I recently organized an Italian wine event with two featured guests from Winebow. Winebow is a large importer and distributor of wine and other wine related items. My friend David Bronleewe (who has worked for Winebow for a number of years) and I set this up well over a year ago while enjoying an Italian meal together. He suggested that we include Sam Kass who is an Italian wine expert and educator for Winebow. I really wanted David to handle it, but I figured if he wanted this guy to lead the event he must be good. Turns out, Sam did an amazing job leading the group through the wines we were tasting and educating all of us about this outstanding wine country. His passion for Italy and their wines was quite evident and incredibly, he kept my group’s attention for the entire evening. I have a very social wine group that can get noisy as they talk to each other about the wines. This was not the case with Sam, as he kept their rapt attention. It was only until the end that they really cut loose with the noise, but by then it was essentially over. Everyone left that night knowing a lot more about Italian wine culture. Thanks to both David and Sam for coming to the event.

Speaking of events, we are going to finish 2017 with a bang. In November we will have our holiday tasting event featuring the wines from the Martine collection with Courtney and Stacia. As is the norm, we will be pouring wines that will compliment the upcoming holiday meals along with a variety of bubbles. In December, Marty Clubb from L’Ecole will be coming. Marty is the wine maker for this iconic Washington winery located on the outskirts of Walla Walla. These are all invitation only events, so maybe you should come and see me and get in my wine group. Just saying. I’m trying to set up a You Tube episode with Marty, which I am very excited about. Stay tuned.

All of you are very aware of the terrible fires that ravaged the Sonoma/Napa area. Due to one of the wettest winters on record and a very dry summer, there was lots of fuel for the fires. It nearly wiped out Santa Rosa and a few wineries suffered severe damage. It will be a while before we know the exact extent of the destruction caused by the inferno. A few have come into the store and purchased wines from this area as a way to show support for the wineries. There are also many organizations set up to accept donations to help in the rebuilding effort. Go to to get more information in this regard.

I would like to take a moment to write an epitaph to Rose`…Just kidding of course, but it is quite amazing to me how quickly Rose` sales stall as soon as the weather gets on the cold side. Are you kidding me folks? Rose` is an amazingly diverse wine that can pair with a number of dishes we may serve up on cold Fall nights. How about Mac & Cheese…Perfect. Roast fowl…Perfect. Taco Tuesday…Perfect. Pizza and football…Perfect. The point is, Rose` should be a part of your Fall and Winter. Next time you’re tempted to buy yet another bottle of Pinot Gris, think twice and make it Rose`.

Speaking of Fall, have many of you already started referring to it as Winter? I wrote in the past how Fall is the forgotten month. Remember, Winter does not start until the third week of December. I love the Fall. I know it has been unusually cold for the beginning of November, but wasn’t it cool to see the snow on the trees before they lost all their leaves? Fall is a great month as we watch the transition of scenery around us and we get a chance to get together as families and enjoy a holiday meal. Fall is great, because I get to tap into my modest cellar and enjoy some of the reds I have been ageing. If you’re a football fan, is there a better time of the year than Fall? Fall also has the task of acclimating us for the Winter. Can you imagine jumping straight into Winter from the Summer? So let’s embrace Fall and enjoy the transition.

Susie and I had a chance to go to Seattle and taste some fantastic wines on the top floor of the Columbia Tower. It has a breathtaking view! The wines were amazing, and I got to ask a few of the folks there about the fires in California as many of them were from the Napa area. They were all concerned of course, but it was nice to hear that a lot of them came out of it unscathed. The tasting was put on by Youngs Market and I want to give them a little advice. Don’t invite so many people that you can barely walk through the crowd and get to the tables to taste the wines. Also, have each winery bring more than three bottles of each. There had to be over two hundred at this event, and when we tried to get some Champagne for Susie, every table had run out, and there was still and hour and a half to go. I have put on many wine tasting events, and for 125 folks I have six bottles each available for tasting. We may not go through them all, but at least it’s there if we need it. As a good friend once said, “It’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.”

Stan The Wine Man

About Stan The Wine Man

I am a blue collar wine guy who has been in the biz for over twenty years. I work at a store in a tourist destination stop. I work hard at finding the best wine for the money. I love the challenge of learning my customer's palate so I can find the best wine for them, whether it is Petrus or white zinfandel. Cheers!
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