Friday, July 15, 2011

Wandering Wino: It's Not Over Until ... Edition

Posted By on Fri, Jul 15, 2011 at 5:39 AM

This week's Wino column is leading off with two subjects that I didn't know much about until recently when I decided to broaden my horizons from just bourbon and blues. This week, we're talking about scotch and opera.

Specifically, the Nashville Opera and the bodacious scotches they will be sampling at their Hot Scotch Summer Spirits Sampling on Thursday, July 28, from 5:30 until 7:30 p.m.. The event costs $50 in advance (plus 10 bucks if you procrastinate and pay at the door) and will be held at the opera's home in the Noah Liff Opera Center, 3622 Redmon St. in Sylvan Heights.

Patrons are invited to taste their way through Scotland’s most unique distilleries while they enjoy light hors d’oeuvres from the Tin Angel Restaurant. If you're not a scotch fan and still want to support the opera, there will also be a signature cocktail available for your drinking pleasure. But it would be your loss, because look at the lineup of excellent scotches they will be pouring:

MAINLAND SCOTCH (Lighter & Sweeter)

Balvenie 12 year

The Balvenie Doublewood Single Malt Scotch Whisky is a 12-year-old single malt which gains its distinctive character from being matured in two woods. During its period of maturation The Balvenie Doublewood is transferred from a traditional oak whisky cask to a first fill Spanish oak sherry cask. Each stage lends different qualities to the resulting single malt — the traditional casks, having previously held bourbon, soften and add character, whilst the sherry wood brings depth and fullness of flavour. Nose: Sweet fruit and oloroso sherry notes, layered with honey and vanilla. Taste: A smooth and mellow single malt of beautifully combined flavours — nutty sweetness, cinnamon spiciness and a delicately proportioned layer of sherry — with a long and warming finish.

Balvenie 15 year

The Balvenie Single Barrel is a 15 year old single malt which is drawn from a single traditional oak whisky cask of a single distillation. Whilst each cask is subtly different, The Balvenie Malt Master selects only those casks which have the essential characteristics of The Balvenie Single Barrel, particularly honey, vanilla and oaky notes. Each bottling forms a limited edition of no more than 350 hand-numbered bottles — so each bottle is unique and unrepeatable.

Glenfiddich 15 year

The richly layered Glenfiddich 15 Year Old single malt Scotch whisky is matured in three types of oak cask: sherry, bourbon and new oak, before being married in our unique, handcrafted Solera vat. The Solera vat is never emptied but is always kept at least half full. Here, flavors are harmoniously married, creating a whiskey of character and intense complexity.

Glenfiddich 18 year

A complex, mellow single malt Scotch whisky from years of patient maturation in casks of the finest Oloroso sherry and American bourbon. It is secreted away in our traditional warehouse, where the cool, thick stone walls and low ceilings mature the whisky to perfection. Years later what emerges is a Glenfiddich 18 Year Old with an elegant nose, faintly sweet, scented with apple and wood. It is robust and full-bodied, yet remarkably soft, rounded and long lasting.

Auchentoshan Classic

A Lowland single malt whisky from the Auchentoshan distillery, no age statement is given and one assumes it is a younger malt though certainly an enjoyable one. Auchentoshan Classic is a fairly sweet, toasty Bourbon notes and creamy vanilla intertwined with lush, ripe cooked fruit. Perhaps coconut. The finish is clean, a floral freshness, a little more zest with white peach and apple.

ISLAND SCOTCH (Heavier & Smokier)

Ardbeg 10 year

Ardbeg Ten Years Old is a very special bottling for the Ardbeg distillery as it is the first non-chill filtered whiskey in the Ardbeg range. Exceptional balance and depth, the aroma is a seductive mix of toffee and chocolate sweetness, cinnamon spice and medicinal phenols. Fresh citrus and floral notes of white wine are evident as are melon, pear drops. An initial moderate and clean sweetness is followed by deep peat notes with tobacco smoke and strong espresso coffee, which gives way to sweetness and licorice. A smoky sweetness is left on the palate, with a crushed peat and sweet malted cereal character.

Bowmore 12 year (possibly 15 year)

The distillery is located in the capital of Islay on the shores of Loch Indaal. Founded in 1779 it is the oldest on this majestic and windswept island. It is one of an ever-decreasing handful of distilleries that still produce their own floor-malted barley. The company, now owned by the Japanese distilling giant Suntory, donated their No.3 warehouse to the community for a swimming pool, with the water heated by the distillation process. Dive headfirst into a nip of this rich and sumptuous whiskey.

Signatory Caol Ila 12 year

Medium weight, but still packing plenty of potent phenols, this is a refined, powerful dram with a compensating oiliness. A balanced, peaty beauty. International Wine & Spirits Competition 2010: Gold Medal — Best in Class; Trophy for Best Single Malt Whiskey Under 15 Years Old

Isle of Skye 8 year

Aroma: Stunningly evocative. Deep peaty tones waft from the glass, like the reek from a crofter’s lum. But there is a lot more beyond: The grains intermingle deliciously with oaky, vanilla notes and something malty and even slightly honeyed.

Flavour: Sweet at first, and remarkably viscous. This seems to be the peat hanging around, and there is intense barley sugar and spice. Massively flavoured. This creaminess continues for what seems hours. Remains sweet, spicy and chewy and at the end faintly nutty. The oak returns at the end.

Contact Nashville Opera at or call (615) 832-5242 for information and registration. Proceeds benefit the company’s arts education programs.

If you're not feeling quite as highfalutin', then maybe you'd prefer to join the Saucy Sisters and Blue Jean Wines next Friday, July 22, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Durego in Cool Springs for a girls’ night out — featuring food, wine and laughs. They're calling the event "Wine Tasting for Floozies — a Ladies' Night out." Their name, not mine.

In the spirit of “expanding your palate without busting your wallet,” the ladies of Blue Jean Wines will provide three wines from Bluebird: Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.

And while you’re munching on handcrafted appetizers, the Saucy Sisters (“wine experts with a twist”) will give you wine information that all floozies should know…

• How to judge a man by the wine he drinks
• Vinous pickup lines (if you dare)
• How to fake it (the wine tasting ritual, that is)
• Wacky Wine Quiz with Prizes!

For reservations, go to

If you would like your own private table for 10 of your best girlfriends and a discounted ticket price of $30, email

Your friends at Fido and Bounty Bev are joining up again for another interesting brewers dinner featuring Stoudt's Brewery. The dinner will be held on Thursday, July 28, at 7 p.m. and costs $40 per person, plus tax and tip. Join them as Eddie Stoudt, one of the founders and master brewers from Stoudt’s Brewery, comes to talk about their amazing beer and his part in the craft brewing movement in America.

The menu looks decadent:

Gold Lager

Noble Dairy goat cheese, local honey, walnut crisp, tempura fennel


Kenny’s aged cheddar gougere, heirloom tomato, mint, blueberry

American Pale Ale

Grilled peach & corn, feta, blackberry, red onion

Scarlet Lady ESB

handmade pretzel, apple bratwurst, potato, mustard sauce

Double IPA

Empanada, braised pork, tomatillo, mango hot sauce, curtido

Fat Dog Imperial Stout

Rated R chocolate cupcake, double chocolate pot de creme


The night before, another great American craft beer will be featured at City House as they welcome Carla Villa of The Brooklyn Brewery. Join them on July 27 at 6 p.m. for a special family-style dinner feast and the chance to dig deep into the brewery's secret stash, including Blast, a beer that has never been to Nashville, as well as Black Ops, a rare offering.

I was lucky enough to enjoy a Brooklyn Brewery dinner last year during Tales of the Cocktail and I can promise you that the secret stuff will blow you away!

Additionally, all guests will take home custom Brooklyn Brewery glassware. The small print:

Tickets will be $69 plus tax and gratuity

Space will be very limited and a credit card must be provided at time of purchase, but will be charged the day of the event.

Due to the limited space, all sales are FINAL

I don't know if it's sold out yet or not, so get on it!

Jeanne Boone of BooneDocks distribution dropped me a line to invite all of you (form a line) to two opportunities to taste some excellent Australian wines from Stanley Lambert Wines. Winemaker Kirk Lambert will be at Red Dog Wines and Spirits in Franklin on Wednesday, July 20, and at Wild Ginger in Franklin the next evening. Contact the venues for exact times.

Finally 100% Italiano wants to invite you to enjoy "Sparkling Under the Stars ... everything you wanted to know (and to taste ) about your bubbly."

The event will be held at Rumours East, 1112 Woodland St., on Thursday, July 21, at 7:30 p.m.

What a better way to spend a summer evening than sipping crisp, refreshing bubbles with your friends, on the beautiful patio of Rumours East tasting deliciously paired hors d'oeuvres and learning to know your bubbly?

Learn about different styles of sparkling wines and enjoy the different nuances and flavors of four wonderful wines.

Prosecco Brut CONTE RICCATI doc

Cava Dominio de Tharsys Brute Nature PAGO DE THARSYS d.o.

Cava Dominio de Tharsys Rosado PAGO DE THARSYS d.o.

Lambrusco ROSENERE RED label DREI DONA' igt

Wines featured by 100% Italiano Inc.

$20 per person (plus tax and gratuity)

Call for reservation: (615) 262-5346.

Have a great week!

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