Winter Warming Brews Part 2

Mad Elf, Tröegs Independent Brewing, Hershey, PA is light reddish brown with a fluffy khaki head that recedes quickly.  The Mad Elf comes in at a whopping 11%abv.  Dark roasted malt, brown sugar, and red cherries greet the nose up front. Cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and clove follow through as the aroma opens up.  Palate is a mélange of roasted malt, cherry, baking spices and wild honey, hitting the taste buds like Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound” hits the eardrums. This is a welcome brew when the temperture’s are sinking lower and lower, the high alcohol content warms the bones, warm the beer … Continue reading Winter Warming Brews Part 2

Ring in the next decade with Scharffenberger Cellars, Brut Excellence, Mendocino, CA

Every year millions of bottles of sparkling wine will be popped at midnight at the different time zones that span the earth to ring in a new decade this New Year’s Eve.  Champagne from France is always the top choice, but does it really have to be. California is quickly becoming the go to region for sparkling wines; in fact, most of France’s Champagne houses have been making sparkling wines themselves in California for decades. France’s Champagne region can only produce a finite bottle of wines in the region that can labeled as Champagne. That means expensive land and ever-rising real estate and … Continue reading Ring in the next decade with Scharffenberger Cellars, Brut Excellence, Mendocino, CA

Winter warming brews for 2019 part 1

The Virginia Beer Co., Evil Santa, Williamsburg, VA, 7%abv. is deep opaque with a thin dark brown head. Dark malt, sweet molasses, dark chocolate and espresso dominate the nose.  Cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice are added to the mix and come on strong as the beer opens up, make sure to swirl your glass so all of the enticing aromas emerge.  The palate pretty much follows the nose.  The Evil Santa is billed as spiced milk stout.  The spices are well pronounced and this ale has a rich creaminess, full body and added sweetness with the addition of lactose. The Virginia Beer … Continue reading Winter warming brews for 2019 part 1

Skippers Creek Vineyards, Pearl, Powhatan, VA, 2017

Skippers Creek Vineyards, Pearl, Powhatan, VA, 2017 is a blend of Viognier and Chardonnay and aged two years in stainless steel vats.  The Pearl has a bright yellow hue in the glass.  Aromas of fresh cut wild flowers and pomelo hit the nose first. Secondary aromas of honeydew melon and Meyer lemon round out the nose.  The combination of Viognier and Chardonnay give the Pearl a nice full mouth feel, Flavors of bright citrus open up the palate to juicy melons at the height of freshness.  The mid palate allows the citrus to shine and add acidity that makes the mouth … Continue reading Skippers Creek Vineyards, Pearl, Powhatan, VA, 2017

Chateau Peyrassol, Rosé, Côtes de Provence, France, 2018

  Chateau Peyrassol, Rosé, Côtes de Provence, France, 2018 has a light pink color like wild salmon. The initial aromas of wild raspberry, pink grapefruit, juicy mandarin slices and fresh cut wild flowers.  Secondary aromas of slate after a spring rain, Meyer lemon and a freshly mowed lawn has your mind wandering back to the warmer days of the year spent relaxing on the deck.  The palate is treated to lively tart fruits and summer melons freshly cut and served chilled.  The mid palate fallows the palate to a short crisp finish. Chateau Peyrassol, Rosé is a blend of 46% Cinsault, … Continue reading Chateau Peyrassol, Rosé, Côtes de Provence, France, 2018

Hardwood Park, Christmas Pancakes

The cold weather brews are starting to show up on store shelves. I love to wait and see what brewers will cook up in their pots to hold us over until the springtime.  High alcohol wines are always welcome to warm bones coming in from the cold.  Brooklyn’s Black Chocolate Stout is my go to beer for winter.  Big and malty and loaded with flavor and just enough punch to keep you warm. When I arrived in Richmond, VA people would talk about the “legendary” Hardywood Park Ginger Bread Stout (GBS) they released before Thanksgiving.  Even non beer drinkers would … Continue reading Hardwood Park, Christmas Pancakes

# Lou, Peyrassol, Cotes de Provence, 2018

# Lou, Peyrassol, Côtes de Provence, 2018 has the color of a pink rose in the glass.  The nose has aromas of bright summer berries: raspberry and strawberry, with some citrus highlights in the background.  The palate has a bright citrusy start with plenty of mandarin orange and some pineapple as well.  Tart raspberry and wild strawberry balance out the flavors with nice acidity to round out the smooth mouth feel. # Lou, Peyrassol is a blend of 40% Grenache, 40% Cinsault and 20% Rolle, each grape is pressed and vinified separately and blended to finish 3 months in stainless … Continue reading # Lou, Peyrassol, Cotes de Provence, 2018

Brooklyn Brewery, Black Chocolate Stout

Most beer lovers have a favorite brew that is only available for a certain season for a limited run. When it is gone? You are out of luck until then next year’s release.  Sure you can stock up a little, but most seasonal beers are meant to be drunk right away, not to be held for too long.  Other special beers are meant to be drunk now and some saved for the future like a fine wine. Brooklyn Brewery, Black Chocolate Stout, 10.0%abv. is inky black with a dark tan head.  The amazing nose brings notes of dark roasted malt, hot … Continue reading Brooklyn Brewery, Black Chocolate Stout

Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Director’s Cut, Cinema, Sonoma, CA 2017

Francis Ford Coppola, Directors’s Cut, Cinema, Sonoma, CA, 2017 is opaque garnet red in the glass.  Intense aromas hit the nose with dark cherry, cassis, cigar box and lightly toasted oak and cinnamon.  That palate is greeted with mouth puckering tannins with flavors of tart cherry, juicy wild strawberry, currants, dark chocolate and some smoky oak.  The Coppola Director’s Cut Cinema is a big juicy wine that fills the palate.  The tannins start strong and remain firm but more forgiving as the wine opens up.  The finish has a pleasing tart finish and brings the wine full circle. The Director’s … Continue reading Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Director’s Cut, Cinema, Sonoma, CA 2017