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French Wine Tasting

Taste through some of our favorites from French Libations and learn about their producers. Tuesday, February 18th from 5pm – 8pm.

Galentine’s Day Brunch

Join us for our annual Galentine’s Day Brunch. Saturday, February 15th from 10am – 2pm.

Eyrie Vineyards Tasting

Enjoy some of the best from Willamette Valley, Oregon with Eyrie Vineyards. Wednesday, February 12th anytime between 5 – 8pm.

Italian Wine Tasting

Explore staff favorites and new arrivals from this classic wine producing country. Wednesday, February 5th anytime between 5 – 8pm.

Two Mountain Winery Tasting

Two Mountain Winery is a fantastic family-owned operation in the Yakima Valley of Washington – come see what they’re all about. Thursday, January 30th anytime between 5 – 8pm.

Organic Wine Tasting

Try some of our favorite organic wines and learn why they are better for you and the environment. Wednesday, January 29th anytime between 5 – 8pm.

Springtime White Wine That Will Rid You Of The Winter Blues

The taste of spring is tantalizing our taste buds even though it is likely a trick and Montana still plans on dumping another load of snow on springtime aspirations. The season may not be in full swing, but that does not mean there is a need to hold off on indulging in the succulent aromas and bouts of wonderfully warm weather. The grassy herb flavors of spring are fantastic but can also be a challenge to pair with wine. A few guidelines can assist you on your quest to combining the romance of wine and the reality of food. If your meal contains fresh leafy greens, think acidity and balancing the bitterness. Your wine should have more acidity than your food to avoid it tasting flat. If your food is sweet, it is prudent to pick a wine which is sweeter to ensure that your wine is not lost in the sweetness of your food. Here are a just a few of our springtime white wine favorites:

Domaine Romain Collet Chablis Les Pargues

Les Pargues sits between the vineyards of Montmains and Vaillons. Abandoned during the First World War, Les Pargues was ‘declassified’ to standard Chablis, but after the Second World War, the family began to restore it to its former glory. Now, 50-year-old vines deliver wines of impressive concentration. The honeyed minerals of this Chablis are urging a springtime combination. It has a medium body, fantastic tension, and a long dry finish. Its present minerals combined with lemon acidity will make this wine a great addition to many springtime meals without over (or underwhelming) its consumer. Serve slightly chilled with fine cuisine; especially fresh oysters, sea bass, or white meats.

Brunn Gruner Veltliner

Brunn is a small, family-owned and operated winery that uses 100 percent estate grown fruit. After harvest, the grapes are fermented in small tanks with native yeasts, followed by maturation in neutral vats in subterranean cellars as one of Europe’s oldest traditional basket presses. This light to medium bodied wine is appreciated for its acidity and alluring aromas of green apple, citrus, and a crisp, tart finish enticing your palate. This quaint, squat bottle with the soda cap is a fantastic deal holding one liter. Even better than the value is the exceptional way it pairs with food: Pork, chicken, tuna, salmon, shellfish, and soft cheeses.

Mark Ryan Viognier

In the early years of Mark Ryan, the first vintages of Long Haul and Dead Horse were crushed and pressed in garages of friends and family, but their goal has remained the same: “Make delicious wines that represent the vineyard from which they come, making every vintage better than the last…” The Viognier is no exception. You are wafted with notes of orange blossom, lemon, subtle banana, and buttered bread up front. The neutral barrel aging offers hints of smoke while adding rich, broad flavors of knockout apricot, peach, citrus rind and minerals emerging from the glass. This medium-bodied springtime white wine has a luxuriant mouthfeel that is offset by the wine’s buoyant acidity, holding it together tightly with a finish impressive in length. The floral aromatics of this wine have an affinity to fruit and the scents in the wine will be more present when you try them with foods that use fruit, but it is also a wonderful wine to embrace on its own.

The Luck of the Irish Beer That Will Hit the Jackpot

Beer and Ireland have a long and harmonious relationship.  Historically Ireland produced ale, without the use of hops as the plant is not native to Ireland. Large quantities of hops were imported from England in the 18th century. In 1752 more than 500 tons of English hops were imported through Dublin alone.  In the second half of the 18th-century beer, mostly porter, was imported from England in increasing quantities: 15,000 barrels in 1750, 65,000 in 1785, and over 100,000 in 1792.  In the 1760s about 600,000 barrels of Irish beer was brewed annually in Ireland.

During the 18th century, the Irish parliament used taxation to encourage brewing at the expense of distilling, reasoning that beer was less harmful than whiskey.  In the 1760s the Royal Dublin Society offered prizes to brewers who used the most Irish hops and those that produced the most porter.

In 1756 Arthur Guinness set up a small brewery, moving to Dublin in 1759.  Having initially brewed ale, he switched to producing porter, which was a style from London.  In the early twentieth century, Guinness became the largest brewer in the world, exporting the Irish style to many countries.  Although no longer the largest brewer in the world today, it remains the largest brewer of stout.

So why is Guinness the most popular and iconic St. Patrick’s Day brew?  Light-bodied and low in alcohol, Guinness is perfect for consuming throughout the day.  You won’t get too full or intoxicated (given you consume in moderation).  Dark brown, Guinness reveals a nearly black body with a tawny cloud of cascading bubbles forming a silky tan head.  The aroma is unsweetened chocolate and roast. You can pick up a bit of sourness, which is what gives Guinness its distinct smell and taste.  The taste is light and thin, just right for day-drinking.  Despite what people may tell you, this Irish beer is not “thick” or “a meal in a glass.” It’s also not strong. It’s in the low 4% abv range and definitely won’t fill you up.

So whether you want to get your Irish beer on with Guinness or just enjoy the finest selection of craft brews around, stop by City Vineyard. We’ve got you covered for St. Patrick’s Day, the Ides of March, and everything in between.

How to Choose Wine That You Love

Our main priority at City Vineyard is to help you decide how to choose wine that is best for you. After all, you are the most important judge of the wine you drink. We know that the wine selection at City Vineyard is vast and choosing a wine can be overwhelming, so giving you a balance of information and experience is our mission. Many of our customers learn the “lay of the land” quickly with our help. Others just walk through the door and ask us to choose a wine for them.  Some customers shop on a wine rating system.

Wine ratings may influence your decision, but the ultimate judgment is yours. Everyone has a different palate and different preferences, so basing purchases on wine ratings may not garner the perfect wine match for your tastes. Always read the tasting note to find out more. And when you do purchase for wine ratings’ sake, you’ll soon learn which publications or tasters possess your style of palate.

The wine rating system is a 100-point scale that has become the benchmark of quality in the wine industry. If you have ever looked around for good value ‘90-point’ wine, then you have used ratings. City Vineyard regularly has wine tasting where we bring in wines for under $20 that score 90+ points. The system does rate some aspects of wine quite well, including production quality, but there are a few inconsistencies that you should know about in order to shop smart. Wine ratings don’t necessarily indicate how delicious a wine is. Instead, wines are scored based on production quality and typicity. Typicity is how much the traits of a particular wine ‘typify’ the style and region it’s from.

The 100-point scale actually starts at 50 points (and some raters never include wines below 80):

50-59 wines are flawed and undrinkable
60-69 wines are flawed and not recommended but drinkable
70-79 wines are flawed and taste average
80-84 wines are ‘above average’ to ‘good’
85-90 wines are ‘good’ to ‘very good’
90-94 wines are ‘superior’ to ‘exceptional’
95-100 wines are benchmark examples or ‘classic’

The best way to consistently buy wine you like is to learn about what you like and why. Ratings can help you find quality wines from new regions, but if you stop into City Vineyard we’ll do the legwork and read between the lines to factor in personal style. The best tip on how to choose wine you love is to start learning about the wine regions you like and go beyond just scores. Our favorite way to find out what you love about wine is to taste it. We offer feature samples regularly or if you feel like you need a better fill, try a wine flight in the wine bar. We’ll see you here soon!

3 Easy Steps on How to Love Wine Correctly

Do you love wine? Are you wondering how you can develop your wine palate? Given all the complexity in the world of wine, the first answer is remarkably simple: Drink.

In moderation, of course, but on a regular basis. As with most learning, developing an appreciation for the distinctive aromas and flavors of wine begins with experience. Drink, read, watch, listen, write, drink some more, and more after that!

You Can Love Wine Even More With This Easy Guide

Here are three strategies for learning to appreciate the wine you already love – and for getting more enjoyment out of every sip.

Love Wine at the Right Temperature

To taste wines more fully, drink them at castle temperature – the temperature of a typical basement (from now on referred to as a cellar). Too much refrigeration can chill away the flavor of wines. In fact, try no refrigeration – for any wines, except sparkling. You may be surprised at how much more flavor that Chardonnay has.

Love Wine by Knowing the Categories

Learn the categories of taste experience: Tannin, oak, acidity, sugar, alcohol, and fruit. Tannin comes primarily from the skins of grapes and provides the structure for red wines. It can be astringent and potentially bitter. It is also abundant in tea, so to experience a direct dose of tannin, brew very rich black tea. Oak comes from the barrels that the wine ages in and often shows itself as a hint – or a dollop – of vanilla. Acidity, which provides the structure for white wines, tastes tart and tangy. Sugar, of course, tastes sweet. Alcohol is always in the wine glass but is often balanced with the fruit. If there’s too much alcohol and it’s out of balance with the fruit, it can leave a burning sensation on the finish, like the aftereffects of tequila. Which leaves the flavor profiles of the fruit – often the most complex experience in tasting wine, including fruit flavors but other flavors as well.

Love Wine By Drinking Slow

When drinking wine, take your time to savor the flavor and don’t be concerned about making noises. Smell wine in short intense sniffs. Taste slowly, aerating your mouth as you hold the wine in your mouth. While smelling and drinking the wine, think of familiar fruits, berries, nuts, and vegetables. Pay attention to the initial flavors (the attack), the flavor as the wine moves through your mouth (the mid-palate), and the lingering tastes after swallowing (the finish). A garden of earthly tastes waits to be detected and appreciated.

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