Saperavi World Prize 2017 Results

Photo Courtesy: Hvino News

The results are in from the inaugural Saperavi World Prize 2017 wine competition in Tibilis, Georgia. There were entries from seven countries and several continents with the most samples being submitted by Australian wineries. The three Grand Prize winners were awarded either a gold, silver or bronze miniature “azarpeshas“, the ancient Georgian drinking cup. Congratulations to the winners and all the participants of the 2017 SapPrize.

     Tastings were held on December 15th in Tibilisi, Georgia at the headquarters of the International Chamber of Commerce. The competition is open to producers outside of Georgia who make wine from the Saperavi grape. Entry is free and judging is conducted by an international jury of wine experts. This event was not conceived to be solely a wine contest but to become a forum for wine makers to interact and forge new relationships where they could share information and experiences to advance the understanding and quality of Saperavi wine worldwide.

 

SapPrize Grand Prize winners received miniature “azarpeshas”

It is always challenging to plan an award ceremony of this significance. The SapPrize award presentation had to be rescheduled when the American Ambassador couldn’t attend because of the “Shutdown” of the U.S. government due to the budget bill failing to be approved.

     Grand Prize Gold: Cirami Estate 2015 Saperavi from Australia. “The Gold Azarphesha” was presented to David Kereselidze, Director of Department of Asia, Africa, Australia and Pacific Rim of Georgian Embassy in Australia, he will present it to the winner in Canberra. Cirami Estate isn’t a winery but a non-profit organization called “Riverland Vine Improvement Committee”.

     Grand Prize Silver: McGregor Vineyard Black Russian Red 2010 Saperavi from the U.S.A. “The Silver Azarpesha” was presented to Elizabeth Rood, Charge d’ Affaire at U.S. Embassy. The Embassy will deliver the award to winner John McGregor in the U.S.A. John McGregor commented ” We are so honored to receive such recognition. We planted these grapes in 1980 and were the first commercial producer in the United States. It is wonderful to see confirmation of my father’s belief that Saperavi could grow in New York and make world-class wine”. John also won Silver for his 2011 Black Russian Red and 

John McGregor holds two bottles of his award winning Black Russian Red Saperavi

Bronze for his Black Russian Red 2013 Barrel Reserve.

Grand Prize Bronze: Lagyl Arba Saperavi 2013 from Kazakhistan. “The Bronze Azarpesha” was presented to Gulmira Sultanali, Charge d’ Affaires of Kazah Embassy.

Congratulations to Jim and Kathy Baker owners/wine makers at Chateau Niagara in Newfane, New York for being awarded Bronze for their Chateau Niagara Kagor 2016 made with Saperavi  from their vineyard.                   

I would like to say “Thank You’ to Inge Olsson of Hvino News for including me in the SapPrize and I enjoyed working with you on this project.  For more information on the Saperavi World Prize and a list of all the participating wineries go to  sapprize.hvino.com           

 

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Food & Wine Festival Venice, Italy

     The inaugural Venice Food & Wine Festival will be held May 3-6, 2018 at the J.W. Marriott Venice Resort & Spa in Venice, Italy.  Exquisite grounds and private-island (Isola delle Rose) ambience provide the perfect backdrop for

Main Entrance J.W. Marriott Photo Courtesy: J.W. Marriott Venice Resort & Spa

guests to indulge their epicurean curiosities with cooking demos, tastings and culinary-themed events while interacting with celebrity chefs. Notable names from the world of food, wine and spirits will guide attendees on unforgettable adventures. Among the internationally-renowned collection of chefs scheduled to appear are: Giancarlo Perbellini, Melissa Kelly, Scott Conant, Jonathan Waxman, Anthony Giglio and T.P. Fetherston, to name a few. 

Photo Courtesy J.W. Marriott Venice Resort & Spa

Tickets and accommodation packages are available at jwvenicefoodandwine.com now thru February 9, 2018 via an exclusive pre-sale to American Express card members before going on open sale.

If you are contemplating a visit to Venice this would be a unique opportunity to experience the luxurious J.W. Marriott Venice Resort and Spa with its Michelin-starred Dopolavoro restaurant, Sapori Cooking Academy and yes, resort-grown olive oil. Access to the heart of Venetian culture with all of its Old World treasures and local Vento traditions is only a short boat ride away. 

Photo Courtesy J.W. Marriott Venice Resort & Spa

 #jwveniceFW    #jwtreatment

 

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Shocking

     You may have heard the term “Bottle Shock” and didn’t know what it is or what causes it. Bottle shock refers to a condition when wine exhibits symptoms from getting too much air mixed into it in a very short time.  When this happens the wine will lack character in all respects.

This condition normally affects wine during the bottling process. Bottling is the most common cause of bottle shock because wine can easily absorb more oxygen than normal while being moved to a bottle and become saturated. Rough handling of bottled wine can also result in bottle shock because shaking the bottle can also mix air into the wine.

The good news is that bottle shock is temporary. After a few weeks of rest the ill effects will subside leaving the wine to not only recover but develop into a more complete

Barrel Room: Savage Wines Cape Town, South Africa

 wine than it was before the extra oxygen was introduced. The reason for this fortuitous transformation is that wine needs oxygen to age but it needs it added very slowly. Natural corks are perfectly suited to do this because air can penetrate them in such minuscule amounts that the oxygen can be gradually absorbed by the wine and not be overwhelmed by it causing the aging process to get out of balance.

     If you are patient with a bottle you think is suffering from bottle shock you will be rewarded for your patience with a wine that is better than it was before it got “SHOCKED”   

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Merry Christmas

 

 

 

Ice Rink & Christmas Tree PPG Place

Wishing everyone a “Very Merry Christmas” and may Peace and Joy fill your heart and home this Holiday Season.

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A Lighter Shade of Pale

     I have noticed that the latest trend is to go directly from Halloween into Christmas and by doing so minimizing Thanksgiving as a holiday. I find this trend to be particularly disturbing because I like Thanksgiving and the traditional family gatherings that revolve around it. We had the pleasure of celebrating our Thanksgiving with my wife’s family, several of which we haven’t seen lately. Our god-daughter Liz was among the family members we got to spend time with on that day. Liz had recently taken a job closer to home after working for a major wine importer and distributor. Luckily for us she had maintained her contacts in the industry and brought some outstanding bottles with her.

The bottle that caught my eye and my curiosity was a Cuvée Rosé Grand Cru Champagne from R.H. Coutier, a producer from Ambonnay. This French sparkler is a delicate Rosé made from 55% Chardonnay and 45% Pinot Noir which explains its enchanting salmon pink color. It’s a well-balanced Champagne that opens with cream notes on the nose leading to red berries, prominently strawberries with an ever so slight hint of mint on the finish. R.H.Coutier received a 90 point rating from Wine Spectator and 92 points from Wine Advocate for this offering making it a great value ($45-$50) for a French Champagne of this quality. 

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Wine Review: Boundary Breaks Riesling (FLX)

     Boundary Breaks Vineyard Medium Dry 2016 Ovid Line North Riesling is a wine that has slightly sweet start and a smooth finish. It is a balanced wine with enough acidity to keep it from being too sweet. With a 12% A.B.V. and a 2.0 R.S.(residual sugar) the tropical and stone fruit flavors are restrained but noticeable. That bit of sweetness not only makes this Riesling a good choice for sipping but also the perfect match for spicy food especially Asian cuisine.  http://boundarybreaks.com

 

Boundary Breaks sits near the eastern shore of Seneca Lake on Porter Covert Rd in Lodi, N.Y. I have learned if the address includes the word “Covert” it means you can expect to experience the FLX like a local because you will often be driving on narrow gravel roads flanked by breathtaking vineyards and scenic views. It is well worth the time and effort to do the research required to find theses hidden gems located just off the main road because the rewards are always memorable. Boundary Breaks Vineyard is one of those wineries.

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Book Review: Dr. Konstantin Frank

     My wife and I had the good fortune to meet Fred Frank during a recent visit to Dr. Frank’s Vinifera Wine Cellar. Fred could not have been a more warm and welcoming host as we talked and sampled his excellent wines. As we were enjoying our visit he surprised us with a gift. The gift was a copy of the Tom Russ book “Finger Lakes Wine and the Legacy of Dr. Konstantin Frank” that he thoughtfully signed with a message for us. I had some idea of the history surrounding Dr. Frank and the groundbreaking changes he brought to the wine industry in the Eastern United States but I was astonished to learn how world events conspired to bring this amazing man to New York and start him on a lifelong quest to bring vinifera grapes to the vineyards along the East Coast. Author Tom Russ takes his readers on the journey of Dr. Konstantin Frank from his birth on July 4th, 1899 in the Ukraine to his passing in Elmira, New York on September 6th, 1985 chronicling all the twists and turns that defined his life.

     Russ captures Dr. Frank’s vision that Vitis vinifera wine grapes could be successfully grown in the Eastern U.S. because “He felt Americans deserved only the best wines”- Frederick Frank. This book documents the life and legacy of Dr. Konstantin Frank that continues to evolve today in wineries and vineyards east of the Mississippi River and in Southeastern Canada. Tom Russ conveys the all consuming and sometimes misdirected obsession that Dr. Frank had for the promotion of vinifera wine grapes as seen through the eyes of family, friends, cooperators and adversaries to weave a compelling story of a complex man who changed the wine industry to the benefit of everyone that loves good wine. This book is available in print or e-book from http://amazon.com , http://arcadiapublishing.com/Products/9781626197343 and at the Dr. Frank tasting room Hammondsport, New York.

 

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Happy Thanksgiving

May you enjoy a warm holiday with your friends and family.

Happy Thanksgiving

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Coastal Confessions

Quinta de Santiago Alvarinho 2016

     The Portuguese white wine grape Alvarinho is the same grape as Spanish Albarino but the terrior of Portugal’s Minho Region makes a profound difference in the wine that it producers.

     Silver Coast Imports offers the 100% Alvarinho Quinta de Santiago 2016 in Pennsylvania by S.L.O. for $17.99 from the P.L.C.B. store or online at http://www.finewineandgoodspirits.com This Alvarinho varietal displays bright acidity and crisp mineralality with a taste profile of tropical fruit, like pineapple and lychee. It is stainless steel aged on its lees and is stirred to create complexity, aroma. enhanced flavor compounds, palate weight and texture. Portuguese cuisine is closely tied to the sea and this wine is a perfect match for any seafood.

 

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Silver Coast Imports

    When our good friends Alex and Emma Canoni returned from their recent trip to Portugal they brought back memories of a beautiful country of unforgettable scenic vistas and rustic villages filled with friendly locals. They also brought back the story of a man named Cristian Bento.

     Cristian lives in Bucks County, just north of Philadelphia, PA but his family is from Portugal and he has been traveling there his entire life. When visiting Portugal he would always enjoy their amazing wine but was disappointed by the quality and selection of Portuguese wines he found for sale back home. The majority of Portuguese wine found on U.S. shelves come from the large-scale commercial producers and fall in the $6.99 – $9.99 range. This injustice to Portuguese wine did not sit well with Cristian so he started applying for one license or permit after another and before long he had founded Silver Coast Imports.

     Silver Coast Imports is focusing its attention on smaller family run estates which means almost all of their vineyards are new to the U.S. market. The price of the Silver Coast wines are slightly higher than you are accustomed to when shopping for Portuguese wine but the increase in quality makes it well worth the little extra. Cristian knows his market and is concentrating on value with most of his wines selling for less than $20. Bento offers a selection of unique wines for more than $20 that are also excellent values. Cristian told me ” My mission is to show people that Portugal is making super high quality wine and at better prices than other wine-producing countries.”

     You can find Silver Coast Imports wine in P.L.C.B. stores, online at www.finewineandgoodspirits.com and by the bottle or glass in many Philadelphia area restaurants. Cristian has partnered with Dreadnaught Wines to be his distributor in PA  making it even easier to find his Portuguese wines anywhere in the state. Millennials and folks that are 50+ are showing a great response to these wines because many of them have visited Portugal in recent years and want to relive their wine memories after returning home.

     Silver Coast has a nice menu of both white and red wine. Their whites are surprisingly complex and several have received 90 plus ratings from Robert Parker Wine Advocate. He recommends approaching Portuguese Reds as you would Reds from France or Italy. Most wines are named by region not by grape variety. If you are familiar with shopping for Bordeaux or Borolo then you would feel comfortable shopping for Douro, Alentejo, Dao or Lisboa. Most Portuguese wines are blends but that’s not to say that there aren’t some very good varietals to be found.

     A good place to start when exploring Portuguese varietals is with the white grape: Alvarinho and the red grape: Touriga Nacional. Alvarinho is the same grape as Spanish Albarino but the terrior of Portugal makes all the difference. Silver Coast lists a Quinta de Santiago 2015 Alvarinho 91 pts that is dry with a tropical taste profile of pineapple and lychee for $17.99.

     Their Arrepiado Velho 2015 ($17.83 SLO) is a rarely found Touriga Nacional varietal that is partly oak cask aged with flavors of plum, smashed blueberries, lavender, violets, spice and tobacco.

Port wine has always been closely associated with Portugal. Silver Coast offers two very different examples of Port for you to discover. They import a Twandy Port that was aged 10 years in oak casks and a White Port made by Rita Marques and Ricardo Freitas from Maderia Wine.

     For more information on Silver Coast Imports contact Cristian Bento  email: cbento@silvercoastimports.com   Cell: 267-236-4248                                                       website: http://www.silvercoastimports.com

Catalog:  Silver-Coast-Imports-Catalog-Sep-2017-Web-noprice

      

    

 

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