Washington

Featured Wines — June 2008

Words On Wine

"The Blender's Art"

We Americans are largely responsible for the rage for "single varietals" in wine. People come into the store and ask for "a Cab" or "a Chard" or "a Pinot" (and I always have to ask "Noir or Grigio"). Those who are more wine-savvy may ask for one of the classic European blends like "Rhone" or "Bordeaux" or "Chianti." They know that the grapes in these blends and the proportions of each are set by long tradition and in many cases by law. It is the Australians, I think, who are mostly responsible for introducing proprietary blends that…well, just taste good. Blending grapes of different varieties and from different vineyards allows the winemaker to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative. That’s one reason the year of the vintage is not as important as it once was. Blended wines are not "made in the vineyard" but are, rather, a result of the blender’s art. This month we will feature some of our favorite blends. We hope they’ll become yours, as well.

vintner_at_work

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Featured Wines — May 2008

Words On Wine

"Yadkin Valley Pleasures"

It is indeed a pleasure to travel west on I-40, through the bustling Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Triangle, past Greensboro, past Winston-Salem onto Highway 421 north and into the Yadkin Valley wine country. A couple of weeks ago, Yvonne and I caravanned with Washington Wine & Gourmet store manager Mary Mehlich and her husband Mark. We followed the familiar "bunch of grapes" directional signs off the highway and through the rolling farmland hills surrounding the Yadkin River valley. It was a beautiful early spring day, with little colts and calves (Chef Yvonne saw the latter as "veals") frolicking in the achingly green fields. We renewed old friendships, made some new ones and brought back some great Carolina wines.

Yadkin Valley_01

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Featured Wines — April 2008

Words On Wine

"Spring Into Summer"

The clocks have already sprung ahead, and though the weather here hasn't warmed much yet, I expect we'll be complaining about the heat before too long. This month we've selected some wines for the transition to balmy afternoons and steaks on the grill.

Spring Ahead or Fall Back

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Featured Wines — March 2008

Words On Wine

"What's New"

Spring is a time for newness and freshness. So I've decided to offer as Featured Wines a selection of the new, the fresh, and the beautiful.

Question Mark and Shadow

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Featured Wines — February 2008

Words On Wine

Extraordinary Values

As I write the new volume number on this latest edition of Words on Wine I am struck by the fact that we are going into the seventh year of this endeavor. My, how time flies when you’re having fun.

Dollar sign

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Featured Wines — November 2007

Words On Wine

Wines for Holiday Feasts

November tells us that The Holidays are upon us. That means we’re going to be planning special meals for many occasions. Whether it’s a quiet Christmas Eve dinner for two or a groaning board family Thanksgiving feast, nothing makes a meal more special than a great bottle of wine. This month we’ve selected Featured wines that pair particularly well with a wide variety of foods. So raise a glass, give thanks…and save us a drumstick.

Holiday Wine

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Featured Wines - June 2007

Words On Wine

"Wines of Summer"

We're into the official good times of summer, the season of lighter foods and the wines that go with them. Since our theme next month will be "All-American" we’ve stayed away from the usual domestic summertime favorites and have chosen instead to introduce you to some summer wines from around the world.

Sol Man #2

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