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


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

Social Media links;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Facebook; WineGuyMike please “like”

Twitter; @WineGuyMike please follow me

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

Sleep City Missoula  www.SleepCity.com

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

Georges Distributing in Helena, Montana

Hansjörg Wyss

Hansjörg Wyss

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

Halter Ranch Vineyard

Halter Ranch Vineyard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Topic of Interest

Sustainability in Practice (SIP)TM

USDA-National Organic Program

Biodynamics®

Annual Certification

X

X

X

Biodiversity

X

X

X

Vineyard Management

X

X

X

Soil Conservation

X

X

X

Pest Management

X

X

X

Water Quality

X

X

X

Organic Approved Pesticides

X

X

X

Reduced Risk Synthetic Pesticides*

X

 

 

Water Conservation

X

 

 

Energy Conservation

X

 

 

Air Quality

X

 

 

Social Equity

 

 

 

Continuing Education

X

 

 

Fruit Quality

X

 

 

Economic Viability

X

 

 

GMO Prohibition

n/a for winegrapes

X

X

Homepathic Remedies

 

 

X

Incorporate Forces of Nature

 

 

X

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

Halter Ranch Winemaker Kevin Sass

Halter Ranch Winemaker Kevin Sass

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

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

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

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

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

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

From my table to yours,

"from my table to yours"

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This Week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© Author Becky Sue Epstein on Champagne: A Global History


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

Social Media links;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Facebook; WineGuyMike please “like”

Twitter; @WineGuyMike please follow me

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

Sleep City Missoula  www.SleepCity.com

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

Georges Distributing in Helena, Montana

This week on the WineGuyMike Radio Show I had the distinct pleasure of hosting award winning author Becky Sue Epstein.  As a long- time editor for numerous Wine & Spirit magazine publications Epstein shares her in-depth experience through her newest book Champagne: A Global History.

Epstein began her career as a restaurant reviewer for the Los Angeles Times while working in the TV and Film Industry in the 1980’s and early 1990’s.  The last 20 years she has focused her attention on Food, Wine, Spirits, and Travel writing for publications on the East and West Coasts.

Epstein and I had a terrific conversation on the show this week, this author keeps a very busy schedule between travel and research, somehow she finds time to write books.  Her award-winning cookbook The American Lighthouse Cookbook (Sourcebooks/Cumberland, co-written with Chef Ed Jackson) came out last year. Epstein’s second book is an entirely new update of the classic kitchen reference Substituting Ingredients (Sourcebooks June 2010) which is already in its third printing.  

The latest book, Champagne: A Global History (Reaktion, September 2011) spotlight’s sparkling wines from around the world, a great short read not only for Champagne and sparkling wine lovers but also those who want to learn more about this sexy, luxurious bubbly beverage.

In Epstein’s newest book she hi-lights influential people throughout world history who literally have shaped the face of this effervescent beverage.  She also provides readers with the 411 on all things sparkling in your glass.  This is important to know because this information empowers the consumer, allowing you to indulge in a budget minded way.  That’s right you can enjoy a daily glass of very good bubbly and not exceed you wine budget.

I want to thank Becky Sue Epstein for such an informative, lively, and engaging conversation.  I highly recommend this interesting and informative book, Champagne: A Global History.  This is a great short read that is only 132 pages in length, yet long on information empowering you as an expert consumer of Champagne and sparkling wine.  This book is available at Amazon.com as an ebook or hardcover online at http://amzn.to/NvZpxB Learn more about Becky Sue Epstein at www.BeckySueEpstein.com

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

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

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

From my table to yours,

"from my table to yours"

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


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

Social Media links;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Facebook; WineGuyMike please “like”

Twitter; @WineGuyMike please follow me

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

Sleep City Missoula  www.SleepCity.com

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

Georges Distributing in Helena, Montana.

Head Winemaker Anthony Beckman

Head Winemaker Anthony Beckman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From my table to yours,

"from my table to yours"

This Week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© Perfect Wines to Enjoy on the Patio


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

Last Week’s(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

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

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

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

Facebook; WineGuyMike please “like”

Twitter; @WineGuyMike please follow me

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

Sleep City Missoula  www.SleepCity.com

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

Georges Distributing in Helena, Montana.

The weather has finally turned, the days are getting hot and the mountains remain emerald green from the spring’s plentiful rainfall.  A refreshing wine to suit everyone’s palate is welcome on a warm summer’s night.  Wine is seasonal and personal, dictated by your individual taste. 

This week I have a diverse selection of wines to share that will please even the most discriminating palate.  Not only do these wines offer great value in quality but they are budget minded too.  You will find the WineGuyMike recommendations at Liquid Planet located in the heart of Downtown Missoula.

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

The wine selections from today’s show are available today, all especially priced from 7/1 until 7/6, at Liquid Planet, in the heart of Downtown Missoula, Missoula’s ultimate wine shopping experience and the very best of beverage.

From my table to yours,

"from my table to yours"

This week on the Radio Show© WineGuyMike™ “The Long and Winding Road” to Waitiri Creek Winery


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; the full length conversation betwen Paula and WineGuyMike http://trail1033.podbean.com/2011/12/11/wine-guy-mike-for-1211/ If you are using Internet Explorer this podcast won’t be available until mid-day Monday; technical problem.

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 and wine accessory gifts 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.

This week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© perhaps Paul McCartney said it best on the Beatles Let It Be album; “The long and winding road, That leads to your door, Will never disappear, I’ve seen that road before, It always leads me here, Lead me to your door”.

"The Long and Winding Road" to Waitiri Creek Winery

"The Long and Winding Road" to Waitiri Creek Winery

Paula Ramage and her husband Allistar Ward have traveled extensively and lived abroad in different places throughout the world but home for them is the Central Otago wine region on the South Island of New Zealand.  This is the southernmost grape growing region in the world, but they produce very good wine.  Paula grew up in Alexandra and the Ward family farmed for many years on Malaghan’s Road, near Arrowtown.  Last week’s blog provided an overview of New Zealand as a wine country; http://wp.me/pFhHw-Ao  This is a land that is breathtakingly beautiful and produces some of the finest single varietal wines available. 

Paula Ramage has had at least 5 careers that she can recall but in spending time with her on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© this week I’ll forevermore think of her as Ambassador of New Zealand and the New Zealand wine industry.  Needless to say she is a terrific spokesperson and extremely knowledgeable about her country and the wine industry in New Zealand and throughout the world.  Paula handles all of Waitiri Creek’s administrative business and development of offshore markets, a natural for a “reformed barrister”.  She has a lovely Kiwi accent that you cannot help loving too.

Allistar Ward is a merchant banking consultant full time, although he makes time to focus on vineyard development and as Paula puts it, “he juggles all the balls and keep them in the air”.

Viticulture Crew, Mark and Jason

Viticulture Crew, Mark and Jason

Jason Thomson is their very accomplished viticulturist along with his team Mark Naismith and Scott Culpan who run the day to day operations.  Interestingly the Waitiri Creek winemaker is a woman, Jen, from the Willamette Valley of Oregon.  As I mentioned last week many winemakers are now traveling winemakers who work in the Northern Hemisphere during its summer months and the Southern Hemisphere during their summer.  With the Willamette and Central Otago sharing similar latitudes with a focus on cool weather grape varietals it is a natural for winemakers like Jen.

Shanagolden Block in Summer

Shanagolden Block in Summer

In 1993 Paula and Allistar purchased their first vineyard the Shanagolden Block in Gibbston and planted Chardonnay in 1994.   The northerly facing block was ideal for sustainable viticulture and the lower half of this area provided a perfect location for the future wine tasting venue.

The Shanagolden Block was originally settled in 1867 by James Leslie, a Scot who had emigrated to New Zealand at the age of 17.  He and his partner, Thomas Kinross followed the Dunstan gold rush.  Kinross established the Gibbston store and Post Office and James Leslie was the butcher and baker but also continued to prospect for gold.

The vineyard has a micro-climate that produces ripe fruit earlier than most in the general area.  The soil composition is made up of glacial deposits and free draining alluvial soil matter (scheist).  This terrior is well suited to the cool weather grape varietals that Waitiri Creek produces.  This is where Jens’s Willamette Valley winemaking experience really shines.

Waitiri Creek’s portfolio of wines includes Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc.  The grape vines  of Waitiri Creek are all hand pruned and hand harvested.  New Zealand is aiming for all of its vineyards to be sustainably accredited by the end of 2012.  Compliance currently stands at about 93% – Waitiri Creek has been fully sustainable for some years.  Another interesting fact about New Zealand wines, 75% of the bottles are all screw tops.  The Kiwi’s are an environmentally conscience country and I applaud them for this effort.

Chardonnay Grape Harvest

Chardonnay Grape Harvest

The first vintage of Chardonnay was produced in 1998 and full production of three different varietals in 1999.   In 1996  Paula and Allistar decided that an old church building would serve as the Waitiri Creek tasting room, they needed a structure that would be harmonious with the terroir of the Shanagolden vineyard.  So a search which led them all over the lower part of the South Island, culminating in a visit to Wangaloa, near Kaitangata in 1998.  On first sight, the former Wangaloa Presbyterian Church would have sent less hardy souls running in the opposite direction….but not Paula and Allistar.  Negotiations began with the local community and ownership of the church was secured a year later.

Cellar Door

Cellar Door

The Waitiri Creek tasting room just celebrated its 10th anniversary at its new vineyard home.   This former Presbyterian church, built in 1893 was moved to its new location at Waitiri Creek 300km in one piece on the Shanagolden Block in 2000.

I want to thank my new friend Paula Ramage for sharing this rich history of the Central Otago wine region, New Zealand, and the Waitiri Creek Winery with the WineGuyMike™ audience.  From my home in Montana to the “The Long and Winding Road” down under, Happy Holidays to my friends in New Zealand and Waitiri Creek.

Waitiri Creek Wines

One of the keys to increased demand for Waitiri Creek wines is consistant quality.   Waitiri Creek has been recognized at domestic and international competitions every year since 1999 across their entire portfolio.  Their expansion into Bannockburn with the purchase of additional Central Otago fruit has now expanded their portfolio to include Rosé, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling.

Pinot Noir

Waitiri Creek Pinot Noir 2007 The nose shows rich varietal layers of cherry and plums supported by an earthy complexity. The depth of fruit on the nose continues on the palate supported by a fine tannin structure, good integration of oak and a length of flavor that lingers on the tongue.

The nose displays complex notes of stewed cherries, cedar and mushrooms. This Pinot Noir shows the elegance of the 2008 vintage with a bright garnet hue and the perfume of violets and rose petals. The fruit driven palate has flavors of wild raspberries with hints of cinnamon, red cherries and succulent plums. On the finish there is a note of thyme and mushrooms. The silky tannins are woven seamlessly into a structure balanced by savory French oak and alcohol.

Rose

Rich strawberry and raspberry aromas dominate the nose and are supported by perfumed floral notes. The palate shows good berry fruit weight with strawberry and white peach aided by creamy texture. This wine is well balanced with a long, lingering, strawberry finish.

Chardonnay

Made in a fruit-driven New World style, this wine shows all the influences of classic Old World winemaking. The palate is rich and succulent with an appealing texture and displays outstanding primary fruit.  

Handpicked grapes were whole bunch pressed and the juice cold settled for two days before being racked to barrels with light yeast. The wine was then cool fermented using both commercial and indigenous yeasts. This Chardonnay spent 10 months in 100% French oak (22% new oak) and underwent 100% malolatic fermentation with weekly lees stirring. The finished wine was then racked, lightly fined and filtered prior to bottling in late-March 2009.

Riesling

This Riesling shows complex aromas of mandarin, pear, honeysuckle and orange blossom on the nose. The body has crisp citrus flavors, offset with spice and good length of finish. This wine has great cellaring potential and additional characters will develop in the bottle over time.

Riesling grapes from two different blocks were handpicked and combined. The grapes were whole bunch pressed using a bag press and then the juice was left to cold settle overnight, before being racked and inoculated with yeast.

Fermentation lasted several weeks with temperatures being maintained less than 13 degrees to retain optimum flavor. Once fermentation was complete the wine was sulphured, racked and blended. The wine was then lightly fined and cold and protein stabilized prior to sterile filtration and bottling in September 2008.

Pinot Gris

Floral and pear notes on the nose lead into a richly textured palate of nashi pear, citrus and spice flavors. The long finish is balanced by fine acidity.

First vintage fruit from Legends (Legends Vineyard, Felton Road) was hand-harvested.  One tank of the Legends juice was chilled with daily lees stirring for four days.  It was then racked taking light lees to blend with the second tank of Legends juice which was settled for one night and then racked clean to blend.  A portion of this juice went to a neutral French Oak barrel.  The blended Legends juice was warmed naturally to 14ºC and innoculated with an aromatic yeast before undergoing cool fermentation until optimal balance was achieved.

The fruit from Annika’s (Annika’s Vineyard, Wanaka Road) was hand-harvested with 50% left on skins overnight while the balance was cold settled overnight and racked with light lees.  The fruit with extended skin contact was racked cleanly.  The two Annika’s components were blended, warmed naturally to 14ºC and fermented using aromatic yeast.  A percentage of this juice was fermented in two neutral French Oak barrels.

The three barrels were stirred regularly after the peak of fermentation and then blended. The two separate tank blends were blended in August and underwent cold and protein stabilization before being lightly fined with isinglass and sterile filtered before bottling.

Sauvignon Blanc

For her 6th birthday, our niece Stella Paris Columbia B. Ramage who lives in Sydney and loves art had a wine named after her. This is a single vineyard, Gibbston fruit.

Stella

Stella

A nose of passionfruit, gooseberry and capsicum aromas lead to a lively palate displaying good balance and zesty acidity. Best served lightly chilled.

Sauvignon Blanc grapes were handpicked and then was de-stemmed and crushed prior to gentle pressing. The resulting juice was cool stainless steel fermented to retain fruit character. The wine was left on yeast lees for two months to help with mouth feel and complexity. The resulting wine was fined with milk casein prior to filtration and bottling.

Be sure to check out New Zealand wines from my show Sponsor Liquid Planet, “Best of Beverage”, in the Heart of Downtown Missoula.

"from my table to yours"

"from my table to yours"

Wines that will rock your dinner from New Dehli 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.

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Sponsors         

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

This week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© Facebook Fan Kim Anderson asks what wine should I pair the real deal authentic Indian food with? In particular, Chicken Masala and Makani Murgh dishes.  Kim not being an expert in the area of Indian food I really had to do my homework this week.  What a great question and I have your answers.  The only question left to answer here is will you be inviting me for dinner?

Chicken Masala

Chicken Masala

Okay now we know what the most important questions of the day are, so what are the answers?  WineGuyMike™ really prefers to keep things as simple as possible and in doing so let’s consider a few things before I recommend which wine types are best suited for your particular Indian dinner wine selections.

When one considers wine and food I like to think of balance.  Balancing wine and food is a good place to start when determining what wine works best with what food.  Here are a few other things to think about when choosing a wine too:

• What wine type do you generally prefer?

• Food texture, is it heavy or light?

• How is the food prepared, is it Grilled, Baked, or Sautéed.

• What about a Sauce, Gravy, Crème, or Tomato based.

In considering balance and in this case I’m referring to weight and texture of the main food entrée and the weight and texture of the wine I would like to choose to serve with my dinner.  How am I going to cook these wonderful Indian dishes, Chicken Masala and Makani Murgh.  Are these dishes also going to be using a sauce or gravy?  There a couple of more things to think about before we go wine shopping too.

Makhani Murgh

Makhani Murgh

Just as foods have a texture and firmness wines also have a quality of texture.  Remember we are looking for balance and a synergy between wine and the foods they are paired with.  A full bodied wine bold on texture should not be paired with delicate dishes nor should they be paired with a food dish that is big on flavor.  Okay so we can rule out big full bodied wines for this dinner party.  Big wine and big flavor just don’t work well together, we are looking for harmony.  Mild food dishes do well when paired with medium to light body wines.  Kim In considering today’s menu I’m looking at the main protein, in this case chicken.  I need to consider the sauces and the spices.  The other thing I will be considering while I’m selecting wines for this marvelous dinner party is the season, it’s Summer and it’s hot and I’m eating dishes that are spicy.   

One of the most important things to understand about wine and food pairing is this; acid brings out flavors in food and helps to leave a lingering flavor on your palette.  Once you think through the food it really helps to serve as a process of elimination.  Here is what we know about your dinner selections Kim; Chicken is our main protein, we are dealing with many powerful spices, and we have heavy/creamy sauces.  Last but not least it is Summer time so I know that I want something refreshing that is light to medium in body and texture on the wine side.  I also have decided I want to recommend wines that have nice acid and fruit balance and I have a few wine types that I find earthy.  When I think of earthy I think about mineral, vegetal, and herbaceous that present themselves a bit more neutral but still have enough acid to work with your meal selections Kim.  Today I will be suggesting wines with a bit of acidity and will be light to medium bodied.  Now we can talk about our wine type choices, or at least what types of wines match our criteria for the meal we are serving.

The wine types that I recommend will vary from light to medium body:

Light Bodied Wine selections

1. Chenin Blanc

2. Rose´

3. Pinot Grigio/Gris

4. Riesling

Medium Bodied Wine selections

1. Fume´ Blanc

2. Sauvignon Blanc

3. Sancerre

These are the wine types or varietals I believe will be best suited for your Summer time dinner party Kim.  I would recommend having one white and one red wine from the light bodied category, one wine from the medium bodied category, and one full bodied Chardonnay that is not oaked to complement your dinner.

I hope that you find these suggestions helpful in putting together your dinner party wine list Kim.  Thinking about this ahead of time will lead to a much better wine shopping experience, not to mention the time you will save time not staring at too many wine bottles on a shelf.  After a few minutes all the bottles begin to look the same.  Having a wine focused dinner party can make it a lot of fun and remember this list of slightly acidic wines are suggested because they will intensify all the wonderful flavors of your Chicken Masala and Makani Murgh dinner selections.  It will also be fun to share with your family and friends all about the wines you have carefully selected with the dinner to pour for them, they will surely feel as special as they are.  There is nothing better than a great meal and a nice bottle of wine when we are sharing with people we love.

One last recommendation would be to stop in at my official sponsor Ciao Mambo, they have a great wine list with wines by the glass.  You can experience some of these wine types before you serve them at your dinner party. 

The WineGuyMike™ wine list:

1. Chenin Blanc/Chardonnay blend from Southwest France – Tariquet

Chenin Blanc/Chardonnay

Chenin Blanc/Chardonnay

This Tariquet  wine marries the finesse of Chenin Blanc (75%) with the elegance and structure of Chardonnay (25%). This complex wine displays delicious floral notes, as well as exotic fruit and vanilla.  A beautiful inexpensive wine to pair with today’s dishes.

2. Pinot Gris from Wine by Joe in The Willamette Valley of Oregon

2009 Pinot Gris

2009 Pinot Gris

Wine by Joe 2009 Pinot Gris;  you will experience sweet aromas of fresh cut pears, green apples and hints of vanilla and cream, this Pinot Gris will not disappoint you.  The light clean flavors in the mouth encompass citrus and green apple well-balanced by refreshing and flinty acidity for a perfect and lively finish with lingering hints of citrus rind.  You will be delighted with this classic Oregon Pinot Gris!

3. Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley, California – “75” from Tuck Beckstoffer.

"75" 2009 Sauvignon Blanc from Tuck Beckstoffer

"75" 2009 Sauvignon Blanc from Tuck Beckstoffer

This is perhaps my favorite domestic Sauvignon Blanc, it is comprised of 80% clone one Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Musque clone, this wine is has not been through a secondary fermentation and only sees stainless steel during fermentation and aging.  This wine is vibrant with ripe summer melon, honey suckle, crushed rock and lemon oil aromas followed by great texture, richness and acidity.  This wine showcases the tremendous quality of Sauvignon Blanc grown in the Lake County region California.

4. Riesling from Charles Smith Kung Fu Girl from the Columbia Valley of Washington State.

2008 Kung Fu Girl by Charles Smith

2008 Kung Fu Girl by Charles Smith

A long cool awesome vintage added heightened minerality to this wine which lends to a great pairing with these  today’s food dishes.  White stone fruit, you know, apricot, nectarine, peach also satsuma and lime leaves.   This is great Riesling from Evergreen Vineyard in The Ancient Lakes area of the Columbia Valley AVA.

5. Rose´ from Napa, Oregon, and France

Vin Gris 4Bears Winery and Sean Minor

Vin Gris 4Bears Winery and Sean Minor

This lovely Vin Gris from 4Bears Winery and Sean Minor is a bright and vibrant pink color with cherry, strawberry, cranberry and ripe watermelon aromas on the nose.  When the wine first hits your palate it displays cherry and strawberry flavors with well recognized flavors of Pinot Noir. Raspberry and cranberry fruit characters are balanced with spicy and crisp acidity that linger creating a refreshing and lengthy finish.

2010 Adelsheim Willamette Valley Rosé of Pinot Noir

2010 Adelsheim Willamette Valley Rosé of Pinot Noir

2010 Adelsheim Willamette Valley Rosé of Pinot Noir This delicious wine offers aromas of fresh strawberries, raspberries, peach, watermelon and a touch of baking spices.  The aromas follow through on a rich, well textured palate that offers great intensity and persistence to the finish. 

Chateau Bonnet Rose

Chateau Bonnet Rose

Château Bonnet Rosé 2010 On the nose the wine presents welcome aromas of white chocolate, ever so mild caramel, strawberry, and mellow cherry.  Yes this wine’s aroma is as alluring as it is visually in a glass. Once this beauty hit my palate it danced in my mouth, I don’t want to say it came to life because this wine brought life to my palate.  This Rosé is well balanced with fruit, acid, and the perfect percentage of alcohol.  It is understated with nuances of strawberry and cherry, also expressing very mild pomegranate.  You will experience a perfect crispness and a mellow tartness in this wine that has a lovely and refreshing mouthfeel.

These wines receive The WineGuyMike™ Seal of Approval©

If you have any specific questions about wines please message me by commenting on the WineGuyMike blog at; http://www.wineguymike.wordpress.com, or on my Facebook fan page; WineGuyMike and I will answer any questions you may have.

Light Bodied Wines

Chenin Blanc is a very versatile grape.  It is very crisp, acidic, high in alcohol content, yet is smooth and full bodied.  This grape exhibits slight spiciness, hint of honey, and slight fruitiness and is dry.  This can be a very special wine, such as Vouvray, an excellent wine exhibiting many different styles.

Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris as it is commonly referred to is a very dry wine.  Some characteristics of this wine are a slightly fruity and mild spiciness.

Riesling is one of the prominent white wine grapes, a pure Riesling is complex yet delicate.  A Riesling will be light, medium dry, fruity, a mild citrus flavor, with a mellow floral aroma. 

Rose´ wines are like a chameleon, they are light and refreshing like a white wine, crisp and acidic like a white wine, BUT once on the palate have subtle nuances of the red wines we love too. Rose´ may have a very slight strawberry nuance and are made from bone dry to slightly sweet.

Medium Bodied Wines

At its best Sauvignon Blanc is a very crisp, light bodied and very dry.  They are also known as Fume´ Blancs, and are well balanced with citrus and grassy overtones.  Most of these wines are not fermented in oak, the high levels of acid balance well with the fruity characteristics of the wine.

Sancerre wines come from the Loire Valley region of France and are made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes.  There are two styles of Sancerre wines depending on their terrior.  Some come from marl terroir and the others come from limestone vineyards.  Marl (white soil) terrior Sancerre wines are fruity and well balanced while the Sancerre wines grown in limestone are full flavored but can be unstable.  Both style of wines have nuances of citrus (Grapefruit) and floral aromas.

Today’s Recipes

Chicken Tikka Masala is a favorite Hindi dish; this curry dish features roasted chicken chunks (tikka) served in a rich-tasting red or orange-colored sauce.  The sauce is usually creamy, lightly spiced and contains tomatoes.  Chicken Tikka Masala has been found to be one of the most popular dishes in British restaurants and it has been called a “a true British national dish.”

The origins of Chicken Tikka Masala are disputed.  An expert on street food declared that the dish originated in Punjab during the last 50 years while another view is that it originated in the first Indian restaurants in Soho, London, during the 1970s.

Chicken Tikka Masala is chunks of chicken marinated in spices and yogurt, that is then baked in a tandoor oven, served in a masala (“mixture of spices”) sauce.  There is no standard recipe for however tomato and coriander are common ingredients.  The sauce usually includes tomatoes, frequently as puree; cream and/or coconut cream; and various spices.  The sauce or chicken have a beautiful rich orange color as a result of spices and sauce components such as turmeric powder, paprika powder and tomato puree.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Recipe source; http://www.cooksillustrated.com/recipes/detail.asp?docid=8637

Why this recipe works:Our goal was to develop a simple chicken masala recipe with readily available ingredients. To get there, we rubbed the chicken with a mixture of salt, coriander, cumin, and cayenne, then dipped it in yogurt mixed with oil, garlic, and ginger. For a year-round tikka masala recipe, we chose the broiler rather than the grill and cooked the chicken in large pieces to prevent it from drying out. (less)

Serves 4 to 6

This dish is best when prepared with whole-milk yogurt, but low-fat yogurt can be substituted. For a spicier dish, do not remove the ribs and seeds from the chile. If you prefer, substitute 2 teaspoons ground coriander, 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper for the garam masala(combination of warm spices seasons the masala sauce). The sauce can be made ahead, refrigerated for up to 4 days in an airtight container, and gently reheated before adding the hot chicken. Serve with basmati rice.

Ingredients for Chicken Tikka

1/2teaspoon ground cumin

1/2teaspoon ground coriander

1/4teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon table salt

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts , trimmed of fat

1cup plain whole-milk yogurt (see note above)

2tablespoons vegetable oil

2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)

1 ablespoon grated fresh ginger Masala Sauce

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 medium onion , diced fine (about 1 1/4 cups)

2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

1 fresh serrano chile , ribs and seeds removed, flesh minced (see note above)

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 tablespoon garam masala (see note above)

1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

2 teaspoons sugar

½ teaspoon table salt

2/3 cup heavy cream

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves Instructions

1. FOR THE CHICKEN: Combine cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt in small bowl. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with spice mixture, pressing gently so mixture adheres. Place chicken on plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. In large bowl, whisk together yogurt, oil, garlic, and ginger; set aside.

2. FOR THE SAUCE: Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until light golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, chile, tomato paste, and garam masala; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cream and return to simmer. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm.

3. While sauce simmers, adjust oven rack to upper-middle position (about 6 inches from heating element) and heat broiler. Using tongs, dip chicken into yogurt mixture (chicken should be coated with thick layer of yogurt) and arrange on wire rack set in foil-lined rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan. Discard excess yogurt mixture. Broil chicken until thickest parts register 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer and exterior is lightly charred in spots, 10 to 18 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through cooking.

4. Let chicken rest 5 minutes, then cut into 1-inch chunks and stir into warm sauce (do not simmer chicken in sauce). Stir in cilantro, adjust seasoning with salt, and serve.

Makhani Murgh

Recipe source; http://www.cooksillustrated.com/recipes/detail.asp?docid=5186

Butter chicken (or murgh makhani) is part of the Indian cuisine, popular in most countries throughout the world.  The origins of butter chicken can be traced back to Kundan Lal Gujral, a Hindu Punjabi, who ran a restaurant called Moti Mahal Delux in Delhi.  Butter chicken is usually served with naan, roti, parathas or steamed rice.  

Dressed chicken (with or without bones) is marinated overnight in a yogurt and spice mixture usually including garam masala, ginger, garlic paste, lemon or lime, pepper, coriander, cumin, turmeric and chili. The chicken is traditionally cooked in a tandoor, but can also be grilled, roasted or pan fried, depending on convenience or the chef’s preference.

Makhani, the sauce, is made by heating and mixing butter, tomato puree, and various spices, often including cumin, cloves, cinnamon, coriander, pepper, fenugreek and fresh cream. Cashew paste can also be added, and will make the gravy thicker. Of all the spices added to the dish it is dried fenugreek leaves (Hindi: kasuri methi) that makes the greatest contribution to the characteristic flavor of the dish.

Once the sauce is prepared, the prepared chicken is chopped and cooked until the gravy and chicken have blended.  The dish may be garnished with white butter, fresh cream, sliced green chillies and kasuri methi.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cubed

8 green cardamom pods

10 cloves, lightly pounded

10 whole black peppercorns

1 (1/2 inch) piece cinnamon stick

3 serrano peppers

2 teaspoons ginger paste

2 teaspoons garlic paste

1 (15 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

1 1/4 cups water

1 1/2 teaspoons paprika

1 1/2 teaspoons dried fenugreek leaves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon butter, softened

1/2 cup cream

Directions

1.Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir the chicken in the hot oil until completely browned, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

2.Wrap cardamom pods, cloves, peppercorns, and cinnamon stick in cheesecloth and secure with elastic or twist-tie.

3.Blend the serrano peppers, ginger paste, and garlic paste together in a blender until smooth; add the crushed tomatoes and blend again until integrated. Transfer the mixture to a saucepan; add the water, paprika, and the spice bundle to the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the volume of the liquid reduces to about half. Add the browned chicken to the liquid and stir. Cover the saucepan and simmer until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, about 15 minutes. Stir the salt and fenugreek seeds into the mixture and continue simmering another 5 minutes. Remove the bundle of spices and discard. Stir the butter and cream into the mixture; simmer until the butter is melted completely, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve hot.

'from my table to yours"

'from my table to yours"

Good people doing great things with wine, Charity Case Wine with Pat Woodbridge 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.

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Sponsors         

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

Charity Case Foundation

Charity Case Foundation

Each week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© I have the pleasure of hosting guests who are always special in their own unique way.  Whether these individuals are great winemakers or farmers who grow the finest grapes, these individuals are almost always game changers in some way, shape, or form no matter what they do in the world.  This week’s show was no different and in fact I found this story to be extraordinary.   The organization that I’m sharing with you this week is very special; this is a story about good people doing great things with wine.  In this “wine case” I’m talking about Charity Case Winewww.CharityCaseFoundation.org

Pat Woodbridge was my special guest this week.  Pat is the mother of Jayson Woodbridge, our friend who is Proprietor/Winemaker of Layer Cake Wines and famous for his cult wines Cherry Pie and Hundred Acre.  Pat was charged with the mission of assembling all the paperwork and legal documents in order to form this foundation – a process which took the better part of a year.  Pat was kind enough to take time out to be a guest on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© and share the Charity Case Wine story with you and I.

Charity Case Foundation was formed in 2008, during a difficult rainy vintage in Napa wine country.  When fruit is picked after rain, there is more moisture in the soil, which results in the plants absorbing the water into the grapes.  In order to correct the dilution, winemakers will remove juice from the fermenters to concentrate the remaining solids before fermentation begins.  This is called Saignee (French for ‘to bleed’).  In 2008, there was a lot of it around.

Layer Cake Wine

Layer Cake Wine

Jayson Woodbridge and Helen Mawson of Hundred Acre, Layer Cake, and Cherry Pie wines contacted other vintners in the Napa Valley area to see if they would donate the juice in order to create a wine which could be sold for the long term support of Napa Valley Charities.  The response was overwhelming with dozens of vintners contributing almost more than could be handled.  The Charity Case wine label was designed and the non-profit wine with all volunteer help from Napa Valley was launched.  In 2008 and 2009, a Napa Valley Rose blend was created from several varieties of red grapes from in and around Saint Helena.  In 2009 the group found exceptional Sauvignon Blanc grapes in St. Helena that needed a home.  In 2010, a group in Napa Valley donated 10 tons of Chardonnay and this Charity Case Wine will be released very soon.

Once Pat had everything in place, she joined forces with Helen Mawson, Jayson’s partner and fellow winemaker, Sheila Dougherty, a veteran of charity work and manager of the Wolfe Center, a treatment center for teens with addiction problems.  The fourth member of the troop is Peggy Garcia, executive assistant for Jayson, who heartily threw herself into the fold.  The four of them have worked tirelessly for Charity Case Foundation.  All services are volunteered, and all net proceeds go to the charities.  WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© friend Laura Kirkham and her Laura Kirkham Agency joined the group in October of 2010, offering pro bono public relations assistance to tell the Charity Case story.

Charity Case Wine

Charity Case Wine

The Charity Case Foundation is devoted to raising funds through the sale of small-production, specially crafted wines to support local non-profit organizations, providing services to children in need and their families.  The Foundation’s motivating philosophy is to get all monies raised to those in need, without dollars spent on marketing, bureaucracy or other hidden expenses, which take away from getting the donations – in their entirety – to those who actually need them. 

The wines, labels, bottles, corks storage, shipping and marketing efforts for The Charity Case Foundation are done entirely by volunteers.  Charity Case has no salaried employees, meaning that all of the proceeds go directly to the charities.  Who are this year’s recipients of proceeds in their entirety raised by The Charity Case Foundation?

Wolfe Center

Wolfe Center

The Wolfe Center is a community based Drug And Alcohol Program for teens and families in Napa County.  http://www.wolfecenter.org/programs.html

Cope Family Center

Cope Family Center

Cope Family Center is the first stop for families in crisis.  http://copefamilycenter.org/

Aldea Children and Family Services

Aldea Children and Family Services

Aldea Children and Family Services supports and empowers young people with serious social, mental, and behavioral difficulties to grow to be independent, productive adults.  http://www.aldeainc.com/

Foster Kids Fund

Foster Kids Fund

Foster Kids Fund (FKF) is an all-volunteer non-profit community organization, dedicated to enriching the lives Napa County children in foster care.  http://www.fosterkidsfund.org/about.html

The Charity Case Foundation is determined to provide raised donations to those in need in the way they should be given:  in their entirety.  www.charitycasewine.org

Before I get into the wines for today’s show I would like to give a shout out to all the Father’s out there and say Happy Father’s day to you.  I want to also share a personal thought with you today.  I strive to follow the example of the great folks at Charity Case Foundation and think about serving others, please join me in this mission.

Today’s Charity Case Wines

Charity Case Rosé 2008

Charity Case Rose 2008

Charity Case Rose 2008

Charity Case Rosé is a complex, elegant wine.  This wine has aromas of dried strawberry, rhubarb, and kaffir lime peel that fill the nose.  The palate will first taste flavors of cranberry, strawberry and red raspberries fill your mouth, then a long lingering finish of orange blossom and hints of delicate white pepper leave you wanting and needing more of this delicious wine.  Pair a recipe with this wine; http://wineguymike.storetotable.com/

Charity Case Sauvignon Blanc 2009

Charity Case Sauvignon Blanc 2009

Charity Case Sauvignon Blanc 2009

Charity Case barrel fermented 2009 Sauvignon Blanc is a luscious wine that has balance structure.  On the nose of this wine is a blend of ripe gooseberry, apricot and lemon zest.  The palate is viscous and full-bodied with hints of pineapple, melon and coconut, with a long, creamy finish.  This may be the Pina Colada of wine, yum!  Pair a recipe with this wine; http://wineguymike.storetotable.com/

I want to thank the Charity Case Foundation for all that they do.  Please join me and raise your glass in a toast to Pat Woodbridge and all the other good people involved in the Charity Case Wine and Foundation, Salute.

The Charity Case Wines receive The WineGuyMike™ Seal of Approval©

"Happy Father's Day"

"Happy Father's Day"