Belhaven

Summer Into Fall

Stellenbosch winery

We're into that long, satisfying season in downeast Carolina when cold fronts from the northwest try to push into our mass of humidity and mosquitoes.  Some mornings I open the back porch door at dawn and smile at a delicious dry chill in the air.  Other mornings I'm hit in the face with mugginess and the sound of cicadas cranking up the heat of the day.  It's the time when we start thinking about getting in some dry kindling for that first night we want a fire in the stove.  And we start thinking about wines that will go with the cooler weather and heartier foods of the
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Autumn Treats - Hard Cider and Festbier

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The autumn of the year has its pleasures, even down here in coastal Carolina, where the summer seems to go on until Thanksgiving. During my childhood in northern Illinois and northern Ohio, autumn meant apples and apples meant cider.
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A Sheaf of Special Purchases

From time to time our suppliers have inventory clearance sales.  When they do, we pass the savings along to our customers.  Herein a list of five new wines that I've gotten in to both stores and am offering at "Special Purchase Prices."  These are great additions to our list...and great deals for our customers.
 
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Cape Classics and Frenzy

Mulderbosch

 We were fortunate last week to have a visit from Zingo Munger, Southeastern Sales Manager for Cape Classics, an importer and distributor of fine South African wines. As Zingo poured samples for Mary and me at the Washington store, he regaled us with tales of the burgeoning South African wine industry. South Africa has a winemaking history dating back to the 16th Century, but in recent times it all fell apart as the world boycotted South African products over their apartheid policies.
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A Late Summer Rose of Spain

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Muga Rosado 2008 (Rioja, Spain) 
Bodegas Muga, with its production facility in the historic old town of Haro, in the heart of Rioja, is best known for its premium bottlings – Torre Muga and Prado Enea Gran Reserva. These wines consistently receive scores in the mid-90’s from the wine experts and sell for around $100 a bottle. Indeed, last spring, a poll in Wine & Spirits magazine last spring, Muga scored as the most recognized Spanish wine available in restaurants in the U.S.
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Bargain Spanish Tempranillo

Tierra de Castilla

Reinares Tempranillo 2007 (Vino de la Tierra de Castilla, Spain)
The Tempranillo (temp-ruh-NEE-yo or NEEL-yo) grape is the most widely planted red grape in Spain. It gets its name from the Spanish word temprano which means “early.” This early ripening characteristic means it is reliable even in years when the notorious rains of autumn come early, watering down the harvest of grapes that need more hang time on the vines.
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Big Red from Priorat

Priorat vineyard

Roureda Llicorella 2005 (Priorat, Spain)

You can hardly find Priorat, or Priorato in Spanish, on a map, it’s so small. This tiny Catalonian wine region covers just 4,151 acres – Rioja, in comparison, is over 150,000 acres – but Priorat’s impact on the world of wine is large.
Named for the local monastery, or priory, that began producing wine in the 12th century, Priorat lies inland from Tarragona in northeastern Spain.
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King Estate

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King Estate 2007 Signature Pinot Gris
King Estate is located southwest of Eugene, Oregon near the town of Lorane. The 1,033-acre certified organic estate (including 465 acres of organic vineyards, as well as 30 acres of fruits, vegetables, and flowers) provides a spectacular mountain vineyard site with elevations ranging from 800 to 1,100 feet and cool, prevailing northwest winds that moderate vineyard temperatures.
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