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

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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! 

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Sweet Club

December Cheese Club: Iowa

Cheese Clubletivaz-cheeseGenillard Philippe and Marianne
L’Etivaz AOP
Ormont-Dessus, Switzerland

L’Etivaz AOP is a hard alpine cheese produced by hand in over 100 creameries in the Vaud Alps between May and October using raw milk, under an open fire and the traditional recipe. The long ripening process brings out the rich, powerful aromas which come from the large amounts of herbs the cows consume. This is an excellent dessert cheese, fondue, or cheese that will compliment many cuisines. Members will enjoy two distinctive varieties of the L’Etivaz AOP, both a floral and onion style.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: When pairing wine with this cheese, reach for a Crisp Chardonnay, a Fruity Barbera d’Alba, or a Fruity Pinot Noir. For beer, grab something light and crisp, such as a Hard Cider.

WINESTYLES: Crisp or Fruity
BEERSTYLES:
Crisp and Clean

PRODUCTION:
The Alpine pastures are situated at an altitude of between 1,000 to 2,000 meters. The raw milk comes from cows which graze on the natural pastures of the Vaud Alps and Alpine foothills. It is these pastures, rich in wild flowers, that create the aroma and provide the unique flavor of L’Etivaz AOP. To make the cheese, t
he milk from the evening milking is stocked in churns until the following morning, when the cheesemaker skims off the cream with a ladle. The evening milk and morning milk are then poured into a copper cauldron. The milk, enriched with lactic bacteria obtained from the production center itself, is gently heated to 89.6°F over a wood fire. The cheesemaker then adds the rennet, which consists of natural enzymes extracted exclusively from the abomasum of young calves. After stirring the milk for a few minutes the cheesemaker stops the mixer and allows the milk to rest so that it can curdle.

The cheesemaker then stretches a cheesecloth on a rod, slides it under the curds and lifts out the cheese mass which he then puts into a mould and presses. The wheel of cheese thus formed must subsequently be turned over several times. The producer then puts the L’Etivaz AOP casein mark on it as well as his initials in order to be able to guarantee traceability. The wheels remain in the press until the following morning. Weighing between 33 and 84 lbs., the wheels are rubbed with cheese dairy salt and kept at the alpine production center for a maximum of 7 days. For more information, click here.

 

 

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 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 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.

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

Click here to learn more >

Sweet Club