Archive for February 29, 2016

Celebration Planning?

How Much Wine To Buy.

With Spring in the air, it’s time to start thinking weddings, celebrations, and parties. One the questions we often get asked is how much wine will I need for X number of people.

The answer is a little more complicated that just how many glasses of wine per bottle. That answer is approximately six 4oz. pours per standard 750ml bottle. This number works great for the champagne toast where people will only be having one glass. For a hundred guests you would need 17 bottles – and to be safe, 18 (a case and a half).

Another variable in planning is what else is being served in addition to wine. If beer is also being served, figure a 60% wine, 40% beer. Add hard liquor and the numbers change to 50% wine, 30% spirits, 20% beer.

Now you’ve figured out the first drink, then how many drinks per person. Studies show that people generally have two drinks the first hour and one per hour beyond that. At a 2-hour party, that would be 3 drinks per person, but at a four-hour wedding reception that figure moves to 5 drinks per person.

“Math is hard!” to quote the rogue Barbie doll from years ago – but to help you out, here are a couple of quick charts:

How Much Champagne Will I Need For A Toast

People

25

50

75

100

150

Bottles

5

10

14

18

28

(includes a little safety margin for overpours)

Just Wine For A Two-Hour Party/Reception

People

25

50

75

100

150

Bottles

15

30

42

54

84

(includes a little safety margin for overpours)

Just Wine For A Four-Hour Party/Reception

People

25

50

75

100

150

Bottles

25

50

70

90

140

(includes a little safety margin for overpours)

Two-Hour Party/Reception With Beer Available

People

25

50

75

100

150

Bottles

9

18

25

32

50

(includes a little safety margin for overpours)

Four-Hour Party/Reception With Beer Available

People

25

50

75

100

150

Bottles

15

30

42

54

84

(includes a little safety margin for overpours)

Two-Hour Party/Reception With Beer & Cocktails

People

25

50

75

100

150

Bottles

7.5

15

21

27

42

(includes a little safety margin for overpours)

Four-Hour Party/Reception With Beer & Cocktails

People

25

50

75

100

150

Bottles

12.5

25

35

45

70

(includes a little safety margin for overpours)

That said – remember to buy wine and bubbles that you won’t mind drinking if you happen to buy too much. Stop in the shop for our recommendations on tasty, affordable bottles for your event.

Weekend Getaways

We’ve got an exotic lineup planned this weekend in Madrona.  Take an excursion to the wine shop and taste a brief escape from our local grey.

Saturday we’re pouring wines from the islands of Corsica, Sardinia, Crete & Santorini. Each island has developed it unique wine styles that are set off from the mainland by more ways that just water.
2014 Douloufakis  Vidiano (Crete)
2014 Santo, Assyrtiko (Santorini)
2014 Petroni Corse Red (Corsica)
2013 Douloufakis, Liatiko (Crete)
2012 Gabbas, Lillove, Cannonau di Sardegna  (Sardinia)

Sunday, Odds will get you even.  We’ll be pouring two wines from off the beaten path that are well worth the trip.

2013 Brunn Blauer Zweigelt  $14 — 1ltr
An Estate grown Zweiglet in a big bottle. A spicy nose with nuances of pepper. Mature and full-bodied mouth that delivers notes of Morello cherry. It comes in a one-liter bottle so you get that extra glass!

Kindzmarauli Marani Gavazi $10
Saperavi, Cabernet
A “semi dry” red from Georgia that drinks like a juicy Zinfandel with a bit of Cabernet punch.

It is also the last weekend to see Suzanne Brooker’s show of Landscape Paintings.  Come take a last look.

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2 until the bottles run out and on Sunday we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5.

Island Wines,

Crete & Santorini, Corsica, & Sardinia

February 27th, 2pm

This Saturday we are headed to the islands.  We’ll be trying some distinct and delicious wines from Corsica, Sardinia, Crete & Santorini.  Each island has developed it unique wine styles that are set off from the mainland by more ways that just water.  Grapes such as Vidiano, Assyrtiko, Niellucciu, Liatiko, and Cannonau show us how distinct their exotic locations can be.  Come escape with us.
 
2014 Douloufakis  Vidiano $15
On the Greek island of Crete, Domaine Douloufakis’s estate vineyards are certified 100% organic and span over 70 acres of hillside land in Dafnes, a village close to Iraklio in Crete.  The Cretan variety Vidiano was neglected and almost had become extinct but due to the tireless efforts of the winemakers came back to the front stage.  The wine has a unique apricot aroma, rich body and transfixing buttery taste.
 
2014 Santo, Assyrtiko  $17
The island of Santorini has a 3,500 year tradition in vine cultivation.  The island gets very little rain. The vineyards are spreading out on different ground levels, forming the distinctive “pezoules” (stone terraces) which were made to make it is easier to cultivate and to maximize the effectiveness of rainwater. Santos Assyritiko shows its varietal character, which embraces white flowers, citrus fruits aromas and intense minerality. It is vivid, with full, well balanced body and distinctive long after taste.
 
2014 Petroni Corse Red $12
50% Niellucciu, 35% Syrah, 15% Grenache
The vineyards for Petroni date back to 1885 and are surrounded by the Corsican mountains to the west and the Mediterranean to the east. The winery is now in the hands of brothers Jacques and Francois Ramazotti.  Their red blend has aromas of red fruit (strawberries, blackcurrant and raspberries) as well as delicate spice and a light minerality. It is supple on entry to the palate with red fruit flavors and subtle roasted notes.
 
2013 Douloufakis, Liatiko $15
Made from a native Greek grape in a “traditional” style, the Liatiko by Douloufakis is a delicious rarity.  Medium bodied and soft but with a tangy cherry edge and a spicy, dried-roses-and-lavender streak, the wine reminded me of a pleasant potpourri with cinnamon sticks.
 
2012 Gabbas, Lillove, Cannonau di Sardegna  $20
Giuseppe Gabbas was voted Winemaker of the Year 2015  by Gambero Rosso which is considered the Bible of Italian wines. “A man of few words, he produces wines that on the contrary have a lot to tell. They are reaching an important value in the production of the Cannonau di Sardegna.”  The wine has floral, flinty red fruit aromas of raspberry and red cherry show an intensely mineral quality.  Very suave and sweet but with lovely mineral energy and a sound core of acidity that really lifts the ripe red fruit flavors.  This concentrated, very long wine finishes sweet, with exhilarating mineral tones.

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2 until the bottles run out and on Sunday we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5.

French Sunday Sippers,

February 21, 11-5

Parlez-vous français? We will this Sunday afternoon. A white, a red, but no rosé. Stop in and give them a try.

2012 Gouleyant Gaillac Blanc    ($10)
80% Lion de l’oeil, 20% Sauvignon Blanc
The Lion has an extremely aromatic nose, mainly dominated by citrus aromas and hints of flowers. Its mouth is fresh, long, and crisp with flavors of white peach and plum. 12% alcohol by volume

2012 Chateau Paret Bordeaux    ($10)
85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc
A great everyday Bordeaux that has nothing to do with tropical pets or pirates. It’s a supple and medium-bodied wine, with dark fruit, a soft glycerin texture and very velvety tannins. Easy to like.

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2 until the bottles run out and on Sunday we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5.

Feels Like Spring

It feels very Spring like this weekend in Madrona.  The sun is poking out between the clouds and the air feels fresh and new.  Here at Madrona Wine we have a full line up of fresh and new wines that we’ll be that we’ll be tasting this weekend.

Saturday, Javier Alfonso, master craftsman behind Idlico Winery, joins us to pour some of his fine Spanish varietals cultivated from local vineyards.  We’ll be tasting his Albarino, Garnacha, Tempranillo, Monastrell, and Roble Red blend.  Stop by at 2 and meet the wine maker.

Sunday, we have two new French wines to sample.

2012 Gouleyant Gaillac Blanc   $10
80% Lion de l’oeil, 20% Sauvignon Blanc
The Lion has an extremely aromatic nose, mainly dominated by citrus aromas and hints of flowers. Its mouth is fresh, long, and crisp with flavors of white peach and plum.

2012 Chateau Paret Bordeaux    $10
85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc
A great everyday Bordeaux that has nothing to do with tropical pets or pirates. It’s a supple and medium-bodied wine, with dark fruit, a soft glycerin texture and very velvety tannins. It is very easy to like.

Shake off a bit of Winter and come join us.

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2 until the bottles run out and on Sunday we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5.

Idilico

Saturday, February 20th, 2pm

Idilico Winery focuses on Spanish varietals.  Originally from the famed Ribera del Duero region in Spain, winemaker Javier Alfonso is determined to showcase a true expression of wine grown in the unique viticultural areas in Washington State. Javier believes Washington vineyards are ideally suited to grow the finicky Spanish cultivars. Some of the top growing regions in Spain resemble Washington State. Dry desert conditions, scorching day time temperatures with huge temperature swings at night all wrapped up in a short growing season and frosty winters.  Who doesn’t love a deep and structured Tempranillo, a juicy and luscious Garnacha or a steely acid driven Albariño?  The winery is named after the 1200 lb bull that fought so bravely in the Barcelona Ring on September 21, 2008 that it won a pardon from ace Matador Jose Tomas. This rare and almost unprecedented turn of events is indeed fitting for such a wonderful creature.  Join us This Saturday as Javier shares with us some of this wines.
 
2014 Albarino  $15
This Albariño is from a 6 acre planting in the cooler area of the Yakima Valley north of Prosser. The wine shows notes of citrus and tropical fruit followed by a luscious, crisp and refreshing flavor. Drink anytime the sun shines.
 
2013 Roble $17
40% Tempranillo, 33% Garnacha and 27% Graciano
This blend of from Boushey, Upland, Art den Hoed and Oasis vineyards is reminiscent of Rioja blends of days past, with little oak intrusion, refreshing flavors and a hint of spice. This pleasure-driven blend is designed to satisfy the most discerning of palates with juicy fruit and food-friendly refreshment.
 
2012 Garnacha $20
This Garnacha comes from Upland vineyard in Snipes Mountain and Elerding Vineyard in the Yakima Valley.  This wine was fermented in small lots and barrel aged in neutral French oak for 12 months. It was bottled unfined and unfiltered.  The wine exhibits aromas of tart cherry, strawberry jam with hints of moist rock and some citrus notes. In the palate the wine is medium bodied with luscious mouthfeel and a lingering finish.
 
2012 Tempranillo $20
Tempranillo is the King of Spanish grapes. With our dry climate, short growing season and extreme temperature variations, Washington may be Tempranillo’s home away from home. The wine shows the right stuff with dark fruits, herbs and soy followed by a long and smooth pass though palate. Aged in French oak for 12 months, bottled unfined and unfiltered.
 
2012 Monastrell $20
This wine is 100% Monastrell from Upland Vineyard in the Snipes Mountain AVA. Originally from growing areas in south-east Spain this variety is also known as Mourvedre in France and typically showcases tart dark cherry, freshly crushed pepper and some game notes. In Washington the fruit retains great acidity due to our cool harvest nights and gives the wine freshness and lower alcohol levels.  Only 93 cases.

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2 until the bottles run out and on Sunday we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5.

Love & Precipitation

Love is in the air (along with a little precipitation) this Valentine’s Day weekend in Madrona. And we have a full line up of Lovely wines to celebrate Cupid and his amorous workings.

Saturday, we have wines on hand to fill out any passionate plannings. We love these wines and we’d love to share them with you.  We’ll pop the bubbles at 2pm.
2014 Lucien Albrecht, Pinot Blanc  
Gruet, Brut Rosé  $17
2013 GD Vajra, Lange Rosso  
2013 Amavi, Cabernet Sauvignon
2007 San Felice, Vin Santo

Sunday, we’ve arraigned a Ménage à Trois for you and your sweetie. We’ll be opening a trio of lovely bottles to spread the love. 11 to 5pm

2013 Gran Passione, Gavi  $13
This passionate wine from the Piedmont has delicate aromas of white flowers, lemon, and green apples. A crisp, medium-bodied palate showing underlying hints of chalky minerality. Well-balanced and distinctly fruit driven with underlying hints of almonds on the finish.

Vya, Whisper Dry Vermouth  $15
The Whisper Dry is softer, less herbaceous, and formulated to pair especially well with subtle spirits.  Over fifteen different herbs are used in the Whisper Dry, a few of these include: linden, orris, elecampane, and needles from a certain fir tree that contribute a soft forest-like character.  Was $22 now $15

2014 Casa Vinironia, Appassimento  Edizione Oro  $12
Merlot, Primitivo and Negroamaro
This wine is made using the apassimento method (use of dried grapes). A modern style with silky, soft tannins. The wine bursts with blackberry, espresso and dark caramel aromas contrasted by a spicy, white pepper note.

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2 until the bottles run out and on Sunday we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5.

Whole Lot of Love Valentine’s Tasting,

February 13th, 2pm

Love is in the air and we have some lovely wine this Saturday to get you ready for Valentine’s day.  We’ve picked out some wines that we love and we’d love to share them with you.  They hail from near and far but are all truly delicious.  Come join us.

2014 Lucien Albrecht, Pinot Blanc  $14
The Albrecht family has been involved in winegrowing since the year 1425.  They have a particular talent for making a Pinot Blanc that’s harvested when the fruit is perfectly and fully ripe, imparting a supple, full texture with note of stone fruit crisp melon, citrus and peach, clean acidity and mineral touch on the finish.

Gruet, Brut Rosé  $17
This pink Sparkler from New Mexico is all pinot noir.  The wine has a lovely, bright floral bouquet with hints of strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. On the palate, it is rich and fruity in a dry, Brut style.  $9 for 375ML

2013 GD Vajra, Lange Rosso  $17
Aldo and Milena Vajra own 25 hectares of vines in the Langhe. with a further 10 hectares contracted for their production. Their Rosso is a blend of 20% Nebbiolo for structure, aromaticity and elegance, 30% Dolcetto aromas of fresh fruit and berries, 30% Barbera for additional freshness and fruitiness and bits of Albarossa, Freisa and Pinot Noir round it out. It is an amorous blend with aromas of red fruits, plums, underbrush as well as spicy fragrances that intrigue your senses from the very start.

2013 Amavi, Cabernet Sauvignon  $30
76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, 8% Merlot, 3% Malbec, 1% Syrah, 1% Petit Verdot
Amavi stands for love.  Their Cab blend has aromas of black cherry, plum, mocha preceding its dark fruit, cassis, savory flavors and its perfectly balanced, silky and rich finish.

Velenosi, Vino di Viscole  $22 — 500ml
This totally unique wine from the Mache region blends 30% of the local Visciole Cherries with with Lacrimma di Morro d’ Alba grapes.  The result is a perfumed, medium sweet wine with flowers and cherry aromas along with its ripe berry and cherry flavors and enough tannins to keep it from being cloying.

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2 until the bottles run out and on Sunday we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5.

Super Wine Weekend

The Super Bowl arrives this weekend, and while it won’t see the Seahawks out on the gridiron, it will have all the over the top commercials and Lady Gaga and light shows and fireworks and maybe even some football.  Of course to celebrate we are pouring some Super Wines all weekend at Madrona Wine.

Saturday, we have a fine line up from the Loire and the Rhône that offer up some tasty exceptional value.
2013 Pierre Chainier, Château de la Roche, Touraine  $12
2014 Pierre Chainier, Les Hospices Sancerre  $19
2013 Charles Thomas, Côte du Rhône  $11
2012 Alain Jaume, Haut de Brun, Côte du Rhône  $15
2012 Pierre Chainier, Roc de Chateauvieux, Chinon $21

Sunday, we’ll be showing off a couple of wines from Italy.

2014 La Jara Pinot Grigio Rosé  $9
After the tide of summer rosés you sometimes find the gems in the receding surf.  The La Jarra blossoms with rose petal and red fruit, lots of blood orange and lively goodness. And due to the season it is now $9.  Was $12 Organic  12.5% alcohol by volume

2013 Contini Tonaghe  $12
Cannonau di Sardegna
Sardinian Grenache that taste like it comes from nowhere else. Intense, with a well-defined vinosity and a hint of ripe plums and blackberries, lovely grippy tannins; warm and full-bodied with blackberry notes and juicy, ripe plum flavors.

Slip in and join us.

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2 until the bottles run out and on Sunday we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5.

Classic Wines from the Loire & Rhône,

Saturday,February 6th, 2pm

This Saturday we are featuring three wines from Pierre Chainier who has several estates in the Loire.  It is a family business.  His wife Anne Chainier looks after the estates, the Château de Pocé and the Château de la Roche.  Their eldest son Francois is the managing director of the company. He also owns the Clos de Nouys and Clos wu Gaimont vineyards in Vouvray. Their two other sons, Louis and Philippe, are in charge of exports.  We’ll also be pouring two favorite reds from the Rhône to round out your palate.  Come taste with us.
 
2013 Pierre Chainier, Château de la Roche, Touraine  $12
Sauvignon Blanc
The Château de la Roche is one of the oldest single estates of Loire Valley, planted mostly with Sauvignon Blanc.  The vines provide a complex wine on the nose, aromatic and mineral with ripe fruits and citrus aromas, very subtle and delicate on the palate.
 
2014 Pierre Chainier, Les Hospices Sancerre  $19
Sauvignon Blanc
A great Value in Sancerre the Les Hospice is lively and full of fruit, with pleasant aromas, backed up by blackcurrant buds and wild flowers.
 
2013 Charles Thomas, Côte du Rhône  $11
A great little Côte du Rhône made by the Burgundy producer Jean-Baptiste Bejot.  The CT rouge is fresh spicy red overtones of red berry fruits. The body is found and supple with smooth aftertaste.
 
2012 Alain Jaume, Haut de Brun, Côte du Rhône  $15
60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Cinsault
This winery dates back to 1826, having been founded at that time by Mathieu Jaume. Since 1979, Alain Jaume has run the Domaine and now has the help of his two sons, Sébastien and Christophe, and daughter Helene. The Haut de Brun is a delicious full Rhône with layered aromas of black plum, blackberry, violet and earth, along with distant whiffs of game and smoke.
 
2012 Pierre Chainier, Roc de Chateauvieux, Chinon $21
Cabernet Franc
Pierre Chainier’s beautifully elegant 100% Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley is very crisp and clean with aromas of mulberry, wild strawberry, and black cherry joined by a touch of dried fallen leaves and a hint of a fresh spring garden.  The flavor is black cherry, sweet plum, and fresh raspberry are framed against tobacco leaf, dried cranberry, cassis, and a lovely dried herbal element that perfectly frames the other flavor components.

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2 until the bottles run out and on Sunday we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5.

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