

Each week WineGuyMike™ will be giving away gift certificates from our sponsors.  If your question is selected as WineGuyMike’s™ topic of discussion you will win one of the $20.00 – $25.00 gift certificates.  Good luck and send your questions to WineGuyMike™ on his Facebook fan page.

Social Media links;

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

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

Facebook; WineGuyMike please “like”

Twitter; @WineGuyMike please follow me

Sponsors 

     

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

Sleep City Missoula  www.SleepCity.com

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

Georges Distributing in Helena, Montana.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The DO laws control:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"from my table to yours"

"from my table to yours"

“Wine Just for the Health of It” part 2 this week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show©


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

Each week WineGuyMike™ will be giving away gift certificates from our sponsors.  If your question is selected as WineGuyMike’s™ topic of discussion you will win one of the $20.00 – $25.00 gift certificates.  Good luck and send your questions to WineGuyMike™ on his Facebook fan page.

Social Media links;

Today’s Podcast; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2011/10/30/wine-guy-mike-for-october-30th/

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

Facebook; WineGuyMike please “like”

Twitter; @WineGuyMike please follow me

Sponsors

      

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

Sleep City Missoula www.sleepcity.com

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

Georges Distributing in Helena, Montana.

Welcome to the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© this Sunday morning.  This week I had the pleasure of sitting down with a man who enjoys great wines from around the world.  Dr.Stan Wilson from Missoula, Montana is a world renowned Cardiologist and inventor.

You might ask why such an accomplished doctor lives in a small city like Missoula?  Missoula is host to the International Heart Institute at St. Patrick Hospital which is the number one program for heart surgical procedures and research in the world.  The other reason Missoula may be one of the coolest places to live is The University of Montana.  Culture, art, wine, excellent medical care, and great restaurants just make this university centered city a great place to live and work.  In Dr. Wilson’s case, practice his cardiology specialty.

About The International Heart Institute of Montana http://ihimontana.org/

The International Heart Institute of Montana (IHI) brings together a recognized team of cardiologists, heart surgeons, nurses and researchers to perform advanced cardiac procedures and to search for new and improved ways to treat heart disease. Founded in 1995, IHI involves physicians and staff of St. Patrick Hospital and Health Sciences Center and The University of Montana.

What is The Women’s Heart Health Program offered at the IHI?

Many of us are surprised to learn that one in three women will die from cardiovascular disease.  Heart disease and stroke kill more women than all cancers combined, including breast cancer.  It remains an underappreciated fact that more women than men die of cardiovascular disease every year.

The Women’s Heart Health Program is a comprehensive way to prevent, diagnose and treat heart disease in women.  Heart disease may be especially difficult to diagnose in women as they may have different symptoms than men.  This program helps women to identify and reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Red wine, in moderation, has long been thought of as heart healthy.  The alcohol and certain substances in red wine called antioxidants may help prevent heart disease by increasing levels of “good” cholesterol and protecting against artery damage.

“Wine Just for the Health of It” is part 2 of an ongoing series on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show©.  This mission of my show is to share great wine and food in a moderate healthful way.  Sometimes we forget about the wonderful and natural health benefits that both red and white wine provide as part of a daily lifestyle that we enjoy.

The American Heart Association recommends a daily glass of wine to keep the heart doctors away.  Woman should drink one 5oz. glass and for men 10oz. is the recommended amount.  They medical community is quick to say if you don’t drink alcohol now do not start.  The recommendation here is over consumption may could lead to alcoholism, while increased caloric intake could contribute to obesity which increases the risk of diabetic complications.

As Doctor Wilson points out there is plenty of science to back up the health benefits of the daily recommended amount of wine.  In fact studies show that drinking the recommended amount of wine may reduce the risk of heart disease by as much as 50%.  Medical associations now recommend white wine for those that have respiratory issues. 

The right diet to complement the recommended moderate consumption of wine is a way that we can still enjoy all that we love about wine and food.  It is very important to examine our lifestyle and think about how we can live in a healthier way.  Remember the old saying, “you are what you eat”, it still holds true.  WineGuyMike™ would like to recommend this website for great information on healty eating, recipes, and exercise recommendations.  www.Heart.org is a site that I found to be outstanding.

Dr. Wilson, the inventor, developed what is known as Bifurcated Stent.  The stent is a stainless steel tube that looks like a microscopic piece of chain-link fence.  An incision in the patient’s groin is the point of entry for the physician to snake the stent up to the damaged artery.  A balloon opens up a path way to insert on the end of the wire.  A patient’s own tissue will grow around the stent in four to six weeks.  Stents act as reinforcement for arteries.

20 percent of the time a blockage is at a junction, or bifurcation.  Stents on each branch would leave a junction unprotected and a stent placed at a junction could block one of the arteries.

The bifurcated stent goes in on the end of one wire while the cardiologist snakes it to the site, imagine a Y-shaped device with its legs tied together.  Once the bifurcated stent reaches the site the wire releases and then the stent opens up and is guided into the bifurcation.

The bifurcated stent is in use in Europe and is nearing FDA approval in the United States.  This magical device should begin to be used in cardiology procedures in the United States next year.   Dr. Wilson gets to be the magician.

As a result of Dr. Wilsons Bifurcated Stent invention he is invited as key note speaker for heart conferences around the world.  Many of these conferences take place in finest wine regions of the world.  This week I’m sharing Dr. Wilson’s favorite wine, the E Guigal Gigondas.  I invite you to listen to the entire conversation between Dr. Wilson and I.  the podcast is available at; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2011/10/30/wine-guy-mike-for-october-30th/

E. Guigal wine from the Rhone Valley of France

the domaine of E. Guigal is located at Ampuis, and was founded in 1946 by Etienne Guigal, who had apprenticed at the negociant Vidal Fleury starting in 1924.  Etienne’s son Marcel has been the winemaker of the family firm since 1962.  He has preserved the tradition of the Rhône region and the scrupulous methods of his father, without hesitating to modernize and update his methods in ways that improve the traditional style without violating the spirit of the appellation.  Philippe Guigal, Marcel’s son, is poised to carry on these traditions of innovation and quality well into the 21st century.

E. Guigal is both a domaine and negociant, vinifying grapes from its estate vineyards in Côte Rôtie, Condrieu, Crozes Hermitage, Hermitage, and St. Joseph.  Guigal buys grapes from other growers in Côte Rôtie and Condrieu to supplement his estate production, and buys wines from other AOCs, including all of his southern Rhône production.  All wines are aged, finished and bottled in the firm’s own cellars, which have undergone several renovations and expansions since 1995.  A new cellar completed in 2006 has allowed the Guigals to store all of their production under their own roof for the first time.

The Rhone Valley is one of France’s most important wine growing regions covering a long strip of land from Avignon in the south to Vienne in the north.  This area produces more appellation wine than any other part of France, except that of the Bordeaux region.  This very diverse region is split into two sections.  The two main red grapes grown in the Rhone are Syrah and Grenache.  The north which is a semi-continental environment is dominated by the Syrah grape and prestigious appellations which include Côte-Rôtie, Hermitage and St Joseph.  The south has a Mediterranean climate and produces mainly blended wines from varieties such as Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Carignan.  

Syrah is a grape that is a big powerful full bodied red that is supple, smooth, and rich with well mannered mellow tannins.  Flavor wise a Syrah can be slightly spicy, fruity like black cherries, or some may have a deep nutty flavoring.  Grenache is a grape that is famous for use as a blending grape in both France and Spain. Grenache is also full bodied with berry flavors.  It lends itself well to nice full reds or roses that produce fruity or berry like flavor.  The Mourvedreplays a strong supporting role as a blending grape that is fruity with berry flavor and tannin that help provide structure in the red wines I’m recommending today.

E Guigal Gigondas

The vineyards of Gigondas are planted on hillsides at the foot of Mont Ventoux, a region directly north-east of the town of Orange in the southern Rhône Valley.  The Rhone Valley is home to very rocky soils that collect heat from the abundant sunshine that is common in the Rhone.  The grape varieties are similar to Chateauneuf-du-Pape; Grenache (60%), Mourvèdre (30%), and Syrah (10%) predominate. The dry, stony slopes produce substantial wines that are deep in color, with flavors of ripe summer fruits and savory herbs.  This E Guigal Gigondas is polished, refined, and drinks well now or can be laid down for many years.

E Guigal Cotes du Rhone Rouge

This is a beautiful wine that is inexpensive. This blend from the well known Guigal family is 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache, and 10% Mourvèdre.  The grapes are grown in pebbles and alluvia soil matter, sediment, limestone, granite.  This provides great drainage for the grape vines.

The grapes for this wine spend a great deal of time with the skins are fermented in a cool temperature controlled environment.  Aged 1 ½ years in oak but this wine presents with only a minimal oak influence. Visually this wine is dark red with great depth, and a beautiful shimmer. On the nose this wine has an aroma of red berries, fresh fruit, and just a hint of spice.  The palate is ample, not to full, really a great example of an affordable Cotes du Rhone.  This wine is balanced and very well made.  Nice tannin and spice that is enticing with a long rich finish.  This wine is very aromatic in a very pleasing way.

The Guigal Cotes du Rhone Red will pair nicely with cold cuts, cheese, wild game birds, pheasant and quail in particular.

E Guigal Cotes du Rhone Blanc

Marcel Guigal has strayed from his Father’s blanc blend of Clairette, Grenache Blanc, and Bourboulenc. This delicious blanc blend now includes significant proportions of Viognier (now 50%), Marsanne (from St.-Péray), and Roussanne.  Fermentation at cool temperatures in stainless steel tanks produces a wine that is fresh, rich, and complex.  The beautiful nose of this wine has aromas of honeysuckle, pear, kiwi, and minerals.  This dry white from E Guigal pairs well with appetizers, grilled fish, or spicy Asian preparations.

"from my table to yours"

"from my table to yours"