|Oh Yes You Can Can|
Everyone knows that real wine is meant to be packaged in a glass bottle with a cork closure. Any other package or closure is the mark of inferiority. Or is it? The Stelvin closure, aka screw cap, was first commissioned by a French company in 1964. And while providing many benefits with regards to wine preservation and guarding against cork taint, the screw cap struggles for respectability even after 50 years. Even Penfold’s, a leader in the screw cap movement, will not be putting its flagship Grange under screw cap any time soon. Unfortunately, more often than not, the screw cap is still associated with cheap, pedestrian swill. So, it’s no wonder that wine in a can fights an even more difficult, uphill battle. After all, most people associate the can as a vessel for cheap beer. And while more craft brewers than ever before are canning beer, there is still some pushback from the average consumer. But the times, they are a changing. And as the warmer weather approaches I invite you to consider this versatile option.
Francis Ford Coppola Sofia Mini 4 pack Blanc de Blancs
Whether the wine glass is half full or half empty, always fill it with quality wine. Happy Sipping, Yolanda Albergottie, Wine Education Coordinator, Chuck’s Fines Wines, Chagrin Falls, Ohio.
Rosés Are Dry My Love
After being over shadowed by his younger albeit sweeter, American stepsister Blush, Rosé has finally come into his rightful place on the American palate. Continuing to trend into 2018, look for more shades of pink wine this spring as the fresh vintage arrives. Long beloved by sommeliers for its ease to pair with most any dish, but often only enjoyed in the summer months, expect to see Rosés on wine lists and bottle shop shelves all year round. Its color, which ranges from the palest of pinks to the deepest magentas, comes from the skin of red grapes. Feeling adventurous? Try some new offerings of Rosés made from Merlot or even Zinfandel (not to be confused with that sweet, stepsister Blush aka White Zinfandel). Enjoyed as easily with Easter ham as with barbeque ribs, if you haven’t already tried this dry, crisp, flavorful, refreshing wine…what are you waiting for?
What grape am I? I’m one of the 13 approved grapes of Chateauneuf de Pape. I am grown and used to make rich, robust, red wines in France, California, Washington State and in Spain where I go by the name Garnacha. I am a very popular grape used for making Rosés in the Côtes du Rhone.
Follow us on twitter @chucksfinewines. Tweet your answer and #alwaysatchucks to be entered into a drawing for a $10 gift certificate. The winner answer will be randomly selected and notified via twitter by March 31, 2018. Whether the wine glass is half full or half empty, always fill it with quality wine. Happy Sipping, Yolanda Albergottie, Wine Education Coordinator, Chuck’s Fines Wines, Chagrin Falls, Ohio.
Winter keeps “hanging in there” here in Northeast Ohio, however for those of us in the wine industry, we really like to consider it Wineter. A great time to stay up on the latest and greatest things that are “wine” (or wine related) before the weather warms up and we continue to enjoy wine, but have more opportunity think warm and be out of doors or even spring cleaning.
Having just returned from the International Housewares Show in Chicago, there were a couple of things that I thought worth commenting on from different vantage points I observed surrounding wine.
1.Wine Buffs – I first mentioned these in my December article, however, I thought well worth mentioning again especially given the evident enhanced interest I observed from retailers who were scouring for products.
A custom blended microfiber towel for those who appreciate spotless glasses and loves wineries. Maps that show all local wineries. Currently Winebuff’s are made for France, Italy, Spain, Australia and a Napa/Sonoma combination (2 sided).
Winebuff’s are an awesome towel for anything that needs polishing in the kitchen and also great for computer screens and reading glasses as well. I always carry one in my backpack.
Learn more HERE.
2.Coravin 11 – Worth knowing about, although at $999 I have to say you need to look at it and be the judge. It was fun to watch it being explained and to be able to observe the functionalities (i.e. Bluetooth connection with pairing info and tracking for wines in your cellar), however, I felt it was like my being able to test drive a Maserati. Interested, but what if I damage it somehow? A lot of “nice to haves”. This will have its place and is meant for a certain market … unfortunately that market is not me. For preservation needs, you already have quality options.
Learn more HERE.
3.Wine Sitter – this was in the new innovative section of the show and refers to itself as a Stemware Stabilizer (keeps stem glassware from tipping over). Attractive piece. Not sure how much consumer need there is, but a conversation piece and at a planned retail price of $29.95 for two (not yet out), it is affordable as a wine gift item. Just be sure you give it to someone with stemware because it will not work with stemless.
Learn more HERE.
There were plenty of other wine related products being shown, especially full line glassware and variations of current type products (i.e. bottle stoppers, corkscrews), but this time around, I did not see or hear of more in the way of innovations relating to wine.
If you know or hear of anything new that you think everyone should be aware of, please feel free to email me at my email below. Questions always welcomed as well.
March to a Different Drummer…
It is February and Valentines Day has come and gone, however, that does not mean you can’t still celebrate. There’s nothing like coming up with a plan that the two of you (or you alone or you with others) cannot take advantage of to continue to enjoy wine. Part of the fun I always attempt to stress is in being adventuresome and creative, which in its own right, makes it adventuresome.
Being a short month, February is almost gone and making us think ahead to March (which also means we can start thinking ahead to spring. Here’s some creative thoughts to tie in your wine experience to March before we start thinking truly spring.
1. March Wines is a product of Maura's (Christoffers) and Charley's (Johnson) winemaking passion for making Dry California Riesling and other food friendly, high acid wines. Why not let the month of March be the time to try some. Hurry and buy a bottle or two ….they have a limited assortment and supply and it’s a rose which should set up well as we transition to spring.
Living in Napa Valley sourcing fruit from all over California, finding small niche producers with a unique story. Riesling is Maura’s favorite varietal and can convince even the biggest Cabernet Drinker to agree. Charley is a huge Rose lover, because men can love pink wine too.
Learn a little more from these two special winemakers HERE.
2. Or how about trying Le Marche wines of Italy at another version on the theme. May be a variety that you can sample and compare. As they say:
Le Marche produces a large variety of wines including 13 varieties of wine carrying the D.O.C. (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) label. Many of these wines are little known outside of Italy but visitors to the region have a pleasant surprise when they try the local wine produced by many small aziendas and cantinas.
3. Looking to travel in March and take in some great wines at the same time. If any of these locations appeal to you, consider it and enjoy the “Great Wines of Italy” returning for a four-city tour. All but the first are pretty well guaranteed to have a hint of warmer weather.
This is what makes wine an interest, a challenge, and so much fun. There are many creative ways to learn. This should help expand the thoughts. Have your ideas for April? Let me know what they are. I’d love to share them.