Tuesday, August 23, 2011

9th Annual Grape Stomp & Lucille Ball Look Alike-Morgan Creek Vineyards

Saturday, September 17
  10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Join us for winery tours, wine tastings, live music and, of course grape stomping.


Parking provided

                  Bring a picnic or purchase food on site.

For more on this event and Morgan Creek Vineyards go to the Alabama Wineries and Vineyards Section.                 

Bojo Knows Best!

If you ask most people about Beaujolais, they will say ‘Oh yeah, Beaujolais Nouveau. Good stuff.’ It is, but the Beaujolais region is so much more than just its Nouveau. Beaujolais is the largest wine producing region in Burgundy, France. Located to the south of Maconnais, it has over 50,000 acres of vines planted.

Beaujolais wines are made from the Gamay grape which is a cross between Pinot Noir and the white Gouais. With its close proximity to the Mediterranean Sea and its semi-continental weather, this cross ripens two weeks earlier than Pinot Noir and it isn’t as hard to cultivate. This resulted in a larger production of fruitier wines.  But everyone wasn’t always okay with planting Gamay. In 1395, the Phillipe the Bold outlawed the production of Gamay because he felt that it was taking away prime vineyard land from the more appreciated and respected Pinot Noir. So winemakers pushed Gamay further south out of mainland Burgundy into what is now known as Beaujolais, where it found itself in granitic soils where the grape flourished.

The region of Beaujolais is divided into two distinct soil types which also divide the region into Northern and Southern Beaujolais with Villefranche as the middle point. The hilly northern portion has most of the Cru Beaujolais communes and is made up of granite, schist and a little limestone. The southern half or Bas Beaujolais is a bit flatter and contains more clay-based, sandy soils with some limestone patches sprinkled throughout the region. These soil differences present themselves in the wine with the North producing wines with a fuller body and a more complex structure. The wines of the South have a crisper, more acidic flavor with loads of red fruit on the palate.

Back to Beaujolais Nouveau, it was actually created by George Duboeuf for marketing purposes. It’s a light, fruity style of Beaujolais that is meant to be drunk quickly and can be slightly chilled. The grapes are picked around late August, early September and the wine is only fermented a few days before it’s bottled. These wines are then released to t he public on the third Thursday of November at 12:01 am, Beaujolais Nouveau Day. This wine can last for a couple of years but it won’t develop any additional flavors or characteristics from bottle aging.

As for the actual wines of Beaujolais, they are divided into the following levels of quality:

Beaujolais AOC – all Beaujolais falls into this category

                Beaujolais Blanc – made from Chardonnay and Aligote  

                Beaujolais Rose

Beaujolais Villages AOC

Cru Beaujolais – the highest level of quality, 10 Crus

So when you’re thinking of a red wine for white wine drinkers, think Beaujolais!

 Article by Tanisha Townsend
Find out more on Tanisha in our About Section

Monday, August 15, 2011

2nd Annual Riverwalk Wine Festival

Make plans now for this spectacular afternoon of wine on the water!


October 8, 2011

1:00pm to 4:00p.m.

Montgomery Riverfront in Downtown Montgomery

Event will include wine tasting from 11 different distributors representing over 100 wineries.

Admission is $25 per person and will include:
  • Etched wine glass commemorating the event
  • Discounted wine purchases from participating local wine shoppes
  • Food samples
  • Live music
  • Picnic baskets and coolers are welcome
  • Discounted tickets for a special Harriott II Wine Cruise

You can purchase your tickets here:

  • RSVP Montgomery
  • Riverfront Facilities
  • Derk's Filet & Vine
  • Peppertree Steaks & Wine
  • Tickets will be available for purchase on August 15

6th Annnual Jazz on the Grass

WVAS-FM and the Alabama Jazz & Blues Federation present
the 6th annual
Jazz on the Grass
at the Riverwalk Amphitheater in Downtown Montgomery.

Featuring performances by Hart Ramsey, Reggie Hines, Kim Scott, Roman Street, The Hot 8 Brass Band, The Recreators and much more.

Gates open at 10am horns up at 11.

Tickets available at Dirk's Filet & Vine in Old Cloverdale, Ted the Wine Guy, Riverwalk Stadium, Another Chance Package Store and you can go online at etix.com

For more information call 334-229-4708.

Friday, August 12, 2011

August is Pinot Grigio Month!

Courtesy of About.com

Definition: Italy's most popular white wine is produced from the * Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris grape varietal. This wine hails from the northeast region of Veneto and Friuli. A light, crisp white wine that is intended to be consumed early on.

Flavor Profile Pinot Grigio flavors can range from melon to pear and some even offer a subtle tropical or citrus fruit, often there is a honey or smoky flavor component as well. As for color, Pinot Grigio is typically a pale, straw-like yellow with some golden hues thrown in. The texture of a Pinot Grigio is worth noting, as it has very smooth, almost silk-like overtones that leave an impression on the palate.

Food Pairing
Pinot Grigio pairs nicely with seafood, light pastas and cheese cracker combinations. Since this wine is fairly acidic itself, avoid pairing with foods that have high acid contents, like citrus fruits or tomato-based recipes.

Key Producers to Try
Stone Wolf
St. Michael-Eppan
Bethel Heights
Eyrie Vineyards

Happy Pinot Grigio Drinking!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wine of the Week from the Wine Whisperer

Heavyweight Cabernet Sauvignon
When you’ve got a big, rare rib eye or a killer cheeseburger on your plate, do you really want a nice little fruity white wine or a delicate pink number in your glass? We didn’t think so. Sometimes the situation just calls for BIG, rich, mouthful of flavor, and that’s when you need a Champion in your glass!

Now don’t worry, this Cabernet Sauvignon isn’t just another big bruiser. The blackberry and currant aromas are swift and lingering. The rich fruit flavors don’t feint or dodge-they’re straight ahead and swarming. And like the best heavyweights, the flavors come at you in combinations and by the time you figure one out, you get hit with another. So just take a couple of sips and then go your corner and catch your breath....

Premium, oak aged Cabernet Sauvignon blended with Syrah and Zinfandel. Three Collector’s Labels are available for each vintage.
Heavyweight is one of my favorite Cabernet’s due to its richness, but smooth enough to be enjoyed with almost anything. This regal wine is a tremendous value with its underpriced cost, and it over delivers in pleasure. Heavyweight is sold in top steakhouse’s in the Southeast like Flemings Steakhouse and Ruth’s Chris.
Heavyweight is also available in Chardonnay and Petite Sirah.

For more on the Wine Whisperer go to www.staceywines.com

No Cork, No Stopper…No Wine?

Tessa A. asked Heard It Through the Grapevine:

"How do you store an open bottle of wine without a cork or bottle stopper?"

I’m sure most of us wine lovers have come across this problem a time or two. Either the cork has crumbled from trying to remove the cork or you just can’t get the cork back into the bottle. However, you don’t have a bottle stopper to stop the bottle. So what do you do?

The simplest thing to do would be to pour the wine into a decanter with a seal-fit stopper.
This may allow you to store smaller amounts of wine without as much exposure to oxygen. The wine must fill up to the bottom of the stopper to prevent the wine from aging. Also, serving "leftover" wine from a decanter makes for a more attractive presentation when serving it. Prices for decanters can range from as low as $3.95 to $300. So the amount you spend would be based on how you’d like to present your wine.

Other methods would be to use pumps or nitrogen sprays to displace the oxygen in the bottle. It's primarily oxygen that interacts with the wine and microscopic elements in the wine that cause it it to spoil. However, these methods have shown to not extend the life of wines much and are a bit expensive.

For a more inexpensive method of preserving your wine, here’s a tip from e.how.com at click here.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wine of the Week from The Wine Whisperer

Sua Sparkling Strawberry

What do you get when you blend sparkling wine with "REAL" strawberry pulp? I call it Berry Paradise, but you can call it Sua. Pronounced "Swah", this burst of natural fruit pulp is an original and quite extraordinary. Sua is reminiscent of the popular strawberry fruit cake dessert, which is a favorite amongst birthday parties or a rich strawberry cheesecake found at your neighborhood bakery. But don’t let the youthful, innocent strawberry thoughts fool you. Sua packs a punch at 11.5% alcohol and will leave you salivating for more. Sua sparkling strawberry has a perfect balance being not overly sweet, somewhat full-bodied and yet far from dry wine.

Sip slowly and enjoy pure bliss!

For more information on The Wine Whisper (Stacey Diltz) go to http://www.staceywines.com/ 

Just Jura

With so many wines to write about, who knows where to start? With their region, that’s where. If you know about where a wine is from, the climate, what grapes are grown there…you can make a better decision about drinking the wine. You might even try something new.

A lesser known region in France and the smallest, the 1600 hectare region known as the Jura, is situated between Burgundy and Switzerland. And therefore produces wine similar in style to those regions. There are four regional appellations: Arbois, Côtes du Jura and the smaller Etoile and Château-Chalon, plus two wine style appellations that cover the whole area, Crémant du Jura and Macvin (a Vin de Liqueur). The continental climate of Jura can get quite cold in the winter, so to lessen the threats of frost, vines are trained in order to receive a productive harvest.  
Due to the cool climate, chaptalization (adding sugar to unfermented grape must be in order to increase the alcohol content after fermentation) is permitted , sometimes even as a necessity to assist under-ripe vintages by boosting the levels of sugar.  Another difference between the wines of Jura and the wines of the rest of France is that most of Jura white wines are aged in oak for extended periods of time, while their red wines are aged in stainless steel bottled young.
While the Jura does harvest Chardonnay, locally known as Melon d’Arbois, and Pinot Noir, the local grapes Savagnin, Poulsard, and Trosseau are also grown. Poulsard is the primary grape for the sweet vin de paille and is also used to make a rosé. Savagnin is permitted for Jura’s most famous wine, vin jaune. 
Vin Jaune is made by picking the grapes as ripe as possible, oftentimes making this a last harvest wine. After fermentation, it’s stored in Burgundian barrels for over 6 years. In a style similar to sherry, the barrels are filled and allowed to evaporate, therefore reducing the amount of wine remaining in the barrel and a creating space for air at the top of the barrel. Due to this method of aging, over time the wine oxidizes and a film of yeast  develops on the top of the wine. The classic Vin Jaune flavours are of mild eastern spices, walnuts and sometimes honey.
When shopping for the wines of Jura, the following are producers of note:
·         Domaine André et Mireille Tissot
·         Role,
·         A & M Tissot
·         Domaine de la Tournelle
·         Jacques Gaspard Feuillet
·         Domaine Berthet-Bondet
·         Henri Maire

Submitted by Tanisha Townsend