Broadcast live from Napa Valley, sample the newest release of Caymus Vineyards Cabernet in select stores (or at home) along with Chuck, Charlie and Jenny Wagner on Sept. 8th from 4-5 p.m. EST (1-2 p.m. PST)!
That’s right, you’ve got two ways to enjoy this live broadcast!
You’ll also be able to engage with Chuck, Charlie, and Jenny and ask them questions by using the hashtag #TWMlive on Twitter and Instagram. Ask a question, and it could be sent over to them to be answered live during the event!
What can you expect at this live stream event in store?
Attendees in our stores can taste the newly released 2015 Caymus, along with five other acclaimed wines, during this live stream event from the Caymus barrel room. The additional wines include Emmolo Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot, Red Schooner Red Blend, Mer Soleil Chardonnay, Conundrum Red, plus a special surprise for our in store attendees! In 1972, Chuck Wagner and his parents created Caymus Vineyards, world-renowned for highly rated Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Today, he and his children Charlie and Jenny are proud to showcase wines that have earned a reputation for quality and consistency, sourced from premier regions of California.
Tickets for the in store event are $20 per person.
Click this ticket link to see if your local store is holding this event and still has tickets.
How do I participate at home? Keep scrolling!
To participate at home, just head to your local Total Wine & More store to grab the wines being tasted at the event! Or you can click the links below to add them cart online and select express in store pickup for just 1 hour from now.
Once you have the wines to taste, just call some friends, and bookmark this blog post to host your very own view party. The embedded video below will showcase the event so everyone can join in on the experience!
*Note – the above products may not be available in all stores.
Don’t want to wait for September 8th? Click here to watch another one of our previous live stream events with producers and brands like Joe Wagner of Copper Cane, David Stewart of Balvenie Distillery, Dr. Bill Lumsden of Glenmorangie, Karl Wente of Wente, and more!
We hope to see you participating in the next Caymus live tasting at one of our stores, or joining us from home. Cheers!
Get ready Missouri – we’re opening a new Total Wine & More in Brentwood on October 15.
You may now do your happy dance.
You heard us right! We’re opening our second store in the greater St. Louis area, at the Promenade at Brentwood, and we want you to help us celebrate our Grand Opening. The fun starts at 4 p.m., so plan on stopping by for tastings and events with wines and spirits including Caymus, La Marca Prosecco, William Hill Estate, Whitehaven, The Calling, Joseph Carr, Girard, Absolut Vodka, Gentleman Jack and Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel, plus a special Woodford Reserve bottle-engraving.
During our Grand Opening weekend, you can shop and support a local cause at the same time. Join us October 15-18 to help support The Muny. Total Wine & More will donate a portion of our Grand Opening sales during this time to the association.
Did you miss the Grand Opening of our Town & Country store? If you did, or have never been to one of our stores before, click the photo below and take a look at what you can expect at our Brentwood #totalwineGO this weekend!
Bring your friends, family and coworkers — and don’t forget to make everyone who misses out jealous by posting your fun Grand Opening experiences (#totalwineGO).
We’ll be posting the latest updates to our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media channels, so connect with us to stay totally up-to-date. We can’t wait to see you at our new store!
At Total Wine & More, we are committed to supporting the communities in which we work and live. That’s why we’re proud to announce that throughout our Grand Opening weekend, you can help us further our commitment and support the Elk Grove Regional Scholarship Foundation! From October 8 through 11 we’ll donate a portion of our weekend sales to support this wonderful non-profit.
If you’ve never heard of Total Wine & More before, we have the best selection and prices on wine, beer and spirits around. We also have a great lineup of events and tastings to help us celebrate our Grand Opening this week.
Join us October 8 starting at 4 p.m. for wine and beer tastings. You can learn all about which brands will be in store for our upcoming tastings and other events by checking out our eventspage. Stop by Thursday, but don’t forget to check back in on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Grand Opening celebration will be going all weekend long, don’t miss out!
The kids may not be in school in July, but that doesn’t mean the adults can’t head to class and brush up on their knowledge. Wine and beer knowledge, that is!
Join us this month for the following beer and wine classes! Also, don’t forget about the Caymus livestream wine tasting featuring Owner Chuck Wagner and Family on July 11th either. Click here for more details on that event.
July Beer Class: Brewery Spotlight Featuring Samuel Adams
July 16 or 17 (depending on class location). Seats are $15 per person.
Register online for your local class by clicking here.
Join us for a brewery spotlight event featuring Samuel Adams. Attendees will enjoy a step-by-step appraisal of a wide variety of beer styles as well as cheese pairings. Reserve a seat now and get ready to learn about beer from one of America’s favorite breweries.
* Food will not be served in CT or MN classes due to state restrictions
Back by popular demand, this fun and thought-provoking class will offer attendees the opportunity to blind-taste eight delicious wines. Learn how to develop tasting skills as you identify unlabeled wines by qualities such as color, acidity and aromas. Wines will be paired off and tasted blind for all to compare. Each pair will be crafted from identical grape varieties grown in different parts of the world. Which wine will be declared the winner? Only you can decide!
Please join us Sunday, April 19 for an exclusive live-via-webcast guided tasting featuring a selection of winemaking superstar Michel Chapoutier’s incredible wines.
M. Chapoutier Crozes-Hermitage “La Petite Ruche” Blanc 2013
M. Chapoutier Châteauneuf-du-Pape “La Bernardine” 2011
M. Chapoutier Hermitage “Chante-Alouette” 2012
M. Chapoutier Hermitage “Monier de la Sizeranne” 2011
Since 1808, Maison M. Chapoutier has cultivated its vineyards with the greatest respect for nature and soil. Michel Chapoutier took over his family winery in 1990 at age 26 and has since become one of the most highly regarded winemakers in France.
A visionary, Michel works tirelessly to perfect the art of wine with each vintage. As a pioneer of biodynamic winemaking in the Rhône Valley, he insists on meticulous vineyard management in harmony with the earth, ensuring that his wines show full expression of the soil, the grape variety and the vintage. Today, Michel Chapoutier has received more 100-point scores than any winemaker in the world!
Purchase tickets for this exciting event at your local Total Wine & More location by selecting your store below.
Event is Sunday April 19, 2015 from 3:00-4:30 PM EST (12:00-1:30 PM PST)
Tickets are $25/person
Summertime backyard cookout season is in full swing! Grilling season often means simple and fresh fare, featuring lots of red meats and vegetables.
Grilling adds smokiness and char to foods, creating aggressive flavors that can overwhelm lighter wines, so figuring out the best wine pairing for grilled food can sometimes be a challenge. We’re here to help.
Often, the addition of spicy and sweet sauces can complicate wine pairings. Zinfandels, with their juicy and robust flavors, can stand up to anything your grill, spice-rack and barbeque-sauce lineup can dish out. Cloud Break Zinfandel, with bold notes of dark fruit and spice, is a fresh, tasty summer red wine to partner with grilled fare.
Southern Italian reds, especially wines made from the fresh and spicy Nero d’Avola [NAY-roh DAH voh-luh] grape, pair well with grilled peppers, zucchini, onion and eggplant too. One of our favorites is the Caleo Nero d’Avola because it’s an exciting Sicilian red full of fresh cherry and blackberry flavors with a nice kick of savory spice.
Cabernet Sauvignons also meld nicely with rich, marbeled steaks or beef or lamb burgers. Now, you don’t have to break the bank to get a tasty grill-friendly Cabernet Sauvignon. The Cooper Station Cabernet comes in around $10 and is a lovely ready-to-party red with savory flavors of black cherry and blackberry. This is a perfect wine pairing with lamb, especially when that lamb comes in the form of sizzling, full-flavored burgers.
Here’s a great recipe (courtesy of New Orleans restaurateur Mark Benfatti) that will thrill your guests:
Lamb Burgers with Spinach and Goat Cheese
1 lb. ground lamb
¼ cup unseasoned bread crumbs
¼ cup chopped green onion/scallions
¼ cup chopped green bell pepper
1 tsp. minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Rosemary, to taste
Baby spinach, for garnish
Small log goat cheese
4 sourdough buns
Before preparing burgers, preheat grill to medium-high.
In large bowl, mix lamb, egg and bread crumbs. Work ingredients together with hands to ensure even distribution.
Add green onions, green bell pepper and minced garlic and salt, pepper and rosemary to taste. Divide lamb mixture into four evenly sized balls, then flatten each to ¾”.
Place burgers on grill and cook 3 to 5 minutes on each side, depending on desired finish. Warm sourdough buns on top rack of grill for the last minute of cooking.
Once complete, add burgers to buns and top with spinach and goat cheese as desired. Serves 4.
“To decant or not to decant,” that is the question. But it’s not a complicated one if you follow a few simple tips.
First, if the wine is likely to “throw a deposit,” you should decant. Deposits form as substances naturally precipitate out of the wine and fall to the bottom of the bottle.
Getting gritty with it
Although harmless, these gritty substances can prove unpleasant should they enter your glass. Older wines and unfiltered wines often contain such deposits, and the bigger, deeper red wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah are more likely to have a deposit than are lighter reds like Beaujolais. If you wonder whether a wine is unfiltered, check its label or its winery’s web site.
Next, consider whether a little air will improve the wine’s flavor. Decanting allows wines—mostly red—to aerate before serving, softening astringent tannins and integrating flavors before entering your glass. Absent decanting, many otherwise excellent wines may prove disappointing simply because they need to “open” and take in a little air. Wines that benefit most from air exposure are those featuring high tannins—usually dark and full-bodied selections such as Bordeaux blends, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah/Shiraz, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and other similarly intense reds.
Before you decant, rest the wine for a day or two in an upright position to allow sediment to settle at the bottom. Then find a decanter or container that allows a wide surface of the wine to come in contact with air. After opening the wine, gently pour it into the container, working to keep the sediment below the neck of the bottle. You may need to leave a little bit of wine in the bottle to avoid pouring sediment into the decanter.
Decanting a young bottle of red
Decanting time varies from 20 minutes to several hours for really concentrated and intense red wines, such as a premium Bordeaux or some intensely tannic Shiraz wines from Australia. Sampling the wine as decanting continues may be your best guide, which is particularly important when decanting older wines. Really old wines—those with a decade or more of bottle age—may quickly degrade and lose flavor after even a few minutes in some cases. For these wines, gently decant to remove any deposits, but then follow with careful monitoring to ensure the wine is consumed in its best possible condition. Some really old wines you may want drink right away.
When your wine is ready, it’s time to sit back and enjoy!
It’s 8:00 a.m., and the team is on the bus and headed for wine country! First stop is Ceja Vineyards, located in the Carneros region of Sonoma. For those that are not familiar with Carneros it’s actually called Los Carneros, or “the Rams” and is an AVA (American Viticultural Area) that straddles both Napa and Sonoma. Owner and co-founder Amelia Ceja was the first to greet us – and let me tell you, this is one of the most passionate wine personalities I’ve ever met! The family has an incredible story; the Cejas were originally harvest workers that made it to the big show – producing some of the best examples of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in California. My favorite of the visit was their Pinot Noir, full of mouth-watering acidity and gorgeous fruit flavors, all about finesse and elegance. Sadly, we had to keep to our schedule which if it was up to Amelia; she would have had us for the entire day to herself.
Jeff Kunde speaks to our team
Next up, Kunde Family Estate.
Running just a tad behind we turned into the Kunde estate where we were greeted by Owner, Jeff Kunde and his winemaker, Zach Long. With no time to spare they each jumped onto a bus and we headed up the mountain to get a better view of the property. The Kundes have been growing grapes and making wine for over 100 years and are the largest land owners of planted vines in Sonoma Valley. They also make our Kinneybrook line, which is actually where the Kunde Winery is located. The Kinneybrook Ranch … and of course there was a brook running through the property – so hence the name Kinneybrook. All the grapes for those wines come from that piece of the property. There are amazing views from the Kinneybrook vista point, not to mention outstanding wines. We tasted through the entire lineup of Kinneybrook for the upcoming releases with not a bad wine in the lineup! Lunch was served in the shade of trees and then we headed back on the bus to Green Valley for a visit to River Road Winery, one of our best winery direct partners.
Winemaker Joe Freeman
Welcoming us with a glass of rosé, the team of River Road was all there to say hello. Boy, did they pull out the all the stops! Owner Ron Rubin, winemaker Joe Freeman, assistant winemaker Ed Morris and several vineyard owners were in attendance including the Boschetti and Hopkins families – names you may know from River Road’s single vineyard Pinots and Chardonnays. In the winery they had tables set up for us to go through the most recent vintages of their wines. Winemaker Joe Freeman led the tasting, with support from his assistant Ed, who used to work for a cooperage and has extensive knowledge of how barrels are made and the effects they can have on wine. The group this year was really inquisitive; Joe had his hands full answering all of their questions. Because we had so many questions, we ran a little behind, sacrificing some dinner minutes to take advantage of the time we had with Joe and Ed. It’s not like they let us leave hungry though, the Hog Island oysters on the half shell and crab cakes they provided were delicious!
(center) Craig Haserot, proprietor of Soujourn Cellars
Peter Paul, proprietor (left) with winemaker Daniel Moore (center) and our team
As if that wasn’t enough for one day, we went back to the hotel where we had a meet and greet scheduled with 25 more producers. What an amazing tasting; each year this event keeps getting better and better. Each team member interviewed one producer and will be sharing their findings on the bus to their teammate in between winery visits over the next few days. Of course, once the interviews were over, we had the chance to walk the room and taste all the wines which came from Napa, Sonoma, Lodi, Amador County and the central coast. It was really hard to pick favorites, but a few of the highlights for me were the Peter Paul Wines, Sojourn Cellars Pinots, Black Cordon Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon and of course, ROY Estate.
Ah, it’s a lot to ponder, especially with my palate fatigue (this is tough work!). Time for me to put the glass down. More tomorrow!
Each year, we send over 50 team members to California for seven days to enjoy an intensive and immersive experience in California visiting the premier wineries in the industry.
My name is Cyrus Hazzard. I’ll be your guide over the next few days as we visit over 25 wineries and taste more than 400 wines (and a few beers too!).
Bob Williamson, owner of Ideology (center)
Our first day in California introduced a new experience for us; on previous trips we had never taken a day in San Francisco, plus we included a brewery tour — an exciting addition! Everyone landed around noon and headed to the hotel to get settled in. First up on our agenda, a few producers we couldn’t get to visit in-person were gracious enough to come to us for a tasting in our hotel. Testarossa, Dono dal Cielo and Ideology Cellars were on hand to share their wines and knowledge with the team. The wines didn’t disappoint, and neither did the owners, all of whom were on hand to personally share their stories and knowledge.
Testarossa Winery was pouring two of their chardonnays and two pinot noirs, one of each are exclusives at Total Wine & More. The Cuvée 107 chardonnay is an excellent value along with the Cuvée 107 pinot noir. The wine for me that stole the show was their chardonnay from Santa Lucia Highlands, it displayed the perfect balance of fruit flavor and oak, this is one to definitely check out.
Ideology Cellars was pouring their two chardonnays and several big reds, all of which never disappoint. Owner Bob Williamson has done an excellent job with this year’s lineup across the board. I’d be remiss in not mentioning Dono dal Cielo’s rich and delicious zinfandel. It’s amazing!
After enjoying this first tasting, we embarked on a tour of San Francisco by bus and then to the big event of the day, a tour and tasting at Anchor Brewing and Distillery! We were allowed to start our tasting with any beer in the lineup we wanted, paired with sausage fresh off the barbeque. We then split up into two groups, one starting with the brewery and the other at the distillery.
Having a blast in the Anchor spirits aging room!
Something I didn’t know about Anchor was that they make some amazing spirits. They will be releasing Hophead vodka soon, it’s super smooth – and if you love IPA’s, this spirit is for you! Anchor’s staff is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the products they make. A little known fact about Anchor Distilling is that they have partnered with the venerable Berry Bros. & Rudd in the UK (they bottle some of my favorite spirits) to bring their incredible rums, Cognacs and whiskies to the U.S. market. For an amazing sipping rum, you should check out the Berry Bros. & Rudd Guadalupe 12 year.
The historic Anchor Steam brewery is amazing. They created one of the original steam beers and they were the only remaining steam brewery after Prohibition. Our team got to observe the whole brewing process from start to finish with the experts that do it every day. One of the day’s highlights was learning about hops, the brewers at Anchor Steam use only whole-dried – which is unusual these days.
To learn more about our friends at Anchor Steam Brewery, check out some of the videos we have on YouTube, they tell a bit of their story. A huge thank you to the team at Anchor!
Off to bed, gotta get on west coast time … Until tomorrow, Cyrus
It would be remiss if we didn’t see André Lurton and Lucien Lurton’s properties while in Bordeaux. So, we dedicated our second day of travel to doing just that. The Lurton family name is synonymous with excellent Bordeaux wines. Siblings André, Lucien, Simone and Dominque have all been a part of the wine business since their parents, François and Denise Lurton, first started Château Bonnet in the early 1900s. On this trip we focused on the properties of the two brothers, André and Lucien. André still runs most of his properties along with his children, while Lucien stepped out of the wine business some years ago and his 10 children manage and operate all of his properties today.
Alfio in conversation with Veronique Bouffard
One of André Lurton’s most famous properties is Château La Louvière, which he purchased in 1965 and is located on the Left Bank. The Left Bank is made up of three main regions: Médoc, Haut- Médoc and Graves. Château La Louvière is located in the southern part of the Left Bank in the region of Graves, Pessac-Léognan. In the Left Bank, the grape that is most commonly grown is Cabernet Sauvignon. Château La Louvière produces highly rated Cabernets (90+ from Wine Spectator) on a beautiful estate that dates back to the 16th century. So beautiful, in fact, that the estate is listed on France’s Inventory of Historical Monuments.
La Louvière’s marble tub
We spent the morning taking a tour of the chateau with Veronique Bouffard, who is head of communications at La Louvière. Here, even the bathroom is a work of art. Check out the marble tub from 1791 that is still in use today!
Before making our way north from Graves into the larger region of the Left Bank, known as the Médoc, we were off to one of Lucien Lurton’s properties, Château de Camarsac, in Entre-deux-Mers. Entre-deux-Mers (literally “Between Two Seas”) is located between the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers that lead into the Gironde estuary. With one of the largest appellations in Bordeaux, Entre-deux-Mers has 7,400 acres of vineyards that produce white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and Muscadelle) and red wine (mostly Merlot, which is sold under the name Bordeaux Supérieur AC).
Château de Camarsac
At Château de Camarsac, we met up with François Villars, who works for La Passion des Terriors, one of the top négociants in Bordeaux for selling and distributing Lucien Lurton wines, as well as Thierry Lurton, who owns and lives at the château with his wife and two children. Thierry is one of the six sons of Lucien Lurton who purchased the 12th century château in 1973. When not focusing on producing their signature wine, Château de Camarsac Bordeaux Supérieur, Thierry and his family spend their time slowly renovating the back half of the castle that was damaged after it caught fire in the 18th century (yes, it’s still under construction). One interesting observation about Château de Camarsac is that some of the windows in the front of the château are bricked in. While one may think that this has something to do with the fire, it actually dates back to the 18th century when there was a property tax based on the number of windows in a house. To avoid the tax, some châteaux in Bordeaux, like Château de Camarsac, bricked-up the window spaces.
The countryside of Entre-deux-Mers from Château de Camarsac
Back on the D2 – or Route des Châteaux, the main road that runs through the majority of the wine country along the Gironde estuary – we were on our way to our final stop of the day, Château Haut-Bages Libéral in Pauillac. Pauillac (pronounced POY-yac) is considered the wine capital of the Left Bank. It is the world’s benchmark for the Cabernet Sauvignon grape; the gravelly soils here provide the optimal drainage needed for the grapevines. Some of the most exclusive châteaux are in Pauillac and neighboring Château Haut-Bages Libéral, including Château Latour and Château Pichon-Longueville-Baron. Thus, the location of Château Haut-Bages Libéral makes the wines that they produce one of the best kept secrets in the Left Bank, as they are often a fraction of the price (though still north of $70) of their famous neighbors. The proprietor of Château Haut-Bages Liberal is Claire Villars-Lurton, Gonzague Lurton’s (son of Lucien Lurton) wife and sister to François Villars. The name of the property originates from its geographic location — virtually atop the Bages plateau between Pauillac and Saint-Julien, a commune north of Pauillac — and the first owners of the estate, the Libéral family. Claire was a very gracious host, as we spent the remaining evenings of our trip staying at her château.
We ended our day having duck confit for dinner with the Villars at Café Lavinal in the Village of Bages, next to Château Haut-Bages Libéral, and drinking their ’05 vintage, which received 93 points from Wine Spectator. What a great way to end our second day in Bordeaux!.
Check back tomorrow for Alfio’s final day of adventures in Bordeaux …