Norwegian Wine Dinner

Springfield dinner     I get plenty of e-mails about wine dinners but this one from Springfield Grille 1226 Perry Highway Mercer, Pa piqued my curiosity.  Take a look at the menu complete with wine pairings for each course.  I was fascinated with the third course of rabbit and I now know to pair it with Shiraz!

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2014 TASTE Philadelphia Festival

wine fireworks     The 2014 TASTE Philadelphia Festival of Food, Wine and Spirits will be held at the Valley Forge Casino Resort King of Prussia, Pa October 15th – 17th, 2014.  This year’s festival will showcase the talents of local and celebrity chefs.  The featured guest Rocco DiSpirito will be joined by chefs Nicholas Elimi and Nicole Gaffeney.  The festival will also include wine, beer & spirit seminars, wine & spirit tastings, bottle signings and much more.  Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.gourmetshows.com/philly or by calling 609-398-4450.  Some of the events are being offered at a reduced price online and group discounts are available by phone. 

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Jimmy Buffett’s Wine List

Wine List at Frank & Lola Love Pensacola Cafe

Wine List at Frank & Lola Love Pensacola Cafe

If you aren’t a Jimmy Buffett fan (A.K.A. Parrothead) you probably don’t know that Jimmy is a wine lover.  During a recent trip to Pensacola, Florida my wife and I had the pleasure to stay at his Margaritaville Hotel on Pensacola Beach. When I say on Pensacola Beach I mean ON Pensacola Beach.  A strong storm came through and the ocean flooded the 1st floor of the parking garage with 4 feet of salt water.  Luckily we had parked on the second floor after returning from a Blue Wahoo game earlier that evening.  You can enlarge the photo to see what wines Jimmy offers and their prices.  The Frank and Lola Café has great fresh fish just ask your server what has just come in off the boats.

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Goulart 2010 “The Marshall” Malbec

 

Goulart "The Marshall" Malbec 2010

Goulart “The Marshall” Malbec 2010

     The 2010 vintage of Goulart’s “The Marshall” Malbec keeps this winery’s tradition of giving us a good Argentine Malbec at an exceptional price alive and well.  This vintage will not disappoint the followers of “The Marshall” because it checks all the boxes that has made this wine a perennial favorite.  If you are looking for a fruit forward wine with cherry and berry flavors this is not the wine for you.  “The Marshall” has fruit but it is dark fruit that is integrated into the body of the wine.  This classic Malbec has mid-range tannins contained in a firm structure that is carried from start to finish.  The aroma is one of spice and there is oak to spare for those who prefer an exotic oak component in their Malbec.  Malbec is a perfect pairing for grilled meat, especially beef, so if you are planning a cook out be sure to grab a couple of bottles of Goulart 2010 “The Marshall” Malbec to enjoy with your meal.  This wine has been rated 88 points by Wine Spectator and 87 points by International Wine Cellar. P.L.C.B. stores  are currently offering this wine as a “Chairman’s Selection” for $13.99 Product code 33356. 

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What I’m Drinking 1686 B.C.

Photo Courtesy: E. H. Cline  G.W.U.

Photo Courtesy: E. H. Cline G.W.U.

I have often asked my friends if they thought the quality of wines produced now have improved with the advent of modern technology or if the wines of centuries ago made by monks and kings were superior.  Since the ancient wines have disappeared long ago we can only speculate on their taste profiles.  With the discovery of a Canaanite palace in Israel we now have a glimpse into the chemical composition of ceremonial wines reserved for the select few within the palace walls.  The findings of a team from George Washington University suggests through careful lab analysis that a sophisticated process was used in the production of the wine that once filled the 40 thirteen gallon ceramic jars found.  Signs of a wine that was blended with honey, mint, cedar, tree resin and cinnamon bark were found in the jars although no liquid remained.  A program of quality control must have been followed because the results remained consistent for all 40 vessels tested.  This discovery sheds new light on the development of winemaking in Canaan, which then spread to Egypt and across the Mediterranean.  This finding also vindicates my opinion that wine should be enjoyed now and not be saved for some special occasion because look at what happened in Canaan.  What a waste of good wine!

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Beausoleil at SummerSounds

 

Beausoleil on stage at SummerSounds in Greensburg, Pa

Beausoleil on stage at SummerSounds in Greensburg, Pa

     The legendary band Beausoleil came to Greensburg, Pennsylvania Friday night bringing with them the true spirit and sound of the Louisiana low country.  Their SummerSounds performance on the Robertshaw Amphitheater in St.Clair Park conjured up the feeling of being out in the parish at a Creole festival somewhere way back in the bayou.  As the band played selections that ranged from Cajun, zydeco, jazz, bluegrass and swamp pop you could almost smell the shrimp and crawdads boiling!  Being north of the Mason-Dixon Line clearly confused fiddler/vocalist Michael Doucet when he said he was glad to be in Ohio, much to the amusement of the crowd.  He also seemed fascinated by the small “graveyard’ as he called it that is located in the park.  Beausoleil delivered a high energy show with their trademark friendly down home style that sent the crowd home with smiles on their faces and a toe tapping spring in their step.  Laizzez le bon temps rouler!!!

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Lavender Festival at C.W.Klay Winery

 

Sharon Klay's "Gator" sits outside the tasting room

Sharon Klay’s “Gator” sits outside the tasting room

     The 3rd Annual Lavender Festival at the C.W.Klay Winery in Farmington, Pa was held on one of the most beautiful days of the year.  Blue skies and warm breezes greeted guests as they arrived to stunning views of the winery and the surrounding Laurel Highlands.  C.W.Klay owner and winemaker Sharon Klay was on hand, as well as her friendly and knowledgable staff, to welcome visitors to the tasting room where they were served plentiful and free samples of the C.W.Klay wines that were available for purchase. The tasting room also has a collection of wine themed merchandise so you can find the perfect gift for the wine lover on your list.  The cool jazz sounds of Harold Betters filled the air on the lawn along with the scent of lavender coming from the vendor tents.  Most of the offerings included lavender in them and ranged from hair care produces, soaps, chocolate, lavender plants and of course C.W.Klay’s very own speciality lavender wine.  The Klay Winery has a list of events that varies from their weekly “Pavilion Music Series” to a Lobster Clambake and Murder Mystery Dinner Theaters that can be found on their website http://www. cwklaywinery.com.  C.W.Klay wines will be at the Westmoreland Arts & Heritage Festival in Twin Lakes Park  Greensburg, Pa from Thursday, July 3rd through Sunday, July 6th, 2014. 

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Exploding Wine Bottle Alert!!!!

Prosecco     The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has issued a safety alert for indigenous selection Prosecco Brut 2013 because of insufficient packaging, A.K.A. weak bottles, that has lead to some bottles spontaneously exploding.  Anyone who purchased this “Chairman Selection” wine should carefully dispose of it and can get a full refund at the P.L.C.B. store without a receipt because the refunds will be conducted on the honor system.  The State bought 19,000 bottles of indigenous selection Prosecco 2013 from an Italian producer and sold just under 2000 bottles starting in June through the “Chairman Selection” discounting program.

 

 

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It’s Wine Time at the Colony

wine time     It’s Wine Time at the Colony wine festival returns to 365 Saxonburg Blvd Saxonburg, Pa on June 21st and September 6th, 2014.  The event has expanded and will feature 13 Pennsylvania wineries spanning three of the states most popular wine-producing regions.  Food purveyors will provide you with a taste of Pennsylvania cuisine using fresh and wholesome ingredients to prepare creations not found on a typical festival menu.  A wide range of artisans will be on hand to display their creative wares.  The tasting admission is $20 gets you wine-tasting and a souvenir wine glass while the non-tasting admission is $10 and is good for admission only.  Check their website for ticket specials.  winetimeatthecolony.com

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Standing Stone Vineyards Releases 2012 Saperavi

 

Photo Courtesy: Standing Stone Winery

Photo Courtesy: Standing Stone Winery

Standing Stone Vineyards “Officially” releases 2012 Saperavi.  Standing Stone becomes the first winery in the U.S. to bottle and release the newly classified Saperavi grape under its newly recognized and rightful name.  In conjunction with the iconic Dr. Konstantin Frank Cellars, Standing Stone Winery filed a petition with the Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau in late December 2013 to have the Saperavi grape recognized as an approved wine grape variety.  The Saperavi grape is a cold weather grape that originated in Georgia, Russia.  Owner and winemaker Marti Macinski has always had a fondness for this grape said “We’ve been growing Saperavi for 20 years and we’ve been using it in blends and bottling it under different names.  But now that Saperavi is again an officially recognized grape, we are thrilled to be able to put it on our label.  And I’ve got to tell you this 2012 vintage is unbelievable.  The vines have really grown to maturity and we have 20 years experience of working with the grape and understanding how to bring out its characteristic in the bottle”.  This grape has grown well in the Finger Lakes “Banana Belt” and is believed to be able to grow anywhere Riesling thrives.  Saperavi grapes produce a deep red wine with good structure and texture that is rich but not overly tannic.  This could be the grape that elevates the reds of the Finger Lakes to a level that would provide a nice complement to the world-class whites of this region.  

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