Posts Tagged ‘Amista’

Amista Vineyards goes ‘mini’ for Passport to Dry Creek Valley

This weekend will be abAmista Minis 06uzz  with the Passport to Dry Creek Valley event. Its a fun event with a bevvy of activity,  46 wineries in picturesque Dry Creek Valley come together once a year to celebrate their wines paired with mouthwatering cuisine. You can take tours, meet the winemakers and mingle with the chefs from Sonoma County’s best restaurants. Experience entertainment ranging from belly dancers, to circus troupes, live music and much more.

I love many of the great wineries in Dry Creek, one of these being Amista Vineyards. Vicky, Mike and the team are always seeking ways to improve the customer experience and enhance their already great hospitality, which they are renowned for. I have enjoyed following them on Facebook, and their recent adventures adding a pizza oven.

I was really pleased to learn of their latest innovation they are launching this weekend, a new ‘Taste of Amista’ – a package of 6 bottles of their wine, using the new 50 ML bottles.

This is an exciting development that I hope more wineries embrace. What a great way for wine club members, remote wine enthusiasts, wine writers and bloggers, be able to sample a wineries portfolio, in a much easier, less expensive format to ship, transport etc.

Amista Minis 05

More technology is involved than most consumers realize. Bottling  is  one of the least fun parts of the wine industry; getting wine into small bottles, with minimal exposure to air (bad), impurities etc took significant  research and innovation.

TastingRoom Inc.  creates these wine samplers using its patent-pending T.A.S.T.E. Technology™ (Total Anaerobic Sample Transfer Environment). Using T.A.S.T.E. Technology, wine is transferred directly from full bottles into small 50 ml bottles in a sealed, zero-oxygen chamber, so that wineries can be assured the wine samples are a true representation of their wine.

I asked Vicky and Mike to share their thoughts, and why they adopted this new bottle format:

“We think it’s one of the coolest innovations to come along in the world of wine in a long time – the next best thing to visiting a tasting room and  try before you buy.  It is especially exciting for a winery like ours – small production of 1800 cases, whose wines you will never find on the wine shop shelves.  There are so many wonderful boutique wineries to experience and here’s a way to do it”.

I completely agree, and am excited to see Amista be an early adopter. Other  wineries who have rolled out this format include Trefethen, Seghesio, and DeLoach.

The applications for this are wide; Tasting Parties, Gifts, Try before you Buy. Amista has a special “Tasting Party Bundle’ concept; one box for each guest replicates the Amista tasting room experience complete with tastins. Take one home as a present for the house sitter from your wine country vacation. (or send us wine bloggers a wider variety of samples in a less expensive method!) Check out their fun video too for the debut: Amista goes Mini

Can’t wait to grab one this Saturday before they are all gone!


Sonoma Valentine’s Weekend Events

Its  been another one of those busy weeks, a whirlwind business tour through Texas, fleeing snow in Dallas, and writing/collaborating on so many wine events and education, in the wee spare hours. This weekly events post is normally due Thursday, will try to get back to that format.

There is no shortage of wineries and venues offering Wine pairings and fun events, especially paired with chocolates. I could write 5 page blog post, but will stick to some select highlights. Check the calendar for full details. (Note each title is a web link to their Facebook event.)

Valentine’s Zinfandel at Longboard Vineyards:

Longboard & Love Go Together like Zin & Chocolate!

I recently re-connected with Longboard for a drop in tasting, and was glad I did! This weekend,  Come achieve liftoff with the first taste of Ballistic Zin! (I tried it, its great!)  To celebrate Valentine’s Day Longboard is  offering scrumptious snacks specially choosen to pair with three of our wines, including our 2008 Zinfandel—a brand new release!

February 11-14, 2010, 11am — 6pm,  $ 10 per person for paired flight, The Tasting Lounge, 5 Fitch Street, Healdsburg. For more info, or to RSVP, call 707-433-3473. Their complete line-up of award-winning wines will be available for tasting.

Mounts Family Winery –  Valentine Wine Lover’s Weekend

I can’t wait to reconnect with one of my fave small wineries in Dry Creek.

Fall in love with Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon from Mounts Family Winery. Indulge with wine & chocolate in a charming & rustic setting atop the hills of our family-owned estate winery in Dry Creek Valley. Delectable chocolate delights will be paired with their wines.

Cost is $5 per person, complimentary for wine club members. Wine lover special discounts and wine & chocolate pairings are sure to make this a Valentine’s Weekend to remember. Open from 11:00 – 5:00 on Saturday & Sunday (February 13th & 14th).

Not What Everyone Else Is Doing Valentine’s Weekend at Michel Schlumberger

Leave it to Jim Morris to head down his own path!

Wine and Chocolates, Wine and Aphrodisiacs, Bubbles and Bath, Bacon and Frosting….we have heard it all and we decided to have a bit more fun with the Valentine’s weekend.  Never one to follow the crowd, we are pairing up this weekend with one of the the finest cookietiers in the land, Costeaux Bakery in Healdsburg, who just won the Best Retail Bakery in the United States in Modern Baking Magazine.

With any of their tours and tastings this weekend, can also enjoy amazing cookies paired with their delightful wines.  These tastings will be hosted by everyone’s favorite tasting room people, Samantha, Frank, Lisa, and Julia.

Zin City Valentine’s Weekend at BellaZin City Valentine’s Weekend at Bella

Head on out to the end of West Dry Creek Road next weekend for Bella Vineyards’ “Zin City” Valentine’s celebration. Las Vegas, in all its romantic, kitschy glory comes to the Bella cave!   “Double down” on the 2009 Late Harvest dessert zinfandel paired with dark chocolate cupcakes and, for those who dare to “elope”, they will be offering faux wedding ceremonies officiated by none other than Elvis himself. Walk the cave “casino” and taste other new release zinfandels and syrahs and then check back in with Elvis as he sings one of his classics.

It’s a perfect chance to get “hitched” or “re-hitched” and, for those who book a “wedding,” top hats, rings and veils will be provided.  We’ll all be dressed in Vegas-themed regalia, pink confetti will fly and we’ll serve mini-chocolate cupcakes from Velvet Crumb along with and an exciting lineup of highly anticipated 2008 new-release wines.

It all goes down Saturday and Sunday, February 13th and 14th from 11AM to 4:30PM. Tickets are $10 per person and complimentary for wine club members and up to four guests.  “Weddings” can be arranged by calling 707.473.9171.

Graton Ridge Cellars – Sweetheart’s Chocolate, Cheese & Wine Event

Join Graton Ridge for their Annual Valentine’s Day “Sweetheart’s Chocolate, Cheese & Wine” event, Saturday and Sunday, February 13-14, 2010 from 10am to 4:30pm each day – Open House Style! Taste our delicious wines paired with fine chocolate and local artisan cheeses – all complimentary. Featuring the latest release of our A+ Apple Dessert Wine! TREAT YOUR SWEETHEART!

Graton Ridge Cellars, 3561 Gravenstein Hwy. N, Sebastopol, CA

Amista Vineyards Wine Dinner, at A Divine Affair

Vicky and Mike, owners of Amista have  become  friends thanks to social networking (in addition to me being a patron), and who doesn’t like the bubbly personality and great food of Kahleen Nowak, owner of A Divine Affair. Amongst the great wines Amista is pairing, is their new, very limited sparkling Syrah rose, that I raved about during Winter Wineland. This event is sold out, but I can’t help but tempt you with the menu!

  • (Bubbles) Amista Sparkling Syrah – Caviar tart ~ reconstructed caviar service. Blue cheese custard, port soaked figs, anise
  • Amista 2007 Chardonnay – Loves Greens, Bermuda Triangle goat cheese candied pistachios, pomegranate vinaigrette
  • Amista 2004 Syrah – Pan roasted duck breast, truffle creamed potatoes, foie gras melted leeks, Amista Ilusión port demi glace
  • Amista Ilusión Port – Perfectly paired chocolate canella mousse


Don’t miss A Divine Affairs other Pairing dinners, with wineries from Sonoma, ranging from Anaba, Mounts, and more.

Have a Happy Valentine’s Weekend, I can’t think of a better place, or people, than to spend it with! Cheers!

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