Tag Archives: California

This Week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© Author of Daily Decadence The Art of Sensual Living

Check out the radio show on The Trail 103.3FM and U 104.5FM.  The live stream feed is online at www.trail1033.com where you can click on “Listen Live”.  The WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© airs on both radio stations Sunday mornings at 10:00AM MST.

Social Media links;

Today’s full unedited podcast with author Sherri Dobay; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/09/01/wine-guy-mike-for-september-2nd/

Recent Podcast with Halter Ranch head winemaker, Kevin Sass; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/08/19/wine-guy-mike-for-august-19/

Recent podcast with Author Becky Sue Epstein; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/08/12/wine-guy-mike-for-august-12/

YouTube preview of this week’s show with Sherri Dobay; http://youtu.be/qgWNP1_fGZs

Recent Podcast with head winemaker of Balletto Vineyards & Winery, Mr. Anthony Beckman; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/07/29/wine-guy-mike-for-july-29/

Recent podcast; (full length conversation) with Maximilian Riedel, CEO Riedel Crystal of America http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/06/24/wine-guy-mike-for-june-24/

NBC Montana Today TV Segment; Perfect Patio Wines and food pairing; http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/Mike-Tornatore-8-7-12/-/14594602/15999458/-/67a5ri/-/index.html

YouTube; My YouTube channel of course is WineGuyMike™ or the actual URL link: http://www.youtube.com/user/WineGuyMike?feature=mhum

Facebook; WineGuyMike please “like”

Twitter; @WineGuyMike please follow me

Ciao Mambo, “Eat Like You Mean It”, located in Missoula on The Hip Strip.  Find them online at www.CiaoMambo.com

Sleep City Missoula  www.SleepCity.com

Liquid Planet “Best of Beverage” and a great place to find your holiday wine located in the heart of downtown Missoula.

Georges Distributing in Helena, Montana

Author Sherri Dobay joined me in the studio this week on the WineGuyMike Radio Show to talk about her book Daily Decadence The Art of Sensual Living.  Dobay is a women of wit, wisdom, humor, and experience which she shares with the reader in her book. 

As I read Dobay’s book I was struck by the transparency of her vignettes. Her stories of trysts are scintillating and take you on a contemplative journey that is like a retrospective vacation.  Dobay then takes you a step closer to her soul by sharing a recipe and wine pairing that was deeply meaningful to the story. 

Daily Decadence The Art of Sensual Living exceeded my expectations and I have really enjoyed reading this book, I find it very soothing almost as if I have taken a long weekend trip.  Dobay’s objective in writing her book was to encourage the reader to enjoy the moment, appreciate that which is simple, stop and smell the roses.  It is my opinion that she has more than accomplished this and she has insightful experience to share as well.

Readers will really enjoy this book of beautiful and sometimes sensually scandalous tales that Dobay has to share, but make no mistake this author is not one dimensional by any means.  Dobay takes time to indulge just as she recommends the reader too do.  Sherri Dobay is an accomplished artist, Chef du Jour, and loves to ride horses.  If you need a bit of Daily Decadence in your life get a copy of Dobay’s book and infuse a little art of sensual living into your life, Sherri will show you how.

Foodies and wine lover won’t be disappointed either, Dobay’s wine and food pairings are elegant.  Remember the inspiration for the pairings are stirred by her soul as she shares the intimate experiences of her life in such an authentic way.  Not sure what’s on your table tonight, Dobay inspires the Chef du Jour within.

I want to thank Sherri Dobay for joining me in the studio this week.  I would like to congratulate and wish she and Mark well as they tie the knot and marry this month.  It makes one wonder what wine and food will be served at this not so daily but decadent event….Learn more about Sherri Dobay on her website at http://www.daily-decadence.com/

Today’s unedited podcast with author Sherri Dobay, http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/09/01/wine-guy-mike-for-september-2nd/

This week WineGuyMike™ has two wonderful wines to share with you for a little dose of Daily Decadence.  Both are available especially priced at Liquid Planet, Missoula’s “Best of Beverage”, located in the Heart of Downtown Missoula.

The wines reviewed today receive the WineGuyMike™ Seal of Approval™

You can listen to the show live on the Trail 103.3FM or U 104.5FM.  These shows are podcast for your convenience and available on my blog at; www.WineGuyMike.wordpress.com

From my table to yours,

"from my table to yours"

This Week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© Sideways The Play with John Colella and Julia McIlvaine

Check out the radio show on The Trail 103.3FM and U 104.5FM.  The live stream feed is online at www.trail1033.com where you can click on “Listen Live”.  The WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© airs on both radio stations Sunday mornings at 10:00AM MST.

Social Media links;

Today’s Podcast with Sideways The Play stars John Colella and Julia McIlvaine; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/08/26/wine-guy-mike-for-august-26/

Last week’s podcast with Halter Ranch head winemaker, Kevin Sass; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/08/19/wine-guy-mike-for-august-19/

YouTube preview of this week’s show with Sideways The Play stars John Colella and Julia McIlvaine; http://youtu.be/eepQA8kdqMA

Recent Podcast with head winemaker of Balletto Vineyards & Winery, Mr. Anthony Beckman; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/07/29/wine-guy-mike-for-july-29/

Recent week’s podcast; What You Need To Know About Wine  http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/07/15/wine-guy-mike-for-july-15/

Recent week’s podcast; Perfect Patio Wines http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/07/01/wine-guy-mike-for-july-1/

Recent podcast; (full length conversation) with Maximilian Riedel, CEO Riedel Crystal of America http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/06/24/wine-guy-mike-for-june-24/

NBC Montana Today TV Segment; Perfect Patio Wines and food pairing; http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/Mike-Tornatore-8-7-12/-/14594602/15999458/-/67a5ri/-/index.html

YouTube; My YouTube channel of course is WineGuyMike™ or the actual URL link: http://www.youtube.com/user/WineGuyMike?feature=mhum

Facebook; WineGuyMike please “like”

Twitter; @WineGuyMike please follow me

Sleep City Missoula  www.SleepCity.com

Liquid Planet “Best of Beverage” and a great place to find your holiday wine located in the heart of downtown Missoula.

Georges Distributing in Helena, Montana

Rex Pickett’s 2004 novel Sideways won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, and was nominated in four other Academy Award categories.

Set in the Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara County the movie Sideways has two men in their forties on a week long road trip to the wine country, this is where things go “Sideways”.

Jim Taylor and Alexander Payne whom adapted this screenplay of Pickett’s novel won multiple awards.  In the movie Paul Giamatti portrays, Miles Raymond, who is an aspiring writer and teaches middle school English in San Diego.  Miles a real wine-aficionado is going to take his college roommate and friend, Jack Cole, played by Thomas Haden Church, an actor who is soon to be married on a road trip to the Santa Ynez Valley wine country.  

Miles and Jack have very different ideas about the idea of what quality time on a road trip in the wine country together means.  Actresses Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh, portray local women who live and work in this beautiful wine country.  They both become romantically involved with the men and this is where the story begins.

Today though is about a new beginning and I had the pleasure of hosting two star cast members, John Colella and Julia McIlvaine, of Rex Pickett’s new theatrical production Sideways The Play.  The play which parallels the novel much more closely than the movie has been a hit since its opening and has been extended twice through September 2nd.  Sideways The Play is directed by Amelia Mulkey whom as John and Julia were quick to suggest is brilliant. (Full length podcast; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/08/26/wine-guy-mike-for-august-26/ )

John and Julia’s bios:

John Colella has been acting in theatre, film, and television for the last 25 years. A native Chicagoan and a graduate of the Goodman School of Drama at DePaul University where he received his BFA, John recently took home an Indie Soap Award for Best Actor in a Comedy for his portrail of Donnie G. in his Web Series-Vampire Mob.  Film credits include:  Hotel Noir, Girl Walks Into A Bar, The Chicago 8, and The Swear Police (Best Short under 5 min, Los Angeles Comedy Shorts Film Festival).  He has also been seen on Criminal Minds, Desperate Housewives, CSI:NY, American Dreams, Will & Grace, The West Wing, and NYPD Blue.  Theatre credits include:  Miles in Sideways, Cyrano in Cyrano de Bergerac, Italian American Reconciliation, Faithful, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), and Lobby Hero.

For more information on John, including full resume, demo reel, and testimonials, www.johncolella.com

Julia McIlvaine has been working as an actress for over 15 years, in Los Angeles and New York City. “Sideways” is her 4th production at the Ruskin Group Theatre, alongside “All My Sons,” “Glengarry Glen Ross” and “Cyrano,” which starred “Sideways” own John Colella. In New York, she appeared in Marsha Norman’s “Pride’s Crossing,” and “Henry VIII” at the New York Shakespeare Festival. She has also worked in four network pilots for CBS, ABC, and Fox, and three TV movies for Hallmark Hall of Fame. She is a graduate of the USC School of Theatre, and the Ruskin School.

It is everyone’s desire to take the play on the road and it sounds like this may happen in the spring of 2013.  It was great fun to have Colella and McIlvaine join me on the show, Sideways the movie is one of my personal favorite wine films for a number of reasons. 

The film had a global impact on the wine industry having stimulated great interest in wine for wine lovers and new wine drinkers alike.  As for Merlot, well it killed the varietal on a global level; it was just not sheik to have a glass on Merlot in your hand.  Pinot Noir was brought to life in an amazing way.  Globally sales of this intellectual varietal have risen to new levels and continued to enjoy lofty popularity.  This is one of the strongest trends historically for wine, yes driven by a discussion between Jack and Miles in Sideways the movie:

Jack: If they want to drink Merlot, we’re drinking Merlot.

Miles Raymond: No, if anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving. I am NOT drinking any f**king Merlot!  

And the rest is history, literally.  Sideways The Play has sold out every night and been extended twice under the direction of Amelia Mulkey.  Each night an hour before the play high end Pinot Noir’s from the Santa Barbara wine country and Central Coast wine region are enjoyed by the attendees.

John Colella and Julia McIlvaine are dynamic personalities who enjoy very successful careers as actor and actress.  Rex Pickett now markets his own brand of Merlot and hopes to position Sideways as global brand.  Pickett, Mulkey, and the outstanding cast of Sideways The Play will be taking this production on the road and I hope that it comes to a city near you.

Julia and John I want to thank you both for taking time from your busy schedules to be featured guest on this week’s WineGuyMike Radio Show, it was great fun and I hope you will both join me again.

I have two inexpensive Pinot Noir wines that I’m recommending for you this week.  Both are available especially priced at Liquid Planet, Missoula’s “Best of Beverage”, located in the Heart of Downtown Missoula.

The wines reviewed today all receive the WineGuyMike™ Seal of Approval™

You can listen to the show live on the Trail 103.3FM or U 104.5FM.  These shows are podcast for your convenience and available on my blog at; www.WineGuyMike.wordpress.com

From my table to yours,

"from my table to yours"

This Week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© Halter Ranch Vineyard Head Winemaker Kevin Sass

Check out the radio show on The Trail 103.3FM and U 104.5FM.  The live stream feed is online at www.trail1033.com where you can click on “Listen Live”.  The WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© airs on both radio stations Sunday mornings at 10:00AM MST.

Social Media links;

Today’s Podcast with Halter Ranch head winemaker, Kevin Sass; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/08/19/wine-guy-mike-for-august-19/

Last week’s podcast with Author Becky Sue Epstein; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/08/12/wine-guy-mike-for-august-12/

YouTube preview of last week’s show with Becky Sue Epstein; http://youtu.be/ZrIZX-k9pHc

Recent Podcast with head winemaker of Balletto Vineyards & Winery, Mr. Anthony Beckman; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/07/29/wine-guy-mike-for-july-29/

Recent week’s podcast; What You Need To Know About Wine  http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/07/15/wine-guy-mike-for-july-15/

Recent week’s podcast; Perfect Patio Wines http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/07/01/wine-guy-mike-for-july-1/

Recent podcast; (full length conversation) with Maximilian Riedel, CEO Riedel Crystal of America http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/06/24/wine-guy-mike-for-june-24/

NBC Montana Today TV Segment; Perfect Patio Wines and food pairing; http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/Mike-Tornatore-8-7-12/-/14594602/15999458/-/67a5ri/-/index.html

YouTube; My YouTube channel of course is WineGuyMike™ or the actual URL link: http://www.youtube.com/user/WineGuyMike?feature=mhum

Facebook; WineGuyMike please “like”

Twitter; @WineGuyMike please follow me

Ciao Mambo, “Eat Like You Mean It”, located in Missoula on The Hip Strip.  Find them online at www.CiaoMambo.com

Sleep City Missoula  www.SleepCity.com

Liquid Planet “Best of Beverage” and a great place to find your holiday wine located in the heart of downtown Missoula.

Georges Distributing in Helena, Montana

Hansjörg Wyss

Hansjörg Wyss

Successful Swiss-born businessman Hansjörg Wyss is a man with vision, and a man on a mission, of sustainability that is.  Wyss is a devoted philanthropist and land conservationist, he is also the founder of Halter Ranch Vineyard in Paso Robles, California.

Halter Ranch Vineyard

Halter Ranch Vineyard

Paso Robles AVA is located in the Central Coast Region of California along U.S. Highway 101, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles.  This area supports the growth of more than 40 grape varietals. Bordeaux, Rhone, and a handful of other grape varietals produce the outstanding wines this area is noted for.

The Paso Robles AVA has the greatest daily temperature variant of any viticulture area in California.  There are many distinct microclimates, diverse soil composition, and a long growing season.  Halter Ranch Vineyard is located West of Highway 101 near the western boundary of the Paso Robles AVA.  The Halter Ranch vineyards are influenced by cool ocean breezes from the Pacific Ocean to the west, and elevation from the Santa Lucia Mountain Range to the east.  The vineyards of Halter Ranch are planted to south facing slopes rising to 1800ft. of elevation, thus creating nearly perfect terroir producing grapes of intense varietal character.

Halter Ranch Vineyard dates back to 1880’s and was part of a 3600 acre holding owned by San Francisco businessman Edwin Smith.  Smith built a grand house on the property and began dealing in farm produce and livestock; he also invested heavily in silver mining.  Smith had been an avid horse racing enthusiast, keeping a private box at Tanforan Race Track and a stable of thoroughbreds on his estate.

The estate was broken up in the early 1990’s and in 1943 the MacGillivray family purchased 1200 acres.   The family farmed the land for the next 50 years and began planting grapes in 1996.  In 2000, Hansjörg Wyss purchased 900 acres of the ranch, renovated Smith’s historic farmhouse, and enlarged the vineyard to its present 250 acres, leaving nearly 750 acres unfarmed supporting the ranches natural habitat and old growth oak groves.

New state of the art facilities have been built to complement the world class grapes grown by Halter Ranch.  The new winery is multi-level and utilizes a gravity flow system; this allows the winemaker to handle the fruit in the gentlest way possible with no pumping from the de-stemmer, to the tanks, and ultimately the barrels.   

Halter Ranch adheres to the Sustainability in Practice (SIP™) Vineyard Certification Program.  

SIP™ certification assures that a vineyard practices integrated farming and is committed to environmental stewardship, equitable treatment of employees, and economic viability.  Incorporating all Organic farming techniques and nearly all aspects of Biodynamic farming, SIP™ requires more stringent farming practices in many other key areas as seen in the chart below.

Topic of Interest

Sustainability in Practice (SIP)TM

USDA-National Organic Program

Biodynamics®

Annual Certification

X

X

X

Biodiversity

X

X

X

Vineyard Management

X

X

X

Soil Conservation

X

X

X

Pest Management

X

X

X

Water Quality

X

X

X

Organic Approved Pesticides

X

X

X

Reduced Risk Synthetic Pesticides*

X

 

 

Water Conservation

X

 

 

Energy Conservation

X

 

 

Air Quality

X

 

 

Social Equity

 

 

 

Continuing Education

X

 

 

Fruit Quality

X

 

 

Economic Viability

X

 

 

GMO Prohibition

n/a for winegrapes

X

X

Homepathic Remedies

 

 

X

Incorporate Forces of Nature

 

 

X

Lead by Kevin Sass, head winemaker for Halter Ranch Vineyard, the philosophy is simple; grow premium grapes, incorporate Old World technique and New world technologies, handle fruit gently, and produce elegant Bordeaux and Rhone style wines.  Mission sustainable, mission accomplished.

Halter Ranch Winemaker Kevin Sass

Halter Ranch Winemaker Kevin Sass

Today’s podcast with Kevin Sass, head winemaker for Halter Ranch Vineyard; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/08/19/wine-guy-mike-for-august-19/

Last year Halter Ranch founder Hansjörg Wyss contributed $35 million toward the protection of 1 million acres of grasslands in Montana.  Governor Schweitzer of Montana celebrated the Halter Ranch owner,(huff.to/NU4fsd), and enjoys Halter Ranch wines at various events.  Halter Ranch wines will be available in the Montana market in the near term future.

WineGuyMike™ reviewed three of the Southern Rhône Valley style wines from  Halter Ranch Vineyard, all three were beautifully made and true to the Old World style in which they were crafted by winemaker Sass.

I have two inexpensive Rhône Valley wines that I’m recommending for you this week.  Both are available especially priced at Liquid Planet, Missoula’s “Best of Beverage”, located in the Heart of Downtown Missoula.

The wines reviewed today all receive the WineGuyMike™ Seal of Approval™

You can listen to the show live on the Trail 103.3FM or U 104.5FM.  These shows are podcast for your convenience and available on my blog at; www.WineGuyMike.wordpress.com

From my table to yours,

"from my table to yours"

Perfect Patio Wine – KECI NBC Montana Today and WineGuyMike

This mornings KECI Montana Today Feature with Rob Hudson and WineGuyMike; http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/Mike-Tornatore-8-7-12/-/14594602/15999458/-/67a5ri/-/index.html

This Week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© Wine Cellar Craftsman and Designer Philippe Leiritz

Check out the radio show on The Trail 103.3FM and U 104.5FM.  The live stream feed is online at www.trail1033.com where you can click on “Listen Live”.  The WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© airs on both radio stations Sunday mornings at 10:00AM MST.

Social Media links;

This week’s podcast; Philippe Leiritz and Your Custom Cellar http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/08/05/wine-guy-mike-for-august-5/

Recent podcast; What You Need To Know About Wine  http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/07/15/wine-guy-mike-for-july-15/

Last week’s podcast; Perfect Patio Wines http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/07/01/wine-guy-mike-for-july-1/

Recent podcast; (full length conversation) with Maximilian Riedel, CEO Riedel Crystal of America http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/06/24/wine-guy-mike-for-june-24/

Father’s Day podcast, Special Father’s and Special Wines http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/06/17/wine-guy-mike-for-june-17/

Recent Podcast with John Balletto of Balletto Vineyards & Winery http://bit.ly/WineGuyMike2

WineGuyMike with Perfect Patio Wines on KECI NBC Montana Today; http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/Mike-Tornatore-8-7-12/-/14594602/15999458/-/67a5ri/-/index.html

NBC Montana Today TV Segment on Easter wines and food pairing; http://www.nbcmontana.com/video/30847522/index.html

YouTube; My YouTube channel of course is WineGuyMike™ or the actual URL link: http://www.youtube.com/user/WineGuyMike?feature=mhum

Facebook; WineGuyMike please “like”

Twitter; @WineGuyMike please follow me

Ciao Mambo, “Eat Like You Mean It”, located in Missoula on The Hip Strip.  Find them online at www.CiaoMambo.com

Sleep City Missoula  www.SleepCity.com

Liquid Planet “Best of Beverage” and a great place to WineGuyMike show wines for the lowest price.  Located in the heart of downtown Missoula.

Georges Distributing in Helena, Montana.

Philippe Leiritz

Philippe Leiritz from YourCustomCellar.com

Philippe Leiritz was this week’s featured guest on the WineGuyMike Radio Show.  Leiritz is a native of Alsace, France and by professional trade worked as a mechanical engineer.  Leiritz and his wife Frederique worked together in Geneva, Switzerland prior to moving to and settling in Michigan.  Leiritz continued working in the engineering field but had no time to spend with his family. Frederique and Philippe made a decision to move to Missoula, Montana in pursuit of their dreams.

Collectively the Leiritz family is owner and proprietor of the Missoula Winery and Event Center.  Frederique who is from Champagne, France grew up and worked in a winery.  She is now the winemaker for her family winery and Philippe designs and builds wine cellars. 

Leiritz truly is a master craftsman with the mechanical engineering background.  A functional combination that comes together in the form of beautiful wine cellars custom built for all types of homes and businesses.

Learning how light, humidity and temperature are crucial for the finest wine storage.  There are four things that affect wines as they are stored; Temperature, Humidity, Light, and bottles need be stored horizontally on their side.

  1. Temperature 55°F – 59°F
  2. Humidity 50-70%
  3. Light – wines that are stored in areas with ample light often time indicates incorrect storage temperature.  Constant direct light is another factor to consider as it will begin breaking down wine.

In today’s world 90% of wines are made to be drunk within one year.  If you are a collector of vintage wines you already know how and where you should be storing your wines.  The bottom line; temperature is far more critical than a dark wine cellar.

  1. Lying the bottle down is critical, especially if you intend to store the wine for any length of time. The purpose of this is to keep the cork moist, if your bottle is setting upright there is no liquid to keep the cork wet and swollen thus sealing the bottle correctly and keeping the oxygen out until you are ready to drink the wine.

With synthetic corks do not need contact with the wine to protect the bottle but then you should still be laying the bottle down.  This is important for unfiltered wines with sediment being spread out evenly through a horizontally stored bottle rather than collecting on the bottom of one that is stored upright.  Remember the wine in the bottle is alive and changing every day and the sediment in the bottle plays its part in this too, but that is another story for another day…

Commercial wine rack at a local tasting room

Commercial wine rack at a local tasting room

Master craftsman Leiritz also points out the choice of wood used in a cellar is critical for your cellar.  Redwood, mahogany, oak and alder are a few of the recommended choices for cellars.  Price, relative humidity, home décor, and personal preference all become a part of making the right choice for your wine cellar, Leiritz’s expertise is crucial when it comes to assisting you in these decisions.  

It is important to note that Leiritz builds cellars for all types of homes from modest to elegant custom homes.  There are even nice small racks that allow for proper wine storage for common guys like me.

This was a fun and informative radio show this week and Philippe Leiritz craftsmanship is extraordinary, having a nice cellar makes collecting and drinking wine just that much more enjoyable.  For more information please visit the website at; http://www.yourcustomcellar.com/home   

Here are two WineGuyMike wines that I recommend for your wine rack, pick them up at Missoula’s finest wine shopping experience, Liquid Planet located in the Heart of Downtown Missoula.

The wines reviewed today all receive the WineGuyMike™ Seal of Approval™

From my table to yours,

"from my table to yours"

This Week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© Frank Sterns of Aurielle Vineyards in the Napa Valley

Check out the radio show on The Trail 103.3FM and Fresh 104.5FM.  The live stream feed is online at www.trail1033.com where you can click on “Listen Live”.  The WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© airs on both radio stations Sunday mornings at 10:00AM MST.

Social Media links;

Today’s Podcast Frank Sterns of Aurielle Vineyards http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/05/06/wine-guy-mike-for-may-6th/

Last week’s podcast with Justin Wylie and Va Piano Vineyards; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/04/22/wine-guy-mike-for-april-22/

NBC Montana Today TV Segment on Easter wines and food pairing; http://www.nbcmontana.com/video/30847522/index.html

YouTube; My YouTube channel of course is WineGuyMike™ or the actual URL link: http://www.youtube.com/user/WineGuyMike?feature=mhum

Facebook; WineGuyMike please “like”

Twitter; @WineGuyMike please follow me

Ciao Mambo, “Eat Like You Mean It”, located in Missoula on The Hip Strip.  Find them online at www.CiaoMambo.com

Sleep City Missoula  www.SleepCity.com

Liquid Planet “Best of Beverage” and a great place to find your holiday wine located in the heart of downtown Missoula.

Georges Distributing in Helena, Montana.

Featuring guests such as Frank Sterns is why I love doing what I do, all things wine media.  Frank is a modern day example of what this country is founded on, hard work, dreams, and tenacity, an entrepreneurial success story.

A native Californian who now resides in Florida Sterns career focus was the Audio/Video Industry.  He built a very successful sound business that not only required hard work but entertaining his clients also.  As Sterns recalled during our conversation good wine while dining with clients had a true impact on the success of his business.

Sterns passion for wine grew throughout his career and in 2005 when he sold his sound company.   His exit strategy involved a new dream and a new plan, to build a winery in the Napa Valley.  It was while dining at the renowned French Laundry restaurant that Sterns focused in on the wines that he loved and the type of wine he was determined he was going to make at his winery.

Sterns business acumen and wisdom led him to UC Davis where he studied various wine courses he knew would be crucial in building and running a successful winery operation.  This also provided Sterns the background he would need to partner with a likeminded winemaker.

Aurielle Vineyards grapes are grown in three premium vineyards in the mountain appellations of Mt. Veeder and Howell Mountain.  The Mt. Veeder vineyards are located at the northern edge of the appellation providing lush, dark, earthy fruit.  The soils of Mt. Veeder consist of pushed up sea bed that lend to that style of fruit.

The Howell Mountain vineyard is located at high altitude producing big concentrated red fruits.  Howell Mountain was formed from volcanic eruptions producing very different fruit from Mt. Veeder.  These contrasting styles of fruit brought together in the hands of a great winemaker can become amazing wine.

Enter Chad Alexander who grew up in this area and really has a sixth sense of the land, the fruits it produces, and what to do with it from vintage to vintage.  Chad is a former head winemaker for Robert Craig and produces a style of wine, Napa Valley mountain cabernets, that Frank Sterns sought to produce.

Aurielle Vineyards produces distinctive world-class wines utilizing the science of grape growing and winemaking combined with skillful winemaking that is unencumbered by constraints of production costs or quotas.

Sterns has formed relationships with premium grape growers that only work with the finest of winemakers and winery’s committed to producing the very best wine.  That is exactly what Sterns and Alexander have produced in their 2008 vintage of Aurielle Cabernet Sauvignon.  Not only is the 2008 Aurielle Cabernet a world-class wine of distinct character and typicity, it is also very unique.  The winemaking blend of Howell Mountain and Mt. Veeder fruit is rare but Alexander has done an artful job in making this wine.

The Aurielle 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon has depth of color, elegant in the glass, nearly purple, beautifully vicious.

A floral, spicy nose, red fruit, black fruit, and enticing aroma that is big yet complex, smooth and silky.  A few descriptions usually reserved for the palate yet were appropriate comments for the aroma of this sophisticated wine.

Pumice like tannin great the palate coating the sides of the mouth with velvet silk. Plum, spice, earthen leather, and a hint of vanilla from the judicious use of oak, and then a lingering nuance of berry is memorable, a treat for anyone’s palate, even the most sophisticated of wine drinkers.

I enjoyed this wine so much I shared it with Missoula proprietor Ed Wells of The Depot restaurant last night as I enjoyed this superb wine with my dinner.  My main course was beef, I had to pair this wine with a medium-rare New York cut that was peppered and dressed with Maytag Blue cheese.  I want more of each right now as I think about this very memorable pairing.

Frank Sterns and Chad Alexander have made an exceptional wine in their Aurielle 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon and I thank them both for sharing it with me.  This impeccable wine receives the WineGuyMike™ Seal of Approval™.

You can listen to the show live on the Trail 103.3FM or U 104.5FM.  These shows are podcast for your convenience and available on my blog at; www.WineGuyMike.wordpress.com

From my table to yours,

"from my table to yours"

Wines for Easter with WineGuyMike™ on KECI NBC Montana Today

Check out the radio show on The Trail 103.3FM and Fresh 104.5FM.  The live stream feed is online at www.trail1033.com where you can click on “Listen Live”.  The WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© airs on both radio stations Sunday mornings at 10:00AM MST.

Social Media links;

Current week’s Podcast  and full length conversation with the “Iceman” Donald Ziraldo http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/04/01/wine-guy-mike-for-april-1st/

Part Three; Grand Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot tasting with Winemaster Randy Ullom and WineGuyMike; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/03/25/wine-guy-mike-for-march-25/

Part Two, Vintners Reserve Chardonnay and Riesling tasting with Randy and WineGuyMike; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/03/18/wine-guy-mike-for-march-18/

Part One Avant Chardonnay

 http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/03/11/wine-guy-mike-for-march-11/

NBC Montana Today Show TV with Easter wines; http://www.nbcmontana.com/video/30847522/index.html

YouTube; My YouTube channel of course is WineGuyMike™ or the actual URL link: http://www.youtube.com/user/WineGuyMike?feature=mhum

Facebook; WineGuyMike please “like”

Twitter; @WineGuyMike please follow me

Ciao Mambo, “Eat Like You Mean It”, located in Missoula on The Hip Strip.  Find them online at www.CiaoMambo.com

Sleep City Missoula  www.SleepCity.com

Liquid Planet “Best of Beverage” and a great place to find your holiday wine located in the heart of downtown Missoula.

Georges Distributing in Helena, Montana.

It’s Good Friday and Easter Sunday is coming quickly.  You may be having guests for dinner or you might be a guest for Easter dinner, in any case you need a great wine to serve or share.  Here are a few wine and main entre pairing suggestions for you.  Happy Easter from WineGuyMike, from my table to yours.

L’Ecole N° 41  2010 Chenin Blanc – Columbia Valley ($10.99)

This second generation, family-owned artisan winery located in the historic Frenchtown School depicted on our label.   Founded in 1983, they are the third oldest winery in the Walla Walla Valley.  As a traditional brick and mortar winery they grow and make 100% of their wine.  The focus is on terroir-driven, distinctive, and expressive wines.  All of L’Ecole’s Walla Walla Valley wines are made from grapes which are certified sustainable.

This fresh, tart and delightfully fruity Chenin Blanc shows Asian pear, perfumed honeysuckle and orange blossom aromas with flavors of apple, apricot, and grapefruit on a crisp mineral, lightly sweet finish.

L’Ecole Nº 41 has produced this old vine, Vouvray style Chenin Blanc since 1987. Jean Ferguson, L’Ecole Nº 41’s founding winemaker, loved this wine and crafted her version of Vouvray through cold fermentation to enhance the fruity and floral esters.  This wine offers great value.

Food pairing; Ham, Cornish Hens, white variety of fish, shellfish.

Kendall-Jackson Avant Chardonnay ($14.99)

The Avant Chardonnay is a beautifully crafted wine that is a great wine to start of the evening with.  There are three things that I share with you about the entire portfolio of Kendall-Jackson wines; the wines are made with finesse, the wines are elegant, and the wines are always consistent.

The Avant Chardonnay is pale yellow in the glass; it looks refreshing in your glass as it begs to be tasted.  It was fun to taste this new wine from Kendall-Jackson against the Vintners Reserve Chardonnay that has long been one of America’s favorite wines.

The Avant has only a slight nuance of oak, the fruit is bright on the nose and the palate.  What I found intriguing about this wine is that on the palate it was both light yet rich with fruit.  This wine has a perfect balance of fruit and acid, featuring mild tropical fruit of pineapple, tart apple, and my favorite Meyer lemon, the K-J Avant will pair nicely with shellfish, or any white variety of fish.  The K-J Avant really comes to life on the mid-palate as it is crisp, and delivers light fruit with nice gentle acidity.  The finish is delightfully crisp with subtle tropical fruit that lingers long, this is a very nice wine.

Food Pairing; Roast Chicken, Cornish Game Hen, white fish varieties, Salmon, shellfish

Equifera Ice Wine ($70.00)

The Equifera Ice Wines are grown and produced in Short Hills, a sub-appellation of the Niagara Peninsula.  The Equifera Estate Winery is the former home to champion race horses in the 1950’s and 60’s.

Equifera produces Riesling, Vidal, and red Cabernet Franc Ice-wines. This week WineGuyMike had the opportunity to talk with Donald about the beautiful Equifera Ice-wines, we tasted them too.

The award winning Equifera Ice Wine is a special occasion in a glass.  When I taste great wine it occurs to me that you can taste the personality on the person behind the wine.  This is true of the Equifera Ice Wine, perhaps the best of Donald Ziraldo’s entire body of work in the world of wine.

The first wine that Donald and I tasted was the Riesling Ice-wine.  The Equifera Ice Wines strike the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity.  The Riesling is lighter in body and texture than the Equifera Vidal Ice Wine that Donald and I will taste next week on the show.  The structure and complexity of this magnificent ice-wine go hand-in-hand.  You would be hard pressed to find more complex wines in the world than the Equifera Ice Wines.  You could think of the Equifera wines as having multiple personalities as there are so many layers to them, you must try them.

Visually this Riesling ice-wine has a deep golden straw color that dances in your glass.  You are then greeted with the aroma of tropical fruit and a wonderful essence of stone fruit, and the nectar of honey.  On the mid-palate combine a wonderful tug of war between sweetness and acidity. The complexity of this wine is so deep that of the finish your palate is cleansed from the perfect acidity of the wine, but it does not end there.  The finish is an eternity of joyful bliss, just like a world class Sauterne you are left with the flavor of tart raisin.  This is one of the premier dessert or aperitif wines you will ever taste.

Food Pairings; Stilton or Rogue Creamery Blue Cheese, Baked goods, fresh fruit, Creme Brulee, it is also dessert in a glass and needs no accompaniment. 

Inniskillin Riesling Ice-wine ($70.00)

Riesling

One of the world’s greatest “noble” varieties, this cool weather grape with high acidy is a natural for the making of Icewine.  Classic Riesling qualities include elegant citrus flavors, ripe orchard fruit tones and a slight mineral edge.

Tasting Notes

This Riesling Icewine shows the elegance of tropical aromas and flavors of lemon and lime. The good acidity of Riesling allows for a refreshing mouth feel amid the many layers of flavors that unfold.

Food Pairing Suggestions

Great with lemon based desserts or tarts along with fresh fruit based desserts; rich cheeses accompanied by fresh or dried fruit or your favorite fruit compote. Delightful all on its own!

Icewine and Cheeses

The major difference between Icewine and other dessert wines is acidity.  While all dessert wines are sweet, only the best ones have balanced acidity as well.  This crucial element not only adds to the enjoyment of Icewine, but also to its natural compatibility with cheese.  Most of the cheese universe pairs brilliantly with Icewine because each cheese’s richness begs for that crucial acidity.  Cheeses are inherently savory and sometimes salty and when prepared with the honeyed sweetness of Icewine, it creates a lovely balance that makes for a perfect match.

Riesling based Icewine is renowned for its acidity and mineral notes.  Its vivid orange and citrus tones will combine with a rich range of creamy and decadent food textures and tastes, from foie gras to crème brulée.

2009 Russian River Pinot Noir ($28.99)

This dark, garnet colored Pinot Noir exhibits floral aromas of rose petals intertwined with spice components of ginger, dusty earth and a hint of vanilla. Fruit aromas of raspberry and cassis form the core of the wine, and in the mouth, create a long, delicious finish that can be tasted for several minutes.

The wine is showy with a seamless viscosity that is balanced with a healthy bit of tartness to keep the wine fresh and lively.  It’s full in the palate with fine, coco-powder like tannins and a nice dose of astringency that lend additional grip and structure to this wine.  Overall, the wine has struck the fine balance between delicate and structured, and will improve with bottle aging during the next five years (or more).

With the Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, they ferment each lot of grapes separately in three to six ton batches.  They do not add commercial yeast to the tanks and instead rely on the natural yeasts found on the grapes and throughout the winery to ferment the juice.  This process tends to increase the length of the fermentation and add an additional layer of complexity to the finished wine.  During fermentation and barrel aging, they treat the new wine as gently as possible in an effort to preserve its aroma.

Food Pairings; Leaner beef roasts, ham, pork roasts, Salmon, roasted chicken, Lamb dishes.

Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Merlot ($25.99)

All the wines that go into the Kendall-Jackson Bordeaux portfolio are treated with care and attention to detail; however, with Grand Reserve level fruit, they employ additional artisan techniques like hand sorting, small-batch fermentation and additional cold-soaking to coax the finest expression out of our fruit.

The wines are selected based on the potential they showed in the vineyard and during the final stages before draining off the skins. The wines are barrel-aged in French oak, usually seeing 35-40% new oak.  When the final selections are made the wines from each individual barrel are tasted to make sure it belongs in the blend. The result are fabulous Grand Reserve wines.

The Grand Reserve Merlot is rich with dark fruits of black plum, boysenberry and cherry.  The nose of this wine is beautifully subtle with notes of violet and rich dark fruit.  Silky tannins and nice firm structure greet your palate and the great balance of this wine makes it a superb food friendly wine. The palate delivers dark plum and berries followed with nice cherry.  The finish is an ever so subtle chocolate and cedar followed with a sense of light cleansing mineral, a real delight.

Food Pairings; Grilled meats, Beef roasts, Ham

2009 Viña Cobos Felino Cabernet Sauvignon ($19.99)

Paul Hobbs has always been committed to crafting unfiltered and unfined wines and utilizing native yeasts in the fermenting process.  His commitment to winemaking technique results in exceptional wines that are well structured. Paul’s wines are a product of classic old world technique.

The Felino wines express great balance of pure, concentrated fruit that is lively with acidity and smooth, fine, tannins.  The Viña Cobos Felino label offers Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Chardonnay that is vibrant, lush, mouth-filling wine with beautiful texture that pairs exceptionally well with food.  Did I mention these wines sell for under $16.00.  These wines offer incredible value as many of Paul’s California wine offerings are far north of $100.00.

The 2009 Viña Cobos Felino Cabernet Sauvignon is 88% cabernet sauvignon, 8 % syrah, 4% petit verdot.  The grapes get a 3 to 4 day cold soak; 15 to 18 days total maceration and are fermented with selected and native yeasts.  This wine receives second native malolactic fermentation in barrel for 5 months and is then aged 9 months in American and French oak barrels, 20% of these are new oak.

This is a big wine, 14.5% alcohol, yet very refined in a way that it has not been over manipulated.  A deep ruby hue paves the way for a nose that is ripe with aromas of saddle leather, subtle sweet tobacco, minerality, and earthiness. The palate is lush with a rich well rounded mouth-feel that is complex.  There is a great balance of dark fruit, black currant and boysenberry, mineral, sweet tobacco, and acid. This wine is both rich yet remains lively and well structured with perfect tannin.

Food Pairings; Lamb dishes, Beef Roasts(especially heavier marbled roasts), Prime Rib would be an exceptional pairing.

The wines reviewed today all receive the WineGuyMike™ Seal of Approval™

To learn more about Kendall-Jackson and Equifera Ice wine you can visit http://www.corridormag.com/home/grapevine too read recent articles I’ve written on these topics and more.

You can listen to the show live on the Trail 103.3FM or U 104.5FM.  These shows are podcast for your convenience and available on my blog at; www.WineGuyMike.wordpress.com

Liquid Planet in the heart of Downtown Missoula features most of the wines I have shared today.  Missoula’s premier wine shopping experience, Liquid Planet.

"from my table to yours"