Thursday, May 30, 2019

Wine Review: James Charles Riesling 2017

May is Riesling Month on TheWineStalker.net!


Bogati Family Winery is back on the blog, baby! When Riesling Month came together I had to get in contact with my favorite  guys in Virginia to get their James Charles Riesling involved! So here it is, and it's closing out an entire month of Riesling rated reviews!

Bogati Family Winery has four labels: Bogati Bodega, Veramar Vineyards, James Charles, and the winery exclusive Justin Bogaty Winemaker Selection. To read the other reviews I've written on all three of their labels, check out their very own Bogati label for the blog (yes, I've reviewed that many of their wines for them to have their own label).

This is a dry style Riesling from Virginia inspired by German Trocken. It was fermented and aged in stainless steel with an 11.2% ABV and 0.28% residual sugar. I really don't know anything else about this wine so I'm just gonna go ahead and drink the shit out of it. Sound good? Let's go!

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Saké Quickie: Gekkeikan Nigori


Another Gekkeikan Saké from California! Filtered through a broader mesh than normal and with zero carbon filtering, the Nigori  style of Saké is cloudy from rice particles that remain with the Saké instead of being completely filtered out. This one is full bodied and chalky and it's got a simple profile of melons and bananas. The acidity is kinda out of balance and it's not as good as the other Sakés that I've had these last few months, but overall it's okay and I'm not complaining. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Wine Quickie: Inurrieta Cuatrocientos Crianza 2016


This Crianza from Navarra, Spain, is 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 6% Syrah, and 5% Graciano. It was aged for 14 months in French Allier and American oak barrels. And at first  it was just flat and didn't show much character at all. But then I let it sit for a bit and it started to come out. There’s dark fruits, mocha, black pepper, dried herbs, and lots of graphite. I'm still a little iffy on the midpalate but the nose is fantastic. The tannins are big and astringent once they realize they need to wake up, and there’s a piney / sappy flavor along with them on the finish. Simply put: this makes for a good a steak and potatoes wine. By itself? Meh.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Wine Review: Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett 2016

May is Riesling Month on TheWineStalker.net!


Dr. Peter Pauly is the grandchild of Zacharias Bergweiler, historically one of the most esteemed Moselle winemakers. Already during his early studies at Geisenheim, the only German institution to award higher academic degrees in winemaking, Dr. Peter Pauly worked on the family wine estate before completely taking over the winery in the year 1959. In the year 2006, Dr. Peter Pauly transferred the operation of the wine estate to his son, Stefan Pauly. Stefan now not only carries forward the work of his father, but he also has achieved significant new success on the international wine market.

This is the second of two wines by Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler that I'm reviewing for Riesling Month., and it's the last from Germany. From their website: "Wehlener Sonnenuhr" (Sundial of Wehlen) is a vineyard located in the heart of the Middle Moselle wine region, directly opposite the well-known wine village of Wehlen. The small south-southwest-facing terraces reach up to 250 meters above sea level. Bluish-grey, primarily stony slate from the Devonian Period forms an especially good reservoir for heat, storing the heat during the day and releasing it to the vines during cool nights. Deposits of loess and quartzite bring additional mineral components to the wine.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Wine Quickie: Castillo Monjardin La Cantera Garnacha 2018


This is 100% Garnacha from seventy-year-old vines on Castillo Monjardin's estate La Cantera vineyard in Navarra, Spain. The wine is fermented in stainless steel and then spends one year in French barriques. The color of the wine is a vibrant garnet and the nose is explosively expressive with black cherries, strawberry jam, violets, chocolate, and toasty oak. It just smells so good! It's light to medium bodied with a silky smooth mouthfeel, tart acidity, and soft dusty tannin. There's flavors of raspberries, strawberries, cherry cola, and Smarties candies. It's a solid Garnacha for the $12 it'll cost you and it would serve you well as an affordable light and fruity summer red.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Wine Quickie: Rodney Strong Rosé of Pinot Noir 2018


I was fortunate enough to be invited to this month's #PinkSociety chat that featured this wine. And although it was full of cool people and conversations, I was not all that much of a fan of the wine itself (which surprises me because I really do like Rodney Strong). Everybody else seemed to like it, so don't take my word for it. There's aromas and flavors of watermelon, white peach, and white pepper. Overall it didn't do much for me, but what I DID like was the white pepper on the midpalate and little bit of astringency on the citrusy finish.

FOLLOW UP: I have since learned of several reports of bottle shock for this wine through a distribution rep, and one of the bottles was his own. He opened up another bottle and it was tasting great. I will be revisiting this one soon.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Wine Review: Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler Noble House Riesling QBA 2017

May is Riesling Month on TheWineStalker.net!


Dr. Peter Pauly is the grandchild of Zacharias Bergweiler, historically one of the most esteemed Moselle winemakers. Already during his early studies at Geisenheim, the only German institution to award higher academic degrees in winemaking, Dr. Peter Pauly worked on the family wine estate before completely taking over the winery in the year 1959. In the year 2006, Dr. Peter Pauly transferred the operation of the wine estate to his son, Stefan Pauly. Stefan now not only carries forward the work of his father, but he also has achieved significant new success on the international wine market.

This is the first of two wines by Dr. Pauly Bergweiler that I'm reviewing for Riesling Month., and it's from their "Noble House" label. Here's their little blurb on the label: Noble House was named in honor of the Prince Elect of Trier, the oldest city in Germany. He built this distinguished Noble House in 1743, where his grapes were pressed and his wines were made. Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler bought the house more than 100 years ago.

The day that I'm writing this (May 16th; my rated reviews are usually done a week prior to publication) is marking a beautiful moment of the year, because finally it appears that I can start taking pictures of the bottles outside again. The sun is out and it's actually warm! See that wood? It's wet, like everything else around here. Cape Cod has been nothing but dark gloomy overcast and rain for the first half of 2019, but there is a ray of hope that we'll finally get out of it for a little snippet of spring and maybe let summer in for a minute.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Saké Quickie: Gekkeikan Black & Gold


Saké is pretty limited here on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and most of what you'll find is by California's Gekkeikan rather than Japanese Saké. Because I'm just starting out in my Saké journey I'm fine with this because it seems to me like Gekkeikan produces some good stuff when you take price into consideration. And, really, Saké overall is a category where you get a hell of a bang for your buck. Gekkeikan's Black & Gold is a blend of two different Sakés, and man is it smooooth on the midpalate. Barry Manilow smooth. There's melon and kiwi and lime peel and almonds, but the finish is really where it's at because it sees a real uplift in spirit and character, as well as a warming ethanol burn to contradict that smooth midpalate. $13 for a 750ml bottle? Any day, son. This is a wise choice for your home's house Saké.

If you would like me to taste your saké in a full review or a quickie, email me at joeycasco80@gmail.com.

Video Unboxing: Forbidden Geek DC Comics Mystery Box #1



Check out Forbidden Geek at ForbiddenGeek.com

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Wine Quickie: Ochoa Calendas Tinto 2017


You know how much of a nerd I am and that anything space related gets me excited, especially when it's on a wine bottle, so I gave a little cheer when this showed up on my doorstep. I love that label. The Roman New Year was Calendas of March, which is also when the vines in Ochoa's vineyards come back to life. Their motto is "the moon is always there, even if we can't see it."

Ochoa Calendas Tinto is 70% Tempranillo and 30% Garnacha from Navarra, Spain. Even though this is light bodied it has some good structure with tightly grained tannins that are there but not too big, and it has a slightly tart acidity that brightens up the fruit. Strawberries and raisins run the roost in profile with black table pepper and tobacco. For $12 it'll do you just fine, but I suggest giving it a slight chill to really bring out its full potential.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

All Hail Riesling, The Ruler of the Rhine and Our Hearts!

May is Riesling Month on TheWineStalker.net!


German wine is a wonder and dangerously close to not being possible. The position it holds on the planet and its altitude makes it cold for most of the year, so the plant growing season is longer and more drawn out than most wine varieties can handle, and they won't ripen in time before winter. But thanks to the long days, the vines see plenty of sun. The best wine growing regions in the country have slate soil and steep slopes along the Rhine River and its tributaries like Ahr, Nahe, and especially Mosel. The slate soil absorbs both direct sunlight and the reflected sunlight off of the rivers to warm the grapes above, and those rivers also help to moderate temperatures. But even still, it takes some special grapes and vines to handle the German climate.

So the entire world is lucky that Germany spawned one of the noblest of grapes: Riesling. Physically the vines's tough wood can handle the climate like a champion, and its fruit has the right amount of sugar and acidity to make world class wine in it as well. This is the varietal that makes me smile more than any other. Let's take a bow for Riesling, the ruler of the Rhine and our hearts!

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Wine Quickie: Matchbook Petit Verdot 2016


Matchbook Wine Company is one of the best winery friends of the blog and they're located in Dunnigan Hills, California. The 2016 vintage is the very first of their Petit Verdot varietal and it consists of 88% Petit Verdot, 11% Malbec, and 1% Teroldego. Each variety spent 13 months in oak barrels separately, and then after being blended it spent another 13 months in oak barrels. There's definitely a lot of wood all over this wine, and also violets, prunes, raisins, blackberries, and mocha. It's medium bodied with a bit of a tart acidity, but the ethanol is hot, the tannins are tight, and the finish is bitter, so it's still young and I'd recommend that it be decanted if you want to drink it now. Overall it's a really good wine and I highly enjoyed it, but honestly it's worth spending the $3 more to get their Arsonist Red Blend, which is Petit Verdot based, because that takes things to another level.

Matchbook Wine Company

Friday, May 17, 2019

Saké Quickie: Hakutsuru Superior Junmai Ginjo


I've decided that my next challenge in education is saké, and not only does education include study but also consumption. My favorite part of this saké is the mouthfeel because it's well rounded out and silky and smooth with a touch of oil. It has springtime flowers and melon with a touch of lime peel on the nose and palate, and it's just a laid back and enjoyable saké overall for the price. I paid $10 for a 300 ml bottle and I felt it was totally worth it.

If you would like me to taste your saké in a full review or a quickie, email me at joeycasco80@gmail.com.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Wine Review: Heinz Eifel Kabinett Riesling 2017

May is Riesling Month on TheWineStalker.net!

Heinz Eifel Kabinett Riesling 2017

In 1979 Heinz Eifel founded Römerhof (Roman Yard) in Trittenheim in the heart of the Mosel Valley. When his daughter, Anne Eifel-Spohr, received her oenology degree from Geisenheim University in 2000, Eifel set out to collaborate with her on top-quality wines that reflected tradition while simultaneously respecting the inspiration of the young winemaker. The family was so pleased with the quality and individual character of these wines, they decided to put their own name on the bottle, thus creating Heinz Eifel wines.

This is 100% Riesling of the Kabinett quality designation from Mosel, Germany. That's all I can really tell you about it except that the ABV is 8.5%, and that there's a typo on the back label that spells grapes as grspes, so let's just go right ahead and drink some Riesling!

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Little Guy Wine Shop Looking to Help Little Guy Winemakers

MARK PRIOR
BURBANK, CA – May 15, 2019, the California Wine Exchange launched on Kickstarter yesterday (May 14th) an effort to buck distribution standards and offer wines from mostly craft and boutique winemakers from within the Golden State.

Mark Prior, founder of the California Wine Exchange [CWE], believes that too many great California wines go undiscovered...and he's looking to change that. “We guarantee that 80% of our inventory will be from family-run vineyards and mom & pop wineries.” says Prior.

Kickstarter approved the project (not every project gets approved) for his wine shop & tasting room because CWE seeks to offer something fashionable for wine drinkers. California alone has over 5,000 winemakers within the state (www.ttb.gov/foia/frl.shtml), but the average consumer will typically see the same wine labels over and over again. This is due to the simple fact that many Golden State winemakers do not produce wine in enough volume to qualify for a distribution deal with a wholesaler.

“It's not like it used to be though,” says Prior. “Now we have hybrid-distributors like LibDib and Merchant 23 which connect retailers like myself with smaller wine producers. On top of that, regional shipping has improved and become more cost effective enabling us to buy directly from the vineyard.”

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Wine Bloggers Off-Topic #1: What is the perfect movie?

Goodfellas

Every month I'll be asking a group of wine bloggers and social media influencers an off-topic question that they can answer in as short or as long of a format as they want. We write so much about one topic that it's nice to write about something else once in awhile, like other opinions or passions, and I really like learning more about others in our community beyond that one topic.

So here we go! This is the very first post in the series, and the question is "what is the perfect movie?" Entries are listed in the order that they were submitted. If you'd like to participate in future installments, email me at joeycasco80@gmail.com!

Monday, May 13, 2019

Wine Quickie: Tamarack Cellars Cabernet Franc 2016

Tamarack Cellars Cabernet Franc 2016

Oooooh yeeeeeaaah! I love Cabernet Franc and I love Washington State and I love this wine! It's medium bodied with excellent structure, moderate tannin, a  rich and silky mouthfeel, and a hot and peppery finish. There's notes of plums, blackberries, green peppers, and sweet tobacco. All together this is some outfreakingstanding New Word Cab Franc!

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Wine Review: Heinz Eifel Shine Dry Riesling 2017

May is Riesling Month on TheWineStalker.net!

Heinz Eifel Shine Dry Riesling 2017

In 1979 Heinz Eifel founded Römerhof (Roman Yard) in Trittenheim in the heart of the Mosel Valley. When his daughter, Anne Eifel-Spohr, received her oenology degree from Geisenheim University in 2000, Eifel set out to collaborate with her on top-quality wines that reflected tradition while simultaneously respecting the inspiration of the young winemaker. The family was so pleased with the quality and individual character of these wines, they decided to put their own name on the bottle, thus creating Heinz Eifel wines.

Shine is the first of two wines by Heinz Eifel that I'm reviewing for Riesling Month. It's 100% Riesling from Pfalz, Germany, and it's of the Kabinett classification. The 12% ABV means that this is going to be a drier one, so don't skip out if you're against sweetness.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Wine Quickie: Tinto Rey Rosé 2018

Tinto Rey Rosé 2018

Tinto Rey is a label line by Matchbook Wine Company, who is one of the best winery friends of the blog. The winery and vineyards are located in Dunnigan Hills, California, and the Tinto Rey line's purpose is to produce Spanish style and Spanish varietal wines there. So I'm surprised that this is labeled as a Rosé instead of a Rosado, but not surprised when thinking about it from a marketing perspective.

This is 54% Tempranillo, 30% Tannat, and 16% Verdejo (a white varietal). Like the 2017 vintage, the 2018 Rosé is Crayola peach in color. And everything else is pretty similar to the previous vintage, as well. It has a bit of an oiliness to the mouthfeel of its fuller body with restrained acidity and a slight touch of astringency. There's loud floral notes on the nose, with overall characteristics of watermelon, cantaloupe, lime, and concrete. A solid rosé for the price for people who like their rosé fuller bodied.

Matchbook Wine Company

Friday, May 10, 2019

Loire Valley Wines: Food & Wine Pairings for Fresh, Fruity and Friendly Moments

Loire Valley is probably my favorite wine region on the planet, and this is a great infographic on pairing Loire wines with food. If the text is difficult to read then just click on the image! Follow @LoireValleyWine #LoireLovers or visit Loire Valley Wines website for more information.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Wine Review: Dr. H. Thanisch Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Kabinett 2018

May is Riesling Month on TheWineStalker.net!

Dr. H. Thanisch Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Kabinett 2018

The wine-growing tradition of the Dr. Hugo Thanisch family can be traced back more than 350 years. In 1636, the name was mentioned for the first time in the registers of Bernkastel-Kues. The quality of the family's wines soon extended their excellent reputation far beyond the Mosel valley. At the end of the 18th century, the Thanisch's acquired the Berncasteler Doctor vineyard, a very steep site with deep devon slate structure, situated behind and overlooking the rooftops of the quaint old town of Bernkastel. The Doctor name originates in a legend about Prince Boemond II of Trier who fell sick and then was cured by a wine from this vineyard. Medicinal powers of fine wines are today being re-discovered! Without a doubt, the Doctor Vineyard is the most valuable and most famous German site.

The Bernkasteler Badstube Kabinett is the second of two wines by Thanisch that I'm reviewing for Riesling Month. It's 100% Riesling and the Bernkasteler hillside slopes down to the Mosel river on black and blue slate, which absorbs heat from the sunlight and reflections of sunlight from the river and warms the grapes. The final ABV of 9% means that technically this is on the sweeter side, but I bet you the acidity will balance that right out so it's not a sugar bomb.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Wine Quickie: Mossback Russian River Chardonnay 2017


Mossback is the Sonoma label line by Matchbook Wine Company, who is one of the best winery friends of the blog. The line was created when they decided that they needed to make a good Pinot Noir, but that's rather difficult in Dunnigan Hills. So their winemaker used his connections in Sonoma to get his hands on some fruit, and Mossback was created! This Russian River Chard is from the  Aquarius Vineyard and it does contain a splash of the Matchbook Old Head Chardonnay from Dunnigan Hills. There's aromas of pineapple, pears and big fluffy flowers. Then there's flavors of yellow pear, apricot, honeydew melon, and butterscotch. It's got a medium body, impressive roundness, and is wonderfully balanced for a $17 bottle.

The new Matchbook Wine Company sign

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Cooking with wine while keeping it simple and inexpensive

Julia Child and wine

Working in the retail sector of the wine industry, I know that when a customer says “I need a wine for cooking” what they’re really saying is “I want the cheap stuff". But here’s the thing: you can get quality wine for cheap that will result in a better dish. Seriously, you really can, but you just need to know where to look.

And, like Julia Child always said, “never cook with something you wouldn’t drink”. Why’d she say that? Well, what are you gonna do with the rest of the bottle? Drink it while you're cooking like Julia did or drink it with your meal, of course!

So I’m going to give you the recommendations that I give to my customers looking for wine to cook with, and I’m going to keep it quick and simple.

Santa Rita 120 Sauvignon BlancWHITE WINE

Unless a recipe specifically states otherwise, Sauvignon Blanc generally is the best white wine to cook with because of its acidity and citrus flavors, although I would stay away from New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs because those can get really pungent and overpowering. Sauvignon Blanc is especially excellent with seafood and mussels, but also the best choice for any recipe that you need generic “white wine” for.

My go-to Sauvignon Blanc for cooking is Santa Rita 120 Sauvignon Blanc from Chile. You’ll find it for around $6 to $7 and sometimes on 2-for deals. It’s perfect for cooking in price and attributes, and a joy to drink. The entire 120 line of varietals is outstanding and affordable, but that Sauv Blanc and their Merlot take it to another level.

I would only cook with a Chardonnay unless I have no other wine on hand or unless the recipe calls for it, but I definitely wouldn’t use heavily oaked Chardonnay with dishes that include garlic. That oak and garlic mix is going to make the dish taste burnt, and that’s the last thing you want.

Experimenting with different wines for your favorite dishes can be useful and have surprising results. I cook haddock in a pan on the grill with crumbled Ritz crackers soaked in Sherry for breading on top, and I’ve found the best wine to cook it in the pan with is a Riesling. Since my wife likes Barefoot Riesling, we regularly have it in the house. The sweetness that it adds plays very well with the characteristics of the Sherry breading.

Excelsior SyrahRED WINE

Things get more complicated when it comes to reds so I’m going to list my top suggestion for the most common dishes that people ask about.

My wife makes killer beef stew and pot roast, and when she’s planning on making one of them I pick up a bottle of Excelsior Syrah. This South African Syrah will only cost you $7 and it has good body, structure, fruit, and a pepperiness that really contributes to the dish. Also, it’s a great deal in quality for the price if you’re just going to drink it and not cook with it.

Tomato sauce! You can't make tomato sauce without wine, right? My grandmother on my father’s side was from Avellino, northeast of Naples, so I had a lot of Naples red sauce growing up. That’s when the meat is cooked in the sauce whole. Whole pork chops, sausage, veal, and sometimes chicken. The chicken, when used, would break apart and become part of the sauce. You’d eat the pasta with sauce as a different serving separately or as a side, like steak and potatoes, instead of having the meat cut up and mixed in together with the pasta.

Villa Pozzi Nero d’AvolaBecause my grandfather’s family, her husband, was from Sicily, I pay homage to both of them by making her sauce as close to hers as I can but I pour Sicilian wine in there. Villa Pozzi Nero d’Avola is perfect for adding to and drinking with red sauce. It’ll cost you $7 to $9 and it’s a great deal for quality in the glass.

We need to talk about beef bourguignon (beef burgundy) for a second. This is a stew made famous by Julia Child, and it normally calls for Burgundy wine. Most people will use Gallo Hearty Burgundy or Carlo Rossi Burgundy, but that's not real Burgundy. Those are just American blends of a bunch of stuff, while real red Burgundy is Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France. And Julia was a French chef! So I would go with a Pinot Noir, and for those looking to not spend a lot of money I go right back to the same brand I suggested for white wine with the Santa Rita 120 Pinot Noir out of Chile. $6 to $7 and sometimes on 2-for deals. You can't beat it.

SHERRY & MARSALA

Florio Fine Dry MarsalaThis is important so read this carefully and please retain: Put down the cooking Sherry. Put down the cooking Marsala. If you knew how much sodium are in those things you would be completely disgusted. You will do yourself a huuuuge favor by dropping a few bucks more for better quality Sherry and Marsala, and you absolutely will notice the difference in the dish.

And don't forget: these wines keep for a long time so you can put them away until the next time you make the dish.

My top suggestion for cooking with Sherry is Savory & James Amontillado. Amontillado has a more powerful flavor than Fino and contains more alcohol, and I’ve found it’s better to cook with than Fino. Savory & James will run you about $13 for a .750 bottle. For Marsala I would go with either Florio Fine Dry Marsala because it’s easily accessible in the smaller .375 format for $9 or Colombo Dry Marsala in a .750 for about $10. All three of these are affordable and worlds better than Taylor or Fairbanks “cooking” wines.

I hope this helps you guys out the next time you need a wine to cook with! Remember: just because you’re putting it in food doesn’t mean you should dump swill in there, but that also doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot. 

- Joey Casco CSW/CSS
  TheWineStalker.net

Monday, May 6, 2019

Wine Quickie: Chateau Batailley Pauillac Grand Cru Classé 2014


Oh my goooooodneeeeesss! Poured some wine at an event one night and ended up coming home with half a bottle of this gorgeous $90 Bordeaux. It's medium bodied with excellent structure, tight and dusty tannin, and uplifting acidity. It's super spicy with pepper and clove and exotic spices, earthy with wet wood and black tea, and the fruit of currant and stewed plum and strawberries, and just a little touch of spearmint. Nommy nommy, I have been spoiled!

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Wine Review: Dr. H. Thanisch Feinherb Riesling 2017

May is Riesling Month on TheWineStalker.net!


The wine-growing tradition of the Dr. Hugo Thanisch family can be traced back more than 350 years. In 1636, the name was mentioned for the first time in the registers of Bernkastel-Kues. The quality of the family's wines soon extended their excellent reputation far beyond the Mosel valley. At the end of the 18th century, the Thanisch's acquired the Berncasteler Doctor vineyard, a very steep site with deep devon slate structure, situated behind and overlooking the rooftops of the quaint old town of Bernkastel. The Doctor name originates in a legend about Prince Boemond II of Trier who fell sick and then was cured by a wine from this vineyard. Medicinal powers of fine wines are today being re-discovered! Without a doubt, the Doctor Vineyard is the most valuable and most famous German site.

So the Feinherb Riesling is the first of two wines by Thanisch that I'm reviewing for Riesling Month. This is 100% Riesling of the Qualitätswein quality level but harvested at the Kabinett level ripeness, and grown on steep hillsides with black and blue slate soil in Mosel. It's a dry-style Riesling and has an ABV of 11%.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Wine Quickie: Mossback Chalk Hill Cabernet Sauvignon 2016


Mossback is the Sonoma label line by Matchbook Wine Company, who is one of the best winery friends of the blog. The line was created when they decided that they needed to make a good Pinot Noir, but that's rather difficult in Dunnigan Hills. So their winemaker used his connections in Sonoma to get his hands on some fruit, and Mossback was created!

The 2016 Chalk Hill Cabernet Sauvignon is medium bodied with a lush mouthfeel, soft grainy tannin, and a finish that bursts with dark fruit. There's black cherries, blackberries, leather, cedar, and spice. This is a nice example of a cool climate Cabernet at the right price of $25!

The new Matchbook Wine Company sign

Friday, May 3, 2019

How To Store Wine Correctly At Home


Knowing how to store wine correctly isn’t only for fine wine enthusiasts—it’s good knowledge to have in general. If you buy a bottle of wine, or have been gifted a good vintage, you need to know how to store it so it doesn’t lose its flavor.

If you want to get into wine collecting, quite simply, you need to buy the right kinds of wine. Fine wines are those rare finds that can increase in value over time, but the final worth is very much dependent on how well it has been looked after. To develop the wine’s flavor and increase its value, you need to treat your bottles with care and store them correctly which, as we’re about to explain, is easier than you may think.

It’s important to note, however, that these tips are purely for the casual wine collectors. If you’re looking to invest in wines as a profession, you should probably look at installing professional-grade storage.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Sign up for "Wine Bloggers Off-Topic"!

Hello, wine bloggers and social media influencers!

We all do a lot of cool stuff related to wine, but sometimes it's nice to write about something different for a change. And it's always nice to learn more about the people in our online wine community beyond their love of wine.

So I'm looking to start a monthly series on the blog called "Wine Bloggers Off-Topic" where I'll ask one question a month such as "What is the greatest album ever made?" and "Who is your favorite Superhero?" and "What is your favorite building on the planet?"

Answers can be as long or as short as you want, and it kicks off on May 14th with the question "What is the perfect movie?" so if you want to participate and plug your blog and/or social media accounts, send me an email at joeycasco80@gmail.com right now!

Wine Quickie: Ferzo Terre di Chieti Pecorino 2017


The grape here is Pecorino and the region is Terre di Chieti in Abruzzi, Italy. It's a full bodied and lush fruit gusher with bright acidity and a lively personality. There's stone fruit, pineapple, white flowers, and lime zest. If you're looking for a white wine with big personality and some good weight to it then this Pecorino is for you. I think it's just awesome.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

May Wine Pick: Washington Hills Late Harvest Riesling 2017


The entire month of May will be Riesling Month on TheWineStalker.net, so all of the full reviews will be Rieslings! I've got six Rieslings from Germany, one from Virginia, and this one from Washington State. But Riesling isn't all that's going on this month! Also penciled in are four wine quickies from my good friends at Matchbook, three wine quickies from Navarra (Spain), maybe canned cocktail reviews, and hopefully Part 2 of my Sake series, Just Brew It. And of course, things will be added as the month goes on.

But what I'm really excited about is the premier post of a monthly series called Wine Bloggers Off-Topic, where every month I'll ask wine bloggers and other people in the social media wine community a question that has nothing to do with wine. We write so much about this one topic that it's a nice escape to write about other passions and opinions once in awhile, and their answer can be as long or short as they want it. The first question is "What is the perfect movie?" and will be published on the 14th. If you'd like to participate in this series, just let me know! I've already got some great people signed up!

My wine pick of the month is the 2017 vintage of one of my favorite Rieslings in the $11 price range (a hot spot for the average consumer); Washington Hills Late Harvest Riesling. It's 100% Riesling sourced from the Pleasant and Cowan vineyards in Washington, and the fruit was late harvested to increase sugar levels for sweetness. It has an ABV of 10.5%.

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