HalloWINE Friday!

Good Friday afternoon to everyone!

Not Good Friday, but hope you’re having a good Friday…

ANYWAY

With the football team here at K-State at an away game I have a little more down time on a Friday night than I normally would. I was sitting here trying to think about what I should put on the world-wide web and it hit me!

Then I had a change of heart. I just spoke with a wonderful lady about Sherry and what she should use to make a sauce with this evening. So I am in a Sherry kind of mood…. so let’s talk about Sherry!

Our conversation a little like this…..

Lady: I need Sherry to cook with

Me: I will show you where the Sherry is

Lady: Thank you I will take the cheap Sherry

Me: I think you should get something better… here’s why!

(* edited for length and to cater to what I wanted to teach everyone about tonight!* =))

That was more or less…..well… less.. of how the conversation went.

The point of the whole thing is this

Would the cheapest Sherry we had work for what she was making? Yes

Would she have liked the way it tasted if she had a sip or tried a glass? NO

I think Sherry is one of the most under-rated, mis-understood wines there is and I do try my best to convey this to all of our cheap Sherry buyers.

Let’s go off on a tangent really fast….

 

Image result for sherry wine map

Look at this amazing map! You will notice a few cities, Sanlucar de Barrameda, Jerez and Montilla. These are the 3 that matter for  this current discussion.

I am going to turn to our friend at the Wine Folly to relay some important Sherry information to you….

“What is Sherry Wine?

Sherry is a fortified white wine from Andalucía Southern Spain and it has been made for centuries. Most of it is dry and meant to be paired with food.

The Wine Blender’s Art

Like most Champagne and Scotch, Sherry is a blended product. Old barrels of wine in a Sherry bodega are refreshed with slightly younger wine each year, then the oldest blended barrel is bottled. This is called the Solera system, and it creates a wine that is the product of as few as 3 or as many as 100 vintages, and is well worth the price. A Solera is, put simply, a group of barrels used to age a single wine; and the wine in these barrels will develop more complexity each year as fresh wine is added.

An example of a Sherry Solara System illustration

Thanks Madeline, for that quick run down of the what a Solera is!

That is basically how I would have said everything anyway!

I would start with something like….

Styles of Dry Sherry Wine

La Guita Manzanilla Sherry

Image result for la guita manzanilla

Mazanilla Sherry will be finer and more delicate than most Fino Sherry due to its location in Sanlucar de Barrameda, and La Guita is the epitome of this style.

Check out a Fino Sherry and try

Tio Pepe Fino Sherry

Image result for tio pepe fino sherry

This is widely considered as classic of a Fino Sherry as you will ever find….

Check out Amontillado Sherry and start with

Hidalgo Napoleon Amontillado

Image result for hidalgo amontillado

Amontillado or “As done in Montilla” is made from Pedro Ximinez grapes instead of Palomino, giving it a richer, fuller body and more robust flavor than the delicacy of Fino Sherry.

Try these Sherry on their own and chilled or pair them with a plate of cheese, meat, olives and the like! Either way trying to experience Sherry the correct way is worth every second.

You might not like it at all. That is a possibility. But you also might find it so intriguing that you want to try them all and this opens a door that would have forever remained closed if you didn’t take a chance that random day at the Fridge Wholesale Liquor.

Hope everyone has a wonderful HalloWINE weekend. Enjoy whatever it is you decide to do.

I, infact, will be enjoying a nice bottle of La Guita Manzanilla Sherry to cap off a wonderful Friday evening.

Cheers

The Fridge Wine Guy

Where have you been?!

The Fridge Wine Guy has been absent. An absentee blogger. A forgetful Frank. I am not really sure why I have been neglecting all of my faithful followers, but I have and I am going to work hard at getting back into the routine of giving you all my opinions and as many fun wine facts as I can. Bare with me, I will get there!

That being said, a lot has happened in the last month. Football season is now in full effect. We are in the midst of the warmest October week on record. Pumpkin patches are abounding, as well as out-door season coming to a close. Or at least it is supposed to be coming to a close. This weather is throwing off my wine mojo. I am supposed to want to be drinking bold reds out on the deck with sweats on, but instead I am still in a white wine mood! What’s the deal?!

Don’t let the weather fool you. It is time for the holidays and that means we are coming up on Thanksgiving wines, which should excited everyone.

Halloween is coming up, and the wine industry is still working their darndest to make it a wine holiday, and I will tell you that there is NO way it will happen. Now, there are fun packages, a few cool wines here and there that, and some fun display opportunities. Take advantage of these since they are only out or around one time a year, but a wine holiday Halloween is not.

It could be a holiday in this fashion: I am going to a Halloween party and I am going to drink wine. YES. That makes it a wine Holiday. Or even pairing wine and chocolate. That is something that could be fun as well. And of course, any excuse to dress up and celebrate is fun… so there’s that.

But don’t fret. Don’t stress. Don’t put too much thought into having to find a wine that is “Halloweenie” for lack of a better term. Just find a good wine, a fun wine, and drink it with your friends!

I feel like today is a good day for a winery profile.

So without further adieu…

BRITTAN VINEYARDS

This is a fun one. I am excited to bring you a winery that needs more publicity in these parts that it gets. To be fair, that is mainly because they are only recently available in the state of Kansas, but still.

Robert Brittan was the winemaker and vineyard manager a little place called Stags’ Leap Wine Cellars in Napa for 16 years before deciding to go after his dream, which was to find the best small sites in the Willamette Valley to make the stellar Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (amongst others).

He has had this passion for Pinot Noir since he started making wine in his dorm room at Oregon State University, and although he took a break from it for a while, he never wavered on what he was wanting to accomplish.

The winery is located in McMinnville, Oregon and consists of many plots they take their grapes from. Visit their website for more information.

The Place

Needless to say, although Brittan Vineyards hasn’t been available for me long, the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay we carry have quickly jumped into my favorites in those categories.

Brittan Vineyards Chardonnay

Image result for brittan vineyards chardonnay

Oregon is quickly becoming my favorite place in the United States to drink Chardonnay from and the Brittan Vineyards Chardonnay is no different. Exceedingly impressive balance will shock you and the classic Chardonnay palate and finish will keep you coming back for more. You might even turn a few non-Chardonnay drinkers onto Chardonnay with this one.

 

Brittan Vineyards Pinot Noir ” Besalt Block”

Image result for brittan vineyards basalt block pinot noir

  If you click the link you will see the location of the block this Pinot Noir comes from, and this will really start to give you an idea of how single block focused Robert is. Focus is a great way to describe this Pinot Noir too, as it is just what you want from your Oregon Pinot Noir, but delivers in a way you won’t see in many other wines.

  So, if you are in the market for Chardonnay or Pinot Noir, stop in to your local liquor store (hopefully the Fridge!) and try out these two gems and thank the Fridge Wine Guy later!

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Cheers

The Fridge Wine Guy

 

 

Football is BACK. Wine has never left.

This weekend marks the beginning of a few of my favorite things.

  1. Getting back into the Blog-0-sphere
  2. September
  3. playoff race in the Major Leagues
  4. Football Season
  5. Fall wine season

Amongst many others, wine drinking in the fall is the BEST. The weather cools off and everyone’s wine game heats up. Is anything better than sitting on your deck, 65 degrees, with a glass of *insert your favorite wine here*? I don’t think so.

College football starting this week has everyone in this little college town in a great mood. Feeling across the country is the same as well and we know everyone will start drinking more beer out at those tailgaits, but where does wine fall? Why not drink wine while watching a football game? Why not drink wine while in the parking lot waiting for said game to start?

You can get those fancy travel wine glasses from GoVino. This makes drinking wine easy ANYWHERE. You could even move on to canned wines, which you know this Fridge Wine Guy is a big fan of. There are so many options and not one is a bad one if wine is included.

 

I don’t really have a theme this week, I am not sure what direction to take the blog at this point, but I will for sure continue to do my best to have fun and educate as many as possible.

This week will consist of a short list of wines I have been drinking over the last few weeks. Check them out when you get a chance because I make sure my life is not short of great wine. and you shouldn’t either!

 

Villa M Rose

Image result for villa m rose

Add a sweet wine to the Fridge Wine Guys list because this is some cool wine! Half Brachetto and half Moscato, this is a great little sweet diddy for those that enjoy it.

 

Corison Napa Cabernet

Image result for corison napa cabernet

 

Kathy Corison has made some of the best Cabernet in the world for a long time, for many different wineries. Her namesake Cabernet might be her best yet. Check it out in half bottles as well if you don’t want to splurge for a full one!

 

Matthiasson Chardonnay

 

Image result for matthiasson napa chardonnay

Steve Matthiasson is one of the hottest wine makers in Napa right now. Mostly because of how amazing his wines are but ALSO because they are hard to get around these parts. This is the Chardonnay to get if you think you “don’t like Chardonnay”. The perfect balance and best representation of Napa Valley Chardonnay I’ve had in a long time

 

 

Enjoy one of these if you so choose. If not, stick to wine!

Jesus didn’t turn water to beer for a reason… think about it.

 

Cheers

The Fridge Wine Guy

 

 

 

Reflecting on current times

As I sit at one of my best friends houses in Tulsa Oklahoma, waiting patiently to embark on another journey of sending someone off into marriage, I can’t help but think of the times we all had this summer and what they mean for the upcoming. 

We’ve spend most of the summer enjoying, or trying to enjoy, the weather, being outside and anything else  that you would do during the summer time. It is now the middle of August, and although the weather won’t change much, the feeling of summer is slowly turning into early fall. 

Football is around the corner which changes everyone’s mindset for the better, if not crazier, and we start to wonder what kind of winter we are going to have. 

Let’s not forget to continue to live in the present time and enjoy every second of what we have rather than wishing the first football game will be here or wishing the weather would cool off just a little. 

How about we are thankful for today. And today. We drink rose and Beaujolais. Because this wine guy is going to be on a boat all weekend and although I will need my “flippy-floppies” (shout out to T-Pain) I will also need some cool wine to keep me rolling. A magnum of Schloss Gobelsberg Rose and a magnum of Chateau de la Chaize Cru Beaujolais should do the trick. Not to mention some prosecco for the mornings 😁

Find a way to work wine into whatever you are doing this weekend. Think about the back story. Think about the families who make their living making you that wonderful juice. And most of all, enjoy it. 

We will get back to regular blog posts next week. Thanks for your patience.

Have a great weekend

Cheers

The Fridge Wine Guy 

Winery #1: Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars

A continuation from last week, so get excited about this! Let’s jump right in…

The 1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars SLV Cabernet won the red portion of the 1976 Judgement of Paris wine tasting…yes we now know that, but what’s the deal with Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars?

First, let’s get an idea of where the Stag’s Leap District of the Napa Valley is located. See the map below and look for the bright, cornhusker red, area (couldn’t help it!)

 

I was going to type my version of the history of this amazing winery, but I found it much better served to use the timeline from the winery website. So below is how the winery tells their history, which is the perfect way to say it…

1969

The founder of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars first tastes with Nathan Fay, whose vineyard below the rocky promontory of the Stags Leap Palisades, so named because of the legend of the stag who successfully eluded hunters by leaping to freedom across the district’s landmark peaks, was the first planting of Cabernet Sauvignon in what later became the Stags Leap District.

1970

The founder purchases the 44 acre property, which was primarily a prune orchard, next to Nathan Fay’s vineyard, named the property Stag’s Leap Vineyards, and replanted it to Cabernet Sauvignon and a little bit of Merlot. Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars was born.

1972

The first vintage of S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon is produced.

1973

The first winery building is completed, and the now historic 1973 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon becomes the first wine made in the new red wine facility.

1974

The first vintage of CASK 23 is produced after consulting winemaker Andre Tchelistcheff, while tasting through the lots of wine from this vintage, decided that one lot, which was in the large wooden cask numbered 23, was so beautiful and deliciously distinct that it should be bottled separately.

1976

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars wins the Cabernet Sauvignon category in a blind tasting staged by Steven Spurrier, an English wine merchant in Paris, among French wine experts between American and French wines. This later became known as the Judgment of Paris.

1986

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars purchases FAY vineyard from Nathan Fay.

1989

The Stags Leap District in Napa Valley is established as an American Viticultural Area.

1990

The first bottling of FAY Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is produced from Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars.

1996

A bottle of the history-making 1973 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon is placed in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian’s national Museum of American History. Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars begins excavation of its wine caves.

2000

The Napa wine caves are completed with an entrance called The Arcade, designed by Barcelona-based architect Javier Barba. There are over 34,000 square feet of tunnels, and one of only about 50 Foucault pendulums in the world, which suspended from the ceiling, marks the passing of time and the aging of wine.

2001

The first vintage of ARTEMIS Cabernet Sauvignon, named for the Greek Goddess of the Hunt, is produced.

2007

A partnership between Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Marchesi Antinori proudly accepts the stewardship of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars and its legacy.

2013

The 1973 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon is named one of the Smithsonian’s “Objects that Made America”.

2014

Designed by Barcelona-based architect Javier Barba, the FAY Outlook & Visitors Center opens, allowing guests to take in beautiful panoramic views of FAY Vineyard while experiencing the top-notch Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars hospitality.

 

So that basically catches us up to  where we are today. This winery that helped put the Napa Valley on the map is still pumping out wines that are worth every penny you pay for them. Below are label shots of some of the wines you can find today.

 

 

 

Now, a wine that is a little more unique would be something from the “Hands of Time” series. There is a nice little exhibit at the winery they call their “Hands of Time”, and on this wall there are plaques with hand-prints from all of the people who made this winery what it is today.. These wines from the Hands of Time series are a tribute to them. The red blend is generally made up of an almost even split of Cabernet and Merlot and the Chardonnay is mostly done in stainless steel to preserve freshness. Anyway, these wines are a great way to get to know Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars before you jump up to the big dogs they have to offer.

So, when you go to get wine this weekend, pick up a slice of history and get to know some of the wines that got Napa Valley to where it is today.

 

Cheers

The Fridge Wine Guy

The Vinous “Shot Heard ’round the World”

I have been stewing over what to write about the last couple weeks and it finally hit me!

Welcome back! Hopefully July is treating everyone well and your 4th was as free as possible. I am going to jump right into this, because this story is about as cool as it gets for wine in America.

I am thinking this will take a few weeks to fully engulf this amazing wine story, but once we get done dissecting it I think you will have had a great time.

Some of you may have heard of the private wine tasting in Paris that is now famously called “The Judgement of Paris”. This year marks the 40th anniversary of this amazing event, so I do think it is necessary to shed some light on it.

For those of you that have already heard this, please relive it with me. I would guess, though, that even though you are all dedicated wine-o’s most of you haven’t heard this story.

Sometimes I forget how immersed in wine culture I am on a day to day basis and have to take a step back sometimes. For those of us who do this for a living, this is a living, breathing event that seems to come up on a weekly basis in some way or another.

Maybe not by name, but we talk about these people and these wines and their impact constantly.

If you want to see Hollywood give this a crack, then rent the movie Bottleshock…

I just got the cold sweats. Did I just say rent? “Yeah, Fridge Wine Guy, I’ll just go down to my local Blockbuster or Movie Gallery and ‘Rent’ that movie”

Sorry that was so 20 years ago. What I meant to say was…

If you want to see Hollywood give this a crack, then Netflix or On Demand the movie Bottleshock.

I feel much better now.

Anyway, Alan Rickman gives a great performance, along with many other unknowns to tell the story the best Hollywood could. It is entertaining and a great watch (everyone but Mike Grgich liked it! You will hear more about that later).

 

The story goes a little something like this…

There was a gentlemen by the name of Steven Spurrier (who is now one of the most famous wine writers in the world) who owned an up beat, innovative wine shop in the center of Paris. He was introduced to California and loved them and decided he would set up a blind tasting to see how the French wines everyone swooned over would compete against wines from the Napa Valley if no one knew what they were tasting. He picked the best of the best he could find from Napa of Cabernet and Chardonnay and pitted them up against the best the French had to offer of the same grapes.

The unthinkable happened, and on May 24th, 1976, California wines were officially on the map. Napa has since never looked back. To me this is the single most important day in the history of wine in America. Many things have happened, but to get world-renowned wine experts and people to have no way to judge anything but the wine itself and then to pick AMERICAN wine over theirs, is nothing short of amazing.

 

The two wines that won the blind tasting were the 1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars S.L.V. Cabernet

and the 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay.

A full list of the wines tasted and their scores are as follows:

Red Wines Of The 1976 Tasting

  • Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars 1973, Napa Valley (127.5)
  • Château Mouton-Rothschild 1970 (126)
  • Château Haut-Brion 1970 (125.5)
  • Château Montrose 1970 (122)
  • Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon ’Mountain Range’ (Montebello) 1971, Santa Cruz Mts. (105.5)
  • Château Leoville-Las-Cases 1971 (97)
  • Mayacamas 1971, Napa Valley/Mayacamas Mts. (89.5)
  • Clos Du Val 1972, Napa Valley (87.5)
  • Heitz Cellars ’Martha’s Vineyard’ 1970, Napa Valley/St. Helena (84.5)
  • Freemark Abbey 1969, Napa Valley/Rutherford (78)

White Wines Of The 1976 Tasting

  • Chateau Montelena 1973, Napa Valley/Calistoga (132)
  • Meursault-Charmes 1973, Roulot (126.5)
  • Chalone Vineyards 1974, Monterey County/Soledad (121)
  • Spring Mountain 1973, Napa Valley/Spring Mountain (104)
  • Beaune Clos des Mouches 1973, Joseph Drouhin (101)
  • Freemark Abbey 1972, Napa Valley/Rutherford (100)
  • Batard-Montrachet 1973, Ramonet-Prudhon (94)
  • Puligny-Montrachet 1972, Les Pucelles, Domaine Leflaive (89)
  • Veedercrest 1972, Napa Valley/Mt. Veeder (88)
  • David Bruce 1973, Santa Cruz Mts. (42)

 

Next week we will dive into the wine makers and 2 wines that won the tasting and where they are at today.

I get so jazzed up just thinking about that tasting! I mean… I can’t even contain myself and I have heard that story 100000000 times.

 

Anyway, if you are drinking wine this weekend.. and you should be…. make sure you stick to something you may have not had before. It could open up a new world of wine you never knew existed.

It could even be your own Judgement of Paris and give you the best wine you never would have tasted otherwise….

Until next time…Cheers

The Fridge Wine Guy

 

Patriotic Wine-ing

Happy 1st of July!

It is 3 days away from America’s birthday and it has me thinking… What makes being free so amazing? I think the short and long answer would both be…everything. During this time of “turmoil” in our country, we should reflect on how great it is to live here. What better time to do so than the birthday weekend of this amazing country?

We are currently all in flux about how terrible both of our Presidential candidates are. This is an interesting time yes, but would you rather live in Venezuela right now?

We don’t have enough trans-gender bathrooms to please anyone at this point. Would you rather live in the middle east?

I won’t delve too far into this, but what I will say is that we should take this time to really think about how amazing our country actually is. It is easy to think about the “greener” grass on the other side, but would all of these people across the world still be moving here if it wasn’t as amazing as it is?

Let’s learn about wine from our founding father’s to be sure we keep as Pro-America as possible.

Virginia Wine Map

As you can see above, we are going to talk about wine from…. Virginia??? 4th of July brings about all of the patriot in me, and what better way learn about wine history than talk about presidents making wine?

Thomas Jefferson and George Washington both produced wine on sight at Monticello and Mount Vernon respectively. Neither of their wine made it off their estate, but they were making wine long before Napa Valley was on the wine map. The experimented with all sorts of grapes, trying to highlight the wines they loved.

Fast forward to 1976 when Barboursville Vineyards was established by Gianni Zonin and Gabriele Rausse. Their efforts and help showed others the way, and by 1995 there were 46 wineries in Virginia! As of today there are over 254 wineries in Virgina, only being surpassed by California, Washington, Oregon and New York.

Lucky for everyone reading, there is one wine from the amazing Barboursville Vineyards that is currently available for you to purchase in the state of Kansas.

 

Barboursville Cabernet Franc

Barboursville’s Cabernet Franc Reserve is intense and luscious in flavors with ripe red berries in the forefront of the nose and palate. A long finish and strong tannins you would think would be harsh, but it is remarkably soft. This will pair wonderfully with your grilled fair you might eat this weekend. The weather is going to be perfect (let’s just hope) for a glass of this great Cabernet Franc from the state of Virginia.

So when looking around this weekend, enjoying the fireworks and family, let’s thank our founding fathers for our initial freedom and all of our friends and family who are currently still fighting for us in places we would all rather not bed.

Cheers to the greatest country in the world

The Fridge Wine Guy