Now Cork & Flame

SEC Championship & Commonwealth Club Weekend Tasting

[Reposted courtesy of]
I have to admit, the tasting at the Vineyard on Saturday was an adventure in culture. There were members of the Commonwealth Club from Fort Gordon (the members are from Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain stationed at the fort), Georgia Fans and then there were the Alabama Fans. I’ll be a gentleman about what I think about one end of the spectrum but needless to say I yelled “War Eagle” when I left.

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It was around 4:30 and the game was on. The SEC Championship was on the big screen and Georgia was winning. There was hope. Members of the Commonwealth Club were helping with the tasting. Roger had a very nice selection of wines and brews. On the wine side I really like the non-vintage Rosenblum Vintner’s Cuvee XXXIV. They name each release with a Roman Numerals so you compare releases but they don’t give them a vintage like many European wines.

On the brew side I had a good laugh at the Bollocks with a picture of a English Bobby holding up 2 fingers. The two fingers are not a victory sign. It’s the equivalent of our middle finger salute. This brew is from Ipswitch Mass and I doubt they sell it in Britain. It is one hoppy brew. If you want a little hop adventure or just want to have some fun as a gift at Christmas.

Interestingly enough there was another brew in the tasting that was from a different brewery in Ipswitch, the Clown Shoes Brown Angel Double Brown Ale. You got to check out their website and see their labels. Some very interesting names.

The beer that really caught my eye was the Santa’s Little Helper from Port Brewing. This is a nice stout that is a bit more mellow than most Christmas Stouts. I think I need a bottle of this to share with Brett and Mark.

So, the wines and brews were great as well as the new acquaintances made. The only bummer was Alabama won. Bollocks.
Where: Vineyard Wine Market (map), 4414 Evans to Lock Road, Evans, GA. (706) 922-9463

When: Friday, Nov 30, 2012. 4:30 to 6:30pm, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012. 2 to 6 pm.

Here are the wines to be presented (click to see more):

  1. Mohua Sauvignon Blanc 2009
  2. Fleur du Cap Chardonnay 2010
  3. Veramonte Pinot Noir Reserva 2006
  4. Rosenblum Vintner’s Cuvée Zinfandel
  5. McWilliams Hanwood Estate Shiraz 2008

The Beer Line Up:

  1. The Bollocks Imperial India Pale Ale
  2. Port Brewing Santa’s Little Helper Imperial Stout
  3. Clown Shoes Brown Angel Double Brown Ale
  4. Dogfish Head Black and Blue

Here are the detailed wine notes:
Mohua Sauvignon Blanc 2009
The 2009 Marlborough harvest delivered the perfect conditions to produce quintessential Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Long warm days with cool nights ensured intense flavours were captured. Individual vineyard lots were harvested at optimum maturity, gently pressed and cool fermented in stainless steel to capture all the nuances of each site, and the vibrant fruit character that only Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc possesses. The result is a classic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc crafted in a style ensuring fruit freshness. An elegant wine with aromas of passionfruit and guava combined with an expressive full palate of tropical fruit, gooseberry and great persistence.–From their Website
From: Marlborough, New Zealand
Winery: Mohua
Year: 2009

Fleur du Cap Chardonnay 2010
The elegant toast aroma with apricot, melon and citrus fruit is complemented by a well-balanced weight and fullness, while a zesty palate brims with apricot and citrus flavors enhanced by nuances of nut and vanilla oak.–From their Website
From: South Africa
: Fleur du Cap
Year: 2010

Veramonte Pinot Noir Reserva 2006
Bright cherry, grape and strawberry fruit flavor with touches of spicy oak; mouth-filling, medium-to-full body and rich texture.
Chile’s Casablanca Valley is surrounded by coastal mountain ranges creating a diversity of unique microclimates and terroir. Its close proximity to the Pacific Ocean provides an exceptionally long growing season for intensity of fruit flavors.

From: Casablanca Valley, Chile
Winery: Veramonte
Year: 2006

Rosenblum Vintner’s Cuvée Zinfandel
Representing our 34 years of making wine, our Zinfandel Cuvée XXXIV displays Rosenblum’s signature intense character and heady fruit profile. Bright aromas of black cherry, plum and raspberry open up the wine and continue through the palate. A gentle hand with oak has left subtle imprints of vanilla and mocha, rounding the edges and lending depth and complexity. Smooth and enjoyable, with velvety tannins, this wine serves as a perfect accompaniment to food. Pair it with a variety of dishes ranging from pork to pasta to poultry. Similar to many European wines, the Rosenblum Zinfandel Cuvée XXXIV doesn’t carry a specific vintage, allowing the winemaker to create a blend that reflects his ideal wine style. The result is a well-balanced, multilayered wine that can be enjoyed immediately upon release.

Fruit is the focal point of our Zinfandel cuvée. To preserve the grapes’ inherent flavors and draw forward their maximum expression, we fermented the fruit in small lots with frequent punch-downs and pump-overs, allowing thorough contact between the skins and juice. Oak contact was minimal. We exposed the wine to 8 months in 100 percent American oak—just enough to knit together the flavors and leave a hint of baking spice. Prior to bottling, we blended in a small amount of Petite Sirah for an added boost of fruit and structure.
From: California
Winery: Rosenblum Cellars

McWilliams Hanwood Estate Shiraz 2008
This Shiraz exhibits a vibrant reddish-purple hue, characteristic of its plum and raspberry fruit flavors. Nestled among the rhubarb and black cherry fruit flavors, layers of chocolate, vanilla and spice characters emerge with hints of oak, giving way to an elegant finish.–From their Website
From: South Eastern Australia
Winery: McWilliams
Year: 2008

The Bollocks Imperial India Pale Ale
This mysterious ale boasts aromas of tropical fruit, a playful bitter edge, and the body and mouthfeel of an American hefe.
Big alcohol and rich white wheat make this unfiltered ale accessible to all types of pallets.

We love ipa. Especially big hoppy ones. This west coast style imperial India pale ale is not messing around. At 12% abv and 110 ibu’s, it’s the liquid equivalent of Lenny in John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. Gently tending rabbits then suddenly….snap, it’s a whirlwind of crazy. Big citrusy aromatics, solid bitter backbone, and candy-like finish.
From: Ipswich, Massachusetts
Brewery: Brash Beer Company

Port Brewing Santa’s Little Helper Imperial Stout
Each and every year, the Jolly Old Fatman sits down and compiles a list of who’s been naughty and nice. It’s curious that he never knows which list to put our brewers on as this is one naughty but incredibly nice beer.
Originally brewed at the Pizza Port in Solana Beach in November of 1997. As dark as the biggest lump of coal Santa can deliver, this beer has earned a dedicated following and is code named Satan’s Little Hangover by those who have indulged in a holiday like manner from time to time.
Originally shipped from London to the Czarist rulers of Russia, Imperial Stouts are stronger, richer and more robust versions of traditional stouts. The increase in alcohol content means that literally, many of these beers are a meal in a glass all on their own. Made from copious amounts of Roasted and Black Barleys, our stout invites you to share a silky black body with hints of freshly pulled espresso from the coffee house, melding with dark bitter sweet chocolate from a Belgian Chocolateer and the ash of a smoldering fire on a dark winters night.
Just remember that somewhere out there, the jolly old fat man is making a list and checking it twice. He knows who’s been naughty and nice… Might we suggest that you forgo the Milk with the cookies this year and leave him of bottle of something incredibly nice- Say like Santa’s Little Helper? Mrs. Claus would probably like some as well. That is if Rudolph doesn’t drink it all himself. Bad Reindeer.–From their Website
Malts – Two Row, Wheat, Domestic and English Crystal, Roasted, Black and Chocolate Malts
Hops – Phoenix, Challenger and East Kent Goldings
Yeast – White Labs California Ale and Proprietary Yeast Strains
10.5% ABV
From: San Marco, California
Brewery: .

Clown Shoes Brown Angel Double Brown Ale
Brown Angel was designed to have three distinct levels: a dark brown backbone with notes of chocolate and coffee resulting from the use of 1500 pounds of Maris Otter malt, aggressive American hops (Amarillo and Columbus) provide bitterness and some citrus,  while a more delicate floral finish is achieved from the use of the classic English hop, East Kent Goldings.  This is NOT your old school brown, but rather a sexy American interpretation.  At 40IBUs and 7% Alcohol it goes down sneaky fast.–From their Website
From: Ipswich, Massachusetts
Brewery: Mercury Brewing

Dogfish Head Black and Blue
Black & Blue is a Belgian-style golden ale fermented with blackberries and blueberries. Because we dose Black & Blue with real berries — rather than artificial flavoring — the fruit comes through in the flavor, not just the aroma. The pureed berries are added as the beer leaves the brewhouse. In fermentation, the yeast — the same one we use in Red & White and Pangaea — feeds on sugars from the barley and the berries, giving Black & Blue a unique complexity and a high ABV.–From their Website
From: Milton, Delaware
Brewery: Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales