Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Isn't it time to think about $10 and under summer wines? by Philip S. Kampe

Spring has sprung, as they say. Flowers are growing. The cherry trees are in full bloom.
For many, the outdoor season has begun.

This is the time of year that I look for the summer wines I will serve to our endless crop of summer guests. The wines I look for are like the ‘wines by the glass’ at restaurants and wine bars.

We live year round in two locations, the mountainous and cultural Berkshires of western Massachusetts and on the 26th floor of an apartment overlooking the Hudson River, directly opposite the 79th street boat basin in Manhattan.

In Massachusetts, we entertain in our backyard or in the back porch.
In New Jersey, our 20 foot balcony serves the purpose.

As you know, I am originally from New Orleans and love to cook. My wife’s family is from the Isle of Capri, where they love to eat and drink.
Food and wine is often our focus.

In my search for the perfect summer wine that retails at $10 or under,.I generally look for wines from countries that have international grapes, few tannins, fresh, crisp and fruit forward.
Wines, as I mentioned earlier that can be served by the glass.

Ironically, this year, I didn’t look too far.
I found my sacred summer wine in record time. The name of the wine that I found is ‘Decopas’, when translated into Argentine slang, ‘Decopas’ means ‘by the glass’.

The tradition in Argentina, as in many countries, is that after the conclusion of a work day, Happy Hour begins. Argentinians have their own expression for Happy Hour, which is, ‘De copes’ or by the glass.

At roughly $10 a bottle plus a 20% case discount, Decopas could cost as little as $8  a bottle.
That translates into a summer of enjoyment with a small investment.

The two wines I chose are from Decopas and harvested in Mendoza, Argentina.
Decopas 2014 Sauvignon Blanc: This wonderful white wine is made solely from the Sauvignon Blanc grape. It is fermented in stainless steel. The grapes are hand harvested. Alcohol content is 13.1%.
The color of the wine is clear with a golden hue. The aromas of grapefruit and melon are followed by floral overtones. My mouth lit up due its crisp, fresh minerality that lingered on my palate. Add a faint earthy quality to this wine and dollar for dollar this is a true value wine.
You may ask why I chose a Sauvignon Blanc from Argentina? Think about the alluvial soils, high altitude at the base of the Andes and its geographic location. Those are a couple of reason why I chose this wine.

The red wine I chose is the 2014 Decopas Malbec. Fresh, fruity and straight forward is how I would characterize this velvety wine. Its medium body and smooth mouth feel makes this acidic wine a perfect food wine. The grapes are hand harvested and aged for four months in stainless steel. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
This is a great value wine and a wine that can be served day after day. Maybe that’s called a ‘go to wine’?

Hopefully, these recommendations will work for you, as they did for me. It’s time to get a jump on summer before all of the good summer wines are gone.

Philip S. Kampe

Monday, April 27, 2015

Have you ever attended a Wine Auction? by Philip S. Kampe

         CEO and Auctioneer John Kapon heads the Acker Merrall and Condit auction team

It was early Saturday morning.
I was wide awake and invigorated well before 6am.

Maybe it was the excitement of attending an Acker Merrall & Condit “Wine Auction” that got the better of me.  I was anticipating where I would be in four hours.

The plan was simple, I would meet Ron Kapon, a relative of the venerable Acker Merrall CEO and chief auctioneer, John Kapon., at the auction site, Michelin starred Marea restaurant on Central Park South in Manhattan. We would sit together, as both friends and journalists, and survey the situation. This was new for me and commonplace for Ron. He was a veteran of wine auctions, as most Kapon family members are.

I arrived early and was presented with Paddle 55, after a brief check that my credit card information was valid. I am a veteran of country auctions, where price tags rarely go into the thousands.

This auction was different.
Each wine is sold in a lot, either singly or by multiples of bottles. The estimated price range was always posted for each lot. If an opening bid was too low or did not exist, the lot would be passed over.

Ron Kapon arrived and joined me at the table. The waiters poured water as we chatted. I only had two hours to devote to the auction, as I had previous plans that could not be broken. If there is a next time, I will stay for lunch ($95) and bring a bottle of wine for the table (that is customary, according to Ron).

The lots were selling at a fast pace, as we talked. Ron explained his relatives philosophy regarding wine. John believes that you should buy the best and invest in top brands. The producers name is the key to success in long term investing. Some of the famous producers include Petrus, Latour, Lafite, Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Giacosa and Screaming Eagle. Ron went on to say that the general rule is to buy bottles to drink and cases to put away. Known as OWC’s, original wood cases add value for long-term investors. Magnums of great wines are great investments.

According to Ron, CEO John Kapon stresses that temperature control is essential for storing wines. The less the movement of the bottles, the better.
                                                             My paddle, # 55

In a nutshell, Ron gave me a Wine Auction 101 briefing.

In observing the auctioneers, I noticed that each auctioneer was responsible for a certain number of lots to sell. The first auctioneer was Samantha Compono, a quick witted, intelligent and obviously caring auctioneer, who made the crowd comfortable with each of the first 140 lots that she sold. Samantha was followed by Truly Hardy, who was the set-up man for the final auctioneer, John Kapon.
The auction barely started and it was time for me to go and dream about the next Acker Merrall & Condit auction in New York.

Maybe paddle 55 will be active in the future?

To learn more about the wine auction at Acker Merrall and Condit, visit www.ackerwines.com

Philip S. Kampe

Sunday, April 26, 2015

PISCO--Peru's answer to the Spirits World by Philip S. Kampe


Some spirits are destined to become great cocktail mixers.  Others are made to drink on their own.I have a love affair with certain spirits which I drink on their own, Grappa, Scotch, Bourbon, Armagnac and Calvados.

Others sometimes fall into another category which elevates the spirits profile when mixed with other ingredients. Pisco is possibly at the top of the heap.

Have you ever sampled a Pisco Sour or my favorite,  a subtly spicy, jalapeño laden Piscoff?  If not, maybe today is your day.

You may ask, what is Pisco?  


Pisco is a distilled beverage made from the must of grapes and is the national drink of Peru. In the late 1550’s, the Spanish began to plant and harvest grapes in the southern region of Peru.

Pisco came into being as a way to use Peru's prized grapes (there are eight varietals permitted today with DO standards). The distilled grapes were turned into a high-proof spirit.

Today, Pisco, is made in designated regions from a variety of approved grapes that are fermented and turned into a wine with high alcohol, similar to Brandy.

The popularity of Pisco increased when sailors transported Pisco to Spain. It was named Pisco after the name of the port where the sailors picked up the product.

Pisco has survived for over 450 years due to its high quality, low price and availability.

Today, Pisco is made from  a  variety of grapes, which are fermented, rested for a minimum of three months in glass, stainless steel or any vessel that dos not alter its properties  and then it is distilled.

The Peruvians refer to aging as resting.
Pisco is then bottled after resting in a vessel that will not alter the aroma, flavor or appearance.
By law, the alcoholic content can vary from 76-96 proof (38%-48% alcohol).

There are several styles of Pisco. The style is Puro, made from single varietals, spcifically the Quebranta grape. This is the most exported style of Pisco.The name of the grape used for Puro is always listed on the label of the bottle.

As a new Pisco fan, I would like to share bartender Christian Asca of Panca (NYC) recipe of my “Favorite Pisco Cocktail”, the Piscoff.

My first tasting experience of  this cocktail was at an event titled” 7 PISCOS: 14 COCKTAILS”.
Piscoff was one of those cocktails.

Spice plays a major part in my life, certainly due to my New Orleans background.  The Piscoff Cocktail captures all that my palate desires—freshness, spice and sweetness. In my judgement, the Piscoff is the perfect cocktail.

  Wanna sample a La Diablada cocktail, aptly titled, 'Girl With A Pomegranate Cocktail'?

Here is how you make a PISCOFF
Mix three pieces of .sliced jalapeño and a dozen leaves of cilantro together and muddle them.
Add 2 ounces of Pisco, 1/3 ounce of fresh lime juice and a 1/3 ounce of triple sec.
Add a splash of agave syrup.
Add ice and shake vigorously.
Pour into a martini glass and garnish with cilantro and a slice of jalapeno.

What could be better as both a year-round  drink or a summer sizzler?

If you are a Pisco fan or just want to  learn more about Pisco, visitt: www.naturallperu.info .

Philip S. Kampe

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

LUIZ ALBERTO, #1 #WINELOVER in the World Wants To Meet You in Manhattan posted by Philip S. Kampe

Attention all Chianti Wine Lovers! 
LUIZ ALBERTO is not asleep at the wheel.
He is memorizing facts about Chianti to share with
you in New York City on April 27th

                                                            Join me on April 27th

  Luiz Alberto fans, experience the unmistakable taste of Italy returning to New York City in what has become an annual tradition. The Consorzio Vino Chianti will present over 30 different wineries to the trade, media and wine lovers on Monday, April 27, at the magnificent structure of the 20s, located in the heart of the trendy Chelsea District, The High Line Hotel.

The day-long event will start with a blind tasting and presentation “The Media’s Point of View: Chianti” led by an illustrious panel consisting of:
  • Ray Isle – Renowned journalist and executive Wine Editor of “Food and Wine Magazine”
  • LUIZ ALBRTO – Charismatic founder and CEO of the popular blog, “The Wine Hub”
  • Sarah Bray – Passionate journalist and contributor to “The Somm Journal”
  • Giovanni Busi – President of the Consorzio Vino Chianti and owner of Villa Travignoli
The content discussed during the seminar will cover Chianti in various communication channels, and the expert’s point of view.

In the afternoon, the gothic influenced Refectory ballroom at The High Line Hotel will be the setting for a walk around wine tasting. More than 30 wineries from one of Italy's finest regions will pour their latest releases exclusively for the trade and media from 1 pm to 5 pm. In the evening, from 6 pm to 8 pm, the tasting will open to #ChiantiLovers and Snooth Media subscribers offering them the opportunity to choose and taste from a wide selection of labels offered by the Consortium and engage first-hand with the winery producers.

Even as a young and fresh wine, Chianti aims to reach the highest quality.  All these elements can be found in the commitment the Consortium is vastly carrying out to spread its culture and history, which can be found inside and outside the glass. A concept of territory and a denomination that wants to express quality along strong lasting emotions.

Consorzio Vino Chianti participating wineries in NYC include an exciting array of the familiar and new:
Agricola Pugliano, Agricola Tamburini, Azienda Agricola Castel di Pugna, Azienda Agricola Lanciola, Cantina Sociale Colli Fiorentini – Valvirginio, Cantine L'Arco, Castello del Trebbio, Castelvecchio, Colognole, Fabrizio Forconi - Podere dell'Anselmo, Fattoria Casalbosco, Fattoria Dianella, Fattoria Il Colombaio, Fattoria Sant'Appiano, Guidi 1929, Le Fonti a San Giorgio, Malenchini, Piandaccoli, Pietraserena, Pietro Beconcini Agricola, Pieve de' Pitti, Ruffino, San Gervasio, Tenuta Bichi Borghesi, Tenuta Il Corno, Tenuta San Jacopo, Tenuta San Vito, Tenute di Fraternita, Uggiano, Val di Botte, Villa Artimino, Villa Travignoli, Vino Sorelli, Viticoltori Senesi Aretini.
The program is as follows:

11.00am – 12.30pm (The Rusack Room) Seminar/Guided Tasting “The Media’s Point of View: Chianti”

followed by a lunch buffet

1.00pm – 5.00pm (The Refectory) - Walk-around wine tasting open to trade and press

6.00pm – 8.00pm (The Refectory) - Walk-around wine tasting open to Snooth Media & wine lovers

The Chianti Wine Consortium was established in 1927 by a group of wine producers in the Provinces of Florence, Siena, Arezzo and Pistoia. Subsequently the Consortium expanded its operations to include the whole production area recognized by the 1967 Regulations, later assimilated into the Guaranteed Registered Designation of Origin (DOCG) recognized in 1984 and updated, for the last time, with a decree dated 19th June 2009.

The Consortium protects over 3600 producers, working more than 15,500 hectares of vineyards, producing in excess of 800,000 hectoliters of Chianti wine of various zones and typologies and has been attributed the “ERGA OMNES” recognition for its representative status. It was charged with carrying out functions regarding consumer information, protection, promotion and valorization, as well as the general care of interests related to D.O.C.G. “Chianti”, through a Decree issued by the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies on September 3rd 2012.
Learn more by visiting www.consorziovinochianti.it
For more information, please visit www.ieemusa.com.
Philip S. Kampe


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

SATYR Picks...the Best Small Wine Portfolio in America b Philip S. Kampe

It happens.

On a busy wine tasting day, I had a feeling that the lack of internet presence for the wines from SATYR was a marketing ploy. If you Google SATYR and the word Wine, you come up with very little information. I wanted to crack the code and attended a tasting of their wines in a small covered outdoor room at the Margaux restaurant in Greenwich Village (New York).

I had come from a huge 'Pinot in the City' tasting, as well as the Ole Imports portfolio tasting at the Cervantes Institute. Both tastings were exceptional, but, no surprises.

SATYR was going to be the surprise--at least I had hoped so.

From the first sip to the last, the SATYR PICKS portfolio tasting brought under $40 a bottle wholesale price wine to a new level of lushness. Each wine was carefully picked, so, it could show like none other in the same category.

And I did break the code--you can find their wines at www.SatyrPicks.com

Philip S. Kampe

Monday, April 13, 2015

Rebel Winemaker, Roberto Anselmi, is a Winemaking Genius by Philip S. Kampe


                                    Winemaker extraordinaire, Roberto Anselmi

Italian white wines are always of interest to me.

Yes, we all know how wonderful the reds of Italy are. From north (Piedmont and Barolo) to the south (Puglia and Primitivo), classic red wines dot the map of all of the twenty provinces of Italy..

White wines have a little catching up to do.

Whites are a little short in numbers as compared to reds as far as world class wines from Italy. In fact, there is an interesting winemaker, Roberto Anselmi, from the Soave district, who decided to abandon the districts confines (Soave DOC) and make his whites under the Veneto IGT.  You must ask why did he do this?

Mr. Anselmi wants his whites to be recognized as world class wines. To reach his goal he had to lay down the foundation and become independent of Soave DOC.

The locals consider him a rebel who declared his independence from Soave and now has a different allegiance, where he is his own winemaking authority. His interest, as I mentioned earlier, lies solely in elevating the quality of white wines from the area.

His path of independence has drawn national attention to Roberto since 2000.

Recently, Roberto was in New York. I took the opportunity to schedule a luncheon meeting with him to learn about his ongoing project.

The day of the meeting arrived. Roberto was a no show. Jet lag and a tainted meal was the reason, according to his daughter, Lisa Anselmi, who substituted for her father.

We dined, talked about Ansemi and sampled four amazing wines with our wine friendly meal at a beautiful, upscale, Italian restaurant in midtown Manhattan.

Lisa shared her families story about her father’s rebel attitude and his winemaking skills. Lisa said, “In 2000.my father wrote an open letter to the Soave Consorzio making them aware of his intentions to withdraw from Soave DOC and have his wines labeled with Veneto IGT. He was tired and quite frustrated with the low quality and lack of ambition of his fellow Soave DOC winemakers. His goal was and today still is, to produce world-class white wines from, what he considers the best property in Soave”.

The wines we sampled were true indications of what can be achieved when quality is chosen over quantity, which was the rule in 2000 when Roberto pardoned himself from the Soave winemakers.

Single vineyard wines, fanatical attention to detail, modernization and high hillsides for the estate grown Garganega grape to thrive are just some of the factors that have made Anselmi wines a stand out.
                                                              Lisa Anselmi

Anselmi produces four wines that can be purchased throughout North America.

The most popular wine ($17) is 2013 San Vincenzo: 80% Garganega, 10% Chardonnay, 10% Sauvignon Blanc. The medium-bodied, citrusy wine is a crowd pleaser and a perfect wine to pair with all types of seafood. Volcanic soil and limestone set the stage for this well-balanced wine loaded with minerality.

2013 Capitel Foscarino ($24) is a wine with a beautiful hue of light straw with golden highlights. The grapes, 90% Garanega and 10% Chardonnay, are from a single vineyard. Fresh mineral notes on my palate collide with crisp lime, peach and sour apples flavors. The richness of this exceptional wine  pairs well with grilled vegetables and grilled seafood.

2013 Capitel Croce ($29) is made from 100% Garanega. It exemplifies what limestone and used French Oak can do in the hands of Roberto Anselmi. Dry, complex, spicy, creamy and rich are only a few words that describe this golden wine . Capitel Croce pairs well with heavier foods like pates, veal, pork and even lamb on Easter (which I tried).

2011 I Capitelli, 375ml, ($39) is one of those classic dessert wines that is made only on selective years. Made from 100% Garanega, this rich, deep golden, amber wine is like a magnet. With its classic honey and white peach flavor, like a honeybee, I keep circling back to the nest to sample more and more of this true nectar of the Gods.

                                                     Anselmi 2013 Capitel Croce


                                                      Anselmi 2013 I Capitelli

Summing up the winemaking skills of Roberto Anselmi is an easy assignment. He strives for the best and reaches his goal consistently with his ‘above average portfolio’.

If you have the opportunity to purchase any of the Anselmi wines at your local wine merchant, don’t miss the opportunity. 
It is money well spent…..

Philip S. Kampe


18 PASS the Advanced Sommelier Exam adopted by Philip S. Kampe


Jake Lewis of Momofuku in Toronto Takes Home the Rudd Scholarship

(Napa CA) April 13, 2015—Three days of intense examination culminated with eighteen new names being added to the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas list of individuals who have passed the Advanced Sommelier Exam.

Two women and sixteen men passed the exam, which was held April 7-9 at the Hotel Monaco in Portland, OR. 66 candidates from 14 states and Canada sat for the exam, which is the third in a series of four increasingly challenging tests of knowledge and skill offered by the Court. At this level, candidates with a superior understanding of wine theory and beverage service, as well as a highly sophisticated tasting ability, are distinguished from the thousands of wine service professionals who attempt the Court's exams on a yearly basis.

Of the eighteen passers, one rose to the top as the exam's highest scorer: Jake Lewis of Momofuku in Toronto, Ontario earned the Rudd Scholarship, which is offered by the Guild of Sommeliers, providing $5,000 in funds toward the coursework needed to prepare for the Masters Exam and an invitation to attend the prestigious Rudd Masters Roundtable in Napa Valley, California.

By the time candidates reach the Advanced Examination, most have already invested years of study, in addition to significant time working in and around the beverage industry. From here, many will set their sights on the Court's Master Sommelier Diploma Exam, which just 220 individuals worldwide have ever managed to pass.

"We are pleased and honored to welcome these eighteen exceptional professionals to the level of Advanced Sommelier," said Andy McNamara, Chairman of the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas. "It is a fantastic accomplishment, and they should all be extremely proud of their achievements."

The complete list of candidates who passed the Advanced Exam in Portland follows:
•    Nicholas Barb, The Little Nell Hotel (Aspen, CO )
•    Daniel Beedle, Juni Restaurant (New York, NY)
•    Ashley Broshious, Brix Restaurant and Gardens (Napa, CA)
•    Nick Davis, Canlis (Seattle, WA)
•    Kelvin DeBoer, Sidney Frank Importing Co. (Seattle, WA)
•    James Deleon, Kroger Company (Houston, TX)
•    Christopher Dooley, L'Espalier (Somerville, MA)
•    Michael Freeman, Vintner Select (Dayton, OH)
•    Brent Jones, Grill 23 (Boston, MA)
•    Brandon Kerne, Bar Italia Ristorante (Saint Louis, MO)
•    Jake Lewis, Momofuku (Toronto, Ontario)
•    Daniel Miller, Del Frisco's (Fort Worth, TX)
•    Anthony Minne, Plum Market (Chicago, IL)
•    Nathaniel Munoz, Aubergine at L'Auberge (Carmel Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA)
•    Paul Ozbirn, Parkside Projects (Austin, TX)
•    Steven Robinson, Atelier Restaurant (Ottawa, Ontario)
•    Jennifer Schmitt, Everest (Chicago, IL)
•    Carl Villeneuve Lepage, Restaurant Toqué! (Montreal, Québec)

The Court of Master Sommeliers was established in England in 1977 to encourage improved standards of beverage knowledge and service in hotels and restaurants. The first Master Sommelier Diploma Exam to be held in the United States was in 1987. The title Master Sommelier marks the highest recognition of wine and spirits knowledge, beverage service abilities, and professionalism in the hospitality trade. Education was then, and remains today, the Court's charter. There are four stages involved in attaining the top qualifications of Master Sommelier: 1) Introductory Sommelier Course; 2) Certified Sommelier Exam; 3) Advanced Sommelier Course; and 4) Master Sommelier Diploma. There are 140 professionals who have earned the title of Master Sommelier as part of the Americas chapter since the organization's inception. Of those, 119 are men and 21 are women. There are 220 professionals worldwide who have received the title of Master Sommelier since the first Master Sommelier Diploma Exam.
For more information, please visit www.mastersommeliers.org.

Philip S. Kampe


Friday, April 10, 2015

When the West meets the West: California Craftsmanship meets Australian Character by Philip S. Kampe

           TWO LANDS--An Australian and California Winemaking Joint Venture

‘Two Lands’, the name on the new Jacob’s Creek bottle says it all. It represents wine made in Australia with California sensibility.

Let me explain.

Rumor has it that Jacob’s Creek of Australia contacted California winemaker Ehren Jordan of Failla fame, to work with Jacob’s Creeks chief winemaker, Bernard Hickin to create the Two Lands brand.

According to winemaker Bernard Hickin, “Two Lands represents a California expression of Australian wine. The wine unites my passion for varietal expression with Ehren’s California flair—resulting in an Australian wine of vibrant character, with a silky texture that mirrors the hallmark of great California wines”.

American winemaker, Ehren Jordan, says,“ Two Lands represents a unique collaboration where Australian fruit, bursting with character and flavor, meets California winemaking craft”.

The result of the venture is Two Lands, a wine made for the American palate and marketed exclusively to America, with a suggested retail price for all four varieties of $13.99 per bottle.

Sampling the four single varieties, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz found my palate dancing in the street. Each wine was distinctive, had its own character and personality. In essence, all of the wines were affordable crowd pleasers.

                                                             Pinot Grigio 2014
 Jacon's Creek 2014 Two Lands Pinot Grigio is a fresh, lively food wine, made for seafood, chicken and light snacks. Winemaker Ehren Jordon sums up the wine this way, "This is a refreshingly crisp Pinot Grigio with ripe pear, quince and lemon citrus overtones and a delicate soft sweetness on the finish".

                                                           Chardonnay 2014

 Jacob's Creek Two Lands 2014 Chardonnay is a great example of a flavorful, well made wine that is curious on the palate. When west meets the west with Chardonnay, California style in mind, this delicious wine is the result. Mr. Jordon explains this vintage: " This wine is a soft, generous Chardonnay with ripe melon and white peach flavors, balanced with a touch of zesty citrus and finished with a hint of subtle oak".

                                                       Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Winemaker Ehren Jordon comments on the Jacob's Creek Two Lands 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon. He says, " This wine is a generous, rich and smooth Cabernet with notes of blackberry and plum, balanced perfectly with a hint of oak". Yes, to me, it is what winemaker Jordon says and even more. I found the wine to be silky, medium-bodied, with traces of black pepper, dark cherry and cocoa on the palate. It is both a food wine and one that could stand on its own. I would cellar a couple bottles of  the wine until 2018 and taste the results.

                                                                   Shiraz 2013

The Jacob's Creek Two Lands 2013 Shiraz is a masterpiece. It is overly flavorful, full of depth and a show stopper for a reasonable price. Hands down, the Shiraz was the overall favorite of thirty fellow bloggers who had the opportunity to sample this wine. Winemaker, Ehren Jordon concurs: " This wine is a full-bodied, flavorful Shiraz showing ripe red berry fruits, subtle oak and a generous, prolonged finish".

Australian ingenuity plays a big factor in the success of this project. If I were you, I would grab a bottle before it disappears.

Philip S. Kampe


Saturday, April 4, 2015

Easter Wine Selections by Kollin Kozlowski posted by Philip S. Kampe

                          Kollin Kozlowski of Dalton, Ma. Package Store Eastr Wine Selections

Montinore Borealis Blend 2013
This "tweener" blend is lightly sweet and aromatic. Perfect starter of with you meal.
Freemark Viognier 2012
Perfect balance, notes of fresh flowers, exotic spice and a hint of cream.
Passitivo Primitivo 2013
#1 Red of the Berkshire Tasting Panel Winter Wine Challenge.
Smooth, supple with notes of raisin, cinnamon and clove.
Michael & David Petite Petit 2012
Dark, inky, rich and brooding with velvety tannins.
Davis Family Pinot Noir Soul Patch 2012
Single Vineyard Russian River Pinot that is drop dead gorgeous!

Melschimer Riesling Trocken 2012 Mosel
This Riesling is bone dry, racy and minerally with a hint of waxiness.
Vincent Girardin Rully Vielle Vignes 2012
Vibrant notes of red delicious apple, a deep core of mineral and light spicy oak.
H&M Hofer Zweigelt 2013
Elegant, fruity and earthy, perfect for gamey lamb.
Casa Silva Carmenere 2013
Medium bodied, with notes of pepper, caraway seed and dark chocolate.
Rocca Giovanni  Barolo 2010
Classic Old World earthy notes mingle with roses, smoke and bing cherry.


Kollin Kozlowski, CSW
Wine Director
Kelly's Package Store

Philip S. Kampe

Easter Wine Selections from Wine Buyer Xavier Letteron posted by Philip S. Kampe

    Xavier Letteron, wine buyer at Nejaime's (Lenox & Stockbridge, Ma), Easter Wine Selections

Lamb has a rustic and powerful taste. It calls for spicy, tannic, and bolder wines to be able to sustain and complement its flavor.

Here are our suggestions:
  • Any spicy and earthy Cotes du Rhone or a more powerful Grenache/Syrah blend as the Vacqueyras Domaine D'Ouria 2012 at $32.99.
  • A more plummy and jammy Syrah from Australia: either the Boxer from Mollydooker at $27.99 or the Layer Cake Shiraz at $16.99 currently on sale at $12.99.
  • A oaky and tannic Napa Cabernet Sauvignon: the Girard 2012 at $29.99 or the B-Side at $24.99 currently on sale at $19.99.
  • A bold Malbec loaded with black fruit: the gorgeous Ben Marco Expressivo 2011 at $39.99 or the regular Ben Marco Malbec at $19.99 currently on sale at $15.99.
  • A tannic and powerful Barolo: the Brovia Barolo 2010 at $54.99.
Pork due to his soft and light sweetness can be paired with some white and mid bodied red wines.

Here are our suggestions:
  • Light buttery Chardonnay: La Crema Sonoma Chardonnay at $22.99 currently on sale at $18.99
  • Elegant Willamette Pinot Noir: the Montinori 2012 at $18.99 or the fruitier Wine by Joe Dobbes at $17.99
  • Soft and fruity Merlot: Coppola Merlot Blue label at $17.99 currently on sale at $14.99
  • Light and juicy Beaujolais: the Beaujolais 2013 from Chateau Lavernette at $17.99 made by our Lenox native Kerrie De boissieu born O'Brien.

Philip S. Kampe

Last minute Easter Wine and Food Recommendations by guest Dawn G. Land postd by Philip S. Kampe

Selections for Easter from Dawn G. Land

Spring is not off to such a great start – more snow and cold.  With all the white, brown and black of the past months, I’m in the mood for a little green.  Asparagus, leeks, fresh peas and beans – the ideas below are for a multi-course meal that celebrates the best of Spring ingredients.  Happy Easter!

Spring Vegetables with Bagna Cauda or Bruschetta of Spring Vegetables
Both of these dishes include bright, zippy lemon, asparagus, fava beans and garlic.  With the anchovy in the Bagna Cauda, I was thinking of a savory wine that would hold up to bold flavors like Fiano or a structured Rose.  I like the idea of starting a meal with something bubbly and refreshing.  The bruschetta has very straightforward flavors that would pair well with a grassy Sauvignon Blanc or a citrusy Champagne or sparkling wine.

Suggestions: Mastroberardino Fiano di Avellino, Ca del Bosco Franciacorte Brut Cuvee Prestige Rose for the Bagna Cauda or Seresin Sauvignon Blanc, Piper Sonoma Brut for the Bruschetta.

Creamy Asparagus Soup with Lemon Dumplings or Chilled Zucchini Soup with Purslane
The creamy asparagus soup has bright, acidic dumplings to balance.  As a result, the wine pairing can be either an oaked Chardonnay that has more of a citrus backbone than a tropical fruit core or a pinot gris would also work wonderfully.  The chilled zucchini soup is a vibrant bright green punched up with lemon juice.  A great foil would be Albarino – as this is a bright, flavorful wine that can carry a chilled soup with grassy purslane or spicy baby arugula notes.  Gruner Veltliner is a very food friendly varietal with notes of apricot and white pepper.  It would add a lush, spicy character that would pair very well with the zucchini.

Suggestions: Hartford Court “Four Hearts” Chardonnay, Ponzi Pinot Gris for the Creamy Asparagus Soup or Do Ferreiro Albarino, Sohm and Kracher Gruner Veltliner for the Chilled Zucchini Soup

Spring Panzanella with Asparagus or Kohlrabi, Fennel, and Blueberry
These are very disparate salads.  The panzanella requires a racy wine to stand up to the mustard greens, radish, asparagus and hard cooked eggs.  I like the idea of a zippy rose or the slightly petillant txakolina.  Both wines will act as a palate cleanser and marry well with the red onion.  The kohlrabi salad has ginger, almonds, shallot, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard and white balsamic vinegar.  A more delicate style of rose that has an earthy character would pair very nicely as would a saline, mineral muscadet.

Suggestions: Miraval Cotes de Provence Rose Pitt-Jolie Perrin, Ulacia Txakolina for the Panzanella or Domaines Ott Bandol and Domaine la Haute Fevrie Muscadet 

Herb Fazzoletti with Asparagus or Parsnip Triangoli with Aged Balsamic Vinegar
Parsley, Chives, Tarragon and Chervil marry with Burrata in the Herb Fazzoletti.  With the herbs and the creaminess from the cheese, I like the idea of Godello or Riesling.  Both would punch up the flavors of the pasta sauce without overwhelming it.  With a little kick of acidity, the dish would meld seamlessly.  The sweetness of parsnip and aged balsamic marries with chives and parsley in this wonderful pasta dish.  Chenin Blanc or Viognier will add complexity and richness and will bring out the earthy sweetness of the parsnip.

Suggestions: A. Coroa Godello, Hugel Riesling Jubilee for the Herb Fazzoletti or Eric Morgat Savennieres L’Eclos, E. Guigal Condrieu for the Parsnip Triangoli

Halibut with Mixed Beans or Salt Baked Branzino with Citrus, Fennel and Herbs
Cranberry beans, fava beans, haricot verts, sugar snap peas and baby peas in a buttery sauce – what could be better with halibut?  The pairing for this would be a complex Pinot Grigio (they do exist) or Chablis.  The wine should be clean and unoaked.  You definitely want acidity cutting through the buttery sauce.  The branzino already has a fair amount of acidity from the orange and lemon slices in the cavity.  This dish should be paired with something lightly oaked and toasty.  Bordeaux blanc or a Greek white would go very well with the branzino.

Suggestions: Jermann Pinot Grigio, William Fevre Vaudesir Chablis for the Halibut or Les Hauts de Smith Blanc, Biblia Chora Estate White for the Branzino

Grilled Flank Steak with Corn, Tomato and Asparagus Salad (and Morels!) or Boudin Blanc with Leeks & Mustard Sauce
The grilled steak has so much going on and the colors – bright yellow, red and green are just the antidote necessary to a brutal winter.  This dish looks like summer on a plate.  Cabernet Franc will add a pleasing bell peppery flavor to the bright salad while marrying very nicely with the garlic-infused marinade on the steak.  A good Brunello will add spice and punch up the flavorful dish.  The Boudin Blanc is taking the meal in a different direction.  Mashed potatoes, leeks and a mustard sauce complement the sausage.  I like the idea of serving a lighter-style red wine – Pinot Noir or Gamay.

Suggestions: Wolffer Estate Cabernet Franc Caya, La Gerla Brunello di Montalcino with the steak or Michel Lafarge Volnay Vendanges Selectionnees, Domaine de Prion Fleurie “La Madone” for the Boudin Blanc

Pistachio Meringues with Lemon Cream and Berries or Lemon, Poppy and Chevre Cheesecakes with Rhubarb
The meringues have a slight green color from the pistachios and make a perfect ending to an already green meal.  I like keeping the same flavors throughout a meal and having a running theme.  It makes buying wine easier – since one wine would likely work with every dish.  The meringues feature a lemon cream with barriers.  Since this is a sweet/sour dessert, I would pair it with a New World take on Sauternes or a complex, sweet sherry.  The individual cheesecakes with the lemon and rhubarb will need a Tokaji or and Ice wine to complement the chevre.
Suggestions: Dolce, Lustau Solera Reserve East India for the Pavlova or Royal Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos “Red Label”, Inniskillin Riesling Ice Wine for the cheesecakes
Philip S. Kampe

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