2011 Chardonnay Buffet Underway!!

Looking over the recent deliveries, the shelves & the orders: Wow the Chardonnay top is looking good this week!!  The sun made a brief appearance, spring shall be soon - that means all the distributor tastings and new introductions @ TWH.  We don't follow scores during the tasting and buying process, this saves me research time; I have looked into these and am proud of how well they drank - notes listed below were taken from WS and WA. 

Quite obviously some of these are in limited quantities yet many are not - simply straight forward great California Chardonnays!!  (For the more adventurous, following the "I believe in Matt" mantra, we have a 92 point Argentine chardonnay coming in - approx. $22-24 on the shelf.)  Well sit there and salivate or go ahead and put some salmon on the Barbee - and let us know what your favorites are. The usual suspects are still here everyday but seriously.... doesn't this just seem too cool right now?

#Paul Hobbs “Crossbarn” (91 pts, $30); #Talley Arroyo (91, $30) & possible #Rincon (94pts, $45); #Rudd Bacigalupi (94-96pts, $70); #Kesner Old Vines (90+, $51); #Lewis 2009 soon (92pts, $51); #Ridge Santa Cruz Mt. Estate 2007 (93pts, about $50); #Vine Cliff (91pts, $42); #Barnett Sangiacomo (90pts, $35); #Dumol (92pts, $63); and the ever present ZD, Talbott Logan, #Cakebread, CH. #Montalena, Stag's Leap Karia,& Mt Eden Arroyo faithful!  (Kistler is request only) Whew – just a start to the season!

For the "Red wine is the only wine" fans: We still have a couple bottles each of the 2007 California presell!! #Shafer 1.5 07 Cab; #Chappellet "Pritchard Hill" 07 Cab; #Larkmead 07 Cab; Ch. #Montalena 07 Cab; #Paul Hobbs Napa 07 Cab!!  These, of course, are on a first come first serve basis.

In fact, the 2008 Plumpjack just came in today!!   Ciao Matt

TWH continues Charitable Involvement - Join us!!

Remember that Thursday the 17th (St. Pat's!) we are joining the Chamber Of C and area stores to donate 10% of our proceeds to the Syracuse Symphony. Years of outststanding, nationally ranked performances are on the line in a tight economy! Please join us - Thanks Matt

We are also proud to be yet again involved in the Annual fundraiser for The Central New York Autism Society - to be held April 2nd at The Crown Plaza downtown!  This marks the fourth year TWH has teamed in - info to follow/available as you stop by.  Great functions for a great cause!!

On March 31st TWH is also teamed with Circa restaurant in Cazenovia to support From the Ground Up (FTGU) - an event that assists Horses in need - I've heard the menu from Ali, she's the bomb!! Another great way to get everyone involved.  See you there!  M

Huephoria Success Continues!!

We continue to be amazed at the stellar growth of our local ladies' business!! Huephoria was created right here in our backyard and TWH has loved supporting them through these last few years.  With over fifty designs from which to chose, these enticing wine glasses with character painted balls are all the rage!! Both Jen and Lisa stop by frequently to drop off more patterns...and restock and their wine! Dishwasher safe, hand crafted and eye catching the glasses are now available nationwide and on the web @ www.huephoria.com!

New balls include Love, Mardi, Lucky and America while the old favorites such as Atlantic, Birthday, Bliss and Queen Bee sell well here at The Wine House.  Just in time for Halloweeen, "Hildy" comes back after her debut last year.  Lets hope we can keep these in stock until the 31st!  And for our Wine House friends...they have let us cut you a deal on any 4... mix n' match...20% off!! Cheers to great ideas and a spirit of entrepreneurship: We wish you continued success!!

FOOD DRIVE for FM COMMUNITY OUTREACH (FM FOOD PANTRY)

Join our Food Drive for our local FM Food Pantry!

Now through 9/22, bring your donation here to The Wine House, and save on your wine purchase made at the store!

Bring a donation...save 10% off ANY WINE purchase made that day!

Bring a donation...save 15% off ANY CASE purchase made that day!

We want to help stock the pantry's shelves with things they need the most. Of course, all donations are welcome and accepted, but currently they are most in need of:

~ CANNED FRUIT
~ COFFEE
~ CEREAL (regular size boxes)
~ PEANUT BUTTER (regular size jars)
~ JAMS/JELLIES (regular size jars)

Thank you for your support! We look forward to seeing you soon!

The Time for Specializing in Artisanal Liquors

So many times I encounter a guest who hasn't seen our selection of small batch or artisanal liquor products and exhales with delight while browsing.  I really hadn't taken the time to make any world announcements...it's more that we spend so much time on research and listen to guest requests.  Maybe now is the time to realize that so many other retail outlets depend so heavily on larger volume numbers and stocking the obvious - and that the consumer is each day more aware of the variety of items available on the market.  As grocers become laden with specialty products from all corners of the globe, so too should the independent spirits retailer, meeting the guest at the level they have become accustomed.  The Wine House has increased our selection count in Single malt scotches, Hand crafted Rums, small distillery Bourbons and fruit/herb cordials.

Two rums from Martinique (Rhum J. M. and Clement) are in oak barrels long enough to named VSOP under the same rules as well known cognacs, rendering a smoothness unmatched by harsher, colored (even flavored!) rums.  The Plantation 5 year Reserve from Barbados is rich and round without the price usually attached to such quality.  Ron Zacapa Solera 23 year is produced from free run, unadulterated sugarcane juice - blended over the 23 years using the Solera method in actual sherry barrels from Spain - and matured in storage at 7,000 feet. Guatemala, Jamaica, and Bermuda produce quality beverages - try Gosling's Black Seal Rum, a wonderfully intricate blend that was sold as draught out of barrels until WWI!

Scotch from the Highlands is plentiful, yet how nice to sip Glenfarclas 17yr, Dalwhinnie 15yr, or Clynelish 1997 instead of the dreadful ocean of obvious caramel laden blends.  We have been able to include the Isle of Skye's only distillery, Talisker, as well as from Islay the esteemed Bowmore 18 year!  Springbank, Bunnahbain, and Edradour are also best sellers here.  Whether you enjoy water or neat, smoke or peat...stop by and peruse the ever changing inventory!!

An Appetizer for Summer Sipping!!

These are days of sitting on the deck, dock or patio with our friends and family! Nothing is more communal than shared food and wine - both of which can be lighter, more approachable and yet full of flavor.  Many of our guests enjoy the crisp tart grapefruit and lime flavors in a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.  What would I serve to my friends if a bottle were open at my house? Try this wonderful mix of sweet, spice, salt and acidity on a twist of the traditional pizza bites!

Using Nan, the Indian styled flat bread, lets build a "pizza" out of mangoes, proscuitto, fresh tomatoes and spices.  The result can be baked lightly or placed on the outdoor grill for a moment.  In a food processor or blender, place 1 apple; 1/2 cup red onion; 1/4 cup fresh cilantro; two or more cloves of garlic; salt to taste; 2 tsp cumin; lemon juice squirts; 2 tbsp honey, and a large cup or so of mango pieces.  Jalapeno can be added if you are more adventurous. Blend to create your "sauce"!  Spread a layer of sauce on the Nan - build with fresh chopped tomatoes, previous saute of proscuitto, cubed pieces of mango, more cilantro - I often use goat cheese sprinkles and/or chopped red peppers!

Now about that Wine! New Zealand produces some of the best examples of fruit forward, zippy, unoaked S.Blanc - and while all have a fresh citrus (mostly grapefruit) we also look for great wines to include Guava and other tropical fruits in the nose! This means great acidity (food loves this!) which matches the tomatoes and cut through the fat/salt in the proscuitto, leaving great fruit on fruit between appetizer and glass! Try Whitehaven ($17), The Infamous Goose ($13) or go wild with Matua Paretai single vineyard ($22) - and relax into the weekend! Matt

Sign Up for Fall Classes Now!

Sign-up for our fall session of classes has begun. 
Call, email or stop by to add your name to the list. 
All classes are FREE but advanced sign-up is required. Thank you!

Wine 101 - Tuesdays 9/7-10/28 - 6:30-8:30 pm
Learn the basics and more! 8 week session covering the history of wine, grape growing process, rules and regulations, the wine making process, detecting balance within wine, how to read labels, influences of terroir, and the list goes on.... Along with the topic of discussion, each week will focus on a different region with wine samples representing those particular regions. Join the fun and learn more than you ever imagined about wine!

Wine 201/301 - Thursdays 9/9-10/30 - 6:30-8:30 pm
For those of you who have completed our 101 course, the fun continues with Wine 201/301. Explore restaurant wine lists, blending your own wine, blind tasting techniques and design dinner party pairings. Of course, sample some great examples of wines from around the world each week as well. Fun! Fun! Fun!

Dessert Wines Class Last Night

Wow was that a good time last night! Thanks to all who shared cookies, chocolate, nuts and cheeses - as we worked our way through sparklers and sweeter wine items.  The Limoncello was a hit with the almond cookies, and who can forget the way raspberries changed the #Bricco del Sole Moscato d' Asti? So enjoyable as we spent time on processes and regions of the world...but even better as we thought through the great rieslings of Germany, 5 Puttonyos #Royal Tokaji from Hungary, and the #Alvear Solera PX from Spain at 94pts for $20!!  We do this in 201 each semester - and even talked to the great lambic beers from Belgium and Porters from England - what an unexpected surprise for our class members who thought The Wine House is only about the basics!  Next week is Jeopardy and graduation: the summer semester starts June first week so sign up early as the seats (free) fill fast!! As always, 201 is about activities that have us use our wine knowledge, not simply a seminar to hear about wine.  Restaurant list deconstruction, Mixology, Dinner party pairings and Game shows are the biggest hits over the last three years!  Interactive entertainment for free!!

Give Hope a New Home - Upstate Medical event

We are so pleased to participate in another great cause - Upstate Medical Center is raising funds for new consult facilities in the Oncology and Infusion area - April 29th at The Brewster Inn there is a reception and silent auction.  Much of this evening will focus on persons that have been over five years cancer free, a tribute to the great work of these teams of medical staff and also of the perserverance of each human being.  Contact The Brewster Inn (655-9232) or call/email us here so I can give you the contact info.  #GIVE HOPE a NEW HOME is the event name to reference.

A Vintage where Everyone Succeeds

I am often fascinated by the frenzy of interest in particular regions post media release of the hyped up vintage.  The #2007 Rhone wines certainly deserve attention, and I was happy to research and source for all our guests.  The #2007 California Cabernets, #2005 Bordeaux (as though there wasn't a 2006 vintage), and even the much more approachable 2008 New York Rieslings could all fire up a great discussion - if not dent the wallet.  In fact last night I spent far too much time speaking to #2008 Oregon wines; not that they deserve less accolades, but seriously, this isn't the first vintage the state has produced. 

And this really rubs my general philosophy on better wines from great vintages: if it is possible to believe the great in the climate/terroir this season, then belive that all who attempt to make wine are in a position to do well.  Perhaps it is in the worst of situations, i.e. Australia of recent, that I would turn to outstanding producers that source well, have a track history, and perhaps some pockets into which they can dip.  Why would I bend over backwards to spend far too much simply to have the Chateauneuf arms on my bottle when any experienced wine master from Gigondas, Rasteau, or similar has an extremely reasonable chance at greatness this vintage?  It is in the depths of despair that we would turn to the standards, not when we have an opportunity to try something new.  Having been on the stump these many years promoting emerging areas as a way to expand our knowledge, save money, and keep a keen interest inflamed - why in these great years shouldn't we aspire to keep these same principles? 

Wine drinks best when it "outdrinks" the price or at minimum, darn well when we feel the satisfaction of the hunt!  Make no mistake: the top wines are just that.  No one is going to topple the kings of their arenas - I just happen to enjoy a few glasses of wines I know I can feel good about - and I'm always going to carry the names people request.  But next time we all join the chorus about a year inwhich all had a chance to excel, I beg we take a moment...and ask if the house next door is drinking as well at half the price.

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