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).

Sept 22nd Kicks-Off Our Fall 2012 Tasting Schedule

Wine and Cheese Tasting to benefit the AIDS Project of
Southern Vermont


Austrian wines, paired with cheeses, and the proceeds benefiting the AIDS Project of Southern Vermont. Join Rafael Flores and Winthrop Pennock of Artisanal Cellars and Wendy Levy of Brattleboro Cheese as they guide a tasting sharing information about the wines, the cheeses and their respective producers. This is our fifth year sponsoring the event, and the last two years have been sell-outs with waiting lists.

September 22nd, we are offering two seatings: 4:30pm and 7:00pm in a sit-down, guided format.

Please specify your preference when you purchase your tickets from Windham Wines (802) 245-6400, Brattleboro Cheese or an AIDS Project board member.

$35 per person.


We were able to schedule winemaker Michael Hofken, winemaker at Hillinger Winery of Burgenland, Austria, on his swing through the eastern U.S. before he heads back to oversee harvest at the Hillinger winery. We’ll enjoy some of his blends — Small Hill White: Welshriesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Gelber Muskateller; Small Hill Red: Pinot Noir, St. Laurent, and Merlot; plus some varietal wines: Blaufrankisch, Pinot Noir, a sparkling rosé and whatever else Michael selects.

Light food provided by Brattleboro Cheese and North End Butchers.

Reservations necessary at (802) 245-6400.

$25 plus tax.

Tax Free Saturday

It’s official; Vermont has declared another sales tax holiday on purchases below $2000.

This Saturday, March 6th, buy a case of wine and save the usual 10% (or 5% on 6-11 bottles), plus an additional 6% since you won’t be charged tax.  If you want to save a little more, pay cash. Everyday you save 1.5% when you pay cash; add that to the case savings and the tax holiday and this Saturday you can buy a case for 17.5% savings– now that is compelling!

If you cannot make it to the shop on Saturday, no problem. Call us with an order anytime between now and then (802.246.6400), leave us a credit card number, and we’ll charge your case or half case on Saturday, sans tax.

We have two new $99 cases to entice you as well. Unlike previous $99 cases that included some wines that were being discontinued and therefore were heavily discounted, these cases are comprised of wines we typically carry and usually sell for $9-$12 per bottle. These wines are, in our view, the best wines available to us at these price points. The red case consists of 12 different red wines while the white case includes 2 bottles each of 6 different white wines. Please call us if you would like to have one of these cases so that we can reserve it for you. Don’t forget about our “Drive-Through” service– give us a call to let us know you are on your way and we will meet you in front of the shop with your wine to save you any parking hassle.

Special Marketing Event at the Wine Gallery

Energize your marketing in 2010

For those of you who own small businesses or might be launching one this year, I thought you might be interested in this dynamic marketing event happening at the Wine Gallery on January 27th.

Two nationally-known marketing experts (who are both Vermonters and Windham Wine customers!), Carey Earle of Green Apple Marketing and CS Wurzberger of New Media Marketing Power lead this jam-packed day filled with marketing expertise ranging from social media and web optimization to adaptive marketing planning for a changing economy.  As we all look for ways to navigate in this economy, their program really strikes a timely chord.

Date: January 27th, 2010
Time:  9:00-4:30pm with wine tasting and networking at 5pm
Where:  Wine Gallery

If you’re interested, register today.  Hope to see you there!

Learn more and see where else CS and Carey will be presenting in 2010.

Wine Tasting: Tricana Imports

Saturday, November 21st, 5-7 pm

Fosco Amoroso of Tricana Imports will lead a tasting of some dynamite
wines from their Italian  portfolio. We’ll taste wines from the Veneto, Peidmont, Tuscany, Abruzzo and Campania. For a late afternoon, Fosco will take us to Italy with his wines and his commentary.
Tasting fee: $15, plus tax

Deirdre Heekin and Caleb Barber Return!

Wednesday, December 9th

We had such a good response to Deirdre and Caleb’s reading and
tasting event around their books In Late Winter, We Ate Pears and
Libation: A Bitter Alchemy, that they offered to come again to accommodate the long list of those who wanted to attend.We haven’t fleshed out all the details, but keep the date and stay tuned.