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Top Ten of the Year 2012

As I look at all other wine reviewers in the Twin Cities and often times beyond the same trend occurs.  We are not wine snobs and we focus on wines under $20.  Great but the problem is you get free samples, often times become brand ambassadors and really have a limited palate.

Here is my top ten of 2012 and all of the wines are over $20.


1.  1996 Château Margaux - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux (10/6/2012)
A hammer lock for wine of the year! Amazing and the groups wine of the night! Blueberries, coffee, chocolate, leather and minerals. Complex and wonderful perfume to this wine. Decanted 3 plus hours and it never lost a step in the glass for over 2 more. Long finish and young wine. Wine of the Vintage? (99 pts.)

Not really much time needed to put this one at number one.  This is the best wine I have tasted in my life and a wine to revisit again hopefully in the next decade.  I wish I could afford to drink wines like this from even better vintages but I did not win the lottery last Wednesday.


2.  2004 Greenock Creek Shiraz Apricot Block - Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley (10/28/2012)
DAY 2 REVIEW: Mega complex nose of roasted meats, coffee beans, soy, charcoal and exotic spices. On the palate dense with the addition of raspberries. Fine sediment and long finish. An amazing transformation and a top Shiraz for 2012. 96 points plus (96 pts.)

This is why I love to experiment with day one, day 2, etc.  Many wines are just not ready to drink but the transformation the next day or two will reveal so much more.  Day one 92 and day two shows the best Shiraz from Australia I tasted in 2012.






3.  2004 Bodegas Muga Rioja Aro - Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja (4/22/2012)
A early top ten wine of the year. A powerhouse and tannic but showing a ton. Blackberries, bing cherries, leather, cigar, oak, vanilla and a hint of mint. Long finish, complex and age worthy. Drink now through 2030. 96-98. (96 pts.)


Of course this year’s top ten is not factoring price and this $150 wine should become a masterpiece. From 2004 my favorite vintage from Spain this wine shows a ton and needed some serious decanting.  Hold for a decade and enjoy!


4.  2005 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage (1/15/2012)
Close to the best wine I have ever had and over time it might get there. Intense nose with white pepper, blueberries, roses, raspberries, mild oak and minerals. Complex is an understatement and the palate and finish just change over and over. The finish on this wine is over a minute and a true wine to savor. A pure effort that will improve. This could get to 100 for me. 97-100. (97 pts.)

While young this is drinking unbelievable.  Super complex effort and a wine everyone should drink that is just getting into this hobby to see what Northern Rhone Syrah is all about.




5.  NV Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Brut - France, Champagne (11/28/2012)
Great stuff and as good as many vintage Champagnes. For $28 a super QPR. Minerals, sour apples, spice and pear. Crisp wine and refreshing. Complex, medium finish. (93 pts.)


By far the cheapest top ten of the year and this might outperform many vintage efforts for four times the price.  I have tasted this wine 5 times this year and they all are in the range of 91-93.  Well done Piper!



6.  2008 Antica Terra Pinot Noir Botanica - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley (3/31/2012)
Light in color. Exotic nose of floral, dust, earth, cranberry and smoke. Complex wine with a medium plus finish. Improved with some time and this has a decade plus of enjoyment. (94 pts.)


A new find in 2012 and it won’t be the last.  Wonderful, balance Pinot Noir that for the money will beat just about all from Burgundy.






7.  2008 Dönnhoff Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Spätlese - Germany, Nahe (6/3/2012)
Super light in color, almost clear. Apricots, floral, peaches and super balanced. A touch of sweetness but this should really age into an amazing wine in a decade or enjoy right now! (94 pts.)


I love Riesling and this was the best German of the year.  This should age a long time and can be enjoyed today.





8.  2009 Thibault Liger-Belair Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru Les Saint Georges - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru (4/6/2012)
Should improve with age and my wine of the night! Complex with earth, ripe fruit, coffee and spices. The perfect "funk" quality on the nose that makes you realize how good Burgundy can be. Long finish and tannic and should age nicely for 30 years. 94-96. (94 pts.)

Tasted at a Winestreets private dinner event this wine shows how good young Pinot can be but promises so much more with cellaring.  Thanks Brad.






9.  2008 Kitchak Cellars Adagio - USA, California, Napa Valley, St. Helena (5/17/2012)
One of the best wines in Napa Valley for under $100. Intense nose of cherry, oak, vanilla, licorice, blueberries and tobacco. Firm tannins and super long finish. Concentrated wine and this will age a decade or more. Outstanding and a chance to improve in the bottle. (95 pts.)

An undiscovered Napa gem that the wine geeks have not discovered.  Every vintage tasted so far as knocked my socks off.






10.  2002 Ruinart Champagne Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs - France, Champagne (12/16/2012)
2002 Champagne Tasting (Jan's House): Well hello! My Champagne of the night and the lowest priced one, double winner. Almond, citrus, berries, green apples and minerals. A bit tart in a good way on the palate and the longest finish of the night. Two plus minutes. Super complex and still young. This should evolve over 2 decades. Wonderful and just moved into my top ten of the year. (96 pts.)











Just missed on the top ten:

1996 Château Léoville Las Cases - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien (5/5/2012)
My wine of the night and groups wine of the night. An amazing effort that is balanced, powerful, graceful, elegant, etc. One of the best wines from Bordeaux I have sampled to date. Intense nose of clay, chocolate, figs, stones and raspberries. Long finish and complex. Drink now- 2040. Wonderful effort!!! (97 pts.)

My number ten wine that should age for 30 years.  Again if I could only afford to drink these Super Seconds more often.








Best Value Wines of the Year (Wines under $20)


2011 Herencia Altes Terra Alta Garnatxa Negra - Spain, Catalunya, Tarragona, Terra Alta (11/4/2012)
Great stuff and second bottle sampled this weekend. My neighbors loved this. Tons of fruit, spices and minerals. Medium finish and just drink and enjoy. (90 points)

2010 Mas Carlot Costières-de-Nîmes Rosé - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Costières-de-Nîmes (7/24/2012)
Another solid showing with strawberries, cherry, floral and medium finish. (88 points)

-A super Rose wine for $3,  how can you go wrong?


2011 Loosen Bros. Riesling Dr. L - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer (12/25/2012)
Another great showing for my house white. Pear, spice, minerals and apples. Short to medium finish and refreshing. My QPR under $10 of the 2012 Drinking Season. (90 points)


NV Roederer Estate Brut Anderson Valley - USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley (12/24/2012)
This is without a doubt my value wine of the year. Golden hue followed by pear, spice, lemon and chalk. Medium finish and complex. Every bottle from this batch has been excellent. (91 points)


Worst Wines of the Year

NV René Barbier Catalunya Mediterranean White - Spain, Catalunya (10/5/2012)
Cheap stuff and sweet with sugar cubes, dried fruit and no balance to the wine. A horrible effort. (67 points)

-A closeout wine for $4.  Thank goodness it was $4.

2012 Georges Dubœuf Beaujolais Nouveau - France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Beaujolais Nouveau (11/17/2012)
Not to my palate but since it was a free sample why not try it. Candied fruit and simple. No acidity to speak of and not balanced. The kind of wine you just gulp and not smell or swish in your mouth. $8.99 a bit expensive but I am sure shipping and the glass bottle is the bulk of the cost. (71 points)

-People please start tasting your wine properly and stop buying this swill!

And the Winner!

2010 Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio Valdadige - Italy, Trentino-Alto Adige, Trentino, Valdadige (3/31/2012)
Water with some additional mineral elements. Always a wine to try at a tasting but never would I pay $18 for mineral water. (72 points)

-I don't mean to be rude but when clients talk about how great this wine is I will be more honest with them in 2013.


Top Wine Shops 2012 (In No Order)

Hennepin Lake

-By far the best all around shop for selection and prices for wines under $30. 


-The best in store tastings during their sales and a staff that understands wines


-Best high end selection in the state when they have a sale.

Worst Place to buy wine

-Basically what anyone else is recommending in this town.  Why pay 30% or more for the same wine?

Best Wine Club 2012

Minneapolis Wine Club

Worst Wine Club 2012

Twin Cities Wine Enthusiasts

Not sure what you get for the $3 to $5 you have to pay to attend an event?  Better wines being poured at Hennepi Lake on a Saturday afternoon.

Worst Wine Advice 2012

Well there are a lot to pick from and one guy who has been doing this a long time stated that Syrah was the main grape in Chateauneuf du Pape. At least he emailed me and thanked me for the seeing the error.

No doubt this goes to Leslee Miller with her advice on buying wine.  Telling her email recipients to buy Ladera Lone Canyon for $65 a bottle when you could have gotten it local for $50 ($55 with tax).  That is a savings of $10 a bottle and you don't have to pay to have it shipped.

This quote sums up her expertise on wine buying:

"Wow, that's a good deal! For their regular Napa I can see that being the price, but if it's for the Lone Canyon- that's obviously a great deal. Usually direct from the winery is always best pricing. Guess Haskells got a good deal from the distributor. Honestly, I would buy current vintage then from Haskell's and use up this coupon (below) for the older vintages, since those are no longer for sale in a retail setting."




Top Ten of the Year




Wineglas is the only wine educator and writer catering to all levels of wine drinkers in the Twin Cities and my top ten reflects that. 

1.  2000 Resalte Ribera del Duero Gran Resalte - Spain, Castilla y León, Ribera del Duero (10/17/2011)
Mixed Bag of Nice Reds (Edina): Almost a done deal on wine of the year. The wine got an hour decant and I did a Vinturi on it. It was good but after an hour in the bottle it was singing. Cherry, raspberry, spice, wood and minerals come together to create a balance and intense offering. Medium to long finish and complex. For $45 a bottle it is a great value. My advice on this wine is to decant an hour and see it evolve over the course of the night. I don't recommend this on day 2 as it was not as good. Drink now. (94 points)


2.  2004 Weingut Josef Leitz Rüdesheimer Berg Schloßberg Riesling Spätlese - Germany, Rheingau (3/22/2011)
My current wine of the year! Super rich and expressive with candied pineapple, petrol, apricot, peach slate and a real thick texture. Super long finish and complexity is off the charts. Very few wines under $50 are this impressive and a leading candidate for wine of the year. 95-97. (95 points)


3.  2005 Leeuwin Estate Chardonnay Art Series - Australia, Western Australia, South West Australia, Margaret River (1/19/2011)
Minneapolis Wine Club: Chardonnay (Gail's House): Easily the best Chardonnay in recent memory. It is rare to see reviewers agree on anything and this was wine of the night by the group with over 80% in agreement. Very fragrant with orange peel, almonds, apple, pear and lemons. The palate shows some oak that is nicely integrated into the wine. Very complex finish and long. No flaws in this wine. Back the truck up if it could be found for under $50 but I will buy a few more bottles to see this wine evolve. I love the fact that it is a screw cap! (95 points)


4.  2000 Vilmart & Cie Champagne Grand Cellier d'Or 1er Cru - France, Champagne (7/26/2011)
This is the best Champagne I have sampled this year. Poured from a mag and this 80% Chardonnay/20% Pinot Noir offers aromas of baked apple pie, minerals, grapefruit, wood, floral and limestone. The palate picks up some nice toast and orange peel quality. The finish is long and complex. A true value in the world of Champagne. Wonderful! 94-96. (95 points)


5.  2004 Bressler Cabernet Sauvignon - USA, California, Napa Valley, St. Helena (11/15/2011)
Minneapolis Wine Club does 2004 Napa Valley Cabs: Decanted two hours. My wine of the night. Cassis, blueberries, floral, spice and baked pie crust on the nose and palate. A little heat once in the glass that blew off quick. Complex and multiple flavors dancing around on the palate. Long finish and medium tannins. Should age a decade and one of the best Cabs I have tasted this year. 95-97. (95 points)


6.  2003 Arcadian Syrah Hommage à Max - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley (11/5/2011)
US & Australia Syrah/Shiraz (Two Biale Petite Sirah's) (Minneapolis (Sara's House)): Roasted nuts, white pepper, stones, spice and red fruits. This has an amazing nose and required about an hour in the decanter and a Vinturi to really show its stuff. There is a great scorched earth element to the wine and has long finish. Very Northern Rhone like and one of the best Syrah's of the year. This might be the first time I have ever agreed with the Rhone Report on a score. A top ten wine for sure in 2011. (95 points)


7.  2000 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac (4/30/2011)
Major League Bordeaux Tasting at Kevin's (Kevin's House): My wine of the night. Medium to dark in color. Powerful nose with violets, rose petals, chocolate, wood and gravel. Rich on the palate with roasted nuts, tobacco, floral and red fruits. Long finish and complex. This wine was decanted 3.5 hours. A wine of epic proportions. 96-98. (96 points)


8.  2002 Andrew Will Ciel du Cheval Vineyard - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Red Mountain (7/15/2011)
Minneapolis Wine Club does Washington State Reds (Surprise winners) (Tracy's): A tale of two wines. Decanted 2 hours which was not enough and my score at the time was a 92. Later in the night it opened up and offered leather, spice, blueberries, cherry and coffee. Complex to say the least and a long finish. A true gem and I am glad my friend was able to pick up 2 more bottles via Wine Searcher. Great wine! 94 points
Interesting enough this wine along with the Long Shadows Pedestal finish 2nd and 3rd in comparison to the Meek Family Estate Inherit which is a similar blended wine. The blind test was interesting as all the members doing it apply the tasting process are more serious wine drinkers. (94 points)




9.  2001 Vilmart & Cie Champagne Coeur de Cuvée - France, Champagne (12/8/2011)
Wow! My Champagne House of the year just got better! Amazing nose of apples, pear, strawberry, minerals and spices. On the palate an amazing smoke flavor develops and this changes over time with a really long finish. I loved the texture as it really had a full bodied experience. Complex and amazing what they did in the 2001 vintage! (95 points)


10.  2006 Bodegas Muga Rioja Reserva - Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja (7/23/2011)
A wonderful wine that should get better with age. Leather, spices, bing cherries, minerals and plums. On the palate oak and vanilla are evident. This is a complex wine and it should improve with some cellar time. At $23 a great QPR wine. (92 points)



Best Wine of the Year (Price not a factor)

2010 Mollydooker Shiraz Velvet Glove - Australia, South Australia, Fleurieu, McLaren Vale (10/26/2011)
Hennepin Lake's Annual Tasting (Tons of Napa Cabs) (Minneapolis, MN): Wow! For a young wine this is drinking off the charts. Not decanted and the nose offers blackberry, pepper, cherry and violets. Over the night the wine evolved and became more interesting. I see this wine drinking well for a decade but is drinking well right now. Long and intense finish. A balanced wine and no heat. Should be a top ten wine for sure! (96 points)

*At $200 a bottle I think I will pass but a wonderful wine.


Worst Wines of the Year

2009 Cycles Gladiator Petite Sirah - USA, California, Central Coast (10/1/2011)
A wine that is a true fruit bomb. Very sweet on the palate and not balanced. Short to medium finish. (78 points)

*A personal favorite producer of a local wine writer and I am not sure why?

NV Moët & Chandon Champagne Brut Impérial - France, Champagne (9/5/2011)
This is a new label so I assume the latest N.V. effort. Not even close to the last effort. A real tart taste that takes away from the wine. As it got to room temp it was a bit better with some minerals and floral notes but this wine is poorly made from the last effort. I will have to try another bottle. (78 points)

*Biggest disappointment of the year as the previous N.V. was outstanding.


And the Winner!

NV Barefoot Cellars Sweet Red - USA, California (10/26/2011)
Hennepin Lake's Annual Tasting (Tons of Napa Cabs) (Minneapolis, MN): Worst wine of the Year? At big tastings I always try the best wines with the exception of a few really massed produced, name brand plonk. This is sweet and I mean sugar sweet. No balance and no reason that anyone with a palate would ever buy this wine. This is contender for worst wine of the year! (70 points)

*For the wine drinker with no palate.  As I stated at the beginning of 2011, drink better wine this year and this is certainly not good wine.

Top Wine Shops 2011 (In No Order)

A down year for wine shops locally.  One (not listed) was the best by a landslide and $24 for the 2007 Ridge Estate Blend along with other killer deals was amazing.  Get on the Grand Cru Email Blast for $25 and learn more about them.

*Hennepin Lake

*Best all around prices throughout the year and by far the best charity tasting of the year.

Check out what was poured:  Hennepin Lake Tasting

Most shops need to do better in 2012.


Best Wine Club of the Year

Minneapolis Wine Club

Not much competition.


Worst Wine Club of the Year

Minnesota Wine Club on Meetup

Any club that allows Two Buck Chuck is not a wine club but a social gathering.  Also the multiple trips to Minnesota fields that grow grapes does not help their cause.

Top Public Wine Tasting of the Year (Paid)

Hennepin Lake event.  This was the only one that offered great wine at a amazing price.  Everyone else take some notes and learn how to run a great tasting.

Top Public Wine Tasting of the Year (Free)

None this year.  A lot of bad wine was poured at these and no the Riedel stem did not help make the wines taste any better.  Overall Hennepin Lake offers the best free samples even with the plastic cups.


Hopefully 2012 will be better for the local consumers!




The Wineglas Champagne Report 2011

As the leading reviewer of Champagne wines in the Twin Cities (I don't know anyone else talking about them.  It is mostly cheap Sparkling wines from Spain and Italy that local writers like to write about), I pride myself on providing the consumer with my annual report.  Enjoy!

Mixed in are a few offerings from mainly the US.

Champagne of the Year

*Vilmart & Cie is a top three producer of Champagne in the world and not as popular as Krug, Moet and Roederer which is a good thing

2000 Vilmart & Cie Champagne Grand Cellier d'Or 1er Cru - France, Champagne (7/26/2011)
This is the best Champagne I have sampled this year. Poured from a mag and this 80% Chardonnay/20% Pinot Noir offers aromas of baked apple pie, minerals, grapefruit, wood, floral and limestone. The palate picks up some nice toast and orange peel quality. The finish is long and complex. A true value in the world of Champagne. Wonderful! 94-96. (95 points)

Worst Sparkling of the Year

*This is the new fancy label N.V. and rumor has it that they are sourcing cheap grapes to make this which is a shame as the same Imperial the year before was a 92 effort.

The Rest of the Report

NV Moët & Chandon Champagne Brut Impérial - France, Champagne (9/5/2011)
This is a new label so I assume the latest N.V. effort. Not even close to the last effort. A real tart taste that takes away from the wine. As it got to room temp it was a bit better with some minerals and floral notes but this wine is poorly made from the last effort. I will have to try another bottle. (78 points)


2002 Philippe Prié Champagne Millésimé - France, Champagne (11/27/2011)
Nose of apples, lemon, minerals and floral notes. The palate shows nice acidity along with fresh fruits and adds grapefruit. I like the sour profile of the palate and it is a refreshing offering. A good value at $35 and much better than most N.V. in the price range. (91 points)

NV Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Brut - France, Champagne (11/25/2011)
Thanksgiving Wine (Minneapolis): Another stellar bottle. Golden yellow in color with an array of flavors of apples, minerals, chalk, lemon and baked pie crust. Medium finish and good acidity. (92 points)

NV Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Brut - France, Champagne (10/31/2011)
This new N.V. is amazing showing floral, apricots, pie crust, minerals and sharp acidity. Just a great effort with a complex, medium finish. Highly recommend and one of the top N.V. Champagnes this year. (92 points)

NV Moët & Chandon Champagne Brut Impérial - France, Champagne (10/29/2011)
Hennepin Lake's Annual Tasting (Tons of Napa Cabs) (Minneapolis, MN): Wonderful showing with sour apples, candied fruits, dough, lemon and minerals. Full of flavor and intense finish. Wonderful value! Certainly not the new N.V. which I gave 78 recently. (92 points)

NV Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut Rosé - France, Champagne (10/29/2011)
Hennepin Lake's Annual Tasting (Tons of Napa Cabs) (Minneapolis, MN): Nice with strawberry, minerals, rose petals and raspberries. Medium finish and good acidity. (91 points)

NV Bollinger Champagne Special Cuvée Brut - France, Champagne (10/28/2011)
Hennepin Lake's Annual Tasting (Tons of Napa Cabs) (Minneapolis, MN): Not as good as the bottle last year so I assume it is the new N.V. Dough, lemon and chalk come together on a light styled Champagne. Short to medium finish and an average effort for Bollinger. (89 points)

NV Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Brut - France, Champagne (10/15/2011)
Better than the last N.V. effort. The nose is alive with lemon, toast, minerals, tropical fruit and chalk. Great acidity and plenty of fruit and minerality on the palate and finish. There is no offensive character on the finish as in many previous bottles. Well done effort and at $26 a bottle a great QPR. (91 points)

1998 Duval-Leroy Champagne Blanc de Chardonnay Brut - France, Champagne, Côte des Blancs, Champagne (10/9/2011)
Really drinking well with apple, yeast, orange peel and minerals. A real crisp acidic profile and very refreshing. Complex and medium finish. Drink now! (92 points)

2002 Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon - France, Champagne (7/26/2011)
Not as good as the last bottle. Seemed a bit closed. Orange peel, spice, minerals, floral and apple. This has a long finish and really needs some time in the cellar. (92 points)

2002 Pierre Péters Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut Cuvée de Réserve - France, Champagne, Le Mesnil Sur Oger, Champagne (7/26/2011)
Lemon, citrus, biscuit and chalk dominate this simple but good Champagne. It is really dry on the finish. (88 points)

2002 J. Lassalle Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut - France, Champagne (7/15/2011)
Nice overall with citrus, dough, chalk and apple notes. Medium to long finish and complex. A good value for an 2002 Blanc de Blancs. (92 points)

NV René Geoffroy Champagne Rosé de Saignée - France, Champagne, Vallée de la Marne, Champagne (7/15/2011)
Nice strawberry, minerals, dough and cherry notes. Medium finish and well made. (92 points)

2003 Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne Brut Rosé Cuvée Palmes d'Or - France, Champagne (7/15/2011)
Surprised and this did not improve with time. Bitter and a weak palate. Strawberry and mineral and the main features and they are very subtle. This lacks complexity and intensity one would expect from a vintage Rose. (87 points)

NV Vilmart & Cie Champagne Rosé Rubis - France, Champagne (7/15/2011)
Wow! Strawberry, spice, raspberry, floral and minerals combine to create a complex and expressive wine. Medium finish and acidity is perfect to pair well with a variety of food. A little tannic which I don't mind at all. 93+ (93 points)

NV Charles Ellner Champagne Brut Réserve - France, Champagne (7/15/2011)
My new favorite for $25. Floral, chalk, apricot and orange peel on the nose. The palate picks up a nice mineral element. Good acidity and well balanced overall. A N.V. winner. (90 points)

NV Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut - France, Champagne (7/15/2011)
Similar every time. Yeast, floral, apple and pear. The palate has a dough quality and heavy on the minerals. Always good but never great. (89 points)

2000 Charles Ellner Champagne Brut Millésimé - France, Champagne (5/2/2011)
Major League Bordeaux Tasting at Kevin's (Kevin's House): A solid sparkling wine with lemon, chalk, minerals and orange peel. The palate is a bit mineral driven compared to the nose but for under $40 this is a really nice Champagne. (91 points)

2002 Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon - France, Champagne (4/30/2011)
Major League Bordeaux Tasting at Kevin's (Kevin's House): A top five Champagne of all time for me. Elegant with minerals, lemon, orange peel, biscuits, nuts and great acidity. This is really young and will need further cellar aging but a treat to sample. (94 points)

NV Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut - France, Champagne (4/26/2011)
Lemon, yeast, chalk and floral notes. On the palate their is a sharp mineral flavor. Medium finish. (89 points)

NV Charles Ellner Champagne Brut Réserve - France, Champagne (3/29/2011)
Dough, lemon, chalk and tangerine on the nose. On the palate it is tasty with tangerine, chalk, lemons, and figs. Medium finish and plenty of flavors. Should drink well for two plus years and at $25 a bottle a great house Champagne. (91 points)

NV Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut - France, Champagne (3/26/2011)
Nose of minerals, dough and tropical fruit. On the palate sharp acidity with shells, orange peel, minerals and burnt toast. Medium finish and flavors are a bit off on the finish. Not real smooth in other words. Decant but over priced on this occasion. (87 points)

1996 Henriot Champagne Cuvée des Enchanteleurs Brut - France, Champagne (3/5/2011)
A wonderful experience with a complex nose of biscuit, lemon, chalk and apple. As this wine got closer to room temp it really revealed its true character and possessed biscuit, dough, minerals, orange peel, lemon, apple and chalk on the palate and finish. Long finish and complexity was impressive. A young wine that will only improve with time. 94 now with 96 a possible score down the road. (94 points)

NV Perrier-Jouët Champagne Grand Brut - France, Champagne (2/15/2011)
Medium gold. Nose is fragrant with lemon, orange peel, dough and floral. On the palate there is dried pineapple, dough, floral, chalk and lemon. Medium finish and plenty of flavor. There is a hint of sweetness on this wine and much more than most N.V. Champagne I have tasted over the last year. I like this wine a lot and it is one of the better Perrier-Jouet efforts. (91 points)

NV Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Brut - France, Champagne (2/11/2011)
A really nice effort. Minerals, dough, citrus, and shells. Good concentration and refreshing. Much less dough/yeast than other N.V. producers. (91 points)

NV Pierre Gonet Champagne Brut Reserve Cuvee Baron de Challet - France, Champagne (2/5/2011)
Weak Champagne with a bit of funk on the nose along with lemon, orange peel and minerals. Finish is too bitter. At almost $20 pass. (82 points)

NV Henriot Champagne Brut Souvereign - France, Champagne (1/27/2011)
Double Blind Tasting at Kevin's (Kevin's House): Another solid showing of this wine with lemon, chalk, toast and dough. The dough was really evident on the nose but not as much on the palate. I have had really good look with their N.V. offerings over the last few years. (91 points)

NV Henriot Champagne Brut Souverain - France, Champagne (1/8/2011)
Lemon, biscuit, heavy floral and shell and lemons. The palate on this particular bottle features a lot of shell and lemon flavors along with apple and floral. Medium finish and a good showing. (90 points)


Top Ten of the Year




Wineglas is the only wine educator and writer catering to all levels of wine drinkers and my top ten reflects that.  My private email list clients (those who support my business) were given the information on where to buy these wines at the best prices in the nation.  Email me at on how you can support the best wine information in the Twin Cities and be introduced to better wine!

1.  2007 St. Innocent Pinot Noir White Rose Vineyard - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley (3/7/2010)
Minneapolis Does St. Innocent (Edina Country Club): Medium purple. Nose of funk, floral, cranberry, and clay. On the palate this rocks with spice, cherry, white pepper, and roses. Good acidity and concentrated wine. Really balanced and for an 07 maybe the wine of the Vintage for Willamette. (95 points)

Mark Vlossak of St. Innocent makes some

of the best Pinot Noir wines in the world and

when you factor in the price it would be

hard to argue against that statement.  I

have sampled the 2007 White Rose on 4

occasions this year and have been amazed

at the quality of each bottle.  As one who

believes in the importance of vintage, Mark

created magic in a trying vintage by putting

money into the management of the vineyard

and it truly paid off.  I encourage you to seek

out this wine and pair it with duck or grilled


Cheers to Mark for the 2010 Wine of the Year!


2.  2004 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac (11/2/2010)
The transformation of this wine.

Popped and poured:
Rich and robust with smoke, cassis, oak, minerals and graphite. Firm tannins and needs some time in the decanter although solid. 93 points
2.5 hours later:
Violets, graphite, minerals, raspberries, coffee, herbs and smoke. Coming around a bit more.
4 hours:
Perfect timing! More subtle wine with coffee, raspberries, cassis, gravel and graphite. Concentrated and has a medium finish. This is a top ten wine of the year for sure! 95 points  (95 points)


3.  2002 Barossa Valley Estate Shiraz E & E Black Pepper - Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley (11/11/2010)
Minneapolis Wine Club does Worldwide Syrah: Top ten wine of the year candidate and for $40 a steal. Complex wine with blackberries, cherry, charcoal, smoke and perfume. The palate is showing amazing depth and this wine has a long finish. (95 points)


4.  2005 Meek Family Estate Syrah - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley (3/16/2010)
Dark purple. Nose is new world syrah with cherry, blackberries, oak, vanilla and spices. The palate reveals amazing concentration and features oak, vanilla, blackberries, smoke, spices and blueberries. Medium and multi layered finish. I think this is one of the top Syrah wines under $30 in the world. (93 points)


5.  2005 Domaine Carneros Brut by Taittinger - USA, California, Napa Valley, Carneros (11/21/2010)
Expressive nose of spice, dough and minerals. The palate is bright and features lemon, dough, minerals, chalk and nice spice flavors. Medium finish and acidity is excellent. This is better than almost all of the N.V. Champagnes I have sampled this year and a lot cheaper. (92 points)


6.  2006 Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer (8/16/2010)
Twin Cities Wine Club German Riesling Tasting (Gail's House): A super Auslese. Honey, apricots, floral and peach dominate on this off-dry wine. Good complexity and the finish is lively with good acidity and ripe fruits. Highly recommended wine. (94 points)


7.  1996 Henriot Champagne Brut Millésimé - France, Champagne (11/25/2010)
Dark gold. Intense nose of apple, chalk, lemon and candied fruits. On the palate chalk, minerals, orange peel, lemon and candied apricots. Medium to lengthy finish this has it all. A wonderful Champagne and the best I have tasted in 2010. (94 points)


8.  2004 Flora Springs Cabernet Sauvignon Out-of-sight-vineyard - USA, California, Napa Valley (4/21/2010)
Minneapolis Wine Club does US Cabs; 4/18/2010-4/21/2010 (Shari's House): Wow! Medium purple. Nose of floral, cherry, chocolate, and spices. Very balanced wine and the palate has flavors bouncing all over the mouth. Really nice use of oak and there is a medium finish on the wine. A bit of chalk comes into the finish which was interesting. Well made wine! (94 points)


9.  2006 Emmanuel Darnaud Crozes-Hermitage - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Crozes-Hermitage (7/10/2010)
A candidate for wine of the year. Medium purple with some funk, white pepper, violets, crushed rock on the nose. Big and powerful on the palate and a balanced wine. Concentrated and medium finish. Ranking in the top five considering QPR. Should improve with time. (93 points)


10.  2009 Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc Cellar Selection - New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough (10/30/2010)
The wines of Villa Maria: One of the better Sauvignon Blanc wines I have sampled from New Zealand with grape fruit, orange, flint, and floral notes. Really aromatic and great acid profile. Medium and concentrated finish. (91 points)




2004 Achával-Ferrer Malbec Finca Altamira - Argentina, Mendoza, Valle de Uco, La Consulta (3/2/2010)
Decanted 2 hours. Dark purple. Nose is amazing with floral, blueberries, perfume, and subtle spices. The palate is showing blueberries, espresso, spices, floral and earth. Medium finish and this wine is extremely balanced. This is the best South American Wine I have ever tasted! Thank you Parker Board for the $40 a bottle price!!!!! (96 points)


2007 Ridge Cabernet-Merlot Santa Cruz Mountains Estate - USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains (11/18/2010)
Minneapolis Wine Club does a Blind Tasting: A sleeper wine and now a top ten of the year for me. It was interesting that in a blind tasting of eight wines this was the lowest pro rated wine by quite a bit. Blind it was the group's favorite wine of the night. Firm tannins but the wine shows cherry, blackberries, coffee and spice on the nose and palate. The finish is medium and has a nice earthy quality. I was surprised how expressive the wine was and it dominated the 2007 Andrew Will Sorella in quality at this stage of the game. (94 points)


2008 St. Innocent Pinot Noir Momtazi Vineyard - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley (10/30/2010)
St. Innocent Wine Dinner (Luci Ancora/ St. Paul): A super wine and dark in color. Perfume, coffee, spice, strawberry and vanilla. Concentrated wine and really balanced. This wine is drinking great right now and should improve and contend for a top 10 of the vintage. (94 points)


2004 Kaesler Shiraz Old Bastard - Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley (9/18/2010)
Minneapolis Wine Club Mixed Bag of Higher End Reds: Better than the 2003 and shows way more fruit. Dark in color and a nose of bacon, pepper, smoke, blackberries and cherry. Rich and concentrated and picks up some minerals on the long finish. A wonderful wine and have sampled it twice now with consistent notes. (95 points)


2004 Alonso del Yerro Ribera del Duero - Spain, Castilla y León, Ribera del Duero (2/27/2010)
Minneapolis Wine Club Spanish Reds (Anna's House): Dark purple. Nose of spice, dust, cherry, and floral. On the palate it features an abundance of spices, vanilla, oak, cherry, crushed rock and floral. Medium and concentrated finished. This wine was decanted 4 hours and it really opened up. For $25 a super value. I wonder if others who rated this so low didn't decant? (92 points)


Best Wine of the Year (Price not a factor)

2006 Kitchak Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Concerto To-Kalon - USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville (5/12/2010)
Kitchak Cellars Release Party Minneapolis; 5/11/2010-5/12/2010 (Minneapolis): This is an amazing effort! Cassis, spices, oak, vanilla and minerals on the impressive nose. Full of life on the palate with flavors bouncing all over the mouth. Dark fruits, integrated oak, vanilla, spices and minerals are present and the wine is perfectly balanced. Medium and concentrated finish. Easily this wine will age for a decade. (12 views) (95 points)

Kitchak Cellars makes some amazing stuff but is out of my price bracket.  At $125 a bottle the Concerto is a great Napa Cabernet that will only improve with age.


Worst Wines of the Year

2008 Mark West Pinot Noir California - USA, California (4/17/2010)
I have seen several people recommend this wine for a value Pinot but I have yet to see this wine more then water and spice. I will buy Erath at $11 on sale all day long over Mark West. (76 points)

This is not Pinot Noir!

2008 Barefoot Cellars Pinot Grigio - USA, California (6/26/2010)
No nose. Sweet with maybe a floral note. How is this considered wine? (64 points)

A favorite brand of a local newspaper guy and I am wondering if their is a outside interest brewing here as I have never enjoyed a Barefoot wine.

Best New Discovery

Tierra Alta wines are exclusive to Surdyk's and are on sale around the $12 price point.  I highly recommend seeking these wines out.

2008 Tierra Alta Syrah - Chile, Central Valley, Rapel Valley, Colchagua Valley (8/27/2010)
Floral, blackberries, raspberries, and minerals. Bright acidity and full of flavor. This is one of my favorite South American wines for under $20. Super sale price under $13. (91 points)

2007 Tierra Alta Carménère Reserva - Chile, Central Valley, Rapel Valley, Colchagua Valley (3/3/2010)
Day 3 review and even better. Mineral, cranberries, spices and coffee on the nose. Great acidity on this one and medium finish showing off Carmenere's potential under $20. One of the best I have tasted. (91 points)

2008 Tierra Alta Syrah - Chile, Central Valley, Rapel Valley, Colchagua Valley (3/3/2010)
Nice dark color. This wine features blackberries, spice, floral and cherry. Medium finish and very tasty. Margron Skoglund is one of the best importers I have seen for wines under $20! (90 points)

2007 Tierra Alta Carménère Reserva - Chile, Central Valley, Rapel Valley, Colchagua Valley (2/26/2010)
Really nice wine featuing coffee, spice, floral and earth. Medium finish and very tasty. Better then a lot of Carmenere wines at 2x the price. (90 points)

Top Wine Shops 2010 (In No Order)


*The best wine shop wine club in the state, good sales, try before you buy, friendly staff that will help you, good selection in key wine regions and involved in various charities


*Great marketing, the best free tastings with a real stem, professional salespeople, exclusive producers, nice website

*Sorella Wine & Spirits

*Upcoming shop with good selection, professional salespeople, an email blast, weekly tastings, unique wine, free indoor parking in winter!

*Hennepin Lake

*Best all around prices throughout the year, Taylor Stein,  free samples, great Champagne section, great charity tasting every year

*Big Top Liquors

*Best wine finds of the year, good everyday pricing, Tuesday Dash Email Blast, improved wine club tastings, helpful staff, several locations


Top Wine Shop Sale of the Year

Haskell's & Hennepin Lake Fall Sales

Both offer a try before you buy approach and I find the BOGO wines Haskell's offers are always interesting and they change often.  A few other shops were close but they offer the same wines time after time even though they offer some nice free tastings.

Both currently have a sale until the end of the year so check them out.

Top Public Wine Tasting of the Year (Free)

Surdyk's Fall Sale

With Ladera and several other brands being poured during their fall sale it really was a great way to try before you buy.


Top Public Wine Tasting of the Year (Paid)

The team of Haskell's and Artisan Vineyards put together a great tasting at Old  Arizona's over the summer and the cost was $25 which went to charity.  Here are the results.

Hennepin Lake's event in October was a close second and it was also only $25 but I liked the variety of European wines Artisan put together a little bit more.

Best Salesperson of the Year

Taylor Stein Hennepin Lake (Great palate)

M.J. at Sorella is also solid

Best Restaurant Wine List

For price Vic's.  While it is not a lengthy list it has enough quality wine to keep the average wine drinker coming back to explore different wines in the future and their pricing is the same as most wine shops and in some cases a little cheaper.  Spasso in Minnetonka is another great place to drink wine as their markups are very small.

Best Wine Club of the Year

Minneapolis Wine Club

When I started this club I had no idea all of the great people I would meet who like to drink great wine.  Yes we do have plenty of social time but I would rather drink Henriot Champagne than a cheap Prosecco.

Worst Wine Club of the Year

Twin Cities Uncorked

Free wine from the distributors is a no in my book because they are not going to give you high quality wine.  They also did a tasting on Chilean wines earlier this year and didn't even list the winery's name.  Even after emailing them to inform them of the winery they still did not add it.  This is more of a social club than wine club.



Wineglas Top Ten Wines of 2009

Over the past year I sampled some great wine and here are 10 of my favorite wines!


1. 2006 Rosenblum Kick Ranch Reserve Sonoma Syrah $$$

Color:  Dark purple

Nose:  Floral, coffee grounds, black pepper, dust, spices

Taste:  Crushed rocks, gravel, smoke, walnuts, exotic spices

Finish:  Long and super concentrated.  This is a big wine with multiple layers of flavor

Evaluation:  Powerful wine with some serious concentration 94 points

Five Days Later:  Drinking great with coffee beans, floral, spices, raspberries, cinnamon, and blackberries.  This is possibly the wine of the year for the $22 on sale 95 points









2. 1998 M. Chapoutier La Mordorée Côte-Rôtie $$$$$

Color:  Medium purple

Nose:  Grilled meat, white pepper, smoke, raspberries, floral, beautiful!

Taste:  Grilled meats, smoke, white pepper, raspberries, cherry, floral and more...

Finish:  Fabulous wine and balanced!  One of the best Rhone's to date

Evaluation: 97 points

3. 2007 Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben Urziger Wurzgarten Kabinett $$

Color:  Light gold

Nose:  Tangerines, lemon, floral

Taste:  Delicious with tangerines, lemon, slate, grapefruit, floral with a touch of sweetness

Finish:  Medium and really concentrated and balanced

Evaluation:  One of the best Kabinett wines I have ever had 94 points

4. 2007 Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel $$

Color: Medium purple

Nose:  Cherry, raspberry, floral

Taste:  A combo of spices, raspberries, cherries, mild oak and vanilla

Finish:  Medium and mild tannins.  This wine shows a nice balance of earth and fruit tones

Evaluation:  A great under $20 value 92 points

5.  2004 Larkmead Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon $$$$

Color:  Dark purple

Nose:  Cherry, plum, spice and oak

Taste:  Tannic, toasted oak, vanilla, cherry, raspberries

Finish:  Heavy tannins and concentrated wine

Evaluation:  Loved it now and might even improve over time 94 points

6.  2005 Zaca Mesa Estate Bottled Black Bear Santa Ynez Syrah $$$$

Color:  Dark purple

Nose:  Floral, blackberries, raspberries, spices

Taste:  Wow!  Nice combo of fruit and earth components that intermix well

Finish:  Long and concentrated.  It is drinking really well right now

Evaluation:  A new find in 2009 and Zaca Mesa is producing some great Rhone inspired wines 95 points

7.  2007 Fontanafredda Briccotondo Barbera $$

Color:  Medium purple

Nose:  Plum, blackberries, smoke, earth

Taste:  Solid with concentrated fruits, smoke, and mineral

Finish:  Medium and complex wine with nice acidity

Evaluation:  One of Italy's best wines for under $15 91 points

8.  2008 Nobilo "Icon" Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc $$

Color:  Medium gold

Nose:  Wow with grapefruit, spices

Taste:  Grapefruit, lemon, sour apple

Finish:  A burst of acidity on this medium finishing wine

Evaluation:  A great wine 91 points

9.  2001 Chateau Montrose St.-Estephe $$$$

Color:  Dark purple

Nose:  Pencil lead, ripe dark fruits, coffee, spices

Taste:  Concentrated wine with raspberries, pencil lead, coffee, minerals, oak

Finish:  Medium and really balanced.  The tannins should continue to soften over the next 5 years

Evaluation:  A fan favorite at my private events throughout 2009 94 points

10. 2002 Betz Family Estates La Cote Rousse Red Mountain Syrah

Color:  Dark purple

Nose:  White pepper, coffee, minerals, raspberries

Taste:  Coffee, cherry, raspberries, white pepper, chocolate

Finish:  Medium and super balanced.  Amazing

Evaluation:  95 points



Value Wine of the Year

2008 Dr. Loosen "Dr. L" Mosel Riesling $$

Color:  Light gold

Nose:  Apple, pear, mineral

Taste:  Apple, pear, slate, honey

Finish:  Great acidity with peach, pear, slate, honey

Evaluation:  Wonderful wine!  90 points

Source:  Haskell's Wine Sale $8.99


Best Wine of the Year (Price not a factor)

2006 Mollydooker Velvet Glove McClaren Vale Shiraz $200

Color:  Black

Nose:  Big and powerful with spice, blackberries, violets, coffee jumping out of the glass

Taste:  WOW!  Spice, meat, coffee, floral, some eucalyptus, and concentrated fruits

Finish:  Super long and intense with some much going on

Evaluation:  This is a special wine and was the only one of the tasting to over stimulate my palate.  Top 3 wines of all time!!! 97+ points


Worst Wines of the Year

2006 Bodegas San Valero Manyana Tempranillo $

Color:  Dirty light red

Nose:  Spice

Taste:  Too acidic and out of balance

Finish:  Very sour and not pleasant

Evaluation:  The worst wine of the year? 70 points

Advice:  Hold your nose and swallow quickly!

NV Salmon Creek California Sparkling Wine $

Color:  Light gold

Nose:  None

Taste:  Water, minerals

Finish:  Short

Evaluation:  Expensive water 59 points

*This is why Wineglas should plan all of your corporate events as this is what a restaurant might pour for you.

Best New Discovery

Zaca Mesa Winery

*The wines across the board were so good I did an exclusive dinner featuring their wines. 







Top Wine Shop Sale of the Year

Haskell's Spring Sale

Everyone on my email blast had a chance to try before you buy and the samples they had in the Spring were better then any large public gathering (Food & Wine Show) and it was free!


Top Public Wine Tasting of the Year (Free)

Haskell's Spring Sale Tasting & Dr. Loosen Tasting Minnetonka Store


Top Public Wine Tasting of the Year (Paid)

Artisan Vineyards Oregon Pinot Noir Tasting

$20 and the money went to charity


Best Restaurant Wine List

WA Frost on overall quality

The Melting Pot (low markups on the good wine)

Best Wine Club of the Year

Minneapolis Wine Club


Video Clip of the Year?

Caution there are some bad words in the cartoon but the concept is classic.  I find the video to be spot on for most of the wine industry.










Smoking Deals on some Inexpensive Wines (July)

Edina Liquor through July

Columbia Crest Two Vines (including Vineyard 10 Series) $4.99

2007 Columbia Crest Vineyard 10 Rose (Syrah based) $

Color:  Light pink

Nose:  Strawberry and mineral

Taste:  Strawberry and mineral and a touch of sweetness

Finish:  Short but refreshing

Evaluation:  Nice wine 86 points

2005 Columbia Crest Two Vines Shiraz $

Color:  Medium purple

Nose:  Blackberry, plum, spices

Taste:  Spices, toasted oak, plum

Finish:  A little hot but this would go well with a burger

Evaluation:  Another good wine for $5 86 points

2007 Columbia Crest Vineyard 10 White $

Color:  Light gold

Nose:  Floral, pear, peach

Taste:  Mineral, floral, touch of sweetness

Finish:  Short

Evaluation:  84 points

Also the Shiraz might be the best $5 ever made year in and year out!



Wines under $15 that are worth a try

2007 Falesco Vitiano Umbria IGT $
(Equal parts Sangiovese, Cabernet, Merlot) Color: Medium purple Nose: Minerals, cherry, floral, plum Taste: Wow what great minerality combined with cherry, plum, floral Finish: Medium and concentrated. This finishes like a $40 wine Evaluation: Hard to believe this is $10. These wines come around about three times a year. 91 points (Wine of the year candidate)

2006 Pillar Box Australia Blend (Shiraz 50%, Cabernet 42%, 8% Merlot) $

Color:  Dark purple

Nose:  Rich with coffee, cherry, spices

Taste:  Cherry, spices, coffee

Finish:  Medium and good concentrated

Evaluation:  Solid everyday wine 90 points

2007 Marquis Philips Sarah's Blend Shiraz $$

Color:  Dark purple

Nose:  Blackberries, coffee, pepper

Taste:  Big fruit with blackberries, plum, pepper and spice

Finish:  Low in tannins and very fruit forward

Evaluation:  Very nice wine for the money every year!  90 points

NV Riondo Prosecco Rose $$

Color:  Pink

Nose:  Strawberry, floral

Taste:  A touch of sweetness with strawberry and minerals

Finish:  Really clean

Evaluation:  This is a great Sparkling Wine at $11 88 points

NV Riondo Prosecco $$

Color:  Light gold

Nose:  Floral, mineral

Taste:  Light but features floral and mineral

Finish:  Short but satisfying

Evaluation:  This is why points only work as the description would not sell this wine but it is good 87 points

2007 Bodegas Ateca/Zabrin de Fuego Old Vines Calatayud Garnacha $

Color: Dark purple

Nose:  Cherries, spices, floral

Taste:  Cherries, floral, minerals and spices

Finish:  Medium and concentrated but acidity was a little off

Evaluation:  For $6 a super deal 87 points

2007 Campo De Borja Tres Picos Garnacha $$

Color:  Medium purple

Nose:  Vibrant with floral, spices, coffee and wood jumping out of the glass

Taste:  Spices, crushed rock, violets, and coffee

Finish:  Medium dominated by a variety of earth tones

Evaluation:  A solid wine that is a good buy every year 90 points

2007 Las Rocas de San Alejandro Calatayud Garnacha $

Color:  Medium purple

Nose:  Spice, cherry, violets, crushed rock

Taste:  Big wine with spices, cherry, violets, minerals

Finish:  Medium and concentrated

Evaluation:  One of the best $10 wines in the world 90 points


And of course the 2008 Dr. Loosen Dr. L for $9 at Haskell's through Labor Day!



The Minneapolis Wine Club

Minnesota's only Grand Cru Public Wine Club

There are so many wine clubs in the Twin Cities.  What makes the Minneapolis Wine Club different?

1.  The best wine at a public club event.  Grand Cru does not come up at any other.

2. No attitude.  The members all share a desire to drink good wine without an attitude.

3.  Great recommendations.  John Glas of Wineglas recommends the best wine sales 

     and Internet purchasing to save you money.

4.  Community.  Many members now get together outside the club.

Clubs that are social but don't focus on quality wine are:

Twin Cities Uncorked

*Serving "nibbles" as they state and mystery wines are served.  The wine is free from distributors (never a good formula) and education is not a focus.  For the price it is not a bad option as most events are under $30.  My rating 84 points

Wine Enthusiast of The Twin Cities on Meetup

Bring a bottle is usually their theme.  Lots of $6 bottles for you to try and some are so old they are oxidized.  A try social club and for that it works.  Don't expect to learn much or try top ten wines of all time there.  My favorite line from their event was a fellow wine educator stated to the crowd:  "Shop for wine by where you live."  Good luck if you live by a shop with bars on windows.  My rating 82 points

Then there is the Food & Wine Show which is the most overpriced event period.  I have been to free all day tastings that crush this!  Yes people go and eat to they are full and drink till that can't stand up but you will never see Wineglas be part of such a tasteless event!  For an alternative try one of the charity fundraiser's for the same price or a few more dollars more.  My rating 73 points


Great Wine Websites

Go to the Mark Squires Bulletin Board which is the best wine chat room in the world.

They do a great job offering free videos for the public and review a ton of wines every year.

Entertaining site.

Like Italian wines than check them out.

A great source to see what other wine drinkers think of a wine.

By far the best wine radio program on the planet!


3 Days of 2004 Monbousquet Saint-Emilion Grand Cru

I get asked all the time if aging a wine matters or decanting.  The answer is "Yes" and "No."  A cheap $6 bottle will not improve by cellaring and will likely deteriorate over time.  While the Chateau Monbousquet should be cellared for 3 to 5 more years within a temperature controlled cellar or unit you can get the most out of the wine by trying it over 3 days.  Here are the results:

2004 Chateau Monbousquet Saint-Emilion $$$

Color:  Dark purple

Nose:  Coffee, Asian spice, floral notes

Taste:  Coffee, earth, cherry, spices, clay, floral

Finish:  Medium and concentrated.  Firm tannins and will revisit next day

Evaluation:  Currently 88-90 points

Day 2

2004 Chateau Monbousquet Saint-Emilion $$$

Color:  Dark purple

Nose:  Mushrooms, scorched earth, mineral

Taste:  Tobacco, strong spices, cherry, flint

Finish:  Medium and still concentrated with softer tannins

Evaluation:  This wine is improving 91 points

Day 3

2004 Chateau Monbousquet Saint-Emilion $$$

Color:  Dark purple

Nose:  Mushrooms, earth, tobacco, minerals

Taste:  Smoother than before with spices, tobacco, minerals, nice fruits

Finish:  Medium and softer tannins than day 2. 

Evaluation:  While this will never be a 94 point wine it is a solid wine and at $35 a bottle a good value 91 points

Advice on reds that are $30 and above.  Buy 3 and experiment right away with one and see what your palate thinks.  If it is really tannic cellar it and you will be rewarded.



Wine Streets Spirits Chateauneuf du Pape Tasting

Tuesday, January 27

Kozlak's Restaurant Shorewood, Minnesota

Only regular members will be invited to these events.





Wineglas 2008 Best of the Twin Cities

You will see plenty of "Best of" in regards to wine but I am able to offer the most accurate view of wine in the Twin Cities as I don't sell wine, collect advertising dollars from wine and am not the average wine consumer.  Enjoy!


John Glas





"Why Do We Rate Wines Professionally?" 

     This article will discuss the Wineglas Philosophy of reviewing wines and why it is important to give wines a numerical score.


The Wine Shop at Buon Giorno Italia

Sunday, November 23

$45 Per Person

This was the best wine tasting in Minnesota for 2008.  While all Italian wines, no one offers the wines we sampled over the course of a well organized 3 hour tasting.  I Nonni the Roman Italian Restaurant served a nice buffet of Italian treats.

Here are the reviews I managed to put together over the evening.

The Wine Reviews

















Check out the Twin Cities & Worldwide Links for more articles on the world of wine.





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