Wine

Showcase of North Carolina Fine Wines

Showcase of North Carolina Fine Wines

In mid-March, the North Carolina Fine Wines Competition took to the road and held its first showcase event. The showcase had on display all 12 of the winning wines from North Carolina. This first showcase was at the Duke mansion in Charlotte. The doors opened and the crowds made their way in to pick up their Riedel glass and make their way through the tasting sheet. Continue reading →

Posted by Matt Kemberling in featured, Wine, 0 comments
What We’ve Been Drinking — February 2017

What We’ve Been Drinking — February 2017

A short month, yet a good month for North Carolina wine. Two important wine “holidays” also took place; National Drink Wine Day (February 18, we had the Petite Sirah from Junius Lindsay) and Open that Bottle Night (February 25 we opened the2007 Merlot from McRitchie). In total for the month, we had 15 fantastic NC Wines (with a short break at the beginning of the month).
Check out our featured NC Wines on our Instagram feed and be sure to leave us your feedback!

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments
What We’ve Been Drinking — January 2017

What We’ve Been Drinking — January 2017

The first month of a fresh new year has drawn to a close. January was a good month for NC Wine, too. The annual NC Winegrowers Conference took place in Winston-Salem around half way into the month. We were able to attend both days of the conference this year (no snowstorm got in our way) and the attendance was incredible! Each session was packed and we learned a lot about some of the current issues wine makers and grape growers are facing. Of course, we also presented on the importance of hashtags in social media. Everyone had a great time and we got a ton of good pictures. To see for yourself, head over to Instagram and search for the hashtag #NCWine.

Check out our featured NC Wines on our Instagram feed and be sure to leave us your feedback!

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

What We’ve Been Drinking — December 2016

The final month of 2016 has come and gone. As the weather turned cooler, our choices tended to lean more to the red side. As we counted down the days of 20316, we did have a few highlights to the month. A vintage tasting at Hanover Park Vineyards greeted us with a fantastic selection of well aged wines. One of these was truly surprising to see, a 2011 Viognier. Normally white wines are best when drunk within a year or two of the harvest. This particular bottle has seen 5 years in the bottle. As such the flavors were incredibly deep with cream and honey gracing the palate. This was truly one incredible wine.

Also worth noting, we finally made our way to an event where Dover Vineyards was pouring their wines. These small batch wines have a lot to offer. We really enjoyed the 2012 and 2013 vintages of their Chambourcin. Both were full bodied and well balanced. We look forward to getting back and trying more of their wine.

Here’s to looking ahead to 2017 and hoping for another great year of wine. Cheers!

Check out our Instagram feed for a recap of our December selections.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments
North Carolina Wines for Your 2016 Holiday Table

North Carolina Wines for Your 2016 Holiday Table

The holidays are here! It’s a time for celebration with family and friends which often means good food and good drink. With a growing industry and higher quality of wines, it is time to consider adding North Carolina wine to your holiday table. But where do you start? What should you pair with classic holiday foods? Well, we have some suggestions!

Holiday White Wines from North Carolina

  • Ham – Ham is a classic main course for any holiday. Riesling is a classic pairing with any ham. We recommend the new 2015 Estate Grown Dry Riesling from Dobbins Creek Vineyards (http://dobbinscreekvineyards.com). This wine is the signature white at Dobbins Creek. It is one of the best in the state for Riesling. The nose has notes of pear and honey. It is classic Riesling. The palate continues with pear and honey before moving to a slight mineral note. The finish is crisp. The acidity is pleasing. You will not be disappointed with this pairing!
  • Turkey – Roast turkey is versatile. You can pair with a white wine or a lighter red wine.
    • For a white wine, pairing we recommend the 2014 Traminette from Misty Creek Vineyards (http://mistycreekwines.com). Traminette is typically very floral with a nice spicy finish. This traminette is just that. The nose is almost perfumey. The palate has melon and good fruit. There are those hints of spice that you would expect as well.
    • For a red wine, we recommend the 2014 Cabernet Franc from Divine Llama Vineyards (http://www.divinellamavineyards.com). This wine has a nose of cherry and vanilla that carries through to the palate. There a good oaky note as well. It would be perfect with Cranberry Sauce!

Holiday Red Wines from North Carolina

  • Duck – Ah, duck! It is poultry that has the umph of a steak! Classically you would pair duck with a Pinot Noir. But, if you can’t find Pinot Noir, Chambourcin is a great substitute! We recommend the 2012 Chambourcin from Dover Vineyards (http://www.thefarmatdovervineyards.com). This wine is made in same style as a New Zealand Pinot Noir. The nose has dark fruits with hints of spice. The palate is light cherry and hints of vanilla. The acidity of this wine is the perfect balance to the fattiness of duck.
  • Roast Beef – Roast beef is another holiday classic. Of course, this calls for a hearty red wine! We recommend 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon from Mountain Brook Vineyards (http://www.mountainbrookvineyards.com). The nose is herbaceous with notes of cherries. This wine is big and bold with fruity notes along with hints of vanilla. It is perfect with roast beef or any red meat.
  • Lamb – Lamb is one meat where you either love it or hate it. We happen to love it. A classic pairing with lamb is a wine from the Rhône Valley of France. These wines are classically earthy. The recommended pairing of the 2013 Mourvèdre from Hanover Park Vineyard (http://www.hanoverparkwines.com) is just that! From the nose to the palate, there is an earthy quality throughout. There are also notes of cherry. This wine is velvety, but light. It is perfect with lamb, mushrooms or manchego cheese!
  • Roasted Vegetables – We don’t want all of our pairings to be wine and meat. Vegetables should be a big part of any holiday table. Some of our favorites are roasted carrots, parsnips, celery root, garlic, onion, sweet potato and/or butter number squash. This calls for a full-bodied white wine. We suggest the 2014 Barrel Aged Chardonnay from Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyard & Winery (http://www.bakerbuffalocreek.com). The nose gives nice notes of oak with hints of butter. The butter carries through to the palate with notes of apples and pears as well. It also pairs well with any winter squash soup!

Holiday Dessert Wines from North Carolina

  • Palate Cleanser – Sometimes, it’s good to take a break from heavy food and cleanse the palate. A classic palate cleanser is lemon granita, but that can a lot of work. Continuously taking the granita out of the freezer, scraping the crystals with a fork, returning it to the freezer and the repeating the process for hours. Why not go with an easier route? We recommend chilling a bottle of Vino Limone from Elkin Creek Vineyards (http://www.elkincreekvineyard.com) in your freezer. Take it out and give your guests a small serving to cleanse their palates. Or use this wine as dessert itself. It’s lemon wine fortified with brandy. The nose has notes of charred lemons. The palate is tart lemon with a slight sweetness. The lemon allows it to maintain a nice acidity. It’s perfect to cleanse the palate or just enjoy with dessert!
  • Chocolate Desserts – Decadent chocolate desserts call for port-style wines. They are perfect with rich chocolate or just by themselves on a cold night. We recommend the Midnight Run from Windsor Run Cellars (http://windsorrun.com). This wine is made from Chambourcin and Petit Verdot and then fortified. There are notes of chocolate on the nose. The palate is warming with notes of cocoa and dark fruit. It’s the perfect way to end any holiday celebration!

Let us know your thoughts on these pairings! We’d love to hear what you think and what pairings you’ve come up on your own. For other food and North Carolina wine pairings, please see an earlier article on our blog. You can find it here: http://ncwineguys.com/index.php/food-pairings-with-north-carolina-wines/.

Whatever holiday you celebrate this time of year, may it be merry, bright and filled with North Carolina wine!

Cheers!

Posted by Joe Brock in Food, Wine, 0 comments
What We’ve Been Drinking — November 2016

What We’ve Been Drinking — November 2016

November always seems like such a whirlwind of a month! Family visits, holiday parties and a few vineyard trips filled up our calendar. Among the highlights we made a visit to two new wineries (Midnight Magdelena Vineyards and the newly re-opened West Bend Vineyards) as well as took part in an impromptu botteling at Hanover Park Vineyards!  We’re excited to see what the next month brings with it!

Check out our Instagram feed for a recap of our November selections.

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

What We’ve Been Drinking October 2016

Half way through November and we remembered we didn’t post our recap of last month! October was one busy month! For us, it involved a trip out to the coast to visit Sanctuary Vineyards. On our return trip, we made a quick stop at the NC State Fair and sampled a few wines from those who were out sampling for the public. It was a tasty month and we are already making progress on our November.

Continue reading →

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments
NC Wine Month 2016 Recap

NC Wine Month 2016 Recap

Yet another wine month has come and gone. This month, we really stepped it up with our wine postings and winery visits. At the end of the month, we co-hosted a #winechat takeover. There were lots of new participants this year and we had a ton of great questions! One thing we noticed is the increased number of #NCWine and #NCWineMonth hashtags! This is great news for keeping our consistent brand strong and getting the word out there about #NCWine.

Read on for a photo roll of our NC Wine Month adventures.

 

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments

Lodi – Post-Wine Bloggers Conference Adventures

We made it through the rest of the conference. The sessions were good, but the networking and connection with fellow bloggers and the Lodi wine community were invaluable. We’re so thankful for the experiences we had.

With the conference over, we decided to head out and explore a bit more of the wine scene in Lodi. We also wanted to pick up wine to ship back to North Carolina. We first needed food, so we walked to downtown Lodi and grabbed a Panini at Wine Social (http://www.lodiwinesocial.com). After that we walked back and got in our rental car and headed out to gather wine and explore.

We decided we’d head east a bit. We needed to see some gently rolling hills after days of flat land. Our first stop was Bokisch Vineyards (http://www.bokischvineyards.com). Bokisch specializes in Spanish varietals. They were tasting three of their Albariños side by side. Each was unique. We were really impressed by all of them. We moved on a few reds and then finished with our favorite wine, the 2014 Tizona Late Harvest Graciano. It was delightful with notes of dried cherry and spice!

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Next on our list was Acquiesce Winery & Vineyards (http://www.acquiescevineyards.com). We just had to stop in here as we’re big fans of Rhône Valley style wines. Acquiesce did not disappoint! They only do white wines and a rosé made from Grenache. It was a perfect day for cool, crisp wine! We loved them all, but our favorite was the full bodied 2015 Roussanne. Its nose was apricots, almond and pear with a palate of pear and honey and a mineral-like finish. We also enjoyed a few freshly picked Viognier grapes and some freshly pressed Viognier juice! It was another unique experience in Lodi wine country!

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The next stop was The Lucas Winery (http://www.lucaswinery.com). We had visited here on Thursday, but we need to pick up some wine. Sara greeted us again and offered us a small taste of the 2014 Chardonnay. It was perfect! We also shared with Sara and Mitra Lucas that Wine Enthusiast had shared Jameson Fink’s (Wine Enthusiast’s Senior Digital Editor) post on their 2001 Chardonnay. We tasted it during Live Blogging on Friday of the conference. They were delighted. Mitra was kind enough to offer us a bottle of that Chardonnay. We can’t wait to try it again! We made our purchases and moved along.

2001 Chardonnay from The Lucas Winery

2001 Chardonnay from The Lucas Winery

We decided with the heat we should drop off our wines at the hotel before heading to our next stop, Harney Lane Winery (http://harneylane.com). Our favorites from this stop were the 2015 Albariño and the 2013 Petite Sirah.

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We ended our day at McCay Cellars (http://www.mccaycellars.com). We had the fortune of sitting at one of the McCay tables at the Saturday night dinner at the conference. Linda McCay was at our table. Her husband Mike McCay (also the winemaker) was at the other table. Given the wines we had sampled the night before, we were interested in seeing the rest of the lineup and to purchase wine to ship back to North Carolina. Our favorite was the 2013 Cinsaut. This Cinsaut was made from grapes that came from vines that were planted in 1886.   We certainly can’t find that in North Carolina!

We ended Sunday night early. We had more plans for Monday.

We started our day on Monday at Michael David Winery (http://www.mccaycellars.com). We were familiar with their wines as their flagship brands (7 Deadly Zins, Petite Petit & Freakshow) are readily available in North Carolina. We were very interested in seeing what else that had to offer. We also wanted to grab a bottle of the 2013 Inkblot Cabernet Franc. We had tasted it on Saturday during the live blogging event.

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After we finished at Michael David, we head back to Van Ruiten Family Winery (https://www.vrwinery.com). We just had to get some of their wines to ship back to NC. Akaylia greeted us in the tasting room and took us through all the reserves wines. We had some of them during the Friday night dinner, but it was good to see the rest of the lineup. Our favorite was the 2012 Reserve Ancient Vine Carignane. It was woody and earthy on the nose with notes of cherry jam on the palate.

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Talk then turned to the tree in the parking lot. Akaylia walked us outside and had us try to guess what kind of tree it was. We weren’t successful with our guesses. It turns out that it a California Cork Oak, a real cork tree! It was super cool!

Cork tree up close!

Cork tree up close!

During our tasting Bill came in to greet us. He took us back to the crush pad where Chardonnay was being pressed. We also got to taste a few grapes!

Chardonnay heading to the press!

Chardonnay heading to the press!

We finished our tasted, selected our purchased and head out to Livermore Valley. We found a few good wines in that area and would love to explore there again. However, it didn’t compare to the experience we had in Lodi.

Lodi, thank you! You were warm and welcoming! It was an experience like none other. We will always remember you fondly and hope to visit again soon!

Downtown Lodi, CA

Downtown Lodi, CA

Posted by Joe Brock in Wine, 1 comment