Sean's Spring Pics

Searching for the perfect wine to sip this spring? Search no more! Check out Sean's top five list!
All are available for purchase at Michael's Wine Cellar

1) Stephane Aviron Fleurie Domaine de la Madriere, 2013 (Burgundy) $25.95

Stephane Aviron has adopted an almost radical return to tradition in Beaujolais: sustainable viticulture, extremely old vines and classic Burgundian techniques. His cru Beaujolais drink like fine Burgundy. Historically considered "poor man’s Burgundy," a modern movement toward fruity, simple, quaffing wines boosted sales but eroded the region’s traditional quality. Stephane Aviron has reversed the trend. By focusing on the Beaujolais village crus, the best sites for unique, expressive wines, and finding old parcels of vines, Aviron creates very expressive, age-worthy wines relying on traditional and new methods, including organic and biodynamic vineyard management. All wines are labeled "Vieilles Vignes," old vines, because the vines are at least 40 years old. Stephane Aviron’s wines are authentic in every way.

2) Château Haut-Bergey Blanc, 2015 (White Bordeaux) $36.95

In the fifteenth century, the lord of La Louviere and Lord Olivier proceeded to land consolidation. Thus was born "The Noble House of Pontey, today Château Haut-Bergey. In 1700, Sir John Francis Cresse, advisor to the parliament of Bordeaux makes his home. In 1772, the estate had 100 hectares of vines. A century later, the vineyard was abandoned and rebuilt the castle in 1850 is a property approval. It was not until the second half of this century, 1957 specifically so that gradually the area regains its past wine. In March 1991, Sylviane Garcin Cathiard acquired Château Haut-Bergey.

3) AIX Coteaux D'AIX En Provence, 2018 (Rosé) $18.95

A fantastic source of dry rosés from the usual red Rhône varieties, Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence is a coastal,A fantastic source of dry rosés from the usual red Rhône varieties, Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence is a coastal, hilly region whose variations in elevations and microclimates make it ideal for viticulture. Red and a small amount of white wine, also made from Rhône grape varieties, is found here as well.hilly region whose variations in elevations and microclimates make it ideal for viticulture. Red and a small amount of white wine, also made from Rhône grape varieties, is found here as well.

4) The Biker Zinfandel, 2017 ($18.95)

Bold and daring with a touch of roughness around the edges… presenting The Biker Zinfandel. Hailing from the west side of Paso Robles, ground zero for top notch zin, The Biker is full of wild berry and layers of spice.

5) Paux-Rosset Gros, Les Fleurines, 2017 (Rhone blend) $12.95

Light, juicy and fun. Its deep color has a dark, plum-like hue. The nose is classically Syrah, with berry fruit, violet, and liquorice. It has a full, rounded palate with delicate tannins. Pair this wine with "Provençale" style cuisine, stuffed tomatoes and aubergines, mixed grills and barbeques.

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2019 Open House Wine Tastings

Michael's monthly Open House Wine Tastings are casual, walk-about tastings featuring dozens of international wines held on select Saturdays throughout the year. Please go ahead and mark your calendar now for our 2019 events! 

We may be partial, but we'd say it's the best retail wine tasting in Sarasota.  Each Open House Wine Tasting is offered 2-4 p.m. at Michael's Wine Cellar, 1283 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34239. 

2019 WINE TASTING SCHEDULE

Saturday, Feb. 9 (Second Saturday of the month)

Saturday, March 2

Saturday, April 6

Saturday, May 4

Saturday, June 1

Saturday, July 13 

Saturday, August 3

Saturday, September 7

Saturday, October 5

Click here to browse more events.

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Forks & Corks Wine Tasting: 2019 Line-Up at Michael's Wine Cellar

Forks & Corks Weekend is Here!

Meet Winemakers & Winery Owners this Saturday Afternoon at Michael's Wine Cellar

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The most delicious weekend of the year is quickly approaching! Please join us for Michael's “Forks & Corks” Retail Wine Tasting this Saturday, January 26, 3-5 p.m. at Michael’s Wine Cellar.

While tickets to Sunday's Forks & Corks Grand Tasting sold out immediately online back in November, no ticket is required for Michael's Forks & Corks Retail Wine Tasting.

Admission is just $10 per person for this special tasting hosted by visiting winemakers from fabulous wine estates including:

Dominio Basconcillos & Losada Vinos de Finca, Spain
 
Martinelli Winery, Sonoma, CA
 
Cain Vineyard & Winery, Napa Valley, CA
 
Château D'Issan & Château Lilian Ladouys & Château Pedesclaux, Bordeaux, FR
 
Château Lagrange, Bordeaux, FR
 
Château Croix Mouton, Château Cap St. George, Château La Confession, St. Emilion, FR
 
Fattoria Le Pupille & Villa Sparina, Italy
 
Château La Négly & Château Vannières, Languedoc, FR
 
Iron Horse Vineyards, Sonoma, CA
 
Domaine Ambroise, Burgundy, FR
 
Rombauer Vineyards, Napa Valley, CA
 
Trinchero Vineyards, Napa Valley, CA
 
Mason Cellars, Napa Valley, CA
 
Neyers Vineyards, Napa Valley, CA
 
Bouchard Finlayson, South Africa
 
Inverroche Gin, South Africa
 
Paul Cluver Wines, South Africa
 
Carmel Road Winery, Monterey, CA
 
You are welcome to register online in advance, or simply join us at the door on Saturday afternoon. It's one of our favorite wine tastings of the year, and it will be yours as well!
 
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Prosecco vs Champagne: Which one is right for you?

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Prosecco vs Champagne: Which one is right for you?
by Kristin @ ilovewine.com

Celebrating something exciting? (Such as the New Year!) Does the occasion call for some bubbly? (Yes!) If it does, you may find yourself in the wine aisle at the store debating between which sparkling wine to choose. Most people assume that big celebrations only call for champagne, but there is another alternative from the vineyard that you might like just as well, Prosecco.

For as long as people can remember, champagne has been the celebratory drink of choice. This white, sparkly wine is known for bringing your taste buds to life and your spirits high. But, another sparkly white wine that can help you celebrate equally as well is prosecco. Known as one of Italy’s choice wines, prosecco has been assisting people to ring in celebrations while keeping their wallets happy.

What is Prosecco?
Prosecco is a white sparkling wine that is exclusively made in the northeastern part of Italy. It’s almost exclusively made in the Treviso province. There are other types of prosecco made in places such as Friuli Venezia Giulia.

This white sparkling wine is not always bubbly, however. Two versions of prosecco, DOC, and DOCG, can be made in semi-sparkling or even still versions. These varieties can keep your pairings and occasions perfectly meeting your needs.

Prosecco is also made from a very specific type of wine – the prosecco (also known as Glera). This is one of the characteristics that sets it apart from many other white sparkling wines, especially champagne. The refermenting process typically takes place in steel tanks, commonly known as Charmat Method (or the Italian method).

What is Champagne?
Champagne is a white sparkling wine, much like prosecco. Many people regard champagne as the symbol of luxury or celebration. The price tag typically reflects these two thoughts, as well.

For champagne to get its most notable feature, the bubbles, it must go through a refermenting process inside the bottle. This method is known as the ”Methode Champenoise” (metodo classico according to Italians).

In order to properly make champagne, the following grapes are most commonly used:

  • Pinot Noir
  • Pinot Meunier
  • Chardonnay

There are other types of grapes that some vineyards use to produce champagne, but they are less likely.

What are the biggest differences between champagne and prosecco?

  • Champagne is made in France.
  • Prosecco is made in Italy.
  • Champagne is made through a refermenting process inside the bottle.
  • Prosecco is made through a refermenting process in a steel tank.
  • Champagne has a higher price tag.
  • Prosecco is great for everyday budgets.
  • Both are from different types of grapes
    (Prosecco is made with only prosecco grapes, and champagne is made with a mixture of different grapes).
  • Champagne is usually served at a wine party, while Prosecco might be better for more intimate events.

Profiles of Champagne and Prosecco
Let’s take a look at the most popular flavors of each of the white sparkling wines.

Champagne  Prosecco
Citrus  Honeydew Melon
Peach  Green Apple
Toast  Pear
White Cherry  Cream
Almond  Honeysuckle

What food is best paired with Prosecco?
The best part of choosing prosecco for your wine of the night is the wide range from sweet to dry it comes in. There different levels of sweetness and dryness. If you are looking for something very dry, Prosecco DOC and Superiore (two different types of prosecco) have a Brut that will meet those needs. Demi-Sec is typically the sweetest you will find.

Dry proseccos typically pair well with such foods as sushi, seafood, small sandwiches, or mild cheeses. This is a great appetizer or cocktail hour beverage choice.

Sweet prosecco is great with foods like macarons, ice cream, popcorn, or even sponge cakes. You will find this the perfect choice as an after-dinner beverage choice.

What food is best paired with champagne?
Champagne is a great choice to help enhance the flavor of your foods, ranging from cheese to pasta.

Some of the best pairings you will find are mushroom dishes, seafood and fish, nuts, and also popcorn. If you are looking to really take your taste buds to the next level, pair champagne with lobster. This is an unbelievable combination that will leave you wanting more.

How do you choose champagne vs prosecco for your next occasion?

Whether you are celebrating something exciting or looking for an everyday type of white sparkling wine, choosing champagne vs. prosecco can be a difficult decision.

Think about the following questions before purchasing your next bottle of bubbly:

  • Are you looking for a budget-friendly white sparkling wine?
  • Do you want something that is great for everyday occasions or good for special occasions only?
  • Do you want your wine to boost your taste buds and food experience?
  • What kind of tasting experience are you looking to have – full body, dry, sweet, etc.?
  • Budget-friendly? Prosecco
  • Everyday occasions? Prosecco
  • Special occasions only (money is no issue)? Champagne
  • Enhance your food experience? Champagne or Prosecco
  • Dry or Sweet? Champagne or Prosecco

Conclusion
Ready to try out your next white sparkling wine? Now you are ready to make the best-informed decision about whether or not prosecco or champagne is right for you. Of course, attending a tasting to get a true feeling for which sparkling wine you prefer is probably the best option. There is nothing like tasting the wine on your tongue while pairing it with some delectable food choices. Once you are able to see the difference between the two wines in person, you will know which one is the best fit for you.

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Are You Using the Right Wine Glass?

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Are You Using the Right Wine Glass?

by Kristin @ ilovewine.com

To the casual wine drinker, the shape of the wine glass probably doesn’t matter much. They can get by with a single set of glasses that they pull out for reds, whites, or that new rosé, and have a perfectly enjoyable evening. But for the budding wine enthusiast, using the right wine glass can make all the difference in the world. Suddenly you’ll be able to smell and taste all those gorgeous subtleties so often described by sommeliers.

Wine Glass Basics
Wine glasses have three main parts: the bowl, the stem, and the base. Each of these may vary, but the shape and size of the bowl is the key to matching the glass to the wine. Why is this?

  • Wine surface area. A wider bowl provides a greater surface area, allowing for more evaporation and interaction between wine and air.
  • Aroma delivery. The shape and size of the bowl also determines how aroma vapors are trapped and how they meet your nose.
  • Temperature control. It’s easier to keep wine cooler if the bowl is smaller.
  • Smoothness. Wines may taste smoother from a glass with a wider mouth. 

So, where do you begin in building your stemware collection? Here we present nine of our favorite wine glass sets arranged by category.

Nine of Our Favorite Wine Glasses
We recommend picking up at least one set for reds, whites, champagnes, rosés, and dessert wines. Of course the best thing is to build a deeper collection based on your favorite styles. Until you know what those are, these wine glasses will help you explore all the possibilities.

Red Wine Glasses
Red wine glasses tend to have larger bowls and wider mouths. This allows a greater surface area for the wine to interact with oxygen, which brings out fruitiness and tempers tannins.

314beX-xlbL.jpg1. Nachtmann Red Wine Glasses
This set of four red wine glasses is an excellent starter set for any wine enthusiast. They’re beautiful, affordable, and the perfect size for reds. In an age where stemless wine glasses are becoming more common, we also love the long stems.

These crystal glasses are also exquisitely crafted. Nachtmann is a division of Riedel, which makes some of our favorite stemware.

31ne4AsAnzL.jpg2. Riedel VINUM Bordeaux Glasses
Riedel also makes varietal-specific wine glasses which are wonderful for exploring particular styles that you love. This VINUM series is an excellent step up, offering a more nuanced tasting experience without breaking the bank. These generously-sized glasses are perfect for bolder reds, such as Cabernet Sauvignons and Merlots.

31ArGEj53KL.jpg3. Riedel VINUM Syrah Glasses
For enjoying a Syrah, we recommend this set from the Riedel VINUM series. The shape highlights the tannins for a better overall balance with the fruitiness of this style. Winemakers in regions specializing in Syrahs contributed to the design of this stemware to showcase the style brilliantly.

White Wine Glasses
Smaller bowls are better for white wines since they maintain cooler temperatures and keep the surface of the wine closer to the nose. They beautifully accentuate the floral notes of white wines.

Full-bodied whites like Viogniers and Chardonnays tend to shine in white wine glasses with slightly wider bowls. These are still smaller than those of your typical red wine glass, of course.

Screen Shot 2018-12-12 at 9.35.44 AM.png 4. Nachtmann Vivendi White Wine Glasses
These white wine glasses from Nachtmann are our most often recommended starter set. They come in sets of four and are made of clear glass finished with platinum for more durability.

Just like the set of red wine glasses from Nachtmann, they’re as beautiful as they are affordable. These, plus a lovely bottle of white wine, make a thoughtful gift for a new wine lover.

319j7ix7x1L.jpg5. Riedel VINUM Sauvignon Blanc Glasses
These Riedel VINUM glasses are specifically balanced for enjoying Sauvignon Blancs and other lighter white wines. They’ll bring out the floral aromas so you can appreciate the delicate nuances with every glass.

These come in sets of two but are priced so well that once you taste the difference, you’ll likely replace your starter white wine glasses with them.

Champagne and Sparkling Wine Glasses
Champagnes and sparkling wines also taste quite different depending on the shape of the glass. Overall, these glasses have longer, slimmer bowls than glasses for reds or whites. Champagne flutes are the most recognizable variants, but the others vary in bowl shape. Tulips have wider bowls that enhance fruitier sparkling wines, for example.

310JBbUfz3L.jpg6. Nachtmann Champagne Glasses
Just a few sets of these Nachtmann champagne glasses and you’ll be ready for your next celebration. Once again, Nachtmann offers an elegant and affordable option for adding to your collection. These come in sets of four, and while they are delicate, they’re remarkably sturdy for champagne glasses.

31g6RZ-I1pL.jpg7. Riedel VINUM Champagne Glasses
If you prefer champagne glasses with a more classic, straight-edged silhouette, this set from the VINUM collection is for you. Much like the Nachtmann series, these are very sturdy. Many people cringe at the thought of putting champagne glasses in the dishwasher, but many users report safely sending these through. (We still wash all ours by hand.)

Rosé Glasses
While rosés are more reminiscent of whites in appearance, they’re better in slightly wider bowls than white wine glasses traditionally have. While there are no hard and fast rules about serving them, specialty glasses for rosés can accentuate the aromas.

wine.jpg8. Riedel Rosé Wine Glasses
This set of rosé glasses from Riedel is from their See, Smell, Taste (SST) series which also optimizes the tasting experience for different varietals. The bowl allows plenty of room for aromas to develop and add depth to every sip.

Dessert and Fortified Wine Glasses
Glasses for dessert wines and fortified wines vary as much as the wines themselves. Some are more decorative than practical, but as with all wines, the glass can make a substantial difference in what you can smell and taste. We recommend just picking up a few of these for the specialty wines you like.

WineGlass9. Riedel VINUM Port Glasses
These beauties from Riedel are our favorites for drinking port, bringing out its sweetness and rich fruitiness. The small, narrow mouth helps minimize evaporation since the alcohol content is high. Although they’re small, they have an excellent weight in your hand, too.

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What Does a Wine Aerator Do?

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What Does a Wine Aerator Do?

by Avery at ilovewine.com

You may have noticed that fancy restaurants prefer to open your red wine and leave it to aerate or ‘breathe’ for a while before pouring your glass, or that you are encouraged to swirl your wine glass when tasting a new bottle for the first time. Often you will see wine aerators used professionally. This is because exposing your wine to air causes oxidation. When this happens, the unwanted and volatile compounds in the wine, such as ethanol and sulfites will evaporate more quickly and leave you to appreciate more of the aromas and floral bouquets of your wine.

However, leaving your bottle of red wine to breathe before pouring can be frustrating for most wine drinkers, even the very patient ones. The good news is that by purchasing a wine aerator, you can speed up this process and aerate your wine instantly. Aerators come in a range of sizes and designs, with many different features. However, they all provide a small chamber where wine mixes with the necessary oxygen levels before then reaching your glass. By first moving the wine through this chamber, the volatile compounds evaporate and leave only the best tasting wine. This process can also eliminate unwanted sediment from your glass.

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We suggest the Menu Red Wine Decanter Wine Breather by Peter Orsig!

The elegant Menu Winebreather Carafe adds 10x more oxygen to your wine in under 2 minutes. Simply press the decanter onto the top of an opened bottle of wine and flip it over so the wine pours into the decanter. You can serve the wine directly from the beautifully designed carafe, or flip it back over once it's done to pour the aerated wine back to serve directly from the original bottle. The Menu Winebreather Carafe is the most effective aerator on the market and was the undisputed winner of a Eurofins aerating test.
Call us today to order only $39.95! 941-955-CORK (2675)

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How Many Bottles in a Case of Wine? – The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Case of Wine in 2018

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How Many Bottles in a Case of Wine?  

The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Case of Wine in 2018
by Nicole at ilovewine.com

Planning a wedding? Prepping for a party with your family and friends? Maybe you want to organize a wine tasting? If so, buying a case of wine may be in order.

When it comes to figuring out how many cases of wine you need, it is always helpful to know how many bottles come in a case. It might also be useful to understand the benefits of buying a case versus multiple bottles of wine.

When you buy a case of red wine for your event, you will end up saving money in the long run. Purchasing wine bottles for a large event will ramp up a significant price. But, opting for a case of wine will save you money in the long run.

How many Bottles are in a Case of Wine?
Now that you know buying a case of wine is the best option, it’s vital to know how many bottles are actually in a case of wine so that you can effectively plan.

In a standard case of wine, you will receive 12 bottles of wine. Each wine bottle (if standard size) contains 750 milliliters of wine. Therefore, if you have 12 bottles, you will have 9 liters or 2.3 gallons of wine in one case of wine. Just make sure you have a good wine opener that can handle the long wine list you have created.

How many Cases Should You Buy?
The biggest question when it comes to planning a party is how many cases you should buy for your guests. There is a simple formula that you can follow that will allow you to accurately estimate how many cases of wine would be sufficient for your occasion.

Let’s say you were inviting 100 guests to your wedding. If the wedding lasts for four hours, you will do the following equation:

100 guests X 4 hours X 1 glass/hour = 400 glasses.

Then, you take the 400 wine glasses and divide it by five glasses that you find in each bottle. You will get 80 bottles of wine. And, if you wanted to make sure that both wine lovers are taken care (red and white lovers), you can divide the 80 by 2 to get 40 bottles of red and 40 bottles of white.

If you have figured out that you need 80 bottles of wine for your 4-hour wedding for 100 guests, you will then need to figure out how many cases you will need. Divide the 80 bottles of wine you will need to keep the 100 guests happy at a wedding by 12 (how many bottles are in a standard case), and you will get 6.6 cases. Round that up to 7 cases of wine, and your wedding is sure to be a hit, with wine glasses never being empty.

How Should You Select Your Wine?
Remember that there are many different wine lovers out there. Buying multiple cases of red wine may not do your party much service. However, if you choose a variety of wine to compose your case of wine, you will be sure to please everyone.

A great way to start with your wine selections is to choose:

Five bottles of red wine
Five bottles of white wine
Two sparkling wines
Make sure to choose some bold and light red wine and white wine to keep the selection interesting and versatile, and that you will always have a wine bottle of the variety you prefer at hand.

Choosing the wine to create an exceptional case for your next party can be easy and affordable!

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Mini Wine Bottles Are the Way to Go

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Mini Wine Bottles Are the Way to Go

by Avery at ilovewine.com

Anyone who has ever tried to take a full bottle of wine with them anywhere at all knows how difficult it can be. Finding space for it in the car is difficult enough but trying to take it on a trip by plane becomes even more of a hassle. Still, if you’re the type of person who likes to drink a bottle of wine you don’t want to go without it, right? So what can you do to make sure you get it both ways? You can choose the mini wine bottles.

 

What Are Mini Wine Bottles?
Mini wine bottles are exactly what you would think by hearing the name. They’re a small bottle that’s going to give you only a little bit of wine (usually a single glass, but possibly two) instead of a full bottle that gives you up to 10 servings. Of course, it’s important to note that some people refer to ‘mini wine bottles’ when they get a bottle that’s anything smaller than standard. For some, a standard bottle may even be mini when you compare it to all the different sizes available.

Why Do You Want Mini Wine Bottles?
There are several reasons besides the ones we’ve already mentioned for you to choose mini bottles. The first is, of course, the travel that we previously discussed. Traveling with wine is a great way to enjoy yourself when you finally arrive at that destination, but it can be a lot of effort. Plus, there’s always the chance that the bottle could get broken somewhere along the way. No one wants to lose their wine or risk the mess that happens when that wine soaks into your clothes, your luggage and everything else you brought with you.

Another great benefit to these types of wine bottles is how easy they are to gift. If you’re looking for a wedding favor or just something cute to give to that cousin who’s impossible to buy for, this is a great way to go. A little bottle of your favorite kind of wine or even a couple bottles to put together a gift basket can be simple to do, and it looks elaborate and sophisticated. Your friends, relatives and everyone else is going to appreciate it as well.

This type of bottle can be great if you and some friends are looking to try out different wines as well. If each of you purchases a bottle and splits it between a few mini bottles, you can pass them around, and let everyone try different ones. It makes for a great gift idea, and it can be a whole lot of fun to have your own tasting party with different types of wine. Of course, you might do just as well pouring a glass for each of you out of a full-size bottle, but it’s easier to take home this way.

Another factor to keep in mind is how the larger bottle can breathe a little too much if you’re not going to drink all of it at the same time. If you open a bottle but end up with a bit of leftover, it can get too much air in the bottle if you just close it up and leave it for a day or more. If you pour it into mini bottles, the atmosphere is forced out, and you’ll have better flavor left over for the next time you open that bottle. But of course, you don’t want to leave it for too long.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that it can be more difficult to find mini bottles if you’re looking to purchase them already filled. It’s also potentially expensive, and you won’t get a whole lot of options. If you’re going to be bottling your own, however, it’s important to note that wine starts to lose some of its potency and flavor as soon as the original bottle is opened, so you’ll want to be careful about how you package it and when. You will be able to get good flavor, but you likely won’t get as good of a taste as you would if you had given the factory sealed bottle.

Choosing Mini Wine Bottles
If you’re looking for a mini wine bottle to use for yourself and to fill yourself, you can search just about anywhere. The empty bottles come in sizes generally around 5 ounces and in fact have their own caps and everything. They look almost exactly like a standard wine bottle but a whole lot smaller, which makes them a really fun gift. All you have to do is fill them up and use the included caps to make sure they’re sealed as tightly as possible. Of course, you want the right ones.

Conclusion
If you’re looking for a way to pass out wine to your friends and family but don’t want to splurge on full-size bottles, then mini wine bottles are the way to go. You can get any type of wine that you want, and you get to decide how they’re divided up as well. There’s no reason to settle for low-quality favors at your next party or to give your family something that isn’t as good just because you found it in a small bottle. You can now create your own sizes, of anything you want.

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Drinking in Autumn- Best Red Wines for Fall

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Drinking in Autumn - Best Red Wines for Fall
by ilovewine.com

Wine enthusiasts are always looking for an excuse to replenish their wine racks. And what better time to do it than the changing of the season? As the days become shorter and the nights draw in, your heating bills will go through the roof, and that brisk evening walk around the lake with the dog will surely be followed by a glass of soul-warming wine. While it’s impossible for us to prevent any of those tedious early morning treks in the dark to try and de-ice your car, we can help you make those dull rainy evenings more pleasurable.

Fall is a magical time of the year. There are the rusty colors and a hundred hues of brown and reds, the heart-warming stews, the greatly anticipated countdown to Christmas, and not to forget the wine. Of course everyone has their wine preference, however, research shows that this is the time of year that people begin consuming more red; and as we inch closer to winter, these reds become fruitier and warmer. It’s no secret that chilled white wines are refreshing while reds are warming, and these are the two secrets when choosing a good wine for the fall months.

Most households start serving heartier dishes at this time of the year. Stews and casseroles are common features, which is why the best wines of the season are those that are better paired with such dishes. The French and Italians win when it comes to matching their food to wine, but you can do the same. Here are just a few of the best red wines that will complement your hearty stews and warm you as the chill begins to set in.

Cabernet Sauvignon, Jax, Calistoga, Napa Valley, 2016
This wine offers dark, concentrated depth and character. Aromas of blackberries, cassis and forest floor, this indulgent and concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon showcases great length and focus on the palate.

Red Wine "Belle Cousine", Hyde Vineyard, Napa Valley, CA, 2013
Pretty blackberry and blackcurrant notes on the nose are brightened by a pinch of spice. In the glass, a clean black fruit core fills the mouth, warmed by layers of mocha, earth and subtle hints of mint and cigar box. Very firm, polished fine-grained tannins provide structure and extraordinary persistence, with promises of even greater length in time. —Stéphane Vivier, Winemaker

Malbec, Achaval-Ferrer, Mendoza, 2017
The textbook definition of Malbec in a very good vintage. Bright ruby-red. Fresh and floral, featuring blackberry, raspberry and violets. Dense, thick with a noticeable mineral frame. Old World acidity with silky tannins and a lengthy finish.

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Guide to Wine Bottle Sizes

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Understanding Wine Bottle Sizes
by Michelle at www.ilovewine.com

Have you ever really thought about the different sizes of a wine bottle? Have you considered where they come from? Why were they created? Or even why they’re named the way they are? Well, unless you’re really into wine you may not have ever thought about it, but the naming process and a whole lot more are actually quite interesting once you get into it. There’s not a lot known about how the process started, but we do know a little bit about how they work.

Wine Bottle Sizes
There are actually 10 different sizes when it comes to a wine bottle that is regularly shaped, with the smallest being only 187.5 milliliters and the largest being a whopping 15 liters. That means you’re going to see a very big difference in what it means to get a bottle of wine depending on just how large you decide to go. But what are they actually called?

Piccolo or Split – The smallest wine bottle that you’ll find, these ones are usually used with champagne and offer you a single serving at 187.5 milliliters.

Demi or Half – This is about half the size of a standard bottle of wine, at 375 milliliters, and gives you a good amount for a small dinner party or a wine you’re just trying out. You’ll get about 2 ½ glasses of wine out of this one.

Standard – This is what you will normally see when you walk into a store or what you’ll normally pick up for a special occasion. It’s the most common size for a wine bottle at 750 milliliters. Here you’re getting a total of about 5 glasses of wine.

1 Liter – This one doesn’t actually have a name, but it’s started to become more popular and gives you a total of 7 glasses of wine in a single bottle.

Magnum – Now we start getting a little bit larger at a much faster speed because this bottle is twice the size of a standard at 1.5 liters. You’ll have about 10 glasses of wine in 1 ½ liter.

Double Magnum – You guessed it; we’re now jumping up even further to a bottle that’s actually 3 liters and twice the size of a magnum or four times the size of a standard bottle. As you might have guessed, this one is going to give you 20 glasses of wine.

Rehoboam – Usually you’ll only find this one if you’re buying a sparkling wine, but you’ll get approximately 4.5 liters here, which is about 30 glasses of wine.

Jeroboam – Now you’ve got something even larger, at 4.5 liters. That means you’re getting as much as six standard bottles of wine, or how much it fits into a case of wine. (Here again, you’ll have around 30 glasses.)

Imperial – We’ve now doubled the size of a double magnum. And we’ve quadrupled the size of a standard magnum. At 6 liters you’re definitely getting a lot now. This one gives you a whopping 40 glasses of wine, which is plenty for your next several dinner parties.

Salmanazar – Have you ever even heard of this one? If you haven’t then you’re not alone, but this one is the size of a case of wine, 12 standard bottles, at 9 liters. You’ll get approximately 60 glasses of wine here.

Balthazar – Now we’re up to 16 standard bottles of wine or the equivalent of 2 imperial bottles, coming in at 12 liters. This one offers up to 80 glasses of wine.

Nebuchadnezzar – The giant size for wine is this one, which is the same as 20 standard bottles of wine at 15 liters. It also gives you approximately 100 glasses of wine.

Melchior – Now we’re really getting into the larger sizes, and you’ll get a whole lot of wine here. That’s because it holds the same as 24 standard bottles or a total of 2 full cases. It’s also going to give you 120 glasses of wine with a whopping 18 liters.

Solomon – This one is still moving up the ladder, though only slightly more than the last one at an equivalent of 26 standard bottles. It’s 20 liters in size and gives you 130 glasses of wine.

Sovereign – This was actually meant to be a one hit wonder and a specialty size, but the 26-liter bottle may have other purposes. It’s the size of 35 standard bottles, and it gives you a total of 175 glasses of wine.

Goliath – You may be surprised that these bottles just keep getting larger, but this 27-liter bottle holds the same amount of wine as 36 standard bottles and gives you a total of 180 glasses of wine.

Midas – The final and largest bottle is named for the king for whom enough was never enough (what could be more fitting). It’s 30 liters in total size, the equivalent of 40 standard bottles and gives you enough wine for 200 of your closest friends.

What the Names for the Wine Bottle Mean?
So, just what do these names really mean? Well, the smaller bottles have names that are based on their sizes (a split bottle or a half bottle), but the larger ones actually have a slightly more unique method. These bottles, such as Nebuchadnezzar, Balthazar and Salmanazar are actually biblical kings. Why they started to be named this way no one really knows, but we do know that’s where the names come from. Unless whoever started the idea just randomly happened to pick names that also appear in the bible we can only assume that it was intentional. Either way, it’s the way that the bottles continue to be referred to now.

If you’re looking for a bottle for a special occasion, take a look at the different sizes and think for a few minutes about just how many people are going to be there. You may be amazed at what the options are. Of course, getting smaller bottles means you can try out different flavors, which may be an important consideration. Your friends and family are definitely going to love trading some wine facts with you too.

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What is the Best White Wine for White Sangria?

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What is the Best White Wine for White Sangria?

Sangria is a delicious way to enjoy the season. Did you know you can make Sangria from white wine? Well now you do!

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We highly recommend Vinho Verde, Casal Garcia, PT, NV!
It’s smooth and fresh with a delicate fruity palate. It has a slight spritz, which makes this wine perfect for white Sangria!

Just add:
Red or White Wine
Sugar or Simple Syrup
Oranges/lemons/limes
Brandy or Triple Sec
Splash of Club Soda or Ginger Ale or even Prosecco!

Looking for the Best Red Wine for Red Sangria? We’ve got you covered!

10362380 isGarnacha "Tres Picos", Borsao, Campo de Borja, ES, 2015 
It has notes of raspberries, spice and dried flowers. This wine is juicy & full bodied, the perfect red wine for Sangria.

We encourage you to get creative! Add different fruits, spice up your garnishes and even try adding a cinnamon stick!

These wines and more can be purchased at www.michaelswinecellar.com

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Best Champagne for Mimosas

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Our team is often asked, "What's the best Champagne (or sparkling wine) for Mimosas?" In sunny Sarasota, it's an appropriate question to pose throughout the year, many days of the week. However, even Floridians plan more Mimosa-focused affairs in the spring and summer months, from holiday brunches and wedding showers to regular weekend family or girlfriend gatherings. 

In general, we suggest a dry or semi-dry sparking wine to balance with your preferred fruit juice. A Cava or dry Prosecco represent great choices, as well as a true Champagne - preferably Brut. While traditional mimosas simply consist of a sparkling wine and orange juice, I also find pomegranate or grapefruit juices to be delicious morning spirit mixers. 

If you are looking for a regular go-to sparkling for Mimosas, we personally recommend the following affordable wines, regularly available for purchase from our retail store or online: 

Blanc de Blancs JP Chenet FR NVBlanc de Blancs, JP Chenet, FR, NV
A pale yellow color with soft green reflections. Expressive bouquet highlighting subtle notes of lime fruit. Fresh and lively on the palate, a perfect balance between fruit and acidity. Following his artistic and entrepreneurial spirit, in 1984 Joseph Helfrich designed a bottle with a revolutionary shape. He named it Joséphine. It stood out from the crowd with its original curves, slanted neck and generous body. It represented a genuine challenge at the time as a special bottling chain needed to be built for it. The first brand of French wine was born and its name was JP Chenet.

Sparkling Brut Graham Beck Robertson ZA NV Sparkling "Brut", Graham Beck, Robertson, ZA, NV 
A blend of 49% Chardonnay and 51% Pinot Noir, the Non-Vintage Brut has a soft, creamy bouquet with touches of apple-blossom and yeast aromas. The palate is well defined with good acidity on the entry, citrus peel, fresh lime with a pleasing, commercially minded creamy finish. The two adages: ‘great wine is made in the vineyard’, and ‘focus on getting the basics right the first time’ are what guides Graham Beck Wines in their quest to craft highly individual wines of exceptional quality and universal appeal. Graham Beck Wines is now entering its third generation as a family winery. It was established in 1983 when entrepreneur Graham Beck purchased Madeba farm outside the Western Cape town of Robertson with a fervent ambition to establish a world-class winery in this region. The first wine was produced in 1991 and the cellar’s maiden vintage Graham Beck Brut, was selected for the 1994 inauguration of President Nelson Mandela. 

Sparkling Brut François Montand FR NV Prosecco, Zardetto, Veneto, IT, NV
"Lots of apple and cream up front, with a medium froth and a clean grapefruit and mineral finish." - Wine Spectator. Almost a hundred years have now gone by since Bepi Zardetto lost his horse and cart fully loaded with wine barrels during the retreat from Caporetto, on the Italian front of the First World War. A hundred years over which a family has traced its history along a straight, continuous line marked by the work and passion of its members. Between the silver medal won by Ernesto Zardetto in 1934 in the Sweet Wine category (or, as he called it in his dialect, vin da botìglia [wine for bottling]) and the success of Zardetto Prosecco on the international market and the tables of the world, there is a long bountiful path paved with the same extraordinary dedication to creating wines that the Zardetto family has passed on from father to son. 

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Cheers! The kids are back in school!

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Summer is just about over and the kids are going back to school. Below we've created a wine & spirit "supply list" to get you through the month! Shop now!

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Celebrating Summer with Rosé Wine

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Summer is in full swing in Sarasota, and it's the perfect time of year to enjoy a fabulous bottle of rosé! Our Wine Director Sean King will tell you that the best rosé wines come from Provence, the warmest area of France.

This July, Sean selected a trio of rosés from Provence in honor of Linda Carson of ABC 7's birthday! Click here to view the complete Suncoast View segment, and scroll down to shop for Sean's selections.

RoseWineSuncoastViewIMG 9818Henri Gaillard Cotes de Provence 2017
$15.95
Brilliant rose with rose petal highlights, the wine displays delicious strawberry and raspberry notes with a touch of exotic fruits aromas. To be enjoyed at any time as an aperitif or like a dessert wine.

Chateau Minuty “M” Cotes de Provence 2017
$18.95
Fresh rounded pomegranate and wild strawberry fruit, served at the perfect temperature. Good concentration but with elegance and delicacy. Dry finish.

Billecart Salmon NV Brut Rosè Champagne
$79.95
“The NV Brut Rose is a pretty, gracious wine. Freshly cut roses, red berries and spices take shape nicely in the glass as the wine shows off its understated, timeless personality. Billecart-Salmon’s NV Brut Rose is a reliably tasty wine.”
-Wine Advocate

Browse more rosé wines from Michael's Wine Cellar

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Red, White & Bubbly

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Cheers to Our Amazing Country!
In honor of America's Independence Day our staff has picked out a few Red, White & Bubbly (Sparkling) wines! We offer home delivery, package shipping and in-store pick-up! From our families to yours, we wish you a safe and happy holiday.

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National Rosé Day!

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June 9th is National Rosé Day!

Rosé wines are made from a wide variety of grapes and can be found all around the globe!

Three major ways to produce rosé Wine:
Skin Contact, Saignée, and Blending

Rosé wines can be made:
Still, Semi-Sparkling or Sparkling

A wide range of sweetness levels:
Highly Dry Provençal Rosé, Sweet White Zinfandels and Blushes.

Rosé Wines Available In The Cellar!

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MICHAEL'S WINE STORE

The newest addition to the Michael’s family is the hip, urban Michael’s Wine Cellar which hosts more than 1,000 International estate-bottled wines.

The Wine Cellar also offers premium & boutique spirits, imported & craft beers and more than 200 boutique wines under $20.

Store hours are Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

The wine store can also be transformed into a magical space perfect for any type of special event, including luncheons and rehearsal dinners for up to 125 guests and up to 300 guests for receptions.

An outdoor covered patio with wrought iron tables and chairs is adjacent to Michael’s Wine Cellar. www.michaelswinecellar.com

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National Wine Day

National Wine Day

It's National Wine Day...although every day is “wine day” at Michael's Wine Cellar!
Join Us in the Cellar for these Special Offers & Tasting Events!
Saturday, May 26, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., FREE EVENT
Sip’N Shop Amazing Wines from Spain!
Thursdays, Through Oct. 25, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Gulf Coast Connoisseur Club members earn DOUBLE POINTS on Thursdays for all retail purchases in the Wine Cellar. Not a member yet? Sign up here
June 1 – 30
Michael’s Wine Club – Explore Oregon!
Join Michael's Wine Club now to receive three boutique wines – personally selected by our own Michael Klauber – at your doorstep each month. The Wine Club is also the perfect gift for all who truly appreciate great wine. This month is a great time to thank your dad; remember Father’s Day is Sunday, June 17. We hear grandpas and uncles also love wine! 
Saturday, June 2, 2 – 4 p.m., $10
Open House Wine Tasting - Casual, Walk-About Tasting
Bring a friend to our monthly Open House and try over 30 wines! We’re certain you’ll discover a new favorite, or two, to take home. All featured wines will be available for purchase. 
Saturday, June 9, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., FREE EVENT
Sip’N Shop Amazing Wines from Italy!
Saturday, June 9, 6:30 – 8 p.m., $50
Bordeaux Wine Tasting Event!
Admission includes hors d'oeuvres and tastes of more than 30 Bordeaux wines! Each guest will receive a $25.00 retail voucher for purchases of $50.00 or more of the Bordeaux wines that are being showcased this night. Reservations are required.

Monday, June 11, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m., $25
This Way! Three Way Wine Tasting (Taste 3 Wines - 3 Different Ways!)
Michael's Wine Cellar Classes are held once a month. Enjoy the history and intriguing facts about wine while you sip your way throughout the evening! A wonderful display of cheese and fruit, along with baskets of sliced French bread are available at each class. Reservations are required. 
Wednesday, June 13 – Saturday, June 16, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Happy Father’s Day Sale! 
Save 15% off all Scotch when you shop in-store!
Don't forget to sign your Dad up for the Wine Club, too! 
Saturday, June 16, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., FREE EVENT
Sip’N Shop Amazing Wines from France!
Saturday, June 23, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., FREE EVENT
Sip'N Shop Australia: Wines from the Land Down Under
Saturday, June 30, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., FREE EVENT
Sip’N Shop Fantastic Rosé Wines! 
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Grapes & Grilling

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May is National Barbecue Month! 
It's time to uncover your grill, start the fire and let the backyard party begin!

Here at Michael’s Wine Cellar we are excited to help you pair your sizzling BBQ plates with the perfect wine! From steaks to veggie burgers we have the wine for you!

Burgers & Steaks
Tempranillo "Crianza", Vina Bujanda, Rioja, ES, 2013 
Tempranillo Crianza Vina Bujanda Rioja ES 2013
Vina Bujanda Crianza, made from 100% Tempranillo has an excellent balance. It has low to moderate acidity. The palate consists of fresh strawberries and spice that age into flavors of rich cherry and tobacco. 

Spicy Sausage
Shiraz "The Boxer", Mollydooker, South Australia, AU, 2016 
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A double punch of fruit! Initially, your taste buds will experience cherry, red berries and plum flavours that develop beautifully into that of spice, licorice, chocolate and cream. The soft tannins and underlining structure contribute amazing depth and lusciousness. The Boxer is undoubtedly a WOW wine that will surely lead you to fill your glass first, as it won’t last long once the bottle is open!

Chicken
Chardonnay "Mirth", Corvidae, WA, 2016
Chardonnay Mirth Corvidae WA 2016
The Mirth is quintessential Chardonnay exhibiting bright tropical notes and excellent purity of flavor and balance unencumbered by oak flavor. The wine is fermented and cellared in stainless steel to preserve its freshness and varietal character. Pair this refreshing Chardonnay with a chanterelle herb frittata, lemon roasted chicken, or a mango avocado and smoked salmon salad.

Pork Chops
Chianti Classico, Castello Di Bossi, Tuscany, IT, 2013 
anti Classico Castello Di Bossi Tuscany IT 2013
“The Castello di Bossi 2013 Chianti Classico plays its cards close to its chest. It embodies the delicate and polished side of Sangiovese without the extra distractions that come with over extraction or abundant oak. This wine speaks of the vintage and the grapes. Delicate notes of tar and smoke rise above wild berry and cherry aromas.” Wine Advocate: 90

Ribs
Zinfandel "Old Vine", Plungerhead, Lodi, CA, 2015 
Zinfandel Old Vine Plungerhead Lodi CA 2015
Brambly fruit notes with wild raspberry notes slowly slide behind white peppercorn notes and hints of forest floor on the aroma. In the mouth, the flavor takes a turn towards ripe cherries steeped in a basil syrup, watermelon jolly rancher candy, cracked pepper, fried sage, with hints of rosemary, toasted cardamom, and black raspberries. 

Veggie Burgers
Grüner Veltliner "Lois", Loimer, Kamptal AT, 2016
Gruner Veltliner Lois Loimer Kamptal AT 2016
Pale yellow color, this wine is purely aromatic and lively! Lovely aromas of fresh apples and citrus, this wine surprises on the palate with great spice components as well as exotic fruit and a refreshing acidity.

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Rosé wines to try by Nicole Carbon

Check out Nicole’s amazing article on rosé wines below! 

Don’t forget to join us for our Mother’s Day Sale going on NOW between May 9-12! 
Save 15% Off All Rosé Wines when you shop in-store!

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Winery of the Week: Susana Balbo Wines

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“The creation of my wines at Susana Balbo Wines is to me the maximum achievement as a winemaker, product of all my efforts and many years of hard work. I could say that the winery is like my third child, a dream come true.” Susana Balbo

You can purchase these two amazing Malbec Crios in our online store!
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Rose de Malbec "Crios", Susana Balbo, Mendoza, AR, 2017 
Winemaker's Notes: A beautiful, deep, vibrant rose color. Has a surprising amount of body for a rose wine, and beautiful aromas of fresh, ripe wild strawberries. 
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Malbec "Crios" Susana Balbo, Mendoza, AR, 2016 
Tasting Notes: Beautiful reddish-purple color. The aromas are a mix of freshly crushed black cherries and subtle coffee and vanilla notes, just enough to frame the exuberant fruit.

About Susana Balbo
In 1999, after working more than 20 years as a consultant winemaker for national and international wine companies, Susana decided to have her dream come true and started to build Susana Balbo Wines in the heart of Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza. After more than 10 years of steady growth in foreign markets, another one of her dreams was fulfilled: her children, José, winemaker graduated from UC Davis (California) and Ana, Bachelor of Business Administration from University San Andrés (Buenos Aires) decided to go on with the family tradition and join Susana Balbo Wines team.
During the last years, Susana and her team have been working tirelessly on meeting the international highest quality standards and have showed their commitment to some of the major issues of the 21st century: food safety, environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility.
Susana’s life reached its peak in 1999 with the birth of Susana Balbo Wines. She was able to achieve her lifelong dream: to have her own winery and to create her own wines. 
Crios in Spanish means “offspring” and was created in 2001 as a tribute to her son, José, and daughter, Ana. The wines, like her children, are full of energy and complexity. The message of motherhood, family and childhood perfectly illustrated with three overlapping hands on the label.
To create her wines, Susana Balbo combines the “knowledge of the terroir" & "winemaking skills". The art of blending is, according to Susana, the expression of the winemaker’s top talent. A way to show the ability to play with different aromas and flavors obtained from different terroirs, as does a painter with his palette.
Far from major consumption and industrial centers of the world, Argentina is characterized by being a country of large tracts of fertile land with the most diverse climates. Mendoza is a province located on the west side of the country, and a big part of its territory is occupied by mountains.
Being situated at the foothills of The Andes Range is the main advantage of our wines quality. During the winter, these high mountains accumulate the ice of the purest water which will slowly melt during the spring and summer months to provide a unique source for the development of our vineyards. 

To learn more about Susana Balbo Wines visit: http://en.susanabalbowines.com.ar

 

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Michael's Wine Cellar
1283 S. Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34239