Chateau De Miniere 100% Cabernet Franc 2015

Loire Valley

A wine not well known by many, but loved by me, is Cabernet Franc. Cabernet Franc is a red grape best known in France but grown around the world. Cabernet Franc is a parent, alongside Sauvignon Blanc, of the Cabernet Sauvignon grape.  If you compare Cabernet Franc to Cabernet Sauvignon you will find the Franc tends to be of light or medium bodied, and are lighter in color and tannin. Cabernet Franc matures earlier and is associated with a herbaceous, almost green aroma.


Cabernet Franc is mainly a blending grape in Bordeau, but plays a starring role in the Loire Valley, where we find Chateua de Minere.  This 100% Cabernet Franc is grown on vines 15-30 years old and manually harvested. For 4-6 months it is fermented in stainless steel vats without yeast. The process gives the wine expressive aromas of red fruit. It feels soft on the palate but has incredible structure. I love the long finish with the added surprise of light pepper. 


An added bonus of this wine is how versatile it is. It goes perfectly with grilled or cooked poultry , red meat, as well as pasta with sauce. I find aeration before serving is a must to get the best experience. On average I pay $22.00 for this lovely, favorite.

Marotti Campi Verdicchio Dei Castelli Di Jesi 

Classico Superiore Luzano 2017

White Wine of the Month

The Marotti Campi estate was founded in 1886 by Cesare Marotti. It remains in the family, currently owned by Giovanni, Francesca, and Lorenzo Marotti Campi. They grow mostly Verdicchio and Lacrima grapes indigenous varietals of the area. Their acreage in Morro d’Alba is on hillsides facing the Adriatic sea in the heart of the Le Marche Region.


Their philosophy, “ our wines are 100% made from estate grown grapes to guarantee a truthful expression of this terroir. The style of our wines is aimed to show the real character of these unique indigenous varietals more than to ‘chase the fashion of the moment.”


Their passion for winemaking comes through in their wine. This 2017 Verdicchio has a light herb and citrus zest notes that accent the apricot, almond, and peat flavors. It is light to medium bodied with a silky mineral finish. I am putting this wine in my new favorites category. I am not alone in that thinking. Wine Spector gives it 90 points!


Clementine Whiskey Smash 

Are people at work sniffing, coughing, or showing other signs of being sick? We have a way to help you stay healthy! Well. it has vitamin C and whiskey was considered a medicine, so maybe it will help. Anyway, try this lovely drink this month and let us know if you stay healthy! 


  • 3 clementines (plus more for garnish)

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • ice

  • 2 shots whiskey

  • 2 cinnamon sticks


Peel the clementines and separate them into segments.  

Place the clementine segments in a jar or glass, and add the sugar. Mash the clementines very thoroughly; you want to release as much juice from them as possible. Fill two small glasses with ice, and pour a shot of whiskey into each glass. Strain the clementine mixture into the glasses, and serve with a cinnamon stick and more fresh clementine segments, if desired.

Elderberry Fizz

Non-alcoholic Drink of the Month

Elderberry seems to having a moment. It's almost everywhere, especially in the health aisle. Now, the Elderberry fizz may not be a "health" drink, but it certainly won't hurt to enjoy this simple, pretty, tasty drink. Great for dinner parties, a non-alcoholic Valentine's date, or a night in by the fire. 


  • ¼ cup elderberry syrup (substitute 100 percent elderberry juice for a less-sweet option)

  • ½ lime, cut into 4 slices 

  • 8 oz. chilled sparkling water or sparkling fruit juice


Pour 2 tablespoons elderberry syrup or juice into each glass. Squeeze a slice of lime into each and fill with sparkling water or sparkling fruit juice. Garnish with remaining lime slices.