Kathy Joseph is the winemaker for Fiddlehead Cellars and has been making wonderful Sauvignon Blancs and Pinot Noirs since 1989. Joseph actually lives in the middle of one of her vineyards to better connect with the grapes. She is coming to Nashville for a whirlwind tour of several wine shops, so you can take advantage of the opportunities to meet her and learn about her boutique wines.
Today, she’ll be pouring at Brinkmann’s in Cool Springs at 6 p.m. Tomorrow you can catch her at Red Spirits and Wine in Bellevue from 3 to 6. On Monday, Feb. 25, she’ll be featuring four wines and small bites for $20 at the new Rumours in the Gulch, so that should be a great chance to check out the new location. Finally, Joseph will wrap up her tour in Franklin with stops from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday at Franklin Wine and Spirits and the Bottle Shop at McEwen respectively.
This Saturday, Feb. 23, from 3 to 4:30, Grand Cru is having a tasting of some small batch rye whiskeys, including Rittenhouse Rye 100. Rye is hot right now, so head on down and try some out.
Speaking of rye, if you’re interested in learning more about this spicy whiskey, there’s still room in my upcoming USN Evening class "All About Rye" seminar I'm teaching on March 13 with the fabulous Kim Totzke. Go here and sign up for a guaranteed fun evening of food, drink and door prizes!
So it was with some trepidation that I opened a box with two very nice wines that had been graciously provided by Donelan Family Wines. The first thing I noticed was that both bottles were sealed with heavy wax caps over the cork. Generally, I can't stand packaging like that. It's a royal pain in the tuchus to break and pry off the seal, and the odds of getting chunks of wax into the bottle are high, so you really need to strain and decant the juice.
But wait a minute? Who's the real expert here? I'm guessing it's the folks at Donelan, a family operation that seeks out some of the best vineyards in Northern California to source world-class grapes that they blend into award-winning wines. Maybe I shouldn't be in such a hurry after all.
Donelan is known for its syrahs, and I'm a big fan of this varietal. The full-bodied grapes that produce a very dark fruit-forward flavor profile are favorites around my household, but subtlety isn't the main characteristic I look for in $15 bottles. However, the 2009 Walker Vine Hill Russian RIver Valley Syrah from Donelan exhibits exactly the sort of nuanced character that benefits from careful handling and some time to open up in a decanter. Good thing they slowed me down!
Tasted right out of the bottle, the intense flavors were way too tight. The wine needed time to breathe while I was finishing up the steak au poivre that was in the skillet. The peppery notes of the wine worked very well with the filet, and in fact, Donelan's syrahs are known for being particularly food-friendly. Cherry and blueberry notes pair well with any sort of dark sauces, even a rack of barbcued ribs, if you'd like.
The fun paisanos at 100% Italiano have partnered up with Flyte World Dining and Wine to put on an “Ode to Barbera” dinner. Featuring some the best wines from the Piemonte region of Italy. The event will be this Wednesday, Feb. 20, starting at 7:30 p.m., and will include commentary from “The Barberologist” himself, Fabrizio Iuli of the Iuli Winery.
Here’s the menu for the four-course dinner which will be paired with four different wines:
Richard Payne, "The Wine Chap" of the eponymous wine shop in Belle Meade, has scored quite a coup by recruiting a traveling tasting of excellent Oregon Pinot Noirs to visit Nashville on Wednesday, Feb. 20, from 6 to 9 p.m. as a benefit for the Nashville Wine Auction and their fight against cancer. The event costs $25 to taste offerings from 20 of Oregon's finest wineries, including A to Z, Adelsheim, Chehalem, Domaine Serene, Elk Cove, Four Graces, R. Stuart, Willamette Valley Vineyards and many others.
The tasting will take place at E Spaces in the Belle Meade Hill Center at 4322 Harding Pike, Suite 417. RSVP to email@example.com to make a reservation.
This next event is not 100 percent wine-related, but it looks like fun. I'm a big fan of the CBS show Undercover Boss, though I find it hard to believe that they've been able to dupe all the workers that are being spied on by telling them that their disguised bosses are participating in a competition reality show to choose between two people applying to receive a job. Now it seems like they've converted the back-story into its own show concept with The Job.
Contestants on the job will compete to see who will be offered a position within a different company every week, and the premiere episode features the Palm Restaurant as the prospective employer. To celebrate this event, the Nashville Palm is throwing a viewing party and specials tonight (Friday, Feb. 8) from 5-11 p.m., with the Prime Bites menu available for $5.50 each, and complimentary hors d'oeuvres offered when the show airs at 7 p.m. Head on downtown and join in the fun!
1808 Grille at the Hutton Hotel will be hosting Gabrielle Leonhard, vintner of The Gabrielle Collection and a leader in wine industry organizations, for its first wine dinner of 2013. Participants will be seated at a communal table in 1808's Bordeaux Room and will enjoy an intimate meal of four courses specifically designed by chef Charles Phillips to pair with four offerings from the organic, sustainable Gabrielle Collection.
The dinner is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 13, so if you're a smooth talker, you could probably pass it off as your mandatory Valentine's date. ("But honey, EVERYBODY eats out on the 14th. You're unique and deserve a special dinner.") The event starts at 6:30 p.m. and costs $65 per person plus tax and tip. Since the seating in the Bordeaux Room is very limited, RSVPing is mandatory at (615) 340-0012. You'll have to give a credit card number at the time of reservation, and a 48-hour cancellation policy is in effect.
The second event is definitely one to jump on, since last time I checked there were only 20 tickets remaining. Here are the details:
Join Midtown Wine And Spirits and Vanderbilt's Center For Latin American Studies on February 7th For a Fantastic South American Tasting for a Great Cause!
On Thursday, February 7th Midtown Wine & Spirit's will be partnering with the Center for Latin American Tastings at Vanderbilt for an incredible South American Wine Tasing. All proceeds will go towards the Inter-American Health Alliance's Nutrition Program, a charity that raises money for malnourished children in Guatemala. Guest speakers will include Pablo Piccolo , U.S. Export Manager for Catena winery, and Chilean wine Expert Larry Soble from Global Vineyards. Wines being poured will include selections from:
Concha y Toro
When: Thursday, February 7th from 5:30 - 7:30
Where: Buttrick Hall, Vanderbilt University
How Much: Suggested $20 donation
To reserve your tickets e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
That's a heck of a bargain for that many good wines, so get cracking!
The kitchen at Perl has planned a three-course prix fixe menu for $50/person or $90/couple. Take a peek at the menu to help you with your pairings, or ask the folks at Iroquois for advice:
Charcuterie Plate: headcheese, duck prosciutto, pickled carrot & parsnip, house cured bacon & goat cheese stuffed dates, toasted baguette & housemade spicy mustard
Tarragon cioppino with clams, scallops & prawns in smoked tomato broth with risotto & caper butter
Goat's Milk Crème Brulee, Pistachio Honey Brittle & Lavender Crème Anglaise
Reservations may be made by calling (615) 646-1390. Perl will be hosting another wine dinner on Feb. 15 and their first live music night early in February.
Also today on the west side of town is the weekly Friday happy hour(s) from 4 to 7 p.m. at West Meade Wine and Liquor Mart at the split of Highways 70 and 100. Today they’re featuring eight beers, including some nice high-gravity options.
Beer Selections for January 25th, 2013
Bridgeport Hop Harvest Imperial Pilsner - $7.99
Hop Harvest Pilsner is an Imperial Pilsner style fresh-hop beer using Austrian Aurora hops in the kettle and 4.5 lbs. per barrel of green Oregon Tettnang hops in our hopjack. The base for this beer is Great Western Maltings Co.'s Superior Pilsen malt which gives a very light golden color combined with a biscuit-like pilsner malt flavor to complement that generous amount of hops of European heritage.
Caldera Old Growth Imperial Stout - $10.49
Score: 90 (Beer Advocate) 99 (Rate Beer)
Brewed in late December of every year, this imperial stout ages for one whole year before its release. 8.8% ABV. Pours a deep brown-black. Generous malty character on the nose giving off dark fruit, roast, anise and molasses.
Green Flash Rayon Vert Belgian IPA - $10.99
Score: 97 (Rate Beer)
If Green Flash were founded in historical Belgium, Rayon Vert would have been our flagship brew. A bold layering of hops finds balance from traditional malts. Bottle conditioning with fresh ale yeast and Brettanomyces finishes the beer, adding a delightful effervescence, dryness and continuously evolving character.
Sweetwater Happy Ending - $12.99
Score: 94 (Beer Advocate) 97 (Rate Beer)
This seasonal "Catch and Release" Imperial Stout is a dry hopped stiffy, leading to an explosive finish at 9% ABV that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
Southern Tier Choklat Stout - $8.99
Score: 100 (Rate Beer) 95 (Beer Advocate)
At Southern Tier, were not surprised that hieroglyphs of the ancient Maya depict chocolate being poured for rulers and gods. Even through the many voyages of Columbus,the mystical bean remained nothing more than a strange currency of the native peoples. Moving through centuries, the circular journey of cacao has been realized in our brewing house, encompassing the complexity of the darkest, bitter-sweet
candy together with the original frothy cold beverage of the ancient Maya to bring to you our Blackwater Series Choklat Stout.
New Belgium Frambozen Raspberry Brown Ale - $12.99
Frambozen begins with the aroma of fresh red raspberries, followed by the ripe seductiveness of a fruity brown ale with depth and delicate malt notes. It is deep ruby in color, with flavors just as rich. Every year, New Belgium sends a delegate to the Pacific Northwest to oversee the process of turning freshly picked berries into a pure juice to be added in fermentation.
Southern Tier Unearthly IPA - $8.99
Score: 92 (Beer Advocate) 99 (Rate Beer)
An Uninhibited Infusion of Hops. We continue our commitment to innovation with our most aggressive offering yet Unearthly is a manifestation of the brewers crafts skillfully balancing art and the forces of nature to produce a divine liquid. Delicately pour a taste into a fluted glass. Smell the enchanting aromas of the hops come forward as your first sip divulges this beers fervent soul.
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale - $10.99
With a little creative curiosity, we used spent bourbon casks, fresh from decanting, and filled them with our very own Kentucky Ale. From barrels that once held the finest bourbons of Kentucky, we present Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, a smooth, golden elixir unlike any other. Subtle yet familiar flavors of vanilla and oak are imparted to this special ale as it rests in the charred barrel.
*WE WILL BE OFFERING 10% OFF OF THESE SELECTIONS ONLY
Frugal MacDoogal is a sponsor of the upcoming Wine Benefit and Cocktail Tasting benefiting the Assistance League of Nashville on Feb. 8 at Richland Country Club. The event will run from 6 to 9 p.m. and feature over 50 wines available for tasting, as well as food, cocktails and a silent auction.
The tasting costs $100/ person and raises money for the Nashville Chapter of Assistance League, an organization which provides aid to community children in need of school supplies and emotional support.
For more information and reservations, call 615-252-6772.
Earlier this month, M. Restaurant and Bar started welcoming customers to its sleek dining room, and if you haven't had an opportunity to try the restaurant out yet, there's a perfect reason coming up this Monday, Dec. 3, when they'll be hosting a wine dinner featuring BNA Wine Group.
The menu of food and wine looks fabulous:
Amuse-Bouche with Roederer Estate Brut
Cast Iron Skillet-Seared Scallop Pear brown butter, celery root, Benton’s country ham prosciutto
Wine Pairing: Bandwagon Monterey Chardonnay
Crawfish Toast Crawfish veloute, sweetwater valley cheddar, jumbo lump, crystal hot; Bobby John Henry roasted garlic crostini
Wine Pairing: Butternut California Chardonnay
Pan-Roasted Salmon Butternut Risotto, pecorino, sugared & Spiced walnuts, swiss chard, cranberry-pinot syrup
Wine Pairing: Bandwagon Pinot Noir (80% Willamette/20% Monterey)
Crispy Pork Belly Candied apple gastrique, Hazelnut brittle, Asian vegetables, soy caramel sauce
Wine Pairing: The Rule Napa Cabernet Sauvignon
Cherry Cola Braised Short Rib of Beef, Sweetwater Valley cheddar-apple fried pie, collards, cherry cola bbq
Wine Pairing: Volunteer Napa Cabernet Sauvignon
Olive & Sinclair Chocolate Pate Sorghum-espresso custard sauce, zinfandel-poached fall fruits
Wine Pairing: EOS Late Harvest Zinfandel
The dinner will start at 6 p.m. and will be prepared by chefs Kevin Powell and Toby Willis. They invite diners to come in early to enjoy some champagne beforehand if you would like. The meal costs $75 per person plus tax and gratuity, and seating is limited.
RSVP is required, so call M Restaurant at 615-678-1591 to hold your spot at the table.
Here are the details:
The Turnip Truck Urban Fare, located at 321 12th Ave South in the Gulch, will host a holiday open house, Wednesday, November 28, 5:00-7:00 p.m. The event, which is free and open to the public, will highlight locally and regionally made chocolates, local coffee roasters, local and regional breweries.
Participants include Bang Candy Company, Bongo Java, Drew’s Brews, Just Love Coffee, Goo Goo Cluster, Nashville Toffee, Olive & Sinclair, Raw Shakti Chocolate, Terrapin Beer Company and Yazoo Brewing Company.
Terrapin will offer samples of MooHoo, a chocolate milk stout created in collaboration with Olive & Sinclair chocolate.
“Coffee, chocolate and beer are such complex, complimentary flavors, and we thought it would be fun to host an open house featuring some of the best local creators,” said John Dyke, store owner. “As the holidays approach, we’re seeing an increased interest in shopping local — both for cooking ingredients and for gift ideas. We hope attendees will find some new favorite flavors at The Turnip Truck.”
This event is free and open to the public; advance registration is not needed. Beer samples and purchases are for customers 21 and older.
Speaking (or rather “typing”) about wine education, Salud Cooking School at the Whole Foods in Green Hills is teaching a class in “How to Pair Wine with Food” on Tuesday, Nov. 27, from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m. Here are the details, straight from the class syllabus:
The opportunity to compare the two different cask finishes should be really interesting, especially since you don’t have to lay out $75 apiece for two bottles in advance to make up your mind.
Join Fat Bottom Brewing in East Nashville for a five-course beer dinner! Each dish contains seasonal, locally sourced ingredients and has been designed to pair with one of Fat Bottom's craft beers. Throughout the event, owner and brewmaster Ben Bredesen and chef Chris Haston will discuss the development of the beers and the courses, and why they like each of the pairings.
Here's what's on tap:
- Quiche with Benton's bacon, turnip greens and Red Dragon cheddar, paired with Bertha oatmeal stout
- Lentils with Porter Road Butcher andouille sausage, celery en vinaigrette, paired with Ruby American red ale
- PEI Moules et Frites, paired with Fat Bottom's new Belgian golden ale
- Braised beef short ribs, Rogue Caveman Blue, and crispy shallots, paired with Black Betty, black IPA
- Noble Springs goat cheese, thyme-infused honey, cocoa nibs and smoked sea salt crackers, paired with Java Jane coffee porter
You'll leave with a better understanding of the ingredients and decisions that make up Fat Bottom's menu. Don't miss this unique opportunity to connect with Nashville's newest craft brewery!
Visit The Skillery website for more details and to buy your tickets.
Tonight is the big night for the 12th annual Wine Down Main Street in Franklin benefiting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee's Franklin and Fairview Clubhouses. Tickets for the event are $85 for this very popular fundraiser and include all wine, beer and food tastings. A complete wine list of what will be served is available online at www.winedownmainstreet.com. Wine Down Main Street runs from 7 to 10 tonight. Get your tickets here.
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