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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Wine, Women & Shoes 2018: Shop Online, Wine Dinners & Retail Tasting

Michael’s Wine Cellar is the Official Wine Retailer of Sarasota's Wine, Women & Shoes benefiting Forty Carrots Family Center.  Even if you haven't scored a ticket to the Signature Luncheon this year, there are plenty of ways to celebrate fabulous wines and support the parenting programs at Forty Carrots this fall! 

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#1 - For a limited time, purchase wines from participating "Wine, Women & Shoes"  wineries! Click here to shop now and a percentage of sales will be donated to Forty Carrots. 

#2 - Make reservationss for a Wine, Women & Shoes wine dinner, scheduled all around town! These intimate dinners which feature visiting vintners as special guests are the perfect venue to entertain colleagues, meet potential clients and visit with friends. Dinners attract not only devotees of the Signature Luncheon, but other interested community members as well. Click here to learn more about Wine, Women & Shoes wine dinners.  

#3 - Sip and shop for yourself! Join us for our annual Wine, Women & Shoes Retail Tasting at Michael's Wine Cellar on Saturday, November, 10, 2-4 p.m. Admission is $10 per person and while you can register online in advance, reservations are not required. We also invite you to simply join us at the door. It's a great opportunity to sport your favorite stylish shoes and meet many visiting winemakers. Click here for details and online reservations.

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Drink for Yourself!

(Says Wine Director Sean King)

Our palates are a curious thing.  When it comes to food we trust it enough to opine. All of us are able to sit and discuss restaurants new and old; our favorite meals and our least favorite. We can go to work on Monday and tell our friends/co-workers about the fabulous dishes we had at a new hot restaurant: “I started with the citrus salad that was topped with a poppyseed and crème fraiche dressing. It was refreshing and delicious. We then shared the panko-crusted cod fritters served up with lemon aioli—they were a little salty, but still good—and my main course was braised short ribs with horseradish mashed potatoes. Oh my Gosh, they were SO indulgent, but in August who wants such a heavy meal?

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These kinds of conversations are not uncommon among people. In fact, they’re probably frequent if you are excited about food and food trends.

Now, allow me to divulge part of a conversation I had with a man I know after he found out about my wine background. 

“Really, you were winemaker? I had no idea...” he said, adding “I just got three bottles of the 2015 Bryant Family Cabernet that Parker gave 99 points. It is an awesome wine.”  (This is a wine that sells for about $500 a bottle so it had better be awesome.) 

“But”, I asked him,  “Have you ever tasted the wine?” The gentleman replied, “No.”

“How do you know it’s awesome if you have not ever tasted it?” I asked.

The guy tilted his head a little and said, “I know it will be delicious because Robert Parker gave it 99 points!”

“What the hell, man, you need to trust your palate!” I replied, only half-jokingly.

Like the Wine that You Like

I have made or helped make wines that Robert Parker scored 95, 98 and a couple of times 100 points, and while I know they are good wines, I would rather drink something I really love. Just because a critic gives a wine a huge score doesn’t make it an awesome wine. 

“Hold on a sec and let me explain,” I said to my friend. “I really respect the winemaking in Australia and I fully accept that Robert Parker loves these wines when he gives them 95, 96, 97 regularly because he trusts his palate. I also accept that these wines are really, really well made, but here the thing: I don’t myself particularly enjoy American oak.”

As an example, the 2005 Molly Dooker “Velvet Glove” Shiraz—to which Parker bestowed 100 points—was aged for 38 months in new American oak. This, according to the Wine Advocate, is a perfect wine. But, as an example, if you are someone who doesn’t like eggplant in any way, shape or form and a respected food critic tells you that best eggplant that has ever been made is at a 3-Star Michelin restaurant you’d never know—because you don’t like eggplant.

So, this Velvet Glove might be the best Shiraz that Parker has ever had, but frankly, I would rather have a pint of Stella Artois because I don’t like American oak.

This guy says to me “Yeah, I hear ya’ but I know this Bryant Family is going to be awesome.”

Our team at Michael’s Wine Cellar is happy to assist you in all your wine-buying needs, whether you’re a “points person” or care to explore and taste new favorites for yourself.

Click here to shop for 90+ point wines from michaelswinecellar.com. 

Or simply stop in the wine shop or give us a call if you’d like for a wine specialist to guide you in your quest to enjoy wines you decide upon and “drink for yourself!”

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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?

Weekend cookouts are still in session here in sunny Florida. Sangria is a delicious way to enjoy the season. Did you know you can make Sangria from white wine? Well now you do!


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
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!

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Garnacha "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!

Back to school blog

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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
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
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
“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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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 
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!

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

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!

Rosé Wine Article 5 5 18

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Winery of the Week: Susana Balbo Wines


“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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Winery of the Week: Hamilton Russell Vineyards


“We are not so much using Hamilton Russell Vineyards to make Pinot noir and Chardonnay as we are using Pinot noir and Chardonnay to express the beauty and personality of Hamilton Russell Vineyards. Our terroir, in effect, "chose" these varieties as its most individual and beautiful expression.” - Anthony Hamilton Russell

These amazing wines are available in the Michael's Wine Store:

White Blend “Ashbourne”, Hamilton Russell, Walker Bay, ZA, 2015 
Sauvignon Blanc, Southern Right, Walker Bay, ZA, 2016
Pinotage, Southern Right, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, ZA, 2016
Chardonnay, Hamilton Russell Vineyards, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, 2016

If you do not see a wine you are looking for give us a call today at 941-955-CORK (2675)

or 8 09Anthony Hamilton Russell: Anthony Hamilton Russell with his wife Olive, winemaker Emul Ross and viticulturist Johan Montgomery are completely dedicated to expressing the personality of the Hamilton Russell Vineyards terroir in their wines. Tiny yields and intense worldwide demand keep the elegant, highly individual, Estate grown Pinot noir and Chardonnay in very short supply.

hr 2016 testPinot Noir: Not overtly fruity, soft and “sweet” and it generally shows hints of that alluring “primal” character along with a dark, spicy, complex primary fruit perfume.

hr char2016 1Chardonnay: Bright, vibrant natural acidity and a marked dry minerality combine with structural length and complexity in this elegant, classically styled wine.

The Estate:

One of the most southerly wine Estates in Africa, this Pinot noir and Chardonnay specialist pioneered viticulture in the beautiful, cool, maritime, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley appellation behind the old fishing village of Hermanus.

The Estate specializes in producing highly individual, terroir driven Pinot noir and Chardonnay, which are widely regarded as the best in South Africa and among the finest in the New World.

Associated Properties:

logoAshbourne Wines - Founded in 1996 by Anthony Hamilton Russell and located on a beautiful 64 hectare property in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley on the eastern border of Hamilton Russell Vineyards.

Located in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, on a beautiful property on the eastern border of Hamilton Russell Vineyards, this small Pinotage and Sauvignon blanc based blend specialist has developed a reputation for innovative, highly individual, classically styled and age-worthy blends. http://www.ashbournewines.com/

logo123Southern Right Wines - Founded by Anthony Hamilton Russell in 1994, Southern Right's aim was to produce a serious, age-worthy Pinotage (South Africa’s unique red grape variety) combining a distinct South African fruit and flavour expression with classic styling and refinement.

Southern Right is a small Pinotage and Sauvignon blanc specialist located on a strikingly beautiful 448 hectare property in the cool, maritime, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley appellation, just behind the old fishing village of Hermanus. The wines are named after the rare Southern Right whales, which frequent the cool South Atlantic Walker Bay, 3 kilometres from the vineyards. http://www.southernright.co.za

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Winery of the Week: Alexander Valley Vineyards


Alexander Valley Vineyards is one of Sonoma's pioneer wineries!

Come shop our collection of Alexander Valley Vineyards today! Click here!

Merlot, Alexander Valley Vineyards, Alexander Valley, CA, 2015 (375ml)
Tasting Notes: There are spicy, earthy aromas of red cherry, vanilla, oak, cedar, plum and cassis in the glass. This wine has broad mouthfeel with flavors of cherry, cassis, blackberry, plum, dark fruits and chocolate. This is a big, nicely balanced wine
Chardonnay, Alexander Valley Vineyards, CA, 2015
Tasting Notes: Apple, pear, fresh fruit, pineapple, vanilla and floral notes. 
Zinfandel "Sin Zin", Alexander Valley Vineyards, CA, 2014
Tasting Notes: Spicy, jammy, seductive, Rich flavors of cherry, raspberry and plum with a long finish. The original California classic.
Merlot "Estate", Alexander Valley Vineyards, CA, 2015
Tasting Notes: Aromas of cherry, dusty plum, cassis, cola, eucalyptus and cocoa powder in the glass. This is a fruit forward wine with nice balance and flavors of red cherry, cassis, blackberry, plum, dark fruits and dark chocolate. 
Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley Vineyards, CA, 2015
Tasting Notes: There are aromas of dark fruit, blackberry, cherry, cassis, plum, vanilla and a slight cocoa and chocolate note. 
Chardonnay, Ferrari-Carano, Sonoma, CA, 2015
Tasting Notes: Aromas of lemon, pear, green apple, orange blossom, lychee and peach perfectly balanced by flavors of vanilla and graham with a floral finish. 
Cabernet Sauvignon, Jordan, Alexander Valley, CA, 2013
Tasting Notes: Well-defined bouquet with dusky red fruit intermingling with cocoa and dark chocolate.
Red Blend "Cyrus", Alexander Valley Vineyards, Alexander Valley, CA, 2012
Tasting Notes: Dark purple color with flavors of cassis, dark chocolate, dark fruits and chocolate covered cherries.

Alexander Valley Vineyards 

After purchasing the historic Cyrus Alexander homestead, Harry and Maggie Wetzel strived to create a thriving agricultural lifestyle on the property. They raised their children along with their vines in Alexander Valley, providing inspiration and encouragement as they developed the estate together. Decades later, the fourth generation of their family is growing up amongst vineyards and next door to the working winery that is known around the world as “AVV”.

The six hundred acre property was the homestead of valley namesake Cyrus Alexander. When he rode into the valley in 1840 he called it the "brightest and best spot in the world". He chose this spot to build his home and raise his family, and many years later the Wetzel Family would do the same. This wine is a tribute to the man, the region and the very best of the vintage.

In 1995 Hank Wetzel produced the first vintage of CYRUS and today winemaker Kevin Hall carries on the tradition with the 17th release of CYRUS. He has selected seven distinctive lots of estate Bordeaux grapes for this vintage; three lots of Cabernet Sauvignon with exceptional dark fruit flavors, complex aromas and structured tannins, two lots of Merlot with juicy fruit and floral aromatics, and one lot each of Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec for finesse & depth, inky color, bright acidity and depth.


The Wetzel Family Estate now spans over 700 acres, straddling Highway 128 with vineyards on both sides of the Russian River to the west and bordered by the Mayacamas mountains to the east. In between there is a wide range of microclimates, elevations, exposures and soil types. Most importantly, there is water.

Premium vineyards were virtually unknown in the Alexander Valley in the 1960s. Unencumbered by local tradition, the Wetzel’s were pioneers, planting classic grape varieties and implementing innovative vineyard techniques.

There is no shortcut to consistent quality. At AVV they match grape varieties to microclimates and soil profiles, planting specific rootstocks and clones. They use drip irrigation to deliver the right amount of water to the vines and trellising to control canopy management. This progressive approach has kept AVV a leader in vineyard development over the last 50 years.


Harry Wetzel, IV grew up with the family business and the office outside his back door. He is one of the third generations working at the family owned winery. Like his father, he attended UC Davis where he graduated with a degree in Enology and Viticulture. “For me, being part of a family business means continuing the traditions my grandfather and father started at the winery and in the community,” Harry says. “It’s also a matter of preserving the integrity of the Wetzel family name. It’s a lot to live up to given the work the rest of my family has done, but I see it as a fun challenge.” As Assistant Winemaker, one of Harry’s principal duties is to work with growers so that AVV has the perfect fruit. “It’s all about making the right decisions, from producing the highest quality wine that we can to volunteering in our community.”

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Wine of the Week: Collier Falls


Collier Falls is a family-owned vineyard and winery in Healdsburg, California’s beautiful Dry Creek Valley.

They make limited quantities of hillside estate red wines from 20 acres of their own sustainably-farmed vineyards. Each year they strive to grow outstanding fruit and make world-class wines here in Sonoma County. They hope the wines of Collier Falls express the true flavors of the grapes, and are exceptional examples from this wonderful winegrowing region. Their name comes from the waterfall below the Zinfandel vineyards.

Stop in and shop or shop these wines online at www.michaelswinecellar.com
Petite Sirah, Collier Falls Vineyards, Dry Creek Valley, Ca, 2011
Petite Sirah Collier Falls Vineyards Dry Creek Valley Ca 2011
In 1997 they saved the top 8 rows of our Zinfandel block for Petite Sirah vines to blend with our Zin. 6 years later the Petite tasted too good to blend and we decided to bottle it as a stand alone varietal. This 100% estate-grown Petite Sirah is inky black in color with aromas of eucalyptus and cracked peppercorn alongside floral nuances of honeysuckle and violet. Dark, layered flavors of blueberry jam, blackberry cobbler, and tea leaves highlight the mid-palate. This is an opulent, full-bodied wine that shows surprising restraint and soft tannins, accentuated by a plush and lingering finish with a touch of vanilla oak. Only 126 cases made.

Zinfandel "Hillside Estate", Collier Falls Vineyards, Ca, 2013ZINFANDEL HILLSIDE ESTATE COLLIER FALLS VINEYARDS CA 2013
The wine shows striking colors of deep crimson and black. A complex bouquet offers distinct aromas of butterscotch, jelly donut and damp forest. This is a robust, full bodied Zinfandel displaying rich flavors of strawberry and fig, with hints of eucalyptus and powdered sugar. Its long finish highlights lingering notes of cola, tobacco, charred wood and black pepper. Pairs perfectly with duck breast and wild rice. Only 357 cases made.



CABERNET SAUVIGNON HILLSIDE ESTATE COLLIER FALLS VINEYARDS CA 2012Cabernet Sauvignon "Hillside Estate", Collier Falls Vineyards, Ca, 2012
The wine is deep, dark red in color with aromas of blackberry, cinnamon and clove. This elegant, balanced and spice driven Cabernet has a very approachable palate with distinct notes of red currant and vanilla. They recommend 20-30 minutes of decanting to fully showcase its soft flavors and lingering finish of red fruit. Only 323 cases made.




Primitivo "Late Harvest", Collier Falls Vineyards, Dry Creek Vally, Ca, 2011 
This dense, purple, brooding wine belies its elegance. Deep, smoky aromas are softened by violet and floral notes. Complex flavors of blueberries, baked blackberry, and plum highlight the mid-palate. The wine finishes with hints of dark chocolate and toasted walnut. It’s full-bodied and structured with soft tannins. Enjoy now or cellar for 10-15 years.


Collier Family
A trip to Wine Country in 1992 changed Barry and Susan Collier's future together. That weekend encouraged them to sell their home and move to Sonoma County, and by 1997 they were growing grapes and making wine as Collier Falls.
They farm 20 acres in the northwest corner of Dry Creek Valley at elevations exceeding 1,000 feet. These steep vineyards of rocky, clay soil produce mountain fruit with great color, character and intensity. Exactly what winemakers love to craft distinctive, hillside estate wines. The vineyards also sit above the fog line. So while morning fog cools the valley floor, the hillside fruit enjoys plenty of sunshine. And during the warmer parts of the day, these southeast facing vineyards get early shade, creating an ideal temperature balance for the grapes — lots of sun to develop ripe flavors and varietal characteristics, and cooler periods to help the fruit achieve balance and complexity.
Sustainability at Collier Falls involves the integrated management of land, water, vegetation, animals and insects. They seek exceptional quality in the fruit, and feel a responsibility to preserve the part of the ecosystem for future generations of Sonoma County winegrowers.
  • Erosion control– Hillside farming has its challenges. All vineyard blocks are terraced to reduce the impact of erosion. Underground drainage, catch basins and silt ponds collect soil and water run-off, protecting the ecosystem of the natural streams and ponds surrounding the property.
  • Natural pest control– They maintain a completely pesticide free environment. Owl boxes in the vineyards provide homes for native Barn Owls, while Douglas-fir and Redwood trees on the surrounding hillsides serve as raptor perches for hawks and falcons. These birds help control the populations of gophers and voles in the vineyard. They also release ladybugs to combat the detrimental spider mite.
  • Conservation and irrigation– A natural underground well is the water source, and the installation of a drip irrigation system allows us to minimize water usage in the vineyard. They can also add beneficial organic elements like potassium, calcium and nitrogen to the drip irrigation system. This ensures the soil and vines get specifically tailored supplements to maintain a healthy and balanced growing environment.
  • Leaf pulling– Removing leaves around the grape clusters improves air circulation throughout the vine canopy, which reduces the risk of bunch rot and allows us to farm without spraying fungicides on the vines. Leaf pulling also helps to reduce the numbers of leafhoppers and mites that may be present.
  • Cover crops– They plant two different types of native grasses (Zorro Fescue and Blando Brome) to stabilize the soil, reduce erosion, and reduce dust and spider mites in the vineyards. They also plant Crimson Clover which attracts beneficial insects and acts as a green manure by adding nitrogen to the soil.
  • Organic fertilizers– They add a mixture of manure, grape pomace and compost to the vineyard soil to improve soil quality and structure, and to increase the levels of beneficial microorganisms.
Collier Falls
Natural springs and creeks in the mountains of Dry Creek Valley create the 30-foot waterfall that inspired the name Collier Falls. Just a few steps south of our hillside Zinfandel vineyards, the dense forest suddenly transforms into this beautiful scene.
The waterfall runs year round, and at its peak during the rainy season spills over 5 million gallons of water per day. Each year, steelhead trout arrive here to spawn. The water creates Fall Creek and feeds into Dry Creek, which flows into the Russian River, and connects to the Pacific Ocean.
For more information visit https://www.collierfalls.com/vineyards.
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Winery of the Week: Paul Hobbs


“The wines we are currently producing are the result of years of perseverance, patience and experimentation in our continuing adventure with wine.” - PAUL HOBBS

Stop in and shop or shop online at www.michaelswinecellar.com

Chardonnay "Crossbarn", Paul Hobbs Winery, Sonoma Coast, CA, 2016 
Our chardonnay showcases the fresh and lively essence of the Sonoma Coast appellation, offering a brilliant, pale yellow color and enticing aromas of lemon curd, warm brioche and fragrant white florals.

Cabernet Sauvignon "Crossbarn", Paul Hobbs Winery, Napa Valley, CA, 2014 
Opaque, pyrope garnet in the glass, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvingon's select Sonoma County vineyard sites bestow balance, and unique savory elements that set this wine apart.

Chardonnay, Paul Hobbs Winery, Russian River Valley, CA, 2015 
This blend from prestigious Russian River vineyards is a quintessential chardonnay from this appellation. With a pale straw, pearlescent hue, the wine impresses with aromas of yellow blossoms, citrus and a note of chamomile tea.

Pinot Noir, Paul Hobbs Winery, Russian River Valley, CA, 2015 
A classic rendering of Russian River Valley pinot noir, this wine offers a dark cherry hue and aromas of black cherry and bright strawberry.

Chardonnay "Edward James Estate", Paul Hobbs Winery, Russian River Valley, CA, 2014 
From the heritage selections of chardonnay planted in our Edward James Estate Vineyard, named for Paul’s great-grandfather, this pale straw-hued wine boasts intriguing aromas of baking spices, Anjou pear, white peach, and exotic hints of ginger.

Cabernet Sauvignon, Paul Hobbs Winery, Napa Valley, CA, 2014 
This stately cabernet sauvignon displays great depth and complexity from diverse terroirs, including fruit from our Nathan Coombs Estate and other pedigreed Napa Valley vineyards.

Cabernet Sauvignon "Beckstoffer Dr Crane Vineyard", Paul Hobbs, St. Helena, CA, 2013 Wine Advocate: 100!!!
Sourced from hand selected blocks, this muscular cab shows concentrated notes of cassis and espresso with cool herbal aromas of lavender and wet earth.

Meticulous vineyard management followed by minimally-invasive winemaking techniques allows us to produce wines that express their vineyard origins with finesse, complexity and authenticity. Paul Hobbs wines are fermented with native yeasts, aged in French oak, and bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Focus is crafting small production vineyard designate wines from distinctive growing sites. 

As custodians of the earth, we respect Mother Nature and farm our estate vineyards sustainably to produce wines that reflect a sense of place. The idea is that when visitors walk among our vines they can feel the fog, catch the scent of the soil, touch the tiny berries and taste in the finished wine a connection with these elements.

As the owner and winemaker of Paul Hobbs Winery, Paul knows that the essence of profound wines can be traced back to meticulous care and expertise in the vineyard.

Growing up on a working farm in upstate New York, Paul experienced first-hand the influence of terroir on the character of fruit, when his father had him taste apples of the same variety grown in different orchards several miles apart from one another. The diversity of flavors and textures made an impression on him and would later influence his approach to winemaking. 

As a winemaker, Paul is highly regarded for his ability to identify exceptional vineyards along with his pioneering, innovative work with new and historical sites and regions. His success has inspired a wealth of nicknames among the press, from quiet trendsetter to prospector to truffle-hunting dog. First hired by Robert Mondavi for his expertise in oak aging, he then joined the Opus One team before moving on to Simi Winery. 

He founded Paul Hobbs Winery in 1991 and Vina Cobos in 1999. Twice named Wine Personality of the Year by Robert Parker, Jr., he continues to be a leading consultant winemaker around the globe.

Greg grew up in Sebastopol, California amidst Italian cooking and his family garden. In his youth, Greg helped with his family business making fresh pastas and caring for the land that produced their fruit, vegetables and herbs. Unbeknownst to him, his childhood influenced his path to a career in wine!

“Working for Paul Hobbs has been a true honor and blessing. To learn and grow with an organization makes me feel like I’m part of a family. Paul’s winemaking and personal philosophies coincide with my own. Care and nurture for the fruit from vine to bottle which then turns that great fruit into a beautiful glass of wine. I enjoy waking up each morning with a burning passion for the industry as well as curiosity of how we can make our wines great," said Greg.


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Winery of the Week: Newton Vineyards


Winery of the Week: Newton Vineyards

Newton Vineyard: “Nature by Design” philosophy is present throughout the winemaking process. The winery was custom designed to allow minimal handling of the fruit, from the use of gravity flow systems to separate batch fermenting. Newton wines are naturally fermented using indigenous yeast to preserve the natural fruit essence achieved in the vineyard. The subtle variances of each component, when blended together, contribute to the overall complexity of the finished wine.

Shop Newton Vineyard Wines NOW at Michael's Wine Cellar!

Claret “Skyside”, Newton Vineyards, Sonoma County, CA, 2016  
Aromas of plum, blackberry, allspice, vanilla and juniper mingle on the nose. The flavors continue onto its broad, round palate, supported by cedar and cocoa notes.

Cabernet Sauvignon “Skyside”, Newton Vineyards, Sonoma County, CA, 2016 
Bursting with red and purple fruit flavors, including cherries, plum and cassis. Hints of vanilla and spice mark the lingering finish.

Chardonnay “Skyside", Newton Vineyards, Sonoma County, CA, 2016 
White nectarine and vanilla spice are intertwined with baked apple and caramel notes, accented by ripe melon and fresh pineapple flavors.

Merlot “Unfiltered”, Newton Vineyards, Napa Vally, CA, 2014 
Smoky, blueberry aromas are punctuated by whiffs of earth and sweet caramel. The palate is dark, brooding and inky, with Dutch cocoa and mocha mingling with ripe fruit flavors, including satsuma plums.

Chardonnay "Unfiltered", Newton Vineyards, Napa Valley, CA, 2014 
Pink grapefruit, fresh fig and pear aromas are enhanced by elements of spice and vanilla. Flavors of lemon curd, marzipan and white peach evolve in the mouth, enlivened by beautifully balanced natural acidity.

Cabernet Sauvignon "Unfiltered", Newton Vineyards, Napa Valley, CA, 2014 
“Black currant and plum mingling with cocoa and vanilla notes. “

Cabernet Sauvignon "Yountville Single Vineyard" Newton Vineyards, CA, 2014 
Instantly appealing with abundant blueberry fruit with beetroot, couverture, licorice and black olives.

estate people albertoAlberto Bianchi, Winemaker
Alberto Bianchi did his first crush at Newton in 2014; in April 2016, he returned to become Newton’s Winemaker.

Born in Milan, Italy, Alberto earned a Bachelor degree in viticulture and enology from the University of Milan, then went on to achieve a double Master degree in the same subjects from the University of Turin and the University of Lisbon.

In addition to his experience as an early winemaker at Newton, Alberto has worked at Cape Mentelle in Australia’s Margaret River region, Terrazas de Los Andes in Argentina and Cloudy Bay Vineyard in New Zealand. He previously held winemaking positions in Italy’s Piedmont, Tuscany and Campania regions at Viticoltori de Concilis, Marchesi de Frescobaldi and Terre da Vino; at Preignes le Vieux in France’s Languedoc region, and Yealands Estate in Marlborough, New Zealand.

AndrewAndrew Holve, Assistant Winemaker
Andrew Holve joined Newton in 2015. Prior to Newton, Andrew worked at Ridge Vineyards as a lab intern during harvest. He has also worked harvest at Kenwood Vineyards and Patz & Hall in California and Church Road Winery in New Zealand. Andrew holds a Masters Degree in Viticulture and Enology from University of California at Davis.

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20 Wines Under $20

20 Wines Under $20
Do you have a favorite everyday indulgence?
A glass of wine, or bottle, that helps you wind down most evenings? 
Or perhaps you are ready to explore new varietals and learn more about wine?
No matter your experience in the world of wine, the wide selection of boutique wines at Michael’s Wine Cellar offers everyone - from beginners to experienced wine collectors - fabulous selections, including plenty of great values. With more than 200 international wines under $20, it was difficult to narrow the list, but we did it!

Here are 20 top wines under $20, highly-recommended by the Michael's Wine Cellar team!

    WS = Wine Spectator   WE = Wine Enthusiast   WA = Wine Advocate   RP = Robert Parker   JS = James Suckling
    Don't Forget To Click On The Sidebar To See All Of The Under $20 Wines!

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