December Sweet Club

Sweet Wine ClubKiona Red Mountain Ice WineKiona Vineyards
Chenin Blanc Ice Wine
Red Mountain AVA
Washington

NECTAR WINE STYLE

While the Red Mountain AVA is known for big, powerful red wine, it’s also an exceedingly good place to grow white varietals. The Kiona Estate Vineyard has four acres of Chenin Blanc planted in a depression, ensuring a consistent freeze year-in, year-out. We don’t pick Ice Wine until the grapes are naturally frozen in the vineyard, typically picking in the early morning hours before the sun rises.

Ice Wine is one of the world’s most elusive and delicious elixirs. Kiona prefers to use Chenin Blanc, a varietal that allows for robust acidity and intense green and tropical fruit flavors. Kiona’s philosophy with this wine is to emphasize acidity over outright sweetness, a tactic that ensures a balanced, crisp wine that dances on the tongue.

Food Pairing Recommendations: Ideal with fruit desserts, including pastries and tarts.

WineStyles’ Wine and Cheese Pairing: Sweet wines from our ‘Nectar’ section pair well with an herbal cheese, such as a gorgonzola. Learn more about our wine and cheese pairings here.

Analysis:
9% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.26
TA:
8.63 g/L
Residual Sugars: 175 g/L
Vineyard Source: 100% Kiona Estate, Red Mountain, Washington
Vineyard Blocks Planted: 1976, 1983
Varietal Composition: 100% Chenin Blanc
Winemaking: 100% Stainless, 31.3º Brix @ Harvest

PRODUCTION: Heat accumulation tracked slightly behind the previous vintage on Red Mountain. Bloom occurred slightly ahead of historical averages, and during ideal weather conditions. Crop loads were heavy going into the summer, resulting in the need to perform additional thinning. Weather during harvest (September-October) was ideal. It’s a stellar high acid and high sugar vintage.

Photo by John Vitale of Washington Tasting

Photo by John Vitale of Washington Tasting Room Magazine


ABOUT THE VINEYARD:
While Red Mountain is known for big, powerful red wines, it’s also an exceedingly good place to grow white varietals. The Kiona Estate vineyard has four acres of Chenin Blanc planted in a depression, increasing the likelihood that we are able to produce Ice Wine. They don’t pick the grapes until they are naturally frozen in the vineyard, a process that concentrates the sugar and flavor to unprecedented levels.

ABOUT THE WINERY:
In 1975 John Williams and Jim Holmes’ families planted the first vineyard on Red Mountain, an area now known for producing some of the world’s most powerful, opulent wines of distinction. For three generations their families have worked side by side, hand in hand to craft exciting, vineyard-driven wines that capture the essence of Red Mountain. Learn more about Kiona Vineyards here.

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Sweet Club

Skylark Red Belly

Down Home Dig-in Chili

© Bewitching Kitchen

© Bewitching Kitchen

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 lbs stewing beef, chopped
  • 2 lbs pork shoulder (Boston butt), chopped
  • 4 cans (14 1/2 ounces) stewed tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bottle pale ale (12 ounce)
  • 7 Tbsp chili powder
  • 4 jalapeno chilies, seeded
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Hot pepper sauce (Tabasco type), to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  • Heat the oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add finely chopped onions, bell peppers, celery, and garlic and sauté until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Remove vegetables using slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Increase heat to high. Add beef and pork; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until browned, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Return vegetables to pot. Add tomatoes, ale, chili powder chilies, cayenne and cumin. Reduce heat, cover partially and simmer 2 hours, adding reserved tomato liquid if chili appears dry. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Uncover and simmer until thickened and meat is tender, 2 more hours.
  • Season chili with hot pepper sauce. Serve with green onions, cheddar cheese, avocado and sour cream.
  • © Photo courtesy of Bewitching Kitchen; Recipe from Bon Appétit, 1988

DECEMBER WINE CLUB:

Mellow style logoSkylark Red BellySkylark Wine Company
Red Belly

North Coast, California

MELLOW WINE STYLE

Purple in the glass. Aromas of black cherry, plum, black licorice and a violet floral top note completes the engaging and complex nose. The red and black fruits on the palate turn creamy, silky and supple; as the medium-bodied palate is polished with lovely fruit viscosity buffered by inner mouth perfume. This is an eminently drinkable vintage for Red Belly, enjoyable now and for the next decade.

Red Belly is Skylark’s ode to the South of France where blending varietals to create a unique synergy is the way of life. Blending compatible varietals together is a centuries old tradition, and the Skylark team loves the challenges and complexities that come with that tradition. The Red belly is comprised of 40% Niemi Vineyard Carignane, 36% Ashurst Vineyard Syrah and 24% Sawyer Vineyard Grenache. Each varietal is fermented separately, then after secondary fermentation in barrel, the cepage is finalized after multiple blending sessions. The goal for Red Belly is juicy fruit, integrated tannins and early accessibility with mid-term aging potential. Skylark has definitely have achieved that here.

John L and Robert P

Photo by Skylark Wine: John L. and Robert P.

Varietal: 40% Carignan, 36% Syrah, 24% Grenache
Analysis:
14.5% alcohol / volume
pH:
3.61
TA: 6.2
Aging: Native yeast vinification of individual varietals in neutral French oak

Harvested: Hand-picked
Vineyards: Niemi Vineyard – Ashurst Vineyard – Sawyer Vineyard
Produced: 37 barrels – 925 cases

“While we continuously explore the fertile California landscape for red wine vineyards that excite us, our current releases are native to the Rhone Valley in France. Our single vineyard Syrahs are inspired by the Northern Rhone wines of Cote Rotie and Hermitage. Our Grenache is reflective of the great wines produced in the south of France in tiny villages such as Chateauneuf-du-Pape. We love the style of these wines and have discovered vineyards in Northern California that allow these varietals to truly shine.”

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Skylark Pinot Blanc

Creamy Lemon Pappardelle with Scallops

Creamy Lemon Scallop Pasta

© Spices in my DNA

INGREDIENTS:

For the scallops

  • 1 pound jumbo scallops, side muscle removed
  • small drizzle of olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • squeeze of lemon

For the pasta

  • 9 ounces pappardelle pasta
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
  • 4 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus extra for serving

DIRECTIONS:

For the scallops

  1. Make sure scallops are super dry, pat down thoroughly with paper towels until they’re dry. Season with pepper (no salt yet). Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a small drizzle of olive oil and the butter. Once melted, wipe out the pan so that only a thin layer of oil and butter remain. Sear the scallops on one side for about 2 minutes, or until a golden brown crust forms. Flip and sear on the other side for 1 minute or until just cooked through. Season with salt and a squeeze of lemon.

For the pasta

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt the water generously. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Be sure to scoop out the pasta water during the last few minutes of cooking, or right before you drain it.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and olive oil. Once melted and hot, add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds to 1 minute until fragrant, stirring constantly. If it seems too hot, reduce the heat to medium (you don’t want the garlic to brown). Add the reserved pasta water (start with 1/4 cup), mascarpone, ricotta, parmesan, and lemon zest, and stir until melted and creamy. Add the pasta and toss until coated. If the sauce seems too dry, add another splash of pasta water and toss until desired consistency is reached. Add the chopped basil and toss again. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve the scallops over the pasta, and garnish with extra fresh basil and parmesan. Enjoy!

© Recipe from Spices in my DNA

DECEMBER WINE CLUB:

Silky styleSkylark Wine Company
Pinot Blanc
Mendocino County, California

SILKY WINE STYLE

Light straw yellow in color. High-toned aromatics of lime peel, roasted lemon, Granny Smith apple and a complicating note of pebbled soil. Intense and penetrating on the palate, the flavors follow through with the roasted lemon and green apple enlivened by natural acidity. Deftly light and concentrated at the same time, with the crunchy fruit streaming into a palate-staining finish.

One of Skylark’s oldest vineyard sources is Bernie Orsi’s Pinot Blanc outside of Hopland in Mendocino, California. Originally planted by John Fetzer in the 1970s, John and Robert walked through the oldest block of this site in 2005. Impressed by the thick, stubby trunks and gnarled old vines, they signed on to purchase that section for harvest 2005.  They have now grown production to almost the entire vineyard for Skylark’s Pinot Blanc bottling. After picking, the fruit is whole cluster pressed into a tank, then racked to Mueller stainless steel barrels for fermentation. Stirred the lees once, blocked malolactic fermentation and bottled with a light filtration. No doubt, this vintage of Pinot Blanc will brighten your day.

John L and Robert P

Photo by Skylark Wine: John L. and Robert P.

Analysis: 13.2% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.28 g/L
TA: 7.1
Aging:
Whole cluster pressed and vinification in multiple stainless steel 75gl barrels

Harvested: Hand-picked
Vineyard: Orsi Vineyard
Cases Produced: 800

“To reflect our palates, the portfolio at Skylark includes crisp, flavorful, aromatic white wines and full-bodied, rich, spicy red wines. As we have long admired the beautiful white wines produced in Alsace and Austria, our Pinot Blanc is a California rendition of a classic European varietal.”

 

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December Wine Club Pairing Recipe

© Natasha's Kitchen

© Natasha’s Kitchen

The spice in Grenache begs to be paired with herb-heavy dishes such as roasted meats, vegetables and stews. This simple one-pot lamb stew is loaded with hearty, healthy ingredients perfect for the winter months. The lengthy simmering time in the oven makes the tender lamb morsels and vegetables just melt in your mouth.

Lamb Stew Recipe

  •  4 oz. bacon (4 strips, chopped into 1/4 inch strips)
  • 2 lbs. boneless leg of lamb or lamb shoulder trimmed of excess fat, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 Tbsp sea salt for the lamb plus 1 tsp for stew
  • 1 tsp black pepper for lamb plus 1/2 tsp for stew
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour or gluten free flour
  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 1/2 cups good red wine
  • 1 lb. button mushrooms thickly sliced
  • 4 cups low sodium beef broth or stock
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 lbs small yellow potatoes halved or quartered into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 medium carrots 10 oz, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch thick pieces
  • 1/4 cup parsley finely chopped for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a 5 quart dutch oven, sauté chopped bacon over medium heat until browned and fat released. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a large plate.
  2. While bacon cooks, season lamb pieces with 1/2 Tbsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup flour and toss to coat. Cook lamb in 2 batches in hot bacon grease over medium heat until browned (3-4 min per side) then transfer to the plate with bacon.
  3. Add diced onion and sauté 2 min. Add garlic and cook another minute, stirring constantly. Add 1 1/2 cups wine, scraping the bottom to deglaze. Add sliced mushrooms, bring to simmer then cook uncovered 10 min. Preheat Oven to 325˚F.
  4. Return bacon and lamb to pot and add 4 cups broth, 1 Tbsp tomato paste, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp dried thyme and 2 bay leaves. Stir in potatoes and carrots, making sure potatoes are mostly submerged in liquid. Bring to a boil then cover and carefully transfer to preheated oven at 325˚F for 1 hr and 45 min. When done, potatoes and lamb will be very tender.

© Recipe courtesy of Natasha of Natasha’s Kitchen.

DECEMBER WINE CLUB:

Bold wine Style logoSkylark GrenacheSkylark Wine Company
Grenache
Mendocino County, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

Ruby red in color. Juicy red fruit aromatics are interwoven with forest floor notes, though the red cherry fruit takes center stage. The palate delivers ripe cherry fruit flecked with a savory white pepper spice complexity. The spice notes then turn ripe and creamy on the finish leaving an impression of dark cocoa with a deft touch of barrel sweetness. Ethereal and exuberant.

Skylark Grenache is sourced from Charlie Sawyer’s beautiful vineyard high above Ukiah in Mendocino County, California. With clonal material sourced from Chateau de Beaucastel in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, this is one of the premier sites for Grenache in Northern California. Expertly farmed by Peter Chevalier, this classic vineyard has been our home for Grenache since the 2007 vintage. After green harvesting, the fruit is hand-picked, mainly de-stemmed and then fermented in an open top tank with daily punchdowns. A splash of 8% Syrah from the Rodgers Creek Vineyard lends a touch of color and spice. After secondary fermentation in seasoned French cooperage, it is then bottle unfined and unfiltered with minimal intervention.

Varietal: 92% Grenache, 8% Syrah
Analysis:
14.5% alcohol / volume
pH:
3.66
TA: 6.0
Aging: Native yeast vinification in neutral French oak
Harvested: 
Hand picked
Vineyard: Sawyer Vineyard – Rodgers Creek Vineyard

Produced: Six Barrels – 150 cases

ABOUT SKYLARK:
Skylark Wine Company is collaboration between Boulevard Restaurant wine directors John Lancaster and Robert Perkins. John and Robert have run the wine program at the acclaimed Boulevard Restaurant in San Francisco for the past fifteen years. During their tenure at Boulevard, they have built a close friendship, an inventory of wines from around the globe and a palate of tasting wines of the world from vintage to vintage. This partnership has created long-term relationships with the entire scope of the wine industry, from winemakers to vineyard managers to owners. With these relationships, their next logical progression was the realization of a dream: making fine wine from select vineyards in Northern California. While the original plan was simply a barrel, they jumped in with 14 barrels of Syrah from the 2002 harvest and the Skylark Wine Company was born.

John Lancaster

Photo by Skylark Wine: John Lancaster

ABOUT JOHN LANCASTER:
Co-proprietor of Skylark Wine Company, John Lancaster is a graduate of Washington State University in Pullman, Washington. His passion for wine grew while working in the restaurant industry and brought him to the culinary destination of San Francisco. As the Wine Director of the wildly eclectic Cypress Club, he was recognized by Wine Spectator for his wine list. For the past eleven years, John has been the Wine Director at the James Beard award winning Boulevard Restaurant. During his tenure at Boulevard, John has traveled extensively throughout the world’s wine regions studying wine production. In addition to his professional duties at Boulevard, John is also a professional wine judge and consultant. He resides in San Rafael with his wife and two daughters.

Robert Perkins

Photo by Skylark Wine: Robert Perkins

ABOUT ROBERT PERKINS:
Co-proprietor of Skylark Wine Company, is a graduate of Fine Art Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute. His paintings have been shown throughout the Bay Area: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art-Artist Gallery, Canessa Gallery and Mesh Gallery. His designs are featured on every Skylark Wine label. When Robert is not in his studio in San Francisco, he is pursuing his other creative outlet, wine. Robert has worked in the restaurant industry for 20 years and has worked at Greens in San Francisco, Willowside Café in Sonoma and at Boulevard Restaurant as a sommelier for the past nine years. With his expertise in the wine industry, Robert has been a wine consultant for several Bay Area restaurants. He has also worked hands-on in production at several small wineries including Nalle, Scherrer and Sean Thackrey. He resides in San Francisco with his wife Kristine.

“We strive to produce wines that crystallize our passion within each bottle. Because of our relationships with meticulous and respected grape growers, we have been able to produce wines of distinction and character that represent the best of what Northern California vineyards have to offer. We are proud of Skylark and hope to continue share these wines with family and friends, old and new.”

Wine club logoJoin our WINE CLUB and enjoy these amazing wines and pairing recipes each month. Plus, you’ll receive 10% off all retail wine purchases!

Learn More >

Winery Spotlight Series: Dec. 16th Chateau Musar


Chateau Musar Logo
Virtual Wine Tasting Event on Zoom and Facebook LIVE

Chateau Musar

Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

Wednesday, December 16, 2020
6:00pm CST / 7:00pm EST

Join us for a virtual Winery Spotlight tasting event, with Bartholomew Broadbent, featuring wines from Chateau Musar in Bekka Valley, Lebanon. During our virtual event, Bartholomew will be guiding us through a tasting of the following 7 wines:

Zoom Facebook Live

  • Musar Jeune White
  • Musar Jeune Rosé
  • Chateau Musar Blanc
  • Musar Jeune Red
  • Hochar Père Et Fils Red
  • Chateau Musar 2006
  • Chateau. Musar 2013

Be sure to RSVP at your local WineStyles location or on Eventbrite.  Pre-order your wines in advance at your local participating WineStyles location and taste alongside Bartholomew with a front seat on Zoom!  Or watch on our Facebook LIVE event. Chateau Musar Wines

About Chateau Musar:

In 1930, at just 20 years old, Gaston Hochar founded Chateau Musar, inspired by Lebanon’s ancient winemaking tradition and his travels in Bordeaux. His ‘wines with noblesse’ greatly impressed senior officers in the army following on from the French mandate of the 1920s. Major Ronald Barton, of Château Langoa-Barton, stationed in Lebanon during World War II became a great friend, strengthening the links between Chateau Musar and Bordeaux that remain to this day.

The wines of Chateau Musar are unique expressions from a country with an ancient wine-making culture, as vines have been cultivated from Lebanon’s high altitude Bekka Valley for over 6,000 years. The ancient city of Baalbek takes its name from the Phoenician fertility god, Baal. In turn, the Roman god Bacchus was worshipped here and the temples built in his honor remain the most perfectly preserved in the world. French in origin, the Hochar family arrived in Lebanon in the 12th Century, “Preux Chevaliers’ and have remained ever since. Learn more about Chateau Musar here.

Chateau Musar Vineyards

Photo by Chateau Musar: Vineyards

Bartholomew BroadbentFounder and CEO of Broadbent Selections

Bartholomew Broadbent

Bartholomew Broadbent

Broadbent Selections, Inc. was founded in 1996 by Bartholomew Broadbent, who established Premium Port Wines in 1986 and is considered responsible for the reintroduction of Madeira to the United States in 1989. The company acts as the U.S. national importer, distributor and representative for wineries from around the world. Bartholomew was named one of the “fifty most influential people in the wine world.” by Decanter Magazine (June 1997). Broadbent Selections, Inc. was nominated Importer of the Year in 2005 by Wine Enthusiast Magazine and was named one of the 100 fastest growing companies in 1998 by Entrepreneur Magazine and Dun & Bradstreet. Today, he has expanded from his pivotal role in the breathtaking growth of Port and Madeira to “exert a profound influence on the US wine market” says Decanter. 

Chateau Musar

Photo by: Chateau Musar

Let’s Taste, Learn and Enjoy® together! 

Contact your local WineStyles to RSVP for this tasting event.

Chateau Musar
Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

Cheers!

WineStyles.com

Winery Spotlight Series: Dec. 9th Skylark Wine Company

Skylark Wine Company Logo
Virtual Wine Tasting Event on Zoom and Facebook LIVE

Skylark Wine Company

Wednesday, December 9, 2020
6:00pm CST / 7:00pm EST

Please join us for a virtual wine tasting event, featuring the co-proprietors of our December Wine Club, John Lancaster and Robert Perkins, from Skylark Wine Company. During our virtual event, John and Robert will be guiding us through a tasting of our December Wine Club wines and other Skylark wines too. The following 6 wines featured during the tasting will be:

Zoom Facebook Live

  • Skylark Pink Belly Rosé 
  • Skylark Orsi Vineyard Pinot Blanc
  • Skylark Red Belly
  • Skylark Grenache  
  • Skylark Las Aves 
  • Skylark Rodgers Creek Vineyard Syrah 

Be sure to RSVP at your local WineStyles location or on Eventbrite.  Pre-order your wines in advance at your local participating WineStyles location and taste alongside John and Robert with a front seat on Zoom!  Or watch on our Facebook LIVE event.Skylark Wines

About Skylark Winery:

Skylark Wine Company is collaboration between Boulevard Restaurant wine directors John Lancaster and Robert Perkins. John and Robert have run the wine program at the acclaimed Boulevard Restaurant in San Francisco for the past fifteen years. During their tenure at Boulevard, they have built a close friendship, an inventory of wines from around the globe and a palate of tasting wines of the world from vintage to vintage. This partnership has created long-term relationships with the entire scope of the wine industry, from winemakers to vineyard managers to owners. With these relationships, their next logical progression was the realization of a dream: making fine wine from select vineyards in Northern California. While the original plan was simply a barrel, they jumped in with 14 barrels of Syrah from the 2002 harvest. Skylark Wine Company was formed. Learn more about Skylark Wine Company here.

John Lancaster – Co-Proprietor

John Lancaster

Photo by Skylark Wine: John Lancaster

Co-proprietor of Skylark Wine Company, is a graduate of Washington State University in Pullman, Washington. His passion for wine grew while working in the restaurant industry and brought him to the culinary destination of San Francisco. As the Wine Director of the wildly eclectic Cypress Club, he was recognized by the Wine Spectator for his wine list. For the past eleven years, John has been the Wine Director at the James Beard award winning Boulevard Restaurant. During his tenure at Boulevard, John has traveled extensively throughout the world’s wine regions studying wine production. In addition to his professional duties at Boulevard, John is also a professional wine judge and consultant. John resides in San Rafael with his wife and two daughters.

Robert Perkins – Co-Proprietor

Robert Perkins

Photo by Skylark Wine: Robert Perkins

Co-proprietor of Skylark Wine Company, is a graduate of Fine Art Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute. His paintings have been shown throughout the Bay Area: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art-Artist Gallery, Canessa Gallery and Mesh Gallery. His designs are featured on every Skylark Wine label. When Robert is not in his studio in San Francisco, he is pursuing his other creative outlet, wine. Robert has worked in the restaurant industry for 20 years and has worked at Greens in San Francisco, Willowside Café in Sonoma and at Boulevard Restaurant as a sommelier for the past nine years. With his expertise in the wine industry, Robert has been a wine consultant for several Bay Area restaurants. He has also worked hands-on in production at several small wineries including Nalle, Scherrer and Sean Thackrey. He resides in San Francisco with his wife Kristine.

“We strive to produce wines that crystallize our passion within each bottle. Because of our relationships with meticulous and respected grape growers, we have been able to produce wines of distinction and character that represent the best of what Northern California vineyards have to offer. We are proud of Skylark and hope to continue share these wines with family and friends, old and new.”

 

Let’s Taste, Learn and Enjoy® together! 

Contact your local WineStyles to RSVP for this tasting event.

Skylark Wine Company
Mendocino County, California

Cheers!

WineStyles.com

November Cheese Club: Iowa

Cheese ClubCrucolo Il Piu SaporitoRifugio Crucolo
Crucolo Il Piu Saporito
Scurelle, Italy

Crucolo “Il Piu Saporito”, which means “more tasty”, is a semi-hard, mild asiago cheese coming from the Trentino region in northern Italy. The milk to make this cheese is selected from the cows that roam the pastures beneath the Trento Mountains. Crucolo has a surprisingly tangy finish to its creamy flavor.

The center is white and buttery with diffused and uniform holes, making for a very characteristic cheese. The sub-crust is evenly distributed – an indicator of great attention to detail during the ripening period. The ripening process lasts over 60 days, and must be performed under optimum temperature and humidity conditions. In the aging period, the cheese forms are wetted and washed with water, then turned twice a week. The final product boasts flavors that are sweet, slightly sour, and perfectly salty with a slight bitter-spicy note.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: Reach for our November Wine Club wine, Finca Buenaventura Aureo Cabernet Sauvignon, when pairing with this cheese. For beer, grab a Hard Cider or a Porter when pairing with this cheese.

WINESTYLES: Bold
BEERSTYLES:
Fruity and Spicy

ABOUT RIFUGIO CRUCOLO:
The company takes its name from the place where it was built, and still today is the restaurant Rifugio Crucolo, on the “top” of the mountain in the heart of Val Campelle- halfway between the Valsugana and the Lagorai mountain range.

The Crucolo Refuge has entered the register of historic businesses, as it has remained in the same family management since 1782. Thanks to the love and loyalty of customers, the Crucolo company continues to grow each year. Today, they are exporting their own brand of cured meats, cheeses, and liqueurs worldwide.


GarrotxaSant Gil d’Albió
Garrotxa
Catalonia, Spain

Gorratxa, pronounced ‘ga-ROCH-ah’, is a semi-ripened cheese with a natural flowery rind. Made with pasteurized goat’s milk, it is creamy and compact texture in the cut. This moist and cakey Catalonian import is fast becoming Spain’s most famous goat cheese. Crafted in the foothills of Northern Spain, Garrotxa offers a white pepper piquancy and looks like a river-stone. Its milky, delicate taste is not at all typical of a goat’s cheese. The full-bodied cheese is rich in flavor with a soft paste and a moist, creamy, yet almost flaky, texture. It is covered by a velvety grey mould coating that lends it a woody aroma, yet the rind is not ideal for eating. Garrotxa’s flavor is reminiscent of damp earth underlined by slightly nutty & herbal essences.

HOW IT IS MADE:
Made with pasteurized goat’s milk, then aged for several weeks in caves to ensure the delicately, cakey texture won’t harden up.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRINGS: For wine, pair with a Cava or the Finca Buenaventura Aureo Chardonnay from this month’s Wine Club. The clean, lactic qualities of the cheese strike harmoniously with the fruitiness of these two wines.  For beer, look to pair with a Farmhouse Ale or Sour from our Sour, Tart and Funky or Fruity and Spicy sections.

WINESTYLES: Silky, Nectar, or Bubbly
BEERSTYLES: Sour, Tart and Funky, or Fruity and Spicy

ABOUT SANT GIL D’ALBIÓ:
Sant Gil d’Albió is a family business in Catalonia, Spain, with 35 years of experience in the production of artisanal cheeses. Currently produce close to 90,000 kg (about 198,416 pounds) of cheese a year; their products are made in an artisanal way, producing only the highest quality of cheeses. Sant Gil d’Albió exports about 40% of their production, mainly shipping to the United States and throughout Europe.

Sant Gil d’Albió is a dynamic, growing company; expanding their range of products and modernizing their facilities, without forgetting their roots. They are a leading company in the production of artisanal cheese in Catalonia, receiving various awards for the quality of their products, including Garrotxa cheese, Lactium d’Or 2019 award.

The family business is part of the ‘Lal de Cabres Catalanes’ label, a group of farmers and cheesemakers that defend the consumption of products made with local milk. They continuously maintain the quality of all cheeses and ensure all products are sold at a fair price.


Monthly Cheese ClubDon’t let your Wine Club go home alone!

Join our Cheese Club and bring home a match made in heaven!

If you enjoy pairing cheese with wine, this is your club!  Each month you’ll discover specialty and artisan cheeses to pair with your Wine Club. Monthly cheese selections are chosen by your local WineStyles participating location. It’s the perfect opportunity to Taste, Learn and Enjoy® amazing artisan cheese every month! Only $19.99/month and your wine won’t be lonely!  Click to learn more >

November Bubbly Club

Bubbly Wine ClubBouteille Fiche BrutRidgeview
Bloomsbury Brut
Ditchling, Sussex, England

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

“Our sole focus in the winery at Ridgeview is minimal intervention, to let our exceptional grapes speak for themselves and nurture the juice into making the best wine possible. Balance is at the heart of all of our wines, making the most of the full fruit flavors in harmony with our wonderful cool climate acidity.”

Bloomsbury is light golden in color with a fine, persistent mousse. Citrus fruit aromas with hints of melon, peach and honey. Chardonnay dominance brings finesse, along with crisp freshness. The Pinots add depth and character leading to a beautifully balanced finish. Will age gracefully over time as the Chardonnay matures.

Analysis: 12.5% alcohol / volume
Varietals: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier
Altitude: 5m-65m ASL
Vineyard Age: Between 8 and 22 years old
Exposure: South & Southeast
Soil: Clay & Limestone, Flint & Loam
Bottle fermentation on the Lees: 12-18 months
Memorable Moment: Official wine served for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee
Critical Acclaim:

  • SILVER Decanter World Wine Awards 2018
  • SILVER OUTSTANDING International Wine and Spirit Competition 2018
  • 90 pts. – Decanter 2013
  • 90 pts. – The Wine Advocate (NV)
  • 91 pts. – AG Vinous (NV)
  • 90 pts. – Wine Enthusiast (NV)
  • 92 pts. – Wine Enthusiast 2015
  • 91 pts. – Wine Enthusiast 2014
  • 92 pts. – Wine Enthusiast 2013
  • 90 pts. – Wine & Spirits (NV)

PRODUCTION:
Whole-bunch pressed to limited pressure, and to give a low yield of 62% volume to weight. A natural cold settling takes places without the use of enzymes. Fermentation at a moderate temperature of 60.8-64.4°F in stainless steel using natural yeast. Malolactic fermentation is carried out.

ABOUT THE WINERY:
The Ridgeview story began in 1995, when Mike and Chris Roberts decided to release a vision, nurtured for many years. With a love of England and a passion for wine, they investigated the English wine industry with a view to understanding the type of wine production they felt would thrive best in the cool climate of Southern England. Their research pointed towards traditional method sparkling wine made from the three classic varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. At the time, sparkling wine production in England was largely unexplored and unproven, so the dream to create world class sparkling wine in Sussex was a certainly a risk.

Nestled at the base of the beautiful South Downs with their chalky soils, the perfect site was found – the ridge with an unforgettable view. It was here the journey began. Whilst the vines were gently nurtured towards their first harvest, we were busy creating one of England’s only underground cellars and building a state-of-the-art winery. Ridgeview’s first grapes were harvested and pressed; the wines were bottled, then hidden away in the cellar to age.

Over 20 years later, production has increased to more than a quarter of a million bottles and Ridgeview is sold across the world. Their winery continue to invest in the most modern, specialist machinery and proudly crafts every element of their production methods on site- from hand picking all of their grapes, gently pressing them to extract maximum flavor, bottling, riddling, disgorging and labelling. Learn more about Ridgeview Winery here.

Simon Roberts

Head Winemaker: Simon Roberts

WINEMAKER:
Founder, Mike Roberts MBE, was originally at the winemaking helm ably assisted by his son Simon, to whom he passed his considerable knowledge and experience. Simon Roberts is now Ridgeview’s Head Winemaker, supported by a highly experienced and talented winery team.

A natural winemaker with a skilled palate, Simon likes minimal intervention as a Winemaker and would rather let the grapes speak for themselves. Simon trained at Plumpton Wine College and gained experience in Australia. Now responsible for the day-to-day Winemaking at Ridgeview, Simon has the support of a fantastic team. In his spare time Simon can be found coming up with culinary creations in the kitchen. Learn more about the Ridgeview team here.

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November Sweet Club

Sweet Wine ClubIl MoscatoMionetto
Il Moscato
Veneto, Italy

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

Founded in 1887 by Francesco Mionetto in the small village of Valdobbiadene, Mionetto has an established reputation for quality, tradition and innovation. In the heart of the Prosecco region, Mionetto produces exceptional wines with consistent national and international acclaim.

Mionetto’s Il Moscato has a bright, golden, straw yellow color; persistent nose reminiscent of aromatic grapes; elegant, sweet, delicate palate. Overflowing with stone fruit aromas such as peach and apricot, with slight floral overtones On the palate, it tastes of bright juicy fruit with a refreshing zing from the delicate bubbles. The persistent, fine bubbles enhance the taste experience.

Food Pairing Recommendations: Ideal with fruit, pastries and tarts.

WineStyles’ Wine and Cheese Pairing: Sweet wines from our ‘Bubbly’ section pair well with soft or pungent cheeses, such as a Brie and Camembert. Learn more about our wine and cheese pairings here.

Analysis:
7% alcohol / volume
Varietal: Moscato
Residual Sugar: 70 g/l
Acidity: 6 g/l
Winemaker: Francesco Mionetto

ABOUT THE WINERY:
In 1887, master winemaker Francesco Mionetto opened the winery in Valdobbiadene, in the heart of the Prosecco area, just north of Venice. His love and passion for the region and its wines are still to this day a fundamental value for this unique winery. Mionetto has become a flagship for the area and a shining example of Prosecco production on the international scene.

From the very beginning, Mionetto has always been a modern and innovative winery able to anticipate trends, while maintaining a strong bond to the traditions of its homeland, a feature which still today sets it apart from other sparkling wine producers.

PRODUCTION:
In 1982, the Mionetto family introduced autoclave fermentation by switching to the Charmat method, which allows for better preservation of the flavors and aromas of Prosecco and other sweet wines. After an initial soft pressing and the temperature-controlled first fermentation that takes place at the facilities of their selected producers, using the Charmat method, the second fermentation takes place in autoclaves instead of individual bottles. This additional temperature-controlled fermentation is recommended in order to help maintain the freshness and aroma of the grape in the bottling phase.

The winemaker’s job is not only to produce a high quality sparkling wine, but to maintain the relationships with local farmers who provide the grapes. Mionetto is fortunate to have relationships with vineyard owners that date back for generations. The strength and longevity of these relationships are what greatly affect the quality and quantity of grapes provided to a winery. 

THE TERRITORY:
Mionetto has become a flagship for the area and a shining example of Prosecco and Moscato production on the international scene. The beauty of the hills takes in many physical forms. While some slopes roll gently towards the valley, others are much steeper. For protection from the prevailing cold alpine winds and icy rains from the North, vines are on Southern slopes. Southeast slopes are best; they face the morning sun, benefiting from the early sunlight and a morning jolt of CO2, needed for sugar production. The climate is generally temperate: the area is protected by the Alps to the North and warmed by the winds of the Adriatic Sea to the East, mitigating the temperature in summer and producing rainfall that favors the proper growth of vines. In late summer, the area is characterized by great temperature variations between day and night, enabling the growth of aromatic substances in the grapes as they mature. Learn more here.

Croft Fine Tawny PortCroft
Fine Tawny Port

Douro Valley, Portugal

NECTAR WINE STYLE

Vivid tawny-red color. Nose of ripe mellow fruit with aromas of figs and prunes set off by an attractive woody and spicy character. Smooth and round on the palate, full of rich jammy flavors.

Food Pairing Recommendations:
Ports are very versatile and can be used for cooking sauces to roasted beef or lamb; or added in desserts for dimension and silkiness.  When simply drinking this port, keep it for desserts, or pair with more savory dishes such as Pâtés, Blue Cheeses, or Walnuts. Check out Croft’s recommended recipes and pairings here.

WineStyles’ Wine and Cheese Pairing:
Sweet wines from our ‘Nectar’ section pair well with strong cheeses, such as a Stilton and other Blue cheeses. Learn more about our wine and cheese pairings here.


Analysis: 20% alcohol / volume
Varietal: Blend
Residual Sugar: 100.6 g/l
Acidity: 3.37 g/l

Production:
The Fine Tawny is drawn from a reserve of fine wood ports which have been aged for up to three years in seasoned oak casks, each holding about 650 liters of wine. The individual wines are then blended to guarantee consistency of quality and house style. Croft Fine Tawny is bottled for immediate drinking.


ABOUT THE WINERY:
Croft is one of the most distinguished of all Port houses. Founded in 1588, it is the oldest firm still active today as a Port wine producer. The company is renowned above all for its Vintage Ports as well as for its range of wood aged reserves and tawnies, time-honored styles refined by skill and experience passed down the generations.

As important as its history, traditions and vineyards, is the fact that Croft remains a family company, dedicated to the production of the finest Ports of all styles, from full bodied reserve Ports to the iconic Croft Vintage Ports prized by the connoisseur and collector.

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Sweet Club

November Beer Club: Iowa

BeerClubLogosierra nevada rum barrel aged quadSierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Rum Barrel-Aged Quad
Chico, California

When beer meets barrel, incredible things happen. The passage of time and the influence of wood combine to create a final product much greater than the sum of its individual parts. Sierra Nevada’s ‘Trip in the Woods’ series is designed to highlight the complex interplay between beer and barrel. Each beer has matured in a wooden cask, originally used to age mellow spirits, the time in slumber creates rich and layered flavors unique to this difficult and hands-on process.

This classic Quad in rum barrels is a nod to the great Trappist brewers of Belgium. Deep ruby-brown in color, the beer is rich and full-bodied with the style’s familiar to dark fruit flavors, while the yeast creates a hint of spice. Rum barrels impart delicate sweetness and complexity to this beer, that can be enjoyed today or cellared for years to come.

BeerStyles: Malty & Sweet
Style: Belgian Quadrupel
ABV: 9.8% alcohol / volume
Bitterness Units: 45

ABOUT THE BREWERY:

Sierra Nevada shook things up in the ’80s, and it helped launch a beer revolution that’s in full force today. Ken Grossman started Sierra Nevada with a hand-built brewhouse in Chico, California with the odds stacked against him. In 1980, that patchwork of pipes, pumps and tanks began making beers that forever changed the course of American craft brewing. Since then, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company continues to push boundaries, whether that’s in the brewhouse, with sustainability, or in the great outdoors. Learn more about their story here. 

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