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A quick funny story about the weird liquor laws that abound in the USA. We are always getting told how weird the laws are in PA and today we heard the craziest law ever......in New York, wine stores cannot sell water. They can only sell ICE. So if a wine store does a tasting, which they are allowed to do, they can't give you water; they have to give you a glass of ice. Now that is crazy.....perhaps that makes PA seem just a little more sane.... Perhaps.
Now to real things......
We have been entertaining winery owners here in the Burgh and they have been loving our city. It is so much fun to bring people here and have them discover how delightful Pittsburgh is as a town and how marvelous our restaurants have become.
Cameron Ashmead came all the way from Australia and gave a wonderful class on the wines of Barossa with a focus on the history of his winery, Elderton. We were very pleased with the full flavor and value of these wines. We should have some in stock within the next couple of weeks. See below for a list if you would like to purchase some and get some of the first sips.
Next up is a regular. Our hometown guy, Gary Eberle. His class here in the store is pretty much sold out, but there are still seats available for his wine dinner at the Omni on Tuesday Oct 28th. $99.00 per person. click here to see the menu.
Come see Gary and we'll give you a glass of water along with your wine!!!
Drinking as much water as I do wine
I had an amazing wine and food pairing this week that just surprised me and made me so happy I had to tell you. I cooked a dinner for a serious wine collector for his 75th birthday. He requested lobster bisque to start the meal and when I got there the printed menu showed a Chateau d'Yquem matched to it. Well let me tell you.....first it was an aged Chateau d'Yquem so that certainly helped.....the two of these together was just magic.
Not only was I delighted at this pairing but I suddenly realized I had more times and ways to sip on Sauternes. Not just with dessert or foie gras!!! I love wine surprises and when people are surprised by liking some wine they were sure they weren't going to like.
The most frequent experience is when we do white wine tastings and someone decides that it is now okay to drink white not just red wines. We did some Italian white wines for our recent Saturday sipper and they were just delicious. Scarbolo Pinot Grigio surprised with lots of flavor, not something you expect. Eikos, a Pecorino, is a mouth full of flavor and texture. Greco di Tufo from Campania has the beautiful minerality from the volcanic soils the grapes grow in. Surprises they are what makes the day wonderful.
Try a new wine and if you need a selection of Italian whites or some other selection put together let me know.
We have some fabulous classes this month including special appearances from not one, but two winemakers. These classes are going to sell out fast so don't procrastinate - grab some friends and sign up today, you won't regret it!!
We have been out and about sipping on all kinds of good things. I wanted to show you this amazing use of corks (see picture above) Every time we go to Jamison Lamb Farm I see this and I forget to go home and slide some corks in my pot lids. So you can see from the picture that all Sukey Jamison has done is slide three corks under the handle of the pot lid and taa dah you have an easy way to lift the lid off a pot without getting burned. Just brilliant.
At the farm we sipped on the iPola Barbera and the Ortaglia Toscano Rosso which were the favorites with the main course and people were gaga over the Gavi. This Gavi is such a pleasant food wine. We don't often think of sipping on a Gavi or other Italian whites as often as we should so I'm determined to push this concept. There a great ones from Northern Italy and Campania that are great crisp mineral summer sippers but big enough to hold up to food.
Email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll help you put a selection together for the rest of this summer.
Save three corks and save your fingers from being burnt!! The sipping lesson of the week.
This summer why not take the opportunity to join us for our Wine 101 three part wine class.
Whether your are just starting out on your journey into the world of wine, or are looking for a framework to the knowledge that you already have, this three part series is the perfect introduction.
Over the three weeks, we cover a variety of topics including:
- key factors of grape growing and wine making
- characteristics of 7 key varietals
- How to taste effectively and confidently
- wine service & storage
- food & wine pairing
This introductory level course is great for both hospitality professionals and avid consumers alike and is a great foundation for further study, including the internationally recognized WSET® Level 2 Award in Wines & Spirits.
Wednesday Evenings, 6-8pm - July 30, August 6, August 13
$99 per person. Pre-paid reservation required
It has been a long time. I've missed chatting about sipping with you. Yesterday was Bastille Day so we'll be sipping on something French this week. Well any excuse to sip on French wine is okay with me! So pull out the French wines and toast whatever French side of an issue you'd like. I'm going to explore the Southern Rhone and the various blends with Grenache that we have. A perfect summer sipping selection!!
We can also sip on something German to celebrate the World Cup champions. What a great game that was on Sunday. I admit I was sipping on Beer, it seemed like the thing to do. Now that the hoopla is over we can return to vino!
I promise to keep up with my notes and chats now that we are settled into the summer a little bit better. (we've cleaned and water-proofed the porch, sawed down a big stump on our front bank, did a wine and grilling event in Syracuse NY.....settled in now)
Here in the store we have a few seats left for the Wine and Grilling class this Thursday as well as 4 seats left for the Lamb dinner at Jamison Farm on August 2. We also have some seats left for the Baseball game on August 5.
Come and celebrate August with us !! (My birthday is in August so celebrating every day is on the agenda!!)
Did you know it takes 4 tons of grapes to produce 10.8 barrels of wine? And that one barrel of wine contains 1,180 glasses of wine?
Our new catalog is HERE.
Ok ladies and gents, we've always had quite the eclectic collection of wine carriers and wine bags, but you ain't seen NOTHIN' YET!
Check out these awesomely fun wine bottle carriers!
Santa's Pants! A sturdy cloth bag (measures 11"H X 8 1/2"W) that holds two bottles of your favorite wine! Of course you can always stuff them full of other goodies as well! What a perfect Holiday gift bag!
Also available in Elf Pants! Made of the same sturdy cloth, but with little jingle bells on the toes!
$12 for the Elf Pants
(They're selling fast, so call us to reserve some pants today @ 412-391-1709)
Every year we design new gift baskets.
After we have had time to decompress from our trip to the New York International Gift Fair, the process begins. The NYIGF is sensory overload to the max. The Javits Convention Center becomes home to over 2,800 companies enthusiastically pushing their “latest” offerings to 35,000 attendees, who are all trying to find those few new items that their customers will deem “must have.” It’s crazy fun… and totally exhausting.
From our new arrivals we then begin selecting items to pair with our wines to make exciting and fresh baskets; it’s an entertaining and challenging process because it allows us to get super creative and to try designing the next “best seller.”
Somewhere in the process we are reminded that our clients throughout the year generally stick with the classics. Nothing says congratulations like Champagne and Chocolate (or its BFF Chocolate and Red.) If they want to salute a group, the snack-packed Urban Picnic is the basket of choice (or its younger sibling Urban Lunch Break for a smaller group.) And when they are feeling their Pittsburgh Pride (which is often) they choose our Pittsburgh Gray Box or one of its many Pittsburgh themed cousins. (You can check them all in our gift gallery.)
So as we design the new baskets, we will post them here. Let us know if we succeed in creating a new classic.
Jana Wines are named to convey the romance and passion Scott Harvey of Scott Harvey Winery feels for his wife, Jana, and also for the creation of the wines that they love to share. The wines are from the best of Napa Valley varietals.
The Jana Rose is 90% Grenache and 10% Riesling.
Small yields of flavorful grapes were harvested early to produce a light and delicate, low alcohol European style dry Rose of Grenache.
Making this wine gives Jana a chance to produce a true European type Rose in a light (low alcohol), crisp and dry style, similar to the wines she produced while working as an apprentice and going to wine-making school in Europe.
This is a well balanced delicately structured wine with a light delicate pink color. Roses, white peach, strawberry sorbet, pink grapefruit, cran-berry with just a hint of fresh carbonation on the finish.
The grapes are from the Stanislaus County DePalma Vineyard (90%) and the Mendocino County Nelson Vineyard (10%).
$13.99 per bottle. Click the name above to get it, or HERE for our full wine list.