Four new wines for the New Year

Happy New Year from Winelandia! We hope you were able to pop some of your favorite bottles during your holiday celebrations.

Over the holiday break, there were some new releases we couldn’t resist getting our hands on. Check out the four new wines in our online shop.

frantz saumon mineral +2013 Frantz Saumon Mineral+, Montlouis-sur-Loire
The latest vintage of Frantz Saumon’s Mineral+, one of our all-time favorite Loire wines, is back in stock. Yields were unbelievably low all over France during 2013, and as a result there’s not much of this wine to go around. We were able to secure a small amount for the online store, so get some while you can! This is a 100% Chenin Blanc made in a sec-tendre style (somewhere between sec and demi-sec) with mouth-watering acidity rounded out by a little residual sugar. Succulent fruit and stony minerality make this wine a great compliment to a wide variety of foods.

jolie laide grenache2013 Jolie-Laide Grenache, Dry Creek Valley
For our Jolie-Laide fans, this is the latest release from Scott Schultz, and it does not disappoint. 2013 yielded loads of near-perfect fruit in California, and the wines are incredibly generous. Vibrant and juicy, it’s drenched in flavors of raspberry extract, spice, and earth. Full-flavored and structured, yet light on it’s feet, this is a great wine to help you transition out of the holidays and into the new year. Supplies are extremely limited.

belluard ayse brutNV Domaine Belluard Ayse Brut, Savoie
The latest Ayse cuvée from Domaine Belluard is everything we’d hoped it’d be and more! Made from 100% Gringet, a nearly-extinct grape grown in Savoie, Ayse Brut offers notes of ginger, galangal, brioche, and crushed rocks. Rich and aromatic with loads of tiny bubbles, this exuberant bubbly is sure to impress everyone in the room.

lapierre raisins gaulois2013 Lapierre Raising Gaulois Gamay, Beaujolais
Everyone who knows me knows how crazy I am about the wines of M. Lapierre. This is Lapierre’s entry-level gamay, made primarily from younger plantings in their Morgon vineyards. Light, fresh, and grapey, this wine is epitome of glou-glou. Organically farmed and produced with minimal intervention – it’s nearly impossible to find wines with this pedigree at such a reasonable price point. Enjoy it with a variety of foods any day of the week.

Experience the Best of Winelandia for the holidays!

Our “Best of Winelandia” holiday offer is SOLD OUT. We’re working on another one, so stay tuned!

We’ve assembled a very limited 6-pack for the holidays featuring the Best of Winelandia in 2014. Included are four deep, rich, and soulful reds, and two exuberant sparkling wines (even some real Champagne!).

Price per 6-pack is $175 excluding tax and shipping – a 10% savings off retail.

Each 6-pack includes the one each of the following wines:

2013 Marcel Lapierre Morgon, France
2011 Foradori Teroldego, Trentino Alto-Adige, Italy
2012 Brea Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles
2013 Guiberteau Saumur Rouge, Loire
NV Champ Divin Crémant du Jura, France
NV Dufour Bulles du Comptoir #3 Champagne, France

Supplies are extremely limited, so order now before we run out! To order, simply email orders@winelandia.com.

Thanksgiving Wine Pairing Guide

Thanksgiving wine pairing

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and we’ve put together this helpful guide to assist you with choosing wines to pair with your holiday feast. Whether you’re cooking a traditional turkey or putting together something a little more unconventional, we’re here to help you choose your Thanksgiving wine pairing. This guide will help you elevate your meal from traditional to transcendental.

What’s on the menu?

Appetizers

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Cheese plates: Pair with dry, mineral-driven white wines such as Chenin Blanc, Cava, or Champagne.

Seafood Canapés: White wines are a no-brainer for seafood snacks. Look for Sancerre, sparkling Vouvray, or rich and minerally Catalan whites.

Aperitifs: If you want to skip the pre-feast delicacies and go straight for an aperitif, try a vermouth cocktail, pétillant naturel from the Loire Valley, or any joyful sparkling wine to get the conversation flowing. Cocktails are also a great option, and one of my favorites for a pre-dinner libation is the French 75.

First Courses

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Soups: Many rich and creamy soups will pair beautifully with an equally rich and creamy white wine. Try a Cour-Cheverny, California Chardonnay, or aromatic Viognier. If the soup has some sweetness (like butternut squash bisque), try to find a wine with a little sweetness to match.

Salads: Pair your wines according to the dressing on your salad. If you’re doing a bright and acidic vinaigrette, stick with wines with lots of acidity like Melon de Bourgogne, crisp and dry Chenin Blanc, Chablis, or Gruner Veltliner. If you’re using a balsamic vinaigrette, pair it with a Provencal Rosé instead of a white wine. If you’re doing a creamy dressing, choose fuller-bodied whites with creamy texture such as white Burgundy, California Chardonnay, or Viognier.

Main Courses

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Turkey (or any other poultry): Nothing says Thanksgiving like your traditional turkey. Whether it’s thoughtfully brined and roasted, deep fried in your back yard, or smoked in a fancy smoker, the right wine will bring it class and elegance. You can go for a white wine, a rosé, or a lighter-bodied red – any of them will knock it out of the park. Consider fuller-bodied whites such as white Burgundy, California Chardonnay, Rhone whites (Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier), or even a light and fresh Provencal Rosé. For reds, excellent choices would be Beaujolais (gamay), medium-bodied Zinfandel (look for examples from the Russian River Valley), light red Burgundy, Pinot Meunier, fresh and juicy Carignan blends, or even Cheverny rouge (Pinot Noir/Gamay blend).

Ham: Another old standby for Thanksgiving Day is a honey-baked ham. My go-to in this case would be an off-dry rosé, fruity Pinot Noir, cru Beaujolais, Gewurtztraminer, or hard apple cider.

Lamb: Although a bit unconventional, it’s not unheard of for people to prepare lamb for Thanksgiving. My go-to for fall lamb would be wines to compliment the gaminess such as Counoise, new world Pinot Noir, Gamay, red Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Rioja, or Malbec. Choose medium-bodied wines with an herbal component if you’re doing herb-roasted lamb served rare, and fuller-bodied wines if you’re braising shanks or shoulder.

Beef: If you’re anything like me, you might be preparing something untraditional such as beef. Maybe you’re roasting prime rib, or braising meltingly-tender beef cheeks. In this case, excellent pairings would include Cabernet Sauvignon, red Bordeaux, rich Italian Teroldego, or smoky Austrian Blaufrankisch.

Vegetarian dishes: Most of us have a beloved close friend who prefers their protein from vegetable sources. For mushroom-based dishes, look for earthy wines such as red Burgundy and other French Pinot Noir-based blends. For tomato-based dishes, look for spicy Italian reds or tomato-y Cabernet Franc. For something creamy like a veggie pot pie, equally rich and creamy whites like white Burgundy, Viognier, or Grenache Blanc. Orange wines are a great option for roasted vegetable dishes.

Dessert Course

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Pairing wine with dessert can be difficult to wrap one’s head around. Our very own Colleen McGarry wrote this helpful article to assist you with pairing wine with dessert. In a nutshell, you want to pair wines that have an equal amount of sweetness, or that are sweeter than your dessert. Try Sauternes with your apple pie or blue cheese, eau de vie (fruit brandy) with dishes made from the same fruit, or Gewurtztraminer with your spicy pumpkin pie. Chocolate-based desserts will be complimented best by ruby or tawny ports.

Need help choosing which wines to pair with your Thanksgiving feast? Feel free to reach out to us by emailing info@winelandia.com!

Wine 101: Sparkling Wine Terms

sparkling wine

As the fall & winter holidays approach, many wine consumers turn their sights away from rosé and towards sparkling wines. Champagne, crémant, pétillant naturel, frizzante, Cava, and Prosecco are all different types of sparkling wine, yet many people use the term “Champagne” to refer to any sparkling wine. This is a widely accepted, though incorrect use of the term. In this blog post, I will cover various types of bubbles and what the names actually mean.

Champagne: A variety of sparkling wine from the Champagne region in France. Only wines made according to the Champagne AOC rules may bear this term on the label (with a few exceptions). The grapes must be grown in Champagne, and the wine must be made using méthode champenoise (called méthode traditionnelle outside of Champagne). Champagne blends allow the use of chardonnay, pinot noir, pinot meunier grapes. Pinot blanc is also sometimes allowed.
Buy Champagne from Winelandia.com

Crémant: A term used to describe sparkling wines from France made outside of Champagne. For example: Crémant de Limoux, Crémant du Jura, Crémant d’Alsace, Crémant de Bourgogne – you get the picture. Crémant is made utilizing méthode traditionnelle, and can be made from a number of different grapes (depending on AOC rules). Not all sparkling wines made outside of Champagne are called crémant.
Buy Crémant du Jura from Winelandia.com

Cava: Sparkling wine from Catalonia (Spain) produced utilizing méthod traditionnelle. Cava blends typically contain the indigenous Spanish grape varieties macabeu, xarel-lo, and parellada.
Buy Cava from Winelandia.com

Prosecco: Italian sparkling wine from Veneto, produced using the charmat method. Prosecco must be made from the glera grape variety, though other varieties are sometimes blended in.

Frizzante: An Italian term for sparkling or semi-sparkling wine.
Buy Frizzante from Winelandia.com

Pétillant naturel: Also referred to as “pet-nat”, a French term used to describe wines produced utilizing méthode ancestrale. In this method, the wine is bottled before primary fermentation is complete. Primary fermentation completes in the bottle, adding a natural effervescence to the wine. Pétillant naturel wines are typically un-disgorged (meaning the lees is left in the bottle), though many commercial pet-nats are disgorged (lees removed) to be more appealing to a wider audience of wine consumers.
Buy Pétillant naturel from Winelandia.com

Special Offer: Four Festive Wines for Thanksgiving Day

Wines for Thanksgiving Day

The holidays are fast approaching, and we’re here to help you select the perfect wines for Thanksgiving Day. We’ve put together a special Thanksgiving 4-pack to pair beautifully with your holiday creations. We’ve hand-picked each of these delicious, crowd-pleasing wines with food-friendliness in mind, and all of them are bound to impress your guests.

Each order includes all 4 wines listed below. Email orders@winelandia.com to reserve yours today!*

Price on 1: $107 ea. + tax & delivery
Buy 2 or more and save 10%!

*Available to California recipients only

The Wines:

2012 Champ Divin Zéro Dosage, Crémant du Jura
Type: Sparkling wine, Biodynamic farming
Country: France
Blend: Pinot Noir & Chardonnay
Course: Serve this fun sparkler when your guests arrive to get their appetites going and the conversation flowing.
Tasting Notes: Fresh and exuberant, with notes of apple cider and a touch of minerals.
Pairing: Perfect for any appetizer, but smoked trout canapés on thinly sliced apples will really make it shine.

2013 Celler Frisach “Vernatxa”, Terra Alta
Type: White wine, organically farmed
Country: Spain
Blend: 100% Grenache Blanc
Course: Serve with your first course of soup or salad, or with a cheese plate.
Tasting Notes: Texture! Minerals! Ripe meyer lemon!
Pairing: Winter squash bisque, cheese plates, hearty radicchio and arugula salad with roasted delicata squash, shaved fennel, and pomegranate seeds.

2013 Teutonic Pinot Meunier, Willamette Valley
Type: Red wine (light), sustainably farmed
Country: United States (OR)
Blend: 100% Pinot Meunier
Course: Serve this with your second or main course.
Tasting Notes: Succulent red fruit, sweet herbs, and delicate earth. Light-bodied yet lush, with super-soft tannins and juicy acidity.
Pairing: Herb-roasted birds, mushroom ragout, braised rabbit, ham

2013 Brea Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles
Type: Red wine (bold), sustainably farmed
Country: United States
Blend: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot
Course: Enjoy this bold red wine at the end of your meal, and continue to enjoy it after dinner in front of your fireplace.
Tasting Notes: Black currants, peppers, spice, and herbs. Beautifully structured and balanced.
Pairing: Braised beef cheeks, roasted rack of lamb, prime rib

La Clarine Farm Cedarville Mourvèdre is back, and more!

We’ve just added three more incredible wines to our online shop, two of which have no added sulfites. They pair perfectly with seasonal ingredients such as pomegranate, roasted poultry, winter squash, persimmon, and chicories. Click the links to purchase from our online store.

La Clarine Farm Cedarville Mourvedre2013 La Clarine Farm “Cedarville” Mourvèdre – $28
La Clarine Farm’s Cedarville Mourvèdre is back and better than ever! Bright, fresh, exotic, and supple, it’s a seductive wine that will entice the most jaded palates. Notes of fresh guava, herbs, cranberry, and minerals are the highlights of this incredible, terroir-driven wine from the Sierra Foothills.

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2013 Christian Vernier ‘Les Hauts de Madon’ Cheverny Rouge – $25
An organically farmed, no-sulfur-added blend of Pinot Noir & Gamay from the Loire Valley’s Cheverny region. This super sexy and feminine wine is remarkably fresh, high-toned, delicately structured, and super juicy. It’s full of aromas of fresh red fruit, dusty earth, fresh herbs, and minerals. I can’t get enough of this wine, it’s definitely one of my top 5 picks for 2014. A must-have for those who love Loire reds and Pinot Noir.

Vinavanti Viognier2013 Vinavanti Viognier, San Diego County – $23
An incredible no-sulfur-added Viognier from San Diego County (you heard right). Sustainably farmed fruit is sourced locally and made into this great wine by Vinavanti. They produce their wines without any additives or oak, and ferment them whole-cluster. This voluptuous and fresh wine will entice you with it’s aromas of citrus, pear skin, herbs, and minerals. It’s a perfect pairing for roasted turkey or chicken.

Join the wine club today and receive 10% off your order with a coupon code that will be emailed to you after you join! We’re shipping the Fall wine club next week. Check out the selections here. Supplies are extremely limited (in fact we’re telling people we’re sold out, but we might have a couple of extras to go around).

Do you have questions or would you like some personal assistance selecting wines to suit your taste? Reach out to Tala directly by email – tala@winelandia.com.

Cheers!
Winelandia

Wine of the Week: Celler Frisach Vernatxa Blanca, Terra Alta

Like most wine geeks, I go through phases. Right now, that phase is white wines from Spain. As many of you know, we’re working with a new importer of Catalan wines (read all about him here) who’s focus is terroir-driven, full-flavored, natural wines grown at high elevations. He has a surprising number of incredible white wines from this region – something entirely new to me. I’m completely captivated by them – intensely mineral, textural, and unlike anything else. This week’s Wine of the Week is my favorite yet – Celler Frisach Vernatxa Blanca.

Celler Frisach is a very small, family-run operation out of Tarragona. It’s 100% Grenache Blanc, grown in soils that are essentially petrified sand dunes, at 1200′ elevation. Fermented on the skins for 14 days like a red wine, it’s technically an “orange” wine, but you’d never know it unless I told you. Pale in color, rich in texture, with incredible minerality that’s hard to find in wines at this price point. I imagine this wine on your fall dinner table, because it’s robust enough to pair with rich fall fare. Winter squash, roasted game birds, hearty salads, and cheese plates will all shine with this beauty of a wine.

Buy now on Winelandia.com!

vernatxa

Blend: 100% Garnatxa Blanca
Region: Spain>Catalunya>Terra Alta
Vineyard: Organically farmed 24 year old vines in petrified sand dune at 1200′ elevation.
Tasting Notes: A captivating, intensely mineral, full-bodied white wine with superb balance. Textural and complex with flavors of citrus and a hint of summer fruit, with a persistent mineral backbone.
Food Pairing: Marcona almonds, hard Iberian cheeses, olives, tortilla española
Production Notes: Fermented with indigenous yeasts on the skins in stainless steel for 14 days until dry.  Aged 6 months in French oak. Bottled with minimal SO2. 
Winemaker: Francesc Ferre
Bio: Ferre’s family has been farming organic grapes in the region for 200 years, but only since 2009 has the family made wine, when 21 year old Francesc took over operations. Their high elevation and unique climate with warm days and cool nights is perfect for growing pretty, fresh garnatxa.

Buy now on Winelandia.com!

Fall sale this weekend! 10%-20% off select wines

Our Fall sale is happening this weekend, Thursday Oct. 16th through Sunday October 19th! Save 10%-20% on select red & orange wines, including several wines with no added sulfites.

Roark 2012 Malbec Santa Ynez Valley
Juicy, fresh, exuberant Malbec from the Central Coast.
Regular Price: $28.00
SALE PRICE: $23.80

Grosjean 2012 Pinot Noir, Vallee d’Aoste
Elegant, delicate, restrained Pinot Noir from northern Italy.
Regular Price: $28.00
SALE PRICE: $23.80

Rafa Bernabé 2011 “El Morron” Garnacha, Alicante
Light-bodied, with minerals and pretty fruit from southern Spain. No added sulfites.
Regular Price: $25.00
SALE PRICE: $21.25

Adega Vella 2011 Mencía, Ribeira Sacra
Soft, supple, and stony, with juicy red fruit from the western side of Spain.
Regular Price: $15.00
SALE PRICE: $13.50

Celler Acústic 2010 Red Blend
A bold, spicy blend of garnatxa (grenache) & samso (carignan) from Spain’s Montsant region.
Regular Price: $24.00
SALE PRICE: $19.20

Andréa Calek 2011 “Babiole” Red Blend, Ardèche
An intense, earthy, and bold red wine from France’s famed Rhone Valley. No added sulfites.
Regular Price: $28.00
SALE PRICE: $22.95

Château Tire Pé 2012 “Diem” Bordeaux
The purest expression of Merlot, aged in concrete tanks. Certified organic.
Regular Price: $15.00
SALE PRICE: $13.50

Rafa Bernabé 2012 “Benimaquia” Moscatel, Alicanté
An intensely floral, structured, and profound skin-fermented white (orange) wine from southern Spain, aged in amphora. No added sulfites.
Regular Price: $23
SALE PRICE: $19.55

Introducing our Fall ’14 Wine Club Offer

**Our Fall wine club selections are SOLD OUT! You can still join the wine club and have a custom six-pack assembled, or you can just shop in our online store with you 10% off wine club discount. Just fill out the form at https://club.winelandia.com**

Can you believe Winelandia released its first wine club offer a year ago? Time flies when you’re having fun! 12 months of networking, tasting, and establishing relationships with great suppliers, importers, and wineries has enabled us to put together our most diverse wine club offer ever, and we’re so excited to share it with you today!

We’ve brought in 12 great wines from the US, Spain, Italy, and France to grace your fall tables. We have a little something for everyone! Below are our three wine club collections, and supplies are very limited. Get in on the action and sign up for the Winelandia seasonal wine club today!

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Mixed Wine Club:
$142 + tax & delivery
Broc Cellars 2013 Vine Starr Zinfandel, Sonoma County, US
Cantine del Indie 2013 “Vini Rosso del Popolo”, Langhe, Italy
Succés Vinícola 2012 “El Mentider” Trepat, Conca de Barberà, Spain
Frantz Saumon NV “La Petite Gaule du Matin” Pétillant, Loire Valley, France
Ryme Cellars 2013 “Hers” Vermentino, Carneros, US
Alexandre Bain 2012 Pouilly-Fumé, Loire Valley, France

Red Wine Club:
$129 + tax & delivery
Broc Cellars 2013 Vine Starr Zinfandel, Sonoma County, US
Cantine del Indie 2013 “Vini Rosso del Popolo”, Langhe, Italy
Succés Vinícola 2012 “El Mentider” Trepat, Conca de Barberà, Spain
Mas des Agrunelles 2010 “L’Indigene” Red Blend, Languedoc, France
Foradori 2011 Teroldego, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
Chateau Flotis 2010 “Si Noire” Fronton, South West France

White Wine Club:
$134 + tax & delivery
Frantz Saumon NV “La Petite Gaule du Matin” Pétillant, Loire Valley, France
Ryme Cellars 2013 “Hers” Vermentino, Carneros, US
Alexandre Bain 2012 Pouilly-Fumé, Loire Valley, France
Celler Frisach 2012 Selecció Garnatxa Blanca, Terra Alta, Spain
Domaine Belluard 2012 “Les Alpes” Gringet, Savoie, France
Sulauze 2013 “Pomponette” Rosé, Provence, France

As always, we’ll update this post when the wine club sells out.

Kick-Ass Organic Spanish Wines Taking San Francisco By Storm

Many wine consumers do not fully understand or appreciate the role of the importer when it comes to imported wine. Sure, you’ve all heard the name Kermit Lynch, or maybe even Louis/Dressner. Whomever is listed on the back of the bottle is the person or entity who went to the French countryside or coastal Catalan vineyard to find these incredible wines to share with American consumers. They are the taste-makers, the ones connecting with the farmers and winemakers, sampling each barrel, and grasping at handfuls of rocky soil to better understand the mysterious elixir inside of the bottle. These are the people and entities putting these wines into containers and on to a ship, directly from the wineries on the other side of the world. They then sell these wines to retailers, distributors, and in some cases, directly to the consumer.

I’ve run into San Francisco-based importer Andrew Yandell on several occasions over the past few months – a passionate, young importer of organic Spanish & Catalan wines. His friendly, dimpled smile makes him quite conspicuous. Yandell recently started his own import label, Trumpet Wine, and has been canvassing the local wine shops and restaurants to peddle his wares.

Yandell primarily imports wines from Catalonia, an autonomous community flanking the Mediterranean sea on the eastern border of Spain. Catalan culture is rich with wine-making history, including rare, indigenous grape varieties, and high elevation ocean-side vineyards. This seaside nation is most famous for Cava, a sparkling wine made from indigenous Spanish grape varieties such as Macabeu and Xarel-lo.

catalunya

So how did this local guy get into the business of importing Catalan wine? I had to know, and so I met with Andrew over coffee to hear his story.

Trumpet+Winelandia(left: me, right: Andrew Yandell)

When Yandell was 13 years old, his family lived in Barcelona for a year, where he began to develop a taste for local flavors. He spent the next decade going back in forth between SF and Barcelona, maintaining friendships, expanding his network, and exploring his palate. He studied art history abroad for a year at the Complutense de Madrid to nail his Spanish down, and decided that one day, he would import Spanish wine. Yandell spent summers cooking and learning in German wine country while he finished school, and wrote his thesis in finance on applying weather derivatives to protect Champagne growers from poor harvests. After a brief stint working for a high-profile dot-com straight out of school, he decided to listen to his heart and ended up at Bi-Rite Market selling wine. Nine months later, he left to start his import label, Trumpet Wine.

Recently, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to taste through much of Yandell’s portfolio. It didn’t take me long to realize that he was doing something very special. Yandell’s selections showcase full-flavored, structured, balanced, clean, terroir-driven wines that are organically or Biodynamically farmed, with minimal intervention in the bodega. He feels that some natural wines can be too austere for a broad audience, and seeks out examples that are cleaner and more accessible. All of the love without any of the funk! Trumpet’s wines are an insane value, as well – wines of this quality from other parts of the world easily cost double what these do.

I picked up several of Trumpet’s wines, some of which can be found in the Winelandia online shop, and another that’s only available to the wine club. You can also find his wines at restaurants all over San Francisco.

oct-2

Celler Frisach 2013 “Selecció” Garnatxa Blanca, Terra Alta – $14
Remember when I said that Spanish wines were an incredible value? This high-altitude Garnatxa Blanca is a far cry from the bland, oily GBs we’re used to. Textural, fresh, structured, mineral, and elegant. I would easily pay $25 for this wine, so you all should buy it up at $14 before I drink it all.

oct-6

Mas Candí 2013 “Desig” Xarel-lo, Penedès – $18
Xarel-lo is one of the primary grapes used in Cava blends, but it lends itself very well to a varietal wine. It’s intensely mineral, with a stony quality that echoes the calcareous soil it’s grown in. A day on the skins lends the wine some elegant structure, and makes it an absolute pleasure to drink. I’ll take my Xarel-lo still, not sparkling, please!

oct-4

Succés Vinícola “Cuca de Llum” Trepat, Conca de Barberà – $18
Trep-what? Trepat. A red grape indigenous to Spain, traditionally used in Cava blends. The winemakers found that this misunderstood red grape makes a lovely, aromatic red wine, not just rosé. Yandell sees similarities between it and young Beaujolais, which I can totally appreciate. Fresh, bright, and floral, with a delicate herbal quality and just a little bit of baby fat.

In addition to these wines, I just ordered a case of Biodynamic Cava that’s going to retail for around $17 – keep an eye out for that! In the meantime, let’s all thank Trumpet Wine for bringing affordable, accessible, natural wine from Spain to our homes and tables.