WOMEN WINE MAKERS
May 1, 2013
Wine production has flourished in the United States over the past 40 years, due largely to the talent and quality of the many wine makers who have dedicated their lives to the production of a quality product. In the last 20 years we have witnessed the doors of the industry begin to swing open much wider than before, as small, family run operations expand, or have been sold to larger vineyards. Whereas in the smaller family run wineries the traditional patriarchal system was generally maintained, passed on from grandfather to son, to grandson. Rarely has a granddaughter or daughter taken over as winemaker prior to the 1980's. Things have changed. We have witness young couples purchasing land and turning it into thriving wineries, everyone chipping in to do the things necessary to run a successful operation. And now with more qualified vintners graduating from the U of Davis oenology school, the business plan has moved from small family, to international sales, with a wider vision of the marketplace. And so from the days thirty years ago when Zelma Long was one of the first women wine makers at Simi, to today with hundreds of women engaged in the business and pleasure of making wine, the industry has evolved. This month we are offering wines from three well known California wineries: Meeker, Ch. St. Jean, and Geyser Peak
MAY WOMEN AND WINE
April 27, 2013
Here is just a partial listing of women wine makers working in California to provide us with excellent products:
NEW OHIO DISTILLED PRODUCTS
March 1, 2013
The State of Ohio has been encouraging new liquor distillers to open within the State over the past few years. We are now reaping the liquor benefits of these encouragements with the introduction of several really well made products from our home state. BUT I MUST WARN YOU...they are limited in availability . Perhaps 1000 cases were made for the first batch, and we have to wait for another 6 months to get more. SO because I am listing them does not mean they will be available when you get here. Call or email to inquire first: 216 283 6300 or firstname.lastname@example.org Cleveland Black Reserve bourbon $34.95 released march 1, 2013. Hopefully will have some soon. Portside Rum $29.95 Oyo Bourbon $46.05 Oyo Whiskey $46.05 Oyo Whisky $46.05 Oyo Vodka $32.40 Oyo Stonefruit $33.50 Oyo Honey Vanilla $33.50 Seven Brothers Vodka $33.05 Buckeye Vodka $19.95 ...more to come gene
ITALIAN NOBILITY IN MARCH
March 1, 2013
Of all the wines available, in my humble opinion, Italian reds are among the most memorable to encounter, and the best values for unique wine tasting experience. I HATE people who do what I am about to do, but...nature compels me !!! In 2006 I joined a group of Cleveland restauranteurs for a 10 day trip to Italy, visiting wineries. When in Florence my buddy and I stumbled upon this restaurant "I Tredici Gobbi" or "13 hunchbacks" which I guess in Florentine culture suggests good luck. At any rate they had a 1990 Tignanello which we consumed with a Bistecca Fiorentina. The following week in the antique wine bar in Verona, Bottega Del Vino we ordered a local specialty, which I will not mention as it involves "cavallo", and found a 1985 Tignanello , also divine. So when the Italian publication Gambero Rosso gave the 2009 Tignanello "3 glasses", "tre bicchieri " the highest rating an Italian wine can receive, and we could get some, I jumped at the chance. At the Gold Level we offer a limited amount of bottles of Tignanello, so enjoy. The Silver level is being sent the Piandelle Vigne Brunello di Montalcino, which received a 91 point evaluation in Robert Parker's prestigious Wine Advocate . And the Bronze level will receive the inaugural release of the 2010 Villa Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva, a blend of Sangiovese and Merlot. The Antinori family has been in the wine business since the 1350's (that is before Kim Kardashian or the Harlem Shuffle...) so they know something about quality and tradition. Enjoy during the last snow fall of the season. And I will try and find that recipe for Bistecca ! Gene
Over-the-Coals Bistecca Fiorentina
March 1, 2013
Over-the-Coals Bistecca Fiorentina First, open the Tignanello or the Brunello and pour a glass for yourself. then... *** 1 (2-pound) Porterhouse or T-bone steak, 2 inches thick Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 teaspoon dried thyme 2 1/2 cups arugula leaves 1 clove garlic, minced 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling (optional) Juice of 1 lemon Coarse sea salt or smoked or citrus salt for garnish Shavings of Parmesan cheese Prepare a hot fire in a campfire or wood-fired grill, then let the coals burn down to hot chunks of embers (a 6- to 7-second fire). Place the steak directly on the hot coals and sear. Turn the steak and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until the steak is charred on one side and can easily be removed from the coals. Turn and season with more salt, pepper, and the thyme. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes on the second side for medium-rare. If using a grill, the time needed for cooking will be 5 minutes more or so per side since the meat is above the coals rather than in the coals. Remove from the heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Toss the arugula with the garlic, the 2 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon juice, and salt to taste. Carve the steak into 1/4-inch-thick diagonal slices. Serve immediately, topped with the arugula salad, coarse sea salt or smoked salt, and shavings of Parmesan cheese. Drizzle with more olive oil if desired.
January 26, 2013
Those of you who were fortunate to receive the December Connoisseur Club selection of Shafer Relentless Syrah have called ever since asking for more. Sorry...we got 48 bottles and sold 48 bottles !!! Don't worry, more good wine to come this year. For February I was approached with the DILEMMA of CAKEBREAD RESERVE WINES. These wines are released once a year and are usually swept up in New York, Chicago and Washington DC. markets (I wonder who is buying them in DC?) My connections saved me my 6 cases so the Connoisseur Club can have them for our February selection. At the GOLD LEVEL we are offering the single vineyard, 2009 DANCING BEAR HOWELL MOUNTAIN SELECTION the 2009 regular bottling, both rated in the 90's by the Wine Spectator. The Dancing Bear should be allowed to continue dancing in your wine cellar for another 5-10 years, while the regular bottling can be approached...but not OPENED for at least 2 years. To do so would be committing a wine crime, for which the penalties are severe !!! At the SILVER LEVEL you will be receiving a regular bottling of Cakebread Cabernet, rated 90 points and the Cakebread Zinfandel, which received a gold medal in the prestigious Jefferson's Cup competition. Finally the BRONZE Level will receive the Cakebread Zinfandel 2009 and 2010 Chardonnay. I am also posting online and with a hard copy several recipes from Cakebread for foods which complement each of the wines provided this month. As we enter into our 30th year of the Connoisseur Club I am gratified to see so many people who have remained loyal customers over the years. Thank You.
DECEMBER'S CONNOISSEUR CLUB
November 27, 2012
I was fortunate to capture for the Connoisseur Club two of the highest rated wines according to the Wine Spectator and Robert Parker, the two best authorities in the wine business. The #1 rated wine for 2012 was Shafer Relentless 2008. We are offering the Connoisseur Club, at the Gold Level, the 2009 vintage, rated 93 and the 2009 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon, rated 91. I was able to get 10 six packs of each so there will be a little left if you want to add to your collection.
NOVEMBER CONNOISSEUR CLUB
October 27, 2012
Some of the rewards of being in the wine business and interacting with customers is that your sense of taste is always being challanged. I tend to follow the middle ground on most matters, so when a customers asks me about a wine he or she had at some chic restaurant for $150.00, and that it "was to die for", I bite my tongue. Overpriced, overrated, but how do you convey that to someone whose head is still in that romantic cloud where the wine really was the catalst for "other things " shall we say. But a few years ago a rather well know advertising mogol in town advised me about a wine and was determined to send cases of it out to his clients. Now Howard ? was no fly by night. He knew very well the relationship between quality and value and he demanded this wine, which happened to be Orin Swift's The Prisoner. Ok...we got the wine, sent it out, put some on our shelves and...when people recognize the wine they buy it, despite its mid range price tag. So I learned to listen to my customers, listen to my palate and when the two conincide, buy into it. We cannot continue to be drinking Carlo Rossi Hearty Burgundy for ever. We move on...hopefully in the right direction. Thank you Howard. For the November Connoisseur Club selection , at the GOLD level, we are offering THREE of Orwin Swift creations:The Prisoner, Abstract and Papillon. At the SILVER level we are sending The Prisoner and Papillon and at the BRONZE, The Abstract and Saldo. Each is a different blend of grapes and all will go delighfully with Thanksgiving meals. These wines are released in late October and are highly sought after because of their high qualty, relatively low price , and limited availability. The wines can be drunk soon, and thats a good thing. You are hoarding too many wines in your celler already. Start drinking them up, invite us over, we'll help you out. Enjoy and wait till you see what we have planned for you for the holidays. Again...thank you Howard !
NEW AND RARE LIQUOR ARRIVALS
October 10, 2012
We tend to focus on small batch Bourbons and specialty Scotch whisky at Shaker Wines and Spirits. In fact the average price per bottle in the State of Ohio is around $7.00 a fifth. Our average sale is $28.00 a bottle. Here are some rather unique spirits for the holidays...in limited quantities. Hudson Baby Bourbon 375 ml bottle $40.05 Hudson Four Grain Bourbon $45.05 Jewel of Russia vodka $101.25 in a handpainted bottle. Double Cross Vodka $39.95 Oyo Stone Fruit vodka $33.50 (the best produced in ohio) Prichard's Bourbon $59.95 Elmer T Lee Bourbon $31.75 Dewars Aberfeldy 21 year scotch $148.45 Glenlivet 25 year old $369.95 very rare Kah tequilla from $46.50-$62.25 in hand painted SKULLS These prices are current. They may change in November so come in early. New Items arriving weekly. email Gene at 1Verona@msn.com for updates.
OCTOBER CONNOISSEUR CLUB
October 3, 2012
I have to admit that I have not been a real fan of Spanish wines for some time. There are several reasons, all illogical, but that’s how I tend to operate… First I spent my 21st birthday in Madrid at a bullfight and found it, well, appalling. That night, flamenco music and lots of red stuff from a pitcher. With ice cubes. The next day, payback. Next, as a wine merchant, the market has been flooded with cheap tempranillo wines, $4.99 at the organic food stores. Like the cheap Italian wines with fiaschi bindings, it stereotyped Italy as a land of pizza and bland wines served on checkered tablecloths. Finally...the trend in our business has been south, but South America: Chile and especially Argentina. Great values, marvelous quality, and I felt proud to represent them. I tried to do some Chilean or Argentinean wines this month, I really did. Not much highly rated wine, and the prices were overblown for what you were getting. And I could forget California this month….$120 for a screw cap without a rating….but it was a “cult wine” I was told. The winery was so good that they refused to have their wines judged by the media. They wanted only their clients to judge them for what they were…a California blend with a screw cap !!! For $120.00 a bottle. From grapes purchased not grown on any estate. And then Wednesday’s New York Times arrived with their marvelous article on a little know aristocrat of Spain, Bodega Muga. Years ago I had sold some of these wines, hand sold I must admit, and here they were, 10 year old reservas at affordable prices, and available in Ohio. My conundrum had been solved. Spain it was. This month we are offering at the three levels , three wonderful wines from Bodega Muga: t the Gold Level , we are offering the showcase wine of Bodega Muga, the Torre Muga 2004 Reserva along with the Reserva Seleccion Especial from the same year. At the Silver Level, the Prado Enea 2004, the focus of the New York Times article. And at the Bronze Level the Reserva Seleccione Especial 2004 which is drinkable now. I am enclosing the New York Times article as well, entitled “Gentle Soul in a world of Bold Fruit.” Nice.