Posted in wine

Going for the Double Gold – Dracaena Cabernet Franc 2015

In hindsight, this Dracaena Cabernet Franc 2015 wine, would have made a perfect wine to drink while watching the Olympics because this wine brought home not a Gold, but a Double Gold Award from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine competition. I came across this Twitter post regarding this accolade, which I hope gives you an  idea of what an honor this award is:

Not an easy task to win a Double Gold from me or my winejudging (.com) compatriots at the #SFCWC2018 but the Cabernet Franc from Dracaena Wines is a rare gem that wooed us with flavor, finesse and elegance. Congrats!

Awards, points and ratings only count for so much though right? Right. So I had to try it for myself and it did not disappoint.

Describing tastes and aromas in wine is my nemesis, try as I might to develop a sophisticated palate, it is a slow process for me. So, I’ll give you my impressions and then tell you what the winemaker says;)

I called this wine deep garnet in color, with the slightest little bit of lightening along the meniscus. The thing that knocked my socks off was the nose on this wine. I would literally describe it as luscious. I can’t describe it beyond that, it was probably the most compelling aroma I have experienced.

The flavors did not disappoint either. There was just so much going on. I got plum and licorice and then this tobacco thing — totally different than how I have previously described tobacco in wine. For me the tobacco lingered forever on an incredibly long finish. I consider this wine to be full bodied and powerful, but so, so well balanced and just beautiful. It made me really think, so I’d even add complex to this one.

I was excited to see the winemaker actually called the aromas a “vibrant bouquet” (red currant, tobacco, earth) and referenced a “parade of flavors”  (plum, dark chocolate, black cherry, black licorice) on the palate. A spiciness and hint of herb on the finish “for what seems like ages.” So I am probably mistaking spiciness and hint of herb for the tobacco on the finish.

Here is some technical Info:

Varietal: 100% Cabernet Franc
Harvest: September 25, 2015
Age 20 months in French oak (10% new)
Bottled: June 20, 2017

If you really want to geek out a bit, check out the tech sheet for details about the vineyard, sun exposure and the 2015 season. (click here)

The bottom line is this is truly a great wine that is worth ordering online — and being home for a signature for lol! You can order here  for $32.

While you are ordering, be sure to check out the story behind Dracaena Wines (druh_see-nah). Owners Mike and Lori Budd have a great story – NJ residents making Paso Robles wine. They began as home wine makers and ended up making a wine worthy of the Double Gold award.

Lori hosts the Winephabet Street podcast, has an award winning blog, and is very active in the social media spaces. I have enjoyed listening and learning from her , which made drinking her wine all the more special.

P.S. Lori also created Cabernet Franc Day, celebrated on December 4th. (#cabfrancday).

Posted in music, wine

Brandy Clark – Musical Genius

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Brandy Clark with her amazing bassist Vanessa McGowan. — City Winery Atlanta

I shared an epiphany with my husband while watching Brandy Clark perform at City Winery Atlanta last Friday night – she’s the modern day Johnny Cash. If you are a Johnny Cash fan you might be offended at that statement, you might even dismiss me as crazy and stop reading, but you’d be missing out on an amazing talent.

I discovered Brandy Clark by complete accident when she opened up for Jennifer Nettles at The Georgia National Fair in Perry, GA a few years ago. My daughter (who was then in college) and I shared the best awkward mother daughter moment ever as we both laughed at the unexpected lyrics.

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Although the lyrics were unexpected, the song instantly became one of my all time favorites. Possibly it is both the lyrics and the delivery that make her so appealing, revealing a raw humanness that I like to think everyone can relate to on some level.

So many of her songs (Stripes, Daughter, Big Day in a Small Town), are both satirical and yet so honest that you somehow feel better about life after listening to them.  Brandy Clark is old school country while at the same time being completely current. She is an accomplished song writer with a voice that is beautiful and pure and a performance style that makes you feel like she really gets you — even if you’ve never gotten high, lived in a small town or considered murdering an ex. Just like Johhny Cash could make you imagine what it feels like to stand in a prison yard or get your shoes shined. And that is the genius that is Brandy Clark.

Songs she has written have been made famous by the likes of Miranda Lambert (Ain’t Your Momma’s Broken Heart) and The Band Perry (Better Dig Two). She has had such musical legends as Reba McEntire and Kenny Rogers among many others who have recorded her songs. What I’m getting at here is she is the real deal – true musical talent that world does not often get to see.

When I saw that Brandy Clark was coming to the intimate venue that is City Winery Atlanta, I could not wait to see her and she did not disappoint. As if I needed more of a reason to love her, she sang Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow (Carole King), Good Hearted Woman (Waylon Jennings) and Blame It On Your Heart (Patty Loveless) – all songs that I have loved for my entire life. These songs represent exactly the kind of homage she pays to way back when, while adding her own very current take on life.

I could go on, but I’ll just leave you with the entire song that started it all for me, I really hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Posted in wine

OhEmGee! I feel So Validated!

I just got around to reading Karen MacNeil’s Winespeed  from February 2nd (read here) and I got so excited I had to make a brief blog post about it.

She features two white Bordeaux wines in this edition, one of which I have previously blogged about because it changed my wine life – I am not exaggerating! Read the entire post here, but here is relevant excerpt:

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I can’t explain why this tickled me so, but it did! Karen MacNeil is a true icon of the wine industry, so to have her sing the praises of a wine I had already tried and felt the same way about just puts a smile on my face!

Happy Friday fellow winos! I might just go splurge on this bottle in honor of this event!

Then there was this white Bordeaux…. If I have had a life changing wine moment to date, it would be while standing in a grocery store in Cleveland, OH. The store, Heinen’s, had a very nice selection of wines to taste in those pneumatic dispensing machines that allow you to purchase 1 oz pours so you can try a lot of wines. I tried a white Bordeaux and I loved it. Not liked, loved. It had great mouth feel and was creamy and delicious. Fruity, yet somehow buttery. It knocked my socks off. The wine was Domaine de Chavalier Pessac-Leognan Grand Cru Classe de Graves Blanc 2008. Leave it to me to have the first white wine I fall in love with be a Bordeaux that retailed for more than $100! I pretty much appreciated the moment and blocked it from conscious.
Then there was this white Bordeaux…. If I have had a life changing wine moment to date, it would be while standing in a grocery store in Cleveland, OH. The store, Heinen’s, had a very nice selection of wines to taste in those pneumatic dispensing machines that allow you to purchase 1 oz pours so you can try a lot of wines. I tried a white Bordeaux and I loved it. Not liked, loved. It had great mouth feel and was creamy and delicious. Fruity, yet somehow buttery. It knocked my socks off. The wine was Domaine de Chavalier Pessac-Leognan Grand Cru Classe de Graves Blanc 2008. Leave it to me to have the first white wine I fall in love with be a Bordeaux that retailed for more than $100! I pretty much appreciated the moment and blocked it from conscious.
Posted in wine

Trillium Vineyards, Bremen, Georgia (USA)

I recently discovered this absolute gem of a place. Research for my previous article about the Hungarian Community in this area of Georgia (read here), brought me to Trillium Vineyards’ door one Saturday afternoon last month. I was intrigued because most of the wineries in Georgia are not in this area, even though they used to be. As or right now, Trillium is the only vineyard and winery in Haralson County.

My friend Susan and I were warmly greeted by the owners, Bruce and Karen Cross. The space that is the Tasting Room is absolutely stunning. Previously a barn, it is rustic and chic and makes you want to settle in and never leave. I wish I had taken more pictures, but here are some of the space. It sits on a beautiful piece of land with plenty of outdoor seating.

Having just opened its doors in August of 2017, they also had their first harvest in 2017. Having a winery and no wine to taste doesn’t really work out very well so Bruce purchased grapes from vineyards in Texas and made 6 wines to offer guests while the grapes he grew are busy fermenting and aging. We tasted through 5 of the wines and both Susan and I really enjoyed each one. One of the wines had already sold out – a dry Moscato that Bruce named Woolgathering. So unusual! I would have loved to try it and hope to get the chance in the future.  To the right, you will see the current options and description of each. Susan and I both purchased the Forever Friends and I also took home a bottle of the Huckster.

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Look at the beautiful presentation of the glasses for the tasting flights! The flights are a mere $5 by the way.

Just this week Trillium posted on their social media accounts that they won three Double Gold awards and one Silver award at the Texas International Wine Competition!

Bruce and Karen were pharmacists in their previous life. Karen grew up right here in Bremen. Trillium Vineyards is named for theTrillium flower — Karen’s favorite flower from walks with her Aunt when she was young. The entire concept of the vineyard is based on the Trinity represented in the flower and also by friendship. Their flagship wine, Forever Friends is a tribute to this. The label includes the Trillium flower and the Celtic symbol for friendship.

If you like to get a little geeky about grapes, I think you will find this a little bit interesting. Bruce is growing some unusual varietals in his vineyard. So unusual, that I couldn’t recall the names, but I did find reference to two of them on their website: Blanc du Bois and Lenoir. I am by no means a viticulture expert, but I was intrigued by these varietals because I know enough to know that they are not common. Bruce tried to explain a little bit about them but I was sampling his delicious wine and not retaining information – haha. I did remember that he mentioned that they are not Vitis Vinifera, and this too, is very unusual. A little research revealed the following.

The Blanc du Bois grape and the LeNoir grape both belong to the Vitis Aesteivalis species. This is interesting because the vast majority of wine grapes in the world are grown on Vitis Vinifera rootstock. This is because Vitis Vinifera is resistant to Phylloxora — a plague that entirely eradicated vineyards across Europe in the late 1800s. The Vitis Aesteivalis varietals are resistant to a different disease – Pierce’s Disease – which is a more present danger to grape growers in southern states (or anywhere that can have a mild winter). Pierce’s Disease is fatal to the vines it affects can spread quickly over an entire vineyard.

I know I lost some of you with this grape geek speak, but this is another difference that I think makes Trillium unique. I don’t think many other Georgia wineries, if any, are growing these two varietals.

Visiting:

Trillium is currently open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday for tasting, however, they host a variety of events every week, including a guided tour from Bruce himself. Check out upcoming events here.  You can also host your own private event here and, as stated above, the setting is absolutely stunning.

They have a wine club that has events just for members. Wine Club Manager, Sherri Boon, mentioned that they will be having an event in February for Wine Club Members to taste the wines being made from the 2017 harvest. If getting a sneak peak (taste) of these wines is not incentive enough, Sherri pointed out that members will be a part of history as they will be the first people since Prohibition to drink wine from grapes that were grown and produced in Haralson County. I don’t know about you, but I love this sort of thing.

Trillium is only about an hour from Cobb County, an easy and beautiful drive. I sincerely hope that Bruce and Karen are the pioneers that will make Haralson County a booming grape growing region once again. But, even if they remain the only winery in the area, it is worth the drive to visit them.

Posted in wine

Haralson County Georgia (USA) Wine, Past and Present

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I added USA to the title of this post because, the Republic of Georgia is such a hot spot on the global wine scene right now. As much as I’d love to be writing about a visit to that Georgia, or Hungary, this article is about the history of wine in my own back yard. Haralson County borders Alabama, about an hour west of metro Atlanta. The Hungarian Colony that I am writing about was located between Tallapoosa and Bremen.

Not being a native Georgian, I am not well versed on the history of this great state. I have a co-worker to thank for bringing this great little piece of American wine history to my attention. The story is real, but to my mind it is like a fantasy dream come true. The modern day equivalent of winning the lottery.

Imagine you are an Hungarian immigrant in 1886, having left your country of origin as a farmer and now, in your search for a better life you, you live in Pennsylvania and work in a coal mine to make your living here in the New World.

Along comes a man named Ralph L. Spencer, who wants to develop an entire community based around growing grapes and making wine. He recruits a Catholic Priest, Father Francis Janisek, to help convince people to move to rural Georgia. Mr. Spencer is offering a plot of land for a home, plus 10 acres of land. Two acres are already planted with grape vines, and the other 8 you must plant with additional grape vines. Father Janisek was coming to the new community, so that there would be a church community in place.  It is said that Father Janisek was given a home, a horse and buggy for his part in the plan. The home, a Rectory, resembled a castle that sat atop a hill overlooking the wine growing communities.

img_3737Fifty families were the original settlers on 2,000 acres of land. The grape vines flourished and by 1893 the Hungarian Colony consisted of three separate communities: Budapest, Tokaj and Nitra, totaling more than 200 families with some 12,726 acres of grape vines. Homes, shops, a school, the church, a cemetery and wineries made the area a booming wine region.

By 1900 it would be more than 20,000 acres under vine and the Hungarian Colony supplied most of the Southeast with wine along the Southern and Blue Ridge Railroads. The wine could be bought along the railroad stops for $1 a gallon and you had to bring your own container. At the turn of the century the Hungarian Colony made Georgia the 6th largest wine producer in the United States (45 states at the time).

Maybe its just me, but this scenario is pretty much a dream come true. I’m not discounting that farming is incredibly hard work, as is wine making, but it sure beats coal mining. If anyone has a similar offer today, I am ready, able and willing.

Can you guess what happened to this bustling little community? Prohibition. Georgia passed Prohibition in 1908, a full 12 years before the ratification of the 18th Amendment that made Prohibition a nationwide reality. The town literally ceased to exist. Some of the residents stayed and found some way to make a living. Most returned to Pennsylvania and the coal mines. The ones who stayed were buried in the community’s cemetery that is still there today.

The homes and buildings were literally abandoned, eventually falling into disrepair and crumbling. The Rectory still stands and is being renovated. Here is a picture of it from the road. It is known now by locals as Keys Castle — it is rumored that a descendant of Francis Scott Key once owned it.  It also has a reputation for being haunted. I am told by the owners of  nearby Trillium Vineyard  that a local resident has purchased the home and is renovating it.img_3730

Its so interesting to me that Georgia was once one of the largest producers of wine in the United States, all because of this little area in Haralson County. Currently, the vast majority of Georgia wine is grown and produced a bit farther north, and east, and it seems so odd to me that no one had attempted to bring this industry back to life in the former grape growing region where it all began.

Well, not until August of 2017 that is. My friend Susan and I stumbled onto Trillium Vineyards in our Haralson County adventures. We so enjoyed everything about this winery and found it to be so special that I am writing an entirely separate article about it, so please stay tuned for that.


Sources:
Haralson County Historical Society: https://www.haralsoncountyhistory.com/budapest.html
The Georgia Wine Trail Document
Posted in wine

2017, My Year In Wine In Review

 

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January 2018 marks one year since I obtained my CSW credential.  I don’t think even I realized how incredibly ambitious this was on my part  — having 0 industry experience, and not much wine knowledge at all. Nevertheless, I managed to pass the exam in January of 2017. I realized almost immediately that while I now had some solid book learning, I was desperately lacking real life knowledge.

So, I began searching out every wine opportunity I could find. I created a social media presence for Side Hustle Wino and began connecting with other wine people. I read industry news sites, magazines and books. I listen to wine podcasts daily. I volunteered at numerous wine related events, and for a period of time this past year, I was planning events for 3 different Meet Ups. I accepted a side hustle job that allows me to occasionally work for pay featuring wines at Costco. Most importantly, I drank a lot of wine, because really how else am I supposed to really, truly learn? I also tried to purvey all of this activity into an occasional worthwhile blog post.  I believe this method of operation is what my Dad likes to refer to as “throwing a lot of shit at the wall and seeing what sticks.”

Maybe not the best method of operating, but I did continue to learn. A lot. I am beginning to feel comfortable in my knowledge, which is something that can’t be given or studied, you have to acquire it through experiences. This is not to be interpreted as I know a lot, because I don’t. But I do know a little, and what I know now, compared to this time last year, well that is a lot. Knowing that this is just the the tip of the iceberg is what is so exciting about wine — I will never get bored with this subject matter.

I’ve attached a slideshow of some of the wines I experienced in 2017, by month. There were a few really good wine moments — a 1961 Gevrey Chambertin! A white Bordeaux – Domaine De Chevalier – that changed how I think about wine.

On a completely personal level, 2017 was a challenging year.  Knee rehab for me and serious health issues for both of my parents who are 750 miles away — and I am an only child to my Mom. Both of my daughters moved into new places. My Mom moved into a new place and so did my 94 year old Grandma who is in better health than any of us.

The one thing that was severely lacking in my life in 2017 was travel. Five trips to Cleveland left me constantly chasing PTO at my day job.  I ended up taking time off without pay to spend the week with my husband and daughters at Thanksgiving.

So, while am spread a little thin right now, 2018 will likely be me the end of my “real” job.  It is project based and is scheduled to end this year. My plan is to “retire” from the 8 to 5 corporate environment. I hope to devote all of my time to writing, experiencing and drinking wine. Perhaps a dream job will present itself?

So, that’s where I am at. I hope this post finds you happy and healthy and sipping something delightful and I hope 2018 is full of health and happiness for you.

Cheers to a Happy New Year!

 

 

Posted in wine

Champagne, Chocolate and Cheese

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L to R: Francois Gigandet, H. Blin; Terry Tomasello, Domaine Wine Distributor; Karl Vivier, A Cocoa Affair; Ted Field, Domaine Wine Distributor

What more could you ask for? I recently attended this event hosted by Domaine Distributors that featured Champagnes from producer H. Blin, hand-crafted chocolates custom created to pair with each Champagne by Karl Vivier, owner of Cocoa Affair, and a beautiful selection of artisan cheeses from Caly Road Creamery, provided by owner Robin Schick.

Francois  Gigandet, from H. Blin, traveled all the way from France to pour his Champagnes and tell us about their vineyards, their processes, and just share his knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm with us. He hand carried 27 of these lovely glasses on the plane and told me I should never drink from a flute!

We sampled 7 Champagnes (pictured below) and they were all amazing. Each was special in it’s own way. If I had to choose, my #1 would be the Vintage. Champagne only produces a “Vintage” blend when the year is absolutely outstanding — after tasting this 2008 Vintage, I can easily concur that 2008 must have been outstanding. This one was fruity and biscuity and complex and I j’adored it!

The remaining six I would have a difficult time putting in order of preference. They were all delicious and had a unique feature that made it special in its own right. H. Blin uses sustainable growing practices in all of their vineyards, however, several hectares are certified organic, producing the organic L’Esprit Naturale, which also has no dosage. *

The Blanc De Noirs is is 100% Pinot Meunier which I think is quite unique, I had never tasted a 100% Pinot Meunier Champagne before.  Perhaps not so surprising when you discover that H. Blin is located in the Vincelles village in the Champagne region, an area know for the Pinot Menuier variety.  All Champagnes are produced primarily with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Menuier.  Pinot Menuier usually takes a much smaller role than 100%, or even the 80% that shows in the Brut and Demi- Sec.

 

Did I mention each had a custom chocolate hand crafted to specifically pair with it? Sadly, I did not get a good photo of all 7 pairings, but just look at these gorgeous examples:

Left: Pear jam, mango-passion fruit, milk chocolate ganache, and toasted oat – paired with the Vintage Champagne.

Center: Raspberry and curry leaf ganache, a hint of Espelette pepper and smoked paprika – paired with the Rose.

Right: Mandarin-mango ganache, grapefruit zest, violet tea and a hint of orange – paired with L’Esprit Nature.

You can find A Cocoa Affair here.

Robin from Caly Road told us the cheese was there for “after, when you get hungry” but let me tell you, her cheeses would go well with any wine, and these Champagnes were no exception. Caly Road Creamery is the only retailer to currently carry ALL of the wines distributed by Domaine so if you are looking for any one of the gems they distribute, and a fabulous cheese to pair with it, please stop in and see Robin at Caly Road Creamery.

If you love Champagne, seek out H. Blin. The Champagnes they produce are not only unique but produced with incredible quality and care. And, if you ever have a chance to meet Francois, well, you will be charmed I’m sure. img_2299-1

*For an excellent source of information and a quick Champagne 101, check out Wine Folly .
Posted in music, wine

City Winery Atlanta

City Winery Atlanta has been on my list of places to visit for several months, so when I found out about their “Q & A With the Winemaker” on Wednesday evenings during the month of September, I grabbed a friend and went.

What a huge surprise City Winery is! It is a fully functioning urban winery. It is also a concert venue and a restaurant with a great bar area. Winemaker, Travis Green, welcomed us at the bar, where he immediately handed us a sample of the City Winery Chardonnay.

CityWinery2The venue is two floors, the main floor has a bar and restaurant with both indoor seating and a large patio. On this floor you will notice a climate controlled, floor to ceiling, glass walled room that contains barrels of fermenting white wines produced here at the winery by Travis. We were then led down stairs, where a large production facility is located. Here, they have large tanks filled with the spoils of this year’s harvest, as well as barrels containing wines that are aging. Travis makes wines with grapes obtained from both California and North Georgia. City Winery does offer tours by appointment, so you can see this for yourself by contacting them directly. CityWinery1

The other half of the down stairs is the concert venue which is a very beautiful and intimate space — along the lines of The Blue Bird Café or The Listening Room in Nashville. I wish I had thought to take pictures, but I didn’t so these are courtesy of City Winery’s FB page.

In addition to a wide array of talented entertainment, City Winery hosts several classes and events each month. There is even a monthly book club called Books and Booze.  The space is just gorgeous and is also a beautiful backdrop for private events.

My friend and I returned to the bar following our tour, where we sampled a couple of the menu offerings and had a glass of wine. She ordered the City Winery Pinot Noir which was delicious and, I would have sampled a City Winery wine but I they had one of my favorite roses, Hogwash, on their menu and I just couldn’t resist! We ordered 2 small plates, Crispy Risotto Croquettes and the Dog MenuMediterranean Trio – both were delicious.

Maybe my absolute favorite thing…they have a very impressive dog menu — it even includes beverages for your fur babies.

There is nothing that I didn’t love about this venue and I will most definitely be visiting again soon.

 

Posted in wine

Meet the Producer of D’Angelo Wines

Several months ago, I attended a tasting through the Atlanta Wine Meet Up that featured wines from Domaine Distributors. One of the wines, D’Angelo’s Aglianico Del Vulture captured my attention because there is some speculation that Aglianico could have been the wine served at the Last Supper (see previous post here).

So, when I saw that the Atlanta Wine Meet Up and Domaine Distributors were hosting events last week where I could meet the producer of this wine, Erminia D’Angelo, I knew it was an event that I wasn’t going to miss.

D'Angelo2D’Angelo Wine is synonymous with quality Aglianico production. They have been making this wine for nearly a century in the Basilicata region of Italy. Erminia and her brother Rocco, continue their father Lucco’s focus on producing the best quality Aglianico wine. Don’t take my word for it though, Wine Spectator placed their Aglianico Del Vulture wine #74 on their top 100 list.

 

D'AngeloThe event was awesome and very informative as Erminia shared 5 of her wines, one of which was a Chardonnay that was excellent, and the remaining 4 of which were all 100% Aglianico. The  wines progressed in “quality” based on the amount of maceration and aging each received, the youngest one being the one I had previously purchased and the one that won Wine Spectator’s praise! That should give you some idea of the quality wines that D’Angelo produces – the entry level Aglianico is an award winner.

The Caselle Aglianico Del Vulture was the grand dame of the selection. The maceration period for this wine is 15 days, followed by 24 months of aging. Erminia told us at the event this is the only wine they produce that spends some time in cement as well oak!

A bonus to meeting Erminia D’Angelo and tasting such a great selection of her wines, was the venue itself, Farmhouse 17. Located in historic downtown Norcross, it is a wonderful little find and even though I am on the other side of town, I will find a reason to make way back there. Check them out  – Farmhouse 17!

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L to R: Sandra Brooks, Farmhouse 17 Owner, Erminia D’Angelo, Ted Field & Terry Tomasello, Domaine Distributor

Aglianico wine, while not so common that everyone has heard of it, is gaining in popularity. In fact, the podcast by Elizabeth Schneider, Wine for Normal People, just listed it is a favorite wine for Fall!  If you want to learn about the this particular grape in greater depth, there is no better source for the “quick and dirty” education than Wine Folly!

Try some for yourself. You can thank me later;)

Cheers!

 

Posted in wine

Stem Wine Bar, Marietta, GA

 

Stem Wine Bar is a little gem of a place located in Marietta, GA, in East Cobb. You can visit Stem any time for an excellent selection of wines and outstanding small plates, however, they host a weekly wine and food pairing event that is phenomenal.  I have attended a few of these events recently and I cannot recommend it enough.

The events are held on Wednesday and Thursday nights, with a theme that changes every month. So far I have attended events featuring Oregon Wines, Rose wines, and Piedmont wines. Each event includes six wines and six small plate pairings put together by Stem’s Sommelier, Chris McNeill and Chef, Patrick Jeffrey. A representative from the wine Distributor is also present to tell you a bit about each wine.

The cost is $45, and the event sign up is handled through EventBrite so there is an additional $3.45 service charge when you sign up. At the event, you will be charged 20% gratuity. This may seem pricey, but it is worth every penny. The tasting pours are generous and the pairings are phenomenal.

I’m not the only one who thinks so as these events usually sell out. In fact, Stem used to only do this event on Wednesdays, and now the event is offered on both Wednesdays and Thursdays and they still sell out.

These pictures were not taken with publishing in mind, however, I think they still manage to give an idea of how beautiful the wine and food are. The left is from the Orgeon event and the right is the Rose event.

I did not document the Piedmont event very well, but I did capture 5 of the 6 wine bottles.

For October the wines feature Southeast France, Languedoc & Rousillon. Here is a link to register: Southeast France event.

Stem opens daily at 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. A great selection of wines by the glass and a menu of delicious small plates are always offered. It is attached to its sister restaurant Seed, so it is a great pre or post dinner spot.

For more information about Stem and its sister restaurant Seed, here are the links:  Stem  &  Seed

Don’t take my word for it, go visit and see for yourself.  I’ll see you there!