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Category: Sparkling Wine

Boutique Wine Must Buys – Part One

With the shutting down of tasting rooms throughout US wine regions, small family wineries are taking a hit. Yes, they have their club members and some other loyal fans, but the tasting rooms bring in new customers. So allow me to introduce you to some of my favorite family-operated wineries and the incredible boutique wine that they make.  There is something for every palate in this list. Please give them a try. And tell them that Strong Coffee to Red Wine sent you. Methven Family Vineyards Does Gamay and So Much More I had the pleasure of visiting Methven Family…

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DTC Winery Tasting Rooms Are Empty…

Gary and I purchase a significant amount of wine from direct to consumer (DTC) wineries that we have visited, been referred to, or worked with doing local tasting parties.  Wine region economies are built on the backs of the DTC winery, and this pandemic is suffocating entire swaths of California, Oregon, etc.. Some of these wineries make less than 2,000 cases a year. For those, 100% of their business usually comes from sales in their tasting room and from consumers who join their wine club. (Winery wine clubs are super cool. But that is another post for another time.) Tasting…

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Favorite Wines of 2019

Our favorite wines of 2019 offered a few surprises. For me, the biggest surprise was that two of the top four are California Chardonnays. Let me be clear; Gary loves Chardonnay but prefers French. But for me, of all the white wine varietals that I have tasted, Chardonnay is (was) one of my least favorite. Now that does not mean I am an ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) drinker. It’s just that my history with Chardonnay has been fraught with too much oak and, or too much butter. Both Gary and I are thrilled that the trend is moving away from…

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Summer Sips * Available * Easy * Affordable

With the thermometer topping 100 degrees already this Spring, I am sure this is going to be a long and super hot summer. Days like these require quenching, quaffable, and affordable summer sips to help me make it through the next several months. These wine are sold at big box stores, Total Wine, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s. That said they may not be in your area due to lack of distribution in your state. Summer Sips – Sparkler   Gruet Brut Rosé NV Who knew that such fantastic and affordable sparkling wines come from New Mexico? They have an…

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Portuguese, Serbian & Italian Tasting * Pt 2

I promised you that I would post the remaining six wines that were part of the Croatian & Portuguese Wine Tasting. If you missed that post, you could check it out by clicking on the link. I still think about how much fun we had that evening. Going to wine tastings is the best way to broaden your palate and find new wines to add to your cellar or wine rack. These wines are amazingly affordable and were a big hit at the tasting. Portuguese Wine: Avicella Rosé 2017, Vinho Verde This classic Portuguese wine from Vinho Verde has slight…

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Laherte Frères Champagne Wine Dinner

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of attending the Laherte Frères Champagne Dinner at Edmund’s Oast. All of the wine dinners I have gone to at Edmund’s Oast have been a lot of fun as well as great learning experiences. But I was super excited about this one because I have a significant knowledge deficit when it comes to the art of champagne. Since this is one of Sarah O’Kelley’s (the sommelier at Edmund’s Oast), favorite producers, I knew I was in for a treat. Side note: All Champagne is sparkling wine. But all sparkling wine is NOT…

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Croatian Wine Tasting * Part 1

My friend’s John and Irene have an online wine store (Topochines.com) that sells Croatian wine as well as wines from a few other countries. The wines are always unique and from off the beaten path wineries. I had sampled some of the Croatian wine and knew that I needed to introduce these wines to others in Charleston. I decided to put together a wine tasting and invited some of my wine pals to partake. Happily, I ended up being 15 folks who heeded the call. It turned out that we sampled a total of 12 wines: six Croatian wines, four…

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Brunch with Friends – What a Weekend

This was a crazy busy weekend. We had a birthday dinner to attend with some great friends on Saturday evening and then Gary & I hosted a brunch with two other couples that turned into an all-day affair on Sunday. I am not sure how I was able to accomplish that given that the Saturday birthday was still going strong when we left at 1:30 am (home at 2:00 am). At which point I had to clean the kitchen from doing brunch prep work until 20 minutes before the earlier departure time and make the custard for the breakfast casserole so it…

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