Another day to celebrate wine – August 28 is National Red Wine Day. The question is what red? What is your favorite? My answer years ago was a well-made Sangiovese, but now there are many more choices to consider. Here’s a list of my favorite reds: Sangiovese (still), Barbera, Nebbiolo, Lemberger, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Norton, Tempranillo, as well as several red blends.
But, it’s Red Wine Day, not Red Wine Week, so I will have to choose. We will definitely raise a glass to toast red wines. Hope you enjoy a glass or two?by admin
For the wine lovers who love a good dry Rosé and thought that the only Rosés to be found in Kentucky were sweet, I have found just the thing for you. Wight-Meyer Vineyards and Winery in Bullitt County has a Rosé made with a whole cluster press of the Zinthiana grape. The flavors and aromas are reminiscent of dried strawberries with an aftertaste of cranberries.
For those who are not familiar with Zinthiana, it is a relatively new grape species resulting from a cross of “Zinfandel” and “Norton” made in 2001 in California. Combining characteristics of both its parents, it has a hardiness to cold weather, is disease resistant, and has high productivity. It produces a dark grape that is suitable for red wines.
Jim Wight, winemaker at Wight-Meyer, has used this grapes to create an exceptional Rosé that is sure to please the most discerning Rosé lover.by admin
Summer is a great time for events at your local winery, usually including food, music, and lots of wine. This past weekend, Brianza Gardens and Winery hosted such an event. Along with Tony’s spaghetti and meatball dinner and his wonderful wines, visitors were treated to the music of Holly Spears.
Holly Spears is a local singer, musician, and songwriter. She has recorded several CDs of a mix of music, including country, pop, and Christian. We’ve had the opportunity of hearing her before and have enjoyed listening to her.
Check your favorite winery’s website for upcoming events. Music at a winery is a great way to spend a warm, summer evening!
Wine lovers often go into liquor stores, both large party style stores and small neighborhood shops and wish for a better wine selection. In some, wine even seems like an after thought. Wine shops are popping up, but are generally small and the choices are limited. Kentucky wine lovers have now joined a group of wine connoisseurs in other states and have a new place to go. Both Lexington and Louisville are home to a Total Wine & More, a liquor superstore chain that focus on fine wine.
The company originated in Delaware in 1991, as a small independent store and according to their website, has grown into the country’s largest independent retailer of wine, with each superstore featuring more than 8,000 wines (along with over 2,500 beers and 3,000 spirits). Total Wine & More can be found in over 20 states, and more outlets are opening.
Conveniently located, off Nicholasville Road, in Lexington Green, Lexington’s new Total Wine & More opened in the spring. We visited first in May on a day that unfortunately experienced a power outage. In an effort to console the many customers that were turned away, the management met visitors at the door with a gift of stemless wine glasses. We went again this month and were glad we went back. For a wine lover, the selections are exceptional. Kentucky wines, regional wines, domestic and foreign wines of just about every varietal. If that isn’t enough, the prices are better than most places we’ve shopped.
We just discovered Total Wine & More, with the opening in Lexington. But other wine lovers in Kentucky have known about it for a while now. Louisville has had a Total Wine & More in the Paddock Shops, on the corner of Brownsboro Road and N. Hurstbourne Parkway since 2016. Some sources in Louisville are saying that a second store is coming soon.
I recommend a visit to one of these superstores; it’s worth a drive. Or maybe a stop while vacationing to one of their other more than 175 superstores. Check out Total Wine & More online to find out more about it.by admin
Some of Kentucky’s best wineries are in Bullitt County, but unfortunately we live far enough away that we don’t often get to visit them. As luck would have it, we needed to pick up a purchase we had made at a furniture store in the county last week. Of course, we planned the day around visits to some of our favorite wineries.
Our first stop (after picking up our purchase) was at Brooks Hill Winery. It had been a while since we had visited and did a full tasting. We were pleased to find that they have a red blend that is both unique and great. The full-body dry wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Lemberger, that has been aged for 14 months in Kentucky white oak barrels. There are tastes of spice and blackberries with a wonderful aroma and aftertaste. Needless to say, we had to have some to take home. If you are a fan of dry red blends, you will want to give it a try.
Next, we traveled a bit south to Forest Edge Winery. The wine here is always going to please visitors, from the somewhat exotic Java Vino to the very traditional Cabernet Sauvignon. Our favorite, as you might guess, is the Cab. It has lush flavors of dark fruit. There’s also a really great dry Riesling for the white wine lovers. For those with a taste for the more unusual wines, the Java Vino is a dessert red wine with coffee flavors that will give you a boost.
Our last stop of the day was at Wight-Meyer Vineyard and Winery. Jim Wight, one of the state’s finest wine makers, always has a wine ready for visitors no matter what style of wine they enjoy. He makes a great dry red Norton. Possibly his most unique wine is a dry white called Cabernet Doré, a hybrid grape varietal using Cabernet Sauvignon and Norton grapes. Great grapes varietals are often cross bred using two other varietals. Cabernet Sauvignon was created from the Sauvignon Blanc and the Cabernet Franc grapevines. Cabernet Doré wine shows it direct link to its grandparent, Sauvignon Blanc. The wine is crisp and perfect for a hot summer day.by admin
Just a reminder, Jane’s Saddlebag’s Wine Festival is this weekend. From 11 to 6, on June 9 and 10, wine lovers can enjoy a festival with wine, artisans, music, and food.
Jane’s Saddlebag is just a couple of miles from Big Bone Lick Park in Boone County. The grounds are a great spot for a festival. Check their website, in my links, for more information.by admin
Wine lovers have two chances for wine tastings this month. On May 1 and 2, the Kentucky Derby Wine Festival, on the Belvedere at Waterfront Park, is one of Louisville’s first events leading up to the Kentucky Derby.
The $45 cost for the WineFest includes a complimentary wine glass, an event pin and samples of some Kentucky’s wines.
Kentucky Wine and Vine Fest in downtown Nicholasville takes place on May 12, with the preliminary events on the 10th and the 11th. (check out their website http://www.kywinefest.com for information about what’s going on those days)
The Kentucky wineries that will be pouring tastes at the festival are: 1922 House Vineyard, a new winery in Nicholasville, Cave Hill Vineyard & Winery, Eubanks, Chrisman Mill Vineyards, Nicholasville, McIntyre’s Winery, Bardstown, Old 502 Winery, Louisville, Prodigy Vineyards and Winery, Frankfort, Rising Sons Winery, Lawrenceburg, Wildside Winery, Versailles, Springhill Winery, Bloomfield, and Three Horses Vineyard, Stamping Ground.
Wine lovers will want to make plans for these wine tasting events.by admin
Most wineries are open during the winter but at a different pace. That is beginning to change. Warm weather is finally is sight. (We hope.) The vineyards are beginning to bud, the wineries are readying for more visitors and hosting events. We took advantage of a few nice days and made some visits.
In March, we spent a day in Central Kentucky at Lovers Leap Vineyards and Winery and Prodigy Vineyards and Winery. If you happen to be around Frankfort, these two winery stops are sure to brighten your day. Both wineries offer a wide variety of wines and each one is really good. Loving big red wines, our favorites are a Reserve Cabernet Franc from Lovers Leap and a Limburger from Prodigy.
We also enjoyed a lovely spring day visiting wineries and tasting wines from the barrel at the McConnell Spring’s event. We returned to Lovers Leap Vineyards and Winery and were able to taste the upcoming release of a new Reserve Cabernet Franc. It was amazing. The release this summer is expected to be limited, so wine lovers will want to get there early. We stopped at Prodigy Vineyards and Winery and tried a new vintage of Chamboursin. For those who love this grape, it will be a good release. At Chrisman Mill Vineyards, we got to try the new vintage of Norton and also got a chance to taste what will be a new wine for Chrisman Mill – a Zinfandel. Red wine lovers will be pleased at the results. Our other visit that day was to a new winery outside of Georgetown. Three Horses Vineyards and Winery has recently opened with both Vidal and Norton wines. Wine lovers will want to give this new winery a try. It is a lovely spot surrounded by the beautiful countryside.
Kentucky is doing well as a wine producer. More wineries are opening; the number now is over seventy. New wines are being developed. It’s all good news to wine lovers.by admin
Kentucky wine lovers who have been looking forward to the McConnell Spring’s annual spring barrel tasting can start counting down the days. In just 10 days, wineries in the Bluegrass will welcome visitors for a special event – the chance to taste your favorite wines while they are still in the barrels. Winemakers will be there to answer your questions and wine will be available for enjoying at the winery and for taking home.
This day is somewhat unique. Each of the 18 wineries are within an hour’s drive of Lexington and wine lovers can start at any of the wineries and visit whichever ones they choose. For $20, visitors can pick up their entry bracelet, their commemorative wine glass and a map of the participating wineries. This is a major fundraiser for the preservation of McConnell Springs, so your participation will help preserve a part of Kentucky history. Not to mention enjoying a day tasting some excellent Kentucky wines.
The following wineries will be ready to welcome visitors: Harkness Edwards Vineyards, Three Horses Vineyard & Winery, Black Barn Winery, Chrisman Mills Vineyards, Chuckleberry Farm & Winery, Equus Run Vineyards, First Vineyard Winery, Grimes Mill Winery, Hamon Haven Winery, Horseshoe Bend Vineyards & Winery, Jean Farris Winery & Bistro, Lovers Leap Vineyards & Winery, McIntyre’s Winery and Berries, Prodigy Vineyards & Winery, Rising Sons Winery, Springhill Winery, Talon Winery & Vineyards, and Wildside Winery & Vineyard.
After a long winter, join other wine lovers for a fun day of spring in the Bluegrass. Driving from winery to winery through the gorgeous countryside, visiting wineries, meeting the winemakers, and trying out some really good wines – what a way to spend a day!
We are looking forward to it. We’ve participated in the past and have always had a great time. Maybe we’ll see you there!by admin
Wine lovers can celebrate St. Patrick with their favorite wine and still be honoring his traditions. St. Patrick was a citizen of the Roman Empire, and they were well-known wine drinkers. So pour a glass of your favorite wine of choice, and say “Cheers to Ireland and St. Patrick!”by admin