February Beer Club: Iowa

BeerClubLogoEmpyrean Bottle ImageOmnipollo
Empyrean Double IPA
Sweden

A bold yet tropical Double IPA. Full of Nelson Sauvin, Galaxy and Citra hops. Soft mouthfeel, balanced bitterness but with a healthy, hearty dose of hoppiness.

BeerStyles: Hoppy
Style: Imperial IPA
ABV: 8.5% alcohol / volume
Production: Brewed at Dugges Bryggeri in Sweden
Can Artwork: Karl Grandin


Menelik BottleOmnipollo
Menelik Stout
United States

Menelik, or as it is also called, Menelik Mansplanation Stout, is a beer about listening, tuning in and being a counterweight to toxic masculinity. It has a ton of ingredients and a very difficult brew, so in a way, it is impossible to talk about without getting into some mansplaining yourself. Brewed with yellow raisins, coffee, vanilla, cocoa nibs, almonds, hazelnuts, nut mix, spice, milk chocolate and lactose sugar.

BeerStyles: Dark
Style: Imperial Stout
ABV: 11% alcohol / volume
Production: Brewed by Twelve Percent Beer Project in the USA
Can Artwork: Karl Grandin


Maz CanOmnipollo
Maz
Belgium

Omnipollo Maz (formerly Mazarin) is brewer, Henok Fentie’s take on a “thinker’s beer”. Rather than being big and indecipherably complex, Henok wanted to create something that would calm a hop yearning nerve without fuddling the brain too much. In his words, this beer is “a lavishly hopped ale with judicious ABV — an Extra Special Pale Ale, if you will”. This Pale Ale received a gold medal at the Stockholm Beer & Whisky Festival in 2013.

BeerStyles: Hoppy
Style: Pale Ale
ABV: 5.6% alcohol / volume
Production: Brewed at De Proefbrouwerij in Belgium
Can Artwork: Karl Grandin


Omnipollo Founders

ABOUT THE BREWERY:
Omnipollo® is a beer production company founded by brewer Henok Fentie and artist Karl Grandin in 2010 with a shared vision of changing the perception of beer — forever. They brew a plethora of styles to explore what beer has and can become. As a joint and equal partnership between a brewer and a graphic artist, their creative process has come to resemble the work shop of other pop cultural expressions such as music. Omnipollo® beers are always a collaborative effort and are brewed at breweries in all corners of the world. This approach means they stay curious, grounded and tuned in. Learn more here.


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February Bubbly Club

Bubbly Wine ClubGustave_Lorentz_Cremant_dAlsace_Brut_Rose_Fact_new-format_JCGustave Lorentz
Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé
Alsace, France

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

The Cremant d’Alsace Rosé is made from Pinot Noir, which is full of charm and elegance. It makes a refined aperitif and an ideal cocktail or reception drink. Fresh and discreetly fruity, it inspires a host of gastronomic matches. This refined wine also works with hot and cold seafood appetizers, chicken, pork and other white meats & game, as well as some desserts. Serve chilled.

Analysis: 12.3% alcohol / volume
Varietals: 100% Pinot Noir
Total Acidity: 5.6 g/l
Residual Sugar: 7.8 g/l
Producer: Gustave Lorentz
Region: AOC Alsace
Country: France

WINEMAKING:
The grapes are carefully selected and vinified according to “Methode Champenoise.” After traditional fermentation “vin de base” in tanks, a second fermentation (“prise de mousse”) takes place in the cool cellars. It does not undergo malolactic fermentation. Aging is done “sur lie” between 14 and 18 months, with daily bottle rotation, going from a horizontal to vertical position, in order for the yeast deposit to accumulate in the neck of the bottle. At the time of “degorgement,” the neck is frozen and, enclosed in ice, the sediment is ejected by natural pressure, after which the bottle is corked and wired.

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Founded in 1836, Maison Gustave Lorentz owned 33 hectares of land on the hillsides of Bergheim in the heart of the Alsace wine region, 12.8 hectares of which are classified Grand Cru Altenberg de Bergheim, and 1.75 hectares Grand Cru Kanzlerberg. The first mention of the Lorentz family in the commune of Ribeauvillé dates back to the end of the Thirty Years’ War in the second half of the 17th century. They were innkeepers or coopers as well as ‘gourmets’, the old name given to wine merchants, which afforded them an important status in the local community. In 1748, winegrower and blacksmith Jean-Georges Lorentz was the first to settle in Bergheim, which later became the heart of our domaine. His son, Pierre Lorentz, was married to the youngest daughter of the Mayor of the time (Nicolas Schmitt). Generations passed with the birth of Jacques Lorentz in 1798 and Charles Lorentz in 1836. This same year, Maison Lorentz was founded in the commune of Bergheim. Today, Georges Lorentz has the honor of managing the estate, seven generations later.
To learn more about Gustave Lorentz Winery and family, click here.

Gustave Lorentz Vineyard

© Photo by: Gustave Lorentz Winery


Alma 4 Alma 4
Blanc de Blanc
Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

Alma 4’s Blanc de Blanc Chardonnay is greenish yellow in color with slight tints of gold. It has persistent and delicate chains of small bubbles. The nose is quite shocking. It has strong flavors of fruits, such as fresh pear, as well as some citrus notes of mandarin peel and Kinoto. The fruit is balanced, the yeast is subtle, and the wood flavor is complex. On the mouth, it is creamy and fully. There is a harmony of sugar to acidity with an exotic fruit finish. It is long and complex. Intense and fresh. This sparkling wine is tasted with the 5 senses.

Analysis: 12.5% alcohol / volume
Varietals: 100% Chardonnay
Residual Sugar: 4.7 g/l
Acidity: 7.05 g/l
Region: Mendoza, Argentina
Appellation:
Uco Valley
Vineyard: Sustainably farmed – 1200-1550 meters in elevation
Production:Traditional method (Champenoise) using direct pressing. Fermentation begins at 59-64.4ºF for 20 days. 15% of Chardonnay is fermented in French oak barrels. No malolactic fermentation. The second fermentation is in bottles between 57.2º F and 60.8º F.
Disgorgement:
Performed manually
Time on Yeasts: 40 months

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Alma Cuatro (or Alma 4) began in 1999 as an experimental sparkling wine-making project led by four young people from Mendoza, with a strong investigative spirit: Mauricio, Agustín, Marcela and Sebastián. With passion, perseverance, friendship and work, these four friends came together to create a line of sparkling wines made by second fermentation in the bottle — combining innovation with the avant-garde method.
Learn more about these four friends and owners here.

Alma 4 Friends

© Photo by Alma 4

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M by Martellotto

Garlic Butter Cod Fish Recipe

Cod Fish Recipe

© Photo by Primavera Kitchen

INGREDIENTS:

  • Cod fish fillets – This is an affordable white fish that takes on the flavors it’s cooked with. Haddock, Pollack, or Mahi Mahi would make great substitutes.
  • Olive oil – Or use another neutral cooking oil with a high smoke point like vegetable, avocado, or safflower oil.
  • Spices: garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, black pepper
  • Unsalted butter
  • Garlic Lemon zest
  • Green onionsfor garnish

DIRECTIONS:

Season the fish

  1. Pat the fish dry with a paper towel so the seasonings adhere better to the surface. It will also help the fish crisp on the outside when seared.
  2. Season both sides of the cod fillets with the spices. It may help to mix them together in a small bowl first to get even coverage.

Cook

  1. Next, sear the fish on both sides in hot oil.
  2. Continue cooking until the fish flakes apart, flipping again halfway through.
  3. Melt the butter in the pan with garlic and lemon zest. Coat the fish in the garlic butter.

Garnish and serve

  1. Remove the pan from heat and transfer the fish to a serving dish.
  2. Then, sprinkle chopped green onions over the top and serve with your favorite sides.

© Recipe courtesy of Olivia of Primavera Kitchen

FEBRUARY WINE CLUB:

Silky stylem-by-martellotto-chardonnayMartellotto Winery
M by Martellotto
Sta. Rita Hills, California

SILKY WINE STYLE

“A Chardonnay lover’s Chardonnay. Sourced from the Spear Vineyards, located a few miles west of the winery in Buellton, off Highway 246 in the Santa Rita Hills. This area is famous for the best, cool climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. Spear Vineyard is CCOF certified organic and located near Seasmoke, which charges $100-200/bottle of their wines!” – Martellotto Winery

The wine was stainless tank fermented and then rested in neutral French oak barrels for 12 months. This Chardonnay has a lovely natural acidity and a light zip in the mouth from the sandy loam vineyard that was covered by the Pacific Ocean millennia ago. The wine is light, delicate, and an eminently drinkable quaffer that pairs with a variety of foods. If you love Chablis and dry, nuanced Chardonnay, then you will love this wine. The M by Martellotto was naturally produced and organically farmed.

Analysis: 13.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
AVA:
Sta. Rita Hills
Soil:
Sandy Loam
Farming:
Organic
Production: 14 barrels
Oak: 11 months, neutral French Oak

“Santa Barbara remains one of the most fascinating regions in the world. Rich history, a culture of site-specific wines and reasonable pricing make Santa Barbara one of the most exciting and rewarding regions for consumers who want to discover distinctive, high-quality artisan wines that speak of place.” – A. Galloni

ABOUT MARTELLOTTO WINERY:

Winemaker, Greg Martellotto

Winemaker, Greg Martellotto

The Martellotto family roots trace back to a 17th century winery in Alberobello in Puglia, Italy. Over four centuries later, winemaker Greg Martellotto continues his family’s viticultural legacy, by making enticing, vibrant wines that speak to his own viticultural passion. From his ancestors’ traditional winemaking in Southern Italy, to his grandfather’s homemade wine during Prohibition, to production in an innovative warehouse facility shared with Barbieri Wine Co. and Lo-Fi wines, Martellotto Winery produces remarkable wines of consequence, consistency, value, and varietal expression. With each bottle, it is the Martellotto family’s desire to share extraordinary, artisanal wines.

THE MARTELLOTTO LABEL:
Professor John Langdon is famous for creating Ambigrams and inspiring Dan Brown to incorporate his graphics in the books and movie around The DaVinci Code. He has only designed one wine label, and that is for Martellotto Winery. The Martellotto label is a spiritual totem, symmetrical down the middle, and a mirror image. The ARTE of the name engages the Art & Science of winemaking. The bottle enumeration demonstrates the handmade, limited availability of these wines.

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Martellotto Melodeon

Brown Butter-Sage Chicken Wings Recipe

Credit: © Todd Porter & Diane Cu

Credit: © Todd Porter & Diane Cu

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 to 8 small sage leaves
  • 1 tablespoon ground sage
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 pound chicken wings, split
  • Kosher or sea salt, to taste
  • Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup all-purpose flout, for dredging
  • Vegetable Oil (or other high flashpoint oil), for frying

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Melt the butter and stir in the garlic. Continue cooking the butter until it is light brown and develops a nutty aroma.
  2. Remove the butter from the heat and stir in the sage leaves, ground sage, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar. Set aside.

  3. Rinse the chicken wings and pat them dry. Generously season the chicken with salt and black pepper. Dredge the wings in flour, shaking off any excess flour, and set aside.

  4. In a large saucepan or deep fryer, heat the oil to about 375°. Fry the chicken wings in small batches until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Shake off any excess oil and place on paper towels to drain. Continue frying the chicken in batches until all of the wings are cooked.

    Toss the wings in the brown butter sauce and serve warm.

© Recipe courtesy of Todd Porter and Diane Cu of Food and Wine Magazine 

FEBRUARY WINE CLUB:

Martellotto ChardonnaySilky styleMartellotto Winery
Melodeon Chardonnay
Sta. Rita Hills, California

SILKY WINE STYLE

“A Chardonnay lover’s Chardonnay. The fruit in the Martellotto Chardonnay is from the Spear Vineyard, located a few miles west of the winery in Buellton, off Highway 246 in the Santa Rita Hills. This area is famous for the best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes and we are pleased to be sourcing such high quality fruit. Spear Vineyard is farmed organically and located very near Seasmoke, which charges $100-$200/bottle for their wines!” – Martellotto Winery

This Melodeon Chardonnay was barrel fermented and has a lovely natural acidity and a light zip in the mouth from the sandy loam vineyard that was covered by the Pacific Ocean millennia ago. A broad mouthfeel and yummy vivacity combine with layers of vanilla, toasted hazelnuts, and nutmeg singing into the finish. If you love Chablis and dry, nuanced Chardonnay with layers of depth and a crunchy deliciousness, then you will love this wine.

Analysis: 13.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
AVA:
Sta. Rita Hills
Soil:
Sandy Loam
Farming:
Organic
Production: 14 barrels
Oak: 11 months, 20% new French Oak

“The daring, innovative spirit embodied by the region’s young producers and a vast range of first-class sites creates conditions that are idea for the production of distinctive, pedigreed wines of the highest level. Best of all, with few exceptions, these wines remain under the radar and very fairly priced relative to global peers.” – Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media

ABOUT MARTELLOTTO WINERY:

Greg Martellotto

Winemaker, Greg Martellotto

The Martellotto family roots trace back to a 17th century winery in Alberobello in Puglia, Italy. Over four centuries later, winemaker Greg Martellotto continues his family’s viticultural legacy, by making enticing, vibrant wines that speak to his own viticultural passion. Located in Buellton, California – in the hottest new AVA region of Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara – Martellotto Winery focuses on vibrant Bordeaux varietals, with a vineyard first philosophy of gentle handling and minimal intervention.

Through a deft combination of sourcing sustainably farmed grapes from California’s choicest vineyards and deploying creative, progressive blending and fermenting techniques, Martellotto produces outstanding wines that capture pinpoint varietal expression.

Greg has nearly two decades of diverse experience in all facets of the wine business, including import and distribution and working with some of the greatest wines and wineries in California, Piemonte, Tuscany, and Bordeaux, as well as Spain, Chile and Argentina. Consultant Mike Roth, an authority in the fields of biodynamics and natural winemaking, has working under Napa pioneers Mike Grgich and Nils Venge. He has made wine in Santa Barbara at Koehler, Demetria, Martian Ranch, and for his own Lo-Fi brand.

THE MARTELLOTTO LABEL:
John Langdon designed the Martellotto label as a spiritual totem, symmetrical down the middle, and a mirror image. The ARTE of the name recognizes the Art & Science of winemaking. The bottle enumeration demonstrates the handmade, limited availability of these wines. Prof. Landon’s signature ambigram design is located on the bottom right of the back label. Turn the bottle upside down to visualize how his name reads left to right.

Greg Martellotto video

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Martellotto ‘My Way’ Malbec

Lamb Sliders with Blue Cheese

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 2/3 cups thinly sliced onion (about 1 large)
  • 3/4 teaspoon brown sugar
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 13 ounces lean ground lamb
  • cooking spray
  • 8 (1.3 ounce) mini-sandwich buns
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sugar to pan; cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in 1/8 teaspoon salt. Reduce heat; cook 8 minutes or until tender and browned, stirring occasionally. Keep warm.
  2. Preheat broiler.
  3. Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, and lamb in a large bowl. Divide lamb mixture into 8 equal portions; shape each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Place patties on the rack of a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; place rack in pan. Broil 6 minutes, turning once after 3 minutes. Remove from oven; let stand 3 minutes.
  4. Broil buns, cut sides up, 2 minutes or until lightly toasted. Place patties on bottom halves of buns; top each patty with about 1 1/2 tablespoons caramelized onion and about 3/4 teaspoon blue cheese. Cover with top halves of buns.

FEBRUARY WINE CLUB:

Bold wine Style logoMalbecMartellotto Winery
My Way

Santa Barbara, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

“A Hedonistic wine that is a pleasure to share. This Malbec is the dark horse of Cahors and Argentina. Martellotto produces an outstanding expression from the hottest part of SB County.” – Martellotto Winery

The “My Way” Malbec is dark as night, inky, and redolent with blue fruits. Flavors of dark plum, cherry, and blackberry explode in the glass and the finish is lush with toasty oak, vanilla, and crusted flowers. ‘My Way’ is an awesome California expression on this noble varietal – it’s a velvet glove with an iron fist.

Varietal: 80% Malbec, 20% Petit Verdot
Analysis:
14% alcohol / volume
AVA: Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara
Soil:
Sandy Loam
Farming:
Sustainable
Production:
20 barrels
Aging:
10 months, 30% new French Oak

HAPPY CANYON OF SANTA BARBARA:
This new, small AVA was established in 2009. Located in the southeast part of the larger Santa Ynez Valley, this is the hottest part of the valley and furthest from the ocean. Rolling hills sit atop a serpentine-laced terroir that is primarily planted to Bordeaux varietals.


ABOUT MARTELLOTTO WINERY:
The Martellotto family roots trace back to 17th century winery in Alberobello in Puglia, Italy. Over four centuries later, winemaker Greg Martellotto continues his family’s viticultural legacy, by making enticing, vibrant wines what speak to his own viticultural passion. 

Located in Buellton, California, Martellotto Winery focuses on vibrant Bordeaux varietals from the hottest new AVA, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara. Indeed, Martellotto Winery is one of the few California wineries bottling and producing varietal wines from each of the five noble Bordeaux grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Since 2005, Martellotto Winery has produced unique and exciting wines designed to surprise and ignite discerning palates of wine lovers everywhere.

Winemaker, Greg Martellotto

Winemaker, Greg Martellotto

ABOUT THE WINEMAKER:
Greg Martellotto has been making wine since 2005. His peripatetic path has led him to winemaking experience in Mexico, Italy, Napa Valley, Paso Robles, and Santa Barbara. He holds a degree in Biological Sciences from Stanford University and a Masters degree from the University of Texas. His global wine experience has provided opportunities to travel to most of the major winemaking regions of the world as both a buyer and a consumer, which informs his style. Equally important and unique among most winemakers, Greg’s experience as an importer and wine buyer provides insiders access to the greatest wines and wineries in the world. In this capacity, he regularly tastes more than 400 wines per month and he knows great wine.

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