Sunday, September 4, 2011
517 Selby Ave
St Paul, MN
651 602 9515
Solo Vino is where I go when I am planning an important meal. I describe the courses I am preparing and they pull the wines off the shelf and label for me. Its hard to walk out without a case.
Chuck knows his wine like a concert pianist knows his key board and it shows in the passion of his trade. Grab a few bottles of Juve y Camps Reserva de la familia a Spanish sparkling wine for special occasions.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
We went to Hearst Castle and had a wonderful tour. We went into the basements of one of the many buildings and were given a tour of the wine room. According to the tour guide Mr Hearst had wine for his guests even during prohibition. I guess if you did not kiss the big guys rear end you only got one glass. BYOW.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Firestone tasting room
5000 Zaca Station Road
Los Olivos CA 93441
Dale and Mary took us to the Firestone winery last year. Fantastic wines and scenery await you when you visit this amazing tasting room in the San Ynez valley. The 2007 Sauvignon Blanc flavors passion fruit and guava perfect to serve with chicken. The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon flavors cassis and black current a perfect match with steak and melted blue cheese on top. Visiting this winery is a must.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
After leaving Hearst Castle we went back down the coast and stopped in a teeny little town called Harmony. We tasted some amazing wines and especially liked the 2007 Zinfandel. This is one of the most wonderful wines we have ever tasted and it goes great with red meat because the wine is so peppery. BBQ a steak or some short ribs and this wine will be the perfect sip with each bite.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Amazing winery we stumbled upon while we were coming back from the beach in between Pismo Beach and Avila beach in San Luis Obispo County.
The wine is amazing and the Artwork on the bottles are one of a kind. Bring a picnic purchase a bottle and enjoy a table after a day at the beach.
6985 Ontario Road
San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
Saturday, October 20, 2007
After the Los Olivos went up Foxen Canyon to see some wineries. Foxen Canyon is a must drive and see road with some of the best wineries in Santa Barbara county. Behind me in the first photo are the grape vineyards of Foxen Canyon.
This was the beginning of the valley and a wonderful adventure.
Monday, October 1, 2007
Sept Lindy and I took a quick trip to Santa Barbara to do a little tasting and we stumbled into The Los Olivos tasting room and we met the snobby owner Chris. A snob but he knows his wines. So we tasted and bought a bunch of wine.
Jack Creek 2005 reserve Pinot noir
Steven Ross 2006 Edna Valley pinot noir
Palmina 2005 barbera
Herman Story 2005 Larner Vineyard syrah
Harrison Clarke 2005 SYN grenache
Happy Cyn. 2004 "Piocho" bordeaux blend
Bonny Doon Framboise
The idea behind the independent tasting room is autonomy to pour whats good and not what they need to get rid of. The idea gives you exposure to more wine than trying to taste at every winery. Bang for your buck the Stephen Ross 2006 Pinot Noir wins hands down and the Jack Creek reserve 2005 at 42.00 per bottle is in my opinion a 65.00 dollar bottle.
This place is the oldest independent tasting room in California. www.losolivostatingroom.com 805 688 7406 A MUST VISIT. Make sure to have lunch at the Wine Cask down the road in Los Olivos.
Monday, September 3, 2007
Lindy and I went to the Sunstone Winery in Santa Barbara last year. This is by far one of the most beautifully designed layouts for a winery. The Architecture and landscaping of the property take you back to the old world. When I was in charge of the wine list of the Radisson in Santa Barbara Sunstone was a house pour. The Merlot and Chardonnay are amazing and this family winery is a must see for any wine enthusiast.
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
For those of you that are lucky enough to attend my parties, he will be coming soon.......
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Investing in wines isn’t a new concept, but it’s more popular than ever today. There are a number of reasons for buying wine to make money:
- Buying a specialty investment wine fresh off the vine is a lot less expensive than buying an aged wine. You gamble on the wine’s future popularity, and on the supply and demand for the annual limited release.
- Buy investment wines with an eye to selling the bottles later for profit. Like stamp collectors, collectors of rare books and antiquities, vintage wine aficionados are romanced by the bottle, and will rarely look at price when a bottle they want comes up for sale.
- According to Wine-searcher.com, collectable wines historically outperform the Dow and the FTSE, offering large returns without the instability of the stock market.
Collectable wines come in sizes ranging from small to extra-extra large. The large bottles of a collectable wine are especially valued when the wine has aged and can be pricey. But buying oversized bottles of vintage wine can net you a lot more money in the long run.
Some other investment wine bottle sizes include:
- A Standard bottle of wine measures 750ML and is best accompanied by at least one more bottle;
- The Magnum is the equivalent of two bottles of wine and is often seen balanced on the lap of Hollywood celebutantes and East Coast rappers;
- The Balthazar equals 16 bottles of wine and packs a punch that promises to be a hit at any party.
Large size red wine bottles in particular are a real collector’s favorite. With more and more people looking at wine not just as refreshment, but also as an investment, the oversized wine bottles are worth looking into.
Anthony Pierpont Wine Tip of the Day: For maximum party potential that’s easy on the pocketbook, my last wine blog delved into another sizable (but not collectable) grape- box wines.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
According to Delicato Vineyards, 20% of wine drank comes from a box. And, consumer research shows that box buyers have moved from yuppies to boomers, with a wide age and income range enjoying affordable wines.
Some fast facts about why you should consider buying box wine:
- Bag in box wine stays fresh for several weeks- even a couple of months- after it’s been opened;
- The cost savings for these affordable wines can be significant, often averaging ½ the cost of comparable size and quality bottled wines;
- Box wine comes in a variety of varietals, including Shiraz, Merlot, Chardonnay and Cabernet (side note: and sherry!);
- You can take it with you- a box of affordable wine is easily transported to any picnic or party, without the worry of glass breaking or the “who forgot the corkscrew?” arguments.
Among the winningest box brands of vino: Black Box, Blackstone Winery and Hardy’s. Need further evidence that wine boxes have successfully leapt from the supermarket sale bin to the dining table? France now produces a number of high-quality wines in the box, too.
Anthony Pierpont Wine Tip of the Day: The box wines blog features news and reviews of affordable wines that won’t break the bank.
Monday, April 16, 2007
The rare wine auction is for a jeroboam of Bordeaux, a super-sized bottle of wine that holds the equivalent of six bottles of wine.
Some notes about vintage Bordeaux wines:
- Last September, at a Christie's auction in Los Angeles, a case (12 bottles) of the 1945 Chateau Mouton Rothschild sold for $290,000, and a six-magnum case of the same wine sold for $345,000. Clearly, in the “case” of wine, size does matter, and the estimated price for the jeroboam might be a little low.
- There are no guarantees about how the vintage Bordeaux wine was stored. It’s entirely possible that at some point, the wine was exposed to sunlight, motion or warm temperatures that make it undrinkable today. The only comparable gamble is putting $60,000 down on red at the roulette tables in Vegas.
- The 1945 Chateau Mouton Rothschild is well-known to wine collectors for the V on its label, indicating Victory at the end of WWII.
Anthony Pierpont Wine Tip of the Day: Check out more online rare wine auctions at Wine Bid and Hart Davis Hart.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
- Michigan started getting some attention a few years ago when the Michigan is rapidly approaching 50 wineries, with a growth explosion in wine production happening over the last decade.
- You might be surprised to learn that Ohio has more than 80 wineries. Ohio has experienced so much interest in wine making that the Ohio Wine Producers Association provides tips on starting your own winery. The Kinkead Ridge 2003 Syrah is a light red wine that goes well with anything from pasta to steak- a perfect choice for spring. Kinkead Ridge is completely sold out of their award-winning 2003 Viognier/Roussanne blend, but they’ve produced many other winners since.
- The Falconer winery in Minnesota produces a Frontenac Port that wins awards every year- the 2005 vintage seems to be the most noted, but every year’s been a good year for this dessert wine. Minnesota’s St. Croix Vineyards has won multiple awards for their Vignoles, made with a hybrid wine grape. The 2005 Vignoles is their gold medal winning wine and not to be missed.
Anthony Pierpont Homemade Wine Tip of the Day: In an earlier blog, I talked about northeast ice wines, a unique dessert wine- and it seems like dessert wines are almost always a good bet when you’re buying Midwest wines, too.
Monday, March 19, 2007
Ice wine has been gaining a lot of popularity in the US over the last decade. Created from grapes frozen while still on the vine, it’s a dessert wine, and very, very sweet. It’s not a drink to enjoy on an empty stomach or with a large meal.
I kept hearing about ice wines from friends. They’d travel north and return with cases of the stuff. But the first few times I tried to drink the dessert wine, it was a complete turn-off- sticky sweet, yet flat in flavor. I gamely tried it on a few occasions, knowing that if I hung in there, I might find a brand that I liked.
Ice wine is a tricky harvest, because the grapes must sit on the vine long after they’re ripe, waiting for a hard freeze. If the freeze doesn’t happen in time, the winery is stuck with a lot of rotten grapes, making the harvest a tenuous process. Animals and dropped fruit are also dangers vintners face while waiting for a freeze. Frozen grapes have been known to break a traditional wine press, which is really meant to accommodate ripe grapes.
Over time, I found several of the dessert wines that I enjoyed, and two now grace my wine bar:
- Fiori delle Stelle, Vidal Ice Wine 2003 has a light honey taste that makes it a unique addition to your dessert wine collection.
- Canada’s Inniskillin winery was voted the New World Winery of the Year by the Wine Enthusiast a few years ago for good reason. Their 2004 Reisling Ice Wine is not to be missed, with lots of sweet peach flavor that makes it a perfect match with a cheese and fruit plate.
Anthony Pierpont Wine Tip of the Day: Beware of fake ice wine brands- there are plenty of these floating around, and I think the wines I tried initially, that were so bad, were fakes. Fake ice wine brands are made with frozen grapes; probably from the local grocery store and most definitely don’t have the taste of a Canadian or German ice wine.
Sunday, March 4, 2007
If you haven’t yet started to use the Internet to buy champagne or wine, it’s worth a try. Especially if you have an upcoming party or event with a lot of thirsty guests and limited time to put the party together!
Some of the best Web sites to order wine online:
- The Wine Buyer offers funny, snide wine reviews and rock-bottom sale prices.
- Buy champagne online with the Wine Commune, an online wine auction. Benefits include specialty wines not found in your local store. Before buying wine online, verify that the seller can ship wine to your state with an e-mail before the sale.
- Vineyards also sell direct, so check the company wine Web site to price shop before you confirm your online wine order. Mondavi, Gloria Ferrer and Eola Hills all let you buy champagne and order wine online.
Anthony Pierpont Wine Tip of the Day: I can’t find fault with anyone who orders wine online because it is true that the Internet can often offer the best prices and best selections, but give your local wine shops a chance, too. They often have specials but the real value is their knowledge of the products they sell which makes you into a wine connoisseur. It is rare to find wines online that offer that sort of education.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
What does that mean for you when you buy wine? The best wine prices on some of the best-selling red wines of 2005 and 2006. In addition, wineries have an overload of white wines, so expect to see some Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay deals, too.
Read the full story in the LA Times.
Anthony Pierpont Wine Tip of the Day: With record low best wine prices this year, there’s never been a better time to buy that wine cooler you’ve had your eye on… It’s a worthwhile investment for the serious wine drinker!
Most people believe that you drink red wine with red meat and white wine with chicken. That’s not 100% true.
It’s more accurate to say that the best food and wine pairings are based upon the type of food preparation. A good rule of thumb to find the best wine pairings includes lighter sauces + white wines and heavier sauce + red wine.
I don’t think you have to be too strict about your food and wine pairings. I happen to like to drink red wine, so I have found the right red to accompany almost any gourmet dinner.
- Beaujolais works well with a lighter meal; you’ll like to drink red wine from the lighter end of the red spectrum.
- If you can’t find Beaujolais, a good Pinot Noir wine from Oregon works just as well- if not better- for your best wine pairings. I like Eola Hills Pinot Noir wines, circa early 2000’s.
- For a heavier cream sauce or red sauce, nothing beats Bordeaux. Unless it’s a Cab. Both Bordeaux and Cabernet Sauvignon work well with most cheeses and nicely compliment shellfish food and wine pairings, too.
Anthony Pierpont Wine Tip of the Day: Ask the wine steward for help when you shop for wine. They love to be asked, and they can provide you with the best wine pairings, in any price range.