Early Autumn Wines 2018 September Vol 3 Issue 2
Wines for early Autumn (where did the summer go?!?!) Early Autumn brings pros and cons… on one hand we benefit from broad choices of beautiful fresh produce – on the other hand we must start carrying a jacket as we brace for the oncoming shift to cooler weather. Fortunately plenty of good quality high-value wines… Continue reading Early Autumn Wines 2018 September Vol 3 Issue 2
Wines for Spring 2018 – and warmer (hopefully) weather!
Wines to enjoy as the weather improves… (or, should improve) As Winter transitions begrudgingly to Spring, our desire for lighter culinary flavors brings the opportunity to explore lighter wines (and the occasional blockbuster). A special note to those who enjoy French wines: Vintages from 2015 and 2016 throughout France yielded generally fantastic results – which allows many of us… Continue reading Wines for Spring 2018 – and warmer (hopefully) weather!
Celebrate 2018 with Sparkler!
Please have no Vino-Stress! So many stressors enter into our lives during the Holidays – but wine need not be one of them! Below are a few hopefully helpful thoughts and some recommendations for Holiday meals and merriment. (Skip to the bottom if you just want to go shopping for bubbly.) Should I put… Continue reading Celebrate 2018 with Sparkler!
October 2017 Chairman’s Selection reviews
Greetings! Lots of solid values in the latest Chairman’s haul – hope you find something interesting! Maison Aguila Cremant de Limoux Brut NV $14.99 Limoux, France PLCB Code# 78624 (In stores now) “Yeast and toast on the nose. Apple and citrus, with elegant mouthfeel and caressing bubbles.” Steve Pollack, wine buyer for the Chairman’s Selection® program Why… Continue reading October 2017 Chairman’s Selection reviews
Chairman’s Selection Preview Tasting March 2017
Last week I was invited to join PLCB wine experts and the Chairman Selection team for a tasting of Chairman Selection wines. Wines that I feel offer value and interesting characteristics are listed below. Some wines have external ratings, which are included where possible – otherwise I include comments from Steve Pollack, the head of… Continue reading Chairman’s Selection Preview Tasting March 2017
February Wine Reviews!
Greetings! First newsletter of 2017 – hope you find some interesting wines and good values to keep warm through the winter months. Best regards, Jack Brice Bedouet Vigneron Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie 2015 $8.99 Loire Valley, France PLCB Code# 78511 Nice straw colour with green hues. Some green fruit character with some musky… Continue reading February Wine Reviews!
New Perspective Wines – December 2016
Ribbonwood Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015, Marlborough, New Zealand, $8.99, PLCB Code# 78379 “The 2015 Ribbonwood Sauvignon Blanc is scented of ripe lemons, asparagus and grass with touches of crushed stones and sweat. Medium-bodied, it offers mouth-filling citrus and grass-laced flavors and a good Long finish.” 87 Points Wine Spectator 11/15 Light straw color, grassy citrus nose, light, fresh… Continue reading New Perspective Wines – December 2016
Screaming Good Deals for Summer
Summertime often brings casual, hot, sweaty, outdoor parties. And even though friends deserve the very best, the budget deserves attention too, so locating a great tasting wine to enjoy with friends while not breaking the budget is a great way to feel good about the next party! Here are several wines that might help with… Continue reading Screaming Good Deals for Summer
Screaming good deals – Reds for the summer grill! (Cotes du Rhone and California Merlot)
The weather is getting warmer, and peoples’ palates are starting to consider summer whites and rose’, but hey, you still need some reds for those perfect summer evenings with THE GRILL! So here are two widely available reds that should fill the role nicely, impress your friends, while not breaking the bank… Bouachon Cotes du… Continue reading Screaming good deals – Reds for the summer grill! (Cotes du Rhone and California Merlot)
Wine on Tap – Good or Bad?
The answer: GOOD! (Although will likely be better in the future… pros and cons below) Recently I was invited by a bar owner to taste wines from a wine tap system she recently installed as she was rehabbing her bar/restaurant. She explained that the tap system was ideal for her because her business inhabits an… Continue reading Wine on Tap – Good or Bad?
It’s here: Chairman’s Selection Tasting Results – Fall 2014
Pennsylvania Wine enthusiasts often suggest the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board system keeps Pennsylvanians from the great retail sale prices available in other states. Debate over the PLCB’s efficacy will go on… and on. In the meantime, we consumers can walk into many of the state’s specialty stores this holiday season and find some high quality… Continue reading It’s here: Chairman’s Selection Tasting Results – Fall 2014
Autumn reds for autumn foods – Rhone always delivers!
As weather turns chilly and leaves turn colors, much of what we eat turns toward warm, savory autumn meals and wine-enthusiasts’ thoughts often turn to warm and approachable Rhone style red wines. Paired with hearty stews, and game night chili, the so-called “Rhone Varietals” are a solid red wine choice for the season’s cuisine. Indeed… Continue reading Autumn reds for autumn foods – Rhone always delivers!
All duck dinner – duck five ways with five wines!
We are fortunate to live in a city with a restaurant like The Crested Duck. Chef Kevin Costa painstakingly obsesses to make sure that every single bite is satisfying and tasty – AND reflects the flavors he intended. With this in mind, and knowing several people who love duck – we at http://www.off-the-grid.ws challenged The… Continue reading All duck dinner – duck five ways with five wines!
Napa Merlot worth trying – Bommarito Merlot Napa Valley 2012 by Whitehall Lane
While contemplating the famous anti-merlot statements in the movie ‘SIDEWAYS’, my enthusiast friends and I reiterated our belief that Merlot got a bad wrap in that movie scene. To be fair to those who cheered when the line was delivered, we recognize that Merlot as a varietal became hugely popular through the 1990s, which led… Continue reading Napa Merlot worth trying – Bommarito Merlot Napa Valley 2012 by Whitehall Lane
Bargain Portuguese red blend Carmim Aragones Reguengos 2012
Looking for a wine to stand up to burgers and other summer-grill favorites? Try the Carmim Aragones Reguengos 2012 – you may want to buy several to last the remainder of the Grilling Season! First some background: American wine enthusiasts often overlook the wines of Portugal, not for any ill will toward the country (I… Continue reading Bargain Portuguese red blend Carmim Aragones Reguengos 2012
Screaming Good Deal: The Show Chardonnay 2012 at $7.99
A certain satisfaction always accompanies declaring a Screaming Good Deal – defined as a wine with below $10 price point and above $10 quality. In the case of The Show Chardonnay 2012, satisfaction is clearly warranted. Similar to many other wines at affordable price points, The Show Chardonnay is a wine produced by winemakers and… Continue reading Screaming Good Deal: The Show Chardonnay 2012 at $7.99
Two Tasty Americans – solid value Pennsylvania Chairman’s Selections: Beringer Sauvignon Blanc and Sebastiani Merlot
With price points just north of my $10 qualification to be a ‘screaming good deal’, these two wines present very solid value to the wine-loving consumer. Beringer Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2012 – The Beringer winery in Napa Valley is an icon of the US wine industry. Founded in 1875, Beringer has operated successfully and… Continue reading Two Tasty Americans – solid value Pennsylvania Chairman’s Selections: Beringer Sauvignon Blanc and Sebastiani Merlot
Screaming Good Deal – Best $7.99 red wine in Pennsylvania right now – Anciano Tempranillo Reserva 2004, aged 7 years, from Valdepeñas
Bold words but happily uttered…. I had to try this wine the moment I noticed it was for sale. Last year I was fortunate to try the 2001 Anciano Gran Reserva Tempranillo (aged 10 years) and found it to be quite a fine and nicely aged wine – and for the money (under $20) it… Continue reading Screaming Good Deal – Best $7.99 red wine in Pennsylvania right now – Anciano Tempranillo Reserva 2004, aged 7 years, from Valdepeñas
South American Wines at e2 Restaurant
Despite the (never ending) wintry weather – everyone showed up last evening to learn about some South American wines at Chef Kate Romane’s e2 Restaurant (www.e2pgh.com). Our go-to staffers (Adam and Will) were ready for us, but we got extra help from attendees Kate, Lee, and Susan who helped get the tables arranged and ready… Continue reading South American Wines at e2 Restaurant
First ever PLCB sale!
For our friends in Pennsylvania, be sure to check out the PLCB stores in the next two days. The PA Liquor Control Board is trying a sale for the first time ever! For two days (Thursday and Friday Feb 13, 14), four sparklers will be offered at 25% off their retail price. I hope that… Continue reading First ever PLCB sale!