Winemonger Talk

  • Winemonger Sales Event 2008: Huge Inventory Clearance - 50% off and MORE (HAS ENDED)



  • Menu for Hope 4

    It's the 4th annual Menu for Hope!

    Here's your chance to give money to a very worthy charity, and buy yourself the chance to win a ridiculously fabulous prize donated by food & wine bloggers from around the world.

    In Pim's (the leader of the Menu for Hope) own words::
    This year for the 4th annual Menu for Hope, we are again supporting the UN World Food Programme. WFP is the world€™s largest food aid agency, working with over 1,000 other organizations in over 75 countries. In addition to providing food, the World Food Program helps hungry people to become self-reliant so that they escape hunger for good.

    With a special permission from the WFP, the funds raised by Menu for Hope 4 will be earmarked for the school lunch program in Lesotho, Africa. We chose to support the school lunch program because providing food for the children not only keeps them alive, but helps them stay in school so that they learn the skills to feed themselves in the future.

    We chose to support the program in Lesotho because it is a model program in local procurement - buying food locally to support local farmers and the local economy. Instead of shipping surplus corn across the ocean, the WFP is buying directly from local subsistent farmers who practice conservation farming methods in Lesotho to feed the children there.

    We feed the kids, keep them in school, and support their parents and community farming. This sustainable approach to aid is something we believe in and strongly support.

    How about a private tour of the El Bulli kitchen and gardens?
    How about a dinner with Eric Asimov, chief wine critic of the New York Times?
    How about dozens and dozens of amazing things to choose from, including wine tasting dinners, cookbooks, dining experiences, gourmet foods, cases of wines, and so so so much more.

    Or, if you're just interested in the wine related prizes, CHECK OUT THIS LIST

    A Mixed Half Case of Austrian Wines
    We have picked out 6 bottles of our current favorites. First up are two white wines from 2006, the "vintage of the century": Donabaum Spitzer Point Gruner Veltliner Smaragd and Hogl Bruck Riesling Smaragd. Next is the Moric Neckenmarkter Blaufrankisch 2005 (to quote Alder: "Tasting the wines of MORIC are a revelation of the best kind."). The elegant Wenzel Kleiner Wald Pinot Noir 2004, the Possnitzberg Sauvignon Blanc 2005 from star Styrian producer Erwin Sabathi, and a 2005 Muscat-Ottonel Eiswein from Hans Tschida. Valued at over $200.
    When you donate, just enter Prize Code: WB27

    1. Choose a prize or prizes of your choice from our Menu for Hope List

    2. Go to the donation site and make a donation.

    3. Please specify which prize you'd like in the 'Personal Message' section
    in the donation form when confirming your donation. You must write-in how
    many tickets per prize, and please use the prize code.

    Each $10 you donate will give you one raffle ticket toward a prize of your
    choice. For example, a donation of $50 can be 2 tickets for EU01 and 3
    tickets for WB27. Please write 2xEU01, 3xWB27

    And of course, we would suggest you go for WB27

    4. If your company matches your charity donation, please check the box and
    fill in the information so we could claim the corporate match.

    5. Please check the box to allow us to see your email address so that we
    could contact you in case you win. Your email address will not be shared
    with anyone.

    Check back on Chez Pim on Wednesday Jaunary 9 for the results of the raffle.

    We've noticed that lots of people make a donation in somebody's name, which we think is a pretty great gift. And then if they also win the prize you picked for them, it's even better!

  • Let it Snow! Give and Get Ice Wine for the Holidays

    What fits the season better than a bottle of Ice Wine?

    Send Ice Wine as gifts for everyone on your list, and be sure to have some delivered to yourself for all of your holiday entertaining. Give a single bottle, or give our set of three bottles Ice Wine Flight.

    Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

    Gsellmann & Hans Ice Wine 2003
    Bottle $26.99 / Case $323.88
    True Ice Wine from 100% Scheurebe.
    94 points from A la Carte.

    Heiss Cabernet Sauvignon / Blaufrankisch Ice Wine 2005
    Bottle $29.99 / Case $359.88
    That rarest of things: a fine, true Ice Wine crafted from red wine grapes.
    90 points from A la Carte.
    88 points from Wine & Spirits magazine.

    Heiss Sauvignon Blanc Ice Wine 2003 Bottle $31.50 / Case $378.00
    True Ice Wine crafted from 100% Sauvignon Blanc. Plays with traditional notes of the varietal while adding a kick of spice and sweetness.
    88 points from A la Carte.

    Heiss Traminer Ice Wine 2001 Bottle $45.99 / Case $551.88
    If Ice Wine could be made from roses, this would be it.
    94 points from A la Carte and the Falstaff Guide.
    91 points from Wine Enthusiast.
    free shipping by the case!

    Heiss Traminer Ice Wine 2002 Bottle $34.99 / Case $419.88
    Franz Heiss makes some of the best Ice Wines coming out of Austria, and this 2002 Traminer shows why we know it's so.
    88 points from A la Carte.

    Hogl Riesling Ice Wine 2003 Bottle $35.50 / Case $426.00
    True 100% Riesling Ice Wine from top-rated Wachau producer Josef Hogl. Stunning stuff.
    94 points from Falstaff Guide.

    Tschida Muscat-Ottonel Ice Wine 2005 Bottle $33.75 / Case $405.00
    A true Ice Wine from one of most respected dessert wine producers in all of Austria.
    90 points from A la Carte.

    Weiss Gruner Veltliner Ice Wine 2005 Bottle $22.00 / Case $264.00
    Another Weiss Ice Wine from 100% Gruner Veltliner. The 1999 sold out quickly- buy this one while you can!
    88 points from Wine Enthusiast magazine.

    Weiss Ice Wine 2001 Bottle $21.00 / Case $252.00
    True Ice Wine crafted from a blend of Gruner Veltliner and Welschriesling: notes of berries and spice and everything nice.
    91 points Falstaff Guide.
    92 points Beverage Testing Institute.

    And if you like Ice Wine, give this Schilfwein a try:

    Tschida Muscat-Ottonel Schilfwein 2004 Bottle $54.99 / Case $659.88
    Austrian “Schilfwein”: grapes dried on a shelf of reeds for months, and then pressed into one of the most decadent of the dessert wines.
    94 points Falstaff Guide.
    96 points Beverage Testing Institute.

    Learn how true Ice Wine (aka Eiswein) is made.

    Harvesting Icewine


  • Holiday Wine Pairings for Tradtional Christmas, Hannukah and Kwanzaa Dinners from Around the World

    Holiday dinner traditions range widely from country to country and continent to continent- but one thing remains the same wherever you go: this is the time to invite friends and family over and to share great food, great wines, and great company.

    Below is a sampling of the traditional Christmas, Christmas Eve, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa dinners being served around the world, and the perfect wines to pair with your holiday meal, wherever you hail from.

    These holiday dinners primarily fall into one of 4 groups: those that serve fish, those that serve ham, those that serve a roasted bird (turkey, goose, duck, etc.), and those that are vegetarian. And, then, there are a few that serve goat. We have shared here a few of the full traditional holiday meals served in some of these countries, and then made wine pairing suggestions for their main course. To wit:

    Plum Pudding

    Roast turkey, stuffing, roast potatoes and vegetables, bread sauce, cranberry sauce, gravy, and a Christmas pudding (brown pudding with raisins, nuts and cherries) with brandy butter.

    Reveillon: a light meal enjoyed on Christmas Eve, generally eaten after midnight-mass. Sometimes that evening a meal of Toriere is eaten, which are a kind of minced meat pie.
    Then the full feast enjoyed on Christmas day would have a pea or other vegetable soup, pate, oysters, roast goose, fresh and candied fruits (particularly grapes and apples), Buche de Noel (yule log) and roasted chestnuts.

    Foie Gras with Cracked Red Peppercorns

    Christmas Eve: kutya (porridge of grains, honey and poppy seeds). No meat.
    Christmas: Goose or a suckling pig.

    In the English tradition: roast turkey, ham or pork is on the table with a plum pudding for dessert.
    Alternately, some mates barbecue prawns, steak and chicken and then serve ice cream or sorbet for dessert.

    Hogl Bruck Riesling Smaragd 2005 $36.99
    Gritsch Singerriedel Gruner Veltliner Smaragd 2005 $27.99
    Wenzel Kleiner Wald Pinot Noir 2004 $38.50 free shipping by the case
    Moric Alte Reben Neckenmarkt 2004 $80.00

    Ham, sweet and sour red cabbage, meatballs, small sausages, gravlax, and a Christmas pudding called Jul Grot which has one almond in it. The drink is a mulled wine they call Glogg.

    A casserole of macaroni, rutabaga, carrot and potato, served with ham or turkey.

    Ham with the trimmings

    Ham and bacon, loaves of Christopsomo (Christ bread), and nut cookies.

    Noche Buena is a festive meal held after mass, which includes a ham or roast pig, cheeses, noodles, chestnuts, puto bumbong (rice steamed inside bamboo), bibingka (rice cakes with salted eggs & coconut), and suman (steamed rice in banana leaves).

    Hogl Terrassen Spitzergraben Riesling 2006 $20.00
    Donabaum Setzberg Riesling 2005 $32.00
    Hogl Bruck Riesling 2005 $37.00
    Gsellmann & Gsellmann Pinot Noir 2002 $26.00

    Salted dry cod-fish, called Bacalao, which can be served with rapini, boiled potatoes and breads.


    Oplatek (a kind of communion bread), barshch (vegetable stew), fish soup, herring, fish in aspic, carp, stewed cabbage or sauerkraut. For dessert: dried fruits, kutia (a treat made from wheat, poppy seeds, honey & almonds), poppy seed or honey cake or strudel, and sweet rolls.

    Baked carp (Gebackener Karpfen) is the dish most traditionally served.
    But sometimes roasted duck with bread dumplings, braised red cabbage and apples.
    Dessert is an assortment of bakery- primarily cookies, cookies, cookies!
    And then to drink: gluhwein. This is available on most street corners during the season and is the perfect way to keep warm day and night! Here is our Gluhwein recipe.

    Platters of Seafood

    Christmas Eve:
    Pronzo delta vigilia, which has no meat. Lots of fish, a seafood stew, and cannoli.
    Christmas Day:
    Antipasti, pasta with walnut cream sauce, panettone (a kind of cake with dried bits of fruit in it) for dessert.

    Cheese, bananas and nuts. A stew made with fish and vegetables. Perhaps a turkey. Lots of cookies.

    Melusine Gruner Veltliner 2005 $67.50
    Wenzel Pinot Gris 2004 $20.00
    Velich Tiglat Chardonnay 2002 $55.00

    Mincemeat Pies

    Rice, gungo peas, chicken, meat pies, ox tail and curried goat.

    This meal is served on January 7th, and is usually preceded by the purchase and slaughter of a goat, which is then served with doro wat (spicy chicken stew) and flat bread.


    BIG red wines are called for here!
    Braunstein Leithaberg 2004 $39.50
    Feiler-Artinger Solitaire 2003 $50.00
    Preisinger Paradigma $50.00
    Moric Neckenmarkter Blaufrankisch 2003 $29.00

    The Bulgarians serve 12 dishes to represent the 12 months of the year, none of which contain meat. Ingredients include beans, all kinds of nuts, dried plums, and a traditional cake called Banitza.

    Foods should include yams, sesame seeds, collard greens and hot peppers. Some traditional dishes include a carrot salad, creole court bouillon, and succotash.

    Foods that have been fried in oil, to celebrate the oil that lasted for 8 days. On the top of that list are latkes, a kind of potato pancake, which is served with sour cream and apple sauce. In some places, falafel steps in as the fried food of choice. And then dessert is a kind of fried donut with jelly filling.

    Viennese Cookies

    Donabaum "Johann" Gruner Veltliner 2006
    Sabathi Poharnig Sauvignon Blanc 2005 $30.00
    Gritsch 1000-Eimerberg Neuburger $13.00

    Weiss Ice Wine 2001 $21.00
    Velich Seewinkel Beerenauslese 2000 $23.00
    Tschida Muscat-Ottonel Trockenbeerenauslese $50.00
    Feiler-Artinger Pinot Cuvee Ruster Ausbruch 1998 $48.00


    **check here for holiday shipping deadlines**

  • The Winemonger Interview - Wolfgang Gussmack, Executive Chef

    As you hail from Austria, what non-traditional side dish would you suggest to go alongside the Thanksgiving turkey?

    Braised Red Cabbage

    1 head red cabbage, diced
    2 shallots
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 tbs. unsalted butter
    1 bottle Austrian red wine (Zweigelt)
    1 cinnamon stick
    salt and pepper to taste

    Saute shallots in two tablespoons of (unsalted) butter.
    Add the sugar and caramelize until golden brown.
    Add diced red cabbage, deglaze with the red wine (all of it)
    Add cinnamon stick.
    Let simmer for 40 minutes.
    Season with salt & pepper.

    Mahlzeit !!

    What is in your refrigerator at home?

    Champagne for my wife and a lot of Austrian wines for me! Chefs are not known to have a lot of food items in the fridge, so we eat out when we have the opportunity. We have breakfast items such as eggs, tomatoes, meusli (not a refrigerated item.)

    What is one of your favorite food and wine match-ups?

    Wolfgang says: serve with Ice Wine

    Oysters with ice wine. Just try it- it is amazing.

    Has the movement towards using locally sourced produce, meats, cheeses, etc. changed the way you approach your menu?


    And, following that, have you seen a change in the tastes or demands of your patrons?
    The trust and confidence in food sources in general is becoming increasingly important.

    You are on a deserted island. Which two grape varietals do you plant?

    Sauvignon Blanc because I love it, and Chardonnay because Chardonnay can grow everywhere (and to be sure there is something to drink!)

    Snacks Wolfgang Style


    Chef Wolfgang Gussmack

    Born to a restaurateur family in Austria, he started at a young age helping his mother in their authentic award winning Austrian restaurant, Gussmack. Wolfgang trained in many distinguished restaurants in France, Germany, Italy and Austria including Jaglhof: Austria, Peck Restaurante: Milan, Due Leoni: Venice and I Golosi: Paris (as Chef de Cuisine). While in Paris, Wolfgang was recognized by Figaro Madame Magazine as a “Rising Young Chef” and particularly for his rendition of asparagus risotto.

    Due to his love of wines, Wolfgang attended both L’Academie du Vin Francias in Paris and Wifi in Austria. Wolfgang is a Certified Sommelier in both France and Austria.

    Wolfgang relocated to Santa Monica in 2002 with his wife Annette where he met Hans Rockenwagner. Wolfgang joined the Ballona Fish Market and shortly after, Rockenwagner Restaurant as Chef de Cuisine. Wolfgang and Hans Rockenwagner have since opened 3 Square Café and Bakery on Abbot Kinney in Venice as partners.

  • Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Pears - Recipe

    This side dish always goes over like gangbusters-- even folks who say they don't like brussel sprouts are always surprised. But then, who doesn't love bacon?

    The rule of thumb with brussel sprouts is that a 1-quart basket or 1 1/4 pounds serves about 5 people as a side dish.
    If you are picking them out from a bin, go for the smaller ones.

    Trim the base and peel off the outer leaves.

    Very important! This will make your sprouts bright green when you serve them. When they get all yellow and mushy from being cooked too long in the pan, they just don't look appetizing.

    Bring a pot of salted water to a furious boil.
    Drop in the sprouts.
    Let them bob around for about 6 minutes if they are normal size, 4 if they are baby sized.
    Remove from water to a colander, and then lay them out on a towel to dry.

    For each quart of sprouts:
    -2 slices of bacon, chopped
    tip: freeze the bacon and then chop it up
    -1/2 a pear, chopped
    -2 shallot cloves, finely chopped

    Cook the bacon in the pan until it is just barely getting crispy. Remove.

    Saute the shallots in the bacon grease until they are soft.

    Add the brussel sprouts and cook for about 3 minutes

    Add the pear and cook another 3 minutes

    Add bacon and saute just until it's all mixed together.

    Salt and pepper to taste.



    Hogl Bruck Riesling Smaragd 2005
    Bottle: $36.99 / Case: $443.88

    Neumayer Gruner Veltliner Der Wein vom Stein 2008
    Bottle: $49.50 / Case: $594.00

    Donabaum Spitzer Point Gruner Veltliner Smaragd 2008
    Bottle: $51.00 / Case: $612.00

    Melusine Gruner Veltliner 2005
    Bottle: $67.50 / Case: $810.00

  • Riesling Gravy Recipe

    Riesling Gravy Recipe

    * Pan juices from a roasted turkey
    * 4 tbs. flour
    * 1 1/3 cups Riesling
    * 2 ½ cups Turkey or Chicken stock
    * salt and pepper

    1. After your turkey is done roasting, remove it from the pan to rest on a cutting board or large platter.

    2. Strain the pan juices into a medium saucepan.

    3. Skim the fat off the pan juices, reserving about 4 tablespoons.

    4. Mix the 4 tbs. of fat with with 4 tbs. of flour until it is a paste. Set aside.

    5. Put the roasting pan over a couple of burners set to medium. Add 1 1/3 cups of Riesling to the pan & bring to a simmer, scraping up all the tasty bits from the bottom and sides of the pan.

    6. Strain the wine and bits, adding it to the other pan juices in the medium saucepan.

    7. Bring the combined juices to a simmer and reduce by about half.

    8. Add 2 1/2 cups of Turkey or Chicken stock

    9. Whisk in the fat/flour paste

    10. Keep simmering and whisking until it is smooth and has reached the desired thickness (about 10 minutes)

    11. If your gravy becomes too thick or tastes too floury, add more stock.

    12. Add sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

  • Holiday Shipping Deadlines

    Don't order too late! Here are the deadlines to get your wine shipped on time for Christmas.



    CA VIA GROUND: Order in by 11AM on 12/17/07
    FL, ID, IL, LA, ND, NE, NH, NM, NV, OR, TX, WY VIA GROUND: Order in by 11AM on 12/14/07

    DIRECT 3-DAY: Order in by 11AM on 12/14/07
    DIRECT 2-DAY: Order in by 11AM on 12/17/07
    OVERNIGHT: Order in by 8AM on 12/18/07

    CO, CT, DC, FL, MA, MI, NC, NJ, NY. WI: Order in by 9AM on 12/4/2007


  • Thanksgiving Wine Pairing Guide

    It's Thanksgiving time again, and we must admit, this is our favorite meal to pair wines with. This year we are expecting to have a full table, with many of our winemakers from Austria joining us, so the pressure is on to pair the wines just right.

    In our previous Thanksgiving wine pairing guides, we have covered the whys of which wines to pair, as well as provided a comprehensive list of wines from around the world that would work well with each course. So having done that in the past, we decided to get specific this year and share with you our Thanksgiving menu, complete with the recipes and the exact wines we will be pairing with each course.

    If you have a fireplace, get it roaring (or gently burning, depending upon the weather outside). No fireplace? Candles. Lots of candles. But be sure they are unscented! Nothing distracts and detracts from the smells of the roasting turkey like an artificially scented colonade. Of course the table should already be set, and this year we will be keeping things simple by using some grapevine leaves that have turned orange, gold and red, along with a few dried tendrils, in lieu of a larger centerpiece. If you don't live near a wine growing area (there are wine vineyards in all 50 states now, though), many florist shops carry these leaves this time of year. Otherwise, any sort of lovely turned leaf will do.

    When our guests arrive, we always like to kick things off with a glass of the sparkling stuff almost before they have a chance to take off their coats. The idea is to welcome them right from the start with the festive mood that will carry the evening. We'll be pouring the Altenburger Brut. This is a beautiful sparkling wine crafted from a cuvee of Blaufrankisch and Zweigelt with just a touch of rose color.

    It's very important not to go overboard here. There is a huge dinner ahead, and the last thing you need is to fill your guests up on the appetizers. On the other hand, they probably came hungry, and there are often kitchen delays, so you don't want them standing around with growling stomachs.
    We will be setting out two of our easy favorites: roasted parsnips and a spiced warm nut mix.
    With that we will be pouring two lighter-styled white wines; a Riesling and a Gruner Veltliner. These will lead us into the meal, when we will then move on to those with a fuller, more complex body as well as our red wines.
    The first two wines:

    Donabaum "Johann" Gruner Veltliner Federspiel 2006
    Bottle: $16.99 / Case: $203.88

    Hogl Terrassen Spitzergraben Riesling Federspiel 2006
    Bottle: $19.99 / Case: $203.88

    We do things in a pretty traditional way, but with a few twists. Here is our menu this year:

    -Roast Turkey - Brined and Rubbed
    (this involves some smoked paprika - amazing for both the flavor and the color it lends)
    -Savory Cinnamon Raisin Stuffing
    -Simple Mashed Potatoes
    -White Trash Yams
    -Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Pears
    -Cranberry Sauce
    -Chipotle Corn Bread

    And here are the wines we will be pulling the corks on. They were chosen not only for the perfect way they will pair with these dishes, but also because each one is drinking just beautifully right now.

    Hogl Bruck Riesling Smaragd 2005
    Bottle: $36.99 / Case: $443.88

    Gritsch Singerriedel Gruner Veltliner Smaragd 2005
    Bottle: $27.99 / Case: $335.88

    Donabaum Spitzer Point Gruner Veltliner Smaragd 2005
    Bottle: $31.50 / Case: $378.00

    Melusine Gruner Veltliner 2005
    Bottle: $67.50 / Case: $810.00 - free shipping by the case

    Wenzel Bandkraften Blaufrankish 2002
    Bottle: $31.99 / Case: $383.88

    Wenzel Kleiner Wald Pinot Noir 2004
    Bottle: $38.50 / Case: $462.00 - free shipping by the case

    Feiler-Artinger Solitaire 2003
    Bottle: $49.99 / Case: $599.88 - free shipping by the case

    Moric Alte Reben Neckenmarkt 2005
    Bottle: $80.00 / Case: $960.00

    Keep things simple. For our table, the sweet wine is the true dessert- but Thanksgiving just wouldn't be complete without a pumpkin pie. Our recipe changes the crust so that it pairs better with the wines.

    -True Pumpkin Pie with Ginger Graham Crust
    -Cheese selection highlighting blue cheeses

    Heiss Cabernet Sauvignon/Blaufranksich Ice Wine
    Bottle: $29.99 / Case: $359.88

    Tschida Muscat-Ottonel Schilfwein
    Bottle: $54.99 / Case: $659.88

    Wenzel SAZ Ruster Ausbruch 2001
    Bottle: $86.99 / Case: $1043.88 - free shipping by the case


  • Roast Turkey - Brined and Rubbed - Recipe

    Because this turkey gets a rub, you won't be able to baste it as it roasts. This is why we brine our bird and then roast it at a high heat - the combo ensures maximum juiciness.

    Brining is easier than it might seem. Simply dissolve 2 cups of Kosher salt per every 8 quarts of water in a large pot. Put the turkey in the brine so that it's covered (if your pot is not large enough, you can use a garbage bag.) Let it brine at least 8 hours, refrigerated.

    2 tsp. smoked spanish paprika (aka Pimenton de la Vera)
    1 tsp. sea salt
    1 tsp. celery salt
    3/4 tsp. dried thyme
    3/4 tsp. onion powder
    1/2 tsp. rubbed sage
    1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
    3 tbs. olive oil

    Combine all ingredients.


    Bring your brined bird to room temperature and pat dry.
    Pepper the inside cavity.
    Carefully shove some butter pats under the skin on the breast.
    Rub the bird well with the spice and oil mixture - but be sure that it doesn't clump in any one place. This is a rub, not a thick coating.

    For a 15 lb. bird:
    1. Oven to 500 degrees.
    2. Bird on a rack in a roasting pan.
    3. Roast for 1 hour - legs towards the door.
    4. Turn it around so it's legs in first, adding a couple cups of stock to the pan.
    5. Roast another hour

    Allow the bird to rest for about 30 minutes before serving, tented under some aluminum foil.

    The basic time-per-pound for this high heat roasting method is as follows:
    10 pounds = 1 hour 15 minutes
    12 pounds = 1 hour 20 minutes
    15 pounds = 2 hours
    20 pounds = 3 hours

    **Add a half hour if you stuffed your bird**

Items 91 to 100 of 171 total

  1. 1
  2. ...
  3. 8
  4. 9
  5. 10
  6. 11
  7. 12
  8. ...
  9. 18