March Sweet Club

Sweet Wine ClubMarco-Negri-Moscato-D-AstiMarco Negri
Moscato D’Asti
Piemonte, Italy

NECTAR WINE STYLE

Pale yellow color with a fine perlage. A typical bouquet with skin citrus fruits and jasmine. It presents a good structure and sapid.

Analysis: 5.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Moscato
pH: 3.28
Residual Sugar: 125 g/l
TA: 5.0 g/l
Sulfit: 120 mg/l
Harvest Date: Beginning of September
Vineyard Location: 11 hectare in Costigliole d’Asti – Piemonte
Oenologist: Mr. Donato Lanati
Fermentation: Stainless steel tanks
Bottling: Preserved at 28.4ºF
Vinification: After the must has been softly pressed, it is left to ferment with selected yeasts into 50 hl. autoclaves for 8-10 days, at controlled temperature. The fermentation is stopped by cooling when the desired alcohol level is reached. When bottling, the wine is filtered through micropore sterile filters to totally eliminate any yeast.

Pairing:
Traditionally enjoyed with dessert, but with its low degree of alcohol, amazing sparkling fragrance, and very light sweetness; it can also be pleasant as an aperitif.

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.

ABOUT THE REGION:
Marco Negri estate, located in the heart of Piedmont, Italy, near the town of Asti, produced its first sparkling wine in 1993. Marco Negri has received their DOCG, Italy’s highest category of production, with their Moscato grapes. 


PAcRim_sweet_riesling-1-365x1024Pacific Rim
Sweet Riesling
Columbia Valley, Washington

NECTAR WINE STYLE

Refreshingly sweet with a lively mouthfeel. Bright Acidity. Fresh and fruity with flavors of pineapple and white peach. This Riesling is wonderfully aromatic with notes of honey, pear and orange blossom.

Analysis: 8% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Riesling 
Residual Sugar: 7%
TA: 0.83%
Food Pairing: Ideal with fiery fare – especially Thai, Szechwan, Mexican, Middle Eastern and Caribbean cuisine.

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.

PRODUCTION:
Pacific Rim’s Sweet Riesling is 100% Columbia Valley, WA grown. The soil is wind-blown loess on basalt bedrock. They use the purest winemaking possible – sustainably produced, all native yeasts, no oak, no malolactic. A perfect exploration of sweetness – covering the classic residual sugar spectrum of Riesling. 


The winery picks their Riesling grapes early (20-21 Brix). Using only native yeasts and fermenting at low temperatures in stainless steel tanks – there is no use of oak barrels or malolactic fermentation. They stop the fermentation at about 7% residual sugar, and clean the wine rapidly to retain as much freshness and fruitiness as possible. They leave a fair amount of natural carbon dioxide in the wine to create a lively mouth feel. 

ABOUT THE WINERY:
First released by Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon Vineyard in 1992, Pacific Rim Dry Riesling quickly gained a loyal following among Riesling lovers. Known for its fresh and bright characteristics, the wine was a welcome alternative to over-oaked, one-dimensional white wines. As the American palate evolved in recent years toward wines with greater complexity and crisper acidity, the popularity of Pacific Rim Dry Riesling grew. Demand and enthusiasm for Pacific Rim Dry Riesling continued to gain momentum — and the excitement around the wine inspired a radical idea… the creation a winery exclusively dedicated to Riesling. In August of 2006, a small band of Bonny Doon expats moved to the Northwest from California with a common desire to craft the best Riesling in America… thus, Pacific Rim became its own winery.
Learn more about the winery here.



February Sweet Club

saracco-moscato-enSweet Wine ClubPaolo Saracco
Moscato d’Asti
Castiglione Tinella, Piedmont, Italy

NECTAR WINE STYLE

Moscato d’Asti is an indigenous aromatic wine characterized by orange, peach and lime notes, with a sweet taste rich in minerals. In color, it is straw yellow with greenish hues, fine perlage, and a slow fermentation index. On the nose it has intense orange blossom, peach and thyme flavors. The taste is intense, elegant, and lingering. The sweet sensations are well balanced with a pleasant acidity with fruity aromas — typical of Muscat grapes.

Food Pairing Recommendations: Ideal with pastries, cakes, fruit tarts, ice cream, biscuits. Also delicious with cheeses such as gorgonzola and in cocktails.

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.

Varietal: Moscato Bianco Canelli
Vineyards: Located in Castiglione Tinella, Santo Stefano Belbo, Castagnole Lanze, Colosso
Vinification:
After harvesting, the bunches are gently pressed to extract the most flavorful juice from the outermost part of the grapes. The must is kept in stainless steel containers at -3°C, where it can be kept for months. When there is market demand, it is then transferred into autoclaves for temperature-controlled fermentation, micro-filtered for purity and then bottled to keep the freshness and flavors intact.

Saracco Vineyards

© Photo by Saracco Winery

VINEYARDS:
A real winemaker knows how to identify plots of land in the best areas. Over the years the Paolo Saracco winery has bought vineyards in the areas around Castiglione Tinella, Santo Stefano Belbo, Castagnole Lanze and Calosso. On their 50 hectares, grapes are grown sustainably in harmony with nature and with attention to changes in the climate throughout the year. Moscato grapes are full of aroma: all processing steps in the winery are done to maintain and preserve their flavors.

ABOUT THE WINERY:
In the heart of the Moscato d’Asti, the Saracco family has produced this aromatic wine in this area since the early 1900s and cultivated their own vineyards, which is an important part of the process, creating a link with the ideal terrain for growing Moscato grapes. With the support of their founder Luigi Saracco, a family of winemakers put their aromatic Moscato wine on the market, selling wine in bulk in the spring to companies producing Vermouth. Today, the passion and professionalism shown in previous decades are continued by Paolo Saracco, Giovanni’s son and current owner, who decided to start bottling Moscato after studying oenology. And so, the ‘Paolo Saracco’ label was born. This idea has allowed wine lovers in Italy and across the globe to discover a hugely aromatic, balanced Moscato d’Asti. To learn more about the Saracco Winery, click here.


Rosso Dolce BottleSonoroso
Rosso Dolce
Trentino, Italy

NECTAR WINE STYLE

The Rosso Dolce (Sweet Red Wine) is brilliant ruby red in color. On the nose, delicate scents of plum and violet compliment the aromas of red fruits and sweet spice. The taste is fresh vibrant and slightly frizzante, with notes of blackberry and cherry for a sensuous taste. It finishes with a touch of sweetness.

Food Pairing Recommendations:
Pleasantly refreshing and food-friendly; pairs well with flavorful dishes and spicy cuisine, or even your favorite dessert! Serve chilled.

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: 7% alcohol / volume
Varietals: Teroldego, Marzemino, Merlot
Appellation: Trevenezie IGT
Residual Sugar: 100 g/I
TA: 5.30 g/l
Vinification: Each varietal is manually harvested at the perfect ripeness to preserve aromas and freshness. Following de-stemming, the juice is kept in contact with the grape skin for several days at low temperatures (cold maceration) to extract the fruit’s aroma and color. Then a partial fermentation is done at low temperature to preserve the natural sweetness, the fruity character and the fizzy style.

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Sonoroso is an irresistible, delicately sweet line of wines from Northern Italy. It makes a wonderful aperitif and is also incredibly food-friendly with a variety of dishes. Learn more here.

Sonoroso

© Photo by Sonoroso Wine

Love the Sweet life?
“Wine” not try our Sweet Club! 

Click here to learn more >

Sweet Club

January Sweet Club

Sweet Wine ClubAntech EspritAntech
Esprit de Bulles
Limoux, France

NECTAR WINE STYLE

This Cuvée offers a unique taste and is a local symbol, allied to traditions and history of Limoux. Its straw yellow color with swirling bubbles and sparkling reflections is already a call to party. The palate is lively with the sensation of biting into apples and grapes. Honey, scents of acacia and very ripe pear notes bring softness and voluptuousness. Serve chilled at 41- 43 °F. 

Food Pairing Recommendations: Its lightness and freshness are ideal as an aperitif or to accompany desserts with apples, pancakes, fruit pies and French King cakes.

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: 6.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Mauzac
Residual Sugars: 80 g/L
Vinification:
All grapes are handpicked, carried to the fermenting room in cases of at most 660 pounds, and then immediately pressed pneumatically. The juices selected are then fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel vats set at low temperatures. The juices are then fermented until they reach a degree of 5 percent alcohol content. Effervescence is produced by the Méthode Ancestrale using only the natural residual sugars in the juice after the first fermentation in their temperature controlled cellars (57°F) over a 14 week period. Effervescence occurs and the alcohol content rises to 6-7 percent.

ABOUT THE VINEYARD:
Hillsides and terraces have gently sloping clay-limestone soil with Mediterranean climate and an oceanic influence. The vine age is on average 20 to 40 years old and y
ields less than 50 hectares. To move further ahead in their quest for finesse and elegance, the Antech Winery conducts advanced experiments on the vines. In their family vineyard, they try out new methods on their old vine-stocks on the appellation’s highest land — stony, south-facing hillsides nearly 400m above sea level, opposite to the Pyrenees. To learn more about the Antech Vineyards, click here.

© Photo by Antech Winery

© Photo by Antech Winery

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Family owned and independent for six generations, The Antech Estate dedicates itself to the elaboration of Sparkling wines in Limoux’s legendary sparkling area. The Antech Estate distinguishes itself with their distinctive style – from the elegance of its bubbles to the commitment of its action. To learn more about Antech Winery’s history and their team, click here.


Les_Arroucats_Cuvee_VirginieChâteau Les Arroucats
Cuvée Virginie
Sainte-Croix-du-Mont, France

NECTAR WINE STYLE

A fleshy, powerful, elegant wine with beautiful aromas and a good length. To drink now as an apéritif, with fat liver, poultry or apricot tarts; or to lay down for 5 years.

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:
13.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 87% Sémillon, 10% Sauvignon, 3% Muscadelle
Harvesting: Hand picked by successive sorting 
Yields: 35 hl/ha
Winemaking: Traditional winemaking in cement and stainless steel vats
Aging: In vats during one to two years
Annual Production: 20,000 bottles per year for this cuvée

ABOUT THE VINEYARD:
The Vineyard sits on about 22 hectares of land. The soil is on a panoramic plateau composed of fossilized oysters, located at 110 meters from the sea – called Clayey-calcareous soils. The average age of the vines is about 40 years old.

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Located in the district of Sainte Croix Du Mont, the estate was created after the war by Mr. Labat. From 1990 to 2000, his daughter, Annie Lapouge committed to develop and modernize the estate. Annie’s daughter, Mme Virginie Barbe now runs the estate.

Love the Sweet life?
“Wine” not try our Sweet Club! 

Click here to learn more >

Sweet Club

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.

Love the Sweet life?
“Wine” not try our Sweet Club! 

Click here to learn more >

Sweet Club

The Mystery Behind Cheese and Wine, Explained

Great things take time. We are all familiar with the age-old adage, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Whether you’re painting a city block mural or writing a once-in-a-lifetime novel, know that life’s greatest achievements are the result of many smaller efforts strung together with great love and care.

CheeseWine1

Create a beautiful and delicious gift, or treat yourself! All the spreads will look lovely atop a brightly colored cheese plate!

Achieving greatness is not often the result of just one lucky lightning strike, but rather dedicated mini-moments of daily discipline exercised over time. Great endeavors, great love, great art, and of course great wine and cheese all take time and care. It is when that time and care are given that we are truly wow-ed with the results.

At WineStyles Tasting Station, we like to appreciate all the finer foods of life, so let’s take a moment to appreciate two of our favorite aged delicacies: Cheese and Wine!

cheese-makerWine has been around since man’s first fire-side dinner party way back in the late Stone Age (nationalgeographic.com). Cheese, on the other hand, came into our lives only 8-10,000 years ago and wine couldn’t have been happier that it finally showed up to the party (nationalhistoriccheesemakingcenter.org).

Cheese and wine are notoriously great when paired together, perhaps because wine pairs so well with many delicacies – chocolate, pizza, leftover Easter candies, to name a few. Although they are so enjoyable together, the pairing process can be difficult to understand. After all, these are two very different items, right?

Precisely!

There is a reason the most popular food pairings of all time make our collective mouths water. Think peanut butter and jelly, sandwiches with pickles, and soda pop with a bag of potato chips. Each of these pairings are so satisfying because they lend a harmonious balance to our taste buds.

Let’s break it down to a gastronomical level. LiveScience.com puts it simply, saying:

CheeseWine2

Choose a rustic slate board for an extra dose of chic. Wine, cheese, and jam make the perfect trio for your taste buds!

“Because fat is oily, eating it lubricates the mouth, making it feel slick or even slimy. Meanwhile, astringents, chemical compounds such as the tannins in wine and green tea, make the mouth feel dry and rough… We don’t like slimy, but we don’t like puckered up, either.”

There you have it. What first seemed an inexplicable craving to enjoy a cheese plate with your glass of wine is finally explained by science! Next time you’re snacking on something salty or fatty and crave a refreshing soda or crisp glass of wine, you’ll know what’s really going on – your taste buds are searching for harmony. And who are we to deny them that!

Want to learn the basics of pairing Cheese and Wine?

Sign up for our next Boot Camp Class: Cheese & Wine 101 at your local WineStyles!

CheeseWine101

Learn all about pairing your favorite Cheeses and Wines in this interactive class! Best part about it – you get to taste as you learn! Don’t miss out, this class will be both educational and delicious.

Please RSVP at your local WineStyles location. Seating space is limited, so make your reservation as soon as possible!

*Please note: Classes and rewards may vary at different WineStyles locations. See your local WineStyles Tasting Station for details, click here.

Thanks for reading,

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