Posts Tagged ‘Wine’

Half Bottles of Wine – Great Source!

June 23, 2009

Everyone needs a good resource for half bottles. Bob Shannon in Albuquerque sent this note along the other day.

Found one of those great wines at great price for the group. Go to and click on “Half-bottles “. Then on “Specials” . There you will find Domaine Etienne Sauzet village and premier cru from 2005 at an unbeatable price. This is an excellent producer by both Clive Coates and Remington Norman’s standards as well as Tanzer. I have had some of their Puligny and also found it excellent particularly at this price. Bob Shannon

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NY Times Predicts End of Cookie Cutter Wines

April 10, 2009

I can’t take credit for being first to use the this description. Here is one Google found for me. Let me know what your experiences with Cookie Cutter Wines have been.

This link is to an article from 2000 NY Times predicts end of cookie cutter wines

Women in Wine by Ashley Hausman

March 13, 2009

Today there are multiple conversations and choices of information about how to find delicious wines. One is to follow the traditional path of chasing ratings.

The other is to simply find a good retailer and get to know them. As they get to know you and your wine preferences, they can steer you to those special gems that make evenings memorable. I am in the find a good retailer camp. This was also echoed some years ago by the wine writers at the Wall St Journal. Find a good retailer was a year end wine recomedation for the upcoming year.

Ashley at Little’s Fine Wine and Spirits in Denver is someone who can help you navigate the isles. She recently shared the story below via her monthly newsletter. I hope you enjoy it.

Women & Wine.

By Ashley Hausman — Little’s Fine Wine and Spirits

Throughout history and into the present, women have surfaced in just about every occupation and proven that they are not only capable but exceptional as well at whatever they put their minds to achieving. In honor of Women’s History Month, we at Little’s want to underscore the excellence of certain female winemakers around the world and recognize those who have brought the industry up for a breath of fresh air with their innovative techniques and distinct styles. Here are a few women you should get to know:

Let’s begin with a Colorado winemaker who really got our attention-Michelle Cleveland of Creekside Cellars in Evergreen. This quaint restaurant & winery is a perfect afternoon getaway, famous for their epic antipasto platter with homemade sausage. But this delicacy is only second to the wine. From Gewürztraminer to Malbec, Cleveland strives to give all grapes a chance and hear what each has to say when cultivated in Colorado soil. In this way, each is familiar but altogether new and unpredictable. Every varietal-from year to year, in fact-takes on a new personality. For Cleveland, there is no formula. The flavor, the experience determines when it is time to bottle each beauty.

At Little’s, you not only have a chance to take home her Riesling and Rosso any day of the week, you will even have the opportunity to meet her in person on March 20th at our Friday tasting! Come with any questions you may have about her wine or Colorado wine in general. Having a degree from the prestigious UC-Davis oenology program as well as receiving numerous medals for her wines, Cleveland is sure to have all kinds of answers!

When Don Rafael Lopez de Heredia came to Rioja during the French phylloxera outbreak, in the middle of the 19th century, he knew he was meant to stay. He fell in love with Rioja and became one of three houses that established wine around 1877. One hundred and thirty-two years later, María José López de Heredia has taken over as winemaker and continues to produce wine that reflects the passion and love that originally attracted her family to the vineyards.

They remain traditional in style, which Maria explains, “We mention tradition, not as an idea meaning immobility, opposition to change, but as a dynamic and aesthetic concept in maintaining principles and criteria that remain eternal.” We are fortunate to carry a red and a white from this House-gorgeous examples of old school Rioja.


One of Ashley’s hobbies is climbing. Climbing is certainly a sport that requires balance, just like fine wine.

 You can visit Ashley at:

Little’s Wine and Spirits
2390 S. Downing Street
Denver, CO 80210

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February 21, 2009

Filmmaker Thomas Brickel sent this background information about his recent movie, I think you will like it.

The Spirit of  New Wine is a documentary about the joy and meaning of the world’s most celebrated drink

Man has been making wine for thousands of years. Its origins are deeply rooted in Western culture. Yet despite our familiarity with the beverage, there is something mysterious about wine that makes it unique. What intangible elements does wine present that remind us of our own invisible nature?

Journalist Denise Ingrid Brickel takes viewers on a fascinating journey to the heart of California´s wine country where the spirit of new wine is explored through its relationship to faith, art, music and more

To learn more you can visit Love One On Productions, LLC

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Sippin’ at the Ritz

February 20, 2009

I want to expand No Cookie Cutter Wines beyond just sharing the stories from artisan handcrafted wine producers to include wines and wine events that give back to local communites around the world. Here is an upcoming event in Twin Cities that will be fun and good karma.

A Food and Wine event at the historic Ritz Theater to benefit Second Harvest Heartland food shelf.

Cat and Fiddle Beverage, along with some of the Twin Cities’ favorite chefs present an unforgettable night of food and wine.  Local chefs and international winemakers will be on hand, along with local wine professionals, to present the evening’s gastronomic fare. 

Minneapolis, MN     March 19, 2009 – Cat and Fiddle Beverage, a local wine wholesaler based in Arden Hills, is presenting an unforgettable night of food and wine in one of the city’s most interesting theater settings.  A number of local chefs will be on hand, preparing appetizers to accompany the international wines which will be poured from many exciting wineries.  Second Harvest Heartland will be the beneficiary of the proceeds, providing a much needed boost to area food shelves.

The event is a celebration of artisanal, craft foods and wines, and an opportunity to meet producers while being treated to tastings of their fare.  The featured wineries and chefs share a similar respect for tradition and local agriculture, in a way that is respectful of the land.  The majority of the wineries represented are smaller boutique producers and the chefs are those of restaurants who represent a marriage of local and organic foods. 

Some of the featured chefs include JD Fratzke (The Strip Club Meat and Fish, St. Paul), Hector Ruiz (El Meson and Café Ena), Jim Grell (The Modern Café), Stuart Woodman (Heidi’s) and John Hunt (Al Vento). 

Cost to attend this event is $50, with proceeds benefiting Second Harvest Heartland of Minneapolis.  We will also be collecting food at this event, so please bring a canned food item to the theater to donate.

Thursday, March 19th

Ritz Theater: 345 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis 55413

Tickets available through the Ritz Ticket Box Office: (612) 436- 1129ls, MN 55413

The event will run from 6-9 for the public.  Guests must be 21 years of age to attend.

For additional information (including promotional artwork and logos), contact April Torzewski at 651-785-3360 or at

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What is the Role of Acidity in Wine?

February 4, 2009

A search on “acidity in wine” will return around 1.5 million articles on the subject. They include very technical discussions of chemistry to forums with groups of people talking about the juiciness or crispness acidity brings to wine. This tells me acidity in wine is discussed around the world.

What I wonder is, for all the discussion, what is really understood and has the role of acidity changed over time?

Do winemakers view the importance of acidity the same as consumers?

If consumers have different positive or negative responses to acidity in wine, how do winemakers respond?

Do they adjust their wines to meet the expectations of consumers or do they follow their own philosophy of wine making?

While the word “acidity” is technically correct, is it the best word to describe its role in making delicious wines? What would be a good alternative word?

Some time ago I read a post by California wine writer Steve Heimhoff about wines beginning to taste very similar. I commented something about understanding the importance of acidity in wine as one of the stepping stones we all go through in appreciating wine.

He commented back with the following. 

  • Ron, your comment about acidity turns me on. I’ve been thinking about acidity for the last year and appreciating its role in wine’s vitality. I just returned from a big wine festival that attracted many high level winemakers, and this topic of acidity came up repeatedly. I think you’re going to see a trend toward drier, more acidic wines — which means more distinctive and unique varieties.

To me this was a very interesting reply, especially the words distinctive and unique. Isn’t that the goal with wine?

As I have been learning the world of Twitter I have read a few Tweets from Natalie Maclean chiming in on her love of acidity in wines.

Here is a comment via Twitter from Natalie with a little humor too.

  • Okay, I’m always happy to trip about acid … it truly is in wine what salt is to food: brings forward flavors, adds piquancy

Reading these two comments highlights it is an important component of delicious wines.

As I circle back to my original question; What is the role of acidity in wine?

I wonder if the role of wine has changed over time? Wine was always part of the food experience and over time a beverage experience evolved too. This is neither good or bad – just evolution.

My sense is acidity in wine requires food and without it, the magic from the vineyard and winemaker is lost.

What do you think? Appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

Introducing No Cookie Cutter Wines

January 23, 2009

Two Choices for 2009

We can embrace the status quo and be like a frog that sits in a pot of water with the temperature rising to the boil and end it all. “Or, we can engage” and participate together online in the many Social Media opportunities.

You represent or produce unique wines, food orcookiecutter_red3 travel opportunities from around the world. I have a similar venture importing wines from New Zealand. We are beginning to develop an online community to generate conversational marketing about artisan food, wine and travel from around the world. Perhaps we can help one another.

We invite you to join us in the world of No Cookie Cutter WinesTM


The No Cookie Cutter WineTM community is geared to food, wine and travel insiders and consumers from around the world who “get it” about real people, real food, real wines from real places.

However you describe it, Social Media, Blogging or Web 2.0, it’s for real and happening in real time, right in front of us. We all have a choice to engage this new way of communicating or step aside and watch its evolution and influence.

We have made the decision to engage and share. And we invite you to join us in this community.

The platform enables contributors like yourself to post videos, images, blogs, news and commentary, at no cost. We’re creating a place for introducing, educating and attracting consumers to the food, travel, and most importantly, the wines from small, unique producers. The hidden gems, in other words.

Each region or country has a dedicated web site within the No Cookie Cutter WinesTM community. For example, will showcase conversations from New Zealand wineries, importers, artisan food producers, tourism boards and others. People like yourself will be the initial contributors, and the dialogue will continue as other professionals and consumers share their stories.


If you have ideas and stories to share, we invite you to become part of our community. We’ll create a free account for you to begin publishing. Or if you prefer to have me post it directly, I’ll gladly do that and credit you as the source.

Attached you’ll find more information about No Cookie Cutter WinesTM. We hope you’ll join us in spreading the word, about the world of handcrafted food and wine and travel to special destinations.

Please also feel free to send this along to others with a passion for the world of No Cookie Cutter WinesTM. Our community has just begun and we welcome other like-minded individuals.

Join us today at http://www.No

October 10, 2008