Sunday, April 3, 2011
At Skyland Distributing Company in Asheville North Carolina, we are proud to supply the AVL community with many great beverages including beer, wine and champagne. Our social media efforts are increasing for 2011. Look for many great events to come this year! Heineken, Miller Lite and Corona are going to light up the town.
Also connect with Skyland Distributing on Twitter and Facebook.
Also connect with Skyland Distributing on Twitter and Facebook.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
This is the very first newsletter devoted to wine in the history of Skyland Distributing Company Asheville founded in 1963. I hope to develop a better skills set on the computer as we go along.Right now I'm just a bebe in the woods when it comes to all the set up and etc. I have found comfort in the fact that pretty is pretty and not necessarily informative. Here goes.
We found a hit last night with La Marca Prosecco! Very well received at The Asheville Food and Wine Fair at the Ag. Center. This is a new product that is extremely UNDER-PRICED at this point. Ask your Skyland salesperson for a taste.
Along the same line, we are proud to introduce HeXecco Blanc. This is a sparkling (noticing a pattern here?) from Hex vom Dasenstein. It involves Witches and ancient hexes and a fresh, seductive , fragrant , elegant Secco. It's 90 degrees. This is perfect!
Next up is a Cava from Catalonia. Oriol Domenech,the winemaker ,offers this rather young but tasty entry just in time to COOL US DOWN! I'm all in for 'dat.
The next letter will be devoted to a few new entries to our excellent portfolio. It will also contain some rare wines and vintages that I have found in the dusty recesses of our state of the art climate controlled warehouse. I've stumbled upon some outstanding stuff. Really.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
A dear friend recently completed a two day seminar in Washington D.C. where he was surrounded by some of the most famous names in the wine "pundit" industry. I use the word pundit here because these are the people who are the "word up" in the wine biz. These are the folks who have the alphabet soup behind their names, CWE, CMW and even BMF (consult street dictionary) His only comment, more of a lament, was that the JOY was fast disappearing from the wine BIZ. Now we all know and we have known for a long time that wine is BIG BUSINESS. A few billion dollars a year. Truth is a rare thing when you deal with a billion dollars. If ANYONE tells you that it isn't the money, they lie. The smallest winery, the most tiniest distributor dreams of the day that they have four feet in the wine dpt. at the big box stores. Business is indeed business. If you are told otherwise it ain't true no matter how touchy-feely organic local sulfite free plant at the moon they say they are they want to feed their families and buy a home or keep up that Prius. But, I digress.
I agree. Where is the JOY? Is it hidden in the bio-dynamic moonlight? Is it in the volumes of print, internet, signs , neons, big box store sales, small wine shop "Exclusives"? Don't bet on it. It is within you and me. That's it! LOVE WINE AS YOU LOVE YOUR LIFE!! It is the stuff of romance. It is the fuel of dreams. It is the communion of the Saints. It is the ultimate companion to friendship and the vitality of the human condition. It is not a powerpoint presentation in a dark room. It is not an overpaid lackey who happens to test well's musings. It is "The stuff that dreams are made of" (apologies to Dash Hammett) It is above all a free choice and in this day and time that is becoming a rarity. Wine is not anything but old grape juice. It's YOUR choice whose you choose. All I ask is have fun. Drink a 1985 Napa Cabernet by the pool in August. Put a bloomin ice cube in your Pinot Noir. Squeeze a lime into your Mersault . Revel in the history of the wine. Don't be caught in the rating trap.
Listen, I have had the ultimate luck to hang with the founders of The American Wine Industry. John Parducci, Dr. George Thoukis, Robert Mondavi, Jan Schrem, Ron Lachini and others. What do they all have in common? The JOY of wine for what it is, not for what it is marketed to be. It is for friends on the patio at sunset. It is for a gathering at a favorite bistro. It is for a celebration of life. It is for the human experience in sorrow or in happiness. It is for JOY. Never lose sight of it.
Carpe Vino danthewineman
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
About three weeks ago I had the idea that some of Asheville's (and beyond) finest "Wine Minds" might have a favorite wine quotation. An homage to the juice, be it original or not, has always been an important clue to the person as well as their take on the second oldest profession. The oldest profession predating wine merchants shall go unmentioned here.I teetered around and asked a lot of the men and women whose opinions and knowledge I respect for a quote. Now , children, don't be hurt or miffed or mad that you are not included. Time was a factor. Even wine blogs have deadlines and I'm way over mine. Dr. Thompson had a few choice words about deadlines but I can't publish them here. I can publish quotes and comments however. Here they are with a few personal favorites thrown in.Credit has been given to the originators when I can. If it's wrong, you know where to find me. "Carpe Vino"
" Burgundy makes you think of silly things. Bordeaux makes you talk of them and champagne makes you do them" Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
" You have only so many bottles in your life. Never drink a bad one." Len Evans
The above quotes were submitted by Brian Eddington, General Manager, Skyland Distributing Company. Brian is not only one of the best palates around but he also needs to be commended for keeping me on the payroll! (yea, I will kiss up)
" Everybody talks about how much I drink, but no one asks me how thirsty I am. " Oscar Wilde
This was sent by Hunt Mallett, prime mover and shaker at the Weinhaus in Asheville. His family has been there, flogging wine since the early 12th century. Be sure to stop in.
"With wine, as with women, there is very little meaningful information one can deduce by looking at the legs." Karen MacNeil
This way cool observation came by way of Jessica Gualano who presides over the Wine Studio of Asheville. She is a wine educator who just happens to sell juice by the bottle/case. Charlotte Street next to the pub.
"When guests ask me how to learn more about wine I tell them "the more you drink the more you know and the more you drink the more you think you know"
Mr. Kevin Schwartz, Asheville Foodie( check out his blogs) and somehow being paid at the Grove Park Inn( a joke Kevin, I swear!) Another educator. GPI, a REAL HOTEL amidst the chaos.
"The labels on a bottle give no insight into the hard work given in the vineyard. It's there the wine is made." Martin Pusser (an original quote...just like Martin.)
Martin is the wine buyer at Greenlife Grocery. Martin is a guy who can talk to you for 5 minutes and pick a wine that will fit all your needs. ( not to mention wants and desires)
I will leave you with three I have decided on. The first is original. The next two are not.
" If you like it it's good. It doesn't mean a damn what ratings Parker gave it. It matters little how many points it got in the Spectator. If you like it it's good. If you don't...it's not" Danthewineman
" The one thing I regret is that I've not drunk enough Champagne" Oscar Wilde, supposedly on his deathbed.
Got some more? Contact me. Carpe Vino.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Last Friday I was sitting with a few friends around the table and a couple of friends on the table. No one was under the table quite yet. The friends on the table were two wines that are very well known. Simi Chardonnay, Sonoma County and Simi Cabernet Sauvignon, Landslide Vineyard , Alexander Valley. To be truthful I knew the wine a little better than the friends that shared it. A bit of background information on the wines. I love California winery history so here goes. Try and stay awake.
Like so many California wineries Simi was founded by Italian immigrants. The Simi brothers Giuseppe and Pietro came to California to prospect during the gold rush. They settled in San Francisco in 1876 and began making wine. They wanted to expand and produce a better quality of wine so while on a trip to Sonoma they fell in love with the area. It reminded them of their native Tuscany. In 1880 they built their first native stone cellar and in 1881 moved their operation to the rolling hills of northern Sonoma County. They were very successful and had doubled their cellar's size by 1904. That year both brothers died within four months of each other. Giuseppe's daughter, the lovely Isabelle took over the winery, at age eighteen! Awake now? She married and ran the business till prohibition in 1920. Isabelle and Fred , her husband the banker, made and stored wine in their extensive cellars for fifteen years. Prohibition ended in 1933.So, they didn't sell any wine for fifteen years? Yea, right. Isabelle marked the end of prohibition by planting a grove of redwoods around the winery that stand today. Isabelle made Simi's first tasting room in 1934 out of a 25,000 gallon Champagne tank. Ah, beauty and marketing skills.She passed away in 1970 at age eighty four. OK, back to the wines.
When you taste wine with a diverse group, twenty somethings, thirty somethings, you don't really know what to expect. I got a lot of comments and a lot of honesty. They said the Chardonnay was really "old school" with creamy spice and great balance.Lots of lemon, orange, vanilla and honey on the nose. They liked the lime laced acidity and the apple-buttery-smoke flavors.( Rated 88 out of 100 pts. completely unofficial polling at 7 pm before dinner and we were getting hungry.)
The next wine was their single "Landslide Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. I could bore you with descriptions of the soil and the topography of the Alexander Valley. I could entertain you with stories and press. I won't. This wine is wonderful. It is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot with 1% Tannat thrown in. Beautiful garnet in color. Toast , plum, black cherry in the nose. Complex and bold but truly Sonoma in it's fruit and smooth tannins.Deep and intense and ripe. What a treat!
Dinner was ordered and the "youngsters" went straight for the beef entrees. I don't do beef so I had a wild mushroom casserole. We enjoyed our lives. Simi helped.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Christmas , New Years Eve, Hanukkah ,Valentines Day, Superbowl Sunday, St. Patricks Day and the rest, bring to mind the many different times when wine and beer are an integral part of the celebration. I remember the Wassail Bowl at Christmas and the Champagne at the New Year. I remember the incredible times in Boston and Savannah and Asheville on St. Pat's. The great beer served in the Pubs and Bars and private parties on Superbowl Sunday come flowing back to my memory. It's a bit like great friends and favorite relatives you see after a long absence. It's a little piece of happiness invoked by warm memories and good times.Remember your first ice cold Corona listening to the waves and watching the sunset at Carolina Beach? Remember the sound of a popping cork as you opened a chilled bottle of Schramsberg Blanc de Blanc on that special New Years Eve? Remember the game winning touchdown, the cheers and Miller Lite ?
Humans have always responded to their memories of taste and smell and sound . Memories of the heart are intertwined with our sesnsory memories. A leg of lamb , a family gathered, a Pinot from Willamette Valley gives us a certain peace. It is comfort while we are experiencing it and comfort when we recall the experience. It is almost a genetic memory. It is common to all mankind. So, revel in your celebrations and look upon each day not only for it's face value but also for the future and the memories of the heart.