Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Moonlight Becomes You (With Frontera Moonlight Wine)

By Joy Neighbors

There’s something about wine and moonlight. Now, Frontera has combined the two to create an intriguing wine for after-hours.

Concha y Toro Winery
Concha y Toro
Established in 1883, Concha y Toro is the number one wine producer and exporter in Chile. The winery offers Fine, Premium and Varietal wines, and holds tours and tastings seven days a week. The facility is also home to a wine shop and a wine bar with light meal offerings. With eight wine brands in their portfolio, the Frontera label has again been highlighted as the most sold Chilean wine brand in the world, with a presence in more than 120 countries. The company owns over 26-thousand acres of prime vineyards in Chile, Argentina, and the United States.

Frontera Moonlight White Blend
With a golden hue that is reminiscent of a reflection of moonlight, the nose opens up to floral notes and a hint of butterscotch.  The palate is bright and fresh with a flavor profile fruit-forward on peach and apricot before ending with a touch of cherry on the tongue and a lingering pineapple finish.

The Night Harvested Blends are, as the name indicates, picked during the nighttime hours when the temperatures are cooler and the flavors will be more robust.

Pair this wine with appetizers, salty nuts and cheeses, and light entrees like roasted chicken and pork. And don’t forget to enjoy a glass after dark in the whirlpool or on a long evening walk in the country - just let the Moonlight lead you to adventure …

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

True Myth – Truly Delicious

By Joy Neighbors

With autumn comes our desire for heavier meals and wines with more structure. True Myth offers two wines that can make those earthy, substantial meals sing.

TrueMyth is part of the Niven family legacy located in Edna Valley in Paso Robles region of central California.

Paragon Vineyard
The Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are grown in the warmer Paso Robles region and showcase the diversity of San Luis Obispo County.

The Niven family owns and farms 50% of all Chardonnay grown in Edna Valley. Paragon Vineyard was established in 1973, and is home to the oldest continually producing Chardonnay vines in the region. This vineyard has been producing for more than 40 years.

True Myth Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Earthy berry aromas tempt you to take a sip, which leads to the full flavors of blackberries, cherries, and cola with a hint of cocoa. Hints of cedar and smoke linger in the mouth – a perfect autumn wine. This full-bodied Cab pairs well with steak, meaty ribs, or venison. Suggested retail - $24

True Myth Chardonnay 2014
This classic Chard opens with apricot and peach on the nose. The wine is well-balanced, and crisp. Tropical fruit and a hint of vanilla tease the palate while the finish is reminiscent of salted caramel. Serve with roasted chicken or grilled fish. Suggested retail - $18

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Haunted Story Inn Still Serving Up Spirits

By Joy Neighbors

Wine is a great equalizer and so are ghosts, so put the two together and you have for an interesting evening in southern Indiana …

The village of Story Indiana is a rural town burrowed between  the Hoosier National Forest and Brown County State Park. Local physician, George Story established the village back in 1851. This logging community had a school, post office, grain mill, saw mill and general store. Oh, and the inn.

Story Inn
George Story and his wife Jane ran the inn, what is now known as the oldest country inn in the state. At some time during the inn’s history, guest books were placed in each room so that visitors could record their thoughts, and say a few words about their stay. Once the books were filled, they were taken up to the attic and stored.

Somewhere along the way, guests begin to write about hauntings and incidents that involved what they came to call “The Blue Lady.”  Visitors mentioned that they would smell of cherry tobacco in their guest room, this was a favorite smoke of Jane Story’s, George's wife. Blue objects like ribbons and bows would appear in the rooms, and some guests said they actually saw Jane, especially in the Garden Room.

The Blue Lady Room
Today, the Story Inn is a quaint bed-and-breakfast without the diversion of televisions or radios in the rooms. The inn’s restaurant boasts fine dining with rustic charm, and warm Southern Indiana hospitality.

“The Blue Lady” is still a regular at the inn. In fact, a “summons light” has been placed in her favorite room. Legend has it that if you switch the blue light to the “on” position, you will summon Jane’s spirit to appear. But she doesn’t necessarily have to be summoned to show up, at least according to the many guests who have stayed throughout the years at the Story Inn.

Want a chance to possibly see The Blue Lady? Put on your Halloween duds tomorrow night, October 29, and attend the free “Blue Lady Halloween Bash” held on the inn’s patio from 8:30 to midnight. You never know what special ghoul might show up …

Story Inn
6404 IN-135
Nashville, IN 47448
(812) 988-2273

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Halloween Candy and Wine Pairings

By Joy Neighbors

It’s October, that time of year when our craving for chocolate and all things sweet magically coincides with Halloween.

Although most adults tend to limit their dressing up to adult gatherings and escorting the kids through the neighborhood, we don’t have to give up the candy. Especially not when we can pair it with the perfect wine.

Here’s a few popular candies paired with a couple of wines each to make your Halloween gathering even sweeter.

Favorite Candy                              Perfect Wines

Butterfinger Bar                              Chardonnay or Sherry

Candy Corn                                    Chardonnay or Moscato

Carmel Apple                                  Chenin Blanc

Hershey’s Chocolates                       Merlot or Port

Kit Kats                                          Sparkling or Merlot

M&Ms (preferable Autumn variety)    Merlot or Syrah

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups              Zinfandel or Cabernet

Skittles                                           Riesling or Sauv Blanc

Snickers Bar                                    Malbec or Zinfandel

Sweet Tarts                                     Moscato

Tootsie Rolls                                    Merlot or Syrah

Twix                                               Cabernet or Malbec

Stock up on your favorite wines now because Halloween’s less than 3 weeks away.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

October Headlines: Pub’s Specter Stolen

By Joy Neighbors

Welcome to the annual Joy’s Joy of Wine spooktauclar series of October-themed blog posts. This is the time of year for tales of hauntings and things that go bump (or burp, as the case may be,) in the night.

Bolton, England
Some people brag about having a ghost, others don’t want to discuss the subject, and then there are those who relish the thought of a haunting. The folks in Bolton, England take their ghosts seriously. So seriously that when one went missing, they demanded he be returned!

Ye Olde Man and Sythe Pub
Last year a Chinese student contacted Ye Olde Man & Sythe Pub claiming that he had stolen their ghost. The specter is said to be that of James Stanley, the Seventh Earl of Derby who has haunted Bolten’s oldest pub for centuries. According to the student (who possibly had a dram too many), the Earl agreed to go with him and willing went into a metal canister so that he could be “exhibited” at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art in Manchester.

Richard Greenwood
Richard Greenwood, the pub’s owner wrote a letter to the student saying, “I feel very strongly that James Stanley’s ghost should remain in Bolton and at Ye Olde Man and Scythe to preserve the natural order of things.”

Greenwood continued, “That said I do believe that your exhibition should travel and be seen by many people around the world and I would like to contribute to this as long as at the end of your exhibition it returns home.”

Apparently, Greenwood didn't mind being accommodating but he’s not willing to “give up the ghost.”

James Stanley
According to lore, Stanley spent his last few hours in the pub before being beheaded outside the building for his part in the 1644 Bolton massacre. Why is the Earl attracted to the pub? His family owned it at the time of his death. The chair he sat in to eat his last meal is still there. And Greenwood, (very generously, I think) volunteered to allow the chair to accompany the traveling art exhibit.

No word if his offer was ever accepted or if the Earl has been returned, but here’s a  short video clip from the pub’s interior camera with what the staff believe is their ghost dropping in for a visit.

Pour a glass of wine, or something stronger because there's more to come next week - Enjoy the season!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Four Fabulous Midwestern Reds

By Joy Neighbors

When you think of “wine country” in the U.S. California immediately comes to mind followed by one or all of the following - Washington State, Oregon and New York. Unfortunately, it takes a while for wine aficionados to remember that the Midwest is another great wine destination.

This region might garner more respect if wine drinkers knew something about the grapes that grow here, what the resulting wines are similar to and a flavor profile.

So with that in mind, here are four Midwestern red wines that are sure to make a delicious impact on your taste buds paired with fall's hearty foods.

Chancellor Grapes/Wine        
This is a hybrid red-wine grape originally developed in France in the mid-1800s, but the French did not utilize the grape and Chancellor found a new home in the U.S.

In the 1970s, New York State renamed the grape Chancellor and it became popular in the East and Midwestern wine regions because it's cold hardy and very prolific. The states that produce the most Chancellor grapes include New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois and Nebraska.

This wine is crafted like a Cabernet with an earthy flavor profile and hints of berries. Chambourcin ages well and pairs nicely with a steak or a hearty beef stew. Prices can range from $10 to $50 per bottle.

Norton Grapes/Wine
This grape was first cultivated in Virginia in the 1820s by Dr. Daniel Norton. It is the oldest native grape in the U.S. (Sorry, Zinfandel lovers.) In the mid-1800s, the grape was taken by settlers to Missouri where it acclimated well to the Midwestern climate including cold winter temperatures; the grape is also resistant to mildew and rot, making it a “perfect wine grape” for the Midwest. Norton’s popularity grew through the early 20th century until Prohibition was enacted in 1920. Once alcohol was illegal, vines were pulled up and it wasn’t until 1989 that the grape caught on again, fittingly enough, back in Virginia.

Riedel Norton Glass
Today, world-class Norton wines are crafted around the U.S., especially in Missouri where it has been designated at the state grape. (The Norton grape is also known as Cynthiana.) Norton wines are so popular in the Eastern and Midwestern sections of the country that Riedel has created a Norton wine glass.

Norton wine is similar to a Merlot or Cabernet. The grapes are thick-skinned with fruity flavors and hints of vanilla. Norton goes well with rich red meats, game and spicy foods.

Maréchal Foch
This hybrid French grape was developed in 1910 by Eugene Kuhlmann. It was named after WW1 French General Marshall Ferdinand Foch and arrived in the U.S. in 1946.

Foch produces early yields and can withstand cold temperatures - two pluses for Midwestern growth. It is, however, vulnerable to mildew. It grows well in Canada, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois and Oregon. This is another Midwestern wine that ages well and is similar in style to a Pinot Noir.

The flavor profile leans toward jammy, berry flavors, with a touch of spice and earthy, almost smoky undertone – pleasant, not foxy. Foch goes well with roasted chicken or venison.

Chambourcin is a French-American hybrid grape that is versatile enough to be crafted like a big-styled Rhone, a full-bodied Burgundy or as a soft red table wine. The origins of the grape are unknown, but it has only been available since 1963.

The grape is very popular in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and southern Illinois. Prominent fruit flavors can include cherry, berry, currents and plums. There's a spicy element of cinnamon, pepper or cloves with aromas of tobacco, leather and smoke.

Chambourcin is food-friendly. A heavy-styled wine pairs well with beef, pizza and barbecue. A lighter-styled Chambourcin goes nicely with lighter pasta dishes or ham.

Next week, a look at some outstanding Midwestern white wines to sip and savor this autumn.