Saturday, July 19, 2014

Greek Tasting in Alexandria Today 3-6

Please join me today at Altura Wine and Gourmet in Alexandria, VA

We have a great line-up of Greek wines to sample including a delicious and deliciously affordable Vegan red great for BBQ and for the hearty and the curious, an authentic Retsina- great with Mediterranean dishes and according to the winery, Sushi?!

3-6 PM

Altura Wine

                                               108 N.  Patrick St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone (703) 683-2421
Fax (703) 683-2425

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Greek Class (you missed it) and a SECOND CHANCE at the favorite of the night.

A great night at the sold out Greek Class at the Wine Cabinet in Reston June 17.  Ioannis G. Tsapos (Yani), owner/founder of Dionysos Imports, shared his wealth of knowledge, humor and stories from his 24 years as the Washington DC area's top importer of Greek wines.

Greek Class at the Wine Cabinet

If you have not discovered Greek wines, there is no better way to learn/experience these wines than getting to "ride along" with an expert.   I encourage you to go to the Dionysos Imports Facebook page to learn where Yannis will be next!  

In the meantime, you can come to the Wine Cabinet this Friday night to try the organic/vegan red that was the favorite wine of Greek Class, as well as some great summer pours from Greece, Portugal, and France.   ALL WINES 10% OFF DURING THE TASTING-15% off ON A SOLID CASE

The Wine Cabinet Friday, June 27, 2014

5-8PM Free

Santola NV Vinho Verdhe, Minho
Varieties:Loureiro, Avesso, Perderna
The uniquely spritzy and refreshing white wine of Portugal's Green coast, Santola Vinho Verde is the perfect warm weather white.  Zesty, mouthwatering lemon/lime citrus and green apple flavors will quench your thirst and beg another glass(Don't worry, it has a low 9% ABV!)   Enjoy all by itself on the patio or proudly serve at your next Crab feast...this works wonderfully with Old Bay Spice!

Domaine Du Dragon Rose "Grande Cuvee" Côtes de Provence 2013
Grenache 68%-Cabernet 15%-Cinsault 8%-Rolle 6.5%-Mourvedre 2.5%  

If you needed Brangelina to clue you in to the delights of rose from Provence you will be paying a premium for your pink buzz this year.  If on the other hand, you're in the know, you can enjoy wines like this one from the gorgeous Domaine du Dragon for half the price!  Snap it up while supplies last.  This will sell out!!!

Pale Salmon with copper highlights.  The nose is intense with red fruit and strawberries.  Elegant palate with some chalk and savoury notes (herbes de provence/ramps)  The ultimate spring and sumer food wine;  Grilled White meats, Pasta, salad, pate and fine meats and cheeses.  

Esporao Verdelho 2012
One of the 50 Great Portuguese Wines of 2013
This vibrant Verdelho should appeal to fans of both Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris.  On the palate, it is fresh and full of delicate mineral notes, with a long and persistent finish.   Passion fruit and nectarine round out the mid palate.

From a tiny dedicated organic winery in Peloponnese, this little Saint George is full of flavor and character with soft and spicy plum fruit, pipe tobacco and cedar.
"The main thing to create good wine is the quality grapes.  Our vineyards have low yields, they are situated in high altitude clay/schist soils.
For the transportation of the grapes we have special frames and the vines are around the winery, from the moment you cut the bunch (traditional harvesting of many people with songs) from the vine until the Vinification does not pass more than half an hour."

Quinta de Cabriz Rerserva Dão 2009
Roger Voss of the Wine Enthusiast, one of the top authorities on Portuguese wines in the US, just awarded this wine 91 Points in June!

Castas: Touriga Nacional, Alfrocheiro, Tinta Roriz
Like Barbaresco to Barolo, the Dão is the Douro's more elegant and refined counterpart.  

Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz are still the stars of the show, but grown on these 
granite hills in a more continental climate-they reveal a more feminine expression.  
Local variety Alfrocheiro lends some earthiness and spice.  

Delicious now, these wines age remarkably well.
91 points Wine Enthusiast
"This complex, mature wine has plenty of red fruit flavors, but its main character displays concentrated, tannin and spice. Hints of leather and rich acidity add their notes to this dense, dusty wine. It is ready to drink although it will still mature until 2020.  — R.V"

Saturday, June 21, 2014

French Beach Wines!! Take a Vinous Journey to the South of France

Please join us today at the Cheesetique in Del Ray Alexandria for a Trip to the Beach, 

Southern French Style!  

1-4 PM  Free!

Crisp and citrusy-perfect for patio/shellfish

"Les Cigales" (or cicada) comes from the picturesque Domaine Moulines.  Located in a coastal area between Montpellier and Nîmes, with 55 hectares of vines in one continuous vineyard, its soil is propicious to the growing of a large variety,of vines, especially Merlot.

Benefiting from a temperate Mediterranean climate on a clayey- limestone soil, the vineyard gets advantage in summer from an excellent marine humidity.

Tasting Notes:
Gorgeous deep pink rose with golden highlights, full of red berry fruit (strawberry/raspberry) accented by ripe nectarine.  Delicious by itself, will brilliantly accompany grilled white meats, pizza, seafood and summer salads. 

Fantastic varietal character this year

Lush Rhone varieties-drinks like a Vacqueyras for 1/4 of the price

Cheesetique Del Ray

2411 Mt. Vernon Ave.
Alexandria, VA 22301
Phone: 703.706.5300
Send Del Ray an Email!

cheese shop hours:

Monday – Friday 10am – 10pm
Saturday 8am – 10pm
Sunday  10am – 10pm 

cheese & wine bar hours:

Monday - Saturday 11am – 10pm
Sunday 10am – 10pm
Brunch served Sunday 10am-3pm

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Don't you wish we could visit here ??

At least we can drink the wine...

This Winesday Wednesday at Whole Foods Georgetown!  5 wines-5 tasty appetizers to enjoy Happy hour style.  Just $4 if you bring your own glass($7 if you need to buy a souvenir glass to use and keep for next time!)

Come see me tonight at the Whole Foods in Georgetown
 and pick up a few bottles of this fantastic easy drinking red that is BBQ ready with rich ripe fruit and very soft tannins (even goes great with meaty fish-Salmon/Tuna)  Priced to buy by the case and head to the beach!!!

Carmim Monsarraz Red 2012

Castelão, Trincadeira, Aragonês
"The wine has a defined ruby colour, a complex aroma of mature fruits (blackberry, blackcurrant) and wood. In the mouth it is smooth and round with smooth tannins and a prolonged aftertaste.   Accompanies grilled or roasted meat dishes, game, patês and cured cheeses.
It should be drunk at a temperature of 16ºC-18ºC."

Friday, May 30, 2014

What We're Drinking

Ask a seasoned wine veteran what they are drinking at home, and chances are they will tell you French wine.  It's hard to beat the quality, subtlety, balance, and sheer unpretentious class of these vin de terroir  wines from the French countryside.  Come taste what we are talking about this weekend at The Wine Cabinet in Reston from 1-5!    We are pouring 3 stellar French wines-one from the Loire, 2 from Provence (and one devil's advocate Sonoma Cab for good measure!)

The Wine Cabinet

Need Directions?


Dionysos Imports
1:00 - 5:00 pm
The Wines!!

Domaine du Clos Chapitre Touraine 2013
100% Sauvignon Blanc.  The vineyard in Saint Romain sur Cher town, in the Loire castle area.  Great aromatic expression with white flowers and grapefruit aromas.   Sur Lie aging lends depth and complexity to the fresh and vibrant palate of peaches and orchard fruits.

Domaine Du Dragon Rose "Grande Cuvee" Côtes de Provence 2013
Grenache 68%-Cabernet 15%-Cinsault 8%-Rolle 6.5%-Mourvedre 2.5%
If you needed Brangelina to clue you in to the delights of rose from Provence you will be paying a premium for your pink buzz this year.  If on the other hand, you"re in the know, you can enjoy wines like this one from the gorgeous Domaine du Dragon for half the price!  Snap it up while supplies last.  This will sell out!!!
Pale Salmon with copper highlights.  The nose is intense with red fruit and strawberries.  Elegant palate with some chalk and savoury notes (herbes de provence/ramps)  The ultimate spring and sumer food wine;  Grilled White meats, Pasta, salad, pate and fine meats and cheeses.  

Domaine du Dragon Rouge "Haute Vignes" Côtes de Provence 2010 
33% Mourvèdre, 34% Grenache, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon
A light, fruity, and spicy wine with pepper notes. Well balanced mid-palate.   Grapes are handpicked at the height of their maturity and vinified in vat to maintain the young fresh fruit character.   Pairs with Barbeque, poultry and grilled meats.

Robert Goyette Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
"Opaque with a deep purple rim. Aromas of pomegranate, crushed cherries, black raspberry, lingonberry, vanilla and mocha. Soft tannins with cherry and black plum flavors. Fruit forward style that is clean and balanced."
RATING: 91 points (Exceptional)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Italian Store Memorial Day Tasting!!!

I will be at the famous Italian Store in Arlington, VA this Saturday pouring four fantastic Italian Wines perfect for all of your Memorial Day Weekend celebrations!

Come fill the wine cooler while you stock up on subs, charcuterie and some of the DC areas best Pizza!!!

The Italian Store
             3123 Lee Hwy            Arlington, Virginia 22201-4207

Phone: (703) 528-6266

Wine Tasting this Saturday May 22, 2014!
Perfect wines for relaxing and grilling!

Please join Wine specialist Amy Evans of Dionysos imports this Saturday from

11:30 to 3:30

as we kick off Memorial Day Weekend with a tasting of 4 delicious wines from the portfolio!

La Jara Organic Prosecco! 
Floral and refreshing with an elegant bubble

Roncho blanchis collio pinot grigio
Pure class-this is what pinot grigio is supposed to taste like! scents of flint stone and pear

Franco Serra barbera 
Sweet spice, chocolate and red fruit aromas with hints of
tobacco. Raspberry, strawberry flavors, medium bodied, light tannins and well balanced acidity. great match for dishes made with tomato sauce; pasta and pizza. Also excellent with cured meats and cheeses

Poggio al tufo cabernet
“This is good, honest cabernet, suitable to pair with any
red meat dish and nimble enough to dance by itself. Best of all, it’s not gussied up with a lot of oak flavors that people too often mistake for high-quality wine” The Washington post.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Event pick-Meet Al Spoler of Cellar Notes and taste some Portuguese and Spanish Wines

Great tasting opportunity in Baltimore this weekend!  Al Spoler, co-host of the Cellar Notes radio program on WYPR 88.1 FM, is presenting wines from Spain and Portugal this Saturday at Wine World Beer and Spirits .  He is also leading a wine soaked historical trip to the two countries with historian Graeme Cooper in the Fall.  Learn how you can join them below!

This Saturday, Starting at 1:00:
Meet Al Spoler!

Al Spoler

 This is your chance to talk with one of the most informative, and genuinely nice people you would ever hope to meet, on the subject of wine, beer and spirits!

Al Spoler is one of the hosts of the "Cellar Notes" radio spot heard each week on WYPR 88.1 FM, and we are very happy to have him return to Wine World this Saturday afternoon at 1:00.

Al is involved in a "Vineyards and Victories" tour of the Iberian Peninsula of Spain and Portugal scheduled for this October. He and famed historian and Certified Battlefield Guide Graeme Cooper will lead a lucky group of travelers on a first-class tour through those two countries as they re-trace the steps of Wellington's army, wine glass in hand!

To learn more about your opportunities to be among them, click the link provided above.

But for those who can't join Al in October, we've arranged for a small taste of what they will be enjoying as we present today's tasting of  Portuguese and Spanish wines with our very special guest, Al Spoler!

  Portugal Spain

2011 Alente White - $9.99:  Alentejo, Portugal - Made from a distinctive blend of the high quality indigenous Antão Vaz variety and the renowned Arinto grapes, Alente White has a golden citrine color with an aroma of tropical fruits and hints of peach and melon. It is rich in fruit, complex and exhibiting volume, it is well balanced, fresh and exciting.

2012 Palacio de Vivero Rueda - $9.99:  Castile-León, Spain - This fresh, lively wine is a blend of 60% Verdejo and 40% Viura grapes from the Rueda region, northwest of Madrid. Its color is a pale golden yellow with glints of green. Offering fresh tropical fruit and citrus aromas, the wine shows good structure and complexity. The palate is fresh and fruity with a mineral note that matches very well with shellfish or salads.

2009 Banda Azul "Crianza" - $17.99:  Rioja, Spain - This blend of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha shows a bright ruby red color. The bouquet of American Oak barrel aging is predominant with a hint of fruitiness. A well developed wine with rich sensations, a harmonic structure and great persistence.

2010 Porrais Tinto Douro - $15.99:  Douro, Portugal - This aromatic red wine is made of a blend of 4 typical Portuguese grapes: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Sousão, Tinta Barroca. It shows a black cherry color in the glass, with fragrant fruit and floral aromas bursting forward delighting the nose. The first sip is supple and savory with flavors of red fruits and spices tempered by soft tannins. Its dense richness is balanced by a ripe acidity leading to a long and satisfying finish. A very stylish wine!

2011 Tineta Ribera del Duero - $14.99: Burgos, Spain - Sourced from a single vineyard, and made from 100% Tinto Fino (aka Tempranillo), this dense red wine offers extraordinary depths of dark fruit flavors such as plums and blackberries with a hint of smoke on the finish. Medium to full-bodied, juicy and succulent, this wine is a perfect pairing with grilled meats!

2010 Mas Sorrer Montsant - $17.99:  Catalonia, Spain - A beautiful red blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Syrah from the hills of the Montsant region, this lovely wine brings aromas of cherry, cedar, earth and spices. The taste is packed with juicy plum and fresh cherry notes followed nicely by hints of spice and cedar with a touch of tar on the lingering finish. A well balanced and complex wine.

Protuguese and Spanish Wines with Al Spoler