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Featured Red Wine of the Week: The Michael David Petite Sirah Blend

Michael David Petit Syrah 300x233 Featured Red Wine of the Week: The Michael David Petite Sirah BlendRecommended By the Sommelier at the Union Trust Steakhouse

The Michael David Winery in Lodi California is now producing 18 different types of wine and  over 600 hundred acres.  The Michael David Petite Petit is a blend of 85% Petite Sirah and 15% Petit Verdot.  This Syrah is full bodied and full flavored, but just slightly dry.  With hints of fruits and vanilla, this is a rich and beautiful finish, especially for only $15 retail, it’s also a perfect red wine for a steak dinner, as recommended by the Sommelier at Union Trust, the best steakhouse in Philadelphia.

“The vineyards are irrigated by the Mokelumne River, which carries crystal-clear water from the Sierra Nevada Mountains, depositing minerals into the rich soils upon which the grapes thrive.”  We  recommend the Michael David Petit Petite Syrah blend as it’s an excellent buy for $15.

 

Michael Lodi Wine Grapes 200x300 Featured Red Wine of the Week: The Michael David Petite Sirah Blend85% Petite Sirah

15% Petit Verdot

3.56

0.57

14.5%

3.29.2011

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Featured Wine of the Week: Casillero del Diablo Syrah

casillero del diablo wines 300x163 Featured Wine of the Week: Casillero del Diablo SyrahWorld’s Most Recognized Chilean Wine Brand

By Matt Goldstein

Casillero del Diablo wineries are the most recognized Chilean wine brand and for good reason.  There are multiple wines from Diablo available for under $15 and some for even $10.  Chilean and Argentinean wines have exploded in popularity, much because of the quality but also because of the price.  Simply put, wines from Napa Valley are on average more expensive because of the cost of land and labor.  Chile and Argentina have taken advantage of the lower price range but still maintain excellent quality wines.  Our featured wine of the week, Casillero del Diablo Syrah, costs about $12 retail and is available throughout the United States.  Made by Concha Y Toro wineries, Casillero del Diablo Syrah is flavorful, slightly bitter and complex with hints of chocolate and pepper and perfectly matched with spicy foods, and or red meats.  This is a solid wine for about $12.  We would definitely drink it again, but probably wouldn’t pay $15 for it.  Casillero del Diablo translates to Cellar of the Devil.

 

Production Area: Rapel Valley, Chile.

Grape Variety: 100% Syrah.

 Description: Casillero del Diablo Reserva Syrah is an opaque purple wine with well developed, densely packed black fruit notes on the nose. The palate is round and mouth-filling with ample black cherry, currant and cedar flavors mixed with sweet tannins and finished with lively acidity for balance.

 

Casillero del Diablo offers wine lovers the very special opportunity to participate in the propagation of a century old legend known throughout the world. In the 19th century, the founder of Concha y Toro, Don Melchor, discovered that his vineyard workers were sampling his greatest wines. To discourage this action, Melchor spread the rumor that his deepest, darkest cellar was the Casillero del Diablo (Cellar of the Devil), so that no one would dare go in there. It worked, and a legend was born. Today this mysterious and legendary cellar continues to hold the finest wines of Casillero del Diablo.

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Featured Wine of the Week: Umberto Cesari Sangiovese DOC Riserva

umberto cesari Sangiovese DOC Riserva 1  Featured Wine of the Week: Umberto Cesari Sangiovese DOC RiservaBy Matt Goldstein

Our featured wine this week is a red Sangiovese from the Tuscany region of Italy, one of our favorite styles.  The Cesari Sangiovese DOC di Romagna Riserva is made with 100% of the Sangiovese grape and aged for 24 months in Slavonian and Italian oak barrels.  This Sangiovese is ready to drink right out off of the shelf but has a 5-7 year aging potential.  Winning a silver medal in Germany in 2007, the Cesari DOC Reserva is available for about $15-17.  Tasting Notes:  The Cesari DOC Riserva is a full bodied red, slightly dry and slightly tart.  A thick and dark red, a bit tannic, this Sangiovese will pair well with meats and aged cheeses.  This is a solid red wine and less expensive than most other Sangiovese reds. 

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Featured Wine of the Week: The Cline Cashmere Red Blend

cline wines 300x234 Featured Wine of the Week: The Cline Cashmere Red BlendA Red Wine Blend of of Mourvèdre, Grenache, and Syrah

By Matt Goldstein & Carolynn Chapman

The Cline Cashmere is a very easy drinking and light Red blend of of Mourvèdre, Grenache, and Syrah.  From the Contra Costa County vineyard in California with 30 year old vines, the Grenache and bulk of the Syrah grapes come from Oakley.  Fermented in stainless steel and then aged for 6 months in French Oak Barrels, the Cline Cashmere is a great wine for about $14.  Very smooth, light and fruity, any type of wine lover will enjoy the Cline Cashmere.  The Cline Cashmere pairs well with grilled salmon, pork roast and duck.   

Vintage: 2009
Wine Type: Red Wine
Varietal: Blend
Appellation: California
Harvest Date: August 22-October 11
Acid: .62 g/100ml
PH: 3.84
Residual Sugar: .30%
Alcohol %: 14.0%

 

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The Wine Chronicles: A Brief History & Introduction to Winemaking

Wine3 1237299 300x200 The Wine Chronicles: A Brief History & Introduction to WinemakingPart 1: How Wine is Made

By Tim Rodgers

I think we should start this chronicle by answering the most basic questions about wine of who, what, where, when, and how?  What is wine?  Well, in the most elemental terms, wine is simply fermented grape juice.  The five basic types are red, white, rosé, sparkling, and fortified.  Anthropologists believe that the first wine was discovered by some knuckle-dragging cave dweller that left some wild grapes in a clay pot.  (kind of ironic that wine drinking today is associated with the most elite amongst us, but I digress…)  Left out over a week or so in that pot, the natural yeasts on the grape skins fermented and the mash turned into a crude wine.  Then they had the first party known to mankind….sweet. 

Wine 1294730 300x200 The Wine Chronicles: A Brief History & Introduction to WinemakingThe first wines historians know of were predominant in the Mediterranean area, the Middle East, Egypt, and throughout Europe during the middle ages.  The oldest known wine making facility dates back 6000 years in Armenia.  The Christopher Columbus contingency brought the first grape vines to the Americas in the 1500’s as we see winemaking expand into what is today known as Mexico, South America, and ultimately into the Southwestern United States and California.  Eventually overtime, the vine was also introduced to Australia.  Today, “winos” refer to “classic wine” producers as the aforementioned European producers.  Wines concocted in the Americas and Australia, are known as the “New World” producers.  Now wine is made on every continent except Antarctica.  (I wonder if the experts should count the wine that is produced on C-Block at Graterford Prison made from kool-aid fermented in a zip-lock bag under the bottom bunk, but yet again, I digress)

Wine 1294895 300x199 The Wine Chronicles: A Brief History & Introduction to WinemakingJust like a master chef classically trained in French cuisines, the food that is produced is only as good as the ingredients used to make it.  The same applies to wine making.  Wine is only as good as the grapes used to ferment it.  Therefore, wine makers are extremely concerned with the cultivating of the grapes in their vineyards.  They are constantly in the process of testing and experimenting with different soils and what kind of trellis system to use.  A trellis system is simply the framework of wood and wire used to support the vine of the grapes as they grow.  By keeping the grapes off of the ground, exposed to more sunlight, and better air circulation will ultimately increase the quality of the grape.  Also, when the grapes are harvested it is also critical as to the overall quality and taste of the wine.  Overtime, winemakers have figured out that a grape vine that struggles to grow actually makes better wine.  Just as in life, struggle builds character.    

wine evaluation 300x225 The Wine Chronicles: A Brief History & Introduction to WinemakingThe first step in making wine is crushing the grapes.  The purpose of this process is to break the skins away from the grape itself and to release the juices.  Many of you have seen the picture of the nice Portuguese fellow dancing on a pile of grapes in a festive fashion thinking to yourself, “did he wash his feet first?” Well, many old school wine makers believe that there is nothing like the human foot to break the grapes because they won’t break any seeds which release harsh tannins into the juice.  (Perhaps different toe cheeses and foot fungi account for some more quality vintages…but once again sorry, I digress.)

White grapes are pressed to separate the skins before fermenting as opposed to red grapes being fermented with the skins in the mash and eventually pressed later which give the wine its red color.  Both the juices from red and/or white grapes are clear.  Therefore, white wine can be made from red or white grapes.  Next, the wine matures in oak or steel barrels before it is eventually bottled.  Red wine is fermented at a higher temperature than white wine which contributes to the coloring and tannin extraction.  In some cases, the wine is moved from barrel to barrel to remove sediment known as lees.  This process is known as “racking”.

bottleshock wine pic 300x196 The Wine Chronicles: A Brief History & Introduction to WinemakingAs far as some of the other styles are concerned, Rosé for example is processed similar to red wines, but the grapes are only fermented with the skins for a shorter amount of time giving it a slightly less “red” color that appears pink or rose colored if you will.  The cheaper/easier rosé is made by merely blending the red wine fermented juices with the white wine juice.  It’s kind of like cheating. Fortified wines are wines that have had some sort of spirit such as brandy added after the fermentation process.  These are your port and sherry wines.  (I like some Sherry in my Snapper Turtle soup…oh sorry, digression)  Lastly, sparkling wines are wines that have additional sugars and yeast added during the fermenting process which give the wine the carbonation.  Champagne is the example that comes to mind here.

Speaking for myself at an adolescent age, I was introduced to alcohol by reluctantly forcing-down Natural Light cans of beer for what I thought was a decent buzz.  Today, I like to consider myself a connoisseur of beer.  But, as my taste buds matured, I was fortunate enough early on (like 19 years old with a fake ID) to be introduced to some Belgian Ales, American IPA’s, Stouts, etc. and found a new appreciation and respect for quality beverages.  For me, this also applies to wines.  I think with some understanding of how the process works, the differences, and the nuances of wine, a new door can be opened to the world of wine for anyone.  Plus, if you need to impress a girl, boss, or anybody at a restaurant, stay tuned for more from Whiskey Goldmine and the Wine Chronicles to get your understanding and appreciation of wine-on.    Cheers!

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Featured Wine of the Week: Punto Final Malbec by Renacer

punto final malbec renacer 300x271 Featured Wine of the Week: Punto Final Malbec by RenacerPunto Final Malbec Scored 90 Points from Wine Advocate & Wine Enthusiast

By Matt Goldstein

Our featured wine of the week is the Punto Final Clasico Malbec by Renacer wineries.  This easy drinking malbec has received numerous awards and accolades all over the wine world and costs about $12 per bottle.  Scoring 90 points from Wine Advocate for the 2008 Vintage, 89 points from Wine & Spirits for the 2007 vintage, 90 points from Wine Enthusiast for the 2007 & 2006 vintage and a gold medal for the 2008 vintage, it’s clear that this wine is easily worth the $12.  At the Renacer vineyards, the malbec grape is harvested by hand, macerated for five days and then aged in French oak barrels.  The taste is a bit tart and dry with a medium body.  Slightly bitter and vaguely sweet, the Punto Final Malbec is light with a beautiful complex aftertaste.  With notes of oak, fruit and berry, this is a great easy drinking style.  Pick up a bottle today…

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Cubanarama Radio Podcast Feature’s Matt Goldstein of Whiskey Goldmine: Discussions on Food, Wine, Craft Beer, Single Malt Scotch, Tequila & more…

cubanarama radio podcast Cubanarama Radio Podcast Feature’s Matt Goldstein of Whiskey Goldmine:  Discussions on Food, Wine, Craft Beer, Single Malt Scotch, Tequila & more…Cubanarama Radio discusses Whiskey Goldmine in depth with CEO & Publisher Matt Goldstein.  We discuss the origins of the website, tasting wines, whiskeys, the American craft beer movement and more.  We also discuss how to find the best wines and whiskeys for a lesser price.  Check it out!  Cubanarama radio with Marta and Matt Goldstein. 

Cubanarama Radio Podcast with Whiskey Goldmine & Matt Goldstein

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Featured Wine of the Week: Sasyr, A Sangiovese & Syrah Blend by Rocca delle Macie

sasyr rocca delle macie sasyr toscane italy 300x250 Featured Wine of the Week: Sasyr, A Sangiovese & Syrah Blend by Rocca delle MacieToscana Indicazione Geografica Tipica 2007

By Matt Goldstein & Carolynn Chapman

Our featured wine of the week is an easy drinking light red blended with 60% Sangiovese and 40% Syrah.  Sasyr, by Rocca delle Macie wineries, is made with grapes from the Maremma vineyards in which the controlled fermentation techniques considerably contribute to the color and aroma.  About 15% of the Sangiovese grapes are aged in small French Oak barrels for about six months.

The Sasyr color is a deep ruby red, the scent is a perfectly light red and a little tart.  The flavor is slightly dry and smooth with notes of tangy fruit, and light blackberry.  The sweet notes dry on the finish but this blends character is smooth and easy drinking.  Sasyr scored an 87 from Wine Spectator, 87 points from I Vini di Veronelli, and an 89 from Annuario dei Migliori Vini Italiani di Luca Maroni.  Rocca delle Macie recommends this wine to be paired with meats, cheeses, Beef fillet with pink and green pepper, Pasta with cherry tomatoes, tuna and feta cheese. 

At about $12, Sasyr is an excellent buy. 

.ROCCA DELLE MACIE Featured Wine of the Week: Sasyr, A Sangiovese & Syrah Blend by Rocca delle Macie

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Pairing Wines with Chocolate: Great Wines Under $15 for Valentine’s Day

calcu bordeaux blend california 125x300 Pairing Wines with Chocolate: Great Wines Under $15 for Valentine’s DayPairing Wines with Chocolate: Award Winning, Critically Acclaimed Reds and Champagnes for Valentine’s Day 

By Lisa Gana, Matt Goldstein & Sommelier Tom Pittakas

For this Valentine’s Day, the Whiskey Goldmine has compiled the perfect wines to pair with all types of chocolates and share with the love of your life.  We’ve paired award winning and critically acclaimed wines with dark chocolates, milk chocolates, semi-sweet chocolates and even chocolate covered strawberries.  For under $15, any of the wines we’ve listed will make this Valentine’s Day wonderful for you and yours. 

Semi-sweet chocolate:  

Calcu Colchagua Valley Bordeaux, California, Scored an 87 in Wine Advocate.

Alto Cedro Malbec Ano Cedro Mendoza, Argentina, Scored a 92 in Wine Spectator.

Kay’s Brother’s Amery Shiraz, McLaren Vale South Australia, Scored a 93 in Wine Advocate.

Hennessy Black, Cognac France (Brandy).

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mt difficulty pinot noir 300x155 Pairing Wines with Chocolate: Great Wines Under $15 for Valentine’s DayMilk Chocolate:                            

Mt Difficulty Pinot Noir Roaring Meg, New Zealand, Scored a 90 in Wine Spectator.

Novelty Hill Merlot,Washington, Scored a 90 in Wine Spectator .

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red diamond cabernet sauvignon 171x300 Pairing Wines with Chocolate: Great Wines Under $15 for Valentine’s DayBittersweet Chocolate:

Coniglio Cabernet Sauvignon Atlas Peak, Napa Valley, Scored a 90 in Wine Enthusiast.

Cline Cellars California Zinfandel, one of our favorites!

Mirassou Cabernet Sauvignon, one of our favorites!

Red Diamond Cabernet Sauvignon, one of our favorites!

Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Cal Zin, don’t let the name fool you, Coppola makes some great reds!

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novelty hill merlot Pairing Wines with Chocolate: Great Wines Under $15 for Valentine’s DayDark Chocolates:

Novelty Hill Merlot, Washington, Scored a 90 in Wine Spectator.

Perry Creek Zinman Zinfandel El Dorado, A German Red that Scored 88 by Wine Enthusiast.

Mt Difficulty Pinot Noir Roaring Meg, New Zealand, Scored a 90 in Wine Spectator.

Mirassou Pinot Noir, this wine maker can’t seem to do any wrong. 

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Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG Claxa villa sandi 95x300 Pairing Wines with Chocolate: Great Wines Under $15 for Valentine’s DayChocolate Dipped Strawberries:

Villa Sandi Prosecco Di Valdobbiadene Brut Spumante

Louis Bouillot Rose Sparkling Wine

Thorn Clarke NV Brut Reserve

Castellar Cava, Spain

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Happy Birthday Jesus! The Man Who Turned Water into Wine!

 

jesus im drunk1 300x298 Happy Birthday Jesus! The Man Who Turned Water into Wine!

By Matt Goldstein

On this Christmas, we at Whiskey Goldmine would like to give a shout out to a great man.  Man or sometimes son of God (semantics), Jesus Christ was known to walk on water, cure lepers and give sight to blind children.  Perhaps the biggest miracle of all, Jesus actually turned water into wine.  That is pretty amazing!  We’re not surprised that Jesus has so many followers and had so many books written about him.  One of those books was particularly influential and turning water into wine is just an awesome way to rock out at a party.  2000 years ago there weren’t many liquor stores, therefore wine; vodka and whiskey were a little hard to come by.  Of course turning water into wine was a miracle. 

Jesus the Drinker

Not only did Jesus turn water into wine, Jesus actually drank the wine too.  Being a rabbi, Jesus celebrated the Hebrew Sabbath every Friday night after sundown.  On the Sabbath, the dinner and religious ceremony traditionally requires a few glasses of wine with dinner while reciting prayer.  Jesus was pretty awesome huh?

We at whiskey goldmine would like to wish everyone a merry Christmas and happy new year.  Even if you’re not that religious, any excuse to be with family and friends or just getting to share some time with loved ones is a good thing. 

After being bombarded with thousands of presents by his new Catholic in laws, this Jewish kid has learned to love him some Christmas.  Dinner on Christmas eve, drinks, the casino, lots of presents, another dinner and more drinks afterwards followed by a huge party.  What’s not to love about Christmas!  Here’s to Jesus showing me some love on the craps table tonight.   

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