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Why Not Pair Wine and Books?

Books for wine lovers

Books for wine lovers!

If you live near Boulder, Colorado and enjoy wine and books, you will want to check out the Boulder Wine Reads meetup. If you don’t live near Boulder, another way to satisfy your interest is to start your own local Wine Reads group.

Boulder Wine Read was started in September 2014 by Blake Eliasson. Blake opened Settembre Cellars in 2007. The location is Settembre Cellars, 1501 Lee Hill Rd Unit 16, Boulder, CO

Boulder Wine Reads is for wine enthusiasts who like wine and want to learn more about it. The meetup description explains how it works, “…our winemaker selects a book, we read a section or two & then gather over a glass to share what we learned. Art, science, history, geography and an intimate human connection to the season & soil beneath our feet, few beverages can match the story wine has to tell. Whether your interest is purely hedonistic, or you wish to explore the intricacy of phenolics, minerality & terroir, we invite you to join an exploration of wine’s story.”

There is no charge to attend the Boulder Wine Reads group. However, those who would like a glass of wine pay $8 for a glass of wine or a flight for $10.

Prior events for Boulder Wine Reads have included books such as The Accidental Connoisseur, Wine Science, The Hills of Chianti, Postmodern Winemaking, and The Road to Burgundy.

The next scheduled meetups are:

October 4 meetup: Real Wine

November 1 meetup: Questions of Taste

December 6 meetup: The Botanist and the Vintner

This is agreat concept for other wineries to consider. While winemakers may feel they are too busy with their winemaking responsibilities, wineries should consider other staff members as well as wine club members and wine enthusiasts. Terry and I would enjoy leading a meetup group with a focus on wine.


Georgia, Sakartvelo: The Birthplace of Wine

Georgia, Sakartvelo: The Birthplace of Wine

25th Annual Virginia Wine & Garlic Festival

This weekend while waiting out the potential northeaster storm and Hurricane Joaquin at least a Category 3 storm over this next few days, take the time to find out about the 25th Annual Virginia Wine & Garlic Festival scheduled for October 10 and 11.

The Annual Wine & Garlic Festival takes place at Rebec Vineyards in Amherst, Virginia. Ten featured Virginia wineries are participating including: Rebec Vineyards, Peaks of Otter Winery, Lazy Days, Rockbridge Vineyard, Hill Top Berry, Burnley Vineyards, Mountain Cove Vineyards, The Homeplace Vineyard, Virginia Mountain Vineyards and North Mountain Vineyard and Winery.

In addition to wineries, nine garlic growers offering an assortment of garlic products including specialty garlic, garlic heads, garlic braids, elephant garlic, ethnic garlic and organically grown garlic are participating.

Almost 50 arts and crafts vendors will offer a wide assortment of gift items for browsing. Perhaps purchase a treasured keepsake for yourself. Many additional vendors will also include goat cheese, hot sauces, baked goods, soaps, totes and specialty kitchen products including garlic graters.

Entertainment will include artists: Jodie Davis, Big Foot County, Steve Freeman Band, Dragonfly, FaST, Just Wanna Play, Frank Coffey & Company and High Energy of Speed.

The festival is family friendly with activities available for children.

Tickets are available online.

The Homeplace Vineyard tasting room

The Homeplace Vineyard tasting room

Note: Wine Trail Traveler visited and written about The Homeplace VineyardPeaks of Otter WineryMountain Cove VineyardsRockbridge Vineyard and Burnley Vineyards. Check out the articles online.


Umbrian Sagrantino

Kathy and I attended an Internet presentation of Umbrian wines. We received six samples from Umbria. Umbria an a region in Italy that borders Toscana. It is not part of Toscana.  The wine samples all included the grape Sagrantino. Sagrantino is not Sangiovese. It is a completely different grape and one of my favorite grapes.

Since 2012, I have replaced the traditional wine notes with haikus. The haiku format of five syllables. seven syllable and five syllables works very well with tweets on Twitter. I wrote the following haikus for today’s wine tasting.

092915b2011 Perticaia – Montefalco Rosso haiku:
Black, red berry fruits
Fruity, medium tannins

Where is the pasta?

2011 Còlpetrone – Montefalco Rosso haiku

Black cherries abound
Fruit forward and bold tannins
Crisp everyday wine

2008 Tenuta Castelbuono – ‘Carapace’ Montefalco Sagrantino haiku
Blackberries, cherries

Dark ruby, sienna hue
Bright kissing tannins

2009 Antonelli – Montefalco Sagrantino haiku
Translucent ruby
Sandpaper coating tannins
Needs Italian food

2008 Scacciadiavoli – Montefalco Sagrantinohaiku
Ripe black berry fruit
Perceived sweetness fruit forward
Sagrantino wine

2009 Arnaldo Caprai – ‘Collepiano’ Montefalco Sagrantino haiku
Sweet jam berry fruits
Sweet spot of Montefalco
Pair Umbrian foods

It is hard to select a favorite from the group. I liked the 2009 Arnaldo Caprai  and the 2009 Antonelli – Montefalco Sagrantino the best. Those two were also the most expensive wine in the United States. Sagrantino can challenge Cabernet Sauvignons. If you like Cabernet, give Sagrantino a try the next time you have an opportunity. Although it pairs well with Italian food, I could easily enjoy these wines paired with a rocking chair on a porch.

Sagrantino, One of my Favorite Varieties

A Sagrantino from Arnaldo Caprai Winery

A Sagrantino from Arnaldo Caprai Winery

Years ago, I discovered the varietal grape Sagrantino while visiting Firelands Winery in Sandusky, Ohio. The owner of the winery, Claudio Salvador also owns an import company. His wife and brother both own wineries in Italy. When Claudio learned that I enjoy very bold tannins, he presented a Sagrantino from the Umbria region of Italy. We tasted a  2006 Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG from Di Filippo Winery in Cannara, Italy. The wine was well worth discovering. The tannins went beyond bold to outrageous, something I cherish. Sagrantino is an Italian grape indigenous to the Umbria region of Montefalco. The soils in these vineyards are sand, limestone and clay. The aroma and tastes offer plum and cinnamon. The finish had outrageous tannins. One can feel the tannins on your teeth as your lips begin to pucker.

In 2012 Kathy and I visited several wineries in Umbria. We enjoyed visits to Arnaldo Caprai Winery, Goretti Winery and Lungarotti where we had a delicious grappa made from Sagrantino. The wine/food experience in Umbria was fantastic. Umbria as a region where chefs do not cook to impress, they cook for family.

092915bIt was wonderful to receive an invitation to taste six Sagrantino wines from Umbria. On Wednesday, September 30 from 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm Eastern time, we will taste six wines from Umbria. The wines include:

Perticaia – Montefalco Rosso DOC
Còlpetrone – Montefalco Rosso DOC
Tenuta Castelbuono – ‘Carapace’ Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG
Antonelli – Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG
Scacciadiavoli – Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG
Arnaldo Caprai – ‘Collepiano’ Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG

You can follow the tweets about these wines by using the hashtag #SipMontefalco.


Two Wine Marinade Recipes

Red wine from Colaneri in Ontario, Canada

If you enjoy cooking or are just delving into cooking, you will want to check out the two recipes below for marinades. The red wine marinade and white wine marinade recipes are provided by Put Pork on your Fork, a Canadian organization focusing, of course, on pork. Check out their informative website.

By using a marinade when cooking meat, the marinade can tenderize the meat and also add some delicious flavors. Try one of these recipes the next time you are cooking pork. I’m tempted to try it with others types of meat, too!

Red Wine Marinade


1 1/2 cups          375 ml            dry red wine
1/4 cup               50 ml             red wine vinegar
1/2 cup               125 ml           canola oil
1                           1                  small onion, diced
1                           1                  carrot, thinly sliced
1                           1                  bay leaf
1 tsp                    5 ml               black peppercorns, crushed


Combine all ingredients; whisk briskly before use.

White Wine Marinade


1/2 cup               125 ml            dry white wine
1/2 cup               125 ml            white wine vinegar
1/2 cup               125 ml            canola oil
2                           2                    shallots, chopped
3 tsp                    15 ml              chopped herbs*


Combine all ingredients; whisk briskly before use.

*The choice of herbs is up to you; thyme, dill, rosemary, sage or cilantro are all good choices. Vary quantity according to the strength of the chosen herb.

Recipe provided by Put Pork on your Fork

Aldo Adige Wine Haikus

altoaidgegwurtA Twitter wine tasting last evening comprised of eight wines that we received samples. The wines were from the Alto Adige area of Northern Italy. For two hours, people from across the United Sates tweeted about the wines on a constant stream of tweets. Wine author Karen MacNeil chimed in with her comments and replies to others’ comments. As usual for Twitter, I refrained from my customary wine descriptions to writing haikus for each wine. I chose this poetic style in part because of a challenge from Eric Asimov, New York Times wine critic. Eric suggested that wine writes become more creative in their wine descriptions. A haiku made sense especially when applied to tweets where the characters are limited. With only 17 syllables, one can write a haiku and still have characters left over for retweets. If you are interested in following the Twitter discussion of Alto Adige wines, follow #SipWithKaren on Twitter.

Alto Adige Wine Haikus

2014 Castel Sallegg Pulvernai Pinot Grigio haiku
White floral bouquet
White peaches and nectarines
Awakens dinner

2013 Porer Pinot Grigio haiku:
Grapefruit, apricot
Bright acidity wants food
Pinot Grigio

2012 Vorberg Pinot Bianco haiku
Apples, mineral
Bright lively acidity
Daily Pinot wine

2013 Prail Sauvignon haiku
Fruity Sauvignon
Tropical fruits, lemony
Crisp for rocking chair

2014 Cantina Andriano Gewürztraminer haiku
Floral and baking spices
Almond, citrus hints

altoaidgereds2014 Pfarrhof Kalterersee Auslese haiku
Raspberry salad
Lighter, milder red wine
Crisp, pair with cheeses

2013 Neue Mezzan Pinot Nero haiku
Blauburgunder red
Raspberry Pinot Nero
Crispy and fruity

2010 Abbazia di Novacella Praepositus Lagrein haiku
Dark ruby opaque
Cherries, violets Lagrein
Spices and tannins

These wines from the Alto Adige region of Italy are crisp and pair well with many foods.


Cheese & Wine Pairing in Berks County


Pinnacle Ridge in Pennsylvania


Plan to visit Pennsylvania’s Berks County Wine Trail on the weekend of October 3 and 4 for their Artisan Cheese & Wine Pairing Event Weekend. Each day for five hours  nine wineries on the wine trail will be offering a delightful assortment of cheeses paired with wines.

At each winery participants can enjoy a different cheese sample paired with wines and “a culinary cheese creation.”

Tickets are available online or at the Berks County wineries. Prices are $12 plus processing fee in advance or $18 at the door.

Blair Vineyards, Berks County, PA

Blair Vineyards, Berks County, PA

The wineries included in this event are:

  • Manatawny Creek Winery
  • Stone Barn Cellars
  • Blair Vineyards
  • Calvaresi Winery
  • Clover Hill Winery
  • Bashore & Stoudt Country Winery
  • Kog Hill Winery
  • Long Trout Winery
  • Pinnacle Ridge Winery

The current schedule for the weekend includes:

Manatawny Creek Winery

-roasted tomato soup made with brie/pairing Harvest Red Wine
-cheddar cheese coins with Syrah

Stone Barn Cellars 

– Creamy Lobster Mac-N-Cheese/paired with 2013 Chardonnay
-Cranberry Chevre (Amazing Acres)/paired with Morning Glory, a white wine
-SPECIAL: Amazing Acres Goat Dairy will  be onsite on Saturday, October 3

Blair Vineyards 

-Blue Cheese buscuit paired with Pinot Noir

Clover Hill Vineyards only at the Robesonia location

-Flip & Serve Blue Cheese from S. Clyde Weaver with Balsamic Glaze/paired  with Vignoles
-Pepperdew Cheese/paired with Riesling

Watch the Berks County Wine Trail website for more updates about the various cheese and wine pairing that will be offered.

Wine Trail Traveler has visited and written about two of the participating wineries in Pennsylvania’s Berks County. The articles are available online. New wineries are continually opening, so it looks like it’s time for us to plan another visit to Berks County.


Sip with Karen

Karen MacNeil delivers the keynote address at the 2015 Wine Bloggers Conference.

Karen MacNeil delivers the keynote address at the 2015 Wine Bloggers Conference.

I met Karen MacNeil at the 2015 Wine Bloggers Conference in Corning, New York last month. Prior to the conference, I wrote a post of an online interview with Karen, America’s leading wine author. We were invited to participate in a wine tasting on Twitter led by Karen MacNeil.

The Twitter tasting is sponsored by Alto Adige Wines and takes place on Thursday, September 24th at 8:00 pm Eastern Time. We received eight samples of the wines from wineries in Italy’s Alto Adige region. Kathy and I have not visited this area of Italy, although we were close. We did visit wineries in Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia a few years ago. Further north of the Veneto region is the Trentino Alto Adige region.

Research revealed that the main red grape planted in this region is Schiava followed by other red grapes including Lagrein and Pinot Noir. White varietal grapes account for the 60% of varieties planted. The most common white varieties are: Pinot Grigio, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Sauvignon. The Alto Adige has about 5,300 hectares (13,100 acres) of vineyards planted making it one of Italy’s smallest wine growing regions. The vast majority of these vineyards are classified as DOC. Only about a third of the wine produced in this region is exported. The Twitter tasting will be the first wines from Alto Adige that Kathy and I will taste.


The wines for the tasting are:

2014 Castel Sallegg Pulvernai Pinot Grigio
2013 Alois Lageder Porer Pinot Grigio
2012 Cantina Terlano Vorberg Pinot Bianco
2013 Colterenzio Prail Sauvignon
2014 Cantina Andriano Gewürztraminer
2014 Kaltern Caldaro Pfarrhof Kalterersee Auslese
2013 Erste + Neue Mezzan Pinot Nero
2010 Abbazia di Novacella Praepositus Lagrein

If you never saw or participated in a Twitter tasting check out the hashtag #SipWithKaren on Thursday, September 24th at 8:00 pm Eastern Time. You will get the idea of how Twitter tastings are done and see the comments by tasters.

We are looking forward to the tasting. At the same time we will keep a watchful eye on the Redskins/Giants game. In addition to the tasting the Alto Adige wines, our mood may be celebratory or consolatory.


IRONMAN Event Supports Save the Children

Save the Children is an organization that recognizes the needs of children. They are a charity organization, receiving an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, that focuses on making positive changes for children in 120 countries including the United States. Numerous organizations work with Save the Children by hosting events.

An IRONMAN event is scheduled on Maryland’s Eastern Shore for October 3rd. This special event supports the Save the Children organization.

The Save the Children organization was supported by my niece Kathy who passed away from leukemia three years ago. Kathy always had a special interest in helping children from an early age. I mention this because her brother David, in honor of his sister Kathy, has been training intensely for months to participate in the Maryland Ironman. David’s story is on the Save the Children website.

In his writeup David includes this inspiring paragraph, “Save the Children is a non-profit organization that invests in children each and every day, in times of crisis and for the future. In the U.S.A. and around the world, they give children a healthy start, the opportunity to learn, and protection from harm. By transforming children’s lives now, we change the course of their future…and ours.”

Check out David’s Facebook page.

I hope you will take time to visit the Save the Children website where you can learn about David and his sister Kathy. If you can, please consider a donation to Save the Children which will also help David reach his goal.


Gruumbier Suupe Recipe with Wine

View of Shade Mountain Vineyards

View of Shade Mountain Vineyards

Whether we want it or not cooler weather is on it’s way. Why not start planning your autumn and winter lunches and dinners now? Below is another recipe generously shared by Shade Mountain Vineyards in Pennsylvania.

Shade Mountain Winery & Vineyards is a boutique family owned and operated winery in the Upper Susquehanna region of Pennsylvania. Wine lovers will find traditional and fruit wines and even a mint wine that visitors should be sure to try.

Shade Mountain Gruumbier Suupe
(Dilled Potato Soup)


4 c raw potatoes, diced in 1/4” cubes
1 c light cream
2 T butter
1 large carrot,chopped
2 T chopped dried dill
1 large onion, chopped
4 c chicken broth
1/3 c Shade Mountain White wine
1 c grated cheddar cheese (optional)
1 (16 oz.) can whole kernel corn


  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan.
  2. Add Shade Mountain White wine, onion, potato and carrot.
  3. Cover and cook over very low heat for 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Add broth and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Puree half of mixture in blend or food processor.
  7. Return puree to reserved mixture in the pan and stir in cream.
  8. Add cheese and corn, if desired.
  9. Garnish with dill.

Recipe provided by Shade Mountain Winery and Vineyards.

If you haven’t checked out our descriptive article about our recent visit to Shade Mountain Winery yet, the article is available online.


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