"Red or White?"....Really....is that the question?

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Be honest, how many "events" have you attended this spring and the ask behind the bar is still "red or white"? How many fund raising dinners have you been to where there was one red, one white and neither worked with the food nor your palate? To be fair, Prosecco has made a strong showing on the circuit, along with the must have rose, and both have terrific back stories and should not be painted with one brush. What if the bartenders could offer offer a Syrah or Poulsard or a Chenin Blanc from South Africa or Albarino from Spain rather than just red or white, and the quality of the wines could speak for themselves. Sure you can read the label, but with a little thought and planning a terrific night of wine will lift the spirits of the guests and the coffers of the organization looking for support.

Seasons can drive memories and wines can help us forge them, so start applying the art of serving wines at family and foundation events that are interesting, thought provoking and worth remembering. Asking for donations for wine is one thing, but if you are going to do it plan it. Ask for the back story, understand the wine and pair it properly. Don't be shy about asking questions and reaching out for suggestions. The only way to learn more about wine is to try it, talk about it and share the experience. All of this can be done on bottles as reasonable as $12 to $15 a bottle. Serving wines to heavy handed friends is polite so find one that fits the palate and the budget. In a recent radio interview with Camille Broderick of Camille's Demi-Hour, the ever wine thoughtful Eric Asimov summed up the consumer view on wine, many consumers view wine simply as a method of alcohol distribution and that is a real shame. There is so much more to wine than the alcohol. It really is the only adult beverage that expresses place and purpose in a glass and can bring friends and family together for general camaraderie or to raise awareness of a cause.

Memorial Day and Bank Holiday officially kick offer summer for many in the Northern Hemisphere and with it will come the shift to fruity whites and lighter reds. The rose wall will be a blush of colors and consumers will be more confused than ever on what to drink with their burgers and franks. Take the challenge this summer to offer new varietals and regions. Look beyond the 12 Pinot Grigios and Chardonnays filling the grocery fridge and think real summer. Think tapenade, strawberries, peas, corn, fish, shellfish, greens, tomatoes and flowers. Think sun and surf. Where would you like to travel to a place, a climate, a culture.

I will be spending part of my summer with the lovely, sparkling wines of England and the exciting varietals of Croatia. For my gatherings we shall drink the summer and enjoy Picpoul and Vino Verde, Albarino and Assyrtiko. For my reds I will of course be grabbing the various shades of rose but rounding it out with lighter styled Italians such as Barbera and Dolcetto, Germany's Zweigelt and Blaufankish, uber cool climate Pinot Noir from Sonoma and hopefully a few more surprises I find along the way.

Enjoy the summer. Reach out for guidance for wine lists for events, small or large, and take the time to share your wine experiences this summer. Follow us on Instagram @Vinolytics1855 or @wineassetmgr on Twitter.

Our next curated client event is "Technology, Design and Wine" where we will feature a range of uniquely designed bottles and product from Bellini and Ca 'del Bosco, a comparison of oaked and unoaked Sauvignon Blanc, rose out of a can versus a classic and a Napa Cabernet versus a Cru Bourgeois Bordeaux. Not your average night of wine and a menu to match all the wines.

Finally we are thrilled to announce our collaboration with "Napa in New England" in support of Cure Duchenne. Learn more here about this exciting night of wine in New England in November and the event in Newport, California in March and the producers that support it.

Now go grab those flip flops.

Jennifer and Team Vinolytics

Vinolytics simplifies wine management for collectors, storage facilities, insurance companies and wealth managers. Curated events, content and reporting to drive engagement with wine. #nowinetozero

www.vinolytics.com

A Wine Valentine Poem for You

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Roses are red, violets are blue, I'm drinking wine tonight what about you?

Heading to a restaurant, don't be shy, try something new, take a walk on the wild side.

Charbono, Trebbiano, Argaman or Poulsard? These varietals may not be your everyday pick, but if you don't try them you might miss a trick.

Should home be your venue when Cupid strikes, perhaps you need go no further than to the cellar to find what you like. When humidity is perfect and temperatures are steady, give the wines the time they deserve and they will be extra special when drinking is ready. A special occasion means time for a wine review, 2001 or 1982? What happened then to the wine or to you?

A stop to the wine merchant may be your best bet. May they be thoughtful and interested in all that you do or don't know. A new producer or region will always help your wine knowledge grow.

On this Valentine's Day may a wine that you love, kiss your glass, warm your heart and connect you to Cupid's dart.

The Vinolytics Team

www.vinolytics.com

Day Out With Dad

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Many of you will have experienced the American treasure that is California wine country. I have grown to love and appreciate the people, the places and the wines after moving back to the U.S. thanks to generous clients and new found friends.  Literally the week before the fires I had a rare day out spending one on one time with my father. I was in San Francisco where my parents were on holiday and my dad agreed to drive me to my lunch in Sonoma.  My lunch with Jean Arnold Sessions (a wine legend) in the garden of the El Dorado Hotel was on a beautiful autumn day.  We discussed all things great and good about wine and I shared my new wine love with her, cool climate Viognier. Jean suggested we try the Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa to find some more examples and to see the full range of wines Sonoma has to offer.

The drive is beautiful from Sonoma to Santa Rosa on the incredible Route 12 which leads to Bennett Valley Road. The road is as windy and challenging as any in the world and the geography is stunning, absolutely beautiful and rivals any of the top wine regions, drives like these are precious. I remember thinking, right now nothing else matters than this moment, set all of life's worries aside and take it all in, only in wine country do you get days like these.  As we passed through Glen Ellen to make the left onto Arnold Drive I commented on passing through the historical town and how important it is to this history of California wine. Winding our way through the backroads of Santa Rosa we finally crossed Route 101 and found the Bottle Barn.  Upon entering this incredible wine den I was like a kid in a candy store, so much to see and learn about.  Just as I thought the day could not get any better, another amazing wine experience happened when Jeff Cohn, winemaker and Rhone wine collaborator started chatting with me over the white Rhone varietal section about the beauty and merits of Viognier.  He was thoughtful, insightful and is passionate about his projects and his wines. For me it was another top day in wine country that ended with education and kindness, and a bottle of wine.

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I will be forever grateful for the visual postcard recorded in my wine trip memory as we made our way to the Bottle Barn to find those rare Sonoma beauties.  If you have never been to Sonoma or Napa, book your trip today. If you have never tasted the emerging array of Rhone varietals from Sonoma or the Charbonos from Napa, seek them out.  Life is too short to miss the great wine regions of the world, even if wine is not your thing, the natural beauty where these wines come from is always worth the trip.  #winestrong  

How can you help?

                                                         NAPA

  • The Napa Valley Community Foundation: click here.
  • Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership: click here.
  • American Red Cross Wildfire Relief Fund: click here.
  • Napa Humane Society: click here.

                                                     SONOMA

  • Community Foundation of Sonoma: click here.
  • Redwood Empire Food Bank: click here.
  • SHARE Emergency Housing: click here.
  • Sonoma County Animal Services: click here.

                                                   SANTA ROSA

  • Redwood Credit Union Community Fund: click here.
  • You Caring – Tubbs Fire Victims: click here.

                                      OTHER IMPORTANT SOURCES

  • Rebuild North Bay: click here.
  • Salvation Army: click here.

A Matter of Taste: hot Wines of Chile

Chile is one of the world's most exciting wine regions.  Uniquely shaped with wine terroir that varies from West to East, Chile benefits from the cool Humbolt currents off the Pacific Ocean on the West and the varied altitudes of the Andes Mountains on the East creating unique microclimates and variation from North to South. As the only major wine producing country untouched by the nasty phylloxera mite that nearly wiped out wine production in Europe in the 19th Century, Chile can claim to have the most indigenous and pure rootstock in the world.  As a result of the bio-climate the vines and the resulting wines can be called distinctly Chilean. 

We recently tasted through 14 producers and there were certainly some pronounced themes. Of the 14 producers 9 had a Sauvignon Blanc, most of which were unique depending on their proximity to the water. Global demand for “SauvBlanc” is certainly driving production and their unique Chilean expression is offered at a compelling price point. My favorite wines from the tasting were from a small, natural wine Massachusetts distributor, Indie Wineries. I had the pleasure of drinking the varietal Pais produced from 200 year old vines. I had to ask twice to make sure I heard him right. The wines were complex, clean full of life and fresh red and black fruits. There was something for everyone at the tasting and no two wines were alike. 

Cacique Maravilla

Piepno 2016, 100% Pais from Bio Bio in a liter bottle. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cot 2015, 33% Malbec, 33% Pais, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I would also try the wines from El Viejo Almacen de Sauzal, they too make a 100% Pais as well as a 100% Garnacha, all bio dynamic.

Chile can offer exceptional value, but also exceptional diversity of place making the indigenous varietals sing on their own. All should not be painted with one country brush. Other varietals to look for are Carmenere and Cabernet Franc.

FUN FACT

Did you know Pedro Ximenez, the basis for sticky, toffee, gorgeous fortified wines, also expresses itself as an interesting still wine. We tasted a Pedro Ximenez by Mayu from vines at 600 feet above sea level that was clean, balanced and clearly from a cooler climate given the relative acidity and zing in mouth. Don’t shy away from the still wines that serve as the basis for sweeter wines, they can be a wine adventure in and of themselves.  

GEEK OUT

 

View the gallery below of other wines we enjoyed at Wines of Chile