Beer Class — Autumn Equinox: Fall’s Beer Harvest

I get the great emails from Total Wine and when reading one recently they another drink in it — BEER!  They were offering some great beer classes and one caught my attention — Autumn Equinox: Fall’s Beer Harvest.  How can you go wrong?  I think of this time of year with all the great pumpkin brews (apparently they started coming out super early because somebody with the first name Sam located in New England decided to hit the shelves much earlier than normal).

We had many great sips that night.  We started with Marzen from Germany (on the right) — October(fest) beer, then worked our way to pumpkin brews.  My favorite German beer was the 2nd one (from the right).  I can’t remember the name but the picture gives the label.

My next favorite was the Lost Rhino Brewing Company’s RhinO’fest Marzen.  It’s an Amber Lager.  Great flavors.

When we moved on to the one with the frog on it and the Shipyard, they truly tasted like liquid pumpkin pie.  Overly sweet.  Crazy!

It was a very fun night a fun, trying sips of so many different beers.

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Multiple Continents of Tastings

I figure since you can’t easily travel the world (time, money, etc), why not just grab a bottle of wine to check it out.  So, the past few weeks I’ve explored most of the world.  Between the Georgian wine I posted about recently (have some new bottles to be opened soon…) I have also checked out the following great vinos…

1) Chateau St. Jean, Pinot Noir, CA — (though this is Sonoma, think of Napa and support the locals by buying a bottle of Napa wine.  They’ve had aftershocks after the big quake on Sunday.) Amazing, amazing CA Pinot — cherry and some leather.  Was enjoyed with salmon.

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2)  Phebus, Malbec (Reserve), Mendoza, Argentina.  Very nice.  Berries, some chocolate.  Can find it for about $10.

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3) Klein Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc, South Africa.  Light, pineapple, peach and grass notes.  Great for enjoying on a sunny afternoon or with fish or salad.  And, screwtop for easy access.  About $12.

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4) Pfeffingen Weilberg Riesling, Germany. (Note: that site doesn’t stay in English the whole time)  Nice and dry!  Some stone fruit, various other amazing mineral flavors.  Paired it with a pea and garlic gazpacho with grilled chicken.  Perfect!  It’s been in my wine rack for awhile so not sure the cost, but online I’m finding about $30.

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Holzar-Bier

A friend was traveling in Europe a few months back and was very kind and brought me back some German brew.  Finally popped it open during the football games last weekend.  It’s Holzar-Bier, which comes in a nice flip top, 1/2 L bottle.  It’s 5.2% ABV and a dark amber.  A tiny bit bitter, in a good way, and very unique.  Will definitely see if I can find it around here.

 

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Wine Class #3

And I go back a class.  In the third week we bounced around a little on what we learned about, but some of the main points I took home were:

-the ‘parents’ of Cabernet are Sauvignon Blanc and Cab Franc

-high tannins and acidity are the base for Bordeaux

-Cabernets and Chardonnays adapt to climate

-Syrah=crowd pleaser

We tasted quite the range of wines that night, darn!

2011 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand, about $13

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2011 Willm Geurztraminer, Alsace, France, about $16

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2009 Chateau les Grands Marechaux (Merlot), Blaye Cote de Bordeaux, France, about $24

 

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2012 Milton Park Shiraz, South Australia, Australia, $9 — definitely lived up to the price

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2012 Punto Final Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina, about $13 — almost ‘raisin-ed’

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2012 Clos Le Vouvray (Chenin Blanc), Loire Valley, France, about $20

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2011 Chateau de Chasseloir Muscadet, Loire Valley, France, about $12 — pair with salt

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2011 Tres Picos Garnacha (Grenache), Borsao, Spain, about $18 — love this one!

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2011 Karl Erbes Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Kabinett, Mosel, Germany, about $18

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