My New Year’s Wine Resolutions

So, how are you doing on your new resolutions?    Personally, I haven’t flossed my teeth, jogged or ridden my bike every day, as I had so confidently resolved to do.   With those health and hygiene-related resolutions already out the window, I’ve made several“Wine Resolutions.”  I believe I have a much higher probability of achieving these! Wine Resolution #1- Drink More Wine From Small Oregon Wineries.    Small wineries need love too!   Everybody knows and loves the big wineries, such as King Estate and A to Z, myself included.  To broaden my horizons (and potentially yours as well) I resolve to look for excellent wine from smaller, lesser-known wineries.   Here’s my plan for accomplishing this.   […]

Great Wines for Spring

It’s official, spring is here. The days are longer, warmer and drier, and if you’re like me, the grill is getting a workout. One of my favorite things about spring is that I transition to a whole new group of wines. While winter is the perfect season for big red wines, as the calendar turns to spring, it’s time to add some variety into the wine selection. As you know, I enjoy a nice crisp, chilled white wine. Perfect for seafood, shellfish, salads and cheese plates, whites also pair nicely with ham and pork loin. Some of my favorite Oregon white wines for spring are Abacela Albarino ($20), with its aromas and flavors of apple, pear and citrus. A relatively unknown varietal, which originally came from Spain, Albarino beautifully combines a soft texture with a mineral that makes it perfect for spring. […]

How To Swirl, Sniff And Sip Like A Pro

One of my favorite things to do is to participate in a wine tasting! Wine tasting is an opportunity to taste a number of wines, for a relatively small fee. This gives you the ability to “try it before you buy it,” and who doesn’t like that? I try to attend wine tastings whenever and wherever I can, because I’m always looking for a new favorite. Wine tasting doesn’t have to be intimidating or complicated. Typically, at a wine tasting, you will receive about a one-ounce pour. Hopefully, it will be in a high-quality wine glass (Reidel are my favorites) and the type appropriate for the varietal. […]

Summer Food & Wine Pairings

Great Wines for Summer Foods Summer is here and who doesn’t love going to a picnic, barbecue or bonfire on the beach?  Each of these is a great time to share a bottle of wine with friends or family.     I love it when a customer comes in to the Wine Shack and asks me to recommend a wine for their event.    This gives me an opportunity to suggest a couple of wines that I feel would complement their meal or party.    I’m going to give you a couple of my wine suggestions. Caesar Salad- This is one of the toughest summer foods to pair with wine.    A Caesar Salad combines flavors of anchovies, parmesan cheese and a creamy sauce.    My best recommendation would be Abacela Grenache Rose’  ($17).    This Rose’ has flavors of strawberry and cherry, with a slight acidity that will clean out your mouth between your anchovy flavored bites.    Another wine to consider is Chehalem INOX Chardonnay ($23).    While many of you are in the ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) Club, Chehalem INOX is bright and crisp, with nice citrus fruit flavors, because it’s been fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks, not oak. […]

What a Great First Year it’s Been at The Wine Shack!

I can’t believe it’s already been a year since Maryann and I purchased The Wine Shack.    We spent the past twelve months settling into Cannon Beach and learning how to run a small business, and in particular, how to be a great wine store owner!   The year went by faster and smoother than either of us expected.  Here are some highlights: If you are a long-time customer of The Wine Shack, then you’ve noticed we reorganized the store by wine type.   We hope this makes it easy to find the wine you’re looking for.   We also made some changes to the wines we carry.    Maryann and I really love wines from the Pacific Northwest, so we added more local wine.   We expanded our selection of Northwest Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Rose’.  In order to make room for these new wines, we had to downsize the space dedicated to French, Spanish and German wine.   We found that when customers visit us from Kansas City or Vancouver, they are looking for local wines that they can’t get back home.  […]

Rose….The Perfect Summer Wine!

Summer is full of food related gatherings, such as picnics and barbecues.   The meals at these gatherings can be very diverse causing difficulties in wine food pairing.     Salads, sandwiches, cheeseburgers, bratwurst and green stuff that appears to be jello, all pose a problem when pairing with wine.   As your personal wine consultant, I feel a certain sense of responsibility in making sure that you serve or bring the perfect bottle of wine. The perfect summer wine for any occasion is…..rose’.     Yes, I know it’s pink.    Guys may feel the need to have their significant other actually give the bottle of rose’ to the host, in order to maintain their guy card.    I also know that a nice bottle of rose’ compliments almost every type of summer cuisine. […]

Get to Know Carmenere

History’s Lost Grape, Carmenere Makes a Return SHOP FOR CARMENERE One of my “Wine Resolutions” is to venture into lesser known grape varietals and share my findings from time to time. Recently, I’ve tasted several unique and delicious wines and I want to share a new favorite, Carmenere. A relative of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere was one originally from the Bordeaux region of France. As you probably know, Bordeaux is famous for its “red blends,” in which the winemaker carefully combines the fruit from several different grapes to achieve the desired aromas and flavors. In a modern Bordeaux blend, the winemaker typically blends some combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Petit Verdot, Malbec and/or Cabernet Franc. For centuries, Carmenere was also used by French winemakers to create a Bordeaux blend. Unfortunately, in the mid 1800’s, a phylloxera epidemic in Europe killed every Carmenere vine across the continent. It was assumed that Carmenere was lost to history and for over 100 years, it was. […]

Cold and Rainy Days Call for Big Red Wines (Don’t they?)

The thermometer has dipped below the freezing mark a couple of times recently and there’s been frost on the car windshield in the mornings.     Being from Green Bay, I must confess that it hasn’t been “frozen tundra” cold here in Cannon Beach, but it’s been cold enough to turn on the furnace and put on the warmer clothes.     You know it’s “frozen tundra” cold makes itself known when your car engine is frozen, there is a negative sign in front of the temperature or a “warming trend” means the temps are going up into the teens. […]

The Wine Shack’s Top 5 Wines of 2012

Maryann and I had a wonderful first Christmas in Cannon Beach.  Our daughter, Kayla, came for a week with her chocolate labs, Tom and Huck.  My girls, and mother-in-law, Marlene, did a lot of cooking, baking, wrapping and laughing.  As a result, I had to sample alot of goodies in between football games and my Wine Shack duties. I also managed to read a number of “Best of 2012” wine lists and find them fascinating.   I like to compare the author’s rankings with what we’ve seen at The Wine Shack.    Because I enjoy them so much, I decided to write a “Best of” list and give you a chance to compare my picks with your experiences over the past year.   Hopefully, as you go through the list, you’ll discover a wine or two that you need to enjoy. […]