Dinner at the Villa

Andiamo a Toscana

By Catherine | On Sep 24, 2013 | 1 Comment

On Saturday, our group met at the Rome airport and off we went to Tuscany.   It is about a three hour ride and we were all glad to arrive at our beautiful home for the next five days, the Villa Montecastello, which is in the area of Monteriggio.  The villa dates back nearly 1,000 years and was originally a…

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Kudos to the Culinary Team at Cincinnati State

By Catherine | On Sep 8, 2013 | 1 Comment

Last month I visited my home town of Cincinnati to visit friends and attend the Western and Southern Tennis Masters tournament. The culinary highlight of the trip was a wine tasting dinner at The Summit, a restaurant operated by the culinary arts program at  Cincinnati State.  The wines were presented by Vintage Point, a distributor with an eclectic collection of…

Roses

Roses from Around the World

By Catherine | On Aug 13, 2013 | No Comments

  Rosé’s are wonderful anytime, but they are especially appealing during the summer as they complement lighter fare and are a great choice as an apértif. Marie Sauer recently hosted a rosé tasting at her Sauer Grapes Wine Lounge.  Six wines were featured including three from France, one from Germany, one from Austria, and one from California’s Russian River Valley. …

Cinsault

Cinsault, Vino Volo, and More

By Catherine | On Jul 21, 2013 | No Comments

In June I made a short trip to Frederick, MD to visit my daughter and son-in-law.  We had dinner at a favorite spot, The Tasting Room.  Conversation with the sommelier, Jarrett Walsh, led to the decision to “go out on a limb” just a little and try a wine made from 100% Cinsault.  This particular wine is made by Michael…

Jerry Sass

Jerry Sass and The Macintosh Team Up

By Catherine | On Jun 30, 2013 | No Comments

Sass Winery in Salem, Oregon, was founded by wine maker Jerry Sass in 1989 when he purchased 19.4 acres of land and began planting Pinot Noir vines. The production is small, approximately 4,500 cases per year across all of the varietals. Jerry is passionate about the land, the grapes, and the wine making techniques he employs and the results are…

Velvet Devil

May Musings

By Catherine | On Jun 3, 2013 | 1 Comment

May has been a tasty month.  A friend, who also has a May birthday, and I celebrated our special days at McCrady’s.  Once again, the four course chef’s tasting menu did not disappoint!  Lee was in the mood for Merlot and we couldn’t resist ordering the Velvet Devil.  The Velvet Devil is made by  Charles Smith, an interesting character who…

Laura of Mellot Wines

Sancerre and Oysters

By Catherine | On Apr 20, 2013 | 1 Comment

Wines from Sancerre and oysters are a match made in heaven.  Debbie Marlowe of The Wine Shop of Charleston hosted a wonderful tasting last week, presided over by Laura Masero of Joseph Mellot wines and Eric Hill, the distributor. All tastings are educational and the big revelation for me during this event was learning about all of the different varietals…

Terres de Velle

Small Production Wines from France

By Catherine | On Mar 25, 2013 | No Comments

Marie Sauer of Sauer Grapes Wine Lounge hosted a wonderful tasting of French wines last week.  Anyone who knows me or reads my blog knows how fervently I support small grower producers in any region.  The people who grow the grapes and create the wines are passionate about quality and authenticity.  Sophie and Fabrice Laronze are among these select growers,…

Merry Edwards Pinots

Merry Edwards’ Magnificent Pinot Noirs

By Catherine | On Mar 14, 2013 | No Comments

During the 2013 Charleston Wine and Food Festival, I had the distinct pleasure of attending Merry Edwards‘ Single Vineyard Pinot Noir tasting.  Merry was one of the first women wine makers in CA, beginning her career in the industry in 1974.  In 1997, family and friends joined Merry to found Merry Edwards Winery, with a focus on producing Pinot Noirs…

Ocean Wine Aging

Aqua Aging?

By Catherine | On Feb 28, 2013 | No Comments

An unusual experiment is taking place right here in Charleston Harbor.  Mira Winery of Napa Valley, CA, submerged four cases of 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon to test the effects of “ocean aging.”  The bottles were treated with additional wax seals and placed in specially designed steel mesh cages that allow the water to circulate around the bottles. The wines are in…


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