Category Archives: Wine

Summer Is Coming Wine Event With Wine Guy Mike

Join me for Summer Is Coming Wine Event With Wine Guy Mike. Scratch Catering will be serving delicious Charcuterie and Cheese selections to enjoy with an adventurous flight of 5 wines. This event is sure to deliver an evening of fun and learning all about new wines!

Wine Guy Mike Wine Events

Wine Guy Mike Wine Events

Celebrate Summer with a flight of 5 distinct wines of character and world class cured meats and organic cheese selections.

Scratch Catering Chacuterie and Cheese Platters

Event Date: May 18th, 2017 From 6:30pm-9:30pm

Where: Katie O’Keefe’s 2100 Stephens Ave, Missoula, Montana 59801

Ticket Price: $25.00 per person and you must be 21 years of age to purchase tickets and attend the event.

Purchase Your Ticket Now by Clicking This Link:  

Price: $25.00  

Detail: Tickets must be purchased no later that May 17th at 12:00 Noon. If you would like to attend and are unable to purchase tickets online you are welcome to join in the fun by contacting Wine Guy Mike at mike@wineguymike.com or call or text (this is best) at           406-370-7162

I will hope to see you there for this great evening of fun and learn all about wine!

From my table to yours,

The Tasting Room Presents Justin Vajgert Of Reininger Winery

Wine Guy Mike

Wine Guy Mike

Live Stream The Tasting Room Click Here on KFGM 105.5 FM from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm MDT

This week The Tasting Room presents Justin Vajgert of Reininger Winery in the Walla Walla Valley AVA.  Today’s guest is  Justin Vajgert, National Brand Sales Manager for the Reininger Winery and Helix wines. Today’s Podcast Click Here 

Justin Vajgert of Reininger Winery and Helix Wines

Justin Vajgert of Reininger Winery and Helix Wines

Justin and I are talking about the Walla Walla Valley area in Washington State and its wine. Walla Walla officially became an American Viticulture Area in 1984 but it was settled by Italian immigrants in the 1850’s who realized its potential to grow grapes. Chuck Reininger is the owner and head winemaker at Reininger Winery but first I want to give you a little background on today’s guest.

Chuck Reininger Head Winemaker of Reininger Winery

Chuck Reininger Head Winemaker of Reininger Winery

Justin’s background is a similar journey of many guests I have the pleasure of talking with on The Tasting Room. Justin grew up just outside of Chicago and relocated to the Walla Walla area in 2005 to attend the Institute for Viticulture and Enology. He worked the grape harvest in 2005 with Waterbrook Winery in Walla Walla. It was shortly thereafter that he joined forces with the Reininger Winery in November of 2005.

The Reininger Winery is located in the heart of the Walla Walla Valley. Head winemaker, Chuck Reininger, specializes in crafting elegant and finely structured red wines from hand-harvested, ultra premium grapes.

Reininger Winery tasting room in Walla Walla

Reininger Winery tasting room in Walla Walla

Glacial Lake Missoula was a prehistoric glacial lake in Western Montana that existed periodically at the end of the last ice age.  As warming periodically occurred Lake Missoula would flood carrying its alluvial soil matter to Washington State, and to the Walla Walla American Viticulture Area.

The Walla Walla area soils are composed of alluvial soil material and layers of volcanic ash from eruptions throughout history. These layers of soil and rock have created ideal soil conditions to grow grapes in.  The days are warm to hot and the night air is cool, perfect for growing world-class grapes that make fabulous wines.

Justin worked at Reininger Winery all through school doing everything from cellar work, to pouring wine in the tasting room, to painting bathrooms, when you work at a winery everyone does what needs to be done.

It was during Justin’s tenure that his roles evolved and he moved into a sales role beginning with local sales and then after the school moved into his current national sales position.  He’s been doing that ever since.  Distribution for the Reininger and Helix brands has grown to 17 states.  Justin eventually would like to make wine though, it’s his passion.

Let’s sit back and listen to my conversation with Justin Vajgert from the Reininger and Helix wine labels and learn a little more about these gems from Walla Walla.

Tasting Notes

The 2011 Reininger Merlot grapes are from the Pepper Bridge and Seven Hills Vineyards and are 100% Merlot. This wine has been barrel aged in 53% French, 47% American, and 5% new oak for 2 years.

2011 Reininger Merlot Walla Walla Valley

2011 Reininger Merlot Walla Walla Valley

This is a big, powerful, and robust Merlot, with very ripe fruit balanced by sweet oak spice from the French and American oak.  The fruit aromatics and flavors are of dark cherry, ripe plum, spicy tobacco, caramel and toasty oak. A touch of acidity lifts the fruit forward toward the end for a long, bright finish.

The Helix 2013 Pomotia is a blend of grapes from the Pepper Bridge, Phinny Hill, Seven Hills, Stillwater Creek, Stone Tree, Weinbau and XL vineyards. The blend is 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Syrah, 18% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and has been barrel aged for 2 years. The nose is lovely and rich, sweet yet spicy, black currant, plum, cardamom, and violets an aroma that is downright captivating.

2013 Helix Pomatia Columbia Valley

2013 Helix Pomatia Columbia Valley

Its velvety texture bathes the palate with luscious black cherry and succulent dried dark fruit that’s stimulated by a soft yet vibrant acidity. On the finish, a gentle wave of focused fruit is a bobbing streak of perfumed wood spice impregnated with specs of loam. This wine is delicious!

The 2011 Helix Syrah is 100% Syrah; grapes are from the Phinny Hill, Stone Tree & Clifton Hill Vineyards, and is 100% Merlot. On the nose black currant, red berries, cherry, and a delicate sweetness.

2011 Helix Syrah Columbia Valley

2011 Helix Syrah Columbia Valley

The palate does not disappoint, rich and round with flavors of blue fruits and wonderful savory quality with a finish of tea and wet slate, this is a good thing. This wine has been barrel aged in 100% French Oak for 2 years.

I hope you enjoyed today’s wine program The Tasting Room. Please join me again next Sunday for a live interview with Boo Walker, Head of Global Sales and Marketing, and Author from Hedges Family Estate. Until then I will see you on the radio.

From my table to yours,

Kingston Vineyards On The Tasting Room With Wine Guy Mike

Wine Guy Mike

Wine Guy Mike

Live Stream The Tasting Room on KFGM 105.5 FM from 12:00 – 1:00MST right here; http://tunein.com/radio/KFGM—Missoula-Community-Radio-s288054/?utm_source=tiEmbed&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=s288054

Courtney Kingston

Courtney Kingston

Today on The Tasting Room with Wine Guy Mike, my special guest is Courtney Kingston, owner of Kingston Vineyards located in the Casablanca Valley of Chile. Kingston Vineyards is situated in the Western Hills of the Casablanca Valley in Chile.

Chile is a very narrow country that is 2600 miles in length from North to South. At its widest point though it is only 100 miles wide. The moderate Mediterranean climate is not only ideal for growing world-class grapes it has significant European influence stemming from the large number French, German, Spanish, and English that have relocated there.

There are three very distinct climate influences from the East to the West in Chile. Likewise, there are also three main grape growing regions that run from North to South in Chile. The Coastal Region is cool and moist from the Maritime influence, the Central Valley’s can be very warm, while the Andes Mountain region can be warm or very cool depending on the season and location.

Kingston Vineyards Casablanca Valley, Chile

Kingston Vineyards Casablanca Valley, Chile

The three major grape growing regions of Chile are the Casablanca Valley where they grow Sauvignon blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot noir, this area is located within the Coastal region. The Maipo Valley produces Cabernet Sauvignon and is located in the Central Valley region while the Rapel and Colchagua Valley’s grow Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, and Merlot grape varietals. These valleys are situated from North to South.

The migration of Europeans over time has influenced the arts, culture, styles of food, and certainly winemaking. Argentina and Chile both are considered New World winemaking countries, yet due to the outside influence of Europeans who have migrated to Chile, there can be an Old World winemaking influence. For Kingston Vineyards Old World winemaking methodologies are definitely present in their handling, fermenting and aging of their wines.

For instance, the majority use of Native yeast rather than commercial inoculated strains of yeast is an example of Old World winemaking technique. Another example is their winemakers use of older barrels for fermenting and aging Kingston wines, imparting far less tannin, aroma, and flavor to the wines. The Kingston Vineyard Chardonnay is partially fermented and aged in cement vats which are a technique used to have a neutral effect on the wine as opposed to wooden barrels that impart texture, aroma, and flavor or steel tanks that can impart a tart crispness, almost metallic style effect on a wine.

Interview with Courtney Kingston 

The three Kingston Vineyard Wines we are featuring today on The Tasting Room are the Tobiano Pinot noir, the Lucero Syrah, and the Cariblanco Sauvignon blanc.

The Tobiano Pinot noir is cold soaked for at least 5 days, this extracts the right amount of color and mellow’s the tannins. It is fermented utilizing mainly Native yeast allowing the grape to speak for itself. This wine was named for a Paint horse residing on the vineyard that looks as if it had a couple cans of paint throw on it.

Kingston Vineyards 2015 Tobiano Pinot noir

Kingston Vineyards 2015 Tobiano Pinot noir

The Lucero Syrah grapes are grown highest upon the hillsides at Kingston Vineyards where they receive the greatest amount of sunshine. The Syrah grapes from various blocks of the vineyard are cold soak fermented separately after being de-stemmed, although some of the grapes are fermented together as a whole cluster. The grapes are then put into older neutral wine barrels for a second native fermentation imparting a subtle smoothness into the final product, the wine.

Kingston Vineyards Horses

Kingston Vineyards Horses

Lucero is a horse from the farm that the vineyard is also located on. The horse was named for the bright white flash on his forehead!

Kingston Vineyards 2015 Lucero Syrah

Kingston Vineyards 2015 Lucero Syrah

The Kingston Vineyards Sabino Chardonnay has been fermented in French Oak Barrels and concrete tanks. Native yeast natural fermentation allows this wine to have a particular sense of place. It needs a bit of age so I recommend laying it down for at least one year.

Kingston Vineyards 2015 Sabino Chardonnay

Kingston Vineyards 2015 Sabino Chardonnay

The Kingston Vineyards Cariblanco Sauvignon blanc has a combination of Native and inoculated yeast used in the fermentation process. The wine is finished in steel tanks where it undergoes partial malolactic fermentation, helping to settle the acidity. Cariblanco is a horse that resides at the vineyard too, his face is a stunning white!

Kingston Vineyards 2016 Cariblanco Sauvignon blanc

Kingston Vineyards 2016 Cariblanco Sauvignon blanc

The wines I have selected today are of exceptional quality and value. I recommend the Kingston Vineyards wines to you.

From my table to yours,

Sparkling Wine For The Valentine Wine Event

Sparkling Wine For The Valentine Wine Event

Sparkling Wine For The Valentine! A Sparkling Wine Event With WineGuyMike.
Join WineGuyMike for an evening of fun tasting new Sparkling wines. Delicious dessert appetizers presented by Scratch Catering LLC. Mike will feature dessert appetizers with a flight of 5 incredible Sparkling Wines.

Tonights Sparkling Wine For The Valentine Wine Flight

LOUISE DE GRENELLE CUVÉE IVOIRE

LOUISE DE GRENELLE CUVÉE IVOIRE

LA MASCHERA PROSECCO EXTRA DRY

LA MASCHERA PROSECCO EXTRA DRY

JEAN CHARLES CREMANT BRUT

JEAN CHARLES CREMANT BRUT

GRUET BRUT ROSÉ

GRUET BRUT ROSÉ

GRAN GESTA CAVA BRUT RESERVA

GRAN GESTA CAVA BRUT RESERVA

Don’t miss the best Valentine Event in Missoula!

Sparkling Wine For The Valentine

February 09, 2017 6:30 pm-9:00 pm at Katie O’Keefe’s 2100 Stephens Ave, Missoula, Montana 59801

Tickets for this popular event are $25.00 and will be sold in advance. Space is limited and must be reserved no later than 02/06/2017.  

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From my table to yours,

Tasting Thanksgiving Wines With Wine Guy Mike

Thanksgiving Cornucopia

On November 17th, 2016 come and join Wine Guy Mike Tasting Wines selected especially for your Thanksgiving Dinner. The wines that Mike has selected for this special tasting event are comfortably priced so that you can enjoy spectacular wine with your family and friends. Scratch Catering LLC will be providing charcuterie platters to complement this flight of 5 wines.

Tonights Flight

Jean Charles Cremant Brut

Jean Charles Cremant Brut

Mulderbosch Chenin Blanc

Mulderbosch Chenin Blanc

Waters Columbia Valley Syrah

Waters Columbia Valley Syrah

Frank Family Zinfandel

Frank Family Zinfandel

Seuil Graves Rouge

Seuil Graves Rouge

Thanksgiving Wine Tasting with Wine Guy Mike

Thanksgiving Wine Tasting with Wine Guy Mike

Please invite your friends and family for this incredible evening of fun, food, and exceptional wines led by Wine Consumer Advocate Wine Guy Mike.

Event Details:

Date; November 17th, 2016 6:30pm-9:30pm

Place; Katie O’Keefe’s 2100 Stephens Ave, Missoula, Montana 59801

Tickets; are available by contacting WineGuyMike at 406.370.7162 or email mike@wineguymike.comtickets are $25.00 each, space is limited and must be reserved by 11/14/2016

From my table to yours,

Wine Guy Mike Logo

 

 

IT’S WINE TASTING TIME WITH WINE GUY MIKE!

Wine season is upon us and Wine Guy Mike would like to invite you to join him tasting a delicious flight of Italian wine selections and fantastic light appetizers. Mike will be presenting the flight of wines in a fun and informative way that will help you to better understand Italian wines. Be sure not to miss this special evening of fun and sharing that will kick off this WineGuyMike wine tasting season.

Wine Guy Mike wine tasting

Wine Guy Mike wine tasting

Wine Guy Mike has sourced the finest cured meats and cheese selections for this special wine tasting that you will not want to miss out on.

Wine Guy Mike Cured Meat and Cheese Platters

Wine Guy Mike Cured Meat and Cheese Platters

Location; Katie O’Keefe’s 2100 Stephens Ave, Missoula, Montana 59801

Tickets are available by contacting WineGuyMike at 406.370.7162 or email mike@wineguymike.comtickets are $25.00 each, space is limited and must be reserved by 10/13/2016

From my table to yours,

Wine Guy Mike Logo

Zonin1821 Dress Code Collection Prosecco

Any time of year is great to enjoy Prosecco but during the heat of summer, it is especially satisfying. I recently had the pleasure of pairing wines with a seven-course dinner for ten. Zonin1821 new Dress Code Collection of Prosecco wines was my choice to get the party started!

Zonin1821 Dress Code Collection

Zonin1821 Dress Code Collection

It was an early summer afternoon and Zonin1821’s Dress Code Collection seemed to be the perfect choice for what turned out to be a special evening of wine and food. Serving wine to guests at gatherings it’s important to consider the nature of the event such as; Formality, season, occasion, and food courses being served.

The evening opened with guests mingling on the porch of a beautiful University area home at which time I popped the first bottle of Dress Code bubbly. Clearly, no one does sexy like the Italians and this new collection of wines does not disappoint. The three bottles of wine from this collection may be the most attractive that I have seen. Gorgeous is what comes to mind and from an aesthetics standpoint, I was pleased to share these with the dinner guests.

The real litmus test though is the taste test and with bubbly poured and glasses in hand all my attention was focused on the eyes and body language of the people now tasting the Zonin1821 Dress Code Edition wines.

Prosecco is produced in the Veneto region of Italy at the foothills of the Italian Alps in northern Italy. Traditionally Zonin1821 produces Prosecco made from 100% Glera the grape varietal of Prosecco.

Wine today is not just Old World or New World but the style of winemaking must also be considered. Is the wine stylistically classic or has it been non-traditionally crafted?

With regard to their new collection of Prosecco wines, Zonin has reached deep down and produced a collection of wine that is very different for their brand. Their new Dress Code Collection of wines still adhere to the rules and laws that allow Prosecco to be blended with up to 15% of other grape varietals. The varietals used for blending are approved in this case by the DOC of the Prosecco wine region.

Zonin1821 typically is as traditional as it gets just as the name indicates this seven generation family owned and winemaking tradition has been producing Prosecco since 1821. The only tradition associated with the Dress Code Collection of wines is quality and distinction.

Continuing to produce traditional Prosecco was not what Zonin1821 had in mind for this Dress Code Collection of White, Grey, and Black. The winemaker obviously was intent on producing a Prosecco that those new to this delightful bubbly would immediately enjoy and those already smitten with Prosecco would stretch their palates also enjoying their favorite wine with a new twist.

Zonin knocked this new collection out of the park, not just on quality and taste but this flight of Prosecco parallels an evening of perfect entertaining. What do I mean by “parallel to an evening of perfect entertaining”?

Prosecco wines are typically simple and refreshing which is exactly why I like to serve them in summer. There is nothing more off-putting than trying to wrap your mind and palate around a heavy and overly complex wine when its 100°F on the deck.

This flight of three Prosecco’s from Zonin starts with their White Edition. The alluring look, feel, and color of these bottles speaks to your wine soul. Intuitively you know exactly which bottle to start, continue, and finish with.

Zonin1821 White Edition  

Zonin1821 White Edition

Zonin1821 White Edition

This first in the flight of three wines is comprised of 91% Glera & 9% Pinot Bianco grape varietals. For me, the Pinot Bianco just cleans this wine up making it invitingly enjoyable and crisp. This is a perfect way to start the evening, and the guests loved this crisp invigorating wine. This White Edition wine grabs your attention letting you know it is a serious contender, no flab here.

This wine exudes subtle notes of floral and fruit but that 9% of Pinot Bianco keeps it in check and sets it apart from another pedestrian Prosecco. This wine will get the party started, the right way.

Zonin1821 Grey Edition

Zonin1821 Grey Edition

Zonin1821 Grey Edition

Somehow you just know this wine is the second in the of flight of three that you are supposed to be tasting, something psychological with the color scheme of bottles from the Zonin1821Dress Code Collection.

This wine is a non-traditional Prosecco blend of 87% Glera & 13% Pinot Grigio. The wine harmoniously eases you into your evening but still manages to keep your full attention, crisp yet so effortlessly smooth.

The Grey Edition Prosecco is not like a wine that has been over manipulated through a malolactic fermentation but is an exemplary reflection of experienced winemaking guiding two grape varietals to a perfect marriage in the bottle.

The Grey Edition offers refreshing elements of green apple and a subtle spice nuance of Ginger, the result is a wine that commands your attention, transcendentally transitioning everyone’s palates in an ever so soothing and smooth manner. Delicious!

Zonin1821 Black Edition

Zonin1821 Black Edition

Zonin1821 Black Edition

The third wine in the flight, the Black Edition, is dressed in scintillating black attire and after imbibing in the White and Grey Dress Code Edition Prosecco’s you are left with an insatiable desire to taste this last charmer from Zonin and believe me it does not disappoint.

The Black Edition Prosecco is a blend of 90% Glera & 10% Pinot Noir, perfectly suited for the progression of the evening. This sparkling Prosecco holds your hand and delivers a depth of character and simple sophistication with every sip. An aroma that delights and a mouthfeel of silky velvet on the palate the Black Edition delivers elegant fruit, floral, and subtle element of comforting spice. This wine was the perfect accompaniment with the amuse-bouche course of dinner.

No matter what you are serving with this flight of Italian wine, Zonin1821Dress Code Collection is a real crowd pleaser. Quality is high and these three wines are very affordable offering true value for any wine lover.

From my table to yours,

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