Winemonger Talk

  • 10th Annual Marin Winemaker Celebration! Sunday June 1 from 2-5

    Taste the best of the best from Marin County's top winemakers, while enjoying delicious snacks set out by La Loggia cafe in San Anselmo. This is the place to be on Sunday June 1 2014 from 2-5PM!

    YOU CAN PURCHASE TICKETS BEFOREHAND FOR $40 AT THIS LINK, OR AT THE DOOR FOR $50

    MarinWineTastingLaLoggia

  • Cantine Garrone: Welcome to the Val D'ossola and Prunent

    We are very excited to present the wines of Cantine Garrone. Our in-house Italian specialist, Diego Meraviglia, shares with you the history of this new Winemonger direct import:

    "The Val D'Ossola is the absolute Northern-most area of Piemonte, right in the Alps and right on the border with Switzerland in a closed valley, and it is absolutely gorgeous.

    CantineGarrone

    Historically, Pliny the Elder (the Roman historian, not the beer) wrote about the Celtic tribes of Northern Piemonte having a grape that they were cultivating which he referred to as 'Prunus Spinosa', or, the "wild prune". This is common knowledge and also Jancis Robinson talks about it in the 'wine varietals' book.
    Prunus Spinosa has always been thought to be the original Nebbiolo, or should I say simply Nebbiolo. Spanna, which is the name of Nebbiolo in the more recently popular and exploding appellations of Northern Piemonte (Ghemme, Gattinara, Boca, etc.) was always thought to be the oldest biotype of Nebbiolo in existence.
    However, in this mountain valley where I come from, not so long ago, Celtic remains were discovered related to wine. This has always been an area of archeological sites of Celtic heritage, but for the first time a special wine container was found, demonstrating that the "barbarians", as the Romans called them, were actually making wine. Commonly, the wines here were traditionally made with either Barbera and Bonarda, or Nebbiolo, but there were a few patchwork vineyards up in the high slopes of the mountains that were somewhat abandoned but possessed 100+ year old vines. The local mountain farmers typically and commonly called these vines "Prunent".

    Cantina Garrone (the ONLY winery in Val D'Ossola) pioneered an association of mountain organic growers that made massive efforts to restore and clone these vines and restart production on a more modern and professional manner.

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    This took place a handful of years ago and DNA analysis was done on the varietal. Aside from the curious etymology of "Prunent" related to Prunus Spinosa that the ancient Romans talked about, it has now been proven that Prunent is indeed a very particular, very peculiar, very basic and "wild" biotype of Nebbiolo, and it has been stated with almost certainty that this is indeed the Celtic grape that the local tribes were cultivating and from which all Nebbiolo types subsequently spawned from and spread throughout Piemonte, Lombardia and Vale D'Aosta.

    So...this is the forefather of Nebbiolo...the ancient one...

    The younger, more quaffable and simple wines here are made from blends of regular Nebbiolo, not Prunent type, and Bonarda + Barbera...this is the Munaloss. Munaloss is a play on the word Ossolanum, the ancient Roman name of the valley. The Celts called it Osolan (high ground) before Roman conquest and incorporation into Roman civilization. If you go here, the Munaloss is the tavern wine that all restaurants, osteria, and taverns have...the "house wine".  The other is that rare, true Prunent.

    Prunent is a piece of history."

  • NEWS: Winemonger and TexaCali Wine Co. Partner Up!

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Marin County based TexaCali Wine Co. and Winemonger Form Strategic Partnership to Enhance National Exposure

    (SAN RAFAEL, Ca and San Anselmo Ca) ­­– February 5, 2014 – TexaCali Wine Co.. and Winemonger today announced the formation of a strategic partnership to advance sales & marketing efforts for Winemonger imports, wholesale and online retail properties. This new partnership builds upon wine sales expertise and innovative branding from both companies to enhance exposure of the highly sought after Winemonger portfolio of wines and Zalto glassware.

    Owner Alison Smith-Story “TexaCali Ali” of TexaCali Wine Co. has a proven track record of increasing national exposure for superior domestic and international wineries and will be assisting Winemonger with both off and online strategies, DTC management, and widening Winemonger’s successful wholesale distribution networks.

    “After a decade of helping family wineries, top importers and key retailers to achieve sales & marketing goals, I’m thrilled to be working with Winemonger, who I consider to be on the cutting-edge of the wine industry with their sales channels & portfolio offerings. While their fabulous wine selection & Zalto stems caught my eye at first, I’ve admired their business model for years and consider owners Emily & Stephan Schindler true innovators who I also call great friends.” says Ali.

    “Our commitment has always been first and foremost to the winemakers we work with and together we have organically grown US distribution. Now is the perfect moment for us to extend that reach. As anybody who knows Ali also knows her endless energy, depth of wine business experience and loyal following will make that possible. We couldn’t be more excited about the future. “ says owners Emily and Stephan.

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    Media Contacts:
    Ali@texacaliwine.com / 214.437.9100
    Office@winemonger.com / 415.747.8404

    About TexaCali Wine Co.

    Established in 2005 in Austin, Texas, TexaCali Wine Co. is now headquartered in San Rafael, California specializes in sales and marketing strategy for independent and family owned wineries and importers. http://www.texacaliwine.com

    About Winemonger

    California and New York based Winemonger is a wine importer, wholesaler and online-retailer specializing in premium estate wines from Austria, France, Germany, Italy and the United States. Winemonger is also the US importer and national distributor for Zalto Glassware. http://www.winemonger.com

     

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  • Free Shipping Offer and Shipping Transit Times!

    FREE SHIPPING on orders of $99 or more
    Free Standard Shipping on single merchandise orders excluding taxes. Offer not valid on 1-day or 2-day delivery. Applies only to single-address shipments to the contiguous 48 United States. Not combinable with other offers and cannot be applied to previous purchases.
    Offer expires 1:00 P.M. ET on 12/24/13.

    SHIPPING TRANSIT TIMES
    For your orders of Wine or Zalto Stemware, please see below for the approximate transit times. The maps are clickable for a larger view.

    Zalto orders received by 12:00 PST ship out the next day, excluding weekends or holidays.
    Wine orders received by 1:00 PST ship out the next day, excluding weekends or holidays.

    ZALTO STEMWARE
    Zalto orders ship out of our warehouse in New Jersey.
    Approximate Transit Times via Ground Service:
    ONE DAY: CT, DE, MA, MD, NJ, NY(Eastern), PA, RI, VT
    TWO DAY: GA(Northern), IN, IL(Northern), KY, ME, MI, NC,NH, NY(Western), OH, PA(Western), SC, TN, VA, WV
    THREE DAY: AL, AR, FL, GA(Southern), IA, IL(Southern), KS, LA, MN, MO, NE(Eastern), OK(Central), TX(North-Eastern), WI
    FOUR DAY: AK, AZ, CA(Southern), CO(Eastern), MS, ND, NE(Western), NM, NV(Southern), OK(Outer), SD, TX(Central-Southern)
    FIVE DAY: CA(Northern), CO(Western), ID, MT, NV(Northern), OR, TX(Eastern), UT, WA, WY

    [wpcaption id="attachment_2576" align="alignnone" width="300"]ZALTO SHIPMENTS ZALTO SHIPMENTS[/wpcaption]

    WINE
    Wine orders ship out of our warehouse in Napa, California.
    Approximate Transit Times via Ground Service:
    ONE DAY: CA (Northern)
    TWO DAYS: AZ, CA (Southern), ID, NV, OR, UT, WA
    THREE DAYS: CO, MT (Western), NM, WY
    FOUR DAYS: AK, AL, AR, GA, IA, IN, IL,KY, KS,LA, MI, MN, MO, MS,MT (rural parts of Eastern), ND, NE, OH, OK, SD, TN, TX, WI, WV
    FIVE DAYS: CT, DE, FL, HI, ME, NH, MA, MD, NC, NJ, NY, PA, RI, SC, VA

    [wpcaption id="attachment_2575" align="alignnone" width="300"]WINE SHIPMENTS WINE SHIPMENTS[/wpcaption]

    PLEASE NOTE THAT THESE ARE APPROXIMATE SHIP TIMES AS PROVIDED BY THE COURIER. THEY ARE NOT GUARANTEED. OVERNIGHT and 2-DAY GUARANTEED OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE.

  • SHIPPING TRANSIT TIMES!

    For your orders of Wine or Zalto Stemware, please see below for the approximate transit times. The maps are clickable for a larger view.

    Zalto orders received by 12:00 PST ship out the next day, excluding weekends or holidays.
    Wine orders received by 2:00 PST ship out the next day, excluding weekends or holidays.

    ZALTO STEMWARE
    Zalto orders ship out of our warehouse in New Jersey.
    Approximate Transit Times via Ground Service:
    ONE DAY: CT, DE, MA, MD, NJ, NY(Eastern), PA, RI, VT
    TWO DAY: GA(Northern), IN, IL(Northern), KY, ME, MI, NC,NH, NY(Western), OH, PA(Western), SC, TN, VA, WV
    THREE DAY: AL, AR, FL, GA(Southern), IA, IL(Southern), KS, LA, MN, MO, NE(Eastern), OK(Central), TX(North-Eastern), WI
    FOUR DAY: AK, AZ, CA(Southern), CO(Eastern), MS, ND, NE(Western), NM, NV(Southern), OK(Outer), SD, TX(Central-Southern)
    FIVE DAY: CA(Northern), CO(Western), ID, MT, NV(Northern), OR, TX(Eastern), UT, WA, WY

    [wpcaption id="attachment_2576" align="alignnone" width="300"]ZALTO SHIPMENTS ZALTO SHIPMENTS[/wpcaption]

    WINE
    Wine orders ship out of our warehouse in Napa, California.
    Approximate Transit Times via Ground Service:
    ONE DAY: CA (Northern)
    TWO DAYS: AZ, CA (Southern), ID, NV, OR, UT, WA
    THREE DAYS: CO, MT (Western), NM, WY
    FOUR DAYS: AK, AL, AR, GA, IA, IN, IL,KY, KS,LA, MI, MN, MO, MS,MT (rural parts of Eastern), ND, NE, OH, OK, SD, TN, TX, WI, WV
    FIVE DAYS: CT, DE, FL, HI, ME, NH, MA, MD, NC, NJ, NY, PA, RI, SC, VA

    [wpcaption id="attachment_2575" align="alignnone" width="300"]WINE SHIPMENTS WINE SHIPMENTS[/wpcaption]

    PLEASE NOTE THAT THESE ARE APPROXIMATE SHIP TIMES AS PROVIDED BY THE COURIER. THEY ARE NOT GUARANTEED. OVERNIGHT and 2-DAY GUARANTEED OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE.

  • Smoked Trout and Cucumber Sandwich in a Bun paired with Stroblhof Strahler Pinot Blanc

    Many thanks to the New York Times Wine Club for selecting our Stroblhof Strahler Pinot Blanc 2011 for their members, and especially thanks for sharing this great, healthy and quick recipe for smoked trout and cucumber sandwich-- perfect summer snacking with one of our favorite summer wines.

    First, a bit from them about the wine:

    Stroblhof Strahler 2011

    Often thought to be related to Chardonnay, to which it can be stylistically similar, Pinot Blanc is in fact a mutation of Pinot Gris—a version of Pinot Noir. Stroblhof’s 2011 interpretation is layered with delicate notes of spiced pear, baked apple, peach and under-ripe papaya. Crisp and lively, with bright acidity and mineral overtones, it features outstanding purity and balance.

    Drinking much like a richer style of Pinot Grigio, this Pinot Blanc shows its cool-climate heritage. As such, the 2011 Stroblhof is not only a refreshing aperitif, but also an excellent, all-purpose companion to food, especially with appetizers and lunch or brunch fare. Its steely mineral character and brisk acidity make it ideally suited to delicate seafood and shellfish dishes, but it is layered with enough fruit to offer admirably flexibility with spicier preparations too. It works well with dishes like sushi, sashimi and vegetable tempura, and also offers a perfect counterpoint to seafood dishes featuring light cream sauces.

    THE RECIPE:

    SmokedTroutCukeSandwich

    Ingredients:
    1/4 cup thickened yogurt or low-fat (2 percent) Greek-style yogurt
    1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
    1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
    1 whole wheat or whole wheat sesame hamburger bun
    1/4 cup thinly sliced cucumber, preferably a seedless variety like Persian cucumber
    2 ounces smoked trout (the contents of one 3.7-ounce can); smoked salmon may be substituted if smoked trout is unavailable

    Directions:
    Mix together the yogurt, dill, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Spread half the mixture over the bottom half of the hamburger bun. Top with half the cucumbers, slightly overlapping the slices. Top the cucumbers with the smoked trout, and sprinkle the trout with some pepper. Layer the remaining cucumbers over the trout. Spread the top bun with the remaining yogurt dill mixture and place it over the cucumbers. Press down and wrap the sandwich tightly in plastic wrap. If possible, allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes, or for several hours in the refrigerator, before eating.

  • What We Are Drinking Now: Stroblhof Strahler Pinot Bianco from the Alto Adige

    Stroblhof Strahler 2011

    With Summer already warming up some parts of the country, and lingering right around the corner in others, we are all about transporting ourselves to Italy with this lovely white wine from the Alto Adige region.

    The Strahler is beautifully fresh, with finely-tuned acids supporting its ripe and generous fruit tones. Fermented and matured partially in large oak casks and partially in super-stainless steel tanks, this light yet still complex white was blended from 90% Pinot Bianco and a 10% splash-of-a-blend of Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay.

    Go ahead: Get yourself some Strobhof wines

    ABOUT THE ESTATE

    stroblhof_vineyards

    In the mid-19th century, Stoblhof began producing wine that was served to visiting guests in a simple setting, paired with local specialties produced on their farm. Today, Stroblhof continues this tradition but with more sophisticated offerings from its kitchen and well-crafted wines from its vineyards.

    Thirty years ago, Josef Hanny inherited Stroblhof from his father. He managed the restaurant and farm, and in addition to the vinification of Schiava and "Strahler", he reintroduced Pinot Nero and Gewurztraminer.

    In the fall of 1991, Josef Hanny fell terminally ill, and he passed away in 1993 at age 59—quite young, but his life had been one of intense and focused work. At that time, his daughter Rosmarie was twenty-two, but she already possessed a fine understandig of wine. Along with her sister Christine, she took over the estate and moved forward with her father'a work. The enologist Hans Terzer, a family friend, vinified the wines from the 3.5 hectares of vineyards.

    Since 1995, Andreas Nicolussi-Leck, the husband of Rosmarie Hanny and a wine professional with more then twenty-five years' experience, has been in charge of viticuture and winemaking at Stroblhof.

    stroblhof_andreasAndreas Nicolussi-Leck

    Between 1995 and 2006, the vineyards were replanted, grafted, and retrained entirely to Guyot with greater vine-density per hectare, hence increasing the quality of the harvest. The cellar, too, has been completely rebuilt to allow better handling of the must and fermentation, along with better aging of the wines.

    The limited yields and low production lead to high quality bottlings. In fact, from 3.5 hectares of vines, annual production never exceeds 30,000 bottles, half of which are white and the rest red. The vineyard altitude of 500 meteres above sea level also benefits the production of wines of distinct character with fine acidity and the ability to age well.

  • 9th Annual Marin County Wine Celebration - May 11th, 2013

    TASTING TIME!
    Easkoot and Foggy Bottom Pinot Noir will be flowing at the Marin County Wine Celebration

    MarinWine9CLICK ME!
    Join us at this special opportunity to taste a rare collection of newly-released Marin-grown wines, and some library selections, poured by the vintner/growers at the historic Escalle Winery in Larkspur. From celebrated Pinot Noir to Cabernet Sauvignon and dry Riesling, these critically acclaimed “small lot” wines are truly hand-made and reflect the unique bounty of Marin County agriculture and its vintners' and growers' entrepreneurial spirit. Proceeds benefit MALT (Marin Agricultural Land Trust) and Devils Gulch Educational Services.

    Participating Wineries
    Bailiwick Wines • Burning Bench Cellars • Couloir WinesDeLoach Vineyards • Dept C Wines • Dutton-Goldfield Winery • Easkoot Cellars • Kendric Vineyards • Cynthia Klock • McEvoy Ranch • Pacheco Ranch Winery • Pey-Marin Vineyards • Point Reyes Vineyards • Sean Thackrey • Skywalker

    * Highlighted wineries use grapes grown on MALT-protected properties

    Date: Saturday, May 11
    Time: 3-7 p.m.
    Where to Meet: Escalle Winery, 771 Magnolia Avenue, Larkspur. Map to the Escalle Winery.
    Cost: $55. Price includes valet parking, wine and cheese tastings and wine glass.
    Notes: Ages 21 and older.

    Registration: Pre-registration recommended, but tickets may also be available at the door. Click here to register.

  • Philharmonic Taste - An Austrian Tasting for Ear and Palate

    What is the taste of Schubert? And which movement by Brahms pairs with Riesling?

    We bring this to you from our friends at the Austrian Wine Marketing Board and Austrian Trade Commission - a wine, food & music event hosted by world-renowned chef Lidia Bastianich and Andreas Grossbauer, first violinist of the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra, on Monday, March 4th, at 7pm at the Del Posto restaurant in New York City.

    The Austrian Wine Marketing Board and the Austria Trade Commission are proud to present the Philharmonic Taste – An Austrian Tasting for Ear and Palate. Guests will be served a pristinely prepared, 7-course menu featuring the culinary styling of Chef Bastianich at her Del Posto restaurant and the fine viniculture of Austria. Each course will be accompanied by a carefully-selected Austrian wine to be enjoyed while the quartet is playing; food will be served after each performance and the quartet will join the guests in dining.

    This event is truly a one-of-a-kind experience and is a dream come true for any culture-enthusiast. Tickets are on sale for $425 a head, all inclusive, through this website. Additional details are below.

    EVENT: Philharmonic Taste - AN AUSTRIAN TASTING FOR EAR AND PALATE.
    WHO: A string quartet of members of the Vienna Philharmonics under the leadership of the orchestra’s first violinist and wine aficionado Andreas Grossbauer
    WHAT: The night features a classic seven course menu, paired not only with wines from Austria's best vineyards, but also with music chosen to reflect the personality and character of the evening's fare.
    WHEN: Monday, March 4th at 7 p.m.
    WHERE: Del Posto Restaurant, 85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011
    WHY: Try Austrian Wine paired with first class cuisine and music and the chance to dine with members of the Vienna Philharmonics. This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.
    COST: $425 including tax and tip for 7-course menu paired with wine and music.
    MORE INFORMATION: www.philharmonictaste.com and www.austrianwineusa.com
    PURCHASE TICKETS: http://dpphilharmonicdinner-eorg.eventbrite.com/#

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  • Never Confuse a Winemonger with a Beermonger

    The Zalto Beer Glass

    Ok- so we're Winemongers. We import some pretty amazing wines from a lot of cool places and present them not only to you here on our website, but also get them onto the wine lists of some of America's best restaurants and the shelves of some of your favorite brick-and-mortar wine shops. We are also the importer of the Austrian Zalto line of stemware, which includes not only the very best wine glasses on the market, but also a glass for beer. Ale. Pilsner. IPA. Lager. Stout. Marzen. Weissbier. Blonde Ale. Doppelbock.

    Those last 7 terms are exactly what got us into trouble when we wrote up why the Zalto beer glass is the best beer glass on the planet. The fact is- we pretty much didn't know our Baltic Porter from our Dunkelweizen, and basically said that the glass was just great for ALL beers. Now, if somebody came up to us and said "Check it out! This wine glass is the very best wine glass for dessert wines, Chardonnays AND Shiraz"-- well, we'd probably politely point out that that just really couldn't be the case. Which is what happened to us. A true Beermonger, one Mr. Hugh Crozier, read our description for the Zalto beer glass, and let us know the error of our ways (note: he is totally fine with us sharing here what he had to say, as well as some photos he took):

    Hugh Does it Right

    I posted a link to your page on twitter and as a result you have incurred the WRATH of antipodean beer-geeks!!
    I've just been gifted a pair, so am quite looking fwd to trying them, and the link was more for ppl to see the glasses ...but it was the accompanying text that drew fire:

    looks good although the following is an epic fail "This is truly the first glass designed specifically for your favorite ales, pilsners and the like" Firstly NO this is not a first. And secondly saying you have designed a glass for "Ales Pilsners and the like" is like saying you've designed one for 'Chardonnays, Merlots and well you know, wine'. Sigh.

    Which is a fair point- I'm sure if someone came to you looking for a riesling glass, you'd not suggest the Zalto Burg, nor a flute for Blaufrankisch (hopefully?) and similarly, so to those who may in fact be in the market for a high end glass to accompany high end beers, it appears horribly inept to lump 'beer' together. I do note that the Zalto site is quite specific in recommending the beer glasses for Pilsen and Marzen styles, it may be a consideration to alter the product description for the sake of people who differentiate and comprehend beer styles. Unless of course Bud drinkers are your market, in which case it doesn't matter what proper geeks think..

    We very quickly thanked Hugh for showing us the light, and just as quickly changed the description about the glass. We then asked him if he had any other thoughts or advice about the beer stem, and here's what he shared with us:

    Well, Emily, they've joined the plethora of other glasses I have, and are a worthy addition indeed!

    It's All About the Nose

    They are a funny kind of a thing, as the natural tendency with beer is to pour the whole bottle into the glass, which fills a Zalto (for a 330ml bottle) to about a 1/2 inch from the lip, eliminating any air volume in the vessel that might accumulate aromas, which is kind of the point with high-end glassware... doing so also feels awfully dangerous given how delicate it is, and it was pretty nerve-wracking the first couple of times; holding the base and putting faith in the one-piece design not to snap when tipping the full glass to ones lips, but the bowl and stem are still attached, and in fact the balance seems pretty spot on throughout the drinking experience.
    Once there's enough room to get your nose in, and ideally it's only about 1/4 full, I found their strength was in highlighting the malt characteristics of any beer I put in them- though that's only five or six at this point. Given this ability, and their similarity design-wise to other lager glasses I have, I can understand why the recommendation is for lager styles such as Pilsner and Marzen which are more malt-driven beer styles than modern pale ales which tend to be about hops, hops, and more hops. Interestingly, one beer that it really highlighted quite nicely was the Yeastie Boys Gunnamatta pale ale, which is an unusual brew in that instead of dry-hopping, Earl Grey tealeaves were added after the ferment, giving quite a heady nose with unmistakable Bergamot aroma alongside a smaller hit of hops. Good fun, if you're able to get your hands on any (Yeastie Boys do export to the US with some regularity) I can highly recommend trying it!

    Now I have to admit that, as of his last email, Hugh was not sure that these were yet his favorite beer stem.... but I'm hoping that by now, with more time spent using them, they are. Hugh?

    If you'd like to follow the exploits of Hugh on twitter, you can find him here: http://twitter.com/hughthewineguy

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