phoenix

Arizona Wine Week 2010 | Events

Arizona Wine Week 2010 kicks off on October 30th with a 5k run in downtown Phoenix called the Great Arizona Grape Stomp.  On Monday, November 1st governor Jan Brewer is scheduled to officially proclaim Arizona Wine Week with a press conference.  On Friday November 5th the Celebration of the Arizona Wine Growers Reception will take place at Quiessence Restaurant at the Farm at South Mountain.  This event will provide guests with a chance to mingle with award-winning wine makers in a casual setting.  Hors d’ouevres will be severed along with the award-winning wines.

During the week there will be events and specials going on across the state, here is a quick list of scheduled events.  If you are hosting an event and it is not listed here please email me and I will add it!

FnB Restaurant: Arizona Wine Growers Association members can purchase all Arizona wines AT COST for all 5pm reservations

Downtown Phoenix Market: October 26th – November 3rd: Shoppers receive 1 raffle ticket for every bottle of wine they buy. They will raffle off two tickets to the Festival at the Farm.                                                                                      Tuesday, Nov 2nd: $1 off glass of wine when shoppers bring in their own glass from an AZ winery.                                                                                                           Wednesday, Nov 3rd: 10% off all bottles of wine (Raffle drawing that night) Thursday, Nov 4th: $2 off flights of wine.                                                                  Friday, Nov 5th: $7 for glass of AZ homemade Sangria made by Mario, our Fresca King and a cheese bite.

Studio Vino Winery: For just $2, visitors to Studio Vino, during AZ Wine Week, will have an opportunity to sample a flight of three Arizona Made wines.

Quiessence Restaurant: Is offering half price bottles of Arizona wines

The Tasting Room: Is offering Arizona wines by the glass

Rancho Pinot Grill: Is offering Arizona wines by the glass at a discount

Cheuvront Restaurant and Wine Bar: Is offering 50% off all bottles of Arizona Stronghold Nachise and Mangus.

Arizona wine week concludes with the main event, the “Festival on the Farm”  on Saturday November 6th.  This event is open to the public ($65) and will feature wine education and seminars, meet and greet the wine makers and of course LOTS of food and wine sampling! Don’t miss it! Get your tickets quick before they sell out.

Get tickets HERE

Interview | George Miliotes | Seasons 52 Phoenix

Seasons 52 opened in Phoenix opened on October 25th, 2010.  The Weekly Wine Journal was invited to a VIP pre-opening event and managed to get a quick interview with Master Sommelier and director of beverages and hospitality for Seasons52 restaurants across the nation.

Click HERE for directions to this restaurant

Review: Fleming’s Women and Wine Dinner

Steakhouse dining room

Fleming's on North Scottsdale Road

Last week Fleming’s Steakhouses across the country hosted their “Women & Wine” dinners.  At the events guests were treated to some amazing wines made by some legendary women in the wine world including Cathy Corison, Kristin Belair and Janet Myers.

Cathy Corison wine

Corison 2000 Cabernet

We started out the evening with swiss cheese puffs and house cured salmon, citrus creme fraiche and crispy wonton.  These were paired with Cathy Corison’s 2000 vintage  Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa valley.  Cathy Corison is a legendary wine maker having made wines for over 30 years for brands like Chappellet, Staglin Family, York Creek and Long Meadow Ranch.  It was very nice to taste a wine that has had significant time to age in the bottle.  This  wine was very refined with beautiful and mature tannins.  It paired very well with the food as it was soft and gentle enough as to not overpower  the food.

Next we enjoyed Butternut squash bisque with Danish blue cheese fondue and bacon herb bruschetta.  This was paired with Honig, Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Napa.  Kristin Belair is the wine maker at Honig and has been since 1998.  This wine is much bigger and bolder, younger than the Corison.  It displays notes of sage and currant as well as a pronounced creamy vanilla which only really came out after the Lamb chops served next.  The wine manager for this Fleming’s location, Tony Novak suggested we save a little of the Honig to try later after the main course, to see how it changes with the main course.  And it did.  I thought it was delicious to begin with, but actually found it tasted better with the rosemary Lamb chops which is what we enjoyed next.

05 Magnificat

Rosemary-scented lamb chops on parmesan risotto with maple roasted parsnips and a red wine demi glace.  This was paired with Franciscan, Magnificat 2005 from Napa.  This wine is made by Janet Myers who joined Franciscan Estate in 2003 and began winemaker in 2005.  Janet is also the winemaker at Mount Veeder winery. The ’05 Magnificat is a blend of 73% Cabernet, 23% Merlot, 2% Malbec, 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc.  This wine is loaded with dark fruit, powerful and a made for red meat!

During the dinner we watched on a big flat screen some short videos made by Wine Spectator which gave us a little insight into the wine makers and the wines, including interviews and scenery.  I thought that was a nice touch.

My favorite part of the dinner came next: dessert!   Thick and rich caramel pudding with crumbled Heath bar on top with shortbread cookies on the side. The dessert was pretty big and I was unable to finish it all, but I kept going back and nibbling on it, I couldn’t stop myself.

At the end of dinner each table was presented with a special gift.  A set of nice big red wine glasses with the Fleming’s “F” engraved on it and a bottle of the 2005 Magnificat.  That was really an amazing touch because the wine alone retails for about $55 a bottle.  Guests enjoyed an amazing meal, amazing wines, and then were given a whole bottle and two glasses for later…all for $95 a plate.  It’s these  extras that can really make a merely good evening into a great evening.

*Disclaimer*  I attended this event as a guest of Fleming’s and Tin Can Marketing.

Society of Wine Educators Certified Wine Educator Preview

Earlier this month I was invited to attend the Society of Wine Educators CWE (Certified Wine Educator) preview which was held at The Camelback Inn in Arizona.  The day long course is a preview to the actual CWE exam.

The Society of Wine Educators was founded in 1978 by people with a background in education.  Over the next few years they developed the curriculum and testing process that has been in place since 1983.

New for 2010 are some changes designed to make attaining the CWE certification more prestigious and meaningful, not that it isn’t already.  The testing processes starts out with 85 multiple choice questions with a one hour time limit.  Many of the questions require knowledge across multiple subjects.  For example a question like “Name the first locale north of Bordeaux which contains a Classified 1st growth”.  You would need to know your geography and your list of 1st growths.  In addition many of the questions have more than one potential answer, and you must select the most correct answer.

Next, candidates must complete an essay in one hour.  Essay questions typically involve general knowledge plus making and defending a position.

Both these tests are conducted in the morning, after lunch the tasting portion begins.  First is the tasting rationale segment.  4 white wines and 4 red wines are poured for the candidates who must then write a detailed tasting rationale for one pre-determined wine, as well as assign from a list of 10 wines the correct names, appellations and varietals to the remaining wines.  There are more wines on the list than actual wines which is an added level of trickiness and candidates must correctly identify 6 out of the 8 wines.

Finally candidates must complete the “Components and flaws’ segment.  9 glasses of wines are arranged in front of the candidate, one of them is labeled “Control”  Candidates must correctly identify the identical wine from the other 8.  Among the other 7 are wines with added alcohol, sugar, tannin, Sulphur Dioxide, Tartaric acid, vinegar and oxidation, candidates must correctly identify 7 out of the 9 wines.

There are just over 300 people world wide who have passed the CWE since its inception in 1983 and only 12% of them passed all 3 components on their first try.  Most people study for 1-2 years before attempting and make an average of 2 attempts before passing.

Most people who take this route to certification do so because it is much less expensive and quicker than the Sommelier route, but make no mistake it is not an easy alternative.

Society of Wine Educators Website

Arizona Wine Week 2010

On November 1st, 2010 governor Jan Brewer is set to proclaim the week of October 30 to November 6th as “Arizona Wine Week”.  There are a number of events planned for the week including a 5K run on October 30th in Phoenix.  On November 5th  Quiessence Restaurant at The Farm at South Mountain will host the Arizona Grower’s reception.  This event will provide guests with a special opportunity to meet and mingle with wine makers in a casual but intimate setting.  The event will feature Hors d’ouevres by Executive Chef Greg LaPrad.

Then on Saturday November 6th the big celebration starts, the Festival on the Farm.  The festival will feature live educational seminars, wine tasting with more than 20 Arizona wines, a picnic lunch prepared by The Farm kitchen, Live music from internationally renowned singer song writer Paris James and a silent live auction of wine.

Throughout the week there will events held at various locations  you can check back right here with The Weekly Wine Journal for updates on those events.

Get tickets HERE

Seasons 52, Biltmore Phoenix

Seasons 52 at Biltmore Fashion Park in Phoenix, Arizona is set to open on October 25th, 2010.  The Weekly Wine Journal was lucky enough to get a sneak preview of the menu and wine list at a VIP event this past Saturday.  Seasons 52 features an all star cast including Master Sommelier and CWE George Miliotes.  Upon arriving guests were greeted with a fantastic glass of Champagne- Chartogne-Taillet Cuvee Sainte Anne, Champagne NV!  A little background on this wine:  Chartogne-Taillet has had vines in Champagne since 1683.  They are a fairly small producer, producing only 16,000 cases of wine each year and about 7,000 cases of this particular wine.  This was a nice dry champagne with fine bubbles.  So right away I knew I was dealing with something out of the ordinary in Seasons 52.

 

The Chef's Table

 

I quickly joined onto a tour of the restaurant and during this tour I noticed the Mesquite grill in the kitchen.  Another sign of good things to come as I have really enjoyed the Mesquite grill at FnB in Scottsdale.  The rest of the tour took us through the dining area and to one of three private dining areas.  The first one has full video capabilities with a screen that drops down out of the ceiling.

 

Private Dining Room #1

 

The other two private dining rooms can be joined together to make a nice big room that looks onto the Biltmore courtyard.  After the tour guests congregated in the bar area while listening to pianist vocalist Rebecca De La Torre.  I chatted with Master Sommelier and director of beverage and hospitality for Seasons 52, George Miliotes for a few minutes before we all were invited back to the big private dining room.

We were treated to a fantastic 5 course meal as well as in depth back ground information on the preparation, ingredients and the wine pairings.

 

Lump crab haas avocado

 

To start we had a simple Amuse-bouche of lump crab and Haas avocado paired with Aveleda Vinho Verde 2009 from Portugal.  The wine was light and crisp and fermented in stainless steel.

Next up was Wild King salmon and lemongrass sea scallop roasted on a cedar plank.  This was paired

 

Shrimp and scallop on cedar plank

 

with Mer Soleil 2008 Chardonnay from California’s Central Coast.  I was ecstatic to see wild salmon on the menu.  One thing I can’t stand ( it makes me crazy like Frank Booth in Blue Velvet ) is farmed salmon.  Add salmon snob to my list of short comings or strengths, depending on how you look at it.  The cedar plank was a really nice touch, it gives the food an extra level of flavor which is uncommon.  George Miliotes informed us that The Mer Soleil Chardonnay was fermented in the very best oak and also aged in oak.  This wine had an incredibly supple mouth-feel.

 

Salad in a cylinder

 

Next was a salad featuring Earthbound farm organic greens with oak-grilled mushrooms, toasted pistachios and truffle dressing.  The salad came on a plate inside of a clear cylinder.  Suddenly the servers lifted up the cylinders and the salad came out of the bottom and was spread around the plate, a very interesting touch.  Everyone went “ooooo”.  The salad was paired with Sinkskey Pinot Noir 2007 from Los Carneros.  A very nice Pinot Noir which also happens to be organic.

 

Sonoma goat cheese ravioli

 

Continuing right along, the next dish consisted of one big ravioli.  Sonoma goat cheese ravioli with roasted garlic, basil and a light tomato broth.  This was amazing.  Soft and creamy and the tomatoes added the perfect hint of sweetness.  This was paired with Retromarcia Chianti Classico.  This wine is a little “rough around the edges” as George put it, to be drunk by itself, but it is the perfect accompaniment to rich foods.

 

Mesquite grilled rack lamb and quail breast

 

The main course followed.  Mesquite grilled lamb rack and Manchester farms quail breast, mashed sweet potatoes and grilled Brussell sprouts in a bourbon chili glaze.  Once again, fantastic!  This dish was paired with two big red wines in very different styles.  First we had Markham Petite Sirah 2004 from Napa Valley.  This wine has matured in the bottle quite nicely from the last time I tried it back in 2008.

 

The wines

 

It’s rich and ripe and juicy. The second wine was De Toren Fusion V from Stellenbosch South Africa.  George Miliotes is a big fan of South African wines and actually helped develop Indaba Chardonnay which Robert Parker ended up calling one of the best values in French style Chardonnay out there.  De Toren Fusion V is one of the best wines out of South Africa.  It is an amazing Bordeaux style blend consisting of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot and Petit Verdot.  This is another small production producer, only 3,600 cases of the 750ml bottles were produced for 2007.

Last but not least were the “Mini Indulgences”  see this quick 10 second video for a quick rundown because it’s much better than anything I could write!

The desserts were paired with Selbach-Oster Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Auslese, Mosel 2006.  Say that 10 times really fast!  According to George and most people in the know the 2006 vintage for Germany’s dessert wines is one of the best of the last 50 years.  This wine was no exception, it was the perfect pairing for the indulgences.

After lunch I managed to get a one on one interview George Miliotes in the Chateau, the place where they keep the wines.  See that video on the Weekly Wine Journal’s Youtube Channel HERE.

For more photos of the event, check out the Weekly Wine Journal’s Facebook page HERE

Wine tasting at the Olive Garden Restaurant

FCC Disclosure: The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely mine. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Olive Garden invited me to this event, offering gift certificates for my readers and me to experience the newly updated location, but that does not impact my views or opinions in any way.

Last week I was invited to attend my local Olive Garden as they showcased their new Tuscan themed makeover.  I have eaten at this particular restaurant once before about 7 or 8 years ago and cannot remember what it looked like before the makeover.  I arrived at 6pm on the day that the Phoenix metro area was pounded by severe thunderstorms and was surprised to see quite a few people inside.   The first thing I noticed was behind the greeter station there was a bistro styled bar.  Complete with high tables and chairs and a sort of circular wall around it.  The actual restaurant seating was around the corner, but I found this to be new and appealing, welcoming.  I was seated and greeted by the friendly staff and was assigned a personal server.  I’m not sure if that was because I was carrying a clip board and asked for a spit container, I doubt it.  I quickly tasted the wines and wrote down some notes.

The wines:

Sartori Family 2009 Pinot Grigio, Delle Venezie Italy. Light with lemon notes, 12% alcohol and $6.65 a glass

Mandra Rossa 2008 Fiano, sicily. 13.5% alcohol, $6.35 a glass.  This wine was also light and fruity, like a light unoaked Chardonnay.  Which is interesting because typically the Fiano grape is quite intense.

Arancio Nero d’Avola, Sicily. 13.5% alcohol, $6.35 a glass.  Nero d’Avola used to be primarily a mixing component but has come into its own in more recent times.  This wine really reminded me of a lot of the Arizona wines I have tasted.  Smokey oak, almost campfire or more like your clothes smell the morning after sitting next to the campfire all night.  Mixed with a rather aggressive unripe red cherry fruit.

Rocca delle Macie, SaSyr, Tuscany.  This wine is a blend of 60% Sangiovese and 40% Syrah.  13.5% alcohol and $8.25 a glass.  This wine is full bodied and the most complex of the lot with a mix of cherry blackberry and raspberry.  At first I really liked this wine, I suppose compared to the others, so I ordered a glass with my dinner – spaghetti with meat sauce.  Unfortunately this was a bad pairing.  I could only drink half the glass.  The spaghetti itself was lacklustre I have to say.   While I was eating I perused the wine list and noticed what I would call the most infamous wine list I have ever seen including  Cavit, Woodbridge, two kinds of pink zinfandel and Riunite.  At this point I started to wonder what the new Tuscan thing was all about.  The wine snob in me was horrified.    Something else that caught my attention was the odd  wine prices. It’s not that common to see  wines by the glass for $6.65 or $6.35.  Usually wines by the glass are priced at $6, $7 or $8 or higher in nice round numbers.  On second thought, this past month I have eaten at BLT at the Marriott, Morton’s the steakhouse and FnB Scottsdale, so maybe I shouldn’t be holding a family restaurant like Olive Garden to the same standard.  That might be like someone holding me to the same standard as Wine Spectator!

However, I will say this: the staff was extremely friendly.  They really went out of their way to attend to everyone’s needs, full marks on the service.

p.s. since the winner of the $25 gift certificate failed to claim their prize it is up for grabs again…

Morton’s and the Mondavi families, celebrating the legendary blend

This past Thursday, October 7th I was invited to a very special event 27 liter bottle of wineheld at Morton’s the steakhouse in Scottsdale, Arizona to raise money for the Make a Wish Foundation. But the event was much bigger than just the Scottsdale location.  The main event was actually held at the  Charles Krug Winery Carriage House in St. Helena, Napa Valley and was broadcast live in high definition to more than 50 Morton’s Steakhouses across the country.  3 generations of the Mondavi family were on hand including Michael, Marcia, Timothy, Marc, Peter Jr. and 96 year old Peter Sr.  The highlight of the evening was the wonderful speech that Peter Sr. gave.  He had a lot to say, but who wouldn’t given the enormous amount of experience.  He touched on many of the key points that us wine nerds have been talking about lately including the recent trend to higher alcohol.  He also talked about harvesting at night and cold fermentation back in 1937.  Peter Sr. still goes to work everyday and I was told that he drives to work every day in his ’86 El Dorado!  The big buzz pertaining to wine that evening was the unveiling of a 27 liter one-of-a-kind blend put together by the 2nd and 3rd generations of the Mondavi family.  Known as the legendary Primat, Siamo Insieme, “We are together”.  The wine is currently being auctioned by the Hart Davis Hart Wine Company through October 30th and is expected to fetch between $10,000 to $20,000 with  100% of the proceeds going to the Make a Wish Foundation.

There are a couple of  interesting features to a bottle of this size.  One is that the empty bottle itself is worth about $1,500.  Secondly,  due to the size this bottle will easily age for a minimum 25 years.  The enormous size means the wine is not as susceptible to temperature fluctuations or oxidation.  A lot of people are probably wondering how do you pour wine from a 125lb 3 foot tall bottle?  Well first you open it was a standard cork screw and then you can either use a custom pouring device designed by Peter Mondavi Jr. or you can use a siphon.

In addition to the legendary blend guests at each location were able to bid on a very special 3-pack of wine in a custom made wood carrying case, including Continuum, M by Michael Mondavi and Charles Krug Vintage Select Cabernet.

The evening started out with a

 

interior

Morton's main dining room

 

reception in the main room featuring smoked salmon pizza, tenderloin crostinis and miniature crabcakes paired with Charles Krug 2009 sauvignon blanc from Napa Valley.  This wine is actually harvested at 3 different times to help bring out the different components.  Predominantly tropical fruit, pineapple pear and peach, this wine is quite well suited to being first to taste.  It retails for about $18 a bottle.

After the reception we were ushered into a private dinning room complete with a huge screen to view the festivities live from the winery.  The room had mahogany walls and reminded me of a cigar club.

The first course was an amazing salad consisting of Harvest greens, topped with Sea Bass and a roasted caper vinaigrette and paired with Isabel Mondavi’s 2008 Chardonnay from Carneros, Sonoma.  This Chardonnay comes in a Bordeaux style bottle which was the first indication of something different.  80% of this wine was barrel fermented in french oak and the remainder saw stainless steel fermentation, however this Chard is very light on the oak.  It retails for about $18 a bottle which I found to be quite amazing because of the tiny production, the 2007 vintage is only 400 cases!

Next up was the main course.

 

My kind of dinner!

 

For our main course, 3 glasses of wine were pre-poured and paired with a massive New York strip sirloin, baked sweet onions with Gruyère cheese, roasted tomato stuffed with leaf spinach and roasted Yukon gold potatoes.

The first wine was Continuum 2007 Napa valley.  This wine was stunning, it completely blew me away.  The ’07 Continuum is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Cabernet Franc and 18 % Petit Verdot.  Silky and smooth with Cherry and Currant and a hint of Anise.  This wine was rated 97 points by Wine Spectator and retails for $140.

The next wine was M, 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Animo Vineyard, Napa Valley.This wine was very different from the first.  Quite young and intense, with an amazing explosion of chewy tannins and plummy fruit.  I enjoy young wines, but some people do not.  This wine could use a few more years of cellaring if you find big and bold too much for your palate.  For me it was just perfect.  Only 900 cases were made and the wine retails for about $175 a bottle.

The 3rd wine was Charles Krug 2006 Vintage Selection Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa.  This wine was the most approachable at this point in time.  The fruit was ripe and the tannins soft, predominately ripe cherry and plum.  A little over 1,800 cases of this wine were made, and it retails for about $70 a bottle.

For dessert we were served Cappuccino cream.  A nice big cup of thick mouse like cappuccino topped with an ample amount of whipped cream and dark chocolate shavings.  This was paired with Charles Krug Zinfandel Port, Lot XIII from Napa Valley. Only 700 cases of the 375ml bottles were made, so this was quite a nice little rarity.  This is a very nice port, rich smooth, very little in the way of alcoholic heat even thought the alcohol weighs in at around 18%.  Delicious, but take small sips, it is potent!

Throughout the evening we watched pre-recorded as well as live interviews with the members of the Mondavi family and were treated to some wonderful musical performances.  There was a segment on the making of the 27 liter bottle of wine where the 2nd and 3rd generations of the Mondavi family were sitting in the wine cellar sipping sniffing and taking notes and discussing the blend.

Meanwhile back in Scottsdale, the guests were well taken care of by the attentive staff at Morton’s.  Unfortunately, the evening seemed to end too soon, but it was already 8pm and it was a Thursday night.  Although I very nearly convinced some of the other guests to make an all-nighter out of it.  Maybe next time.

Weekly Wine Journal contest #1

The Weekly Wine Journal’s first contest is underway!  You could win a chance to join me at the Olive Garden located at 48th street and Cactus in Paradise Valley, Arizona.  The Olive Garden recently underwent a menu and facilities makeover and on Tuesday October 5th from 6-8pm they will be having a private get together to show everyone the new Olive Garden.  But wait, there’s more!  There will be samples of wine and food.  But wait! There’s more!  This $25 gift card will also be yours too!

 

Weekly Wine Journal Contest one

This sleek sexy coupon could be yours!!

 

Here’s how it works:  Write a comment below about why you should be the contest winner, the best comment as judged by me will win – it’s as simple as that!

I will meet the winner at the Olive Garden located at 4868 East Cactus road in Paradise Valley, Arizona.  We will taste the wines and sample foods and after that you will receive the gift card which you can use to purchase dinner that night or keep it for a later date.

The new 100% recyclable wine bottle

I was invited by Rene Moore PR to

recylclable wine bottle

100% recyclable wine bottles

participate in a market research wine tasting for a brand new and as of yet unreleased wine label called “Kind Vines”. The wine tasting was held in the private dining room at the True Food Kitchen located in Phoenix’s upscale Biltmore Fashion Park.

The private dining room at True

glass walled dining room

Tru Foods Kitchen private dining room

Food Kitchen is a room adjacent to the main dining area.  It is separated by glass walls and a large Euro styled glass door, as in a large frameless sliding glass door.  There is a large rectangular wooden table in the center of the room and hanging above the table are some large glass lights.  The lights are in a row and resemble a Newton’s cradle. The room is light and airy with very high ceilings and a large window that looks outside. True Food Kitchen opened in 2008 and is a partnership between Fox Restaurant Concepts and best selling author Dr. Andrew Weil.

Kind Vines is the brainchild of David Williamson.  David has two decades experience working in many of the major liquor distributors.  Part of his job was to always be looking out for ways to save money.  He eventually came to the conclusion that shipping wine in glass bottles is expensive and not very good for the environment.  He noticed that bottles account for 50% of the shipping weight and volume.  Secondly, David sites an EPA MSW report from 2008 which states that nearly 3 billion wine bottles end up in landfills every year.

Kind Vines is a different kind of wine company

wine glasses on table in front of window

Inside the private dining area

with a very different business model.  So far the company only has plans for Arizona, but this idea could be adopted for other states.  The basic idea is that the wine would be shipped in bulk to the Kind Vines facility in Flagstaff.  From there it would be bottled and distributed.  The really exciting part about this company is their wine bottles.  They are 100% recyclable.  How is that??  Well first, the label is not made of paper, its painted on and then baked on.  Secondly, instead of a cork, there is a glass stopper with a rubber gasket.  Thirdly, you pay a $2 or $3 deposit on each bottle and when you return the bottle to the store, you get a $2 or $3 discount off your next bottle of Kind Vines.  With David’s background in liquor distribution he was able to see that using beer distributors to distribute his wine was the way to go.  Why?  Because beer distributors have the network in place to not only deliver product but bring back the empty kegs and wine bottles.  The wine bottles are collected and washed and sanitized and refilled with wine.

So far this company is in the very early stages of planning.

big light bulbs

Those interesting lights

Right now David and his team are determining which wines to buy.  Part one of this selection process involved selecting members of the media and community and having them sit down and taste the wines and give their feed back.  Kind Vines is going to have a two tiered approach to wine.  Tier 1 is what we tasted and would be their more economical line of wines, typically retailing for under $10 including the deposit.  We tasted wines from Red Hills Lake County, Napa Valley and Paso Robles.  I found the wines to be interesting enough for that price point, though some did stand out as a little more exceptional than others.

Part 2, the part where people choose the upscale tier number two wines will be where it gets interesting.  If David can get himself some bulk juice from some premium producers he might just have a winner.

Visit the Kind Vines website here

Visit the True Food Kitchen here

Follow Renee Moore on Twitter here