Free Friday Tasting: Rosé, Pinot Gris, Sangiovese

We have a couple of favorite styles from a couple of favorite producers for this week’s Free Friday Tasting, today from 4-6 p.m. We will not host a tasting with the same wines on Saturday.

Hess, Rosé, Shirtail Ranches, CA 2016 — As you might know, Hess crafts a collection specifically to serve in restaurant and to pair with a wide variety of foods. Rhône-style varietals in this pale Rosé give you all the cool strawberry flavors you’d want. An elegance and style in the finish that skews toward savory. This could go with our Butter Lettuce salad or the Crayfish-smothered Walleye. Shop $12.

Sokol Blosser, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, OR 2015 — You’d expect this to be light and crisp, with faint minerality, and it is… but also ripe-ripe-ripe, from the hottest year ever in Oregon. Fresh, balanced, and firm, with apple and pear fruit flavors touched off by citrus on the top end. A tasty, all-purpose crowdpleaser. Shop $16.

Il Bastardo, Sangiovese, Tuscany, Italy 2014 — This one is fun, and a good excuse to swear while you drink (“What, Ma, I’m just reading the label!”) Bright, ripe cherry and berry fruit round out a little as it opens up. That juicy fruit and easy-going tannins make this great for a quick family meal of pizza, burgers, or spaghetti. A great value for getting at some food-friendly Sangiovese without the Chianti Classico price tags. Shop $10.

Saturday St. Patrick’s Parade & Free Friday Tasting

We’re tasting wine this Friday from 4-6 p.m., but forgoing the Saturday tasting because its the annual Bluemound Business Association’s St. Patrick’s Parade!

Le Contesse Brut Prosecco — Here’s a lively and delicious sparkler grown in sustainably and organically farmed sites in Italy’s famous sparkling wine D.O.C. The winemakers use “one single gentle fermentation” with the intent of lower natural sulfites and a fresher tasting wine. Floral, zesty, apple and pear. Shop $12.

Terra D’Oro, Chenin Blanc-Viognier, Clarksburg, CA 2016 — This will be great for longer days coming up with Daylight Savings. Bright, delicate Chenin Blanc meets the body of Viognier. Grapefruit, mango, lemon and a hint of spicy. Well-balanced with a a crisp acidity makes it a great for late afternoon sipping and pairing with food. Shop $12.

Bodegas Atalaya Laya Almansa, Red Blend, Spain 2016 — Here’s something really interesting: a blend of Garnacha Tintorera (a.k.a. Alicante Bouschet) and Monastrell (more often called Mourvèdre). These dark fruits, often used to bring depth and tannins to lighter reds, shine here on their own. Particular Spanish heat, soil, and elevation help produce a complex, structured wine that still boasts bold fruit, elegance, and easy enjoyment. Shop $12.

If you’re in on Saturday and want to try these wines, just ask!

Free Friday Tasting: Verdejo, Malbec, Irresistible Sparkling Rosé

Here’s what we’re trying this Friday for our Free Friday Tasting, 4-6 p.m., and again on Saturday, 12-3 p.m. Stop by and stock up for your Oscars party — shop’s open until 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and closes at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Rivarose Brut, Sparkling Rosé — We keep coming back to this light, dry Rosé sparkler for its versatility — enjoy it before, during, or after a meal, lounging around or at a party. Floral and fruity, but still very clean, evocative of Mediterranean elegance. Shop $13 Nisia, Verdejo, Rueda, Spain 2015 — We’ve featured this delicious Spanish white on our restaurant by-the-glass list. Like some Chardonnays, its got bread and citrus on the nose, and a fatty mouthfeel, without the yawning oakiness. Citrus flavor and bright acidity brings back a fresh finish for pairing with your mezze plate. Shop $20 Zolo, Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina 2016 — Dark, inky color and rich, full body you’d expect from an Argentinian Malbec. You might get blackberries, coffee, violets, and blueberry pie. Great quality for the price, this wine would probably improve for years… but waiting in the hardest part. Enjoy now! Shop $12

Weekend = Wine Time. Free Friday (and Saturday) Tasting

We taste a selection of wines on Fridays from 4-6 p.m., and again on Saturdays from 12-3 p.m. Stop by the shop for a taste, whether you’re passing by or enjoying a meal. Here’s what we’re trying this week…

Le Paradou Viognier, France 2016 — Rich gold color, clear and bright. Flowery nose with stone fruits — think peach. Fresh and balanced with a citrus-like acidity and crisp minerality. This would be great with seafood, but could also find a match with fruity desserts, creamy mac-and-cheese, or grilled veggies. Shop $11.

Piedra Santa, Zinfandel, Central Coast, CA 2011 — This Zin shows the quality of the Cienega Valley, with black cherry and dark fruits balanced by warm oak flavors. A little bit of herb and spice on the finish make it a great match for grilled meats, or a decadent dessert (and we have a few of those at Story Hill BKC!). Shop $12.

Bieler Père et Fils, La Jassine Red, Côtes du Rhône Villages, France 2015 — A Rhone-style Red Blend that will keep you warm, or at least improve with a slight chill — like coming inside and taking off your cap and scarf to sit down to a nice roast dinner. Full-bodied yet smooth, it features dark fruits with notes of leather and chocolate. Shop $18.

Friday Fish & Free Friday Tasting

For the first Friday of the season, February 16, we’re cooking up Pan-Fried Perch for dinner, dusted in polenta, with a potato rösti, apple beurre blanc, and Central Greens Red Rambo micro greens. That’s what we mean by “Upper Midwest.” Also, on the regular dinner menu, a German-inspired Catfish Schnitzel. We pound it out nice and flat, panko crust it, and pan-fry to perfection with pickled veggies, remoulade, and watercress.

And if you haven’t given up wine, our Free Friday Tasting is in effect as usual Feb. 16 from 4-6 p.m., and again on Saturday, Feb. 17, 12-3 p.m. Here’s what we’re trying this week.

Michel Chapoutier, Bila-Haut Rosé, Pays D’oc, France 2016 — a lightly fragrant rosé, with notes of strawberry and pear. Light and peppy on the palate, with a refreshing acidity and lip-smacking finish. Ready to go right now. Shop $11.

William Hill, Cabernet Sauvignon, Central Coast, CA 2015 — Easygoing, yet no pushover. Enjoy with grilled or roasted meats, obviously, but this would do fantastically well with any dish including mushrooms. Cassis and currant — the dried berries up front — with brighter, fresher berries on the finish. Shop $14.

Colonia Las Liebres, Bonarda, Mendoza, Argentina 2013 — Perhaps you’re not hip to Bonarda (also known as Charbono in California), but it is definitely worth checking out, especially if you like Malbec. This is an Italian varietal planted in the same famous Malbec region of Argentina. Lots of dark fruit, richness, spice. Full-bodied, but balanced by an acidity that keeps this deep, dark wine approachable. Shop $12

Enjoy our Free Friday Tasting, whether you’re buying a case or just in for a taste, 4-6 p.m. at Story Hill BKC.

Free Friday Tasting: Rosé, Chianti, Cab

Join us this evening for a Free Friday Tasting, today from 4-6 p.m. We’ll be sharing free tastes of these wines on Saturday as well, 12-3 p.m.

Vino, Rosé Sangiovese, Washington State 2016 — Charles Smith is the former rock band manager turned rockstar wine producer. Inspired by Italian Rosés, Vino Rosé has bass notes of red berry and stone fruit, with juicy, plump cranberry and pomegranate flavors to finish. Shop $11

Cecchi, Chianti, Italy 2015 — This family is known in the famous Tuscan region for winemaking with freshness and structure. This one is quick off the start with fresh fruit and a hint of spices. A very versatile wine, for everyday drinking or pairing with dinner, especially barbecue. Shop $12

Salentein Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, Uco Valley, Argentina 2014 — Classic Cab, but an Argentinian expression that brings dark fruits, black pepper and blackcurrant. Meaty mouthfeel with a lasting finish, great for steak with chimichurri. Shop $12

Enjoy our Free Friday Tasting, whether you’re buying a case or just in for a taste, 4-6 p.m. at Story Hill BKC.

Free Friday Tasting: Portuguese Red, Italian Red, Sauvignon Blanc

Join us this Friday, Feb. 2, for a Free Friday Tasting, today from 4-6 p.m. We’ll be sharing free tastes of these wines on Saturday as well, 12-3 p.m.

Tangent, Sauvignon Blanc, Edna Valley, CA 2014 — From a cooler climate than your Napa Sauv Blancs, this one has crispy acidity and an aromatic, herbaceous nose. Green apple and lemon zest with a slight minerality. Harvested from different blocks of the family’s Paragon Vineyard, originally planted in 1973, and then blended to the winemakers’ liking. A natural match for seafood, or for sippin’ on its own. Shop $12

Castello D’ Alba, Douro, Red Blend, Portugal 2015 — Ready for this? Tinta Roriz (a.k.a. Tempranillo), Touriga Franca, and Touriga Nacional come together to show red fruits and spice coming together in the bottle. The is a fresh wine, medium-bodied, but it’s a foodie at heart. Smooth palate, balanced acidity, and fine tannins. Shop $13

Albino Rocca, “Rosso Di Rocca,” Nebbiolo Red Blend, Barbaresco, Italy 2014 — This is a stylish, racy Piedmontese wine. Because it’s a blend, it can’t be called a Barbaresco, which has to be made solely from Nebbiolo. This one is rounded out with some Cab Franc and Barbera. Expect a whole lotta dark cherry, blackberry and bitter chocolate. Medium-bodied and juicy, with a slightly sticky finish that lingers. Great value at $12.

Enjoy our Free Friday Tasting, whether you’re buying a case or just in for a taste, 4-6 p.m. at Story Hill BKC.

Free Friday Tasting: Riesling, Cabernet, Zinfandel

Join us Friday, Jan. 26 for a Free Friday Tasting, today from 4-6 p.m. We’ll be sharing free tastes of these wines on Saturday as well, 12-3 p.m.

Pacific Rim, J Riesling, Columbia Valley, WA 2015 — Can a Riesling be “big?” This one will send you soaring like a hummingbird with huge floral aromas and bright citrus fruit. But it brings you back to Earth with a somewhat dry finish. Shop $10

Armador Odfjell, Cabernet Sauvignon, Maipo Valley, Chile 2014 — This is definitely a “New World” Cab. Ruby to purple in color, with fresh fruit and berries. This vintage in particular, might make you think of strawberries. It also boasts sophisticated vanilla, cocoa, and earthen notes. Very well balanced; fresh tannin; long finish. Shop $11

Pietra Santa, Zinfandel, Central Coast, CA 2011 — “Old Vine” doesn’t technically have to mean anything, but in this case, it means a mix of 40+ year old vines, including a small block planted at this estate in 1905, which leads to very developed flavor. Red cherries, blueberries, with a peppery finish. Shop $12

Enjoy our Free Friday Tasting, whether you’re buying a case or just in for a taste, 4-6 p.m. at Story Hill BKC.

Free Friday Tasting: Sparkling Rosé, Pinot Blanc, Tempranillo

Join us this evening for a Free Friday Tasting, today from 4-6 p.m. We’ll be sharing free tastes of these wines on Saturday as well, 12-3 p.m.

Rivarose Brut, Sparkling Rosé — What if your favorite Rosé was also a sparkler? This one blends Rhône varietals (Syrah for vibrant fresh fruit and Grenache for substance) for an elegant balance of raspberry and sweet spice. Great for appetizers, or desserts. Shop $13

Brooks, Pinot Blanc, Willamette Valley, WA 2016 — We like the crisp, mineral finish of Pinot Blanc, but this one has creamier fruits that might entice Chardonnay drinkers. Medium-bodied, hits on lemon, peach, and melon notes, with a spicy snap to the finish. Shop $12.

Bodega Numanthia, Termes, Tempranillo, Toro, Spain 2014 — Dense and layered fruit, with nutty, vanilla notes. Very concentrated juice from 30-year-old vines at high elevation give a great starting point for a fruit-forward yet balanced wine. It’s all happening. $18 in the shop; discounted from $22.

Enjoy our Free Friday Tasting, whether you’re buying a case or just in for a taste, 4-6 p.m. at Story Hill BKC.

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