Michael David Winery, Freakshow, Zinfandel, 2017, Lodi, CA

Michael David Winery, Freakshow, Zinfandel, 2017, Lodi, CA has a deep purple hue in the glass.  The nose is filled with plenty of ripe strawberry, apricot, raspberry and wild flowers sitting in an open field.  There is also an undercurrent of fresh baked apple pie wafting in from the kitchen on the back of the nose.  The palate is fruit forward with jammy mixed wild berries, out of the oven blackberry scone and a persistent long fruitiness running the length of the palate.  It is not a sweet wine, just pleasant like a long summer afternoon spent in a bright … Continue reading Michael David Winery, Freakshow, Zinfandel, 2017, Lodi, CA

Sierra Nevada’s 40th Anniversary Ale

Most people have their own go to beer.  That special beer that you can always turn to when you can’t find another beer that appeals to you at that moment your craving something familiar instead of the latest beer trend of the moment.  Sierra Nevada has been my go to brew for many years, over 30 to be sure. 2020 is a milestone for Sierra Nevada, their fortieth anniversary.  They began brewing in 1980, a couple of years before it was official for me to drink legally.  When I was finally able to go to a bar and enjoy beer, … Continue reading Sierra Nevada’s 40th Anniversary Ale

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