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August 26, 2014

NEW WINE ALERT!

The Dandelion Wine staff suppered on Sunday at M. Wells Steakhouse.  We shared several beautiful bottles of wine, but it was the Joseph Swan Vineyards Mancini Ranch 2008 Zinfandel that really stood out…  So we ordered it yesterday and it’s here today!

The vines used to make this wine were planted in the 1920s!  This Zinfandel is big but perfectly focused with razor sharp acidity and it paired so beautifully with our rare steaks.  $32

Joseph Swan Vineyards is a small family owned winery located in the heart of Sonoma County, California’s famed Russian River Valley.  They specialize in vineyard designated Pinot Noir and Old-Vine Zinfandel.  Joseph Swan strives to make interesting wines that reflect their unique origins and to price them fairly. The mere fact that they are still here after 40 years means we must be doing something right…

http://www.swanwinery.com/

August 21, 2014

Our friend Midori from small importer Joto Sake is the number one reason we even have a sake selection worth talking about. Her knowledge, passion, and delicious sakes got us interested in learning more about (and drinking more of) this traditional fermented rice beverage. We’re thrilled to have her here tonight to share stories and sake with us over cheese from Eastern District and bread from She Wolf. 

Our friend Midori from small importer Joto Sake is the number one reason we even have a sake selection worth talking about. Her knowledge, passion, and delicious sakes got us interested in learning more about (and drinking more of) this traditional fermented rice beverage. We’re thrilled to have her here tonight to share stories and sake with us over cheese from Eastern District and bread from She Wolf. 

August 16, 2014

STAFF PICKS

Three’s a party!

August 14, 2014

Drink Pink

No doubt about it, the summer of 2014 has been sponsored by rosé. Never before have we seen such a frenzy!!! Everyone has discovered what we have known all along- it’s delicious, it’s not just for the ladies, and there are excellent options at a variety of price points from all over the world. Well folks, it’s still summer. And what better time than the most beautiful day ever, smack-dab in the middle of August to DRINK MORE ROSÉ? No time like the present, I say. Join us tonight, 6-9 pm, and our friend Steven VanHaren from Michael Skurnik Wines, for a tasting of three tasty pink bevs. We’ll have cheese from Eastern District and bread from She Wolf!

Zestos Rosado, Madrid 2013

Hailing from the high altitude, under-the-radar vineyards of San Martin Valdeiglesias just northwest of Madrid, the old-vine Garnacha grapes that make up this wine, like 90% of those grown in the region, are farmed organically. They believe that “Old vines make better wines”, and we tend to agree.  Their lower yields of fully, evenly ripened grapes make consistent high-quality wines, and we’ve been crazy about this one for a few vintages now. Vibrant and elegant, with classic fresh strawberry notes that practically scream “summer fun” and pair with anything and everything. Provençal in style and substance for a fraction of the price? Don’t mind if I do! $11

Liquid Geography Rosado, Bullas 2013

Olé is one of our favorite wine importers for a variety of reasons- they carry awesome wines, many of exceptional value and everyone who works there is just so lovely to work with, helpful, knowledgeable, and kind, and excited about the wines they bring in! Enter, this fantastic rosé, a pet project of Olé’s founder Patrick Mata and three of his esteemed friends in the wine world. Every dollar of the proceeds from this wine, Olé donates to the TJ Martell Foundation for cancer research. How’s that for giving back?! Organic Monastrell (what the French call Mourvedre) from the region in southeast Spain where it originated, Liquid Geo’ boasts refreshing minerality and citrusy acidity with a touch of spice. Drink for a cause! $13

Terre Nere Etna Rosato, Sicily 2013

We’re generally fascinated by everything Terre Nere makes, and their rosato is no exception. This dry, steely, savory pink wine, an organic blend of Nerello Mascalede and Nerello Cappucio, was first made in 2007, in honor of wine maker’s three year old daughter, who like many little girls, loves anything and everything rosy hued. Aiming to make a rosé with “the body of a white and the soul of a red” is no easy task, but he set about to do it and each year I think he gets closer to his ideal. A little more serious than some, this rosé is thoughtful and regal, and ages well. The vineyard recommends it with classic Italian aperitivo- think prosciutto and melon, salami and figs, and formaggio! $23

August 8, 2014

A Dinner Party in Italy

We helped our friends at Quinciple with some dinner party planning this week! Get cooking and drinking, people!

quinciple:

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Got plans this weekend? How about a dinner party.

Before you balk at the idea of slaving away in the kitchen all day, consider our knockout menu below, which channels the salty breezes of coastal Italy while keeping your legwork to a minimum.

We’ve also picked out some wine and put together a playlist for you; all that’s left is to raise a glass and eat up! 

Read More

August 7, 2014

Nómade Wines

Argentina

Please join us tonight, 6-9 pm, for a wine tasting of Tomás Achával’s Nómade label. Thomás sources wines from several regions, highlighting classic varietals grown in the best possible conditions. We’ll have two tonight, alongside cheese from Eastern District and bread from She Wolf!

Torrontes 2012

Arguably the most distinctive indigenous grape in Argentina, the only country in which it is produced, Torrontes is characterized by heady floral aromatics and bright exotic tropical fruit. Nómade’s Torrontes hails from old vines grown at 5,445 feet above sea level in Cafayate, in the middle of the Calchaqui Valleys, the best site in the Andes for Torrontes. Orange blossom and jasmine, along with mint, lychee, pineapple, and pear- drink with spicy foods or sushi! $14

Malbec 2011

Hailing from a 75-year-old vineyard in Valle de Uco, Mendoza, this Malbec has become a best-seller in a season when most full-bodied reds have fallen by the wayside. Old vines, low yields, and high-altitude vineyards all contribute to producing grapes with higher acid and lower sugar- which means better quality fruit over-all. The wine is aged 8 months in a combination of French and American oak before bottling. The outcome is a Malbec with considerable spice and character, concentrated red and black berries and baking spices with an elegant brightness on the finish.  A Malbec for all seasons! $17

August 6, 2014

BURGUNDY IS FOR LOVERS

This hot couple, just in.

Clotilde Davenne Saint-Bris 2013

Saint Bris is the only appellation in Burgundy to produce Sauvignon Blanc instead of Chardonnay. This one from rock star Oenologist Clotilde Davenne is very satisfying. Lean minerality, zested lime peel, and grass after a downpour… this much character in a sustainable Sauvignon Blanc?? Yes, please! $19

Domaine des Rouge-Queues Envol Bourgogne 2011

Located in the teeny, tiny, relatively obscure Cotes-de-Beaune village of Sampigny les Maranges (only 170 inhabitants!), Domaine des Rouge-Queues’s small vineyard boasts clay and limestone pebble soil, which give way to mineral-rich, high-acid Pinot Noir grapes. The wine is bright and fresh with notes of wild strawberries and cassis with an energetic, zingy finish. Summer red to a T! $22

August 6, 2014

July 31, 2014

STAFF PICKS!!!

Everyone is back and everyone is drinking.

Summer is glorious!

July 31, 2014

ITALIAN WINE TASTING

Join us tonight, 6-9 pm, for a diverse Italian wine tasting with our friend Evan from Omniwines! We’ll showcase three special bottles from across the boot, with bread from She Wolf and cheese from Eastern District.

And be sure to stop by and see our buddies over at Duke’s, same time, where Whiskey is on the bill!  

Casa d’Ambra Ischia Bianco 2013

This is Ischia. The largest island in the bay of Naples is incredibly picturesque and atmospheric, with a colorful past. An important stop on the route between Greece and Northern Italy, it’s history is punctuated with periodic catastrophic eruptions of its now extinct volcano. This bianco, made from native Biancollelo grapes grown throughout the island in those rich volcanic soils, is a gorgeous export from this fascinating place. Anjou pear, key lime, and green apple finish with this saline, savory quality I love to find in island whites, this is a natural choice for a meal from the sea. Did y’all hear that Greenpoint Fish and Lobsteropened yesterday? That’s right, we don’t need no stinkin’ G train to get great fish! YES! $19

Piedmont Wine Project Gambai 2012

A blend of Barbera, Ruché, and Pelaverga, some of my favorite grapes in Italy if not the world, this is a fun, casual approach to these classic native varietals of the venerable Piemonte region.  Gambai, which means “boot” in the Piedmont dialect, is a tribute to the wine making heritage of this boot-shaped country. The three grapes combine beautifully, each bringing something special to the table. The Barbera, which comprises 60% of the blend, endows it with a sturdy acidity and clear cherry fruit, the Ruché, at 30%, provides it’s characteristic rose-y floral notes, and 10% Pelaverga adds a spicy peppercorn quality up-front the continues through in the finish. There’s a lot going on in the region and a lot going on in this bottle! Pair with meats and cheeses, olives, crostini, and good conversation. $16

Maso Michei Trentino Pinot Nero 2010

Located in the dangerously steep but deeply idyllic slopes of Ronchi di Ala in Trentino, Masso Michei is a small, relatively new winery founded by Giuseppe and Michela Bruni, who left their fast-paced banking careers just over a decade ago to pursue their passion and dedicate themselves to the land.  At this extreme elevation (between 820 and 890 meters), machine work is impossible and work on the vineyards can be life threatening, but also incredibly rewarding. “My dream was not to be the richest man in the world, but the freest,” Giuseppe has said.  This noble humility translates to his wines, like this delightful Pinot Nero. Bright and playful, with mineral undertones, gracious fruit, and a maverick spirit. Inspiring and invigorating! $17