Sicilian Wines

Title: Sicilian Wines
Location: 972 Putney Road
Description: Sicily may be the most exciting area for wine in Italy for now. Join us for an introduction to the grapes and wines of Sicily. Tasting fee: $25, plus tax includes light food pairings. Reservations are necessary at 246-6400.

Start Time: 5:30
Date: 2014-04-22
End Time: 7:30

Natural Wines, encore!

Title: Natural Wines, encore!
Location: 972 Putney Road
Link out: Click here
Description: “Natural” wines have become the latest wine trend. We have a number of natural wines in our shop and have enjoyed several tastings this year featuring some of them. Jenny and Francois have compiled a portfolio of natural wines from France, Italy and the United States that will allow us to do a global tour of wines made “of grape juice and little else.” Come taste these wines and learn about what makes them so controversial within the wine world.
Start Time: 5:30
Date: 2014-04-12
End Time: 7:30

Austrian Reds

Title: Austrian Reds
Location: 972 Putney Road
Description: We welcome back our primary Austrian suppliers, Artisanal Cellars, to share their current vintages of Blaufrankisch, Saint Laurent, Zweigelt, Pinot Noir and blends from throughout Austria’s wine regions. Reservations are appreciated by calling (802) 246-6400. A $25, plus tax tasting fee includes light food pairings.
Start Time: 5:30
Date: 2014-03-08
End Time: 7:30

Austrian Wine Month Selections

SHOP HOURS: 10am-6pm (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday).
                           10am-5pm (Saturday). Closed Sunday and Monday.

2012 Strauss, White, Styria!

Fresh, fruity, light, blend of Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Morillon (Chardonnay). On the nose, very fruity with the aroma of elderberry, apple and citrus. On the palate, very dense with a balanced acidity and a harmonious finish.  This is a fun, bright white for the summer.

2012 Meinklang, Burgenland White

A trilogy of three white varieties: Welschriesling, Gruner Veltliner, Muskat Ottonel
Light, refreshing, crisp. Burgenland shines in its own unmistakable colors: the charming Welschriesling, the spicy, saucy Gruner Veltliner and the elegant and aromatic Muskat Ottonel unite in perfectly in the pretty summer white.

Vinification: the fresh must of white grapes undergoes a spontaneous fermentation with natural yeasts. The wine remains in stainless steel for a short time and is bottled early with some lively carbon dioxide from its own fermentation.Certified: Austria Bio Garantie | Demeter

2012 Steininger, Gruner Veltliner, Kamptal

Last year’s winner for entry-level new vintage Gruners was the Bauer, Gmork. While we have high expectations for it, the 2012 did not make the last container so we still have not tried it; alas, the 2011 is mort. In the meantime, the Steininger, Kamptal, has stepped into the primary position, offering an almost classic Gruner nose that includes rich fruit, along the lines of quince or papaya, a vein of something green (I got lemon basil), a whiff of smoke, ginger, and that clean, flinty minerality that enters mid-palate and finishes with a spritz of white pepper.

2012 Christ, Gemischter Satz, Vienna

Vienna has many attractions, from the Schonbrunn Palace to the dancing Lippizzaner horses, but did you know that it also has vineyards within the city limits? Gemischter Satz wines are specific to Vienna and refer to wines produced from any one vineyard within the city limits, planted with multiple varietals that are harvested, pressed and vinifed at the same time. Most Gemischter Satz wines are also served on site, at the family’s “heurigen” or wine tavern. Some, like the Christ, are available beyond Vienna, allowing us to experience a Viennese moment when we enjoy a glass. A blend of Gruner, Muscat, Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc), Welschriesling and Riesling, it has some beautiful fruit on the nose—peach and pear, a lushness in the mouth and a pretty finish of cream and yet something very lively, like grapefruit.

2012 Mittelbach, T- Rose,  Zweigelt,  Wagram
A beautiful hue of watermelon sets just the right tone for this bright, disarmingly fun rosé. Crisp, dry and ultra-refreshing, this light-to-medium-bodied wine exudes an intoxicating perfume of ripe cherry and crushed strawberry. The wine holds its balance throughout the finish, never striking a confectionery note. A joy to drink and absolutely appropriate anytime

2011 Anton Bauer, Riesling “Berg,” Wagram

Here is an opportunity to discover that you do like Riesling after all, when it is vinified dry as this one is. Four of us were tasting this wine and all of us sat back and just appreciated the beauty of the aromas coming from the glass. While I have notes, and they follow the usual winespeak of describing the aromas as “beeswax, Meyer Lemon, clove moving to spearmint, “ I really just want to say that if you are adventuresome and willing to try something that perhaps you’ve stayed away from for many years, Austrian Riesling, whether the Tegernseerhof, Terrassen, or the Bauer, Berg, is a great challenge to your earlier-formed perception. I hope you give it a try this month!

2012 Tegernseerhof, Riesling,  ”Terrassen,”  Federspiel  Wachau

“Falstaff” Austria  best 2012 Federspiel Riesling – 92 points
This dry Riesling from the terraced hillside vineyards in the prestigious Wachau is the kind of wine that convinces non-Riesling-drinkers that they were wrong; it is that good. This Federspiel Riesling is one of the most versatile wines in the world—a  great dry Riesling, which goes with everything except dessert.

NV Strauss, Gelber Muskateller, Frizzante, Styria

Let it be known that we love sparkling, . . . and now we have another to add to our list of fun wines to enjoy in the company of friends. Gelber Muskateller is, like Riesling, a rich grape, very aromatic, one that brings the word “perfume” to mind. It has heady aromas that range from lime curd to apricot and honey. While the aromas are sweet, the wine is dry. That makes it a perfect grape for sparkling in which the effervescence lifts the wine and leaves the mouth fresh but with a long, lingering finish. I think that we’ll be using this wine with fresh fruit at the end of summer evening meals. The Gamlitzberg Vineyard, from which the grapes come, is one of the most beautiful vineyards in Austria—no wonder it produces lovely wines!

2010 Leo Hillinger, Pinot Noir, ” Eveline,”  Burgenland

Pinot Noir from Austria! It has a typical Pinot Noir nose with strawberries, raspberries and floral notes such as violets. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied. It has intense notes of herbs and puréed dark berries. The wine has typical Burgundy structure with soft tannins, a juicy ripeness and an elegant, long finish.

 2011 Leo Hillinger, Blaufränkisch Klassic, Burgenland

Deep black berry fruit and soft tannins balanced with beautiful black pepper spices. The finish is very long, smooth and silky with some of the spice and fruit returning.  A medium–bodied soft wine, which can be enjoyed on its own or with barbeque, grilled fish (little chilled), pork tenderloin and kabobs.

2010 Steindorfer, Apetlon Rouge, Burgenland

Equal parts Blaufränkisch, Zweigelt and St.Laurent. The grapes for this wine are hand selected and harvested. The wine spent 14 months in neutral barrels. The bouquet is a lovely mix of red berry fruit, some black pepper, a little cedar and spice. The aromas follow through on the palate for a complex, but smooth finish. A very nice medium-bodied red for every day drinking.

Austrian Wine Month

As many of you know, Frank and I were fortunate enough to do a wine trip to Austria several years ago. While there, we fell in love with Austrian whites—Gruner Veltliner especially, but also Riesling and several blends that joined Gruner with other lesser known varieties like Gelber Muskateller and Welschriesling. In the years since, Austrian reds have come on strong. In addition to the native Blaufrankisch, Saint Laurent and Zweigelt (the last a grape developed as a cross of the first two), there is also some very solid Pinot Noir coming mostly from the Burgenland.

Earlier in the year, we were contacted by one of our distributors from whom we buy a lot of our Austrian wines, about participating in “Austrian Wine Month,” from May 8th-June 7th. Usually we are not big on marketing plans to promote someone’s wines but, . . . this month is timed with the arrival of the new vintage whites and we do love Austrian wines and think that if more people were exposed to them, they would too! We said okay, we’ll participate.

Agreeing to participate meant only two requirements: first, that we tell you about some Austrian wines that we enjoy; and secondly, that we host a tasting of Austrian wines—that’s easy! Our Austrian wine tasting is scheduled for Saturday, May 11th, at 5:30. It will be led by Winthrop Pennock, of Artisanal Cellars and will focus on new vintage whites. There is a $25 tasting fee that includes light food pairings by North End Butchers. Reservations are necessary. Please call (802) 246-6400.

Selecting wines was a lot harder than arranging a tasting; we really do like a lot of Austrian wines! We decided that we should choose at least one wine from each major growing region, that we should have whites and reds that represent the varietals most associated with those regions, and that we had to limit ourselves to one bubbly (that was really hard!).

The major regions responsible for the highest quality wines in Austria are Niederosterreich or Lower Austria; Burgenland; and Steiermark, also known as Styria. Lower Austria, ironically enough, is in the northeast part of Austria. The areas above the Danube—Wagram, Kamptal and Wachau, are the regions from which the creme de la creme of Austria’s dry white wines derive. In the area of Lower Austria southwest of Vienna, Carnuntum and Themenregion, the climate is warmer, allowing the classic red varieties of Blaufrankisch and Zweigelt to ripen. The Burgenland, southeast of Vienna, produces full-bodied, rich reds and delicious dessert wines. Finally, Styria, located in the southeast, bordering Slovenia, produces terrific whites, including elegant Sauvignon Blancs and rich Gelber Muskateller.

There really is something for everyone in Austrian wines. We hope that you will embark on a little wine journey with us this month, discovering the breadth of Austrian wines and appreciating the quality of wines you get for the price.  Our picks for the month, along with descriptions from Winthrop, Klaus  or me, are posted separately.




April-May Tastings

Saturday, April 27th, 2:00-5:00
Open House

We have teamed up with our neighbors to host a sampling of independently-owned, artisanal products that are offered by your independent, local wine merchant, butcher, and baker. Bring friends, encounter more friends and enjoy a lovely afternoon socializing while sampling interesting and delicious foods and wines.

Taste local, taste global and buy local and independent!


Saturday, May 11th, 5:30
New Vintage Austrian Wines with Winthrop Pennock and Rafael Flores, Artisanal Cellars
We are very excited to receive new vintages, because there are always surprises and new favorites, like last year’s Anton Bauer, Gmork. The new vintages of the Austrian whites are arriving in mid-April, so we are scheduling a tasting to share our discoveries with you. On that April boat is the new vintage of the perennial rosé favorite, Tegernseerhof. Join us to explore Austrian wines. We’re sure that they will become some of your favorites too!

Reservations necessary @ (802)246-6400. Tasting fee: $25, plus tax, includes light food pairings from North End Butchers.



February Wine Tasting Events

Saturday, February 2, 12:00 to 5:00
Open House with North End Butchers

Food and wine samples, music by Jennie Reichmann and Steve Proctor.
Come join us to see how we “flow” between our new shop, North End Butchers
and Jasmine’s Bakery.
Complimentary–bring your friends and stop by to say hello!

Saturday, February 9, 5:30
Bordeaux Tasting with Joe Hurley, Certified Specialist of Wine

Our friend Joe will guide us through a tasting of wines from Bordeaux.
Light food prepared by North End Butchers will be paired with some of the wines.
Tasting fee: $25, plus tax; reservations suggested (802-246-6400).

Saturday, February 16, 5:30
Spanish Tasting with Marty

Tasting fee: $25, plus tax; reservations suggested (802-246-6400).

Saturday, February 23, 5:30
Wines of Saint Cosme, Southern Rhone

Kate Krause, of Craft and Estate Wines, is leaving her warm Virginia home to come up to Windham Wines and share her insight into the wines of Saint Cosme, an estate that has been in the Barruol family for 14 generations, continuously planted to vines since 1570. Louis Barruol, the current vigneron, describes his commitment to organic practices as “trying to do only nice things (to the vines) every day.” His philosophy is to make wines that “express their terroir with purity and personality.” We believe that he has succeeded. Reserve your spot to taste his wines from across the Cotes du Rhone appellation, including Chateauneuf. Light food pairings prepared by North End Butchers.
Tasting fee: $25, plus tax; reservations please (802-246-6400).

New Tastings for YOU!

Spanish Natural Wines
Saturday, November 10th, 5:00 pm

Led by Chris Barnes, Jose Pastor Selections
Jose Pastor’s portfolio of Spanish wines focuses on producers who favor grapes  indigenous to their region and who follow natural, often organic, practices both in the vineyards and in the cellar. The result is a book of “honest wines with a sense of place.”

Tasting fee: $25, plus tax (cash or check); includes light food pairings.
RESERVATIONS: 802-246-6400

Italian Wines
Saturday, December 8th, 5:00 pm

Led by Lisa Kaplan, Domaine Select Wine Estates
Italy offers more grape varietals than any other country. Join Lisa as she takes us on a grape odyssey that extends from Lombardy to Sicily.

Tasting fee: $25, plus tax, includes light food pairings.
RESERVATIONS: 802-246-6400


October is for Wine Lovers

We have 3 great wine tasting events lined up for October!
Reservations are required, stop by or call 802-246-6400 to reserve your spot today.
Cost: $25 + tax, light food pairings included.

Saturday, October 13 at 6pm
Marty will be presenting Cotes du Rhones.

Sunday, October 21 at 6pm
Michael Kingston, of the Kingston Family Vineyards is here to talk about their wines from  Casablanca Valley, Chile.

Saturday, October 27 at 5pm
Joe Hurley, CSW, of Baker Distributing will be sharing a “Preview of Wines for Winter.”