My Rhône Valley trip wouldn’t have been complete without a visit to Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Fortunately, it was part of the itinerary set by Kelly McAuliffe, the France-based, American Sommelier who gave us the delightful tour of the Rhône wine region.
A Brief Background on Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a village on the side of a hill overlooking the Rhône Valley and the Rhône River in Southeastern France.
Swiss Fondue and Raclette at Charlie Palmer’s Third Annual Aureole Wine Weekend
It is one thing to make fondue for a few people but making fondue simultaneously for 50 or more people is no easy feat. Nonetheless, it can be done and it has been done. It was just last weekend, in fact, during the Swiss Fondue Party, the 7th and final event of the 2011 Aureole Wine Weekend held at Aureole Las Vegas in Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino last August 5-7, 2011.
Last time, I told you about my trip to Sierre, Valais, Switzerland for the 2010 Mondial du Pinot Noir. Just recently, I was in Switzerland again. This time, I made the trip to sit in the jury of a smaller but no less prestigious wine competition, the 2010 Mondial du Merlot, which was held from the 12th to 14th of November in Lugano, Ticino, Switzerland.
What would you call spending 3 days in the incredibly beautiful district of Sierre, sampling the best Pinot Noir wines the world has to offer? I’d call it heaven, but the VINEA Association calls it by a more earthly name: Le Mondial du Pinot Noir.
A Brief Background
Le Mondial du Pinot Noir is an international wine competition organized by the VINEA Association.
Side note: The VINEA Association is publisher of the Swiss Wine Guide and organizer of the world-renowned Swiss Wine Fair (held every September) and the Swiss wine competition, Grand Prix du Vin Suisse.
When Franco Nuschese said he would present his new collection in style, he spoke only the absolute truth. For the wine tasting, he flew three of his chefs and Bruno de Conciliis (Italian winemaker and owner of Viticoltori de Conciliis) from Italy. He also flew in additional personnel from his DC office to assist in the tasting and ensure the proper execution of his plans. Larry Ruvo, General Manager of Southern Wine & Spirits (SWS) hosted the wine tasting event, assisted by Carmelo Messina, SWS’s Italian wine specialist.
The Kracher wine tasting was held at Spago, a Wolfgang Puck restaurant located at The Forum Shops in Caesar’s Palace. J & P Wholesale (a division of Southern Wine & Spirits), in association with third-generation winemaker, Gerhard Kracher, hosted the tasting.
Kracher Winemakers: Scrumptious Dessert Wine
For the information of those who have never had wine from Kracher, the Kracher Family specializes in making sweet dessert wines.
J & P Wholesale, the boutique wine division of Southern Wines & Spirits, hosted the Holdredge Wines’ 2007 release wine tasting. The tasting took place at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. John Holdredge, owner/wine maker of Holdredge Wines, presented the wines himself.
Nine wines were presented during the Holdredge wine tasting. These wines were made using the following varietals or grapes: Pinot Noir, Syrah, Zinfandel, late-harvest Pinot Gris, and late-harvest Gewürztraminer.
In April, I met with Eben Sadie, winemaker for the Sadie Family, at a wine presentation he was giving at the AquaKnox in Las Vegas. At this wine tasting, Eben presented his new South African wine and Spanish wine releases.
For those of you who are not familiar with Eben Sadie, he grows and makes most of his wine naturally. His wine growing practices incorporate self-sustained viticulture (no watering). He uses mules to plow his vineyards, and he handpicks all the grapes.
Wine & Tapas ’08, the 15th annual Great Match Spanish wine tasting event, showcased more than 250 Spanish wines, representing a large chunk of Spain’s 67 denominations (DO). The event was extremely well-organized, and I am already looking forward to next year’s Great Match. Great Match wine tastings are held yearly to give wine professionals and the press the chance to preview the latest wines from Spain.
J & P Wholesale proudly presented the E. Guigal wine tasting at the Mesa Grill. Philippe Guigal, the estate’s oenologist, and Eve Ryckewaert, E. Guigal’s marketing manager, personally presented E. Guigal’s current vintage and new wine releases at the tasting. For those who don’t know, E. Guigal is both a wine grower and a négociant. The E. Guigal estate has vineyards in Côte Rôtie, Condrieu, Crozes Hermitage, Hermitage and Saint Joseph.