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Wine and Cupcakes – East Side Tasting

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We’ll be at the Wine Spot on November 8, 2012 for a seasonal East Side tasting.

MissWineOH will be on hand to pour 4 wines, each with a gourmet mini-cupcake chosen specifically for your palate pleasure. A white, a rose, and two beautiful reds will be served – each with a morsel of flavor to delight your taste buds.

It will be an educational and social event for the connoisseur or wine newbie. We’ll discuss wine pairing for the holiday season and suggest a few wines to complement your seasonal needs.

The beautifully appointed Wine Spot will be our venue. With the incredible art from local talent, a superior selection of wine and beer, and some of the most knowledgeable wine folks in the area at your service.

We’ll be pouring from 6-8pm.

Eventbrite - Wine and Cupcakes at Wine Spot

If you want to guarantee your spot, buy your tickets in advance. Limited tickets will be available at the door.

Ticket prices include all taxes, fees and gratuity.

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Sip into the Holidays – Charity Wine Event

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stART Neo Presents….The 5th annual Sip Into the Holidays…. The Benefit will be held on Friday, November 30, 2012, from 7-10pm, at Wobblefoot Gallery Mars Avenue, Lakewood. The Auction and Chinese Raffle will showcase local artists’ work of custom painted glassware, themed gift baskets and other artist created holiday items all to benefit Lakewood Commission’s mission of providing quality programming and support for Lakewood’s Senior Citizens.

This year’s theme, Happy Christmahanukwanzaa celebrates our community diversity! The world is one big melting pot, and that’s never made more clear than during the holidays. If you find yourself saying, “Merry Chr— er, happy, uh, holidays…” more than a few times a week during the holiday season, join us in celebrating diversity and toasting Christmahanukwanzaa!

We have a couple of additions to our event this year. First, we will be raffling off an instant wine cellar. This collection of approximately 24 (or more – it’s still “pouring” in at press time!) bottles will kick start a robust wine cellar or complement your existing collection. The 2012 Instant Wine Cellar will feature velvety Cabernets, lush Chardonnays, giddy Sparkling Wines and interesting varietals from Ohio and beyond. We offer many thanks to the families who contributed to this extraordinary collection, which celebrates the collaborative spirit of our Community. Raffle tickets will be $10 a piece for this raffle, and they will be sold before and during the Event. If you are unable to attend the event, you can stop by Wobblefoot Gallery after November 15th to buy a raffle ticket.

Also, the evening of the event will be complemented with a wine tasting presented by MissWineOH, the wine events and education company, who be on hand as we taste 5 great wines. The Chief Tasting Officer will share the details of how to pick a great wine for any occasion. Two whites, a Rose and two Reds will be poured for us.

Established in 1978, the Lakewood Commission of Aging’s mission is to support programs and activities that enhance the lives of older adults by enabling them to live productively and with dignity in our community. Proceeds raised from this event will help underwrite the costs of many programs the Lakewood Division of Aging offers Lakewood Senior Citizens.

All donors of raffle and auction items will receive recognition in the event program. Tickets for the event will be $20 presale or $25 day of the event. We plan to sell out this year so buy your tickets today! You can buy your tickets and instant wine cellar raffle tickets at Wobblefoot Gallery or purchase event tickets online at http://www.startneo.info by selecting the Donation button.

One of the missions of stArtNeo is to give back to the community by working with nonprofits and artists to support national and local charities by generating awareness through fundraising events. www.startneo.info Additional questions? Call Ruthie at 216-521-2894 or email rkoenigsmark@yahoo.com.

White Wines for Spring – TOWC Notes

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On a gorgeous Cleveland Spring evening, wine lovers gathered at The Olde Wine Cellar for an Ode to Spring, White Wines and Cupcakes on the deck of the wine shop. We were not disappointed with warm weather and a slowly setting sun. So what were we oohing and ahhing over on this beautiful evening with friends and strangers gathered to taste?

Wine and Cupcakes Selection

Brut D’Argent Blanc de Blancs

 Paired with White cake, custard and fresh strawberries with buttercream

How can one resist the urge to begin a tasting on one of the earliest warm days Cleveland has seen by sipping on some sparkling wine? We toasted to a new season with the very affordable and tasty Blac de Blancs from the Jura region on France.

This 100% Chardonnay has light effervescence, slight hints of crisp green apple and pear, a bit of mineral and some touches of buttered brioche at the finish.  Nice value.We paired this with the strawberry custard as a pleasing blend of light fruits. Champagne (or sparking, because even though French, this is not from the Champagne region) blends beautifully with fruits of all kinds. Think strawberry, apple, kiwi, peach… and of course you can easily add in the chocolate!

NV New Age Torrontes  – ArgentinaTorrontes Sauvignon Blanc blend

 Paired with Almond cake with roquefort icing

From one of Argentina’s most famous wineries – Bodega Valentin Bianchi, 90% Torrontes, 10% Sauvignon Blanc.

 Torrontes is the signature wine grape of Argentina. Aromas of fresh flowers and fruit, crisp, yet soft in the finish. Halfway through the fermentation process, the wine is centrifuged (spun) to halt fermentation, creating a slightly sweet, semi-sparkling wine. 9% ABV

The New Age is not your typical Torrontes, so if you are a huge fan, the effervescence may be a little shocking on your palate. That being said, for inexperienced wine drinkers, it is a great way to introduce your palate to a new grape. And if you like sparklings in general, you will probably find this to be a budget friendly one off from your usual bubbly.

Schloss Zell Mosel2007 Mosel Piersporter Michelsberg Kabinett Riesling – Germany

 Paired with Granny Smith Apple cake with Apple Cream Cheese and Caramel

Honestly, this cupcake could have paired with either the bubbly or the riesling. This wine and cupcake together just seemed like grandma’s apple strudel. Piesporter Michelsberg Kabinett is a very crisp moderately light bodied wine reminiscent of granny smith apples. The lively acidity results in a juicy clean palate feel that is ideal for a wide range of foods from cheese and appetizers to shellfish and meat.

There are so many variations on the theme when it comes to Riesling, this is your slightly off dry, slightly more acidity version. And it was a crowd favorite on our Spring evening!

2010 Tortoise Creek Wines Viognier – FranceViognier Tortoise Creek Winery France

Paired with Ginger Cake with Lemon Icing

 This Viognier, “Le Verger” is completely unoaked and therefore bright with lovely aromas of peaches, pears and honeysuckle that lead to a palate that is fresh and crisp but packed with fruit. Viognier can easily be paired with spiced dishes. I love a viognier with a sushi or fish. So I give you ginger and lemon… two of my favorite flavors with those dishes.

Viognier is meant to be consumed young, and typically will lose its perfume as it ages in the bottle, so don’t hold on to this one too long – not that you’d want to – its yummy (that’s a technical term), open it now!

2010 YardDog White Blend – Australia

Yard Dog White Blend South AustraliaPaired with Olive oil and sweet white wine cake with Basil Icing

55% Chardonnay, 18% Gewurztraminer, 15% Sauvignon Blanc, 9% Viognier, and 3% Semillon. from South Eastern Australia.

 This wine is barreled in old oak and stainless steel, so that the oak mellows the edges of the wine, but does not impart huge amounts of oak flavor – and its aged for 2-5 years, depending on the varietal, then blended prior to bottling. This one will cellar for a few years, so be sure to give it some air before sipping.

 The YardDog made me think of fish, pork, chicken… white meat dinners on a summer day. So its paired with a sweetened cake (to balance the semillion and gewurtztriminer – traditionally sweeter wines) with basil icing – one of the herbs commonly used on summer white meat dishes.

2010 Dreaming Tree Chardonnay – CaliforniaDave Matthews Band wine label Chardonnay

 Paired with Fig cupcake with Brie

Steve Reeder partnered with Dave Matthews to create this wine. They wanted to bring the traditional Central Coast flavors of spice and big fruit to their Chardonnay. This wine was aged for 9 months in oak and stainless steel, so you will get American oak on the nose.. which will calm after getting some air.

 At 13.5 % this is not a heavy Chard, nor is it a fruit bomb… this is, with some air, a lovely dinner chardonnay.

 It reminds me of sipping white wine on the deck with fruit and cheese, so I give you fruit and cheese.

If these pairings sound like fun, join us for our next public tasting on April 28 – tickets are available for the East Side tasting at The Wine Spot. Or give me a call, and we can put together a private tasting for your friends, family, company or civic group! 


We’ve made it to the East Side!

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Wine and Cupcakes has become a popular event in Cleveland, and we’ll be at the Wine Spot on April 28, 2012 for the first East Side tasting.

Tuscany Distributors will bring four of their beautiful italian wines – and MissWineOH will be on hand to pair up each wine with a gourmet mini-cupcake chosen specifically for your palate pleasure. As always, A Cookie and a Cupcake in Tremont will be baking our treats.

A white, a rose, and two beautiful reds will be served – each with a morsel of flavor to delight your taste buds. We’ll also have an intermezzo to clear your palate.

We’ll discuss the wine regions of Italy, and get insight on how to pair wine and food. It will be an educational and social event for the connoissuer or wine newbie.

The beautifully appointed Wine Spot will be our venue – with the incredible art from local talent, a superior selection of wine and beer, and some of the most knowledgable wine folks in the area at your service.

This is a formal tasting event which will begin promptly at 7pm and last about 2 hours.

RSVP is required, with payment in advance. Ticket prices include all taxes, fees and gratuity.

Join us for a culinary experience you won’t soon forget!

Eventbrite - East Side Wine and Cupcakes

Wine and Design – the OHBlogging Notes

Here are the tasting notes for the OH Bloggers Association Meeting. (These are so much better than meeting notes, don’t you think?)

Wines for OBA Meeting

The white wines we tasted are a bit of a study in malolactic fermentation. This is the secondary fermentation wines go through. The tart malic acid from the first fermentation is converted to softer-tasting lactic acid. Remember, wine is a bit like laws and sausage… you probably don’t want to know what goes into it, but you know it tastes lovely when its done! You may be familiar with this process if you drink Chardonnay.The malo is what brings out the butter or butterscotch flavors of Chard.

2010 Monmousseau Champagne (FR) $14.99

Brut Etoile – “methode champenoise” – secondary fermentation in the bottle.

Bubbles are refined and persistent and acidity is well-balanced on the palate. Ever so slight sweetness on the finish of this beautiful and inexpensive champagne.

2010 Argiolas Vermintino (IT) $14.99

Vermintino grape from Sardenia. This wine is fermented in stainless steel, and then put through partial malolactic fermentation in the tank which gives this wine a fuller body.You will find orange and vanilla flavors and a zesty acidity (making it a crisp wine). This one is great with Asian food.

2010 Burgáns Albariño (SP) $14.99

Rias Baixas, Spain

Bodegas Martín Códax – a cooperative of 270 growers and the winery.

This wine has good minerality with lemon, peach, tropical fruit flavors and full malolactic fermentation, smoothing the edges of this wine and providing a full mouthfeel.

White Wine Appetizers

Cheddar Cubes, Brie with pepper jelly

Our reds are in the theme of “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” – these are some of the darker red wines with a lighter body, in varietals many people are really unfamiliar with, but are priced well for the budget. Each of them runs $12.99.

2010 Domaine Aime Cabernet Franc (FR) $12.99

Languedoc-Roussillon – Minervois appellation

No oak aging – dark cherry and cassis fruit flavors, slightly spicy and a bit of cocoa.

This is one of my favorite “middle of the road” reds – warm climate doesn’t create the vegetative or green pepper notes that Cab Franc can be known for. Pair it with anything from chicken to pork to vegetarian dishes.

2005 Crianza Camparron (SP) $12.99

The tinta de toro or tempranillo grape. Cherry notes and light oak aging. This is a fruit forward wine with well-integrated wood flavors.

6 months on American oak, 24 months in the bottle before release.

We put this with spanish dishes, of course…although we pair this one with chili and spaghetti quite a bit.

2010 Stella Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (IT) $12.99

Eastern coast of Italy. Montepulciano grapes have also been introduced to Australia, so you may be finding this varietal from there as well.

Aromas of black cherries and herbs. Dry and mellow with concentrated structure.

Best enjoyed young, in order to fully appreciate its fruity character.

Enjoyed with typical Italian dishes, red meats, pizza, and cheese.

Red Wine Appetizer Pairings

The Cleveland Crostini, Southside Hummus and Dichotomy Popcorn

The recipe for the Cleveland Crostini is here.

Many thanks to Greg at Wine and Design for letting the bloggers invade your beautiful space. To Southside in Tremont for the rock star hummus – and to the Ohio Blogging Association for inviting me to put this tasting together for them. It was a lot of fun to meet some of the bloggers who’s work I read regularly, and to see some friends!

We’ve got Beer and Cupcakes at Market Garden Brewery in Ohio City on March 11. And Wine and Cupcakes at The Olde Wine Cellar on March 22. Please join us for more great pairing adventures!

Wine of the Week: Alexander Valley Vineyards Cabernet Franc

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This is my new weekly feature called Wine of the Week – its a short review and recommendation of wine I loved in the past week (gee, I had to stretch for the title, huh?) You’ll see it hereafter referred to as WOTW for brevity. Or laziness, or both.

I’m not usually one to haphazardly buy wines over $20 per as I wander through a wine store, at least not when I’m restocking for the week. But I was in Rozi’s Wine House on Detroit Avenue in Cleveland just before New Years and found a wine I had to have. I’d been hankerin’ (that’s a technical term) for a good Cabernet Franc and had been remiss in not ordering anything from my beloved Virginia Cab Franc gods. When I found the 2008 Alexander Valley Vineyards Cabernet Franc, I clutched it to my chest like a long lost brother from the Corps.

Alexander Valley Vineyard - Cabernet FrancThis wine runs $24.99 at Rozi’s, so its not horribly expensive by any stretch – and I will tell you, its worth every       nickel and dime if you enjoy Cab Franc.  The 2009 is available on their website, I can’t speak directly to that one, and I might suggest buying it and putting it away for a bit, but the 2008 is VERY drinkable now, and also could sit in the cellar, but not for too long – its just that good right now.

Alexander Valley Vineyards has been making wine since 1975 in Sonoma County. Maggie and Harry Wetzel purchased the property in 1962 and were one of the first in the area to plant grapes. They produce about 100,000 cases annually, including 17 varietal wines and proprietary blends. Seventy-five percent of AVV’s production is red wine. Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon constitute half of total production. They also produce Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Gewurztraminer, Syrah, Sangiovese, Viognier, and this incredible Cabernet Franc.

The 2008 Cab Franc is an estate wine, but not single vineyard, having been sourced from several of the family’s properties. They made 1400 cases, and aged it for 14 months on 100% french oak, 50% of which was new. I’m not one for an over-oaked Cab Franc – as I love the flavor of the grape and don’t want it hidden in the oak, and this wine is a great balance of oak for aging and the beautiful cab franc flavor. It comes in at 14%, but a few years in the bottle shows beautiful smooth tannins and not a hint of heat (higher alcohol) that I usually taste at 14%.

Berries and spice come out of this wine on my palate, and it smells, well… yummy. As I said on twitter when I poured it, there was a winegasm in my kitchen. Gorgeous wine.

As if you couldn’t tell, I highly recommend this one. The price is out of my daily drinking range, but I’ll definitely be going back to it; and trying the 2009 as well. I’d pair it with a lighter meat dish – herbed pork loin perhaps, not too heavy on the pepper. This is a wine you want to show through, not be eclipsed by your meal. I almost want to put a salted caramel dessert with it… just to see how it shines. If you are on “the tweeter” – follow them at @avvwinery.

Happy Sipping!

Ohio Blogging Association – February Meeting

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 The February Meeting of the Ohio Blogging Association will be a tasting at

Wine and Design in Tremont

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

7pm.

Wine and Design

751 Starkweather Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44113

6 affordable wines will be poured and there will be light appetizers while each wine is discussed and additional wine/blogging tips shared.

Miss WineOH will also answer the mystery of  “do wine bloggers really get free wine?”

Cost for this meeting will be $15,

and should be paid in advance.

You may pay using Paypal to misswineoh@gmail.com

Greg and Dan at Wine and Design have generously donated their space for the meeting, so please give them Twitter love to @wineanddesignOH and blog love before and after the meeting!

Wines poured the night of the meeting will be available for purchase, as well as great wine accessories and of course the beautiful design elements from the “Design” side of Wine and Design.

(Miss WineOH has no affiliation with this business, other than being a fan of local small business and buying a LOT of wine there!)

If you have questions about the wine tasting,  or need to make other payment arrangements,

please email Tammy Colson at the Miss WineOH address.

There will be a non-alcoholic option available (soda/tea) – please RSVP for this option. The charge will be $5.

If you have OBA questions, please contact the OBA folks.

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We look forward to seeing you on February 21st at 7pm!

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