Saturday, March 10, 2018

TWITs 10 Year Anniversary Party - March 10th, 2018 - hosted by Abbie & Matt

TWITs 10 Year Anniversary Party - March 10th, 2018 - hosted by Abbie & Matt

TWITs is turning 10 years old!  Can you believe we've been doing tastings as a group for an entire DECADE?!?  It boggles the mind.  So to celebrate the New Year and an entire DECADE of TWITs, we are hosting an Anniversary Party.

Theme:  TWITs 10 year Anniversary - Bring a bottle of your favorite wine from 2017 to share

Bring:  TWITs should bring a bottle of your favorite wine that you tasted in 2017 - within our usual price range (Up to $20/bottle for Single Attendee, between $20 - $40/bottle for Couples, couples only expected to bring 1 bottle per couple).



Sunday, February 11, 2018

Upcoming Events & About Us

Welcome to TWITs - click here to read about us.

    List of Wines the TWITs have tried so far ---> TWITs Events
 
    Helpful Tasting & Pairing Aides ---> Help
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Upcoming TWITs Events:  

Saturday, February 10th, 2018 - Wine & Chocolate - hosted by Steve & Crissy

Saturday, March 10th, 2018 - TWITs 10 year Anniversary Party - hosted by Abbie & Matt

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Wine Infographics:

White Wine http://seanseidell.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/WhiteWineInfographic_Web.png

Red Wine:  RED wine

Sean Seidell also does Infographics on more than just Wine items, which is also pretty darn cool. Follow his Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/seanseidellartscience


Wines TWITs have tried so far:

2018 (celebrating a decade of TWITs!)
January - skipped
February - Wine & Chocolate - hosted by Steve & Crissy
March - TWITs 10 year Anniversary - hosted by Abbie & Matt
April - TBD
May - TBD
June - TBD
July - TBD
August - TBD
September - TBD
October - TBD
November - TBD
December - TBD


---------------------------------------------------------   PREVIOUS YEARS  -------------------------------------------------------------------------

2008
January - ?
February - ?
March - ?
April - Malbec - hosted by Ms. Shannon
May - Grenache - hosted by Ms. Abbie
June - Pinot Grigio - hosted by Ms. Amanda
July - Chianti - hosted by Ms. Jane
August - Reisling - hosted by Ms. Mina
September - Monastrell - hosted by Ms. Sarah
October - Rioja - hosted by Ms. Abbie
November - Petite Sirah - hosted by Ms. Jennifer
December - no wine club this month


2009
January - Champagne - hosted by Ms. Jane
February - Organic Red Wines with No Sulfites Added - hosted by Ms. Abbie
March - ISAW Wines - hosted by Ms. Mina
April - Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley Oregon - hosted by Ms. Elizabeth K.
May - Sauvignon Blanc - hosted by Ms. Elizabeth
June - Nero D'Avola - hosted by Ms. Shannon
July - no wine club this month
August - Viognier - hosted by Ms. Deb & Ms. Jennifer
September - Tempranillo - hosted by Ms. Elizabeth K.
 CANCELLED
October - Barbera - hosted by Ms. Mina
November - Gamay/Beaujolais - hosted by Ms. Abbie
December - Holiday Sparkling Wines - hosted by Ms. Sarah

2010
January - Wine & Cheese Pairings - hosted by Ms. Jane
February - ISAW Foundation Tasting at Emily Amy Gallery - hosted by ISAW, EAG, and the TWITS
March - no wine club this month
April - Chilean Wines - hosted by Ms. Abbie
May - Pinot Noir - hosted by Ms. Deborah & Ms. Jennifer
June - Pinot Grigio - hosted by Ms Marilyn
July - no wine club this month
August - Rose - hosted by Ms Abbie
September - cancelled

October - Prosecco - hosted by Ms Kat
November - no wine club this month
December - Sparkling Wines - hosted by Ms Abbie


2011
January - no wine club this month
February - South African Wines - hosted by Ms Abbie
March - North Georgia Winery Tour
April - no wine club this month
May - no wine club this month
June - Le Caveau tasting 6/4/11
July - Le Caveau tasting 7/3/11
August - Spanish Wines - hosted by Ms. Abbie
September - no wine club this month
October - no wine club this month
November - French Red Wines - hosted by Ms. Abbie
December - Australian or South African Shiraz/Syrah - hosted by Ms. Marilyn

2012
January - Tempranillo - hosted by Ms. Ardela
February - Tuscan Wines - hosted at Le Caveau
March - Garnacha - hosted by Ms. Leslie
April - Georgia Mountain Wineries Bus Tour - TWITs Event
May - Bottleshock Movie Night - hosted by Mr. Janssen
June - Arizona Wines & Blood Into Wine Documentary Viewing - hosted by Le Caveau & Prime Wine & Spirits
July -Rose - hosted by Mr. Janssen
August - Wine to Water Charity Event - hosted by Ms. Deb
September - Chianti - hosted by Ms. Susan
October - ISAW Foundation Wines - hosted by Ms Ardela
November - Gamay & Beaujolais Nouveau - hosted by Ms. Marilyn
December -Christmas Cabernet - hosted by Ms. Abbie & Mr. Matt

2013
January - Le Caveau and Joe Herrig - New Wines for 2013
February - Vino Venue - Try the Enomatic Wine Tasting System
March - Bordeaux Wines - hosted by Ms. Val and Mr. Rheinallt
April - Pinot Noir - hosted by Ms. Kathy and Mr. Jamie
May - Italian Wines - hosted by Ms. Deb and Mr. Jaffett
June - I Don't Always Drink White Wine, but When I Do, I Drink This - hosted by Ms Abbie and Mr Matt
July - Le Caveau Blind Tasting of Natural Wines - hosted by Ms Melissa and Mr Les
August - Argentine Wines - hosted by Ms Abbie and Mr Matt
September - Holiday Dinner Wine Pairings - hosted by Ms. Kim and Mr. Alan
October - TWITs GA Winery Tour - TWITs event
November - Cabernet Franc - hosted by Ms Marilyn
December - Languedoc Wines - hosted by Mr Matt and Ms Abbie

2014
January - Syrah - hosted by Ms Jacki & Mr Santi
February - A Red Wine You Love - hosted by Ms Abbie & Mr Matt
March - we ended up postponing February's tasting into March, so we covered both months already.
April - Tomfoolery Tasting - hosted by Ms Jackie & Mr Santiago
May - Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa or Sonoma & Pool Party - hosted by Ms Lynn & Mr Brian
June - La Dolce Vita!  Favorite Italian Wines hosted by Ms Kathy & Mr Jamie
July - German & Austrian Wines - hosted at Le Caveau 
August - Chardonnay - hosted by Ms. Ardella
September - TWITs Takeover Southbound - hosted by Southbound Restaurant
October - Spanish Red Wines - hosted by Ms. Abbie & Mr. Matt
November - Rhone Wines - hosted by Ms. Valerie and Mr. Rheinallt
December - Sparkling Wines- hosted by Ms. Marilyn

2015
January -Winter White Wines - hosted by Ms Abbie & Mr Matt
February - we skipped February
March - Volcanic Wines - hosted by Ms. Karin and Mr. Joshua
April - Eastern European Wines - hosted by Mr Matt and Ms Abbie
May - Loire Valley Wines - hosted by Mr. Rheinallt and Ms. Val
June - Rose - hosted by Mr. Janssen
July - Australian Wines - hosted by Ms Kat and Ms Angela
August - Basque Wines and a Game - hosted by Ms Deb and Mr Jaffet at Le Caveau
September -Red Wines of the Piedmont - hosted by Abbie & Matt
October - we skipped but Abbie had a Serendipitous Encounter with Jancis Robinson!
November - Au Rendezvous Bistro - hosted by Abbie & Matt
December - Oregon "Pick Your Pinot" - hosted by Ms. Marilyn

2016
January - Farewell to Marnie @ Kaleidoscope
February - Greek Wines - hosted by Abbie & Matt
March - White Burgundy Wines - hosted at Le Caveau Fine Wines
April - Uruguay and Brasil: the Overlooked South American Wine Country - co-hosted by Joshua & Karin and Deb & Jaffet
May - Pet-Nat Wines - hosted by Ms. Lauren
June - skipped June
July - Shining Stars Charity Wine Tasting - hosted by Marilyn with Randall & Karen of Marietta Wine Market
August - Albarino - hosted by Abbie & Matt
September - Georgia Mountain Winery Bus Tours - hosted by Marietta Wine Market
October - Spooky-good-to-be-true Bargain Bin Wines - hosted by Deb & Jaffet @ Le Caveau Fine Wines
November - Zinfandel on the Porch Tasting - hosted by Ms. Kathy & Mr. Jamie
December - Naughty or Nice Nebbiolo - hosted by Ms Abbie & Mr Matt

2017
January - Bodega Renacer Wine Tasting & Barrel Painting - hosted at Vino Venue
February - Burgundy - hosted by Val and Rheinallt
March - City Wine & Spirits Tasting with Deb & Jaffet
April - Earth Day Wine Tasting hosted by Ms. Vicki & Ms. Lane
May - Wines from Women Wine Producers hosted by Abbie & Matt
June - TWITs takeover Southbound - hosted by Big Mike
July - Skipped
August - Arizona Wines & Blood Into Wine Documentary Viewing - hosted by Abbie & Matt Lane
September - Lesser Known Italian Wines - Brookhaven Wines
October - Skipped
November - Tempranillo & Tapas - hosted by Rachel & Chris
December - Benefit for Vineyards Damaged in California Wildfires - hosted by Abbie & Matt Lane

Saturday, February 10, 2018

February 10th - Wine & Chocolate - hosted by Steve and Crissy

February 10th - Wine & Chocolate - hosted by Steve and Crissy

Monday, January 15, 2018

Man (or Woman) vs. Wine - Sommelier Smackdown at Vino Venue

The 7th Annual "Man (or Woman) vs. Wine - Sommelier Smackdown" at Vino Venue
Monday, January 15th, 2018 7pm - 9pm

Professional Sommeliers and Wine Professionals came together in a challenge for sharpest palate! When it comes to tasting blind, who would be the best?  But that's not all. Not only did we get to watch, learn, and absorb how the Pro's do it--we got to taste the SAME WINES blind right along with them!

Class included:
A series of blind tastings (6 - 8) with commentary from Master Sommelier, Michael McNeill
Top-notch wines
Light nibbles such as cheeses, salumi, olives, nuts, and a selection of crackers and fresh breads (some were Gluten-Free options)


2011 - The first year's winner was Ryan Mullins of Quality Wine & Spirits
2012 - Year two saw Justin Amick of The Painted Pin claim braggin' rights
2013 - Third year's winner was Ryan Mullins of Quality Wine & Spirits again
2014 - Fourth year's winner was ???
2015 - Caleb Hopkins of The Druid Hills Country Club took top honors
2016 - Juan Cortes was the champ. 
2017 - Ryan Mullins of Quality Wine & Spirits won again.

Competitors for 2018:
Jim Cumiskey, Highland Fine Wines
Laura Engle, Empire
Jacob Gragg, Cru Artisan Wines
Joe Herrig, Georgia Crown
Kacey Ivey, Quality Wines
Ahry Ko, pH Wine Merchant
Ryan Mullins, Quality Wine & Spirits
Adam Pucillo, American Cut
Caitlin Taglia, One Midtown Kitchen
Rob Van Leer, Vino Venue
Brian White, Ritz Carlton

2018 winner was Brian White of Ritz Carlton.





Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Wine Country Travels - Dry Creek Valley

Wine Country Travels - Dry Creek Valley 

Wednesday, December 27th
We had basically a repeat of the same amazing breakfast at Caffe Sunflower - it was just SO good.  this time I didn't get the green dream, but I did get the Monster Mimosa.  It just so happened that there was an older lady sitting nearby our table with a 4 month old French Bulldog named Chloe.  And then a few moments later, another woman with a 4 month old French Bulldog of the same coloring, named Baron sat down.  Of course the two doggies HAD to meet.  It was just too much adorable in one place. awww!

Then it was back in the car to drive to Dry Creek Valley.

Our first winery visit of the day, was to Michel-Schlumberger.  We had friends who were previous wine club members here, and thus we had tasted some of their wines before.  However, we hadn't tried their current production and we were interested in seeing their beautiful property.  I decided this was my favorite tasting of the trip with regards to the quality of wine, and the lovely setting.  We sat outside at a table with a lovely view of the gardens and vineyard.  There was only one tasting person there, so he would come and go, but we had the chance to sit quietly and enjoy our wine tasting privately.  I really prefer this to the stand & sales pitch method.
Every wine was absolutely delicious. Not a "meh" one in the bunch.  If we hadn't already made a pact to NOT join any wine clubs this trip, I might have been tempted to join this one.
We tasted the first line up, and then they escorted us to the barrel room to taste 3 barrel wines.  Before we left w purchased 1 bottle 2014 Michel-Schlumberger Cabernet Franc  - $45, and 2 bottles 2014 Michel-Schlumberger 'Deux Terres' Cabernet Sauvignon - $75 each.

Next stop was Kokomo Winery.  I had met the winemaker twice in Atlanta before, but he wasn't in the tasting room this trip.  We love their wines, and once again they showed beautifully.  We left with a bottle of Chardonnay and a bottle of Claret.  Their wine club is more affordable than some, and I also considered joining this one.

Right next door was the Family Wineries building, so we did a small tasting of Dashe Cellars wine.  We'd met Anne Dashe before, and her wines are superb as well.  My hubby was getting hungry so we "dashed" off (ha ha pun intended) to Dry Creek General Store for one of their famed sandwiches.  I had the Dry Creek Stacker - Cremenelli toscano salami, imported mortadella, turkey, provolone cheese, pepperoncini, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, oregano, mustard, olive oil, golden balsamic vinegar and roasted garlic mayo on a sourdough roll.  It was to DIE for.  I only ate half of it, but my goodness, we saved the other half for later!  He had the Reuben - pastrami, gruyere cheese and Sonoma Brinery sauerkraut on toasted rye bread with your choice of mustard, Thousand Island dressing or both.

Last winery of the day was Ridge Vineyards Lytton Springs.  We had a special memory with Ridge Vineyards wine in our past.  We once celebrated Thanksgiving in Manhattan at Bar Boulud, and they were serving a magnum of 2005 Ridge Geyserville Zinfandel.  It was so good, it left a lasting impression.  So here we are, 12 years later at Ridge!  The grounds and view were quite pretty.  We did the tasting, and bought the holiday gift pack which had a bottle of the 2015 - 50th anniversary - Ridge Geyserville Zinfandel, and a bottle of the 2015 Pagani Ranch Zinfandel.  Both were just exquisite.  We enjoyed those 2 bottles on New Years Day.

We drove back to our BnB for a well-deserved nap, and then we went out to dinner in Sonoma square at at Oso.  We had the Caesar Salad, Deviled Eggs with Dungeness crab, Moroccan Squash, and Salmon with Kale and Sweet Potatoes.  Delightful per usual.

Thoughts about this trip:
I prefer to sit down with a bottle of wine, and relax while tasting it.  Having a wine tasting, while standing up is not the same experience. Neither is going quickly through many different wines while someone is pouring them as fast as you can drink them AND giving you the sales pitch about their wine club at the same time.  Even when we had time to stand and reflect on the wine, it was difficult as the sales person was always nearby, and you couldn't chat with your spouse about the experience privately while there.  This was probably why I enjoyed Stag's Leap Wine Cellars and Michel-Schlumberger experiences the best - we had a moment to sit DOWN and really enjoy the wines.

Apart from those, I really loved Imagery winery.  The whole concept is so interesting, and I love that there is an art gallery there.  Their wines are truly lovely.  You cannot buy them in stores.

If you do this trip, you will need to go to the restroom a LOT!  Every stop, I had to go when we arrived, and before we left.  Think about it, you're drinking wine, and then water, and then coffee, and then more water, and more wine, in a cycle.  It's a lot of liquid to process.  And then the food.  You don't realize it, but you end up eating quite a bit of food.  Don't forget your greens! Trust me.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Wine Country Travels - Calistoga & Napa

Wine Country Travels - Calistoga & Napa

Tuesday, December 26th
Up early for some delicious breakfast at Sunflower Caffe.  This time I ate The California Sandwich (folded eggs, arugula, avocado crush, bacon, chevre goat cheese sauce, organic brioche bun, dressed organic greens).  I can't explain what they do to their bacon, but it has essence of rosemary and is just divine!  and coffee of course.  Matt got the Breakfast Pot Pie (rosemary sausage "red eye gravy", roasted mushrooms, flaky pie crust, soft poached egg) and a cappuccino.  Matt says this was one of the best breakfast meals he has ever had. I took my Green Dream smoothie to go.

Then we were off and vrooming through the Petrified Forest, and up to Calistoga to see the infamous Chateau Montelena.  Their 1973 Chardonnay won the 1976 Judgement of Paris. Watch that movie Bottle Shock for reference. Delicious wines, and prices not too shabby.  We bought 2 bottles of 2014 Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Zinfandel - $39 each, and 1 bottle of 2016 Chateau Montelena Potter Valley Riesling - $27.
The grounds are definitely interesting. The Chateau looks like a castle, but the Jade Lake to the front right of the castle is more of a Chinese Garden vibe.  We asked about the history, and so the story goes:

"Chateau Montelena's rich history began on a chilly fall morning when Alfred L. Tubbs spaded over and inspected the soil where he thought of planting estate vineyards. He had heard the Napa Valley was the best place to grow grapes in California. A deal was struck, and in January of 1882 the San Francisco entrepreneur owned 254 acres of rugged land just two miles north of Calistoga at the base of Mount Saint Helena. The soils are well drained, stony and loose - perfect for the vines he would plant.

It took less than a decade to turn his dream into reality. First Tubbs planted his vineyards, then he built his Chateau, and in 1886 he imported a French-born winemaker. By 1896 his winery, then called A.L. Tubbs Winery, was the seventh largest in the Napa Valley. Like many other wineries in the area, winemaking at the Chateau came to an end with Prohibition. After Prohibition was repealed in 1933, Tubbs' grandson, Chapin Tubbs, continued the family's venture harvesting the vineyard, making some wines and selling grapes to other wineries and home winemakers. In 1940, Chapin rechristened the winery as Chateau Montelena Winery, a contraction of Mount St. Helena.

Two years after Chapin Tubbs' death in 1947, winemaking was discontinued, and Chateau Montelena would not function as a winery for nearly two decades. The Tubbs family sold the Chateau in 1958, at which time the stone building and its overgrown grounds passed into the hands of Yort and Jeanie Frank who were looking for a peaceful spot to retire. The Franks emigrated from Hong Kong prior to World War II and had been living in Southern California where Frank was an electrical engineer. The Chateau inspired Frank to excavate a lake and landscape the grounds to reflect the Chinese gardens of his homeland. Today, Jade Lake is considered one of Napa Valley's most beautiful sanctuaries, home to a variety of fish and wildlife, and surrounded by weeping willows and native fauna."

Did a modest tasting in one of the most beautiful settings at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars (not to be confused w the other Stags’ Leap - read about that here.). The Stag's Leap Wine Cellars 1973 Cabernet won for red wines in the 1976 Judgement of Paris. I would LOVE to taste it someday but, ha, that’s a pipe dream I’m sure. Anyhoo, the winery and property are just gorgeous.  They sat us outside on the patio, in the sunshine.  We had an unobstructed view of the vineyards and mountains.  Simply a FANTASTIC view!  Of all the tasting experiences we had thus far, I would say this was one of my favorites for the ambiance alone!  Their Cabernets were a bit out of our price range, but we will definitely keep our eyes open for any deals if they go on sale, they were very good.

We ate lunch at C Casa in the Oxbow Market.  I had a skirt steak salad, and he had the tacos.  All the food was absolutely delicious, It was rather a busy mad house getting in and out of the place though.  Sort of like Atlanta's Krog Street Market on crack!  Difficult to find parking, and once inside there were lines for every vendor or restaurant.  It has a lovely variety of choices for dining.

A must see on my list was Darioush - a Persian owned winery - something a little different for Napa. We had tasted their wines with a friend years ago, but I had not yet been to their property.  They have absolutely fantastic wines, that remind me a lot of the Lebanese wines I have tasted.  I was most impressed with their Merlot. Completely different expression of the terroir than one would expect. Lots of spice on the finish. Yum!  We purchased 3 bottles of the Merlot.  They provided pistachios in the tasting room, which I felt was a nice touch.

Next, we jetted off to Concord to visit a friend for his Boxing Day party, before heading back to our Sonoma BnB to sleep.