Friday, March 29, 2013



The steep, green rolling hills located between Venice (Venezia) and the Dolomites (Alps)  is home to a New, CLASSIFIED DOCG Region (2010) known solely for its PROSECCO wines, made from the GLERA grape, Prosecco’s historic regional name.

The Region of PROSECCO SUPERIORE DOCG is easily the most beautiful sparkling wine region in the world. The rolling hills turn into steep hillside vineyards, only kilometers apart. From the vineyards, you can see both the Alps and the Adriatic. This unique ‘terroir’ is what this new classified DOCG region visually offers the visitor.

Geographically located midway between the Adriatic Sea and the Alps, the grapes are equally influenced by the Adriatic sea climate and the breezes from the Alpine mountains. The late ripening grapes are influenced by sunny days, heavy rain and cool breezes.

The PROSECCO SUPERIORE  DOCG Region is the area located in-between CONEGLIANO and VALDOBBIADENE.  The steep vineyards, with low yields, produce wines that are generally considered Robust  and “SUPERIORE” as compared to other non-DOCG Proseccos.

PROTECTION of ORIGIN has always been the GOAL for the regional vineyards and the voice of the vineyard owners, the CONSORZIO, has made the DOCG rating a reality. The PROSECCO SUPERIORE  DOCG name tag PROTECTS the vineyards and is a true stamp and GUARANTEE for QUALITY. (Champagne was Officially Designated a Protected Region in 1927)

The Historical Region of CONEGLIANO-VALDOBBIADENE is now recognized as a DOCG region. Each bottle now carries a DOCG (tag) banner attached to the neck of each bottle. Like wines from the Chianti region that carry the ROOSTER on the neck of the bottle, PROSECCO DOCG SUPERIORE wines now have their own pedigree or label of AUTHENTICITY.

When purchasing Prosecco LOOK for the DOCG label attached to the neck to know that you are purchasing an AUTHENTIC Prosecco from the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Region.

I have learned many interesting FACTS about this newly designated DOCG region:

+ The Conegliano-Valdobbiadene  region may be known as an Official UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE site in the near future, thus, raising the awareness of the region for its’ PROSECCO SUPERIORE DOCG wines. It would be the FIRST UNESCO site to be located in an all  vineyard area.

+ EXTRA DRY Prosecco DOCG has more residual sugar than BRUT, hence, making the  Extra Dry LESS Dry than BRUT, as we would imagine.

+ EXTRA DRY outsells BRUT in Europe (Time to catch up America!).

+The Prosecco grape is now known as the GLERA grape, its historical regional name.

+ The steep CARTIZZE region in Conegliano-Valdobbiadebe produces the BEST  Proseccos.

+ ONLY wines produced in the precisely defined area in Veneto can be called PROSECCO. All other wines ,outside of the region, legally, cannot be called Prosecco.

+ Prosecco can only be sold in GLASS bottles, (Thanks to PARIS HILTON and her cans of Prosecco).

+ DOCG stands for DENOMINAZIONE di ORIGINE CONTROLLATTA e GARANTITA. In English: GUARANTEED and CONTROLLED by the Denomination of Origin..


+ DOCG wines must pass a Government BLIND taste test for quality in addition to conforming to the strict legal requirements of the area.

+ DOCG wines are Analyzed and Tasted by Government licensed personnel before bottling.

+ DOCG bottles are SEALED and  numbered by the Italian Mint. The seal is attached to the Cap or Neck with the DOCG designation.

+ The DOCG wine must be bottled inside the area of production and all bottles must be approved and must carry the DOCG strip on the neck of the bottle.

+ PROSECCO SUPERIORE DOCG is Italy’s 44th recognized DOCG.

+ 13,000+ acres are devoted to SUPERIORE DOCG. (Cartizze covers 260 acres)

+ PROSECCO SUPERIORE DOCG production in 2010 was 56 million bottles. Cartizze production accounted for a Million and a Quarter bottles.

+  Prosecco received a DOC rating in 1969.

Unlike Champagne, Prosecco is produced using the CHARMAT method, in which the secondary fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks, which makes Prosecco less expensive to produce than using the Champagne Method.
Prosecco is mainly produced as a sparkling wine , either Fully Sparkling (Spumante) or Lightly Sparkling (Fizzante) . The GLERA grape is the grape of Prosecco.
Prosecco is labeled according to sweetness: BRUT (up to15grams of residual sugar)
EXTRA DRY (12-20 grams of residual sugar) DRY (20-35 grams of residual sugar).
Prosecco is low in alcohol, 11 to 12%. Prosecco does not ferment in the bottle and should be consumed young, within two years of production. Outside of Italy, Prosecco is consumed chilled, as an ‘Apertif” and is meant to taste ’Fresh and Light’.

The reasons are simple and logical. Prosecco DOCG standards are meant as a Warranty and Guarantee of the Highest possible Quality for the consumer, which is you and I.

The rules regarding production are: 1) The vineyards need to be located in a specific area
2) Vinification must follow the strict rules outlined by the region 3) Each vintage must pass a Government tasting examination 4) Each bottle, if passed, must be numbered with a DOCG sticker attached to the bottles neck.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Frescobaldi Wine Dinner and my Favorite Affordable Wine by Philip S. Kampe

My Favorite Affordable Wine by Philip S. Kampe

If I were to choose one wine for my Easter meal, I would put my extra savings into a bottle of Marchesi de Frescobaldi 2007 Mormoreto. The wine is considered a legendary, Super Tuscan, from the gentle slopes near Florence (Italy).
As a matter of fact, recently at a lavish wine dinner, hosted by the Frescobaldi family and their brand ambassador, Alessandro Lunardi, I was able to taste the quality of what the Frescobaldi family calls the ‘Best Mormoreto’ ever produced.
Ironically, 2007 is the 25th Anniversary of the production of Mormoreto.
My memories date back to 2 March, 2012, when our first grand daughter, Hava, was born. To celebrate her birth, we opened a bottle of 2007 Mormoreto instead of Champagne. Family and friends made a toast for Hava.

Several weeks ago was her first birthday and once, again, we toasted Hava, parents included, with a bottle of 2007 Mormoreto. It must be a family tradition?

What I relearned was how exciting and wonderful the wine is. I decided that on special occasions, why not open a bottle of great wine, like Frescobaldi’s Mormoreto and toast the event.
And Easter is a great excuse.

At the hosted dinner that I attended, I did learn that Mormoreto was given ‘three glasses’, the highest award, at the 1997, 1999, 2001, 2005, 2006 and 2007 Gambero Rosso event that highlights Italy's best wines.
The varietal breakdown of Mormoeto 2007 is quite interesting: 60%  Caberet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. 
The vines are 20 years old and rise to 1000 feet altitude. The soil, according to the Frescobaldi family is the key to the wine. In this case, the soil Mormoreto is grown on is considered the best on the vineyard.

According to Frescobaldi folklore, the first Super Tuscan planted on their property was in 1855, possibly the first in Tuscany. From 1855 to present day, the Frescobaldi family found the formula that works. At the dinner, the words we used to describe the wine were: layers of aroma of smoke, earth, vanilla, strawberries, blackberries and violets. The intoxicating flavors on the palate exploded with upfront sweet fruit, strawberry, mint and smoke followed by expressive tannins that created a long, fruity, lingering finish.

What I learned at the dinner was the philosophy of the Frescobaldi family: The goal of the company is to use the land to produce the highest quality wines in Tuscany and to sell the wines at reasonable prices.

The Frescobaldi family has been making wine for 700 years.
It is time for you to try a bottle of Mormoreto and experience what wine is all about.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Not your Traditional Easter Recipes by Philip S. Kampe

Are you tired of the usual, traditional Easter recipes that you have grown-up with?
These recipes are passed on from generation to generation. Whether you cook ham or lamb as your main course or courses, think about other alternatives.
Before I get to the alternatives, I will share the traditional lamb recipe that my wife has made for as many years as I know her. Her family is European (Italian), but, my guess is that they borrowed this recipe from the Greeks.

Easter Lamb Recipe:
Wash a six (about) boned-in leg of lamb. Pat dry and put on a rack in a roasting pan.
Sliver eight large cloves of garlic and mix with eight tablespoons of oregano, salt and pepper.
Melt a stick of stick of butter and mix with a quarter cup of olive oil. Add the garlic/oregano mixture and stir.
Make slits (20) in the lamb and insert the garlic, oil mixture. Rub the remaining mixture on the leg of lamb.
Squeeze a lemon over the lamb. Let the lamb sit for an hour to marinate.
Turn oven on to 325 degrees. 
After an hour, put the lamb in the oven, covered in tin foil, for three hours.
Baste with the liquid drippings, often..
The Europeans, especially the Greeks like to eat lamb well done. Americans, do not.
If you like your lamb medium-rare, check the lamb at two and a half hours.
If you want to add peeled potatoes and carrots to the dish, when basting, add the potatoes and carrots halfway through the cooking process.
Take your lamb out of the oven, when finished and let it sit, covered for 10 minutes.
Remove the tin foil and serve to your guests.

Since the tradition of ham and lamb has changed somewhat and many people stay away from eating meat, there are alternatives for the palate. Sticking to vegetarian alternatives is one and cooking with poultry is another.
Thanks to Colonel Sanders, chicken was introduced to the masses and has universal appeal. In most households, chicken is a staple ingredient for lunch and dinner. I have incorporated an Easter chicken dish with various spices to liven up your Easter meal.

Easter Chicken Recipe:
Choose the correct amount of skinless thighs and legs needed per person for your Easter meal. This recipe is for six people.
Add olive oil to a sauté pan. Add salt and pepper to all sides of the chicken. Saute until lightly browned and then take out. Add a large sliced red onion to the pan and saute for three minutes. Add four peeled and sliced garlic cloves to the pan and sauté with onions until translucent. Add a cup and a half of chicken stock to the pan. Add the chicken, a teaspoon of cinnamon, a half cup of pitted green olives, two tablespoon of freshly chopped ginger and two sliced cloves of garlic.
Cook, covered for 45 minutes on medium heat. Take the cover off every 15 minutes and turn the chicken over.
When finished, take out the chicken and put it on a warmed serving platter.
You are not finished, yet.
In the same sauté pan, add lemon zest from one lemon, juice of one lemon, a quarter cup of parsley and a quarter cup of cilantro to the existing liquid. Heat for two minutes, stir and spoon the liquid over the chicken.
Serve the chicken alone or with a side of rice.

Most meals need a salad. I have a ‘go to salad’ that is always a hit. The preparation is easy and can be done a day ahead.

My Favorite ‘Go-To’ Easter Salad:
I learned about this salad idea many years ago when I lived in Europe. Feta and olives are used, so, my guess is that it may have Greek origins, like the lamb recipe.
Heat olive oil in a large, flat, sauté pan. When warm, add four cups of day old, diced artisanal bread. Add olive on top of each cube/ Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until slightly brown on both sides. When finished, transfer the bread into a separate large rounded salad bowl.
In a separate bowl, toss a seeded chopped cucumber, one seeded yellow and red chopped bell pepper, a small red onion chopped, two pints of halved cherry tomatoes and a half cup of pitted black and green olives.
In a separate bowl make the dressing. Fill a measuring cup with a quarter cup of red wine vinegar, one tablespoon dried oregano, one tablespoon of minced garlic, one tablespoon of Dijon mustard, one half teaspoon each of salt and pepper and a half cup of extra virgin olive oil. Mix well.
In the large salad bowl, top the browned bread with three-quarters of a pound of feta cheese and the salad mixture. Add the salad dressing and mix well. Cover with saran wrap and chill in fridge for one hour. When serving, add salt and pepper to your taste.

Often an  appetizer served with Champagne sets the mood for Easter, I like to serve a dish, our friend from Michigan, Pat Wiley, introduced to us.
I call it the ‘Pat Wiley Special Shrimp Appetizer’.
This recipe is for six.
Peel and devein 24 large shrimp. Leave the tails on. Put the shrimp in a bowl and add an eighth cup of olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper. Dip one side of each shrimp in toasted sesame seeds and put on a baking tray with parchment paper, seed side up. Bake in a 400 degree oven for seven minutes.
While the shrimp are cooking, make a dipping sauce from a half cup of mayonnaise, three tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro, two tablespoons of lime juice, two teaspoons of soy sauce, two scallions finely chopped and a quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
When the shrimp are ready, add a toothpick to each shrimp and place on a serving tray with the dipping sauce in the middle.

Holidays are always special.
We wish you and your Family a Happy Easter and Passover from the staff at the Wine Hub!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Easter Wine Rommendations 2013 by Philip S.Kampe

Wondering what wines you should serve for this years ‘Easter Feast’?. The simple answer, of course, is a crisp, light, white wine for appetizers and a medium to full-bodied white or red for the traditional lamb and ham dishes.

Many people prefer a cocktail first, to start the Holiday tradition, but, since this is a wine column for Easter, we will focus only on the star of the day, the grape!

Of course, my first choice, when greeting friends with appetizers is always a sparkling wine, either Champagne, Cava or Prosecco.  Depending on what is being served, various white wines work well with appetizers. A Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadet or Sancerre always goes well with a shrimp cocktail. For clams or oysters, try a Chablis.
Guwurztraminer goes well with asparagus.
Pinot Grigio goes with everything.
These wines I suggest for your appetizer/first course:
Cava Naveran  $17
Mionetto Prosecco   $14
2011 Heitz Sauvignon Blanc  $18
2011 Pastou Sancerre  $18

Many families serve a second course, such as pasta or stuffed manicotti with tomato sauce. Normally a bottle of red wine made from the Sangiovese grape works best, such as a chianti or vino nobile.
Bottles range from $8 to $38.
I normally  spend $15 or under.

Some people like fresh ham, others smoked ham. There are many wine choices to cater to the likes of both.
Here are a few of my favorites:
2011 St.Urbans Hof Riesling Q.B.A.  $15
2006 Jim Barry Riesling ‘Lodge Hill’  $18
2010 Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling ‘Eroica’  $19
2009 Domaine de Triennes Viognier ‘Saint-Fleur’  $16
2009  Yangarra Viognier  $19
2010 Chateau d’Aqueria Tavel Rose   $18
Pinot Noir:
2007 Bear Boat Russian River Pinot Noir   $18
2008 Wild Rock ‘Cupid’s Arrow’Pinot Noir  $17
2009 Benton Lane Pinot Noir  $23

Then there was lamb.
Typically a Merlot based wine once satisfied a leg of lamb. Today there are many choices.
My favorites include:
2011 Vielle Fermes Cotes du Lubern Blanc  $8
2010 Tablas Creek Patelin de Tables Blanc   $17
2008 Montirius Vacqueyras ‘Mineral’ Blanc  $24
2009 Richard Leroy Anjou ‘Les Rouliers’  $28
Rhone Reds:
2010 La Vielle Ferme Rouges Cotes-du-Ventoux  $8
2011 Domaine d’Andezon Cotes-du-Rhone  $13
2009  VDP Domaine du Pegau Plan Pegau Lot $17
2009 Michel Poinard Crozes Hermitage  $21

For desert, we can go all directions.
For fruit and cheese, some Port perhaps. Muscat with cookies and cakes. Vin Santo goes well with biscotti. How about some brandy with your coffee/expresso or a cigar?
Happy Holdays from all of us at the Wine Hub!!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

SAINT NICHOLAS WINES and Me by Philip S. Kampe

Recently I attended the New York Wine Expo, a huge event that is for consumers, trade and press.  Over 150 wineries are represented and over 600 wines are poured from around the world. 
Boston, as well, hosts a similar show, the Boston Wine Expo, yearly in mid-February, as well. It is the sister show of the New York Wine Expo.
Besides wine, Italian cheese selections were served. My friend from the Italian Trade Commission, Vincenza Kelly, invited my wife and I to attend a special cheese tasting event at the Italian Pavillion. The wonderful cheeses sampled were the brainchild of Margaret Cicogna, known as America’s leading female Italian cheese authority.
My colleagues in the cheese business refer to Margaret as the ‘Countess of Cheese’.  
Attending the cheese and wine tasting was Mr. David O’Shaughnessy, from Seaport Companies, who heads the New York and Boston Wine Expo and the honorable Mr. Aniello Musella, New York’s Italian Trade Commissioner.
As I began to wander through the show, directly across from the Italian Trade Commission was Booth 447, home of Saint Nicholas Wines and German wine guru Nicholas Rogowski.
Nicholas explained that he was raised in Germany’s oldest wine village, Neumagen-Dhron, surrounded by of the spectacular Mosel Valley, the most famous wine region in Germany. With a little outside help from Adrian Wohlgemuth, he founded Saint Nicholas Wines in Germany. Success came easily due to the palate of Nicholas Rogowski, who personally selects,what he considers the best wines from Germany’s traditional family estates.
The focus for Nicholas is always on quality and exclusivity of each wine he selects. One of his goals, beyond peer recognition, is to have his wines featured in high-end restaurants throughout the United States.
His U.S. wine representative, Laura Martorella, explained that Saint Nicholas Wines has taken New York by storm. We are here to share our portfolio of wines at the wine expo with New York’s top consumers, trade representatives and the wine media. And share the wines of the Saint Nicholas Wines portfolio, she did.
The first three wines that I sampled were from ‘St. Laurentius’, an estate known for its sparkling wines known as ‘Sekts’.
I sampled the two amazing sparkling wines,the ‘St. Laurentius Riesling Brut’ and the ‘St. Laurentius Chardonnay Brut’. All wines were produced by Award Winning winemaker Klaus Herres. St. Laurentius is the most awarded wine estate in Germany. Klaus Herres was the first wine producer in Germany to be made a ‘Knight in the Brotherhood of Champagne Makers’ or ‘Les Chevaliers de l’Arc’ in French. He was inducted because his high quality of sparkling wines, made using the ‘Methode Traditionelle’, which means that after the primary fermentation, a second alcoholic fermentation occurs in the bottle. 
My palate found that the St. Laurentius Sekts were ‘over the top’ in uniqueness in the sparkling wine world. Consider drinking an exceptional Riesling with bubbles paired with spicy shrimp or a traditional spiced Jamaican or Indian dish. The pairing would be amazing.
On the elegant side, the ‘St. Laurentius Chardonnay Brut’ had all of the characteristics of a sparkling wine that could be served to the President of the United States. It was flawless and was masterfully made by Klaus Herres.
Possibly the best Gewuerztraminer I have ever tasted in my life was the ‘Weingut Stern 2011’, a popular handmade, low yield wine that Saint Nicholas Wines distributes. The quality of this environmentally sound wine, made by father and son winemakers, Wolfgang and Dominic Stern, is ‘out of this world’.
Organic Riesling winemaker Manfred Rodermund is well known throughout the world for his unique ‘terroir-driven’ wines from the Mosel. Laura explained that ‘Bio Winzer Manfred Rodermond’ are of unique identity and quality. Again, this selection was a sweet  wine ‘of its own’. A Riesling yes, but,certainly not a Riesling that my palate knew. If I were Robert Parker, a 97 score would be achieved.
Last, but not least, a wonderful dry wine from 100 year old vines was poured. The ‘Weinhaus Barzen’ Riesling Auslese Trocken is one of those perfect dry wines to finish a meal with or use as an aperitif.
The Saint Nicholas Wines  portfolio ( has my attention and should have yours.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Vacation 'In-Style' in Italy--a look at Synergy International by Philip S. Kampe

Recently I ran into a dynamic duo who have turned their passion of excellence into a trendy, sophisticated, upscale ‘state-of-the-art’ hospitality business. The brains behind Synergy International are SABINA GALDIOLO and ENRICO COSTA. Both are veteran hospitality gurus who have worked their dreams through the maze of luxury hotels that create the core of Italy’s finest ‘boutique’ hotels.
Together, they have created, possibly, the best network of intimate villas, hotels and resorts that exist in the world. Yes, that is a big statement!
The truth is that when Sabina and Enrico joined forces, their passion ignited a joint effort to seek out only the most luxurious boutique  resorts in Italy as their clients.
Their clients, all top-notch resorts, offer luxury to their guests.
Sabina and Enrico offer personalized sales and marketing solutions for hotels, spas, villas, resorts and golf destinations. They are considered the Best in the Industry. 
Their purpose is to deliver tailor made, adaptable strategies for short-term responses and long-term results, which include sales support, strategic planning, leadership and innovative solutions to achieve concrete objectives for their customers satisfaction.
Their knowledge of Italy and its peculiarities has given them ‘know how’ in the hospitality business to create competence in achieving quality services in the sales and marketing arena. 
As a well-traveled journalist who has had the opportunity to stay in some of the finest hotels and resorts in the world and a devotee of the SINA hotel group, where both Sabina and Enrico once worked, I believe their collection of hotels, villas and resorts rival the ‘Best of the Best in Italy’.
For all of my readers, including travel agents, the list of their luxury properties include:
Hotel d’Inghilterra   Rome, Lazio
Residenza di Ripetta  Rome, Lazio
Castello Banfi  Montalcino, Siena, Toscana
Grand Hotel Continental   Sienna, Toscana
Hotel Helvetia & Bristol  Fierenze, Toscana
Terme di Saturnia Spa & Golf Resort   Saturnia, Toscana
Borgo di Castelvecchio   Val D’Orcia, Toscana
Villa il Poggiale  San Casciano Val di Pesa, Fierenze, Toscana
Villa Del Quar  Pedemonte,Verona,Veneto
Aqualux Hotel Spa Suite & Terme  Bordolino, Veneto
Uptown Palace & grand Visconti Palace   Milano, Lombardia
Palace Bonvecchiati & Hotel Bonvecchiati  Venezia, Veneto
Hotel Villa Mochelangelo  Arcugnano, Vincenza, Veneto
Villa Marina Capri Hotel & Spa  Capri, Campania
Grand Hotel Parker’s  Napoli, Campania
Punta Molino Hotel beach resort & Spa,  Ischia, Campania
Relais Histo’  San Pietro sul Mar Piccolo, Taranto, Puglia
Hotel villa Athena   Agrigento, Sicilia
Hotel Principe di Villafranca & Hotel Plaza Opera  Palermo, Sicilia

With the edition of the luxurious Swiss Diamond Hotel in Lugano, Switzerland, Sabina and Enrico are branching out to find the best ‘Boutique’ resorts throughout the world.
My next journey to Italy will certainly include a visit to many of the Synergy International properties that Sabina Galdiolo and Enrico Costa manage.
To contact either Sabina or Enrico, feel free to e-mail them at:  or visit their website at:


Saturday, March 2, 2013

AMAZING WINES from NORTHERN GREECE May Be The New Wine Trend by Philip S. Kampe

The Greeks have been making wine for well over 3000 years. Northern Greece has recently become a focus for Greek wines. During the last 50 years, the make-up of the vineyards, grape varieties and wine making philosophies have changed so much that this region has been ‘noticed’ by the international wine community.
The wines from Northern Greece have been successful because most of the wines made today are wines for food and are not overly demanding on our palate. In fact, some of the reds peak when chilled.

The wine-growing regions of North Greece are ‘Large open plains crossed by rivers and are semi-mountainous areas with low, gentle hills. Tall mountains and enclosed plateaus are kept cool by the breezes from large and small lakes. In the distance lies the rugged coastline, surrounded by the Aegean and Ionian seas’. 
The topography of Northern Greece is complex and interesting.
The Mediterranean climate with mild winters and sunny summers propel numerous micro-climates and proper soil composition. This is particularly beneficial for vine-growing for the numerous (300) indigenous grape varieties and newly planted international varieties that inhabit Greece.
I have often had discussions regarding ‘How can we remember the indigenous grape varieties? The Greek words are just too difficult to process. What should I do?’ The answer is simple, enjoy the wine and the indigenous grape and your palate will tell you what is right and wrong without the varietals name.
Since that discussion, I am no longer a cynic regarding grape names.

At a Greek restaurant, recently, during ‘Happy Hour’, I ran into Aris Soultanos, marketing manager for Eklektikon, an importer of boutique wines from Northern Greece.
As fate would have it, Aris had three wines that he wanted me to sample. Totally unprepared and inspired by trying new wines with indigenous grapes, I was up for the challenge.

The three bottles that Aris was going to pour were bottled like a pieces of art. With mythology as the universal theme, each bottle was suggestive enough to remember the bottle and not the grapes that made-up the wine.

My first sample was a 2011 white wine named Eurynome, 100% organic and made with the ‘Roditis’ grape.  At 13% alcohol, this wine was crisp, fruity and had a long, lingering  finish. To me, it was an obvious wine that would pair well with seafood and spicy foods.
The wine was so good, I was hesitant to try the other two wines, both red.
I took the plunge and tried the red Eurynome 2011. Also, 100% organic, this wine was complex, medium-bodied and richly tannic in a good way. Aged for 12 months in oak and another six in the bottle, Eurynome shined with it’s indigenous make-up of 70% Xinomavro and 30% Negoska grapes. The wine was both velvety and elegant and a must buy for Greek wines.
The third wine, also organic, was a 2011 Staphylus red, ruby in color with obvious vanilla and dark fruit aromas. Add 30% Cabernet Sauvignon to 70% Xinomavro and you have a dry wine with manageable tannins and a dark fruit palate that lingers.

If these three wines are not enough for your newly found curiosity for wines from Northern Greece, consider the following wines, as well:

Domaine Glinavos, Primus-Zitsa 2011 (White) and made with 100% Debina grapes.

Wine Art Estate, Techni Malagousia, PGI, Macedonia 2012 (White) and made with 100% Malagousia.

Kitma Voyatzi Xinomavro, PGI Velvento 2009 (Red) made with 100% Xinomavro.

Alpha Estate, Alpha Xinomavro Reserve old Vines, PDO Amyndeon 2008 (Red), made with 100% Xinomavro.

To learn more about the wines from Northern Greece, visit:


Friday, March 1, 2013

U.S. WINE EXPORTS Reach a RECORD $1.4 Billion by Philip S.Kampe

Wine Institute
February 21, 2013Contact: Linsey Gallagher, 415/356-7515 or
Gladys Horiuchi, 415/356-7525

SAN FRANCISCO — Setting a new record, U.S. wine exports, 90% from California, reached $1.43 billion in winery revenues in 2012, up 2.6% compared to the previous year, a gain for the third consecutive year. Volume shipments reached 424.6 million liters or 112.2 million cases.
"California wine exports continue to increase because of our quality, diversity and value, despite a highly competitive global market, significant trade barriers and a still recovering economy," said Wine Institute President and CEO Robert P. (Bobby) Koch. "We've worked to create more opportunities to export our wines by supporting our government in opening markets with Free Trade Agreements and other negotiations."
Of the top markets for California Wines, the European Union's 27-member countries are the largest accounting for $485 million, up 1.7%; followed by Canada, $434 million, up 14%; Hong Kong, $115 million, down 30%; Japan, $111 million, up 6%; China, $74 million, up 18%; Vietnam, $27 million, up 22%; Mexico, $20 million, up 4%; South Korea, $16 million, up 26%.
"Our global campaign supporting our California wine exports communicates California as an aspirational place-its beautiful landscapes, iconic lifestyle, leadership in sustainability, and great wine and food. All of our marketing activities in 25 countries convey these messages to consumers and trade around the world," said Wine Institute International Marketing Director Linsey Gallagher. "Additionally, we've expanded these messages to our new California Wines video campaign, Facebook and Twitter social media campaigns across the globe, and are in the process of completing translation of our consumer website,, into eight languages. We have also launched a full scale campaign in China to introduce California wines in that expanding wine market."
"Wine Institute is collaborating with our U.S. Government as well as the World Wine Trade Group, the EU and Pacific Rim governments to reduce trade barriers. In particular, the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation "Wine Regulators Forum" are working to implement good regulatory practices that will protect consumers and facilitate trade in our Asia-Pacific markets," said Wine Institute International Trade Policy Director Tom LaFaille.
Five of Wine Institute's 14 Regional Trade Directors reported on key markets as follows:
The Canadian consumer continues to embrace California wines, making it the fastest growing wine region in this country by volume and value according to Rick Slomka, Wine Institute Trade Director for Canada. Much of the growth is coming from red blend brands which have strong appeal to the younger generation of wine consumers. At the same time, Canadian consumers continue to show interest in California wines at higher price points with sales of premium wines reaching higher levels than ever before. This momentum is expected to continue in 2013 with major retail promotions this spring in the three largest provincial markets of Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia.
Continental European Union
"Germany remains a key market for California wines, with exports increasing 6% in value. Renewed interest from several large retailers that conducted California promotions last year contributed to that growth," said Wine Institute European Trade Director Paul Molleman. Another key market is Sweden, where the Systembolaget monopoly reported California wine sales of almost 17 million bottles, mostly red wine, up 14% from 2011, he added.
United Kingdom
"California wine exports grew by 2.8% in value while France, Italy, Spain, Australia, Chile and South Africa all lost ground in the UK on-trade market," said Wine Institute UK Trade Director John McLaren. With an uncertain economy, and against a background of governmental anti-alcohol abuse measures, the UK wine trade has suffered some setbacks, but California has done well to preserve its market share and take advantage of some new opportunities in the independent retail and restaurant sectors.
"U.S. bulk wine exports to Japan have been growing as major Japanese importers are now importing popular-priced California wine brands in bulk and bottling in Japan. This reduces the burdensome import duty to a limited extent and makes inventory control easier," said Wine Institute Japan Trade Director Ken-ichi Hori.
For bottled U.S. wine, Japan is now importing more premium priced California wines than in the past. Unlike other New World wine exporting countries, California wine is well represented in high-end restaurants because of our successful annual restaurant promotion, Hori said.
China and Emerging Markets
"Wine's prominence is growing throughout Asia as consumption remains buoyant and forecasts estimate continued growth. Hong Kong is California's third largest export market by value, although the value declined in 2012 compared to impressive growth the previous years following elimination of Hong Kong's 80% import duty. China, a top priority growth market for our vintners, grew 18% to $74 million and remains the fifth largest export market by value. South Korea's growth increased to 26%, following the recent U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement. Exports to Mexico grew a second consecutive year with the value there nearly doubling since 2009," according to Eric Pope, Wine Institute's Regional Director, Emerging Markets.
Since 1985, Wine Institute has served as the administrator of the Market Access Program, an export promotion program managed by the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service. More than 150 wineries participate in Wine Institute's California Wine Export Program and export to 125 countries.
# # #
(Editors: Photos of tasting events abroad available upon request. Three statistical charts follow.)
U.S. WINE EXPORTS 1994-2012
(In millions)
(In millions of dollars)

GallonsLitersCasesRevenues to Wineries
2012112.2424.6 47.2 $1,432
2011118.0446.6 49.6 $1,395
2010111.3421.2 46.8 $1,145
2009110.3417.7 46.4 $912
2008129.7490.9 54.5 $1,008
2007120.2455.0 50.6 $955
2006106.9404.5 44.9 $876
2005102.6388.2 43.1 $674
2004121.9461.3 51.3 $809
200392.3349.2 38.8 $621
200274.5282.1 31.3 $549
200180.3303.9 33.8 $541
200077.7294.2 32.7 $547
199976.8290.6 32.3 $560
199871.9272.0 30.2 $537
199760.0227.1 25.2 $425
199647.5179.7 20.0 $326
199538.8147.0 16.3 $241
199435.2133.4 14.8 $196
Source: Wine Institute & Global Trade Information Services, using data from U.S. Dept. of Commerce. Statistics may not convert exactly due to rounding. History revised.

U.S. Wine Exports in Millions of Dollars
Source: Wine Institute & Global Trade Information Services, using data from U.S. Dept. of Commerce.

U.S. Wine Exports - Year to Date
Source: Wine Institute & Global Trade Information Services, using data from U.S. Dept. of Commerce. Preliminary numbers. History revised. Statistics may not convert exactly due to rounding.
*All totals include re-exported wines.
**Stats for the 27 EU countries are combined because transshipments to final destinations in neighboring countries make a country-by-country breakdown not reflective of actual consumption in each country.
To convert liters to gallons, multiply liters by .26418
To convert liters to cases, divide liters by 9

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TRADE TASTING: DO Toro Wines in New York (March 12th) and Chicago (March 14th) by Philip S. Kampeand Nora Favelukes

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 Suite, 2nd Fl
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Marnie Old is one of FAVORITE wine educators. Her classes
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Philip S. Kampe
Nora Favelukes 

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