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The Weathertop Blog

For area events & inn specials, as well as posts on our favorite topics - food, wine & travel...

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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Wine News

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What Does One Do?

After 24 years of marriage, what do a pair of innkeepers do on the anniversary of their wedding? This year is particularly special, since it falls on a Monday and we have no guests in house. Normally, we would be cooking for others, but not tonight...

So whaddup? Well, great food & wine!

Nothing fancy mind you. Just a flatbread...with wild mushroom, fresh truffles & fresh duck sausage. Add a great salad made with local greens and wash it down with a 22 year old Grand Cru Bordeaux. Simply elegant (if you love pizza & old Bordeaux...).

Anniversary Flatbread & Wine

As for love...well that's given...

Without intimate hope, faith & trust, a business like our's would NEVER be possible.



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Dead Arm Shiraz - Very Much Alive

With last night's pleasantly cool weather, I decided to make a comforting stew of lamb shanks & white beans. This dish called for a big red wine, so my choice was:

  • d'Arenberg "The Dead Arm" Shiraz, McLaren Vale GI, Australia, 2005

"The Dead Arm" is a super-concentrated Shiraz. If you would like more info on why, and how it got named, click here. This is a full-bodied wine, deep purple in color, with a nose & palate chock-full of blackberry, licorice & spice. After 8 years in bottle, it's throwing some sediment, so I recommend decanting. Just be careful - if enjoyed too quickly, at 14.5% alcohol, it will rapidly start to boogie-woogie 'round your brain...

"The Dead Arm" is a special wine, and priced accordingly, but d'Arenberg makes a wide range of exceptional wines to suit any budget. Give any of them a try and you shouldn't be disappointed. But if opportunity knocks, go for "The Dead Arm"!

The Dead ArmA Lovely d'Arenberg Shiraz


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The Magic Of Mature Bordeaux

Reflecting on the events of the prior year and life in general is best done while enjoying a nice bottle of wine. Tonight was such a night, and we happened to have one remaining bottle of 1992 Chateau Lagrange Saint-Julien. While some would say that this particular vintage is beyond prime, there is something magical about any well-aged Bordeaux. The wine still has a lovely nose of berries, flowers & oak with soft berries & tannins on the palate. In a word - delicious.

But the wine is much more than that...

This particular bottle has been in our cellar for 22 years. We purchased it one year after we were married. Since then, we have had numerous career changes, traveled a good chunk of the globe, enjoyed a three-year stint living in Singapore, got certified as divemasters to satisfy our SCUBA addiction, quit our corporate jobs, started our own business, learned way more about cooking then we ever imagined, created a great wine cellar and - most significantly - gained & lost dear friends and loved ones along the way. During that time, this bottle patiently lay dormant in our cellar, waiting for the moment we would open it to flood us with these wonderful memories.

So here's a toast to great food, great wine, great travel, great memories & a great many New Years...


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Our Weekend Wine Pick

This weekend our menu special was a stone-grilled ham steak, glazed with boiled cider and finished with grainy mustard. Our suggested wine for this dish was:

Laurent Kraft "Sec" Chenin Blanc, Vouvray AP, Vouvray (Loire), France, 2008

This is a dry Vouvray with light golden color and intense aroma & flavor reminiscent of fresh peaches, mangoes and orange blossoms. Crisp acidity and signature minerality perfectly balance the saltiness and tanginess of the glazed ham. If I had to describe this wine in one word - precise.

Dry Chenin Blanc is one of those wines that I don't have very often, yet every time I do it reminds me that I should utilize it more often...


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Our Weekend Wine Pick

This weekend our menu special was beef short ribs, braised low & slow, with plenty of fresh root vegetables, lentils and red wine. Oh yeah...we also added some bacon to kick up the flavor. This dish was crying for a BIG red wine, so our choice was:

K Vintners "River Rock" Syrah, Walla Walla Valley AVA, Walla Walla, Washington, 2011

Charles Smith, the owner of K Vintners, takes the concept of terroir to extremes. Not only does he retain vineyards in several Washington State AVAs, he bottles many single vineyard Syrahs to highlight their flavor differences. River Rock is no exception. It comes from the warmest region of Walla Walla Valley and, as the name suggests, the soil is comprised of ancient riverbed stone. These conditions should deliver wines that are big, bold & fruit-driven...and they do. The unique thing about the 2011 growing season is that it was cooler than normal, producing higher-than-normal acidity & tannins.

The final product is an outstanding wine, packed with blackberry, smoke & crushed stone flavors that last a really long time. The palate-cleansing acidity and refined tannins make it extremely food-friendly to boot. If you're into the rating game, Robert Parker gives this one a 95...not too shabby...

And the cost? Let's just say it's up there, setting you back about forty bucks. Consider it a worthy endeavor. As Charles Smith himself says, "It's just wine. Drink it." Indeed...


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Our Weekend Wine Pick

This weekend's wine choice was "all about me". I have a weakness for good rosé...any grape, any style and in any season. My choice was:

Circumstance "Cape Coral", Stellenbosch WO, Somerset West, South Africa, 2013

This wine comes from Waterkloof Estate and is made from 100% Mourvèdre. It is one of the most unique rosés you will ever try. While most have signature strawberry aroma & flavor, this one is all about peach & spice, and the color is a beautiful, delicate salmon. The wine is dry, but there is so much fruit going on that my initial impression was a hint of residual sugar. We paired it with a roasted vegetable & feta flatbread which really enhanced the fruit flavor. Then we added a dosage of music - groovin' on Wayne Shorter's "Speak No Evil". Just about as perfect an evening as you can get...


Cape Coral Rosé

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Our Weekend Wine Pick

This weekend saw a lot of grillin' at The Carnivore. The weather was also pleasantly cool, so a red wine was definitely in order. Our not-so-traditional choice was:

Duorum "Tons de Duorum", Douro DOC, Vila Nova de Foz Côa (Douro Valley), Portugal, 2010

This wine is a blend of Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional & Tinta Roriz from Portugal's Douro Valley. The aromas & flavors are reminiscent of strawberry, raspberry, blackberry & plum. Barrel aging adds spice & roasted nuts. The acidity & tannins are also sufficient to stand up to anything you might pull off the grill. And did I mention the price...considering the quality, this wine is so cheap you can't afford not to drink it...


view of the douro valley

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Our Weekend Wine Pick

This weekend we had a few life-long friends, an international cast of characters, staying at Weathertop for a long-overdue visit. Naturally, this required rummaging through the wine cellar to find something "a little special". It didn't take long to find that something. Our choice was:

Albert Bichot "Domaine Long-Depaquit", Chablis AC, Beaune (Bourgogne), France, 2010

Even better, we had a few magnums in inventory! It was a humid afternoon, which suggested a drier white wine. We were also going out to American Flatbread later that evening, so something lighter made sense too. This is a beautiful, textbook Chablis. Taut & steely, with a boatload of lemons, oranges and chalky minerality from start to finish. It paired well with afternoon nibbles - smoked trout, mixed Italian olives, Consider Bardwell "Dorset" cheese, crusty Red Hen bread and ripe pears. So much food before dinner? YOU BETCHA!

Friends don't let friends dine (or wine...) lightly...Cheers!

friends enjoying albert bichot chablis

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Our Weekend Wine Pick

This weekend's grilled fish specials called for a clean & crisp white wine. Our off-the-wall choice was:

Zudugarai, Getariako Txakolina DO, Aia (Pais Vasco), Spain, 2012

Yes, the spelling is correct. Txakoli is a white wine made from the Hondarrabi Zuri grape. This particular vineyard is located on Spain's north coast, near the Basque fishing village of Getaria. The coastal terroir is key, producing a wine that is very dry, packed with green apple flavor and lifted by small, palate cleansing bubbles & crisp acidity. It finishes with signature salinity & minerality. I like to think of it as a wine with the best qualities of Vinho Verde, Muscadet, Cassis & Dry Riesling, all in one glass! Try it if you can find it...or come stay with us...


Zudugarai Getariako Txakolina Wine Label

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Our Weekend Wine Pick

This weekend's smoked pork loin special was calling for red wine, but the heat & humidity weren't conducive to a big Amador Zin or Barossa Shiraz. So our off-the-wall choice this weekend was:

Valckenberg "Undone" Pinot Noir, Bingen am Rhein (Rheinhessen), Germany, 2008

Yes, a German Pinot Noir. This wine is un-oaked, allowing the pure fruit flavor to shine through. Very smooth & aromatic. Lots of berry & plum with a dash of herbs on the finish, plus enough acidity to make it incredibly food friendly. Very pleasant, uncomplicated & easy-going with a ridiculously low price to boot. Valckenberg even kept it simple for the English-speaking market by calling it Pinot Noir instead of Spätburgunder!


Undone Pinot Noir Wine Label

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The New Rosés Are Here!

Summer has arrived and what a gorgeous day it is! Also arrived is our selection of rosé wines to enjoy all summer long. Click here to see our recently updated wine list, then stop by for a visit us and sip a glass (or two...) while relaxing on our garden patio. We'll be raising our glasses this afternoon for sure in a toast to the great summer ahead, and hope to see you at Weathertop real soon. Until then...

Peace, Love & BBQ!

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