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Monday, December 21, 2015

December 21st

As the holidays approach, we do so much running around and entertaining it is nice to relax and treat ourselves to a nice bottle of wine that we might not usually open. This is the second in our two part wine of the week series looking at really delicious wines that over deliver flavor for their price point. Nobody likes to be disappointed when they open an expensive bottle, so we give you tried and tested wines that we love and drink on special occasions (like finishing the holiday shopping!).

This wine is made by Carlos Falcó Fernandez de Córdova who has pioneered the modernization of vine growing and wine-making in Spain. In 1974, he introduced Spain to the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grape varieties. This was but the first step in a series of daring pioneering innovations by the man responsible for the great wines of Marques de Grinon. 

Carlos has created a huge Cabernet Sauvignon  that bursts from the glass with aromas of black cherries, wild berry fruits and sweet spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, chocolate and tobacco. It is expansive on the palate, being full-bodied, well-structured with fine, integrated tannins, and outstanding depth.

Chad the Tie Guy's Review: This is a clear winner for one of the best wines we have tasted this year. Every once in a while we taste a wine that leaves a lasting impression of how delicious it was (most of these are in the upper price limits of my budget). This one was one that blew me away when I found out it was less than $50 AND it was in the Top 100 Wines of 2014. A great wine and the perfect treat for celebrating the holidays!

Grape Varietals:  100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Wine Region: La Mancha, Spain

Alcohol Content: 14.5%

White Horse Wine Color Code System:       RICH RED WINES      

Food Pairings: Try pairing this wine with rich, red meat dishes such as prime rib, osso bucco or filet mignon. For a real treat, try this with traditional spanish wild game meats such as wild boar ravioli or venison steaks if you get the chance.

Cheese Pairings: 
Aged Asiago Cheese- A nice salty, flavorful aged Asiago tang.
Italy $5.49 (8oz)
Moody Blue Cheese- A smoked blue cheese with a sharp flavor 
Wisconsin $7.49 (8oz)
4 Year Aged Gouda- A hard aged cheese with caramel flavors 
Netherlands $8.99 (8oz) 

Monday, December 14, 2015

December 14th



As the holidays approach, we do so much running around and entertaining it is nice to relax and treat ourselves to a nice bottle of wine that we might not usually open. This is the first in our two part wine of the week series looking at really delicious wines that over-deliver flavor for their price points. Nobody likes to be disappointed when they open an expensive bottle, so we give you tried and tested wines that we love and drink on special occasions (like checking off your holiday shopping list!).

Named for the youngest of Nick Goldschmidt's five children, Hilary Goldschmidt Cabernet Sauvignon is bold and elegant. The grapes from this vineyard used to be sold to Opus One to blend into its famed wines. Charming Creek offers the signature taste of Napa Valley and shows unusual concentration for the price. With its long sunny days and porous, free-draining soils, Napa Valley has the perfect growing conditions for Cabernet Sauvignon vines and Charming Creek consistently yields bold, well structured wines that are complex and rich in flavor.

Chad the Tie Guy's Review: This is a beast of a Napa Cab with huge dark fruit flavors of blackberry, cassis and plum. The fruit is nicely integrated with a bold oak flavor that is both rich and elegant. This wine is ready to drink and can be enjoyed with a little decanting or stored well for aging of up to 10 years. 

Grape Varietals:  100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Wine Region: Oakville, California

Alcohol Content: 14.5%

White Horse Wine Color Code System:       RICH RED WINES      

Food Pairings: Try this wine with herb-marinated grilled meats along with heavy cheeses, grilled vegetables, and roasted red peppers.

Cheese Pairings: 
Sartori Espresso Cheese- An espresso coffee rubbed sharp cheese 
Wisconsin $7.49 (8oz)
Moody Blue Cheese- A smoked blue cheese with a sharp flavor 
Wisconsin $7.49 (8oz)
4 Year Aged Gouda- A hard aged cheese with caramel flavors 
Netherlands $8.99 (8oz) 

Monday, December 7, 2015

December 7th



This week our wine feature is in honor of our upcoming Italian classes. Last Thursday, December 3rd we had our Exploring Italy class followed by next Thursday's December 10th class, The Wines of Allegrini. If you can't make the class, at least you can enjoy some good Italian wine!

This blend of 70% Corvina Veronese, 25% Rondinella, and 5% Sangiovese is a smooth, full-bodied cru wine made in an innovative ripasso style. After the harvest, the grapes from the Palazzo della Torre vineyard follow two different paths: 70% of the grapes are vinified immediately, while the remaining 30% are left to dry until the end of December. The fresh wine made at harvest is blended with the fermenting juice of the dried grapes. This initiates a second fermentation and renders a more highly concentrated and complex wine. Allegrini affectionately refers to Palazzo della Torre as its “baby Amarone.”

Chad the Tie Guy's Review: This is one of my favorite "Baby Amarones". I love Amarone wine, but they tend to be out of my price range even for weekend wines. I always turn to this wine when I go out to a local BYOB. This way I get more bang for my buck in wine quality and taste. Drink smart!

Grape Varietals:  70% Corvina Veronese, 25% Rondinella, and 5% Sangiovese

Wine Region: Verona, Italy

Alcohol Content: 13.8%

White Horse Wine Color Code System:       MEDIUM RED WINES      

Food Pairings: Try pairing this with richly flavored pasta dishes accented with spiced meats such as sausage, chorizo or salami. This is also a great dish to try with a seasonal risotto were the creaminess balances out the nice acidity of the wine.  

Cheese Pairings: 
Di Bruno Asiago- A hard, flavorful, salty aged Italian cheese.
Italy $5.49 (8oz)
Pecorino ToscanoA rich, nutty cheese with butterscotch flavor.
Italy $7.99 (8oz)
Prima Donna- The best of Parmigiano and Aged Gouda.
Italy $8.99 (8oz) 

Monday, November 30, 2015

November 30th



This week we have one of the coolest (and probably most geeky) wines we have done for our wine of the week series. This is Lambrusco, which a sparkling DRY red wine from Italy. Most of us think of Riunite Lambrusco, which is a sweet red wine (usually drank by our Grandfathers). If you love Prosecco and red wines than this is your new favorite wine that is perfect for every occasion (especially the end of a long work week)! 

This is Tenuta Pederzana's most feminine and elegant wine, in which the freshness and vibrant fruit that one finds in the Grasparossa grape are highlighted to the full. The morello cherry note is joined by an intriguing sensation of wild strawberries and raspberries. The brief maceration at fairly low temperatures has made it ideal for drinking as an aperitif and in summer, thanks to the smoothness of its very delicate tannins which, besides, always leave the palate fresh and clean, making it ready to taste the next mouthful.

Chad the Tie Guy's Review: This is one of my favorite wines to turn people on to when they want to try something new and exciting. This of the best qualities of Pinot Noir and Prosecco combined to form a dry but fruit forward sparkling wine. It's definitely not like anything you have probably had before but for $13 bucks its well worth the leap of faith. Enjoy!

Grape Varietals:  Grasparossa (100%)

Wine Region: Emilia, Italy

Alcohol Content: 11%

White Horse Wine Color Code System:       LIGHT RED WINES      

Food Pairings: Try pairing this wine with typical food from the Emilia region of Italy such as tortellini, tagliatelle with Bolognese sauce or fried gnocchi. It is also ideal with delicately flavored foods such as herb crusted turkey or pork loin but shines with salmon and lamb. 

Cheese Pairings: 
Drunken Goat Cheese- A mild, soft cheese aged in red wine
Spain $8.49 (8oz)
Gouda Ewephoria- A mild Gouda with a smooth, sweet flavor.
Netherlands $9.49 (8oz)
Emmenthaler- A swiss cheese with a sharp, nutty flavor
Switzerland $8.49 (8oz) 

Monday, November 23, 2015

November 23rd



As we continue in our wine recommendations for your Thanksgiving dinner, we have a classic pairing: Pinot Noir. However, as you know we don't usually stick to the old boring "classic" wine pairings, so this one has a cool twist. This all organically farmer Pinot Noir is made in the relatively unknown Potter Valley in Mendocino County, California by an old Navy veteran who learned to love wine in the Mediterranean.

This wine is a great Pinot Noir with lovely rich fruit flavors of cherry, cranberry and strawberry with a nice hint of sweet spices and light oak. The soft and silky tannins on this wine make it a great wine with or without food but try this one with your Thanksgiving dinner and you won't be disappointed.

Chad the Tie Guy's Review: Nobody like weak and watery Pinot Noir (which unfortunately is quite common). This is a great example of what makes everybody love Pinot Noir. It is silky and soft with a bright flavor that shines through. Very elegant and definitely making an appearance on my Thanksgiving table! 

Grape Varietals: Pinot Noir (100%)

Wine Region: Potter Valley, California

Alcohol Content: 13.5%

White Horse Wine Color Code System:       LIGHT RED WINES      

Food Pairings: This wine is great with Thanksgiving dinner and other light meats. For a real treat, try this with a balsamic cherry glazed salmon over roasted zucchini gratin. 

Cheese Pairings: 
Di Bruno Aged Gouda- Creamy flavors of honey and butterscotch
Holland $5.49 (8oz)
Cherry Grove Havilah- A flavorful local, hard alpine style cheese
New Jersey $10.99 (8oz)
Emmenthaler- A swiss cheese with a sharp, nutty flavor
Switzerland $8.49 (8oz) 

Monday, November 16, 2015

November 16th



As the Thanksgiving holiday gets closer, we have another hidden gem that is perfect for pairing up with your Thanksgiving dinner. With the myriad of different flavors on the table this season from cranberry sauce and green bean casserole to gravy laden turkey it is often difficult to pick one wine that will seamlessly go with everything. This is that perfect wine from start to finish (yes, even with dessert).

This is a DRY Gewurztraminer from New York States famed Finger Lakes Region. Usually done in a sweet style, this wine is elegant and very aromatic. Flavor of peach, apricot, rose petal and lychee (a japanese fruit) burst forth with a clean, mineral driven finish that refreshes your palate for the next sip. This misunderstood grape is often overlooked by average consumers, but the adventurous wine drinker will be greatly rewarded for picking up a bottle of this wine for the holidays. Cheers! 

Chad the Tie Guy's Review: This is one of the most complex and aromatic white wines. This proves just how amazing the Finger Lakes wine growing region of New York state is. If you steer away from Rieslings and Gewurztraminers because you think they have to be sweet, then try this wine and enjoy this delicious exception to the rule.

Grape Varietals: Gewurztraminer (100%)

Wine Region: Finger Lakes, New York

Alcohol Content: 13.3%


Food Pairings: This wine pairs really well with poultry which makes it a great wine for Thanksgiving dinner. The complex floral flavors of this wine also make it perfect for hard to pair global cuisines such as Thai, Mexican, Japanese and Indian foods.

Cheese Pairings: 
Delice de Bourgogne- A super soft, triple cream with a rich flavor
France $9.99 (8oz)
Bucheron- A mild, soft goat cheese with an edible rind
Frace $6.99 (8oz)
Cypress Grove Humbolt Fog- A soft rind cheese with a tangy edible ash layer
USA $12.99 (8oz) 

Monday, November 9, 2015

November 9th



As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, we offer up another one of our hidden gems that is worthy of your holiday feast. This refreshing but still flavorful wine has a lot of complexity with out making itself seem fussy or fancy. This is a great wine to great your guest with and ease the holiday tension because it is perfect by itself but it has a way of making the food it is paired with taste better. I recommend stashing a case of this one and labeling it "Holiday Survival Kit".

The Isle Saint-Pierre is a small island in the middle of the Rhône river.  In 1927, Parisian wine merchant Pierre Chassaing founded Domaine Isle Saint-Pierre and devoted himself to cultivating vines and raising sheep.  A few vines remains from that time, together with a flock of 200 sheep that provides the manure needed to nourish the vines.  The proximity to the water means that the island enjoys a coastal climate (with a cooling influence from the nearby bodies of water) and deep, well draining sedimentary soils comprised of sand and silt. This allows the current winemaker to farm this island organically without the use of harsh chemicals and pesticides.
Chad the Tie Guy's Review: This is one of my favorite all around white wines. It is crisp and refreshing while also having a lot of flavor (unlike those one note Pinot Grigios).

Grape Varietals: Chardonnay (70%), Sauvignon Blanc (25%), Muscat (5%)

Wine Region: Rhone Valley, France

Alcohol Content: 12.5%


Food Pairings: This wine is great by itself after a long day, but it also shines as the beginning to a party. Try pairing this one up with appetizers, salads and snack foods due to it's clean yet aromatic personality. A nice one to serve ice cold!

Cheese Pairings: 
Cypress Grove Lamb Chopper- A creamy, buttery aged Gouda
USA $14.99 (8oz)
Drunken Goat Cheese- A mild, soft cheese aged in red wine
Spain $8.49 (8oz)
Cypress Grove Humbolt Fog- A soft rind cheese with a tangy edible ash layer
USA $12.99 (8oz) 

Monday, November 2, 2015

November 2nd



Last summer, in the Hamptons, there was a rosé shortage. People were running through the streets, screaming. There was not enough rosé. They were hoarding it in their arms … and we said, ‘never again!’” That's when Instagram superstar Josh Ostrovsky (who you might know as @TheFat Jewish or maybe just the King of Brunch or Whitney Jewston or Jewther Vandross?) says he got the idea for White Girl Rosé.

This wine is pink, however it is NOT SWEET! This DRY rose is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and "Red" Zinfandel that is as dry as a normal Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay. This wine has flavors of watermelon, strawberry and floral notes with a crisp, clean finish. This wine is perfect for fall  because it is flavorful and yet refreshing, but it is available year round for those in the know!

Chad the Tie Guy's Review: We love dry roses because they are the best of both worlds. They have the rich, complex flavors of a red wine and the crisp, refreshing finish of a white wine. They are made the same way as a red wine but the skins are removed after a few days leaving the color and body lighter. If you have never tried a dry rose, do yourself a favor and dive right in with this kitschy complement to Thanksgiving dinner!

Grape Varietals: Zinfandel (65%), Sauvignon Blanc (35%)

Wine Region: California

Alcohol Content: 12%

White Horse Wine Color Code System:       D       DRY ROSE       D      

Food Pairings: A crisp, refreshing wine like this goes great by itself but is so versatile that it can go with everything from appetizers and salads to Salmon and Pork. Dry roses like this wine are the perfect accompaniment for Thanksgiving dinner (so if your planning ahead, grab it now before everyone else gets it).

Cheese Pairings: 
Aged Asiago Cheese- A nice salty, flavorful aged Asiago tang.
Italy $5.49 (8oz)
Gouda Ewephoria- A mild Gouda with a smooth, sweet flavor.
Netherlands $9.49 (8oz)
Delice de Bourgogne- A soft triple cream cheese that is like butter!
France $9.99 (8oz) 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Calories in Wine

The holidays are here and with them comes the endless parties, holiday food trays and dangerously delicious cookies. With all of these holiday hazards being the cause of ballooning waist lines this time of year it helps to also remember that all those drinks (yes wine included) can add to the slowly growing calorie count each day. Since the FDA does not mandate labeling of nutrition facts on the back of wine bottles we have borrowed some great information from our friends over at Wine Folly.

determine the calories in a glass of wine by what wine is made of

Alcohol is Very High in Calories Per Gram

The highest calorie wines tend have the highest alcohol content. Alcohol has 7 calories per gram versus carbohydrates (sugar) which have 4 calories per gram. This means some sweet wines have less calories than some dry wines! Dry wines are commonly considered to range from around 11% alcohol to around 14%. However, a quick check of alcohol percentages of wines at the grocery store shows that many dry wines often exceed 15%. A standard 6 oz glass of dry wine with 15% alcohol has 175 calories.
Warm regions make higher alcohol wine!
Wines with typically higher alcohol content come from warmer growing regions where higher sugar content in grapes converts to higher alcohol content in wine. Dry wines with typically higher alcohol percentages are Zinfandel, Amarone, Shiraz and Grenache-Syrah-Mouvedre (GSM).
Super high alcohol sweet wines wines like Port, Tawny Port & Banyuls are a double whammy of sugar carb calories plus alcohol calories. To make Port wine, neutral grape spirits are added in order to inoculate (kill) the yeasts and leave sweetness in the wine. Port has 20% ABV and around 100 g/L of residual sugar. A standard 2oz glass of port has 103 calories.

Sugar in Champagne & Sparkling Wines

Champagnes and sparkling wines have added sugar and alcohol. The added amount is called “le dosage” and it’s added during the champagne making process. The dosage can range from nothing (aka “Brut Nature” or “Brut Zero”) to sweet (aka “Doux”) with up to 50 g/L of sugar. The laws on the Champagne region require the wines to be no more than 12.5% alcohol, however non-Champagne bubbly ranges from very light at around 9% alcohol to high at 15%. For a standard 5 oz pour, Champagne ranges from 124 calories (Brut Zero) to 175 calories (Doux).

Wine Calories Comparison Chart

compare calories in champagne
Calories in Red Wine
Calories in dessert wine

Wine Calories From Least to Most (6 oz pours)


German Spatlese Riesling (Dr. Hermann “H” 2009)
110 calories, bottle 495 calories

Slightly Sweet Lambrusco (Lini 910)
140 calories, bottle 630 calories

Cabernet Sauvignon from France
160 calories, bottle 720 calories

German Auclese Riesling
160 calories, bottle 720 calories

Cabernet Sauvignon from California
175 calories, bottle 788 calories

California 16% Zinfandel (Bob Biale)
190 calories, bottle 855 calories

Australian Shiraz (Mollydooker The Boxer)
190 calories, bottle 855 calories

Chateau Y’quem
270 calories, bottle 1215 calories (note: standard serving size is only 2oz which is 90 calories)

Ruby Port
310 calories, bottle 1395 calories (note: standard serving size is only 2oz which is 103 calories)

Tawny Port
320 calories, bottle 1440 calories (note: standard serving size is only 2oz which is 106 calories)
Calories in Wine Come From Carbs and Alcohol
Wine is made of mostly water, alcohol, carbohydrates and trace minerals(1). The carbohydrates come from residual sugar left in wine. Dry wines have less than 3 grams/Liter and sweet wines typically range from 20-150 g/L (some can have up to 300 g/L!). A late harvest dessert wine may have about 150 g/L of sugar compared to Coca-Cola at 111 g/L and Maple Syrup at 700 g/L(2). To determine the total calories in a wine add the calories of alcohol with the calories of carbs.
calculating calories is fun with basic math!
Conclusion From a Wine Geek
Sweet wines like riesling and lambrusco actually have less calories per glass than most cabernet sauvignon. However you may be enticed to drink more because they are also lighter in alcohol!
Even though a late harvest dessert wine like Chateau Y’quem has much more residual sugar than a can of Coca-Cola, you’re not likely to drink as much because the serving size is about six times less.
If you’re on a diet, don’t despair with just one glass of wine. You can skip dessert and use the same amount of calories for 2-3 servings of dessert wine. Oh... and... I’m not your doctor, so check with him/her first if you have serious health issues. Yep!

Enjoy Your Holidays (with Wine of Course),
Your Friends at White Horse Wine & Spirits

Monday, October 26, 2015

October 26th



This weeks wine of the week is Orin Swift's Palermo. We chose this wine in honor of the Halloween themed label and its dark deliciousness! Orin Swift Wines are made by the young winemaker David Phinney and are known for their bold style, as well as their edgy labels. David Phinney is best known for creating the Prisoner, which is what put him on the map. He does not actually own any vineyards, but instead sources his grapes from growers that can provide the signature style that define all his wines.

This wine has aromatics of cassis, currant, mulled dark fruits, and toasty oak in the glass. Opulent and rich, the wine explodes with concentrated flavors of black cherry, ripe boysenberry, assorted dark fruits, kirsch, and a top-note of dark roasted espresso. A persuasive mid palate persists with freshness and closes with supportive tannins that are velvety and polished.

Chad the Tie Guy's Review: This is classic Orin Swift. His signature style of super extracted, bold juicy fruit and high alcohol have earned him quite the cult following. A perfect treat to relax with after all the trick or treaters leave you alone!  Pairs great with chocolate!!

Grape Varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc

Wine Region: Napa Valley, California

Alcohol Content: 15.5%

White Horse Wine Color Code System: OOOOO RICH RED WINES OOOOOO

Food Pairings: A bold juicy red like this is the perfect partner to some barbecued spare ribs with a nice light bbq sauce glaze or for a cool twist try them with a Chinese five spice rub!

Cheese Pairings: 
Valedon Blue Cheese- A rich and creamy blue cheese with a nice tang 
Spain $7.99 (8oz)
Moody Blue Cheese- A smoked blue cheese with a sharp flavor 
Wisconsin $7.49 (8oz)
4 Year Aged Gouda- A hard aged cheese with caramel flavors 
Netherlands $8.99 (8oz)