What We’ve Been Drinking: June 2016

What We’ve Been Drinking: June 2016

Summer is officially here! As the weather heats up, we normally shift to the whites and rosé wines.  Normally we would be full force into the North Carolina white wine scene, but slightly cooler weather and some rain toward the middle of the month allowed for a few red wines to slip in our mix.  Notable June happenings included our trip to the Finger Lakes, a visit to a West Virginia VIneyard, and a first visit to Shadow Line Vineyards right here in NC.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments
What We’ve Been Drinking: May 2016

What We’ve Been Drinking: May 2016

Summer is almost upon us and the North Carolina wine has never tasted better! May was warm and our selections were a bit heavier on the whites and rosés. But still, each bottle showed what NC can produce and how it really is an exciting place to be for new wines.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments
What We’ve Been Drinking: April 2016

What We’ve Been Drinking: April 2016

Where has the time gone! As we were preparing the What We’ve Been Drinking for May, we realized we never posted April’s recap.  April was quite the month. We had a good sampling from around the state. Also worth mentioning, we had the opportunity to travel out to the Upper Hiwassee Highlands AVA out near Murphy, NC.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments
Spring Wine Dinner at Raffaldini Vineyards

Spring Wine Dinner at Raffaldini Vineyards

It was a perfect spring day, bright and sunny with moderate temperatures. It was the perfect day to visit Raffaldini Vineyards for their spring wine dinner. Sticking with the Four Seasons theme, Raffaldini Vineyards offers a wine tasting dinner four times a year, each pairing with the season. This past weekend, they celebrated spring with four courses both inside and out, paired with four wines that show what it means to be “Chianti in the Carolinas”.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in featured, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
North Carolina Wine vs the World — a Blind Tasting at RayLen Vineyard

North Carolina Wine vs the World — a Blind Tasting at RayLen Vineyard

All too often we get the question “is North Carolina wine any good” or “how does North Carolina wine compare to California wine?”  Most of the time we encourage people to try North Carolina in for themselves. In reality, this could be a little daunting to some as they may not know where to start. And to answer the question of North Carolina versus California on your own would require you to go out, buy a lot of wine, and sample them side by side. To the average consumer, this may seem a little overboard and quite frankly, a little scary.

How do you know which wines to buy?  How can you get a bottle that’s close enough in composition and profile to accurately compare the two wines?

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
What We’ve Been Drinking: March 2016

What We’ve Been Drinking: March 2016

It’s hard to believe how fast the months go by. March brought with it warmer weather and the beginning of spring. Many of the grapes in the vineyards have already seen bud break and are well on their way to getting ready for their prime growing season.

During March we drank a bit of North Carolina Wine (26 bottles according to our Instagram).  Some notable wines included our first wine of the 2015 vintage, the Barrel Chardonnay from Hanover Park, and the new 2014 Grenache from Junius Lindsay.  Both were exceptional when we tasted them.  We know that these will only improve over time and can’t wait for more!

Check out our feed below for more details on what we had.  Cheers!

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments
Sunday Adventures #6

Sunday Adventures #6

Sundays are wine adventure days for us. We typically invite a few friends to join us as we expand their horizons of the NC wine scene. Since we haven’t been out wining in several weeks, we decided to go it alone and take our time. Our options were nearly limitless, but we decided on three wineries in the Yadkin Valley and Swan Creek regions.  Read on for an account of the day and our tasting notes for each stop.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments
What We’ve Been Drinking: February 2016

What We’ve Been Drinking: February 2016

Another month has come and gone. Even though we got a late start to the month, we still ended up with 11 North Carolina wines! This February marked the first time we participated in Open That Bottle Night! We also had the opportunity to pour three wines for Hanover Park at the Shoppes at Home, Heart and Soul.

We look forward to March and hope it brings with it more NC Wine. Click on the pictures below for more details on our month in wine.

Instagram post 17844505438121103 Tonight we're having the 2012 Mourvèdre from @hanoverparkvineyard! It's not one of the wines we were pouring today, so we decided to open one back at the house. The earthy profile of this wine is well balanced with bright red fruits and a soft tannic finish. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgfeb16

Tonight we're having the 2012 Mourvèdre from @hanoverparkvineyard! It's not one of the wines we were pouring today, so we decided to open one back at the house. The earthy profile of this wine is well balanced with bright red fruits and a soft tannic finish. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgfeb16 ...

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Instagram post 17844653992126885 Tonight we're having the 2012 Triomphe from Junius Lindsay Vineyard! This blend of Syrah, Petite Sirah, and Roussanne is complex and and full of character. The nose is filled with deeply ripened strawberries with a subtle note of tar in the background. The flavors unfold sip after sip. It starts with a burst of cranberry, then moves into a lightly floral and pepper spice mid-palate. The finish lingers on with soft tannins and a light toasty finale. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgfeb16

Tonight we're having the 2012 Triomphe from Junius Lindsay Vineyard! This blend of Syrah, Petite Sirah, and Roussanne is complex and and full of character. The nose is filled with deeply ripened strawberries with a subtle note of tar in the background. The flavors unfold sip after sip. It starts with a burst of cranberry, then moves into a lightly floral and pepper spice mid-palate. The finish lingers on with soft tannins and a light toasty finale. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgfeb16 ...

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Instagram post 17844722767122315 From @shelton_vineyards we have the 2011 Tannat! This bold red wine is a great pairing for the stormy weather we're having today. The nose is full of black plum skins and oaky vanilla. The flavors are big and plentiful starting with black cherries that move into a toasty mid-palate. Vanilla and oak make a return in the finish and fade away with medium tannin finale. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgfeb16

From @shelton_vineyards we have the 2011 Tannat! This bold red wine is a great pairing for the stormy weather we're having today. The nose is full of black plum skins and oaky vanilla. The flavors are big and plentiful starting with black cherries that move into a toasty mid-palate. Vanilla and oak make a return in the finish and fade away with medium tannin finale. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgfeb16 ...

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments
What Does Drinking Locally Really Mean?

What Does Drinking Locally Really Mean?

The locavore movement has exploded over the last few years. Folks are really interested in eating food that is grown and cooked locally.  It harkens back to the days when folks grew a lot of the food they ate.  With all of this interest in local food, why not local drink?  Well, there has been more interest in locally produced beer and now locally produced spirits.  Local wine is starting to take off too, but is more difficult to find outside of the local winery.  Let’s take a look at wine specifically and talk about what it means to drink local wine.

Drink Local Wine!

Drink Local Wine!

Local wine is more than just wine produced by a local winery.  Truly local wine is wine that is fermented, aged and bottled at a local winery, but it is also wine that is made only from local grapes, fruit, or honey. These grapes should come from vines that are planted in North Carolina soil.  The fruit should come from North Carolina trees, bushes, etc.  The honey should come from a local bee hive.  Let’s be clear, a true North Carolina wine is made from a North Carolina product.  This means that wineries that produce wine from grapes, fruit, juice, or honey from California, South America, and/or Europe are NOT making local wine.  They’re making wine locally, but it’s not a North Carolina wine and can’t legally be labeled as such.  Think about that the next time you visit a local winery.  Ask where the grapes, fruit, or honey originated.  Look at the label.  Is it labeled accurately?  Inquire as to why local grapes, fruits, or honey weren’t used.  The “North Carolina doesn’t produce quality grapes” line no longer holds water.  The same goes for fruit or honey.  Drinkers of truly local North Carolina wine know better!   Let’s be sure our voices are heard.

We must insist that local wine bars and local restaurants sell locally grown and made North Carolina wine.  Farm to Fork restaurants and the like who aspire to serve food made from locally grown ingredients are quite hypocritical if they don’t have locally made wine on their menus.  The same would be said for locally made beer and spirits.  Let’s do our parts to help promote truly locally made wine. Remember the costumer is always right!

Finally, it’s ok to drink something other than locally made wine.  However, let’s be sure we do know the difference between a local wine and not.  And be sure that we don’t use the #NCWine and #NCFineWines to promote a wine that’s not truly local.  Just remember, drinking locally helps the local economy, which in turn helps you!

Let us know what drinking locally means to you! Cheers!

Posted by Joe Brock in Wine, 1 comment
Food Pairings With North Carolina Wines

Food Pairings With North Carolina Wines

Food and wine have been enjoyed together throughout the ages. Each enhances the flavors and richness of the other. From holidays and other special occasions to a weeknight meal, food and wine are matches made in heaven.

Some of the NC Wines suggested for Food Pairings

Some of the NC Wines suggested for Food Pairings

We always pair our wine and food, but sometimes the task is not easy. In an attempt share some of our pairing experiences, here are some suggested food and North Carolina Wine Pairings (in no particular order).

 

  • BBQ – Lexington Style – If you’re a fan of Lexington Style BBQ, we recommend pairing it with the Barbera from Hutton Vineyards or the Barbera from Brandon Hills Vineyards.
  • BBQ – Eastern Style – If you prefer Eastern Style BBQ, we recommend the award winning Syrah from Misty Creek Vineyards.
  • Spicy Thai – Do you like spicy Thai? If not this pairing works with any spicy Asian food (Chinese, Thai, Indian). We recommend pairing it with the Estate Grown Dry Riesling from Dobbins Creek Vineyards or the Dry Muscadine from Overmountain Vineyards.
  • Lamb – Lamb is one of those meats that you either love or you hate. We love lamb. It’s unique from beef and is great as turned into meatballs or grilled or roasted. We always have our lamb with the Mourvèdre from Hanover Park Vineyard. It’s a classic pairing that you’ll love!
  • Chicken with Creamy Sauce – Chicken with a rich buttery sauce demands a buttery, barrel aged/fermented Chardonnay. Our go to Chardonnays are either the Barrel Aged Chardonnay from Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyard & Winery or the Chardonnay from Mountain Brook Vineyards.
  • Steak – Steak calls for a big wine! Petit Verdot is one of those wines. We recommend the Petit Verdot from Jones von Drehle Vineyards & Winery.
  • Pasta and Tomato Sauce – Who doesn’t love pasta with a classic tomato sauce? Chianti is a classic pairing with tomato sauce, so why not have Chianti made in the Carolinas. Try the Sangiovese Riserva from Raffaldini Vineyards.
  • Grilled Sea Bass – Sea bass is a decadent fish. It’s rich and flavorful. Grill it with some olive oil and herbs, and you have perfection! A full-bodied white wine goes perfectly with the grilled sea bass. We recommend the Roussanne from Junius Lindsay Vineyard.
  • Chili – Chili with tomatoes, beans and a good bit of spice is a perfect meal for the cooler months. A big wine is the perfect accompaniment. We suggest the Estate Grown Zinfandel from Rag Apple Lassie.
  • Grilled Shrimp – Lightly seasoned and grilled shrimp are perfect on their own or in a nice, fresh salad. This calls for a light and delicate wine! We suggest the Pinot Gris from Laurel Gray Vineyards.
  • Soft White Cheese with Fig Spread – Ok, this one might seem a little odd, but trust us! Grab yourself a mild, soft white cheese. We recommend Yancey’s Fancy Champagne Cheddar. Get some fig spread or fig preserves. Slice the cheese and spread just a bit of the fig spread on top. Pair this was the Stainless Steel Chardonnay from Silver Fork Vineyard & Winery. Prepare to be amazed!
  • Brownies – Brownies are one of life’s simple pleasures. Chocolate that’s rich and slightly chewy. There’s not much better. A sweet chocolate treat calls for a warm, rich and slightly sweet wine. We recommend the Estate Bottled Port from Shelton Vineyards. This pairing is a great way to end a long day!

 

Try some of these and let us know what you think!

Posted by Joe Brock in Food, Wine, 1 comment
Getting the Most Out of Your Wine Tasting Experience

Getting the Most Out of Your Wine Tasting Experience

Visiting a winery’s tasting room is one of life’s simple pleasures. Each experience is unique. It’s a great way to experience a variety of wine and find something new to drink. If you’ve never had the experience or if it’s been awhile, here are some suggestions to make the most of your wine tasting experience.

The tasting room at Parker-Binns Vineyard - Photo Courtesy of Karen Parker-Binns

The tasting room at Parker-Binns Vineyard – Photo Courtesy of Karen Parker-Binns

  • Plan ahead! Check the winery’s hours. You don’t want to arrive within 30 minutes of closing and expect to taste. Most wineries stop tasting 30 minutes before closing. Some require a reservation.
  • Walk in and take a look around. If there’s line, patiently wait. Determine if you need to prepay for your tasting.
  • Don’t prematurely judge the experience by the look of the tasting room. We’ve had plenty of great tastings at hole in the wall wineries. The opposite is also true. The most opulent tasting room doesn’t necessarily mean the best wine.
  • Make your choices. Select a variety of wines. If you like sweet wine, pick at least one dry and vice versa. The same can be said for red vs white.
  • If a premium tasting is an option, take it. It’s premium for a reason.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask to taste something that’s not on a list. Often wineries will accommodate special requests.
  • It’s ok to share with a friend. This is especially true if you’re doing multiple tastings in a day. Most wineries allow this and will even split the amounts between glasses, so you don’t have to share one glass.
  • It’s ok to pour out wine even if you like it. Again, if you’re driving and/or doing multiple tastings in one day, you need to be able to remember what you’ve been tasting. Otherwise, you might end buying a bottle of wine you’ll hate later.
  • It’s ok to spit. This is another alternative to sharing and/or pouring out. If you’re not comfortable spitting directly in the dump bucket, ask for a small cup or another glass. Spit in that and then pour into the dump bucket.
  • This aerates the wine. It helps to open the wine up to its full smelling and tasting potential.
  • You taste what you smell. Try to pick out at least two distinct smells.
  • Check out the color, Color will tell you a lot about the health of the wine. You don’t want a red wine that’s got a brown edge. That means it’s likely too old.
  • Don’t gulp!
  • Hold the wine in your mouth for at least a second before swallowing or spitting. Do the tastes match the smells? Is there a difference between what you taste initially, the mid palate taste and the finish? Is the finish long or short?
  • Take notes! You want to be able to remember what you’ve been tasting. This will also help you later if you buy a bottle and want to pair it with food.
  • Have a cracker between different wines. You need to cleanse your palate. If crackers or other palate cleansers are not readily available, ask for them!
  • Don’t bring your children. Children are a HUGE distraction in tasting rooms. If they can’t drink the wine, they don’t belong there.
  • Be considerate of other tasters. Respect their space and their ears. Don’t be too loud.
  • Wine tasting should not be a way to get drunk! Don’t just gulp the wine. Your taster will not appreciate that and may refuse to serve you if you’re too far gone.
  • Engage with your taster. Ask questions about the wine. This helps your learn!

 

These are just a few suggestions to make the most out of your wine tasting experience! Let us know what you think! Cheers!

Posted by Joe Brock in Wine, 0 comments
American Wine  – There’s more than just California!

American Wine – There’s more than just California!

American Wine has exploded over the last twenty to thirty years. The number of wine regions and wine regions producing quality wine has helped with this explosion, but does the average American wine drinker really know that there are more wine regions than just California? Sadly, it seems not to be the case. For those of us who love drinking local wine, it seems we have some educating to do!

 

Sure California produces great wine. It also produces nearly 90% of the wine made in American. Grocery store wine aisles, restaurant wine lists and even local wine bars are all full of California wine. California is known for its big, bold reds with high alcohol content. We would argue that these wines are overdone and take away the true essence of grapes when compared to old world wines. For those who don’t know, old world refers to Europe and the Middle East from where wine grapes originated in nature.

US States with AVAs

There are 32 other wine producing states recognized as having an American Viticulture Area.

Given California’s dominance in producing American wine, how are other wine regions going to breakout? As the saying go, it takes a village! Those of us fortunate enough to live near other American wine regions need to step up our game. We need to get out and visit local wineries. We need to buy local wine. We need to insist that local restaurants, particularly those claiming to represent the local food movement, add local wine to their wine lists! We need to introduce our friends and family to local wine. We need to share our experiences on social media. We need to attend events at local wineries. In addition, when visiting local wineries, we need to make sure that local grapes are being used. If you’re not sure, ask! We need to insist on high quality. If a wine’s not good, say so. Let them know!

 

So, what wine regions should you look at besides California? We, of course, are partial to North Carolina. Quantity and quality have continued to improve. 2015 was a fantastic growing year across the state. We expect 2015 to be THE vintage in North Carolina. Washington and Oregon should be considered. They account for over 4% of the wine produced in America. Other areas to consider are Missouri, famous for Norton. If you haven’t tried Norton and you like big bold, jammy wines, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Texas is another upcoming and coming wine region going Spanish, Italian and Rhône Valley grapes well. New York with the Finger Lakes and Long Island is producing high quality wines. The Finger Lakes in particular are now regularly reviewed in major wine magazines like Wine Spectator. Finally, Virginia can’t be overlooked. Just like North Carolina, quantity and quality have increased over the last several years. Virginia is producing superb Petit Verdot, Petit Manseng and Viognier just to name a few!

 

American wine is diverse as our country. Let’s all do our part in helping make sure that diversity is better known. Drink local, explore new wine regions and share those experiences with others! There is more to American wine than California! Get out there and explore!

Posted by Joe Brock in Wine, 0 comments
What We’ve Been Drinking: January 2016

What We’ve Been Drinking: January 2016

It’s hard to believe that we’re already one month in to 2016!  So far this month, we’ve posted about 16 wines from across the state.  Also worth noting was the North Carolina Winegrowers Conference that took place January 22, 23, and 24.  This annual meeting of wineries, vineyards, and wine fans  in Winston-Salem is a great opportunity to talk wine with the experts. This year we actually had the opportunity to lead a session on how wineries can make the most of their social media outlets. It was a lot of fun and we can’t wait until next year.

Back to the wine. Our January wine summaries are found below. Click on a picture to expand and read more about the wine.

Instagram post 17852606080013719 Tonight we're having the 2012 Merlot from @jonesvondrehle! A this is a bold red with a fruit forward profile. The nose is ripe with fresh cut cherries with a hint of chocolate. The flavors are deep, starting with a bright cherry moving into a mild leathery mid-palate. The finish fades into a fruity cedar note which lingers on for quite a while. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgjan16

Tonight we're having the 2012 Merlot from @jonesvondrehle! A this is a bold red with a fruit forward profile. The nose is ripe with fresh cut cherries with a hint of chocolate. The flavors are deep, starting with a bright cherry moving into a mild leathery mid-palate. The finish fades into a fruity cedar note which lingers on for quite a while. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgjan16 ...

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Instagram post 17853035152059473 Tonight we're having the 2013 Second Leaf from Junius Lindsay Vineyard! A blend of Viognier and Roussanne, it offers up quite a delicious flavor. The nose is lightly tropical with wet shale stone lingering in the background. The flavors are full with creamed honey on the front, moving into a mild tropical mid-palate. The finish has a light citrus zip and fades out cleanly. #YadkinValley #NCWine #juniuslindsayvineyard #ncwgjan16

Tonight we're having the 2013 Second Leaf from Junius Lindsay Vineyard! A blend of Viognier and Roussanne, it offers up quite a delicious flavor. The nose is lightly tropical with wet shale stone lingering in the background. The flavors are full with creamed honey on the front, moving into a mild tropical mid-palate. The finish has a light citrus zip and fades out cleanly. #YadkinValley #NCWine #juniuslindsayvineyard #ncwgjan16 ...

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Instagram post 17843889835105282 Tonight we have the Kaleidoscope Red from @ragapplelassie! A red blend of several of their estate grapes, this wine is complex yet it isn't overbearing. The nose is vibrant with black plums and brûléed red fruits. The flavor profile is leans more on the baking spice and warming savory notes. Black cherries, cinnamon and leather each come through at different points while sipping. The finish is light with a delicate acidity fading slowly. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgjan16

Tonight we have the Kaleidoscope Red from @ragapplelassie! A red blend of several of their estate grapes, this wine is complex yet it isn't overbearing. The nose is vibrant with black plums and brûléed red fruits. The flavor profile is leans more on the baking spice and warming savory notes. Black cherries, cinnamon and leather each come through at different points while sipping. The finish is light with a delicate acidity fading slowly. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgjan16 ...

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Instagram post 17844000760087084 Tonight we're enjoying the Polk County Chronic Hard Cider from @overmountainvineyards!  Crisp with big apple notes and a slightly sweet finish, this cider is approachable and easy drinking!  A great local cider!  #NCCider #ncwgjan16

Tonight we're enjoying the Polk County Chronic Hard Cider from @overmountainvineyards! Crisp with big apple notes and a slightly sweet finish, this cider is approachable and easy drinking! A great local cider! #NCCider #ncwgjan16 ...

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Instagram post 17851878871038502 Tonight it's the Cherokee Red from Cellar 4201!  Cherry and plums greet you on the nose. Dark fruit of blackberries, cherries and currants fill the rich and lush palate. The finish is smooth and lingering. It's a great wine for a cold winter's night!  #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgjan16

Tonight it's the Cherokee Red from Cellar 4201! Cherry and plums greet you on the nose. Dark fruit of blackberries, cherries and currants fill the rich and lush palate. The finish is smooth and lingering. It's a great wine for a cold winter's night! #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgjan16 ...

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Instagram post 17853039259027545 Tonight it's the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon from @elkincreekvineyard! This cab is much softer than west coast cabs and has quite a bit more personality. The nose is complex, showing notes of tanned leather, cherries and plums. The flavors start off with bright red fruits and then moves it into a woody, oaky mid-palate. The finish is soft and delicate, fading away cleanly. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgjan16

Tonight it's the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon from @elkincreekvineyard! This cab is much softer than west coast cabs and has quite a bit more personality. The nose is complex, showing notes of tanned leather, cherries and plums. The flavors start off with bright red fruits and then moves it into a woody, oaky mid-palate. The finish is soft and delicate, fading away cleanly. #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgjan16 ...

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Instagram post 17844023044113470 We're tasting the 2011 Synergy from Flint Hill Vineyards! A medium bodied red wine, it has a delicate nose of cherries and licorice with a matching silky smooth flavor profile. The finish is light yet lingering and beckons for you to take another sip. #NCWine #YadkinValley #flinthillvineyards #ncwgjan16

We're tasting the 2011 Synergy from Flint Hill Vineyards! A medium bodied red wine, it has a delicate nose of cherries and licorice with a matching silky smooth flavor profile. The finish is light yet lingering and beckons for you to take another sip. #NCWine #YadkinValley #flinthillvineyards #ncwgjan16 ...

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Instagram post 17853597361044739 Tonight we're having the 2013 Epic from @overmountainvineyards! A white wine made from Petit Manseng, this offers big tropical notes on the nose with a hint of soft honey. The flavors are in the tropical family, playing up the pineapple and mango while keeping a creamy feeling throughout. #NCWine #ncwgjan16

Tonight we're having the 2013 Epic from @overmountainvineyards! A white wine made from Petit Manseng, this offers big tropical notes on the nose with a hint of soft honey. The flavors are in the tropical family, playing up the pineapple and mango while keeping a creamy feeling throughout. #NCWine #ncwgjan16 ...

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Instagram post 17851909201047869 Since we're iced in today in Mooresville and unable to get to the NC Winegrower's Association Conference in Winston-Salem (hoping for tomorrow), we decided on an afternoon treat!  We're thinking warm thoughts, so we picked the semi-sweet white from @elkincreekvineyard!  It's the 2014 Mistela. This white blend of Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay with a touch of a Viognier is that treat. A tropical nose gives way to lush tropical fruits. It moves to a sweetness that ends with an ever so slight tart finish!  This would be the perfect wine for a warm summer day. We're there in our minds!  #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgjan16

Since we're iced in today in Mooresville and unable to get to the NC Winegrower's Association Conference in Winston-Salem (hoping for tomorrow), we decided on an afternoon treat! We're thinking warm thoughts, so we picked the semi-sweet white from @elkincreekvineyard! It's the 2014 Mistela. This white blend of Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay with a touch of a Viognier is that treat. A tropical nose gives way to lush tropical fruits. It moves to a sweetness that ends with an ever so slight tart finish! This would be the perfect wine for a warm summer day. We're there in our minds! #YadkinValley #NCWine #ncwgjan16 ...

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A quick note: We have taken a short break this past week that will continue into the early part of next week. Never fear, we’ll get to posting soon and will have a great recap when the month is over.

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 2 comments
A Look Back at 2015

A Look Back at 2015

It’s hard to believe that we’re already at the end of 2015.  Looking back at the past year, we’ve accomplished quite a bit and drank quite a lot of NC wine — 2015 was pretty big for the NC Wine Guys.  As we close out the year, we take a look back at some of the highlights of the year.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Holiday Dinner at Hanover Park

Holiday Dinner at Hanover Park

Another weekend, another wine dinner.  This time we had the pleasure of attending the annual holiday dinner at Hanover Park Vineyard.  Each December, Hanover Park throws a holiday celebration for its wine club members as a thank you for their loyalty and for always being there to support the winery.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in featured, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Flint Hill Vineyards Autumn Wine Dinner

Flint Hill Vineyards Autumn Wine Dinner

This past weekend, we had the pleasure of attending the Autumn Wine Dinner at Flint Hill Vineyards.  There are several reasons why you should consider going to events like these.  Not only do they offer a unique experience of the winery after hours, they also give you the opportunity to see what the winemaker feels would be a good pairing for their wines.  This dinner didn’t disappoint on either expectation.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in featured, Wineries and Vineyards, 1 comment
All good things must come to an end:  #AWS2015 Recap

All good things must come to an end: #AWS2015 Recap

The American Wine Society 2015 National Meeting concluded Sunday and a new week has begun.  The AWS 2015 conference was the first national meeting we attended.  We weren’t sure what to expect but we were pleasantly surprised! The conference started Thursday evening with the first timers reception and the grand showcase of Virginia Wines.  The following two days were filled with educational sessions, wine tastings, and a lot of fun.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments
Part 1 Ends, Part 2 Begins: AWS We’re Here!

Part 1 Ends, Part 2 Begins: AWS We’re Here!

The first part of our vacation has come to a close. While we were making our way up to the American Wine Society Annual Conference, we decided to visit  the Charlottesville area wineries and breweries.  All things considered, the first part of the week have been a welcome relaxing getaway.  We discovered several new favorite spots and will be making plans to rerun in the near future.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments
On the Road to AWS 2015

On the Road to AWS 2015

It’s that time of year again where we take a few days off and enjoy a wine adventure. This year, we’ll be attending the American Wine Society annual conference in Tysons Corner Virginia. 

While we’re headed north, we’ll be stopping at several Virginia wineries, breweries, and ciderworks along the way. With a stop in Charlottesville early in the week, we’ll be in a great spot that has a variety of options. 

Keep checking back here for more updates. You can also follow our trip on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. 

Twitter: @NCWineGuys

Facebook: NC Wine Guys

Instagram: @ncwineguys

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Piccione Grand Opening

Piccione Grand Opening

This past weekend was the grand opening for Piccione Vineyards.  The newest vineyard in Wilkes county is keeping it close to their Italian neighbors (Raffaldini Vineyards, that is).  Established in 2010, Dr. Bill Piccione of Chicago decided to embrace the red clay terrain and plant primarily Italian varietals.  With 16 acres under vine and plenty of room to expand, Piccione Vineyards has helped expand the Little Italy of the Appalachian foothills.

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NC Wine Month 2015 Listing

NC Wine Month 2015 Listing

It’s a wrap!  North Carolina Wine and Grape Month is now over!  We had a great month filled with NC wine.  Here’s the list of what we had:

North Carolina Wine and Grape Month

  • 9/1: Grüner Veltliner from Burntshirt Vineyards
  • 9/2: Raylen Tasting @ Crafty Beer Guys
  • 9/3: Cabernet Franc from Silver Fork Vineyards & Winery
  • 9/4: Selfish from Lazy Elm Winery
  • 9/5: Pinot Grigio from Mountain Brook Vineyards
  • 9/6: Nebbiolo from Grove Winery & Visit to Morgan Ridge Vineyards
  • 9/7: Warrior Red from Cellar 4201
  • 9/8: Sauvignon Blanc from Iron Gate Vineyards
  • 9/9: Chardonnay from Laurel Gray Vineyards
  • 9/10: Petit Verdot from Shelton Vineyards
  • 9/11: Cabernet Sauvignon from Parker-Binns Vineyards
  • 9/12: Blanc de Blancs from McRitchie Winery, Dry Riesling from Dobbins Creek Vineyards, Chambourcin from Misty Creek Vineyards, Barbera from Brandon Hills Vineyard, Apple Tipper from Fair Game Beverage Company
  • 9/13: Petit Manseng from Jones. Von Drehle
  • 9/14: Girasole from Raffaldini Vineyards
  • 9/15: Vineyard Brothers-Satisfied from Silk Hope Winery
  • 9/16: Cabernet Franc from South Creek Vineyards
  • 9/17: Vivace from Adagio Vineyards
  • 9/18: Special Delivery from Junius Lindsay Vineyards
  • 9/19: Soft White from Elkin Creek Vineyards
  • 9/20: Traminette from Misty Creek Vineyards
  • 9/21: Mourvèdre from Hanover Park Vineyard
  • 9/22: Sangiovese from Childress Vineyards
  • 9/23: Grey Ghost from JOLO Winery and Vinayards
  • 9/24: Barrel X from Stonefield Cellars Winery
  • 9/25: Centennial Farm Heritage from Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards
  • 9/26: Traminette Divine from Divine Llama Vineyards
  • 9/27: Taste of Our Carolina Foothills featuring Overmountain Vineyards, Mountain Brook Vineyards, Parker-Binns Vineyards, and Russian Chapel Hills Winery
  • 9/28: Shipwreck from Sanctuary Vineyards
  • 9/29: Tannat from Hererra Vineyards
  • 9/30: Red Bud Ridge from Brushy Mountain Winery

 

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NC Wine Month Week 4 Recap

NC Wine Month Week 4 Recap

It’s hard to believe that the end of the month is already here.  This past week brought with it more reds and a scattering of whites to change things up.  Here’s our list.  Don’t forget, you can also follow our progress on the NC Wine Month 2015 Challenge page. Also, we’ll be posting a Month in Review list shortly.

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NC Wine Month Week 3 Recap

NC Wine Month Week 3 Recap

Another week has come and gone.  We’re almost to the end of September and soon October will be upon us.  Week 3 brought with it slightly cooler weather, so we had a few more reds  but still made room for some excellent white wines.  Here’s our list for the week.  Don’t forget, you can also follow our progress on the NC Wine Month 2015 Challenge page.

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NC Wine Month Week 2 Recap

NC Wine Month Week 2 Recap

Week 2 is now behind us and we’re now half way through the month and #WineChat with #NCWines is tomorrow!  The wine selections last week were just as good as the previous week.  Here’s what we had.  Don’t forget, you can also follow our progress on the NC Wine Month 2015 Challenge page.

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NC Wine & Grape Month 2015 Intro

NC Wine & Grape Month 2015 Intro

September 1st marks the start of North Carolina Wine and Grape Month.  Last year we made a daily posting on the blog with either a wine or winery review.  This year we’ll be using our social media pages and then posting a summary on the blog.

Head on over to our 2015 NC Wine Month Challenge page to see what we’ve been up to.


Check out our other NC Wine Month postings:

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Sunday Adventures #5

Sunday Adventures #5

Sundays are wine adventure days for us. We typically invite a few friends to join us as we expand their horizons of the NC wine scene. Although we did invite a friend, we didn’t get a confirmation. So instead of letting a Sunday go to waste, we continued on ourselves. 

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Summer Wine Pick Up at Raffaldini

Summer Wine Pick Up at Raffaldini

This past weekend was the wine pick up for Raffaldini Vineyards. Over the past seven years, Raffaldini has grown a loyal following. This is due not only to the great wine that they produce, but also because owner and winemaker Jay Raffaldini shows such passion for what he does.   Twice a year, Jay and his team holds a wine pick up party for his wine club members. At each pick up there are six bottles of wine, a sampling of new releases paired with authentic Italian food, and a short info session about the happenings at the winery and what’s next.

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Salute! 2015

We’re headed off to Salute! The North Carolina Wine Celebration in downtown Winston-Salem.  We’ll be posting updates and pictures throughout the day as time allows.  Check back often and we hope to see you there!

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Sunday Adventures #4

Sunday Adventures #4

Sundays are wine adventure days for us. We typically invite a few friends to join us as we expand their horizons of the NC wine scene. Today we were joined by our friend Susan.

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Burntshirt Vineyards

Burntshirt Vineyards

Western North Carolina is surely one of the most picturesque regions of the state.  The Blue Ridge Mountains tower over the western part of the state creating an isolated feel that is truly relaxing.  One of the many benefits of the mountains is that it also creates a unique climate that sees moderately short winters with long summers.  The summer days are hot, but the evenings are cooler making this a great area to grow wine grapes.  Burntshirt Vineyards is one of the few that are taking advantage of this unique area.  We recently received an invitation to visit the vineyard and winery to take a detailed look at their process and taste their offerings.

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Virginia Adventures Day 4

Day four brought us to the close of our journey in
Virginia. As we made our way back down the highway from Northern
Virginia through the Appalachian Mountains in the Shenandoah
Valley, we decided to make a few last stops. Although we didn’t
stop at many wineries, we were still able to make it to three.
 All three are great locations and you should plan a visit
if you’re in the area.  Our first stop was Cave Ridge Vineyard.
 There we were presented with two tasting options. We
could either taste the standard offering, or we could extend the
tasting and enjoy their port-style and dessert wines. Being port
lovers, we naturally decided to try it all. On the standard
tasting, there were a few wines that stood out. One of our
favorites was the 2013 Viognier. This particular wine was barrel
aged, which gave it a nice oaky nose and flavor with a drop of
vanilla. Also notable was the 2013 Riesling. This French style
Riesling was slightly carbonated, giving it a crisp and dry body.
There was a bit of acidity to the wine that gave it a nice firm
backbone. The port-style wines were tasty as well. They offered a
red made from Chambourcin and a white made of Viognier. Both were
quite tasty and complex with the red showing toasty butterscotch
and the white being smooth and tropical.  Our next stop
was just down the road at the Winery at Kindred
Pointe
 Still slightly young, this winery is
doing well. They offer a wine tasting as well as a cider tasting.
We opted for the wine tasting and were eager for the first pour. On
the menu were two Chardonnays.  The first was bright and
acidic with a hint of oak and a mellow buttery flavor. The second
was more traditional with a bigger oak nose and a creamy and nutty
flavor. Our favorite was the 2013 Malbec. This light red had cherry
and vanilla on the nose. It was slightly jammy with a red currant
finish. The light tannins were vibrant and playful and lingered for
only a minute before finishing cleanly.  Our last stop of
the day was a bit farther down the highway in Staunton,
Virginia. Ox Eye
Vineyards
 Ox Eye Vineyards is one stop we will
always try to make whenever we’re in the area. Their new releases
are coming soon, but their current offerings are at also great. The
2013 Dry Riesling is ripe with a honey nose and has really mellowed
out since the last time we tasted it (just last year). It has a
good balance of acids and honeysuckle with a light citrus finish.
Their 2012 Pinot Noir was mild and jammy with a hint of
strawberries and black cherries. Finally their 2012 Cabernet Franc
had a rich nose with a delicate spice on the mid-palate. With each
sip, the spices continued to build until it faded into a long and
lingering finish. 

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Virginia Adventures Day 3

Virginia Adventures Day 3

Day three brought us to familiar wineries once again.  These were the wineries that we marked on our “go back to” list.  We were in the northern part of Virginia with Winchester as our base.  All of the wineries were within an hour drive from Winchester and if you were to drive the whole circuit without stopping, it would only take about three hours.  We made our way to a fair number of wineries.  Below are the notes of our journey.  The next time you’re in the area, you should make it a point to check out these great wineries.

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Virginia Adventures Day 2

Virginia Adventures Day 2

Day two brought us to five wineries before ending up at our final destination. We started in the Charlottesville area and made our way northward. After our second stop, we quickly found oursves in the middle of the mountains with no cellphone service in sight. The only saving grace for communication with the outside world was the free wifi that the wineries offered. 

 

The view from Moss Vineyards.

Stop one was at Stinson Vineyards. We arrived right at opening and were the first ones in the tasting room.  Our favorite wine here was the 2014 rosé made from the Mourvèdre Grape. The wine was dark in color with a outstanding earthy nose. The flavors were deep and complex with a mild mushroom flavor. Also worth noting was the 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, showing a grapefruit nose and citrus flavor with a nice mineral finish. 

Stop number two was just around the corner from our first stop. Grace Estate Winery had just opened their new tasting room the day before we arrived, and it is coming along nicely. The furniture should be arriving within the next week or two, but they have wine and glasses so that’s enough to keep the tasting room running. They had six wines up for tasting. We particularly enjoyed the 2012 Cabernet Franc which had about 10% Petit Verdot blended in. The finished product is a dark red wine with a good tannic structure. There is a nice pepper flavor on the mid-palate and it finishes almost sweet with a hint of caramel. 

Stop number three took us slightly off the beaten path. Mountfair Vineyards produces red blends and caters to a dedicated group of followers.  Their current offerings are the 2013 Epiphany and the 2013 Complicated. The Epiphany is a Cabernet Franc blend that is light and even with an ample display of dark fruits. The Complicated is a Petit Verdot blend that is dark in color and flavors with notes of cherries and spices. In addition to their own wines, they offer a great selection of wines and ciders from smaller producers who don’t always have tasting rooms. One of the ciders that we enjoyed was the Potters Farmhouse Dry. It was bright and fruity with a crisp finish. The concept here is great and the setting ales you feel like you’re tucked away in the mountains (because you are!). 

Stop number four was around the base of the mountain and further into the heart of the cell phone dead zone. Glass House Winery is so named because of the large glass conservatory that is onsite. The owners are not only winemakers, but they are also a certified chocolatier and a conservatory enthusiast. They pair the dessert wine with a handcrafted espresso chocolate that melts in the mouth. Our favorites here were the 2013 C-villian (Chambourcin)  and the 2013 One Lane Bridge (Lemberger). The Chambourcin was fruity with a light pepper spice. The Lemberger was dark and fruity with hits of clove and cinnamon. After the tasting, we hopped on the wifi for a quick second and then we were back on our way. 

Our final stop for the day was at Moss Vineyards. Although this winery is truely off the beaten path, down a winding gravel road and up a mountainside, it’s worth the visit. We had a few favorites that we sampled. The 2013 Viognier had a nose of lightly toasted honey with a big honeysuckle flavor. The 2012 Vino Rosso was soft and smooth with a tomato jam nose and a smokey finish. Our overall favorite was likely the 2010 Achitectura. This red blend was immensely dark in color with a rich nose and a well developed flavor. It was full in body and had a great complex flavor that lingered in the mouth for a good long while. 

All of the wineries we visited on day two were part of the Monticello Wine Trail on a smaller trail called the The Appellation Trail. For more details and to plan a visit, head to the trail’s website or click the wineries above to go directly to their sites. 

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Virginia Adventures Day 1

We’re back on the road again, this time heading to the wineries in northern Virginia. On the way we stopped in Charlottesville to visit a few new locations. 

Day 1 took us to five wineries and two breweries.

Our first stop was Lovingston Winery. Located just outside of Lovingston, Virginia this winery provides a quiet escape from the daily hustle and bustle. The winery is a small family run operation. Their tasting room is right in the middle their gravity fed production room.  (When I say right in the middle, I mean you climb a half flight of stairs to get to the tasting bar that’s at the same level as the tanks. The experience was quite unique.)  The tasting usually consists of six wines, but we also had a sneak peak of two new releases. Here are the notes for the verticals.  The 2013 Seyval Blanc offered a bright and crisp profile with a great citrus finish. The 2014 was a bit lighter on the nose settling in the honeysuckle family. The flavor was also more mellow with a bigger mouthfeel. The finish was clean with a great mineral note.  The 2013 Petit Manseng was done in more of an off dry style with big tropical flavors and aromas while still keeping a nice acidic finish. The 2014 was a bit different in style, but still slightly sweet. The flavors teetered on smokey with hints of herbs and spices on the nose. Also of note here are the 2013 Pinotage and the 07 Reserve Merlot. Both were full in body and flavor and had a lot to offer. 

Stop two was somewhat unexpected and was the result of us looking for lunch. Our food plans changed somewhat last minute (I’m not the best navigator sometimes). So we had to hunt for an alternate. Luckily for us, a new boutique winery just popped up on the way to Charlottesville. Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards is just a quick turn off highway 20 and is worth the slight diversion. They’re tucked away on the side of a hill with an unobstructed view of the blue ridge mountains and all of its little valleys. The setting is gorgeous, the wines are quite good and locavores will love the food as well. Of interest here was the 2014 Sauvignon Blanc done more in the New Zealand style rather than New World. It was grassy and balanced with a nice profile of minerals and fruit. Also worth noting is the 2013 Petit Verdot, a dark leathery wine with hints of spice, smoke and cherries. Stop in, wine, dine, and enjoy the view! 

Stop number three was the Virginia Wineworks. The winemaker, Michel Shaps, is regional presence in the Virginia wine making world. He produces wines for several vineyards in the area as well as running a custom crush operation. There were several wine tasting options available. We decided to stay local and go for the Virginia tasting.  The wines were all delicious, but we particularly liked the Odette, a white blend that was light and balanced. The unique thing about this wine is that you could almost taste every grape in this wine. It started with an appley Chardonnay, moved into a floral/tropical Viognier which rounded into an acidic Petit Manseng before finishing with a note of Riesling. The winery itself is picking up on a new trend in the industry: growlers and boxes. Many of the wines here are for sale in a 64 oz growler. The Chardonnay also comes in a 3-Liter box. New things on the horizons here, worth keeping an eye on. 

Stop four took us to Blenheim Vineyards. The setting is rustic barn meets modern tasting room. They also have hopped onto the growler bandwagon and offer a few of their wines in a larger size. They have two white blends that use a good amount of red grape in them. They didn’t impart any color, but it did add to the flavor and body of the wines. Of interest here was the 2013 Grenache, a GSM blend that was full of pepper and dark fruits. Also worth noting is the 2013 Painted Red, a blend of Petit Verdot, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. It was bright and fruity that quickly moved into a smooth and even texture. 

Our final winery of the day was Jefferson Vineyards. Conveniently located just outside of Monticello, this winery should be on your list if you’re in the area. The winery itself has been family run for over three generations. Many of the red wines shared similar characteristics of toasted caramel, but each was unique in its own right. Our favorites were the 2012 Petit Verdot which was dark and fruity with a nice toasty finish and also the 2012 Meritage which was smooth and silky with a delicious flavor.  

After a long day of winery stops, we headed to our hotel and looked for dinner options. We decided to eat in downtown Charlottesville. But first, we made a quick stop at Champion Brewing Company where we had an overly delicious imperial coffee stout. After our beer flight, we went on to South Street Brewery for some DIY Mac & Cheese and another beer sampler. The kolch and the red IPA were very good and worth searching out. 

If you’re thinking about a trip to Charlottesville, the numerous wineries and breweries definitely make it worth it. 

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Fair Game Beverage Company

Fair Game Beverage Company

Tucked away just outside Pittsboro, NC is a great little distillery that is making fortified wines and spirits.  The name of the place is Fair Game Beverage Company.  We made a visit during their Spirit Release party.  We’re talking distilled spirits here, not the metaphysical spirits.  Chris Jude, the head distiller, gave us a detailed tasting of his fortified wines.  Also as part of the festivities, we tasted the two new spirits which were incredibly fresh and unique.

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Honeygirl Meadery

Honeygirl Meadery

Before I knew about artisan mead, my mind always imagined a dark sweet drink that people in the middle ages drank in their local pub or in a grand hall.  This may well be what many people think of when you mention mead.  However, mead is making a come back.  Nowadays mead can range from super sweet to bone dry with flavors galore.  In our modern world of gluten-sensative diets, mead provides a great alternative to beer.  For those who enjoy wine, mead is essentially a wine of a different flavor.  We’re fortunate in North Carolina as we have several meaderies throughout the state.  One of the newest is Honeygirl Meadery in Durham, North Carolina.

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Sunday Adventures #3

Sunday Adventures #3

Sundays are wine adventure days for us. We typically invite a few friends to join us as we expand their horizons of the NC wine scene. Today were joined by our friends Susan and Candyce. 

On the schedule for today, we have Lazy Elm, Hanover Park Vineyard, and Medaloni Cellars. More updates later on. Check back often!

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Upcoming Projects

  • Finger Lakes Wine Highlights
  • Baker Buffalo Creek Vertical Tasting
  • Upper Hiwassee Highlands Wineries
  • Bull City Ciderworks Review
  • NC Wine and Grape Guide
  • Winery Trails and Maps
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Black Mountain Beer & Cider

This past weekend we took an overnight trip to Asheville.  On the way, we decided to stop in Black Mountain.  If you’ve never been to this small town, it’s nestled right at the foot of the Black Mountains (part of the Appalachian mountains).  It is a quaint town just off I-40 with most of the business district straddling US Highway 70.  At first glance, the artistic charm of this town might be seen as the main draw.  However, there are a few hidden gems in this town.

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Sunday Adventures #2

Sunday Adventures #2

Sundays are wine adventure days for us. We typically invite a few friends to join us as we expand their horizons of the NC wine scene. Today were joined by our friend Susan.

Today’s adventure takes us to three wineries in the Yadkin Valley: Ragapple Lassie Vineyards, Divine Llama Vineyards,  and Cellar 4201.  We’ll be sampling a few new wines and will post the notes as soon as cell service allows.

Keep checking throughout the day for updates!

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Sunday Adventures: Part 1

Sunday Adventures: Part 1

Today, like most Sunday afternoons, we’re headed out to visit a few wineries. Our destination is part of the WNC Wine Trail, specifically the Tyron area wineries, previously reviewed during NC Wine Month. We’re taking a different approach today as I plan to make live updates (as cell service allows).

Our first stop is Mountain Brook Vineyards where we will be joining up with some friends for a birthday celebration. From there we plan on going to at least two other wineries, possibly three, ending at Parker-Binns Vineyard to relax with hot woodfired pizza.

Keep coming back for more updates!

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New Brews Defeat Winter Blues at D9 Brewing

New Brews Defeat Winter Blues at D9 Brewing

A few weeks ago, D9 Brewing in Cornelius released a new line up of beers to celebrate Valentine’s Day. The new lineup has been long in the making. A few months of plumbing issues kept the brewmasters from running at peak efficiency. Yet still, the beer was flowing as fast as the customers could drink.   On our visit we decided since there was so many new options, we had to get a flight. 

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The Proof is in the Glass: Riedel Wine Glass Tasting

The Proof is in the Glass: Riedel Wine Glass Tasting

When it comes to drinking wine out of the appropriate glass there are several schools of thought on the subject. Many believe that the glass doesn’t make a terrible amount of difference to the wine tasting experience and when you do use a higher quality glass, it’s really just the perception of having the wine taste better. Still others believe that the wine glass itself can make or break the wine.
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Vintage Tasting at Hanover Park

Vintage Tasting at Hanover Park

Whenever you have an opportunity to sign up for a vintage wine tasting, you should really consider it. Oftentimes when you read about vintage tastings in wine literature, they span decades usually marked by significant events in the history of the sponsoring winery. Here in North Carolina, most of the wineries haven’t been open for decades like you might find in California. One of the only wineries that comes close to this is Hanover Park, which is where our most recent vintage tasting took place.

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New Reviews for the New Year

Well 2014 has come and gone.  While it was a good year for wine, 2015 promises to be even better.  We have a number of events planned for January alone.  One of our New Year Resolutions is to post more reviews more often.  We also have a few things planned for the site under the Resources section that we hope people will find useful.

Come back often and keep an eye out for updates on our Facebook page and Twitter feed!

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September in Review: NC Wine and Grape Month

September in Review: NC Wine and Grape Month

We’re now well into October, so I thought it would be good to recap our September experiences with a quick month in review.  The mini challenge we set for the blog has concluded successfully: Review 30 wines (or wineries) in the 30 days of September.  As a refresher, the month of September is North Carolina Wine and Grape month.  It is a time where the wineries and vineyards in the state are recognized for their contributions.  Our goal was to feature a wine or winery each day and write-up a little review of the selection we made.  In total we reviewed 28 North Carolina Wines and 8 North Carolina Wineries.  For a full account of our challenge, click on the NC Wine Month link in the menu above.  Continue reading →

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Daveste Rkatsiteli — Wine Review

To finish up our last wine review of the North Carolina Wine & Grape Month, we decided to finish with one of the oldest grape varietals known to man-kind, Rkatsiteli.  The Daveste Rkatsiteli from Davesté Vineyards, is one of only a handful of vineyards in the US that grow and produce a wine from the grape.  Rkatsiteli is a grape originating from Georgia (the country, not the state) where it is a fairly common grape.  The grape reportedly dates back to 3000 B.C. making it one of the oldest grapes that have been cultivated for wine making purposes.  The pale skinned grape produces a white wine ranging from dry to sweet.  Some European countries even produce Port, Sherry, and dessert style wines from the same grape.  Continue reading →

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Hanover Park Mourvèdre — Wine Review

Tonight’s wine comes from a winery that we’ve already reviewed, but we wanted to review another wine from them as our last one was more of a dessert wine.  For dinner we had grilled lamb meat balls, which is what we normally have when we are opening a bottle of Hanover Park Mourvèdre.  It is also known as Monastrell and is usually a darker wine with heavy tannins and an earthy complex profile.  The wine is common in France, however it is often found in red blends of both French and Spanish origin, usually blended with Grenache and Syrah.

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