December Newsletter

In this issue:  Our Guide to the Best Wine Stores in Philly | Top Wine Picks and Reviews | Gift Ideas for Wine Lovers

The December Newsletter

Friends, the holidays are upon us. It’s time for all of us to transform into hybrid Santa-Sommeliers. To start off the Holiday newsletter, I’ve crafted a super-corny jingle for you: Pop the corks and spread the cheer: Let us be part of your holidays this year! 

Worst. Poem. Ever. I’ll stick to teaching about wine. If send us your wine neophytes, I promise to send them back enlightened. If you send us your nascent sommelier, and I’ll turn them into a master. Heck, send us your incorrigible wine snobs, and I’ll gift them a bit of vino humility.   Or just send them a gift certificate, and your job is done.

FYI, make sure to gift a class or two for yourself. I’d love to see you in the coming months!

Warmest,

Keith Wallace
Founder
Wine School of Philadelphia
www.vinology.com

Giftable Classes

I crafted these once-a-year classes for folks like youself.

cognac

Cognac & Beyond | Fri, January 19th

I don’t mention this in the official class description, but I am uncorking out a bottle of 1989 Armagnac and a Premier Cru Cognac for this class. And that’s just for starters. Since most of these brandies are very rare, I may only be able to run this class once every five years. https://www.vinology.com/class/cognac-beyond/

Barolo & Beyond

Barolo & Beyond |  Thu, January 25th

I’ve been building my Barolo inventory for the last five years, and the wine cellar is bursting at the seams with awesome wines. I am a huge lover of Piedmontese wines, so I never limit myself to just Barolo. Some of my favorite Nebbiolo-based bottles are from the crazy-obscure regions in the north. Some of these wines have not been distributed in the US for decades. Somehow, the magic Nebbiolo fairy left a few  bottles under my pillow… https://www.vinology.com/class/barolo/

Santa Barbara Wine Country

Santa Barbara  | Fri, February 9th

Over the past decade, my love of Santa Barbara wine has grown exponentially. It surprises me how few people realize that some of the finest American wines are grown here.  The wine regions here are Santa Maria Valley, Sta. Rita Hills, Ballard Canyon, Happy Canyon, and Santa Ynez. If you dig Cali wine, I implore you to pick up a few seats for this class. https://www.vinology.com/class/sideways/

Great Wines of Burgundy

Burgundy | Thu, February 22th

It’s Burgundy. It’s the very essence of all things beautiful. If you hate poetry and your hobby is spitting on puppies, please don’t come. This is a class of elegant and ethereal wines. If you have a soul, this will be the best day of your life.  https://www.vinology.com/class/burgundy-wine/

The Top Wine Shops in Philly & Beyond

Fine Wine & Good Spirits

Top 10 Wine Stores in the Region

Buying wine is so much easier when you buy it in the right place. I’ve compiled a list of the best wine stores in the Philadelphia region. I’ve listed the strengths and weaknesses of all the shops. If there is a person you need to talk to get the perfect wine, I’ve listed them for you.  I’ve made it as simple as possible but also given plenty of information on the tips and tricks that I use when buying wine.  https://www.vinology.com/top-ten-wine-shops-philly/

 

Holiday Wine Guide

As always, these wines are available in Pennslyvania in our PLCB-run Premium Collection wine shops. You can use our wine finder to locate bottles near you. You can also check out the recommended wine shops listed above. For a full list of wine reviews, please go here: https://www.vinology.com/wine-reviews/

Robert Young Winery 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Scion Estate in Alexander Valley

Robert Young Winery 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Scion Estate in Alexander Valley

This is a classic. Aromas of Earl Grey tea and hibiscus are balanced with fresh mint and tobacco. The wine is rich and voluptuous, but that is just a framework. Flavors of sun-dried plum and fresh red fruit are accented by cedar and allspice. The finish moved toward chocolate and allspice but then rises into espresso and raspberry.

$39.99 | A Chairman’s Selection from the Wine & Spirits Stores in Pennsylvania

94 Points | Wine Report by Keith Wallace

King Estate 2014 Pinot Noir, Oregon

King Estate 2014 Pinot Noir, Oregon

There are very few good Pinot Noirs from Oregon that cost less than $25. This is one of them. Forest floor and bright red fruits on the nose with a hint of toasted anise and orange zest. Light to the point of being ethereal, this bottle offers up varietal and regional correctness without any flash.

$17.99 | A Chairman’s Selection from the Wine & Spirits Stores in Pennsylvania

89 Points | Wine Report by Keith Wallace

Domaine les Evigneaux 2015 Rasteau

Domaine les Evigneaux 2015 Rasteau

Sourced from very old vines of Grenache and Syrah, this is a blockbuster. Aromas of forest floor fall into a huge blast of dark fruit. Cuban cigar and lavender notes drive into a deep flavor pit of licorice, chocolate, and blueberry preserves. Velvet tannins and a lush full body push this bottle into the stratosphere.

$14.99 | A Chairman’s Selection from the Wine & Spirits Stores in Pennsylvania

90 Points | Wine Report by Keith Wallace

Wynns 2013 "Black Label" Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra

Wynns 2013 “Black Label” Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra

This wine drinks like a third-growth Bordeaux, with elegance and refined flavors balanced with a deep sinewy strength. Scents of dried roses and cigar ash on the nose are mixed into aromas of fresh dark fruit. The palate is underpinned with cigar box and finely structured tannins. Fruit flavors veer towards plum and cassis, while spice notes —cardamom, allspice, cinnamon– range from aroma to attack to the finish. Fresh mint rises into the finish and disappears into a final note of anise.

$24.99 | A Chairman’s Selection from the Wine & Spirits Stores in Pennsylvania

93 Points | Wine Report by Keith Wallace

Carneros Hills 2013 Pinot Noir Carneros

Carneros Hills 2013 Pinot Noir Carneros

Like most Carneros vineyards, it is planted to old-school clones of Pinot Noir like Swann and Pommard. Those clones give Carneros Pinot it’s bright bay-leaf flavors which some folks (incorrectly) attribute to terroir. Classic scents of porcini and fresh flowers on the nose, with a hint of burnt coffee. Cranberry and persimmon flavors are layered on a light bodied frame with just enough tannins to keep the wine vibrant. The finish steps up into burnt earth and stone. A lingering note of cherry cola is quite delightful.

$24.99 | A Chairman’s Selection from the Wine & Spirits Stores in Pennsylvania

91 Points | Wine Report by Keith Wallace

 

Terra Corsa 2016 Rose, Corsica

Terra Corsa 2016 Rose, Corsica

Fresh and vibrant, this rose offers up scents of blood orange and basil. Melon and black pepper are delightful flavors that fade into fresh cherry and river rocks.  The wine is mostly Nielluccio, is a classic Corsican grape with strong genetic links to Sangiovese.

$9.99 | A Chairman’s Selection from the Wine & Spirits Stores in Pennsylvania

89 Points | Wine Report by Keith Wallace

 

Sokol Blosser 2014 Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley

Sokol Blosser 2014 Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley

This is the finest Pinot Gris this winery has made in a long time. Aromas of apricot stones and honey are underpinned with the minerality of ocean air. The palate is a delightful balance of fat white fruit and crisp acidity. Ripe pear notes and waxy pineapple have a counterpoint to racy grapefruit. Fresh and light with just the right amount of flesh, this bottle is going to be my go-to for West Coast oysters.

$11.99 | A Chairman’s Selection from the Wine & Spirits Stores in Pennsylvania

89 Points | Wine Report by Keith Wallace

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Wine School of Philadelphia
www.vinology.com
109 S. 22nd Street
Philadelphia, PA

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